Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Hearing effects

Expand Messages
  • Robert
    I think that there is some confusion going on. Let me make a quick try(more detail later). People who really know how things work have known for a very long
    Message 1 of 33 , Jun 5, 2012
      I think that there is some confusion going on.
      Let me make a quick try(more detail later).
      People who really know how things work have
      known for a very long time that there is a
      kind of trade-off of locational versus frequency
      response effects.
      For example there was a system(which worked well)
      that put stereo speakers behind the listener
      as a supplement to the pair in front and
      processed the response of the rear speakers
      so that the rear speakers were heard in front
      and as sounding flat.
      Think about it this way: the difference between sound
      in back and sound in front is frequency response (and perhaps some
      phase effects in some cases)
      in the ear. If one knows what this physical shift in response is,
      then you can flip sound in back to be perceived as sound in front.

      Now conventional stereo ignores all such things and just
      assumes that if the speakers are flat then all will be well.
      This works--up to a point.
      Stereo sound from flat speakers and flat recording sounds
      relatively uncolored(except for the "stereo summation effect")
      And until recently it was pretty much all we could do.
      Even to get that right was hard! (and to judge from the show,
      still is!).

      But think about what is involved: Your ear/brain has to over-ride
      the pinnae-induced changes from the fact that the speakers(when
      playing say a centered source) are off to the sides--which in literal
      terms makes a HUGE shift in response(look at the chart in my photo gallery). In real world listening, this shift would be, for one speaker, simply interpreted as the speaker being off to the side
      as it actually is. But when you use two for stereo, the ear/brain
      has to over-come that and hear the source as centered--and edit out the pinnae effects of the speakers being in fact to the sides.

      The ear/brain does this pretty well. In fact, very well.
      But it does have to do something and at some level
      its having to do this makes one know one is hearing speakers.

      This was striking at the show , in unfamiliar rooms. (One learns thisbetter over time at home, I think). Sometimes the sound was
      very good, very truthful in stereo terms. Quite often in fact.
      Drivers have improved a lot and crossover design is coming along a bit and so on. But the exhibits still sounded like speakers in rooms.

      Part of this is sound off walls. But not all of the reason is that.
      Part of it is that it is hard to fool Mother Nature--your brain KNOWs that you are hearing sound from speakers.

      There is nothing totally new here. Ralph Glasgal has been worrying about this for many years (and has tried various things--including the barrier down the center that I (ahem) invented decades ago--
      so that one could get separation without large angles. These things
      worked to some extent.

      But surely it is the new frontier of audio to try to fix these things
      using the power opf DSP. The system of speakers behind flipped to te front , Finsterle's thing from years ago, was a start--it really
      did solidify stereo images a lot. But with DSP power, much more is possible in the way of making stereo or more precisely two speaker sound more real sounding.

      I have no idea exactly what Alex did. And I do not want to put words
      into his mouth.

      But it is time I think for people to realize that flat-speaker stereo
      1 gone almost as far as it can go
      2 is not the only possibility for creating tonally correct and
      spatially convincing sound.

      I tend to laugh at non-flat systems- because the ones that arise
      by accident are just silly. They are neither fish nor fowl
      neither flat stereo which works fairly well nor pinna effect
      compensated stereo(which would never arise by accidents like
      screwing about with tube amp colorations).

      But pinna effect driven sound reproduction has a big future--it
      is probably the way to future progress. Flat speaker stereo
      can only go so far, and though it sounds good, at some level
      it still sounds like sound from speakers. But with DSP , reality
      or at least a much closer approach, is just around the corner.

      It is good to pursue limited goals carefully. Flat stereo sounds
      much better than stereo that is just all over the place in response.
      But flat stereo, as HM often reminds us, is far from perfect.
      The ear/brain processes it to sound much more nearly correct in timbre than one would expect from the actual sounds at the ears,
      but this processing makes one feel one is hearing speakers.

      Go to a concert. There is a qualatative shift because this processing no longer has to occur. Someday this same sense will occur at home.
      But it won't occur from unprocessed stereo. It really cannot occur there.

      I like stereo a lot. But no one really thinks it sounds real. Not anyone who has been to an audio show the day after they played
      a concert. And it is not flat response, dynamic range, tranparency or whatever that is all that is missing. Stereo itself is not really real. Sometimes stereo recording sounds even better than reality in simple categories, Believe me, it is easy to sound better than Disney Hall in neutral timbre and adequate bass response and of course it is easy for stereo systems to play loud enough. And with 96/24 recording especially, dynamic range of the source material is not a problem.

      But still, reality eludes one. That is the reason: flat stereo as I call it cannot really sound real. Beautiful, yes, neutral (when ear/brain processed) surprisingly close, enjoyable, absolutely, better than being surrounded by audience members reading programs and
      listening to music maybe you did not want to hear, yes in many respects. But real, no. Something is missing intrinsically--namely the absence of the need to process what is really two sources into one.

      This is what Gunther Theile was pointing out years ago--that the processing by the ear/brain works to some extent, but that extra processing is in fact going on of necessity. One can emphasize how
      well it works--which is what I often do, because it does work well
      and it has been all we have had, mostly(except for Finsterle and Glasgal and a few others).

      But flat stereo will not be all we shall ever have. New things are turning up all the time. High order Ambisonics,
      Trinnov's developments and now Alex's system.

      It will take a while to sort out what works best, what makes
      your ear/brain happiest in the sense of least processing. It might
      even vary from person to person(one hopes not! What a nuisance that would be).

      But fundamental progress is upon us.

      Meanwhile, one thinks of The Mouse that Roared, and the old general
      eating regulation rations off a tin plate as provided by the Geneva
      Convention--while his fellow prisoneers of war with Grand Fenwck are revelling with wine, women, and song. One could say no to these coming
      developments in the interests of flat stereo virtue, but why would you want to?

      Please note, however{YMM in particular} that new technical possibilities that seem magical are not in the same category as previous claims of magic. Atibiotics cure bacterial infections,
      something that would have seemed magical to people of centuries ago and which centuries ago were supposedly treatable by magic---this
      did not mean that when the real thing(antibiotics) arrived, that
      they were to be rejected as magic. One thinks of the famous remark of Arthur C. Clarke about sufficiently advanced technology seeming like

    • Bomwell, Alan
      Yes, the Mahler series is wonderful! Thanks for the other tips? Al Sent via BlackBerry Wireless handheld From: Peter Allen [mailto:alcomdata@yahoo.com] Sent:
      Message 33 of 33 , Jun 12, 2012
        Yes, the Mahler series is wonderful! Thanks for the other tips?

        Sent via BlackBerry Wireless handheld

        From: Peter Allen [mailto:alcomdata@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 07:30 AM
        To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Re: The sub to end all subs?

        Thanks, Al!  I will!
        I've heard great things about the SFO's Mahler cycle.  Are the "rumors" true?
        I can also recommend hi-rez issues from the BSO (available on SACD or download), the Philadelphia Orchestra (SACD only, I think), and the CSO (their SACD of the Verdi Requiem is now my ultimate system reference recording.)
        Thanks again. . .  I plan to order the Sub 2 tonight if my wallet will cooperate.

        From: "Bomwell, Alan" <abomwell@...>
        To: "'regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com'" <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 7:12 AM
        Subject: Re: [regsaudioforum] Re: The sub to end all subs?


        You, and others here with multi-channel setups, might really love the SFO live recordings. I just returned home from travels allowing me to hear three weeks of daily live music (The International Horn Show, a Batimore Symphony concert, and The National Brass Symposium). Upon returning I received the SFO Beethoven's Leonore Overture #3, Sym #7 hybrid SACD. It's fabulous!

        My new system uses Sanders 10c fronts with the Gradient Helsinki's for surrounds. With DSP for bass below 314Hz my room sound is very natural and on this particular recording the bass has the heft of what one would hear in a live hall.



        PS. I have found most all of the SFO recent recordings to be excellent!
        Sent via BlackBerry Wireless handheld

        From: Peter Allen [mailto:alcomdata@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 06:33 AM
        To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com <regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [regsaudioforum] Re: The sub to end all subs?
        Ø   I am having a little trouble interpreting this. I thought the initial post was that there was not
        enough bass heft?
        Let me clarify. I’ve never heard ANY two-channel system, anywhere, have anything close to the “heft” of a full-orchestra playing big music, especially the Scriabin. 
        Multichannel is another story. Is it "almost live?"  Well, no.  Does it have as much "heft" as 12th row center listening to Scriabin?  No again, but it's close enough for government work (which I'm allowed to say because I work for the government).  It's also far closer than two channel, even if the two-channel system is supplemented with a center channel, a woof, or both.
        My own system is 7.1, and will soon be 7.2. All 7 of the main speakers reach low enough to be considered “large.” My current woof is a 15" Velodyne, and the .2 woof will be the big Paradigm.  (Serendipitously, the Paradigm woof and my Anthem prepro use the same DSP software.)

        From: Robert <regtas43@...>
        To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 10:35 PM
        Subject: [regsaudioforum] Re: The sub to end all subs?

        I am having a little trouble interpreting this.
        I thought the initial post was that there was not
        enough bass heft?
        Now it seems there is?

        Anyway, regardless of "specs" in my experience
        one does not really get slam and heft
        from dipole panels. Not really.
        Even when the steady state response in room looks
        quite good.
        Why is a question.

        For what it is worth, I have heard the Scriabin
        live from a similar distance. This is a sonic
        experience that is not very likely to arise
        in home stereo. For one thing, it is typically
        really really loud--most orchestral music is not
        so loud, but Scriabin really pours it on in the
        loud spots.
        In home listening rooms, even supposing that your
        equipment is happy that loud, most of the time
        there is so much sound from the room--which is
        of course pretty much all wrong, arriving way too early
        and not being properly balanced in the diffuse field
        --that the result is unpleasant and confused.

        This is a fundamental problem with really loud music
        at home. Even a dead room by ordinary standards
        will sound overloaded at such volumes.
        In my experience, this type of volume can sound
        pleasant in reproduced form only in an RFZ (reflection
        free zone) room. Otherwise, it just sounds
        all confused and somewhat yucky.

        Another partial alternative in my experience
        is horn loading of the mid and tweeter.
        Of course that has problems of its own
        but one can at least cut the room sound down to a level
        that makes the result at least reasonably tolerable.

        Of course one also has to ask one's self
        if one even really wants this experience at home.
        I am not even that crazy about it in real life
        (though I like the piece of music). Once in a while.
        But mostly for that kind of thing I like to sit
        a bit further back.


        PS Most speakers are balanced all wrong with respect
        to power response versus on axis response to sound
        plausible when there is a lot of room sound.
        Concert halls are typically quite flat(after a bass
        boost) to around 2-4 kHz and then they droop
        a lot being almost gone by around 8k as far
        as reverberant field energy is concerned.
        If you set up such a thing at home, it sounds
        a lot like a concert. But it is not so easy to do.
        If you look at this analytically you will see that this
        actually works quite well for this purpose
        EQ it flat and it sounds quite a lot like an orchestra in concert
        much more so than most speakers when the music is loud.
        (For one thing it will actually play loudly without
        distortion--really loudly).
        Naturally, no one much took me seriously when I pointed
        this out. Even though they could have tried it for
        less money than they typically spend on cables and
        the like. That's audio for you. Imagination and a spirit
        of experimentation are thin on the ground.
        --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, Peter Allen <alcomdata@...> wrote:
        > A footnote to my previous post about the Maggie 20.1's bass.  I know enough to treat all manufacturer specs with even less than a grain of salt, but. . .  the 20.1's plus or minus 3db spec was from 25Hz to 40KHz.  Martin Logan's flagship, the CLX Art, which costs twice as much as the Maggie 20.1's, has a plus or minus 3db spec from 56Hz. to 23 KHz. The Martin Logan's bass radiating area is roughly one square foot less than the Maggie's.
        > Peter
        > ________________________________
        > From: Robert <regtas43@...>
        > To: regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2012 8:35 PM
        > Subject: [regsaudioforum] Re: The sub to end all subs?
        > No offense, but the problem here is not at my guess
        > the subwoofer issue(though this does look like a really
        > impressive subwoofer) but rather the Maggie 20.1s themselves.
        > I am not familiar with this specific speaker. But generally
        > speaking panel speakers lack "heft" in my experience,
        > Magnepans in particular, though I have not had all much
        > experience with the Magnepans.
        > I think this has to do with various factors. One is that
        > often panel dipoles do not have much output down low, unless
        > they derive it from a resonance--and below that resonance
        > they die very fast. The dipole rolloff eats bass like crazy.
        > And NO dipole can go down to close to DC as box speakers can.
        > (The way low stuff is a component of real bass--one reason why
        > digital bass is better than vinyl bass[unless you use a Moerch DP8 tonearm, the (only) one that really works in the deep deep bas]
        > Using dynamic drivers as dipoles(Carver Amazing, for example)
        > gets around this pretty well in my experience--in that the
        > resonance there in the Carvers is WAY low and the dipole rolloff
        > is well compensated.
        > But electrostats and planar magnetics generally just do not
        > do bass heft very well.
        > Even modest sized and not very pricey box speakers can walk
        > all over the Quads for example for bass, including the big Quads.
        > My impression is that almost everyone who likes big music
        > tends to end up subwoofering such speakers, with a fairly high
        > crossover. The general perception that panels are wimpy has
        > some element of truth!
        > Of course advocates of dipole bass will say that people
        > who use box speakers for bass just like the excitation
        > of room modes. But I do not think that is it. Or at least
        > not all of it.
        > REG
        > --- In regsaudioforum@yahoogroups.com, Peter Allen <alcomdata@> wrote:
        > >
        > >  
        > > For me, one of the biggest differences between live and reproduced music(and by this, I mean a full or even beefed-up orchestra playing power music) is the bass.  The cellos, basses, trombones, tubas, bassoons, contrabassons, organ, and even piano, just doesn't have the "heft" at home that it does in Verizon Hall, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
        > >  
        > > The Paradigm Signature Sub S2 truly does sound like the sub to end all subs, and with 6 10" drivers, the acceleration should mate well with my main speakers, Maggie 20.1's.  Does anyone have one or more of these or heard them in a decent setup?
        > >  
        > > Here's a review from Audioholics, which seems to offer much more technically oriented reviews than most of the standard sources:  http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/subwoofers/paradigm-sig-sub-2-1/paradigm-sig-sub-2-introduction 
        > >  
        > > Peter
        > >

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.