Carver C-9 Sonic Hologram Generator and Soundstage

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gene_stl

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When I used the word gimmick I did not intend to give offense. My life experience with the SH devices (two) have not met expectations but I am willing to possibly give it another look though I have an EXTREMELY full plate audiowise at this moment.
 

MidiMagic

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One of my early experiments was to try sonic holography to fix the side imaging problem in QS. It helped, but caused other problems.
 

Doug G.

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I feel the most overlooked or ignored aspects of sonic holography are the deader the room the better and the worse the speakers are with horizontal dispersion, the better.. Reflections only serve to reverse what the circuitry is doing and relatively forward projecting speakers more precisely control the desired cross talk canceling signals.

Doug
 

jeffmackwood

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I've had a chance to sample a number of albums using my main HT's C-9-installed stereo system (source >>> Outlaw Audio ICBM-1 (40Hz Xover / sub outputs set to stereo mode >>> NAD 2155 power amp >>> Koss CM/1020 speakers + dual SVS 20-39PC+ subs tuned to 20 Hz) over the last two days.

I got very satisfying results listening to Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic. I was similarly happy with Royal Scam.

I listened to a few live albums as well. Frampton Comes Alive was disappointing insofar as I was expecting its material would yield more than it did.

I've long pined for remixing/remastering to 5.1 of Boston's first album, and Supertramp's Crime of the Century and usually play them through my full main system using Dolby PLIIx (Music). With the C-9 stereo system I did not get anywhere as close to the satisfaction.

Mancini's Pink Panther Theme has long been on my overall demo material list. Its already terrific soundstage gets turned up a few notches by the C-9. Thoroughly enjoyable change.

In no cases would I say that the sound was degraded. There was always some degree of improvement / sense of satisfaction, but it really (really) is material-dependent.

One thing I've tried in the past that's really impressed my is taking binaural recordings (that are presumably intended to be listened to using headphones) and playing them through speakers with the C-9 active.

Jeff
 
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newslane

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Here's another couple of interesting points about listening in sonic holography.

1. When the hologram is set up correctly, what you hear from the speakers is almost exactly what you hear on headphones. I often will listen to something on headphones to get a feel for how wide and deep the mix is before listening in holography. Instruments panned hard in the left ear in headphones appear to the far left of the left speaker; same for the right channel. Instruments that are louder than others appear closer, and conversely quieter instruments appear behind the speakers. One thing headphones and holography have in common: there is a precise location for each instrument, not merely "left or right channel".

2. Here's something really unusual: you can hear the tape hiss on a specific one of the multitrack tapes. For example, on the SACD of "ESP" by the Miles Davis Quintet, when the song "Little One" starts, you can clearly hear a sliver of tape hiss originating just to the right of the right speaker, and it is gradually absorbed by something in Tony Williams' kit, cymbals or snare or something...but it's there when things are quiet. I have heard this on other recordings, too - certain of the multitracks have hiss, and stand out when the music is quiet. I love this kind of artifact.

John
 
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newslane

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I've had a chance to sample a number of albums using my main HT's C-9-installed stereo system (source >>> Outlaw Audio ICBM-1 (40Hz Xover / sub outputs set to stereo mode >>> NAD 2155 power amp >>> Koss CM/1020 speakers + dual SVS 20-39PC+ subs tuned to 20 Hz) over the last two days.

I got very satisfying results listening to Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic. I was similarly happy with Royal Scam.

I listened to a few live albums as well. Frampton Comes Alive was disappointing insofar as I was expecting its material would yield more than it did.

I've long pined for remixing/remastering to 5.1 of Boston's first album, and Supertramp's Crime of the Century and usually play them through my full main system using Dolby PLIIx (Music). With the C-9 stereo system I did not get anywhere as close to the satisfaction.

Mancini's Pink Panther Theme has long been on my overall demo material list. Its already terrific soundstage gets turned up a few notches by the C-9. Thoroughly enjoyable change.

In no cases would I say that the sound was degraded. There was always some degree of improvement / sense of satisfaction, but it really (really) is material-dependent.

One thing I've tried in the past that's really impressed my is taking binaural recordings (that are presumably intended to be listened to using headphones) and playing them through speakers with the C-9 active.

Jeff
Hey Jeff...I ordered your book on Amazon today. I look forward to reading it! John
 

THX1136

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When I used the word gimmick I did not intend to give offense. My life experience with the SH devices (two) have not met expectations but I am willing to possibly give it another look though I have an EXTREMELY full plate audiowise at this moment.
No offense taken, Gene. Thanks!
 

TVB

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I bought a C9 back in the day and I much preferred it to regular stereo. The problem I had was the speakers had to be positioned away from the back wall a certain distance for best effect. I traded it back in to the dealer toward a carver M500 power amp because I got tired of moving my speakers around. I later found a carver preamp with the sonic hologram generator built in (which I still have), but the hologram generator in the preamp doesn't sound as good as the outboard C9 did. I have a Mcintosh MCaire (their version of a boombox) with an expanded stereo switch which reminds me of the way the C9 sounded, which is very nice and better than stereo.
 

jeffmackwood

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In my OP I included links to two reviews.

In the review (more of an announcement) from the second link, they mention that the stand-alone C-9 has new and improved circuitry over the Sonic Holography built into other more comprehensive units.

And I just noticed that the magazine linked-to in the first link is actually missing the pages with the C-9 review. I have a scanned pdf copy of those missing pages. If anyone wants a copy PM me your email address and I'll email it to you as an attachment.

Jeff
 

kfbkfb

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^^^
DOLBY 3 STEREO combines the front and rear signals so
that you can enjoy a regenerated sound field which has
comparatively more presence and a more expansive feeling
from the three front channels (front left, front right and
center speakers) than that of ordinary stereo regeneration.


Kinda OT, has anyone compared Dolby 3 Stereo to some of the other 2 speaker stereo enhancement methods?


Kirk Bayne
 

abby normal

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my experience with the sonic hologram generator, is that through magnapans, i could hear a "grain" in its sound, above and beyond the grain one normally hears in a consumer-grade amp. it seems to work best with less resolving speakers.
 

newslane

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my experience with the sonic hologram generator, is that through magnapans, i could hear a "grain" in its sound, above and beyond the grain one normally hears in a consumer-grade amp. it seems to work best with less resolving speakers.
I tend to hear more "tape hiss" when I listen closely, tape hiss that starts and stops with the music and that seems to me to be part of actual studio recording. As I mentioned before, I love this kind of artifact - it's part of what happened in the studio and that is what I am striving to recreate. The "grain" you're hearing might be something in the circuit, and given that these circuits are around 40 years old the expert rebuilders are adding something called a Gundry circuit, which to my ears improves the sound considerably.
 

abby normal

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the "gundry perspective" [gotta love carver's hifalutin' boilerplate] was an upper half of the spectrum lift [above 2kc] that carver thought would alter the near/far perspective of the reproduced sound. it is on some of his CD players and amps of olde.
 

jefe1

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I used a Carver CT 17 preamp tuner that had sonic holography. I have no idea what generation it was. I usually listened with the holography engaged as the stereo image seemed wider to me and was pleasing.
My companion Carver CD player had a DTL switch I believe that stood for digital time lens. I was told it would warm up digital sounding CDs. Again I usually played CDs with it engaged as I detected a small improvement but didn't do serious comparison testing.
 

newslane

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the "gundry perspective" [gotta love carver's hifalutin' boilerplate] was an upper half of the spectrum lift [above 2kc] that carver thought would alter the near/far perspective of the reproduced sound. it is on some of his CD players and amps of olde.
Thanks - I did not know that. It seems to make a difference.
 
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