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09-02-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tokyo john
Narashino, Japan
Posts 30
Joined on 01-31-2006

Post #: 1
Post ID: 16922
Reply to: 16922
Professional sound systems
fiogf49gjkf0d

It could be my mistake or poor taste, but sometimes PA systems sound very good to me. There was one in a toilette of a restaurant playing some classical music that made me almost angry, like, how is it possible to have such a decent sound so simply? (maybe it is the table-radio effect that Romy has mentioned before?)
 
Especially the sound at Tokyo DisneySea is something I always come back to when I think about great sound. In its broadway-musicals theatre called Encore!, the dynamics seemed to have no limit, everything was so well balanced and effortless sounding, and the texture of the sound was so rich and pleasurable.

I find it difficult to reconcile this sound with all those equalizers, complicated set-up, subwoofers, cheap looking solid state amps, and arrays of vented speakers, but the sound is what it is. (the acoustics are probably good though)

I had asked DisneySea where this system had come from, and it was Meyer Sound, so I searched their site today and found an interview with the engineer, Roger Gans, who created that sound. Here is the interview; very matter of factly talking about simple goals and constraints.

http://www.meyersound.com/news/2004/gans/?type=15

Maybe this is a weird topic for this site, but perhaps PA systems shows how mainstream hi-end is too purist/snobby (people are trained to hate all kinds of things from tone controls to graphic equalizers to solid-state to boring boxed speakers), and all these things people fuss about have nothing to do with the design and achievement of good sound? (just distraction from the real issues and besides the point)

 

09-02-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 16925
Reply to: 16922
Unsubtle
fiogf49gjkf0d
TJ, Meyer is a great example of quasi-modern "outdoor" sound reinforcement.  This stuff is simply not suitable for home use, IMO, at least not if you want more than loud, articulate, dynamic sound.  The closer you get and the more you try to tune in to the meaning of the Music, especially complex, "serious" Music, the worse it gets.  If, however, you still like the "pro" sound idea, try also the Westlake SM (I think that's the current designation...).  IMO, this is a pretty good mid-field (studio) monitor.  Although I do not hear true monitors as canidates for serious home systems, who knows, this might be just the ticket for your "pro" system.

Best regards,
Paul S
09-03-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tokyo john
Narashino, Japan
Posts 30
Joined on 01-31-2006

Post #: 3
Post ID: 16926
Reply to: 16925
May not be most the subtle
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, the main music I hear on this type of system are broadway musicals and Disney orchestral soundtracks (which for some reason always remind me of Mahler). So perhaps on more serious music (real Mahler) there are fatal drawbacks. But boy those dymnamics are very hard to give up! (at least I do not get this type of dynamics with my simple Tannoys LZIIIs and German Physiks speakers)
09-03-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 4
Post ID: 16927
Reply to: 16922
Meyersound drivers
fiogf49gjkf0d
Meyersound has the patent for a suspension that consists of copper-beryllium plus damping material. Copper-beryllium has a young's modulus comparable to polymers, but a bending-linearity that can't be achieved with plastics. The old Meyersound drivers manufactured by Yamaha are available via ebay sometimes and have an excellent reputation.
I once heard a system from a custom manufacturer with relations to Cessaro, that included such a driver, and I found it better than the TAD-stuff from the Cessaro horns. The guy who demonstrated the system admitted that it is so, and said the advantage of the TAD drivers is the unlimited availability.
09-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ferenc
Posts 7
Joined on 02-16-2008

Post #: 5
Post ID: 16937
Reply to: 16927
Danley Soundlabs
fiogf49gjkf0d
I tried dozens of different PA speakers at home in the last 5 years, and I honestly can say the only speakers could be used at home are the Danley SOundlabs speakers - at least according to my experience. The new SM60 is a very room friendly speaker, does not need too much space and with a CS30 Danley sub (or a TH Mini, TH28 for example) can sound very very good. The very tightly controlled dispersion and the phase coherence of the Danley speakers can be useful even in an average home. Other alternatives for home using are the SH50,60, SH100B both can be used with or without sub, the SH100, SH-LPM needs sub. They are big but not awfully big. The SM60 can sound very good with a low powered tube amp, the mentioned others like more power better.
09-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tokyo john
Narashino, Japan
Posts 30
Joined on 01-31-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 16938
Reply to: 16937
Curious about the rest of the story
fiogf49gjkf0d
Thanks for the info on the Danleys.
My initial idea regarding PA sound was that factors other then quality of equipment were critical. Things like attention to sound balance and room acoustics.
So I suspect that if you got good sound from the Danleys, that was only a small part of the story; the rest being your own effort in getting everything to work together (including your room) to achieve what you wanted to get out of your set up.
09-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ferenc
Posts 7
Joined on 02-16-2008

Post #: 7
Post ID: 16939
Reply to: 16938
Probably because of the phase coherence and tight dispersion control
fiogf49gjkf0d
Actually (probably because of the phase coherence and tight dispersion control) they sound very good even with some basic equipments, like the small 300 USD Parasound zAmp for example, but I like them most with the pro MC2 Audio MC1250 amps or the French Devialet D-Premier DAC/ADC/DSP/amp. They sound very good with pro cables like Evidence Audio or Gotham from Switzerland. The source at home usually my Mac-based system with M2Tech USB2-to-AES converter with pro DACs, like Lavry DA10, Mytek 192 ADDA (through Firewire connection) or Sonic Studio 304, 305 which can do the xover duties with its built-in DSP functionality. We use Danley for PA as well almost daily. According to our experience, they are probably the only PA speakers where opera and classical music, live acoustic jazz events could be amplified really honestly. We had several trial against Meyer Sound in the past. The Meyer was like a very good ampilified live music if the engineer does his job right, the MC2/Danley/ APB-Dynasonic mixer with some Royer ribbon and old AKG mics were like live music without ampifilication, you easily could be fooled there is no amplification at all. Sometimes it is a kind surreal experience in a hand of a very good engineer, who does not want to overamplify the instruments's sound, but wants only to extend it to everywhere in the audience.

The new Danley Jericho JH-1 and 2 (formerly JH-90) horns are absolutely amazing, there is nothing like them around in the PA world. I have a mastering engineer friend in a very famous European studio, with large room for mastering/monitoring, and he is seriously thinking of a JH-1 for mastering.

09-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tokyo john
Narashino, Japan
Posts 30
Joined on 01-31-2006

Post #: 8
Post ID: 16940
Reply to: 16939
Such a PA system could be a nice second system
fiogf49gjkf0d
Your description of Meyer is right - I probably heard the very best Meyer installation in the world (based on that interview I pasted on my original post).

Being a lazy person (or with four small kids maybe I should just say I just don't have time), as long as I survive the current financial crisis, all this makes me very tempted to hire a few professional engineers to install some serious PA system in my home Smile
(I work in financial services, and the assumption is that sound engineers are typically competent because investing professionals typically are not)

09-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ferenc
Posts 7
Joined on 02-16-2008

Post #: 9
Post ID: 16941
Reply to: 16940
Do not overestimate the competency of the live sound engineers
fiogf49gjkf0d
I have a very bad experience with the majority of the engineers of PA systems.
According to my experience, their ideal sound is a kind of typical amplified and loud sound with some punchy upper bass and they have no experience with unamplified opera and live classical music at all. They think (with some exceptions of course) the live events should have to be loud.

We think the most important is to extend the direct sound experience of the first few rows of the direct sound to the whole audience,not make it louder than this everywhere. Of course, there are instruments which are very quiet and needs to be carefully amplified like acoustic guitars for example, and it is very difficult to do, the sound crew should have to deal with stage monitoring and all sorts of special requests from the musicians and generally they could not reach the mentioned extension of the sound close to the stage and usually the acoustics and the overuse of the so popular line arrays are just not enough to reach this quality even in the hand of a very experienced engineer doing quality job. Sometimes even the artists do not have the request of the honest PA system, as they did not have a chance to hear something like this. The engineers and the artists should have to be educated to accept the honest and not the loud sound. I am talking about acoustical instrumental music, not electronically generated, which is a very different deal.  I honestly can say a combination of electrically generated sound and acoustical instruments can result extremely satisfying and entertaining experience, if done right.
09-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,301
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 16945
Reply to: 16939
Tom Danley is in interesting guy.
fiogf49gjkf0d
Tom Danley, the owner of DanleySoundLabs is an interesting not BS-type of guy. I would not be surprised if his middle-like speakers sound more interesting then majority if high-end audio speakers. It not necessary says that his Danley’s speakers great but rather that the bar of high-end speakers is very low and for pro-speaker is not difficult to beat it. If you take 20-30 years old JBLs that anybody can buy off eBay for the price of a few contemporary binding posts, then those old JBLs would blow he today’s “high-end” syntactic “boom-tzza-tzza” Sound of water. So, the 30 years back JBL made cheap bookshelf monitors with no high-end pretentiousness.

About the today’s Danley speakers. They for sure are made “smart”. I never any of them and I would like very much to hear what Danley does. I do not expect that they will be “enough” but who knows? I would like to hear the Danley unity horns and Danley’s tapped horn that looks like everyone do nowadays. I do not think that Danley speaker would have some serious tonal challenge but I would leave all cards on the table until I hear the Danleys.

The caT


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-05-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
noviygera


Chicago, IL
Posts 129
Joined on 06-12-2009

Post #: 11
Post ID: 16946
Reply to: 16922
No mistake John
fiogf49gjkf0d
That's why I use Function One horns at home -- plain and simple good sound.
www.funktion-one.com
Welcome to the club Smile
09-05-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 12
Post ID: 16947
Reply to: 16946
Poetry vs. Pros
fiogf49gjkf0d
Will the facination with "pro" sound never die?  The best of these speakers sound like SS from the 80s, meaning they impose that "signature" on the sound, and IMO they simply miss the fine points of Music, volume and "dynamics" notwithstanding.  Do not forget that sound engineers are first and foremost about... sound.  And, given their druthers, most of them like it LOUD.  OK, under the right circumstances and with "particular" music, one might be "impressed" by what a good monitor can do.  But do not forget that they are meant to be TOOLS, used by sound engineers for the rote dissection and re-construction of sounds.  They are designed to expose sound to light, and they are not designed for close, contemplative listening to serious Music.  Try sitting in a studio for a while listening to sessions and re-takes and see how you feel about the "music".  Now add the chores of mixing down, etc. Who needs this at home?  Believe me, no matter what they say, the vast majority of these guys think Tone is the Devil, and I've known only a couple who care to avoid DSP, for example.  Basically, the whole process and the thinking that creates and sustains it is antithetical to Music as I understand it.  MAYBE you could start with Westlake SMs and wind up with something that did not give you migranes over time; but also, maybe not.

Anyone who uses the "pro" stuff at home, please feel free to weigh in, and please also tell your sources, suporting gear and musical preferrences, and describe what you like about the Sound and the Music you are getting. Although this sounds like a diatribe, I will be altogether delighted to be made "wrong" in my suppositions.

Paul S
09-06-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ferenc
Posts 7
Joined on 02-16-2008

Post #: 13
Post ID: 16950
Reply to: 16945
The Danley SM60 is an interesting speaker
fiogf49gjkf0d
I think the most room friendly and the most universal Danley speaker is the SM60. It has a 5 inch coax and two 8 inch bass speaker in a tricky molded horn, and small, light enough to use it with a standard telescopic pro speaker stand and keep it above your head. Very easy to integrate it with any of the smaller Danley subs, but sounds surprisingly full even without sub. Can be used on a normal room listening level with tube amps, without any serious compromise, it is sensitive enough and the impedance curve is friendlier than most of the pro speakers. If there is a speaker to start in the Danley portfolio, for home use, I think it is the one. It is really affordable, and if you have a chance to compare it to some of the better known high-end speaker brands, you need to do it and be surprised. Home theatre systems are the other way of using Danley speakers almost without competition. Two SM60s for fronts, one SH100 for center and two SH Minis for the back plus a Danley TH-Spud (so called coach sub) or a DTS10 sub can result live concert videos being extremely entertaining or emotional. I just can not think anything better for this purpose for any price.
09-06-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
scooter
Posts 161
Joined on 07-17-2008

Post #: 14
Post ID: 16951
Reply to: 16950
Ummm . . .
fiogf49gjkf0d
Can we move this subtle publicity to the advertising section?
09-06-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 235
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 15
Post ID: 16952
Reply to: 16950
SH50 power
fiogf49gjkf0d
For what it is worth, unless you are irradiating a concert hall, the SH50 is perfectly adequately driven by a 15W single 845-based SET, and I will shortly find out what it sounds like with a full range Melq.
09-06-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,056
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 16
Post ID: 16953
Reply to: 16952
Opportunity Nox
fiogf49gjkf0d
OK, decoud, here is a chance to help to put this into perspective.  What music do you listen to, what sources do you use, what associated gear, and what do you like about the way these things deliver?  So many big speakers like these seem to wind up in HT set-ups these days...

Best regards,
Paul S
09-06-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ferenc
Posts 7
Joined on 02-16-2008

Post #: 17
Post ID: 16954
Reply to: 16952
15W is the minimum
fiogf49gjkf0d
 decoud wrote:
For what it is worth, unless you are irradiating a concert hall, the SH50 is perfectly adequately driven by a 15W single 845-based SET, and I will shortly find out what it sounds like with a full range Melq.


Probably 15W is the minimum to drive an SH50. It has a complex crossover and likes lot of power. A 15W Leben CS-300 XS tube amp with original Mullard EL84 tubes was just enough for modern contemporary jazz and big band. However the Ear - Yoshino V20, a 20W triode amp by Tim de Paravicini could drive it very well even with modern pop music and was dealing with large scale classical music easily, without loosing the size of the orchestra or getting confused at higher level. The SH50 requires bigger room, I think you need to sit at least 4-5m from it, not because of the integration of the 3 way, but because the top end can be a bit bright if you are closer than this. All the Danley speakers like to be higher a bit than the level of the listeners head and the usual height of speakers on stand. It is an almost 80 kg speaker and you need a stand for it and it is not easy to find the right one.
09-06-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 235
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 18
Post ID: 16955
Reply to: 16953
Heuristics
fiogf49gjkf0d
The aim was to try to reproduce opera in a room, which conventional speakers seem to do so implausibly, at least the few I have been exposed to. Why the SH50 gets closer than the others I do not know: perhaps it is coherence across the frequency range, the logic behind seeking them in the first place. It certainly is not any qualities of the tone, which seem to me unremarkable. The rest of the set-up is cheap and simple: a custom-made music server -> lavry da11 -> a pair of mongrel 845 set monoblocs.
09-07-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tokyo john
Narashino, Japan
Posts 30
Joined on 01-31-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 16961
Reply to: 16947
I hear you, but just don't be hasty in writing off those cheap black boxes
fiogf49gjkf0d
The fact that there are some awful PA systems out there and some magical ones, it might mean that it is really up to the "cook" (using Romy's recent analogy) to come up with the good sound. One does not always have to use Kobe beef to make a good beef dish.

Another analogy comes from my fund management industry. Most people actually better off buying a cheap Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) rather than pay stupendous fees to a famous "sophisticated" hedge fund employing hundreds of Phds being paid millions of dollars (who are all blowing up as we speak by the way).
09-07-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
el`Ol
Posts 225
Joined on 10-13-2007

Post #: 20
Post ID: 16962
Reply to: 16961
Currently running thread on diyaudio
fiogf49gjkf0d
There is a thread about unity horns featuring Tom Danley himself on diyaudio.com.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/195955-unity-horn-budget-drivers-active-x-over.html

Impossible that his speakers can be good, as he uses BMS drivers Wink
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