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Tube rolling

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by jiminy, Feb 5, 2013.
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  1. GrindingThud
    Ummm, that's not what he's saying at all. Flat in this sense is recorded spectrum in equals played back spectrum out....regardless of distribution.
  2. elmoe
    And how is that any different to what I'm saying? So you flatten out the recorded spectrum - great! Then if you're listening to a jazz trio and the pianist was hitting those keys hard so as to get a higher dB, you're putting the piano at the same dB level as the bass and drums. So you're getting anything BUT what it would sound like live. How is that faithful reproduction? Hardly. You can measure your headphone's frequency response and see that it is treble heavy for example, but you don't know what your ears measurements are. Perhaps boosting the treble will sound harsh, perhaps it will sound "flat", but that is all very subjective. Why do some enjoy treble heavy headphones while others find them harsh? Why do some love bass heavy headphones while others find them overpowering? At the end of the day what you enjoy is entirely subjective and a flat response across all frequencies is probably anything BUT what is most enjoyable to you, simply because we all hear differently. That's why while you may perceive a "flat response" as "the best sound" for you and your system might actually sound terrible if you try it on a different system with different gear. Why do you think people love tube amps so much, especially the people who have extremely expensive sound systems (flat response aimed gear)? Because a completely flat response is anything but what live music sounds like, and tubes "boost", "distort", whatever you want to call it, the sound enough to make it enjoyable and less boring.
  3. GrindingThud
    No, you don't flatten out the spectrum, no one said that. You flatten an already flat spectrum. In equals out.....not wiggly in equals flat out.
  4. GrindingThud
    Take a signal, any signal or song....whatever. Play it into an earbud, a good speaker, and a ham sandwich.....listen from 10 feet away. Which do you think sounds most true to the real thing? Not a trick question.... No amount of eq will make the response of the sandwich correct. Nor will the earbud put out enough sound to hear properly at distance. Two speakers can be equalized to sound the same though....and they can be made to sound like the original.. The way you do is calibrate the system.
  5. elmoe
    "They can be made to sound like the original" according to what? Your ears? Then that is subjective. So while to YOU it may sound like "the original", to me it may sound completely different from the original, and to both of us it may sound completely different from a "live performance sound".
    I understand what you're saying, you calibrate your EQ to correct the "faults" in your speakers, but you do this according to what YOU hear, and we all hear differently. So while that may in fact be a "flat response" as far as the gear is concerned, when your own ears come into the equation, it's a completely different story.
    And it doesn't strictly have to do with what you CAN hear, but also what you ENJOY hearing. That's also very subjective. Some enjoy a "bright, treble heavy" sound, others find it harsh and annoying.
  6. Claritas
    It does seem that maybe we're talking at cross purposes.
    Consider Grados. I use a pair of 80i to listen to Bach's organ works. They're not flat at all: a very steep bass roll off and sharp spikes in the treble. Do they sound realistic? Um, no. Do I enjoy them? Oh, hell yes! I'm wondering if the same can't be said about tubes.
  7. GrindingThud
    No, you use a white noise closed loop calibration system. Some av receivers have them built in....even cheap ones.
  8. GrindingThud
    Completely agree. What I like to listen to is not flat calibrated. :)

  9. Claritas
    So if there's nothing wrong with enjoying Grados, what's wrong with enjoying tubes?
  10. elmoe
    Yes, I think Grados are the best example to give as far as headphones are concerned. My SR325i are a love/hate headphone because of their treble heavy response (as are my SA5000, see a pattern developing? [​IMG]) Personally, and I've listened to systems that are maybe 20 times the price of mine, I've yet to hear anything more enjoyable than my SR325i paired with the MPX3 + BM DAC1. Yes, they're not as detailed as some of the more expensive setups, the soundstage isn't as wide, the imaging isn't as good, but they're just incredibly fun with classic rock, and I've yet to hear any combination of headphone+amp+dac that can make me enjoy the music the way I do in my own system (and I've heard a LOT of systems in the past 10 years), which by the way took me years of trial and error so that I could match the right gear to get the sound I have now.
    I've tried countless solid state amps, a few (not many) tube amps, and quite a few DACs and headphones. I didn't settle on a tube amp "by chance". When I put Hendrix on I want the guitar to have some "grit" (yes, another vague adjective, sue me [​IMG]) and tubes give me that kind of sound. I can EQ as much as I want with a solid state amp, I won't get that kind of sound.
  11. GrindingThud
    Nothing at all, I have a WA3 OTL tube amp and like it.....also like my krell clone SS amp. I swap between them depending on mood and music. I was only trying to add clarity to calibration and the meaning of flat calibration.....which clearly I failed at. :)
  12. elmoe
    You didn't fail at all, it's not such a complicated concept to grasp... Perhaps my english is not up to par to express myself the way I'd like, but my point is that while your gear may bring out a flat response, you cannot calibrate your ears, and a "flat response" might not be the sound that you enjoy most (and in my experience, rarely is). Seems to be true since you yourself own a tube amp [​IMG]
  13. GrindingThud
    On this we agree..... :wink:

  14. bigshot

    Natural sound is not colored. It is what it is.
    If you record natural sound to a recording medium with a flat response, the recording will have the same frequency response that the mikes picked up from the natural sound.
    Recording engineers creatively adjust response during mixing to improve the sound as an overall balanced recording.
    When the engineers creatively mix music, they listen on studio monitors calibrated to a flat response.
    If you calibrate your speakers to a flat response and play back a CD mixed this way, you will hear the same thing the engineers did.

    If you want realistic playback of direct recordings, you want a flat response.
    If you want accurate playback of music that has been creatively mixed, you want a flat response.

    You start with an accurate balanced response. Then if you feel like a ham sandwich, you fiddle with the bass and treble. But unless you start with a balanced response, you have no idea how it was intended to sound.

    Very few people have heard recordings played back with a balanced response. It takes some work to accomplish.
  15. Claritas
    bigshot, I never doubted that for studio work one needs flat equipment. I wasn't suggesting using Grados or tubes there. But what's the harm of using them at home for fun? 
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