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j_j
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Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Not sure where to put this, but I think that both "sides" (if one can in fact break any of them into sides rather than a free-for-all) ought to consider something about devices like SET's.

The primary characteristic of an SET is that distortion grows with level, and quite rapidly as it approaches its maximum output. What's more, the distortion is quite unsymmetric as well.

First, the implications of the asymmetry: That means that you are getting even order harmonic terms as well as odd-order terms (symmetric == odd order, a particular kind of unsymmetric == even order, not all assymetric distortions are purely even order).

Now, on to how the ear works:

The ear has, inside the cochlea, a mechanical filterbank that literally sorts out the signal from the eardrum/etc across frequency, with bands about 60 to 80Hz wide at low frequencies and about 1/4 octave or so at higher frequencies, with a crossover between the two kinds of frequency scale in the 600-800 Hz range.

Why does this matter?

Well, inside of one of these 'filter bands' (it should be understood that there are more than 30 or so bands, one can calculate a filter response about any given point on the organ of corti, so there are many, many overlapping filters with a bandwidth as above), if you double the signal energy, the loudness will go up by about 2^(1/3.5), which is about a factor of 1.22.

If you put this additional energy somewhere else where signal was not previously present, the loudness will double.

N.B. I guess I need to define two terms:

Loudness: The perceived sensation level of an acoustic signal.
Intensity: The measured energy of an acoustic signal

Anyhow, how does this relate to SET's?

Well, distortion necessarily widens the bandwidth of any signal, and one inescapable conclusion is that as distortion rises, the intensity goes up more slowly than the loudness of the signal.

The point? SET's have less measured dynamic range, but may sound like they have more, due to their distortion mechanisms.

This can be simulated in software, has been simulated in software, and does in fact have the same effect.

Just FYI.

If you go to www.aes.org/sections/pnw/ppt.htm and pick up the "loudness tutorial" you will find a graph showing the loudness of a signal of the same energy, as spread over 1 to many bands.

The change in loudness due to spreading of energy can be equivelent to a change in intensity (for an undistorted signal) of at least two orders of magnitude, which is quite a bit, to say the least.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

That's all well and good but anyone using a SET with less than high sensitivity and high efficiency speaker systems is not understanding how to make the most of their amplifier. At 100dB @ 1 watt how much are you stressing the amplifier at average listening levels? If the SET is within its powerband, then the distortions you speak of are minimized. A triode by its nature will minimize certain distortions that are present in all other gain devices. The minimalization of circuitry in a SET should be reason enough to explore the virtues of such designs.

You pick your distortions as you hear them. To say this or that technology is inferior would be to misunderstand how to put together a decent system. You might not prefer a SET for whatever reason you hear but for others it can be the closest to the original signal they have found.

As you say, there is no dark side - only shades of grey.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Great post, and great question!

"The point? SET's have less measured dynamic range, but may sound like they have more, due to their distortion mechanisms."

So, if they sound like they have more, then don't they?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
Great post, and great question!

"The point? SET's have less measured dynamic range, but may sound like they have more, due to their distortion mechanisms."

So, if they sound like they have more, then don't they?

Well, how do you define "dynamic range"? Seriously. In terms of loudness, perhaps more. In terms of electrical measurements, definitely less. Does the added distortion count as distortion or added loudness.

I don't try to judge personal taste. It's a waste of time and only annoys the taster

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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If the SET is within its powerband, then the distortions you speak of are minimized.

Err, no, not at all. SET distortion (as a percentage) grows monotonically from very low levels to overload.

The only question is 'how much "extra" loudness do you want/get'.

I guess you had to argue, eh?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Why do you always see anything that is not in lock step as an argument?

Is there a reason I should not either present another side of the situation or ask a question? What makes this a take it or leave it thread?

What component of the SET's "distortion" are we talking about? Certainly not second order and most assuredly not seventh. So what are you talking about when you say, " SET distortion (as a percentage) grows monotonically from very low levels to overload"? Percentage of the whole means virtually nothing if the component is less bothersome than what would be produced by another device. How unpleasant is that component or components in comparison to the distortion components in any other type of gain device?

SE amps run in class A so they do not have one form of distortion that is present in any other class of operation. We all know notch distortion is unpleasant. Triodes are capable of running without conventional feedback circuits so there is at least the very real possibility of more real dynamic range than with a feedback style amplifier. Are you for compression?

Tubes and SE transformers are pretty linear devices compared to most others. They can stand a zero feedback circuit without imploding. Can most transistors?

So we take that amplifier and attach it to a high overall impedance driver with a very constant impedance and no electrical phase issues and if we've chosen well we're getting that 100dB with 1 watt of primarily voltage. How much of that 1 watt is then generating what component of distortion to provide a 90dB average SPL? Take a 300B a SET as your example.

What are you trying to prove, jj?

Can you not think of any faults associated with any other amplifier type? What's the point of starting this with SET's when you don't want to present the entire concept of how to build a successful SET system or the virtues of SET's?

This isn't arguing but you started a thread that once again seems to be headed down the "if you don't like what I like, ... " path.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
What component of the SET's "distortion" are we talking about? Certainly not second order and most assuredly not seventh. So what are you talking about when you say, " SET distortion (as a percentage) grows monotonically from very low levels to overload"?


Exactly what I said, all distortion products. "Grows Monotonically" means that the % distortion consistantly goes up with level.

Quote:

How unpleasant is that component or components in comparison to the distortion components in any other type of gain device?


Other gain devices are not relevant, they do not have the same characteristics. For instance, a push-pull transistor will have much, much less distortion in general until it clips, at which time the distortion grows enormously in the space of a few tenths of a dB. The SET will start showing noticible distortion much farther below max, and increase distortion smoothly until it goes into clipping.

Quote:

Triodes are capable of running without conventional feedback circuits so there is at least the very real possibility of more real dynamic range than with a feedback style amplifier.


Sorry, no. Any decently designed amplifier has trivially small crossover distortion (yes, there are some not so decently designed out there). An SET has no lower noise level than most any other amp, and substantially lower output, so you really have no cause to argue that the measured dynamic range is larger, and much reason to argue the opposite.

Quote:

Are you for compression?


Typical, you try to pick a fight. What in the name of creation are you asking?

Quote:

Tubes and SE transformers are pretty linear devices compared to most others. They can stand a zero feedback circuit without imploding. Can most transistors?


Triodes are low-order distortion devices, NOT necessarily low-distortion devices. Both triodes and output transformers show significant distortion compared to a feedback design. The argument about feedback is simply a red herring here, and I'm not sure why you raise it? The only difference between a triode and a pentode IS THAT IN THE TRIODE THE FEEDBACK IS BUILT INTO THE TUBE. Yes. Really. Literally, the feedback is build into the tube via the e-field of the plate affecting the potential gradient at the grid. Yes, that is feedback, plain and simple. Very local feedback (which is not a bad thing) but yes, it is feedback.

Quote:

Can you not think of any faults associated with any other amplifier type?


So, something that people LIKE because it sounds like it has more dynamic range is a fault!?!? What in the name of the flying spaghetti monster are you on about, lad?

Quote:

What's the point of starting this with SET's when you don't want to present the entire concept of how to build a successful SET system or the virtues of SET's?

Hello, I just explained why they sound like they have more dynamic range, even though they don't measure that way.

You seem determined to pick an argument, and to invent, as you have previously done, ridiculous arguments that nobody in the thread has (yes) proposed, and then start on me like I argued them.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
What component of the SET's "distortion" are we talking about? Certainly not second order and most assuredly not seventh. So what are you talking about when you say, " SET distortion (as a percentage) grows monotonically from very low levels to overload"?


Exactly what I said, all distortion products. "Grows Monotonically" means that the % distortion consistantly goes up with level.

You can see a good example of this behavior in Fig.6 of our recent Hyperion review. The circuit has a "bent" transform function and amplifies one side of the waveform more than the other, producing even-order harmonic distortion, and the disparity increases with increasing power.


Quote:

Quote:

How unpleasant is that component or components in comparison to the distortion components in any other type of gain device?

Other gain devices are not relevant, they do not have the same characteristics. For instance, a push-pull transistor will have much, much less distortion in general until it clips, at which time the distortion grows enormously in the space of a few tenths of a dB. The SET will start showing noticible distortion much farther below max, and increase distortion smoothly until it goes into clipping.

My observation is that people tend to like this behavior, as long as it is not extreme and isn't accompanied by excessive intermodulation.


Quote:
What in the name of the flying spaghetti monster are you on about, lad?

Now don't you go taking the name of my deity in vain, JJ!

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Flying Spaghetti Monster, left leaning...starting to grow on me, J_J!

If you like vino, we'll have to have a peace conference!

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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Flying Spaghetti Monster, left leaning...starting to grow on me, J_J!

If you like vino, we'll have to have a peace conference!

Uuuhhh...

Presently in glass:

Brunello di Montalcino, Campogiovanni 1999

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Let there be peace!

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

I wish I could drink wine..but suffer from an acid tummy when I try. I also hate and fear the hangovers that I get from it. I've got near 100 bottles in the house all getting up on 10 years old now (over 90% cab-sav) and I won't crack a single one of them. Sigh. Too bad, I love the taste.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Why do you insist I'm arguing or I'm "picking an argument"? This is a discussion forum, jj, do they not have those where you come from?

What are you trying to prove? Or is this just a thread that says, "Hey, look what I know!"?

Why'd you start this thread?

I understand triodes have inherent local feedback, read this, "Triodes are capable of running without conventional feedback circuits ... " See? Conventional feedback circuits are not those inherent in the tube.

Now don't you feel dumb? Geez, jj, let up a bit, eh?

So what are you trying to prove? What's your point?

I'm not concerned about the % of distortion as much as I am the components of the distortion. Second, third, seventh, so on. You haven't answered my question just repeated what you had said earlier. I can read, jj. That's why I asked the question as I did.

Whether a pp amp has "much less distortion" is also not relevant if that distortion is more aggravating or non-musical. You accuse me of talking in circles but you do the same and expect me to say nothing. You could easily say any amplifier has distortion that "grows with level, and quite rapidly as it approaches its maximum output". Be more specific if you are trying to prove anything about a SET. Yes, the gross THD is higher in a SET. Is that news? The difference is largely in how the components of that distortion relate to the music vs how other amplifiers generate distortion that is heard as non-musical.

What are you trying to prove?


Quote:
An SET has no lower noise level than most any other amp, and substantially lower output, so you really have no cause to argue that the measured dynamic range is larger, and much reason to argue the opposite.

Not without something to compare the SET to I can't. An amplifier with only minimal local feedback vs an amplifier with global feedback? Which is likely to have the better dynamic range?

What are you trying to prove?

If I'm going to use a 2 watt SET, what speakers will I choose? Probably not a direct radiator. Since an amplifier cannot make dynamic range until it is hooked to something, then I could argue horns in the system produce broader dynamic range just as easily as you can argue anything else without reference.

What is your point?

Why did you start this thread? What? you were just sitting around thinking about SET's and decided to start a thread about their dynamic range? Why?

Explain that and maybe this will make some sense.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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I wish I could drink wine..but suffer from an acid tummy when I try. I also hate and fear the hangovers that I get from it. I've got near 100 bottles in the house all getting up on 10 years old now (over 90% cab-sav) and I won't crack a single one of them. Sigh. Too bad, I love the taste.

Hey, amigo. I know a few tricks that might help with that. Drop me a line if you like.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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Why do you always see anything that is not in lock step as an argument?

Is there a reason I should not either present another side of the situation or ask a question? What makes this a take it or leave it thread?

What component of the SET's "distortion" are we talking about? Certainly not second order and most assuredly not seventh. So what are you talking about when you say, " SET distortion (as a percentage) grows monotonically from very low levels to overload"? Percentage of the whole means virtually nothing if the component is less bothersome than what would be produced by another device. How unpleasant is that component or components in comparison to the distortion components in any other type of gain device?

SE amps run in class A so they do not have one form of distortion that is present in any other class of operation. We all know notch distortion is unpleasant. Triodes are capable of running without conventional feedback circuits so there is at least the very real possibility of more real dynamic range than with a feedback style amplifier. Are you for compression?

Tubes and SE transformers are pretty linear devices compared to most others. They can stand a zero feedback circuit without imploding. Can most transistors?

So we take that amplifier and attach it to a high overall impedance driver with a very constant impedance and no electrical phase issues and if we've chosen well we're getting that 100dB with 1 watt of primarily voltage. How much of that 1 watt is then generating what component of distortion to provide a 90dB average SPL? Take a 300B a SET as your example.

What are you trying to prove, jj?

Can you not think of any faults associated with any other amplifier type? What's the point of starting this with SET's when you don't want to present the entire concept of how to build a successful SET system or the virtues of SET's?

This isn't arguing but you started a thread that once again seems to be headed down the "if you don't like what I like, ... " path.

Let me suggest that you avoid being combative with j-j, as he will eat you alive (nicely sometimes), as he has in this thread.

Now, he has told you exactly what he is saying, describing the mechanisms involved.

"The point? SET's have less measured dynamic range, but may sound like they have more, due to their distortion mechanisms."

One could hardly write much clearer than that. But you manage to interpret him as attempting to push his audio preferences on you.

I should also point out that in most cases, we do not know what the original performance sounded like, so there is not much point is saying, "for others it can be the closest to the original signal they have found."

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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Let me suggest that you avoid being combative with j-j, as he will eat you alive (nicely sometimes), as he has in this thread.

When's your next "friendly" pill due? jj was correct that sides have been chosen and they aren't going to loosen when people get accused of "picking an argument" when none exists and that someone is being eaten alive. I have to conclude that discussion is not something you guys are familiar with.


Quote:
One could hardly write much clearer than that. But you manage to interpret him as attempting to push his audio preferences on you.

You two are very well versed in reading into a post what you care to see and ingoring what might actually be there. What I've interpreted is a one sided story line. Why bring this up? If there was a point to it, then what is the point other than "Look what I know"?

jj seems to believe he can place a topic on the forum and not have any discussion. Is that really how things worked at your previous forum?

I would just like to know why any other information about SET's is interpreted as an argument and what this "Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement" is supposed to mean to anyone?

Is that so damned difficult to answer?

Buddha asked a question, why not go after Buddha?

What is it with you two?

How many times do I have to ask?

What's the point? Why did you start this thread?

There must be an answer to those questions somewhere out there.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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I should also point out that in most cases, we do not know what the original performance sounded like, so there is not much point is saying, "for others it can be the closest to the original signal they have found."

Why? Why point that out? It's the circuitry approach to SET's that makes them the closest to the original signal.

The original signal!

Got it? The signal sent to the amp. I didn't say anything about the original performance. Why bring that up? If you aren't trying to "pick an argument", just what are you trying to do?

Why can't either of you read what is on the page and stick to that? Why are you always twisting what is said into something where you look down your nose at something that wasn't said or even implied?

Every post from you two has accused me of something. Twice you've twisted words that aren't there into something you then say I would be stupid to say. Just what's up with you two? It's a public forum but I wonder why you are both here if you only want to be on "a side".

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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... what is more important than the absolute level of the distortion is its spectral content. Fig.9 reveals that it is almost pure second harmonic, which, all things being equal, sounds relatively innocuous. In fact, there is some evidence that people prefer the sound with a little additional second-harmonic content, finding it "fatter" and "warmer." There is some third harmonic present (fig.10), but this is 20dB below the level of the second, while higher-order harmonics are very low in level. Surprisingly, other than producing a high level of second-order difference component at
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Why? Why point that out? It's the circuitry approach to SET's that makes them the closest to the original signal.

Anthropomorphism, or homomorphism, or whatever you want to call this, really doesn't apply to electrical circuits. Distortion measurements do measure, analytically, how close the input is to the output (of course factoring out the intentional gain). Perceptual distortion measures, of which there are a few, attempt to measure (note less enthusiasm from me, and this is my field, you know) the perceived difference. There are a variety of reasons this doesn't work so well. (Ranting about how they ignore imaging issues is for another thread...)

My point is simple.

As Xenophanes pointed out, all I'm saying is that SET's generally have lower measured dynamic range, but can, and fairly often do, sound like they have more.

I have not said this is good. I have not said this is bad. I have simply said that the effect is known, understood, and could quite well be something that somebody prefers.

If you prefer 'x', as long as it doesn't go past the end of my nose, I simply do not care. This doesn't mean I like OR dislike your preference, there is just no arguing personal preference.

Now, when anyone tries to make their own personal preference universal, that's past the end of my nose.

When someone makes claims regarding a scientific conclusion, a whole different set of rules apply.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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I wish I could drink wine..but suffer from an acid tummy when I try. I also hate and fear the hangovers that I get from it. I've got near 100 bottles in the house all getting up on 10 years old now (over 90% cab-sav) and I won't crack a single one of them. Sigh. Too bad, I love the taste.

That simply ****'s. Sorry to hear it. You could have a fortune in your cellar, though.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
Why? Why point that out? It's the circuitry approach to SET's that makes them the closest to the original signal.

Anthropomorphism, or homomorphism, or whatever you want to call this, really doesn't apply to electrical circuits. Distortion measurements do measure, analytically, how close the input is to the output (of course factoring out the intentional gain). Perceptual distortion measures, of which there are a few, attempt to measure (note less enthusiasm from me, and this is my field, you know) the perceived difference. There are a variety of reasons this doesn't work so well. (Ranting about how they ignore imaging issues is for another thread...)

Anthropomorphism?!

Homomorphism?!!!

I admit, jj, I don't have a clue where you get these ideas or how you read any of that into that single sentence that I posted.

Measuring might be your field but percpetion is what interests me. And if we are headed into another measurement vs perception thread, then I'm not interested in that game.

If a distortion is "perceived" as generally innocuous and acepted as "musical" while other distortions are heard as "non-musical", then I am on the side of what I perceive to be "better". I assume you are not? (I can't wait to see what you turn that into.)


Quote:
Now, when anyone tries to make their own personal preference universal, that's past the end of my nose.

Appears to me that's what you just did, with less enthusiasm possibly but, still, the same ...


Quote:
Perceptual distortion measures, of which there are a few, attempt to measure (note less enthusiasm from me, and this is my field, you know) the perceived difference.

You are the master of stating the obvious, "Perceptual distortion measures ... attempt to measure ... the perceived difference." Excuse me while I call that gobbledegook.

And, no, I don't know anything about you other than how you've come into this forum. Why should I know about you? You apparently know JA and WP, other than that, why should I know about you? Are you someone famous? Join the club, there are at least a dozen people on this forum who think they should be recognized and not enough who don't care.


Quote:
all I'm saying is that SET's generally have lower measured dynamic range, but can, and fairly often do, sound like they have more.

I have not said this is good. I have not said this is bad. I have simply said that the effect is known, understood, and could quite well be something that somebody prefers.

You mean that's all your stating other than when you "eat me alive" or insist that I am "picking an argument".

jj, I told you I can read. I've read your comment several times as it has been repeated several times. Why did you say what you said? There must be a reason. Why would you just post this out of the blue? There seems to be a lot of "out of the blue" stuff happening lately on this forum.

Are you in the habit of just posting stuff without any context at the other forum - where ever that is - where you and Xeno-whatever came from? If you are, let me know so I know when to ignore you and when not. I'd hate to miss something important.

You really couldn't figure out where on this forum to place this information? Really?! You couldn't figure out "Amplification" or reference this to the Hyperion review? How anthropomorphic of you.


Quote:
When someone makes claims regarding a scientific conclusion, a whole different set of rules apply.

You mean when someone says something like this ...


Quote:
In fact, there is some evidence that people prefer the sound with a little additional second-harmonic content, finding it "fatter" and "warmer."

geoffkait
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

My guess is the slew rate's too high. Do I win anything?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

My admiration. Not everyone would wade into this.

Did you bring any "morphisms" with you? Any chocolate covered raisins?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
Let me suggest that you avoid being combative with j-j, as he will eat you alive (nicely sometimes), as he has in this thread.

When's your next "friendly" pill due? jj was correct that sides have been chosen and they aren't going to loosen when people get accused of "picking an argument" when none exists and that someone is being eaten alive. I have to conclude that discussion is not something you guys are familiar with.


Quote:
One could hardly write much clearer than that. But you manage to interpret him as attempting to push his audio preferences on you.

You two are very well versed in reading into a post what you care to see and ingoring what might actually be there. What I've interpreted is a one sided story line. Why bring this up? If there was a point to it, then what is the point other than "Look what I know"?

jj seems to believe he can place a topic on the forum and not have any discussion. Is that really how things worked at your previous forum?

I would just like to know why any other information about SET's is interpreted as an argument and what this "Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement" is supposed to mean to anyone?

Is that so damned difficult to answer?

Buddha asked a question, why not go after Buddha?

What is it with you two?

How many times do I have to ask?

What's the point? Why did you start this thread?

There must be an answer to those questions somewhere out there.

Well, go up to your post above, and note the starting phrase, "That's all well and good but . . .

You also said a bit later, "To say this or that technology is inferior would be to misunderstand how to put together a decent system." Yet you pretend you are not arguing--it's obvious you were picking a fight, based on a misunderstanding of what was said. j-j was not picking on SET amplifiers.

j-j did address Buddha's question.

Most tube amps, SET or otherwise, do not produce output that is closer to the original signal than most good SS amps. Just check out the amplifier measurements on line at Stereophile or Soundstage for distortion and the frequency response into the simulated speaker load. But that doesn't mean it doesn't sound good to you and others, which is a different issue, and j-j has described here one mechanism why it can that I was not aware of.

And yeah, j-j seems to be pretty well known in the audio industry. He is a well respected researcher, and a Fellow of both the IEEE and the AES. Oh, here's an account of something he did before he retired from AT & T:

http://www.onhifi.com/features/20010615.htm

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

That's the second time you've linked to that article. Someone must be pretty proud of it.

That still doesn't mean I should know JJ or what he is about. Sorry. I suspect he's glad you know him since you tend to puppy dog him every chance you get, yapping at anyone who comes too close.

I know you'll take this wrong - you take everything wrong - but since you two guys showed up we have Moe and Larry, where's Curly?


Quote:
To say this or that technology is inferior would be to misunderstand how to put together a decent system." Yet you pretend you are not arguing--it's obvious you were picking a fight, based on a misunderstanding of what was said.

If you really think, "That's all well and good ... ", or, "To say this or that technology is inferior would be to misunderstand how to put together a decent system", is obviously picking a fight, you must be a riot when someone asks you pass to the salt. Xeno, I'll say this again, this is a discussion forum, a forum where you can discuss things.

And I understand what jj has said - I can read and read and read what he said over and over as he repeats it - but I still have no idea why he would post that and then accuse me of "picking an argument" when I respond.

Seems to me you two are awfully sensitive. Just what are you trying to prove here?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Oh, now this makes more sense ...


Quote:
Xenophanes appears to have been particularly interested in identifying and discouraging conduct that failed to pay due honor to the gods ...

This, however, does not ...


Quote:
Xenophanes' reference to a second-best level of comprehension or awareness --
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

If a distortion is "perceived" as generally innocuous and acepted as "musical" while other distortions are heard as "non-musical", then I am on the side of what I perceive to be "better".


Yeah, this is called "preference", remember?

Quote:

I assume you are not? (I can't wait to see what you turn that into.)


Your presumption is wrong, foolish, insulting, etc. That's what I turn it into. Of course, you seem to be fantasizing that I do something for a living that I don't, too.

Quote:


Quote:
all I'm saying is that SET's generally have lower measured dynamic range, but can, and fairly often do, sound like they have more.

I have not said this is good. I have not said this is bad. I have simply said that the effect is known, understood, and could quite well be something that somebody prefers.

jj, I told you I can read.


Sorry, but that's not how your writing looks. You "presume" that I think all distortions are bad, for instance. Wherever did you come up with that whopper?

Quote:

I've read your comment several times as it has been repeated several times. Why did you say what you said? There must be a reason.


Paranoid much?

Quote:


Quote:
When someone makes claims regarding a scientific conclusion, a whole different set of rules apply.

You mean when someone says something like this ...


Quote:
In fact, there is some evidence that people prefer the sound with a little additional second-harmonic content, finding it "fatter" and "warmer."

No, in fact that conclusion is supported by testable, verifiable ideas. Why do you imagine otherwise?

For your information, it's not "measurement" I am an expert it, it is in the function, understanding, and perceptions involved in human hearing.

And, my evaluation of perceptual distortion measures is based on ways that I can make them get the wrong answer, in a testable and verifiable fashion. This has nothing to do with preference, and everything having to do with a little thing Karl Popper called "Falsification". You do know the word, right?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
And I understand what jj has said - I can read and read and read what he said over and over as he repeats it - but I still have no idea why he would post that and then accuse me of "picking an argument" when I respond.

The problem would appear to be your imagination, in particular the fantasy you appear to hold that I think that all distortions are evil, etc.

You have, it seems, been defending SET's from a mechanism that I described that makes them sound good. 'scuse me if I just don't understand your malfunction, sport.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


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That's the second time you've linked to that article. Someone must be pretty proud of it.

That still doesn't mean I should know JJ or what he is about. Sorry. I suspect he's glad you know him since you tend to puppy dog him every chance you get, yapping at anyone who comes too close.

I know you'll take this wrong - you take everything wrong - but since you two guys showed up we have Moe and Larry, where's Curly?


Quote:
To say this or that technology is inferior would be to misunderstand how to put together a decent system." Yet you pretend you are not arguing--it's obvious you were picking a fight, based on a misunderstanding of what was said.

If you really think, "That's all well and good ... ", or, "To say this or that technology is inferior would be to misunderstand how to put together a decent system", is obviously picking a fight, you must be a riot when someone asks you pass the salt. Xeno, I'll say this again, this is a discussion forum, a forum where you can discuss things.

And I understand what jj has said - I can read and read and read what he said over and over as he repeats it - but I still have no idea why he would post that and then accuse me of "picking an argument" when I respond.

Seems to me you two are awfully sensitive. Just what are you trying to prove here?

If you really want to know who j-j is, you could check his Profile and follow a link, if that's not too much trouble.

j-j has already answered technical issues better than I could. You do seem to feel you need to defend SET technology, using good and bad arguments, but so far, no one has been attacking it in this thread. That's why I say you are trying to pick a fight, because you make up oppositions where there are none. Paranoid much! (I wonder if j-j got that from the Buffy the VS series.)

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Anyway..when you take a SET tube amp..and you take the way the ear hears..you MIGHT finally come to the conclusion that what you are really hearing..is the combined effects of the 'stack of varying distortions' (varying with load) as a sort of MAGNIFICATION system to the ear..and it may SEEM as if a SET is more revealing..but in reality ..it is NOT.

On the other hand there is much to argue in the opposite direction. There is a tremendous amount of goodness and correctness in a 'no feedback' design and the excruciatingly simple circuit of a well put together SET tube amp.

The result is that the simple circuit and design give a correct transient placement and sizing for the most part and make 'not so good' results with the rest....for a combination of extreme goodness..and a bit of not good stuff.

Depending on the priorities of the individual... the SET may seem like a miracle of audio goodness.

The next guy might find himself grinding his teeth over it's auditory shortcomings.

Results vary.

Jan Vigne
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Quote:
Yeah, this is called "preference", remember?

Which we all have. My preference at the moment is to no longer be insulted by two fine fellows who imaginatively turn anything into something it is not. Or even one person I should know just because I should know him who posts something out of the blue and then gets pissy when anyone else responds.

Since neither of you are interested in a discussion of SET's at this point and haven't been for quite some time - since back when I began to "argue" in my first post - this thread is going nowhere I'm interested in being. This make-up-whatever-you-care-to land you live in is beyond me and really makes for boring posts where you two just insult anyone who crosses your path.

Big whoop! What fun this must be. Kinda like smashin' ants with a hammer.

You guys are a treat and should provide lots of dead threads in the next few weeks. jj, how long does it usually take for you to get bored and take your puppy with you to a new forum?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
If you really want to know who j-j is, you could check his Profile and follow a link, if that's not too much trouble.

Yeah, that's too much trouble 'cause I really don't give a crap who jj "is". I know what both of you are and we don't need any more of it on this forum.

John, if one or both of these guys are your friends, sorry. This is bullshit.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
Anyway..when you take a SET tube amp..and you take the way the ear hears..

If you take away what the brain perceives, then you have an amplifier with relatively high gross THD. If you then reason what the brain does perceive, you see that what you are hearing is a relatively innocuous form of harmonic distortion and you realize one benefit of the SET principle. If the perception is "warmer", and more "musical", then "the SET may seem like a miracle of audio goodness."

The simplicity of the circuitry is icing on the cake. I don't think anyone could argue that "accuracy" and "closer to the orignal signal" are always the same thing in today's consumer audio market. Though I suppose there are those who will and have. The willingness to pick distortions is how we choose our systems.

If you then further reason you are hearing broader dynamic range due to an increase in a relatively innocuous or "musical" form of distortion, you have ... what? More of a good thing or less of a bad thing?

You have a preference. Is this news to anyone?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
If you really want to know who j-j is, you could check his Profile and follow a link, if that's not too much trouble.

Yeah, that's too much trouble 'cause I really don't give a crap who jj "is". I know what both of you are and we don't need any more of it on this forum.

John, if one or both of these guys are your friends, sorry. This is bullshit.

Well, that's funny, because in post #66711 you asked a whole bunch of questions about j-j! When you ask questions, how can we tell which ones you want answered and which ones you don't?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
Yeah, this is called "preference", remember?

Which we all have. My preference at the moment is to no longer be insulted by two fine fellows who imaginatively turn anything into something it is not. Or even one person I should know just because I should know him who posts something out of the blue and then gets pissy when anyone else responds.

Since neither of you are interested in a discussion of SET's at this point and haven't been for quite some time - since back when I began to "argue" in my first post - this thread is going nowhere I'm interested in being. This make-up-whatever-you-care-to land you live in is beyond me and really makes for boring posts where you two just insult anyone who crosses your path.

Big whoop! What fun this must be. Kinda like smashin' ants with a hammer.

You guys are a treat and should provide lots of dead threads in the next few weeks. jj, how long does it usually take for you to get bored and take your puppy with you to a new forum?

j-j discussed some points about the performance of SETs and about how their performance is perceived. Then you complain that he doesn't want to discuss SETs. What actually seems to be your problem is that in some respects he does not agree with you and actually dared to correct you!

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
Anyway..when you take a SET tube amp..and you take the way the ear hears..you MIGHT finally come to the conclusion that what you are really hearing..is the combined effects of the 'stack of varying distortions' (varying with load) as a sort of MAGNIFICATION system to the ear..and it may SEEM as if a SET is more revealing..but in reality ..it is NOT.

On the other hand there is much to argue in the opposite direction. There is a tremendous amount of goodness and correctness in a 'no feedback' design and the excruciatingly simple circuit of a well put together SET tube amp.

The result is that the simple circuit and design give a correct transient placement and sizing for the most part and make 'not so good' results with the rest....for a combination of extreme goodness..and a bit of not good stuff.

Depending on the priorities of the individual... the SET may seem like a miracle of audio goodness.

The next guy might find himself grinding his teeth over it's auditory shortcomings.

Results vary.

Modulo a few technical quibbles that you might have simplified for the purpose of discussion, basically, I agree.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
Yeah, this is called "preference", remember?

Which we all have.


Um, spare me the appeal to ignorance. (Hint: Nizor project, look up the fallacy you just used.)

We have a great deal more than preference. It would appear that you object to actually knowing why things sound good, or not, and would prefer to stay ignorant yourself, and to enforce ignorance on others.

Why?

All I'm doing is explaining how it actually works.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Yeah, that's too much trouble 'cause I really don't give a crap who jj "is". I know what both of you are and we don't need any more of it on this forum.

John, if one or both of these guys are your friends, sorry. This is bullshit.

So, you prefer to remain ignorant, and persist in insults.

Your position, therefore, is that this forum should deal in ignorant insults?

I must admit, you're consistant.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

The noted epistemologist Edward Kennedy Ellington summed up this preference/measurement dissonance rather definitively:

"If it sounds good, it is good."

You may know Edward better by his acquired monicker, "Duke."

Maybe everybody is right on this issue.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

You two are the "fine fellows" I referred to, aren't you both?

Yes, yes, indeed, you are.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
The noted epistemologist Edward Kennedy Ellington summed up this preference/measurement dissonance rather definitively:

"If it sounds good, it is good."

You may know Edward better by his acquired monicker, "Duke."

Maybe everybody is right on this issue.

Do you think "Duke" was talking about producing music or re-producing music?

I don't know, but I would think that he, being a famous performer, is talking about making the original sound. That's a different objective than music reproduction.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Quote:
The noted epistemologist Edward Kennedy Ellington summed up this preference/measurement dissonance rather definitively:

"If it sounds good, it is good."

You may know Edward better by his acquired monicker, "Duke."

Maybe everybody is right on this issue.

Do you think "Duke" was talking about producing music or re-producing music?

I don't know, but I would think that he, being a famous performer, is talking about making the original sound. That's a different objective than music reproduction.

You mean, in audio, it could sound good, but be bad?

Wouldn't Duke, when he spoke of how something sounded, by definition be talking about how something sounded? Which can only be determined by, what, listening and what else?

Without listening, how would he have ever figured out that it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing?

I definitely think Duke was referring to what he heard.

Maybe you are referencing the enemy of good in audio...."better?" It may sound good, but it could be better?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/xenophanes/

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is pretty good, but it is better to read what is attributed to Xenophanes. This is a good link:

http://history.hanover.edu/texts/presoc/Xenophan.html

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Why? Why point that out? It's the circuitry approach to SET's that makes them the closest to the original signal.

The original signal!

Just a note here, this is flat-out untrue. For this particular issue, measurements matter, and the output of an SET is not "closest to the input signal" compared to most amplifiers out there (excluding really bad amplifiers, which I presume we don't address at Stereophile, yes?).

This, however, is why the SET has a higher perceived dynamic range than a more linear amplifier.

Yes, the details of HOW the distortion happen matter enormously. The lack of strong global feedback means that in fact the distortions tend to remain at lower order.

And the enhanced dynamic range, for some material and systems at least, makes up for what we never captured in the first place.

Who said this was bad, now?

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
Yes, the details of HOW the distortion happen matter enormously. The lack of strong global feedback means that in fact the distortions tend to remain at lower order.

Thank you.

Was that so difficult to say that you avoided it all this time?

And as JA has said ...


Quote:
... what is more important than the absolute level of the distortion is its spectral content. Fig.9 reveals that it is almost pure second harmonic, which, all things being equal, sounds relatively innocuous. In fact, there is some evidence that people prefer the sound with a little additional second-harmonic content, finding it "fatter" and "warmer." There is some third harmonic present (fig.10), but this is 20dB below the level of the second, while higher-order harmonics are very low in level.

Which correlates with AD's assessment ...


Quote:
Conclusions
With record after record, the Hyperion HT-88 did what I wanted: It found humanness in the recordings I played through it
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:

Now, who said what was bad?

Apparently you, since I said no such thing, and you came fuming out, getting on your donkey to tilt at the windmill of jj, only to find out it was a full-fledged castle with people manning the battlements.

I REQUIRE a complete, grovelling, abject apology from you for all of this ludicrous harrassment. Until I receive it, I shall treat you like a deliberate, malicious, and thoroughly dishonest troll.

You have not addressed a word I said. You have LIED about my position (by insinuation, yes, but that's still a lie), you have attacked your own words as paraphased by me (yes, I did that quite on purpose) and you have continued to attack, attack, attack even though you had no gripe except the imaginary one flying around your bonnet, looking for a nice flower to fertilize.

I think we need a good dose of troll-begone.

ETA: Oh, and if you bothered to read the OP, rather than go off into outer space, you'd have noticed the "low order distortion" issue addressed, not directly, but implicitly to an extent that required that it be so.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

JJ you just start threads to disagree. It's called trolling. You started your thread. You participated. Sit back and read what others are posting and STFU!

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Quote:
JJ you just start threads to disagree. It's called trolling. You started your thread. You participated. Sit back and read what others are posting and STFU!

So, to "Lamont Sanford" science is trolling.

Why don't you go back to living before the industrial revolution, then.

What I did was start a thread that explains, among other things, why SET's sound good.

For some reason, explaining this is unwelcome? No, I think it just shows that people like Vigne and apparently you, revel in ignorance and superstition.

I am not trolling. What the trolling here was was simple, it was Vigne's insinuation that I was somehow dissing SET's, when I clearly did no such thing. What your dishonest, offensive personal attack was is simply supporting Vigne's prejudice.

Do you often support prejudices?

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

There it is again. Trolling.

BTW, I'm no monument to not trolling here. I just try to keep it in the right forums.

If you're trying to have a scientific discussion than start your thread and let the readers decide amongst themselves. When the thread dies down you can come back with both guns blazing and start the whole routine all over again. They don't need a liberal science teacher constantly interrupting them. But you're a blowhard so don't mind me.

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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement


Quote:
I REQUIRE a complete, grovelling, abject apology from you for all of this ludicrous harrassment. Until I receive it, I shall treat you like a deliberate, malicious, and thoroughly dishonest troll.

Speaking of "ludicrous" jayjay, does this phony outrage routine I've seen you spout for nigh on twenty years EVER work, or is it just intended to make people laugh? Either way, it's a little played, if you know what I mean.


Quote:
You have not addressed a word I said. You have LIED about my position (by insinuation, yes, but that's still a lie), you have attacked your own words as paraphased by me (yes, I did that quite on purpose) and you have continued to attack, attack, attack even though you had no gripe except the imaginary one flying around your bonnet, looking for a nice flower to fertilize.

Nice rant. You remember to include the tried-and-true accusation that your opponent "lied" about your "position" (nice touch that, putting the L-word in all caps), but I'm saddened by the fact that you forgot to say he demeaned your (perceived) professional status. That's usually requisite stuff for a "jayjay response", jj. If you don't feign outrage that your (lol) 'perfessional reputation' has been put under threat of attack... how will we know it's "the real jayjay"? You know I already have trouble telling one DBT zombie from another, so crying about how much your reputation has been attacked would really help me tell yours apart.


Quote:
I think we need a good dose of troll-begone.

Believe me, I've been trying, but yet you're still here. And you're even bringing more anti-audiophile trolls from your AVS forum to "man the battlements" as you call it. So help me out a little... just tell me what works on you? How about a good deal on a QSC amp or a parametric equalizer?

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Distortion and Dynamic Range Enhancement

Well, if he's cross forum bashing we should bring that to the attention of the admin. JJ, I hope you are not posting links on your other site to threads on this site just to start trouble. That would be a big no-no.

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