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"Things that cannot be measured"

richard12511

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Is it the job of the audio equipment to inject something on top of that performance, or to as faithfully as possible convey it to the home listener?

Rick "wondering if audio manufacturers get paid royalties for artistic creation" Denney

For me, the music is the "art", not the reproduction devices.

Speakers, amps, dacs, etc. are like the glass case you put around the painting in the museum. Some paintings may very well look slightly better with red tinted glass, but by and large clear is the best.
 

Raindog123

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For me, the music is the "art", not the reproduction devices.
Speakers, amps, dacs, etc. are like the glass case you put around the painting in the museum.

...Nah:

IMG_0001__.jpg
 

dualazmak

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magicscreen

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For me, the music is the "art", not the reproduction devices.

I do not understand why it is problem if sounds better using a reproduction device.
It sounds great but I am not using it because it has only SINAD=119 not 120. Pffff
 

rdenney

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I do not understand why it is problem if sounds better using a reproduction device.
It sounds great but I am not using it because it has only SINAD=119 not 120. Pffff
I think any perusal of this forum will reveal clarity about the triviality of a 1-dB difference in SINAD, especially well above the threshold of audibility/transparency.

The problem with depending on the coloration of an audio component to improve sound is that without understanding why it does so, there’s no way to predict whether it will improve or disimprove any particular recording.

And if a manufacturer claims transparency but then colors the sound to “improve” it, there is the question of honesty (or competence).

I can see where a device with a poor SINAD (depending on how one defines “poor”) might still sound good, but I’m not sure how a device with a good SINAD can sound bad, especially if distortion across the audible spectrum—using sweeps and multiple tones at the rated output—backs it up. (SINAD as a total measurement is measured or reported at just one frequency, as I recall).

Rick “one guy’s improvement is another guy’s distortion” Denney
 

Mnyb

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Audio equipment does not improve or sound better , they sound "less bad " they cant really improve anything you can hope for a better rendering of your recording such as it is . The recording sound as it does the equipment might slightly degrade it ( electronics ) or introduce gross errors (speakers )

You cant just buy more expensive stuff and then somehow every recording sounds better and better
 

CMOT

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Audio equipment does not improve or sound better , they sound "less bad " they cant really improve anything you can hope for a better rendering of your recording such as it is . The recording sound as it does the equipment might slightly degrade it ( electronics ) or introduce gross errors (speakers )

You cant just buy more expensive stuff and then somehow every recording sounds better and better

Wait, just a hypothetical - what if there was transform of the inputs that distorted the original sound inputs in some way so there was lower fidelity, but some, if not all, listeners preferred that sound to the original? In such a case, audio equipment would seem to be able to make music sound better (even if less veridical). To give a more concrete example, I think there are some people who prefer rolled off high frequencies in their music and genuinely prefer certain equipment because of that distortion. I do wonder about the claim of "warmth" for some tube equipment. I have a restored Marantz 8b. I realize it isn't really doing a good job being true to the input signal, but it does sound nice and warm! I am sure others can offer other examples where there is an identified distortion in the reproduction, but some listeners prefer that sound. (I am also pretty sure that some high end manufacturers intentionally add distortions so their equipment sounds different. If two very good performing pieces of equipment are both true to the input signal, any differences between them might not be detectable to the listener, which is bad if you are selling against solid, not too expensive stuff but you are on the very high end equipment wise - $10,000 CD players, $30,000 speakers, $20,000 amps, etc. - so you give your stuff a "signature sound" and then let the milled faceplates, cool heat sink designs, and hand varnished veneers do the rest along with the silver tongued salesperson).
 

scott wurcer

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so you give your stuff a "signature sound" and then let the milled faceplates, cool heat sink designs, and hand varnished veneers do the rest along with the silver tongued salesperson).

I have no problem with equipment as effects box, but the truth is it only costs the same as the equipment without the effects to make (in many cases).
 

CMOT

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I have no problem with equipment as effects box, but the truth is it only costs the same as the equipment without the effects to make (in many cases).
Exactly. So it they make it look fancy and sound different to justify the ridiculous prices. Many years ago Bob Carver pissed off the Stereophile folks by nulling a hand-built for adjustability, relatively inexpensive amp against an expensive tube amp. He effectively made the two amps impossible to distinguish in double blind listening. This did not make people very happy.

I had this idea that we could take all the published equalization curves for headphones and rather than equalize each headphone to flat, build a tool that let you equalize your present headphones to sound like a different model/brand of unequalized headphones. Should be possible. So then you buy one pair of headphones and just futz around with trying your "favorite" headphones - but don't bother buying more! :)
 

NTK

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I had this idea that we could take all the published equalization curves for headphones and rather than equalize each headphone to flat, build a tool that let you equalize your present headphones to sound like a different model/brand of unequalized headphones. Should be possible. So then you buy one pair of headphones and just futz around with trying your "favorite" headphones - but don't bother buying more! :)
Sorry. Dr. Olive got that idea already :)
https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=16874
https://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18462
 

Wes

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Wait, just a hypothetical - what if there was transform of the inputs that distorted the original sound inputs in some way so there was lower fidelity, but some, if not all, listeners preferred that sound to the original? ...

There is such a transform. It is called a "tube"
 

rdenney

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It isn’t just coloration (frequency response). John Atkinson once responded to a question about the best amp by stating, only half jokingly it seemed, that the secret was abundance of second-order harmonic distortion. That adds octaves to musical pitches, which will make a large group sound richer, maybe. But if really audible it will make a tuba sound like a euphonium and a French horn sound like a trombone, it seems to me.

Frequency response might still be flat, but distortion might be high up through 7-10 KHz at which point the second harmonic will become ultrasonic. This might make it warmer without needing to roll off the top octave and without undermining the 20-20 +/- x dB spec.

Rick “who does not want this effect but can see how it might sound good to some” Denney
 

Mnyb

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It isn’t just coloration (frequency response). John Atkinson once responded to a question about the best amp by stating, only half jokingly it seemed, that the secret was abundance of second-order harmonic distortion. That adds octaves to musical pitches, which will make a large group sound richer, maybe. But if really audible it will make a tuba sound like a euphonium and a French horn sound like a trombone, it seems to me.

Frequency response might still be flat, but distortion might be high up through 7-10 KHz at which point the second harmonic will become ultrasonic. This might make it warmer without needing to roll off the top octave and without undermining the 20-20 +/- x dB spec.

Rick “who does not want this effect but can see how it might sound good to some” Denney

I must have a contrary opinion :) the bass instruments and others "extra harmonics due to audiophile design" might creep into that sensitive range 1kHz -5Khz and it might starts to sound screechy .

Would not all THD tend to bunch up together at higher frequencies and actually start to sound harsh . In some fringe case it might help a dull recording with some sparkle and fake detail ?
 

solderdude

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Those that really want to know instead of theorize or quote what some (might) have said ....

Use @pkane software to add harmonics to music.
Then run that file and the original through @pkane nulling software and listen to the null.
Then tell us if adding what you hear will sound musical.
 

Blumlein 88

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Come on guys. You have to roll the top end just so, and have the extra harmonics fill it back in so it sounds airy, dense and more detailed. ;)
 

dualazmak

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I must have a contrary opinion :) the bass instruments and others "extra harmonics due to audiophile design" might creep into that sensitive range 1kHz -5Khz and it might starts to sound screechy .

Would not all THD tend to bunch up together at higher frequencies and actually start to sound harsh . In some fringe case it might help a dull recording with some sparkle and fake detail ?

Interesting...

Maybe, your point would partly support and justify the multichannel multi-driver multi-amplifier stereo audio system like mine where sub-woofers, woofers, mid-squawkers, tweeters and super-tweeters are driven directly by individual dedicated amplifier eliminating LC crossover network.
 
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