Theory That Musical Genre Preference Drives Loudspeaker Preference

mtemur

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Hello mtemur

Interesting??? Never thought about it from that perspective. I use digital/cd almost exclusively and most of my systems use 12's and up. The only exception is the living room where a lager system just won't physically fit. My preference is to larger woofers even though I am primarily using CD's.

Have to wonder why??? Could it just be that was common in the 70's for larger woofers and the towers came later?? Or with the birth of HT with 5.1 as the norm needing smaller footprint systems??? So we see this as an age filter thing if we came up with vinyl or just mirroring a classic vinyl set-up???

I don't see a correlation to source vs. speaker type for stereo. Over time I have used both to good effect.

Rob :)
Hi Rob,
I don't say that it's a rule, it's more like a tendency. Of course there are many people like you that don't fall into either of the two categories I described. I brought it up cause I saw a pattern over the years. In the 90's and early 2000's when Cd dominates everybody was leaning towards thin floor standers with small double woofers. Before and after the Cd era big woofers are favored and vintage designs became more popular again.
 
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Robh3606

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When you say play it accurately, what do you mean?

As I have experienced, in this case its the Genelec sound that the artist heard his music on and used it to the decide the final master. If later, the Genelecs had been swapped for Salon 2's do you think it would sound the same/similar? Would the artist want to change the final master?

Hello Rexp

Accurately as in reproducing the final distributed mix WRT tone frequency response and dynamics within any SPL limits of the system.

I thought we were talking about speaker type vs music type and that drives speaker choice??

What the artists preferred monitor or recording location is irrelevant WRT my preferred music vs speaker choice??

As far as mastering on the Revels??? Would it sound the same??? I couldn't say might and may even end up sounding better. Could also go the other way.

What if you used classic JBL large formats like the 4355's or 4344's?? Or modern JBL as in M2's?? How about large format TAD's??

Would all the mixes be a bit different???

Does this mean we all need a selection of specific monitors to play specific recordings to understand the sound the artist wanted?????

That's a never ending issue that can never be resolved.

Rob :)
 

bonzo75

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It never would have occurred to me to think that source (vinyl versus digital) is a driver of loudspeaker preference. I cannot say that I prefer your theory over my theory. :)
I agree mtemur, and addressed that as NLF - the preference to choose certain speakers based on digital playback or poor quality recordings. And then upgrade along those lines without appreciating how quality vinyl can change preference
 
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Robh3606

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I agree mtemur, and addressed that as NLF - the preference to choose certain speakers based on digital playback or poor quality recordings. And then upgrade along those lines without appreciating how quality vinyl can change preference

Hello Bonzo75

Am I understanding you correctly?? That a good vinyl set-up will drive speaker choice??

Or if you are predominantly digital and start to use vinyl and move towards vinyl eventually you will find your speakers inadequate or change your preference???

Rob :)
 
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Hear Here

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So why do they master on a speaker system that is rarely used in a home environment? Seems like a false positive.
A mastering studio monitor does a different job compared with a domestic speaker and each has its own place in audio. As one professional mastering engineer wrote in a pro audio mag, a studio speaker is designed to sound bad, whereas a domestic speaker is designed to sound good. He explained that the engineer's job is to work with the recorded material, warts and all, and needs a speaker to shout the warts at him, so he can work his magic. Once he's done and the master recordings are sent to the streaming and pressing houses, the last thing we want is for any remaining warts to be noticeable. I've has studio monitors at home, with their perfectly flat response, etc and I hated them. Give me something with a little character any day.
 

Gregadd

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It really doesn't work that way. Horns move air the same way as any cone speaker (they use diaphragms after all) except they have better coupling. Musical instruments, like a violin, rely on resonance in their body that is responsible to a great degree for the particular timbre they make. Resonance in speakers is usually not good although its something you deal with, in particular in the bass region if a box is involved.

Horns work well on two accounts: if they are properly designed they can be very fast and low distortion on account of the driver really not having to work that hard with little excursion and they are directional, allowing you to minimize side wall reflections (read: 'smoother') in a home environment.
I am not prepared to disagree with you Ralph. Perhaps I have Cones push air creating a natural dipole. When placed in a box. The back wave is usually trapped inside. Open baffles are dipoles. Horns squeeze the air like holding a watermelon seed between your fingers and squeezing. I think they are called compression drivers.
Of course, this may be a distinction without a difference.
 

bonzo75

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Hello Bonzo75

Am I understanding you correctly?? That a good vinyl set-up will drive speaker choice??

Or if you are predominantly digital and start to use vinyl and move towards vinyl eventually you will find your speakers inadequate or change your preference???

Rob :)


Yes.

Digital requires the equipment to do more. Artificial pumped up soundstage for example.

With good records you need the equipment to get out of the way as much as possible. The scale, coherence, etc of the record should be kept as far as possible. At least, when you swap records, you should feel you are listening to the records/concert on the records, rather than feel you are admiring the woofer, tweeter, midrange of the speaker.

Therefore recordings you audition with might lead to differences in the system preference, though be inconsistent with the theory that systems sound different due to picking up different cues from live
 
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PeterA

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Yes.

Digital requires the equipment to do more. Artificial pumped up soundstage for example.

With good records you need the equipment to get out of the way as much as possible. The scale, coherence, etc of the record should be kept as far as possible. At least, when you swap records, you should feel you are listening to the records/concert on the records, rather than tell you are admiring the woofer, tweeter, midrange of the speaker.

Therefore recordings you audition with might lead to differences in the system preference, though be inconsistent with the theory that systems sound different due to picking up different cues from live

Kadar, what’s your take on good original recordings versus audio file re-issues on thick vinyl? I have noticed that they sound different from each other on my vintage SET/horn system and I prefer the former. On my old modern SS/cone system they also sounded different and I slightly preferred the latter.

very generally, I find a lot of re-issues on thick vinyl to sound kind of lifeless and just the opposite on good original thinner vinyl.
 

Atmasphere

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Quad 57, better with music without low, high impact bass?
Which would limit them working with all genres of music... But I find with the right amplifier they can play bass quite convincingly. You need an amp that can make power into 45 Ohms...
Quad 57’s transducing the Human Voice Viz Girl and Guitar / Crooner , comes pretty close .
Which makes them good with anything with vocals, for example
Aesma Deava also recorded 'The Queen of the Night". Melissa trained at Julliard...
 
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bonzo75

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Kadar, what’s your take on good original recordings versus audio file re-issues on thick vinyl? I have noticed that they sound different from each other on my vintage SET/horn system and I prefer the former. On my old modern SS/cone system they also sounded different and I slightly preferred the latter.

very generally, I find a lot of re-issues on thick vinyl to sound kind of lifeless and just the opposite on good original thinner vinyl.

i usually like originals but it is not vintage Vs modern. On my friend’s Avalon with Allnic power and Soulution pre, as well as on the CH precision Stenheim, the originals sound better. Also when his CH gain feedback etc wasn’t tuned in initially with his small Goebbels, the originals did not sound good. With Tang’s and Audioquattr’s Cessaro and with hORNs universum it is originals all along. originals sounded great on Sigma MAAT with various amps.

originals have varying thickness, and I think MSFL was only 140g not 180 and still sucked. That said even in thick vinyl there are differences and classic records was better than the other reissues for classical, including the same performances on analog productions. However AP is quite good for jazz.

therefore while I haven’t looked only at thickness, i think the mastering and the pressing, the engineer will make more of a difference.

btw, some US London were thicker than the U.K. decca.

Fremer has a lot of positive things to say on originals with his modern equipment. I just think those who prefer reissues do not know how to go about originals, or have a EQed set up
 
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Atmasphere

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good original recordings versus audio file re-issues on thick vinyl?
Original recordings, especially ones in the analog era, usually sound better than any reissue. There are circumstances of course, some originals got EQ'd weirdly or without bass, but if it was a good recording to start with the original is usually better.

Tape loses some of its vivacious quality over the years. Tape made after polyester backing was developed (late 1960s) have a problem where the oxide sheds easier, especially if the tape has been exposed to humidity (which is why such tapes usually have to be baked prior to using them). For this reason its better to store tapes in an attic rather than a basement! Also a good idea to store them in a plastic bag with a packet of silica-gel.

Anyway, when tape sheds its oxide the dynamic range is reduced- the noise floor increases. Not much way to get around that. BTW the Westerex 3D cutter head, used in the Golden Age of stereo (1958 to 1963 or so) had bandwidth well past 40KHz.

The other tricky bit is the LP must come from the country of the original recording. The reason this is so is there is a feedback process between the LP producer and the pressing plant- they send out a test pressing on which the producer must sign off. Usually the producer has some idea of how the original recording sounded, so if something is wrong with the pressing its most likely caught by the producer, whereas in another country, using a copy of the master tape, this is less likely to work out as well.

These differences between pressings of course are very easy to hear! All I've stated here is also why, if you want to really hear how a recording actually sounded, its a good idea to maintain an LP playback setup, since the tapes had often degraded by the time they finally got digitized.
 

ssfas

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Quad 57, better with music without low, high impact bass?
The relatively poor performance of the Quad ESL bass is important if you want low impact bass. For the rest of what Quad ESL can do, they are close to unparalleled. I hate low impact bass, even if it is in the recording. I find it unpleasant. I need speakers to make a decent job of piano and double bass. Those are my criteria. My speakers are -3dB at 32Hz. For me that's ideal. They also work in my room. It's not specific to musical genre, but to my many and varied tastes, and how I want to listen in my home. The fact that I don't like rock music obviously has something to do with it.

Think I'm pretty much in agreement with @Atmasphere
 
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Al M.

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Yes.

Digital requires the equipment to do more. Artificial pumped up soundstage for example.

That would be new to me.

With good records you need the equipment to get out of the way as much as possible. The scale, coherence, etc of the record should be kept as far as possible. At least, when you swap records, you should feel you are listening to the records/concert on the records,

You can do that with digital too. A competent system playing digital will scale well with the record and you can listen to the concert on the record, including the ambience.

rather than feel you are admiring the woofer, tweeter, midrange of the speaker.

Why would you have to admire those separate elements? Yo think that it is unique to analog that you don't have to? If so, unique by what mechanism?
 

Rexp

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So why do they master on a speaker system that is rarely used in a home environment? Seems like a false positive.
Well they want it to sound good in a club and big monitors impress clients. I let them try a pair of TOTL Dynaudios which were far better than Genelecs just not impressive on the music they mastered.
 

cjf

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Personally I have not consider the type of music I listen to whenever choosing speakers in the past.

My criteria is based on the speakers specs/design/measurements and of course their sound while using as wide of an array of musical genres as I can take with me during the demo. Whatever the genre is, any potential speaker I choose to purchase must be capable of playing them all loudly, cleanly and be as colorless as possible over as wide a Freq Range as possible that also happens to fit within my budget at the time.

Also, I tend to avoid any speaker with petite drivers for anything other than the Tweeter itself. At elevated listening levels they are just a problem waiting to happen, IME/IMO. At least for any genre of music I listen to and especially for Heavy Metal.

I know I'll be using Subs every time going forward so the utmost in low bass extension of a given speaker is not as important to me as other areas are. But with that said, if given the choice, I would favor a design that can contribute as much as possible in that area over one that can not. This will at least give me the option to use it or not. That, I think, is better than it not being there at all in the first place.

Anyway, I listen to many genres of music so I could never chose a speaker that was known to only excel with certain types of music. This is going along with the assumption that such a speaker does exist in the first place.
 

jadis

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I agree with the theory, as far as my audio speaker choices are concerned. I had owned roughly 12 pairs ( 9 different brands) of dynamic cone speakers in 12 years and for my 13th, I went with the Magnepan 2.7 in 1997 because I figured my go to genre was female vocals (acoustic or with small ensemble) and I did not need 6 feet tall, 200 pound speakers to play those kind of music. Another genre that I play a lot was acoustic jazz and chamber music, and again my Magnepans fit the bill perfectly. I used that 2.7 QR Magnepans for 23 years till I decided to replace it with a current model which is the 3.7i. And after a year, a new distributor of Quad came along and I auditioned them with female vocals and within 2 weeks, I bought a pair of 2812s. The experience of listening to 2 female artists was too captivating for me to resist. And since I'm not too keen on bass punch and low end whacks, my choice of speakers do come hand in hand with my favorite music genre.
 
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Atmasphere

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Digital requires the equipment to do more. Artificial pumped up soundstage for example.
This simply isn't a thing. If anything, when mastering an LP, its good practice to have the producer of the project to provide a master file that has no DSP processing other than normalization. This allows the LP to be more dynamic than the digital release on account of the digital release is usually compressed so it will play nice in a car. The LP has no such expectation.
 

Al M.

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This allows the LP to be more dynamic than the digital release on account of the digital release is usually compressed so it will play nice in a car. The LP has no such expectation.

You are talking about pop releases. Classical digital usually has no such compression, it's not made for playing in the car either. If anything, it it is often the LP of classical music that is compressed in comparison.

Yet this is not always the case, fortunately. There are classical music LPs that sound very dynamic. But please, let's not pretend that dynamic compression on classical LPs is not a thing. It definitely is.

I am not talking about what is optimally possible. I am talking about the real world.
 

Atmasphere

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You are talking about pop releases. Classical digital usually has no such compression, it's not made for playing in the car either. If anything, it it is often the LP of classical music that is compressed in comparison.

Yet this is not always the case, fortunately. There are classical music LPs that sound very dynamic. But please, let's not pretend that dynamic compression on classical LPs is not a thing. It definitely is.

I am not talking about what is optimally possible. I am talking about the real world.
I can think of a number of LPs that are classical and don't have compression. Compression is merely a time saving thing for LP, which translates directly to 'money saving' since an LP mastering engineer costs as much or more as a high power lawyer.

Pop releases these days are far more common than classical; I wonder if there even are any classical recordings being produced by major labels on LP. At any rate, there isn't anything about digital that might change the choice of loudspeaker used.
 

Al M.

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