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16 bit / 44.1 khz - is it all we need ?

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21 hours ago, newlash09 said:

But seriously sir...how do you think  vinyl vs modern Hires or DSD compare. I'd be very interested. Iam not a very scientific guy. So Iam not stuck up on sample rates or dynamic head room. From a listening point of view, does vinyl have that same sense of resolution and detail as modern Hires recordings. Thanks.

Vinyl and digital both have their strengths and for the type of music I listen to I wouldn't be without either. Generally, anything that was AAA mastered sounds better on vinyl, anything digitally mastered I prefer to stream. There are a few exceptions either way however. 

In my experience, you have to spend an awful lot more on your vinyl rig to get close to the level of detail digital offers, but I have yet to get close to matching the "soulfulness" of vinyl in my digital rig. I am not finished with DAC upgrades however.

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2 hours ago, George 47 said:

All I can say is that if I use as my reference the live recording that Mike Valentine made in St Martins in the Field of Beethoven then the AN equipment gets very close compared to better measuring equipment of the monitor variety. And I know audio memory is not infallible but I was in the audience at SMIF and the music was very, very dynamic which a lot of the clean monitor speakers are not. Not sure I can pick a better reference although the live feed to the recording equipment was also far better than the AN equipment which is closer than some 'better measuring equipment'.

I am not saying good measuring equipment sounds bad as that is just not true but there is some equipment with brilliant measurements out there that sounds dynamically flat and somewhat sterile.

I think that the key to this mystery is in the first word of the sentence "sounds dynamically flat and somewhat sterile".

I don't think that you are referring to "real dynamics" but "perceived dynamics" and what you describe as "sterile" is an inevitable "dryness" that usually results from the mic placement in the case of unamplified music (and perhaps how mics pickup sound vs. how we listen). There's no reason for "clean monitor speakers" not to be able to reproduce dynamics accurately; in fact it's quite the opposite. Look for instance at the distortion measurements of the JBL M2 or the much smaller LSR6332. The AN-Es will add more own-sound, even at normal listening levels, and may not be able to resolve low-level detail with similar clarity or accuracy. What I think is happening is that the distortion added by the AN-Es and other AN equipment will produce an effect, an artifact, which may be perceived as lively/dynamic and rich/wet by some people. It looks as though some people are tricked into perceiving dynamics when they listen to distortion, probably because things distort when they go too loud... A Pavlovian response perhaps?

The whole recording and reproducing music process has limitations which prevent it from sounding like the real thing. And I am convinced that this is why some people like the extra harmonic / intermodulation distortion added by some equipment, whilst other can't do without surround or find that omnis sound a lot more like the real thing.

The fact that some recordings sound sterile when reproduced through a transparent system is because they are sterile. Some are and some aren't. When your system adds spice, it does so indiscriminately to those recordings that need spice and to those that don't.

.

In my experience a superlative system will sound both soft and dynamic, and will be very effective at retrieving low-level information. We'll be able to listen very loud without feeling discomfort and when we lower the volume the detail will still be still present. And all audible frequencies will be evenly balanced.

That has not been my experience in the two AN demos that I attended.

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My view is that recording and mastering have a greater impact on sound quality than the format. With decent recordings, I'm perfectly happy with CD quality sound. If I listened to classical music, I would imagine that 24/192 or SACD/DSD could provide greater dynamic range.

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Occams razor applies, if it sounds sterile and dynamically flat it is because it is. 

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On 04/06/2019 at 18:47, tuga said:

I think that the key to this mystery is in the first word of the sentence "sounds dynamically flat and somewhat sterile".

I don't think that you are referring to "real dynamics" but "perceived dynamics" and what you describe as "sterile" is an inevitable "dryness" that usually results from the mic placement in the case of unamplified music (and perhaps how mics pickup sound vs. how we listen). There's no reason for "clean monitor speakers" not to be able to reproduce dynamics accurately; in fact it's quite the opposite. Look for instance at the distortion measurements of the JBL M2 or the much smaller LSR6332. The AN-Es will add more own-sound, even at normal listening levels, and may not be able to resolve low-level detail with similar clarity or accuracy. What I think is happening is that the distortion added by the AN-Es and other AN equipment will produce an effect, an artifact, which may be perceived as lively/dynamic and rich/wet by some people. It looks as though some people are tricked into perceiving dynamics when they listen to distortion, probably because things distort when they go too loud... A Pavlovian response perhaps?

The whole recording and reproducing music process has limitations which prevent it from sounding like the real thing. And I am convinced that this is why some people like the extra harmonic / intermodulation distortion added by some equipment, whilst other can't do without surround or find that omnis sound a lot more like the real thing.

The fact that some recordings sound sterile when reproduced through a transparent system is because they are sterile. Some are and some aren't. When your system adds spice, it does so indiscriminately to those recordings that need spice and to those that don't.

.

In my experience a superlative system will sound both soft and dynamic, and will be very effective at retrieving low-level information. We'll be able to listen very loud without feeling discomfort and when we lower the volume the detail will still be still present. And all audible frequencies will be evenly balanced.

That has not been my experience in the two AN demos that I attended.

OK.

If you are going to the Ascot Show in Oct (used to be the Windsor Show) try going into the AN room. They should have the brilliant cellist Vincent Belanger playing there. It is worth it just to hear him play anyway. He will play a brilliant cello tune and then AN will play that same tune on their top hifi system and you get the opportunity to do a direct comparison. No need to rely on anyone else's views just your own ears. Not only that he will also play a track of cello music and at the same time accompany himself live. You could not get a better comparison, same music, same musician,  same cello, same room. Highly illuminating.

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Super Dealer

They record him in the actual room?

Keith

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No. Should have been clearer, they play a track on vinyl and he joins in as the track progresses. 

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4 hours ago, George 47 said:

OK.

If you are going to the Ascot Show in Oct (used to be the Windsor Show) try going into the AN room. They should have the brilliant cellist Vincent Belanger playing there. It is worth it just to hear him play anyway. He will play a brilliant cello tune and then AN will play that same tune on their top hifi system and you get the opportunity to do a direct comparison. No need to rely on anyone else's views just your own ears. Not only that he will also play a track of cello music and at the same time accompany himself live. You could not get a better comparison, same music, same musician,  same cello, same room. Highly illuminating.

Ascot's just an hour's drive, didn't know they had a show there... Thanks.

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:o

1 hour ago, tuga said:

Ascot's just an hour's drive, didn't know they had a show there... Thanks.

Its the Hifi News Windsor Show which has gone upmarket into Ascot race course.

Lots of expensive equipment which will drive some of the how much brigade mad....:o

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Posted (edited)

Bit lazy to read the whole thread yet, but from the title and first post I'd say yes, its not what you got, its what you do with it that applies here.

I think 'Red Book' is as good as we ever need to get with hi-fi. From the best of the best audio systems displayed at whatever shows to the cheapest and not so cheap stuff we use in our homes red book is all we need. Even the best of hi-fi still only ever sounds as good as a pair of speakers in front of you. It may get eerily close to real at times with elements of spaciousness and 3D that leaves us in awe but, its still always just electronically reproduced music.

With many formats I've come across over the years DAT, Hi-Res SACD or better from PC/MAC files all of which are better than CD, Red-Book done well has always been the one that has stood out the most when designers had thrown the best they can at it. And given the fact there's more material of it out there than most other formats its a bonus, and why wouldn't you put everything you have into creating a DAC or whatever that makes it sound as sublime as possible. 

I'm sure those other formats could sound as good or even better, but the best Red-Book (s) out there far outgun anything from the Higher-Res gang, and that's not going to change with the amount of material out there. In future, I can see there being better DACs that handle all formats but they're still going to make everything sound great not just the higher res files. 

Edited by eddie-baby
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Posted (edited)
On 03/06/2019 at 16:59, meninblack said:

All we really need is vinyl. :D

Yeah sure, if you did most of your music buying in the 70s. But, things have moved on and things have changed. Progress? well, not all of it, but in general, sorry, yes it is.

Edited by eddie-baby
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I buy lots of new releases on vinyl - most new albums are available on it! 

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39 minutes ago, meninblack said:

I buy lots of new releases on vinyl - most new albums are available on it! 

I would imagine a lot of the new stuff is mastered on digital first anyway. I doubt many modern recording studios (the ones that still even exist) do anything other than digital. But aside from your Abbey Roads, recording studios these days are basically laptops.

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I have listened to a lot of music, live and played back by simply moving from the studio floor to the control room, always interesting.

From a hi-fi perspective I have been able to listen to small scale recordings recorded and played back in the same room, analogue mixer, 2 track digital and an exceptional playback system.

These and a myriad of similar experiences have convinced me that the technology barely matters, it is the skill of the producers, recording and mastering engineers that makes all the difference.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with everyone who says that the Mastering is by far the most important factor. I have heard Linn's 320k stuff sound better than 16 bit from elsewhere.

i also have the same Linn track ( A case of you - Ian Shaw), in 320, 16 bit and 24 bit. With each increase in resolution, I can hear a subtle improvement, especially in ambient info....but it turns out that the 24 bit is a different Master.

it is my understanding that 24 bit helps give improvement at the Mastering stage.

Edited by CnoEvil

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