How Important is Imaging to You?

NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,846
edited February 2017 in 2 Channel Audio
Are incohesive blobs floating around a small stage okay with you or do you settle for nothing less than pin point 3D images in a large stage? Somewhere in between? Maybe this is something you don't even care about or listen for, perhaps you don't even do eyes closed in the sweet spot listening?
afterburnt wrote: »
They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

Village Idiot of Club Polk
«1345

Comments

  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,851
    With my home rig, very important. I can get into a zone while listening and just melt into the music...becomes a special place for me.
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,594
    While not listening for pinpoint accuracy.....I find that when the music surrounds you with emotion, you have something special between you and your equipment.
    If you are looking for pinpoint accuracy, you lose a part of the art and artist and what they are trying to deliver to you.
  • I don't worry about image too much;
    jryxywlku7r0.jpg
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,584
    Yep, I like imaging and sound stage. There, I said it. It's OK and its not my fault. I was born that way.
  • RicardoRicardo Posts: 10,514
    edited February 2017
    It's a love hate thing. I love music that gives you ears o r g a s m s just because how well it sounds, imaging being a big one. But I hate myself when I start picking music just by how well it sounds.
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  • ^^^ I like the way you think.
    sn3twkqjmpes.jpg
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,463
    Spot on tonyb. Some engineers can do magic in the studio and on the right equipment makes you keep chasing that ideal sound. There are times I sit down just to hear the "great recordings" and other times I just want to hear my favorite tunes. I do find myself listening to great music wandering about how good it could have been if they'd have used a different sound guy. Some of those "better recordings" really aren't that much better, either, which can be a real let down.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,566
    I do expect and appreciate a good stereo image (this is left-center-right, in the classic hifi definition of "Stereo" -- even though the Greek root for the word stereo means solid).
    Depth is optional, for me.

    The Duplexes do L/C/R phenomenally well but don't generally manifest the depth of loudspeakers purpose-designed to control diffraction. The Duplexes do have what one might call "resolution" -- they allow one to listen deep into the music when and if desired. This is part and parcel of their use for decades in recording and radio studios as monitors -- and it also makes for superbly natural reproduction of music. Yes, I am biased.

    Don't forget that most recorded music (and virtually all popular music) is recorded as "multiple mono", typically many tracks of close miked, isolated instrument and vocal recordings. These are mixed together (admittedly with great skill) to create a synthetic "stereo" image that never existed in the original performance. I am always amused by folks waxing loquacious on "soundstage", while most recordings with which they're most familiar were recorded,piecemeal, in little booths.

    Now, of course, there are recordings that manifest real depth. Some orchestral recordings, especially in the 1950s in mono (often recorded on three-track tape machines) and early stereo recordings were very carefully and deliberately recorded with a sense of capturing and preserving acoustic space.

    There have also been occasional forays into deliberate 3D recording techniques (e.g., binaural microphone configurations) but they're generally specialized (e.g., designed for headphone listening).

    In "pop[ular]" music, there are far fewer examples of "soundstage" recordings -- the Cowboy Junkies' famous "Trinity Sessions" is, of course, a well-known recording that very deliberately 'leverages' its acoustic space by use of the Ambisonics stereo mic. Interestingly, my ears suggest to me that the sequel, "Trinity Revisited" was not recorded the same way as the original. It sounds really good (sumptuous, even) but the instruments and vocals sound, to me, very close miked. I've never watched the DVD, so I don't know for sure -- and I may be totally wrong about that.

    Whoa -- let me get off my soapbox :blush:
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,566
    edited February 2017
    Yeah. :)
    “We weren't going to try that [i.e., recording with a single two-channel mic, as the original was recorded], but what I decided to do was at least be faithful to that idea, so I got a [Holophone H2-PRO] surround microphone and I put all the guys in a circle, and then I augmented that with close-miking. I used it for Branford Marsalis on A Love Supreme, and it was fantastic. In that one, most of what you hear is the Holophone and it's pretty stunning musically. With the Cowboy Junkies, I didn't know what was going to happen with the Holophone in the church. It sounded great, but it really picked up too much ambience; it was too live, so I couldn't use just that. In the stereo version, there's not that much of the Holophone in there — probably about 10 to 15 percent. There's a lot more on [the surround version].
    “For the close mics, I used a bunch of Shure mics — the KSM Series, which I didn't know very well before I heard about them from Paul at the Record Plant [Remote] when we did an Aimee Mann special. He's the one who told me to check out these mics, and then when I was going to do the Cowboy Junkies, I wanted pristine mics, so I rented brand-new KSMs and they were fantastic — the 141 is a twist-capsule [condenser] where you can put it in omni, go 24-bit/96k and it sounds great.” Preamps used on the session were mostly API's and some by Buzz — “If I had 48 of those, I would have used only those, but we had 10,” Francois Lamoureux says. “They have a lot headroom, so they really let things speak.”
    source: http://www.mixonline.com/news/profiles/cowboy-junkies-go-back-church/365949
  • pkquatpkquat Posts: 700
    Overall I would say imaging is not as important as ambiance to me, mostly because as mentioned, few recordings do imagining really well, and most recordings are studio mixed from individual mono or stereo tracks. Most of the Chesky recordings are well imaged and the Stereophile recordings highlight the different techniques to get a good image. If the recording has a good image, I like that to be reproduced fairly faithfully. To me the location of the soundstage is not too important to me, it can be behind or in front of the speakers as long as the depth is there. Generally though if it is behind the speakers there can be less room interactions.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,134
    edited February 2017
    Soundstage, ambience, location, depth and width are all parts of imaging to me, which is the hallmark of a great system and what I constantly chase. Tubes are excellent at imaging and ambience. The rig I have now simply amazes me in amount of the above I am able to achieve when present in a recording.

    All that being said as Tony alluded to, if it's not in the recording then you won't have that magical (eargasmic) experience. I can still enjoy music that plays back poorly in the area's above, but I do find myself gravitating towards well recorded material that images well.

    I like female singer/songwriters and I like really well recorded live music. Every time I listen to the DVD companion of the Cowboy Junkies - Long Journey Home live in Liverpool. I damn near have a religious experience because of those 3 attributes. What an amazing recording on SDA's w/tubes. The go to is The Trinity Sessions, also superb.........but I think Long Journey Home live in Liverpool is even better.

    https://www.amazon.com/Long-Journey-Home-Live-Liverpool/dp/B004QITJEU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1486132899&sr=8-3&keywords=cowboy+junkies+live

    Just the other day I popped in U2- Under a Blood Red Sky, live from 1983. Anemic recording, no bass, very little imaging, in the recording, very one dimensional, but I still enjoyed it.

    But yes, I gravitate towards all my better recordings because it's such a treat on the rig I've assembled.

    Jazz at the Pawnshop and Jewel live at Humphry's are all spine tingling excellent.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,797
    Geesh Mark, nobody said write a paper on the subject and turn in for peer review. lmao. Only you bro....only you. :)
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,566
    Hey, I gots thoughts,man. Like the Scarecrow.

    ... and I am listening to Crack the Sky's Safety in Numbers as I type this.
    Could be woise.
  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,142
    Yes
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> ??? -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ???
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
  • mdaudioguymdaudioguy Posts: 5,125
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    Hey, I gots thoughts,man. Like the Scarecrow.

    ... and I am listening to Crack the Sky's Safety in Numbers as I type this.
    Could be woise.

    I haven't listened to that since sometime before I lost the cassette... Great album, as I recall.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,566
    Well. I think so, but I am very biased -- and something of a Crack addict from my formative years.
  • befuddlebefuddle Posts: 126
    Well I ain't no dedicated audiophile or auditory engineer.But if I understand correctly that the fundamental principle of the terminology is having the singer perceived as being transparently placed between the speakers[although i realize there is a lot more to its definition and application] But considering that it all begins with a auditory glitch hardwired into our perception of snd. that states- that if 2 identical snds are heard at the same time from the same distance and amplitude we recognize the snd coming from in front of us. Then this leads to me to consider imaging [in the stereo sense] as a existentially religious experience giving due credence to the likely hood of a higher power and given that it is obviously by our design a Stereo Fan
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,420
    It is something that I don't really think much about. I very rarely sit in the sweet spot of my living room to listen to music. Most times I'm at my pc which is to the left of where the sweet spot is on the couch, as well as which I usually have the prepro in Dolby surround sound.

    However, all this week, I have had it in stereo playing music in prep for delivery of my S60's coming on Monday. I just happened to be sitting in the sweet spot and noticed that the sound was coming as you have said between the speakers and yes it sounded nice. Then I got up and went back to my pc.

    I'm not interested in analyzing my system or my music to the nth degree, I just want to enjoy them.

    Oh and Tony, I agree with you 100%. You can chase the perfect sound til the day you die, but it will ALWAYS fall short because of the care the engineers do or don't take inside the recording studio.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • machonemachone Posts: 1,175
    I like the full immersion when it happens.
    Sometimes it feels like I am surrounded and I can loose track of where I am in the song (no, I am not doing drugs). I do think some of this is due to my mood and ears but the source has more to do with it than anything else.
    It's hard to explain but wonderful when its happens.
    Mojo Audio Illuminati v3>>Quantum Byte w/LMS>>Rpi/PiCoreplayer>> Starlight 7 USB >> Mojo Audio Mystique v2 SE>>ModWright SWL 9.0 SE Signature>>Hafler DH-500 Amp+ (Musical Concepts Fully Modded)>>
    SRS 2.3TL (Fully Modded)...Velodyne Optimum 8 subwoofer
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  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,846
    DSkip wrote: »
    Imaging is important but I hate the term pin-point imaging because it usually translates to very thin images. I like my soundstage to have a presence or body to it. You can have both, but often times people seem to chase the precision and forget about the soul or don't think you can mix the two.

    I want my images to portray a realism that embodies the singer or instrument as it would in concert. I've never heard a singer sound like she was 1" wide in person, but I've heard it on several systems.

    To me the term means you can point to exactly where the image is in the stage , it's very clearly right there, instead of vaguely somewhere on the right side of the stage. Not referring to it's size.

    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,797
    cfrizz wrote: »

    Oh and Tony, I agree with you 100%. You can chase the perfect sound til the day you die, but it will ALWAYS fall short because of the care the engineers do or don't take inside the recording studio.

    Say what ??
    oszhwmi4fa40.jpg


    Your gonna give an old dude a heart attack girl. You agree with me ?? I gotta go tell the wife that one. lol


    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,913
    Well, I have been labeled as an "Image Freak" so I guess it's pretty daggum important. I have backed off of the pinpoint aspect in recent years, paying more attention to presence rather than pinpoint.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • lightman1lightman1 Posts: 10,594
    I still want to slap you, Tom.
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,913
    I know, I feel the love.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • Between fighting kids the dishwasher (which I hate) and the laundry room I'm lucky if I can hear the music (open floor plan). :D Unless I retreat to our bedroom and lock the door but that doesn't always work either. Maybe one day (after the kids are in college) I will have a dedicated listening room.
  • pearsall001pearsall001 Posts: 4,337
    I just keep moving my chair. Works like a charm.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
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    KEF R3 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
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    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
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  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,664
    lightman1 wrote: »
    I still want to spank you, Tom.

    fixed it for you... >:)

    HT/Main- Panny 50" G10 Plasma, Pioneer SC-1222k AVR, Panny DMP-BD60 BDP, Polk LS90 mains, CS350LS center, LS/fx side surrounds, LS50 surround backs, SVS 25-31PC+ sub, Harmony One

    Office Rig- Marantz 2252B, Denon 2910, Kenwood KD2070 TT, Polk RTA 12B's/ RTA8t
  • warrenwarren Posts: 665
    I can see Ringo, top center stage, on my stock Polk 2.3's.SDA SRS's their great!!
    Some final words,
    "If you keep banging your head against the wall,
    you're going to have headaches."
    Warren
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