I'm a PRaT - Yes I am!

radio, tape, stands and accessories
michaelevans60
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I'm a PRaT - Yes I am!

Post by michaelevans60 » 30 Jan 2009 09:23

I have just found out that I am a PRaT. I did some research into the PRaT and yes, I am one!

For those who dont know that is Pace, Ryhthm and Timing. As far as I understand it it means I like my music realistic, like I was at a gig, hearing the band or orchestra play together. Some people say this amounts to "colouration" of the playback, bass forward, trble delayed. The jury is out for me on that one!

I fit the definition spookily well:

For me audio nirvana is being able to close your eyes and lose yourself in the music - the music more so than the sound.

But one question it does raise though is what is the opposite of PRaT? If my system is "coloured" (and I don't see that as a good thing in concept) what does a system sound like that is audiophile but doesn't posess PRaT? Surely the music is the reason for this whole game!

M

JaS
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Post by JaS » 30 Jan 2009 09:37

Hi,
To be honest I've never been a fan of the term as it's often used to describe turntables whose colouration detracts from the performance to my ear (and my choice of music). My deck probably doesn't have PRaT but it is rich sounding, dynamic and detailed - it draws me into the music so I'm happy :)

Regards,
JaS

michaelevans60
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Post by michaelevans60 » 30 Jan 2009 10:46

I know what you mean - I'm struggling a bit with the term too - it seems to be used a semi-derogatory term (that I'm not interested in the detail of the music, just tapping my feet). It seems to be because "faithful reproduction" and "detail" are lost at the expense of PRaT. But I don't see that - for me the detail my system provides is as much of a delight as the enjoyment in the music - in fact it's part of it for me - knowing I'm hearing bits of a recording that less well set up systems don't produce.

I'm beginning to wonder now if it is one of those audiophool terms that some use to slight other enthusiasts. And if so it has no place in my vocabulary - each to their own I say - we all have to deal with compromises (money, space, listening room, neighbours) and what is one man's fish is another man's fowl. Who am I to say "my system sounds beter than yours" because to the other person and their application that might just not be true.

"Vive la Différence"!

cats squirrel
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Post by cats squirrel » 30 Jan 2009 11:10

PRaT is something idler wheel decks have, but an LP12 does not, for example. That may equate to 'constant speed, regardless of stylus drag', so for rock/jazz, or anything with a real beat, PRaT is not only desirable, IMHO, it is absolutely necessary.

[Can you guess that I have four idler wheel decks, but only one rubber band deck, for 'classical']

Guest

Post by Guest » 30 Jan 2009 11:29

cats squirrel wrote: PRaT is something idler wheel decks have, but an LP12 does not, for example.
hi,

I'm sorry but that is very wrong.

IME the only decks having PRAT (some add Attack into the list for A)
are well tuned suspended subchassis turntables, of which the LP12
is the prime classic example, but certainly not the only exponent.

However when talking about the prat factor it can mean something else ....



FWIW things like the Linn Kans were "acceptable" due to PRAT factor.
Not in my book, they are simply wrong. PRAT is not about colouration.

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Post by michaelevans60 » 30 Jan 2009 12:16

Yes, like cat squirrel according to some of the ramblings I've found on PRaT the exponents seem to say an LP12 is a primary example.

I must admit I'm thinking more an more that this is a dead end. Although there are some lengthy explanations of what PRat is, especially in Stereophile.com (just google prat hi fi) they just seem like an awful lot of words. And to test the theory, when you try to work out what PRaT is not it seems difficult to come up with an answer. Certainly hard to come up with an answer that isn't something that all people look for from their hi fi and music.

Intersting discussion - any more ideas on what the opposite of PRaT is?

cats squirrel
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Post by cats squirrel » 30 Jan 2009 12:47

don't think this as a dead end, michaelevans60, many an LP12 owner has put away 'childish things' after listening to a turntable with PRaT.

maybe the opposite is 'turntables without any timing'. :o

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Post by michaelevans60 » 30 Jan 2009 13:08

I don't know, I had an LP12 for 6 years or so and enjoyed every minute of it through all sorts of tweaks, upgrades and fiddling. I guess it is highly dependent on how it is set up (and what it is put on) - I know through trial and error what made my LP12 sing and what made it fall flat on it's face!

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Post by JaS » 30 Jan 2009 14:16

michaelevans60 wrote:I must admit I'm thinking more an more that this is a dead end. Although there are some lengthy explanations of what PRat is, especially in Stereophile.com (just google prat hi fi) they just seem like an awful lot of words
Another take from the Original Thinker:

Traditionally PRAT was used to describe that indefinable quality that a certain belt driven, suspended turntable possessed, and alternative designs never could. The acronym was not describing a technical aspect of the performance, it was purely flat earth thinking. These days it is a term more often applied to a piece of equipment that is found to be technically flawed but is still enjoyable to listen to. It is rare for a well engineered, neutral piece of equipment to have this term applied to it as the reviewer has no need to justify his enjoyment of it.
any more ideas on what the opposite of PRaT is?
Compact Disc :lol:

Regards,
JaS

michaelevans60
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Post by michaelevans60 » 30 Jan 2009 14:23

Well given I enjoy both vinyl and cd (hush - blasphemy) I guess I'm not a complete PRaT then!

Phew!

Seriously though I don't consider my set up flawed particuarly. Back to personal taste I guess but I think i have concluded that the term is not really grounded in much sensibility. No offence to those who use it!

Mike

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Post by vincula2008 » 30 Jan 2009 15:00

To PRaT or not to PRat? I knew this thread will come after a certain message, michalevans... :twisted: PRatT as a concept's probably flaw, but still practical to me whenever I want to put it against it some systems, whose designers were so concern with tone, soundstage and pitch relations that simply forgot about the basics: call it swing or musical flow, call it PRat, tapping, impulse, rhythm or whatever.
It's not about choosing one side in spite of the other, but about which set-up can fool you better into thinking that you're the witness of something real, called music. Don't get me wrong: no system can play my own Selmer sax, but thanks to a good system -LP12 included- I can hear why many can play it much better than me. And most of them are already dead!!
There lies the magic. That's the hi-fi I like...

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Post by cats squirrel » 30 Jan 2009 15:01

seems a good point at which to agree.

Maybe it just goes to show one man's PRaT is another man's TWaT :wink:

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Post by JaS » 30 Jan 2009 16:28

vincula2008 wrote:It's not about choosing one side in spite of the other, but about which set-up can fool you better into thinking that you're the witness of something real, called music
Well put, although the elements that make a system sound real are very much a matter of taste/perception so I think the term PRaT is pretty meaningless.

Regards,
JaS

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Post by bauzace50 » 30 Jan 2009 18:22

HI,
my first focus is timbre (the apparent tonal accuracy). Then i focus on apparent spaciousness, localization of sources, and apparent size of images (tight, concise, focused images are appreciated more than wide bloated images, for example).
Everything else is just a bonus, which I don't look for, but enjoy if perceived.
Regards,
bauzace50

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Post by andyr » 31 Jan 2009 09:08

bauzace50 wrote: HI,
my first focus is timbre (the apparent tonal accuracy). Then i focus on apparent spaciousness, localization of sources, and apparent size of images (tight, concise, focused images are appreciated more than wide bloated images, for example).
Everything else is just a bonus, which I don't look for, but enjoy if perceived.
Regards,
bauzace50
But b50 - surely you can have:
* tonal accuracy,
* spaciousness,
* localised sources, and
* focused images

... but the overall listening experience is 'dry' and 'sterile' - rather than emotionally involving?

IMO, if the system involves you emotionally in the performance - so you want to keep on listening ... you can forgive a bit of tonal inaccuracy! :D

Regards,

Andy

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