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Old 4th May 2008, 12:45 PM   #21
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Good morning all, More years ago than I'd care to contemplate, I had a headphone rig which consisted of an old, tube(el 84s I think) Zenith Fm receiver which I'd yanked out of one of those "portable" stereos where the speakers swing out and the turntable drops down. I used this to drive a pair of Numark electrostatic headphones. With the aid of a rooftop antenna the sound was incredeble! The best of the best were the live broadcasts of the Philadelphia orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormande. To this day I've not heard better sounding, sweeter, more soul nourishing music! Back then they really cared for FM radio and sound in general. If they used any compression, I'll eat my hat. I feel privliged to have been around back in the day when giants strode the earth. MP3s?................THRIPPPPPPPP!!!
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Old 4th May 2008, 01:31 PM   #22
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Dynamic range compression is one of the worst enemies of good sound.
Oh, Pavel, please do not generalize.
Again, the MISUSE of dynamic compression is bad, not the compression itself. Same as clipping/harmonic distortion, we owe all the rock and planty of blues and pop to this nasty THD.
Back to compression, one may actually create great sounds with conscious use of compressor, especially when applied to a single track.
Too much compression (1:4 and more with bad timing) at the mastering stage to please the average FM listener in their car is the other thing.

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Old 8th May 2013, 05:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rdf View Post
Not dead, just resting. MP3s are a temporary infestation designed to deal with 30 meg drives and 14.4 modems. Storage capacity and network speed are advancing at explosive rates, it won't be long before the balance of convenience rests with not compressing. $100 worth of drive already hold ~$50K worth of iTunes, what's the point? Once Internet speeds make uncompressed downloads quick the average consumer will figure this out. No matter what the usual audio authoritarians insist, sampling rates and bit depths will increase for the simple reason that they can trivially at minimal to no expense.
Yes, but why even bother with that when we know that a master tape recorded well on tube gear in 1958 STILL sounds better? 50 years to get back to repro levels of the late 50's?

I have heard, not with my own ears, that the best Beatles and Pop sound was to be had with the reel-to-reel of the 60's as those had to be spun off at low speeds or even real time from a safety master.

Then, of course, the first gen of SS came in and that took another 15 years to fix.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:52 PM   #24
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the Beatles used compression as part of their music composition, if you remember the piano chord at the end of "A Day in the Life"..... that was manual compression (the gain slider on the piano mic), but it did seem to make that final chord go on forever....
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Old 9th May 2013, 01:23 PM   #25
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I recently heard a 15 IPS reel to reel on a Tape Project recorder with master dubs from Abbey road studios at an MBL demo. Led Zepplin, Beatles, Talking Heads, an hour of the most amazing music uncompressed with detail you would not believe existed. I left very unhappy that I've spent a life time with the compressed multiple generation copies. We've paid for and listened to the crap versions the music companies have sold us in 5 or 6 formats.
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Old 9th May 2013, 01:30 PM   #26
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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It's been a very long time since I last worked with open tape but I doubt it bests, for example, 96/24 linear, a format easily within the storage capabilities of commodity consumer electronics. The Internet Archive has a very large selection of hi-rez live recordings. Highly variable but worth a browse. For an extreme example, sts-123_launch_2496.flac is a space shuttle launch. Reel to reel machines would collapse from magnetic saturation.
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Old 9th May 2013, 01:53 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by rdf View Post
Not dead, just resting. MP3s are a temporary infestation designed to deal with 30 meg drives and 14.4 modems. Storage capacity and network speed are advancing at explosive rates, it won't be long before the balance of convenience rests with not compressing. $100 worth of drive already hold ~$50K worth of iTunes, what's the point? Once Internet speeds make uncompressed downloads quick the average consumer will figure this out. No matter what the usual audio authoritarians insist, sampling rates and bit depths will increase for the simple reason that they can trivially at minimal to no expense.
Five years later and MP3 and similar lossy compression is still used for downloads.
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Old 9th May 2013, 01:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by AndrewT View Post
Five years later and MP3 and similar lossy compression is still used for downloads.
Not just downloads. What do you think to this ?
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Old 9th May 2013, 02:43 PM   #29
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What do I think? Most people, including audiophiles, can't tell the difference between uncompressed and 320Kbs MP3. In a blind test, some could, but not without an A/B comparison.

Anyway, most people don't care. And it's probably better than a lot of the junk vinyl that was pressed in the 70s and 80s.
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Old 9th May 2013, 05:01 PM   #30
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What do I think? Most people, including audiophiles, can't tell the difference between uncompressed and 320Kbs MP3. In a blind test, some could, but not without an A/B comparison.

Anyway, most people don't care. And it's probably better than a lot of the junk vinyl that was pressed in the 70s and 80s.
It's consumer demand that drives what the record makers produce. If enough people were willing to pay for the higher quality, then they'd make more of it. A good analogy is probably wine. Most people can't taste the difference between fine wine and junk wine, but there are a few who can and there is then a small market for fine wine. Likewise, most people can't hear very well (like me) so they can't really tell the difference between good audio and bad, but there are enough that can hear well such that there is a small market for them as well. It's unfortunate that the really popular music isn't usually available (as far as I know) in a high resolution format in addition to the normal stuff sold to the masses.
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