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In the Forum: Horn-Loaded Speakers
In the Thread: Adding one more spherical to Macondo.
Post Subject: Some thoughts about my New Macondo's Absolute TonePosted by Romy the Cat on: 8/26/2006

After the painstaking setting up of the new Macondo, measuring all distance, paralleling the horns and time-aligning everything, after the setting up a correct level of the new channel’s attenuation (it turned out -2dB was necessary) I spent some time to listing the altered Macondo.

The red thread is the diaphragm’s line of all channels. The extension of the top section of the woofer tower made intentionally to EQ the arriving tome to the listening position that is located much lower

The conclusion is very firm: the new channel will stay, permanently. The benefits of it are numerous and I would mention for a time being juts one of them: the tone. Audio people practically do not talk about tone, or something that I call “absolute tone” on context of audio playback. They do not do it because “absolute tone” is not a manageable properly in their intentions. Audio people (best of them) recognize “tone” as the property of recordings but they very rarely think of playback as something that might do discrimination of tone.  The various amplitude deviations of playbacks affect tonal characteristics of installations but when I talk about “absolute tone” I mean something very different just “tone”:

The “absolute tone” is the absolute maximum of tonal complexity that a playback is capable to reproduces. It is like a violin. If we take for instance Amatis, Stradivaris or Guarneris then they might indicate a quality of “absolute tone”. It does not necessary mean that they under all conditions have better tone than some other best violins but under good conditions they are capabe to throw insultingly high (or interesting) tonal quality that might not be reached by “other” violins (particularly in ambient conditions). This absolute maximin amplitude of the “tonal sophistication” is not reachable by some "other" instruments, no mater what you do to them and how skillful players might be. The very same is with loudspeakers. They all have their “absolute tone” limitations. The audio people mostly do not consider them because the 99% of loudspeakers are “absolute tone” impotent. We do not really know where the “absolute tone capacity” derives from and audio engineers never cared to answer this question. Perhaps it is in materials or in design principles but I feel it rather in a sense of recognition and assessing of results – something that never was research seriously in audio.

Any discovery of audio elements that are capable for a higher degree of “absolute tone” is always accidental. Generally, some older drivers form 40s-50s: Altec, JBL, Western Electric, Klangfilm, Vitavox, Telefunken and few others had higher degree of “absolute tone” capacities but they all were horrible from other perspectives. The art of building Macondo, as any other acoustic systems that are “absolute tone minded” was to recognize and to embrace the best that those drivers can so but at the same time to make them to work in a totally unknown to them level of “precision” and in context of the more advanced and more demanding contemporary home-based horn system.  I stuck with Vitavox S2 driver exactly and only because it’s unreachable by any other known to me compression drivers “absolute tone”. Do not get me wrong. The Vitavox S2 is as crappy as any other vintage pro driver but I am dealing with it for a long time and I have learned how to treat it in order to get from it any more or less civilized sound. I feel that I had very-very serious “absolute tone” capacity in Macondo before the new channel was introduced. I think anyone who spend time, effort and common sense with many other best compression drivers might get good result out of them but it is imposable to jump of own head and any driver has own limits of “absolute tone”. I heard a lot of the best loudspeaker and I did not see many of them, if any, take “absolute tone” as far as Vitavoxed Macondo could (if electricity is good- the constant bitch of “absolute tone”). Partially it is difficult to fight with “absolute tone” at higher level of sensitivity where everything becomes much more complex.

The former version 4-ways Macondo was very good and did “absolute tone” at very-very serious level. It might sound like I’m juts a next typical Morons who just run my mouth about my gear. I would like to believe that it is not the case. For reasonable, not Moronic or interesting people I always was welcomed to put my actions behind my blabbering and actual to demonstrate Macondo sound. I know that some of you folks who visit my site were in my room and heard my inhalation. I hope it was adequate in relation to the verbiage that I express. However, there were always some areas that I would like to have taken further in Macondo. I will name just one of them.

The lower region of the clarinets, flutes, oboes, piccolos, recorders the mid regions of saxophones, bassoons, the entire family of the woodwind instruments and their relationship with “total sound filed” is very complicated subject for sound reproduction. Those sounds have tension; stress and “space” on real world but playback make them flat and un-granular. (The contemporary industry tendency to convert it into a miserable high pitch whistle and if the Morons doe not hear whistling the do not acknowledge “their quietly”). I always was looking for something that I call “frozen day sound” in woodwind instruments but at the same time I would like them to have the “absolute tone” AND be very-very soft (the contemporary drivers could not play “soft” and “crisp” as the same time). The new “upper fundamental channel”  moved the capacity of the “absolute tone” further, helping the “woodwind” problems,  by equalizing the transient evenness of my acoustic space but without violating the “absolute tone” constant. Very positive effect indeed…

I have to note that CDs do not go there where the NEW level of the Macondo’s “absolute tone” lives. Analog does or high sampling rate recordings do. I do not do today’s commercially available SACD (and sincerely feel that the people who do are Morons as they deal with very inferior materials and with very ignorant people). The 24bit is OK and the 88kHz-96kHz would do (I have no means to go for higher sampling rate and I do not know if it would be necessary). Anyhow, in the context of 24/88kHz the “frozen day sound” really blossoms and the New 5-ways Macondo can handle it better then before.

Now, I need a listening room twice larger for the New Macondo:-(

Romy the Cat

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