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Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #2826
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Oops, memory checksum error, 404 file not found
    Are you referring to this thread:
    https://www.progressiveears.org/foru...-sound-quality

  2. #2827
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Yup.

  3. #2828
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    This sounds like automating, using artificial intelligence, to do the same thing that Mister Triscuits did--MANUALLY--when taking apart and remixing Soft Machine's "Third."
    I think asked this back when, as there was a huge thread regarding "remixing" and I asked if we're talking source tapes (plural), otherwise we're just talking about remastering.

  4. #2829
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I think asked this back when, as there was a huge thread regarding "remixing" and I asked if we're talking source tapes (plural), otherwise we're just talking about remastering.
    Sorta kinda not really. Perez isolated each of the instruments, through some very intensive filtering, and treated each instrument separately. He started with the CD yes, but what he did was a lot more than "remastering." It sounds like the Beatles producers did the same thing, using AI to isolate individual instruments and voices from an already-mixed tape.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 08-25-2022 at 03:04 PM.

  5. #2830
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    I think asked this back when, as there was a huge thread regarding "remixing" and I asked if we're talking source tapes (plural), otherwise we're just talking about remastering.
    Using the Music Rebalance module in Izotope RX9 Standard or Advanced, I can do something in between remixing and remastering. I made the UK 2012 DVD sound much better, and the Dixie Dregs Live in Connecticut DVD go from sounding terrible to sounding great. In the former, I brought Marco's drums forward a little. In the latter I pushed Rod's drums way back. Just what both needed.
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    For those with a Washington Post subscription (if not, clear your cookies). If nothing else, this should cause Carlberg some conniptions.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-...vinyl-records/
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  7. #2832
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    For those with a Washington Post subscription (if not, clear your cookies). If nothing else, this should cause Carlberg some conniptions.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-...vinyl-records/
    Instead of WP quoting $hitty opinions, perhaps they should interview Steven Wilson on the subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    For those with a Washington Post subscription (if not, clear your cookies). If nothing else, this should cause Carlberg some conniptions.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-...vinyl-records/
    Interesting article that includes some listening tests. I could easily tell the lossy from the hi-res, but not the vinyl from the digital. I love my old vinyl records and some of them sound great, but I'm not on the bandwagon: it's all in the recording, mixing and the mastering. Analogue fanatics were caught dead to rights with the Mobile Fidelity fiasco, but nothing will change their minds. IMO, Digital is the superior format, for quietness, dynamics, resolution and accuracy. I'm open to changing my mind, but that would require evidence. Vinyl is the superior format for cover art and ritual, both of which can be great things.

    https://linearaudio.nl/sites/lineara...s/v10%20mu.pdf
    Last edited by Quantum Cat; 10-03-2022 at 11:51 AM.

  9. #2834
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    Quantum Cat, it is reasoned fact-based posts like yours that keep me from conniptions. Good to know there are still grounded people out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Cat View Post
    Analogue fanatics were caught dead to rights with the Mobile Fidelity fiasco, but nothing will change their minds. IMO, Digital is the superior format, for quietness, dynamics, resolution and accuracy. I'm open to changing my mind, but that would require evidence. Vinyl is the superior format for cover art and ritual, both of which can be great things.

    https://linearaudio.nl/sites/lineara...s/v10%20mu.pdf
    About where I am. As bad as MOFI's actions are, a lot of 'experts' have been left with egg on their faces.

    I do like the sound of records when everything is right (no sibilance, off-centre nonsense etc.). But it's a lot of hassle to get to that point and these days, it's a big money game.

  11. #2836
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quantum Cat View Post
    Analogue fanatics were caught dead to rights with the Mobile Fidelity fiasco, but nothing will change their minds.
    That whole "scandal" was a tempest in a teapot. It's been known for years that all of the Half-Speed-Mastered, Direct-to-Disc, Sheffield Lab and others pressed their albums and CDs from backup digital masters after the initial stampers wore out. It only makes sense, since the backup digital master is an exact copy of the original.

    There's a lesson here for the analogophiles (or lovers of "technostalgia" as the article deems them), but you're right. Nothing will change their minds. Not even YEARS of raving about the "pure analog sound" only to discover it was digital all along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    That whole "scandal" was a tempest in a teapot. It's been known for years that all of the Half-Speed-Mastered, Direct-to-Disc, Sheffield Lab and others pressed their albums and CDs from backup digital masters after the initial stampers wore out. It only makes sense, since the backup digital master is an exact copy of the original.
    Very interesting. I actually had no idea, but I aspire to learn something new every day so thanks for that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    For those with a Washington Post subscription (if not, clear your cookies). If nothing else, this should cause Carlberg some conniptions.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-...vinyl-records/
    As cross posted in the Vinyl outselling CDs thread: at one point in the article it asks readers to compare 2 clips. A browser plug-in is going to downsample higher resolution clips to 16/44.1. There is no real difference in what readers are hearing, so of course nobody is going to hear a difference. If anything, the downsampled clips may sound even worse. Not having the benefit of using a proper resampling algorithm, and dithering.
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    Other than the MoFi debacle discussion this thread has been kinda dead...

    https://youtu.be/mH4v8b1tGSQ

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    I gotta get me one o' those, to go with this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcVs1KPwX3o

  16. #2841
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    Inspires me to demagnetize my vinyl...

  17. #2842
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    Don't forget this to make a complete set.

    https://youtu.be/f-QxLAxwxkM

  18. #2843
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    you've never heard Dushanbe's Music for Helicopters until you've burned it to CDR then run it thru one of those bad boys... Better than vinyl! The soundstage for the Mi-24 rotor blade samples is much deeper and richer - like you're in the copter....

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  19. #2844
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    47:14 here:

  20. #2845
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    I have a serious question for the assembled wisdom here.

    I have some 1980s recordings (like Eurythmics) which are kinda shrill. I don't think it's the CDs they're on, I think the original recordings were probably overly processed (I could be wrong). Particularly in the vocals the sound is unpleasant. How to describe it? It's not distortion, and I know from better recordings that it's not my playback chain. If I had to guess I'd say it sounds like the phase relationships are all screwed up. Frequency range and transients are okay, but sustained tones sound like they have substantial sawtooth or square wave content. It's that kind of "raspy."

    So here's the question: would putting a tube preamplifier between my CD player and the amp (or a solid state device with a "tube sound" plug-in) help? It theory it might smear the sound and smooth out the waveforms.

    But adding distortion might just make everything worse. It'd definitely have to be switchable, too, so I can take it out of the circuit on good recordings. Maybe put it on the wired output only, and leave my optical output for the main bulk of my CD listening.

    I'm not even sure if a "tube sound" stereo preamp even exists. I see lots of mono microphone tube preamps, and a couple tube-based turntable preamps (which would be way too low level for a CD input).

    So, anybody ever heard of this? Is it a crazy idea?

  21. #2846
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    I guess the best way to answer my question is to try it. I found an inexpensive stereo preamp ($40) on Amazon that ought to be the perfect proof-of-concept.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q656449...hk_typ_imgToDp
    Quote Originally Posted by An Amazon customer
    I was prepared for this $40 tube buffer to be terrible and audibly inferior to the unfettered Peachtree. On the other hand, I hoped that I'd be wowed by the "warmth" that tubes so famously are supposed to impart. I love the sound of my tube guitar amps, and thought maybe some of that mojo would be apparent here. However, I was surprised that it made so little difference - I simply expected it to be more dramatic. Overall, I think I tend to prefer the ever-so-slightly more precise sound without the buffer, even if it means I hear more imperfections in the recording - I prefer realism when I am listening. I noticed no increase in “warmth” or “musicality” with the tubes, no “coldness or dryness” without them. It is only with very careful listening that I could begin to even tell a difference, and even though I found I could reliably pick out the buffered sound on a couple of tracks - though not with 100% accuracy,

    I found I could somewhat reliably pick the buffered from unbuffered when switching back and forth. The buffered signal ever-so-slightly attenuated some of the high frequencies. For the Lou Reed track, the twin guitars in the intro sounded ever so perceptibly mellower, less strident through the tubes. In the Elliott Smith track, I became very aware of what sounds like the noises of his strumming hand brushing the guitar top. They receded ever so slightly with the buffer, but was still very much there - both very much revealed this artifact in the recording, but it was just perceptively quieted by the tubes. In the Dead Can Dance track, there is some percussion in the center of the soundstage, higher-pitched hand drums, that probably have a good amount of high frequencies in their tone, and they sounded slightly more flat, ever so slightly less realistic, and moved back on the stage with the tubes. Again, this difference is almost imperceptible.
    It's that highlighted bit that I'm hoping for.
    Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 3.06.03 PM.jpg
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 10-14-2022 at 07:06 PM.

  22. #2847
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    Tube pre-amps were a thing in the '80s but I don't recall brand named. Beware some of these cheap tube pre-amps. I've read reviews where someone removed the tubes and the pre-amp still functioned, that is, they were for show.

    As for '80s recordings, im gonna blame mastering. They were EQ'd to hell and gone, not to mention soaked in reverb. My guess is that someone added reverb then EQ'd on top of that. A lot of '80s pop and rock releases are immediately recognized as such because so-n-so wanted their record to sound like so-n-so's; so bright and brittle sounding and heaven help you if someone insisted on adding saxophone. Very few audiophile quality recordings from the mid-to-late '80s, at least in mainstream music.

  23. #2848
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    I have a tube preamp (yoshino) EAR 864 and shifted from a SS preamp (https://www.stereophile.com/content/...i-preamplifier) . Among other things I got more details in the middle and a slight roll of at he top. More room info, better staging, but also a bass that wasn't as tight.

    Later I bought this cd-player which has a button on the front so that I on the fly can shift between SS output stage and a tube output stage. On some CD's the tube-stage sounds more ear friendly, but the deep bass is not quite as firm. Its a trade off.

    https://www.stereophile.com/content/...c-60-cd-player

  24. #2849
    A friend has an Audio Research tube set up. Amp, pre amp, phono amp and tube cd player.
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  25. #2850
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I have a serious question for the assembled wisdom here.

    I have some 1980s recordings (like Eurythmics) which are kinda shrill. I don't think it's the CDs they're on, I think the original recordings were probably overly processed (I could be wrong). Particularly in the vocals the sound is unpleasant. How to describe it? It's not distortion, and I know from better recordings that it's not my playback chain. If I had to guess I'd say it sounds like the phase relationships are all screwed up. Frequency range and transients are okay, but sustained tones sound like they have substantial sawtooth or square wave content. It's that kind of "raspy."
    I don't have any words of wisdom on the audio chain, but I can tell you from my personal experience that when CDs first came out in the 80s, many of them were exactly as you described: shrill and raspy. I worked at a record store when the CDs first started rolling in and I was an early purchaser. I clearly recall throwing away at least half a dozen CDs for that reason. I was in disbelief when comparing them to the vinyl on the same system.

    At the same time there were other early CDs - I remember Kitaro's Astral Voyage and later, Bothers in Arms and Aja - that were absolutely superb, so I knew it wasn't the medium. It seems that some first-generation CDs may have been very poorly mastered. I know this is controversial, and although I have seen similar assessments published here and there, that is my anecdotal experience. I recall for instance, purchasing In the Court of the Crimson King the first day it arrived in the record store - it was so harsh and unlistenable, in disgust I literally used it for a frisbee. I repurchased a version of the CD years later and it was fine. Again, my personal experience FWIW.

    P.S. I rip all my CDs using Exact Audio Copy and play the FLAC files via a Sony HAP-Z1ES. Sounds pretty dang good to my ears...and I can sit on my ass and access most of my music with a few touches on an iPad. About the only time I play CDs is when exploring box sets I haven't bothered to rip yet.
    Last edited by Quantum Cat; 10-14-2022 at 10:57 PM.

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