insider9

Chasing system accuracy... Is there a point?

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4 hours ago, tuga said:

Should we give up on reproducing the recording with the highest possible fidelity just because reproduced sound, even of a recording of a live event, doesn't sound like the real thing? That doesn't make sense to me.

In my experience adding distortion, whatever the kind, will detract from the sonic realism even though in some cases it may make the sound more 'pleasant' or 'enhance' the listening experience for some people; but ultimately it's your call

Don't think we should give up. And I'm more of a measurist myself however where do you draw the line? I've gone from fully treated room with DSP to no room treatment and a far inferior setup. My enjoyment from music and what it gives me emotionally has actually increased. 

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2 hours ago, BeeRay said:

The recording is probably fairly compressed but the live performance will not be, so there will by far more dynamic range when live. I don't know this band, just playing Love In Wartime on Deezer and it does sound pretty flat. Their Live from Space is considerably better. 

Agreed on both counts. My comparison isn't as such to live performance but the bit where sung unamplified at the end. You could hear the rasp and richness to both their voices. Just gorgeous... recording doesn't show it as well as what I've heard in real life. 

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4 hours ago, tuga said:

I struggle a bit with your example.

You seem to imply that listening to less of what's on the recording sounds more like performers playing music. How is that possible? A distorted sound cannot sound more real.

Aren't you perhaps making up for the deficiencies of stereo by subverting the rules?

I know that you are because you're using omni speakers which rely on the room's boundaries to compensate for stereo's inability to sound like the real thing... This increases the sense of involvement or immersion at the expense of other aspects, which probably aren't as important to you.

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For me good documental-style recordings create a reasonable illusion but the magic happens only above a certain degree of fidelity, when the level of clarity, smoothness, dynamics and tonal accuracy are such that the speakers no longer appear to be the sound source and the acoustics of the original event become more defined.

For this you need a good room, the right positioning of both speakers and listener and a higher-fidelity system. And because stereo is a representation of reality we must be able to interpret what's on offer...

Interesting. For me a hifi systems only purpose is to reproduce music in a way that evokes the emotions of the real thing; not to be the servant of rules. I agree that the magic happens when the speakers no longer appear to be the sound source. IME this happens most effectively with dipoles and omnis. This can be at the expense of pin point imaging but that is as often as not a hifi artefact. Go to an orchestral concert and it will be your eyes, not your ears, that locate precisely where each instrument is. Of course artificial imaging of a recording helps to compensate for not seeing the performers in front of us.

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14 hours ago, Nopiano said:

There is a point...but I think there are probably two types of accuracy!   

You, I suspect, meant studio-type accuracy, flat neutral response, lack of distortion, etc.  But many listeners want an accuracy of feel, emotion, or impact.  They want to be moved or stimulated, and to achieve something reminiscent of their experience of a live performance.  

Those two types converge in higher-end systems that I’ve heard, but many designers head in one direction over the other.  Then users end up juggling combinations of kit to get the best outcome with their budget. 

Most curious of all, is what a satisfying experience listening to a car radio, or mini system, can be if the content is interesting enough.

Well put. It was indeed in regards to faithful reproduction when it comes to freq response, etc. 

I've not gone into other aspects of their performance which will simply be difficult if not impossible to reproduce. The energy, the feeling, the chemistry on stage, connection with performance. They made me cry during second song and these were tears of joy as it just sounded so beautiful and heartfelt. It was a really moving gig. And it just felt great. 

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3 minutes ago, insider9 said:

Agreed on both counts. My comparison isn't as such to live performance but the bit where sung unamplified at the end. You could hear the rasp and richness to both their voices. Just gorgeous... recording doesn't show it as well as what I've heard in real life. 

Were the vocals unamplified? What kind of venue?

Non classical singers don't project their voice, I am wondering how it could have sound good unless the venue was quite small and lively-sounding.

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3 minutes ago, tuga said:

Were the vocals unamplified? What kind of venue?

Non classical singers don't project their voice, I am wondering how it could have sound good unless the venue was quite small and lively-sounding.

It was at The Greystones. Small venue max 100 people in the audience. The gig was amplified however at the end they came down and sung unamplified. I spoke to them afterwards so know what they sound like in real life. Recording are too nice to be honest. 

Edited by insider9

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1 minute ago, Camverton said:

Interesting. For me a hifi systems only purpose is to reproduce music in a way that evokes the emotions of the real thing; not to be the servant of rules. I agree that the magic happens when the speakers no longer appear to be the sound source. IME this happens most effectively with dipoles and omnis. This can be at the expense of pin point imaging but that is as often as not a hifi artefact. Go to an orchestral concert and it will be your eyes, not your ears, that locate precisely where each instrument is. Of course artificial imaging of a recording helps to compensate for not seeing the performers in front of us.

Imaging is the result of stereo. It's purpose is to recreate the horizontal position (width and length wise) of the sound sources.

It exists in real life in acoustic unamplified concerts or recitals. I attend those often.

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13 minutes ago, insider9 said:

Don't think we should give up. And I'm more of a measurist myself however where do you draw the line? I've gone from fully treated room with DSP to no room treatment and a far inferior setup. My enjoyment from music and what it gives me emotionally has actually increased. 

And isn’t that enjoyment what really counts? The means to achieve it is probably different for us all, which makes it rather difficult for others to prescribe how we should achieve it. Doesn’t stop them trying though!

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4 minutes ago, insider9 said:

It was at The Greystones. Small venue max 100 people in the audience. The gig was amplified however at the end they came down and sung unamplified. I spoke to them afterwards so know what they sound like in real life. Recording are too nice to be honest. 

More often than not this kind of recording is fabricated in the mixing desk. The raw sound of live gigs is rarely available commercially.

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4 minutes ago, tuga said:

Imaging is the result of stereo. It's purpose is to recreate the horizontal position (width and length wise) of the sound sources.

It exists in real life in acoustic unamplified concerts or recitals. I attend those often.

It exists to a degree but not always to the degree portrayed on some recordings with a high hifidelity system. As an aside I listen to lot of string quartets and it is fascinating how different recording engineers portray the four performers. In some recordings you can pinpoint the position of each performer (even with omnis :D), in others the sound is presented as a wash with only the vaguest impression that the violins are on the left and no certainty which seats the cellist and violist are sitting in. In some ways I like the first approach as a way of understanding the score but the second is more accurate for all but the first few rows of the concert hall.

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3 minutes ago, Camverton said:

And isn’t that enjoyment what really counts? The means to achieve it is probably different for us all, which makes it rather difficult for others to prescribe how we should achieve it. Doesn’t stop them trying though!

I agree that the goal of the system is to provide enjoyment. I also agree that we all have different tastes and objectives.

This makes discussion somewhat difficult but not pointless. If we could get together, listen to each other's systems, illustrate our views, it would make things a lot easier.

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8 minutes ago, tuga said:

More often than not this kind of recording is fabricated in the mixing desk. The raw sound of live gigs is rarely available commercially.

I found such fabricated recordings worked best with the high precision Dutch & Dutch speakers. It was when they were reproducing an acoustic event that they didn’t work so well for me. 

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2 minutes ago, tuga said:

I agree that the goal of the system is to provide enjoyment. I also agree that we all have different tastes and objectives.

This makes discussion somewhat difficult but not pointless. If we could get together, listen to each other's systems, illustrate our views, it would make things a lot easier.

Absolutely!

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23 minutes ago, insider9 said:

It was at The Greystones. Small venue max 100 people in the audience. The gig was amplified however at the end they came down and sung unamplified. I spoke to them afterwards so know what they sound like in real life. Recording are too nice to be honest. 

One evening driving home and zapping through the radio channels I came across the broadcast of this live moment; it sounded a lot more "alive" than most recordings:

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It's all a balance, just like life. And just like life, not everyone likes the same things. I've heard many systems at other people's houses, many have been fantastic, but a few that people genuinely love, I couldn't live with. That doesn't make anything 'right', it's just that our priorities differ. I massively downgraded a few years back, because I found my enjoyment was being tempered by the sheer monetary value of the system. What I have now is certainly not as 'good' as the previous setup in some ways, but I can relax and enjoy it more.

And anyway, my priorities certainly differ from those of some others. I primarily have to have a 'realistic' soundstage, with width and depth. I put realistic in inverted commas, because I know it is not 'real' in most cases, but it doesn't matter to me. I'll happily trade off something else. Others don't care about soundstage. Doesn't make me or them 'wrong'.

As others sate, the system has to be enjoyabe to listen to. If it isn't, there seems to me to be absolutely no point in having it.

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