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What is Hi-Fi ?

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
davedotco said:
... if a recording is that bad, don't buy it, there is so much good music that is well (enough) recorded to listen to, why listen to trash?
So I have to get rid of my most favourite Desmond Decker live recording ever? The one where I was personally present at the next gig down the road - from the one that was recorded - the following evening? The one that will always remind me of that fantastic evening? The one that I have owned on both vinyl and CD since 1987? One of the few recordings I shout and sing along to like a loon even now?

Snob!
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
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davedotco said:
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.
Absolute nonsense.
Another useless and deliberately provocative statement.

Perhaps you would like to explain where I have been going wrong for all those years I was a live sound engineer.
How loud is a typical guitar rig? And how loud does it sound to the audience in the back row of Wembley? What sort of SPL do you think Geddy Lee's backline pumps out?
First of all I was refering to an indoor concert hall, St Davids Hall was mentioned which is known to have decent acoustics and most modern backline amplifiers will produce ample subjective volume in such a setting. In this case the PA will be used to balance their relative output, nothing more.

Of course electric instruments can be Di-ed directly into the mixing console but in most cases this is done to provide a degree of extra control for the FOH engineer, the balance mentioned above. Most musicians of my aquaintence do not like the use of DI-ed feeds, it removes the character of the backline amplifier, which is considered an essential part of that musicians sound. I am sure that there are some musicians who rely on DI-ed feeds but in my experience they are a small minority.

Backline amplifier/speaker combinations sound exceptionally loud, their high distortion content sees to that, so it is only in very large auditoria or of course out of doors where they need the help of the PA.
So now we've moved from all indoor concerts to concerts in one particular hall? What amp should I use for my acoustic that won't need to go through the pa? And what about the 6w Cornford Harlequin that my other guitarist uses because he considers it 'an essential part of his sound'?

Like all generalisations, yours was false.
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
137
0
0
davedotco said:
All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.
Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
2
18,545
I can vouch for the effectiveness of curved line arrays , I went to a gig at the Corn Exchange Cambridgeback in march and noticed the sound had improved dramatically from the last time I was there a few years back , then I noticed the curved arrays hanging from the roof , the sound was far smoother and evenly spread .

For those like me that hate excessivly loud rock gigs and want to save your hearing I recommend a pair of Pro Guard in ear hearing protectors , they drop the spl by 9db without altering any frequencies you hear .
 

Native_bon

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2008
180
2
18,595
To me the term high fidelity does not apply to anything else apart from a system that plays the music very close to the original sound at best. In the real world that is not possible cause bad recordings will just sound unbearable.

If you enjoy the way your system makes music then that's high fidelity to you!! Its all about your own ears and what sounds good to it.

The very same panio instrument recorded in one room will sound different in another.. So which is the true sound of that panio.

Why are people so hang up on what that hall sounded like and what speakers were used in the hall & God knows what. blimey!!

Of course all things being equal you will get the true sound of the panio in a very well acoustic treated room.. But how many have got treated rooms in the real world.. Even when you listen to a live recording the enigneer would have done some adjustments on the final recording before putting it on the medium of play.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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davedotco said:
Another useless and deliberately provocative statement.

Perhaps you would like to explain where I have been going wrong for all those years I was a live sound engineer.
Oh mate! Thats the suckyest job in the world!

While everyone parties, gets drunk, drugged and laid at concerts you're at work! Sober! Waiting to go home to the mrs. and flip the telly! Ahhh, so sad. I empathyze with you, I am giving a virtual hug to your inner pain.



It also explains your attitude. :grin:

Cheers.
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
137
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0
Vladimir said:
Oh mate! Thats the suckyest job in the world!

While everyone parties, gets drunk, drugged and laid at concerts you're at work! Sober!
:rofl:

You've obviously never been on tour ;)
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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0
pauln said:
:rofl:

You've obviously never been on tour ;)
Where? In Wayne's World?

I've been on plenty of concerts indoors, outdoors... The personnel is always shipshape, professional, working hard. If they even open a can of beer they are fired. I have a friend who works for a live event sound reinforcement company and he works like a mule, comes home dead tired and doesn't even listen to music at all. Rarely the staff gathers after work, he drinks at home his sad can of beer watching soccer. :cry:
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
137
0
0
Vladimir said:
pauln said:
:rofl:

You've obviously never been on tour ;)
Where? In Wayne's World?

I've been on plenty of concerts indoors, outdoors... The personnel is always shipshape, professional, working hard. If they even open a can of beer they are fired. I have a friend who works for a live event sound reinforcement company and he works like a mule, comes home dead tired and doesn't even listen to music at all. Rarely the staff gathers after work, he drinks at home his sad can of beer watching soccer. :cry:
Oh well, maybe I just dreamt the last 27 years of my life.

Oh, and when you're touring, you don't go home at the end of the day...
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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pauln said:
Oh well, maybe I just dreamt the last 27 years of my life.

Oh, and when you're touring, you don't go home at the end of the day...
And you ruined a perfectly good tease I set up for Dave.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.
Absolute nonsense.
Another useless and deliberately provocative statement.

Perhaps you would like to explain where I have been going wrong for all those years I was a live sound engineer.
How loud is a typical guitar rig? And how loud does it sound to the audience in the back row of Wembley? What sort of SPL do you think Geddy Lee's backline pumps out?
First of all I was refering to an indoor concert hall, St Davids Hall was mentioned which is known to have decent acoustics and most modern backline amplifiers will produce ample subjective volume in such a setting. In this case the PA will be used to balance their relative output, nothing more.

Of course electric instruments can be Di-ed directly into the mixing console but in most cases this is done to provide a degree of extra control for the FOH engineer, the balance mentioned above. Most musicians of my aquaintence do not like the use of DI-ed feeds, it removes the character of the backline amplifier, which is considered an essential part of that musicians sound. I am sure that there are some musicians who rely on DI-ed feeds but in my experience they are a small minority.

Backline amplifier/speaker combinations sound exceptionally loud, their high distortion content sees to that, so it is only in very large auditoria or of course out of doors where they need the help of the PA.
So now we've moved from all indoor concerts to concerts in one particular hall? What amp should I use for my acoustic that won't need to go through the pa? And what about the 6w Cornford Harlequin that my other guitarist uses because he considers it 'an essential part of his sound'? Like all generalisations, yours was false.
The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
pauln said:
davedotco said:
All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.
Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.
Glad to hear that things are improving since my day and although I no longer work I do get to see a fair amount of live music and while what you describe is certainly the case at the more exalted end of the spectrum it is still not that common at the more mundane level of bands working at the middle level.

I spent most of my time on the road as monitor engineer, though I did do a fair amount of FOH, your points are well made and, generally not appreciated by the audience. Mobile touring rigs are often quite difficult, and as you point out getting a decent sound to the whole of audience is the primary requirement and takes precedence over everything else. Getting a 'good sound' on stage, often a different stage every night can be quite taxing, I did a fair amount of work with 'old fashioned' rock bands and what I see today does not, in this instance, vary that much from what I experienced.
 

JamesMellor

New member
Jul 19, 2013
40
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0
pauln said:
davedotco said:
All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.
Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.
The concert I'm refering to was at the B'ham Symphony Hall , Steve Earle , who'd i class as folk rock these days and it was the first time I've seen speakers stacked on the floor , I've seen Christy Moore and Suzie Vega there as well and thier "sound " was excellent , but I did have better seats for those , it is a small hall .

But really if we can't get the best seat or the best sound , then Hi-Fi is the best reporduction of the studio recording rather than the live gig ? and we know they have to fool about with the drums to record them right .

James
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
davedotco said:
In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA
davedotco said:
The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.
From Wikipedia: "An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker is mentioning for the first time, or its precise identity may be irrelevant or hypothetical, or the speaker may be making a general statement about any such thing."

Perhaps an English course in the New Year?

Alternatively, might you consider not talking to everybody as if they were *considerably* stupider than you?
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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JamesMellor said:
pauln said:
davedotco said:
All electric instruments are amplified and played through loudspeakers. In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA (sound reinforcement) system, the vast bulk of the sound that you hear comes directly off of the stage, ie the guitar amps and the rest of the backline.
Not these days.

The stage is a pretty quiet place now, artists want to preserve their hearing. In any venue of a decent size, backline couldn't hope to fill the place with sound without PA so why bother at all and it avoids much of that feedback nonsense too. To hear themselves, artists use a combination of in ear monitoring, foldback, and side fills flown in the wings. The mix they hear will generally be a different one to the mix that the audience get to hear and will be mixed by a different engineer to the FOH engineer who's job is to ensure that everyone in the audience can hear reasonably well, otherwise people start complaining and demanding their money back. There are also health and safety considerations, i.e. limitations on the allowable spl, meaning that the line arrays are invariably flown and focussed to distribute the sound evenly - if most of it came from the back line, the people in the front rows would get deafened so that the people at the back could hear.

The exception, as alluded to above by James, are the bass bins which are usually stacked on the ground, left and right of stage - these are felt more than heard and can be very uncomfortable if you're too close.
The concert I'm refering to was at the B'ham Symphony Hall , Steve Earle , who'd i class as folk rock these days and it was the first time I've seen speakers stacked on the floor , I've seen Christy Moore and Suzie Vega there as well and thier "sound " was excellent , but I did have better seats for those , it is a small hall .

But really if we can't get the best seat or the best sound , then Hi-Fi is the best reporduction of the studio recording rather than the live gig ? and we know they have to fool about with the drums to record them right .

James
I remember Steve earle when he used to rock and roll....... :grin:

(With apologies to Nick Lowe)

The second highlight tells you everything you need to know about the relationship between many hi-fi enthusiasts and real music.

The reproduction is now the standard by which the reality is judged, really does say it all....... :wall:
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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0
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA
davedotco said:
The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.
From Wikipedia: "An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker is mentioning for the first time, or its precise identity may be irrelevant or hypothetical, or the speaker may be making a general statement about any such thing. " Maybe an English course in the New Year?
Is that the best you can do....?

My meaning was perfectly clear to anyone who had read the thread, I can only assume that you had not done so.
 

pauln

New member
Feb 26, 2008
137
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JamesMellor said:
The concert I'm refering to was at the B'ham Symphony Hall , Steve Earle , who'd i class as folk rock these days and it was the first time I've seen speakers stacked on the floor , I've seen Christy Moore and Suzie Vega there as well and thier "sound " was excellent , but I did have better seats for those , it is a small hall .

James
A Symphony Hall would be expected to have good acoustics and would be a nice venue in which to see a band. It is a very different kettle of fish if you go to such places as Earls Court or the NEC for instance, where the acoustics are dreadful but there is room for plenty of seats, which is what it's all about. Gigs in places like that are much more about the whole "experience" as they are about the sound, in fact lighting and projection often seems more important these days. Big concerts are theatrical events now.
 

JamesMellor

New member
Jul 19, 2013
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Steve Earle will always Rock 'n' Roll ! , I think the bad sound stands out more cos it was him

But if you are in abad seat , or the wind is blowing the wrong way at a stadium , I saw The Boss in an enclosed Statdium in albeny then afew months later at the RBS in Dublin , the inside gig was so much better , can you really get a "live" sound , so a Hi-Fi sound , for rock music ?

James
 

JamesMellor

New member
Jul 19, 2013
40
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The NEC is shite , sorry it just is , after the Oden closed and they moved concerts there it was just a box , Wolerhapton town hall if they where small enuff , then BSH when they started to let the freaks in , sorry I hated the NEC , I saw Maiden , Alice Cooper , The Who , and AC/DC , plus others and I think I'd rather miss the tour or drive to Manchester than go there

James
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
davedotco said:
John Duncan said:
davedotco said:
In an indoor concert only a spall proportion of what you hear from the electric instruments comes through the PA
davedotco said:
The discussion was always about an indoor venue, and a pretty good one at that, you brought up 'Wembley', which was not what I was talking about. it was also regarding the performance of a rock band and as such was a description of what is still nomal practice in these situations. Are there other ways of doing things, of course there are, I've worked with musicians who do things differently but that is not the norm for a rock band.

I know you play and have more experience than most but mainstream rock bands (with a few exceptions, mainly at the top end) still play in the traditional way with a conventional and powerful backline, thats just the way it is.
From Wikipedia: "An indefinite article indicates that its noun is not a particular one (or ones) identifiable to the listener. It may be something that the speaker is mentioning for the first time, or its precise identity may be irrelevant or hypothetical, or the speaker may be making a general statement about any such thing. " Maybe an English course in the New Year?
Is that the best you can do....?

My meaning was perfectly clear to anyone who had read the thread, I can only assume that you had not done so.
No, I'm definitely with JD on this one. You said one thing, got pulled up on it, have backtracked repeatedly (and been called wrong by someone who clearly has much more contemporary knowledge than you) and yet still won't accept you were wrong. Even a little bit.

That behaviour, and the general attitude, as JD has pointed out, is arrogant and smug. I particularly like 'your points are well made and, generally not appreciated by the audience'!
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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Can the source equipment be Hi-Fi if the format it plays is not High Fidelity by todays standards? Namely, I'm thinking of what Harbeth's Alan Shaw stated on his forum that vinyl format by todays standard is very lo-fi, regardless of the engineering briliance of hi-end turntables that spin it.

Whats the point of having Hi-Fi hardware if the software is Lo-Fi? $50,000 TT playing a $0.5 vinyl absurd? :?
 

busb

New member
Jun 14, 2011
58
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0
Vladimir said:
Can the source equipment be Hi-Fi if the format it plays is not High Fidelity by todays standards? Namely, I'm thinking of what Harbeth's Alan Shaw stated on his forum that vinyl format by todays standard is very lo-fi, regardless of the engineering briliance of hi-end turntables that spin it.

Whats the point of having Hi-Fi hardware if the software is Lo-Fi? $50,000 TT playing a $0.5 vinyl absurd? :?
the likes of Alan Shaw (and the guy from AVI) would better better off running their respective companies rather than spouting forth on forums & spreading BS. I no longer own a TT but still have all my singles & LPs. I do hear TTs in dealers & they sound fine to my ears. Yes, they measure poorly but since when has such data informed us of how something will sound like? IMO, the source is the least important or only as important as the weakest link.
 

alchemist 1

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2012
85
2
18,545
John Duncan said:
No, you put forward the view that one should avoid listening to music if it is poorly recorded, because there is plenty of well recorded music to listen to. *That* is trash.

Further, you may try to avoid personal insult, but on many occasions you fail, which upsets the house rule monitor in me.
Your cross to bear.

Were you a prefect at school ?..........:)
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
2,027
13
19,695
alchemist 1 said:
John Duncan said:
No, you put forward the view that one should avoid listening to music if it is poorly recorded, because there is plenty of well recorded music to listen to. *That* is trash.

Further, you may try to avoid personal insult, but on many occasions you fail, which upsets the house rule monitor in me.
Your cross to bear.

Were you a prefect at school ?..........:)
Not in the first intake, no, because I dressed like this:



The black shirt was contraindicative.

They let me in the next year so that it would look good on my UCCA form.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
388
198
19,070
busb said:
Vladimir said:
Can the source equipment be Hi-Fi if the format it plays is not High Fidelity by todays standards? Namely, I'm thinking of what Harbeth's Alan Shaw stated on his forum that vinyl format by todays standard is very lo-fi, regardless of the engineering briliance of hi-end turntables that spin it.

Whats the point of having Hi-Fi hardware if the software is Lo-Fi? $50,000 TT playing a $0.5 vinyl absurd? :?
the likes of Alan Shaw (and the guy from AVI) would better better off running their respective companies rather than spouting forth on forums & spreading BS. I no longer own a TT but still have all my singles & LPs. I do hear TTs in dealers & they sound fine to my ears. Yes, they measure poorly but since when has such data informed us of how something will sound like? IMO, the source is the least important or only as important as the weakest link.
Last time I heard Harbeth speakers I was totally under-whelmed by them.
 

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