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DACs and amps really aren't that difficult to understand...

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Snufkin, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Drubbing

    Drubbing Member

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    There's plenty of proof that if there was something better, they'd change it. "HD audio", different sample rates etc - nothing has replaced 44.1. I don't think it's down to simple indifference to doing so.

    We've seen our DVD recorders and players go to PVRs, and TV go from analogue to SD and HD digital (no mean feat, given the buy-in required of broadcasters AND manufacturers), and TV go from cathode tubes to plasma and LCD.

    Not much stagnation there - when the newer option is clearly better.
     
  2. callan

    callan Member

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    And in each of those examples they were demonstrably better. With CDA, however, Shannon's theorem meeting the limits of human hearing married up to provide an upper ceiling on just what constituted an improvement.
    It could be argued now that with lossy audio formats (particularly those with a significant temporal perception component, like MP3) we've gone backwards in audio quality: but just as with VHS over Betamax (and, arguably compact cassette over vinyl LP, particularly early on!), the ubiquity unlocked with those formats overtook concerns over raw quality.

    Callan
     
  3. Drubbing

    Drubbing Member

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    Now you're making my point for me…

    So the reasons for 44.1 still being the standard, are still relevant. As I said HD formats are not better. Mp3 and lossy are a change in bit rate, not sample rate, which still mostly uses 44.1
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
  4. OP
    OP
    Snufkin

    Snufkin Member

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    This coversation is fun :D
     
  5. «¥» Plump-DJ®

    «¥» Plump-DJ® Member

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    For me.. the biggest thing I notice is the quality of the actual mastered recordings.

    It's probably the most disappointing thing about audio to be honest.. when you hear a well mastered CD quality recording it sounds great and the biggest problem I have is so called "re-masters" that actually sound worse then the original.

    The other big factor in sound is the room, especially with speakers. Awesome speakers and amp in crap room = crap. I have witnessed this myself with friends moving house and being really disappointed with their expensive kit's performance in the new location.
     
  6. Drubbing

    Drubbing Member

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    QFT.

    A half decent set up will show off which of your collection has been well mastered, and which hasn't. Sadly it seems the good stuff is in the minority. Too many "remasters" are just joining the loudness war and recycling their back catalogue.
     
  7. callan

    callan Member

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    I suspect that some of that may be subjective bias: one gets "programmed" into thinking exactly what a favorite album sounded like, and it sounds "wrong" when remastered.
    There are plenty of exceptions, though. Foremost in my mind are the "stereo remastered" versions of early Beatles stuff, for example - they're ghastly. Some of the recent remasters of Supertramp stuff goes under the same category, I've discovered - they're in the same bin as the Star Wars movies re-editing.

    Callan
     
  8. Drubbing

    Drubbing Member

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    It isn't. It's when your half decent set up can tell the remaster is louder, and has had a heap of dynamic range sucked out. It ends up sounding like a loud 64kbps mp3.
     
  9. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Unfortunately that's what a lot of the engineers doing this work think the public wants when they "re-master for CD" something that was originally intended for vinyl. It seems completely arse backward to me, I would expect the CD release to have more dynamic range than if it was on vinyl.
     
  10. «¥» Plump-DJ®

    «¥» Plump-DJ® Member

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    You can always look at the Dynamic range database to check your suspicions.

    If you have a half decent setup I reckon you can hear the difference between a well mastered recording and a crap one, like night and day.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Snufkin

    Snufkin Member

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  12. callan

    callan Member

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    Absolutely: and I've seen some recent crackers. Felix Hagan's latest is an awesome album that I'd recommend to anyone (Seriously - cheeky & irreverent, and an excellent lyricist!), but some of the production of it is quite sub-par.

    Callan
     
  13. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    Unfortunately it seems to be less "remaster for CD" and more "remaster for listening over crappy earphones on the bus".
     
  14. Drubbing

    Drubbing Member

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    Cool list. As ever the unlistenable twonk of serious Jazz is right up there for DR.

    And KISS! FFS. Oh well, shows that a turd just can't be polished.

    And the Eagles. No surprise there. They fired blokes for playing a bum note...
     
  15. «¥» Plump-DJ®

    «¥» Plump-DJ® Member

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    Yeah it's arse. Heaps of the "re-masters" are just arse as well.

    And pop, forget it.
     
  16. millsy

    millsy Member

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    I actually have tracks I select when evaluating audio stuff because they sound good on poor audio set up's, but sound awful on good ones, based off my own opinion of what is good obviously :)
     

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