I was obsessed with holography for years and found the following things helped: Bugle Boy 12au7s in the linestage of my preamp, a single-ended power amp, decent noise-cancelling cables in a kimber-style weave configuration and, most crucially, speaker placement. They need to be a couple of feet from the back wall, creating a sound reflection that arrives at your ears a millisecond late and which the brain interprets as depth. It's a bit of a parlour trick. The speakers moreover have to be the EXACT right distance apart, EXACT right distance from rear and side walls, with the EXACT right amount of toe-in, and you have to listen from the EXACT right near-field distance, including height. That part is inexpensive, time-consuming and fun. It's incredible the difference just 4mm can make. I'd also add that point source dual concentric or single driver speakers will help a great deal.
Having said all that, there's often a trade-off when you're chasing a single goal like holography. I no longer use the Bugle Boys because I much prefer the sound of RFTs, and went back to my old Mission 770 mkIVs from Kef dual concentrics for similar reasons. I'm on a budget though, so I'm sure it's possible to have both wonderful sound as well as extreme holography. The wealthier folks here with more high-end gear experience will be able to help you.
Once one has good quailty gear matched well and the proper recording then it mostly comes down to room acoustics and how that affects the sound you hear directly from the speakers versus the reflected sound. It's a geometric puzzle unique to each room. That takes some time and a lot of tweaking to solve optimally. Some rooms will be much easier than others to solve.
Would be a good New Year treat to hear. I have been looking for the same in and around New York City for about 5 years. Budget is not relevant - you can achieve modest levels using moderately priced gear. Expensive equipment merely sets up the process for louder volumes, requiring bigger rooms. However, I generally find that the bigger speakers, while being able to "sing" at louder volumes for which they are designed, have difficulty reproducing more intimate voices and sound stages.
Jfg, I believe you are on the right path re room treatments. Holographic sound reproduction requires high precision and focus of sound waves, since we are operating within the stereo format.
Hence, Uberdine is correct, in my opinion, re exact speaker placement and alignment. His 4mm variance is about my 1/8" experience with speaker adjustments. I also agree with Uberdine's suggestion re using point-source drivers for the above reasons, as well as vacuum tube amplification, since it seems to remove many of the veils plaguing solid-state amplification. I do not agree, however, that the process is "inexpensive, time-consuming and fun." It is very much not fun, but annoying, frustrating and marked by setbacks.
I have not seen holography done with any degree of credibility in or around New York City as yet, so I am doubtful that any of us will experience it, unless we reproduce it ourselves. Such an endeavor is far too time-consuming and destructive (decor-wise) of the sound room space.
Überdine and Cantgetnosat we are on the same page.It's baffling to me why dealers don't use this as a selling point.It is truly an amazing site.Alas the dealers I talk to are clueless about it.
I had it with my martin logans , until I moved . Speaker placement and room treatments help a lot . I've noticed crazy imaging in between the speakers . I've also had sound coming from behind me and in front outside the sp . The issue is very few recordings that I've listened to have it in there . I think they put in some type of reverb or something . I'll list the artists later . By the way my martin logans are for sale .
I agree it's important to get the speakers precisely in the ideal locations. Unfortunately, and I kind of suspect this might rub some folks the wrong way, but the precise locations within a 1/8" or 1/4" or whatever is not really achievable by ear. Something like the speaker set up track on the XLO Test CD is required, a methodological way to find the precise locations for ANY speakers in ANY room. The problem with trying to do this by listening a little and moving a little is that you will never find the REAL best locations only the local maximum locations. You might find GOOD locations by ear but you won't find the BEST ones.
One of the most holographic experiences I have had was in a dealership. The system was a Mac computer w/puremusic feeding a Simaudio integrated into a pair of Dynaudio X12s. Speakers were placed far from the back and side walls. One could literally walk into the soundstage and experience the band members around oneself. The system cables probably were more expensive than the active components, however I doubt that was the defining factor. I only wish I had a audio room with that expanse for speaker placement.
There is only one instance I recall over the years where I heard multiple sets of speakers set up in teh same room in different spots concurrently all do "holography" to the nth degree. That was at a local Tweeter store a few years back. One pair were midrange Martin Logan Electrostats and the other two a pair of FOcal PRofile 918s and 928s. Source and amplification was midrange Krell.
I doubt these were set up with any great precision or that the gear was inherently superior, though all were very good. More likely the large rectangular lively room with untreated walls and a lot of reflection coming from a lot of wall area behind the listening location were the primary reasons.
The other singular most holographic demo I have ever heard was an mbl 111 demo at United Home Audio in Annapolis junction. Again the key here I think was the large showroom with ample space both behind the speakers and the listener combined with a really optimized setup. The area behind the speakers was heavily treated, side walls not parallel, and a good 20 feet or more deep with similar space behind the listener.
With omni directional speakers like mbl or even bipolar speakers like Magnepan, a lot of distance to the rear wall is usually required. Speakers may be 1/3 or more well into the room from teh front wall, and the setup is optimized based upon how the relative sound pattern radiates and is dispersed.
Once you a have a room and speakers and high quality low distortion gear suited to the task, tweaking to get things just right will generally take some time and yes small differences in placement are significant.
So its no easy task to get all of that just right which helps explain why it is not that common.
Mesh, yes you reminded me the first time I heard a truly holographic demo was also with Dynaudio monitors set up very wide apart yet still with lots of space to front wall and modest space to side walls. I have been a huge Dynaudio fan ever since.
Actually, here are the most notable ones I have heard over the years at dealers:
-Magnepan (SS amp) at Audition Audio in Birmingham AL (~1987)
-Dynaudio (SS amp) at now defunct dealer in Ownings Mills MD (~1993)
-Martin Logan/Focal (Krell SS amp) at Tweeter, OWings Mills MD (~2008)
-Magico (VAC tube amp) at Sound By Singer, New York City (smallest room) (~2010)
-mbl (mbl SS amp)at United Home Audio, Annapolis Junction MD (~2010)
- PSB (ARC tube amp) at Listening Room, Pikesville MD (~2010)
- YG Acoustics and Magico (unknown amp) at Capital Audiofest (~2011)
Thanks Mapman I appreciate your feedback.
Sure thing. Those are the things I have heard over the years that has probably most influenced my buying decisions.
Jfg : "It's baffling to me why dealers don't use this as a selling point."
I believe it would be counterproductive for dealers to advance the concept of holography to their customers. Dealers have to move their inventory quickly; they have to change their showroom appearance continually to avoid looking stale.
Customers, on the other hand, for the most part want "plug and play." If you tell them that they have to spend many months, if not years, to get it right (and without dealers' assistance since dealers are in the business of selling things to make a profit) and considerably alter their living room appearance to do it, most customers will look elsewhere.
What dealers can do is promote the greater ease and simplicity of "surround sound" instead.
I think the fact that the room volume was so much greater than the volume required by the sound stage was the major contributor. I must say that I was impressed by the X12s. Now they often sell for ~$700. I think they do best with 100wpc SS amp.
I respectfully disagree mainly because I have yet to meet a dealer or
Customer who has seen or even believed me when I try to explained
Holographic imaging.Fact is if I had not "seen" it I would still be listening
If that is true, Jfg, then true holography is even rarer than I thought. That level of advanced holography would require near absolute control of the forward sound waves and their reflections off the walls.
I met only one other person who has insisted that what you described was something he heard literally decades ago (and he insists he remembers and is also seeking to reproduce that phenomenon). I thought he was half-joking.
This near total control of propagating stereo sound waves to re-create not just the original event but also the illusion of ambient waves is very complex. It would require the melding of art and science.
You are therefore only the second Dr. Frankenstein The Audiophile that I have met.
Hi Cantgetnosat.My son half believes me now that my own system does
portray a pretty high level of 3d.He has been playing the bass since age 8(45yrs).He is one reason I persisted for so long to get to where I am now.
The guy was a Doctor and lived in Bloomfield Hills Mi.I had never seen
stereo equipment like his.Now looking back (20 yrs)I'm sure it was well over
100,000 grand.It was so real I felt like I might bump into one of the people
playing.I remember he was showing my friend how he has replaced some
of the wiring in some of the equipment.
I'ts way over my head but I sure would like to see it again.Please believe your friend.