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How is "tube sound" even audible in modern headphone amps? - Page 6

post #76 of 366
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

What's the matter, the garage and attic all filled up?

 

Baby in - I'm out (and all my schiit with me).

 

Apartment! Duh.


Edited by madwolfa - 6/15/14 at 10:22am
post #77 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by madwolfa View Post
 

 

Baby in - I'm out (and all my schiit with me).

 

Apartment! Duh.

When the Apt. next door becomes available, rent it and knock down a wall.

Kansas, you should be on a farm :D Then you'd have plenty of room.

post #78 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Another great analogy for the Sound Science Forum would be mankind's invention of the guitar. We currently have harps in museums dated back 4500 years so we know man has had a long and intense experience with string instruments. The modern age guitar predates electricity and amplification for producing music in the home. Yet even with all of our understanding of the guitar inter-workings there is no perfect guitar in existence today. Does not exist.


What we do have is a range of guitar character and color if you wish. When a famous musician buys a 25k 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitar, he is in fact buying it for it's tone. They mix and match wood types and design aspects to create a sound. Many guitar players will end up with 20 or 30 guitars. Each guitar had a purpose. There are now portraits of guitar players like Jeff Beck or Slash and they will be in a room with 20 versions of almost the same guitar. The guitar is not perfect, but they themselves and their listeners have become used to and expect a certain sound, as that is where the romance is found.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyres_of_Ur


I respectfully disagree with this analogy.

 

There are different types of audio that have different requirements from their respective gear: 1) there is the creation of music and sound, which is an artistic process, and 2) there is the high-fidelity reproduction of a recording.

 

1) The creation of music is an artistic process by which the musician (artist) chooses the appropriate tools to create the sound he/she desires to produce. Instruments, pickups, instrument amplifiers, speaker cabinets, effects/effects pedals, recording equipment and room design/layout, and mixing/mastering/processing software are among the tools that fall into this category. In this case, your example of an electric guitar is an artists tool for creating music. It is at the point of generation of the original musical work. The pickups, neck and body dynamics, choice of strings, tone settings on the amplifier, location of the recording microphone, processing software, etc. are part of the recording chain that shape the tonality of the music being created. Don't be fooled that instruments are chosen specifically for their sound, either. Les Pauls are choosen as much for their iconic status, symbolism, and artistic finishes, and the knowledge that they are hand-made with low-production numbers (rare) that make them desirable for collectors. In the case of guitars, the feel of the guitar, the weight of the body, the shape of the neck, the fingering of the fretboard are also among reasons why performing artists may choose one guitar over another. The pickups in a well-made electric guitar are 90% of the sound. Fender strats are commonly associated with low gain single coils, whammy bars, and 24+ frets, while les pauls are associated with higher gain humbuckers, heavy construction, and lack of a whammy bar <->longer sustain, etc. You mention Jeff Beck--are you familiar with his song 'guitar shop'?

 

 

2) Once the music is recorded to a medium (in theory, as the artist intended; however, often in practice as the producers chooses, LOUD) the reproduction equipment should recreate the recorded audio as precisely as possible, thus recreating the music as the artist intended. Enter Hi-Fi audio. Hi-Fi is shorthand for "high fidelity," which by definition means the audio should be reproduced as exactly as possible. There is no gray zone here, there is exactly one waveform output from the audio equipment which satisfies this goal as perfectly as possible (i.e., perfectly) and that is the production of the exact recorded waveform. Both tubes and solid state amplifiers are capable of recreating audio signals with remarkable precision, and the preciseness of their reproduction is quantified in quantities such as THD+noise and IMD, which quantify the imperfections of the reproduced audio. Given a recorded signal and a reproduced acoustic wave, one can quantify how close the sound is reproduced at the listening position. There is exactly one correct waveform, and the deviation of that waveform from the recording signal can be mathematically quantified. There are different ways which the reproduced waveform can differ from the original--whether it be in different frequency response, phase error, added noise, waveform distortion, etc. All of those quantities are mathematically well understood and can be quantified. Any coloration to the signal ("warmth", rolled off highs, lack of bass, "harshness", etc) can be quantified and results from differences between the original and reproduced waveform. By definition, the goal of high-fidelity sound reproduction is exactly that, high-fidelity sound reproduction.

 

The point here is that if equipment is chosen for the reason that it imparts a coloration on the sound, then it simply isn't a HiFi piece of equipment. If one wants to choose a tube amplifier for the sonic coloration it imparts, that is an artistic choice they make for their own system. It just isn't a HiFi choice.

 

There's a difference between a van Gogh painting and a Nikon SLR photograph. Each is an extremely nice result. Once is artistic reproduction and one is a high-fidelity reproduction of a visual scene. One might make this analogy between tube coloration vs a low-distortion component.

 

Cheers


Edited by ab initio - 6/15/14 at 12:40pm
post #79 of 366

I can say it simpler... Guitars are made of wood... and a great deal of the sound depends on the wood. Wood is an organic product. All wood is different. Amps are made of metal, plastic and silicon. Electricity produces the sound. We know how to control metal and plastic and silicon and electricity to exacting standards. If there was as much variation in electronics as there is in wood, we would never have put a man on the moon or created the internet.

post #80 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Humans think way too much. Best to make quick purchases and make it a learning process. Over thinking is like spending an entire year wondering if you should kiss the girl. By the time you know. You can't find her.

 

I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge!

post #81 of 366
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I can say it simpler... Guitars are made of wood... and a great deal of the sound depends on the wood. 

 

Even electrics?

post #82 of 366

Pickups are the biggest wild card there. Anything that converts acoustic sound to electrical impulse or back again is the variable with solid state. The stuff in the middle that just plays back and amplifies is the easy part.

post #83 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by madwolfa View Post
 

 

Even electrics?

Electric guitars are made of wood. The density of the wood in a solid body affects the sound/sustain. There are also semi-hollow and hollow body electric guitars made of wood. I'm not going to worry about headphone amps and electronics, generally wood is not part of that equation ;), unless it's part of the cabinet and has no influence on sound.--- I didn't say anything about speakers or headphone ear cups.

post #84 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

I can get you a great deal on the Brooklyn Bridge!

Watcha asking?

post #85 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


I respectfully disagree with this analogy.

There are different types of audio that have different requirements from their respective gear: 1) there is the creation of music and sound, which is an artistic process, and 2) there is the high-fidelity reproduction of a recording.

1) The creation of music is an artistic process by which the musician (artist) chooses the appropriate tools to create the sound he/she desires to produce. Instruments, pickups, instrument amplifiers, speaker cabinets, effects/effects pedals, recording equipment and room design/layout, and mixing/mastering/processing software are among the tools that fall into this category. In this case, your example of an electric guitar is an artists tool for creating music. It is at the point of generation of the original musical work. The pickups, neck and body dynamics, choice of strings, tone settings on the amplifier, location of the recording microphone, processing software, etc. are part of the recording chain that shape the tonality of the music being created. Don't be fooled that instruments are chosen specifically for their sound, either. Les Pauls are choosen as much for their iconic status, symbolism, and artistic finishes, and the knowledge that they are hand-made with low-production numbers (rare) that make them desirable for collectors. In the case of guitars, the feel of the guitar, the weight of the body, the shape of the neck, the fingering of the fretboard are also among reasons why performing artists may choose one guitar over another. The pickups in a well-made electric guitar are 90% of the sound. Fender strats are commonly associated with low gain single coils, whammy bars, and 24+ frets, while les pauls are associated with higher gain humbuckers, heavy construction, and lack of a whammy bar <->longer sustain, etc. You mention Jeff Beck--are you familiar with his song 'guitar shop'?


2) Once the music is recorded to a medium (in theory, as the artist intended; however, often in practice as the producers chooses, LOUD) the reproduction equipment should recreate the recorded audio as precisely as possible, thus recreating the music as the artist intended. Enter Hi-Fi audio. Hi-Fi is shorthand for "high fidelity," which by definition means the audio should be reproduced as exactly as possible. There is no gray zone here, there is exactly one waveform output from the audio equipment which satisfies this goal as perfectly as possible (i.e., perfectly) and that is the production of the exact recorded waveform. Both tubes and solid state amplifiers are capable of recreating audio signals with remarkable precision, and the preciseness of their reproduction is quantified in quantities such as THD+noise and IMD, which quantify the imperfections of the reproduced audio. Given a recorded signal and a reproduced acoustic wave, one can quantify how close the sound is reproduced at the listening position. There is exactly one correct waveform, and the deviation of that waveform from the recording signal can be mathematically quantified. There are different ways which the reproduced waveform can differ from the original--whether it be in different frequency response, phase error, added noise, waveform distortion, etc. All of those quantities are mathematically well understood and can be quantified. Any coloration to the signal ("warmth", rolled off highs, lack of bass, "harshness", etc) can be quantified and results from differences between the original and reproduced waveform. By definition, the goal of high-fidelity sound reproduction is exactly that, high-fidelity sound reproduction.

The point here is that if equipment is chosen for the reason that it imparts a coloration on the sound, then it simply isn't a HiFi piece of equipment. If one wants to choose a tube amplifier for the sonic coloration it imparts, that is an artistic choice they make for their own system. It just isn't a HiFi choice.

There's a difference between a van Gogh painting and a Nikon SLR photograph. Each is an extremely nice result. Once is artistic reproduction and one is a high-fidelity reproduction of a visual scene. One might make this analogy between tube coloration vs a low-distortion component.

Cheers



I agree maybe not the best analogy. Still it is relative to my general point. Do you believe that you could find even 5 of these so called HI-FI amps, that if we placed all the amps into the same system in rotation they would test and all sound exactly the same? Do these type of products truly exist?
post #86 of 366
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Do you believe that you could find even 5 of these so called HI-FI amps, that if we placed all the amps into the same system in rotation they would test and all sound exactly the same?

There were numerous DBT experiments confirming just that.
post #87 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by madwolfa View Post

There were numerous DBT experiments confirming just that.


Ok so I think all audio equipment sounds a little different because of the light glare reflections of the case? That could be true. I still think most of the time there are slight differences. Nowadays you could do the same test with some solid state and some tube gear and folks may not know which is which.

Still no two systems put together are going to sound exactly the same or the same as the event recorded.
post #88 of 366
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Still no two systems put together are going to sound exactly the same or the same as the event recorded.

True, but no human was born able to hear that difference yet.
post #89 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Still no two systems put together are going to sound exactly the same or the same as the event recorded.

 

That's because there is a transducer between the real musician and the recording. Transducers actually do sound different. Players and amps are designed from the ground up to be as transparent as possible, and that transparency extends beyond our all too human ability to hear.

post #90 of 366
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redcarmoose View Post

Ok so I think all audio equipment sounds a little different because of the light glare reflections of the case?

 

Expectation bias. You've already said that the more expensive a tube amp is, the better it sounds. The belief that money automatically infers quality is a big red flag for expectation bias. Nothing wrong with that. We're all subject to it. That's why we do controlled listening tests that remove the possibility of bias from the equation.

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