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In the Forum: Playback Listening
In the Thread: The elusive “absolute tone”.
Post Subject: How audiofreaks twist everything upside down.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 8/30/2005


Of curse you are very much correct but I always thought that what you said is understandable by default.

When I am talking about the ability of playbacks to care the “absolute tone” I indisputably meat sound reproduction of the “best” interments that originally are able to produce the “better tone”.  Even furthermore, I meant not only the best in own class instruments but also the best in own class playing techniques and lucid recording methods.  About the “playing techniques”: I kind of do not listen “bad music” or uninteresting artists … so, mostly the greater artists have the level of operating their instruments “sufficient enough” to get the “better tone” out of their instruments. About the “lucid recording methods”: in many cases the foolish recording techniques screwed up even “better players” with the best instruments. For instance the Strads sound like Strads only when their voice mixed with ambiance and when they heard from far away.  Here is where people like Heifetz for instance come short as they mostly recorded with the microphone positioned too close to their instruments (here is where the Heifetz’s unfortunate “sharpness: comes from…)

There is something more to say about the recording-reproduction techniques….

Generally the “up-close microphoning” is a bitch of recording industry. People have dead, low-sensitively; low-efficiency speakers and their speakers have transient ability of 185-years old turtle.  As the result audio people need to ”expedite” sound in order to get a subjective sensation of “live-like” dynamic and transient. So, what they do? They raise HF response of their systems to very high levels and subdue the harmonics of the musician instruments by sticking the microphones as close as possible - this all produce juts too “#” sound. Funny but in some cases it forces the artists who “play for a microphone” to play in “altered way” (mostly string instruments) that would sound OK after it will be reproduced at a typically dead playback ( Low sensitively studio  monitors with impedance equalization and etc…)

Here is another “absurd” rule of mine that I shell probably to put in my Audio For Dummies ™ section:

The lower measurable HF system can play (while producing “absolute tone”) the better system is. For instance you have two loudspeakers. The first loudspeaker cares a certain quality of “absolute tone” and the measure minus 3 dB at 20kHz. The second one cares the SAME quality of “absolute tone” and it measures minus 3 dB at 15kHz. The second loudspeaker is way more superior if the HF auditable result is the same. The best imaginable loudspeaker should produce the SAME quality of “absolute tone”, while to have no auditable HF limitation and the same time to have as LOWEST AS POSSIBLE height frequency cut-off. I think the practical limit is – 3dB at 11-12kHz and the loudspeaker that measurably go up to 20-30kHz  most likely has at 10khz deficient transient capacity. This loudspeaker is juts another audiophile garbage….

Romy the Cat

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