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SACD: Is it worth it? - Page 6

post #76 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garbz
Have you even heard a poorly misaligned system? If there's nothing that can be done by ear to get it right why bother doing it in the first place as by your logic it would make no audible difference. Time alignement is very noticable, easily fixable by ear, if you feel that you need the last few ns to be right then by all means use some sophisticated computer system to adjust your hifi, but once you've reached a point where it sounds good why mess with it at all.

Also some of the best speakers I have ever heard are ported. One thing about ported speakers is the phase is affected. But like I said before why mess with it. If you want a perfectly linear system built by mathematicians then by all means, but prehapse you should show bigshot and I a little respect in the music we enjoy. If I did not love the way my system currently sounds then I would be all over your sugestions.
Yes I have, I've heard many unfortunately. If you are happy with what you can achieve by ear, so be it. Realize that I spent time with many types of gear and was quite happy with what I could do by ear.. until I heard what it sounds like when you let advanced room correction do the work for you. Try time aligning 2 corner load subs with 9 foot line source speakers by ear. Try time aligning a home theater system by ear. You may get reasonably close with a pair of limited frequncy monitors, but even floorstanders could benefit from separate time alignment of low and high frequencies.

TACT and other advanced room correction systems have been reviewed by every major audio publication with unanimous consent on the overwhelming benefits. Some even view it as a mandatory part of any serious audiophile system. Why don't you try it before you assume your ears can do anything close to it? It is baffling to me that audiophiles would not want to try something that simply applies sound scientific principles to achieve better audio. There is no reason not to educate yourself on the matter. We're not talking cryongenically frozen cables here.
post #77 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
Balancing frequency response with speakers is a HUGE job, yet some folks complain about noise introduced by the tone pots on their amp.

Some things really matter, and some things don't.
I agree there. People worry about things that will be dwarfed by the real issues.

That being said, it is a lot easier and more accurate if you let a "computer" do it for you. Just draw your target curve and it does all the work.
post #78 of 153
Well, I'm definitely a fan. The most expensive SACD player I've owned was the Sony NS900V which was 1k new, and it handled Redbook just fine. I've also owned the Denon 2200, a low-end Sony (sub-$200, don't remember model number), and a Pioneer 563. I still own a Marantz DV-6500 and a Samsung HD841. The Marantz is connected to the home theater system, the Samsung is part of the desktop headphone setup. I plan on having the Samsung modded by Reference Audio. I have roughly 100 SACD titles, only 10 DVD-Audio. If you're hesitant, grab one of the lower priced universal units such as the Pioneer, Samsung, or Toshiba models (Sony is SACD only) and grab a few discs from yourmusic.com and decide for yourself.
post #79 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleestack
That being said, it is a lot easier and more accurate if you let a "computer" do it for you. Just draw your target curve and it does all the work.
I assume when you say "target curve", you mean "flat". I can't tell you how many otherwise knowledgeable audiophiles argue that flat isn't possible, so it's a waste of time to try to achieve it at all. That said, I haven't found any automatic equalizers that work worth a darn. My theory is that microphones don't hear the same way our ears do. You have to run test tone sweeps at various volume levels and search out the bumps by ear. Even the gazillion dollar equipment that JBL uses to tune concert PAs doesn't work- the sales reps admit it. You still have to go in and adjust by ear afterwards. A gizmo may say that your room is compensated for, but if you run a tone sweep through your system to check it, it still has peaks and valleys like the Sierras. It takes many hours of trial and error to properly tune a system. You want to get an equalizer that doesn't drift, because it's a lot of work to get it right.

See ya
Steve
post #80 of 153
Steve- several posts back, you mentioned using Pentatone recordings. I just pulled their website and am very interested. Is there a retail outlet around LA that has them, or did you order yours online?

As for my SACD player, I've had it for a few days now and have had a chance to listen for a dozen hours or so. I'm impressed. Whether it's the resolution or the recordings, the four SACDs I have sound amazing. That was $89 well spent.
post #81 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
I assume when you say "target curve", you mean "flat". I can't tell you how many otherwise knowledgeable audiophiles argue that flat isn't possible, so it's a waste of time to try to achieve it at all. That said, I haven't found any automatic equalizers that work worth a darn. My theory is that microphones don't hear the same way our ears do. You have to run test tone sweeps at various volume levels and search out the bumps by ear. Even the gazillion dollar equipment that JBL uses to tune concert PAs doesn't work- the sales reps admit it. You still have to go in and adjust by ear afterwards. A gizmo may say that your room is compensated for, but if you run a tone sweep through your system to check it, it still has peaks and valleys like the Sierras. It takes many hours of trial and error to properly tune a system. You want to get an equalizer that doesn't drift, because it's a lot of work to get it right.

See ya
Steve
You have to adjust for what you like to hear, but it is much easier to let the computer determine what needs to be done based on the target curve you design. You don't get it because you haven't even seen the gear or software. The whole point is you are working on theories, I'm telling you from direct experience. You are seriously underestimating the gear put out by companies like TACT or DEQx. Do you even know what kind of test tones they use and why that is important? Furthermore, you can immediately understand the results of the correction looking at the measured response with the correction applied.
post #82 of 153
I don't see how you guys can continue to argue whether room correction is important. You're just saying what you think might happen based on what you know. Sleestack has the equipment and can easily switch between corrected and uncorrected with the push of a button, as he says. It's not even possible to argue against that when he can easily hear the difference rather than believing what someone's guess about the theory is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
My theory is that microphones don't hear the same way our ears do. You have to run test tone sweeps at various volume levels and search out the bumps by ear. Even the gazillion dollar equipment that JBL uses to tune concert PAs doesn't work- the sales reps admit it. You still have to go in and adjust by ear afterwards. A gizmo may say that your room is compensated for, but if you run a tone sweep through your system to check it, it still has peaks and valleys like the Sierras.
They don't hear the same way. Our ears "equalize" the sound because of their shape and other such factors. A perfectly flat sound played out of a speaker (or produced in "real life") won't sound flat to us, and it shouldn't. Only the microphone can hear what's flat. Doing further equalization to make the sound flat to your ears is wrong because that's not how you'd hear the real life sound.
post #83 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenja
A perfectly flat sound played out of a speaker (or produced in "real life") won't sound flat to us, and it shouldn't. Only the microphone can hear what's flat. Doing further equalization to make the sound flat to your ears is wrong because that's not how you'd hear the real life sound.
Why is it better to listen to music with what a microphone says is flat than it is to listen to music that your ears say is flat? That's my whole point. If we don't hear the same way a computer and mike hear, how can a computer and mike adjust the sound the way our ears want to hear it?

I don't need to hear every piece of equipment in the world to know whether a room correction device makes sense or not. I know enough about phase and timing to know that in an average living room with a two speaker setup, there is absolutely no need for timing correction. Put thirty or forty speakers in a concert hall, and you will. I also know enough about equalization to know that it can make a huge difference, but the only way to judge the degree of correction needed is to tune by ear using a tone sweep. I've tried many automatic eq devices, and the problem is that using a mike to adjust sound for human ears is like trying to read a book with someone else's eyeglass perscription. That's why they have EQ boards in recording studios, and that's why the recording engineer adjusts them, not a machine. It's no different in the home.

See ya
Steve
post #84 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
Steve- several posts back, you mentioned using Pentatone recordings. I just pulled their website and am very interested. Is there a retail outlet around LA that has them, or did you order yours online?
I ordered it online. I recommend the Stravinsky disk. It's a good recording AND a good performance. You can't say that for many demonstration disks. When you get one of the Pentatones, listen to the SACD layer, then listen to the CD layer and compare them. I hear no difference between the two except for a difference in the line level.

See ya
Steve
post #85 of 153
You really aren't getting it are you? When you use room correction, you are designing target curves yourself, as you will be the ultimate judge of what you want in terms of sound. Personally, I think a perfectly flat line leads to sibilance because of the way most recordings are recorded. For a given position, if you let the mic take a reading using impulse repsonses (not a simple sweep tone) and give it a target curve, it will automatically calculate the time, level and frequency response adjustments that need to be made to give you your desired curve at that position. Realize that drawing a curve is no different than sliding a scale, just far more efficient and accurate, with more factors being affected.

Again, as much as you think you know, it is obvious your experience is limited in this case and you really don't know much about what we are talking about here. Why embrace ignorance? Why not educate yourself or at least experience it before taking such a definitive stance? It's not like I am talking about power cords or cable lifters here. Reviewers for both the Absolute Sound and Stereophile went into their reviews of room correction with the same ill conceived notions as you. They both walked away stating that advanced room correction should be mandatory... and that, in the case of Stereophile, was in 2001. I am already using a significantly more advanced system than was available at that time. I guess you really won't understand it until you experience it.

I am only talking about this because I believe it overwhelmingly benefits the audio world. Even though I have all sorts of gear, I'm very clear about which of my gear is largely eye candy and which truly makes a difference. Other than speakers, the only piece of gear you will ever hear me talk about in terms of night and day differences is the TACT room correction. I'm also not some fanboy of TACT. I bought their gear because I simply could not ignore reality. I'm hoping that by raising awareness and creating more demand for such a crucial technology, whether it be from TACT or another company, it will make advanced room correction a common feature and more affordable for everyone. I considered funding one of the correction companies for that express purpose. For god sake's it even makes fletcher-munson based corrections for different volume levels! Everyone needs it and deserves it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
Why is it better to listen to music with what a microphone says is flat than it is to listen to music that your ears say is flat? That's my whole point. If we don't hear the same way a computer and mike hear, how can a computer and mike adjust the sound the way our ears want to hear it?

I don't need to hear every piece of equipment in the world to know whether a room correction device makes sense or not. I know enough about phase and timing to know that in an average living room with a two speaker setup, there is absolutely no need for timing correction. Put thirty or forty speakers in a concert hall, and you will. I also know enough about equalization to know that it can make a huge difference, but the only way to judge the degree of correction needed is to tune by ear using a tone sweep. I've tried many automatic eq devices, and the problem is that using a mike to adjust sound for human ears is like trying to read a book with someone else's eyeglass perscription. That's why they have EQ boards in recording studios, and that's why the recording engineer adjusts them, not a machine. It's no different in the home.

See ya
Steve
post #86 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
Why is it better to listen to music with what a microphone says is flat than it is to listen to music that your ears say is flat? That's my whole point. If we don't hear the same way a computer and mike hear, how can a computer and mike adjust the sound the way our ears want to hear it?
Hi Steve,

Even though you are using a microphone, the DSP software can compensate for it. Given a known a test signal emitted by the room correction device and a return signal received via the microphone, the software can pretty much figure out the transfer function of the microphone and can compensate for it to achieve the desired (this is configurable) room correction.

As you mentioned, you can instead just manually tweak the EQ to the setting that you prefer. Unfortunately, most people are not recording engineers like yourself -- and thus can ruin the sound more than help it in the EQing process. I know I can't!

I have heard Sleestack's old system with and without room correction -- the difference the room correction makes is night and day. His room just reverberates without the room correction; the bass is just too boomy.

Pat
post #87 of 153
I thought Bigshot wasn't argueing against room correction per se, but that the time alighnment and phasing weren't that important in the grand scheme of things. Frequency response IS very important. I use a cheap Behringer DEQ2496 which changes frequency responce using digital parametric and graphic EQ. It can autoEQ when using a mic. Makes a huge and great benefit to the bass frequencies (<300hz) when lowering the bass peaks. Anyway, I can't do anything about timing and phasing with this device. Do i need an expensive TACT to really make improvements beyond what i can do with the DEQ, i think not (although i can never no for sure until i try one).
post #88 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max F
I thought Bigshot wasn't argueing against room correction per se, but that the time alighnment and phasing weren't that important in the grand scheme of things. Frequency response IS very important. I use a cheap Behringer DEQ2496 which changes frequency responce using digital parametric and graphic EQ. It can autoEQ when using a mic. Makes a huge and great benefit to the bass frequencies (<300hz) when lowering the bass peaks. Anyway, I can't do anything about timing and phasing with this device. Do i need an expensive TACT to really make improvements beyond what i can do with the DEQ, i think not (although i can never no for sure until i try one).
If you are only adjusting frequency response, it isn't room correction in my book. Keep in mind that timing, level, frequency response and phase are all a part of the room correction I am talking about. Furthermore, fletcher munson corrections are being made on the fly depending on the volume. I found the Audyssey system on the Denon's to be ineffective, as it primarily deals with frequency response. At least you acknowledge that you can't be sure until you try. It doesn't have to be a TACT unit. Keep in mind that I haven't always been using room correction, but was instantly converted when I did. The benefits are overwhelming, and completely shifted my expectations.
post #89 of 153
Maybe you should just try adjusting the frequency response at the listening position and see for yourself how much things improve. Maybe, just maybe, timing and phase are actually very small contributors to the perceived sound. If this is the case then a cheap DEQ2496 is all you need. There are many people that have used the DEQ with great success - I know that i have and its not subtle.
post #90 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot
Why is it better to listen to music with what a microphone says is flat than it is to listen to music that your ears say is flat? That's my whole point. If we don't hear the same way a computer and mike hear, how can a computer and mike adjust the sound the way our ears want to hear it?
Let's say there's a theoretical instrument that makes a sound from 20Hz to 20kHz with all the frequencies in between at the same volume, ie a flat sound in that range. If you heard this instrument in real life, without any electronics, you would not hear that sound as being a flat sound. That's my point. Everyone's ears always modify the frequency response of what you hear by quite a bit. Anything you ever hear will be modified like this (maybe not IEM's? I'm not sure). So why do you want to falsly modify the sound to something it shouldn't be?

If the microphone has a flat response, and the speaker has a flat response, you'll hear it as the original sound is meant to be. If you then equalize that sound to sound flat to your ears, you're not hearing the original sound.
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