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Old 4th May 2019, 4:34 pm   #841
stevehertz
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by barretter View Post
We seem to be straying a long way away from audiophoolery which I always assumed was to be found in the farther recesses of the internet until I read this in the pages of the current issue of HiFi Plus:
"...the vast majority of [phono] cartridges use magnetism to convert the mechanical groove energy into an electrical signal. One characteristic of these magnetic devices is a lack of LF and excess of HF output, so they require something called RIAA equalisation in order to deliver a 'flat' response."
This was written by Paul Messenger, a doyen of British hi-fi reviewing, in a piece on a phono stage. Unbelievable that after so many years in the business he does not know how LPs are made. Not surprising that it appears in a magazine founded by Roy Gregory who pontificates about LP equalisation but has no idea of how it works.
I would have thought that Paul Messenger not only understood the real reason for RIAA equalisation but was perfectly capable of writing up an accurate description of the same and similarly the principle of operation of a phono cartridge. Either he's been 'phooling' everyone for decades or - seriously, joking apart - his mind has seen better times.
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Old 4th May 2019, 5:18 pm   #842
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Speaking with a friend a few years back, who worked in and had his own studio summed up recordings quite well.
The final release ultimately has to be all things to all people, one reason why 'we' use the Yamaha speakers with white cones. If it sounds ok on those, it'll likely sound OK in the home.
Mark
I truly know nothing of Yamaha speakers with white cones, but I'm reminded that in the late-50s through the 60s it was commonplace for producers to have a small cheap transistor-radio wired up near the edit-desk, so they could hear what-they-had-produced and understand how it would sound on the sort of equipment their consumers would be hearing it on.

[The Motown 'wall of sound' being a brilliant example of audio-engineering/production designed to sound great on a cheap overdriven battery-powered-radio-or-phonograph-with-the-battery-running-down. You don't hear crossover-distortion when the average modulation-depth never dips below 70%]
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Old 4th May 2019, 9:43 pm   #843
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

There is an element of truth in what Paul Messenger says. Much of the RIAA curve is caused by the velocity response of a magnetic cartridge. If a displacement cartridge was used (e.g. an ideal ceramic cartridge) then instead of the 20dB boost in bass and similar cut in treble all we would need is a 12dB shelf between around 500Hz and 2kHz. However, he could have explained it better - assuming he understands it himself and believes that his readers might understand it too.
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Old 4th May 2019, 10:57 pm   #844
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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There is an element of truth in what Paul Messenger says. Much of the RIAA curve is caused by the velocity response of a magnetic cartridge. If a displacement cartridge was used (e.g. an ideal ceramic cartridge) then instead of the 20dB boost in bass and similar cut in treble all we would need is a 12dB shelf between around 500Hz and 2kHz. However, he could have explained it better - assuming he understands it himself and believes that his readers might understand it too.
As I read it, he's not saying anything like that.
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Old 5th May 2019, 8:14 am   #845
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2collection View Post
Speaking with a friend a few years back, who worked in and had his own studio summed up recordings quite well.
The final release ultimately has to be all things to all people, one reason why 'we' use the Yamaha speakers with white cones. If it sounds ok on those, it'll likely sound OK in the home.
Mark
I truly know nothing of Yamaha speakers with white cones, but I'm reminded that in the late-50s through the 60s it was commonplace for producers to have a small cheap transistor-radio wired up near the edit-desk, so they could hear what-they-had-produced and understand how it would sound on the sort of equipment their consumers would be hearing it on.
Indeed, many studios did and still do incorporate a small 3" (say) speaker in the mixing console to hear what the mix may sound like when heard emanating from a typical transistor radio since that is how a lot of the expected listeners would hear it initially, then hopefully go out and buy it, download it, whatever. So, this is a good idea for use as a secondary check for a specific purpose. As I explain in post 789, the use of anything but 'as flat as possible' good quality monitor speakers will lead to a final mix that is tonally erroneous in many peoples' record players or hifi systems. Clearly, everyone's 'system' is different, so you're never going to get a mix that plays 'perfectly' on all systems, that's given. But using small speakers for main mix purposes in studios should be avoided unless they have been accurately frequency response corrected using complex equalization. I have experienced this 'mistake' first hand and the results are glaringly bad. So, use small, quirky speakers for secondary checking purposes but for best results in the final mix you will not beat a high quality, flat monitoring system.
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Old 5th May 2019, 10:14 am   #846
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

I agree about the small speaker however that idea has gradually drifted towards a mobile phone ringer speaker more recently.
Modern pop music has now begun to sound the same on everything else too as a result.
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Old 5th May 2019, 7:00 pm   #847
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Detailed technical knowledge leading to high quality technical analysis doesn't sell well as the market is so limited.

Alan
Plot twist: when you spin some marketing around it, you can maybe sell to two groups of people. Or is that wishful thinking?
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Old 5th May 2019, 7:36 pm   #848
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Nice thought. I suspect that the costs involved in sourcing good readable technical articles are not deemed to be justifiable in terms of increasing the circulation (hits if on-line).

Alan
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Old 5th May 2019, 9:56 pm   #849
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

There seem to be trends towards both 'dumbing down' and towards instant gratification.

The other day I wanted to find the multiplex frequencies and aerial groups for the Selkirk transmitter, so I went onto the usual websites and found them now talking about signals being on different airwaves.

Airwaves?

A muggle-friendly synonym for frequency it seems to be. Oh boy! Depressing... distressing.

David
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Old 5th May 2019, 10:16 pm   #850
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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There seem to be trends towards both 'dumbing down' and towards instant gratification.

The other day I wanted to find the multiplex frequencies and aerial groups for the Selkirk transmitter, so I went onto the usual websites and found them now talking about signals being on different airwaves.

Airwaves?

A muggle-friendly synonym for frequency it seems to be. Oh boy! Depressing... distressing.

David

I thought that was chewing gum

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Old 5th May 2019, 10:39 pm   #851
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Well, when airwaves swing distant voices sing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6ldG2Nifjg
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Old 6th May 2019, 12:46 am   #852
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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I truly know nothing of Yamaha speakers with white cones,
They're talking about Yamaha NS10's which started off as hifi speakers which found their way into studios (in much the same way as AR18's did in earlier years). Yamaha then produced a studio oriented version.

You need to understand them to use them effectively - they're good for adjusting vocal balances but bass light. If you want to check bass levels on them then at least the white cone makes it easy to see how much they're moving. In our studio they were replaced with LS3/5a's which are more accurate and easier to use although they still retain most of the good qualities of the Yamahas.
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Old 6th May 2019, 9:37 am   #853
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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... I suspect that the costs involved in sourcing good readable technical articles are not deemed to be justifiable in terms of increasing the circulation (hits if on-line).
More of a problem, perhaps, is that the better manufacturers, at least, were approaching a point during the 1970's where they could build audio electronics which performed well enough to be audibly indistinguishable from their competitors'. Beyond that point all that measurement-based articles would achieve would be to persuade readers either to stick with that they already had, or buy the cheapest product which passed the technical 'hi-fi' test (let's say 15-20W output, 0.1% THD, Zout<1ohm, frequency response 20Hz-20kHz, better than 83dB S/N).

If hi-fi electronics were to become a commodity like that then the industry would be facing a very tough future. Peter Walker (I think) had suggested that customers should focus on other issues - build quality, reliability, aesthetics, supporting your local businesses (!) - but others might have felt that wouldn't sustain an industry or keep people buying the mags ... so the technical stuff was gradually sidelined in favour of 'listening'.

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 6th May 2019, 11:51 am   #854
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

And in a world awash with commodity items whose performance is fully satisfactory, the only thing left to sell things on is 'lifestyle'

How many years ago did laundry detergents become essentially indistinguishable? And we have the bizarre situation of two huge corporations each operating numerous brands competing against themselves.

It's coming up to 40 years since I put my own hifi stuff together and decided that even if I did something a bit better, I would not be likely to notice. So it's sat in the lounge and just worked. In that time, I've listened to an awful lot of music and had an awful lot of pleasure.

The modern hifi reviews, websites, advertisements though have created a group of people who can never feel happy with whatever they have and are condemned, like the flying Dutchman to be forever in pursuit of something unattainable propelled by perpetual dissatisfaction. They know temporary joy with each new item, but it soon fades as the eternal pursuit re-establishes itself.

In a way, I'm saddened that these people seem to be missing out on lasting happiness and are burning up wealth that could have done great things for them otherwise.

David
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Old 6th May 2019, 1:11 pm   #855
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

I can see that things like amplifiers have long since reached the point where technical analysis does not add much to the equation for the average consumer. However, Mr Messenger was referring to cartridges which certainly vary greatly in a listening sense according to their design and specification. The same is true of speakers for those not interested in vinyl reproduction. So, in theory at least, technical analysis very much adds to the overall picture. However, it seems to me that there is little demand from the vast majority of consumers for a high level of technical information and so the mainstream press don't bother. The relatively few people who are interested in, or want to learn about, the technicalities join forums like this one.

Alan
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Old 6th May 2019, 1:24 pm   #856
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

It is why most manufacturers of even eye-poppingly expensive amplifiers publish only very outline specifications. In all likelihood they know what the very detailed performance is, but as you say the vast majority of purchers (a) don't need to know this as part of their buying experience and (b) would not know how to interpret detailed specifications anyway and (c) test specifications do not have a standard format so comparing specs from Co.A and Co.B is impossible.

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Old 6th May 2019, 1:39 pm   #857
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

In the case of some really expensive amplifiers any published specs would be significantly inferior (in engineering terms) to much cheaper equipment. Best at this point in the market to avoid numbers and just tell stories.
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Old 6th May 2019, 2:48 pm   #858
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

Well, of course they would! After all, hearing is subjective so who needs numbers?
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Old 6th May 2019, 4:20 pm   #859
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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Originally Posted by ajgriff View Post
I can see that things like amplifiers have long since reached the point where technical analysis does not add much to the equation for the average consumer. However, Mr Messenger was referring to cartridges which certainly vary greatly in a listening sense according to their design and specification.

Alan
The problem is that Mr Messenger got it badly wrong ; and I don't think knowing what RIAA equalisation is about imposes a high-level technical demand on hi-fi reviewers.
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Old 6th May 2019, 4:43 pm   #860
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Default Re: The Audiophoolery Thread.

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And in a world awash with commodity items whose performance is fully satisfactory, the only thing left to sell things on is 'lifestyle'

The modern hifi reviews, websites, advertisements though have created a group of people who can never feel happy with whatever they have and are condemned, like the flying Dutchman to be forever in pursuit of something unattainable propelled by perpetual dissatisfaction. They know temporary joy with each new item, but it soon fades as the eternal pursuit re-establishes itself.

In a way, I'm saddened that these people seem to be missing out on lasting happiness and are burning up wealth that could have done great things for them otherwise.

David
So true David, you've encapsulated a lot there. And it's not just in the world of hifi, it's everywhere. For example, why do people queue up all night to get the latest iphone or whatever smartphone happens to be the darling of the press and the media at the time? When the truth is, sadly, laughingly, their performance as phones is often so terribly limited by signal levels?! Ironically, here, we do have a specs war going on, and people are comparing; cameras with 'more Mbs', more memory, screens with better resolution, 10% bigger screens, more apps, and so on. Like taking a drug, they get a lift with each new purchase, but also like a drug, the need to get that hit becomes more and more frequent, it's a treadmill of dissatisfaction.
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