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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 161

post #2401 of 3652

Can anyone in this thread shed some light on if an amplifier of 2000 mW at 50ohms would be enough to drive the Hifiman HE-6 easily. I've heard the claims by owners that you need some extremely beefy 20V swing or 10W power for it. Objectively this is untrue right?

 

Headphone sensitivity, sound science newb here,

post #2402 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

I had that opportunity. A record I produced way back when was released on both vinyl and CD. We recorded on 24 track tape. The CD sounded exactly like the master. The record didn't. Not surprising because we output the master to 4 track ADAT, and the ADAT sounded exactly the same.

 

The way to minimize pops and clicks is to adjust the stylus tip size and shape to slide in under the band of groove wear. The tonearm and base of the turntable have very little to do with it.

I believe that was true in your case. Analog master tape gone trough 44.1 (CD) or 48 ( DAT ) kHz 16 bit PCM  should shrink the soundstage, if nothing else.

 

The problem might or might not have been 24 track analog recording and mastering down to 4 / 2 channels .  It is VERY easy to lose the spatial cues this way; Sheffield once did a (direct to disk?) recording of the same music (symphonic orchestra) both with multimiked and pure 2 microphone techniques to illustrate the point of importance of microphone placement; it would not matter in the slightest whether the multimiked session was recorded with "anything" - by the time signal gets to the actual recorder, it is all over with accuracy. So what you described hints at most probably multimiked recording and analog record mastering (to be precise - CUTTING THE LACQUER ) done with less-than-stellar results. I know it is a VERY high order to produce a good sounding analog masterring - in analog days, the original mastering engineer was always proudly noted in the credit section.

 

I *wish* I had the opportunity to try working with lathe etc - but in economic climate over here, it is not possible - even in the wildest dreams. Thec closest our country came to actually have the record lathe capability was in the early/mid 80s - the latest Neumann VMS 80 system was delivered, but never installed - and was sold with factory seals still intact.

 

That is why I am using DSD - because it is, by FAR, the most analogue-ish sounding of all digital I am familiar with ; only DXD I have yet to experience. I will describe, in great detail and from any angle I see fit, what I can hear with DSD that can not be had with PCM - in a thread " vinyl ripping vs CD" (or something like that ) - because I promised it there and the course of life prevented me to devote to writing that post with the dedication deserved. It will be soon - time permitting .

post #2403 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

I believe that was true in your case. Analog master tape gone trough 44.1 (CD) or 48 ( DAT ) kHz 16 bit PCM  should shrink the soundstage, if nothing else.

 

No, you missed what I said... when we bumped the final analogue 24 track mix to digital, it sounded *identical*. Exactly the same. No special processing or mastering needed. When it was mastered for LP, they had to compress it a bit and roll off some of the top end to make it work on vinyl. The vinyl version was by necessity full of compromises.

 

I would NEVER go back to recording to 24 track tape and releasing on vinyl. It was a royal pain in the butt to keep it sounding good. There were always compromises to be made for the medium. The projects I've done on digital were much easier and cleaner sounding, and we had a lot more flexibility.

post #2404 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

No, you missed what I said... when we bumped the final analogue 24 track mix to digital, it sounded *identical*. Exactly the same. No special processing or mastering needed. When it was mastered for LP, they had to compress it a bit and roll off some of the top end to make it work on vinyl. The vinyl version was by necessity full of compromises.

 

I would NEVER go back to recording to 24 track tape and releasing on vinyl. It was a royal pain in the butt to keep it sounding good. There were always compromises to be made for the medium. The projects I've done on digital were much easier and cleaner sounding, and we had a lot more flexibility.

I know the limitations of analog disc - few people have heard how well done analog CASSETTE can sound.

 

I could never make 44.1/16 kHz PCM sound anything like good cassette master. It may well sound I lost my marbles while laying such a claim, but then again, most people never heard last generation of cassete decks.

Add superb tape (Sony Metal Master) and good noise reduction - and you are  2-3 dB short of 90 dB  dynamic range, bass that puts to shame any open reel recorder ever made - and , if the last unnecessary filtering is removed, an open sounding top end most would for the life never suspected it is coming from tape run at 4.75 cm/sec .

 

I agree, that kind of dynamic range and bass is impossible on disc, save for extremely brief 45 RPM recordings.

 

In that sense, digital is superiour. DSD unites this freedom from dynamic range constraints with openess at the top - something no PCM, particularly 44.1/16, is capable of. As noted several times before - not compared to another recorder, compared to live microphone feed. It simply sounds the most alike - not perfect, but closer than anything else.

 

Analog disc, if done at half speed, can best any PCM and rival DSD in the treble. Analog disc mastered at half speed is normally capable of sounding better than the master tape, which has to be played back in real time.

 

Trough careful squeezing the maximum out of any medium it is possible to make outstanding recordings. But I agree, analog is much more hassle and unfortunately is not equally reliable as digital.  Sometimes, it IS much more important to make ANY recording than risking it that analog would decide to malfunction at the only "take" available.

post #2405 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

Analog disc, if done at half speed, can best any PCM and rival DSD in the treble. Analog disc mastered at half speed is normally capable of sounding better than the master tape, which has to be played back in real time.

 

Nope. Not even close. Digital and 24 track trounces half speed mastered LPs on every parameter... frequency response, distortion, dynamics, wow and flutter, noise floor.... I don't know where you get that idea from. It sure isn't true. And if you can't make redbook sound as good as a cassette, you're doing something wrong.


Edited by bigshot - 3/4/14 at 10:44am
post #2406 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

Nope. Not even close. Digital and 24 track trounces half speed mastered LPs on every parameter... frequency response, distortion, dynamics, wow and flutter, noise floor.... I don't know where you get that idea from. It sure isn't true. And if you can't make redbook sound as good as a cassette, you're doing something wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_Fidelity_Sound_Lab

 

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/Magazine/rickerinterview/

 

Comparing half speed mastered LPs (sadly too few ...) with their real time cut counterparts.

 

Frank Zappa was not particularly thrilled by Stan Ricker's half speed mastering of Joe's Garage; I have both original SR 1/2speed mastering on CBS as well as later digitally remastered real time cutting version - and they complement each other nicely; analog 1/2 speed is fine, nice, gentle, airy, digitallly remastered adds solid foundation of bass sadly lacking in 1/2 speed version - for the price of top no longer being that extended and fine, but surprisingly, adds a bit of dynamics in treble, too. 

 

I am sorry I can not *somehow * squeeze that missing "top" into PC and send it over for listening. Once heard, you would immediatelly understand what I find wrong with digital - trouble is, it takes equipment, from the microphone to the crossover in the speakers, that can pass this quality intact.  No studio I have had the privilege to hear has been transparent enough to allow for  this - yet. I can perfectly understand why you find 44.1/16 "enough" - on most studio quality equipment, it is - enough, that is.

 

I had both the privilege and lifetime curse, if you will, by being able to audition Beveridge 2SW speakers.  If you are after natural sound of unamplified instrumenrs and voices, that ( or its succesors, now built by the late inventor's son ) are THE speakers to use. If audio enginners were forced to use anything at least comparable for mastering and not what is usually in the studios, we would  have had much better recordings - decades ago. And the pressure to come up with something better than the red book would have been enough to make it happen.

 

Wishes and aspirations are one thing, reality in the marketplace unfortunately another.  

post #2407 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

-90dB and -100dB crosstalk difference is not that audible at first; it is best appreciated only after listening for extended period to 100db device and then switching back to 90 dB one.

I'm with bigshot on this. Even if you played music at earsplitting levels you'd never reliably tell one amount of crosstalk from another because both are way too soft to hear. Again, if only you would do a proper test you'll learn at what levels you can hear artifacts such as distortion and crosstalk. Crosstalk especially needs to be much louder than -90 before it's audible.

--Ethan
post #2408 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

Comparing half speed mastered LPs (sadly too few ...) with their real time cut counterparts.

 

We were talking about half speed mastered vinyl vs redbook CD. Redbook is perfectly capable of being audibly transparent when compared to the original master, no matter what format it is.


Edited by bigshot - 3/4/14 at 3:35pm
post #2409 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

 

We were talking about half speed mastered vinyl vs redbook CD. Redbook is perfectly capable of being audibly transparent when compared to the original master, no matter what format it is.

*sigh* - THAT is the core of our disagreement. 

 

Basically, you are comparing the master, in whatever format it is, to the redbook CD. Basically, I am comparing the live microphone feed to ANY master(recorder). 

 

I worked H.A.R.D. - for about a decade - to come up with the recording technique that eschews any manipulation of the microphone feed ( NEVER used a mixing desk, for example - in fact the last time I touched a slider on one of those things it was perhaps a quarter of century ago; let alone any "mastering" in the traditional sense ) - and naturally, then I demand a recorder that will do this techniqie as much justice as possible.

 

And it is: microphone feed>(analog)>DSD128>DSD64>PCM 192/24>PCM 96/24>PCM 48/24>PCM 44.1/16 . You can A/B, levels matched to 0.01 dB (or less, if you have the equipment precise enough to do it - mine allows for about 0.1 dB  ) till hell freezes over - and should not come up with different conclusion. (Analog) is debatable - it can be direct to disc, open reel recorder, cassette recorder, with or without noise reduction - but digital stands. Each digital with less resolution will take away a portion of immediacy, timing, sense of space ( in width, depth and - height ); in short - detail, turning live sound quality into ever less alive digital sample thereof.

 

The end of the road for me is redbook CD; unfortunately, it IS de facto standard for music delivery these days, most real world people do not have access to and/or playback capability of SACD or analog records. Or HiRez files - but at least this is changing fast. Musicians demand CD - because of all the above. The light at the end of this tunnel is represented by HiRez digital downloads, particularly DSD.  They will grow in the future in number; but it has to be understood, DSD can not deliver its true potential if it is essentially older recording done in analog - and specially if the master really was redbook CD. It takes full DSD that NEVER saw any manipulation, necessitating conversion to PCM for editing etc - and then conversion back to DSD, to trully appreciate its capabilities.

 

Microphone (techniques) and musicians good ( and bold ....) enough to be capable of and willing to issue such recordings should prove to be a tough nut to crack. Taken to the extreme,  *if* I , who can not play any instrument, was rich, theorethically I could take a few music lessons and pluck some piano (or whatever), have it recorded - and then find ( and pay well ... ) some mastering wizzard that will in the end produce a "correct" sounding recording -

but that will neither be me - or naturally sounding. 

post #2410 of 3652
From The Fly. When Brundle cooks two halves of a steak... I think of this as a Vinyl vs CD, analogue vs digital analogy biggrin.gif

BRUNDLE
Eat this. I need an objective opinion. Yes?

VERONICA
Well, it could use some Finesse, but it tastes like a steak.

BRUNDLE
Okay, Now try this, teleported half.

VERONICA
Are you serious? A monkey just came apart in there!

BRUNDLE
Baboon. Eat.

VERONICA
Ohh, it tastes funny.

BRUNDLE
Funny how?

VERONICA
It tastes, synthetic. So what have we proved?

BRUNDLE
The computer is giving us it's interpretation of a steak.
It's translating it for us, it's re-thinking it rather than
reproducing it, and something's getting lost in the
translation.

I could be wrong but isn't analogue "real", and digital a really good "impersonation"?
Edited by Seifer01 - 3/5/14 at 1:32am
post #2411 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seifer01 View Post

From The Fly. When Brundle cooks two halves of a steak... I think of this as a Vinyl vs CD, analogue vs digital analogy biggrin.gif

BRUNDLE
Eat this. I need an objective opinion. Yes?

VERONICA
Well, it could use some Finesse, but it tastes like a steak.

BRUNDLE
Okay, Now try this, teleported half.

VERONICA
Are you serious? A monkey just came apart in there!

BRUNDLE
Baboon. Eat.

VERONICA
Ohh, it tastes funny.

BRUNDLE
Funny how?

VERONICA
It tastes, synthetic. So what have we proved?

BRUNDLE
The computer is giving us it's interpretation of a steak.
It's translating it for us, it's re-thinking it rather than
reproducing it, and something's getting lost in the
translation.

I could be wrong but isn't analogue "real", and digital a really good "impersonation"?
Digital is such a good impersonation no human ear can tell the difference . That steak was sent through a fictional teleport in a movie .
post #2412 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

Digital is such a good impersonation no human ear can tell the difference . That steak was sent through a fictional teleport in a movie .

Yeah a good impersonation but are there undefinables when listening to anologue? A certain essence that is missing from digital?
Many people after hearing vinyl for the first time have said "it just sounds more real". That says something to me.
post #2413 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by bufferoverflow View Post
 

OH my God, please stop with all this ridiculous 'science' and stuff ..

I FEEL in my gut that it's better !

 

Great quote!  Do you mind if I use it in my Sig?

post #2414 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

Basically, you are comparing the master, in whatever format it is, to the redbook CD. Basically, I am comparing the live microphone feed to ANY master(recorder). 

 

How do you feed live microphones to a half speed LP cutting lathes? That is completely impossible. Honestly, I have no idea what you're talking about. Most of it makes no sense to me, and when I ask for clarification, it drifts to completely different subjects that make no sense.

post #2415 of 3652
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seifer01 View Post

I could be wrong but isn't analogue "real", and digital a really good "impersonation"?

 

Why are magnetic patterns on a strip of acetate any more real than digital 0s and 1s? What matters is the fidelity of the recording. CDs cover the entire range of human hearing. Bats may disagree, but that's good enough for me. At the point that a recording medium can contain all the sound we hear, the conversation should turn to creative recording and mixing techniques, not trying to come up with a new medium to capture even more sound we can't hear.

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