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Old 08-16-2013   #251
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I always go for the oldest version of an album or track I can find, but at least for me, it's hard to know exactly what I'm getting since my music comes from itunes and subscription services. I very often come across two albums that are alike in every way yet one is the louder compressed version. Even though they are both from the 80's. Then I also don't know if the ones that only have one version have been manipulated in the same way and not labeled. Is the CD like this, how the hell will I ever know?!

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Old 08-16-2013   #252
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
Since you seem to be reading comprehension challenged, I'll use smaller words this time: The work done by the studio sound engineer in re-mastering the album for CD from the original master studio recordings is superior on the MFSL CD, as compared to the mass-pressing version. This is the case for a number of high-end CD releases that were re-mastered by better engineers using the original master studio recordings of the albums, like Sony Mastersound, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and the like. I never said the physical CD itself was any different. We're not comparing SACD or DVD-A to CD here, and quite frankly, even then I dislike multi-channel audio tracks, and most SACDs only sound better than the original CDs due to the re-mastering, not the increase in bits or any of that nonsense. Too many labels, executives, engineers, and artists want an album to have more dynamic compression so it sounds "louder" and therefore "better" to the untrained ear of most listeners. I, on the other hand, like many better engineers, prefer superior dynamic range on a recording, even if it means you have to turn the volume up a little higher to get the same average audible volume (reference volume) from the CD as compared to one recorded with a ton of dynamic compression.

Want to audition the difference? Get a copy of both Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms, from the original 1986 release, and the newer 1991 digitally remastered release.
The original has fat superior engineering. The "digitally remastered" version has higher dynamic compression that turns the cymbals on the drum set into something resembling a person slapping wet leather. It's horrid. "digitally remastered" usually translates into "lots of compression, and a lot less quality."
The re-mastering quality will make a much greater audible difference to an album than the DAC used for a CD.
lol, calm down. I mis-understood what you were getting at. I thought you werre trying to join the "more bits is better crowd" I complettely agree with you there. I have some of the original CDs from the 90s of albums that sound much better than the latest "better" version.

I dont understand this trend to remaster louder. cant you just turn up the volume knob if you want it louder? why does the recording have to be loud (simple answer is it doesnt)

not sure it is worth more than 4x as much though.

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Old 08-16-2013   #253
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by minbari View Post
lol, calm down. I mis-understood what you were getting at. I thought you werre trying to join the "more bits is better crowd" I complettely agree with you there. I have some of the original CDs from the 90s of albums that sound much better than the latest "better" version.

I dont understand this trend to remaster louder. cant you just turn up the volume knob if you want it louder? why does the recording have to be loud (simple answer is it doesnt)
not sure it is worth more than 4x as much though.
I think the trend took off around the time that mass digital music storage on portable compact digital players became a reality. It all went to shit once the main playback system for the masses became a low powered headphone amp hooked up to a limited output ear bud. High quality tracks just can't push those devices to their limit without excess compression.

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Old 08-16-2013   #254
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

minbari, sorry about that. too much facebook lately. too much arguing over politics. it puts me on edge.

Anyway, please do a google search on "wiki loudness wars" and read the article on wiki. It's fascinating, and explains a lot of your questions.

In short, however, the loudness wars started back in the days of radio DJs using vinyl 45RPM single records to play music. Record label reps would drop into the broadcast studios to see the DJs (disc jockeys.. disc being record) and drop off new singles for the DJs to play. Now at the time, radio really pushed most record sales in the day. No internet, digital music, etc, so everybody wanted an "edge" to make their single stand out. This lead to the "hot pressing" of records, wherein the studio engineer would bump up the reference level for the recording by a few dB, compressing the dynamic range of the single, but thereby making it louder by a little bit than everybody else's singles. This was before the days of normalization in studios via DSP and what have you, so it worked quite well, and something about human hearing and psycho-acoustic engineering to keep in mind, is that louder = better to the human mind, so if you do a blind test on people, and play two absolutely identical tracks, but increase the volume of one by as little as 0.2dB, that one will sound better to the auditioners than the quieter track. Note also that 0.2dB is a consciously imperceptible change in volume, but it is enough that the human ar can detect it subconsciously.

OK, fast forward to the 90s, CDs, digital studio mastering (ADD CDs and DDD CDs)
er, OK I gotta split.. time to run out the door.. to be continued...

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Old 08-16-2013   #255
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Dynamic range compression can be pretty effective in making a table radio with woofers the size of quarters sound better than the crap it is. It would be nice if the guys who record this garbage could do a better job and allow the designers of playback systems to include the compression there, where it belongs.
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Old 08-16-2013   #256
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Andy and others... any thoughts on this PONO playback system that Neil Young has been preaching about? I signed up on the PONO sight for updates, but haven't heard word one. Seems to me, he is attempting to restore dynamic range back to digital music.
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Old 08-16-2013   #257
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

IN my opinion, the problem isn't DATA compression, it's dynamic range compression and there is no correlation between the two. There is no inherent dynamic range compression in data compression algorithms like MP3 or AAC. I'm not going to buy all the music I own again for some higher resolution format. MP3 at 256k is indistinguishable from CD as far as I can hear except for one thing--not preserving phase between the two channels sometimes breaks matrix surround algorithms.

Lastly, the shortcomings of most playback systems do much more to degrade the listening experience than either data or dynamic range compression.
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Old 08-16-2013   #258
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

So in summary, I think we have determined that the MP3 ruined music as well as singers who use Autotune. And Obama. Obama had something to do with it, for sure!
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Old 08-16-2013   #259
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wehmeyer View Post
IN my opinion, the problem isn't DATA compression, it's dynamic range compression and there is no correlation between the two. There is no inherent dynamic range compression in data compression algorithms like MP3 or AAC. I'm not going to buy all the music I own again for some higher resolution format. MP3 at 256k is indistinguishable from CD as far as I can hear except for one thing--not preserving phase between the two channels sometimes breaks matrix surround algorithms.

Lastly, the shortcomings of most playback systems do much more to degrade the listening experience than either data or dynamic range compression.
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Old 08-27-2013   #260
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Oh , , , your crack'in me up!

Just browsing through this "highend amp SQ myth" thread... Too Funny.


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Old 08-27-2013   #261
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

the only thing i noticed like for example the my old orion HCCA i get so much more wattage running at .5 ohm without breakin a sweat as opposed to like my current planet audio amp if a got it down to 1 or .5 ohms it probably shit the bed or go into protect clip whatever
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Old 01-13-2014   #262
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I figured I'd post a link here as we will be doing some testing (crude blind A/B) of various amps so that we can hear for ourselves. Both higher dollar/mid lower dollar and AB vs class D

A/B Blind tests on amplifiers- Time to hear for myself

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Old 01-13-2014   #263
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I bought a lot of amps from ebay and ECA about 8 or 9 years ago.
Most of them are old school gears including the PPI AX606.2,
Orion concept series, US Amps TU-4360, Blade VT-100 & SE645?,
Soundstream The Contimuun, PG MS-1000, Celestra VA-250,
TRU C-7, Butler TD-1500, and some other models I can't recall.
I also bought the ARC 2500XXK & 4150XXK here in Taiwan.
You may ask why, and the answer is simple,
I wanted to find the sound I liked best!

I tested them not only in the car but also in the house
and the difference was much easiler to be telled in the house.
And the difference was Bigger when Better speakers were used.
I even think that some of the amps sound better than
some home amps with higher price ranges.
(I'm assuming this is because of the power suply.)

When it's hard for me to tell the difference in the car,
I'd say that it's because of the noise of my car.
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Old 01-13-2014   #264
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
minbari, sorry about that. too much facebook lately. too much arguing over politics. it puts me on edge.

Anyway, please do a google search on "wiki loudness wars" and read the article on wiki. It's fascinating, and explains a lot of your questions.

In short, however, the loudness wars started back in the days of radio DJs using vinyl 45RPM single records to play music. Record label reps would drop into the broadcast studios to see the DJs (disc jockeys.. disc being record) and drop off new singles for the DJs to play. Now at the time, radio really pushed most record sales in the day. No internet, digital music, etc, so everybody wanted an "edge" to make their single stand out. This lead to the "hot pressing" of records, wherein the studio engineer would bump up the reference level for the recording by a few dB, compressing the dynamic range of the single, but thereby making it louder by a little bit than everybody else's singles. This was before the days of normalization in studios via DSP and what have you, so it worked quite well, and something about human hearing and psycho-acoustic engineering to keep in mind, is that louder = better to the human mind, so if you do a blind test on people, and play two absolutely identical tracks, but increase the volume of one by as little as 0.2dB, that one will sound better to the auditioners than the quieter track. Note also that 0.2dB is a consciously imperceptible change in volume, but it is enough that the human ar can detect it subconsciously.

OK, fast forward to the 90s, CDs, digital studio mastering (ADD CDs and DDD CDs)
er, OK I gotta split.. time to run out the door.. to be continued...
Your elaboration on the early days of increased volume on certain vinyl promo records reminded me of the TV commercial loudness wars from the late 90's thru the early 2000's. Remember how annoying it was to be watching your favorite show and then getting blasted out of the room when a commercial came on? I suppose the same thinking that caused engineers to bump up the output on a 45rpm single in the early days persisted in marketing right up to only a decade ago. Every little advantage taken.
Thankfully, TV manufacturers also saw the opportunity to make a few dollars by offering volume limiting circuits in their products much the way radio stations finally wised up and installed the same limiters in their broadcast chain.
A comment on the subject of this entire thread, I'd buy a higher end amplifier for it's long term durability and production value. If you perceive a better sonic experience as a result, that's a bonus in my opinion.
Also, please consider purchasing an American made product. Yes, I know many of the so-called Made In USA products are assembled with parts made abroad. But, at least the assembly process does result in the employment of a few Americans along the way.

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Old 02-01-2014   #265
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I call bs on the OP. There is a huge difference among the SQ of amps. Everyone can have a personal opinion on what sounds good, but to say there is little difference in the sound is a huge reach. i.e. A tube amp, like my Butler BK sounds warmer and more full than orion, SS, Arc etc. The only non tube amp that sounds even remotely close are the Mcintosh amps. So "better" is in the ear of the beholder. But there is absolutely a different sound...and I think better and worse sounding HiFi amps.

If you buy different amps and can't tell the difference between them, then you need to be looking at a lot of things.

1. Check your hearing
2. Try different speakers
3. Is your amp bad?
4. What kind of speakers were being used?
5. How was the system put together?
6. Who tuned the setup?
7. What was used to tune the setup?
8. What kind of vehicle was used?
9. Where were speakers placed?
10. etc etc

Last edited by jonatbaylor; 02-01-2014 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 02-01-2014   #266
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonatbaylor View Post
I call bs on the OP. What speakers were being used?

If you buy different amps and can't tell the difference between them, then you need to be looking at 3 things.

1. Check your hearing
2. Check your speaker location and installation
3. Is your amp bad?

Amps do sound different...but can you make the resulting sound similar/the same to a different setup? Yup. Can you make a good amp sound absolutely terrible? Yup.

Maybe he tuned his installs to his liking and couldn't hear a difference. Would you proclaim that amps sound different no matter the install or tune?


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Old 02-01-2014   #267
 
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

My first post was pretty long winded, I cut it down drastically, and I just edited it to include more of my original thoughts.
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Old 02-01-2014   #268
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

The problem is that the vast majority of people have never done a blind AB on amplifiers that have been properly level matched using the exact same reference devices and material. Until you do that, an argument is pretty much moot.

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Old 02-01-2014   #269
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPI_GUY View Post
Also, please consider purchasing an American made product. Yes, I know many of the so-called Made In USA products are assembled with parts made abroad. But, at least the assembly process does result in the employment of a few Americans along the way.
this deserves a thread all on it's own.

I am going to make a couple of observations, that appear to be insinuations.

but it's okay, we all know what I do and it's not meant to cause anyone harm.

let's say you can't afford the Mosconi, the Sinfoni, the Helix/Brax or the Phass.

but you like the way they look.


that's fine, but if you buy a Chinese product, you get more of the same.

if you want to see more Chinese product, you support that. You buy that, you promote that, you outsource your mother so you can be a part of that.

if you like American product, if you like to be able to say "I'm doing what I can to not contribute to more of the wasteland that American car audio has become," you'll buy stuff and run stuff made here.

I'm not the most patriotic guy, I have my moments and I'm pretty damn cheap, all things considered.

but if I have a choice, if I'm "that guy" who can afford JL or Lunar or McIntosh or old JBL or whoever, and I'm driving a Chevy but fill the car with Chinese goods, then I'm not being as considerate as I may think.

consider this:

the reason there are several Danish, German, Italian, and Japanese companies making better quality goods today, is because there is a market for those goods.

There is NO reason why America can't have a market for goods made here, no matter if they are more expensive than an American named company pushing foreign-made goods on people because they abuse the namesake.

people will find out, people will build behind those products as long as they make the grade, as long as they are comparable to the same priced product as the Gladen or the Ground Zero MSRP

right?

Is it that there is a set amount of profit demanded by shareholders, that skimps out all these American-in-name-only companies, or is it something else? Is it that China has supported their buildhouses with the capital and investment into placement machines, and America's model of capitalism and competition, as a model, doesn't compete?

Is it the slave labor wages over there, is it the pollution unchecked, is it wise to continue to support the communist capitalists?


hmm..
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Old 02-01-2014   #270
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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this deserves a thread all on it's own.

I am going to make a couple of observations, that appear to be insinuations.

but it's okay, we all know what I do and it's not meant to cause anyone harm.

let's say you can't afford the Mosconi, the Sinfoni, the Helix/Brax or the Phass.

but you like the way they look.


that's fine, but if you buy a Chinese product, you get more of the same.

if you want to see more Chinese product, you support that. You buy that, you promote that, you outsource your mother so you can be a part of that.

if you like American product, if you like to be able to say "I'm doing what I can to not contribute to more of the wasteland that American car audio has become," you'll buy stuff and run stuff made here.

I'm not the most patriotic guy, I have my moments and I'm pretty damn cheap, all things considered.

but if I have a choice, if I'm "that guy" who can afford JL or Lunar or McIntosh or old JBL or whoever, and I'm driving a Chevy but fill the car with Chinese goods, then I'm not being as considerate as I may think.

consider this:

the reason there are several Danish, German, Italian, and Japanese companies making better quality goods today, is because there is a market for those goods.

There is NO reason why America can't have a market for goods made here, no matter if they are more expensive than an American named company pushing foreign-made goods on people because they abuse the namesake.

people will find out, people will build behind those products as long as they make the grade, as long as they are comparable to the same priced product as the Gladen or the Ground Zero MSRP

right?

Is it that there is a set amount of profit demanded by shareholders, that skimps out all these American-in-name-only companies, or is it something else? Is it that China has supported their buildhouses with the capital and investment into placement machines, and America's model of capitalism and competition, as a model, doesn't compete?

Is it the slave labor wages over there, is it the pollution unchecked, is it wise to continue to support the communist capitalists?


hmm..
Good Lord man lol. How about MMATS or Linear Power??? Did I open the wormhole?

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Old 02-01-2014   #271
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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Good Lord man lol. How about MMATS or Linear Power??? Did I open the wormhole?
I'm coming off a long caffeinated stretch, I think my brain needs bran...


but yes.

If it's American, I can get behind it.

at the most basic level, below any price constraints, below any marketing campaigns, below all the subconscious reminders of how we've sold out to the Chinese, even our debt belongs to them, we must all understand that our country is a product of our making.


we don't like the fact that American Car Audio, the juggernaut is now that whimpering tiger, crouching mouse?

it's our own fault!


you, and you, and you, and you.


and me.

we're all abusing ourselves, when we abuse our country. We are self abusers.


that's right, friends.

stroke me, stroke me... STROKE...


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Old 02-01-2014   #272
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

oh I agree....I just got a MMATS 1700D in the mail....built in China.

& it doesn't get much better than Billy Squier....all American

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Old 02-02-2014   #273
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

I'll make it very simple...

We're not in 'booming' economic times. The foreign made product is not only as good or better performance, it's also cheaper. Why should an American settle for same or less quality/performance simply to buy the product produced in his/her country?

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Old 02-02-2014   #274
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

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I'll make it very simple...

We're not in 'booming' economic times. The foreign made product is not only as good or better performance, it's also cheaper. Why should an American settle for same or less quality/performance simply to buy the product produced in his/her country?
we have a moral imperative to support our own country's economics.

in good times, and in bad times.

there's enough second-hand equipment available now, that one need not focus their purchasing dollars to the lowest common denominator.

every time you see evidence of America's "success" in Sam Walton's enterprise, it's because the promise of capitalism has been thwarted from the inside out, we're supporting China's rise to first-world status by being outsmarted by the communist objective.

sure, you can say that it doesn't matter if you, the lowly 9 buck an hour wage earner, buys Chinese goods because you need goods, and sure you can defend your personal economics because the economy doesn't revolve around your pissant portfolio, but 50% of this country is just LIKE YOU.

so, half our country riding the poverty line, has to have the goods and buys the Chinese their leg up, while taking our jobs and our resources away from us.

if that's not a good shoot, I don't know, man..


it seems to me that the old arguments about the cars, and buying American, make a lot more sense once you get older and begin to weigh the percentages in the context of contest, and that the commies ain't being your best buds, when they short you on product quality but take your money anyway.

eventually, the pendulum has to swing back, but it might be when China decides to call this nation, "China Minor" or some moniker that suggests we're not only beholden to their economics, but their politics as well.
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Old 02-02-2014   #275
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Default Re: HIGHER END AMP SQ IS A MYTH

^That has been my thought and opinion, as well, for a long time now. We'll put, cajunner! Maybe that's why the government uses half of all our tax dollars for military purposes? So that when China decides to call in our debt we go to war since all we have is paper money that isn't worth the paper it's printed on and coins that aren't worth their weight in the zinc they're made out of (the penny) because we no longer have real currency like gold and silver to back it up.

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