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Thread: Getting a 3D holographic presentation from 40.1

  1. #21
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    Default Sansui again

    Quote 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.

  2. #22
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    Default 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.

  3. #23
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    Default

    Quote 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

  4. #24
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    Default 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.

  5. #25
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    Default Brio R

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

  6. #26
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    Default What is the 'ideal sound'?

    Quote 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.

  7. #27
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    Default Linearity etc.

    Quote 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

  8. #28
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    Default Clipping could do damage

    Quote 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.

  9. #29
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    Default Optimising the listening experience - (move discussion to another thread)

    Quote 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

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