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How to determine Bright / Warm / Neutral- Speakers / Amplifiers

Wharfedale EVO4.1 Bookshelf Speakers

heliumflight

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Please describe *Bright *Warm *Neutral sounds

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I'm just starting my venture into audiophile world. I'm familiar with the terms yet I'm not sure how to pinpoint them. My goal is to achieve the most realistic sound so I'm trying to educate myself, I've read alot but I haven't found any threads discussing this question.


What do I listen for to conclude what is bright, warm, or neutral?

What determines bright, warm, and neutral?

I presently have Bookshelf speakers- B&W DM4
( Hi-Fi, B&W DM4 )- Are the Bright/ Warm / Neutral ?

I have a Bryston integrated amp- Is this bright / Warm / Neutral ?
 

spirovious

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Please describe *Bright *Warm *Neutral sounds

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm just starting my venture into audiophile world. I'm familiar with the terms yet I'm not sure how to pinpoint them. My goal is to achieve the most realistic sound so I'm trying to educate myself, I've read alot but I haven't found any threads discussing this question.


What do I listen for to conclude what is bright, warm, or neutral?

What determines bright, warm, and neutral?

I presently have Bookshelf speakers- B&W DM4
( Hi-Fi, B&W DM4 )- Are the Bright/ Warm / Neutral ?

I have a Bryston integrated amp- Is this bright / Warm / Neutral ?

See neutral meens it should sound as it should be.ie if you listen music on PC
with good headphone,you may get the best sound Q(original as recorded)
If you compare that with spk you will come to know.

Bright -sound though clear may apear little harsh to ears & you cannot tolerate more that 15min.

Warm-vocals sound apealing as if somebody is singing in front of you.Sound
will have some weightage.Instruments are refined.

This is my terminology.Others can correct this.
In simple way take classical/instrumental CD ,play,close your eys & listen.
If you like overall sound ,enjoy.
 

marsilians

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Please describe *Bright *Warm *Neutral sounds

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm just starting my venture into audiophile world. I'm familiar with the terms yet I'm not sure how to pinpoint them. My goal is to achieve the most realistic sound so I'm trying to educate myself, I've read alot but I haven't found any threads discussing this question.


What do I listen for to conclude what is bright, warm, or neutral?

What determines bright, warm, and neutral?

I presently have Bookshelf speakers- B&W DM4
( Hi-Fi, B&W DM4 )- Are the Bright/ Warm / Neutral ?

I have a Bryston integrated amp- Is this bright / Warm / Neutral ?


This is an individual sensation for a major part. What I think "forward or bright" is that the treble is slightly ahead of other frequencies. A good example amongst singers is Himesh Reshammiya or Pankaj Udhas. Movies should be bright to capture the scene activites.

Warm is "a more deeper sound". Technically, warm sound means that the highs are not sharp and the midrange is smooth in the frequencies. A good example is Louis Armstrong or Dule Ellington or M. Balamurali Krishna (not when he pitches high but normal singing) or Jagjit. Music should be warm for slower tones.

Neutral is in between the 2. To me there has been only one - Mohd. Rafi. His voice is very hard to reproduce as a sound and hence there has been only one so far. This is what we try to achieve in any HT, an elusive goal for most of us.

Forward AVRs are Yamaha or Pioneer VSX models.
Warm is Denon

Speakers -

too many to name here. European ones are generally warm while US or Canada ones are forward for the most part.


(I can see someone shooting me down any minute!)


The DM4s are definitely warm. The Bryston to me is ever so slightly forward. This is a very good paring as you want the spkr and AVR to be opposite in terms of sounds to achieve a level of neutrality.
 
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flanker.r

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These are terms used by audiophiles and reviewers when they just wish to describe acoustic perception in terms of light and make a newbie doubt if sound is composed of photons!

So what does one do if a component is bright, warm, shut-in, veiled, cold, sheen, tight, loose, harsh, soft, muddy, grainy, etc (God- adjectives and adverbs from thermodynamics, optics, acoustics and even culinary fields!) This is a crazy world truly and 90% of insanity is bestowed on audio reviewers and few audiophiles (only few?) ! Components describes by reviewers as possessing those attributes are all over the market and people buy them. No where is it said which of these attributes is a virtue and which ones are a vice in a system

This is a perfectly scientific world, our world of audiophilia but once in a while black magic and voodoo suddenly makes an appearance

Even cables, RCA jacks, power supply cords are said to assign tonal qualities the artist or sound engineers did not put into originally. A corollary of this is that, power cords and interconnect act as equalizers. My speakers have a slight peak in the 550-700 hz range. Which cable should is use to tame this hump?

BTW I read somewhere that alcohol makes us more forgiving to distortion. Anyone who has tried it? Maybe a couple of beers would act in switching on the Soft Clipping circuitry we seem to have been wired with but is normally in Off position

I think we just need to listen to the system. If it makes you enjoy music thats the one for you. We would not be heading anywhere understanding the etymology of words used by reviewers nor can we do anything about them. They are paid to write reviews. A good system can make you cry, conjure up memories of a past event or make you jump in the room. Music has made me pick up my racquet and head out to play tennis when I was running temperature. I wonder if a review of an amp or speaker would be interesting if it described the mental state into which the listening session put the reviewer into.

Maybe EEGs, ECGs and pulse rate of reviewer should be published along with the usual impedance-frequency, SPL-frequency and phase-frequency graphs of speakers alongside equipment reviews. I feel they would provide more information about the equipment being tested. What say guys?
:cool:
 

RahulP

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good post flanker.r :) ... actually the question and the answers are sincere but i think too much dissection can kill the spirit (no pun intended !). I am also reading just too much these days (& nights) ;)

If it makes you enjoy music thats the one for you >>> bingo !!! :cool:

I don't mean to undervalue knowledge of any expert (here or elsewhere) & its usefulness. This is just a spontaneous remark from a newbie like me as i (also) have come to believe that listening is believing !
 
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Jith77

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Helium. . A word of advice...Dont be under the impression that warm ones are the best. . .most definitions and reviews might make you believe so. . .its a personal preference, you will know your choice only when you audition. . . Dont let these get into your head and form an opinion
 

square_wave

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There is no neutral equipment or setup in this world. The DCS, Dartzeels and Wilsons of the world try to get as close to neutral as possible. And these cost a bomb and then some.

Now this brings us the real world where these is always a reasonable budget in place for any given gear. Compromises are naturally a part of any design. Most reasonably priced gear usually fall into the following categories.
1. Clinical (trying to sound neutral but this is not possible at real world price points hence sounds clinical)
2. Warm side of neutral (Slightly rolled off at the high end detail but has fantastic mids)
3. Bright side of neutral (slight accentuation of the high frequencies compared to the other frequencies). Badly done, this can sound tinny.
4. Reasonably neutral. (These designs try to strike a balance without compromising much) Nothing stands out and these kind of designs are often the most musical but usually maligned for not being exciting enough.
You can have as many categories as you want if you use your imagination:D

Voicing of gear is usually a function of the target audience and the beliefs of the designer of the gear. Bad combinations can make some warm gear sound bright and vice versa. A reasonably neutral amplifier can sound muted with a speaker that has rolled off highs. There are not rules here. Careful matching of gear is required to maximize your satisfaction. It is here that experience comes in. Good audio consultants and experienced audiophiles.

There is no guarantee that you will get warm sound if you combine your existing speaker with a so-called warm amplifier. The following variables need to be checked:
1. Environment.
2. Cables.
3. Source equipment.
4. Setup
If you connect a Nad amp to a Wharfedale speakers you get something which people consider as warm sound.
Now, you connect a pair of Harbeth or cadence electrostatic speakers to a shindo , Conrad Johnson or sugden seperates, you get ethereal warm sound.
Now which one is the real warm ? Anybodys guess right ?

I know someone who has a compete Gamut electronics setup connected to a pair of Cadance Arca electrostatic speakers. The reason he went for the cadence is because Gamut is razor sharp neutral now he wanted something warm to compliment this nature of Gamut.

This is tricky world, tread with care.
 

heliumflight

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Thanks to everyone who have contributed and shared the wisdom on the concept of sound, so that I can save my fingers to be burnt.

I will be going to audition the sound that appeals to me at

Lyrita Audio

I will demo their single driver speakers with my amp and with their tube amp...lets begin the journey...

Suggestion are welcome
 

square_wave

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Single driver speakers shine with single ended triode designs. They need just 10 clean tube watts to shine. High power SS designs like brystons are designed with a different load in mind.
Check it out and do post your observations.
BTW: There are some very low power SS designs like the "first watt" designs which are designed keeping these kind of speakers in mind. They also work;)
 

prem

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Red Wine Audio Sig 30.2 integrated really shines with single driver speakers. To my ears they sound as good if not better than my 845 SET. Definitely better bass. Tonality is spot on. Surprisingly warmer and fleshier. A wee bit less in dimensionality but i can live with it.
 

square_wave

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Yes. Once I had a discussion with Jacob George about his trial with the Rethm sadhanas. He seemed to like the amp a lot:)
I have heard the amp with the usher 718. Very focussed, great tone and very intimate sounding. Very low noise floor too.
 

heliumflight

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Can u tell me why tube amp and single driver speakers is not a talked about subject on this forum. Am I the odd man out?? If this is close to reality, then why are people not buying these products in mass and buying sold state and crossover speakers>>>> There should be some major concernplease share your wisdom in regards
 

marsilians

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Can u tell me why tube amp and single driver speakers is not a talked about subject on this forum. Am I the odd man out?? If this is close to reality, then why are people not buying these products in mass and buying sold state and crossover speakers>>>> There should be some major concernplease share your wisdom in regards


Few things come to mind.

Single driver speakers are mostly done as DIY projects because of economies of scale. So you can't just go and buy one.

From the sonics perspective, they offer a very clear and precise details that one could give their left arm for. The vocals, instrument plucks are fantastic as though each frequency is zoomed into your senses and out constantly. But with this enhanced clarity, you lose the soundstage width, i.e., if you listen to a note with lots of instruments, it does not give you that enveloping feel. This is one thing that puts people off.

Also, they cannot be miniaturised like the cross over cousins. usually then tend to be on the larger size and don't fit well under space constraints.

Fostex, Pioneer and Hemp Acoustics are some names in this space.

RE: Tube amps. They also have a very distinct sound. The term tube sounding is thrown out a lot. To get the best acoustic effect, they typically have to be warmed up for anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hrs. Also, they are not as dynamic, well defined and neutral (for faster songs like pop, etc.) as a solid state. Also, the tubes are fragile and need replacing every few years. Finally, they really excel when you have matching components like speakers, AVR that are not "forward" sounding. Tubes are something that people love or hate without much in between.

Jolida, Audio Research and Conrad Johnson are very popular brands in increasing order of costs.
 

prem

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Hi Marsilians

The Rethms have a huge soundstage. The stage completely envelops you. This is true even for complex music pieces. Its not that single drivers cannot give you a huge soundstage. I have heard several single drivers which throw a huge soundstage.
 

prem

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Hi Square Wave

I heard the Red Wine at Sridhars with the Usher speakers. I did not like it one bit. I much preferred the Leben over the Red Wine. With the Rethms the Red Wine is something else only.
 

marsilians

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Hi Marsilians

The Rethms have a huge soundstage. The stage completely envelops you. This is true even for complex music pieces. Its not that single drivers cannot give you a huge soundstage. I have heard several single drivers which throw a huge soundstage.

Hi Prem

I appreciate your answer. From my experience, when I listened to orchestral music, I felt that the soundstage was not enveloping. Of course the ultimate hearing depends on the other components in the AV system but I was auditioning a relatively good mid-fi system (~1.5 lacs only for the audio system).

Metallica S&M, Tchaikovsky 1712 Overture (Leningrad Symphonic Orch.) and Bochelli were auditioned and except for Bochelli to an extent, the other 2 really did not give me the enveloping soundstage as other multi- ones. But this is my opinion with my set up.

I am glad you are liking your set. I know a lot of folks who thoroughly enjoy their systems as well.
 

captrajesh

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I think we just need to listen to the system. If it makes you enjoy music thats the one for you. We would not be heading anywhere understanding the etymology of words used by reviewers nor can we do anything about them. They are paid to write reviews. A good system can make you cry, conjure up memories of a past event or make you jump in the room.

Wonderful post Flanker.r.

Loved the part of post highlighted because exactly that is what my Aristas do to me.

Single driver speakers are mostly done as DIY projects because of economies of scale. So you can't just go and buy one.

From the sonics perspective, they offer a very clear and precise details that one could give their left arm for. The vocals, instrument plucks are fantastic as though each frequency is zoomed into your senses and out constantly. But with this enhanced clarity, you lose the sound stage width, i.e., if you listen to a note with lots of instruments, it does not give you that enveloping feel.
Even I thought so. After all, it is unfair to expect one driver to do all the talking. Pun intended.
The Rethms have a huge soundstage. The stage completely envelops you. This is true even for complex music pieces. Its not that single drivers cannot give you a huge soundstage. I have heard several single drivers which throw a huge soundstage.
Since Rethms have powered Bass module IMHO it frees up the main driver of a lot of responsibilities. Just my humble opinion.
 
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Santy

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But captain why did you bring back a 3 year old zombified thread? :D
 

Dr.Bass

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Hi Helium, it is now 3 years since you asked this question. Can you now say what have you learnt about "Warmth", "Neutrality" etc ?
 
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