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Old 12th Oct 2017, 8:20 am   #83
GrimJosef
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Oxfordshire, UK.
Posts: 3,353
Default Re: Audiophoolery. 'Cable Break In' - I never knew that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
... with a decent graphic equaliser (or just tone controls) you can quite easily boost the upper frequencies to lift them to a level 'that you perceive' as being correct given your now limited frequency range ...
To be fair, what you would be attempting to do would be to travel in time. My ears have lost some of their treble response, so my experience of The Clash's records now is duller than it was when I saw them live in the early 80's. But if they were to perform now (hypothetically of course, given that Joe Strummer is no longer with us) my ears would be just as dull at the live gig as they are when I use them at home. So I wouldn't need tone controls to reproduce (my) current reality accurately.

You've also hinted at the wider question of whether an 'accurate' hi-fi system matters, given the processing that the audio signals go through before we get our hands (ears ?) on them. In the early days of stereo the point was made quite often that the job of a hi-fi system was, first and foremost, to create an illusion. It may be that a strictly accurate system doesn't do that as well as one which in fact distorts the signal somewhat. If I fancied an evening listening to music at home then my first choice mght be to invite these ladies round, make some space in the living room and have them sing to me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OguVb3uSZTs. Sadly they're busy and I probably couldn't afford them even if they weren't. So I have to use two speakers and some electronics to try to create the illusion that they're there. That requires my brain to fill in a lot of gaps. That might be easier for it if the electronics and speakers have modified the signal to suit my brain's particular abilities. I was struck by dseymo1's account of exactly this experience. His brain suddenly created an acoustic 'image' that previously hadn't been there. Do you recall the craze, a few years ago, for those visual images consisting of a page covered in a highly repetitive pattern of what looked like tiny abstract shapes and colours ? When you first saw them there was nothing else there. But if you stared for long enough and you were in the right frame of mind a vivid 3D image would suddenly snap into existence, created entirely by your brain. I suspect that our brains are having to work pretty hard to create a 3D sound image using only the waves from two speakers. I therefore wouldn't be surprised if what an engineer would call a 'distorted' signal could sometimes do a better job of supporting the brain in that effort.

Cheers,

GJ
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