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Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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58 minutes ago, robert_kc said:


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 '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.

 

I never said for the hall, only for the recording. My local symphony records their concerts, but the mics aren't used for p.a. use.

 

Only two times have I heard any kind of reinforcement. One was when the had a classical guitarist. He had a small condensor mic fed into a Mackie powered studio monitor. It set right in front on him. Sounded great where I sat for that concert.

 

The second was when Mark O'Conner played parts of his fiddle concerto and plugged in his violin.

 

Both uses were the performers choices and requirements.

 

I'm done...

 

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1 hour ago, Tizman said:

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.  

 

The key is the venue.   We are very fortunate in KC that benefactors donated money to build the Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, which includes separate purpose-built halls:  a world class symphony hall (Helzberg Hall), and a world class opera house (Muriel Kauffman Theatre). 

 

When the Kansas City Symphony performs classical concerts (i.e., the Classical Series for which I have season tickets) there is no sound reinforcement.  Of course, when they perform outdoor concerts (e.g., Memorial Day) they must use sound reinforcement.

 

Usually when I attend chamber concerts in various venues such as churches and an historic theater, no sound reinforcement is used.  However, a few months ago I attended a chamber concert that was performed in a large meeting room of an office building, and sound reinforcement was used.   I talked with the President of the organization that puts on this series of chamber concerts, and she said that they felt that sound reinforcement was needed in this particular venue, but it isn't used in any other venue they perform in.   I was disappointed that sound reinforcement was used for this concert, but I complemented the sound board operator that he took a "minimalist approach" and provided only a small amount of amplification.   

 

There was a big stink (partly caused by me) when the opera company staged a musical (vs. opera) and used sound reinforcement.   (The difference between opera singers and people who sing in musicals is that opera singers don't use microphones.)  I've read that there are a few opera companies (other cities) that perform in halls with poor acoustics, and they use sound reinforcement.  Use of sound reinforcement is very much frowned upon by opera purists.

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3 minutes ago, Marvel said:

 

I never said for the hall, only for the recording. My local symphony records their concerts, but the mics aren't used for p.a. use.

 

Only two times have I heard any kind of reinforcement. One was when the had a classical guitarist. He had a small condensor mic fed into a Mackie powered studio monitor. It set right in front on him. Sounded great where U sat for that concert.

 

The second was when Mark O'Conner played parts of his fiddle concerto and plugged in his violin.

 

 

IIRC, when we had a classical guitar concerto a few years ago in the symphony hall, the guitar did not use sound reinforcement.  Violin soloists never use sound reinforcement in the symphony hall.

 

However, when I heard Pepe Romero (and I think his son and two of his nephews) perform in a different venue, they used sound reinforcement.

 

BTW, I have a Blu-ray that features Pepe Romero performing Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.  Excellent audio and video.

 

I'm hoping that Tatyana Ryzhkova releases some Blu-rays ...

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For recording a symphony orchestra I rather like the 3 microphone, 3 track recordings on either 35 mm magnetic film or 3 track tape, like Mercury used to do. 

 

The Decca Tree is supposed to be good, but I don't know which recordings were made with it, other than some of the film The Music Lovers (a flamboyant life of Tchaikovsky) which sounds great in the 70 mm blow-up and 6 channel mag, but hardly anyone except my wife and I have experienced this way.

 

Decca Tree

image.png.a287a1a4ca6ee87c603c1271a513748b.png 

 

Decca Tree for surround :

 

image.thumb.png.8de39725f660505ac5cb75278cfebc3b.png

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18 hours ago, ODS123 said:

So, the moral of the story as I see it:  Spend most of your money on speakers...  But be sure to leave enough left over for an amplifier that has the build/feel you want, the features you want (like tone controls, ability to drive a 2nd pair of speakers, mono switch, auto-on,etc.. whatever matters to you) and has enough power to drive your speakers to the levels you desire without clipping.  Beyond that, set aside concerns that you’re missing out on some faint indescribable, immeasurable audio magic, because chances are — you’re not.

On day twenty three

What shall we now see

  OK OD question for you. Advice given is more money spent on speakers than the rest. Why did you not follow your own advice? Very confusing for people to read one thing and then see you did another with your equipment list.

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I wish I could remenber who the guitarist was. It was a superb performance, and the guitar sounded very natural, and was able to compete with the orchestra.

 

Christopher Parkening came to play for chapel at the college where I used to work. It must have be pinful for him as it has simply rotten acoustics. Saw him the same night and he was much better with the symphony.

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20 hours ago, kink56 said:

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.

 

I think just one amplifier is equalized, and you the listener gets to choose which one. The prize money is probably not enough incentive for most people, but I wish someone would claim it just to prove it exists, and to become an audio forum Hero.

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I think a smaller loudspeaker like the Forte II, with a good integrated  - will sound better than a LaScala and a budget AVR. 

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15 hours ago, robert_kc said:

 

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.

Do you think that the visual element adds to your listening enjoyment by changing what you perceive in some way?  Or does it have no effect?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Deang said:

I think a smaller loudspeaker like the Forte II, with a good integrated  - will sound better than a LaScala and a budget AVR. 

I absolutely agree 100%. (Depending on the room and the listener).

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I had Belles and the bass bin resonance told me that ANY amp would sound better with a Forte than a LaScalla!  

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12 hours ago, garyrc said:

For recording a symphony orchestra I rather like the 3 microphone, 3 track recordings on either 35 mm magnetic film or 3 track tape, like Mercury used to do.

That is a big PLUS ONE, but also add the 3 track RCA Living Stereo recordings.

 

Mercury and RCA both used custom made 3 track 1/2" decks, initially 15ips and then 30 ips.  Mixing was obviously pretty simple, 3 to 2.

 

After Mercury was sold to Phillips they began using some of that 35mm film sound recording technique. Some truly great stuff there.

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On 1/11/2019 at 1:23 PM, Deang said:

I posted several good links to articles that explain why DBT doesn't work well for audio. The Audioholics article was especially well written. Those folks are die hard meter readers. 

Dr. Olive thinks DBT is the only way to compare speakers, and so did Floyd Toole. 

 

These guys go nuts about it.

 

 https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/board,40.0.html

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51 minutes ago, dwilawyer said:

Do you think that the visual element adds to your listening enjoyment by changing what you perceive in some way?  Or does it have no effect?

 

 

 

Yes, I love the classical Blu-rays.   They feature DTS-HD MA 5.0 audio and 1080p video.   (There are a few Ultra HD Blu-rays becoming available.)   Both audio and video are excellent.  I enjoy watching the conductor, and the musicians.   

 

The Blu-ray classical box sets are a great value - a lot of music for the money.  I have a box set with all Beethoven symphonies, plus a box set for all symphonies by Sibelius, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, and Bruckner. 

 

Plus Blu-rays of individual classical concerts, opera, and ballet. 

 

I have a strong preference for Blu-ray audio/video, vs. audio only.

 

Does the video influence how I perceive the sound?  I don't know.  But I'll say that the modern Blu-ray's DTS-HD MA 5.0 is probably the best audio quality I've heard.  I listen via tube amps and RF-7II for L, C, & R, plus a single RF-7 for rear, plus 2 powered subs, and this delivers the full impact of a live concert.   And it has that wonderful tube sound.  

 

P.S.  I just received bad news.  The symphony is cancelled tonight due to ongoing snow.   I can't remember that ever happening.  Bummer.

 

 

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3 hours ago, kink56 said:

 

I had Belles and the bass bin resonance told me that ANY amp would sound better with a Forte than a LaScalla

 

I’ve heard Forte only on solid state, and while it has more bass, in my experience the realism, impact and dynamics of the mid bass to lower mids just don’t compare to the La Scala.  The gent who owned the Fortes bought La Scalas and prefers them to the Fortes as well on his SS gear.  (Geoff, please feel free to chip in if you are following this ridiculous thread).  This is not to say that the Fortes sound bad in any way.  It’s more a question of priorities and preferences.  La Scalas don’t plumb the depths, but the bass they have is very alive, dynamic and real sounding.  With respect to La Scala cabinet resonances, there are numerous reports of this happening, and I don’t doubt that it is an issue, but it hasn’t been an issue that I have noticed in my setup.  This may be due to synergy with my amps, listening levels etc.  There are fixes for this issue, but I haven’t felt the need to pursue them.  I own a pair of Quartets, that are a sort of mini Forte.  While I do like them, in my setup, overall, they just don’t compare to La Scala, regardless of the amp topology used.  Of course, YMMV.

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6 minutes ago, Tizman said:

With respect to La Scala cabinet resonances, there are numerous reports of this happening, and I don’t doubt that it is an issue... Of course, YMMV.

At higher spl!

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In my case I heard this upper bass thump and ANY SPL.   If a speaker requires a significant mod to be suitable, then I consider it unsuitable.  I went to a person's house who had K-horns and the same problem was present. Although he did not notice it.  So, I guess it matters what particular things you listen for or notice.     I seldom listen above 80-85 dB. And mostly am in the 70-75 dB range.   I bought the Belles because of the almost universal praises on this forum.   I learned my lesson in that respect. 

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6 minutes ago, kink56 said:

In my case I heard this upper bass thump and ANY SPL.   If a speaker requires a significant mod to be suitable, then I consider it unsuitable.  I went to a person's house who had K-horns and the same problem was present. Although he did not notice it.  So, I guess it matters what particular things you listen for or notice.     I seldom listen above 80-85 dB. And mostly am in the 70-75 dB range.   I bought the Belles because of the almost universal praises on this forum.   I learned my lesson in that respect. 

Little mods here and there to improve what you have for a reasonable investment to 6ou make sense.  If you strongly dislike the speakers after experimenting with placement and various recordings/gear they may not be the speakers for you/your room. I had LA scalas and Khorns in my smallish room here and didn't care for either too much. I modded everything on the khorn without realizing that my room isn't rigjt for them. I wanted them to remain l, but alas they didn't. 

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kink56:  I suppose it’s always a question of trade offs with speakers.  I’ll take a fully horn loaded speaker every time over one with even one DR in it.  Much like yourself, I also can’t understand how anyone would feel differently.  For me, the trade offs required with having a DR and a large passive radiator mixed in with two horns outweigh any resonance issues that I perceive with my set up.

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