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Audibly transparent

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the record spot's picture
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RE: Audibly transparent

AlmaataKZ wrote:

In hifi, the kit has to reproduce the music so it has to do it well, i.e. accurately. Not subjectively.

I'd suggest most kit does.  There's a lot of talk about "boom" and "tizz" in some quarters.  I think that's vastly overrated in real terms.  Yes, push a speaker too hard and it's going to distort, push the amp too hard beyond it's capabilities and it'll suffer.  

Realise what you've got to work with and work within their parameters and you'll be fine.  So the old 30 watt Sansui AU-217 and Mission 752s I used sounded great.  Really great, caught the music and presented as well as anything I'd heard.  

The current gear in my sig below works a treat, well balanced, a good amp, good speakers (nice bass, good extension...deep you might say - just been listening to Jan Garbarek's "Rites" album and Barry Diament's mastering for Led Zeppelin II, good recordings both); just makes music a pleasure to listen to.

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RE: Audibly transparent

What I'd been about to add earlier was...

 

"And of course, who is to say what is "right" when it comes to "accurate"?  When you have as much variation in actives as you do in passives (see the pro audio forum threads for further reference) then it's down to one man's meat and another man's poison.  You go with what you like best.  If you want warts and all, go for the most revealing system that gives you that within your own personal limits.  If you want a little less honesty, then go for a different pair of speakers that have a less revealing character.  

I'd argue that most modern kit will do exactly what it says on the tin; how you choose, or maybe what you choose to mix and match or which actives you pick will be up to how you like the resulting sound when it reaches your ears."

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RE: Audibly transparent

drummerman wrote:

AlmaataKZ wrote:

 In hifi, the kit has to reproduce the music so it has to do it well, i.e. accurately. Not subjectively.

Unfortunately, no matter how well meant, it is statements like these that inflame the whole debate (I make them too). This is where Cno's points come into it and I agree with him. There is no definite right or wrong. Its what works for you.

regards

 

Yes, fully agree with this DM.

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RE: Audibly transparent

the record spot wrote:

I'd argue that most modern kit will do exactly what it says on the tin; how you choose, or maybe what you choose to mix and match or which actives you pick will be up to how you like the resulting sound when it reaches your ears."

 

I'd go further and say that most kit up to the speakers sounds very similar and then it goes all over the place. Mainly because of the speakers themselves, sometimes because of the relationship between the amp and speakers.

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RE: Audibly transparent

the record spot wrote:
There's a lot of talk about "boom" and "tizz" in some quarters.  I think that's vastly overrated in real terms.

There's far more "vastly overrated" terms where that one came from.

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David @Frank Harvey Hi-Fi, Coventry

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RE: Audibly transparent

Covenanter wrote:
Ferrari fanboys Smile

If the Ferrari was technically the better car, I'd choose the McLaren. I hate Ferrari with as much passion as the Tifosi love Ferrari. 

So in answer to your question, preference and prejudice.

Smile

But why? Were you bitten by a horse when a child?

Chris[/quote]

It's Man U syndrome. People who follow the herd because it is seen as "cool" to do so.Thatt is something I dislike. Therefore, I hate Ferrari and Man U. To state two examples. 

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RE: Audibly transparent

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

Covenanter wrote:
Ferrari fanboys Smile

If the Ferrari was technically the better car, I'd choose the McLaren. I hate Ferrari with as much passion as the Tifosi love Ferrari. 

So in answer to your question, preference and prejudice.

Smile

But why? Were you bitten by a horse when a child?

Chris

It's Man U syndrome. People who follow the herd because it is seen as "cool" to do so.Thatt is something I dislike. Therefore, I hate Ferrari and Man U. To state two examples. 

[/quote]

Have you driven a Ferrari?  I was lucky enough to be bought a "track day" at Thruxton and amongst other cars I drove a Ferrari 355.  It was the most sublime driving experience I have ever had, a supreme piece of engineering.  (I also drove a 430, the property of a fellow director at my company, and that was also wonderful although I nearly wrote it off hitting the rev limiter when overtaking.)  Ferraris are wonderful cars and it is foolish to ignore them because of prejudice!

Similarly Man U are a great side.  I've suported Spurs all my life and always will but I admire Man U.  I hope we beat them tomorrow but actually I won't be upset if we don't because they are admirable.

Chris

PS I drove a Subaru Impreza for years because as a road car I think it was almost impossible to beat.  About as much fun as is possible with your clothes on.  A Ferrari is mad as a road car as is a Maclaren.

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RE: Audibly transparent

FrankHarveyHiFi wrote:

Covenanter wrote:
Ferrari fanboys Smile

If the Ferrari was technically the better car, I'd choose the McLaren. I hate Ferrari with as much passion as the Tifosi love Ferrari. 

So in answer to your question, preference and prejudice.

Smile

But why? Were you bitten by a horse when a child?

Chris

It's Man U syndrome. People who follow the herd because it is seen as "cool" to do so.Thatt is something I dislike. Therefore, I hate Ferrari and Man U. To state two examples. 

[/quote]

PS I hope you'll forgive me but I wouldn't buy hifi from somebody with such an irrational view of the world.

Chris

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RE: Audibly transparent

Covenanter wrote:

PS I drove a Subaru Impreza for years because as a road car I think it was almost impossible to beat.  About as much fun as is possible with your clothes on.  A Ferrari is mad as a road car as is a Maclaren.

I was lucky enough to drive Subarus as well......didn't have the awful image of the Escort Cosworth.

Very nice car!

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RE: Audibly transparent

Covenanter wrote:
PS I hope you'll forgive me but I wouldn't buy hifi from somebody with such an irrational view of the world.

Chris

The world?! Wow...

In that case, you can buy from my colleague who has no interest in cars whatsoever, so he doesn't have the same irrational view of "the world".

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RE: Audibly transparent

Covenanter wrote:

PS I hope you'll forgive me but I wouldn't buy hifi from somebody with such an irrational view of the world.

Chris

what a bizarre statement!

I am sure you have unwittingly bought produce of various kinds from atheists, Buddhists, born again Christians, homeopaths, conspiracy theorists, and people who believe in elves and goblins. 

None of the produce they supplied you with was any less (or higher) quality as a result, and you almost certainly got what you asked for.

Why should buying Hifi be any different, and what possible effect does the salespersons own beliefs have on the products you choose to demo and/or buy when doing business with them?

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RE: Audibly transparent

WinterRacer wrote:
Apologies if this has already been covered. A believe this is a good definition of audible transparency: "Ethan Winer, an acoustics expert, states that gear passing all these criteria will not contribute any audible sound of its own and in fact sound the same as any other gear passing the same criteria. - Frequency Response: 20 hz to 20 Khz +/- 0.1 dB - Distortion: At least 100 dB (0.001%) below the music while others consider 80 dB (0.01%) to be sufficient and Ethan’s own tests confirm that. - Noise: At least 100 dB below the music - Time Based Errors – In the digital world this is jitter and the 100 dB rule applies for jitter components." I agree with this definition, and believe it is the only sensible goal of hi-fi. Clearly, this has to apply at your chosen listening level, e.g., when your amp starts clipping it will no longer be audibly transparent. Speakers are the component furthest from being audibly transparent, which is why many people recommend spending most of your budget on them. Obviously, there's nothing wrong with personal preference, people differ in their tolerance to different types of distortion. BTW, to me'system matching' (beyond basic compatibility) is about adding one kind of distortion to another to mask each components shortcomings, e.g., using bandwidth distortion to mask IM distortion around a speaker's crossover.

 

WinterRacer, I don't understand what the measurements mean.  What does +/- 0.1 dB mean with regard to frequency response?

Are you able to link to a piece of equipment online and explain how to assess whether it is transparent or not?

I'm a little confused - would this mean that using the same source and speaker that any combination of CD/amp would sound identical if both were considered transparent or had the same level of transparency?

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RE: Audibly transparent

I found this comment on another forum that I think sums things up nicely:-

 

This is a subject of endless debate on internet fora devoted to hi-fi gear. In theory, an amp that did everything perfectly should sound no different than another perfect amp, but alas, none are perfect. The debate generally breaks down into two camps- those who believe that measurements and testing by objective criteria can describe an amp's sonics- thus, an amp with a more even frequency balance, lower forms of distortion, etc. will be more accurate- and shouldn't sound any different than another amp with the same specifications. But all that may tell us is that the specifications and measurements don't adequately describe what we are hearing.

And the second camp- less heavily dependent on objective criteria and bases evaluations on how the gear sounds in a given system. In the US, Julian Hirsch is usually given credit (or blame) for the notion that all well designed amps should sound the same. The merit of this view is often supported by blind testing where listeners, given the opportunity to compare a change in equipment without knowing what the change is, have great difficulty in making accurate distinctions. But that may also be a failing of the test procedure, in using small snippets of music and making quick A/B comparisons. 

In my view, different amps sound different, and much depends on the associated equipment. I respect measurements as information, but also trust my ears."

 

In short, you probably need to do a bit of both - check out the spec sheet, then have a listen to a few items and see what works for you.

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RE: Audibly transparent

gregvet wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

PS I hope you'll forgive me but I wouldn't buy hifi from somebody with such an irrational view of the world.

Chris

what a bizarre statement!

I am sure you have unwittingly bought produce of various kinds from atheists, Buddhists, born again Christians, homeopaths, conspiracy theorists, and people who believe in elves and goblins. 

None of the produce they supplied you with was any less (or higher) quality as a result, and you almost certainly got what you asked for.

Why should buying Hifi be any different, and what possible effect does the salespersons own beliefs have on the products you choose to demo and/or buy when doing business with them?

Generally speaking one doesn't know but given that this guy has told us what he believes I won't be heading to his shop!

Chris

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RE: Audibly transparent

Two different systems but with identical measurements can produce a different sound?  Is that correct?

If so, perhaps specifications and measurements of transparency aren't as important as simply listening.