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If you could go back in time..............????


esldude

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If you could go back in time to just one event in audiophile history to alter the trajectory of high end audio what would it be?

 

When would it be, and what would it accomplish?

 

Everyone's opinion, conjecture and imagination is welcome. Let your scenarioes run wild.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Skip over the USB path for audio so that we could have saved ourselves much frustration, time and money.

 

Man don't leave us hanging. What would you do instead? WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, what?

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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June 2002.

 

When Steve Jobs walked in to Warner to aquire distribution through iTunes, it should have been a final call to arms. P2P, MP3 and the CD-rom had already CLEARLY demonstrated the vulnerability of the music industry to a digital world. At this time, SACD was already in place with a format not vulnerable to piracy. Instead of distributing through iTunes, the record industry should have looked towards SACD as a primary format and abandoned the CD.

 

Instead of licking their wounds, they should have put on a bullet proof vest. The digital era had begun with the biggest bang in human history. There was absolutely NO way to control or police music content once it was introduced as a compressible, shareable file. A proprietary format was the ONLY answer at that time and should have been adopted. The 'problem' was the lack of solidarity amongst the labels who were too interested in plugging up leaks when the answer was a better pail. Sure, there would have been some temporary push back from the consumer markets short term, but clearly a propriety format was the only viable defense at this time. The U.S. economy was booming in 2002 and consumers had the disposable income and were purchasing consumer electronics like no other time in economic history and would have adopted the SACD IF the CD went through a structured obsolescence, giving the record industry needed time to develop their own virtual digital distribution that supported the needs of the industry and the artists. Instead, the sold the souls of their artists through .99 cent peep shows through iTunes.

 

Too bad the artists mistook the label execs velvet pimp hats for crowns of gold. Instead of dragging hackers and file sharers into court and paying billions to lawyers, they could have paid millions to development geeks who knew how to navigate the digital world. In this lies the pure success and the utter beauty of Apple. Steve jobs and his minions of brilliant young minds instead took the rotting core of the record industry, repackaged it and sold it back to greed mongering label executives as......a shiny, new...well...'apple' of course. Genius!!!!! Sleeping beauty with an alternate ending written and produced by Steve Jobs.

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the record industry should have looked towards SACD as a primary format and abandoned the CD.

[...]

There was absolutely NO way to control or police music content once it was introduced as a compressible, shareable file. A proprietary format was the ONLY answer at that time and should have been adopted. The 'problem' was the lack of solidarity amongst the labels who were too interested in plugging up leaks when the answer was a better pail.

Wouldn't have made a difference.

All it would have meant is that the SACD format would have been cracked sooner.

And until then, people would just have recorded the line-out from an SACD player and compressed it.

 

The industry still seems pretty clueless.

You have artists and engineers complaining about the low fidelity ways that people are now listening to their music - via streaming services or youtube - and then the sites which actually try to sell high quality downloads are mostly charging ridiculous prices for them; 2-3x that of a CD, when no-one is even buying CDs anymore.

They should be pushing for lower priced downloads, and there should be one price for the album regardless of the quality you choose to download.

 

In a way, it seems like the problem is going to solve itself as streaming sites become higher quality, though I'm still not sure how that is sustainable. It seems that the labels might be fine, but most Artists aren't getting paid enough to make a living off streaming.

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Wouldn't have made a difference.

All it would have meant is that the SACD format would have been cracked sooner.

And until then, people would just have recorded the line-out from an SACD player and compressed it.

 

The industry still seems pretty clueless.

You have artists and engineers complaining about the low fidelity ways that people are now listening to their music - via streaming services or youtube - and then the sites which actually try to sell high quality downloads are mostly charging ridiculous prices for them; 2-3x that of a CD, when no-one is even buying CDs anymore.

They should be pushing for lower priced downloads, and there should be one price for the album regardless of the quality you choose to download.

 

In a way, it seems like the problem is going to solve itself as streaming sites become higher quality, though I'm still not sure how that is sustainable. It seems that the labels might be fine, but most Artists aren't getting paid enough to make a living off streaming.

 

Yes,........but that would have taken quite a while and like the DVD markets better encryption, sustainable for quite a few years. HDMI was already in place and players could have only HDMI out. The video industry had a solution already in place. As i mentioned, this time would have given the record companies time to establish their own digital distribution network instead the hack job by iTunes and others.

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If it were possible to act as the midwife at the birth of the CD I would have pushed for the redbook standard to be 24/96 instead of 16/44.1. A whole generation of listeners then would have been exposed to hi res as a routine and the debate today would be all about digital vs. vinyl, disc vs. download and which was the preferred remaster. A huge spotlight would be thrown on 24/96 music files given that a much larger segment of the population could be involved in scrutinizing the music and getting the word out whenever recordings were up sampled from lower resolution versions. Napster and iTunes would have never happened as the file sizes would have too large for the individual users' hard drives that existed back then and, even if one down sampled to mp3, anyone with a pair of ears would not be interested in hearing their music so severely dumbed down from the 24/96 standard. Lastly, hi res as standard res would support a boom in production and sales of better home and portable systems, also giving the then still existing brick and mortar stores a reason to stay in business.

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This is a rather interesting but complex question.

 

I think what was significant was the conjunction of

- high storage costs

- high bandwidth costs

- lossy, 'perceptual' compression by Fraunhofer with various bit-rates

- Apple's iTunes store and the iPod

 

That's because at that time, the only way you could get mobility or streaming, and for some people the 'convenience' of downloads (with the unfortunate illegal downloads as well) was to have the files compressed and then put on the iPod (or the other pod clones) or streamed as music or through a video like on Youtube.

 

Because of this we have had a prevalence of lossy compressed music until a small faction woke up and realised how much we were losing about the music this way. In reality, some people never did like the compressed music SQ.

 

Because this was a conjunction of several things, I am not sure how to reply with a simple answer about a single event.

 

Perhaps that if we really had to narrow it down to a single event, it would be that Apple allowed lossless or uncompressed downloads as an option for audiophiles and that coincidentally Apple made iTunes a real audiophile player (as well as not building in some constraints within Mac OS X which have so far crippled native DSD support and made ASIO a rare thing on Mac).

 

See what I mean?

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

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If it were possible to act as the midwife at the birth of the CD I would have pushed for the redbook standard to be 24/96 instead of 16/44.1. A whole generation of listeners then would have been exposed to hi res as a routine and the debate today would be all about digital vs. vinyl, disc vs. download and which was the preferred remaster.

 

I like that in principle, but I think making discs with DSD 2x straight away would have been a great thing for audio.

 

Twice the rate of SACDs and if possible, without DRM and easily rippable (not sure this is even a word :P ) onto HDDs.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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It's more what would I do for all audio not just the High End.

 

Would not have introduced CDs. Would have waited until digital was a bit more mature and then possibly started with SACDS so that they were the standard to start with.

 

I've heard rumor that, if Sony/Phillips would have waited another year to release CD technology, it would/could have been 24/88.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I've heard rumor that, if Sony/Phillips would have waited another year to release CD technology, it would/could have been 24/88.

 

Everything in digital/internet happened just waaaay to fast, not unlike the industrial revolution. Again, we ignored history and went with balls to the wall progress. The US is STILL paying the environmental price of the industrial revolution and China and South America's environment is being ravaged and contaminated at an alarming rate. Cyber terrorism is a very REAL problem with implications just emerging. Tech advances require a higher level of responsibility than most realize.

 

....and i agree the large file size and cost of storage is partly responsible for the limitations of video piracy.

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I like that in principle, but I think making discs with DSD 2x straight away would have been a great thing for audio.

 

Twice the rate of SACDs and if possible, without DRM and easily rippable (not sure this is even a word :P ) onto HDDs.

 

Consumers and audiophiles alike didn't buy the advantage of SACD?....now you want to give them double file size?....Really? Not a student of history huh?

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You could have asked for 24/384 pcm or quad rate DSD if you wanted to but

1)DSD is, however good it may sound, not enamored by everyone, and

2)most on this forum would probably agree that 24/96 is the sweet spot for hi res purchasing

 

Why should I care about everyone's preference when the labels themselves chose DSD128 to archive their master tapes?

 

I wonder why you think most of us here agree '24/96 is the sweet spot for hi res'? A poll, perhaps?

 

And even then, so what? Most people are on the wrong side of the Bell curve. Doesn't make them better at knowing what's good.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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Why should I care about everyone's preference when the labels themselves chose DSD128 to archive their master tapes?

 

Which labels, other than Blue Coast and such, are archiving in DSD of *any* resolution?

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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Which labels, other than Blue Coast and such, are archiving in DSD of *any* resolution?

 

I'm am talking of Sony here, together with Philips.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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+1

 

Also, when recordings become available at HDTracks or Acoustic Sounds the discussion at CA usually touches on 24/96 as the resolution that people tend to spend their money on. Yes, it would be great if it were all 24/192 and DSD128 but we're talking hypotheticals here, as in what you might have done if you could turn back the clock and be in on a pivotal decision. The much respected Phasure NOS1a and Berkeley Reference DACs don't even stick their toes in the waters of DSD so DSD128 would be irrelevant to those DACs and their owners. I own the NOS1a and the Auralic Vega so I don't have a dog in the PCM vs DSD debate.

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Why should I care about everyone's preference when the labels themselves chose DSD128 to archive their master tapes?

 

I wonder why you think most of us here agree '24/96 is the sweet spot for hi res'? A poll, perhaps?

 

And even then, so what? Most people are on the wrong side of the Bell curve. Doesn't make them better at knowing what's good.

 

I think we will get the perfect SQ the day that 20 TB hard drive will store only one album:)

 


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If you could go back in time to just one event in audiophile history to alter the trajectory of high end audio what would it be?

 

When would it be, and what would it accomplish?

 

Everyone's opinion, conjecture and imagination is welcome. Let your scenarioes run wild.

 

John Lennon meets and falls in love with Patti Smith instead of Yoko Ono. The Beatles become the first punk band and stay together. The Ramones have to play "gig" rock to be different.

 

This sets a series of changes in the universe disrupting the natural order of things as we know it. The main impact to the audiophile world (aside from the remastered collection of The Ramones coming with a 24 bit USB stick and countless bootlegs of their endless songs) is a major shift in the space/time continuum causing Steve Jobs to actually be able to program and he understands why MP3 is inherent wrong (because he can actually do math and perhaps even has a heart that cares) and adopts a dual format for his players (24 bit and DSD) while claiming MP3 to be a bag of hurt.

 

I'm not saying EVERYTHING is Yoko's fault...some of it rests with Steve.

Positive emotions enhance our musical experiences.

 

Synology DS213+ NAS -> Auralic Vega w/Linear Power Supply -> Auralic Vega DAC (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> XLR -> Auralic Taurus Pre -> XLR -> Pass Labs XA-30.5 power amplifier (on 4" maple and 4 Stillpoints) -> Hawthorne Audio Reference K2 Speakers in MTM configuration (Symposium Jr HD rollerball isolation) and Hawthorne Audio Bass Augmentation Baffles (Symposium Jr rollerball isolation) -> Bi-amped w/ two Rythmic OB plate amps) -> Extensive Room Treatments (x2 SRL Acoustics Prime 37 diffusion plus key absorption and extensive bass trapping) and Pi Audio Uberbuss' for the front end and amplification

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Man don't leave us hanging. What would you do instead? WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, what?

 

 

I would have stuck with FireWire. I have several 24/96 ADCs for recording that used Firewire to record/playback via a Mac laptop and always had good luck with it. Much better than USB.

George

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If you could go back in time to just one event in audiophile history to alter the trajectory of high end audio what would it be?

 

When would it be, and what would it accomplish?

 

Everyone's opinion, conjecture and imagination is welcome. Let your scenarioes run wild.

 

 

 

Around 2000. Sony would have introduced SACD as a hybrid technology from the get-go. All discs would have been two-layer; both SACD and Red Book and they would have priced them and licensed the technology the same as regular CDs. That way, the average Joe wouldn't have known the difference, there would still only be one format, but those with SACD players would hear the discs in DSD and the rest would hear them normally. It would be the standard now.

George

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I'm not saying EVERYTHING is Yoko's fault...some of it rests with Steve.

 

The Beatles did eventually release their catalog on iTunes. I remember walking into an Apple store and commenting that it must be great to be hearing all these great Beatles songs at work. The clerk replied that it actually wasn't as the management had chosen to play the same very limited handful of songs in rotation.

 

Anyway, Allen Klein(The Rolling Stones and others), Alan Douglas(Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin and others), Matthew Katz(Moby Grape, It's A Beautiful Day), Dr. Eugene Landy(Brian Wilson), Billy Joel's former brother in-law(Billy Joel), Janie Hendrix(Jim Hendrix) , Phil Spector(Let It Be with clothes on) and countless others thank you for letting them off the hook.

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