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  1. #1
    Vinyl Junkie slate1's Avatar
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    To EQ or not to EQ - That is the question!

    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    GOOD speakers won't need an EQ.
    No offense N. Abstentia, but I just have never understood the whole "you should never touch your tone controls and should be hung, drawn and made to listen to polka if you use an EQ" point of view.

    I could subscribe to the whole idea if every recording ever made was done in exactly the same recording studio using exactly the same equipment under exactly the same conditions, etc. etc. - but that's simply just not the case.

    If you ever get the chance to witness the recording process you'll see that from the moment the first guitar string is plucked to the moment it's placed on the final master there are tonal adjusments via EQ being done throughout the entire process.

    I've been using an AudioControl Ten Series III EQ for years with every amp/speaker combination I've ever had. The trick, in my opinon, is not to over do it - I never tweak more than 4-6db and have always been able to compensate for some of the obvious faults in the original recordings.

    Ahhh - I hear you already out there, "faults in the original recordings??? but that's the way the record was MEANT to be heard" How do I know what it originally sounded like unless I've got the exact equipment and monitors that were present in the original recording and mixing studio? I can't - no one can.

    Everyone just needs to face the fact that there's no way to exactly duplicate what the originators of the music were intending with a particular mix. Furthermore, everyone also needs to realize that no two amp/speaker combinations are ever going to sound alike and that even if you take the same amp/speaker combinations and place them in two different rooms they're likely to sound dramatically different.

    My only point is that, in my opinion, a **GOOD** EQ that doesn't introduce any additional noise (like an AudioControl - which, btw, is going to set you back several hundred dollars) is an essential part of any setup. Tone controls, I will grant you, are fairly useless as they adjust broad swaths of the sound spectrum and unavoidably end up adjusting elements that you don't want tinkered with.

    If you know what you're doing and are fairly reserved with your adjustments a high quality EQ can be an invaluable piece of equipment.

    Let the flames begin!!!!
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    I have a 5-band eq on my McIntosh integrated amp. I use it all of the time.

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    "The trick, in my opinon, is not to over do it - I never tweak more than 4-6db "

    The trick is IMO to have a well trained ear that has heard and continues to hear a lot of unamplified real musical instruments and to be extremely patient, not expecting to get the whole job done in an hour, a week, or a month. To optimize the frequency response of a sound system with an eq IMO takes many months, sometimes even years of patient trial and error. Unfortunately, I have not found calibrated microphones, noise generators, and spectrum analyzers particularly useful. I do try to keep both channels equalized the same except in the deep bass where room resonances can create obvious differences.

    One of the most valuable tools I have found is a CD player with A-B repeat. It allows you to hear the same musical passage over and over again so you can make your adjustments and see immediately what has happened.

    In the long run, an equalizer is one of the most powerful tools for optimizing the performance of a sound system. The fact that so many so called audiophiles cannot successfully use one is music to my ears because it puts lots of them on the used market at bargain prices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slate1
    No offense N. Abstentia, but I just have never understood the whole "you should never touch your tone controls and should be hung, drawn and made to listen to polka if you use an EQ" point of view.

    I could subscribe to the whole idea if every recording ever made was done in exactly the same recording studio using exactly the same equipment under exactly the same conditions, etc. etc. - but that's simply just not the case.

    If you ever get the chance to witness the recording process you'll see that from the moment the first guitar string is plucked to the moment it's placed on the final master there are tonal adjusments via EQ being done throughout the entire process.

    I've been using an AudioControl Ten Series III EQ for years with every amp/speaker combination I've ever had. The trick, in my opinon, is not to over do it - I never tweak more than 4-6db and have always been able to compensate for some of the obvious faults in the original recordings.

    Ahhh - I hear you already out there, "faults in the original recordings??? but that's the way the record was MEANT to be heard" How do I know what it originally sounded like unless I've got the exact equipment and monitors that were present in the original recording and mixing studio? I can't - no one can.

    Everyone just needs to face the fact that there's no way to exactly duplicate what the originators of the music were intending with a particular mix. Furthermore, everyone also needs to realize that no two amp/speaker combinations are ever going to sound alike and that even if you take the same amp/speaker combinations and place them in two different rooms they're likely to sound dramatically different.

    My only point is that, in my opinion, a **GOOD** EQ that doesn't introduce any additional noise (like an AudioControl - which, btw, is going to set you back several hundred dollars) is an essential part of any setup. Tone controls, I will grant you, are fairly useless as they adjust broad swaths of the sound spectrum and unavoidably end up adjusting elements that you don't want tinkered with.

    If you know what you're doing and are fairly reserved with your adjustments a high quality EQ can be an invaluable piece of equipment.

    Let the flames begin!!!!
    You are right. Nothing wrong with using EQ. You may even consider the Audio Control 1/3 octave EQ for finer control.
    One should sit in some recording sessions or speaker setups in such a place. A whole lot of EQing is going on.

    One should see what their speaker response looks like before speaking that a good speaker doesn't need EQ. WRONG
    mtrycrafts

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    I don't know if they still do it but they used to come by recording studio's once a week with calibrated mikes and all of the other equipment necessary to tweak the equalization of the monitor speakers to be sure that they were still ruler flat.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    Best feature I've ever seen on a preamp is the TONE CONTROL BYPASS. Get that crap out of there, just adds more noise to the signal chain!

    If you rely on an EQ to make your system sound right, what do you do in the case of a digital signal such as from a DVD? Do they make EQ's with digital inputs?

    What about for DVD-Audio or SACD? Would you just go buy 3 stereo EQ's?

  7. #7
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    Well the best thing about an advanced EQ is that you don't really need a speaker that measures flat - since in most rooms that flat speaker will look like a sine wave anyway. If speaker A has a 5db dip from 2-6khz you can boost those to 0db with an EQ and make any speaker in any room measure flat - sounding good is something else.

    Really though the point of a stereo is to make you happy - if an EQ will make you happier and give you more enjoyment or bass treble knobs etc then go for it. It is not my job nor is it right for me to tell you what should make you happy. Though you have large Ego's on both sides who will tell you what is RIGHT - the one that makes you enjoy listening to your bleeding music collection is the choice that's right. Simple - case closed.

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    There's a lot more to the frequency response of a loudspeaker than the on axis anechoic measurement. The proof this that a lot of speakers which measure flat don't sound flat and don't even sound like each other. Total power radiated, room acoustics, and speaker placement are big factors in how a speaker will sound in a given system. Equalization gives you at least one powerful means to adapt the system to the environment. Without it, you hook it up, turn it on, and that's it, good bad or otherwise.

    As for having a different equalizer for each input, I think that's a great idea and have toyed with it myself for a while. The ability to null out any minor spectral deviations from neutrality from each component individually makes a lot of sense considering how little equalizers cost today. An alternative is a digital equalizer with a series of memories, one for each input.

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    I EQ'd my Tympani years ago- made my Tympani sound like typical cones-in-a-box speakers (i.e. Mush-box speakers) by blunting the Tympani's fantastic transient detail (attack).

    Why don't you folk get rid of your Mush-box speakers and get the transient attack provided by Magneplanars? Then those tiny frequency response dipsydoodles won't bother you a bit.

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    Why don't we just use the inverse equalization you used to make our mush-box speakers sound like your Magneplanars? If Magneplanars sound so good already, why would you want to try to equalize them in the first place?

    Actually I know you will find this very hard to believe but there are actually some people out there who like other speakers better and do not choose to live with the limitations Magneplanar speakers impose on the user.

  11. #11
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    I EQ'd my Tympani years ago- made my Tympani sound like typical cones-in-a-box speakers (i.e. Mush-box speakers) by blunting the Tympani's fantastic transient detail (attack).
    Judicious use of EQ should not have that effect. I too favor the timbral accuracy of planars, especially in the bass. My speakers are full range electrostats.

    I agree that equalizers with a gaggle of ICs will, however, necessarily compromise the signal integrity to a degree. The question is a matter of tradeoffs. I prefer using room treatments to address the variances caused by the environment.

    BTW, Hearing 1-Us for the first time back in the 70s driven by ARC gear was quite an ear opener for me. I haven't owned a box speaker since. I could very easily live with the "limitations" of 20.1s vs. AR-9s.

    rw

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    Odd, Mr E-Stat. Very odd. I never liked the Tympani driven with ARC amps..... too agressive sounding to me in a very unnatural way. So I crossed the Tympani off my list until one day I visited someone who used a Futterman to power his Tympani. Now THAT was smooth reality. And the cool-fools would rewire 4 ohm Tympani to 16 ohm and then the Futterman-Tympani output was as sharply smooth and realistic as one could hope for. First time listeners, myself included, were always dumbfounded.

    Nah, Skep. Cones stiff enough (and therefore heavy enough) to perform as rigid "pistons" driven by a voice coil at their apex simply have too sluggish a transient response to compete with an .0005 mylar diaphragm moved by a distributed force. The mylar is not intended to act as a "rigid structure" so all that "reinforcement weight" goes away.

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    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    Odd, Mr E-Stat. Very odd. I never liked the Tympani driven with ARC amps..... too agressive sounding to me in a very unnatural way.
    Curious repponse. In over thirty years, I've never heard anyone before call the SP-3 and D-76 "aggressive" or "unnatural".


    Quote Originally Posted by Mash
    Cones stiff enough (and therefore heavy enough) to perform as rigid "pistons" driven by a voice coil at their apex simply have too sluggish a transient response to compete with an .0005 mylar diaphragm moved by a distributed force. The mylar is not intended to act as a "rigid structure" so all that "reinforcement weight" goes away.
    You're forgetting something. Unlike electrostats where the diaphragm mass is the only moving component, you need to add the mass off all the magnets attached to the diaphragm in a Maggie (ribbon drivers not found on the Tympani series excluded).

    rw

  14. #14
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Magnepan tech

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat

    You're forgetting something. Unlike electrostats where the diaphragm mass is the only moving component, you need to add the mass off all the magnets attached to the diaphragm in a Maggie (ribbon drivers not found on the Tympani series excluded).

    rw
    The're no magnets connected to the driven membrane of Magnepan speakers. The magnets are fixed, and the .0005 thick "voice coil" is bonded to the driven planar surface. The magnplanar tech is faster by far than any conventional driver, and also not reactive, so it's relatively benign to drive. The transient response of electrostats is phenomenal, but as you are aware more than anyone here, they are probably the most demanding speaker when it come to amplification.
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    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Curious repponse. In over thirty years, I've never heard anyone before call the SP-3 and D-76 "aggressive" or "unnatural".

    I think what he means is that the maggies were actually able to be be played at an agressive volume with ARC power. I've heard 20r's driven with a BIG ARC amp and it was pure pleasure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    The magnplanar tech is faster by far than any conventional driver, and also not reactive, so it's relatively benign to drive. The transient response of electrostats is phenomenal, but as you are aware more than anyone here, they are probably the most demanding speaker when it come to amplification.
    Faster? I would ask you to define what you mean by 'faster'.

    Transient response: a result/function of frequency response.

    Mass: irrelevant on it's own. The result of increased mass, assuming two identical scenarios(and htis is not the case in ESL vs. dynamic) with no other variables, is reduced efficiency.
    The 'low' mass of the diapgragm of an ESL is counteracted by the extreme weak field produced by the stators -- though this diaphgragm is low in mass -- typical ESL has typically lower efficiency then an average dynamic speaker system.

    -Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    Best feature I've ever seen on a preamp is the TONE CONTROL BYPASS. Get that crap out of there, just adds more noise to the signal chain!

    If you rely on an EQ to make your system sound right, what do you do in the case of a digital signal such as from a DVD? Do they make EQ's with digital inputs?

    What about for DVD-Audio or SACD? Would you just go buy 3 stereo EQ's?

    Yep, if you have a multi channel setup and want to do it right, you have an EQ in each channel.

    Yep, there are digital EQ's so I am told.
    mtrycrafts

  18. #18
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WmAx
    Faster? I would ask you to define what you mean by 'faster'.

    Transient response: a result/function of frequency response.

    Mass: irrelevant on it's own. The result of increased mass, assuming two identical scenarios(and htis is not the case in ESL vs. dynamic) with no other variables, is reduced efficiency.
    The 'low' mass of the diapgragm of an ESL is counteracted by the extreme weak field produced by the stators -- though this diaphgragm is low in mass -- typical ESL has typically lower efficiency then an average dynamic speaker system.

    -Chris
    Cone speakers when asked to provide a transiant overshoot, causing distortion as they are not able to follow the waveform. Planars, although not perfect, stop and start faster because they have less driven mass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    Cone speakers when asked to provide a transiant overshoot, causing distortion as they are not able to follow the waveform. Planars, although not perfect, stop and start faster because they have less driven mass.
    A transient overshoot is present when (1) linear energy delay(non linear frequency response) [or] (2) delayed energy storage(result of mechanical resonances). Their are examples of converntinal speakers that have equal characteristic response in this regard relative to well regarded ESL speakers such as Quads, etc.

    Mass: it is not true that mass will start sooner or stop sooner due to mass difference(s). If what you say is true, then this test should fail: Take 1 car with working suspension. Push car down 4 inches and count the oscillations. Now, take 1 five pound weight and attach to a common screen door spring, that will allow the weight to stretch the spring a minimum of 4 inches(this is to account for travel). Now apply force on the weight to push the weight down 4 inches. Now count the number of osciallation it requires for the weight to come to a complete stop. If the 5 pound weight on a spring comes to a stop in less oscillations then the car, then your assertion that mass is the defining parameter will be true. However, this can not happen. You overlooked the effect of damping -- the car suspension is heavily damped -- while the weight on a spring has little damping to convert the motional energy into another form. As far as acceleration -- this is purely dependant on the amount of force applied to the object. More force requies more energy.

    -Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    The're no magnets connected to the driven membrane of Magnepan speakers. The magnets are fixed, and the .0005 thick "voice coil" is bonded to the driven planar surface.
    I sit corrected. It is the network of wires that are glued to the Magnepan diaphragms instead. This is unlike electrostats where the moving mass consists of only the mylar diaphragm .

    http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/M...03919499__.pdf

    rw

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    "Faster? I would ask you to define what you mean by 'faster'.

    Transient response: a result/function of frequency response."

    Transient response is a result/function of frequency response. For each driver this is essentially correct. There is a direct correlation between transient response and steady state frequency response.

    Faster?

    All drivers including electrostatic and magnetodyamic have a group delay which is the time interval between the application of voltage and the mechanical response of the armature and attached vibrating membrane whether cone or film. The so called "time aligned" speaker usually results from an attempt to match the group delays from one driver to the next in their crossover region.

    Overshoot occurs when the inertia of the cone overcomes the control of the magnetic force of the armature/stator and the cone does not follow the applied electrical waveform exactly. This will show up as a frequency response irregularity (resonant peak) or even in the extreme as a non linear distortion component. This is usually almost nill in most high quality drivers except perhaps underdamped woofer cones in poorly made speakers or improperly designed enclosures. The motional response of the entire drive assembly regardless of the principle follows Newton's second law of motion as applied to forced resonance. Amazingly, both the Theil Small parameters and the design of acoustic suspension enclosures have accurately modeled their equations on Newton's law. (to the degree that they agree with Newton's second law, they are right. To the degree that they disagree with his second law they are wrong.)

    What is radically different between planar type speakers and "box" speakers and IMO accounts for the major difference in sound is the spatial radiating patterns. Box speakers have their sound eminate from what are essentially point sources and usually directed in just one direction. Planar speakers eminate their sound more diffusely from a much larger surface and are often bipolar. This is absolutely necessary to produce acceptable sound pressure levels because the maximum excursion of the planar membrane is very limited compared to dynamic loudspeakers. The ability of planar speakers to emulate sound pressure levels of large ensembles like symphony orchestras, instruments with deep powerful bass like pipe organs, or popular music amplified to loud levels is usually inadequate by a considerable margin. Planar speaker designers haven't yet managed to overcome the limitation of the ability to move large quantities of air. For many people, this alone makes them fatally flawed. Installation if they rely on bipolar radiation is also a serious problem for many would be users because they have to be placed several feet in front of a wall reducing the effective room size. The high frequency radiating pattern of many planar speakers is also surprisingly highly focused at least horizontally. This is overcome to a degree if the radiation is bi-polar taking advantage of room reflections of the rear radiated wave. This effect can be duplicated in dynamic loudspeakers by using a multidirectional array of tweeters where at least some of them are rear firing. Many of the best speakers use this strategy and I have modified every speaker system I own and listen to seriously to incorporate it.

  22. #22
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    I agree but;

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    "Faster? I would ask you to define what you mean by 'faster'.

    Transient response: a result/function of frequency response."

    Transient response is a result/function of frequency response. For each driver this is essentially correct. There is a direct correlation between transient response and steady state frequency response.

    Faster?

    All drivers including electrostatic and magnetodyamic have a group delay which is the time interval between the application of voltage and the mechanical response of the armature and attached vibrating membrane whether cone or film. The so called "time aligned" speaker usually results from an attempt to match the group delays from one driver to the next in their crossover region.

    Overshoot occurs when the inertia of the cone overcomes the control of the magnetic force of the armature/stator and the cone does not follow the applied electrical waveform exactly. This will show up as a frequency response irregularity (resonant peak) or even in the extreme as a non linear distortion component. This is usually almost nill in most high quality drivers except perhaps underdamped woofer cones in poorly made speakers or improperly designed enclosures. The motional response of the entire drive assembly regardless of the principle follows Newton's second law of motion as applied to forced resonance. Amazingly, both the Theil Small parameters and the design of acoustic suspension enclosures have accurately modeled their equations on Newton's law. (to the degree that they agree with Newton's second law, they are right. To the degree that they disagree with his second law they are wrong.)

    What is radically different between planar type speakers and "box" speakers and IMO accounts for the major difference in sound is the spatial radiating patterns. Box speakers have their sound eminate from what are essentially point sources and usually directed in just one direction. Planar speakers eminate their sound more diffusely from a much larger surface and are often bipolar. This is absolutely necessary to produce acceptable sound pressure levels because the maximum excursion of the planar membrane is very limited compared to dynamic loudspeakers. The ability of planar speakers to emulate sound pressure levels of large ensembles like symphony orchestras, instruments with deep powerful bass like pipe organs, or popular music amplified to loud levels is usually inadequate by a considerable margin. Planar speaker designers haven't yet managed to overcome the limitation of the ability to move large quantities of air. For many people, this alone makes them fatally flawed. Installation if they rely on bipolar radiation is also a serious problem for many would be users because they have to be placed several feet in front of a wall reducing the effective room size. The high frequency radiating pattern of many planar speakers is also surprisingly highly focused at least horizontally. This is overcome to a degree if the radiation is bi-polar taking advantage of room reflections of the rear radiated wave. This effect can be duplicated in dynamic loudspeakers by using a multidirectional array of tweeters where at least some of them are rear firing. Many of the best speakers use this strategy and I have modified every speaker system I own and listen to seriously to incorporate it.
    I agree, there is no such thing as a "perfect" responce. But planars, having lower mass drivers respond FASTER than conventional cone speakers. Large planars are easily up to the task of symphonic music, and are the PREFERED speaker by many audiophiles that listen to such. The distortion of cone speakers is easily measured, and is often an order of magnitude larger than planar speakers. Cone woofers often approach 20%-30% distortion when driven to "symphonic" levels. Planars are under 5% when driven hard, and under 1% during most listening levels.

    I also agree that dipole, or multi-pole arrays are the PROPER way to reproduce live music. The laser like imaging of small speakers, while an interesting effect, is essentially an artifact of the speaker, and does not represent what you would hear if you were listening to live music.
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    "But planars, having lower mass drivers respond FASTER than conventional cone speakers."

    I don't know where you get this. A Volkswagon Beetle has a lower mass than an F16 or a cruise missile but when it comes to speed, there's no contest. Acceleration which what you probably mean when you mistakenly refer to speed doesn't just depend on the mass of what is being moved but on the power of the engine that is moving it. And the engines powering planar speakers are relatively weak compared to the engines powering dynamic drivers. BTW, if two drivers of the same size are producing the same sound at the same volume, at every point along their travel they are traveling at the same speed. If one driver is larger in order to compensate for lack of maximum travel by increased size, than at the same total sound output, on the average the smaller one must actually travel faster. Once acceleration reaches the required point for accurate reproduction of the waveform, increased ability to accelerate does not offer any usable benefits.

    "Cone woofers often approach 20%-30% distortion when driven to "symphonic" levels."

    I don't know where you get this one either. 50 years ago, AR1 produced under 5% distortion at 30 hz at fairly high levels. And unlike planar speakers, if you need more sound, it is entirely practical to use dynamic drivers, especially small ones like acoustic suspension systems in multiples or banks. Todays best "subwoofers" can do as well or better than we did 50 years ago. As for the rest of the audible range, all good loudspeaker systems produce harmonic distortion well below audibility often up to very high levels. Whether they are measurably above that of planar speakers is hard to say but unimportant. It is interesting that lovers of vacuum tube amplifiers never seem to lament the fact that even the best tube designs produce harmonic distortion orders of magnitude greater than even modest solid state amplifiers. The inability of planar loudspeakers to produce deep bass is demonstrated by the common practice of supplimenting their output with dynamic subwoofers. Some are actually hybrids by design. The last time I heard Tympany 4 at a trade show, Magneplanar was using Janus subwoofers.

    Neither direct firing "box" speakers nor panel speakers come even close to reproducing the spatial radiating pattern of most live musical instruments. And of course most instruments have very complex radiating patterns and are different from each other. However, since at many frequencies many are closer to spherical radiating than unidirectional, the bipolar speakers comes closer. A multidirectional array would come the closest. My own experiments have convinced me that much better multidirection direct/reflecting arrray type speakers than Bose 901 are possible but given the ultra conservative mindset and utter lack of immagination and innovation characteristic of this industry during the last 25 or 30 years, everything we see on the market is me too hardware sometimes with a slight new wrinkle hyped as a breakthrough. Ho hum.

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    Unflame

    Quote Originally Posted by slate1
    No offense N. Abstentia, but I just have never understood the whole "you should never touch your tone controls and should be hung, drawn and made to listen to polka if you use an EQ" point of view.

    Ahhh - I hear you already out there, "faults in the original recordings??? but that's the way the record was MEANT to be heard" How do I know what it originally sounded like unless I've got the exact equipment and monitors that were present in the original recording and mixing studio? I can't - no one can.

    Everyone just needs to face the fact that there's no way to exactly duplicate what the originators of the music were intending with a particular mix. Furthermore, everyone also needs to realize that no two amp/speaker combinations are ever going to sound alike and that even if you take the same amp/speaker combinations and place them in two different rooms they're likely to sound dramatically different.

    Let the flames begin!!!!

    No flame here. You make perfect sense. Some of us have tried to make the point that recording variation is THE major source of differences in what you hear through a reasonable audio system.

    I will reinforce your point by saying that many people don't have accuracy as their standard. (You can't have accuracy as your standard if you don't have a live reference and most pop and rock recordings are created in studio mixedowns). Without a reference you are pretty much on your own about how the recording "should" sound. Even if you clain your goal is what the engineer heard in the mixing booth, over his monitors, you would have to face the fact that you are dealing with different speakers and a different acoustic environment so you will probably HAVE TO use tone controls to approach what he heard. (And then there is the issue of different engineers and different monitors).

    Even those of us will a live reference for accuracy must admit that recordings are made in different venues with different mikes, so there is no way one tone setting will let our systems approach what was hear in the acoustic space of the recording. Again, tone controls seem to be REQUIRED for optimum performance.

    Not touching tone controls is yet another logical flaw that demonstrates that some high end audiophiles are not playing with a full deck (or are after something other than good, accurate audio reproduction). The major problem I have with using tone controls (or an EQ) is the hassle of adjusting them for every change of recording. I often forget that I changed them (doh, so much for golden ears). They are simply too much trouble for most high-quality recordings, but essential for listening to flawed older recordings (or pop music).

  25. #25
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    In the archives of Arsenal's website are threads about the live versus recorded demos Acoustic Research conducted in the 1960s and 1970s. These are the only true tests for accuracy that I am aware of. These tests were carried out under highly contrived conditions where recordings were made out of doors to avoid a double echo. The recordings were played back with the loudpeakers flanking the performers and at specific cues, the performer would play and alternate with the recording. Some of these demonstrations were open to the public at trade shows and I was fortunate enough to have attended two of them. It is not possible for home audiophiles to duplicate that level of accuracy for many reasons not the least of which is that they will for the most part be listening to commercially made recordings.

    Recordings of jazz and classical music where the engineers made an honest attempt to "document" a performance and the use of their equipment even where deliberate license was taken so that the end result would resemble a hypothetical live performance have the best chance of reminding us of what the instruments which perform them might sound like. On the other hand, as you pointed out, most other kinds of recorded music are manufactured by molding parts sometimes not even recorded at the same time or place to produce a commercially pleasing result but which cannot be compared to any live event, even a hypothetical one. In those cases, the terms high fidelity and accuracy have no meaning and the sole objective is to produce the most pleasing sound. Therefore the value of any playback system for this type of music is completely subjective under those circumstances and any one can be better or worse than any other depending on who is doing the judging.

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