Status in the world of hifi

General HiFi discussion, using the Tune Method to evaluate performance

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beck
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Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-19 13:00

Going with the latest (not saying it is the absolute truth) we have the following situation:

Digital is hugely affected by our “analog” world and having a hard time hitting us the right way as human beings wanting to enjoy music like we do when listening live. We really have to do our best with setup.

Analog has a way of hitting us the “right” way when done properly (and even when not done properly!). It may be that vinyl enhances some features we like not being perfectly “true” to the source (as nothing is perfect).

Sitting here listening to Stevie Wonder’ s “Songs in The Key of Life” on an early AAD cd I enjoy the music while knowing that I would enjoy the vinyl issue even more.

The old analog sound has the ability to draw me into the music almost participating whereas digital makes me more of an observer listening to nice sounds.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by Tony Tune-age » 2020-02-19 18:48

The only reason I have a stereo system is because of the turntable. And If it was not for having a great sounding deck, I would not have a stereo system.

Cheers
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-19 20:50

Tony Tune-age wrote:
2020-02-19 18:48
The only reason I have a stereo system is because of the turntable. And If it was not for having a great sounding deck, I would not have a stereo system.

Cheers
The above could have been me 10 years ago and still today I agree! :-)
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by ThomasOK » 2020-02-19 23:36

Tony Tune-age wrote:
2020-02-19 18:48
The only reason I have a stereo system is because of the turntable. And If it was not for having a great sounding deck, I would not have a stereo system.

Cheers
+1!
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by sunbeamgls » 2020-02-19 23:52

beck wrote:
2020-02-19 13:00

Digital is hugely affected by our “analog” world and having a hard time hitting us the right way as human beings wanting to enjoy music like we do when listening live. We really have to do our best with setup.

Analog has a way of hitting us the “right” way when done properly (and even when not done properly!). It may be that vinyl enhances some features we like not being perfectly “true” to the source (as nothing is perfect).
Interesting ideas. I'm wondering why we have to really do our best with set up for digital, but analogue is permitted to hit us right away, when done properly.

Should both not require to be done properly from the outset, for a valid comparison to be made?
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by Hermann » 2020-02-20 12:39

beck wrote:
2020-02-19 13:00
[...]
The old analog sound has the ability to draw me into the music almost participating whereas digital makes me more of an observer listening to nice sounds.
I couldn't have put it better myself. I see the two worlds rather a coexistence than that one have to be vehemently preferred/defended.

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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-20 12:41

Hermann wrote:
2020-02-20 12:39
beck wrote: [...]
The old analog sound has the ability to draw me into the music almost participating whereas digital makes me more of an observer listening to nice sounds.
I couldn't have put it better myself. I see the two worlds rather a coexistence than that one have to be vehemently preferred/defended.
I agree. You can have both at home or you can choose the one that fills your heart with joy! :-)
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-02-20 13:11

Hermann wrote:
2020-02-20 12:39
beck wrote:
2020-02-19 13:00
[...]
The old analog sound has the ability to draw me into the music almost participating whereas digital makes me more of an observer listening to nice sounds.
I couldn't have put it better myself. I see the two worlds rather a coexistence than that one have to be vehemently preferred/defended.
+1
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-20 14:03

My guess why there is a slightly different perspective on the music coming from analog and digital is as follows:

Analog “stamps” the music directly into the magnetic tape so timing is fully relatable between everything that is being recorded. This gives a direct musical contact.

Digital is playing a “catching up” game. Even when very fast it is always catching up. This makes it impossible to perform perfect relatable timing with everything happening. This creates an ever so small time gab that makes it possible for us to hear everything because of the slight delay (seperation) between sounds.
This gives a slightly more observing experience.

Just me guessing.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-20 20:25

sunbeamgls wrote:
2020-02-19 23:52
beck wrote:
2020-02-19 13:00

Digital is hugely affected by our “analog” world and having a hard time hitting us the right way as human beings wanting to enjoy music like we do when listening live. We really have to do our best with setup.

Analog has a way of hitting us the “right” way when done properly (and even when not done properly!). It may be that vinyl enhances some features we like not being perfectly “true” to the source (as nothing is perfect).
Interesting ideas. I'm wondering why we have to really do our best with set up for digital, but analogue is permitted to hit us right away, when done properly.

Should both not require to be done properly from the outset, for a valid comparison to be made?
The point I am trying to make here is not about validness from an “objective” point of view but about what hits me personally as a human being.
Even badly setup analog has a way of moving me whereas badly setup digital does not move me at all or worse makes me turn it off.

Even if you could prove that analog is “wrong” and digital is “right” it would not make my hearts decision any different. It would not make me react emotionally to digital the way I do when listening to analog.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by ThomasOK » 2020-02-20 21:46

I tend to agree with the gist of what you are saying and mentioned elsewhere that I think digital is harder to get enjoyable and the more digital steps the signal goes through the harder it seems to get.

One practical experience (or rather a series of them) that goes to your feeling that even poorly setup analog can move you whereas poorly setup digital leaves you cold. I have been selling and setting up turntables since 1978 and Hi-Fi was my hobby well before that. In the 70s and 80s we sold a lot of LP12s, Rega Planar 2s and 3s, Dual 506, 508, etc. and a handful of Denons and others. We looked down on the cheap Japanese $100 turntables with their flimsy arms, lightweight ringy platters, hollow plastic bases and servo controlled motors. Compared to what we had to offer there was good reason to look askance at these. But now they are getting brought into the store by mostly young people from their father's basement and having new cartridges fitted and a decent setup. It took a while for me to stop being surprised that these cheap turntables were still enjoyable musically when I finished setting them up, whereas most under $1000 CD players just aren't - at least to me.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-20 22:07

Not trying to make any points with the below video other than he brings a smile to my face despite his frustration :-) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjTQsY8rhaM

You have seen this before ThomasOK and made your reservations about his arguments quite clear.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by OscarH » 2020-02-21 13:20

After watching that video I feel the need for a quick "Life hack 101": it's a really destructive path to get frustrated with the inherent shortcomings of music reproduction that you can NOT change.

Rather - enjoy the many amazing aspects of music reproduction. Amazing aspect Number 1: it exists!

I for one am grateful music is not reserved for those able to employ an orchestra :)

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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by Peter Lanky » 2020-02-21 15:36

I think that too many arguments about music tend to dwell on one problem (vinyl vs digital) rather than considering lots of different issues. The basic concept is that the music should sound like the original reproduction. The sound of classical music and a significant amount of jazz is purely acoustic, and thus should be the best possible sound. Yes? No not really. The acoustics of the room may be terrible, or the musicians may not not sat in the right place to get the balance.

Then think of amplified music. The amps and speakers are probably not as good as those for home hifi, being built for volume rather than quality, and the volume is probably routinely too high anyway. When listening live, we are enjoying the occasion rather than the quality of the musical reproduction, and getting all excited despite the vocalist being 70 and lost most of his vocal range.

In other words, if we heard music exactly how it was meant to be, but take away the occasion, then the sound when you listen to it at home is crap. How many live albums are listened to out of nostalgia rather than quality?

So the 'artificial' sound of the recording studio, with hoards of technicians, plenty of setting up time and quality equipment is bound to give us a better sound than a 'real' performance. In other words, lots is happening before we even get to the vinyl vs digital differences.

I have not used vinyl for 25 years now. I didn't suffer any listening problems when I made the switch. I did miss all the background noise, the constant returning to the record shop to change an LP because it was scratched. I certainly lost the hassle of changing the LP or turning it over every 20 minutes and the regular checks to make sure my stylus wasn't becoming worn, and even the worry of where to store all those bulky LPs without it being the most prominent feature of the living room.

So maybe there is some sound advantage in vinyl for some, but I suspect that most need a really top end turntable to notice it. For me the disappointment was and still is the quality of some recordings. If Steely Dan can turn out great sounding albums from a quality angle then so should all the others, seeing how much money so many of them make. I still thing all the other issues are far more relevant for enjoyment or engaging than whether the source is vinyl or digital.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by Tony Tune-age » 2020-02-21 15:47

That's useful information, especially for people that can't afford an expensive turntable. Interesting experiences Thomas, no doubt you have heard a lot of decks, both expensive and inexpensive.

Cheers
ThomasOK wrote:
2020-02-20 21:46
I tend to agree with the gist of what you are saying and mentioned elsewhere that I think digital is harder to get enjoyable and the more digital steps the signal goes through the harder it seems to get.

One practical experience (or rather a series of them) that goes to your feeling that even poorly setup analog can move you whereas poorly setup digital leaves you cold. I have been selling and setting up turntables since 1978 and Hi-Fi was my hobby well before that. In the 70s and 80s we sold a lot of LP12s, Rega Planar 2s and 3s, Dual 506, 508, etc. and a handful of Denons and others. We looked down on the cheap Japanese $100 turntables with their flimsy arms, lightweight ringy platters, hollow plastic bases and servo controlled motors. Compared to what we had to offer there was good reason to look askance at these. But now they are getting brought into the store by mostly young people from their father's basement and having new cartridges fitted and a decent setup. It took a while for me to stop being surprised that these cheap turntables were still enjoyable musically when I finished setting them up, whereas most under $1000 CD players just aren't - at least to me.
Tony Tune-age

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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by OscarH » 2020-02-21 17:35

Steely Dan is a prime example of the ‘original reproduction paradox’ - with the multiple takes employed in recording their music essentially didn’t exist until it hit the mastering table.

So is there even a performance to reproduce?

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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-21 22:20

OscarH wrote:
2020-02-21 17:35
Steely Dan is a prime example of the ‘original reproduction paradox’ - with the multiple takes employed in recording their music essentially didn’t exist until it hit the mastering table.

So is there even a performance to reproduce?
No, but there is the illusion of a band playing together with natural live tune and timing and this is where many systems and recordings for that matter fails miserably......
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-02-21 23:26

Miles Davis, In A Silent Way wasn't recognised by one of the lead musicians. Studio artistry is often vital.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by FairPlayMotty » 2020-02-21 23:29

OscarH wrote:
2020-02-21 17:35
Steely Dan is a prime example of the ‘original reproduction paradox’ - with the multiple takes employed in recording their music essentially didn’t exist until it hit the mastering table.

Amateur Philosophy for an after work drink...
I want to hear de luxe versions of the Steely Dan albums to hear the solos they rejected.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by Tendaberry » 2020-02-22 11:52

FairPlayMotty wrote:
2020-02-21 23:29
I want to hear de luxe versions of the Steely Dan albums to hear the solos they rejected.
+1

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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by u252agz » 2020-02-22 12:11

ThomasOK wrote:
2020-02-20 21:46

It took a while for me to stop being surprised that these cheap turntables were still enjoyable musically when I finished setting them up, whereas most under $1000 CD players just aren't - at least to me.

Which modern day CD players give a musical reproduction comparable to a well set up Linns DS unit -

My Ikemi was the first CD player I thought was enjoyable but I thought my sneaky/ Zoneripper NAS was more musical, and I traded it in for a KRDS/0.

Difficult in some ways as the performance of DS units is hugely dependant on the installation of the digital network and the source that feeds the DS player.

It is to get away from all those network/source issues that I thought a good CD player may be worth looking at again.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by anthony » 2020-02-22 12:33

u252agz wrote:
2020-02-22 12:11
ThomasOK wrote:
2020-02-20 21:46

It took a while for me to stop being surprised that these cheap turntables were still enjoyable musically when I finished setting them up, whereas most under $1000 CD players just aren't - at least to me.

Which modern day CD players give a musical reproduction comparable to a well set up Linns DS unit -

My Ikemi was the first CD player I thought was enjoyable but I thought my sneaky/ Zoneripper NAS was more musical, and I traded it in for a KRDS/0.

Difficult in some ways as the performance of DS units is hugely dependant on the installation of the digital network and the source that feeds the DS player.

It is to get away from all those network/source issues that I thought a good CD player may be worth looking at again.
Considering my ds1 was better than my cd12 you maybe in for a long search.

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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-02-22 13:09

u252agz wrote:
2020-02-22 12:11
ThomasOK wrote:
2020-02-20 21:46

It took a while for me to stop being surprised that these cheap turntables were still enjoyable musically when I finished setting them up, whereas most under $1000 CD players just aren't - at least to me.
It is to get away from all those network/source issues that I thought a good CD player may be worth looking at again.
+1
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by beck » 2020-02-22 13:43

V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-02-22 13:09
u252agz wrote:
ThomasOK wrote:
It took a while for me to stop being surprised that these cheap turntables were still enjoyable musically when I finished setting them up, whereas most under $1000 CD players just aren't - at least to me.
It is to get away from all those network/source issues that I thought a good CD player may be worth looking at again.
+1
The problem as I see it is that while turntables need a good setup to work well cd players need an extremely good setup out of the ordinary to work well and play really enjoyable music.
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Re: Status in the world of hifi

Post by V.A.MKD » 2020-02-22 14:17

beck wrote:
2020-02-22 13:43
V.A.MKD wrote:
2020-02-22 13:09
u252agz wrote:

It is to get away from all those network/source issues that I thought a good CD player may be worth looking at again.
+1
The problem as I see it is that while turntables need a good setup to work well cd players need an extremely good setup out of the ordinary to work well and play really enjoyable music.
Here ThomasOK can jump in ... He have both Sondeks, LP12 and CD12 ... if I'm not wrong ... :-)
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