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Hifi's obsession w/ imaging...


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Just now, ClaudeJ1 said:

about 4 times minimum wage back then Which means less than $40 today.

 

Minimum wage in '68-'69 was $1.60, so 3.125 times. It's now $7.25, so tickets should be $22.66. Yeah, right.

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On 8/9/2022 at 7:30 PM, garyrc said:

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

  • Gary ,  Great News  ,  there is an exact-----ooooops  Scale Replica of the Wall of Sound of the Grateful Dead in Lancaster Pa,  at the Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse ,  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Islander said:

 

Sounds interesting, but is QSound still in use?  It looks like it disappeared before 2000.

It was used on Amused to Death.

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3 hours ago, Edgar said:

Minimum wage in '68-'69 was $1.60, so 3.125 times. It's now $7.25, so tickets should be $22.66. Yeah, right.

I was going by the CPI calculator, which says minimum wage should be about $11. Never paid minimum wage when I was an emmployer and only received when I was a high school kid, which is who it was designed for.

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I believe that an important issue is how music “should” sound when reproduced via a hi-fi system in the home.  (IMO, “should” is often a confusing/misleading word that doesn’t distinguish between fact (e.g., what is written in the stars) vs. personal preference.)   It seems to me that the answer is fundamentally different for classical music (and other music involving natural instruments that perform live) vs. music that is produced or altered via electronics.  

What is your benchmark for how the music that you enjoy “should” sound?   

What are your goals for your hi-fi system?

I attend more than two dozen classical concerts per season, including full season tickets to the symphony, opera, and ballet, plus several performances of chamber music.  The sound that I hear in my local symphony hall when listening to classical music, and in my local opera house when listening to operas, is 100% natural - i.e., no electronics are employed - no sound reinforcement system.  (OTOH, electronic amplification is employed when pop music is performed in these venues.)   Both my local symphony hall and opera house were purpose-built, and feature world class acoustics – and 100% “natural” sound.  

For me, the “work of art” was the live performance - not the product of a DAW software plug-in.

My seats are mid-hall, in the front row of the first elevated section, so that I can see the performers, and hear beautiful “balanced” sound.    For some compositions this involves 100+ orchestral instruments - and in a few cases a chorus of 100+ singers (e.g., Beethoven Symphony 9, and Brahms German Requiem).

My observation when attending live classical concerts is that when seated mid-hall there is no pinpoint localization of instruments.  Rather, the hall blends the sound.    (I’ve closed my eyes when attending the symphony when sitting in my mid-hall seat, and I was unable to localize instruments on the stage.)   

My goal for my hi-fi systems is to create the illusion that I’m attending a live performance, when seated in my usual mid-hall seats.  (IOW - addressing the point that several others have made - my goal is NOT to put an orchestra involving 100+ musicians - and a chorus involving 100+singers - in my living room – but rather to create the illusion that I’m in the concert hall.)   

Natural timbre, dynamic range, and frequency range are important to me in creating that illusion that I’m in the classical music hall – not “imaging”.  Therefore, I don’t expect my home hi-fi system to produce some “soundstage gimmick” (e.g., ping-pong effect) for the large-scale classical music that I love.  (I’m very pleased with the in-home experience delivered via modern performances/recordings (i.e., recorded in the last 15 years or so) of classical music that were captured and mastered in multi-channel (e.g., 5.1) hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHz) digital audio, and delivered via Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, or an SACD’s 5.1 track.   I prefer 6L6GC tube amps and Klipsch speakers.)

OTOH, for a recording of a live performance of a string quartet (or, e.g., a jazz trio), the recording’s localization of the instruments might seem natural if your reference point (i.e., your benchmark) is a front row seat at the live performance. 

I wonder if the pinpoint imaging that some audiophiles tout as an outstanding feature of their hi-fi system is often when listening to popular music recordings?   My understanding is that for many pop recordings there never was a live performance.   Rather, the producers and the engineers use software tools (e.g., DAW software) to cobble together sounds (from different sources, created at different times) that they assign to left, center, or right.   In this case, the final master recording was the first time the music was heard.   In this case, how does the consumer know how the music “should” sound?   (Unless the consumer was sitting near the DAW workstation, listening through the same monitors that the producers and engineers listened to.)   

FWIW/IMO there’s nothing wrong with the consumer wanting their recordings of popular music to “sound good”.   As others in this thread have pointed out - some lovers of popular music may regard their recordings as a completely different musical experience compared with a live performance by the same band.   Therefore, they don’t expect the recording and live performance to sound similar.

You have to decide what makes the music that you love special.

My 2.5 cents:  Whether “imaging” is important depends on the genre of music, and your preferences for what you hear in your home.  For the classical music I love, there are quality criteria for in-home music reproduction that are MUCH more important than “imaging”, based on my goal of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house.

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7 hours ago, Edgar said:

Minimum wage in '68-'69 was $1.60, so 3.125 times. It's now $7.25, so tickets should be $22.66. Yeah, right.

 

Minimum wage should be more like $18/hr, like it is is many developed countries.  $7.25 is a starvation wage for anyone who isn't living with their parents.

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15 hours ago, robert_kc said:

I believe that an important issue is how music “should” sound when reproduced via a hi-fi system in the home.  (IMO, “should” is often a confusing/misleading word that doesn’t distinguish between fact (e.g., what is written in the stars) vs. personal preference.)   It seems to me that the answer is fundamentally different for classical music (and other music involving natural instruments that perform live) vs. music that is produced or altered via electronics.  

What is your benchmark for how the music that you enjoy “should” sound?   

What are your goals for your hi-fi system?

I attend more than two dozen classical concerts per season, including full season tickets to the symphony, opera, and ballet, plus several performances of chamber music.  The sound that I hear in my local symphony hall when listening to classical music, and in my local opera house when listening to operas, is 100% natural - i.e., no electronics are employed - no sound reinforcement system.  (OTOH, electronic amplification is employed when pop music is performed in these venues.)   Both my local symphony hall and opera house were purpose-built, and feature world class acoustics – and 100% “natural” sound.  

For me, the “work of art” was the live performance - not the product of a DAW software plug-in.

My seats are mid-hall, in the front row of the first elevated section, so that I can see the performers, and hear beautiful “balanced” sound.    For some compositions this involves 100+ orchestral instruments - and in a few cases a chorus of 100+ singers (e.g., Beethoven Symphony 9, and Brahms German Requiem).

My observation when attending live classical concerts is that when seated mid-hall there is no pinpoint localization of instruments.  Rather, the hall blends the sound.    (I’ve closed my eyes when attending the symphony when sitting in my mid-hall seat, and I was unable to localize instruments on the stage.)   

My goal for my hi-fi systems is to create the illusion that I’m attending a live performance, when seated in my usual mid-hall seats.  (IOW - addressing the point that several others have made - my goal is NOT to put an orchestra involving 100+ musicians - and a chorus involving 100+singers - in my living room – but rather to create the illusion that I’m in the concert hall.)   

Natural timbre, dynamic range, and frequency range are important to me in creating that illusion that I’m in the classical music hall – not “imaging”.  Therefore, I don’t expect my home hi-fi system to produce some “soundstage gimmick” (e.g., ping-pong effect) for the large-scale classical music that I love.  (I’m very pleased with the in-home experience delivered via modern performances/recordings (i.e., recorded in the last 15 years or so) of classical music that were captured and mastered in multi-channel (e.g., 5.1) hi-res (e.g., 24bit/192kHz) digital audio, and delivered via Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track, or an SACD’s 5.1 track.   I prefer 6L6GC tube amps and Klipsch speakers.)

OTOH, for a recording of a live performance of a string quartet (or, e.g., a jazz trio), the recording’s localization of the instruments might seem natural if your reference point (i.e., your benchmark) is a front row seat at the live performance. 

I wonder if the pinpoint imaging that some audiophiles tout as an outstanding feature of their hi-fi system is often when listening to popular music recordings?   My understanding is that for many pop recordings there never was a live performance.   Rather, the producers and the engineers use software tools (e.g., DAW software) to cobble together sounds (from different sources, created at different times) that they assign to left, center, or right.   In this case, the final master recording was the first time the music was heard.   In this case, how does the consumer know how the music “should” sound?   (Unless the consumer was sitting near the DAW workstation, listening through the same monitors that the producers and engineers listened to.)   

FWIW/IMO there’s nothing wrong with the consumer wanting their recordings of popular music to “sound good”.   As others in this thread have pointed out - some lovers of popular music may regard their recordings as a completely different musical experience compared with a live performance by the same band.   Therefore, they don’t expect the recording and live performance to sound similar.

You have to decide what makes the music that you love special.

My 2.5 cents:  Whether “imaging” is important depends on the genre of music, and your preferences for what you hear in your home.  For the classical music I love, there are quality criteria for in-home music reproduction that are MUCH more important than “imaging”, based on my goal of creating the illusion that I’m in the symphony hall or opera house.

Thank You. 🙂

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1 hour ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

Uh, I wasn't born yet and I am old...

A friend I have is about 13 years younger so I'll tell you the same thing I tell him...  "Ur learnin!"  lol

 

He's like a walking Creem magazine when it come to rock bs.  Funny as heck to listen to as he spews this and that.  Then I set him straight on a few things and tweak him out to the max. Then he starts researching it.  Some of the things he comes up with are hilarious.  So far he's batting about 0.  Thing is...  He's learnin!  hahaha  

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1 hour ago, Dave1291 said:

A friend I have is about 13 years younger so I'll tell you the same thing I tell him...  "Ur learnin!"  lol

 

 

 

You are not kidding, the older and I and the more I learn, the less I know.  But I do know what I don't know, really helps in the business world.  

 

 

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18 hours ago, robert_kc said:

My understanding is that for many pop recordings there never was a live performance.   Rather, the producers and the engineers use software tools (e.g., DAW software) to cobble together sounds (from different sources, created at different times) that they assign to left, center, or right.   In this case, the final master recording was the first time the music was heard.

That's quite an insult for many who work in the music industry. Do you find all music other than symphonies and orchestras, chamber groups, etc., to be distasteful and cobbled together?

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18 hours ago, robert_kc said:

My understanding is that for many pop recordings there never was a live performance.   Rather, the producers and the engineers use software tools (e.g., DAW software) to cobble together sounds (from different sources, created at different times) that they assign to left, center, or right.   In this case, the final master recording was the first time the music was heard.  

 

 

Um, perhaps this is a bit of a hyperbole, or you have greatly overstepped....

 

Most of your other points were very interesting.

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8 minutes ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

But I do know what I don't know, really helps in the business world.  

Welcome to the "Cosmology of Nothingness."   You're learnin!!!  Had a guy teach me all about it in 1967.  That sounds a bit profound but he was right.  Stop by anytime and we'll tag team him and laff our rears off!       😂  😎

 

 

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I surely am older than dirt!

 

The best sound my fellow (10th grade) orchestra members and I ever heard, only to be beaten or equaled about 21 years later by a very, very few direct-to-disk/SME/Ortofon (light wt.) combinations, and very, very rarely equaled since by a few Blu-rays or SACDs, was a 22.5 ips. 6 channel, magnetic, recording of a 114 piece orchestra in 1957, that turned those few of us who were not yet audiophiles into them, instantly, Alakazam!   As a fairly large group of us were leaving the theater (yes it was a film) we realized we could not walk out on the ultra-dynamic exit music, so we went down near the screen and found that it still sounded great, even through the damn curtains!  The vinyl was horrible.  We EQd it 6 ways for Sunday, but played it over and over anyway.  45, or so, years later, the DVD was passable with tender, loving EQ.  In those days, for 70mm, there were 5 big speaker systems behind the screen, and a 6th channel, with signal tones guiding its surround sound to left, right, rear or all off-screen speakers.  The film in question was the original version of Around the World in 80 days, in 70mm Todd-AO, gloriously before the X-Curve, with the sound custom set up in each 70mm theater, the goal being flat from typical seats, beginning to roll off at 12K Hz or so, which was the upper limit of both JBL and Altec theater speakers in those days; the magnetic tracks extended to 15K Hz a la Ampex professional tape machines then, and Ampex was hired to design Todd-AO sound.  The original sound elements, in 6 channel, were recorded of full coat 35mm magnetic film (with a 24mm wide magnetic surface (.9449"), providing a wider surface for each  track than 1/2 track 1/4" tape, and later transferred to the magnetic tracks on the film shown below. image.png.c451fcc7d2270f9a49124fb7329ed7ab.png 80 Days played well into its 2nd year in San Francisco.  When it finally came out in 35mm mono optical, it was unrecognizableimage.png.b36346363fedb54958031e022223bea4.png

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