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 morricab on June 28, 2017 at 05:47:17
Question for RGA.
I don't know about Morricab himself, but I remember that his wife (or ex-wife?) is a violinist, and it seems to me that he has a grand/baby grand piano at home. So, I have some confidence that he has a clue about real musical instrument sound. I think he also has some background in electronics. (Morricab, please correct me and add whatever seems appropriate.)
So, my question to RGA is: As an adult (as opposed to when you were in high school), do you or have you played an instrument at a reasonably high level of performance, and do you play in any sort of professional or semi-professional ensemble? (Guitar and rock bands don't count.) And, do you have ANY education in the fields of audio and acoustics?
The reason I ask is that you promote yourself as being some sort of expert in the field of hi-fi, but your profile doesn't contain any info about your qualifications. I "get it" that you've listened to a lot of gear and talked with a lot of people, but what is your audio, acoustical and musical education and background?
Thanks, and now back to our regularly scheduled debate.
Image from Gearbox Recording studios
No I do not play music and no I have no electronics background. And No I do not purport to be an expert in either field. In fact I am one of the only reviewers who objects to the word "professional" when discussing audio equipment reviewers because a professional body (Law, Education, Medicine) can boot people from the profession for various misconduct - and requires specific training and expertise in the field that is objective. Audio Equipment reviewing has none of that.
But let me ask you what you are driving at? I think you are seeking credibility. So if a person is a musician or an electronics engineer or recording engineer then they are more credible.
Actually I see your point and in certain fields I would agree with you. For instance if you were deciding between me and an engineer to design you a bridge - hire the engineer because if I do it you will surely plunge to your demise.
But I think you will find an issue with your argument almost immediately because in fact it doesn't matter if I have a degree in music or engineering. Let me illustrate why?
Can you evaluate the quality of a car without being a car designer or a mechanic? Of course you can. You may not be able to describe in glorious detail why the car sucks in the corner but you can certainly tell that it sucks in the corner by driving the car.
Can you evaluate a movie without being a film director or a cinematographer? Yes. Via experience with enough movies and some interest in learning you can offer a lot of reasons to support why a film is good or bad. Without any technical knowledge of any kind. A film may very well be a technical marvel and bore you to death. Just as a very simple low budget film with camera mistakes can be so well executed that is can turn the industry on end (The film Halloween comes to mind).
And what If I loved a product and raved about it and then a bunch of musicians and recording engineers came along and also started raving. In other words if I tell you the AN E is a good speaker based on my listening evaluations and you say - well RGA doesn't have an engineering degree and he doesn't play an instrument so the AN E sucks and Morricab who has a wife that plays a vioin, and he has an engineering degree must be correct.
But if you go down that route of musicians and degrees being more "truthful" then all I have to do to win that argument is to merely show you that more famous musicians and more famous engineers stand behind the AN E. So in that case I just have to present some people who from an experience and background perspective blow Morricab out of the water.
So here you go.
Steve Hoffman is a mastering/recording engineer for the following groups:
He has remastered over 500 Audiophile quality Compact Discs and LP's [and SACD] working with such artists as:
The Eagles, The Doors, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Nat 'King' Cole, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Cream, The Cars, Blondie, Jim Croce, Linda Ronstadt, Jethro Tull, The Doobie Brothers, Jackson Browne, Steve Miller Band, Elton John, Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, Al Green, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Art Pepper, Rod Stewart, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Wes Montgomery and many, many, others.
So would you say that he has more professional experience with MUSIC than someone who merely has a wife who plays the violin?
This is what Steve Hoffman owns
Audio Note TT-2 Deluxe/Arm 3 v1, UK IO-1 MC/AN S9L/step-up.
DAC4.1X Balanced D to A,
CD Transport 3.
M6 RIAA phono preamp.
OTO phono SE Signature integrated.
AN-E/SPx HE Alnico speakers,
Sogon LX96 bi-wire speaker wire,
Sogon 50 interconnects, Isis interconnects.
So on the music experience and recording engineering mastering engineering front it doesn't get a whole lot more experienced.
So if you want to rely on the music experience or engineering front then this is a good start wouldn't you say.
There are world class classical composers, pianists, reviewers, recording engineers, audio engineers, who own Audio Note.
Peter Van Wellenswaard (Stereophile contributing engineer)
See what speakers he is using for his measurements
Peter Bruninger (Stereophile/TAS AV reviews owns them and recently awarded it loudspeaker of the year.
Peter attends more audio shows than anyone has heard all the speakers Morricab has heard and has the bucks and experience.
Wes Philips (Stereophile hailed AN E as the best hi-fi he has ever heard) https://www.stereophile.com/ces2009/ongaku_means_ecstasy/index.html
Kevin Fiske (Hi-Fi Critic) owns AN E
Hi-Fi Choice magazine uses the AN E as their reference loudspeaker and has won both blind tests it was in - the AN J also won its blind test)
Chris Redmond (6 moons owns them) http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/christopher/christopher.html
That's off the top of my head - don't even get me started on all the reviewers in the non English press that own them and who are musicians.
Piano machine of dreams and the AN E
And guess what - it still only comes down to the person's ears. One person may be able to explain the technical issues of a product and write up glorious detailed white papers talking about the technical feats of a given tweeter - but it doesn't in fact make them hear better. JA doesn't have better hearing ability than Art Dudley just because he can measure a loudspeaker in a more sophisticated manner.
And guess what - all the blather and all the experts and the sheer number of reviewers and musicians and engineers I could probably work hard to add to the list STILL doesn't mean you will like them. I mean there are people who hate cats (for the life of me I can't understand that) but there are and me touting 50 reasons why a cat is better than a dog is never going to change the Dog fan's mind. (I like dogs too).
The problem with morricab is that he ignores all these reviewers and engineers and musicians who have heard all the gear and like AN. None of those people count. What counts is that RGA likes AN and he does not and many years back before he ever heard Audio Note he was in forum arguments with Peter Qvortrup and thus merely has an axe to grind - it doesn't matter what AN puts out - he hates it before he even walks in the door.
Here are few recent reviews
Hi-Fi Choice 2013 comparing it to a previous system of 700 watts per channel.
It's Pretty obvious your lack of experience with SOTA systems is your biggest Achilles heel , followed by bad ideology and dogma ..
There was once a time when being a reviewer required standards , I remember vividly meeting for the first time , Pearson , Norton, JA, Gordon Holt, as others , my, my, how this has changed...
Hey man just read my next review - I sent in lots of pictures I had you in mind. I know you say you only like reviews with lots and lots of pictures. Not terribly surprised.
Perhaps we can make a comic book version just for you.
I'm puzzled about the majority of your reply, including the photo and references to other folks, which seems to be irrelevant.
I simply asked what your professional/semi-professional background and education is, given that you present yourself as an expert in audio.
So, the short answer is: No, you're not a musician, you don't have an electronics background, nor any education in audio or acoustics. Have I got that right?
I answered your question near the beginning of the post.
Sorry if I misread your intention. Lots of people look for different things in audio. You seemed to be genuine in wanting to know if what I like is supported by Musicians/technical people. Since I am not a musician or bother with the technical side of things anymore - I simply pointed you to people who are.
I do have a girlfriend who is a symphony level violinist and she also plays the piano, cello, Theremin (Star Trek), guitar, and can sing.
The question you should ask is if I have an Acoustic Engineering degree. There is a difference say in acoustic engineering and mechanical engineering. If I were a mechanical engineer my expertise on psycho-acoustics would be just as worthless as a degree in basket weaving.
"The problem with morricab is that he ignores all these reviewers and engineers and musicians who have heard all the gear and like AN. None of those people count. What counts is that RGA likes AN and he does not and many years back before he ever heard Audio Note he was in forum arguments with Peter Qvortrup and thus merely has an axe to grind - it doesn't matter what AN puts out - he hates it before he even walks in the door."
This is full of completely false statements! I don't ignore those people's opinions...just don't rate them as highly as my own...just like they would value their own opinions more than mine...including you (except when you like to use the old "appeal to authority" trick).
As I have also said, it is not true that I have an issue with AN per se and think their electronics designs are interesting.
It is true that I have not yet heard a demo of an all AN system that left me drooling on the floor and figuring out how to rob a bank to get all level 5 gear. It is also true that I have not heard an all Level 5 system (bits and pieces at that level but not a whole system).
Whereas I have heard KONDO systems that did leave me hungry for such a system; however, we can both agree that Kondo and AN UK are quite different in their designs.
It is false that I have an axe to grind with Peter Q. I don't get that emotional about it as you would seem to project upon me. My main objection is the speaker designs, which have obvious flaws (or design features I guess if you are very generous) that have been massaged to get a particular "sound" from the speakers. Then the claim that AN gear gives more contrast to recordings except the speakers will sing with one coloration (see stereophile resonance measurements) that can be heard on any recording that excites them (practically all). Seems rather contradictory, no?
Now, I would be willing to ignore this contradiction IF I had heard a setup that blew my socks off like some Kondo systems (non-Kondo speakers though) I have heard over the years. Of course all the AN systems had AN speakers...since I don't see a fundamental problem with the electronics (and I have heard all levels but not the highest all together) but the sound is never WOW...usually Meh or OK. Again, observation not dogma.
I actually like the design concepts with his electronics and would love to try them out one day. I have said as much...so much for the axe to grind.
I always walk in with an open mind, thinking "maybe I could by some of this stuff if I am sufficiently impressed". That is the truth. So it is false to say that I hate it before I walk in the door. Otherwise, I simply wouldn't walk in the door. I hear potential...unrealized. So, I walk-in sit down and listen for a while until I realize it just ain't there. Maybe some day I will try a digital source, amp and cables with my speakers and become a convert...or not.
So, plenty of false characterization in your post.
For the record, it was my ex that plays violin (she is 1st chair (Konzertmeisterin) in an orchestra in Germany now) and I have a Ph.D in Analytical Chemistry with electronics experience in designing analytical instrumentation.
Graph is from Stereophile. The matching review is quite interesting. https://www.stereophile.com/content/odeon-la-traviata-loudspeaker-measurements
Odeon horns Obvious measurements issues?
Everything will sound bright and obnoxious on them. Contrast? Which level of bright do you like.
I mean I know that the AN speakers all look and measure similarly but the Odeon models are quite diverse and therefore not all measure like this one example.
As I have said, I have measured mine in-room and it is nothing like this plot. Nor do they sound bright.
If you read the review, MF was puzzled why this model doesn't sound nearly as good as the Tosca he had heard previously and whetted his appetite for the brand. The Tosca (since I am sure you wouldn't know the lineup at that time) was the little brother of my La Bohemes. Same compression tweeter but with an 8 inch back horn loaded design rather than a 10 inch back loaded design that mine have.
"The Tosca's mid/HF horn was integrated with a conventional-looking baffle also containing a reflex-loaded cone woofer. For all intents and purposes, it looked like a normal loudspeaker, but what it was doing with a CD of Sonny Rollins' Way Out West was anything but. "
"I still remember what drew me to the Toscas at the Frankfurt HiFi show."
That is how my friends have reacted to hearing my La Bohemes (3 of them went right out and bought Odeons) at my place with a good SET amp on them.
Funny enough the measurements of the AN E are nearly a mirror image with a bumped up lower mid/upper bass shelving down by several db into the mids and highs. They sound that way everytime I have heard them...guess it speaks to the consistency of the design...
One friend had Odeon 32s (now he has 38s) and we measured those and they also look nothing like this stereophile plot. I just talked last night to another friend that has Rigolleto MkIIs that was raving about the bass they produce...if anything they sound more in the direction of ANs balancewise...but still with that full horn speed.
So, please stop parading around the one measurement that you have found...we can do the same with the rather crappy measurements from AN speakers...you want perfect measurements then buy a Magico.
The difference when someone argues that speaker A has a crappy measurements versus speaker B that has crappy measurements or that speaker C has great measurements is that at some point the sound of the three speakers should reflect the overall listening experience.
So speaker C should always be chosen by the listeners as best and yet JUST at Stereophile you have AN E supporters: More than supporters. And like I tell you over and over and you seem to stubborn to read and get it to your skull that AN E is not primarily a speaker maker and the proportionality of press for the E is more than virtually any other speaker maker (that solely make speakers as their only line of business)
Art Dudley bought the speakers
Peter Van Wellenswaard bought the speakers
Peter Bruninger Bought the speakers
Wes Philips "Forget best sound of show, for sheer emotional delivery, timbral clarity, dynamic agility, and, yes, the highest fidelity, the Audio Note system may have been the best hi-fi I have ever heard.
Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/ces2009/ongaku_means_ecstasy/index.html#UumILXJdYLJixccp.99
When these guys or any others buys an Odeon speaker please let me know. I'm not interested in your "my buddy bought an Odeon" who cares? I have 10 buddies who bought AN speakers. One of the men who took down Nixon bought AN speakers. Reviewers like Bruninger have auditioned virtually "everything" - The "my buddies" has not.
A good scientists knows the difference between correlation and overwhelming evidence versus anecdotal evidence.
So while some can say the AN E measures bad all they like - the subjective response was that all the speakers all these reviewers have heard and just from Stereophile were quite taken with them.
My favorite speakers are not AN by the way but in fact horns. But the horns that I have liked are ludicrously expensive and so I do not think it's fair to be comparing $50,000-$400,000 horns to $3k-$10k Audio Notes. I would never say these speakers are designed for hi-fi "roller audiophiles" that own music as a means to listen to their stereos. You want the system discussion. Music over the gear for me.
I am less interested in the measurement. Overwhelming and consistent reviews from all around the world and every publication for 40 years! Does actually merit.
Michael Jackson also sold a boatload of albums and had an immense talent - I can recognize that fact without personally liking his music. You are unable to recognize something that is quality even if you don't personally like it. Objective scientists and critics have that capability of removing their own personal tastes from the fact that others have their tastes.
I can recognize that Magnepan is successful - I can recognize why people like the sound and I can recognize that for many it is the panacea to their musical bliss. I personally don't care for the sound. I don't have to like it to be able to recognize that other people do.
I see no end game win for you or why you keep bringing the speaker up. It's okay for you not to like them. No one likes everything. You seem to feel the need to make me not like them because you say so. Or that I need to like something else more. The something else that I do like more are extremely costly.
Guess what - Peter Qvortrup also likes other speakers more. He's the only designer that I know of who has actually publicly stated on this very forum that he likes other speakers more than his AN E - and he actually provided a list of those speakers. He is also working on other speakers right now.
So if you're under some impression that I think the only answer is the AN E you've deluded yourself. There are countless speakers that I would be happy to have. It's just that in virtually all cases those other speakers cost significantly more money and don't have the overall balanced presentation. Teresonic Ingenium - great - but $20,000 versus the AN E/lx at $5800. The AN doesn't have the midrange openess but it has IMO better treble and better bass depth and drive - it can handle trance music and hard rock better. But the Ingenium has no crossover and is more transparent and has better attack. I could list a T Chart as to why the Ingenium is better and why the E is better. They're both not perfect by any stretch but I personally demand more perfection at $20k than I do at $10k or $5k.
Further some of those speakers I like better are not just way more expensive but are designed for way bigger rooms - and will suck in a medium or small room. Thus even if I did like the Grand Slamm or MAXX 3 from Wilson or the Soundlab U1 - the point is moot since they can't fit in normal spaces.
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: