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From CD to SACD how much of difference - Page 4

post #46 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
Here's a link to the explanation about the tests performed by Meyer and Moran that were submitted in the recent AES paper, "Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback."

It seems like a fair test, even though the original home audio system was by no means up to the task. They eventually went to a few mixing and mastering facilities and tested some young ears. Their findings indicate that there were no significant differences between the SACD layer and the downsampled conversion except at levels higher than "normal." Normal was considered to be 85 dB at the listening chair, calibrated using a pink noise sample. Theoretically, some quieter jazz and classical music would require the 10 dB boost they used to hear the details, so it's halfway feasible that a normal user might hear differences in low level accuracy.

Is it worth paying more for a slightly higher fidelity recording with copy protection? Maybe not. People like Head-Fier markl have noticed significant quality differences between early CDs (esp. from places like West Germany) and current ones, so perhaps it would be a more cost-effective idea to focus high-res efforts on a better CD mastering process, like those employed during the manufacture of HDCD, XRCD, XRCD2, K2, and K2HD.
Exactly. I rate the new jvc formats as high as sacd! They really sound better then any standard mastered cd!

True, the new cd's are all hot mastered, so they blow your head off.
I also noticed huge differences in quality of cd's. Almost all new popular cd's are way to hard mastered, they blow your ears off and sound distorted.

Good old recordings however sound wonderfull.

Between the cd and xrcd of money for nothing from the dire straits is a significant difference beneficial to xrcd.

Also people have found differences between sacd recordings; some are as bad or good as cd. Some are better then cd but that's all in the mastering, not the format, wich has the 6 bit highs limitation!

It's all in the mastering of the recording.
post #47 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourmaline View Post
Exactly. I rate the new jvc formats as high as sacd! They really sound better then any standard mastered cd!

True, the new cd's are all hot mastered, so they blow your head off.
I also noticed huge differences in quality of cd's. Almost all new popular cd's are way to hard mastered, they blow your ears off and sound distorted.

Good old recordings however sound wonderfull.
It's true that the mixing and mastering engineers have the most impact on the sound, but the real benefits of a format like XRCD are due to the quality oversight of JVC, who supplies almost all of the encoders, algorithms, and methodologies used for dithering and creating the master copy that gets sent to the manufacturing plant. It's like a contemporary version of MFSL, basically, with a lot of quality control during the final steps of a CD's creation.

I guess that in some way, JVC functions as the opposite of the producers who demand "louder, more!" Like an anti-producer.
post #48 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post
I can understand where you are coming from, but I think the final result is very system dependant and also perhaps dependant upon what you are used to hearing in live performances. I do agree about the "congested" feel, however I often actually notice similar things in live performances too depending upon the concert hall and the proportion of total seats occupied by the audience. It's my view that many recordings sound more like orchestra rehersals in terms of acoustics, whereas I think the Telarcs approach more of the "full hall" feel.
I agree. I never hear the sort pinpoint imaging that most audiophiles insist on at large orchestral concerts, and only a bit of that in smaller rooms during chamber events (and the smaller the ensemble, the better!) When the CSO performed Copland 3 earlier this year, I was surprised at the congested/diffuse nature of the sound in the big tutti passages......gee, just like on the recording! On the other hand, a much scaled-down orchestra performed Ravel's "Mother Goose" before the Copland, and it was almost as if it was being performed in a different hall all together.

Sometimes we audiophiles expect too much clarity in the recording that was never actually present in the live performance, perhaps? There seems to be some limit beyond which (I think bigshot likes to use this term?) "the music starts to step all over itself."
post #49 of 161
RE imaging/acoustics in concert halls and other venues -- To use the live experience as a "gold standard" to evaluate recordings, hi-rez or otherwise, could be misleading inasmuch the use of electronic amplification (i.e. "sound enhancement") seems to be getting more widespread use -- everyone wants to have the front-row center experience when they pay good money to attend a concert. Granted this can be well-done and subtle enough that it does not introduce too much artifact into the experience but unfortunately this is not often the case. Another reason why a recording, even with its even slightly compressed dynamic range and image distortion, could still far exceed the "live" experience in terms of overall sound quality. Classical music performed in smaller venues - chamber concerts, for example - might be a better way to judge differences in fidelity between live and recorded since they might have less need for sound reinforcement. And you might as well forget about live jazz, other acoustic music -- I can't recall a live jazz session that I've attended that hasn't used some form of electronic sound enhancement.
post #50 of 161
A couple of recording engineers have agreed with me that we need to look at recordings as if they are more like paintings rather than photographs. There are a lot of choices to be made in terms of mics and placement, and none result in any sort of exact portrayal of the event.

But there are good ones and bad ones, no doubt!!!!
post #51 of 161
double post
post #52 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by twsmith View Post
Classical music performed in smaller venues - chamber concerts, for example - might be a better way to judge differences in fidelity between live and recorded since they might have less need for sound reinforcement.
If you have professionally trained musicians with a good conductor and proper acoustics, reinforcement shouldn't be needed at all. I've played solo violin at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (2,000 plus seating) and after the performance people from right up near the back said they heard me with a great deal of clarity and perfectly adequate volume. There was no sound reinforcement at all for that performance - not a mic to be seen anywhere. And I went to a Shlomo Mintz concert at the same venue where I was seated way back in the auditorium. I heard every little detail - again no reinforcement but I would expect that with him - he is a fabulous violinist with awesome carrying power.

With a good auditorium you should be able to hear a pin drop on stage from anywhere at all inside that auditorium. And don't get me started on how loud lolly wrappers are!
post #53 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post
With a good auditorium you should be able to hear a pin drop on stage from anywhere at all inside that auditorium. And don't get me started on how loud lolly wrappers are!
Yeah, the acoustics of a venue are extremely important for good sound propogation, as is the placement of the performers relative to the sides of the stage, curtains, etc. Did you ever have a conductor shift the whole orchestra around by a few feet each time to find the best hall sound?

This is getting off-topic, but I've had a surreal first-hand experience with a hall. It was huge, with something like four or five balconies overlooking a large ground floor. There was a clinician visiting the university to help a few high school symphonic bands perfect their competition pieces. Our band finished, and my friends left while I wanted to stay, so I took a seat near the back wall on the third-floor balcony. It had been a long day and the hall was so large that the music wasn't loud enough at that distance to keep me awake, so I started to doze... Then I heard a whisper, right in my ear. I was a little startled, so I looked around to find the source, but I was still the only person on the entire balcony. Then I heard a triangle ring out from a few feet away. I squinted and realized that the entire time, I had been hearing the members of the percussion section in extreme detail! I could almost make out their whispered conversations, from hundreds of feet away. The top of the back wall of the stage was slanted at just the right angle to beam the sounds directly to me.
post #54 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
Did you ever have a conductor shift the whole orchestra around by a few feet each time to find the best hall sound?
I can't say that I have. In all cases I've been involved in, the seating is always set at the rehearsal. In my experience the conductor would, however, generally make subtle modifications to tempo and individual section dynamics / bowings to allow for a particular hall acoustic. I guess once one is intimately acquainted with a hall, one knows what works and what doesn't - and that would of course include positioning amongst many other factors.

I'll say one thing though. Compared to the practice room, a great acoustic gives a soloist an immense charge of emotional energy (almost like a "high") that can make a good performance a great one.
post #55 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADD View Post
If you have professionally trained musicians with a good conductor and proper acoustics, reinforcement shouldn't be needed at all.
I won't disagree but sadly the ideal situation that you refer to is just not what we actually experience in some - possibly many - concert halls.
post #56 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
Yeah, the acoustics of a venue are extremely important for good sound propogation, as is the placement of the performers relative to the sides of the stage, curtains, etc. Did you ever have a conductor shift the whole orchestra around by a few feet each time to find the best hall sound?

This is getting off-topic, but I've had a surreal first-hand experience with a hall. It was huge, with something like four or five balconies overlooking a large ground floor. There was a clinician visiting the university to help a few high school symphonic bands perfect their competition pieces. Our band finished, and my friends left while I wanted to stay, so I took a seat near the back wall on the third-floor balcony. It had been a long day and the hall was so large that the music wasn't loud enough at that distance to keep me awake, so I started to doze... Then I heard a whisper, right in my ear. I was a little startled, so I looked around to find the source, but I was still the only person on the entire balcony. Then I heard a triangle ring out from a few feet away. I squinted and realized that the entire time, I had been hearing the members of the percussion section in extreme detail! I could almost make out their whispered conversations, from hundreds of feet away. The top of the back wall of the stage was slanted at just the right angle to beam the sounds directly to me.
I see you're in Indiana. I'm curious since I grew up there... which hall was it?

This reminds me very much of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's home, the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I work for them, and we won't let any kids under 7 in the hall because even if they don't talk (or cry... before we enacted the policy this season, we actually had parents bring 3 month old babies to recitals, swearing that "She never makes any noise"... I want to smack those utterly selfish people who have no problem ruining someone else's concert because they can't find a babysitter) you can hear them shifting back and forth in their seats from the opposite side of the hall.
post #57 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwicker7 View Post
I see you're in Indiana. I'm curious since I grew up there... which hall was it?
It was Elliott Hall at Purdue University. It must have grown bigger in my imagination, because I see that it only has two balconies! So, I must have been on the first balcony (second floor).

Speaking of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, I had a friend who attended the "Dear Friends - Music from Final Fantasy" concert in 2004. He said that the acoustics were amazing; not a bad seat in the house.
post #58 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
It was Elliott Hall at Purdue University. It must have grown bigger in my imagination, because I see that it only has two balconies! So, I must have been on the first balcony (second floor).

Speaking of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, I had a friend who attended the "Dear Friends - Music from Final Fantasy" concert in 2004. He said that the acoustics were amazing; not a bad seat in the house.
I was at the Final Fantasy concert, it was actually my first show at the hall. It was amazing, and the crowd was fanatical, much more so than you ever see at a typical classical concert.
post #59 of 161
I've listened to Sacd's on many different types of systems, and I have to say that it makes the biggest difference when you have more than two channels - more ambient information is included with 5.1 + channels. With two channels, cd can sound ridiculously good with a great cd player, amp, and some sweet headphones. Not much difference with headphones for some reason.
post #60 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by sejarzo View Post
A couple of recording engineers have agreed with me that we need to look at recordings as if they are more like paintings rather than photographs. There are a lot of choices to be made in terms of mics and placement, and none result in any sort of exact portrayal of the event.

But there are good ones and bad ones, no doubt!!!!
My other hobby is photography, and I think about sound very much like I think about photography. Live performances are very often not ideal situations for the vast majority of the crowd at hand, sound is often best in very specific locations. Similarly, there may only be one or two great vantage points for a photographer to take a picture.

I honestly don't know how many times I've heard live music only to complain that the sound is horrible, much worse than my very modest home stereo. Recording, I imagine is very much like taking a picture. There are many ways you can place your microphone for non-optimal sound, just as there are may bad compositions/ways of lighting these compositions in photography.

Personally, I find a difference between Sacd and Cd. Not because the dynamic range has a greater swing and cd's arent' capable of the same transients, but because Sacd to my ears has a more ambient, live sound than Cd.

For fun, I once tried recording some vinly onto my computer varying the sampling rates between 96khz 24bit to 44.1khz 16bit. Maybe this isn't a fair comparison because my sound card is very cheap (creative external usb 24 bit), but the difference was huge.
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