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Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:55 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The LS3/5A was a passive speaker. It was mostly used with a compact 50W mono amplifier called the AM8/12 in BBC parlance, but it was manufactured by HH.

Here's a pic of one with the lid removed. It had a power switch and volume knob on the front (which was normally maxed and level controlled from the desk's monitor section):
6888375141_956822bfac_c.jpg


And here are the rear connections:
6888103763_6924f0683d_c.jpg


Note the hideous Painton connectors used for input and output! Thankfully, it also had a B-gauge balanced jack socket for the input which is what we mostly used. The output cable had the nasty Painton connector at one end, and a female XLR at the other to plug into the speaker's male XLR.

Mains power to the amp was via a Cannon LNE mains-XLR. Secure... but it failed the finger test rules in the 1980s and became outlawed! (I still have one on my home-built Powertran DDL! ssshhh... :silent: )

H

HHHmmm? They had HH amplifiers in the Wigmore control room, for foldback. The BBC seem keen on them, or used to be.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:00 am

Dude, when listening to music I want serious speakers. I don't want some clinical reference monitors. I want something that is fun and awesome.

But I am glad that when I listen on speakers the size of a house, that all of the crap has been taken care of that someone edited out with their great studio monitors.


Man, sometimes I have had my music projected onto a giant stadium sound system and I hear all the junk that i wish wasn't there. I wish someone had better studio monitors.

I think studio monitors are great for listening. But there are much better options!!!

Meanwhile, someone needs to listen to what is really in the mix so that it will work over all of the crazy systems that are out there including the giant - size of the house systems.

This is a non-linear process.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:14 am

Arpangel wrote:HHHmmm? They had HH amplifiers in the Wigmore control room, for foldback. The BBC seem keen on them, or used to be.

I dont think 'keen' is the right word. It was a far more pragmatic and convenient arrangement based on buying in a product from a British supplier that was willing to build or modify that product to meet very specific BBC technical and financial requirements and maintain tight production tolerances over long timescales.

So the AM8/12 for the LS3/5 was a modified HH amp, while the AM8/16 that bi-amped the LS5/8 was a modified Quad 405, (and the Quad 50e was used to power the earlier LS5/1s), but when the Quad ceased production of the 405 the final batch of LS5/8s were powered by a modified Chord amplifier which I think had the AM8/17 identifier.

In my day the BBC always tried not to endorse any one supplier, and a great example of that was the 'standard' radio production console, the 'GP' desk, which was built to a tight BBC specification in roughly equal numbers by Neve, Calrec, and Audix Broadcast. Consoles from these three suppliers all had exactly the same operational facilities laid out in exactly the same way, but the internal circuitry and colour schemes differed according to each manufacturers' house style.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:24 am

DC-Choppah wrote:I want something that is fun and awesome.

Me too... But I want fun, awesome, and accurate! :-) ...and I've got exactly that in all of my studio monitors. ;-)

Meanwhile, someone needs to listen to what is really in the mix so that it will work over all of the crazy systems that are out there including the giant - size of the house systems.

This much is true... So much material -- especially for broadcast, but also increasingly for commercial music, too -- is produced on small 'monitor' speakers and never even heard, let alone critically checked on proper full range systems.

There was a time when being 'a professional' meant working in a good room with a full range monitoring system that could reproduce reasonably accurately down to 20Hz or so...
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:11 am

Please consider a house built around some proper listening speakers:

… For Sale, ALtec A4 speakers $657,000 free house and free garage....

Oh, that garage!!!
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Dynamic Mike » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:45 am

The problem with HiFi seperates back in the day was the price of each component. Whilst in theory they could be purchased individually, in reality you need at buy at least 3 components (source/amp/speakers) before you could actually listen to any music. The stupidly cheap price of NAD 3020 allowed many of us to assemble a system much earlier than we would have done otherwise, without making a significant compromise on quality. HiFi Answers & most mags raved about them at the price point.

IIRC it came supplied with bridging pins so you could play back in mono, but the most important feature was the 20dB pad. Not only did this offer more accurate control at low volume, but it also meant the output lights were triggered before your Mum shouted up to tell you to turn it down!

I also had an NAD turntable which wasn't great but was very good at rejecting vibrations if you had to have your speakers (Mordaunt Short in my case) mounted on the same surface.

Nowadays I just use Dali Zensors (complete with a wooden woofer!) for relaxed listening, which I find are really well suited to acoustic/light rock & pop stuff at a moderate volume.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:48 am

DC-Choppah wrote:Dude, when listening to music I want serious speakers. I don't want some clinical reference monitors. I want something that is fun and awesome. ..
Speakers have a simple job, to convert what is sent to them into sound waves we can hear. The ideal speaker does that perfectly, neither adding to nor taking away. The artist's intentions are honoured. The speaker is not the art. Its a bit like a painter's blank canvas. Does that make any sense?
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:56 am

Tim Gillett wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Dude, when listening to music I want serious speakers. I don't want some clinical reference monitors. I want something that is fun and awesome. ..
Speakers have a simple job, to convert what is sent to them into sound waves we can hear. The ideal speaker does that perfectly, neither adding to nor taking away. The artist's intentions are honoured. The speaker is not the art. Its a bit like a painter's blank canvas. Does that make any sense?

This thread could go on forever, I agree with you 100% Tim, but does that speaker actually exist? And if it does, it's going to expensive and out of the reach of most people.
It's expensive because of all the research and testing that has to be done to achieve anything that's even near a "flat" response. A blank canvas, I don't know, first of all there is the room, the speaker, the recording itself, and the way the producer would like to hear it, the sources in the recording may be completely electronically generated with no real world reference, so how do you judge those?
It's all a bit dodgy to me, OK, you can try and match that string quartet through your monitors to the sound you heard in the hall, but is that a realistic expectation? Even given today's speaker technology, it's a tough brief to follow.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Tim Gillett » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:13 am

My point was to refute the claim that an accurate speaker by definition makes whatever it reproduces, boring. May as well say the performance was boring. It's just silliness. But there can be the equally silly view that our enjoyment of the playback only increases the closer we approach perfect fidelity with absolutely zero distortion of any kind. I've had customers like that and some have seemed like zealots chasing a mirage.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:31 am

Tim Gillett wrote:My point was to refute the claim that an accurate speaker by definition makes whatever it reproduces, boring. May as well say the performance was boring. It's just silliness. But there can be the equally silly view that our enjoyment of the playback only increases the closer we approach perfect fidelity with absolutely zero distortion of any kind. I've had customers like that and some have seemed like zealots chasing a mirage.

Zealots? Mirage? Yes, it's all very boring, and an end in itself for some folks, but they never reach an ending.
When I was in my teens and still discovering music, every little increase in the quality of my playback equipment was a revelation, it was onward and upward, and every time I heard fantastic new things in my music.
Then I reached a plateau, where it seems I can't go forward anymore. I can change the nature of the vehicle, but the journey has come to an end.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:33 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:Please consider a house built around some proper listening speakers:

… For Sale, ALtec A4 speakers $657,000 free house and free garage....

Oh, that garage!!!
House concert anyone? :D
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:02 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:Please consider a house built around some proper listening speakers:

… For Sale, ALtec A4 speakers $657,000 free house and free garage....

Oh, that garage!!!

A friend was using a pair of Altec New Barcelona speakers in his studio up until a few years back, not only did they look great, but they were very revealing and surprisingly neautral.
I loved them, they just sort of disappeared you weren't aware of a speaker being there.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:12 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:Please consider a house built around some proper listening speakers

Jeez! There's some seriously ugly nonsense in that house! :crazy: Bet it sounds as bad as it looks too... :tongue: :lol:
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Please consider a house built around some proper listening speakers

Jeez! There's some seriously ugly nonsense in that house! :crazy: Bet it sounds as bad as it looks too... :tongue: :lol:

I don't like those gramophone horn style speakers, but I do love the old Altec/JBL horn loaded stuff, and the "acoustic lenses" they used to use, I'd still love a system like that if I could find one.
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby ef37a » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:19 pm

Arpangel wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:Dude, when listening to music I want serious speakers. I don't want some clinical reference monitors. I want something that is fun and awesome. ..
Speakers have a simple job, to convert what is sent to them into sound waves we can hear. The ideal speaker does that perfectly, neither adding to nor taking away. The artist's intentions are honoured. The speaker is not the art. Its a bit like a painter's blank canvas. Does that make any sense?

This thread could go on forever, I agree with you 100% Tim, but does that speaker actually exist? And if it does, it's going to expensive and out of the reach of most people.
It's expensive because of all the research and testing that has to be done to achieve anything that's even near a "flat" response. A blank canvas, I don't know, first of all there is the room, the speaker, the recording itself, and the way the producer would like to hear it, the sources in the recording may be completely electronically generated with no real world reference, so how do you judge those?
It's all a bit dodgy to me, OK, you can try and match that string quartet through your monitors to the sound you heard in the hall, but is that a realistic expectation? Even given today's speaker technology, it's a tough brief to follow.

Right, ok, as the instigator of this thread I never dreamed it would go on to five sections!

My original question had been answered virtually in the first few replies. Yes, good, accurate speakers ARE btter than the 'boom and tish' often touted as hi-fi (but that does NOT mean all hi-fi speakers are inaccurate!) .

But, circumstances alter cases. Just an hour ago I was driving to Sainsburys and R3 played the 1812. Now, I did not care about 'monitor quality'..Just wanted it LOUD!

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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:32 pm

Dave, but was it loud?! Did R3 compress it into oblivion?
To be fair, I think they've got over that now...
:D
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Folderol » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:48 pm

I remember a recording of the 1812 on an LP where you could clearly hear the compression cut in and the orchestra pretty much disappear while the cannon were fired :(
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:08 pm

Folderol wrote:I remember a recording of the 1812 on an LP where you could clearly hear the compression cut in and the orchestra pretty much disappear while the cannon were fired :(

Well, that's never going to happen again, we've got 24/96 now, providing you set your reference level at -60dB.

:D
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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby ef37a » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:49 pm

Oh! FCS chaps! I was just enjoying the music!!

Give over DO.

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Re: Are high quality monitors suitable for relaxed listening?

Postby miN2 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:05 pm

When i went from listening to music on £350 'monitors' to £3000 monitors they immediately put a smile on my face. I can't imagine why i wouldn't choose to listen to music or watch movies on them. In a word, the sound is lush! :thumbup:
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