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Leo Beranek's Seminal Paper on Ranking the Sound of Concert Halls Around the World

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  • Leo Beranek's Seminal Paper on Ranking the Sound of Concert Halls Around the World

    eightyeighthalls(1).pdf
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

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    -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
    The pdf turns a blank page.
    You can find the document on docslide.us or google eightyeihthalls
    That is a very interesting document.

    Comment


    • Guest's Avatar
      Guest commented
      Editing a comment
      Looks like it is fixed. Thanks Myles.

  • #3
    i'm not worthy... I have not been in any of the listed concert halls.

    It's disappointing Seattle's Benaroya Hall is not on the list.

    One of the best concerts I have attended was at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. Although it's non-audiophile friendly rectangular in shape, it was very good sounding hall with not too much echo and no boomy bass.

    Comment


    • #4
      I'm not worthy either. Have only been to Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto and Salle Wilfrid Pelletier in Montreal.
      Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

      Comment


      • #5
        Thanks, Myles for posting the article. Very interesting reading. I've asked some of our friends in the SF Symphony about different halls they play at on tour as well as our local Davies Hall. They told me that a very important consideration is how well the orchestra members can hear each other. In addition to the acoustical properties of the hall for the audience, the direct reflections on stage from the nearby walls, floors and ceilings (including the clouds which are often installed above the musicians) allow for better ensemble playing and improve the quality of the sound of the orchestra.

        I've been fortunate in being at a fair number of the halls, both at the top and bottom of the list. Interestingly, most of the great halls were not very good as recording venues. For example, Decca chose alternate sites for their recordings in Vienna, London, Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal, Los Angeles and other cities. It turns out for recording purposes, a great hall may not be so great - among other factors, recording in an empty hall is very different acoustically than recording in a hall full of people. I have one picture in my Decca book that shows a recording done in the great Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Decca had the first several rows of seats of the audience removed and the orchestra sitting there instead, facing backwards, toward the stage for the recording! They did that for some other recordings - including in Boston's Symphony Hall.

        Of course there are some new halls which have opened since the article was written. In California alone has been Disney in LA and Weil in Sonoma, which have gotten very positive reviews. Also I am looking forward to hearing the new hall in Paris, and sometime, on my bucket list, is the Philharmonie in Berlin.

        Larry

        PS. When I was a consultant for the Hong Kong Space Museum in the late '70's, we had hired Bolt, Beranek and Newman as sound consultants. Very tricky in a domed theatre.
        Last edited by astrotoy; 05-14-2016, 04:16 PM.
        Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
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        Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
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        Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
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        Comment


        • #6
          Two other articles by or about Leo that I found interesting before moving onto some other interesting studies about halls and their acoustics.

          concerthallsrecentfindings.pdf

          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.

          Comment


          • #7
            Leo-Beranek-and-Concert-Hall-Acoustics.pdf

            A little more of a layman's piece on Leo's findings and contributions.
            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.

            Comment


            • #8

              What was also interesting to watch was the conductors just slightly repositioning the chairs of the different orchestral sections during the rehearsal concert. Some more to the right. others back a little, etc.
              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.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
                Thanks, Myles for posting the article. Very interesting reading. I've asked some of our friends in the SF Symphony about different halls they play at on tour as well as our local Davies Hall. They told me that a very important consideration is how well the orchestra members can hear each other. In addition to the acoustical properties of the hall for the audience, the direct reflections on stage from the nearby walls, floors and ceilings (including the clouds which are often installed above the musicians) allow for better ensemble playing and improve the quality of the sound of the orchestra.

                I've been fortunate in being at a fair number of the halls, both at the top and bottom of the list. Interestingly, most of the great halls were not very good as recording venues. For example, Decca chose alternate sites for their recordings in Vienna, London, Cleveland, Chicago, Montreal, Los Angeles and other cities. It turns out for recording purposes, a great hall may not be so great - among other factors, recording in an empty hall is very different acoustically than recording in a hall full of people. I have one picture in my Decca book that shows a recording done in the great Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Decca had the first several rows of seats of the audience removed and the orchestra sitting there instead, facing backwards, toward the stage for the recording! They did that for some other recordings - including in Boston's Symphony Hall.

                Of course there are some new halls which have opened since the article was written. In California alone has been Disney in LA and Weil in Sonoma, which have gotten very positive reviews. Also I am looking forward to hearing the new hall in Paris, and sometime, on my bucket list, is the Philharmonie in Berlin.

                Larry

                PS. When I was a consultant for the Hong Kong Space Museum in the late '70's, we had hired Bolt, Beranek and Newman as sound consultants. Very tricky in a domed theatre.
                You raise an important point about there being different considerations in choosing a hall to listen in compared to record in. I didn't know all of the machinations the labels went to for their recording but I do remember reading somewhere about the Concertgebouw.

                It is interesting that Chicago doubled down as a great listening and recording hall. I always wondering why there weren't more recording made at Carnegie. Was it possibly because of their schedule and not being able to tie the hall up for three days?
                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.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                  Two other articles by or about Leo that I found interesting before moving onto some other interesting studies about halls and their acoustics.

                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]n14911[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]temp_2250_1463258108233_44[/ATTACH]
                  Thanks for sharing the various articles. In this one, the following caught my attention:


                  "II. BRIEF HISTORY The highest rated concert halls acoustically were built before 1901"



                  Which, to my mind simply means, measurements aren't everything.


                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Andy View Post

                    Thanks for sharing the various articles. In this one, the following caught my attention:


                    "II. BRIEF HISTORY The highest rated concert halls acoustically were built before 1901"



                    Which, to my mind simply means, measurements aren't everything.

                    Hence my analog to the Strad.
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • Andy
                      Andy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      +1

                  • #12
                    In Chicago, Decca liked to use the old Medina Temple, but the CSO members liked to stay at home and record in Orchestra Hall, since all their stuff was there - lockers, etc. Medina Temple is now a Bloomingdale's store.

                    The great Decca engineer Wilkie Wilkinson was famous for moving chairs in the orchestra a few inches one way or another to get the sound exactly right. Woe betide the orchestra member who moved his/her chair back to its original position!

                    As far as some of the greatest halls being from the 1800's, most of those halls are quite a bit smaller than the more modern halls. Modern orchestra finances have a lot to do with the need to build giant halls like Davies Hall in San Francisco. Initially Davies had around 3000 seats and not very good acoustics. A $10M remodel reduced the number of seats to about 2700 and made it more rectangular and much better sounding, more like the great Concertgebouw, Symphony Hall in Boston, Musikverein in Vienna. All of those are smaller than Davies, with the Concergebouw and Musikverein smaller than 2000 seats. Of course, longer, narrower halls are more expensive to build than ones that are squarer.

                    Larry

                    Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
                    Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
                    Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
                    Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
                    Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
                    Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
                    Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
                      As far as some of the greatest halls being from the 1800's, most of those halls are quite a bit smaller than the more modern halls. Modern orchestra finances have a lot to do with the need to build giant halls like Davies Hall in San Francisco. Initially Davies had around 3000 seats and not very good acoustics. A $10M remodel reduced the number of seats to about 2700 and made it more rectangular and much better sounding, more like the great Concertgebouw, Symphony Hall in Boston, Musikverein in Vienna. All of those are smaller than Davies, with the Concergebouw and Musikverein smaller than 2000 seats. Of course, longer, narrower halls are more expensive to build than ones that are squarer.

                      Larry


                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Originally posted by astrotoy View Post
                        In Chicago, Decca liked to use the old Medina Temple, but the CSO members liked to stay at home and record in Orchestra Hall, since all their stuff was there - lockers, etc. Medina Temple is now a Bloomingdale's store.

                        The great Decca engineer Wilkie Wilkinson was famous for moving chairs in the orchestra a few inches one way or another to get the sound exactly right. Woe betide the orchestra member who moved his/her chair back to its original position!

                        As far as some of the greatest halls being from the 1800's, most of those halls are quite a bit smaller than the more modern halls. Modern orchestra finances have a lot to do with the need to build giant halls like Davies Hall in San Francisco. Initially Davies had around 3000 seats and not very good acoustics. A $10M remodel reduced the number of seats to about 2700 and made it more rectangular and much better sounding, more like the great Concertgebouw, Symphony Hall in Boston, Musikverein in Vienna. All of those are smaller than Davies, with the Concergebouw and Musikverein smaller than 2000 seats. Of course, longer, narrower halls are more expensive to build than ones that are squarer.

                        Larry

                        I haven't been to the many of the halls but Boston Symphony Hall is the best venue I've ever been to (now that the Carnegie remodel removed the hall's magic). People in Boston are really lucky and should riot if even the mention of remodeling the hall is ever mentioned. I heard Rattle and the BSO doing Mahler's 7th there many, many years ago and it was an unforgettable experience. The hall was crystal clear and I will never forget the feeling of the sound washing over oneself. It was quaint down to the chairs creaking.

                        The worst hall I've ever been to? Hands down Royal Festival Hall in London (though that was in 1999 (or 2000?) and things may have have changed since then). Just ghastly acoustics and absolutely hated the electronic reinforcement. Heard Yepes playing Rodrigo's Concerto Aranjuez there and they (ugh) put a mike on him. So all I heard was an 80 foot guitar. Ridiculous.
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • JCOConnell
                          JCOConnell commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Be careful what you wish for. It might be better to hear a 80 ft guitar than to not hear a 3 ft guitar.

                        • astrotoy
                          astrotoy commented
                          Editing a comment
                          RFH is terrible, especially if you are not up front and center. We normally sit pretty close, since the government still subsidizes classical music in the UK. We typically pay 35-50GBP to hear the Philharmonia, LPO, etc. for the best orchestra seats. Last year we were late in getting tickets for Barenboim playing on his new "Barenboim" piano and had to sit in the back of the balcony. We could barely hear him.

                          As far as guitars, apparently some guitarists have taken to using microphones all the time. We heard John Williams during his farewell retirement tour a couple of years ago, playing the Rodrigo and one other concerto at the Barbican (which has greatly improved acoustics since their remodel some years ago). He was using amplification - but from a little speaker under his seat, so there was not the huge guitar effect. We learned later that he always used the amplification.

                          Larry
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