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Too much transparency?

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On 1/14/2021 at 9:47 AM, mikebse2a3 said:

A well designed Tone Control EQ for real world recordings allow valuable  compensation when needed or bypassed when not required.

 

This type of equalizer is easily adjusted by ear and can offer real improvement to many recordings by restoring a more accurate tonal balance when reproduced on high resolution systems. 
 

miketn

 

32240E33-8312-45EB-B3C7-4574C91EE4C9.thumb.jpeg.0919c59261cae1541d5ae90210a974e6.jpeg

 

28C0E7D4-81FC-4D7B-A10E-1BD592672B0F.thumb.jpeg.8988cce86ddccbbb72d7930229e9a43d.jpeg

 

 

CD Pre 3.24, Nice!  I have one in my office system.  Can be the center of a great system. 

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If you have a lot of really bad recordings that you cannot really listen to, get something similar to the old JBL L100s which sound nice but not too revealing.

 

I had B&W DM3000s which worked very well and had much better midrange. 

 

Lately, we mostly listen on Palladiums and B&W Signature 805s and even streamed music seems to sound good, but I do not critically listen as much as I used to. 

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, VDS said:

Hi,

I'm wondering if people have ever had problems with there system being TOO transparent? I’m mainly thinking in terms of   a system revealing less then great engineering or mastering from track to track. Anybody find themselves gravitating to music they know is well recorded rather than music they may like, but can’t stand the bad recording?  High transparency is hearing everything, warts and all.  Has anybody addressed this issue when choosing gear? Example, using a less transparent Dac with a very transparent amp/preamp or vice versa? My question is a little muddled but hopefully you get what I’m bringing up.

thanks for any perspective on this, Ted  

 

Not at all I don't want a system that makes all source material sound the same. I don't. To thyne source material be true. I listen to everything but enjoy a quality cut when it comes on.

 

 

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:40 AM, babadono said:

Yes Sir this has been the subject of many a post and thread here on the Klipsch Forum. Because Klipsch speakers are very revealing especially of bad recordings. There is a member here who "de masters" recordings to the best he can. Sometimes recordings especially the final mastering is so bad there is not much that can be done. I'll try and find his de mastering thread and post a link to it.

 

 

"That member" does not "de master" anything.

 

It is not possible to "de master" any modern audio recordings using the methods he describes. As a matter of fact, his description, definition of what he is doing merely shows how little he actually knows and how little experience he has regarding audio recording and mastering. This same member obviously loves to spend more time attempting to tweak things he can't do too much about rather than just listen to music. Do what you like. But please, stop this "de mastering" non-sense. You need the original master recording to do this.

 

Furthermore audio systems which are not properly balanced (in other words have some kind of bias) will tend to exaggerate (or attenuate) certain aspects of system performance. The closer your "system" (which by my definition includes the room) gets to neutral the less annoying so-called "bad recordings" sound.

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On 1/14/2021 at 11:12 AM, jimjimbo said:

Sorry, but have to disagree.  It's all related, gear, music choice, recordings, room configuration and acoustics.  It's not just one thing.

 

BING

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On 1/14/2021 at 12:18 PM, Shakeydeal said:

When your system "comes together", so to speak, it allows you to listen to less than stellar recordings and still enjoy them for what they are. I accept the bad with the good without the desire to "eq" them. If your system runs you out of the room with mediocre (not horrible) recordings, you have more work to do.

 

Just be sure not to fall into that age old audio(phile) trap of listening to only excellent versions of terrible music just because they sound good on your system. You know the guy who has a 50K stereo and 100 records. Don't be that guy.........

 

Shakey

 

another BING

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There can be too much transparency as well as too clinical a presentation, they are closely related and overlap to a degree. The solution for most has been the use of tube amps which soften things up with their own distortion, albeit distortion that is pleasing to the human ear.

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, VDS said:

I'm wondering if people have ever had problems with there system being TOO transparent? I’m mainly thinking in terms of a system revealing less than great engineering or mastering from track to track...

I think your term "transparency" is typically referred to as "clarity" within the field of acoustics.  In my experience, those that don't want clarity in their recordings also are not interested in "hi-fi".  (YMMV.) 

 

So you're saying that you don't want to hear what's really on the recording--with complete clarity?  There are a lot of loudspeakers that do this...it's just that none of them are made by Klipsch.  You've come to the wrong place, in other words.  It is the pursuit of clarity that has set Klipsch loudspeakers apart from their competitors.  I don't know any loudspeakers that do a better job at producing clarity--except those having fully horn-loaded and coaxial drivers (of which there are one or two other manufacturers). 

 

On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, VDS said:

...Anybody find themselves gravitating to music they know is well recorded rather than music they may like, but can’t stand the bad recording?  High transparency is hearing everything, warts and all...

Demastering your tracks by the following methods allows you to recover a large percentage of your favorite recordings having issues that show up when you listen to them on high-clarity loudspeakers and associated electronics.  Demastering can address the following issues:

  1. to reverse bad mastering EQ (used to make the tracks sound louder --largely before multichannel compressors appeared in 1991)
  2. restoring severely attenuated bass (again, to reverse the attenuation used by mastering guys to make the tracks appear to sound louder)
  3. reconstructing music peaks from extreme clipping ("limiting") to eliminate induced odd-order harmonics not in the downmix (mostly recordings made after 1991)
  4. remove infrasonic HVAC noise injecting large levels of modulation distortion after bass reconstruction (a "mud" factor that reduces clarity)
  5. remove bad music transitions (track entrance/exit clicks, pops)
  6. dramatically reduce overwhelming vocal sibilances (errors made during recording)
  7. remove vinyl surface noise (clicks, ticks and pops) from vinyl rips, and
  8. minimize the effects of a partially blown microphone capsules that buzz at certain frequencies during music peaks

...and other techniques.  Additionally, demastering is often accompanied by subsequent "remastering", which does NOT reduce dynamic range but rather to return the overall EQ balance of the track, and to a limited degree, partially return overall EQ balance after the creative "mastering EQ" has been largely removed. 

 

If you want to squash your music tracks into oblivion, there are many "amateurs trying to become professionals" that inhabit various online forums, congratulating each other on how well they can squeeze the life out of the music dynamics, and still have something leftover to listen to.  (It's insane.)

 

Once the above demastering operations are performed on poorly produced music tracks, clarity goes up, but so does enjoyment, because the source of many/most of the original tracks "warts & zits" are also removed, thus giving you access to something you've not been able to achieve: much higher music track listenability and enjoyment.

 

On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, VDS said:

Has anybody addressed this issue when choosing gear? Example, using a less transparent DAC with a very transparent amp/preamp or vice versa?

So I believe that I've addressed your question of how to address the issue without spending money for less-than-successful "one-size-fits-all" approaches to finding hi-fi hardware that obscures your favorite music warts and zits, without simultaneously camouflaging your higher quality music tracks.

 

On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, VDS said:

My question is a little muddled but hopefully you get what I’m bringing up. thanks for any perspective on this...Maybe this is the entire quest in Audio?...

I've grown tired of reading about others trying to mix-and-match distorting amplifiers, preamplifiers, and poorly performing DAC (actually the DAC's analog electronics) in an effort to conceal the flaws in the ~100 albums that they play over-and-over again, and won't do anything about the music tracks themselves. 

 

That whole approach is based on flawed thinking.  I find I don't like listening to the results of those "hi-fi hardware synergy successes".  They're anything but successes in my experience.

 

Attack the problem at its source.  Demaster your tracks.  The results are outstanding and effective--unlike the mix-and-match hi-fi hardware approach that a lot of "audiophiles" attempt, spending perhaps many thousands of dollars to very limited success, and usually sabotaging the actual fidelity of their setups at the same time. It costs nothing but a little time using freeware tools and your own skill. I think you'll be much more proud of your accomplishments rather than further emptying your pocketbook.  💸

 

Chris

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1 hour ago, YK Thom said:

There can be too much transparency as well as too clinical a presentation, they are closely related and overlap to a degree. The solution for most has been the use of tube amps which soften things up with their own distortion, albeit distortion that is pleasing to the human ear.


Suggesting that a tube amp can be used as a “tone control” may open up a heated discussion😁.  Of course, I agree with doing that.  In my experience, SETs are a blessing when listening to rotten recordings.  In addition, listening level can be critical as well.  Simply reducing the listening level can make a difference because of the response of our ears (look up the equal loudness curves aka Fletcher-Munson effect).  Even lowly tone controls, as found on much vintage gear, can be very useful.  The bottom line is that there is usually a way to listen to rotten recordings in a palatable manner.

 

 

Maynard

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1 hour ago, tube fanatic said:


Suggesting that a tube amp can be used as a “tone control” may open up a heated discussion😁.  Of course, I agree with doing that.  In my experience, SETs are a blessing when listening to rotten recordings.  In addition, listening level can be critical as well.  Simply reducing the listening level can make a difference because of the response of our ears (look up the equal loudness curves aka Fletcher-Munson effect).  Even lowly tone controls, as found on much vintage gear, can be very useful.  The bottom line is that there is usually a way to listen to rotten recordings in a palatable manner.

 

 

Maynard

Exactly, most of the Heritage speakers were designed in the tube era. I have never bought into the concept of 100% replicating the studio sound as that sound has been tailored many different ways over the years, mono, mixed for single speaker AM radio etc etc. Comes down to are you more interested in listening to music or are you more interested in listening to gear. There is a lot of recorded music that was never truly intended for ultra high fi listening in the first place. No point having a system set up with nothing you can stand to listen to. Would be like  going to a vegetarian restaurant wanting steak. I'm sure the dish is the way the chef intended but I don't like it.

Edit: Perhaps a better comparison  would a fine meal in a fine restaurant prepared exactly the way chef had designed, sort of an analogue to his culinary thoughts but I find it needs more pepper.

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On 1/16/2021 at 3:24 PM, artto said:

 

 

"That member" does not "de master" anything.

 

It is not possible to "de master" any modern audio recordings using the methods he describes. As a matter of fact, his description, definition of what he is doing merely shows how little he actually knows and how little experience he has regarding audio recording and mastering. This same member obviously loves to spend more time attempting to tweak things he can't do too much about rather than just listen to music. Do what you like. But please, stop this "de mastering" non-sense. You need the original master recording to do this.

 

Furthermore audio systems which are not properly balanced (in other words have some kind of bias) will tend to exaggerate (or attenuate) certain aspects of system performance. The closer your "system" (which by my definition includes the room) gets to neutral the less annoying so-called "bad recordings" sound.

Actually no. Bad recordings abound. And I have done very similar things to try to make bad recordings have some life typically because I like the track. And as my speakers have more and more resolution (I think the op called it transparency), the more obvious the flaws in the recording sound. So yes you can fix most recordings where at least they sound good on high res speakers. 
 

So you have a bad recording, a high resolution speaker, pile on bad rooms and you have a mess. Please don’t worry how I spend my time. I’m good. 

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7 hours ago, YK Thom said:

Exactly, most of the Heritage speakers were designed in the tube era. I have never bought into the concept of 100% replicating the studio sound as that sound has been tailored many different ways over the years, mono, mixed for single speaker AM radio etc etc. Comes down to are you more interested in listening to music or are you more interested in listening to gear. There is a lot of recorded music that was never truly intended for ultra high fi listening in the first place. No point having a system set up with nothing you can stand to listen to. Would be like  going to a vegetarian restaurant wanting steak. I'm sure the dish is the way the chef intended but I don't like it.

Edit: Perhaps a better comparison  would a fine meal in a fine restaurant prepared exactly the way chef had designed, sort of an analogue to his culinary thoughts but I find it needs more pepper.

Sounds like the Bose wave radio is the answer. 

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On 1/14/2021 at 11:47 AM, mikebse2a3 said:

A well designed Tone Control EQ for real world recordings allow valuable  compensation when needed or bypassed when not required.

 

This type of equalizer is easily adjusted by ear and can offer real improvement to many recordings by restoring a more accurate tonal balance when reproduced on high resolution systems. 
 

miketn

 

32240E33-8312-45EB-B3C7-4574C91EE4C9.thumb.jpeg.0919c59261cae1541d5ae90210a974e6.jpeg

 

28C0E7D4-81FC-4D7B-A10E-1BD592672B0F.thumb.jpeg.8988cce86ddccbbb72d7930229e9a43d.jpeg

 

Absolutely. That’s the first line of defense. 

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2 hours ago, Chief bonehead said:

Actually no. Bad recordings abound. And I have done very similar things to try to make bad recordings have some life typically because I like the track. And as my speakers have more and more resolution (I think the op called it transparency), the more obvious the flaws in the recording sound. So yes you can fix most recordings where at least they sound good on high res speakers. 
 

So you have a bad recording, a high resolution speaker, pile on bad rooms and you have a mess. Please don’t worry how I spend my time. I’m good. 

Chief, you actually agreed with many of @artto sentiments when you (or someone you know) posted a digital cut from a studio in Dallas. Some similar comments were made about how this, or that, was done during mastering. Michael mentioned that the "this" and the "that" that was speculated to have occured don't happen in mastering (and they don't). You specifically mentioned that the recording needing NOTHING. 

 

Some of it is horrible recordings, some of it is terrible mixing, some of his is loudness wars and squashing (a lot of it on CD in the 90s. A massive amount of it was getting the CD catalog built up in the 80s, from any tape they had laying around, including the back up pressing plant tapes (those are the tapes taken straight from the cutting head outputs off the lathe, which means they have RIAA curve applied, they were meant to be sent to other pressing plants in the company (Capitol Mercury, Atlantic) so they could make identical lacquers at multiple plants. You can tell those CD's instantly, they just couldn't get quite enough boost on the bass (which is attenuated 20db at 20Hz, 0 at 1000hz, and they couldn't quite cut the hf which is boosted 20db at 20 khz.  

 

In the era of tape, -6 to -18 30hz high pass filters were used on nearly every output to the multitrack tape and/or from the multi-track to the 2 track mix down. Why? Because at 15 ips 30hz was about as low as they would go, you could get all through the 60s. To get the "feel" of 20 and below,  So they also routinely used gating to tighten up the drums, and limiting (here's the dirty word - compression) on the bass, but during recording, and it the mix, to get low end feel even with the limits of recording on tape.. Yet there are many who insist there should be this or that on the recording, that bass was removed during mastering. It was never there to begin with, some of the recorders of the day were down 15 db at 15 ips, worse at 30 ips. So high pass filters were there to get rid of noise, hiss, etc. because they were not picking up much in the way of sound, and they it was processed back in again. 

 

Applying EQ at home is not mastering, it's not demastering. It's salt and pepper. -  EQ is present in the entire recording chain, which you know, because you actually have a large amount of recording under your belt, you know what a multi-track tapes sounds like, what a 2 track mix down tape sounds like, what is done between the multi-track tape and the two track mix down tape. You have to start from the bottom up, make sure the rhythm section are not creating mud, and going from there. 

 

You could help save the entire recording industry if you would design and offer up a decent set of studio monitors, near field, and real world.

 

There are two very famous recording trucks with Klipsch monitors, and they put out Grammy winning records for technical merit.

 

This should give everyone a warm fuzzy feeling on who this stuff is made in the studio (it's like sausage):

 

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-ns10-story

 

One quick quote from the article:

 

Bob Clearmountain's other significant claim to fame is probably that he was the first to use tissue paper over NS10 tweeters in an attempt to dull their over-bright balance. He resorted to tissue paper after the maintenance staff at The Power Station had refused to modify the speakers by wiring resistors in series with the tweeters (why he didn't simply put an HF shelf EQ in the monitor chain is a question for which I don't have an answer). Yamaha's second-generation NS10, the NS10M Studio, had a less bright balance, so removing the need for tissue paper. There's a technical analysis by Bob Hodas examining the effect of covering the NS10 tweeter with various types of tissue paper here: www.bobhodas.com/tissue.html

 

A technical analysis of tissue paper over tweeters in the studio was NEVER, ever, said about Klipsch for studio monitors.

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On 1/14/2021 at 10:24 AM, VDS said:

Hi,

I'm wondering if people have ever had problems with there system being TOO transparent? I’m mainly thinking in terms of   a system revealing less then great engineering or mastering from track to track. Anybody find themselves gravitating to music they know is well recorded rather than music they may like, but can’t stand the bad recording?  High transparency is hearing everything, warts and all.  Has anybody addressed this issue when choosing gear? Example, using a less transparent Dac with a very transparent amp/preamp or vice versa? My question is a little muddled but hopefully you get what I’m bringing up.

thanks for any perspective on this, Ted  

Nearly everyone who got Jubilee speakers starting back in '07 were tossing out parts of their collection and in search of better recordings. Many, many went to prerecorded tapes, and the Tape Project.

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Two things:  first, music recorded to sound good in a moving car with the standard car radios of the Sixties had to be compressed to overcome the road noise, wind noise, tire noise, engine noise, and so on.  The treble would be boosted for the same reason.  Play this kind of recording on a highly resolving system may kind of kill your teenage memories of enjoying it.  Or not.  Brown Eyed Girl will always sound great, whatever you play it on.

 

Six years ago, when I bought a minivan with the factory premium sound system (9 Infinity speakers, an 8-inch subwoofer in the rearmost left-side panel, in the "trunk" area, and a 500-watt amplifier), I wondered why the low bass wasn't there, why the sub seemed to be inoperative.  After a bit of experimenting with the EQ (boosting the bass a lot, and the treble a bit as well), I got the system sounding as I first expected it should, which was not bad.  

 

My theory is that the system was set up to sound good while the kids in the second row were listening to movies that were playing on the little 9-inch screen that swivels down from the ceiling, without having to go to high volume levels.  This would make clear vocals the primary objective, with the bass attenuated because it wouldn't appeal to many of the passengers, especially the grumpier older ones.  With all the EQ sliders set in the middle, that's what the system put out.  With the 3 sliders (bass, mid, treble) set closer to their extremes, the tonal balance is now similar to what I get with my home system with the tone controls defeated.

 

 

Second, this "too transparent" thing only seems to come up with audio.  Have you ever heard someone complain that their TV is too clear, that it's too easy to see everything that's going on in a movie, making it distracting from the main action?  Yes, when HD TV first arrived, a few people grumbled that the familiar faces they'd become accustomed to now seemed to have skin problems they'd never noticed before, but people soon got used to the new reality, or the new approximation of reality.  Now, HD is obsolete, since nearly all new TVs are 4K, even low-end models, and 8K models are showing up in AV stores.  In 2009, a big 4K set cost $25,000, but now you can get a 4K set for under $500.  8K?  Samsung has an 85-inch model for $9,000.  How long until they're down to $900 for smaller models?

 

It's clear that people want more clarity in their TVs, and sound bars are a popular add-on, so the built-in speakers, even the ones with "subwoofers", no longer meet buyers' expectations.  "Less clarity, please" is no longer heard in TV showrooms, and it's very rarely heard in audio showrooms.

 

Give me high resolution, the higher the better, in audio as well as video!

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4 hours ago, Chief bonehead said:

And I have done very similar things to try to make bad recordings have some life typically because I like the track.

This is the reason why I do it.  And I find that as I do it (and also in parallel continue to fix the acoustical issues in my room/setup), the enjoyment factor goes up--sometimes dramatically.  That's why I talk about it.Some better-known recording artist albums on CD (stereo) that have responded extremely well include:

  • The Beatles (all hits and albums after and including Revolver, general re-EQ and noise reduction--spectacular difference in sound quality)
  • "Classic Rock" (Time-Life, all albums from 1963-1978, general re-EQ of select Top 100 yearly hits w/spectacular difference in sound quality)
  • Jethro Tull (Aqualung w/spectacular difference in sound quality)
  • Steely Dan (all albums--re-EQ and rebalance w/spectacular improvement in subjective sound quality of first 7 albums)
  • The Doobie Brothers (all albums through One Step Closer--re-EQ and rebalance)
  • The Alan Parsons Project (all albums--re-EQ and rebalance w/spectacular improvement in sound quality)
  • Phil Collins (all albums--re-EQ and rebalance w/spectacular difference in sound quality in earlier albums)
  • Supertramp (all albums through Breakfast in America--re-EQ and rebalance)
  • The Cars (all albums--particularly declipping the first album w/spectacular difference in sound quality and revealed dynamics)
  • Natalie Merchant (Tigerlilly, Ophelia--general re-EQ and rebalance w/spectacular difference in sound quality)
  • etc.

______________________________________________

 

I've found that sharing my demastered tracks is sometimes problematic.  If I spend time measuring and re-balancing the Jubs and the acoustic treatments, and speaker placements/aiming in-room, then demaster my recordings on those Jubs, others that I share with oftentimes haven't done that, and don't necessarily respond the same way.  I just don't know what they're actually listening to. 

 

So the real question is: what are they actually listening to?  I'm referring to room acoustics/reverberation times (RT), loudspeaker transfer function response (SPL and phase), and cleanness of the electronics feeding the Jubs.  For those that I've helped dial-in their DSP crossovers using REW and a calibrated mike to measure, I pretty much know what they've got, so I don't have any issues sharing my demasters with them, some albums of which I'm quite proud of the results achieved.

 

I suppose that I can aim for a middle-of-the-road demaster for those that haven't measured what they've got, but knowing what that is--is actually just a good guess (at best).  That's why I tend toward understanding their setup more to share tracks.  I've found that small changes in overall transfer function response in-room can have a fairly dramatic effect on the perceived overall balance.  For instance, once I made some changes in DSP settings to reduce the overall phase growth of the loudspeakers (high frequencies to low frequencies), I found that I had to go back into many of my demastered tracks to tilt the EQ upwards a bit to reduce the bass and to slightly boost the highs to get the "sparkle" back into the tracks. 

 

Chris

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It’s simplistic, but the car radio mastering explanation is, IMO, very real.  When I first used a Pono player to play a high resolution recording of Elton John’s Follow The Yellow Brick Road in the car, I had to constantly adjust the volume.  The dynamic range that could be appreciated in a home situation with a low noise floor was awful in a moving car.  Without constantly adjusting the volume, the quiet passages were too quite and the loud passages were too loud.

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I think a lot of the mastering profession started out like this, that is, trying to guess what sounds good on the majority of setups, and EQing the resulting downmix racks from the mixing process to create "releasable" tracks.  The problem is, I think they set their bar way too low (mostly for rock/pop, country, etc., but not so much for orchestral, classical and jazz which generally used much better monitoring).  The common problems of mastering guys using Auratone 5c or Yamaha NS10M Studio "small loudspeakers" are, when you look at just their SPL response (which isn't the full story of how bad these little speakers are) you see the common problems, and why most music has severely attenuated lows below 100 Hz.  First the little Auratone 5c.  I've placed Toole's "target room curve" on top of the measured on-axis SPL response (I assume half-space response):

 

alex_jacobsen.jpg

 

2018793954_Auratone5cSPLresponsewithToolerecommendedroomcurvesuperimposed.thumb.png.617bb0396f2f094e8da8b15db5bf534b.png

 

There isn't anything below 100 Hz. And they didn't EQ them to flatten their response while using these little guys.  The results of the released tracks oddly sound like table radios.  There's usually nothing below 100 Hz that you can hear on albums that primarily used Auratone 5c's (1960s-1980s).

 

Here is the same thing for the Yamaha NS10M Studio (by the way, showing them being used in the wrong orientation: horizontal):

1280px-Studio_C_Ardent_Studios_cropped.j

 

428981597_YamahaNS10MSPLresponse.thumb.GIF.27d57b8f544e365d6b16febf3719f8f7.GIF

 

See any issues?  This is what many popular music albums from the 1960s to the mid-1990s were mastered on.  The better studio monitors of that period were being used by less mobile mastering studios (i.e., not inside a semi trailer, etc.). 

By the year 2000, the situation had apparently changed, dramatically.  Here is a SPL response plot of over 250 loudspeaker monitoring installations (via Genelec: Mäkivirta and Anet Survey of Monitoring Conditions, Studio Sound, September 2001 (Volume 43, No. 9):

 

Capture.GIF.10c3bfe2a3d73942206fcb67c1a9369a.GIF

 

Chris

 

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Another observation on the condition of music tracks whether or not they need to be demastered:

 

Virtually all of my combined 177 DVD-A, DTS surround, multichannel SACD and multichannel Blu-Ray music discs need no demastering.  This is good news. SACDs themselves cannot be mastered in terms of EQ without first having to convert the tracks to PCM format and then back to DSD again (a lossy process, it seems upon listening to the resulting tracks).  Notable exceptions to the above rule include:

  • Tommy (The Who) DVD-A (~6 dB of clipping)
  • Fear of a Blank Planet DTS Surround (~6 dB of clipping)
  • Yellowjackets New Morning Blu-Ray video music disc (~3 dB of clipping)
  • Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, all multichannel DVDs after Swinging for the Fences (~2-3 dB clipping).

I expect to find others, particularly Adele and other rock/pop groups (that I generally don't listen to), but I just haven't gotten a "round tuit" to check them yet.  Some of these discs subjectively sound very loud, so I expect the above list to grow. After declipping these tracks, all of the harsh sound immediately disappears.  One disc (Fear of a Blank Planet) actually had to be re-EQed to tilt the SPL spectrum up a bit after declipping, because the tracks were apparently intentionally made to sound duller before or after clipping to control the overwhelming harshness of the tracks with 6 dB of clipping on top of the already aggressive instrumentation and mixing practices.

 

I find this interesting, in that even on some discs where there is a LFE channel (i.e., 5.1), the mastering guys still elected to clip the output in order to make the resulting tracks even louder (without good reason in other words).  This means that the wall between the MPAA mastering guys (movies) and RIAA mastering guys is beginning to be breached by the RIAA practices, i.e., in favor of even more Loudness War compression and clipping practices. 

 

Chris

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