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The magic of the midrange

Discussion in 'Hardware Lounge' started by LarryB, May 21, 2007.

  1. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

  2. No doubt. How many of us grew up listening to systems that only really had midrange speakers(called fullrange back then)? :)
     
  3. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Interesting article but I always wonder what the hubub is. I have NEVER heard a system over $500 where a trumpet doesn't sound like a trumpet or a clarinet doesn't sound like a clarinet. I'd like someone to point me to a system where a clarinet sounds like a trumpet (hell, I'll even give you a clarinet sounding like a soprano sax). I just don't get it. Perhaps my brain is filling in the blanks for me. I guess that means I fall short of JGH's expectations in that I'd be the guy at the party who didn't notice anything amiss. I'm not saying I think all systems sound the same, merely that these articles drastically overplay the "issues" with current Hi-Fi.
     
  4. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Poorly designed horn-based systems can change the sound of instruments, as can some single-driver systems or multi-driver systems with very poorly designed crossovers. Horns are the worst offenders, usually. But you are correct CJ, it is a rare occurrence.
     
  5. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    You are probably right David, but interestingly, JGH would not strike me as one who would disparage horn/high-eff systems. I think an article like that is geared towards describing JGH's issues with highly "accurate" systems like Wilson Audio and big SS amps or [gasp] Krell. I've heard Krell systems and I'll tell you, a trumpet sounds like a trumpet every time. I'm just not sure what the goal of these types of articles are. Does he think its going to help the hi-fi community? Does he think everyone's going to go to single driver speakers and tube amps? I view this kind of rhetoric as more harm than good to the audiophile community because it creates/worsens the schism between schools of thought.
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Active Member War Zone Member

    Remember that sometimes you have to write stuff because you need to feed the kids.
     
  7. DYohn

    DYohn Well-Known Member Donor

    Yep, and many things published in enthusiast magazines are intended to be provocative.
     
  8. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    CJ:

    Are you serious??? Sharing insights, and pointing out mis-steps is harmful? Only if one doesn't want the hobby to progress in meaningful directions, IMO. And I sincerely doubt that Holt was advocating single-driver systems.

    And while you are certainly correct that one can correctly identify a trumpet (for example) even through a transistor radio or TV speakers, I can't imagine that anyone would disagree that it sounds more natural through certain systems than through others.

    I must say that I am astonished at the responses this thread has generated. Color me bewildered.

    Larry
     
  9. I've always enjoyed reading Holt's articles and probably still have quite a few of them in Stereophile mags in my garage. I know he resigned from Stereophile back in 99, but what has he been doing since then? Is he even still alive?
     
  10. Steve L.

    Steve L. New Member

    What color is bewildered ?
     
  11. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    I'm reluctant to say, as CJ might consider it "dangerous." ;) :)
     
  12. "Dangerous" has no color since it quickly becomes invisible to the naked eye. :wink: :D
     
  13. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Nudity is not allowed at HTL. ;) :)
     
  14. :mrgreen:
     
  15. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Here is my interpretation of what Holt is saying. All systems have compromises; since mostt music is in the midrange, this is the area that should be optimized. Unfortunately, it was his opinion (and I think it is equally true today) that many designers are NOT optimizing the midrange and instead - - to use his term -- are treating it almost as an afterthought (i.e., they optimize other portions of the spectrum).
     
  16. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Admin War Zone Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    I read it again per our phone conversation Larry and now I'm seeing your point which just leans me to the "no duh" side of my assumption rather than the literal interpretation side. I still think the tricky part is which systems is JGH talking about and I wonder if I'd disagree with him. I hear plenty of underwhelming systems at RMAF so its not that I think every hi-fi system sounds fine or does the same justice to instruments and vocals. I still am left wondering why the industry is where it is. I said the industry follows the money but you countered that its more "symbiotic" than that where the industry drives tastes which fuels more changes in the industry in the same direction.
     
  17. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Thanks you for keeping an open mind. Marcus Seuer described the role the industry plays in shaping consumer tastes in his article (one of my all-time favorites) God is in the Nuances.

    I will add that Holt obviously cared deeply about audiophilia; his article, IMO, is not just to complain but an attmept to shake things up and hopefully get them back on track.
     
  18. Well, since this article is from back in 1985, was Holt sucessful in shaking things up and getting them on track?
     
  19. LarryB

    LarryB Active Member

    Sadly, no.
     
  20. Carl V

    Carl V Well-Known Member Donor War Zone Member Top Poster

    J Gordon Holt (JGH) is not a fan of sgl driver systems.
    Too much coloration and not enough volume. Nor is he
    a fan of the typical audiophile speaker with a recessed
    midrange...and many, many have such a Frq. response.

    Back in 1985 there were many flavors for audiophiles
    to choose from....and many were much more colored than
    what we find today. Here in 2007 we have much, much
    more consistient designs...and by in large very few 'turds'.
    Many listeners & reviewers might bemoan the state of Hi-Fi
    but by in large it's pretty darned good.
     

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