Should you color your DAC or your amp?
Aug 28, 2021 at 9:08 AM Post #151 of 236

Redcarmoose

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DACs don't set an idea as to flat. The "idea" of flat isn't an idea, it's a mathematical definition (as detailed by @VNandor). If a DAC or anything else complies with that, then it's flat and we can test that with a null test and by specifically measuring frequency response. Virtually all DACs do comply (to a level of accuracy which isn't audible) up to the limit of their anti-imaging filter transition band.

B. Mostly, yes, but there are many variations. However, a variation does not necessarily imply a difference, for example, 1 - 1 = 0 but a variation of that, for example 0.5 + 0.5 - 1 gives us exactly the same result. There are almost always some differences between ADCs, even those employing the same methods but they're outside or more typically, way outside audibility.

C. Yes, very different, for starters it's analogue!

D. That's never going to happen. The analogue world is limited by the physics of electronic components, the digital world isn't, it's just math.

E. You don't have to beg, you're entirely free to argue here, the only requirement is that if you're going to contradict science, then you must provide some reliable evidence to support your argument. Also, there's a requirement to be honest! No one has stated that "digital is fully pristine" just that it's pristine beyond the limits of human audibility, given some obvious conditions.

F. And here you fail to comply with those requirements! You're not being honest, what people here in SS don't fully embrace the fact of intrinsic attributes (artifacts) of analogue?

G. Some are "profoundly inept" but the majority range from good to excellent, considering the limits they had to work with.

Again, you need to be honest! I did directly answer your question at some length, I told you that a null test can reveal a flat response and I even explained the basic principle of how it works. You however, DID avoid the questions presented to you! For example, do you believe 1 - 1 does not equal zero? What digital reproduction do you think you're listening to, if we apparently can't measure everything but digital audio is just a measurement to start with?

1. A flat response is flat, which means it's identical. How can sound (digital, analogue or anything else) that's identical sound different? Again, do you think 1 - 1 does not equal zero?

2. And you wouldn't be alone if you suggested the Earth is flat, does that mean the Earth IS flat?
2a. The response is flat, there is nothing missing and therefore nothing to "add back, even with EQ". Again, does 1 - 1 equal 0 or is there something missing and it equals something less than zero?

3. And maybe you don't realise that hundreds and probably thousands of people still feel the Earth is flat, does that mean the Earth IS flat? What you or anyone else "feels" is irrelevant because it doesn't change the facts. 1 -1 = 0 is a fact, maybe you're happy about that, maybe you're sad about it and of course, you're free not to believe it, but 1 -1 = 0 will still true regardless of what you feel about it and regardless of whether you and thousands of others believe it or not.

4. Then why keep presenting false answers and arguing with the proven/demonstrated scientific answers?

1. How do you improve on audibly flat/perfect? The only place to go from perfect is, by definition imperfect!
2. Who said it's the end all? "All" includes the human musicians, the transducers and the humans who subjectively mix and master the recording, none of which are digital and all of which can therefore be improved!

1. How is it an improvement to "bring to digital" all those things that digital was specifically invented to avoid? By definition, that's not an improvement, it's a degradation! 2. Correct, digital is not just analogue without the pops and surface noise, it's also without the rumble, wow/flutter, distortion, signal loss, generational losses and various other analogue artifacts.
2a. What "extra additive"? You can't seem to make your mind up, a few paragraphs above you said something was missing, now you're saying something is added. Either assertion could easily be verified, a null test will easily reveal if digital conversion is adding or missing something and exactly how much it's missing or added ... and guess what null tests actually prove? Does 1 - 1 equal something more or something less than zero?

1. Of course you cannot bring "life" into a digital signal, there is no life, it's just zeroes an ones and you can't bring life into an analogue signal either, it's just an electrical current. If you mean change the digital signal so that you perceive it to have more "life", then that is by definition a distortion, an audibly non-flat response. A very serious flaw in modern digital audio, as even relatively cheap digital devices have managed to avoid audible distortion for many years.

2. Digital is already complete. I, science and the whole world would love for you to someday demonstrate that Shannon was wrong and therefore that the whole digital age (not just audio) doesn't exist. Good luck with that!
2a. Vinyl plugins do degrade the signal, the same as vinyl does, which is why of course they call them vinyl plugins in the first place! If you perceive that degradation to be an enhancement, that's obviously an issue with your perception.

1a. Again, how can giving digital all the analogue faults it was specifically invented to avoid, be an enhancement? That's like saying, we can enhance the performance of a Ferrari to make it perform more like riding a donkey!

3. Digital is already the best of both worlds, that's why it was invented!

G
The extra additional sound/life of vinyl is just a perception I have, of course it could be an expectation bias.
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 9:45 AM Post #152 of 236

old tech

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The extra additional sound/life of vinyl is just a perception I have, of course it could be an expectation bias.

And there is nothing wrong with having a subjective preference, the issue is more when it is dressed up as being objectively better, ie superior fidelity to source, especially doing so by invoking psuedoscience.

I'll happily admit I like a the sound of a little bit of saturated tape bass, it is distorted bass but has a nice fat roundness to it. I also like the sound of a bit of tape wow as it brings me back to my childhood in primary school when we listened to tape machines in our music classes. Not that I would set up a stereo today to sound like that, but it is a pleasant sound.
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 9:47 AM Post #153 of 236

FYFL

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I’ve never found any correlation between price and quality in consumer gear. I think a good $200 70s turntable from eBay and a nice new cartridge can get you everything you need for everyday playback. No aspect of audiophilia is more fetishized than record playback. It’s almost guaranteed that anyone who focuses on that is going to be pretty foolish.
That’s one of the most ridiculous statements I have read in a while. I have already stated what constitutes a well made designed turntable. (Precision, tolerances, resonance control, stability/speed/torque to name a few). No $200 turntable is capable of that. Unless you hit lotto and snatch vintage NOS Lenco or Gerrard. I have build my own turntables and the latest took me a year to make. To sound decent by my standards.
Perhaps mechanical engineering is not your field, so I’m not going to poke at you. But, with that mindset, you’re missing out on what vinyl actually has to offer. I know, I know, it’s not your thing. And that’s find but I am saying that with quality turntable, resolving phono gain stage and cartridge that digs deep into information cut inside the grove, you might begin to understand why we’re in the middle of vinyl resurrection period.
 
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Aug 28, 2021 at 9:55 AM Post #154 of 236

FYFL

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The reason you can look at mixing as a purely creative exercise is because of the chief engineer who makes sure all the rooms are up to spec before you even open a project.

Don’t use inferior obsolete equipment on a project I’m supervising, or I’ll be on the phone arranging to move it to a different post house!
See….. I already knew that you’re going to dismiss all those award winning engineers. They have worked with David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, Pink Floyd….. list goes on and on and on. Yet, you feel that you’re better than all of them. What does it say about you? Have you thought of that?
Sad.
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 10:34 AM Post #155 of 236

gregorio

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1) I would be the first to also guess expectation bias too. The expectation bias held over from before digital? Funny, how it can last a lifetime?
2) Certain people do not own the equipment to fully delineate the value of analogue compared to digital. Their coming to terms with their own personal fidelity in playback being key here. .... [2a] Such delusional behavior does not boarder on the ridiculous, it is the very definition on the word!
[2b] I myself have been lucky enough to have a very special demonstration of a 100K TT system on numerous occasions which cemented my opinion fully. Again maybe a whole glass of expectation bias? It’s very hard to distinguish? Such playback is beyond the means of almost all but the very well equipped 10%.
[3] It’s impossible to judge equipment/files of playback based on numbers and graphs. Music is so much more.
3[a]) You say the answer is within my mind? [3c] But you fail to come to terms that it’s not just me? A lot of people are enjoying vinyl.
1. Expectation and other biases can last anywhere from just a few moments to generations.

2. You don't necessarily need to own the equipment. Regardless of any marketing that implies the contrary, there has never been nor will there ever be any analogue equipment that breaks the laws of physics. That inherently places a limitation on analogue equipment that digital equipment doesn't have. 1 - 1 = 0, it always equals zero, it doesn't matter how many times you digitally copy it. That is not the case with analogue, you will ALWAYS have at least some signal loss and added noise.
2a. Is it "delusional behaviour bordering on the ridiculous" to believe that audiophile analogue equipment breaks the laws of physics. Or is it just ridiculous ignorance?
2b. Doesn't matter if you've heard a 100k TT system or a billion dollar TT system, it's not as good as the best analogue I've heard! Because many times I've heard the mix in the studio on the analogue multi-track tape and it doesn't matter how good the vinyl pressing is or how expensive the TT, you've got several analogue generational losses even before you get to the TT.

3. That red herring has already be dealt with, so why keep repeating it? Hopefully for the last time: We are not recording music and your DAC or TT are not reproducing music, we are recording audio and that's what your DAC and TT are reproducing! What happens if you give your DAC or TT an audio recording of something that isn't music, say a truck slowing to a standstill, does your DAC or TT simply not output anything because it isn't music? Of course not, your DAC or TT don't know what is music and what isn't, it simply reproduces whatever audio it's given. And audio, IS entirely governed by numbers, what do you think a digital audio file contains apart from zeroes and ones?

3b. Yes, the answer is in your mind, if it's not in the audio, what other place is there?
3c. Why, are you the only person who has a mind? Obviously not, everyone has a mind, everyone has perception biases and preferences. And, a lot of people do enjoy vinyl but that obviously doesn't prove that vinyl is better fidelity. Maybe they enjoy the lower fidelity or maybe their enjoyment has nothing to do with fidelity and they enjoy the physical presence of an LP, the artwork or the ritual of removing the LP from the sleeve and placing it on the TT. There are lot's of valid reasons people can enjoy vinyl but higher audio fidelity is NOT one of them!
For someone to come on sound science and say anywhere above $2000 is a waist of money for a turntable.....is nonsense.
Then why don't you do what we do when you spout nonsense, IE. Explain in a way that doesn't contradict science why it's nonsense!
[1] Why do I post here? Why am I spending my time here? Because I learn a lot. [2] But........again I’m confused, as you think (or try to make me think) that I’m the only person in the world who thinks this way?
1. You haven't given any indication of having learned anything at all. Instead of just making up nonsense assertions that contradicts the well established science, why don't you frame your points as questions? For example, "Why do I perceive vinyl as sounding better than digital?" - You would learn a whole lot more, because people here would be inclined to help you, rather than treat you as an idiot without even a school child's understanding of science. That's assuming you really do want to "learn a lot" rather than just foment discord?

2. No one here thinks (or has tried to make you think) that you're then only person in the world who thinks that way. In fact pretty much the opposite, as I've already stated with the extreme analogy of a flat Earth; even if you believed the Earth is flat, you wouldn't be the "only person in the world who thinks this way" there are hundreds and probably thousands who believe that. The whole point of science is to separate fact from superstition, how many people believe in the fact or believe in a contrary superstition must therefore be irrelevant. 1 - 1 = 0, it doesn't matter even in the slightest if every single audiophile on the planet who has ever lived or ever will live believes that 1 - 1 equals something other than zero. The only thing that changes are the number of people who are wrong/deluded, the fact itself is completely unaffected.

G
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 10:55 AM Post #156 of 236

bfreedma

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Why is it never enough for people who like vinyl to simply state that it’s their personal preference? I don’t think anyone would argue against that.

Instead, many vinyl enthusiasts conflate preference with reference and then do ridiculous mental gymnastics in an attempt to ignore the painfully obvious. If you feel vinyl is better and that various esoteric and expensive solutions can make it superior to a baseline digital system, all you need to do is show measurements displaying audible change/improvement. Odd how that never happens…
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 11:42 AM Post #157 of 236

gregorio

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That’s one of the most ridiculous statements I have read in a while.
I take it you don't read your own statements before posting them then? You gave us a great example in the very same post! :
Perhaps mechanical engineering is not your field, so I’m not going to poke at you. ... I am saying that with quality turntable, resolving phono gain stage and cartridge that digs deep into information cut inside the grove, you might begin to understand why we’re in the middle of vinyl resurrection period.
And if mechanical engineering were your field, you'd know about friction and the mechanics of motion. You'd know that mechanical engineering has a tolerance and that an LP cannot have more accuracy than the mold from which it was pressed, it must have less. And, several generations are required, a metal master, a "mother" and a "stamper", thereby compounding the inaccuracy and if we're talking about an analogue master, then we have several generations of tape loss, noise and distortion before we even get to the LP production stage. The accuracy of digital on the other hand is limited purely by mathematical precision (so is astronomically small) and the generational losses are zero.
Therefore, if we want to "understand why we are in the middle of a vinyl resurrection period", higher fidelity is the very last place to look, no matter how much money you spend on a TT!
See….. I already knew that you’re going to dismiss all those award winning engineers. They have worked with David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, Pink Floyd….. list goes on and on and on. Yet, you feel that you’re better than all of them. What does it say about you? Have you thought of that?
Sad.
And another great example just a few minutes later. Where did bigshot dismiss all those award winning engineers? Incidentally, I've won awards and of those people you mentioned, I worked with Dave Gilmour (Floyd), plus many others you didn't mention and I disagree with you. Does that mean I feel better than myself?

Have you ever won awards as an engineer or engineered for any of those you mentioned? I already gave you two very good reasons why an "appeal to authority" does not work here, not to mention that bigshot didn't dismiss them in the first place, you just made that up. Now "what does that say about you? Have you thought of that? sad."

G
 
Aug 28, 2021 at 1:32 PM Post #158 of 236

bigshot

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I have a phonograph that works fine and it doesn't even use electricity! They've been making record players for over a 120 years... and they've been obsolete for 40 years now. There's no new technology here, only over designed, overpriced luxury items intended to appeal to a niche audiophile market.

There's no point paying incredible amounts of money to achieve incredibly low noise floors and super audible frequencies when the format itself doesn't support them. You can have the best sounding turntable in the world, but that doesn't change how the records sound.

If you enjoy the ritual of cleaning, dropping the needle and playing 20 minutes at a time, that is great. Good for you. Have fun with it! But you don't need to validate your personal preference with made up "facts" about records having magical properties that they just don't have. It's a fine format. It's capable of sounding very good. But it doesn't match the fidelity of CDs, and you don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a turntable capable of extracting magic for records to sound good. A well aligned used Thorens, Technics or Dual from the 70s does the job well and you can find them used for a very reasonable price.

See….. I already knew that you’re going to dismiss all those award winning engineers. They have worked with David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles, Pink Floyd….. list goes on and on and on. Yet, you feel that you’re better than all of them.

I'm not better, I'm just fortunate to have worked almost the entirety of my career in the digital age. Early on I worked on 24 track tape and mastered for LP release. Today, sound quality and flexibility in the studio is far advanced from the 70s and 80s thanks to the introduction of digital audio. I've never worked with an engineer who would want to go back to working analog. When you buy Pink Floyd albums now, they come on blu-ray, they have more than two channels, and they have specs that not only exceed the specs of vinyl, they exceed our ability to hear. That is a good thing.
 
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Aug 29, 2021 at 1:09 AM Post #159 of 236

Davesrose

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I know, I know, it’s not your thing. And that’s find but I am saying that with quality turntable, resolving phono gain stage and cartridge that digs deep into information cut inside the grove, you might begin to understand why we’re in the middle of vinyl resurrection period.
Vinyl might be starting to outsell CD, but they're now both very niche compared to the biggest market: streaming music. I'm also wondering how much of the new vinyl sales head towards the TT systems you are wanting to adhere to. I'm thinking new generations that are thinking vinyl is cool are more concerned with the format having large cover art and is more tangible than the convenience of digital files. $200 TTs with integrated pre-amps and even USB converters seem to be the ones on a few store shelves.
 
Aug 29, 2021 at 4:57 AM Post #160 of 236

bigshot

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All the people I know who buy new vinyl do it for nostalgia. They acknowledge that digital audio is superior. It's hard not to do that when the masters for these new vinyl albums are 24/96. But they like the ritual of playing a vinyl record. It's comfortable and familiar, and it helps them focus on the music. That is fine. I have different ways of focusing on music (a comfortable couch and a nice glass of cabernet!)
 
Aug 29, 2021 at 5:29 AM Post #161 of 236

Redcarmoose

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There are many roads that lead to Rome....
 
Aug 29, 2021 at 5:30 AM Post #162 of 236

bigshot

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Aiming in the general direction of Italy is probably the best way!
 
Aug 29, 2021 at 4:30 PM Post #163 of 236

FYFL

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2b. Doesn't matter if you've heard a 100k TT system or a billion dollar TT system, it's not as good as the best analogue I've heard! Because many times I've heard the mix in the studio on the analogue multi-track tape and it doesn't matter how good the vinyl pressing is or how expensive the TT, you've got several analogue generational losses even before you get to the TT.
Agee. Even the best vinyl transfers from analog tapes are not on par with master tape. No one is arguing that.

Then why don't you do what we do when you spout nonsense, IE. Explain in a way that doesn't contradict science why it's nonsense!

But it doesn't match the fidelity of CDs, and you don't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a turntable capable of extracting magic for records to sound good.
Was digital really so great before a quality converters as the one from Wadia entered the game? I would argue otherwise. In fact, many engineers sensed that CD format arrived 10years premature and it took at least a decade to make it somewhat listenable.

Early on I worked on 24 track tape and mastered for LP release.

Not sure if 24 track or other so called improvements were a real path forward in achieving higher fidelity??? Convenience? Maybe. But even that can be argued. Depends on your point of view I guess. Ofcause I am not an engineer (clearly) but from many conversations with, recollections and experiences of many renounced engineers it appears that so called improvements over many decades were not something they embraced.
Vinyl might be starting to outsell CD, but they're now both very niche compared to the biggest market: streaming music.
Bc price of admission and convenience can’t be match by any other format. No argument there


$200 TTs with integrated pre-amps and even USB converters seem to be the ones on a few store shelves.

I’m actually sad that ppl fall for such a low quality, “novelty” items thinking it represents what’s best that vinyl has to offer.
 
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Aug 29, 2021 at 4:49 PM Post #164 of 236

FYFL

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Have you ever won awards as an engineer or engineered for any of those you mentioned? I already gave you two very good reasons why an "appeal to authority" does not work here, not to mention that bigshot didn't dismiss them in the first place, you just made that up. Now "what does that say about you? Have you thought of that? sad."

G
“Don’t use inferior obsolete equipment on a project I’m supervising, or I’ll be on the phone arranging to move it to a different post house!”

Well,……. many engineers actually use so called “inferior/obsolete” equipment. Including some of the ones I mentioned.
 
Aug 29, 2021 at 4:49 PM Post #165 of 236

bigshot

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In the studio, digital audio was a significant improvement in both sound quality and flexibility over analog tape. For home listening, CDs were a significant improvement in both sound quality and flexibility over LPs and tape. We live in a golden age for fidelity and technology keeps making sound mixing and playback both audibly perfect and more and more convenient.

The only audible improvement to CD sound came with oversampling in the mid 1980s. That restored the last sliver of response at the top end that had been filtered off before. Not a huge improvement, but audible to some people.

Audible transparency is all you need. There are lots of formats capable of transparency... lossy files all the way up to files with massive amounts of data. They all exceed human ears' ability to hear, so they all sound the same to humans. If you had ever done any controlled listening tests (blind, level matched, direct A/B switched) you would know exactly where the line of transparency lies. Without doing a proper listening test, you are only guessing and being guided by your bias.

“Don’t use inferior obsolete equipment on a project I’m supervising, or I’ll be on the phone arranging to move it to a different post house!” Well,……. many engineers actually use so called “inferior/obsolete” equipment. Including some of the ones I mentioned.

I don't think you're aware of how things work in production. Every post house has a single set of tape machines in their machine room. Their purpose is to transfer old masters to digital so they can bring them into the digital mixing suites to work with them. Maintaining analog production equipment in spec is labor intensive and costly. Last time I checked, there was only one studio in Los Angeles that had a fully analog recording and mixing stage. It's a novelty. That isn't the sort of equipment that is generally used.

The engineers you mention are wonderful talents. But they are pretty much retired. They worked in a different age. If you are interested in learning how production sound is done today, you're in luck. Gregorio is a professional sound engineer with some impressive credits. He has also taught the subject. If you listen to what he says, you will certainly learn something.

I'm being very polite and offering you a clue. If you are just here to argue with people who know more than you do, I don't have time for that.
 
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