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New "Better listening experience"? Sounds like he carefully avoided saying "sounds better" because it do
es. Not. That one-liner swears at my n-years of Caring how stuff Sounds/and doing something about it, as well.
As one who spent a fair amount of time and inquisition in the period when transistors were attempting to compete with the none-such (Marantz et al) tube components du jour, I'd say outright: you know-not whereof you speak.
And this is just the tl;dr version 'cause I ain't editing for publication. (And yess, via a local S.F. FM-station 15-min Slot I have.. had to address an 'audience' re things-'Audio', many moons ago. Then I had to edit ;-^>

First of all: 'double-blind comparos' with LIVE orchestras, voices etc. initiated by one Edgar Villchur and similar listening *fests with 'golden-ears' attached to scientific brains: LAUGHED at the earliest ('TEC' for one) of these stabs. Indeed they got lots better/and now: artificially $$$-mondo-costly for those who have to prove to others their income via whatever local listeners can be seduced into an evening of--too-often audio freakishness. (aka Audio-Phools on the Tektronix-folks website.)

(A Marantz Model 8B went on ePay for ~$3k several years ago. I used to peddle his stuff (like the 10B Tchebyshev-IF-filters containing Model 10B tuner.) KLH and other Electrostatic speakers, etc. Revox tape, Crown [Indiana!] pro tape recorders, breathed on by a local Prof-guy who Fixed for hP the errors in one of their early audio spectrum analyzers/they thence produced the "B-version--I'm not making this up. Then Dr. Nelson redesigned Crown's best for a then unheard-of S/N ratio. (Yes I WAS lucky to have such a one a few houses away: he also had a Citroën SM ..for me to lust over. Dr. Nelson was a treat!

I no idea what is out there now, because it's all made to appeal to the Bugatti Veyron wannabe clans; little to do with live/playback comparos. Its's a faux-digital word-salad to debate "tubes vs transistors" anyway, but the pressed-quality of the LPs du that jour elevates it all to: Digital techniques to simulate Audio==analog to our ears, leads to the usual outrageous AD-claims for hyping such specs as 0.0000....07% THD, or not so great IM (intermodulation). But you never GET anything but via (whatever super- or normal-grade devices as Made The Recording. (Back to square-one, as THAT is where the best-tech needs to begin.) Neumann mics?, once, which? Mfg./Model of the cutter of the Master? ad infinitum.

* Typically, Villchur (then others) employed a Symphony ). (or Band, if you like) to play selections. On stage were a couple of his speakers (AR-1, 2, 3 etc.) and the performers. At a point, the musicians would merely simulate their playing (a gauzy screen lest you look for Tells in the way various instruments make sound) And the speakers performed. Many switches in a session. There are stats but I don't try to remember such #-dross forever. The numbers are likely Out There.

There exists NO one-sentence disposition of the [n!] nuances of How We Perceive Sound(s), despite all the propaganda and infinite opinions from those who never ever "found out lots of technical and human aspects" via their own experiments.

Carrion. sometimes it's marketed as Kobe beef but it-snot.
My ears never were 'golden'; possibly Iridium-plated pot metal nor could I fly Eastward to attend above comparos. Now the Iridium has flaked off, ergo I'd never try to pick a Today's best-buy audio thingy, so above is academic to moi.

Ah but.. the mind/brain remembers SEEING goose-bumps arise on a man's arm re the Infinity™ Servo-static One speakers and a Joan Sutherland voice recording (no words: the voice as instrument! Have to look-up the Composer; Concerto for Soprano and O. IIRC)... somewhere in Chatsworth CA, accompanied by a reputed golden-boy with lots of chops, writing regular Reviews. Theatre sounds today I pass on, because most owners/managers are apt never to have heard a Symphony LIVE (unless too old to care or be able to tell?) These ex- aero-space (young) founders had just unloaded a massive Hewlett-Packard Fourier Analyzer beast, the day I flew down there. Science. Fun.
New I grew up listening to a McIntosh receiver and tube amp.
My dad would play his Spike Jones 78s on a Garrard turntable hooked up to it. My step mom still has all that stuff...

It sounded good, but I don't know how much difference my ears could really sense. The tube radio in his '55 Chevy Bel Air was nothing to write home about. ;-)

And there was always the pops and crackles on the records... :-/

You're right about THD, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find those numbers at all on most of the consumer stereo equipment these days (especially on speakers with built-in amplifiers).

Most of the time I love digital recordings (I hate tape hiss and the like), but the "ch" sounds (and similar) are horribly, horribly distorted in most MP3s. It's painful to my ears. The default EQ settings on old iPods were horrible and made it much worse.

The mathematics is pretty compelling that sampling at 2x the highest frequency should be "good enough", but there's something that's not quite right in the implementation.

And don't get me started on digital video. Our cable company (Cox) only provides the BBC World Service channel at ~ 720i, and even then it's horribly compressed (don't try to watch reports on sports or you'll get sick from the horrible pixellation). Watching it on YouTube TV is a revelation. And as bad as Cox is about that, Spectrum (nee TimeWarner) in NC is worse. There should be FCC or independent standards about guaranteed digital bandwidth for video so that people have some idea of what they're getting for their gigantic cable bills.


New Spike Jones.. am sure that my 78rpm "In Der Fuehrer's Face'" is around somewhere
So yer Da's got cuth!..

Also have the young Maynard Ferguson's, All the Things You Are ... recalled almost imediately by Mrs. Jerome Kern /she didn't like the slurs and stratospheric arpeggios..

Some early recordings shall live evermore.. prolly not these two, but.. someone WIll have a copy in a trunk.

(You wouldn't want to hear of the food-fights re McI's choice of an odd output circuit, nor Saul Marantz's specifying a special alloy to be used in the laminations for his output transformers.) I could be happy with my Linn-Sondek LP-12 turntable + a special cartridge ..but sans Ed Long's magick speaker-doping secret ..no idea which speakers I'd aim for next {{sob}} if I don't soon find a wizard with similar chops in that black-art:

the cone's edge IS the 'spring' of course, but it seems that [ f = k x s] Ain't what you want there; you need a programmed dk/dt to play in that field; nobody did that via computer simulations and fancy drivers to force compliance (to my knowledge) but Ed Long found this analog-via-elastomer-creation mixes which simulated (what his "time-aligned" method could map out (accurate phasing was one of his tools.)

Ah well, someday there will be Super-audio, but I doubt that there will be program material available then (except underground) ..that anyone like moi would care to hear all that accurately [ba dum].

Frank $ Ernest cartoon strip, at optician's:
"Don't make 'em too good, Doc; there's not much I want to see all that clearly."
New That's not a vinyl vs. digital issue
That's care and quality at every step from mics to speakers. How many artists are still releasing on vinyl today? And are they also releasing on digital? And if so, do you think they used two completely separate production systems from end-to-end?

Or is it more likely it was all the same until the final pressing? And if so, and you played the two side-by-side, do you think the vinyl would be significantly better? Even noticeably better?

New Likely not to moi now, but therein lies the conundrum..
there *are* such golden ears who can Hear the nuances--and pick their preferences reliably (and some, via something akin to that special Wine-obsessed vocabulary?: give 'analyses" congruent with Real-engineers ..and like that. In addition to these few: in the New truth-is-optional Era, there also are a myriad who claim that virtuosity.. wash/rinse/repeat.

All of which is why I aver that, "no one sentence, laudatory OR dismissive ... makes any sense", given the human/machine complexity of the entire matter. er, Still.

Also too: input created with synthesizers and such paraphernalia confound any judgment of 'Fidelity' as: these are not the sounds of voice OR "instrument" being Reproduced as accurately as possible; these are Produced collections of effects... witness how it was that "Sgt. Pepper" was 'produced', via all manner of prescient details handled by innovation with existing gear. Yes, the recorded version must be playable, but you never could listen-in on its Production so as to A/B one -vs- the other. Rest case.

Optional PS:
I once accompanied an Instructor friend to the L.A. Philharmonic [Wallenstein conductor] for the debut of Frederick Marvin (still playing, last I heard..) We recorded the Chopin Piano Cto.#2 on a barely-"transportable'" huge Ampex machine/prime in the day (which JSC also owned!) I thus had the -delayed- version of hearing it once Iive, thence shortly after hearing last of the tape over headphones superior to most speakers du jour. It was of course surprisingly Good, especially compared to the consumer gadgets like Webster-Chicago (Webcor™). Nor had I the experience/vocabulary to express "differences" in perception. He later cut an LP (!) with his own equipment (of quality I had no idea.) I still have that disc, but it won't reveal much applicable to this discussion.
Expand Edited by Ashton March 4, 2019, 12:04:49 AM EST
New I'm not sure who to reply to, so I'll put it here.
I think we actually do know what makes certain formats and audio chains less than wonderful or at least audibly faulty. This question actually comes up a lot in Techmoan's Youtube videos.

Vinyl recordings can sound superb, so long as you carefully stay within the limits of the technology. In fact, that's true of most formats that at least have a good stab at genuine "high-fidelity". Even the humble magnetic tape. Early commercial open-reel tapes easily sound way better than the last ones and what is astonishing is that you can just about hear the difference in (of all things!) the compressed audio of a Youtube video. Techmoan demonstrated this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KHSz9Gi-II

For someone like me whose taste in music is highly-produced pop music, the modern streaming formats are usually more than good enough. Especially into earphones where the audio is competing with whatever ambient sound is around me. In that case, there are only a few technical concerns I ask of the actual audio: mainly more-or-less flat response and low or no noise. My Apple earbuds and my Earstudio do that most admirably (the absolute lack of noise from the latter is particularly admirable, BTW).

I do still buy CDs of my favourite artists, and again, because it is highly-produced pop music, the mastering is usually very very good. I have heard better audio from the CD than from Youtube Music, but the difference is very subtle and very hard to explain. Experienced sound engineers in that industry know very well how to stay within the technical boundaries of what popular streaming music can do! I mean, it's not like they're sending you 64kps MP3 - they're all using many more bits than that and a much newer codec.

(DAB is a whole 'nother issue, I'm afraid - the trend is to lower bit-rates in order to support more channels. Digital cable TV does the same thing, alas.)

New Good Science Friday episode on this.

I learned a lot in that.

It seems that much of the "this sounds better than that" isn't because one medium is somehow more accurate than the other, it's that one has to do the mastering differently for the two media because of their different characteristics. If you take an old giant tape recording and compare a vinyl album made from it and a CD made from it, they're going to sound very different unless you compensate for the different media. You can't just make a "perfect" copy that sounds "correct".

We're apparently listening to bad CDs and MP3s unless they were re-mastered.

New Succinct, pithy and saves lotsa words /me steals this. Thanks!
New But of course.
I've heard audio engineers even say that you master for streaming music differently than for CD.

I've even heard one say they master differently for different markets! Although this was a while ago, apparently Americans like(d) a subtly different audio profile than Australians in their pre-recorded music...

Expand Edited by static March 5, 2019, 04:02:46 AM EST
New Yup. I'm pretty sure they master differently for radio than for vinyl/CD/etc.
Still, having it spelled out like that made a bell chime for me.

It reminds me of my favorite uncle showing me the tracks on an 1812 Overture album. "Guess what's happening right here? That's where the cannons are going off..."

Must have driven the vinyl audio engineers nuts, that passage.


     Stay in your lane - (drook) - (19)
         movie theaters have better sound systems than homes - (lincoln) - (1)
             It's depressing how many shows/movies I have to put the captions on - (drook)
         "Better listening experience"? Sounds like he carefully avoided saying "sounds better" because it do - (Ashton) - (9)
             I grew up listening to a McIntosh receiver and tube amp. - (Another Scott) - (1)
                 Spike Jones.. am sure that my 78rpm "In Der Fuehrer's Face'" is around somewhere - (Ashton)
             That's not a vinyl vs. digital issue - (drook) - (6)
                 Likely not to moi now, but therein lies the conundrum.. - (Ashton) - (1)
                     I'm not sure who to reply to, so I'll put it here. - (static)
                 Good Science Friday episode on this. - (Another Scott) - (3)
                     Succinct, pithy and saves lotsa words /me steals this. Thanks! -NT - (Ashton)
                     But of course. - (static) - (1)
                         Yup. I'm pretty sure they master differently for radio than for vinyl/CD/etc. - (Another Scott)
         Feels like you read that backwards - (crazy) - (6)
             No, I got that - (drook) - (5)
                 +6, Perspicuity; yeah, there's a plethora of tin-ears nowadays ... and nary a Live/Recorded demo.. - (Ashton) - (4)
                     Bang & Olafson? They made the speakers in my laptop. -NT - (drook) - (3)
                         There's your problem. - (pwhysall) - (2)
                             I'll hand that spelling nit off to Ashton ... Here you go! -NT - (drook)
                             Mea culper, fellow smartass-picker-of-nits. And: - (Ashton)

You left them alone in a room with a penguin?! Mr. Gates, your men are already dead.
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