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Willi Studer

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  1. Willi Studer

    Hifi lust

    The only difference between boys and men is the price of their toys. This will explain the hi-fi lust.
  2. Willi Studer

    some threshold questions from a beginner

    Just out of curiosity, how many digital copies of the same original are you allowed to have in the US?
  3. Fasolis is great conductor, descendant of the same line of "readers" of the score who have attempted to reconstruct the original intentions of composers, along with Harnoncourt, Gardiner and others. However, Jaroussky is not my like.
  4. Willi Studer

    FLAC to WAVE conversion?

    WAV is PCM file with some limited metadata functionality. FLAC to WAV conversion is conversion from packed lossless to unpacked lossless, mere unzipping in a way, so there is no dithering occurring. in which software did you see this option? perhaps it was dimmed.
  5. As a Mac user for decades (but not a blind brand follower), I can confirm that there are both legacy and practical reasons for Mac Mini as multimedia choice. What you get in a Mac Mini is silent computer made of high quality matched hardware in a slim and small footprint running a stable operating system and ready to fire up, connect and go, without boxes, screwdrivers, installations, CDs, drivers and so on. Try building your own HTPC and you will never get any near in terms of compactness, silence and ease of putting together and use. Although, the i5 processor you get in Mac Mini is a stripped-down mobile version, it still offers considerable processor power. I do not see a lap top as an alternative to a Mac Mini: seeing those Hi-Faces and Monster Cables attached to fragile ports and jacks is frightening view; moreover, Mac Mini will never overheat and upset its coolers screaming to max like many notebooks do actually.
  6. Willi Studer

    When You Listen, How Do You Listen?

    Being a classical listener 90% of the time, I agree. However, I do make a difference between chamber music, which is appropriate for working and grand scale orchestral or vocal which I listen actively. When I audition music equipment, I always do it with my eyes closed, so that the scene completely vanishes and the visual impact does not influence the judgement.
  7. Willi Studer

    Best of the Best for Ripping Music

    My only advice: after ripping (or recording, which would be a more appropriate name of this process), leave your recordings as they are. Apart from trimming start and end or splitting individual tracks, do not apply any processing, like noise filters, click, pop or hiss removal and so on. In my experience, all filters and post-processing deteriorate the recording, no matter how gentle you are in applying them.
  8. Willi Studer

    Osx 10.9.1

    Mavericks is free provided that you have one of previous operating systems, starting from Snow Leopard. Discussing the sound of operating systems is a bit insane to me, sorry.
  9. Willi Studer

    Jitter: The Digital Devil

    Jitter is the main reason why "bits are bits" theory was abandoned a long ago, so it is an important consideration in digital audio. In my understanding, the jitter measurement numbers do not translate into the analogue domain in the way you described it. Jitter is the deviation from the periodical clock signal and is responsible for all bits of the digital stream falling into correct place (also called significance) and converting to correct analogue waveform. These picoseconds, therefore, get a much greater meaning and influence on sound in digital domain. If a bit falls into a wrong time pit, the digital word sample will convert into a different frequency and level. Because sample rates are high and this process occurs tens of thousands times per seconds, these "wrong" samples are heard as subtle deviations in sound.
  10. Willi Studer

    Which Sample Rate To Choose ?

    In my understanding, the sample rate does not only allow higher frequency range, but primarily a better resolution, because this is the frequency at which the sound is being sampled: the more samples, the higher fidelity to the original sound. I would therefore choose the highest sample rate available from the source. When it comes to sample rate conversions, I have found in my modest home sound system that the best is to send the source resolution to the DAC. The SRC results will depend on hardware and software involved.
  11. Willi Studer

    CD ripping: Naim Unitiserve vs XLD

    If your question is limited to ripping CDs only, then I would stick to XLD. While comparing checksums of two rips may give you some idea on the quality, With Naim you still wouldn't know how your rips compare to the AccuRip database which, if positive, is your best guess that you have a perfect rip. In addition, XLD offers additional functionalities and ease of use and management of metadata. With computer in general one has complete control over the process. I would recommend sticking to XLD for producing rips and use Naim as server/streamer.
  12. Willi Studer

    Osx 10.9.1

    10.9.1 update does resolve some issues: on my iMac, it solved the problem of Spotlight reindexing drives all over again which came with 10.9. Regarding sleep issues, there will always be specific builds which have glitches with different OS versions.
  13. Willi Studer

    Osx 10.9.1

    What do you exactly mean by this and how to take advantage of it in iTunes and Audio Midi Setup? Thank you.
  14. Willi Studer

    Complete digital silence

    The answer to your question is very simple: a digital signal is "single-ended", which means that all values convert to analogue voltages greater than 0. In your example of a 16-bit word length, this means that there are 65.536 "shades" of volume between min and max or absolute values, of which there is always 0 for silence and the rest for sound. The voltage will change as many times per second as the sampling resolution. It is obvious that both bit and sample resolution are important for sound definition. This is valid for PCM encoding. The DSD encoding uses go-up and go-down values you mention. An absolute digital silence would be zero value and it is represented with as many zero bits as the word length resolution allows. But this value exists only in theory and on a digital recording. Once it passes from software to hardware domain, all kinds of problems will arise and spoil it: in digital domain, you will immediately have reading, quantization and other sources of jitter, while passing to the analogue domain would be an absolute disaster, as it will introduce hiss, hum, noise, modulations and other analogue anomalies.
  15. Willi Studer

    Classical Music as "Popular" Music Throughout the Years

    This is a very interesting question and I will try to give you an illustration with my modest knowledge of the history and theory of classical music and much much more time spent listening to it.It is important to put the answer in the prospective and context of the period we are looking at. As an art historian by education, I find it very wrong and amateurish that modern historians and researchers tempt to look at historical events and characters through the optics of today's society and its values. The most important thing to put into historical prospective is that in the past there existed a hyperproduction of written (or composed) music. Because it was a kind of intellectual "sport", it was widely practiced throughout bourgeoisie and educated circles. It is, therefore, quite likely that all the classical music, which has been discovered, explored and performed in our days might be just a tip of the iceberg of immense volumes of music scores which once had existed. A comforting fact might be that what we are listening to nowadays is the music which was worth preserving - and this is probably how it has survived, thanks to its popularity and quality. A discomforting fact is that we have lost who knows how many geniuses and masterworks on the way to present. The second thing is that there existed vast audiences which were hungry for music. A typical concert evening in XVIII Century Venice would last for hours; ticket price would be in the range of 200 to 300 Euros in today's money, but you would get lots of music for your cash. Composers were competing among each other, new works were presented at premieres almost on weekly basis, overshading the previous week's works and names. And the audience wanted more. The third thing to put into prospective is that a listener in pre-XX era had no chance of replay or hearing the work again if he or she liked it, unless it was performed again. But people then were relying much more on their memory than we do today. An extreme example of how the musical memory could be extended was Mozart. In 1770, at the age of 14, he visited Rome with his parents and had the occasion to listen to Allegri's "Miserere", a sacred work commissioned by the Pope to be performed only on services and never outside the Sistine Chapel. Mozart carefully listened to the work which is between 20 and 25 minutes long and wrote it down on paper to the last note from memory we he returned to the hotel later that day. This is how we can listen to Allegri today! Going back to the argument number 3, because listeners could not replay a music piece with a press of the button, they were appreciating the occasion of performance, concentrating, enjoying and cherishing much more than we can do at our homes. Music was printed, sold and distributed and then played at homes. Changes of names and works were as generational as they were today, but the development of music went at slower pace than it is today. In general, fans of classical music prior to XX Century were too busy listening to current productions, because for them classical music was the present in progress, than browsing through the past as we do now. XX Century techniques of recording and replaying music have compressed this centuries long development and made it available for listening, comparing, exploring and studying. They have also changed our perception of music, for better and for worse, at the same time.