Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Where Do You Think The Best Audio Systems Stray The Most From Live Music?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Where Do You Think The Best Audio Systems Stray The Most From Live Music?

    For me, it’s still information density though obviously a good argument could be made for the low frequencies. Especially rock concerts say where Mick Fleetwood’s drums really smack you along the side of the head. We’ve come a long ways when it comes to tone, reproducing the frequency spectrum and dynamics.
    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.

  • #2
    I was going to say bass but you beat me to it

    In particular, the way a system launches then loads the room. It is the reason I personally went for W-M-T-M-W configurations (concentric arrays) and sub woofers. Loading the upper half of the space with mid bass the same time as the lower half resembles the wave front of a live set more. Flown subs too. The same is true for large or stacked panels in my experience.

    Comment


    • #3
      When I did live recordings for the Bellevue Chamber Chorus, they performed once with a Big Band Jazz group for the season finale. It was so powerful and overwhelming, that the equipment I had could only capture a small percentage of the live event (quite pathetic). I figure to have done the live event justice, it would take about 24 microphones/tracks for the recording and about 100,000 watts to reproduce the SPL.
      Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
      Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
      Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
      Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
      Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
      Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
      Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
      A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
      Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

      Comment


      • #4
        OK, I've tried to express this a couple of times so here goes. Any transducer has a call it linear operating range where the output of the transducer closely tracks the input. This is determined by the inertia of the mass of the moving parts and the mechanical resistance of the suspension at the low end and at the high end by mechanical travel limitations. Below and above this envelope the transducer track the input signal less accurately.

        Efficient speaker designs are more able to accurately reproduce low level input, their envelope reaches down to the limits of audibility. A large efficient speaker is able to reproduce the input signal accurately at high levels.

        This dynamic capability is why to me large horn loaded speakers do one thing better than any others, project sound out into the room, done right it just floats (or slams) into the room. This dynamic aliveness is what is lacking to one degree or another with virtually all other speaker designs. The drawback is that to be full frequency range, an all horn loaded speaker will be very large and require a room the size of a small barn.

        This dynamic immediacy is what is lacking to one degree or another in all other speaker designs. Well, that's the difference between 85 or 90 dB efficient and 105 dB or so.

        Comment


        • #5
          A big orchestra is a powerful thing.

          Nowadays, when I go to a concert I'm burdened, at least at the outset, with listening to an orchestra's sound rather than being entirely focused on the music. I ask myself what is it about what I hear that is less well represented by my stereo. Two things keep bubbling to the fore. One is lower midrange upper bass dynamics and the other, which often falls in the same frequency band is rhythm, particularly the backing rhythm that supports midrange to higher frequency melody and drives the music forward.

          Other thoughts: Orchestras and sections within them seem able to stop so definitively. Conductors seem to have tighter control over the orchestra than a stereo has over its signal. In the concert hall there are no issues of coherence. While many of us marvel at soundstaging and dimensionality, those are not factors in the concert hall; sometimes they are distractions to life like reproduction in the listening room.

          Comment


          • #6
            Compared to a live performance in an acoustically treated concert hall for example, I firstly agree with Myles regarding image density (palpability). The closest i've heard a speaker system come to reproducing the scale, dynamics, imaging/staging & bass of a live concert were the Infinity IRS-V's. The 7 feet dipole line arrays were able to produce that unique figure 8 pattern, avoid common room issues & produce effortless dynamics, huge scale and thunderous bass. Though even the mighty IRS-V's fell short in terms of naturalness and ultimate palpability compared to a live concert.

            Budget is another limiting factor. I've heard incremental improvements going from my original JVC XL-Z1050 spinner through different sources to my current Vitus SCD-025 Mk2, then larger improvements stepping up to my friend's Kronos Pro tt with scps-1 + reference arm/cart/phono stage. But that improvement in sound also comes at a premium.

            The other limiting factor is the room itself. The gold standard in rooms would be something like Magico's listening room which is cavernous by comparison to most listening rooms & built like a room within a room. I forget how much that room cost to build, but it must be >$500k. That size room give you the sense you're in a concert hall, and allows a great pair of transducers like the M6's to reproduce realistic stage size and imaging which takes you very close to the live event. You pays, you gets as they say .

            Comment


            • #7
              For me it’s two places.
              Dynamics in that live has a snap I never hear on any system I have heard. Stats that I think are extremely fast be it speakers or headphones cannot seem to produce this extremely fast rise. I was at one of Luther’s last concerts on Long Island before his strok. We sat in the front row but to the right was the players pit and next to us was the drummer. I had to use tissues from the shear dynamics not just how loud it was. It was painful.
              Second is the density of complex overtones. This is as follows as I cannot really put to words correctly
              in my place I have had a guitar playing acoustic live
              then compared it to the same song in pcm or dsd hi Rez
              it’s pail in how much more information there is that recordings don’t have or my system cannot produce
              tape I think has the most saturation of sound second to vinyl. When music is transferred or even if it’s pure dsd like bluecoast does with analog mixing to add life to it.
              Its still pail in richness of tones. I don’t know where to put the blame be it recordings or reproduction In Systems
              but it’s not there.
              Yet in shear scale my system can reproduce some amazing lifelike sounds.
              On a pcm super disk one track has giant kudo drumbs
              when hit the room comes alive in rich tones massive impact. I can even hear the skin warble after it’s hit.
              But if it was live I’ll bet there is tones or complex sound that are not reproduced.

              Overall I think the best systems don’t come close to real live. Most blame the room or the fact that speakers are two channels where live comes from many directions
              I make no claim where it goes wrong but it is.
              I feel great systems are a grand illusion that our or most brains fill in the blanks for us in real time.

              A guitar live has more informstion coming at me then I can process in fine details. A system seems to slow this down like something out of the matrix movie for me.

              I hope the post makes sense lol.
              corrected my bad spelling
              Last edited by Alrainbow; 12-19-2017, 06:58 AM. Reason: I can’t spell well nor keep clear cognitive thoughts. Sorry
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Good question, at the nub of why we are here. I think you have to answer two questions: what instruments are you try to reproduce and what system/room are you set up in ?
                Source Material- content
                Take something "simple": acoustic guitar and voice. I don't think that's as great a challenge as a big orchestra or rock band at full tilt, but there I'll hear artifacts of the mic or how the mic is set up--the guitar is hyper-real beyond anything that you'd normally hear live. Typical of double bass and some piano mic'ing too. And sometimes, colorations of the voice that are, I think, the result of the microphone. The hyper-real thing you don't hear live with acoustic instruments unless they are close-mic'd but you can hear the coloration on voices in a live show if it isn't loud, as a result of the mic and PA.
                Complex- (usually also big and Loud)- when there are a lot of instruments going on, not all in sync, (thus, not a string section working together as a massed voice), I think the complexity of the music makes things sound cluttered. It's not a question of dynamics -- it's more like congestion. Perhaps it is the limits of the reproduction chain starting with the mic; maybe you tape heads find this less so than records due to compression, I don't know.
                Loud- even live, bands can overload a room. I remember the huge difference between Susan Tedeschi in Carnegie Hall- it was a blur, a blob, nothing distinct and clear it was so loud; she was opening for Etta James, whose band knew how to play the room. Ahhhhh.
                Dynamic- why I like horns, not for the peak loudness, but for the ease and effortlessness of the 'jump.'
                Bass- yeah. How many woofers can you pack into a room that isn't the size of a concert hall? And still not get that same depth and scale?
                Also, as an afterthought, but very relevant I think, is not all recordings have deep, powerful or impactful bass. If it isn't there, you can't reproduce it.
                Source Material- how well recorded?
                Some recordings sound demonstrably better than others. Is that a system failing?
                System and Room- Size and Scale
                The morning after hearing King Crimson in a decent sized hall (and they have immaculate production- they can play loud and deep without overloading the room or sounding congested), I played some of the LPs from the Toronto show in 2016- pretty much the same band, different performing venue, much the same program material. One difference was simply scale- no way I was going to get the size of that stage and scale of their sound into my room which is only about 3o feet long and less than half that wide.
                Bass- it's artificial live, given that it is running through massive amplifiers and PA, but no way Jose, depth and volume and impact- just ain't playing in the same ballpark. On a smaller scale, at less db, fine, but still not the real thing (though the real thing isn't 'real' in the sense that the instruments are electric/electronic and everything is running through mics or direct inputs to amplifiers and speakers on stage). BTW, this is a pretty good recording, digital.
                Artifacts of Reproduced Sound Caused by the System Gear
                This is one area where I think gear has improved greatly- it is less "reproduced" sounding- less in the way, fewer reminders that you are listening to a reproduction.
                Particular Set Up Given Gear in Room
                This may be system-room-source material dependent. At its worst, given my system, I think it fails in the upper bass, partly due to how I have the system set up and voiced to integrate the woofers with the mid-horn. There needs to be a little more impact in the upper bass registers, the system is a little lean. It is deliberate, to avoid discontinuities with the mid-horn. Could I get it to blend better and give me a little more 'thwack' in that region by positioning the components in the room better? Probably. But there are physical limitations to the room and lay-out. How much do each of us suffer from this, even in a dedicated room, if it is not purpose-built?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I’m going to say something really heretical here, so brace yourselves

                  I have undoubtedly been to several hundred rock concerts in my 51 years on this earth. Wisely, for the last 25 years or so, I have worn earplugs to all of them. My hearing is still outstanding for a male my age, and that’s no small reason why.

                  But for music lovers like me whose passion is mostly rock, I’m not concerned with trying to recreate a rock concert in my home with my hi-fi. First of all, studio recordings are not live concert hall events to begin with. If my hi-fi creates the illusion of the music being played in front of me in a reasonably believable way, then it has succeeded in doing its job.

                  But most rock concert sound is flawed in at LEAST one of two ways - it’s played through a crappy PA, and/or it’s too loud. In the case of some musicians / bands (Steven Wilson is a great example), the PA sound is actually very good, but it is still WAY too loud. Sounds good with earplugs in, and certainly enjoyable as a live music event, but when one is wearing earplugs it’s not really the best way to establish a reference for how music should sound.

                  I have heard small ensemble jazz in small venues that I thought could be a good reference, and I do listen to that sort of thing on occasion - but I wouldn’t judge my hi-fi purely on that. I want my hi-fi to make studio rock recordings sound good. And I think it does. I’m just think that’s a slightly different thing.
                  TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
                  VINYL: Denon DP59-L/Hana ML/ModWright PH 9.0; Pioneer PL-50LII/Dynavector 20xH
                  DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
                  SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
                  AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

                  Comment


                  • Bill Hart
                    Bill Hart commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree that most rock concerts are way too loud. I also wear ear protection. The King Crimson show did not blow my ears out, and you could hear the instruments and vocal parts very clearly, at least in the venue we attended in Austin (I assume the band plays at similarly sized venues on this most recent tour).
                    I dig Steve Wilson- should have gone to hear him when he was at the Beacon (I think) a few years ago.

                • #10
                  This is an interesting subject Myles. Back in the early days of the BBC, they frequently used live music to directly compare to the sound of speakers they were building/specifying like the LS3/5A for their in-house use. The engineers could quickly go back-and-forth between the live music and the sound from the microphone feed to the loudspeaker design in the control room, thus having a close controlled design-loop in the loudspeakers development.

                  We did a couple of live recordings at our Pacific Northwest Audio Society church meeting sanctuary and later that meeting played back the recordings on the club's audio system in our normal listening space in the basement. This experience was enlightening to understand the challenges and issues involved in capturing the live event in one venue and and reproducing it in a completely different location (almost in real time).

                  See our articles for details:

                  http://audiosociety.org/audioletter/...Jul%202012.pdf

                  http://audiosociety.org/audioletter/...Jul%202013.pdf
                  Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
                  Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
                  Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
                  Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
                  Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
                  Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
                  Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
                  A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
                  Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Joe Pittman View Post
                    This is an interesting subject Myles. Back in the early days of the BBC, they frequently used live music to directly compare to the sound of speakers they were building/specifying like the LS3/5A for their in-house use. The engineers could quickly go back-and-forth between the live music and the sound from the microphone feed to the loudspeaker design in the control room, thus having a close controlled design-loop in the loudspeakers development.

                    We did a couple of live recordings at our Pacific Northwest Audio Society church meeting sanctuary and later that meeting played back the recordings on the club's audio system in our normal listening space in the basement. This experience was enlightening to understand the challenges and issues involved in capturing the live event in one venue and and reproducing it in a completely different location (almost in real time).

                    See our articles for details:

                    http://audiosociety.org/audioletter/...Jul%202012.pdf

                    http://audiosociety.org/audioletter/...Jul%202013.pdf
                    Joe, what was your takeaway? The articles seemed to address the event, the recording and the playback, but I didn't see anything in either describing the differences in what was heard.

                    Comment


                    • Joe Pittman
                      Joe Pittman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Bill, I intentionally left the analysis and conclusion out. I could have written a book about how everything matters and how everything degrades the live musical performance. The whole exercise was really intended to be an experience for our club members. You simply had to be there to appreciate it. Hopefully they can all appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes from recording engineers and artists to deliver the music we enjoy.

                    • Joe Pittman
                      Joe Pittman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      See the video we made... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLZObZ53YmY

                  • #12
                    There a few areas that come to mind:
                    - the power and movement of air from a fff forte
                    - the wide dynamic contrasts from ppp to fff
                    - the top to bottom coherence of the real thing
                    - size and scale
                    - unlimited bandwidth from bottom to top
                    - unlimited inner detail

                    What, maybe the best systems today get us about 80% there at best?

                    Can we get any closer until new microphone technology is developed?
                    Last edited by mkuller; 12-19-2017, 04:27 PM.
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Live music has no limits placed on the dynamic range, but the devices used to record and playback the music we listen to sure have their limits. The sheer power and energy of musical instruments across their range is what we are lacking. Stand anywhere close to a drummer as he is playing and it should take you all of .1 seconds to get what I'm talking about.
                      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                      Comment


                      • rbbert
                        rbbert commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Almost any percussion or brass instrument shows this, almost immediately as you stated

                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Joe Pittman View Post
                      This is an interesting subject Myles. Back in the early days of the BBC, they frequently used live music to directly compare to the sound of speakers they were building/specifying like the LS3/5A for their in-house use. The engineers could quickly go back-and-forth between the live music and the sound from the microphone feed to the loudspeaker design in the control room, thus having a close controlled design-loop in the loudspeakers development.

                      We did a couple of live recordings at our Pacific Northwest Audio Society church meeting sanctuary and later that meeting played back the recordings on the club's audio system in our normal listening space in the basement. This experience was enlightening to understand the challenges and issues involved in capturing the live event in one venue and and reproducing it in a completely different location (almost in real time).

                      See our articles for details:

                      http://audiosociety.org/audioletter/...Jul%202012.pdf

                      http://audiosociety.org/audioletter/...Jul%202013.pdf
                      Good point. There's always two contexts with reproduction and only one with live. i suppose one could play back in the context of the recording as a test. Maybe there is a future with dynamic room tuning. "Alexa, make my room sound like the Musik Verein."

                      Comment


                      • Bill Hart
                        Bill Hart commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Do you think the name Alexa is Russian?

                    • #15
                      Originally posted by mep View Post
                      Live music has no limits placed on the dynamic range, but the devices used to record and playback the music we listen to sure have their limits. The sheer power and energy of musical instruments across their range is what we are lacking. Stand anywhere close to a drummer as he is playing and it should take you all of .1 seconds to get what I'm talking about.
                      There's a reason they wear earplugs buddy

                      Comment


                      • mep
                        mep commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I know Jack! Drums and cymbals are incredibly loud and dynamic, even when played with brushes. But hell, being next to a wind instrument like a trumpet is incredible too. I still recall sitting in a Mexican restaurant in Old Town San Diego eating dinner with my Uncle and his main squeeze. A Mariachi band came walking into the dining room behind me and all of a sudden one of the musicians starts blowing into his trumpet and damn near blew us out of our booth. Kind of reminded me of the trumpet recorded on Lionel Richie's remix of "All Night Long." I've seen systems shut down when that horn comes in.
                    Working...
                    X