Questions about Resolving Systems

I know this will be subjective but what makes a resolving system?

Does it mean it has great detail?

How do you know if you have a resolving system?

Is that only for system that employ high end components?

I am just trying to get a better understanding.




I love the example of the muppets because they align with something Steve Guttenberg likes to say — namely, "abandon the quest for perfect realism," or words to that effect. What we want is something that pleases us. We might call that "comfortably real."

Your post made me consider that there are lots of ways a system can be comfortably real, and that involves (as you put it) "alignment with real physics and real human motion." Another way of describing such alignment is "natural" or, more humbly, "the way I move, too."

Your post also made me consider that there are things a system does in obvious and overt ways which also create other non-focal aspects. We could call these the "fringe" or background that makes us feel at home. None of this is unusual for an interior decorator, who understands that colors and placement of objects — however much we’d call them environment or background — are critical to making a house feel like a home.

What we may be making explicit, here with audio, is that same kind of thing. Music that makes us feel "at home."

Steve, thank you for the educational information.  This sounds a good diy project.


I'm coming around to that realization more and more, that ultimate realism isn't a realistic goal, but there are certain presentations that come across as enjoyable and appropriate, as you say they make me feel at home. I've run in to paradoxes where I can clearly say that one speaker sounds better in most ways than another, but I actually prefer to use the lesser speaker because I can adjust to its faults better. 

When listening to a full orchestra symphony finale, most systems present a wall of sound that is a bit garbled. In a concert hall, you hear all the instruments together, but not mixed. For me , resolving is the ability of a system to get close to that. To unscramble the signal and make individual instruments unaffected by the others. This also has a lot to do with the recording. Only in the last 10 15 years do you have high res recordings who have this detail. And very good systems will show it. Those systems will also reveal any distortion. This is why resolving is a double edge sword. Finally, the type of music is relevant in this issue also: old rock and pop are highly compressed and the garble cannot be undone. But in recent classical, jazz, ambient, folk, solving the equation with high detail makes music sound closer to the real thing.  Try Mahler symphony no 3 first movement with Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Orchestra, the last 3 minutes. If you can hear each instrument group clearly, you have a resolving system. If you can hear each instrument separately, you are not human.