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Stereophile Reviewer Uses Plastic Computer Speakers

 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17006
Registered: May-04
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"Summvs (CD, Raster-Noton R-N132) is the fifth and final installment in the stirring and lovely Virus series of recordings from electronic composers Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto. In "By This River," a great open space is punctuated by wonderfully physical low-frequency pulses and startling high-frequency buzzes and chirps, while a rising progression of reverberant piano chords creates a lulling melody. Not only is the piece beautiful and emotionally powerful, it's a fine test of any system, filled with quick, hypnotic stereo effects, sudden stops and starts, and profoundly deep silences. I find it fascinating (and somewhat sad) that much of what makes this music special is lost through lesser systems. For instance, through my office system of Dell laptop and plastic computer speakers, "By This River" sounds disjointed, one-dimensional, and uninvolving; at home, through the hi-fi, it's a rich, soul-stirring experience."; http://www.stereophile.com/content/entry-level-12-page-2


This is a "professional" reviewer writing this? He's "fascinated" and "saddened" his plastic computer speakers suck? I don't understand what has happened to Stereophile. Well, I do and that is sad.






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Gold Member
Username: Nickelbut10

Canada

Post Number: 3607
Registered: Jun-07
What did this guy expect?lol

" It is sad to think that this great dish, freshly made tasted very poor when thrown into a pile of steaming dog crap, when thrown onto a clean plate, provided a delicious taste"

IdiotPhile - Dont throw your food into a pile of dog crap.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14986
Registered: Feb-05
A lot of folks are up in arms over that column "The Entry Level". I can name quite a number of folks who would string up Stepen Mejias if they had the chance. I didn't mind it much at first because I didn't take it seriously. It was Stereophile taking a stab at a lifestyle column. However the longer it goes on, it seems, the more ridiculous it gets.

Stereophile had IMO taken over as the better of the 2 big U.S. audio publications but the fact that Mejias continues this column and that it has a following has helped make Stereophile laughable. Not where you want to be, I would think.

Just my opinion. I read audio mags more for the pics these days and I buy none, why would I. I get the pics in catalogs for free.

BTW, I let my Stereophile subscription lapse after October.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1455
Registered: Jul-07
"Profoundly deep silences" ?

Dude, you're between tracks.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17009
Registered: May-04
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Disclosure: I allowed my subscription to Stereophile lapse several years ago. I was a member of the Sterophile forums and I was banned for whatever reason the Stereophile moderators - Stephen Mejias is one of them - would care to say. They have their opinions and I have my own. The longer I participated in Stereophile's forums, the less I cared for audio - they (various members of the forums and the Stereophile moderators themself) literally sucked the enjoyment of this hobby out of me. I have a full catalog of Stereophile's back issues well into the early 1980's and I always thought as long as Holt and Archibald ran the magazine, they offered a truly useful service with at times valuable insight into the personal experiences of music and audio.


Today Stereophile is a complete joke. The forum archives are a waste of time, they have been chopped to pieces to the point they make no sense, they are missing large swaths of posts which then make reading a thread all but impossible and they end abruptly which looks as though the world came to an end in the Stereophile forums. The simplest of questions actually pertaining to equipment cannot be answered by those who are still participating in the forums. The only threads which have any traffic are still those in which the uninformed and wholey uncivilized take even more opportunities to insult May Belt. I stopped by there yesterday after receiving the monthly emailed Stereophile newsletter - why I still receive it I don't know but it is what prompted this thread.

Mejias and Ariel Brittan are JA's up and coming sockpuppets. Brittan seems to have taken on the role of enforcer who's job it is to be snarky and rude to anyone who disagrees with Stereophile's policies or opinions. Mejias's favorite complaint to forum members was he was too busy to moderate the forum - which was his job as far as I understood. Atkinson's blatant favoritism and uneven - many would say unfair and illogical - treatment of individual members of the forums was clearly stated. Mejias is very young and knows nothing about audio other than what Atkinson wants him to know or think at the moment.

With very few exceptions the reviewing staff of Stereophile now consists of people with a very limited knowledge of audio and some very unusual perspectives on how to go about this hobby. I can easily recall a conversation I had with Erich Lichte who feels cables made an improvement in his system though he fully expected them not to. But he still feels any tweak or modification to a system which crosses a borderline of "X" price point is undoubtedly "snake oil". He can't define at what point "X" price point is located nor can he explain why he feels those items are not at least worthy of an audition - actually he got fairly steamed when I asked him the question. He can't explain why cables do make an improvement in his system yet he feels any tweak he doesn't understand - can't explain - is still "snake oil" and not worth his time or consideration. And so it goes with most of Stereophile's current crop of reviewer's who all seem to have been hand picked by JA for the very reason he could manipulate their thinking and output. I see no other reason why a major audio review magazine firmly established as a subjective review source would have reviewers who have so little knowledge of audio and a seeming lack of interest in actually understanding the subject or being open to outside ideas regarding the topic.

My personal feelings for Mejias aside, his writings are a joke of the first order. His "entry level" writings - an audio "reviewer's" journey through mostly cheap crap from the persective of someone who began as a completely ignorant sloth and has progressed little other than he has purchased lots of discs and has been kept busy by JA doing JA's dirty work - is an embarassment. Yes, a Rega P-1 needs to be reviewed but by a competent reviewer who can acutally put it in a perspective of superior performers. Mejias has said he now regrets buying a P3-24 because he likes the P1 with an Ortofon OM5 cartridge so much?!!! I'm sure Rega was welcome to hear that bit of news. And, why, in a major audio magazine, would I really want to hear about how sad the reviewer is that his plastic computer speakers make music sound like crap? With electronic music no less! Holt must be rolling in his grave as he argued for decades against most amplified music as a reference source.

Long ago Sam Tellig had grown tiresome and has had nothing of value to say other than his curmudgeonly comments regarding topics unrelated to audio and his too-close relationships within the audio industry. Art Dudley is apparently going through the paces as he's pretty much burned his bridges at any other audio magazine. What he reviews today is such a small niche area of audio as to be largely uninteresting, which likely accounts for his non-reviews of largely uninteresting or mostly unavailable audio equipment; http://www.stereophile.com/content/listening-108

Read any review in Stereophile today and you'll come away with the impression there really is no need to spend any more than the cost of a NAD 316BEE and a $19 Monster Cable ic. When the reviewer - who appears not to know much of anything about audio or music - claims they could be perfectly satisfied with a $400 integrated amplifer, of what value are the comments which pertain to a $15K amplifier or even a $1k pre amp? And, am I really expected to buy any component only because at 0':55" into track three of a disc I don't care to own, the cymbals rang with greater clarity on this amplifier than the reviewer had ever before heard in his system?

If the high end industry is diminsihing with the aging of those enthusiasts/hobbyists/listeners/buyers who had built it over the last half of the 20th century, Stereophile is not only not contributing any CPR, they would appear to be kicking the victim while they're down. It's difficut to be believe this is what the public actually wants from a subjective review magazine. The current version of Stereophile would appear to be a meager copy of the very uninformative Stereo Review type of BS that J. Gordon Holt back in the early '60's had initially and fervently rejected as completely non-informative BS. I suppose those of us who suspected as much were right in our assumptions the day we saw Holt writing for TAS. It was like Bill Clinton becoming a Republican spokesman out of frustration with his old party.



And I truly do not want to see what has happened to the British magazine HiFi News (and Record Review). Anyone writing for that magazine who had ever expressed an opinion or had some useful knowledge also appears now to just write the sort of drivel demanded by the editors or to have left for better pastures - though I can't find where they might be grazing at the moment. Without a thriving review base and with the rather rapid loss of independent dealers who have not devoted their entire inventory to home theatre, this doesn't look good for this hobby. In a poor economy, are we to be left to dealers such as ALO (Miniwatt) who are happy to make a profit by not selling a product? I sincerely hope not.



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New member
Username: Stephen_mejias

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-11
Hi Jan.
I wasn't saddened to learn that my computer speakers suck. (By the way, the computer and speakers I'm talking about are the ones issued by the company -- everyone here in the office uses pretty much the same equipment, just like most office environments, I imagine.)

However, it does make me sad to think that so many people listen to music using equipment that doesn't allow the music to be fully conveyed. I think that's a shame. Don't you? Of course, this isn't big news to you and me; we already know that a good system respects the music in a way that plastic computer speakers or cheap earbuds can't.

I do enjoy a lot of electronic music -- both for the music and the sound -- and I think that electronic music can do a very good job of showcasing the strengths of a hi-fi component. That electronic music composers create work with such dynamic range, depth, and wonderful spatial effects is evidence of a strong faith in their audience and a boon to high-end audio.

I only wish that everyone could hear the full depth, texture, and beauty of the music. That's the point I was trying to make. I hope that's clear now.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14987
Registered: Feb-05
Welcome Stephen,

You never did answer my question on your blog. You had stated that there was something that you liked more about the Rega RP1 than the P3-24 and I asked what. Primarily because I've owned both and agreed...just wanted your perspective as you never gave any detail that I could find as to what you meant.

Relative to your column...I enjoyed it up until the Music Hall USB table, which is atrocious (perhaps I simply haven't heard it under the right circumstances), at that point I kind of lost faith.

Would love to see you join us at Audiokarma and perhaps introduce yourself. Couple of guys over there who would benefit from an explanation as to what you are attempting to address with your column "The Entry Level". The Column is a great idea and perhaps some input wouldn't hurt. Open invite...

Happy Holiday to you and yours!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17011
Registered: May-04
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Why, Stephen! I was thinking about you just the other day even before the Stereophile email came in. Though I find it rather creepy that you would find me on this forum just as I mention Stereophile. Was there a reason for that? Doing some trolling in your spare time? I didn't think you had any spare time.


I see the forum isn't very busy nowdays. Not a single person who can actually take the time to answer anyone's questions about audio; http://www.stereophile.com/forums/general-discussion/entry-level

That's pretty sad. What happened to jackfish, he used to have some good information to share?

I do think it's a shame so many people have an attitude regarding music that relegates it to wallpaper status. But, I have to ask, Stephen, if you weren't saddened to learn your plastic speakers make music suck, why did you say you were? "I find it fascinating (and somewhat sad) that much of what makes this music special is lost through lesser systems."

I haven't read much of your stuff since your perspective isn't very interesting to me and I haven't found any information you possess that I am in need of but I am disheartened Stereophile has reached the level where good information regarding music and audio are so difficult to find from the current magazine's writers and forum. What have you done to Dudley? I once asked JA how he could call what is available online, "The online audio authority". He told me there was more than just the forums to find on line. After trying to find anything on the current website, I'd still ask the same question. It pretty well sucks right now, guy.

You guys did suck the enjoyment of the hobby from me. From what I can tell on the outside, you're doing nothing to make audio enjoyable for anyone else. I wish I wasn't so negative about my experience with the forums - for more than two decades I truly respected what the magazine represented and I use Holt's columns as a reference here quite frequently - but I think you've kind of made you own messy bed. From what I understand you're still successful from a monetary standpoint - stock's doing well now? - but there's more to success than money. John was left something very special. IMO he hasn't taken good care of it.



Aren't you guys kind of tired of all the jerks constantly beating up on May? I read one thread that suggested you should let a few of us "bannees" back on the forum just to liven things up again.



So what brought you here, Stephen?



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New member
Username: Stephen_mejias

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-11
Thank you for the welcome, Art. I'm sorry to say I don't remember that exchange, and I don't know what I could have been talking about. If you happen to have a link to the blog entry, I'd be happy to go back to it.

Prior to receiving the RP-1, I did worry that it would outperform my much more expensive P3-24. After listening, however, I found that that wasn't actually the case. The RP-1 represents great value, but I still think the P3-24 is a superior performer, especially in the extreme highs and lows and in terms of low-level resolution and tracking ability. But at $450, the RP-1 is hard to beat. I might still end up buying one to use as an affordable reference.

I think the Music Hall USB-1 is a fun turntable and especially great for the person who just wants to quickly and easily listen to their LPs, while having the added option of recording their vinyl to a PC. I recommend it to anyone with a limited budget who's just getting into analog. I think it's a great gateway product and, at $250, it's priced fairly.

Happy holidays.
 

New member
Username: Stephen_mejias

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-11
Jan: Stereophile editor John Atkinson sent me a link to your initial post and I decided to respond.

I won't try to explain my statement again. I don't think I can be clearer than I've already been.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 14989
Registered: Feb-05
Here you go, Stephen and thank you for taking a look. Refreshing when a member of the audio press joins us for discussion.

http://www.stereophile.com/content/suggestion-important-records-and-rega%E2%80%9 9s-rp-1
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17012
Registered: May-04
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"Jan: Stereophile editor John Atkinson sent me a link to your initial post and I decided to respond.

I won't try to explain my statement again. I don't think I can be clearer than I've already been."




Well, now I'm really confused as to why John would have found my post on this forum. And why he would have forwarded it to you. And why you would think it necessary to respond in a defensive manner to my post. Any way you slice it, that's pretty creepy.


And I agree, Stephen, you can't make your statement any more clear no matter how many times you try. Try this next time, "Cheap audio sucks!" Read some of Holt's writings, Stephen, they can only help you.



Tell John to get someone to help the newbies on the forum. It's really pathetic that someone turns to Stereophile for basic information and good answers and no one bothers to help at all.



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Gold Member
Username: Dakulis

Spokane, Washington United States

Post Number: 1318
Registered: May-05
Read the entire review. Found that the part that Jan discusses at the beginning of the thread was fairly minor and probably didn't need to be said. It's kinda like "crappy equipment doesn't sound good". Hey, I never would have reached that conclusion. (This gentlemen is sarcasm, can't you see the dripping.)

That said, I didn't find the article nearly as annoying as I thought I would given Jan's intro. He gives a reasonable review of a lower to moderate CDP and gives a reasonable idea about some of its strengths and weaknesses. I'm afraid I don't read Stereophile regularly so I can't say that I know Mr. Mejias' intent.

However, if he is providing advice/reviews to folks that are looking at low end to moderate entry level gear, I can't fault the review. It might have been helpful to compare it to similar CDPs in the same price range and tell us how it distinguishes itself or fails against those CDPs.

He did compare it to his own system CDP and distinguish it from that. But, it's a fairly large jump from $500 to $1400 so it would help to know how it performs against competition in its own class unless he was going to use the proverbial "it performed like a CDP that was 3 times it's cost."

Dave
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17014
Registered: May-04
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Dak, I wouldn't have even read the review - as I said, SM's opinions don't much matter to me - if the paragraph I quoted above was not in the teaser within the main body of the Stereophile email. Reading that statement and, like you, realizing I would have never come to that conclusion on my own, I just had to click on "continue reading ... ".








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Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15011
Registered: Feb-05
Must say that I'm just a bit disappointed that Stephen didn't return to answer the questions that were asked on his blog a few months ago and brought to his attention here. Seemed sincere.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17016
Registered: May-04
.

IMO he can't, Art. Mejias is ahead of someone such as Ariel in the current Stereophile stable but he's still very new to high end audio. SM has certainly experienced very high end systems but I'm not sure he's at a point where he can learn from them. He somewhat participated in a thread regarding LP demagnetization as he was along when JA visited Fremer's house and a demagnetized disc was played. Read Fremer's equipment list and there should be something to be learned from even a brief exposure to such a line up of products. However, I don't think Mejias has the vocabulary to express well what he hears and I don't believe he fully understands how to listen.

I don't care that someone listens to electronic music but, as Holt clearly stated and argued on many occasions, non-amplified instruments are not "a fine test of any system". While some latitude has been granted to amplified instruments as a "reference" source, what is the timbre of a "buzz"? How should the soundstage appear when all sounds are created entirely within a machine and have never seen the light of day until played back on a system? Approximately how much depth would be accurate to such a recorded soundstage? What shape would that soundstage take? That of the Village Vaguard? Or, possibly Carnegie Hall? What degree of nuance in performance sets one electronic music creator/composer/performer apart from another? Breath control? Note duration? Pitch manipuation? Maybe just the pacing, timing and rhythmic interplay which sets along side and in contrast to the other signals which had previously been created within the machine? Possibly the use of multiple machines?


While many of us might be familiar with the performance style and the unique sound of Billy Preston on a Hammond B3 organ with 6L6 tube amplification driving a Leslie speaker, what is the sound of a Dell computer? Would the performance be different in any significant way should the composer/performer use a Mac? In the same way the intrepretation of a song is changed when a new performer plays Robert Johnson's "Hell Hound on my Trail" with a modern acoustic guitar rather than a vintage Gibson L1? Or is everthing still just a series of 1's and 0's? What is the sound of a "0"?

Are the "profoundly deep silences" found on SM's album of choice as moving and spiritual as might be the initial breath taken in by audience and performer alike just before the well rosined bow moves across the strings of a 17th century violin, as together they break the truly deep and truly profound silence of an 18th century stone chapel? Is not the breath of a human being coursing through a single five hole wooden flute far more profound than any silence created by a lack of 1's and 0's? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5X5A2NTyBjQ If there is silence in an electronic music recording, is there something there? Or, nothing? Would the silence of a symphony hall between movements be something? Or, nothing?

When we listen to a live recording of any music, is there not a communication between artists and between individual performers and the audience as a whole which excites us? Where is that communication when there is a solitary performer punching buttons on a computer?

Maybe these things don't matter today in a world of listeners who have turned music into sonic wallpaper. However, those are the very things I am aware of when I listen to music. Any jazz player should know before they ever perform in front of an audience the golden rule of jazz; it is not what you play that matters but what you leave out. Is that not what a great system can display with ease? What has been left out? Is that not how a great system allows a deeper understanding of and communication with the artist? How does electronic music test a system's ability to do so? If a computer leaves something out, what is it that it has not been included?



That's not to say I don't own any electronic music. I do, in small quanities. But none that I own has ever had as profound an effect on me as listening to Leadbelly all alone with his instrument playing "Goodnight, Irene". I can research Leadbelly to more fully comprehend why that song exists. I have a living human being with whom I can draw a connection. A history I can place in perspective. I have yet to find a piece of electronic music which has the same emotional connection as I find in Fats Waller's wildly tempoed playing, Billy Holiday's soul stirring moans or Edith Piaf's forlorn laments.



SM doesn't listen to only electronic music but his library is filled with music which - if we are to believe what he has written regarding his buying habits - would indicate he is not entirely familiar with the sound of non-amplified instruments. You don't have to know note by note the entire Ring Cycle to put together a decent audio system but words will fail you when asked to develop and expand upon an idea of what you are hearing if your main reference is music which only exists within a machine.

In the review linked to in this thread, SM states ... well, I can't quote what he wrote as the article seems to have dispappeared far deeper into the Stereophile home page. I suppose it disappeared to keep those who would like to "string up" SM for what he said at bay for a little while longer? I believe he says something to the effect good equipment should make him want to buy more music. While I'm all for the music being the end and not the means, good equipment exists for me to delve deeper into the music I already believe I know. Nit picking a point? Possibly, as I do my fair share of music buying.


Here's something SM writes in another Entry Level comumn, "We can learn something from sweet pop music. What I learned from )Twin Sisters') 'Stop' was that the Energy CB-10 was producing too much bass."


Really?! That's what was learned from the music? Maybe I'm wrong but, did SM try the speakers in another location? With other equipment? Is that not what you would expect from a more seasoned reviewer? If he did so, it is not mentioned in his writing. Is it possibe to make this decision based solely on one song? Isn't that using the music as the tool and not the other way around? Mejias writes constantly of his emotional connection with the music when played through certain components; "It didn't matter if I was in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or the stairway leading to my apartment: If music was playing through the A 25s, I was drawn to it. Casual listening was at once more enjoyable and almost impossibleâ€"something special was happening in my listening room, and I had to pay close attention to it." The triteness of the sentence aside, if this is the best SM can do to describe - even in audio shorthand - the effect of a specific component upon music, then, IMO, Mejias has a very long way to go before he reaches the level of sophomoric. I too place the enjoyment of a performer before the accuracy of the presentation made by the equipment. But, not having read much of SM's writing, I have failed to see that explained by SM as a priority he holds.

SM and JA seldom participated in the Stereophile forums. When they did, however, it was clear Atkinson had developed his priorities long ago. He should have, he claims John Crabbe as one of his mentors at HFNRR. SM on the other hand had little available to explain his comments and generally did not justify what he stated. And that is what I see in most of the current Stereophile reviewers' comments. They are far from where Holt was as he built an industry while forming a unique and new vocabulary from the ground up. In the current iteration of the magazine, it is now largely, "I found that on classic recordings such as Bill Evans' The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 (CD, Riverside 4443), the Zodiac Gold's tone was slightly more "analog-like," in that the percussive attack of Evans' piano was ever so slightly rounder; through the Musical Fidelity M1, the piano attack had a little more metal in its sound."

That, even from reviewers who should know better.


Possibly all current audio has finally begun to sound so much alike that what occurs at any fragmented moment to set one component apart from another is meaningful to readers. I don't know since I honestly cannot comprehend this being what people demand from a subjective review magazine. Is this truly how people judge equipment nowdays? If so, then JA has undermined the very thing JGH protested.



Mejias often seems to comment on a recording made by a band in which he played and tends, as far as I can see, to use this recording as a reference. He would appear not to understand that as a performer, he would be the least likely to know what the recording should sound like. While I can accept that JA would have a clear idea of what a recording he made, say, of Attention Screen's one night performance, might sound like and that I can buy that recording and hear, according the Atkinson's comments on the recording, as good an approximation of what the audience would have heard that night, what the preformers on stage were attentive to was nothing at all like what Atkinson would be have been listening for.

The content of Stereophile's main webpage is filled with SM's writings. He is indeed a busy young man. Too busy, IMO, to learn from his own mistakes.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17017
Registered: May-04
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http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/the_preservation_of_inspiration/index.html

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/122/index.html

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/111/index.html




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17018
Registered: May-04
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I'd welcome anyone's comments on what I've written above. Or to Holt's columns. Whether you agree or disagree, possibly we can turn this thread into a learning experience for ourself.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1151
Registered: Dec-06
Jan, have you read Arthur Salvatore's site? What do you think of it?

I did not fully read the last link you posted, but I think I've read most of that debate before. I've a thought regarding Holt's assertion that only acoustic instruments should be used in evaluating a system's fidelity. Holt, I take it, would feel that a Les Paul electric played through a Marshall amp is inappropriate as a reference because the electronics within the path lead to artifacts that in turn affect the sound.

I would argue that for Holt to be right, the key must be that these artifacts are inconsistent from performance to performance. If we don't know exactly how the combination will sound then it cannot be a reference. However, is this the case? It may be amplified, but is there something to suggest it sounds different from one day to the next? Because if it sounds the same then it should be as valid a reference as any. In order to gauge accuracy we need a reference. If we have one and know what it sounds like then we can determine whether a system can reproduce that sound. And if the Les Paul/Marshall is so erratic that it does not sound the same from day to day, what does that say about the system we are playing it back on? Think that amp and those speakers sound the same? The "impeccable" system that Holt assumes if fixed might not sound quite so impeccable tomorrow.

I think it's likely that an acoustic guitar might vary in sound to some degree, based on factors like temperature and humidity. These may even affect an acoustic guitar more than it affects an electric guitar.

That said, I think I've come around a bit to Jan's argument that live music is the best reference. There really is no way to know how a song is supposed to sound after it has been tinkered with in the studio for hours and hours, and probably recorded in bits and pieces directly into the recording equipment. Much of the music I own, while still very enjoyable, does not sound quite as natural as some of the albums I have from 30+ years ago.

Another interesting comment that Holt made is when he talks about the rarity of a superb performance. It seems as if most performances to him are mediocre. Do those here, who often go to concerts, agree with this? When you go to see live music, is it only okay at best 8 or 9 times out of 10, but great perhaps just that 1 other time?

I've paid more attention to live music lately. I hear what Holt said, that it often sounds light, at least until bass makes it's presence known. It has great immediacy and dynamics, a liveliness that recorded music seems to often be missing - a lack of transparency I suppose. This is why, likely in 2012, I will be exploring tubes with high efficiency speakers.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17020
Registered: May-04
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I have seen Salvatore's page before. Though, while I criticize Stereophile for what it has become vs what it started out intending to do, Salvatore takes the criticism to a new level. As he says, many of his criticisms are the result of one individual review. That he was once a retailer of high end gear makes his criticisms a bit more sour grapes sounding. IMO Atkinson and his current crew have jumped the shark and, therefore, deserve virtually any well grounded criticism thrown their way but Salvatore takes piling on to a new level. Salvatore aside for the moment, others - Arnie Krueger (http://electricguitareffectspedals.com/



You can see the multitude of issues Holt feels he must deal with just to comprehend the accuracy of a recorded Les Paul.

Now, let's make it a bit more complicated and have more than one guitar playing at the same time; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZBeerUD-zc

If you don't have the visual clues to assist you, how well can you do at distinguishing between a Fender Telecaster and a Fender Strat?



So far we've only covered the basics of what we might call "tone". Once we move to an instrument such as a drum set, we have to consider the numerous ways a drum kit can be recorded. http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=how%20to%20record%20a%20 drum%20set&type=

An engineer can have one mono mic on a full set, one stereo mic or a dozen mics on the entire set with mics meant to isolate each section of the kit. Of course, gain riding can be used to make any one portion of the kit stand out and with multiple mics the kit can be set across the entire width of the soundstage, front or rear of the stage or to one side or it could be established in a more realistic position. The distance of the mic from each portion of the mic will ultimately change the sound we hear and, therefore, alter the chracteristic tone of the instrument. Multiple mics also create time and phase issues where each mic has some degree of bleed through from another portion of the kit. The signal from two mics then would not be in accurate time or phase relationship.

With just the addition of the drums we've added issues of time and phase along with soundstaging and imaging. How do you cope with each and every variable in such a recording of only two instruments?



"I would argue that for Holt to be right, the key must be that these artifacts are inconsistent from performance to performance. If we don't know exactly how the combination will sound then it cannot be a reference. However, is this the case? It may be amplified, but is there something to suggest it sounds different from one day to the next? Because if it sounds the same then it should be as valid a reference as any."


I would say we've just seen there are no consistencies which can be used as a reference in your example. With so many variables to work with we might be able to clearly identify a Les Paul against a Strat - and I would encourage most listeners to do so - but one single instrument can change its sound innumerable ways in one single recording. Just within one song a player can make dramtic alterations to the sound of their instrument merely by moving one control.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17021
Registered: May-04
.

Compare the above to the techniques and approaches used in the Mercury Living Presence recordings of classical symphonies; http://www.kcstudio.com/wilmacozartfine2.html

BD: When you make a compact disc out of the tapes which were originally pressed onto LP, is there ever any desire to tamper with the balances or the acoustics or anything at all from the original?

WCF: Quite the opposite. What I strive for and work very hard to achieve is to actually recreate in two channel form the exact sound of the original three track master. That was the goal whenever we recorded the LPs and released them on an LP and that remains the goal for CD as well.


... We used the same three speakers and the same tape machine that I later used to re-master the LP or the CDs. So when he heard the playback at the session, he heard it over the same equipment exactly that we would be using in the studio ourselves.




BD: And most of the sessions were the three-mic setup?

WCF: That's correct

BD: How did you decide to distribute three channels into two channels?

WCF: If you notice, with the Mercury records, you always hear the center, but it isn't really there. It has been combined into the left and the right, and done in such a way that the illusion is complete all the way across the stage. In other words you don't have a hole there. You have the winds sitting back where they would when the orchestra was in its normal seating on the stage. I try to recreate exactly what that microphone picked up at the time of the session. Sometimes it's not always the same and also the acoustics of the hall determines how this works to a great extent. How close the mics are to each other is greatly influenced by the acoustics in the hall, so it's certainly not an arbitrary thing.




The Mercury Living Presence, along with the RCA Living Stereo, recordings are fifty to sixty years on still a handful of the best recordings ever made. They have been considered reference grade materials since their introduction. Like many other items "audiophile" reviewers made clear distinctions which copies they possessed - some would say in just another attempt at audiophile snobbery since many of the very best versions were already long out of print well before Stereophile and TAS were well known. Copies in excellent condition have been known to bring extremely high sums when they come up for sale almost embarrassing the vintage les Paul prices.

I can't say when I last saw a reviewer use one of the Mercury or RCA recordings as a reference. Other than during the short lived presence of SACD's and the reissue of many of the Mercury and RCA recordings in that format they seem to have faded from view. My recollection is the originals were favorites of JG Holt and Harry Pearson in their respective magazines.



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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17022
Registered: May-04
.

"I've paid more attention to live music lately. I hear what Holt said, that it often sounds light, at least until bass makes it's presence known. It has great immediacy and dynamics, a liveliness that recorded music seems to often be missing - a lack of transparency I suppose. This is why, likely in 2012, I will be exploring tubes with high efficiency speakers."



I don't see the connection you've made. How does live music's qualities lead you to thinking about tubes and high efficiency speakers?





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Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1153
Registered: Dec-06
Jan, I understand better now what you mean about the difficulties of using non-acoustic instruments as references. Hard to disagree with the argument really. Not to say it cannot be done but it's clearly a lot more manageable to use acoustic instruments. It's simply choosing the right tool for the job, not about making judgements on the music itself. When the job is complete no one is saying the listener can't go back to cranking out some amplified music.

As far as tubes and high efficiency speakers, I've only read about their remarkable transparency and ability to retrieve inner detail. I briefly heard what this kind of system can sound like and I think it's worth exploring further. I have heard my share of the typical 2 way box speaker with moderately powered solid state amp...it's time to try something different! Whether I end up buying a tube amp and speakers or not, I don't know. But it does appear to be quite affordable with products from Zu and Tekton, and a used amp from Rogue, Almarro, or Manley, or even a new one from Niteshade or Decware. I'm going to take is slow as there are many things to consider...single driver, crossover or no crossover (i.e. a cap to protect the tweeter), SET or push-pull, etc. What would work best for the music I like is the key.

Here's another question for you...besides looking at impedance graphs, do you know of a way to figure out whether a speaker is a good match for a tube amp (other than try it and see)? Basically, there are no online reviews with measurements for my speakers. Can one glean from the performance of a solid state amp whether a tube amp is likely to struggle?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17029
Registered: May-04
.

"It's simply choosing the right tool for the job, not about making judgements on the music itself. When the job is complete no one is saying the listener can't go back to cranking out some amplified music."




And that is essentially Holt's point when he says, "Bear this in mind when you read in a Stereophile record review that an electronic recording has "excellent" sound. It does not mean you can use that record as a system evaluation tool; merely that the record will sound very good on an already-very-good system. But this is the very trap that the audio industry has fallen into of late. Since electronic music has become the predominant source of America's music, we have succumbed to the temptation to use it as a yardstick for evaluating audio systems, and it is simply not adequate for that purpose."



Holt was a man of his time and education. I cannot remember any of his reviews which were not exclusively performed with classical music. However, IMO, Holt surely needed to examine his own words before passing judgement on amplified music. The most "acoustic" of all instruments is the human voice. It also happens to be the instrument with which all listeners are the most intimately familiar. It can, therefore, be considered that any vocalized music is an almost perfect diagnostic tool. And one that most listeners tend to forget no matter how many times they might hear the admonition to "get the midrange right first and foremost".

Now, assuming the vocalist wasn't trying to devour a cardiod microphone during the recording session - which would give the sound the well known "proximity effect"; http://artsites.ucsc.edu/EMS/music/tech_background/TE-20/Proximity_Effect.html - or your only reference to that voice is through an amplifier/speaker system which introduces its own charateristics, any human voice which has not intentionally been manipulated to change its human characteristics can be used as a very fine reference tool. Of course, swallowing a microphone is almost a necessity when recording high volume music unless each performer has been recorded in isolation from the vocalist(s). That, of course, brings up the more pertinent issue of how to "accurately" judge a recording's capacity to create a realistic soundstage and image when there was nothing there to begin with. Pan pots, chorusing and a dozen other studio tools can make for an interesting soundstage with pin point placement of performers left/right, fore and aft, behind and even in front of the speakers. But this virtual stage exists only within the control room console and it can be changed with the flick of a switch which makes it too intangible for reference work. The listener has no reference for what is correct and what is not unless the recording contains ample liner notes which would instruct exactly how the recording should appear when played back on equipment equivalent to the studio monitors and amplifiers.

This is another area where classical music has the advantage over amplified music when both are used as reference tools. More than 90% of all symphonic works of the last few centuries will have a more or less identical layout to the orchestra; violins to stage right/listener's left and french horns and trumpets to the listener's right. Bassoons, flutes and clarinets are more centralized. Drums and chimes along with tubas tend to be back towards the rear of the stage (though chimes and bells can often be moved to an extreme side location) and celli are towards the very front of the listener's right side with basses positioned between the celli and the tubas, French Horns, trumpets, etc. Composers will dictate certain rearrangements of the players on specific works (especially in film work) but this is what you will most typically find on a classical symphony stage.

If the music is of a more intimate nature, tendencies toward similar layouts are also observed. This is true of classical works ranging from sonata to duet along with jazz ensembles and even folk music styles.

Therefore, it is a simple matter to reach a conclusion as to the ability of a component to separate each instrumental group or even individual instruments at times. If the recording is of reference grade, then multiple voices within a chorus should be easily detected as individual voices which have the ability to rise up into one unified voice. The same would apply to violins and violas which may number as high as thirty players each between first and second performers in a full symphonic line up. The ability to distinguish first and second performers is quite important to most classical compositions and this then becomes an effective test of a system's ability to differentiate between two closely related instruments often playing in tandem. The same would be true of the ability to track both the steady one note thump of a bass drum along with the changing pitch of a bass line. In any amplified selection, all bets are off as far as imaging and soundstage along with timbre and tone.

If you tell me your system has "excellent staging", yet you are only referring to how the system portrays the final result of a recording assembled in the post production stages of mixing and mastering, you've told me nothing other than your system can play nice hifi games. If your system is not satisfying to you due to excessive brightness or warmth, thickness or thinness or other matters of frequency response and tone, I can only lead you to a reference grade source for those matters - which would be well recorded acoustic instruments. Along with the recording I would suggest you familiarize yourself with the way the instruments sound in a natural acoustic space - several different spaces actually. Otherwise, I truly don't know how you assemble even a "good" system when your references have no basis in reality. Besides, expanding your universe to include music you don't normally listen to is hardly bad advice for anyone. Just don't attend a symphony and listen only for how the acoustic instruments compare to your system's staging or timbre. Don't put the cart before the horse.


What Holt ignores, IMO, is what is available from non-acoustic sources. Performers such as B.B. King, Stanley Clarke, Johnny Cash, etc, all relied on amplified music to some extent. Clapton wouldn't be Clapton without amplifiers despite his excellent acoustic work. Where the classical repertoire is largely fixed and immovable, amplified music is moving forward with new ideas and new techniques of playing. Improvisation is all but forbidden in the classical music genre while it is many times the heart and soul of modern styles of playing. Rather than being fixed in a very specific style of performance, amplified music is always reinventing itself. How a blues players bends a note, what a jazz player leaves out, how the players communicate with each other are all in amplified music. The nuances and inflections each performer relies on as their stock and trade are just as important in one music genre as in any other. Along with, of course, their voice.

So, yes, Dan, the point is, "It's simply choosing the right tool for the job, not about making judgements on the music itself." No one can build a house with only one tool. You have many tools available to you in any style of music if only you learn how to select the correct tool for the job at hand. And, of course, it is equally important that you have a complete and thorough grounding in and understanding of the proper use of that tool. For that, acoustic music is essential and irreplaceable. Experiencing as much live music as possible is how you hear your real reference.



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New member
Username: Stephen_mejias

Post Number: 4
Registered: Dec-11
Art:
Sorry that I didn't get back to you sooner. I left the office on Thursday afternoon and spent very little time on a computer over the holiday weekend, so I didn't see you message until this morning.

Thanks for providing the link. My review took place over a year ago. I still couldn't remember what I was talking about, so I went back to my old notes. I was very impressed with the RP-1's RB101 tonearm. It felt more solidly built than the RB301 on my P3-24. The RP-1's entire tonearm mechanism, in fact, looked and felt better built -- the tonearm sat more securely in its support and, whereas the RB301 feels a bit loosey-goosey, the RB101 moved in all directions with a reassuring firmness. I also preferred the RP-1's lightweight phenolic resin platter over the P3-24's glass one, but this was more of an aesthetic preference than anything concerning performance. I didn't try swapping the platters on the 'tables.
 

New member
Username: Stephen_mejias

Post Number: 5
Registered: Dec-11
Dave: Thanks for reading my review of the Emotiva ERC-2 CD player. You're right: More comparisons to similarly priced players would be helpful. I wrote more about the ERC-2 in our January issue, on newsstands now, comparing it to a Sony PS-1 and then upgrading the Emotiva's stock power cord with an AudioQuest NTG-X3 AC cord.

In the February issue, which hits newsstands around January 17th, I write about the $300 NAD C515BEE CD player, and I think a bit about the future of the Compact Disc.

My goal with "The Entry Level" is to show that high-end audio doesn't have to be extremely high-priced. I would also like to introduce new music to our readers, introduce new readers to our magazine, and rekindle some of our longtime readers' passion for hi-fi by reminding them of the elements of their enthusiasm.

All of my columns (currently up to our December 2011 issue) can be found on Stereophile's website. If anyone has any questions or comments, I can always be reached at stephen.mejias@sorc.com.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 15061
Registered: Feb-05
Thank you for the clarification, Stephen. I couldn't agree more relative to the tonearms. Glad to see that Rega updated that to the new RB303 which is very nice.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17030
Registered: May-04
.


"As far as tubes and high efficiency speakers, I've only read about their remarkable transparency and ability to retrieve inner detail. I briefly heard what this kind of system can sound like and I think it's worth exploring further."



Here's the basic problem with what you've just said; you are going to use your ability to comprehend how music sounds by reading about the effects of an amplifier/speaker on music as it is described in a vocabulary which refers to your other senses. Even in a good review this can be tricky business - even more so if you are unfamilair with the reviewer's priorities and their past reviews.

If you are reading about this in an audio review, you must remember the purpose of that review is to have you come back for more. The reviewer then tends towards being an enabler and you are the person they are enabling. They get you to desire something you don't already possess and make it appear your life would be better with that item. Be careful with this sort of reporting as you can fall into the trap of just another constant circle of buying and experimenting. If other aspects of the system are not up to snuff, then just buying tubes and speakers isn't the answer. So, before you head off into that world, make sure all other details are tidied up and at their best.


Quite often a quick audition of a "different" sound is too intriguing to forget. As we all agree, "different" isn't better, it's just different. My advice would be to attend an audio show where you can have a taste of many different designers' viewpoints on music and audio. Even a small show with a handful of participants is worth the effort. Check around to find where such a show might take place in your area and then make plans to attend. Other than direct contact with live music, a show is one of the most informative experiences you can have in audio.




"I'm going to take is slow as there are many things to consider...single driver, crossover or no crossover (i.e. a cap to protect the tweeter), SET or push-pull, etc"


Just a word here, a cap doesn't exactly "protect" the tweeter. It is used as a simple first order hi-pass crossover. In such designs the lower frequency driver(s) would be allowed to use their own mechanical roll out to create the other half of the filter. A first order filter on a tweeter will demand fairly well designed and executed drivers as the low/high end of the driver's response will only be down roughly 6dB one octave below the stated crossover point. As with all other choices in audio, there are substantial trade offs to be found in such designs.




"Here's another question for you...besides looking at impedance graphs, do you know of a way to figure out whether a speaker is a good match for a tube amp (other than try it and see)? Basically, there are no online reviews with measurements for my speakers. Can one glean from the performance of a solid state amp whether a tube amp is likely to struggle?"




Impedance and phase angle are the most important measurements of a speaker's electrical values when it comes to pairing a specific speaker with a specific amplifier. If you haven't read the "Tube Friendly Speakers" article that has previously been posted here, let me know and I'll provide another link. There are also a few threads in the "speakers" and "amplifiers" sections of the forum which would be worth reading again.

Sensitivity specs are useful only when you are either seeking loud volume levels or pairing the speakers with an extremely low powered amplifier. In most cases, watts are relatively cheap and you can buy more watts if the speaker requires it. However, the laws of physics are difficiult to break and, no matter how much power you put into them, an 82dB speaker will probably never be the right choice if you want extremely high volume levels. Current and quality are not assured in the case of just buying more watts and difficult to drive speakers will require at least lots of current on demand and probably with some degree of sustainability. Highly efficient speakers will work more on voltage than on current which makes them generally more adaptable to low powered amps and specifically to low powered tube amplifiers. The stated sensitivity spec for any speaker can be somewhat misleading as the manner in which sensitivity is measured can vary from one manufacturer to another. Since most measurements for sensitivity are taken on axis, there is no reference to "in room power response" which is really what you would like to know about - though no one I know actually makes consistently reliable measurements for such a thing.


If you can't find specs or measurements for your speaker which would provide sufficient information, call the manufacturer. Certainly they should know what their speaker does and, if they don't, you might want to consider whether you really want that speaker. A few designers - Decware for one - give very minimal specs as they consider most measurements to be not completely useful in a real world situation under the dynamic conditions of music. Here the manufacturer should be able to provide some guidance as to whether you are on the right track with their product.


The average listener requires only a handful of watts and volume is more easily accomplished through a more efficient speaker system than it is in buying watts. Efficiency is not the same as sensitivity in that a very complex crossover will waste most of the first few watts in heat thrown away before it ever arrives at the driver. As Dick Olsher has stated on numerous occasions; if the first watt sucks, why would you care if there are 199 more just like it on reserve?

For the most part, high impedance which remains relatively stable is the friend of a happy amplifier. (Decware claims their amplifiers produce more wattage into lower impedance which is rather unusual in SE's or any transformer coupled amplifier.) Phase angles which are kept below 25 degrees are always best IMO and the lower the better in this value. First, second and fourth order crossovers all have their ups and downs in terms of just what problems they present to the designer and the listener. Even in a bare bones single driver system without any associated circuitry the impedance, electrical phase angle and acoustic time/phase elements of the driver are always changing in response to the music.

Make certain you know the output impedance of the amplifier. Many transformer coupled amps have relatively high output impedances. When coupled with the typical reactive loudspeaker system built today, this will result in poor performance and the amp/speaker circuit will be an unprecictable tone control. If the amp has an output impedance above 1 Ohm, then you can expect the speaker's impedance to ride along with that value and affect the system's frequency response. I would say most people who have tried tubed amplifiers with more conventional speakers and say they dislike the result did a very poor job of component matching.




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Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1154
Registered: Dec-06
Jan, I'm not really paying much attention to reviews, or if I do read them I just kind of skim through it. FWIW, Salvatore may be a little too keen to bring the audiophile media down, but at the core of it I think he brings up some very legitimate points that to date many have attacked, but none convincingly.

Most of what I've read is user and manufacturer comments, on forums like Audiogon's. I actually went to a show this past fall (TAVES, in Toronto). It was a lot of fun and I look forward to going back again in 2012. I was also able to listen to a nice tube based system at my local dealer's shop, with no pressure to buy (the system was way over the level I play in, and this dealer doesn't push anyway). Finally, I heard another more modest tube based system that I enjoyed as well.

I wish I could contact that speaker manufacturer, but it's Castle and they aren't around anymore. The Castle has kicked a handful of other speakers to the curb...I really like their presentation and can't get much for them on the used market, so even if I find a sound I prefer I will be hanging onto them. If I move to tubes then it would be interesting to hear how they sound with a tube amp. A funny thing with this speaker is that it presents a more laid back stage (the music seems further away from you). I used to prefer a more forward presentation, but after listening to the Castles for the past year I find that speakers that are more forward tend to now sound like they are shouting at me. While the Castle is laid back it has loads of PRaT, so music is always filled with life and forward momentum, and rock music sounds excellent for this reason. I may just stick with what I've got when it's all said and done. Seems I want to challenge my system but to date I find I prefer things the way they are. I'm finding the exercise worthwhile, as it's helped me understand what I like in a system.

I did find this in the gramophone.net review of my speakers:

Measurements confirmed the nominal 8 ohms impedance, the minimum value being a little under 75 ohms at around 200Hz. There are no awkward phase shifts at the lower impedance points, either, and with its 87dB sensitivity (for I watt at 1 metre) the Avon represents a straightforward load to the amplifier. Models rated at between 25 and 125 watts per channel are recommended as suitable but as always if choosing a new amplifier my recommendation would be to opt for something towards the top of that power range.

I take it when they say 75 ohms, they mean 7.5. If the reviewer is correct the speaker should be tube friendly, but with the 87dB sensitivity perhaps a higher powered SET or a push-pull amp would be ideal.

The average listener requires only a handful of watts and volume is more easily accomplished through a more efficient speaker system than it is in buying watts. Efficiency is not the same as sensitivity in that a very complex crossover will waste most of the first few watts in heat thrown away before it ever arrives at the driver.

Efficiency is not the same as sensitivity. Perhaps the PMC TB2i is an example of this. It's rated sensitivity is 90dB, which is higher than the average and the measurements in Stereophile for the smaller DB1i seem very tube friendly (assume the TB2i is the same). However, I was always puzzled how this is so when it uses a 4th order crossover. There must be other considerations, like the drivers and perhaps even the transmission line. I guess it's safe to say that the crossover eats up the first few watts, but when the next set reach the driver they find a relatively easy load.

I do get hung up on specs sometimes...and crossovers are the current thing for me though I'm trying not to get too hung up here. I'd like to hear 1st order and no crossover speakers. I gather the downside of 1st order is that both drivers handle the same frequencies, which can result in lobbing and necessitates the use of very high quality drivers. But these are more phase correct. Then again, hearing 2nd and 4th order crossovers, nothing improper jumps out at me. It must be all in the implementation. But certainly, with the 4th order PMC, it does seem like more details are brought forth. I guess this may have to do with the steep crossover, as less information shared between the drivers might lead to less cancellation. If I heard a well implemented first order crossover, perhaps I'd see where people are coming from when they say 4th order has serious phase issues. I remember one comment on Audiogon, when someone asked how can anyone enjoy 2nd or 4th order crossover speakers if their flaws are so serious. The response was that the speakers probably do other things well and certain users can accept the tradeoff. Well, from this I took that the phase issues cannot be all that serious if they do not overpower the good qualities of these speakers.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1155
Registered: Dec-06
Jan, I'm trying to get into some more simple acoustic music. Acoustic guitar and pop/rock have always been easy for me. I bought a copy of Aerosmith Unplugged. Hey it might be a good reference, especially if one can figure out how MTV recorded it. I'm guessing they had mics in front of each performer, so it's probably not not the best example. Then there are some live recordings by Neil Young, which likely sound excellent.

The Naim Label actually has some interesting acoustic music that I think I'd enjoy, so I'm going to try a few albums from there, and I'm going to dabble a bit in classical as well. I bought a $5 CD from HMV, a collection of Liszt piano and cello recordings (not sure if this is technically classical), which I quite like. But again, without knowing how it was recorded it might be tough to judge from a soundstaging perspective. And finally, I have a SACD from Mobile Fidelity of a performance of Bolero by the Minnesota Orchestra. I've tried getting into jazz but to date I have not come across anything that has connected with me.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17033
Registered: May-04
.

You might try contacting the current Castle company; http://castle.uk.com/ Many of the audio companies from that era have been purchased by outside interests and are dealing more on the name that once existed than on new products. And, if that's the case here, they might not have much to say about vintage Castle products beyond what you already know. Honestly, what you've posted is about the extent of any manufacturer's specs or magazines information as it was provided in the 1970's through to the '90's. Sensitivity and nominal impedance were about all you got - not too much different than today for most reviewers - and the really important measurements which would assist you with pairing speaker to amp are never addressed. In that regard, thanks still go to Atkinson's work at Stereophile.

It has only been the last decade or two that most American loudspeakers have paid much attention to the user who might prefer less than mainstream (100 watts of solid state) amplification. Speaker designers and amplifier designers have never truly existed in the same part of the audio market. Even back when the original, lower sensitivity acoustic suspension designs came from AR, a 15 watt amplifier was a fairly large amp for most home users. A very good fifteen watts can be more than sufficient on an average sealed box system - as Advent pointed out when they introduced their 15 watt Advent receiver in the mid '70's - but most fifteen watt amps in the early '50's weren't that good. With the introduction of the transistor, watts became cheap and most speaker designers have for the last fifty years worked under that assumption. Mostly amplifier designers have played catch up to what the speaker designers have turned out. First, there was a 1.5 Ohm Apogee, then there were 300 watt solid state amplifiers capable of current delivery which would rival an arc welder. Only with the more recent introduction into the American market of SET's limited to a very few watts and even less amperage have a handful of speaker designers responded to the needs of an amplifier topology. Remarkably, one of the most successful pairings to a two watt amp remains the Lowthers which are today very reminiscent of the same company's designs from the first half of the twentieth century when five watt SET's were far more common. A very nice design for a Lowther comes from John Brine at not an outrageous cost. I've heard this speaker several times and always I have been impressed.


Back to your Castle's, the speaker doesn't appear to be so old that you should have extreme difficulty finding information. The Grammophone reviewer, however, seems to have been missing a "." in his computer since they list the crossover frequency as "33kHz". So, yes, I would say it's safe to assume the minimum impedance of the speaker under review is 7.5 Ohms with "no awkward phase shifts". Small wattage amplifiers should be acceptable though at 87dB @ 1 watt you would likely want to have at least a good ten to fifteen watts on hand. Going vintage an updated Dynaco Stereo 70 or a Mac MC225 would be more than sufficient should you decide you want an EL34 based amp. Both are easy to find, have known track records which should give you an idea of what qualities each displays and will not cost you a dime to own for ten years other than maintenance parts. That's about where I would tell you to start when considering tube amplifiers, with the power tube type. The sound of a generic EL84/EL34/6L6GC/6550 amp will largely be determined by how the output tubes play with music. Each has its strong suite and buying an EL34 map won't necessarily give you the end result you desire if you are more tilted toward the virtues of a 6L6GC or KT88. Personally, the idea of an amplifier that can swap between all those tubes if not worth pursuing. Again, determine your priorities and find what might suit those goals. Tube rolling is complicated and expensive enough, you don't need endless options to just confuse you or make you think what "this" tube does is going to light a fire more than what "that" tube does in the same amp. Tube power amps are all about the transformers, specific output tubes will only sound as good as the output transformers allow. This is where most modern tube manufacturers fail in the final test. Not all, but good transformers are expensive and rare.

If you haven't read the "Tube Talk" thread in the "Amp" section of the forum, you should begin there.




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17034
Registered: May-04
.

"Efficiency is not the same as sensitivity. Perhaps the PMC TB2i is an example of this. It's rated sensitivity is 90dB, which is higher than the average and the measurements in Stereophile for the smaller DB1i seem very tube friendly (assume the TB2i is the same). However, I was always puzzled how this is so when it uses a 4th order crossover. There must be other considerations, like the drivers and perhaps even the transmission line. I guess it's safe to say that the crossover eats up the first few watts, but when the next set reach the driver they find a relatively easy load."




I wouldn't say the crossover eats up the first few watts so much as it makes life difficult for all watts coming into the speaker. Dick Olsher has equated the "first watt" with the moment of creation for an audio signal, containing the musical DNA of all that will follow. Truth be told, this is more likely to occur in the first milliwatt. In his estimation, this very first bit of signal is where the rubber meets the road and should that first watt be insufficient in instrumental timbre and tone, nuance and inflection, attack and decay - all of which which define the emotional power and intent of a composition, spatial information and, simply, beauty or lack there of, then all that follows is unnecessary. Therefore, whatever happens to that first watt sets the stage for all that we need to know about an amplifier or speaker system. However the system treats that first watt is exactly how it will treat each watt that follows.




"Watts" are a combination of voltage and current. Voltage represents the potential for work to be done. Current is what does the actual work. Both need to be present at the load for "work" to be accomplished. Lower impedance loads tend to require higher current while higher impedance loads work more on voltage. I would normally compare the two to horsepower and torque, You can have 500 horsepower (voltage) but unless you have the torque (current) to get the car off the line, you will take a very long time to reach the speed where horsepower alone is helping you. In an audio system, if the impedance of the load drops, more current is required to accomplish the same amount of work. If the electrical phase of the system has the current delivery lagging the voltage delivery (or vice versa) at the inputs to the driver, the appropriate amount of work cannot be performed. At that point, the back EMF of the speaker system will begin to drive the amplifier through the NFB circuitry. NFB being what it is, this can become a self perpetuating problem in extreme cases.

You should understand what electrical phase shift represents and how voltage and current play a part in amplifiers and speakers. Quite a bit of this information has been covered in other threads or is fairly easy to research on your own so I won't spend time and extend the length of this post more than I feel necessary.

What you need to know first and foremost is that whenever an AC signal passes through either a capacitor or an inductor, the voltage component is thrown "out of phase" relative to the current component. (Since resistors have an inductive component in most cases and typically a very small capacitive component also, even the simplest circuit will have a disjunction of voltage to current from input to output.) A ninety degrees shift out of phase for either voltage or current is the amount for either component part cap or inductor. With voltage and current not being in synch with each other, less work is being done. "Less work" has now been turned into wasted heat transferred into the air. The closer both component parts of the electrical signal remain, the more work can be accomplished and, obviously, the farther apart they are in phase the less work can be done while more heat is exchanged. Therefore a single cap on the input of a tweeter is a first order filter which throws the electrical phase of the signal 90 degrees out of phase - less work is being done at the tweeter than no cap at all - and, as the current component lags the voltage component, or vice versa, the acoustic phase of the high frequency driver is now behind - or "lags" - the low frequency driver's output. This is true for all watts that come to the tweeter, not just the first. Simple crossovers have an advantage of not having many parts which will convert voltage and current to heat or to reduce "work" but they also, as we would expect, have their disadvantages to deal with.





"I do get hung up on specs sometimes...and crossovers are the current thing for me though I'm trying not to get too hung up here. I'd like to hear 1st order and no crossover speakers. I gather the downside of 1st order is that both drivers handle the same frequencies, which can result in lobbing and necessitates the use of very high quality drivers. But these are more phase correct. Then again, hearing 2nd and 4th order crossovers, nothing improper jumps out at me. It must be all in the implementation. But certainly, with the 4th order PMC, it does seem like more details are brought forth. I guess this may have to do with the steep crossover, as less information shared between the drivers might lead to less cancellation. If I heard a well implemented first order crossover, perhaps I'd see where people are coming from when they say 4th order has serious phase issues. I remember one comment on Audiogon, when someone asked how can anyone enjoy 2nd or 4th order crossover speakers if their flaws are so serious. The response was that the speakers probably do other things well and certain users can accept the tradeoff. Well, from this I took that the phase issues cannot be all that serious if they do not overpower the good qualities of these speakers.




Remember, each cap or inductor through which the signal passes pushes the electrical phase of the signal 90 degrees out of phase. Do some basic research and you'll find that a cap pushes voltage in one direction while an inductor pushes in the opposite direction. Either way, less work will be done but it is also important to remember that what one cap does another inductor following in the circuit can revert - more or less. So while a single cap pushes phase 90 degrees out of synch, a following inductor shoves current back into line - sort of. This makes a case for more "sophisticated" crossovers which may have less overall phase shift. (Keep in mind cables, circuit boards and even single drivers also add their own capacitive, inductive and resistive values to the total circuit values.)

Additionally, a first order filter at -6dB per octave roll off, requires very well executed drivers to control out of band problems with the driver's output. If you set the crossover at, say, 2.5kHz from woofer to tweeter, that woofer has the potential to still be making useable sound at 5kHz. That's far too high for most low frequency drivers to have smooth, low distortion response. Therefore, a designer will often times try to select a driver with a well behaved mechanical roll out and probably supplement this with a few notch filters which address specific frequency bands where the driver has dips and peaks both in band and possibly even somewhat out of band. The additional filters are meant to only give a desired shape to the total frequency response of the speaker system but the amplifier must still work through these components. The same will be true on the high frequency side. Add in a "baffle step compensation" network and now you have a twenty element, first order crossover which no longer is so simple. Turn the two way hi/low pass filters into a three way circuit and the problems have expotentially increased.

The designated "crossover frequency" is in between the points where the filters will begin to take effect and is centered at the frequency where both drivers are roughly -3dB down in level. (The output of the two drivers combined will bring the overall response back up to "flat".) So a 2.5kHz crossover frequency will have begun both higher and lower than 2.5kHz. In practical terms this means a -6dB, first order filter will have the tweeter and the woofer playing together at "useable" levels from about 1.5kHz to almost 5kHz - not taking into account any mechanical rollout from the drivers themselve. Therefore, for almost two octaves and specifically in the region where your ear is the most sensitive to changes in timbre and tone, you will hear the sound of drivers which are mismatched in size, materials, characteristic "tone", dispersion characteristics and distortion components. Even with well matched drivers of considerable expense, this has all the potential to give a very unusual in room power response to the speaker's sound as perceived at the listening position. The "art" of speaker design, therefore, includes the designer's ability make this transition as seamless as possible. One driver, the smaller of the two, will likely be operating in half space against the baffle over most of its range while on a narrow baffle as is common today, the low frequency driver will be operating in a full space environment. To further complicate the issue, if the designer has not made any attempt to correct the lagging electrical phase of the signal through the filter, the tweeter's acoustic output will follow that of the woofer. The tweeter can be connected in reversed polarity relative to the woofer but then the woofer will lag the tweeter. Should the system not be time compensated, this may be a deal breaker for some listeners as images and soundstage will probably lack dimensionality and the system will tend to have a more difficult time maintaining solid image positions which do not waver with frequency or level.

"Lobing" of the drivers is commonly due to the driver layout (MTM is typical of a lobing type system) and the crossover filter type (Butterworth, Chebychev, Linkwitz, etc.) used. This affects the correct listening height and distance for any one speaker system. Too close, too far, too high or too low and the speaker will not integrate properly in either the frequency nor the time/phase dimensions.


If a single cap swings voltage and current 90 degrees out of phase, then the next cap will push the signal 180 degrees out of phase. Therefore, a perfectly executed second order and fourth order filter will push electrical phase out of synch 180 or 360 degrees respectively. Now the drivers can be connected in "correct" polarity and each will pulse in electrical and acoustic polarity together though one will be slightly out of "time" with the output of the other driver by a few milliseconds. Step response of the system will look fairly good on a graph though this may be bothersome to yet another group of listeners. Whether a first or higher order filter or reversed polarity between drivers will bother you is something you'll have to determine for yourself.

Thiels are a well known and popular line of speakers which have long espoused the values of first order filters along with time and phase alignment so they would be a good audition if you wish to hear a properly executed first order filter system. In budget speakers a first order filter (a cap on the tweeter and only the mechanical roll out of the woofer) can be very successful as it allows more money to be spent on higher quality drivers and enclosure construction with less going to the crossover components. This is where you are most likely to see that single cap on the tweeter approach to crossovers. A handful of designers will employ a shallow filter on the low frequency driver (which typically has some amount of mechanical roll out to "add to") with a steeper second or fourth order filter on the more delicate high frequency driver to roll its out of band output steeply away from the useable level range.


Drivers in a system which are connected in similar or reversed polarity will display better or worse "step response". This will affect the perceived transient attack and decay/ringing of the system which may affect the elements of timbre and tone of an instrument. Micro-dynamics and performance nuances - inflections - exist in the first milliwatt applied to a driver and can easily be lost or smeared should the step response of the system be poor.




The point though is not to get hung up on filters or specs. I would suggest everyone have a fairly good idea of how a characteristic vented enclosure sounds in comparison to a quarter wave pipe (transmission line) or to a sealed system. Whether you have a preference for specific driver types; dome, cone, metal, paper, poly, film, etc. A preference for point source over line source, or single driver, co-axial or coincident is useful. Panels vs boxes. Electrostatics, planars or dynamic drivers. Tubes, bipolars, FETS or hybrids. But the art of audio design is not in the specs or the gross descriptions of how a component or speaker might be made. If it were, we could ease up on selecting components as they would all tend to sound very much alike. I would hope everyone would learn a sufficient amount about this hobby to know when you are being BS'ed. And to know what questions to ask in order to properly learn more. However, the surprises come from finding something new and unexpected. If you think you only prefer one thing, then finding the opposite which appeals to you is what makes for continued learning and a desire to know "why".




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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17035
Registered: May-04
.

"Jan, I'm trying to get into some more simple acoustic music. Acoustic guitar and pop/rock have always been easy for me. I bought a copy of Aerosmith Unplugged. Hey it might be a good reference, especially if one can figure out how MTV recorded it. I'm guessing they had mics in front of each performer, so it's probably not not the best example. Then there are some live recordings by Neil Young, which likely sound excellent.




If you were going to record just a single acoustic guitar, you would have a daunting number of decisions to deal with. Is the instrument to be "plugged in" as many acoustic/electrics might be? http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=22899 If so and the guitar lacks its own internal electronics, what sort might be used? A simple soundhole pickup will respond only to the magnetic attraction of the strings giving no sense of the guitar's body and its contribution to overal sound. These can be purchased in either single coil or humbucking designs with each having a characteristic sound as you would find on an all electric Les Paul/Strat. Another choice might be a body mic or an under-saddle piezo type which tends to react not to the strings but to the body which will provide a completely different sound when compared to a soundhole pu. More sophisticated condensor mic systems might be used in single or dual configurations. In dual set ups, one mic picks up the sound of the strings while another is focussed on the wood's sound. The pick up can be mono and full range or stereo and split between the higher and lower strings each feeding its own output. Most on board electronics have some amount of shaping circuits which might range from a simple two band eq to more complex phase shifting circuits. And, if the instrument uses its own on board electronics, the guitar can be plugged into any combination of effects pedals.

http://www.fishman.com/products/filter/instrument:acoustic-guitar/type:pickups

http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/features/electronics/expression-system/

Or, the guitar might have been mic'd with a single, mono condensor mic out in front of the performer. Or a stereo mic set up in this case can be focused on the body of the instrument plus an additional "ambience" mic to pick up room sounds and placed slightly away from the performer. Additional "air" and "space" can be added in post production.


Page 16 here will give you an idea of just what goes into creating the perfect "acoustic guitar" sound; http://www.taylorguitars.com/woodandsteel/issues/ws_summer_2011.pdf

I think you'll be surprised by what you read in that article.


Finally, keep in mind the instrument you see your favorite performer playing on stage might not be the same guitar they play on a recording. Certain guitars do not record well while others are more suited to the studio than the stage due to their overall tonal balance. It is not at all uncommon for a studio to keep a few "good" guitars on hand just in case they have problems with a performer's favorite. While you might see someone play a Martin Dreadnought on stage, they might be playing a Taylor or Collings OM in the studio. And, of course, string manufacturer, composition and gauge all make a tremendous difference in the tonal balance and timbre of any guitar you might think you know well. One of the advantages of "audiophile" recordings is such things are often notated to provide a better reference for exactly what it is you're hearing.


.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17036
Registered: May-04
.
"The Naim Label actually has some interesting acoustic music that I think I'd enjoy, so I'm going to try a few albums from there, and I'm going to dabble a bit in classical as well. I bought a $5 CD from HMV, a collection of Liszt piano and cello recordings (not sure if this is technically classical), which I quite like. But again, without knowing how it was recorded it might be tough to judge from a soundstaging perspective. And finally, I have a SACD from Mobile Fidelity of a performance of Bolero by the Minnesota Orchestra. I've tried getting into jazz but to date I have not come across anything that has connected with me.




Not to belabor the point, Dan, but having the recording is of no use to you unless you first have a familiarity with the real thing. Think of it this way, you can watch a film set in, say, New Orleans which will have sets suggestive of NOLA and possibly a few exterior shots of a few blocks in the city. You can view a digitally created scene which is "in the style of" or fashioned after New Orleans. Or you can visit New Orleans yourself.

Which do you think would give you the best idea of what you might find in NOLA? Which will allow you to most easily and accurately pull up memories of the sights, sounds and smells, of the people and their attitudes, to be found in New Orleans when you next see an obvious recreation of NOLA?

Get the point?




Even given a reference quality recording of a piano, you cannot make decisions about how "real" the piano sounds unless you are familiar with a piano being played in a live acoustic space. Ideally, since each piano will have its own sound and each room its own contribution to that sound, you should have heard several pianos in numerous settings. Only then can you begin to use the tool which is the reference grade recording.

As I pointed out to Mordecai in another thread, music is easily available at very minimal or even no cost. I just got a mailer from the Beethoven Society announcing their Winter/spring free concert series at the Dallas Museum. The Dallas Library has another series of performances free of charge in a more intimate space. I'll go this weekend to hear a friend play acoustic blues guitar at a local restaurant - while he uses amplification, he is still a "live" source of music. We have tickets to the venue up the street which has space for about 100 people and a very eclectic group of performers from a small combo to Leon Redbone and his pianist to a twenty piece swing orchestra. The local colleges have many free to low cost performances. You only need look and then attend with fresh ears to benefit from any such offerings.


You need to understand how a piano occupies a space. How three violins, a viola and a cello fill the room. If your system sounds too "bright", you should be using a well recorded violin to judge where and to what degree the system is at fault. If you do not know how a trumpet sounds as it cuts through a room, then what good does a recording of a trumpet do you? If you are unfamiliar with the sound of a solo violin when heard from both the eighth row and the upper balcony, what good can you get from such a recording? Even if you are using a solo acoustic blues guitar played trough a small amp/speaker, there are values which should be important to you as a listener. Values which you can then take and apply to the set up of your system.



Owning the records should be the second step, Dan, not the first. If you're unsure what sort of music you might prefer, head to the record collection at your local library.



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 1159
Registered: Dec-06
Thanks for the information, Jan. I've read a bit of the Tube Talk thread, and will no doubt go through more of it.

- thanks for the amp suggestions. The McIntosh 225 is pretty pricey, and I gather I'd still need a preamp. The Dynaco is more affordable it seems, but I'd still need a preamp. Maybe this is where I am asking for too much, but my preference is for an integrated with four inputs (turntable, tuner, CD player, Universal Blu Ray player for SACDs). I guess I'd be looking at current rather than vintage, and was hoping the likes of Rogue or maybe the original Manley Stingray would be good buys. Power should be more than sufficient and I think both brands are known for quality. But, there is plenty of time before I intend to buy, if I do at all.

- Castle - from what I've read the current owners are of little help. They have no old parts and did not continue to produce the same speakers (only look-a-likes that unfortunately do not sound-a-like). IAG does not have the greatest reputation for responding to customers as far as I can tell so I think that's a dead end. But I do think that review gives me enough to go by.

- I've looked at John Brines' offerings. The TB-20 seems to be the most appropriate speakers for most of my music listening, as it goes down to 40Hz (or at least 50Hz, judging by the graph). I suspect I may learn that despite the frequency response quoted, which doesn't seem unlike an ordinary two way speaker, the sound is probably very different. I'll should find out one day.

- with respect to the point you make below, I have read on another forum something that differs from your info:

If a single cap swings voltage and current 90 degrees out of phase, then the next cap will push the signal 180 degrees out of phase. Therefore, a perfectly executed second order and fourth order filter will push electrical phase out of synch 180 or 360 degrees respectively. Now the drivers can be connected in "correct" polarity and each will pulse in electrical and acoustic polarity together though one will be slightly out of "time" with the output of the other driver by a few milliseconds.

I have read that using a second order crossover, which moves the signal out of phase by 180 degrees, necessitates connecting the drivers in reverse polarity. A fourth order crossover, signal out of phase by 360 degrees, is equivalent to 0 degrees, or in phase. Therefore, connecting the drivers in correct polarity is the way to go.

- believe it or not, I've actually been listening to more live music this year, but not trying to focus too intently on it while doing so. Just let it soak in as I enjoy the music as a whole. Piano and cello are something I'd like to become more familiar with, however. But I think I'm forming more of an appreciation for the sound of live music vs. reproduced.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17038
Registered: May-04
.

"I have read that using a second order crossover, which moves the signal out of phase by 180 degrees, necessitates connecting the drivers in reverse polarity. A fourth order crossover, signal out of phase by 360 degrees, is equivalent to 0 degrees, or in phase. Therefore, connecting the drivers in correct polarity is the way to go."




Well, this thread wasn't meant to be a treatise on loudspeaker design so I'll cover things in rather broad terms and you can decide just how much more you care to learn on your own.



At 180° electrical phase shift, the tweeter can be connected in either similar or reverse polarity relative to the low frequency driver. The choice is up to the designer and how they prefer their system to react to transient inputs. The measured step response will be different for each connection which will affect the perceived "speed" and decay of the system along with how the system portrays "space" in a recording. With a fourth order filter, you would typically see the high frequency driver connected in similar polarity though it's still the choice of the designer and the particular variety of fourth order filter they select.

The decisions made will affect the polar response of the drivers - lobing and in room power response which will affect perceived frequency response, especially at varying distances and listening heigths away from the speaker - and the time element of the system. Using specific filters and working with the relative polarity of the drivers can be made to affect a time correction in the system. Therefore, a non-sloped front baffle can still be time corrected even if the electrical phase is not absolute throughout the system. This arrangement would place the high frequency driver(s) in an "on axis" response to the listener which would normally created the flattest measured frequency response with the lowest distortion components. Sloping the baffle to align the acoustic centers of the drivers as you would see in a speaker such as Thiel will create a somewhat different sound than creating the time correction within the crossover. It's possible the more ragged response and higher distortion likely to be heard and measured from a sloped tweeter might be objectionable to the designer which could then necessitate a change in one or more of the drivers used or a different tweeter orientation on the baffle or a change in crossover frequency. One thing will lead to another and then another. Like baking a cake, you have a formula with which you can start. How the final product turns out is more the art of baking well - being aware of the many variables and how they all interact and react to the addition of more or less of each - than it is just following a set recipe.

Since time and phase are two separate elements of a speaker's performance, the designer is selecting just how to make the desired corrections and at what frequencies. Do not assume any driver will have constant phase and time response throughout its response range. That doesn't happen. As a designer is making decisions regarding how to build the project, they are also making decisions which will create many different types of perceived response. Speaker systems can generally be grouped in individual types according to their crossover types along with the broader distinctions of panel/box, vented/sealed, etc. Each filter type chosen will affect the overall group delay of the system. To that end speakers may be designed as "transient perfect", "amplitude perfect" or "phase coherent". Each type of design will again have its advantages and disadvantages.



Stacking two or more crossovers or "cascading" their outputs can create results which would be unobtainable from single large filters. A Linkwitz-Riley fourth order filter is essentially two second order Butterworth filters cascaded one to the next. Since Butterworth filters have a different response in the combined system than will, say, a Bessel filter, the results of cascading two filters together can be useful in controlling out of band problems with the drivers. Of course, the ultimate goal for any designer should be to create the most transparent system possible at the target system cost. What "transparency" means to any one designer is just as wide open to interpretation as it would be between various listeners. You can read about the advantages of a Linkwitz-Riley filter here; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linkwitz-Riley_filter


Linkwitz Labs has created many well thought of DIY designs as well as being a preeminent consultant on many commercial projects. Familiarizing yourself with Linkwitz's principles cannot hurt a serious listener - as long as you don't begin to select audio gear based solely on whether it conforms to your new found ideals of crossover/driver/enclosure design. http://www.linkwitzlab.com/

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Akc4HvEr3JrDaOGlDMdyJLemN3wV?p=linkwitz+lab& fr=att-portal-s&toggle=1&cop=&ei=UTF-8

As you read the pages you should see there is more to good loudspeaker design than just having a few drivers in a box and separating them with filters. Just for S&G's you might also want to learn a bit more about enclosure design; http://quarter-wave.com/

As I suggested above, Dan, know just enough to realize when you're probably being BS'ed. If you decide to delve deeper into DIY, then learning will be your best friend.


In the end, whether the filters are "X" degrees out of phase or "Y" degrees out of phase, connected in similar or reversed polarity will be just two small calculations made by the designer and they will then select just what that means to them in the totality of the system. IMO a good designer will make their decisions based upon both objective and purely subjective results.


http://www.rane.com/note147.html


http://www.bksv.com/doc/17-198.pdf


If you're really interested in filters and how they fit into the design of a loudspeaker, you might want to buy a good book on speaker design and construction that isn't just a "put this driver in this box" type of read. Then understand that what you've read is the opinion of the writer and others may disagree.


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Canada

Post Number: 2252
Registered: Feb-04
Mejias and Ariel Brittan are JA's up and coming sockpuppets. Brittan seems to have taken on the role of enforcer who's job it is to be snarky and rude to anyone who disagrees with Stereophile's policies or opinions.

More so than you were to SM in this very thread?

Apart from being nearly dead, I see this place hasn't changed much. I'll read you all in another 6 months or so.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17279
Registered: May-04
.

Dear Peter - the man who argues without facts for hundreds of posts while not reading a single rebuttal or factual statement from your opponent,





You have no concept of anything, little man. You are just in another spot where you do not belong.

Please, do not hurry back. You have nothing of value to offer anyone here on this forum



.
 

Gold Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Canada

Post Number: 2253
Registered: Feb-04
role of enforcer who's job it is to be snarky and rude to anyone who disagrees with him.




I'll let you (and maybe two and three other people) continue this active forum, with all of 8 active threads in the current month. Good thing I reactivated two of those for you to get your numbers up!}}
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17282
Registered: May-04
.

Yeah, good thing you did.

Maybe some of us like this forum nice and quiet. It keeps people like you away. Which reminds me, go away, Galbriath.
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