D I O... P A P E R
Many times I've seen comments about "holographic" imaging that discount it's
accuracy and or importance in stereo playback. As always I have an unrelenting
opinion about that. There is no such thing as accuracy when it comes to good
sound. Things that are accurate on paper generally sound like crap and things
that are accurate by subjective listening evaluations generally measure like
crap. My advise is leave the accuracy argument out of this.
holographic imaging important, yes it is. It makes for a wonderful measuring
tool when evaluating the true finesse of any stereo system.
of high end audio is it's ability to go beyond great frequency balance and
create a space from which sound appears to originate. A space that is judged by
it's width, depth, and height and by the illusions that take place from within
Light (eyes) and Sound (ears) are more similar than you think.
If you wanted to try to technically define what happens to create the illusions in a 3
dimensional sound space you could look at the illuminator equations for ray
tracing. This is where you have a 4 dimensional space defined and mapped to
create a 3 dimensional image on a two dimensional plane.
extended (partial) illumination equation is as follows:
I = Ia Ka + / IL(Kd cos(theta) + Ks cos (alpha)) + Ks Ir + Kt It.
The values used in this equation are
Ia [RGB] Global ambient light.
IL [RGB] Light
contributed by light L.
Ir [RGB] Light contributed by reflection.
[RGB] Light contributed by transmission (refraction).
Ka [RGB] Object
Kd [RGB] Object diffuse color.
Ks [RGB] Object
Kt [RGB] Object transparent color.
n [Real] Phong
N [Integer] Number of light sources.
substitute the word "sound" for light and the word "harmonic" for color, you are
basically looking at one of the fundamental formulas for imaging.
why is holographic imaging important? It's important because it mathematically
squares the amount of information perceived in the recording.
evaluate the fidelity of an amplifier I find the real telltale indicators that
separate a great amp from a just a good one are as follows:
deal with sounds that move in the sound stage. Can a sound move from the right
rear to the left front in a linear path. Can the sound move in complex arcs or
circles, going anywhere between vertical and horizontal with grace. Picture
orbs of shimmering sound that hang in the sound space like UFO's. Visualize
their flight path as you listen. How many can your system accommodate at the
same time without loosing focus.
This is the fastest way to hear which
amp is better when all else is equal as far as frequency balance and general
signatures are the same.
Example, Two Zen amp prototypes using different
coupling caps with almost matching signatures. Casually set up in the average
listening room both sound identical in every way. However if evaluated in a
good system that promotes holographic imaging the evaluation of moving targets
within the sound space will reveal one amp has a speed problem with the orbs.
They skate through certain quadrants of the sound space faster than they do in
the surrounding quadrants distorting their rhythm or pace.
Anyone with a
little effort can create an amplifier that has a good (flat) frequency balance.
Most people who discount holographic imaging by no fault of their own have
simply never really heard it.
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2007 2008 by Steve Deckert