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Old 02-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #1
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Well, I just came in from the backyard after spending two hours measuring speaker open-air responses by frequency speaking. I would have stayed out longer but I ran out of string. And, NW-B is correct, I have to do something with my free time and I don't think it will be cooking French meals.

One thing I have found to be enjoyable is following dividend stocks. I think that the people who follow dividend stocks really enjoy doing it. I may be wrong about this, but it doesn't seem all that complicated. I imagine, though, that this can be as complicated as one chooses to make it--and that's OK, because I'm sure those people enjoy the process. Small caps, bonds, emerging markets--those seem complicated so I use mutual funds or ETFs.

Darn, it's still light outside, I wish I hadn't run out of string.
Oh, Mr. Redduck! As eccentric as I often think that I am, I occasionally find some who are even more so than myself.

Your methodology of speaker testing with strings surely had not crossed my mind. Still, I pride myself on having an inquisitive mind, and spent some time to look into your approach.

Not being a musician, I looked up the Web and found that a tenor could get as high as a C5, and that's 523.25Hz. Hmm... I did not know the human voice is so modest, although it is said that with overtones, read harmonics to me, our tenor can yell out up to 1.5KHz perhaps.

Then, at the low end a basso profondo can get down to E2, and that's a more impressive 82.41Hz!

As I surmise that you are neither a tenor nor a bass your range would be more limited. I think a duck can get higher than a tenor, but then a duck can only sing the same note over and over.

Moreover, I ponder about the transmission bandwidth of your string. How does that vary with the string tension? The type, material, and quality of the string? How you tie your knots? This is way more complicated than the crossover networks I deal with, whose attributes stay the same from day to day.

I think I will stick with my electronic set up, and endure the trouble of setting up equipment in the back yard and running power cords so that I can make use of the 192 kilosamples/sec and 24-bit digital conversion. And that's far above the CD quality of 44.1 Ksps and 16-bit resolution.

May I suggest that you take up French cooking instead?

And back to the dividend stock investing, I would not go 100% with it, and you did not say you would either. I personally have a lot of cash (25%) at the present time, but then I always do. I need to look to deploy that, but am in no hurry. As for you, even if you just track some indices, having the visibility into the individual stocks and see how the market responds to the economy is educational to me. You see, I am always an DIY, and when I get interested in something, I like to get a bit deeper and to understand why something works (or does not work).
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:36 AM   #2
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PS. Though an engineer, I was never employed in the consumer electronics industry, nor a true audiophile. It is only recently that I got my interest revived since my 20s, and now with more equipment at my disposal, found that a lot of questions nagging in my mind could be settled if I just set out to find the answer myself.

About my frequency sweeping of the speakers driving my neighbors nuts, I was joking. With a PC and software, a sweep way past the human hearing range (certainly way past my own range!) takes but a few seconds. My neighbors may just wonder "What the h***" if they happen to be out watering their plants. Here, backyards are all separated with a 6-ft fence, hence they would not know where that "Whoosh" comes from.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:53 AM   #3
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PPS. Related to using one's vocal cord as the stimulus for speaker testing, I just recall a major reason I do not like to use headphones.

You see, I often get excited and sing along. Well, I am never that good a singer, and when I lose the aural feedback to my own voice, it goes from bad to horrible. Of course, I did not know how terribly off-note I was, but every time that happened, and I meant every time, my DW said "Cut that out!". She did not say that actually, but something more gently like "Getting too happy there, aren't you" or something like that, but I got the message.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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PPS. Related to using one's vocal cord as the stimulus for speaker testing, I just recall a major reason I do not like to use headphones.

You see, I often get excited and sing along. Well, I am never that good a singer, and when I lose the aural feedback to my own voice, it goes from bad to horrible. Of course, I did not know how terribly off-note I was, but every time that happened, and I meant every time, my DW said "Cut that out!". She did not say that actually, but something more gently like "Getting too happy there, aren't you" or something like that, but I got the message.
When I was a mostly dysfunctional high school teen I made a short lived deal with my folks that allowed us to sit together in the living room after dinner. They watched TV, I listened to music with headphones. One night I noticed they were staring at me, with that "killer x-ray vision" think usually reserved for married couples. Turns out I was singing along, aloud, to Steppenwolf "The Pusher". It didn't end well.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:32 AM   #5
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When I was a mostly dysfunctional high school teen I made a short lived deal with my folks that allowed us to sit together in the living room after dinner. They watched TV, I listened to music with headphones. One night I noticed they were staring at me, with that "killer x-ray vision" think usually reserved for married couples. Turns out I was singing along, aloud, to Steppenwolf "The Pusher". It didn't end well.
"But it's an anti-drug song..."

Written by Hoyt Axton, also author of "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog" "Joy to the World"...

Obviously wasn't taking his own advice.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #6
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"But it's an anti-drug song..."
While true, the opening lines led mom and dad to believe something different, both about the song and me. The refrain drove them over the edge...
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:45 PM   #7
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Never heard of Steppenwolf "The Pusher". So I found it on youtube and listened to it on my laptop. My wife sitting 15 ft away at her desktop commented "Good grief, what kind of music is that?".

You must understand that we both are the type who often watched Lawrence Welk in our 20s.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:10 PM   #8
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When I was a mostly dysfunctional high school teen I made a short lived deal with my folks that allowed us to sit together in the living room after dinner. They watched TV, I listened to music with headphones. One night I noticed they were staring at me, with that "killer x-ray vision" think usually reserved for married couples. Turns out I was singing along, aloud, to Steppenwolf "The Pusher". It didn't end well.
Lord Knows


great story... thanks for posting.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:51 PM   #9
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The Audio Equipment Corner

Audio topics have spilled into some other threads, and started to take on a life of their own. So here's a place specific for our audio discussions, in the same vein as The Photographer's Corner.

Speakers, source devices, amps & pre-amps, portable audio, headphones, computer audio, anything along those lines should fit in well here.

A couple current discussions center around planar speakers, rebuilding some classic speakers, classic amps & receivers. Bringing 'records' and cassettes into the digital age has been discussed from time to time.

Of course, if you think a topic is specific enough for its own thread, that's fine too (not that I have anything to say about it! ).

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Old 02-18-2014, 06:02 PM   #10
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A fine idea to start this thread. I will move the other posts over here momentarily.

Edit to add: As you can see, they are above, because they are earlier in time.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:22 PM   #11
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Tubes! I've been listening to my new tube power amp for about a month now and I find that my expensive solid state Conrad Johnson amp is getting less and less use. So the question that keeps bouncing around my noggin is how is it that an obsolete technology that measures much worse than current technology sounds better?

Come to think of it, with all the engineers at this ER site this might be a really wormy subject.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:33 PM   #12
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Gee, it must be 10 years ago. I've updated my music system to McCormack DNA1.0 amp & preamp, California CD player, and Vandersteen 5a speakers. They sound great then and still do now. And the way they are built, I think they can last 20 more years (except for the CD player with its moving parts). I often wonder if audio tech improved so much in the last 10 years that I should be thinking about another upgrade. Then, again, my ears will start to fail due to aging ....
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:34 PM   #13
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Tubes! I've been listening to my new tube power amp for about a month now and I find that my expensive solid state Conrad Johnson amp is getting less and less use. So the question that keeps bouncing around my noggin is how is it that an obsolete technology that measures much worse than current technology sounds better?

It's all between your ears!
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
"But it's an anti-drug song..."

Written by Hoyt Axton, also author of "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog" "Joy to the World"...

Obviously wasn't taking his own advice.
in 1968 I was in San Francisco and had gone to the Fillmore. Steppenwolf was playing "The Pusher" and I was sitting listening when this guy sat down next to me. he asked what I thought of the song and I said I liked it a lot. Then he introduced himself - it was Hoyt Axton.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:03 PM   #15
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I think Axton's LP "Fearless" is wonderful one of my favorites in that style.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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Gee, it must be 10 years ago. I've updated my music system to McCormack DNA1.0 amp & preamp, California CD player, and Vandersteen 5a speakers. They sound great then and still do now. And the way they are built, I think they can last 20 more years (except for the CD player with its moving parts). I often wonder if audio tech improved so much in the last 10 years that I should be thinking about another upgrade. Then, again, my ears will start to fail due to aging ....
That is a very fine system. The Vandersteens are great and the McCormack amps have a great reputation and since Conrad Johnson bought McCormak I've seen the same type of technology of distributed capacitors brought into the newest CJ SS amp. The older SS technology included massive power supply capacitors such as my CJ MF 2300A. I seriously doubt that any current equipment would significantly better what you have.
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File Type: jpg Conrad Johnson MF 2300A 002.jpg (59.5 KB, 11 views)
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:26 PM   #17
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Here's my vintage stereo system. The pre-amp is newer but speakers and amp I purchased in 1972
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File Type: jpg C28.jpg (344.4 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg McIntosh 003.jpg (568.5 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0192.jpg (573.7 KB, 11 views)
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:56 PM   #18
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in 1968 I was in San Francisco and had gone to the Fillmore. Steppenwolf was playing "The Pusher" and I was sitting listening when this guy sat down next to me. he asked what I thought of the song and I said I liked it a lot. Then he introduced himself - it was Hoyt Axton.
And Hoyt Axton's mother co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel", a great tune IMO.

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Old 02-18-2014, 08:17 PM   #19
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Tubes! I've been listening to my new tube power amp for about a month now and I find that my expensive solid state Conrad Johnson amp is getting less and less use. So the question that keeps bouncing around my noggin is how is it that an obsolete technology that measures much worse than current technology sounds better?

Come to think of it, with all the engineers at this ER site this might be a really wormy subject.
I've never really owned any high-end tube equipment (just turned out that way, I didn't necessarily avoid it), but here's my take on it from what I do know.

For me, "obsolete" is a tricky word. Tubes amplify, and they still do that, so they are not "obsolete" in that sense. Transistor amplifiers (and now the switching amplifiers) have many advantages in size, cost weight, consistency, etc. None of those really have much to do with how they sound.

Measurements can tell us a lot, but the question is, are we measuring the right things? The whole psycho-acoustic area is exceedingly complex and non-obvious. Tubes generally have certain characteristics, and some of these characteristics result in poorer measurements in some areas. But those characteristics (or others) may sound good to you. If they do, enjoy!

Similar to the debate over LP vinyl versus CD or other digital audio. In many ways, an LP measures way worse. But there are some attributes that some people like. I'm certainly not going to argue with them about which they prefer, and they don't need to justify it. If you like LPs listen to LPs!

But I won't accept factually wrong info either - LPs have wow-flutter, the signal is run through all sorts of phase-shifting effects between the RIAA filters and the cartridge reactive elements. A friend of mine would always complain about how active circuits had phase-shift, but seemed to think cross-overs in speakers were somehow different, because there was no op-amp in there. I never got that.

Tubes in a guitar amp are a whole 'nother thing. Tubes distort differently, and most who love the sound of a screaming guitar would agree that tubes sound 'better'.

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Old 02-18-2014, 08:52 PM   #20
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in 1968 I was in San Francisco and had gone to the Fillmore. Steppenwolf was playing "The Pusher" and I was sitting listening when this guy sat down next to me. he asked what I thought of the song and I said I liked it a lot. Then he introduced himself - it was Hoyt Axton.
That is seriously cool. . Thanks for sharing it.

So is a thread on audio topics.
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