Peter A.’s System: A Perspective on Natural Sound

ack

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It's just the S2 driver. The bass driver is coupled via cross-over point at 500 Hz.
OK. So sharp drop in the high frequencies
 

Audiophile Bill

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Looks acceptable 1k to ~12kHz with a steep drop above that . But what's going on below 1kHz? Is this unechoic response, expecting the corner and walls to boost output?

oh ignore that - these measurements aren’t from the Vitavox cn191speaker but the S2 on a 550hz fs horn. Just attached so you can see the upper extension.
 

Audiophile Bill

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It's just the S2 driver I think. The bass driver is coupled via cross-over point at 500 Hz.

Correct and the graph wasn’t with the Vitavox cn191 speakers either. It was a 500hz fs le cleach horn not the one used in cn191.
 

ack

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oh ignore that - these measurements aren’t from the Vitavox cn191speaker but the S2 on a 550hz fs horn. Just attached so you can see the upper extension.
OK, I'll stick with the manufacturer's claims then
 

bonzo75

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True... then build a new speaker system from scratch or leave it as is, i would say.

No one's saying to change it. Just saying why Al heard what he says
 
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rando

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So it sounds laid back?

If I understood anything being relayed. The situation is quite opposite in reminisces of multiple LP over a few listening sessions. Sound wise it portrays a figurative leaning in, being drawn towards.

Mind I don't have the utmost experience with old underplayed speakers. Feeling of being sucked in by the speakers at this stage... after congratulating everyone who played a part in this new birth from afar... quite obvious pattern of being kept up all night and reporting infinitesimal change after change... ;)
 

bonzo75

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Correct and the graph wasn’t with the Vitavox cn191 speakers either. It was a 500hz fs le cleach horn not the one used in cn191.

It will also be the new S2
 

bonzo75

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Of course people understand what you are describing, Tim. A quick Google search produced:

Transient (acoustics)

In acoustics and audio, a transient is a high amplitude, short-duration sound at the beginning of a waveform that occurs in phenomena such as musical sounds, noises or speech.[1][2] Transients do not necessarily directly depend on the frequency of the tone they initiate. It contains a high degree of non-periodic components and a higher magnitude of high frequencies than the harmonic content of that sound.[3]

What Are Transients & Why Do They Matter to Your Mix?

What Are Transients?
Transients are the short burst of energy that you hear at the start of any sound. The loudest of transients are things like drum hits where the crack of the stick on a drumhead sends a loud sound wave out to the microphone. Transients are everywhere though – from the pick attack on your guitar strings to the consonants of your vocal. Ever used a pop filter while recording? The main goal of a pop filter is to catch plosives – loud burst of air into the microphone – much like transients.

Transients are essential to articulation. We need them to understand the shape of a sound and our ears interpret sounds differently depending on how the transient is formed. You can think of most transients in an “above average” or “below average” mentality.

"Leading edge" and transient are used interchangeably:

The SuperTweeter from Tannoy!

The ST50 SuperTweeter is designed to provide the extended high frequency response demanded by modern programme material and sources (e.g. SACD / DVDA), which have driven the requirement for loudspeakers with extended frequency bandwidth performance. By allowing the listener to experience a far wider range of bandwidth information of instruments than is currently possible with conventional loudspeakers, the new ST50 SuperTweeter from Tannoy completes the musical picture. It not only has the ability to resolve fine detail of high frequency notes but also effectively enhances the listening experience even at lower frequencies. Music contains transient information and rich harmonics beyond the range of human hearing for pure tones. Even bass notes have leading edge transients reaching 30kHz with other instrumentation extending yet further. The leading edge of a note, for instance the initial stick contact with the skin of a drum, is where vital transients occur. Conventional speaker designs with a frequency response upper limit restricted to 20kHz are unable to reproduce this essential detail. The Tannoy SuperTweeter however reproduces all these transients, operating between the roll off point of the existing loudspeakers and 54kHz; the SuperTweeter will accurately reproduce the leading edge of individual notes. This allows the listener to experience the entire bandwidth information of the recorded instruments, with the result that music information has restored to it the speed, impact and clarity.

Googling. See I told you HP's influence is not the problem. It's microstrip! :eek:
 
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Al M.

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Thank you Al for taking the time, and making the effort, to write down your thoughts and impressions of the sound of my system and for sharing them here. I do think it is confusing to have this thread separate from the main thread, because it makes it more difficult to follow the discussion, and for me personally, much more difficult to then go back and find specific posts about my new system. I take you last paragraph as in invitation to comment on your post.

You're welcome, Peter, and thank you for your extended reply. I would have preferred myself not to have a separate thread, but I decided in favor of it in order to give the discussion about my observations on the sound of your system some space, apart from what to my mind has become an extended circular discussion on the original thread about things only tangentially related to the actual system sound.

Al and I had a long and interesting talk on the phone last night about this thread, my system, and my list of observations of David's four systems. The discussion was mostly about the two subjects Al discusses in the post above: Balanced sound and how it relates to specific aspects of a system sticking out, and Relaxing, zero fatigue. I understand that we all hear differently, have different preferences, and different experiences and that Al is simply sharing his perspective of what he is hearing from my system. However, I disagree with Al's observations here.

As you say, we have disagreements about the sound of your system and what ideal system sound should be like. That is only natural. I do not plan to address each one of our disagreements, but I want to answer a few points.

My list does not mention the usual audiophile list of terms, with the exception of "dynamic", as Al pointed out to me last night. The reason is that when I listened to David's four systems, I was drawn into the music, and the systems did not have an identifiable sound as such. I could not dissect them pointing to specific areas which called attention to themselves. The music and the system did not lend themselves to be thought of in terms of bits and pieces. This is precisely because they were balanced sounding. Because of this, the systems disappeared, and the music was left. There was nothing to distract me from the music. My mind could not easily focus on sonic aspects of the presentation. This is the whole key, the main point, of what these systems had in common, and precisely what I experience when listening to live music in the concert hall, or jazz club, or chamber setting. This is why the systems sound "Natural".

Now, this whole idea is contrary to the HP's glossary of audiophile terms. I think this is why my list is met with so much resistance. Al was telling me that the list is extremely vague, the bullet points can be applied to any system by any owner. I reject that. David's four systems do not bring attention to themselves. They do not shout, "listen to me".

Except that, as I personally perceive it, also unamplified live music often shouts, "listen to me". It does so in particular when there is a close-up perspective relative to the performers. So here our perceptions differ.

The discussion about transients/leading edges is fascinating. As I wrote in my other thread, people have varying ideas about this, and here too based on that violin video Bonzo just posted. Al does not hear a pronounced leading edge from my system. Some have read his comments to mean that transients are missing from my system. I agree that there is no pronouncing, no enhancing, no exaggeration of leading edge. I consider it to be balanced with the rest of the presentation, Al does not.

I did not say this. In post #23 I said:

"Peter's Natural Sound is one of several options of a natural sound, not the only one. It is a particular perspective relative to live sound, and can be considered valid. Yet it is not necessarily more valid than others."

It is valid because it is balanced.

In contrast to this, Al does not think this aspect of the presentation from his system is pronounced where I do. I hear it as a constant across all music.

Your impression of my system, Peter, is incomplete.

You may disagree about the validity of more pronounced transients, but it is a fact that in my system the transient portrayal is not "a constant across all music".

Next time you come over I will play an orchestral recording (with the Cleveland Orchestra) for you that shows clear differentiation in the prominence of transients from front to back. Transients are more pronounced in the front part of the orchestra (where apparently the mics were positioned), yet the instruments in the back are portrayed with much softer transients, as they should be, given the, on the recording well-portrayed, great spatial depth of the stage in Cleveland Severance Hall and the reverberation characteristics of the hall as they appear to extend to the back of the stage.

Then I could play another recording of the same music that has a drier ambience, and you would immediately notice that transients are more pronounced overall.

For the fun of it, I could throw in yet another recording of the very same music, which overall has a more reverberant atmosphere, and you would hear that all transients are softer.

We could also compare different piano recordings, ranging from totally close-up with brutally hard transients, to a "normal" recording, to one in a reverberant acoustic with distinctly soft transients.

[Al] hears it as recessed across all music in my system. Where does this leave us? I don't know. I guess we hear things differently, but this is a primary condition for a system to sound natural FOR ME. It is as Tima wrote in his Lamm LP2.1 review. Paraphrasing: "transients/leading edges are are somewhat less pronounced, but that is more like the way I hear them in the concert hall."

Tim's observation is true as a general tendency, yet depends on where you sit relative to the performers and on the size and acoustic of the hall.

Also, if the recorded perspective is close, then the transient portrayal should reflect that.

To be continued later.
 
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Al M.

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Other systems may always sound aggressive. I've worked very hard over decades so my system scales the stimulation level with the recording. Electronica can sound aggressive and amazingly sharp, but at the same time a live recording from mid-hall will sound relaxed.

Precisely. It is important to me too that a system can portray the distinction.
 
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bonzo75

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Guys in live nuances will stand out while listening to the whole. To make reproduced live the nuances have to be there, it is very easy to hide them, so while they might be there on the recording, we want to know if the system is hiding them, over spot lighting them, or doing it right
 
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bonzo75

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All that said, the descriptions remind me of vintage tannoys. Not in terms of actual sound, but that they are a whole sound, not necessarily the most nuanced or with great extension, but they are very satisfying and those who like live like them despite recognizing the color. tannoys are like the rice pasta type of wholesome satisfying dish rather than fine dining. It is difficult to explain in hifi terms why one likes tannoys. The vitavox are probably a bit more agile given they run on lower watt SETs (as compared to what tannoy gold and later did)
 

User211

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All that said, the descriptions remind me of vintage tannoys. Not in terms of actual sound, but that they are a whole sound, not necessarily the most nuanced or with great extension, but they are very satisfying and those who like live like them despite recognizing the color. tannoys are like the rice pasta type of wholesome satisfying dish rather than fine dining. It is difficult to explain in hifi terms why one likes tannoys. The vitavox are probably a bit more agile given they run on lower watt SETs (as compared to what tannoy gold and later did)
I think it's pretty easy.

Decent paper cones as a rule just sound good and always have from decade to decade. It's a great material to use.

That dual concentric design works so well as everything comes from the same origin. Almost.

Decent cabs just make them better.

And they make the best of bad sources in a way most speakers don't seem to be able to.

Great if you like classical recordings of dubious technical merit and that is a genre that has plenty of poor recordings.
 

bonzo75

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I think it's pretty easy.

Decent paper cones as a rule just sound good and always have from decade to decade. It's a great material to use.

That dual concentric design works so well as everything comes from the same origin. Almost.

Decent cabs just make them better.

And they make the best of bad sources in a way most speakers don't seem to be able to.

Great if you like classical recordings of dubious technical merit and that is a genre that has plenty of poor recordings.

Tannoys are great for rock and the midbass description of Peter's sounds similar.
 

caesar

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Wouldn't it be cool if we could all listen together instead of intellectually masturbating over a term that has a different meaning to those who have not visited DDK in Utah?
 
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KeithR

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Yes, I did. It's not to my taste for what I would want from my own system, but I welcome the opportunity to hear a very different sound perspective. It helps making the hobby interesting.
Thank you for taking down the whole paradigm with two simple sentences. There is no natural sound, just like there is no absolute one.
 
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Al M.

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I disagree with Al about transients drawing attention to themselves, especially when heard way up close in the concert hall. Everything is more pronounced when one is sitting closer to the live instrument. Transients are no different from the energy in the midrange, the weight of the lower frequencies, it is all more, but the key is it remains in balance. When a system highlights the transients above and beyond the rest of what is going on, I think there is an issue, an imbalance, and that does not sound natural to me.

(Reply to Peter continued from above.)

As you say, everything draws attention to itself, when you sit close to an instrument. For me, that includes transients, and in my perception more pronounced transients do stand out.

When closer, natural resolution becomes detail. I make the distinction between the two because I hear some systems pronounce "detail". It sticks out as if spotlit. I don't hear that at concert hall. It is an artifact created by the electronics or something else in the chain, at the expense of something else. Sure, when sitting right next to a piano, or a violin, there is all sorts of detail heard. But this is as it is. A system should portray that in a natural way, not in an artificial, enhanced way. Al disagreed with this last night and argues that resolution and detail are different. I argue that resolution presents detail when appropriate and based on the listening perspective. Systems can mess with this fine/subtle distinction. David's systems did not, and that is why that is on the list.

The example that I mentioned was a choir in a large, reverberant acoustic, portrayed at a distance from the listener. Proper resolution allows the info of spatial ambience and the portrayal of the choir in space to come through unadulterated, but in the context it would be wrong to have a "detail" presentation that would allow for individual voices to be distinguished as well as it would be the case in a more close-up, drier acoustic. This is an instance where "resolution" and "detail" are different.

Continued:

Regarding Relaxing, no Fatigue: Al hears my system as having a "mid hall" perspective. This leads to a more relaxed presentation. The music is presented at more of a distance from the listener. At the BSO, this would be from about 80-100 feet back from the stage, I suspect. My bullet point list is not about that. It is about the mood David's system put the listener in when he sits down and plays that first record. The listener is not presented with fireworks, bits and pieces of sound to be digested, analyzed, taken apart and criticized. No, he is left with the music in front and around him. The mind does not have to work to understand what the heck is going on. There is an ease to the presentation, much like anything is experienced in nature. Nothing has to be reconciled. The mind/listener is relaxed, and he is free to enjoy the music. Al is talking about the presentation of my system, while I am talking about the mental state of the listener.

Understood.

Mid hall perspective: This is perhaps where I disagree the most with Al. Last night, and for the last couple of months, I have listened to a large variety of music on my system. Solo piano or violin sounds close to me while sitting there on the sofa. Symphony, large choral music, organs, sound distant. Jazz groups, string quartets sound about in the middle. For the most part, this system distinguishes between recording perspectives and venues and scale, size of performers better than my former system, because it is more resolving. All seems to imply that every recording sounds similar with a somewhat distant perspective. I agree that Al's system, on some specific recordings, sounds extremely up front and close, more so than mine, but my system certainly does not present all music from a consistent mid hall perspective. I do not know what else to say about that.

I conceded in our phone conversation last night that here I made a mistake of sloppiness, and I apologize. First, mid-hall at the BSO is indeed quite far away from the stage, "mid-hall" in a small jazz club is obviously much closer. Second, you are right that your system does not present all music from a consistent spatial perspective. As I also mentioned in my initial report on your system, the chamber opera Savitri by Holst showed off the spatial capabilities of the system, with stage depth from back to front. In the beginning, Death sings far at the back of the stage, and eventually the soprano enters relatively upfront. This is just one example.

Yet as you point out, your system does not sound as upfront and close as mine does on some recordings.

Again, I thank Al for his thoughts. This is what I like about good respectful exchanges about the hobby and how it is understood by different people. This is how we learn, and this is what makes such threads interesting.

Thanks, Peter, for this discussion. A thank you also to all the other posters who have made this an interesting discussion so far.

Thank you Al, we will have much more to discuss and time to enjoy each other's company over the years to come.

Cheers to that!
Al
 
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Al M.

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Did you feel it playing the jazz selection? Blue Note recordings are known to be recorded hot, they should be an excellent match with Peter system.

Not sure if Blue Note recordings sound hot; on my system they don't (anymore). I do have a feeling though that some original LPs might sound hotter than the digital reissues, e.g. Lee Morgan's "The Cooker", but I'm not confident about that.

The cymbals on Kenny Burrell's "Midnight Blue" (Blue Note) did lack some sheen in my view, but it was still a solid, satisfying presentation. I definitely prefer that to the opposite, a thinned-out, aggressively "silvery" sound of cymbals. And as I said, the electric guitar on that recording was spectacular.
 

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