Sublime Sound

bonzo75

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Perhaps I am taking baby steps but this out of my system has changed a lot and I still have Pass and Magico and it does not sound like other systems I’ve heard with these components.

Of course we can revisit it in five years. I may live in a different house and have different resources available to make more radical changes. Right now I see no reason to despite your persistent encouragement.

I understand that so I see no change despite your posts over the last few months. Except for the vdh which is a great cart
 

microstrip

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I understand Francisco. I will let those more inclined to science describe their systems and what is happening in those terms. I’m simply describing things the way I know how to because Tim asked me on my system thread.

I think it would be great if you started a new thread discussing the physics of air in one’s listening room. Or you can tell us what you think in your terms here. Each of us does but he can.

Peter,
Members ask interesting questions. Tim clearly addressed the physics and the thread involves physics. There are many interesting things to discuss in your thread - unfortunately we do not have the time to address all of them.
 

Al M.

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I understand that so I see no change despite your posts over the last few months. Except for the vdh which is a great cart

You may see no change, Ked, but yours is armchair arguing. I did witness all the changes in sound, which were drastic. It is very likely that you will never have heard Pass, Magico or Pass/Magico with a sound character anywhere like this.

You said:
"Changing speaker positions, toe in and cables will never change the Magico/Pass sound."

You're wrong. Like with other systems., the "Magico/Pass sound" changes critically with properly "managing the energy in the room", as David would say.

You don't know the extent to which this happens, your 20+ Magico auditions notwithstanding. You think you have experience -- maybe so, but you obviously don't know everything, even though you might prefer to think so, given how many systems around the world you have heard.
 
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bonzo75

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You may see no change, Ked, but yours is armchair arguing. I did witness all the changes in sound, which were drastic. It is very likely that you will never have heard Pass, Magico or Pass/Magico with a sound character anywhere like this.

You said:
"Changing speaker positions, toe in and cables will never change the Magico/Pass sound."

You're wrong. Like with other systems., the "Magico/Pass sound" changes critically with properly "managing the energy in the room", as David would say.

You don't know the extent to which this happens, your 20+ Magico auditions notwithstanding. You think you have experience -- maybe so, but you obviously don't know everything, even though you might prefer to think so, given how many systems around the world you have heard.

Ok, wake me up when something actually changes
 
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PeterA

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Ok, wake me up when something actually changes

Ked, you convey so much in so few words. I will look for some more of your music recommendations.


IMG_0203.JPG
 

PeterA

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Although your associated gear all make contribution, It is the Vdh that crates that degree clear air. I mentioned before that after it has done some time it would get that level of air ahead of others. Al also mentioned the instrument separation. It seems we hear the same as I wrote and posted a video on Holst Chorus. The very same record we listened to. Once got accustom to this sound, switching a cart and you will hear what is missing.

Edit: Excuse me. I meant instrument differentiation not separation.

Tang, I understand too what you are trying to convey through your posts about what you hear. We can share subjective impressions and understand each other. I simply do not understand how to describe the beauty of what I am hearing by analyzing the physics of how the sound pressure interacts with the air molecules in my room. It would be like discussing the chemical composition of the paint in Rembrandt's figures as his color choices portray the light coming through the window to illuminate the side of a face.

I will leave that to others. I am incapable.
 

PeterA

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Always good to see the long term camaraderie here. Having a good buddy to share audio stuff with makes the world of difference in the fun and to help get perspective.

Al and Peter, you guys have seemingly moved increasingly to holistic assessing ala David and that’s very much become my basic platform over the last few years as well. I also think in terms of the energy in the room, it’s nature, it’s outcome on the experience of different types of music.

Without sending your system thread off on a detour and getting into any specifics I’d just like to say that when I read your holistic descriptions I find them very easy to understand and to correlate to a sense of the experience. The enjoyable backstory on your having something to eat and your choice of music builds the scene but when you move across to communicate the flow and energy of what you hear and in the music it really does then come together in wholeness.

Communicating experience is the hard part in this business but you guys demonstrate that if you keep at it you can become strong with it. Way better than just saying that A is better than B in my books at any rate.

I very much appreciate this Tao. Conveying shared experiences through writing is difficult. And I appreciate sharing, discussing, and learning with my good friend, Albrecht. His sense of perspective is certainly a part of it.
 
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Al M.

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the sound of Tao

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Bishop Berkeley will tell you 'yes it does' because God hears everything all the time.
Perhaps the great sage might be blissfully unaware of any falling tree while listening to the favourite Bruno Walter Das Lied Von Der Erde with the old heavenly headphones on... of course all us audiophiles would be too busy arguing which headphones that’d be to notice any tree falling... even if it then fell on us :eek:
 
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tima

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In my analogy of the rabbit's footprints in the snow, the rabbit is the energy, the snow is the air, and the footprints are the impression left behind by the energy of a rabbit hopping across the air on the ground through the snow. The ground with its undulating hills, the horizon, the sky, the edges of the field, those are the dimensions of the orchestra hall. The snow is simply the medium that we need to better appreciate the rabbit's path, direction and pace. We can see from the prints that it was a rabbit and not a deer, that it was alone and not in a hurry today.

I used to listen to the sound of the cello to see if the timbre was correct, to see how much string texture and tone there was compared to the hollow sound of wood, its body and weight and richness; I listened to the tonal balance of the various frequencies. I deconstructed the sound as a means to better understand what my system, or some component in the chain, was doing. I was searching for better, more convincing, more real sound.

As I was doing experiments with supports, power cords, cartridge set up, David Karmeli told me to ask myself one thing only: "Does it sound more natural"? When it came to acoustic treatments and speaker positioning specifically, he told me that it is "all about managing the energy in the room". It has to sound natural. This is how I now know it is a rabbit hopping in the field rather than a deer startled and darting through the woods. And I now sit back and marvel at the beauty of nature.

Thanks for saying more about about your rabbit-snow-footprints comment that you wrote in #1733. On first reading it, the first sentence in that post sounded nice, but I did not understand what it meant.

I read your post (to which I am replying here) several times. Pls take that as a compliment - I appreciate your taking the time to expand on your thoughts. As I commented, the topic is fascinating - now I would make that plural, the topics of air, energy, and managing energy are fascinating. The first two seem oriented to the listening experience while managing energy seems oriented to system-room integration and how managing energy in a listening room can yield different subjective outcomes of the listening experience. But perhaps you understand that differently.

There is air and energy in the concert hall. I guess that is what I attempted to describe hearing in my post #1736. There is air and energy in the listening room. The "undulating hills, the horizon, the sky, the edges of the field" of the concert hall shape? manage? the air and energy in the hall that hopefully is captured on the recording. Do you agree with that characterization or see things differently? I don't want to further pursue these topics in your personal blog unless you're amenable.
 

PeterA

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Thanks for saying more about about your rabbit-snow-footprints comment that you wrote in #1733. On first reading it, the first sentence in that post sounded nice, but I did not understand what it meant.

I read your post (to which I am replying here) several times. Pls take that as a compliment - I appreciate your taking the time to expand on your thoughts. As I commented, the topic is fascinating - now I would make that plural, the topics of air, energy, and managing energy are fascinating. The first two seem oriented to the listening experience while managing energy seems oriented to system-room integration and how managing energy in a listening room can yield different subjective outcomes of the listening experience. But perhaps you understand that differently.

There is air and energy in the concert hall. I guess that is what I attempted to describe hearing in my post #1736. There is air and energy in the listening room. The "undulating hills, the horizon, the sky, the edges of the field" of the concert hall shape? manage? the air and energy in the hall that hopefully is captured on the recording. Do you agree with that characterization or see things differently? I don't want to further pursue these topics in your personal blog unless you're amenable.

Hello Tim,

Yes, I think you are understanding what I wrote, though if it were clearer, you might not have needed to read it multiple times or ask for further clarification.

These are my impressions or how I understand things to be, but that by no means makes them correct or testable/measurable or objective, so it may not satisfy those who are so inclined. I agree that air and energy exist in both the concert hall and in the listening room. They are perceived and are therefore of relative importance to the listener. They exist but it was not until my visit to Vienna that I was asked to think about the energy of the voices or instruments rather than their sound. I suppose it is simply a different way of thinking about things.

Managing the energy in the room is an idea introduced to me by David Karmeli. I think people have been doing this ever since they discovered that speaker placement and room treatments and furniture arrangements can alter the way we perceive the sound of our systems. Dr. Poltun and ddk simply seem to use the term "energy" more than others who discuss such things.

You seem to question our ability to "manage" the dimensions of the perceived soundstage in our rooms as representative of the information embedded on the recording of the actual recording venue when you write this: " The "undulating hills, the horizon, the sky, the edges of the field" of the concert hall shape? manage? the air and energy in the hall that hopefully is captured on the recording." I think I understand why you question this. Your question implies that the recording is the recording and the information on it should not be "managed" or manipulated if we want to hear as close a representation as possible. I agree with that, but this is where I find perception can be a bit confusing.

When I attend the BSO or a small chamber concert, the boundaries of the stage, or the room, are not very evident, just as the images of the musicians are not precisely outlined. Without the visual aids, I sense that the stage is large or small, live, or damped, perhaps wide and shallow, narrow and deep, wood, or stone. More acute listeners may even be able to sense if the air is dry or humid, or hall empty or full. I am sensing the character, not really the dimensions and boundaries. I think these are the qualities captured on good recordings.

When I had my speakers toed in toward the listener, the soundstage and images was more defined in my mind's eye, and my perception was that the stage was more shallow, wider up front with sides that tapered quickly with depth. It seemed like a wide, shallow triangle, but quite precise. Oh, and the background was more "black". This perception was reinforced by my room treatments with the acoustic panels and TubeTraps. Everything was put into stark contrast and relief. I found this to be quite "impressive" and thought "wow", now that is 3D and palpable. I now consider those to be artifacts of set up, and more representative of a "hifi" sound.

I then began a long effort to reposition the speakers in the room, to reorient them away from the listener, and to slowly remove various acoustic treatments. This altered the relationship between direct and reflected sound and changed how the energy moved around the room and was perceived at the listening seat. The result was less precise dimensions but a more convincing representation of the space's character or "atmosphere". The stage became deeper and wider from front to back. The back of the stage in particular, became much wider and was more in relation to the front of the stage. It was more of a rectangular space seen from the front rather than a triangle. The stage boundaries grew outward and upward but became less precise. The character of the stage's surfaces and how energy moves within that space became more apparent. The musicians were clearly located in place and in a "space", but less outlined and precise. The energy in my listening room became freer and less constrained.

I think "the managing of the energy within the room" is a way to describe how positioning the speakers, the listening seat, and the furnishings allows the information from the recording, the energy, out into the room to create some semblance of the character of the space in which the recording was made. The key here is to do no harm and to be faithful to the signal or energy leaving the speakers. It is a balancing act, one best made with a clear reference to how real music in real space sounds. And the whole thing is subjective and open to criticism and judgement and uncertainty. That is why I asked myself if what I was doing was more or less natural sounding to me based on my experience with life music.

My room had been overdamped. Subtle spatial cues on the recording were lost in my listening room. Certain frequencies were attenuated or emphasized. I suppose one can never be sure or certain about reaching the perfect balance, but that is why David suggested that every change I make should answer the question of is it more or less natural sounding. It is a judgement call. One works until he is satisfied, and it helps if he has a goal or reference in mind.

This may be a very long way of describing what many here already know. I am just trying to explain what I have learned about this subject in the last year or so doing fairly careful experiments and fine tuning. People hire Jim Smith to do this kind of work. He talks in terms of allowing the music to escape the system (or something to that effect). David does it too, and he describes it as "managing the energy in the room". Good dealers and audiophiles can certainly do it too and people appreciate such efforts.

For some to think that nothing has changed in my system simply because I still have the same speakers/amps/turntable or mistaken. I hear and appreciate the changes from my myopic position. Ack heard the changes mid way through and hated the results. Al M. had, I think, mixed impressions, until recently when things finally fell into place. If nothing had changed, my friends who know my system pretty well would not have reacted that way.

Jim Smith visited my house, changed my old speaker positions, my listening seat location, and experimented with the orientation of my acoustic treatments. If these things did not result in a marked improvement in his clients' listening enjoyment, he would not have a business and his services would not be recommended.

I have learned that set up can have a profound effect on my enjoyment of my system. "Managing the energy in the room" is really about the interaction of the system and the room as perceived by the listener. I am beginning to wonder if it is not even more important than the gear itself, once that gear is of some fairly good level of performance.
 

spiritofmusic

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No disrespect Peter, because I know you're a solid audiophile with a well evolved system and serious attitude to the hobby.

But for the first time on WBF and the discussion of someone's sound, I'm finding the language and concepts pretty exclusionary. There's a borderline cult-like feel to the communications.

Nothing from your rabbit footprints description, to room energy management concept, and what sounds like a quasi religious revelation of what a guru like figure had impressed upon you previously, in any way gels or connects with me.

Indeed your whole premise precludes others being involved in the discussion, especially me.

I am rightly the target for derision over the years with my numerous epiphanies. But the revelation thing I walked away from when I turned from organised religion.

So I'm happy you're happy. But the language and direction of your comments leave me totally cold.
 

PeterA

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No disrespect Peter, because I know you're a solid audiophile with a well evolved system and serious attitude to the hobby.

But for the first time on WBF and the discussion of someone's sound, I'm finding the language and concepts pretty exclusionary. There's a borderline cult-like feel to the communications.

Nothing from your rabbit footprints description, to room energy management concept, and what sounds like a quasi religious revelation of what a guru like figure had impressed upon you previously, in any way gels or connects with me.

Indeed your whole premise precludes others being involved in the discussion, especially me.

I am rightly the target for derision over the years with my numerous epiphanies. But the revelation thing I walked away from when I turned from organised religion.

So I'm happy you're happy. But the language and direction of your comments leave me totally cold.

As it does many others, I'm sure, Marc. I welcome your opinion and comments. We all go about things and express them in our own and different ways. Al started this latest discussion with his post describing what he heard the other night when visiting. If you can't relate to the following discussion, I understand, and that is fine. No need to keep reading if you are left totally cold.

For my part, I am trying to answer some questions Tim asked me. They are difficult questions and not easily answered. And Fransisco says that there are many ideas in this blog that interest him but there is no time to discuss all of them. I guess, I am just trying to expand on one topic now: the importance of set up, and more specifically, how to manage the energy in the room. There are many other fine topics elsewhere on this forum for you to read.

Before you leave though, could you please explain what you think is my premise that precludes others being involved in the discussion? It seems others are in fact involved and we are exchanging ideas. I am sorry you can not relate or feel excluded. I tried to explain how the speaker position and room treatment changes affected the perception of the soundstage and imaging information on my records. Was that not very clear?

This "cult-like" feel to the communications is interesting. I am trying to move away from the audiophile glossary of terms and express my thoughts with fewer and simpler terms and in fact not break down things into parts but rather think of music and the experience of listening to it both in the concert hall and in the listening room in a somewhat more wholistic manner. Is that "cultish"? I guess I follow the inefficient cone and high power inefficient SS power paradigm. I never thought of typologies as cult markers, though. Perhaps I don't understand your comment.

Others seem to enjoy discussing gear, accessories, and things and the subtle or significant effect they have on the sound of one's system. I have done that in this system thread as well. You should visit sometime. I do not promise a religious experience or any kind of revelation.
 
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microstrip

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Bishop Berkeley will tell you 'yes it does' because God hears everything all the time.

Surely I expect such answer from Bishop Berkeley, I assume he is not knowledgeable on sound reproduction matters. But I expect better from audiophiles, particularly when they use words with known meaning such as energy and vibration.
 
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Ron Resnick

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. . .

I agree that air and energy exist in both the concert hall and in the listening room. They are perceived and are therefore of relative importance to the listener. They exist but it was not until my visit to Vienna that I was asked to think about the energy of the voices or instruments rather than their sound. I suppose it is simply a different way of thinking about things.
. . .

I then began a long effort to reposition the speakers in the room, to reorient them away from the listener, and to slowly remove various acoustic treatments. This altered the relationship between direct and reflected sound and changed how the energy moved around the room and was perceived at the listening seat. The result was less precise dimensions but a more convincing representation of the space's character or "atmosphere". The stage became deeper and wider from front to back. The back of the stage in particular, became much wider and was more in relation to the front of the stage. It was more of a rectangular space seen from the front rather than a triangle. The stage boundaries grew outward and upward but became less precise. The character of the stage's surfaces and how energy moves within that space became more apparent. The musicians were clearly located in place and in a "space", but less outlined and precise. The energy in my listening room became freer and less constrained.

I think "the managing of the energy within the room" is a way to describe how positioning the speakers, the listening seat, and the furnishings allows the information from the recording, the energy, out into the room to create some semblance of the character of the space in which the recording was made.

. . .

I have learned that set up can have a profound effect on my enjoyment of my system. "Managing the energy in the room" is really about the interaction of the system and the room as perceived by the listener.

. . .

I think this is a very lucid and articulate description of a complicated concept. Great work, Peter!
 
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timztunz

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Hello Tim,

Yes, I think you are understanding what I wrote, though if it were clearer, you might not have needed to read it multiple times or ask for further clarification.

These are my impressions or how I understand things to be, but that by no means makes them correct or testable/measurable or objective, so it may not satisfy those who are so inclined. I agree that air and energy exist in both the concert hall and in the listening room. They are perceived and are therefore of relative importance to the listener. They exist but it was not until my visit to Vienna that I was asked to think about the energy of the voices or instruments rather than their sound. I suppose it is simply a different way of thinking about things.

Managing the energy in the room is an idea introduced to me by David Karmeli. I think people have been doing this ever since they discovered that speaker placement and room treatments and furniture arrangements can alter the way we perceive the sound of our systems. Dr. Poltun and ddk simply seem to use the term "energy" more than others who discuss such things.

You seem to question our ability to "manage" the dimensions of the perceived soundstage in our rooms as representative of the information embedded on the recording of the actual recording venue when you write this: " The "undulating hills, the horizon, the sky, the edges of the field" of the concert hall shape? manage? the air and energy in the hall that hopefully is captured on the recording." I think I understand why you question this. Your question implies that the recording is the recording and the information on it should not be "managed" or manipulated if we want to hear as close a representation as possible. I agree with that, but this is where I find perception can be a bit confusing.

When I attend the BSO or a small chamber concert, the boundaries of the stage, or the room, are not very evident, just as the images of the musicians are not precisely outlined. Without the visual aids, I sense that the stage is large or small, live, or damped, perhaps wide and shallow, narrow and deep, wood, or stone. More acute listeners may even be able to sense if the air is dry or humid, or hall empty or full. I am sensing the character, not really the dimensions and boundaries. I think these are the qualities captured on good recordings.

When I had my speakers toed in toward the listener, the soundstage and images was more defined in my mind's eye, and my perception was that the stage was more shallow, wider up front with sides that tapered quickly with depth. It seemed like a wide, shallow triangle, but quite precise. Oh, and the background was more "black". This perception was reinforced by my room treatments with the acoustic panels and TubeTraps. Everything was put into stark contrast and relief. I found this to be quite "impressive" and thought "wow", now that is 3D and palpable. I now consider those to be artifacts of set up, and more representative of a "hifi" sound.

I then began a long effort to reposition the speakers in the room, to reorient them away from the listener, and to slowly remove various acoustic treatments. This altered the relationship between direct and reflected sound and changed how the energy moved around the room and was perceived at the listening seat. The result was less precise dimensions but a more convincing representation of the space's character or "atmosphere". The stage became deeper and wider from front to back. The back of the stage in particular, became much wider and was more in relation to the front of the stage. It was more of a rectangular space seen from the front rather than a triangle. The stage boundaries grew outward and upward but became less precise. The character of the stage's surfaces and how energy moves within that space became more apparent. The musicians were clearly located in place and in a "space", but less outlined and precise. The energy in my listening room became freer and less constrained.

I think "the managing of the energy within the room" is a way to describe how positioning the speakers, the listening seat, and the furnishings allows the information from the recording, the energy, out into the room to create some semblance of the character of the space in which the recording was made. The key here is to do no harm and to be faithful to the signal or energy leaving the speakers. It is a balancing act, one best made with a clear reference to how real music in real space sounds. And the whole thing is subjective and open to criticism and judgement and uncertainty. That is why I asked myself if what I was doing was more or less natural sounding to me based on my experience with life music.

My room had been overdamped. Subtle spatial cues on the recording were lost in my listening room. Certain frequencies were attenuated or emphasized. I suppose one can never be sure or certain about reaching the perfect balance, but that is why David suggested that every change I make should answer the question of is it more or less natural sounding. It is a judgement call. One works until he is satisfied, and it helps if he has a goal or reference in mind.

This may be a very long way of describing what many here already know. I am just trying to explain what I have learned about this subject in the last year or so doing fairly careful experiments and fine tuning. People hire Jim Smith to do this kind of work. He talks in terms of allowing the music to escape the system (or something to that effect). David does it too, and he describes it as "managing the energy in the room". Good dealers and audiophiles can certainly do it too and people appreciate such efforts.

For some to think that nothing has changed in my system simply because I still have the same speakers/amps/turntable or mistaken. I hear and appreciate the changes from my myopic position. Ack heard the changes mid way through and hated the results. Al M. had, I think, mixed impressions, until recently when things finally fell into place. If nothing had changed, my friends who know my system pretty well would not have reacted that way.

Jim Smith visited my house, changed my old speaker positions, my listening seat location, and experimented with the orientation of my acoustic treatments. If these things did not result in a marked improvement in his clients' listening enjoyment, he would not have a business and his services would not be recommended.

I have learned that set up can have a profound effect on my enjoyment of my system. "Managing the energy in the room" is really about the interaction of the system and the room as perceived by the listener. I am beginning to wonder if it is not even more important than the gear itself, once that gear is of some fairly good level of performance.
I think this is excellent and some of my experience bears out the same. Thank you for this.
 
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Al M.

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No disrespect Peter, because I know you're a solid audiophile with a well evolved system and serious attitude to the hobby.

But for the first time on WBF and the discussion of someone's sound, I'm finding the language and concepts pretty exclusionary. There's a borderline cult-like feel to the communications.

Nothing from your rabbit footprints description, to room energy management concept, and what sounds like a quasi religious revelation of what a guru like figure had impressed upon you previously, in any way gels or connects with me.

Indeed your whole premise precludes others being involved in the discussion, especially me.

I am rightly the target for derision over the years with my numerous epiphanies. But the revelation thing I walked away from when I turned from organised religion.

So I'm happy you're happy. But the language and direction of your comments leave me totally cold.

It's all relative, Marc. I am sure many non-audiophiles would find the language and in many instances highly subjective concepts of the "standard" audiophile glossary,

https://www.stereophile.com/content/sounds-audio-glossary-glossary

pretty exclusionary. Many think audiophilia is a cult.

Like Ron, I happen to find Peter's descriptions very clear and articulate. timztunz also found that some of his experience bears out the same, and so do I.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Sure, each to their own. I feel the language here has gone beyond the often frustrating "natural" type discussions, to something which doesn't speak to me at all, bordering on quasi mystical. That's not the hobby I relate to. There's enough of that in my profession for me to rub up against. Good luck to Peter and all those that his words and concepts chime with.
 
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microstrip

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(...) For my part, I am trying to answer some questions Tim asked me. They are difficult questions and not easily answered. And Fransisco says that there are many ideas in this blog that interest him but there is no time to discuss all of them. I guess, I am just trying to expand on one topic now: the importance of set up, and more specifically, how to manage the energy in the room. There are many other fine topics elsewhere on this forum for you to read. (...)

The questions are not difficult, IMHO it is your instance in redefining what is the energy in the room and explain subjective feelings from this concept that makes them distant and hard to address.

I was happy to accept your use of the word "energy " almost one year ago - see https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/sublime-sound.12853/post-615007 . I could understand its figurative meaning.

However when you start adding vibrations and waves, the air and energy of the concert hall you are not anymore simply discussing David Karmelli concept of "natural" in stereo sound reproduction and its implementation. You seem to be making claims that only survive in the confusion. "Managing the energy in the room " risks becoming a meaningless soundbite. Surely MHO, YMMV.

We have to accept that there are no fewer and simple words to explain the whole in sound reprodcution. Stereo sound reproduction is extremely complex, but at the extreme we could reduce it to enjoyable/not enjoyable and rename the forum WMEF - what is more enjoyable forum. :)
 

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