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About tmtomh

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  1. Folks, @John_Atkinson is not going to supply the requested content. He either: Cannot do so legally; Can do so legally but will not because he feels it's ethically shaky/wrong to do so; Can do so legally but will not because he doesn't want to anger Stuart/MQA; Can do so legally but is not especially interested in enabling folks he doesn't trust to run the comparisons. Can do so legally and might even be inclined to do so, but isn't going to do it for the members here, many of whom he appears to hold in rather low esteem (and in fairness, the sentiment seems to be mutual in many cases judging from the exchanges here). I don't know which is the truth. All I feel confident about is that he will strenuously deny that it's option 3, refuse to be 100% clear about whether or not option 1 is true, and continue to not release the requested content.
  2. It appears to be marketed to retro gamers (and more broadly retro computer enthusiasts). There's a thriving online community of such folks, and part of the hobby is running retro games and operating systems on newer hardware like inexpensive computer-on-a-chip systems. Some folks like to run the video output into old CRT monitors for the true retro-gaming experience. Also, some of the old computer systems and games/software were programed to use color in ways that relied on the hardware quirks of CRTs and the protocol quirks of interlaced video, scan lines, and so on. So it appears this unit is meant to provide analogue video outputs that are cleaner than those produced by typical off-the-shelf components. Whether this unit really produces better analogue video from digital sources I don't know - but the premise, while very niche, does seem valid.
  3. Thanks, as always, for your civil and specific reply, Frank. I don't agree with you on a number of things, but I do appreciate your good nature and good-faith discussion. RE "physics," I was not talking about bass, I was taking about soundstage depth. Laptop speakers are not going to provide aural clues of soundstage depth beyond a few inches (and I'm being generous here) forward or back - especially if you listen with your ears very close to the speakers as you say. To be clear: I am sure that a laptop's speakers are capable of reproducing/evoking some degree of soundstage depth. But if one recording is made in a way that produces a small soundstage depth, say just a foot or less, when played on a full-size stereo and speaker rig in an average-size listening room, while another one is made in a way that produces a large soundstage depth, say several feet, in the same situation, you are not going to be able to distinguish between the two when your laptop is capable of throwing up a much tinier soundstage depth than either recording is capable of. And if you are tempted to respond that the scale of the soundstage is smaller but the proportion between those two would still be easily audible to you on your laptop, please just don't - it's not a response that is going to persuade me (or, I daresay, anyone else here). As for different software players producing sound that is as radically different as you claim, I'm sorry but once again I am not persuaded by that. Don't get me wrong - I have no problem believing that a YouTube clip (with YT's compression applied during upload/processing), played in an embedded YT video window with few customizable audio settings, could sound different/worse than the same source music file played on a dedicated software player. But if you can't get a fully configurable, bit-perfect app like foobar to sound as good as (let alone better than) MediaMonkey, that tells me that what you're doing is fighting the coloration and limitations of your laptop's amp and speakers and perhaps accidentally finding a setting that gives some euphonic benefits - but it's got nothing to do with fidelity. Finally, yes, frequent 0.0 digital peaks can cause intersample clipping when the digital stream is converted back to analogue. But once again, that's only a problem if it produces audible distortion. And if you're using a playback rig with inherent distortion that meets or exceeds the tiny amount of distortion produced by intersample peaks, then your rig by definition cannot be used to detect whether or not intersample peaks are present or whether they are an issue even if they are present. In addition, if you laptop is "sensitive" to intersample peaks, that only means that your laptop's analogue output section does not have any voltage headroom built into it. The solution there is easy - use a DAC with built-in analogue headroom. Intersample clipping then ceases to be an issue, as intersample clipping is purely analogue clipping and is not actually an "issue" with the recording. So to recap: - You appear to have pulled back from your claim that your laptop setup is better than "most high end rigs" for discerning recording issues; - You agree that you are unable to use your setup to discern "recording issues" that involve the lower bass region; - You have provided evidence/info about digital peaks/intersample clipping that reveals that your setup is not in fact a reliable setup for determining if this is an issue with any given recording. All that remains is your claim that your laptop is good for discerning soundstage depth; and there again, no evidence is provided for that claim.
  4. You make three claims here, all of which are manifestly nonsense when it comes to supporting the claim you have made about your laptop. Most high end rigs kick the everloving crap out of any laptop speakers when it comes to soundstage depth - and it's not because of cost or quality, but rather simply physics. It's absurd even to have to argue this point. As for bass extension, your claim is that your laptop speakers can enable you to hear problems or issues with a recording. But if there is an issue in the bass region, your laptop will not enable you to know that. So it doesn't matter whether or not bass is a large or small part of the sonic picture for you. What matters is that bass is one major area where there are "issues" with recordings, and you have no way of detecting those issues, or comparing multiple recordings/masterings, with your laptop speakers. Finally, whether or not the source material has a bunch of digital 0.0 peaks is completely irrelevant to the distortion levels of your laptop's speakers. If the original recording has mic overload or tape overload, that's an issue. If the recording is mastered with peaks up to 0.0, that will not add any distortion, unless it overloads your laptop's internal amplifier, in which case you need not avoid that recording - you can just turn the volume down. If the recording is full of 0.0 peaks because it's full of clipping, that can add distortion, and again the issue is not whether you should avoid playing that on your laptop, but rather whether or not you can tell if any distortion you hear is (a) from the recording, (b) from overly hot mastering, or (c) from your laptop's amplifier and/or speakers. And if you can't tell, then once again your laptop is not in fact a superior setup for focusing on issues with recordings.
  5. One cannot use your method to focus on technical aspects of a recording that cannot be reproduced with laptop speakers or perceived in such extreme near-field listening. Listening to a laptop's speakers will not tell you anything about a recording's soundstage depth, or bass extension, or for that matter very much about distortion in the recording given how high the distortion levels of typical laptop speaker drivers are.
  6. Maybe I misread/mistagged or was thinking of another thread - sorry!
  7. It's undeniable that vinyl is an important part of the audio hobby today, and it's equally undeniable that vinyl is a major part of audiophile culture in particular, even if many of us - myself included - would argue that vinyl is less hi-fi than properly designed and engineered digital systems. However, my impression is that @The Computer Audiophile changed this forum's name primarily to get away from the specificity of the term "Computer" in the name - the digital music server ecosystem has expanded massively since he founded this site, and in addition to all the ancillary hardware there's been a real "component-ification" of modern digital audio, with people moving to dedicated hardware and way from computers per se. (Not all of us, but still, a lot of folks.) IMHO a name like "Digital Audiophile" probably would have been a more apt name change than "Audiophile Style," although perhaps the former name was not available or Chris had reasons for not choosing it or something similar. I don't really care if a vinyl subforum gets added, as it's easy to ignore any thread one is not interested in. My only hope would be that, as @Sal1950 notes above, the culture of the forum would remain similar, with the same level of rigor applied to vinyl issues as are applied to digital ones now. The audio internet has more than enough places for unbridled subjectivity to run amok - this place doesn't need to become another one.
  8. Ironically, Dilger writes, "Anyone who calls HomePod a 'mono speaker' does not understand elemental basics of sound reproduction." It would appear he's a bit overconfident in his own understanding of the basics of sound reproduction.
  9. Doesn't Apple allow you to use a 2nd HomePod in a two-HomePod array that will enable them to function like stereo speakers? IMHO that's a pretty definitive indication that HomePod is mono - there'd be no need for a two-speaker stereo mode if the HomePod were in and of itself stereo (or if Apple even just claimed it were stereo). Also, while anything it possible, it would seem unlikely that a speaker with an odd number of tweeters would be a stereo speaker. As noted above, you certainly can use a 7-speaker array to try to simulate some kind of soundstage, but it's not stereo unless L channel material is being sent to some, and only some, of the drivers while R channel material is being sent to others. I believe it might be accurate to say that the HomePod is a "mono speaker with spatial processing built in" or something like that; but that;'s still not a stereo speaker system. If the L and R channel signals are combined prior to reaching the drivers, it's not a stereo speaker.
  10. The OP did not ask for a USB cable brand recommendation. The OP asked for guidance on what the longest USB cable length is that can safely be used for audio, assuming a well-constructed cable.
  11. I'd like to see this happen - but I would urge you, in making your pitch, to advocate for one additional aspect that will greatly enhance the utility of such an exercise: Make the Q&A iterative, that is, once the pro and anti-MQA reps have responded to the initial inquiries, allow them to respond to/rebut each other's replies (or at least some of their replies).
  12. It could be that so many of us have earned a spot on his Ignore list that he doesn't even know the discussion is continuing. 🙂
  13. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I join @Jud in being unconcerned with the "influence peddling"/motivation allegations, and I've said many times that the obsessive focus on that is unproductive and harmful IMHO. What I would very much like to push back on, however - and what I would love if you would respond to specifically - is your "agree to disagree" claim about the merits and demerits of MQA. You say that @John_Atkinson, @Jim Austin and Robert Harley have a "different assessment" of MQA than @mansr and @Archimago do. If one uses "assessment" as a synonym for "opinion," I suppose that's true. But what bothers me is that mansr and arch's "assessment" is a technical one, backed up with clear quantitative data and repeatable results. The one time I am aware of that mansr and John Atkinson have discussed specific technical data about MQA, they've actually agreed on it. So what I would love for you to explain is on what basis (or more simply, why) you are "moderately positive" about MQA. Do you feel there is some demonstrated technical benefit to it? Do you disagree with mansr and arch about the evidence that MQA does not do what is claimed for it? Or are you moderately positive about it because you feel it sounds moderately better than unprocessed high-res PCM? Just as it is harmful to proper discussion for folks to obsess over motives and alleged corruption, I think it is harmful to proper discussion to side-step the clear technical questions about MQA. If you want the specific line of criticism of the "old guard"/establishment audiophile press to stop, you're going to have to stop that side-stepping.
  14. If you have a piece of equipment or a configuration option in your own setup that you feel improves your results, then of course you should accept your positive experience and you should keep using that piece of equipment/configuration option. But what you just can't seem to get through your head is that such a scenario does not mean that others' negative results are invalid or not-real or worthy of rejection (aka should not be "accepted"). If others cannot repeat your results, then you cannot establish to them that your results are true. However, that does not mean that you don't experience those results yourself. So the reason "ANYONE" should "accept" negative results obtained by others is that such negative results matter (as does methodology, transparency and openness with information, and so on) when we are talking about convincing others and determining what can be proven or established versus what is experienced. IMHO this is not ultimately a scientific problem but rather a social problem: You appear to be unable or unwilling to grasp the difference between testimony and evidence. Speaking of basic epistemological confusion: This comment of mine was in response to your statement that some people keep referring to textbooks by Henry Ott. You clicked the "Disagree" button on this comment. I am not offended, but I am confused. Do you disagree with my statement that I am not one of the people who refer to Ott's textbooks (I've never even heard of him BTW)? Or do you disagree with the fact that I asked you what your point is? Similarly, I asked you to explain how something is ad hominem, and you clicked "Disagree" on that too. What does "disagreeing" with a request for you to explain something even mean? Or are you disagreeing with my parenthetical point that Argument from Authority is the converse of Ad Hominem? If you have a disagreement with me about the definitions or concepts of rhetorical fallacies, I'd be interested in learning about your view there. I'm sorry there's not yet a "Just Shut Up, You Poopy-Head" button for you to click. But until Chris adds one, I'd recommend against using Disagree as a proxy, since it makes your reactions seem incoherent.
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