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32blownhemi

The best 'source' for music? Download 24 bit? Vinyl? Or ?

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On ‎9‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 3:59 PM, dirtmudd said:

turning light into sound ?

 

Seems like a logical step to me — we're already turning sound into electricity, turning electricity into magnetic flux variations, turning magnetic flux variations into electricity and turning electricity into sound. I'm sure there's someone out there who's clever enough to develop a transducer that converts light directly into sound.

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That so called study by music majors quoted in the inFact video is flawed, it lacks validity and generalizability. 

 

First of all it was 18 years ago, second of all they didn't reveal which headphones or which speakers they used, and most important is the study used "significant difference" at the .001 Standard Deviation level.  It is standard in such tests of perception to use the .05 level (or 95% confidence level) or the .10 level (a 90% confidence level).  No studies I've ever seen uses a 99.9% confidence level for statistical significance.

 

I looked at the numbers carefully and I didn't see any significant differences that random chance would not account for.

 

Here is Page 1 of that study.  I wasn't willing to sign up for a subscription to read the rest.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/40319018?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

 

Paul McGowen from PS Audio offers his opinion.  I find his comments more relevant and informative than the scientific study.

 

 

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One solution to the argument:

 

Spend a little time with your music to take out the abuse that causes people to dislike "digital".  I've found that it's actually not the format that people dislike about digital but rather the record company people involved and how they misuse the format.  Going around the real problem is also a lot cheaper than $10k to $20K phonograph setups and record cleaning gear.  I've also found that it sounds a lot better than the vinyl-specific mastering compression used to keep the needle in the groove, and also avoid all the harmonic and modulation distortion which is very pronounced with phonograph needles, and is something that PWK avoided at all costs in his loudspeaker designs.  A measurement of a 100 Hz reference tone on a good quality turntable, below:

 

1058329893_100HzReferenceTone--Phonograph.thumb.jpg.599740ac44b1d4227853b8d0345a7862.jpg

 

Also, you avoid wow, flutter, bass roll-off below 100 Hz, and frequency response degradation toward inner grooves, etc., as well as greatly increased background noise levels (i.e., low SNR) by instead using demastering CD tracks.

 

Chris

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5 hours ago, Chris A said:

a lot better than the vinyl-specific mastering compression used to keep the needle in the groove

 

A lot of today's mastering engineers pan all of the very low bass freq. to the center to keep the needle in the groove as well. I don't know if that was done in the past, but a lot of those mixing for digital and vinyl will do that. It makes sense that they would do that.

 

Bruce

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Fortunately, bass apparently gets very difficult to hear directionally below about 80-100 Hz unless the listening room is pretty large and the separation of the loudspeakers fairly great, I'm told. 

 

Toole talks about periodically being pulled into experiments and demos of LF directionality A-B tests, and remarked that they all turned out "inconclusive".

 

Chris

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17 hours ago, wvu80 said:

 ... and most important is the study used "significant difference" at the .001 Standard Deviation level.  It is standard in such tests of perception to use the .5 level (or 95% confidence level) or the .10 level (a 90% confidence level).  No studies I've ever seen uses a 99.9% confidence level for statistical significance ...

 

There may be a misplaced decimal point or two in converting probability to % 😌

 

They are reporting p levels, i.e., the probability, under those circumstances, of screwing up in a specific way, i.e., the probability of having made a Type I error.  The usual level people in social and behavioral science are happy with is a p of .05, i.e., 5 chances out of 100 [5%] of having made a Type I error, which, in this case would be to assert that there is a difference when, in fact, there is not.   As I think you meant to say, .01 is even better.  In their abstract, they report p < .001, (significance beyond the .001 level) or that there is less than 1 chance in 1,000 that they made a Type I error.  Of course, they still could have been wrong.  It is assumed that their experimental design was a good one,  that MANOVA [Multiple Analysis of Variance] was the appropriate statistical device to use to analyze the data, that they entered the data correctly ... and, if they were extraordinarily unlucky (1 in 1,000) they were wrong by fluke [or flatworm].   Very rare things do happen.  My great aunt lived to 103, back in 1984, and there was less than a .02% chance (< .0002) of her doing so.

 

I have seen several results that were p < .001.  Or much better.  A classic was the correlation between archived IQ and judged success in psychotherapy.  Of course, since this was merely a correlation, in both the mathematical sense and the research design sense, we can't aver causation, just that the two either go together ("significantly"), or they don't, under the conditions prevailing in the research.  Now, here's a hint: this was a huge study, involving archival data on more than 2,000 therapy clients.  Studies with such a large N are very sensitive to very small things (think of Klipschorns and watts) i.e., very small relationships.  A Pearson r correlation was done, and the r was tested for significance.  It ended up being very significant indeed, something like p < .00001, or less than one chance in 100,000 that it was a fluke or flatfish, with or without sauce.  To determine how much of the variability of judged psychotherapeutic outcomes was accounted for by the positive relationship, the (simplest) thing to do is to square the Pearson r.  The researchers did that, and got .024.  Then one needs to move the decimal point to convert it to percent, which gave them 2.4%.  So, even though the finding was very, very significant, only 2.4 % of the variation in psychotherapeutic outcomes could be attributed to client IQ.  As the researchers said (gleeful in spite of themselves), the results were very, very significant, but not very important.

 

Now, if I had told you that the Pearson r was only a little more than .15, I would have tipped my hand.  But, hopefully, it worked a little like 16:9 doesn't look all that much like 1.78:1. 😉

 

 

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8 hours ago, garyrc said:

There may be a misplaced decimal point or two in converting probability to % (respectful Snip!)

You are right of course, great explanation.  My statistics class was 35 years ago!

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I've continued my non-scientific experimentation and have a little more evidence on the importance of mastering vs medium. I have a copy of Led Zeppelin II that is a 1969 "hot master" by Bob Ludwig. Apparently, his mastering had more bass and range, which caused some records to skip when played on cheap equipment back in the day. Atlantic Records had it remastered to prevent people returning the record to the stores. I also have a 'regular' 1969 master, a MFSL Zep II, the new remastered vinyl, and an older CD of the same album. For the vinyl records, I tested with the audio equipment in the exact same setup (volume levels, etc) just swap the 4 different records. I had some friends listen without telling them which was what version or anything about them - just asked which sounded better to their ears. Guess which one?

 

1. The 1969 Bob Ludwig hot master! 100% unanimous opinion and a clear and obvious sound difference from the others. It sounds significantly richer, deeper, with more bass and punch. 

2. The MFSL pressing. It has good depth and quiet sections but not the same punch as the Ludwig. 

3. The new remastered record. I was surprised by this but it falls in between the MFSL master and the fourth place.

4. The 1969 regular master. I expected this to sound a little better, given that it is a pristine excellent condition copy. It sounds good but just flatter than the others. It seems quieter too but even adjusting for volume I think it lack the range of the others. 

?. The CD. It is just so much louder than the vinyl, in order to make it at all comparable I have to adjust the volume to make it similar to the vinyl but then it's really hard to compare. The quietness and cleanness of the empty sections of the music on a CD goes a long way to making it sound better. 

 

I was interested to see that everybody who listened to the records had the same opinion. I think this just goes to show that the mastering is more important than the medium. I'd love to have a Ludwig mastered CD - best of both worlds maybe. Interestingly, I found a 90s CD compilation of Ratt's greatest hits, which happens to be mastered by Bob Ludwig - and it sounds great. Too bad all the new music can't sound that good. 

 

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I was interested to see that everybody who listened to the records had the same opinion. I think this just goes to show that the mastering is more important than the medium. 
 

Yes, and as I’ve said before, Mark Waldrep from AIX records has written volumes on this topic. His email newsletter and book are fantastic. Highly recommended.

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I only have 1969 regular LP and new remastered record.

Between these two records I can concur with you on how they sound.

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On 7/5/2018 at 8:12 AM, sixsigma said:

. The 1969 Bob Ludwig hot master! 100% unanimous opinion and a clear and obvious sound difference from the others. It sounds significantly richer, deeper, with more bass and punch

If mastering was this good, I would replace at least half of my collection. 

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On 7/5/2018 at 10:12 AM, sixsigma said:

I've continued my non-scientific experimentation and have a little more evidence on the importance of mastering vs medium. I have a copy of Led Zeppelin II that is a 1969 "hot master" by Bob Ludwig. Apparently, his mastering had more bass and range, which caused some records to skip when played on cheap equipment back in the day. Atlantic Records had it remastered to prevent people returning the record to the stores. I also have a 'regular' 1969 master, a MFSL Zep II, the new remastered vinyl, and an older CD of the same album. For the vinyl records, I tested with the audio equipment in the exact same setup (volume levels, etc) just swap the 4 different records. I had some friends listen without telling them which was what version or anything about them - just asked which sounded better to their ears. Guess which one?

 

1. The 1969 Bob Ludwig hot master! 100% unanimous opinion and a clear and obvious sound difference from the others. It sounds significantly richer, deeper, with more bass and punch. 

2. The MFSL pressing. It has good depth and quiet sections but not the same punch as the Ludwig. 

3. The new remastered record. I was surprised by this but it falls in between the MFSL master and the fourth place.

4. The 1969 regular master. I expected this to sound a little better, given that it is a pristine excellent condition copy. It sounds good but just flatter than the others. It seems quieter too but even adjusting for volume I think it lack the range of the others. 

?. The CD. It is just so much louder than the vinyl, in order to make it at all comparable I have to adjust the volume to make it similar to the vinyl but then it's really hard to compare. The quietness and cleanness of the empty sections of the music on a CD goes a long way to making it sound better. 

 

I was interested to see that everybody who listened to the records had the same opinion. I think this just goes to show that the mastering is more important than the medium. I'd love to have a Ludwig mastered CD - best of both worlds maybe. Interestingly, I found a 90s CD compilation of Ratt's greatest hits, which happens to be mastered by Bob Ludwig - and it sounds great. Too bad all the new music can't sound that good. 

 

I found this for you I thought you might enjoy it, the Man, talking about pushing LZ II to the limits only to have Jerry Wexler's daughter take a test pressing to school and have it skip on the old Coronet.

 

 

He got confused, it was Wexler's daughter, it was Ahmet who called in dismay.

 

 

My order of preference on the versions I own are:

 

3.  Vinyl original issue mastered by Sterling Sound;

 

2.  Vinyl Classic Records reissue mastered by Bernie Grundman;

 

1.  R2R Ampex 7.5 IPS

 

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On 7/5/2018 at 10:12 AM, sixsigma said:

For the vinyl records, I tested with the audio equipment in the exact same setup (volume levels, etc) just swap the 4 different records. I had some friends listen without telling them which was what version or anything about them - just asked which sounded better to their ears. Guess which one?

That reminded me of this YouTube video floating around for some time, obviously limited by YouTube sound quality but for sure worth a listen.

 

 

 

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