A thought experiment that I mentioned in another, wrong thread (naughty, naughty, ruler across the wrist) ...
Orchestra in concert hall, soundproof room built in prime audience position. You inside, drill small hole in wall facing orchestra, nicely smooth it in all the right ways, stick one ear against the hole. Would it sound real or not real? Then fill hole, stick microphone on outside of patched up hole, stick top notch headphone driver on other side and connect the two with your best amp, whatever. How would that compare?
Can you not tell immediately the difference between the sound of a live instrument and a reproduced instrument?
I do agree that once in a while one can get 'fooled' into thinking it's live when listening to a great system, But I think that applies more to music other than a full symphonic orchestra or marching band, as Gary brought up.
I personally have never heard a system that really comes close to reproducing what I heard yesterday in the symphony hall. I have heard some of the very best systems in the world, including the big Wilson's, the Infinity IRS'es, the big Wisdom's, Maggies, the Martens, The Scaena's, Magico's and numerous others...none, I repeat none, have come anywhere near close to the 'live' event of a full tilt orchestra in a symphony hall. I can always point to the numerous differences in the 'live' vs. reproduced sound. When HP coined the term 'The Absolute Sound' I think he was spot on with his thinking. IMHO, we are a VERY long way away from being able to get there...again, just IMHO.
Even in a forest we feel the air. We feel the wind, and can feel the relative humidity in the absence of it. The sound of the wind and the feel of it is coincident or at least our brains process it that way. Just a few weeks ago I was treated to one of my ultimate audio experiences. I was lying on a day bed with my eyed closed just listening to the surf, wind and the laughter of children. Amazing how I could feel the rhythm of the gentle crashing of the waves through the day bed. The Big Guy upstairs makes the ultimate audio systems! I do get your point as well and appreciate it. I'm guilty of the headphones and sub thing by the way. My daughter thought I was nuts. I should've locked the door
What we often forget is that hearing is a total body experience. 1/10the body exposure has absorption coefficients from 20kHz to 1kHz similar to 3 inches of compressed fiberglass. Below that we've got about half the absorption which is still a lot. Now think of the thousands upon thousands of nerve endings on our skin and hair follicles. The body effects may not be obvious but neither do we feel the effect of multiples of our own weight on the soles of our feet every time we walk, step, hop or run even if these nerves are sensitive enough to make us go into fits with a pin prick or a feather. It's a bit like focus vs. peripheral vision. We could be watching the principle action on a wide screen but it is the filling up of the peripheral spaces with imagery that gives us the sense of scale and envelopment.
It won't happen Frank, I'm no expert. That book would probably contain more misinformation than information. Besides, I'll only give it a thought if I can get past even one paragraph without my spell checker or grammar checker doing their red and green underlining thing. I know you're kidding but I'm not. Hahahahaha.
Last edited by JackD201; 03-18-2011 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Added second paragraph
In fact, research has shown that the ear is truly appalling as a microphone, you would never, ever buy it as a piece of equipment to do the job. It's only that the brain gets into the act and sorts out the mess that allows a reasonable job of hearing things to come out the other end ...
When my system is not working right, dead easy. If it is working right it's convincing enough for me!Can you not tell immediately the difference between the sound of a live instrument and a reproduced instrument?
I write on MS software running on an Apple OS. Where does that leave me in that debate? I can't even get my parents to understand what I'm saying, I doubt Jobs or Ballmer could understand me either!
In my experience "some" isn't all that hard. It's "a lot off" that is.
Jack's right, "some" isn't what we are talking about. Listening live to an orchestra and then to your system and you will notice the "rest" is missing...and IMHO, the "rest" is an awful lot