Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-09 17:53

Music Lover wrote:
Ozzzy189 wrote:And is ML's opinion on the definition of musicality the same as say, Fredrik's or ThomasOK's?
Please ask them :)
I usually agree with ML and I think his Dylan example is spot on.

I've written something similar somewhere, that I'd rather listen to Dylan in a noisy bathroom than to Dylan covers in a quiet concert hall.

In the world of HiFi, almost everyone is pursuing the latter. Sometimes intentionally, like the audiophiles, and sometimes unintentionally, by making choices that result in a "better sound". Focusing on the musicality is really hard until you get the hang of it.

It requires that you control your state of mind, so that you don't get locked up in the analytical state of listening to music. At the same time, you must avoid falling completely into the emotional state of listening to music. Judging the musical merits of the system requires you to do both at the same time: Feeling the music while keeping an analytical eye on the development, what's happening in every moment.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-09 22:18

I fully agree with both ML and Fredrik on this. These things have already been covered elsewhere on this forum but it does indeed come down to how well are the performers doing their parts and how well do they play together. I have personal experience of one of my favorite live and recorded groups playing so bad at a concert in California that I and the person I was with left the concert half way through the second track. Years later when I related this to a fellow Hi-Fi dealer who knows these musicians and does a lot of recordings I was told "Yeah, I heard about that. They told me they sucked all the way through Kansas. But they were great by the time they got here to Chicago." The group had reformed after a couple year hiatus to do solo projects. Unfortunately, their egos lead them to believe they didn't need to practice before performing live together again and the tour started on the west coast. The sound was not a problem, the lack of music definitely was, and they knew it themselves.

While covers bands have their places (otherwise classical music would be in deep trouble), it is the musicianship and the energy of the people who create and perform music that moves us. They are engaged in a universal form of communication and the better their message gets through and moves us the better we feel. That is what music is all about.

It is also important to note what Fredrik said about not "falling completely into the emotional state of listening" and to qualify that. I have been misled in the past when listening to two adjustments based solely on the amount of emotional connection I feel with the song. The problem is that the emotional impact of a song is too dependent on your mood at the moment you listen to it. Choose a piece that really gets you and it may get to you more on the first listen than the second, or you may get more absorbed into it the second time around. So you end up being up misled about which is actually more musical. Emotional connection is not the same as the tune method, and while overall emotional connection is certainly part of hearing if the music is communicating with you it is not the whole enchilada. However, this brings us to the very important point that often gets lost in these discussions and leads to extended back and forths: tune method is a method of evaluation, not a system for listening to your system day to day for musical enjoyment. It is useful, and I would say unparalleled, as a system for choosing the proper torque for a fastener, choosing the right direction for a component or cable, choosing the proper placement of speakers and indeed the racks the equipment sits on, choosing the best racks, even choosing whether to put your Radikal right side up or upside down! But when you are just listening to music for pure enjoyment, tune method goes away (at least it should) and you just get into what the musicians are doing.

Room modification is problematic in a number of ways but it is not always a bad thing. The largest studio on our store has a fair bit of absorption and diffusion panels because it sounded like a racketball court when we got in there. We really don't like such room treatments as they have generally sounded unnatural to us and we have always recommended more natural methods to our customers, as Linn used to do. But this room need help and we talked to three companies to find one we felt comfortable with. We went with the least treatment they felt would work and it did help a lot. When Fredrik came here he walked in the room, looked around and said "I don't like those things." I said "Neither do we." but told him the whole story. At the end of the musical evening he told me it was the best sound he had made at a dealer at that point. So obviously they did what was needed.

But there is more to the story that Fredrik hasn't heard. The company said that we didn't need any bass treatment because the room was really designed well in that aspect. We were actually very precise with the room dimensions to get the most even bass response and we managed to get the builders to keep the size to our dimensions within a quarter of an inch! Here is how this ties into the SO discussion. We had a Linn musical evening where our Linn rep, a factory person and I did the speaker positioning using the tune method. We all agreed on the place where the speakers sounded the most musical. Then the two of them applied and modified the SO profiles. I felt it was more tuneful with it off but wasn't going to interfere with their demos. Fast forward another year or so and we had a musical evening with Richard Vandersteen, who makes some quite fine speakers and electronics. We had placed his Quatro CT speakers in the same studio and positioned them where we all felt they sounded best. He came in and said they sounded quite good where we had them. Then he tried a little more tow in but ended up putting them back where we had them saying it was best. Now it was time for his room tuning. The Quatros, as well as the Model 5s and 7s, all have "push-pull" (Isobarik to us) woofers driven by a built in amplifier and analog room equalizer. This has 11 bands of screwdriver adjustments covering 20Hz to 120Hz, so pretty narrow bands. Richard has a set of test tones called Vandertones that can be downloaded off his website and he uses a meter to measure how far above or below 0 each frequency is to then adjust the levels. A half hour or so after he went in there to tune them he came out looking a bit perplexed. He informed us that this was the first room he had ever been in where he left every single control set to 0 as the room needed no correction! In other words the bass was essentially perfect. But SO the year before had still decided to correct it.

Now I had already played with SO in that room and others using various speakers and I have always felt it sounded more tuneful when it was turned off. This is also true of a customers system that Paulsurround had worked on quite a bit (I did let Paul know this when I was there so it comes as no surprise to him). Paul is a nice guy and I have enjoyed talking to him the couple of times I have met him. But he does not use the tune method and admitted confusion with the whole process the first time I met him. He appeared to use SO as more of a graphic equalizer putting in corrections to make a female vocal sound the way he thought it should or to correct image problems. All I can relate is that I still have not heard a "SO optimized" system that didn't sound more tuneful and musical when the SO was turned off (musical as described above, with the message of the perfromers being clearer).

Why might this be? In my opinion it is for two reasons, one is because you are correcting something that can't actually be corrected (you are applying steady state spot corrections to something that is constantly changing and not narrow band). Resonances are just that, they have harmonics, they change with power level, they change with position, etc. and there are no systems sophisticated enough to deal with all that, nor are there likely to be for some time, if ever. The other is because your ear already corrects for most of what the room does and if you correct the sound coming out of the speakers for the room your ear is confused. Obviously if a room is really bad and you can't move to another room you may need to do something to make it so the problems aren't annoying enough to substantially harm your enjoyment of the music. I would recommend first doing everything possible with speaker placement to get the best tune method result, which will automatically mean you are minimizing some of those harmful effects, and then do whatever is possible with natural room treatments. If that isn't enough try some custom room treatments, they will at least have the advantage of being a little more broad in the way they work making them less musically intrusive. As Fredrik states it is also equally important to put your focus when listening on the music rather than the room. If you keep listening to the room you are likely to keep feeling there are things you need to change, if you listen to the music the room fades in importance. My room at home certainly is not perfect but I never notice the room - I just get into he music and get lost in it. That is really what I hope we are all looking for.
Last edited by ThomasOK on 2018-10-10 01:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2018-10-09 23:45

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
ML, FL and especially ThomasOK's post right there. I was berated and ridiculed on forums when I said space was just a posh graphic equaliser and that I was wrong. Some people will still think that and that's fine, we all have opinions. However when there's people like Thomas saying so eloquently and professionally with far more understanding and technical knowledge, saying EXACTLY how I've been feeling every time I've heard a space optimised system it hits a a spot deep inside me.
You don't know how that makes me feel. You really don't.
Thanks again.
I'm not going mad. At least not alone anyway! :)
These last few posts have been fantastic and will help me to enjoy my music and get more from the tune.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Donald » 2018-10-10 10:43

It's not often I feel confident enough to Post in a Thread alongside such names as Fredrik, Thomas and Ozzy but I'd like to offer this extract from the very excellent book "COMPLETE GUIDE TO HIGH END AUDIO" by Robert Harley: -

Pitfalls of Becoming a Critical Listener

There are dangers inherent in developing critical listening skills. The first is an inability to distinguish between critical listening and listening for pleasure. Once started on the path of critiquing sound quality, it's all too easy to forget that the reason you're involved in audio is because you love music, and to start thinking that every time you hear music, you must have an opinion about what's right and what's wrong with the sound. This is the surest path toward a condition humorously known as Audiophilia nervosa. Symptoms include constantly changing equipment playing only one track of a CD or LP at a time instead of the whole record, changing cables for certain music, refusing to listen to great music if it happens to be poorly recorded, and in general “listening to the hardware" instead of to the music.

But high-end audio is about making the hardware disappear. When listening for pleasure - which should be the vast majority of your listening time - forget about the system. Forget about critical listening. Shift into critical-listening mode only when you need to make a diagnostic judgment about the sound quality, or just for practice to become a better listener. Draw the line between critical listening and listening for pleasure - and know when to cross it and when not to cross it.

There is also the related danger that your standards of sound quality will rise to such a height that you can't enjoy music unless it's "perfectly" reproduced - in other words, to the point that you can't enjoy music, period. Although it's not very high-quality reproduction, I get a great deal of pleasure from my car stereo—don't let being an audiophile interfere with your enjoyment of music, anytime, anywhere. When you can't control the sound quality, lower your expectations.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by beck » 2018-10-10 11:01

I agree with the above. It has always for me been about the music. It was only when I some years ago tried to change some components in my system I realised that it was possible to loose the joyful feeling of listening to music.
Then I started to investigate what was going on. I now have a better setup than before and still I get caught up in the music every time I put on a record. :-)

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by fredrik » 2018-10-10 21:29

ThomasOK wrote: The largest studio on our store has a fair bit of absorption and diffusion panels because it sounded like a racketball court when we got in there..... The company said that we didn't need any bass treatment because the room was really designed well in that aspect. We were actually very precise with the room dimensions to get the most even bass response and we managed to get the builders to keep the size to our dimensions within a quarter of an inch!
Just to be clear, are you are saying that in a room treated with "absorption and diffusion panels", where "builders to keep the size to our dimensions within a quarter of an inch!" it sounds best with SO turned off?? Or do I misunderstand your post?

Have you evaluated the use of the new SO release in untreated rooms?

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by ThomasOK » 2018-10-10 22:21

fredrik wrote:
ThomasOK wrote: The largest studio on our store has a fair bit of absorption and diffusion panels because it sounded like a racketball court when we got in there..... The company said that we didn't need any bass treatment because the room was really designed well in that aspect. We were actually very precise with the room dimensions to get the most even bass response and we managed to get the builders to keep the size to our dimensions within a quarter of an inch!
Just to be clear, are you are saying that in a room treated with "absorption and diffusion panels", where "builders to keep the size to our dimensions within a quarter of an inch!" it sounds best with SO turned off?? Or do I misunderstand your post?

Have you evaluated the use of the new SO release in untreated rooms?
Yes to 1, best with So turned off (just like everywhere else I have heard SO used). Note that the absorption and diffusion panels are to deal with midrange through high frequency reflections and have little effect on the bass. The lower frequency range is where SO and other room correction systems are mainly intended to work. No to 2, I have not played around with SO v2 yet.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-11 11:46

Music Lover is correct, the Tune Method is an objective method and David Neel summarised it well (evaluate objectively, enjoy subjectively).

The Tune Method is mandatory on this forum and I will not allow any debate about that fact - we've been there many times before and it leads nowhere. Except that valued contributors, who don't have endless amounts of time to spend on forums, get tired of reading meaningless discussions and leave.

This forum is a club for us who use the Tune Method to evaluate performance. If you don't consider yourself a "tune demmer" or curious and interested in becoming one, please move to another forum!

[posts discussing the relevance of the Tune Method have been deleted]

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Spannko » 2018-10-11 11:55

I think I’m moving towards a two stage assessment process. Firstly, Tune Dem takes priority, but secondly the component being assessed mustn’t have any peculiarities which detract from my enjoyment of the music.

For example, I can’t enjoy listening to something which sounds tuneful, but has a problem in the high frequencies which constantly attracts my attention. Similarly, I can’t enjoy listening to a beautiful sound if everything sounds out of tune.

So the tune has to be bang on and the sound just has to be just good enough, hence the heavy emphasis on Tune Dem but not to the total exclusion of everything else.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-11 14:51

Spannko wrote:I think I’m moving towards a two stage assessment process. Firstly, Tune Dem takes priority, but secondly the component being assessed mustn’t have any peculiarities which detract from my enjoyment of the music.

For example, I can’t enjoy listening to something which sounds tuneful, but has a problem in the high frequencies which constantly attracts my attention. Similarly, I can’t enjoy listening to a beautiful sound if everything sounds out of tune.

So the tune has to be bang on and the sound just has to be just good enough, hence the heavy emphasis on Tune Dem but not to the total exclusion of everything else.
Seems to be a well-balanced approach
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by donuk » 2018-10-11 15:14

lejonklou wrote:
The Tune Method is mandatory on this forum and I will not allow any debate about that fact - we've been there many times before and it leads nowhere. Except that valued contributors, who don't have endless amounts of time to spend on forums, get tired of reading meaningless discussions and leave.
Gosh! That is clear marching orders for me then. Losing two forums in a week must be some sort of record!

But the point remains for the few people like myself who learned to install, build and critically listen to hifi systems before Tunedem was discovered, that I do not consciously use that system. I understand exactly what you listen for, but I do not mechanically go through that process. My own criteria seems similar to Sunbeam's. No amount of musicality will redeem a crap system, like sitting on a thorn at a concert.

The problem also remains for people, also like myself, who being non-professed-tunedemmers have the aural ability to like the sound of a Tundra, which I own. By implication I now have no forum to discuss this, and comments I may make about its sound would be worthless.

But companies make curious decisions, as we know.
Best Wishes
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by beck » 2018-10-11 15:25

As long as you do not question the use of tunedem on this forum no one is trying to kick you out. I am sure. :-)

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by timster » 2018-10-11 15:38

See you at WigWam donuk? Currently a couple of owners' clubs threads but better than nowt ;)
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by timster » 2018-10-11 15:41

beck wrote:As long as you do not question the use of tunedem on this forum no one is trying to kick you out. I am sure. :-)
I think you mean question it's efficacy rather than use I hope. The former is fair enough. The latter is a little too extremist for my taste.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-10-11 16:06

That's not clear to me, Don.
As Spannko, and beck, have said, and as Fredrik (or was it Thomas, or Music Lover?) has explained: the tune method is the way we evaluate and discuss the musicality of a system, and compare the relative musicality of setup, components, and systems. It is not the way we listen to our systems for enjoyment. That you and others choose a different method of evaluation does not exclude you from this forum; it just precludes you from contributing to discussions of musical assessment, such as the playground topic... It's enough that we each apply the same method of evaluation slightly differently; allowing different methods of evaluation for the purpose of discussion here is pointless as it just dissolves into an ultimately futile discussion of methods, rather than music.
This forum isn't only for evaluative discussion though - there's other threads on here, but it should be clear that this is not the forum for the promotion of other methods or, questionably, for ongoing argument over details and musical benefit of SO for instance, unless evaluated by the Time Method.
As sunbeam has found, the benefit of Lejonklou electronics - developed using the Tune Method - can be appreciated without necessarily using the Tune Method to evaluate the Tundras within his own system, but there needs to be a reference point for the evaluative discussions here, and that's the Tune Method.
Last edited by tokenbrit on 2018-10-11 16:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Charlie1 » 2018-10-11 16:28

I think you're right tokenbrit, the Tune Method is essential for the playground thread where we've only got short clips.

Don, I would be surprised if Fredrik objected to you listening to an upgrade for a couple of days and then reporting back on the musical benefits/drawbacks. Just as long as the primary focus of any post is on musical engagement.

But I get the feeling you have made up your mind :(

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-11 17:22

donuk wrote:
lejonklou wrote:
The Tune Method is mandatory on this forum and I will not allow any debate about that fact - we've been there many times before and it leads nowhere. Except that valued contributors, who don't have endless amounts of time to spend on forums, get tired of reading meaningless discussions and leave.
Gosh! That is clear marching orders for me then. Losing two forums in a week must be some sort of record!

But the point remains for the few people like myself who learned to install, build and critically listen to hifi systems before Tunedem was discovered, that I do not consciously use that system. I understand exactly what you listen for, but I do not mechanically go through that process. My own criteria seems similar to Sunbeam's. No amount of musicality will redeem a crap system, like sitting on a thorn at a concert.

The problem also remains for people, also like myself, who being non-professed-tunedemmers have the aural ability to like the sound of a Tundra, which I own. By implication I now have no forum to discuss this, and comments I may make about its sound would be worthless.

But companies make curious decisions, as we know.
Best Wishes
Donuk Sunny Downtown York
Don, we've been through this several times before.

I find your contributions valuable and firmly rooted in your musical appreciation of a reproduction. This is the foundation for the Tune Method - to focus on the musical qualities rather than the sound character. Then there's some more, a practical skill, to actually perform a comparison using the Tune Method. And when sharing opinions and judgements in here, that skill or a serious wish to learn it is required.

Why not stay? Also as an owner of a Lejonklou amplifier, I think you belong here. If you agree, please stay curious about the method responsible for every decision made during the design of your Tundra.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by anachronid » 2018-10-11 18:31

lejonklou wrote:Music Lover is correct, the Tune Method is an objective method and David Neel summarised it well (evaluate objectively, enjoy subjectively).

The Tune Method is mandatory on this forum and I will not allow any debate about that fact - we've been there many times before and it leads nowhere. Except that valued contributors, who don't have endless amounts of time to spend on forums, get tired of reading meaningless discussions and leave.

This forum is a club for us who use the Tune Method to evaluate performance. If you don't consider yourself a "tune demmer" or curious and interested in becoming one, please move to another forum!

[posts discussing the relevance of the Tune Method have been deleted]
I have to say I am surprised to have had my genuinely inquisitive posts deleted. Apologies to those who I have offended. As a refugee from the defunct forum, I had no idea the house rules were so strict.

At my relatively advanced years it may be too late to learn what I've been missing in terms of the correct evaluation method.

But I like to keep an open mind (which is why I am sceptical about some of the claims made in favour of SO, and am interested in the debate about its merits).

So I won't flounce off in a huff, and aim to keep in touch with this and other discussions.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-11 22:47

anachronid wrote:I have to say I am surprised to have had my genuinely inquisitive posts deleted. Apologies to those who I have offended. As a refugee from the defunct forum, I had no idea the house rules were so strict.

At my relatively advanced years it may be too late to learn what I've been missing in terms of the correct evaluation method.

But I like to keep an open mind (which is why I am sceptical about some of the claims made in favour of SO, and am interested in the debate about its merits).

So I won't flounce off in a huff, and aim to keep in touch with this and other discussions.
You haven't offended anyone, anachronid.

Yes, the rules here are very strict and have been since the forum started in January 2007. In the early days of internet forums I ran linn@topica.com, which had the same strict rules.

The purpose is to keep it focused on how to improve our HiFi systems when evaluated with the Tune Method. And in addition, no chatting, no unnecessary negativity and absolutely none of the unscientific "that's impossible according to my knowledge of physics/human hearing". Threads are occasionally cleaned up in order for the shared knowledge to be accessible later on.

A handful new subscribers have left, some with a snotty email about how the rules suck, that I'm a terrible moderator according to their idea of how forums should work and that I don't know anything about musicality or electronics. Good! Keep them coming and best of luck in finding a more suitable forum.

To everyone accepting the rules and intending to stay: Welcome! Let's continue the exploration of this ever fascinating field where science meets art!

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-11 22:51

tokenbrit wrote: As sunbeam has found, the benefit of Lejonklou electronics - developed using the Tune Method - can be appreciated without necessarily using the Tune Method to evaluate the Tundras within his own system...
This is simply not true, not sure how many times I have to say this. Tune first, other stuff afterwards.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by tokenbrit » 2018-10-11 23:00

sunbeamgls wrote:
tokenbrit wrote: As sunbeam has found, the benefit of Lejonklou electronics - developed using the Tune Method - can be appreciated without necessarily using the Tune Method to evaluate the Tundras within his own system...
This is simply not true, not sure how many times I have to say this. Tune first, other stuff afterwards.
Good thing I put the "necessarily" in there then :)

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-11 23:41

The forum rules have been updated.

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by David Neel » 2018-10-12 09:23

It is paradoxical that the word "science" is so often used to support entrenched positions and dismiss or deny observations which do not fit into that person's current understanding. Such thinking is antithetical to science itself, which is about new discoveries and expanding knowledge.

This is what Carlo Rovelli says, in the preface to Reality Is Not What It Seems: "Science is made up of experiments, hypotheses, equations, calculations and long discussions; but these are only tools, like the instruments of musicians. In the end, what matters in music is the music itself, and what matters in science is the understanding of the world that science provides. ...Science is about reading the world from a gradually widening point of view."
The search for knowledge is not nourished by certainty, but by a radical distrust in certainty

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by lejonklou » 2018-10-12 09:30

David Neel wrote:It is paradoxical that the word "science" is so often used to support entrenched positions and dismiss or deny observations which do not fit into that person's current understanding. Such thinking is antithetical to science itself, which is about new discoveries and expanding knowledge.

This is what Carlo Rovelli says, in the preface to Reality Is Not What It Seems: "Science is made up of experiments, hypotheses, equations, calculations and long discussions; but these are only tools, like the instruments of musicians. In the end, what matters in music is the music itself, and what matters in science is the understanding of the world that science provides. ...Science is about reading the world from a gradually widening point of view."
Yes!

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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Defender » 2018-10-12 10:01

and if you are getting yourself a little bit familiar with quantum field theory you see science in a whole different perspective

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