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Thread: Test Your Gullibility

  1. #51
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Then, you have things that I doubt make a difference at all: How does a 1500$ outlet and 5000$/foot cables lined with the ass hair of a rare Himalayan yak and sitting on guides and supports so it does not touch the floor really affect the sound?
    Sure, but you have to use a green marker around the edge of the CD first.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    In fact, most of the music was recorded under rather dubious situations and circumstances soundwise.
    OMG, that's such a pet peeve of mine. OK, there is some incredibly well recorded music to listen to on your lunatic $120,000 system should you so choose but so many of these guys are worried about how sunspots affect their noise floor and the tolerance of the capacitors their amp was built with and meanwhile the guitar amp in the recording has a raging 60 cycle hum and was recorded with a SM57 into a Macbook through a $200 A/D interface and WHO CARES??!! If you're that hard core use the money to pay acts to come play in your house. (And then try and deal with the sound issues live performers have to deal with.)

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Sure, but you have to use a green marker around the edge of the CD first.
    I am never ever in the realm of this universe and time continuum paying a crap-ton of cash for cds to go put a fume spewing permanent marker on it (cd-rs are different, but only because I have to label what's on them) . I thought it was utter bullshit the first time I heard it and I think it is bullshit now. I think the same of a lot of "advice"-like the time some asshat told me I should clean my records with WD40 (he apparently thought I was stupid).
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  4. #54
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trurl View Post
    OMG, that's such a pet peeve of mine. OK, there is some incredibly well recorded music to listen to on your lunatic $120,000 system should you so choose but so many of these guys are worried about how sunspots affect their noise floor and the tolerance of the capacitors their amp was built with and meanwhile the guitar amp in the recording has a raging 60 cycle hum and was recorded with a SM57 into a Macbook through a $200 A/D interface and WHO CARES??!! If you're that hard core use the money to pay acts to come play in your house. (And then try and deal with the sound issues live performers have to deal with.)
    This is the sort of thing that will keep me awake at night. The more I've upgraded my equipment, the smaller the listenable portion of my CD collection becomes, lol.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  5. #55
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    This is the sort of thing that will keep me awake at night. The more I've upgraded my equipment, the smaller the listenable portion of my CD collection becomes, lol.
    It should be exactly the opposite. The goal of a stereo is to disappear leaving only the music.

    If it sounds like a 'hot stereo' you're going in the wrong direction.

  6. #56
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    Finally-at what point does "enhancing" and "purifying" turn to "corrupting" and "manufacturing"? I could see a device removing surface hiss or reduces sounds from the mechanisms inside the machine you are playing the music on, such as the drive motor of a turntable. But when you have machines that mess with the "imperfections" of the recording itself, you risk doctoring the actual sound of the recording.
    Outside of the recording studio, there's almost NOTHING you can do to improve a recording. You can remove all the barriers to hearing the original recording, but you can't do better than that.

    Good remastering engineers of course can take the raw multi-track tapes and improve the S/N, DR, attacks, clarity etc but that's INSIDE the studio.

  7. #57
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    It should be exactly the opposite. The goal of a stereo is to disappear leaving only the music.

    If it sounds like a 'hot stereo' you're going in the wrong direction.
    What if what is being revealed sucks?
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  8. #58
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    What if what is being revealed sucks?
    Then you find a better recording and move on. Unless you have access to the masters -- or in the case of "Third" even *IF* you have access to the masters -- you can't do anything about it.

  9. #59
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Then you find a better recording and move on. Unless you have access to the masters -- or in the case of "Third" even *IF* you have access to the masters -- you can't do anything about it.


    I'm just hoping I don't get too snobby and can still enjoy some of the albums I've bought.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  10. #60
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I'm just hoping I don't get too snobby and can still enjoy some of the albums I've bought.
    There's a song by Flanders and Swann called "A Song of Reproduction" which has the line, "With the tone control, at a single touch, Bel Canto sounds like Dubbel Dutch! I never did care for music much, it's the high fidelity!"

    Which is exactly what you get in many ultra-high-fi shoppes : absolute garbage music recorded exquisitely.

  11. #61
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    There's a song by Flanders and Swann called "A Song of Reproduction" which has the line, "With the tone control, at a single touch, Bel Canto sounds like Dubbel Dutch! I never did care for music much, it's the high fidelity!"

    Which is exactly what you get in many ultra-high-fi shoppes : absolute garbage music recorded exquisitely.
    I'm sure the music will always come first for me.

    Several months ago I was annoyed about the first Flying Colors album. I liked a lot of the tunes, but the mastering made listening to more than a few tunes impossible. It was noticeable even on the car stereo where there was a lot of road noise and the stereo is not great. I got my hands on the "Island of the Lost Keyboards" version and I was happy that I could then listen to the entire thing in the car. Not long after that I got new studio monitors and I realized just how rough a mix "Lost" is! Now I'm back to not really fully enjoying either one.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  12. #62
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    We could do -- and have done -- entire threads on horrible recordings. The flip side, recordings that are sterling examples of their craft, would be a much shorter list.

    One that doesn't get much recognition is The Roches debut, engineered by Robert Fripp.

  13. #63
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    I am never ever in the realm of this universe and time continuum paying a crap-ton of cash for cds to go put a fume spewing permanent marker on it (cd-rs are different, but only because I have to label what's on them) .
    This reminds me: have you heard that using those stick-on printable paper labels for CD-Rs, instead of a Sharpie, can cause them to fail prematurely? I'm curious if anyone here has experience with this.

  14. #64
    I disagree with your "first" -- the ear doesn't perform Fourier analysis on the music, it just hears. So even though one can't hear the actual frequencies above 20kHz, I still think it makes a difference in the final sound, and I believe one can hear it. Maybe it's phase, maybe it's something else that we have not as yet figured out, but I hear the difference between high-res and CD-res.

    Completely agree with your "then", though -- have you seen the crap in your walls? Unless you completely regenerate the AC power signal, no power cord in the world is going to improve on that.
    rcarlberg: Is there anything sadder than a song that has never been played?
    Plasmatopia: Maybe a song in D minor that has never been played?

    bob_32_116: That would be a terrific triple bill: Cyan, Magenta and Yello.

    trurl: The Odyssey: "He's trying to get home."

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Outside of the recording studio, there's almost NOTHING you can do to improve a recording. You can remove all the barriers to hearing the original recording, but you can't do better than that.

    Good remastering engineers of course can take the raw multi-track tapes and improve the S/N, DR, attacks, clarity etc but that's INSIDE the studio.
    I agree. If the recording itself is flawed, then the "pure" version of that recording has the flaws included, but you have people who do a bunch of crap to "fix" those flaws, which is, in essence, "photoshopping" the sound into something that is not "pure".
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk View Post
    I disagree with your "first" -- the ear doesn't perform Fourier analysis on the music, it just hears. So even though one can't hear the actual frequencies above 20kHz, I still think it makes a difference in the final sound, and I believe one can hear it. Maybe it's phase, maybe it's something else that we have not as yet figured out, but I hear the difference between high-res and CD-res.

    Completely agree with your "then", though -- have you seen the crap in your walls? Unless you completely regenerate the AC power signal, no power cord in the world is going to improve on that.

    my point on the "first" is that human hearing is limited and it becomes more limited as we age. As a teen or young adult, you might hear the distinctions in the changes on subsonic or supersonic ranges. However, as you age, your hearing most likely will not pick up those distinctions. If you have tinnitus due to ear damage, age or some other factor, you are not going to hear the absolute "pure" sound or a supersonic or subsonic enhancement because there is something affecting how you hear it anyway. Most of the equipment doing these enhancements is expensive and most young people, who might benefits most from such enhancements, cannot afford them or do not buy them for whatever reason if they do have the cash. The people buying these are thirty something up, who are already experiencing a decline in hearing.
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  17. #67
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    my point on the "first" is that human hearing is limited and it becomes more limited as we age. As a teen or young adult, you might hear the distinctions in the changes on subsonic or supersonic ranges. However, as you age, your hearing most likely will not pick up those distinctions. If you have tinnitus due to ear damage, age or some other factor, you are not going to hear the absolute "pure" sound or a supersonic or subsonic enhancement because there is something affecting how you hear it anyway. Most of the equipment doing these enhancements is expensive and most young people, who might benefits most from such enhancements, cannot afford them or do not buy them for whatever reason if they do have the cash. The people buying these are thirty something up, who are already experiencing a decline in hearing.
    All excellent points.

    I'm agnostic on frequency response -- though it's pretty clear most of us are "blind" to frequencies above 12,000Hz, there is some evidence that our bodies (other than our ears) respond to frequencies under 20Hz. It's possible those subsonic frequencies are important in some as-yet-undefined way.

    Mostly though, what uninformed listeners perceive as the advantages of supersonic frequencies is really improved attention to phase coherence. Modern studios are awash with inattention to proper imaging, and when you hear it done right the clarity is startling.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    my point on the "first" is that human hearing is limited and it becomes more limited as we age. As a teen or young adult, you might hear the distinctions in the changes on subsonic or supersonic ranges. However, as you age, your hearing most likely will not pick up those distinctions. If you have tinnitus due to ear damage, age or some other factor, you are not going to hear the absolute "pure" sound or a supersonic or subsonic enhancement because there is something affecting how you hear it anyway. Most of the equipment doing these enhancements is expensive and most young people, who might benefits most from such enhancements, cannot afford them or do not buy them for whatever reason if they do have the cash. The people buying these are thirty something up, who are already experiencing a decline in hearing.
    I understood that as your point before; I disagree with it. It's like the difference between dither noise and surface noise on a record. Dither noise is specifically designed to obscure any sounds quieter than it, but with surface noise, one can still hear things that are quieter than surface noise (up to a point, there's still lots of evidence that we have a limit to our hearing).

    And I don't disagree with the cost issue. There are a lot of snake oil peddlers out there, and they definitely give the legitimate attempts at higher fidelity a bad name. But you don't have to deny that there improvements just to say, "I'm don't think it's worth the additional investment". It's definitely past the point of diminishing returns -- one has to spend an order of magnitude more money for only an incremental improvement. You will not find any argument from me. In fact, the only argument you will find is when people hyperbolically say, "it makes a world of difference" or "it's like night and day" or whatever choice words they have. No, it's not that big a difference. I could live perfectly happy with a current generation Stax electrostatic earspeakers over the highly-sought-after SR-007 Mk I or whatever that popular version is. The current version is quite good, actually, I'd say 99% of the performance for a fraction of the price.
    rcarlberg: Is there anything sadder than a song that has never been played?
    Plasmatopia: Maybe a song in D minor that has never been played?

    bob_32_116: That would be a terrific triple bill: Cyan, Magenta and Yello.

    trurl: The Odyssey: "He's trying to get home."

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Mostly though, what uninformed listeners perceive as the advantages of supersonic frequencies is really improved attention to phase coherence. Modern studios are awash with inattention to proper imaging, and when you hear it done right the clarity is startling.
    This is big-time true. As an aside, on the currently nearing finished Glass Hammer album I got very anal about phase, mainly on the drums, and the results are impressive.

  20. #70
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    This reminds me: have you heard that using those stick-on printable paper labels for CD-Rs, instead of a Sharpie, can cause them to fail prematurely? I'm curious if anyone here has experience with this.
    my brother used to work at a custom auto stereo shop and he said that he saw several head units get messed up with those stick-on labels coming lose (probably due to the heat) and then sticking to the inside of the player upon ejection.

  21. #71
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's a separate -- and equally serious -- concern.

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    This reminds me: have you heard that using those stick-on printable paper labels for CD-Rs, instead of a Sharpie, can cause them to fail prematurely? I'm curious if anyone here has experience with this.

    I would not be surprised, but any item with a chemical on it or in it-such as adhesives, permanent markers, etc-can potentially damage the plastic on a cd.
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk View Post
    I understood that as your point before; I disagree with it. It's like the difference between dither noise and surface noise on a record. Dither noise is specifically designed to obscure any sounds quieter than it, but with surface noise, one can still hear things that are quieter than surface noise (up to a point, there's still lots of evidence that we have a limit to our hearing).

    And I don't disagree with the cost issue. There are a lot of snake oil peddlers out there, and they definitely give the legitimate attempts at higher fidelity a bad name. But you don't have to deny that there improvements just to say, "I'm don't think it's worth the additional investment". It's definitely past the point of diminishing returns -- one has to spend an order of magnitude more money for only an incremental improvement. You will not find any argument from me. In fact, the only argument you will find is when people hyperbolically say, "it makes a world of difference" or "it's like night and day" or whatever choice words they have. No, it's not that big a difference. I could live perfectly happy with a current generation Stax electrostatic earspeakers over the highly-sought-after SR-007 Mk I or whatever that popular version is. The current version is quite good, actually, I'd say 99% of the performance for a fraction of the price.
    my heart broke when I got rid of my dad's Criterions to get a Bose speaker system (space considerations-the Criterions were the size of Easter Island sculptures). While there is nothing wrong with the Bose, the Criterions were awesome for their age. I would love to get the electrostatic speakers, as I have heard they are much better, but the cost is above me.
    "Alienated-so alien I go!"

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Rune Blackwings View Post
    I would love to get the electrostatic speakers, as I have heard they are much better, but the cost is above me.
    Depends on your listening habits... I don't know how they are now but back in the day the ones I heard were very clean and airy but didn't have a lot of thump; they didn't move air, so to speak. Perfect for jazz and maybe classical but not necessarily rock.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk View Post
    I understood that as your point before; I disagree with it. It's like the difference between dither noise and surface noise on a record. Dither noise is specifically designed to obscure any sounds quieter than it, but with surface noise, one can still hear things that are quieter than surface noise (up to a point, there's still lots of evidence that we have a limit to our hearing).

    And I don't disagree with the cost issue. There are a lot of snake oil peddlers out there, and they definitely give the legitimate attempts at higher fidelity a bad name. But you don't have to deny that there improvements just to say, "I'm don't think it's worth the additional investment". It's definitely past the point of diminishing returns -- one has to spend an order of magnitude more money for only an incremental improvement. You will not find any argument from me. In fact, the only argument you will find is when people hyperbolically say, "it makes a world of difference" or "it's like night and day" or whatever choice words they have. No, it's not that big a difference. I could live perfectly happy with a current generation Stax electrostatic earspeakers over the highly-sought-after SR-007 Mk I or whatever that popular version is. The current version is quite good, actually, I'd say 99% of the performance for a fraction of the price.

    Yeah, the "diminishing returns" argument never held any weight with me.

    There are plenty of music listeners out there that are perfectly happy with MP3s loaded on their iWhatever and a pair of ear buds, that could legitimately (from their view) say that even a modest audio system has "diminishing returns" over what they are listening to. After all, they are hearing pretty close to 20-20k, measurably low distortion, etc.

    For them, paying the extra for the missing dynamic range, ambiance, imaging, etc is their 'diminishing return'.

    Yes, there is a point of diminishing returns for just about everyone. But for someone who is not spending the extra money to tell others what expenditure for what level of improvement is worth paying for and what is not worth paying for, is kind of presumptuous, and maybe even a bit arrogant.

    There's also a different way to look at this.

    There are a small percentage of the population that are 'super smellers' or 'super tasters'. These are people that able to detect levels of molecules in their olfactory or taste buds far below average people. There are also 'super hearers'.

    Dr Bill Budd, a lecturer and scientist at the University of Newcastle, states:

    "We do have people we refer to as 'golden ears'," he says, "people who have much better hearing than others.."

    "Golden ears may be able to hear very, very soft sounds, or sounds at high frequencies, or may be able to detect minute timing differences in how sounds arrive at each ear..."

    So, "incremental difference" for some, may actually be an "order of magnitude" improvement to others.
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

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