Masking sonic faults

Discussion in 'Hardware Lounge' started by Steve L., Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member


    Do you find, let's think here before firing a 12 gauge gun at m,e, that coherent speakers mask the lack of coherence of the source.

    Let me make this a little clearer :)

    A fullrange driver, like a Lowther in a bigfunhorn is quite the coherent delight. This driver however does not (in the listening position) provide a full FR of 20 to 20. If it does not do this, then isn't it making a sonic fault as in the lack of coherence in a digital source like a redbook ?

    The same with stats as in Acoustats 2+2's. They have very limited FR, they are rolled off at 12Khz, hence another masking ?

    Let's talk!
  2. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Any time a loudspeaker fails to reproduce something that is part of the source, it is "masking" that thing. Anytime a loudspeaker adds something not inherent in the source, it is "adding" something. There are many ways to describe the measurable and audible differences between what the loudspeaker reproduces and what the source material contains, including distortion, accuracy, frequency response/transient response, etc. These differences are due to the inherent shortcomings present in any loudspeaker system design.

    What you call "coherence" is obviously important to you, and of course there are shortcomings associated with designs that optimize this. Some of these shortcomings may be masking of source material content.
  3. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    Thanks for the response David.

    Do you find the, that a coherent driver such as the Lowther is actually coherent because of its limitations in FR ? Do you find that this driver is making the sonic incoherence of the redbook source inaudible ?
  4. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member


    A Lowther is coherent because it is a point source; this is true of any single driver (I think). The Lowther has greater frequency extension than say, a typical 8" driver and thus can be used as the only driver in a speaker, though this is certainly not without problems (namely, the non-flat frequency response, and the fact that it cannot do 20-20 K Hz).

    No one hates digital more than me (well, maybe my friend Jonathan. :) ) , but I would not describe its shortcomings as lack of coherency.

  5. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    Excellent response Larry

    I'll push forward.

    Vinyl has a limited FR compared to redbook. The bass response, while it does go low, it doesn't drop down where redbook does. With this said, if the Lowther's FR resembles vinyl and not redbooks FR, then it is not reproducing the signal faithfully.

    Belive me Larry, I am a coherent freak. It is the No 1 sonic aspect I am hit with when listening to someone's rig. The ofcourse dynamics :)

    This all said, think about the FR of the Lowther and how it doesn't resemble a redbooks FR.

    I am just thinking of this aspect these days, that's all.

    To finish, the Stats such as Acoustats resemble the Lowther also.

    Do you see where I am coming from ?

    I find that the redbook has 3 distinct sections to it. A bass response, a mid range and high frequency. All this is cutup and thrown at you. In comparsion the analog is a solid and fluid signal without the extention of the low and high of redbook.
  6. Tom R S 4

    Tom R S 4 New Member War Zone Member


    No on hates digital more than I...


    - Just trying to keep you on your toes. :wink:
  7. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member


    Err, Um, maybe.


    You're just a freak. :)

    In what way???

    No; please clarify.

    Voila, now I understand what you're getting at! I hear that type of incoherence from many speakers; in the case of digital, the entire signal just sounds like a distorted mess.

  8. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Tom, you da' man!!!

    Thank you!
  9. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member


    O.K., then my how's this; My ears have a harder time detecting "the distorted mess" from redbook on a Lowther then on my 3 way system.
  10. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Perhaps that's because your 3-ways are adding to the lack of coherence. Thus, it is NOT that the Lowthers are masking the CD's lack of coherence but rather, that your 3-ays are cadding their own lack of coherence.

    You are stuck between a rock and hard place, as you love coherence but alsowant full-range reproduction (or as close to it as you can get). Unfortunately, these two are pretty much mutually exclusive; you give up one to get the other. I've come to believe that the best compromise is a well-executed 2-way. The new Rethm speakers are a good effort in this direction; they use a x-over-less Lowther for most of the frequency band, and active horn-loaded woofers for the lowest 2 or so octaves. And their price is quite reasonable.

  11. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    Ahh Larry understands me. I must be communicating better!
  12. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member


    BTW, that was me you hung up on about 15 minutes ago!
  13. Geof

    Geof New Member

    So, Larry who-hates-the-CD-more-than-anyone, :)

    Do you think that at least part of the problem of CD sounding like being made of three different parts (bass/midrange/treble) instead of a whole could be caused by the effect of jitter ? E.g. that with jitter bass is perceived as confused, midrange is perceived as lacking details and dynamics, and treble is perceived as hard and glassy (so three different parts) ? Jitter can be higher or lower depending of the frequencies, for example lower at 200 Hz and lower, higher in the treble (so more detectable ?)
  14. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member


    I really don't know, though I assume all the problems with CDs is attributable to jitter and the associated filters.

  15. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    Oh come on Larry, you can do better than that!

  16. Geof

    Geof New Member

    I remember reading that vinyl can have more limited FR than CD, and with use (the more we play the same vinyl) FR can narrow. Restricted FR can give the impression of better coherency.
  17. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Sorry, that's the best I can do.


    I have read the same thing; my ears disagree.

    Admittedly, the less deep bass the fewer room interactions. IMO this is far more dependent on the speakers, than on the medium.

  18. Saurav

    Saurav Active Member War Zone Member

    My understanding of this is limited, so I *think* this is how it works. The mechanics of how LPs are cut require wider grooves to capture signals that are low frequency and high amplitude. Using wider grooves means fitting less music (in terms of running time) per side. So depending on the recording label etc., the bass will be compressed, or they'll have to make a double LP, or something.

    I'd guess that you haven't heard too much music (both in terms of source material, and in terms of the systems/rooms they were played in) which would demonstrate these differences. Which is another way of saying that even if LPs were more limited than CDs in this regard, it is irrelevant, because both deliver the amount of bass that you need in what you listen to.

    I've had some interesting listening sessions lately on my system, turning the sub on/off and playing with the crossover setting while me and a friend listened to the results. It's interesting to see just how low my mains go with no sub, and how much that seems to be coming from the sub is actually coming from the mains, how low a 40Hz tone sounds... things like that.

    Edit: dyslexic typo
  19. Geof

    Geof New Member

    I like you nonetheless. You just have to accustom yourself to the fact that I am always right. :D

    I did not say that all vinyl have restricted FR. However, even if I highly respect your ears, I think I would be more convinced by a proper measurement.

    IYO - but you have not really considered before that a restricted FR, in the bass and in the treble, can give you the impression of better coherency since woofer and tweeter are less challenged, have less distorsion, etc
    I completely agree, though, that less bass caused less room interactions... for the bass. :)
  20. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Hey guys, I have some pepper that may have some fly specs in it, could you help me sort it? :)

    re: LP vs. CD frequency response. Perhaps rather than get into this, a quick review of the RIAA Equalization Curve and why it is necessary for proper LP playback is in order. LPs sound "warmer" (and perhaps even more "coherent," whatever that is) to most people due to the EQ being applied to them. Wikipedia has a good page on the topic:

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