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ARSCLIST  March 2014

ARSCLIST March 2014

Subject:

Re: Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music"

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:38:25 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (111 lines)

Hi David:

According to Rupert Neve (and others), your hearing may well not cut off where you think. We may 
sense music and other coherent sounds through our skin as well as our hearing organs. With the skin, 
it's more associating air-skin interaction than "hearing" in the sense of "oh, my arm tells me 
that's a violin sitting to the left of center in the stereo field." The brain may correlate skin/air 
interaction with hearing to detect and localize sounds, according to research in recent years. Now I 
forgot where I read that, so don't ask me for a citation! I'm sure a Google will find the latest 
thinking along these lines.

The Rupert Neve thinking came about because he had designed a new mic preamp and was with Geoff 
Emerick, who was testing it at Abbey Road. Neve said that Emerick told him that "something is 
oscillating," although no one could hear anything. Sure enough, looking on a scope, there were 
oscillations at ultrasonic frequencies. What I wonder is, would a sharp-eared engineer listening at 
high SPLs typical of the 70s hear problems with lower harmonics of the oscillation, rather than 
detect the oscillation through skin/ear stuff. In a way, it really doesn't matter because sharp ears 
heard the problem, but it would be interesting to know if ultrasonic material is beneficial to 
enjoying music or if frequencies over 20k are mostly trouble and should thus be filtered (which is 
the long-time thinking in most audio circles).

-- Tom Fine


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "DAVID BURNHAM" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music"


>I agree with what all of you are saying. I wasn't saying that there are no frequencies on an LP 
>above 20k, just that whoever wrote the item might have meant that he believes that and that's why 
>he talked about the mathematical relationship between LPs and CDs. My hearing cuts off long before 
>20k - I doubt if I can hear much above 14k - but an SACD sounds to me like it has much more hf 
>content than its CD equivalent. Some people will say that's because I can hear frequencies in a 
>musical context that I can't hear as pure tones. Others will say that is because two frequencies 
>that I can't hear, (say 22k and 29k), will heterodyne in my head and produce the 7k difference 
>frequency. In fact, I've heard that when you have a medium which can reproduce up to 100K, all 
>those frequencies between 20k and 100k combine to produce a whole palette of audible sounds. When 
>CDs first appeared in 1982, I rememeber reading that an audio specialist discovered
> that if you have a program with a bandwidth of 100k and listen to it, then insert a 20k low pass 
> filter, what you're listening to changes from sounding like a live performance to sounding like a 
> good recording.
>
> When I bought my first CDs in the early '80s, I commented to my sales person that the CD seems to 
> be lacking in high frequencies, especially in sounds like cymbal crashes and harmonic content of 
> Brass and Strings. He said that was because what I used to hear on LPs was actually distortion 
> created by the LP and was absent on the CD. Suddenly, when SACDs appeared, this content was back 
> again.
>
> db
>
>
>
> On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:39:45 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> I agree that a D2D LP would work. I will have time to do this in a controlled-environment way 
> later
>>this year. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, there are variables at every stage. I was 
>>recently
>>at a very good mastering place, listening as they compared PCM and DSD codecs, against each other
>>and against the source. On good speakers, listening carefully, everything makes a difference,
>>usually small but noticeable. One thing that was clearly and blatantly noticeable was the 
>>difference
>>between DACs playing the same 96/24 archival-transfer files, especially between one manufacturer's
>>new DAC and older version. Note that the only difference is a new power supply design, which they
>>claim leads to more stable clocking. Whatever the reason, the stereo field out of the new version 
>>of
>>their DAC was wider and more stable out at the edges. Everyone heard that. Where there was debate
>>was who "favored" the sound qualities of DSD vs 192/24 PCM vs 96/24 PCM. Everyone heard 
>>differences
>>between DSD and PCM. I wasn't convinced I heard any appreciable difference between 96/24 and 
>>192/24
>>PCM from the same converter, but I did hear differences at either resolution between the two PCM
>>converters.
>>
>>My point is, even using a "controlled test source" such as a tape or D2D LP, it's hard to say what
>>differences will emerge, or what will be causing them!
>>
>>Caveat: let me emphasize that these differences in the DSD/PCM listening session were evident only
>>because we were in a Storak-designed mastering suite with extremely good full-range speakers 
>>driven
>>by superb power amps. And a precision-designed level-matched A-B-C-D comparison system that's
>>level-accurate within a 10th of a dB. I doubt these differences would be audible under normal
>>listening conditions, even most audiophile-normal listening conditions. However, I do think good
>>headphones would reveal the differences if the headphone amp could reproduce them accurately. I
>>definitely came away believing that there is not yet a 100% transparent audio medium. Close, but 
>>not
>>zero differences.
>>
>>-- Tom Fine
>>
>>----- Original Message ----- 
>>From: "Gray, Mike" <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:49 AM
>>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music"
>>
>>
>>>I wish someone would try this test using a *tape* source, skipping the LP cutting/reproducing
>>>stages entirely. Unless, of course, you're using a direct-to-disc LP. Any takers?
>>>
>>> Mike Gray
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> 

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