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Which measurements match typical audiophile descriptions?

ripmixburn

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Timing, airiness, weight, depth, pinpoint imaging, "emotion"… I hear descriptions like this in audio equipment reviews all the time. Which ones, if any, correlate to which measurements? (I think this would make a great article or video btw)
 

Weeb Labs

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  • Timing: Meaningless
  • Airiness: Increased response above ~12KHz
  • Weight: Increased response below ~120Hz
  • Depth: Even response at ~250Hz
  • Pinpoint imaging: Even (especially narrow) directivity, with managed room reflections
  • Emotion: The listener's subjective response to the content in conjunction with the performance of the system
 
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ripmixburn

ripmixburn

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What about when people refer to the width, depth and height of the soundstage. Is that just directivity and managed reflections?
 

SIY

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What about when people refer to the width, depth and height of the soundstage. Is that just directivity and managed reflections?

Often, yes. It's a function of speakers and rooms, and occasionally, imagination.
 

Wes

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how 'bout PRaT ??
 

escksu

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  • Timing: Meaningless
  • Airiness: Increased response above ~12KHz
  • Weight: Increased response below ~120Hz
  • Depth: Even response at ~250Hz
  • Pinpoint imaging: Even (especially narrow) directivity, with managed room reflections
  • Emotion: The listener's subjective response to the content in conjunction with the performance of the system

Timing can actually be measured to a pretty good extent, but its difficult. In a perfect scenario, the amplifier will create a waveform that is exact copy of the input signal, only with higher amplitude (since its supposed to be louder). However, this is not possible in real life. The higher the amplitude, the harder it is to create this. Note that transistors have a rise and fall time as well. So, it affects what you call "timing".
 

Weeb Labs

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Timing can actually be measured to a pretty good extent, but its difficult. In a perfect scenario, the amplifier will create a waveform that is exact copy of the input signal, only with higher amplitude (since its supposed to be louder). However, this is not possible in real life. The higher the amplitude, the harder it is to create this. Note that transistors have a rise and fall time as well. So, it affects what you call "timing".
I'm afraid it is rather unclear as to what you are talking about, as you still haven't provided a definition of "timing" or a specific characteristic to which you believe it pertains. Transistor rise times are unrelated to anything that a listener could detect and describe using said term.

I suspect that you might be attempting to make sense of a purposefully nebulous audiophile marketing term.
 
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MaxRockbin

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If you watch the Erin's Audio Corner videos on his site https://www.********************/ or youtube, he gives his subjective impressions of the speaker before he looks at his rigorous testing. I don't know if he gives what you would call "typical audiophile" impressions (chocolaty with a hint of citrus?) but after he goes over the objective measurements, he does correlate what is in them with any subjective flaws he noticed. It's very informative. Check them out. (PS I don't know why the forum is suppressing the Erin's Audio Corner URL, but it's on the Google).
 

escksu

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I'm afraid it is rather unclear as to what you are talking about, as you still haven't provided a definition of "timing" or a specific characteristic to which you believe it pertains. Transistor rise times are unrelated to anything that a listener could detect and describe using said term.

Hmm....I am not sure how I should explain to you. OK, check out this link, especially on things like Turn ON and Turn OFF.

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/pulse_circuits/pulse_circuits_transistor_as_switch.htm

From this you can see when when we inject a square wave, the output is not perfectly square. There are delays as voltage is ramp up and delays as voltage drops. As you turn up the volume, higher voltage and current is required and this affects the Turn ON and Turn OFF parameters. Since music has continuous varying frequency and amplitufe, there are times where the amp has difficultly reproducing the input signal accuratel, esp. when the variation is very fast (e.g numerous intruments playing concurrently) and high volume (more power needed).

If the amp cannot reproduce this signal accurately, then it will start to sound a bit different, esp. in a rythm. Delays in ramping up the voltage means instruments seems to be played a bit later than usual. Then delay in ramping down means instruments seems to be played longer than usual. Musicians/conductors are people who are extremely sensitive to this timing. When playing or conducting, there isn't any tool to determine how long/short a note should be played. Its all through training and practice. So, what I want to say is don't underestimate the precision of "human timing".

Large voltage change within short times are difficult for amp an to achieve. This is why well designed amps are able to reproduce the signal more accurately even at higher volume. Although I use the word volume, it should be power (voltage + current).

So, you can measure the input signal to the amp and output signal, then make a comparison to know how good/bad the timing is.

mugbot has posted a link and this is the meaning.

Timing - A sense of precision in tempo

SO, thats what I explained earlier, how accurate can the amp reproduce this input signal.
 
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Trif

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But that's sort of a constant thing. Imagine your woofer trying get up to speed while your tweeter is making the sharp corner of the waveform.
 

Weeb Labs

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Hmm....I am not sure how I should explain to you. OK, check out this link, especially on things like Turn ON and Turn OFF.

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/pulse_circuits/pulse_circuits_transistor_as_switch.htm

From this you can see when when we inject a square wave, the output is not perfectly square. There are delays as voltage is ramp up and delays as voltage drops. As you turn up the volume, higher voltage and current is required and this affects the Turn ON and Turn OFF parameters. Since music has continuous varying frequency and amplitufe, there are times where the amp has difficultly reproducing the input signal accuratel, esp. when the variation is very fast (e.g numerous intruments playing concurrently) and high volume (more power needed).

If the amp cannot reproduce this signal accurately, then it will start to sound a bit different, esp. in a rythm. Delays in ramping up the voltage means instruments seems to be played a bit later than usual. Then delay in ramping down means instruments seems to be played longer than usual. Musicians/conductors are people who are extremely sensitive to this timing. When playing or conducting, there isn't any tool to determine how long/short a note should be played. Its all through training and practice. So, what I want to say is don't underestimate the precision of "human timing".

Large voltage change within short times are difficult for amp an to achieve. This is why well designed amps are able to reproduce the signal more accurately even at higher volume. Although I use the word volume, it should be power (voltage + current).

So, you can measure the input signal to the amp and output signal, then make a comparison to know how good/bad the timing is.

mugbot has posted a link and this is the meaning.

Timing - A sense of precision in tempo

SO, thats what I explained earlier, how accurate can the amp reproduce this input signal.
I don’t mean to come across as condescending here but this is in fact my field of expertise. Do you understand that transistor rise and fall times are typically measured in single-digit nanoseconds, within their linear region?

The period of a 20KHz sinewave (the highest audible frequency) is 50,000 nanoseconds.
 
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ctrl

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What about when people refer to the width, depth and height of the soundstage. Is that just directivity and managed reflections?

Almost, directivity of the speaker and reflections are mainly responsible.
But please don't misunderstand, it's not as simple as saying that a loudspeaker that shows a "wide" vertical dispersion automatically produces a "high" and "stable" soundstage - or vice versa.
A loudspeaker can, for example, show massive vertical cancellations and still or just because of that present an "open" and "stable" soundstage to the listener.
For example, loudspeakers with a (multiple) D'Appolito arrangement of drivers often show a relatively uniform soundstage, even when standing up and walking around.

In the median plane, the directional bands play a major role for the sensations "front", "back" and "up".

But also the mixing of the heard recording itself influences whether something is perceived as "near/present" or "diffuse/distant".

I have described the individual points (with sources) in much more detail here
.
 

escksu

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I don’t mean to come across as condescending here but this is in fact my field of expertise. Do you understand that transistor rise and fall times are typically measured in single-digit nanoseconds, within their linear region?

The period of a 20KHz sinewave (the highest audible frequency) is 50,000 nanoseconds.

OK, since this is your field of expertise. Let me ask you regarding the rise/fall times stated in the spec sheet. Could you explain to me if those test conditions are similar to an amp in operation? What condition would best describe those test conditions? Max load? min load? 50% load?
 

DimitryZ

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OK, since this is your field of expertise. Let me ask you regarding the rise/fall times stated in the spec sheet. Could you explain to me if those test conditions are similar to an amp in operation? What condition would best describe those test conditions? Max load? min load? 50% load?
I think WL meant that amp response is typically orders of magnitude faster than the audio signal frequency, and can't really impact timing in any conventional sense.

However, loudspeaker phase response may. For example, if there is phase delay in the woofer response, it may create a sense of sharper low frequencies, as higher frequency content leads (similar to accuttance or edge sharpening in photography). While this may contribute to the "PRAT" quality, it is artificially generated.
 

Beave

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Hmm....I am not sure how I should explain to you. OK, check out this link, especially on things like Turn ON and Turn OFF.

https://www.tutorialspoint.com/pulse_circuits/pulse_circuits_transistor_as_switch.htm

From this you can see when when we inject a square wave, the output is not perfectly square. There are delays as voltage is ramp up and delays as voltage drops. As you turn up the volume, higher voltage and current is required and this affects the Turn ON and Turn OFF parameters. Since music has continuous varying frequency and amplitufe, there are times where the amp has difficultly reproducing the input signal accuratel, esp. when the variation is very fast (e.g numerous intruments playing concurrently) and high volume (more power needed).


Pure square waves are not band limited and don't appear in any real-world audio recordings. The output of an amplifier does not need to reproduce a square wave in order to be audibly transparent.

Numerous instruments playing concurrently may increase spectral density, but it does nothing to make the signal variation any faster (as defined by max frequency).

If the amp cannot reproduce this signal accurately, then it will start to sound a bit different, esp. in a rythm. Delays in ramping up the voltage means instruments seems to be played a bit later than usual. Then delay in ramping down means instruments seems to be played longer than usual. Musicians/conductors are people who are extremely sensitive to this timing. When playing or conducting, there isn't any tool to determine how long/short a note should be played. Its all through training and practice. So, what I want to say is don't underestimate the precision of "human timing".

Large voltage change within short times are difficult for amp an to achieve. This is why well designed amps are able to reproduce the signal more accurately even at higher volume. Although I use the word volume, it should be power (voltage + current).

The timing differences, as measured by group delay, for an amplifier are going to be orders of magnitude lower than the time delays made by actual humans creating music.
 
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