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Thread in the Hoffman site

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by old tech, Oct 27, 2018.
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  1. old tech
    Speedskater likes this.
  2. 71 dB
    Well, both DSD and CD are sonically transparent formats while vinyl is far from transparent. So, if an analog tape is transferred to these formats, DSD and CD should sound identical to the source (assuming no additional mastering/tinkering of the sound, of course) while vinyl is more distorted than the tape source.

    It's interesting how "audio gurus" can have stunning insight into some aspects of audio, but also hold completely wrong and even silly beliefs about some other aspects.
    Speedskater likes this.
  3. bigshot
    I think Steve Hoffman has found a second income by hawking a bunch of woo woo audiio BS. That forum has some knowledgeable people, but they're shouted down by audiophools and OCD sufferers.
    Speedskater likes this.
  4. gregorio
    Yes, extremely questionable and that's being polite! A few long time engineers are stuck in their analogue methodology/approach and never really understood, at the technical/mathematical level, how digital audio works and Steve Hoffman is not the only well known engineer to be guilty of this, although I've found this to be the case more frequently with long time Music Producers than with long time engineers. Having said this, by far the most significant parts of creating a recording is usually still the acoustic, analogue and subjective perception parts, and in these respects those like Steve Hoffman typically have almost unrivalled knowledge, experience and skill. However, there are also some "old time" highly respected/influential engineers who have studied and fully understood digital theory, have the added invaluable advantage of first hand experience of the introduction and evolution of the technology and often personal involvement and/or personal discussions with those who invented/implemented it. Bob Katz and Bob Ohlssen being two examples which most readily spring to mind.

    There's also the scenario to which bigshot alluded, the engineer who does in fact know and understand the digital audio facts (and reliable listening test procedures) but on occasion elects to "bend" them, due to some marketing commitment. While this is misleading, unhelpful and annoying, there are few (if any) mastering engineers who can afford to alienate a major client.

    Steve999 and old tech like this.
  5. bigshot
    I give Doug Sax (and Lincoln Mayorga) credit for publicly admitting they were wrong. In the early days of CD, they published articles that were completely wrong headed. In fact, I think they were the ones that created the "stair step" myth. But they figured it out, did comparisons and realized that digital was better... then they publicly did a mea culpa. You don't see that often.
    Steve999 likes this.
  6. Peti
    That’s interesting indeed. Can you point me to a link where these articles can be found? Thanks
  7. bigshot
    I'm afraid I don't remember the name of the trade journal I read it in. I was in the lobby of a sound house and they had a bunch of old magazines on the coffee table. I browsed through one and found an article. It had stair step charts and a whole bunch of wrong information. I remember being surprised and looking at the date of the magazine. I think it had been sitting there for at least five years before I saw it. I asked around and heard that later they had published a retraction to it.
    Steve999 likes this.
  8. Glmoneydawg
    What thd percentage do we consider to be audibly transparent here?
  9. bigshot
    raising my hand!
  10. Speedskater
    While Total Harmonic Distortion (thd) is an excellent test for design, manufacturing and maintenance, the percentage value does not relate well to being audibly transparent. It's a single dimension test in that 1% 2nd harmonic does not sound at all like 1% 3rd harmonic distortion. How humans react to harmonic distortion is very complicated and not well defined.
    Steve999 likes this.
  11. bigshot
    1% to .5% is attenuation between -40 and -50dB. At the bottom end of that range, it's doubtful you would hear even the most annoying forms of distortion in a normal listening situation.
    Steve999 likes this.
  12. Glmoneydawg
    Thanks...just trying to get a handle on 71db's comment about vinyl being FAR from transparent .
  13. bigshot
    Vinyl has rumble, surface noise and pretty high distortion in the center grooves. Think about the geometry of an LP record... at the outer edge, there is much more groove per revolution than at the center groove. But one revolution is still the same amount of time. This means that the first song on a side has more groove to define it than the last song. If you play an LP, you can hear the surface noise, rumble, and distortion. It isn't transparent.
  14. Glmoneydawg
    Agreed...but unlike digital there is room for improvement and better gear and setup do make real improvements.I still do about 25% of my listening on vinyl and don't think i'm suffering when i switch back and forth.I have great recordings and poor ones on both formats.Far from transparent seems a little harsh as opposed to not transparent.
  15. Glmoneydawg
    If you have rumble,surface noise and distortion at levels that are a problem ...you may find it interesting to listen to a modern(and yes maybe a little pricey)analog setup.....or maybe not:wink:
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