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Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread - Page 62

post #916 of 4856
Wow, I had no idea their drivers were in house, I think that goes a long way to explain why they cost what they do then as the R&D and manufactoring costs must be huge In comparison to a company such as Sony in terms of multiples to reduce overal cost.

Of course you realize what you sods are doing (sod being a term of jovial jibe in the UK) don't you... Oh how do I know the SS's will be heading to chez Ian sometime this year!
post #917 of 4856

I hope it's sooner than later! Then you will have the Final Audio Design Yin and Yang. The flagship completion. I love them both dearly. 

post #918 of 4856

Hi SoundFreaq,

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

[snip]

 

Is the opposite of coloration, transparency?

 

[snip]

 

 

I hope I'm not answering a rhetorical question, nor answering your question out of context, but referring to this Stereophile glossary of audio terms, every sonic trait would have to remain unaltered when passing through a component in order to describe that component as "transparent."   

 

Here are their definitions for "coloration" and "transparency:"

 

 

Quote:
coloration 
 
An audible "signature" with which a reproducing system imbues all signals passing through it.

 

 

Note that Stereophile's glossary offers no definition for "signature," but here is their definition of "transparency":

 

 

Quote:
transparency, transparent 
 
1) A quality of sound reproduction that gives the impression of listening through the system to the original sounds, rather than to a pair of loudspeakers.
 
2) Freedom from veiling, texturing, or any other quality which tends to obscure the signal. A quality of crystalline clarity.

 

 

This is where we have to respect our colloquial use of these terms, independent of Stereophile's definitions... 

 

Contrary to Stereophile's definition of "coloration," it's my observation that when most reviewers use the words "coloration, colored, or uncolored" - they aren't talking about the entire "signature" imposed by a given component.   Most reviewers are only talking about the frequency response of a component when using the words "colored" or "coloration" - to describe a frequency response that is not "neutral" or "flat" across the spectrum.

 

Indeed, have a look at this Head-Fi glossary definition of "coloured":

 

 

Quote:
Coloured - Having timbres that are not true to life. Non flat response; peaks or dips

 

Thus, I would argue that the Stereophile definition of "coloration" is too broad, in that they are saying it is synonymous with the word "signature," which they opted not to define!  If we stick with the Stereophile definitions of "coloration" and "transparency," the answer to your question would be, "Yes, 'coloration is the opposite of transparency.'"

 

If, however, anyone can agree with my observation that use of the word "coloration" is commonly limited to discussions of a component's lack of a "flat" frequency response, then the answer to your question would be, "No, 'coloration is just one of many possible traits that could degrade "transparency," and thus, is only a subset of the opposite of "transparency," not itself the complete opposite of "transparency."   

 

Ironically, it is also my observation that most reviewers use the word "neutral" as the opposite of how they use the words "colored or coloration" - referencing only the frequency response of a component, not the entire signature.  The aforementioned Head-Fi glossary doesn't even offer a definition of "neutral," but look at Stereophile's definition of the word:

 

 

Quote:
neutral 
 
Free from coloration.

 

Stereophile only defines the word "neutral" as the opposite of "coloration," and thus, they would have us conclude that the words "neutral" and "transparent" are synonymous, because by Stereophile's definition, "coloration" is the opposite of "transparency!"  

 

In other words:   If "coloration" is the opposite of "transparency" and "neutral" means "free from 'coloration'," then "neutral" and "transparent" are synonymous.   (Logic 101)

 

Worse, if "neutral" and "transparent" are indeed synonymous, then the word "neutral" refers to all sonic traits, not just frequency response, because by Stereophile's definition, "coloration" (the opposite of "neutral") refers to the entire "signature," not just frequency response.

 

Is it any wonder audiophiles have such a difficult time describing what they hear?   

 

Where is a glossary we can trust?

 

biggrin.gif

 

Mike

 

 

post #919 of 4856

It was not rhetorical, thanks for answering. Not only that, but taking it to the next level. Good thoughts, good points. 

 

detail, transparency, neutral, and coloration are all descriptors that can get dangerous quickly. Transparency for me, is detail and naturalness. How real and accurate it is to the real thing in timbre, decay, and detail. 

post #920 of 4856
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

Transparency for me, is detail and naturalness. How real and accurate it is to the real thing in timbre, decay, and detail. 

Now that is where I am coming from with this.
post #921 of 4856
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

It was not rhetorical, thanks for answering. Not only that, but taking it to the next level. Good thoughts, good points. 

 

detail, transparency, neutral, and coloration are all descriptors that can get dangerous quickly. Transparency for me, is detail and naturalness. How real and accurate it is to the real thing in timbre, decay, and detail. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post


Now that is where I am coming from with this.

 

I'm perfectly OK with that definition of "transparency," too, but the PFs sound so different from nearly every other transducer I've ever heard, the question becomes:  Which is most transparent - the PFs or the "best" of all those transducers which sound nothing like the PFs?  

 

blink.gif

 

Unfortunately, I believe we the answer lies in how each of us hear the real world.  I completely trust the veracity of Ian's testimony that, for him, the PFs sound significantly more "real" (and thus "transparent") than any other transducer.  He's telling the truth as he experiences it.  Why doubt him?  But I, on the other hand, find my two-month-old Beyerdynamic T1 to sound much more "real" (and thus "transparent") than my beloved, two-year-old LCD-2 rev.1, and I find the LCD-2, to be much, much more "real" than the PFs.   Why doubt me?  

 

Not long after I got the T1, I attended a local community orchestra's performance of Handel's Messiah, arriving early enough with my family to take a front and center seat, not 20 feet from the 1st violin in a hall that holds about 1000 people.  That roughly 50-piece orchestra had no electronic amplification - no mics, no loudspeakers - just the natural acoustics of the instruments.  

 

Not long after they started playing, it occurred to me to close my eyes and pretend I was analyzing headphones.    Within just a few seconds it became very obvious to me that this live orchestra sounded very much like my Beyerdynamic T1.  I can only  say that, to my ears, the T1 sounds realistic, natural, transparent, etc., but with a few undesirable artifacts, of course.  It is not perfectly transparent by a long shot.

 

That said, having spent two months with the T1, I've concluded that I''m pretty much ready to sell it because the LCD-2 is much more pleasurable, even though I readily find them to be LESS realistic, natural, or transparent, etc.  The LCD-2 is warmer, darker, and smoother than "reality" and they have excessive, though beautifully controlled, bass.  To the best of my recollection, the PFs are much less realistic still, but much more pleasurable and entertaining than the LCD-2!

 

So there you go...  Neither Ian nor I are untruthful when we independently describe what sounds most realistic and transparent, so it's obvious that our brains are wired differently - that we hear the real world differently.

 

I'm actually envious of you Ian, in that you can find what to me is a very pleasurable transducer - a "fun" transducer - to also be "natural and transparent" to your ears.  You are most fortunate, indeed!  biggrin.gif  I can only see using the PFs as something consumed infrequently, like a sweet and creamy, fattening desert, not as a staple foodstuff.

 

redface.gif

 

Mike

post #922 of 4856

I totally understand that, but don't necessarily agree. 

 

The PF is an anomaly. It's an enigma. It escapes your perfectly rational AND logical (there is a difference) reasoning above. 

 

While the PF is outrageously "colored" - it is not at the same time. I believe we assign that term to the PF because it sounds so radically different than everything else we have in our collections. But is it the PF, or everything else that is colored?

 

When you think about a live orchestra, most headphones bass and high end are WAY overblown. Maybe the PF really is technically THE most transparent thing there is? I don't think so, because it doesn't sound that way with every last genre. But listening to jazz is truly a revelation. The horns sound so real, the upright bass is dry and smells of wood, the cymbals don't crash with undue and overblown enthusiasm. 

 

Like Ian has mentioned, he has had many musicians demo his PF and LCD's. They all say the PF is what it is supposed to sound like. I think the PF rendered the timbre of a violin most accurately as well. Side-by-side. Am I right, Ian?

 

I think there are headphones that are more detailed than real life. With all the transparency of the FI-BA-SS, it sounds so real, more real than anything else I have. But maybe it's too real and that's not actually real. Maybe the ridiculous sound of the PF is more real. 

 

The best way to measure this is to go to live shows, play instruments and listen for yourself. Which it seems Ian has done so. 

 

Edit: I'd also like to point out that to you, the T1 lacked that Euphony of the LCD. The Sig Pro, while more transparent than the ES5, also lacks Euphony. But the FI-BA-SS? Even more transparent, but loads of euphony. Interesting huh?


Edited by SoundFreaq - 1/17/13 at 3:34pm
post #923 of 4856

Yes, very interesting!   I think we'd have to get into metaphysics to explain how the PFs do what they do.  

 

It's as if  the PFs put people into parallel universes, where conflicting truths can exist independently, but no two of them in the same universe.  In other words, no agreement can be reached here, but the nice thing is, we all have complete respect for each other's unique perspective.

 

I don't know of any other transducer that can precipitate discussions like this.  smile.gif

post #924 of 4856
Yes! Boy isn't that the truth.
post #925 of 4856
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Yes, very interesting!   I think we'd have to get into metaphysics to explain how the PFs do what they do.  

 

It's as if  the PFs put people into parallel universes, where conflicting truths can exist independently, but no two of them in the same universe.  In other words, no agreement can be reached here, but the nice thing is, we all have complete respect for each other's unique perspective.

 

I don't know of any other transducer that can precipitate discussions like this.  smile.gif

 

Just a thought, what if there are actually more dimensions to music than the two or three that we like to illustrate in FR and CSD graphs. Scientific minds will probably call BS, but let's just for the sake of the argument keep an open mind and *not* assume that we already know everything there is about music reproduction. The PFs may well be more transparent than other phones in some different dimension, one that hasn't been explored (or even discovered) yet, one that's closer to the soul of music than its technicalities. smile_phones.gif

post #926 of 4856
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post  For instance. On Dave Brubeck's Time out album the drum solo on take five.

 

Tangent, but what version(s) do you have? Vinyl? CD? Digital?

I recently bought the HDTracks 24/96 version, and a week later I get an e-mail saying that they screwed up the conversion and I got a second download at 24/88.2...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post  Does FAD manufacture their own BA's?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post  They're supposedly proprietary, yeah.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post  How many companies actually do that these days? It seems few and far in-between. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post  Especially given the size of FAD. Recently Sony engineered their own, but they're so much bigger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post  That was also on my mind. I don't know how big FAD is, but I got the impression they are pretty small. Nearly boutique, but also heard they are pretty popular and well-known around Japan. But that doesn't mean their products are prevalent. 

 

Apparently, FAD has some internal dealings with Sony; FAD's president used to work for Sony, and he apparently has friends inside the mega-corporation. I've heard that FAD and Sony's BAs have "similarities" --- whatever that means. Interestingly, the BAs from these two companies are the only ones where I can hear "driver flex" on.

post #927 of 4856

Is transparency "natural?"

 

Or does it merely allow us to better hear what is natural?

 

In other words, is the window part of the scenery?

 

Is the earphone even supposed to be the window? Maybe we're already standing outside.

post #928 of 4856

Heady 19 posts since I last visited.

 

Not contributing at all to the intellectual discussion... but listening to a 'Best of Baroque' CD, the PF IX is glorious. It disappears and leaves me immersed in the 17th century.

post #929 of 4856

Dayum,

how come this thread turned into philosophy class blink.gif

 

By the way, I think I need to go back to compare more tracks on both Fi-ba-ss and PF VIII/IX. Now i'm inclined to lean on Fi-ba-ss because because of its clarity.

post #930 of 4856
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnholy View Post

Dayum,

how come this thread turned into philosophy class blink.gif

 

 

For me, this thread is way more awesome than anything else happening on Head-fi at the moment that I am involved in. It's my quiet corner of awesomeness, filled with awesome people saying awesome things. 

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