My two cents on Pierre Boulez. I met him in 1995 and still have the t-shirt
DGG circulated on his behalf during that tour. I like Pierre very much
he is absolutely fearless, confident and actually thrives on negative
criticism in a way I never could. I like many of his old Domain Musicale
recordings and
even some of his earlier, un-tampered with compositions. His DG of "Le
Sacre" is as the 1947 score appears on the page; it sounds more or less
exactly as
the score reads. And that's my problem with it; it lacks personality and
fire. I agree more with Dorati and especially with Igor Markevitch who
preferred an old,
outdated version of the score and raised a lot of hell with it. I have
issues with Boulez' various announcements about where Western music should
go, and
what really matters in music today. I heard a radio interview with him the
other day and I hated all of the musical examples that they chose. Pierre
is 90,
best regards to him, but that doesn't mean I have to like what he's done.


David N. Lewis

On Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 8:48 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

> Hi John:
> I think what you're hearing with 96k is the 24-bit word length. I am not
> convinced that the super-high sampling rates capture anything audible above
> what 44.1 or 48k capture, but I do think that the Nyquist filtering and
> other factors make the audible top end sound better. However, many DACs
> up-sample 44.1k before filtering and converting anyway. For instance, the
> Benchmark design, of which there are many variants, up-samples everything
> to three hundred and something kiloHertz, re-clocking so as to strip out
> jitter, then converts to analog.
> Here's a "white paper" about Benchmark's DAC1 approach:
> asynchronous-upsampling-to-110-khz
> For the DAC2 series, the describe the "improved" system this way:
> -------------------------------------------
> UltraLock2™ Jitter Attenuation System
> UltraLock2™ is an improved version of the UltraLock™ system used in the
> DAC1 and ADC1 product families. DSP processing is 32-bits, DSP headroom is
> 3.5 dB, sample rate is 211 kHz, and jitter-induced distortion and noise is
> at least 140 dB below the level of the music - well below the threshold of
> hearing. Benchmark's UltraLock2™ system eliminates all audible jitter
> artifacts.
> ---------------------------------------------
> Up-sampling and over-sampling DAC designs have been around for a long
> time, but I do think modern designs are more sophisticated in how they
> strip out jitter from the source. The consumer high-end designers first got
> the jitter-rejection religion, especially when they started recognizing
> consumer demand for USB interfaces (USB is notorious for jitter due to
> inconsistent clocking built into typical computer CPUs). Companies like
> Benchmark and Mytek and Lynx, which have feet in both consumer and pro
> audio, have put out well-reviewed and good-sounding, to my ears,
> jitter-rejecting products in recent times. The other focus where I think
> some strides have been made recently is the analog stage after conversion,
> there are some super-quiet and near-transparent designs out there now. A
> modern digital system should operate so quietly that it essentially has no
> audible noise floor in even a quiet real-world room.
> A simple test would be to convert some well-known analog material at 96/16
> and 48/16 and see if you hear a difference. Then 96/24 and 48/24, and then
> compare the 24-bits to the 16-bits. I think that's where you'll hear the
> differences.
> To my ears, 24-bit makes a difference, especially with "air and space" in
> something like an orchestral recording. Just transferring in 24-bit makes a
> difference, if you've got a good dither-down conversion system to get to a
> CD master.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2015 2:44 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SACD "surprise"
>  CORRECTION.  When I said "catching a whole octave above 48 kHz in
>> frequency," I meant "catching a whole octave in frequency above what is
>> captured by a 48 kHz sampling rate."  Sorry about that.
>> Best,
>> John
>> On Sun, Apr 5, 2015 at 2:38 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>  Thanks for posting the NY Times Boulez article, Tom, which could have
>>> been
>>> entitled "A bunch of famous musicians sitting around kissing up to Pierre
>>> Boulez."  They remark how "influential" (i.e, famous) he is.  That he is.
>>> Does that make him a great conductor? Nope.  I loved the Gunther Schiller
>>> quote.  Obviously, Boulez has occasionally succeeded with a piece of
>>> music.  Like they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  And
>>> many
>>> great orchestras could occasionally deliver a great performance even
>>> while
>>> ignoring a monkey on the podium.
>>> If DGG digital recordings had max resolution of 48 kHz, as you know that
>>> is not an appreciable difference from 44.1 kHz.  The difference in
>>> frequencies (pitches) those sampling rates will capture is the difference
>>> between 22,500 and 24,000 Hz.  Way up there, that is a difference of
>>> only a
>>> note or two (think extended piano keyboard).  I have never been able to
>>> hear the slightest difference between a recording at 44.1 kHz and one at
>>> 48
>>> kHz.  Recording at 96 kHz is a whole 'nother thing, catching a whole
>>> octave
>>> above 48 kHz in frequency, but also seemingly able to capture more detail
>>> based on double the number of samples.  Or maybe I should say capture the
>>> detail with greater accuracy.
>>> Since we routinely make hi-def dubs (at least 96/24) from analog master
>>> tapes these days that can sound really great, I have to wonder if, all
>>> else
>>> being equal, those results will outshine an original digital recording
>>> made
>>> at only 48 kHz.
>>> I am another one who has never felt that your average DGG orchestral
>>> recording captured a lot of the sheer excitement of the sound of a great
>>> symphony orchestra.
>>> Best,
>>> John
>>> On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 8:21 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>  Hi Mark:
>>>> So from what you're saying, I gather that the maximum resolution of that
>>>> Boulez/CSO master would be 48/24?
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Mark Donahue" <
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> >
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2015 6:13 PM
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] SACD "surprise"
>>>>  On Sat, Apr 4, 2015 at 10:31 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]
>>>> >
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>  I can't recall if it was Yamaha or Studer digital consoles, but I
>>>>> think
>>>>>> you are correct in your descriptions of "4D". being a true DDD system
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> that the last time anything was analog was when the mic plugged into
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> console and the mic preamp went to a ADC.
>>>>> Tom,
>>>>> The DG 4D system was comprised of a stagebox containing custom remote
>>>>> mic
>>>>> preamps and Yamaha converters that connected digitally at 24
>>>>> bits/44.1/48k
>>>>> to an RTW bit splitter that allowed them to record 24 bit 16 track on a
>>>>> Sony3324. The signal was also distributed to the input of a pair of
>>>>> Yamaha
>>>>> DMC-1000 digital consoles.  The normal orchestral kit that I would see
>>>>> here
>>>>> in the states was a pair or three stage boxes with a pair of machines
>>>>> for
>>>>> 32 track recording. It was basically modular and could be scaled for
>>>>> the
>>>>> job.
>>>>> All the best,
>>>>> -mark