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Old 19th April 2008, 05:48 PM   #1
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Vinyl records still sound better than SACD, unfortunately. Also, power amps have not improved that much. Just more powerful.
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Old 19th April 2008, 05:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by john curl
Vinyl records still sound better than SACD, unfortunately. Also, power amps have not improved that much. Just more powerful.
I don't see much progress with amps or drivers in the past 30 years, small nudges here and there but nothing that's really moved things on. These days digital is where the interest is, I've no doubt this will eventually sweep away analogue. Sadly its lacking at the moment but given another 30 years I expect that to have changed. You only need to look at upcoming tech such as DRC and digital filtering to realise how far things have come.

Software is a fast moving field, hardware less so.
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Old 19th April 2008, 06:26 PM   #3
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Of course, digital will be all that is left, but records, today, still sound better. No perfect, but just better. I'm sticking with analog till the day I die, except for home theatre.
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Old 20th April 2008, 03:09 AM   #4
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Software is a fast moving field?

Not so sure about that at all.
For software to be moving much would require new algorithms to be "discovered" and implemented. Is that happening?

Seems to me that the number of programmers is increasing, and the size of programs is increasing due to the increasing size of memory, the number of operations per clock tick possible today - bigger not newer??

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Old 20th April 2008, 09:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by bear
Software is a fast moving field?

Not so sure about that at all.
For software to be moving much would require new algorithms to be "discovered" and implemented. Is that happening?

_-_-bear
New algorithms are done everyday, an algorithm is just bunch of operators, evaluators, conditioners and flow control stringed together to perform a task. There's an awful lot of scope there. I think what your talking about is audio theory and physics.

Its not so much the theory but successfully implementing, optimising and making the most of that. Lots of room for improvement in the current state of affairs. When I say software I'm really talking about up and coming technology such as that afforded by digital and mainly things like DRC, digital filtering, auto correction, user interfaces etc. If you've heard and used these things you can see the potential but its a bit a limp and hit and miss. You need to know a lot to get the best out of them. Markets such as home theater and studio are driving advances in this field and its quite lucrative, in the past 3 years alone I've seen huge amounts of progress. Efforts such as the Dolby Lake processor and Acourate are testiment to this but there's still a long way to go.
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Old 20th April 2008, 12:28 PM   #6
Bonsai is offline Bonsai  Taiwan
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I have to disagree with the assertion that amplifier technology has not improved over the last 30 years. Just take a look at the results published in Stereophile (I only use this as an example because John Atkinson does th electrical tests and therefore brings some consistency to the technical evaluation). Most amplifiers he reports on show exempliary technical performance whether with or without feedback. Designers have learnt, and are still learning, about how to design and bring to market beter products. Take a typical 'high end' design from 30 years ago - TID problems, slew rate limiting, massive amounts of OLG, un-degenerated LTP's, thermal tracking problems etc etc. On another thread a while back, John Curl passed a few comments about the original Ampzilla design and the compromises in that design vis-a-vis a modern approach. We have made progress folks!

I agree, it is not perfect, but its progress. As to the Vinyl vs CD discussion I think I know what the issue is. I played Jeff Buckley's Grace LP on a $240 Pproject turntable (you know, the one from the Check Republic) and the CD on my player and switched between the two. The LP blew the CD away and my 18 year old son who is a musician could not believe the difference. So why was CD such a success? Because Sony and Philips bamboozled the world? Partly. But I think most people went for CD because it it did not suffer from scratches and pops, and sounded 'clean' - i.e. it was convenient and did not require extraordinary care to maintain the original quality. Its as simple as that. Unfortunately, this is the reason for th esuccess of MP3 - its convenient and that is what most people go for.
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Old 20th April 2008, 01:02 PM   #7
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShinOBIWAN
People still use CD's?!?

I put them in the same category as Vinyl - an obsolete inconvenience.
Shin, you're a lost cause.
Be ashamed for accepting and promoting low bit rate compressed music.
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Old 20th April 2008, 01:34 PM   #8
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I played Jeff Buckley's Grace LP on a $240 Pproject turntable (you know, the one from the Check Republic) and the CD on my player and switched between the two. The LP blew the CD away and my 18 year old son who is a musician could not believe the difference.
You left out the bit about him being in another room.
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Old 20th April 2008, 02:49 PM   #9
PMA is offline PMA  Europe
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Bonsai san,

"Check Republic" wa Czech Republic desu
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Old 20th April 2008, 04:14 PM   #10
hermanv is offline hermanv  United States
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It's not the technology, it's the low expectations.

Certainly we are far from "perfect" technology, but most modern audio applications don't even bother to implement a reasonable cost compromise.

My very expensive sports car has a "premium sound system", there are no tweeters. The sound system is priced high enough to do a creditable job, but falls far short. At speed the car is noisier than most, you'd think I could just crank in some more volume. Nope, the sound just becomes more unbearable.

My cell phone at 32Kbits/second is just plain awful. I occasionally wonder at the relationship between driver cell phone distraction and the sheer processing power the brain needs to apply to make a cell phone conversation intelligible. No one seems nearly as distracted by talking to passengers.

The latest big screen HDTV have modern all digital video processing and a beautiful picture, yet 2"x 3" stereo speakers. What the h**l? Why bother? Do it right or let the surround receiver handle the audio. Pretending that 2"x 3" speakers will work is crazy.
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