• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

What is Alan Shaw on about? (is "coloration" unmeasurable?)

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
830
Likes
715
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
Interesting situation, particularly given the intensity of the guy's discomfort without being able to even begin to identify the cause. My best guess would be an unpleasant (but maybe not huge) room mode, which gives him a subliminal cringing-in-advance feeling, which I'm sure is mentally very fatiguing, because of a chronic inability to relax. Or, possibly, a hyper-sensitivity to high midrange, where human hearing is very acute. I have known a couple of people who suffer like that. They describe it like being hit in the forehead with a hammer. The solution there is also EQ, in the form of a deep scoop, like a super-BBC dip.
That's a very good and not so obvious point. Even though I am in my sixtis and have significant hearing loss above 10k, if I am in reflective room with much HF content, I lose my bloody mind, just as a claustrophobic might react to being stuck in a closet. No one else seems phased. It's something of a shame as many restaurants and brewpubs operate in some awful repurposed bldgs with the exposed ductwork and what not, and few bother with hanging some absorbers. I swear they must all be deaf.
 
OP
ahofer

ahofer

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
2,176
Likes
3,700
Location
New York City
That's a very good and not so obvious point. Even though I am in my sixtis and have significant hearing loss above 10k, if I am in reflective room with much HF content, I lose my bloody mind, just as a claustrophobic might react to being stuck in a closet. No one else seems phased. It's something of a shame as many restaurants and brewpubs operate in some awful repurposed bldgs with the exposed ductwork and what not, and few bother with hanging some absorbers. I swear they must all be deaf.
I recently installed new dimmers in the apartment, and the high frequency whine really bugs me. My wife (the musician) laughs at me when I adjust them or turn them off. She doesn't notice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRS

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
830
Likes
715
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
I also suffer easely from listening fatigue, and did not find yet what cause it. But i'm sure you can measure it, you just need to find what to measure (and i did not find it yet, nor found someone who did). And in my case it's not room depending for me, it's more speaker depending. Older Genelecs were terrible to my ears (altough they measure good), but the new ones do it it better as example. And i'm not the only one who has this kind of issue, not depending on room.

But Allan Shaw, altough he is very capeble speaker designer, is also a salesman that knows his speakers are very easy on the ear, and here he is clearly trying to sell something, cfr one of his speakers. He smells an opportunity and acts towards catching it.
I hear you, I sold highly praised Thiel CS3.5's and Dunlavy Sc-IV's for that very reason. I am sure they both measured very well. Needless to say, I have never bought speakers w/o extensive home audition first, and instead of taking my favorite reference tunes for store auditions, I took well recorded material that was on the edge of grating for me. Shame I wasted so much $$ first.

Now I just build my own. Life is much simpler.
 

theREALdotnet

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
262
Likes
313
So, for example, chasing a noise floor in the electronics of -120dB is just daft when the loudspeaker's dominant noise floor is
perhaps only -40dB, or in some frequencies only -20dB or even less.

Speakers have a noise floor? Does he mean distortion, or are we talking about active speakers?
 
OP
ahofer

ahofer

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
2,176
Likes
3,700
Location
New York City
It's interesting that in these new "Techtalk" videos, the first point he makes (the conclusion he reaches by end of video #2) is that you need to have access to the on-axis FR of loudspeakers *before* auditioning, since *removing* FR notches can make the sound seem colored (more so than in the other direction).


That would certainly be a lot easier if he published the on-axis FR of his loudspeakers, and, as I suggested in our conversation above, manufacturers released an agreed-upon set of measurements like CEA 2034.

I'm watching these videos and thinking of the conversation above and....
 

krabapple

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
1,561
Likes
1,610
Latest post from A.S. about this topic.
The consumer auditioned a Harbeth speaker and bought it.:D
What a beautiful way to end the story, to promote his speakers.
:facepalm:

"Reader, I sold him!" THE END
 

krabapple

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
1,561
Likes
1,610
He's right, there's no metric for colouration, it's a combination of steady state and transient distortions, power response, polars, timbral inaccuracy and electrical and thermal compressions caused by a raft of interactions in constant flux.


Colo(u)r me amazed.

Amazed by what, I shan't say. A raft of interactions in constant flux makes whatever I say now no longer the case ..........now.

Give up, science! You've met your match!
 

Soniclife

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
4,135
Likes
4,820
Location
UK
It's interesting that in these new "Techtalk" videos, the first point he makes (the conclusion he reaches by end of video #2) is that you need to have access to the on-axis FR of loudspeakers *before* auditioning, since *removing* FR notches can make the sound seem colored (more so than in the other direction).


That would certainly be a lot easier if he published the on-axis FR of his loudspeakers, and, as I suggested in our conversation above, manufacturers released an agreed-upon set of measurements like CEA 2034.

I'm watching these videos and thinking of the conversation above and....
I don't have the inclination to watch the videos, but I don't follow whats being suggested.
Why only the on axis?
Anechoic measurements?
When you say notches do you just mean the dips?

I've suggested before that it would be good if manufacturers provided convolution or filters to improve passive designs, similar to the headphone corrections provided to roon by one manufacturer.
 

Waxx

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
312
Likes
907
Location
Wodecq, Hainaut, Belgium
Basicly he says the same like what is said here, your ears can fool you very easely, and measurements tell what's really going on. He bases his info on old BBC studies about the subject by the founder of the company, H.D. Harwood, who is a former engineer and speaker designer for the BBC.
 
OP
ahofer

ahofer

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
2,176
Likes
3,700
Location
New York City
Basicly he says the same like what is said here, your ears can fool you very easely, and measurements tell what's really going on. He bases his info on old BBC studies about the subject by the founder of the company, H.D. Harwood, who is a former engineer and speaker designer for the BBC.
Yes. The asymmetry of going back and forth was new to me. Interesting point.

He does focus on on-axis anechoic measurements (for him, renting a 'true' anechoic chamber is without parallel in Klippel or elsewhere). The more cynical among us might say there's a reason he tends to avoid off-axis measurements.
 

FeddyLost

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
511
Likes
360
I'm sorry that I'm so late for this thread, but if the problem can be demonstrated with some specific records, it's not a big deal to find out exact trouble - exaggerated bass, compression artifacts or raised presence freqs.
Without independent evaluation it might be just the way of promoting some "overly comfortable speakers" ... oh, wait ...

PS I'm sure that AS is NOT technically incompetent. Most probably, he is a good psychologist and makes his equipment for those who seeks everything nice and polite. otherwise he'd make control monitors of "ear-bleeding-until-all-is-nice" class.
 
Top Bottom