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catman

'Euphonic', but great sounding phono stages.

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G'day all, earlier this afternoon I really enjoyed listening to my vinyl copy of Dire Straits 'Love Over Gold', which sounded superb as rendered by my M97x/SAS phono cartridge and Lounge Audio LCR MKIII phono stage. 

 

This phono stage has a slightly higher than average distortion figure (around .15 per cent, second and fourth harmonics), yet it sounds incredibly full and lush and I guess that in absolute terms it might be termed slightly euphonic, but that slight distortion adds to the musical enjoyment! 

 

In all honesty there was probably a time when I would never have accepted a distortion figure of .15 percent from any piece of 'high fidelity' equipment, but here is an exception.  I guess specifications don't tell the whole story!  Any comments or thoughts?  Regards, Felix.   

Edited by catman

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Doesn't euphonic mean great sounding? Distortion can be used to create a particular sound, such as in a guitar amp. Whether you want that distortion on everything is another matter.

I'm curious as to what level of distortion is audible. Anyone seen any work on this?

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In all honesty there was probably a time when I would never have accepted a distortion figure of .15 percent from any piece of 'high fidelity' equipment, but here is an exception.  I guess specifications don't tell the whole story!  Any comments or thoughts?  Regards, Felix.   

 

Do you ever see distortion figures published for Speakers?  Do you know why?

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G'day all, yes this is an interesting subject as from my own reading and general perusal it seems to me that a lot of audio gear blessed with the tag 'high end' often seem to have considerably less than perfect 'specifications', and yet these are often regarded as points of merit, contributing to a particular 'sound'. 

 

As a former electronics/telecommunications technician I would rather see very low distortion/low noise specifications as a general rule, however I can see a place for a 'euphonic' sonic presentation.  It is a curious paradox! 

 

On loudspeakers, well such is the nature of all kinds of electro-mechanical transducers that 'very low' distortion figures are nigh on impossible.  Regards, Felix.   

Edited by catman

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Guest Muon

Ear Clone is definitely a touch euphonic .........I like it.

 

Deleted.... I had it mixed up (just back from dentist) :(

Edited by ortofun

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G'day all, yes this is an interesting subject as from my own reading and general perusal it seems to me that a lot of audio gear blessed with the tag 'high end' often seem to have considerably less than perfect 'specifications', and yet these are often regarded as points of merit, contributing to a particular 'sound'. 

 

As a former electronics/telecommunications technician I would rather see very low distortion/low noise specifications as a general rule, however I can see a place for a 'euphonic' sonic presentation.  It is a curious paradox!  

 

0.15% is highly unlikely to be audible, being low-order even harmonics. 

 

Assuming for the moment that the owner's impressions are caused by sound waves, it is almost certainly due to the frequency response not precisely following the RIAA curve. Or making an uncommon decision on omitting certain RIAA poles -- there is a bit of flexibility here.

 

If you have a really accurate reverse RIAA filter, pop it on your unit and measure the sum frequency response. Variations from flat will be audible because of their broad (low-Q) nature.

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That's good to see and serves to enhance the credibility of those brands.  Not an end of the market I usually do any detailed research in!

 

I guess they're comfortable publishing them, as buyers of those products would have a better idea of where speaker distortion sits in the overall scheme of things.

Figures of 0.5% and 1% would not come as a shock against the .005% on their amplification.

 

However, I couldn't see any distortion specs for Wilson, PSB or VAF or most others that I look at from time to time.

 

As to the "why".

Speaker distortion specs look rather high when compared to the distortion specs on other components.

My general impression is that the marketing people at most speaker manufacturers don't like the idea of publishing those specs to a largely uneducated market.

Not because their distortion specs aren't adequate, but even if they stack up well against the likes of B&W or Quad (or the SC "Majestic" :D), the figures still don't look great against what the average punter sees for their CD Player, Amp, or Phono stage.

 

Or is there another reason and I've just formed a cynical view thanks to some of the marketing people I've worked with (or against!)? :)

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Anyway, my point is, with harmonic distortion in the very best speakers being up to 1%, then 0.15% in another component is not a deal breaker.

The sound of a phono stage is also dependent on a number of other specs such as S/N Ratio, RIAA deviation, Input Impedance/Capacitance, etc.

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