Dynamic range and gain riding

bazelio

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Continuation from Natural Sound #2726.

But the soft end of the range is louder now or the same as before?

Ok so some background. This system is a simple nearfield monitor system, so restricted low end. It's in my home office. I recently changed from two ways to essentially a wide bander (though it is supplemented by woofers on the low end, and ribbons that crossover quite high. This change alone increased the apparent dynamic response of the system, with all else equal. The speakers became about 5 dB more efficient and I lost the crossover point that was previously in the heart of midrange. After I became accustomed to this sound for a few months, I changed from a 50W amp to a 25W amp with no loss in dynamics and gains in other areas, as I just like the new amp better. Then a month later, I made the previously described power changes. The results are as I described. Greater (apparent) dynamic range. Cleaner more detailed sound overall. The type of sound that makes you want to turn the volume up, not because you need to but because you can and want to.. Or at least I do. It's just so unstrained and effortless. You lose track of the nominal volume and then suddenly a crescendo hits, and it's like holy shit, gotta back that off. I don't have measurements to say definitively, but the subjective observed or apparent result is that the window of softest to loudest has further widened, just as it seemed to do right after the speaker change. No matter if I've cranked the volume to start or not, this is the observation. On familiar tracks, I'm impressed by how things build and crescendo now more than ever. Kinda makes me want to pursue wide banders for my main system... Or (gasp) horns.

With all that said, the cleaner more detailed sound also allows for better low level listening, like when someone is trying to sleep in the next room. Just as @PeterA said. Personally, I used to switch to headphones, but really no need for headphones now.
 
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Tango

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The type of sound that makes you want to turn the volume up, not because you need to but because you can and want to.. Or at least I do. It's just so unstrained and effortless. You lose track of the nominal volume and then suddenly a crescendo hits, and it's like holy shit, gotta back that off.
Some people seemed to misinterpret what you said about adjusting volume while listening in the other thread. This should clarify things for them. Yesterday I was playing that Wilson's War and Peace wind instrument recording, that sudden attack of drum or whatever that sounded like explosion made me rushed to the preamp to lower the volume a few notches.
 

bonzo75

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Continuation from Natural Sound #2726.



Ok so some background. This system is a simple nearfield monitor system, so restricted low end. It's in my home office. I recently changed from two ways to essentially a wide bander (though it is supplemented by woofers on the low end, and ribbons that crossover quite high. This change alone increased the apparent dynamic response of the system, with all else equal. The speakers became about 5 dB more efficient and I lost the crossover point that was previously in the heart of midrange. After I became accustomed to this sound for a few months, I changed from a 50W amp to a 25W amp with no loss in dynamics and gains in other areas, as I just like the new amp better. Then a month later, I made the previously described power changes. The results are as I described. Greater (apparent) dynamic range. Cleaner more detailed sound overall. The type of sound that makes you want to turn the volume up, not because you need to but because you can and want to.. Or at least I do. It's just so unstrained and effortless. You lose track of the nominal volume and then suddenly a crescendo hits, and it's like holy shit, gotta back that off. I don't have measurements to say definitively, but the subjective observed or apparent result is that the window of softest to loudest has further widened, just as it seemed to do right after the speaker change. No matter if I've cranked the volume to start or not, this is the observation. On familiar tracks, I'm impressed by how things build and crescendo now more than ever. Kinda makes me want to pursue wide banders for my main system... Or (gasp) horns.

With all that said, the cleaner more detailed sound also allows for better low level listening, like when someone is trying to sleep in the next room. Just as @PeterA said. Personally, I used to switch to headphones, but really no need for headphones now.

This gives a different perspective to what you previously wrote. This shows that due to lower distortion you can enjoy louder sound as sound is cleaner. And therefore accidentally you might turn it up too much. Which is quite different from having to adjust it up and down on each LP to accommodate for the journey from the lows to the highs.
 

bazelio

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I don't even remember exactly what I wrote. But the "new" sound continues to surprise me with the level of dynamic peaks reached. The sound can best be described as less compressed. This doesn't mean I'm riding the fader with every LP. But I am getting "caught" off guard more often.
 
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Chop

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I found the same subjective increase in dynamic range & dropping of the noise floor by switching to Symposium Rollerblocks & Super Platforms. The way I would describe it is that for the same volume setting the quiet sections are quieter but just as clear, and the loud sections are appreciably louder when required to be so: this increase in dynamic range for a given volume setting makes music more believable.

This leads me to think that the dynamic capabilities of the components in the system were being compromised by vibration within those components. Now the vibration is better controlled the unrealised potential of the components I already have can be heard :)
As an additional benefit the sound became cleaner with greater inner detail, without any increase in brightness.
(NB I have no financial interest in Symposium)
 

tima

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I found the same subjective increase in dynamic range & dropping of the noise floor by switching to Symposium Rollerblocks & Super Platforms. The way I would describe it is that for the same volume setting the quiet sections are quieter but just as clear, and the loud sections are appreciably louder when required to be so: this increase in dynamic range for a given volume setting makes music more believable.

This leads me to think that the dynamic capabilities of the components in the system were being compromised by vibration within those components. Now the vibration is better controlled the unrealised potential of the components I already have can be heard :)
As an additional benefit the sound became cleaner with greater inner detail, without any increase in brightness.

This is an interesting set of observations. Component isolation and vibration mitigation typically will shift resonance frequencies away from those various parts of the overall component to which they are applied, thus allowing them to operate without the impact of distorting vibration. I will venture that what now comes across as cleaner is perceived, partly, as quieter or louder. The actual db output level has not changed, but that is one way the difference is perceived and some may address it via the volume control which will change the output level.

My experience with Symposium rollerblocks in terms of net effect was a slight shifting of frequency balance toward the treble with a perceived increase of detail which can be described as cleaner. As you note this is not brightness. It may be a slight compensation for high frequency hearing loss that is inevitable for most of us.
 

Chop

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This is an interesting set of observations. Component isolation and vibration mitigation typically will shift resonance frequencies away from those various parts of the overall component to which they are applied, thus allowing them to operate without the impact of distorting vibration. I will venture that what now comes across as cleaner is perceived, partly, as quieter or louder. The actual db output level has not changed, but that is one way the difference is perceived and some may address it via the volume control which will change the output level.

My experience with Symposium rollerblocks in terms of net effect was a slight shifting of frequency balance toward the treble with a perceived increase of detail which can be described as cleaner. As you note this is not brightness. It may be a slight compensation for high frequency hearing loss that is inevitable for most of us.

Thanks for your note Tima. I have added some bold for clarity in my following comments.
Firstly, I believe the principle behind their use is vibration transmission not component isolation. I found the ramification of this very counter intuitive to start with but it definitely works for me. YMMV.

Certainly when I first put them in the perceived brightness of the system increased. After a lot of messing about with their use, in conjunction with fine tuning the rest of the system, I now don't believe Rollerblocks make the sound brighter in any way. I think they are very transparent and are letting more of the sound of the system through, which is enabling me to hear where there may be brightness in the rest of the system. After addressing those areas they are not bright.

While I respect your perspective I suspect from my experience the effect is not as simple as improved cleanness, although that is certainly a part of what I hear. I'll try to phrase this carefully: I am convinced they allow more of the dynamics inherent within the system to be heard. The better vibration control must be allowing the component to do its job more easily, though I don't have a clue why this would be.
(I'm a subjectivist: I can only report based on what I hear :)
 

tima

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Thanks for your note Tima. I have added some bold for clarity in my following comments.
Firstly, I believe the principle behind their use is vibration transmission not component isolation. I found the ramification of this very counter intuitive to start with but it definitely works for me. YMMV.

Certainly when I first put them in the perceived brightness of the system increased. After a lot of messing about with their use, in conjunction with fine tuning the rest of the system, I now don't believe Rollerblocks make the sound brighter in any way. I think they are very transparent and are letting more of the sound of the system through, which is enabling me to hear where there may be brightness in the rest of the system. After addressing those areas they are not bright.

While I respect your perspective I suspect from my experience the effect is not as simple as improved cleanness, although that is certainly a part of what I hear. I'll try to phrase this carefully: I am convinced they allow more of the dynamics inherent within the system to be heard. The better vibration control must be allowing the component to do its job more easily, though I don't have a clue why this would be.
(I'm a subjectivist: I can only report based on what I hear :)

Sure, I understand - I am not disagreeing with your perceptions and described what I heard in my own system using the Rollerblocks. I did not describe what I heard as brightness.

I too am a subjectivist but I understand some about how vibration mitigation and isolation work. I offered an explanation about what you said you have no clue. Any audio system produces resonance (vibration) across the range of the music. If a resonance (some frequency of the music) matches the resonant frequency of a component, say a capacitor, it can cause the vibration in that capacitor to increase. Putting something under a component will change the resonance frequency of both that thing and the component that sits on it. A shift in resonance frequency may cause the component to operate differently than it did before inserting the Rollerblocks beneath it. Such a shift may allow the component to operate within its specifications where it was not prior to the change in platform. (The explanation and how you perceive a change are different things.) You perceive the effect of that shift in resonance frequency as a change in dynamics even if there was no actual change in volume.

When I first put in the Rollerblocks I perceived the change as an increase in detail. Over time I understood that change as a slight frequency shift toward the treble.
 
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Chop

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"...Operate within its specifications where it was not prior to the change in platform".
Excellent and plausible, thanks Tima.
 

bazelio

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The different types of Rollerblocks produce different results. I have tried all of them and continue to use Rollerblocks Jr, and only underneath my phono stage and its power supply. I haven't experienced a change in dynamics nor a shift in tonality with Rollerblocks but instead, the following: Sharper leading edges, a tightening of everything but most notably bass, and I'm not sure what to call it but an unleashing of finer tonal gradations. It is this latter result that has me continuing to use these devices. What do I mean by this... It's essentially an expansion of the available tonal pallette. The sound just becomes more colorful in a real/true/natural way. An analogy might be going from 8-bit color to 16-bit color for anyone old enough to remember the difference. But it's a remarkable difference and one not matched by a variety of alternatives I had tried, e.g. steel plates, various bases, other footers, etc. However with any of the Rollerblocks, it's easy to go too far and wind up with edges that are too sharp, bass that is too tight, etc. Targeted and limited use only in my system.
 

bazelio

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I'll add one more thing that the Rollerblocks' performance and results do depend on the substrate with which they're used. Symposium bases work well, but so do other relatively dead substrates, usually laminated materials like high quality Apple plywood.
 

Tango

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Maybe this video could illustrate the rise and fall, loundness/ dynamic range/contrast low to high, high to low, that cleaner power from pole bring to my system. I tend to put my volume knob a few clicks higher these days and like @bazelio quite often had to walk to the preamp to lower volume because of the sudden surges during song. I couldn't find a video of this track I made before electricity rerouting. So I feel a little pointless showing this without comparison. But I wrote in Natural Sound thread I would post this so I do as said.

 
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Mike Lavigne

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i think about riding the gain, and dynamic range, there are two cases.

one has to do with how your system handles higher SPL's, and can involve lots of things. where do you get smearing and stress? and which sources and media handle it how? maybe the best tapes and pressings can handle warp 9 easily.....they hold together and you uncover more and more as you push thing farther. but maybe only very limited digital can venture there? it's the room acoustics, the AC grid, the resonance treatments, amp headroom and the tonal balance of the system. quality of the digital source. how full range things are, matters too. recently i added suspension to my speaker cables and interconnects unweighting my active isolation; this improved the active devices performance and resonance control, and reduced smearing and allowed for more SPL's while sorting out detail. greater ease at higher volumes. on this case there are many many variables and steps to work on.

the other case is the first watt, and how involving, life-like and expressive your system is at low SPL's, and how broadly this works on various types of music in your system. how often do you need to turn it way up to connect......a relative thing i suppose. never owned horns, but assume they have an advantage with this part, since they are so immediate and microdynamic to begin with. but this has been a big focus for me, as i listen so many hours a day/week, i can't always be pushing the SPL's. i'm fortunate to have a very low room noise floor, and dedicated building, so at least my system has that advantage. here i think source and system absence of distortion is critical. does the system project PRAT...... flow, ease and authority at modest SPL's? or do you need to really push it to get that envelopment?
 
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Tuckers

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From my experience, I would say that the majority of what you are hearing is because there is no crossover on the main driver and the increased efficiency. Higher efficiency always gives more jump and dynamism in my experience that can't be replaced by adding more muscular amps. And lack of crossover in the wide ranger removes on more impediment from realism. IMHO crossovers no matter how well designed sap the energy from the music to some degree. I'm sure others will disagree strongly though lol.
 

stehno

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I found the same subjective increase in dynamic range & dropping of the noise floor by switching to Symposium Rollerblocks & Super Platforms. The way I would describe it is that for the same volume setting the quiet sections are quieter but just as clear, and the loud sections are appreciably louder when required to be so: this increase in dynamic range for a given volume setting makes music more believable.

This leads me to think that the dynamic capabilities of the components in the system were being compromised by vibration within those components. Now the vibration is better controlled the unrealised potential of the components I already have can be heard :)
As an additional benefit the sound became cleaner with greater inner detail, without any increase in brightness.
(NB I have no financial interest in Symposium)
Very observant, Chop. And unlike some who can only guess or speculate the why's and wherefores of such benefits, you laid it out rather well. Indeed, the presentation becomes that much more believeable or musical and not just the dynamics but every last sonic category. Isn't that exactly what a truly genuine improvement should bring? Not better here and worse there rather, just better across the entire frequency spectrum with seemingly no negatives whatsoever.


Here's a little dynamic piece I think one could listen to at perhaps any preferred volume level without concern for hearing any potential nasties of some electronics-gone-wild presentations. Though I have to give a certain amount of credit to my OPPO's passive volume attenuator replacing my previous active linestage which happens to play a key role here.

Anyway, well said.
 
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