A cool Web-site of interest
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ppl

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This site has alot of info on it including sound reproduction Hearing damage from using Headphones and other Interesting Articals on other subjects Worth checking out http://www.anstendig.org/
 
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Sol_Zhen

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Headphones don't cause hearing damage, bad music does. It's the body's defense mecanism against crap.

 
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Gariver

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Anstendig's site is a good one. It is very up to date with regards to acoustics. He is decidedly in the Vibration Camp of acoustics. Great! This I better explain.

During the 1970s and 80s, there was a war going on in acoustical engineering between two camps: Resonance Theorists and Vibration Theorists. By the 1990s, the Vibration Theorists had won! They did so by doing experimental testing in accordance with the Laws of Physics. Resonance theories could NOT pass these tests. Nowdays, most acousticians avoid the word "resonance" completely. They don't want to be associated with the Resonance Camp. Instead they talk about vibration.

I learned the hard way not to use the word "resonance." At Columbia University, I mentioned the word to my teacher, Prof Cyril Harris, PhD, the world's most famous acoustical engineer. And he proceeded to chew me up for one full hour! Of course, after the class, I apologized to Dr. Harris, who was still fuming a little bit. Later on I learned that Dr Harris was like a 5-Star General in the war between the two acoustics camps. So I vowed never to use the word "resonance" again.

A curious fact: Dr Harris had the word "resonance" removed from The New Columbia Encyclopedia! If you search that heavy tome, you are directed towards: Vibration! Ha!

http://www.bartleby.com/65/x-/X-resonan1.html

Why are the vibration theories important? In the world of classical music, a new concert hall that is a flop is very costly exercise. Millions of dollars go right down the drain. This was a common occurance before Dr Harris came into prominence.

Avery Fisher Hall in NYC's Lincoln Center (late 1970s)....
After 3 acoustic designs that were complete flops, Dr Harris was called in to do a multi-million dollar redesign of this famous symphonic hall. He was very, very successful with his design, and NYC music lovers hailed him for his work. In 1986, The New York Times named him "Man of the Year in Music." It is important to note the following: Dr Harris has never had a flop! His acoustic halls have always worked exceptionally well!

Dr Harris also did the acoustic design of the following halls...
--Carnegie Hall in New York City.
--Metropolitan Opera Hall in NYC.
--Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
--St Louis Symphony Hall in the state of Missouri.
--Krannert Symphony Hall in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
--Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA, world's best symphonic hall!

Nowdays, Dr Harris is referred to as "The Grand Old Man of Acoustics." He has won numerous awards, including the Gold Medal of the Acoustics Society of America.

Dr Harris at Columbia...
Columbia University in NYC leads all the universities in the world with a record 63 Nobel Prizes. Right now, there are 23 Nobel Prize winners teaching at Columbia. However, even without a Nobel Prize, Professor Emeritus Cyril Harris is treated with the utmost respect on that campus, esp in engineering circles. He certainly deserves it! He is the only engineer I know that has overhauled his field of study completely. That's quite a feat!

"Resonance" in audio circles...
Resonance theories are still used in audio circles, esp when audiophiles talk about walls, speakers and amp cases. That's a shame! Vibration Theories of acoustic are easier to understand and use. Beware: If you start reading about acoustics, try to get a recent book, not an old one. If you follow the "old school" books based on resonance theories, your knowledge will be completely useless and out-dated.

Wood, wood, wood...
Dr Harris favorite material in his acoustic designs is wood. If you stray from this recommendation, all sorts of acoustic problems arise.

Good luck with all this information!
 
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eric343

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Gariver: Actually, it's Benaroya Hall, unless you're talking about the old Seattle Opera House.
 
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Gariver

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Eric343:

You are right! It's Benaroya Hall! I wrote that post rapidly from memory, and I forgot the name. I will go back and edit the post.

World's Best Symphonic Hall...
Dr Cyril Harris's finest acoustic hall is Banaroya Hall. Many experts consider this hall to be the world's best symphonic hall. Classical musicians and music lovers simply love it!

Caveats...
Perfect acoustics? From my experience, this is an impossible goal. Even at Benaroya Hall, there are some seat areas that are better than others. This is true of all halls.
 
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