Another test finds HomePod frequency response flat, but results potentially meaningless

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  • Reply 21 of 123
    Is this an editorial?
    I can't tell any more either. Dilger does a good editorial, but it seems like other AI writers don't actually know how to present an argument, or get their emotions and personal options confused with being relevant to such a presentation style. I've also noticed a range or snarky, negative comments aimed at Apple recently. I'm beginning to thing this website has been taken over by googliods or something...
  • Reply 22 of 123
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,095member
    lkrupp said:
    I have just one question. Did the Google and Amazon products go through all this analysis by audiophiles, all this editorializing, all this discussion (pro and con) when they were released? To be honest I had never heard of the Google Home Max until it started being compared to the HomePod.
    Google never made any "audiophile" claims and in general avoided comparing themselves to Sonos or Echo or any other speaker brand. Apple on the other hand invited it, and doing so in a very high-profile way. 
    edited February 2018 netmage
  • Reply 23 of 123
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    larrya said:
    sully54 said:
    Can we all just give this a rest and enjoy the HomePod? Or don’t. You do you. But these reviews are getting quite ridiculous. It’s like people are tripping over each other trying to get the farthest decimal place. 

    when I’m listening to music, graphs and numbers are honestly the last things on my mind. 
    We are in rationalization mode now to explain the less than unanimous reviews. For many, admiration of Apple and its products is now a religion.  If you like it, buy and enjoy it. But learn to accept that others, who are just as intelligent, may not come to the same conclusions. 
    Coming from you, who always says things like that, I wouldn't say "we", you always bitch about Apple..

    So, considering that, the "learn to accept" tripe is choice bud, you be a fracking "professor" in own mind.

    This  thing was mostly positive, it's just the conclusion that was weird so it's like you don't know wth you are saying.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 24 of 123
    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.

    This is something I plan on testing when we finally get the HomePod in Canada. Though it will require me destroying my own HomePod, I’m going to crack it open and connect directly to the 7 tweeters and sample what signal each gets.

    In order to do beamforming (which Apple claims) you need to send the same signal to more than one driver with the only difference being phase. This should be easy to spot. I’m curious how Apple groups the tweeters. Are the left and right 3 used as independent arrays with the front for direct? Or perhaps 2 from let and right with the front 3 for direct.

    It will also settle the debate about it being mono (which would mean all 7 get the same signal with only the phase being adjusted). Apple states on their webpage that  “Direct sound is beamed to the middle of the room, while ambient sound is diffused into left and right channels and bounced off the wall.” I’m curious what’s happening here.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 25 of 123
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    (and the test results indicate that setting DOES matter, despite Apple's claims to the contrary),
    Setting always matters.  The question is whether HomePod's processing covers a large percentage of the expected environments/use cases: kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, etc.  

    Aircraft hangers, test chambers, etc who cares?
    netmagedinoonerandominternetperson
  • Reply 26 of 123
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member

    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.
    In the same way that a violin is essentially a mono device...
    williamlondonsully54randominternetperson
  • Reply 27 of 123

    Whether Fast Company implemented windowing in its procedure is unknown, but the publication did perform multiple measurements from different points of the evaluation room. Still, as the test was not conducted in a controlled environment free of reverberations, its results are questionable.

    As edechamps puts it, any conclusion gleaned from a frequency response evaluation that is not performed in an anechoic chamber, or does not attempt to nullify real-world, should be taken with a hefty grain of salt.


    They don't list all the equipment, just the XL2 to measure. They obviously need a signal source, and NTi's tool for this (I can only assume they used only their tools and not something from another company) can output signals for impulse response. Whether or not they bothered to do so is unknown.

    Second paragraph is interesting. "anechoic chamber, or does not attempt to nullify real-world".

    So...you CAN perform these tests if you take steps to nullify the room? Like doing an impulse response? Funny, I was told an anechoic chamber was necessary. /s
    Some are some, and some are not!
  • Reply 28 of 123
    zoetmb said:
    That's not a flat frequency response.  Back in the hi-fi days, the measurement (with pink noise input) had to be from 20 to 20,000 Hz +/- 3db with no more than X% distortion (preferably 1% or under).

    But even if it was flat, a flat frequency response won't sound very good to most people.  That's why hi-fi equipment had tone controls and loudness compensation (which increased the bass and treble at low volume levels according to the Fletcher-Munson curve and which gradually had less effect as the volume was raised).

    I happened to be at an Apple store yesterday to listen to the HP.   IMO, it has an over-emphasized bass.   On new, digitally recorded material, it sounded pretty good.  But on tracks I tried from the 1960's-1970's (which I was pleasantly surprised were in the Apple Music library), it sounded kind of dull.   And while the Apple person was a bit confused and had to look things up, a single unit is NOT stereo.   At first, he claimed it was because "it contains lots of speakers", but when I told him that the number of speakers was not relevant and that it sounded mono to me, he did some more research and admitted it would take two for stereo and that stereo is not currently supported even with two units, but it would be with some future update.   

    Most of the reviews said the sound was great but that Siri sucked.  But in my tests and even in the noisy store environment, Siri did really well - it never played the wrong track or artist that I called out and it properly heard me say "louder" and "softer" and "pause".  It was far more accurate than the Apple TV achieved in the same environment. 

    Mmm... I certainly hope that Apple persons don't become typical Sound Store Lizards!
  • Reply 29 of 123

    foggyhill said:
    zoetmb said:
    That's not a flat frequency response.  Back in the hi-fi days, the measurement (with pink noise input) had to be from 20 to 20,000 Hz +/- 3db with no more than X% distortion (preferably 1% or under).

    But even if it was flat, a flat frequency response won't sound very good to most people.  That's why hi-fi equipment had tone controls and loudness compensation (which increased the bass and treble at low volume levels according to the Fletcher-Munson curve and which gradually had less effect as the volume was raised).

    I happened to be at an Apple store yesterday to listen to the HP.   IMO, it has an over-emphasized bass.   On new, digitally recorded material, it sounded pretty good.  But on tracks I tried from the 1960's-1970's (which I was pleasantly surprised were in the Apple Music library), it sounded kind of dull.   And while the Apple person was a bit confused and had to look things up, a single unit is NOT stereo.   At first, he claimed it was because "it contains lots of speakers", but when I told him that the number of speakers was not relevant and that it sounded mono to me, he did some more research and admitted it would take two for stereo and that stereo is not currently supported even with two units, but it would be with some future update.   

    Most of the reviews said the sound was great but that Siri sucked.  But in my tests and even in the noisy store environment, Siri did really well - it never played the wrong track or artist that I called out and it properly heard me say "louder" and "softer" and "pause".  It was far more accurate than the Apple TV achieved in the same environment. 
    It's not mono either so not sure wth you're saying and I've got very good hearing too, or so says the audiologist who tested me.

    If you read about it, you'd know that it actually uses Fletcher-Munson loudness compensation,
    So, the curve is EXACTLY where they want it to be.

    Many of the1960s to 1970s recording are truly horribly mastered and sound like crap.
    (and yeah, I've collected music since the late 1970s and got things that go back to the 1920s)

    Why not use some live modern recordings, some have minimal post processing to test instead.

    Compressed audio of mainstream pop is probably the worst music to test with any speaker.



    Here's one that I have that dates back to 1918 -- It sounds pretty good in jerry-rigged stereo on 2 homePods -- even the YT playback.



    foggyhill
  • Reply 30 of 123
    It's my understanding that the HomePod plays whatever source it's fed, then listens to the echo coming back and fine tunes its output to make what it's hearing match the source as closely as possible. Would that even work in an anechoic chamber? Would you get anything like best performance if it could not hear itself?
    edited February 2018 netmagerandominternetperson
  • Reply 31 of 123
    DAalseth said:
    It's my understanding that the HomePod plays whatever source it's fed, then listens to the echo coming back and fine tunes its output to make what it's hearing match the source as closely as possible. Would that even work in an anechoic chamber? Would you get anything like best performance if it could not hear itself?
    Yes, the HomePod would work fine in an anechoic chamber.

    The automatic adjustment in the HomePod is supposed to compensate for the standing waves that occur when the sound waves bounce off a surface. In an anechoic chamber there are no reflections, thus nothing for the HomePod to "fix."

    Traditional speakers are measured in an anechoic chamber because the phase effects from the sound waves bouncing off the walls, ceiling and floor affect the response readings. The readings wind up telling you how the speaker will sound only placed in that exact position in that exact room at exactly one listening position. That result will be different in every room and position within any given room.

    The point of testing in an anechoic chamber is to establish an objective assessment of what the speaker is CAPABLE of doing without the effects of some arbitrary room polluting the results. A "real world" test isn't possible because no two listening situations are the same. Measuring a speaker where I will use it tells you nothing about how it will behave in YOUR situation. That's why it's so important to audition speakers at home before making a final decision.

    If the HomePod actually does what Apple claims -- automatically compensate for room effects -- it shouldn't be necessary to isolate it in an anechoic chamber for testing, since it theoretically should sound the same in ANY room. So far the jury is still out on how well it actually does that in real life. It may be more marketing than magic.
  • Reply 32 of 123
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    zoetmb said:
    That's not a flat frequency response.  Back in the hi-fi days, the measurement (with pink noise input) had to be from 20 to 20,000 Hz +/- 3db with no more than X% distortion (preferably 1% or under).

    But even if it was flat, a flat frequency response won't sound very good to most people.  That's why hi-fi equipment had tone controls and loudness compensation (which increased the bass and treble at low volume levels according to the Fletcher-Munson curve and which gradually had less effect as the volume was raised).

    I happened to be at an Apple store yesterday to listen to the HP.   IMO, it has an over-emphasized bass.   On new, digitally recorded material, it sounded pretty good.  But on tracks I tried from the 1960's-1970's (which I was pleasantly surprised were in the Apple Music library), it sounded kind of dull.   And while the Apple person was a bit confused and had to look things up, a single unit is NOT stereo.   At first, he claimed it was because "it contains lots of speakers", but when I told him that the number of speakers was not relevant and that it sounded mono to me, he did some more research and admitted it would take two for stereo and that stereo is not currently supported even with two units, but it would be with some future update.   

    Most of the reviews said the sound was great but that Siri sucked.  But in my tests and even in the noisy store environment, Siri did really well - it never played the wrong track or artist that I called out and it properly heard me say "louder" and "softer" and "pause".  It was far more accurate than the Apple TV achieved in the same environment. 

    Mmm... I certainly hope that Apple persons don't become typical Sound Store Lizards!
    Your get stereo from the tweeters (i.e. treble only) but not the mids or bass.  So it will sound mono for a lot of material.  But if you own a home pod try going into GarageBand and create a track with separate left and right and then listen.

    The kid was right and zoetmb wrong.  The number of speakers do matter, home pod supports stereo but its a tiny little thing so not a whole lot of separation possible especially if it doesn't have a surface to bounce the left quadrant and right quadrant tweeters off of.  

    This also explains why Apple says it sounds the same around the room (the one "woofer" handling mids and bass) and but has ambient directional cues left and right.  It can only widen it's treble sound stage via the tweeters.  So there will be some directional cues but not enough for most material to matter beyond "ambient".

    Note that "true" stereo will not be supported even when Apple releases support for two units.  Apple says "stereo-like" in it's product literature because you won't designate one home pod as left and the other right.  Instead it will use beam forming from both to try to create the "immersive" sound stage.  
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 33 of 123
    nhtnht Posts: 4,494member
    DAalseth said:
    It's my understanding that the HomePod plays whatever source it's fed, then listens to the echo coming back and fine tunes its output to make what it's hearing match the source as closely as possible. Would that even work in an anechoic chamber? Would you get anything like best performance if it could not hear itself?
    Yes, the HomePod would work fine in an anechoic chamber.

    The automatic adjustment in the HomePod is supposed to compensate for the standing waves that occur when the sound waves bounce off a surface. In an anechoic chamber there are no reflections, thus nothing for the HomePod to "fix."

    Traditional speakers are measured in an anechoic chamber because the phase effects from the sound waves bouncing off the walls, ceiling and floor affect the response readings. The readings wind up telling you how the speaker will sound only placed in that exact position in that exact room at exactly one listening position. That result will be different in every room and position within any given room.

    The point of testing in an anechoic chamber is to establish an objective assessment of what the speaker is CAPABLE of doing without the effects of some arbitrary room polluting the results. A "real world" test isn't possible because no two listening situations are the same. Measuring a speaker where I will use it tells you nothing about how it will behave in YOUR situation. That's why it's so important to audition speakers at home before making a final decision.

    If the HomePod actually does what Apple claims -- automatically compensate for room effects -- it shouldn't be necessary to isolate it in an anechoic chamber for testing, since it theoretically should sound the same in ANY room. So far the jury is still out on how well it actually does that in real life. It may be more marketing than magic.
    Fixing room acoustics is not the only use of beam forming.  Removing the ability for the home pod to perform in the way it was meant to perform by sticking it on a anechoic chamber degrades it's performance as a speaker.  This would be like claiming that engine dynamometer testing is a useful "objective assessment of car performance".  It tells you what the engine is capable of doing...not the car.  Even a chassis dyno doesn't tell you the story about car performance...just drivetrain and engine.

    Anechoic chamber testing has value for certain types of speakers and less for others.  Using chamber tests won't answer whether bipole, dipole or direct radiating (monopole) speakers work best for surround sound.  Any speaker design that depends on reflection for part of its performance will get crippled in a chamber.  Only front facing, direct radiating designs should be compared to each other based on chamber testing.
    edited February 2018 netmagerandominternetpersonjasenj1
  • Reply 34 of 123

    nht said:

    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.
    In the same way that a violin is essentially a mono device...
    I'm pretty sure you meant that as a funny, but just in case you didn't, my response would be "Yeah, kinda, except not."

    The sense of "ambience" we hear from the violin is the result of reflections off the surfaces in the room. Those reflections are the sound of the room though, not the instrument per se. In the case of music reproduction, the goal is to hear the reflections from the room in which the recording was made, not the listening space.

    Apple's claim of beam forming is actually a reasonable alternative to a spaced pair of speakers. What I'm having trouble with is reconciling that with Apple's other claim that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Both cannot be true. Either the HomePod creates directional signals to separate difference and sum components, which would result in it sounding different in the middle of the room than it does to one side, *OR* the sound doesn't change as you move around, meaning it's essentially omnidirectional and thus does NOT provide any kind of meaningful directional cues. It can't be both.

    Since those who have shared their experience with the HomePod have told us that the sound remains very consistent as they move around the listening space, the conclusion is that there isn't much of a directional component to its output, meaning it's essentially mono. One may still experience a sense of space and ambience, but it's the ambience of the room in which the HomePod is placed, not the one captured in the recording. That's contrary to the primary objective of a reproduction system, which is to as accurately as possible reproduce the sound of the recording without adding or removing anything.

    That doesn't mean it can't be fun to listen to -- just look at how successful Bose was with its Direct/Reflecting designs -- it just isn't consistent with an "audiophile" approach or experience, that's all.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 35 of 123
    DAalseth said:
    It's my understanding that the HomePod plays whatever source it's fed, then listens to the echo coming back and fine tunes its output to make what it's hearing match the source as closely as possible. Would that even work in an anechoic chamber? Would you get anything like best performance if it could not hear itself?

    The point of testing in an anechoic chamber is to establish an objective assessment of what the speaker is CAPABLE of doing without the effects of some arbitrary room polluting the results. A "real world" test isn't possible because no two listening situations are the same. Measuring a speaker where I will use it tells you nothing about how it will behave in YOUR situation. That's why it's so important to audition speakers at home before making a final decision.



    To expand on that, anechoic testing of a speaker is also useful to pick out any flaws created by the speaker itself (for example, any resonances in the cabinet or interactions between the drivers/crossover).
  • Reply 36 of 123

    nht said:

    foggyhill said: 
    It's not mono either
    This is one of several claims Apple makes about the HomePod that make me scratch my head a little...

    Apple says the HomePod beams "direct" sound to the middle of the room and "ambient" sound to the left and right. But then Apple ALSO claims that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Those are conflicting statements.

    Since people are saying the sound of the HomePod does remain very consistent as one moves around the room, the logical conclusion is that there can't be much in the way of directional cues coming out of it. If there were, listeners would perceive a change in the sound as they moved around.

    If that assessment is correct, it means that despite what Apple's marketing claims, it's really essentially a mono device.
    In the same way that a violin is essentially a mono device...
    I'm pretty sure you meant that as a funny, but just in case you didn't, my response would be "Yeah, kinda, except not."

    The sense of "ambience" we hear from the violin is the result of reflections off the surfaces in the room. Those reflections are the sound of the room though, not the instrument per se. In the case of music reproduction, the goal is to hear the reflections from the room in which the recording was made, not the listening space.

    Apple's claim of beam forming is actually a reasonable alternative to a spaced pair of speakers. What I'm having trouble with is reconciling that with Apple's other claim that the HomePod sounds the same no matter where you are in the room. Both cannot be true. Either the HomePod creates directional signals to separate difference and sum components, which would result in it sounding different in the middle of the room than it does to one side, *OR* the sound doesn't change as you move around, meaning it's essentially omnidirectional and thus does NOT provide any kind of meaningful directional cues. It can't be both.

    Since those who have shared their experience with the HomePod have told us that the sound remains very consistent as they move around the listening space, the conclusion is that there isn't much of a directional component to its output, meaning it's essentially mono. One may still experience a sense of space and ambience, but it's the ambience of the room in which the HomePod is placed, not the one captured in the recording. That's contrary to the primary objective of a reproduction system, which is to as accurately as possible reproduce the sound of the recording without adding or removing anything.

    That doesn't mean it can't be fun to listen to -- just look at how successful Bose was with its Direct/Reflecting designs -- it just isn't consistent with an "audiophile" approach or experience, that's all.

    Consider a HomePod placed against a wall (the most likely positioning).

    What if the front 3 tweeters are used to create the direct sound that covers the majority of the listening area in front of the speaker (hence why moving around the room doesn't change the sound much) and 2 tweeters on each side at the rear are using beamforming to bounce the ambient sound off the walls to the left & right for a wider soundstage?

    I don't think it has to be one or the other.
  • Reply 37 of 123
    nht said:
    zoetmb said:
    That's not a flat frequency response.  Back in the hi-fi days, the measurement (with pink noise input) had to be from 20 to 20,000 Hz +/- 3db with no more than X% distortion (preferably 1% or under).

    But even if it was flat, a flat frequency response won't sound very good to most people.  That's why hi-fi equipment had tone controls and loudness compensation (which increased the bass and treble at low volume levels according to the Fletcher-Munson curve and which gradually had less effect as the volume was raised).

    I happened to be at an Apple store yesterday to listen to the HP.   IMO, it has an over-emphasized bass.   On new, digitally recorded material, it sounded pretty good.  But on tracks I tried from the 1960's-1970's (which I was pleasantly surprised were in the Apple Music library), it sounded kind of dull.   And while the Apple person was a bit confused and had to look things up, a single unit is NOT stereo.   At first, he claimed it was because "it contains lots of speakers", but when I told him that the number of speakers was not relevant and that it sounded mono to me, he did some more research and admitted it would take two for stereo and that stereo is not currently supported even with two units, but it would be with some future update.   

    Most of the reviews said the sound was great but that Siri sucked.  But in my tests and even in the noisy store environment, Siri did really well - it never played the wrong track or artist that I called out and it properly heard me say "louder" and "softer" and "pause".  It was far more accurate than the Apple TV achieved in the same environment. 

    Mmm... I certainly hope that Apple persons don't become typical Sound Store Lizards!
    Your get stereo from the tweeters (i.e. treble only) but not the mids or bass.  So it will sound mono for a lot of material.  But if you own a home pod try going into GarageBand and create a track with separate left and right and then listen.

    The kid was right and zoetmb wrong.  The number of speakers do matter, home pod supports stereo but its a tiny little thing so not a whole lot of separation possible especially if it doesn't have a surface to bounce the left quadrant and right quadrant tweeters off of.  

    This also explains why Apple says it sounds the same around the room (the one "woofer" handling mids and bass) and but has ambient directional cues left and right.  It can only widen it's treble sound stage via the tweeters.  So there will be some directional cues but not enough for most material to matter beyond "ambient".


    Here's what I use to approximate full stereo on two homePods usuing 2 copies of Airfoil.  I can fiddle with the various equalizer settings and waves.  You can definitely separate bass, mids and highs... and there is a definite sweet spot!


    Note that "true" stereo will not be supported even when Apple releases support for two units.  Apple says "stereo-like" in it's product literature because you won't designate one home pod as left and the other right.  Instead it will use beam forming from both to try to create the "immersive" sound stage.  
    I wonder if the immersive sound with multiple homePods (listening to each other, talking to each other and adjusting to each other) might be superior to true stereo -- as they might be able to negate the need for a sweet spot... cookies for everyone!
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 38 of 123
    trydtryd Posts: 135member
    wizard69 said:
    A flat response may indicate electronics quality but it is meaningless because almost no body leaves their tone controls alone.  
    My stereo does not have tone controls :smile: (Conrad-Johnson amps).
  • Reply 39 of 123
    nht said:
    [...] Any speaker design that depends on reflection for part of its performance will get crippled in a chamber.
    One might argue that any speaker that depends on reflections for part of its performance is violating the most basic tenets of high-fidelity anyway, so measurements don't really matter.

    When I've laboured to capture (or create) a carefully crafted sense of sonic "space," the idea that the playback system would deliberately impose the sound of any arbitrary listening space rather than trying to mitigate it is disappointing to say the least. That's one of the reasons Bose was so hated in the audio production community. Amar convinced an entire generation of consumers that adding the sound of their living room to the recording was somehow a good thing.

    The purist will abhor devices that try to artificially "create" (as opposed to simply reproduce) any part of the sound. The pragmatist will recognize that perfect playback is impossible and choose whatever sounds closest or most enjoyable.
    roundaboutnowmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 40 of 123
    trydtryd Posts: 135member
    foggyhill said:

    If you read about it, you'd know that it actually uses Fletcher-Munson loudness compensation,
    So, the curve is EXACTLY where they want it to be.

    Many of the1960s to 1970s recording are truly horribly mastered and sound like crap.
    (and yeah, I've collected music since the late 1970s and got things that go back to the 1920s)

    Why not use some live modern recordings, some have minimal post processing to test instead.

    Compressed audio of mainstream pop is probably the worst music to test with any speaker.


    Many, maybe, but there are a lot of great sounding early recordings. The recordings Mercury did in the 50's sound wonderful, better than most of todays recordings. Some of the worst sounding recordings are the present day pop-recordings. I have a live recording from Dresden's Semperoper made in October 1944 that sounds far better than most modern recordings! Digital recordings from the 80's generally sound horrible. I agree that the last thing I would use to test the sound is a modern pop/rock-recording.
    edited February 2018
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