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Steve Hoffman's Voodoo - Page 3

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 View Post
I think some of you are missing the point. All you are reading is the last sentence. There is no debate that better cartridges will get more groove contact. I think we can all agree that this leads to less susceptibility to playing and emphasizing surface noise.
This is what I fail to understand. if there are imperfections in the groove then surely greater groove contact would dig out more of the imperfections , not the reverse

We need graphs and charts on this !

Quote:
What is this nonsense with "magical midrange"? Based on what is said, he is saying that the midrange will mask the crackle by being over-emphasized. How is this high fidelity? Why is this garbage being spewed by one of the most respected people in music mixing/mastering? If it is in the recording, it should be played. When it is not, it is of lesser resolution. Period.
It is possible for someone to be a "genius" in some specific dimensions but a fool in others, I remember a famous British Academic (John Taylor) -held chairs in Maths and Phyiscs in the USA and UK - a real domehead - was for several years taken in by Uri Geller - did recant this latter but was fooled bigtime at first.
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
This is what I fail to understand. if there are imperfections in the groove then surely greater groove contact would dig out more of the imperfections , not the reverse

We need graphs and charts on this !
While I have no graphs to support my belief, I think that better a stylus will have a needle that is sharper and will be able to go deeper into the groove and not just pick up the side walls closer to the surface. The surface is what makes contact with the LP sleeves and anything else, while the deepest part of the groove touches nothing but the needle.
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
This is what I fail to understand. if there are imperfections in the groove then surely greater groove contact would dig out more of the imperfections , not the reverse

We need graphs and charts on this !



It is possible for someone to be a "genius" in some specific dimensions but a fool in others, I remember a famous British Academic (John Taylor) -held chairs in Maths and Phyiscs in the USA and UK - a real domehead - was for several years taken in by Uri Geller - did recant this latter but was fooled bigtime at first.
Two good points! I don't think much scientific acumen is required to be a great recording engineer. That is art/craft much more than science, IMHO. That was my first reaction as this thread began.

I listened to LPs a lot as a kid. The sound is good enough so that you can greatly enjoy the music, but falls short of CD for technical sound quality if things are done reasonably well, IMHO. As far as cartridges and stylus contact, I remember different shapes of stylus as one moved up the price tiers of cartridges. I also remember that different cartridges lent what seemed to be obvious colorations. As I bought CDs of my old LPs, it seemed clear, for example, that my old Signet cartridge had emphasized high frequencies. This I suppose would under-emphasize mid-range defects in the sound. I tried another cartridge, a run of the mill Shure cartridge, and the sound was much closer to what I was getting on CD. I developed a feeling that the Shure cartridges for maybe $100 were starting to hit the point of diminishing returns pretty hard, and that smoke and mirrors were starting to set in as the cartridge prices accelerated upward. But I can't emphasize enough that these are all novice impressions. I can say that I never noticed any great change in signal-to-noise ratio or surface noise as I moved through Signet, Ortofon, and Shure cartridges over the course of many years though. If there was a difference it might have been a couple decibels here or there. The quality of the recording and the pressing of the LP could make a very obvious difference though.

As to the main point of the thread, if you have listened to recordings recorded and mastered by this Steve Hoffman fellow and really like them, he's probably extremely good at his craft. As to his opinions regarding high-end audio and its merits and effects, not so much, IMHO. But you need artistically talented people around to get the most of the technology, right? He appears to be one of those folks.
post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 View Post
While I have no graphs to support my belief, I think that better a stylus will have a needle that is sharper and will be able to do deeper into the groove and not just pick up the side walls closer to the surface. The surface is what makes contact with the LP sleeves and anything else, while the deepest part of the groove touches nothing but the needle.
Okay, now I understand the argument. It is about stylus geometry, thanks, it begins to make sense, so really it is nothing to do with "quality" of a cart as some kind of abstract measure it is to do with the shape of the needle.

Presumably there is an extra cost to making the needles sharper ?
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Okay, now I understand the argument. It is about stylus geometry, thanks, it begins to make sense, so really it is nothing to do with "quality" of a cart as some kind of abstract measure it is to do with the shape of the needle.

Presumably there is an extra cost to making the needles sharper ?
Well many people (including me) believe that once you reach the level where the product is made from quality materials and is based on sound research and testing, any difference in sound plays to preferences rather than better or worse. I suspect this is true with vinyl setups as well. A good cartridge and stylus is one that is of good quality and the build approach (including diamond geometry) is based on science rather than nonsensical marketing.

I am assuming that there is a slightly higher cost, but all of it is just diamond cutting. It is not all that difficult once you have the right tools. The higher costs are due to (I presume) more R&D and better materials.
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post
Presumably there is an extra cost to making the needles sharper ?
Unlikely. Fixed costs are probably about the same, but prices rise for more popular models.
post #37 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 View Post
Well many people (including me) believe that once you reach the level where the product is made from quality materials and is based on sound research and testing, any difference in sound plays to preferences rather than better or worse.
My personal preference is for flat, though without access to master tapes and a studio system you can never quite be sure whether what you are getting is flat or not - shrug

Quote:
I suspect this is true with vinyl setups as well. A good cartridge and stylus is one that is of good quality and the build approach (including diamond geometry) is based on science rather than nonsensical marketing.
I think this certainly used to be the case, back in the 70s/80s when I had turntables the mags used to actually measure the technical performance of turntables and TT manufacturers used to spec them. When I have looked lately it is quite difficult to get even basic measurements on turntables or cartridges.

The irony here is that I briefly had a TT with a Shure V15 and, as far as I can tell, no modern cart has actually bettered its flat FR to 20K ?
post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve999 View Post
Two good points! I don't think much scientific acumen is required to be a great recording engineer. That is art/craft much more than science, IMHO. That was my first reaction as this thread began.

I listened to LPs a lot as a kid. The sound is good enough so that you can greatly enjoy the music, but falls short of CD for technical sound quality if things are done reasonably well, IMHO. As far as cartridges and stylus contact, I remember different shapes of stylus as one moved up the price tiers of cartridges. I also remember that different cartridges lent what seemed to be obvious colorations. As I bought CDs of my old LPs, it seemed clear, for example, that my old Signet cartridge had emphasized high frequencies. This I suppose would under-emphasize mid-range defects in the sound. I tried another cartridge, a run of the mill Shure cartridge, and the sound was much closer to what I was getting on CD. I developed a feeling that the Shure cartridges for maybe $100 were starting to hit the point of diminishing returns pretty hard, and that smoke and mirrors were starting to set in as the cartridge prices accelerated upward. But I can't emphasize enough that these are all novice impressions. I can say that I never noticed any great change in signal-to-noise ratio or surface noise as I moved through Signet, Ortofon, and Shure cartridges over the course of many years though. If there was a difference it might have been a couple decibels here or there. The quality of the recording and the pressing of the LP could make a very obvious difference though.

As to the main point of the thread, if you have listened to recordings recorded and mastered by this Steve Hoffman fellow and really like them, he's probably extremely good at his craft. As to his opinions regarding high-end audio and its merits and effects, not so much, IMHO. But you need artistically talented people around to get the most of the technology, right? He appears to be one of those folks.
Well put.
post #39 of 69
Steve Hoffman is a narcissistic over-rated fun-gineer. lol

His magical thinking, or was that midrange, (hard to tell these days) is amusing though.

He's kind of like the average looking girl taking the over weight girl out with her just to stand next to and look good in comparison with. Is it possible not to make Aqualung sound better on CD?

If other engineers weren't under strict orders to brick wall et-cetera Steve Hoffman would never have developed his little cult like following to begin with. lol

He's no Doug Sax or Robert Ludwig; that's for certain. In fact it would seem many of the old school engineers had better craftsmanship in general, in my opinion. Many of my old jazz records sound fantastic.
post #40 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Love View Post
Steve Hoffman is a narcissistic over-rated fun-gineer. lol

His magical thinking, or was that midrange, (hard to tell these days) is amusing though.

He's kind of like the average looking girl taking the over weight girl out with her just to stand next to and look good in comparison with. Is it possible not to make Aqualung sound better on CD?

If other engineers weren't under strict orders to brick wall et-cetera Steve Hoffman would never have developed his little cult like following to begin with. lol

He's no Doug Sax or Robert Ludwig; that's for certain. In fact it would seem many of the old school engineers had better craftsmanship in general, in my opinion. Many of my old jazz records sound fantastic.
Wow. Tell us what you really think.
post #41 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Love View Post
Steve Hoffman is a narcissistic over-rated fun-gineer. lol

His magical thinking, or was that midrange, (hard to tell these days) is amusing though.

He's kind of like the average looking girl taking the over weight girl out with her just to stand next to and look good in comparison with. Is it possible not to make Aqualung sound better on CD?

If other engineers weren't under strict orders to brick wall et-cetera Steve Hoffman would never have developed his little cult like following to begin with. lol

He's no Doug Sax or Robert Ludwig; that's for certain. In fact it would seem many of the old school engineers had better craftsmanship in general, in my opinion. Many of my old jazz records sound fantastic.
Are you serious mate?
He developed a following back in 1992 when he remastered "Wheels Of Fire", "McCartney" and "Cosmo's Factory" and changed them from average sounding recordings into something more than that. There was no brickwalling then. His version of "Bad Company" is better than any Island vinyl I heard.
Regarding Aqualung, you sneered that it was only possible to improve this album on CD. How come all prior and post attempts failed to get a sound as good as he did (and Stan Ricker's attempt on vinyl for MoFi was an abomination in my opinion)?
post #42 of 69
Well that's the thing man, it's all totally subjective when it comes to sound, and in my opinion, that's a good thing.

While staying in the realm of opinion, the classic vinyl of Aqualung is highly regarded by many; I have yet to listen to mine as there are other Jethro Tull albums that I favor musically.

The Bad Company CD does in fact sound good, it's just the music doesn't to me. lol

I'm not stating that Steve Hoffman is an incompetent buffoon when it comes to remastering a CD. Socially he is, and that is beside the point though.

What I did state is that there are better skilled engineers than him in my opinion.

Steve Hoffman is the Madonna or Donald Trump of his profession, constantly self promoting no matter what like the silly little narcissist that he is. Can Madonna sing? Yes, she's not a bad singer at all. Are there more talented singers out there with less name recognition? Surely there are. See my point?

Steve Hoffman in an ironic twist of fate unbeknownst to his fans or self is not entirely unlike the Bose of the audio world.

As for his following? Please, there are always people out there looking to follow someone or something so I find that unimpressive rather than impressive; see Madonna and her constant parade of tacky self promotion in service to her own over inflated ego that most people probably don't want to be around. lol

As an aside, even his sycophants seem to be complaining about his latest batch of discs. Is he the worlds worst engineer? Personality wise I'm sure he would enter in the running; work wise? Not at all, it's just there are engineers out there who have vasts amounts of more talent than he is all.

Keep in mind that this is not an attempt to convert anyone to any opinion, nor do I feel we need to duel with e-pistols at dawn to settle differing opinions, just stating mine is all. lol
post #43 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Love View Post
I'm not stating that Steve Hoffman is an incompetent buffoon when it comes to remastering a CD. Socially he is, and that is beside the point though.
Socially? Sounds like you had an unpleasant experience with Mr. Hoffman. Would you like to share with the group?
post #44 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by terriblepaulz View Post
Socially? Sounds like you had an unpleasant experience with Mr. Hoffman. Would you like to share with the group?

That monster stole my eggo waffles!!! lol

I've never personally met The Wizard of Oz so to speak, but by default someone of that personality type would ultimately be a socially inept buffoon, hence my comment. lol

Keep in mind that I am not trying to convert you or anyone to my opinion, if you or others have happened to have decided to accept Steve Hoffman as your lord and savior or whatever, it's all good. lol
post #45 of 69
Agree, I'm a mastering engineer and I can hear the crackle on my K702 and on my Pioneer monitor 10 as well on the GMP 8.35/435. some hps like the Ultrasones and senn hide this crackle very well.

Good mix and mastering need to be checked also on the very bad equipment.
The bad equipment will be more sensitive, because is can not get the all full range of frequencies and the dynamic to support the music as the studio monitors.
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