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Hifi's obsession w/ imaging...


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1 hour ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

I was there about 3-4 years ago for the vacuous experience I had. Stevie Ray Vaughan was very loud as I recall from the 80's, but not as bad as the 113 db I measured at Andiamo's for Mark Farner about the same time as "the bar scene" during the Robin Trower concert There in 2019. I'm done with all that crap. Saving my hearing for my systems and the extra 850 CD's I just got less than a year ago. I don't need to SEE musicians play the music I like, if I want to see things I enjoy seeing, I will photograph more 20 something female models for my classes while playing recorded music, usually theirs! LOL.

Same experience in Las Vegas.  I will never pay to go the the House of Blues again (or even waste my time if it was free).   I walked out because I could not hear the music in the 8th row.

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Outdoor concerts may have better imaging.  The few times I heard a string quartet outside, or a Sitar and Tabla, this was true. 

 

And Rock, well, a different sound, big, filling a literal sound stage. From a distance, as you walked into the park, the sound would change with the wind.  Up as close as you dared (still fairly far back) one big curtain of sound, creating its own wind, but with some directionality -- definitely not mono. 

 

JBL had an ad about such a setup that was left on, while the band had a break.  A passing griffin wandered up on stage, coughed into a microphone, and all that was left was a crater.

 

Indeed most of the custom speakers used by the bands had JBL, sometimes Altec drivers.  One experiment used EV T-35 tweeters, like the hand selected T-35s that morphed into K-77s in vintage Klipsch.  A friend loaned the Dead some Klipschorns right toward the beginning (maybe they were still the Warlocks then), they liked them, but needing the corner may have stopped them.

 

During the '60s these concerts were free in Golden Gate Park, Provo Park in Berkeley, Lake Merritt in Oakland.  The Dead, Country Joe, the Airplane, the whole bunch, sometimes interspersed with chants and poems by the likes of Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti. I remember imaging most of the time.  Often there were two huge banks of speakers, one on the Left (naturally), and one on the Right, played in stereo.  A few years later The Dead had their wallAmazing Vintage Photos Of The Grateful Dead's Wall Of Sound, 1974 » Design  You Trust

 

There was one glorious time when the mayor closed Haight Street to cars, and the bands set up at the end of the street.  The mayor told the police, "No pot busts," and people were dancing in the street, and on the roofs.  I didn't notice any imaging that day except strictly in my head, but it was a marvelous display. Grateful Dead Close Down Haight Street For Free Concert, On This Day In  1968 [Audio/Photos]

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Gary,

I've often wondered what happened to the Wall of Sound (there were two of them) after the Dead realized what a money suk it was to move and operate them. The individual components would be worth a great deal if certified to have been part of the WOS. I can just hear the ad copy now:

 

"Put your ear next to the T-35 tweeter and you may be able to hear Jerry playing China Cat Sunflower!"

 

And the Mac 2300s-wowsers! What could be gotten for each one of those! I'd ask Bear but he crossed over some time ago...

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12 minutes ago, OO1 said:

https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction/2021/from-the-vault-property-from-the-grateful-dead-and-friends?lotFilter=AllLots

 

Auction Closed

From the Vault: Property from the Grateful Dead and Friends

14 October 202114:00 EDT

New York

 

I didn't see any of the zillion JBL D130s, or any of the rest of the wall.

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On 8/8/2022 at 8:41 PM, Crankysoldermeister said:

You get “imaging” with good recordings in treated rooms. With my stuff, I’m happy if I get a stable center image without it drifting.

 

“Soundstage” is different. Klipsch excels at this - filling and loading a room with sound, but not without some volume. I do think small monitors are better at disappearing and pushing the sound off of the baffle for a quasi three dimensional experience at modest volume levels. 

 

My LS would image very well, often with instruments to the left and right of the speakers, and the 2A3 amps certainly weren't getting too loud.

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7 hours ago, Islander said:

And not a horn to be seen.  The Wall of Sound could have been so much lighter and more compact with horns, plus they wouldn't have needed so many amplifiers.

 

Too bad they didn't have 4 of these. 

Klipsch - Jubilee Flagship 2-Way Fully Horn-Loaded Loudspeaker - American Walnut (EACH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/6/2022 at 8:01 AM, ODS123 said:

Saw two concerts quite recently here in Phila: Norah Jones a week ago at the Mann Music Center and last night I saw Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at The City Winery.  Both were fabulous shows, particuly LL and HLB.

 

The audio at both shows was terrific.  ..Acoustics weren't overly reverberant and the volume was low enough that my ears weren't buzzing by the end.  But in both cases there wasn't a bit of discernible stereo imaging even though my location would lend itself to hearing it.  When I'd close my eyes I couldn't for the life of me place the vocals or instruments - they all seemed to be coming from the same place.  Yet, I thought the sound was fabulous and the performances incredibly compelling.

 

Which leads me to wonder why we we so obsess on this particular aspect of audio playback at home??  Seems to me that imaging is mostly a mixing board trick for in-studio recordings that has little relevance to actual music, unless one is listening to a tiny, unamplified ensemble in the tiniest of settings.  Even if both of these artists used unamplified acoustic instruments, I very much doubt I would be able to locate there instruments/voices w/ my eyes closed at these venues or any other even a fraction of their size.

 

..Just wonderin'

Think about it. Are mechanical and electrical reproducers supposed to take the place of live music? NO, they're not. They are what they are. They are their own thing. They have their own place in our lives and they shouldn't even be compared to five music. I really believe that great hi-fi should sound like the best radio you ever heard. Great hi-fi affects your ears and emotions in its own way, reminding you of sounds and sound impressions. For example take a photo of a chick that you love. It is not an actual reproduction - you can't touch or smell her. But you can get a strong emotional reaction from the stimulus of the photo Some chicks even look better in photos and sometimes a simple black and white photo can be the most beautiful. Hi-fi works the same way.

Hi-fi is its own beautiful thing and for me the more simple it is the better. Mono, that's right, MONO. Ya heard me, Monophonic For years people listened to it and loved it. But some hustlers told us stereo was better while they were selling us two of everything. Well, it's not. Trust me. It might be more but it's not better.

 

 

https://www.drowninginbrown.com/dib_sp.htm

 

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Owsley Stanley designed it so the musicians could hear what the audience heard, and each musician controlled what was right behind them. It was a great bit of design and engineering. He made great acid, too.

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On 8/6/2022 at 7:01 AM, ODS123 said:

why we we so obsess on this particular aspect of audio playback at home??

 

I think it gives the audiophiles something to debate to justify the outrageous amounts of money spent on equipment.

 

In addition, I never understood when people say something along the lines of, "It captures the essence of the live performance."  To me, every concert I have attended ( Rush, Metallica, Steve Miller, Cake, etc.) I have never walked away and said to myself that I want to try and recreate that in my home.  The impact due to sheer volume is cool, for a bit!  However, most concerts are too loud, not very well balanced and not what I would call sound that I want to hear at home in my system.  So, I understand that people would want to recreate the energy of the live performance...but the sound?  No thanks.  I'll take a well recorded studio album, at volumes I choose and without the echo issues of sports arenas!

 

Related story: I was on a date in downtown Yorkville, Illinois about 10 years ago at a nice little restaurant right off the river.  The waitress asked us if we were here for the free concert at the the park down the street? (No wonder why parking was harder than usual at this restaurant!)  We said no, but we both loved music, so we meandered down a few blocks to Van Emmon park right on the Fox River.  Well, it turns out it was Norah Jones!  What a great way to extend the date.  I couldn't tell you about the imaging, but I still remember holding each other close and dancing... not a bad first date!

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     I have never been one to chase imaging.  Sound stage... maybe, but not imaging.  It always seemed like a hi-fi salesman's gimmick more than anything that represented reality.  I have been to lots of live concerts; the only time I have ever noticed any kind of imaging is small-scale, non-amplified settings.  I think hi-fi systems and products that are designed around imaging largely miss the mark about what makes hi-fi, and music, great.  Smooth, wide frequency response, flat phase, even dispersion and dynamic range are what it is all about.  Thank you PWK!

    However, I have found that as a system gets better, so does its ability to image.  Though I have never chased imaging per se, my system images quite well.  It turns out that a well-treated room, flat phase, smooth frequency response and even dispersion actually make for great imaging as well.

   So while I don't find it a worthwhile characteristic to pursue, it can actually be a good indicator of system performance, all else being equal.

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