IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

55 Pages V  < 1 2 3 4 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Article: Why We Need Audiophiles, The subjective perspective
Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 16 2009, 21:49
Post #26





Group: Members
Posts: 3701
Joined: 29-October 08
From: USA, 48236
Member No.: 61311



QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Apr 16 2009, 13:41) *
But good systems with excellently matched speakers (with excellent time and frequency domain responses) do "image" spectacularly better than lower quality stuff.


The frequency domain part I'll agee with, but the time domain part - well numerous counter-examples exist. For example, one of the major innovations of the last 20 years in crossover design has been the so-called "Linkwistz-Riley" configuration. However Linkswitz-Riley agressively time domain response for improved frequency-domain response.

QUOTE
The front/back depth of the sound stage is increased, the location of (say) the singer is focussed more tightly etc etc.


That kind of poetry slides off the lips so gracefully...

QUOTE
You can also put the speakers further apart before the sound stage falls apart.


Whatever that means. The means by whioh it was verified by means of a DBT seem to be unknown...

QUOTE
It's not what the record producer intended (usually), but it's very impressive. Stereo is supposed to work with 60 degree speaker angle. I've heard it work stunningly well with 110 speaker angle - but only with very good speakers.


Most home speakers are non-directional enough that +/- 25degrees of toe shouldn't mean that much.

QUOTE
The photographs of that particular listening room are not impressive unless they misrepresent the reality - from what it looks like, I'd want the speakers much further away from the walls, and from everything else. The kind of early reflections I'd expect in that room would seriously damage the magical 3-d sound stage that's claimed to exist.



Looks like one of those too-small Manhattan apartments...
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Axon
post Apr 16 2009, 21:51
Post #27





Group: Members (Donating)
Posts: 1984
Joined: 4-January 04
From: Austin, TX
Member No.: 10933



Nope. According to Mejias, Fremer's a Jersey man.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
SnTholiday
post Apr 16 2009, 22:05
Post #28





Group: Members
Posts: 51
Joined: 15-May 07
Member No.: 43509



Do you think Fremer really gets into the music with his "$350,000 system", or does he dwell on what can be tweaked or repositioned or even replaced/upgraded. You can't really enjoy the music if you are constantly critiqing the equipment it is playing on. It's a hard habit to break.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
DVDdoug
post Apr 16 2009, 23:08
Post #29





Group: Members
Posts: 2568
Joined: 24-August 07
From: Silicon Valley
Member No.: 46454



2tec,
Thanks for that post & link. Good stuff!!! laugh.gif

QUOTE
...on his $350,000 stereo system. It sounds excellent.
I would freekin' hope so!!!!

QUOTE
I hear the needle drop... I hear a hiss. And yes, while the record was playing, I heard a pop, a crackle or two.... off my iPod; it sounds like s***. Free of pops and crackles, yes, but completely lifeless, flat in every way.
I grew-up with vinyl, and I hated the noise. Most of my friends didn't even notice it, but it used to drive me crazy! I find it strange that it doesn't bother these "audiophiles"... Any idiot can tell you that my CDs sound better than my scratchy old records.

QUOTE
It's like when you go to the symphony, and the old men are coughing—same thing," Fremer says. Necessary impurities. Reminders of being in the real world.
I disagree! When the noise comes from the sound system, it's more annoying, at least to me. I think our directional hearing ability helps us to tune-out and ignore ambient noises. Even in a movie theater, I can ignore "candy-wrapper noises", etc. (talking is more annoying). But, if I hear a click or a buzz (or distortion) from the sound system, I'll take notice.

If you've ever made a "live" recording... even a recoding of a meeting, there are usually annoying/distracting noises on the "tape" that you didn't notice during the event. Sometimes when I see that an event is being recorded, I start listening-to and noticing ambient noises that I wasn't really aware of before.

QUOTE (zipr)
Do musicians listen to their own stuff on $350,000 equipment?
A lot of musicians and music lovers enjoy the underlying music without regard to audio quality. I think that's true of most people! They like a "good song" no matter what it's played on.

Unfortunately, some of us can't appreciate good music on a lousy or mediocre system... A lot of us are cursed with the desire for a good musical performance and good quality sound reproduction. I call us true audiophiles (lovers of good audio). I don't know what the "audiophile community" & the audiophile publications are cursed with! laugh.gif


wink.gif BTW - Most musicians don't listen to their own stuff, except perhaps while practicing, performing, and during the recording & production process, and by that time they are probably sick of it!
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
kornchild2002
post Apr 16 2009, 23:31
Post #30





Group: Members
Posts: 2073
Joined: 8-April 05
From: Cincinnati, OH
Member No.: 21277



QUOTE (rpp3po @ Apr 16 2009, 11:06) *
But it's not complete bull. About 5 years ago I did extensive ABX tests (128kbit/s ABR AAC) with my brother-in-law, who was studying Jazz back then. Out of 20 random Jazz tracks (modern recordings from the 90's and 00's) he could differentiate 19 (myself 3). And he always explained that he heard differences within the spatial image in his head.


I was actually making fun of being able to see sound waves coming out of the speakers in the fourth dimension. I can understand if some people are able to piece together a spatial image in their head. I have this ability when it comes to pip networks, wells, forces acting on objects, etc. I can pictures these things in three dimensions in my head. It is just that the quote kind of came off like he has the ability to actually see sound waves with a third eye or something. That and the whole 3D aspect is just way too "out there" to ignore. That is why I made such an obscene comment about using a third eye to see in the fourth dimension and that someone's vision would constantly be clouded with sound waves (since nearly everything makes noise). Just trying to poke fun at something which is kind of correct but mostly bull crap.

QUOTE (SnTholiday @ Apr 16 2009, 14:05) *
Do you think Fremer really gets into the music with his "$350,000 system", or does he dwell on what can be tweaked or repositioned or even replaced/upgraded. You can't really enjoy the music if you are constantly critiqing the equipment it is playing on. It's a hard habit to break.


That is a good question. Does he always listen for what can be changed or does he actually sit down and enjoy music? As previously stated, most people can still enjoy music regardless of what it is played on. They start listening to the actual song and stop trying to judge it for quality. I know that many musicians actually burn rough copies of their songs and listen to them in the car and at home on their systems (both of which probably weren't $350,000). I couldn't stand listening to music always judging its quality rather than actually enjoying what was coming out. Additionally, if I were extremely anal about these things, I would never be able to fully enjoy music unless I was sitting at home listening to my $350,000 sound system. I imagine that I would even have a hard time enjoying concerts. I know I wouldn't be able to enjoy concerts dealing with metal as everyone tries to push the volume up to obscene levels with clarity often taking a backseat.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Axon
post Apr 16 2009, 23:45
Post #31





Group: Members (Donating)
Posts: 1984
Joined: 4-January 04
From: Austin, TX
Member No.: 10933



I think it's abundantly clear that Fremer is all about emotion rather than audio quality in any meaningful sense (that we are concerned about). That vinyl has such noises doesn't matter, because he asserts it evokes emotion that CDs do not.

More generally, many audiophiles believe that audio quality is intrinsically tied to emotional responses. The two concepts are more or less inseperable to them. That such and such component has a terrible frequency response or high distortion may not matter to them, because quite simply, the "sound quality" is still top class. Just look at the emotions it conveys! And look at Fremer's comments on the first CD listening - "it made me feel horrible!". And Atkinson's comments on the emotions experienced with different amps that ABX'd the same.

There's a really subtle logical fallacy at play here, that, truth be told, I first saw popped by Ayn Rand (!). I forget the exact quote, but it was to the effect that, while happiness is a measure of human success, it cannot be optimized as a parameter. That is, making decisions based on how happy they will make you can lead to short-sighted or counterproductive results, because happiness is simply too complex and inscrutable to be reduced down to mere buying decisions. (Anybody who's actually read her crap knows that "optimized" isn't even in her vocabulary IIRC so I'm probably getting something wrong).

Applied here: there are significant gaps in our knowledge of music and emotion; emotion can feed back upon itself in positive feedback loops; all of this is being ignored by audiophiles. While we listen to music for entirely emotional reasons, concluding that equipment should be evaluated on an emotional basis - that is, the best equipment lets the user experience the "best" emotions - presupposes a kind of simplistic "filter" model of emotion, where flaws in the component prevent the full emotion of the music to be experienced by the listener. That presupposition, and that whole notion of evaluating equipment in such a fashion, is illogical.

I think that us ABXers and skeptics are also arguing fallaciously when we decry all high end audio as placebo, and/or highly corrupted by observer bias due to price/shiny knobs/etc. I think audiophiles can toss those sorts of things aside rather easily and it makes us look bad. Really, we don't have a very good scientific understanding of how sighted testing actually works. If we did, we could predict it. And we can't! We can make educated guesses, based on all sorts of sighted factors like cost etc, but nobody's actually argued these correlations with any degree of accuracy whatsoever. The guesses are plausible to us but laughably hypothetical to others.

Rather, the problem here is that the whole notion of trusting some touchy psychiatrist fourty/fiftysomething's emotions when it comes to your music purchase decisions, or even your audio worldview, is batshit crazy - golden ears or not. And that's even before we get to the problem of trusting one's own emotions on the matter. I mean no offense to Mikey on professional grounds, insofar as his "profession" is concerned - he's not crazy, not evil, and not stupid - but he is elitist. I do believe he is grossly disrespectful to how normal people in this country listen to their music, and how they should be listening to their music. And taking him at his word on a great many topics will not save you money and will not make you a happier or better person. It only lets you perceive yourself as of a higher class for entirely specious reasons.

--

That said, he is a passionate promoter of music as something that is to be studied with interest and full attention. I think that's really important, really positive, and not elitist. If that requires people to junk their CDs and listen to vinyl on f*cking Regas, I'll shed a few tears, but they will be bittersweet.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
benski
post Apr 17 2009, 00:40
Post #32


Winamp Developer


Group: Developer
Posts: 670
Joined: 17-July 05
From: Brooklyn, NY
Member No.: 23375



QUOTE (kornchild2002 @ Apr 16 2009, 18:31) *
I was actually making fun of being able to see sound waves coming out of the speakers in the fourth dimension. I can understand if some people are able to piece together a spatial image in their head. I have this ability when it comes to pip networks, wells, forces acting on objects, etc. I can pictures these things in three dimensions in my head. It is just that the quote kind of came off like he has the ability to actually see sound waves with a third eye or something. That and the whole 3D aspect is just way too "out there" to ignore. That is why I made such an obscene comment about using a third eye to see in the fourth dimension and that someone's vision would constantly be clouded with sound waves (since nearly everything makes noise). Just trying to poke fun at something which is kind of correct but mostly bull crap.

It doesn't really work like that. I have synaesthesia and it can be a bit hard to explain. The response is automatic and fairly repeatedly - you don't have to "peice together" anything. The 4D viewpoint makes perfect sense to me smile.gif
Also, I know you meant it as tongue-in-cheek, but the disorder does help sometimes with ABX testing, although it can be distracting at other times.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
B0RK
post Apr 17 2009, 00:56
Post #33





Group: Banned
Posts: 60
Joined: 24-December 08
Member No.: 64805



From what I have read , I have to say I see no problem at all with anything Fremer stands for.

He is a well respected pro in his field , & I feel he fights for what he believes in ,
That Good music deserves the respect of us all by being played back with the highest
fidelity possible.

On the other hand, I would be very suspicious of opinions of anyone spending most of his listening time with lossy music, ( judging by some of the comments posted above ).

Even artifacts are something one can get accustomed to as a reality baseline.

When a classical musician listens to synthetic strings & identifies them from 10 miles away ,
he can do it because they lived with the true sounds for a LONG time.

& No, no skeptics can/will prevail in this case.

Taking their ipod LAME pumped headphones to post their "skeptic" illusions based on zero idea of what true sound is,
the maximum youll get from this classical musician ,
is the pity in his eyes staring at you in his rear view mirror.
No one in insane enough to argue this scenario.

So you see, you will not able to hear what he hears NOW.
Put in time & effort , & .. maybe you will.


I still remember the first time I got a decent system.

It took me a whole 6 months to get used to it.
I did notice the sound was better . Hell yeah.
But I just could not accept how far from acceptable a lot of my music's sound was.

Taking off your shades, can be a painful experience.

& remember: Some of the best known Audiophiles recorded/played/mastered all your Music.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Axon
post Apr 17 2009, 01:11
Post #34





Group: Members (Donating)
Posts: 1984
Joined: 4-January 04
From: Austin, TX
Member No.: 10933



Calm down B0RK. (B0RK B0RK.) None of us are arguing against good sound or for "bad" sound, either explicitly or implicitly.

What we are saying is that Mikey - like most if not all audio reviewrs - is simply not a good arbiter of audio. In fact, his opinions are even controversial in some audiophile circles, to say nothing of skeptic's circles. That he has a drool-worthy rig, and makes some very good points about a person's relationship to music, is besides the point. He has very specific biases, which in our opinion are not supported by the facts, which can and will lead his readers to make poor buying decisions.

If I may state things boldly, it is we - the skeptics, audio engineers, and others on this board and elsewhere - who are becoming the true arbiters of good sound, by helping ensure it is most available at lowest cost. That people like you have excellent systems - and put them to good use with excellent lossyWAV testing! - obviously convinces skeptics that differences can exist in audio. But the notion of skeptics with iPod earbuds is a straw man. Most of us have much higher end equipment (and in my case are acutely aware of its flaws).

And that classical musician you so proudly uphold is, I'm sure, listening to classical music 128k AACs on her iPod as we speak. You'd be surprised at how lo-fi classical musicians can be.

This post has been edited by Axon: Apr 17 2009, 01:21
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
greynol
post Apr 17 2009, 01:18
Post #35





Group: Super Moderator
Posts: 10000
Joined: 1-April 04
From: San Francisco
Member No.: 13167



Like the suggestion that an expensive hi-fi system automagically blesses it's listeners with golden ears, the notion that musicians have some instant leg-up on distinguishing lossy artifacts is completely absurd.


--------------------
I should publish a list of forum idiots.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
/mnt
post Apr 17 2009, 02:01
Post #36





Group: Members
Posts: 697
Joined: 22-April 06
Member No.: 29877



So if I upgrade my crappy PC speakers and my cheapo Goodmans CD player that cant even play CDs gaplessly ohmy.gif and ABX a LAME V0 Mp3 for the thousandth time; I might be able to see the music rolleyes.gif.

And that old MTV vid, at 2:30 sounds like a typical comment from Dave Mustaine smile.gif.

QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 23:45) *
There's a really subtle logical fallacy at play here, that, truth be told, I first saw popped by Ayn Rand (!). I forget the exact quote, but it was to the effect that, while happiness is a measure of human success, it cannot be optimized as a parameter. That is, making decisions based on how happy they will make you can lead to short-sighted or counterproductive results, because happiness is simply too complex and inscrutable to be reduced down to mere buying decisions. (Anybody who's actually read her crap knows that "optimized" isn't even in her vocabulary IIRC so I'm probably getting something wrong).


"I hate Ayn Rand" Francis from Left 4 Dead.

This post has been edited by /mnt: Apr 17 2009, 02:03


--------------------
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Ron Jones
post Apr 17 2009, 02:38
Post #37





Group: Members
Posts: 412
Joined: 9-August 07
From: Los Angeles
Member No.: 46048



QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 15:56) *
He is a well respected pro in his field , & I feel he fights for what he believes in , That Good music deserves the respect of us all by being played back with the highest fidelity possible.

I might believe that if he didn't shun digital recordings in favor of vinyl. I'm not a vinyl hater by any stretch, but it most certainly isn't the consumer format that ensures the highest-fidelity playback possible. The idea of having a $300,000+ hi-fi playback system that revolves around a record player is, to me, completely counter-intuitive.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 15:56) *
On the other hand, I would be very suspicious of opinions of anyone spending most of his listening time with lossy music, ( judging by some of the comments posted above ).

I don't spend most of my time listening to lossily-compressed music, though certainly I do spend a good deal of time doing so. For the most part, lossy exists for my iPhone and for my machine at work, to be played back via the stock Dell-branded Altec Lansing speakers the machine in my office came bundled with. Those speakers don't sound good to me, but they do emit something that passably approximates the original recordings (in other words, I can discern music from, say, pink noise with them). At home, I generally try to stick with lossless, but I certainly don't obsess over the details. If I don't have lossless, for whatever reason, I'll happily listen to lossy (and enjoy it all the same).

To fear the idea of listening to lossy music is quite silly to me.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 15:56) *
So you see, you will not able to hear what he hears NOW. Put in time & effort , & .. maybe you will.

Unfortunately, you and I have no idea what he hears. He may perceive a difference from a $2600 power cable to a $4000 cable, but that doesn't mean there's a real difference: that a difference exists that's within the boundaries of the ear's/brain's ability to resolve information. That difference may exist only in the place between his ears by no particular choice of his own. It may even exist entirely in his own crooked imagination: he may very well lie about things that he hears because it makes him seem like a more reputable audio reviewer. We have absolutely no idea.

I can switch one power cable for another and say that the second sounds "warmer" and has "more detail". I can do Fermen's job with astonishing ease. As can anyone.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 15:56) *
& remember: Some of the best known Audiophiles recorded/played mastered all your Music.

Then do remind me to give most of them a good punch in the face cool.gif

QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 16:11) *
If I may state things boldly, it is we - the skeptics, audio engineers, and others on this board and elsewhere - who are becoming the true arbiters of good sound, by helping ensure it is most available at lowest cost.

Bingo.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
kornchild2002
post Apr 17 2009, 04:13
Post #38





Group: Members
Posts: 2073
Joined: 8-April 05
From: Cincinnati, OH
Member No.: 21277



QUOTE (benski @ Apr 16 2009, 16:40) *
The 4D viewpoint makes perfect sense to me smile.gif


Yep, that is exactly how I saw it. I understand how synaesthesia can help in some circumstances. I know my ability to "view" things in my mind has helped me out a lot over the years. When I worked as an undergrad intern, I was able to actually spot an error in the system as the engineer wanted a check valve on the influent end of a water system. There should have been a foot valve instead. So yeah, I can perfectly understand how some people can see certain things/aspects in their minds while other people can't.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 16:56) *
On the other hand, I would be very suspicious of opinions of anyone spending most of his listening time with lossy music, ( judging by some of the comments posted above ).


What is so bad about doing that? Seriously, I don't see why that is such a big deal. It just means that the lossy encoder is doing its job. It doesn't mean that the people listening to these lossy files are deaf, crazy, can't hear anything, shady people who want to take children, or anything else like that. It just means that they can't hear the artifacts produced by lossy encoding. Is that really such a big deal that you have to be "very suspicious" of them? I would be very suspicious of someone who turns down the opinions of these people simply because they listen to lossy music a lot.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
shakey_snake
post Apr 17 2009, 05:12
Post #39





Group: FB2K Moderator
Posts: 4322
Joined: 1-November 06
From: Cincinnati
Member No.: 37036



We need audiophools about as much as we need AIDS.

Synesthesiacs isn't just a matter of visualizing sound, it actually thinking that you see sound. The odds of being an actual synesthesiac of any form are very rare. The odds of seeing visual artifacts as a result of an audible stimuli is an especially pretty dubious claim; most synesthesiacs result in stimuli from our more acute senses to our less acute senses (e.g. you can taste a color). But when you've rejected any form of bias control I guess you can pretty much claim whatever you want. I personally ride across rainbows on unicorns when I am listening to grindcore and hitting five-irons at a driving range.

I hope he was just using synesthesiacs as a metaphor, but who honestly knows.

This post has been edited by shakey_snake: Apr 17 2009, 05:18


--------------------
elevatorladylevitateme
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
B0RK
post Apr 17 2009, 05:13
Post #40





Group: Banned
Posts: 60
Joined: 24-December 08
Member No.: 64805



Well fine thoughts expressed indeed .

But I still think the other side of the coin deserves some thread space ,so there I go:

I Still feel too many people are a bit light on the trigger regarding
Fremer's view , & audiophiles in general .. (Wait a minute .. Arent we some breed of Audiophiles as well ? )

QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 18:11) *
If I may state things boldly, it is we - the skeptics, audio engineers, and others on this board and elsewhere - who are becoming the true arbiters of good sound, ..

But the notion of skeptics with iPod earbuds is a straw man.


I have nothing but utter respect & gratitude to all the amazing people here & elsewhere that push great audio forward, with Engineers way high in the ranks, but I wouldn't bundle Engineers & innovators with skeptics , if you know what I mean.

So I fear in the global scheme of things ,Skeptics with iPod earbuds (Hey sounds like a good title for a punk band unsure.gif ) are a tad thicker then a straw ..

Lossy Audio has mutated from it's specialty niche economy playback format into the defacto standard & changed the music world ,& probably MUSIC forever, & not for the better.

I feel that people like Fremer ,try in their own way & methods, to preach this sermon,
I am hopeful it will turn around, maybe the HD trend will help.

QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 16:11) *
it is we - the skeptics, audio engineers, and others on this board and elsewhere - who are becoming the true arbiters of good sound, by helping ensure it is most available at lowest cost.Bingo.


While you may feel that is true , & we are talking lossy audio here ..
that's a half truth to say the least.

At least regarding lossy audio.
If Lossy audio had an effect on cost (aside from 'Free' Music)
is it made what should have been considered standard, respectable audio gear by (way back) yesterday's standard ,wear a HIGH END PRODUCT sticker, killing the part of the industry we consumers need the most , the mid priced gear , by having shot it's right to exist with a generation of music lovers growing up with a veiled reference of what true sound is, essentially causing the prices for decent gear to go UP, not down.

QUOTE (Ron Jones @ Apr 16 2009, 19:38) *
The idea of having a $300,000+ hi-fi playback system that revolves around a record player is, to me, completely counter-intuitive.


For those who missed this era , here's some background.

Fremer, Like Some of us , has been through the big promise of Digital & the move to CDs.
I have been through it too.
The PROMISE.
The bunch of pure lies that surrounded the CD launch.
The arguments with friends about the first heard cd versions in comparison with the LPs & even tapes of the material still echo in my head.

Oh & Let's not forget the Greatest Audio Marketing Line / Joke Of All Time ,
that never wears off in trigerring my blood pressureon so many of our cds:

"The music on this Compact Disc was originally recorded on analog equipment. We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording. Because of its high resolution, however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape."

If you have been there , you know what I mean ,& it worked.
Lol at some stage everyone was getting rid of their Records like the plague.

Fremer won't forgive.
Many of us that lost their record collection because of it & rebought their record Collection on CDs, only to find out the jittery truth afterwards, still feel the pain, now more then ever.

When the 'New' Change Came ,& people were told:
"You know , we have done some research, turns out CDs are just not as good as we assumed, Here's a SACD for ya , now give me your credit card"
they were shown the door instead.

So I sure get it.
for All these people, like Fremer, only NOW, true HD recordings can compete, but maybe too little too late.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
cpchan
post Apr 17 2009, 05:29
Post #41





Group: Members
Posts: 299
Joined: 14-July 07
Member No.: 45304



QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 23:13) *
I Still feel too many people are a bit light on the trigger regarding
Fremer's view , & audiophiles in general ..


I am just skeptical about anyone who refuses to back up their claims with blind testing.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 23:13) *
(Wait a minute .. Arent we some breed of Audiophiles as well ? )


I know a lot of people who just call themselves "audio lover" to distance themselves from the faith based voodoo common in the audiophile world.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
kornchild2002
post Apr 17 2009, 05:32
Post #42





Group: Members
Posts: 2073
Joined: 8-April 05
From: Cincinnati, OH
Member No.: 21277



QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 21:13) *
So I fear in the global scheme of things ,Skeptics with iPod earbuds (Hey sounds like a good title for a punk band unsure.gif ) are a tad thicker then a straw ..

Lossy Audio has mutated from it's specialty niche economy playback format into the defacto standard & changed the music world ,& probably MUSIC forever, & not for the better.


People with iPods using the stock earbuds represent the majority market here (not here in hydrogenaudio but the general audio community). It doesn't mean they are right, it just means they are the majority. Again, I fail to see what is wrong with that. Additionally, lossy encoding has changed things for the better. Why? Because it allows people to carry around their entire libraries on devices with a small amount of storage (4-16GB, yes, I think that is small), it allows people to get the most out of their storage, and it has given music artists a whole new distribution method for their content. There are many artists that are starting off as nothing but become rather large due to a fanbase that grows on MySpace, last.fm, and other various forms of online communication. These artists then record their first album and put it up on the iTunes Store. More money comes in for the artist, they get further recognition, and their fanbase grows even further. NONE of this would be possible without lossy encoding.

Again, what is wrong with lossy encoding? There are many people throughout the world (and many respected members here) who cannot properly differentiate between lossy files and lossless ones. What is so wrong with that? They are still enjoying the same music at the same quality (at least they perceive it to be the same quality). I would hate to know what you think of people who actually pay for lossy music.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
greynol
post Apr 17 2009, 06:35
Post #43





Group: Super Moderator
Posts: 10000
Joined: 1-April 04
From: San Francisco
Member No.: 13167



QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 21:13) *
Oh & Let's not forget the Greatest Audio Marketing Line / Joke Of All Time ,
that never wears off in trigerring my blood pressureon so many of our cds:

It's a shame to see your blood pressure rise over what appears to be a misunderstanding on your part.

We've been through this thousands of times already, 16-bit delivers more than adequate dynamic range; more than the vinyl you seem to hold dear. The sample rate of a CD delivers a frequency response that is more than adequate as well; certainly more than what you can hear. I see you mentioned something of jitter. Are you just regurgitating something you read elsewhere or do you actually know what it is? Please, indulge us by explaining in your own words what jitter is and how it is responsible for making a typical CD player sound inferior compared to even the most expensive turntable.


--------------------
I should publish a list of forum idiots.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Ron Jones
post Apr 17 2009, 06:40
Post #44





Group: Members
Posts: 412
Joined: 9-August 07
From: Los Angeles
Member No.: 46048



QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 20:13) *
Many of us that lost their record collection because of it & rebought their record Collection on CDs, only to find out the jittery truth afterwards, still feel the pain, now more then ever.

What truth? As I see it, the only "shortcoming" inherent in the Redbook compact disc is that it's capable of containing, and almost encourages on a technical basis (but let's not get into that here), excessively loud recordings. Unlike with the vinyl record, engineers needn't sacrifice playback length to cram in loud, so-called "radio-friendly" masters on a compact disc. In such cases where the LP of a given album isn't as hot as its CD counterpart, the LP can "win out" in that respect -- but that really says nothing of the media itself or the capabilities of that media with respect to maintaining source fidelity.

As a consumer format, Redbook 16-bit, 44.1 kHz audio leaves nothing to be desired. With the wealth of precise digital processing available to us, the obscenely low cost of modern, transparent and practically noise-free converters, and the major advances made with psychoacoustic dithering techniques, the compact disc, and indeed 16/44.1 PCM audio in general, have never been more attractive as a high-end consumer format. The CD itself may not have changed, but the technology responsible for retaining the fidelity of the original recordings prior to them being delivered on CDs has improved considerably.

MP3/AAC/OGG/etc. can be just as attractive to any given person from a sound quality perspective if it's perceptually transparent to that person on their playback equipment. I can certainly understand the hesitancy to adopt and adapt to what is, from every technical basis, inferior to CD audio, but I certainly can't understand the vitriol I sometimes see toward lossy compression. Audiophiles typically cast it aside as being universally "flat" and "lifeless" without any kind of blind testing to verify such perceptions. The more unruly audiophiles attempt to justify their decision to cast lossy compression aside by claiming it causes listening fatigue, or, more hysterically, muscle fatigue, without any real evidence to back up such radical claims.

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 20:13) *
When the 'New' Change Came ,& people were told: "You know , we have done some research, turns out CDs are just not as good as we assumed, Here's a SACD for ya , now give me your credit card" they were shown the door instead.

SACD was marketed toward audiophiles -- to a niche market -- as a technologically superior format, but I don't recall any analysts predicting that it would in any way overtake the venerable compact disc. It's only natural that SACD was marketed as being superior to CDs: it's unlikely they could have sold any otherwise!

On the subject of SACD, its supposed superiority to Redbook audio is actually still a subject of debate to this very day. For a myriad of reasons, I myself lean toward the "CD is better" side of the argument, if that surprises you (or doesn't).

QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 20:13) *
So I sure get it. for All these people, like Fremer, only NOW, true HD recordings can compete, but maybe too little too late.

The real competition actually seems to be taking place between CD audio and the so-called "HD" audio. We're struggling to find verifiable cases of audible differences between the two. I know of only a single sample of typical program material that's been ABX'ed to a somewhat-correctly dithered downrezzed version, but not with a desirably strong degree of consistency. I know of no tests undergone which have demonstrated clear data either way. That being said, when you utilize the best sample rate conversion techniques and the best dither available, I truly do not believe any listener, using any playback system on the planet, could discern a difference.

As far as "HD" PCM competing with vinyl, I would say there is no competition. From a purely technical, fidelity-oriented perspective, the former is favored wink.gif

This post has been edited by Ron Jones: Apr 17 2009, 06:41
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Axon
post Apr 17 2009, 07:18
Post #45





Group: Members (Donating)
Posts: 1984
Joined: 4-January 04
From: Austin, TX
Member No.: 10933



QUOTE (B0RK @ Apr 16 2009, 23:13) *
I Still feel too many people are a bit light on the trigger regarding Fremer's view , & audiophiles in general .. (Wait a minute .. Arent we some breed of Audiophiles as well ? )
Quite true. Really, in the grand scheme of things, if you are ever not happy with the sound coming out of a clock radio or car stereo, you are an audiophile.

QUOTE
QUOTE (Axon @ Apr 16 2009, 16:11) *
it is we - the skeptics, audio engineers, and others on this board and elsewhere - who are becoming the true arbiters of good sound, by helping ensure it is most available at lowest cost.
While you may feel that is true , & we are talking lossy audio here .. that's a half truth to say the least. At least regarding lossy audio. If Lossy audio had an effect on cost (aside from 'Free' Music) is it made what should have been considered standard, respectable audio gear by (way back) yesterday's standard ,wear a HIGH END PRODUCT sticker, killing the part of the industry we consumers need the most , the mid priced gear , by having shot it's right to exist with a generation of music lovers growing up with a veiled reference of what true sound is, essentially causing the prices for decent gear to go UP, not down.
Another way of looking at it is that the ongoing computer revolution (Moore's Law) eliminated the market for a mid-fi in the first place. Today's "low end" transports and headphone amplifiers - iPods - are now, by almost all accounts, audiophile quality devices. When driven with lossless audio, their noise and distortion levels are scandalously, ludicrously low - compared to how far that kind of money would take you 20 or 30 years ago. Several audiophile demos have used iPods as analog sources! That a mid-fi market largely does not exist for sources largely reflects that the people who disdain the low-end tend to disdain numeric measurements and blind testing in general, and are going to spring for the high end anyway.

QUOTE
Fremer, Like Some of us , has been through the big promise of Digital & the move to CDs. I have been through it too. The PROMISE. The bunch of pure lies that surrounded the CD launch. The arguments with friends about the first heard cd versions in comparison with the LPs & even tapes of the material still echo in my head.

Oh & Let's not forget the Greatest Audio Marketing Line / Joke Of All Time , that never wears off in trigerring my blood pressureon so many of our cds: "The music on this Compact Disc was originally recorded on analog equipment. We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording. Because of its high resolution, however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape." If you have been there , you know what I mean ,& it worked. Lol at some stage everyone was getting rid of their Records like the plague.
While I can see where you're coming from - they did remaster these releases, the tape hiss was also audible on the vinyl, peoples' dumping of vinyl was remarkably shortsighted and lemminglike, etc - how is that statement actually wrong? CDs really do have lower noise levels than tape, and the existence of newer recordings that did not have any of this tape hiss means that some listeners really do wonder why that hiss is still around. I mean, come on - many casual listeners wonder why their 80s CDs are so much quieter than their modern CDs, and that level of compression on the 80s CDs' remasters is objectionable to you? There is a cottage industry in the audiophile world nowadays (or at least on sh.tv) around hunting down the earlier 80s remasters of many albums because they are considered higher quality than their 90s/00s remasters. The alleged problems with oversampling, reconstruction, jitter, etc in the early 80s equipment, I recall, have not been legitimately tied to any major levels of distortion in the CDs of that era. While mastering processes needed to change for digital (and perhaps did so too late), I think history has smiled on the early 80s CD releases.

That said: Ron's still wrong. If there is any use for a $300,000 2-channel personal sound system, it sure as hell better be for vinyl - a notoriously flaky and expensive format to get absolutely right in all its technical aspects. Actually building a turntable for objective "perfection" is still going to set you back several tens of thousands of dollars.

QUOTE
Fremer won't forgive. Many of us that lost their record collection because of it & rebought their record Collection on CDs, only to find out the jittery truth afterwards, still feel the pain, now more then ever.

When the 'New' Change Came ,& people were told: "You know , we have done some research, turns out CDs are just not as good as we assumed, Here's a SACD for ya , now give me your credit card" they were shown the door instead.

So I sure get it. for All these people, like Fremer, only NOW, true HD recordings can compete, but maybe too little too late.
What makes you think HD is anybody's savior, in appearance or reality?

Many people - you and Mikey included - hammer repeatedly on the lossy encoding issue, and on the high res audio issue, with the notion that these are huge issues to audio quality and that the pervasiveness of lossy encoding is a cause of poor sound quality, and a lack of emotion in music, etc, in society. Nobody here is disagreeing that lossless is a good idea, but we strongly disagree with the whole matter being all that important in the first place.

Lossless audio and high res audio are considered intrinsically important to high quality sound to audiophiles, but as many discussions here have illustrated, there are far more important issues out there. Mastering and recording quality, and listening environment quality, being easily the most important. You can fix those things, and get much improved, extremely audiophile-quality sound, even if you're still using MP3s! And yet, most discussions with music stores, formats etc have revolved around lossless this, highres that, high bitrate MP3, etc. With increased costs (and fatter profit margins) to boot.

Quite simply, high res/lossless is not going to solve a damn thing about audio quality, except to make music more expensive, and make a few people sleep better at night. The money and effort being spent to solve that particular issue could be put to far better use by solving other issues. But Fremer stands in opposition to that.

More generally, I am in favor of the commoditization of music, as a force of good. I think Fremer would disagree strongly.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Dracaena
post Apr 17 2009, 07:36
Post #46





Group: Members
Posts: 35
Joined: 20-November 07
Member No.: 48901



Hilarious. For $350k you could spend a good few years doing nothing but travelling the world seeing live performances. You know, where even non-synesthesiacs can see the stage, and the musicians to boot!
I'm told the front/back depth of the sound stage, and the location of (say) the singer is focused pretty tightly at a live show. I'm a bit skeptical though, maybe a DBT or two is in order.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
carpman
post Apr 17 2009, 08:30
Post #47





Group: Developer
Posts: 1310
Joined: 27-June 07
Member No.: 44789



QUOTE
It's like when you go to the symphony, and the old men are coughing—same thing," Fremer says. Necessary impurities. Reminders of being in the real world.

<RANT>

Well this is precisely why they should ban old people who can't control themselves and/or ill people from live performances of classical music which are going to be recorded. Sometimes the coughing is so well timed to coincide with the quiet passages that the cynical part of me wonders if these old farts aren't simply trying to get a part of them immortalised prior to their final exit.

I listened to the Koln Concert by Jarrett (a live recording of jazz solo piano), noticeable for the lack of coughing and spluttering common on many live classical recordings, I assume because the audience was a little younger, and I realised how some of the great Mahler recordings could have been without the audio Chinese water torture of irregular respiratory explosions. Furthermore, if someone's going to have a coughing fit, if they weren't so selfish they could remove themselves from the concert until they've recovered, but no, they mustn't miss the opportunity to be recorded spewing phlegm and/or snot into a hanky.

The thing is Richter's chair, or Glenn Gould's creaky chair and humming along don't bother me in the slightest because it's part of them making music, what bothers me about the Fremer's so-called "Necessary impurities. Reminders of being in the real world" is how necessary are they really?

Likewise, since CD got rid of all of those UNNECESSARY clicks and pops, why romanticise them - it's like romanticising horse flies or mosquitos.

</RANT>

C.


--------------------
TAK -p4m :: LossyWAV -q 6 | TAK :: Lame 3.98 -V 2
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
MichaelW
post Apr 17 2009, 09:11
Post #48





Group: Members
Posts: 631
Joined: 15-March 07
Member No.: 41501



@carpman
One day you'll be old, fat, and in the way too--or you may still be young and beautiful, but have a cold on the night of an important concert tongue.gif At least you can't smell the farts on a recording.

But, as a geezer myself, I can remember starting to love music played on a record player--remember them? Hardboard suitcase, auto-changer and ceramic cartridge and one speaker you wouldn't put in a cheap car these days. But that was what most people really had when rock was young and Klemperer was still gigging. Through various stages since, including quite good vinyl equipment, and now I listen mostly on an iPod, though with Sennheiser earbuds. And now I hear more interplay of lines in instrumental music, and more of the lyrics, than I ever did with any previous equipment, despite the fact that my hearing equipment is old and flabby. But I could tell that the first Joan Baez album was perfect, of its kind, on that horrible old set.

I have no doubt there are quite a lot of people who can tell the difference between moderate bitrate lossy and lossless/PCM, but they're probably mostly youngish women, whilst the people complaining that MP3 has stolen music's soul are mostly middle-aged men. Meanwhile, my friend the musicologist (doctorate from Paris, professional training as a singer) still keeps her old mid-level domestic Pioneer set up, though she's added a CD player to the turntable and double cassette desk.

One probably needs to take an anthropology of religion line on audiophilia. The object of the cult is a mystical presence as though at the actual coming into existence of the music (or even better than the physical actuality--the acoustic sound-stage of some venues ain't all that precise). The equipment is a sort of idol, icon, image, worship before which produces the moment of oneness. And, like all religious images, the worshipper wants to adorn it with interconnects made of precious metals, and precious woods, and pretty pebbles, and constantly tend its needs.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
carpman
post Apr 17 2009, 09:57
Post #49





Group: Developer
Posts: 1310
Joined: 27-June 07
Member No.: 44789



QUOTE (MichaelW @ Apr 17 2009, 08:11) *
One day you'll be old, fat, and in the way too--or you may still be young and beautiful, but have a cold on the night of an important concert tongue.gif

Well, for all you know I may be a beautiful old lady who can control herself (both in terms of what she eats and when she's too ill to attend even that "important concert"). biggrin.gif I didn't respond to the "how old are you survey", it's fun to let others assume tongue.gif .

C.

ps. Just realised "old people who can't control themselves" is a little ambiguous: I meant the subset of old people who can't control themselves rather than all old people because all old people cannot control themselves. Big difference.

This post has been edited by carpman: Apr 17 2009, 10:01


--------------------
TAK -p4m :: LossyWAV -q 6 | TAK :: Lame 3.98 -V 2
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
shenzi
post Apr 17 2009, 11:47
Post #50





Group: Members
Posts: 14
Joined: 24-March 09
Member No.: 68340



Elsewhere on the site someone posted a link to an entertaining wire coat hanger vs audiophile loudspeaker cable ABX test ...

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/showp...mp;postcount=28

I wonder of Guru Fremer's ears would pass?
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

55 Pages V  < 1 2 3 4 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 31st August 2014 - 00:26