Interrogating the Angles

I know that I can hear differences between... I mean: I know that music sounds different when...

Crap, what am I trying to say?

Music coming out of the Totem Arros sounds different from [than?] music coming out of the DeVore gibbons. I think that's what I'm trying to say. Something like that, at least.

Music sounds different depending upon the speakers I'm using... er, listening to. Whatever.

There are differences. Real differences. That's for certain.

For certain?

But I can't, for the life of me, figure out what those differences are. I can hear the differences — that is, I can hear a difference — but I can't pinpoint the source. Where is the difference coming from? What's making the change? I need to somehow listen deeper, uncover extraneous layers of information, get to the origin of things.

If I can't describe the differences between two speakers, how will I describe the differences between two tubes? If I can't describe the differences, how do I know they even exist? I can throw some ideas out there, and let you agree or disagree, validate me, make me and my ideas real, tell me I'm crazy or tell me I'm brilliant. But what will that mean?

Metaphysical hoohaw.

Monty's picture

I think you are going to have to listen to a lot of different kinds of music and play with speaker positioning a little to reach some conclusions. You've probably spent a good bit of time getting familiar with the Devores and given enough time with a variety of familiar music through the Arros you should be able to flush out their character. I would ask JA for a few loaner discs of Classical music if you don't already have some. If you have the room flexibility, the Arro really needs boundary re-enforcement to sound their best.

Buddha's picture

Cool blog entry. It gets right to the heart of discussing hi fi.

I'd say the place to start is listening to the same recording, and focusing your attention on just one instrument or voice and getting a feel for what each speaker delivers.

I think an easy starting point is a brush on a drum. See if it sounds like hiss or hash or if you can hear the brush move across the drum. Listen to see where in the room it's coming from, imaging wise. Listen for how the brush can kind of seem to fill the air around it," like a real one. I think this is the root of ""palpable.""

Also", see how well the speaker keeps to the sound of the brush as other instruments play or as things get busy. In the recording, not on your couch. You can see how quickly the sound appears and how it goes away.

I mention the brush, because it doesn't ask too much of you. It's more a detail thing than a slam, bam," bass and drum thing. One of my favorite ""new listener"" things to get people started. Cheers

Clay White's picture

Or you could decide to let the business of making informative evaluations of components wait awhile, continue to do for a living what you do very well, and settle on the speaker which you like the best and appreciate the way it delivers your favorite music to you. Just a thought.

Al Marcy's picture

Local context. You just tell us what seems to happen. It is OK if you don't understand, neither does anyone else. Even ST is just human ;)I have lots of audio toys. Each has brought my ears joy. None has changed my favorite recording: Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny. Color me mellow.

Christian's picture

That is always the hardest part, articulating what you are hearing. The only advice I can offer requires you to get a bit 'geeky'. I would use a SPL meter to make sure that you are comparing both pairs at the same volume level. Our interpretaions can get skewed towards the louder speaker not the neccessarily the better speaker. If your task isn't difficult enough, my only question is: Beaks on, or Beaks off?

ink's picture

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