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Is There a Correct or Proper Sound Presentation? - Page 3

post #31 of 56
I've been considering similar issues. Recently
I upgraded to an iPhone 5S from a 4S. amped via line out,I have never heard my music sound so clear and detailed. However. I could say that the sound is digital, synthetic, not organic.
Well of course it is. The music was probably recorded digitally and I recorded it digitally from CD. The only logical way to expect to experience similar clarity with an organic nature would be a high quality vinyl playback system.
Otherwise I am trying to have my cake and eat it. Cheating the sound. So where does that leave ideas like neutral, accurate and truthful?
It further seems to me that to judge how successful a new technology is by how well it reproduces a previous technology is rather redundant.
Of course it is sensible to strive to handle the digital signal as well as possible with good bitrate and high quality equipment. With that in place we could try and celebrate the strengths of the new tech on its own terms.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

I've been considering similar issues. Recently
I upgraded to an iPhone 5S from a 4S. amped via line out,I have never heard my music sound so clear and detailed. However. I could say that the sound is digital, synthetic, not organic.
Well of course it is. The music was probably recorded digitally and I recorded it digitally from CD. The only logical way to expect to experience similar clarity with an organic nature would be a high quality vinyl playback system.

What a bunch of nonsense. If it sounds "digital, synthetic, not organic" then that's because it was produced that way.

 

Digital audio doesn't stand in the way of faithful reproduction, vinyl does.

 

Quote:
Otherwise I am trying to have my cake and eat it. Cheating the sound. So where does that leave ideas like neutral, accurate and truthful?
It further seems to me that to judge how successful a new technology is by how well it reproduces a previous technology is rather redundant.
Of course it is sensible to strive to handle the digital signal as well as possible with good bitrate and high quality equipment. With that in place we could try and celebrate the strengths of the new tech on its own terms.

Neutral, accurate, truthful .. you will get exactly that with digital audio. I don't want to bash vinyl, but it doesn't have a flat frequency response and adds all kinds of distortion and noise.

 

Digital audio is extremely successful. Just take a look at iPod sales numbers. 25, 40, 50, 55 million units sold in the years 2005 - 2008 now being slowly replaced by smartphones, which have insane sales numbers.

post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post

I've been considering similar issues. Recently
I upgraded to an iPhone 5S from a 4S. amped via line out,I have never heard my music sound so clear and detailed. However. I could say that the sound is digital, synthetic, not organic.

 

That is VERY easy to fix. Simply take your turntable and capture playback of LP records to MP3 and play them back on your iPod. It will sound identical to your organic turntable.

post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

What a bunch of nonsense. If it sounds "digital, synthetic, not organic" then that's because it was produced that way.

Digital audio doesn't stand in the way of faithful reproduction, vinyl does.

Neutral, accurate, truthful .. you will get exactly that with digital audio. I don't want to bash vinyl, but it doesn't have a flat frequency response and adds all kinds of distortion and noise.

Digital audio is extremely successful. Just take a look at iPod sales numbers. 25, 40, 50, 55 million units sold in the years 2005 - 2008 now being slowly replaced by smartphones, which have insane sales numbers.
I don't appreciate you using phrases like bunch of nonsense. Keep it civil.
post #35 of 56

The concept of sound being "organic" or "digital" can only refer to the noise and distortion in the sound, not the fidelity. If a reproducing medium is able to reproduce sound accurately, it is neither digital nor organic. It's just accurate. Digital audio is more accurate than analogue. You had that backwards.

post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post


I don't appreciate you using phrases like bunch of nonsense. Keep it civil.

 

Would you settle for inaccurate or misguided :wink:

 

If you prefer LP that is fine and if you want to digitize your LPs you will find plenty of help here, but when you talk about neutral, accurate and truthful i.e "High Fidelity" (low noise, low distortion, high linearity, low speed variations) then the potential quality of LP falls a long way short of  what CD is capable of and for the most part even a well encoded MP3 can have better noise and distortion behavior. 

 

None of which stops anyone from enjoying LPs 

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

Would you settle for inaccurate or misguided wink.gif

If you prefer LP that is fine and if you want to digitize your LPs you will find plenty of help here, but when you talk about neutral, accurate and truthful i.e "High Fidelity" (low noise, low distortion, high linearity, low speed variations) then the potential quality of LP falls a long way short of  what CD is capable of and for the most part even a well encoded MP3 can have better noise and distortion behavior. 


None of which stops anyone from enjoying LPs 
Yeah. I'll settle for inaccurate and or misguided. smily_headphones1.gif To be continued.
post #38 of 56

I'm very surprised to read people being so enthusiastic about the sound of CD. I have been seriously interested in Hi Fi for around 30 years. It is true that I do not have much technical knowledge and as for the rest, the more I learn  I realise that the less I know! 

My interest coincided with the change from vinyl to CD. At the time it was marketed as "perfect sound forever". Turned out to be false on both counts!

At the time there was huge controversy within the Hi Fi community and even the wider public. People who swore that there was much to love about vinyl and derided digital as sounding sterile and emotionless.

I have read that there is some justification for this view. CD having a brickwall filter at 20Khz and vinyl theoretically having a limitless frequency range.

Snake oil merchants have thrived marketing any number of products supposedly addressing this "deficiency" in digital reproduction.

It is very common on Headfi and elsewhere for people to talk approvingly of a piece of hardware's ability to sound "analogue" or even "tube like".

BTW. Bigshot, surely when any source is recorded digitally it takes on the characteristics and parameters of the equipment that it is recorded on? 

A digital recording is not the same thing as listening to the original vinyl surely?

Anyway. I am very pleased to be on this forum trying to learn and understand.

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post
 

I'm very surprised to read people being so enthusiastic about the sound of CD.

It's the lack of a particular CDish sound really that everyone was enthusiastic about, 30 years ago. 44.1/16 PCM doesn't add distortion, frequency response deviations in the audible range, clearly audible amounts of noise, time-based errors, click and pops etc.

 

Quote:
My interest coincided with the change from vinyl to CD. At the time it was marketed as "perfect sound forever". Turned out to be false on both counts!

Yes, marketing. 2.0 channel sound may be enough for headphone listening, but not for a home theater for example.

 

Quote:

At the time there was huge controversy within the Hi Fi community and even the wider public. People who swore that there was much to love about vinyl and derided digital as sounding sterile and emotionless.

I have read that there is some justification for this view. CD having a brickwall filter at 20Khz and vinyl theoretically having a limitless frequency range.

There indeed were many problems in the beginnings, but those have been fixed years ago. Now all we need is to convince the industry not to compress the sh*t out of records.

 

"Sterile", see above: 44.1/16 PCM doesn't add stuff that was not recorded. "Emotionless": well, causing emotional reactions by the listener is the job of the artist, isn't it? Even if I listen on a kitchen radio, I can get the shivers when listening to the right track.

If the music is crap however no medium, no component, no tweak is going to make it great music.

 

The brickwall filter has, in the over 30 years, not shown to cause audible problems since it is usually over 20 kHz outside the range of human hearing. Additionally, there's forward masking of higher frequencies and in music there's natural roll-off of the spectrum with increasing frequency.

So even if you could hear effects of the filter under laboratory conditions with special test signals you'd fail with real music.

 

Quote:

Snake oil merchants have thrived marketing any number of products supposedly addressing this "deficiency" in digital reproduction.

It is very common on Headfi and elsewhere for people to talk approvingly of a piece of hardware's ability to sound "analogue" or even "tube like".

The question is how much of it is marketing babble, baseless claims etc. and how much of it is established fact, supported by evidence.

But those snake oil merchants would fail tests so it is actually in their interest to hide any (negative) evidence and there seem to be enough people that buy into their baseless claims anyway...

 

 

May I suggest you read: http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html


Edited by xnor - 11/4/13 at 9:16am
post #40 of 56
Thread Starter 

WOW!

So some actually prefer the sloppy snap crackle pop of an LP over a dead silent CD?   Seriously?

 

I remember the first cd I had in 1982 was a Michael Jackson release  (the one before "Thriller"...name escapes me now) and the CD was light years better than the LP.  Almost laughable.

post #41 of 56

LPs from the 50s and 60s sound a lot better than ones from the 80s. Sound quality took a nose dive during the oil crisis when they started recycling vinyl. Before that, there wasn't a lot of snap and crackle.

post #42 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyro View Post
 

So some actually prefer the sloppy snap crackle pop of an LP over a dead silent CD?   Seriously?

 

A vinyl spins in front of one's eyes. Its easy to see physically. Round and round it goes.

 

A CD?

What hocus-pocus is that? It goes in the slot, and god knows what goes on inside. Damn these engineers with their 0s and 1s. There's nothing pure left in this world.

 

The same thing happened when records first appeared.  Before that you had to attend a live performance, and you could see the instruments being played. God knows what goes on in the recording. Damn these engineers with their electricity and grooves. There's nothing pure left in this world.

post #43 of 56

@proton007: Please extend this to downloads, and one step further: streaming. :D

post #44 of 56

xnor, Thank you very much for putting that together. The article is also very interesting. I take from it that I do not need to concern myself with 24/192 recordings!

 

A classic case of audiophiles, even educated,  misunderstanding electronics.

 

The same could be said of digital vs analogue from what you say.

 

I would be correct in thinking that if I do not like a sound sig that it is the equipment that I am using. Nothing to do with any inherent limitations of digital reproduction?

 

proton007, I know that you are being facetious but I actually think that there is something in what you say.

 

A turntable seems a lot more understandable than digital playback to someone like me without much technical knowledge.

 

A needle vibrating in a groove seems a much more primitive and human activity than whatever happens when that little drawer slides shut!

 

Thanks again for some very interesting info guys. 

post #45 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by krismusic View Post
 

A classic case of audiophiles, even educated,  misunderstanding electronics.

 

The same could be said of digital vs analogue from what you say.

The prime example would be to think that digital lacks resolution in the time domain since a sample is only taken each 1/Fs seconds, or that the analogue output will be a stairstep "curve".

 

 

Quote:
I would be correct in thinking that if I do not like a sound sig that it is the equipment that I am using. Nothing to do with any inherent limitations of digital reproduction?

I connect "sound sig" primarily with frequency response because I prefer high-fidelity in its true meaning. Digital reproduction doesn't change that in the audible range, maybe shows some tiny roll-off at the extremes. Headphones/speakers (with the room) on the other hand can change the sound signature completely.

I'm not here to argue preference, but maybe you're used to the inherent limitations of non-digital reproduction and prefer that.


Edited by xnor - 11/5/13 at 1:25pm
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