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Audio System

About Me

Found 5 results

  1. This a separate thread because this doesn't apply only to the DHNRDS, but the general state of the old recordings originally created/mixed down in the 1960s through early 1990's... First, the original 'Harsh digital sound' complaints didn't come from only one cause, as there were at least three reasons (not in the order of impact): 1) Early state of 'digital audio' technology. 2) Unexpected signal detail that was partially covered up by complex dynamics in vinyl production 3) Different final/production mastering for digital media vs. analog media. I believe that items 1 and 2 have been well understood all along, and the relative magnitudes of items 1 and 2 have been discussed for 30+yrs. Item 3 has been underestimated or ignored in the public/consumer arena. This is a real problem, and has varying magnitude depending on the exact difference. I dont' know enough about the final mastering (I am not speaking of mixing the material, I am writing here about the two track stereo being prepared for distribution), to know all of the steps, but there are some deviations between the handling of digital vs. analog material. --- This discussion is not solely intended to shill for the DHNRDS -- that is NOT the goal here, but maybe to explain why the 'love' for vinyl and other analog media had been sparked and even sustained for so long. There are definitely recordings which cannot sound as good as they should, some are simply NOT available in their natural form. Instead, some material is still mostly available in the 'harsh digital' form unless on vinyl or properly mastered tape. For an example of the 'natural' Carpenters sound -- refer to the link below -- it must be removed in a few days, but it is here for illustrative purposes. TRY to find a natural sounding Carpenters distribution... You might have problems doing so -- unless you have vinyl or a VERY VERY special digital copy. Even the Carpenters 'singles' on HDtracks is NOT DolbyA decoded!!! It does NOT have the natural sound. (I haven't been able to 100% accurately decode the Carpenters until recently, only possible once I found the correct inverse equalization...) I APOLOGIZE FOR THE MP3s -- believe me, they are better than any normal digital release of the same material!!!! www.dropbox.com/sh/g7bye8uii2ashq1/AACyGhV4R5FYZXDFlAz3HNFoa?dl=0 --- I have listened to a LOT of CDs made from older recordings, both CDs mastered/produced in the early days of digital, and CDs/digital produced more recently, and it is extremely clear to me that the differences can be enumerated as below: 1) No DolbyA decoding, substituted by EQ 2) No DolbyA decoding, not substituted by EQ 3) Additional manipulation, incl compression. In recent years, becoming much more prominent starting in the middle 1990s, and even more egregious in the 2000's and beyond, dynamic range has been deemphasized as a desirable trait, and loudness seems more important to the distributors. This dynamic range matter is well understood, and even some of the motivations for decreased dynamic range are understood -- it is the other items that I am writing about here. Actually, this missing step of DolbyA decoding, and the oassociated decrease in high frequency dynamic range MIGHT have been a contributing factor to the current 'loudness wars' and the consumer toleration for decreased dynamic range! --- Here is the scenario that has happened REPEATEDLY in the past: DolbyA Recording -> EQ -> distribution to consumer Instead, the following should have happened: DolbyA Recording -> DolbyA decode -> distribution to consumer One my ask: Why did this happen? I have no firsthand knowledge, but just existance proof. It has taken some time to collect the information, but there might be several causes: 1) Material already in digital form, archived by LOC (Library of Congres) procedures that make NR decoding before archiving an optional step. 2) Insufficient metadata/documentation and/or missing calibration tones making the decoding effort inconvenient. 3) Time/cost of realtime limited for HW DolbyA decoding, much slower & inconvenient than copying digial files directly. When looking at these items above, and the fact that distribution moves a commodity around, ti is not an artistic endeavor from the standpoint of the business people, I'd suspect that there is sometimes an explicit financial decision to do EQ to attempt to hide the DolbyA encoding instead of the actual decoding operation itself. EQ can be done digitally fast, while decoding actually takes 1:1 time on recording vs. time to decode. Mentioning the details of the problem again: when the mastering was done by the distributor, instead of DolbyA decoding, they did an EQ operation like this: Recording -> EQ -> distribute instead of Recording -> DolbyA decode -> distribute... So, what the remastering does is this: distribution copy -> inverse EQ -> DolbyA decode -> 'better sound results' The problem is that the original EQ isn't documented, and also the ongoing problem was that I didn't realize how precise the EQ needed to be... ---- What is my goal here -- mostly to do what I can do to resurrect the old recordings. These recordings are important to history and will NOT be heard correctly unless correctly and accurately processed.... John
  2. Well, the noise floor of 16-bit is -96dB (putting aside that -120dB is achievable in practice with the use of noise-shaping dither). If -96dB were 20% above the noise floor of most equipment, then most equipment would have a noise floor of -115 to -120dB (the former being 96 x 1.2 and the latter being 96 divided by 0.8). Based on measurements of a lot of equipment at sites like audioscience review, very few DACs and virtually no amplifiers are capable of -115dB and pretty much none are capable of -120. And the vast majority of amps fall short of even -96dB, while for DACs -96dB is middle of the pack.
  3. I have thousands of music cds (mostly standard issue, but also deluxe versions, limited numbered editions, SACD, MFSL Gold, box sets, etc.). Many have been played only a handful of times. I don't use them - ever - because they are all ripped in lossless to external hard drives. So the cds... they just sit there in a dark closet. I have started exploring what would be the best way to sell my collection. A quick websearch led to Decluttr - this seems the most painless way - they will buy anything, pay for shipping, and deposit the money in your bank account. However, the prices they offer seem low, particularly for some items. Case in point: I entered the barcode number for the David Bowie, Station to Station 3 Cd deluxe box (bar code 5099964758329)(you can use your phone to scan the barcode and it makes an offer in a couple of seconds). Decluttr will pay me $4.00 for it. Checking the web I see this going for on average around $50 (and even twice that much some places). I want to sell things as absolutely quickly as I can (I have a busy life and job), but I don't want to have excessive seller's regret either by selling something for $4 that might sell for $50 (with the tradeoff being significantly more time invested). So I am stuck. Maybe use Decluttr for more regular cds, and even if I only get a buck a piece, I might be happy and will still realize a nice sum quickly? Then spend time screwing around on eBay for the more valuable items? Anyone been through this? Anyone use Decluttr? Or similar services? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!!!
  4. I have a large audio CD collection. I am planning to re-rip my CD collection to FLAC. I want to keep my audio playback quality as free as possible from issues such as clicks and pops due to scratched CD surfaces. I am looking for a stable and reliable CD ripping software (either free or paid) that will allow me to copy my CDs to FLAC and offer ripping settings to handle potential audio issues due to factors such as scratched CDs. Depending on the software that you recommend, could you also tell me which rip setting is best on that software to minimize audio issues from CD scratches? I previously used Media Monkey for my ripping but I have had issues with the software constantly resetting my rip settings to default and it is becoming annoying. Thanks in advance.
  5. I've been happily living with Modwright Oppo players for about 6 years now, and I've recently decided to go in a completely different direction, wanting more resolution and honesty than the Modwright units supply. Although I do listen to SACDs occasionally, 98% of my listening from my digital front end is from either an external HDD plugged in to the Oppo's USB port. Soon I will have the ability to connect my router directly to my new digital source (whatever that may be), however. I'm leaning toward an Auralic Vega at ~$1200 on the used market. Whatever DAC I go with, though, how will my front end selection impact the sound that ultimately comes out of the speakers? Will an Auralic Aries sound much better than an Aries Mini? Will it really sound significantly different than, say, a Bluesound Note 2, or a stock Oppo 105? Many thanks in advance for your insights! Best, HC
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