The Audio 101 Thread

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by sphinxvc, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    My experience, which is pretty limited as compared to many around here, has been that this is somewhat dac specific, and I must assume specific to playback software. Both the Modi Multibit and Gungnir Multibit have sounded better leaving settings at the native rates and letting the dac upsample (which I understand they do for rates short of 2x redbook pcm i.e. 176/192), whereas my geek pulse sounds noticeably (and unexplainably to me) better up sampling to dsd x 2 via pcm, all via jrmc20. Unfortunately the latter requires processing power sufficient to make prebuffering cause an audible skip-type sound on any of my pcs, so I don't do it. I've heard good things from people using hq player to upsample to dsd, but I will never know, as I don't care about dsd enough to bother buying a dsd capable dac (the Pulse only does DoP, contrary to how it was originally promoted) and I will never pay the cost of hq player.
     
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  2. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    I found good NOS (Aqua / Metrum) cured this for me. If the recording has sibilance it is still there, but no longer stands out like a sore thumb, rather it blends more naturally with everything else.

    I think it could be due to a filter (oversampling) artifact, but it could also be that my headphones have a peak which sounds better with NOS roll-off i.e. good synergy. NOS shouldn't affect 4-8kHz range though, too low.
     
  3. loki993

    loki993 Facebook Friend

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    This is probably amp amp design question but its about Impedance vs voltage. Some amps its linear like with Magni, the higher the impedance the lower voltage it puts out..most amps are like this and that makes sense in my mind. More load, more strain on the amp the less power it is capable of outputting.

    However I've seen amps, the examples I've seen are tube amps, where they actually put out more power as the impedance goes up, I can't think of a specific example aside from what Ive seen have been tube amps.

    Some amps, though have a voltage sweet spot? Valhalla for example will put 800mw into 300 ohms, but 180 into 50 and 450 into 600.

    Lake people and violectric seems to like the put the most power into 100 ohms. Their 50 and 600 ohm measurements are lower.

    Why is this and how do they control that?
     
  4. Hogcryat

    Hogcryat Rando

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    Trying to understand here. Is hearing coughing in the audience microdetail?
     
  5. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Nope, not if like Diana Kralls live album, even the shittiest source/dac can pick that up. :)
     
  6. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    This kind of detail DOES NOT improve my listening experience. Just sayin'.
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    No. Neither is stuff that you suddenly hear on recordings because of better gear. At least not necessarily.
     
  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    One informal test I apply myself is the lyrical understanding test. There's certain songs where lyrics are hard to determine, but suddenly start sounding clear on more resolving gear. It's not something I look for, but it does pop out when it happens.
     
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  9. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    This is kind of hard to explain as an absolute since many of us have different definitions of that term. My own is that it is detail that is in the recording that may or not be fully obvious based on a number of factors such as hardware, software, environment, etc. I boil it down to those details that give me the best illusion of an actual live musical event or instrument even with layers of studio effects on many recordings. To me it is the decay of a note, the texture of a string, the close details of a voice, etc.

    To my hearing, micro detail in simple terms might be analogous to standing yards away from a cymbal as it is hit and observing by ear. Then you are moved right next to it. anything different aside from the macro loudness? Yes, the event takes on more length, little vibrational nuances are more apparent when closer, etc.

    To me some equipment allows me to hear this micro detail (plankton?) a bit better.

    The topic and definition and examples can be a bit of a rabbit hole, though, with many viewpoints.

    Here is some food for thought:

    http://www.changstar.com/www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,1856.0.html

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...ton-and-the-ability-to-resolve-properly.2801/
     
  10. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Would Eitr > Modi Multibit > MCTH > HD650M be a good enough chain to get a taste of plankton? I'm not sure that I'm hearing more microdetail, but it's definitely more engaging and there are more subtleties in the way the music feels. Guess this could be microdynamics rather than microdetail.
     
  11. JustAnotherRando

    JustAnotherRando My other bike is a Ferrari

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    An embarrassingly basic question, but if it's asked anywhere, I guess it should be this thread: What do people mean by the terms "layering" and "separation"? They are often used together, and I'm not sure if they refer to the same thing or if they're related-but-different.

    Separation seems to have a couple of meanings too- occasionally it refers to the ability to resolve differences within a note, but usually it appears to be... something else.

    Asking because I've come to realise that I am a very unsophisticated listener, so one of most rewarding aspects of gear to me is just that it lets me hear... "more stuff, more clearly". Simply being more aware of the distinct presence of an entire instrument that on other gear is muted or vague. Is this what separation and layering refer to?
     
  12. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    My definition of “separation” is with regards to individual instrument/vocal separation; that each instrument and vocal within a performance or passage is separate and distinct and doesn’t all blend and mash together or become lost in the mix. Sometimes separation can be taken too far and create a disjointed performance that seems unnatural. But when done well, you can more easily focus on a particular instrument/vocal/performer if you like, but also hear an overall coherent performance.

    Edit: Forgot “layering” - Similar to separation, except its about the spacial depth of the various performers/instruments and still being able to hear each one even though they are coming from the same direction and are either closer or further away.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  13. Superexchanger

    Superexchanger Friend

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    A term I sometimes encounter but don't have a good grasp of is "tonal color." There's the obvious analogy to the visual frequency behavior of light, which I find interesting, but does this sort of thing hold any descriptive power when assessing sound? Or could this be considered another extension of "timbre" or worse, "musicality"?

    Aside, I just tried to figure out how you'd usefully represent sound within a "color-space" type diagram and got a little dizzy.
     
  14. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    Yes I think it can be considered an extension of timbre to a degree but it's only possible to get a good grasp of tonal color by hearing truly great gear as it is an elusive trait for most components. I do tend to see this term more frequently used for source components but from what I have experienced every component in the chain is capable of altering saturation of tone.

    Most of the sigma-delta DACs I have heard seem to have their own slight variations on how they shade things but at the end of the day they are all shades of relative grey. The Schiit DACs as well are all pretty grey sounding to me and why I cannot live with them long term. Only the Yggdrasil A2 begins to give us a taste of tonal color once it is fully warmed up. I have recently begun to explore non over-sampling DACs as they seem to fare better in this department, although it's difficult to explain. It is certainly possible to make a NOS DAC that sounds washed out and tonally bleached but the good ones get us closer to the righteous tonal saturation and density of analog playback.

    There are also components that seem to initially wow us with a sense of vividness that we mistake for color before realizing in the long term they are editorializing and making everything sound the same. EML mesh plate tubes are a good example of this and why I will not give new production tubes the time of day.

    Lastly, while I think these benefits are better perceived on acoustic music, electric instruments such as guitars and their amps have their own tone and are probably one of my favorite 'sounds' to enjoy on High-End(tm) gear. Just experiencing Hendrix or Jefferson Airplane on a decent reel-to-reel rig is enough to arrest the body in a state of ecstasy. Low distortion solid-state and push-pull amplifiers can certainly capture the bite and aggressiveness of such instruments but without the accompanying tonal saturation the sound can be thin, bland and boring.
     
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  15. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    DOOD, if you actually like saturation, then check out LAVRY. Does it better than all nos bullsheets on digital to analog and analog to digital. do it. LAVRY sounds great. NOS aint saturation. NOS is MUD!

    if u ever record, use apogee stuff with the soft saturation setting on too
     
  16. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    When you say white noise <=> white light, I suppose this analogy has some merit. 'white and white' are seldom the same thing. Think led vs incandescent vs xenon.

    The other, more important thing: take photography or tv for an example the dynamic range (DR) is very important there (most equipment can't manage this properly); while in sound the dynamics linearity makes more sense to assess. DR above of 70+ dB in sound is mostly meaningless (and all gear that is not garbage can manage this), but the proportions of soft intensity to slightly louder do matter in my experience.
    I believe this property contributes to what people describe as 'tonal color' to some degree.

    Gear that is described 'wire with gain' or neutral probably lean towards the washed away colors side. More white - less individual colors. Less swing for the individual elements.
    (lots of solid state amps, class-D amps, lots of SD dacs, some inefficient speakers).
    Gear that is described 'lively', 'musical (by noobs)', fluid etc probably leans toward faking more dynamic impact, compressing towards loud voices on some region of spectrum. (lots of tube amps, some mosfet amps, lots of r-2r dacs, poorly set up? turntables).
    Then there is tonal deviations, warm, cold, midcentric, peaky. Nothing to do with dynamic structure, only balance.

    I feel like I have eaten that barf one time already somewhere. It has been discussed before.

    Very few here agree on gear that sounds closest to the source material. Much better to compare notes to real live acoustic performances.
    I feel a little bit the same way about EML Mesh. They addict with uber resolution and sheer macro dynamic scale.
    The 'color' wise I still think they are closer to good NOS Sylvanias and RCA than most other new prod stuff.
     
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