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  • Semantics?

    Recently, I've run across a couple of leading high-end audio designers who adamantly deny "voicing" their products. While I can understand a designer denying he or she designs a product with a certain sound in mind, they still voice a product when selecting for instance the active and passive parts. And if they mean they can tell by measurements, certainly there are two different brands of resistors or capacitors that measure the same but sound different. So what gives?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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  • #2
    Probably as it is a confusing term. They may not be doing what Carver did or shooting for a certain "sound" but if they are listening to their work and the work of others then unless they think it all sounds the same they are in a sense voicing as they are designing to their preference.
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    • #3
      Winston Ma also pointed out to me that each country has a characteristic sound (sort of like an accent); German (fast), Italian (romantic), Japan (clean), American (bold), etc. I find that interesting.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
        Recently, I've run across a couple of leading high-end audio designers who adamantly deny "voicing" their products. While I can understand a designer denying he or she designs a product with a certain sound in mind, they still voice a product when selecting for instance the active and passive parts selection. And if they mean they can tell by measurements, certainly there are two different brands of resistors or capacitors that measure the same but sound different. So what gives?
        Maybe they use designer parts to make you--the consumer--feel better about your purchase, a validation of sorts (peer pressure, safety in numbers and all that jazz). I've spoken off line with a number of designers that really don't overthink the passive parts they use, nor do I gather they go through exhaustive listening comparos. I have a few thoughts/opinions on the subject (designer parts) but they're the sorts of beliefs that will have my audiophile cred questioned
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        • #5
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
          Recently, I've run across a couple of leading high-end audio designers who adamantly deny "voicing" their products. While I can understand a designer denying he or she designs a product with a certain sound in mind, they still voice a product when selecting for instance the active and passive parts selection. And if they mean they can tell by measurements, certainly there are two different brands of resistors or capacitors that measure the same but sound different. So what gives?

          There can be other reasons for specific parts selection: availability, failure rate, spec tolerance, etc.

          I remember Dave Gordon (ARC) telling me they looked at off shore transformers that were built well with tight specs that matched exactly to the American part they had custom made. But the sonics weren't the same as the part they'd be replacing. I don't know if that is voicing, but I'm glad they're particular.

          The few designers I know are fastidious about parts selection.

          Vladimir Lamm and Ralph Karsten talk, in so many words, about the rules of human hearing -- as assessed empirically. If ignoring those is admantly not voicing, it probably doesn't matter what parts you use.

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          • #6
            I don´t understand why some people consider voicing being something bad or inferior?
            Isn´t this business/hobby about finding a sound you like?

            All products are voiced. Even if the designer didn´t have a specific voice as a goal when he/she set out.

            The truth isn´t out there!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joe Pittman View Post
              Winston Ma also pointed out to me that each country has a characteristic sound (sort of like an accent); German (fast), Italian (romantic), Japan (clean), American (bold), etc. I find that interesting.
              I concur with Winston Ma! It is a very interesting phenomenon. I´m not sure if there is actually any truth in it or if we hear these "national traits" because of our preconceptions.

              If used them more as analogies when you write about audio it would lead to very funny and confusing reading ...

              "The self-rightuos swedish speakers turned out to work very well with a gracious french amplifier" etc ...

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