That's all very well for an individual who is trying out kit to buy, but my points were in relation to a review system as used by the WHF mag.
For example, how can a reviewer asses a selection of speakers if there is no one amplifier being used?
When assesing anything, always the extraeneous variables are removed first to isolate what is on test, ie providing a reference.
Anyway, I think we are talking at cross purposes, as it seems that you are talking about what to listen for when reviewing and I'm talking about the conditions of the review.
I understand what you are saying and it is most certainly the sort of technique used by some of the more concientious revewers, it does provide a degree of consistency and of course will give repeatable results. In a setup like that at WHF, it is quite difficult, given the time constraints and volume of traffic, to do anything much differently.
What I have a problem with is that the 'reference' is just another piece of hi-fi equipment and that bothers me, somehow we need to be able to reference hi-fi playback to real music but for obvious reasons this is difficult to do if you are just trying to compare the 'sound' that is being made.
I find it much more enlightening to see if I can hear differences in how the music is being played and the 'involvement' of the musician. One of the reasons I like live recordings, musicians invariable play with more gusto and intensity in front of a audience and this, for me, helps tremendously in evaluating how well a system captures a musical event.
A word of explanation, a live recording in this context is something that is played in 'real time' with the musicians all together in one place and playing to an audience, even if this is in a studio and the 'audience' is no more than a handful of people in a control room.
We do so many shows in a row,
And these towns all look the same,
We just pass the time in our hotel room
And wander 'round backstage,
Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,
And we remember why we came.
Once again DDC, I find myself agreeing, and have argued the same thing on here many times.
The only thing that I "measure" when assessing a system is - does it realistically convey, on an emotional level, what the musicians are trying to communicate.
If this is what drives the buying decision, and you listen to a decent variety of kit (Active/Passive/Valve/ Class A, AB, D / IB, TL, Ported, Electrostatic etc), you will arrive at a system that gives pleasure due to how it sounds, rather than how it looks, how much it costs, or how many stars it has.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
One of the issues I have (related to the above) is that I find a lot of recordings to be lacking in the very criteria we are discussing.
So many modern recodings are played in a manner that the musicians are 'uninvolved' with the music, and often with each other, that once you get past the impressive sound of the multi-layered, multi-overdubbed mix there is a actually little of consequence left.
I used to have a really big issue with this, paying good money for discs (vinyl or CD) that actually had little or no musical merit beyond the impressive presentation really got to me, another great reason for using Spotify.
P.S Thanks for defining what a live recording is for us all. We'd be in the wilderness without you, ddc
Morning Al, in 'sarky' mode today I see.......
The reference is real music Al, not another piece of hi-fi kit. You need to understand the significance of that before we can move the discussion forward.
The words about live recordings were in response to an earlier post that seemed to suggest that all live recordings involve nasty PA systems and rubbish acoustics when this is simply not the case.
I have been posting and pottering around this morning to a recording of the Dexter Gordon Quartet. Recorded for Blue Note by Rudy van Gelder in 1962 this is a studio recording with each track played 'live' and recorded in one take straight to tape. Though not recorded in a live venue, this is a 'live' recording by my criteria outlined above. I thought it was worth making this clear.
I'm so with you on both these items, Dave! Well said!
The specs suggest the Tannoy 6.2 is easy to drive. Would a warm sounding amp sound the best with these speakers?
HiFi- Cambridge Audio 340C- Pioneer A30- Dali Lektor 2 speakers. Denon FM/AM. Pure DAB.
Marantz CD6004 - Beyerdynamic DT250
No, it's the hifi kit, and how well it reproduces the original sound. You still have to have a reference, mate, or anything goes.
There's not many of us who can be present at original recordings, you know, so that simply cannot work as any sort of reference.
An amp such as the Roksan Caspian M2 would be a good fit for these Tannoy speakers?
Going on about the 'sound' again........ It's not about the sound, it's about the music.
You really don't 'get this' do you?
You need to have a listen and find out. It's a lot of money to spend on kit that does not suit you, the Tannoys are big sounding speakers, in a domestic room they need plenty of space and an amplifier with good control.
Get the dealer to play you Charlie Mingus 'Ah-hum'. Its on Spotify.
Recorded in 1959 it is one of the greatest Jazz records ever made, see if the system tells you why.
Don't you need both?
You need 'reference' level kit so you know you are getting the best out of the kit being reviewed but maybe also lower or mid level kit as a reference to compare the item with likely partnering equipment. You need something as a 'reference point'.
You also need to use good recordings and enjoyable music (even if not well recorded) to hear how well it reproduces actual music.
CA 751BD, Denon AVR-3801, Quad 21L2, Quad L2 Centre, Mission 78DS
Samsung LE32R87BD 32"
The problem I have with a reference system is what if the speakers don't suit the amp.? then the amp is no good? If they had only used the ATC with the Arcam A19 amp which was not a great match then it would not have got such a good review. Also I don't think they do use the same ref. system all the time, I seen several different systems quoted in reviews. Also why play all different sorts of music how does that compare when using different system, it all seems a bit inconsist to me.
If WHF use several different systems then do they use the 'reference system' for that – a reference point – and then try other equipment also to see how it performs under various circumstances?
'And so on February 22nd 1966, at Luton airport...'
© 2014 Haymarket Publishing