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Re: speakers/boards/hype/subjectivity/may be too long for some viewers

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  • Jim Rooks
    AND THEY RE OFF -- In nwbluegrass@yahoogroups.com, Mark Gensman ... JBL ... and are not ... good ... whole...or, ... have ... part of what ...
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 31, 2003
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      AND THEY'RE OFF


      -- In nwbluegrass@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Gensman" <GZsound@h...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > >From: "tonyisdbest" <bluegrasser@a...>
      > ---SNIP---
      > >YOU SAY>>However, speakers are very subjective. I have heard EV,
      JBL
      > >and Carvin powered mains that sound as good as Mackie speakers
      and are not
      > >nearly as expensive.
      > >
      > >So given that it's all subjective, as you put it, what makes a
      good
      > >sound person? I mean, he or she is just one subject, afterall.
      > >
      > >Surely part of what we pay for in an excellent sound person is
      > >his "ear," or rather the ear/brain hearing faculty as a
      whole...or,
      > >if you will, some of his or her subjective abilities. So, it's not
      > >enough to simply have AN opinion. What we really want or need (in
      > >our ideal sound person) is a person whose subjective faculties
      have
      > >been shown to bear out objectively.
      >
      > Tom, I just know you are really great at scrabble, huh? Surely
      part of what
      > you pay for in a sound person is a lot of different things.
      Sometimes it's
      > the cheapest person you can get. Sometimes it's substandard
      equipment,
      > sometimes it is a person with a tin ear, sometimes it's really
      good.
      >
      > Subjective sound is like when a banjo player comes up to me and
      tells me to
      > turn up the banjo, he can't hear it, right after a mando player
      came up to
      > me and told me to turn up the mando because he can't hear it.
      Subjective is
      > just that. An opinion that is subject to all sorts of
      psychobable..like
      > yours.
      >
      > >There's also the knowledge aspect -- we want a sound person with
      > >relevant experiences (a person doing rock shows for 30 years has a
      > >lot of experience, but it must be relevant to acoustic
      instruments,
      > >the type of vocals in our music and the dynamics we generate
      between
      > >them).
      >
      > Pure and simple nonsense. Frequently it is just somebody that has
      equipment
      > and will work for cheap. This somehow elitist attitude that
      bluegrassers
      > insist on sound from "experienced" non-rock and roll sound
      contractors is
      > ludicrous. Some of the worst sound I have ever heard has been at
      bluegrass
      > festivals from the same sound guy that has done it every year for
      years...
      >
      > In my experience, the bluegrass players and the audience only want
      one
      > thing. Good sound. I have never had someone question
      my "experience" when I
      > run sound. The bands seem pleased and the audience seems pleased
      and that is
      > all we can ever hope for.
      >
      > >To many ears, there's a vast difference between a shure 57 miking
      a
      > >five-hundred dollar Yamaha dread, and an AT 4041 miking a vintage
      > >Martin, a Collings, or a Santa Cruz dread. While it may be
      somewhat
      > >subjective, a sound person who can't hear the difference, or
      insists
      > >the difference is minimal, is not going to be of help if it is
      these
      > >very distinctions that are important to you.
      >
      > You are talking about live bluegrass right? No offense, but there
      are live
      > acoustic instrument mics and there are studio acoustic instrument
      mics.
      > Using Wintergrass as an example again, they simply stick a Shure
      SM58 in
      > front of just about every instrument. I guess they must be idiots..
      >
      > >> >>However, there are other powered speakers available that are
      > >excellent also and are not so expensive.<<
      > >
      > >Excellence is a relative term. We get past this by specifying
      > >something tangible as a benchmark of sorts -- something that can
      > >serve to distinguish, say, good from excellent. In my case, the
      > >reproduction fidelity of the Mackies were the minimum I would
      settle
      > >for. Those that could not deliver the clarity or the power of the
      > >SRM450's (for instance; the lower powered JBL Eons) wouldn't
      > >qualify -- wouldn't be excellent.
      >
      > Cool.. Now if you could just show me the chart where "clarity" is
      listed.
      > And power ratings are almost always to be taken with a grain of
      salt. Peak
      > power? RMS power? what..? Oh, sorry, I forgot. Your comments were
      what you
      > would accept. A subjective opinion.
      > >
      > >Also, Mackie makes a few setups, it's not at all clear what you
      > >listened to or what kind of signals were being amplified, where
      you
      > >were in the sound field, or if you went to any length to listen to
      > >the respective systems under different situations. You do drop a
      few
      > >names, but again, it isn't clear what actual units of those brands
      > >you listened to. A person seeking to better inform him or herself
      > >based on your opinion is left with little choice but to either
      take
      > >it as gospel or discard it as too subjective or too vague. Don't
      we
      > >want to do more here than just voice our favorite brand, or worse,
      > >simply spout vague anti-brand pronouncements?
      >
      > No we don't want to do more. What we really want to do is have you
      challenge
      > every sentence, every period, and somehow allow you to enhance
      your own
      > opinion of your overly verbose prose and yet still have you not
      really say
      > anything of even slight value.
      > >
      > >Anyway, Mark, I don't think I misunderstood you, my point may have
      > >actually been one of agreement. Specifically, I said that if you
      > >can't hear the difference, you'd be silly to pay more. I think
      that
      > >statement pretty much acknowledges the subjective aspect and the
      > >expense issue.
      >
      > Not what I said. There are reviews available for your enjoyment in
      the
      > privacy of your own home.
      > >
      > > >>There are several brands of mixer that are all recommended
      above
      > >the Mackie mixers<<
      > >
      > >Mark, you know as well as anyone does that you can find folks who
      > >will recommend anything over anything. And they use different
      > >criteria to do so, like price. There is a reason so many folks use
      > >Mackie VLZ analogue boards for digital audio and do so over far
      more
      > >and far less expensive brands.
      >
      > Actually, using your criteria, more folks are using Behringer
      mixers than
      > Mackie by far. I was speaking of professional recording studios.
      Those folks
      > who can afford to use any brand they like.
      > >
      > >*[Mackie actually refers to the 450s as "monitors" due mainly to
      the
      > >noticeable increase in accuracy over what they normally compete
      > >with.]
      > >
      > >Finally, you mentioned the JBLs, but the JBLs have been beefed up
      > >some (JBL EON 15G2 and the 10 inch G2) in order to compete with
      the
      > >Mackies . . . funny thing happened though, they now cost the same
      as
      > >the Mackies (the 15s) and are still lower powered. I guess a plus
      > >might be that the JBLs sport a 15 inch woofer over the 12 inch of
      > >the SRM450's, but still use less power to feed it. In light of
      that,
      > >it seems JBL was and is well aware of the superiority of the
      > >Mackies . . . that, or they too bought into the Mackie hype.
      > >
      > >Following is some product hype, and there's an awful lot of hype
      in
      > >this industry, but in my experience to date, Mackie actually
      stands
      > >up to it...no kiddin'. Hopefully, someone may find it to be of
      some
      > >use.
      > >
      > >
      > >-tk
      >
      > Uh, not to be a harbinger of bad news, but what exactly is your
      > experience...to date? Got any good recorded product we could
      review? Got any
      > good pics of your studio? Getting your monthly copy of Mix, EQ,
      etc.?
      > Hanging out on the boards with Roger Nichols, George Massenburg,
      Craig
      > Anderton are we?
      >
      > Come on Tom, how can such a nice guy in person pull the cloak of a
      computer
      > over his face as if we don't really know who you are?
      >
      > I do appreciate all the information.
      >
      > Mark Gensman
      > Ground Zero Sound
      >
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