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Sound Quality Vs. Measurements
Sound Quality Vs. Measurements
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:26 AM   #9671
jan.didden is offline jan.didden  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdf View Post
'the real thing' is central to the accuracy of a reproduction system.
Very true. And for any replay system, the accuracy is how accurate it reproduced whatever is in/on the source, stream, CD, DVD, what have you. That's all you can hope for. The original event is gone, poof, disappeared into the past.
If the recording has captured that piano badly, there's nothing you can do on the reproduction side to make it 'right' again.

jan
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:32 AM   #9672
jan.didden is offline jan.didden  Europe
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Remarkably, even on "poor" recordings, enough of the signature qualities of the instruments used are captured, in spite of the best efforts of the sound engineers to mangle them! I have been surprised many times over the years to find recordings which I deemed at some stage to be unrecoverable, will come to life, will allow one to comfortably access the musical qualities ... if the system is of sufficient quality ...

Hence my motto -- "There is no such thing as a bad recording" ...
I have some CDs that are absolutely unlistenable. Noisy, dstorting, awfull sound stage, bad balance between instruments and voices, and instruments and voices wandering all the time all over the place.
And don't get me started on some awfull vinyl I have.
If such a terrible CD sounds the same on your system as a well-recorded 'good' CD I suggest you have some more work to do.

jan
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:37 AM   #9673
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Originally Posted by dvv View Post
Sorry Frank, but I disagree.

There are some really awful recordings which simply cannot be returned to any "normal" state without hevy processing.
We can agree to disagree, ...

I have a stack of "awful" recordings on hand, ready to hit the airwaves whenever I feel I'm getting into a 'good zone' - these bring me back to earth straightaway if I've been foolin' myself ...

An example of this is a no name label, Ike and Tina Turner compilation, picked up at an opportunity shop for a dollar - this has live tracks done at club gigs, using some cheap reel to reel to keep a record: midrange and treble to strip paint off the wall when the system's not right, but when the gods are smiling it comes together, and you're there!!
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:38 AM   #9674
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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To me, Decca Phase 4 stereo LPs from the late 60ies are still the yardstick I use to measure all others.

Admittedly, their choice of musical material may have been questionable here and there, but there was a very reasonable choice, something for just about everyone. Not cheap, but for a change, something that played better and bigger music than it price.

From U.S. of A., I really liked some Mercury (Rod Stewart "Every Picture Tells A Story"), A&M (Best of Joan Baez) and CBS recordings (Bridge Over Troubled Water, to name just one).
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Old 4th July 2013, 10:54 AM   #9675
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Originally Posted by jan.didden View Post
If such a terrible CD sounds the same on your system as a well-recorded 'good' CD I suggest you have some more work to do.

jan
It won't sound the 'same' as a well-recorded item, it can never do that ... what it does do is give the ear sufficient information so that it can internally filter away the "bad stuff" and resolve the musical content that's at the heart of the recording, the thing you're interested in. If the obnoxious qualities are too overwhelming, because the playback system is adding to the mess, then the brain gives up, and it's 'unlistenable' to ...
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Old 4th July 2013, 11:30 AM   #9676
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Frank, I owned a tape deck since 1966. In 1981, I bought a bloody big Philips deck, some 60 lbs of it, and using rather average nominally Uher but really Sennheiser microphones, I recorded a friend playing a classic guitar in my room. The mics were standard, unexcitiing fare, with a usable response out to around 13 kHz.

Played back again in the same room, over AR5 loudspeakers driven by a reVox A78 integrated amp rated at 50 WRMS/8 Ohms, it WAS the real deal. If there were any discrepanicies, neithe he nor I could hear them. All on Maxell MXII tape, fairly standard fare.

All I can boast about is that the deck was kept in literally superb state, regularly demagnetized by a Sony 60 Watt (sic!) head demagnetizer, and that the deck itself could be calibrated for most tapes, plus the ability to run at 15 ips as per NAB or IEC equalization at a flick of a switch.

The exercise simply proved just how darnm good a recording can sound, but by the same token, what it has to go through in a normal commercial process of being tran sferred to the LP. SO MUCH was lost, it made me want to cry.

The CD had so much promise, and it degenerated to popular horse dung in no time.

Speaking of which, perhaps someone here can help. About a year ago, I was surfing and ran into a site which discussed the quality of CD recordings, They had a "Best of" and "Worst of" lists. According to these lists, No.1 on the "Worst of" list CD spends 99% of its time in pure clipping. No.1 on the "Best of" list was one of seemingly endless Greatest Hits of ABBA, the number of which I did copy down (I can look it up if required) and did purchase that edition. One would have to be stone deaf not to hear the almost amazing quality of the recording.

Hopefully, somebody will have a link to that site ... please?
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Old 4th July 2013, 11:35 AM   #9677
nigel pearson is offline nigel pearson  United Kingdom
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I finally have system that can play any recording . Sometimes it is laughable how bad some are . Sometimes why is obvious . The pop of the microphone says plenty . At least I don't think it would sound better on my valve radio these days .

When I was first married a very attractive slightly older lady lived up the road from me . I had by mistake told her she was attractive . She wanted to do some building work and wanted our millionaire neighbour to give up some land for nothing . When she said I knew him I said looking at her legs that her credentials were impeccable for talking to Jim .

Often my wife went away and both I and the lady were alone . One night she invited me to listen to music . I was determined to be a good boy and was . It was then I learnt a great lesson about hi fi . She had a standard music centre . She apologized and said could I bring myself down to listening to something so humble . You know it sounded great . Later in life I found out why . Simplicity and basically correct engineering . My ex wife wasn't worth my good behaviour . If only .
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Old 4th July 2013, 11:56 AM   #9678
jan.didden is offline jan.didden  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
It won't sound the 'same' as a well-recorded item, it can never do that ... what it does do is give the ear sufficient information so that it can internally filter away the "bad stuff" and resolve the musical content that's at the heart of the recording, the thing you're interested in. If the obnoxious qualities are too overwhelming, because the playback system is adding to the mess, then the brain gives up, and it's 'unlistenable' to ...
Yes in that sense we are all gullible - a piece of music I like can 'come together' on my kitchen radio.

jan
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Old 4th July 2013, 12:23 PM   #9679
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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The CD had so much promise, and it degenerated to popular horse dung in no time.
I guess you're talking about the loudness wars ... I don't worry about anything much from the last 15 years or so, the musical content is not my cup of tea really ...

Plenty of sites out there that have lists of good and bad, just have to work through the Google results ...

All time baddie is the Iggy Pop remastered "Raw Power" I believe - great square wave test signals ...!!

Edit: Heavily compressed material replayed correctly is extremely aggressive sounding - it's fatiguing not because it distorts, but because it subjectively registers like an emotional battering ram - like having someone talking VERY LOUDLY ALL THE TIME ...

Last edited by fas42; 4th July 2013 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 4th July 2013, 12:32 PM   #9680
nigel pearson is offline nigel pearson  United Kingdom
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If CD had used Nicam encoding it would have been better . Nicam has some pumping noise at - 78 dB if 13 Bit . That is 10 bits music and 3 bit coding . With 16 bits it could have been great . I have a hunch no physical contact is not CD's best feature . Just think if USB sticks have been available . CD would never have happened . CD is a throw back to 1888 . Apparently pressing the disc was still No 1 priority when invented . Making Cassettes was a fools game. Expensive and less than excellent . They were not going to repeat that mistake . CD , BS that lasts for ever . Even the last bit was lies .

Squarewaves from CD stop at about 1 kHz . The Fourier series needs about the 19 th harmonic in the sequence to be square . ( 44.1 /2 ) / 19 . Such a wave looks like an amp with mild ringing . Slew rates ??????? Where , when , how ? To restate my case . Slew rates matter . It is simple current to drive the VAS . There is no music that demands it . If it were not so tweeters would last minutes .

Last edited by nigel pearson; 4th July 2013 at 12:41 PM.
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