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Fas42’s Stereo ‘Magic’


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As in the trivial example above, it's easy to point to ambitious systems sounding pretty poor in a YouTube video - it's not the methodology or quality of the recording; its easy to hunt through the large number of videos on that very channel, which all use the same equipment, and way of recording, over a long time frame - and find rigs which sound pretty good, and others which are downright awful ... the setup of doing the videos is essentially the same throughout; it's a "level playing field". And don't give me the, "But it sounds different if you are actually there!" ... that's just Get Out Of Jail Free crap ... 😝.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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The Buddy Guy track, in the above, should sound like this,

 

 

Note how badly all the intensity of the music making is sucked out of what you hear, in the recording of the above playback - this is such a common fault, which many audiophiles seem to be oblivious of ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Since the discussion had veered in a OT direction, I'll respond to this,

 

here.

 

Inaccuracy is just another way of stating that the playback is distorting - doesn't have to be classic THD, IMD stuff; anything that the replay is doing which is audibly different from what an 'ideal' setup would present is a distortion - if one wants to use another term, to separate out different 'styles' of distortion, feel free to do so.

 

Three very different ambitious rigs are placed in identical places, in identical rooms; most people would happily consider that they would sound very different. But at least two of them are distorting, if not all three - how could it not be otherwise?

 

So, systems distort; are inaccurate - what one doesn't want is an accompanying "nagging sense of wrongness" - this is moving towards a "well, why am I doing this, then?!" zone. One solution, which I happen to follow, is to locate the causes of audible anomalies - and resolve them. This is highly effective, IME.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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From the Believe High Fidelity YT channel, with the same setup that did the pipe organ bit, in the "Gaming" thread,

 

 

This is a good example of how, in the first instance, a rig has to be able to do the dynamics of the recording, before anything else - otherwise, what you hear is always compromised ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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The current back and forth on the threads really does point out that people who refuse to understand that seemingly trivial things that are done to optimise a setup are critical, really need to experience this for themselves - on a rig that is precariously balanced between OK, and special, statuses. I was so fortunate, in hindsight, to have had this happen for me, all those decades ago ... even though it drove me crazy at the time 🤪 - the frustration of not being to get answers, to get it under control, ended up wearing me out ... I just gave up on taking audio seriously for over a decade - and the equipment just served as a background music system. I couldn't afford to try and make it better - because the cycle of frustration would just start up again ... 🤕

 

Current gear, if chosen well, is so much better - in the raw state, say those Edifiers, key areas are already done well enough so that even when not running at a peak level the SQ is perfectly acceptable ... every now and again people should just directly compare a rig that comes straight from the 80's, 90's, to a new one of these days; to see how far things have progressed ... we are still not at the point of a plug 'n' play setup being able to do "magic sound"; but we are so much closer to that goal ... 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Just to point out, yet again, that I don't believe in the approach of the player mentioned in 

 

The trouble with this approach is that it doesn't deal with the, to me, much deeper problem of the DAC onwards area being sensitive to variations in the environment; while the latter has this weakness then any change anywhere, for whatever reason, will impact the SQ - an obvious example is that the software runs on Windows; the latter is updated, and now all the previous work is for nought - because what was being addressed is no longer relevant, and a new set of issues emerges ...

 

Of far greater value, for me, is to make the analogue areas of the playback chain 100% bulletproof - the ideal would be to have those electronics so robust that one could introduce the nastiest electrical noise makers into the environment, say plug an arc welder into an adjoining socket to the rig, and run it right next to the gear - and hear zero impact on the sound. This would be incredibly hard to do; but the huge benefit would be that the replay quality would then be impervious to any electrical goings on nearby, especially that of the source electronics.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Just to point out, yet again, that I don't believe in the approach of the player mentioned in 

 

The trouble with this approach is that it doesn't deal with the, to me, much deeper problem of the DAC onwards area being sensitive to variations in the environment; while the latter has this weakness then any change anywhere, for whatever reason, will impact the SQ - an obvious example is that the software runs on Windows; the latter is updated, and now all the previous work is for nought - because what was being addressed is no longer relevant, and a new set of issues emerges ...

 

Of far greater value, for me, is to make the analogue areas of the playback chain 100% bulletproof - the ideal would be to have those electronics so robust that one could introduce the nastiest electrical noise makers into the environment, say plug an arc welder into an adjoining socket to the rig, and run it right next to the gear - and hear zero impact on the sound. This would be incredibly hard to do; but the huge benefit would be that the replay quality would be impervious to any electrical goings on nearby, especially that of the source electronics.

You and I appear to *somewhat* agree, perhaps I might deviate a little.

The external electronic noise sources, INCLUDING the noise created by the CPU/memory/etc doing different things, then interfering with the analog electronics are the biggest variable that I believe that people are hearing. Of course, there is always the matter of 'sounding better' not always being the same as 'technically better' because of the wetware that is doing the listening.


Even though I believe whole heartedly in the *fact* that identical bits are identical bits, I believe that honest people can be confused.   Also, there are very limited cases where the analog electronics can screw up the experiment.

 

If people realized the IMMENSE amount of processing that my program does, and is generally capable of cleaning up the recordings, it would make them a believer in 'bits is bits'.

(I do admit that my very sophisticated software, totally based on solid technical grounds, is not perfect -- yet.   There is no metaphysics in the design AT ALL -- but my software is off topic.)

 

My opinon about these vain attempts at improvement come from two places:

'Stuff' is already so good that improvement is difficult, but still people want to improve the experience.

Also, secondarily, people subconsiously know that their recordings are damaged as delivered, and are desperately trying to improve the experience.


There might be other reasons for the improvement attempts, but I strongly regret those who are selling reptile oil...   That is so sad that someone would sink so low as to take advantage of people REALLY trying to desperately improve their systems.

 

John

 

 

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54 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

My opinon about these vain attempts at improvement come from two places:

'Stuff' is already so good that improvement is difficult, but still people want to improve the experience.

Also, secondarily, people subconsiously know that their recordings are damaged as delivered, and are desperately trying to improve the experience.

 

This is where we do strongly disagree, John ...

 

'Stuff', or gear, is currently very good, but the systems built from them are nearly always flawed - for someone who knows how good playback can be, they are so saturated with obvious anomalies that they are painful to listen to ... painful, because you know how good they could sound - but they are not so, becausee of the remaining flaws in the chain.

 

Next, recordings are not damaged - they have technical shortcomings which require the highest possible standard of playback that allows all of the detail to be audible, with the least compromising of 'transparency'. Sufficiently well done, this allows the ear/brain to discard that which it knows doesn't belong, which then delivers a very satisfying, immersive listening experience - unfortunately, anything slightly less than this standard of playback integrity can give you terrible listening, on many recordings ... this means that "magic stereo" often works like a light switch ... it's either there - or it ain't ... there may be be no middle ground, at all.

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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33 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

This is where we do strongly disagree, John ...

 

'Stuff', or gear, is currently very good, but the systems built from them are nearly always flawed - for someone who knows how good playback can be, they are so saturated with obvious anomalies that they are painful to listen to ... painful, because you know how good they could sound - but they are not so, becausee of the remaining flaws in the chain.

 

Next, recordings are not damaged - they have technical shortcomings which require the highest possible standard of playback that allows all of the detail to be audible, with the least compromising of 'transparency'. Sufficiently well done, this allows the ear/brain to discard that which it knows doesn't belong, which then delivers a very satisfying, immersive listening experience - unfortunately, anything slightly less than this standard of playback integrity can give you terrible listening, on many recordings ... this means that "magic stereo" often works like a light switch ... it's either there - or it ain't ... there may be be no middle ground, at all.

 

 

We definitely disagree that the recordings aren't generally terribly damaged by a staggered form of compression.   It was so obvious and destructive to my listening that I quit being an audiophile in the 'hifi' sense in the 1989/1990 timeframe.   But, alas, I actually did real recordings and know what they are supposed to sound like...   Even with my poor hearing, I can hear the damage without trying.   It must be the training that I had when much younger, so the ability to detect the dynamics distortion is as natural as my previous perfect pitch -- but that is definitely gone.

 

The average CD or download is terribly damaged relative to a mix.

 

Also, please do not trust the industry liars.   The old compression scheme is just like MQA today, but it got out of control, and no-one was around who could push back.  Of course, there were the complaints about the 'digital sound' when they could hear the distortion (dynamics distortion, not so much linearity distortion) on digital media.   Those complaints diminished when their hearing accomodated the damage.  (HINT:  it was not improvements in digital technology -- people still like the old digital recordings from that timeframe, of course -- with dynamics distortion.)

 

My own project has attempted to recover from the dynamics distortion, with variable results -- but it is a difficult problem to fix.   My ABBA problems, for example, are now corrected.   Some recordings (older ones) required a special EQ that I hadn't figured out.   The new release fixes that.

 

Of course, those who are accomodated might not be able to adjust back to the more natural mixed sound before processing.  There is always the choice to try to polish the common CD/download t*rd, or try to fix the actual problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

We definitely disagree that the recordings aren't generally terribly damaged by a staggered form of compression.   It was so obvious and destructive to my listening that I quit being an audiophile in the 'hifi' sense in the 1989/1990 timeframe.   But, alas, I actually did real recordings and know what they are supposed to sound like...   Even with my poor hearing, I can hear the damage without trying.   It must be the training that I had when much younger, so the ability to detect the dynamics distortion is as natural as my previous perfect pitch -- but that is definitely gone.

 

Impressive matching of dates ... that '89/'90 period is pretty close to when I gave up on trying to maintain the necessary standard of replay integrity - I also quit, on being an audiophile, at that point 😁.

 

But I knew the issue was the poor standard of playback chains ... incredibly slowly getting better - really, what I want is to walk into a store, or go online, and buy something that nails it, straight out of the box ... but we're not there yet! Either, buy a hideously expensive combo of exactly the right stuff, or tweak all the problems out of what you do buy - are still the only options, currently.

 

59 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

 

The average CD or download is terribly damaged relative to a mix.

 

 

We'll agree to disagree on this 🙂 - but I don't want digital recordings to be dumbed down; turned into baby food versions - I've heard too many remasterings which have gone down this road - they are the ones that are "terribly damaged" ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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The audio community are very fortunate to have someone like Milind N. Kunchur on the job of trying to get to the bottom of the more controversial areas of audio reproduction - for future reference, here is a link to his homepage, http://boson.physics.sc.edu/~kunchur/, as a simple means of checking how his research is progressing ...

 

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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This thread,

 

is an excellent example of why progress in the audio world is incredibly slow - it's another version of, "I'm looking for the lost thing right under the very bright street light, because it's too dark elsewhere to see anything!" 🤪- and so nothing worthwhile is determined, yet again.

 

The need not to have one's ideas about how things really are disturbed at all is very powerful, and hence the status quo remains, as it so often does in life ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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LOL - the Professor's own web page is so full on contradictions, I don't know where to start. 

 

Needless to say, people like that are the reason that we get nonsense and snake oil salesmen.

 

Fallibility of DBT? Well, the issue is if the test was set up wrong. That is one area he never discusses. He outright says they are wrong and if they were, they wouldn't be the standard with drug tests, etc. He keeps talk psychoacoustics but has no one that he works with that is a neurologist and a psychologist. 

Current:  JRiver 24 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an I5-2500K with 16 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Pre-amp - Rotel RC-1590

Amplification - Pioneer M-22 (winter) - Sony TA-N55ES (summer)

Speakers - Revel M126Be with 2 REL 7/ti subwoofers

Cables - Tara Labs RSC Reference and DiMarzio Interconnects

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@fas42 - ok, maybe it would be easier if you would explain how your views have changed with evidence that ( in some ) scenarios PC loads do not effect the audio output?

 

 

It seems you are the one with the fixed world view at odds with reality?

 

 

Always happy to chat - you seem to have a quite excellent grasp of our common language,

 

your friendly neighbourhood idiot 

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13 minutes ago, idiot_savant said:

@fas42 - ok, maybe it would be easier if you would explain how your views have changed with evidence that ( in some ) scenarios PC loads do not effect the audio output?

 

 

It seems you are the one with the fixed world view at odds with reality?

 

 

Always happy to chat - you seem to have a quite excellent grasp of our common language,

 

your friendly neighbourhood idiot 

 

Someone once said you can run a red light, in some scenarios - he went through several red lights, well after they had changed - and had no problems. The implication is obviously that it is safe to run a red light - unfortunately there appears to be fake news about, that some vehicles have been ripped to pieces doing this - which reasonably minded chaps should just ignore, 🙂 .

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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49 minutes ago, botrytis said:

LOL - the Professor's own web page is so full on contradictions, I don't know where to start. 

 

Needless to say, people like that are the reason that we get nonsense and snake oil salesmen.

 

Fallibility of DBT? Well, the issue is if the test was set up wrong. That is one area he never discusses. He outright says they are wrong and if they were, they wouldn't be the standard with drug tests, etc. He keeps talk psychoacoustics but has no one that he works with that is a neurologist and a psychologist. 

 

Yes, the bloke's obviously a fool ... the huge number of papers he's done on superconductors means the whole latter field is highly suspect - you couldn't trust any machine that depends on superconducting behaviours, just in case it relied on some of his work, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, idiot_savant said:

But I do think a hearty handshake and “wtf” would be the outcome

 

We could even listen to a competent audio system, so that you could appreciate how poor such setups are at ticking audiophile checkboxes ... "My goodness, it actually made that terrible recording good to listen to - definitely, deeply flawed ... " 😉

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Just fired up the Edifiers, after much cursing from the awkwardness of working in the tight space that the internal wiring afforded me, bypassing the mains on/off switch - ahh, good sound ... welcome, dear friend! ... Bit of Brendel recorded in the early 60's - piano, as piano should sound ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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10 hours ago, fas42 said:

Just fired up the Edifiers, after much cursing from the awkwardness of working in the tight space that the internal wiring afforded me, bypassing the mains on/off switch - ahh, good sound ... welcome, dear friend! ... Bit of Brendel recorded in the early 60's - piano, as piano should sound ...

Must have been that stupid switch you bypassed. 

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