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How important is pin point imaging and depth of soundstage to you?

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  • How important is pin point imaging and depth of soundstage to you?

    How much does pin point imaging matter to you? You know, the holographic effect we can get from a stereo system that isn't necessarily what we hear live?
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  • #2
    Very. First a 3-D image and soundstage are achievable with stereo done right. Second, it takes the place of the visual cues of live music even though when you close your eyes there it isn't the same. I would rank it below accurate tone/timbre and wide dynamic range, though. You can pretty much have it all.
    Thiel 7.2s, Manley NeoClassic 250s, Wadia 850, MIT Oracle V3 speaker cables, MIT MI-350 Oracle interconnects, Black Diamond Racing Shelves and Cones in a dedicated room with ASC Tube Traps, Room Tunes and 3 X 20 amp dedicated circuits.

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    • Rob
      Rob commented
      Editing a comment
      and the big Thiels do the 3-d thing very well, I agree with you down the line.

  • #3
    Holographic imaging by itself is not always desirable as far as I'm concerned. Rock concerts, in which PA systems render big and sometimes interesting sounds without regard to position of the players would be a case in point. We can listen profitably to "Live at Leeds" or "Houses of the Holy" and not care much where Pete T. or Jimmy P. were standing when shredding.

    Excellent stereo imaging that renders the placement and sound of musicians in their original recorded setting IS something worth going after with our systems. Acoustic music (jazz, bluegrass, classical) can be rendered with imaging that is impressive and also true to the original. That kind of imaging is important to me, and I'll pay for that experience, as will many others. I see no reason to seek diligently for (or invest in) an effect that doesn't sound like the original; not that "effects" like artificially rendered imaging can't be pleasing, just that those effects are not a primary goal where I come from.
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    • mkuller
      mkuller commented
      Editing a comment
      That's why it's always best to use some live, acoustic or orchestral performances to dial in your system and room. If it does those well, it should be good on everything else.

  • #4
    Originally posted by Goheelz View Post
    Holographic imaging by itself is not always desirable as far as I'm concerned. Rock concerts, in which PA systems render big and sometimes interesting sounds without regard to position of the players would be a case in point. We can listen profitably to "Live at Leeds" or "Houses of the Holy" and not care much where Pete T. or Jimmy P. were standing when shredding.

    Excellent stereo imaging that renders the placement and sound of musicians in their original recorded setting IS something worth going after with our systems. Acoustic music (jazz, bluegrass, classical) can be rendered with imaging that is impressive and also true to the original. That kind of imaging is important to me, and I'll pay for that experience, as will many others. I see no reason to seek diligently for (or invest in) an effect that doesn't sound like the original; not that "effects" like artificially rendered imaging can't be pleasing, just that those effects are not a primary goal where I come from.
    +1!

    I used to be a fan of pinpoint, 3d, holographic imaging. I'd toe in my speakers almost directly at my ears. Now I find a more natural sound is one with a large but natural soundstage with sound sources coming generally from their pocket of space in that venue. While I haven't finalized my speaker positioning yet, they have 0 toe in and are sounding great to my ears!
    Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

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    • #5
      It means everything to me. I have the recording engineer draw me a picture of the stage with the instruments set up..... (ie.. piano on the left, drums in the middle and bass on the right) and then I can mix/master using that outline.

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      • #6
        I'm a soundstaging and imaging freak. I live for the feeling that when it call for it, musician is in the room and there's a three dimensional radiating body. Whether it's a cello on the Yarlung tapes or a saxophone on Benny Carter's Jazz Giant. So I guess that rates an 11 out of 10.

        I think my speaker history backs that up: DQ10s, Maggies, Martin-Logan hybrids and Magicos. And tubes. And reel-to-reel tape.

        Can you as Mike mentioned, get it all?



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        • #7
          Originally posted by Madfloyd View Post
          How much does pin point imaging matter to you? You know, the holographic effect we can get from a stereo system that isn't necessarily what we hear live?
          Is the goal always the live experience? Not necessarily for say every recording or type of music. Certainly much of what we hear live depends upon our seat, the venue, our mood, etc. I'd also add you get pretty good sense of imaging in a small jazz club.

          But more than that, is the goal what we hear live or what is actually going on say in the studio? Or the intent of the composer or musicians? Mikes don't obviously hear like our ears do and we can't say place them too far away or else everything is jumbled mess or sounds very distant like you are seated in the back of the hall. One thing is for sure. Unless one has a bad seat or bad hall, a classical concert shouldn't sound like an amorphous blob of music. Rock concerts are a different story but here we are more often than not talking more about studio than live recordings.

          But perspective also depends on the music. A chamber music piece perspective should be closer up (at least I don't sit in the back of a hall for chamber music, or say solo piano or harpsichord) vs an orchestral work should be a little further away (where exactly will depend on taste too).
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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          • mkuller
            mkuller commented
            Editing a comment
            Myles, your comment reminds me of the dichotomy of whether your goal is to have the sound take you to the concert hall or to bring the musicians into your room. For me it's the second along with a taste of the place they are recording in.

          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
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            Well, lock your fridge and have some air freshener on hand.

        • #8
          Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
          It means everything to me. I have the recording engineer draw me a picture of the stage with the instruments set up..... (ie.. piano on the left, drums in the middle and bass on the right) and then I can mix/master using that outline.
          Do you remember when many recordings, especially some of the Japanese recordings, showed where the musicians were located? A few audiophile labels did that too. I even asked Reference Recordings back in their early days to include instrument location. I won't repeat their response.
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            I like albums with an overhead picture of the orchestra in recording. The only one I can think of is the Telarc Maazel/Cleveland/Tchaikovsky 4th. [10047] (The bass drum sits alone a good 20ft back from the rest of the orchestra.) I wish there were more of these.

        • #9
          I recall some of David Wilson's reviews in TAS in the mid to late 1980s where he drew a diagram of the way the component imaged and the shape of the soundstage.
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          • #10
            Originally posted by mkuller View Post
            I recall some of David Wilson's reviews in TAS in the mid to late 1980s where he drew a diagram of the way the component imaged and the shape of the soundstage.
            And a few other diagrams too. I think Dave started doing that around the double Issue 21/22 if memory serves me correct (?). One of HP's catch up issues. How many remember when HP missed an issue, he'd throw a double issue in for good measure?

            One of Dave's best reviews ever was the the Rowland vs ARC preamplifier comparison.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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            • mkuller
              mkuller commented
              Editing a comment
              HP asked me to do the comment on that review and sent me an SP-11 since I owned a Rowland. It was very interesting comparing the two. I recall the Rowland being more dynamic with a closer perspective and the ARC having this holographic image with all of this space. They were both excellent - I wanted one that could do what they both did.

          • #11
            I enjoy counting the horn players as much as anyone, but that gets in line behind: tonality, dynamics and timing. Of course the less temporal smearing, the more likely a better image. I get off on 'depiction' of the overall acoustic environment: the sense of the orchestra or ensemble on a stage or in a hall, the sense of harmonic radiation, hearing back and sidewall reflections, etc.
            Last edited by tima; 08-16-2016, 03:33 AM.

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            • #12
              I too prioritize tone and timbre. However, what in my mind constitutes proper imaging and soundstage is symmetry between signal and output potentials of both channels and hopefully symmetry of energy, direct and reflected, upon arrival at the listening position. If this is handled with care and forethought, there is no reason one certainly can't "have it all". Just how pinpoint or delineated images are fall in the "battle of millimeters and millivolts" ballpark and I believe strongly that this is just a matter of taste at that point. The same goes for if one likes a recessed stage, a walk in stage or anything in between. I'm a walk in stage guy and for me music should breath and pulsate. I get this but I also get pin point imaging for the tiny things like chimes and triangles. I am not fond of hyper delineation however. As an analogy I like a nice charcoal pencil over a tech pen. There's beauty in shading as opposed to stark outlines in most cases so I tune towards that end while also trying to bring out volume and density.

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              • #13
                It ranks third for me. First is dynamics, second is tone, third is imaging.
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                • #14
                  A very interesting read from JA on this subject. http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit...wsi/index.html
                  Chris
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                  • #15
                    It all depends, I've come across way too many systems that in absence of a natural sound the owner's sole focus is diverted to so called imaging, etch & sketch style. In every track the bass has defined etched position either on the right or the left, vocals are always the same size and sharply framed dead center, triangle, piccolo etc. always top left corner and the mids jump in and out on the two sides of centrally framed image. It's like watching the same fireworks that pop up one at a time in exactly the same spot every time; b o r i n g. This to me is imaging of the worst kind and a distraction of the main subject, i.e. the music. I'm all for a natural soundstage, not imaging as yet another coloration to compensated for other shortcomings of the system. It has to be part of the bigger picture to help further suspend reality and not a separate distracting entity by itself as it most often is when we speak about imaging.

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