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Platitudes! Science! Audio Religion! Politics! $ales!
Posted by drlowmu on June 30, 2006 at 08:44:45:
From Dennis, of course:
Subject: Platitudes! Science! Audio Religion! Politics! $ales!
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 22:26:12 -0600
Good grief! The age-old battle between Super Scientist and Audio Religionist is mighty strange to me! Not that it hasn't been going on for almost a Century. WW2 ended and all the military-trained "experts" came home and built "ham" rigs. Soon, people again started living normally, and these "hams" turned their military electronics training into something they could listen to-- or something someone would hire them to design, so it could be sold.
The stuff to be sold had to have "specs"-- something the $alesmen demanded. Either you generated some "specs" or you got "canned". The military stuff and the engineering that went with it was to be scientific, reliable, repeatable, and correctible (repairable).
The ARRL Radio Amateurs Handbook made available to the new "ham" operators-- the mathematics and formulae of basic electronics. Many, many other authors soon developed their own sets of literature and dogma, and some of you know more of it than I do. Are these formulae correct? Yes-- mathematically they usually are, and we use them every day. But none of this was ever designed to really reproduce music well.
The art of doing that had grown up mostly around the movie industry both before and after WW2. The Lansing organization got started (JBL and ALTEC speakers) in the early days-- because MGM pictures didn't like hearing TWO taps for every ONE tap-- of a tap-dancer in their movies! Jim Lansing solved that problem, and speaker time-alignment was born.
But the amplifiers WERE NOT time-aligned....yet. For a while nobody cared. They weren't using much feedback in very many amps yet, and the W.E. model 91 (300B amplifier)-- was still in use in many movie theatres. This thing was very far from perfect, but it wasn't suffering seriously from too much negative feedback., and it was operated "Class A". Other W.E. amplifiers got used in theatres (and so did RCAs, etc.), but none of them ever sounded as "right" as the W.E. "91". Today, the TUBE-- (300B) is worshipped-- a mistake of course, but not a horrible one musically.
TODAY we have arrived at the point where we want AMPLIFIER time-alignment as well as SPEAKER time-alignment. We also expect this from wiring and interconnects. That is why you will find no shielding and nothing too close to anything else-- in all my designs. You must accomplish this and keep all wiring SHORT while you're at it. Also, no wire can come near another or to anything else-- regardless of insulation used.
The art of reproducing reality simply requires that the amplifying devices be allowed to do their jobs-- unmolested and not degraded by efforts to "help them" from self-appointed genius engineers who have no movie theatre experience, or maybe can't hear the problems they are causing. The circuits for reproducing reality best are EXTREMELY SIMPLE and depend upon proper use and placement of the devices, NOT upon any theories, or "proven" science.
After all, the idea was (and is) to recreate reality-- not to build monuments to scientific theory or genius. We have developed some very reliable, repeatable, accurate, good science for getting this done, and we express the results of this in audio listener terms, NOT in techno-speak and formulae, which can be irrelevant.
The need to "prove" everything-- so coveted in scientific circles is anathema to us because it makes a really simple job both overly complex and tampered with. When you are trying to reproduce reality, any form of tampering with the job that each device must do is truly counter-productive.. Also, the technical formulae are all available in any library, and we assume that the reader will get off his fat----------- and get it-- if he needs it.