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People showing how great their turntables sound, ...on YouTube!
2Bdecided
post Oct 11 2010, 13:46
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On YouTube, there are lots of videos where people show how great their turntable sounds.

These videos are usually accompanied by tens if not hundreds of comments where other posters say "wow - this sounds so much better than digital - you just can't get this wonderful warm sound with digital media" etc etc. The irony of listening to YouTube and saying how much nicer it sounds than digital seems lost on almost everyone!

So I just had to share it here.

e.g.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEUD50bq29M

...I'm sure YouTube will happily link you to tens of others.


Funniest are the ones where the audio has been recorded through the mic on a mobile phone - and yet still some people listen to it and say "great - the warm analogue sound beats that horrible digital CD quality!".

Cheers,
David.

P.S. I'll grant you that some of these vinyl set ups sound very nice, and some of the tracks sound different from the released CD. The result might even sound nicer to some people on some systems.
Obviously master tape > vinyl > turntable > replay > YouTube > CD is the way to make a nice sound in the 21st century! wink.gif master tape > CD just isn't "warm" enough.
(I joke, but there's obviously some truth in that - we're not well disposed to "accurate" sound it seems - or maybe recording and reproduction lose so much that adding some extra junk is preferable to faithfully re-producing the 2% of the original sound field that we have stored)
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DonP
post Oct 11 2010, 14:44
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 11 2010, 08:46) *
On YouTube, there are lots of videos where people show how great their turntable sounds.

These videos are usually accompanied by tens if not hundreds of comments where other posters say "wow - this sounds so much better than digital - you just can't get this wonderful warm sound with digital media" etc etc. The irony of listening to YouTube and saying how much nicer it sounds than digital seems lost on almost everyone!


I didn't look through all the comments, but the lack of people pointing out that audio heard through youtube is digital is odd. Maybe the OP is removing those comments?
I'll try.
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probedb
post Oct 11 2010, 15:39
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They're kind missing the whole point that when their camcorder recorded it the sound became digital smile.gif

It's like people trying to show how much better one display is.....on 360p youtube footage.
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analog scott
post Oct 11 2010, 15:59
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 11 2010, 14:46) *
P.S. I'll grant you that some of these vinyl set ups sound very nice, and some of the tracks sound different from the released CD. The result might even sound nicer to some people on some systems.
Obviously master tape > vinyl > turntable > replay > YouTube > CD is the way to make a nice sound in the 21st century! wink.gif master tape > CD just isn't "warm" enough.
(I joke, but there's obviously some truth in that - we're not well disposed to "accurate" sound it seems - or maybe recording and reproduction lose so much that adding some extra junk is preferable to faithfully re-producing the 2% of the original sound field that we have stored)


That kind of talk can get you burned at the stake around here. I'm sure if *I* said something like that I'd get a memo or two. cool.gif
Too bad really. You raise some points that are worthy of discussion if they weren't taboo. Capturing the original soundfield as it relates to conventional stereo and/or multichannel recording and playback is an interesting and very unintuitive topic. I shall say no more on the subject. unsure.gif blink.gif
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2Bdecided
post Oct 11 2010, 16:26
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 11 2010, 15:59) *
That kind of talk can get you burned at the stake around here. I'm sure if *I* said something like that I'd get a memo or two. cool.gif
"burned at the stake" - couldn't have put it better myself - I'd be there throwing coals on the fire too! smile.gif wink.gif laugh.gif

Seriously, I could ABX the track in the link I posted against, say, the same track on Spotify. Of course the positive result could be for any number of reasons (including the horrible and obvious YouTube artefacts).

Would it surprise anyone if it was sometimes trivial to ABX CD vs a 16/44.1 capture from vinyl?
Would it surprise anyone if it was generally impossible to ABX 16/44.1 capture from vinyl against 24/96 capture from vinyl?

So I don't think any of this is controversial.

I think the question becomes: where does the sound difference come from? If it's a mastering difference, then it's not necessarily anything to do with vinyl. If it's also noise + distortion + compression + euphonics (one specific kind of distortion!) + wow (another kind of distortion!) + EQ + ... you have to wonder if this positive effect can be simulated?

I also wonder if doing all that kind of thing wouldn't be nicer than smashing everything against the digital 0dB FS limit, while still giving a loud-ish and fuller sounding sound.


The thing is, I've got a few CDs and LPs that sound identical. So I don't believe that a recording should necessarily sound completely different (e.g. subjectively better) just because it's on vinyl. If it does sound different, it seems to me that someone probably made it sound different.

Cheers,
David.
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analog scott
post Oct 11 2010, 17:00
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 11 2010, 16:26) *
QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 11 2010, 15:59) *
That kind of talk can get you burned at the stake around here. I'm sure if *I* said something like that I'd get a memo or two. cool.gif
"burned at the stake" - couldn't have put it better myself - I'd be there throwing coals on the fire too! smile.gif wink.gif laugh.gif

Seriously, I could ABX the track in the link I posted against, say, the same track on Spotify. Of course the positive result could be for any number of reasons (including the horrible and obvious YouTube artefacts).

Would it surprise anyone if it was sometimes trivial to ABX CD vs a 16/44.1 capture from vinyl?
Would it surprise anyone if it was generally impossible to ABX 16/44.1 capture from vinyl against 24/96 capture from vinyl?

So I don't think any of this is controversial.

I think the question becomes: where does the sound difference come from? If it's a mastering difference, then it's not necessarily anything to do with vinyl. If it's also noise + distortion + compression + euphonics (one specific kind of distortion!) + wow (another kind of distortion!) + EQ + ... you have to wonder if this positive effect can be simulated?

I also wonder if doing all that kind of thing wouldn't be nicer than smashing everything against the digital 0dB FS limit, while still giving a loud-ish and fuller sounding sound.


The thing is, I've got a few CDs and LPs that sound identical. So I don't believe that a recording should necessarily sound completely different (e.g. subjectively better) just because it's on vinyl. If it does sound different, it seems to me that someone probably made it sound different.

Cheers,
David.



Throwing coals on the fire when you are the one burning? Sounds like a Monty Python bit to me.

I believe JJ has done some research on ::gasp:: "euphonic colorations" from vinyl and tubed electronics and has even come up with a digital simulation for tube euphonic colorations.

Mastering is a different beast altogether. I don't think one can invent a box that will simulate all the things that go into mastering.

You have a few CDs and LPs which sound "identical?" Interesting. Did you ABX them?

I think the big taboo you have spoken was this.
"we're not well disposed to "accurate" sound it seems - or maybe recording and reproduction lose so much that adding some extra junk is preferable to faithfully re-producing the 2% of the original sound field that we have stored"
The notion that less accurate playback of a recording may be prefered for legitimate reasons underminds the quest for accuracy based on the belief that objective measure of accuracy to the recorded source is an objective measure of excellence. And when one really considers the "original sound space" and what really happens in recording and playing back of music captured in that soundspace it becomes plainly obvious that there is no attempt in current commercial stereo and/or multichannel recording and playback to make a literal reconstruction of the original soundfield. What is being attempted (at least in many cases with live acoustic music) is an attempt to creat an aural illusion of the original acoustic event from a particular listener perspective. The system is in effect a "magic trick" or aural smoke and mirrors. That being the case one may ponder the role and value of "accuracy" in such a system rather than assume it is dogmatically sacred.

Oh boy, you got me talking about stuff no one here wants said.... ohmy.gif
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[JAZ]
post Oct 11 2010, 17:26
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@analog scott: I think you confused two things: The preference of an individual, and the goals of a mass market electronics.

It is true that people like to change the sound they hear. "Bass boost", "Bass and treble controls", "loudness", "10band EQ", "SRS WOW"...
Sometimes these tools are used to compensate for the hardware deficiencies. Many times, instead, they are used by feelings (Easy example: I had a young friend that sometimes, to boost the volume, would put all the eq sliders to the top, with all the distortion that it implied).

Now, what should a hardware (media and playback), by default, do? Should it have bass boost pre-applied? What would then do those that don't like it?
Do you understand that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences?

And, at last, there's the mastering, which you already said it's a completely separated topic. Mastering is also a preference (of the artist and/or mastering engineer), but should also be done in a way that it sounds good not only in their studio, but also on people's homes. (which implies, allowing some hardware distortions, or "preferences" of the user).


What I understand from 2Bdecided's post is that nowadays, it may be a selling point to add a "vinyl" and "youtube" buttons in amps and equalizers, so that people can "distort" the audio to something similar to what those two methods do. Once people get bored, (and money is made), the buttons can be removed again. wink.gif

This post has been edited by [JAZ]: Oct 11 2010, 17:29
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analog scott
post Oct 11 2010, 17:56
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QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 11 2010, 17:26) *

@analog scott: I think you confused two things: The preference of an individual, and the goals of a mass market electronics.




It is true that people like to change the sound they hear. "Bass boost", "Bass and treble controls", "loudness", "10band EQ", "SRS WOW"...
Sometimes these tools are used to compensate for the hardware deficiencies. Many times, instead, they are used by feelings (Easy example: I had a young friend that sometimes, to boost the volume, would put all the eq sliders to the top, with all the distortion that it implied).


I don't thnk I confused mass market anything in this case since I was not even considering that beast. I was thinking along the lines of audiophilia. I don't find the colorations found in a boom box or a gangsta car sound system with bass that can be heard five blocks away to be "euphonic." I hope I am not in violation of TOS #8 in expressing that opinion. I confess I have not done a double blind comparison between a gangsta car sound system and a high end sound system.

QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 11 2010, 17:26) *
Now, what should a hardware (media and playback), by default, do?



I don't think there should ab a "default" position. I think equipment should do whatever it is designed to do. And I think designers should be free to design what they see fit and let the markert decide if they made choices desired by consumers.


QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 11 2010, 17:26) *
Should it have bass boost pre-applied? What would then do those that don't like it?



Hopefully not buy it in the first place.



QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 11 2010, 17:26) *
Do you understand that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences?



Strictly speaking from a personal perspective, I don't fancy myself to be the ultimate "mastering engineer" or engineer of euphonic colorations. Some of us like the specific changes offered by euphonically colored equipment and certain masterings. I'm not going to do that myself. So I am not seeking the most flat uncolored equipment or masterings as a rule. If the most flat uncolored mastering or the most flat uncolored piece of equipment paints a prefered picture in the final product I'll take it. But if not then it goes. So to answer your question, I understand it but it doesn't come into play for me.


QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 11 2010, 17:26) *
And, at last, there's the mastering, which you already said it's a completely separated topic. Mastering is also a preference (of the artist and/or mastering engineer), but should also be done in a way that it sounds good not only in their studio, but also on people's homes. (which implies, allowing some hardware distortions, or "preferences" of the user).


What I understand from 2Bdecided's post is that nowadays, it may be a selling point to add a "vinyl" and "youtube" buttons in amps and equalizers, so that people can "distort" the audio to something similar to what those two methods do. Once people get bored, (and money is made), the buttons can be removed again. ;)



Something I would be all for provided it is done with an understanding of such preferences rather than synicism towards such preferences.
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MichaelW
post Oct 11 2010, 21:39
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 04:56) *
Strictly speaking from a personal perspective, I don't fancy myself to be the ultimate "mastering engineer" or engineer of euphonic colorations. Some of us like the specific changes offered by euphonically colored equipment and certain masterings. I'm not going to do that myself. So I am not seeking the most flat uncolored equipment or masterings as a rule.


@JAZ's point was that if the listener's equipment is as flat and uncoloured as possible, then it will best reproduce the cumulative artistic decisions recorded on the master tape. I would rather have my experience shaped by the makers of the recording, rather than by the makers of equipment. But then, I might also tweak it a bit (some Beatles CDs sound like they were mastered by Paul's mom, the bass is so prominent), so you have controls to fiddle, non-destructively.
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/mnt
post Oct 11 2010, 22:21
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Is the default sound output on Youtube still 64kpbs Mp3 at 22Khz?

It's a shame no one on Youtube has comment on this turntable demo, which has some very obivous encoding artifacts.

QUOTE (DonP @ Oct 11 2010, 14:44) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 11 2010, 08:46) *
On YouTube, there are lots of videos where people show how great their turntable sounds.

These videos are usually accompanied by tens if not hundreds of comments where other posters say "wow - this sounds so much better than digital - you just can't get this wonderful warm sound with digital media" etc etc. The irony of listening to YouTube and saying how much nicer it sounds than digital seems lost on almost everyone!


I didn't look through all the comments, but the lack of people pointing out that audio heard through youtube is digital is odd. Maybe the OP is removing those comments?
I'll try.


I've always find most Youtube commenters to be ignorant or just plain stupid. Just seeing some of the most subscribed Youtube channels, makes me more depressed.

This post has been edited by /mnt: Oct 11 2010, 22:43


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analog scott
post Oct 12 2010, 05:58
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Oct 11 2010, 21:39) *
QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 04:56) *
Strictly speaking from a personal perspective, I don't fancy myself to be the ultimate "mastering engineer" or engineer of euphonic colorations. Some of us like the specific changes offered by euphonically colored equipment and certain masterings. I'm not going to do that myself. So I am not seeking the most flat uncolored equipment or masterings as a rule.


@JAZ's point was that if the listener's equipment is as flat and uncoloured as possible, then it will best reproduce the cumulative artistic decisions recorded on the master tape. I would rather have my experience shaped by the makers of the recording, rather than by the makers of equipment. But then, I might also tweak it a bit (some Beatles CDs sound like they were mastered by Paul's mom, the bass is so prominent), so you have controls to fiddle, non-destructively.


Really? I thought his point was "that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences." You know why I think that? Because that is what he said. cool.gif
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MichaelW
post Oct 12 2010, 08:03
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 16:58) *
Really? I thought his point was "that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences." You know why I think that? Because that is what he said. cool.gif


On the very slight chance that you are talking for the sake of knowledge, rather than victory, I would wonder how you would hear the effects of mastering decisions if your own equipment is distorting euphoniously?
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dhromed
post Oct 12 2010, 09:01
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QUOTE (/mnt @ Oct 11 2010, 23:21) *
Is the default sound output on Youtube still 64kpbs Mp3 at 22Khz?


It varies greatly. The HD content has good quality audio, and some poor quality imagery may be accompanied by decent sound.

I tried quickly looking what sort of settings or conversions Youtube offers when uploading, but I didn't find anything other than talk about moving to VP8. I haven't taken time yet to look for a method to extract the audio stream from an FLV, and see what's inside. I hear ffmpeg can do that?

Pretty sure I haven't heard any 64kbps/22KHz in a while for things like music video clips and HD content. smile.gif
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2Bdecided
post Oct 12 2010, 09:22
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 11 2010, 17:00) *
You have a few CDs and LPs which sound "identical?" Interesting. Did you ABX them?
I A/B'd them - years ago - and was amazed at the similarity. I remember trying to edit them together (on minidisc, which probably invalidates the comparison!) and found, with care, I couldn't spot the edit point. So, with what I had available at the time, they sounded the same.

QUOTE
I think the big taboo you have spoken was this.
"we're not well disposed to "accurate" sound it seems - or maybe recording and reproduction lose so much that adding some extra junk is preferable to faithfully re-producing the 2% of the original sound field that we have stored"
The notion that less accurate playback of a recording may be prefered for legitimate reasons underminds the quest for accuracy based on the belief that objective measure of accuracy to the recorded source is an objective measure of excellence. And when one really considers the "original sound space" and what really happens in recording and playing back of music captured in that soundspace it becomes plainly obvious that there is no attempt in current commercial stereo and/or multichannel recording and playback to make a literal reconstruction of the original soundfield. What is being attempted (at least in many cases with live acoustic music) is an attempt to creat an aural illusion of the original acoustic event from a particular listener perspective. The system is in effect a "magic trick" or aural smoke and mirrors. That being the case one may ponder the role and value of "accuracy" in such a system rather than assume it is dogmatically sacred.

Oh boy, you got me talking about stuff no one here wants said.... ohmy.gif
But my assumption (correct me if I'm wrong) is that your opinion goes like this: the known inaccuracy of your chosen replay system gets you a nicer sound, and maybe one that's closer to the original music.

Nicer is subjective and personal, so that's fine. Closer to the original music, in subjective, emotional, and maybe even sometimes an objective sense, is believable too. To give a simplistic example, you only need a recording that's a bit too bright, and a system with slightly less treble than it should have, and that system makes that recording subjectively and objectively closer to the sound of the original instruments.

Where I think the whole thing falls down is the idea that your replay system can somehow "improve" all recordings. That can't be true, because different recordings are deficient in different ways. Some are damn near perfect (in my subjective opinion!), others are flat as anything. One non-accurate system can't "improve" them all - unless what you really subjectively prefer is the sound of that system, recordings and accuracy be damned.


More destructively, if we accept that some recordings are far better than others already, and the technology already exists to get far closer to the original sound field (ambisonics, scientific design of speakers and rooms, essentially transparent digital capture of an almost arbitrary number of channels etc etc), then you have to question to wisdom of putting effort and money (as an individual, and an industry), in "perfecting" the art of dragging a piece of metal along grooves in a piece of plastic. We could be doing far better by concentrating on making existing two-channel recordings as good as the best, and by capturing more of the original sound field.

Instead we have people who believe that 44100 samples per second form a significant road block - even though you can hear how "superior" vinyl is when it's been stored as 44100 samples per second, and then mp3 encoded!

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Oct 12 2010, 09:24
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Oct 12 2010, 09:01) *
QUOTE (/mnt @ Oct 11 2010, 23:21) *
Is the default sound output on Youtube still 64kpbs Mp3 at 22Khz?


It varies greatly. The HD content has good quality audio, and some poor quality imagery may be accompanied by decent sound.
Sometimes the "480p" version has poorer audio than the "360p" version! It's a bit random - they played around with their encoding settings many times over the last couple of years, and videos usually get stuck with whatever encoding was used when they were first uploaded.

Cheers,
David.
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[JAZ]
post Oct 12 2010, 10:59
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 06:58) *
Really? I thought his point was "that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences." You know why I think that? Because that is what he said. cool.gif


Which part of my sentence make you think that I am talking about mastering decisions? The sentence is written in a paragraph that talks about hardware (media where the audio is stored, and playback chain).

In other words: If the master was made using a tube amp, the master needs to be reproduced using that specific tube amp to be heard like the engineer heard it.

Else, if the master was made using an equipment that is able to not add any coloration by itself, then playing it on a relatively flat equipment will be nearer to what the engineer heard.

Now, I am not knowledgeable as to the equipment used in mastering, but I would bet that big studios' equipment tend to be flat. (Isn't that the characteristic of studio monitors?)

This post has been edited by [JAZ]: Oct 12 2010, 10:59
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 12 2010, 15:33
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QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 12 2010, 05:59) *

QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 06:58) *
Really? I thought his point was "that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences." You know why I think that? Because that is what he said. cool.gif


Which part of my sentence make you think that I am talking about mastering decisions? The sentence is written in a paragraph that talks about hardware (media where the audio is stored, and playback chain).

In other words: If the master was made using a tube amp, the master needs to be reproduced using that specific tube amp to be heard like the engineer heard it.


I think what you mean to say is that if a recording is mastered in a mastering environment with specific aphonic colorations, then to hear it as intended you'd need to use a playback environment with the same identical euphonic colorations. And that's right. The obvious problem is that euphonic colorations seem to be highly personal, so everybody would be dragged into owning audio systems with colorations that they may not like with other recordings but they'd have to have them if the wanted to enjoy those particular recordings.

QUOTE
Else, if the master was made using an equipment that is able to not add any coloration by itself, then playing it on a relatively flat equipment will be nearer to what the engineer heard.


Right. That's the nice thing about making things as uncolored as possible. Uncolored is always the same thing. Euphonic colorations are always highly personal.

QUOTE
Now, I am not knowledgeable as to the equipment used in mastering, but I would bet that big studios' equipment tend to be flat. (Isn't that the characteristic of studio monitors?)


Realty tends to wards uncolored, but not just that. If you're serious about mastering a recording for the general market, then you will base your work on how that recording sounds on a number of systems that you think are representative of what the paying customers listen through. IOW you might check your (hopefully) finished work on systems that you think are Representative of personal players, boom boxes, car audio, home audio, home theater, and home table radios, for starters. Along the way there is probably going to be at the very least some compromising in the bass area for some of the lesser systems. Highly compressed music often comes from trying to optimize the recording for playback in an office setting or some other highly casual listening situation.

Bottom line, only very esoteric audiophile recordings (as opposed to more mainstream audiophile recordings, as opposed to mainstream recordings) are likely to ever be mastered on tubed equipment, unless that tubed equipment is atypically uncolored. There was a time when people were very serious about building uncolored tubed equipment, but those days passed when the market for tubed equipment became dominated by audiophiles looking for the flavor of the month.

This post has been edited by Arnold B. Krueger: Oct 12 2010, 15:48
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analog scott
post Oct 12 2010, 15:38
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Oct 12 2010, 08:03) *
QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 16:58) *
Really? I thought his point was "that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences." You know why I think that? Because that is what he said. cool.gif


On the very slight chance that you are talking for the sake of knowledge, rather than victory, I would wonder how you would hear the effects of mastering decisions if your own equipment is distorting euphoniously?



I would love to fill you in on this one but it upsets certain moderators when *I* talk about such things. Let's just say I have made extensive comaprisons between the components in my system that I believe to be euphonically colored against components I believe to be relatively transparent and at least less colored. I have done so using a wide variety of recordings that I feel best cover the range of possibilities (such as various masterings)

Ultimately every playback system is colored. Ultimately every recording is colored as well. And (this is a big point to me) the very system of recording and playback in stereo or even multichannel is inherently colored or flawed. The question is are there euphonic colorations that are universally preferable/compensatory when in play with a wide range of recordings. It is pretty hard to answer that question definitively. There are many variables involved. I have to go with my experience.

The only "victory" I seek is to poke some of the folks here into thinking and questioning axioms they have possibly accepted as dogma without realizing it.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Oct 12 2010, 15:59
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 10:38) *
Ultimately every playback system is colored. Ultimately every recording is colored as well. And (this is a big point to me) the very system of recording and playback in stereo or even multichannel is inherently colored or flawed.


So far so good.

QUOTE
The question is are there euphonic colorations that are universally preferable/compensatory when in play with a wide range of recordings.


The answer to that question is pretty much no. You look at the marketplace and you find that the overwhelming proportion of equipment was designed, despite their flaws, to be as uncolored as possible. Vritually every piece of mainstream electornics is designed to be flat within a fraction of a dB over the audible range. Speakers are a little weird because of their interaction with the rooms that they are used in, but even so the notions of flat smooth response show up all over the place. The reason for this has already been given - flat response is always the same thing while euphonic colorations are personal and/or specific to a miniscule fraction of all listening environments.

QUOTE
It is pretty hard to answer that question definitively. There are many variables involved. I have to go with my experience.


Scott, you're on a fool's mission because you think that there possibly can be "euphonic colorations that are universally preferable/compensatory when in play with a wide range of recordings" in this day and age. In the days of vinyl, I think that there might have been some possibility of that because of the rather gross limitations of that medium. Today, no. You'd have to invent a universe where all there was is vinyl, for your basic ideology to have a chance of being relevant.

I just don't see any sense to comitting to redesigning the universe to protect some odd ideology that I picked up some where.


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analog scott
post Oct 12 2010, 16:04
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 12 2010, 09:22) *
Nicer is subjective and personal, so that's fine. Closer to the original music, in subjective, emotional, and maybe even sometimes an objective sense, is believable too. To give a simplistic example, you only need a recording that's a bit too bright, and a system with slightly less treble than it should have, and that system makes that recording subjectively and objectively closer to the sound of the original instruments.


Yeah that is part of it.

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 12 2010, 09:22) *
Where I think the whole thing falls down is the idea that your replay system can somehow "improve" all recordings. That can't be true, because different recordings are deficient in different ways. Some are damn near perfect (in my subjective opinion!), others are flat as anything. One non-accurate system can't "improve" them all - unless what you really subjectively prefer is the sound of that system, recordings and accuracy be damned.



We are on to something here. I think you make a very interesting point that is very logical. But....I think the logic works only if one assumes that absolute transparency in the recording and playback chain assures us of the best results. Now I think this is where it gets a bit sublime. "best results." What constitutes "best results?" We really have to define our goals before we can move forward here. For me...best results are the most pleasing sound. Now let me offer some axiums of my own about "Hifidelity" I think the point of fidelity, in this case fidelity to an original acoustic event is based on the idea that the greater the fidelity the more pleasing the sound. I believe this was true in full when the idea of hifi first came into play in audio and is for the most part still true. But the very system of recording and playback is not a literal recreation of an original event. If it were and if the premise were always true that the original event is always more pleasing then it would be logical to always persue the path of maximum accuracy. But that isn't the case. Stereo and multichannel recording and playback does not attempt to accurately recreate the original soundfield of the original event. It is an aural illusion and is inherently imprefect in creating an aural illusion of an original event. So the question really is are there "euphonic colorations" that compensate for any of those "inherent" flaws in the system. If so then one can argue that euphonic colorations can "improve" the system of recording and playback.


QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 12 2010, 09:22) *
More destructively, if we accept that some recordings are far better than others already, and the technology already exists to get far closer to the original sound field (ambisonics, scientific design of speakers and rooms, essentially transparent digital capture of an almost arbitrary number of channels etc etc), then you have to question to wisdom of putting effort and money (as an individual, and an industry), in "perfecting" the art of dragging a piece of metal along grooves in a piece of plastic. We could be doing far better by concentrating on making existing two-channel recordings as good as the best, and by capturing more of the original sound field.



I don't believe that work on improving recording techniques is impeded by work done on improving vinyl playback. Further more, all the work done on improving recording techniques will only pay forward. It will do nothing to help us enjoy Coltrane or Hendrix.

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 12 2010, 09:22) *
Instead we have people who believe that 44100 samples per second form a significant road block - even though you can hear how "superior" vinyl is when it's been stored as 44100 samples per second, and then mp3 encoded!



But those people and those beliefs really are irrelevant to progress made in recording technique IMO. OTOH The assumption that "accuracy" is inhenrently always in every way shape or form "better" in stereo or multichannel recording and playback is a problem if it isn't actually true.

Also keep in mind I am not an advocate of abandonment of accuracy. I would not suggest that anyone throw away their CDPs. I certainly have kept mine.
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analog scott
post Oct 12 2010, 16:08
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QUOTE ([JAZ] @ Oct 12 2010, 10:59) *

QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 06:58) *
Really? I thought his point was "that the flatter the reproduction (compared to the master tape), the bigger the possibilities for the end user to change (or not!) the sound to their preferences." You know why I think that? Because that is what he said. cool.gif


Which part of my sentence make you think that I am talking about mastering decisions? The sentence is written in a paragraph that talks about hardware (media where the audio is stored, and playback chain).


It was my impression you were talking about both hardware and mastering decidsions and anything that changes the sound. Here is the part that made me think so since you asked. "It is true that people like to change the sound they hear. "Bass boost", "Bass and treble controls", "loudness", "10band EQ", "SRS WOW"..." Those are things that can and sometimes do happen in mastering




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2Bdecided
post Oct 12 2010, 18:08
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I think it's not that important what mastering engineers use to monitor the sound. There are recordings from decades ago that were monitored on goodness knows what - modern systems reveal that the mastering engineers generally didn't wreck these recordings - we can hear details now that they never could, and they sound fine. Great usually. Mostly, even if they listened on a system with a 10dB peak in some frequency range, they didn't notch it out of the recording to compensate. Or if they did, it didn't get released, because the problem was obvious on any other system.


I'll put forward a hypothesis that I half believe:

When we listen to music at home, the following factors are different from a live performance:
1. we usually listen far quieter than the original real life performance
2. we can't see the performers (unless it's a DVD/BluRay - and even then, that's just a picture - not real) - either way, our eyes tells us that the performers are not there in the room with us
3. we have 1, 2 or 5.1 signal sources - none of these re-creates the original acoustic space

My guess is, some things in the playback chain which are non-ideal, and cause the reproduced audio to be less like that captured by the microphone, help in some subjective way to "compensate" for one or more of the above, and make many people think the result sounds more like (what they imagine!) the live performance (to sound like).

There are (IMO!) obvious psychoacoustic reasons why adding some kinds of distortion may help with issue (1), and possible reasons why the not-quite-perfect stereo imaging and subtle reverb-like effect of certain analogue media and electronics might help a little with (3).


I don't wish to overstate this though. A lot of vinyl fandom seems to be because people somehow enjoy clearly audible and objectionable noise and distortion because they grew up with it, and also a huge dose of placebo.

Cheers,
David.
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2Bdecided
post Oct 12 2010, 18:12
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QUOTE (analog scott @ Oct 12 2010, 16:04) *
I don't believe that work on improving recording techniques is impeded by work done on improving vinyl playback.
We'll have to agree to differ on this one.

The sensible audiophile* in 2010 (or even 2000!) should be able to buy and enjoy full with-height ambisonic recordings. They can't though, because part of the market is chasing vinyl, and another part is chasing higher sample rates, a tiny part is chasing 5.1 (which isn't much of an answer), and the largest part of the potential market doesn't give a damn about anything that's available.

* - and ideally, that wouldn't be an oxymoron!

Cheers,
David.

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kiit
post Oct 12 2010, 20:01
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Oct 12 2010, 09:12) *
The sensible audiophile* in 2010 (or even 2000!) should be able to buy and enjoy full with-height ambisonic recordings. They can't though, because part of the market is chasing vinyl, and another part is chasing higher sample rates, a tiny part is chasing 5.1 (which isn't much of an answer), and the largest part of the potential market doesn't give a damn about anything that's available.

I wish! But really, the 'market' is no longer a place where enthusiasts try to accurately reproduce recorded sound. Instead it is a place where lots and lots of people are saying whatever it takes to make as much muny as possible in the shortest amount of time. Welcome to america!
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ramicio
post Oct 12 2010, 20:39
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That's the silliest thing ever to try to show sound quality over Youtube. You don't even need to ABX to tell that their streaming audio is of not good quality. I wish the music industry would push for an "audiophile" format. Everything is pointing at just going with a loudness war and digital downloads. Not to say a lossy compressed isn't good. MOST of the world that is buying popular music is not listening to it in a quiet environment, so they don't care about quality. That and they want instant gratification. What would be so bad about going higher bit depth and sample rate? I think 24/48 would be a nice upgrade in sound, and I would even pay extra for 24/96. To me the argument is for resolution. There CAN be times where a waveform isn't accurately represented at 44.1 khz. So (for me) it's about resolution, not maximum frequency. A song isn't just a constant sine wave. It would be awesome if one could contact a record company and order music in whatever format they wanted to, without the loudness added. I never enjoyed listening to music over a 5.1 system. Maybe if I dedicated tons of money to building a nice acoustic room for it, but it's cheaper just to get some decent headphones. It's not like if music is being performed for you that you are in the middle of the band playing, it would be on a stage in front of you. I am a fan of vinyl, bash me if you want. As far as newer music, it sounds better most of the time because it is not subject to the loudness war. I assume it is because titles are usually released at a later date, and more care IS taken (not the same mastering.) They (record company) probably figure "do what you want, it's vinyl, everyone downloads or buys CDs, and people want those loud, so make the vinyl how you want." Metallica's Death Magnetic just killed everything. I have a feeling it will never be fixed because it is a very small minority of people who care about quality. Most people figure it's just loud music so it should distort.
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