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Thread: We may need MRI scan after all - audio nervosa

  1. #41
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    Just read, MRI scan proves that we react to sound beyond our hearing threshold. That may explain the super tweeters and super sub woofers.

    "University College London researchers observed the process using functional MRI brain scans of human test subjects who had been stressed by an unpleasantly loud noise that was combined with visual images. Even when a fearful stimulus was present only at the unconscious level, the threat signal triggered activity in the attention center of the cerebral cortex, where the fear response is then channeled to other parts of the brain that prepare the body in the classic flight or fight reaction."

    Source here

    ST

  2. #42
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    It now appears that brain reacts to sound beyond human hearing threshold. In 2000, T Oohashi in his paper - Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity:Hypersonic Effect proved brain reacts to ultra high frequencies. Considering the above articles(read until Responding to noise we cannot hear, audiophiles may be actually perceiving something which ordinary double blind testing may not able to prove.

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    What I was really hoping is that someone would help me resolve my dilemma about buying the Super HL5 - see post #39.

  4. #44
    yeecn Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    It now appears that brain reacts to sound beyond human hearing threshold. In 2000, T Oohashi in his paper - Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity:Hypersonic Effect proved brain reacts to ultra high frequencies. Considering the above articles(read until Responding to noise we cannot hear, audiophiles may be actually perceiving something which ordinary double blind testing may not able to prove.
    I read Oohashi paper with great interest. I have no doubt about his finding - and hope that one day we will experiments to demonstrate how human body would response to even higher supersonic vibrations.

    Having said that - I do have a lot of doubts about the audiophile claims - for the simple reason that a CD player cannot produce anything higher than 20kHz. It is impossible by the law of physics.

    The sampling rate of CD is 44kHz. The highest frequency it can encode is 22kHz. If you think of it - a 22kHz signal sampled at 44 kHz will have exactly two samples per cycle. It took the genius of Nyquist and Shannon to demonstrate that it was possible to construct a full sine wave out of two samples! So beyond 22kHz are pure noise - and very ugly high order harmonics for that matter. So all CD player has a high order low pass filter starts attenuating around 18-20kHz region and cuts off completely at 22kHz.

    So unless an audiophile is listening to SACD - whatever claims he/she has of the super-tweeter is pure imagination.

  5. #45
    honmanm Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by yeecn View Post
    So all CD player has a high order low pass filter starts attenuating around 18-20kHz region and cuts off completely at 22kHz
    Strictly speaking there is no such thing as a filter that cuts off completely. And there is a trade off involved (as always) - higher order filters have more effect on the signal. So the designer must choose between a brickwall filter that pretty much eliminates the "ugly high order harmonics" but introduces its own problems, vs. a lower order filter that is more transparent but which may let through the noise which can provoke audible distress in the electronics and (I guess) speakers.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricW View Post
    What I was really hoping is that someone would help me resolve my dilemma about buying the Super HL5 - see post #39.
    Hi EricW

    Funny you should bring this up in this thread as it regards “nervosa”. Becoming fascinating, this thread, with yeecn’s inputs. EricW, if you can isolate wanting the SHL5’s from nervosa and dilemma then…

    Imho agree with you and although having no experience and privilege as you have with the complete Harbeth range, the bigger the well designed speaker with decent sufficient watts ive heard in the past (in the appropriate room), the more effortless it makes music. Oversimplification again, the smaller the speaker nearing its performance envelope (in too large a room) will sound like the voices and instruments are all clambering to get out during a fire drill. This is an extreme polarisation though.

    Imho think room size, sufficient damping and portability may be considerations as well. The last factor prevented me from owning big speakers for a long time. The SHL5’s are a very nice balance in terms of one person’s ability to grab and move it. Any heavier and/ or bigger and it will be a struggle. Performance wise, think there’s enough which has been said about how good they are.

    Value wise, think the SHL5’s can keep any demanding enthusiast and music lover occupied for a long time. I personally don’t forsee changing it unless it breaks, and a replacement would likely be another Harbeth. So my approach in spending is, don’t buy something in compromise, because changing will cost money. If you really like it, and if the room is available. the SHL’5 are a big keeper.

    Finally, I look at good speakers* as a proxy for a musical instrument. Owning, maintaining and using a piano for example is unfortunately impractical, for me anyway.

    Funny, I did tell the wife that if I leave this treadmill life and she doesn’t want the speakers (she doesn’t) , she should try and get someone to dig a hole deeper than 6 feet so I can rest on top of them, :-)


    * watched a news bulletin showing South Korea putting up speaker arrays with banks of amps aimed at the North.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeecn View Post
    So unless an audiophile is listening to SACD - whatever claims he/she has of the super-tweeter is pure imagination.
    Interesting...this reminded me when I was listening to SHL5, M30 and M40 side by side together with my wife and another female friend in a friendly dealer's show room play purely CD only....My wife and I found the M40 sound is majestic and grand (too bad it is out of our budget) and we both prefer the SHL5 over M30..our female friend who was sitting down there from the beginning till the end of the demo told us "all the boxes sound the same why not spend on an ipod"

    :P
    "Bath in Music"

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    So unless an audiophile is listening to SACD - whatever claims he/she has of the super-tweeter is pure imagination.
    I have high regards for Harbeth and their philosophy. I doubt they would invent a supertweeter just to capitalize on audiophiles' neurosis.

    ST

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    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    I have high regards for Harbeth and their philosophy. I doubt they would invent a supertweeter just to capitalize on audiophiles' neurosis.

    ST
    Interesting reading below:

    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...-Super-Tweeter

    http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/s...=9447#post9447
    "Bath in Music"

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    He was very careful with his words. In the first post he did say some people thinks the VHF (maybe he was referring to Oohashi's research) influential in more accurately capturing the subtle nuances in music. Let's wait for Alan to speak for himself.

    YeeCN, I don't agree with you saying only SACD benefits from supertweeter. For many, they are incapable of hearing frequencies above 14khz. Are you saying these people incapable of telling the difference between a CD and MP3?

    BTW, are you telling all amplifiers sound the same irrespective of the design? Are you telling a tube aand SS always sounds identical? How about class A, AB, D? Maybe, you should take up Kathylim's invitation to compare his tube and SS amp. You may actually hear the difference unless you refuse to acknowledge the difference. Maybe, a $200000 is really better than all other amplifiers. The question is whether you want to spend so much for the very little improvement?

    There is old saying - you can wake up a guy who's sleeping; but not a guy who's pretending to sleep. Let's keep our mind open.

    Regards,
    ST

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    I doubt they would invent a supertweeter just to capitalize on audiophiles' neurosis.
    ST
    simple test...if you put your ear [safely] in front of the supertweeter with the supergrille in place and at a super careful volume, you can hear the SHL5 supertweeter at work. its not for show thats for sure.

    Correct me if im wrong Yeecn, but i think you are referring to the Murata supertweeters? those ones which start at 20khz and go up?

    Hi ST, there are subtle differences in sound between amps but comparing with tube amps is, imho and all due respect, at best not a rigorous exercise. Tube amps even of the same model and production date may sound different because of tube age/ biasing etc. Feel that the comparison will prove something if its between solid state amps of any topology (in a well maintained condition), with sufficient amps to drive the speaker being used and if you really want to use a tube amp, one which is very well maintained and not have too much of a character. Character-ful tube amps are not really amps but DSP machines disguised behind some archaic technology. And the performance envelope of the amp should not be pushed to its limit or its character and hence the topology (for class d in particular) will start to surface. At reasonable listening levels they will sound pretty much the same.

    And you’ll need to use a curtain. I wish I could take part,

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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    simple test...if you put your ear [safely] in front of the supertweeter with the supergrille in place and at a super careful volume, you can hear the SHL5 supertweeter at work. its not for show that for sure.
    Your post reminded me a case many yrs back (still in school time) when I saw an aiwa minicombo came with 3 drivers in a single box. I was very sure one driver is bass/mid, one small driver is for high but I was very curious what is the function of the 3rd big black dome driver. I brought my ear very close to that black dome trying very hard to listen to it, even used a thick cushion cover other two drivers...until I forced to open the box (the box was pre glued) and realised....there is no wire connection to the big black dome driver. It is a fake one...just for show.

    I hope Mr yee do not mean Habeth is using above trick.
    "Bath in Music"

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    Hi EricW

    Funny you should bring this up in this thread as it regards “nervosa”. Becoming fascinating, this thread, with yeecn’s inputs. EricW, if you can isolate wanting the SHL5’s from nervosa and dilemma then…

    ...
    Ha ha. Believe me, the thought's occurred to me, though I am trying to make a sensible and rational decision. There are a number of factors to weigh.

    I guess at the end of the day the deciding factor might be the room. Although the Super HL5 sounded magical at my dealer's premises, I have to remember that he has a well-damped listening room about twice the size of mine. I'm concerned that acoustically they much just be a bit too much for my own much smaller listening room , and realistically it's likely a couple of years before I may look at moving and possibly having a room in which the speakers can really breathe properly. As long as I'm in my downtown, glass-walled and smallish condominium in a very expensive city (Vancouver), it may not make much sense to get them, wonderful as they are. I'm concerned it would like getting a Porsche Carerra and driving it only on gravel roads. A bit of a waste of potential.

    I certainly understand why people like them, though.

    But I'll sleep on it another night. Those speakers have a very seductive sound.

  14. #54
    yeecn Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by STHLS5 View Post
    YeeCN, I don't agree with you saying only SACD benefits from super-tweeter. For many, they are incapable of hearing frequencies above 14khz. Are you saying these people incapable of telling the difference between a CD and MP3?
    What I am saying is that CD player will not output anything beyond 20kHz.

    I believe that a supertweeter, being a more expensive and precise piece of equipment, will perform better than a normal tweeter in the normal tweeter region from around 3kHz to 20kHz.

    For a while SACD was poised to replace CD - so there was a lot of reason for the super tweeter then. I also believe that the super-tweeter also 'takes over' some of the frequencies normally belong to the tweeter, making the tweeter less congested.

    In sort, I do believe that the super-tweeter does has a function. It is only not what some audiophile claimed it to be.
    Last edited by yeecn; 27-05-2010 at 06:05 AM. Reason: added clarifications

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwwk View Post
    .there is no wire connection to the big black dome driver. It is a fake one...just for show.
    .
    Hi keithwwk, it may not have a wire connected to it, but it doesn't mean it has no purpose. It may be a passive radiator. on the other hand it may also be like you mentioned, purely cosmetic. cheers, k

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeecn View Post
    In sort, I do believe that the super-tweeter does has a function. It is only not what some audiophile claimed it to be.
    Has anyone heard a speaker system with the Murata augmented to it? i havent but will be interested to know what its like.

    sounds like MRI machine candidate?

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/murata/murata_2.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by kittykat View Post
    At reasonable listening levels they will sound pretty much the same.
    Absolutely, at least to my ears. But what is reasonable listening level to you may not be right to me. That's where the the search for a perfect match begins and would continue for some. OTOH, some ABX test actually proved there are some differences between Amps but unfortunately the website did not give any reasons for it.

    ST

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    Default The magic of the supertweeter?

    In essence, the super tweeter is a small drive unit with a very lightweight diaphragm which can accelerate (and stop) very quickly. That makes it ideal for tracing fast-moving transients, such as those upper harmonics in musical instruments.

    I, being typical of my age, cannot hear up to 20kHz or beyond any more. Therefore, whether or not the super tweeter is working is not related to my ability to enjoy music to the full. There are those - perhaps in their 20s or 30s - who can hear up towards 20kHz and for whom the s/tweeter will make a genuine difference. There are others who believe that even though we are unable to 'hear' very high frequencies they are somehow detectable perhaps through the skin or bones.

    Whatever the facts about audibility, the super tweeter provides customers with a choice and to select the super-tweeter equipped SHL5 if that is what they want. And on the basis of consumer choice alone, I believe that the super tweeter concept is a good one. The argument is the same for bi-wire links: they were provided to allow consumer choice. In that case, I doubt that one user in a hundred ever removes the links and runs the bi-wire cables, so as you know they are being removed from new models as they come along on cost and production simplification grounds.

    Most men at around 50 years of age have an upper hearing threshold between 10kHz and 15kHz. For the music listener, it would be far preferable to have a basically flat hearing acuity up to say, 10kHz, than an irregular hearing response that somehow extended to 15 or 20kHz but with a poor subjective quality.
    Alan A. Shaw
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    Harbeth Audio UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    ... cannot hear up to 20kHz or beyond any more...
    But those two MRI (University College London research) and EEG (T Oohashi) scans (in the two articles mentioned earlier in the thread) proved they have influence how our brain react even though we are unable to hear them.

    ST

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    Proved? Did they suggest how we could be aware of an event without any obvious means of sensing it? Did they indicte how loud these supersonic sounds were? Is that relevant to the real world of music?

    I suppose soon someone will say that our brains respond to ghosts, even though we can't see them.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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