Sibilance

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WayneKerr

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Does that incl vinyl?
Good question, PP (y) I can count on one hand the amount of times I've used the TT over the last two-years, it's almost redundant. I'll see if I can find a matching track for comparison, though I think sod's law will prevail and I won't have an offending track on LP.

This sibilance is not a massive issue and does not spoil my enjoyment in any way, it's just more noticeable now. Same as tracks taken from a vinyl source, previous kit you questioned whether it was, current kit, yeah, definitely taken from vinyl. Generally I just let the music flow but there are odd occasions where I slip into audiophile mode and start listening critically to the system... never a good thing :)
 

twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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Not sure about this. B&W 685 S1 was known for being bright, yet when paired with my Arcam system known for being neutral, handled bright recordings far better than my previous system with a NAD CD player - which I had isolated as the culprit.

I've mentioned this many times, but if you want a borderline sibilant recording throughout, not just a few tracks, seek out the 1999 master of David Bowie's Scary Monster. In the wrong system Scary indeed. Seek out the CD, streaming services seem to have only the later master which was heavily rolled off to my ears. Then you'll know what sibilance can really be.
Could be. People used to consider Arcam to be warm and wholly in good way. NAD "neutral", Klipsch harsh not my experience at all, class A warm (not the literal sense) again not my experience.

Speakers have so many variables that it is impossible to tell if it's the amp the CD player or whatever device it might be causing the problem. A degree here, a centimetre there and a speaker can sound vastly different in the same room.

I'm not about to say anybody's experiences are wrong but when it comes to matching gear I feel it makes very very little difference, to the point I wouldn't be able to pick it out of a crowd reliably. There are so many other things at play

TBH it's probably a bad recording. let's put i this way i wouldn't go and make changes to a system after listening to Metallica's original release of Death Magnetic
 
Late to this one - in my view/experience recordings are the culprit, or rather how they are mixed/vocally-layered etc etc. I got given the Kylie album with Confide in Me years ago, as I really like that song. If you want to hear what a lamentable recording sounds like, seek out Dangerous Game from the same album. It's a borderline unlistenable hiss-fest. This can't be because of a lack of budget or good gear - it has to be deliberate.

I'd love to see a double blind test done on moving speakers by a degree or a centimetre...
 
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WayneKerr

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Late to this one - in my view/experience recordings are the culprit, or rather how they are mixed/vocally-layered etc etc. I got given the Kylie album with Confide in Me years ago, as I really like that song. If you want to hear what a lamentable recording sounds like, seek out Dangerous Game from the same album. It's a borderline unlistenable hiss-fest. This can't be because of a lack of budget or good gear - it has to be deliberate.

I'd love to see a double blind test done on moving speakers by a degree or a centimetre...
Got that album so I'll give it a listen, thank you (y) Agree with your other comments.
 

Witterings

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I've experienced similar recently trying to upgrade speakers and find a pair I like and have noticed it a lot more with some recordings than others.
The other night I played the Genesis album - And Then There Were Three and found it too much, I thought I'd test and see if it was all their recordings so played Seconds Out and it was nowhere near as elevated ... in fact it was positively warm in comparison.

Personally I think it's a combination of higher quality speakers are more revealing of poorer recordings but I also think some speakers are "brighter" and exaggerate the issue. Some tracks can almost be unbearable to listen to in my lounge but I play the same tracks on 2 different systems and whilst you can still hear they're elevated and not ideal they're nowehere near as harsh / unpleasant on the ear.
 
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nopiano

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My ‘go to’ track for checking how sibilants sound was Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Song for the Asking’ from Bridge over Troubled Water. In fact, I recall many CBS recordings - later bought by Sony - were shocking in the LP era, pre-CD. Then initial CD releases were often straight transfers without remastering or ‘loudness wars’ and they weren’t great either!

It’s on Qobuz and doubtless many other streaming platforms. I always felt that any system/speaker that conveyed the music - which is terrific - while minimising the essing and hissing sounds must be doing something right.
 

Witterings

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You may be confusing sibilance for brightness, they're not quite the same thing.
I actually think it's a slightly grey area, I even googled it before posting my response and here's just one answer I found that infers it's a wider term ... especially of you hit the show more


Where it may have originated as you suggest I wonder if people now see it as a wider term that could also come under the banner of "brightness"

Please don't take it as me saying you're wrong in any way as I'm absolutely 100% convinced I can't categorically say I'm right :giggle:

Be interesting to hear the OP's take on it as at the end of the day we're really just trying to help him with something he's hoping to resolve.
 

Gray

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I wonder if people now see it as a wider term that could also come under the banner of "brightness"
I've got no doubt about that.
Some people are very treble sensitive (some of them unnaturally so, as far as I'm concerned - they prefer symbols to sound like they're covered in blankets).
The open clarity of many modern speakers means that sibilant sounds are very noticeable...especially to them.
I think that what's normal is described by some as sibilance.

But sibilance is a fault - it's always the fault of equipment - not least overloaded mics - being unable to handle the higher energy of sibilants.
Modern speakers make both sibilants and sibilance more noticeable.
Sibilance (scratchy-sounding esses) means something has gone wrong.

Many older speakers sounded positively muffled by comparison.
(A recent thread found that, in the past, quite a few of us blew tweeters - probably because we were trying to hear a bit of treble 😏).
 

WayneKerr

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I actually think it's a slightly grey area, I even googled it before posting my response and here's just one answer I found that infers it's a wider term ... especially of you hit the show more


Where it may have originated as you suggest I wonder if people now see it as a wider term that could also come under the banner of "brightness"

Please don't take it as me saying you're wrong in any way as I'm absolutely 100% convinced I can't categorically say I'm right :giggle:

Be interesting to hear the OP's take on it as at the end of the day we're really just trying to help him with something he's hoping to resolve.
I don't need it resolved as such, it was just a question to see if others had experienced similar issues. Personally, I've reached the conclusion it is my kit, it is now just better than anything else I've heard previously and is picking out issues on poor recordings, it might be a brighter presentation too; it definitely projects vocals more into the room. None of these tracks are rendered un-listenable and are not annoying in any way... it was just purely an observation, but I do thank you and all (y)

Edit: Think my ears may have a lot to do with it as well :)
 
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WayneKerr

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Late to this one - in my view/experience recordings are the culprit, or rather how they are mixed/vocally-layered etc etc. I got given the Kylie album with Confide in Me years ago, as I really like that song. If you want to hear what a lamentable recording sounds like, seek out Dangerous Game from the same album. It's a borderline unlistenable hiss-fest. This can't be because of a lack of budget or good gear - it has to be deliberate.
Just had the chance to listen to this on headphones, both the tracks you mention are definitely a ssss-fest. I much prefer more powerful female vocalists, Kylie certainly isn't in this group, she has a very weak voice, (but still a pop princess). Wonder if it's her proximity to the mic or mic positioning? Or as I've previously said: My ears and taste in music :)
 

nopiano

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Just had the chance to listen to this on headphones, both the tracks you mention are definitely a ssss-fest. I much prefer more powerful female vocalists, Kylie certainly isn't in this group, she has a very weak voice, (but still a pop princess). Wonder if it's her proximity to the mic or mic positioning? Or as I've previously said: My ears and taste in music :)
I believe studios have a de-essing device, to remove unwanted sibilance from some speakers - the human type, that is. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of it in a BBC context, but maybe record producers have something similar.

Live recordings, like the S&G track I mentioned above, can definitely suffer, because artists tend to place their lips against a mic. That makes it susceptible to overloading.
 

WayneKerr

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I believe studios have a de-essing device, to remove unwanted sibilance from some speakers - the human type, that is. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of it in a BBC context, but maybe record producers have something similar.

Live recordings, like the S&G track I mentioned above, can definitely suffer, because artists tend to place their lips against a mic. That makes it susceptible to overloading.
I have the original on CD and have listened to your recommended S&G track (y), whilst it is perceptible it is nowhere near as bad as other tracks in my music collection. Think the finger is starting to point at my ears :)
 
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nopiano

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I have the original on CD and have listened to your recommended S&G track (y), whilst it is perceptible it is nowhere near as bad as other tracks in my music collection. Think the finger is starting to pint at my ears :)
I have noted other men in their sixties saying they’re more sensitive to HF, as their hearing ages/declines.

I had a hearing test just before Christmas and my 2-3kHz range now dips quite severely - making female voices hard to hear. “Sorry, dear, I didn’t know you asked me to do the washing up!” But then by 8kHz I’m back nearer to ‘normal’. Makes it hard to judge Hifi these days, though live orchestras have plenty of volume!
 

WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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I have noted other men in their sixties saying they’re more sensitive to HF, as their hearing ages/declines.

I had a hearing test just before Christmas and my 2-3kHz range now dips quite severely - making female voices hard to hear. “Sorry, dear, I didn’t know you asked me to do the washing up!” But then by 8kHz I’m back nearer to ‘normal’. Makes it hard to judge Hifi these days, though live orchestras have plenty of volume!
:ROFLMAO: Do like you nopiano you are a wealth of info and experience and good humour to match (y)
 

Witterings

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I've got no doubt about that.
Some people are very treble sensitive (some of them unnaturally so, as far as I'm concerned - they prefer symbols to sound like they're covered in blankets).
The open clarity of many modern speakers means that sibilant sounds are very noticeable...especially to them.
I think that what's normal is described by some as sibilance.

But sibilance is a fault - it's always the fault of equipment - not least overloaded mics - being unable to handle the higher energy of sibilants.
Modern speakers make both sibilants and sibilance more noticeable.
Sibilance (scratchy-sounding esses) means something has gone wrong.

Many older speakers sounded positively muffled by comparison.
(A recent thread found that, in the past, quite a few of us blew tweeters - probably because we were trying to hear a bit of treble 😏).
I think I am slightly treble sensitive, but when 2 out of 3 systems sound great and one doesn't I don't think that's about being over sensitive.
I've also been a drummer since a young age so irrespective I'm always going to want a kit to sound as it should ... irrespective of whether it's the kick drum, high hat or cymbals and I'd notice it of it was out of kilter.
Was playing Supertram - Crime of The Century tonight on the main system earlier and some of the cymbals just sounded awful .... I'll make a point of trying it on one of the other 2 tomorrow but I don't think it'll have that same grating / please stop sound that you really wouldn't want to hear .... but more to the point spoils the listening pleasure.
 
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manicm

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Don't think so. Sibilance is where you hear 'ssss' or 'shhh' on vocals. But that's often associated with clinical sounding systems, something that Doug's kit won't be associated.

I've only had that once when I had Chord Odyssey speaker cables and RS6s.
Yes, sssss, but that's normal, and in the wrong system or recording where it actually hurts the ear, and is offensive, is when I use the adjective 'sibilant'.

Sibilance is when a system or recording renders 'ssss' or similar unlistenable. And I've experienced it. There can be sibilance is a system which is described as having a 'dark' sound too, simply because it does not handle high frequencies well.

When I said I isolated my CD player as being sibilant I meant that 100%, because within the same system where nothing else changed, I had 3 other disc players too. One of which was a Pioneer with a then trending 24/192khz DAC. It was bright, but did not offend me like the NAD did.

At dealers, I noticed cheaper/budget Cambridge Audio CD players were not great in this regard as well.
 

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