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fas42

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  1. fas42

    Bits is bits?

    Very few audiophiles appreciate that a system can hover right on the edge of "being good enough", and yet never quite advance that touch more, that which brings true magic in the listening, into the room. Blackmorec is one of those who understands this; but the majority have never played with a rig which in this state - hence why it's so hard for them to understand that worrying about the "silly things" is so important ...
  2. fas42

    Bits is bits?

    OK, the USB link is delivering data, which is turned into an analogue, audio signal at some point - geez, you gotta spell out everything sometimes, says the teacher with a sigh ... 😜.
  3. fas42

    Bits is bits?

    Nothing to do with errors, or what the digital signal looks like in analogue terms, as regards to processing in the digital domain .. this is all about electrical activity in some physical domain - unfortunately, electrical parts have no understanding that nearby electrical activity should be ignored just because it's called digital; separating a circuit board into two areas, and calling one side digital and the other analogue doesn't help one bit, even if you colour them differently, and draw lines marking the separation ... . Of course, some technical types do believe in this sort of magic, . One can have a fun time with software tools like Spice, investigating what really happens in circuitry in real world situations. Then you can discover, for example, how amplifying circuits by even well regarded designers enter chaotic behaviour momentarily - the "assumed behaviour" is not the reality. Often, too much is automatically regarded as being fact, when careful examination reveals otherwise. My approach in an ideal world would be to do a ridiculously OTT design and implementation exercise, so that I could be certain that there are no interaction effects. And listen. Then, steadily come back to the real world and build compromises on how the overall circuit was done. Until I could hear a difference. Then I would have a decent handle on what really matters, rather than living in a world of la la theoretical beliefs, .
  4. The recording is the arbiter of the ultimate quality of what you can hear. The playback system can only degrade that quality, to some degree - never enhance it. The goal is to make the level of degradation approach zero. Turns out that if you get close to that goal of zero impact by the introduction of the playback chain, that there is enough, good, information on the recording for one's brain to compensate for the recording's lack of 'perfection' - this is something that I've learnt over many years.
  5. fas42

    Bits is bits?

    A "better" USB cable simply means that the analogue signal is less distorted, subjectively, because of how the slight variation in the nature of the USB waveforms changes the level and type of interference effects on the analogue parts of circuitry. Less distortion means "soundstage (is) large with excellent width and depth" - the true nature of the source material. It's never more complicated than that ...
  6. fas42

    Bits is bits?

    Spot on. It's hard, it's hard, it's hard ... USB doesn't help. At all. Coincidentally, I was just looking at achieving excellent isolation over USB yesterday ... and, that's hard!! ... Turns out that you really, really have to work at it - if you want high levels of electrical separation of everything that matters - which is obviously why there are several gazillion solutions out there, all having a go at finding the gold at the rainbow's end ... .
  7. These days there's a lot of confusion between intensity; and highly compressed, distorted, subjectively overloading, volume - go into any "live venue" these days, and you'll get plenty of the latter, through its PA rig with indicator LEDS sitting in red just about all the time ... . Not interested in the latter, at all. One reason I gave up on so-called live shows. However, I can recall sitting in a tiny alcove with a grandson going for it, on a set of drums - this is intensity: zero distortion, but the subjective sensation was immense; my world was nothing but the sense of the sound completely drowning me - in a good way, . This is what I want a playback rig to do ... be able to deliver that same experience.
  8. The clip with pre-emphasis was a halfway house - dulled, but not as much as the processed. I did try again after the later posts here, with original and processed - this laptop has tiny sound, the bass and volume are poor; symphonic works are almost inaudible at times - but it's OK for pop. And my hearing is learning to compensate, . Loaded into Audacity, noted that the processed was some dBs down on the original - so normalised the two; set into repeat play, and instantly switch between the two versions - the more I did this the more I preferred the original ... there's a guitar filling in some nice backing towards the end; and the sound of this was too toned down in the processed - I don't like losing the sense of the individuality of the contributing sound elements.
  9. John, I come from a rather unusual perspective, compared to most - I evolved my thinking, over time, to consider that the recording, no matter how flawed it may be, to perhaps most listeners, as being the 'master' of the situation. This means that I must optimise my playback to the point where the words "minimally listenable" is never part of the equation; and the huge gain using this approach is that I can put on any recording, sight unseen, and it always opens up as a powerful listening experience - I may strongly disagree with the mastering decisions, and query 'mistakes' and sloppiness; but it still comes across as 'genuine' music making. So, I don't want to remaster what the source is - I'm happy with the listening with what I have, but if I can hear different versions of some original recording sessions, I will still have my favourites, . Intense levels of treble hold no terrors for me. Live instruments do this as part of their sound making, and this is a fundamental reason why live, acoustic music has such a powerful impact - that sense of intensity is something I do not want to lose; and if such is part of the creative mix of a track, I want it to be there, in spades. Disturbing sibilance or shrillness in the playback are markers of distortion anomalies in the replay chain. If you 'sort out' the weaknesses in the setup, then the disturbing quality vanishes - because, you have eliminated the sources of the distortion artifacts. "Shrillness" is replaced with "intensity" - a vastly better alternative, .
  10. The "anything undesirable" is some quality in the recording which catches out the playback chain - spotlights the weaknesses in the replay quality, which makes the particular recording significantly more unpleasant to listen to. A sorted setup will reproduce all 'standards' of recordings with ease - just like a modern car can handle all types of road surfaces far better than the ones engineered many decades ago - only in audio is the road required to be of 'prime' quality, to be fit for human consumption ... . Just tried John's latest decoding examples - but even over the tinny sound of my current laptop it is clear that far too much has been lost in the processing; the treble of the synthesizer sounds has been dulled down to a completely boring component in the mix.
  11. Not much into the current pop scene - but this new local live music TV show, "The Set" caught my eye last night - every act was a winner; a good vibe about the whole thing. This one was a goody,
  12. Teresa, there is no need to take this personally - this is a forum where people post their experiences with recorded music, and their thoughts on various matters - I note your very strong distaste for the sound of CDs, and other than audiophile labels; I strongly disagree, but I'm not offended by your posting of your opinions. This is a thread about the matter of creating a sense of live music happening - well, it just so happens that some recently recorded classical recordings I've come across put a foot or two wrong, for me, as regards just allowing me to enter the world of the music captured, without distracting me in technical and production issues. Put it this way - a recording 50 years old I can excuse; something less than a decade old has nowhere to hide, as regards getting "everything right". Overall, I'm pretty sure there is no overlap with the labels you mention, with those I came across - and, I am not "condemning the music"; I am just remarking that I'm irritated by what I consider sub-optimal, or poor, production decisions, or procedures - at a time when there are no reasons, after from saving money, for that being so.
  13. This is why I repeat "my message" 😜 - so many times. Nothing wrong with the format, but plenty wrong with the attitude of the makers of domestic playback gear - not willing to accept that conventional measurements are not good enough to identify the distortion artifacts that bedevil digital replay; which largely can only be overcome by plenty of DIY effort, in most cases.
  14. Teresa, note the original post, That is, multiple instances ... the violin snippets recording was a more extreme version of this characteristic, which is why I noted it. Overall, I find there is generic, or regular occurring, quality with recently recorded, borrowed, classical CDs - this may be purely bad luck on my part, on what I've borrowed, of course - sometimes there's a 'self-consciousness', sometimes the technical side will show some overt lack of attention to, yes, the sonics 🙂. Just enough to annoy me ... simply put: I will always aim to buy a classical recording made before, say, 2000, then one after ...
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