the sound of Tao

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In landscape design space can be viewed as objectively area determined by boundaries. There is what is within the space and also then what is outside the space. The experience of the nature of the space itself is determined by the characteristics of the content within the space and this sets the tone or characteristics of the whole sense of place. Scale of space is critical to our experience of space.

So place and space overlap in usage but place tends to be more usually a holistic reference to the space and all that is also contained within that space. The functional core or cores within the place become the fundamental elements within the space. In live music recording the players and instruments are the core.

So I suppose if we look to the usage in context to a music recording space could simply be used to refer to the container and the sense of the boundaries or it could also be used to define everything existent within the recording space… including the players, all the ambient atmosphere and also the outline of the boundaries and any voids contained within or without.

I do think as long as we are aware how usage can vary and communicate in a way to demonstrate the context of how we are using terms then no great literary crimes are happening here. My experience in teaching is to get understanding you just can’t sit stubbornly in your particular way of communicating ideas… you have to reach out to understand the way others perceive and define also.
 

Mike Lavigne

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Mike, was this comparison with the 458s or the 468s?
458's, 4 years ago....

 

bonzo75

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458's, 4 years ago....


I remember that thread going on in loops with you repeating your findings, people challenging them, you repeating them, same challenges, loop. Now that you have linked the thread people will read it and loop could restart
 
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PeterA

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Al, Brian, and Mike,

We can surely discuss the nuanced differences between terms used to describe what we hear from an audio system and live music. I was attempting to answer Karen Sumner's provocative comment about how we can achieve from an audio system what she refers to as "space". Below see four different descriptions of what I see as basically the same thing: The character of the environment in which the musicians are playing their instruments. For me, this is an holistic characteristic which emcompasses the imaginary boundaries of the space PLUS the quality of the energy being created and expanding into the audience and perceived by the listener. Karen asked the question of how this characteristic can be achieved by the assembly and set up of an audio system. Do the three of you care to share an alternative to the point of view I shared in my post above?

Karen Sumner: SPACE: Does the system or component recreate the ambience and scale of the original recorded music space to a believable level by revealing the direct sound of instruments and the reflected sound of fundamentals and harmonics within the performance space?

David Karmeli: I use the word "ambience" for what you call "SPACE". It's the living presence which includes noise, air, reflections, people, etc. that become the fabric of any space, enclosed or open. IMO this individual envelope from the original venue is critical to suspension of reality and what "natural" sound. It's also what majority of systems and equipment that I've heard can't reproduce properly. Some components even cover it up with some notion of fake background that they add to reproduction, the same is true with many audiophile pressings from known brands that treat the ambience as noise and filter the life out of it. 180g+ vinyl is another piece of modern junk that sucks the life from the grooves yet you have their producers hailing it as some kind of novel formulation. Maybe we should add the word "Con Artist" to the high end vocabulary seeing that so many are lurking in this industry and very few call them out! I know I'm burning many bridges as an industry insider but I really don't care.

Jim Smith: Space - in my experience - not suggested as some iron-clad fact - is best described and adjusted for when it is thought of and referred to as Presence.
Of course there are many types of Presence -
Intimate in-room Presence
In-room Presence
Studio Presence
Recital Hall Presence
Jazz or Blues Club Presence
Concert Hall Presence,
Live outdoor concert presence, and more.

Tima: Context - The envelope of atmosphere, the sense of an orchestra in a hall, back and side wall reflections, the cloud of harmonics, the undergirding strength of the rhthym section - in the world of musicians making music as you say the real presence unique to the venue not the system soundstage construct.
 
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Al M.

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Presence is again different from either ambience or space. In my view, presence has to do with palpability and the portrayal of sound energy emanating from the performers vs. a cardboard presentation of a performer. The former gives more, the latter less presence in recorded space. Cardboard presentations of a performer can exist within an overall presentation that is otherwise satisfying in portrayal of both ambience and space.

To claim that presence, ambience and space are all the same is confusing things.
 
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PeterA

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Presence is again different from either ambience or space. In my view, presence has to do with palpability and the portrayal of sound energy emanating from the performers vs. a cardboard presentation of a performer. The former gives more, the latter less presence in recorded space. Cardboard presentations of a performer can exist within an overall presentation that is otherwise satisfying in portrayal of both ambience and space.

To claim that presence, ambience and space are all the same is confusing things.

OK Al. Let us just take your definition of space and how it relates to Karen’s definition in the context of this very thread. If we can start there, would you mind sharing your opinion of her comment about how to achieve that “space“ from an audio system in a listening room?
 
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bazelio

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458's, 4 years ago....


I wonder if ambience changed much between the 458 and 468. For the 108, mk1 vs mk2, I simply can't remember.
 

PeterA

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Cardboard presentations of a performer can exist within an overall presentation that is otherwise satisfying in portrayal of both ambience and space.

I don’t know what your standard of satisfying overall presentation is, but I have never experienced what you are describing here in this comment. The systems that I’ve heard that deliver a good portrayal of both ambience and space have never had a (2-dimensional) cardboard presentation of a performer.
 
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microstrip

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Al, Brian, and Mike,

We can surely discuss the nuanced differences between terms used to describe what we hear from an audio system and live music. I was attempting to answer Karen Sumner's provocative comment about how we can achieve from an audio system what she refers to as "space". Below see four different descriptions of what I see as basically the same thing: The character of the environment in which the musicians are playing their instruments. For me, this is an holistic characteristic which emcompasses the imaginary boundaries of the space PLUS the quality of the energy being created and expanding into the audience and perceived by the listener. Karen asked the question of how this characteristic can be achieved by the assembly and set up of an audio system. Do the three of you care to share an alternative to the point of view I shared in my post above?

Karen Sumner: SPACE: Does the system or component recreate the ambience and scale of the original recorded music space to a believable level by revealing the direct sound of instruments and the reflected sound of fundamentals and harmonics within the performance space?

David Karmeli: I use the word "ambience" for what you call "SPACE". It's the living presence which includes noise, air, reflections, people, etc. that become the fabric of any space, enclosed or open. IMO this individual envelope from the original venue is critical to suspension of reality and what "natural" sound. It's also what majority of systems and equipment that I've heard can't reproduce properly. Some components even cover it up with some notion of fake background that they add to reproduction, the same is true with many audiophile pressings from known brands that treat the ambience as noise and filter the life out of it. 180g+ vinyl is another piece of modern junk that sucks the life from the grooves yet you have their producers hailing it as some kind of novel formulation. Maybe we should add the word "Con Artist" to the high end vocabulary seeing that so many are lurking in this industry and very few call them out! I know I'm burning many bridges as an industry insider but I really don't care.

Jim Smith: Space - in my experience - not suggested as some iron-clad fact - is best described and adjusted for when it is thought of and referred to as Presence.
Of course there are many types of Presence -
Intimate in-room Presence
In-room Presence
Studio Presence
Recital Hall Presence
Jazz or Blues Club Presence
Concert Hall Presence,
Live outdoor concert presence, and more.

Tima: Context - The envelope of atmosphere, the sense of an orchestra in a hall, back and side wall reflections, the cloud of harmonics, the undergirding strength of the rhthym section - in the world of musicians making music as you say the real presence unique to the venue not the system soundstage construct.

Unfortunately your three line summary of Karen hides most of what was written in her careful post, as well as other people posts. Only in such conditions the four different descriptions can refer to the same thing. I consider that a key sentence of Karen post on space is on its origin, shown in this sentence of her post (I quote from it) "Because these systems also do not capture the nuance of dynamic fluctuations in the middle frequencies, they limit our sense of instrumental presence in space because of reduced loud to soft volume boundary reflections." (end of quote) I also consider that proper space is also connected to boundary reflections, ambience and presence are very different things. Surely nothing is completely independent in the creation of the illusion, but in order to implement such properties in a system we need a proper analytical discussion, not a confusing synthesis. Surely IMHO, YMMV.
 

Mike Lavigne

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I wonder if ambience changed much between the 458 and 468. For the 108, mk1 vs mk2, I simply can't remember.
ambience changed more tha n space going from the 458 to 468. the 468 is a bit quieter, with a bit better bass, and better textures and liquidity. degrees in these things are better. the 468 has a slightly better 'jump' factor and flow. it has a more significant effect on increasing ambience performance than more perceived space.

these are objectively small subtle differences, but have significant musical implications.

i'm told the 468 better drives hard to drive speakers. but my 97db, 7 ohm MM7's are not in that category.

i think similar 108 mk1 -> mk2 differences. but the Mk1 108 is equally as quiet as the Mk2.....and is a space champ.

my guess is that the 468 would better challenge the ML3's head to head in ambience. they would be different and more trade-offs in that category.
 
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treitz3

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I don’t know what your standard of satisfying overall presentation is, but I have never experienced what you are describing here in this comment. The systems that I’ve heard that deliver a good portrayal of both ambience and space have never had cardboard presentations of a performer.
Hi, Peter and good evening to you. I think that *perhaps* he meant it like this;

"Cardboard presentation of a performer" - Think of this as a 2 dimensional, flat plane of sound (albeit in stereo). It's there but the individual instrument is flat when you imagine looking at the instrument from above. It has width, it has presence on the sound stage but no "aura" or 3 dimensionality surrounding said instrument. When you listen, there is a palpability difference between flat, "Cardboard" style instrumentation and an instrument that reverbs off of the space and you can hear said reverb/reflections of of the walls/limits of the original space. Whether that be a back wall, ceiling, floor or an open field behind where you are listening (provided that the recording reveals this aspect).

You can have a plethora of space/ambience within a recording but it changes when you pinpoint on a certain instrument within a sound stage and the aura of said instrument within the sound stage. I hope this made sense.

Tom
 
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PeterA

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Unfortunately your three line summary of Karen hides most of what was written in her careful post, as well as other people posts. Only in such conditions the four different descriptions can refer to the same thing. I consider that a key sentence of Karen post on space is on its origin, shown in this sentence of her post (I quote from it) "Because these systems also do not capture the nuance of dynamic fluctuations in the middle frequencies, they limit our sense of instrumental presence in space because of reduced loud to soft volume boundary reflections." (end of quote) I also consider that proper space is also connected to boundary reflections, ambience and presence are very different things. Surely nothing is completely independent in the creation of the illusion, but in order to implement such properties in a system we need a proper analytical discussion, not a confusing synthesis. Surely IMHO, YMMV.

Thank you Francisco. That was not my summary. It was a direct quote from the OP. Your post got me to look back and locate the sentence you took out of the full context of Karen’s paragraph. She is clearly talking about “hi-fi“ sound. From the context of her postings in this thread, and specifically in her comment I quoted, it is clear to me that she is talking about “space“ as a positive attribute found in systems that do not present “hi-fi“ sound. She is talking about realistic, convincing, believable sound. Here is the full paragraph in her first post of this thread:

“Hi fi sound does not believably reproduce the sound of acoustic instruments in space because it typically doesn’t capture the body and complex overtonal structure that is embedded on most recordings. Because these systems also do not capture the nuance of dynamic fluctuations in the middle frequencies, they limit our sense of instrumental presence in space because of reduced loud to soft volume boundary reflections. Much of what connects us emotionally with music resides in the mid-band where the essential musical qualities of fundamental tones, instrumental timbre, and harmonic richness reside. This is not news, but those who are looking for hi fi sound seem almost allergic to these “heavier” essential qualities that create a full sense of ambience and presence because they tend to obscure some of the hi fi artifactual details they are seeking. The standard is to seek pin-point holographic imaging and highly articulated higher frequency harmonics without an appropriate measure of fundamental tonal foundation or overtonal richness. The hi fi based imaging construct renders a sense of musicians playing holographically against a “black background”. Hi fi sound advocates want their systems to produce these tightly defined details, but at the expense of the far more abundantly rich, low-level details that are inherent to the live music listening experience.”
 
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PeterA

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Hi, Peter and good evening to you. I think that *perhaps* he meant it like this;

"Cardboard presentation of a performer" - Think of this as a 2 dimensional, flat plane of sound (albeit in stereo). It's there but the individual instrument is flat when you imagine looking at the instrument from above. It has width, it has presence on the sound stage but no "aura" or 3 dimensionality surrounding said instrument. When you listen, there is a palpability difference between flat, "Cardboard" style instrumentation and an instrument that reverbs off of the space and you can hear said reverb/reflections of of the walls/limits of the original space. Whether that be a back wall, ceiling, floor or an open field behind where you are listening (provided that the recording reveals this aspect).

You can have a plethora of space/ambience within a recording but it changes when you pinpoint on a certain instrument within a sound stage and the aura of said instrument within the sound stage. I hope this made sense.

Tom

Thank you Tom. Of course I meant a flat 2D cardboard shape of the performer and this is what Al meant. Adding the “S” was a typo and was confusing. I missed it. I have corrected my post. Thank you for pointing that out to me.
 
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microstrip

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Thank you Francisco. Your post got me to look back and locate the sentence you took out of the full context of Karen’s paragraph. She is clearly talking about “hi-fi“ sound. From the context of her postings in this thread, it is clear to me that she is talking about “space“ as a positive attribute found in systems that do not present “hi-fi“ sound. Here’s the full paragraph in her first post:

“Hi fi sound does not believably reproduce the sound of acoustic instruments in space because it typically doesn’t capture the body and complex overtonal structure that is embedded on most recordings. Because these systems also do not capture the nuance of dynamic fluctuations in the middle frequencies, they limit our sense of instrumental presence in space because of reduced loud to soft volume boundary reflections. Much of what connects us emotionally with music resides in the mid-band where the essential musical qualities of fundamental tones, instrumental timbre, and harmonic richness reside. This is not news, but those who are looking for hi fi sound seem almost allergic to these “heavier” essential qualities that create a full sense of ambience and presence because they tend to obscure some of the hi fi artifactual details they are seeking. The standard is to seek pin-point holographic imaging and highly articulated higher frequency harmonics without an appropriate measure of fundamental tonal foundation or overtonal richness. The hi fi based imaging construct renders a sense of musicians playing holographically against a “black background”. Hi fi sound advocates want their systems to produce these tightly defined details, but at the expense of the far more abundantly rich, low-level details that are inherent to the live music listening experience.”

What is the point? I am just referring to what Karen considers relevant in the creation of space - surely a positive aspect. It is independent of quote context - it is a generic caracteristic of stereo imaging. Some systems show it, others do not.
 
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Al M.

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Hi, Peter and good evening to you. I think that *perhaps* he meant it like this;

"Cardboard presentation of a performer" - Think of this as a 2 dimensional, flat plane of sound (albeit in stereo). It's there but the individual instrument is flat when you imagine looking at the instrument from above. It has width, it has presence on the sound stage but no "aura" or 3 dimensionality surrounding said instrument. When you listen, there is a palpability difference between flat, "Cardboard" style instrumentation and an instrument that reverbs off of the space and you can hear said reverb/reflections of of the walls/limits of the original space. Whether that be a back wall, ceiling, floor or an open field behind where you are listening (provided that the recording reveals this aspect).

You can have a plethora of space/ambience within a recording but it changes when you pinpoint on a certain instrument within a sound stage and the aura of said instrument within the sound stage. I hope this made sense.

Tom

Thank you, Tom, excellent.
 

tima

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My experience in teaching is to get understanding you just can’t sit stubbornly in your particular way of communicating ideas… you have to reach out to understand the way others perceive and define also.l

Yes, a good point, however that assumes teachability or at least openness to learning under some model of receptivity. Scant that here.
 
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treitz3

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I haven’t been in a rush to discuss the final frontier of space because imaging and soundstage are hot buttons in the hi fi world, and the concept of “space” that I will describe here requires a total recalibration of the concept of space as it is widely accepted in the hi fi world.

Hello and good evening to you, Karen.

Would you be willing to describe a non-calibration as if Hi-Fi never existed and reproduction of music just started?

Tom
 

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