Spoken voice is good test of a system's transparency. So is piano.
I wouldn't want to rely solely on spoken voice as a test of a system's transparency. What if you've got speakers like the LS3/5a that are superb at spoken voice but not so good for recreating a live rock or pop band or a 32 foot organ pipe?
I've only ever bought 3 hifi systems in my life and on each occasion it was the reproduction of piano (or the failure to reproduce piano) that was the deciding factor in my final choice. I don't know why this should be.
I don't know why this should be.....
...because it's a great benchmark, as it's very difficult to get right.
I also use violin, female voice (soprano) and the spoken word.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
A wide range should be used, some speakers are good for vocals and midrange stuff but can turn to jelly when you play a bass guitar and don't have enough bass for some types of music depends on your music styles you like.
Marantz 63SE AVI 9RSS
Agreed, though this can be as much about the amp (ability to control), as about the speakers.
Yep I use a wide range (although not spoken word but will remember that for next time) but the point I was making was that in the end it has come down to piano.
Yes I agree, just found some speakers that were great for vocals but could not handle bass at low volume.
Piano would be a good test but does not test everything I don't think.
Can you recommend some spoken word and piano music that you use?
For pianos, most of the famous piano concertos / sonatas....I like this recording: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Schubert-Piano-Sonatas-D-840-Lewis/dp/B00585QLX2...
and this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-Keyboard-Concertos-Vol-1/dp/B00005A797/ref=...
and Jacques Loussier (Telarc): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plays-Bach-50th-Anniversary-Recording/dp/B001U1K...
For the spoken word, use radio, TV and Blu-Ray.....shoudn't sound chesty or have the "cupped hands" effect.
Thanks I was thinking of Piano Sonatas and Concertos, so that is good.
I know it's semantics...lol... but if it isn't 100% transparent, isn't that opaque instead?
I appreciate that for many, mixing and matching separates to get a sound that one likes, is part of the fun of the hobby, and keeps journalists and HiFi dealers in clover.
However, if one believes (does anyone anymore, apart from me?...lol) that the term HiFi means high fidelity, that is a reproduction that is as close to the original as possible, rather than any old sound that pleases me, then transparency (not opaqueness) to the source must surely be the desired outcome.
As has been mentioned (but many forget) things such as tone controls and loudness compensation filters working in the digital domain with DSP, can achieve what the old analogue components achieved, - but without the demirits of added noise and distortion - such as to tailor the response to suit ones personal concept of hiFi 'flavour' should one so desire.
That we have eschewed such controls (which was relevant to a degree back in the analogue era) and not embraced them in the digital age, but prefer to try and tailor a sound via mixing and matching kit and interconnects etc, is again something that keeps journalists and dealers in clover, but achieves nothing for the consumer except keeping them on the profit making roundabout for the HiFi industry.
I'd also argue, (with a degree of tongue in cheek..lol) that if measurements and blind ABX testing mean scant all to the self called and pronounced experts (journalists and dealers) that Bose as an integrated system beats the hell out of anything performance wise being offered by these third party, mix and match 'tweaker's at the consumer level, and without measurement and blind ABX testing to support the superiority of mixing and matching, i.e. if it's all a subjective wine tasting excercise in sound, then those self proclaimed experts have nothing in their repoitoire of journalist or dealer jargon beyond dubious hype and opinion to refute the claim.
So In the interests of provoking some thought and discussion perhaps, I say Bose wins!
I believe the sales figures support the claim as well, so either the general public are wrong, gullible and stupid, or mixing and matching, via wine tasting in HiFi is just that - fun, a hobby, supporting your local dealer and HiFi industry, but ultimately not a lot about Hi Fidelity reproduction as a concept or goal per se anymore, and the general public see it for the emporers new clothes syndrome that it oft is - especially when some of these mix and match solutions cost more than the price of an expensive car, with sound quality a bare few percentage points perhaps over something vastly cheaper.
That the HiFi industry is in decline worldwide seems to be a general observation in most audio circles, and whilst it is sold and marketed the way it currently is, I'd say this trend is likely to continue. Y generation particularly is very tech savvy, and not easily fooled....
Anyway, I don't mean to be argumentative or offend anyone, but just some thoughts hopefully a little relevant to the topic at least.
I think you'll find there are degrees of tranalucency inbetween: transparency and opacity are just the extremes.
Consulting Editor, What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision/whathifi.com Audio Editor, Gramophone
Transparent is not the same thing as translucent.
Something may be both translucent and opaque, according to the degree of those qualities, but transparency excludes both.
I don't think translucency has anything to do with HiFi, and I'm not sure about opacity either.
Transparency is an allusion, rather than an illusion, with reference to audio perception.
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