You need to get outside more, dude. Using cables and such as "tone controls" is not the best way to achieve sonic nirvana. IMHO, of course...
Hmm, my experience is it is not all that complicated.
1) good quality gear
2) speaker placement away from walls(reflections travel a minimum 2X the distance of direct sound in order for proper timing/delivery of the recording in a 3-d/holographic manner). There is material available on teh internet last I checked that goes into this in more detail.
3) A recording made to sound 3-dimensional/holographic, ie recording technique results in sufficient 3-d/holographic sonic queues being captured in the recording. Many small ensemble jazz recordings are recorded this way. "Kind Of Blue" by Miles Davis is one of the best known. Mapleshade and related labels tend to focus on this aspect of the recording. Dorian is another label that does it well as does most Mercury Living Presence recordings. It occurs in most modern pop rocj recordings to some extent as well but varies widely from recording to recording.
QUOTE: "... Hmm, my experience is it is not all that complicated. Recipe: 1) good quality gear.."
Mapman nailed it : Short & sweet.
That "gear" includes the hardware, speakers and cables that actually "work" with each other to create that expansive soundstage that extends well past the walls L-R and deep front-to-back as the speakers, as point sources, simply disappear. Once you get it, the music is now engaging and "floats" even well off-axis.
The problem is that most of the available kit compendium is an alchemy that lacks that synergy to create it.
Regrettabbly we all know that frequently one man's steak is fare that tastes like **** to the next guy. (particularly in this forum) . Happily, when that 3-D holographic soundstage is there, we all see it immediately; we instantly know it; and all those personal and subjective differences vanish and the listener is simply "engaged" in the music.
"Remember Carver's "Holographic" preamp."
Yes, I still have one as a spare though currently on the fritz needing a repair.
It played some l/r phase tricks to increase holography (not create it from scratch) and worked best for small monitors or other more directional designs. It also had some minor tonal side effects.
It worked as described with my small Triangle monitors. Less so for Magnepans when I had them, and virtually no positive effect with my more omni OHM Walsh speakers.
Also in the recipe I think I misstated the setup requirement somewhat. As I recall, in most rooms, reflected sound must ideally travel at least 10 feet or so further than the direct sound to reach your ears at the right time for best 3-d/holographic results.
Eldartford, you're still around? Good! ...Thought you drug up, along with "Shadorne", quite awhile ago.
Oh, yeah... I fully agree with Mapman's recipe!
A "well-engineered" recording, played through even the modest of systems, can/will sound amazing! Even in most automobiles I've rented over the years (mid-sized) with factory installations, while wearing out the FM radio's 'scan' button from ADD, I lock on WPR/NPR stations when they're playing 15-30 seconds worth of various well-recorded filler instrumental passages between topic segments. "WHOA!!!" It stands out that remarkably in comparison to everything else I "sample" while commuting. Uhhh, where was I going with this? Oh, yeah... recording, recording, recording!
Holography is a story of increments. There are many stages in the process. Please read below. Each increment has improved the holographic imaging. Some increments have had a bigger impact on the sound than others. Holography goes hand-in-hand with continuity.
Onhwy61, here's my system -- via cables in series at each stage. Listing everything would be too complex -- and confusing. I give a general idea below.
FRONT END BEFORE COMPONENTS
1. TESLA Plex SE receptacle in series with one more TESLA Plex receptacle.
2. Medical grade isolation transformer (rated at 1380VA).
3. Monarchy AC regenerator for DAC and transport.
4. Bybee Stealth power conditioner.
5. Synergistic Research Power Cell 10SE MKII power conditioner.
1. Marantz PM 15 integrated amplifier -- the original 1993 version from Japan.
2. AMR DP-777 tube DAC.
3. PS Audio PerfectWave Transport.
4. Joseph Audio Pulsar monitor speakers.
Wiring and tweaks are too numerous to mention in detail. In series, before the component stage, there are 5 levels of Bybee Quantum AC Chargers and 3 levels of Bybee Ultra power cords. The series is completed using Supra LoRad with Oyaide plugs and IECs (with burn-in adapters). This is before the system reaches the Bybee Stealth power conditioner. All components are plugged into the Bybee Stealth.
In series, there are many levels after the Bybee Stealth power conditioner including power cords, digital cables, interconnects and speaker cables. For example, there are 5 levels on the interconnects (balanced) and 6 levels on the speaker cables. This includes cables and tweaks. I use cables from six different companies -- HiDiamond, Synergistic Research, Bybee, Cardas, ASI Liveline and Supra (LoRad only).
There are many tweaks in my system. Each one has been carefully chosen -- and carefully placed in the system -- to maximize its sonic attributes. I use tweaks from eight different companies, the most significant and numerous being Bybee.
Mapman, in my system, speaker distance from walls has little effect on the holography. Our house is being remodeled. Until the work is complete I am in quarters that are less than ideal with the left speaker one foot from the left wall and 2 feet from the back wall. The right speaker is two feet from the back wall and four feet from the right wall. There is little effect on the sound coming from the left speaker. The left wall disappears, as does the back wall. The sound may open up even more when there is no left wall.
Mapman, recordings made to sound 3-D make a big difference in my system. But there is a great measure of holography in my system even with old recordings that are not made for 3-D. The more refined my system has become the more astonished I have been when listening to some of these old recordings. I use many old recordings as reference for this very purpose. Oscar Peterson, The Sound of the Trio, is one of my favorites. It was recorded Live in 1961 at The London House in Chicago.
Creating a series -- it's really quite easy. The power cords are run in series using a burn-in AC adapter from VH audio. Balanced cables are simply daisy-chained. Speakers cables use special connectors from Supra as well as Synergistic Research Galileo speaker cells.
Before I improved my system I had the same reaction. Many recordings that use to sound "like crap" now sound terrific after all the system improvements. Holography emerges. There is a lot of hidden information on stereo recordings -- even old recordings. But most systems cannot extract this information. The more refined my system has become the more of this information it has been able to extract.
In my system you can sit or stand almost anywhere in the room. The off-axis rendering is astonishing.
Mapman, I have the phase inverted on the AMR. This gives a better rendering of recordings across the board.
You stated, "Should they ever wish for more, they have only to return to meaningfully removing yet more of the distortions, wherever in the system that may turn out to be."
I think this is the key to the problem. You have hit the nail on the head, IMO. One has to reduce distortions in the system, little by little. I have been doing this incrementally with my system. One cannot expect a quantum leap with any single improvement -- even if the improvement has the word "quantum" in its description. I have made upwards of 40 incremental improvements to my system. Some of these improvements made a surprising difference. I can count perhaps 20 improvements that were quite remarkable on an individual basis. Others were more modest. When you add them all up this amounts to a staggering result -- a stunning improvement in the sound. This does not include the addition of the isolation transformer and power regenerator which were a quantum leap for my system.
The problem with the plug-and-play approach -- one power cord at each stage, one set of interconnects, one pair of speaker wires -- is that this approach will only get you to an initial stage of of holography, at best -- even if you add special "effects" with Synergistic Research Galileo interconnect and speaker cells -- all the advertising hype notwithstanding (turning ordinary cables into state-of-the-art, blacker yet backgrounds, etc.).
It is only when you experiment in novel ways, and come up with a significant incremental improvement in the sound, that you realize there is more that can be done to improve the sound and that greater improvements come with each successful incremental improvement. This approach impelled me to keep going to reach the highest possible level within my budget. I could not be happier with the results. The sound of my system far exceeds what I could have imagined when I began the journey.
Anybody here heard of the Bedini Analog Vector Spacial Processor? Unlike Carver's effort, this thing maintains a 3D image while while you walk around the room. I've never listened to one. But I just acquired one. They are very rare but I believe Bedini is back into manufacturing and has refurbished ones available and maybe new ones as well. Trademark logo is Bedini B.A.S.E.. They were mainly used in recording studios. The one I have seems to be a second iteration as it looks a little different from the photos I've seen. But I don't know how to hook it up. 3 unlabeled sets of RCAs close together and one unlabeled set on the far right. I've been in contact with Bedini but no response as yet.
You stated, "Happily, when that 3-D holographic soundstage is there, we all see it immediately; we instantly know it ..."
Actually, with my approach you may discover there are many different levels of holographic sound. Higher levels can be attained by making incremental improvements to the system. This takes time and effort, but for me it has been more than worth the time and effort taken.
Yes, if you look at it that way, it takes a lot of "painstaking" work to reach a higher level. In a sense, it's like everything good in life. No pain, no gain. But, in the audio world, I would not use the word "pain" to describe this process. For me, taking "pains" with my system is a labor of love.
Another way of looking at holography is to look it the same way we look other sonic parameters -- such as low level detail, for example. We would never say "we instantly know it" when it's there. There really is no "it". There are degrees of low level detail that make for more or less refined sound. The same principle applies to many sonic parameters.
This is the key, I believe. Distortion in the AC ruins the sound. With each incremental cleansing of the AC the CD can reveal more of what's there but is otherwise hidden. In my experience, you cannot clean the AC in one stage or even in a handful of stages. It takes a heck of a lot of stages to make significant inroads.
I agree, of course. It's very interesting because the common wisdom is that you buy a pair of interconnects and a pair of speaker cables, you connect your power conditioner and components with a single power cord, and away you go. The common wisdom is that if you want to improve the sound you change to a different cable brand or you mix and match brands and you try tweaking a bit.
My experience is that this approach may improve the sound somewhat but it will never get you to a much higher level -- a level that you may be able to attain if you think differently about your system and start to experiment with putting your cabling in series.
The way I came upon this idea was when I had two pair of excellent interconnects from two different companies -- each with a set of excellent non-identical attributes -- and I was trying to figure out which pair of interconnects to sell off. Then it came to me. Maybe I did not need to compromise. Maybe I could combine the sonic attributes of both cables by figuring out a way to connect both of them to my system.
Since both pairs were balanced cables I simply plugged one into the other and connected them to the system. The sound was awful. Then I reversed the two cables and BINGO!! I hit the jackpot. This is easy to experiment with if you have two good-quality XLR interconnects at home with one in the closet. Connect them and see what happens. It may work, but it may not. This is a story of trial and error. There is no way of telling what the results will sound like with any two or three cables in series until you connect them and power up. Give it a go. You may be pleasantly surprised.
I should clarify that you are not lowering distortion by running cable in series, per se, unless you splice in special "tweaks" from Bybee, Combak, Oyaide, etc. This is what I have done all along the line -- two or three cables with "tweaks" spliced in between. You need to do a lot of experimenting to see what combinations work best. Some combinations will actually degrade the sound rather than improve it. If you change the order of the cables and "tweaks" you may come up with a combination that gives you a pleasant surprise.
I had the original version of Carver's Sonic Hologram, in his C-4000 preamp (ca. 1979), and later the revised version, in the C-9 Sonic Hologram Generator. The revised version had a slightly less critical sweet spot, and somewhat better sound quality. Both had audible side-effects, though, that could be immediately perceived on high quality recordings, in a good quality system, by switching the hologram function on and off. Mainly a general reduction in clarity, across the spectrum, and on the first version some problems in the bass region. On mediocre recordings those issues tended to be less bothersome than on high quality recordings.
When I eventually moved from solid state to tube-based power amplification I found that the increased dimensionality that tube power amps commonly provide (I have no idea why) resulted in imaging that approached what the Sonic Hologram accomplished, at least on most recordings, while avoiding its side-effects and providing better sound quality. During the 1990s I therefore removed the C-9 from my system, the C-4000 having been sold many years earlier.
Sabai, my experiences have been the same as yours. Before I got to where I am, Carver holography was my thing. There's no comparison with what I had and what I got.
It took years to get where I am, but fortunately "high end emporiums" existed at that time. You could pay them a visit, and mix and match various pieces of equipment. I recall one time in particular when we were grooving high on top of the line ARC electronics, and Thiel speakers, when someone came in wanting to audition a Rotel amp. Although they kept the ARC CD player, ARC preamp and Thiel speakers in the mix, the sound stage went flat, no more holography.
That illustrated that you have to have it all, and the more expensive, the better. Not only do you need top of the line equipment, but 20 or so years as an audiophile doesn't hurt either.
In regard to what it sounds like? The short answer is "heaven". When stationary instruments occupy positions on a sound stage, with a vocalist that you can reach out and touch in the center, that's heaven. I just got a new cartridge that cost more than my wife will ever know, and heaven just got a lot better.
Sabai, please clarify. When you say there are 5 levels of interconnects between the D/A and the integrated amp are you saying that you have daisy chained 5 different interconnects together and are using them as a "single" interconnect? And does 6 levels of speaker cable mean a similar arrangement is used between the integrated and the loudspeakers?
You understand exactly what I'm talking about -- being able to reach out and touch vocalists and instrumentalists. It is that feeling of immediacy and aliveness that makes this unique. But you seem to have achieved this level of holography at a much lower cost than me with the Carver, where I have used cables and "tweaks". I have no experience with Carver products but I have read about them. Do you still have your unit or are you now achieving your holographic effect in another way? I am not clear on this from your post because you state that your experiences have been the same as mine.
There is no way I could ever go back to the "old way" of doing things. If I take even one element out of the system I have to put it right back. I will be adding three new items in the next few months to see if I can get the sound to an even higher level -- without breaking the bank.
My wife doesn't understand audio prices -- to put it mildly -- so I just make a joke of things and we let it go at that. She runs the house. I run the office/listening room. Division of labor works well in our home.
I have read that, with Carver products, you have to sit in a sweet spot or you do not experience the effect. If this is true then it is very different from the holographic effect I experience in my system. You can sit virtually anywhere in my room and the experience is still holographic with no skewing of the sound due your listening position.
Sabai, Jefferybowman2k and Ebm are mocking you. Their posts added nothing constructive to the conversation. Ignore them.
If you Google the prhase, "One hit quit," refers to a potent Cannabis which would get the user high in one hit. I assume they are suggesting either that you are high or that anyone who reads your post will become high, that is become delusional. Instead of telling you why they don't like your idea of daisy chaining cabling they made fun of you. So, ignore them.
As a person who has spent many years, a lot of money and time on cabling my reaction to your post is the absolute opposite. I commend you for being creative! Instead of assuming you know how things will sound you experimented. THAT is how exciting things are discovered in system building, not sitting back and laughing at others.
You have spent a lot of time with Cabling and it shows. You also are to be commended, not mocked, for creativity when trying novel ideas in building audio systems! This idea of linking/daisy chaining cables had not occurred to me, but I will try it at some point to see what the effect is. People who sit and laugh at others miss out on the experience of the discovery. I have tried a lot of experiments with systems to see what might yield unexpectedly great results.
Now, having said that, I am in agreement that the shortest cable run is the best in that it will bring the best sound; the idea of daisy chaining power cords and interconnects goes counter to my thinking. I believe that if I were to put a couple ICs together as you suggest, and try them both ways that I will still conclude that a single one is superior. The same with power cords. I think you are hearing an effect emphasizing macrodynamics but I think your definition and detail would suffer using the method you suggest.
It had also better be a big change. I don't chase puny changes in systems, as there are way too many huge upgrades to be had, and I'm long done chasing pissy little ones. If even after several seconds it doesn't manifest itself as a big difference then I'm usually done with it; it won't ever be enough to consider as a big improvement. I will certainly not be an audiophile who sits there, 'Well, I think I hear a difference..." IMO, that is a loser's game.
I do believe you are getting some RFI filtering with added length to the interconnects and power cords. So, my guess is that it would seem "better" in some respects, but at the cost of some microdynamics/definition/detail. In principle I almost never will sacrifice definition and detail for any other improvement. I demand both the definition/detail AND the other improvement such as holographic image. :)
But with cabling it is just fun to try novel arrangements. Just last night an audiophile friend and I were comparing two digital cables, one a .5 meter RCA and the other a 2M Balanced/XLR cable acting as AES/EBU, both of the same manufacturer. One might think the shortness of the .5M cable and the fact that it is a dedicated Digital Coaxial cable would make it superior. But no, the XLR interconnect acting as a digital AES/EBU was clearly superior.
My point in the illustration is that we can think logically that we know the outcome of a particular cable decision but the truth is that often the results would surprise us if we heard the two choices in comparison. I have no doubt that you are getting quite different sound with your daisy chaining cables. It would be similar to something I do with speaker cables - using two full pair of cables on one set of binding posts.
I find it incredible the number of audiophiles who are so tight with their money or so arrogant they think they can predict a sound without hearing it that they refuse to experiment. Their loss! From your OP it sounds like you have used complete double paralel runs of speaker cabling and have found precisely what I have; it transforms the speaker's sound, gaining a tremendous amount of what you have termed "holographic." Prescisely! It is a very pleasing gain in the sense of solidity and 3-D nature of the soundstage. The Arrogant Ones would say it's stupid. Again, their loss! :)
My thoughts about your experimenting with using multiple interconnects and power cords is that I fear you are muddying up the result. Of those two cords or two interconnects you join one will be superior. It may not have all the properties you wish for, but it will come closer to your ideal. I would urge you, then, to keep looking for a single interconnect or single power cord, etc. which will have ALL the properties you wish. They do exist, though you may have to go through a dozen to find them. It can be a very exhausting process.
The other problem with daisy chain of cabling is that you cannot tell what each is contributing to the sound. It is only trial and error, but that doesn't help you move your rig with purpose toward your ideal sound. This is especially so if you are mixing and matching cables throughout the system! You are unwittingly making it far harder to gain a clear direction where you want the sound to go. I did a lot of mixing and matching of cables in my early years as an audiophile and thought it was superior. Now that I have been able to procure many different brands and hear them in comparison I advise the opposite; Stop mixing and start comparing entire looms/sets.
But, I will try your method of daisy chaining interconnects just for fun! It's a lot of joyous discovery to find out what such things do to the sound! It hurts nothing and opens your ears to new experiences. What do I expect? I expect a fundamentally different sound, a change which will emphasize macrodynamics but at the cost of mircrodynamics, similar to a networked power cord or a power conditioning device placed on the system. It will be interesting to see if that is my impression.
Finally, I would compare the daisy chain technique more to networked cables, which I have over time found to be horrid, one of the best ways to kill definition and purity of a system. I have a feeling that I will not be using your technique, but I commend you for creativity and being willing to discuss it.
Finally, to everyone; there are hundreds - no, limitless numbers of steps to advance an audio system. Holographic nature of the soundstage IS an element which will improve dramatically as those steps are climbed, be it one at a time or in leaps and bounds as far more capable equipment is used.
I'm not impressed with devices and gimmicks which are not in the signal path and seemingly have little purpose toward the signal (aside from sensible room tuning devices like sound panels and bass traps, etc.). They are largely a waste of money and time - and yes, I have done demo of many of them. I dont own them because they wasted my time for pissy results. I do not review them typically because they are a waste of time and effort relative to the direct changes one can make within the signal path. In that respect I see little wisdom in working with extraneous tweaks when one can alter the sound directly through things like cables. IMO, a Bybee filter has a lot more going for it in terms of change of a rig's sound than a LessLoss Blackbody or the Synergistic Research A.R.T. system.
Sabai, keep having fun and experimenting! You are a positive person on this board and have an obvious love for the hobby!
"I'm not impressed with devices and gimmicks which are not in the signal path and seemingly have little purpose toward the signal (aside from sensible room tuning devices like sound panels and bass traps, etc.). They are largely a waste of money and time - and yes, I have done demo of many of them. I dont own them because they wasted my time for pissy results. I do not review them typically because they are a waste of time and effort relative to the direct changes one can make within the signal path. In that respect I see little wisdom in working with extraneous tweaks when one can alter the sound directly through things like cables. IMO, a Bybee filter has a lot more going for it in terms of change of a rig's sound than a LessLoss Blackbody or the Synergistic Research A.R.T. system."
You might consider cutting the Synergistic Research tiny little bowls some slack as they are clearly, well, apparently affecting room acoustics. Can't blame you one bit with respect to the Lessloss Blackbody, though. Obviously a work of the devil. Same goes for the Schumann Frequency Generator, Mpingo disc, deionizers, demagnetizers, Rainbow Foil, SteinMusic Harmonizer, Tiny Little Crystals on the wall and the Red X Coordinate Pen, not to mention Frank Tchang's tiny little bowls which are even tinier than the A.R.T. bowls, if you can believe that. :-)
Some people fall outside the curve because they are brilliant outsiders blazing paths into the unknown. But for every person like that there are probably a thousand who are just oddballs. I honestly don't know where Sabai falls. I applaud him for his willingness to share, yet at the same time some of the things he says sound like an elaborate inside joke. Not all that different than the post by the guy selling the over the telephone test tones.
I can't help but wonder if Sabai took all that stuff out of his system and just paid attention the speaker/listener position and room acoustics would he get equivalent or better results? Is getting really good quality sound that much work?
Sabai, I left Carver behind a long time ago, that didn't compare to the holography I'm speaking of now, and I've heard incredible levels of holography with incredible price tags. What I heard at that high end emporium was all top of the line ARC and Thiel set up by an obsessed fanatic.
I had the pleasure of enjoying many listening sessions at his home. He enjoyed them as well because I'm not a motor mouth at listening sessions; I came to listen to music, not to talk about listening to music. As I recall he had CD's stored in those huge drawers, you see in public libraries.
The sound at his home was quite different from the sound at the emporium, it was lush, and euphoric as opposed to pin point, but even more "holographic". I believe the very best holographic speakers are "dipole" to some degree. His Von Schweikerts had speakers in both the rear and front of the cabinet.
As you stated, the degrees of holography are never ending, and they make the music so much more enjoyable.