What does "bright" mean?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JeanB, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. JeanB

    JeanB Extra

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    I see people refer to certain speakers and receivers as "bright". What does this mean? I am guessing that it might mean that they emphisize the higher frequencies.
    I have reduced hearing at frequencies above 2K. Would I be wise to look for speakers and receivers that are bright? If so what brands should I investigate?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    "Bright" generally refers to an emphasis on the upper midrange. In music, this translates into overly strong brass instruments. In film dialogue, it can lend an unrealistic quality to much dialogue.

    If your hear rolls off rapidly above 2 kHz, it doesn't matter. I'd still recommend that you select the most linear-responding, flattest speakers you can.
     
  3. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    On a sidenote, I have heard many people say that many speakers made in the US are bright, while many speakers from Europe & England are "flat" while some of the brands in Canada fall in the middle somewhere. This is obviously a generalization but an interesting observation nonetheless.
     
  4. JeanB

    JeanB Extra

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    I am not sure what frequencies are in the upper midrange. Please tell me.
    I did not mean to infer that my hearing falls off a cliff at frequencies above 2K. I wish I could recall what the actual dB loss is but the charts that I was shown showed "normal" hearing up until 2K then it was reduced between 2 and 4K, then it leveled out and there was no increase in loss between 4 and 20K.
    I know that in watching TV now, when he is whispering sweet nothings in her ear, I have difficulty understanding what is being said. If I turn the volume up in an effort to understand, then the in the next scene, the music may come on so loud that it could knock me out of my chair.
    Do they have test tones at different frequencies? If they do, and I assume the loss is for instance 4dB. Could I adjust the speaker volumes for frequencies below 2K for 75 dB and those above 4K for 79 dB and then I would be hearing what a person with normal person would hear if they did the "normal" adjustment at 75dB.
    Incidentally, when there is only one frequency test tone, what is that frequency?
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hmm...interesting.

    it sounds like there is a small "dip" in your hearing between 2k and 4k? the rest of your range (20hz-20khz) is normal?

    i'm not sure, but it sounds like that region is almost the top of the mid-range, buttom-end of the high-range? anyone know for sure? if it is, then it's going to be that much more difficult. i'd say the majority of sound is somewhere in the mid-range (vocals, etc).

    would having an overly bright speaker would really help since your hearing is okay above 4k? maybe some of that brightness would "carry over" into your problem area? after all, sound isn't brick-walled at any given frequency. again, anyone know for sure?

    finally, what about an eq? i know you can boost/trim particular frequencies? but, i'm not sure how you can incorporate an eq into a 5.1 channel setup.

    sorry, more questions than solutions for you. i'll be curious as to what others post.
     
  6. JeanB

    JeanB Extra

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    No, it is not a dip. What I am trying to say is that the problem does not increase. If it is a 4dB drop at 4K it is still a 4 dB drop at 8K, 12K, 16K, 20K.
     
  7. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    !
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    if it is a 4db drop *across the board*, then it isn't necessarily a frequency thing, it's a loudness thing. is that a more accurate statement?

    if it's simply a loudness thing, then the speaker's characteristics won't matter. you just have to turn it up a little...
     
  9. JeanB

    JeanB Extra

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    Gosh, I don't know how many ways that I can explain it. If I just turn up the volume then the sounds in the frequency range up to 2K will be too loud.
    What if we visulize the frequency from say 30Hz to 2K Hz as nice and flat. Then there is a slope down to 4K Hz after that everything is nice and flat again. What I would like to do is raise this area from 4 to 20K Hz up to the same level as the 30Hz to 2K Hz. I assume this will probably require a equalizer solution. I thought that there might be three possible solutions.
    1. Bright receivers and bright speakers if this would help. Suggestions are welcome.
    2. A receiver that has some equalizer functions built in. Perhaps a Pioneer VSK-43TX. I am sure that there must be others (at this price level or lower) that have this feature and I welcome your suggestions.
    3. An external equalizer. Again, suggestions are welcome.
     
  10. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    Okay, I hope this works (I think it's what Jean is trying to say!)

    0db ****----------------
    -2db ----*---------------
    -3db -----*--------------
    -4db -------*************
    .... 0..2kHz.4kHz

    Is this your hearing FR? [​IMG]

    Brightness can vary greatly depending on the room. A "livelier" room (concrete floors, bare drywall) will probably have greater high frequency response than one with heavy carpet, plush furniture etc.

    Speakers have the greatest effect on what you hear, and I haven't heard enough to really get a feel of what is brighter and which is more laid back.

    There are conflicting schools of thought about amplifiers having a sound. Those that do believe that amps have a characteristic sound seem to consider Yamaha stuff as edgier in the higher frequencies, Denon less so (towards neutral) and Harman as warm.

    Electronics wise, try the Yamaha, because that seems to be nearly universally regarded as having more in the high frequency range. Speakers are so personal I can't suggest.

    Argh, I keep editing [​IMG]
    There isn't too much information at 10-20k IIRC, plus human hearing drops off at frequency extremes as well
     
  11. AlbertA

    AlbertA Stunt Coordinator

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    Jean, I'm curious where you got that hearing test done... where could I get a look at the charts you are talking about?

    I would like to know my hearing frequency response also...
     
  12. JeanB

    JeanB Extra

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    Jason, I think that you have got it!! Your chart is a little squished together but it reflects what I have been trying to say.

    Albert, I had my hearing test done by an Audiologist. They are much more highly trained than your ordinary hearing aid dispenser. I suggest that you stick with them. Several Audiologist will sell a selection of hearing aids as well. Many of these will give you a very good hearing test free with no obligation to buy if they think that you are a serious potential customer.

    B&H lists an equalizer made by Ranco that will allow adjustment of the center and front right and front left speakers but it costs $300 paid in advance with no return.

    Once again I hope for suggestions.
     
  13. scott>sau

    scott>sau Stunt Coordinator

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    Bright: Sound quality having a harsh or brittle high-end with too much focus on the upper frequencies.

    Avoid Infinity speakers if you do not like it bright.


    [​IMG]
     
  14. John Walker

    John Walker Agent

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    I am a newbie to HT but here are some ideas:

    1) Use the “night” setting which should cut most frequencies except the dialogue (that’s what its design to do so you can watch a night and not wake the house).

    2) Crank the treble to maximum. This has a definite but limited effect on my Yamaha.

    3) Buy an HT receiver with a center channel equalizer. If you can't hear dialogue then it would seem equalizer on the center "dialogue" channel would be in order. Yamahas have this. Audition it first with something you know to be problematic to confirm it has enough boost in the right frequency for your needs.

    4) Use the 5 or 6 analogue audio output jacks on your DVD and connect them to 5 or 6 basic graphic equalizers, then to your amp. I don’t know what basic EQ’s cost these days but it shouldn’t be that much, if you buy the standard 2 channel variety you may be able to get away with only two units. Boost the frequencies you need on all the EQ’s. Crude but effective. (Most have a bypass button for unequalized listening - ie for guests).

    5) Have someone knowledgeable in speaker design redesign your speakers internal crossovers to include an L-pad with sufficient range so you can adjust the tweeters output at the speaker. L-pads used to be common. See speaker building books for if you want to DIY. Going this route you might just want to make your own speakers with known driver specifications (simplifies crossover design).

    Number four although not cheap would seem to be the best fix for your specific hearing loss.

    Regards

    John
     
  15. JeanB

    JeanB Extra

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    John, I really appreciate your suggestions. I will check them out.
     

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