More 'Audiophile' bullsh*t.

More 'Audiophile' bullsh*t.

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Discussion

gizlaroc

13,595 posts

174 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
Bristolracer, all these work well.


https://ifi-audio.com/home-2/digital/






TonyRPH.

How do you know you're measuring the right things?


You know, to come to the conclusions you have come to, how do you know you that the things you are measuring are the only things that effect sound?

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
<snip>

TonyRPH.

How do you know you're measuring the right things?

You know, to come to the conclusions you have come to, how do you know you that the things you are measuring are the only things that effect sound?
The discussion was centred around noise* from the mains.

I'm measuring noise - what else is there to measure in relation to the discussion?

Mains regen / mains cables won't change the frequency response of the system...

Additionally (both in theory and in my own experience and that of others) the things I have been measuring won't affect the sound anyway...

However I sense the debate is about to enter the circular phase (if it hasn't done so already) so I suggest we just leave it at that.

It's kind of like religion isn't it? You either believe or you don't.

  • noise including distortion etc.

gizlaroc

13,595 posts

174 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
We have been talking about far more than noise over the last 72 pages.

You like to measure, which is great, and should be done.

My argument is there is still so much we are not measuring that will also effect the overall sound.





TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
<snip>

My argument is there is still so much we are not measuring that will also effect the overall sound.
Such as?

The key factors which influence sound quality are wrapped up in the following parameters: THD, SINAD and of course frequency response.

Other influential factors include impulse response and room acoustics (both of which can be assessed by measurement).

Additional factors include the way in which the various components integrate with each other.

As above, of course the room plays a major part, as do the speakers. The speakers are usually a known quantity, so can be included as part of the total assessment where required.

So what else do you think we are not measuring? Apart from our own ears of course.


gizlaroc

13,595 posts

174 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
If you go back to the early days of digital we didn't think about digital timing issues such as jitter, then we realised it had a massive impact, moving on 40 years we are starting to think about the putting filters outside, well outside, of the frequencies we should be able to hear and finding it is making a huge difference again.


None of these were measured in the early days and yet people sat there taking measurements brought over from the analogue days and declared digital can get no better. They were wrong then, so what makes you think we have discovered everything that we need to know now?

I'm not saying we haven't hit Utopia already, and maybe we are measuring everything that effects sound, I'm just saying I very much doubt it.
I doubt it because every few years we suddenly realise that there is something else that we should be measuring, we start measuring that and designing kit based around our new found knowledge and we have something that sounds better.









gizlaroc

13,595 posts

174 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
It is a bit like the guys who review TVs using coloromiters, measuring greyscale, white balance, gamma, ansi contrast etc. etc.

Sure, you can have two TVs that measure virtually perfect, and maybe a 3rd that doesn't, but it maybe the 3rd one that looks the best.

Why is that?
Pioneer Kuros were a great example, they measured the best of any TV ever made, however, there was an issue that while being fed a 50Hz signal they had more banding, as in graduations between colours, a sky for example could look like it was made up of 200 bands of blue going from light blue near the horizon to dark blue high up. To get round this Pioneer added extra dithering to smooth out the gradients, which worked, problem was it softened the whole image too. You could force the Pioneer to switch between 50 and 60hz, and the difference between the two in regards to how sharp the image was and how much more 3D like it made the picture was stunning, but obviously the judders made it unwatchable.

But none of the measurements measured this, and yet all the reviews had the TV at close to perfection. However, compare it with the commercial Panasonic like the PF11, which measured worse on greyscale, white balance and ansi contrast and always fared worse in reviews and across forums, because everyone bought the Pioneer, and the Pioneer was, imho, not as good a set to simply sit down and watch, the Panny looked better, because it did the things we couldn't measure better than the Pioneer, and those things were as important if not more so.


karma mechanic

641 posts

72 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
Talking of noise - before we get back to the original theme of the thread...

One night I noticed that my speakers were making a very noticeable growling, spitting, moaning noise. Not a cat in sight. It was loud enough to wake me up, and the speakers are downstairs.

This was odd since the hifi was definitely off. I even switched off the whole hifi cabinet at its mains plugs. Noises continued.

I then pulled out the speaker cables at the back of the speakers and was rather perplexed to find that the noises continued unchanged.

In the early hours a gang of workmen arrived to dig up the road, the cable feeding our houses had got a fault. One phase was arcing in a bad joint, but our own supply was fine. The EM interference was strong enough to drive the voice coils of the midrange units without a physical connection.

They spent a while searching for the location of the fault, I did wonder whether one of the speakers would be a good way to narrow it down but they are a bit too heavy...


TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
If you go back to the early days of digital we didn't think about digital timing issues such as jitter, then we realised it had a massive impact, moving on 40 years we are starting to think about the putting filters outside, well outside, of the frequencies we should be able to hear and finding it is making a huge difference again.
It's interesting that you mention jitter, as I've recently read a long article about it in an old Stereophile Magazine (January 1993).

gizlaroc said:
None of these were measured in the early days and yet people sat there taking measurements brought over from the analogue days and declared digital can get no better. They were wrong then, so what makes you think we have discovered everything that we need to know now?
Despite digital having undergone substantial changes over the years with regard to sampling and bit rates etc. many folk still believe that 16/44 is as good as it needs to be.
I have heard many very well recorded 16/44 tracks, and I feel there's little or nothing to be gained from higher resolutions (apart from improved measurements).
We are ultimately being let down by the quality of the source material now.

gizlaroc said:
I'm not saying we haven't hit Utopia already, and maybe we are measuring everything that effects sound, I'm just saying I very much doubt it.
I doubt it because every few years we suddenly realise that there is something else that we should be measuring, we start measuring that and designing kit based around our new found knowledge and we have something that sounds better.
I think where digital is concerned, we have reached a point where there is little to do that will make it any better, apart from improvements in the initial mastering process as let's face it, that's where the entire chain falls down, right at the beginning.

Garbage in, garbage out.

But as you say - who knows what the future holds?

But this debate is in the here and now - dealing with current technology.

Making guesses at what could be measured is pointless.

Finally, there are claims (even within this very topic) that the effects of changing mains cables can be measured with (I presume) spectral analysis.

However, there are still so many variables when trying to measure audio signals in a non anechoic room.

Measurement microphones will tend to pick up noises not heard by us - a passing car / aircraft / some other noise - all of switch will skew the measurement results.

What I would like to see, are measurements made in an anechoic chamber, and then substitute various mains cables and let's see if there are any differences.








Crackie

4,384 posts

192 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
Bristolracer, all these work well.


https://ifi-audio.com/home-2/digital/



TonyRPH.

How do you know you're measuring the right things?


You know, to come to the conclusions you have come to, how do you know you that the things you are measuring are the only things that effect sound?
"If a speaker measures well and sounds bad, you're measuring the wrong things" John Dunlavy

Dunlavy designed what many consider to be the two most accurate and best sounding speakers ever made. Duntech Sovreign and Dunlavy SC-VI

Its usually a good sign when the guy doing the review says " Anyone who purchases any other more expensive large speaker system without at least hearing a pair of properly set-up Dunlavy Signature VIs is an utter fool. I'm no fool—I bought my review pair."

https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/162/...




Edited by Crackie on Saturday 25th May 11:55

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
Crackie said:
"It a speaker measure well and sounds bad, you're measuring the wrong things" John Dunlavy
<snip>
And if that's the case, then one needs to find out what needs to be measured one way or another.


Crackie

4,384 posts

192 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
Jobbo said:
Crackie said:
I'm not living in Huntingdon anymore and haven't gone down the regenerator route ( yet ). Mains quality here in N Yorks appears to be better than Huntingdon was; the 'hash' or 'haze' isn't as severe here during the day and evening.
How are you accounting for the difference in your listening room? That alone would make vastly more difference than any minor tweaks to your system by way of cables, mains isolation etc.
Yes the listening room is a huge factor but room dimensions, fittings and furniture etc are responsible for reflections and standing waves etc These factors effect the power response at different locations throughout the room but high frequency distortion artefacts are independent of room effects.

Distortion noise does not change to sound balance of a system, it masks low level detail, harmonics and subtle ambient clues rather than influencing 'Power response'. It is most noticeable when you listen in the nearfield when room effects are lowest; take things even further and check with your ear right next to the drivers and room effects are reduced to the point of being negligible.

Cable effects have been done to death on here; probably best not to go there smile.

gizlaroc

13,595 posts

174 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
I ran Dunlavy SC-IV for many years, still arguably the most revealing speaker I have ever heard in regards to hearing changes in the system.

My mate James had the SCV's, and they sounded the same, just disappeared a bit more in the room.

I would love to hear the 6's, I tried to do a deal on a pair from the West Coast, but shipping and a very unreasonable wife said they would look silly in our flat.
She had a point.

Crackie

4,384 posts

192 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
TonyRPH said:
Crackie said:
"It a speaker measure well and sounds bad, you're measuring the wrong things" John Dunlavy
<snip>
And if that's the case, then one needs to find out what needs to be measured one way or another.
Agreed...…….do you know about Dunlavy? https://www.stereophile.com/interviews/163/index.h... Mathematically, if you get the step response right, everything else has to be correct.

If you get the step response right a speaker can reproduce a true square wave i.e. fundamental + all harmonics arriving at the listening point ( or measuring mic ) at the same time.


Edited by Crackie on Saturday 25th May 12:16

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
Crackie said:
Agreed...…….do you know about Dunlavy?

<snip>
I recall reading about him in my somewhat distant past.

Back then I wasn't as interested in design and such things as I am now - however I prefer to stay away from tinkering with speakers these days, as it always seems to end in frustration for me one way or another!

Back in the late 80's I built what I thought to be a very nice 3 way system out of the 'ashes' of a pair of Realistic Mach Ones (all I used was the 12" woofer).

I spent ages optimising the crossover with the minimum of tools (sig jenny, 'scope, multimeter and my ears).

Subsequent attempts at speaker building have failed me though.

gizlaroc

13,595 posts

174 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
TonyRPH said:
Despite digital having undergone substantial changes over the years with regard to sampling and bit rates etc. many folk still believe that 16/44 is as good as it needs to be.
I have heard many very well recorded 16/44 tracks, and I feel there's little or nothing to be gained from higher resolutions (apart from improved measurements).
It was more what is done with that 16/44 file that makes more difference.


TonyRPH said:
We are ultimately being let down by the quality of the source material now.
Now that I agree with.

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
gizlaroc said:
It is a bit like the guys who review TVs using coloromiters, measuring greyscale, white balance, gamma, ansi contrast etc. etc.

Sure, you can have two TVs that measure virtually perfect, and maybe a 3rd that doesn't, but it maybe the 3rd one that looks the best.

Why is that?
Pioneer Kuros were a great example, they measured the best of any TV ever made, however, there was an issue that while being fed a 50Hz signal they had more banding, as in graduations between colours, a sky for example could look like it was made up of 200 bands of blue going from light blue near the horizon to dark blue high up. To get round this Pioneer added extra dithering to smooth out the gradients, which worked, problem was it softened the whole image too. You could force the Pioneer to switch between 50 and 60hz, and the difference between the two in regards to how sharp the image was and how much more 3D like it made the picture was stunning, but obviously the judders made it unwatchable.

But none of the measurements measured this, and yet all the reviews had the TV at close to perfection. However, compare it with the commercial Panasonic like the PF11, which measured worse on greyscale, white balance and ansi contrast and always fared worse in reviews and across forums, because everyone bought the Pioneer, and the Pioneer was, imho, not as good a set to simply sit down and watch, the Panny looked better, because it did the things we couldn't measure better than the Pioneer, and those things were as important if not more so.
Now this is interesting - because I'm "one of those" who can see flicker on a computer monitor (old CRT) when the refresh rate is too low, or interlaced.

I can remember going to peoples desks to look at some computer issue or another, and asking how on earth they work all day with that flickering monitor (1024 x 768 43hz interlaced IIRC) and although they hadn't noticed the flicker, some reported suffering from headaches.

I'm not sure if there is (or was) a measurement for this though.

Likewise, I can see mains powered LED lights flicker when others (around me) can't - I'm sure there must be other people who see the same thing though.

I also tend to notice motion judder on the TV a lot, where as my O/H doesn't see it? Weird...

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
karma mechanic said:
Talking of noise - before we get back to the original theme of the thread...

One night I noticed that my speakers were making a very noticeable growling, spitting, moaning noise. Not a cat in sight. It was loud enough to wake me up, and the speakers are downstairs.

This was odd since the hifi was definitely off. I even switched off the whole hifi cabinet at its mains plugs. Noises continued.

I then pulled out the speaker cables at the back of the speakers and was rather perplexed to find that the noises continued unchanged.

In the early hours a gang of workmen arrived to dig up the road, the cable feeding our houses had got a fault. One phase was arcing in a bad joint, but our own supply was fine. The EM interference was strong enough to drive the voice coils of the midrange units without a physical connection.

They spent a while searching for the location of the fault, I did wonder whether one of the speakers would be a good way to narrow it down but they are a bit too heavy...
That must have been some really, really serious emission* to have caused that, no doubt the inductors in the crossovers were serving as an antenna.

In fact, with that much EMF around, I would have thought that touching the speaker cables would have resulted in a nasty shock.

  • in fact I'm not sure if I'm deserving of a whoosh parrot here smile

Crackie

4,384 posts

192 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
TonyRPH said:
Crackie said:
Agreed...…….do you know about Dunlavy?

<snip>
I recall reading about him in my somewhat distant past.

Back then I wasn't as interested in design and such things as I am now - however I prefer to stay away from tinkering with speakers these days, as it always seems to end in frustration for me one way or another!

Back in the late 80's I built what I thought to be a very nice 3 way system out of the 'ashes' of a pair of Realistic Mach Ones (all I used was the 12" woofer).

I spent ages optimising the crossover with the minimum of tools (sig jenny, 'scope, multimeter and my ears).

Subsequent attempts at speaker building have failed me though.
I've read as much as I could find about Dunlavy and his design philosophy. He and Seigfried Linkwitz are both worth reading up on for anyone who has any interest in the science of sound reproduction. Linkwitz in particular has a website which has in depth information regarding psychoacoustics, room acoustics, sound dispersion and all aspects of speaker design.

Back in 1999 I worked for an injection company that produced R&D prototypes for the fledgling NXT company ( flat loudspeakers ) I was the Tech sales manager and project manged the development programme. I've been involved with flat panel technology ever since and have a good understanding of it now; NXT panels have a very flat in room power response. This is a by product of how the panels propagate sound and one of the reasons many people think big NXT panels sound so good. http://www.enjoythemusic.com/superioraudio/equipme...

Very very few conventional speakers are able to emulate this type of in room power response ( PR ). imho the best speaker designers consider PR to be an important factor. Linkwitz is one of them.

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
Crackie said:
<stuff about NXT>
I remember the NXT speakers (but not on the scale of those you linked to) and seeing them disguised as picture frames in Richer Sounds and car boot sales lol.

They just didn't really take off did they? (not the small ones anyway - although I'm not aware of any current large models?)

I do remember the ones I saw / heard had a limited range (both top and bottom) and IIRC the Wharfedales* (I think?) were sold with a sub to augment the bass.

I think electrostatics still hold the crown for flat panels.

  • I seem to recall they were either branded Wharfedale or Mission (or both!)

karma mechanic

641 posts

72 months

Saturday 25th May 2019
quotequote all
TonyRPH said:
That must have been some really, really serious emission* to have caused that, no doubt the inductors in the crossovers were serving as an antenna.

In fact, with that much EMF around, I would have thought that touching the speaker cables would have resulted in a nasty shock.

  • in fact I'm not sure if I'm deserving of a whoosh parrot here smile
No avian disturbances required. The midrange is a very sensitive metal dome (NS1000M), so relatively easy for the windings or the crossover to pick up something. Very low induced voltage involved, just lots of sensitivity.

The bad joint was under the alleyway right next to my house, so not much distance involved either.