The Audio 101 Thread

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by sphinxvc, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Thanks guys, so am I far off when I think of it this way?:

    Microdetail as pure resolution horsepower
    Clarity in both time domain and frequency domain, as you explained, thanks!

    Whereas macrodetail is what I was calling "appearance of clarity" = not actual clarity but various aspects of time and frequency which give an initial sense as though clarity was present, but not really.

    Is that sorta right?


    @OJneg, over in iemland, it's A Thing to make part of the frequency response sound as though it were more clear (but not really, see? "Appearance of clarity") by simply making it louder. Boost the treble in iem land and people on HF may say it is clear sounding. It's not necessarily a bad thing, boosting the vocal range is important in a pro stage monitor for musicians to follow the lead singer with the wall of sound/crowd noise going on, at least for loud genres.
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yeah, but clarity should be thought of as more frequency domain than time domain. Transient response (attack, speed, decay, etc.) is more time domain.

    Generally I use these terms past the effects of FR. In other words, I evaluate the technicalities assuming the FRs are normalized. FR will have a huge effect on perception. 10kHz boost will increase definition and tape hiss. 5kHz will bring some edge. Dropping 200-500Hz will increase apparent clarity. Increasing 100-200Hz will muddy the sound. None of these things are a free lunch.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  3. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    You're both wrong. Clarity is slam across the fr range.
    Which might be more correct to describe as lack of compression across the fr range, but more importantly in mids-highs.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I don't know if you are being sarcastic, but we are on totally different wavelengths.

    Slam or lack of compression across the range is what I have mainly referred to as macrodynamics and to a lesser extent the attack aspect of transient response, at least in the heptagons I have thus provided so far. Just want to make sure people haven't been misinterpreting them.
     
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  5. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    Ok, here's a question:

    What do "wet" and "dry" mean around here? My best guess is that "wet" means a certain kind of euphonic distortion in the mids (maybe affecting transients) and "dry" means crispy, overdamped mids.
     
  6. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    No, I'm not sarcastic. I don't base my use of that word on the popular usage though. In terms what 'clear' means it simply makes sense to me.
    Lack of compression makes the sounds clearer. I suppose there is more to this, like lack of thd, phase issues and as you say frequency response. The fr response part though to me feels a separate thing. Apparent lack or presence of clarity.

    edit: I think you use ''liveliness'' for describing almost the same thing.
    edit2: Another point. A headphone or speaker set that lacks clarity can't be set to have clarity with EQ
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  7. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    Slam is possible to sort of fake. One can have sounds compressed towards loudness and 'feel them hit' with greater force, if that makes sense.
    Macrodynamics span is min to max, but I usually include in my definition the uniformity or how linear the intensity propagation is into it.
     
  8. StandUp713

    StandUp713 Acquaintance

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    Why do you guys spend so much on headphones?
     
  9. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    We keep trying to find improvements on Sennheiser HD6X0. That ain't cheap.:)
     
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  10. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Only scrubs are still listening to headphones in this, the current year.
     
  11. StandUp713

    StandUp713 Acquaintance

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    $10 on amazon gets me the latest and greatest set of cans this side of the Mississippi! :)
     
  12. lm4der

    lm4der A very good sport - Friend

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    Isn't that like going to the cannabis forums and asking them why they spend so much on pot? (Ignoring for the moment any negative connotations possibly associated with recreational drug use; that's notwhumtalkinbout)
     
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  13. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    All these drug talk, lets hope SBAF don't get flagged/monitored by DEA for drug chat.. :D

    On another note, I believe that it is only on very accurate(FR+Time Domain) speakers and not any type headphones that you can experience ultra realistic sounding soundstage reproduction. What I mean by ultra realistic meaning there's a sense of X,Y,Z axis for every element in the music.

    Meaning your brain can pinpoint in space and time to exactly where the tiniest of detail is coming from. Even if you are off the stereo sweet spot(off angle or off positional), the system is still able to give your brain the relative positional cues of the musical element. It's a very gravitating kind of experience where your brain gets completely fooled into believing this is a live experience and not a "playback of a stereo recording". It's somewhat like cinema surround/IMAX experience, but much much more time/phase accurate as it does not involve surround speakers(long wiring adds time delay as well as speaker position/phase issues).

    You can also achieve something close to this on good headphones with use of binaural recordings but it still lacks the physical aspect of sound going through your entire body via bone conduction and natural crossfeed.

    This realistic sound stage is also source recording dependent, not all music contains good spacial cues and your audio equipment must be top performing through out the entire chain. Also I believe it is only on very high performing/optimized systems that you get the auditory sense of height information.

     
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I guess where I am coming at with my very different definitions of clarity and macrodynamics (slam) is that they can be mutually exclusive. For example, The HD650 actually kind of sucks at clarity (it has a veil and the bass is murky and indistinct), but the HD650 also has exceptional macrodynamics across the entire range, especially if fed from a good SET amp.
     
  15. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    this is a cool thread. one thing that came up earlier here and on another thread is about is nth-order distortion and whether it sounds good/bad, used in relation to amps for example (e.g., "second order distortion sounds bad"). what does this mean, what do different forms of distortion do to sound?

    p.s., happy to move this to @thegunner100's amp topology thread if it's more appropriate there.
     
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  16. Madaboutaudio

    Madaboutaudio Friend

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    I think effects of nth-order distortion is something quite complicated to explain or discuss about unless you are audio engineer by trade. But from my conversations with kingwa(audio-gd dacs & amp designer) a few years back, if the design of the amplifier when done correctly, it will still sound good/smooth even with the much of distortion products in place for as long as the harmonic distortions are not louder than the principle tone because you have to factor in auditory masking* effects when you consider about how little distortion products affects the sound in real world listening.

    Take for example there's plenty of bad measuring amps(interms of IMD distortion %) on stereophile, but the reviewer subjective impressions do not correlate to the bad measurements(i.e. A bad measuring amp might be well liked by the reviewer)

    End of day, I won't worry too much about this nth-order distortion measurements and etc. Just listen to the amp, and trust your ears on whether you like it or not as there are other performance matrices of the amp that matters more(i.e. stereo separation, dynamic range and noise floor).

    *auditory masking explained:
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  17. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Yeah... Flack incoming. BHSE - Even if I could agree about the lack of microdynamics, I just can't get down with the harsh treble comparison... I think it's a bit of HeadAmp stereotyping. Or maybe my DAC is just THAT GOOD!?? And I'm making the big assumption that you're comparing this amp at the highest of levels.

    Where's my 3rd Coast Soldiers to back me up?

    Thanks for the really good discussion here, and other than you having tin ears when it comes to stats, I appreciate the information.
     
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  18. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Slapping on something like the Utopia demonstrates how the HD650 is both resolving and not super clear either. It's weird once you hear it and goes unnoticed if all you listen to is the HD650. Some of the modded HD800s give the same feeling if mods correct tonal balance well enough.
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The BHSE only pairs with one headphone: the SR007mk1. Even with Milos' PCM1704 Accuphase CDP, I didn't like the treble with the SR-009 or the Orpheus clones.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Distortion below a certain level usually isn't a concern. However, headphones and speakers tend to have distortion orders of magnitude greater than amps and DACs. And this is a concern.

    On the "orders", the easiest example to hear this between DD and BA IEMs. DDs tend to exhibit second order distortion. BA's tend to exhibit high third order. The Dharma headphone has more third order distortion in the bass; the HD650 has more second order in the bass. Both even and odd order distortions sound like shit, but in different ways.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

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