What does extended high frequency response mean?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aslam Imran, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This term is frequently used in amplifier and preamp reviews that the test product had a very extended upper end. What exactly does that mean and how does it sound. Does it sound shrill/bright? I am really not sure.

    Any experiences/comments would be highly appreciated.
     
  2. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 27, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In equipment reviews, extended high-frequency response is usually indicative of a component that gives a good sense of the "air" present in the very upper register of hearing. Many instruments, notably cymbals and pianos, have some very high overtones that define their instrumental character. With cymbals, these harmonics give a glassy sound that differentiates a cymbal from a burst of white noise. On pianos, the upper harmonics affect the attack of the sound and give it that "tinkling" character.

    Although the upper limit of human hearing is usually defined as being around 20kHz, it has been found that people respond to sounds above this limit- although not in a strictly aural sense. Rather, as I said before, these upper octaves give recorded music the "air" and "immediacy" of a real live performance. This is one of the reasons why SACD, with it greater high-frequency response, sounds so much more "alive" than regular compact disc.

    An extended high-frequency response wouldn't necessarily sound bright- that would only happen if the highs were also made louder. Think of it like the reverse of a subwoofer: just because one sub can go deeper than another, it doesn't make it more bass-heavy. It just gives that sub the advantage of being able to reproduce a wider spectrum of sound.
     
  3. Aslam Imran

    Aslam Imran Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Tim for the explanation. Everyday I learn something[​IMG]
     
  4. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tim,

    SACD doesn't have extended freq resp, all it has is a bunch of noise in the HF region due to its aggresive noise shaping. And who says HF is good for speakers? Most metal dome tweeters ring like a bell not much above 20khz.

    To get real extended response, you would have to go with DVD-A and ribbon tweeters, where many of them are non-resonant due to their non-rigid nature and goes up to 40khz.
     
  5. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  6. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Saurav:

     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm referring to some speakers that were/are sold as being "digital ready". In most cases, AFAIK, this is BS. However, for a speaker to be really SACD/DVD-A ready, it needs to have frequency response out to 40KHz or more. Like Ling said, most metal tweeters have resonant frequencies not too far above 20KHz, and they rely on the limited frequency response of CDs to not excite those resonances. If that tweeter is fed that frequency, it will resonate, and even though the resonance frequency is above 20KHz, that will have an effect on the reproduction of sub-20KHz frequencies too.

    So, some truly "digital-ready" speakers have flat frequency response well above 20KHz. This is probably more accurately described as "high-resolution ready" or something.

    It's got nothing to do with where the DACs are, it's got something to do with the frequency response of those DACs (and other equipment).

     
  8. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    S:

    Thanks.

    LB
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
     

Share This Page