Discussion in 'SBAF Blogs' started by baldr, Dec 15, 2016.
More Manhattan updates:
I agree the venue for CanJam was rather commercial and walking from the main hall to the rest of the rooms felt like I was in an empty airport. Now that the Schiitr is a thing, might as well skip LA events. Honestly if the Schiit brand continues its Saturn V-like trajectory, you might be able to arrange your own events in satellite cities and have others pay you for the privilege of exhibiting alongside—certainly the MrSpeakers quiet room explicitly billed Yggy as the definitive DAC against which others are judged. The source of all things indeed. As I made clear in my long post about CanJam on HF, there are a lot of companies making a lot of interesting things, but if they can't contain their prices, they will remain window dressing.
Anyone headed to The Schiitr tomorrow?? If so, I might see you there.
I need some input from those who all would do so. The road to make a music processor is a lonely one, and a new one for me. Indeed, I do not know of any other paths taken by others to study. Therefore I would really appreciate input on your 3-5 desert island disks. Seriously. Thanks!
Every piece of gear I demo is tested with these albums:
Paul Simon - Graceland
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Rush - Moving Pictures
Yes - Fragile
Supertramp - Crime of the Century
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Dave Brubeck - Time Out
Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
Was a bit confused about desert island discs, but it's a Beeb thing about 3-5 CDs or Records you'd want on an deserted island with you.
Mine is probably strange, and not the last word in quality, but I don't have much albums where I like the whole album: (Artist - Album)
Globus - Epicon
Vitas - Evolution Ltd
The Noisy Freaks - Straight Life
All great and well mastered.
I would add Stevie Ray Vaughn's Couldn't Stand the Weather.
Here's 5 of my desert island recordings:
Andras Schiff - Six Partitas
Art Pepper - ...Meets the Rhythm Section
Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue
Ornette Coleman - Shape of Jazz To Come
Lee Morgan - Lee-way
Thats a fantastic album as well. Really, I would need like 20 discs to be satisfied on a desert island.
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section is such a stunning album. It really doesn't get enough love.
That is difficult for me to do.
Instead I'll list a few tracks.
Bonnie Raitt Something to Talk About on her Luck of the Draw album
Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man Eije Oue Reference Recordings
Overwerk Daybreak on his Afterhours album
Gogo Penguin Hopopono v2.0 album
Dave Crusin Things Ain't What They Used to Be on the album Homage to Duke
Bonnie Raitts track is her at her finest (the whole album is good that way).
The Copland piece has nice everything bottom to top.
The Overwerk track has the sound of rain falling early on but is an EDM track.
Gogo Penguin is all acoustic jazz and is both simple and complex at the same time.
Dave Crusin's album is big band well done (the whole album is great).
MJ - Thriller (sorry folks, this album captivated me as a 7 year old youngster)
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (Another album from when I was a little fella, that brings back great memories of hi-fi shopping with my dad in the 80's)
Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman (sounds great to me, and well recorded)
EDIT: O.G. Masters
Madonna - True Blue
Mecano - La Fuerza del Destino (a live recording if possible)
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean or Thriller (a not so current bright "re-master")
I am assuming CD/Digital. I'm not sure if sound is supposed to be a factor I am listing 5 titles/releases/masterings where I love the music and the sound.
The Kinks - Greatest Hits - PRT CDKINK 7251 (AKA "The Ugly Pink" version.)
Hendrix - Band of Gypsys - Polydor 821933-2 - Made in West Germany
David Bowie - Hunky Dory - RCA PD84623 - 1985 - Made in West Germany
Brian Eno - Another Green World - 2004 DSD Remastering (Several releases are available of this mastering.)
Faust - The Wumme Years 1970-73 (5 CD box) RER label (There is only one release of this.)
Dire Straits - Love over Gold
Pink Floyd - Wish you were Here
Paul Simon - Graceland
Sting - Brand New Day
Eagles - Greatest Hits 71 - 75
Eagles - Greatest Hits Vol 2
Michael Jackson - Thriller
The 5th Dimension - The Ultimate 5th Dimension
Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
Beach Boys - Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach boys
Beatles - Revolver
They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
Carmen McRae - The Great American Songbook
Ween - God Ween Satan
The Mothers - Fillmore East , June 1971
By the way, thanks to all for the suggestions on albums above. I am relieved that I have most of them and will re-listen to them. I really appreciate the suggestions. Sometimes my vacuum is too removed from the world.
And now for something completely different. Connectors – sockets – ways on, ways off. The good news about analog is that it is pretty simple. RCAs (SE) or XLR (Bal) on, add TRS plugs or 5 way binding posts off, and yer done.
But what if it is a digital processor? In this case we have support electronics for AES and S/PDIF, more expensive support for USB, and different levels of performance. The legacy format, SPDIF is cheap on the interface, adding 30 bucks or so including the connector, and another 15 to add the transformer and a good AES connector if you want it. Another advantage of this path is that it is an interface that was designed specifically for digital audio. Also it sounds pretty fuckin' good – particularly in the context of the ever present USB. But here's the rub: it is hard to find. If you spin discs and your transport designer was not a moron, there will be a S/PDIF connector that is NOT optical. In that case you are good, you need no further introduction to the finer beers, wines, and methods to enjoy quality audio.
But what if you have a computer for convenience and modernity hooked up to the net which can stream all of the music you can eat? Well, you are fucked on the quality; yer stuck with USB, drinking PBR and Glen Ellen. Now then, my personal opinion is that USB sounds like ass. Sorry all of you streamers, but that is what I think. Further, it is expensive in the context of S/PDIF. There are obviously many who agree as there are dozens of USB defuckifiers, magic cleaners, noise and crap rubbers, etc., etc., out there to buy for up to a kilobuck or so to conceal the sonic evils of USB; some purists are even migrating to more expensive, harder to use, even harder to support AOIP systems to get their tunes from their computers to their DACs.
In the old days when most had configurable computers, you could at least add a S/PDIF to your computer. In current times with so many web-input to USB-output appliances the user is stuck with an interface designed for printers, thumbdrives, lightshow interfaces, cell phone programmers, etc. USB is kinda like a hooker who will do anybody or anything. But you can spend a fuck ton of money on currently available DDCs which will put lots of make-up on the USB to conceal its inherent problems.
I digress. The real philosophical point is how one configures a digital in and digital out processor in the most appropriate way. Let us say, hypothetically, that an entry level processor costs with no interface, $200.00. So we add S/PDIF in and out for 30 more bucks. That brings us to $230.00. So now we have a workable processor with no USB. Then to add USB will be another $50 to $180 according to how much ugliness reduction you want. So now we are at $280 to $410 for no to lotsa makeup USB inputs only – double!! (no USB out but I don't think anyone cares.)
So one possibility is to come out with the all input processor for max USB lipstick on the sheep at $410. Another is to come out with the minimum lipstick version for $280 – you could still hook up a kilobuck worth of DDC for only $1280. A third possibility is to leave USB off and use the designed for audio, arguably obsolete, non-sheepfucking S/PDIF input and save another 50 bucks and the DDC of your choice if you need USB. Hard not to come up with a bad choice.
I should point out that the processor prices are NOT real and only intended to show the costs of well executed USB in the context of total equipment cost.
It seems to me that the USB option is required just to cover the basics and for those who don't have any of the fancy ddc-doodads.
IOW the majority of those who you are trying to reach and encourage.
And if you want to include those who do have the doodads you'll need the SPDIF & AES just so those with Jggys can play and for some, to try AES just to see…
Oh and for all those other AES equipped dacs, as well as those folks that will try one because it's just pocket change anyway.
If this 'performs' anywhere near what cleaning up ANY digital audio stream can deliver, ie those 1K$ boxes, and do it for ≈1/2 the price, but because its da Schiit, it'll do as good a job if not better, IN ONE BOX, well that is in keeping with the Schiity way of things, isn't it?
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