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Thread: What would you like to know about classical music sound reproduction?

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    Default What would you like to know about classical music sound reproduction?

    Hi,

    I'm planning to write a free online guide to audio systems and sound reproduction specifically for listening to classical music.

    I'd like to know: What do you think I should put in the guide? Which questions do you have that you want to see answered?


    I'd really appreciate any help!

    Thanks very much!!
    Sebastian
    Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian View Post

    I'd like to know: What do you think I should put in the guide? Which questions do you have that you want to see answered?
    If you're going to treat complete systems, you need to segregate them by price points and you need to have heard the integrated systems perform. Unless you intend to offer only subjective judgments, systems within each price point category must undergo blind A/B testing. Many audiophiles detest blind A/B testing. They also tend to detest the results of electronic measurements. So . . .

    Lots of luck with your endeavors.


    Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you've made it again.
    - anonymous

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Classical music is hard to listen to in the modern world because of its dynamic range. Turning it up loud enough to hear the quiet parts over all the cars outside and the freezer running and the guy incessantly mowing his lawn next door makes the loudest parts uncomfortable - and unrealistically loud.

    So can you cover live compression for classical if there is such a thing? Or noise canceling headphones?

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    Just make sure you have heard (extensively!) what products you write about. Anyone can go on the internet and read specs, opinions of this speaker or that, but finding an A/B from someone who can adequately verbalize the difference, is always nice. Also don't skip on headphones and iems! I read another guide from someone who ignored headphones all together, making it seem like the budding audiophile had no other option than to invest in a full sized speaker system - that's fine to focus on one area, but advertise it as such!

    I think I've learned the best for classical is something with a relatively flat frequency response and natural sounding timbre. Give me that and a quality recording and I'll be happy!

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    I would love a section on compression and file formats. I would also like information on headphones and headphone amps.

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    Thank you for the responses everyone. I have added them to the list and am undertaking the writing!
    Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.

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    Senior Member Chris's Avatar
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    If it's not too late, can you add a section on connecting a CD player to an AV amp. There are so many ways of setting the system up (e.g. which box to allow to do the decoding; which cables to send the signal through) that it would be useful to have some general rules for choosing the optimum setup.

    ...and you might include the video signal for opera on DVD lovers....HDMI or component video? Direct to projector/TV or pass through AV amp? etc etc

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    Senior Member Vaneyes's Avatar
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    Downloading, headphones, and home theater are not my preferred ways to classical music listening, though I do understand the limitations that often result in such choices.

    Speaking to the generic home theater (budget-minded) folk, AV receivers and Blu-ray players are workable for decent CM listening, but most often, the speakers and wiring are not. Two suggestions. Add two very good floor-standing speakers. and I'm talking closer to $1,000 a pair, than $300. Also, get rid of the cheap wiring and interconnects. Something mid-price will do. Careful, mid-price in this case does not mean cheapo.

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    A thing I'd like to see discussed is polyphonic vocal music. A friend and I have discussed this: it seems to both of us to be the weakest area of current recording technology. If you hear Spem in Alium live in a good venue, the difference between that and the best recordings is huge.

    In my experience/opinion, headphones do a better job of this than speakers, but I have to admit it's been years since I invested in cutting-edge speakers, but I keep up with headphones, so speakers and recordings may have improved in ways I haven't heard.

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    The question of what affects the sound you hear the most is always a good debate. Even though I might argue for speakers, I think some space should definitely be reserved for room treatments. Being able to "trap" excessive bass in corners and "trap" first-reflections of high frequencies has an enormous effect that was a shock to me.

    I found that whole instruments can disappear due to room reflections! I have a recording where one voice just got cancelled out in a room that theoretically should have very few problems. Spending thousands on equipment but not hundreds on room treatments is typical. It does take some time and understanding of simple acoustics but it is well worth the trouble.
    samurai and davinci like this.

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