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Archive through December 17, 2004

 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 369
Registered: Feb-04
JV: "it's quite obvious that neither #1 nor #2 provide the quality you ascribe to them. And even if they did that would not describe or inform us any more about the nature and intent of the original. What you are describing in chiaroscuro and color pallete are just the tools and methods of art, not art itself."

chiaroscuro, colors, texture, etc., are not tools and methods of art; they are elements of the artwork that make up the whole. if you alter one element you alter the whole. reproductions aways involve altering elements that constitute the artwork. the point i'm trying to get across is that our preference in which reproduction we prefer depends on the artistic elements we value the most and quality the reproduction has in conveying those elements.

JV: "But if I buy a full size poster print reproduction of a painting I can get the 99% of what is on the surface of the original. It is not 100%; but, should I want to get that 99%? Not 78.05%."

posters are limited by the format. a full-scale poster cannot capture 99% of a de kooning, because it can't reproduce the texture of the paint that is so vital to his paintings. but say you had the choice between a full-scale photograph of a de kooning painting that is flat but reproduced the colors accurately or a copy painted by a student that showed the paint textures but had the colors a little off. how do you objectively assign a percentage designating how much of the original the copies reproduce? your preference will depend on whether you think better texture or better color is more important. is this point getting repetitive?

JV: "What then, in your estimation, would account for the differences that are found between different companies' products when they all use more or less the same parts?"

design and manufacturing quality. choices designers make to create a certain character in the sound, for example, your beloved mcintosh sound.

JV: "When I attend the symphony the music I hear is a real product of the musician's efforts. Sound waves are excited and they reach my ear drum. That is a reality."

what happens to the music as it's processed between the ears. is that reality also? or is it something else?

JV: "Almost everyone has some form of art that they find lacking in profundity. That doesn't make it "not art". What am I missing here?"

do you mean what makes something a work of art? i don't know. who says de kooning is Art and kincaid isn't? who decides? which would you feel stronger: your own belief about the profundity of shostakovitch's quartets or a consensus of musicologists who believe that bartok's quartets are profound? (this isn't an either/or question, but a question of which you would feel stronger or have more conviction about.)
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 370
Registered: Feb-04
Jan,

Thanks for the explanation of the sliding scale of neutrality. I have a clearer understanding of what you mean. Again, this is a question of semantics. What you consider a sliding scale of reality in the different films, I consider characteristics of the film that alter the reproduced thing. Each film is different for one another and each is different from the thing reproduced.

With respect to a Bosendorf piano and a Yamaha piano, they're both pianos, but each has distinct characteristics that will make the same notes sound different. You seem to call this a sliding scale of neutrality or reality, whereas I call it the characteristics of the instrument. Here's another question for you to consider: how does one choose among an amati, guarani, or stradivarius violin? does it come to personal preference in the sound? or is there an objective measure to which is more real? which maker came closest to capturing the violinness of the violin?
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1190
Registered: Aug-04
"If your full glass can accept one more drop then it was not full. If it sits for ten minutes and evaporation occurs it will not be full. You are stating a perception. Haven't we agreed perception is in the eye of the beholder?
"


Jan, sorry to be splitting hairs but better than splitting atoms :-)

IMHO there is no perception in full, it is a constant - it either is or it is not. What you stated as above is 100% correct about the fact. Full means not able to take one more drop. After evaporation, no, the glass would no longer be full.

Because I'm in a nitpickin' mood I'll take another stab at your reply to 2c about the sliding scale of neutrality: IMHO again, the sound from the speaker will either be neutral or not when other influences are applied. We could say almost neutral, close to neutral, but as soon as the sound varies from the point of neutrality, it is no longer neutral. On a 30cm ruler, 15 cm is half - there is no sliding scale of half. Hence 15.1 centimeters is not half but it is close. Okay, for perception sake, a slight change may not be noticable from person to person or it might. But it doesn't alter the fact.

I agree that perception is in the eye of the beholder (or ear). But the above holds true even for the deaf, dumb and blind - does it not?

Also, if I were to take away that single pine needle the forest would no longer be the same.

But, yes the perception would not be altered.

Now how about we discuss the gowns in John's photos. I simply love the one with the puffed shoulders . . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 717
Registered: Dec-03
2c,

I did not audition the Spendors prior to purchase. I knew I wanted a monitor instead of a floorstander to pair up with the McIntosh. I purchased my S3/5's based on a review by Herbert Reichert. If you do a Google search on the Spendor S3/5, you will find his review from enjoythemusic.com. I think his review is dead on.
I have owned a lot of speakers over the years,some 6X the price of the S3/5's. I have not heard a more accurate speaker in terms of timber.
I am planning on going to a tube amp and don't want to give up the Spendors in spite of their inefficiency.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 371
Registered: Feb-04
Rick,

Thanks for chiming in. What is the power rating of the amp you're using to drive the Spendors. I have a 40wpc amp and I have some concern about whether this is enough power for the Spendors.

Rantz,

I look at that picture and I just imagine that's John A. on the left and Jan on the right. I prefer Jan's outfit. I'm not into puffy sleeves and fur.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1191
Registered: Aug-04
2C,

Okay, but I bet you'd look swish in those stockings. And I think I'd assign those pictures the same :-)


Rick,

"I have not heard a more accurate speaker in terms of timber."

Wanna play spot the boo boo!



 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 372
Registered: Feb-04
M.R.

Swish??? If I remember that could mean a few things.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1193
Registered: Aug-04
2C - here it means foxy, smart or cool. Or Swiss with a lisp :-)
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

2c - We seem to be dancing on the same dime and being thrown off by semantics and more split hairs. Tools, methods and elements should be generic enough to understand that they, of themself, are not art. Nothing to argue over there.

The 99% is an arbitrary number that merely represents something that is not whole. Whether the 1% is the texture, the color or a chunk out of the corner, the point is a reproduction isn't the whole of what it represents.

"Design" is again generic enough to mean what has been chosen as a difference. What I was going to was what made the designer choose that singular path.

You seem to be asking me to define what is perception, or more to the point, what process goes on between the ears, to be called perception. That is a long and winding road that was started on another thread. Discussing what is the act of perception still gets us back to when a tree falls and doesn't further our discussion. It can only obscure the path we should take. That doesn't change the fact that, for me, the music is a reality. It may not be your reality. When I sold a stereo system to a deaf person, she was not perceiving the same "music" that I was hearing. That didn't change the fact that, for both of us, the music was real. It seems arguing that point further is beating a dead horse.


"JV: "Almost everyone has some form of art that they find lacking in profundity. That doesn't make it "not art". What am I missing here?"

do you mean what makes something a work of art? i don't know. who says de kooning is Art and kincaid isn't? who decides?"

No, what I meant was why label a work of art, or an entire movement, as banal just because you don't care for the product. As I said, it is insulting for no reason other than you can. Who decides? That's a good question, isn't it? When ancient relics are unearthed, what separates the products into categories of craft and not art? Or the other way around? Intent? That seems to be a convenient label. But labels are poorly placed quite often. Many of those relics are more "artistic" than a piece of photorealism. I'm afraid the line is too blurred for me to make a call.


" ... which would you feel stronger: your own belief about the profundity of shostakovitch's quartets or a consensus of musicologists who believe that bartok's quartets are profound? (this isn't an either/or question, but a question of which you would feel stronger or have more conviction about.)"

I don't see the reason for making the distinction. I base my feeling about the Shostakovich from my personal experience and knowledge, if that is what you mean. In your example I am left to base my feeling on the faith I have in any given group of musicologists which is likely to be based on my experience and knowledge of those musicologists. Your example doesn't seem to present a mutually exclusive situation. I can hold both positions at the same time without contradicting myself. So you're correct, it is not an either/or question. What am I missing here?


************************************


"Here's another question for you to consider: how does one choose among an amati, guarani, or stradivarius violin? does it come to personal preference in the sound? or is there an objective measure to which is more real? which maker came closest to capturing the violinness of the violin?"

Wow, I've been knocked off the dime by too many questions that are spinning me in too many directions. How does one performer choose the instrument they wish to use? Since I have never had the opportunity to select any of your choices I can't speak to the fact of the matter. I know how I choose a chef's knife, a paint brush and a shovel. They all involve a combination of what is technically to task and what is my preference. I would prefer not to use a 12" chef's knife to peel an apple. When I use a 12" chef's knife, it is one that I prefer.
I don't know any more than that. I do know technology seems to be unable to determine what makes one violin superior to another when you ask about several of your examples.


Who made the violin that displayed the most violiness? That seems another impossible answer. Every one of the examples you put forth is an example of a violin. (Asuming of course we are both making the leap of faith that you're not tossing me a ringer and meaning cellos not violins, just because you can.) Therefore each displays violiness. There is no quanitfication there. They display violiness simply because they do not display elephantness. Or rockness. Or DVD-ness. They are violins. As such they all display an equal amount of violiness. To be a violin means they all display an equal amount of what it is that makes a violin not an elephant. In this example, that would seem to be all that is important.

****************************

"IMHO there is no perception in full, it is a constant - it either is or it is not."

Sorry, you're wrong. In this example, full is no different than asking where is the center of the piece of string. There is always another division to be made. It is only your perception that limits your ability to reach that point. You would have to split that atom, several times!

*********************

"Because I'm in a nitpickin' mood I'll take another stab at your reply to 2c about the sliding scale of neutrality: IMHO again, the sound from the speaker will either be neutral or not when other influences are applied. We could say almost neutral, close to neutral, but as soon as the sound varies from the point of neutrality, it is no longer neutral. On a 30cm ruler, 15 cm is half - there is no sliding scale of half. Hence 15.1 centimeters is not half but it is close. Okay, for perception sake, a slight change may not be noticable from person to person or it might. But it doesn't alter the fact.

I agree that perception is in the eye of the beholder (or ear). But the above holds true even for the deaf, dumb and blind - does it not?"


Technically there is a point that represents your 15.000 cm. (See above.) But if you could describe to that blind man what 30.000 cm amounted to and then ask him if it mattered to him, I would be much more comfortable with your example. It can only be the perception of 30.000 cm and 15.000 cm that matters to someone who has never, and can never, experience either.

*************************

"Also, if I were to take away that single pine needle the forest would no longer be the same.

But, yes the perception would not be altered."

You're correct. If you remove that one solitary needle, the forest will no longer be full. But I thought you said there was no perception in "full".



I'm really not sure what the point is that we are dancing around. That perception will alter what you choose as the most neutral? We agreed on that somewhere around July, I thought. That there is no accuracy in audio? I also said that a long time ago. That doesn't alter the fact that there is something real to which we can compare the representation. And it certainly doesn't alter the fact that we should, if we are to call this endeavour high fidelity (as John pointed out), try to agree on what we are holding fidelity to. As to who gets to decide, I would refer you to the link John referenced above from the "Transcending ..." thread and then to the later post made at 3:20 AM the same day.


https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/110404.html




I appreciate the concept you gents have of me in the photo. Unfortunately, as with Lary's wife, you are somewhat mistaken. I can't grow a beard.


 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 718
Registered: Dec-03
Rantz,

Timber????? Sorry, shouldn't try to post after a 14 hour work day.

2C,

The McIntosh is a solid state integrated with 70 wpc. The Jolida is 20 wpc.

Must sleep now, night night all....................
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1194
Registered: Aug-04
Jan,

Just when I thought splitting hairs was preferable to splitting atoms . . . oh man.

Okay, while we are being pedantic - just a couple of things:

Who said the forest was full prior to the removal of the pine needle? Besides a forest can never be full, it has to allow for bear shitage.

In a "real" world how can we make a full glass of water any more full by adding atoms without creating spillage? Is this some ritual you undertake to get the most from your Chivas? If so, please share the secret.


"I can't grow a beard. "

So it's a fake - again, it's all about perception :-)


And please, please don't send me back to that "Transcending . . ." thread. Anything but that!


 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1195
Registered: Aug-04
Jan,

This may bring back some happy memories

Clapton's Crossroads Festival 2 disc DVD

http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_detail.cfm?Title_ID=14890

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2618
Registered: Dec-03
The Ambassadors

MR, Sorry, my fault; I saw your post, but it was a case of "I've started, so I'll finish".

"I've no interest in looking at a couple of ponces who have been decomposing for several centuries". Yes, love it!

Man, how wrong can one be? On all counts. You were imposing your own preconceptions (I probably have the same ones, btw).

But we can step outside those with "High Fidelity". With "low fidelity" we can all keep our opinions, however wrong: there is nothing substantial to challenge them; it is then all a matter of personal preference etc.

Do please take a look at the above link and the commentaries. America (discovered 41 years before) is on the terrestrial globe. The music in the book can be read and played, and means something in the context of what Holbein was saying about those guys. Etc. etc. The Lute has a broken string. And, for Old Dogs, the skull... (see it?).

Two Cents,

Let's say Picture #1 provides the best rendering of chiaroscuro; Picture #2 provides the best color rendition; Picture #3 provides the greatest sharpness; and so on. How would you choose the best reproduction given multiple variables?

No, there are objective standards: how much can be resolvved from the three reproductions?

No. 3 is a crap reproduction; No 2 is worse; No 1 the total pits. It DOES NOT matter what the style/genre is; do it with Picasso or Lucien Freud, or with swirls of paint from writhing ladies, and anyone who can see will place the reproductions on the same order.

It does not matter which aspect of the painting one is interested in, either, or whether one is interested in it at all; and it would not matter if we chose another painting, even an abstract (Good point though, Kegger).

There are things to see in No. 3 that no-one can see in No. 1.

Are the differences just a matter of opinion and personal preference?

Common sense view: NO!

If the photos were produced by different HiFi systems, which system would you choose?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2024
Registered: Dec-03
john:

"If the photos were produced by different HiFi systems, which system
would you choose?"

Interesting question and depends on how you want to adhire them too.

same say they like lp's and they've gotten use to or enjoy the hiss
or background noise on them while others say they prefer cd's because thay
don't have that and are for the most part clearer.

so having said that maybe you could associate pic 3 with cd, clearer
and pic 1or2 with lp a little fuzzy!

So in that case my audio, I would pick 3 but someone else would like 1 or 2!
"Just a thought"
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2619
Registered: Dec-03
PS the Original. Everyone should see it. For one thing, it is sodding huge. End of profound art criticism. Let us put "The Ambassadors" in the Old Dogs workshop. WHEN we can all see the real thing, or the closest we can all get, THEN everyone is equally entitled to whatever point of view. That is the road to a free society, imho.

Yes, we can have better reproduction of art or of music, whatever floats the boat - but it CAN be objectively better, whatever the content. It is just common sense,
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2025
Registered: Dec-03
Or if pic one was the original and pic 3 was after the original went through
an enhacer "on your syatem" that cleaned it up but it was different than the
original, which one would you pick?

I know which one I would! Because to me the altered one is better!

But if others prefer the original because it was the artists intent that
is fine with me but I still prefer the cleaner/altered one!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2620
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Kegger. Look, there is just more to see in pic 3. It is there, in the picture. It is not a matter of opinion. See my point? Whether we like it, or are interested in the first place, is a completely different question. And there, I agree, we decide that for ourselves.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2621
Registered: Dec-03
Or if pic one was the original and pic 3 was after the original went through
an enhacer "on your syatem" that cleaned it up but it was different than the
original, which one would you pick?


It could never be that way around - no "enhancer" could do that. If pic 1 was the original, you could only get worse from there. You could never get to pic 3. Pic 3 would have to be a new original. You could never get to the real original, which, btw, is f...... awesome. IMHO!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2026
Registered: Dec-03
john:

"If
pic 1 was the original, you could only get worse from there"

That is ones opinion.

If pic 1 was the original and the artists intent.
someone could alter the picture to look like pic
3 but it would not be the artists original intent or print maybe even!

yu know got out new paint and filled in the spots, made it nice and glossy.
but the artist originally wanted it to look blurry.


some may or may not like the fact it was altered to look the way
it does now if they had seen the original and appreciated it.

But others may find they like it better.

Meaning that just because an artists intent was one way but it was changed
does not neccasaryly mean it should be enjoyed less or found inferior.
Maybe the alterations even if not approved by the artist could be an improvement.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2622
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

I see your point. It is a good one. Let me reply bit by bit.

"If
pic 1 was the original, you could only get worse from there"

That is ones opinion.


Yes, it is, if "worse" means "how we like the result". What I meant by "worse" when I wrote that (in a hurry - it was not a good choice) was "lower in quality of reproduction". You lose information. There are things in the original, and in a hi-res reproduction, that cannot be seen in a low-res reproduction; not by anyone. They cannot be seen because they are no longer there. The reproduction has lost something. Nothing can bring it back. The effect on the picture quality is one-way.


If pic 1 was the original and the artists intent.
someone could alter the picture to look like pic
3 but it would not be the artists original intent or print maybe even!


It is impossible for it to be the artist's original intent.

yu know got out new paint and filled in the spots, made it nice and glossy.

Yes, I see (slightly off topic -like "upsampling"...?)


but the artist originally wanted it to look blurry.



some may or may not like the fact it was altered to look the way
it does now if they had seen the original and appreciated it.

But others may find they like it better.


Yes, and that is their choice, and their right.

Meaning that just because an artists intent was one way but it was changed
does not neccasaryly mean it should be enjoyed less or found inferior.


Agreed, but it does mean we can less easily know what the artist's intent was.


Maybe the alterations even if not approved the artist could be an improvement.


Yes, OK, but that is subjective. The change from the original might be considered an improvement, and I am not against it provided the alterer declares himself, and does not try to hide from us where he got the idea, and what it was that he altered by making the alteration. Also, this is crucial, that he does not claim he better understands what Holbein intended, and is doing the alterations to save us saps the trouble of deciding for ourselves, since we know less than he does. He might also claim that what he did with the alterations was just "technical" - which is a way of pretending he made no decisions: it was in some objective way a better version; he was not being an "artist" in making those changes; etc. This would not be just arrogance, it would be arrogance plus dishonesty.

BTW going back to "common sense": we lose information by decreasing the resolution. This is "worse reproduction", not "better reproduction", meaning simply what these words are taken to mean.

It is back to Mona Lisa with a moustache. As long as we know that is the work of somone who is not Leonardo da Vinci (in this case, My Rantz) then I have no problem with people preferring it. The lower the resolution, the less easy it will be to tell the moustache is there, and to distinguish between the original and My Ranz's altered version.

So fidelity of reproduction is not a subjective issue. It is objective. It is out there, like the size of the canvas or print, its weight, what paints/inks it uses, what their chemical composition is, what colours they contain, etc.

This is my point to you, and to 2c.

Even without an original picture or performanc, we can still get a better or worse impression of what the original must have been like. If we have the original, we can be absolutely sure when we judge how faithful different reproductions of it. In neither case do we need a "perfect reproduction". The "Holy grail" of sound reproduction is not relevant. Even if such a thing existed, we could never know that is what it was.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2027
Registered: Dec-03
John: got everything you said except this:


Mine:
If pic 1 was the original and the artists intent.
someone could alter the picture to look like pic
3 but it would not be the artists original intent or print maybe even!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

yours:
It is impossible for it to be the artist's original intent.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are you saying that pic1 could not be the artist intent?

Because my meaning behind that statemeant was that some artists like
to use a colored lense or washed out picture/someway to alter the
reality of the shot, but for some viewers that is anoying and they
would of preferred the shot to be as clear as it could have been.

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"bear shitage"

Checked with a friend who has a forestry degree. He claims "bear shitage" is not an official term. It can be applied to rabbits but not bears. Something about the same as flock and gaggle. It was late, I wasn't paying attention. Thought you'd want to know.

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

http://www.keppel.k12.ca.us/KEPPEL/Almondale/pointillism.html


http://www.kinderart.com/arthistory/dottodot.shtml


http://www.jlhs.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Student_Galleries/Virtual_Art_Gallery/pointillis m/point_defined.html


POINTILLISM
is
a metaphor
for life.
We need
to step back,
sometimes,
to
get
its
POINT.



http://www.jlhs.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Student_Galleries/Virtual_Art_Gallery/pointillis m/jennifer.jpg



Filling in the blanks is not the point!!!



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


http://www.addgr.com/comp/ekdotiki/grart1.htm


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
" ... some say they like lp's and they've gotten use to or enjoy the hiss ... "

I think you've misunderstood the statement that has been made about groove noise. No one "enjoys" noise. The point of the remark would be LP noise is benign, when a disc is played on a properly set up table, the noise is insignificant and can be filtered out by the processing of our brains. This is the basis for M-PEG and MP3 formatting. Certain sounds are masked by others.
What the remark is really stating is the preference for LP due to the sterility of CD. It goes to a coldness that afflicts many CD's. The warmth of the LP is preferrable. Not the noise.

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

2c - Small point here. Is this what you meant to say?

"There are solid state equipment that have better measurements than tube equipment which lead one to think that the ss equipment will reproduce music more accurately than the tube equipment. (I don't think that even tube fans will argue that on a measurable level tube equipment is superior to ss.)"

Seems as though you've reversed the subject and object in the parenthetical statement. I tend to agree as it is written, but wonder if that was your intent.


 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1197
Registered: Aug-04
"Checked with a friend who has a forestry degree. He claims "bear shitage" is not an official term. It can be applied to rabbits but not bears. Something about the same as flock and gaggle. It was late, I wasn't paying attention. Thought you'd want to know."


Apologies, please let me rephrase: Besides a forest can never be full, it has to allow for bunny poopage.

I forgot bear shitage is only found in the woods.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Thanks for the restatement. I would check for appropriateness of "bunny poopage", but my friend with the forestry degree is at work. He has put his degree to good use by being the guy that trims trees for Illinois Power and Electric. Spends his time in a bucket sawing away when someone else says, "cut that one". Oh well, we all do what we do with our extended, expensive education. Some of us sell hifi.

Anyway, "bunny poopage" it is. I'll just try my best to not wander into a field of the stuff.


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 375
Registered: Feb-04
John A.

I acknowledge your point. There are some reproductions that are clearly better than others. And I think we agree that there are no perfect reproductions. The topic that I've been addressing is the "bandwith" where reproductions are not clearly better than one another.

In terms of speakers, there are people who think B&W speakers sound better than Thiels and then there are people who think the opposite. At this level, I'm not sure if we can apply an objective criteria to determine which is better. It's a matter of personal preferences, i.e., what one is seeking in the sound.

To throw in another analogy, I think we can agree that Glenmorangie 18 year whisky is better than Billy Bob's Midnight Special Whisky. That is clear. But can we say with confidence, claiming objectivity, that Glenmorangie 18 is better than Macallan 18 or Glenlivet 18? This is the area that interests me. Not the difference between Billy Bob's whisky and Glenmorangie, not the difference between a Proac speaker and a Walmart speaker, and not the difference between Holbein reproductions at significantly different resolutions.

Would you say that your KEF speakers do a better job reproducing music than all other speakers you've listened to for ALL PEOPLE? If, say, Jan prefered the sound of Quads over your KEFs, then is his perception of high-fidelity somehow deficient or lacking? There seem to be many good speakers out there, using similar parts, that achieve high fidelity to music, but they all have their own character, as Jan has pointed out. How do you choose? At a certain level of quality, I think it boils down to personal preference. If you insist that one can choose based on objective criteria, that one person who chooses a KEF 104 speaker over a Proac Response 3.5 (just to give an arbitrary example of two well-regarded speakers) is a better judge than someone who prefers the opposite, then that is where we disagree.

I apologize if I do not express my thoughts clearly in the rush of typing. Jan corrected one of my, I'm sure, many slips above.

I feel I've exhausted my thoughts on the topic.

Peace and happy listening!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2624
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

Thanks, again. When I wrote

"It is impossible for it to be the artist's original intent."

I meant to say

"It is impossible for Pic No 3 to be truer to the artist's original intent."

That is, if Pic no 1 was the original.

You can't unscramble an egg, or get a silk purse out of a sow's ear, or whtever the phrase is. I think it is also described as "garbage in; garbage out".

You can put good stuff in and get garbage out, but never the other way round. As I understand it, it has something to do with thermodynamics (off topic...?).

One of the Keggerisms I remember from way back is there is nothing that cannot be improved in some way, and I agree with that. I think that applies to quality of reproduction. So there is no "Holy Grail". But... to improve the quality you have to go back to a higher quality version (or the original) and see if you can do a better job than before. No-one can reconstruct sense from nonsense.

Coloured lenses is a very good analogy, and I was using it in the file I wrote months ago, in reply to you, but never posted. Now could be the time. But it is long, and I detect patience wearing thin, here! Maybe I'll start another thread. The problem is, it seems to me to be right on nail as far as Jan's original questions are concerned.

[MR, JV, Great, but what do we do about thread crappage, and how can we recognise it? Let he who is without thread crappage, etc. , as the good book might have put it.

Re swans, the collective noun is "flight" (in the air), "fleet" (on water) or "flock" (on land). I do not know why I remember these things. I think it is the same for geese except "gaggle" is synonymous with "flock". If we want a pedantry competition, we have some formidable opponents here, it seems to me.]

Jan,

I agree about LPs. A good illustration is to take a digital sound file, makes copies with smaller sampling rates and bit sizes, and listen.

The best hi-fi system in the world will not give you back the "warmth" and resolution you have lost by making, say, an 8-bit aiff file at 11 kHz sampling frequency. You can take that and up-sample all you like, making DVD-A-sized files, if you want, it still sounds like trash. You won't hear the words, or tell which instruments are playing. The information was lost, never to return.

The question is: how much of the original is lost in 16-bit 44.1 kHz CD?

Remembering the original was analogue. Sound itself is analogue.

See this point, Kegger? - it is the same thing as I was trying to say. You could call the alteration to a degraded sound file "art" if you wanted, but I doubt if that is what most people mean by that word. And that is not what people buy hifi systems for.

What we want is fidelity.

Surely?
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2625
Registered: Dec-03
2c,

I am getting a bit exhausted too. But, now, the same thing applies to qualities of Scotch.
To throw in another analogy, I think we can agree that Glenmorangie 18 year whisky is better than Billy Bob's Midnight Special Whisky. That is clear.

I think we might agree, but it is still a subjective judgement; there is no "right" or "wrong"

But can we say with confidence, claiming objectivity, that Glenmorangie 18 is better than Macallan 18 or Glenlivet 18?

No, we cannot, but we could not do that in the first place, either. All we could predict is that we would have more people agree with us. That is not the issue. And, who's to say Billy Bob (is that hypothetical or a real brand...?) did not make a better whisky? Is the view that no-one could ever improve on one of those named single malts a little, er, conservative (putting it mildly)?

I submit a modified analogy. Try all those whiskies with a clothes-peg over your nose, or a bad cold, or, say, chopping onions or burning rubber. That is low-fidelity. We need high fidelity in order to be able distinguish the things upon which we make the subjective judgements. That, itself, is not a subjective judgement; it is an observable fact.

It would be a pleasure to share drink or two with folks here.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2028
Registered: Dec-03
John:

I know it's off topic but that's what caught my eye.

"You can put good stuff in and get garbage out, but never the other way
round. As I understand it, it has something to do with thermodynamics
(off topic...?).

I know it's sujective but I disagree that you can't take something bad and make it good.

That's what filters are for or touch up software for printing or image software
for say taking pictures and making them look better.

That is all altering the original to attempt to take an imperfection and
clearing it up.

Just like when they say a picture of a beautiful women is air brushed.
They are modifing the picture to make it look better for us even though
the original was flawed!


 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 377
Registered: Feb-04

-------YEP--------
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2626
Registered: Dec-03
Yeah, but Kegger, we've changed places.

Who's to say the original was "flawed"? Isn't that up to us to decide?

I think most guys would like to know how the original "beautiful woman" really looks, before deciding what to do next. We don't want to marry/ go to bed with/ whatever the work of airbrusher.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" true - it is subjective. But we want the full picture, don't we? Otherwise, who knows what we'll wake up with. (See "A midsummer night's dream" for example.) And whether we have access to the full picture is not subjective, it is objective.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rick_b

New York USA

Post Number: 719
Registered: Dec-03
Bunny poopage???????

I don't mean to sound smug, but ALL educated people know when it comes to the waste of the hare, it is Pellets.

Glad I could clear that up. LOL!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

First point.

" ... there is nothing that cannot be improved in some way"

Might I suggest the one thing that cannot be improved upon.

Faith.

To improve it with knowledge would be to risk destroying it all together. Here comes Santa Claus ... To say it is imperfect denies the strength of the original and suggests it is something other than faith alone. You must have faith you have faith.


Second point.

"At this level, I'm not sure if we can apply an objective criteria to determine which is better."

Not sure what "this level" refers to. I am reminded every year at this time of the present I gave to Russell. Russell is a good guy who would do most anything for a friend. To thank him for doing some work for me over the year, I gave him a bottle of decent wine for X-mas one year. Nothing fancy just better than the two gallon jug wine he usually drinks. Later in the week I asked Russell if he'd tasted the wine yet. "Yeah, it was good, but it didn't go very far", was the reply. He had finished the bottle during The Jerry Springer Show and washed it down with his jug of Piassano red.

In light of that story, or not, could you explain, "at this level"?

Third point.

"That's what filters are for ... "

OK, I was going to refer you to the dictionary defintion, but, I think we all know what that will say about "filter".


Fourth point.

"Just like when they say a picture of a beautiful women is air brushed.
They are modifing the picture to make it look better for us even though
the original was flawed!"

Ghia, PLEASE! Send this guy a copy of Cosmopolitan. Or better yet, a gift membership in N.O.W. (National Organization of Women).



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Oh, and somebody take away Kegger's copy of "Coyote Ugly".

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2029
Registered: Dec-03
ghia my appologies before "hand"

john:

It depends on what you are doing with that air brushed picture!

If your taking it in the bathroom with you, then you probably don't want to know
what the real thing looks like! You might not be able to "handle" it!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Thanks, Rick, you've made it as clear as bunny poopage can be.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Thanks, Rick, you've made it as clear as bunny poopage can be.


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2030
Registered: Dec-03
sorry peopole! had to do it!

since jan was allready headed in that direction I guess it doesn't matter! lol
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Criminy, the curse of the double bunny poopage.

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Me? I was headed out the door.

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2031
Registered: Dec-03
Jan out the door to where? the outhouse?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2032
Registered: Dec-03
or was it the "wood" shed!
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 312
Registered: Oct-04
SORRY to break into this fascinating line of reasoning, but -
The Great Speaker Audition has been made!

Yep - (sorry, Kegger) - went downtown to dah Big House - where I listened to first the B & W 705, then the Paradigm Studio 20. Here's what I heard, and learned.

B & W - beautiful speakers to look at. Put on one of my favorite CDs - Beethoven string quartet with Tokyo String Quartet. This would be my A-B disc.
Noted that the B & Ws sounded very warm and, well, "pleasant." Cello especially sounded very natural and full-bodied. My only complaint with the B & Ws is the metal tweeter. I swear I hear a hint of metal on all the high notes. Is this just my subjectivity? Maybe - but it bothered me just a tad with its "edgey" sound.
Other than that - absolutely enjoyable sound, but with a hint of "boxiness" in the lower register. Not overwhelming, but there.

Next - the Paradigm 20s - here I found a problem right away. The finish. For $800 plus, you'd think they'd give you wood. Nope. The sides are vinyl - sorta looked like high-quality "contac" paper with a hint of wood grain. Now some people might not mind that - but it bothered me a lot, and I know Mer would hate it.
On with the listening. Like the B & Ws, the 20s sounded very natural and yet didn't quite have the "boxy" sound that the B & Ws did. Neither did they have quite as much oomph on the bottom end of the register. Here, too, the cello simply sang - very, very natural and I could enjoy overtones to the max. This tweeter, too, is metal (they just changed from silk to aluminum this year) - and I had the same problem with these speakers - a hint of "metal" in all the higher frequencies. I'm sure I'd get used to it, but at first it is not to my liking.
I'll have to say that both of these speakers are worth every penny - I'd have a hard time deciding which one to purchase, if my decision were not already made for me by those cheap-looking Studio 20 cabinets! Sigh.
OK - came home - mistake - put same discs on my system and turned it on. The Polks sounded like the music was coming out of tin cans. Where did the cello go? And what happened to that warm, inviting quality? Gone.
I know that music memory is short-lived - but the differences were so great hear as to be no-brainers for me. Mer saw the look on my face, and said, "not good, huh?" I told her about my audition, and she just said too bad, but that we don't have money for any upgrades at this point. Which I knew - but HAD to do this test for my own satisfaction.
Bottom line: B & W 705s and Studio 20s both very good, warm, natural-sounding speakers. B & W finish gets a 10 - Studio 20 finish about a 3.

There - I've done it. The only nagging question remaining in my mind is: "could my sound problem here be the amplifier, and not the speakers?" Hmmm. . . From what I've read the Onkyos may be a bit "bright," but most people say they put out great sound.
The amp at the store today was a Pioneer "Integra" I think it's called - 80 watts a channel. Played flat and moderate volume. The CD player also a Pioneer - a 5-disc changer of some sort.

OK - any and all comments welcome. I'm right back where I started - frustrated!!! (grin)

More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2033
Registered: Dec-03
for starters larry many complain about a titainium dome
tweeter has a steely sound!

you are not the only one.

I actually like most of the ones I've heard.
But I actually like my speakers a little bright also!

Will read the rest now!
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 315
Registered: Oct-04
Kegger: Thanks - I value your input here!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ojophile

ON

Post Number: 187
Registered: Jun-04
"If your taking it in the bathroom with you, then you probably don't want to know what the real thing looks like! You might not be able to "handle" it! "

The very essence of double-entendre! LOL! Good work, Kegger.

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2034
Registered: Dec-03
larry: "Integra" is actually the higher end line to the onkyo!

should be simular to your amp but maybe a little better.

I believe it is your speakers larry, that is of course just my opinion.

yes the b&w's generally have a beautiful finish.
many other speakers use a mdf construction with a
sheat of vanier over it "probably like the paradigms"

will have more to say with some thoughts!
 

Silver Member
Username: Ojophile

ON

Post Number: 188
Registered: Jun-04
In light of all the discussions about "reality" and "fidelity", why then would we see "warm" and "cold" when comparing LP's and CD's, and that same "warmth" being attributed to speakers? I believe, John A., you wrote a few posts back that what matters is "accuracy." Yet, in your latest post, you mention "best hi-fi system in the world will not give you back the "warmth" and resolution you have lost by making... . Can a subjective ("warmth") and objective ("resolution") go together in evaluating reproduced sound? Or does perception take over the reality eventually?

What really is "warm" sound? In the same vein, what is "cold"? Can you sell the concept to the average buyer? To a musician? To an avid music lover? And more importantly, to an audiophile? IMO, the answers are subjective and can only be understood by the person hearing and perceiving the sound. I could play an old LP and a CD reissue of the same album and expect to hear differences that I think can be measured. Similarly, I can audition two pairs of speakers from different manufacturers and expect to hear either subtle or significant differences. Or perhaps none at all.

 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 316
Registered: Oct-04
Kegger, et al: OK - thanks, Keg-man.

Just got a call from the HiFi store - and they have changed their minds: they WILL let me bring home the Paradigms for a test-run - providing, of course, that I leave my credit card number with them. SO - I'll jog down tomorrow and bring the liddle black boxes home - then we'll see how they sound A-B with the Polks.
If, as I suspect, the Studio 20s sound much better, welllllll. . .
Of course, I won't keep them - Mer would never go for black speakers in "her" room. Sigh.

More latr. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 193
Registered: Dec-03
I'll take Bookers Single Barrel bourbon over any of the Glen-Scotch varieties. Yes, Kentucky is good for something...the Derby and bourbon!

You can get wood finishes on Paridigm Reference speakers. I think it adds around $100.00. I would chech out their web site for more info.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 378
Registered: Feb-04
JV: "In light of that story, or not, could you explain, "at this level"?"

I'm not sure of how the story relates to my comment. Think of "at this level" in terms of your sliding scale of neutrality or reality.

Larry,

I'd guess the amp is an influence on the sound quality. Pioneers in general have a warmer sound than Onkyos, which make cellos, tenors, and other midrange instruments sound more pleasing. I experienced a substantial improvement in sound when I last upgraded my amp from a Parasound to an Audio Analogue. The cold digital, brittle sound of many cds were tamed somewhat by the amp.

That said, the speakers could have also have a lot to do with it. Here's a list of speakers that I've researched and plan to audition:

Proac
Spendor
Triangle
Dali
Thiel

They are in the order of how I think I'll rank them based on reviews I've read. If nothing else, the auditions will be an interesting experiment. We both enjoy classical music and I think you might want to check out those speakers based on how they've been described.
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 317
Registered: Oct-04
Ben James - thank you, sir! I will do that. If I like what I hear the next coupl-ah days, and IF I can get "real wood," hmmmm. . .might do it!
Isn't that what credit cards were invented for?
GRIN
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1199
Registered: Aug-04
Rick,

What - excuse me for a moment I need to go pellet pellet?

You Americans are very funny . . .

I was shot in the face when I was a kid (by my brother) and had an operation to have the pellet removed. Now I know what they mean by being '----faced' :-)

Jan,

What are you trying to do - see if you can fill up the forest?

It'll take wots more wabbits than that, Doc!


Larry,

If the Onkyo is known as being a little bright then the 705's may not be the way to go. I have a Marantz SR-7300 which is supposedly slightly on the warmer side. I have a B&W LCR6 S2 center and JBL XTi-60's as mains and S3611's for rears and all have metal domes. To me they register the highs extremely well especially - cymbals, bells, and well, you know, all the tinkley stuff. All sound very 'real' (especially the hi-res stuff) and I never feel as if the sound is fatiguing. And also were the audition speakers brand new or had they been "run in?" Many speakers will usually open up a bit more after some usage.

Usually the thing is to match the speakers with your receiver or the other way around to get a flatter response or at least that's what I've learnt. Correct me please someone if I have this wrong.


John,

I think your jpeg experiment is a fine analogy. Intersting article by the way. P.S. I thought I could smell a bone in there - the origin of surrealism in that era perhaps?


Kegger,

"If your taking it in the bathroom with you, then you probably don't want to know what the real thing looks like! You might not be able to "handle" it! "

There must have been a whole lot of air-brushing going on :-)


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2627
Registered: Dec-03
Don,

I believe, John A., you wrote a few posts back that what matters is "accuracy." Yet, in your latest post, you mention "best hi-fi system in the world will not give you back the "warmth" and resolution you have lost by making... . Can a subjective ("warmth") and objective ("resolution") go together in evaluating reproduced sound?

Thank you, Don. You've got me! I did not like "warmth"; that is why I gave it inverted commas. Please substitute "accuracy". Much better. I would not describe CD sound as "cold", either. "Wraith-like", perhaps. Try the decreased resolution test - it just sort of fades away. It does not get colder. LP is more like real flesh and blood. "Warm" in the sense of "Living", as opposed to "cold " in the sense of "dead". At least, it can be.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2628
Registered: Dec-03
MR,

Thanks. The skull: the origin of surrealism in that era perhaps. Yes, I think you could call it that. But it was Holbein's decision to put that in, not anyone else's. The interpretation people make is that he was saying "you may think you're fine cool dudes, now, but remember you will die".

BTW, it's odd you should think those guys were dressed effeminately: they look about right for 1533. I think the gear signifies opulence, even hubris. Today, you'd perhaps put them in Armani suits, wearing Rolexes, with Fenders, iMacs, and Copies of National Geographical strewn about the place. Holbein did very similar portraits of Henry VIII whose hetero inclination changed history.
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1200
Registered: Aug-04
John,

You take me too seriously at times perhaps I need to add the smiley motiffs more often. Yes, I am aware of the era's dress, I'm not that uneducated - still poncy though :-)

My statement was only a having a bit of fun - although the two do look like the cats that ate the canaries. Especially Monsignor Vigne (De Selve) - what's he hiding under that robe? Just what were Professor A and Monsignor Vigne up to before the artist surprised them?

Fenders - as in stratocasters - a fashion trend?

 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 541
Registered: Apr-04
Speaking of putting garbage in and getting good stuff out what about upsampling? Sorry, this is a practical question, not philosophical. If you follow the Tube Talk thread you know I'm thinking of getting a tube CD player (Jolida JD100). But, what about a Musical Fidelity A324 192k upsampling DAC instead?

 

Silver Member
Username: Ojophile

ON

Post Number: 189
Registered: Jun-04
Larry,

If finish is an issue, what about PSB speakers?
http://www.psbspeakers.com/s/ImageSeries.html

Just another suggestion.

 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 318
Registered: Oct-04
Don: Thanks - was thinking about the B25 - but from what I've read these speakers are really to be used for pop and the likes - not classical. I dug into the I-net about them, and decided against them based on several user reviews.

Still thinking about thinking about thinking about, if you get my drift. . . sigh.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 543
Registered: Apr-04
LR,

You liked the Paradigms better than the B&W? Given the B&W's reputation for classical, it's surprising you didn't love them. When I auditioned the B&W's, they were compared to Linn speakers (in my home) and the tweeter is part of what sold me on them. Overall, they sounded more open and less "boxy" than the Linn's and I felt the tweeter design played a role in that.

Did you know B&W's new tweeter is made of diamond? lol

Will the store let you audition the B&W's at home, too?
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 544
Registered: Apr-04
Think about it LR. You could get Mer a pair of diamonds (tweeters) for Christmas. :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 319
Registered: Oct-04
Ghia: (blush) hate to say it, but I DID like the Paradigms just a bit better than the B & Ws - to my surprise! I thought they had better imaging, and that the slight "boxy" sound of the B & Ws was missing in the paradigms.
That was a surprise to me, as I'd hoped that my original thoughts would be supported - that the B&W 705s would be simply excellent.
Diamond tweeters, but on the 800 series, not the lowly, el-cheapo 705s. (grin) Yep - probably better than those dirty old titanium ones, eh?
The HIFI shop would not let me bring home the B&Ws - because they have another customer who's coming in to audition them soon, and thus they need them there. (apparently their only pair at the moment)
Tomorrow (Friday) I'm bringing home the Paradigms - to see how they sound here with my stuff - and for a good A-B comparison with the Polks. Will post more on that, probably Saturday ayem.

DON: Sorry - but I have to sorta blush here, after reading the most recent Stereophile review of the PSB B-25 speakers. Uh, I guess I owe PSB an apology - Stereophile says they are really great - natural-sounding and warm. Hmmm - can't remember where I read about the "rock" comments, but am re-thinking PSB now.
Problem is that the nearest dealer is in Sarasota, 2-hours away. But will probably go up there, anyway, as that shop has several really good speaker brands to hear.

Well - dat's about it - will post more when I have some reactions, etc.

More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2036
Registered: Dec-03
ghia:

"Speaking of putting garbage in and getting good stuff out what about upsampling? Sorry, this is a practical question, not philosophical. If you follow the Tube Talk thread you know I'm thinking of getting a tube CD player (Jolida JD100). But, what about a Musical Fidelity A324 192k upsampling DAC instead?"

I've been looking at dacs myself then we could just keep our players
and plug into the dac for redbook. I like that but again need to find
the right one for the right price!

Need to do more research!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2037
Registered: Dec-03
Don RX-1

"The very essence of double-entendre! LOL! Good work, Kegger."

glad you found it amusing and not just discusting!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2038
Registered: Dec-03
larry here is another thread on this board disussing simular to your setup.

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/14915.html

I do not know the charceristics of your reciever, bright/warm/laid back.

but if you can find them you should see if klipsch may be to your liking.
they definatly not kringe at what you put through them, just weather or not
you like what they have to offer.

the rb-5's are priced at about $500 "i have a pair for my rears on my surround"
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2039
Registered: Dec-03
hey lar check these out! there not black, look nice, and in florida!

sometimes manufacturers use different material on the speakers depending on color
maybe these are better made or at leat look better!


http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1108135976
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2630
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Upsampling. I have no experience of it, but am very sceptical.

Since you have iTunes, try ripping a sample using aiff (the Cd file format) at 8 kHz, 8-bit, and see how it sounds.

Then imagine 2x upsampling, which is doubling the frequency to 16 kHz by interpolating pulses whose values are obtained in some way from the ones at 8 kHz. Are you going to get better sound? No.

I tried Google with the text string "Upsampling audio files" and there is some good stuff there. One I liked was Binary Boggles or Digital Druthers: An Inquiry into D/A Conversion.

If I understand it, upsampling does not create information that was not there in the first place (no surprise, but some people apparantly think it does) but it increases the frequency of a sampling artifact so that the blocking filters used to block it can be at much higher frequencies, eliminating their effect, in theory, on the audible part of the spectrum.

So it is one way of designing a CD player. Some makers use it, others go for a better filter. The CD spec was set so that the lowest frequency artifact was at 22 kHz ( always half the sampling frequency), which is beyond the range of human hearing. If I understand correctly, earlier CD players had broad filters which extended down and cut off some extreme treble, or created other problems, and over-sampling would be one way of avoiding that, but it is no longer an issue.

In itself, upsampling gives no advantage.

So, there may be reasons for deciding between the Jolida JD100 and the Musical Fidelity A324, but I do not known what they are. All I conclude is that the latter having an up-sampling DAC is not really relevant.

Sorry if that sounds like more philosophy!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2631
Registered: Dec-03
There is a guy in Michigan who developed his own "up-sampling" algorithm and has posted some samples, 11 kHz and "spectrally enhanced" to 44 kHz (Peter Gabriel, Red Rain) for comparison:

http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~coreyc/thesis/thesis_html/chap4/ch4.html

His whole objective is base on the expense of storing and transmitting CD-sized files at 44 kHz. But CDs are cheap! Seems to me to be an argument for DVD-A, which just has higher sampling frequencies and sample sizes.

But, as before, I heard some really good CDs recently, and am pretty well an agnostic on the whole issue.

The link in my last post had a nice point.

If you're male, you're wired to compete. With audio and cars, this manifests as specmanship. Digital audio right now offers plenty of opportunities to indulge in this silly pastime......
But our male hardwiring is bound to fool us time and again. We'll override what our ears so clearly tell us with what we think we should be hearing. This should itself is fostered by clever marketing propaganda, status considerations, money spent and all the associated preconceptions that come with it. Unlike the hearing of our female companions, for whom specs are a lot less attractive -- they call them mumbo-jumbo if they get fed up -- our competitive programming easily influences our aural perceptions.


Any comment, Ghia...?

Going back to my JPEGs of "The Ambassadors" (above): what exactly can anyone do to the file of picture 1 to give us back the the music written on the pages of the notebook, open in front of the Lute? How would the program know to write in "Veni Sancte Spiritus" instead of "Waterloo" by ABBA?

Let me propose an extension of the motto "Garbage in, garbage out".

"Garbage in, garbage out; or, if it does not look like garbage out, it is lies, or someone pulling your leg".

(Smiley)
 

Bronze Member
Username: Asimo

Post Number: 38
Registered: Apr-04
So you joined the via de la rosa of upgrading audio components. I sometimes envy friends that have a mini or midi Aiwa system and they are happy with it.
Whenever I go to audition I take piano solo, vocal, and a string quartet CD's for the test. It is always the string quartets reveal the faults and shame of the sophisticated stereo systems.
Few speakers and amplifiers can handle correctly the sound of the upper violin notes no matter of cost. Something bad is happening with combination of digital electronics and violin sound but how many buyers are interested in sting quartet reproduction.
It was much better in the turntable days
It is not easy to find who is responsible for the fiasco, speakers, electronics or uncontrolled digital source.
A friend of mine has a real Hi-End system Meridian + Sonus Faber Extrema about 20000$ worth. Excellent for operas but it failed with the string quartet test.
I once heard another system Yamaha + JM Lab Chorus speakers that delivered explosions while playing string quartet.
I listened to B&W 602, 603 and CDM1 speakers. The CDM1 is similar to your 705. My conclusion was that the CDM1 is a very accurate and revealing speaker but for string quartets it needs a "soft" amplifier. The B&W 602 or B&W 603 speakers are more forgiving.
The best system I found for enjoyable string quartet listening was a very modest NAD C320BEE + NAD C521 +B&W 601
Don't give up, keep up with the experiments, test every component at your house in your listening room at your time and finally you will have a great system that you love its
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2632
Registered: Dec-03
My Rantz,

I'm not that uneducated - still poncy though

I find that difficult to believe. (Smiley!).


Especially Monsignor Vigne (De Selve) - what's he hiding under that robe?


For M. Vigne, it would be an SPL meter and a bottle of Vivid.

For Monsignor De Selve, it would be an airbrushed photo of Catherine of Aragon and a box of tissues.

Nothing funny about those guys.

Yes, A Fender Stratocaster, or Gibson Les Paul, in place of the lute. Add a couple of iPods. The U2 special edition.

Just what were Professor A and Monsignor Vigne up to before the artist surprised them?

Why, discussing Shostakovich, of course.

I don't think Holbein exactly surprised anybody. The shutter speed was set to at least two weeks, I should think. During which time, the expressions on the faces tell it all.

Caption competition:

De Selve: "De Dinteville; what is that clown doing with a number 4 badger hair when he should be using a number 5 pig's bristle?

De Dinteville: "Search me, De Selve. I'd be using a Nikon Coolpix, myself. Fancy a pint?"
 

Bronze Member
Username: Asimo

Post Number: 39
Registered: Apr-04
Larry R
My above message is for you as most of the messages in this thread
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Ghia - I don't have much to say about your choice of CD player at the moment. I have yet to get a full grasp (NOT a Kegger in the bathroom grasp) on upsampling DAC's. They seem to be at the point that one bit sampling was when it was first introduced in the early '90's. As with the one bit systems, upsampling has been met with some skepticism in the press and the buying public. It is, as John has pointed to, a matter of filling in the blanks. (See my overall reaction to that technique as referenced to http://www.jlhs.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Student_Galleries/Virtual_Art_Gallery/pointillis m/jennifer.jpg )

The quality of upsampling seems to come from the skill with which the algorithm is written. And there appears to be little to no consensus on how that should be done to get the best results.
Let me read a little more and then I might have a better response for you.

If I can get past John's referenced article which is, in my opinion, trying to put a "Kegger handle" on the subject. John! That's what passes for noteworty in your book now? A textural masturb*tion that plays to the innate superiority of the male of the species while pretending to give the female credit for her more reasoned approach to dismissing specs as "puffery" when their little brains just can't handle it anymore? John, I'm ashamed for you. Go tell your wife what you just did.

Ghia, you are headed in a different direction with the upsampling DAC than you were going with the Jolida player. I'm sure you know that yourself. From what I have read, not having heard either unit, these two devices go about making music in two dramatically different methods and the end result represents the two extremes of that sliding scale of neutrality. That is where I would begin thinking about what it is I want from my system and how does the synergy of the parts go together as I sorted out what piece of gear would give me the best overall step up and not just sideways.

Larry - You are not the first to describe metal tweeters as "different" from soft domes or paper cones. Just as a technical note, what you perceive is generally considered to be an impossibility by those who espouse the quality of metal domes. The various materials that are used in metal domes have been chosen for the very high bending resonance the metals exhibit. Even aluminum has a resonance that occurs at well over 22k. This should put it above the range that most people can hear. It should certainly place it high enough that most people over 50 would find it difficult to say they "hear" that sound. The more exotic the material and the more the materials are layered for diferent resonant frequencies, the higher that bending frequency becomes.

The proponents of this technology therefore point to the new "cleaness" that the listener experiences when they first encounter metal domes.

Make of that what you will.


Did the salesperson have any reaction to your experience with either speaker? I can only assume the suggestion has been made you would generally prefer the Paradigm.



 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 321
Registered: Oct-04
Kegger, et al - thanks so much for the postings, and the links. I do appreciate, and will check out all listings.
The Studio 20s in the picture/ad, btw, are the oldest models - v.1 - and from what I read, they have some flaws in mid and lower ranges. But will try to find some "old" reviews of them. At least Paradigm offered real wood veneers back then - now, unless you go very-high-end, you get the darned vinyl, which messes up my mind!!!

Asimo: isn't it interesting that, when autitioning speakers, I do the same as you - and find that yes, the string quartets are the "proof of the pudding" when trying to find "accurate" speakers.
That's why I think I shocked Ghia with my assertion that I liked the Paradigm studio 20s better than the speakers I "thought" I'd love - the B & W 705s. With the Paradigms, the quartet was right there in the room with me. With the B&Ws, for some reason, the sound came more "out of the box."
You mention the "cheaper" (haha) B&W 600 line. I have heard several people now say that they like the sound of the 600 series better than the much more expensive 700 series. Why? Well, I guess I'd have to get more info from them to determine just what they "hear."
Today, I "borrow" the Paradigms - and the week after Christmas Mer and I drive up to Sarasota to audition a couple of other speakers, including the PSB B-25s that Don suggested I autition.
My nagging suspicion is that perhaps my amplifier may be somehow "brightening up" the sound. Today's Paradigm test will go a long way to answering that question for me.

More anon - with thanks to all!

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

One more time - I can't grow a beard and I do not own a SPL meter. I find both to be useless adornments.


 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 322
Registered: Oct-04
JV - sorry, I posted the above before your post came across on the web.
The sales-mope at the House of horrors,uh, HiFi had no input - all he wanted to do was to make a quick sale and get me out of there. I had to nudge to stay as long as I did - and he had NO other customers in the shop.
At least he was knowledgeable about the paradigms, and was able to answer construction-questions rather well. He said (do I believe him?) that he sells a lot of the Paradigm Signature 20s - $2,000 a pair - that use real wood and are, frankly, beautiful! But out of my even dreamy-price-range.
As to the metal tweeters - you are right about the technical aspects - and all I can say is that every speaker I audition with some-sort-of-metal tweeters sounds "steely" to me. Oh, I don't mean that the sound is distorted or such, just that I hear "steel" in the speakers. So - hit me! (GRIN)
I can't imagine what I'd hear if I were to audition some of Ghia's B&W 800s with DIAMOND tweeters! Yep - things are going too fast for this ole scribe!
So - no "glop" yet? I was sure you'd have received my CARE package by now. Hope it didn't get lost in the mail. . .
Away to b-fast. More anon. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Ojophile

ON

Post Number: 190
Registered: Jun-04
Larry,

You mentioned that you had read some user reviews of the Paradigm Studio series. I'm not sure whether you've seen the professional reviews posted on the company's website, but I'll post the link here anyway (ignore if you've already seen this):

http://www.paradigm.com/Website/SiteReferenceProduct/RReviews/NewRefStudioReview s.html

Of course, I understand your preference for the B & W's. A co-worker of mine bought a set of five last year and he couldn't be any happier.

Enjoy the home audition. Don't get carried away.

Control... control... control...

Temptation, must thou dwell in my presence?


 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 323
Registered: Oct-04
Don: Yep - temptation, thou DOST dwell in my presence! (double grin)
Just got off the phone with the paradigm folk - polite, but rather anxious to get me off the line. They said NO they will not put on real wood veneer - that only applied to the "old" version 2 speakers, which were replaced by the "new and improved" v.3 speakers about a year ago.
I then had the audacity to ask if I could order the speakers with NO cladding. Well, that set the guy back, and he said "certainly not!" (grin)
OK - having made points with paradigm - still very much in love with their sound - and will post more later - when I've heard them here at home.

More, well U know. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2040
Registered: Dec-03
ghia:

If your thinking was like mine that not only would you be looking for an
upsampling dac but this dac would also be an upgrade over the dacs in
your player maybe even tube based not to mention on some dacs I've seen you
can turn off upsampling, then it comes down to finding the right dac for
the right price!

I believe where the truly exceptional sound comes from in the digital
world is in the dac. weather it's in the player or external.

The best source I've heard came from an external dac "albeit was a truly expensive one"

So why upsampling may not neccasaryly be the answer an external dac may!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2633
Registered: Dec-03
Following Asimo's comment to Larry, I think the best test disc is something you are already familiar with, whatever the genre.

After that, the human voice is the sound whose subtleties we are most tuned into.

If anyone happens to be into the string quartet, I agree it is an excellent test. One reason is the simplicity; just four instruments.

But there are some wretched recordings out there.

Three observations.

1. Simple microphone technique is essential, bringing the sound of the performance itself. Two microphones is enough. One per player is common, and it is for control-freak engineers, not music.

2. The lowest musical sound from a string quartet is the C fundamental on the cello. It is 64 Hz. There is nothing below that. Therefore a well-designed bookshelf speaker on a stand is quite likely to do a better job than an exotic and expensive full-range floor-stander. As well as being a lot cheaper.

3. Sound stage. There are two dispositions for string quartets:

Violin 1 - Violin 2 - Viola - Cello

Violin 1 - Violin 2 - Cello - Viola

If you can tell which of these dispositions the quartet us using, just from listening, you probably have excellent separation and spatial resolution from your system. However....

Usually the players are in an arc, even a full semicircle, so Violin 1 is in front of Violin 2 from a central listening position; same for Viola/Cello (which ever disposition they use).

So recordings where you can hear the players as if arranged in a straight line in front of you are usually the result of multi-miking, and not a test of anything; that is not how they performed.

Once again, the engineer can so easily get in there and give you what he thinks you ought to get, even if it is less faithful to sound you would have heard if you had been there, listening to them play. Always assuming that is what you want...

And all that is with two-channel, and about the smallest of ensembles.

Returing to base: this is one genre where the benefits of surround sound are surely marginal, at most.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 379
Registered: Feb-04
John A. (and Asimo),

Excellent insights. I would add that where most speakers trip up is in the higher frequencies. For example, when the violinist plays high on the E string or when a soprano hits the high notes, many speakers will sound "metallic", as Larry R. puts it, trying to reproduce these frequencies. The distortion can also sound hard-edged and strident.

I also agree that chamber music doesn't benefit from surround sound. You can also include small group jazz, folk, and country music. In fact, on some hi-res discs of these genres, the surround sound mix can be downright distracting.

There are still benefits of surround sound in listening to orchestral music, especially in the reduction of congested sound in big passages, expanding the soundstage, and providing the acoustic sense of the venue. There are also benefits to electric rock and other music that don't attempt to recreate a live sound, but rather create their own "pscho-acoustical" space, like, I mean it's far out!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2634
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, 2c ...like, I mean it's far out!. Like this thread,

Home Audio Category > Title of live thread with most posts
Number of posts in that thread.

Amps > Hooking up a car stereo amplifier with subs to a sony home stereo s...
261

Cassette > About AKAI GXC-570D
13

CD Players > Twilight of the Compact Disc
88

CD Recorders > Consumer CD Recorder
110

DAC and Transports > Inexpesive DAC
20A

DAT > Panasonic PT-60LC13
2

DVD-Audio & SACD > Teaching an old dog new tricks...
2969A

Equalizers > Equalizer installation
39A

Integrated Amps > Is NAD 372 worth stretching my budget....
66

Mini Systems > Speaker wattage
16A

MiniDisc Decks > Minidisc direct file transfer to PC ??
107

MP3 & Digital Audio Servers > Uploading music on website.
47

Phono > Rega Planar 3 - Turntable running slow
53A

Preamps > Pre-amp to increase ohm capacity for a 8 ohm receiver?
28

Receivers > Why not to buy NAD receiver
120

Speakers > Great deal or con victim?
466

Subwoofers > Home Audio and Car Audio Sub??
44

Tuners > Sirius SRS problem
7A
 

Gold Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 1203
Registered: Aug-04
My Rantz,

I'm not that uneducated - still poncy though

I find that difficult to believe. (Smiley!).


John A,

Heck - except when it come to writing! The comment "still poncy though" refers to the gentlemens's attire, and not myself - of course!

Ahem - did you see the footy last night. I couldn't - I got into an arm wrestling comp down at the pub with a bunch of truck drivers - all bl00dy wimps - beat every of them! Stumbled home pi**ed as a phart, got an earful from the missus, gave 'er a good clip under the ear, told 'er to shut 'er trap, let out a good loud belch, and went ta bed.

Let me know if more proof is required


 

Silver Member
Username: Black_math

Post Number: 194
Registered: Dec-03
I feel the analog output stage is what seperates exceptional disc players and DACs from the ordinary. There are many approaches to do this whether it be power supplies, tubes, HDAM, op-amps, etc... Most of the aftermarket mods done on disc players is in the analog output stage (the ah! tjoeb player is a famous one). This is also why you see the X10-d's of the world out there trying to correct the sins of inferior output stages.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"
Preamps > Pre-amp to increase ohm capacity for a 8 ohm receiver?
28"

It took 28 answers?!


**********************


2c - Since I'm still unconvinced in regards to surround as it exists on most discs today, can you give me an explanation how surround creates tangible benefits "in the reduction of congested sound in big passages, [and] expanding the soundstage ... ". If you can also provide examples of discs which display these improved characteristics (in your opinion), I would appreciate the effort. Without resorting to the odd piece of music that relies on some other form of presentational style than a typical proscenium or thrust staging, I have seldom found the additional information added by additional channels to be of any significant musical benefit. Certainly nothing that I can see two conventional channels not doing as well. I can think of no particular reason that congestion should be diminished unless the sound is spread over the additional channels. That would seem to indicate an unconventional soundstage. And I have no idea why a conventional soundstage should, or could, be expanded merely by additional channels/microphones/speakers. Width and depth have never, to my knowledge, been disputed as dimensions that stereo can handle easily. Heigth is still not captured by the multi channel systems I have encountered other than the odd Chesky and Telarc recordings which require a completely different speaker arrangement than any other surround formatting. This rearrangement of speaker per recording represents to me another impediment to the adaptation of surround as a useful format. (There is no reason the microphone techniques that are emplyed on the Chesky and Telarc discs cannot provide heigth information without the addition of rear channels. And, despite John's objection to the use of more than two speaker in the front, the addition of the front heigth channel to conventional stereo (replacing the [usual] center channel) seems, to me, to be of more use than 2, 3, or 4 rear speakers.

Possibly you could provide some information I have overlooked, or not encountered, that will help me make the transition to surround formats more palatable.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest



Just to be contrary, I'll put my bid for the most important part of a disc player to be the transport. But what follows the transport certainly can muck up what the best transports can send out. That's why you see attention paid to jitter reduction and error correction. All of which no DAC or analog stage can repair once it's gone "poncy". Not even a good clip under the ear can fix that.


























BBRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPP!!!




 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

John - I can't see the benefit of the article you referenced above. When using audio files limited to 5.1kHz he managed to create a new "constructed" file where:

"The results were good for drum sounds and high-pitched sounds, moderate for heavy percussion sounds, and relatively poor for speech sounds. This is consistent our expectations, since 1) wavelet analysis is well suited to signals with sharp transients and speech, in general, is not; 2) speech is mostly contained in low-frequency regions, and therefore enhancement is essentially adding high frequency material that is not present in the original signal. However, imaging was much improved in most cases, and ambiance was added in many cases as well.

In most cases as well, however, there was a grainy sound to the processed output, as the filter coefficients used did not have sharp rolloffs.

Voice tended to suffer the most during this enhancement, as much aliasing can be heard."



As I've learned never to undersetimate the ability of anyon who works at a problem long and hard enough, possibly this algorithm will become useful in the transmission of audio over the internet. Which I think was the author's origianl intent. Correct? What he has accomplished(?) seems to have little to do with the upsampling that is being used on audio files that are sampled at 44kHz. Correct me if I'm wrong.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Here's what I think are the important points from the article John first referenced:

****************Oversampling, upsampling and interpolation are terms that are freely interchangeable despite certain conventions that have taken hold to suggest the opposite. The Red Book standard for CD established a sampling rate of 44.1kHz. Any time this sample rate is changed up or down, a sample-rate conversion has occurred. If the sample rate is increased, the data has been upconverted or upsampled. If the sample rate is decreased, the data has been downconverted or downsampled. The term oversampling is typically used when the upconversion is at integer multiples (i.e. 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, etc.), while upsampling most often relates to 96kHz or 192kHz sample rates that are non-integer multiples of the base 44.1kHz sampling frequency. However, the basic mechanism here is identical and was first introduced with second generation of CD players. Oversampling was required to cut down the cost, complexities and concomitant sonic degradation involved with the very sharp ninth-order or higher "brickwall" filters required to eliminate the aliasing folded noise around 44.1kHz in first-generation CD players. For a brief flashback into history, it was mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy who first proposed the sampling theorem in 1841. In 1928, Harry Nyquist proved the sampling theorem. CD players have been using oversampling since they were first released in the early 1980s. Oversampling or upsampling advertised as though recent breakthrough developments have been with us for a while.

Upsampling requires the calculation of intermediate data points. This is interpolation. Downsampling requires the deletion of existing samples. This is decimation. Through a combination of "interpolating up" and "decimating down" of the original 44.1kHz sample frequency, any desired output sample frequency can be achieved. Those interested can refer to an Analog Devices' white paper on their AD1890 sample rate converter IC: www.analog.com/publications/whitepapers/products/AD1890.html.

-----

To get to the bottom of the sampling issue, we need to remember that digital audio, as an encode/storage/decode-sampled system, operates within a deliberately limited bandwidth. Sampling is a characteristic function of all such systems -- regardless of single- or multi-bit -- and is defined by its rate of frequency, commonly expressed as a number of samples per second. As bandwidth-limited systems, no energy can be contained within the system whose frequency is equal to or greater than half the sampling rate.

-----

Before mastering, the recorded data needs to be downsampled and incur a certain loss of resolution that can never be fully recovered within the existing 16/44.1 CD format.

-----

By inserting an oversampling or upsampling filter after D/A conversion, these imaging products are pushed up again in frequency to enhance the efficiency of the low-pass reconstruction filter. Doubling the sample rate also doubles the attenuation power of the filter ...

-----

By transferring the encoding aliases and decoding images out-of-band into the ultrasonic region, the filters responsible for blocking this distortion can employ gentler slopes that induce less phase shift and time-domain errors and leave less of their signatures on the passing signal.

-----

Upsampling does not add any data that wasn't present on the original recording. Upsampling does involve the interpolation of intermediate data points, but it doesn't really result in the creation of new information. One still gets from point A to point B in the same amount of time, over virtually the same path, using the same means of transportation. The only difference is that in the second case one has a few more landmarks to be guided by. These landmarks don't create a new path or necessarily make the old path any more accurate.


-----

Different ad campaigns tout different upsampling rates that may make you wonder which is superior. Theoretically, upsampling to a higher frequency that's a simple multiple of 44.1kHz is better than upsampling to rates like 96kHz because it doesn't require any data decimation.

-----

To wrap up, oversampling is not used to create or restore lost information. It is used to simplify the analog reconstruction filter. By raising the frequency of the ghost images that are purely artifacts of the D/A-conversion process, one can avoid the brickwall filters that plagued the early CD players. The designer's goal is to use a fortuitous combination of digital filtering and analog filtering to achieve the best conversion possible for the original datastream. The reason why external upsamplers can make an apparent improvement when inserted into a standard digital chain is, according to all parties queried, that they are being paired with devices that could have done a better job with their own internal digital filter, D/A conversion, and analog output designs.

-----

Whatever information is contained within the original recording represents the best that can be achieved in playback. If the recording was mastered with 16-bit-resolution dynamic range, that's all the dynamic range you'll get during playback retrieval. Dither can be used to extend the resolution below the least significant bit during the recording process. This is done by changing the nature of the process from a strict quantization function to that of a pseudo-pulse-width modulator. Not surprisingly, the side effects are an increase in high-frequency noise and total noise floor power since dither, after all, is random noise un-correlated to the signal. If chosen properly, the dither component can result in a more spectrally benign noise floor, ...

-----

"For a given encoding process, resolution and bandwidth are governed by the encoding method employed. Therefore, they cannot be extended by any means on the decode side." For more data density and higher resolution, look toward SACD and DVD-A. The CD format is maxed out. The new processors "merely" use significantly accelerated computational powers to minimize the transmission of anything other than the raw signal. They don't give us more 44.1kHz signal. They give us less conversion garbage.


************************

There's the lesson on dither and least significant bit, John. But the author makes a comment that I don't understand.

"Because true "brickwall" filters don't exist in reality, recording engineers have long since used higher sampling rates to push aliasing artifacts far out into the supersonic stratosphere."

I was under the impression that, for all practical terms of 44.1kHz audio, digital brickwall filters certainly DO exist. And have for over a dozen years at least. Possibly the modifier "true" lets the author off the hook; but, if the filters exist in a manner effective enough for the sampling rate, would that not seem to shoot a hole in the entire article and the effectiveness of upsampling as the author describes the process and its benefits. Or am I wrong again?





 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 380
Registered: Feb-04
Jan,

First of all there's nothing wrong with stereo, especially if you're using good equipment. (It's no coincidence that we all have two eyes and two ears.)

Here's a brief explanation of what and how surround sound enhances music listening:

Expanding the soundstage:

Some 5-channel mixes will spread sound coming from the extreme left of the stage between left rear speaker and left front speaker. This effectively widens the perception of the stage far outside the left front speaker and, if done well, in the plane of the front speakers. There may speakers out there that can extend the soundstage that far in stereo, but I haven't them.

On the Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" DVD-A, the sound is mixed to swirl around you. On one song, there is the effect of a sound above you. I'm not sure how it's done, but I've never heard that effect in stereo. If you have 20 bucks to spare, pick up that DVD-A and play it on a surround system to hear a recording that takes full advantage of surround sound. The Flaming Lips were experimenting with surround sound before it was commercially available (excepting quadrophenia). They have one early recording which required playing 4 different discs simultaneously on 4 separate stereo systems arranged around the listener(s).

Reducing congestion: I imagine this is done by spreading the sound across three front speakers rather than two. Isn't this how the classic RCA and Mercury albums were originally recorded, using three mikes in three channels? There might not be a substantial advantage over very good stereo equipment.

The live recordings of the Mahler Symphonies at Davies Hall involved an array of mics above the stage. A few mikes were oriented toward the rear of the hall to capture the reflections from the walls. Multi-channel classical recordings provide a better sense of the acoustical space in which the music is being played through the "reflected" sound coming from the rear speakers. It provides an enhanced simulation of listening to live music. Is it essential to enjoying music? No, I personally don't think so. I listen to music mostly on my stereo system and watch music on my multi-channel system. It's nice to have choice though.

Borodin Quartets, yep!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


I may be straying far a field here, but while we're on the subject: can anyone explain why the following "transformations" occur in CD and upsampling?

From the article above:

"Upsampling requires the calculation of intermediate data points. This is interpolation. Downsampling requires the deletion of existing samples. This is decimation."

"Before mastering, the recorded data needs to be downsampled and incur a certain loss of resolution that can never be fully recovered within the existing 16/44.1 CD format."

"To get to the bottom of the sampling issue, we need to remember that digital audio, as an encode/storage/decode-sampled system ... "

The information on the master tape is recorded at a frequency of 48.2kHz (?), which is then downsampled to 44.1kHz. I know thw word doesn't mean the same in terms of didgital language but many people felt the term "decimation" was appropriate for this conversion. When we look at the "encode/storage/decode-sampled system", it actually exists as encode/store/decimate/store/decode. By adding upsampling that has a relationship not to the 44.1kHz rate of CD, but the 48.2kHz rate of DAT the peocess then becomes encode/store/decimate/store/decode/interpolate/decode.

Where I loose the ball is why choose the sampling frequency of DAT (48kHz) when using the CD (44kHz) format? It only introduces one more conversion process. In selecting those frequencies that relate to DAT (96, 192kHz) instead of CD (88, 176kHz), doesn't that actually increase the chances that, as John has demonstrated with his files, information will be lost that can never be recovered?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

2c - Here's the problem I have with your explanation of the "enhancements" brought forth by suround formats. First, of course, is the word "enhancements". No need to dwell on that word as it has been misinterpreted too often. Like John, I tend to favor my music with as few "enhancements" as possible. No shades on the Mona Lisa for me.

But what you have used as an example is apparently a piece of music that doesn't rely on a "traditional" staging any more than DSOTM is meant to remain behind the proscenium. I can understand the artistic decision to have a non realistic performance travelling around the room. My problem occurs when I listen to a piece of music that, in reality, is likely to be placed firmly on a stage that exists in front of me and does not travel in space during the performance. In that performance space I will, in reality, also remain stationary during the entire performance.

"Some 5-channel mixes will spread sound coming from the extreme left of the stage between left rear speaker and left front speaker. This effectively widens the perception of the stage far outside the left front speaker and, if done well, in the plane of the front speakers. There may speakers out there that can extend the soundstage that far in stereo, but I haven't them."

I will, of course, assume that some recordings also will perform the same "mix" to the extreme right hand channel. But having the soundstage extend beyond the boundaries of a pair of stereo speakers isn't that difficult. Simply by hooking your speakers out of phase and listening to a stereo source, you can begin to experience this effect with no additional equipment. And the ability of a stereo system to extend the soundstage beyond the outer boundaries of the speakers isn't that difficult for a skilled designer to accomplish. (Says I, who has never designed a speaker or electronics from the ground up.) Since the effect, or enhancement, you refer to can be achieved by the careful attention to phase relationships in the recording and playback systems, it is a fairly common occurence in most high end systems to have the speakers "throw" a soundstage much wider than the physical spacing of the speakers themselves. That is seen, in today's systems, as almost as much of a given as the ability to project a deep and stable sounstage, and, is the benefit of much of the same technology and attention to detail.

"Reducing congestion: I imagine this is done by spreading the sound across three front speakers rather than two. Isn't this how the classic RCA and Mercury albums were originally recorded, using three mikes in three channels? There might not be a substantial advantage over very good stereo equipment."

I'm not exactly sure how to respond to that statement. In a purist system I can see a minor advantage to the signal being spread across the three front speakers, but ...

That has nothing to do with surround formats other than center speakers are most commonly found in a MC system.

Unless the speakers are actually three identical speakers that can occupy what amounts to a reasonably consistent "space", the different voicing and phase characteristics of most center channels actually works against the reproduction of music in a seamless spread across the front channels.

Everybody sets up their systems differently, but, I have my center reduced in level enough that the actual amount of power that would be distributed to it from the other two channels is minimal. In many systems I can see the single center speaker to be expected to carry the brunt of the load instead of distributing the sound equally across the three front channels.

A center can be added to a stereo system and that is how the Mercury recording were originally intended to be sold and played back. If you'll refer back to my posts about the recording of the Mercury sessions you see that 1/2" three channel tapes were the intended distribution method, That got scuttled when the consumer market accepted the lower fidelity 1/4" stereo tape deck.

The reason, as I understand it, for the three channel mix was to eleiminate the "hole in the center" effect that was common to many home playback systems of the day. In switching over from mono to stereo many users had speakers that were not set in ideal locations for a stereo image. Many listeners had speakers placed in the corners of the room to get the additional bass response that position provides. The third track was meant, much as it is employed today, to make the most of the domestic setting that the listener might experience. The center channel was also useful in extending the practical range of the microphones of the day. If you think about the phase relationships of two microphones trying to cover the width of a symphony stage, you can see that the hole in the middle could be exagerated by the phase relationships of the two extreme microphones on the left and right. By adding the center channel, and panning the center equally to both left and right, the Mercury recordings were able to firmly place the entire group of performers on a stage that occupied a realistic, believeable space. There may have been considerations of power handling, but I've not seen that mentioned in the articles I've come across discussing the Mercury (or their imitators) sessions. The use of omnidirectional microphones (the only pattern available for the early Mercury recordings) allowed the sound of the performers and the hall to be captured in a realistic fashion where the phase relationships of the entire performance were maintained easily with no additional microphones or speakers. (An interesting lesson is listening to the original mono releases of the Mercury recordings where the hall's depth and width are there to hear though not as well transcribed as the later stereo recordings.) If you have a few extra dollars, I would suggest you pick up the new SACD releases of the Mercury sessions. The two and three tracks of the masters and the original releases are available for comparison.

Kegger, you've never said any more about your experience with the Mercury disc. Any comments here?

From my experience with two channel recordings that give me a very good sense of the space the performance was recorded in (Mercury, London, Decca, Wilson, Sheffield, Reference and so on) I find the integration of the performers within the space to be bothersome when I hear microphones that were placed anywhere but the same space used for the performers mics. So I will have to say, I still can see (or hear) no reason for surround in a typical recording. Sorry to be so nitpicky, but I was hoping you'd have the answer I've been looking for.









 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 381
Registered: Feb-04
Jan,

I'm not sure what kind of answers you're looking for. I think the answers are in head or ON your head (=ears). If you're content with stereo and hear no advantages to multi-channel, then there's really nothing more to it. Unless it's some disingenuous attempt to be open-minded, which I don't think it is.

Peace.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

From:

http://www.simaudio.com/upsampling.htm

"Digital filtering is digital filtering regardless of name assigned to it, and how the interpolation is made still relies solely on the arithmetic calculations implanted in dedicated hardware or software. The main difference is how well the "mechanics" of the mathematics will assist in the signal's reconstruction. When changing the sampling rate, it is better to maintain an integer multiple of the original signal's sample rate, so the processing is kept simple. More importantly, the end result is more accurate, thus enabling a higher fidelity of sound reproduction. A two times (2x) oversampling system will double the sampling rate, by adding one easy to find numerical value in between each actual sample. For example, when a 44.1kHz digital signal is processed, a 88.2kHz digital signal is obtained. It is simple, effective and precise because it is a direct multiple of the original digital signal. For an upsampler to make a 96kHz digital signal from a 44.1kHz signal, it will have to perform awkward mathematical operations to obtain a 96kHz signal. (96kHz / 44.1KHz equals 2.1768707...). This results in a less accurate output from the digital filter, with everything else following (i.e. digital-to-analog conversion and analog filtering) also being less accurate. As well, exactly like oversampling, the artificially higher sampling frequency created by an upsampler doesn't increase the actual frequency response of the system, but simply increases the lower limit of the frequencies that need to be eliminated."

This article seems to more effectively cover the idea of upsampling with more up to date information.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"You can hear the differences between the various types of digital filters, regardless of the marketing names used. Over the past two decades, we have witnessed vast improvements in both digital filters and DACs. It is demonstrably true and there does exist real progress. However, the "latest and greatest" upsampling method is not necessarily better than the classic oversampling method. In fact, and most probably, these latest methods actually deteriorate sound quality if the conversion takes the sampling rate to a frequency that is not a direct integer multiple of the original sampling rate, being 44.1 kHz for audio"

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

2c - My problem is I've seen more "surround" formats come and go, and sold and returned more pieces of surround equipment over the past few decades, than I care to remember. I have yet to be convinced by any of them and I keep hoping that something will come along that really convinces me the idea is worth anything for the majority of the music I listen to. So far mono and stereo seem to be better than anything else I've heard.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

A more in depth look:

(Larry, if you're still interested in jitter, read this.)

http://www.soundstage.com/gettingtechnical/gettingtechnical200311.htm

******************************************

Oversampling Versus Upsampling: Differences Explained

The development of upsampling immediately proved to be a source of controversy.

One difference between upsampling and oversampling is where in the process they occur.

To end the confusion, we turn to Thierry Heeb, a founder of the pioneering Swiss firm Anagram Technologies, which develops and manufactures advanced high-performance audio-signal-processing solutions that includes the ATF 24/192 upsampler found in numerous CD players and DACs. Thierry clearly defines the two techniques: "Oversampling is an upsampling process where the ratio between output sampling frequency and input sampling frequency is an integer larger than 1. Upsampling is any kind of transformation providing an output sampling frequency that is higher than the input sampling frequency and not necessarily a ratio."


Even if both device clocks are at exactly the same frequency, they will almost certainly not be in phase," says Thierry. "Let's consider the clocking and jitter problem. In an oversampling system, the input sampling rate (F/s) is increased 8 times, and the output sampling rate is therefore 8 x F/s. This 8 x F/s clock is generated by an 8 x phase-locked loop based on F/s. So the two clocks are strongly linked and any imperfection appearing on the F/s clock will be reflected in the 8 x F/s clock. With upsampling we use unrelated clocks to drive the input and the output respectively. This means that even if the input clock is imperfect, the output clock will remain as precise as it is."

As an example, Thierry turns to a scenario involving a digital-to-analog converter: "The digital input stream is PLL-ed and passed to the upsampler. The upsampler will output data at the rate given by the local output clock. Provided this one is of very high quality and the upsampler does good jitter rejection on the input clock, the D/A converters are clocked by a signal that is unrelated to the quality of the input clock. Moreover, having the output clock in the vicinity of the D/A chips ensures that those later will work in the best conditions. I think this jitter question is the main point of so-called sonic differences between oversampling and upsampling."

The second point is a bit more mathematical," Thierry cautions. "If you use an oversampling of 8 x F/s, you remain synchronous to the input clock. Any artifacts introduced by the oversampling process will be time correlated with the input clock and thus appear at regularly spaces moments in time."

This means, Thierry explains, that by using an upsampling process (as described above, e.g., asynchronous with two separate clocks), the artifacts due to the upsampling process are likely to occur at any moment in time, not only at specific points. "This kind of spreads the artifacts in time, thus becoming less noticeable to the ear," he says.

"Basically if we lived in a world of perfect clocks and perfect hardware, then there would not be any sonic differences between oversampling and upsampling," Thierry concludes. "But we are in the real world with its imperfections, and as such, an upsampler may have an advantage over an oversampler."

From filters to oversampling to upsampling, the gap between the mathematical "perfect world," whose potential we first glimpsed in 1982, and the "real world with its imperfections," is steadily decreasing.
***********************************

The problem I see with this description and justification for upsampling is the data has to be perfectly gathered and perfectly interpolated. That's kind of relying on a little too much perfection for my tastes. It seems to put a tremendous strain on the transport and receiver systems to be absolutely perfect.

 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 545
Registered: Apr-04
The Old Dogs have been yapping a lot today. Thanks for all the info. I'm going through it now.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

http://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/344/

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