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#1 of 27 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted October 25 2001 - 11:47 AM

I think this is the second thread I posted with this very same title Posted Image

Would you please recommend a good cd to test imaging? I listen to a wide variety of stuff, tho right now I am into classic rock.

I am looking for a recording where if my speakers are positioned correctly, imaging should be obvious.

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#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted October 25 2001 - 12:04 PM

Eric Clapton's "Unplugged". Soundstage and imaging are great, lots of width and depth. [Edited last by Saurav on October 25, 2001 at 03:04 PM]

#3 of 27 OFFLINE   Mike Knapp

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Posted October 25 2001 - 12:07 PM

The following are all reference quality recordings with beautiful soundstages and exquisite instrument reproduction. Dixie Chicks....Wide Open Spaces. B-52's....Cosmic Thing Holly Cole....Temptation DaBoa....From the Geko Ian Anderson.....Divinities Enjoy Mike

#4 of 27 OFFLINE   Darren H

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Posted October 25 2001 - 12:17 PM

Here's a strange suggestion, but it's always the first disc in the player when I buy new hardware. Tears for Fears - Raoul and the Kings of Spain The song, "Sketches of Pain," has the widest 2-channel soundstage I've ever heard.
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#5 of 27 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted October 26 2001 - 04:02 AM

Peter Gabriel's "Sercret World Live" has fantastic imaging. At least the LD does - I assume the CD is very similar.

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#6 of 27 OFFLINE   Bob_A

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Posted October 26 2001 - 04:23 AM

Excellent thread! I was just about to start something similar myself. We could even expand this a bit...to include songs you use you test "tightness" of bass...the one I use is "Jay Z - Can I Get A...". Also...for those songs listed to "test" imaging...what should we be looking for? In other words, where should the instruments be placed in the soundstage while the song is played? Thanks.

#7 of 27 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted October 26 2001 - 04:37 AM

Roger Waters' Amused To Death has amazing imaging effects.

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#8 of 27 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted October 26 2001 - 04:38 AM

Trust Mike to recommend Dixie Chicks!! LOL Posted Image

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#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted October 26 2001 - 09:54 AM

Quote:
Also...for those songs listed to "test" imaging...what should we be looking for? In other words, where should the instruments be placed in the soundstage while the song is played? Thanks.
Well, that will depend on the particular CD. For the one I recommended (Eric Clapton's "Unplugged"), the soundstage mimics the stage arrangement at the actual concert, so you have two guitars in front, drums in the rear middle, and piano in the far left rear. In general, what you "should be looking for" doesn't depend on the CD you use. Let's say you pick any of the suggested CD's, and you you don't know the exact soundstage placement of the performers in it - that doesn't really matter. When you're auditioning a system, you should see if the system places instruments (and vocals) evenly across the soundstage, i.e., it shouldn't sound like some of the players are sitting inside the left speaker, some inside the right speaker and some in the middle. You should also listen for depth - in a typical live rock recording, for instance, the drummer should sound like he is behind everyone else, the lead vocalist should sound like he is in front. The reason I like the Clapton recording is because the first track has a few minutes of the band tuning up and talking to each other. That's great because you can hear all the instruments and musicians individually, so you don't have to separate them out when they're all playing together (which takes some ear-training).

#10 of 27 OFFLINE   George Martin

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Posted October 26 2001 - 06:38 PM

you might also try to locate an officail USAC, or IASCA disc They both have excelent recordings but the also supply a map of the sound stage to help you make sure that the imaging, placement and depth are correct.

#11 of 27 OFFLINE   Guy Kuo

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Posted October 26 2001 - 07:00 PM

Here's another way to look at imaging. If the two main speakers are in perfect phase and have identical acoustic response, then the frequency, phase and amplitude differences between the two sources we sense to derive the positioning of sounds comes from actual things in the recording rather than those induced by the room and speakers. Fine and well you say. It is useful if you do the following.

Take the AVIA left and right speaker phase test signal. This puts identical bandpassed signals out the left and right speakers. Identical that is except for the phase getting periodically flipped 180 degrees. If you measure the degree with which those two sounds reinforce and cancel each other you get what amounts to a summary of how well phase, amplitued, and frequency information in the bandpass of the test signal are matched. If acoustics and speakers are identical you get maximal difference in measured SPL between the in and out of phase times of the test. This is easy to see with an analog SPL meter set to fast response. Positioned at the acoustic equidistant plane, the SPL meter needle will swing up and down. The bigger the swing the better the acoustics are matched between the channels. Better matching means that the differences in recordings are better heard and you get crisper more focused imaging.

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#12 of 27 OFFLINE   Jim_F

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Posted October 26 2001 - 07:34 PM

Check out Stevie Wonder's Original Musicquarium.

I accidentally swapped R & L channels on this CD and all the musicians sounded upside-down! Posted Image

[Edited last by Jim_F on October 27, 2001 at 05:07 AM]
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#13 of 27 OFFLINE   Jon_R

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Posted October 27 2001 - 02:04 AM

I believe the best you can do is beat your reference. As all opinions are based on one reference point or another. That being said, always use the same cd. You can obviously listen to other cds, but make sure you always get your main cd in there somewhere. For me I listen to the song, "Everybody Hurts" by REM. I've listened to it on my system, on lower systems, on Martin Logans powered by Krell amps. Obviously my system now sounds like mush, since I know what it could sound like. The point is, get intimately familiar with a song or cd. Make sure you know when every little sound is coming, anticipate it when listening to the music. On a system that is better than your home system, in whatever way, its quite possible new sounds may jump out, maybe the vocals will sound different or whatever. This may be an audiophile technique, it may not be, I don't really know. I just know what works for me and what I think has pointed out differences between setups. Good luck, Jon

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted October 27 2001 - 11:37 AM

Quote:
For me I listen to the song, "Everybody Hurts" by REM.
That's a great song for this too. I also like the first one on that CD< "Drive".

#15 of 27 OFFLINE   Bob_A

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Posted October 27 2001 - 11:56 AM

What do you guys think about some Dave Matthews songs in terms of imaging? Specifically, some of those on the "Crash" album.

#16 of 27 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted October 27 2001 - 03:06 PM

Saurav


Quote:






That's great because you can hear all the instruments and musicians individually, so you don't have to separate them out when they're all playing together (which takes some ear-training).



...which confirms my suspicion that Imaging is not as obvious a thing as it sounds around here? I hear "great imaging" all the time, but I don't think I personaly ever experienced it. Perhaps I am expecting too much...

I got "Unplugged", I will let you know Monday if it matches what you said. I purposely avoided reading the positions of the performers from your post. We will see Posted Image

Thanx.

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#17 of 27 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted October 27 2001 - 04:06 PM


Quote:






What do you guys think about some Dave Matthews songs in terms of imaging? Specifically, some of those on the "Crash" album.



You guys are mentioning all my favorites! Posted Image I like the first song on that album, as well as the song "Crash" - whT I listen for are the cymbals in the beginning of "Crash", they all have a different sound and they're placed slightly separate from each other in space.


Quote:






...which confirms my suspicion that Imaging is not as obvious a thing as it sounds around here?



I don't know, because I have no idea what others are hearing. I remember a post a long time ago with diagrams explaining speaker setup and imaging, I think it was Mike Knapp who wrote that. It was interesting because there were so many responses to that, almost all of them saying "Wow, I tried what you said and it's like I have a whole new stereo, it sounds so good". Which is interesting, and a little amusing if I let my ego come into play, because then I start thinking on the lines of "What were you listening to all this while". Several people have described how surprised they were to hear a center image from their speakers without the center speaker playing, for instance.


Quote:






I hear "great imaging" all the time, but I don't think I personaly ever experienced it. Perhaps I am expecting too much...



OK.... a couple of points here. For one, I think speaker setup and room interactions have much mroe to do with good imaging than equipment quality. This is assuming we're talking about a minimum base level of speaker quality, which most people on a forum like this easily exceed. So, if you have halfway decent speakers and want to see what imaging is, take some time to read some speaker setup guides and play with your speaker positioning. This isn't directed at you specifically, but my hunch is, anyone who hasn't spent time actually setting up their speakers isn't getting anywhere close to their system's potential. Just my opinion, of course.

A corollary to this is, you might not hear good imaging at a dealership, because more often than not the speaker positioning is severely compromised in a showroom.

And now the second, and probably more controversial point _ once upon a time I used to think imaging was very important, and used to spend my time marvelling at the soundstage that my system created. After a while, I realized I wasn't listening to music any more. I had to consciously "re-program" my mind, in a sense, but now I think I'm back to listening the way I used to listen when I was in high school, when I could enjoy Led Zep on a little transistor radio without worrying about flat frequency response. I also realized that imaging in particular is something created in a studio, because you never hear "imaging" at a live concert. Anyway, all I'm trying to say is, my priorities have changed a little, and in doing that, I've found others who feel the same way I do about music. In other words, imaging isn't necessarily a very important attribute of a stereo for everyone, so you might want to think about whether you really care about it, because not everyone does.


Quote:






I got "Unplugged", I will let you know Monday if it matches what you said. I purposely avoided reading the positions of the performers from your post. We will see



That's a good idea, because I have some questions about it too, so we can compare notes Posted Image I always played that CD every time I changed the positioning of my speakers.


#18 of 27 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

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Posted October 27 2001 - 04:06 PM


Quote:






What do you guys think about some Dave Matthews songs in terms of imaging? Specifically, some of those on the "Crash" album.



Bob_A, I always take a few DMB CDs with me when I go listen to speakers. Like someone pointed out above these are some of the recordings I am most intimately familiar with so I know when they sound good.

I also think what's most important is that you are very familiar with the recording.


Quote:






For me I listen to the song, "Everybody Hurts" by REM. I've listened to it on my system, on lower systems, on Martin Logans powered by Krell amps. Obviously my system now sounds like mush, since I know what it could sound like.



Jon_R, That's why I had to quit hanging out at the shops listening to systems I could never afford. Posted Image If you want satisfaction from your system go hang out at BB or CC for an hour or two and then go home and listen to your excellent system Posted Image Works for your display device too! Cheap tweak!

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#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted October 27 2001 - 06:32 PM

i created my own "test cd" of songs that i'm either very familiar with or songs that (imo) had great dynamic range, strong vocals, acoustics, deep bass, etc. i also tried to choose a variety of different song genre's...such as classic rock, techno, acoustic, ambient, jazz, etc. i believe some speakers sound better with some types of music. my cd includes everything from alice in chains, to basia, to the beatles, to the crystal method, depeche mode, the rolling stones, sting and sara mclachlan. ------------------ "The ship of death has a new captain." - nosferatu (1922)
 

#20 of 27 OFFLINE   Brian OK

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Posted October 27 2001 - 09:40 PM

My reference CD would be Loreena McKennitt, 'the book of secrets'. Any 2-channel tweak checks are compared to this recording. It has "plenty" to listen for. Phil, I have been listening to Secret World Live quite a bit lately (big P Gabriel fan) and the CD just doesn't do it for me as a live album. I suspect your LD tops the CD. BOK
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