Natural Sound

Kingrex

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I like it better with my horns crossing. The images are more stable and the details are more clear. Less reflected distortions. Thanks to Peter for getting me on this track.
 

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Solypsa

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Well, that's what happens when they aren't hitting the side walls.
Not sure I understand your reply- could you clarify? Which side wall near or far?
 

microstrip

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Hello Tim, I agree with the analogy of natural sounding audio systems and the better sounding orchestra halls. I think I wrote about that in the Utah visit thread when describing David's four systems and mentioning Chicago, Boston, and Vienna.
IMHO you are comparing the incomparable trying to create an analogy - but no problem, many people who love systems that do not fit under your views of "natural" do the same to promote their preferences. We have many books and studies about the great concert halls and their characteristics - they are well understood.

I would say that there are degrees of natural sound, but just as there are different natural sounding systems, there are different natural sounding halls. And with these differences, the important thing to recognize and appreciate is that some rise above the rest. We can tell ourselves that it is all opinion, but in rare cases, those opinions seem fairly universal, in, for example, the cases of Boston, and Vienna. It is also the case with certain speakers like the WE and Seimanns Bionor, David's Beyond turntables, and certain electronics. When there is general consensus about relative quality, that should tell us something. David has spent years learning and understanding these differences. We can look to him for guidance and then listen for ourselves.
General consensus between a few people who share the same preferences of sound reproduction in stereo in very natural. Again IMHO nothing to relate with the preference of top concert halls.
You seem to have discovered what is special about Lamm electronics and Ching Cheng power cords. Those opinions are shared by many.

The basic difference between the JBL and the Vitavoxs is the presentation. They both are highly resolving and provide emotional and engaging listening experiences. I thought the Vitavox has just a tad more magic and emotion and they drew me in more. The JBL had a bit more "air" on more music, was more extended while the Vitavox had great "air" on some recordings, but not on others. I don't know, but I sense the JBL was designed more with measurements in mind while the Vitavox was designed by simply listening.

I could have happily bought either speaker, but in my particular room, with the goal of returning to a more traditional look and use of living room for entertainment and relaxation in an old house, the Vitavox was the more appropriate choice. In a dedicated, single purpose room, the JBL would be quite wonderful. They both sound natural, but they present music differently as do different concert halls.

Thanks for this very interesting analysis of speaker differences. I also enjoy the Ching Cheng power cords with Lamm - unfortunately I never got any ML3 or LL1 original power cables, could not compare them.

When I listen to Soundlabs A1 PX's with some toe-in close to side walls - their only possible position in my room , as they are 3 feet wide - I get the type of corner-type sound reproduction you referred with plenty of depth. The XLF's give me a much wider music scene, with extending boundaries and better layering, that I enjoy more. None can be considered more "natural" than the other, although IMHO and preference the soundstage of the XLF remembers me more of my perception of real concerts.
 

Solypsa

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We have many books and studies about the great concert halls and their characteristics - they are well understood.
To my thinking this statement fits in perfectly with the topic. Great halls are well understood yet not all that many are great. Of course there is the matter of cost but imho taking theory to the built object is not an easy task.
 
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Folsom

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Not sure I understand your reply- could you clarify? Which side wall near or far?

Near, Duke likes to avoid early reflections. The sound is still moving, but it hits somewhere else with a longer return path so it isn't smearing.
 

Lagonda

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IMHO you are comparing the incomparable trying to create an analogy - but no problem, many people who love systems that do not fit under your views of "natural" do the same to promote their preferences. We have many books and studies about the great concert halls and their characteristics - they are well understood.


General consensus between a few people who share the same preferences of sound reproduction in stereo in very natural. Again IMHO nothing to relate with the preference of top concert halls.


Thanks for this very interesting analysis of speaker differences. I also enjoy the Ching Cheng power cords with Lamm - unfortunately I never got any ML3 or LL1 original power cables, could not compare them.

When I listen to Soundlabs A1 PX's with some toe-in close to side walls - their only possible position in my room , as they are 3 feet wide - I get the type of corner-type sound reproduction you referred with plenty of depth. The XLF's give me a much wider music scene, with extending boundaries and better layering, that I enjoy more. None can be considered more "natural" than the other, although IMHO and preference the soundstage of the XLF remembers me more of my perception of real concerts.
I do believe toeing in a dipole close to the corner is very different to the kind of sound you get from a speaker designed for this particular location. Using the corner as part of the design, and thereby also minimizing room boundary issues that normal speakers incur seems like a advantage, not a problem. Electrostatics in corner position have always sounded thin to me, and too much toein will minimize you options for listening positions with a topology that already suffers from the "head in a vice " syndrome ! :oops:
 

Solypsa

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Near, Duke likes to avoid early reflections. The sound is still moving, but it hits somewhere else with a longer return path so it isn't smearing.
Ok, that was what I was referring to as well...using the far wall to increase late reflections at the same time reducing near wall early reflections

Iirc Danley also has this approach...
 

Kingrex

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I do believe toeing in a dipole close to the corner is very different to the kind of sound you get from a speaker designed for this particular location. Using the corner as part of the design, and thereby also minimizing room boundary issues that normal speakers incur seems like a advantage, not a problem. Electrostatics in corner position have always sounded thin to me, and too much toein will minimize you options for listening positions with a topology that already suffers from the "head in a vice " syndrome ! :oops:
If your referring to my setup, I am nowhere near the back wall. Peters speakers in the corner are to what I see, angled 45* and crossing. I thought I would try a different setup.
 
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Folsom

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Ok, that was what I was referring to as well...using the far wall to increase late reflections at the same time reducing near wall early reflections

Iirc Danley also has this approach...


Danley is more directional than Duke with design. They have a more narrow pattern. Duke uses controlled directivity but not to the same degree. So with the Danley depending on model you may not need to toe in much.
 

PeterA

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Perhaps someone should start a separate thread about Micro’s Soundlab speakers and speaker placement and toe in. This is getting really off-topic. I now own corner horns whose placement is not meant to be adjustable.
 
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ddk

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Francisco,
David,

Do you realize that you are always referring just to a very few limited and specific components ,
Of course I do!
Your position is that there's no best and it all depends, I have a very clear idea of best and the reasons why. Even if you have a group of the best there's always 1 clear best so naturally I will refer to the same limited and specific products and this is What's THE BEST Forum!

adding "etc" - something that impedes any systematic analysis?
That wasn't intentional but honestly I don't see the point to this type of systematic analysis. It's like reading a car magazine and trying to analyze and understand the difference between a Ferrari Daytona and a Tesla from 0-60 and quarter mile figures, tech and specs but you wont know anything about the experience without actually driving both cars. You also need some expertise to be able to push the cars to get to their essence. With the Tesla you just put your foot down and car goes weeeee for anyone, not so with the Lambos! The same is true with Peter's system, it has to be experienced and understood so we can discuss what matters, it's not in the specs and without the real experience communication is very limited and superficial.

Just for the bass in Peter's system, 3012-R the best and most natural bass of any tonearm, MS 8000mk2 one of the best quality bass of any turntable every made, Lamm phono and pre with ML2 that arguably has the most natural and realistic bass of all electronics, Vitavox corner horn also known for it's wonderful natural and realistic bass quality with my own personal contribution, Ching Cheng power cords! How many times do you think anyone's going to come across any of these components individually no less all together in one synergistic system that's properly setup? In this system there's a bass quality, actually an overall musical quality that has nothing in common with most people's concept of high end sound. No analysis of various Vitavox drivers is going to mean anything when you haven't experienced this sound.

It is easily understood why we can't exactly duplicate the subjective performance of vintage - these products have a well defined sound signature, resulted from the sensitivity of their creators. In an hobby where changing a cable - something that is technically immeasurable in the sense that it reproduces and explains the effect - creates a night and day difference, we can't expect exact reproduction of anything. So you will always be a winner if the discussion centers only on copying vintage. :cool:
It has nothing to do with winning, losing or exact reproduction of some sound, nor is it about vintage, it's about specific products with vintage ones among them. Intellectually a lot of things can be easily understood but only superficially, to truly understand something you have to touch it, properly experience it and to know it from the inside.

Here are the same two cars I mentioned above, both are high representative of technology, art and sensitivity and ethos of their era. Intellectually and superficially we can both know that they're different, one is a 60's car and one is a modern one. We can talk about the obvious specs and reviews by prominent reviewers but until both of us spend quality time driving these vehicles we're not going to have a meaningful analysis of the essence of these cars or share experiences driving them.

It's the same thing discussing Peter's system or the Vitavox on it's own, book and review knowledge is no substitute for real experience!


Ferrari-365GTB-25-Email-1024x683.jpg

tesla-model-3-review-7621-v2-1500x1000.jpg

Same amount of difference between systems, Micro Seiki, Vitavox and Lamm vs any other typical modern system at any price. You need the experience of both.

However, most people will simply tell that their designs based on classic vintage sound close or better than the original - and here we will have just individual opinions.
It's not an a opinion it's a someone's basis for a product. With knowledge and experience one can judge the success or failure of the attempt.

david
 
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Al Stewart

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Peter, I recall when you started on the present pursuit two years ago, you noted that your listening group didn't always agree that your incremental changes toward "natural sound" were moving the sound in a direction they favored. I'm interested in whether the listening group members that have now heard your new system agree that the overall sound has "improved" from their vantage point? I ask because presumably now your listening group can hear (at your home) an accurate representation of what you heard at David's. I'm impressed with your all-in approach to reproducing what you heard in Utah.
 
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cal3713

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Perhaps someone should start a separate thread about Micro’s Soundlab speakers and speaker placement and toe in. This is getting really off-topic. I now own corner horns whose placement is not meant to be adjustable.
I will just note that the whole toe in discussion started because the orientation of your corner horns inspired one reader to "copy" their natural toe in angle with their floor standers and found the result a positive improvement. Great that your thread made someone else's system better, as is the goal of all this discussion, even when it meanders...
 

ddk

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Oh Lordy ! :oops: Lets's hope we have no Tesla owners on WBF ! You really kicked the beehive now David !;)
I love my Tesla. I found it is very natural to drive.;) I won’t trade in my Tesla for any Ferrari unless it is a pure electric car.

I never owned or driven Ferrari before. But I have driven Porsche. Let’s say I enjoy driving electric cars more. I will never buy ICE cars in the future.
Good to know but I wasn't commenting on cars :). Only getting a point across.

david
 
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PeterA

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Pretty typical IME

Yes it is for a typical thread in many of the forums here but it’s not typical on someone’s virtual system thread when the OP wants to keep the discussion on topic.

EDIT: In my opinion, with these personal blog threads, the author deserves some discretion as to the content and his requests should be respected.
 
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rando

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Peter, in the early stages of this discussion there was building interest in the amount of work going into this shift. I was quite surprised at the amount of time and labor being expended to polish each steel plate.

In lieu of system videos, in home listening reports from other members, or a fresh batch of photos and accompanying detail... could you be drawn out far enough to explore the background labors that have gone unmentioned thus far or perhaps changes you might potentially explore which came about during your process leading up to generation of this new system thread.
 
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rbbert

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Yes it is for a typical thread in many of the forums here but it’s not typical on someone’s virtual system thread when the OP wants to keep the discussion on topic.
Good point
 

PeterA

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Peter, in the early stages of this discussion there was building interest in the amount of work going into this shift. I was quite surprised at the amount of time and labor being expended to polish each steel plate.

In lieu of system videos, in home listening reports from other members, or a fresh batch of photos and accompanying detail... could you be drawn out far enough to explore the background labors that have gone unmentioned thus far or perhaps changes you might potentially explore which came about during your process leading up to generation of this new system thread.

Rando, I will give that some thought, but this is not the first time I have been unclear about what you are asking of me.

I suppose I have painted the broad strokes of fine tuning my former system to the point where I realized I would need to start changing gear to go further down the road toward natural sound. That started with the request for the Mirco Seiki, continued with the trip to Utah where I was exposed to the sound I realized I must pursue. From there it was a matter of logistics.

I underestimated what would be involved in making this shift: the sheer number of crates, the weight of the gear, the difficulty of rearranging everything in the room, the listing and selling of the old gear, the building of the ramp, the dollies, the temporary gear supports, arranging the help of friends, the packing up and shipping off of the sold gear. Happily that is now all behind me. The last piece of the puzzle is the new rack which I have designed and commissioned to be built. Many of my new components have not been played for years. The speaker wire is new. Things have to settle, and I have to start to fine tune the sound. David will then visit perhaps in late June and likely take set up a bit further.

When I was in Utah, I was intrigued by David's collection of cartridges. We played and compared a few. This was a lot of fun. I plan to experiment with different cartridges based on what I learned in Utah. One of my Colibris is now back at van den Hul being modified for the new highly efficient system. I want to explore vintage cartridges for this vintage system.

David just sent me one of his vintage moving magnets. This is the first new experiment. I installed it today and plan to fine tune it over the next few days. It has not been played for years, except to test it briefly before sending it. So far it sounds fantastic and seems very well suited for this system. David selected this particular sample from his collection of nine for my particular system. It is 10-15 years old.

Below are some photos. One very cool feature is the ability to change the collar to stylus distance. I matched it to the vdH Colibri measurement so that I could simply insert the cartridge and change VTF, anti skate, and VTA, leaving the alignment (overhang) the same. I suspect this will take my system further.

I will consider what you mean by "background labors that have gone unmentioned thus far" to see if I can add some more insight into the genesis of this shift. I am not aware that I have left much out. I suppose you are asking for the reasons for this specific system: this very table, tube gear, and corner horns. I have answers for all that. Why David agreed to sell them to me, rather than keep them in his museum or sell them to someone else? Well about that, I would need to go deeper. I have ideas....

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pjwd

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Phil,

I am curious - can we know why are you asking about how "non-natural" recordings sound in a "natural" sounding system?

BTW, I also have a very large collection of ECM recordings - LP,'s CD's and files , but just for music and enjoyment, not for "life like" sound quality.
Well Micro .. it was lazy wording but the question I wanted to ask was if the magicos presented that style of recording in a better light than the corner horns .... or not.
Regardless of your opinions on ecm vs "natural" they are pristine recordings of both the instruments and the acoustic space compared to a lot of the "golden age" recordings .. just curious
Phil
 

tima

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Just for the bass in Peter's system, 3012-R the best and most natural bass of any tonearm, MS 8000mk2 one of the best quality bass of any turntable every made, Lamm phono and pre with ML2 that arguably has the most natural and realistic bass of all electronics, Vitavox corner horn also known for it's wonderful natural and realistic bass quality with my own personal contribution, Ching Cheng power cords! How many times do you think anyone's going to come across any of these components individually no less all together in one synergistic system that's properly setup?
my emphasis

David, this is an area where I believe you provide tremendous value, not only to your customers but also to those of us who read what you have to say. Having the resources, the will, the years of experience and the aural insight, coupled with a desire to experiment, in bringing many differerent products together and then distilling great combinations, and then freely talking about that - it's something quite rare in the audio world. Add to that the opportunity to experience some of those products in combination goes well beyond talk - as you say one needs to have the direct experience to appreciate the differences. While many dealers work at similar, what is unique for you is a willingness to range across history, not being bound to current production models where the competition among manufacturers limits the lines a dealer may carry. I for one am happy you are willing to be direct and tell us your views on what you think is/are the best.
 

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