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Old 9th January 2013, 02:02 PM   #8011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I believe BBC program distribution still uses NICAM, but I don't know which version. It might be the 13-bit non-linear system - that seems to work very well. Nasty sound on FM mainly comes from incompetent studio engineers, poorly trained journalists (who now have to make their own recordings!), and the audio compression applied at the transmitter to make the signal loud (some for the BBC, lots for commercial stations).
the first FM station to appear after the 1989 riots used such an amount of compression it was unbearable. and I'm not talking from an audiophile stand point but a common sense one. I was a kid then but I used to think how can anyone stand that? I find it a mystery how nothing ever changed.
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Old 9th January 2013, 03:02 PM   #8012
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BTW BBC offers an AAC Stream (320 Kbps) for Radio 3:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls

It is available on iTunes too.

should be better than any version of DAB. DAB has no future I think,
mobile internet capable devices and streaming are future proof and
the infrastructure is already here.
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Last edited by gk7; 9th January 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 9th January 2013, 07:57 PM   #8013
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I agree.

Even when it appeared, it was a funny choice, precisely because it was reasonable to assume that the Internet will become the general social and economic backbone of the entire planet.
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Old 9th January 2013, 08:36 PM   #8014
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xactly as planned Watson ...
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Old 9th January 2013, 09:18 PM   #8015
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Wired systems (e.g. Internet) and expensive multi-station digital systems (e.g. DAB) are easy for the authorities to switch off when it suits them, and difficult for other people to implement alternatives. OK while European countries remain democratic; not so nice when things change.
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Old 9th January 2013, 10:25 PM   #8016
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Default Just to Say HiFi is an Illusion.

On the original subject I think people still forget the important thing is we want to believe that this musician is siting next to that one and playing where we live.

Even with imaginary speakers from another planet with no distortion would still be expected to played back with an illusion of the room the sound was recorded in.

I think its interesting how different the German and British HiFi ebay pages are. German amplifiers are of much higher power and Hi tech 1980's.

The BBC from the 1950's to the 1980's helped research and develop the British HiFi industry with a strong focus on Science. They set the standard at 16 Ohms, Quad, Leak, Radford, Sugden, all followed in the foot steps of the BBC. Then in the 1970's British industry followed crazy fads like Built in Obsolescence, and people wanting quality stopped buying from such companies moved to Asian Brands like Luxman, Sanyo, Yammah and Kenwood. They used advanced circuits to produce HiFi kit, but often ruined it with tone controls you could not disable because that's what the public wanted. New British HiFi Manufacturers came in to fill the market, like Linn and Niam produced high quality products, but with lower tech solutions based on over engineering, but sold them on Brand, and objectivity of measurements died in the British HiFi market for a long time. The HiFi press backed Linn and Naim with nationalistic and advertising pride. Then some things started to change with the mid 1990's with people discovered objectively buying second hand 1970's was cheaper than any other option and then mp3 sound system took of and HiFi died.

Germany is almost the reverse, Braun is the company, and their effect on the German HiFi buying public of the 1960's to mid 1970's was could you afford a Braun HiFi? Braun HiFi was great looking in the average German House. Most non top end (and maybe the top end) Braun gear from before the transistor takes style and shape over Sound every time. 1970's HiFI in Germany is mostly integrated solutions, receivers or even fully integrated solutions. Braun, Wega, Saba, Grundig and others made boxes that did HiFi in a box that had speaker wires to speakers, but these where High quality solutions. Just a Power Amplifiers where mostly imports. Mostly from USA and Japan very high power. As the speakers where and are usually German produced. Many are low sensitivity 4 Ohms and need a lot of Amplifier power. These speakers usually beat UK HiFi on frequency response dramatically.

That is until the mid 1980's when Braun stuff just looks like its competing on price with a 30 Euro China deal. Hi-End HiFi in Germany is dominated by USA HiFi trends, high power amplifiers, 150 Watts and some impressive German Engineering of high powered amplifiers, to compensate for low sensitivity 4 Ohm speakers with wide flat frequency responses.

Honestly HiFi Sound Quality Vs. Measurements is not a simple thing, and many things can effect our illusions. Even with measuring, often you are not measuring what you think you are measuring. I think it is a function of how we listen to music most, is how we expect it to sound. We often assume we are correct. In such complex areas I suspect is not true, measurements are the answer for the designer, with checking by ear and every tool available.

The question is how to measure how we hear illusions be intruded upon?
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Old 10th January 2013, 12:22 AM   #8017
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great post.
every time I run into a situation where a solution has been chosen from a range of similar ones, I wonder: could this be simply because of legacy reasons?
why are dome tweeters predominant? why are electrodynamic speakers predominant? why does the power company provide us with 220V and not 173? why are my speakers 4 ohm?
remembers me of a time when a non-audiophile friend who was planning to buy an amp asked me "look, I've found a lot of amps without a volume knob on the web, why would anyone make such a thing?" I had no idea what to answer except "I think some one once thought it was a good idea and many followed".
I really believe many things audio could be explained this way
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Old 10th January 2013, 06:56 AM   #8018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenhamburg View Post
On the original subject I think people still forget the important thing is we want to believe that this musician is siting next to that one and playing where we live. ...

... The question is how to measure how we hear illusions be intruded upon?
While I agree with the bulk of your post, there are some points where we do not agree, or have remained unmentioned.

True, Braun was THE mainstream company, in many ways dictating the German mainstream. But, this was no accident, or blind luck - look inside their products and yu will see some very modern and sometimes bold solutions you are not likely to find anywhere else. As a consequence of that, some of their products had very interesting lives. Remember their TG1000 open reel deck? It looked oh-so-different when it appeared in 1969 (?), and it lived on as a local legend until 1975 or so. But it didn't just die or fade away, it was sold off as a project to ASC, who launched their 5000 machine, and then the 6000 machine, both further evolutions of the original, and went on to be made and sold until mid 80ies.

Except its main Swiss/German (owned and designed by Studer of Switzerland, but actually made in Loeffingen, Germany) reVox, I cannot remember ANY tape deck, by anybody, which managed to pull off that stunt.

Earlier on in this thread, I mentioned a product by a German company called Linear Audio Systems (LAS). It appeared in the second half of the 70ies, and in its day, it was in some respects way ahead of its time. Make it today, and I'll wager it will still blow the pants off most of its competitors, but what is impressive about it that unlike most mainstream Japanese, and even US and UK products of its day, it was based on force of intelligent design rather than sheer power (100/150W into 8/4 Ohms).

My shopping list today has only two items on it, both German - a Grunding V 5000 integrated amp and an ASC LV 5000 integrated amp (series II, with RCA Cinch rather than DIN 5 pole sockets). And believe me, I already have a nice collection of vintage gear.

My HiFi life started very modestly in 1966 with an Uher Report mono tape deck. Next was an Uher Royal De Luxe 5 years later, and the tape deck story ended with a Philips 4560 28 kilo machine, which took me to mid 90ies. My first turntable was a Dual 1019, and I still proudly own a Dual CS 604. My headphone collections will always contain something by Sennheiser and Beyer Dynamic. I still own a reVox B760 tuner, made in Loeffingen. Professionally, I have used many Klein & Hummel active speakers in TV editing rooms. Virtually all of the microphones I have ever used were by Sennheiser, with a little South Germany (Austria) AKG thrown in.

My point is, we could go on discussing the subject, but we'd better do it off forum in private mail, as we are far better versed than anyone alse here. My belief is that by and large, the Germans made better audio than the Brits overall, with some exceptions in both camps.

And in my view, the reason why German audio failed on the world market is due to the fact that while Germans could make it better than most, their marketing was below everybody else, about the bottom. This resulted in the German industry turning for OEM manufacturing to the Japanese in the early 80ies, and by well known German companies being bought out by others (e.g. Wega by Sony, Uher by Harman International, Grundig and Loewe by Philips, etc).

Germans helped this by blindly and suicidally sticking to DIN 3 and 5 pole socket standards, which the wide world was not happy with. Germans failed to understand that power sells, and hence their amps were underpowered by new standards set by US and Japanese manufacturers.

The one field where I feel the Germans have been heavily wronged by most others was loudspeakers. Briefly, my feeling is that Germans had evolved dome drivers to the point where they took the lead, generally expressed by very low droop at higher frequencies, at a time when the UK industry struggled for linearity above 15 kHz. This subjectively made German speakers sound brighter than say UK speakers, and the British press, very chauvinistically, proclaimed them too bright, shreaking, etc, most of which was just not true. So, companies well worth noting, like Canton, Heco, Kucke & Sohn, Elac, etc were unjustly passed over. If it's any consolation, the French did about the same - who in the UK or USA even knows about Cabasse speakers? Yet, Monsieur George Cabasse produced as many, if not more, great designs than Mr Paul Klipsch, or Mr James Lansing.

It's an unjust world, my friend, a world where it only matters how it looks to be, not what it really is.
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:10 AM   #8019
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_push_pull View Post
great post.
every time I run into a situation where a solution has been chosen from a range of similar ones, I wonder: could this be simply because of legacy reasons?
why are dome tweeters predominant? why are electrodynamic speakers predominant? why does the power company provide us with 220V and not 173? why are my speakers 4 ohm?
remembers me of a time when a non-audiophile friend who was planning to buy an amp asked me "look, I've found a lot of amps without a volume knob on the web, why would anyone make such a thing?" I had no idea what to answer except "I think some one once thought it was a good idea and many followed".
I really believe many things audio could be explained this way
I second that.

As UI see it, the US and Japanese audio industries are to blame for many foolish things happening in audio.

The US industry because it soon stopped being competitive in the mainstream sector because of high prices, and they invented the "minimalist" design by throwing everything out. I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but here goes. Reducing an audio system to just a volume control and a source selector is all wrong in my book. There are no ideally matched input senitivities or output lines; hence, mismatch will be carried over, and amplified, until the end, which could cause serious imbalance. In my experience, imbalance between channels will kill ambient detail dead. Thus, I believe we still need a balance control in some form (balance or gain L and gain R), and to be able to make full use of it, we need a stereo/L+R switch. Between the two, we can get ideal balance in our rooms, with our speakers.

Tone controls can be extremely useful. Here, the Japanese managed to give them a bad name by racing who will get more boost/cut from their ciruits, and the sane part of the industry was drowned in the spec game. In reality, to achieve a reasonable room correction, we need a boost/cut of usually no more than +/- 3 dB or so, but we need it separate for both channels, since no two loudspeakers in any room are likely to work under ideally same conditions.

And some of, with no golden ears, actually hear as per the Fletcher-Munson curves, so we need some loudness compensation. Ideally, a variable one is preferred, so everyone can adjust as per his own needs.

I realize that desiging quality tone controls, which will do their job without smearing the sound, is no easy task. But it has been done, even by the mainstream industry. So why is not done any more? Simple - it costs money and it's not "in".
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Old 10th January 2013, 10:31 AM   #8020
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Originally Posted by mr_push_pull View Post
I had no idea what to answer except "I think some one once thought it was a good idea and many followed".
I really believe many things audio could be explained this way
I think this is the truth, even if I see an argument for power amplifiers, (and for tone controls including loudness compensation if you can switch them off).

When Speakers in general sound so much like speakers playing music fed to them, rather than people in your room. I think its amazing that HiFI can produce illusions of rooms larger than they playing in, with a sound stage of musicians so effectively.

This is clearly a case of us wanting to believe in an illusion, and the question remaining is what breaks this illusion?
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