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post #91 of 126 Old 04-20-2007, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WallyWest View Post

What's so frustrating about this is that CD's can sound very good. Is it a perfect solution? Probably not, but it's not bad. Unfortunately most CD's simply don't sound all that good. Given what we know about playback it seems very unlikely that the problem exists in our systems.

Well, the room, speakers and number of channels do add to the problem.


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Originally Posted by WallyWest View Post

It's the same problem the audio industry has had all along. Mixing and mastering. IMO a well mastered CD sounds great. Like everyone else who has a large collection I have a handful of CD's that really shine. The rest are just average. It seems that either mastering is really hard, or very few people care enough to do it right.

I don't believe this is due to the digital format in general, or the fact that I don't have a $10,000 CD player. Digital is just fine if it's used properly. In the end people like us are stuck in the same old situation. We spend countless hours and lots of money building a nice audio system, and then find that we're still at the mercy of people making mediocre recordings.

It cannot be the digital format if some of those CDs really shine. It is indeed in mastering, what the producer wants or cares about and what the market demands. Us audio folks are a small market force, hence the amount of CD compression is unreal.

If a few CDs can have 78dB dynamic range, why cannot they all do that?
Well, what good is that in a car when the noise floor is about 60 or more dB? Radio stations don't want dynamics?
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post #92 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

No, I'm saying unless you can ensure a level playing field with respect to output levels, your ability to differntiate is severely hampered

ah, I see what you're saying- you would want to have each player's output level-matched to fairly discern the differences (whether very minor or very obvious).
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post #93 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyWest View Post

What's so frustrating about this is that CD's can sound very good. Is it a perfect solution? Probably not, but it's not bad. Unfortunately most CD's simply don't sound all that good.

I'll still take a decent mastered CD over record albums (vinyl), turntables, record cleaners (DiscWasher), zero-stat's, scratches, etc.,..anyday. Even if vinyl exhibits a "warm" characteristic, they are just a messy (f*cking) hassle if you ask me. I grew up during the late 60's, 70's, and into the 80's, so I got to experience the complete transition (like many of us) from (analog) LP's to the CD (digital age). I think only now we are able to discern the differences in recording/mastering quality of most CD's because we have been used to this technology (format), and equipment is better.

Remember using that "fat" spindle so you can stack 45's in your desired order?
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post #94 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post

We might start with the work of Nyquist and Shannon who originally proved sampled data systems work. But from there, the devil is in the details.

I had to study some of their work for my Networking Specialization, as you can imagine, since their work is integral to transportation of voice over digital networks. Fun stuff...

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post #95 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

Well, this time around, 'hi rez' audio is being hitched to 'hi def' video, which really does look different (better) than standard def video, when done right. So 'hi rez' may finally become ubiquitous simply by virtue of riding the wagon train of technology that really DOES make a signficant perceptual difference. Yippy-yi-yo-ki-yay!

Those instances of high resolution audio aren't as controversial, because they replace lossy algorithms used on DVDs.

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post #96 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 05:01 AM
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May I recommend a nice steak at Gallaghers?

No thank you, we love Ben Benson's Steakhouse.

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post #97 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Argue? We are having a friendly discussion Disagreeing is not arguing

From the dictionary I keep on the computer :

Argument .. Discussion in which there is a disagreement; dispute; debate

Argue .. To give reasons for and against; discuss; debate

This is the context I wish to use for the word.

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post #98 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

I read an interview with the chief recording engineer for Delos, a few years ago, where he indicated that the highest dynamic range he ever found thus far on a classical recording was 78dB. That is a long way from 96
Then, as you indicate, room noise floor at home, 30dB perhaps? You add 96 and you have a 126 dB spl in the home. Wonderful.

Earlier you also touched upon audio compression to bring what's there into conformance with the extended dynamic range of the recording medium. I think thats a reasonable thing to do .. limit the dynamic range of the source to about 80 dB. That way, more of those precious 16 bits come into use to define the average waveform amplitude.

This would raise the sensitivity to the ambient sound level but might not be a bad consequence because we now capture the nuances that characterize the ambiance of the recording hall.

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post #99 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

Those instances of high resolution audio aren't as controversial, because they replace lossy algorithms used on DVDs.

Though I have to wonder how many people can *really* hear a difference between DTS 24/96 and lossless.
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post #100 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post

From the dictionary I keep on the computer :

Argument .. Discussion in which there is a disagreement; dispute; debate

Argue .. To give reasons for and against; discuss; debate

This is the context I wish to use for the word.

--- CHAS


Oh, ok
What does it say about discuss?
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post #101 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post

Earlier you also touched upon audio compression to bring what's there into conformance with the extended dynamic range of the recording medium. I think thats a reasonable thing to do .. limit the dynamic range of the source to about 80 dB. That way, more of those precious 16 bits come into use to define the average waveform amplitude.

This would raise the sensitivity to the ambient sound level but might not be a bad consequence because we now capture the nuances that characterize the ambiance of the recording hall.

--- CHAS


My reference above about compression was to the CDs that compress to almost nill, no dynamic range. I have seen segments of signals on such CDs, compared to some classical. Not a pretty picture.
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post #102 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 12:10 PM
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Here is an article I haven't seen in a few years: http://www.cdmasteringservices.com/dynamicdeath.htm

You can't do that with DSD I believe (unless you take an already altered signal, like the ones they post, and turn it into DSD after the fact), as the bits would run too close together or too far apart to be processed any longer (also, the extended dynamic range on SACD would give much more room before hitting the ceiling). Unfortunately, you can do it to DVD-A and other related PCM formats fairly easily, e.g. if you have ever compared some DVD-As that have a 96KHz and 192KHz tracks, some engineers have actually turned up the gain in this exact manner even on DVD-As, I would assume in order to make it appear that the change in sampling is making the music louder (lousy ethics, really - I would say they are using less companding, but both 96 KHz and 192 KHz share the same 24 bit dynamic range resolution).

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post #103 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

Here is an article I haven't seen in a few years: http://www.cdmasteringservices.com/dynamicdeath.htm

You can't do that with DSD I believe (unless you take an already altered signal, like the ones they post, and turn it into DSD after the fact), as the bits would run too close together or too far apart to be processed any longer (also, the extended dynamic range on SACD would give much more room before hitting the ceiling). Unfortunately, you can do it to DVD-A and other related PCM formats fairly easily, e.g. if you have ever compared some DVD-As that have a 96KHz and 192KHz tracks, some engineers have actually turned up the gain in this exact manner even on DVD-As, I would assume in order to make it appear that the change in sampling is making the music louder (lousy ethics, really - I would say they are using less companding, but both 96 KHz and 192 KHz share the same 24 bit dynamic range resolution).


Is that link working for you? Cannot get anything.

Talking about lousy ethics, an interesting article by Edward J. Foster, "Super Audio CD Evolutionary or Revolutionary? Audio, Nov 1999, page 40-47.
A demo of SACD by Sony and they were caught red handed to make it sound better: "When I pushed the point, the engineers admitted to adding a bit of reverb and otherwise toying around to make the sound 'more natural.'

Another interesting article on SACD by David Rich in the Nov 2000 issue of Stereophile.

By the way, that quote from Lord Kelvin shows a comma. Is there more to it? More to the story and perhaps an qualification? But, even if nothing, science doesn't close the book on anything.
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post #104 of 126 Old 04-21-2007, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Is that link working for you? Cannot get anything.

Talking about lousy ethics, an interesting article by Edward J. Foster, "Super Audio CD Evolutionary or Revolutionary? Audio, Nov 1999, page 40-47.
A demo of SACD by Sony and they were caught red handed to make it sound better: "When I pushed the point, the engineers admitted to adding a bit of reverb and otherwise toying around to make the sound 'more natural.'

Another interesting article on SACD by David Rich in the Nov 2000 issue of Stereophile.

By the way, that quote from Lord Kelvin shows a comma. Is there more to it? More to the story and perhaps an qualification? But, even if nothing, science doesn't close the book on anything.

The link works fine for me.

Yeah, those SACD articles are all old news. I agree, it is unethical.

As far as the Lord Kelvin quote, I made a typo and I'll correct it after I finish this post.

Here are some more quotes by Lord Kelvin: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/heav...le/384814.html I'll add another favorite quote to my signature as well, with a link attached to a good lecture by Stephen Hawking.

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post #105 of 126 Old 04-22-2007, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

The link works fine for me.

Yeah, those SACD articles are all old news. I agree, it is unethical.

As far as the Lord Kelvin quote, I made a typo and I'll correct it after I finish this post.

Here are some more quotes by Lord Kelvin: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/heav...le/384814.html I'll add another favorite quote to my signature as well, with a link attached to a good lecture by Stephen Hawking.


Thanks for the link Just shows you that even they made silly statements

I just went back and the link works now

Exactly correct. The recording is void of dynamics so we can wish for a 96dB dynamic range on a CD, or more, yet, no one is recording, it seems, anywhere close. Some seem to have zero.
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post #106 of 126 Old 04-22-2007, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

Thanks for the link Just shows you that even they made silly statements

"Nobody is perfect", as the saying goes.

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post #107 of 126 Old 04-23-2007, 10:44 AM
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I think we had a drive by posting.

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post #108 of 126 Old 04-23-2007, 01:04 PM
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Do you know the origin of the 'dice with the universe' quote Queue? Think Albert was right on this one?

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #109 of 126 Old 04-23-2007, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

You mean there are opinions left that have not been beaten to death yet?
Or, you just don't want any disagreements in posts, just support?

No, I understand people's opinions and accept them for what they think. Dont you think it is funny, everytime someones posts about upgrading there DAC or CD player, it turns into opinion fest about wether the CD players sound different or you should just buy a $100 because they sound all the same...

From another post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CETA
I went with the Rega Saturn.

I was going to tell you not to waste your money on an expensive CD player, but apparently I am too late. You could have gotten the same sound quality for under $200.
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post #110 of 126 Old 04-23-2007, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Do you know the origin of the 'dice with the universe' quote Queue?

Yes.

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Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Think Albert was right on this one?

I like what Stephen Hawking has to say in the link I provided that is attached to the quote, as it provides a great synopsis of the evolution of determinism and its recent dead-end. I'm by no means a physicist, though I've taken physics, read Einstein, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, etc, for entertainment.

To answer your question. No, I don't think Einstein was right. At least not within the scientific frame of reference to which that quote is pertinent, relatively speaking.

As far as metaphysically speaking, I think that is a different crap shoot. On the one hand, God supposedly gave us "free will", which would be an example of "rolling the dice with the universe." On the other hand, God is omniscient and exists beyond time, which would mean that God knows, and exists at, the beginning and the end of the universe and knows, and exists at, everywhere in-between as well. Thus, God knows the outcomes already, yet he/she/it throws the dice anyway. It is a paradox, and if there is anything I've learned in my limited life experience, truth at its core is usually paradoxical.

I personally feel that, free will is the illusion of separation from God (as conveyed metaphorically in stories like Genesis). IMO, the further we separate from God, the more meaningless the universe appears to be. I also like to entertain the idea that infinite probable realities are realized, so that every branch of existence is taken and no leaf is left unturned (hahaha, couldn't resist the metaphor...). Ultimately, in all things I have to concede to Socrates' proverb, "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."

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post #111 of 126 Old 04-24-2007, 05:10 AM
 
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Careful. I was suspended for bringing up religion on this forum. You guys are on thin ice.
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post #112 of 126 Old 04-24-2007, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh9269 View Post

No, I understand people's opinions and accept them for what they think. Dont you think it is funny, everytime someones posts about upgrading there DAC or CD player, it turns into opinion fest about wether the CD players sound different or you should just buy a $100 because they sound all the same...

From another post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CETA
I went with the Rega Saturn.

I was going to tell you not to waste your money on an expensive CD player, but apparently I am too late. You could have gotten the same sound quality for under $200.


No, it is not funny but expected that there will be at least two different opinions on these boards that don't limit expressions as some do, AA for one.
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post #113 of 126 Old 04-26-2007, 12:52 PM
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I was under the impression that all current music is recorded and mastered at 20 bits minimum, so why are we talking about 16 bit recordings?

"The truth is out there!"
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post #114 of 126 Old 04-26-2007, 01:41 PM
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But the playback medium (CD) encountered by the subject of this thread -- CD DACs -- is 16bit. That's what we're talking about.
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post #115 of 126 Old 04-28-2007, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob_coulter View Post

I was hoping to get an explanation about cd players and their sound quality.

I would think with the CD format being around as long as it has, why don't all cd players now sound the same?

It would seem to me that a string of 1's and 0's should have an assigned "sound" to them, and this assigned "sound" should be consistent for every cd player. I thought that was the beauty of digital.

It seems that the technology to convert the digital data into an analog signal is easily and cheaply manufactured. A $100 processor for a simple desktop PC would be complete overkill to handle the duties of playing a CD.

I can buy a cd rom drive for $20 for my computer, and I get no errors. The software I use on the computer is not affected in any way by the CD Rom drive I use, the information I see on the monitor is identical regardless of the drive I use. Is CD playback different?

Unless the expensive CD players are adding some sort of "color" to the music, shouldn't every CD player sound the same? Do the expensive CD players, (i.e. $5,000) just have less errors, thus sound better?

I just thought I would ask people in a forum that knew more about this than I did.



The title to this thread relates to DAC's used in a CD player. You then compare a CD player to a cd rom drive. That comparison indicates a basic misunderstanding of the subject of this thread.

All CD players do sound the same if you use the digital outputs (AKA use it as a transport). The DAC's that are used for this type of playback connection are located in the A/V receiver (or equal) when you use the digital output of the CD player.

Now if you use the DAC's in a CD player, then you must use the analog audio outputs. Therefore, some of the same arguments that apply to the way a receiver sounds will apply to a CD player.

If you are talking about SACD or DVD-A (as compared with CD's), the CD player's DAC's are used because you are indeed using the CD player's internal DAC's when you use the analog output (multi channel SACD).

I bring this up because not everyone is talking about the same thing (as usual).
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post #116 of 126 Old 04-29-2007, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass View Post

All CD players do sound the same if you use the digital outputs (AKA use it as a transport).

Do they?
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post #117 of 126 Old 04-29-2007, 06:29 AM
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do this experiment:

use your cd player as transport, meaning output digital signal and use an external dac, play the same song twice. once with the cd player sitting on the shelf with original feet and second place your cd player on a cushion or pillow.

just to check if difference in vibration damping may alter digital output

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post #118 of 126 Old 04-29-2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpu8088 View Post

do this experiment:

use your cd player as transport, meaning output digital signal and use an external dac, play the same song twice. once with the cd player sitting on the shelf with original feet and second place your cd player on a cushion or pillow.

just to check if difference in vibration damping may alter digital output


Why do I need an external DAC to do this test. Are you suggesting there is a also playback problem with microphonics caused by the vibration from the mechanical elements in an all-in-one player? But I guess an external DAC would eliminate that as a variable.

Near the beginning of the discussion (post #5) I described a test that was conducted at the audio society to understand errors recovering the bits. We had to physically damage a disk to detect errors.

One of the listeners commented that when a player is 'working hard' to correct errors, the sound might be altered. So we tried various dampers, stacking disks, painting the disk edges with anti-reflective paint and who knows what else. The consensus was these measures produced no audible difference.

The CD error correcting scheme (Reed-Soloman Coding) works as advertised.

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post #119 of 126 Old 04-29-2007, 11:34 AM
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well your test was done in the 90s.

we are now in the 20s cant you do such a simple experiment again at home with your own ears?

there are lots here who did not attend the 90s test or read their report

guarantee the experiment will have no harm to your equipment, cd or your ears

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post #120 of 126 Old 04-29-2007, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
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we are now in the 20s cant you do such a simple experiment again at home with your own ears?

guarantee the experiment will have no harm to your equipment, cd or your ears



How about if the CD player tips off of the pillow and falls onto the floor?

I placed pillows over my ears, and that did make the CD player sound different!
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