Announcement

Collapse

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.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
See more
See less

Getting a 3D holographic presentation from 40.1

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    For 3D sound, listen closer to speakers

    Originally posted by Kathylim View Post
    I have tried the, Leben CS600 (32watts),LFD (60 watts), Exposure 2010s (55 watts) and the Pathos Logos (110watts) with the 40.1. All have not been able to deliver that 3D sound. With the exception of the Sansui, the presentation from the other amps is recessed/flat against the wall.
    With all but one of the above exceeding the 50w spec, and all of them known to be more than just competent, how come no one is talking to the quoted state of affairs?
    Perhaps it is a question of speaker/listener positioning. I don't know about 3D and what exactly that means in the audio context, but I get a decent, defined sound stage out of my C7s when I am sitting closer to them than they are to each other. That isn't the usual listening positioning dictated by the room, which is a lot further away from the speakers. From there I get very good music, but a wall of sound, one can't locate different instruments in different places as one can from closer. Given that most speakers set ups at home are usually a domestic issues driven compromise, I am quite ok with that. My guess too is that the speakers would need to be placed significantly out into the room to get the best sound stage from them, at least up to 5-6 feet away from any wall.

    Comment


    • #17
      Seeking the 3D effect

      I thank you all for the sensible responses with none of the "why obsess over the sound"..."revel in the music" or "just use any decent amp...they are all the same", which some espouse. It would have been infuriating to read such comments when I have tried several amps, both budget and of greater value and still not getting the 3D presentation which I am now told the 40.1 is capable of. Such comments say I belong on a psychiatrist couch and not on my home couch, if I aspire for more from the flagship.

      If anything, Alan is correct, the subject on amps has a life of its own. I eschew the matter but here we are. I thank you for your views on tube amps and will try others above the recommended specification, befitting the 40.1.

      Ryder - It appears, amp and size does matter after all, contrary to opposing views.

      To the moderator - I am not intentionally avoiding your recommendation to prevent this matter from progressing. I have tried tried the Leben (32watts), LFD (60 watts), Exposure (55 watts), Pathos Logos (110 watts) but I have not suceeded in getting the 3D performance with any of the mentioned amps. I will unpacked them from the store and try them again.

      delgesu - I have the CB135 mono blocks/32.5 pre (with the Avondale card) and a hicap but I have discounted them as they are old and need to be serviced.

      Don - I will also take some pictures of my system and of the listening area and will post them for views after I have re-tried the amps and others in excess of 100 watts but without headway.

      Heretic - may take you up on your offer to try a 150 watt amp. Thank you.

      Hwveldhuis - no offense taken. The Sansui is very enjoyable. I had it in my office before with the P3ESR.


      While room acoustics and placement may be critical factors what still nags at me is the ability of the Sansui to let me have brief glimpses of a 3D presentation and which projects the sound away from the back wall, between the speakers and the wall when all the others amps dont. Anyway we shall re-visit the issue after I have tried the other amps.

      Comment


      • #18
        Is the old Sansui really that good?

        To begin with, i am rather (or very) surprised that the OP found the Sansui to have a nice 3D sound as from memory i never found it to be the case. I owned a couple of popular Sansui Solid State amps from late 80s to early 90s but never found them to be outstanding at all. Yes they had loads of power & kick but they were also rather uncouth & tonally flat.

        I had the huge & heavy flagship AU-919 integrated pitted against puny amps like Arcam Alpha, Cyrus 1 & Creek 4140 & i felt those puny british amps to sound much more musical, sophisticated, transparent & posessing superior tonal attributes. There was totally no comparison! Also compared other Sansui integrateds like AU-5500, AU-8500 & a few others with those puny british amps & the results were the same.

        The puny Cyrus 1 (only 30wpc) was even pitted against a 45kg Pioneer receiver (300wpc) & the Cyrus beat the Pioneer flat to the ground. Perhaps this AU-101 is different from those i had before. Or perhaps it has been heavily modded before.

        Comment


        • #19
          Chasing the 3D illusion ... my 1970s B&O tv experience

          Originally posted by Kathylim View Post
          ... I thank you for your views on tube amps and will try others above the recommended specification, befitting the 40.1.... While room acoustics and placement may be critical factors what still nags at me is the ability of the Sansui to let me have brief glimpses of a 3D presentation and which projects the sound away from the back wall, between the speakers and the wall when all the others amps dont...
          Of course, we must remember that whatever technical issue underpins that mystical "3D" experience you write about (and genuinely believe in), it is unlikely to be a characteristic of the amplifier - indeed, any amplifier. Amplifiers, to the amazement of many I'm sure, are really dumb. They are as basic a piece of technology as you can get. All they have to do - yes all they have to do - is magnify the incoming source signal by perhaps 20-100x and present that on the output terminals to drive the speakers. That's all. Nothing more and hopefully nothing less. As Peter Walker of QUAD so rightly said, the perfect amplifier is 'a straight wire with gain' (gain means amplification).

          So, is it technically probable that this exceedingly simple device could take the incoming audio signal, magnify it and regardless of the owner's taste, the music, the recording, the room or even the appropriateness of messing around with the sound, add a "3D" effect? No. Something else is going on here.

          An example that's so vivid. In the early-mid 1970s my parents had a B&O colour TV - early days for the technology. To my young eyes, this set in its beautiful cabinet truly seemed to have a 3D picture with real, palpable depth; football matches drew you in. My friends parents colour sets had over saturated, flat 2D pictures with absolutely none of this 3D effect. It made such an impression on me that here we are, nearly forty years on, discussing this mysterious effect. It took me about twenty years to understand why such a crude, early TV could have created such a vivid impression in my young mind, one which if I were to see the set today, I'm certain I wouldn't recognise. It was, as these things so often are, a trick bring played on the observer. The TV picture could never be better than the camera that captured the image or the transmission system that delivered it to my home. And the video camera technology of the day was extremely poor. The reason for this 3D illusion was that the shadow mask of the CRT fitted to the B&O had a rather coarse grid (through which the electrons were fired onto the tube face) and this grid in effect sharpened the edges of the electron beam reducing splashing onto out-of-grid adjacent phosphors. In addition, judging by the massively complex circuitry of the set, the engineers had thrown lots of technology to sharpening-up the tuner performance, very fine adjustment of pincushion and other geometry issues and taken as a whole, the picture was, for the day, really crisp.

          But that was nothing more than an illusion. Seen today, it would be a joke. But it's interesting how these experiences stick in the mind. Whatever mental cues are triggered in your brain to give this occasional sonic 3D illusion, I am completely confident another amplifier will, in the right mental circumstances also generate. It must in truth be something to do with the recording, not the reproduction.


          P.S. Amazingly I found a picture of the set .....

          >
          Attached Files
          Alan A. Shaw
          Designer, owner
          Harbeth Audio UK

          Comment


          • #20
            Possible explanation for 15W and 3D effect ....

            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            ...So, is it technically probable that this exceedingly simple device could take the incoming audio signal, magnify it and regardless of the owner's taste, the music, the recording, the room or even the appropriateness of messing around with the sound, add a "3D" effect? No. Something else is going on here....
            Whilst shaving and mulling over this 3D conundrum of how a 15W, thirty year old (Sansui) amplifier could give you this '3D' sonic effect you mention I may have the answer. It could indeed be the amplifier that's responsible. The clue is in the chronic power mismatch between the amp (only 15W at best) and the minimum recommended for the M40.1 (50W).

            In my previous post I talked of my experience as a boy with the B&O colour tv and how the design of the CRT tube (and driving electronics) gave the illusion of a super-sharp, 3D picture, at the time. Technically, what the gauze mesh across the front of the tube did was to apply a 'high-pass electro-mechanical filter'. In other words, to sharpen the edges of the images by inhibiting blurring in the tube, or indeed, even reducing the previous blurring of the picture in the camera/transmission system. A good explanation of the effect of 'sharpening' in didital photography can be found here. See how a little sharpening applied to the edges of the image makes it stand out against the background?

            Here is my theory then concerning the 15W Sansui. I suspect that it is occasionally clipping. You may not even be aware of it - but 15W maximum power available to drive M40.1 is almost guaranteed to clip at least some of the time. The clipping, if benign, that is, not prompting you to leap up and adjust the volume downwards, is generating fast-edge transients, and those transients in effect subjectively sharpen the edges of the music giving you this 3D effect. That could be proven by attaching test equipment to the amp and measuring its real-world behaviour driving a speaker not a test resistor in the lab.

            My guess would be then that you only experience the '3D' effect when playing at medium to high levels (hence clipping) on wide-range music and never at low levels or on music of limited audio bandwidth which demands little power and avoids clipping.

            Just a thought.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #21
              Sansui again

              Originally posted by A.S. View Post
              ... Here is my theory then concerning the 15W Sansui. I suspect that it is occasionally clipping. The clipping, if benign, that is, not prompting you to leap up and adjust the volume downwards, is generating fast-edge transients, and those transients in effect subjectively sharpen the edges of the music giving you this 3D effect. That could be proven by attaching test equipment to the amp and measuring its real-world behaviour driving a speaker not a test resistor in the lab. My guess would be then that you only experience the '3D' effect when playing at medium to high levels (hence clipping) on wide-range music and never at low levels or on music of limited audio bandwidth which demands little power and avoids clipping...
              I tend to listen at moderate volumes and that would be about 11-12 o'clock on the volume dial (and not past) for this 15 watt amp. I am conscious of its rated output, OEM idiosyncracies on calibration of volume control and of the potential damage to my speakers. As Gan has correctly pointed out the 101 is definitely uncouth.

              The basic character of the sound I get is unrefined/coarse, lean'ish in the mids and yes.....it does have the fast edge transients you mention. Whether the fast edge transient is enhanced from clipping, I really cant say.

              I will however say (it has crossed my mind before) that it is perhaps these very charateristics which gives rise to a 3D sound from time to time. It is the unrefined/fast edge transients, which appeals to the way I listen to my music. From my recollection drum, trumpets, saxaphones, violins are anything but refined. Obviously it doesnt present female voices and the piano in good light.

              If this is of any help, I listen about 3.5 -4 metres away from the speakers. General listening volume where I sit, would be around 83/84 db with 87/88db considered loud. The room isn't overly padded.

              Comment


              • #22
                Small amps

                Harbeth's owner and designer has just made a good point regarding underpowered amps.
                It must be said though, that small (classic British integrated) amps, when capable of driving a certain load can in fact sound more lively and agile than bigger amps, even more 'open' and spacious (think of the smaller Sugden (A21), MOTH, ION, Naim and NVA amps of yore).

                In this case, an amp fully capable of driving the 40.1's and yet being as aurally free as possible is required.

                Some amps seem to hold the signal -and load- in a vice-like grip. If such a character is predominant, it does not help in attaining a lush, spacious, relaxed presentation.

                If the OP can stretch to such an amplifier, I would highly recommend to try out gear from Audio Research (a used SP8/Classic 60 combo for example), Bel Canto or Simaudio.

                During the second half of the '80's Gryphon made one of the most 3D sounding preamps of all time, the XT. You might be able to locate one as a used item.

                In any case, it is always the source programme which drives the whole replay-chain and which sets the standard for everything to follow, including depth perspective and lateral stereo-clues.

                EDIT: I concur with Hifi Dave; the Rega integrated amps are and have always been lots of fun. Plus, they offer good value.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Kathylim View Post
                  I tend to listen at moderate volumes and that would be about 11-12 o'clock on the volume dial ... The basic character of the sound I get is unrefined/coarse, lean'ish in the mids and yes.....it does have the fast edge transients you mention. Whether the fast edge transient is enhanced from clipping, I really cant say.... it is perhaps these very characteristics which gives rise to a 3D sound from time to time. It is the unrefined/fast edge transients, which appeals to the way I listen to my music. From my recollection drum, trumpets, saxophones, violins are anything but refined. Obviously it doesn't present female voices and the piano in good light...
                  Now we're getting somewhere. I'm even more convinced that what you like is the hardened edge to the sound that is a by-product of clipping. You like the high-frequency harmonic rasp that clipping brings.

                  If this is of any help, I listen about 3.5 -4 metres away from the speakers. General listening volume where I sit, would be around 83/84 db with 87/88db considered loud. The room isn't overly padded.
                  I'd say that 15W driving am M40.1 at 3.5-4m away would certainly be at or beyond clipping point. It just isn't enough power unless you listen to music with no 'weight', such as solo acoustic guitar, flute etc.. Such music would make only low-current demands on your small amplifier and hence would allow it to play louder without clipping (to a point though).

                  So, you say you like the lean sound. I've made a couple of quick videos to give sonic examples of clipping.

                  Part 1 - Clipping of sine waves, basic background explanation

                  Part 2 - Clipping of music where clipping may not be audible or may yield an attractive sonic 'punch'

                  However we look at it, if the amplifier (or indeed any part of the audio chain) is clipping, its output compared to its input is non-linear. And the reason we are all here is surely to do our best to maximise linearity throughout the audio chain, to get as close as possible to the original sound.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Sansui out of puff?

                    It does look like your Sansui is running out of steam and should be replaced with something a bit more refined.

                    You don't need to spend a heap of money, as I get very good results with the new Rega Brio R and the M40.1. This lovely little amp has stirred a lot of interest because of it's sound at a reasonable price. Worth a trial anyway.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Brio R

                      Thanks Dave...will keep the Brio R in mind.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        What is the 'ideal sound'?

                        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                        I'm even more convinced that what you like is the hardened edge to the sound that is a by-product of clipping. You like the high-frequency harmonic rasp that clipping brings.

                        However we look at it, if the amplifier (or indeed any part of the audio chain) is clipping, its output compared to its input is non-linear. And the reason we are all here is surely to do our best to maximise linearity throughout the audio chain, to get as close as possible to the original sound.

                        Interesting clips and may well explain the sound I am getting. The immediate concern is, will I end up damaging the loudspeaker with this 15 watt amp if it is clipping?

                        On the matter to maximise the linearity throughout the audio chain to get the original sound - I agree with you , ideally it should be a goal we should strive for. However the situation which confronts us at home may not permit.

                        Assuming if great care is taken to ensure the equipment in the chain is capable of delivering original sound, what arrives at our ears may be less, given that we listen in an imperfect listening environment. Many of the audio systems reside in such an environment, to varying degrees. Therefore will we will never know what was on the recording.

                        This leads us to 2 choices. The first, the more obvious but more difficult to attain and the second, which most of us face for whatever the reason, to arrive at what is perceived to be the "ideal sound" (subjective, due to an imperfect environment, I like my sound with a hard edge/raspy - others don't, childhood exposure to sound etc) with equipment or devices available/ at our disposal. We don't have a reference. That could explain why folks try to match their equipment and tweak to attain their ideal sound?

                        I also believe it is for that reason, audio equipment isn't sold with a caveat printed in any size of print or colour "please ensure your listening environment measures up the capabilities of this equipment or in any other appropriate language".

                        Just some random thoughts and some decisions to be made.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Linearity etc.

                          Originally posted by Kathylim View Post
                          .The immediate concern is, will I end up damaging the loudspeaker with this 15 watt amp if it is clipping?

                          On the matter to maximise the linearity throughout the audio chain to get the original sound - I agree with you , ideally it should be a goal we should strive for. However the situation which confronts us at home may not permit. ...
                          You make some interesting points. Concerning damaging your speakers - yes, there is a real possibility that you will damage the tweeters. As I demonstrated in my Clipping example 1 video (a few posts back), clipping generates harmonics not present in the source material. And harmonics means unintended (by the music) energy in the higher frequencies. Not only that, clearly an amplifier that is clipping is working on the very edge of its performance capabilities - akin to thrashing a 1000cc car engine up an alpine mountain pass. It just can't be good to be running any electro/mechanical system at full power - that induces premature failure and could destroy your entire M40.1, not just the tweeters.

                          You mention linearity. In a strict sense, by this I meant the relationship between the audio components in the chain from the recording to and through your speakers. In a wider literal sense you are right to include the room and even your ears in the linearity equation, but few audiophiles have the desire/space/resources/interest in 'linearising' their room, and not even surgery can improve your hearing. So, really, we should say that the listening room and the listener's ears are as they are - givens - and we should properly concern ourselves with the input-output relationship along the audio chain. If any one element in the chain clips - be it the microphone, digital recorder, CD mastering, CD player or amplifier, the damage is done: no matter how fine subsequent elements are, they will merely pass along the corrupted signal to the next in line. And clipping cannot be unclipped.

                          As I showed from video 1, clipping chops-off the top and bottom of the audio waveform: what comes out of the equipment in clipping is not directly related to what went in. A simewave went in representing a musical tone, and something that was demonstrably not a sinewave but a modified, non-linear representation of a sinewave came out accompanied by perhaps several % distortion. That's just not what high fidelity reproduction needs or wants.

                          Forgive me for asking this - I do so solely in the interests of better understanding. Is it at all possible that you have been significantly exposed to loud and/or repetitive noise in your life? For example, the repetitive noise of an automatic machine, firearm, pop concerts, headphones, revving engine, been in the services or the like? And how quiet is your bedroom?
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Clipping could do damage

                            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                            clipping could destroy your entire M40.1, not just the tweeters.

                            In a wider literal sense you are right to include the room and even your ears in the linearity equation, but few audiophiles have the desire/space/resources/interest in 'linearising' their room, we should say that the listening room and the listener's ears are as they are - givens - and we should properly concern ourselves with the input-output relationship along the audio chain.

                            Is it at all possible that you have been significantly exposed to loud and/or repetitive noise in your life? And how quiet is your bedroom?

                            Well until I can discount the possibility of clipping with the Sansui, there goes a source of pleasure. Real shame.

                            Alan I can see where you are coming from and it has crossed my mind many a time, that in a logical way, we should try reduce the many variables in pursuit of linearity by keeping the audio chain as faithful to that as possible and better if we could extend that to the room.

                            The alternative to that which I put forward in the earlier post is flawed but only to the extent, if it is reasonably possible to achieve most of the goals in high fidelity playback. I suppose in a perverse way "if 2 wrongs dont make a right nor one wrong for that matter and since we dont even know what right is, how wrong can a wrong be if it the " ideal sound" is right?

                            LOL....as for my ears, nary a time have I not heard my spouse who must be obeyed beckon and at my age, its far too quiet, too often, in the bedroom.

                            On a more serious note, I havent been exposed to loud sounds in my youth or later years for any prolonged period of time. I think my hearing is still keen thought the basis for that judgement isnt clinically measured.

                            We have digressed some from the topic of 3D which remains a goal for the immediate future and will let you know how that progresses. I also wonder whether modern equipment can be designed to deliver that hard edge/raspy sound? I suppose I should discount the amplifier and look further up the chain.

                            I have a long trip by road ahead of me but that wont stop me from enjoying some good music along the way.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Optimising the listening experience - (move discussion to another thread)

                              Originally posted by Kathylim View Post
                              Well until I can discount the possibility of clipping with the Sansui, there goes a source of pleasure. Real shame.

                              Alan I can see where you are coming from and it has crossed my mind many a time, that in a logical way, we should try reduce the many variables in pursuit of linearity by keeping the audio chain as faithful to that as possible and better if we could extend that to the room.

                              The alternative to that which I put forward in the earlier post is flawed but only to the extent, if it is reasonably possible to achieve most of the goals in high fidelity playback. I suppose in a perverse way "if 2 wrongs dont make a right nor one wrong for that matter and since we dont even know what right is, how wrong can a wrong be if it the " ideal sound" is right?...
                              It's not my intention to warn you off enjoying your equipment - far from it - just to caution you that if, as seems probable, you are working your elderly 15W amp to and beyond its design potential, sooner or later some part of it will fail. Then, faced with a $$$$ bill for speaker repair you may see the whole situation in a different light.

                              Let's, as you say, sidestep the '3D' issue since that can only be a mental illusion at best, and a highly personal one too. Let's look at your suggestion that the reproduction chain should be as linear as possible (our common goal in high fidelity sound reproduction) but that, in a deliberate and considered way, further back along the chain from the speakers, we adjust the sound in such a way that what you hear gives greater listening pleasure by whatever technical means is available. Since listening satisfaction is surely the goal - and it's certainly mine - I'd endorse the line that 'whatever it takes to improve the sound at home that can be implemented in an understandable and controlled way - and reversed too'.

                              What comes across with striking clarity to me is that whatever is going on inside that Sansui of yours, clipping or otherwise, occasionally has a profound beneficial influence on your listening pleasure. And I totally respect and understand that position. We can't explain everything, but we should try to. That way, lessons learned can be applied to a wider audience, and we all benefit.

                              So, I'm going to create another thread and perhaps you'd be willing to continue this discussion there?

                              (It's funny isn't it how completing the late-night crossword puzzle can become so compelling in middle age ....!)

                              --- END OF THREAD --- SEE REDIRECTION ABOVE ---
                              Alan A. Shaw
                              Designer, owner
                              Harbeth Audio UK

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X