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Thread: My '3D holographic presentation' from a 15W amplifier

  1. #21
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    .... and I can assure you, I get a fair representation of 'depth' from various recordings, even though the speakers are fairly close to the rear wall.....
    I just want to expand on the comment I made a couple of posts ago about how 'depth' cannot be more than a mental illusion. It's a beneficial, enjoyable illusion of course, but it is an illusion as I mentioned in post #18 and hence, the strength or this illusion will vary dramatically from person to person.

    There is a parallel with photography. This afternoon, out for a walk at nearby National Trust Sheffield Park I took three pictures of the lake and as I rather like panoramic shots, I joined them together. Yes, this is still a 2D picture as it was taken with a standard camera and is appearing on the screen of your monitor which is definitely 2D and is certainly devoid of optical depth. But we know from our experience out and about in nature that those trees around the lake must be some distance away. So we convert what is unquestionably a flat 2D picture into what is almost palpably 3D. But look at the reflections in the still water: could we turn this picture upside down and the illusion would still work? That depends if we've ever experienced mirror-like reflections off water. The tell-tale give away as to what is the direct image and what is the reflection is only the tiny shimmering effect because the water is not perfectly still. But if you'd never seen a still lake, you may not have the experience to make sense of the image. The same applies to sound: if you've never been in a concert hall, you will have a vary skewed idea of what I would consider to be high fidelity sound.

    Perception is all in the mind and will vary significantly between observers.

    >
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    Alan A. Shaw
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    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #22
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    Default A question of language - the word 'illusion'

    I wonder if part of the issue here is the fact that "illusion" is a bit of a loaded word. I believe that Alan intends it in a neutral way, but I think it's easily perceived as referring to something not genuine or not real.

    If we can "see" depth in a two-dimensional photograph, surely we can "hear" depth in a two-dimensional recording? In both cases I suppose it's a matter of the brain combining certain types of sense data and running it through an internal mental construct of the world, generating what becomes our perception. But isn't this true of all perception, given that we're human beings and not measuring instruments?

  3. #23
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    Default Depth dependent on the recording

    In my experience, the illusion of "depth" is dependent on the recording process. I perceive depth most often on recordings made with a single point stereo microphone, such as the original recordings on the Chesky label. Another good one using this technique is a Sheffield direct to disc LP titled "The Name is Makowicz" (jazz trio with Phil Woods on alto sax oin some of the tunes).

  4. #24
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    Default Perception, $$$, reviews and mental constructs

    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    I suppose it's a matter of the brain combining certain types of sense data and running it through an internal mental construct of the world, generating what becomes our perception. But isn't this true of all perception, given that we're human beings and not measuring instruments?
    Absolutely, and it is this that gets the audiophile arguments raging. For instance, I am pretty sure that the perception in the brain is also colored by the knowledge of what one has paid for a device, and the reviews one has read. And once that happens, the better sound heard through the device is as true for that person, as it may be false for someone else. Trying to resolve that argument is therefore a non starter, unless one of the two people change their mental construct. And after all, who is to say what is reality? My perception is my reality, and yours is your reality. What one hears is too subjective to be measured by instruments which can only measure objective stuff.

  5. #25
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    Default For 'depth' speakers away from the wall?

    Quote Originally Posted by hifi_dave View Post
    I get a fair representation of 'depth' from various recordings, even though the speakers are fairly close to the rear wall. If you have any doubts, you are welcome here and I will demonstrate that facet of reproduction to you. It's something I do almost every day to customers.
    Dave, I never doubted that, in fact I find that encouraging. As I said, I used to think (a while back) there was a need for the speakers to be away from the wall but my minds very much open on the subject.

  6. #26
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    Default The aim of stereo to capture the essence of the hall

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Two loudspeakers replaying a two-channel recording certainly cannot produce 'height'. Depth is easier to understand because we know from the real world that when a sound is some distance from us, it has a certain echoey characteristic. So when we hear that characteristic in two-channel reproduced sound over loudspeakers, our mental look-up table makes sense of it .....
    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    The same applies to sound: if you've never been in a concert hall, you will have a vary skewed idea of what I would consider to be high fidelity sound. Perception is all in the mind and will vary significantly between observers.
    Alan, its been very informative. The matter on image height did catch me by surprise though not depth which I have come to accept as a matter of fact having heard that many a time. My thoughts parallel yours on depth and a matter of the system/room being able to reproduce that feeling of depth (when present on recording) and the rest between the ears.

    Now that the bubble bath has turned cold and all the bubbles gone, perhaps a rethinking of objectives for 2 channel playback.

    On the matter of presentation at a concert hall, I know where you are coming from and tend to agree, it is generally a big wall of sound/wash of sound. I am of the view that some concert halls communicate the emotional content of the music better than others (like audio systems) but that's the subject matter of another discussion altogether.

    While concert halls produce that big wall of sound, music played in different venues ( a small bar or pub, open fields or stadiums, amplified or unamplified etc) give a different presentation. I believe the goal of 2 channel playback is also to try recreate the music at different venues and to what extent depth and a 3D effect contributes to achieving that, will leave that to the individual to ponder.

    Thank you Alan for your time.

  7. #27
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    Default Importance of rear-wall absorbers

    In my case, I believe the absorbers on the rear wall help considerably.

  8. #28
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    Default No cost experiment to achieve "3d"

    Hi kathylim

    Reg “3d” Ive been experimenting with speaker placement and seating position in last few days and some thoughts

    1. “3d” is relative by recordings,

    2. The 2 factors above (placement and seating position alone) appear to influence 3d perception with no changes to any other electronic variable

    3. Seating distance from speaker seems to be the easiest tweak to achieve 3d perception* (for me at least),

    4. The treble notes and reverb (or lack of) give clues of “depth”

    * I tried moving the chair incrementally forwards and backwards in distance from speaker and there is a point where music and voices “snap into focus” on the soundstage. This is imo the optimum for 3d perception. If you have a mono recording please try playing it and this will help you in establishing this optimal distance. It’s a no cost experiment so nothing to lose.

    kk

  9. #29
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    Default 3D from mono??

    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    ... Reg “3d” Ive been experimenting with speaker placement and seating position in last few days and some thoughts... there is a point where music and voices “snap into focus” on the soundstage. This is imo the optimum for 3d perception. If you have a mono recording please try playing it and this will help you in establishing this optimal distance...
    A mono recording? Maybe we misunderstand you. We can not be talking about '3D' as we understand '3D' at Harbeth GB. There is zero width information with a mono record.

  10. #30
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    Default Sansui amp, now retired

    Hi KK,

    I retired the Sansui and have the LFD in the system at the moment. Need to re-acquainted myself with the sound. Will try moving my seat closer to the speakers over the weekend.The 40.1 is imposing both visually and audibly when seated about 7-8 feet from the tweeters and will take some getting used to. Will have to dim the lights to make them disappear. Thanks.

  11. #31
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    Default 3D from mono?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUG-1 View Post
    A mono recording? Maybe we misunderstand you. We can not be talking about '3D' as we understand '3D' at Harbeth GB. There is zero width information with a mono record.
    Perhaps he was refering to the music snapping into focus as opposed to getting a 3D sound from a mono recording. However you make an interesting comment about the width of a mono recording and the inability to derive a 3D image from it. I was listening to a mono recording of David Oistrakh earlier this evening. While it did not cast a soundstage as wide as a stereo recording but it was about 3 feet wide at least by my estimation and isnt that sufficient for a 3D image of the violinist to emerge if all other conditions are right?

  12. #32
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    Default Image width check

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathylim View Post
    Perhaps he was refering to the music snapping into focus
    hi yes, this is what i meant, only to establish optimum distance...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathylim View Post
    about 3 feet wide at least by my estimation...
    yes, if you can get this is as narrow as possible while moving your seat (or crouching your ears to tweeter height, while pacing slowly forwards and backwards) it might be better.

    good luck..

  13. #33
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    Default Enjoyable distortion?!

    This thread has been very informative for me, since lately I've become quite addicted to the sound of a small single ended 6L6 tube amp that I built, which produces only 9 watts per channel. We use it with a pair of 98db@1w/1m speakers from Zu Audio and, at our usual moderate listening levels, I doubt it is clipping. But Alan's videos have me wondering whether my affinity for this system is simply some distortion that I find enjoyable.

  14. #34
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    Default Fate of the Sansui 15 watter.

    My trusty Sansui ended up in my office with the P3ESR. A Marantz 73 CDP at the front setting the pace. The room is 14" x 17" and played at low'ish volumes so as not to distract the employees and of course not to bring the amp into clipping.

    The music sounds ever so good, a system one could hang their hat on to deliver the music. Can't say the same for the experiments going on at home with the big system though. Much work needs to be done there. When the music sounds right, you just know it and when it doesn't, well you know it as well.... no matter what anyone says.

  15. #35
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    Default The hifi equipment is only one part of the chain ....

    OK, here's an alternative point to consider:

    Because its a P3ESR, one doesn't have such grand expectations and is rewarded by its "exceeding thy expectations" performance.

    And because it's a 40.1 and being the Harbeth flagship, one would naturally expect it to be infallible, the Omega, the be-all end-all authority and pinnacle of audio reproduction (OK, i exaggerate, but you get the point ;P ). But alas, nothing is is perfect in this world, and there are some parts just left wanting. Right?

    After all, the hifi equipment chain (amps, cables, speakers and room) is merely one part of the audio-reproduction equation. The other part being the listener himself/herself, and what we pre-conceive and perceive would form a big part in the human portion of hifi enjoyment ! :)

  16. #36
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    Default Monetary outlay and expectations ...

    You are absolutely correct and lets be honest....when you spend more money on a pair of speakers it would only be natural to expect more. I would'nt quite say however the 40.1 is infallible.

    However I was referring to the musicality of the system, when the music sounds correct, regardless of the cost of the system. I dont want to go into that aspect. If one doesnt know what I am referring to then no amount of verbiage is going to explain it.

    Over the long weekend I was invited to listen to another "toys for boys" system....much bigger, more elaborate than the earlier system which kicked off this thread. So much care had been taken in the placement, treatment of the entire system. It was clear to see that so much time (and money) had been invested in that system.

    It was impressive, played loud under control, did the entire dog and pony show very well but the musicality of the system was sadly missing. It didnt move me at an emotional level.

    Went home and listened to the 40.1 and while it didnt have the scale (etc) of that huge system my system did a better job in communicating the music. There are still aspects of my system which remains on my must improve list.

    Alan and many of the contributors on this site are correct insofar as the Harbeths can produce good music with some care. Speaker placement and some room treatment tops that list. I cant emphasise that enough.

    The above can be had without great monetary outlay but I believe that if one wants the most out of the music and system, then it may cost a bit more than a bag of crisps.

    I believe it is pointless to say to new entrants into 2 channel not to fuss over the sound and equipment. That may well apply to those whose interests are mainly to produce some music in the home with little care for all else. I suspect they may be a minority. Perhaps I am wrong.

    However, as you say when you spend more you expect more and anyone who steps out to buy a Harbeth immediately is spending more.

    Let me end with a story. A friend went out to buy his first hifi system. He hadnt discussed this with me and for the better. He went round to 2 shops and happily ended with a system both he and wife liked. I asked and he replied that he had spent the equivalent of GBP 5,000 but GBP 1000 more than his initial budget.

    I asked him why. His reply......"I decided to spend a bit more on cables and a CDP one up on the range as I felt, that would optimise on the system". Point is perhaps it is human nature to want the best or perhaps get the most on any situation.

  17. #37
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    Default Why, oh why, oh why?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathylim View Post
    "I decided to spend a bit more on cables
    Why, oh why, oh why? When will these people learn.

    {Moderator's comment: I feel sure that this is a joke. It has to be.}

  18. #38
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    Default Recording 3D and height info

    Quote Originally Posted by HUG-1 View Post
    A mono recording? Maybe we misunderstand you. We can not be talking about '3D' as we understand '3D' at Harbeth GB. There is zero width information with a mono record.
    I think there are some fundamental misunderstandings happening here. Alan is correct in saying that the experience of 3D is an illusion, but it is an illusion that is fundamental to things recorded in reverberant space. Even in mono, a simple ensemble recorded in a reverberant space will give depth of field as well as the width of the instruments - the illusion of 3d. The recorded spatial cues are the "information" encoded in the recording. Stereo allows for a much wider sound stage. Anyone who records and mixes music professionally will know that certain frequencies can create apparent height in their mixes. This is related to the Head-Related Transfer Function and is what allows us create depth of field in our hearing in the natural world as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-re...nsfer_function

    It is to be expected that we would hear 3 dimensions in well-recorded program material when the appropriate spatial cues are present. Some factors do rob these qualities from music in my experience, principally reflections from the floor or side walls or walls behind the listening position or poor speaker positioning relative to the listener. I would think that, all of these things being equal the 3D effect would be present even with a 15 watt amplifier, and would suggest starting with moving the toe-in of your speakers, and tipping them back as necessary to ensure that the tweeter/listener heights are the same. I would then suggest a rug below the speakers to absorb high frequency energy, and something on the sidewalls to absorb wall reflections.

  19. #39
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    Default My view on 3D imaging

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    I just want to expand on the comment I made a couple of posts ago about how 'depth' cannot be more than a mental illusion. It's a beneficial, enjoyable illusion of course, but it is an illusion as I mentioned in post #18 and hence, the strength or this illusion will vary dramatically from person to person.

    Perception is all in the mind and will vary significantly between observers.

    >
    I've been reading this forum over the past few weeks and have found many of the threads fascinating and informative. So I registered in order to contribute. This is my first post. I hope no one minds me reviving an older topic. I believe image can add so much to the enjoyment of listening to music.

    My view is that if the 3D imaging is there in the playback system it should be there for any listener to hear. It may take a little while for listeners unused to 3D image to hear it at first because their brain may be telling them that all the sound they are hearing is coming from 2 boxes. So they focus on those two boxes when listenening. They may need a little bit of coaxing to forget about the speakers and focus only on the the sound they are hearing. Closing eyes may help, and dimming the lights.

    All recordings do not capture the 3D information at the recording stage but there are plenty of recordings that do. Classical recordings are more likely to have captured the image of an orchestra playing than other genres. So if it is not on a recording to begin with you are not going to magically create what is not there (with *any* reproduction system) when it is played back. So to hear a 3D image, first source recordings known to have captured excellent 3D image information. I can give some recommendations if required.

    Height is much more elusive to recreate, maybe because even orchestras play on a fairly level stage. I think that where a choir is elevated to a great degree behind the orchestra then there is a possibility that the microphones would capture that height information if they are sited at the front of the stage below the height of the choir. The other thing is that if a listener can discern height information at a live performance then a simple crossed pair of microphones may be able to capture that height information if they were placed where the listener sat. (I've just had another thought - an organ symphony may reveal some height information).

    As has been said by many contributors in this thread the placement of the speakers, the listening position, and room acoustics are important to hearing good imaging. I find that the speakers need to be away from room boundaries. In my room if I go too loud the image can get poorer and I think this may be down to greater levels of reflected sounds. In my experience it is the speakers which do or do not recreate the image. I do not believe that the amplifier makes much, if any difference. Although I suppose the amp would need to drive the speakers cleanly and be of decent quality. I have used a 37 year old Trio amp (KA1500 25W rms) which does not detract from the image, and am currently using a 15 year old Yamaha AV amp (DSP A5 70W rms x5) with just 2 channels hooked up to stereo speakers (with no DSP effects from the amp). This is certainly not HiFi exotica, but it allows me to hear good imaging if it is there on the recording in the first place.

  20. #40
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    Default Positioning M40.1 in-room

    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    Hi kathylim

    Reg “3d” Ive been experimenting with speaker placement and seating position in last few days and some thoughts

    1. “3d” is relative by recordings,

    2. The 2 factors above (placement and seating position alone) appear to influence 3d perception with no changes to any other electronic variable

    3. Seating distance from speaker seems to be the easiest tweak to achieve 3d perception* (for me at least),

    4. The treble notes and reverb (or lack of) give clues of “depth”

    * I tried moving the chair incrementally forwards and backwards in distance from speaker and there is a point where music and voices “snap into focus” on the soundstage. This is imo the optimum for 3d perception. If you have a mono recording please try playing it and this will help you in establishing this optimal distance. It’s a no cost experiment so nothing to lose.

    kk
    I recently auditioned the 40.1 in a home where the speakers were placed in the living with rough dimensions of about 20'x15'. The speakers were placed about 6' in front of long, front wall (almost in the middle of the room). The listening chair was about 6'-7' from each speaker. The owner had treated the room with a few RealTraps panels: at each corner, at first reflection points on the ceiling, and behind the listening position.

    I can truly say there was palpable depth in this system. The voices seem to come from a space well beyond the speaker plane, closer to the front wall (i.e. Behind the speakers). It was a truly amazing experience.

    True, the 40.1s were a formidable presence so close to your face, but close your eyes and you get transported to a different world and the speakers seem further away.

    Rhose who have 40.1s should, at least ONCE, try bringing them INTO the room AWAY from the walls and sitting closer to them at in an equilateral triangle with the speakers toed in. Try it! You just might like it better than the placement you have now. :)

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