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Everything posted by Kvalsvoll

  1. Reading this (above) makes me happy. SME builds, measures, makes adjustments, attention to details that surely can not make any difference - but it does. Then he - SME - describes the amazing sound, well, what does he know that all the others don't.. And the proof is in hearing and experiencing yourself. As lowerFE did. When you focus on the parts that are important for sound quality, and fix it, you actually get results that matters.
  2. Replacement AVR / processor

    @SME , this discourse kind of crossed the OT border somewhere, and should probably be moved to another thread.. I was going to say you are wrong, but I actually have to say I mostly agree. When I got back into audio some years ago, I found that people could not set up the system properly to get a good integration, and this severely compromises sound quality, because the timing in the most important frequency range goes bad. But it is not extremely difficult to get it a reasonably good result, at least so it sounds better than main speakers alone. But it requires much more than the casual buyer can do, because you need to measure. When you have the measurement capability, it is possible to achieve predictable results using a manageable set of rules. Especially for 2-ch, the systems often end up with a very low crossover, because that sounds better. And does sound better, if you are not able to set the delay on the mains properly.
  3. Replacement AVR / processor

    @SME, the typical 2-ch system actually lack basic and necessary functionality, such as delay on main speakers. This is the case for most 2-ch preamplifiers, including those with dedicated subwoofer outputs, even the digital ones. The most sophisticated may have some sort of low pass filter on the sub output, usually fixed slope and cut off frequency. And if the system has a AV-processor/AVR, they usually bypass all processing for 2-ch listening, in "direct" or "pure" mode. This efficiently disables all calibration settings for bass system integration - no delay, no filter on the mains. Alternatively, a dedicated 2-ch preamp is installed - all necessary functionality is lost. So, it is no wonder the typical 2-ch system sounds better with subwoofers disabled. Even if they know how to set this up properly, it is not possible because the playback chain lacks necessary functionality. Of relevance for this thread: Note that the amplifier test was done using a quite ordinary AVR as processor/DAC for playback, and no one has been able to detect any audible difference from the original to the sample that was passed through the playback-recorder loop 4x times. A reasonably good AVR, used correctly, does not have any "sound" at all, it is completely transparent. All this is caused by bad advice given from manufacturers and dealers who want to sell more equipment and does not understand how to set up a sound system properly.
  4. Replacement AVR / processor

    No, it is not that simple. The delay of the horn itself depends on the tuning and type of horn. Front loaded, back loaded, size of compression chamber, tuning. And delay is frequency dependent, though less so for a horn than a typical ported box. Then room acoustics come to play, as for any type of subwoofer, adding delay that is also frequency dependent , and can be several 10's of milliseconds. So the actual delay you need on the L R depends on the crossover frequency, the horns in use, and room acoustics and placement. (And this is before entering the more advanced configurations, which can include multiple subwoofers set up to solve problems that typically occurs in small, closed spaces).
  5. Replacement AVR / processor

    Thanks for the tip, I assumed they were all limited to around 20ms. This can be a problem with horns, I have often reached this delay limit when experimenting with different calibrations. I have only measured Denon/Marantz units, sub output is fine for -12dB trim and 0dB master, anything higher and it will clip.
  6. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    New functionality in REW - clarity plot. Example from current system in Room2 - F2 main speakers + 2x V80 and 2x V6030 bass system.
  7. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    I have posted about the new Room2 in the bass punch threshold thread, and announced that I would start a thread on the building of this room. I plan to present a complete article describing what the acoustic improvements do for the sound, from start to finish, and I also have measurements form all stages of the build process. Here is how the room looked initially, after removing subwoofers and audiophile mains, and some furniture, including the table, which will be replaced: Preview of the process:
  8. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Just wanted to mention a side-effect of having a true full-range system, something the typical data-bass reader can relate to; You sit down in the carefully located listening chair, put on some quite ordinary music - jazz with vocal, acoustic instruments, perhaps some classical with a small string quartet ensemble. Sounds nice, the ears warm up a little, and you increase the volume slightly, usually end up keeping it at 0dB. Then - suddenly, out of nowhere, this string quartet makes the whole world kind of shift as a very powerful pulse of ulf noise makes your heart stop. You don't really hear it, you feel the air blast and the movement . Like in a well-done action movie - except that in the movie, it is expected, appropriate and part of what makes the experience better - and you are don't get scared. It is obvious that not only movie production studios lack low frequency reproduction capability, music studios have the same limitations, and they don't need it either for the string quartet. Except when someone stomps the floor, or touches the microphone housing, and a microphone picks up this and creates an earthquake on the sound track. If the recording is processed full-range, and no one checks for sub-20hz noise using a spectrum analyzer, this will go unnoticed. Until I play it on my system. At 0dB. Lots of recordings have ulf noise that is audible, and some have these occasional potential heart-attack inducing monster transients.
  9. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Good, I assume it works, then. If you don't have Tidal, you can still see the tracks, and find the music elsewhere. I will create more playlists, with more narrow selections for the experts. A sub-bass list should be suitable for data-bass audience.
  10. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Created a playlist in Tidal: https://tidal.com/playlist/c52e3fda-6905-49e4-9509-930e706105da Well, does it work? Does the playlist show up, and can you play from it?
  11. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    I often listen to music from the old days, and I still rediscover albums I once enjoyed, decades ago. Though I have no exact memory of the sound back then, I do realize it sounds very different on the new systems. But is it better, is it a better experience? The difference is so huge, that the exact memory of the acoustic event is not needed. Dynamics is far better, bass is far better, soundstage and clarity and insight into the recording is in a different league. How can I know? Because I can hear details and sounds that i did not know was there, differences between productions, realism. But still, I also remember certain aspects of the sound from back then, that may actually have been better. The sound was warmer, had more body and fullness in the lower midrange, vocal was softer. It certainly would be interesting to be able to compare, to be able to hear if this is real, or just something that I have created in my own imagination. I have a few friends which have heard both - the old, and now the new sound. They tend to conclude that the new sound is so much better, it is like a different game. And they are not just being polite, I know them too well, they would tell me right away if what they hear does not please. The old systems also did not get quite the same type of comments and interest, so there is definitely something going on. The difference is speakers and acoustics. Playback and electronics have improved, but that part was quite good, even though audible differences surely exist between the digital computer playback compared to the old vinyl rig. This is also possible to compare directly, as I have made vinyl rips using the exact same rig, so the old vinyl can be played, or compared to a digital version - the vinyl sounds great, but this is not where the new sound comes from, it sounds quite similar. It all ends up as differences in decay and reflection patterns - the new sound has much faster decay with a very dead initial gap, more later reflections that create life. This is of course not magic, it is a result of the radiation pattern of the speakers and room acoustics. A smoother sound is the result of more early reflections. Can this be desired, in some situations? It smooths things out, masks a little bit, so the brain can fill in what is missing, and create something that was never there on the recording.
  12. Psychoacoustics and hearing

    I read through this article from 1982, and find that it largely covers what we know today about hearing, all was known back then. There are some things left out, such as the fact we can hear well below 20hz, and perception also depends on tactile information from skin and body resonances. The article concludes - "Future" - that performance of sound reproduction systems matches our hearing performance quite well, though improvements can be done, and that the big remaining challenges are related to acoustics and localization. The technical limitations of 1982's equipment has now been overcome - we have can have full dynamic range, no audible distortion, no noise. Back then, there were very real audible differences between amplifiers, tape machines, vinyl playback. Those differences live on in our day in the high-end world, but they are no longer part of psychoacoustics, it is pure psychology. Recent advancements in audio reproduction has been seen particularly in the reproduction of lower frequencies - full range systems with response well below 20hz, and full dynamic range exceeding 120dB, with awareness to tactile sensory effects. A big, capable bass system really makes a difference. Awareness and knowledge about acoustics has improved how well a 3D-rendering of an event can be reproduced faithfully and realistic. But here, we still have to choose what we can have. It has yet not been achieved to be able to reproduce an event so that it sounds realistic with correct rendering of scene and room from the recording, when you move around in the listening room. With directive patterns and early reflections removed it all falls apart when you move away from the sweetspot, or if you choose wide radiation in a lively room the whole scene is diffuse and does not render each object precisely regardless of position.
  13. Psychoacoustics and hearing

    Perhaps you could quote some of the content from this article, just to get the discussion going.
  14. Psychoacoustics and hearing

    I get "server not found", and, of course - that's because I have amazonaws blocked in the firewall. Does this document have a name, perhaps I can find it elsewere?
  15. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Masvis of Piety Of Ashes:
  16. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Level is pushed quite hard on this album, and on some tracks it clips, very easy to hear when you have a system with high resolution. I really can not know whether this was intentional, he uses different distortions and added noise as part of the artistic impression. On Soundtrack To A Vacant Life he uses distortions, noise and bandwidth limitation on some tracks, to create a special sound. I found the pumping quite annoying on one of the tracks, I believe this is intentional, it is supposed to sound like that. We can like it or not. I don't find the sound on this album to be harsh, part from the obvious clipping it sounds more like smooth and soft. Many newer releases actually can sound a bit harsh, at least noticeable when switching between albums in a session. This can be because they wanted this sound, or simply a result of too much limiter, which will cause distortion. Compare say Yello - Stay to any typical jazz with vocal recording, Stay sounds more harsh, distorted, not smooth. I often find it quite easy to listen "through" obvious faults in a recording, because they stand out as separate sound not part of the music itself. Recordings and productions have faults, and I have found it is easier to ignore faults in a system that reveals everything with clarity, as opposed to a system that tries to mask and cover up. This album is not very loud compared to other things out there, master at 0dB works fine, actually required to get the full effect of the bass. Bandcamp delivers flac lossless, so that's a non-issue.
  17. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Lots of REAL sub bass on Piety Of Ashes. Leaves: Starlight:
  18. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    This is why we have sound systems: Easily album of the year. Each Flashbulb album has its own characteristic sound - both musically, and how it sounds. Within this framework of sound, there is diversity and contrast, exploring the limits of our perception of sound. Elements in the sound appear all across a huge, wide soundscape, with clarity and precision that makes you see textures and patterns in 3 dimensions. Music like this is one reason why spending big money on sound makes sense because it pays off in great experiences. https://theflashbulb.bandcamp.com/album/piety-of-ashes
  19. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    @SME no wonder it worked better with headphones, because it is the phase difference between the l-r channels that places the sound, and in a typical room this phase difference is disturbed by room reflections. This is also why it works only in one location, when you move the head you also change the phase between the 2 channels. Physical properties of our head and ears reveal how we can determine position of a sound source. A sound from one side reaches one ear first, the sound continues to travel around the head and reaches the other ear. The psychoacoustic perception mechanism in the brain interprets the time difference to determine where the sound comes from. At very high frequencies it is mostly level difference detection, in midrange it is phase, and at very low frequencies we can not hear direction because the phase difference is too small to be detected. Then we can also understand why we can not really hear height or whether a sound comes from directly behind or front. But how come we perceive to hear both height and distance and size of sounds? Height can be perceived if the sound object moves, because the frequency response of the ear changes with vertical direction. Sound stage, depth and so on are complex. Location of sounds is helped greatly from reflections, and here the resulting sound we perceive is a combination of the sound from the sound sources on the recording, the reflections from this source on the recording, and the reflections we get when we play this through speakers in a room. Now we can easily hear if the sound comes from behind. Transient sounds are much easier to place, because the hearing mechanism detects the time difference between the first sound and reflections, and uses this to get an idea of where the sound came from.
  20. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Tested movie multichannel in Room2 on the 2-ch system - quite good, only there is one huge drawback. Purpose is to play multich movie on a 2ch system, and still enjoy surround sound. How I did this: Send full 7.1 on hdmi from the computer, select Movie mode on the processor, select Virtual on the processor. The processor then maps the surround channels from the input signal to the 2 front channels, so that sound from sides and back appears to come from sides and back, played using only the 2 FL FR speakers. Test it using the 7.1 channel check clips from dolby or dts, if it works the surround channels will appear somewhere at the sides and back, more or less. This of course requires that you run a AV-processor/receiver on the 2-ch system. And it works, surround sound is immersive and quite decent, though not comparable to a good multich setup, the surround images are much less precise, and in Room2 it does not work so well for sounds behind lp. Tested this on some of the atmos tracks, and movies. The drawback? Very small sweetspot, if you move your head the whole thing collapses. So this is a one-person-only solution, that you can use if you don't want to mount surround speakers. And to truly enjoy a movie, it is preferable to have some sort of screen to show the picture in front of you, which I do not have in Room2.
  21. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Found them on Tidal, not my type of music, but always worth checking out what others like too. To me, the last album had better sound, they are all quite loud and sounds best at lower playback volumes.
  22. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    I have some of the DL clips from a few years back, they are great. I assume he just put up 2 mics, not the usual ones used for music recording, but full frequency-range, recorded, and that's it. If you have a capable enough reproduction system, you will hear the actual event. If you have limited headroom, it will not be anything special at all. Sound effects in movies are usually very different - they are dynamically compressed, peak limited, and too often high-pass filtered. Often they are colored by eq to make it sound "better" on equipment with limited low frequency extension. All this processing allows for louder and more powerful sound when speakers have limited headroom, but unfortunately all realism is gone. Youtube-clips can be fine, if for nothing else to preview music before you decide to buy it. And quality is very variable, you have to search for usable quality clips. Some have quite decent quality, but still everything is limited to the 125k aac compression. I mostly use Tidal nowadays, easy to find music, and quality is not an issue.
  23. Bulding the Room2 listening room

    Today I listened to some albums I found yesterday, when it was too late to play at realistic volume. First some brass-band music, that I would normally never listen to. But the experience makes it so captivating, I just have to listen to one more track. Is it like the real thing? Honestly, how can I know. The individual instruments are here, placed on a scene in front of me, inside a room much larger and with very different acoustics from the Room2 I am physically sitting in. The recording renders instruments and room from the recording in a way that does not sound like it comes from 2 small speakers. So, this must be a very spectacular recording, with very special qualities? Fact is, most recordings share many of those properties - individual instruments rendered with true physical size, lots of space and room from the recording. They are different - tonal balance, clarity, dynamics, bass character, room, instrument image. The presentation takes on the character from the recording. Why is it so. Room acoustics and speakers. The radiation pattern of the speakers and the acoustic treatment in Room2 together makes this. Early reflections are suppressed across most of the audible frequency range, while later reflected energy is allowed to contribute. It is the removal of early reflections that creates the clarity and separation, while the later reflections contributes to amplify the room information from the recording. To be able to move on, to improve things further, this is a starting point. How long does the ISD-gap need to be, is it enough to suppress reflections below around -35dB within the gap, what about frequency range for the gap? Do we need horns? How large horns do we need? What radiation pattern should we choose? What about the reflected energy after the ISD - how strong, how fast should the decay be? Then there is transient response. We often call it dynamics, but that is strictly not the same as being able to reproduce percussive instruments with realism. This is where, in my experience, all typical hifi-speakers fail most. A bigger speaker, with more capacity and more directivity control, with drivers that has much better transient response, is in a different league. In this context - how do we compare and rate speakers. How can we set up a controlled (which implies at least blind) listening test to evaluate and compare speakers. It may be necessary to do tests focused on a very small subset of properties, so that a complete evaluation needs several listening tests, which then after can be combined to make some kind of overall measure of sound quality.
  24. Real life sounds - instantaneous loudness

    I guess we are up for a surprise here, because I have not watched it yet, just did the bass-eq with a nice ulf boost.
  25. Real life sounds - instantaneous loudness

    Always a risc of blowing something when you develop and test new equipment. This scene is fine on the horns, you can see the cones moving, but you don't hear a thing, and nothing is overloaded. It is very possible that they did not know it was there, because the spectrum analyzers are set up to show from typically 20hz and up.