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Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 1396
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Beware of "Higher Frequencies Syndrome".

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It us commonly accepted that in sound reproduction we shell target 20kHz. The presumption is that most of us can register sound up to 12kHz-20kHz and therefore 20kHz “here and there” sound like a reasonable boundary. The most “advanced” individuals spread the theories that an extension above 20kHz (up to 40kHz-100kHz) is also very critical and that it very much beneficial. The listening experiments do proof those theories and everything looks and sounds sensible.

Now is the catch: the above-mentioned assumptions are WRONG.

The playbacks that reproduce –3dB at 20kHz  (regardless of topology) are amusical. I do not know the reasons but it is fact. The musical playbacks have –3dB at no more then 12kHz -13kHz and arrive to 20kHz with SUBSTANTIAL roll-off. The sweeping majority of audible frustrations that we experience when out sound do not go over 12.5kHz is NOT relater with the shortage of HF but relate ONLY to the dynamic, transient, contrast and color saturation limitations of our channels the care upper mid range. Let me accent it: the poor quality of 7kHz-12.5kHz is the reasons why some of you are not satisfied with –3dB at 13kHz and it has nothing to do with what is going on at 20kHz or 30kHz.

So, how the Higher Frequencies Syndrome manifest itself? A listeners listen his playback and he feel that “there is not enough air” atop, he feels that “audio window” is too narrow, he feel that sound is “too slow”, that there is not “sparkles” or “blitz” in the crescendos. After acknowledge all of it the listener instead of trashing his dynamic and transient disabled, or improperly used MF driver, begin to compliment sound with tweeters that go all the way up. With a good tweeter all subjective problem are gone… but now the sound in the person listing room is very specific. The specificity of this sound that it ALWAYS sound better then “live” music.

The high frequency string groups never sound bright (unless the wiling to make this sound intentionally). They sound dynamic like hell and the acceleration across dynamic range in thier MF are very very high. The air passing out of valve instruments never “sounds” - it can be auditable but it NEVER has own tone or own “listening value”. The woodwinds never sound without the “space” and if they whistle on thier own without relation to the sound of the performing environment then it was not the woodwinds but the sound or superfluous tweeter. I can go on and on….

So, what the  “bad” audio people do and now they destroy the fabric of music with the excessive HF? They inject into sound of thier listening rooms the highly contaminated with distortions highest frequencies (it is always the case) and those highest frequencies modulate the listening deceptions that everything is now “better”. Yes, now the listener does have the “air”, “blitz”, “sparkles”, “speed” and so on but with a deeper MUSICAL ANALYSES of the playback’s complicity to reproduce “Sound” instead of “The Sounds” those qualities are beneficial ONLY in context of deprived Hi-Fi music. With serious musical material all those “HF accessories” act devastating and poison the unity of reproduces musical event with the arteffects of sound reproduction (reproduction language).

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
Page 1 of 1 (1 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  Metal domes..  Try the one Lansche is using...  Audio Discussions  Forum     6  50963  11-08-2007
  »  New  The Active High Frequency Solution - AHFS..  Small problems with the camera lens can be mistaken for...  Playback Listening  Forum     5  38337  02-06-2008
  »  New  A single worst thing in today’s acoustic systems...  The playback generally or acoustic systems?...  Horn-Loaded Speakers Forum     28  107949  11-15-2009
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