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07-14-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 7823
Reply to: 7823
The 'Beethoven Test' of playback.

I would like to share a one of the assessment methods that I developed over the years and that I use for evaluation of playback system potency. I call it “The Beethoven Test”.

It is know that many compositions in music have direct, indirect or sometimes very hazy references to other compositions. In many instances a characteristic phrasing, a peculiar sequence of dynamic, a distinctive sequence of notes and many other things might clearly refer to habits of other composer, other cultures, or other compositions. This is all well known. What is not well known is the fact that playback might moderate the amplitude of those musical references: one playback (amplifier, speaker etc…) would highlight that the specific phasing was “borrowed” and another playback would mask out the borrowing fact, presenting the given phrasing for instance more as the original intention born with this give paces. Sure, it is still recognizable but I am talking about the impact to the listening consciousness – in one case it more actively activate mind’s intellectual acknowledgment of the musical “quotation” then in other case.

I have to warn that the ability of a playback to emphasize or not the borrowed music is not a simple vote up and down but rather a complex characteristic. I would not say that a better playback more distinctively or less distinctively portray the “quotation”. A better playback rather has to have an ability to make “own” decision about the appropriateness of the given “quotation” and the validity of the specific performance of the “quotation”. Toward to this end a playback shell “read” the performing objectives, if not to “read” then at least not to violate them – very few playbacks can handle it… So, generally: a better playback is the one that treats better “quotations” in case they sensibly performed as the own originals music but ONLY in context of a given musical work. A better playback also shell throw alarming messages about the “quotations” in case if the work insensibly composed or poorly performed.

Anyhow, why I call this the “Beethoven Test”. Well, magnitude of Beethoven was a figure that impacted generations and generations of composers and there were tons of references to Beethoven in countless composers after him, particularly in classical and romantic periods. Sort of: “If you cannot beat him the join him”…

Rgs, Romy 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
07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
South Africa
Posts 80
Joined on 07-18-2009

Post #: 2
Post ID: 11225
Reply to: 7823
Different interpretations of the same mucical score e.g. Beethoven
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hi Romy,
I'm not too sure if I fully understand your post. What I do understand is, that particularly Beethoven left A LOT OPEN the conductors' own interpretation(s) and I also understand that this was not TOO unusual a thing to do at this time. Hardly any cadences where written down and also left to the skill and insight of the related soloists to provide of their own.

So HOW is one to judge especially Beethoven performance by any other then subjective / perceptive standard of ones own?

I listen to some performances (and not ONLY of Beethoven, even say F. v. Suppe' overtures as a good example) that I truly like very much, and then other performances that are not so much finding my approval and also others'. But as I'm not a music professor I can ONLY go by my un-taught intuitive take of a piece, and maybe thankfully can not easily intellectualize about it.

So  ---- nothing is ultimately perfect and maybe in the end only according to ones own preference. In this context it was my mentioning that I do not completely follow your post's intention or meaning.

Greetings,
Axel
07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 11226
Reply to: 11225
... certain level of musical Superiority
fiogf49gjkf0d
Think about “Greatness” as a quantifiable quality and think about a playback’s greatness-transparency. Think also about an ability of a playback to embrace a certain magnitude of Greatness and to deliver a certain level of Superiority….

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
07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
South Africa
Posts 80
Joined on 07-18-2009

Post #: 4
Post ID: 11227
Reply to: 11226
Sort of sad having learned something new...
fiogf49gjkf0d
Got it! It's -simply- put but 'en-point', thank you.

The catch is, that most ALL systems do not, can not, 'transcribe' this simple but POWERFUL quality, 'greatness'.
Even some really BIG systems I've heard can sound 'bourgeois' only, and some even 'petit bourgeois' and that is just so far removed from 'Greatness' and letting greatness of performance transpire I.E. not butcher it in the process of re-play (if it was there in the first place, of the original recorded performance).

Most systems are pushing some fancy baby-pram (include ~ my own, money, money, money), some pull a more up-stage carrosse or coach, but very few have that great stately form of 'transport' when called on to perform --- which then in turn may truly be able to 'transport' the listener.

Now, I'm feeling sort of sad having learned something new --- lost another piece of naïveté about this darn audio business.

I really mean it,
Axel
07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 11228
Reply to: 11227
That all was expressed many times before
fiogf49gjkf0d

Read my thoughts about the Macondo’s design and you might understand where I am coming from:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/MacondoAcousticSystem.aspx

The Cat

PS: If you type your test in MS Word and paste it to reply box then it has a lot of ugly Word formatting. Use the “W” icon on the toolbar to clean up the Word formatting...


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
South Africa
Posts 80
Joined on 07-18-2009

Post #: 6
Post ID: 11229
Reply to: 11228
Oh yes I'm sure...
fiogf49gjkf0d

Re: "That all was expressed many times before..."

In this case 1 & 1/2 sentence make the penny drop, where >2 paragraph of Macondo detail didn't...

I'm also pleased to know there'd be yet other vehicles then Macondo, to achieve a respectable degree of 'greatness-transparency'.

That's something to look forward to, and now I'm hitting the sack.
Axel

07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 11230
Reply to: 11229
Depends what to consider as “details”
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Axel wrote:

In this case 1 & 1/2 sentence make the penny drop, where >2 paragraph of Macondo detail didn't...

From what you say I conclude that you do not understand what Macondo’s details are all about. Which is OK, I am accustomed and do not insist…

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
07-30-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
South Africa
Posts 80
Joined on 07-18-2009

Post #: 8
Post ID: 11231
Reply to: 11230
Details = more elabarate, spreadout, explanaition
fiogf49gjkf0d
you be the judge of what people understand or not understand about the Macondo post, I wont insist either.
In fact you often seem to not understand replys, such is the issue of communication at times.

It's simply that -sometimes- a short on the point (en-point) expression, or sentence can do more then a more lengthy one, -- the basis of KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.
Cheers,
Axel
07-30-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 11232
Reply to: 11231
About the presold, packaged and shipped out simplicity
fiogf49gjkf0d
Axel,

I am expressing whatever I wish to express and in whatever format I find it useful. If you wish simplicity then feel free to define the things for yourself in whatever simplistic fashion it might benefit you.  The simple stupid approach hardly ever work with audio people as they are accustomed to think about audio with bumper-sticker expressionism and with the trained dog mentality.  A phrase “greatness transparency” would understood by majority of audio people as just another meaningless BS colloquialism that Morons invented to sell crap to each other. Generally audio people have develops immunity to words about audio and they are accustomed that he words about audio have no meaning. I mean what I say and if people have ability to do own thinking then they have a change to understand or discover themselves what was behind the words. It looks like it worked with you at least.

Anyhow, I pointed out to you the Macondo page because it gives a certain framework of thinking and some understanding where I was coming from. The fact that you did “get” is fine with me, keep searching for simple stupor explanations. I wish they were they. Einstein in his version of Occam's Razor suggested that oversimplified explanation might not be adequate or sufficient or to describe a complex phenomena. The subject of “greatness transparency” with all it’s appeared “simplicity” is VERY complex and it take in some instances years and years to understand it, to feel it, not to mention to learn how sensibly and empirically USE it in audio. Most of people go through entire life of audio practicing still with no clues about ability of audio to discriminate “greatness”. So, the “short on the point expressions” are fine if the person is “ready” to understand the things. In some cases it took for me years and years to understand certain “simple” things, and I am sure it will be more “simple” discoverers for me in futures.

Anyhow, I do not what to continue this conversation – it is, as usually, about nothing meaningful or practical.

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
07-30-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
South Africa
Posts 80
Joined on 07-18-2009

Post #: 10
Post ID: 11233
Reply to: 11232
PS: No response required
fiogf49gjkf0d

Romy,
I have that Macondo post printed out and used for a basis of very in depth discussion with my audio companion in confirmation of understanding it. So it's not in any way a matter of disregard as you assume. It just makes your point in greater detail, and as 'I'm a very intelligent person' and incidentally so is my audio friend,we got your take from the 'short version' - that's all. 'Macondo' info is a nice confirmation, --- if one is in a position to -understand- it in the first place.

>>> The subject of “greatness transparency” with all it’s appeared “simplicity” is VERY complex and it take in some instances years and years to understand it, to feel it, not to mention to learn how sensibly and empirically USE it in audio. <<<

Yes, “greatness transparency” is NOT a 'simple' subject at all, in fact very much the opposite -- but your expression (for me also my friend) made powerful sense immediately. You would have to see it in the context of a very long period of speaker, and front-end work we have been doing, and still do. If you read my initial response in this way, it might sound different, that's all.
Axel
PS: No response required.


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   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  How to evaluate playback... or the Six-Leveled-Listenin..  Introduction to Level #2 - the Dynamic Level...  Playback Listening  Forum     3  48937  06-12-2004
  »  New  Audio and Music: four levels of unity and separation or..  Absolute and mandatory condition....  Playback Listening  Forum     9  61009  11-09-2004
  »  New  How to build the best audio payback..  How a best payback should sound?...  Playback Listening  Forum     1  17128  04-15-2006
  »  New  A playback and wrong notes...  Why is it not common practice?...  Playback Listening  Forum     5  36045  03-12-2007
  »  New  About the Audio Neutrality...  Taking neutral when/where one can get it...  Playback Listening  Forum     12  71543  03-31-2007
  »  New  Philosophical approach to build up a good audio system..  The Music!...  Playback Listening  Forum     4  23347  07-19-2008
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