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O2 vs TOTL - Page 36

post #526 of 582

"live" albums are remixed/mastered from the mic feeds recorded during the show - you really don't want/can't have the signals going to the amps/loudspeaker stacks in the live venue

post #527 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

That's what the headphone and tone controls, or in general signal processing, is for. Sure, some might prefer the noisy and distorted output of a certain tube amp, but that's just personal preference that has nothing to do with high fidelity.

 

I am fine with someone preferring something audibly less accurate, to each his own. If you think it sounds flavorless and bland maybe you should switch to better recordings, but even then you might be used to something with more coloration.

 

 

@ab initio: Yes, good recordings are mastered on systems that are equalized to be flat, have low distortion etc. Some might still prefer changing the frequency response or adding nonlinear distortion or some such.

Being able to enjoy music, at least to me, has nothing to do with that btw. I can enjoy a great song on a kitchen radio, but when I need to hear all details it just fails. Similarly, when I visited a friend who has nice speakers but a tube amp I was able to enjoy the tracks I brought, but in terms of distortion it reminded me of ear-buds. If this were a feature than can be disabled like tone controls I'd say "yes please", but as a permanent "feature" it's just plain annoying after a while. It's like being forced to wear rose-tinted glasses.

 

+1

post #528 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

But you are doing the community a great deservice by slandering a device for being high Fidelity when, in fact, this is a hifi forum. smily_headphones1.gif

It is not. This is an audiophile forum. If this were a hi-fi forum, there would be nowhere near the amount of chatter about audio gear, because all "hi-fi" gear, by definition, sounds the same (it all sounds exactly the way the source recording is supposed to sound). Hydrogenaudio is a "hi-fi" forum, and look at how much they talk about audio gear (very little). Audiophiles want their recordings to sound different, and they try to achieve that by combining various pieces of gear that are not strictly "high fidelity". I think it's a rather expensive and rigid way of doing that, but that's another matter.
Edited by skamp - 7/17/13 at 1:22am
post #529 of 582
Quote:
Hydrogenaudio is a "hi-fi" forum, and look at how much they talk about audio gear (very little).

No it's not. It is primarily a forum about audio coding and technology. The audio hardware forum is a small unimportant sub-forum, which is the reason why there is little gear talk. Oh and of course people have to back up claims they make, they cannot just spread BS.

 

 

Quote:
Audiophiles want their recordings to sound different, and they try to achieve that by combining various pieces of gear that are not strictly "high fidelity". I think it's a rather expensive and rigid way of doing that, but that's another matter.

Initially audiophile meant being enthusiastic about high fidelity sound reproduction, but this seems to have changed for the worse to preferring high price ("high end"), aesthetics, esoteric technology and tweaks and subjectively satisfying sound reproduction. In German we have the word "Schönfärberei" for it, which basically means whitewashing everything.

post #530 of 582
About HA, I meant "high fidelity" in the larger sense, which includes lossless codecs (that achieve perfect fidelity) and lossy codecs (which strive to reach perceptual transparency). There isn't much talk about hardware, because these days it is very easy (and cheap) to get fully transparent gear. Beyond that, they haven't much to say about hardware, nor do they much care.

If it were difficult to find "high fidelity" hardware, you'd see a lot more recommendation threads, with a lot more details. When asked about hardware, their stance is usually something like "get anything that isn't completely broken".
Edited by skamp - 7/17/13 at 9:48am
post #531 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post

It is not. This is an audiophile forum. If this were a hi-fi forum, there would be nowhere near the amount of chatter about audio gear, because all "hi-fi" gear, by definition, sounds the same (it all sounds exactly the way the source recording is supposed to sound). Hydrogenaudio is a "hi-fi" forum, and look at how much they talk about audio gear (very little). Audiophiles want their recordings to sound different, and they try to achieve that by combining various pieces of gear that are not strictly "high fidelity". I think it's a rather expensive and rigid way of doing that, but that's another matter.

It seems that it is unclear what Audiophile means. Either way, the forum is called "Head-Fi" not "Head-phile". But it's all just semantics.

 

Adding to xnor's response, Hydrogenaudio is a digital audio forum, specifically for using a computer for source. The problem is that audio reproduction doesn't begin and end with decoding an audiofile (biggrin.gif) into a PCM stream. You still need DAC hardware to interpret that PCM data and create the corresponding analog signal, and then power amplifier hardware to use that to drive a transducer with that  audio signal, then transducer hardware that converts the power audio signal into pressure waves, then free space through which those pressure waves travel before finally arriving at your ear, which is the hardware that ultimate turns the sound into a (hopefully brain pleasing) stimulus.

 

Whoo! got a bit carried away there biggrin.gif

 

Anyway, I think that audiophiles want their recordings to sound better. Otherwise, if different was the criteria then we would see a lot more expensive versions of these in the audiophile world! smily_headphones1.gif

 

Cheers!

post #532 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

 

You're wrong. 

 

I really like posts where this phrase is used. Makes me pay more attention to the rest of their post.wink.gif

post #533 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

The O2 is an excellent studio tool because it is completely flavorless and bland sounding. It's not fun to listen to at all but it's extremely accurate to the source.

 

It's hilarious to me that you are trying to find something to complain about with the o2, but you are actually hyping it up further by calling it extremely accurate to the source. That is exactly what it was designed for.. Would you complain about your roll of tape being sticky? C'mon man.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

 

You're wrong. The purpose of those items is explicitly to remove source processing or equipment flavor to the mix. There are no situations where something outside the norm is better with those items.

 

Mixed music is usually balanced and flattened out during mixing with the intent that the person will add their own flavor with their equipment when they listen to it. It sounds much different from the actual live performance. Mixed music is like a saltine cracker where you are expected to add your own toppings or flavorings; on its own, it is just a bland cracker.

 

Listening to the Objective 2 is like eating a bland cracker. I know, because I owned one for over a year and just sold it like a week ago. It is entirely flavorless by itself. Some people like listening to it that way, but I don't, and IMO, most music was not intended to be listened to 100% uncolored.

 

Most modern mixed music is balanced and "flattened" so to speak.. The goal of the mixing engineer is typically to make the songs come through loud and clear on the radio (crank up the loudness) and to sound decent even coming through iBuds and car radios. However, mixing engineers that are working on a high-fidelity recording will have very different goals. You are making vast blanket statements about the entire music industry. Not every song is a saltine cracker or intended to be played on a car stereo.. But, do I only listen to audiophile recordings? Hell no.

It's kinda funny, but in most scenarios where I am not listening to an audiophile or hifi recording I find myself toning DOWN the treble and or bass ranges.. I hardly ever EQ something up to add flavor. To each their own.. I guess.

 

What do you listen to?

post #534 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

 

Mixed music is usually balanced and flattened out during mixing with the intent that the person will add their own flavor with their equipment when they listen to it. It sounds much different from the actual live performance. Mixed music is like a saltine cracker where you are expected to add your own toppings or flavorings; on its own, it is just a bland cracker.

Just about every recording engineer in the world would have his head explode if he read this.  Especially, "with the intent that the person will add their own flavor with their equipment".  

 

Yeah, right.   And just about every movie director expects the audience to watch his film with colored sunglasses of their choice.

post #535 of 582

Okay, I admit. What I said was daft as all get out, but in my defense, I was too busy with a water pipe at the time to really think about what I was saying. Give me a break; if you've seen any of my other posts about music production, you would know I know better than that.

On the other hand, I didn't expect nine different direct replies to the same two posts, all parroting the same exact thing over and over and over. This is circle-jerk behavior at best. At the risk of derailing the self-congratulations train, I think I got it after the third or fourth reply.

 

And for the record, the O2 is still not very good when it comes to being transparent. An amp can be transparent and uncolored, and not sound boring and dull at the same time. To the O2's credit, it is more or less audibly uncolored, but it also lacks large amounts of detail, soundstage, power, and presence. I spent over a year with the Objective stack, so it's not like I'm not familiar with it. I don't miss it.


Edited by Tus-Chan - 7/22/13 at 11:19am
post #536 of 582

Before repeating the thing about preferring coloration, distortion, noise etc. and dealing with your claims let me ask you:

What amp do you prefer over the O2? What are its specs? What does it cost? How does it perform into various loads?


Edited by xnor - 7/22/13 at 11:47am
post #537 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by oyster View Post

Having heard the Beta22 & EHHA rev2 with Mullard 1960 tubes i can say that the O2 is not far behind.What O2 lacks most in comparison to the above two amps is the scale & authority. Else it is quite good in terms of refinement & other attributes.


"Scale" and "authority" - two meaningless terms that can basically mean anything. I'd like to see you figure out which amp was the one with more "authority" and "scale" in a blind test.

 

Theoretically you can improve on the O2's sound quality, but the question remains whether it would even be audible. Another question is what the price of that improvement would be and if it was worth it to begin with.

 

As for the idea that the O2 is analytical and thus "boring" and "bland"; it's willful or unintended ignorance and the individual has to come to terms with it for themselves that it is an idea; an idea based on intuition and make belief. If they don't want to take the effort to change that idea and substitute it with reality, they simply can't be helped.

 

The truth is that great measurements mean low distortion, great dynamics, low crosstalk, proper frequency response under varying circumstances, etc. It is only "analytical" if "analytical" is defined as accurate and "as well performing as possible". It is not "analytical" when the word is not defined at all, i.e. in the sense that it is a "flavor" of the amp, which is intuitive thinking that does not hold up in reality. That is to say, as with "scale" and "authority", I would like to see one pick out the more "analytical" amp in a blind test. Is it the amp with less bass? The amp that by peers is described as having "tight, fast bass"? And when does the amp have more "authority"? When the bass is 'fast and lean', or when the bass "is powerful and subterranean", and "extends way down low"? And with mood, volume levels, songs and recordings varying from one to the next, are you sure your set standards will hold up under even the smallest amount of genuine self reflection and scrutiny?

The point is all those impressions are not reliable. What can be described as 'great bass' in one song can for a multitude of reasons be described as 'bloated' in the next. When you dismiss the science and industry standards behind amps and substitute your subjective standards and opinions, all bets are off and you'll spend your lifetime chasing after the unattainable. It is a choice that leads to more and more energy and money spent while gaining no more satisfaction on the subject of enjoying music.


Edited by SunshineReggae - 7/22/13 at 12:01pm
post #538 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

To the O2's credit, it is more or less audibly uncolored, but it also lacks large amounts of detail, soundstage, power, and presence.

 

Something like that is so easily said, and much harder (or in this case not at all) proven.

post #539 of 582

By all means, demonstrate the machine that measures things like headroom, soundstage and detail.

 

Here's the problem: you can't do such a thing, because a machine can measure and analyze all day long, but it will never be able to perceive in the way humans do (at least not in their current technological stage). These are all concepts and qualities of music gear that everyone would agree exist, and yet I am unaware of any objective methodology in which someone could measure any of them. I am an objectivist, but only up until the point where something can actually be measured in some way.

post #540 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Before repeating the thing about preferring coloration, distortion, noise etc. and dealing with your claims let me ask you:

What amp do you prefer over the O2? What are its specs? What does it cost? How does it perform into various loads?

 

     +1     What amp do you prefer over the O2?

 

 

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