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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:24 pm 
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If you were led into a room blindfolded and even one of the best assemblages of high end equipment was playing; if someone asked you if you thought the sound was a reproduction or actual musicians playing in the room, and would you bet $20 that you are correct, would you be confident in your guess?
Ivor Tiefenbrun of Linn a long time ago, when asked how close does our best reproduced sound come to real live music, answered 12%.That was a shocking statement to many, to think that if he's right, the sound of the best equipment would have to be doubled, then that doubled, and then that level doubled again.Now most of us have heard reproduction of piano or singing voice so realistically portrayed that a figure like that would seem way to low. But if the musicians were actually in your room playing, and it was alternated between live playing & the sound system, would we still think that was an incredibly low estimate?
What is it between live and reproduced that enables our ear/brain system to be so discriminating. It must be that audio reproduction even at its best, has a little trouble getting it 100% believable. What do you think are some of the areas that are a giveaway to a theoretical blindfolded person that enables them to guess its just a reproduction.Just what are the things that even great audio systems have a little difficulty with? Here are a few of mine.

Cymbals: I mean crashed cymbals.To my ears its kind of ironic how a great system can so accurately reproduce the sound of such a complicated instrument as a grand piano, but has trouble with something as simple as a stick hitting a piece of metal. Cymbal crashes in real life sound 100% metallic, brassy.Their sound is 100% like that; they make no other sound. Yet when heard reproduced there is always in my experience part brassy and part white sounding. Its like the complex harmonics are too instantaneous for a system to reproduce totally accurately.Many systems, you can't even hear much brassiness in the sound, its just like a shhh sound. Tapped cymbals are a little different.Still less of an overwhelmingly brassy sound than there should be, but closer.

Speakers with really extended highs sounding white sounding. It seems like you almost have to roll the extreme highs a bit to avoid hearing some whiteness up there. LPs themselves have a whitish character to their sound, as mentioned by formerTAS editor Harry Pearson when comparing an LP copy of LSC 2150 (Lt. Kite/Reiner CSO to a 2 track reel tape of the same title. A little bit of that character that lps possess might make them sound a little more exciting. I have heard instances of someone switching back & forth between a master tape and the LP and preferring something about the sound of the LP. Digital to many ears has more character than either the above. There is actually a parallel controversy of digital vs.analog in the field of photography, many purist preferring the analog images of film cameras to digital cameras.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:25 pm 
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a very interesting post on many levels..but,what is "white sounding"....im a drummer what are "tapped cymbals? ride cymbals,lol...
and yes cymbals can be a dead give away but for other reasons..one main reason is the natural decay of a crash....or the shimmer.... ive been in restaurants where i thought it was a stereo...only to discover it was a piano player..but never have i been to a place where i thought it was live and it was a stereo...never...
than you bring it full circle to digital vs analog which is my fav. topic..simply put...analog analog analog....end of story... my vinyl rig always destroys any hi end 20k digital dac when brought into my system....
the dead give away overall between a live jazz band a record playing jazz..is the space between the instruments,the placement....hey,maybe its just my system..
however ,a live rock band does not give me that issue..it gives me the issue of live pro audio vs. a home stereo system....thankfully,my speakers cross the bridge between the 2...double impacts tekton


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:30 pm 
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i have never heard anyone preferring a vinyl lp over a master tape on a proper r2r and a proper speed


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:18 pm 
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"White sounding" is a common audiophile term used in audio reviews many times that has become part of the audiophile terminology. It was coined to make reference to "white sound" which they use for testing.Tape hiss or interstation FM noise is similar and when treble instruments have a timbre which sounds like it has a character similar to those sounds and lacks tone color, ( bleached, dryness) it is often described as white sounding.
If you play an LP and have the same title on factory prerecoded tape, (reel or even cassette) lps have a slightly "white" character to them, which might be endemic to LP groove playback, since it always in my experience reveals itself in direct switching between LP and tape. Tape is often more lower midrange predominant & I have had lots of tape decks so this warmth might be a characteristic of tape, just as many people think brightness & edge are endemic to digital, especially people who don't have really great CD playback equipment or synergy. Big image size also seems to come with the territory of reel to reel, cassettes tend to sound smaller, and the tape width is smaller and notes are crowded onto a smaller length of tape because of cassettes slower speed.Many decades ago some cassette decks offered a higher recording and playback speed mode (3/34 ips per second),which was an advance in sound quality.Unfortunately many of these decks didn't use Nakamichi orTandberg parts quality inside and so it was mostly for naught.Cassettes played on an amazing cassette deck can sometimes come within shouting distance of reel to reel except for things like instrument size and dynamics.I have read where some people ( probably fans of a brighter sound) have preferred playback of a really good LP pressing compared to the master tape, although if the master tape were equalized to have the same frequency balance I would guess their opinion would change on closer listening.
When former editor HP compared the RCA prerecorded reel tape of Prokofieff Lt. Kite to the playback of the original shaded dog LP pressing, a topic mentioned in my previous post, he sais that the LP it sounded like you were listening to a marching band with your windows closed, and with the reel tape, like you opened your windows.
If you don't know what cymbal tapping is, punch in cymbal taps YouTube. Its only 7 seconds long, but it serves the purpose.
The old CD vs. LP debate took to the TV screen not that long ago, on an episode of the TV show Survivor.With host Jeff Probst sort of getting a chuckle out of a contestant, who professed his preference for analog. Defensively stating,"Hey, I like its texture more." I still think it comes down to more the pressings quality and a lot of people not hearing a CD player good enough in a synergistic enough combination.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:37 pm 
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White noise is inter station hiss, which is noise that has equal loudness at all frequencies, as opposed to pink noise, which has equal loudness octave to octave.

Sounding white can refer to a bleached sound lacking harmonic richness. Push-pull amps cancel even order harmonics in the distortion spectra, leaving more odd order harmonics and at times, a bleached sound. The work of Hiraga, et al, has shown that psycoacoustically the ear finds linearly decreasing distortion as the order of that distortion increases to be most pleasant to the ear, with odd order harmonics most psychoacoustically jarring particularly as the order increases.

I believe that the hardest thing for a stereo to do is cook rice well. I put the pot on top of my Pass amp and it seems to come out sticky every time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Tracking really dynamic inner grooves on an LP without distortion or thinness becoming apparent is another thing. Whiteness can also increase then. I think a lot us do at least subconsciously like lps the best, to put up with stuff like that.If I had thousands and thousands of perfectly pressed lps and thousands of cds, I think the lps would be harder to give up, unless I really needed the room for something.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:54 am 
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White noise is inter station hiss, which is noise that has equal loudness at all frequencies, as opposed to pink noise, which has equal loudness octave to octave.

Sounding white can refer to a bleached sound lacking harmonic richness. Push-pull amps cancel even order harmonics in the distortion spectra, leaving more odd order harmonics and at times, a bleached sound. The work of Hiraga, et al, has shown that psycoacoustically the ear finds linearly decreasing distortion as the order of that distortion increases to be most pleasant to the ear, with odd order harmonics most psychoacoustically jarring particularly as the order increases.
this type of talk is way to complicated for me...lol i talk in terms of does it sound REAL,.does it sound NATURAL.. and thats about it keep it simple


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:08 am 
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Location: Windsor, CO, US
"WHAT ARE THE HARDEST THINGS FOR AN AUDIO SYSTEM TO DO?"

Female voice and piano.

_________________
"Your Mother was a hamster and your Father smelled of Elderberries"


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:58 am 
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White don’t sound real. White don’t sound natural.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:26 am 
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viridian2 do u believe soliod state overall might be more natural than tubes..im a tube guy because i love warm,lush,sweet and warm sound..il give up a little natural for those qualities..lol


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:57 am 
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No, much like cooking, good dishes can be made with differing ingredients. IMHO both solid-state and tube gear can be made to sound quite natural. The challenge is just getting to listen to enough gear to find something that floats your boat, but it sounds like you have found your nirvana.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:29 pm 
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If female voice is one of the hardest things I must be lucky. On my system its one of the easiest. Not always the case though. I was using a highly touted silver interconnect for years and when vocals went up in frequency its like my ear wanted to wince, ( is that the right word). My ears had to actually accustom itself to it. Then I bought a limited edition Luxman interconnect which had a lot of technical explanation that seemed to make sense. Presto! No more ear defense needed. All voices, male or female sounded smooth & sweet at all frequencies. I had always thought the problem area was maybe my speakers crossover or a slightly non synergistic peak.
Female voice, and how its reproduced is a good thing to play for analyzing purity, violins also. There is a singer from South America named Flora Purim who did some work with Chick Corea, and her voice goes way way up, and she often makes sounds too high up in frequency to sound human. Her voice is a great test. But what I have noticed recently is even more interesting. If a recording has even the slightest amount of distortion I will hear it on drums. The sound of stick hitting skin will just sound artificial and not genuine if everything is not just right. Another thing that will not sound just right is the uppermost keys of a piano. Years ago when my equipment was much lesser, I just happened to walk into a musical instrument store, and started plunking some keys on the piano. I quickly noticed that even when hit hard the keys had no edgy outline like the way they sounded on my stereo. The uppermost keys especially. I went on wondering for a long time if it was even possible for a solid state amp to reproduce the upper keys without turning thin and edgy. With a decent tube amp there is no edgy outline on the upper keys, there is only a solid plink. Instead of an edge, there is actually some body behind it. The piano notes were not as pure sounding as my solid state, but the harmonic correctness and increased body made me wonder which I preferred. I am a "clean" freak above all. Now that my ss equipment is much better & cleaner, I listen to it way more than tubes. But I still think on piano, tubes might get the plunk of the keys and the harmonics a little more correct, and I never thought I'd say this, but even with obviously less purity, on piano its a tossup, at least with my systems.


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