What does flat sound like?
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bigshot

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ
Well, the last sentence is a bit of wishful thinking. But let me elaborate why.


I'm afraid I read your post a few times, but I couldn't make hide nor hair out of it. But one thing I did understand enough to comment on...

The horns my friend has designed for his system don't corrupt the sound, they improve it. He's using exponential horn technology based on the studies done at Bell Laboratories in the 20s and 30s to create bass speakers with a perfectly flat response all the way up the frequency range.

He's come up with a design that is highly directional... so if you sat in the back row of the Hollywood Bowl you would hear the exact same sound as from the front row... using the exact same speakers. Normally, bass disperses over distance, and to reach the back, they have to either install speakers further back in the audience, or power the front speakers to higher volume levels to carry. But my friend's horn design makes the sound highly directional, so it carries all the way to the back with no loss in frequency response. In his home system, only the bass speakers are horn loaded, but in the full arena sized system, his other drivers are horn loaded too. This can allow him to set up in a field in the middle of a residential area and pump sound to an audience without any significant spill to the surrounding neighborhood.

The way his listening room is set up, the sound is right there in front of you. It's a well laid out listening room. I was hearing exactly what he intended me to hear... the room wasn't coloring the presentation.

See ya
Steve
 
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post-1456954
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bigshot

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wualta
You performed a simple crescendo test. And you found out that despite your friend's use of a calibration system that wasn't state of the art even 35 years ago, he's managed to come closer than most home systems that you're familiar with to a flat frequency response, despite the fact that the speakers, microphone, room and equalizer are all very very imperfect. The proof that he did is your reaction to this test, and the other listening tests.


You missed the point of what I was talking about here. I wasn't talking about home systems. I was talking about concert PA systems. No one in a normal residential neighborhood could ever possibly get the volume up to the level we monitored it at. There would be no reason to. People don't get tintinitis at home... they get it at the rock show.

As for state of the art 35 years ago... everything I've learned has told me that the state of the art 35 years ago was much more based on principles that really made a difference than today. The greatest sounding recording I have ever heard was made in 1956. (Fiedler Gaietie Parisienne/Living Stereo) I haven't heard another since that comes close to matching it. If a modern recording could find a way to do with an infinite number of channels and super high fidelity digital recording what they did at RCA with three channels and an open reel tape deck, I would be very happy. My suspicion is that they won't do that by higher sampling rates or gold plated cabling... They'll do it by paying attention to the basics of sound reproduction.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wualta
All things are relative, of course. With room treatments (and I mean real room treatments, involving partial demolition, concrete slabs, floating subfloors and lead sheeting), gated impulse-response measurements and further modern bla bla, you could be hearing reproduction that's as much improved over your friend's system as his system is over yours.


Nope. I know that trick... Audiophiles play it all the time. "You weren't hearing the REAL sound because they weren't using X cable!" or "Unless they ripped out the subflooring and installed a gutta percha mat over a corrugated concrete slab..." etc.

I sat in an open room with carefully designed acoustic surfaces. I sat in front of the speakers with an unobstructed view. The sound was right there in front of me. I heard exactly what my friend intended me to hear. He was sitting right next to me and making sure of that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wualta
Remember the bumblebee. It shouldn't work, it can't possibly work. Flat response is impossible, an engineering wet dream, a mirage, give up now.


This sort of attitude is exactly why sound 35 years ago sounded so much better! Technology has improved the methods we use to record and the ways we measure sound, but the basic acoustic principles of sound reproduction have been abandoned because we spend so much time splitting hairs into more and more tiny slices that we completely ignore the overall balances.

See ya
Steve
 
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post-1456976
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wualta

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bigshot
You missed the point of what I was talking about here.


Don't think so, since I agree with just about every point you've made. Perhaps I didn't make myself clear.
 
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post-1457265
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donunus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ
With headphones -- believe it or not -- it's even more complicated, because considering individual anatomics you have to take the whole head/ear/headphone system into account, not just the drivers. The headphone developers' attempt to create some sort of a universally valid ear curve is not more than that -- that's why perception and rating of different headphones by different people are so diversified.


There is less of a concrete standard in headphone measurements but at least the differences in sound from the same set of headphones will vary less from ear to ear than that of speakers differences from room to room. Thats whats so nice about reading headphone reviews. If done by a reliable listener/writer, The review of a headphone will usually tell us everything we want to know accurately while with speakers, especially very wide dispersion speakers like planars(eg..magnepans), the sound will vary quite a bit from room to room.

As for someone saying horns are slow due to the fact that they give you sound reflected of the horn. Of course thats a valid point. I guess its the compression drivers that sound fast. fast enough that even going through the horns they still seem to sound fast. Man! do my horns sound fast... hehehe
 
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donunus

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Well, Bigshot, Good luck on your endeavors. I went through the hardcore room eqing/acoustic correction bit before, it's a pain and is worth it when youre done with setup but... as soon as something(cd) bad sounding comes along, it gets to be annoying... makes you want to ruin your eq settings. I personally gave it up.

But your real mission here isn't that though, is it? It's about headphones, like I said before, just listen to a bunch of great headphones, get your favorite one to start with... then if you want... eq the hell out of it


I am interested to hear the developments of your quest, please post your findings on head-fi. I love to hear or read these things about one's quest for perfection. very enjoyable

I give this post a thumbs up
 
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donunus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bigshot
This falls under the heading of psycho-acoustics. There are a bunch of principles involved... but masking is going to be the one that would apply to headphones the most. I'm sure a google search on psycho acoustics masking will bring up some interesting stuff.

See ya
Steve



This was a reply to my question on who the real authority on what the perfect measurements for headphones are... Well, there are theories and studies on this(ear responses and what not) like you are saying but nobodys got it "perfectly" correct yet. Even the most expensive headphone, the sennheiser orpheus still cannot mimic the exact sound of the original performance. Surely you might be able to tell if the recording venue is carnegie hall and how many musicians are playing and everything but don't tell me that if you were hit by a baseball bat, get knocked out and wake up blind and you were asked to tell if you were actually in carnegie hall or you were just listening to the orpheus that you can't tell! I haven't heard the orpheus but if you couldn't tell whether you were actually in the venue listening to the real performance or listening to the orpheus, what are people still doing arguing about sound??? We would have achieved the holy grail. Headfi would only be a taste war if that was the case. no more battles for realism in sound.
 
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JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
There is less of a concrete standard in headphone measurements but at least the differences in sound from the same set of headphones will vary less from ear to ear than that of speakers differences from room to room. Thats whats so nice about reading headphone reviews. If done by a reliable listener/writer, The review of a headphone will usually tell us everything we want to know accurately while with speakers, especially very wide dispersion speakers like planars(eg..magnepans), the sound will vary quite a bit from room to room.


I should have used «difficult» instead of «complicated»: It's more difficult to metrologically grasp headphone sound than speaker sound. After having measured all parameters of a speaker (exact radiation pattern included!) it's relatively easy to make fairly exact predictions about the expectable sound characteristic. Of course you would have to measure the properties of the listening room with comparable accuracy if you wanted to include it into your prediction -- but that wasn't my intention. It's just that you can't measure headphones without the listener -- or at least a dummy head with average ear shape. But you can measure speakers in an anechoic chamber or in the free field and will get valid results.

Quote:

As for someone saying horns are slow due to the fact that they give you sound reflected of the horn. Of course thats a valid point. I guess its the compression drivers that sound fast. fast enough that even going through the horns they still seem to sound fast.


That's exactly what I think too! Unfortunately the measurings (waterfall plots) tell they are slow...


 
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bigshot

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Quote:

Originally Posted by donunus
Well, Bigshot, Good luck on your endeavors. I went through the hardcore room eqing/acoustic correction bit before, it's a pain and is worth it when youre done with setup but... as soon as something(cd) bad sounding comes along, it gets to be annoying... makes you want to ruin your eq settings. I personally gave it up.


I'm afraid my own listening space is very cluttered and wouldn't merit the degree of tweaking my friend is able to do with his dedicated listening room. But I have found a workaround that helps a lot. I raised the height of my speakers so they clear over the tops of all of the furniture. That made a huge difference in the way they fill the space.

See ya
Steve
 
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