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  1. I cancelled my Spotify Premium and my Qobuz HiFi accounts, because other than checking out a few new releases, I found them not all that useful for me in light of my listening habits and large CD/SACD collection. That said, I think watching concerts via a streaming service would interest me. It would certainly be something different from my own physical collection. I only have a couple of dozen or so filmed classical performances on DVD or Blu-ray. I subscribed to the Metropolitan Opera service for a while, but there weren't enough of my favorite performers to make it worthwhile long-term. I'll have to check the BPO service, that sounds like it might be a good fit for me, as I have enjoyed many recordings by that orchestra through the years. I don't think I'd want classical video as my primary source of music, but as an adjunct to my audio collection, I think it could be terrific. Definitely for a more casual mode of listening, due to the distraction of video, but good for the right mood. Thanks for starting this discussion!
  2. Alexander Scriabin Piano Works (24 Préludes, Opus 11, +) Daniel Grimwood This CD was my introduction to the solo piano music of Scriabin, and I still love it. Exquisite.
  3. NOTE: Begging the moderator's indulgence at what might appear to be off-topic rambling, I will first address the issue in @mansr's post, and then at the end I will explain the full relevance of my post to MQA. In the process, I will also reconcile the seeming contradictions of 2L's interest in extolling the value of extreme high-res DXD recording for maximum fidelity, yet choosing to release lossy versions of these files with MQA processing. I would postulate that 2L's recordings are partially underwritten* by scientists studying microbats native to Nordic climes. The churches where 2L typically records are well-known habitats of these bats, providing security from predation and from the extreme cold during their exceptionally long hybernation cycles in that region (September/October to June/July). Modern buildings typically don't have access points for bats, and most older structures have been demolished or renovated. Natural/woodland habitats have also been threatened and destroyed. Old structures of cultural and historic importance like these churches have thus become vital to the survival of bats in Norway. As I'm sure readers are aware, echolocation calls are typically in the range from 20kHz up to 200kHz. 2L is one of the few recording companies capable of preserving these calls for future study. Nordic bat populations are in alarming decline, so you can imagine how vital this work is. A happy coincidence is that what is necessary for recording bat echolocation happens to align with audiophile values for such extreme high-res recording of human music. Sadly, this does not translate to sales figures nor popularity among the Grammy voters, who as far as I know have not honored 2L with a win, despite most of their few dozen recordings receiving nominations. http://sciencenordic.com/bats-struggle-under-midnight-sun https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-bats-echolocate-an/ For a contrasting view with regard to bat populations in churches in other parts of the world, please see: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146782 Yet in the UK, there is a view to valuing the bat and honoring its historic connection to churches: https://www.batsandchurches.org.uk/ Thankfully, Norway has some important protection measures in place: https://www.eurobats.org/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/Meeting_of_Parties/National Implemenatation Report Norway_0.pdf As you can see at the following link, Stave churches in Norway are particularly well-suited as bat habitats: https://www.visitnorway.com/about/history-traditions/stave-churches/ Coming back to the topic of this thread, I'll note that such specially funded* echolocation research as discussed above would naturally contain sensitive and valuable content in these upper frequencies, which must be protected from dissemination that would allow other institutions to possibly undermine the work of these researchers, or publish preemptively with stolen data. So, in another case of serendipity, we have a solution presented that solves the problem of protecting the high frequency data by a form of scrambling, and that at the same time appears to benefit audiophiles who would purchase the 'music' content of the 2L recordings: MQA. The MQA folding process protects the bat echolocation frequencies from being reproduced accurately outside the closed research group, who are the only ones that will have access to the unadulterated original DXD files. You can see how thorny the issue of talk of DRM or IP protection is to MQA proponents. However, It's not about DRM to protect the "crown jewels" of music. It's about protecting ultrasonic data through MQA's masking effect via the folding and unfolding processes. In this case, it's the ultrasonic bat echolocation calls. Other applications for MQA-processed DXD may include military and espionage activity. *2L may actually be donating their services to such a research project. In any event, such research endeavors aid a creature that provides substantial benefits to health and economy of mankind by consuming massive quantities of pest insects, as well as providing guano for consumption by wealthy degenerates connoisseurs. Mention of possible underwriting of costs associated with such a meritorious project should not be construed as implying criticism of motivation of any of the parties discussed above. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with 2L, MQA, the CIA, or any scholarly institution (private or public) involved in chiropterology. I am not a signatory to any NDA that includes any of the above information or speculation. You can judge for yourself whether or not the above is an attempt (however lame) at satire or contains truth, or a combination thereof. The information regarding bats themselves, and their habitats including churches, is supported by evidence, as examination of the links above will show. haha!
  4. I've never heard of this system. If using headphones, will regular stereo recordings processed with Ambiophonics yield a similar effect to binaural recordings? Or does it allow binaural recordings to play back over stereo loudspeakers with a similar effect to binaural recordings over headphones?
  5. Barbara Hendricks Give Me Jesus | Spirituals with The Moses Hogan Singers
  6. I also discovered this album in a Borders store when it came out, at one of their listening stations! Great album, as is her second one, Everybody's Talkin' 'bout Miss Thing! Looking online now, I see that somehow I missed a third album, released in 2009. I'll have to check it out. I'm glad to hear nice things about her as a person, I love it when artists whose work I admire are actually admirable as people as well as talents!
  7. We are responsible for our own violation of confidences. To blame others for our own posting behavior and attacks is ludicrous. A certain member consistently attacks broad classes of people and professions. He/she consistently attacks specific members. These attacks may sometimes go unnoticed by general site membership due to thread cleanup that hides some very egregious behavior (not saying that was the intent of the site or thread moderator, but it's at least a side effect that affects perception if no one sees these horrible attacks before they are removed, and it allows people to overlook behavior that perhaps they wouldn't otherwise). He/she repeatedly talks about how nasty others are, yet never acknowledges his/her own posting history of sharing personal and private information, illegal sharing of copyrighted material (sharing it in a PM or email is illegal, it just allows public deniability), etc. When someone disagrees with this member, even in the most polite terms, he/she uses private correspondence in what appears to be an effort to shame others into silence or into public agreement, or to try to reduce their credibility in the eyes of others. If someone says they no longer agree or feel they were in error, or they say they believe you took their statement out of context or read more into it than they meant, then please be respectful and let it go, not post a hundred times about how you have PMs from the past where this person once agreed. Just because someone might appear to be rude to this member doesn't excuse the above behavior that he/she consistently engages in. Perhaps someone was outright nasty to him/her ten years ago on another forum. No one here needs to hear about it. If it's being done here and now, other members will see it and can judge for themselves. I assume I am opening myself to attacks now, or accusations that I am part of a (insert derogatory term for a profession or class of people) cabal, or accusations that I idolize this or that person. I'm not a member of any clique. If I "upvote" a post, it's because I think it's a valid point for me to consider in the thread topic, if I "like" the post, then I might agree with it, if I use "thanks" then it might be something I hadn't thought of or it was unknown to me and it's now valuable to me, or it might be "thanks" for saying something that I didn't have the courage to post myself, or that someone said better than I could have, or it's like "you're welcome" if it's in response to a post thanking me for sharing something. I use "off topic" if I think it's off topic, not because I disagree, and I use "disagree" if I disagree with the post content. I generally don't bother commenting or reacting at all if I simply don't like or respect the poster. I am a subjective when it comes to my music, but I try to have some objective information when making decisions on purchasing or setting up gear. There is so much equipment out there, and so much disinformation/FUD, that I need something to assist me in whittling down what gear to look at and what to listen for. Measurements can be a valuable tool--I personally don't understand why anyone wouldn't want as much information as possible, while I am not able to make those measurements myself. I own an old Fluke 16 and a Fieldpiece clamp meter from the same era, other than that, I own no test gear of any kind. I do have 3000+ music CDs/SACDs, and I listen at least three hours per day, with my full attention on the music. My only "idols" in life are a few musical ones: a tiny number of composers, singers, instrumentalists. So I hope no one will accuse me of being in one of these little feuding groups, that may or may not even exist here, but are used as distractions in the negative posting of some members. I hesitate to post this, but perhaps there is someone else who, like me, would normally keep silent or just vent privately, so perhaps this is slightly useful for this point of view to be expressed. I suppose some will call this post an attack, and hypocritical, and perhaps the worst offenders won't see themselves in any of this, but rather will see their own "enemies." I suppose some will think this is just civility policing, although I think the types of behavior I criticized above are actually far worse than someone lashing out in brief anger with an expletive that might result in an automatic ban. Sigh. Back to music, and on topic, it is on digital media (CD), and I believe that it's a case of "bits is bits." But perhaps I lack the expertise. It sounds glorious, however, even though Neil Young's new book would say it's only 25% of the information that could be on a vinyl LP (which his graphic shows as "Hi-Res Analog" and is rated at 100% of the data in the recording). lol The recording is Verdi's La forza del destino, sung by Leontyne Price. When I play my ripped files via my USB cable to an outboard DAC, it sounds identical to my ears to the CD playback. I also have the LP set, incidentally, and it is clear to my ears and brain that the CD and the digital rip are superior in resolution to the LP hahaha! But then, I guess my LP rig was always crap. lol
  8. Kibbitz might better describe what goes on here. haha!
  9. I am going to suggest areas of measurement, their units, and scales. This will be followed by some discussion of rationale for choosing or rejecting certain terms and/or scales. Property: Transparency Unit of measure: holt Scale: 0 to 7 (0 holt=perfect transparency/fidelity to the source; 7 holts=no transparency) This is suggested by the clarity scale of diamonds, but while that scale goes from 0 (flawless/internally flawless) up to 10 (see Note 1 below), Transparency for audio only goes to 7, due to the quantity of veils worn by a fully-clothed Salomé (0=nude or no veils, on up to 7, denoting all 7 veils yielding 0 transparency). Continuing with diamond grading as inspiration, and as they are graded on multiple properties, the same could be done with audio equipment, thus I propose two for audio, based on their figurative parallels. Transparency equating to Clarity, and of course we have literal Color for diamonds as well as figurative "color" for audio. Property: Coloration Unit of measure: none (see Note 2 below) Scale: A to Z (A=absence of coloration from the source, Z=maximum coloration) Diamond color is graded from D to Z. D (for diamond itself) being colorless--"a chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water" (hence a gem of the first water) Since we are talking here about Audio rather than diamonds, we will use A to represent the least audio coloration, which expands our coloration grades from A to Z, whereas transparency (clarity) shrunk from 11 grades in diamonds to only 8 for audio. So we still have ample scope for differentiation. Note: Rationale for rejecting the rather more obvious veil as the unit of measure of transparency: As we decreased the scale to 8 whole units (0 through 7), it is quite likely that reviewers would begin dividing into partial units. This leads to inevitable problems and confusion. 0.5 veils would suggest "half a veil" to the casual reader, while others might presume that it refers to a single veil of half-thickness. The whole point of this proposed system of measure/rating is to reduce ambiguity, not add to it. If we truly mean "half a veil" (which covers only a particular half of the audible range), then the holt unit allows for that without ambiguity: simply state 1 holt covering the upper frequencies, and 0 holts for the lower, or vice versa. If we mean a veil of half-thickness, then it seems that 0.5 holts is perfectly clear. (Obviously, it's more likely that it would be some odd portion of a veil rather than half, certainly if we use the conventional range distinctions of treble, midrange, and bass, we have third-veil portions in that sense (although the midrange is greater than one-third, and many would say it was all-important, musically).) Best to use the holt, and describe a loudspeaker as having 0 holts in the treble region, but 1 holt in the bass or midrange, for example. If you actually mean that the veil is finer than normal, then you'd state that the loudspeaker exhibits 0.5 holts overall. If using veils, you'd have to specify 0.5 veils, with treble fully transparent, and no clearly logical way to distinguish a half-thickness overall, due to the problem of perception over the designation 0.5 veils as noted earlier. Some other possibilities, and reasons in favor or against: Unit of measure: atkinson (1 atkinson being equivalent to number of new worlds birthed) Main reason for rejection: MQA is generally considered vaporware on the most-viewed discussion of the subject on the internet, so the general reader will have no frame of reference, thus requiring lengthy footnotes to reviews. Additional considerations: ambiguity of the sense of world. Is this in the sense of planets, as in our own world, planet Earth? Or is it in a more figurative sense of everything meaningful around us, potentially meaning the entire universe. Is it renewal of this world, or a completely separate world? A parallel world? Unit of measure: harley (1 harley being equivalent to number of jaws dropped, or possibly to measure Coloration) Main reasons for rejection: Coloration, being rated A to Z rather than having a numeric scale, needs no unit of measure. Simplicity is best. Jaws dropped as being part of a unit of measure or scale seems to sacrifice clarity or sense. Do we allow for all jaws in the world, theoretical limit of jaws in the known universe, number of jaws that theoretically could be contained in the listening room? If only the jaw of the reviewer, then it has little utility, as the jaw will either drop or not, so we have two possibilities only, 0 harley or 1 harley. What a mess, and too much ambiguity needing additional clarification in the footnotes of each review. Other significant reason to reject the unit harley for any type of measurement: ambiguity potential, as readers might assume it is named in honor of the motorcycle, thus a higher number on the scale would seem good to those who enjoy or admire the brand, while detractors would consider 0 harleys to be the optimal or perfect designation on the total scale. Unit of measure: hirsch No proposed area of measurement, rejected due to ambiguity or perceived lack of utility/possible bias of those who might have a belief that it suggests a state of events where "all electronics sound alike." General audiophile readers might assume at most a binary scale, where 1 hirsch means it works/powers up, and 0 hirsch where it is completely broken. Thus any attempted use of the hirsch as a meaningful unit of measure would require lengthy footnotes appended to every review. Note 1: For the sake of simplicity, I am following the example of the American Gem Society's 0 to 10 scale, rather than VVS, VS, S, and I ratings in the GIA scale, although both systems in fact have 11 grades including "flawless/internally flawless." Note 2: Coloration, being rated A to Z rather than having a numeric scale, needs no unit of measure to be clearly understood. General Notes: Carat weight and Cut in diamonds have no special parallel in audio equipment, other than things already served by conventional measures and descriptions. Cut loosely parallels categories like "tube" or "solid state," or "dynamic" versus "planar," etc. We already have weight in audio gear as representative of value (just like diamonds, the heavier it is, the more value--as everyone knows when comparing amplifiers). Other Important Concerns: I have not addressed a time-based measurement, as I feel that timing issues in components can be covered by their effect on either Transparency or Coloration or both. Anything such as bad AD or DA stages causing temporal blur will necessarily reduce transparency to the source, just as having one speaker cable that is longer and thus requiring a few extra nano-seconds for signal arrival will reduce Transparency or induce Coloration. Perhaps more important is the concern that Coloration by definition/logic is a reduction in Transparency, thus perhaps it should not be considered a separate and valid category of measurement at all. Certainly, a component with Coloration of Z cannot have full fidelity to the source recording, so it could not also have Transparency of 0 holts. So as one or the other gets further from perfect, by necessity the other is also further from perfect. The exact ratio presents some problems. Disclaimers: I've mentioned number of veils, with a maximum of seven (source: Oscar Wilde, in his play Salomé, later made into an opera by Richard Strauss), in threads discussing these matters in various places on the 'net and in real life before, as have countless others independently, I'd imagine, as it's so obvious. Likewise, I'm certain that nearly everything else here has been suggested many times by many different people, just like the origin of helen as the unit of measure for beauty (1 millihelen=beauty to launch one ship, and suggestions for -1 helen=ugliness required to sink a battleship), which has multiple claimants including Asimov. All to note that I make no claims to originality with any of the above. I also make no claims that it's funny, as it's also so obvious that it is of course low hanging fruit. So sue me! Also, I'm a touch-typist using a good keyboard, so it really didn't take long to write this up--in the extremely unlikely event anyone cares how much time I wasted on this haha!
  10. English captions are available if necessary (some story dialogue appears as text on the screen and is not voiced, but the captions translate it).
  11. Which equipment is this? The specificity is remarkable, it must be an amazingly high-fidelity loudspeaker! Birth of a new (dystopian?) world!
  12. @John Dyson I have a few questions for you, if you wouldn't mind: Do you have a list of recordings affected/infected by the horrible Dolby A problem? Can you create a thread and share this list if so? (Edited to add: Can you please share a link if you've already provided a list that I've missed?) So many posts about this, is it a problem with artistic masterpieces? Any classical masterpieces? Which labels? Is it mostly recordings that were thrown on the fire in the anti-Disco backlash? Thanks in advance! P.S. Sorry to the OP about the off-topic post.
  13. *and many more? Could they have been consultants on the MQA project? My apologies if this fine youtube channel (they also have a subreddit) has been linked here before.
  14. I go by performance and favorite artists first, so sometimes I have to overlook annoying aspects in the recording. Most of my DG recordings feature Gil Shaham or Herbert von Karajan. Regarding recordings made in the past 20 years or so, I'd say the majority of those I really enjoy are from BIS, where they very often have superb performances as well as wonderful sonics. Oh, I forgot my Trevor Pinnock/The English Concert CDs, those are all under the DG umbrella as well, their Archiv label.
  15. I never cared for Telarc. Every recording I heard raved about was surpassed in musical terms (interpretation/performance) by something else for my tastes, so I never kept any of the Telarcs. Fortunately, back in those days, you could get most of your money back selling a CD in Berkeley (Amoeba Records, I think?) My favorite recording of the 1812 Overture has real artillery, the city's church bells, and a choir. It's thrilling, and has very quiet passages as well, but I doubt that the dynamic range exceeds the best recordings from BIS, like the Ravel disc we've discussed. I don't know about the artillery, whether it's compressed by studio artifice or by old-fashioned distance lol. It's on DG, this one with Neeme Järvi conducting:
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