Playground for practical listening exercices

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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beck
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by beck » 2019-11-07 10:34

The magic of music!

Trying to give Kate Bush a hug while listening to her song.

With the Red I meet a cold “wall” not getting through to her.

With the Kan I can put my arms around her and smell her hair. :-)
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Spannko » 2019-11-07 10:59

That was a grossly unfair comparison charlie1. It was like setting up a duel between a lion and a kitten!

This is why I like multiple recordings of the same thing. It’s like looking at something from different perspectives in order to gain a better understanding. I thought the RK’s gave a good account of themselves on the first set of recordings you did, but against the Kans they were totally marmalised!

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Tendaberry » 2019-11-07 11:21

beck wrote:
2019-11-07 10:34
The magic of music!

Trying to give Kate Bush a hug while listening to her song.

With the Red I meet a cold “wall” not getting through to her.

With the Kan I can put my arms around her and smell her hair. :-)
I agree, with the Kans the song moves me, with the Reds it's just a pretty lullaby.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by maffe » 2019-11-07 14:42

kan 1 for me please!

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by AlbannachFE » 2019-11-07 16:01

Initially, I didn't have a preference, but having listened back and forth a few times, I'm leaning toward the Red 50s - vocals seem a bit more expressive, with more emotion behind them, but, overall, it's a marginal preference; TBF, I'm not a fan of Kate Bush (please don't burn the heretic!), so that might be part of the problem?

Also, I seem to be hearing distortion at some points with the Red 50s?

Certainly, like with the keilidhs, it's a much closer 'contest' than with the Katans & M109s, so charlie1 is correct that, on the basis of these clips at least, as far as the Linn speakers go, the older ones are better to my ears.

BTW, charlie1, have you tried any loudspeakers from Neat?

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-07 16:55

AlbannachFE wrote:
2019-11-07 16:01
BTW, charlie1, have you tried any loudspeakers from Neat?
Never heard Neat but am always keen to hear something new. My concern will be the same as ProAc or any other brand, how well can they make sense of the music? Maybe Briks would be less of a gamble. I've got a 160 that should drive them.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Tendaberry » 2019-11-07 18:10

Charlie1 wrote:
2019-11-07 16:55
Never heard Neat but am always keen to hear something new. My concern will be the same as ProAc or any other brand, how well can they make sense of the music? Maybe Briks would be less of a gamble. I've got a 160 that should drive them.
Or maybe Saras?

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-11-07 18:24

Supposedly the Kan is an LS3/5A clone .. or is that a klone? Have you heard any of the other later if not latest LS3/5(A) derivatives such as those from Harbeth, Spendor, or Graham - Harbeth P3; Spendor A1; Graham Chartwell LS3/5 - if not those from Falcon Acoustics or Stirling Broadcast? When reviewed, they tend to be well received as updates of the original, often with positive comments about a revealing midrange that might help you make sense of the music, especially if it's musically balanced.

Some background reading...

Best of luck checking out alternative speakers - curious whether there isn't more fun to be had in the search than finding what you might be looking for... we'd miss the comparison clips, for sure ;)

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-07 18:57

Tendaberry wrote:
2019-11-07 18:10
Or maybe Saras?
Good idea. Don't see many come up for sale though. Mind you, don't see many Briks either.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-07 19:00

tokenbrit wrote:
2019-11-07 18:24
Supposedly the Kan is an LS3/5A clone .. or is that a klone? Have you heard any of the other later if not latest LS3/5(A) derivatives such as those from Harbeth, Spendor, or Graham - Harbeth P3; Spendor A1; Graham Chartwell LS3/5 - if not those from Falcon Acoustics or Stirling Broadcast? When reviewed, they tend to be well received as updates of the original, often with positive comments about a revealing midrange that might help you make sense of the music, especially if it's musically balanced.

Some background reading...

Best of luck checking out alternative speakers - curious whether there isn't more fun to be had in the search than finding what you might be looking for... we'd miss the comparison clips, for sure ;)
Thanks for the link. I've made a start and it's an interesting read. As for actually hearing a pair, I've got to wonder about all the work Linn put into the Kan to transform it from an LS3. Apparently, the napkin story is utter rubbish and the Kan design was a lot more convoluted. However, I'd still like to compare my Kans to a modern 3/5, or even an original.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by AlbannachFE » 2019-11-07 19:30

Charlie1 wrote:
2019-11-07 16:55
AlbannachFE wrote:
2019-11-07 16:01
BTW, charlie1, have you tried any loudspeakers from Neat?
Never heard Neat but am always keen to hear something new. My concern will be the same as ProAc or any other brand, how well can they make sense of the music? Maybe Briks would be less of a gamble. I've got a 160 that should drive them.
Only your ears can decide, of course, but from what I've seen, Neat are generally considered to be very musical speakers, that work particularly well with Naim (coincidentally, former Naim stalwart Doug Graham is now Neat's export manager, I believe); FWIW, Long term, Flat Earth era reviewer Malcolm Steward is a big fan.

IME, FWIW, they offer very good timing, are upbeat, coherent, fluent and pacey, though perhaps not quite as expressive or rhythmic as Robin Marshall era Epos; they're definitely among the brands that I am interested in exploring further.

As for Briks, though I've no experience of them (I would also love to try a pair!), I'm not sure that a 160 would be first choice - 250 or 135s more in the ballpark, I would guess?

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by AlbannachFE » 2019-11-07 19:33

I was under the impression that Kans were Linn's 'response' to the LS3/5A, along the lines of 'they're crap, but this is what we can do with the same size box'?

Or is that just an urban legend?

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-08 11:14

AlbannachFE wrote:
2019-11-07 19:33
I was under the impression that Kans were Linn's 'response' to the LS3/5A, along the lines of 'they're crap, but this is what we can do with the same size box'?

Or is that just an urban legend?
Don't know what their motivation was.

I've decided that I need Kans in my life to some extent. I can't use the main system as much as the office so makes sense to leave them there. I've moved the 12/160 in to drive them cos the Nait can't make them rock. I will just have to accept their limitations and that some music will not suit them. After all, I've got the office setup for most of my listening. Don't know why it's taken me so long to reach this conclusion.

Anyway, happy listening today and they'll even have a stab at modern digital recordings:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9f5ojr9uh6u9j ... 6.MOV?dl=0

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-11-08 15:12

Glad you've reached a happy Kanclusion... hope they let you hug (& smell) Kate Bush whenever you (& she) are in the mood... and if they're not kandusive, then maybe inviting her into your office would do the trick :D

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by maffe » 2019-11-08 16:51


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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by beck » 2019-11-08 17:28

To me you have found your “magical” spot with the speakers (29 cm).

And nice looking wall now! :-)
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by tokenbrit » 2019-11-08 18:14

maffe wrote:
2019-11-08 16:51
New clips!
This time “Hakai” and Tidal as source. Two different speaker positions.

29cm from wall (previous best position)
...

29,5 cm
...
Amazing what 5mm will do. Agree with beck that 29cm is the better of these two...
Did you try any further out than 29,5 or was that limited to the '2 cm change in position', presumably at 31cm against the Kaos (29cm?) placement?
Wondering whether 29cm was where you started, consistent in the clips from 10-23 & 11-03, or have you (& Kaos) been tweaking positions since 10-20 and the 'Nait-Sunday' clips?

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-08 18:41

29cm here too.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-11-08 20:17

AlbannachFE wrote:
2019-11-07 19:33
I was under the impression that Kans were Linn's 'response' to the LS3/5A, along the lines of 'they're crap, but this is what we can do with the same size box'?

Or is that just an urban legend?
My understanding is that you are correct and the line "they're crap, but this is what we can do with the same size box" sounds like exactly what I would expect the thinking to have been.

Linn did originally use the same box as the LS3/5a made by one of the makers of the cabinet and they also used a KEF B110 as a bass/mid driver. End of similarity and certainly not an LS3/5a clone. Linn wasn't thrilled with the KEF T27 tweeter, in which they weren't alone, and used Scanspeak or Hiquphon. LS3/5a speakers were either 15 Ohms or 11 Ohms and used a very complex crossover with multi-tapped transformers to allow fine tuning. The Kan was 4 Ohms with a completely different crossover. Linn also modified the the B110 as they did in the Isobarik, which was built about the same time as the BBC was creating the first LS3/5a. There was significant damping applied to the basket and magnet assembly and four holes were literally burned into the cone between the dust cap and the voice coil. These holes ventilate the voice coil giving the driver more power handling and less compression at high volumes, but it also relieves the back pressure on the dust cap, which was the cause of some midrange resonances that often show up in frequency graphs of speakers with B110s, but not on Isobariks.

As most know the Kan was designed for placement very close to a wall - the instruction used to be as close as you can get it without the banana plugs touching. The LS3/5a was designed as a portable Class II monitor (not full range) that would be used more often in free air on recording consoles or in remote vans. This difference means that the Kan could use the rear wall for bass reinforcement and go lower. The LS3/5a has a hump around 120Hz and drops off quickly below about 80Hz. I have heard it said that the hump was on purpose so the user could get a feel of the bass level of the music being recorded even though the low bass was missing, although actual microphone placement, etc. was always supposed to be checked with Class I monitors (like the LS 5/8 or 5/9).

For some reason, possibly having to do with the over the top early reviews, the LS3/5a has become a cult audiophile product that is very popular in Asia and often sells for many multiples of its original selling price. The LS3/5a fraternity tend to look down their noses at the Kan as some kind of LS3/5a variant misfit. Is LS3/5a more an "audiophile" product? Well, one reviewer stated: "The BBC LS3/5a became the gateway drug that started the whole soundstage/imaging audiophile revolution." I rest my case. Meanwhile those who fall more into the tune method camp rather than the audiophile one (of which I count myself) have generally had little use for the LS3/5a sound and find the Kan much more musical.

I find it interesting that comparative reviews have found that, despite the tight specification, all the various LS3/5a speakers made over the decades are reported to sound different and none of them apparently sound as good as the original BBC design. The current word is that the newer Falcon LS3/5a offerings are the only ones that closely match the designs the BBC originally made. I have not heard the Falcon units - they have two versions one of which will only be made in a total of 50 pairs and sells for £6495 and is supposed to be the most exact match to the original BBC prototypes and the other which matches the original production specs - so I have no comment on how musical they might be. I have heard positive comments but I haven't heard them myself.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by ThomasOK » 2019-11-08 20:56

Yep, I'm liking the 29cm clips better as well. Although I have a hard time with that nasty early digital recording which is Tusk. I suppose I should give the vinyl a listen again and see if the improvements in pulling music out of the grove have made it more palatable than I remember it.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-08 22:40

I like Sisters of the Moon and Sara in particular. I didn’t realise it was an early digital recording. Certainly not a patch on the previous two with Buckingham / Nicks.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Spannko » 2019-11-09 01:25

Re maffe’s clips:

To me, 29.5cm sounds more tuneful, but still not quite right. It would be interesting to hear a 30cm version.

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by maffe » 2019-11-09 08:49

beck wrote:
2019-11-08 17:28
To me you have found your “magical” spot with the speakers (29 cm).

And nice looking wall now! :-)
Had to do something with that ugly wall and using it as a play list felt like a nice touch :)
tokenbrit wrote:
2019-11-08 18:14
Amazing what 5mm will do. Agree with beck that 29cm is the better of these two...
Did you try any further out than 29,5 or was that limited to the '2 cm change in position', presumably at 31cm against the Kaos (29cm?) placement?
Wondering whether 29cm was where you started, consistent in the clips from 10-23 & 11-03, or have you (& Kaos) been tweaking positions since 10-20 and the 'Nait-Sunday' clips?
We have moved the speakers a lot lately, Kaos not that helpful but my wife gladly helps me with the listening part of the job :)
From "Nait Sunday" (that was 34 cm) I have checked all cables and removed the big photo/acoustic board. After that started all over with speaker positioning from as close as possible to the wall out to 50 cm and back.
Might hook the nait up again to check ;)
ThomasOK wrote:
2019-11-08 20:56
Yep, I'm liking the 29cm clips better as well. Although I have a hard time with that nasty early digital recording which is Tusk. I suppose I should give the vinyl a listen again and see if the improvements in pulling music out of the grove have made it more palatable than I remember it.
Sorry about that Thomas!
And thx for the history lesson on LS3/5a and Kan, really interesting
Spannko wrote:
2019-11-09 01:25
Re maffe’s clips:

To me, 29.5cm sounds more tuneful, but still not quite right. It would be interesting to hear a 30cm version.
Kind of have got stuck around 29-30cm, so I think its time to start with moving sideways and get back to this later on?

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-09 09:27

maffe wrote:
2019-11-09 08:49
And thx for the history lesson on LS3/5a and Kan, really interesting
+1

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Re: Playground for practical listening exercices

Post by Charlie1 » 2019-11-11 12:12

Reset my iphone, turned everything off including WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. It's not had a SIM for a couple of months now so that side was disabled in both clips.

Before: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pbsmedksoxrrc ... 1.MOV?dl=0
After: https://www.dropbox.com/s/sk0n4l3d4k18p ... D.MOV?dl=0

'Before' was recorded yesterday so not ideal scenario.

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