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Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg? (Read 506 times)
Palomino
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Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
08/25/14 at 16:58:24
 
This weekend - particularly Saturday night I was listening to my new DAC and experienced something I don't think I've heard before on any system.  You know, I've heard great technical reproduction... instruments that sound like real instruments.... Impressive bass...great sound staging, etc, etc.  

But what I heard this weekend was real emotion in the music.  Not just in the lead singers, but also the supporting players.  I mean like, I heard the rhythm guitar player or even the drummer or keyboardist and could relate to what they were playing and was kind of wowed by their musicianship.  I mean these guys were playing their hearts out...not just technically playing the notes.  There was just a more emotional connection in the listening experience.  And an even greater appreciation that these people are able to actually do this together.

So I think maybe enhancing that emotional connection has now replaced seeking technical excellence as a goal if that makes any sense.  Maybe I stop here and just enjoy, or maybe I continue to pursue the technical in hopes of getting even more of an emotional connection.  Chicken and egg?
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will
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #1 - 08/25/14 at 17:25:48
 
Wow, what a great thing!

I agree, Chicken AND the Egg. It seems there is just a place where the synergy of excellent gear and room is good enough to open that door into the playing...where it all works convincingly. All the attributes of tone and timbre, detail complexity.... etc need to be there, but I think maybe the really little, fine details from within a pristine background can bring out a captivating sense of space and speed...revealing the immediacy of the subtle inflections and reactions of the players.

In my room, I inadvertently found that the correct interplay/balance of room and recording ambience/space is also critical for this feeling.

For me it is a touching revelation when the sound shifts from great presentation to entrancing music!

I am not sure I have ever been after technical excellence. But I have always enjoying playing with tubes, room, gear and cables to get deeper variations of alive feeling music in the room.

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« Last Edit: 08/25/14 at 17:32:43 by will »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #2 - 08/25/14 at 17:32:14
 
All about the emotion. No Rube Goldberg applications for me...which I do see on this Forum an others.
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Palomino
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #3 - 08/25/14 at 18:04:49
 
At what level of the technical did you actually make the emotional connection?  Or did you always have it and it just got better with better equipment?

I guess there have been significant steps (Decware amp, power cords, new DAC, etc.), but this weekend was a bit of a revelation which only took place because I had all the right pieces in place.

I was like, "wow, I think I just achieved hi-fi."
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marky
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #4 - 08/25/14 at 20:23:02
 
What I think you locked onto Palomino was that you touched base with the `living being` that is music. Every band that is tight, rehearsed, and then plays for fun will have a sound that is more than the sum of the musucians. It`s not easy to put words to it. I dont like using spiritual language and it`s probably no big deal to the performers other than thats how they like it. I`m not an accomplished musician by any stretch of the imagination and have only experienced the phenomina twice, once in a not very good band when it clicked,and sometimes playing with a very good accoustic guitar player who could replicate other players records.
It`s easy to say thats how all recorded music should sound once the engineer has tried his best. And...most recorded music is not spontaneous but done in individual takes. I cant comment really. Is it always captured, do they want to capture it, do you have to have the R2R experience as Steve D. mentioned ?
Well Pal I wouldn`t be here writing if I thought a good system cant look into the sound of musicians and not get the `emotional` ingredient

I`d be reluctant to tweak for a while and just  see if the vibe blooms.
I`ve been blown away a few times.
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« Last Edit: 08/25/14 at 20:27:44 by marky »  

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Lon
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #5 - 08/25/14 at 20:50:07
 
I think it's equipment, recording. . . and state of mind. . . I think the state of mind is as elusive as the right equipment can be.

When I got married my wife was so wildly, imaginatively jealous (turns out she was clinically paranoid) that I had to stop playing in the bands I was playing in because any attention I received, real or imagined, seemed a threat to her. That was when I began my audiophile journey, I needed to "feel more" in the recordings, to somehow get a taste of what I began to be missing. To feel that creation that is a merging of music and musicians, and listeners.

Sometimes along the way I do have this taste. The equipment and its setup is part of it. Recordings can aid and catalyze this. But the state of mind, that has to be there too, and I"m not sure always how to evoke it.
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« Last Edit: 08/25/14 at 20:52:21 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #6 - 08/26/14 at 02:27:34
 
Palomino said: Quote:
At what level of the technical did you actually make the emotional connection?  Or did you always have it and it just got better with better equipment?

I guess there have been significant steps (Decware amp, power cords, new DAC, etc.), but this weekend was a bit of a revelation which only took place because I had all the right pieces in place.

I was like, "wow, I think I just achieved hi-fi."


From listening to your progression unfold, it seems like your stage was well set with room, cables etc, and the new DAC/transport/power supply combo tipped you over the top? Like the old story, the source, the source the source???

The thing that tipped me over the top was definitely Decware. I got an SE34 and 944s (with a Rega Apollo then) and off it went...the magical moments.

But as I learn more, I realize that, though my room has problems, mostly it is really, really good. It has adobe walls, wider at the base, so generally angling upward, segues into irregular room spaces like alcoves and other rooms, and a great deal of irregularity in the plaster. The combination gives the reflections a real problem doing the bad stuff plumb and level sheetrock rooms set up. Also the ceiling is irregular round log beams with a herringbone pattern of rough pine boards on top with open cracks. On that tarpaper creates a "diaphragm," with a foot of fiberglass on top, and an angled space above created by the "flat roof" that is really slightly sloped. This space is pretty well air tight above with sealed parapets and a foam roof, likely creating a helmholtz resonator of sorts. Finally, the ceiling changes height in the part of the room that expands into the dining area, kitchen and entry, and the whole floor is irregular bricks laying on a bed of sand.

So I have a live space that is naturally diffused and good at absorption of some of the frequency range before any real room work. With some bass traps, more absorption (conventional and otherwise), and finally EQ for low bass I could not get with traps, the room is amazing.

Progression-wise my room and Decware put me there with good recordings right off. As I have improved source, room, cables, vibration, tubes....it just got better. But the emotional effect started with Decware in an inadvertently created room that has extraordinary qualities for contributing to the sense of live feeling music.
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« Last Edit: 08/26/14 at 02:31:34 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #7 - 08/26/14 at 16:24:50
 

I'm kind of jealous - I've been increasingly happy with my system, but since getting the DS - I just haven't had the emotional involvement I had with the Oppo - which I find seriously odd because the DS is so much smoother and the separation and instrument tones are so much more life like. As it broke in it got better, and I've had a couple great listening sessions, but nothing like the emotional connection when the ZMA first settled in.

Which make me think the mental (listening) state is very important. Maybe I'm striving too hard for perfection, and distracting myself from the enjoyment.

This weekend was terrible. I've got my new server going, and it was sounding good, no software glitches, easy access and playback, everything was warmed up overnight (totally forgot to shut the gear off and fell asleep! LOL), but everything I played sounded strained and strident. Violins sounded whiny, upper-mids and lower treble sounded strained and strident. Just not really happy. But then I've been sick with a cold all week, so maybe the system is fine and it's just me.

Hopefully things will level out soon - I have parts coming to rebuild my Industrial Linear PSU into more of an Audiophile powerhouse - and I'm finally getting over this cold - maybe things will be better and I can stop striving so hard to make the system better.  :)

Maybe.
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Palomino
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #8 - 08/26/14 at 16:50:44
 
I think state of mind plays a big role.  My thread I started on psychoacoustics mentioned this theory.  I was in the right place this past weekend and that contributed.

But I think the stage was set with everything I had done before and the new DAC put me over the top.  And I remember Steve's words on getting more from his amps by going to a better source.

I don't know if I'll make that level of emotional connection every time, but now I know I have the capability and that's a good place to be.

Raven, as I mentioned in a text, I think you need to bring the DS over to my room and give it a listen.  Maybe use my source.  My theory is I was able to get the emotional connection with my rig/room.   Let's only change the DAC variable and see where that gets you.
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beowulf
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #9 - 08/27/14 at 03:11:19
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 08/26/14 at 16:24:50:
I'm kind of jealous - I've been increasingly happy with my system, but since getting the DS - I just haven't had the emotional involvement I had with the Oppo - which I find seriously odd because the DS is so much smoother and the separation and instrument tones are so much more life like. As it broke in it got better, and I've had a couple great listening sessions, but nothing like the emotional connection when the ZMA first settled in.

Which make me think the mental (listening) state is very important. Maybe I'm striving too hard for perfection, and distracting myself from the enjoyment.

This weekend was terrible. I've got my new server going, and it was sounding good, no software glitches, easy access and playback, everything was warmed up overnight (totally forgot to shut the gear off and fell asleep! LOL), but everything I played sounded strained and strident. Violins sounded whiny, upper-mids and lower treble sounded strained and strident. Just not really happy. But then I've been sick with a cold all week, so maybe the system is fine and it's just me.

Hopefully things will level out soon - I have parts coming to rebuild my Industrial Linear PSU into more of an Audiophile powerhouse - and I'm finally getting over this cold - maybe things will be better and I can stop striving so hard to make the system better.  :)

Maybe.


Just for kicks have you tried any other Preamp in the mix aside from a new CSP3?  My preamp really made the Taboo sing.  It was kind of off and on at first, as I felt there was a tad resolution missing (which I got sorted out with some tube rolling), but on the other hand there was no denying the volume increase and dynamics and as a few weeks of listening went by I totally felt the PRaT coming from the combo and I would not run the Taboo without a preamp as the sound is very enveloping and more musical with it in the chain.
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« Last Edit: 08/27/14 at 03:13:19 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #10 - 08/27/14 at 19:37:50
 

I've not owned a preamp in 16 years - I have nothing to try out.
I tried to borrow one from Steve, but the only one he had was that new shop one. It's not like he's got used ones laying around unfortunately. And honestly, I'm way too broke to really look at buying a preamp right now.

I was looking at even simple, balanced, studio grade XLR "buffer/booster" to see if I could bump the input to the ZMA - but I have a feeling a little booster like that isn't going to sound pretty - it's all I'd be able to afford right now.
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beowulf
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #11 - 08/28/14 at 00:35:35
 
If you get a few bucks and want to play around with something inexpensive I've seen Parasound P3's come up for $350.  It's balanced and has one Balanced Direct Input (which bypasses all tone controls, etc.)  The direct input of the P3 are said to have to shortest signal path from input to output with the minimal number of components in the way and you're supposed to put your best source there (such as the DS DAC). The direct inputs also have separate selection circuitry composed of hermetically sealed gold contact relays.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Technical vs Emotional pursuit - checken and egg?
Reply #12 - 08/28/14 at 13:11:15
 
Looks like the last few on eBay sold for about $400.

I'm totally open to budget/used options like that if anyone knows something that could hold me over till I can afford a CSP3. Steve did say we could make a CSP do what I want it to, so I have faith in him...just not the budget.
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« Last Edit: 08/28/14 at 13:11:45 by Lonely Raven »  
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