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Pace, rhythm and timing. What do these terms mean to you with respect to hifi?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Nic Robinson, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    Marketing guff.
    Paul McDonough, Durmbo and fegs like this.
  2. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I have recently moved from a pretty much all naim system to an ATC one. Probably not as ‘fast’ sounding but more insight into the music, better imaging but just as dynamic.
  3. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    When I first returned to taking an interest home audio about 15 years ago after just over a 25 year break this was almost the first question I asked.

    The tentative conclusion I came to was that it was likely one of several audiophile examples which started with the initial intention to demonstrate the gullibility of audiophiles but when it took hold was instead exploited. Like all good trolling you have to let the informed know what you are doing which was done in this case via the meaning of the acronym. Of course this can only be known with any certainty if whoever came up with the idea comes forward and admits to it which as far as I am aware has not happened. I am also not sure if the origin is known with any certainty (anyone?) which is in itself a bit suggestive for such an effective and lucrative form of marketing.
    MUTTY1 and Nic Robinson like this.
  4. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    Good point

    Surely we all know what rhythm and timing are. No HiFi is perfect and components vary in how well they preserve these attributes, just like they vary in how well they preserve timbre or many other elements.

    I think pace is a bit vague though and not sure what the originators of PRAT were getting at. Could be fast leading edges but my guess is that it more likely refers to musical coherence so that the music doesn't sound sluggish and laboured.
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  5. John

    John Fore!

  6. Octavian

    Octavian pfm Member

    That was their marketing spin. No evidence of the method's effectiveness exists. It's popularity stems from the flattering idea that you have chosen your kit on musical grounds. For this they employed the two most superficial elements of music: melody and rhythm.
    sideshowbob likes this.
  7. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    I would disagree - i think it can be measured but you have ot accept that we are looking at the interaction of specific system traits and human perception.

    To give an example, closed box 'speakers with a dry bass alignment and limited low bass are usually perceived as having superior pace and timing.
    You likely cannot measure any difference in the speed of sound leaving the speaker but you can measure the effects of the bass alignment and FR.

    Perhaps the most extreme example in audio history was the Linn Kan.
    It might have sounded like a drainpipe in the mids and barked at the listener, but even detractors commented on the apparent speed and timing of its low end.
    Hook and Steve 57 like this.
  8. say it as it is

    say it as it is pfm Member

    Not sure I agree with all the hype but now finally got the pain in the ass credos working on the end of naitXS it does do something a bit different not sure it's better but different.
    Separation of all the instruments certainly and lots of detail, amazing treble listened to some old Dire Straits and the saxophone for example is amazingly life-like. Thankfully there is now bass crisp and not booming, snap of drums is sharp, vocals strong and clear. Better width to sound then I remembered and does that trick of making you think sounds are coming from another room, if you know what I mean?
    Downsides at times and this might be the old argument that more accurate the reproduction more you expose the flaws in the recording or mixing? At times it feels too separate almost disconnected. Some setups I have had before maybe sacrifice some detail for a more connected sound yes things happening at same time maybe don't hear it all but sounds more like what you hear on the TV or car stereo if get what I mean?
  9. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    These days we have a whole new set of audio cliches. Gone are the lifted veils and pools of inky blackness. Instead we must insist that the latest wonder component makes it sound like the group is playing together as one, whereas the previous one made it sound like they were ‘phoning in’ their individual performances. (This applies whether the component in question is an amp, a speaker, a cable or even a fancy fuse.

    Anyway, PR&T. I never held with any of that nonsense. My demo disk was Raw Power by Iggy & the Stooges. That got the sales bloke out of the room before he could start tapping his toes.
  10. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    I once cleared the Naim room at the Heathrow hifi show by playing ATV's Live at the Rat Club on their then reference system.
    domfjbrown and fegs like this.
  11. Mr Neds

    Mr Neds Active Member

    My oldest friend was listening to something on my system a few years ago and asked what the “tapping” noise was in one channel. I told him it was the hi hat and some percussion. “ That would drive me mad” he said..........
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s impressive. Best I managed was clearing the Nottingham Analogue room with a German techno 12” (LSG). Had a great chat with Tom Fletcher afterwards so it was well worth doing.

    PS I remember taking PIL’s Metal Box to dealer dems in the past.
  13. Mr Neds

    Mr Neds Active Member

    I took a bunch of different music to audition an amp. The guy who’d booked the dem had forgotten and wasn’t there. His mate took over and we’ve been friends for 30 years!
    chris@panteg and torstoi like this.
  14. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    Niel Blackwood, ErikL, fegs and 2 others like this.
  15. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d run towards such rooms! A fabulous album.
  16. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I've been playing with some circuit designs with a former Naim colleague and one of the issues I've come up against is how to describe the differences between the various configurations and iterations of the circuitry.

    That they all sound a little different is clear, but is it:
    Resolution, or 'like the sharpness control of the tv turned up'
    3D, or pin-point accuracy?
    Tidy, or dull presentation?
    Raw edged, or fun? Screechy?

    I got to the stage where I couldn't decide what I was hearing, and when pushed, thought - Timing. Every note decays like I think it should, everything starts when it ought to. That, to me, was PRaT in a nutshell.
  17. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I must admit I've become a fan of Tony Mansfield and New Musik and their first two albums contain some great analogue synth, guitars, sibilant vocals and compression that is quite demanding.
    Big Tabs and Colin L like this.
  18. I once did the same playing Konono No.1 - Congotronics - not enough thumb piano fans out there it seems
    sideshowbob likes this.
  19. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Doesn't mean anything to me, I've owned loads of flat earth stuff and never heard this illusive PRAT. It's all a load of marketing bollocks.
    Darren L likes this.
  20. Shane2468

    Shane2468 pfm Member

    Same here, Matt.


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