Playground for practical listening exercises

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Spannko
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Spannko »

Spannko wrote: 2022-12-02 16:16 I must admit, I’ve blindly gone along the “polypropylene caps are better” route with my diy speakers. This isn’t a particularly clever move on my behalf tbh given that I’ve found that practically all the speaker building advice on the internet has proved to be extremely unhelpful! Charlie1’s rebuild has prompted me to look at the crossovers of some of the most musical speakers of the past and it’s interesting to note that most of them contain both Solen (or equivalent) polypropylene caps and Alcaps or just Alcaps. So the Alcaps can’t be that bad. I’ve compared the Solen to about half a dozen of the usual audiophile caps and the Solens seemed to be quite a bit more musical. So the Solens might not be that bad either! Again, looking at the classic crossovers of the past, I’ve got a feeling that a combination of the two is worth experimenting with.
What I posted above is incorrect. It should read: the most musical speakers of the past used all electrolytic, or a combination of electrolytic and metalised polyester (not polypropylene) capacitors. I’ve tried most of the polypropylene caps and they range from pleasant & boring through to incoherent & obviously “audiophile” sounding. A £2 electrolytic, whilst being a bit edgy/aggressive, is much more musical and has the ability to captivate the listener. I’ve got more electrolytics on the way, together with a bunch of polyester caps for me to try.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by tokenbrit »

markiteight wrote: 2023-01-09 05:54 I think MS sounds most like a drum kit in mono. On the original recordings it's a tossup between XY, ORTIF, and MS...

I'm doing a quick comparison, playing just a few seconds before switching, using headphones.
I can hear what you mean with MS - listening via headphones made a difference over the phone: I still didn't warm to ORTIF, but headphones did bring XY & MS closer, and made the drum comparison interesting in stereo & collapsed to mono. Curiously the voice in a room was reduced to just that: almost no steps audible with MS compared to XY. Can we tunedem the footfalls?
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by markiteight »

tokenbrit wrote: 2023-01-10 04:28 Can we tunedem the footfalls?
Hah. Those heavy footfalls make me wonder if they used the same mic stands that were used to record Eric Clapton's MTV Unplugged album.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by beck »

Trying out a new idea.

With or without taping the interconnects together from the cd player to the amp:

A) https://www.dropbox.com/s/53axhkct8v3gu ... 0.mov?dl=0

B) https://www.dropbox.com/s/csoxix1jokwu2 ... 1.mov?dl=0
Playing cd’s....…………
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Charlie1 »

Prefer the second 'together' clip. Even the little taps between drum beats make more sense (starting about 7 secs in)

A bit surprised by that - I was expecting to prefer the 'apart' clip. Curious if others agree.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Whatsmynaim »

I prefer clip A because the bass sounded a bit undefined (and dare I say it, boomy) on the second clip.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by tpetsch »

A holds it all together better, B sounds better. So A for me.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by beck »

Thank you all for your comments. :-)

At first I thought B to be an improvement but I now think that A is the better solution……….
Playing cd’s....…………
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by ThomasOK »

I'm voting for A. To me B seems a bit dull and lifeless in comparison. I find A more lively and enjoyable.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Charlie1 »

Listened again. I think you guys are right although I can still hear 'something' I prefer in the second clip - musically I mean, not hi-fi stuff, or at least that's how it seems.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by u252agz »

A for me - more enjoyable.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by beck »

So I went back, made a slight adjustment and ended with C not far away from A. :-).

C) https://www.dropbox.com/s/cc088f4eg1bxv ... 4.mov?dl=0

……. and still A feels a fraction more to my liking.
Playing cd’s....…………
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Whatsmynaim »

Yup! A still rules.
Um.. I'm curious how it would perform with no LP12 on top of it.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by beck »

Whatsmynaim wrote: 2023-01-22 17:20 Yup! A still rules.
Um.. I'm curious how it would perform with no LP12 on top of it.
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Playing cd’s....…………
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by u252agz »

C better than B but not that big a difference.

A still best by far
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by beck »

u252agz wrote: 2023-01-22 23:33 C better than B but not that big a difference.

A still best by far
Yes, I am moving back to A. Thank you for listening. :-)
Playing cd’s....…………
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Spannko »

Spannko wrote: 2023-01-09 14:26
Spannko wrote: 2022-12-02 16:16 I must admit, I’ve blindly gone along the “polypropylene caps are better” route with my diy speakers. This isn’t a particularly clever move on my behalf tbh given that I’ve found that practically all the speaker building advice on the internet has proved to be extremely unhelpful! Charlie1’s rebuild has prompted me to look at the crossovers of some of the most musical speakers of the past and it’s interesting to note that most of them contain both Solen (or equivalent) polypropylene caps and Alcaps or just Alcaps. So the Alcaps can’t be that bad. I’ve compared the Solen to about half a dozen of the usual audiophile caps and the Solens seemed to be quite a bit more musical. So the Solens might not be that bad either! Again, looking at the classic crossovers of the past, I’ve got a feeling that a combination of the two is worth experimenting with.
What I posted above is incorrect. It should read: the most musical speakers of the past used all electrolytic, or a combination of electrolytic and metalised polyester (not polypropylene) capacitors. I’ve tried most of the polypropylene caps and they range from pleasant & boring through to incoherent & obviously “audiophile” sounding. A £2 electrolytic, whilst being a bit edgy/aggressive, is much more musical and has the ability to captivate the listener. I’ve got more electrolytics on the way, together with a bunch of polyester caps for me to try.
UPDATE: After conducting many more experiments I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a possibility that a capacitors construction may not be intrinsically good or bad for sound after all! It appears that the best capacitor is the one which works best in a particular location, and changing anything within the capacitors working environment could possibly change the type of capacitor construction which will work best. This is probably best summed up by reference to the Naim crossover posted earlier. I’ve never seen so many different capacitors on one crossover board!
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Charlie1 »

Interesting - thanks Spannko. So, have you got to try everything you've bought in every position?
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by lejonklou »

Very cool that you're making progress, Spannko!

I claim there's both:

You have intrinsic properties. I'm sure you'll notice after a while that some of the capacitors are just terrible no matter where you put them. Like sorbothane anywhere close to a HiFi system. Other capacitors are great and can be used in several places.

Then there are situation dependent properties. The capacitor is more than just a capacitor, it's rather a circuit with resistances, capacitances and inductances. So each circuit will be affected differently when changing a single capacitor to a different type, although their stated values are the same.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Spannko »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-01-23 23:40 Interesting - thanks Spannko. So, have you got to try everything you've bought in every position?
That’s correct charlie1, however the task has been made much easier recently with the total number of components reduced to only two! Or more accurately, four components if we include the woofer & tweeter, which I prefer, because they all work together as one interdependent system.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Spannko »

lejonklou wrote: 2023-01-24 00:22 Very cool that you're making progress, Spannko!

I claim there's both:

You have intrinsic properties. I'm sure you'll notice after a while that some of the capacitors are just terrible no matter where you put them. Like sorbothane anywhere close to a HiFi system. Other capacitors are great and can be used in several places.

Then there are situation dependent properties. The capacitor is more than just a capacitor, it's rather a circuit with resistances, capacitances and inductances. So each circuit will be affected differently when changing a single capacitor to a different type, although their stated values are the same.
Thanks Fredrik, that’s really helpful! Thinking about a component as being an LCR system within an LCR system helps to explain what I’m hearing.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Spannko »

Here’s a quick update on my speaker project.

*** Removed due to a recording fault ***

Still only one channel, enclosure half held together with tape, crossover clipped together, drive units held in place with 2 screws and chewing gum, etc, so there’s still quite a bit of room for improvement!
Last edited by Spannko on 2023-01-25 20:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Charlie1 »

I think that's coming along really well, esp as you've so much more to finish off yet
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by Spannko »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-01-25 19:37 I think that's coming along really well, esp as you've so much more to finish off yet
Thanks charlie1.

The recordings sounds excessively bright to me, but in the room the high frequencies appear to be quite natural and a frequency response sweep suggests a slight downward tilt above about 3k. The iPad I made the previous recordings on broke and I do wonder if its replacement has a recording fault. I’ve just made a recording off the telly and there’s a similar high frequency exaggeration.
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Re: Playground for practical listening exercises

Post by lejonklou »

I listened to the clip but couldn’t relate to the song and was therefore unable to judge the progress.
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