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Headphones are great, but will never be speakers...

Discussion in 'Currawong' started by currawong, Apr 25, 2010.
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  1. NamelessPFG
    ...and speakers will never be headphones, either. My wallet is grateful for that. (Also, holy crap, thread bump...)
    Well, perfect 3D sound is my goal because it's about "being there", and also about getting a competitive situational awareness advantage. I miss the days when Aureal was still around to heavily push proper binaural 3D sound in games with A3D. They could get some of the effect through speakers, but it requires crosstalk cancellation and other trickery that headphones don't need, so it worked a lot better on headphones, as HRTF-based mixes tend to in general.
    And when it comes down to a good binaural HRTF mix, it's blown away every 5.1 and 7.1 speaker system I've listened to when it comes to exact positioning, especially paired with the right headphones (like my trusty Stax SR-Lambda). Why, then, would I want my headphones to emulate speakers? I can have something far better than that, something so accurate that I can shoot a guy through a wall just by listening to his footsteps! Or I would, if the AAA game development industry decided that 7.1 speakers worth of audio were all we needed...clearly, they don't know what they're missing.
    Yes, I'm clearly coming from a different angle than most of you, who are looking at music...mastered with stereo speakers in mind, not headphones. Strangely, such sources don't bother me when played through conventional stereo headphones, even if that's not what the mixing engineers had in mind.
    Ideally, everything would be recorded in ambisonic format with a soundfield microphone, and we'd have a recording that can easily be tailored to speaker and headphone listening alike, without being forced into a fixed HRTF like a binaural recording...but I don't see that happening for a very long while, if ever.
    It's funny to read something I do agree with and I even own the Infiniti reference standard 1B ,s he is talking about. And yet instill have thousands in portible Hifi ..iem,s headphones etc.

    It at my home in N.C. I have a room just for those speakers and yes it gets me there and I'm happy to say with tears in my eye,s when I hear them and can't be leave . I'm really there .

    Great article from golden ears he must be near my age too...
  3. Golden Ears
    I will be 50 in July.

    Not that I should have, but, I just bought a set of Msgneplanar Tympani IV -a. My GF has the Magneplanar Tympani 1d.

    I am going to do the new tri center and get some extra low bass panel from Magnepan, and do a monster Maggie set up. I'll need some fast musical subs.

    The other thought was run the Infinity RS1-b ( I just it a set with the Lara rare neodymium EMIMs from the IRSV) run those as left right...no need for a center. And run a 7-2 set up using he Tympani IV-a as ides and the Tympani 1d as rears. If I really need a center. Lots of cancelation issues to battle but if I nail it, it will be amazing. Luckily I have enough amplifiers to biamp every speaker.
    Cool. My issue is I here in Ny for the most part and go to NC for the summer and a few other times during the year. So Maybe that's why it sounds so special when I here them. Although I have it setup good I'm sure it could be better , but time is always my enemy ..

    Thanks for the reply . I'm going to NYC audio show this week just to listen though .
  5. Currawong Contributor
    Golden Ears: I hope one day you can come to the Tokyo headphone festival at the end of October. 
    Here's my favourite set-up I've heard so far at a local and very tiny dealer: ELAC 310s on their matching stands with bass traps behind, fed by a Japanese Acoustic Masterpiece tube pre/power combo (12AX7/KT88) and the source a fairly lowly Sony SACD player. <$15k, maybe even closer to $10k even at crazy Japanese second-hand prices and especially with the yen dropping. Way more interesting than the Esoteric/Goldmund/Wilson Sacha rig at another dealer here. Ribbon tweeters have gotten me every time since I first heard Piegas.
  6. Pasquale
    Ok, I had to writing something.  I recently moved back to my home in NC from an apt in the northeast.  I reconnected my full system using my dac and computer as the front - JRiver>Benchmark DAC1>Sonic Frontiers Line 3>Bel Canto S500>Revel Studios Speakers.  Wow. This is all in my spare bedroom which is my office.  I really like headphones and have some pretty good stuff.  But, a full system that can cook is just awesome.  It's a different experience.  BTW, following conventional wisdom I initially listened without the preamp in - going directly from the Benchmark to the Bel Canto.  Sounded pretty good, but simply can not touch the system with the Line 3 inserted - more control, depth, dynamics, wider soundstage, etc.  A good preamp makes a big difference - although clarity has been compromised a little. The Line 3 is tube-based after all.
  7. MinedSafe
    I was an 'audiophile' until I started going to proper concerts in concert hall and playing my own guitar.  Many of you talk about audio nirvana and at the same time trowing money on useless and expensive equipment witch REPRODUCE sound! The best thing you can do to get Audio Nirvana is to buy you self a guitar or other instrument, spend money on lessons and go to a proper concert hall to listen to a good music in a real and not artificial environment, and from real instruments played by real people not thru expensive speakers. 
    I sold everything I had, got myself a pair of fairy cheap HD 595 hooked to ipod. Now I'm listening to music and I do enjoy listening to music not equipment. Whenever I have some money to spend and want to buy better headphones or amplifier I simply buy a ticket to concert hall or theater and I'm done:) Money saved and you can't copy the atmosphere, real people etc. 
    There is no point arguing witch is better, headphones or speakers. They both good for listening to MUSIC once you listen to music and not amplifiers, cd transports, dacs blablabla...:wink: 
    Some of you will say " well I don't have a time to go out" or " there is no concert hall in my town " or " I want to listen to music on my own and whenever I want " Sure these are good and reasonable points. But I rather listen to real music once a month, once in tree months, than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, euros etc. and sit ON MY OWN in front of my expensive gear. Sure if you have the money and afraid of people go ahead. I'm not and many of you aren't either. 
    My advice 
    Sell that expensive stuff you have, start enjoying music, buy an instrument, take some lessons, go to a concert hall or theater and never look back. And the money you save just spend on your family or trips around the world ( if you are so rich ) to listen to proper musicians in a proper environment with REAL people around. 
    You don't agree guys? Fine, its my opinion and you don't have to. Just please do not be rude and do not swear at me. Be polite and replay back if you think its wort it. 
  8. Sweden
    It's a well known fact that headphones have an edge when it comes to pure resolution over speakers.
    Speakers however have much bigger edge when it comes to presentation of soundstage and feeling the music through the body (the last one will be a bit hard to fully stimulate, even though I have seen some new gimmicky ideas).
    But I believe we are on the verge of a revolution when it comes to how headphones can make a believable and natural out of head soundstage.
    This software revolution of very advanced and clever DSP will probably never make headphones sounds exactly like the soundstage of the best speakers, but it will probably be very close. Perhaps headphones can go beyond traditional speaker soundstage all together creating something truly binaural or surround 3D.
    Smyth Realiser, TB Isone/Isone pro, Headphone:X etc are only the first steps on the way to the real deal.
    Having headphones on and getting the absolute and real sense of music coming from without is not that long away in the future. And hopefully it will be cheap and on every smartphone. Today's mobile devices are powerful enough to do this.
    To make this truly work you have to measure and correct for each headphone and also get to choose from a number of different ear canal shapes.
  9. Quote:
    I tried to follow your advice but the folks at the concert hall informed me that Arthur Rubenstein has been dead for years.  I tried playing Chopin's Waltzes and Nocturnes on my own but it wasn't the same.
    antonyfirst, Currawong and Fearless1 like this.
  10. duncan1
    MIndSafe-Now that you have "told us all  off" and we should "change our ways" and I take it stop buying equipment that reproduces music and go to concerts. Is this your first and last post on Head-Fi????- because you have just given up the "raison etre" of being here. And the people like me who love music but cant play a note. and have no time to go to a concert because of family commitments ? And if we went --where would you tell us to sit  at the front for more detail and "highs" or at the back where the sound has to travel through the air and via an audience to get to you -not even taking into consideration the hall acoustics and people shouting-- more!!-more! 
  11. wink
    MindUnsafe, This is to let you know you posted on Head-Fi.
    Our motto is "Sorry about your wallet".
    Even though your advice is well-intentioned, it is not valid here.
    Our wallets may thank you, but we certainly don't.
    Audio reality is the private domain of every individual.
    So, whatever floats your boat will probably float you to some other forum where your advice may be welcomed with more enthusiasm.  [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  12. jpelg Moderator
    Given that this thread is a counterpoint to the typical "drink-the-headphone-Koolaid" philosophy, I think that all views are valid (as they should always be!)
    MindUnsafe - your thoughts & opinions are welcome, imo. Healthy, respectful discussion is good.
  13. Currawong Contributor
    ^ What he said. I listen, most often, through a pair of Adam ARTist 3s. Not as ultimately resolving as my HP rig but the presentation at my desk is one that I like. I would like to go to some of the jazz cafes around here though but .... kids.
  14. wink
    OOPS...!!. should have read the post before posting.
    It was meant to be a prediction of where mindsafe was heading, not a suggestion that he should do so.
    At least his wallet will remain healthy..........  Is that a good thing..???
  15. selwin
    This [member] has got DSCN0153.jpg  I give you { PARABOLIC}  the real deal
    the sound formula !
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