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It is currently 17 Feb 2019, 18:32

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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 21:43 
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Joined: 04 Jun 2008, 20:59
Posts: 3911
Location: Arizona, USA
Hi Everyone, To start off the new year I thought I would stir up the pot a bit. I spent a goodly amount of time this past month swapping around components between my turntables (but not the rest of the system). A lot of listening time as well. It struck me that what I finally settled on (at least for now) was the following...The diy turntable made from the drive and control circuitry from a Dual 701 direct drive TT, the Jelco 370H (9.5 inch) tone arm and the Grado Sonata II moving iron cartridge. This feeds one of my diy "Groove" phono preamps into a passive digitally stepped (relays) volume and input selection line stage, then off to a quad of Oddblocks using KT120s set up with EL34 parameters. Then into a pair of Martin Logan ESLs with a pair of 200 L subs with Altec Lansing 30cm drivers.

With all that out of the way... Ignoring the quirks the audio gear introduces (a subject all its own) I came to a conclusion that really as good as everything is there are inherent flaws. For one, the room is way smaller than the actual studio or concert hall the music was originally played in. The acoustic signature of that is impossible to reproduce accurately. Second, also because of the room size and shape new resonances and nulls are created that are not in the original material. This can be handled moderately well and I do so with various acoustic treatments (diffusers and absorbers mostly). These two thoughts led me to some conclusions about how I personally like to hear reproduced music. Speakers come in generally two kinds, direct radiators and di-polar ones (aka bi-polar). Each adds it own type of flaws IMO. Direct radiators are good at imaging, but again IMO not so good at spacial rendering similar to concert halls and such. (please don't all get bent out of shape on this....). Good ones in good rooms, well set up are really nice. Lessor ones and not so great set ups...well ...). ESLs and other di-poles tend to not be as great at point source imaging as a large part of the sound is radiated to the rear. They are fine for central imaging, just not to the sides. This can be managed, but not totally so with careful absorbers, diffusers and physical positioning including angling and tilt. IMO they can not equal the point source of direct radiators for non-central imaging though. Di-poles do however convey a much more enveloping space. The sound stage is far wider even if artificial, and the multitude of reflections from the rear and to some extent sides convey a bigger sound wall.

So after much use of both types of speakers, my personal choice is the di-pole for everything above the very bottom octaves. Is it musically accurate, nope, but I feel it is a better rendition of the intent of the artists. So what do you all think? Disagreement is fine and encouraged as long as it is civil.

Good listening

Some of my DIY Tube Amplifier Projects:

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