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Steve Hoffman's Voodoo

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by ru9, Oct 21, 2009.
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  1. roadtonowhere08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jp11801 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    you can call bull crap all you want but for the most part Steve is right on this one. Also c'mon, when you wear a headphone the driver is inches from your head there is a HIGH likelihood that small high pitched sounds will be more evident. This based on how how high frequencies attenuate faster than low frequencies additionally you are isolated from outside noises to a far greater degree that mask anomalies like this glitch.



    How is he right on this one? He said that the midrange of the studio monitors masked crackles. If they do, then they are not doing what they are intended to do, which is to present a flat and accurate as possible presentation of the music being recorded.

    I'd really like to know which headphones he had in mind when he made that statement. I read here that a lot of people say that high end speakers are more resolving and have more detail than high end headphones. I do not know if you are in that camp, but it would be contradictory to say speakers are more detailed, but headphones are better at revealing the crackles in this recording.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jp11801 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    You are looking to place meaning in Steve's words where there are none.



    Well, since he did not clarify his statement, I assume he meant exactly what he said, and we are left to make out own conclusions.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jp11801 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Steve has supported Headfi by appearing at two of our National meets and speaking.



    It was very nice of him to do so, but that is immaterial. It is obvious that he does not hate headphones, but he is not above reproach when it comes to questioning his statements.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jp11801 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    He has not come out against headphones on his site that I can see but does seem to prefer speakers. This preference places him in the company of many people here that love headphones but often prefer to listen to speakers. Speakers can present music more naturally given that they can soundstage in a way headphones can not, amongst other things.



    I prefer my speakers to my headphones. This is not the argument. If he preferred headphones when working, and his comments pertained to midrange of headphones, would your opinion be any different?
     
  2. Ham Sandwich
    Steve lists the equipment that he uses: Steve Hoffman's equipment

    The mastering room speakers are Tannoy Westminster Royal SE. The headphone system consists of HD600 and K701 with a Woo Audio 6 or Channel Islands VHP-1 for amplification.

    I assume that when he said headphones hid the crackle that he was using the HD600 and likely the Woo Audio amp. Acix confirmed that the crackle was audible with the K702. I have the HD600 and I can understand how their sound signature could hide certain artifacts. They aren't the most revealing headphone, though they are very musical and enjoyable and "audiophile".

    Mastering studios generally don't use near-field speakers. They have full range speakers set up far-field. It's mixing studios that are full of near-field speakers.

    Steve's statement and the thread at stevehoffman forums initially made me scratch my head. I thought about it and came up with a plausible explanation based on my listening experiences with "studio" style sound and "audiophile" style sound.

    This is the sound science forum so rather than argue about whether Steve is an idiot we should be setting up an experiment to test Steve's hypothesis. So far Acix has been the only one to try.

    I don't have the disc or a clip with the artifact. I also doubt that my equipment would reveal the crackle clearly (I don't like the studio style sound for home listening). I'll give it a try though if I get a sound clip of the crackle.
     
  3. roadtonowhere08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Mastering studios generally don't use near-field speakers. They have full range speakers set up far-field. It's mixing studios that are full of near-field speakers.



    You are correct, my mistake.


    It is interesting that he was able to hear the sound with his Senns but not with his speakers. The HD600 is not exactly a Qualia in terms of uber detail presentation. Perhaps he was talking about his K701s.
     
  4. jp11801 Contributor
    Hello, the crackle is 1 inch from your head in a headphone and 6-8 feet from your head when reproduced from a full range speaker.

    Do you even have the cd in question to hear what is he is talking about, I've been able to reproduce what he has been saying with the defective cd. As I have stated it is factor of driver proximity and frequency response.

    additionally I guess we view the world differently in that when someone says something that I initially do not understand or seems counter intuitive but that person has credibility from years of great results I tend not to jump all over them. YMMV[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. Ham Sandwich
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    It is interesting that he was able to hear the sound with his Senns but not with his speakers. The HD600 is not exactly a Qualia in terms of uber detail presentation. Perhaps he was talking about his K701s.



    Whoops. I misspoke. His statement about the headphones is:
    "At the studio the crackle is undetectable, even at full blast volume. When the headphones are plugged in, it is there."
    So he said the headphones made the crackle audible rather than hide it. He just doesn't say if he tried on both the K701 and HD600 and if it was audible on both. Acix tried the K702 and it was audible. Acix also tried some other headphones that were able to mask the crackle.

    Now I'm curious if the crackle is easily detectable on the HD600 (I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't given the midrange character and general sound character of the HD600 compared to the K701). Also curious if the result would change if using SS or tube for headphone amplification.
     
  6. roadtonowhere08
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jp11801 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Hello, the crackle is 1 inch from your head in a headphone and 6-8 feet from your head when reproduced from a full range speaker.

    Do you even have the cd in question to hear what is he is talking about, I've been able to reproduce what he has been saying with the defective cd. As I have stated it is factor of driver proximity and frequency response.

    additionally I guess we view the world differently in that when someone says something that I initially do not understand or seems counter intuitive but that person has credibility from years of great results I tend not to jump all over them. YMMV[​IMG][​IMG]




    I been able to hear it with both my headphones and speakers. I think both are very good at resolving detail.

    I have great respect for SH, as his aim is better sound where it counts the most: the first link of the audio chain. I will always applaud that.

    I question everything, because I want to know the truth (or at least a generally agreed upon consensus) about what I am interested in. A person's credentials are important, but I will not believe them based solely on that. Based on what I can hear and from what I have read, Steve's comments do not sound correct to me.

    Midrange is the most important area of music, but if there is a flaw in the recording, then good equipment should be able to play it. We can argue up and down the block about frequency response and driver distance, but I hear what I hear. Additionally, my opinion is my opinion. Perhaps we can agree to disagree?
     
  7. haloxt
    Steve should just fix the crackle and make everyone happy.
     
  8. jp11801 Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by haloxt /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Steve should just fix the crackle and make everyone happy.



    Steve as a mastering engineer works for hire, audio fidelity are the people that need to correct the issue. They have stated they will exchange the disc but you need to contact them if you want to do so.
     
  9. Dr.Love
    Surprised there was no mention of the blatant false advertisement on the Pretenders self titled Audio Fidelity disc.

    It states on the cover that no compression and what not was used, but....it's not true on that title as the sound was compressed and mangled etc....
     
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