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ODS123

Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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You sir, are a much better man than I, lol.

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12 minutes ago, Don Richard said:

 

 

Here's the rub - if you do not hear the same orchestra with the same conductor in the same hall in which the recording was made, it is not a valid comparison either.

 

And not to put too fine a point on it I'd add "and on the same day."  Because our hearing changes day to day based on allergies, colds, recent exposure to loud noises and so and so on.  No, these changes might not be huge but when you're talking about hearing faint nuances that aren't measurable, I'd wager it's enough.

 

Which is why the idea that one must hear an amp for days and days or weeks and weeks before being able to truly distinguish from another is so hard to believe.

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1 minute ago, Deang said:

You sir, are a much better man than I, lol.

 

No, I just learned the hard way when to avoid a fight.

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3 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

Which is why the idea that one must hear an amp for days and days or weeks and weeks before being able to truly distinguish for another is so hard to believe.

If you've been spending a lot of time with the amp you have, and put a new one in -- it really only takes going through a favorite recording to notice differences. You notice the same things as you move through your collection. The differences are there, but not as significant as changing out the capacitors in your crossovers.

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1 hour ago, Don Richard said:

 

 

Here's the rub - if you do not hear the same orchestra with the same conductor in the same hall in which the recording was made, it is not a valid comparison either.

 

There is no perfect approach to assessing the sound quality of a home hi-fi system, including mine.   With that said, I attend more than 20 live classical concerts each year, and I have a pretty good idea how classical music sounds when performed in its intended venue (recognizing that there is some variance in the acoustics of different halls).  The benchmark I use for the sound quality from my hi-fi system isn't perfect, but it has validity for me.   And that's all that matters. 

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Even after contemplating the question, Nigel did not understand and was confused why the interviewer didn't understand his point. 

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 I have particular songs and even snippets to evaluate certain characteristics of equipment.  You know the squeaking the strings make on an acoustic guitar as the player slides up and down the fingerboard?  Some recordings make no attempt to mask this effect.  I have one recording (on CD) where the first one of these sounds like a record needle hitting a piece of dirt on a record on all amps I've tried using this recording, except one.  On the one it sounds exactly like what it is, a finger sliding on the low E string.   Now all the other parts of the recording any amp can get that sound right.  But only ONE amp I've tried can get the first instance this happens right. 

 

I have another recording where the guitar sounds very bloated briefly during one run. Some amps make this worse, others make it less so. I prefer amps that make it less so. And ALL tube amps I've tried make it worse so.  

 

Another amp that does not get this right sounds most like my amp that does get it right.  Other amps I have do not sound much like either of these amps.    So, with a double blind test, using the first 20 seconds of this song, I could pick one amp over the other EVERY SINGLE TIME. 

 

There is another recording  I have, again with an acoustic guitar, that has very light finger picking harmonics.  Some amps get it right with the sound emanating from dead center. Other amps smear this transient and the sound is bouncing around somewhere between or to the far right channel and it is much more faint.   Again, I could pick out that one amp that gets it right compared to a host of others that don't.     I have a slew (ha, ha pun intended) of other snippets of recordings that are dead giveaways for certain amp performance perimeters that are an instant method of evaluation.  For other aspects of amps, yes it does take living with them to distinguish between them. When you get used to one, and then interject a new one, the differences are sometimes quite significant.    In those cases A/B (pun again) tests are not as effective.    

 

And the $10,000 test is not valid for many reasons stated here.   I would never even try to win the $10,000 under the conditions set forth. The amps are intentionally MADE to sound the same as possible. And subtle differences, even if they weren't, would be difficult to discern without LIVING with one amp for awhile and then interjecting another for comparison.   

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1 hour ago, kink56 said:

Even after contemplating the question, Nigel did not understand and was confused why the interviewer didn't understand his point. 

 

Exactly the response many audiophiles have to questions about ABX testing!

 

The point is that "going to 11" made Nigel happy. So who cares whether "11" is real or imagined?

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3 hours ago, robert_kc said:

via argument through repetition

 

... also known as argument via tenacity.  

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5 hours ago, Deang said:

Such a great movie, funny.

 

No, it doesn't really matter. Like I said earlier - people buy what they want to buy.

Thank God for that.  

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8 hours ago, robert_kc said:

My perspective is different.  For the classical music I love, the recording engineers and producers aren’t the artists.  For classical music, the composer, conductor, and musicians are the artists.   (And BTW there is no sound-board operator, because there is no sound reinforcement system when classical music is performed in a symphony hall.)  For the classical music I love, there is a clear benchmark for how the music should sound.   I care what someone heard when sitting mid-hall during a live performance of the classical concert in a world-class symphony hall. 

 

We've been through this here before, but most classical music is recorded and tweaked/edited/spliced. Most engineers use multiple mics, close placement. Most tracks are made from multiple takes, unless it is a live recording. You aren't getting a recording that has microphone placement to get you mid hall. Just like all stereo playback, it is an illusion. The only one I know who could do that, has done that is @Mallette   Dave Mallette, who has a special rig to use only four microphones. It isn't an old school quad recording, though. The problem has been how to inexpensively play  back a four channel track.

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14 minutes ago, Marvel said:

The problem has been how to inexpensively play  back a four channel track.

And that still remains the problem. Not as much as expense as just being able to play it without having to do anything requiring knowledge...just click on it. No clue why that remains a problem. Easy enough to bind a file in Audacity to four channels...but then you have to play it in Audacity. 

 

Still drive me nuts. 

 

Dave

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17 minutes ago, Marvel said:

We've been through this here before, but most classical music is recorded and tweaked/edited/spliced. Most engineers use multiple mics, close placement. Most tracks are made from multiple takes, unless it is a live recording. You aren't getting a recording that has microphone placement to get you mid hall. Just like all stereo playback, it is an illusion.

Yes, multiple times.

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Just to be clear, a sound board is usually used, unless the recording was made with very few mics and the mic pres plugged straight into the recording interface. A mixer is stll used to balance all the mics. It all depends on the technique used. In the end, you may not be able to tell what that technique was that was used as few liner notes tell you that (used to, wish they all still did)

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53 minutes ago, Marvel said:

 

We've been through this here before, but most classical music is recorded and tweaked/edited/spliced. Most engineers use multiple mics, close placement. Most tracks are made from multiple takes, unless it is a live recording. You aren't getting a recording that has microphone placement to get you mid hall. Just like all stereo playback, it is an illusion. The only one I know who could do that, has done that is @Mallette   Dave Mallette, who has a special rig to use only four microphones. It isn't an old school quad recording, though. The problem has been how to inexpensively play  back a four channel track.

 

I'm not sure what point you're making.  I've said repeatedly that when listening to my home hi-fi system, I want the illusion that I'm in the symphony hall. And, I want inevitable imperfections to sound pleasant vs. unpleasant.  Nothing is perfect, but many modern recordings do a good job of creating this illusion.   All of the recordings that I've bought recently are Blu-ray audio/video of live classical concert performances featuring DTS-HD MA 5.0 and 1080p video.   When the surround-sound is played back via my tube amps and Klipsch speakers, I think the audio quality is excellent, and there is an illusion I'm in the symphony hall.  (And the HD video looks amazing on my plasma HDTV.)

 

The reason I mentioned mid-hall is because that's where I sit when I attend the symphony.

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19 minutes ago, Marvel said:

Just to be clear, a sound board is usually used, unless the recording was made with very few mics and the mic pres plugged straight into the recording interface. A mixer is stll used to balance all the mics. It all depends on the technique used. In the end, you may not be able to tell what that technique was that was used as few liner notes tell you that (used to, wish they all still did)


When my local symphony performs classical music, no sound reinforcement system is used.   No sound board.   (Sound reinforcement is used when pop concerts are performed in the same symphony hall.)   I've verified with the symphony's Executive Director that during the symphony's classical subscription series the only thing microphones are used for is recording. 


When my local opera company performs an opera, no sound reinforcement system is used.  No sound board.   (Sound reinforcement is used when musicals are performed in the same opera house.)   

 

I'm not a recording engineer.  I don't doubt that sound boards, mixers, etc are used to facilitate recording.

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I attended one classical concert this past summer in which, for unknown reasons, the organizers decided to mic and amplify the performers.  It sounded like crap.  A super confused sound with performers sounding like they were playing in two different places, the amplified version of themselves was louder and out of sync with the real version.  

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