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Testing audiophile claims and myths

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by prog rock man, May 3, 2010.
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  1. 71 dB
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  2. 71 dB
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  3. bigshot
    Inaudible is inaudible. It doesn't matter. The balance in the core frequencies is MUCH more important than the balance in the extremes. Just about all of us listen to band limited music every single day of our lives and we don't even think about it. It only bothers those with OCD when they fixate on "sound they might be missing out on". They double and triple down on their obsession, extending their mania further and further out into the aether of sound that even bats can't hear.

    Some people's thought processes are shaped like a pretzel. It's not their fault. They were born that way.
     
  4. analogsurviver
     
  5. 71 dB
    What matters is one thing and what is possible is another. It's not that hard to make CDs with almost flat response up to 20 kHz so why not do it even if most people don't hear above 17 kHz anyway? Since the de facto sampling rate in digital audio is 44.1 kHz, why not use it to it's full potential? Even if most people wouldn't notice if we didn't.
     
  6. bigshot
    CDs are already overkill. It’s a perfect medium.
     
  7. KeithEmo
    The interesting thing is that I would actually agree with your final statement.
    HOWEVER, we seem to differ widely in our interpretation of what that means in various contexts.

    For example, lets agree that "it's widely agreed that human hearing extends from 20 Hz to 20 kHz".
    And, in any other context, when we reproduce something, if we have the option, we use equipment that is significantly BETTER than necessary, to provide a substantial safety margin.
    As an engineer, I wouldn't dream of measuring a signal that ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz using test equipment whose range is limited to exactly that range.
    And. likewise, the lanes on most highways are quite a bit wider than the wheel base on an average automobile.
    Yet you seem to think that we should strive to use equipment and formats that are just as close as we can to the minimum necessary to get the job done.

    And, assuming we start with a nice simple linear PCM digital audio signal...
    I think we should simply leave it alone... or reproduce it exactly...
    Yet you seem to think we should subject it to lossy compression.
    You can't possibly be suggesting that the processes involved in lossy compression are not "as complex as the shape of a pretzel".
    (As compared to the basic function of encoding lossless data - "measure the value every time the clock ticks and write it down".)
    Yet, in that case, you seem to think all that pretzel-like processing is well justified, even though it does nothing to improve the sound quality, but merely saves a little space.

    As an engineer, I would suggest that the SIMPLEST way to reliably record audio in the range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz is to record it at 24/96k PCM and then leave it alone...
    Doing it that way requires no complicated encoding and decoding, and offers plenty of safety margin that we needn't worry about how close we're getting to any audible limits...
    (Yet, when push comes to shove, you're the one who seems to be advocating all sorts of complex processing, just so we can squeeze a tiny bit closer to the absolute limits.)

     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  8. bigshot
    My comment on people's thought processes was a reference to my theory that internet forums sometimes attract people who have cognitive and socialization problems that make it difficult for them to communicate with others in real life. It's easy to concoct an idealized false online persona and maintain it in an internet forum through the written word. It isn't possible to do that face to face. It might be their way of escaping their own real world limitations. I try not to hold it against people in forums if they behave like an armchair expert in subjects they really don't understand. There might be reasons for it. It can try one's patience though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
    StandsOnFeet likes this.
  9. castleofargh Contributor
    grrr.
     
  10. analogsurviver
    Since you did express preference to surround speaker listening - since when CD allows for more than 2 channels ?

    Analog record can do that - various systems for quadrophonic sound had different measure of success in both technical and marketing aspects - and most of the best quadrophonic recordings first issued as analog records were among the first to appear on the SACD - which is nothing else but DSD64 packed in extra anti copy protection on a disc - and which allows for 5.1 sound.

    Alone from this point of view is CD not only imperfect, but medium with limited functionality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  11. analogsurviver
    To clarify this beyond any shadow of a doubt - and to stop any further fishing in muddy waters on your part:

    1.) No the audience is not sitting beside the musicians. Neither do I when recording binaural from the BEST POSSIBLE SEAT WITHIN ANY GIVEN VENUE - but, of course, that spot IS within the space normally allocated for the audience. I may extend this beyond the place/space normally allocated for the audience in catholic churches; by obtaining permission for using the chair in the middle of the isle, since otherwise one is too far left or right to cover any "balanced centre"- or, if "balanced centre" is achieved by seating in benches far away from the altar, one is - simply - too far away and capturing way too much reverberation of the church.

    2. I cerainly DO have binaural recordings from within the orchestra/besides musicians - for all principal sections. That sealed the question regarding SQ if you ask a musician/member of the orchestra.

    YOU DON'T - it does not matter - in the SLIGHTEST !!!

    Simply because what a musician on stage hears is million light years removed from what AUDIENCE can experience during the concert.

    Much of the above also holds true for the solo instruments. I am the last recording engineer in the world, if you are a musician playing <insert any instrument here> and you would like to have a recording that would bear as close resemblance to what YOU hear while playing it.

    Gregorio and the likes of his ilk are the last to hire if you would like to have your recording as the AUDIENCE gets to hear it live.

    It is a matter of conscious choice and awareness - and has absolutely nothing to do with me - according to gregorio - being an amateur. If he calls me amateur one single more time, he will get a response he will be not able to forget for all of his living days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  12. gregorio
    1. EXACTLY!! Case in point:
    1a. Why would we agree that? In the "context" of exceptionally good young ears + very high SPLs and single test tones, I would agree with that BUT, how many of us have exceptionally good young ears and only listen to single tone test signals at very high SPLs? Your "various contexts" are NOT various contexts, it is a single context which is INAPPLICABLE to everyone when listening to music!
    1b. That's an absurd statement. With musical content and human hearing, 20kHz is NOT "the minimum necessary", it's already beyond the maximum necessary!!!

    2. Clearly you're not a music engineer and your suggestion is nonsense: Firstly because the simplest way to reliably record audio in the range of 20Hz to 20kHz is to limit the recording to 20Hz-20kHz + a margin for a filter (baring in mind 20kHz is already overkill) and Secondly, again we're not talking about test signals but consumers listening to commercial music recordings and commercial music is virtually never just recorded and then "left alone"!

    1. Huh? You're the one muddying the waters and contradicting yourself!!

    Points 2 and 3 are correct, so WHY are you quoting SPLs and frequency responses which CAN ONLY EXIST when sitting within a few inches/feet of a musician? Furthermore, if (as you falsely claim) 120dB dynamic range is required, how is vinyl superior to CD when ACCORDING TO YOU even with test signals and under laboratory conditions an LP is only capable of about 100dB (and in the real world of consumer music LPs about 50dB dynamic range is the practical limit), while CD is capable of 120dB dynamic range (both under lab conditions and on a consumer CDs)?

    How does not only contradicting the facts but even contradicting your own assertions "clarify this beyond any shadow of a doubt"? It couldn't be less clear or more doubtful if you tried!! It really is laughable.

    G
     
  13. 71 dB
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  14. old tech
    Redbook does provide for quadraphonic on CDs. AFAIK, it has never been used, mainly because 5.1 shortly arrived on the scene with digital video, video audio discs and later SACDs.

    Come on, digital was the greatest thing that ever happened to multichannel playback. Quadraphonic LPs were pathetic and neither of the three incompatible and poorly implemented systems were successful. It never really caught on in the 70s and totally died out by the 80s. I had a SQ quadraphonic LP system in the late 70s and it was fun for a while, but the novelty wears off (a bit like 3D tv, but much worse, like a 3D tv if it were shoe-horned into deficient technology that was not up to the task) and for SQ at least, a few plays of the record and the carrier signal wears out. Not only was playback poor, there was too much analog noise and cross talk, echoing, footsteps, you name it and it had it!.

    Analog reel to reel did a better job but was still relatively poor as cross-talk and SNR suffered from less tape width per channel. The only positive about quadraphonic LPs is it showed the potential for multi-channel sound, but it had to wait for digital formats to realise its potential for realism and 5.1. No-one is really interested in quadraphonic anymore, given it takes 5.1 to give surround sound realism, but at least we can listen to some of the old quadraphonic recordings on the vastly superior SACD compared to the crappy quadraphonic LPs.

    Now lets see, it beats any analog music format for transparency, particularly the highly compromised LP. Anyone that still wants LPs for quadraphonic sound is a low fidelity tragic, and a glutton for punishment when it comes to inconvenience.

    https://kenrockwell.com/audio/why-cds-sound-great.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  15. bigshot
    SACD or DVD or Blu-Ray are perfect for that. I haven't found quad LPs or multichannel matrixed CDs to be perfect at all... quite the opposite in fact!

    I don't believe that AS has any binaural recordings. I don't think he has a turntable either. I think he speaks entirely out of his head and google searches.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
    gregorio and Svatopluk like this.
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