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Xann    4,934

My friend engineered 'Colour Of Spring', he's a long time Tannoy monitor man :)

CD's technical superiority counts for naught if the mastering isn't right.

This is the Dynamic Range Database. Obviously not completely comprehensive and *compression isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's useful.

Recommend 'Queen Of The Wave' by Pepe Deluxe. It's a multi layered sonic gateau of plenty.

 

*It's fairly essential on music often described as 'banging'.

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blandy    8,018
1 hour ago, Xann said:

My friend engineered 'Colour Of Spring', he's a long time Tannoy monitor man :)

CD's technical superiority counts for naught if the mastering isn't right.

This is the Dynamic Range Database. Obviously not completely comprehensive and *compression isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's useful.

Recommend 'Queen Of The Wave' by Pepe Deluxe. It's a multi layered sonic gateau of plenty.

*It's fairly essential on music often described as 'banging'.

You have good friends, Dave, clearly

I confess to not knowing what that link is actually telling me, other than green is good, and red is bad.

The vinyl version I have is from the year it came out, so '86 and the CD is from '97 Digital remaster (presumably the top one listed below) - I bought it when I sold my record deck maybe 2002, I think.

Screen Shot 1.png

Listening to them again, just now (well the first track on each) the CD version is almost painfully "bright" - there' a lot more stuff in there, but it almost hurts. The vinyl is more subdued at the higher end and much nicer to listen to, and softer. On the CD version the bass almost leaps out and punches you, too, which I like, mind.

I shall now go seek 'Queen Of The Wave' by Pepe Deluxe. [edit] - Blimey, there's a lot going on in there! Not totally my thing, but pretty impressive.

 

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Xann    4,934

Compression squeezes the audio signal at the top and bottom.

In layman's terms it boosts a soft signal and restrains a loud signal. This helps prevent distortion through clipping further down the signal path.

Used creatively it's very useful.

Essentially the difference between the Stooges' and Metallica's guitar sound is hard compression between guitar and distortion/amp.

It can also be used to correct or enhance - The reason for their invention was for making long range radio more intelligible. One of the most desirable vintage compressors, Fairchild, was a derived from a box attached the the radio set of US bombers. God I'm boring.

Used on hi hats or a ride it'll boost the softer strokes and stop clumsy lunges going into the red, making your drummer sound more uniform.

Applied softly across a whole mix it thickens the sound bringing up quieter detail.

Applied hard across a whole mix it sounds like the ad break on a cable channel - Everything squished into the middle and really LOUD.

 

Record company business types got rather too heavy handed with compression, wanting their product to sound more punchy than the previous track on the radio playlist.

Hence loudness wars and the expression 'brickwalling' for offensive OTT compression. 

 

So big numbers in that database mean there's little compression, engineers refer to these as open recordings. It used to be something to strive for.

Not everything conforms to this, dance gear especially. Compressed to feck and in your face. A dance mix on an otherwise regular band album would account for a low DR min on an album that has a high average Dynamic Range.

 

After all that, it sounds like your CD wasn't well EQ'd  :)

'Queen Of The Wave' is a masterpiece, it'll sound stunning on your player.

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chrisp65    14,612
On 6/3/2017 at 19:53, Xann said:

'Queen Of The Wave' is a masterpiece, it'll sound stunning on your player.

Well, I don't know if I've been in this thread a week ago and then forgotten, or I'm just a bit psychic for Xann, but I've had Queen of the Wave in the car for the last week or so and it just superb. I'd say it wasn't my usual thing, but I think I'm just kidding myself, as I've also got Super Furries and Tame Impala in there at the moment and to me there's a broad sort of connection.

Whoever ordered my car from new had the extra speakers and bass put in and it makes Queen of the Wave just stunning. The stereo in my 10 year old car is probably the best piece of kit I have!

Xann, Blandy, out of interest, at home do you guys carefully position speakers and worry about hard surfaces and the like (appreciate for some it could be a bus man's holiday!)? My main stereo in the house is not set up for optimum sound. Rather, it's set up to sit square in a convenient alcove and look 'neat'. But then, it's in a smallish room with hard walls and a great slab of an 8 seater table and a few token bean bags. Plus the speakers are actually 40 years old and much of the music played in that room was recorded by Jamaican space cadets not overly concerned with detail. It does some people's heads in that I resolutely will not angle my speakers.

But yeah, reason I ask is that I know a few people that take it all quite seriously. Whereas when I'm 'really really listening' I stick the headphones on.

 

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Xann    4,934

My room isn't set up optimally, no. Doors, windows, alcoves, telly and my other half make sure of that. One of the things I miss about working in a studio is having a proper stereo set up to hand. It does play a big part in the stereo listening experience, if that's what floats your boat? If your room isn't set up properly there isn't much point in spending really big money on kit. Positioned absolutely correctly, your speakers' locations should be just about impossible to locate from the sweet spot, when you're eyes are closed - Obviously :) As for toeing them in? Depends - follow the manufacturer's advice. Hopefully they've taken the time to test them? I have a pair that are geared for off axis sound, so the face of the speaker is parallel to the wall behind no matter what. Some makes do recommend toeing in however.

The tweeters should be at the same level as your ears btw..

My personal preference for speakers is something made within the last quarter century. Mid and top are much more refined than earlier models.

Incidentally Pepe use these... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Event-20-20-Passive-Studio-Monitors-Speakers-/162549942802?hash=item25d8bb4a12:g:Lt8AAOSwdzVXuBi to mix.

It's their mastering guy that has the posh set up.

 

 

 

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blandy    8,018

My set up is, er, set up so that if there's no-one around to annoy, if the neighbours are out, that I can move the table and chairs to the next room, and move the sofa the other way and then sit in it and all's good with the world. Speakers are toed in a bit, but not as much as the guide that came with them says. Still tweaking their position to see if I can make things better, I kind of put them where the old ones were and started from there. But there's hard floor, hard walls - it's not really optimal.

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Xann    4,934

The Oppo is looking to be a pretty serious piece of kit.

I know what @Chindie was talking about earlier in the thread.

A multiformat player usually isn't going to outperform a specialist, but the response from the audio heads so far has been one of surprise.

It's got two posh new DACs that can turn their attention to whatever's in the tray, or stuck in its backside.

7rpDafb.jpg

A hefty toroidal PSU cleans up the power, the video circuitry is shut down in pure audio mode, great headphone output and it's built like a tank.

@Kingman must have noticed it? It's supposedly one of the best machines out there when it comes to quality visuals.

 

I'd discounted the Oppo as an unnecessary expense, as the picture side of it is of little interest to me and the Marantz is less than half the price.

Though with many ditching physical digital media, a machine like this takes charity shop marauding to another dimension.

That may be more of a selling point than its ability to play 768 KHz files, which is actually just silly considering the operating parameters of the important bit - Your ears :)

 

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Xann    4,934

6qGs9pq.jpg

The tank was acquired. The lounge has been fairly messy since.

The first 48 hrs it was just powered up, plugged into the amp and bombarded with titles from the stack.

CDs sound so clear it's crazy. SACD DSD classical recordings are out there!

Last thing on day 2 Abba went on. Abba is already a polished product, the combination with the player put my teeth on edge.

Next day the telly was connected and fired up to get at the audio options.

Abba went on again - It still sounded awful - Couldn't believe it. The player was going back to the shop.

Then I realised the HDMI cable was carrying audio to the panel telly :rolleyes:

So after the offensive telly speakers were muted, it was this...

jhMaoIW.jpg

The top setting, Brick Wall, is for testing or masochists. The others were a mystery, had to refer to the web.

It's effectively 6 different sounding players, with the bottom two options being modeled on legacy characteristics.

Abba returned in all their glory.  @mjmooney - Soft Machine II is unreal, 'We Did It Again' sounds like I've never heard it before - Posh :o 

Interestingly it's done wonders with the bootlegs on the Fallout label, going to try a Goldmine Soul Supply comp in a bit.

Right now it's 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' OST and the 'Journey to Blofeld's Hideaway' is properly soaring.

Edited by Xann
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Xann    4,934

Finally got it chatting to the computer yesterday.

Had been waiting for a patch.

After scratching about with 3 different USB cables and every device and permission menu in both machines, it seems Sierra has a problem with some Hi-Res audio devices.

It hadn't occurred to me to use the mini displayport for audio until yesterday, when the telly was connected and the sound menu was open. Up popped the Telly's audio option via HDMI out.

Now the HDMI cable from the computer, carrying both audio and video, is going into the HDMI in on the Oppo rather than direct to the telly.

Been playing lossless audio from the computer's HDD and streams from the web.

It's difficult not to be impressed with the Oppo now it's actually delivering what it was bought for.

It is a tidy and focused standalone player, but it raises the performance of everything from USB sticks, through my £30 non smart phone, laptop and then supposedly all the way up to the luxury man cave cinema kit for the film lovers.

It also makes streamed porn look amazing on the telly.

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Xela    11,227

Years ago (maybe 10-15) when I couldn't afford it, I used to lust after a hi-fi separates system. Not a modern one, but a retro 70s/80s one with switches, knobs and LEDs galore. Something that wouldn't look out of place in Bladerunner or a similar vision of a dystopian future. Big and solid behemoths of audiophile joy... maybe a Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck or a Yamaha 580... a Sansui amp and a big old FM tuner... that SAE MK6 from earlier in this thread is delightful. Perhaps chuck in a classic Technics turntable and a Pioneer graphic equalizer/spectrum analyser and i'd be in hi-fidelity wonderland

Alas it wasn't to be and I spent my meagre salary at the time on other things like a BMW that I couldn't afford, designer clothes and going out getting drunk every weekend and chasing tail. My desire for audiophile excellence waned and I moved from wanting the best sound to downloading poor quality mp3s from Limewire and listening on my iPod! All my physical media is now stored in a 40ft steel container in some part of the black country alongside all the other family stuff that is no longer used. 

I appreciate it is a different landscape now in the separates world. What constitutes a good system now if I don't have any physical media? I guess its all streamers, network players and DAB and internet radio now? What would a good £1000 separate system look like? 

My requirements are:

- Spotify compatible

- DAB radio -  FM as well if possible

- Internet radio streaming

 

Cheers :)

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chrisp65    14,612

I haven't got a clue! I'm dead proud of myself, getting albums on a usb for the car.

Perhaps you just go in to Richer Sounds and tell them you've got £700 and see where it goes?

Richer

One of the guys in work loves his whole house being speakered up to a Sonos system he raves about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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chrisp65    14,612

yep, I've found what you need @Xela

stick this on a table somewhere

e2799ef4-3dd3-480b-a94e-aff99d929e10.jpg

 

then get someone from Currys to do full Sonos around the whole house, and sit there looking at your tape machine whilst you stream

sex on a stick

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Xela    11,227

Some nice pieces of kit in that store!

I came across this online - what a chunk of vintage hi-fi

 

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rjw63    6,510

My set up isn't overly expensive but IMO sounds decent enough. Rega Planar 3 turntable with a Linn K9 catridge, Yamaha amp, Technics CD player, akai speakers. TT was £140, amp £35, I got the CD player as a freebie with the deck, and the speakers were a bargain ten quid.

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