|My good friend, who is largely responsible for getting me hooked on this hobby over twenty years ago, stopped by my studio yesterday for listen. My SET system is now there at work instead of at home as it indicates in my virtual system. We've both been addicts for twenty years and listen to a lot of different music. We always have a fun time introducing each other to new stuff. One of my recent favorites on frequent rotation, that I've brought up on another thread here, is an early music recording Jordi Savall's excellent label, AllaVox. The CD is, "El Cant de la Sibil-La" (Alla Vox AV9806), with his wife Montserrat Figueras, who has a remarkable soprano voice. I put this one on after we'd been listening for a while and my friend was very impressed with the system. I was curious to see what he'd say about this recording as I had my own theories. Of course, he noticed it right away: When the soprano hits the highest highs of those upper registers, there is a "brittleness" to the sound, almost a kind of breaking up of the otherwise remarkable smoothness of her voice. I have a few Alla Vox recordings and they are astounding in quality. So I'd thought it was more likely something other than that. I'd thought, because I'd brought my 8 watt amps and 115db efficiency speaker into a much larger space that it actually had them clipping at that point (yes, we were listening at a substantial volume (I'm guessing 90+ db in the listening position). The room is over 1000 sq feet in the wood loft of a horse barn with 12 foot ceilings. My friend Jon, who is a big fan of vinyl, thought instead that it was the digitits rearing it's ugly head. My front end at work is pretty darn good, a Naim CD5 with HiCap. The rest of the system is as my virtual system indicates, though speaker wires are now Au24's. When I take the CD home and play it on the system there (35 watts of push/pull into 90db floorstanders in a small room), at higher volumes I can hear the same thing albeit a bit more 'rounded' off. There my front end is a Muse Model 5 & Model 2-Plus DAC so also pretty good. The breaking up is much less apparent when the volume is down to more reasonable levels.|
So my question is; do you guys think this is clipping beginning to happen at the higher volumes, or is it an artifact of digital reproduction amplified to bring out the worst at an extreme given the louder volume?
Someone recently posted the great suggestion of a "Questions for Sean" section.....This is just the kind of question I'd like to get your input on Sean, as well as others of course!
PS Should anyone have this same recording I'd be curious to hear if they encounter a similar effect. There are two versions I've found of this one with the same performers, and this is the one an Alla Vox and is a much better recording and performance, IMO, than the other.