Psycoacoustic EngineeringFaster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Able to leap tall music in a single bound.
Westone 3. (It's alive!)
Forget specs: frequency response curves, THD, milliamps, and milliwatts.
Alone, together, divided by Pi to the N'th power - it doesn't matter - they are all insufficient metrics, to fully characterize the psychoacoustic image that the "3's" generate.
Somebody at Westone (IMHO) had to realize, that the way humans perceive acoustic images, only starts with these parameters. It is also materially dependent on how each of these parameters change dynamically, alone and together - millisecond by millisecond.
(Westone probably put an acoustic cognition research guy in charge of development, instead of an electrical engineer)
After all, when you plug them in, the 3's are playing into one big honkin' Neural Net - your brain. And what your brain does for a living, is "recognize, characterize, and integrate, complex dynamic hierarchical patterns". Patterns with huge amounts of fan-in / fan-out (interdependencies), percolating through huge numbers of neurons (brain cells).
It's now dawning on me that the 3's were designed to maximize realism of the acoustic image they generate. Nothing else.
I suspect we are all "counting angels on a pinhead", when it comes to the spec game. I'm done with it! (LOL)
Perhaps that's why this forum is so valuable: I submit there is no better indicator of real "psycoacoustic image" quality & texture (and its variance among the population), than the subjective, yet well considered, "rantings and ravings" shared among the members of this community.
Back to the 3's:
- Can't even begin to think of A/B testing - I will NOT take these things out!
- I've never (ever) heard a sound transducer of any sort, that so realistically simulates being in the same room with the musicians - period. Not even my Definitive BP2000's! (with the 3's, everything synergizes in ways that I can't hope to fathom, to create the best illusion of "being there" that I've ever heard).
-High volume - no problemo. Had to crank them down from "concert levels" to keep from bleeding. Yet they weren't even close to being out of breath.
- low volume. This one was a big surprise. They "stay alive" even at very low listening volumes.
- "Liveness": that's the one word description of the 3's.
- example: David Gilmour: Live at Gdansk
Before, I thought the engineering on this live performance was just OK. With the 3's, I came to appreciate the masterful recording & mixing done on this album (to say nothing of the performance itself). Couldn't stop thinking that "this is exactly what it sounded like in the mixing studio, with umpteen thousands of dollars worth of signal train and the best monitors money can buy. It sounds just like you are in the studio! No other way to describe it.
(PS: Gilmour's guitar solo on A Great Day for Freedom - wow!)
- example: Bella Sonus
the imaging and precision on this one is just downright scary. Rock solid tight bass, right down to the bottom. But most of all, it's spacial imaging, combined with sweet precision (scalpel like attack, yet sweet & uber-natural multi-path sounding decay). Again: sounds exactly like being in the mixing studio, to me.
-Craig Chaquico: Just Friends. His amplified acoustic guitar on this one absolutely sings with the 3's. It didn't with anything else.
- Def Lepard: Hysteria: Deluxe Edition 2006 (not just a remix - new, highly engineered performances of old favorites). This one was like night and day. With the 3's, the vocals simply jump into your head - sounds like they're 10 feet away - every breath, every nuance is "real".
- Scorpions: Humanity
The 3's seem to dynamically adjust, between the melodic / acoustic intro portion, followed by the power metal chorus. It's almost like they programmed a conductor into them - it's like he's constantly telling each musician to "bring it up a bit" or "take it down a bit".
-iPhone: after using them extensively on the phone today, I can attest that products like the PK2's and SE530's don't come anywhere close to generating the "image" of the person being "right there".
More to follow...