Sublime Sound

PeterA

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If Peter hadn't arranged the tweeters on axis previously, and has toed out while moving the speakers closer together, then treble response could be similar now as previously. Bigger differences may be expected in the diffuseness of images, and room acoustics. It's no surprise to me that more ambient recording cues such as hall reverb are now audible in the absence of the 'wall tampons' or panels that were removed. I've tried that same experiment and no longer like much room treatment except dead center behind the speakers. I think the room full of furniture is enough in my case as in Peter's. I'm going to try a bit of toe out eventually, too. I'm currently sitting on axis and like the sound, though. It's not pinpoint, but it's not life-like diffuse either. I caught a guitar, sax duo a few weeks ago on the beach and remember thinking "that sax just sounds ginormous compared to my system at home.". I'm not in 100% agreement that toe out doesn't add coloration of its own, however. I'm a bit more in the "it's a function of the recording" camp with regards to imaging characteristics. Toeing out a set of speakers designed to be (and measured) on-axis in order to change the result based on personal preference is certainly anyone's prerogative. But I do think there are generally side effects. Off axis response deviation just being one.

Brian you seem to have experienced similar things with your system. I found that it was not just a simple matter of rotating the speakers outward. I had to also experiment with moving them forward or backwards and more towards each other or further apart.

Good sound depends on a good interaction between the room and the speakers. Managing the energy resulting from that interaction is important. I found it quite difficult to find the best location for the speakers when trying to do it with zero toe in. I had to be very persistent, patient, and methodical.
I look forward to reading about your impressions once you experiment more with toeing your speakers outward.
 

microstrip

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(...)

The MP-1 individuates musicians and sections with a clarity of definition that the LL2.1 does not. (Remember we're talking 1st tier vs 3rd tier gear, so it's not that surprising.) The MP-1 offers a remarkable clarity both of image and articulation. I found the Lamm preamp presentation overall more integrative, of a whole - that does not mean blurred around the edges or warm - simply, it did not lead me to 'see' individual outlines clearly defined.

I daresay yourself seems, in a way, to contradict your own claim that the MP-1 does not individuate, when you wrote about a collection of teeth in each singer:

While I fully understand your description of the Atma-Sphere combo, what you wrote would not be a good descrption of the sound of the LL2.1. If you agree with that, then you don't disagree with what I wrote of the MP-1 in my LL2.1 review. ;)


Well, I meant that the MP1 does not destroy the integral image of the event when it individualizes singers. Although tonality and image are linked, proper imaging does not affect tonal balance. BTW, as I said I have no experience with the LL2.1, that must be quite different from the L2REF or LL1.

The topic of "is the whole greater or different than the sum of its parts" as it applies to listening could be an amusing thread. Likewise, I invite you to start a thread about "listening with your eyes: open or shut?" Or the topic of "What is Dark?" (hint: it's not Lamm gear.)


My original question to Peter only addressed listening to live music, not sound reproduction.

But yes, tailoring stereo sound image is essentially filtering information. Most recordings carry too much information! A reflection on darkness - I found that the cold just switched on Lamm M1.2 Reference is extremely dark, and needs a minimum of one hour to sound alive. It is not just one more night and day difference - it is more going from a black hole to the center of the sun!
 
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microstrip

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(...) As for pin point imaging and having to choose between this and the sound of live acoustic music? Eh, I'll take both please. No need to choose. One can have both. Well, at least within the limitations of my signature.

Tom

We still have not properly defined "pinpoint imaging". From start Peter defined it as a negative, firmly associating etched images and sterility to it. And it was not possible to revert such tendency in this thread. ;)

Imaging can be established in stereo using tonality and the sound reflections. Getting a proper balance needs some effort but it is possible and can be very rewarding.
 

Lagonda

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Fake imaging to me is what an MBL speaker offers. I have never seen a live violin player with a 6 foot wide image. Yes, it's "airy" and "spacious" but grossly overaggressive in perceived size. This is one extreme.

The other extreme IME and on my system is pin-point locationality cues that allow the listener to still know exactly how big the venue is, where the singers are up on stage. How high the stage is in relation to the listening position, where the instruments are located, even so much as to where they are changing the notes of a guitar in relation to where they are plucking, while still being able to distinguish where each respective instrument is up on stage.

A perfect example of this would be Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía's, "Friday Night in San Francisco". I can perceive all of the aforementioned on this album with no detectable negative effect on tone and tonal balance. This is the best of the best.

Now with that said, I can put in another album and every aspect changes. I concur with morricab in that it's more the recording instead of the gear. This is confirmed (to me) with listening to the same album on different formats with different mastering of the same exact album. All aspects of everything that both you and I have mentioned so far can and most of the time, will be different.....yet the gear never changes.

Tom
I have to disagree with your description of the way MBL speakers sound, you have probably never heard a setup done right in a sufficiently large room. I was originally drawn to MBL for their amazing ability to trow a room filling rendering of the original event, normally only heard from the largest electrostatic speakers, with the added benefit of extended treble and fantastic dynamics. Try to drive them with soft tube amps or a mid-fi source and you will get a bad result, they are brutally honest ;)
 
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PeterA

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We still have not properly defined "pinpoint imaging". From start Peter defined it as a negative, firmly associating etched images and sterility to it. And it was not possible to revert such tendency in this thread. ;)

Imaging can be established in stereo using tonality and the sound reflections. Getting a proper balance needs some effort but it is possible and can be very rewarding.

Fransisco, with respect, you continue to misconstrue my comments. In this current discussion about imaging that started more or less a week ago after Al wrote a post describing his impressions of the sound of my system from his last visit, I have not once used the phrase "pinpoint imaging." I have not used the phrase, I have not defined the phrase. Therefore, I have not defined it as a negative associating etched images and sterility to it. I have referred to "outlined" and "precise" images.

In the context of this current discussion, I think Al first used the term "pin point" to describe images in his post #1602, almost 80 posts ago. You could ask him how he describes it. ddk referred to "pinpoint imaging" in his post #820. I gave my thoughts on the subject to Ian when he asked what is so negative about "pinpoint" imaging. Nowhere did I use the term "pinpoint".

For some reason, you seem to attribute other people's comments to me and you seem to infer that I do not like pinpoint images considering them to etched and sterile. To me anything that is "pinpoint" is incredibly tiny and in a very precise location. I don't think of sound as being that way. Sound is energy. A musician's buttonhole I suppose could be "pinpoint" if I could see it from the front rows of the orchestra seats.

I like stable and localized images of musicians in some semblance of a soundstage. Sometimes those images are heard moving around slightly up on stage or in a studio. But they are never "pinpoint" to me. I also like the images to be of a more or less convincing scale. I do not like hearing a "cutout" image or one with an "outline" with precise edges in space in my listening room. That is too defined and not what I hear when listening to live music. I see precise images when watching musicians play their instruments live, but I do not hear precise images live. So when listening to recordings in my listening room, I do not want to hear precise, cut out, images. I hope that distinction makes some sense.

I understand that this is my system thread, and that the discussion is controversial and even too general and over simplified, but I thought I was pretty clear in my post #830 about how I define and think of different types of imaging and soundstage information.

Here is my concluding paragraph from that post to Ian:

"What I am increasingly less interested in are "cut out" and precise images of the performers in front of me because when I close my eyes in the chamber setting with three instruments, the BSO with one hundred instruments, or a person speaking in front of me, I do not "see" such carefully defined images. I hear the origins from where the energy is created and how it develops as it fills the space. I hear that energy and how it reacts within the room. The tone, the beauty, and the message is what is important."
 

KeithR

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David, this is precisely what I heard with some signal cables, some short lived and expensive footers, even a power cord or two: a homogenization of spatial information and imaging. It is exciting for a while, it draws attention to itself, it impresses visitors, but it is not what I hear when listening to live music. The products that enhance this did alter tonal balance, at least in my system by emphasising particular frequencies, even adding distortion, as surprising as that now seems to me.

Ironically this is what Magico speakers are designed to do - is a speaker change in your future?
 
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morricab

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I have to disagree with your description of the way MBL speakers sound, you have probably never heard a setup done right in a sufficiently large room. I was originally drawn to MBL for their amazing ability to trow a room filling rendering of the original event, normally only heard from the largest electrostatic speakers, with the added benefit of extended treble and fantastic dynamics. Try to drive them with soft tube amps or a mid-fi source and you will get a bad result, they are brutally honest ;)
Well, they are brutally insensitive :eek:
 
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Al M.

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Ironically this is what Magico speakers are designed to do - is a speaker change in your future?

As usual when it comes to Magico speakers, Keith, you have no clue whatsoever. You have some limited experience with auditioning some, which apparently didn't go too well, and you think that makes you an expert. Funny.
 
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tima

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I do not like hearing a "cutout" image or one with an "outline" with precise edges in space in my listening room.

I speculate what you're saying is little different than what is intended by folks using the term 'pinpoint imaging'. Here, the word "pinpoint" not meaning small but rather precise, eg. "pinpointing a target" or "pinpoint accuracy".

Does anyone using 'pinpoint imaging' disagree or offer an alternative?

Holt offers this:
Imaging - The accuracy with which a stereo system re-creates the original sizes and locations of the instruments across the soundstage.

I think that definition needs considerable refining. (I have no expectation nor desire of lifesize images, etc. etc.) But taking it as an example, "pinpoint imaging" would suggest very precise on the scale of relative "accuracy with which a stereo systems recreates ... ."

Whether that is equivalent for you, Peter, to a "cutout" image or "outline" image, I don't know. I believe your word choices are clear descriptors.

But afterall, these images are in our heads. Images in our heads caused by sound (aren't we amazing creatures!) and likely dependent on or connected to things previously seen on a screen or in a concert hall. So, to me anyway, its all rather shakey stuff. (To @marty I ask what pinpoint images are had in Box H at Chicago Symphony Hall by a person blind from birth? cf. post #1675)

I do think we should be somewhat lenient in gauging synonymity across people's meanings and it never hurts to ask for clarification. Describing what we hear is hard - our general vocabulary is much more oriented to the visual than the aural. Applying visual notions to sound - sufficient to convey a sense of that to others - is fraught with potential misunderstanding. Thus the need for some back-and-forth dialog.

In the concert hall, when I close my eyes, I do not experience pin-point imaging, or cutout images or precisely outlined images of musicians. If I do experience such in my music room, then I recognize that as discontinuous with my concert hall experience. Whether I dislike it or put on a hat to celebrate it is something else altogether.
 

the sound of Tao

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Whether I dislike it or put on a hat to celebrate it is something else altogether.
and so we go for daft chapeau... it is of course the party hat of choice for the pin point listener :D
BF14B75C-5611-4CD8-A3C9-AAB247F62D93.gif
 
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the sound of Tao

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I’m sticking with gestalt chasing Tim, our dear Bruno Walter might also likely approve!
 
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tima

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Well, I meant that the MP1 does not destroy the integral image of the event when it individualizes singers. Although tonality and image are linked, proper imaging does not affect tonal balance. BTW, as I said I have no experience with the LL2.1, that must be quite different from the L2REF or LL1.

I find my my mind, my aural focus, can range across individual musicians, sections, and the orchestra as a whole. I agree, the A-S MP-1 destroys none of those. As I said of the LL2.1: "Listening through it was like sitting farther back in the hall -- not in terms of image scale or dynamic impact, but in the sense that it seldom pulled my perceptions into tight diagnostic focus." ... The LL2.1’s expressive flow, stalwart bass, and superb dynamics, combined with a wonderful sense of acoustic presence and harmonic rightness, made me stop thinking about componentry, and drew me in for many a joyful night of musical satisfaction. Its virtue is its guileless blending of these attributes into a unified whole."

I don't have clear recall of how the LL2.1 sounds (11 yrs ago.) The L2.1 Ref is here for a visit. Based on hearing that and re-reading my review words, I'll say there is not radical difference between the two. Of course they are different, the L2.1 Ref is much more refined in many attributes, but they both have the Lamm magic.
 

the sound of Tao

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Wise words Tim, it is truthfully my mantra for 2021.
 

PeterA

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Ironically this is what Magico speakers are designed to do - is a speaker change in your future?

Keith, I wrote this:

"David, this is precisely what I heard with some signal cables, some short lived and expensive footers, even a power cord or two: a homogenization of spatial information and imaging. It is exciting for a while, it draws attention to itself, it impresses visitors, but it is not what I hear when listening to live music. The products that enhance this did alter tonal balance, at least in my system by emphasising particular frequencies, even adding distortion, as surprising as that now seems to me."

to which you replied "Ironically, this is what Magico speakers are designed to do". I do not follow. Could you explain more precisely what Magico speakers are designed to do? I find your post rather vague and confusing.

There is always the possibility of a speaker change in my future, though the way this discussion is going with all the talk of Lamm on my system thread, it seems people want me to change electronics before changing speakers. I assure you, I am most content with the gear I have at the moment.
 

morricab

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Keith, could you explain more precisely what Magico speakers designed to do? I find your post rather vague and confusing.

There is always the possibility of a speaker change in my future, though the way this discussion is going with all the talk of Lamm on my system thread, it seems people want me to change electronics before changing speakers. I assure you, I am most content with the gear I have at the moment.

Electronics? YES! :D
 

PeterA

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I speculate what you're saying is little different than what is intended by folks using the term 'pinpoint imaging'. Here, the word "pinpoint" not meaning small but rather precise, eg. "pinpointing a target" or "pinpoint accuracy".

Does anyone using 'pinpoint imaging' disagree or offer an alternative?

Holt offers this:
Imaging - The accuracy with which a stereo system re-creates the original sizes and locations of the instruments across the soundstage.

I think that definition needs considerable refining. (I have no expectation nor desire of lifesize images, etc. etc.) But taking it as an example, "pinpoint imaging" would suggest very precise on the scale of relative "accuracy with which a stereo systems recreates ... ."

Whether that is equivalent for you, Peter, to a "cutout" image or "outline" image, I don't know. I believe your word choices are clear descriptors.

But afterall, these images are in our heads. Images in our heads caused by sound (aren't we amazing creatures!) and likely dependent on or connected to things previously seen on a screen or in a concert hall. So, to me anyway, its all rather shakey stuff. (To @marty I ask what pinpoint images are had in Box H at Chicago Symphony Hall by a person blind from birth? cf. post #1675)

I do think we should be somewhat lenient in gauging synonymity across people's meanings and it never hurts to ask for clarification. Describing what we hear is hard - our general vocabulary is much more oriented to the visual than the aural. Applying visual notions to sound - sufficient to convey a sense of that to others - is fraught with potential misunderstanding. Thus the need for some back-and-forth dialog.

In the concert hall, when I close my eyes, I do not experience pin-point imaging, or cutout images or precisely outlined images of musicians. If I do experience such in my music room, then I recognize that as discontinuous with my concert hall experience. Whether I dislike it or put on a hat to celebrate it is something else altogether.

Tim, I think you understand what I am trying to convey. I have no idea why Microstrip inferred the descriptor "sterile" from anything I wrote. Furthermore, the word "pinpoint" does not convey any resemblance to the term "cut out" or "outlined" image, to me at least.

These descriptors are dependent upon visual aid. I am trying to separate what I hear from what I see at a live concert because my home system does not provide the visual aid. I think of music as energy, and as such, it is not contained or defined by neat boundaries which is what a "precise" and "outlined" image implies to me. It is really that simply.

Your last paragraph is exactly what I have been trying to convey in my many posts on this subject. I agree that vocabulary is difficult. Perhaps that is why we have spent so much time in this thread trying to explain what we mean.
 
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PeterA

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Electronics? YES! :D

HA! Brad, I am sure we could write pages about how we think other people's systems could be improved. I will not engage in such speculation if I have not actually heard one's implementation. I will assume they know how to make their own choices.
 

treitz3

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I have to disagree with your description of the way MBL speakers sound, you have probably never heard a setup done right in a sufficiently large room. I was originally drawn to MBL for their amazing ability to trow a room filling rendering of the original event, normally only heard from the largest electrostatic speakers, with the added benefit of extended treble and fantastic dynamics. Try to drive them with soft tube amps or a mid-fi source and you will get a bad result, they are brutally honest ;)
My apologies Peter for the off topic post here. I heard them at Jolida Headquarters in MD. The front end was all MBL and the room was approximately 27x54 with IIRC, 9 or 10 foot ceilings. The source was R2R and was (at the time) considered one of the best R2R's on the East Coast.

I heard what I heard and it was a sound I will never forget. Kinda hard not to forget something like that. I mean no disrespect to any MBL manufacturer here on this board, nor any disrespect to any owner of MBL's. They simply were not my cup of tea and I will stand firmly with my statement.

Out of respect for Peter's thread, this will be the last time I will speak about this on this thread. If you have followup commentary, please start a new thread and I'll be happy to offer any information about this experience you may wish to know.

Tom
 
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morricab

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HA! Brad, I am sure we could write pages about how we think other people's systems could be improved. I will not engage in such speculation if I have not actually heard one's implementation. I will assume they know how to make their own choices.

For sure Peter...I can't miss an opportunity for harping on electronics as I am one who thinks the electronics are actually more important than the speakers for getting the feeling of realism...
 
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