Do Countries Have a "House" Sound


I've been mulling over whether countries that manufacture audio equipment produce a sound peculiar to them. For instance, do you automatically assume gear from Germany has more an engineered, detailed quality whereas the UK, for instance, might have more PRAT.

Is there anything to this idea?
gareneau
AFAIK British gear emphasizes warm midrange while US gear is a bit brighter with more bass.
Yes, engineering sound and taste of music is the way of life of different countries – they’re the expressions of their Culture,behaviors, beliefs,identity, worship, protest, anguish, celebration and the way it is treated, Also can be a very political issue.
Must be, for many years ago an article appeared in 'Fi' magazine that explored how people in different countries 'hear' differently. When you think about, that is what accents are all about. The article in question explored the British sound, vs. American. The ProAc speakers are a good example of how they 'voice' there speakers to British hearing.
Also to the nature of the listening rooms endemic to the country of origin. British listening rooms are often small and of brick construct, hence small bass-shy mini-monitors (the room structure does not suffer much bass loss, unlike U.S.A. sheetrock structures). In the U.S.A., the opposite---big speakers with lots of bass.
The US really doesn't have a house sound. Popular brands like Rowland, Ayre, McIntosh, Levinson, Krell, ARC, CJ and many others, sound more different than alike.
I really think that they do and I also think that it is related to the differences in typical construction of the residences in different countries. Literally a house sound.

The Brits typically have smaller rooms than in the US and construction is based more on brick and stone. In the US sheet rock is typically used inside wooden frame construction. This is one reason why the Brits tend to have more stand mount speakers than most US companies.
Of course, though it's not obvious due to a sort of nationalism endemic to all
countries and cultures. People tend to think that all people think like 'we' do.
Hearing, seeing, tasting and evaluation are part and parcel to it.

A few months back I listened to a FM broadcast about a scientist who discovered
that cures and remedies can be vastly different due to different diagnosis
because of cultural beliefs. For example, migraines are thought to be due to
circulatory problems in the U.S., digestive problems in France and kidney
problems in Germany. The remedies are all different but there may be a common
thread in there, somewhere, and science should now look at that data to sort out
a commonality.

So it goes that if ailments are viewed differently and languages aren't truly
interpreted correctly and definitively, and let's not forget the apparent cultural
anomalies (as they seem to us), then what we hear and appreciate and deem as
good is not going to hold up on a worldwide basis.

We are rigid in our beliefs and selves (just yell loud enough and they'll
understand) so it doesn't amaze me that people would think we all hear music in
the same way or that all equipment are designed the same way.

All the best,
Nonoise
Yes, but you can't talk about it in public.
I think that way too many people put too much faith into studies. Someone's always doing a study on something. How do you know that they're findings are accurate, or at the very least, tell the complete story?

Today things have evened out more, but yesteryear things were quite different, speaker balance more than electronics seemed to dictate the "house sound"

Back in the 70's 80's early 90's The Brit's had a house sound that was a purposely laid back midrange by about -3db this gave the illusion of depth, half of Australia followed this sound. " Celef, non bbc Rogers, IMF, TDL etc"

The Yanks were a very up front "presence" type of sound. The other half of Australia followed this sound. "Klipch, JBL, Cerwin Vega, Electrovoice etc"

And the Germans were pretty much on the mark as they are with most things, which I think most of us try to get today. "Magnat, Canton, Quadral etc" Only a small percentage of Australians liked this sound, me included

Cheers George
Nonoise, "A few months back I listened to a FM broadcast about a scientist who discovered that cures and remedies can be vastly different due to different diagnosis because of cultural beliefs. For example, migraines are thought to be due to circulatory problems in the U.S., digestive problems in France and kidney problems in Germany. The remedies are all different but there may be a common thread in there, somewhere, and science should now look at that data to sort out a commonality."

You brought to mind a funny episode in a former career, where I had a conversation with the head of HR. He went down a similar path of causes of mortality (heart disease, colorectal cancer, etc.) endemic to certain populations, going off on a tangent while we discussed the coming year's healthcare package. When he got to Italians, "who die of lead poisoning... They get shot." He loved the fact that he set me up for that PERFECTLY. Or, as my friend, The Doctor, likes to say, "a case of acute lead poisoning."
Trelja, I've always admired those who set up for a good punchline, let alone tell a good joke. It's like a long lost art form.

All the best,
Nonoise
"Nonoise, "A few months back I listened to a FM broadcast about a scientist who discovered that cures and remedies can be vastly different due to different diagnosis because of cultural beliefs. For example, migraines are thought to be due to circulatory problems in the U.S., digestive problems in France and kidney problems in Germany. The remedies are all different but there may be a common thread in there, somewhere, and science should now look at that data to sort out a commonality.""

I don't see how that can be, for a couple of reasons. First, if the cure for the same illness is different from culture to culture, that would imply that you're going beyond science. Assuming that one of the cures you list for migraines is correct, then the others can't be.

Another issue is how do you even know that culture plays a part at all? What about Frances culture would lead them to believe migraines are a kidney problem, as opposed to something else?

Maybe you're right, but I don't see the connection in all of this.
Zd542, neither could the doctor who worked in the different countries. It was after that that he researched it and found that despite the role that science plays in medicine, the different approaches all had some efficacy but none were the best. He then began to understand that the approaches to cures or remedies were deeply rooted in underlying cultural beliefs. They weren't necessarily correct but they greatly influenced approaches in research. One could say those beliefs guided them.

As far as I know, there is no definitive answer yet for why we have migraines and it is in these grey areas that cultural beliefs can dominate and mislead until proven otherwise. I found it fascinating and I wish I had remembered to write down the name of the book and the author.

You are not alone in questioning this as virtually everyone I brought this up with at work tended to raise an eyebrow or two. Some didn't even want to entertain the thought. That made me raise an eyebrow. :-)

All the best,
Nonoise
Cultural, political and geographical differences, mainly, I think. Take UK and Japan, for example. Both island nations with real estate at a premium. With traditional housing in the UK, not only do the rooms tend to be smallish, but the neighbors are necessarily close by and often many in number. The expectation is a way of life there to never be so inconsiderate as to be loud enough to be a nuisance to your neighbor; everyone is expected to do their bit in that regard toward getting along. It may just go as acknowledged, in part at least, as the glue that holds a society living under those physical circumstances together. Ever been to England? If you're passed by a motorcycle on the freeway, I can tell you that you will scarcely notice it, no matter how fast it's going - no louder than a sedan, every time! When that happens in America your blasted into the next lane by the thunder! Here in America we either maximize the flow of the mufflers or we take them off! Here, you might think of history's westward expansion in the US - Lewis and Clarke heading (for what indeed might as well have been the dark side of the moon) into the unexplored vastness that was the wilderness of this continent. In our tradition and with so much land for the taking, the peace and quiet of our neighbors who would be so few and far between possibly needed our last consideration...not to mention the amount of comparative lawlessness that went along with it all. But meanwhile, Japan was, up until the middle of the last century, a rather closed society that was centered around loyalty to an Emperor. And traditionally their homes had been constructed with partition walls made of rice paper - as with the UK above, perhaps not the most suitable environment for the most massive Dunlavy's and multiple high-watt subs...if you know what I mean.

For a while in the 70's in the US, there was distinctly an "eastcoast sound" and a "westcoast sound" when it came to bass as it related to speaker enclosure damping. The weastcoast sound became popular for a while and its sound was of a more prominent, rounder and "fatter" bass sound of the rock of that era...a trend picked up on by recording studios, as well as speaker manufacturers. But, the eastcoast sound was much closer to the sound of "critically damped" enclosures and was tighter and more accurate to include classical and jazz. That sound has since become, more or less, the standard bass "sound" here today.
If Japanese and English societies are so different from the US in ways that cause them to make audio equipment that's better suited for their own cultures, then why do they sell more products over here, than they do in their own countries?
I'm not saying that there is any 'lockstep' correlation between those factors and the gear sold, per se. Just that that those factors have tended to be in play, over at least the last 50 years or so. The international markets, too, have proliferated between countries/cultures over that time. We sell more to them, they sell more to us, in all things audio. Are they tweaking their sound to fare better in our markets, or is everybody's tastes now gradually changing and becoming more varied within borders due to a 'cross pollination' effect over the last few decades, as well? I mean the cross pollination effect from this social-media-driven, hi-tech, hi-hype, online world we're in. Since WWII, we've given the Japanese Elvis and jazz (jazz being something these days they seem to appreciate as a society more than we do), the Brits have given us the rock "Invasion", as we have given them the Hollywood version of the wild west, among other things. How much these kinds of things are working to break down those factors I mentioned above I can't really say. About all I can fathom from it is that the magazines I read on this topic back in the day did make mention of such things as different sounds from the East or from Britain, for example, but that it seems to go all but unobserved today.
Might be that the US population is 3 to 5 times as large.
Yes, I did neglect to mention that.

It may be odd, but few audiophiles I think would question the audible differences between countries/cultures when it comes to tubes.
Could be.
Did happen to stumble onto this Aussie article:

http://www.gadgetguy.com.au.buyers-guide/which-speaker-
brands-are-the-best-world-tour/

link doesn't seem to be working here - this should read: ".com.au.buyers-guide/which-speaker-brands-are-the-best-world-tour/" after the "gadgetguy" part.
I would say that Japanese and Swisse audio gear has a familiar house sound from my experience. Japanese audio gear usually sounds smooth, warm, velvety, though a bit 'polite', whilst Swisse audio gear has a similar sound, though with an emphasis on resolution/transparency and overall sophistication (which in many ways reflects their swiss watch precision). The downside is that Swisse gear can sound a bit 'thin' to my ears.
Swiss?

You mean from Zurich/Luzern/Basel…the German part…or from Lausanne/Geneva the French part?

Dartzeel,Goldmund, CH, Stenheim, Tron, Eternity Joe, Swissonor, Audio Consulting, Manufacture Le-Son, Audionautics, SoundKaos, etc are from the French speaking part.

Heil AMT is from the Italian part with German and Japanese influence, while Boenicke, Weis,LumenWhite, Klangwerk, Soulution, Piega, Colotube, Revox, etc are from the German speaking part.

Illusonic and Rowen are either on the border or are in the French and German parts.

Culture is quiite diffeent between the various language areas and Switzerlnd borders France/Germany/Italy and Austria, so I guess would be heavily influenced by them too.
Wisnon, thank you for your expansive reply. I suppose I was referring to the French speaking part. Bare in mind however I was only making a generalized comment. I'll leave the culture, geography and demographics to others.
No problem, especially today which is the Swiss National Day. Hop Suisse!
Cheers Wisnon, wishing you a happy Swiss National Holiday over there :-)
Being born In Switzerland is a winning ticket in the lottery of life.
No, not true uncle Schubert. Being born your nephew and inheriting your gear is. Not that I am in a rush to see you go....so stick around. LoL
I spent a summer in Montreaux and Glion. I'm pretty sure that makes me part Swiss.
Thanks Wisnon .

Ay...

As Uncle Ivor puts it, if it ain't Scottish, it's Krap!

Flat-Earthers of the world unite...