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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

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{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Has modern society evolved to accept stereo playback as natural sound?

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  • Has modern society evolved to accept stereo playback as natural sound?

    Every noise that we hear originates from a single source. Almost all noise originates from a single source, we hear the sound with ONE pair of ears, and if I am not mistaken a pair of ears can help localizing the source of the sound better than a single ear. OTOH, the stereo playback consists of two speakers producing the same sound identically and perceived by our ears as sound originates from a single source. This is contrary to nature yet we accept them and associate two identical sound as one. In fact, our brains pick up the same sound FOUR times!

    So have we adapted to stereo sound to associate it with real sound or would a stranger from a world far away from civilization perceive stereo sound indistinguishable between real and recording?

    ST

  • #2
    I am not sure if your question can be answered except to observe that human physiology cannot have adapted in 80 years.

    It might be interesting to compare "binaural" with "stereo", and read up on the early work of Alan Blumlein.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Blumlein

    http://www.alanturing.net/turing_arc...ein/index.html

    Or just Google "Alan Blumlein"

    A great man, who did much for audio, TV and the BBC; and whose work on Radar restrained Hitler's U-Boats, and probably saved the British Isles from starvation and worse. It is a pity he is so little known.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Labarum View Post
      I am not sure if your question can be answered except to observe that human physiology cannot have adapted in 80 years.

      It might be interesting to compare "binaural" with "stereo", and read up on the early work of Alan Blumlein.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Blumlein

      http://www.alanturing.net/turing_arc...ein/index.html

      Or just Google "Alan Blumlein"

      A great man, who did much for audio, TV and the BBC; and whose work on Radar restrained Hitler's U-Boats, and probably saved the British Isles from starvation and worse. It is a pity he is so little known.
      Just finished reading in Wikipedia about Alan Blumlein. I had heard of him (especially by two friends -recording engineers- who so many times referred to his mics), still had no idea what an important scientist he was, a kind of Reference Point for the world's electronics development. What a man! How sad he was lost, being only 38 years old, so young...

      Really thanks for this, I feel I want to find a book about his life, a biography, as far as I've been studying WW2 for 37 years now collecting everything about it... My father was a Spitfire Mk VbA pilot with the R.D.A.F.... what more?
      Thanks again,
      Thanos

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      • #4
        The Radio Programme referenced at the bottom of this page was excellent

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7538152.stm

        I don't know if it may be accessed in the BBC archives.

        I knew about Blumlein and his Radar work, but I had not appreciated how crucial his work was.

        Within a couple of days of the RAF Bombers being fitted with his on-board Radar Donitz http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_D%C3%B6nitz had confined the U-Boats to base. With Radar the bombers could see them underwater and pick them off.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Thanos View Post
          I feel I want to find a book about his life, a biography
          Hi Thanos, Focal Press has a book on him.

          'The Inventor Of Stereo: The Life & Works Of Alan Dower Blumlein'. by Robert Charles Alexander - ISBN 0-240-51628-1, Publ. Focal Press, 1999

          Since it will be 80 years next year of the concept, perhaps Harbeth will come out with "80 years of Stereo" editions of their speakers. some very exotic veneers (from forests with good management practices of course) , solid silver wiring and posts (gold plated), fancy brand name caps and resistors, Beryllium tweeter and of course nothing else than Radial, maybe titanium framed supergrilles, acoustically transparent silk cloth, solid 18K gold "Harbeth" badge on the front, im puking already but im sure there'll be sales. sorry got carried away there....

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kittykat View Post
            Hi Thanos, Focal Press has a book on him.

            'The Inventor Of Stereo: The Life & Works Of Alan Dower Blumlein'. by Robert Charles Alexander - ISBN 0-240-51628-1, Publ. Focal Press, 1999

            Since it will be 80 years next year of the concept, perhaps Harbeth will come out with "80 years of Stereo" editions of their speakers. some very exotic veneers (from forests with good management practices of course) , solid silver wiring and posts (gold plated), fancy brand name caps and resistors
            Forget the bling. Just make them active. Replacing passive crossovers with line level analogue crossovers could take distortion down an order of magnitude, and let those radials display their strengths even more.

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            • #7
              This site on microphone technique may shed some light on our understanding of stereo

              http://www.dpamicrophones.com/en/Mic...echniques.aspx

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              • #8
                After three days experimenting with Tracy Chapman's - Behind the wall, I am unable to say for sure if her voice sounded more natural with one speaker instead of two. Though I thought she sounded a bit thin with single speaker but I wouldn't be so sure to stand by it.

                ST

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                • #9
                  The stereo presentation would capture more of the ambience of the performance space than the summed mono.

                  That alone could account for the "bit thin" observation.

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