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Retro Audio

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Retro Audio

Old 15th Oct 2019, 02:22
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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CDs and MP3 files required heavy compression due to storage being expensive and internet connections being slow. Early MP3 players could only hold around the same number of tracks as a CD and downloading a 3mb file through Napster took around 15 minutes with a dial up connection.

The latest is high resolution audio files which sound way better than low bit rate MP3s.

The FAQ page on this website give some useful info. https://www.hdtracks.com/faq#oym3
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 03:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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The reason that I posted the AGE question (above) is that for most of us here the ability to appreciate the difference between MP3, 8 track and vinyl all went out the window around the same time we first needed spectacles.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 05:59
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
The reason that I posted the AGE question (above) is that for most of us here the ability to appreciate the difference between MP3, 8 track and vinyl all went out the window around the same time we first needed spectacles.
maybe you should have SHOUTED.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 06:05
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
That is not correct. The delay caused by multiplexing a single D-A is a mere 11 microseconds difference between channels. That is the equivalent of moving your head just 4mm away from the 'perfect' listening position. To suggest this is sufficiently audible to have any effect at all would be bold; to blame it for 'hurting CDs' is fanciful in the extreme. To be true, a head clamp to keep your perfect head position would be a prerequisite for perfect listening pleasure. Seriously?

Are you suggesting it is necessary to measure out such a perfect listening 'sweet spot' every time you listen? Would you honestly claim that moving your head just 4mm from the perfect central position "really messes up the phase relationship of the music" ? There are plenty of other (analogue) features in the audio chain which have a far greater cumulative effect on the overall and inter-channel phase of reproduced music.

It was generally the early 16bit D-As with poor linearity (even non-monotonicity) and other digital and analogue audio failings which often let down some of the early CD players. This was typified by Sony's first offering, the very first commercially available player the CDP-101. As it happened, this did use just a single 16bit D-A, however it was the other failings which let it down, rather than the trivial time delay caused by the single D-A multiplexing as you claim. By contrast, the original Philips player, the CD100, used 2x 14bit D-As with 4x oversampling and noise-shaping to very good effect. Many would agree that this sounded considerably superior (even better when re-engineered by Meridian as the MCD), and this was undoubtedly due to the far better linearity of those 2 much simpler and cheaper 14bit D-As rather than any issues over the absence of the 11us inter-channel time difference.
yes I always believed that the first generations of CD players effectively produced a square wave instead of the sine curve. Subsequent generations introduced increasing levels of oversampling, two times then four, sixteen etc that gradually smoothed out the square wave into the sine shape thereby moving the sound from a harsh unrealistic digital sound into a more natural sound.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 06:28
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Certainly in the world of classical music, the change from analog vinyl to digital CD's was a mixed bag. I have a number of albums in both formats. Sure, the format in which the music was recorded, be it analog or digital, makes a difference, but in return for eliminating the surface noises and increasing the dynamic range, there is often a loss of a certain "presence" which was much more apparent on the vinyl version.

Similar to trying to understand why a work on an electronic organ, however digitally complex it might be, cannot equal that same work on real pipes. Analog music is extremely complex, not simply binary.

Unfortunately, like others have said, by the time we reach the age where we think these subtle differences provide the enjoyment, our ears can no longer make the distinction.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 06:32
  #26 (permalink)  
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An old flying buddy is on the credits of Radiohead's Kid-A album as he built their studio. He told me how amazed he was at the bolleaux spouted over hi-fi and so-called "directional" copper cables. His words were "those cables are better than what we used to record with so god knows what the listeners think they are hearing". In comparison, I had an online chat with Graham Slee who makes awesome audio kit and asked how a polycrystalline metal could be directional with an AC signal. He didn't know but claimed that cables did sound different when swapped around.

I'm baffled.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 07:42
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Foxxster View Post


yes I always believed that the first generations of CD players effectively produced a square wave instead of the sine curve. Subsequent generations introduced increasing levels of oversampling, two times then four, sixteen etc that gradually smoothed out the square wave into the sine shape thereby moving the sound from a harsh unrealistic digital sound into a more natural sound.
Not true. They have all attempted to reproduce the original analogue sound, with varying degrees of success. Amongst the worst problems which beset players, especially the early ones, was jitter, a mistiming of the samples which caused a distortion of which the human ear was highly intolerant. It was this - and other artefacts of the digital path(such as the non-monotonicity I have already mentioned) which made the sound objectionable, giving it the reputation for 'digital' sound, despite being a highly analogue waveform, without any square waves coming out whatsoever. If nothing else, the final output (21kHz-ish) filters saw to that.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 07:46
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B Fraser View Post
An old flying buddy is on the credits of Radiohead's Kid-A album as he built their studio. He told me how amazed he was at the bolleaux spouted over hi-fi and so-called "directional" copper cables. His words were "those cables are better than what we used to record with so god knows what the listeners think they are hearing". In comparison, I had an online chat with Graham Slee who makes awesome audio kit and asked how a polycrystalline metal could be directional with an AC signal. He didn't know but claimed that cables did sound different when swapped around.

I'm baffled.
That's your second shameless 'plug' for Mr Slee. However, both he and LFD Audio both apparently recognise the effects of metallic structures within cables affecting sound, as well as the importance of correct selection of appropriate capacitors and other passives in the audio chain. If anyone took the trouble to listen carefully to a properly set up system using such carefully components, they would be left in no doubt of the benefits.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 09:22
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There is more nonsense talked about HiFi then there is about wine, some people even claim that the rack holding the components can affect sound quality. The mark up on some of the equipment is ludicrous as well. By the time you can afford to indulge, your ears won't be able to tell the difference anyway. Buy secondhand good quality equipment rather than new lower quality components which lose 50% of their value as soon as you switch the set on. You can resell a used amplifier for pretty much what you paid for it 6 months later, try doing that with one you bought new.

Specialist shops can usually repair older stuff, I saw a valve amplifier from the 1970s still going strong a while ago, and there are usually work arounds to connect different vintages of equipment together. I have a Musical Fidelity amplifier which is so old it has a phono input, connected to a modern DAC with optical inputs which I can play HiRes files from my computer on or stream Spotify.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 09:55
  #30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
There is more nonsense talked about HiFi then there is about wine, some people even claim that the rack holding the components can affect sound quality. The mark up on some of the equipment is ludicrous as well. By the time you can afford to indulge, your ears won't be able to tell the difference anyway.
Amen to that. As for streaming services, the vast majority are at a surprisingly low bit rate. Before indulging in a bit of practice retirement, I was working with a major internet provider on mergers and acquisitions. I recommended buying out one of the major players as a means to drive higher consumption through upgrading their feed to 24 bit / 96khz sampling. Surprisingly, most streaming companies are carrying a heck of a lot of debt so the proposal didn't get anywhere. I could recommend one streaming service but there may be a tidal wave of outrage from one poster for another shameless plug.

As an example of how money is thrown at non-existent problems, bi-wiring is also known as buy-wiring. The art of parting the gullible from their cash.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 22:45
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Pilotmike. Thanks for your response. Seems the person who explained that to me many years ago got it very wrong.

Audiophoolery

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Old 16th Oct 2019, 07:09
  #32 (permalink)  
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As an ex audio professional I have to agree with the points in that article Foxxster.

I recall a time when an acquaintance of mine invited me to his house to show me his stereo system. It was a NAIM system and he had a beautiful walnut cabinet made for it. It looked most impressive.

But I never got to hear it.

I had popped in while I was on call and was wearing a pager ( VHF RX only). He asked me to turn it off because it would 'affect the sound'.

I asked if he was having a laugh and he wasn't. I then made my excuses and left.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 15:45
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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i'm just waiting for the first accident to be caused by Airbus installing a FBW cable back-to-front and thereby preventing all the electrons from getting through properly.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 16:01
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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And what about all those people who think that elektrikery flows from positive to negative.

tin hat etc.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 20:34
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The TED lecture is interesting, has any flight simulator ever smelt like a real aircraft.

Does any GA simulator stink of avgas.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 20:39
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
What most people haven't noticed is that the digital compression of MP3 and the like are not kind to music. There is a tremendous amount of information in music, and digital compression loses some of that. When they do notice, they blame the Analog to Digital conversion - which for the most part is wrong. An example of the amount of information in music is that a single sided CD can contain roughly one hour of music. It can also contain the detailed road map information for every road in North America
Yes, A to D (and back to A) loses a little, but digital compression loses a LOT! Vinyl sounds better than a CD, but the difference is subtle and unless you're a serious audiophile you'll never notice. But compared to the digitally compressed formats both CD and vinyl sound fantastic.
One thing that hurt CDs was that cheaper CD players use a single D to A converter (constantly switching back and forth between channels) which really messes up the phase relationship of the music. Good CD players use two converters and don't have that problem.
I can only describe as the middle seems to be missing from MP3. Don't know what the technical term is.
Even CD sound better.
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Old 16th Oct 2019, 21:01
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
That is not correct. The delay caused by multiplexing a single D-A is a mere 11 microseconds difference between channels. That is the equivalent of moving your head just 4mm away from the 'perfect' listening position. To suggest this is sufficiently audible to have any effect at all would be bold; to blame it for 'hurting CDs' is fanciful in the extreme. To be true, a head clamp to keep your perfect head position would be a prerequisite for perfect listening pleasure. Seriously?

It was generally the early 16bit D-As with poor linearity (even non-monotonicity) and other digital and analogue audio failings which often let down some of the early CD players. This was typified by Sony's first offering, the very first commercially available player the CDP-101. As it happened, this did use just a single 16bit D-A, however it was the other failings which let it down, rather than the trivial time delay caused by the single D-A multiplexing as you claim. By contrast, the original Philips player, the CD100, used 2x 14bit D-As with 4x oversampling and noise-shaping to very good effect. Many would agree that this sounded considerably superior (even better when re-engineered by Meridian as the MCD), and this was undoubtedly due to the far better linearity of those 2 much simpler and cheaper 14bit D-As rather than any issues over the absence of the 11us inter-channel time difference.
Ok, perhaps it wasn't explained to me properly at the time, but back when CDs were new and novel, I could readily hear the difference between good and bad CD players. There was a top end audio store that I frequented, and I could sit in their listening room and do blind back-to-back listening of different CD decks and tell which ones sounded better. Not just the sound, but the 'imaging' (where the instruments appeared to be when you closed your eyes). The 'good' sounding ones had dual A to D converters - but perhaps it was the rest of the processing that made the difference rather than the A-D converters themselves. I ended up buying a Denon deck (dual A-D) that sounded fantastic (which I still have as part of my system but it rarely gets used).
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Old 17th Oct 2019, 00:18
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

Originally Posted by BigEndBob View Post
I can only describe as the middle seems to be missing from MP3. Don't know what the technical term is.
Even CD sound better.
It's not easy at all to hear the difference between CD quality (16/44) and a decent MP3. You can do your own double blind test using something like Foobar with the ABX Comparator. Not easy at all.

Also a guy in Canada who goes by the pseudonym of Archimago ran an interesting test a few years ago where he got people to blind compare a 16/44 uncompressed FLAC file (CD quality) with a 320kbps MP3. "Perhaps not unexpected, most respondents had to work hard or felt it was impossible to tell the difference between the Sets", Of those who heard a difference, most thought the MP3 set sounded better... The correct URL is not postable here (due to containing "blog" and "spot") but search for "high-bitrate-mp3-internet-blind-test"

Last edited by artee; 17th Oct 2019 at 03:21.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 17:47
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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I have not been here for some time.
However the old ears like the convenience of CD and the stereo depth, that appears with Long Playing records.
We cannot win.
Perfection does not exist.
What is your favorite listen?
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 18:57
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Originally Posted by longer ron View Post
Yes they are taking advantage of a 'fashionable' trend.

I am like many others, most of my record collection was replaced by cd's many years ago,music in the car is provided by a couple of mini usb sticks holding hundreds of tracks each
I've done my fair share of professional audio engineering over the years in the course of my career. Like any sensible human being went over to CD's in the late '80's, then mp3 et al in the '90's. ALL my sounds are SSD based lossless .aif these days.

So imagine my surprise when daughter (17) received large package through post and it's this:



On which she proceeded to play Elton John's Greatest Hits Vol 1 (A good solid sound made for vinyl)
On that piece of crud it sounded absolutely abysmal.

I started telling her about my Pioneer PL-500 mated to a QUAD Amp with B&W speakers back in the day but she wasn't interested.

It's funny how the World turns 180 degrees every now and then.


LordGrumpy - Probably (corny I know) but Dark Side Of The Moon takes some beating on vinyl - and it went to CD horribly initially - like most stuff in the early days of the technology.
Later, of course bands like Floyd hurriedly re-mastered all the early CD stuff to suit the medium better with good success.
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