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ARSCLIST  November 2015

ARSCLIST November 2015

Subject:

Re: Geek question - is there any way to get Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate in Win7?

From:

Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 9 Nov 2015 22:45:21 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (312 lines)

Let me affirm that if you don't perceive any difference to wires and
connectors, you're lucky and saving yourself a lot of bother. Having been
around many blocks with that stuff, I've landed on an acceptance that
standard, professional cabling (Canare, Mogami, Belden) is just fine,
particularly as you say Paul in professional apps. Wires do sound different,
but whether the difference is an improvement is not assured. In fact, I
think most of the elaborate audiophile stuff makes systems sound worse. It
tries to make the sound more vivid, but often just makes it sound fatiguing
and annoying. I have an audiophile friend, a very sensitive listener with
very acute hearing, who is perpetually dissatisfied with his gear. I'm
convinced it's caused by his wacky wire. But he's convinced otherwise.

When I copped the Benchmark amp last December, it was another chance to
explore the wire thing, so I dug into my box of copper and silver gadgets.
The outcome was that the gear needed no 'help.' From hundreds of feet of mic
cable in house, I made some short runs using several Mogami types, quad and
dual designs, and Canare Star Quad. All sounded subtly different, but enough
to establish a preference. I prefer the Canare, which is generally my
conclusion for mic cable, too. And it's what Benchmark sells and presumably
used when they finalize their designs. I also tried Belden twisted-pair
speaker cables, as well as Mogami coax speaker cables - short runs. The
Benchmark has binding posts as well as Speakon jacks, so I got a couple of
those connectors to try out. I liked the Belden better than the Mogami, but
the Speakons made a surprising improvement in dynamics and clarity. So I got
a pair of Benchmark's cables, which use twisted-quad Canare with Speakons on
the amp end. Heavier gage. Best yet - excellent. Done.

Wires act as subtle tone controls. There are so many errors inherent in so
many setups that the right combos can make people happier. Or just more
insecure, as often happens. Pros have a different perspective. A small
change in eq is more than what most wire will do, so from that perspective,
such small changes are indeed effectively nothing. Yet, it's there. A lot of
pro gear isn't as revealing as audiophile stuff. Lately they have been
converging, so more pros are concerning themselves with such matters.

Digital? Well, I know the arguments, and want to accept them, but my
experience keeps getting in the way. I've heard annoying problems with many
75 ohm cables, including Have/Canare products, and despite jitter
elimination within the DAC. But remember, this is only in playback apps. For
data transfer, storage to storage, it doesn't matter at all.

Black boxes - Zobel networks, probably. Transparent and MIT use them. So
does Bob Ludwig and Keith Johnson, respectively - neither charlatans. I had
some Transparent. Sold 'em. Feh. I think it was Tony Faulkner who started
the Home Depot thing, as an object lesson in perspective, or maybe in
gullibility. I have a set on my garage system. Unrivaled liquidity for the
price.

The point about cleaning connections by changing them is no joke. I've used
Stabilant with good results. Anyway, I think wire is like having perfect
pitch. It's a valuable awareness, but you can be happier living without it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Paul Stamler
Sent: Monday, November 09, 2015 8:59 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get Foobar2000
to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate in Win7?

I'll go out on a limb here: differences between cables carrying analog
signals? Possible under some circumstances, but those circumstances are rare
in professional audio.

Here's an experiment worth trying: borrow a set of fancy cables, RCA-RCA,
and replace your plebeian cables with them. Your system is likely to sound
better. Wait a couple of weeks, and replace the fancy cables with your old
plebeian cables. Very likely you'll hear an improvement again. Is it all
placebo effect, and were you fooling yourself both times. Maybe, but keep in
mind that when you switched cables, you scraped the connection, and very
likely you scraped off some oxide, and oxide can rectify the signal and
cause measurable distortion. 
I know because I've measured it. That's the sort of rare circumstance in
which I've heard differences in analog cables. (I've heard a very few
others, too, but that's a different discussion.)

Digital cables? As far as I'm concerned, any D/A converter that lets you
hear differences between cables carrying digital signals is badly designed.
The only differences a digital cable can introduce are in jitter and
grounding, and a properly designed D/A converter gets rid of the jitter, and
has a robust enough grounding system that upstream errors in grounding
technique won't affect it.

Okay, fire away.

Peace,
Paul


On 11/9/2015 6:47 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> I don't believe a bit in the fancy wires thing. I've never heard any 
> difference between proper impedance cabling, with the shield properly 
> connected and the connectors properly wired. I had a chance to really 
> test this out a few years ago. A buddy was getting divorced and gave 
> me a big box of ridicu-priced wires to sell for him. I happened to 
> know a local audiophile with connections and offered these things at 
> quite the bargain for people who crave them because they believe they 
> hear differences (I can't argue with anyone else's beliefs, but I do 
> trust my own hearing regarding things I actually hear). Before they 
> left my house, I compared and contrasted numerous balanced and 
> unbalanced cables, replacing connections between sources and my 
> monitoring system in the studio. The only difference I heard with any 
> of them was a pair of balanced XLR cables that had a sealed "black 
> box" on one end. I assume there was some sort of passive EQ network in 
> the black box to change the character of the sound, it made it sound 
> wrong as far as the midrange vs. the other frequencies. In the other 
> cases, except for the one RCA cable that had a damaged connector and 
> thus hummed, they all sounded like ... wire.
>
> The most audible thing I've ever heard with cabling is when 
> too-thin-gauge speaker wire is used, it seems to effect the efficiency 
> of the electrical-acoustical transfer. I always use heavy-gauge copper 
> speaker wire, and shorter runs. It's worth noting that Absolute Sound, 
> definitely known to accept money from peddlers of cable-sound claims, 
> once tested $$$$ speaker cables against a regular Home Depot orange AC 
> extension cord, using the black and white leads and having an audio 
> professional attach connectors on both ends. They listeners often 
> prefered the AC extension cord! I would suggest that anyone who knows 
> what their speakers sound like would prefer something that provided 
> the most efficient energy transfer path, and perhaps large black boxes 
> on the $$$$ cables contained passive components that interfered with 
> this and thus degraded the sound -- or presented the wrong impedance 
> to either the amp or the speakers.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, November 09, 2015 6:40 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
> Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate 
> in Win7?
>
>
>> I dunno and resisted the temptation to try a 'better' one for some 
>> time, until I came across a bargain that could be passed on if I 
>> decided it was hogwash. I didn't. I suspect that impedance is an 
>> aspect, if not the whole story, and cheap printer cables are not as 
>> good in that regard. Standing waves may also play a role, as some 
>> people have noted that different lengths give different results. But, 
>> all I can say is that the nicely made one made for a more organic, 
>> less mechanical, character of the sound.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 4:38 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>> Foobar2000
>> to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate in Win7?
>>
>> Why would a USB cable matter? I haven't seen any science to back up 
>> any claims. As long as the cable is not messing up impedence or is 
>> incompetently shielded, it shouldn't matter. A loose connector is 
>> more along the lines of something I believe would matter.
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 1:37 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>> Foobar2000
>> to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate in Win7?
>>
>>
>>> Try 'em all! Sometimes I think I hear a difference between them, and 
>>> then I don't. Doesn't hurt to install them. While you're at it, 
>>> there is a HDCD decoder and a RAM-disk utility. Good clean fun.
>>>
>>> From what I've read of the views of coders, there isn't anything 
>>> wrong with ASIO or WASAPI. I haven't gone 'ultimate' yet myself, but 
>>> what I have played with suggests those guys are not delusional 
>>> regarding hardware
>> optimization.
>>> My latest DAW is built on a Gigabyte gaming motherboard, which has 
>>> what they call a specially-filtered USB buss, inspired by the idea 
>>> that noise on the data and power lines changes the sound. Know what?
>>> It is very obviously better. Perhaps similar to having a built-in
>> Audioquest Jitter Bug.
>>>
>>> A modestly tricked-out USB cable improved the sound, too. As for 
>>> $100 Ethernet cables - - prove it to me!
>>>
>>> I do hear a consistent difference between playback apps. I've used 
>>> Jriver Media Center for some years, for its excellent ripping and 
>>> tagging functions, and networking capabilities. It sounds different 
>>> than Foobar - smoother. Sometimes that seems less accurate, 
>>> sometimes more. I guess I've come down to feeling, after hearing my 
>>> own work played through both of those programs and from Samplitude, 
>>> that MC is more accurate. But it's subtle and maybe more within the 
>>> realm of taste
>> than objectivity.
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 11:46 AM
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>>> Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate 
>>> in
>> Win7?
>>>
>>> That's it, components. So which is best to install? I thought I read 
>>> somewhere that ASIO is not favored in the "ultimate file player"
>>> crowd, the guys who optimize laptops for playing digital music files.
>>> Never understood why, above my geek pay grade.
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 11:16 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>>> Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native sample/bitrate 
>>> in
>> Win7?
>>>
>>>
>>>> Maybe a "component' could be termed a plugin. In
>>>> File>Preferences>Components, you can install support for ASIO, 
>>>> File>Preferences>Kernel
>>>> Streaming, and WASAPI. That may be what you're missing. The HiLo 
>>>> probably supports them all, but certainly ASIO. Try installing that 
>>>> and WASAPI support, then under Output, select the Device menu entry 
>>>> that shows the HiLo in one or both interface types. NOT DS! That's 
>>>> the
>>> Windows interface, IIRC.
>>>> It should show at least one of those named for the HiLo, or as a 
>>>> generic USB device.
>>>>
>>>> One way to check this is to play an 88.2 file. Win7 doesn't support 
>>>> it; it will resample or just not work. If you get 88.2 on your 
>>>> converter, it is bypassing the Windows mixer.
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 10:33 AM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>>>> Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native 
>>>> sample/bitrate in
>>> Win7?
>>>>
>>>> Also, is there some parameter deep in the Sound control panel that 
>>>> turns control of this over to the playback software? Sony 
>>>> Soundforge doesn't have this problem with the Lynx HiLo -- it seems 
>>>> designed to take control of all this stuff in the background. Also, 
>>>> Carl are you sure you don't have a Foobar plugin that is 
>>>> controlling this? If so, which
>>> plugin?
>>>>
>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 10:23 AM
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>>>> Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native 
>>>> sample/bitrate in
>>> Win7?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Gee, Tom, that's never been a problem for me. Via USB to Benchmark 
>>>>> DACs, using ASIO, KS, or WASAPI, Foobar will automatically output 
>>>>> native rates and change on the fly (unlike Mac OS). This is with 
>>>>> no other processing plugins in the virtual signal path, which I 
>>>>> almost never use. I confirmed this when I got the DAC2, which 
>>>>> indicates sr/bit-depth. It requires no intervention and has worked 
>>>>> that way on Win7, 8.1, and 10. It doesn't care what the Windows 
>>>>> default setting is, as the Benchmark drivers bypass that internal 
>>>>> system. Hardware interfaces that use Windows native drivers may behave
differently.
>>>>>
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>>>>> Sent: Friday, November 06, 2015 9:58 AM
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Geek question - is there any way to get
>>>>> Foobar2000 to automatically change to a file's native 
>>>>> sample/bitrate in
>>> Win7?
>>>>>
>>>>> I have tried figuring this out on Google and nothing I'm searching 
>>>>> gets me there.
>>>>>
>>>>> I use Foobar2000 as my primary audio player on my Win7 computers 
>>>>> in the studio. Foobar seems to default to the Windows Sound 
>>>>> setting for the actual output sample/bitrate, no matter what is 
>>>>> native to the file. So, if I'm listening to multiple files from 
>>>>> the studio, HDTracks and CDs, I have to keep opening up the Sound 
>>>>> control panel and changing the settings to match the file.
>>>>>
>>>>> Is there any way to make Foobar do this, take control of these 
>>>>> settings and then change them based on the file parameters?
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>

---
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