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  1. #31
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    About that Beck "Mutations" Promo.

    Good points folks. Ultimately it is about being able to enjoy the final product.

    However, speaking of "final product", let's go back to the item about Beck's "Mutations" album. A blog reader sent me copies of one of the tracks "Nobody's Fault But My Own":

    DR11 Promo:
    Name:  Promo.png
Views: 211
Size:  15.2 KB

    DR7 CD:
    Name:  Regular.png
Views: 210
Size:  14.7 KB

    It's clear with listening that the "promo" is better. More nuanced, spacious, no distortion with the loud parts. There's a sitar-like instrument throughout that just seems more "resonant" and real.

    If I were a Beck fan, I guess I could enjoy the standard CD... However, given the choice, personally, that promo does sound better and I think I would be unhappy paying a premium over the $10 Amazon price for the CD - especially buying from some site calling itself "SuperHiRez" and without the ability to sell the CD off one day if I don't want it any more.

    As with all purchases, caveat emptor. However with the power of communications at our disposal, I do believe it is good for 'us' to express concerns when questions arise around honesty, integrity, and to express truth. I certainly hope those who put time into good research and development be rewarded and those who are out to "make a buck" with unsubstantiated claims discredited.

    One would hope that the audiophile press could function as the independent reviewer capable of critical thought and is able to discern what piece of equipment truly "raises the bar" or would boldly declare when an album is clearly too compressed and just plain sounds bad. Although there are exceptions, I feel that they have failed in this function of the "free" press over the years that I have been interested in this hobby...
    Last edited by Archimago; 2014-10-07 at 20:50.
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archimago View Post
    Good points folks. Ultimately it is about being able to enjoy the final product.

    However, speaking of "final product", let's go back to the item about Beck's "Mutations" album. A blog reader sent me copies of one of the tracks "Nobody's Fault But My Own":

    DR11 Promo:
    Name:  Promo.png
Views: 211
Size:  15.2 KB

    DR7 CD:
    Name:  Regular.png
Views: 210
Size:  14.7 KB

    It's clear with listening that the "promo" is better. More nuanced, spacious, no distortion with the loud parts. There's a sitar-like instrument throughout that just seems more "resonant" and real.

    If I were a Beck fan, I guess I could enjoy the standard CD... However, given the choice, personally, that promo does sound better and I think I would be unhappy paying a premium over the $10 Amazon price for the CD - especially buying from some site calling itself "SuperHiRez" and without the ability to sell the CD off one day if I don't want it any more.

    As with all purchases, caveat emptor. However with the power of communications at our disposal, I do believe it is good for 'us' to express concerns when questions arise around honesty, integrity, and to express truth. I certainly hope those who put time into good research and development be rewarded and those who are out to "make a buck" with unsubstantiated claims discredited.

    One would hope that the audiophile press could function as the independent reviewer capable of critical thought and is able to discern what piece of equipment truly "raises the bar" or would boldly declare when an album is clearly too compressed and just plain sounds bad. Although there are exceptions, I feel that they have failed in this function of the "free" press over the years that I have been interested in this hobby...
    The album is very loud mixed. But I turn on replay gain, and external streaming from Wimp-hifi is set to -7 .
    And while this is 16 bit it does not affect soundquality, as sb is working as a 24 bit system. Most important with this is that you prevent clipping comming to your DAC(my case Transporter). And when playing the album with the -7, it really sounds good....
    I really like the feature, that you can turn down the loud albums..... The DR numbers really don't say very much about the soundquality. I have albums with low numbers that sounds better than albums with high numbers.
    So it is really just a number..... But it confirms the loudness war. No doubt there.
    But i am happy to have the feature to turn the loud albums down, and just enjoy the music.
    This album is good example for that.
    Callesoroe
    Living room: Transporter, Tact RCS 2.2X digital preamp, Martin Logan Vista speakers, AMPS(Icepower): Acoustic Reality Ear Enigma PLUS(PANELS), Acoustic Reality Ear TWO MKII(Bas)
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    http://www.last.fm/user/callesoroe

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daverz View Post
    Thought he was better with the Yardbirds anyway.
    This is NOT Jeff Beck
    Callesoroe
    Living room: Transporter, Tact RCS 2.2X digital preamp, Martin Logan Vista speakers, AMPS(Icepower): Acoustic Reality Ear Enigma PLUS(PANELS), Acoustic Reality Ear TWO MKII(Bas)
    Kitchen: Receiver - S.M.S.L DAC, Prodipe Pro 5 active bi-amp speakers. Bedroom: Receiver+UE boombox, Kids: Receiver+Active speakers, Office: Transporter, JBL LSR305 active speakers , TIDAL HIFI flac streaming.
    http://www.last.fm/user/callesoroe

  4. #34
    Senior Member ralphpnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callesoroe View Post
    The album is very loud mixed. But I turn on replay gain, and external streaming from Wimp-hifi is set to -7 .
    And while this is 16 bit it does not affect soundquality, as sb is working as a 24 bit system. Most important with this is that you prevent clipping comming to your DAC(my case Transporter). And when playing the album with the -7, it really sounds good....
    I really like the feature, that you can turn down the loud albums..... The DR numbers really don't say very much about the soundquality. I have albums with low numbers that sounds better than albums with high numbers.
    So it is really just a number..... But it confirms the loudness war. No doubt there.
    But i am happy to have the feature to turn the loud albums down, and just enjoy the music.
    This album is good example for that.
    Turning down the volume on a dynamically compressed recording DOES NOT remove the clipping produced in the compression process so it is not "just a number".
    Living Rm: Transporter-SimAudio pre/power amps-Vandersteen 3A Sign. & sub
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  5. #35
    Senior Member Wombat's Avatar
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    Thanks again Archimago for funny pictures!
    One thing that drowns in this talk a bit is how the practise of selling these releases in PCM and DSD is. There is NO explanation about what is the real material delivered by the label to Acousticsounds.
    Imagine they only convert the PCM to DSD with something like jriver and sell it. Is this ok without claryfying? I doubt this.
    When i buy High Bitrate stuff i make it a 16/44.1 myself for daily use. I want the real source for that of course.
    Last edited by Wombat; 2014-10-08 at 04:24.
    Transporter (modded) -> RG142 -> Avantgarde Acoustic based 500VA monoblocks -> Sommer SPK240 -> self-made speakers

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphpnj View Post
    so it is not "just a number".
    +1.

    +1 to Callesoroe's point about clipping too though. Some oversampling DACs lack "DSP headroom" and can create some extra unnecessary distortion when they encounter brickwalled recordings. For these DACs using some digital attenuation, in the Touch or inside the DAC or indeed with replay gain, allows intersample peaks >0db to be rendered correctly. So yeah clipping comes into it.

    But of course the MAIN brickwall compression remains. So, as Ralph says, DR isn't just a number. DR7 reduced by 4db is still DR7 but quieter, not DR11.

    And in terms of clipping, if you're already using some digital attenuation in the Touch or in the DAC, replay gain gives no further benefit - you just need some digital attenuation somewhere (5db will do for all sane recordings).
    Last edited by darrenyeats; 2014-10-08 at 10:19.
    Check it, add to it! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralphpnj View Post
    Turning down the volume on a dynamically compressed recording DOES NOT remove the clipping produced in the compression process so it is not "just a number".
    I fully aware of that...... But it can do something to the signal send to your DAC. If replay gain is off, the "near clipping" indicator(on my Tact) lights up all the time. It does not when you turn it Down.
    What I mean by "just a number" is that a high DR number is NOT equal to good soundquality. This is a big missunderstanding.....
    Callesoroe
    Living room: Transporter, Tact RCS 2.2X digital preamp, Martin Logan Vista speakers, AMPS(Icepower): Acoustic Reality Ear Enigma PLUS(PANELS), Acoustic Reality Ear TWO MKII(Bas)
    Kitchen: Receiver - S.M.S.L DAC, Prodipe Pro 5 active bi-amp speakers. Bedroom: Receiver+UE boombox, Kids: Receiver+Active speakers, Office: Transporter, JBL LSR305 active speakers , TIDAL HIFI flac streaming.
    http://www.last.fm/user/callesoroe

  8. #38
    Senior Member ralphpnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by callesoroe View Post
    I fully aware of that...... But it can do something to the signal send to your DAC. If replay gain is off, the "near clipping" indicator(on my Tact) lights up all the time. It does not when you turn it Down.
    What I mean by "just a number" is that a high DR number is NOT equal to good soundquality. This is a big missunderstanding.....
    Quite true, however a low DR number usually means that the recording is either dynamically compressed or has very little dynamic range (such as live recording of a heavy metal band playing with all their amps turned up to "11") which usually makes for a very unpleasant sounding recording.

    More to the point you are making, one could take something that was originally very well recorded with plenty of dynamic range and then add lots of dynamic range compression. What you would end up is a version of the recording with most of the original detail but now sounding rather lifeless, which is exactly what natural dynamic range imparts to a recording. Now whether or not you consider a well recorded but heavily compressed recording to have good sound quality is up to you. In my case I say NO.
    Living Rm: Transporter-SimAudio pre/power amps-Vandersteen 3A Sign. & sub
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  9. #39
    Senior Member Archimago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wombat View Post
    Thanks again Archimago for funny pictures!
    One thing that drowns in this talk a bit is how the practise of selling these releases in PCM and DSD is. There is NO explanation about what is the real material delivered by the label to Acousticsounds.
    Imagine they only convert the PCM to DSD with something like jriver and sell it. Is this ok without claryfying? I doubt this.
    When i buy High Bitrate stuff i make it a 16/44.1 myself for daily use. I want the real source for that of course.
    Given that Mutations came out in 1998, is a multitrack studio recording, it's assured that we're dealing with a PCM recording unlikely 24/192 back then. So your concerns about the hi-res provenance is definitely understandable for them selling a 24/192 copy... I certainly hope it wasn't just a 44kHz file converted to DSD via JRiver! To call that "hi-res" would be fraudulent I think!
    Archimago's Musings: (archimago.blogspot.com) A 'more objective' audiophile blog.

  10. #40
    Senior Member ralphpnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archimago View Post
    Given that Mutations came out in 1998, is a multitrack studio recording, it's assured that we're dealing with a PCM recording unlikely 24/192 back then. So your concerns about the hi-res provenance is definitely understandable for them selling a 24/192 copy... I certainly hope it wasn't just a 44kHz file converted to DSD via JRiver! To call that "hi-res" would be fraudulent I think!
    "fraudulent" and high end audio - perish the thought!
    Living Rm: Transporter-SimAudio pre/power amps-Vandersteen 3A Sign. & sub
    Home Theater: Touch-Marantz HTR-Energy Veritas 2.1 & Linn sub
    Computer Rm: Touch-Headroom Desktop w/DAC-Aragon amp-Energy Veritas 2.1 & Energy sub
    Bedroom: Touch-HR Desktop w/DAC-Audio Refinement amp-Energy Veritas 2.0
    Guest Rm: Duet-Sony soundbar
    Garage: SB3-JVC compact system
    Controls: iPeng; SB Controller; Moose & Muso
    Server: LMS 7.9 on dedicated windows 10 computer w/2 Drobos
    Last.fm

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