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boxerjake

imaging ?

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How many of you have actually experienced a 2 channel system with amazing soundstage imagining ...

 

By that I mean sitting in a room with a 2 channel setup that puts vocals right infront of your face with no trace of the source , yet can still maintain  left and right soundstage separation .

 

I find it an amazing experience every time I listen to a dialed in 2 channel setup that I can close my eyes and feel like there is a stage right in front of me, yet the speakers are in the corners and you'd fully expect the sound to be projected from that area , yet it's not .

 

I've spent thousands over the years seeking the holy grail and I'm totally jealous when I come across a fellow audio nutcase that's reached my goal  ...

 

It's truly amazing when it all comes together .. those that have experience it, can attest to what I mean .

 

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I am kind of a nut when it comes to this. I feel I have achieved this goal with my system. My speakers, walls, all disappear, recording dependent of course.

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Thanks for blogging OP...

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Bingo, as Paul79 said, some recordings lend themselves to a strong imaging presence.  Others, not so much. 

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I dunno.  The music I love the most is quite old, it dates back way before sensible stereo processing was understood.  For example, old Beatles records would sometimes have the vocals coming from one channel and the instruments from the other. The imaging in such cases is totally nonexistent. Its almost so gimmicky  that it detracts from the music. That is why I insist on having a mono switch on my amplifier - I listen to almost all Beatles music in mono.   And it’s not just the Beatles. Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Fairport convention, Nick Drake, etc.  ..None of this music has great imaging.   Yet it’s the music I love the most. Even present day music that I love like Jack white  does not have the greatest stereo imaging. Yet the music is very compelling. 

 

In the end, sharp Imaging is pretty cool but for me it doesn’t really add that much to the visceral impact of music. But it’s great to play when you’re showing off your system -  and there is certainly nothing wrong with that :-)

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1 hour ago, ACV92 said:

Bingo, as Paul79 said, some recordings lend themselves to a strong imaging presence.  Others, not so much. 

 

Have to disagree .. obviously you've never experienced what I'm explaining ...

 

I've got 10's of thousands of FLAC files and run what is arguably the finest Bryston  digital player on the market , top of the line VPI table and a HDCD worth more than my pickup truck ...

 

It's not source dependent  ....   It's a combination of room treatments , speakers and amps .

 

Tonight I was at my best friends place , his room is full of treatments .. his gear is top of the line krell mono blocks feeding a pair of Focals worth about as much as I paid for my first house 20 years ago ...

 

The music was right there in my face ... I could see the towers standing in the corners yet I couldn't hear the music coming from them .. it was being projected directly in front of me ... absolutely an amazing listening experience . nothing I've ever came close to in the past 30 years of being faithful to k-horns , belles . lascala's , cornwalls and or  hersey's . 

 

I'm not slamming any klipsch gear .. I've owned everything klipsch has even made ... just never reached this level of amazing before

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2 hours ago, Schu said:

Thanks for blogging OP...

 

They call me trinity ....

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3 hours ago, boxerjake said:

... By that I mean sitting in a room with a 2 channel setup that puts vocals right infront of your face with no trace of the source , yet can still maintain  left and right soundstage separation .

 

 

3 hours ago, paul79 said:

 ... recording dependent of course.

 

1 hour ago, ACV92 said:

Bingo, as Paul79 said, some recordings lend themselves to a strong imaging presence.  Others, not so much. 

 

1 hour ago, ODS123 said:

...The music I love the most is quite old, it dates back way before sensible stereo processing was understood.  For example, old Beatles records ...

 

 

With some (modern) recordings there is great imaging, with the soloist floating right in front of the wall, and various instruments spread out ... and with other (modern) recordings, the imaging is not very good.  These results occur with either 2 channels or 3 front channels.  I'm told that a great deal depends on how the microphones are placed.

 

@boxerjake :

  • How far away from the "intertweeter line" do you sit?   I sit about 13.5 feet away from the line between the left and right speakers, at the apex of a 60 degree angle. 
  • Is your imaging still good for 2 or more listeners?  3? 4? 5?  When I use 3 front channels for either music or movies, the center seat is the best, with an almost magical effect, the seats on either side of the center not very good, but, weirdly, the extreme 2 seats, on the ends of the 5 seat couch, not bad.  Of course, it does sound as though the listener is off to the side, but the instruments are still spread across the front.

 

 

 

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With the focals ... we sat about 12-14 feet from them . they have adjustable headsets , of which are cranked to an angle that suits the seated position in the room .

 

This room was  appox  16x16

 

My current room  :    is 24x20  with 4 korns and a seated position at 12 feet and well below the angle of the headsets , I can discern the direction or origin of incoming signal

 

I can tell where my signal originates ... I don't have the illusion of a lead singer standing front and center .

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Yes, a I have experienced that.

Funny thing it was in non-treated room and with DIY speakers. The builder knows what he was doing, his family had Philips dealership for decades along with authorized repair shop for issues that should be dealt within the warranty.

The speakers were driven with nothing too fancy, Sony Esprit amp with Sony Esprit CD player. And old analog equiliser for just one minor part of frequency range that should have been attenuated -3dB.

Some recordings sounded just marvelous, Dire Straits, Bjork, so I guess it is up to recorded material.  

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5 hours ago, ACV92 said:

Bingo, as Paul79 said, some recordings lend themselves to a strong imaging presence.  Others, not so much. 

This is so very true.  You think you have it dialed in perfectly until you put in a horribly recorded piece with no dynamic range and all mushed together.

 

Bill

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Not to be argumentative, but if imaging is so all-important then why do I prefer my Cornwalls over other speakers I've had that image slightly better - such as my Vandersteen 3A Sigs??  

 

Also, the music that images the best isn't always the best music.  Diana Krall tracks image better than Tom Waits tracks, but for me they're no where near as moving. 

 

Finally, why doesn't imaging matter more to the musicians I've discussed hifi with??  When I tell them that good hifi allows you to tell exactly where each instrument is on the stage.  ..The response is something like,  "why is that so important?"  

 

In the end, I judge my rig by how it makes me feel rather than how precisely I can tell where each instrument is.

 

Great music that images badly is still great music; poor music that images great is still poor music.

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ODS123 said;" Finally, why doesn't imaging matter more to the musicians I've discussed hifi with??  When I tell them that good hifi allows you to tell exactly where each instrument is on the stage.  ..The response is something like,  "why is that so important?"  

 

Not only I roger that, but at live concerts of symphony orchestras, I can tell (with eyes closed) where the woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion are, but not individual instruments. A lot of what we perceive as "imaging" is an artifact of the recording/mixing process. Some of the best-imaging mid-priced speakers have beaming in the upper midrange, a common issue with direct radiators where the mid is crossed over too high to the tweeter. Around 3-5 KHz the mid starts to beam and thus provides "extra" directional clues that some perceive as "good imaging."

 

There are not a lot of speakers that provide good front-to-back imaging, since few speakers are actually "time coherent." The Dahlquist DQ-10s I have in my study are imaging champs, but they are not in the same league of overall performance as the Cornwall IIs in my living room.

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Single drivers are by necessity and definition “time coherent.”  My DIY Fostex FE103 single drivers (think Tekton) have scary good imaging, especially female vocals, but they sacrifice at the treble and bass extremes.  They’re easy to enjoy until I’m reminded of what is missing by listening to my DIY “Super Heresys” augmented by four DIY tapped horn subs.

 

The imaging from my lowly Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers at the computer is excellent.  Much of that is due to the extreme nearfield experience.  It’s almost like using a pair of open-air headphones.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

The imaging from my lowly Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers at the computer is excellent.  Much of that is due to the extreme nearfield experience.  It’s almost like using a pair of open-air headphones.

 

 

There's no question that near-field listening is a very easy way to achieve astounding imaging.  I see that the OP has Heresys and LSs, both of which work extremely well in that application (as do the Reference series towers).  Try setting up either in a 5-6 foot equilateral triangle (very minimal toe-in) with the listening spot and, if available, drive them with a pair of mono SETs.  With listening levels in the upper 60s to low 70s db range you should experience immersion in the music (obviously, as was stated above, rotten recordings will still be rotten) which is without equal.  And, the best part is that room treatment is rarely needed.  When I set up systems that way, I use certain favorite recordings to get the imaging to be as desired (if you like Alison Krauss, Gravity or Paper Airplane work really well).  If you try it, please post your experiences.

 

One last point is that such near-field arrangements require so little power as to border on the ridiculous.  With LSs, for example, a few milliwatts can sound equivalent to 100+ wpc in a large room system.

 

 

Maynard 

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8 hours ago, boxerjake said:

 

They call me trinity ....

Right. My system images with everything I play, but better recordings melt everything away, and leave the music.

 

Great imaging is achieved when all is tonally right, speakers properly placed, your butt properly placed, and you have taken steps to remove room problems. At least that is how I believe it to be accomplished. The biggest offender is bass. If that is wrong, your brain knows it is wrong, and gets confused. This is a form of fatigue. Your brain having to work too hard to make sense of something it, if even you do not realize, it cannot make sense of. IMHO.

 

Can I enjoy music without great imaging? Sure, when I am working, tinkering, cleaning, etc. When I sit in front of my HiFi though, I want to be taken somewhere, or I want to bring them into my room, recording dependent. These are my goals.

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True story:  ..Wanting to impress a friend with how well my system images, I played Light My Fire by Patricia Barber.  ..After a few minutes I said, "Doesn't it sound like she's right there (pointing), here in the room with us?"  ..He said, "Sure does, now can we ask her to leave.?"  ..I guess I should have picked some better music. :)  ..Sometimes as audiophiles we become enamored with a particular artist/album/song for the wrong reasons.  

 

Once again, great music that images poorly is still great music, poor music that images great is still poor music.

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Easy to do with a set of small monitors on good stands, and pulled away from the corners and walls. Use a sub or two to fill in the bottom.

 

I use Klipsch because I like the dynamics/realism. The more real is sounds, the less I care about imaging. However, I have a very good phantom center with the LaScalas, though it does lack depth of field at low volumes -- easily overcome with a little more volume.

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I can get good imaging with my lasclas which the electronics are all analog (tube pre and amps).  Not as much imaging with the digital systems using processors.

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