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ODS123

Advice for Beginners - consider this test from an audio club

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43 minutes ago, Marvel said:

BTW,  using eq doesn't cause signal breaks but can totally mess up the phase of a single instrument. As ChrisA has shown in his de-mastering thread, the excessive eq and compression of a final mix can totally screw up a stereo/multi channel mix.

 Amen to that and thanks to Chris for his work with Audacity there. It is fun to watch people as you take their source material and run it through Audacity.

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There isn’t anything wrong with using tone controls.  The point I am making is that they modify the frequency response and make the amplifier un-linear to suit the listeners taste. So if you use tone controls on a regular basis, you should stop harping about requirements for linearity because you are intentionally making your amplifier un-linear.  “A modern amplifier engineered to be linear with tone controls to reduce its linearity to suit taste”.

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I will once again add that linearity isn’t the point of music reproduction for me.  For me, the point of music reproduction is making the experience one that connects me to the music on an emotional level.  For my primary system, the amps and speakers that I gravitate to do this for me, the ones I avoid don’t.  

 

On my primary system, I prefer well recorded music for critical listening that doesn’t require tone controls to sound good.  When I listen to music that I like that is poorly recorded, I usually listen to it on a variety of devices and secondary systems, and it’s not “critical listening”.  Some of these systems are crap at reproducing any stereo recording properly.  For example, I have a 1960s Normende tube console in my dining room that I attach an Alexa to.  ODS123 commented earlier on the need for a mono switch to fix early exaggerated stereo recordings such as some early Beatles recordings.  These recordings sound fantastic on this console, as do most old mono recordings.  Recording engineers have always kept in mind the systems that most people had at the time of the recordings, and the recordings are very often a product of this reality. Many of these recordings, when reproduced by a system of high resolution, sound like crap.  Using period correct equipment makes these recordings sound better.  So do tone controls and mono switches, but “sounding better” has nothing to do with linearity.

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In the real world we all live in once the recording has been distributed to us the listener there is no way to accurately reproduce it because the  equipment/process chain involved in its production isn’t equivalent to the equipment/process chain involved in its reproduction that we listen to in our home.

 

IMHO the worst and most pervasive problems with our listening to recordings is loss of tonal reproduction realism due to a large percent of the fact of the equipment/ process chain differences mentioned previously.

 

Once your free of the mind trap (That accurate reproduction of a recording is even possible with today’s method) you open yourself up to the possibility of a much more emotionally involving experience by the use of well designed and properly implemented Tone Controls and Equalizers in our system.

 

miketn

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3 hours ago, Dave A said:

So what specifically would you recommend to a beginner that would work right regarding your comment?

 

It's not obvious?  I'd recommend that if he/she is apt to be bothered by a channel imbalance than some means to adjust relative volume b/w channels is a MUST, either a balance control (easy to find) or separate L/R volume controls (rare, but there are a few).  

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38 minutes ago, Tizman said:

On my primary system, I prefer well recorded music for critical listening that doesn’t require tone controls to sound good.  When I listen to music that I like that is poorly recorded, I usually listen to it on a variety of devices and secondary systems, and it’s not “critical listening”.

 

I am a music lover above all else so I am NOT going to stick with ONLY well recorded music.  To me, that is antithetical to the goal of bringing music into our homes.  If I did that I'd be saying goodbye to recordings from The Ramones, Nina Simone, Charles Aznavour and Sandy Denny, just to name a few.  I have my share of audiophile approved recordings but I can only take so much Diana Krall, Patricia Barber and Dave's True Story.  

 

Nor am I interested in listening to mono or poorly recorded music on another system somewhere else in the house  We have one system in our house set up in our great room.  We do this so EVERYONE in the family can listen and get turned on to each others music.  It's worked wonders in this regard.

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1 hour ago, Tizman said:

There isn’t anything wrong with using tone controls.  The point I am making is that they modify the frequency response and make the amplifier un-linear to suit the listeners taste. So if you use tone controls on a regular basis, you should stop harping about requirements for linearity because you are intentionally making your amplifier un-linear.  “A modern amplifier engineered to be linear with tone controls to reduce its linearity to suit taste”.

 

Regularly?  ..I adjust tone controls maybe a few times a week.  ..By using a high distortion Tube design, you're using one 100% of the time.

 

I'd rather season my food to taste after trying it - adding maybe some salt, maybe some pepper -  rather than just douse sugar on EVERYTHING before even tasting it.

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I suggest not commenting on things that, by your own admission, you haven’t experienced.  

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22 minutes ago, ODS123 said:
4 hours ago, Dave A said:

So what specifically would you recommend to a beginner that would work right regarding your comment?

 

It's not obvious?  I'd recommend that if he/she is apt to be bothered by a channel imbalance than some means to adjust relative volume b/w channels is a MUST, either a balance control (easy to find) or separate L/R volume controls (rare, but there are a few).  

The gift that keeps giving.

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ODS123:  Back to “high distortion tube design” as well.  What would that be?  Distortion is what happens when you talk about anything that you don’t know squat about.

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Since we are talking about distortion, what impact does a passive radiator have on linearity and distortion?  Dumping the whole spice rack into the stew?

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8 minutes ago, Tizman said:

Since we are talking about distortion, what impact does a passive radiator have on linearity and distortion?  Dumping the whole spice rack into the stew?

I just have this little vignette of OD arguing with his math teachers about 2+2=?

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1 hour ago, Tizman said:

Since we are talking about distortion, what impact does a passive radiator have on linearity and distortion?

 

About the same impact as an open port, except no chuffing?

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54 minutes ago, glens said:

About the same impact as an open port, except no chuffing?

Maybe?  Maybe more or maybe less?  Definitely both have more distortion than a horn does.  Anyway, I’m commenting on things I  don’t know anything about, just like ODS does.  I will also now recommend to beginners that they avoid speakers with passive radiators because of distortion issues.  I don’t have to know anything about something, or have any direct experience, to comment on it and make recommendations.  If ODS can do it, so can I.  Now it's time to look up some dumb-a** third party sources to support my claim...

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I'm sure you'll be able to find some Internet references to support your position!

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1 minute ago, glens said:

I'm sure you'll be able to find some Internet references to support your position!

No doubt.  I've read a few recently in this forum.  Not dumb though, the references should be contentious or no one will get annoyed enough to argue with me about my claims and advice.  I need to bone up on my trolling technique...

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1 hour ago, Tizman said:

No doubt.  I've read a few recently in this forum.  Not dumb though, the references should be contentious or no one will get annoyed enough to argue with me about my claims and advice.  I need to bone up on my trolling technique...

OK rule # 1 is you are always right and know more.

             # 2 is when speech bludgeons do not work deflect deflect deflect.

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8 minutes ago, Dave A said:

OK rule # 1 is you are always right and know more.

             # 2 is when speech bludgeons do not work deflect deflect deflect.

Sounds like a plan.  The following will be my first stab at it....

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My advice to beginners is to never buy a direct radiator speaker with a port or passive radiator.  These types of speakers have distortion that is several orders of magnitude greater than the distortion of upstream electronic components.  They have so much distortion that your choice of amplification doesn’t matter.  In fact, you will not be able to hear a difference between amplifiers with these types of speakers. 

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Check out this thread for an example of an OP who is unable to hear the difference between amplifiers because of his use of a speaker set that uses a direct radiator combined with a passive radiator...

 

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