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In the Forum: Horn-Loaded Speakers
In the Thread: RAAL “Water Drop” tweeter for Macondo.
Post Subject: The RAAL's tweeter and Sound (#1)Posted by Romy the Cat on: 2/21/2007

I had many interesting listening experiences while I used the Water Drop’s Macondo. I would try to surmise briefly the sonic consequences of the Water Drooping. “Me” and “briefly”, would it be possible? Well, where did you see a Jewish boy who refuses to say 500 words where he could say 25?

There are few major sonic influences that Water Drop had to my playback. I will start from the first (with any order): the lowering of mechanical stress during the summit of crescendos.

People who know me know that I do not mind to play music loud. One of the reasons is because I can. Most of playback can’t play loud as loudness brings compression. Most of systems out there juts fall apart with volume. (They have of multiple different reasons that is not the subject of this thread).  The Macondo does not care about loudness and permits to play as loud as I wish until it because literally painful (if electricity is good, as if it is not then it compresses everything as much as any other playback). Sure Macondo as any other playback begins to distort at high volume but it does not destroys the fabrics of Sound and keeps the integrity all the way up in the volume, perhaps distorted but intact…. However, the compression drivers are atrocious and brutal. If at noramal listening levels the “dynamic atrocity” of the Vitavox S2 articulation works wonder then at high volume it becomes a bitch. In contrary to any other transducer topology the best of the compression drivers demonstrate an amassing tolerance to dynamic stresses. If a horn driver sounds in a certain way then it maintains it’s sound with increase of “dynamic pointer” until the driver’s voice coil is evaporated. Any other know to me transducers topologies gradually change their identity while volume goes up.

I DO NOT LIKE the chameleon-type behavior of drivers of other topology and I DO NOT LIKE the stubbornness and unintelligence of compression drivers. In live sound something DOES change with volume go up. Most likely our hearing use different perceivable harmonic pattern at different volumes. I do not know the answers but I know when “it is wrong”. The Vitavox shoots dynamically straight, blindly and in a way stupidly, however supplemented with the Water Drop the volume stress and particularly the upper MF volume stress, begin to demonstrate some signs of sensible adaptive behavior.

The end of orchestral crescendos in live music are just sonic evens but not the events of our perception. When an orchestra or a group of instruments hit their highest volumes we recognize it as LOUDER SOUND but our brain does not create an “EVENT OF PERCEPTION”. With playback systems it is different: when sound becomes louder in playback something in this sound says to our awareness that we should begin to recognize sound differently. I do not know what it is defiantly; through I invented many theories about hearing sub-consciousness protective mechanisms as a reaction to the alien sounds of byproducts of electronic contamination. However, what I do know that the introduction of the Water Drop does move listening awareness toward a positive tolerance and a comfort during the playback’s dynamic stresses. It is NOT PERFECT YET but IT IS NOT SMALL EITHER. In fact, that smoothing of dynamic roughness and the softness of dynamic granularity is very much prudent and it is much worth of getting, and partially for us, the guys who run horn installations. To total result does not yet behaved as “tax free” as live sound but it is a certainly a move into a very right direction.

For an illustration let take the Mravinsky’s recordings from 1961. Who else in the history of recording music was capable to demonstrate so nuancefully the INTRICACY OF DYNAMIC CONTRAST ACCROSS OF ALL DYNAMIC LEVELS? The Mravinsky’s Xray-like articulation (with right vintage of his orchestra) is equally stunning during the Mravinsky’s wildest fortes and during the moments when the Mravinsky’s orchestra is sinks in ambianic dark… Lets take the London-recorded Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, the last movement…

That last movement is hardly musical it rather an orchestral freaks show. It is not just fast and grotesquely articulate but it is also a statement audio brutality made in very poor, typical Russian, orchestral sound. What Mravinsky did was shockingly good and the way in which the musicians had “rendered” that last movement was astonishing. But that tone of the Leningrad Philharmonic to my ears sounds like a weapon of orchestral mass distraction. The strings are fine but when they dive into chopping then they, for whatever reasons, sounded WAY more annoying then any other orchestra. The tonal quality of brasses when they play loud make my Cat (an me) to hide under my bed. When the trumpets and horns scream that “fate thyme” they sound so “aggravated” that I need 2 hours of recovery with Vienna or Prague Philharmonic… I never head the Leningrad Philharmonic live and I am familiar with them only by recordings. So, I was under impression that it WAS the Leningrad Philharmonic’s sound. Well, not after the Water Drop come to the play. A couple days back I was playing that last movement (many times) and was VERY surprised what the Water Drop did to sound, and partiality at high volumes. It made me to view the brutality of Mravinsky interpretation very-very differently as by removing the HF artificial irritations at high volume it opened up a lot a lot of reasoning behind some of the things that Mravinsky/Leningrad did. In fact the entire last movement of the Tchaikovsky's 4th with Water Droped Macondo does not sound to me any more like brow-rising freak-show but rather it more sounds like a superb and very WELL-THOUGHT  AND WELL-BALANCED PERFORMANCE… Quite an experience I have to say and quite a lot of yield from juts one tweeter…

More will be coming…

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