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View Poll Results: Do You Consider Yourself an Audiophile?
Yes, it's the right word for the job 95 53.07%
No, it's an antiquated term 84 46.93%
Voters: 179. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-2014, 01:14 PM
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I am an audiophile.  I think, perhaps, one must establish that audiophilia and equipment enthusiasm are mutually exclusive concepts, and while being an audiophile often drives the equipment enthusiast to consistently pursue equipment upgrades, we should realize that being an equipment enthusiast is not a prerequisite for being an audiophile.  My first system was a $350 Panasonic HTIB back in the early 2000's; nobody had the right to tell me I was not an audiophile because my equipment was what many consider low-end. I spent years honing my love for the music-listening experience on that Panasonic HTIB.  Fast forward 8 years, and I have equipment that I did'nt know existed back then.  I honestly thought HTIB's were as good as it got, until I stumbled onto Cnet's Show Us Yours showcase in 2006 and my life changed forever. As I look back, I still fondly remember myself as an audiophile, listening to music out of love for the experience, without knowing that the term "audiophile" existed.  

 

Is there something wrong with playing an iTunes download on a $20,000 speaker pair?  I do it, and I dare someone to tell me I'm wrong. Not every great song has a high-resolution version; furthermore, not every great song is worth purchasing an entire Redbook CD for.  I believe being an audiophile is about getting the best sound reproduction out of the most practical song format available with the best equipment you, as an individual, can afford desire to spend money on.  Don't get me started on movie soundtracks, becasue that's a whole other can of worms.

 

Long live the love of audio!!!

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Old 01-06-2014, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeemouse View Post

Dynamic range compression can certainly be performed on a master prior to releasing on vinyl.


For example, the 2001 vinyl of 'The White Stripes' is apparently worse than the original CD, and heavily compressed. 

http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=white+stripes&search_album=white+stripes

What about this one? http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=Black+Sabbath&search_album=13

This one http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=Eminem&search_album=encore

and this one; http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=Metallica&search_album=Load

The list goes on! Most of the time the vinyl releases are more dynamic than CD. Sure there are odd ball releases, like the one you mentioned, but over all they are more dynamic.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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Old 01-06-2014, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

I am an audiophile.  I think, perhaps, one must establish that audiophilia and equipment enthusiasm are mutually exclusive concepts, and while being an audiophile often drives the equipment enthusiast to consistently pursue equipment upgrades, we should realize that being an equipment enthusiast is not a prerequisite for being an audiophile.  My first system was a $350 Panasonic HTIB back in the early 2000's; nobody had the right to tell me I was not an audiophile because my equipment was what many consider low-end. I spent years honing my love for the music-listening experience on that Panasonic HTIB.  Fast forward 8 years, and I have equipment that I did'nt know existed back then.  I honestly thought HTIB's were as good as it got, until I stumbled onto Cnet's Show Us Yours showcase in 2006 and my life changed forever. As I look back, I still fondly remember myself as an audiophile, listening to music out of love for the experience, without knowing that the term "audiophile" existed.  

Is there something wrong with playing an iTunes download on a $20,000 speaker pair?  I do it, and I dare someone to tell me I'm wrong. Not every great song has a high-resolution version; furthermore, not every great song is worth purchasing an entire Redbook CD for.  I believe being an audiophile is about getting the best sound reproduction out of the most practical song format available with the best equipment you, as an individual, can afford desire to spend money on.  Don't get me started on movie soundtracks, becasue that's a whole other can of worms.

Long live the love of audio!!!

iTunes quality is not as bad as everybody says it is. As a matter of fact I prefer my "Animals" album on iTunes vs my old vinyl! I also have a MP3 of Dark Side of the Moon, that came with my vinyl, and can't tell a difference.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:48 PM
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Absolutely!

I,too, am an Audiophile (and proud of it). I want the best possible gear that brings out the best music in my collection.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:55 PM
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The word means whatever you want it to mean.

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Old 01-06-2014, 08:29 PM
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The word means whatever you want it to mean.

Ha Seinfeld reference.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:38 AM
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"If you find yourself buying the same album over and over again, on different formats.....you might be an Audiophile"

"If your stereo equipment costs more than your car....you might be an Audiophile"

/Jeff Foxworthy.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post



iTunes quality is not as bad as everybody says it is. As a matter of fact I prefer my "Animals" album on iTunes vs my old vinyl! I also have a MP3 of Dark Side of the Moon, that came with my vinyl, and can't tell a difference.



I think PF's music is some of the better downloads on iTunes, and the fact that the band is very picky about "their sound"
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:29 AM
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I know the perfect example of someone who is not an audiophile....

I have a friend who claims that she hears nothing different from the crappy speakers built into her TV compared to my Paradigm bookshelves that I had when we were living together in college.

Atleast not enough to consider speakers worth actually buying.....

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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Old 01-07-2014, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post

If not believing something is a belief, then not collecting stamps is a hobby. (it isn't. Atheism is not a religion, at all. The lack of belief is not at all equivalent to a belief in something else. Atheists believe things, but belief in concepts is not the same as religion, which is an organized belief system that rejects facts and scientific scrutiny as its basis. Atheists also believe nonsense, to wit : many of them think vinyl sounds better)

My point was apt, because anachronists who believe vinyl confers better sound, despite being inferior in every way are only "audiophiles" in the sense that they love distorted audio, not high fidelity audio. People love distortion, tube amps, wah wah pedals, all that stuff, it's very popular. But it's the opposite of high-fidelity, and so they cannot claim to love high-fidelity audio with a straight face, since the science proves them wrong incontrovertibly, and the onus is on them to explain why higher levels of distortion is actually better, despite being, by definition, worse. So, a contradiction ensues, and thus most "audiophiles" can only keep that designation with air quotes.

Belief without evidence required, is what religion is based on. Which is the same as belief that 2000$ power cables improve the sound, since there is no scientific evidence to support it, the default assumption, that there is no difference in sound quality (the null hypothesis), is what most people would assume, lacking evidence. Extraordinary claims, such as that paying huge amounts on cables confers a measurable difference in distortion or even audible differences (which is the only rational thing that should matter to human listeners) between gear, require evidence to support them. Otherwise it's just made up, and worse than anachronistic, it's downright absurd.

All claims that aren't backed up with scientific evidence (i.e. are falsifiable, but not proven false), should be ignored. People believe all kinds of nonsense, the only thing that should be matter is whether those statements are, in fact, true. Truth matters too. And one can discriminate between true claims and false claims. The claim that any piece of gear improves the sound should be measurable and reproducible, otherwise it's untrue. Allowing people to make false claims unchallenged is not in my nature, as a scientist and an (actual) audiophile. I used to work at a nightclub with one of the best-rated analog sound systems in the world (Stereo, in Montreal), and though everyone there was enthralled by vinyl due to some romantic/delusional ideas about 70s audio recording technology, I put on a CD of Shostakovitch string quartets on the line-in and it was cleaner, more dynamic, and better than any record I'd ever heard there in the years that I worked there. Belief in absurd things actually hurts progress. The system sounded better with higher dynamic range and lower noise CD source, than any compressed vynil that I'd heard. The multi-million dollar system could have sounded far better by simply using better sound sources, which you could buy across the street at the local hardware store (any cheap CD player can reproduce CDs perfectly fine and accurately, and be better than a typical vinyl recording, especially on well-mastered material available on both formats). The same exact string quartet on a record player did not sound nearly as good, it was poppy and full of noise and sounded muted and tame. Borodin String Quartets and other highly dynamic music like orchestras demand CDs, there is simply no comparison between the two.

So no, despite their repeated claims to the contrary, if we're using the definition of audiophile as being someone who enjoys high fidelity sound, vinyl lovers are not actually audiophiles according to that definition, since they could easily be listening to superior sound every day for far less cost, and thus purchase more music and even with the money saved, go out and see more live shows and concerts. It's a huge money drain. The smart consumer values where they place their money. If you'd ask me what I'd rather do, buy a huge collection of old, crappy-recorded music on vinyl, or listen to cheaper, better, cleaner audio on CD, and with the money saved go out and buy more music, I think the answer is obvious. Not true audiophile would rather less music, at worse quality, than more music, at better quality, with cheaper prices too (and longer durability with infinite replayability).

There is much in your post I don't agree with, both in terms of audio and other things. But it does lead me to think about how subjective things are with regard to audio. For that reason, I won't disparage anyone for having a different view, nor convince them mine is right, on things audio. The myriad of responses to the OP's question shows how differently many think about the term "audiophile." I am one according to the OP's definition. But I am not, based upon how I think of the word. My thinking is, in large part, the result of what i've been exposed to and the context within which I encounter the term "audiophile." One thing is clear: having the latest and greatest gear is not necessary.

A debate over whether vinyl sounds better than CD seems unresolvable: some think it does, some don't; I suspect they use different criteria to come to their respective conclusions. A definition of terms is crucial; what, for example, is "high fidelity"? Is there an objective standard, or does this depend upon individual impressions? If the goal is to get as close to the original sound as possible, I could agree with that. But my interest in doing so doesn't quite rise to the level of a passion. I will always have a cutoff point, when I don't regard the pursuit as necessary for my enjoyment, regardless of whether I can afford to do more.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post



Is "audiophile" still the best term to describe an audio enthusiast?

If you go by the dictionary definition, it would seem to be. However, some people reject the term and feel that it is outdated or worse—that audiophiles are actually audio fools.

That's why my question is: Do you consider yourself an audiophile?

 

I think "audiophile" is a fine term.  The reason why it is associated with audio fools is because some audio enthusiasts (to use your expression) are fools who try (and believe in) crazy things to achieve good sound.  If people stopped using the term "audiophile", and substituted some other word or phrase, the association with audio fools will come to whatever term is used.  That is because some who love audio gear are, in fact, stupid fools who try crazy things and believe crazy things.  There is no getting around that fact, and the crazies often draw the biggest attention.  So changing to some new word would not really change anything at all.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:46 PM
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I think PF's music is some of the better downloads on iTunes, and the fact that the band is very picky about "their sound"

That's what makes PF so good. Dark Side of the Moon sounds better than most of the new releases I hear today.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post



That's what makes PF so good. Dark Side of the Moon sounds better than most of the new releases I hear today.



I very much agree with you and pretty much everything that comes out of Abbey Road stands the test of time.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post



What about this one? http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/index.php?search_artist=Black+Sabbath&search_album=13

The list goes on! Most of the time the vinyl releases are more dynamic than CD. Sure there are odd ball releases, like the one you mentioned, but over all they are more dynamic.

Actually, we can't use DR scores for vinyl records for comparative purposes, because they are always artificially boosted by widely varying amounts -- you would need to subtract at least 6 points from vinyl DR scores to be even roughly (very roughly) compared to a CD's DR score. Some more information is available here. (Ignore the argumentative discussion, focus on posts #1 and #57 and #122. Oh, and #128)

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Old 01-07-2014, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tnargs View Post

Actually, we can't use DR scores for vinyl records for comparative purposes, because they are always artificially boosted by widely varying amounts -- you would need to subtract at least 6 points from vinyl DR scores to be even roughly (very roughly) compared to a CD's DR score. Some more information is available here. (Ignore the argumentative discussion, focus on posts #1 and #57 and #122. Oh, and #128)

Okay so the cartridge and the RIAA EQ artificiality create peaks, which raise the DR score, who cares either way the dynamic range is better. Here's a video to show you what I mean; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsJ0BldwB5w

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Old 01-07-2014, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
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Actually, we can't use DR scores for vinyl records for comparative purposes, because they are always artificially boosted by widely varying amounts -- you would need to subtract at least 6 points from vinyl DR scores to be even roughly (very roughly) compared to a CD's DR score. Some more information is available here. (Ignore the argumentative discussion, focus on posts #1 and #57 and #122. Oh, and #128)

Okay so the cartridge and the RIAA EQ artificiality create peaks, which raise the DR score, who cares either way the dynamic range is better. Here's a video to show you what I mean; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsJ0BldwB5w

Who is this guy? What are his qualifications other than having something on You Tube? I know, it's on the internet so it must be true. He used his by ear level adjustment even after seeing it was inaccurate? I turned it off at that point...
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:43 PM
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Who is this guy? What are his qualifications other than having something on You Tube? I know, it's on the internet so it must be true. He used his by ear level adjustment even after seeing it was inaccurate? I turned it off at that point...

Ian Shepard, mastering engineer. Look him up. Try watching the video there is actual measurements eek.gif Opinion!? last I checked the other link to try to prove me wrong (it did in a way) was all opinion confused.gif Just a couple of dudes saying that the reason why it's get a better DR score is because it has more peaks isn't opinion? It is but what they are saying makes since and is backed up by evidence, just like what Ian is doing.

Dynamic range is determined by the lowest sound to the peak volume, PEAK VOLUME which means if vinyl has more peaks than CD it has more dynamic range PERIOD! Sure the cartridge and RIAA makes it that way but that's how vinyl works. Just my .02

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Old 01-07-2014, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
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Who is this guy? What are his qualifications other than having something on You Tube? I know, it's on the internet so it must be true. He used his by ear level adjustment even after seeing it was inaccurate? I turned it off at that point...

Ian Shepard, mastering engineer. Look him up. Try watching the video there is actual measurements eek.gif Opinion!? last I checked the other link to try to prove me wrong (it did in a way) was all opinion confused.gif Just a couple of dudes saying that the reason why it's get a better DR score is because it has more peaks isn't opinion? It is but what they are saying makes since and is backed up by evidence, just like what Ian is doing.

Dynamic range is determined by the lowest sound to the peak volume, PEAK VOLUME which means if vinyl has more peaks than CD it has more dynamic range PERIOD! Sure the cartridge and RIAA makes it that way but that's how vinyl works. Just my .02

I'll look him up again, my brief google turned up a lot of possibilites, hard to weed thru without some more specific knowledge. I haven't followed the DR battle but You Tube videos aren't usually a source for me. I think its a no brainer that digital has more capability than vinyl, the only difference that helps vinyl compete in sq is in the human touch of recording expertise. IMHO.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:42 PM
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kbeam, I think you completely misunderstood the video -- and I mean completely.

Here is another Ian Shepherd video (it is actually one of the posts I referred you to -- I don't think you bothered to read even half), where he shows that vinyl DR is completely misleading.

And your claim that "who cares anyway, the (vinyl) dynamic range is better" is, sorry, rubbish. CD's and other lossless digital formats have more dynamic range, it is just up to the studios to use it. Sometimes they don't.

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:35 AM
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I'll look him up again, my brief google turned up a lot of possibilites, hard to weed thru without some more specific knowledge. I haven't followed the DR battle but You Tube videos aren't usually a source for me. I think its a no brainer that digital has more capability than vinyl, the only difference that helps vinyl compete in sq is in the human touch of recording expertise. IMHO.

I understand I should have mentioned that the video is made by a respected mastering engineer.

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kbeam, I think you completely misunderstood the video -- and I mean completely.

Here is another Ian Shepherd video (it is actually one of the posts I referred you to -- I don't think you bothered to read even half), where he shows that vinyl DR is completely misleading.

And your claim that "who cares anyway, the (vinyl) dynamic range is better" is, sorry, rubbish. CD's and other lossless digital formats have more dynamic range, it is just up to the studios to use it. Sometimes they don't.

I didn't read the post you mentioned (except the first post) rolleyes.gif I just got done watching Ian's take on the DR of vinyl and got to admit you got me on my a** now. From what he says though the equipment artificially adds more peaks which of course gives it a higher DR number, I get that now. I do not think that vinyl has more dynamic range, I thought that brickwalled albums had more dynamic range on vinyl. Vinyl, at best, will have maybe 70 dB. I think that's what gives it that warmth.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post



I understand I should have mentioned that the video is made by a respected mastering engineer.


I didn't read the post you mentioned (except the first post) rolleyes.gif I just got done watching Ian's take on the DR of vinyl and got to admit you got me on my a** now. From what he says though the equipment artificially adds more peaks which of course gives it a higher DR number, I get that now. I do not think that vinyl has more dynamic range, I thought that brickwalled albums had more dynamic range on vinyl. Vinyl, at best, will have maybe 70 dB. I think that's what gives it that warmth.



Here is a really good article with actual measurements. This said I'm not a vinyl owner, I've been spinning shiny discs for a long long time, but the last 5 years or so even they've caved into the loudness war, at least in my preferred genre of rock. I'm very tempted to get back into vinyl and a lot has to do with this article. Again I'm not advocating vinyl but as far as dynamic range goes vinyl definitely has some advantages or at the very least on par with digital IMO.



http://www.audioholics.com/audio-technologies/dynamic-comparison-of-lps-vs-cds-part-4
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnargs View Post

kbeam, I think you completely misunderstood the video -- and I mean completely.

Here is another Ian Shepherd video (it is actually one of the posts I referred you to -- I don't think you bothered to read even half), where he shows that vinyl DR is completely misleading.

And your claim that "who cares anyway, the (vinyl) dynamic range is better" is, sorry, rubbish. CD's and other lossless digital formats have more dynamic range, it is just up to the studios to use it. Sometimes they don't.



Hi, not necessarily, they all come from the same masters and full resolution (so to speak) is available to both, please read the link I posted above. I'm not looking for a debate but that article sheds a lot of light on things.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:41 AM
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Hey! I'm a Pink Floyd lover as well. I think their best album was "The Wall" personally.

They are one of the first bands I am going to be picking up as soon as I get a turntable.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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Old 01-08-2014, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimeran View Post

Hey! I'm a Pink Floyd lover as well. I think their best album was "The Wall" personally.

They are one of the first bands I am going to be picking up as soon as I get a turntable.



Very cool, I can't believe I'm actually thinking of getting back into vinyl, so we're in the same boat smile.gif yes PF would be my first purchase in vinyl as well possibly a DSOTM master recording LP. But I'm lost on what turntable to buy! And is my Marantz pre/pro the right match for vinyl? This may get expensive biggrin.gif
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:43 PM
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I'm a true audiophile.. Back in the good ole days, I use to record (tape) music off the radio. I would full 60 minute TDK cassettes with songs I like. Sometimes the stupid DJ would talk in the middle of the song and I would have to stop, rewind and record again when another song that I like is played.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:04 PM
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I always thought I was....Tlll I got married with kids...

-Dave

MCSE 2003
Windows Media Center specialist - MVP and Certified Home Theater specialist

Avid gamer and home theater junkie..
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:22 PM
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I always thought I was....Tlll I got married with kids...
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kevon27 View Post

I'm a true audiophile.. Back in the good ole days, I use to record (tape) music off the radio. I would full 60 minute TDK cassettes with songs I like. Sometimes the stupid DJ would talk in the middle of the song and I would have to stop, rewind and record again when another song that I like is played.

So what's the difference between your run of the mill audiophile and a true audiophile? Recording on cassettes sorta takes you out of the equation if you weren't using reel to reel back in the day wink.gif
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Here is a really good article with actual measurements. This said I'm not a vinyl owner, I've been spinning shiny discs for a long long time, but the last 5 years or so even they've caved into the loudness war, at least in my preferred genre of rock. I'm very tempted to get back into vinyl and a lot has to do with this article. Again I'm not advocating vinyl but as far as dynamic range goes vinyl definitely has some advantages or at the very least on par with digital IMO.



http://www.audioholics.com/audio-technologies/dynamic-comparison-of-lps-vs-cds-part-4

Take that with a grain of salt. I started listing to rock through vinyl. The first album I ever purchased was DSOTM 40TH anniversary edition vinyl, ever since then I go to a local record store at least once a weak.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

So what's the difference between your run of the mill audiophile and a true audiophile? Recording on cassettes sorta takes you out of the equation if you weren't using reel to reel back in the day wink.gif

Cassette can sound really good, reel-to-reel is expensive and a pain in but to use.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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