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01-10-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 9376
Reply to: 9376
Aporia - Silbatone Acoustics speaker
fiogf49gjkf0d

Looking at the pictures of CES I came across a new Seoul-based company Silbatone Acoustics that show off a new speaker “APORIA” in Vegas. It is a back-loaded Manger.

What I read the company philosophy I was not pleased.

http://silbatoneacoustics.com/index.htm

I am not a huge fun of all those people who suck in the “unsurpassed sound of 1920s-1940s theater”.  I call them “Warehouse Audio” – they collect all that vintages garbage and staff themselves with mostly bogus legends but with each eBay bay and with each fraction of subordination to the 1830s WE, RCA or Telefunken cult the actual sound that they accomplish is more and more further from what I might call “interesting sound” . All those vintage suffers demonstrate the same cookie-cutter sonic surrogate-result in their rooms and what is the most important the surrogate of thinking about audio that I found incredibly boring. So, when I read the Silbatone’s introduction and looked at this picture I felt that it shell be a waste of time.

When I start read about the APORIA speaker that Silbatone Acoustics promotes as today’s version of their sound I was almost certain what they would say. This trans never was late and the playbook is well known: the custom commercial driver that later turn out to be not custom, to insistence that the speaker sets “the new standard in full range horn reproduction for today’s listener” and the desire to present shortcoming as the virtues (“excessive sensitivity can give rise to problems, including noise issues and limited usable volume control range”, Realsy?)

Still, despite my disagreement with the Silbatone people (come on, anyhow who state that a so-called single-driver speaker might be “new benchmark in musical experience in the home” is an unequivocal idiot in my view) I realized that I never heard a horn-loaded Manger and it might be fan to hear how it does.

I know CES show is not the best please to hear anything but if somebody heard Silbatones then let me know if they sound different from the army of Lowther, Fostex, Supravox, Jordans, LES, AER, PHY-HP, Feastrex and the rest  similar so-called full-range drivers.

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
01-13-2009 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 2
Post ID: 9403
Reply to: 9376
Nobody can avoid the trap of language
fiogf49gjkf0d

As the writer of the above-referenced propaganda, I am pleased to once again tweak the whiskers of the cat.

First off, this is promotional material so what the heck do you expect? Every brochure offers a new benchmark in performance or it is not doing the job.

Your post is about the words and mental pictures --"fetishes" if you will-- that Silbatone uses to persuade, but your critique of this sort of thinking is based on an equally stupid generalized picture of "vintage system."

Have you heard a WE full range horn? A Mirrophonic system with 594A drivers and two 18" electrodynamic woofers per side? This stuff ain't Altec--and I say that as a long time lover of Altec speakers.  These big WECO systems provide a very dramatic and sophisticated listening experience that is very different from high end gear or the general run of pro sound speakers.

I always argue for the priority of actual listening experience over language games or general philosophy, even though I do them all myself.  Thinking and talking about audio are  far removed from direct experience but this is what humans do to process the world. A category term like “horn” or “vintage audio” is a complicated thought module that has less utility the more general it gets and these descriptors get loaded with all manner of ideological associations, leaving us even further from the raw taste of sound coming out of a particular speaker in a specific place and time.

That said, enough philosophy! I'll try to relate my experience of this Manger back horn from my perspective.

Personally, I feel that the quality of the APORIA horn has little technically to do with the ancient Western Electric designs that inspired it, except in a very general way. Sonically, the Aporia shares the smooth, fluid character of a WE horn driven by antique WE triode amps but the real key is the Manger drive unit which is a much more modern innovation (1970s, I believe).

The Manger is very different from Lowthers and other paper fullranges. It is very balanced and not peaky at all. Lowthers are lots of fun to experiment with but it seems the Manger is less idiosyncratic sonically, although it is a unique piece of design work, and ultimately a more successful approach.

I ignored the Manger all these years because I was scared off by the low sensitivity when my own systems were mostly built around low powered amplifiers. The APORIA will run on a 300B very comfortably.

I just spent a week listening to the APORIA at CES. Many visitors knew the Manger driver and for them our big success was to do something special with the driver. For me, a non-Mangerphile, I was impressed with the platform. Very smooth and balanced, controlled without being overdamped, and clear without being bright and harsh. Vaguely reminiscent of the old Quad ESL in some intangible way, but more focused and dynamic.

Without the diffusor we put on the front of the driver, the Manger was a bit "in your face" and stood out too much from the back loaded LF. Bass was quite good but I would want to hear the speaker in a better room and a quieter environment to judge the subtleties of sub 50hz performance.

The driver is custom in the sense that Silbatone customizes it for the application, just as a "custom car" is aftermarket modified.  This is an American usage that might be lost on non-native speakers so I changed the wording to "customized."

Basically, what Silbatone does is add fixtures to the back of the driver to optimize for back horn loading. On the Manger, the LF backwave comes out of a different place than the HF backwave. There are also characteristics of the backwave that require attention, because it is not as well-behaved as the front wave. In a back horn, you must contend with aspects of the driver that do not matter in a normal front-firing

The main problem with the APORIA is that it is too freaking expensive to build the way Silbatone does things and that translates into a "crazy rich man" retail price. I suspect that the driver is a good candidate for Lowther style DIY work, but here we go again with the box problems. Few manufacturers and fewer hobbyists have access to the materials research and manufacturing capabilities of Silbatone Acoustics. It is a division of a big corporation with serious high-tech resources and their goal is to build real cost-no-object equipment.

As a man of the people, I recognize that low production, high-$ luxury gear like this matters little to most of us, but we can always rip off the good ideas for our own purposes and means. On that level, the back horn Manger deserves more hobbyist attention.

Your comments are useful in that they direct attention to the Manger and this modern implementation over the "triode and horn" dialogue, which does get a little silly at times. Independent of my friendly association with Silbatone Acoustics, I quite like the Manger driver and its performance in the back horn scheme.
01-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 3
Post ID: 9404
Reply to: 9403
What's with the tongues?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Does this forum always decorate posts with licking smiley faces?
01-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 9406
Reply to: 9403
If to bring our possibility to the level of our capacity….
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe,

The “decoration” you described came from the fact that you wrote your message on MS Word that adds ugly formatting when you paste it into native HTML editors. I also write in Word and I uselessly before I unload my posts I paste my Word’s text into any plain text field and then copy it from there. It kills the nasty MS World formatting. I have back-end scheduled procedure that cleans up the MS World formatting, so you text is fine now.

Regarding the subject. I am not familiar with properly performing Mirrophonic installation. I heard different versions of WE sound but I have a lot of problem with them. The problems I have is not necessarily with the equipment (and I have to confess that do have disagreement with many WE ideas) but rather with people around the WE cult.  I stand for “authored” sound that is tailored to satisfy creative objective of system builder/listener. The WE cult do not stand for sense of own objectivity but they rather are subordinated to external, mostly extremely poor quality and low demands dogmas.  There is no questions that some idea that WE, RCA, Klangfilm, Bell, Telefunken  use before WWII were very much worth to capitalized upon but the “WE Cult” does not recognize good from bad. They are completely saturated with “vintage syndrome” and it is absolutely imposable to talk with them about the actual Sound.

Regarding the Silbatone. I appreciate that you wrote that marketing blab and that you admit a certain element of none-seriousness in it. Yes, the rule of the engagement dictates that hoodlums when they go to the commercial audio sites shell be exposed to a certain amount of verbs and adjectives in order do not be turned off.  I probably shell be less critical about it and do not bite an easy prey….

I do admit that I do not know Manger drivers. I heard them in 2-ways a few times, it was from “nothing special” to “compressed like hell” but I never paid more attention to them. Perhaps your Silbatone people did found a new way to use the Manger and it is possible that in this Silbatone horn the Manger doe not sound like Manger. Still, Joe, it will be no matter what a single drive in the ugly duplex application. I do not make any sonic claims about Silbatone but how much complexity might be expected from a single driver? We have an army of people who practice diminishing own requirements in order to meet a capacity of the next Foxtex, Lowther or Feastrex . They might be good MF drivers if used properly but why to push them to do what they did not mean to do.  Did you ever try to play with flute the party of contrabassoon? Why not?

The point is that in my view (and this is very prejudicial) no matter how good the Silbatone people cooks the Manger driver they still are the salves of the single driver topology that they chose to employ. I have to note that the topology that has no other advantages then low cost and low efforts to implement.

Here is what we hit an interesting point. If you read my site then I know that I am a proponent of the vision of “cost per topology”.  In my critics of $160K Lamm ML3 amps I expressed my view that a SET amp is reasonable to be as expensive as let say $10K for nowadays prices.  If it cost more than it become topologically devaluated as DSET topology for higher price is able to deliver much better result. The same is with Feastrex for instance – the might be wonderful MF drivers that are very good to listen  Piazzola quarters at 80dB  in the speakers that one built for 30 minutes and that juts dropped in the room for X-max party. How mach this speaker shell cost? Ok, $5K. OK, 10K. OK, 15K if it is a X-max party in Haliburton. But to have a price tag of $50K per driver I think it is an evidence that  the people who make them do not understand the limitation of the single driver topology. Now, now much the single-driver driven Silbatone cost?

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
01-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 498
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 9408
Reply to: 9403
Manger dirver in a horn!
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Joe Roberts wrote:
The Manger is very different from Lowthers and other paper fullranges. It is very balanced and not peaky at all. Lowthers are lots of fun to experiment with but it seems the Manger is less idiosyncratic sonically, although it is a unique piece of design work, and ultimately a more successful approach.
I have heard a few two way systems with the Manger driver and it has always struck me as very well balanced in the frequency distribution, within its range. It is in the camp of course of the single driver solution, and I think it does this well. The timbre of the music is another question of course. Its use in a back loaded horn< i have not thought of before, and it is a good thought. This may be the optimal expression of the driver, although its shortcomings will still be present. I have not heard the new horn, but I am guessing it would have a sort of Germanic sound, if you know what I mean.

I do respect Joe Roberts quite a bit. His magazine Sound Practices was wonderful and got me thinking a lot about low powered DHSET applications. Thanks Joe! Without Joe, I never would have met Paul Stubblebine, who mastered my girlfriend's recordings.

Adrian
01-13-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 6
Post ID: 9409
Reply to: 9406
Its all relative
fiogf49gjkf0d
At CES there were Viagra-junkie sized power cords everywhere for $5000. Around our room were $10k and $20k speakers that sounded like a wet jukebox. It was the land of delusion.

Value per topology is one way to measure but let's instead start with a price tag and judge value from that perspective. Silbatone is really cost no object gear built by and for the extremist luxury market. They are crazy maniacs seriously trying to build the best stuff they can, which is why I work with them.

Most expensive hi-end gear is insulting and boring, and not even well made beyond the thick faceplate. What are these manufacturers thinking? There are some idiots with a lot of excess money in this world but too many hi-end manufacturers are trying to sell excessive junk to this small imaginary group of buyers.

In Korea, the previous $15k Silbatone amp design (still available) sold 175 pieces. The amp sold because it sounds better than most of the sucker bet $15-50k amps out there and when people have a chance to listen, the sound sells the amp. For $15k I would want a couple cars and a speaker. I am not the market for these high-dollar toys but Silbatone intrigues me because it sounds really good and it is different from the copycat "audio jewelry" junk that is everywhere. Part of their fun seems to be showing up even more expensive Western imports in Seoul at a much better price in Korean money and far nicer construction.

I am not trying to sell Silbatone here, because I know no one at Romy the Cat is buying! I would only recommend purchasing any $30k audio item if you have excessive resources and spending surplus funds on audio makes you happy. I'm just making the point that ALL high-end gear is not equally ridiculous if you got the cheese to blow on a $30k amp and $30k speaker. I probably would build my own ugly stuff even if I had the cash because that's me.

I had literally tons of vintage gear and I am the first to say that 90% is not worth the time, although it can be pleasant. Western Electric is indeed different, especially the electrodynamic theater gear. Few have or have heard this rare stuff in properly matched stereo systems. Look at the pics of 1930s-1940s WE parts on the Silbatone site. This is very serious equipment that came out of the best research and manufacturing facilities in America at the time. Movie theater sound was the pinnacle of high-tech. It was designed to amaze people with sound.

The owner of the Silbatone vintage collection is my personal friend and he got my Lansing field coil speakers and WE gear because I know he will never sell it. He has a personal museum. He is THE most dedicated audio nut I know and I have known thousands. This guy tried it all and he is listening to the best he can find. It is WECO by a large margin.

The editor of the biggest and most influential magazine in the world, Stereo Sound in Japan, uses WE Mirrophonic gear with the 26A horn. You know he can get anything he wants on long term loan or as a gift, but he goes with the antique WECO heavy metal. Why?

Some myths actually are true. This is one. WECO field coil theater loudspeakers are the bomb. It is like eating psychedelic mushrooms to listen to this equipment.

Most of the WE maniacs are crazy with lust for items they don't have and will never get. It is a serious disease, audio AIDS. I'm glad I'm cured. Regular old proletarian green ALTEC is cool with me. I'm no snob.

On the Manger, I think the drivers cost something like $500 each. Yeah, sounds like a lot, but if they would work in a $1000 Lowther-style cabinet that would be good "topology value"--usual Lowther box challenges apply. Get out your table saw.

The Manger is really smooth and silky, the 180 degree opposite of Lowthers. A compression driver midrange would be more dynamic. Maybe there is a hint of the dead plastic cone sound, because the diaphragm appears to be some sort of plastic material. The slightly soft midrange dynamics work out though. One could imagine more snap but the overall feel is fairly lively.

On the other hand, the lack of peaks is unusual and refreshing. It delivers a lot of sparkle and harmonics, some of which I probably can't even hear anymore. No Lowther hash and tizz. My comparison with the old Quad ESL comes to mind again. Not super duper dynamic but it floats a very nice music space. Fantastic on violins and vocals. Clean, natural, precise, and smooth.

I think the horn helps to bring the Manger to life and certainly enhances and extends low frequency performance, which is only solid to 125 hz in a regular box, I'm told. Like the Lowther, you have to get tricky to get "full range" LF performance out of it. The usual tragic flaw.

From what I could tell, the Manger driver sounds very different from a standard piston cone, but I am not sure which part of what I was hearing was the Aporia and which was the driver. Really pure and smooth. Makes me rethink my retarded paper cone fetish.

The Manger is an expensive driver but the high cost of the Silbatone horn comes from the way it is built. It is precision molded from a custom developed composite foam with 40% air content for anti-resonant properties. The material was developed for this project by PhD scientists. The shape is like a math problem in topology and very challenging to die cast--an inside joke on any copycats. The horn is painted with 19 coats of automobile lacquer when a Jaguar gets 11. The diffusor is so complicated to make that nobody wants to do it. They had a mental picture and then did what needed to be done to realize this vision to the maximum level of insanity.

Is this going too far? Maybe, but you wont have the sharp angles, discontinuities, and resonating wood panels of most of the Lowther boxes out there. Nobody would mistake it for an overgrown DIY project either. It is an impressive objet that might fly in the Asian luxury market, especially after listening comparisons. Silbatone gear is too expensive but it is not mindlessly expensive. I really like their stuff, even though I recognize that there is plenty of absurdity in the idea of playing the game at that level.

Some of the most intelligent conversation I had at CES were with non-audiophiles who were lured into the room because the Aporia was so wild looking. One of these folks was the manager of the Las Vegas Symphony. We hung out for a while listening to music and discussing classical music reproduction. This fellow was no hifi geek at all, just trying to get a feeling for what was out there. He left very pleased with what he heard and I felt good about that because he was audio disease free, simply reacting to the music.

Another visitor was an older lady from Florida with a pair of AR-3x that she had since new. I told her she was lucky to have speakers that she felt no need to ever replace. We talked about the violin music we listened to and South American archaeology rather than equipment. She apparently couldn't care less about hifi gear. I am not sure why she was there but she stuck around for a half hour cause she liked the vibe. A buyer from Tourneau was also hanging out chilling with the music, didn't seem to care a whit about hifi. The Florida lady thought the Aporia was good but she was content with the old AR-3s. Plus, they look good with her oriental rugs.

That is where we all need to get to...where there is no need to look for something else. No audio AIDS. I feel that way about my Garrard 301. You can show me a turntable with a 100lb diamond platter spun by naked virgin pixies and I wouldn't take a second look.  In my mind, the 301 kicks all ass, except maybe the EMT 927's.

Speakers are always the hard part though. They are all incomplete in some way or another. I am not sure that it even makes sense to talk about the ultimate speaker because there is no such thing. I do believe that if such a speaker existed, it would probably be a horn. I'm still not sure what to drive it with.
01-14-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 9412
Reply to: 9409
Another contestant to win a Handicap Olympics?
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe,

A few comments I need to make.

First, about the WE.  I think it is a bit cheap, to bring to the table with me the arguments of the level that the “editor of the biggest and most influential magazine in the world, Stereo Sound, who can get anything…. but he goes with the antique WECO heavy metal.” You know yourself that it is chip and contra-productive but you do it, I wonder why. You are famine with the Japanese scene and the stupid prestige kitsch they have with WE. So, what?  I was in there and I have seen the attitude of the people toward to those thighs – I did not feel that it was a healthy breeding ground for interesting sound cooking, not to mention that I generally have a tendency do not like the sound Japanese get.

http://www.romythecat.com/GetPost.aspx?PostID=1959

I hardly feel you would be to convey to me anything new about WE. The engineers at the WE time did not do the right things BUT they did not learn yet to do the wrong things. This is the only advantage that I see in some of the vintage gear.  Still, I feel that the demands of the commercial sound reproduction in 30 were way beyond the demands of home listening of our days and therefore whatever the best companies on the 70-year past did I more recognize as tools then the solution. I would prose to put the WE subject aside in context of this thread. Let keep the year on the ball and stay with Silbatone.

Second, about the prices. Yes, you are right – it is all relative and the $90K for a single driver speaker is not too much different than $15K for an interconnect with a foam isolation socked in urine of an adolescent pregnant camel. Oh, did I mention that the camel was impregnated by the ““editor of the biggest and most influential magazine in the world” and he impregnate anything he world but he have chosen the camel? Anyhow, returning back to sincerity. I think you and I use prices differently. You use price as a sale tool. I use price as scale to get a justification for topological complexity. With all your rational that Silbatone has a reasonable price within the ocean of price tag stupidity of high-end audio (and you might be correct) the Silbatone still remains a full-range-single-driver speaker.

Third, the Silbatone.  It might be good full-range-single-driver, it might beat the Lowther (is it really difficult?) but it still spinning somewhere in the single-driver universe with all sad consciences. I am sure that we all found that Handicap Olympics champions are very inspiring but we do not define the capacity of human athletics by the results of the Handicap Olympics champions. Silbatone is just another attempt to make a single driver to reproduce the whole frequency range. It might be good attempt but I personally consider the entire philosophy of minimum drivers is faulty one. Pay attention that no one ever comes up with justification that a single-driver has any advantages. The justifications people are trying to bring are incredibly bogus (like he single point source and etc…) and do not stand ground under more any rational and critical examination. There is the only positive moment of the single-driver is, as I said above – it might be simple, inexpensive and not demanding. So, therefore I think that any single-driver speaker that jumps outside of the scale of being “low-priced audio” I think define own class and disqualifiers itself.

Still, and It shell be stressed that I never heard the Silbatones and I never heard the horn loaded Manger, allegedly modified. I however, heard a great number of single-driver speakers. Do you think that Silbatone is not a single-driver speaker?

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
01-14-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 8
Post ID: 9416
Reply to: 9412
The prison of language and the lie in the symbol
fiogf49gjkf0d

I would agree that the Lowther is not hard to beat but the question is where and in whose mind does this competition exist?

Is the Lowther, Manger, or other full range single driver in competition with different multi-driver approaches, other single driver approaches, or is it the case that such units set up a challenge in themselves, the challenge to make a marginal tool work well within the arena the technology sets up?

I would say that if you have Lowthers, you have your hands full making that driver work without worrying about all those other types of systems you may not have. This is a reality show: You have a piece of string, a rusty razor blade, and a coconut shell...now build a raft and excape from the island.

Paradoxically, the challenge of full range drivers is that they are not actually full range. Getting "Full range" does not come in the shipping box from England, Germany, or wherever. It is a long odyssey and the promised land does not really exist, but if you are lucky and skilled you can get somewhere near it.

As myself and others have pointed out about the Lowther and what I am saying now about the Manger is that these drivers can have certain remarkable qualities, even if they don't do it all.

Here again, there is a disconnect between language/symbolism and experience. The single driver idea is attractive to many for mostly illusory reasons--no crossover, simplicity, single point source, etc etc. These are all beautiful notions. The art and craft of system building and listening to the speaker are in the realm of direct experience and trial and error, not philosophy or symbolism. The pretty ideas do not explain the good or bad things about the sound. Sound is in a way that cognitive notions do not exist.

I admit that I specialize in audio propaganda. Look at the magazine I used to publish. My job was to lure audio guys into the creative and fun world of DIY. It was not different from being a USMC recruiter. Promise a tiny slice of heaven when the reality is laying in the mud while the enemy is shooting at you. But when you are there, you learn and grow, and maybe enjoy a perverted masochistic sort of self realization. In any case, there is enough to worry about in any situation without worrying how other wars are going or how it would be better to be at war in Somalia rather than Afghanistan. One war at a time. Be all that you can be.

My reading is that Silbatone took on this challenge of playing a one key piano and tried to see what they could do with it. Can one get bigger bass than Aporia with a SUV sized bass horn?...YES. Can one get better midrange with a TAD driver on a wood horn?...MAYBE. Can one acheive better highs with a Stage Accompany planar tweeter?...Definitely.

But then here you are in front of this crazy looking thing at CES, this horn that looks like an air conditioner sitting on a bathtub. How does THIS speaker perform for music listening on its own merits, forgetting that there is a 9 way multiamp horn system in Room 3012, and a kapton diaphragm planar electrostatic in 2846, and the guy next door has a mini tower that juices up the 120hz second harmonic with a resonator to previously unheard levels?

In that context it doesn't matter if it is a single driver speaker. It is just a speaker. What you are listening to then and there.

The Aporia passes this test to my ear--and I hope somebody else who was there shares their impressions so I don't sound like a sales reptile. I thought it was a really good speaker, no matter what topology it uses. I can't afford it so it doesn't really matter, but it was very good.

The idea that they did this within the challenge of the single-driver paradigm is impressive to me as one who suffered through many different learning experiences dicking around with single drivers, but that is a different level of appreciation from the enjoyment of the sound experience. The lucky listeners are those innocent ones who never fought in the single driver trenches. They just get to listen to the sound.

So, how does price enter this discussion. Well, I can say that Silbatone guys came up with the price AFTER the prototype was where they wanted it. The product is designed by crazy people who have other businesses besides audio and they are making audio gear for fun and hobby and to build the most perfectionist items they can dream up. They are not really thinking as much about price or profit as how much people will appreciate the item.

But in discussions about the Korean market, I hear that many people do count the drivers when judging price. How can a single driver cost as much as a 3 way? This cost per typology thinking has a lot of traps in it and it is one of the things that Silbatone is trying to battle. It has uses as a metric but it is very easy to misapply or go too far with the quantative logic of value ratios.

So, imagine an alternative logic where the goal is to have a listener say "I don't like single drivers but the Aporia is different" or "I think SE 300B amps are junk but the Silbatone is better than my $75k Audio Research 75 watt whatever whatever" or " I never thought an 8W would play my Wilson WATT." They are out there trying to evangelize for the cause and showing off a little bit, winning people over to low power approaches, deconstructing mainstream audio marketing nonsense, and injecting their own extremist vision into the dialogue.

This is why they are so concerned with having horn speakers that are friendly to big amps, and why we are presenting moderate or adequate sensitivity as a virtue. They are trying to spread the horn message to non-triode freaks, to encourage a listen.

It is an unusual mode of marketing but it seems to work in Korea. In Seoul, you can take a subway and hear any insane hi end product made anywhere. The listening experience is available, not only the magazine fantasy of reading about gear or inhaling second-hand internet listening impressions. Silbatone sits next to Levinsons and Audio Physics and monster robot looking speakers you never heard of and says "Check me out while you are comparing gear." People on forums like this understand that SE amps and non-conventional speakers offer a respectable path to sound but there are many tradionalist high end zombies who did not yet get the memo. In the home market, Silbatone is the memo.

On the eternal WE question, all I can say is that 98% of people who like or don't like Western Electric sound actually never heard a proper Western system and quite possibly heard no actual WE gear at all.

If you take a 555 driver and stick it on an Altec horn with a threaded adaptor, as I have done, this is NOT a Western Electric system, especially if you only have one channel with that flea market find. It is a WE part. These parts were installed carefully designed theater systems with purpose designed xovers and huge elaborate baffles. The parts can be good for Altec type experiments but then the systems engineering contribution of ERPI gear is not in play.

Western Electric delivers the coup de grace when you fire up some music and ask "Why the HELL does this sound so good?" There is no logical reason for it. It is old. It looks like Thomas Edison's lab. It is not even a compression driver but a "Loud Speaking Telephone." I still don't know the answer to why it works so good. It is mysterious stuff.

That's the point. The listening experience. "Experts" stand before a WE system and laugh at the old junk, then when the music comes on their jaw hits their shoe. I did it to hi-end nuts in the 80s with 124 amps and 755A in slant front wall cabinets. HaHa ha...Patsy Cline record...BANG! WTF!? The WE theater gear is on a different order of magnitude. The designer of a very famous British loudspeaker recently visited the Silbatone collection, laughed at first, and then almost died when he heard Mirrophonic. Now he is super interested in field coil speakers.

Again, I am cured of the mania but I must recognize that Western Electric speakers are among the best. There is nothing like a TA4181 field coil woofer. I guess you had to be there to appreciate what I am saying. I love 416s but they are toys compared to 4181s.

So what does it mean that this Japanese editor uses Western? MY reading is that he puts the listening experience first then goes where his ears told him to go. I don't think he is following a cult trend...if anything he is spearheading it. His "Editors Choice" is something you can't even buy, that comes from an ancient civilization. I am willing to grant the guy respect that he chose what he likes and I appreciate that there is a license in that to pursue your own taste. He can have anything...why would he slum out with inferior antique junk just to make some obscure cultural point?

Ideologically, I am opposed to $100k audio systems and elitist vintage collector tribal religions as much as the next guy. Bracket out the price tag and the bogus hype, the theoretical arguments and mental pictures of ideal configurations, the ravings of internet poseurs, the opinions of all the  reviewers...just listen. Soak up the experience. Don't talk to any other audio nerds about it while the music is playing. And don't criticize the speaker for not being something else with more drivers or a ribbon instead of a diaphragn or whatever. What is there for your ears?

This is hard for people like us to do. We say "Aha, single Manger in a backhorn....hmmm..." then flip through the index cards in our brain. Isolate frequency ranges for detailed critique. Mentally compare Manger and Lowther, even though Lowther is not there and has nothing to do with the occasion. We think about space and scale, which is almost impossible to do when listening to live music.

I'm doing this myself in this discussion. Segmenting the continuum for analysis and playing the language game of audiospeak.

Maybe you know you have found something good when this specialist thought pollution disappears after the first round and a profound music listening groove takes over.

For all the limitations, single-drivers can get me to this place or at least they have at certain points of my journey. This only works if you listen to them on their own merits rather than mentally comparing the Edgarhorn 4 way system or the TAD 4004 with a transmission line bass.

Does the Silbatone Aporia horn deliver the shocking enlightenment vision for single driver systems that I argue that Western Electric theater gear does for large scale horns?

I am not sure this is a fair question because the scale of a big horn is so impressive that nothing really compares on sheer impact. It cannot be ignored. it is a different game. The good single driver experience is a more subtle and intimate affair, not for the circus.

Maybe the Aporia experiment will get people to give the single-driver topology a first listen or, in some cases, a second chance. The Manger driver does bring a new flavor to the art and beats the famous paper cones in some respects. The five-figure manufacturing cost of a pair Aporia horns is a serious effort to provde the best foundation for the driver to do its thing. And it is wild looking enough to get people to pay attention.  An interesting and educational product, I think.

I don't usually post on audio forums but some important questions are raised in this discussion and by this discussion. It is just that... a linguistic exercise. Moving around mental pictures like chess men. This world audio discussion is a parallel reality which has its own air supply independent of actual listening experience.  I used to write about audio a lot, but now I feel that the important things are almost impossible to talk about and talk is cheap. I'm retired  from audio and working on my archaeology degree.

Some of us might remember Harvey Rosenberg's 1993 book The Search for Musical Ecstasy where he presented a fabulous audio fantasy of the Rolling Stones playing live at Yankee Stadium on Western Electric triode amps and theater horns. It was an intense crazed chapter. I really felt the excitement.

When I got the 800 page draft of the book, I talked to Gizmo about it. The fact is that when he wrote that book, he had no experience of Western Electric gear and had never heard a triode amp of any kind. He imagined the whole 800 pages into reality. 800 pages on the Triode Guild and the new age brought on by the resurrection of triode technology and it was based only on abstract desire and tube lust. Pictures of a dream.

There are lessons in that never-before told story.
01-14-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 9417
Reply to: 9416
'A great truth is a truth whose opposite is also a truth' - Thomas Mann
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe, I think I would battle it.

I would not be so certain. Mostly the SUV sized bass horns are notoriously bad sounding despite of the assurances of the system owners overwhelmed with so common in audio endowment effect. Not to mention that the Stage Accompany tweeter is disgustingly compressed. The point is that words describing brands of abstract implementations where consciousness not involved do not define sound. One of my disagreements with the direction your former magazine went was exactly this disassociation between hype of the “engineering of audio solutions” and “consciousness engineering of Sound”.  You feel that naming of topology or a brand automatically implies the “promise of a tiny slice of heaven”? It is not my vision.   Let see how it all related to Silbatone.

 I do not know what Silbatone’s challenge was and what motivated them to do what they did. I do not know what among is writhen at the Silbatone’ site is written as the expressionism of true Silbatone ideas and what was composed juts to fulfill the primitive expectations of “lured to audio public”. In any case let start and stop from a fact that Silbatone is a single-driver speaker. I do not know: it might be a good single-driver speaker and 34335 Lowther’s devotee would experience multiple orgasms when they exposed to Silbatone sound. Can in such case the phrase: “We get Lowther’s listeners off harder” be used by the Silbatone people as a company slogan? Anyhow, Joe, I do not think that you shell spend too much efforts to convince me and others that there is a lot of bad audio out there. I do not think that this fact you would like to use as your justification of the Silbatone’s advances.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
…. it doesn't matter if it is a single driver speaker. It is just a speaker. What you are listening to then and there.

Yes, it is a rational view but are you sure that you are willing to use this literature at the site that concentrates at the “advanced audio and evolved music reproduction techniques”?  If you wiling people to judge your Silbatone not as a reportedly good single driver speaker but just as just a speaker then how would you explain that Silbatone simplifies sound? How do I know if I never heard the Silbatone? Well, any single-driver speaker does, the point-source by nature simplifies sound. You can’t go away with it - it is the topology. I can go to the endless hypothesis why it takes place but is it really necessary. Pay attention that  your Silbatone people with all their experience do talk a lot about complex archeology of speaker history, drool saliva about the playback for “Fantasia”, roll eyes from a loudspeaker system that were designed to  be transparent  to “transmit  the hypnotizing voice of Fuehrer”  but false to recognize the fact that single-driver loudspeaker unload complexity from  sound back-proportional with depth of bandwidth. BTW, this heavy dedication on semi-superfluous  goals was something that I found was a shortage out your formal publication – it was the process for sake of process, but again - I am not a huge fun of DIY movement generally.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
But in discussions about the Korean market, I hear that many people do count the drivers when judging price. How can a single driver cost as much as a 3 way? This cost per typology thinking has a lot of traps in it and it is one of the things that Silbatone is trying to battle. It has uses as a metric but it is very easy to misapply or go too far with the quantative logic of value ratios.

I think you are fighting virtual enemies and you do it just because you feel comfortable in this unnecessary battle. I do not “do count the drivers” and my “cost per typology” thinking does not mean what you describe. The irony that you know it very well and you know what I meant.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
So, imagine an alternative logic where the goal is to have a listener say "I don't like single drivers but the Aporia is different" or "I think SE 300B amps are junk but the Silbatone is better than my $75k Audio Research 75 watt whatever whatever" or " I never thought an 8W would play my Wilson WATT." They are out there trying to evangelize for the cause and showing off a little bit, winning people over to low power approaches, deconstructing mainstream audio marketing nonsense, and injecting their own extremist vision into the dialogue. This is why they are so concerned with having horn speakers that are friendly to big amps, and why we are presenting moderate or adequate sensitivity as a virtue. They are trying to spread the horn message to non-triode freaks, to encourage a listen.

So, you propose do not approach Silbatone as horn loudspeakers, despite to the fact that it uses horn loading. I might admit that it might be a ration way to go. It has no sensitively, no cone compliance, uses a limited dynamic range driver with dipole radiation. Would it be a good replacement for paper cone drivers? Why not if the Silbatone guys did good job.  But are we massaging technologies just for sake of massaging? Saying it I do not deny that Silbatone folk might in fact get a very good sound out of their Manger but here is an interesting twist: would the Silbatone speaker better if the Silbatone folks using all this best intention use an complimentary tweeter and a complains LF section for their loudspeaker. The honest answer to this question contains all foundation of my disagreement with what Silbatone does. Sure, with two more drivers the Silbatone would be another speaker but the “Silbatone as is” is not $5K easy-drop monitors but a near $100K loudspeaker that in my frugal view represent a serious “investment per objective”.  Here is where my “cost per typology” kicks in.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
On the eternal WE question, all I can say is that 98% of people who like or don't like Western Electric sound actually never heard a proper Western system and quite possibly heard no actual WE gear at all.

If you take a 555 driver and stick it on an Altec horn with a threaded adaptor, as I have done, this is NOT a Western Electric system, especially if you only have one channel with that flea market find. It is a WE part. These parts were installed carefully designed theater systems with purpose designed xovers and huge elaborate baffles. The parts can be good for Altec type experiments but then the systems engineering contribution of ERPI gear is not in play.

Western Electric delivers the coup de grace when you fire up some music and ask "Why the HELL does this sound so good?" There is no logical reason for it. It is old. It looks like Thomas Edison's lab. It is not even a compression driver but a "Loud Speaking Telephone." I still don't know the answer to why it works so good. It is mysterious stuff.

That's the point. The listening experience. "Experts" stand before a WE system and laugh at the old junk, then when the music comes on their jaw hits their shoe. I did it to hi-end nuts in the 80s with 124 amps and 755A in slant front wall cabinets. HaHa ha...Patsy Cline record...BANG! WTF!? The WE theater gear is on a different order of magnitude. The designer of a very famous British loudspeaker recently visited the Silbatone collection, laughed at first, and then almost died when he heard Mirrophonic. Now he is super interested in field coil speakers.

Again, I am cured of the mania but I must recognize that Western Electric speakers are among the best. There is nothing like a TA4181 field coil woofer. I guess you had to be there to appreciate what I am saying. I love 416s but they are toys compared to 4181s.

So what does it mean that this Japanese editor uses Western? MY reading is that he puts the listening experience first then goes where his ears told him to go. I don't think he is following a cult trend...if anything he is spearheading it. His "Editors Choice" is something you can't even buy, that comes from an ancient civilization. I am willing to grant the guy respect that he chose what he likes and I appreciate that there is a license in that to pursue your own taste. He can have anything...why would he slum out with inferior antique junk just to make some obscure cultural point?

Joe, I would leave the whole Western Electric saga without attention as it is the Silbatone thread. If you look at my site then you know that I “try” to keep it threads-centric. I just would say that I disagree with you and I would have a lot of say to argue this point. If you wish we can do it in an appropriate thread.


 Joe Roberts wrote:
… don't criticize the speaker for not being something else with more drivers or a ribbon instead of a diaphragn or whatever. What is there for your ears? This is hard for people like us to do. We say "Aha, single Manger in a backhorn....hmmm..." then flip through the index cards in our brain. Isolate frequency ranges for detailed critique. Mentally compare Manger and Lowther, even though Lowther is not there and has nothing to do with the occasion.

Yes, your point is well taken. What can I say – I never heard them. I do not feel myself guilty. If I did then I would sound much more confident. I based my comments on my experience with another single-driver speaker. I also base my comments on my experience (here is where read my lips) with any other case where I was proposed that the new solution “does not sound like single-driver speaker”. As many times I heard the “solution” it was always the case – the single-driver speaker problem was resolved… until the dynamic range jumped over 80dB. As soon it happened Mozart begin to sound like Johan Strauss’ polkas, the Allegro con brio from Beethoven Second Symphony begin to sound like Offenbach's can-can and the Shostakovich 8th quartet sounds like Piazzolla’s “Escualo”. But what do I know I am still a virgin as I never cried listening the Mirrophonic….


 Joe Roberts wrote:
For all the limitations, single-drivers can get me to this place or at least they have at certain points of my journey. This only works if you listen to them on their own merits rather than mentally comparing the Edgarhorn 4 way system or the TAD 4004 with a transmission line bass.

You forgot to mention that the Edgarhrns are 9 times less expensive….

 Joe Roberts wrote:
  I am not sure this is a fair question because the scale of a big horn is so impressive that nothing really compares on sheer impact. It cannot be ignored. it is a different game. The good single driver experience is a more subtle and intimate affair, not for the circus.

Saying it you knowledge the handicap nature of “good single driver experience”, do you. If you are able to cry while your Mirrophonic system plays a suffocate girl with a balalaika at the right and school-stolen mid-dram on the left then be my guest. I hardly feel that the “single driver experience” is good for anything else at least above 85dB. Sure if you play in a closer then it is another story… Sorry, can’t help to mock you a little.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
  Maybe the Aporia experiment will get people to give the single-driver topology a first listen or, in some cases, a second chance. The Manger driver does bring a new flavor to the art and beats the famous paper cones in some respects. The five-figure manufacturing cost of a pair Aporia horns is a serious effort to provde the best foundation for the driver to do its thing. And it is wild looking enough to get people to pay attention.  An interesting and educational product, I think.

Agree, educational, No argument there.

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
01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 10
Post ID: 9418
Reply to: 9417
Listening to specific case is precisely my point, typology be damned
fiogf49gjkf0d
Cat:

First off, the Silbatone Aporia is $30k/pr not 100k. You could do 6 speaker surround with Aporia for well under $100k. Hope you feel better now.

"So what," I say. $30k is already too much for my pocket. I am on a fellowship this year and cheapskate every year, so $10k or even $1k is too much for me right now.

Yes, the Edgar system may be less expensive but Aporia is "100% particle board free" and that is worth something.

The Silbatone folks have money and they are audio crazy and they naturally assume there are others like them who will BUY when they hear the Aporia. I hope they are right. They sure stand a better chance in Korea where there are a lot of rich guys who really love music than in this sorry-ass 2009 USA market.

In any case, I have not had a commercially produced system as my main speaker for 20 years. I like to build stuff....that was my main hobby for many years. Only my tuner and CD player is factory made. When I get factory stuff or vintage electronics, I can't help messing with it (messing it up), so I just build my own. I am not a good sales prospect for hi-end gear.

But on the notion of value per typology, if it doesn't mean "count the speakers" what does it mean...especially when "single driver" is one such typology?

Is the Aporia typologically equal to the Lowther Acousta and the Acousta is cheaper, so we should buy the Acousta? How about all the other high dollar Lowther creations? Why buy anything but the Acousta?

Does this notion assume the enclosure is free? That Silbatone horn cost 5 figures in USD a pair to make. It is put together from many pieces into a totally seamless form. Painting cost is in the thousands. 19 coats. Very labor intensive and most of it is picky finishing work. These seems a very different project from a MDF folded backhorn and the quality of the horn construction must contribute heavily to the result.

Or wait, a vintage Jensen P8 found in an old TV set in an enclosure made from old Samsonite luggage. Same typology, even more value.

Is a three way with $300 worth of speakers a more valuable typology than a $500 one way?

The typology label doesn't have enough granularity to capture the individuality of real speakers. I get your basic point, but it is a leaky model and skips a lot of important factors. I think it is silly to argue that any abstract topology is inherently more valuable in a world where most speakers of any genre have huge problems.

So is it a horn or is it a single driver? Do I have to choose? It is what it is. Both/and.

The original post was on the order of "Hey, look at this somewhat new idea."
It is a somewhat new idea, especially with the Manger factor, which is what I came in to talk about.

The original post was also about language and categories, with "Vintage Gear," "Single Driver," "Western Electric" being some of the oversimplified categories in play. I reacted because I have struggled with this problem a lot myself. It is hard to discuss audio without falling into the traps of generalization. As discussed above, I sometimes work these categories when writing brochures and other inspirational material...otherwise how can I communicate my persuasive messages?

I don't think the "Aporia Manger Backhorn" fits into the generalized expecations of single driver in a backhorn developed via Lowthers and such. The Manger is so different that the usual Lowther problems arent there--peaky, tizzy, too much sensitivity (noise with most DHT amps), doesn't play loud.

The main failing of the driver is a slightly dead plastic cone sound, but paper is not ideal either, with problems in the other direction.

The Manger in the Aporia will play loud. It is hard to say how loud because CES is such a noisy zoo that loud doesn't sound loud anymore. Loud becomes the new quiet at CES.

At the point where the amp gave out or the speaker gave out and everything went fuzzy the output was painfully loud. I don't like to do that to my ears anymore. I would not feel volume starved with the Aporia. I did with Lowther Acousta...that speaker had a sweet spot at mid volume and lost it when loud. It was enjoyable though.

Aporia Manger implentation seems to be different enough from other Manger applications, that Manger familiars (there were more than I expected, from all over the world) seemed very impressed with the difference. So, maybe this is not typical "Manger" sound. I really can't say because I'm a noob.

Because of these differences in the design and construction of the Aporia from other single driver/horn systems, I proposed, let's forget about the categories and look at it as a "speaker."

I threw out some adjectives trying to give a flavor of the Manger vs. paper cone piston drivers, but I know this is ultimately useless. More of a hint or a lure than an actual transmission of experience.

This is why I went into academics, because henceforth no buying decisions will depend on my lying lingusitic categories ;op

If by "reduction of complexity" you mean to say that single drivers play small to medium scale music better than they play dense large scale, yes they are like this and so are all other speakers. Even the horn systems I've had really play solo jaw harp better than grand orchestral. I'd offer that the Manger sorts things out better than the Lowther, but that is not the Lowther's strong suit.

The Manger is very controlled and balanced, doesn't get all smeared and fuzzy easily. Bass was tight with a lot of snap but that was probably the horn--more importantly, the rest of the spectrum didn't blur out when heavy bass passages came on. THAT is a fairly common failing of single-drivers. Many can play complicated rhythms with a lot of shakers and finger bells and nail the texture, but when a deep boom comes in the midrange shuts down.

Now ponder this, I would say that the resolution the Aporia was getting at the frequency extremes was as good as if not better than the midrange resolution. That is not typical of the single driver typology as i knew it.

And come on, one obvious feature of the single driver is that the sound comes from the same thing, so there is an inbuilt coherency of character across the frequency range. You can never get that close marriage with 15" woofs and compression drivers. Granted, that if the bass and highs are weak, it doesn't matter if they are "cut from the same cloth." The Aporia did have a unitary character of sound from highs to lows.

The Aporia was its own thing. The Manger is its own thing. If you haven't heard the Aporia or Manger, I expect it is hard to generate a mental image based on my terminology.

The nearest thing I can think of is the old ESL to evoke the liquid texture and the crystal sound, but that horn has more punch than the Quad LF panels and the Manger doesn't have a plastic wrap coloration. The LF horn really loaded the room the way a horn does. It was not a "miniature soundstage between the speakers" presentation. Maybe the sonic picture got bigger as the volume was cranked up...can that be?

I never heard anything quite like the Aporia, which is why it interested me. After one week, I was still trying to deconstruct some of the illusions it presented. In any case, the response sounded nice and flat. Real balanced. I could not identify deadly anomalies that ruined the fun. It could have been too smooth and easygoing sometimes, especially compared with nice punchy compression driver midranges, but the sweetness did not pain me too badly.

Maybe I felt like I wanted more 5-8kc range off of the Manger, possibly because I unconsciously missed the paper cone peaks that 755As and Lowthers inject in the presence range. The front wave of the Manger was brighter without the diffusor, but the speaker worked better with it in place.

I feel like I am repeating myself. I have run out of Aporia Manger description. Hopefully somebody else was at CES and can share some impressions.

Yes, I had a small orgasm. Not a Mirrophonic level 'gasm but a nice one nonetheless.

And, finally, I need to add that I too heard the speaker at CES. This is no way to learn a speaker. I would want to have it at home where I can play some blues guitar favorites, listen to NPR, have a few Guiness, talk on the phone with the APORIA on in the background, and see how it fits into GENUINE LIFE.  Standing around in a tie and nametag is a strange and unnatural way to listen. Hopefully, someday I can do more than bizarre formal ritual auditioning of the Aporia unit but I don't see how that is going to happen unless Silbatone gives me a pair.

I can be quite happy with limited range single drivers. I listen for what is there and what is good about it rather than the failures and the handicaps and the stuff that isn't there. Of the ones I've heard that really go for wide range, larger scale performance (usually meaning horn), I'd have to rate the Aporia highly.

Also very curious what the driver could do in a FRONT horn, but that's another typology.
01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 9419
Reply to: 9418
You forgot to mention that it’s UPS shippable…
fiogf49gjkf0d

First thing first. I was running under impression that the cost of Silbatone Aporia under $100K. I was looking where I might get this impression from. I am sure it was a comment at some CES blog but I was looking and was not able to found it. Most likely I confused the Silbatone price with the price of the new speaker from that miserable Magico Company. Anyhow, if you say that it is $30k then it is very different ball game. The $30k retail is around low teens in wholesale and a few thousands to makes them. I found it justifiable and marginally to be in a right cost per topology ratio. I know, I know, you will be jumping over it claiming that for the sound they produce they sell coast 1.000,000 and the $30k is grossly underpriced but it is the cost how you value your own reported micro-orgasm not the cost of the loudspeaker. Let agree that the price of $30k is reasonable and move away from this. BTW, it is also not necessary to convince me that the cost of Aporia prodaction is super-high as the curves of the Silbatone horns are licensed from the layout of the corridors in the Egyptian pyramids and the paint that Silbatones are fished with is made from dyeing agent of octopus that lives only at south shore Jeju in Yellow see.

I also a bit turned off that you took the word Lowther literally and feel that I try to assume that Silbatone is the same as the Lowther. I thought it was clear that Lowther is a symbolic name for a single-driver idea and in this respect Silbatone is not different from Lowther. I did not make any accusation prosing that Silbatone might inherent all nastiness of the Lowther drivers.  The Feastrex reportedly do not have any of Lowther problems but it is still has all limitation of own class – the single-driver class. How different the Silbatone would be? I do not the answer but still let acknowledge that it is still a single-driver class loudspeakers.   You might argue it if you wish but I do not use the single-driver phrase as a insult but rather the term that sets expectations.

I do not think that there is a reason to continue to beat the dead horse. You had your desire to announce your view on the Silbatone subject. I had my desire to pay attention to the new horn-loaded Manger idea. I think if any of us had an interest to develop this desiccation further then the next step would be you and me sit in the same room, listening of the same loudspeakers and compare the notes about the heard. Without it all conversations are just shaking air with boneless tang and exchange of worthless epistolary.  I would reserve my further judgment about Silbatone, still having my expectation not too high. If you with to convince me that I am wrong then let me know when Silbatone installation become available somewhere near USA’s New England – I would not mine to drive short distance to listen them and then we would have a common ground for conversation about back horn-loaded Manger.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
If by "reduction of complexity" you mean to say that single drivers play small to medium scale music better than they play dense large scale, yes they are like this and so are all other speakers.

I very much disagree with it.

Rgs, 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
01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 12
Post ID: 9420
Reply to: 9419
I knew you'd agree
fiogf49gjkf0d

Glad you came around to my way of thinking. Without actually hearing "X" it is kind of silly to have strong and well formed opinions about X's sound.

If "Lowther" is used as a generic name for single driver speaker, then it is impossible to have a meaningful conversation about any other single-driver speaker, because we can't know when we are talking about actual branded Lowthers and when something else is under the microscope.

Should we talk about big "L" Lowthers and "small "L" lowthers?

The Manger is so different from the Lowther lineage sonically and technologically that I find it hard to identify the common ground that makes these brothers of the same typology, except that when you count the drivers you can stop after number 1.

The Lowther thought interference is good for Silbatone, because people will come to listen with lowered expectations and pre-baked conclusions, and maybe they will be surprised at what this Manger horn can do. I was.

Audio folks being as they are, the next step is that somebody else will build a Manger back horn in a cheap particle board folded horn box (plans from Lowther Club of Bulgaria) and then the general category of "Manger back horn" will be passed around like the meaning is something solid and dependable.

I suppose there is one common typology link among Lowther and Manger --> "full range drivers that actually only go down to 150hz, so prepare to bleed, sucker." This class of speaker can produce enjoyable results but it takes an unbalanced libido and considerable investment to implement. That prospect should scare many sensible people off towards an easier path. People go off the deep end chasing this mermaid, forever lost to practicality and sanity.

Agreeed that unless we are both sitting in front of the speaker listening it is hard to talk about it, because your idea of good mental pornography might be different than mine. I might be thinking of the mousy librarian at the local high school in a bunny suit and you are thinking about the blond silicone bag handing out cards for a strip joint at the entrance to the Adult Entertainment Expo licking cognac out of your navel...Romy's Remy Romp.

Whatever floats your cork, as long as I don't have to watch...

Even when knowledgeable speaker guys are together in a listening room, it can be difficult to verbalize some reactions beyond the primal grunt "Hmmm...Wow!" level. I just did the show for a week and talked to a lot of hardcore geeks and speaker manufacturers between the normal visitors. A speaker like Aporia that blurs the established lines takes some time to digest. The speaker geeks recognized that this reshuffling of known technologies yielded a novel flavor of presentation and nobody, including me, did a great job of describing it in words on the spot.

I think that is a good thing. Nothing is worse than a boring, predictable speaker in the Vegas sea of boring, predictable speakers.

Sadly, the Aporia horn is difficult to hear at this point, unless you are in Seoul, Korea. The only pair in the Western Hemisphere is on a plane heading home to mama.  CES went quite well and many people liked the system so perhaps it will be back for the circus next year.
01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 9423
Reply to: 9420
“Why do I need all those technical manuals?” - Amuse to Death by Roger Waters
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe,

I personally very much disagree with my own comment that for two people objectively assess a speaker would be possible ONLY with two parties are sitting in the same room and listening to the same installation. I did propose it as a “remedy” in context of our conversation about Silbatones but I made this conclusion just as I understood that this exchange goes to nowhere. In reality there are very much objective and free from corruption of personal perception methodologies of audio assessments. I did not see you nether used them in past (I am familiar with your views only by your articles) not express any interest to evolve on the subjects of audio evaluations. So, therefore I think the only plausible solution would be to sit in the same room and to point fingers to the specifics as many people have no idea what they listen while they are listening.

Deriving from what I said in the paragraph above I refuse to support the notion that the idea of “good mental pornography might be different” between the people. Yes, the idea of mental pornography is different but the idea of fidelity of music interpretation is very much uniformed. Any more or less worthy musician or music listener around the world have very little ambiguity about the “rightness” of musical ideas presentations. The transparency (or at the higher level - expressivity) by acoustic systems the attack of a performing event upon the musical ideas is one of the criteria of my evaluations and I care less how much a speakers better or worth then Lowthers.  Anyhow, it is much further subject then how good Silbatone’s bass and how much plastic coloration it has. If you would like to read more about my views on the subject then read about the narration about my Macondo:

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

At this point let settle that Silbatone is some kind of single-driver loudspeaker that used a new type of driver and make the common claims that it is not just a “single-driver loudspeaker”. If I have a change I would certainly listen it or even better I would wait for the Silbatone Aporia MKII that would cost twice more and would have a channel above and a channel below.

One more thing that I would like to pass to you as to the person who runs marketing for Silbatone.  If you would like the people with no-nonsense perception pay attention to your (I mean Silbatone) statements then try to be specific and definite. If you feel that Manger is the key element of your speaker and if you feel that the alleged customization that Silbatone did on Manger is a critical element of the Silbatone design then have ball to talk about it. I do not propose you to divulge what exactly was done with Manger but I do insist that as soon a person refers to the fact that the Manger was “customized” then the person shell enumerate what specific sonic attributes of the default Manger were improved and what specific sonic shortcomings of default Manger were eliminated. This way a person who is familiar with Manger will have own judgment if the “claims of customizing”, also with other things are serious.  That what I call “no BS marketing” and it is very far from telling the stories about people coming suicides after listening Deep Purple on a playback with the Silbatone’s on the right channel and WE’s electromagnet on the left channel.

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
01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 14
Post ID: 9428
Reply to: 9404
Not a hush hush secret or smoke and mirrors
fiogf49gjkf0d

Quickly again, for the record, and The Google:

The back wave of the Manger has a much less flat response than the front wave. There are peaks out the back.  It is not a symmetrical dipole.

This issue is only of interest if you are using the back wave, e.g. in a back horn. In a box, it probably doesn't matter as much. Maybe it does, not sure. Anyway, the rear output of the Manger is not optimal and Silbatone had to consider this problem.

Interestingly, the highs come out of different holes in the back of the driver than the lows, which allows for targeted treatment of back wave output. You can't just cover the holes with duct tape if you don't want highs or lows because this will mess up the front wave.

From my understanding of this procedure, the particulars of the trap or damper or whatever it is that is glued to the back of the driver also depend on the specific horn geometry and how the horn loads the Manger.

The horn curve attenuates mid frequencies for a mechanical xover effect, but traps and damping material in particular spots attached to the driver and inside the horn structure help to smooth out the response and help the integration of MF and LF in this particular design.

Also, the APORIA has a straight pipe directly behind the driver that provides space for this technique, but the Bulgarian Acousta IV backhorn plans might not allow this luxury, so beware.

This is not a CIA secret but it is too involved to relate in a snappy brochure.  I am not even so sure that it is super-interesting because it is specific to this speaker design and not a useful generic tip, but I'm glad that I encouraged the question.

I don't know the exact frequencies and tunings involved but that is the general overview.

In short, the Manger is no zen nirvana easy money solution for a simple yet perfect single-driver full-range speaker. It is a demanding pain in the butt like all the rest of them.
01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 15
Post ID: 9431
Reply to: 9428
An Invitation for the Cat
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy:

This is your lucky day! The owner of Silbatone Acoustics wants to invite you to Korea as his personal guest. Pick a date in March. You pay the plane ticket and he will pick up all accommodations and entertainment.

You can hear the Aporia versus the top of the line five driver Manger factory speaker to compare topologies.

You can see the company's 20 million dollar "pilot drying" paint line that the speakers are painted on (no octopus involved). No other audio manufacturer has the painting capability of Silbatone...but you brought up paint. I'm more interested in sound.

You can visit the research center of the parent company, where 600 scientists are employed, and meet the PhDs who developed the unique foamed resin the speakers are made from.

You can have the Mirrophonic orgasm and be initiated into the cult. Be sure to bring a white robe and a candle.

He will provide a car and driver so that you can visit the high-end shops of Seoul and see more audio gear in one day than you have seen in your life until now.

As someone who speaks Korean, Japanese, and Chinese fluently, he thinks your "Asian sound" theory is flawed, overgeneralized, and has some racist overtones, but he thinks you probably don't mean it that way.

My friend thinks that you have probably already said so much that you can't backtrack on your words about WE and single drivers and so forth, but maybe you will learn something new for yourself by making this trip.  I guarantee you will see and hear stuff you never encountered before.

Anyway, this is a serious invitation. Let us know the dates you can make it and all reservations and arrangements will be taken care of.

Seoul is an interesting place and the audio group we know is a lot of fun. I say go for it if you can.


Joe

01-15-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 16
Post ID: 9432
Reply to: 9431
The considerations about the trip.
fiogf49gjkf0d

-  I did whatever I could, I whispered to him the most seducing, but he refused it.
-  Whatever you whispered to him I know, - replied Voland, – but it was not the most seducing.
However, I would say to you, - smiling he referred to Master, - that your novel still will bring surprises to you.
Michael Bulgakov “Master and Margarita” (link)

Joe,

I appreciate the invitation. I frankly have no specific interest about Korea, despite that reputation about the Korea hookers is stronger than the reputation of Western Electric. I hope your Korean friends do not feel offended – I just did not develop any itching curiosity about Korea. I do have the “itching curiosity” about South America where I am planning to go but that is a different side of the map…

I am sure that Korea is some kind of Asian oasis of audio and has more hi-fi shops per capita then Amsterdam has diamond cutters but frankly speaking a critical mass of EMT927 tables within a sq. foot of country surface does not ignite a chains reaction in me that would make me to jump like a wounded in ass antipope to “see” it. I admit that in 90s I was different and I did travel in search for those “sharp audio sensations”. The problem with me at that time was that I did not know what I was looking for. I think I know now and I know that what I am looking does not arrive just after 20 hours of flying somewhere, sponsored by the 600 scientists and a few wily marketing chess moves. I found it kind of disconcerting that you guys extend invitations to me forgetting to promise/imply a noble amplitude of own sonic accomplishment but instead do not forget to promise that I will “see more audio gear in one day than I have seen in my life”. Did I impress you as a junky form the AudioHeritage.com web site who gets off from the pictures of the Akihabara debris? 

I do like your assurance that I might hear “stuff I never encountered before” but I do not like the word “stuff”" in there. Might be I read too much in what you say but, Joe, you never talk about Sound and only talk about the toys to severe external sonic amusement. So, I read in your words no more then you put in them. Also knowing that your entire interest about the this subject is purely conceptually-commercial I have to take under the consideration the coloration of your judgment, not as much about the Silbatone but more about my expectation that I have to leverage. I truly do not know that referents points the you use and you give no pointers of reference.

I still would consider visiting your Silbatone folks if I found myself in your part of the world if they still have interest in me then (the last one was very loaded comment). If I do so then I would certainly NOT take them upon the accommodations and entertainment (come on, I do not play those stupid games, invite Srajan the Ebayen  (link) for that whoreshit).

I think that listening that “promised land” WE system and perhaps for an appetizer the back-loaded Manger would be an educational and I hope for both of us. I am sure you and your Silbatone folks would also find edifying my explanations what in the sound of their speakers and the sound of Mirrophonic is not how it might/shell be. Still, all of it is a globe-away and in the place where I was not intended to go. Even with all my desire to treat my ego by “helping” you guys with Sound I think that to sacrifice 20+20 hours in plain would be too much suffering. 

Once again, I do appreciate the invitation and  if I were in your neighborhood then I will try to abuse your hospitality.

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
01-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Joe Roberts
Posts 48
Joined on 01-12-2009

Post #: 17
Post ID: 9433
Reply to: 9432
Maybe cats don't like kim chee because they never tried it
fiogf49gjkf0d

Certainly, this sincere invitation was offered in part because they found you an interesting Cat, but I think that the offer was also inspired by the fact that you are writing pages of critique on items that you have not, in fact, ever heard.

My Korean friends thought you might actually want to hear it, and I assume they think that if you did, you just might like Mirrophonic or their Mangers more than your prefabricated evaluation system suggests.

I can't say that I know whether you can teach these guys anything about sound...but they thought you would be fun to hang out with for a few days, drinking some wine, and listening to some music and you might want to hear some different things, so they invite you as a guest.

This is not about buying you out or paying you off, because, let's face it, you don't have anything to sell. This was simply an friendly offer to come see/hear for yourself. I told you these guys were evangelists and not putting sales first.

There is little marketing at play, because goodsoundclub.com is probably 5 levels below dagogo.com for moving hi-end gear--and I KNOW you are not buying Silbatone.

Even if you do buy, I don't pocket anything. I am retired from audio and just helping out an old friend with Silbatone in the Western World. Parasound or Sterophile could not pay me enough to convince me to work for them. I had it with the audio biz and I know more about it than most people on this board.

I know what you mean. I would not go two miles to see mountains of audio "stuff" in this age either, but the experience is worth doing once. I never saw as much hi-end gear in one block as in Seoul.  In terms of sheer excess, it is a monument to a special form of insanity. In one day you can hear 10 Manger systems, if that is an interesting proposition and what you need to learn. To me, not so good bait. I'd rather hang out in a bar and drink wine with some audio nuts and talk trash.

Yes, I tend not to talk about sound too much except in plain descriptive terms. I also firmly believe that people should not care what I personally think about a given system or whatever. What difference does it make?

For example, I have been seeing a stupid ad with my name attached since 1993: something like, "If you want see-thru listenability, try Hovland Musicaps" I wrote that in passing 15 years ago and it won't go away. Why should anybody buy a cap because I liked it? That ad is painful for me to see. The caps are OK, not the best, but still.

I realized long ago that I can happily listen to almost anything that doesn't hurt, including the sound bar on my DELL monitor. I can recognize differences in quality and I have had what I consider to be really nice systems in various typologies. But, for me, the lust to own and dominate audio gear is no longer there. I don't NEED the best anymore. I just NEED some music.

I am an anthropologist, not an engineer or professional critic. My interest in audio is as much about people, their projects, the ideologies and and the material culture of audio more than listening reports. I am also an electronics hacker, so I like circuits and designs.

How can I talk about the sound of a circuit? The abstract circuit has no sound. Only real amps do and every one built from a plan I published in Sound Practices will sound different because they are never built the same. Similarly, talking about the "300B sound" is totally useless because there are so many possibilities.

Similarly, I will listen to any single-driver speaker and see what it can do, without too many prior objections. I am always prepared to be shocked, even if it doesn't happen very often. I don't think "single driver" has a sound, and the Aporia moves me further in that direction.

I retreat into the world of direct personal experience. I listen and I like it or not. if the guy next to me loves it and I think it is doo-doo, so what. If I like it and Tony Cordesman thinks it sucks, good!...more for me. I know whether what I am listening to is right for me, but I do not have an a priori evaluation checklist worked out yet.

The absolute sound notion of total reproduction of live music is a joke. Nothing is even close to live music. Any other scheme is arbitrary and reductionistic. I really believe that a case by case "emotional" reaction is the true path.

Generalized theories about typologies and whatnot are mostly misleading and a giant sharp stick into the eye of the mind. There are always huge exceptions that cast doubt on the whole procedure. The map is never as detailed as the territory.  Beyond a certain point all the mapmakers see is their own maps.

Most of my writing was about trying to inspire people to try something new, maybe do some building or experimenting, and ignore the "experts" with their evaluation programs and boring assessments, which may or may not be important to "you, the music listener."

When I first started talking about horns, mainly to piss people off although I truly like horns, I got near death-threats via phone. Everybody was stuck in the TAS approved typology scheme. Now the hi-end typology scheme includes horns. Does this make it any better? No, it is still a stupid checklist, it is just a bit longer with more checkboxes.

I also wrote reviews for money but they were mainly about "extraneous" topics, as you put it. I think that the non-sonic dimension of audio is often the most important part in people's lives. Listening experience can be important but the details of the sound are up to individuals to evaluate for themselves. The hobby and craft of audio are at least as vital as the pure sonic output of the systems,  even more important.

I had a magazine, you have a funky website. Does this make us experts worth listening to? I'm not impressed in either case.

Some years ago,  I just shut up about it and went on to do my own thing in private. This dialogue is more audio-related writing than I have done in a decade. I find it odd to be stamped as a commercial party because even when I was in business I never could figure out how to be commercial and since 1995, all I do is sell SP back issue CDs on ebay to juice up my paypal for books and guitar parts. If I am a commercial figure, this business is in worse shape than I thought.

South America is a valid destination. If you do it right it can be almost audio-free.

Like your lack of desire to visit Korea, I never wanted to go to South America but I went to visit my now-wife who was living in a Mennonite colony in the Paraguayan Chaco for anthropology and linguistic research in 1985. I saw a 12 foot long giant lizard. I saw six foot balls of spiders on light poles. I ate strange roots, saw new kinds of wood. it was very interesting. I have loved the idea of South America ever since.

If you do find yourself in the East, Seoul is a very interesting and sophisticated place and well worth visiting. The audio culture and musical culture is very impressive. I am sure the invitation is open-ended, so let me know if it works out. As a social experience and audio adventure, I am not steering you wrong with this travel opportunity. The people on the offering end are my good friends, great folks, and would do their best to ensure a pleasant and interesting stay.  If you appear in Seoul, making the contribution to take the journey, they will gladly put you up and show you around. This is the Korean way.

Any snide comments like the one about the "white robe and candle" were my own decoration, not from the Korean office. I may not be Romy-grade cynical but I am pretty bad.

Anyway, it's been real...but I have to sign off and stay with my retirement plan. Filling pages on audio forums is not in the plan, but this subject was close to home.

Anybody wants to chat, PM me or via my "commercial" email jr@silbatoneacoustics.com.

01-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 18
Post ID: 9435
Reply to: 9433
The follow up for the considerations.
fiogf49gjkf0d

Joe, I do appreciate that that invitation is open-ended and I might take advantage of it sometimes. Frankly I do not feel any specific temptations that I need to “drop everything” and to run to another side of the globe to audition the Silbatone. The Silbatone folks might feel an urge to show off their speaker to many people and might understand it, women do the same when they buy a new dress and what to show them off, but the existence of a new opportunity is not a motivation for employment of the opportunity. The fact that the new Manger loading is available is a good fact, so what? The new ways of sound reproductions and new drivers invented each year, even I invented two. Does it make us, the users, have a need to families ourselves with everything? I do not think so, sure if the opportunity will come then why not – the more divert experience the merrier, but the fact that somebody load a new horn is not something the made me to lose sleep.

Also you and your Korean friends are wrong if your feel that criticize Silbatone. I do not. I mildly mocked the WE fetish at the Silbaton’s site and I do criticize the single-driver topology in general. If it sound as my direct “criticizing” of Silbatone then I think it is the problem of perception not expression as I had no intention to “condemn” anything about Aporia specifically. I just never thought about it deeper then the fact that it is a single-driver speaker.

The Mirrophonic aspect of the Korean’s projects sounds more interesting. I did heard and analyzed the WE speakers elements a few time, never was pleased with them but I never heard the complete original Mirrophonic installation set up by the WE’s snobs. (In thins connotation the word snob did not mean to offend).  I never heard it and my initials reaction was that it might be interesting, particularly after reading your flowery literatures about “Mirrophonic shock”. Then, before I initially replied to your invitation I decided to perform a minor really check.

Pay attention: you stress the Mirrophonic hype but you do not acknowledge the contra-arguments, stressing the people ignorance with the pure WE’s results. Did you ever think how good the very same WE, RCA, Klangfilm, Telefunken gear might be if those people who made  the gear did not targeted to low standard movie reinforcement system but used all their taste and all their materials to fulfill the high-demands of contemporary home sound reproduction? Do I need to name you many compromises of the movie reinforcement objectives and the design shortcomings of those systems? Or perhaps you drop the mask of ignorance from your face and admit that you do understand and know all of it yourself, perhaps many years before I even discover it? Joe, I did read some of your Altec articles that indicate that you do have a lucid sight on those subjects, so use it.

There is something more in the subject of your promised “WE’s brain ejaculation”.   After reading your invitation I called to a friend of mine who had a lot of exposure to a LOT of vintage gear. When I say a lot I really mean it and in his case I might also presume that whatever he own or owned you probably never have seen.  We have differences in views with him and I found many of his audio outlooks conditional but he is not a fool and generally has an atypical for audio level of sincerity. The reason why I called him because I was trying to validate with his experiences your “Western Electric mania” and to leverage my expectations before I “drop everything and run to listen the Mirrophonic” . Hi did hear a number of absolutely esthetic and very seriously installed WE systems, I mean the complete systems, up to the very fine details, assembled and supported by absolutely obsessed fanatics. They were not just the complete WE systems but the very biggest and the most expensive of among the WE did. If you know the WE world (and you were one of the people who propelled it) then you might already know where he heard them). What makes him particularly in this perspective interesting that he also heard the one-before-the-current reiteration of my own playback and knows where I am coming from. We also together with him heard one of those “perception changing” playback system as few years back, so, we have some common references and we can fill the same words with the same meanings. So, I called him and asked abot his opinion if it truly would be “orgasmatick” for me to fly to Korea and to lose my virginity about the presumably properly set up WE Mirrophonic gear. He knows what I was exposed to, he generally has an idea what I have in my own room and he well knows the possible results from the Mirrophonic installation. So, he suggested that it will be NOT overly exiting for me and NOT eye-opening. He did mention that WE have a number of positive moments but it will be for me as far from a “revelation” as… I predict. So, I do not mind to drive 2 hours, hear the results and to talk about the Sound but I do not know if I even consider to invest 20 hours to fly in one way. Not to mention that no one promised an interesting talks about Sound in Korea…. So if it happens then it happens but I see no reason to instigate anything at this point.

 Joe Roberts wrote:
South America is a valid destination. If you do it right it can be almost audio-free.

I would propose this quote of yours as the best thing that you ever have written. I really mean.

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
01-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 498
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 19
Post ID: 9437
Reply to: 9433
Never knowing
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Joe Roberts wrote:
Certainly, this sincere invitation was offered in part because they found you an interesting Cat, but I think that the offer was also inspired by the fact that you are writing pages of critique on items that you have not, in fact, ever heard.
I think no body expected Romy to go, it is not in his nature; but it is true that we should not comment on things we haven't experienced. See, if they had invited me, I would have gone. Not just to hear the WE stuff, which I have not ever heard, but also for to sit around and drink Jinro soju and eat preserved silkworms. Yum!

 Joe Roberts wrote:
I don't NEED the best anymore. I just NEED some music. Anybody wants to chat, PM me or via my "commercial" email jr@silbatoneacoustics.com.
It might also be instructive to have Joe visit Boston and listen to Romy's system, but I bet he would not go either.

Oh well.

Adrian
01-20-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 20
Post ID: 9471
Reply to: 9437
The invitation from the Cat?
fiogf49gjkf0d

 drdna wrote:
It might also be instructive to have Joe visit Boston and listen to Romy's system, but I bet he would not go either.

Probably, it would be instructive but I really do not want it to be as some kind of competition between the installations or a competition  ofthe methods to prove/illustrate compare each other reference points. I generally have tendency to do invite and do not play my playback for audio visitors if the specific of listening objectives are defined. I do not recognize any specific audio interests in Joe comments and I see no musical objective in his expressions. I am very far in understanding of audio as the “Rolling Stones playing live at Yankee Stadium on Western Electric triode”, so to me is more important what was in the eyes of beholder in order to interpret his/her definition of Truth.

Anyhow, I do not know what drive Joe in his Silbatone verbal creativity.  Was it the Silbatone actual performance or was it the scrupulous calculation of Google return order and the desire do live the Silbatone criticism of skepticism without answers,. The second reason is not necessary a bad one but I does not require the “actual listening” to found a common ground for judgment.

So, anyhow, I guess I am obligated not to extend my invitation to the virtual and silent Joe’s Korean folks. I kind of do it but I would like to warn that I by default am not in love with people just because then know what the different between grid and plate, know by heart the biography of Guglielmo Marconi  or memorized all VTF for all  versions of SPU cartridges. If you guys feel that you might impress me with something more than feel free to abuse my hospitality what you found yours in Boston. I am sure that if you found you as the “interesting listeners” then I will be able to demonstrate something that you might find worth to experience.

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
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