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Old 18th August 2012, 10:10 AM   #6971
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Would you like to open a new Thread.
Tomtt is back on topic.
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Old 18th August 2012, 10:18 AM   #6972
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The best compression comes from analogue tape decks . On top of that one can gain ride ( gently adjust levels as the music changes ) . At the rehearsal make time notes as to where the loud bits are , that way you can enjoy not always using headphones to monitor . If done carefully no compression seems to have been used . However as much as 30 db extra range might be added ( 20 dB adjustment and 10 dB transients to the VU limit ) . Detail is heard as in real life . It is false yet very realistic . Reason is our ears do it in real life . They gain ride .

I haven't done this test for years so can not say if it is still true . A piano reordered on early digital at 0VU would be a bit overly bright yet dynamic . At - 20 db with a careful volume adjustment it would sound similar yet washed out ( like TV showing poor black levels ) . At - 40 dB it sounded like a kazoo . That suggests that early digital of true 16 bit spec only had at best a 20 db musical range . This contradicts many statements and measurements as it should be on paper superior to fully saturated analogue when at - 20 dB .

Digital recording at 0VU digital wasn't practical . - 6dB if brave . Many secretly used Dolby A analogue and transcribed it to digital later . These recordings were sold as DDD . That way multiple tests could be done and 0VU approached . This would give a analogue mastered digital recording a tipple advantage . 30 dB squeezed into 20 db window and 10 db critical recording bonus . This would be mostly inaudible , experienced listeners would note flutter . Also some softening as levels increased which is what we need . One could say it could add 30 dB for an unskilled engineer and 24 dB for even the best .

BBC 13 bit digital ( NICAM 1972 vesrion ) always sounded to me exactly like good analogue . How arrogant of Philips and Sony not to licence it . 16 Bit Nicam might have been truly wonderful . I am playing with the idea of making a Nicam recorder .

If digital is put onto analogue it will do the softening . To my ears no alchemy takes place . This is important as it might be analogue distortion that is preferred . Personally I would say it is not preferable .

45 dB was said by DGG to be a practical dynamic range . Noting my reservations I would say classic 16 bit 25 dB short of that . I would say a hi fi needs 100 dB ability to give 45 dB . Distortion will never be better than - 54 dB I suppose ( total ) ?
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Old 18th August 2012, 10:46 AM   #6973
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Right or wrong, I count myself as an audiophile and I realy don't know where this idea of audiophiles liking compressed music comes from.

All my life, I've loved Decca Phase 4 stereo recordings for exactly the opposite reason, for their most uncommon dynamic range coupled with low background noise. Even modest setups, such as the ones we had in 1970 (I was a high school graduate then and could not afford very expensive gear), made music sound very realistic with them.

The only significant leap forward I recollect from those days was the introduction of dBX encoded recordings, which were prescious few and expensive to boot, and I remember hearing them at a friend's place - he had a dBX setup. I remember I was stunned with the feeling of freedom, or if you prefer, almost complete lack of compression.

I think this compression thing comes mostly from those quarters which were pop/rock orientated - the sheer loudness of the original music made it very hard to record and play it back without compression, but, on the other hand, the in herent musical dynamics were generally rather low, it wasn't too much of a problem.

I agree with Nigel - althought even today, with the digital dynamic range available, one is still amazed at the dynamic range available from master or general open reel tapes, even if one realizes that amazing as they do sound, they are still at least a little compressed. To actually be able to become aware of it, one would have to have tried to record music live, even if only in the room, with no acoustic treatment - the tape of a friend playing a classical guitar in my room, taped via two very so-so Beyer-cum-Uher microphones, on my Philips N4520 open reel tape deck, albeit at 38 cm/s (15 ips), using IEC equalization, never fails to make me look around to see where he's sitting. Outstanding fidelity, zero processing, direct mic feed into the recorder's inbuilt two stereo input mixer.

I guess it's only fair to note that this particular machine had Philips' new electronics in 1981, with a claimed (and verified!) 60 dB dynamic range. That was patented, but as with many similar Philips gems, it appeared then and there and never again anywhere (as far as I know).
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Old 18th August 2012, 10:58 AM   #6974
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I love compressed music: In my car, or for low level background. If I am listening to serious music, or seriously listening to music, I want dynamics closer to what the artists (musician and engineer) intended. What good is the opening bars of the 5th, without dynamics?

I enjoyed the little DBX 119 way back when, but the noise and distortion caused me to dump it. It might be fun to see a modern compander built. DSP I wold guess. What do the studios use?
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Old 18th August 2012, 11:53 AM   #6975
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
I love compressed music: In my car, or for low level background. If I am listening to serious music, or seriously listening to music, I want dynamics closer to what the artists (musician and engineer) intended. What good is the opening bars of the 5th, without dynamics?

I enjoyed the little DBX 119 way back when, but the noise and distortion caused me to dump it. It might be fun to see a modern compander built. DSP I wold guess. What do the studios use?
Just yesterday, I had an opportunity to compare compressed WMA and MP3 music with classic 16-bit Red Book CD and I have to say that even in a car, with its factory audio system (which is hardly something to write home about), it's really no contest, WMA/MP3 loses hands down. It's simply no contest.

Under the circumstances, WMA/MP3 is really quite all right for in-car entertainment, especially for me as the driver, but in absolute terms, no cigar. BTW, I have no idea what Chevrolet uses for factory installation, but I feel reasonably sure it's no big deal.
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Old 18th August 2012, 12:18 PM   #6976
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There is a joke not aimed at us lot that 75% of the time our serious classical station Radio 3 broadcasts nothing . I have to say it's no joke . Even with the modest dynamic range available Radio 3 was about the largest dynamic range ever offered ( some compression I suspect is used now ) . Sometimes at night I turn the volume up and sure enough there is music , usually very serious baroque stuff . At normal volumes it is hard to tell if anyone is home ! Also R3 has long pauses before announcements . The voices are almost priestly . Recently they broadcast Jazz , absolutely excellent I have to say .
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Old 18th August 2012, 07:23 PM   #6977
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Happy camper. A second HCA 1200 II arrived today. Woofers now happy again. Wife happy.

Nigel, complain about BBC all you want. Here in Washington DC we have one usable classical station. Old equipment, old recordings. They do try. Good enough for my commute to work as I find my tolerance for the DJ's on even the classic rock stations too much to bare. Decent Jazz on the radio? Not a chance. FIOS ( our fiber cable TV system) does at least have good programming. They refused to tell me what the specs were.
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Old 18th August 2012, 07:28 PM   #6978
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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DVV, I would agree, if I was sitting in a Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac. But in my GTI with all the road noise ( and of course what I make when jumping on the turbo ) it does not matter much. I do remember, when I was looking for some small bookshelf speakers I would go listen in stores and then go get in my Mini Cooper and the sound was far better. So was my RSX, but then again, I did work over it just a bit. I find the standard VW stereo to be fully satisfactory for it's use.

Hmmm, wonder what stereo my buddy with a 80's Bentley has? He claims there is no better car for a retired racer than a turbo Bentley.
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Old 18th August 2012, 07:58 PM   #6979
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvv View Post
Just yesterday, I had an opportunity to compare compressed WMA and MP3 music with classic 16-bit Red Book CD ...
Compressed at what bitrate? I doubt many of us could tell >200 kbps compressed files from uncompressed in the car.
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Old 18th August 2012, 08:01 PM   #6980
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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In my view, the weakest part of any car sound system are those funny things they build in and call loudspeakers. They generally do bass more or less acceptably, but it's the treble range which suffers. My Chevy Cruze is no exception there.

When in the old Daewoo Nubira I took out the "loudspeakers", I was, to put it mildly, amazed - I never knew such junk even existed. The cones were - literally! - translucent pieces of paper.

Anyway, I stuck in some decent JBL bass/mid units and followed them up with a pair of rather hefty Pioneer dome tweeters, and man oh man, what a difference! Coaxial JBL bass/mid/tweeter units in the back, and that clinched it. Didn't play any louder, but the clarity difference was stupendous, I mean that letter by letter. If I had also changed the rather poor Sony radio/CD player, I think I would have had an even better sound, actually resembling a decent home setup. An Alpine unit would do the trick, they are still the best sounding units I have ever come across for less than silly money.

The whole kaboodle cost me like € 200, or about $ 280, which is still within the realm of reason, and I got more than my money's worth. I am not a headbanger, I don't need (or want) the whole street to hear me coming home, and for normal sound levels, that was really a good system. But there, the tweeters were located on the front two A bars, unlike the Cruze, which has additional air bags there, so I guess I'll have to look for coaxial units both front and back.

On the other hand, the Cruze has a nice gadget trick up its sleeve. You can program it to compensate for the added drive noise floor, in an attempt to keep the music level constant. The system really works, I must admit, and works fairly well. It's all automatic, so when you adjust for the music level while standing still, it will go louder when you start to drive, has some sliding adjustment capabilities, and will return to normal if you should stop. While not overwhelmed, I must admit I am pleased with how it all works.
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