Accurate sound = musical sound?
May 12, 2012 at 3:09 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 21

firev1

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http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2012/05/more-evidence-that-kids-even-japanese.html
Potential evidence of accurate sound is overall related to more musical enjoyment. To summarise, it is shown that even amongst the younger people who have absolutely no experience in high end audio(the "MP3/Ipod" generation), find a flatter response better. It also shows that trained listeners(sorry not audiophiles, CRITICAL listeners) are better judges of quality with more consistent results. 
 
What do you guys think? I can somewhat correlate my own experiences with their results, I always find after getting my speakers' responses to be flatter, I was able to get a better experience out of them. 
 
Some of the arguments by very Steve Guttenberg here and his appearance on Home Theater Geeks.

 
Potentially unrelated but, we need more "neutral" reviewers. 
 
May 12, 2012 at 9:30 PM Post #3 of 21

firev1

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Quote:
One reason that accurate gear sounds better is because it has less distortion, and also avoids the resonances that usually accompany a peak in the frequency response. Resonances add a sameness to the music that, if loud enough, can be fatiguing.
 
--Ethan

 
That happens before I applied eq. It's nice to see proof that humans naturally prefer a more neutral sound, more manufacturers should take note of it. However, why are there many stories why speakers with great frequency response are less preferred?
 
May 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM Post #4 of 21

khaos974

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No, well mastered music = musical sound.

If your music was mastered to sound good on ibuds without much care of how it would sound on an accurate system, it's probable that it will sound rather average on an accurate system.
 
May 13, 2012 at 1:38 AM Post #5 of 21

Anaxilus

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Quote:
No, well mastered music = musical sound.
If your music was mastered to sound good on ibuds without much care of how it would sound on an accurate system, it's probable that it will sound rather average on an accurate system.

 
I was waiting for someone to drop the other shoe.  
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May 13, 2012 at 2:08 AM Post #6 of 21

BrownBear

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Quote:
No, well mastered music = musical sound.
If your music was mastered to sound good on ibuds without much care of how it would sound on an accurate system, it's probable that it will sound rather average on an accurate system.


I tend to agree with this. I remember being appalled awhile back when reading that some new music was 'made to sound good on earbuds'.
 
May 13, 2012 at 2:13 AM Post #7 of 21

Anaxilus

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Quote:
I tend to agree with this. I remember being appalled awhile back when reading that some new music was 'made to sound good on earbuds'.

Been happening since the 50's/60's actually.  Motown mastered their recordings to sound best from a car radio.
 
May 13, 2012 at 5:33 AM Post #8 of 21

firev1

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Quote:
No, well mastered music = musical sound.
If your music was mastered to sound good on ibuds without much care of how it would sound on an accurate system, it's probable that it will sound rather average on an accurate system.
 
Of course when I made the statement I was referring mainly to average recordings, are most recordings these days really that bad? I do have a some bad ones but there are is a steady flow of well mastered ones as well and its not even audiophile recordings.
 
Quote:
I tend to agree with this. I remember being appalled awhile back when reading that some new music was 'made to sound good on earbuds'.

 
I know of the car radio one but seriously, earbuds?!
 
May 13, 2012 at 6:32 AM Post #9 of 21

xnor

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However, why are there many stories why speakers with great frequency response are less preferred?


Even the best (measuring) speakers will probably only sound average if you put them in an untreated room. Another problem is room correction used incorrectly, i.e. to flatten the FR as much as possible. A little bass boost and rolled off treble imho sounds a lot better to enjoy music.
 
May 13, 2012 at 7:42 AM Post #10 of 21

khaos974

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However, why are there many stories why speakers with great frequency response are less preferred?


Even the best (measuring) speakers will probably only sound average if you put them in an untreated room. Another problem is room correction used incorrectly, i.e. to flatten the FR as much as possible. A little bass boost and rolled off treble imho sounds a lot better to enjoy music.


On the other hand, if it's mastered in a neutral environment to sound good in the said environment, you can bet it will sound good in an accurate system (room included).

Example of neutral location:


FR curves with purely passive corrections (1/12 octave)


I'm freaking impressed.
Entire gallery here: http://www.lafontaudio.com/galerie/gal22.htm
 
May 13, 2012 at 10:20 AM Post #11 of 21

proton007

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Hmmm... I think there should be something cleared out here. Here's a statistical view of accuracy and precision:

 
 
If your recorded music is the reference value, I think this image speaks for itself.
 
As for *musical*, I doubt there's any definition for that, otherwise we wouldn't have so many styles and genres.
Even if you do confine this experiment to a single song, I'm sure the responses would be distributed in a normal manner.
 
I think Tyll said it pretty well:
 
Quote:
Measurements provide an alternative to the common wisdom (which may be right or wrong) for evaluating the array of headphones available. Measurements put a more objectively reliable stake in the ground around which people can calibrate their search and appreciation of headphones.

 
For instance, from the video:
Common wisdom: Tube is more musical. Tube Y sounds better than Tube X.
Alternate (Objective): Tubes add harmonics of their own. Tube Y's measurements (distortion, harmonics) are different from Tube X in the following manner, hence the coloration difference.
 
I don't see why the Alternate/Objective side is hard to follow, or even go against. Its just that objectivists want to know why these differences in how different designs and components are perceived, exist in the first place (whether its electrical/mechanical, or placebo), and whether we should eliminate them, use them, or enhance them.
 
May 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM Post #12 of 21

jendol

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I think consumer should have their choices. Certain Recording studios tune their products to sound good on ipod and ibud, that's their choice, others tune their products for high end audio system, audiophile segment, this is also choice people make
 
May 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM Post #13 of 21

EthanWiner

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Quote:
why are there many stories why speakers with great frequency response are less preferred?

There are two issues here. One is that some listeners are not very sophisticated. These are the people that will dial in the typical smiley curve on a graphic EQ if you let them.
biggrin.gif
The other is that some frequencies sound good (full, sparkly), while others are not so nice (boomy, harsh). So assuming the mixing and mastering engineers did a good job creating a pleasing spectrum, the best approach for listeners is to use speakers that are flat to reproduce the pleasing sound accurately.
 
--Ethan
 
May 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM Post #14 of 21

RexAeterna

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There are two issues here. One is that some listeners are not very sophisticated. These are the people that will dial in the typical smiley curve on a graphic EQ if you let them. :D The other is that some frequencies sound good (full, sparkly), while others are not so nice (boomy, harsh). So assuming the mixing and mastering engineers did a good job creating a pleasing spectrum, the best approach for listeners is to use speakers that are flat to reproduce the pleasing sound accurately.

--Ethan


yup, i agree with this.

on side note i wonder why people mention cause it's mastered for ibuds. if so then that mean it's a horrible master to begin with. ii you master something good with a flat frequency system(or close to it) it will sound great on everything, even ibuds. just with more improved sounding gear you'll be able to appreciate the overall mastering work even more(or notice it's flaws more). if you don't think so, how come lot of people still love vinyl, even on so-so speaker systems? has nothing to do with the format but most of the stuff that was mastered when vinyl was still main format before cd came out was mastered very well on neutral sounding systems in a controlled environment.
 
May 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM Post #15 of 21

RexAeterna

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On the other hand, if it's mastered in a neutral environment to sound good in the said environment, you can bet it will sound good in an accurate system (room included).
Example of neutral location:

FR curves with purely passive corrections (1/12 octave)

I'm freaking impressed.
Entire gallery here: http://www.lafontaudio.com/galerie/gal22.htm


it's still mastered on flat system. for control rooms like that they will flatten the response using eq to compensate for the room modes. it still shows that mastering on a flat system will translate best over to wide-range of audio gear, even ibuds.
 

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