Timbre is more important than depth or width, but even though I consider depth and width an effect I prefer width.
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Tough question . I guess I'd go with depth , if a sound stage doesn't have a three dimensional image it loses it's believability . If I can't determine a musicians position on stage it loses me .
I don't think you can give dipoles a universal indorsement for having a deep sound stage , Iv'e heard many that didn't .
depth and width are not part of the definition of music. timbre deifnes the sound of an instrument and distinguishes it from other instruments. the goal of creating accurate timbre is more important than a concern with an artifact of music.
absolute accuracy of timbre is unrealistic. however, it is certainly worthwhile to try to attain a reduction in errors in timbral representation.
Live acoustic music is performed in three dimensional space as far as I know so it certainly is part of the music. Studio recordings vary in their spacial arrangements. And electronic music can have depth or not whether is live or studio.
Also, silence is just as important part of music as sounds. It too can be either flat or not.
While I don't disagree with anyone in regard to "timbre", especially since it's taken me years to get the right timbre; I consider it just another aspect in the complete package. DB in regard to loud is not something I take into consideration, while -DB in regard to the absence of noise is important. For me, the 3D sound-stage is an audiophile's finest achievement; once this has been established, the rest is easy.
I consider "the rest" to be a refinement in speaker wire and interconnects. If you compare this to cleaning a window that you thought was clean, you will get the feel of where I'm coming from.
Some go by the name of the wire or interconnect, I prefer what % of silver or OFC copper and kind of strands. For example I like fine strands of heavy gage OFC copper for low frequencies, copper and silver for midrange; and silver for the high's. Interconnects should be copper silver composite since they must accommodate both extremes. I roll my own and use silver solder, this guarantees quality construction.
here is a definition of music derived from freedictionary.com/music:
"the art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a conhtinuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre".
note its sound in time not sound in place that is part of the definition. the location of the music is not part of the definition, so depth and width are artifacts. they constitute perspective when listening to music, they are not included in the definition of music.
Sound depth and width are important, but somewhat over emphasized by most audiophiles. Tonal accuracy and rhythmic command are far more important. Mono source material can be audiophile quality. Additionally, if depth and width were of paramount importance, then most audiophiles would be using systems with more than two channels since these multi-channel system can more accurately reproduce these effects.
Ebm, thank you for reminding us what you have. But what do you think of what we are talking about?
Mrtennis, you are alone here, with the dictionary. Perhaps you just don't quite understand the concept or simply need to remain argumentative.
Orpheus10, not to disagree with you, but I think you are a little too categorical in your statement. Highest achievements are difficult to reach in every component of music reproduction. But you might be right, I don't know.
There are times when I sound like a "know it all audiophile". There is a reason for this. 25 years ago, there were three well stocked "high end emporiums" in my area. I spent so much time auditioning, that my wife swore I was seeing another women.
One of the emporiums had seating like a small theater, and you could make yourself comfortable while listening to what the customers were auditioning. Each time they changed components, the new lineup was announced. I recall top of the line ARC and Thiel speakers that reproduced a sound-stage so realistic, that I wanted to walk up and kiss Carmen McRae. Someone came in and requested a Rotel amp; that's when it fell apart, although the other expensive components remained. That opportunity to hear so many different combinations of equipment is why I sound like a "know it all".
Music was my passion before I owned one single solitary record. My first record player was a "one box deal", and I enjoyed the music immensely; that's why I can agree with everyone, to some extent.
Enjoy the music.
It would be my preference to not be able to identify the speakers: I would like to not be able to point at either one of them and think, "The sound is coming from right there." That being said, width would give the illusion that the sound is coming from somewhere outside the stance of the speakers, and hence the speakers would "disappear."
Depth, however, would be the neatest and most fascinating thing for me to hear, the sound going beyond the back wall and, in my case, outside the house. I experienced this to some extent with a pair of Totem Arros I had some time back. The speakers just plain vanished, and I was left with a sound stage that went well beyond the outside of the speakers' stance and also created an image with a fair amount of depth. If I could ever get a real sense of deep, uh, depth, I would probably stop in my tracks with this hobby (to some extent). That "the musician is in the room" feeling that only depth, in my opinion, can create, would be a pinnacle of achievement in this hobby.
Ballywho, Are you referring to depth or a recessed soundstage? There is a difference. If you think your system has depth because the performers sound like they have moved beyond the wall behind your speakers you are mistaken. It is still a flat sound stage.
I guess we should define what depth in a stereo system is.
Do you get the illusion of depth on all recordings? If you do, it is most likely an effect manufactured by your system and its set up. All recordings present a different perspective on width and depth and your system should give an accurate representation of each recording.
Our best reference for recorded music is a live acoustic performance. Not listening to equipment in stereo stores until your wife thinks you are seeing another woman.
Reference level sound staging and imaging is something so elusive, so condition specific and subjective that it is something I personally have stopped trying to achieve. Much of it appears to be a recording artifact and a playback artifact that I think varies more from system to system than probably any other aspect.
It may exist but I have not yet seen a reference sound stage and imaging recording list. For X recording this is the appropriate sound stage and image. I would hazard to say they don't exist or surely in a very limited capacity. Maybe a Stereophile mapping track would be the closest thing I've heard.
Surely there should be some more concrete way of defining and achieving proper sound staging and imaging. Maybe Sam Telig going through a complete mapping process from a known reference. "This image should appear 5 feet directly behind your left loudspeaker and 5 ft from the floor, this imagine should appear 5 ft behind your left loudspeaker, 1 foot inside your left loudspeaker and 5 ft from the floor. This image should appear 20 feet behind your left loudspeaker, 3 feet inside your left loudspeaker and 7 feet off the floor etc... That process would continue along a grid and map out and entire virtual sound stage. The same measurable and repeatable method as is done with test tones and such. Until we have a known reference like that I don't think I will overly concern myself with sound staging and imaging beyond a reasonable degree.
Inna's thread is titled "soundstage depth and width." My take on "soundstage width" is sound that extends outside the stance of the speakers... "Soundstage depth," then, would be the other axis, if you will, of the stereo image: that which extends both out into the room and beyond the rear.
And no, I most certainly do not get the illusion of depth on all recordings. The Jethro Tull "Aqualung Live" album that I bring up in another thread, for example, has a very spacial (deep and wide) quality to it, whereas the vast majority of my The Smiths bootlegs have relatively zero sense of depth (as you can imagine).
I'm using an Audio Innovations Series 500 integrated, fitted with Genalex Gold Lion KT77's, 6922's (phase inverters), and 12AX7's (one line driver, and the other two for the phono stage).
I place a lot of importance on the '500. All the other integrateds I've owned over the years just couldn't achieve what this one does, particularly with regard to what I would call a "full-bodied" sound; and since we're talking about depth I would say that this is the only one that made good recordings sound as if they were spilling out into the room, rather than just laying flat, as if painted on the wall.
Let me add that when I say "spilling out into the room" doesn't really qualify to me as "depth," per se. It does, however, jibe with what I call "full-bodied." In my experience, getting the sound to "appear" as if it's coming from behind the speakers is the biggest challenge, but then again I might be able to better achieve such a thing if I had a large enough and better acoustically treated (or treated at all, I should say) room.
I was just kidding, you can hang out with the "big boys".
On a serious note, it's unfortunate most of those places where you could audition high end equipment are no longer around. Although the equipment on Agon is a lot less, knowing what to buy is a problem. The only option is to read and experiment. Since you can easily sell it back, I guess the cost of shipping is the overhead.
Ballywho, that Audio Innovations 500 sounds like a serious piece of equipment. I bought Mullard 6922's and they didn't justify the cost. Shuguang 12AX7's are very good and not expensive. I like your power tubes.
It takes a long time for newbies to realize how important the amp is to the soundstage and since the sound comes out of the speakers, it's speakers, speakers, speakers. Unfortunately there's nowhere they can hear how each component contributes to the whole, I understand this. Regardless what stage we are in as audiophile's, we all share a common love of the music.
If money and time weren't an issue - and I mean a complete non-issue - I think we would all be quite content with spending countless hours and dollars tooling with this, that and the other to bring our favorite music closer and closer to whatever each of us considers "perfection"... But since that's not the case, at least for most of us (I would guess), the process can be a rather demoralizing one, where time and money that should really be spent elsewhere is spent pacing around amongst wires and objects, moving this here and that there and saving "secret money" - you know who you are (uhem, me too) - for that "last component."
But, oh well. :)
I just received a pair of brand spanking new Tekton Lores last Wednesday...
I loved the Arros' I had back in '06 (most holographic image ever, as I've stated), the Cicada's I had shortly there after (for piano and acoustic guitar I didn't think they could be bettered), the swan Diva 2.1 SE's a couple years later (an amazing monitor that will - I'm confident - challenge many floor-standers), and the Klipsch SB1's (they amazed me with what a $200 pair of speakers could sound like...so, pardon my aside hi-five in Klipsch's general direction).
The Lores are really the most satisfying speaker I've heard yet (see the Zu's vs. Lores thread - I really don't go into much detail, but you'll get the idea, as vague as it might be for some): They create such a huge, dynamic sound that is simply undeniably, well, satisfying. I would imagine there's still plenty of time they need to get broken into real submission, but as it stands, they're spanning an extremely wide frequency range for a speaker of this size, creating some of the most impressive bass I've heard, and conveying an image that is - quite seemingly - getting ever so broader by the day.
On that note, I must also give a hi-five in the general direction of Eric @ Tekton for creating a genuinely great product at a - thank gosh - real world price.
The LEDR test mentioned in this article( http://www.stereophile.com/features/772/ ) basically DOES what (out to)Launche requires of a referenced sound stage. If your system resolves what the test's parameters describe; it will also resolve whatever ambient/sound staging info exists on your recordings(as far as CDs are concerned). Your other SOURCES, of course, are not in the chain, during the test(YMMV through them).
Further- This test CD(Chesky's 2nd) contains more involved image depth, height and specificity tests( http://hiendaudioshop.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/best-of-chesky-jazz-and-more-audiophile-tests-vol-2-m46/ ) Both CDs are valuable tools, if one is interested in tuning their room/system for best imaging and sound staging.
Hello Ben- The Chesky Jazz Sampler/Test CDs are available widely, ie:( http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Chesky-Records-Jazz-Sampler-Audiophile-Test-Compact-Disc-Vol-1/e/90368003720 ) ( http://www.amazon.com/Chesky-Records-Sampler-Audiophile-Compact/dp/B000003GF3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310598315&sr=8-1 ) or, from Chesky themselves(click on, "Test Discs", in, "show all categories" drop down menu): ( http://chesky.com/core/productlist.cfm?productcategoryid=1&genre_sysid=10016&name=Test Discs ) Vol #1 has the LEDR test on it.
Mr M- IF you are interested in educating yourself; you might CAREFULLY study this article: (http://www.deltamedia.com/resource/stereo_microphone_techniques.html) Proper microphone technics CAN & WILL capture hall ambience and sound stage info. A properly set up, resolving sound system WILL reproduce that info. The majority of recordings are not done with those attributes as a goal, however.