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192khz, 96khz, 48khz. I hear the difference.
Old 6 days ago
  #1051
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
True, the source components make the most diff in the chain and should be where the best equipment is. The speakers are the "end" of the chain and should be given much less value in terms of audio fidelity. Improve the front end and that improves the speakers, or so it seems.

But... you make an even better point about room treatments. It can be that the room contributes to 80% of the sound of a room. Bass control should be the first thing to control, but most treatments are made for the mid and high frequencies. At the same time, I think full range speakers, are the best to monitor with rather than near field or headphones, that is if the full range loud speakers are of the "neutral" sort. If the speakers over emphasize low or mid bass, etc. then the mix or master will be skewed. Near field monitors then are the best low cost alternative to an untreated or only mid or hi band treated.

I hope I understood what you were saying. Good post.
Actually, no. I was making the point that the speakers are the weakest link and therefore if one wants to improve the performance of the audio chain as a whole they should focus first on the weakest link, no matter where it is (beginning or end). Think of it this way. You have a water spring that's 98% pure. The water flows in a river and you are downstream. If upstream you have a factory that dumps 50% radioactive waste in the stream, do you think you get better water quality if you make the spring go from 98% to 99% pure, or if you manage to decrease the factory pollution from 50% to 40%?

But more specifically, my question is, how much can you decrease the quality of the spring water before it has any appreciable effect on the water that gets to you, given that there is a 50% source of pollution in between?

Who said that near field can't be full range?
Old 6 days ago
  #1052
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
The source components are the weakest link in the chain is what I am saying.
What happens upstream is what makes a diff downstream. The sound coming from the speakers shows what is happening upstream.
The source components are not the weakest links. DACs and amps introduce far less error than speakers. Your reasoning is flawed, I'm sorry to say.
The sound from the speakers actually masks what is happening upstream.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Tackle the source of biggest weakness. If you can. It's not easy and that's what I'm trying to do with my speakers, but for the purposes of this thread, my interest is in how much you can mess up the other links before it really starts to make any difference, given you have a really weak one already.
Old 6 days ago
  #1053
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
The source components are not the weakest links. DACs and amps introduce far less error than speakers. Your reasoning is flawed, I'm sorry to say.
The sound from the speakers actually masks what is happening upstream.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Tackle the source of biggest weakness. If you can. It's not easy and that's what I'm trying to do with my speakers, but for the purposes of this thread, my interest is in how much you can mess up the other links before it really starts to make any difference, given you have a really weak one already.
I think it can go both ways. Obviously, for professional work you need really good monitors that accurately highlight the things you need to hear to make a good recording. The priorities here are towards needing excellent monitoring at the cost of other things.

On the other hand, as a listener I've definitely preferred less expensive speakers and nice source components over expensive speakers and mediocre source components. I know some are the opposite, but I've just never found speakers that could fix things I didnt like downstream.
Old 6 days ago
  #1054
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esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
Ok, said another way, the speakers reveal what the source, upstream, front end components are producing. If the DAC is bright sounding, it will sound that way. Improve the DAC and the the sound improves. Improve the speakers and that does not improve the DAC that is bright. To improve that system's sound the DAC should be upgraded.

Of course this is not sell evident I'm sure. And...the more each component strays from "neutral" or is colored, the more confusing it can be to see what I am saying.

But it is true that the speakers will be reflecting what the source gear is doing. Change the DAC and listen to the same system. Change the amp, the preamp or mixer, sound card, etc. and you will hear something different. Each source component adds a bit of it's sound to what is heard.

The speakers therefore are not the place to upgrade unless they are crap of course. Change a source component and see how the speakers sound different. But it is not the speakers that have changed. They just reveal more or less what the front end, source, upstream components are doing. Try a comparison between DACs.

Always, the biggest bang for the buck will be the front end component, not the speakers, unless they are way off neutral, way bright, way bumped up in bass or whatever you hear. If you can borrow a $2 to 5 grand DAC to try, put it into your system and hear what your speakers might be doing. Should not be bright or boxed in or over emphasized in the bass or high end. If so, Speakers must go.

Big subject.
I'll have to say you just don't seem to get it. Change a source component that has a little different mix of distortion, a little FR change, but stays at .001 % distortion or less. Change a speaker from one with 5% distortion on peaks to one that never breaks 1% at any level. Which one is the bigger improvement in the final result? Even the finest speakers are the most messed up in the whole chain. Your approach is a tail wagging the dog approach. There may be differences at the source end, but they a couple orders of magnitude smaller than even very good speakers.
Old 6 days ago
  #1055
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
Ok, said another way, the speakers reveal what the source, upstream, front end components are producing. If the DAC is bright sounding, it will sound that way. Improve the DAC and the the sound improves. Improve the speakers and that does not improve the DAC that is bright. To improve that system's sound the DAC should be upgraded.

Of course this is not sell evident I'm sure. And...the more each component strays from "neutral" or is colored, the more confusing it can be to see what I am saying.

But it is true that the speakers will be reflecting what the source gear is doing. Change the DAC and listen to the same system. Change the amp, the preamp or mixer, sound card, etc. and you will hear something different. Each source component adds a bit of it's sound to what is heard.

The speakers therefore are not the place to upgrade unless they are crap of course. Change a source component and see how the speakers sound different. But it is not the speakers that have changed. They just reveal more or less what the front end, source, upstream components are doing. Try a comparison between DACs.

Always, the biggest bang for the buck will be the front end component, not the speakers, unless they are way off neutral, way bright, way bumped up in bass or whatever you hear. If you can borrow a $2 to 5 grand DAC to try, put it into your system and hear what your speakers might be doing. Should not be bright or boxed in or over emphasized in the bass or high end. If so, Speakers must go.

Big subject.
No not big subject. Simple subject. Can you see the color upstream with a dirty distorted window to view thru or a clean, clear one? Speakers are the funhouse mirror. Straiten that out if you want substantial improvements. Can you see oddities in a warped mirror? Yes, but that isn't proof that fixing the mirror isn't useful, and more of a difference.
Old 6 days ago
  #1056
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
Yes I have 35 years of intensive experience in the are of high end audio playback including hifi and studio systems and making music and engineering it to Master stage. And that includes the ridiculously priced stuff.

And....there are some people on this and other forums who reject any component that is more than they would pay for one. I am sure that with that mind set, they would be loath even to search out listening, hearing what those more expensive or ultra expensive components can do to sound reproduction.

So I was speaking to a closed minded point of view that is not based on any "experience" with what they are rejecting. Listening experience, not reading alone. I and others on this forum would probably agree that those unfounded opinions have a different agenda that is hostile without purpose. Like you say, I have as you do a genuine interest in all things audio, but the hostile ones do infiltrate in these discussions. It is too bad. They take someone else's opinion "personally" and the forum is for sharing opinions that address the original post, which is usually asking for guidance or to expand their knowledge about the huge field of audio.
35 years of wandering!

Opinions are only a subjective feeling not an objective proof.

35 years in the hifi high end, 35 years in the smoke.
Old 5 days ago
  #1057
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quipu View Post
Yes I have 35 years of intensive experience in the are of high end audio playback including hifi and studio systems and making music and engineering it to Master stage. And that includes the ridiculously priced stuff.
35 years?

That means you were probably around during the end of the TK-421 days... cool! (What actually was that... 3 or 4 quads per channel? We never got a straight answer back in the day.)

But we definitely needed all that bass.
Old 5 days ago
  #1058
Lives for gear
Old 5 days ago
  #1059
Gear Maniac
 

While I have tried before to give some bits of information to people that seemed not to posses them, I really don't want to keep doing that.
Besides, notwithstanding the fact that I (and many others) clearly have a hard time conveying those bits of information to certain people (but still tried to, before), I recognize I am completely powerless in front of major flaws in logical thinking.
There are certain people I simply couldn't help, even if I wanted to (which I don't, particularly).

But I will say that there are at least two types of audiophiles. The ones that look for a pleasurable sound and the ones that look for accuracy.
While I have no place in telling people what they should prefer, and sometimes, for example, I enjoy vinyl myself, I think in a conversation aimed at describing and justifying the differences between sample rates we should stick to what type of recording/storage/playback is capable to add the least amount of error (in respect to human capability to hear it and other errors that we can't do much about).
Personal preference of sound quality is no indication of better accuracy.
Old 5 days ago
  #1060
Lives for gear
don't give up.
Old 5 days ago
  #1061
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
I'm not moonstruck. It is a fact that the speakers are the worst component in the audio chain (the electro/mechanical part of it, at least).
.
Quite true IMO. I think that discussions about reproducing (almost) square waves, and minute variations in "timing accuracy" tend to forget that the signal has to pass through a mechanical device that is essentially a form of piston, which has a far greater potential to alter a signal than other parts of a properly functioning system.
Old 5 days ago
  #1062
Lives for gear
The brain is not a piston but a magical sponge.

Shannon (1949) and Nyquist (1928) had finally kill the digital business when they wrote f=f*2.
Kill before the birth but the Audiophile business had more than one resource in his bag.
The business knew how press the sponge.
Old 5 days ago
  #1063
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
...I recognize I am completely powerless in front of major flaws in logical thinking.
There are certain people I simply couldn't help, even if I wanted to (which I don't, particularly).
This is the main point.

Steve
Old 5 days ago
  #1064
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Quite true IMO. I think that discussions about reproducing (almost) square waves, and minute variations in "timing accuracy" tend to forget that the signal has to pass through a mechanical device that is essentially a form of piston, which has a far greater potential to alter a signal than other parts of a properly functioning system.
Just because I love to be the bearer of bad news (not really)... I would be happy if the biggest problem was the unavoidably less than perfect piston behavior of the drivers.. But on top of that you have to add artifacts due to cabinet design (such as baffle diffractions and usually bass reflex port), and the fact that most times you have a cross over smack in the middle of the mid range.. These are all sources of errors even higher in power than IMD and other mechanical resonances of the driver. But hey.. 32 bit recording is upon us. That should fix everything
Old 5 days ago
  #1065
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
While I have tried before to give some bits of information to people that seemed not to posses them, I really don't want to keep doing that.
Besides, notwithstanding the fact that I (and many others) clearly have a hard time conveying those bits of information to certain people (but still tried to, before), I recognize I am completely powerless in front of major flaws in logical thinking.
There are certain people I simply couldn't help, even if I wanted to (which I don't, particularly).

But I will say that there are at least two types of audiophiles. The ones that look for a pleasurable sound and the ones that look for accuracy.
While I have no place in telling people what they should prefer, and sometimes, for example, I enjoy vinyl myself, I think in a conversation aimed at describing and justifying the differences between sample rates we should stick to what type of recording/storage/playback is capable to add the least amount of error (in respect to human capability to hear it and other errors that we can't do much about).
Personal preference of sound quality is no indication of better accuracy.
It's inherently more difficult to produce a linear response transducer than electronic device. Changing speakers or microphones makes for far more of an audible change than changing any the electronic devices (provided they're not utterly awful).

Indeed sometimes an audible difference may be more euphonic than necessarily more accurate. Some people find certain kinds of distortion pleasing though that distortion might not be obvious. Perfect example is analog tape. For some styles of music or listening preferences the non-linear response of that medium sounds pleasing though it's less accurate.
Old 5 days ago
  #1066
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
The brain is not a piston but a magical sponge.

Shannon (1949) and Nyquist (1928) had finally kill the digital business when they wrote f=f*2.
Kill before the birth but the Audiophile business had more than one resource in his bag.
The business knew how press the sponge.
I'm glad that's settled.......
Old 5 days ago
  #1067
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
Just because I love to be the bearer of bad news (not really)... I would be happy if the biggest problem was the unavoidably less than perfect piston behavior of the drivers.. But on top of that you have to add artifacts due to cabinet design (such as baffle diffractions and usually bass reflex port), and the fact that most times you have a cross over smack in the middle of the mid range.. These are all sources of errors even higher in power than IMD and other mechanical resonances of the driver. But hey.. 32 bit recording is upon us. That should fix everything
What- you have neither a baffle that extends to infinity in each direction, nor a single driver that covers 20hz to 40k?
Old 5 days ago
  #1068
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
What- you have neither a baffle that extends to infinity in each direction, nor a single driver that covers 20hz to 40k?
Believe it or not, I am working on the best approximation to both (among other things) with my speaker project. You're thinking in the right direction!
Old 5 days ago
  #1069
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I'm glad that's settled.......
Nothing is settled: 36 pages. Donald did not tweet on the
sample rabbit.

Rabbit or hare? Who say.
Old 5 days ago
  #1070
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
Believe it or not, I am working on the best approximation to both (among other things) with my speaker project. You're thinking in the right direction!
When you will turn your project in reality?
Old 5 days ago
  #1071
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
Just because I love to be the bearer of bad news (not really)... I would be happy if the biggest problem was the unavoidably less than perfect piston behavior of the drivers.. But on top of that you have to add artifacts due to cabinet design (such as baffle diffractions and usually bass reflex port), and the fact that most times you have a cross over smack in the middle of the mid range.. These are all sources of errors even higher in power than IMD and other mechanical resonances of the driver. But hey.. 32 bit recording is upon us. That should fix everything
Apples and oranges, though. It's like saying microphones aren't perfect, so why bother with speakers?

Most people get used to their own setup and over time can hear through problems with their speakers and room. Whatever problems exist with drivers, colorations in the source are audible with most speakers. It doesn't make one component relevant and the other irrelevant.

Also, electrostatic speakers do exist that have neither cabinets nor pistons.
Old 5 days ago
  #1072
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
Nothing is settled: 36 pages. Donald did not tweet on the
sample rabbit.

Rabbit or hare? Who say.
Hare here, I say, and three cheers for the good ship confusion!
Old 5 days ago
  #1073
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
Apples and oranges, though. It's like saying microphones aren't perfect, so why bother with speakers?

Most people get used to their own setup and over time can hear through problems with their speakers and room. Whatever problems exist with drivers, colorations in the source are audible with most speakers. It doesn't make one component relevant and the other irrelevant.

Also, electrostatic speakers do exist that have neither cabinets nor pistons.
Electrostatic speakers have open to the room back waves and a cross over to a traditional type of woofer, unless they are huge like the original Quads.

Colorations are one thing. It's entirely possible to detect, for a trained ear, a wide band +/- 0.5 dB peak or dip. Hi-Fi DACs add that type of coloration or even more to try to appeal to a certain type of customers. That's an aesthetic decision made by the manufacturers. I'm fine with that (I really am not, but I simply avoid buying those type of products).
I am talking about being able to detect noise of the order of (conservatively) -60 dB on top of noise of the same order of the signal. Like saying you get so used to the noise of the crowd at a concert that you are able to hear the tuner guy fart backstage through the singer's microphone. That's what I call BS on, and ask myself: How loud does the fart need to get before it can be heard over the crowd's noise?
It's you and I that are talking apples and oranges.
Old 5 days ago
  #1074
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post

Hi-Fi DACs add that type of coloration or even more to try to appeal to a certain type of customers.
How without a tube in output ?
Old 5 days ago
  #1075
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
How without a tube in output ?
For example, see the Gen2 vs Gen1 unbalanced FR of this DAC
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...asil-dac.2358/

A lot of audiophiles prefer the unbalanced connection and it's easy to imagine how less content under 100 Hz can be taken as more 'clarity'. Anyone who has done some mixing can confirm that.
Of course, we're not talking huge EQ deviations (this is still just - 1dB from flatness), but the fact that it is wide band makes it capable to be detected by an attentive ear.
It's interesting to see how the balanced FR, used most likely in pro scenarios, is pretty much ruler flat.
Old 5 days ago
  #1076
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
What- you have neither a baffle that extends to infinity in each direction, nor a single driver that covers 20hz to 40k?
not quite, but pretty amazing:

https://celestion.com/product/174/axi2050/
Old 5 days ago
  #1077
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinococcus View Post
Wrong movie I think. The quads are the give away.

Old 5 days ago
  #1078
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sax512 View Post
A lot of audiophiles prefer the unbalanced connection and it's easy to imagine how less content under 100 Hz can be taken as more 'clarity'. Anyone who has done some mixing can confirm that.
Who? Balanced cabling is always superior unless you are in the Monster Cables/BBE realm of low end consumer gimmicks. Anyone with a good system wants a quality signal at all frequencies. An LF cut and increase in noise will sound bad in any capable sound system.
Old 5 days ago
  #1079
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
snip...........
Also, electrostatic speakers do exist that have neither cabinets nor pistons.
Yes they do. I've owned a few different ones. Where do you think my moniker comes from?

Currently have some Soundlabs. Never cared for those with a cone woofer. Just never seem to match up well though I've heared set ups with a totally separate woofer that work quite well.

Microphones aren't perfect either, but goods ones are probably less damaging to the signal than speakers.
Old 5 days ago
  #1080
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
Who? Balanced cabling is always superior unless you are in the Monster Cables/BBE realm of low end consumer gimmicks. Anyone with a good system wants a quality signal at all frequencies. An LF cut and increase in noise will sound bad in any capable sound system.
A LF cut is what you would call coloration.
Increase in noise has nothing to do with it.
And my point is exactly that the LF cut might be wanted to suit specific taste. The taste of audiophiles that plug their 3k RCA cables to it and say 'wow, there's so much more clarity'.
It's a rigged game. You just have to know the rules.
But, again, this has nothing to do with noise and distortion, which is what I am talking about.
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