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Are we running short on interesting new CA topics?


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Before I got into Computer Audio, I was into Digital Photography. For several years the pace of new digital camera introductions was like that of Intel chipsets -- if you wanted to keep up you had to upgrade almost yearly and therefore you paid a lot of attention to new camera introductions and the other stuff those new cameras enabled, almost like buying a new Pentium PC every year. But at some point, good was good enough and just as we stopped upgrading our computers annually (at least I did) so did we stop upgrading our latest digital cameras (I stopped at the Canon 1D Mk IV, my sixth Canon upgrade).

 

As the digital camera business matured, sites like DPR (Digital Photography Review) grew exponentially. But as new camera introductions slowed, the number of interesting posts about new technology slowed as well. At first that led to a bunch of arguing and disfunctional posts. But then the subject matter began to change with lots more posts on how to photograph different subjects, how to print, how to optimize Photoshop, where to take photos, etc.

 

I sense we here have wandered a bit into that second phase, where there aren't enough new product introductions to fully absorb our attention, but we haven't yet figured out what else to talk about, so we are bouncing around a bit, getting hostile at times, talking about God, Clinate Change and other volatile but clearly not CA topics; all hopefully on our way to a more sustainable set of topics that will keep us here even after the technology curve flattens.

 

Thoughts/opinions?

 

Topics that would keep you here?

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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I'd add that for myself, digital music reproduction has become so good, so stable and so accessible that there's not much more to want for where the source is concerned.

 

Great speakers, DSP, GUIs and streaming services are what interests me these days.

 

The world needs a revolution in desktop speakers IMO. Nearfield monitors are great for critical monitoring and mastering, but not for entertainment listening sessions.

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I'd add that for myself, digital music reproduction has become so good, so stable and so accessible that there's not much more to want for where the source is concerned.

 

Great speakers, DSP, GUIs and streaming services are what interests me these days.

 

The world needs a revolution in desktop speakers IMO. Nearfield monitors are great for critical monitoring and mastering, but not for entertainment listening sessions.

 

A big +1 to this.

 

I think there is something to the OP's assertions as well. Much more to be gained at this point in how to use the tech we have than worry if there is another .001% improvement left in the machinery. Along with making it all more user friendly and convenient. Sound quality is pretty much a given.

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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Really? Then how come if you go to any high-end audio show there are still so many rooms with terrible sound? :)

Given that this is CA, I suppose Dennis was referring to getting good sound of of a computer into the amp. From there and on to the speakers it certainly gets more tricky.

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Really? Then how come if you go to any high-end audio show there are still so many rooms with terrible sound? :)

 

Speakers and acoustics. 99.5% of what we perceive is right here. And from the admissions of many where it takes extended periods of listening to gauge a system's performance.....we also have a lack of time. But i say get the first two right and the rest, including the source becomes pretty insignificant.

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If you go to a live performance, and listen to a recording of the same, there is still a huge gap in the perceived sound.

 

Starting with JR MC19 doing PCM to DSD conversion a little over a year ago, and now SOTA with the ASDM7 modulator in the beta release of HQ Player 3.6.2 the strides that have been made in SQ take my breath away. What WS 2012 and AO do to HQ Player SQ is just amazing, and this has only been done during the last couple of months

 

This advance in SQ was only possible with player software on computers, and the talented programmers tweaking their algorithms.

 

Now we are seeing low prices on opto-electronics which open up dramatic improvements in SQ on computer sourced audio, and computers are the affordable road to room correction.

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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Really? Then how come if you go to any high-end audio show there are still so many rooms with terrible sound? :)

 

Musicophile and Mayhem13 have already given you the answer. Speakers and room acoustics.

 

That does bring up an interesting issue though. When you go to high end shows and a large proportion of the rooms have terrible sound then just what has the high end industry brought to the table? You can go to mid-fi displays and get sound no worse. Certainly not hard to find terrible sound. If many, many high end exhibitors do exhibit with "terrible sound" then what was the value they have added? In general their products sure don't do it economically.

 

I do understand the difficulties of displaying in rooms you have no choice over, and limited time to set up. Yet I would hope these people are better at it than average. Unless a customer is buying very expensive systems, high end dealers are in much the same situation as at shows. They don't choose the room, and they come in with rather limited time to apply to the customer's system.

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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I sense we here have wandered a bit into that second phase, where there aren't enough new product introductions to fully absorb our attention, but we haven't yet figured out what else to talk about, so we are bouncing around a bit, getting hostile at times, talking about God, Clinate Change and other volatile but clearly not CA topics; all hopefully on our way to a more sustainable set of topics that will keep us here even after the technology curve flattens.

 

If we are 'running short on interesting new topics' that are relevant, and I tend to agree that we are judging from the repetitive acrimonious debates on the same old subjects, perhaps it's a not so subtle hint that people should be spending more time away from the forum doing what, IMO, it exists for in the first place, i.e. enjoying the music. :)

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

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Before I got into Computer Audio, I was into Digital Photography. For several years the pace of new digital camera introductions was like that of Intel chipsets -- if you wanted to keep up you had to upgrade almost yearly and therefore you paid a lot of attention to new camera introductions and the other stuff those new cameras enabled, almost like buying a new Pentium PC every year. But at some point, good was good enough and just as we stopped upgrading our computers annually (at least I did) so did we stop upgrading our latest digital cameras (I stopped at the Canon 1D Mk IV, my sixth Canon upgrade).

 

As the digital camera business matured, sites like DPR (Digital Photography Review) grew exponentially. But as new camera introductions slowed, the number of interesting posts about new technology slowed as well. At first that led to a bunch of arguing and disfunctional posts. But then the subject matter began to change with lots more posts on how to photograph different subjects, how to print, how to optimize Photoshop, where to take photos, etc.

 

I sense we here have wandered a bit into that second phase, where there aren't enough new product introductions to fully absorb our attention, but we haven't yet figured out what else to talk about, so we are bouncing around a bit, getting hostile at times, talking about God, Clinate Change and other volatile but clearly not CA topics; all hopefully on our way to a more sustainable set of topics that will keep us here even after the technology curve flattens.

 

Thoughts/opinions?

 

Topics that would keep you here?

 

You could have read my mind. I have been thinking along exactly the same lines lately.

The blush on the rose has worn off so to speak. Now we can get back to music, speakers, amps, etc. Only thing is, that's already covered excellently on other "audiophile" sites.

 

I know from my own experience that as the computer end of this has matured and we are closer and closer to getting the most out of the formats that are available my interest has definately waned. I am no longer absorbed with what the latest software for music playback is or what drivers a certain dac may need for different platforms and finding most of my time more focused on amps, speakers, turntables, etc.

 

I guess the thing that I would be waiting for with the most interest is when someone comes up with a simple ripping option for SACDS and multi channel SACDs.

David

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Much more to be gained at this point in how to use the tech we have than worry if there is another .001% improvement left in the machinery. Along with making it all more user friendly and convenient. Sound quality is pretty much a given.

 

You big troll... ?

 

As much as I continue to chase that elusive .001%, I must admit that we still have a long way to go before software delivers a) the best in audio quality but with a bit less expertise required to fine tune it than today's HQPlayer, b) combining the quality of a Tidal (or better) with the ease of use and scale of library of a Pandora or Spotify, and c) making it all fully controllable to a couch potato; but the individual pieces seem to be getting pretty close. Are we CA'ers just too small a market audience to justify the expense of giving us all of that?

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Starting with JR MC19 doing PCM to DSD conversion a little over a year ago, and now SOTA with the ASDM7 modulator in the beta release of HQ Player 3.6.2 the strides that have been made in SQ take my breath away. What WS 2012 and AO do to HQ Player SQ is just amazing, and this has only been done during the last couple of months

 

This advance in SQ was only possible with player software on computers, and the talented programmers tweaking their algorithms.

 

Now we are seeing low prices on opto-electronics which open up dramatic improvements in SQ on computer sourced audio, and computers are the affordable road to room correction.

 

I certainly don't want to dismiss in any way the huge strides we have made in a short time. I was, I guess, questioning whether that progress has slowed a bit as we approach that last percentage point or two.

 

I think you are also right to suggest that the advances we have made so far in software are opening the door to electronics advances that can now enable further software accomplishments and processing speeds probably do open the door to ever more accurate room tuning software that is otherwise less destructive to the input signal.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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If we are 'running short on interesting new topics' that are relevant, and I tend to agree that we are judging from the repetitive acrimonious debates on the same old subjects, perhaps it's a not so subtle hint that people should be spending more time away from the forum doing what, IMO, it exists for in the first place, i.e. enjoying the music. :)

 

Allan: As much as I do think we could all benefit from slowing down a bit to "smell the roses" or, in our case, "listen to the music,"I have found, that in general a pleasure shared is greater than a pleasure that cannot be shared. So I enjoy the community of folks that makes up this site and the opportunity we have to share our individual pleasures with others by telling about them here. Without the hints and suggestions that others here have made, my listening pleasure would still be back in the 1990's...

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Really? Then how come if you go to any high-end audio show there are still so many rooms with terrible sound? :)

 

Musicophile and Mayhem13 have already given you the answer. Speakers and room acoustics.

 

That does bring up an interesting issue though. When you go to high end shows and a large proportion of the rooms have terrible sound then just what has the high end industry brought to the table? You can go to mid-fi displays and get sound no worse. Certainly not hard to find terrible sound. If many, many high end exhibitors do exhibit with "terrible sound" then what was the value they have added? In general their products sure don't do it economically.

 

I do understand the difficulties of displaying in rooms you have no choice over, and limited time to set up. Yet I would hope these people are better at it than average. Unless a customer is buying very expensive systems, high end dealers are in much the same situation as at shows. They don't choose the room, and they come in with rather limited time to apply to the customer's system.

 

Well I guess this is consistent with my experience with hifi dealers over the last 10 to 12 years. Over the course of my pursuit for "higher end" 2 channel/stereo sound since really becoming interested in it, not one person has asked me about the room those components are going into.

 

It is also obvious from conversations I have started with the majority of these same dealers that their main revenue stream is the home theatre market and without it, they would be out of business.

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Before I got into Computer Audio, I was into Digital Photography. For several years the pace of new digital camera introductions was like that of Intel chipsets -- if you wanted to keep up you had to upgrade almost yearly and therefore you paid a lot of attention to new camera introductions and the other stuff those new cameras enabled, almost like buying a new Pentium PC every year. But at some point, good was good enough and...
1 Yes and no. 2 The capacity for human thought and imagination is infinite. That being said, many of these sites become somewhat derivative with the progression of experienced and newfound members - the latter who will, obviously, ask questions that have been adressed many times before. 3 The answer and the solution is simply this - those with some experience need to realize and recognize that the former will occur on a regular basis. Yes, it can be frustrating.4 "Hey, does anyone know how to copy a CD?"5 "How can I play music from a computer?"6 "Can I use my Mac Mini to convince the aliens that they shouldn't try to conquer Earth?"7 I think that some of our contributors have decided that the music and the audiophile aspect of their lives is less important than their social commentary. And there's nothing wrong with that. But. 8 Have a look at many of the recent posts and new topics and ask yourself a simple question. Why was this post even made? Is it because people have something to contribute, or is there an agenda beyond being exactly that? Maybe there's a lot of fragile and needy people out there, and far more than we ever realized. And if that's the case, then fine - there's nothing wrong with that. But. 9 Then we need to make a distinction between the audiophiles who have a genuine interest in discussing furthering the art of digital music reproduction and others who have a seperate agenda.10 Edit. It's not that I don't understand sentence or paragraph structure. This web page does not recognize carriage returns from an iPad. I give up.
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It is also obvious from conversations I have started with the majority of these same dealers that their main revenue stream is the home theatre market and without it, they would be out of business.

 

Interestingly, when designing, installing and tuning a home theater there are many tools and components that not only take the room into consideration but can "tune" both the room and the system for high performance. The difference is that the large majority of home owners looking for a true home theater experience are willing to let the dealer steer them into what the dealer thinks is optimum for their room and they then trust that the dealer will then install and program the system to perform at a high level.

 

Whereas the audiophile already knows going in what they think is optimum not only for their system but for their particular room and are really not using the dealer as a source of expertise. They are usually looking for one component at a time and of course want to take home a few of said components to see if they "work" in "their system" which combined with their room can be a total crapshoot and frequently turns into the customer wanting to try other solutions which the dealer does not carry.

 

Take a good look at those two different scenarios from a number of different angles.

Then try to understand why a dealer would want to install home theaters as opposed to selling individual hifi components. It's not simply a profit angle its a control angle that is the most appealing. Control of room, control of type of components, ability to tune system through software, active bass almost always present for better room integration and (usually) a customer that not only trusts their expertise and suggestions but is usually delighted with results.

David

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Music is always of interest to me.

 

Me too.

 

Really? Then how come if you go to any high-end audio show there are still so many rooms with terrible sound? :)

 

Could it be software? Last time I went to CES and T.H.E. Show I took one of my favorite Telarc SACDs. I discovered that most of the rooms with poor sound were playing CDs or redbook files. Once I talked them into either putting in my SACD, or if they didn’t have a SACD player, a high resolution music file or LP, the sound improved. I only found one or two rooms which poor sound once good software was played.

 

If you go to a live performance, and listen to a recording of the same, there is still a huge gap in the perceived sound.

 

I agree, however I feel we are very close with the best recordings which use mostly a minimalist hands-off approach. If we could only get the major labels to end the loudness war and to adopt the recording techniques of the best audiophile labels such as Reference Recordings, Soundkeeper Recordings, Opus 3, Telarc, AudioQuest and DMP just to name a few. Also promote artists who are talented enough not to need heavy handed editing and singers who don’t need auto-tune.

 

Now we are seeing low prices on opto-electronics which open up dramatic improvements in SQ on computer sourced audio, and computers are the affordable road to room correction.

 

I agree. Mid-fi and even lower cost equipment is getting very good. I also agree the sound of the listening room is of prime importance. However as I stated above the biggest problem is with the heavy-handed recording techniques used by the major labels.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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Yes.

 

which is fine with me.

 

i hate always thinking about gear and definitely hate thinking about software and computers. Honestly I've developed a pretty cynical view of computer audio. But it's nice to have one's system 'settled'. honestly I only check in to see if audirvana has come out with an iPad app.

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