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About gmgraves

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  1. I'm afraid that you are wrong sir. A pair of the right mikes in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing, are very much "adequate". And I have made enough recordings using only two mikes to know.
  2. True. So true
  3. On second thought, I wonder what a pair of 20.7i's would sound like with the addition of a pair of Wilson Audio "Hammer of Thor" subwoofers"?
  4. No, I actually like broccoli, and as with broccoli, it is, after all is said and done, a matter of taste. My disdain for surround is not a prejudice, btw, I would like for it to work to my satisfaction. That it doesn't is mostly down to the way it is recorded, and the fact that 5.1 is simply not optimized for music. If I went for surround, it would be via four channels and an SACD player or Blu-ray player that is designed to play the surround channels on the discs (both of which I already have: a Sony 777ES SACD player and a Sony Blu-Ray player with surround output). BTW I read you column in S'phile every month and enjoy your writing very much.
  5. It's possible that if one valued surround that on some source material, the surround effect could be so spectacular that four 1.7i's would sound better than a pair of 3.7i's, but I doubt that on the same material, the 1.7i's would sound better than four 3.7i's! I too would like to hear a system comprised of four 20.7's. 20.7s are magnificent! Many audiophilles believe that a pair of Wilson Audio Alexandrias at $200,000 a pair are the née plus ultras when it comes to speakers, but other than efficiency and ultimate loudness, the Wilsons can't hold a candle to the cohesive "realness" of the Maggies! For one thing, the bass is more alive and natural. Though many speakers go lower, few sound as much a part of the whole, and the 20.7s go plenty low for most people (perhaps pipe organ aficionados excepted). And the Magnepan ribbon tweeter is just simply the best high frequency transducer that I have ever heard. I'd say that one would have to go all the way to a pair of $85,000 Martin-Logan Neoliths to find a better full-range speaker system! That makes the 20.7s one of the biggest bargains in high-end audio. If two sound this good, I'd likely be blown away by FOUR of them, irrespective of the quality of the surround experience itself.
  6. I have always found this puzzling. What's the point? Bass is removed from the two-channel stereo recording and is dumped into a single-channel, designed for bass only and then routed to a single subwoofer. If left in the stereo domain, the possibility remains for the listener to have TWO subwoofers and have real stereo bass. I know that many believe that bass frequencies below 200 Hz are nondirectional and that the full-range speakers locate the bass instruments from the spatial cues of the frequencies emitted by these bass instruments which are above 200 Hz, but I find that stereo bass, from two subwoofers sounds much more natural.
  7. Of course it is. To many people surround adds a dimension to their music playback that they value. Others (like me) do not value it at all. Some, built 5.1 systems solely for film sound and purchase surround music because, well, they've got the equipment, they might as well use it for music only programs as well as films. That's fine. If people like it, they should do it. I've heard perhaps a handful of surround recordings that I thought got the stereo "right" and used the rear channels only to add real (as in captured at the same time as the performance, not added electronically, later) hall ambience. The IsoMike recordings of Ray Kimber come to mind, here. I have dozens of Telarc classical SACDs with surround sound as well as others from different sources, and I don't find the surround content at all compelling from either a musical or a technical standpoint. I think that what these multichannel recordings are trying to capture, can be done in a much more compelling way when done in two-channel with a binaural recording setup and a pair of high-end headphones! YMMV
  8. Even when they aren't there? Multi-miked and direct-feed instruments (those instruments such as electronic keyboards, electric guitars, and acoustic instruments such as saxes and trumpets which are contact miked*) have no spatial cues because those instruments' actual sound is never captured. They are only electronic signals. Electronic signals have no spatial cues, and are electronically placed across the "soundstage". *A microphone such as a Frap which is attached directly to the instrument's body to pick-up the vibrations of the instrument itself and which is fed directly into the recording console.
  9. And I get that. I just don't happen to think that it's worth the effort or the expense. I have heard many surround setups, some costing megabucks, but when I heard the effect, I didn't like it. And on the subject of the 1,7i's vs the 3.7i's, the difference in quality is not just subjective, the 3.7i's measure significantly better, especially in the top end, where the more expensive speaker, the 3.7i, has a magnificent true ribbon tweeter and the 1.7i has a quasi-ribbon (IOW, the old Magneplanar tweeter with a voice-grid glued to the same single piece of Mylar as comprises the rest of the speaker). It's not as fast, it's not as extended, and it's nowhere near as clean.
  10. Well, Kal, I suppose that in the aggregate, you are correct, but let me put you a specific case: Suppose you were debating on whether your new system should be two-channel stereo or a 5.1 surround system. Suppose you had settled on a pair of Magnepan MG-3.7is for your stereo system because the 6-grand that the speakers would cost are at the top of your speaker budget. Now, you're contemplating a 5.1 system. 2 pair of 3.7i's are gonna cost you 12-grand AND you need a center channel speaker, that would be a CC5 (to be reasonable) at ~$1100. now we are at $13,100. Can't do it, so, wanting to stay with Magneplanars, we drop down to the MG-1.7i's. Well 2 pair of those are about $4400, that's less than a single pair of 3,7i's. That'll work. add a CC5 center speaker, and you are at $5600. _ still less than a pair of 3.7i's. Of course, we haven't added the .5 subwoofer, yet, but that will be what one wants to spend for that component irrespective of what one pays for the 5 main speakers, so we'll let that go. OK. Now we have our 5.1 system and it's of a similar price to the TWO 3.7i's needed for a 2-channel system. I'll grant you that decent amplifiers come at lots of price points, and going for 6 channels of inexpensive, but decent amps can be had for the same price as two channels of, say, Nelson Pass amplification for your 2-channel system, so, no penalty there. On the surface of it it looks like one can build a 5.1 system that's in the same price range as a 2-channel system using similar components. But, Kal, there's no way that FOUR Magnepan 1.7i's (as good a they are) are going to sound as good as TWO 3.7i's! And to me, anyway, the addition of the surround effect does not make up for that difference in playback quality.
  11. Yes, I'd forgotten that. If you have X dollars and only X dollars to spend on your system, having to make that money encompass a surround system instead of just a two channel system will result in that equipment all being cheaper (and ostensibly of less quality) than what you could have bought for a two-channel system!
  12. If the amount of boost or cut is to be fixed, then you are right, but that's not the purpose of a parametric filter. The purpose is to choose a frequency or range of frequencies to either diminish in volume (in relation to other frequencies) or boost in volume and to control the amount of boost or cut to introduce. What you seem to want is a filter that for all practical purposes eliminates frequencies above and below your chosen passband. I do not believe that such a device exists commercially, though it should be possible to make one using DSP technology in order to filter the out-of-band material very steeply.
  13. I went through the "Quadraphonic Craze" of the 1970s. I tried SQ, QS, CD-4, Hafler, Ambisonics, and every other cockamamie scheme that came down the pike and found them all, all lacking. I spent a fortune on amplifiers, and surround speakers; bought a very impressive looking Sony SQ "logic" decoder which was not cheap, a CD-4 decoder and an expensive Shibata stylus'd cartridge from Audio Technica. I bought a Sony 880-4 quad tape deck and a bunch of 4-channel tapes (the only format that actually worked - except that all the tapes had the performers surrounding me, and THAT I did not like). I tried again, briefly, when 5.1 Dolby and DTS came out in the 90's. It was then that I decided that I don't need it. I've made some location surround sound recordings where the rear is just ambience, but I never thought the effect was realistic enough to be worth the effort. I find 2 channel stereo difficult enough to get right, without muddying the waters by trying to add more channels. Therefore I listen to, and record only in 2-channel stereo. I'll leave surround to those who find some worth in it.
  14. I wasn't aware that anybody danced (or listened to) the minuet any more, but you listened to FIVE of them???!!!
  15. I don't get that at all. Most amps today sound fine, and are so close to one another that only by direct comparison with carefully matched levels can one tell them apart. It's been a long time since I heard a stereo system that didn't sound exactly right and was able to pin the problem down to the amplifier. Usually its a source component or most likely the speakers or their positioning and possibly, the room itself. Decent amps all sound quite transparent these days. While they might vary somewhat in tonal coloration, they simply don't sound bad. Certainly DACs vary more in presentation than amps do. At least it seems that way to me. Obviously, your experience must be different. Would you like to elucidate that point for me?