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 matthias » 2018-10-01 11:01

Gussy wrote: But that’s exactly what SO is trying to do - to improve the sonic characteristics of the room!
No, quite the opposite, SO adapts the music to the room.

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

Post by Gussy » 2018-10-01 11:12

matthias wrote:
Gussy wrote: But that’s exactly what SO is trying to do - to improve the sonic characteristics of the room!
No, quite the opposite, SO adapts the music to the room.

Matt
Well, for those of us not fortunate enough to have acoustically perfect living rooms, I would maintain that SO is a pretty useful tool.

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

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-01 11:22

matthias wrote:
Gussy wrote: But that’s exactly what SO is trying to do - to improve the sonic characteristics of the room!
No, quite the opposite, SO adapts the music to the room.

Matt
More correctly (perhaps), SO adapts the way the system is playing the music. And the system includes the room.

What I find slightly bemusing here, is that there is a view that SO is universally bad. SO can be bad, because its not perfect. Just like every other component in the chain between performer and the ear can be good or bad. Why some find some component imperfections to be so much more offensive than others is, it seems, a mystery.

For me, reducing the mush that room modes add gives greater clarity and insight to the musical experience - which is what happens when speakers are correctly positioned and/or SO is done well. I've also heard SO implementations that completely suck the life out of the music (particularly early iterations set to the default calcs). Hopefully those of you who spent many hours positioning the speakers in the room to get the most musical result will not think that was a waste of time, as its largely addressing the same issue, albeit limited to the physical characteristics of the interaction whereas SO can potientially take it a step further.
Last edited by sunbeamgls on 2018-10-01 11:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Rudi64 » 2018-10-01 11:25

DavidHB wrote:
Ozzzy189 wrote:Yes davidHb, just bin it off and focus on the music. How did we ever manage before?
I'm not a fan in the slightest. I may be in the minority but hey, I can live with that.
I've thought a bit carefully before responding to this, and to the points Fredrik made. I am conscious that Fredrik is the host of this forum, and in current circumstances I am grateful for the hospitality. So the last thing I would wish to be is in any way discourteous or disrespectful. But in plain honesty I have to say that my own repeated experience of Space Optimisation (SO) and its sibling Exakt is so far removed from what Fredrik describes and you imply that, even allowing for the fallibility and variability of human perceptions, I find the difference of view quite bewildering.

Let's begin with what we agree on, which is really the most important part of the discussion. I entirely agree that audiophile Hi-Fi is all about the music. I also agree with Fredrik that the task of the Hi-Fi system is to reproduce or re-create so far as possible the emotional experience of the original performance (howsoever you define 'original' in the particular context of the recording). For this process to work, the system has to remove (or not put in place) barriers that will distract the listener and reduce the emotional impact. The stated purpose of SO is to remove or reduce distracting artefacts produced by the interaction between the speakers and the listening room. So SO is designed not to add artificiality, but to remove it.

Of course we completely disagree in our assessments of the effectiveness of SO, and I'm afraid that at present I can see no way to bridge that disagreement. I have listened to a number of system demonstrations with and without SO, as well as, extensively over several years, to my own progressively developing system. In all cases, using SO with careful modelling of the room and Tune Dem adjustment of the parameters has made the music for me, and, when I am in company, those listening with me, easier to connect with, more immediate and more engaging (which is essentially what I understand by the term 'more musical').

My earliest experience of just how effective SO can be was in the old Hidden Systems showroom at Hartley Wintney. This was very early in the life of SO, even before the Davaar 150+ watershed in the development of the Linn software. Chris was demonstrating to me the (at that time passively connected) Akubariks that I still have (and which Fredrik, incidentally, has listened to), driven by an ADSM/1 and Akurate 2200 amplifier. the demo was mainly conducted with SO switched on. When, to demonstrate its effect, Chris switched it off, the music immediately became less clear, less engaging, and lifeless by comparison.

All in all, then, I hope that, even on this forum, respectful differences of opinion on the effectiveness of SO can continue to be expressed. It remains to be seen what changes the new version of SO will bring (as I have an Exakt system, it's not available for me yet). Even for an SO supporter like me, the new version will have to be seriously good to better the Paulssurround adjusted settings I am currently using.

David
+1
Excellent post!
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Jumanji » 2018-10-01 11:46

anachronid wrote: I've never had a satisfactory answer to the question whether 'room modes' (which I understand as referring to distortions caused by the interaction of the music source with the room in which it is played) are dependent on volume level.

My experience has been that SO settings that may improve the sound at very high volume have less effect, or even have a negative effect - e.g. in sucking life out of the music - at lower volume.
No and yes ;-)

No, Room modes are only dependent on room properties.

Yes, the interesting question is, are those room modes even excited by the speakers? If not, they are not relevant.
The degree to which they are excited (if at all) is determined by the speakers and the volume. So I think you may be right. The gain cut may be too deep for low volume and correct for higher volumes (assuming the Linn filters are not volume dependent which I think is a correct assumption)

J.

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

Post by Moomintroll » 2018-10-01 12:12

Jumanji wrote:
anachronid wrote: I've never had a satisfactory answer to the question whether 'room modes' (which I understand as referring to distortions caused by the interaction of the music source with the room in which it is played) are dependent on volume level.

My experience has been that SO settings that may improve the sound at very high volume have less effect, or even have a negative effect - e.g. in sucking life out of the music - at lower volume.
No and yes ;-)

No, Room modes are only dependent on room properties.

Yes, the interesting question is, are those room modes even excited by the speakers? If not, they are not relevant.
The degree to which they are excited (if at all) is determined by the speakers and the volume. So I think you may be right. The gain cut may be too deep for low volume and correct for higher volumes (assuming the Linn filters are not volume dependent which I think is a correct assumption)

J.
I would always setup SO at my ‘normal’ volume setting. Whilst high volume will excite modes more, you will, indeed, overcompensate if your usual listening level is below that. I’ve confirmed that approach in conversation with Philbo, his advice being that you want the room/system to sound at its best at the volume you normally listen at.

‘troll

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

Post by Jumanji » 2018-10-01 12:20

Agreed,

one comment though: the Linn calculated filters are independent of volume. So what Philbo is actually stating is to adjust the calculated filter manually while using the typical voume level.

I wonder how that will work with V.2.0 when you won't even see the frequencies and their gain cuts.

J.

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

Post by timster » 2018-10-01 12:24

Jumanji wrote:
anachronid wrote: I've never had a satisfactory answer to the question whether 'room modes' (which I understand as referring to distortions caused by the interaction of the music source with the room in which it is played) are dependent on volume level.

My experience has been that SO settings that may improve the sound at very high volume have less effect, or even have a negative effect - e.g. in sucking life out of the music - at lower volume.
No and yes ;-)

No, Room modes are only dependent on room properties.

Yes, the interesting question is, are those room modes even excited by the speakers? If not, they are not relevant.
The degree to which they are excited (if at all) is determined by the speakers and the volume. So I think you may be right. The gain cut may be too deep for low volume and correct for higher volumes (assuming the Linn filters are not volume dependent which I think is a correct assumption)

J.
I think the answer is
1. No if the question is taken at face value. If the music has arrived at your ears then it's energetic enough to have encountered (and energised) the modes as well. But I think the question should be termed in matters of degree rather than validity of the modes at a given volume. In which case the answer is
2. yes (possibly). The SO profile for the room has fixed cuts - or at least the representation does. A 16dB cut is a 16dB cut, it's absolute, not relative. I assume they are calculated for "normal listening levels", probably a best-guess within a range of comfortable listening levels. Turn it up that much higher and they won't be enough, much less and they'd be too much. Unless they're applied with a relative adjustment, which is unlikely.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by DavidHB » 2018-10-01 13:10

anachronid wrote:It's an easy comparison to make - what sounds better to you in your system is better.
Quite so. SO sounds better - for me.
anachronid wrote:Any thoughts (my previous post) on whether the beneficial effects of SO in your system are volume-dependent?
Actually, no, because I haven't tested that point specifically, though I have certainly heard systems at different volume levels during the course of SO setting sessions. Paulssurround, whom many members here will know from the Linn forum and who does follow the discussions here, often does quite a bit of his SO setting work at (for me) higher than normal volume levels. The changes he makes at those levels do seem to carry through to lower volume levels as well.

Of course the key emotional effect of the music is different at different volume levels, and, where the quantisation issues associated in particular with DVCs are present, they have to be taken into account as well. Actually, I have not found quantisation to be an issue at normal listening levels either with Katalyst or in any Exakt system I have listened to. But I suspect that some people are more sensitive than others to those effects, and the same could be true of SO settings as well. Either way, it can be difficult to disentangle one effect from another when you are doing listening tests.

As an aside, Peter Walker, the founder of Quad, used to say that the volume control should be thought of less as a loudness adjuster and more like the focus control on a camera lens. In other words, for any combination of player, recording, room and listener, there is a 'best' (i.e. most engaging) volume setting, where the music is most 'in focus'. PW's criterion was that the listener should perceive the main source of the music as being in the plane between and either side of the speakers; this was in the days before people wanted to hear front to back depth as well. I have found this approach useful in a negative sense; when the volume is either too low or too high for comfortable continuous listening, it is for me invariably the case that the music lacks a well-defined point of origin, which I think is essential for it to have a sense of reality and therefore emotional impact.

David
Last edited by DavidHB on 2018-10-01 13:26, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by DavidHB » 2018-10-01 13:25

timster wrote: The SO profile for the room has fixed cuts - or at least the representation does. A 16dB cut is a 16dB cut, it's absolute, not relative. I assume they are calculated for "normal listening levels", probably a best-guess within a range of comfortable listening levels. Turn it up that much higher and they won't be enough, much less and they'd be too much. Unless they're applied with a relative adjustment, which is unlikely.
The cut is relative to the baseline gain level - 0dB. Downstream of the SO processing, the DVC will, in effect, adjust that baseline. In my understanding, the lower the volume (i.e base gain) level, the more the range of SO adjustments will be compressed. So SO adjustment will, on this understanding, be proportionate to gain and therefore to perceived volume. Which is, I think, the result that the user would want.

David

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

Post by Donald » 2018-10-01 13:53

sunbeamgls wrote:
More correctly (perhaps), SO adapts the way the system is playing the music. And the system includes the room.

What I find slightly bemusing here, is that there is a view that SO is universally bad. SO can be bad, because its not perfect. Just like every other component in the chain between performer and the ear can be good or bad. Why some find some component imperfections to be so much more offensive than others is, it seems, a mystery.

For me, reducing the mush that room modes add gives greater clarity and insight to the musical experience - which is what happens when speakers are correctly positioned and/or SO is done well. I've also heard SO implementations that completely suck the life out of the music (particularly early iterations set to the default calcs). Hopefully those of you who spent many hours positioning the speakers in the room to get the most musical result will not think that was a waste of time, as its largely addressing the same issue, albeit limited to the physical characteristics of the interaction whereas SO can potentially take it a step further.
+1

Excellent post!
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2018-10-01 15:43

DavidHB wrote:
Ozzzy189 wrote:Yes davidHb, just bin it off and focus on the music. How did we ever manage before?
I'm not a fan in the slightest. I may be in the minority but hey, I can live with that.
I've thought a bit carefully before responding to this, and to the points Fredrik made. I am conscious that Fredrik is the host of this forum, and in current circumstances I am grateful for the hospitality. So the last thing I would wish to be is in any way discourteous or disrespectful. But in plain honesty I have to say that my own repeated experience of Space Optimisation (SO) and its sibling Exakt is so far removed from what Fredrik describes and you imply that, even allowing for the fallibility and variability of human perceptions, I find the difference of view quite bewildering.

Let's begin with what we agree on, which is really the most important part of the discussion. I entirely agree that audiophile Hi-Fi is all about the music. I also agree with Fredrik that the task of the Hi-Fi system is to reproduce or re-create so far as possible the emotional experience of the original performance (howsoever you define 'original' in the particular context of the recording). For this process to work, the system has to remove (or not put in place) barriers that will distract the listener and reduce the emotional impact. The stated purpose of SO is to remove or reduce distracting artefacts produced by the interaction between the speakers and the listening room. So SO is designed not to add artificiality, but to remove it.

Of course we completely disagree in our assessments of the effectiveness of SO, and I'm afraid that at present I can see no way to bridge that disagreement. I have listened to a number of system demonstrations with and without SO, as well as, extensively over several years, to my own progressively developing system. In all cases, using SO with careful modelling of the room and Tune Dem adjustment of the parameters has made the music for me, and, when I am in company, those listening with me, easier to connect with, more immediate and more engaging (which is essentially what I understand by the term 'more musical').

My earliest experience of just how effective SO can be was in the old Hidden Systems showroom at Hartley Wintney. This was very early in the life of SO, even before the Davaar 150+ watershed in the development of the Linn software. Chris was demonstrating to me the (at that time passively connected) Akubariks that I still have (and which Fredrik, incidentally, has listened to), driven by an ADSM/1 and Akurate 2200 amplifier. the demo was mainly conducted with SO switched on. When, to demonstrate its effect, Chris switched it off, the music immediately became less clear, less engaging, and lifeless by comparison.

All in all, then, I hope that, even on this forum, respectful differences of opinion on the effectiveness of SO can continue to be expressed. It remains to be seen what changes the new version of SO will bring (as I have an Exakt system, it's not available for me yet). Even for an SO supporter like me, the new version will have to be seriously good to better the Paulssurround adjusted settings I am currently using.

David
David, you're one of the most articulate and respected people on the hifi forums and I respect your opinion. However I think the tundra sounds far superior to an akurate 4200 and you yourself don't, so the fact that we disagree over space optimisation doesn't really surprise me.
Please don't take any offence at my opinion, it's just my way of trying to say we're all different and and strive to enjoy the same thing via different means.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by DavidHB » 2018-10-01 16:02

Ozzzy189 wrote:David, you're one of the most articulate and respected people on the hifi forums and I respect your opinion. However I think the tundra sounds far superior to an akurate 4200 and you yourself don't, so the fact that we disagree over space optimisation doesn't really surprise me.
Please don't take any offence at my opinion, it's just my way of trying to say we're all different and and strive to enjoy the same thing via different means. Ozzzy.
Thank you for your kind words and your understanding. I assure you that the latter is mutual. Disagreements are the stuff of forum dialogue (when of course there is courtesy and mutual respect, which there is in this case). And I hope that I made clear in my post that no offence at all was (or could legitimately be) taken; I am simply genuinely surprised by the depth of the disagreement on SO. But then every day's a school day.

David

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

Post by Spannko » 2018-10-01 16:47

Guys,

There’s only one way to solve this .......... videos!!!

Get your phones out and record the difference. No excuses please!

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

Post by Ozzzy189 » 2018-10-01 18:06

I recorded some music and it didn't sound great but when I listened to it I thought it was rather pleasant. I also have taken a photo of my LG C8 65 oled to send the pic to my calibration expert to say thanks for such an amazing job and it looked very unlike the picture before my eyes. So I respectfully bow out of this one!
Nice try though!
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by sunbeamgls » 2018-10-01 18:11

Spannko wrote:Guys,

There’s only one way to solve this .......... videos!!!

Get your phones out and record the difference. No excuses please!
Not sure that will help too much in some circumstances.

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

Post by phino » 2018-10-01 20:44

Meanwhile, getting back on-topic... Today Linndocs has been updated regarding the Selekt DSM without the built-in amps.
LinnDocs on 28th September wrote:'''ANALOGUE OUTPUTS''' (XLR & RCA,variable level) - To connect to a preamplifier (or power amplifier when internal volume control is enabled)
Has changed to...
LinnDocs on 1st October wrote:'''ANALOGUE OUTPUTS''' (XLR & RCA,variable level) - To connect to a power amplifier.
It sounds like there's no fixed-level output - that's cutting out some market share? I know most preamps will have an option for setting an input to unity gain, but it still seems a bit... odd? I wonder if it's a technical limitation of the modular design or if it's just been artificially crippled for some reason?

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

Post by anachronid » 2018-10-02 11:10

Briain wrote:Hi

There's also no bass or treble shelf option, so for those 'in-Exakt' users who use that in the current SO (which I do in my bedroom system to good effect; I use a 1 dB bass shelf and a 1 dB lower sub setting to help better integrate it with my 212s) it might be worth holding off until these features appear (assuming that is in the plan, of course; I'm sure it will be as they can be exceedingly useful tools).

Bri
I sincerely hope that the bass and treble shelf features are introduced, as I listen in a relatively 'bright' room with a lot of hard surfaces: the system sounds best with a 2db treble cut @ 12k hz (and +2db bass gain @ 65hz)
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by donuk » 2018-10-02 13:17

anachronid wrote:
I sincerely hope that the bass and treble shelf features are introduced, as I listen in a relatively 'bright' room with a lot of hard surfaces: the system sounds best with a 2db treble cut @ 12k hz (and +2db bass gain @ 65hz)
I use them the same way as you do.

I understand from Linn that they will not be introducing this feature, nor in fact any graphical adjustments.
Better keep safe copies of your present firmware and Konfig!

Donuk sunny downtown York
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by phino » 2018-10-02 19:59

donuk wrote:
I use them the same way as you do.

I understand from Linn that they will not be introducing this feature, nor in fact any graphical adjustments.
Better keep safe copies of your present firmware and Konfig!

Donuk sunny downtown York
Have you experimented with the "optimisation preference" slider?

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

Post by Dobie » 2018-10-02 20:50

phino wrote:
donuk wrote:
I use them the same way as you do.

I understand from Linn that they will not be introducing this feature, nor in fact any graphical adjustments.
Better keep safe copies of your present firmware and Konfig!

Donuk sunny downtown York
Have you experimented with the "optimisation preference" slider?
Funnily enough, I decided to try in out tonight and 10mins into the new calculation and I am still queued :-((

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

Post by mcgillroy » 2018-10-03 08:45

No shelves is a major drawback. I too integrate my sub via a bass shelve and tame some shoutiness via a custom filter at 2.5k.

Linn wants to be the Apple of audio and abstract as much complexity as possible away. But not sure if that squares well with this market.

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

Post by timster » 2018-10-03 11:30

donuk wrote:
anachronid wrote:
I sincerely hope that the bass and treble shelf features are introduced, as I listen in a relatively 'bright' room with a lot of hard surfaces: the system sounds best with a 2db treble cut @ 12k hz (and +2db bass gain @ 65hz)
I use them the same way as you do.

I understand from Linn that they will not be introducing this feature, nor in fact any graphical adjustments.
Better keep safe copies of your present firmware and Konfig!

Donuk sunny downtown York
My reading of the SO v2.0 manual is that this is probably covered by the Absorption sliders. V1.0 used the shelves to correct for inaccurate assumptions.
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Re: Linn announcements 9/2018, Selekt, etc.

Post by Tendaberry » 2018-10-03 15:05

I managed to get SO v.2 up and running last night. After a little more tweaking today, I can say that it's vastly superior to v.1. However, Paul's version is still the best. It's amazing though how close (to Paul's tuning) you can get with very little effort, so that must be very welcome for those, who were intimidated to fine-tune the standard optimization in v.1.

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

Post by Moomintroll » 2018-10-03 15:54

What was your tweaking, Tendaberry?

‘troll

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