The Limits of CD’s

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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,991
    Run Forest Run
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • Alan_rAlan_r Posts: 164
    edited January 30
    F1nut wrote: »
    Run Forest Run

    The real question is “would I have been better off remaining ignorant or is being enlightened on a never ending path” the ultimately more satisfying way to live. ?.?.?.?.lol

    So if a CD, 16 bit, uses most of its available space to record the actual music, what is being gained with increased resolution? Environmental factors? For example, are you sitting there to hear the music or the guy who coughs in the second movement? In real life I may get annoyed at a guy sitting behind me with a nasty cold. I’m there to hear music, not his immune response.

    Besides that, I’ve come across a new word for my vocabulary. Dithering. By upsampling, are we not addin something that’s not there to begin with? How can that NAD M12 “add” something to what’s being read on the medium? That was kind of the point to my last post, if I pursue what I’m looking at, I’ll have multiple components capable of doing the same thing. Basically adding a flavor that wasn’t there. My mind can’t help but to compare it to the analogy of a meal cooked by a competent chef; you won’t find the “salt and pepper” anywhere on the table. You’re meant to taste it as it was presented. Adding to it changes what you were meant to experience.

    Furthermore, adding to my confusion is the idea of, what “resolution” are my ears hearing at a live performance? Twisting it further, a studio recording; are we meant to hear it at the resolution it was recorded at? As in, the Chef is the Producer? Would listening to a direct copy of the Master on the exact same format not be exactly what was meant to b heard?

    This is insane. Lol. I can see the nobility of an analog source connected directly to an amp, to the speakers. Are we really advancing here?
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 5,598
    edited January 30
    Yes, we are hearing what somebody thinks sounds the best to THEM or their Co. board of directors want.

    We are the testers. Thats all. We judge for ourselves what sounds good to us. Sometimes a large number of people agree on what sounds good or not. We might be in the majority group and we really don't have to be. We are all wired differently for the most part. But the master recording could've taken place after many different sesions and were recorded over time. The engineer and others then decides what they like and what the end and final recording compilation will sound close to what they think is right and acceptable. The Beach Boys and Steely Dan are tops for engineering their SOUND compilations. But their attention to detail came at a $$$$$ cost.


    Chef analogy; If the chef cuts a carrot into chunks for his/her stew, you'll taste a hint of carrots in the stew. If the chef cuts the carrots into fine pieces, the stew will have a more profound taste of the carots since there's more surface, ( information) exposed to flavor the stew. Your taste buds will taste the difference, right?

    I see your point about the information is there, period.

    Well, the carrot amount doesn't change either, just the size of the BITS. :p

    I personally loved an equalizer in my systems to add this or subtract that to make MY speakers sound great to ME. I don't have one now but I'm not against adding one later if I come across a nice deal. Heck, I have so many systems, I could add it to the system with the cheapest components and speakers and be a happy camper.
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 2,814
    And newer technology makes the taste buds get better and more flavor from the carrots. :p
  • SCompRacerSCompRacer Posts: 6,844
    edited January 30
    I think perhaps you need to learn more before speaking in absolutes about digital. ;)

    Digital conversion is a nasty process that results in artifacts. A DAC designer has goals to reduce these artifacts. They will use oversampling or upsampling to employ different filters. There are different methods to achieve digital goals. You can't fix a bad recording but you can make it slightly better. Or you can leave it alone. Are you running SPDIF or I2S? Different DAC chips respond better to different types of input. With SPDIF, the DAC has to pull the clock out of the data stream. With I2S, the clock and data are separate.

    If you want what you call unmoslested digital, look to NOS (non oversampling) DAC's. Or the Schitt Yggdrasil. They concentrate on optimal performance of the original recording through a unique digital filter algorithm.

    The thing is to find a DAC that makes you happy. Currently I run a DIY DAC with a USB to I2S module that does 8x OSF using a semi minimum phase design for reduced pre-ringing. I run in synch, that is I use the high quality clock on the USB module instead of the high quality clock on the DAC board. OSF is turned off in my DAC. My digital is very close to my analog, but my analog wins cause there is only a RIAA equalization to go through.

    And there are different ways to do that RIAA equalization. My phono stage RIAA is passive and done between the first and second gain stage. It does get complicated the deeper you look...if you want.


    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,411
    All digital music "adds something" by the simple concept of sampling. It takes a sample, project what's going to be and fills it in...very roughly speaking. You're asking a one and a zero to fill in the entire listening frequency spectrum...again, roughly speaking.

    In a DAC, I'm looking for one that smoothes out the rough digital edges and presents the signal in the most correctly time aligned method.
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  • Tony MTony M Posts: 5,598
    I have a pioneer Cd player that has duel Burr-Brown decoders in it, and that player was touted to be one of the best oversampling devices at the time.

    Now I think OPPO has some other super duper decoders that have taken the digital information closer to analog sound than ever before.

    Quite a few Manufacturers are putting out some $$$$$ SACD/CD only players that are supposed to sound like analog.

    It's something to see 3 paths in our audio world now. Well sort-of anyway.

    All digital. Downloads, steaming from air. :o
    Analog .. tape/vinyl B)
    SACD/CD B)
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • Jim ShearerJim Shearer Posts: 350
    Like SCompRacer said before: find something you like & just enjoy the music!

    I used to be one of those looking to re-create the original performance in my room. Gave that up long ago when I realized that there is no chance of making a recording sound the same as being in a concert hall. As soon as the recording engineer chooses the mics, the sound has been colored. Don't believe me, just take a listen to Stereophile's original test CD, track #5, microphone comparisons. I was amazed at how different high quality studio mics can sound.

    So I stopped tearing my hair out (while I still have some left) over finding perfect sound. You need to find your jumping off point and enjoy the music.

    Cheers, Jim
    A day without music is like a day without food.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,234
    Like SCompRacer said before: find something you like & just enjoy the music! You need to find your jumping off point and enjoy the music.

    Cheers, Jim

    Can I get an AMEN....

  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 12,961
    Amen!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • gumbay13gumbay13 Posts: 358
    edited January 31
    "As soon as the recording engineer chooses the mics, the sound has been colored."
    AMEN!!!!
    Receiver: Pioneer SC-1522
    Speakers: Fronts:LSiM 705s/ Center: LSiM 706c / Surrounds: LSim 703s
    SUB: Rythmik LV12R x2
    Source:OPPO UDP-203
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,991
    Excellent point Jim and why I laugh when I read someone say cables should not add or subtract anything to the reproduced sound. Everything from the start of the recording process to the sound coming out of your speakers at the end of the chain adds or subtracts something.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,531
    There is a CD produced by Stereophile that had J. Gordon Holt (the founder of Stereophile) reading a paragraph with each section using a different microphone. So you could hear the changes caused by different mics on the human voice. Very interesting.
    "And the house you live in will never fall down
    If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate" G.Lightfoot
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,404
    edited February 1
    There is a CD produced by Stereophile that had J. Gordon Holt (the founder of Stereophile) reading a paragraph with each section using a different microphone. So you could hear the changes caused by different mics on the human voice. Very interesting.
    Thanks, Ken.
    That would be cool to audition (and was hitherto unknown to me).
    https://www.stereophile.com/content/stereophile-test-cd-letters-part-2
    "It's like watching a roomful of people who couldn't get through college algebra discussing the flaws of quantum physics theory. I guess it could be fun, but it's ultimately a waste of time." -- seen on audiokarma

    "Some amps run on self bias, some amps run on fixed bias. But his amps run on confirmation bias." -- seen on audioasylum

    "Writing about hifi is like dancing about architecture" -- paraphrasing some wag (possibly Frank Zappa)
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,531
    Ah, yes, Ralph the Christmas Dog, I forgot about him. He announced the "left, center, right" channels.
    "And the house you live in will never fall down
    If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate" G.Lightfoot
  • Alan_rAlan_r Posts: 164
    edited February 2
    Interesting stuff
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 384
    This is what I have. I'm wondering if I need to upgrade?

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/202147517218
    SDA 1C's
    B&K Reference 50 Pre
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    Cambridge Audio DVD 99
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 245
    audioluvr wrote: »
    This is what I have. I'm wondering if I need to upgrade?

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/202147517218

    Its only $30.....so of course you need to upgrade. No true "audiophile" would spend less than $500 and If you search you can probably find one for $1000.

    The cables you use to hook it up should cost at least $200. :p
  • Alan_rAlan_r Posts: 164
    Haha that’s awesome.

    I have been following a self imposed “half” rule.

    My speakers get the biggest budget.
    My components are limited to “half” what I spent on speakers.
    My accessories (cables etc) are limited to “half” what my components cost.
    My tweaks and voodoo stuff is limited to “half” what my accessories cost.

    Seems to work out pretty good.
  • smglbrthsmglbrth Posts: 1,064
    There is a CD produced by Stereophile that had J. Gordon Holt (the founder of Stereophile) reading a paragraph with each section using a different microphone. So you could hear the changes caused by different mics on the human voice. Very interesting.

    I have this CD and it is pretty interesting...
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,991
    Alan_r wrote: »
    Haha that’s awesome.

    I have been following a self imposed “half” rule.

    My speakers get the biggest budget.
    My components are limited to “half” what I spent on speakers.
    My accessories (cables etc) are limited to “half” what my components cost.
    My tweaks and voodoo stuff is limited to “half” what my accessories cost.

    Seems to work out pretty good.

    Not a wise rule.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,315
    F1nut wrote: »
    Alan_r wrote: »
    Haha that’s awesome.

    I have been following a self imposed “half” rule.

    My speakers get the biggest budget.
    My components are limited to “half” what I spent on speakers.
    My accessories (cables etc) are limited to “half” what my components cost.
    My tweaks and voodoo stuff is limited to “half” what my accessories cost.

    Seems to work out pretty good.

    Not a wise rule.

    Agreed.....lets see if I have that right.

    A pair of say RTIA7's, retail for 600.

    Half leaves you 300 to spend on a receiver AND BDP.

    Half of that leaves you 150 to spend on speaker cables, 2-HDMI cables and other accessories.

    Half of that leaves 75 for tweaks, though not sure what that is.

    Seems to me the short end of the stick gets placed on the components.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,991
    edited February 13
    Yep, I can make an inexpensive pair of speakers with upgraded crossovers fed with expensive power, source and cables sound high end. That cannot not be done with inexpensive gear feeding expensive speakers.

    Garbage in, garbage out.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,315
    delkal wrote: »
    audioluvr wrote: »
    This is what I have. I'm wondering if I need to upgrade?

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com/ulk/itm/202147517218

    Its only $30.....so of course you need to upgrade. No true "audiophile" would spend less than $500 and If you search you can probably find one for $1000.

    The cables you use to hook it up should cost at least $200. :p

    Over exaggeration there.....but if you understood digital, you wouldn't say such things. Cheap digital devices have a certain amount of grunge in the signal, easily heard. Some call that "artifacts". It's not as simple as 1's and 0's going from point A to point B.

    Read up on digital, right here on the forum if you like. Too many variables to make blanket statements.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    Tad 803 bookies
    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000
    Sonos

    Music-

    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,269
    Jaybeez wrote: »
    tonyb wrote: »
    I think we can all agree on the poor mastering. From where I sit though, it seems all the efforts going into improving recordings are aimed at the digital file side of things and not so much the cd side. We have a small amount of places to buy quality recorded cd's, and limited libraries too.

    I'm not convinced it's poor mastering per se, as much as your second point which is mastering for digital. And in particular small speakers (cars, earbuds, etc.).
    I've pulled many a tune into my ProTools rig and there is little to no dynamic range, with the wave pattern heavily compressed to the point of "crowding" the range such that everything comes across at similar volume. This isn't real life, and not at all what you'll experience in a live performance (which has its own challenges). Above Jesse calls it brick walled junk, which is spot on.
    Bottom line, the masses want music that sounds "pretty good" and most are willing to sacrifice the clarity and dynamic range we used to get. Quality material is hit or miss it seems. My best reference tune is "Hotel California" from the CD "When Hell Freezes Over". Still way better than any of the hundreds of hi rez files I have.

    ...and where does the brick-walling of dynamics occur----during the mastering. As I said, a well mastered CD can compete with ANY format. 16/44 is fully capable of outstanding musical reproduction.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; Belden 1694A Dig Coax | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • steveinazsteveinaz Posts: 18,269
    As an example, I purchased from HDTracks the 24/92 version of Carpenters "Singles" album (*.flac). Now, I also have an early CD of the same album, but was curious about the re-master. Dynamics were maintained, but I found the 24/92 to be over-cooked in the bass, and too much artificial depth added to Karens' voice, making it sound less natural. Re-masters can be a crap shoot, and I realize this is all very subjective; but I'm not a fan of over-processing for "wow" factor.
    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD | Preamp/DAC: Benchmark DAC2L | Power Amp: Parasound Halo A21 | Speakers: PSB Imagine T2 | Cables: Signal Cable XLR; Kimber 8VS Bi-Wire; Belden 1694A Dig Coax | AC Power: Panamax M5300-PM
  • Alan_rAlan_r Posts: 164

    I had wrote a long winded explanation but really it doesn't matter.

    But to clarify, that response I made had nothing to do with this thread. It was a vague response to the Bluetooth adapter post. Additionally, and I was not clear here because I didn't think we'd be discussing it, my general rule of half are for individual parts within the price range that I shop. Obviously this doesn't work with $200 speakers. But to apply it to your example,

    RTiA7's $600

    at 50% CD Player $300

    at 50% Amp $300

    at 50% Speaker cables $150

    at 50% Interconnect $150

    Dampening/isolation other gadgets $75 each

    See?

    Not advice for anyone, just what I do with used gear. That way I don't have a $700 power cord connected to a $300 Receiver.

    But like I said, it was referencing the Bluetooth post and in retrospect I shouldn't have even posted it. Forums are very hard and fast with little room for personal perspective.






    tonyb wrote: »
    F1nut wrote: »
    Alan_r wrote: »
    Haha that’s awesome.

    I have been following a self imposed “half” rule.

    My speakers get the biggest budget.
    My components are limited to “half” what I spent on speakers.
    My accessories (cables etc) are limited to “half” what my components cost.
    My tweaks and voodoo stuff is limited to “half” what my accessories cost.

    Seems to work out pretty good.

    Not a wise rule.

    Agreed.....lets see if I have that right.

    A pair of say RTIA7's, retail for 600.

    Half leaves you 300 to spend on a receiver AND BDP.

    Half of that leaves you 150 to spend on speaker cables, 2-HDMI cables and other accessories.

    Half of that leaves 75 for tweaks, though not sure what that is.

    Seems to me the short end of the stick gets placed on the components.

  • Alan_rAlan_r Posts: 164
    Onward as they say.

    Right now I'm trying to compare digital formats downloaded from HDTracks in 192 FLAC format. My HTC10 that I use for digital music at the moment's DAC maxes out at 24/192 HiRes files so that's what I have. Compared to a 16 bit CD I cannot discern a difference so far. However, using my IPhone 7 plus playing standard Amazon Music files there is a difference. I can't put my finger on it yet but it sounds more "confined?" or has less atmospheric ambiance. I still need to do more room treatment in that particular room so more to come for sure. Once I get a better DAC capable of playing the 2.6 and 5.8 DSD I'll see where that takes me. I'm also setting up a vinyl source in that room so I'll be able to compare the full spectrum here.

    Should I notice a difference between 16 bit CD and 24/192?
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