Divin Laboratory — 岳飛

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  • Romanovym
    edited May 23

    超現實的神曲工作室

    Chris的音響系統取向一直給我剛陽的感覺。還以為這是他的本我個性,但今天我改觀了。從前聽到的,是經過取捨的聲音。今天的他已經完全掌握了系統與房間之間的關係,所以能隨意播放任何類型的音樂,可説是剛柔並濟,能文能武。
    最近和一些師兄討論音響之道。有人會用現場音樂做標準,有人認為要了解錄音背景才是客觀標準,亦有人認為聽得越多細節越好。其實,這些觀點並不存在任何矛盾,可以共存,重點是如何找到平衡點。Hi Fi永遠不能完整還源現場的所有,但現場音樂的細節,卻一定不及近咪錄音所捕捉的豐富,因此細節比現場豐富是客觀事實。要製造一個疑似現場音樂的情境,但卻又要比現場更精細的幻想空間,談何容易。
    由於Chris把室內低頻駐波消滅,速度直迫號角喇叭。音樂性比從前大幅度改進,樂韻悠揚,音色細膩自然,節奏感既可強勁,又可輕鬆明快,令我深深體驗了比現場更靚的幻空。其中主要原因是他利用了Acoustics Grove System (AGS) 的 “森之精靈” 去處理吸音柱解決不了的駐波。他又將Air Blade Signature Edition 180度擴散輔助高音,和主體喇叭”大神曲”完全融合。他再以客觀的鋼琴實體高度作為決定喇叭位置標準,繼而把大神曲向內移入4.5吋。他認為鋼琴準確了,其他的涵數應該錯不了太多。
    Air Blade Signature Edition 大大提升了咬字清晰度,明顯把vocal的情感表達力大幅增加。我完全意想不到岑寧兒有如斯溫婉可人的細緻唱功。若然系統的從容感不足,聲音的細節只會顯得刻意來去掩飾氣量不足。系統又要有足夠的控制力,才能把感情往內收(非不夠氣),唱出「虛」的感覺。我第一次在Hi Fi重播中感受到她的美,這是一種超越現場的美,使我不期然地連續聽了幾首她的歌。即使她在我面前唱,應該起碼要站在她兩呎前,才能聽到那麼細緻的聲音。
    為了更了解現場音樂,我特意去大會堂,坐在第五行中間,聆賞了一場室樂演奏。我閉目留心聽小提琴,大提琴,低音大提琴的發聲點、形態、及能量等。但我不能聽到琴體的形狀及線條,但卻可感受到能量是由弦琴身上兩個孔的位置線性地擴散。因此我告訴Chris中提琴/大提琴低音能量應該要更加豐盈,他隨即移走喇叭兩邊共四支的Audio Replas RAC 900吸音柱,豐富的琴音馬上重現,而且速度更快,節拍更準。原來AGS已經處理了RAC900不能解決的駐波。拿走它們後,各頻段果然融合得更自然。
    總括來說,Divin Lab現在不單具有極高質的音響元素,而且具備接近現場的音樂性丶從容度丶以及節奏感。它所能建構的音畫,超越了現場音樂的美,但並不代表可以代替現場的音樂的氣氛。若不是Chris對音樂認知不斷深造修養,再配合以客觀技術上的配搭策略,用了四年的時間不斷調教各種涵數,是不可能到達如此境界。
    Man
  • Audio_Napoleon
    edited May 26
    Roman 

    很好的文章。理性分析,不失中立。依我的淺見,若然梁生所管理的神曲系統,可以重播出現場古典音樂的一些元素,那必然是錄音工程師的最大功勞,梁生的貢獻在於控制、配搭、融合,以及一套自創的評核標準(不再只局限於定位、咀型、音場等),以最重要是判斷能力。他應該是不會以現場音樂作為標準,而去刻意調出似現場的聲。

    他以鋼琴的高度作客觀標準,十分到位,因為我在國內聽過好多超級系統,鋼琴播放通常有個巨人彈琴,左右手各自彈奏,沒有交流。播交響樂曲,大部分樂器半天吊,為知巨大音場。

    我認為非音響發燒友又更加欣賞和明白他的思維。努力教育新一代。
  • Marvel
    edited June 18

    The novel approach taken in Divin Lab last Sat was both illustrative and conclusive to better assessing the incremental benefits of each additional item in the system.  The goal is to remove bias of amplifying the positive/negative contributions of a single item. Traditional AB comparison assumes cumulative impact of whatever beforehand is zero, and magnify the impact of the “last in” item. 

    The following 2 pieces of music of contrasting moods and elements are chosen for demonstration:

    • Mutter Live From Yellow Lounge (LP): Schindler’s List
    • Michael Jackson Dangerous (MQA from Tidal) : Dangerous

    To conduct the comparison, the following components were ALL removed at the same time from the system after a full replay of the above. 

    • Esprit Nova (room polarisation)
    • Wellfloat Babel (for annihilation of mechanical vibrations)
    • Skogrand Stravinsky ground wire (for ground noise elimination)
    • AGS FL-1 (to neutralise floor reflections)

    The bundled AB comparison first took us back in time a few weeks ago when none of the above was present. Curiosity alongside amazement was heightened when each item was subsequently put back into the system, as though we were gradually teleported to the present state.  We couldn’t believe it was the same acclaimed system a few weeks ago. “The total is clearly greater than sum of all parts.” This approach allows us to ear-witness what Chris had undergone since then.  Indeed, battle with noises never ends was my biggest takeaway. 

    Without annihilating of floor reflections, mechanical vibrations and ground noises, it won’t be easy for me to discern Michael Jackson’s singing technique.  MJ had the ability to sing both staccato and legato rhythms in perfect timing (transient response in whisper). He had the ability to hold notes for extended periods without heavy fluctuation in pitch(silence between notes).  His mid-range gained brightness as it ascended, and his lows were heavy and ever-so-slightly smokey (mid range dynamics). MJ had a soul rapping the lyrics of “Dangerous”.  His delivery of lyricisms radiated sexuality of the woman in this song. That could be felt right in front of me. 

    Such ‘reversed engineering’ approach arouses skepticisms over the conclusions of all those outright single cable/component AB comparisons that I went thru in the past.  It is habitual for many audiophiles to conduct AB comparison for a specific component, cable or accessory to draw quick and dirty conclusions.   Not withstanding the availability of a balanced system in an acoustically neutral environment, the outcome of AB comparison is likely to be biased.  


  • Thomas0701
    edited June 23
    Divin Lab is a Time Machine 
    I am not writing a fantasy here. The experience at Divin Lab is surreal. 

    Chris has been my mentor and a good friend ever since I worked as summer intern for AE in 2017 and 2018 before specialising in the field of veterinary nursing at school.  I probably visit Divin Lab once a year ever since its inception. 

    I remain in regular contact with him.  He always inspires me with new ideas.  He is courageous to walk new path and explore new possibilities.  What I learnt the most from him is always argues with logic backed by facts.  This time he argues AB comparison is biased which ignores the accumulation effects of other components in the system.  The contributions of the “last-in” item are often magnified to the max. I never ever think about this point.

    When a group of elements are taken out to conduct AB comparison, the bias are reduced as we can’t just isolate one single item to make solid conclusion.  When each element is subsequently put back into the chain, the incremental benefit of each is better comprehended. Bias on any single item is thus reduced without undermining its incremental improvement.

    I was intimidated by the phenomenal performance of Mahler Symphony No.9 on vinyl by Denon of Japan.  Eliahu Inbal conducted the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra for this very special “one point microphone recording” of the entire orchestration. Roman and Huber brought up the importance of recording engineer as he is the one who determines the aura and realism of orchestration. Indeed, the recording engineer did hell of a good job for this. 



    People need a direction. The composition of
    Mahler always guides my consciousness in search of a sanctuary.  When Mahler is under the baton of Eliahua Inbal, there is a magical force attracting young listeners with little experience in classical music like myself. I enjoyed seeing the light at the end of a tunnel.  In Japan, Mahler is the most popular composer amongst young concert goers.  
    Divin lab allows me to easily discern Inbal comes from the Italian school of conducting (usually studied strings at the beginning such as Toscanini playing cello and Carlo Maria Giulini playing viola) instead of the German school (began with piano like Karajan and Furtwängler). The pacing of Inbal is more melodic given his violinist background.  His Middle Eastern origin also explains the pacing of the orchestra is more upbeat than his German counterparts. 

    I was amazed by the delivery of solid bass energy from the timpani at the back of the orchestra.  The point of energy origination was very focal at the farther end of the orchestra.  I could then feel the bass energy propelling forward to me with a distance perspective. That was so cool. I attribute such phenomenal bass performance to the AGS FL-1 and FS-1 which do not suppress or eliminate bass energy; instead they break standing waves by energy redistribution instead of conventional absorption approach. This is a specialised discipline stems from “Forestry Acoustics” in natural science applied by Acoustic Grove System, a subdivision of Nihon Onkyu Engineering in Japan specialising in professional acoustics consultancy.  

    “Master of the house” from Les Miserable (London cast) on vinyl was another reckoning moment.  I felt as though being teleported to a musical theatre. The pronunciations of vocals are so precise regardless of age and sex. The chorus session literally makes my jaws dropped on the floor because all voices were harmonically integrated with pristine diction alongside authenticity of ascent.  

    When it comes to Eason Chan singing 最佳損友 (Get-A-Live concert), I could visualise every breath he made, every word he crafted, and even every tiny movement on his face.  His vitality defines presence.  His passion espouses lyricisms.  The emotions of the audiences at the HK Coliseum were highly captivated. (The Kanon power cord skinned the Vertere Red on Ediscreation’s switch. And it raises the performance of Wadax Atlantis DAC/Server substantially.  The Vertere Red power cord modified with better AC plugs is very noisy in comparison. The high pitch of Eason Chan was also distorted when Red was in the chain.)


    The performance of 帝女花 — 香夭 on glass CD made me feel travelling back in time inside the church (佑寧堂)in 1960s.  Either 任白 were physically in Divin Lab or I was teleported to the church.  That doesn’t really matter as I was emotionally connected to their souls. I am a mid twenties dude, and Chinese opera is obviously never ever my interest. Such transcendental listening experiences, however, make me understand the powerful of art. You just need to experience by yourself.

    The picturesque achievement was already astonishing when I visited Divin Lab last year. To compare, the room is silent naturally like a garden now.  It calms my mind.  In the past, silence was palpable.  Now I feel silence has a life of its own. The holistically room acoustics treatment by Acoustic Grove System that consists of FL-1 and FS-1 is very unique. They retire seven out of nine active bass traps inside Divin Lab. 

    I was attending music history lesson in a LIVE mode.  Once again, I am not writing a fantasy here. Divin Lab is a time machine.  
  • Romanovym
    edited June 19
    相隔不到一個月,又再度拜訪Divin Lab ,意想不到這麼快又更上一層樓。

    當Mutter演繹舒特拉的名單時(vinyl),密度及速度明顯比上次更直迫現場。合上眼時,小提琴密度之高,令我有點分不清和現場的分別。究竟是什麼東西帶來如此表現?霎時間,我找不到挑剔的地方。低頻可以更豐滿嗎?高頻毛燥感可以再少丁點兒嗎?從容度及氣氛可以更好嗎?這一串的耳欲並非公道的要求,因為這已經是要求神曲工作室和現場音樂直接作對比。從HIFI重播的角度,已難聽到一套系統,有如似像真的表現。

    AGS的FL-1我已經在AE上環深入了解過:低頻不含糊、速度加快、有層次、低音量感及衝擊力非常之集中,因為駐波被打散了,所以低音羣組的背景更顯寧靜。Esprit Nova和Wellfloat Babel則是初次邂逅。若然同一時間過移除FL-1,Nova,Babel及Stravinsky地線後,聲音立即噪亂了,真係難以想像這是我一個月前大讚的聲音。有了比較,我可馬上立論今次加入系統的附件乃屬神物級數。

    加回FL-1及Nova之後,每個樂器發聲點的能量更分明,更聚焦,這種能量分佈的自然度,應是Nova的貢獻。不過加回這兩件神物後,密度最多只是提升了60%左右,那餘下百分之40,便應是Babel的功勞了。百分之60是如何計算,我覺得密度提升了,但我仍感覺是聽Hi Fi重播,未達幾可亂真的境界;出來的效果卻只有之前一半多少少,故我判斷最多只有之前百分之60的效果。Babel處理震動,令音樂訊號更聚焦,這種級數的密度,我的確未曾在其他墊材體驗過。今天不是坐皇帝位,已遠勝上次皇帝位的體驗,可見這幾件神物對系統的影響是何其巨大。

    當天聽説一位著名歌手不明白發燒常説的”分隔度”,因為音樂是講求融合度,我十分同意。起初我也覺得發燒友的語言不容易明白,但不知怎樣反駁。但當放回所有神物回歸系統後,聆賞Inbal的馬九後,我有一個新的領悟。每個樂器聲部的線條層次清趣俐落,對答分明,一段扣一段,十分過癮。這種尤如用了顯微鏡去拆解樂章的終極還源,又豈能從現場音樂會聽得到?

    這刻我才明白除了現場artists的演繹,聽HIFI還結合了錄音工程師建造的幻想世界般的藝術,所以除了欣賞紀錄片,我們也很喜歡像Marvel 等各類科幻片帶給十分過癮的超現實樂趣。能夠同時呈現現場演繹的元素,又能帶出錄音師及後期製作所建構的音象,豈不是更美滿幸福?

    Man
  • Huber
    edited June 23

    上星期六我參加了疫情後首次舉辦的神曲工作室技術交流聚會。今次主題是探討怎樣減少AB器材比較模式的 “測驗偏誤”。這是一個非常嶄新及富啓發性的課題,完全跳出了舊模式的框架,K公子已發文報告了詳情,所以我想集中分享幾個新的領悟:

    (1). Roman 新的觀點非常切合地形容現時神曲工作室的重播境界。

    追求如何還原現場錄音的氣氛,樂器的排列/配置,以及音樂家的演繹,被發燒友視之為聽高保真的終極目標。反而,Roman提出錄音師所捕捉到的現場氣氛,其實為大家建構了一個根基,好讓我容易在腦海幻想一個音樂世界。這一點很少人懂得分析欣賞。究其是因為關於錄音師的背景資料嚴重缺乏。反而,錄音場地,音樂家的背景,以及樂曲的歷史等的資訊,卻是隨手可得。請試想同一個演出場地及樂團,用上了不同錄音師去負責錄音工程,効果應該是有頗大的分別。這又是一個足以窮一生精力去研究的有趣課題。

    (2). 由數年前認識Chris 開始,就已經被他提倡的科學音響觀所吸引,亦徹底改變了本人對音響糸統的管理哲學。其論點最主要針對不同噪音的抑制,這包括: 房間噪音、電源噪音、接地噪音、機械震動噪音、以及電磁波乾擾噪音。噪音就是聆賞音樂的死敵,所以必須要有效處理。所以AE代理不同品牌去消滅不同噪音。

    時至今天,最令我佩服的是,他仍然努力不懈地去引進新技術,去改善一個已經無可挑剔的超級糸統,而每次都為我們帶來驚喜,一次又一次地今天的糸統打倒昨天的系統。誠如K公子感觸的說:”噪音管理是一場無止境的戰爭”。我非常認同,並需要身體力行,去打這場硬仗。

    加入了數個不同領域的噪音管理工具後,現在的神曲糸統,除了可以讓聽眾體驗到現場錄音實況外,還呈現了錄音師所能捕捉到的現場氣氛,為我們腦內的音樂世界帶來了無限的想像空間。這一個超乎想像的平衡空間,讓我經歷了一場難以言喻的音響盛宴。

    李宗盛和盧冠庭現場合唱的 “如風往事” 非常之感人。若說苦瓜是半生瓜,那李宗盛的作品便必定是音樂中的苦瓜。經歷過百味人生,離合散聚,甜酸苦辣在心頭,聽著李宗盛的歌曲,回憶的畫面便一幕一幕地從腦海中浮現。李宗盛的感情觀往往是帶著一點苦澀,這種愛恨交纏,既凄美又殘酷,赤裸裸地道出愛和痛只是一線之差,讓人享受這種刺痛當中。我認為WELLFLOAT的Babel和AGS的FL-1是屬於critical resources(關鍵性資源),正如Roman兄形容它們是神物。(敬請留意伴奏口琴的靈魂存在感。)

    (3). Chris也分享了德國Goebel 急速在短短數年間,在高端揚聲器市場迅速掘起的故事。它已經佔據了一定的市場佔有率,尤其對於一些新進發燒用家,更是首選品牌。促使其成功背後的一個重要原因,竟然是這個AE Forum 和AE Facebook所帶來的真情分享、熱烈討論、高水平技術分析、以及音樂知識交流,毅然已俏俏成為眾多譖在用家的參考標準,真是始料不及。Goebel 老闆也對他的貢獻感激萬分。

    這現象令我反思到未來的高端音響市場,將會出現很大改變:傳統等客人到門市選購的銷售模式,正在逐漸被權威性KOL主導的教育研究模式所顛覆。我覺得在未來的市場,傳統代理只能掌控相對大眾化的品牌,且看我的預測最終會否實現?