Truth and Tonality: can they co-exist?

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
If I cut the power, I just might be living alone.
Sorry about that ...:)

You could try the test without cutting off all the power. Obviously, you need lights there and if the HVAC is essential then keep it going, just try and switch off as many as the other circuits as possible. Note that the system doesn't have to be run hard during the test listening.

The system could easily be solid enough to give a good result without going all the way.

The key ingredients are fully stabilising the components, in a minimum configuration, switching everything off, flipping the switches, etc, and switching on again, and listening carefully during the first half hour. That may give you enough clues, and is worth pursuing ...

Anyone else lurking, are you game, willing to give it a go? Roll up, roll up, tuppence a throw ...:D:D

Frank
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,031
22
38
Manila, Philippines
Switch everything off after they are already thermally stable and switch them back on again or switch the breakers elsewhere?

All my electronics have tubes in them save my CDP. I'm going to have a tough time trusting my ears for minute differences Frank. It's going to take at least 3 minutes between power down and soft start and a few more to get the tube filaments stable. I trust my ears over the long haul but not in quick cut AB testing with intervals of more than a few seconds. Under such circumstances I'm afraid I won't be very helpful in helping you prove any points.

If we're looking at the breakers, it points squarely to noise contamination and available current. I've got dedicated 20A lines at 230V. Current draw is not a problem and when it is it's the power utility company and not my implementation. Contamination is still possible despite the dedicated lines.
 

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
it's going to take at least 3 minutes between power down and soft start and a few more to get the tube filaments stable. I trust my ears over the long haul but not in quick cut AB testing with intervals of more than a few seconds.
If your system is going to respond to, or is sensitive to the problem areas I'm talking about, it'll be chalk and cheese in terms of differences. The point of shutting down and restarting is that there are types of weaknesses which respond to this process, by effectively resetting the mechanisms causing the problems. So if it takes 30 secs, 3 mins, 6 mins, it doesn't matter.

Yes, we are trying to eliminate as much contamination as we can, to give this test a fair go. A classic weakness is that gear is too vulnerable to contamination, so as a first step to having a long term solution, we momentarily reduce the contamination around the system. Hence, try to get as much electrical interference out of the mix as you possibly can .

You've already said "while I have had glimpses of what you are shooting for I do not get it consistently". So you have an idea what we're aiming at, these glimpses are critical, showing you that the system is certainly capable of doing the job; we are trying to make them rock solid, and have them stick around. If the test works you could get 5 minutes of good stuff, or it may last a lot longer. Or nothing may change at all! I'll be learning, too ...:)

Again, it will help if you use a recording that is on the edge of being acceptable, you feel it has potential but it never quite springs to life. If the test works, that recording should knock your socks off!

So, think about giving it a go ....

Frank
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,031
22
38
Manila, Philippines
Okay Frank. I'll give it a go over the weekend for the heck of it just because you're a nice guy and if there's anytime I can get away with this lunacy it'll be on my birthday. If I'm lucky the wife will chalk this up to midlife crisis and actually recommend I buy a new toy or something. You'll owe me a case of Fosters if nothing changes.
 

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
You'll owe me a case of Fosters if nothing changes.
Good on you, and I'll do my best to accede! Of course, if it turns out the other way around, a bottle of that Chateau Lafite 2008 mentioned in the Fine Wines, Spirits And Beers sub-forum, the stuff spelt with one "t" (!!), would be an appropriate reward ...:D:D

Frank
 
Last edited:

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,031
22
38
Manila, Philippines
All I can afford after audio is Chateau La Feet!
 
Jul 8, 2010
1,232
0
0
70
New Milford, CT
In a stereo amp the power supply is usually common to the two channels, so if you heavily stress that power supply by driving one channel hard, you most likely will hear, and measure, a difference in performance of the other, test channel.
In your post I replied to you said nothing about two channels, only a loud sound in the presence of a soft sound. But:

As an extreme example, the stereo amp I've mentioned, one channel fed highly compressed heavy metal, at a volume just below clipping, connected via a long lead to a difficult speaker load that can take it, which is acoustically isolated from the listener. The other channel fed a soaring, sweet violin solo, played at low volume over a high quality speaker.
In your examples you talk about "driving one channel hard" and "a volume just below clipping." Both of those conditions might be suitable and even valuable as test signals, but nobody I know plays music with their power amps even close to hard clipping. Regardless, as I have explained many times, once the sum of distortion artifacts is 80 dB below the music, the amount and makeup of the distortion doesn't matter because nobody can hear it.

--Ethan
 
Jul 8, 2010
1,232
0
0
70
New Milford, CT
And if the sum of all distortion artifacts is at least 70 dB below the music peak will anybody hear it?
We've gone round and round on this one too. Audibility depends not only on the relative volumes, but also on the frequency components due to masking, Fletcher-Munson, and the absolute playback SPL. In many cases artifacts only 40 dB down will not be heard, and in some cases 20 to 30 dB is low enough to be inaudble. So to be safe, these days I say 80 dB, which I'm confident is enough to always be inaudible. Distortion at -80 is equal to 0.01 percent, and many audio devices achieve that.

--Ethan
 
Jul 8, 2010
1,232
0
0
70
New Milford, CT
My experience is that it IS there, that the normal measurements don't pick up that they are there, hence the apparent contradiction between published figures and what people hear
"Measuring" can see down to the noise floor, even in the presence of a full-scale signal. Do you really believe our ears can do the same?

--Ethan
 

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
once the sum of distortion artifacts is 80 dB below the music, the amount and makeup of the distortion doesn't matter because nobody can hear it.
A key difference between you and me is that you believe test results on equipment are invariant. In other words, if under some circumstances a component produces a set of test results then under all other circumstances exactly the same measurement figures will be forthcoming. I have far less faith in the integrity of component design and construction then you appear to have ...

The point about stressing the amplifier is knowing how it performs in its capability range. Would you fly in a new design of plane that hadn't been tested to the limits of its performance parameters?

Frank
 
Jul 8, 2010
1,232
0
0
70
New Milford, CT
you believe test results on equipment are invariant. In other words, if under some circumstances a component produces a set of test results then under all other circumstances exactly the same measurement figures will be forthcoming.
Then set up a test you believe makes your point, record it at whatever sample rate and bit depth you believe is necessary to capture the artifacts, and post the results here as a Wave file. It's not that difficult! You don't even need an analyzer. Amir can do that with his AP, or I can do that with the FFT in Sound Forge. All you need is a power amp, whatever test signals you want to use, and a computer with sound card.

--Ethan
 

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
Then set up a test you believe makes your point, record it at whatever sample rate and bit depth you believe is necessary to capture the artifacts, and post the results here as a Wave file. It's not that difficult! You don't even need an analyzer. Amir can do that with his AP, or I can do that with the FFT in Sound Forge.
That's actually a good idea. Main problem at the moment is time; I would need to think up, and put together the test data, then run it against some audio components, the kit to record it has to be set up and it would be no better than Redbook (I think!) ...

Leave it with me, I'll at least try and work out some decent test WAV files to do the job, then perhaps post them so people can have a play; my energies at the moment aren't too brilliant, not so sure about trying to get results quickly on my end with the gear I've got here at the moment ...

Frank
 

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
Okay, results are in, courtesy of Jack, and a case, somehow or other, has to wing its way to him!

Yes, a null result (Ethan will be pleased! :)), that is, in spite of Jack throwing most of what I mentioned earlier at the system, including managing to drive his class A amps with candle power :D he got nowhere in improving or changing the sound of his system, or at least his ears told him that.

This of course is a disappointment for me, and no less for Jack, having beavered away at the bits and pieces to set it up. As I said at the beginning, this was an exercise so I could learn as well, and in part it says that Jack has put a lot of work into stabilising the sound of his system, from the point of view of his listening, and kudos to him for achieving that! Whether that is due to the quality of his components, the way he has interconnected them, the room treatment or other factors, I can't say, not without going across myself to his cubby hole, and playing with his toys myself!

To continue, so that something more can be gained from this interlude, hands up those lurking, who went away and had a bit of a play with their systems, trying out some of the things I mentioned. For my sake, and the benefit of others, could anyone who tried anything post what their experiences were, positive or negative. In other words, if absolutely nothing changed that's just as helpful to know as "veils were lifted ...", da, da, dah!

Thanks,
Frank
 
Jul 8, 2010
1,232
0
0
70
New Milford, CT
Okay, results are in, courtesy of Jack, and a case, somehow or other, has to wing its way to him!
Did I miss the details of this test, or is it yet to be posted?

Yes, a null result (Ethan will be pleased! :))
LOL.

This of course is a disappointment for me, and no less for Jack
If you think about it, this is a win-win for everyone because everyone benefits from knowledge.

--Ethan
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,031
22
38
Manila, Philippines
I would've liked to hear an improvement or even just a change for the effort expended but I'm not disappointed at all actually. Like I PMed Frank, at least I got a bit of exercise in the process.
 

Lee

Active Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,407
3
38
Alpharetta, Georgia
Frank, I don't have one, but Bruce cottoned me on to the Korg MR2000S as the best digital recorder that he knows under $10,000. It records all the way up to 24/192 and 5.6MHz DSD
It's a terrific device. Todd Garfinkle of MA Recordings is also a fan.
 

About us

  • Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing