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post #31 of 77

While not the case for me but from a marketing standpoint, vinyl is in hospice but so is CD. Hopefully it will linger but even new releases are considered addition lines of revenue at a higher price and not a replacement for CD or download. New releases are also almost entirely mastered in the digital domain so it makes the vinyl release aspect more style than substance. That last years top album title was Abbey Road may be telling. Great album but classics don't drive a market. Other than handling your medium and those wonderful album covers, they're usually redundant, even from a sonic standpoint. Take the latest Beatles set at $400. They were all remastered in the digital domain. The masters were recorded at 192k a while back and by the time it was pressed had been downsampled to 48k. They sound better than your beat up American pressing but if you can get hold an original British and a couple other pressings made from the first batch of stamps and master tape, they are clearly better. The other aspect is that consumers have become accustomed to something quiet. That box set while made to high standards is seeing a lot of returns due to noise not being accepted on a premium product, mostly no fill. The hassle and revenue loss for dealers doesn't help vinyl as aficionados become more critical.

 

I'm a fan but also a realist. Vinyl, while it could outlive CDs as a niche is never going to be a force again.  There's a reason that new vinyl releases also typically come with a free download code or CD. The yearly % increase record sale bell curve peaked in 2011 and record sales still account for less than 4% of the total market.


Edited by goodvibes - 1/28/13 at 6:11am
post #32 of 77

I was thinking of new recordings of new music on new vinyl - not a re-release for the n-th time.  I know that doing analog all the way from the recording session to the LP in record shop bin today is extremely expensive. Not undoable, but really tough given the today's financial climate.

 

Re-mastering old analog recordings in digital and then making master stampers using 48 kHz sampling makes no sense at all and is done for pure commercial reasons.  There are musicians who are outspoken critics of CDs and have made sure their work is available on proper analog carrier - at a price, but I feel this is the only honest way to do it.

 

It is amusing but not funny to find that for all practical purposes, vinyl ( if kept for and preserved well ) is the most long lasting sound carrier of them all. Analog tape deteriorates in both its magnetical and mechanical properties with time - records made immediately after the tape master was finished will always sound better tham subsequent copies on either vinyl or digital made from the same tape. 

 

I could hardly believe that CDs can deteriorate with time to the point of being unplayable. Yet, recently I borrowed some Wagner operas on CD from the local library - the very CDs this library ordered from the shop I used to work at. The CDs showed absolutely no surface demage or any kind of abuse, typical for public libraries. I had to try every device that plays CD in order to find something that would play an entire opera !  The CDs in question were not some cheapos, it was Solti's cycle on God only knows which re-release on Decca label - CDs that were current approx 10 years ago at premium price.

 

I know it is a big digital world out there - and it is going to stay. And although calory requirements are equally met at Mcdonald's and some good, not necesarilly fancy/expensive restaurant, I tend to prefer the later.

 

DSD is the most analogue-ish sounding digital, it is because of this reason I find it is worth supporting.  Yes, it is more work/hassle than with PCM, it does not lend itself well for those who remaster multiple times because of the above audibility noise which gets worse with each "pass", etc etc -  but future generations might appreciate our present effort. Just remember Mercurys and RCAs and Deccas of late 50s/early 60s - they did best they could, without concern whether or not majority of equipment available back then was capable of decently playing them back. And these old recordings were transfered to SACD ( DSD ) far earlier than were early digital recordings - because they contain much more, particularly high frequency information responsible for the recreation of space. CD did get better with time, but first digital recordings were flat as a pancake. It was horrible to hear the same orchestra under the same conductor recorded in the same hall by the same engineer on the same label - last analogs were so much better than early digitals 

 

Now PCM at 192/24 and DSD at 5.6 MHz are close and it is possible to do superb recording with either. But knowing what other camp is doing might also help improving your efforts - we should be servants to music and not technology in the first place - using whatever best we have available at any given time.

post #33 of 77

I'm sure that MM is on top of it.bigsmile_face.gif

post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonUnit View Post

In my view, the only reason DSD is making a comeback is because the tools are now out there to rip SACDs (with a specific firmware PS3), and there's an underground network of people sharing these rips. There's never going to a realistic commercial market for DSD files, because there are very few people with hardware to play them, and many of those few are just interested in sharing pirated rips rather than spending the money to buy recordings.

 

There's also never been any sound technical motivation for DSD. It was a "neat hack" when 1-bit sigma delta modulators were considered state of the art, but no one is using 1-bit sigma delta modulators any more for audio applications. It has serious drawbacks over high data rate PCM, e.g.: http://sjeng.org/ftp/SACD.pdf  On the production side, Pro Tools doesn't support DSD, and so most DSD albums are downmixed from high rate PCM.

 

Nothing about DSD makes any sense. I'd prefer that you just produced a very high quality non-sigma-delta statement DAC that supports high bit rate PCM, and leave DSD playback to software applications.

 

********!  I can rip my SACDs but I also spend a ton of $ on HDtracks downloads as well as any decent content I can possibly find on SACD.  It's the recording companies that are holding out in fear that anything they release in digital will get pirated.  The studies SHOW that people like ME, *buy* - that is pay real $$ - far more than the average bloke.  Look at all the recent 180G Vinyl (only) releases and tell me I'm wrong.  I did the same when the best you could get is gold/AU20 re-mastered Redbook CDs.

 

None of this is technology dependent.  It's all control, fear, and marketing.  My "iPod" which currently is back-pack sized and requires mains power, will, in a matter of a very few years, fit in a smartphone size package with SD plugins for *collections* of 32/786 lossless content.  It will be modular, so all you need do is add "power" (in terms of wattage in and out + hardware) to be able to drive small (i.e. Etymotic) vs large (i.e. Sennheiser HD800) transducers to fit the listening needs/context.

 

It's all on the same Moore's-law curve, and the business fears/psychology is the same as when Betamax, VHS and cassette tape were state of the art.

post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankty View Post

 

********!  I can rip my SACDs but I also spend a ton of $ on HDtracks downloads as well as any decent content I can possibly find on SACD.  It's the recording companies that are holding out in fear that anything they release in digital will get pirated.  The studies SHOW that people like ME, *buy* - that is pay real $$ - far more than the average bloke.  Look at all the recent 180G Vinyl (only) releases and tell me I'm wrong.  I did the same when the best you could get is gold/AU20 re-mastered Redbook CDs.

 

None of this is technology dependent.  It's all control, fear, and marketing.  My "iPod" which currently is back-pack sized and requires mains power, will, in a matter of a very few years, fit in a smartphone size package with SD plugins for *collections* of 32/786 lossless content.  It will be modular, so all you need do is add "power" (in terms of wattage in and out + hardware) to be able to drive small (i.e. Etymotic) vs large (i.e. Sennheiser HD800) transducers to fit the listening needs/context.

 

It's all on the same Moore's-law curve, and the business fears/psychology is the same as when Betamax, VHS and cassette tape were state of the art.

Well said. But just because you are a decent bloke that does not mean everbody else is or will not turn bad in the future. If it is digital, it can and WILL get copied - sooner or later. That is the precise reason why I said vinyl will be returning - it is simply not cost effective to copy it.

 

As much as I would embrace losless 32/786 PCM,  the storage of so much date, even for home enviroment, let alone for portable, is not likely to happen soon - if at all. For instance, 192/24 is approx 20 min for 1GB - do the math and try to approach those selling MP3s with such a preposition...

 

No, you have missed the bussines fears/psychology with Betamax/VHS /casette - with those, one could make a copy, either for personal use or illegal distribution - but that copy WAS inferiour to the original from which it was copied, let alone the master. Digital download, if really of a master, is every bit by bit clone of the #1 master recording - if download went as it should, it is the exact replica and indistinguishable from the original in quality. Most you could do is to assign the serial # to the download and trace down from which # download illegal copies stem - if you menage to get any of the illegals. In practice, next to impossible and very costly.

 

Absolutely worst case scenario - the #0001 download gets copied/redistributed godzillion of times - just imagine what that means to the artist. With present technology, entirely possible. That is why real digital masters are not available for download.

post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

No, you have missed the bussines fears/psychology with Betamax/VHS /casette - with those, one could make a copy, either for personal use or illegal distribution - but that copy WAS inferiour to the original from which it was copied, let alone the master. Digital download, if really of a master, is every bit by bit clone of the #1 master recording - if download went as it should, it is the exact replica and indistinguishable from the original in quality. Most you could do is to assign the serial # to the download and trace down from which # download illegal copies stem - if you menage to get any of the illegals. In practice, next to impossible and very costly.

 

Absolutely worst case scenario - the #0001 download gets copied/redistributed godzillion of times - just imagine what that means to the artist. With present technology, entirely possible. That is why real digital masters are not available for download.


First, as an insider, you should know better than most that individual album sales impact the Labels (capital L) far, far more than they do the artist.  The vast majority of artists on major labels are getting only a few percentage points of conventional label CD sales, so your indirect claim of artists impacted by piracy are crocodile tears.  If there was no money in the digital age for artists, there would be a lack of music available; after all artists have to eat, right?  Instead, there are more artists, music in more formats and more new genres today than ever. It's the long-tail distribution scheme.

 

Next, pre-release albums get leaked all the time.  I haven't heard of one example yet where it has impacted formal album sales to the point where the Label ended up losing money  on a particular release due to lost sales directly linked to the early leak.  They may have lost money because they signed a big-name artist who subsequently spent millions recording a crap album, but that's not the same issue.

 

Then, what does it matter if it's mp3 or master quality?  You (or industry insiders) are worried that people will listen to master tape quality recordings ... on an IPod and a pair of earbuds or Beats? Or on a car stereo system? since that is the vast majority of what users today are listening to.  (All things considered, the user base here on Head-Fi who are invested in high level reproduction where master tape fidelity would actually make a difference is a tiny tiny fraction of the global music user base).  No, the people who care enough about that level of quality reproduction (i.e. master tape level) are the same ones who will pay for most of their purchases; people like me. 

 

Your arguments here are just not convincing in any pragmatic way.  It's the same pablum preached by the industry for the last decade, and it's more due to internal politics, as well as a complete inability to a) understand how their customers use the product and b) their collective unwillingness to adapt a business model and market where they no longer have a monopoly on distribution and can't demand the user pay the extortionate rates they did in the pre-Napster days.  Sorry, but that genie is not going back in the bottle, and good riddance.

 

The distribution format I like currently is used by Bandcamp and others, where you can choose to download low-fi mp3s free, donate a small amount or pay for higher quality lossless formats. Regardless of the distribution or format method, the success of Amazon.com shows that the "long-tail" distribution strategy is both extremely profitable and vital.  That the music industry can't wrap their heads around this is both pathetic and unsurprising.

 

Is piracy real?  Sure it is.  I am not denying that, and debating the impact depends upon whose numbers you look at (so that's not the topic here).  What I am saying is that the market for DSD and verbatim-quality files is real, and it will be profitable, but the industry needs to get over its analysis-paralysis and get off its hands to make it happen.  When that happens, hardware manufacturers like Jason and Mike will follow.

post #37 of 77

I could not have said it better myself, but I thought I'd better not say anything as it might inflame opinions. I think we can look forward to great DSD quality one day, but I'm very happy with 44.1kHz/16bit, I think reasonably affordable consumer HiFi is yet to fully exploit that superbly thought out standard from a long time ago. 

 

PS: Quantity in this case most certainly does not guarantee quality. But if people don't support new ideas they won't get going.


Edited by AJHeadfi - 1/29/13 at 7:32pm
post #38 of 77

This: 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtinto View Post

I agree with RadioKing59 and kevin gilmore that DSD over HDMI will be an important feature for decoding SACD

 

I also think that DSD files from SACD masters will become more readily available as HD downloads

post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeckles View Post


First, as an insider, you should know better than most that individual album sales impact the Labels (capital L) far, far more than they do the artist.  The vast majority of artists on major labels are getting only a few percentage points of conventional label CD sales, so your indirect claim of artists impacted by piracy are crocodile tears.  If there was no money in the digital age for artists, there would be a lack of music available; after all artists have to eat, right?  Instead, there are more artists, music in more formats and more new genres today than ever. It's the long-tail distribution scheme.

 

Next, pre-release albums get leaked all the time.  I haven't heard of one example yet where it has impacted formal album sales to the point where the Label ended up losing money  on a particular release due to lost sales directly linked to the early leak.  They may have lost money because they signed a big-name artist who subsequently spent millions recording a crap album, but that's not the same issue.

 

Then, what does it matter if it's mp3 or master quality?  You (or industry insiders) are worried that people will listen to master tape quality recordings ... on an IPod and a pair of earbuds or Beats? Or on a car stereo system? since that is the vast majority of what users today are listening to.  (All things considered, the user base here on Head-Fi who are invested in high level reproduction where master tape fidelity would actually make a difference is a tiny tiny fraction of the global music user base).  No, the people who care enough about that level of quality reproduction (i.e. master tape level) are the same ones who will pay for most of their purchases; people like me. 

 

Your arguments here are just not convincing in any pragmatic way.  It's the same pablum preached by the industry for the last decade, and it's more due to internal politics, as well as a complete inability to a) understand how their customers use the product and b) their collective unwillingness to adapt a business model and market where they no longer have a monopoly on distribution and can't demand the user pay the extortionate rates they did in the pre-Napster days.  Sorry, but that genie is not going back in the bottle, and good riddance.

 

The distribution format I like currently is used by Bandcamp and others, where you can choose to download low-fi mp3s free, donate a small amount or pay for higher quality lossless formats. Regardless of the distribution or format method, the success of Amazon.com shows that the "long-tail" distribution strategy is both extremely profitable and vital.  That the music industry can't wrap their heads around this is both pathetic and unsurprising.

 

Is piracy real?  Sure it is.  I am not denying that, and debating the impact depends upon whose numbers you look at (so that's not the topic here).  What I am saying is that the market for DSD and verbatim-quality files is real, and it will be profitable, but the industry needs to get over its analysis-paralysis and get off its hands to make it happen.  When that happens, hardware manufacturers like Jason and Mike will follow.

You are right on most counts. But did fail to recognize one tring - never before it was actually possible to distribute a master that reaches end consumer in exactly the same quality as original # 0001 direct to whatever recording or finalized mix. Just listen to various releases of the same music on the same label issued say in the US, UK, Germany and Japan - they will usually NOT sound the same, because of multitude of technical reasons. The "local boys issue" will likely sound the best - if it originated in US, that would most likely favour US released version - and so forth. Granted, differences are in digital times lesser than in analog, where these differences really were pronounced.

 

But possibility of each and every end consumer getting exactly the maximum of recording or the exact copy of the master is something entirely different. I agree people really caring about sound are tiny tiny tiny minority and MP3 crowds are not interested even in CD quality, let alone DSD or hi rez PCM. But once a digital copy of real master is out, owner of the work has no more any real control over it. And here not only piracy is meant.

 

For the DSD to be succesful in downloads, internet speeds etc on average, not only in the most technologically advanced countries, should get better.  44 min of audio in DSD64 or at 2.8MHz is 2 GB - the lenght of an average vinyl album. Multiply that by the lenght of the programme, multiply by two if going to DSD128 or at 5.6MHz - a far cry from say 100 MB for MP3.

 

I will keep on trying to do things best I possibly can - and deal with issues discussed at later date. But can not pretend they are not there - few professions are as vulnerable to abuse in this way as is "music".

post #40 of 77

This is what frustrates me.  I have a few sacd capable players but in order for me to get dsd out of them I currently am limited to the analog out of that player and that player's internal DAC.  I'm sure they exist, but most any "headphone/audiophile" DACs I've used do not feature dsd decoding in any way on top of that the players themselves will not pass DSD without voodoo magic (xa5400es for instance afaik can only pass it through HATS enabled receivers).

 

Are there even many commercially available cd players that can pass along dsd signals to DACs that can also decode them?   For you guys, it would seem, a paired transport and DAC combo would be nice - heck even a CDP with a good built in dac that happens to pass along dsd if needed.

post #41 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

This is what frustrates me.  I have a few sacd capable players but in order for me to get dsd out of them I currently am limited to the analog out of that player and that player's internal DAC.  I'm sure they exist, but most any "headphone/audiophile" DACs I've used do not feature dsd decoding in any way on top of that the players themselves will not pass DSD without voodoo magic (xa5400es for instance afaik can only pass it through HATS enabled receivers).

Are there even many commercially available cd players that can pass along dsd signals to DACs that can also decode them?   For you guys, it would seem, a paired transport and DAC combo would be nice - heck even a CDP with a good built in dac that happens to pass along dsd if needed.

No the hacked PS3 is the only one I know of.

On another note storage and bandwidth are on the same Moore's curve. As an 'insider' I pay virtually nothing for 50mbits. And the USofA ranks about 7th in typical high bandwidth availability. Another arena where the populace gets screwed by Corp policies and lack of competition. 3tb of storage holds at lot of flacs. Again, the technology is already there!
Edited by frankty - 1/31/13 at 9:07pm
post #42 of 77

There is no real benefit from using DSD, only more difficult format to work with and thus more problems to occur during the signal's path...

 

Do Hi-rez records sound better than common CDs? Yes.

Do Hi-rez records sound better because they are "hi-rez"? No. The only change is in less ******* up mastering or even recording (better studios for music intended for HQ releases).

 

IMHO

post #43 of 77

How did you get that opinion? The same piece of music comes from the same master unless remastered. Nothing today is mastered at 16/44. Do you think that they purposely crap it up before downsampling?

 

I can dub a good analog master at different native rates on dedicated kit and 16/44 just doesn't really cut it if you're used to that analog master. Vinyl is also better than most could be aware from their limited experience. HiDef is a savior of sorts as tape doesn't last forever either.

 

At the same time, I question the need for HiDef in portables. Not because you may not hear differences at times but I feel that 16/44 is likely not be the weakest link in almost all DAPs.


Edited by goodvibes - 2/1/13 at 9:29pm
post #44 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

How did you get that opinion? The same piece of music comes from the same master unless remastered. Nothing today is mastered at 16/44. Do you think that they purposely crap it up before downsampling?

 

I can dub a good analog master at different native rates on dedicated kit and 16/44 just doesn't really cut it if you're used to that analog master. Vinyl is also better than most could be aware from their limited experience. HiDef is a savior of sorts as tape doesn't last forever either.

 

At the same time, I question the need for HiDef in portables. Not because you may not hear differences at times but I feel that 16/44 is likely not be the weakest link in almost all DAPs.

DSD as a portable is problematic due to data storage. With DSD at 2.8 MHZ, it is 22 minutes audio for 1GB. Please see the thread here on head-fi : http://www.head-fi.org/t/425849/korg-mr-1-can-this-be-used-as-a-portable-player It boils down very quick communication ( 100 MB/sec) with whatever storage device used is required and if you insist on anything but HDD the only option are SSDs from Hoodman - which is $$$ for the capacity and will not satisfy users accustomed to carying around almost their entire library in a minuscule DAP. HDDs of 80 GB have been reported to work sucessfully, which gives reasonable playtime in DSD. As Korg MR1 still is the benchmark in portable DSD recorders, you will have to solve, one way or another, its abysmal battery life.

post #45 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

How did you get that opinion? The same piece of music comes from the same master unless remastered. Nothing today is mastered at 16/44. Do you think that they purposely crap it up before downsampling?

 

I can dub a good analog master at different native rates on dedicated kit and 16/44 just doesn't really cut it if you're used to that analog master. Vinyl is also better than most could be aware from their limited experience. HiDef is a savior of sorts as tape doesn't last forever either.

 

At the same time, I question the need for HiDef in portables. Not because you may not hear differences at times but I feel that 16/44 is likely not be the weakest link in almost all DAPs.

 

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=126:96khz-vs-192khz&catid=57:reader-feedback&Itemid=24

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/mitchco/16-44-vs-24-192-experiment-163/

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD (Audible differences compared to PCM/CD)

 

Vinyl is another story, for example: http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl)

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