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Old 22nd July 2012, 06:20 PM   #61
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I think the thing really killing HiFi at the moment is the Loudness War and lossy audio compression such as MP3 which is regarded as a 'high fidelity audio format'. I think these factors are the sole cause of more and more people starting to use vinyl which is technically inferior to the linear PCM found on Compact Discs, which are mastered with disgustingly high levels of dynamic range compression used by mastering engineers today.

I'm a big fan of digital audio which is really starting to get a whole lot better again thanks to lossless compression such as FLAC and awareness of the Loudness War, which luckily does not effect classical music.

I don't think any modern so called 'music' (e.g. dubstep) requires high fidelity reproduction as it is over processed and entirely electronic, which explains the reasons why audio quality is being so drastically reduced in favour of portability nowadays.
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Old 23rd July 2012, 12:13 PM   #62
Rolegh is offline Rolegh  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monty78pig View Post
I think the thing really killing HiFi at the moment is the Loudness War and lossy audio compression such as MP3 which is regarded as a 'high fidelity audio format'. I think these factors are the sole cause of more and more people starting to use vinyl which is technically inferior to the linear PCM found on Compact Discs, which are mastered with disgustingly high levels of dynamic range compression used by mastering engineers today.

I'm a big fan of digital audio which is really starting to get a whole lot better again thanks to lossless compression such as FLAC and awareness of the Loudness War, which luckily does not effect classical music.

I don't think any modern so called 'music' (e.g. dubstep) requires high fidelity reproduction as it is over processed and entirely electronic, which explains the reasons why audio quality is being so drastically reduced in favour of portability nowadays.
This really could be the explanation why the 4 CD set of Fleetwood Mac sounds so good: no compression allowing the full dynamic range therefore all of the instruments including voices sounding realistic.
In the early 90s I had borrowed a drum machine from a band to hook up directly to my HiFi system and that sounded surprisingly good. It was the clarity and realism that was so striking.


Another such example is that many years ago a music magazine was sold with a CD of tracks demonstrating different styles of electric guitar playing and that too sounded so realistic. I had concluded that the reason for the realism was that the recordings stood alone and were therefore not subjected to adulteration in the mix along with lots of other instruments: the result of compression, as you have explained.


In the early days of vinyl, records were mixed so that they would be playable on any cheap mass market reproduction equipment available at that time. HiFi of course always sounded better but I do remember on hearing a Beatles LP for the first time from a friend on my own system that I thought about looking forward to buying them in the future when recordings had, hopefully, improved.


It was also the case that listeners of classical music on Radio 3 FM had complained about the introduction of compression that was limiting the dynamic range.


Just as things were moving forward with systems like SACD it seems that the Ipod came along and the rest is history.


Perhaps now is the time for mass media content to separate and go its merry way and if people are content to download mp3s over the internet then all well and good. Perhaps then CD could return to its full potential of uncompressed music for Hifi enthusiasts. I for one will never download an mp3 even though some feel that this is the future of music.
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Old 23rd July 2012, 01:01 PM   #63
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My own personal view is:
1. The DAC and ADC manufacturers have more than exceeded what they could have been expected to produce, and these amazing things are sold for pennies, so no technical impediments in the way of hi fi for all.
2. Digital technology makes possible some amazing refinements that were unknown years ago e.g. active crossover, room correction. The tweaking possibilities are endless.
3. The best amplifiers were perfectly fine 30 years ago, and still are.
4. Recordings are mainly produced for people to listen to on headphones on the bus, or on the car audio system, or for 5.1 'home theatre' and this is a bad thing for audiophiles. Also, excessive digital delay effects are substituted for the reverb rooms etc. that studios used to have, and this detracts from the freshness of the recordings. Recordings from the 70s still sound clean and fresh compared to much of what is produced today.
5. But modern music is just nothing like as good as it used to be, anyway.
6. There's several liftetimes of great listening to be found in back catalogues, so the relative lack of wonderful new recordings is not a great worry to me, and the internet allows us to access the old stuff more easily than ever - Spotify 320 kbps Ogg Vorbis isn't bad, and soon there will be uncompressed services available, I would imagine.
7. The biggest difference between standard consumer-grade audio and genuine 'hi fi' is the speakers, and people don't like big boxes in their living rooms.
8. Hi fi enthusiasts will always be catered for, even if not on the high street.
9. The prospects for audio enthusiasts, particularly of the DIY variety, are much better now than they used to be. Simply the existence of this forum is a great case in point. You don't need to wait weeks and pay for data sheets. And you can buy just about everything you need on eBay. etc.
10. I like the term 'hi fi'!
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Old 19th August 2013, 01:13 AM   #64
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Nice post CopperTop,
Call it however you want Hi-Fi, HiEnd Does not matter, everyone likes high quality stuff, from cars, houses, cell phones to audio, and when you present that HQ stuff to the "kids", i mean some of them are old enough, and have very nice earnings so i would rather call them young population, they want it, everyone wants high quality stuff i never met person who would take something inferior over something obviously better if you give him the choice.
Someone in the thread said in general we listen better audio now then before anyway, which is also very true, back in the day there was not that many true Hi-Fi systems anyway...

Also rejecting new music just is not fair, just as i'm writing this Adele sings "in my speakers", she has very some nice songs, good production, live acoustic CD's, all that sounds great, and is very recent!
And she's not alone, there is a lot of that kind of authors, do not judge by mainstream, you probably did not like to listen to mainstream in the '80s so is today...
I use Squeezebox duet, with music (flacs) on my vortexbox in the basement and active studio monitor/w/sub system, and i like the sound, convenience everything, it is getting better...
Also size (main speaker wise) does not mean you cannot have HQ stuff, if you use sub, i mean real sub (12" min) it is just so wrong expecting small drivers to play low freqs, and the manufacturers who optimize these little buggers to play some bass, that is just so wrong, ridiculous...
So nice little gems, like mid-bass 5"max you can fit that easy, get WAF and you're good, just hide the sub somewhere and enjoy...

Real high end systems (IRB beta, Apogee ESL. panels, maggies) big stuff is just so rare, was, and will be, but will always remain for ones that have enough money to dedicate the room or have huge living rooms to enjoy that kinda systems.
There will be always good stuff to buy do not worry, if not i'll roll up the sleeves and make some.

Last edited by zega; 19th August 2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 19th August 2013, 08:52 AM   #65
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All Adele's stuff has had some pretty heavy DRC on it. That's the problem with newer stuff.
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