long term HT3 love

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Stercom

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #20 on: 22 Jan 2010, 10:34 pm »
I can see why Jim and Van Alstine show their equipment together. They seem to have the same design philosophy especially as it comes to that darn "distortion-induced" body and warmth - even so its hard to argue they don't make excellent equipment!

drew8mc

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Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #21 on: 22 Jan 2010, 10:40 pm »
Jim,

I appreciate your post.
I understand your viewpoint and how low distortion and neutrality is the path you have chosen.  That's what gets your motor running.  The question I have to answer for myself is whether or not it does the same for me.  Perhaps the only way for me to figure that out is to live with a pair for an extended period of time. 
I have read many stories about audiophiles who pursue detail extraction and neutrality to death until they arrive at a place where they rarely turn their systems on, and when they do it's only to play Dianna Krall records to visitors.  Then they sell them and buy some vintage Tannoys and a Dynaco.  I don't want to get to that place. 

jsalk

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #22 on: 22 Jan 2010, 10:48 pm »
Jim, have you read Danny Richie's findings on speaker break-in? He found that drivers do indeed change their parameters over time.

http://www.gr-research.com/burnin.htm

I personally feel that break-in effects, with speakers at least, is due to a combination of factors, some electrical or mechanical, some psychological.

kip_

I had not seen that before, but it is consistant with what we have seen.  If you look at Danny's numbers, the most significant changes occur rather quickly and affect FS significantly.  So performance will change over an initial period of time, especially in the bass region.  But what I was talking about above relates more to midrange detail.  While break-in certainly does occur, I think there are other issues involved here and that is what I attempted (poorly perhaps) to point out.

- Jim
« Last Edit: 23 Jan 2010, 03:30 pm by jsalk »

cujobob

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Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #23 on: 22 Jan 2010, 10:55 pm »
The problem with that philosophy is that what distortion is audible and is not hasn't really been established too well.  There are speakers featuring 15" drivers that will do some of the best midrange you'll ever hear.  Having low distortion is a fine goal, but not the only goal.

jsalk

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #24 on: 22 Jan 2010, 11:22 pm »
drew8mc -

Jim,

I appreciate your post.
I understand your viewpoint and how low distortion and neutrality is the path you have chosen.  That's what gets your motor running.  The question I have to answer for myself is whether or not it does the same for me.  Perhaps the only way for me to figure that out is to live with a pair for an extended period of time. 
I have read many stories about audiophiles who pursue detail extraction and neutrality to death until they arrive at a place where they rarely turn their systems on, and when they do it's only to play Dianna Krall records to visitors.  Then they sell them and buy some vintage Tannoys and a Dynaco.  I don't want to get to that place.

I fully understand your position.

I have spent about 35 years working in recording studios and listening to just about every type of system imaginable.  Obviously that experience has had a huge influence on the way I look at things.  When working in a studio, it is extremely important that you are able to hear the recording exactly as it is.  If the speakers are coloring the tone in any way, it makes it darn near impossible to mix with any degree of accuracy.  For example, if the speakers are a tad bright, your mix will be dull sounding since you will tend to compensate.

When I listen to a recording, I want to experience it in all its glory. I don't want a speaker to artificially color the sound for me regardless of how pleasant the results.  This issue reminds me of the effects built into most receivers these days (jazz club, church, etc.).  They may sound nice, but the sound-field they create bears little resemblance to the actual recorded material.

If others prefer sythesized ambiance or a higher level of veiling or distortion, there is nothing wrong with this.  Many of my friends love their Bose systems and I do not criticize them for it. If they are happy with the results, that is all that matters.

But my personal goal is to try and remove everything standing between me and the music.  And accuracy and detail are paramount to creating the very palpable illusion that the performers are actually in the room with you.  The greater the distortion and veiling inherent in a system, the farther you are removed from this illusive goal...regardless of how pleasant it may feel.

- Jim

 

DMurphy

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Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #25 on: 23 Jan 2010, 12:48 am »
Hi  Jim, as usual, has covered most of the bases, and, as usual, very articulately.  I just want to add a little of my perspective gained not only from designing new speakers, but in "fixing" commercial and DIY speakers people send me (all of the time).  First, in almost all cases, these speakers measure more brightly than my own designs--that is, the tweeter is level is set higher, or has a peak.  I honestly can't remember any commercial speaker  that had a cooler tweeter setting.  So, if you don't think a Salk speaker sounds "warm" enough, it's not because it's voiced bright.  Second, in every case, the commercial speakers seemed to lack focus and clarity in the crossover region between the tweeter and mid or woofer.  You can see some examples of these speakers on my website (murphyblaster.com).  And when I measured them, you could see the lack of integration in the form of a hole where the tweeter and mid weren't filling in, sometimes because the phase integration was poor and there was destructive cancellation.   When I redid the crossovers, the upper midrange-lower treble presentation snapped into focus, and this didn't depend upon the drivers being magnesium or aluminum or poly or kevlar or paper, or even expensive.  But--that region of the frequency spectrum (usually 2000-3500 Hz) is exactly where the ear is most sensitive.  When you hear everything that's going on in that region, and if some of it isn't so great on the recording, you may want to fire up a different CD.  But, I don't think the answer is to de-optimize the crossover to let less information through. 

dinaudio

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #26 on: 23 Jan 2010, 01:11 am »
I do not own Salk or AVA gears, but I understand the issue. I've listened to poorly recorded recordings (either LPs or CDs) less and less as my systems have been upgraded.
Occasionally when I play poor recordings, I would not pay as much attention as I would dp to well recorded music. Is it a bad thing? Maybe.
However, for me, the enjoyment I have with better recordings far exceeds the loss I had with those poorly recorded music.  8)

I have BAT vk-200, Rogue Magnum 99, Arcam CD23, Clearaudio emotion/AT150mlx, and Tyler Linbrook Signature System. I'd love to try AVA amp and Salk HT3 in the future.

martyo

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #27 on: 23 Jan 2010, 02:39 am »
You are asking about long term love. I totally understand your concerns. I've had my HT3s 2 years. It's long winded but if you care to read it I started a "6 months with the HT3s" thread back in '08. Here is the link: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=57534.0

Now, I enjoy music more than I ever have, I have almost doubled my music collection in the last year and a half, and even listen to many of the poorer quality Cd's I once "couldn't" listen to. But I also have some tunes that I consider car music.
 
Quote
I want to see deeper into the recording, but keep that excitement
Not all sources are created equally, it has always been an issue. Creating that "illusion" of music happening in your room starts with the quality of the source. Then, on retreiving as much of that source in tact as possible. When your able to see deeper into a good recording, and that illusion is happening in your room,you will experience more excitement.

Now if all your music is audience tapes of jam bands, you might go a different way.

Have you listened to any of the remastered Beatles? I think they are pretty remarkable. The flaws such as over recorded parts are still there, but there was so much more there that we weren't able to hear before. I rediscovered the Beatles, very exciting.

Hope this was helpful.   8)

Stylus

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #28 on: 23 Jan 2010, 04:44 am »
I can relate to the OP, the majority of the albums I listen to are far from audiophile recordings. 

I have two words for you:  Tone controls!  I finally hit my sweet spot with my system when I replaced my preamp/amp with a McIntosh integrated.  It is a great amp and controls the SongTowers perfectly.  For those great recordings, tone controls are disengaged and you get that "you are there" experience.  When I am rocking out, some extra bass, maybe a little on top, and you can really get the juices flowing.

I much prefer this kind of compromise than one in which my speakers did not have the ability to let those great recordings really shine through.

PMAT

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #29 on: 23 Jan 2010, 06:16 am »
Great stuff Stylus. Lets not forget about the brain. At some point, after enough music, your brain releases your old reference point and builds your new one, which is the new speaker. If that speaker is built well the tear of joy will come. Complete exaltation with goosebumps and waves of emotion come with full range speaker systems and good recordings. I would never give that up for lesser speakers helping poor recordings. I have never heard about anyone rarely playing a great system and only playing Diana Krall to friends for effect. I think those people don't know how to experience the exaltation. Showing people the Ferrari you bought for effect is not the same knowing how to drive it hard and get the rush. You know how to drive it hard so buy the Ferrari. Bad roads are still fun  :eyebrows:

charmerci

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #30 on: 23 Jan 2010, 09:36 am »
I have never heard about anyone rarely playing a great system and only playing Diana Krall to friends for effect.

Start reading Stereophile....    :lol:

oh wait - I stand corrected. I'm thinking about those guys that only listen to 10 records.....  :roll:

BrianM

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Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #31 on: 23 Jan 2010, 11:51 am »
I think the answer is to have at least three different systems in dedicated rooms. Have I personally gone this route? No, and that is why our marriage will never be what it COULD be, in a perfect world, with five or six dedicated systems.

charmerci

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #32 on: 23 Jan 2010, 01:06 pm »
I thought I might chime in here, not because my perspective is any more valid,....

- Jim

HELL YES IT IS!!!! :thumb:

JackD201

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #33 on: 23 Jan 2010, 01:38 pm »
Personally I like neutral speakers with wide bandwidth and by that I mean speakers without any gross dips or bumps engineered in and  speakers with low distortion not "neutral" as it has become known as thin or analytical. I have a feeling Jim's creations are right up my alley.

The reason for this is that speakers voiced with too much of it's designer's artistic license is like trying to fix a photo on an uncalibrated monitor or even more simplistically they're like overexposed photos. No matter what you do, you're never going to get possibly important musical details back.

The other reason is that if you do like certain distortions (and who doesn't), tailoring the sound of the system can be really, really easy. Just moving them around a few inches here and there makes profound differences. On the front end, a little tweaking of VTA or VTF for a vinyl junky like me can accomplish the same thing and can be taken a step further with a swap of carts. Same goes for using tube gear and rolling a few tubes. All these mentioned are easy and need not be expensive. If you are a guy like me, that actually enjoys dialing in set ups, neutrality is never a bad thing regardless of the quality of the recording.

The best part is that you can be secure in knowing that the speakers will not be the limiting factor AND that there's always something that can be done upstream.

Jermmd, I owe you pics. I'll post by Monday. :)

Nuance

Re: long term HT3 love
« Reply #34 on: 24 Jan 2010, 06:41 pm »
Jim, have you read Danny Richie's findings on speaker break-in? He found that drivers do indeed change their parameters over time.

http://www.gr-research.com/burnin.htm

I personally feel that break-in effects, with speakers at least, is due to a combination of factors, some electrical or mechanical, some psychological.

It has, however, never been definitively proven under blind testing that those small changes are actually audible.  And even if they are, they likely happen within the first hour or two, so it wouldn't be noticeable even a few hours beyond that.  Believe what you want, as I am not trying to change your mind; just stated my side.  :)

Jim, your first post should be stickied in all A/V forums.  Well said sir!