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Archive through May 25, 2004

 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 865
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

Thanks. Will think about this. Have heard Wendy Gillespie perform - I think she is one of the founder-members of "Fretwork", a London-based viol consort, too. I think she also had a US group called something like Les filles des St. Colombe (after Gerard Depardieu's Maran Marais' mentor-character in that awful movie Toutes les Matins...). This is getting seriously esoteric. Sorry, everyone else. Small world, though.

I heard a great "farewell" repeat broadcast from Alistair Cooke recently, where he claimed to have introduced Leonard Bernstein to Handel's Messiah. He described with great warmth the annual "Christmas" performances of Messiah in New York, where the music united all faiths and denominations, a great thing if you are brought up to think of Handel as a solemn and grumpy old fellow-Protestant. It was A. Cooke's first weekly broadcast after 9/11, and his point should be obvious, I will not labour it.

BTW if you come from my sort of background, and have grown away from it as I have, "Messiah" as a sort of inverted "test of faith". Namely, if you can listen to the whole thing, and, at the end, remain an atheist, you are still sane. I like testing the limits of things. So far, I am doing OK! The key is: no-one "up there" told him what to write. It all came from a human being, in his place, and in his time. I find that more moving, more humbling, actually.

I'm a first-generation musician, and a lapsed one, at that. There was nothing in my childhood home except the radio and my brother's jazz LPs. And it stops with me: or else our kids have a formidably long latency period.

Nothing impossible about the combination of chemistry and music btw - look at Borodin.
 

Old Equipment Collector
Unregistered guest
TwoCents wrote a while back:

"I think it's wise that you're keeping your NAD CD player for playing redbook CDs. I haven't heard a DVD player south of a grand that plays CDs as well as a good dedicated CD player."

A long time ago in a galaxy not to far away there was the NAD T-550, for the time a good interlaced DVD player and awesome CD player.

Anyone but me still have one of those?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 59
Registered: Apr-04
Collector,

I have one and I recently aquired a Denon DVD-2900 to replace it (the DVD-2900 was broken at arrival and is being replaced by a new one at the moment, but that's another story).

However to my surprise the DVD-2900 didn't blow the T550 out of the water in CD playback, so instead of selling the T550, I might just hang on to it and use it as a CD-player or maybe trade it with a C541/C541i if possible. I seem to remember reading that the T550 actually had the same analog output stage as the C540? It also has Burr Brown PCM1600 DACs, but I don't know what the C540 has.

I will reserve judgement until I get the new replacement DVD-2900 back though, as I'm not sure the malfunctioning one performed up to spec.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 903
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

Trivia. I bought my first CD at a concert, about a year before I owned a player. Wendy Gillespie was in the band, and on the CD. The Dowland Consort, on BIS. When I decided to move on CD, I took the CD to demo CD players. The sales guys looked at each other in despair. Small world.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 501
Registered: Dec-03
John A--

The world is indeed small. I think Wendy is currently teaching at the University of Indiana's excellent music department--plus she is still performing. Her older sister Susan (cello player like myself) didn't pursue a music career and probably plays cello for enjoyment in small groups (like myself).

I always remember when playing quartets and quintets with them that Wendy was the agressive driven one, while Susan was the more accessible and nurturing type.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 915
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

That must be Bloomington. They seem to have a wonderful music department. It always seems to me an odd location. I keep making tentative plans to visit one or two colleagues and friends there (not music) but have so far not actually done so. If it ever works I will be greatly distracted by the music school.

"Aggressive and driven" came over in performance. Character usually does. That type is far from ideal for that repertoire. But a real artist can always fit in. Look at The Last Walz..... And I am sure WG fits in, the other guys and gals would never have her back, otherwise, especially in that very special world.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 956
Registered: Dec-03
Here is my "audiophile speaker epiphany". It is particularly for Jan, whom I thank (see May 01, above).

I have blown a tweeter in a 1982 KEF Coda II. At the weekend, clutching at the final straw, I filled in the on-line query form on the KEF website, not hoping for too much. First thing Monday morning (edited):-


Dear Mr A____

Yes we can supply a replacement assembly for this tweeter. The part No. is 990030A and the cost will be £12.13 each. The cost of sending to ______ will be £13.95. This shipping cost will cover up to 0.5 kgs, so if you wanted more than 1 the shipping cost remains the same

Regards
_____ ____
Service Department Manager
KEF AUDIO (UK) Limited / Celestion Consumer Division


Beat that, folks!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 249
Registered: Dec-03
good job john.

i just recently went back to your email you sent
me and wrote down the model # of your speaker to
see what i could find.

cool now i don't need too.

glad to hear it.

by the way you may want to oerder 2 so you have
a spare.

and might want to ask about a matched pair.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 960
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Thanks. Yes, I've ordered a pair. They will be matched. I'll keep the old one just case. I think that's a good company to deal with. I have always like the sound of KEF speakers, and the build quality, too (though the Coda II was not the best, as discussed with Jan). I was looking at the cost of replacing the whole speaker. It is a 65 Hz - 20 kHz (-3dB) large "Bookshelf" type I use for surrounds, on wall brakets. The original sales line in 1982 was it was a new, higher efficiency design - meaning 87 dB! link to Coda II
 

J Vigne
Unregistered guest
John A. - Not bad. A "new" pair of speakers for under $20. Next you'll be telling us you found a Jaguar X type for $100. Very good work! I don't know why, but the forum has been unhappy with any name I enter as username.?
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 968
Registered: Dec-03
Jan,

Thanks. They are not the best speakers ever from KEF, but it would cost whole lot more to replace them with anything nearly as good, as I am sure you will agree. Not to mention planned obsolescence, Vance Packard's The Waste Makers, global warming, etc. etc.....

Try contacting admin. He has always been most helpful and courteous with me. My computer automatically fills in the field with the wrong username, which is a pain. But the board "discus" program seems to develop a mind of its own from time to time.

BTW which Cresta do you have? Even the smallest seems to have better bass extension than my Coda IIs. I got as far as looking at possible replacements. A local dealer has a pair of KEF Reference 1~2s with a Kubase for about $200. Apart from that, I might have gone to an ex-demo Q5, but it would be a whole lot more. Modern speaker specs, on paper, are pretty impressive.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 85
Registered: Apr-04
Getting this thread back to its original intent:

My multichannel stuff is here! I haven't gotten it all set up yet. The Denon and the T763 are hooked up and I've gotten the front Monitor Audio speakers in place but don't have the surrounds in yet.

First impression:

The Monitor Audio GR10's are an improvement over my B&W CDM 1NT's, particularly in the lower and mid ranges. They already sound really great so they should be incredible once the break-in is done. Thanks to Gregory for suggesting them.

As reported by others, the SACD stereo is far superior to CD. I have two CD's I can do direct comparisons with....Aimee Mann's "Bachelor No 2" and "Lost in Space". The difference switching from CD to SACD on both of these discs is astonishing! The SACD sound is so much fuller and richer. When the CD is playing it almost sounds like a blanket has been thrown over the speakers compared to what the SACD sounds like.

The T763 is great! Has the "NAD sound" I'm used to - only more powerful and cleaner than what I had with the c350. No out of the box problems with hissing, pops or hums.

The Denon CD playback is inferior to the NAD c541i. Listening to the Naxos Beethoven Symphony No5, the Denon playback sounded murky in comparison to the NAD.

Well, I better get back to putting this thing together so I can get the surround in place and listen to multichannel and DVD-A.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 272
Registered: Feb-04
Ghia

It's refreshing to hear that your T763 is performing as it should. What a great system you have! Can almost feel your excitement!

Even though you have an excellent CD player, just for interest sake, if you get a chance or have a spare cable, try a toslink or coaxial from the 2200 to the 763 for cd playback - the 763's DACs may make a vast improvement. I heard the 2200 was not so great for cd's but a very good performer for the other formats. At present I'm looking towards that or the 2900 (soon as I can afford the plunge).

I'm pleased to hear what you say about the SACDs over cd sound and will look forward to your impressions when you've hooked up the multi-channel for both formats.

I understand both the 2200 and the 2900 don't have speaker delay settings for SACD. I'll be interested to know how it sounds in multi-channel or if there is a way around - or even if the settings should be necessary.

Anyway - have fun with it all.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1135
Registered: Dec-03
Very good, Ghia. Congratulations! I understand most/all SACD material is remixed, so true A-B comparison with CD is difficult. But if it sounds good, that is the bottom line. You are doing meaningful comparisons: your old gear is high quality, too. More impressions awaited with keen interest.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1136
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Sure about absence of speaker delay settings on 2200/2900? If so, that is a serious mark against. They are very important for surround sound, and they must be in the player for SACD/DVD-A.

Good point about the digital vs analogue connection.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 273
Registered: Feb-04
John A

The 2 models have SD settings for DVD-A but as far as SACD - only what I read:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_1/denon-dvd-2900-dvd-player-1-2004.html

I believe (not sure) the same applies to the 2200

I don't know if this is a problem as I have not seen any complaints by owners regarding this, (maybe it just relies on the receivers multi-channel settings). Perhaps someone with either player can shed some light.

BTW - Wife and I have agreed to the DVD universal player before new TV purchase but it keeps getting further away - first was helping my dentist to pay his golf club fees, then holidays (no complaints there) and now the hot water system has died.

Such is life!



 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1138
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

The channel delay occurs in the digital domain - it is part of the digital sound processor settings. Therefore you cannot do it in the receiver with SACD and DVD-A, which are analogue by the time they get there. The receiver will do it only with AC-3 and DTS, working on their digital inputs.

It sounds as if the 2900 designers thought people would use that player for SACD only in two-channel, where you do not need delays. Well, not if you have the speakers in the right place.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 282
Registered: Dec-03
yes i believe the 2900 came out first and did not
have this feature implemented but the 2200 most
definatly does.


and ghia congrats i would be interested in your
findings of cd playback while using the dac's in
the nad also.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1139
Registered: Dec-03
BTW, My Rantz, anybody:- when I say "essential" it depends on the extent of your concern with phasing and the accuracy of the sound field. But, in my opinion, surround that is way-off in channel delays is pretty bad; you don't know where you are.

I wonder whether this is the basis of the surround sceptics' opinions in "Teaching an old dog new tricks" and elsewhere. If you are a stereo perfectionist, you will easily hear how awful surround is with the delays incorrectly set. Even in Dolby AC-3 it is bad. You really have to get the delays right with DVD-A. Otherwise you are getting very focussed but incompatible signals about where the sources of sound are.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 283
Registered: Dec-03
p.s. i am also pretty happy with a new toy "one"
of my speakers that i have been building for oh
5 months or so is finally wired up and sounding
incredable with only a few tweaks so far.

i am fairly stoked!

want to hear about that suround sound and even a
little movie watching their ghia! you should enjoy!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 284
Registered: Dec-03
hey john i new you were pushing for that gold member status.


you old sly one!!!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 274
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger

Thanks for setting me straight about the 2200 time delay settings. I need to find if there is a way around this SACD time delay setting for the 2900. I cannot understand the raving reviews it receives if such is not possible. If not then maybe the 2200 will have to suffice even if there is a slight degregation of sound quality - and from all reports it is only slight.

hey john i new you were pushing for that gold member status.

Keggar - at least he'll be able to save the expense on those prescriptions!

John A - sorry, but an opportunity lost . . .

But thankyou my friend, I realised my mistake about the receiver settings right after I posted that and I knew you'd be on the ball. Of course the only receiver settings for outside processing is for speaker loudness.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 285
Registered: Dec-03
man i know i have mentioned it on my list of music but!!!!!

i really mean this, if anyone does not have the
tracy chapman album crossroads you need to.

even if you don't like her you need to do yourself
a favor and check it out you will not be disapointed.

it is so clean and clear the vocals are outstanding.

also the instruments used are amazing it does the
speakers good!!!!!!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 275
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger

Thanks for the rec - and sorry, I goofed your name again in the previous post, but I gave myself a darn good talking too!

I remember Tracy Chapman from a few years back and liked what I heard. Is "Crossroads" a new album? I'll give it an auditon soon, thanks.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 286
Registered: Dec-03
mr. rantz no prob "lol"
no it's an older one but i just can't stop listening to it.

and ghia i am sorry for hijacking your thread!
i hope you are at least enjoying the banter?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1141
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

That remark to Kegger I shall treat with the contempt it deserves! Aussies always rise to the occasion, of course.

Ghia, please forgive this stuff. One cannot leave that allegation unanswered.

There are extended jokes on this topic running through "The Full Monty" (1997). Funny and touching black comedy. Best watched with English subtitles on.

My Rantz, I guessed you knew about where the speaker delays take place. Sometimes it is worth stating "the obvious". A lot of threads in Home Theater show that many people have no idea of the basic layout and what the components are doing, where the different surround formats come from, etc.

I wonder if Jan (formidable surround sceptic) takes my point about the need for channel delays? If they are not set correctly, anyone who likes stereo could reasonably write off surround sound completely, for music

Ghia, one post from you produces 13 from us! Keep up the bulletins. You see the level of interest.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 88
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger,

Yes, the banter is always enjoyable!

I do have some questions about the multichannel setup. I think I'll start a new thread for that.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 276
Registered: Feb-04
John A

In hindsight, I guess I should have qualified that remark: Gold member status here is entitlement to the seniors gold card enabling discounts for prescriptions, medical and other services. The now apparent innuendo was not intended but I apologise to you (and others here) for seeming to overstep the mark and take your response on the chin (it will also help to remove the resulting grin).

I agree about the delay/distance settings being a critical factor in surround sound. Even though the explained settings for our SR-7300 was relatively straight forward, I found the need to tweak them several times to find the prefered result for both movie and music DVDs. I almost bought an SPL meter for correct sound levels and may still do so in the interest of seeking perfection - though I know I'll get one of those looks!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 213
Registered: Dec-03
JohnA.,

Congrats on your esteemed "Gold Member" status.
But beware my friend, we all know the final level status.........the coveted "Rust Member".

Bless you John, you are starting to make me feel young! LOL!!!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 89
Registered: Apr-04
My Rantz,

Thanks for the vicarious feeling of my excitement over the new system! :-) As you suggested, I did test the digital connection (coax) of the 2200 to the 763 and found a definite improvement. I don't have the gift of audiophile articulation that many in this forum have but to me the Denon playback using the analog connection seems to add noise and distortion to the sound. By contrast, using the digital link to the T763's DAC resulted in a warmer, cleaner sound. You know how some systems have a "Loudness" button and how that sounds when it is on? That's what the CD playback on the Denon (using the 2200's DAC) sounds like to me.

Interestingly, the c541i still sounds better to my ears than even the CD playback through the T763 DAC. The difference is much more subtle than the comparison between the Denon and the c541i but it is discernible. So, I suspect I will still use the c541i on redbook CD's.

The 2200 sounds great on SACD and DVD-A. I really have not had time to do serious listening because I'm still figuring out all the tweaks. The video seems to be excellent too. Of course, its been over two years (!) since I last watched a DVD on my old Toshiba 2109 - which I believe had good video reviews - but I believe the video on this is as good or better.

John A

The point you made about the SACD remix is a good one. With the Mann discs, these recordings are actually Mobil Fidelity remasters so I guess it is even less of an A-B comparison. I suppose I could do a test where I play the redbook track on the c541 and then switch it over to the SACD to see if there's as big of a difference as there was comparing SACD to the original release.

Speaking of aforementioned tweaks, it seems I may still need to figure out how to configure the delay settings you referred to earlier. I configured my speaker distances in the receiver's settings but it seems this needs to be done on the 2200 also to get the right effect on multichannel SACD and DVD-A?

I've thought about getting an SPL meter but that would confirm my membership in the geek brigade. Is the sound that much better to pay the price of brigade membership? :-)

Kegger,

I have the Tracy Chapman "New Beginnings" CD (contains the excellent "give me one reason") - is Crossroads as good as that one?

Also, does your 2200 run "hot". Mine isn't hot to the touch but when the discs are removed from the tray after playing, they are very warm. Is this normal?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 90
Registered: Apr-04
BTW, I've missed two days of work as a result of this. I spent yesterday picking up the equipment at UPS and setting it up. Then, today, I really was "sick". Woke up with an intense headache so bad it made me nauseous just to move. I have a feeling this headache came on as a result of all the tweaks I've had to learn about. :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1147
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

Yes, I see. That innuendo was not started by me; I thought of it, but kept quiet. But I see, now, that I imported it here, from another thread. My mistake; I thought you were were still referring the Mike Myers etc. Apologies for that, to all. And, if anyone does not understand a single word, believe me, it is just as well. MR will explain...

I find I agree with Jan, on another thread, on the subject of SPL meters. There is a glorious old fellow who makes us all seem young and has a monthly column in HiFi News, I always find it entertaining. Fancy being paid to have a good rant once a month. He habitually takes an SPL meter to live concerts, to check out the level compared with listening to the same stuff at home.

Rick,

Thank you. I have checked your alledged age, in your profile. I hold all the cards...

How is that CA Azur 540D? I keep looking for updates on your thread.

All,

About channel delays, I commented in my NAD T533 review that these are set in feet on that unit, and you have to reset everything if you move your chair. It is nonsense, of course: all that matters is the delay of the speakers relative to each other. For example, all you have to do is increase the delay for the surrounds, if you move your chair back, by one millisecond for each foot of difference in distance between them and the main/centre speakers. NAD should have stuck to milliseconds, in my opinion, so that it is clear what you are doing.

I still think lack of attention to speaker delays could help explain good guys' resistance to surround sound. I was thinking particularly of Jan.

Jan?

Ghia? I will look for you new thread. Perhaps it concerns speaker delays etc.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 189
Registered: Feb-04
Ghia,

My Denon 2200 dvd player/toaster also warms up the discs it's playing, although the exterior doesn't get hot. I checked other AV message boards and found that it's normal for the Denon as well as some other players. It shouldn't be a problem as long as there's space around the player for ventilation.

I've also tried the Denon DAC/NAD DAC comparison and found a substantial difference in sound. The Denon sounds lean, cool and slightly bright to me. The NAD sounds warm, dark and full, although at times the fullness verges on murkiness.

Hope you're enjoying all your new toys :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 214
Registered: Dec-03
JohnA.,

You found me out. At 55, I just may be the elder statesman of the group. The Azur 540D is fine, have not been watching or listening to it much lately. It is spring in my part of the world, and my other passion is gardening, landscaping etc. I quess all I ever wanted to be is a country gentleman. I'll get back to the music soon enough.
I would love to have you out here with me, on a consulting basis, but am fairly certain I couldn't afford you old friend. Cheers!

Ghia,

I hope your new system is everything you wanted and more................ENJOY!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1149
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

I was writing about channel delays just as you were posting the question.

The key is to understand that sound travels at very close to one foot per millisecond.

The objective is to make sure that a wave front from the start of a single sound reaches your ears at exactly the same time from all speakers.

So, if you sit at the same distance from all five main speakers, you do not need to introduce any delay.

However, if, say, you bring the center speaker forwards, so that it is 2 ft nearer to you than the other speakers, then you should delay the center channel by 2 milliseconds: it will then produce the wave front 2 milliseconds later than the other speakers, and so the same sound will, once again, arrive from all speakers at the same time.

If you then move back, so that you are 3 ft nearer the surrounds than before, and 3 ft further away from front left, front right, and center than before, then you can EITHER delay the surrounds by 6 milliseconds (the front and center speakers are now 6 ft further away from you than the surrounds) OR advance the L, R and C by 6 milliseconds. Or any combination of delay settings that allows for the fact that the sound from the front speakers has 6 ft further to travel in order to reach you

I suppose the settings of speaker distances in feet saves some arithmatic, but delay of speakers relative to each other, in units of time, is all that matters.

Hope that is clear. Also correct! I always stand to be corrected.

Is this obsessive geek behaviour? NO! It makes a very big difference to the coherence of the sound field. Only when the delays are correct can you place different sources of sound in their correct places in the original recording. Milliseconds certainly make a difference. That is, in fact, largely how we determine the directions of sources of sound in the real world; from the difference in time at which what we judge to be the same sound arrives at our two ears - and they are less than one foot (less than one millisecond) apart. There are other factors, such as the amplitude of the wave, but the delay is the main overriding factor. The brain is the most fantastic processor.

This brings us naturally to SPL meters. I do think they are for geeks, really. But I know 2c has recommended an SPL meter, and many others do, too. I guess it can be interesting to compare what you experience with a physical measurement of sound pressure level. Surely a meter is essential for making comparisons between different rooms etc, where you cannot rely on your memory of a subjective experience for a realistic comparison. But, in the end, it is your subjective experience that matters - no physical measurement can tell you something about your experience, only what caused it.

The geek in me does recommend a test/set-up disc, however: it isolates channels, frequencies and effects in ways you cannot achieve with real music. I have the Aix one (2c recommended Aix; thanks!), still on order. There are many others available. I will report back on that.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 92
Registered: Apr-04
JohnA

How can one do an AB comparison between SACD and original recording if the SACD are "remixed"? Is this remixing done even on 2ch SACD? The Mann discs are both stereo SACD.

As I mentioned earlier, these are hybrid discs containing Mobile Fidelity (MOFI) remastering. Since my other post, I have done a comparison of the redbook track of the MOFI and compared it to the SACD track of the MOFI. The SACD sounds better, without a doubt. The soundstage is bigger, the vocals and acoustic guitar are richer, the drums have more punch. Geez, I know this is all subjective but it really is dramatically improved.

The other thread that I talked about starting got canceled because I figured out my problem....I couldn't get audio from the DVD using digital. I had to go into the 763's menus and set the DVD's audio source to the correct input.

2c

Thanks for the Denon feedback. Awhile back you asked whether it was worth the extra money to get the MOFI SACD of "Lost in Space". I can say without hesitation, yes. You said you had bought the CD and had it in your rotation. If you like the recording, I believe you would be pleased with the SACD.

As a fan of Mann, I can only hope she puts all her future releases out on hi-rez discs - hopefully, right at the release date so I don't have to buy multiple versions. However, as an independent artist who distributes her own releases and is not beholden to the major labels, I don't know if this is financially feasible for her.

Hopefully in the next few hours I'll get a chance to listen to "Kind of Blue" in 2ch and multichannel and give some feedback on that.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 93
Registered: Apr-04
Hi John,

We are one step behind each other's posts! Thanks for the explanation of the delay settings. I will take that into account shortly when I start trying to find the 2200's settings.

Rick,

Thanks for the sentiments! I am enjoying setting the system up. Hopefully, soon it will be ready for enjoyment of the music. Although, the next couple of weekends I have to cram for some certification exams I'm taking and then I'll be gone to the coast for 10 days so it may be 3 weeks before I can fully enjoy it. I've been lucky that the weather has been crappy the last 2 days so I haven't had any desire to be outside - of course, I should be at work, anyway but....maybe tomorrow. ;-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 528
Registered: Dec-03
One of the reasons I liked the Pioneer Elite 49TXi which has the MCAAC system. Besides acoustic controls and balancing it sets the delays to where you sit (which should be where you place the microphone in the system). There are a number of other receivers with this system now, some better than others. Of course, you can do this with an SPL meter and also as John says with estimating the speed of sound per foot and alterring the delay accordingly.

Obviously, all these adjustments are just "perfect" for the person sitting in the sweet spot. Of course, most people enjoy the performance--movie or music--anyway.

Glad you like the MA GR10's. Real nice in that Rose Mah wood too. I particularly love how they look with the grill clothes off. The drivers look great.

I ordered a bunch of surround recordings a week ago and am anxiously awaiting their arrival, as I have listened to my small collection of DVD-A's and SACD's many times. Last night I played my Joe Henry cd--"Short Man's Room" on Pro Logic 11 and it sounded great--although it sounds great in stereo too. After more than a decade, it is still one of my fave cd's. Great songs, great lyrics, and great back up by the Jayhawks. Probably was the beginning of alternative country ( somewhat Dylanesque, with a much better voice)---maybe that is what alt. country is anyway, Nashville Skyline with a rockier beat:-).

When you "balance" the two pair of GR10's with the GR center channel (and your subwoofer)you will get great performance. You might never leave the house again :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 191
Registered: Feb-04
John A,

I don't remember recommending an SPL meter, but that doesn't mean I didn't, given my failing memory. As usual, I agree with your sentiment whole-heartedly that music-listening is a subjective experience. So I've been calibrating by ear. However, the inner geek in me did buy an SPL meter a while ago, but it's still in the box. One of these days I'll try some "scientific" calibration of my system.

Ghia,

Thanks for your comments on the AM discs. I have Bachelor No.2 on my list of discs to pick up. So I may have to pick up the SACD version when I do. I almost picked up the multi-ch version of "Kind of Blue" the other night, but put it aside for yet another Mahler disc (I get tired of myself sometimes.) Anyway, I look forward to hear what you think of KoB in SURROUND SOUND.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1152
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Yes, we are crossing posts!

"How can one do an AB comparison between SACD and original recording if the SACD are 'remixed'?"

One can't.

"Is this remixing done even on 2ch SACD?"

So I understand. Long-standing professional reviewers wishing to compare CD with SACD have given up: they do an analysis and it is clear every SACD has been remixed from source material: they are not able to make a direct comparison between the media themselves.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 288
Registered: Dec-03
ghia in response to your.

Kegger,

I have the Tracy Chapman "New Beginnings" CD (contains the excellent "give me one reason") - is Crossroads as good as that one?

i believe it is much better!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 95
Registered: Apr-04
John A,

Is the remixing also a given for the DVD-A format?

Gregory,

Alas, I could only afford one pair of GR10's plus the center channel. I had planned to use the B&W's for the surrounds but they are too bulky for the shelf space where they need to be placed. They teeter precariously over the edge....it would take just one cat to jump up on them to knock them off. And, since this shelf is right under a window, you can bet that is a real risk. I tried the smaller Energy sat speakers as surrounds but they were not full range enough for music. So this is a dilemma that will have to be resolved in the future. For now, I'm considering selling the B&W's and using the Energy's until I can afford to get a good surround pair.

You are right about the attractiveness of the GR10's. I have the grills off mine too. And, they sound terrific! They have a much tighter bass than the B&W's.

I have a couple of Joe Henry cd's. I think he has a great, unique voice. I don't believe I've heard "short man" though - and a pairing with the Jayhawks? That's interesting. Based on the Henry cd's I have, that's not a pairing I would have thought of. The cd's I have seem to be more moody and jazz-influenced.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 529
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia--

I am sure it will sound great anyway.

Early Joe Henry is much different from his later jazz influenced music. I like all of it. There is more change and growth in his discography than about any other singer/songwriter I can think of.

Get his early cd's like "Short Man's Room" and "Kindness of the World" and "Fireman's Wedding" and compare them to his later work like "Scar" and "Fuse" and you can really sense and hear the enormous changes.

He used to tour as a separate performer with the Jayhawks around 1990--hence they became friends and he wrote some music they could record together. His first album,--"Shuffletown"--you can hear him as a Dylanesque troubador, but with "Short Man's Room" and "Kindness of the World"--along with "Fireman's Wedding"--mostly done with the Jayhawks you can see how they basically created the alt country category--with Joe Henry supplying the most haunting and holding lyrics ever imaginable--juxtaposed with the beauty of the Jayhawks playing--amazing.

Oddly enough, he had already been married to Madonna's younger sister for a few years at this time and Joe so liked one painting that Madonna had--called "Short Man's Room"--he put it on the cover and made a song about it and delved into other southern roots music, albeit with a rather alternative twist.
Definitely an essential cd.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1153
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

"Is the remixing also a given for the DVD-A format?"

Good question. Sorry, I don't know. Most DVD-A recordings I know about are new recordings, recorded in multichannel. The comparison of CD with DVD-A is less simple. No-one, to my knowledge, ever claimed DVD-A was just a higher resolution format for delivering what was already available on CD. In contrast, the original sales pitch for SACD was that it was a sort of "CD-plus".

One could certainly compare DVD-A two-channel with the same performance on Cd for a number of releases. I have not had an opportunity to do this, and have not read reviews of this kind. I think I can hear marked differences in mixing between DD, DTS, and DVD-A on the same DVD-Audio disc, but that is answering a different question.

I wonder of anyone else can comment.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 279
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger

According to this review, there is no speaker delay setting for SACD on the 2200 or 2900 - only for DVD-A. The very expensive 5900 (or A11) does as it coverts the DSD back to PCM. For the 2200 and 2900 the best surround listening method for SACD is to have all speakers at equal distance from the listening postion. What a let down! If this is wrong let me please let me know.

See the audio section in the review below:

http://www.hometheaterspot.com/html/reviews/techreview.php?rev=30
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 289
Registered: Dec-03
well you made me pull out my manual as i do not
have the unit setup in my multichannel room at the moment.

i know i went into the multi channel section and
and set the the delays.

but if the manual and that website are correct it
says in the manual thAt the delays are not valid
when playing sacd.

humm very interesting!

i did not have to do very much when i set mine
up as all of my speakers are pretty much the
same distance.i will look more into this when i
get a chance.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 281
Registered: Feb-04
It's interesting all right. But then, my speakers aren't to far from being at equal distance from our listening postion but the point would be to see what tolerances would make a substantial difference. Still, these units seem good for the money.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1158
Registered: Dec-03
All speakers at equal distance is probably the best, and certainly the simplest, option, but it is not a practical possibility for most people.

So variable delay settings for all speakers are essential. They are probably more important than variable gain settings, in most cases. It is bizarre if Denon has saved small sums by omitting that option.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 282
Registered: Feb-04
John A

When we DO get our universal player, it will be in all likelyhood, from many reports, that most of what we buy will be DVD-A but the SACD option may be handy. Next up from the Denon 2200/2900 is the Marantz 8400 but at a grand more than the 2900 it's really way out of our league. I guess these manufacturers don't want us to have everything!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 74
Registered: Apr-04
FWIW, in the 2 days I had my first DVD-2900, before sending it back for replacement, the single SACD multichannel disc I had sounded ok.

Before I bought the player, I searched for other multi-players at the same pricepoint that had delay settings for SACD. I couldn't find any, but I may have overlooked some.

However, most players didn't even have bass management in SACD. Something very important if you don't have large floor standers all around. So if the delay in SACD is essential for you, make sure there's also bass management for it, in the player you get.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 285
Registered: Feb-04
Adam,

Thanks, I understand about the bass management being an important option. How do you rate your 2900 now?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 530
Registered: Dec-03
To me--bass management is hundreds of times more important than delays, under all, but the most bizarre circumstances. I doubt most people can hear a 1-3 millisecond difference (the brain is awesome at filling in acoustic blanks--particularly ones much larger than this).

Many receivers have delay sets anyway. Heck, lots of people listen to movie and music delay programs in their receivers anyway--partiularly Yamaha users ---haha.

When you attend an orchestral concert the cellos and violins usually sit on the right and left stage front. Then it goes back to violas, second violins--then woodwinds, then brass and percussion. There can be a 30-40 foot difference between the front and back of the orchestra. I never hear the audience complain to electrically enhance the delay of the front instruments:-) Our brains interpret the delays as the acoustic cues and a natural part of a live performance.

The miniscule difference in most home systems can't be that important. If it is, then everyone but you that is listening is having a bad time.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 291
Registered: Dec-03
gregory i see where john is coming from but i am
incline to agree with you on this one.

unless you have 20 feet of difference between
speaker distances.

i personally don't think your going to hear that
much if any difference between 10ft and 5ft of
speaker distance.

i did not want to mention this earlier and seem
that i was just blowing it off because i own a 2200!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Docdat

CopenhagenDenmark

Post Number: 75
Registered: Apr-04
My Rantz,

I haven't received the replacement yet, but the picture was amazing on the first one. Also the DD and DTS processing was hugely improved over the DSP and DACs in my NAD T760 receiver.

Last night I put The Last Waltz on my T550, and I just couldn't find my favourite numbers from the first time I watched it. Then I realized that I'd only played the disc on the DVD-2900 before, and numbers that had sounded fantastic on it, were now slightly dull. So I can't wait till I get the new one back. Apparently there's a shortage of DVD-2900s in Germany at the moment. :-(

I'll wait for the replacement before judging the CD performance. The first one had a serious malfunction with CD audio. As for DVD-A, I've got a couple of discs in the meantime, waiting to be tested :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 531
Registered: Dec-03
I don't mean that setting the delays properly isn't desirable. It is. And if your receiver and dvd doesn't have delays you can use an SPL meter to balance the sound to where you sit, basically accomplishing the same thing.

No doubt, if one speaker is a few feet closer to you, it will have a tendency to make the sound seem like it is coming mainly from that direction. Hence balancing the system is important. But anyone can buy a $40 Radio Shack SPL meter and accomplish this task with minimal effort.

Obviously, no matter how you balance a surround set-up, there will be only one "perfectly" balanced spot. Certainly it is great if you are the only one listening to the surround discs. Somehow I still find that I enjoy the sound when I let other people sit in the sweet spot.

In my upstairs system with 2 sets of directional speakers it is undoubtedly much more important to balance the sound. With bipolar or dipolar surrounds that have a far more diffuse presentation, it is probably much more important to have the front three speakers balanced.

I generally find that the balancing is more important in DVD-A and SACD surround than in movies. But that might just be a personal bias.

Far more annoying to me is listening to a system with bad or no bass management.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 292
Registered: Dec-03
i also have the $40 radio shack meter.

i have very litle distance differences in my setup.

but i still went ahead and set them correctly in
the reciever.

then metered the whole thing out.

i personally have my center and surrounds 2db higher.

but i do not use the meter for my subs i set them
by ear.

but even after changing distances and going back
"mind you small distances" i do not hear any difference!

to me the volume set by the meter or whatever way
you set it makes the most out of your setup!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
I'll interject a piece of information that comes from my time in the pro audio world. This is twenty years ago and digital delays were just becoming affordable for the average system. Delays were being sold to churches that had a problem with intelligiblity from the pulpit to the back of the congregation and in the balcony. The delays were set to adjust the reinforced sound, coming from the speaker array that flanked the sanctuary walls, with the live sound that was coming from the pulpit. We used the then accepted convention that anything under 25 miliseconds, which represented approximately fifty feet in distance was unintelligible and made no adjustments to the delay until we exceeded that distance from the pulpit. I don't know if those numbers have changed as the delays have improved but those numbers greatly inproved the intelligiblity back then. Therefore, the idea in Home Theater set ups that small differences in distance need compensation has always struck me as much as a marketing tool as anything truly useful unless the manufacturer allowed for very small increments of adjustment.
When I returned to the high end consumer market in the mid 80's the concept of time alignment was beginning to be the hot button in speaker design. This implied that a small difference in the physical spacing of the drivers that amounted to no more than, at best a few inches, would alter the sound quality. And it did, in most cases. The concept takes into account the problems in most crossovers and generally addresses the lack of attention that was the norm in speaker design twenty years ago, before computers got into speaker design in a big way. It is not possible to attribute all the benefits of phase alignment to just a sloped baffle but you seldom then or now see a high end speaker that pushes the time alignment of their system that does not featue a stepped arrangement of some degree. This is claimed to be one of the most basic benefits of planar speakers, the inherent phase alignment of the system. Certainly anyone who has experienced a really well designed planar design, not withstanding other problems they may have, has heard a correctness that is seldom present in conventional box designs. So how sensitive is the human ear to timing cues?
As an aside, I normally run my center speaker three to five dB down from the fronts. And I use the on the fly adjustment on my remote to adjust center, surrounds and sub levels for various recordings. Otherwise I feel the center draws too much attention to itself and narrows the soundstage across the front. This may be my preference, as John A. and I have discussed in another thread, for a "stereo" presentation and the feeling that a well recorded (if there is such a thing any more) source with front speakers that image well can do much better at soundstaging than added speakers that interject their own problems into the mix. I will make an exception to that statement for anyone who remembers and has heard a phantom center speaker (the preference was for a Belle Klipsch or a LaScala that had close to the same effieciency) between two Klipschorns when they are twenty to thirty feet apart, which was the recommendation of Paul Klipsch. Though I was not a fan of the Klipsch line, if you ever heard that system set up correctly you still remember the impact it could develop in a room and on your memory.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 532
Registered: Dec-03
Stereo is great, but it is missing something that surround sound offers (if done correctly). Ideally, I would like a 360 degree speaker set-up with around 25 speakers. Anyway, what I hear on a well-engineered surround recording is SPACE--and it is all around me. I never hear that on stereo. Stereo at best can mimic a 3 dimensional world--but it never gets there.

Afteral, who doesn't prefer a movie a digital surround over one with two front stereo speakers? Why would you think that should be any different for audio? Because the picture is gone the ground rules change?

 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 533
Registered: Dec-03
Stereo is wonderful and we all have been listening to it for many years. But even on my best stereo recordings I have found it always missing something--SPACE. Heck, the ideal sound systhem to me would be 360 degrees with about 25 speakers. Obviously you want most of the sound coming from the front, but the spaciousness supplied by all the surround speakers (besides the sonic information and acoustic clues and cues) is incredibly beneficial.

There are even symphonic pieces with the main orchestra in front and brass choirs on the side of the audience--such as the Berlioz Requiem.

Who would rather watch a movie in stereo over Dolby Digital Surround? Why would ones opinion change on the experience by removing the picture?

Try as it might--stereo is never 3-dimensional. On a great recording it gets close, but it is never there.

That sense of SPACE on a great surround recording (besides the better acoustic cues from the surrounds) makes all the difference in the world to me. I think listening to so much stereo over the years has gotten us used to being "sonically" out of the world, or at least lowered our expectations of recorded reality.

No doubt, engineers will require the same (if not longer) learning curve to perfect the surround recording process as it did for them when changing from mono to stereo.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1175
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

I wrote a reply to your posts of May 21, but accidentally got the wrong thread. I thought about it, and decided it was probably better there, since it goes as far as I can think of at the moment in my discussion with Jan V. about why, and how, I think surround sound offers a new dimension (literally) for reproduction of music. I can post it again here, but this is kind of Ghia's thread (and very good, too): I do not wish to move off-topic.

Yes, "SPACE" - you are quite right. And I think I can explain....

If you can, please take a look at May 22, 2004 - 09:25 am on Teaching an old dog new tricks....
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1176
Registered: Dec-03
BTW, again, "stereo is never 3-dimensional". Correct, it 1-dimensional; from two speakers. Surround sound is (better, can be) 2-dimensional. All you need is 4 speakers. No-one seems to be talking about 3-dimensional sound, I don't know why. All you would need for that would be 8 speakers.

Mono is dimensionless (1 speaker).

We could continue the progression. The next stop after real, 3-D sound would be 16 speakers.... We get into "2001" territory, there!

25 seems like a damn silly number, if I may be blunt!

Just as crazy as 6, or 7.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 296
Registered: Dec-03
I see gregory is with me on the 25 speaker thing!

that would be awsome!

I would be in heaven.

25 200watt amps wwhhhhoooo!!!!! "give me more"
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 297
Registered: Dec-03
I was just thinking that would ony be 16 more
amps i need.

I think i have the speakers! lol
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1184
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Would you have to parachute into the listening position.....?

Like I said, they did 40.0 in London, somewhere, once.

Thank the Lord they weren't doing a Mahler symphony like "symphony of a thousand". Mind, if they did, the amps would only all come on together in the last 30 seconds.

What a way to go, though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 298
Registered: Dec-03
no i would make some nice wooden ladders built
into the back of a couple cabinets. lol!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 216
Registered: Dec-03
JohnA.,

The closest sonic illusion to 3D sound is with a pair of Walsh diver OHMS. Nothing else I've heard comes close. Keep in mind, this is with a single stereo pair in 2 channel.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1186
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Would you ever be able to get back out?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 299
Registered: Dec-03
uuuhmmmmm uuuhhhh!!!!!!!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 300
Registered: Dec-03
just toss in some beers now and then i'll be fine!
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 534
Registered: Dec-03
Obviously, I was picking an arbitrary number of speakers by saying 25. I was just trying to make the point that the closer to a 360 degree sound, the better.

By the way I received my micro walsh's for the sunroom--very nice. But Ohm also makes surround speakers and center speakers. What the stereo Walsh's do is create as close to a 3-D type experience I have heard from a pair of speakers.

But the stereo Walsh's are still not the same as having discrete sound coming from behind you and from the sides. But they do a good approximation for a pair of speakers.

It is quite possible that surround speakers in the future will be self-amplified and have wireless connections. That would make set-up a lot easier and remove the problems of multiple amps and tangles of wires and interconnects.

I bet it isn't too far off to get high quality performance from such a system.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 217
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

I absolutely agree with you on the OHMS. By the way, did you get the Micro's or the Micro Talls? I'm in the break in process with mine at the moment. I'm still trying to find a pair of GMA Europa's to audition. It's a curiousity is killing the cat kind of thing. I may just buy a pair so I can hear them. Always a pleasure, Gregory, stay well.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 301
Registered: Dec-03
yes gregory we knew you were just throwing a #
out their.

i was just refering back to an earlier post that
john had commented on.

as i had mentioned being surrounded by more speakers.and i could see the industry giving us
more in the future.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
John A. - Mono - dimensionless?! You contradict yourself if you truly believe the key to locating a sound in space is all based on phase. Even a mono microphone picks up the different phase, and amplitude, relationships of a symphony orchestra (as an example) and translates them into left/right, front/rear information that can be percieved in rather suprising detail, with hall information, on a good mono discs from the 50's. Only omni-directional and figure of eight microphone patterns existed at that time, no cardiod or super uni-directional. Therefore, the ambient information is on every mono recording waiting to be exracted.
More on this later.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1189
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory, Kegger,

Thanks. I understood "25" was a token arbitrary number. I try not to be too serious, but, look, you don't conjure up arbitrary numbers of speakers if they cost $500 each! "How many do we need" is good question. 7.1 seems about as arbitrary, to me, as 25. Gregory - any response to my tract on "phase is everything"...? Nice shift to your new speakers. Congratulations - please say some more, especially on imaging (someone said on Rick's "Epiphany" they can't image their way out of a wet paper bag). But, no matter how good your Ohms are, failure to pick up the gauntlet counts as victory for the opposing side....!

Rick,

Why not buy an arbitrary number of Ohms? (I am lining someone up....)

Jan,

You are beginning to sound like those guys who claim to produce surround sound from one speaker....

Really, we do not disagree. I was just being boring, pedantic, and pretending to know some mathematics. A point is dimensionless; a line has one dimension; a surface, two dimensions; a volume, three dimensions; and so on (any takers for "trippy" hypermusic, to extend the series?).

Seems to me the minimum number of speakers is 2n, where n is the number of dimensions you want to hear your sound in. Personally, n=3 is all I can deal with, and imagine it will be so for the foreseeable future. But the entire HT/audio industry does not appear to be thinking beyond n=2, where, and I repeat, four speakers is enough.

If we really want n=3 it seems to me the required number of speakers, eight, would still allow some space for Kegger to get in his beer, and he could also escape if someone started playing Country & Western.

BTW I see from that great ambisonics link (thanks) that they have really thought about how to get 3-D sound. One of my irritations with Bose (apart from their speakers, that is) is that they talk about "3D sound" and clearly do not understand what that means, except as poetry, MIT professor or no.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 302
Registered: Dec-03
that shore is some tootin good stuff their johnny!!

keep it up their pardner!

i think olll surround meself with bout 6 juke boxes,
order meself up some drinks and have a hoedown.

aahh ke ke ke oowwooee oowwooee sshhh that's
some darn good stuff.give me another bartender!
keep um comin i got a long ride ahead.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1193
Registered: Dec-03
...but gimme a Jack; I just can't forget that gal/dog/car...?

Thanks, Kegger, I really did laugh out loud!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
Ah, a pointless dimension. I feel I'm being led ...
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1195
Registered: Dec-03
No, a dimensionless point; it's quite different.

Jan, I think we both know what's in that room, don't you agree, Jan?.... Don't you think you can imagine what you will find there....?
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 535
Registered: Dec-03
John A--

Sorry to get you so riled. When I mentioned speaker quantity--I was talking of a wish list. Certainly under present price technology it won't be feasible for most consumers. But I have heard the advantages from 4 different people that have HT systems with Lexicon processors with advanced 7.1 formats with Revel speakers, one with Monitor Audio speakers, one with Joseph Audio speakers, and one with B & W's. I was duly impressed on the larger soundstage, sweetspot, and better acoustic cues. More people can enjoy the performance from within "the circle" of speakers and being in the "sweet spot" isn't a requisite.

I don't think my upstairs set-up is ideal for more than the 5.1 it currently possesses. Maybe if I used a pair of in-wall speakers for 7.1 at a higher level it may make an improvement---if they don't reverberate the walls or set other acoustic anomalies in motion.

Next post I will send in Kevin Voeck's opinions on time coherence and phase and what he thinks are the most important aspects for a speaker to possess. I will send his views, because his explanations are in agreement with mine and his explanations are far more learned and superior to mine. His views are basically identical with Floyd Toole's (as he works for him now in the Revel Division of H-K Int'l--and pretty much every speaker designer that cam out of the National Research Council Labs of Canada)--and they are basically the same as Richard Modaferri's of Joseph Audio, Paul Barton of PSB, etc.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 536
Registered: Dec-03
John A--

Almost all the great speaker engineers put time coherence and "phase correctness" near the bottom of their lists of most important aspects of speaker performance. It seems to me the only time I read articles proclaiming how necessary these things are--are when they are written by people without degrees, without ABX testing facilities, and they come just armed with belief systems and their opinions.

The great speaker designers, from Floyd Toole, Peter Snell, Kevin Voeck's, Richard Moddafieri (of Joseph Audio)--and of course Siegfried Linkwitz of crossover fame, never mind the great amount of others pretty much agree with the following comments made by Kevin Voeck's (who was Peter Snell's "main man", Mirage, and now Revel--under the Floyd Toole umbrella at Harman International).

Following is from an interview:

Sumit: When designing a loudspeaker what are the three most important aspects of a loudspeaker according to you that one must get right?

Kevin Voeck's: Timbre is the overwhelming aspect. Based on our blind listening tests timbre is the thing that differentiates between good and bad loudspeakers, but also between good and great loudspeakers. So timbre is kind of a broad term. It incorporates balance, frequency balance, or it can be thought of very roughly as frequency response. That's a little dangerous because, not to infer that one on-axis measurement tells you what the frequency response is in a loudspeaker. It doesn't. Other areas like off-axis response are very critical and we've learned that very far off-axis response like 60-75 degrees is very critical. Almost no one even measures it, let alone designs loudspeakers that are optimized at that sort of angle. But we've looked at real world situations and found that the all-important side-wall first reflection is a function of the speaker's output at that kind of angle in the vast majority of listening rooms. So it means that you're going to be hearing that kind of sound. You will hear it with a slight delay, and in many rooms without very much attenuation. So optimizing the response at that kind of extreme angle is very, very important. And then the power response, the reverberant field that we hear a little later in time is also important. So we literally design for all of those areas: the direct sound, the first reflection sound, and the reverberant field, because we know that all those three things are huge contributors to the timbre, to our perception of the speaker's timbre.

Sumit: How does the price point limit you in so far as achieving these three goals?

Kevin: The three goals of direct sound, first reflection and power response I see as one basic goal. And price ranges such as that of the Performa F32 don't really limit that very significantly until you get perhaps to 12-15 kHz where the Ultima speakers have a rear tweeter that comes in just to optimize the reverberant field, not for the direct sound or the first-reflection. That refinement is an example of something that isn't the maximum bang for the buck (so isn't included) in the Performa range.

Sumit: You mentioned high-order crossovers a while back. Revel speakers have always used high-order crossovers. Several companies take the opposite approach i.e. they use low-order (first and second order) crossovers. What are the disadvantages of using low-order crossover designs? Are there any advantages to using low-order crossovers?

Kevin: Well, we were fortunate enough to have done research that has allowed us to know, to really understand, what are the characteristics that are important to sound quality and what are the characteristics that have some value but less, and those characteristics that don't have any sonic value and that allow us to make the optimum choices in the design. That all points very, very strongly to high-order crossovers because high-order crossovers are necessary in order to have low distortion which is way up there on the list of important sonic qualities.
High-order crossovers are important to have good dynamic capability without compression. It would really shock audiophiles to see how much the response of most high-end loudspeakers changes at different volume levels. They are like completely different loudspeakers when played even at moderate levels, and it is something that is very directly measurable. So we really focus on making sure that not only is the timbre really accurate, but that it changes as little as possible over a very wide dynamic range. Plus the distortion is below the audible threshold; resonances are below the audible threshold because our research has shown those are really important things.

If we used first-order crossovers, we would degrade the off-axis response, and therefore the timbre, we would completely degrade the distortion characteristics, we would loose our dynamic capability, our freedom from compression because tweeters and mid-ranges are then getting signals that are outside the frequency range that they are really designed to handle. So it's really mostly heat, and that heat makes the voice coil impedance go up, and as a result of that the filter network is mis-terminated because it's not seeing the termination impedance it expects to see, and then the response of the crossover is impacted.

So what that means is that when speakers heat up, voice coils heat up, the crossover networks don't work right anymore and you get peaks and dips in the response, several dB peaks and dips in the response. So with high-order crossovers and with all the things that we are doing in the transducer design to keep the voice coils cool which means we are generally using a very large voice coils which spreads out the heat over a large area, and we're using in some cases multiple woofers to further spread out the heat. We are using all of these techniques including the way we vent them which forces the air through the gap at the same time, the vents are designed in such a way so that they don't create noises. It's a very sophisticated approach to solving the problem with heat. But a big part of that is the high-order crossovers. It's an essential part of it.

Sumit: Have you ever heard a good loudspeaker that uses a low-order crossover?

Kevin: I have heard good loudspeakers that use low-order crossovers. I haven't heard great loudspeakers that use low-order crossovers. They run into these problems. It's inevitable.

Sumit: Do you feel that time-coherence is an important property of a loudspeaker?

Kevin: No. We've done a lot of research in the area. In fact when I made my first loudspeakers at Symdex in 1976, I thought that it was important because that was the fad at the time. With some people, it's still a fad. But if you look at the way the human hearing functions, you'll see that time-coherence isn't important. I actually credit Dr. Stanley Lipshitz at the University of Waterloo with bringing this to my attention, to put it mildly, in the 70's at Mirage. He and Dr. Vanderkooy came up with a box that would let you alter phase response without altering amplitude response, and by using it you could do listening tests to determine the audibility of phase errors, or time-coherence. It was quite evident then that if you are in an anechoic chamber or you are using earphones, you can detect the difference especially with special clicks that are made to hear it. You can't always say which is right or better, and as soon as you introduce the room it's 100% inaudible. The importance of phase is in the crossover region because that's an indicator of the blending of the transducers that are being crossed over. So in and of itself it's not a significant thing. And in order to try to optimize it you really sell your soul in terms of things we know are really, really important to sound quality. That is a key fact. It's not like it's cost free, audibly, to optimize that parameter.

_______________________

More from Voeck's in another article:

Spearheaded by Voecks, formerly of Mirage and Snell, right-hand-manned by the famous Floyd Toole, who at the NRC in Canada pioneered the scientific speaker measurement protocol as we know it today, the Revel team set out to identify, in sequence of relevance, the most important loudspeaker design parameters. As a former first-order proponent who, in the early '80s, reconsidered certain positions based on research conducted by Dr. Stanley Lipshitz of the University of Waterloo, Voecks couldn't have been surprised at some of the results. The two stout pillars of the first-order religion -- cast out thy evil spirits and preserve Ye both the original waveform and its phase relationship -- turned out to be the least important. In fact, of seven target criteria, waveform preservation was found to reside below the actual threshold of audibility. According to Revel's research, phase fidelity rests just marginally above.

The other five very audible qualities, starting with the most dominant one, are: timbre, directivity, resonance, distortion, and dynamics. Timbre is said to be by far the most complex because it's a function of room acoustics, speaker and listener location within the room, and thus their combined interaction of direct, early and reverberant reflections. Because all sounds emanating from the speaker eventually reach the ear, directivity is deemed second-most important and directly related to correct reproduction of timbre. Resonance, whether created by the actual transducer or cabinet, creates interference patterns and thus distortion products. Those must remain below the audibility limit. Distortion itself operates via frequency-dependent thresholds. Revel's research showed how even very low-amplitude low-Q resonances are just as audible as are far more visible high-Q resonances. Prior to their research, these very tiny graphic deviations would have been considered inaudible. Manufacturers that still rely on electronic gating simulations of anechoic chambers can't even detect the presence of resonances in most cases, much less come up with engineering solutions to minimize or suppress them. Dynamic compression -- the non-linearities that occur in transducer behavior when excursion increases and voice coils heat up -- is deemed the last major challenge of the five key issues. The heating of the voice coil causes an increase in its native impedance that in turn mis-terminates the associated crossover network. This misalignment causes often-dramatic response changes. Simultaneously, the transducers stop increasing their output levels in linear relationship to the input signal. In a multi-way system, multiple drivers cover different frequency ranges and exhibit different heating and cooling properties. Unaccounted for, this can cause massive problems.

 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 537
Registered: Dec-03
Siegfried Linkwitz is also in agreement.

A summary of the characteristics of a Linkwitz-Riley crossover reads:

1. Absolutely flat amplitude response through out the passband with a steep 24 dB/octave rolloff rate after the crossover point.
2. The acoustic sum of the two driver responses is unity at crossover. (Amplitude response of each is -6 dB at crossover, i.e., there is no peaking in the summed acoustic output)
3. Zero phase difference between drivers at crossover. (Lobing error equals zero, i.e., no tilt to the polar radiation pattern.) In addition, the phase difference of zero degrees through crossover places the lobe of the summed acoustic output on axis at all frequencies.
4. The low pass and high pass outputs are everywhere in phase. (This guarantees symmetry of the polar response about the crossover point)
5. All drivers are always wired the same (in phase).
A casual reading of the above list may suggest that this is, indeed, the perfect crossover. But such is not so. The wrinkle involves what is known as "linear phase". A Linkwitz-Riley crossover alignment is not linear phase: meaning that the amount of phase shift is a function of frequency. Or, put into time domain terms, the amount of time delay through the filter is not constant for all frequencies. Which means that some frequencies are delayed more than others. (In technical terms, the network has a frequency-dependent group delay. but with a very gradually changing characteristic.)

Is this a problem? Specifically, is this an audible "problem"? In a word, no.

Much research has been done on this question, with approximately the same conclusions: given a slowly changing non-linear phase system, the audible results are so minimal as to be non-existent; especially in the face of all of the other system non-linearities. And with real-world music sources (remember music?), it is not audible at all.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1215
Registered: Dec-03
Gregory,

I thank you, will read all later, and am not riled at all.

Just to explain the context of my remark "phase is everything" - I mean as regards determining the direction of a source of sound. Real sound.

So, we get stereophony only if we can resolve the different phases of the same sound eminating from the two speakers. Where there is lack of phase coherence between two drivers within each speaker, we have problems, and that should be eliminated, as far as possible - that seems to be what those authors are discussing.

But it is phase differences between the two speakers that should be there, and these convey the direction of the sources of sound. Amplitude is not in it. You can be partially deaf in one ear and still tel where the sound is coming from.

Naturally there are other considerations in speaker design, and different makers have different priorities. But you have to get phase right, or at least equally wrong in the two speakers (L and R) if you want to hear where the original source was. Hence the need for matched pairs of speakers.

When we get to surround sound it becomes no less important - probably more, if one seeks accurate rendition of a 2-D sound stage.

I am arguing with you about whether it matters whether one speaker is closer than the other, and also trying, I guess, to point out to Jan that the requirements for stereo have not been thrown away in surround sound. On the contrary, they are more at a premium.

Thanks and best wishes! Must go!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1219
Registered: Dec-03
No-one thinks stereo is better with more than two channels. Why? Because the direction of each sound source can be identified from its unique phase difference between the two channels. Put a third channel in, and you cannot specify the phase difference for each sound source with the same precision. No-one thinks you get a better stereo sound stage with 3, 4 or 5 channels arrange in a line, or arc, in front of you.

Surround sound: four channels is sufficient. Any additional channel produces only further problems. Nevertheless DVD recording engineers put in a "center" channel (5.1), not understanding that it is already there in stereo. No, it does not give precise imaging over a wider range; it gives worse imaging everywhere. Nevertheless, you need a player to reproduce the centre channel; without it you have lost a chennel on the disc. Then the industry applies the same logic to the rear (giving 6.1). I have no idea how they argue, even in theory, why you need 7.1. Where are you suppose to put the speakers, and why?

4.0 or 4.1 is sufficient to reproduce the reflections from all the vertical surfaces enclosing the original performance venue. The only next step I can see is one channel for each sound source/instrument/voice (40.1....100.1 ?). But then you would not be listening to the sound of the performance in the performance venue, but the sound you would get from the orcherstra, band, etc., playing in your listening room. Is this what we want? Have you got enought room for all those performers?

Jan V., can you please come to my assistance?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 309
Registered: Dec-03
man i told yu john give more speakers and channels.

 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 310
Registered: Dec-03
i want something new not try to recreate the
old with more speakers.

and both centers be it rear or front were designed
for movies so you had a more direct source of the
info that was recorded.obviously voices from the
front as actors come onto the screen.and the rear
as if a plane or something coming up behind you
or over your head from the rear and it does make
quite a bit of difference in movies.

that is where it started then the music engineers
said hey lets use those for music and are now in
the attempt phase at doing it correctly.they will
get better.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 227
Registered: Dec-03
JohnA.,

I think the problem I have with multi-channel music, is that I don't want to listen to every performance from the middle of the orcherstra pit.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 197
Registered: Feb-04
Rick,

(If I may jump in here with a comment) The multi-channel classical recordings I've listened to place the listener in various locations. One recording makes it seem like I'm sitting front row center. I have another recording where I feel as if I'm in the middle of the balcony. It all depends on the recording and the mix. (Warning, I'll be repeating myself here: What is remarkable is the surround speakers can be used subtly to define the space occupied by musicians and the listener and the position of the listener relative to the musicians.)
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New york Usa

Post Number: 228
Registered: Dec-03
Two Cents,

Thank you for the insight. I am fresh out of the egg, as far as DVD-A goes. It may take some time for this old 2 channel guy to get up to speed.......maybe! LOL!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 297
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger

I am with you on this. Let's take a music DVD say Diana Krall's Live in Paris for an example and let's put aside whether or not the sound engineers got it just right for DD or DTS surround recording.

We have on Diana's left, the lead guitar, drums, percussion and on her piano's close right, the acoustic guitarist, just behind her the bass, and behind all, the orchestra - strings to the left, horns to the right.

Now, we are watching as we listen. If I recall correctly, in most parts, on our 5.1 set up, the sounds seem to eminate from where they are suppose to, and the audience applause comes from behind with a smattering of orchestral ambient sounds as well. Every seems right - so we turn of the video and just listen. Now, if the same is recorded in DVD-A or SACD, I can only imagine just how sensational the effect would be. I love good stereo recordings but surround offers something new and exciting. What's best on paper or opinions does not matter - there's time and a place for both.

With Steely Dan's Two Against Nature DVD, the venue is much smaller, almost studio-like. The band is out front (naturally) with a small audience. The horns and backing singers are emphasised on the rear surrounds, the lead singer to the center, and the remainder to the left and right mains. The recording puts me on stage in the center of the band. So what - I'm not in the audience, I'm in my living room and almost participating in the center of the band on stage. It's just great. Again, turn off the video, add DVD-A or SACD to the mix and I don't think I could leave.

I have CD's of both and they are just superb, but the DTS (or DD) surround adds more dimension and realism from the appropriate sitting position - that's one drawback, I can't put our bar in that particular spot. Again, I eagerly await our universal player so I can hopefully attest with some experience to these formats.

Though, I do anticipate a difference between surround DVD-V music recordings and DVD-A or SACD. With video, the sound should correlate to what we see whereas, with surround audio, our ears only should direct us to the sources and whether or not all has been engineered honestly, does it really matter if the experience is rewarding?

Also, does 6.1 or 7.1 add benefits to all this? I don't know. I have read where it can envelop the listener even more so. But, if the recording is not meant for the extra channel/s, I wonder whether the matrixed add-ons create any artifice to the mix.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 198
Registered: Feb-04
Well said, M.R.

Rick,

If you are happy with stereo, I don't think there's any reason to convert to multi-channel music. In fact, it's an eviable position since you won't have to spend money on additional equipment and discs.

Have you seen the movie "Crumb"? One of the few moments where Robert Crumb seems genuinely happy is when he's listening to old 78s of early jazz. What do you think he would say (or draw) about multi-channel music? He might ridicule it as another excessive example of our consumerist society.

If R. Crumb is happy with his collection of old 78s, why should he bother with stereo? And if a person is happy listening to stereo, why should he bother with multi-channel?

Unfortunately, for me, I have taken a bite of the apple and have succumbed.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 311
Registered: Dec-03
mr. rantz how many times can you and i agree.

you know what i think, i am done with arguing and
challenging of different formats.

if you don't like surround then don't listen to
it no one is forcing you.

i find the effect of surround enveloping and love
being the center of attention.i don't care if the
next person doesn't think it is correct.

the thing that i like about the rear surrounds is
how you set them up.

what you do is move your existing surrounds to the
sides of your listening position just very very
slighty behind your position just slighty.did i
say just slightly? then you put in my case 2 spks
in the rear center about 3 feat apart.

what this does is create a large half circle and
it is excelent for both movies and music.but you
need quality speakers back their.

i have also done something simular with my front speakers.

my mains go out to the sides as far as they can
go 1.5 feet from the wall slightly pointed to the
listening position but about a foot closer then
my center so i create a smaller half circle up
front than i did with the rear but this seams to
work because their is usually more information
on the front three channels than the rears anyway. and i set the front and rear centers 2db
higher than the rest of the speakers.as they are
the farthest from me.i sit with the same distance
from my front center as i do my rear centers.

now if i had 2 front side speakers just infront
of the listening position, but all the way to
the sides that would pretty much give me a full
circle.( i am working on how i can achieve this)
i think that would be really incredable.

now with movies that are done in dts or dd 5.1 it
sounds excelent incredable set up this way.the
new recievers do an excelent job of putting the
sounds were they are suppose to be.and when you
play an ex or es soundtrack even better.

this setup works very very well for music also it
gives it a much fuller sound back their than just
2 surround speakers.

i run a sub on my center channel out and 3 subs
from the sub out that palce one sub upfront one
in the middle right next to the couch and 1 in the back.

now this setup is nowhere near conventional but
you know what it works freekin awsome!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 312
Registered: Dec-03
oh yah i forgot to add by having your front's
setup this way their is no big box in the middle
of my 2channel stereo listening enjoyment.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 313
Registered: Dec-03
i have pleanty of amps and speakers to accomplish this.

and take up half my basement as the sound room.
(also video) 56" widescreen tv.projector is next.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 314
Registered: Dec-03
also in case anyone is interested i run standard
surround type speakers on the side surrounds you
know the wide dispertion type with tweeters on
angles. they are the only ones i run as small
and cutoff at 80 hz but i run 2 sets the second
set externally amped. that way i get 2 6.5 drivers per side.
 

Silver Member
Username: Gman

Mt. Pleasant, SC

Post Number: 538
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger-- We are definitely in agreement.

The three-dimensional nature of human hearing plays its part even with the most uncomplicated
sound sources. For instance, when listening to a single voice in a room, the direct sound of the
voice and its intricate web of reflections that reach the ears from all directions provide
mental cues regarding the size and shape of the room and the location of the voice in that room.


But when we listen to electronically reproduced stereo or mono sources, the brain detects the
familiar reflective pattern of our own listening space and registers the absence of the reflective
pattern of the original recording space, making it impossible to create a you-are-there illusion.

We are not transported to the soundscape of the recording, instead, the dominant reflections
from our own four walls constantly remind us that we never left home at all.


A well-produced surround recording contains more of the information necessary to fool the brain
into believing that what we are hearing is "real." This applies not only to audio-only music sources. When the sonic illusion is credible, we are more willing to suspend disbelief and accept that the visual information we are receiving is also real."


Surround is intuitively more realistic than conventional stereo, because, when executed
properly, it more closely approximates the three-dimensional orientation of human hearing.


Other valuable advantages in having five audio channels (plus an optional subwoofer)
include greatly extended useable dynamic range and maximum sound pressure levels.

"The Last Waltz" recording (the Springsteen live in NYC and even the Steely Dan-"Two Against Nature)in both DVD-V And DVD-A accomplishes this very well and the surround audio particularly fools you into the "being there" sense of the video. The recording techniques are different and have different emphases, but they are all much more effective than stereo.

A well-recorded surround disc does the same, but without the visuals.

I don't understand why most everyone agrees that surround movies are better than stereo movies, but somehow get stumped by the switch from audio stereo to surround sound?





 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 315
Registered: Dec-03
gregory your last comment me too!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 298
Registered: Feb-04
Kegger

Your surround setup sounds awesome. And thanks for detailing what you have done. Unfortunately our living room logistics make a similar setup for us impossible (well extremely difficult) and without the expense of another amp, 6.1 would be the max with our SR-7300. However, so far the 5.1 really satisfies.

Gregory Stern

"I don't understand why most everyone agrees that surround movies are better than stereo movies, but somehow get stumped by the switch from audio stereo to surround sound?"

Exactly. And all day, every day, we hear surround sound! We only see in stereo.

I still don't know how significent the step up to DVD-A and SACD is, but I am enthralled even with the quality surround music DVD's. So I look forward.

 

Silver Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 316
Registered: Dec-03
rantz i agree my setup would be difficult for most.

but i was trying to show how a creative setup can
really make use of the extra channels.i love them.

also the degree of extra resolution from dvd-a
and from sacd are tremendous.

i would definately get a player that does both.
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 300
Registered: Feb-04
Thanks Kegger, will do. So far I'm considering the 2900 if not then the 2200.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 1223
Registered: Dec-03
This question is exactly why I asked Jan to agree to repeat earlier posts, and start Teaching an old dog new tricks...: it is the precisely the point of departure for that thread.

I shall try to be clear, but shall also paint with broad brush (risk of causing offence).

IF you want to recreate the sound of a live performance (and that may be only 5 % of record buyers - Kegger, you are in the majority!); AND the live performance was not in a field; AND you want it in a much smaller space (like your room) even than the original non-field; THEN there are already 50 years of stereo missed opportunities. DESPITE THE FACT that "like being there" was the original promise of stereo, and touted as the reason people might want to shell out in the first place. And it got worse as time went on. THIS IS CORRECT.

I think Jan's point (forgive presumption, Jan; I just happen to be here, now) on Teaching an old dog new tricks... may be summarised, thus: What hope has 5.1 got of living up to all the extravagant (and very familiar-sounding) promises when so few people knew where to put even TWO microphones in the first place, and most of the few that did have apparently either died, retired, or been sacked?

All this about 5, 6, 7, ..... up to n blo*dy channels PROVES the industry is back in its mode "let's con the customers; they're mugs and will believe anything...". About all I would add to Jan's position, is, "....and make sure they have no choice but to buy what we tell them is all they need; then we go on extracting money from them indefinitely - AND we can give them tubular bells running round on wheels; they'll soon forget all these dissident ideas". And learn to love Big Brother.

Honestly, I just want to join JV, maybe take a scotch or two, listen to, and learn about, say Shostakovich. Ideally in mono, so no-one has to argue. Shostakovich was up against control and propaganda, too. And survived. He could see a way out, even if not for himself.

That was a rant. Sorry. But I believe it to be correct. It's the music, guys! The music! The medium is NOT the message.

PS "The following words are not allowed on this discussion board: blo*dy"

JS: "The following music is not allowed in the USSR: Shotak*vich, blah blah blah..."

Jeez, does one have to paint pictures........?!
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