+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 21 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 204

Thread: What is the art of sound?

  1. #11
    leo's Avatar
    leo is offline Circuit Junkie & DIY Room Forum Leader
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Notts UK

    Posts: 1,818

    Default

    Main thing I try to aim for is realism and trying to capture the emotion, I don't like fake added colouration

    The beauty with diy is that you don't have most of the limitations with just buying a ready built commercial unit, I'll build something, measure and listen to it and simply tweak the circuitry and components until its right.
    If a component is expensive but provides better results I can simply buy it without worrying

    The only thing I ever have problems with is the cases, one thing us diyers lack compared to commercial is the cosmetics

  2. #12
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Long Stratton, Norfolk

    Posts: 4,238
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leo View Post
    Well I managed to upset a few after they just spent on a new product and wanted to bring it here to see how it stacks up
    They can't handle the truth!
    .
    Evolution: One man's preposterous and non-sensical hypothesis based on the death of his daughter, now sadly taught as fact. Evidence to the contrary.

  3. #13
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,153
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Whew...I've finally got a chance to reply to Steve's excellent post. Sorry for my late reply. Looking at the four categories Steve listed:

    1) Playing the tune or tunes. Components are selected on their ability to make more sense of different melodies, how they fit together in time and generally give the greatest possible insight into the musical performance. The method used to make the selection is often referred to as "the tune dem."

    2) Recreating (or getting close to) life-like dynamics, scale and visceral impact. If you are a regular concert-goer you may seek a system that can recreate the drama and thrill of the live band at the arena or the orchestra in the concert hall.

    3) Detail retrieval. You want to extract the last tiny little drop of detail embedded in those silver or black discs.

    4) You want to listen to your system all day long without experiencing listener fatigue. For you tonal accuracy, low coloration and distortion are very important.
    There is merit in all four; I would want them all in the presentation of my system and the way in which it communicates music. If I had to pigeon-hole my priorities into one of the categories above it would probably be 2), but that's only part of the story...

    For me, the 'Art of Sound' is about two things: REALISM (one could also say 'accuracy') and MUSICAL COMMUNICATION without artifice. I believe that if the former is achieved then the latter comes automatically, along with all of that listed above in 1-4. Allow me to explain:

    If a piano sounds 'real', for example, in the sense that what you're hearing represents as close as possible to how the instrument sounds live (based from experience on what you know a piano to sound like from regularly hearing one played live - in effect you are au fait with the sound of piano), and the system accurately reproduces every element of the musical performance recorded on to the disc or record as tonally accurate as possible in terms of timbre (this is crucial, IMO) then what you have effectively is REALISM.

    The 'musical communication' aspect follows automatically because if the system has successfully achieved all of the above, and captured all the emotion of the performance, which will be the case if the system has faithfully reproduced all of the recorded musical information, then, quite simply, the ‘musical message’ will be communicated to the listener. Subjective system characteristics such as 'tune playing' ability, which is so important to Steve in category 1, is simply an automatic by-product of the realism and musical communication achieved as described.

    The fact is (to the chagrin of audiophiles with a certain type of belief system) it is completely impossible for electronic components to encode 'emotion' or 'tune' (as defined by certain audiophiles) on to a recording. It just can't happen. If the system is doing it's job properly (and that means all of what I described earlier) then all it can effectively achieve is to reproduce the recorded information, on whatever format, as accurately as possible - that's all, nothing else.

    The same applies to cables: they can't add 'emotion' or 'tune' either if it isn't there on the recording in the first place. When an audiophile, or hi-fi enthusiast/music lover, or any other title you care to give him or her, claims that system 'X' or cable 'Y' 'plays the tune' better than some other system or cable, that might well be the case, but all they're effectively saying is that system 'X' and cable 'Y' were more accurate. I'm afraid that any other notion is simply in the listener's imagination.

    To claim otherwise or to build a system on the basis of achieving some false notion that inanimate objects can magically alter recorded information on a disc or record and imbue it with more 'tune', or whatever, is I'm afraid nonsense. What you are effectively saying is that you enjoy the euphonic effect of certain types of coloration, which is fine, but it's not hi-fi, and if it's not hi-fi, then by definition it is not accurate, therefore such systems will not convey the "realism" with music I alluded to earlier. The bottom line is if instruments and voices don't sound real then the music isn't real.

    What is heard in these instances is merely a style of sonic presentation that's tailored to appeal to your listening preferences, which of course is absolutely fine, but it's definitely not what I'm after, or what my system is about. I want to hear exactly what's on the disc or record as far as my system is able to achieve with as little sonic tailoring as possible. This may mean that on occasions poor recordings are exposed for what they are, but it also means that good recordings are revealed in all their glory, and that for me is what owning a quality hi-fi system is about.

    Building a system choosing components, ancillaries, and cables that combine to accentuate an individual's listening preferences will never be a system that is 'accurate' or 'real' in the sense I have described - it's as simple as that. Musically realistic hi-fi systems, such as I have described, are like fine cuisine: they follow a recipe using the best ingredients to ensure the authenticity of the final dish. Artificial additives serve only to sully the dish, and it is exactly the same with music. I want as close to the real thing as possible, not to savour someone else's over zealous use of seasoning! Therefore I build a system with components which in my opinion reproduce recorded music as faithfully as possible. 'Junk food' simply isn't for me!

    Lastly, and this is significant I feel, what you consider as 'The Art of Sound' largely depends on your available benchmark, which is basically your level of musical experience, if of course it is accepted that owning a hi-fi system is simply a means to an end, and that end is to appreciate and enjoy music.

    If you've never been to a concert or heard, for example, a live un-amplified acoustic musical performance or solo instruments being played, then the stark reality is that you don't really know how any of this sounds. Your benchmark, as such, is only how recorded music is heard through a hi-fi system, albeit one that fulfils your presentational priorities, so in the absence of real musical experience how can you judge how 'tuneful' or 'musical' a piece of hi-fi equipment actually is? It's a fact that I feel deserves some reflection for many audiophiles...

    Going back to 2) on Steve's list I have to admit that on, say, returning from a rock concert I get a serious buzz from playing the same band's music on my system and experiencing a mini snapshot of what I've just heard live, reproduced with similar visceral intensity, scale, and life-like dynamics, and of course 'realism'. Oh yes... Nothing puts a smile on my face more!

    That, my friends, is my 'Art of Sound'.

    Marco.
    "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist" - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.


    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Central England

    Posts: 2,938

    Default

    Good post Marco.

    The fact is (to the chagrin of audiophiles with a certain type of belief system) it is completely impossible for electronic components to encode 'emotion' or 'tune' (as defined by certain audiophiles) on to a recording. It just can't happen. If the system is doing it's job properly (and that means all of what I described earlier) then all it can effectively achieve is to reproduce the recorded information, on whatever format, as accurately as possible - that's all, nothing else.
    I agree. Tune cannot be added (or encoded) by a given electronic component. However systems that aren't particularly tuneful are missing out an element of the information recorded on the disc that is of importance to many, including me.

    The same applies to cables: they can't add 'emotion' or 'tune' either if it isn't there on the recording in the first place. When an audiophile, or hi-fi enthusiast/music lover, or any other title you care to give him or her, claims that system 'X' or cable 'Y' 'plays the tune' better than some other system or cable, that might well be the case, but all they're effectively saying is that system 'X' and cable 'Y' were more accurate. I'm afraid that any other notion is simply in the listener's imagination.
    The problem with any notion of accuracy is that it is an all-embracing term for something that is subject to the listener's perception. Measured accuracy according to the criteria of what can actually be measured certainly isn't necessarily going to, or is even likely to translate into something that the listener believes to be 'accurate.' There are a number of aspects to realism that are more important to any given listener than others.

    There are aspects of inaccuracy too that are more likely to get in the way of suspending disbelief that this is only a recording being passed through an electro-mechanical means of reproduction than others. Again this varies from listener to listener. For some it will be tonal aberrations; for others it will be a lack of note separation or a poor sense of timing that may be determined by such things like a system's dynamic acuity as well as its phase coherence across the frequency range.

    'Tunefulness,' like many aspects of recorded music reproduction, isn't something that can be added by components but it can be taken away. Remember also that the 'tune dem' is only a method of evaluation. It is not a process of attributing magical properties to hi-fi components.

    I guess the problem that component designers, those assembling and setting up systems and listeners alike all face, is that anything added to what was recorded on the disc is not a good thing and taking anything away isn't any good either. Unfortunately the latter is inevitable and that's where compromises and choices often have to be made as to what should remain.

  5. #15
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 67,153
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    I agree. Tune cannot be added (or encoded) by a given electronic component. However systems that aren't particularly tuneful are missing out an element of the information recorded on the disc
    This is absolutely true, but it's just another way of saying that such systems are less accurate/faithful to the recorded musical information on whatever chosen format was used. 'Tune playing' is simply another aspect of a system's presentation that defines how true it is to the source sound. With respect, I think that sometimes you've got 'tune playing' on the brain

    The problem with any notion of accuracy is that it is an all-embracing term for something that is subject to the listener's perception.
    Again this is absolutely true. Our notion of "accuracy" in terms of hi-fi will always be subjective and based entirely on our individual level of musical experience. For example, a classical pianist who plays the piano daily will intrinsically know how his or her instrument sounds and would therefore easily be able to judge how "accurate" a hi-fi system could reproduce a recorded version of that sound.

    Similarly, although arguably not as easily, a person who regularly attends live acoustic musical performances, or in some other way regularly hears the playing of real musical instruments, and as such becomes familiar with how instuments sound, can through effective aural memory judge fairly accurately how good a hi-fi system is at portraying the realistic sound of such instruments - this is my particular benchmark, which I allluded to earlier.

    Measured accuracy according to the criteria of what can actually be measured certainly isn't necessarily going to, or is even likely to translate into something that the listener believes to be 'accurate.' There are a number of aspects to realism that are more important to any given listener than others.
    I see what you mean, but for me it isn't complicated at all: if it sounds 'real', based on what I've described above, then it is real. It's as simple as that.

    There are aspects of inaccuracy too that are more likely to get in the way of suspending disbelief that this is only a recording being passed through an electro-mechanical means of reproduction than others. Again this varies from listener to listener.
    I totally agree. My ears are extremely attuned to tonal aberrations, which you have alluded to, therefore regardless of how 'tuneful' a system is if it accentuates any part of the frequency range which cause instruments and voices to sound unnatural then I find it difficult to get past this stage and enjoy the music, or indeed attempt to suspend disbelief as you have described.

    'Tunefulness,' like many aspects of recorded music reproduction, isn't something that can be added by components but it can be taken away. Remember also that the 'tune dem' is only a method of evaluation. It is not a process of attributing magical properties to hi-fi components.
    Absolutely. However in my opinion it is a flawed method of evaluation if other important aspects of musical reproduction are ignored. Timbre and tonal accuracy are equally important to get right if the end result is successfully to approach accuracy, i.e. what real instruments and voices actually sound like. For example, how can one suspend disbelief when listening to a recorded musical performance if the voice of a female vocalist is sibilant and tonally unnatural? She just won't be 'there' in the room with you, as she should be if the system gets it right in every way, not just in terms of 'tune'.

    I guess the problem that component designers, those assembling and setting up systems and listeners alike all face, is that anything added to what was recorded on the disc is not a good thing and taking anything away isn't any good either. Unfortunately the latter is inevitable and that's where compromises and choices often have to be made as to what should remain.
    Spot on. But for me the goal will always be the same: my system reproducing the recorded information on the record or disc as faithfully as possible. I will always strive to maintain the integrity of the source 'sound', and in turn allow music to be heard as near as possible to how the performer and recording engineer intended.

    Marco.
    "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way and the only way, it does not exist" - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.


    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Modified Goldpoint SA4M-47 passive preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  6. #16
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Posts: 18
    I'm Del.

    Default

    We are all trying to get as much detail out of the vinyl.trying to capture the sound of the band in the studio or concert hall

    I had an interesting time at a studio that a friend had built,i recorded a few songs and we mixed them down into three formats,tape(quarter inch)cd and vinyl(he has an amazing cutting lathe)we all decided to experiment to see what format we would prefer.

    we spent the day listening to all formats.the tape and vinyl were very close we did not like the cd at all.

    I decided that i would like to see how it sounded in my system,i had a fair idea what to expect.

    So with a lot of groaning we madaged to drag the tape machine home.

    I had invited a couple of the guys to sit in on the trial we all sat there with a mental score card.

    It took five seconds to dismiss the cd

    We had a very hard time decideing which of the remaning two formats was best,many hours passed and we were still undecided we called it a day and we would try the next day.

    Daybreak we all had a clear head and plenty of tea(we are all teaheads)
    we sat down to day two we decided to start with the vinyl then cd and last the tape.
    we loved the vinyl but were quite impressed with the cd it sounded quite differant to what we heard the day before,we then put the tape on and it was very clear that the tape was the best.
    I enjoy my system very much but was a little shocked to see that i prefered the tape to the vinyl.
    we will try the same experiment again at the studio when the new listening room is ready i will report on this later

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Long Stratton, Norfolk

    Posts: 4,238
    I'm Rob.

    Default

    I have to say that my 'art of sound' started many years ago when I got my first 'proper' component; a pair of Tannoy Mercury S speakers. I had been using a pair of Memorex speakers that I'd inherited from a Memorex midi system from a mate of mine, and at the time I thought they were ok. However, changing to the Tannoys introduced my to factors that I hadn't really been aware of previously.

    So once I'd got used to the Tannoys I started to read about hi-fi in magazines (What Hi-Fi) and also I visited hi-fi shops and chatted to the guys to try and gather as much info as I could. It was only then that I realised just how 'artistic' a good hi-fi is.

    Over the years I've moved from budget to high end stuff, and I will move higher as the years go on. I guess the aim of hi-fi is really to enjoy the music, and therefore it's not necessarily that all folk will require high end systems, but the enjoyment for me comes down to the fine tweaking and component swapping in order to achieve (or get closer to) my personal audio goal.

    Personally I prefer very detailed sound, almost at the expense of natural musicality, and I've gradually got closer and closer to a sound that is very detailed. The best thing about harking for a detailed sound is that when an improvement is made in that area it is immediately apparent. For instance, when I mounted my speaker stands on two sheets of slate (each), midrange and top end clarity and detail was immediately improved, not by a small amount, but quite extensively - so much so that I was hearing things from VERY familiar recordings that I'd just never noticed before.

    That's not to say that I'd never heard the specific details, but just that my attention was drawn to them by means of clarity. It's almost alarming to hear new sounds from a recording that one may have been listening to for decades, but that's a real buzz for me and definitely smile inducing.

    However, this is not to say that my system lacks in other areas - quite the opposite in fact, it's capable of hugely weighty sound (despite the diminutive speaker dimensions), it's capable of swinging along to the music and keeping up with ease, it's just that I've pointed it at detail and that takes priority. If I could gain improvements in detail by marginally compromising the other factors, then I would - however not to the point where the system becomes unbearably stripped away, but the essence of decent components is that they should always have all the elements of decent quality sound albeit in varying degrees.

    So, the art of sound for me is not related to expense, it's not related to the number of components, it's not related to the physical imposition of components, it's simply hearing what the band REALLY put on the tape.


    The best advice I could give is experiment experiment experiment, supports that have worked for some players haven't worked for others, cables that have been superb with some components have been poor with others, even little things like positioning on the stand (in terms of height from the ground) have made large differences. Don't take anything for granted as working well just because it has in the past - it could be the weakest link that is destroying the life in your system.

    Most of all, don't despair if something's disappointing - not every component is for everyone which is why there's such a vast choice out there!

    .
    Evolution: One man's preposterous and non-sensical hypothesis based on the death of his daughter, now sadly taught as fact. Evidence to the contrary.

  8. #18
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Central England

    Posts: 2,938

    Default

    Rob,

    You've pretty well nailed your colours to the mast regarding your Art of Sound. Folks who know exactly what they want are less likely to waste money on upgrades only to be dissatisfied with them very soon after.

    Marco,

    I'm still not comfortable with these undefined notions of realism and accuracy. We still need to pin down exactly what aspects of a given recording and how it is reproduced can make it sound real in an absolute sense to absolutely everybody. My suspicions are that this is impossible. Hi-fi technology and its implementation have a long way to go before playback of recorded music is ever indistinguishable to the live event.

    Yes we can step closer to subjective notions of realism and accuracy in certain aspects but in an absolute sense they are unattainable goals.

    Defining your own notion of realism/accuracy that you can happily live with and enjoy is basically defining your own Art of Sound. For you then to define your Art of Sound as being realism or accuracy would thus be tautological.

  9. #19
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Texas, yo. Can't seem to get away.

    Posts: 245

    Default

    If the event is recorded right and reproduced right, it is possible to be in the same time and space of the event and in the presence of the performers. Or, so it can seem. A good room helps. To me, that is very satisfying and a worthwhile goal. Very good comments above. I know you cats are down. Cheers.
    Hear your music, not your speakers

  10. #20
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Sherwood Forest'ish

    Posts: 14

    Default

    Greets to all.

    My one dollars-worth.

    i've been listening to a pair of Fostex monitors into a Yamaha mixer whilst learning to play my Roland 'piano' - and when I go back to the naim rig I have, I enjoy it for differing reasons, now.

    I mainly enjoy it as it sounds more 'cultured' and refined (yup, for a Naim rig!), and also i actually more so now don't listen to the hifi - more what is being played.

    Also, i've mentioned it countless times before, but if your room ain't right...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 21 FirstFirst 123412 ... LastLast



 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •