Recent Concerts You've Enjoyed

I think what I heard last night should be relatively easy for a good system to reproduce with a pretty high degree of suspension of disbelief. But to my ears it would require tubes driving a non-bright speaker and a non-analytical-sounding cartridge.

It is very hard to say, Davey, obviously. I’m not sure how to even go about thinking through in my mind the many systems I have heard, and then hypothesizing how they would have sounded with these two particular instruments alone when I did not hear these two instruments solo on any recording we played on those systems?

Perhaps I can think about it only in terms of recalling artificial or inaccurate brightness or not. I know I never heard any brightness which I considered to be artificial brightness from a Rockport speaker driven by Absolare or Viva (or tubes in general). There is zero artificial brightness in DDK’s very natural-sounding system.
Hi Ron

Isn’t this the great paradox in Hi Fi. Live sound completely unamplified is a completely different experience to hi fi regardless of the money spent

On Friday evening I had the great pleasure of going to The Stables in Milton Keynes to hear Pete Long and The Goodmen Band recreate the seminal 1938 Benny Goodman concert at Carnegie Hall. The band was made up of the best big band players in the UK. The Stables auditorium was designed by John Dankworth the world famous jazz musician and is in the space formerly occupied by the stables of his Rectory home. The Accoustics is beautiful such that every nuance of sound can be heard without amplification. Apart from the compère microphone the performance was completely unamplified.

Much as I love my audio this performance was in a completely different class. As you say there are no hard sounds just natural sounds. The line of four trumpets could part your hair at 50 paces. It wasn’t hard it was just the natural bite of the instruments. I initially the sound was quite gentle as the band warmed up on the first couple of pieces. However as they got going it was mind blowing. Sound levels above 100db on occasions bur it never seems that loud. I was completely blown away and it made me wonder how then original audience felt in 1938 at the original performance with the great BG himself.

Pete Long is a fabulous clarinetist and terrific compère. He told a great story about Benny Goodman. Benny was completely obsessed with his clarinet. In fact little else featured in his life In 1937 the young Peggy Lee was about to join Goodman Band. It was winter in NYC and very cold. Peggy was invited by Goodman to come to his flat to rehearse with Benny and his pianist. The flat was very cold and Peggy was feeling very chilly. She mentioned this to Benny who left the room. On his way he passed through the kitchen. He noticed his clarinet on the kitchen table and picked it up and stated playing scales and arpeggios. This continued for 20 minutes. He then went the the bedroom and on his way back he saw his clarinet and picked it up and started playing. Eventually perhaps 10 minutes later he returned to the rehearsal pulling on a cardigan. Peggy Lee continued to shiver!

My view (for what its worth) is that we audio enthusiasts should be seeking a mean tonal balance that enables us to get real pleasure from the maximum percentage of our record collections. The system needs to do justice to all genres. If it doesn’t it is doing something wrong.

Recorded sound, great as it can be, can never really compare with natural live sound. However in the absence of live music it can provide great pleasure. I once new a guy who said that the best is the enemy of the good. In seeking the best we lose the pleasure that we could gain from what we have.

Like you guys I have heard many superb systems including the SME music room Steyning, the life’s work of Alistair Robertson-Aikman, on 5 separate occasions. Beautiful as the system and the room are it is not perfect. For me this was a Eureka moment. It taught me that even with limitless resources perfection does not exist and never will. Given the name of this forum that probably makes me a heretic. I love high end audio, but I love music more and I know that my greatest pleasure in music always comes from live performance. I have never heard a hi fi system that can come close to reproducing the sound of the organ of Liverpool Cathedral live. It simply isn’t possible. However I have had a lot of fun trying!

I shall now retreat to my man cave, don my tin hat, close the hatch, and await the onslaught.

Kind regards

David. :):)
 
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May 30, 2010
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The specific example is to support general rules regarding dynamics. It is not relevant if you care about solo violin or not...that is beside the point.

My preference is for live, unamplified music...something that is of interest to a great many people. I have had the fortunate experience of hearing daily a world class violinist playing rare and amazing instruments and took interest in both recording some performances and carefully observing the more interesting effects of live music dynamics (solo, duo and quartet) and the difficulty in capturing them on tape, without compression.

What this tells me wrt to reproduction is also interesting and makes my violin experiment relevant even if you never listen to solo violin...it is already hard enough for most systems to fail to be convincing...in this Davey and I almost agree.
You are walking around the main point - that your particular experience creates a preference that dictates your choices and IMHO is very different from most of us. And your extrapolation from violins to general sound reproduction "general rules" is not acceptable IMHO.
 

morricab

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You are missing the point, Brad. My preference is also for live, unamplified music, and I also like solo violin, but as Francisco pointed out, reproducing it how it is played in a 20 sqm room does not have to do anything with how people usually hear live music, which is in larger venues or even rooms. Together with other WBF members I recently enjoyed a concert of Brahms' violin sonatas in a large living room -- much larger than a 20 sqm room -- and even though we heard it close-up, the dynamics of the violin were not something that would be a particular challenge for many good systems. The tone is a different matter. As was the dynamics of the piano.

And that was in a large living room, for modern standards an unusually intimate setting -- mostly you hear solo violin in larger venues than that.
Yes, but the microphones are usually put up close. That makes a lot of difference for many recordings.
 

morricab

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You are walking around the main point - that your particular experience creates a preference that dictates your choices and IMHO is very different from most of us. And your extrapolation from violins to general sound reproduction "general rules" is not acceptable IMHO.
Well, it is not just one experience but many. Also, most recordings are made at very close proximity meaning that you are always having a "front row seat". One of the reasons that B&W engineered into there speakers the "gundry dip" in the presence region to give listeners a somewhat more distant (and perhaps more correct when sitting mid-hall live) perspective than what was truly on the recording. So, sitting very up close and personal to live, unamplified music is probably a better indicator of what is on the majority of recordings than a mid-hall live experience (have plenty of those too). I guess it makes sense to compensate for the lack of visuals by making things like instrument placement more obvious than one gets mid-hall...live you have the visuals of where every instrument is located.
 

Al M.

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Yes, but the microphones are usually put up close. That makes a lot of difference for many recordings.
I said we sat up close. Also, even with that the perceived dynamic energy depends on the room size -- very much so. And again, a large living room, which easily fit 35 people or so, other than the performers/instruments, is not a 20 sqm room.
 
May 30, 2010
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Well, it is not just one experience but many. Also, most recordings are made at very close proximity meaning that you are always having a "front row seat". One of the reasons that B&W engineered into there speakers the "gundry dip" in the presence region to give listeners a somewhat more distant (and perhaps more correct when sitting mid-hall live) perspective than what was truly on the recording. So, sitting very up close and personal to live, unamplified music is probably a better indicator of what is on the majority of recordings than a mid-hall live experience (have plenty of those too). I guess it makes sense to compensate for the lack of visuals by making things like instrument placement more obvious than one gets mid-hall...live you have the visuals of where every instrument is located.
IMHO there is not such think as a "better indicator of what is on the majority of recordings" in stereo sound reproduction, except probably the terrible measurements :D . Although I am strongly influenced by what I listen live in my preferences, I recognize that this is just a form of personnel bias, probably shared by some people. Sitting very up close to live is a form of training for some specific aspects, that IMHO are not of great importance for MY music enjoyment.

And yes, recording engineers compensate for the lack of visual manipulating the recording. As well as high-end designers. Fortunately some of them share our own preferences, although many others do not ...
 

DaveyF

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Your preference is what it is but it becomes clear why you don't think any system can do live music justice...with small speakers you are not really trying! Brute force is trying to drive "concrete" with an "arc welder"...not a high sensitivity driver, which is simply much more responsive to subtle inputs.
I think it is entirely possible that you need to go and listen to more 'live' music.

As bach_king so aptly put it..."I have never heard a hi fi system that can come close to reproducing the sound of the organ of Liverpool Cathedral live. It simply isn’t possible. However I have had a lot of fun trying!"

It really doesn't make any difference how large your speakers are...the above quote will still apply; and unfortunately this is true for almost all other instruments as well.
 

Al M.

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For me this was a Eureka moment. It taught me that even with limitless resources perfection does not exist and never will.
Correct. The best we can do is a sound that reminds us of live. Yesterday I heard on a great orchestral recording an 'airy' sound of the contrabass section. I always thought why do I rarely ever hear this in a system, but often hear it live? Usually massed contrabasses sound just dark and somewhat dull on a system, all bass and no 'air'. Yet there it was -- before my recent upgrades I couldn't even dream of that.

Was it like live? NO. Did it remind me of live? Yes.

Given the name of this forum that probably makes me a heretic.
No, I don't think so. I've always perceived the title as "What's Best -- of what's possible'"

I shall now retreat to my man cave, don my tin hat, close the hatch, and await the onslaught.

Kind regards

David. :):)
As you see, no onslaught ;).
 

morricab

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I think it is entirely possible that you need to go and listen to more 'live' music.

As bach_king so aptly put it..."I have never heard a hi fi system that can come close to reproducing the sound of the organ of Liverpool Cathedral live. It simply isn’t possible. However I have had a lot of fun trying!"

It really doesn't make any difference how large your speakers are...the above quote will still apply; and unfortunately this is true for almost all other instruments as well.
I think it is entirely possible that you don't read my posts or you would know that I am experienced with regard to live music. As to the quote: I would be the first to agree that large music is not possible for a realistic portrayl with any home system...search threads and you will see I have said so many times. It is not true, IMO, for solo or small ensembles...there you can get a reasonable facsimile of the real thing. Scale matters...also with speakers...
 
Correct. The best we can do is a sound that reminds us of live. Yesterday I heard on a great orchestral recording an 'airy' sound of the contrabass section. I always thought why do I rarely ever hear this in a system, but often hear it live? Usually massed contrabasses sound just dark and somewhat dull on a system, all bass and no 'air'. Yet there it was -- before my recent upgrades I couldn't even dream of that.

Was it like live? NO. Did it remind me of live? Yes.



No, I don't think so. I've always perceived the title as "What's Best -- of what's possible'"



As you see, no onslaught ;).
Phew that’s a relief!

David
 

DaveyF

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I think it is entirely possible that you don't read my posts or you would know that I am experienced with regard to live music. As to the quote: I would be the first to agree that large music is not possible for a realistic portrayl with any home system...search threads and you will see I have said so many times. It is not true, IMO, for solo or small ensembles...there you can get a reasonable facsimile of the real thing. Scale matters...also with speakers...
Sure scale matters, among many other variables. I am the first to agree that a LARGE room and usually large speakers with the ability to move a LOT of air is a requirement to produce scale. However, it is NOT the only thing that is required for the realistic sound of instruments. Precise timbre, exacting tone, correct rhythmic ability, dynamics, bass purity and and and on are also required. So, while you will be in the camp of the horn crowd, I will not. I posted why I feel horns are fundamentally flawed...just like all speakers. Personally, those flaws discount this type of speaker to my ears; you like the reproduction from horns...so be it.
 
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Al M.

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Sure scale matters, among many other variables. I am the first to agree that a LARGE room and usually large speakers with the ability to move a LOT of air is a requirement to produce scale. However, it is NOT the only thing that is required for the realistic sound of instruments. Precise timbre, exacting tone, correct rhythmic ability, dynamics, bass purity and and and on are also required. So, while you will be in the camp of the horn crowd, I will not. I posted why I feel horns are fundamentally flawed...just like all speakers. Personally, those flaws discount this type of speaker to my ears; you like the reproduction from horns...so be it.
You are right, in the audiophile kingdom sometimes a certain kind of myopia rules, a tendency to emphasize one important aspect at the neglect of other important ones.
 

Ron Resnick

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Tonight at Walt Disney Concert Hall we heard the LA Philharmonic perform:

BRAHMS: Tragic Overture, Op. 81

BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1, in G minor, Op. 26

DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8, in G major, Op. 88​
 

Ron Resnick

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Martin Chalifour
 

Ron Resnick

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Tonight we are at Walt Disney Concert Hall for Dudamel conducting Beethoven 9.


A58B83CA-655C-4C9C-A641-0B099AE04275.jpg


That performance was absolutely amazing! The LA Phil harmonic have to be one of the very best s in the country in the world!

How do a hundred voices and a hundred instruments stop at exactly the same nanosecond?
 

bonzo75

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Watching him conduct it here on the 4th (and Shostakovich 5th on the 2nd)
 

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