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What makes piano sound so hard to reproduce? - Page 5

post #61 of 191

Xnor....you're the man! beerchug.gif

post #62 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

No, it would only be like that if there was any conclusive evidence supporting the claim that higher sample rate than 44.1 kHz actually sounds better in a statistically significant and practically useful way (i.e. not something along the lines of "1 out of 100 people can barely hear a difference in 1 out of 100 recordings at unrealistically high listening levels and in a perfectly silent environment"). On the other hand, saying that 44.1 kHz is clearly inferior and one has to upgrade to "high resolution" formats for proper music enjoyment is akin to saying that there are aliens on Earth because there is no evidence that there aren't any.

First, the discussion is why piano is so hard to reproduce - recording techniques and medias mentioned are only possible means how to make reproduction of the sound of the piano the closest approach to the real thing. So, mic position and consequently type of mic has paramount importance above anything else. Analog tape vs CD is only one of the subtopics.

 

Regarding statistically significant and practically useful way - I would have to agree with your remark regarding perfectly silent enviroment. Even if you somehow menage to procure that perfectly silent enviroment - any digital device not running off cards of one sort or another, also those involving CD drives and hard disks, can be and will be heard intruding upon - assume that for a moment - perfectly silent digital recording. Analog turntable is totally silent , it plays only the musical signal, not some constant whining noise, and can not be heard during listening through either headphones or loudspeakers. Since this is head-fi - have you noticed it is necessary to phisically distance your CD player, PC, hard disks, etc quite a distance from where you are listening with open headphones - like AKG K 1000, Jecklin Float, any Stax, etc,etc? Or else you will hear CD drive/hard disk not-so-basso-continuo accompaniying your music, being particularly annoying at quiet passages. I do not agree with the term unrealistically high listening levels - the only proper level is that of the music heard live. I agree that this is next to impossible to achieve with speakers - because home enviroment rooms are far smaller than concert venues and real levels are simply too much and out of place in domestic enviroment - regardless of relations with neighbours, if any. Headphones are solution to this problem - and here dynamic range equal to live can and should be maintained. It definitely is possible - I could hardly believe of what SPLs orthodynamuc transducers ( Audez'e ) are capable - at least with loud part, there should be absolutely no problem with these. Again, limit to the maximum dynamic range is the quietness of your room.- even with CD, let alone 192/24 or DSD. The other possibility is the use of closed headphones, giving an appreciable amount of enviroment noise isolation. - but these in general do not sound as good as open types.

 

If and when the benefits of higher frequency range , absolute phase, etc, etc, etc are audible, it would be first on pair of headphones that do not have to deal with room acoustics problems masking far bigger things with speakers. So - why not even giving it a try and satisfying yourself  instead with "if it is good for 99 out of 100 people, then it is good for me too".

 

What if YOU are that one not satisfied with the sound of CD - without knowing it ?

post #63 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Analog turntable is totally silent , it plays only the musical signal, not some constant whining noise, and can not be heard during listening through either headphones or loudspeakers. 

 

 

 

Are you sure you really mean this ?

 

This is contrary to my experience and I suspect the experience of many others.

 

I have owned CD players (including a Yamaha 5 CD changer) that were mechanically perceptually silent from a distance of 18".

 

I've never owned a turntable which was silent during playback while listening to moderately quiet classical music (such as the opening  bars of Mahler 1) on headphones or speakers. At higher levels the noise is obviously drowned out but LP/TT is a relatively noisy combination compared to CD/CDP. There are so many sources of noise from LP/TT . That is why I went digital 28 years ago.

 

I should add I used vinyl from 1968 up till 1984 and when I heard my first CD player, a humble Marantz CD63 , the lack of perceived noise was a defining difference from my Rega 3/RB300/Nagaoka combination.

 

While clearly not the last word in quality It was a decent rig and I was very careful with my LPs but even pristine vinyl had some noise of its own. I can't conceive of a TT/LP combination that eliminates all audible noise especially during quiet passages. There are just so many places for LP/TT noise to creep in. You are basically dragging a rock through a canyon while it careens wildly from side to side, if the center hole is punched a tiny fraction of a mm out the stylus has an impossible job, then there is noise from the motor, the bearings, the phono stage, the massive EQ applied to the output - that LP does as well as it does is almost a miracle. If you throw an enormous amount of engineering precision at the problem and listen in a clean room with a pristine LP you might get an overall SNR of 80db or so on a good day with a following wind. 

post #64 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
Regarding statistically significant and practically useful way - I would have to agree with your remark regarding perfectly silent enviroment. Even if you somehow menage to procure that perfectly silent enviroment - any digital device not running off cards of one sort or another, also those involving CD drives and hard disks, can be and will be heard intruding upon - assume that for a moment - perfectly silent digital recording. Analog turntable is totally silent , it plays only the musical signal, not some constant whining noise, and can not be heard during listening through either headphones or loudspeakers.

Have you not heard of passive cooling, SSDs, or NAS with cheap HDDs (in another room)? And just rip the CDs instead of playing from them if your CD player (must be a cheap one) or drive is too loud.

 

Quote:
What if YOU are that one not satisfied with the sound of CD - without knowing it ?

Do ABX tests and some research before drawing conclusions.

post #65 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

 

 

Are you sure you really mean this ?

 

This is contrary to my experience and I suspect the experience of many others.

 

I have owned CD players (including a Yamaha 5 CD changer) that were mechanically perceptually silent from a distance of 18".

 

I've never owned a turntable which was silent during playback while listening to moderately quiet classical music (such as the opening  bars of Mahler 1) on headphones or speakers. At higher levels the noise is obviously drowned out but LP/TT is a relatively noisy combination compared to CD/CDP. There are so many sources of noise from LP/TT . That is why I went digital 28 years ago.

 

I should add I used vinyl from 1968 up till 1984 and when I heard my first CD player, a humble Marantz CD63 , the lack of perceived noise was a defining difference from my Rega 3/RB300/Nagaoka combination.

 

While clearly not the last word in quality It was a decent rig and I was very careful with my LPs but even pristine vinyl had some noise of its own. I can't conceive of a TT/LP combination that eliminates all audible noise especially during quiet passages. There are just so many places for LP/TT noise to creep in. You are basically dragging a rock through a canyon while it careens wildly from side to side, if the center hole is punched a tiny fraction of a mm out the stylus has an impossible job, then there is noise from the motor, the bearings, the phono stage, the massive EQ applied to the output - that LP does as well as it does is almost a miracle. If you throw an enormous amount of engineering precision at the problem and listen in a clean room with a pristine LP you might get an overall SNR of 80db or so on a good day with a following wind. 

To clarify matters - meant was ACOUSTIC output from either turntable or cd/hard disk drive - not the signal from either propagated through usual audio path and listened to with either headphones or speakers. That acoustic output can be heard in open headphones and ( under extremely quiet surroundings AND recording conditions ) speakers. Turntable certainly produces , if motor is "silent", the "needle talk " ( the better the cartridge/stylus,

the quieter it is ) that obviously plays simoultanesly with music in either headphones or speakers and is therefore "silent, inaudible" - it does not ACOUSTICALLY emanate any constant noise like the one from cd drives, hard drives etc. 

 

The perceived noise of vynil CAN be reduced appreciably from the level of your (ex?) Rega/RB300/Nagaoka - at a cost. But it can never be as quiet as CD - at least not with conventional LPs. I did mention the CX process that comes extremely close to S/N of CD with vynil, but LPs encoded with CX are so scarce now that this point is moot for all practical purposes.

 

I agree that LP sounds far better than it has right considering what it actually is. It was never meant to be such a high quality medium - yet it does sound AND measure good under right conditions. Too bad that we as people are just not paying attention to such simple matters as is centering of the pressed LPs - when Nakamichi in early 80s released a turntable that caters for off center pressed records, most of us laughed at it and scoffed at the idea; come the time to finally digitize good vynil using DSD - the biggest problem are records pressed off center.

 

Ultimate insult - one of the records with the all time record off-centering is - TEST record from Clear Audio. Impossible to listen to if appropriate measures are not taken - inexcusable in any, let alone test, let alone test record bearing Clear Audio name !

post #66 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Have you not heard of passive cooling, SSDs, or NAS with cheap HDDs (in another room)? And just rip the CDs instead of playing from them if your CD player (must be a cheap one) or drive is too loud.

 

Do ABX tests and some research before drawing conclusions.

Sure I heard of all those solutions. Do not like inconvinience of having to have gear in another room because it produces audible noise - the reason why my beloved Eminent Technology ET2 pick up linear tracking air bearing arm is getting less play lately because of the noise of the compressor that has to be silenced one way or another. My CD/SACD player is Pioneer PD D6J and it is inexpensive (around EUR 500 when new) and it is about average in cd drive noise - there are quieter, but also much higher priced players that produce more cd drive noise. Ripping SACDs is too much hassle at the time and although I could play DSD ripped from SACDs on Korg DSD recorders for even better SQ than provided by PD D6J, I think it is not worth the trouble. Maybe when I add a good DSD DAC such as Mytek - but that adds the noise of the pc hard drive/fan again and SSD is simply too expensive for my extensive DSD library of couple of terabytes which is constantly growing. 11 min of audio = 1GB with DSD at 5,6 MHz.

 

Ripping the CDs to computer and playing them through either USB or optical to my DAC produces worse results than played them from PD D6J with a good CD mat via coax to my DAC - either way, seems to be stuck with PD D6J. PC is more noise usually than PD D6J either way.

 

I can do all the ABX in the world - but can not know if some other person, you included, might not hear things differently.

post #67 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Saying that sound stops at 20 kHz is akin to saying the Earth is flat

 

Do you need ultraviolet rays and infrared rays to look at art too?

post #68 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

To clarify matters - meant was ACOUSTIC output from either turntable or cd/hard disk drive - not the signal from either propagated through usual audio path and listened to with either headphones or speakers.

 

Unless something whooshes like Hoover Dam, I generally worry a lot more about the sound it puts out through the speakers than the sort of minimal noise a computer makes. The Mac Mini I use as my music server is pretty much silent. So is my Sony bluray player.

post #69 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Sure I heard of all those solutions. Do not like inconvinience of having to have gear in another room because it produces audible noise - the reason why my beloved Eminent Technology ET2 pick up linear tracking air bearing arm is getting less play lately because of the noise of the compressor that has to be silenced one way or another. My CD/SACD player is Pioneer PD D6J and it is inexpensive (around EUR 500 when new) and it is about average in cd drive noise - there are quieter, but also much higher priced players that produce more cd drive noise. Ripping SACDs is too much hassle at the time and although I could play DSD ripped from SACDs on Korg DSD recorders for even better SQ than provided by PD D6J, I think it is not worth the trouble. Maybe when I add a good DSD DAC such as Mytek - but that adds the noise of the pc hard drive/fan again and SSD is simply too expensive for my extensive DSD library of couple of terabytes which is constantly growing. 11 min of audio = 1GB with DSD at 5,6 MHz.

 

Ripping the CDs to computer and playing them through either USB or optical to my DAC produces worse results than played them from PD D6J with a good CD mat via coax to my DAC - either way, seems to be stuck with PD D6J. PC is more noise usually than PD D6J either way.

 

I can do all the ABX in the world - but can not know if some other person, you included, might not hear things differently.

 

I used to have an ET2 arm. I placed the compressor in a closet and used a long hose.

post #70 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post

 

I used to have an ET2 arm. I placed the compressor in a closet and used a long hose.

That's what I am going to do next.

post #71 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

Do you need ultraviolet rays and infrared rays to look at art too?

No - not a forgery detetective for art, which is only one of the methods to tell copy from the original.

 

I will try to remember the title of a good and amusing movie regarding art and painting forgery in particular - and post the link. It is a question what can pass as "original" to people under similar/different circumstances - the final scene cracked me to tears.

post #72 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

Unless something whooshes like Hoover Dam, I generally worry a lot more about the sound it puts out through the speakers than the sort of minimal noise a computer makes. The Mac Mini I use as my music server is pretty much silent. So is my Sony bluray player.

Through the speakers, pretty anything is silent enough. Try AKG K 1000 at 2:00 AM with CD drive/HD drive in an otherwise quiet place and you will understand what I mean. 

post #73 of 191

Through headphones just about everything sounds unnatural!

post #74 of 191

These days you can get fast hard drives of large capacity with minimal noise, so even if you can't be bothered with a NAS:

 

  

 

 

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1285-page1.html  (there are recordings at the end for those interested in what that kind of spectrum actually sounds like, what some other drives sound like when seeking)

post #75 of 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Through headphones just about everything sounds unnatural!

Interesting opinion - for somebody on head-fi with close to 10k posts !

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