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Biggest cause of SIBILANCE


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On 1/23/2020 at 7:04 PM, pbphoto said:

Do they master it this way on purpose - to pump up her voice on headphones for example?  She's got some top engineers on her albums but I always thought many of her tracks had a lot of ssss'ss and sshhh'sshhs.  Certainly they can hear this?

The answer is "yes".  But the problem is that the people doing it (the mastering people) are not using the same type of loudspeaker that we're listening to--they're typically using something like Yamaha NS-10M (studio) monitors or similar.  Below you will see two typical "nearfield monitor" types that still represent a large portion of the music mastering studio world:


Auratone 5C Sound Cube



Auratone 5C Step Response (On-Axis):




Auratone 5C SPL Response (Blue and Green Traces Only):




Yamaha NS10M Studio:




Yamaha NS10M Step Response (On-Axis):




Yamaha NS10M SPL Response and Harmonic Distortion:




I'll point out that the type of monitors that are used in mastering have a much more profound effect on the finished music tracks than I ever realized--and I found that out last May after flattening the phase response of my Jubs.  I'm still going through most of my demastered music tracks and re-editing them, typically starting over by ripping the original CD tracks again.  What I've found was simply changing the phase response of the loudspeakers in the crossover region dramatically changed the sound of the music tracks--yielding much more perceived bass and much less strident, even dull sounding tracks than on my Jubilees/TAD 4002s using regular fourth order (or even first order) crossover filters.  I've stated this in the "Subconscious Auditory Effects of Quasi-Linear Phase Loudspeakers" thread.  Here is the difference in phase response that I'm talking about that made all the difference in the world:




...and the difference in step response (Green = Before, Blue = After):




I haven't talked a lot about what happened since last May when I first heard the difference between "typical loudspeakers" with lots of phase growth due to higher order crossover filters, and ones that exhibit minimal phase growth (i.e., minimum phase). Instead I've sought to first understand just how the relatively minor change in loudspeaker phase response through the crossover region (i.e., no real on-axis SPL response changes) could really affect the sound of the music tracks. 


It's been eye opening and humbling at the same time, and it shows me the magnitude of the problems that are faced by those preparing music tracks for release to the public (that many of the people involved may not even realize they are facing).  There is a lot of "local knowledge" that keep many of these people from changing anything in the studio, especially the brand and model of monitor loudspeakers used. (The acoustics of the studio rooms that they use to do their work is another story, however).


In a way, my eyes and ears have been opened to just how sensitive these factors are in mastering music tracks.  Because of this experience, my feelings about required loudspeaker performance is tending toward more stringent performance requirements for SPL response flatness and phase response flatness than any current practices are to be able to call loudspeakers high quality or hi-fi. 


So the bottom line is that the "translation" process of mastering (i.e., mastering with very mediocre or poor monitor loudspeakers that are representative or are thought to reflect the median of what most customers are listening to) profoundly affects the sound of stereo music tracks--most notably popular music like pop, rock and its derivative genres, and jazz, where the mastering people most often use less-than-spectacular monitor loudspeakers to set the mastering EQ levels.



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5 hours ago, Schu said:

When I see the Jubilees, I see untapped potential in terms of outright performance... I don't think I need all that potential in a room that is probably less than 450sqft... if I had an auditorium,  then yes I can see the need.


I have a 4-way MCM, 3-way Jubs, pair of lascalas, and pair of cornwalls in a 420 Sq. Ft. room.  It can work quite well depending on how you set it up.


Oh..........and I forgot the four 684 subs.

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12 hours ago, tube fanatic said:

Joe, you mentioned that you are using a SET in your system.  I would bet that part of the problem is the amp’s intermodulation distortion characteristics.  Do you have a local tech who can run measurements for you?  There are ways to deal with this issue but it may take some work.  



Hey Maynard:  Yes using SET amps a pair of DHT 45 amps, I also have a pair of wright 3.5  2A3 amps,  a Yamamoto A0-8 45 amp thats supposed to be here tomorrow (Holding breath). I do not have any tech's Local to me. I need to move 😃


I went back to the TB1808 drivers and while the sibilance is still there its not as forward and we can live with it. I am also hoping the Yam. A0-8 will help I know its a better built amp

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On 1/25/2020 at 7:56 AM, tube fanatic said:

It will be interesting and informative to get your impressions of the amp Joe.  Here’s a link to Atkinson’s measurements for those who are as interested in correlating measurements with subjective performance as I am.  






It appears John did not think much of the amp, AS he saw a rather large difference between the 2 channels I have to wonder if there was a possible poor quality part involved or tube though I suspect he tests the tubes. Its curious, Everyone I have read glow about the amps sound. I will post impressions when it arrives.. Joe

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