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magiccarpetride
14-05-2010, 20:50
Just returned from my break. Witnessed firemen brass band on the street corner performing in full swing. I stood about 15 feet away from the band, and went almost deaf! The blaring of the horns was scary.

Got me thinking -- there's no chance in hell that an audio system, ANY audio system, could come even close to reproducing the liveliness and the excitement of that sound.

No?

markf
14-05-2010, 20:59
It might not get close to reproducing the liveliness and the excitement of that sound,
but if it gets the timing right then that's all we really want ....right?

dave2010
14-05-2010, 21:03
I'm very inclined to agree, though some systems may actually go louder. Louder /= better though, despite what many young people seem to think.

I heard once of a very large speaker system (multi) used at an arena for a pop concert - probably Wembley (UK). A bird passed close to one of the speaker arrays, and unfortunately (for it) the drummer just tapped one of his drums. The bird disintegrated. I wasn't there, but a friend told me he'd seen this.

I doubt that your band would have killed the bird.

dave2010
14-05-2010, 21:06
It might not get close to reproducing the liveliness and the excitement of that sound,
but if it gets the timing right then that's all we really want ....right?No!

We want the excitement of the sound of the real band. Maybe not want it indoors though, though another of my friends had a brass band in his dining room on one of his significant birthdays. Bit of a squeeze, and it was loud, though the audience couldn't get into the room.

magiccarpetride
14-05-2010, 21:06
It might not get close to reproducing the liveliness and the excitement of that sound,
but if it gets the timing right then that's all we really want ....right?

For the money... yes:)

John
15-05-2010, 06:26
We never going to get a 100% realistic live sound its about the illusion of this
Anout 60% of the time I actually perfer the sound of my own system to what I hear but when i hear really great live sound it just makes realise that this is just chasing shadows

Clive
15-05-2010, 08:05
Hi-Fi is about illusion. Imagine if you listened to grand piano in a 12fit x 18ft room. I don't have have to imagine, I've heard this, it's unbearable. Hi-Fi and recordings have to make music work in an environment totally unlike the real thing.

Barry
15-05-2010, 20:36
Hi-Fi is about illusion. Imagine if you listened to grand piano in a 12fit x 18ft room. I don't have have to imagine, I've heard this, it's unbearable. Hi-Fi and recordings have to make music work in an environment totally unlike the real thing.

If your system makes a concert grand piano, being played in a large concert hall, sound as if it's being played in your 12' x 18' room, then something is very wrong!

People who say "it's just like (insert artist's name) was playing between the speakers in my room", have got it wrong. It shouldn't sound as if they are in your room at all, it should sound as if you have been transported to their performance venue (even if that's a studio).

Regards

UV101
15-05-2010, 20:45
People who say "it's just like (insert artist's name) was playing between the speakers in my room", have got it wrong. It shouldn't sound as if they are in your room at all,

I've used that phrase several times! What I really meant was


it should sound as if you have been transported to their performance venue (even if that's a studio).

Never thought about it like that but cannot agree more!:cool:

Barry
15-05-2010, 20:53
I've used that phrase several times! What I really meant was



Never thought about it like that but cannot agree more!:cool:

To be fair, you usually have to listen with eyes closed, or in very subdued light to create the illusion.

Going back to the original post, there are very few systems that can capture the sheer dynamics and 'air' of a brass band played outdoors. Same goes for a barrel organ - you can hear one streets away and just know that it is the genuine article, and not a recording being played.

Regards

Joe
15-05-2010, 21:01
To be fair, you usually have to listen with eyes closed, or in very subdued light to create the illusion.

Going back to the original post, there are very few systems that can capture the sheer dynamics and 'air' of a brass band played outdoors. Same goes for a barrel organ - you can hear one streets away and just know that it is the genuine article, and not a recording being played.

Regards

Reminds me of Beecham's comment re brass bands: 'They are all very well in their place, which is outdoors and several miles away'

Barry
15-05-2010, 21:08
Reminds me of Beecham's comment re brass bands: 'They are all very well in their place, which is outdoors and several miles away'

:lolsign:

DrMartin
16-05-2010, 00:43
To be fair, you usually have to listen with eyes closed, or in very subdued light to create the illusion.


Regards

Great when it works though isn't it? I find it helps to be a bit tired / drowsey as well. I've noticed that my system always seems to be able to draw me in further when I'm tired.

Clive
16-05-2010, 08:21
Maybe my grand piano example wasn't ideal but the point is that music reproduction is an illusion. Over the years I've heard a number of people say...they are there....they've managed to build a system that sounds just like a live gig. Strangely they continued to box swap for years after that.

I would say achieving a "realistic" sound is what I aim for. If I compare the sound in my room to a live gig it isn't the same. I've never heard system that can do this and by system I mean system + room. The room is the biggest limiting factor. Set up a monumental system in a concert hall - you have a better chance of success.

Macca
16-05-2010, 09:52
Great when it works though isn't it? I find it helps to be a bit tired / drowsey as well. I've noticed that my system always seems to be able to draw me in further when I'm tired.

A couple of intriguing points made including this one. I agree and have often pondered why this is so.

I would also agree that lighting levels when listening make a huge difference. At an outdoor gig (eg Glastonbury) the optimum time to take to the stage is considered to be just as dusk is coming on - it gives the whole event a 'magical' atmosphere (even if the band and music are rubbish).

I find the same with listening at home - the sound becomes more magical as darkness falls outside, stereo image improves, everything becomes more real. Closing the curtains to make 'fake darkness' just doesn't cut it the same. Why is that?

DSJR
16-05-2010, 12:50
HUGE monitors like ATC, PMC, tannoy and JBL (yeah, I know, there's hundreds more I haven't mentioned) will give a pretty fair facsimile of the original event, as long as the recording and mixing hasn't destroyed all the dynamics - one reason why those 50's jazz recordings can be so good..

The thing is, the vast majority of home audio systems won't go loud enough, or deep enough, and neither are they uncloloured enough to do this. I'm counting my museum-piece setup in this too, as anything beyond a fairly loud level has vintage Spendor speakers sounding like they're going to shake to bits as the bass distortion clouds everything... Good safety net though..

I used to love whacking my big ATC's up when the neighbours were out, but I couldn't take it now and anyway, maybe that's why I find an almost zero disposable income tolerable, because I know that true high-fidelity is an impossible goal. I find I can derive huge musical pleasure from a little Denon style micro system, although hearing the same music played through some much larger and more capable systems is the most satisfying.

Paul Hynes
17-05-2010, 21:46
You need to move a lot of air with low distortion to get a good illusion of a live event.

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww7/paulhynes/Picture036.jpg

John
18-05-2010, 04:41
yep big 15" drivers help too

Marco
18-05-2010, 07:48
I'd agree with all the comments so far, but would add that a huge pair of high-efficiency horns, driven by high-quality valve amplification (in a decent room), would get you pretty close to that live band sound.

It's reproducing the dynamic transients and scale of real instruments that's the hardest thing for a hi-fi system to achieve, and this is what horns excel at. You don't have a prayer of doing that with 'normal' speakers, and solid-state amps sound terrible with horns!

Huge Tannoy DCs with 15" drivers and horn-loaded tweeters, in my experience, also get you quite close (not as good as full-blown horns, though), as I'm sure anyone who's heard my system playing suitable music, would testify - it does the 'live gig' thing reasonably well..... :fingers:

I would also add that Clive's Bastanis do a bloody good job too, especially with jazz music :)

It's about shifting lots of air to create genuine scale, and capturing the 'shocking' effect and (piercing) dynamic impact of real instruments, which is often quite uncomfortable to listen to up close - indeed it can take your ears off. I know the effect only too well, and most systems sound way too 'nice' and rounded-off in general to get anywhere close!

Marco.

John
18-05-2010, 07:57
I heard some really big Avantegarde Trio 2 lots of dynamics but nothing like live music far to coloured
But I did enjoy what I heard at Owston when I last visited

Marco
18-05-2010, 08:20
Vitavox is where it's at, John, horn-wise. Check out Steve (SPS') horns from the Owston pics:


http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/9444/shorns2.jpg (http://img198.imageshack.us/i/shorns2.jpg/)


That's the general idea - although bigger (multiple arrays of them) would be even better! :eek:


Dave also mentioned ATCs, and these SCM300s (with twin 15" drivers), driven actively, would have a fair stab at creating that live band sound (although lack of baffle width area may be an issue in terms of creating truly massive scale):


http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/4557/scm300at.jpg (http://img522.imageshack.us/i/scm300at.jpg/)


....although I'd still go with (good) high-efficiency horns, driven by top-notch valve amplification!

Marco.

Clive
18-05-2010, 08:28
Seeing as Marco mentioned Bastanis.....try these for bass horns.

http://www.bastanis.com/showroom/english/images/37_JPG.jpg

That room definitely needs Atlas with 2 x 12inch widebands per side not Prometheus. I'd be tempted to run 4 widebands per side.

John
18-05-2010, 08:33
If only I had the money and room and no neighbours

Marco
18-05-2010, 08:38
Seeing as Marco mentioned Bastanis.....try these for bass horns.

http://www.bastanis.com/showroom/english/images/37_JPG.jpg

That room definitely needs Atlas with 2 x 12inch widebands per side not Prometheus. I'd be tempted to run 4 widebands per side.

Hehehe... Yup, that'd just about do it, Clive! :eyebrows:

Basically what I'm saying is if you want to create genuine musical realism and get close to replicating the sound and 'feel' of real instruments, forget all about using 'conventional' speakers......!

Marco.

Marco
18-05-2010, 08:52
I also suspect that the JBL Everest DD-66000 would do that 'big-band thang' with suitable aplomb:


http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/5102/jbleverestdd66000.jpg (http://img338.imageshack.us/i/jbleverestdd66000.jpg/)


http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/5646/hfc331jbleverestdd66000.jpg (http://img249.imageshack.us/i/hfc331jbleverestdd66000.jpg/)


Horns and twin 15" drivers - f*cking awesome!! Man, I'd love to own a pair of those - and would do if I lived in a bigger house........


Check them out here, driven by an array of McIntosh monoblocks!

http://www.inner-magazines.com/news/13/63/JBL-Everest-DD66000/

Marco.

Paul Hynes
18-05-2010, 09:17
I must admit that I have had some good times with horn loudspeakers.

During the late 1980's my cousin acquired a pair of Altec A7 Voice of the Theatre Horns that were liberated when a local cinema "upgraded":lol:their sound system. He used them at Sobers disco in Manchester where he was the Resident DJ. He used a Sansui 60 watt/channel valve receiver to drive them. These speakers could do the live thing effortlessly. For mobile gigs he took the Sansui with him to drive some large Tannoy loudspeakers. I am not sure which model they were but these sounded effortless and musical too.

In the late 1970s a DJ from Lytham St Annes asked me to design a roadshow system for him. Remembering the Altec performance, I built him a three way active horn system. I used Jack Dinsdale's design formulae from his Wireless World articles to formulate a Tractrix contour for the midband drivers, in an effort to conserve space but still get down to 70 Hz so I could crossover electronically at 100Hz. I stacked a pair of these on top of the Electrovoice Eliminator bass cabs to match their efficiency. The treble horn array was on top of course. This system could do the live thing effortlessly too. We held a party at my place to celebrate the birth of the system and the Police came to tell us that someone living over 200 yards away had complained about loud music. Strangely enough the system didn't sound loud in the lounge probably because it was not annoyingly distorting. We had to turn the music down, of course, but it still sounded lively and naturally energetic at lower levels.

The open baffle line array does the live thing too and is equally efficient with the right drive units, and can move enough air quickly to be convincing, without any box honk. I did consider horns for my current system but concluded that the lounge was not big enough to accomodate them at 4 mtrs x 4 mtrs. I also wanted to work on line arrays as we used them for the PA system in one of the bands I played in as a teenager. I already new they had the ability to project well from this experience and room interaction is very low so you can get away with them in smaller and/or squarer lounges.

Unfortunately both types of loudspeaker are visually overpowering in the domestic environment and they are not easy to sneak past the wife. Although some are fortunate to have a wife that gets the point:).

A lot has been lost in the effort to squeeze a quart into a pint pot for domestic reasons. The laws of physics are against loudspeaker miniaturisation.

Regards
Paul

DSJR
18-05-2010, 09:23
Dave also mentioned ATCs, and these SCM300s (with twin 15" drivers), driven actively, would have a fair stab at creating that live band sound (although lack of baffle width area may be an issue in terms of creating truly massive scale):


http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/4557/scm300at.jpg (http://img522.imageshack.us/i/scm300at.jpg/)


....although I'd still go with (good) high-efficiency horns, driven by top-notch valve amplification!

Marco.

ATC rejected horns because of their severe colourations..

THESE are "proper" ATC300's -

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/DSJR_photos/scm300aslpro.jpg

The amp block is separate and connected to each speaker with a wide hosepipe each and burndy style connector :eyebrows:

Marco
18-05-2010, 09:28
Great post, Paul - some nice memories there. I competely agree with your observations :)

This is the crux of the matter:


A lot has been lost in the effort to squeeze a quart into a pint pot for domestic reasons . The laws of physics are against loudspeaker miniaturisation.


Precisely. I'd love to get back to how it was in the 60s and 70s where people (somehow) managed to accommodate proper-sized speakers that reproduce music with realism and scale, instead of the diddy-sized toytown abominations foised upon us nowadays (like ADM9s! :rolleyes:)


This system could do the live thing effortlessly too. We held a party at my place to celebrate the birth of the system and the Police came to tell us that someone living over 200 yards away had complained about loud music.


F*cking yee hah - a man after my own heart!! :lol: :lol:

Fortunately I've got no neighbours, so I can play music as loudly as I like, anytime - and I do...... :eyebrows:

And yes, Altecs rock! ;)

Got any pics?

Marco.

Marco
18-05-2010, 09:35
Hi Dave,


THESE are "proper" ATC300's -

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q8/DSJR_photos/scm300aslpro.jpg


Yes, I agree. I couldn't find a pic of those - the others are the domestic versions. Still, they look tiny compared to those JBLs!

It's interesting that the pro versions have the bass drivers mounted horizontally, instead of vertically like the domestic type... I'm sure that's for practical reasons in terms siting in studios, but it will also mean they'll sound rather different in terms of bass impact and scale.

You need a wide baffle width area to allow 15" drivers to 'breathe', and therefore perform optimally. That's why the JBL's, for example, are they shape they are instead of the currently ubiquitous 'tall & slim' hi-end profile. My Lockwoods too are also a case in point, in terms of baffle width area.


ATC rejected horns because of their severe colourations..


Some horns definitely exhibit severe colorations (and I don't like it) but the better ones simply replicate the natural colorations present in real instruments, and reproduce shocking dynamics that no dome or midrange tweeter could hope to achieve!

Try listening to brass instruments played through top-notch horns, and then through a conventional dome-driver speaker, and you'll hear how rounded off the latter sounds in comparison - and it's got nothing to do with "severe horn coloration", either; simply greater (clean) extension and headroom............ ;)

Marco.

Paul Hynes
18-05-2010, 09:50
Sorry Marco, no photos of the period but I have found a photo of the Altec A7

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww7/paulhynes/altec_lansing_a7_oblique-1.jpg

Regards
Paul

Marco
18-05-2010, 10:46
Awesome, Paul!


http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/9231/alteclansinga7oblique1.jpg (http://img132.imageshack.us/i/alteclansinga7oblique1.jpg/)


For me, that's the ideal loudspeaker design - where horns are properly integrated with a huge bass driver and housed in a massively constructed and inert cabinet. I can see some parallels with the Tannoy Westminster.

No loudspeaker is perfect, of course, but for me designs such as the above have the ideal balance of virtues and get closer to replicating the sound of real instruments more than anything else I've heard so far :)

Marco.

goraman
20-05-2010, 23:30
Just returned from my break. Witnessed firemen brass band on the street corner performing in full swing. I stood about 15 feet away from the band, and went almost deaf! The blaring of the horns was scary.

Got me thinking -- there's no chance in hell that an audio system, ANY audio system, could come even close to reproducing the liveliness and the excitement of that sound.

No?
Exactly my point when it comes to most high end audio,for example Audio Note UK speakers are voiced to sound as if you are very far from the preformance.I was informed this is an adults audio system.

I guess your not grown up if you like vibratto from a gutar or the realisam of a horn being a little forward sounding.
I like an audio system that sounds as if I am hearing a nice 5 peice combo several tables away in a smallish night club.

I don't want to hear music that sounds like its comming from the stereo next door.

Real live bands are a little in your face at times an audio system that isent is broken.