Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
In Reply to: RE: Those darn measurements ! posted by A.Wayne on June 24, 2017 at 17:26:14
Follow Dr F Tooles pronouncements?
He maintains that ...Only.. an anechoic 'Spinnerama' measurement Works! at predicting/giving reliable correlations to reliable listener result.
Hey ! he invented it.. so there's obviously Some bias.
That said:.. No One.. has done more credible work in studying and prediction what will sound good to a Listener.
As is there is No better source on the subject.. so far.
Magazine hacks, Reviewers are largely inept ego strokers.
Other wise they would be Doing rather than reviewing :-)
White noise claims.. at best
I am unclear what you mean by doing rather than reviewing?
I think magazines do try in their own ways to verify things. SOme are better able to do it than others but Soundstage and Stereophile measure and Hi-Fi Choice does conduct blind level matched tests and have many listeners come through. Albeit inconsistently.
This industry isn't big enough to do it all properly like car crash tests from independent bodies.
Let's say for instance you have a level matched blind audition where all the people vote for a 10 watt tube amplifier against many SS amplifiers that all measure better (as has happened). Further the amp maker that won the test insists his speakers sound the best with this particular amplifier. Well that point can be conceded since all the blind listeners did choose that amplifier.
Then you flip over to the Harman speaker tester test where they test a bunch of speakers with...drum roll... a 500 watt SS amplifier with massive damping factor. Basically an amplifier that likely loses in the previous test - but for the speaker test it is a "fair" amplifier in the sense that it has enough power to drive ALL the speakers being tested.
They they conduct the tests. And choose some speaker as best. It seems to me there is a fairly easy to see problem with this if speaker C had it been connected to the amp in the previous blind session that was chosen as best sounding - may very well sound a lot better than when it is connected to a 500 watt SS amp that overdrives the speaker. UHF noted this decades back with a Bryston amplifier that they felt pinched their speakers as if over-controlling them.
At that time I had the amplifier on my horn speakers and felt the same thing. I don't have the technical knowledge to explain it but it's as if the bass was "overly tight and taught" It was certainly a lot different than the other 125 watt amp I was running. Back then I was an all SS is the same except for the numbers kind of guy. The Bryston is what got me interested in high end audio.
Personally, I'd like to see an all Linn system versus and all Rega system versus all Roksan at around the same money. The $5k challenge or something.
"I am unclear what you mean by doing rather than reviewing"
Going out on a limb here, but I believe he means "those that can, do, those that can't, teach (review).
I usually say those who can teach, teach. And those who can't teach, do something else.
That's not the cliché.
The reality is this:
"Those who can, do. Those who can teach, do more."
Shall I cite examples? Ok:
Steve Wiest, trombone
Doc Severinsen, trumpet & life
Maynard Ferguson, trumpet
Roger Salander, clarinet
Roger Ingram, trumpet
Wayne Bergeron, trumpet
Eric Miyashiro, trumpet
Maurice Gabai, clarinet
Mstilav Rostropovich, cello
Denis DiBlasio, bari sax & flute
Need I go on?
All of these top artists/virtuosos do a wonderful job of teaching as well as playing.
In addition, I've played with several excellent musicians who chose a teaching career, and play their instrument just for fun.
Measurements tell you SOMETHING about a speaker, but they do not tell you how the speaker will sound. Designing / building a speaker would be pretty hopeless if you couldn't make some measurements and use them to refine your design. But, in the end, a speaker can measure pretty well and still not sound 'right.' Then, too, there is personal taste. And how the speaker will interact with various amplifiers- speakers - especially multi-way designs- have complex impedances and this will cause some interaction with any amplifier, but especially with tube amplifiers and super-especially with tube amps with low / no negative feedback.
The Stereophile tests are a good thing, they help a prospective buyer evaluate the engineering of the product. But only listening tells you if you like the speaker or not, because a lot of the speaker's acoustic behavior is not measured by those Stereophile tests. For example, they don't do any distortion tests. Harmonic and non-harmonic distortions are prevalent in speakers and impact the sound. Also, there's a lot of time-domain testing that can be done such as tone-burst tests, group delay and so on- all of which tell you something about the sound.
But even if all of this additional data were presented, you would have to have very broad experience and deep knowledge to synthesize all these different, subtle factors to form an understanding of how a given speaker sounds, and even then your understanding would be incomplete until you actually listened to the thing.
The tests Stereophile publishes give you clues about some of the speaker's characteristics, but they don't tell you much about the sound and they certainly don't tell you if you will like or dislike the sound.
By analyzing the tests, you can sometimes infer what the designers were shooting for, what they thought was sonically important, etc. That can be useful.
Yes, the measurements may not make the final choice, but the speakers that seem to me to measure very well also sound very good to me, at least the ones I have heard.
On the other hand, the speakers that measure badly will sound bad on some of the music I listen to. Sounds good with big bands does not necessarily sound good with orchestra, voice, chorus, piano, and so on. But there is, of course, a middle ground of speakers whose flaws don't show up in some kinds of music, but do with other kinds of music.
"A fool and his money are soon parted." --- Thomas Tusser
Thanks for your input. I guess it's worse than I thought, with consumer magazines.
But let's not forget why they're there: make the (dominant) idea look as good as they can. If a cone-speaker was decided by insiders to be The Big Thing -then most promoting, show reports, class-A rated products, will be this type. Skip the waveguide and horn (2 distinct types). But if you review one, don't measure it right.
That said, a tester can't cover-up everything. Look at the phase and electrical impedance of many cones -TERRIBLE. Then deviations from linearity, if you can find a chart, will show serious deviations at 95db, as volume increases.
It's revelations like these that guided me to the horn. Along with their performance, of course.
I agree with this. Thanks.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: