Audiophiles don't really want NEUTRAL. Audiophiles don't really like NEUTRAL.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. bhazen

    bhazen Infinitely Baffled

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Doesn't the famous BBC LS3/5A reference monitor design feature an engineered "dip" somewhere in the presence(?) region? Though the reasons for this aren't really "audiophile" concerns, I just find it interesting.
     
  2. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    So did Decca cease such trick when they employed Dolby NR in 1965?
     
  3. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    I don't think it's really a dip that was deliberately placed there, so much as an artifact of the inability to correct all of the KEF B110's roller-coaster-ride of midrange peaks and dips. The LS3/5A crossover has two large LCR notch filters to tailor the response of the "woofer", but they work at frequencies somewhat lower than the presence range.
     
  4. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    Location:
    south florida, usa
    Me too. :righton:

    A few months ago I bought a NOS 1980 Ortofon 'M20FL Super' cart and that's exactly what that cart does for me, right out of the box without a break-in period, so I know it will even just get better and better but it's fine the way it is new. I can see people here cringing right now... a 30 year old cart! LOL ... but it sure sounds fine! I really enjoy the old Ortofons. To me it just sounds 'right'. If it's 'colored', it sure is colored the right way for me!

    About the noise issue: Want to hear some noise? Work on UNREP (underway replenishment) ships for 30 years. That's some serious noise!

    I'm also not asking for perfection. Just really nice sounds.
     
  5. Beagle

    Beagle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Everything should be neutral, if at all possible.

    I think that there are recordings that have added boost to upper mids and highs in order to make 'dead' music come alive. And there is equipment that does the same thing, to make 'dead' recordings come alive.

    So if you have alive music and alive recordings, you need neutral playback.
     
  6. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I find a lot of modern headphones are tilted up. My older AKG phones such as the 600 ohm k240 series tend to sound more neutral to me than most recent models.
     
  7. aberyclark

    aberyclark Well-Known Member

    I believe I'm more sensitive to upper ranges than most. Back in the old (non flat panel) TV days, I could walk into my house and could tell the TV was on (with cable box off) by the high pitched "squeal" the unit made. My ears fatigue easy. I prefer a tad warmer overall sound. When I was young, however, I had my equalizer set with a "smiley face" curve. I now keep everything flat. I'm not certain if my ears have changed through the years or my taste has just changed. Maybe both. I'm certain the same thing happens to mastering engineers as well. I probably need a proper hearing exam.
     
  8. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Forum Resident

    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    I stayed away from the V15VxMR for this reason. I'm not going to hunt around for a V15V MR, instead, I'll keep my eyes peeled for a newer cartridge that might match the neutrality of the older cartridge.

    Last night, I saw the great jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb playing with a great band in tribute to Wes Montgomery's Full House. The music was fantastic and everyone played in their own style while paying homage to Wes. This evening, I'm going to play Full House, a record on which Jimmy played originally. I'll be able to dial the sound of my recently reassembled sound system in because I now know exactly how his drums should sound. The cymbals should not overwhelm. In other words, it shouldn't be too bright.
     
  9. konut

    konut Prodigious Member. Thank you.

    Location:
    Whatcom County, WA
    What most call bloom, I call haze. Real sounds real to me. Gear that overlays a haze layer obscures intonation, articulation, and detail. Its what separates a virtuoso from a workman like player. If a layer of distortion, and that's what it is, contributes to a feeling of accuracy, then perhaps there are other components in the playback chain not performing very well, by design, omission, or flaw.
     
  10. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    This is definitely true on some of the lower level Grados and Senns in my experience.
     
  11. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    I thought Dolby wasn't used in the studio until about 1968.
     
  12. Turntable

    Turntable Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I got one of these 12 months ago, great sounding cartridge.
     
  13. Turntable

    Turntable Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia

    PLease tell more

    What is the tuning method ?

    cheers
     
  14. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    IIRC, Decca used Dolby NR for their 1965 session for Die Walkure in Vienna.

    Anyway, let's wait for the Steve's reply.
     
  15. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    I hate to ask this, after all these years but what is the "True definiton" of Bloom?>

    Ive heard it used in ways that make me think the users are describing differing sounds, so im kinda confused now. I understand all the other "made up" adjetives to describe audio sound quality except this one. I mean ive owned tube stuff several years back and know the "sound" of it and of a lot of vintage speakers and so on.
     
  16. Phoney Baloney

    Phoney Baloney Member

    Location:
    Michigan, USA

    http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/MUG/bbs/stereophile_audio-glossary.html

    This is an audiophile glossary and bloom is in there!
     
  17. direwolf-pgh

    direwolf-pgh Well-Known Member

    knew about the dolby used..but ??novel method for pressing?? hmm, anyone know what thats about?
    ++++

    as for the thread topic, I thought a tweaked sound was what the audiophile game was all about.
    If everyone agreed which components recreated 'the perfect/original studio sound image' - we'd all own the same hardware, no?
     
  18. SuperFuzz

    SuperFuzz Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    I find it hard to evaluate a single audio component. If something is "neutral" there has to be a reference.
    My Grado cart has no sonic characteristic as far as I can tell. Some records sound bright, some dull, and some perfect.
     
  19. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    You do need a reference ideally. You can compare the sound of playback to a recording you have done or you can compare the playback to a single instrument you are very familiar with.

    I like the Grado carts but they tend to the warm and romantic side. I used to have a Sonata.
     
  20. JonP

    JonP Active Member

    Yes, I agree with this. I have found that an equipment combination which preserves neutrality with respect to the live performance ought to cope well with most quality commercial recordings, despite the fact that many will be obviously brighter and more present than "live", some will be more distant and recessed, etc, etc. But a neutral system in my experience will make more recordings sound acceptable than one which is not neutral. The non-neutral ones will sound great with some recordings (often even beter than the neutral one) but won't have the more universal level of "forgiveness" across a broad range of recordings than a neutral one.

    But I often still wonder about the point of absolute neutrality when so many high quality microphones are anything but, especially the old classics. This makes tuning a modern playback system very challenging and time consuming when one favours listening to golden age recordings.
     
  21. btf1980

    btf1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Another thing about audiophiles and the word "neutral" is that it's become completely subjective. So much so that it is meaningless. The amount of gear I've heard people describe as neutral, only to hear others call it "warm" is staggering. This leads me to believe that people either don't know what these words mean, or these words mean different things to different people.

    I try to avoid describing my experiences with gear with the typical audiophile buzzwords. (sweet, syrupy, warm, neutral, sterile, clinical, cold, lean, full bodied, analytical, lush, thick etc) It's pointless. There is no standard for any of those words. YMMV.
     
  22. JonP

    JonP Active Member

    Well that does not take into account the specific effects of an individual's listening room, distance between speakers and listener, prefered sound pressure levels for listening, nor the specific recordings the owner likes to listen to (for example, a significant proportion of golden age recordings tend to be brighter with a greater immediacy than, for example, a modern digital recording of a live concert with a full audience in attendance).

    I know for example that I have selected my equipment combinations based on my preference for older recordings made in the 50s and 60s. I would choose quite different gear (perhaps NAIM for example) if I preferred comtemporary recordings of live orchestral concerts.
     
  23. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    So is it meaningless to say that the Shure V15 VxMR cartridge is a neutral sounding cartridge? Just curious as to what you and others have to say.

    My suspicion is that there are ways to measure such things, just that most people make the call without doing the homework.
     
  24. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    Location:
    United States
    I kind of agree. but, with the absence of such subjective descriptors, we are left with scientific test results, which many audiophiles reject. And we know most of us realize that test results don't tell the whole story of how a component will sound.
     
  25. btf1980

    btf1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    Ok, let me amend my statement. It's not meaningless to say that, provided the person/people you are talking to are all in agreement as to what a neutral sounding cartridge sounds like.
     

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