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Lies about vinyl vs digital

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5 hours ago, fas42 said:

first of all, stop cycling through gear - stabilise on a certain combo

I would add that highly flavoured Chinese tube gear is hardly the way to extract information from a source (any source):

6 hours ago, GUTB said:

Space-Tech Lab DSD512

 


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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3 hours ago, lucretius said:

 

Since dynamics is a measurable thing, I have no idea what "subjectively strong dynamics" are.  Do you have an example of the distortion issue?

 

Some types of distortion can "enhance" the sound by increasing the sense of "perceived dynamism", "livelyness", "3D-ness", "spaciousness", "airyness", "warmth", "increased detail", etc.

But they always come with their naggy little side-effects and whether the listener is sensitive to those side-effects is another matter. It depends on the music one listens to, our taste in presentation, our sonic culture, our expectations...

This is what I believe explains why some people perceive the sound of accurate or higher-fidelity systems as "flat", "lifeless", "boring", "bland", etc.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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29 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

So you're saying they should ignore what they are hearing and just pay attention to how the format measures...

 

That's the problem with subjective listening; it is too often taste-driven.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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4 hours ago, kumakuma said:

 

So you're saying they should ignore what they are hearing and just pay attention to how the format measures...

 

Sounds like you've just crossed the aisle to sit with the opposition.

 I am not saying that at all. I said well implemented Digital


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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Actually I'm totally agnostic about digital vs analog, and if I could I would prefer to be able to eliminate my turntable system which is very fiddly -- since it's an open arm pod configuration if it moves even slightly it's now out of alignment and I have to bust out the $500 high accuracy SMARTractor and go through re-alignment. Of course one must go through a two-pass cleaning processes the records using ultra pure water and enzyme solutions, static brush at a minimum if I don't wash the record. Very gently clean the $4k cartridge needle tip. I'd rather just sell it off and be happy with digital...IF the quality was up to par.

 

So my current inventory of DACs: the tube DAC (Space-Tech Labs DSD512), Mytek Liberty + linear PSU, Holo Cyan DSD. Not counting my little dongles and el-cheapo Chinese Sabre job which is happy in my TV setup. The Cyan is a DSD ladder DAC; it can take PCM but it goes through a DSD conversion process. The Liberty is a 9018KM-based DAC so it takes both PCM and DSD without conversion, but it's the older Sabre.

 

Are these DACs just not good enough? Setting aside the tube DAC which even though is equipped with a choke isn't going to compete with a solid-state DAC in terms of noise, but what else do I need to look at? Power supplies? Clocks?

 

I'll also mention that the DAC as well as the pre is plugged into a Chinese 500W balanced transformer, and my listening room has only sound equipment plugged into its circuit...I do have a LED lamp which I turn on at night but I hope between the isolation transformer and the amp's power filtering accessories (LessLoss noise filtering cable + in-line filter) this is taken care of. Mechanical isolation capabilities are butcher blocks, brass carpet spikes and some rollerblocks (currently under my PC speakers) and some of those Mapleshade cork and rubber footers. Right now my DAC is just sitting on a butcher block without any footer floating ontop of my carpet.

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14 hours ago, semente said:

 

Some types of distortion can "enhance" the sound by increasing the sense of "perceived dynamism", "livelyness", "3D-ness", "spaciousness", "airyness", "warmth", "increased detail", etc.

 

I find that it works in the other direction - the lower the 'true' distortion, the more what I called subjective dynamics increases, and all those adjectives you mention come to the fore. Part of this is because you have no trouble increasing the volume, and this automatically increases the oomph of the presentation ... a good session with the audio friend down the road works like this; we just put on recording after recording, and each one delivers an immersive experience - no need to fiddle. A not so good session means that we go around and around, trying to work out "what went wrong" ,,, a recording was tried which just jarred; some distortion aspect in the playback was strongly triggered by the characteristics of the recording - so time to put on the Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, instead ... 😉.

 

Quote

 

But they always come with their naggy little side-effects and whether the listener is sensitive to those side-effects is another matter. It depends on the music one listens to, our taste in presentation, our sonic culture, our expectations...

This is what I believe explains why some people perceive the sound of accurate or higher-fidelity systems as "flat", "lifeless", "boring", "bland", etc.

 

 

I disagree. If one has truly improved subjective dynamics then it just means that one's expectations have been raised - you're now much closer to realising hearing only the recording, and not aspects of the playback chain; so every remaining shortfall is much more obvious. Like getting into a really quiet car ... a slight squeaking of plastic somewhere is "clear as a bell"; something which would be lost in a generally more noisy vehicle.

 

Truly accurate systems are never "flat", "lifeless", "boring", "bland", etc.- the latter are all forms of distortion, which can be eliminated if one goes to the effort ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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5 hours ago, John Dyson said:

The problem with a vinyl/digital comparison is that it is seldom done fairly.   The digital version is usually handicapped with bad mastering.   I am currently working on resolving the problem with digital mastering.  Sometimes, the damage can be undone, that is, until the worst of the loudness wars started (material mastered/created before about 1993/1994 is fairly safe.)  There is still good material, without loudness wars damage being created today, but it is definitely hit or miss.

 

Geesh, I have heard vinyl with feral-DolbyA mismastering also, but it seems to happen a lot less often.

 

John

 

 

This is where John is wrong. The mastering may cause problems in the playback chain to be exaggerated,in the listening - the best solution is to improve the integrity of the playback so that it can 'handle' a 'rough' recording - if you have a car which makes your life a misery every time you go over a bumpy road, do you demand that the world fixes, fills every pothole in every road you're likely to go over - or, replace your vehicle with one that has a better engineered suspension ... 😉 ?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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25 minutes ago, GUTB said:

Actually I'm totally agnostic about digital vs analog, and if I could I would prefer to be able to eliminate my turntable system which is very fiddly -- since it's an open arm pod configuration if it moves even slightly it's now out of alignment and I have to bust out the $500 high accuracy SMARTractor and go through re-alignment. Of course one must go through a two-pass cleaning processes the records using ultra pure water and enzyme solutions, static brush at a minimum if I don't wash the record. Very gently clean the $4k cartridge needle tip. I'd rather just sell it off and be happy with digital...IF the quality was up to par.

 

So my current inventory of DACs: the tube DAC (Space-Tech Labs DSD512), Mytek Liberty + linear PSU, Holo Cyan DSD. Not counting my little dongles and el-cheapo Chinese Sabre job which is happy in my TV setup. The Cyan is a DSD ladder DAC; it can take PCM but it goes through a DSD conversion process. The Liberty is a 9018KM-based DAC so it takes both PCM and DSD without conversion, but it's the older Sabre.

 

Are these DACs just not good enough? Setting aside the tube DAC which even though is equipped with a choke isn't going to compete with a solid-state DAC in terms of noise, but what else do I need to look at? Power supplies? Clocks?

 

I'll also mention that the DAC as well as the pre is plugged into a Chinese 500W balanced transformer, and my listening room has only sound equipment plugged into its circuit...I do have a LED lamp which I turn on at night but I hope between the isolation transformer and the amp's power filtering accessories (LessLoss noise filtering cable + in-line filter) this is taken care of. Mechanical isolation capabilities are butcher blocks, brass carpet spikes and some rollerblocks (currently under my PC speakers) and some of those Mapleshade cork and rubber footers. Right now my DAC is just sitting on a butcher block without any footer floating ontop of my carpet.

 

The very first thing to do is a blind test where you know the digital source material is properly mastered.  You may still hear snap/crackle/pop and be able to distinguish the samples, but try to listen thru that for which one you like.

 

You might next add some analog rumble and freq. response bumps to your digital system.

 

3rd - just use a good tube pre-amp to the digital system and see how you like it (I use an Audio Research LS-25 Mk II as a similar 'euphonicizer').

 

Last, (and last b/c you can layout $20k to do this) you might explore the spendy end of DACs, e.g. Lampizator, spendy Chords, etc. - maybe make friends with peter and see if he'll loan you one of his designs.

 

 

 

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Just to quote a couple more impressions of what "digital done right" sounds like, from a Google translation from Spanish,

 

Quote

When a DAC makes you forget that you are listening to a digital source, it means that part of its conception is a resounding success. This can be achieved by various channels, but the naturalness and absence of roughness is key to achieve it. Other high-end models, read the R2D-based TotalDac, translate it through an airy sound, while this WDAC3 does it with an outstanding tonal balance, and a dense and more frontal sound, with a scene that puts us more into the concert , instead of showing us a big box.

 

Quote

 

The ease to focus instruments in space, and the ability to represent the height in a recording, are two of the aspects that most engage in this DAC, dense sound that does not go unnoticed.

 

The articulation of the treble is excellent, and there is no apparent intentional roll-off, since the Waversa sound processor is responsible for removing the jitter and associated roughness that may appear when treating a digital signal, leaving a greater margin of extension without having to resort to a planned fall to keep this area under control. Let's say that it is a purer and clearer treble, that it shows that it is already treated from the beginning, and that we are not missing absolutely anything along the way.

 

 

Yes ... note the repetition of the word "dense" - the sound is extremely 'full', but never 'jars' ...this is the sound of the recording, minus artifacts of the playback chain.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

I find that it works in the other direction - the lower the 'true' distortion, the more what I called subjective dynamics increases, and all those adjectives you mention come to the fore. Part of this is because you have no trouble increasing the volume, and this automatically increases the oomph of the presentation

 

I also think that the sound becomes looser and progressively less constrained as distortion decreases. On the other hand, distortion makes the music subjectively louder; think brickwall limiting and loudness war.

If you tone-down the mid-bass the music sounds subjectively faster and the bass tighter.

And so on...


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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43 minutes ago, fas42 said:

I disagree. If one has truly improved subjective dynamics then it just means that one's expectations have been raised - you're now much closer to realising hearing only the recording, and not aspects of the playback chain; so every remaining shortfall is much more obvious. Like getting into a really quiet car ... a slight squeaking of plastic somewhere is "clear as a bell"; something which would be lost in a generally more noisy vehicle.

 

Truly accurate systems are never "flat", "lifeless", "boring", "bland", etc.- the latter are all forms of distortion, which can be eliminated if one goes to the effort ...

 

You are missing my point which is that some people actually like the sound of recorded music to sound like it's coming off a system, hence the reference to "the music one listens to, our taste in presentation, our sonic culture, our expectations"

 

A Pizza Hut pizza doesn't taste like real Italian pizza, yet some people prefer a Pizza Hut pizza.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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21 minutes ago, semente said:

 

You are missing my point which is that some people actually like the sound of recorded music to sound like it's coming off a system, hence the reference to "the music one listens to, our taste in presentation, our sonic culture, our expectations"

 

A Pizza Hut pizza doesn't taste like real Italian pizza, yet some people prefer a Pizza Hut pizza.

 

If that was the point you were making, then, yes, I fully agree ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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13 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 Frank

 Like it or not ,  GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT

 Your brain shouldn't need to try and filter out all this extraneous crap to make something sound acceptable !

 

You keep missing that the brain does the filtering automatically, without any conscious effort; and it doesn't tire one - if the SQ of the playback chain is good enough. I've been aware of how this process operates for decades now, and exploring how far one can push it ...

 

This is why I have zero tolerance for ambitious, "high end" rigs that badly damage the sound - they are, QUALITY IN, CONTAMINATED OUT ... if the tainting is audibly obvious, then they're dead in the water, as far as I'm concerned.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, GUTB said:

Actually I'm totally agnostic about digital vs analog, and if I could I would prefer to be able to eliminate my turntable system which is very fiddly -- since it's an open arm pod configuration if it moves even slightly it's now out of alignment and I have to bust out the $500 high accuracy SMARTractor and go through re-alignment. Of course one must go through a two-pass cleaning processes the records using ultra pure water and enzyme solutions, static brush at a minimum if I don't wash the record. Very gently clean the $4k cartridge needle tip. I'd rather just sell it off and be happy with digital...IF the quality was up to par.

 

So my current inventory of DACs: the tube DAC (Space-Tech Labs DSD512), Mytek Liberty + linear PSU, Holo Cyan DSD. Not counting my little dongles and el-cheapo Chinese Sabre job which is happy in my TV setup. The Cyan is a DSD ladder DAC; it can take PCM but it goes through a DSD conversion process. The Liberty is a 9018KM-based DAC so it takes both PCM and DSD without conversion, but it's the older Sabre.

 

Are these DACs just not good enough? Setting aside the tube DAC which even though is equipped with a choke isn't going to compete with a solid-state DAC in terms of noise, but what else do I need to look at? Power supplies? Clocks?

 

I'll also mention that the DAC as well as the pre is plugged into a Chinese 500W balanced transformer, and my listening room has only sound equipment plugged into its circuit...I do have a LED lamp which I turn on at night but I hope between the isolation transformer and the amp's power filtering accessories (LessLoss noise filtering cable + in-line filter) this is taken care of. Mechanical isolation capabilities are butcher blocks, brass carpet spikes and some rollerblocks (currently under my PC speakers) and some of those Mapleshade cork and rubber footers. Right now my DAC is just sitting on a butcher block without any footer floating ontop of my carpet.

Luckily there are still some smart people (not flat-earther bits is bits fools) trying to fix digital:

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/79452-building-ultimate-nos-dac-using-tda1541a-744.html#post6031506

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