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ddk

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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.
Hi Tim,
Vocabulary is often an issue and I see that the term "pinpoint imaging" created some confusion, I certainly didn’t use the term as described by Holt. Pinpoint imaging as I meant it is a combination of very strong coloration, distortion and homogenization.

david
 
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microstrip

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(...) 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. (...)

(...) David told me that my local audio friends would not like the changing sound of my system as I methodically removed stuff from my system and experimented with zero toe in. One actually told me that I had lost what he so liked about my system: the pin point imaging and 3D holographic images precisely defined in front of him. (...)

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.

Peter,

Perhaps at some point I am fusing your opinions on imaging with those of your mentors, my apologies, but I can't see any substantive difference in them, except your style is kinder and more inquiring. I read more than just your posts in your thread, that has been debating your "new sound" since about a year, not just last week.

As long as you agree to separate the high-end world in "natural" versus "hifi/artificial" it is not just your system that is being discussed on this thread.

If you re-read my post you will understand why I insist that we should define pin-point precisely.
 
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morricab

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Hi Tim,
Vocabulary is often an issue and I that term pinpoint imaging created some confusion, I certainly didn’t use the term as described by Holt. Pinpoint imaging as I meant it is a very strong coloration, distortion and homogenization.

david

That is a very strange definition of pinpoint imaging to assume it means coloration and distortion...I think you would be in a category of one in understanding pinpoint imaging to have all that packed into it as a definition....
 
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Lagonda

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Well, they are brutally insensitive :eek:
Yes it is like pushing a boulder up a hill, but can be easily done with the right tools :)
 

morricab

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Yes it is like pushing a boulder up a hill, but can be easily done with the right tools :)

But is that the best way to get that Boulder up the hill?? o_O
 

ddk

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That is a very strange definition of pinpoint imaging to assume it means coloration and distortion...I think you would be in a category of one in understanding pinpoint imaging to have all that packed into it as a definition....
Maybe Brad but at least Al is using the term with negative connotations :). It’s been a very very very long time since I picked up an audiophile magazine I’m going by what I read in AS in the 90’s and the actual effect of the recommended equipment associated with the term.

david
 

microstrip

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Hi Tim,
Vocabulary is often an issue and I that term pinpoint imaging created some confusion, I certainly didn’t use the term as described by Holt. Pinpoint imaging as I meant it is a very strong coloration, distortion and homogenization.
david

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.(...)

Peter,
Are you also endorsing David definition in your comments on imaging? Or sticking to the more traditional sense of the word?
 
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treitz3

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PeterA

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Peter,
Are you also endorsing David definition in your comments on imaging? Or sticking to the more traditional sense of the word?

Francisco, I think I’ve been pretty clear in my attempts to describe my thoughts about imaging. I do not use the phrase pinpoint imaging.

Could you please provide your definition of what the term means?
 

microstrip

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KeithR

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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.

Magico is the king of hifi-sounding speakers which focus on flat frequency response, extreme detail, pin point imaging, 3d soundstages, black background, zero distortion etc. All the hifi fireworks that "draw attention to themselves" are here, but now you are talking "natural" and other vague, musical oriented terms that aren't congruent with the loudspeaker's goals. Said another way, you can't turn a Magico into an Art Dudley kind of loudspeaker (RIP).

That's all I meant - it was just an observation, not a judgment. I think there are left and right brained listeners, people just have to know which camp they fall in.
 

PeterA

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Magico is the king of hifi-sounding speakers which focus on flat frequency response, extreme detail, pin point imaging, 3d soundstages, black background, zero distortion etc. All the hifi fireworks that "draw attention to themselves" are here, but now you are talking "natural" and other vague, musical oriented terms that aren't congruent with the loudspeaker's goals. Said another way, you can't turn a Magico into an Art Dudley kind of loudspeaker (RIP).

That's all I meant - it was just an observation, not a judgment. I think there are left and right brained listeners, people just have to know which camp they fall in.

Thank you Keith. I understand. No judgement, just an observation and difference of opinion.

I don't know with what side of my brain I listen to my system. When simply enjoying music, it is probably one side. When listening critically while fine tuning the set up in an effort to improve the sound and make it more engaging and enjoyable, it is probably the other side.

I disagree that Magico is "the king of hifi-sounding speakers." I have opined that I do not think it has much of a sound, certainly not a "hifi" sound. My system had a "hifi" sound prior to my recent changes, and my speakers were certainly a part of that system, but the sound has changed pretty dramatically, and the system still has the same speakers.

A "hifi sound" is not what comes to mind when I listen to Madfloyd's M Pro either, or Myles Astor's S5 mk 2s. I agree the speakers are fairly low in distortion. They generally measure pretty well, but I have no idea what you mean by "extreme detail", "black background" and "hifi fireworks that draw attention to themselves". If anything, the well set up systems with Magico speakers that I have heard tend to disappear. That is just the opposite of what you are describing.

Jim Smith did not describe my old Mini IIs using the terms you use above when he was finished voicing my system. He referred to the sound as "musically involving and emotional". I am using the term "natural" more and more, because I think it describes my goals and what I am trying to achieve. My speakers and system are allowing for the use of that term, at least for me. What I am doing with my system has more to do with set up than it does with the speakers, and I suspect this is the case with lots of systems with good equipment.

Here are two more recent quotes by Jim Smith describing the Magico M3 speaker which also have nothing to do with a "hifi" sound or any of the other terms you mentioned, but rather "musically involving", "tuneful", "dynamic", "cohesive", "agile", and "ability to disappear".

I realize we all have different tastes, and Magico is surely not for everyone. I understand that very well. It is, however, very interesting that you and I think of the brand in such different terms. Jeffrey_T and Ron Resnick have heard my system, and you know their tastes pretty well. I understand that people can have different opinions.

EDIT: I had thought YG claimed "the best measuring speakers ever" or something like that. I suspect that YG and Magico are more similar in approach than they are different, surely relative to many other popular brands owned by members here at WBF.

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Re: New speakers: Magico M3 v Rockport Cygnus v YG Sonja 2.2 v Gryphon Pantheon
IME with voicing 3 of these models (no Gryphon yet) in systems to work best in the owners' rooms, without pointing out potential negatives, I have found the Magicos to consistently be more musically involving. This is stated as simply my observations (and yes, personal taste), not as some debatable fact.​

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Re: New speakers: Magico M3 v Rockport Cygnus v YG Sonja 2.2 v Gryphon Pantheon
Originally Posted by PeterA
Jim, could you write a bit more about the M3's positive attributes, or what you heard from the system once you were finished voicing it? I am also curious about what amplifier the client is using with the M3s. Thanks.​

Peter,​
Once I become intimately involved in the RoomPlay set-up music - in the music from tracks that I have probably played well over a thousand times, I'm done.​
This happened more easily with the Magicos, perhaps because they were a bit more agile, tuneful, & dynamic, yet remaining more cohesive. The Magicos disappeared more easily as well, thereby assisting with the vital Presence effect.​
The amps were D-Agostinos & another pair were CATs.​
Both of the other speakers ended up with a much better performance than at the beginning. I was satisfied with what they delivered vs. how they performed at first.​
As you know, I am there to make what the owner already has to perfrom at a much higher level. So I don't recommend product changes...​
IMO, there's just something magical about those Magicos...
 

bonzo75

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Magico is the king of hifi-sounding speakers which focus on flat frequency response, extreme detail, pin point imaging, 3d soundstages, black background, zero distortion etc. All the hifi fireworks that "draw attention to themselves" are here, but now you are talking "natural" and other vague, musical oriented terms that aren't congruent with the loudspeaker's goals. Said another way, you can't turn a Magico into an Art Dudley kind of loudspeaker (RIP).
.

Spot on
 
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MadFloyd

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I wouldn't say Magicos are the king of hi-fi either, but I do think they lean that way, some models more than others and I get where Keith is coming from. YG are similar from what I've heard at trade shows. My first pair of Magicos were V2s and they were rolled off at both extremes. I remember the V3s sounding pretty dull - certainly not tipped up in any way to make it sound detailed. And I'd say Mini IIs were very well balanced.

The Q series is very different - it's no holds barred presentation where you better have the rest of your system sorted out. I've heard the Q7MkIIs and they were so forward in the highs I couldn't handle it (could have been setup). The S series was different again - there was much more midbass and a lot less treble. I owned the S5s and they could rock. When I upgraded to my MPros I went from 2 10" woofers to 3 and they didn't put out as much midbass... so to me they were a blend of the S and the Q.

Of course they react quite differently depending on electronics and room position. I've had them sound way too dull at times... but it's MUCH easier to make them sound bright and fatiguing. I often wish for more mid-bass as I do like to play some kick ass rock at times, but for Jazz and Classical it's a superb instrument. Don't expect Mercury Living Presence titles not to sound hot though, it's simply not a forgiving speaker. Truth first, beauty second.
 

Folsom

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Magico is the king of hifi-sounding speakers which focus on flat frequency response, extreme detail, pin point imaging, 3d soundstages, black background, zero distortion etc. All the hifi fireworks that "draw attention to themselves" are here, but now you are talking "natural" and other vague, musical oriented terms that aren't congruent with the loudspeaker's goals. Said another way, you can't turn a Magico into an Art Dudley kind of loudspeaker (RIP).

That's all I meant - it was just an observation, not a judgment. I think there are left and right brained listeners, people just have to know which camp they fall in.


I'm not certain I think that most speakers are constrained to a type of sound. Some may be better than others at what they work with (maybe even way better). I've found the pairing of electronics can radically change things.

While I've heard exactly what you're talking about numerous times with Magico, I'm not completely under the belief they have to be used that way. Do I think Peter would enjoy other speakers more? Quite possibly. The real problem I've seen is how radically different some Magico speakers respond to the amplifier/s. They just aren't all compatible with everything, so you may not be able to change the type of sound even if you wanted to. In general though I suspect they are limited in getting to more nuanced, natural sound - funny enough likely in a measurement sense since I hear JBL's and things that have more resolution.
 

Folsom

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Hi Tim,
Vocabulary is often an issue and I see that the term "pinpoint imaging" created some confusion, I certainly didn’t use the term as described by Holt. Pinpoint imaging as I meant it is a combination of very strong coloration, distortion and homogenization.

david

The kitty litter effect.
 
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tima

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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.

Yes, I believe we understand each other here and probably value several sonic characteristics in common. I like that and find concurrence on values at least as interesting/important as the ways we go about achieving those values, although those are also interesting.

The phrase "pinpoint imaging" is uncommon in the 'normal' reviewing vocabulary. It is less clear and less informative than "outlined image" or "cut out image" or "etched image". One is more likely to find "pinpoint imaging" in dealer, manufacturer and audio forum discussion. LMGTFY
 
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tima

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Hi Tim,
Vocabulary is often an issue and I see that the term "pinpoint imaging" created some confusion, I certainly didn’t use the term as described by Holt. Pinpoint imaging as I meant it is a combination of very strong coloration, distortion and homogenization.

david

Yes, I understand. We've had these discussions elsewhere, and I have not disagreed with you. You are (I think) talking as much about the cause as the effect whereas many are focused on the effect only - the image.

You make a subtle but very salient point distinguishing "imaging" the verb and "image" the noun. Imaging suggests a component or system actively doing something, processing, the signal - homogenizing the sound. That in itself can be considered distortion - input different from output.

Coloration is more subtle yet. Timbre is a factor in imaging - the hard outlined localization of ... what? Sometimes that is turned into a musician but that's our imagination - the object of pinpoint imaging is a sound - the sound of an oboe, a violin. We distinguish between the images of each, but it's really the timbre of each that aids that distinction.
 
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PeterA

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I just received my first Grand Cru back from its 250 hour inspection and fine tuning. I requested that the 1.1 mV output be reduced to match my other Grand Cru. I mounted it today in my SME V-12 arm where it had last been. I found I had to adjust the VTF and overhang as some adjustments were made to the cartridge. It is sounding glorious. There are a few differences in appearance between my two Grand Crus as seen in the bottom photos. I suspect there will be some sample to sample variation and slight difference in sound.

Now that these are back, I think I will finally set up my two arm/cartridge combinations to play different thickness records:

1. The SME 3012R/Grand Cru to play 180-200 gram jazz and classical reissues and most of my 45 RPMs.
2. The SME V-12/Grand Cru to play original standard weight LPs.

IMG_0113 2.jpg

IMG_0110.JPG
 

PeterA

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I was just thinking about the vdH service. Mr. van den Hul offers a free inspection and fine tuning after 200-250 hours of playing time. I requested a lower output and commented that there was a slight "accent" in the very high frequencies during some program material. This first Grand Cru has been modified to Grand Cru specifications from my former Master Signature. I sent this Grand Cru back for the inspection and any fine tuning that could be done per my request. Two weeks later I got the cartridge back.

The output has been lowered from 1.1 mV (standard for Master Signature) to 0.75mV to match my other Grand Cru, and the damper was replaced with a new one of different compliance. I could tell immediately that the output was now similar because I did not have to change the volume setting when switching from one arm/cartridge to the other. And, the slight HF "accent" on muted trumpet and cymbals on one or two LPs is now gone. I knew something had changed when I went to align the cartridge in the same V-12 headshell as I had to slide the arm forward by quite a bit. I also had to lower the VTF as this cartridge came back slightly heavier. Interestingly, the VTA seems about the same, though after I listen to a few more LPs, I will know more.

You can see from the two profile photos that the two cartridges are not identical. The magnets appear to be the same size, so to lower the output, he must have removed some windings or done something else which I can't figure out. The silver cylinder collar where the round tube meets the square magnet is larger on the bottom cartridge. Also, if you look at the cantilever, the white section is different lengths. Finally, the size of the wooden body: in the top photo the front of the body reaches the lower assembly, while in the bottom photo, the wood stops well short of the lower assembly.

I am grateful that I can send my vdH cartridges back for an inspection and adjustment depending on what I am hearing and how they might sound in my particular system. This kind of customization seems rare in the cartridge world. The communication and turn around time were superb. I have a lot of respect for Mr. van den Hul. He is a gentleman and a real artist. He loves music and cares deeply about satisfying his customers. At least that has been my experience. These cartridges are the result of incredible passion for his art.

IMG_0118.JPG

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