How important is it for you to attain a holographic image?


I’m wondering how many A’goners consider a holographic image a must for them to enjoy their systems?  Also, how many achieve this effect on a majority of recordings?
Is good soundstaging enough, or must a three dimensional image be attained in all cases.  Indeed, is it possible to always achieve it?

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As hard as it is to get perfect imaging, I don't think you will have a hard time sacrificing what you don't already have.
Maybe we should ask this question differently. If you had to sacrifice something, which would you sacrifice first... For me, I’d sacrifice imaging first.

If I understand orpheus10 (correctly), I believe he has been saying that "holographic imaging" is an outcome or result of the ’fundamentals’ coming together and when this occurs, the whole is much, much greater than the parts.

Removing imaging, therefore, implies other parts are not present or not correct or not functioning as they should.

Orpheus10, can you clarify? Thanks.


If I understand orpheus10 (correctly), I believe he has been saying that "holographic imaging" is an outcome or result of the ’fundamentals’ coming together and when this occurs, the whole is much, much greater than the parts.

Removing imaging, therefore, implies other parts are not present or not correct or not functioning as they should.

David, that is precisely what I am saying; "Holography" is dependent on the highest quality parts, the same as the sharpest photographic image is dependent on the best lens, no different.

If we were in a "high end emporium" where we had, as an example; top of the line ARC electronics, top of the line Thiel speakers, all set up in a room that had been professionally treated, to the extent that it created an image so precise, that you "saw" and heard things from a record that you bought in 1970 (one of your favorites), that you had not heard before.

I said "saw", because when a sound consistently comes from a point in space, I know it's there, and if I could see audio, I would see it.

Am I claiming to know more than everyone else; "No", but I am claiming to have witnessed more than most, for one very simple reason; I went to "high end emporiums", where the stuff you read about in "Stereophile" was being auditioned. In a flash, you would be able to hear the difference substituting one component would make in the whole scheme of things.

As an example; when there were no customers requesting components to audition, we (me and the other audiophile sales people) would assemble the very best components and just groove in the small auditioning theater. I recall we were deep into Santana's "Abraxas" and I was focusing on a sound emanating from some kind of percussive instrument that I hadn't heard before, when a customer came in requesting to audition a Rotel amp.

After the Rotel amp was inserted, whatever I was listening to receded so far in the back ground that it was hardly audible.

I would say that Rotel amps are good, high quality "affordable" Class C amps. The key word here is "affordable", which is not a word that accompanies top of the line high end; at least not affordable for the average person.

Keep in mind, that was the only component that was swapped, we still had ARC preamp, plus top of the line Thiel speakers. That one component blew the holography, it was fuzzy after that, but the music still sounded good, just not to the highest degree.

Imagine; you are reading "Stereophile" and you wonder; "What does this sound like matched with that". In a high end emporium, a salesperson could simply insert it into the mix, and your question would be answered.

I spent so many hours in high end emporiums that my wife swore I was seeing another women.

"No", I'm not smarter than many of the people here, but I have heard and experienced things many haven't.

I would give up imaging first of the three.  Or make it fourth after dynamics, or fifth after harmonic/tonality, or sixth after rhythm/pacing.  Imaging is good to have but not essential.  I have good imaging because I have more expensive than $4K speakers which someone mentioned doesn't sound much better than $4K speakers.  

The good news is that good used components allow one to build a great system on the cheap.  Used components at $4K can get you 90% of a new $20K+ system not based on analog (sorry, analog just costs more).  Instead of a new Rotel amp, why not a used plder Luxman amp? or some other great older amp that used to border on Class A.  My speakers and tonearm are still in production (slightly modified) after 26 years and 30+ years at more than double the original prices.  One can buy them used for 1/3 of the original price or 1/6 of the new price,
There are real holographic soundstages but most are more of a “projected soundstage” - the real soundstage’s phoney sibling - that is not the same thing as a transparent, well-organized and realistic soundstage. I would rate holographic soundstage right up there with speed, warmth, dynamics and air. Ah, air. Maybe the hardest to obtain of them all.