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32blownhemi

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

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Hi Neil

 

Hanging in there, Pluto home prices have taken a hit, but I think its a still sound investment and now that the travel time has been cut down to approximately 9 1/5 years, it now really makes for a nice vacation if you have 18 or so years worth saved up.  Hope all is well with you. 

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I've wondered myself about getting the best quality.  I'm aware my computer setting can only be set to 24/192hz.  I have a large collection of FLAC and WAV but also DSD and DSF SACD and other hi res files and then i'm connected HDMI - GTX 970 GPU  to Marantz SR7007.   But, do i need a DAC? Or is the DAC in the Marantz good enough?  Will i need a DAC to get better than 24 bit quality?  If so, are there different DACs?  The ones i come across always make it seem like they are made primarily for head phones. 

So would i need PC HDMI to Marantz for video, USB from motherboard connected to asynchronous usb DAC which is then connected via rca to my Marantz?

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On 8/14/2017 at 9:08 PM, WMcD said:

MFSL made many other gold CD's and if Chris has run into them I'd love to hear comments.

There are many MFSL releases that are very good.  I've got probably a half dozen of them on CD and have had one or two on phonograph (which I gave to someone else over 20 years ago when I got the related MFSL CDs).   

 

One disc in particular stands out: the 1988 MFSL edition of Steely Dan's Aja (UDCD 515), which was apparently mastered by Steve Hoffman.  When I saw the power spectral density (PSD) curves of each of the tracks on this disc (otherwise known as "Plot Spectrum" views, or "purple mountains"), it became very clear how the recorded tracks on all albums tend to start out like (i.e., before mastering EQ is applied):

 

5995b499ab248_BlackCowFrequencyAnalysis(PSD).PNG.7e3195dfae41079b63c6bf15860e2d55.PNG

 

This disc gave me the insights that I needed to confirm my suspicions on demastering CDs.  I thank Steve Hoffman for that little bit of knowledge that's been so useful to date--about 1000 CDs demastered thus far.  Note that the EQ adjustments to the MFSL Aja disc were minimal, mostly restoring bass below 50 Hz.

 

Note that there are other very good CD labels out there: Sheffield Labs (Doug Sax), Digital Music Products (Flim & the BB's, etc.), Linn, and a few others requiring little if any demastering. 

 

Chris

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On 8/13/2017 at 4:52 PM, Chris A said:

But the economy of old phonograph records is only affordable after you amortize the cost of the extremely expensive turntables, arms, and cartridges (albeit with limited stylus life--which is not relevant to digital downloads or digital players).  These high-cost turntables/arms/cartridges are typical of that which audiophiles usually accept for their "high quality playback". 

 

It's the trip back down memory lane that seems to be the biggest drawing card to phonograph records, and there is nothing wrong with that.  But I personally wouldn't ever take a vinyl format over a lossless digital format because of the loss of transparency and fidelity inherent in the vinyl format itself--as experienced by my own measurements and listening, apparently echoed in Floyd Toole's experiences, above.

OK Chris, no matter how much I respect you, and I very much do, I must invoke the dreaded and penultimate "Triple Bullshit: Button", heretofore used only once long ago in the mists of time in a thread discussing Bose 901's.

 

Sad, sad, sad.

 

Shame, shame shame.

 

As I type this I'm listening RTM to Dylan's sonic wonder, the soundtrack to his very bad movie, sonic nirvana, compilation,

"Masked and Anonymous"

 

This came out on cd and was re-issued on wax and if you think that I'm listening to the vinyl version out of nostalgia, you are sadly mistaken, because the vinyl kills, and I do mean kills, the cd version, both of which I've listened to probably a hundred times apiece on various gear.

 

Put that aside for the nonce. Are you so contemptuous of your fellow vinyl loving audiophiles on this forum that would simply dismiss them as a bunch of nostalgic dunces incapable of discerning a b flat from a c sharp, a distorted mess from a full spectrum presentation.

 

I've said t his before, you want complicated , forget vinyl playback, open up a cd player, which, gee has also has a motor spinning  the playback. Or better yet open up a computer if you are into streaming.

 

But thebes, computers have packet streaming so no chance of error, plus it's modern stuff built in China where nothing ever goes amiss.

 

If steaming playback was so perfect why do I regularly get pixillated ghost images on my tv . Why when I'm steaming and the playback chokes  over bandwidth, download speeds, network traffic etc. does my screen go momentarily dim and the video and sound lurches. Gosh that  stuff couldn't possibly be happening to my vaunted zeros and ones which are more perfect than the nascent ice crystals from the last ice age, which were corrupted by analogue creatures.

 

Come to think of it, I evoke quad, druple BS.

 

As I type this my mouse is moving around the keyboard, a victim of random something or other on the internet, the god of steamers, a larger false god there may never be.

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Thebes, are you trying to stream over dial-up? We have gigabit to our homes here and rarely do things go awry. Perhaps no more often than a cat hair drifting onto a spinning platter of Abbey Road. A dust bunny that one of the twins might have missed.

 

Bruce

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8 hours ago, thebes said:

I'm listening...to Dylan's sonic wonder, the soundtrack to his very bad movie, sonic nirvana, compilation, "Masked and Anonymous"...because the vinyl kills, and I do mean kills, the cd version, both of which I've listened to probably a hundred times apiece on various gear.

 

I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't listen more than once.  I wouldn't use that artist's recordings as the basis of rating hi-fi formats.  Perhaps Auto-Tune might help...perhaps not. 

 

Maybe @seti might give us his opinion on that subject...once he clears his nose of coffee.

 

Chris

 

 

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12 hours ago, Marvel said:

Thebes, are you trying to stream over dial-up? We have gigabit to our homes here and rarely do things go awry. Perhaps no more often than a cat hair drifting onto a spinning platter of Abbey Road. A dust bunny that one of the twins might have missed.

 

Bruce

Sorry Bruce, but I have FIOS with the latest router gizmo at 50k something-or-other. If computers weren't so quirky they wouldn't have to patch the software seemingly every other day.

 

 Plus everybody knows the occasional stray cat hair adds nuance to the music.

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5 hours ago, Chris A said:

 

I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't listen more than once.  I wouldn't use that artist's recordings as the basis of rating hi-fi formats.  Perhaps Auto-Tune might help...perhaps not. 

 

Maybe @seti might give us his opinion on that subject...once he clears his nose of coffee.

 

Chris

 

 

Hey Chris, sounds like you are not a Dylan fan.  Please be aware that except for four songs by Dylan, the rest of the album's 14 tracks are covers done by various artists. Give a listen sometime, you'll thank me. Also, Dylan's four piece band is killer on his four songs.  Try out his version of "Dixie" if you doubt me.

 

Finally don't forget that Dylan has always recorded through Columbia Records, and they do actually know a bit about proper recording techniques.  In Dylan's early days Mitch Miller (Sing Along With Mitch), if you can believe it, was in charge of the recording end of Columbia.

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On 8/17/2017 at 11:29 AM, Chris A said:

Note that there are other very good CD labels out there: Sheffield Labs (Doug Sax), Digital Music Products (Flim & the BB's, etc.), Linn, and a few others requiring little if any demastering. 

Don't forget Chesky Records and that label that does the killer 1812  Overture whose name escapes me at the moment.

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1 hour ago, thebes said:

...don't forget that Dylan has always recorded through Columbia Records

I haven't forgotten: he's a much better songwriter than performer, and that's okay because it tends to go that way. 

 

58 minutes ago, thebes said:

Don't forget Chesky Records and that label that does the killer 1812  Overture

I didn't forget Chesky--I just didn't include them in the list. They don't belong there, IMO.  Try demastering some of their albums--particularly Rebecca Pidgeon and Sara K--and you will find some things that you probably didn't want to know. 

 

Even Telarc has some real issues, such as limiting and compressing classical recordings: I've had to significantly de-clip Telarc classical recordings before, and that permanently turned my opinion from their products.  Perhaps that's why they went belly up.

 

All of the labels use independent (third party) mastering studios--so it's a function of that studio plus the exact A&R person controlling the production at the label that counts (and it usually doesn't get very good even then). 

 

Chris

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On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 5:44 PM, thebes said:

This came out on cd and was re-issued on wax and if you think that I'm listening to the vinyl version out of nostalgia, you are sadly mistaken, because the vinyl kills, and I do mean kills, the cd version, both of which I've listened to probably a hundred times apiece on various gear.

 

Apples and oranges. I'm certain that the vinyl and CD you speak of can each trace their ancestry back to different masters, and therein hangs the tale. You can't use the differences you hear between a CD and an LP of a recording of unknown provenance to extrapolate differences in the capabilities of the two hardware/software formats.

 

If you were to take the same master recording (analog or digital) and create the best-sounding CD that is possible from it and the best-sounding LP that is possible from it, and then were to compare each with the original master recording using the best possible respective playback devices, the CD would sound closer to the master recording than would the LP. Nine out of nine times.

 

The LP mastering process involves more compromises and the LP creation process involves more steps than does the CD mastering process and CD creation process. Just talk with any experienced LP mastering engineer about the kind of compromises they must apply to a master recording with wide dynamic range and considerable bass content (such as a piano concerto) in order to create a master disk that will yield playable and listenable commercial LPs from it. And then look at all the different physical processes involved in turning that master disk into a commercial LP, each of which yields a copy that's just that much further removed from sounding like the original master disk, which is already many steps removed from sounding identical to the original master recording.

 

On the other hand, if the original master recording was digital, the entire CD disc production process, if carefully done, produces a playable CD with information that is identical to the original master recording — identical, not a copy. Any changes introduced by the decoding process within the playback device are infinitesimal in comparison to the changes introduced during the LP mastering/production process. And if the original master recording was analog, the encoding process that must be added at the beginning of the process introduces changes that are likewise as infinitesimal as those introduced by the decoding process when compared with the changes introduced during the entire LP mastering/production process.

 

You may like the way LPs sound better than you like the way CDs sound, but the LP format is simply not capable of the same faithfulness to an original master recording as is the CD format. And that's where nostalgia enters.

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On 8/19/2017 at 5:06 AM, Chris A said:

 

I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't listen more than once.  I wouldn't use that artist's recordings as the basis of rating hi-fi formats.  Perhaps Auto-Tune might help...perhaps not. 

 

Maybe @seti might give us his opinion on that subject...once he clears his nose of coffee.

 

Chris

 

 

 

I've been enjoying a new Breville Espresso Machine which has cut out all Starbucks visits. It makes great Espesso at home. Can't recommend them enough. They are expensive but I was spending alot more than the machine cost at Starbucks. 

 

I've become a source *****. I'll try anything.  My order of preference is vinyl, cd, but testing any digital streaming sources even youtube. I'm surprised how good some youtube hd audio sources actually are. Are there any hd audio streaming sources available that someone would recommend? The quality of modern vinyl reissues has me spinning more vinyl than ever. I am however working on a a preamp solely for digital and streaming sources which should be interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, seti said:

 

I've been enjoying a new Breville Espresso Machine which has cut out all Starbucks visits. It makes great Espesso at home. Can't recommend them enough. They are expensive but I was spending alot more than the machine cost at Starbucks. 

 

I've become a source *****. I'll try anything.  My order of preference is vinyl, cd, but testing any digital streaming sources even youtube. I'm surprised how good some youtube hd audio sources actually are. Are there any hd audio streaming sources available that someone would recommend? The quality of modern vinyl reissues has me spinning more vinyl than ever. I am however working on a a preamp solely for digital and streaming sources which should be interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I almost spend that for coffee..

for home use....Breville Espresso Machine did you get good deal on it

 

 

 

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When our prior super automatic machine died over a year ago, I went searching and found this Delonghi machine.  It was a definite step up from the Capresso C1000 we used for over ten years, about two thirds the prior machine's size, and about the same cost ratio as the first machine.  It makes really good coffee and espresso...and is much easier to clean. 

 

41Adk0C8hhL._SX466_.jpg

 

Chris

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Do you mean "expresso"? ;)

 

So many are confused by this.  The best expresso machine attaches to this.

 

 

IMG_0208.JPG

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Ref:

 

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6 hours ago, DizRotus said:

Do you mean "expresso"? ;)

 

So many are confused by this.  The best expresso machine attaches to this.

 

 

IMG_0208.JPG

no that's sexpresso

 

 

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