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Everything posted by fas42

  1. I thought that was the point of that particular magazine ... that the publisher knew what was possible, and had a system which produced such, when the wind was blowing in the right direction ... 🙂.
  2. Yes, no longer smally in public awareness.
  3. I achieved a very high standard of SQ over 3 decades ago - no longer "hifi", but rather having all the characteristics of live, natural sound - largely because of the simplicity of the system: CDP, power amplifier, speakers. A very high quality CD player for the time, with proper digital volume control, directly driving the amp - there was always enough headroom, easily enough, say, to provide dance music for a party. Just need to make sure that the output of the DAC can be dialed up to drive the amp to clipping, as a guide. I am 100% certain I would never have achieved this quality, back then, with any preamp in the chain - every extra 'unnecessary' can only degrade, not enhance
  4. I agree with this ... when the SQ is 97% or so there, every annoying deficiency of the playback system keeps on nagging one; the 'signature' of the playback chain builds up as an ever present 'veil'; meaning that certain recordings can't be listened to with pleasure, because the characteristics of the recording and playback chain clash - the easy excuse of "bad recording!" is casually uttered, to explain the "inconvenient truth" away ... Get the last 3% in place, and the transformation is, subjectively, huge - no longer a rig of equipment in front of you, trying its best; but a musical event, effortlessly presented. Highly sub-optimal devices like car radios are fine, because one's expectations are completely different - you can enjoy watching kids mucking around on the tennis court; but when a highly ranked player is not at their best it can be quite frustrating to see them making one bad shot after the other.
  5. IME the max SPLs roughly match what living to live music is like - say, some classical piano sonatas ... I've found that often I'm searching for more gain, because the average intensity doesn't match a live experience; the particular recording is well down in its overall recording level. Again, this is not what I experience with over-compressed material - if max setting is 100, I might want no more than 50 to be OK with the listening.
  6. One of the various markers that one gets when replay SQ reaches a competent standard is that it always "sounds good", whether whisper quiet or running at the maximum SPLs that the system can operate at while still maintaining its integrity. The trouble with highly compressed recordings is that this subjective sense of the presentation breaks down - the average sound levels are now so high that your hearing system is overloaded very easily; you are exhausted after hearing just one track, say. Reducing the volume only partially solves the problem; the sense of aggression in the sound can be overwhelming - only a rig in absolutely optimum status could possibly allow one to listen to this material in complete comfort.
  7. Why this sort of audible change occurs is precisely the same as for every other area where tweaks are applied - the engineering of the system is not sufficient to guarantee "perfection", under all circumstances. In some fields of engineering 'tweaks' are accepted, because it's too hard to make things 100% customer proof. If you have a Porsche, and as soon as it starts from dead cold, you immediately accelerate with maximum savagery, every time - what's the estimate of the engine's life span?
  8. Naughty of me ... I assume too often that readers have the wit to understand what I'm referring to, without inserting every word that may be necessary to "fill the gaps", for those whose thinking is a touch ... . Replace "digital" with "replay from digital source", where difficulties in understanding occur, 😉.
  9. I'm hugely amused that Dennis just laid down that post with a magic "30 secs" mentioned again - I saw he had posted while I was writing the last piece, but only saw it after posting mine.
  10. Playing the "how you start CD playback is important" game worked for me 😜 - either I read about it, or came across it one day when going through some normal activating of transport operations ... as in "Wait a minute! Why did the SQ just change - the same bit of music as a few seconds ago, but this time it sounded better/worse?" - it will go either way, depending upon everything ... In a CDP, makes sense - digital is highly sensitive to noise in power supplies, and static build up - exactly what the parts are doing in physically spinning the disk determines electrical behaviour in the associated circuitry, and interference can 'leak' through to the analogue side. For a period I went on a binge, exploring all the variations in SQ that resulted from varying the pattern of what I asked the player to do with the disk - the permutations could drive a man mad!! 🙃 Sanity prevailed in the end - what worked as a best compromise on mine was after inserting a CD, hit play, and then immediately hit pause, and leave it "spinning on the spot" for about 30 secs; then hit play again, to kick off normal replay. Definitely always improved things, it was a habit I used for many years, with that player. Why should it make a difference? The 30 secs in pause probably allowed various electrical areas to stabilise more, and this yielded a distinct improvement in what I heard - haven't done this in years; will depend on the gear used and the state of tune of everything else as to whether a smidgen more can be extracted from these sort of tweaks.
  11. Well, my experiences with evolving systems to produce "convincing sound" is that the presentation of recordings, when one achieves this, in general is very different from that of conventional 'high end' rigs - "squashed", or compressed in a subjective sense, is the thought that comes to mind when I listen to normal standards of playback; what's missing is the vitality, the sense of life, the immersion in the sound that occurs with the "real thing" - competent or a very high standard of SQ restores that quality to what you experience - it's always "on the recording", but one needs to go, currently, to substantially extra effort to achieve that element in what you hear. Reading between the lines, speakers like Zu's can, I repeat, can be a shortcut to getting there - the downside is that remaining anomalies can be strongly spotlighted if not every care is taken with the setting up. Which may have been the case when you were listening. What was the recording, if I may ask ... ?
  12. Because people have different "expectations" ... surpriise, surpriise. Some want to hear "hifi sound", others want to hear accurate reproduction - how close does the particular rig get to satisfying those different needs?
  13. Oasis never did anything for for me, but I was curious, and downloaded the "What's the Story" track - dear me, 🙄. Can anything be done to rescue this, hmmm? ... Looked up what the producer had done, which implied it was a fairly straightforward compression. So played with some expansion settings ... my goodness!! There's some real music in there, after all ... . About 75% there, I'll try some fine tuning to see how close I can get to hearing proper instruments, a proper band playing.
  14. A combination of measurements and subjective impressions can be very informative - take the Zu speakers mentioned: I looked up the Stereophile reviews, and the measurements gave the key information, high sensitivity and easy to drive. Which correlated with what people heard: big, full of life sound - much closer to what's on the recording, rather than the squashing done by normal systems. The fact that the Zu speakers had 'problems' was quite irrelevant in the flesh - their ability to convey the essence of the musical event captured largely overrode any technical misdemeanours.
  15. Wilson speakers have always had "treble to slice your head off", IME. The problem is not the fault of the speaker, it's merely doing its job of transducing what's been fed to it - people are, ahem, confused about what's going on; very few seem to understand that the speaker can't 'fix' faulty sound it's asked to deal with ... the very best speaker will be ruthless, and expose every shortcoming of the electronics preceding it, exactly as it should ...
  16. I would suggest you thoroughly read through this, which was pointed to earlier, by @plissken, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108457/.
  17. Tried the Second Hand News track, and there are issues - cymbal crashes are not right, so far.
  18. Alex, why are taking it all so seriously - it's only a hobby, for nearly everyone; or at least that's the theory ... the world won't end if a post you don't like personally happens on the scene ... as they used to say, "Hang loose, mannn ..."
  19. The most important part in the system, is that which is most performing below par - which could be anything. As soon as you decide that it has to be "that bit!", because group thinking has dictated such for some time, then your chances of getting it right are markedly reduced.
  20. This sort of thing gets tricky ... if the patient is aware that he might be getting a placebo, then its value might be severely diminished - some people seem to love the concept that the body is a machine, and that what is going on in the top bit is completely irrelevant ... The concept in the article is that it's all about the doctor, not the patient ... " Avoid giving a placebo merely to mollify a difficult patient. Giving a placebo for such reasons places the convenience of the physician above the welfare of the patient." ... Maybe, just maybe the doctor knows enough about that patient to consider that the best approach, for that individual, is to prescribe a placebo. Unfortunately, a voluntary survey. GPs may be uncomfortable about declaring their stand on what is "ethically questionable", no matter how supposedly anonymous it is; and hence skewed.
  21. Favourite? They just happen to be a convenient reference to some audio, which I could refer to by just using the name of the piece, or a straight image. YT combines a picture, with an ability to instantly demo it - if you want a high quality version of such, there are plenty of options ... you could, of course, refrain from clicking the play button ... 😝.
  22. Ethical? What counts is that the patient is restored to a good state of feeling, both physical and mental ... the normal reasons that placebos are prescribed are that the doctor knows that either the condition is largely psychosomatic, or that a full treatment will be far beyond the means of the patient - spelling that out to the patient will result in anger, disappointment, depression, etc. What the doctor wants is for the person to feel positive about the future, because that's "half the battle" ... I'm quite happy for a doctor to say, "This is what I believe to the best thing for dealing with the issue - try it, and if you're not happy with it, or you don't see the condition change to such and such a state, in this time frame - then come back and see me again "
  23. Yep ... a discovery for me was this recent album, another "every track's a winner!" effort ...
  24. 320kbs. Variable rate, constant rate; forcing encoding right out to 20k, and various compromises of that. Always sounded different, using each combination of settings. To make it a fair fight, I burnt the orginal track along with "best decoding" into WAV onto a disk, of all the encodings. So what was being played was always the same format, what varied were the losses in the encoding/decoding, software path.
  25. Intelligent mastering can deliver a decent dose of both ... I'm thinking here of Canned Heat; have an album of greatest hits, and an effort done in 2000. The latter is vastly higher in SPLs than the former, but none of the character of the Canned Heat sound has been compromised, in any obvious way.
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