Right on the money Toledo! We sit on this side why? Because we are doing. They would be on the same side if they "did". None of us tunees say this to be mean, we say this to be a help.
How many times do we see men hanging on to something for dear life without trying lol. All signs point to it being better on the other side but they can't get themselves to budge. I've sat in many living rooms with audiophiles almost crying before finally accepting the truth. Once they deal with it in their pride zone they become happy campers or walk away from the hobby cause they lost some sort of battle that they were having within themselves. Has nothing to do with the sound a lot of times. Every rational person would welcome better sound. These guys don't realize we at one time were sitting in their very seat with a CD or Vinyl or FM or Tape wondering why is this sounding so bad. Not one audiophile has avoided this, not one.
I have put on now over 10 CD's on the poor rated list and all of them sounded find.
How about the reviews with me and Tom Miiler (TAS), these were done way before the compression issue. We together tuned "The Final Cut" and "Selling England by the Pound" after the review panned them. Those reviews were reversed after we tuned. This has been going on for a long time. I did the same thing at Guy Lemcoe's place Les Linton's. Did this with J Gordon at a show, Frank up at Harry's place. Gary Reber's when we fixed the cymbals, Mark's (in terms of music) and on and on. So I see nothing here but some stuck guys.
Catch, tell me how your system plays the music faithfully please? And all the others that sound different aren't?
But, I realize that I don't and still enjoy it for what it does do well.
Hi Catch so why do you down the tune? Isn't it obvious that we are reaching higher levels of listening?
Also would you call, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars [DVD-A 24/48 Additional Tracks AC3 Multichannel Stereo Downmix] an audiophile recording?
It's like I've said all along, people find different aspects of sound reproduction to be more or less important for them to connect with the music.
As for the "higher levels of listening" thing, that's really hard to say. On the one hand, I respect people with a lot of experience and application of that experience in real world conditions. On the other hand, I can't quite appreciate "higher levels of listening" by people who can't hear "Modern Times" for what it is...a really, really, really bad recording. So, in that regard, I'm not willing to make any leap of faith on that one except to say that sorta goes back to my basic premise of each of us having our own perception of what constitutes "good sound."
I don't have Ziggy Stardust and really couldn't express an opinion on it. I'm not much of a Bowie fan and so I don't have any of his stuff.
Very true, what characterizes many of these people is their "stuckness". What I find of interest is not so much what they say, but their personalities and what may be underlying the way they are.
Tunees talk, listen, experience, and share. Tunees are part of a large community that enjoy all aspects of this fun hobby of audio and the music culture at large. The stuck people are all on their own.
Yep, there's some pretty stuck audiophiles out there.
But thanks to them I'll have to make some phone calls to my friends. According to their DRBS, "dark side of the moon" on mp3 is as dynamic as Mobile Fidelity and SACD. Oh, and same with "wish you were here". Now isn't that somethin.
As I have stated often here, DR database is only ONE tool used to evaluate the quality of production of music.
It does no more than determine the total decibel range of the master used to make a specific album release.
It is NOT a panacea for determining the absolute quality of any recording.
An mp3 can possess a high DR value, but the Bitrate (resolution) of the mp3 you reference is only 320.
Where as the Bitrate for the average Redbook CD is easily double the mp3 value.
Any system, from an Ifone to one that is ‘tuned’ would easily display the difference in sound quality.
Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –
Say, didn't JJ the inventor of mp3 once grace these very fora? I seem to recall getting into some discussions with JJ here, some real doozies. Anywho, here's something that popped up in a cursory search of cyberspace, eveything you never wanted to know about measuring audio signals...
Of course, the problems arise when one tries to figure out how in the heck you're supposed to measure such beloved characteristics of the audio signal as liquidness, soundstage, musicality, propulsiveness, naturalness, transparency, slam, pace and rhythm, pop, coherence, air and things of that nature.
The debate of subjective vs objective purest continues ad nauseam.
The late J Gordon Holt did more to champion the music lover than just about anyone, IMNSHO.
As quoted from your link:
“Dynamic range refers to the ratio of maximum to minimum loudness in a given signal source (e.g., music or programme material), and this measurement also quantifies the maximum dynamic range an audio system can carry. This is the ratio (usually expressed in dB) between the noise floor of the device with no signal and the maximum signal (usually a sine wave) that can be output at a specified (low) distortion level.
Since the early 1990s it has been recommended by several authorities including the Audio Engineering Society that measurements of dynamic range be made with an audio signal present. This avoids questionable measurements based on the use of blank media, or muting circuits.”
This is what the DRM app does.
This is why listening is always the best test. Data testing should be looked at for what it is and not an excuse not to like something or like it. While the testing spins are going on I'm doing my own listening test and hopefully they'll be helpful.
This last week I've begun some listening tests as a result of trying some freezing treatments. I want to walk slowly here because I don't want to do anything that will perminantly cause the soundstage to not reach out as far. I'm all about the big stage "real space/real size" which I believe is the foundation of this hobby.
This week I tested one amplifier and next month have 3 more on the way to take apart and find what makes the stage shrink and grow. You might be surprised if you start this adventure on your own to find there is usually a far bigger soundstage to be had by finding the parts that have physical constraints of the mechainics of the component.
If you pay attention to the soundstage while a system is playing you will notice that as the component warms up the stage grows. If the component gets too warm you will see the edge of the stage start to get fuzzy, but if the component reaches a nice consistant state of burnin it will continue to grow as long as you wish to keep the CD on repeat.
In the past I have done this same test but wanted to do this in real time so it is fresh. Nothing like talking about something that is happening right in front of you.
My tests this time around are being done on both solidstate and tubes, from ten watts to 200. Some will have the transformer intact and some with it out board, including one amp that has the whole power supply out board.
I'm looking forward to giving some listening results over the next while and hope you enjoy it as much as I do when doing this.
If you have followed some of the other threads on freezing you will see my results. Basically the freezing didn't go so well. Some might like it but for those who are going after bigger, life like soundstages this might not be for you. Heat treating goes a lot further in the area of dynamic range and staging.
I have in front of me some equipment and more on the way and have been doing some listening tests. So far, true to past tests, when setting the products free from tension the stage is opening up. On amplifiers I have made sure that none of the wires going from the transformers to the boards or other places are touching each other. In each case this was like a whole new amp being born. Guitars went from flat and 2D to full body with far more impact and intent. It's really shocking to see how shut down a stock piece of equipment is until you start moving the parts that are causing stage collapse.
While doing the opening up testing by organizing the wires I have brought in some transformer treatments to see what will happen to the sound after applying them. First off, it is remarkable how tunable the transformer is. You might think that it is just sitting there creating power, but I want to tell you the fields created are huge and the bigger this transformer is the more expansive the fields are. From my findings on this recent testing so far and comparing notes from the past, transformers don't like to be closed in, and they don't like hanging out with other parts. I can understand that amp designers have a desire to put them in the same chassis with the other parts but I need to raise a flag here. Your not doing the music any favors by crowding these huge field makers in with other parts trying to do their jobs. It might look impressive and the designers might be flooding you with their ability to create their audio spins on this, but their not sitting where I am with their products.
I started a thread here on "Build vs Sound" and I'm sure many of you might be thinking of your audio equipment as being music tanks that will hold up to anything. You see these precision pieces of marvel and think that has something to do with sound, but if you have a huge electromagnetic power plant sitting inches away from a capacitor you have a potentual problem that is causing (in most cases) a soundstage collapse. I have over the years moved hundreds of transformers away from their counterparts and heard the same thing every time. I've also seen hundreds of people do the same thing with the same results. Transformers too close to parts is a stage shrinker that plagues audio reproduction and always has. This is why now and in the future you are going to see transformers getting smaller and smaller. Electromagnetic field distortion is a big proplem.
you have 3 ways of dealing with this problem
One is to dampen (shield) the transformer
Two move the transformer away from the other parts and tune it
Three have a better ratio in size vs output of the transformer with the other parts
For me dampening and shielding is out. Don't like the sound at all! The smaller transformer designs I have been listening to sound much better than the huge ones in my book and this gets rid of a lot of problems. The spacing thing with tuning is by far the best though. A combo of smaller transformers and spacing will open up your soundstage dramatically. The music becomes a lot more life like and liquid. And the dynamic range will have you turning down your volume control.
I think a lot of manufacturers mistakenly eschew seperate power supplies and transformer chasis because of the cost associated with doing it and the belief that audiophiles want a standard size chasis and the simplicity of one box.
This is where the boutique manufacturers, while lacking in name recognition, can afford to offer differential with better sonics over their corporate counterparts. I love trying out the little guys and personally think that is going to be the future of High End audio. Relying on the big names and reputations hasn't meant anything to me in a lot of years.
"For me dampening and shielding is out. Don't like the sound at all! The smaller transformer designs I have been listening to sound much better than the huge ones in my book and this gets rid of a lot of problems. The spacing thing with tuning is by far the best though. A combo of smaller transformers and spacing will open up your soundstage dramatically. The music becomes a lot more life like and liquid. And the dynamic range will have you turning down your volume control."
I have had rather spectacular results isolating the rather large toroidal transformers in my humble headphone set-up and absorbing the magnetic field it produces. In fact I must say this is one of the more important issues I've run across recently. I suspect that your results might possibly be a reflection of HOW you apply damping materials and techniques as well as HOW you try to shield the transformer. HINT the shielding material should ideally have high permeability. You cannot simply place the transformer in an aluminum or steel hat box, it won't work. The magnetic field is like a virus. It MUST be stopped!! Not to mention the vibration it produces, you know, what with the 60 cycle hum and all. As I already pointed out somewhere on these fora one perfectly good explanation why you prefer lightweight components is the plain fact that the larger the transformer is inside the heavier the component and the bigger the magnetic field it produces and the more powerful the vibration it produces. But you can't just arbitrarily damp with any old thing you have lying around. Frankly most things prevent energy from getting out of the system or resonate back into the system. Instead of a ticket to audio Nirvana it's a one way ticket to Palookaville. If it were that easy everyone could do it and we'd all look like geniuses. I won't even mention the problem with the magnetic field that is produced when current runs through a power cord or interconnect. I'll save that one for another time.
One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Cheers, Geoff Kait, Machina Dramtica
We followed several different formulas, that were recommended to us by audiophile companies and other shielding manufacturers, but the problem we ran into every time was stage collapse and a dulling, rubbery type of sound. What I ended up doing was to build a field tester that I could use to see how far away from the transformer one can get before the collapse happens, or a positive.
The transformer was separated from the other parts which opened up the stage a ton. The transformers sat on a pedestal. We had different pedestals because the transformers had different characters. All of the components were just outside of the room to the rear laid out on a huge platform. You can see simalar platforms on TuneLand where we did other tests. We did not find that the transformers liked materials around them at all. From our experience they wanted to breathe and mingle with the areas environment. Doing things to close them in caused an odd phasing sound and then collapse.
let me describe the collapse though
If you did a quick before and after the shield transformer sounded tighter in some frequency ranges, but if you listened further you could hear that other parts of the recording were really screwed up, size shunk stage collapsed and halos became darkened and compressed. With the shielded transformers the string sections became rubber sounding and after a while fatiguing. We tried as I said several ways to shield and talked to the manufacturers and other tweaks while we were doing this to see if we were doing something wrong, but were told we were doing things correctly. We're not into half baked cause if it's a good thing we want to share it, but the opened transformers sounded better all the way around to us. Again size made a big difference. When we took the transformers and would set them back inside their chassis you could hear the soundstage shrink, like someone put the sound in a closet. Take it out again and it would open up. With the dampening we got that rubber sound every time, shut down like the chassis did but a dullness too, like the sound of an over built drive that is moving odd. Not snappy but weirdly sluggish.
I have open transformers in front of me now and if someone has a product they want me to try, send it and I'll be happy to report.
I also want to make a comment about the 60 cycle hum.
No one wants to hear their system hum, but you also need to realize why that hum is there. It's the natural resonant response to the current passing through. You can lesson the hum by placing the part on a dissipating assembly, but if you stop the natural dissipation of this vibration you are going to hear the audio signal suffer.
Over the long and winding road of the last year and a half I have been attempting to draw more of a straight, or should I say "sherical" line. Two people who have become hitchhikers of sorts have been traveling along. I'm not even quite sure as if they know me at all, I take my business seriously and usually leave no stone unturned.
I have been pointing to the fact that a lot of tweaks that on first listen or five, give the appearence of what some call "improvements" or "better" to reveal later that it wasn't so much an improvement but a focusing in on particulars while leaving some on the cutting room floor.
here are two articles to read
I think it's time to clear up the mystery.
If you've been reading my threads or visit TuneLand you will hear me talking about the incredible amount of info that is on a recorded code. The challenge for the playback system in mating with that code is a far bigger task than has really been made clear. You can visit a thousand audiophile system and hear a thousand audiophile soundstages. Although I respect Harry's quest for "the absolute sound" even he would have agreed it has never been found, or at least this is what he told me. With all of these audiophile system sounds, we have spent our time telling the next guy that he might be wrong and we are right. Our system is the reference. And as that might be good for our well being, I'd like to give another twist or maybe truth to this.
Setting aside the debate over distortion (what is it exactly), what if everyone was right? What if there is so much info on a recording, we never get to hear it all? Go back to what I said earlier in the thread. Why if a recorded space is 25x25 (or whatever) are we hearing a 10x5x8 soundstage? What I'm saying is there is far more there than we think.
I have spent a lifetime making huge soundstages and as these stages are filled in, I find info that wasn't there before. You've experienced this tons of times "I never heard that before" moments. Now lets apply this to "fixed" tweaks. You sit down to a piece of music, listen a while, then apply a tweak. Immediately you are pulled torward what is different. Is it better? Well that's the question isn't it. Many times you read a review or posts saying it is. But is this really what happened? Brain studies tell us maybe not.
Sit in a room and get a general feel for the looks and Vibe (the way you feel) in that space. Relax, get comfortable with it. Now out of the blue a tennis ball is thrown into the room. Your attention went immediately to that tennis ball and lost focus with your view and your feeling about the room. During the next while, you will not view the room, or feel the room as the same. Your mind and body is off adopting the new experience. No matter what you do your focus has gone from the "whole" to the "change". Take that ball out of the room, and the room will still look and feel different to you, why? The change made you more attentive and now your mind is saying "wonder what other change may happen, I'd better watch for it". Your brain is in a completely different mode than it was earlier, and it's making your eyes, ears and all the other sensor on high alert. Same room and everything has changed. We can get into all the energy stuff that your body gives off but lets keep it simple, you have been re-wired.
now lets back up
Lets do the same thing, only this time leave the ball in the room. Can you see behind the ball? No. Is the room original? No. If you don't take that ball back out of the room will the room be original? No. The room has permanently changed.
I'm not here to say if you like the room better or worse, with or without the ball. What I'm saying is you added something to the original source. For some it will sit better because it is different and for others it ruined the original. For some it might make the original more pleasant, but you will never see behind that ball again if you leave it there.
Are you guys following me? An additive is an additive. You might like it or you might not, but it's not the original. In fact it has covered up part of the original.
there's no mystery in tweaks, only learning curves
That gets to the heart of what May has been saying. Common ground has been found!
If I find out common ground was this easy, I'm gonna kick myself lol. And maybe take everyone out for steak.
>>> “That gets to the heart of what May has been saying. Common ground has been found!” <<<
Sorry Catch22, common ground with Michael has not yet been achieved yet. Let me explain further.
Michael is referring to adding things, in the listening environment, and therefore changing the sound. His presumption (as you will see below) is that adding things is a no no because, in his opinion, you are altering the original.
>>> “An additive is an additive. You might like it or you might not, but it's not the original.” <<<
My approach (and understanding from considerable experience) is as follows – and I will use examples to show my logical approach:-
If one adds A into the room and one gains an improvement in the sound, then there must have been something adverse happening before A was introduced !!
For example. If one places some wooden blocks under equipment and gets an improvement in the sound, then BEFORE doing that, there must have been something adverse happening which one was not aware of until one did……
If one supports interconnect cables etc on wooden blocks and one gets an improvement in the sound, then there must have been something adverse happening BEFORE doing such, which one was not aware of before doing……..
If one places different sized cushions (acoustic pads) in corners and on walls and one gets an improvement in the sound, then there must have been something adverse happening BEFORE doing so.
If one repositions such as a transformer outside the equipment and one gets an improvement in the sound, then there must have been something adverse happening BEFORE doing so.
Even Michael admits (at times) that there can be a “potential problem that is causing a sound stage collapse” !!!
>>> “You see these precision pieces of marvel and think that has something to do with sound, but if you have a huge electromagnetic power plant sitting inches away from a capacitor you have a potentual problem that is causing (in most cases) a soundstage collapse. I have over the years moved hundreds of transformers away from their counterparts and heard the same thing every time. I've also seen hundreds of people do the same thing with the same results. Transformers too close to parts is a stage shrinker that plagues audio reproduction and always has.” <<<
So, having found that doing certain things A, B, C, D E, can improve the sound, then BEFORE doing those things, there must have been something adverse happening.
By doing certain things you don’t ADD more musical instrument players to the orchestra actually recorded. You don’t ADD more musical score to Dvorak’s New World over and above what is on the recording. What I say, constantly, is that when one hearing improvements in the sound one is reducing adverse conditions.
Let me give one actual example.
If someone (say a reviewer) owns a Joe Bloggs Evolution Mark 2 amplifier and is used to listening to it as well as to a favourite recording. The reviewer then places a Shakti Stone device on top of this amplifier and then listens to the same recording – and hears an improvement in the sound – better separation of musical instruments, better height, better depth, better soundstage etc !!
The Shakti Stone device is NOT adding extra musicians, NOT adding more musical score to the recording. So, the Shakti Stone device must be reducing an existing adverse effect !!! And when the reviewer removed the Shakti Stone device, the improvements he had obtained were gone !!
If you take the explanation given by the producers of the Shakti Stone device that it is ‘dealing’ with a stray electromagnetic field created by the very equipment it is placed on, then this also implies ‘dealing with an existing adverse situation’.
But, it is an addition in Michael G’s eyes !!
And therefore not to be entertained as acceptable !!!
What I have said repeatedly is that when people realise (discover) that there are so many ‘adverse’ things happening in the listening environment, each experience raises the questions. WHAT is causing those adverse conditions. WHERE are those adverse conditions affecting the musical information. And HOW are they affecting the musical information.
Then. HOW can one deal with those adverse conditions ?
What I say, repeatedly, is that different people (very many of those people seriously involved in the audio industry) have discovered various methods and so many of those methods (tweaks ??) are valid !!!!!
But, as I also say repeatedly, is that there are STILL very many questions not answered – still sitting on a shelf awaiting answers.
This is one of the points where I am in disagreement with Michael. Because Michael claims that he has :-
>>> “Done the questions and got the answers”. <<<
>>> “These questions have been explored and answered “ <<<
>>> “I’m glad I’m on this side of the questions and not back on the asking side anymore.”<<<
>>> “not only have I explored this topic, but I have also explored it with a fair degree of depth as to how it relates to audio.” <<<
So, Catch22, whereas Michael says – don’t add because it is not the original :-
I say that the original (listening situation - without any treatments – fixed or variable) is already adverse !!!!!!!!!!! I.e. that the modern environment is already adverse for us (human beings) !!
And that is why everything in this modern environment has an effect on the sound, why everything affects everything else and why (as many people have discovered) they have not been resolving correctly all the musical information (already available on the recording) – until they did certain things !!!!!
Adding things is NOT a no no if they are reducing an adverse situation !!!
Michael wants people to believe that the things HE recommends being added to the listening environment to ‘improve the sound’ are therefore OK but the things which other people have added or recommended should be added to the listening environment to ‘improve the sound’ are NOT OK. So, as I say repeatedly, Michael ‘knocks other people’s things’ when he can get the opportunity.
I say that other people’s experiences give so many CLUES of adverse conditions that they should be seriously considered and not ‘knocked’.
Which takes us back to the subject of the Schumann Resonance device. One has to explain HOW it affects the musical information, Where it affects the musical information. And it does not make any difference whether many people have heard improvements in their sound from using it or whether Michael claims his sound was worse when using it, the questions I pose of HOW and WHERE is it affecting the musical information covers both experiences.
And, therefore, answers have to be found.