After following these threads for a long time the common theme seems to be that there is no perfect speaker to reproduce sound. What I find a bit ironic in these discussions is that so much sound that we hear comes from speakers. For example pretty much any electronic sound you have heard before has come from a speaker of some kind. Pretty much any live show you have been to has either been supplemented by or sent to you via speakers. So what is this elusive experience that KenjiT claims may or may not exist? Is it also like this? Most of what we see today is not driven by the sun but by light bulbs or a light emitting device. Yes there is really bad lighting in some places but when lighting is excellent are we really that troubled by it not being like the sun?
So what is this elusive experience that KenjiT claims may or may not exist?
Nobody knows what PERFECT sound can do to a human being. It may cause a heart attack or an extreme response. Nobody has heard PERFECT sound so it is impossible to say.
PERFECT sound from a speaker has nothing to do with trying to recreate the sound we hear from a real life orchestra. Most music we listen to is done in the studio using instruments that dont exist in reality. There is NO REFERENCE POINT.
PERFECT sound is therefore not only elusive but it is a MYSTERY. NOBODY has seen it or heard it and nobody knows what it can do.
Trying to solve this mystery has been the pursuit of many speaker tuners over the decades but nobody has cracked it yet, not even me.
What I find a bit ironic in these discussions is that so much sound that we hear comes from speakers.
I get it, and totally agree. The coolest live performance ever was the first minute of Holly Cole at the Showbox. Its a very small venue and she started off with I Am Calling You. Just Holly Cole. No mic. No amp. Just her voice. Now even in that small venue it would be too taxing on her to keep that up for a whole show. But oh my God was it freaking awesome! Friends we were with told me they never heard anything like it, their skin was tingling. Mine too. Tony Bennett did the same for one little bit of Tony Bennett Unplugged and you could tell by the audience reaction they went crazy.
I heard a real live symphony violinist play right in front of me in grade school. Spent 6 years playing live instruments in band. Knowing first hand what these things really sound like is a huge, huge advantage. I read somewhere that Tommy Dorsey (or maybe it was Duke Ellington, or Benny Goodman) performed before more people live than anyone ever. Yet the thing of it is, they did this back when it wasn’t tens of thousands in a stadium a couple times a year, it was hundreds in a club night after night every night for 20 or 30 years. Not a one of those people heard anything but the live acoustic instruments. Kinda have to wonder if we would have so much crap SS and digital today if people listened to real live music now as much as they did back then.
None of which is to say the goal is to recreate that live experience. That is like Mike Lavigne said recently a fantasy. What live experience? Virtually every single recording today was done in a sound booth. Are producers and recording engineers trying to recreate the sound booth experience? No way. They are painting with sound the way Picasso did with oils.
There’s no such thing as the perfect speaker because there’s no such thing as the perfect anything. All we can do is try and create a gallery all the art will look good in. The Rembrandt, the Picasso, who knows maybe even the Warhol and the occasional (shudder) Jackson Pollock.
Thank you Millercarbon. Yes every recording we have ever heard was first worked out in a studio by engineers and producers. These are what we are listening to. I agree that all non electric instruments fall into a category but many things such as room reflection and size play it’s part in how we ‘hear’ it. The kind of experience you described sounds truly memorable and almost like not even music. I highly recommend the book What is Music by David Byrne. It has some very interesting insights.
Some religions would have it that "only God is perfect." The Japanese would say that something should have "Wabi Sabi" ie: nothing is perfect, the flaw in any made object ( or system ) sets its place in time and the universe. We should embrace any perceived minor "imperfection" in our systems and just listen to the music.
Thats not a very good system especially considering the amount of money that has been spent on it. What you have there is just a pair of boxes with drivers in 'em. What he should have done is bought some illuminators or accutons and mounted them in a concrete block. What is more solid, a speaker box made of mdf or any other material that these high end companies use, or a solid BLOCK OF CONCRETE? and can you imagine the amount of money he would have saved by doing that?? The only reason for a speaker cabinet is so that the speaker companies can package them and ship them all over the world. Its just for their convenience rather than for sound quality. If you want state of the art, you need CUSTOM BUILT SPEAKERS CUSTOM TUNED BY HAND TO YOUR EARS AND YOUR EARS ONLY!!! not mass produced junk like evolution acoustics which are just horribly overpriced boxes that appeal to people who want a nice looking shiny glossy box in their homes. I dont see any measurements on their website to justify the horrific prices they charge. Not a single graph in sight.
So it goes up to 70khz and down to 3hz.Most people your age cant hear much beyond 10khz if youre lucky yet this speaker does 60khz beyond that. Similarly theres not much going on below 20hz yet this goes down to 3hz. Theres no proof the speakers really do accomplish these claims and even if it did it would be a lot of effort to do it which in the end you wouldnt hear it anyway. Now show us the distortion measurements of these speakers. Show us that they have 0.0005% distortion from 20hz to 20khz at all levels. If not, they are not good enough for me.
@kenjit ... about Mikes set-up...“Thats not a very good system especially considering the amount of money that has been spent on it.”
Since you like to bash other people systems, care to share a picture of yours?? Didn’t think so...
You mentioned that you have PMC speakers. Do you have am amp? A dac? Any cables?
Didn’t think so. Do you ever add anything constructive?? Nope.
Have you ever heard concrete speakers? Were they the perfect speaker? Didn’t think so.
Have you ever stood in a concrete tunnel and yelled “echo”?
Didn’t think so. And last, why does scanspeak, vifa, morel, accuston etc. ship their drivers in small cardboard boxes as opposed to large speaker cabinets if the only purpose of speaker cabinets is to ship the drivers.
I have always told my friends that a speaker cannot reproduce live instruments sound. Piano, sax, or electric guitar. But that does not mean that I cannot enjoy what I am hearing and isn't that what all this is about? If you think you can get a system to reproduce musical instruments perfectly, I would love to heat that. I can bring over my old beat up less Paul and Marshalls and play along! But I do love what my system sounds like so I am a happy camper!
That’s sort of my point is there is something ironic about thinking every speaker is flawed when the sounds coming out of your electric guitar amp are through speakers. As a guitar player myself I understand the intensity of a guitar amp is hard to reproduce but sound reinforcement such as live concerts and famously the Grateful Dead shows were able to this albeit with a ton of speakers and air movement.
Everyone hears perfectly at sometime in their lives. Perhaps we don’t know it at the time, but Kenjit’s statement is badly assumed and presumptuous. Typical of an ignorant person talking about something he obviously knows nothing about.
Is it about chasing perfection, or merely being able to accurately reproduce the signal picked up by the microphones?
99% of loudspeakers (a guess) cannot reproduce the entire bandwidth of the signal they're fed.
The vast majority start to struggle with bass below 50Hz. Yet we can all hear 30Hz, can't we? Even if most recordings don't have much below 60Hz, we still want to hear it when they do, don't we?
That should be a standard, shouldn't it? If not then a suitable subwoofer should be recommended by the manufacturer, shouldn't it?
If not, then surely any claim of being a high quality transducer are invalid, aren't they?
Since we cannot hear above 20kHz (and many of us not even above 15kHz) then there's little need for any loudspeaker to remain flat up to 70kHz, although it's no doubt a nice attribute to have.
For sure, we can live with a facsimile reproduction of the original signal (most do), just as we can live with artificial light, (right now in the UK the natural light is nothing to write home about) but in both cases a better facsimile is more desirable, isn't it?
Whoever mixes the music mixing board have everything to do with the sound , seeing Jeff Beck live at Ronnie Scott’s in London was one of my greatest musical experiences the music just floated and was like time stood still ,Eric Clapton was as usual smooth. Robin Trower also seen in a small venue was great . I have not been to see anything that close to perfect Since . I am now 62 ,and all the greats are no longer performing or passed on .I have been blessed I can still hear a minor miracle after 100s of those 100+ db Deep purple ,Sabbath , and many greats concerts .
ALL Sound is by-definition PERFECT.Sound: compression and rarefaction of air within the spectrum of human hearing— let's say between 25 - 20kHz.
I have three "transistor" radios: my Koss, my old GE and an Eton with 2.5" speaker. They each have their own voice. But their sound is perfect. Yesterday, I dropped my garbage can lid on my drive, making a disagreeable loud CLANG! But its sound was perfect. My wife's voice is beautiful most times, but sometimes I disagree with her tone or content. But always the sound is perfect. All sound coming out of all speakers via whatever media is perfect.
I got a big laugh out of allusion to Tony Bennett's or Ms. Cole's "perfect" sound. Of course, if they were not stark naked in an anechoic chamber, their "perfect" sound was impaired.
We are ALL inundated by perfect sound 24/7. Thus, the totally bizarre notion that perfect sound would not be tolerable is so crazy.
I've listened to live farts from real people without ANY microphonic pickup, amplification and reproduction of the reports. I am also a guitarist playing both totally acoustic and electric guitar in bands in many venues. ALL of my sounds were perfect, even though my artistry may have sucked.
By that logic, an audiophile fartingwould demand that perfect sound of the fart be delivered from totally naked farters in an anechoic chamber. IF the farter wore jockey shorts vs. boxers, he/she would not be delivering perfect sound!
Do you all know how ridiculous this sounds?
Now… if you want to discuss perception of propagated sound, that is entirely a different question. Ideally, sound reproduction should be neutral in all parameters. None are. But so many listeners have their own prejudices.