How important is sound stage to you?
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  1. #1
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    How important is sound stage to you?

    I have heard comments like, "I hate when the piano is stretched across the room" or " the singer sounds 10 feet tall" or "there's no depth" etc.

    So if you were listening to an audio rig where the tone, frequency balance was just about perfect, is there something about the sound stage that could ruin the pleasure for you, so to speak?

    I can deal with large images pretty well but smaller than normal seems to bug me. For instance, the Wilson/ARC system I heard with 160M's, had a large wide piano and tall cello but I could live with that in my room On the other hand if that cello seemed smaller than normal, it would bug me.

    I don't know what you call this character, I prefer a dark background. Some ARC, for instance, gives me a feel of whitish or sort of industrial. Some either never noticed or didn't realize what I was talking about. Someone else mentioned this on another thread, and, I was like, I'm not so crazy afterall. Whatever, that feel or character is, I seem to be sensitive to. The wrong feel can turn me off.
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  3. #2
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    Good post! To me, SOME solid state amps sound flat and 2D. That bugs me!


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  5. #3
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    Proper soundstage including size, depth, width and placement is one of the most important aspects of my decision in choosing a speaker. Most speakers today are pretty transparent and have pretty accurate timbre; of course this varies. Bass accuracy is where most modern day speakers is vary as this is also so room dependent and equipment dependent.

    Assuming tonality, timbre, transparency and bass is accurate and relatively linear which most great speakers today are (of course setup, room and associated equipment can’t and shouldn’t be dismissed) soundstage is where there is the most variation, IMHO.

    As I said nothing short of “accurate” works with me. I’m not a fan of a distorted soundstage. Many are and good for them. Many like to hear a piano take over the whole front or a singer sound 10 feet tall. That’s not my thing.

    Currently listening to Gobels Aeon Fine demos until mine are delivered and have to say they push all my buttons in every aspect. They replaced my Nola Concert Grands and required a little diffferent room setup to get the best out of them. I recently installed Art Novion front wall treatment which has really worked wonders with the Gobel and were unnecessary with the Nola.

    These speakers with my CH precision being directly driven by my MSB SELECT II have the best soundstage I have ever experience. Actually remarkable.

    Been doing this both selling early on since 82 and a strict hobbyist and lover since 87 and soundstage has always been my main priority; of course the assumption being that most other things are correct as well.

  6. #4
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    The good news is that soundstage is adjustable in set-up to your taste.


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  7. #5
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    It's critically important to me. Many recordings are superb with depth, width, placement and focus. Yes, some are very strange for sure.
    I'm not sure I could pick one aspect over another, e.g. Great Sound stage with Glare, although I guess I'd be able to listen to a "mono" sound stage much longer that I'd be able to live with a system with a lot of glare or etched sound character.
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  9. #6
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
    The good news is that soundstage is adjustable in set-up to your taste.


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    I have also found this to be true within the limitations of the room.
    Some are limited by decor or their better half and must make sacrifices.
    A good friend is in the above catagory. His system is tonally accurate and basically enjoyable but not emotionally involving.
    To steal part of a phrase from Dick Olsher, it's like a black and white sunset.
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  10. #7
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    So if you were listening to an audio rig where the tone, frequency balance was just about perfect, is there something about the sound stage that could ruin the pleasure for you, so to speak?
    Spatial reproduction has long been recognized as sort of the "final frontier" with recorded audio.
    Stereophile founder JG Holt was saying this decades ago: https://www.stereophile.com/asweseei...wsi/index.html
    Here is a great laymans discussion by an old Bell labs guy http://www.linkwitzlab.com/Recording...cs-hearing.htm relating to domestic soundfields (no pun intended). Yes, some of it might make an audiophile head explode try to comprehend, so skip to around pg 22~26 if needed.
    As Jim noted, there are preferences too, so some folks might prefer a slightly more diffuse (live acoustics), while others may listen mostly to stereophonic studio constructed electronic music, thus a "dryer" presentation, as afforded by the loudspeaker/room/you interaction. So of course YMMV applies.
    Btw, there is a huge amount of research going regarding spatial reproduction systems.

    cheers,

    AJ

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  12. #8
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    i listen to a lot of ambient electronica so soundstage is probably my top priority. being able to hear the full soundscape and all the layers in the depth of the soundstage are my "chills" moments.

    i used to love the tube soundstage because of the depth and holographic nature. i switched around a bunch of components and ultimately found that a soulution 721 pre was giving me the best stage because it also varied the most from track to track. the other pieces seemed to have that homogenized "big sound stage". ultimately i prefer it this way as each track has variations in staging and since the soulution is able to rip apart all details, i can still here deep into the depths of the stage

  13. #9
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Soundfield View Post
    Spatial reproduction has long been recognized as sort of the "final frontier" with recorded audio.
    Stereophile founder JG Holt was saying this decades ago: https://www.stereophile.com/asweseei...wsi/index.html
    Here is a great laymans discussion by an old Bell labs guy http://www.linkwitzlab.com/Recording...cs-hearing.htm relating to domestic soundfields (no pun intended). Yes, some of it might make an audiophile head explode try to comprehend, so skip to around pg 22~26 if needed.
    As Jim noted, there are preferences too, so some folks might prefer a slightly more diffuse (live acoustics), while others may listen mostly to stereophonic studio constructed electronic music, thus a "dryer" presentation, as afforded by the loudspeaker/room/you interaction. So of course YMMV applies.
    Btw, there is a huge amount of research going regarding spatial reproduction systems.

    cheers,

    AJ
    Yes it's a "time machine".

  14. #10
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    Re: How important is sound stage to you?

    My system presents a huge sound stage, probably unnaturally large, especially with my Maggies. I can understand how some people may not like it. I prefer a large sound stage with width and depth, even though a guitar can sound 10 feet tall.

    About 2 years ago, I did a review for Exogal on their Comet DAC prototype. In my system it gave a 3D holographic sound that gave the impression that I was using surround sound. It was very strange and took time getting use to.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

 

 
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