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Bright, warm, lush, laid back - what does it all *mean*, Basil?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by NicolasB, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    (Note to moderators: goodness knows which is the most appropriate forum for this post, so please redirect at will).

    It's been quite a few months since I started getting myself involved with AV equipment, but in all that time there are still any number of words that audio people routinely use whose meaning escapes me. I'm not so much thinking about technical jargon, more about the adjectives that are used by reviewers to characterise the sound of a particular component. Sometimes it's fairly obvious what they're talking about: if something is described as "shrill" then that means it has too much treble, to an extent that becomes irritating. But what exactly do people mean when they describe sound as:

    Bright
    Lush
    Laid Back
    Warm
    Cold
    Analytical
    Airy
    Sweet
    Sparkling
    Forward
    Neutral
    Transparent
    Coloured

    and quite possibly several other things? I reckon I know what some of these mean, and I've got some idea about most of the rest, but I'm sure I'm not the only person around here who would appreciate some sort of objective definition of what people mean when they use these terms.
     
  2. SimonG

    SimonG
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    Lucky you aren't into wine!

    Anyway, I have no idea of these but at a guess

    Bright - too much treble
    Cold - too much treble
    Analytical - too much treble
    Airy - too much treble
    Sweet - too much treble
    Sparkling - too much treble
    Forward - too much treble

    Simon

    http://homecinema.2ya.com
     
  3. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
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    Nice one Nic.

    Bright - over emphasis on the treble.
    Analytical - extremely detailed sound.
    Coloured - frequency range is biased to one end, but usually towards the lower midrange.
    Laid back - lack of dynamic response.
    Forward - hyper accurate dynamic response, also an emphasis on treble without being bright.
    Neutral - no perceptible influence on the signal.
    Transparent - revealing of non neutral components in the rest of signal chain.
    Sparkling - inaccurate treble response, usually emphasising harmonics of high frequency sounds rather than fundamental frequency.
     
  4. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
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    Or substitute for the above a combination of Mission and Sony.
     
  5. DownToTheBone

    DownToTheBone
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    >> Neutral - no perceptible influence on the signal.

    How do you know that a system is neutral - whats the reference point ?

    DTTB
     
  6. EvilMudge

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    Output from a calibration disc matches the contents of said disc when recorded from the system using a properly calibrated microphone. That's the working definition, but it is level & bandwidth dependant in the full definition.
     
  7. Spligsey

    Spligsey
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    Best one i've heard is 'organic'


    All the very best.



    Adzman
     
  8. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Organic, yes, definitely one for the list. :)


    People tend to use "analytical" as a term of abuse rather than as a compliment, though. It's the sort of word people use to describe a Tag McLaren AV32R when they are explaining why they prefer an Arcam AV8. (Arcam kit is always described as "warm").
     
  9. warrj

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    Best one i've heard is 'organic'

    I guess that that's the opposite of 'digital' ;)

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  10. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    Good thread Nic:smashin:
    Anybody tell me what "slow" bass is and to tell if your suffering from it?
     
  11. Gambit

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    Fast and Slow as I've always used them refer to the amount of time it takes the driver to get back and ready for a new vibration- fast speakers can keep a complicated rhythm better than slow ones, so slow bass would be sluggish and seem to be lagging behind a bit.
     
  12. dts_boy

    dts_boy
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    does anyone hear suffer from "Phat" bass, apparently my neighbour's son has "Phat bass in his car:rotfl:
     
  13. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Hmm.. I didn't find the Tag particularly analytical. Also I find it hard to understand that the term analytical is used as abuse.

    Let alone bright, harsh, forward etc.. if a gear is analytical, how can that be bad ?
    My understanding of the term analytical = revealing.

    I think a term warm can be used as a abuse as well.
    too warm = soft ?
     
  14. rob_w

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  15. martintyler

    martintyler
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    Get yourself a copy of 'The complete guide to high-end audio' by Robert Harley.. very cheap on amazon at the moment!

    He describes all these things in detail.
     
  16. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    What Hi-Fi favourites...
    Dynamic Insight
    Grace
    Anodyne Bass / Treble
    Polite Bass / Treble
    Fast Bass
    Slow Bass
    Authority
    Reserved
    Compliance
    Grip
    Speed
    Clout
    Intimate
    Coherent
    Truculent Bass
    Pugnacious
    Acerbic Treble
    Anaemic
    Androgynous
    Prodigous
    Homogeneous
    Lucid
    Transparent
    .....and a million others :rolleyes:
     
  17. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    "Clinical" is another word people use when they want to be rude about Tag processors. (N.B. I am not suggesting that one should be rude about them, I'm just saying that, when people are, that's the sort of vocabulary they tend to use).
     
  18. DownToTheBone

    DownToTheBone
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    ... so does 'organic' actually mean it's sh*t ? ...

    DTTB
     
  19. Ian J

    Ian J
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    In olden times it used to be a comparison with real instruments.
     
  20. Lowrider

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    For me analytical or clinical is a setup that removes "emotion" from music... I mean the notes sound too separate, you miss the harmonics, the continuity... Sorry, but this was the best I could do in English... :rolleyes:
     
  21. graxxor

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    My favourite word has to be "musical"..

    Damn, I'm going to have to get a new amp, mine's not musical enough, it always misses C#!!!

    I even read an article where an amp was "blisteringly musical"... I have no idea what that means, but it sounds GOOD...
    :devil:


    Hmmm... I wonder... Time to make some of my own glowing combinations.

    Organically musical... Good sound

    Blisteringly clinical... Clear sound

    Engagingly homonious Nice sound

    Delicately powerful Nice sound... I think.

    Delightfully polite Nice sound... No bass though.

    Imperious Low End Your amp weighs 97kg and needs a tubular titanium rack to hold it.

    Curiously Majestic... You find that you spend half the day polishing it and saying "you are awesome" under your breath.

    Fabulously creative... You put your Abba CD in and press play... Eminem comes out....

    And of course, when you are listening to a real stinker... We could even have a Politically Correct section for use in negative reviews where the listener doesn't want to hurt their poor mate's feelings...

    Musically challenged. Transposes half of your music up 1/3 of a key.

    Rythmically impaired. The drum beats are offset from the rest of the music by a fluctuating interval of 0.1~0.4 seconds.

    We've all heard amps like these.....Haven't we?

    I think I'm suffering a vocal rectal inversion... excuse me....:devil:
     

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