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   Here's my take on this exchange. Science is great. Science is
useful. Long live the science of sound. But any science is only as good
as its concepts and tools of measurement. For audio science those tools
have developed greatly in the past decade and I assume they will
continue to. Steve's anecdote that many techies saw no problem with
early digital illustrates that they did not have the tools to "see" what
the audiophile and engineer could hear, that it sounded like poop.
Similarly, Steve seems to be suggesting that there could be other
factors in the conversion from wav. to CD-audio that aren't picked up by
the current tools of measurement, but which he can hear. Or if he's not
suggesting that, I am.
I don't think that's all that outrageous.
   I've heard stories about the early days of hi-fi and the
measurements used by technicians and advertisers of equipment. THD, was
a big one, still is I guess. But manufacturers found ways to make their
measurements look good usually at the expense of sound quality. Tested
great, sounded terrible.
    The ear, while subjective and not quantifiable, is a very subtle
instrument, especially when it's connected to a trained nervous system.
The ear's findings, especially when they are considered carefully,
should never be dismissed out of hand. They point the way to better
science.

James

>>> [log in to unmask] 03/20/03 12:39PM >>>

I remember the early days of digital at the AES when certain people
reappeared regularly to tell us that "bits is bits."  Then jitter, least
significan bit and other digital ills were discovered, analyzed,
understood and measuring equipment designed to quantify variations.  I
suspect the same will prove the pattern with CD writing programs as
well.

Steve Smolian






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Steven Smolian    301-694-5134
Smolian Sound Studios
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