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Tube rolling - Page 9

post #121 of 178

I have apple computers and players, so I don't have an amp at all. No point. I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with the O2, but I would bet that if I did some controlled A/B testing, the added expense of a midrange amp over an entry level probably wouldn't make any difference. For a headphone amp, if I needed one, I'd probably use an altoids cmoy.


Edited by bigshot - 3/12/14 at 8:33pm
post #122 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I have apple computers and players, so I don't have an amp at all. No point.

 

That's too general a statement. It all depends on what headphones and what apple computers/players you have. It might be true for your gear but that doesn't prove anything more.

 

Two examples (from a very quick google search):

 

- max output of the macbook air 5G is only about -1.6V before negative clipping. You can check from that list that many headphones would require more voltage.

- the ipod 3G was 12db down at 20hz, 6db down at 30hz with 25ohms headphones.  Link

post #123 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by bufferoverflow View Post

A properly designed SS-amp sounds exactly as good as a properly designed valve-amp, at a fraction of the price . In fact, nobody is able to tell the difference

This is true. There is no advantage to a tube amp. Solid state is more accurate, cheaper and more dependable. If you're looking for coloration, solid state is still better. Instead of coloring sound through hard wiring (the use of colored equipment) it is a lot better to do that using signal processing where you have precise control over the coloration.

The only good reason to use tubes that I see is the nice glow. I have christmas lights around my solid state receiver and I get the best of both worlds.
post #124 of 178

Quote:
Originally Posted by bufferoverflow View Post
 

Why don't YOU move on, there is plenty of threads on this site where it's perfectly okey-dokey to discuss subjective opinions,

this particular sub-forum is just not one of them, in fact it's the ONLY one where we are allowed to call baloney when we hear it .

Whether or not 'everybody loves their tube-amps' is NOT the question here, 'love' has nothing to do with the science of sound .

The objective FACT, as demonstrated time and time again by DBT's, is :

If operated within specs, a properly designed SS-amp sounds exactly as good as a properly designed valve-amp, at a fraction of the price .

In fact, nobody is able to tell the difference !

 

But unlike you I don't disguise my arguments by insulting others - you're not discussing anything when you accuse others of defrauding, so move on already and go talk to someone who actually gives a damn what you think, because believe me your time is wasted on me.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post


This is true. There is no advantage to a tube amp. Solid state is more accurate, cheaper and more dependable. If you're looking for coloration, solid state is still better. Instead of coloring sound through hard wiring (the use of colored equipment) it is a lot better to do that using signal processing where you have precise control over the coloration.

The only good reason to use tubes that I see is the nice glow. I have christmas lights around my solid state receiver and I get the best of both worlds.

 

Ok then, you guys are right and 99% of the world's non-acoustic musicians and studio engineers are wrong. Tubes bring no difference whatsoever.

 

:rolleyes:

 

http://audioxpress.com/amps/honeycutt-amp-sound-axnov12/

 

Quote:
 After four decades of testing by a number of very capable scientists, no evidence has been published that shows any objective difference among the sound of good-to-excellent audio amplifiers operated well below clipping, if the frequency responses are equalized within 0.25 dB of flat.

 

So yes, you're absolutely right. If I was actually interested in wasting hours on EQ, tube amps would be useless. Guess what? I would make more money in that time than I invested in tube amps.

 

It is thus a perfectly sound investment, which colors the sound in a way I enjoy without having to go through the trouble of tinkering endlessly with EQs and what have you. But if the frequencies AREN'T equalized within 0.25dB of flat? Then tubes sound like everything everybody who loves them say they sound like, which is exactly why they're so popular.

post #125 of 178
That and the capacity to affect soundstage and tonal warmth. I'm not an expert, but I know a good thing when I hear it. I'm not sure how measurements could possibly overcome that.
Edited by Claritas - 3/25/14 at 2:54pm
post #126 of 178
First of all, amplifiers don't affect soundstage unless they are royally messing up phase or crosstalk. Tonal warmth is a function of frequency response.

Achieving an audibly flat frequency response through careful calibration using an equalizer is the single most effective way of improving sound quality. It can be extremely difficult to balance to flat within a .25 dB deviation on speakers. Extremely difficult. In my system, I'm aiming for 2dB- 1dB if I can swing it. Precision isn't absolutely manditory to getting iimprovements from EQ. But the closer you get, the better the sound is. If you have a speaker rig and you aren't EQing, I can guarantee you that you aren't getting the best sound your equipment is capable of. Headphones start out flatter than most speakers so they are easier to EQ, so perhaps it doesn't make as great of a difference. But it's still worthwhile.

A flat response is what we hear in real life.

A flat response is used in recording studios to calibrate their monitors.

A flat response clears up masking issues increasing detail and clarity.

Digital audio has solved the problems of noise and distortion. The noise floor and THD specs on even the cheapest players and amps are well below the threshold of audibility. Flat response in players and amps have been achived too. But achieving a flat response in tranducers takes an equalizer and some careful calibration. Frequency response correction is the main problem to be solved in home audio, but most people don't even address it. Instead, they waste their money on a huge range of boutique equipment that is designed out of spec to provide a colored response that maybe... just maybe might match up to compensate for the response deviation in their own transducers and room. That's like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

EQ is the secret to achieving good sound. You can bet that anyone who says otherwise doesn't know the first thing about equalization.
Edited by bigshot - 3/25/14 at 5:42pm
post #127 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
This is true. There is no advantage to a tube amp. Solid state is more accurate, cheaper and more dependable. If you're looking for coloration, solid state is still better. Instead of coloring sound through hard wiring (the use of colored equipment) it is a lot better to do that using signal processing where you have precise control over the coloration.

Well what type of signal processing can give you all the colorations people will claim for tube amps? And if it's mainly EQ what type equalizing will do it? 


Edited by bbmiller - 3/25/14 at 5:53pm
post #128 of 178

bigshot, it doesn't follow that we all enjoy a flat response. You're right if the purpose if accuracy, but not necessarily if the purpose is enjoyment.

post #129 of 178
EQ is the secret to achieving a flat response. Good sound is subjective, period. If you argue this then youre as crazy as the tooth fairy audiophiles who put stones on their amps to enhance bass as far as im concerned. A flat response is not necessarily whats best at all.

If electric guitar is mastered to be forward in the mix then what youll get with a flat response EQ is not necessarily ideal, to give one example. If the drums were recorded with just one microphone or if bass was plugged into the console directly vs mic in front of amp then things can be very different.

Live sound is flat? No chance. Some musicians put more muscle into it for acoustics = higher dB, not to mention electric instruments where dB is incredibly hard to match between instruments (and it shouldnt be equal to begin with).
Edited by elmoe - 3/25/14 at 5:52pm
post #130 of 178
If someone things flat response isn't the best sound, then I really feel sorry for them, because live performances would sound bad to them... and acoustic instruments would sound bad to them... and the voices of their friends would sound bad to them... and every well engineered recording mixed on calibrated speakers would sound bad to them.

Flat response is natural sound. It's what we hear every day. Flat response in recorded music doesn't sound like anything specifically. It isn't "thin" or "bassy" or "sparkling" or "warm"... it's balanced and accurate- specifically, what the band and engineers intended it to sound like. They monitored and mixed using studio monitors calibrated to a flat response, and I listen to their recording at home using studio monitors calibrated to a flat response. I'm hearing what they heard because we are using the same baseline. Every frequency I hear is presented at the same relative volume as the band heard. If the band intended it to sound warm, it's warm. If they intended it to sound loud and forward in the midrange, that's just how it sounds. If they want the bass to rattle the walls, that's just what it does.

To my subjective ears, realistic sound is the best. I calibrate my system for that. If I get a recording that is poorly engineered, I reach for the tone controls to quickly push it closer to flat. But I very rarely have to do that with the music I listen to.
Edited by bigshot - 3/25/14 at 6:07pm
post #131 of 178
So how do you know after you EQ that what youre hearing is flat? You dont, its entirely subjective, perhaps for me what sounds flat to you is bassy.

And as I said, live music is ANYTHING but flat, in fact it's the very definition of NON flat. Do you really believe that musicians actually sync with each other to play their instruments at the exact same dB for every note?? confused.gif No way.

A completely flat response across all frequencies is going to be incredibly boring, and the furthest thing there can be from a live performance of any kind - be it acoustic or not.
Edited by elmoe - 3/25/14 at 6:31pm
post #132 of 178
With playback, flat response is a calibration. If you play a song in New York on calibrated monitors, then fly to LA and listen to it again on a different set of calibrated monitors, it's going to sound exactly the same to you. Flat response in playback doesn't have a "sound". It's just a calibration setting... all frequencies presented equally.

It really doesn't matter if I have hearing loss in some frequencies and you don't. The music will still sound the same to each of us in New York and LA individually in the peculiar way we hear. But if you have a hearing defect where some frequency range in your hearing was attenuated, it would be possible for you to use test tones to determine the frequency and dB of that hearing loss. Then you could take your flat response curve and add that correction to the curve using an equalizer. It would correct for your hearing loss completely, but it might not sound good to anyone else.

But before you do any personal corrections, you calibrate to flat so you know you are starting out from an accurate starting point. If you buy colored electronics hoping to stumble across one colored in a way that perfectly matches the correction for your particular hearing loss, you're going to be wasting a lot of money looking for something that might not even exist. Easier to pull out an equalizer and calibrate, then apply your hearing correction.
post #133 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

With playback, flat response is a calibration. If you play a song in New York on calibrated monitors, then fly to LA and listen to it again on a different set of calibrated monitors, it's going to sound exactly the same to you. Flat response in playback doesn't have a "sound". It's just a calibration setting... all frequencies presented equally.

It really doesn't matter if I have hearing loss in some frequencies and you don't. The music will still sound the same to each of us in New York and LA individually in the peculiar way we hear. But if you have a hearing defect where some frequency range in your hearing was attenuated, it would be possible for you to use test tones to determine the frequency and dB of that hearing loss. Then you could take your flat response curve and add that correction to the curve using an equalizer. It would correct for your hearing loss completely, but it might not sound good to anyone else.

But before you do any personal corrections, you calibrate to flat so you know you are starting out from an accurate starting point. If you buy colored electronics hoping to stumble across one colored in a way that perfectly matches the correction for your particular hearing loss, you're going to be wasting a lot of money looking for something that might not even exist. Easier to pull out an equalizer and calibrate, then apply your hearing correction.

 

But that's my point - what is accurate to begin with? Live music is NOT a flat frequency response, that's IMPOSSIBLE. There is no way no how that musicians in a band or an orchestra all play their instruments at the same dB to begin with. Some will press on the strings harder, some will swipe their bows faster, some will blow their trumpets harder. All this = higher or lower dB compared to the rest of the musicians/instruments, meaning that in a LIVE performance the frequency response is ANYTHING BUT flat, and thats the way it SHOULD be. When musicians get into the music, 'in the zone' to put it in sports terms, they will automatically adapt their sound to the rest of the band, dB included, and THAT is the sweet spot. Mind you, when I say adapt, it does NOT mean "match", it means play louder/quieter/faster/slower etc etc etc. so as to enjoy the sound more. When violins come in on a symphony where they should overwhelm the rest of the instruments they are quite a few dBs louder than the rest, and that is how it should be. So EQing a recording so it is flat (which I doubt is what you're really doing, more likely you're EQing so it sounds GOOD to YOUR ears, and you're calling it a flat response) is anything BUT good.

 

In fact, even if there's a SINGLE musician such as solo piano, the musician is going to accentuate some note (play them louder) than others, so the response will never be FLAT across the frequencies. Certainly you can EQ certain parts of a song so that the song as a whole sounds flat, but why would you do that to begin with? It will kill all that is good about it to begin with.


Edited by elmoe - 3/25/14 at 6:32pm
post #134 of 178
Ummm, that's not what he's saying at all. Flat in this sense is recorded spectrum in equals played back spectrum out....regardless of distribution.
post #135 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrindingThud View Post

Ummm, that's not what he's saying at all. Flat in this sense is recorded spectrum in equals played back spectrum out....regardless of distribution.

 

And how is that any different to what I'm saying? So you flatten out the recorded spectrum - great! Then if you're listening to a jazz trio and the pianist was hitting those keys hard so as to get a higher dB, you're putting the piano at the same dB level as the bass and drums. So you're getting anything BUT what it would sound like live. How is that faithful reproduction? Hardly. You can measure your headphone's frequency response and see that it is treble heavy for example, but you don't know what your ears measurements are. Perhaps boosting the treble will sound harsh, perhaps it will sound "flat", but that is all very subjective. Why do some enjoy treble heavy headphones while others find them harsh? Why do some love bass heavy headphones while others find them overpowering? At the end of the day what you enjoy is entirely subjective and a flat response across all frequencies is probably anything BUT what is most enjoyable to you, simply because we all hear differently. That's why while you may perceive a "flat response" as "the best sound" for you and your system might actually sound terrible if you try it on a different system with different gear. Why do you think people love tube amps so much, especially the people who have extremely expensive sound systems (flat response aimed gear)? Because a completely flat response is anything but what live music sounds like, and tubes "boost", "distort", whatever you want to call it, the sound enough to make it enjoyable and less boring.


Edited by elmoe - 3/25/14 at 6:50pm
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