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Thread: Is home HIFI dead ???

  1. #1
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    Is home HIFI dead ???

    I rarely run into anyone anymore that seems to care about actual quality sound. Everybody just tells me of their "sound bar" and how great it sounds.
    Ya they have muddled 2 channel audio into home theater crap. Sad eh? The glorious days of "stereo sound " seems dead mostly. I don't know how the few high end shops survive really.
    Music just doesn't sound the same through a theater system to me. I love my mono center channel in my main setup though. It's a true left and right mono channel. Set just slightly lower in volume than the left and right sides. Makes a room filling soundstage. Highly recommend a center channel. The whole system just becomes better imo. My system sounds full and still has that stereo effect.
    Anybody else use a center mono channel?

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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Not at my house! I get what you mean though. Some do, don't know how old you are. When I was a junior in high school there were 5 brick and mortar stores I could bring a record down to and they would cue it up. Those days are long gone and frankly if a sound bar is all you have ever heard??? It's all about what you have been exposed too.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    I'm continually amused by young people who tout the superiority of vinyl and then play their new records thru their Sonos glorified table radios.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblguy View Post
    I rarely run into anyone anymore that seems to care about actual quality sound.
    Yep, very few folks these days care about quality. Their loss I guess. The hobby isn't dead, there are tons of videos on YouTube of people sharing their systems, but that is not like dropping by a buddy's house to hear his latest album purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblguy View Post
    Music just doesn't sound the same through a theater system to me.
    Agreed, even the million dollar plus home theaters I've been in don't sound as good as a really nice two channel system. For movies or filmed concerts they are stunning, but for the "close your eyes" listening to a favorite tune... not so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by jblguy View Post
    I love my mono center channel in my main setup though. It's a true left and right mono channel. Set just slightly lower in volume than the left and right sides. Makes a room filling soundstage. Highly recommend a center channel. The whole system just becomes better imo. My system sounds full and still has that stereo effect.
    Anybody else use a center mono channel?
    If your speakers are very far apart, or you are not able to sit in the proper location in an equilateral triangle, a center channel can be helpful, but in general I don't think it is beneficial.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    If your speakers are very far apart...
    For sure.

    Played with one of these (old link below) for awhile, back when I was actively fooling with a fixed-corner-placement K-brand LCR setup.
    Studios dropped the hardware for cheap when the software version came out.
    Was quite effective. Adding a small amount of delay to the center helped (image 'tuning' and easing ) as well,
    effectively pushing the center channel back to the same radial distance from the listening position as the LR units
    (at least that's where it sounded better to me ).

    Got to be too complicated to bother with (also EQd), they pop a bit more than most equipment on turn-on, and the power supplies finally quit...

    http://www.agmdigital.com/page3/page35/

    Was a fun experiment though and getting the processing and delay right was worthwhile

  6. #6
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    If your speakers are very far apart, or you are not able to sit in the proper location in an equilateral triangle, a center channel can be helpful, but in general I don't think it is beneficial.


    Widget
    Hello Widget

    Have you ever listened to a movie mix with no L/R?? Just Center and rears?? Try it.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606 View Post
    Hello Widget

    Have you ever listened to a movie mix with no L/R?? Just Center and rears?? Try it.
    I have. The results vary widely depending on the mix. Sometimes you only get dialog with ambient sounds coming through the surrounds. In other mixes it is more complete. I have done the reverse too. A L,R plus surround mix without the center can be completely unintelligible or sound vaguely normal. I think this is not to the point of JBLguy's original post though. I believe he was talking about having a summed or mono center to help fill in with a primarily 2 channel system.

    Also partially off topic, I recently had to replace my car and the only sound system that is available in the car I wanted is designed by our friends in Northridge. It is called a Harman/Kardon Premium Audio system. They boast about it being a 9 speaker plus sub 480watt system. On paper it sounds great! It has a 5 band graphic EQ, a series of preset EQs, subwoofer integration etc.

    In reality the best I could get out of it was, pretty poor sound. This system appears to have been designed by bean counters and marketing types and no one from engineering ever gave it a proper audition. That said, after living with it for awhile and exploring all of the settings, I found that getting out of stereo and putting it in surround mode gave me the best sound. This drives the vocals through the front center channel and most of the instruments, left and right with crowd noise and other slightly out of phase content appearing in the rear. Whoever engineered their surround synthesizer has developed an impressive algorithm. The sub is still very Bose like and the system isn't something I would brag about, but at least it stopped pissing me off.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I have. The results vary widely depending on the mix. Sometimes you only get dialog with ambient sounds coming through the surrounds. In other mixes it is more complete. I have done the reverse too. A L,R plus surround mix without the center can be completely unintelligible or sound vaguely normal. I think this is not to the point of JBLguy's original post though. I believe he was talking about having a summed or mono center to help fill in with a primarily 2 channel system.


    Widget
    Yes I was referring to your comment on the 2 channels setup. If I turn it off I find the system just not as nice to listen to. It doesn't over power but adds some sort of soundstage thingy that seem more coherent. I dunno I'm terrible a trying to describe this sort of thing.
    It defiantly turned lower than the left and right are. Rather hard to hear actually. But fils in the middle.
    Here's a pic. The center is a 3 way. That's a stage accompany Ribbon tweeter in this pics in three spots. One for each channel.
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    The box is an EV Eliminator with an EV 15 inch in it. The 2360 horn has a JBL 2485 Driver on it. As they all do. So all phenolic drivers for that low mid range. I like them very much. The plates have 2440's on them.
    They are all time aligned to the voice coils.
    IMO the Stage Accompany Ribbon is an amazing driver in itself. 2000watts....like WTH
    They sound great and are nuts efficient. at 107Db at a watt. 1k to 30k
    A good match for such efficient mid horns and drivers.

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    Several subjects here;

    Is home Hi-Fi dead

    No. Not yet. I do think that It has been in a long torpor, and is just beginning to wake up.

    Muti-channel audio, I think that there is a music genre component here. How many of us are classical music listeners? I am. and I am a concert goer also. a center channel can fill the hole in the middle that 2 channel can leave empty.

    But much depends on the gear and speakers. I run 3 4410's across the front and am using an H/K AVR 354 receiver. I find that multi channel discs give a convincing playback of the concert hall experience, and that Dolby PLx II does a

    decent job of "hole filling" to 2 channel recordings. I've run 3 channel for years, beginning when I was using a McIntosh C-26, with the derived center, and that was 1974 I think.
    KEEP ON LISTENING!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Kreamer View Post
    Colleagues

    Several subjects here;

    Is home Hi-Fi dead

    No. Not yet. I do think that It has been in a long torpor, and is just beginning to wake up.

    Muti-channel audio, I think that there is a music genre component here. How many of us are classical music listeners? I am. and I am a concert goer also. a center channel can fill the hole in the middle that 2 channel can leave empty.

    But much depends on the gear and speakers. I run 3 4410's across the front and am using an H/K AVR 354 receiver. I find that multi channel discs give a convincing playback of the concert hall experience, and that Dolby PLx II does a

    decent job of "hole filling" to 2 channel recordings. I've run 3 channel for years, beginning when I was using a McIntosh C-26, with the derived center, and that was 1974 I think.
    Yes overall I prefer it in the system than without the center channel. No hole is correct. Unfortunately I'm not quite on center of the system where I sit. I'm about 2 feet over so the center channel helps that a lot.
    When you turn the center gain up or down you can instantly can tell by ear where it should be. Too loud and it sounds not right. Too low and you simply don't hear it. When you hit the spot that works it just is obvious really. By ear is all that is needed on the level for sure. I time aligned it too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Kreamer View Post
    Colleagues

    Several subjects here;

    Is home Hi-Fi dead

    No. Not yet. I do think that It has been in a long torpor, and is just beginning to wake up.

    Muti-channel audio, I think that there is a music genre component here. How many of us are classical music listeners? I am. and I am a concert goer also. a center channel can fill the hole in the middle that 2 channel can leave empty.

    But much depends on the gear and speakers. I run 3 4410's across the front and am using an H/K AVR 354 receiver. I find that multi channel discs give a convincing playback of the concert hall experience, and that Dolby PLx II does a

    decent job of "hole filling" to 2 channel recordings. I've run 3 channel for years, beginning when I was using a McIntosh C-26, with the derived center, and that was 1974 I think.
    Until I built it and heard it I never knew what I was missing. I think it was in the klipsch publication papers (The Dope From Hope ) that Paul Klipsch toats it as necessary. I'd really have to check that memory though. But I heard it somewhere.
    Anybody else read that Dope From hope stuff?

  14. #14
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    That is quite a system you have there... pretty much, "the more is more" approach!

    Quote Originally Posted by jblguy View Post
    Until I built it and heard it I never knew what I was missing. I think it was in the klipsch publication papers (The Dope From Hope ) that Paul Klipsch toats it as necessary. I'd really have to check that memory though. But I heard it somewhere.
    Anybody else read that Dope From hope stuff?
    Yep I remember Paul Klipsch recommending a wiring scheme to create a "mono" signal from a stereo signal... and for several years I had a McIntosh C28 with a mono center out.

    I am a big fan of Paul Klipsch and his work. I still have copies of some of the Dope From Hope flyers and I read his biography that was published in 2002. I have owned most of the Klipsch classics at one time or another. Heresy, Cornwall, LaScala, and a pair of Klipschorns. Decades ago before I could afford the real deal, I built Belle Klipsch clones. I really respect these vintage Klipsch systems, but I could never get any of them to fully satisfy me from an audio standpoint.

    I still have a pair of the K-400 horns and matching alnico drivers that came out of a pair of La Scalas that were originally at Radio City Music Hall. A friend salvaged them for me. One day I hope to make an "interesting" system with these horns.


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    I’m a bit more circumspect.

    It depends if your a front row or a back row concert goer. Anyways how often have you heard some old fuck yelling out. “l can’t hear it Wilma”. “How many times have l told ya turn your on hearing aid on Fred”. “Huh can’t hear you”.

    Back in the rear rows tiny plastic rear mounted speakers in the seats with made in China on a sticker improve the intelligibility for poverty stricken folks over the munchies….Lol

    Who can remember the Quadraphonic SQ decoders? Those unique mm cartridges back in the day. 4 track reel to reel recordings.

    I recall a Sony demo that was quite convincing. It just goes to prove with all this modern digital stuff it’s all been done before and in many cases more authentically.

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