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Have we forgotten tone in the quest for power?

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  • #16

    True Myles but it has a fast decay ribbons are a bit slower and have a slower decay making my brain feel its closer to real.
    A sax as it rises croaks until it hits the note this rise of fast looses the croak part . Same for a trumpet . I have adjusted for this in mid bass again I know I’m clueless and just making it how I like it.
    You know the opus song you played for me. House of the rising sun. That sax is palpable and is a hall mark of croak with air .
    There is a producer called Kent poon . Wow some of his stuff is great bet you have some on tape .
    https://youtu.be/JgYjmpRigSI there is some good horns on this album. I have it on many Formats too pcm 24/192 is off the chain
    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
    Dacs lampi various

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    • #17
      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
      Maybe 25 years ago but not now.

      First, it is hard to say that when the sound depends careful balancing of everything else in the system. And what recordings are you using for evaluation. For me tone starts at the source. If that’s not right, everything else is a bandaid. Just like in the early days people used tubes to balance out the sterility of early digital.

      Next, one has to be careful about difference between tone and distortion. I find there are some audiophiles that prefer something that sounds “good” but isn’t accurate. Pleasing is different than correct. I find myself saying if only music sounded this way. Another tip off is that all recordings sound the same. This even becomes more of an issue with lower powered flea amps that sometimes don’t even come close to their rated power. 10 watts and lucky to get 5 at 100% THD. Hell I’ve heard flea powered amps clip badly driving 103 dB efficient speakers.

      Then are we talking about the fundamental or overtones and at what frequency?

      Tone is independent of power and depends on the individual component and its design more than anything else.
      Back in the 1930s the 3rd edition of the Radiotron Designer's Handbook was published.

      IIRC, on page 67 is a list of the harmonics of a fundamental tone and how much of them might be acceptable. It was also noted that the 2nd imparts a warm quality while the 7th imparts a metallic quality. IOW we've know for a very long time that distortion is part of the 'tone' that we get; do I take it correctly that you see this as different from the tone you hear an an ESL?

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      • #18
        Distortion is always there in fact lack of , some say means dry. On my setup if I run Linux it's very clean and has little bloom on piano some love this. For me not so love the strike and impact. My type of drivers lack weight at midbass where cones or large planers excel like appogee
        its all a trade off anyway. As for a driver sound this is a fact that is getting blurred and think is this good or bad
        speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
        mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
        digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
        Dacs lampi various

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        • #19
          It seems to me that the lightest and fastest transducer wins. Any transducer that imparts any sound character of its own is not desirable from an accuracy point of view.

          The problem is not all frequencies have the same requirements. As the frequency lowers, we have to move more air. Light and fast transducers are not very good at moving large amounts of air. The issue is that we are trying to reproduce, what instruments of different designs do, with a single type of speaker. In some respects we are fooling ourselves.

          There is a trade off unless we approach the speaker with drivers capable of moving lots of air for low frequencies and fast and light transducers for higher frequencies. Once you adopt hybrid speakers you run into other issues like blending different type drivers and their crossovers.

          The only speakers capable of honestly reproducing all frequencies require a hybrid system with large woofers and small high frequency drivers. Unfortunately you have to also consider the dynamic power capabilities of the drivers. You can try to create a cost is no object system like the famous Infinity IRS V but few manufacturers have really tried to create a speaker capable of reproducing all of the frequencies faithfully plus all of the dynamic swings without any loss of anything.

          The best speakers have to be large, so the low frequencies can be reproduced and have some advanced very light and fast transducers for the upper frequencies. None of these should impart anything to the sound. They should only do what the amplifiers asks them to do without overhang, overshoot and extra output of their own.

          The transducers have enough of a job themselves but the power required is much more than many people allow for. This has already been covered but the drivers must be able to deal with power many times their normal operational range and the amplifier must be capable of power many times the expected maximum power.

          Transients can have absurdly high demands and, if we are to reproduce everything, we should have the power reserves to accommodate those requirements. Somewhere along the line there is a point where we reach the capabilities of any transducer. We cannot expect a high frequency transducer that is super fast and accurate to absorb thousands of watts of power but there are situations where this may be required depending on program content.

          The high resolution vinyl reissues, available at 45RPM, are pushing the dynamic capabilities in a vinyl playback system. High resolution digital has pushed those capabilities. We are running into more situations where we don't have the power or the transducers to deal with these great software demands.

          We are asking for better and better software and manufacturers are responding with better and more capable hardware to reproduce that content. The concern of tone vs power is not as serious as the concerns surrounding the reproduction of advanced software content. Tone vs power is a concern but manufacturers can address that with cost no object products. The concern of reproducing advanced software content is one where most of us have to make choices.

          If you have the ability to create your own listening hall and setup a cost no object speaker system with almost unlimited power, you can ignore this concern. For the rest of us, we have to decide which things we find most important and then choose the speakers and amplification to deliver the best sound we can afford. Great sound is very expensive.

          Ed
          Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof.
          https://www.edsstuff.org

          Analog: VPI Prime, 3 Belt Drive, Dual Pivot, ADS, Ortofon Windfeld Ti, Liberty B2B-1, Sky 30 Trans, Stereo Squares Dust Cover
          Amp: Rogue RP-9 + Schiit Loki + Parasound A21
          Speakers: Magnepan MMC2 + DW-M + REL T5/i
          Digital: TASCAM UH-7000, Pioneer DV-47Ai, NAD C446, Schiit Modi Multibit
          Headphones: Stax Lambda Pro, Focal Clear, Schiit Lyr 2
          Wires: Kimber Hero + 8TC + AQ Leopard

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          • #20
            Pretty sure tone is still in the plan of most if not all designers.
            Like in computers when more memory happened programs got bigger so large memories became the only option.
            As amps got faster and they have and larger both in watts and power reserves speakers are being built that need bigger amps.
            Much of this is positive and the option of low power amps is a road less traveled.
            Speakers are getting larger on average IMO more power hungry as designers work to the best product they can make at price point in most cases.
            It is not a race to build the biggest amp sound is still the goal in most companies that people here use.

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            • #21
              Many years ago I fell in love with the sound of single ended, low power 300B amps and basically decided to limit my choice of speakers to allow the use of these amps (in my case a pair of Balanced Kegons tubed with WE 300B and 274B tubes). What attracted me was the tonality and three dimensionality of the amps. This meant horns and in my case Acapella Triolons.
              Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

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              • #22
                I really like my new 50 watt amps. I have my 89db speakers with the Voxativ connected. Last night I had Qobuz with 24/96 Led Zeppelin 4 running. I was very satisfied as I was approaching the tone I heard at Mike's when he played a tape of Led Z. That thick, full playback and sustained hum of hugh electric guitar speaker stack. Approaching I said. Don't jump down my throat. Anyhow, what my amps fail to do is handle Crescendo when listening to Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff. The reserves are not there. They almost poof. The instruments blend together and there is sort of a shortened truncated attack and decay. We do need power, but do we want it all in one box? Mike always talks about his Dartzeel, but how many amps are really running. I think he has 6 bass amps and 4 mid bass amps, plus his Dartzeel handling the mids and high. I think. There are a lot of amps there. My point is, we all know the speaker and amp have to pair well together. A lot of emphasis has been put on just the speaker in the later part of this thread. The correct driver does matter, but the correct amp to move the driver is just as important. One super powerful "catch all" amp may not be the best design. Maybe multiple smaller amps dedicated to a task would be more appropriate. Multiple amps also open the door to no crossover. Or at least Active.
                PAP Trio 10/Voxativ & PAP Trio 15 Horn speakers, Ampsandsound Casablanca monoblocks, First Sound Audio Mark 3SI preamp,
                Mojo Audio Deja Vu server, Mojo Audio Mystique V3 DAC, The Linear Solution Ethernet Switch, Blue Jeans Ethernet cablling,
                Akiko Corelli, Custom power strip direct wired to panel with OFC copper wire. Inakustik Ref Air 2404 Speaker cable. Genesis and Inakustik NF2404 Air Interconnects.

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                • #23
                  While I love the sound of my Balanced Kegon 300B amps and while they do a superb job of driving my Acapella Triolons, there is a small group of solid state amps (certainly including the EMM MTRX) that can do dimensionality and body and for my ear are finally satisfying. In addition, they do bass differently, in particular they give me an additional half octave of extension and have more slam. They also are tighter but I remain somewhat unsure whether this is more accurate or merely different. The KB’s have no problem differentiating drum heads and to my ear sound lifelike in the bass. In any event, my point is that the very best of the latest generation of solid state amps bring a nice mix of high power while retaining musicality.
                  Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kingrex View Post
                    -snip- Maybe multiple smaller amps dedicated to a task would be more appropriate. Multiple amps also open the door to no crossover. Or at least Active.
                    I had a really nice listening session at Paul Stubblebine mastering some years back. Six pack of set amps on his 'magico prototypes'. But it adds complexity for sure....
                    Regards,

                    Erik
                    http://solypsa.com
                    North American distributor for:
                    Sensitive Sound MC Cartridges
                    STST Turntables + Tonearms


                    Available for in home setup and calibration of fine turntable systems

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