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  1. #1
    Ajani
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    Dirty New Shirt VS Clean but Slightly Bleached Shirt

    So if you had a choice between wearing a dirty new shirt or a clean but slightly bleached shirt which would you wear?

    So let's apply the dirty new shirt VS clean but slightly bleached shirt phenomenon to audio:

    There is an argument that digital cleans all the dirt off analog, but goes a bit too far and bleaches out the sound... so basically an analog recording will have all the sound but also a layer of dirt on top (literally and figuratively), while digital will be perfectly clean but miss a touch of the sound...

    So in the case of audio, if you had to choose between preserving all the sound but with some distortion (dirt) added or removing all the disortion and possibly losing a touch of the sound, what would you choose?

    Note: This is not meant to be a bash of either digital or analog formats... The way I see it is that too much dirt would distort the music so much that it doesn't sound like the original... On the other hand, too much bleaching would end up with just the barest oultine of what the original sounded like... So essentially a slightly dirty sound might be more faithful to the original than a highly bleached one, and a slightly bleached sound might be more faithful than a very dirty one...

  2. #2
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Depends on the amount of dirt (does it stank?), and how much bleach was used.

    As compared to audio, digital is also much more convenient. And the washed out effect is harder to hear on a cheaper system. +1 for digital in this fast paced "dark grey is ok for black" world. But if you have a large investement in audio, have time to sit back and enjoy it, and don't mind flipping records, +1 for analog.
    Maybe there is room for both.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  3. #3
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Depends on the amount of dirt (does it stank?), and how much bleach was used.

    As compared to audio, digital is also much more convenient. And the washed out effect is harder to hear on a cheaper system. +1 for digital in this fast paced "dark grey is ok for black" world. But if you have a large investement in audio, have time to sit back and enjoy it, and don't mind flipping records, +1 for analog.
    Maybe there is room for both.
    Actually I'm starting to see a possible trend forming where vinyl fans are using a music server as a second source... Which makes sense to me, since we don't always have the time or energy to flip records...

    I initially thought it would be CD fans like msyelf who would be quickest to adopt music servers, yet I see as much (if not more) resistance among them than vinyl fans...

  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    It really depends on the resolution of the digital system. Using the redbook standard, your analogy might be correct. Raising the resolution up to 24/192khz would clean the dirt just right, without the over bleaching effect.

    With digital audio you have to be more specific than just digital. Digital is meaningless in the absence of details and specifics.
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  5. #5
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    I think this is a bit of a false argument.

    I've heard $500,000+ digital based systems and I've heard $500,000+ analog based systems. They both sounded fantastic. The Audio Federation room at RMAF was running an Audio Note CD5 (i think) into a tube amp etc... and it was by far the best sound I heard at the sound.

    But conversely I've heard some $15,000 and $100,000 turn tables that were fantastic as well. Didn't sounds like there was a layer of dirt at all.

    So, I don't think one really should be choosing between dirt and clean. It really is just about what you like to hear, and what price you can afford.

    Maybe the argument applies more to a lower price range than limitless.

    -adam

  6. #6
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I have limits.
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  7. #7
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    I think this is a bit of a false argument.

    I've heard $500,000+ digital based systems and I've heard $500,000+ analog based systems. They both sounded fantastic. The Audio Federation room at RMAF was running an Audio Note CD5 (i think) into a tube amp etc... and it was by far the best sound I heard at the sound.

    But conversely I've heard some $15,000 and $100,000 turn tables that were fantastic as well. Didn't sounds like there was a layer of dirt at all.

    So, I don't think one really should be choosing between dirt and clean. It really is just about what you like to hear, and what price you can afford.

    Maybe the argument applies more to a lower price range than limitless.

    -adam
    Adam, I understand what you're saying but I don't think it contradicts my argument... At $500K a system should have so little dirt or bleach that you shouldn't be able to notice either dirt or bleach... I would say that at $15K and above, the only dirt a turntable should clearly exhibit is the literal kind resulting in surface noise (snap, crackle & pops)...

    But as GM says, we have limits... At more normal budgets, the compromises tend to be more evident...

    I see audio this way: all technologies have inherent advantages and disadvantages... For example, if I wanted a system with serious dynamic range, but only had $2K to spend, then I would skip electrostats... However with a budget of $200K, I can buy a pair of stats the length and height of an entire side of my house and capable of flat frequency response down to 10hz...

  8. #8
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    It really depends on the resolution of the digital system. Using the redbook standard, your analogy might be correct. Raising the resolution up to 24/192khz would clean the dirt just right, without the over bleaching effect.

    With digital audio you have to be more specific than just digital. Digital is meaningless in the absence of details and specifics.
    Agreed... I forgot to mention that I was only referring to CD res and below...

  9. #9
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Well if you are like me...you just like good gear so you can enjoy the music.

    Last week Peabody and I listened to a T+A turntable that cost I think it was about $10k....sounded great...no dirt..so to speak...nothing but enjoyable music.

    last Friday I listed to teh new Bel Canto gear....2 mono amps, Bel Canto pre, and Bel Canto DAC all going through Gallo Strada's and Gallo TR3 sub, and a Vincent tubed CDP with the digital out by passing the tube out. Bel Canto has a tubed character to it...nothing but bliss, enjoyable music cleaned up really well.

    Today I have in my 2 channel room the best resolution in digital I have ever heard. A Stello DAC 100 Signiture and the Stello Transport CDT 100. Its all because a good friend let me borrow the Stello gear.

    I have been switching out the CDT 100 transport with the Musical Fidelity XRAY v8 CDP and going back and forth between the two CDP's using the Stello DAC. I can honestly report that these two CDPs have the best resolution I have ever heard....and its because of the Stello Dac 100 SIGNITURE...and I've heard a lots of gear.

    So I think your dirty new shirt and slightly bleached shirt analogy is really a wash when we get to just enjoying the music that the gear produces.
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  10. #10
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I really do believe that digital formats deserve a lot more credit in today's world than they get form the high end crowd. I really think that a person can have a quality digital and analog setup Like Mr Peabody's and get great from both formats. I don't see that either format is bad per say in either direction I think its the equipment used and the system. I personally like my digital setup now so much sense incorporating my new dac and transport or multi disk player that I am not in a huge hurry to set up and fix up my TT that I have because my digital system sounds good. My PS audio dac takes the digital hardness everyone talks about and makes it go away and some great music comes through.

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  11. #11
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchmon
    Well if you are like me...you just like good gear so you can enjoy the music.

    Last week Peabody and I listened to a T+A turntable that cost I think it was about $10k....sounded great...no dirt..so to speak...nothing but enjoyable music.

    last Friday I listed to teh new Bel Canto gear....2 mono amps, Bel Canto pre, and Bel Canto DAC all going through Gallo Strada's and Gallo TR3 sub, and a Vincent tubed CDP with the digital out by passing the tube out. Bel Canto has a tubed character to it...nothing but bliss, enjoyable music cleaned up really well.

    Today I have in my 2 channel room the best resolution in digital I have ever heard. A Stello DAC 100 Signiture and the Stello Transport CDT 100. Its all because a good friend let me borrow the Stello gear.

    I have been switching out the CDT 100 transport with the Musical Fidelity XRAY v8 CDP and going back and forth between the two CDP's using the Stello DAC. I can honestly report that these two CDPs have the best resolution I have ever heard....and its because of the Stello Dac 100 SIGNITURE...and I've heard a lots of gear.

    So I think your dirty new shirt and slightly bleached shirt analogy is really a wash when we get to just enjoying the music that the gear produces.
    What kind of audiophile are you??? Enjoy the music does not compute!!! You're supposed to listen for the most minor imperfections in every aspect of your system... Now go sit in the corner of shame, with your dunce cap on!!!

    Seriously though, just enjoying the music is the death of audiophilia... The more you are able to just enjoy the music, the less desire you have to upgrade equipment... It's why I find it so amusing when persons in our hobby hate on the iPod generation (many of whom just enjoy the music - thousands of albums) for not wanting to spend thousands (or tens or hundreds of thousands) of dollars on a HiFi setup...

    So once you talk about just enjoying the music, any audiophile analysis dies a bitter, cold death...

  12. #12
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    So once you talk about just enjoying the music, any audiophile analysis dies a bitter, cold death...
    Untrue. You upgrade your system in order to get to the place where you can just enjoy the music and it takes analysis to get there. For some the analysis is much quicker than others. For some it takes a whole load of cash and for some it doesn't.

  13. #13
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07
    I really do believe that digital formats deserve a lot more credit in today's world than they get form the high end crowd. I really think that a person can have a quality digital and analog setup Like Mr Peabody's and get great from both formats. I don't see that either format is bad per say in either direction I think its the equipment used and the system. I personally like my digital setup now so much sense incorporating my new dac and transport or multi disk player that I am not in a huge hurry to set up and fix up my TT that I have because my digital system sounds good. My PS audio dac takes the digital hardness everyone talks about and makes it go away and some great music comes through.
    Frankly, I think that the respect of the "high end crowd" is irrelevant... New technology doesn't come from them, it comes from the mass market and they historically resist as long as possible and then eventually start producing "statement products" designed to push the limits of that tech...

    Left up to the high end crowd I wouldn't have either of my 2 music server based systems... I'd probably be cranking up the gramophone about now...

  14. #14
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060
    Untrue. You upgrade your system in order to get to the place where you can just enjoy the music and it takes analysis to get there. For some the analysis is much quicker than others. For some it takes a whole load of cash and for some it doesn't.
    And once you get there, there is no need to analyze anymore, so audiophile analysis dies....

    Also, if you were already able to enjoy the music then you would never need to analyze...

    So analysis is not necessary unless you are an audiophile...

    So enjoying the music kills audiophilia....

  15. #15
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    And once you get there, there is no need to analyze anymore, so audiophile analysis dies....

    Also, if you were already able to enjoy the music then you would never need to analyze...

    So analysis is not necessary unless you are an audiophile...

    So enjoying the music kills audiophilia....
    Didn't die for me. I love helping friends and families build there own systems to suit their tastes. That way it always keeps the hobby fresh even if you have reached your own goals.

  16. #16
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    And once you get there, there is no need to analyze anymore, so audiophile analysis dies....

    Also, if you were already able to enjoy the music then you would never need to analyze...

    So analysis is not necessary unless you are an audiophile...

    So enjoying the music kills audiophilia....
    Can't we do both? Enjoy the music now. but still keep an ear out for possible improvements.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  17. #17
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Can't we do both? Enjoy the music now. but still keep an ear out for possible improvements.
    Well, you could do as thehills does and analyze other persons' systems...

    As for keeping an ear out, I see that much like a married man enjoying looking at a pretty girl... You're off the market, but you can still enjoy the view (sound)... But it's not nearly the same as being single and on the prowl... Or doing the kind of heavy analysis that many audiophiles do...

  18. #18
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Can't we do both? Enjoy the music now. but still keep an ear out for possible improvements.
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

  19. #19
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Well, you could do as thehills does and analyze other persons' systems...

    As for keeping an ear out, I see that much like a married man enjoying looking at a pretty girl... You're off the market, but you can still enjoy the view (sound)......
    Which brings me to The Hills' avatar. Um, nice hills, Hills.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    When I got into "hi-fi" almost 40 years ago in the early '70s, it was ostensibly about high fidelity, i.e. accuracy. It remained that way, at least notionally, until I my interest flagged in the late '80s. I lost interest around then mostly, (and reasonably), because I was doing a lot of other things instead of serious listening to music.

    When my interest in hi-fi, (and music), was revived in the early '00s, I discoved that audiophiles were no longer exclusively interested accuracy. There had emerged an "accuracy versus euphony" dichotomy. The opposing parties didn't always understand their positions: clear advocates of euphony often insisted, irrationally, that what they liked was actual accuracy.

    In the first place, a large segment of listeners don't know what accuracy is because they never listen to live acoustic music. (And pardon me for saying so but I think classical music is the definitive acoustic music, more so than jazz, because of the large scale orchestral and choral works.) But acoustic listeners, too, have a problem because there isn't a clear-cut "live" sound to constitute a standard: sound varies by performance, instrument, venue, and one's seat in a particular venue. Thus even some live acoustic listeners, confused by a variety of experiences, define accuracy in terms terms of what they like, not actuality.

    The problem, IMHO, is greatly exacerbated by recording practice. It is common practice to record acoustic performance with numerous microphones placed very close to the performers. How easy, then, is it for this practice to deliver the 5th row center, audience perspective? The answer is not very, and some producers & sound engineers are a lot more successful than others. The close-up sound is generally more strident than one hears in the typical orchestra section seat where multiple reflect sounds with different volumes and time delays merge together to soften the sound.

    The long & short of the "beached" sound phenomenon is, IMO, the combination of the facts that (1) that the sonic actuality is not as sweet, warm, and bloomy as people imagine in their mind's ear, and (2) recording practice often fails to deliver optimum sound from the audience members' perspective.

  21. #21
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    When I got into "hi-fi" almost 40 years ago in the early '70s, it was ostensibly about high fidelity, i.e. accuracy. It remained that way, at least notionally, until I my interest flagged in the late '80s. I lost interest around then mostly, (and reasonably), because I was doing a lot of other things instead of serious listening to music.

    When my interest in hi-fi, (and music), was revived in the early '00s, I discoved that audiophiles were no longer exclusively interested accuracy. There had emerged an "accuracy versus euphony" dichotomy. The opposing parties didn't always understand their positions: clear advocates of euphony often insisted, irrationally, that what they liked was actual accuracy.

    In the first place, a large segment of listeners don't know what accuracy is because they never listen to live acoustic music. (And pardon me for saying so but I think classical music is the definitive acoustic music, more so than jazz, because of the large scale orchestral and choral works.) But acoustic listeners, too, have a problem because there isn't a clear-cut "live" sound to constitute a standard: sound varies by performance, instrument, venue, and one's seat in a particular venue. Thus even some live acoustic listeners, confused by a variety of experiences, define accuracy in terms terms of what they like, not actuality.

    The problem, IMHO, is greatly exacerbated by recording practice. It is common practice to record acoustic performance with numerous microphones placed very close to the performers. How easy, then, is it for this practice to deliver the 5th row center, audience perspective? The answer is not very, and some producers & sound engineers are a lot more successful than others. The close-up sound is generally more strident than one hears in the typical orchestra section seat where multiple reflect sounds with different volumes and time delays merge together to soften the sound.

    The long & short of the "beached" sound phenomenon is, IMO, the combination of the facts that (1) that the sonic actuality is not as sweet, warm, and bloomy as people imagine in their mind's ear, and (2) recording practice often fails to deliver optimum sound from the audience members' perspective.
    Not sure I agree on classical as the definitive music for live performance... Since as you noted, the concert hall is such a major part of that experience that it can skew persons into thinking that all music should have sound coming from all around you...

    I do agree that many audiophiles don't listen to live (un-amplified) music... Just based on many of the comments I see... When I saw complaints that a digital source or pair of speakers occasionally makes a recording sound harsh, while their speakers or source is never harsh or bright, I know those persons haven't listened to enough live music... Crashing cymbals should be harsh and bright... Vocals can be as well, depending on the singer... And some albums are just badly recorded.... So if your system makes everything sound pleasant to listen to, then it can't be truly accurate...

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    Not sure I agree on classical as the definitive music for live performance... Since as you noted, the concert hall is such a major part of that experience that it can skew persons into thinking that all music should have sound coming from all around you...
    ...
    Of course it's true that the concert hall has a huge effect on the sound -- I said as much earlier. And it's true that a jazz trio (unamplified) is about as good as classical trio for sound definition, but equally, the sound of the former is going to vary with the venue just as much as the latter. On the other hand when was the last time anybody heard a 100 piece jazz ensemble? Or a 60 person jazz chorus? (Well maybe some are so lucky as to hear large African-American church choirs pretty often.)

    But what "live" listeners do is to derive a sort of "consensus" of what accuracy is; a sort of amalgam of their experiences. In this regard what I said earlier is that a lot of people, in developing their personal consensus, have a sort of "confirmation bias" in favor of a sweeter, smoother sound than the typical actuality. (TAS' Jonathan Valin comes to mind as an example of such a person. Ammo for RGA and Ajani: is this why he likes the Maggie 1.6 and 1.7's so much?)

  23. #23
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani
    So if your system makes everything sound pleasant to listen to, then it can't be truly accurate...

    This one time in band camp.....

    No seriously though - this one show I was at, I was sick and not really feeling well and it was this god awful boring Brazilian soft folk singing absolute crap (IMHO) (was there for a girl - it was hot while it lasted - anyways) the snare drum was so sharp and pricing it felt like it was being played six inches from my face. It was a truly awful experience. And to that point I don't like a system that replicated this amount of live. I'm very sorry, but I don't often goto live/acoustic or not/ shows because the sound is so awful. I like a system at home, where I can take a poorly recorded (sharp in this case) record and listen to it. Sometimes the music is awesome and the recording engineer is deaf.

    I give props to a system that can reflect the annoying and awfulness of a live event, but the reason why I have a great system at home is so that I can enjoy the music.

    Anyways - just my two cents.

  24. #24
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    I don't know,

    why would there necessarily be a "layer of dirt" on analog audio formats (vinyl)? and if there is, you can clean that, just like you wash a T-Shirt. A good RCM is your best friend when collecting vinyl.

    that said, I'd go for the "dirty" shirt...
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  25. #25
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicAdam
    This one time in band camp.....

    No seriously though - this one show I was at, I was sick and not really feeling well and it was this god awful boring Brazilian soft folk singing absolute crap (IMHO) (was there for a girl - it was hot while it lasted - anyways) the snare drum was so sharp and pricing it felt like it was being played six inches from my face. It was a truly awful experience. And to that point I don't like a system that replicated this amount of live. I'm very sorry, but I don't often goto live/acoustic or not/ shows because the sound is so awful. I like a system at home, where I can take a poorly recorded (sharp in this case) record and listen to it. Sometimes the music is awesome and the recording engineer is deaf.

    I give props to a system that can reflect the annoying and awfulness of a live event, but the reason why I have a great system at home is so that I can enjoy the music.

    Anyways - just my two cents.
    Nothing wrong with that... As long as you are honest about that preference... An issue only arises when audiophiles claim that a system that is incapable of showing just how bad a recording is, is truly accurate...

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