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ARSCLIST  January 2008

ARSCLIST January 2008

Subject:

Re: Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators

From:

Scott Phillips <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 22 Jan 2008 10:57:10 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

Again I am with Tom on this one. If I had the money and was determined
to have a RTR machine, I'd take the ATR... but I have no personal reason
other than actual studio use to own one. For home use..? Naaaaa.... I
don't think so. Too many other worthwhile places to spend the money at
home...  

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 6:46 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators

Ya know, this is probably blasphemy to whatever audiophile-types lurk on
this list, but I think you get a lot more bang for the buck investing in
a really good CD playback system. More "golden ears" 
I've met than I care to say rail on about how "digital sucks" or "CD's
sound terrible." Then, when I ask them about their system, it turns out
they are using either a first-generation CD player from the early 80's
or they are using some dirt-cheap on-sale DVD/CD player from the local
big-box. CD players are NOT all the same and furthermore external D-A
boxes are NOT all the same. If you combine well-mastered CD's with a
stable mechanism and an excellent D-A unit, you'll push your amp and
speakers (and ears) as far as they can go.

Now, just as in the LP era, the majority of CD product on the market is
not well-mastered, so the garden-variety CD has a bad rap for sounding
awful through no fault of the technology. This was the same thing with a
lot of rock and jazz LPs back in the day. Overuse of
dynamics-compression, bad EQ choices, and bad mixing or mic-placement
choices at the session are nothing new. But, the difference with CD's
and even more so with higher-resolution digital formats, is that there
aren't the built-in distortions and limits of analog formats. No matter
how superb your analog setup is, output is audibly different from input.
If you like the output better -- ie the distortions are euphonic to your
tastes -- that's one thing. But the truthful assessment is, a
well-designed digital system can get as close to output = input as the
vast, vast majority of ears can hear (and certainly the overwhelmingly
vast majority of home-listening setups can reproduce).

If I had the thousands it costs to buy and maintain an ATR Services
machine, and this were simply for a listening hobby, I'd spend that
money on a mechanically-superb mid-line DVD/CD player, a top-line DAC
and then take the other 2/3 of the money and invest in great speakers
and room treatments so I had a top-rate listening environment. If I
already had that in place, I'd invest the
2/3 of the money I had left in a diverse collection of great listening
software, paying attention first to my musical tastes and then to sound
quality since great music should soar above a crappy recording (although
it doesn't in all cases).

This is probably not the answer some want to hear, but I submit that
it's by far the most bang for the listening-pleasure dollar.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Phillips" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 12:27 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Ampex ATR-102 opinion (was MD5 Hash Generators


Ken,

I have overhauled several of these machines for clients over the years

<snip>

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