Humans are incapable of hearing differences in slew rates of modern amplifiers as these slew rates are high enough to not affect the signal in the audio frequency range.
Humans are incapable of hearing quite a lot of things that some people in HiFi would have you believe are a problem. Jitter in modern digital systems would be another example.
I have said before that anything audible is measurable, but not all that is measurable is audible. There are plenty of examples of marketing spiel that try to capitalise on the perception of a problem, simply because it can be measured. No amount of marketing can change the limitations of human hearing and some things are just not an issue, in the case of hifi, inaudible sounds.
System here http://www.whathifi.com/forum/your-system/my-dream-system-oh-maybe-one-day
Yes. When you feed an amplified music signal to an electronic network of soldered-together parts that tears it apart and sends parts of the signal to two different drivers with different moving masses, radiating areas, impedences, shapes, and location on a baffle, you simply are not going to get something coming out which is exactly like what you fed in. Common sense here folks.
I keep running into people on this forum who want to debate whether high-end gear is really just 'all marketing' - the accusation is that, above a certain level, everything sounds the same because it has reached some 'perfect' level of transparency, and how can it sound better than the original?
Most people here love music, so here's my advice if you are confused about transparency: Go see some live music. Go to a rock concert, at a venue bigger than a bar but no bigger than the Royal Albert Hall. Go to a jazz club that is established enough to have a big sound system. Go to a symphony. I suspect that basically everyone here has done this, but I also suspect that for some of you, it's been awhile.
Go and do this and listen to the sound:
1. This is what is meant by transparency. It's largely still amplifed sound and from speakers that are flawed, re 4. below.
2. Note how effing good it sounds. It's still amplified, (mainly active amplification) and it's just louder, sometimes sounds damned awful, due to distortion by cranking up the volume too much. Room acoustics can also be bad.
3. Accept that your system does not sound this good and cannot and will never. Cannot sound the same you mean.
Hifi is about trying to get the maximum out of:
1. A recording which is never perfect and often highly flawed. A recording can quite easily capture every nuance.
2. Source components which are recreating sound where none really exists. Audibly transparent components do exist, your DAC is one of those.
3. Amplifiers which ALWAYS change the sound based on decisions made by its designers. They can if the designers want them to, otherwise they can be audibly transparent.
4. Speakers which cannot ever perfectly reproduce any sound. True, to my knowledge.
Hifi is the art of creating a fake audible image of something that isn't really there. It will never sound 100% right! 100% right would be 100% transparent - i.e., the stereo kit disappears completely. It's every designers goal but it isn't achieveable.
So it's legitimate to judge kit on transparency, since no one is at 100%, and it's a primary design goal. At a given price level - especially 500 quid - we will be very far indeed from 100% so there is plenty of room for a new model to come in and redefine what is 'good' at that price. I don't see the knock.
Firstly, I've responded to your points in bold, it was easier than 'quotation chops' (I just made that up).
High end gear is hardly all about marketing, but is largely thus. The widely varying comments from different reviewers tells us that the components can sound vastly different from one another, if they were all attempting transparency or neutrality, then they would all sound very similar. High end is all about selling a product at a premium price and being able to justify it to the customer, so there will be a large element of trying to sound different.
I believe that it is entirely possible to acheive an audibly neutral and transparent system right up to the point of the speakers. That these systems are not necessarily common, says more about what manufacturers think will sell than anything else. Neutrality and transparency is exactly what is aimed for and acheived in the proaudio world, because without it, you never have an accurate datum prior to mixing.
Most music listened to on hifi, is recorded in a studio, so there is no real terms of reference to 'an original event', because different parts of the music are recorded and mixed at different times, the artists are not even always present together during these sessions. It is the recording itself which is the original event and the source, that needs to be carried as faithfully as possible through to the other end.
There is a marked difference between a live gig and listening at home, leaving aside the loudness and acoustics for a moment, a large part of the enjoyment of a live performance is derived from being involved in the event itself with other likeminded people, it's not purely about the music, but also the emotions of simply there. Listening at home can actually give you a clearer rendition of the music and in an uninterrupted and familiar environment, but you will not have the same emotional connection. At home you can relax to your music, at a live event, you will be anything but relaxed.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
ZP90 > SIA2-150 > SCM40
This is what they said with Redbook CDs. Yes, it does not contain data about 22khz, but no worries, science tells you that humans can't hear above this point.
But then CDs weren't 'perfect' after all (perfect...ha). It turns out that the third harmonic of, say, 80khz is 10khz. People can't hear the tone in a test, maybe, but LPs are still going strong 30 years later because people still perceive the analogue signal to sound more natural (even with the extra noise from vinyl).
No it isn't.
The third harmonic of 80KHz is 240KHz
Both are inaudible.
it is 240 and 20khz, all three are inaudible. (Harmonics are both up and down the spectrum).
I didn't realise that the harmonics went down the spectrum, I thought that it was upwards only with the harmonics (n) being at nHz and the first harmonic being the fundamental note. Harmonics being multiple integers of the fundamental note.
We judge products against similarly-priced rivals. In this case the arrival of Rotel's RA-10 has raised the bar, and shown that the Marantz could be better in certain areas.
By transparency we mean the ability of the amplifier to let the music signal through unchanged.
That's clear enough but how do you know what the original "music signal" sounds like so that you can judge the extent of any "change"?
BTW perhaps you could explain "timing"?
While waiting for a reply, this might help ie. explaining the relationship between Pace, Rhythm and Timing: http://www.tnt-audio.com/edcorner/prat_e.html
While not been spending much time on here.. But the article proves that some may never be able to appreciate music when rhythm pace & timing is invloved. Not to depress anyone, but I think recognising these elements is a skill. you either have it or u dnt. Or should i say hear it or not..?
No rules. If it sounds good to you it sounds Right!!.Transpor:t . Oppo BDP-105EU Blue ray player. DAC:Musical Fidelity V90. AMP: Arcam AVR450. SPEAKER'S: Boston acoustics M340.
they do. But on logarythmic scale graphs the left part is squeezed so they are hard to see. On linear scale you can see them better.
My mistake - meant to type 20khz and chose 80 as touching the upper limit of the CD sample.
After rereading my post I should make clear: I am not an audio engineer and I have no idea if the differences that I hear, sometimes, between a Redbook CD and a variety of higher bitrates has anything to do with harmonics. I really did not mean to sound like an expert.
But I am saying, if you hear a difference between two stereo components, do not allow anyone who does claim he is an expert to say that it isn't real if they can't measure it, since hearing is part of a complex system which includs the brain. I do agree that we can measure things that are inaudible. I do not agree that we can hear is necessarily measurable. Or to be clear - as ultimately we are on the same side in our attitude towards science - I do not agree that everything you can hear is measurable at this time. Of course if it's there it can be measured. I do not practice homeopathy!
Only other point here - since we all seem to agree that speakers will always leave fingerprints, I don't see how you can really say that there is one, easily achieved version of a hifi that is 'transparency' since as others here have pointed out, even the original performance is coloured. So it can't really be, for example, that some hifi/pro stuff (like my Benchmark) decided, as a design goal, to go for 'transparency' whilst others, say my Naim, decided to deliberately colour their output for marketing/listening pleasure reasons. Even if that is true - and there is much truth to it actually - the assumption that we can all agree on which one is the transparent one is flawed. Even when you eliminate the amplification of the original and record a challenging chamber piece - does it still sound the same as Symphony Hall in Boston or the Sydney Opera House? Can you tell the difference in your system?
I am a scientist all the way, but if you don't accept that there is some art mixed in with all this technology, with the source being a person playing or singing music and a human brain who's hearing it, then what's the point of being an audiophile really? I mean, I realised when I was about twenty that I could take this much further, much cheaper in the long run, by buying pro stuff and keeping it. But I think the path I've taken has given me more pleasure. Don't know if my wife would agree.
Living Room: Mac Mini, Oppo BDP95EU disc player, Benchmark DAC1, Balanced Audio Technology VK-50 SE preamp, McIntosh MC150 power amp, DIY 22 litre standmounts based on Scan-Speak 18W/8542, DIY subwoofer based on 15" Dayton Reference HF and a Hypex DS4.0 amp.
Office: A bunch of computers, Cambridge DACMagic, Naim Nait 5, DIY 11L standmounts based on Scan-Speak 15W/8530K00
On hand, testing, or selling: Pathos Logos, ProAc Response D18, B&W PV1D subwoofer, Tripath 2020-based 'Class T' amp, Single-driver speakers based on Fostex FE103EN, PMC DB1i, Boston A25, Roth OLi RA2
Recently sold: KEF Q300 speakers, AudioEngine D1 DAC, Mini TL speakers based on Seas W15LY001
Tannoy claim there is merit in having a tweeter that goes higher than human hearing, and if interested in their research, you can request their white paper on the subject: http://support.tannoy.com/entries/20608577-what-s-the-fuss-about-wideband
They are certainly not the only reputable company to believe this (Kef, AE, MA, Focal etc), so I think it's worth keeping an open mind on.
I did read that statement..
It is largely academic though, because what is beyond your hearing capability is inaudible. That's it. You will hear nothing outside of your own limitations regarding frequency range.
And as for 'perceiving' frequencies above 20KHZ by 'feeling' them, why do my audiometric test results top out at about 16KHz? My hearing might be going downhill, but I doubt my sense of touch is. There are merits for extending the frequency range other than that stated however and it is more mundane, in that you should get a flatter response in the audible range.
The fact is, that audible transparency is possible through most of the audio chain, but if every manufacturer produced components like this, nothing would differentiate them in terms of sound and no amount of marketing hype regarding sound quality would wash and therefore all possible avenues for claiming audible superiority would vanish. Not good sales tactics really. For the high end market this would be a disaster and not too rosy for anyone else either. Not everyone wants complete neutrality and transparency though (obviously), or that's what we'd all have, but make no mistake, it is possible (speakers being the exception perhaps).
Differences in sound are evident because either:
a) They are designed to be there to differentiate equipment (house sound anyone?)
b)They are not meant to be there and the design is flawed.
Speakers are the weak link in this regard and have more effect over sound reproduction than any other component, unless room acoustics are brought into the equation.
+ 1 to all of that, put much better than I was able to
HiFi / A/V / Bedroom
No it won't sound the same and never will and the difference would be evident in any hifi system. You will never recreate a live event in your own home, because everything else aside, your room acoustics will be in play. There is however something that can be done in reverse, so to speak and that is to record a musical instrument in a studio environment and then replay it in a live venue. See if you can differentiate the real instrument from the recording. This of course assumes that the exact same instruments as recorded are played live.
It has been successfully done, in the Sydney Opera house I think and there was an article about it not too long ago and referenced here on this forum.
Academic or not, it may well be quite correct.
There were two parts to their argument, where they say "limiting the response of the speaker to 20 kHz , makes the speaker behave strongly as a low pass filter, causing phase shift in the mid-range, which destroys the harmonic structure of instruments".
Richard Allen said something similar on a thread I started some time ago (post 3), so if the people who design speakers for a living say it, imo it should not be disimssed out of hand: http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/a-question-for-the-speaker-manufactu...
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
But unless universally accepted as a truth, it is just theory. Do all speaker designers and manufacturers believe this? How audible is this phenomenom if true? Is this limited to particular types of speakers or any and every speaker.
Certainly the wording reads to me to be lining up the general hifi buying population for another non issue, that it needs to be saved from.
I'm not saying it's true, only it might be true and it's worth keeping an open mind.
I agree entirely, but I'm keeping an open mind in case it's true, rather than an in case it isn't.
You do understand that scientific theories are developed from evidence don't you? That's like people who say evolution is "just a theory", as if that means it isn't true. It's a theory that's supported by 150 years of observational evidence.
"just a theory", three of the most mis-understood words in the english language...
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