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MarkBryston
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Back pages Nirvana

While there is no doubt Nirvana's "Nevermind"had a huge impact on the music of the day I find Mr. Bairds  Aural Robert review of the 20th anniversary edition almost shocking.  In the article Mr Baird, correctly, points out..."expert use of loud/soft dynamics" and then goes on to praise this latest atrocity of the loudness wars as  saying these same features..."have been caught on these newly remastered or unreleased sets"  WHAT?????????? are you kidding me???  These things are absolutely NOT dynamic in any way...they are totally and completely crushed. Before you wrote this did you check the waves out in just about any editor that shows clipping and compression??? These things show up as pretty much SOLID red!!!( the apparently uniform color for showing where the clipping is in at least all 5 editors I have at my disposal). This remaster is completely brickwalled, compressed, squashed and clipped to hell.

 

Your comment on the vinyl probably not getting any better than the ORG however is spot on...The ORG is way better and that version does promote and demonstrate much more accurately, than these causalities of the loudness wars, the dynamics of the original.

 

This kind of stuff concerns me because we look to Sterreophile to help fight the loudness wars not give the labels more evidence and reason to continue to destroy the fabric of music...I mean if Stereophile golden ear reviewers think squashed dynamics preserves and demonstrates dynamics( which is an oxymoron) than how the hell do we ever expect to win that war????

JohnnyR
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Golden Eared?

Well perhaps THERE'S the problem partly. Relying upon your ears as the sole "measurement" tool. Ahhhhh yes how many reviewers of both equipment and music have only used their ears and "brains" as the sole source of testing? How many reviewers have high frequency loss brought on by either age or going to too many rock concerts back in the 70's and 80's? How many reviewers are basicly just poor at what they do period?

MarkBryston
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The Wav...!

This is hardly dynamic...and the hdtracks version simply has the levels down about .1db from zero so that the red doesnt show up in most editors...however if you drop that into wavestudio 7 it shows the clipping like this as well...so while they tried to hide the clipping in the full/hirez versions it doesnt take a genius to see the square wave in those editors to know this was totally squashed and clipped...One friend actually fired this off to the Chesky's at hdtracks but they have yet to respond...sad sad day when something like this is listed as dynamic...

MarkBryston
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doesnt work I see it in preview but nothing posts

 

Well I tried to post the screen shot through a word paste so everyone could see for themselves that it is solid red but alas I see it in preview but it wont post..in fact nothing posts but the subject..in both posts I had to delete the word picture just so that the writing text would appear...I will post one more time and it wont show but hopefully Arial can find it and post it for me

deckeda
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I've heard none of the

I've heard none of the reissues but if they're brickwalled it would not surprise me. We're living in a miserable and heartbreaking time when reissues are considered better by labels to be sent unecessarily through a digital stage or two and compressed more.

I agree, Stereophile should be making a point to address this and regularly report what the best version of a given title is. As you correctly note, with CDs it's trivial to rip them and let software confirm what's heard with regard to dynamics. The same can be done with LPs with a bit more effort. I regularly see ripped LPs online, old original pressings that dynamically and sonically smoke whatever outfits such as HDTracks sells. It's really a shame what's being sold today as "studio masters."

MarkBryston
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The picture if Arial finds it for us

jazzfan
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Right on Mark

The simple and highly cynical answer as to why Mr. Baird failed to level even the slightest criticism at HDTracks for selling this over priced piece of sonic crap is:

HDTracks advertises in Stereophile.

Enough said.

John Atkinson
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Bullshit!

jazzfan wrote:

The simple and highly cynical answer as to why Mr. Baird failed to level even the slightest criticism at HDTracks for selling this over priced piece of sonic crap is:

HDTracks advertises in Stereophile.

Enough said.

 

I am sorry, Jazzfan. You have crossed the line with this PoS comment. If you really feel that Stereophile's content is affected by the advertising, then I suggest you stop reading the magazine  and slink away from this forum. I have spent my professional life doing the opposite to what you say, sometimes to the imminent danger to my continued ability to earn a living and I am deeply offended by your throwaway comment. Shame on you.

 

Regardless of the quality of the Nirvana reissues and our coverage of them, I am tired of uninformed on-line cynics projecting their own nastiness on to others.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

jazzfan
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The truth hurts
John Atkinson wrote:

I am sorry, Jazzfan. You have crossed the line with this PoS comment. If you really feel that Stereophile's content is affected by the advertising, then I suggest you stop reading the magazine  and slink away from this forum. I have spent my professional life doing the opposite to what you say, sometimes to the imminent danger to my continued ability to earn a living and I am deeply offended by your throwaway comment. Shame on you.

Regardless of the quality of the Nirvana reissues and our coverage of them, I am tired of uninformed on-line cynics projecting their own nastiness on to others.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

It's not nastiness, it's just the truth. Time and again people on this forum and many other audio forums have complained about the way overpriced garbage that HDTracks is selling under the guise of high resolution and time and again Stereophile has offered complete and utter bullshit as the answer instead of actually doing some research on this numerous claims.

With all the testing equipment equipment and expertise at Stereophile's disposal I think that it would be relatively easy to either prove or disprove these claims of fraud against one of Stereophile's most sacred advertisers.

So tell me, when is this going to happen?

Again anther simple and cynical answer is in order: NEVER!

Bullshit Reasons (which will be echoed by JA):

1) These files are given to HDTracks by the record companies and therefore it is no HDTracks' fault.

2) HDTracks will replace any files not to be what they claim.

Real Reason:

1) Stereophile never ever bites the hand that feeds them.

Hey JA how about using the term "bullshit" on just one of many advertisers bullshit claims?

Oh wait, the editorial and advertising departments are separate at Stereophile.

JA the more you deny my easily disproved claims (easily disproved with one simple article or test) the guiltier you become.

The shame, I'm sad to say, is entirely on you.

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Time to say goodbye?

jazzfan wrote:

John Atkinson wrote:
I am sorry, Jazzfan. You have crossed the line with this PoS comment. If you really feel that Stereophile's content is affected by the advertising, then I suggest you stop reading the magazine  and slink away from this forum. I have spent my professional life doing the opposite to what you say, sometimes to the imminent danger to my continued ability to earn a living and I am deeply offended by your throwaway comment. Shame on you.

Regardless of the quality of the Nirvana reissues and our coverage of them, I am tired of uninformed on-line cynics projecting their own nastiness on to others.

It's not nastiness, it's just the truth.

As I said, Jazzfan, you don't belong here. If you want to spread your poisonous, uninformed, inaccurate accusations about Stereophile, please do it from outside the tent. I will discuss this matter with the forum's moderator Ariel Bitran.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

jazzfan
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Censorship
John Atkinson wrote:

As I said, Jazzfan, you don't belong here. If you want to spread your poisonous, uninformed, inaccurate accusations about Stereophile, please do it from outside the tent. I will discuss this matter with the forum's moderator Ariel Bitran.

 

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Okay so when outright lying doesn't work you just fall back to the last resort of all tyrants: censorship.

Blocking me from this almost dead forum will not change the fact that Stereophile puts the needs of its advertisers ahead of those of its readership.

So just for the record:

HDTracks is a sham.

High end USB and HDMI cables are a sham.

Both of these statements can be easily proven by some very simple test but doing so would hurt Stereoiphile's advertisers so the readers of Stereophile will never, ever see the results of these simple tests.

And thanks for the all the fish!

John Atkinson
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Re: Censorship

jazzfan wrote:

John Atkinson wrote:
As I said, Jazzfan, you don't belong here. If you want to spread your poisonous, uninformed, inaccurate accusations about Stereophile, please do it from outside the tent. I will discuss this matter with the forum's moderator Ariel Bitran

Okay so when outright lying doesn't work you just fall back to the last resort of all tyrants: censorship.

We haven't banned you yet, Ralph. I don't have moderator authority on this forum (deliberately so) and it is the weekend. Ariel is out making music somewhere. And what would you have us do, Ralph? It's not just that there is a crazy man yelling crazy stuff at us from the street, he/you is/are doing so from inside the house!

Look, you and I both know there is something personal underlying your endless insults, that you have an agenda behind what you say. So please stop insulting us with accusations on matters about which you know less than nothing and you can stay a member of this forum.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

JohnnyR
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Whoa !!

Look at Atkinson get all fired up when some one criticises how they have inept reviewers on his precious dead forum.  That's just sad John, how about just doing your job instead of telling people they don't belong on here and then blaming the messenger? That's very unprofessional.

 

"Look, you and I both know there is something personal underlying your endless insults, that you have an agenda behind what you say. So please stop insulting us with accusations on matters about which you know less than nothing and you can stay a member of this forum."

 

Wow just wow. Play ball or go home? Obey my authority!

John Atkinson
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Re: Whoa!

JohnnyR wrote:

Look at Atkinson get all fired up when some one criticises how they have inept reviewers on his precious dead forum.  That's just sad John, how about just doing your job instead of telling people they don't belong on here and then blaming the messenger? That's very unprofessional.

I have made no comment on whether or not reviewers are inept. What I am objecting to is Jazzfan making repeated, unsupported, and incorrect accusations of corruption on my part. Do you really not see the difference between criticism, which I support people's right to express, and baseless defamation?

If Jazzfan wishes to say that my editorial decisions are influenced by advertiser pressure, then he can either support that accusation with _facts_, apologise for the accusation if he can't, or leave the forum and make such defamatory accusations on another forum where I won't care less.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

deckeda
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@jazzfan Baird couldn't have

@jazzfan

Baird couldn't have criticized the HDTracks release because he didn't compare it to other digital releases, let alone the releases that are actually dynamic, the best LP versions. 

What's ironic is that you're all up in arms and yet totally missed what's potentially important for what surely is not.

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"As your lawyer I advise you...."

JA, being a lawyer in real life and being a Hunter S. Thompson fan, let me quote and pretend to be Dr. Gonzo of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and simply say "as your lawyer I advise you to ignore the silly basta*d". He's a nobody and you're a somebody. If he gets your goat he wins. Nobody else give's a rat's patoot what he says, so why should you? Hope in some very very minor way this helps. 

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I have always enjoyed

I have always enjoyed jazzfan's threads and posts and hope he will be with us for a long time , but to make accusations based on personal opinion not facts goes beyond what is acceptable . Is this something that should get him banned , my opinion is absolutely not .

I've been reading Stereophile a long time , long enough to be certain that John wouldn't let himself be compromised  by advertisers or anyone else , he  has every right to be fired up . 

 

                                                                                                                                      Regards  Tim Soroski 

jazzfan
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Fool me once...

The only thing personal underlying my nasty ranting is that I don't like being lied to.

HDTracks selling poorly sourced material has true high resolution material, whether the material is either not really high resolution or is dynamically compressed or both, has been a topic of discussion on this and other audio forums for quite some time. Stereophile's response to these accusations has been and continues to be woefully inadequate concerning that a simple test is all that is required to prove whether or not the files from HDTracks are what they claim to be.

For some reason Stereophile will not conduct these simple tests. By performing these tests Stereophile would help to clear the air in that if the tests proved that HDTracks was not selling what they claimed HDTracks would then be shamed into straightening out their act. In the long run Stereophile's action on these issue would help to ensure that in the future high resolution downloads are what they claim to be.

How about running a series of capsule reviews of various high resolution downloads from several different vendors with some sort of metric indicating the dynamic range, bit depth and frequency range of the files.

For example:

Nivana - Nevermind

Tested dynamic range = XX

Tested bit depth = 24 bit

Tested frequency range = 48 kHz with what appears to be a brickwall above 48 kHz

This is only a suggestion but something similar can easily be done.

JA please understand that while I don't think that Stereophile should be a policeman for all the wild claims made by manufactures in high end audio then at the very least Stereophile can help to correct some of the more outrageous claims and bring some sanity and respectability to high end audio.

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Fair Criticism, Uncalled for Derailment

At the beginning of this thread, user MarkBryston makes a totally fair opinion on RB's piece at the end of the November issue. We at Stereophile are always in the process of continuous improvement because we believe in the integrity of the hard work that we put into each issue. This same level of hard work leads to a welcome invitation of criticisms. It keeps our ears open and makes room for our own improvement. We want to make the best magazine possible, month after month, and every reader's words are important to that. Changes are made regularly to the monthly issue, whether you realize it or not, based on opinions on the forums and submitted through reader letters.

Here's what MarkBryston said,

MarkBryston wrote:

While there is no doubt Nirvana's "Nevermind"had a huge impact on the music of the day I find Mr. Bairds  Aural Robert review of the 20th anniversary edition almost shocking.  In the article Mr Baird, correctly, points out..."expert use of loud/soft dynamics" and then goes on to praise this latest atrocity of the loudness wars as  saying these same features..."have been caught on these newly remastered or unreleased sets"  WHAT?????????? are you kidding me???  These things are absolutely NOT dynamic in any way...they are totally and completely crushed.

A very legitimate critiicsm. Thank you for the input Mark.

Now, here's where things get weird...

jazzfan wrote:

The simple and highly cynical answer as to why Mr. Baird failed to level even the slightest criticism at HDTracks for selling this over priced piece of sonic crap is:

HDTracks advertises in Stereophile.

huh?(Cue the weird Home Improvement noise)

 

Jazzfan - you are also welcome to have this criticism of our magazine, and even welcome to have it here on our forums, but in a discussion about the judgment values of dynamic range in a recording, i don't see how this sort of criticism is or should be involved. If you'd really like to hammer out this convo, feel free to start your own thread about Stereophile and advertisers in the General Rants n'Raves.

Again, we welcome discourse about our magazine. To me, the ultimate purpose of these forums should be to discuss STEREOPHILE and its CONTENT, but hope that the need to throw in non-sequetirs whenever the occasion arises about how Stereophile is a corrupt Ad-feeding machine goes away. This seems to deter the quality of the original criticism, no?

Ariel Bitran
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What He Said

deckeda wrote:

@jazzfan

What's ironic is that you're all up in arms and yet totally missed what's potentially important for what surely is not.

JohnnyR
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Ho Hum
deckeda wrote:

@jazzfan

Baird couldn't have criticized the HDTracks release because he didn't compare it to other digital releases, let alone the releases that are actually dynamic, the best LP versions. 

What's ironic is that you're all up in arms and yet totally missed what's potentially important for what surely is not.

 

Sounds like Baird was too lazy to do any real testing as a lot of reviewers are.

JohnnyR
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Gnashing of Teeth
John Atkinson]

[quote=JohnnyR

wrote:

L

If Jazzfan wishes to say that my editorial decisions are influenced by advertiser pressure, then he can either support that accusation with _facts_, apologise for the accusation if he can't, or leave the forum and make such defamatory accusations on another forum where I won't care less.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

 Gosh get over it already. Please supply Jazzfan with the latest  financial statements regarding said advertiser if you want results, otherwise chill.

JohnnyR
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I Think He Should Pass
FSonicSmith wrote:

JA, being a lawyer in real life and being a Hunter S. Thompson fan, let me quote and pretend to be Dr. Gonzo of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and simply say "as your lawyer I advise you to ignore the silly basta*d". He's a nobody and you're a somebody. If he gets your goat he wins. Nobody else give's a rat's patoot what he says, so why should you? Hope in some very very minor way this helps. 

 

Calling Jazzfan a nobody borders on being defamatory also. Some lawyer you are. Also didn't Mr Thompson kill himself?  Nice role model. Myself and other's on here like reading Jazzfan's comments. If you don't, you are free to not do so.

JohnnyR
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Fraid Not
jazzfan wrote:

This is only a suggestion but something similar can easily be done.

JA please understand that while I don't think that Stereophile should be a policeman for all the wild claims made by manufactures in high end audio then at the very least Stereophile can help to correct some of the more outrageous claims and bring some sanity and respectability to high end audio.

 Don't hold yor breath, in the past nothing that "can easlily be done" has been on here and never will.Just read some of the older posts on here for lots of examples. Ignoring the situation is the status quo.

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HD TRACKS

 I think the take home message of this forum is that HD TRACKS needs to be much more careful about what they release. Just because they have the current market cornered, doesn't mean it will always be that way.

jazzfan
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Well said
remlab wrote:

 I think the take home message of this forum is that HD TRACKS needs to be much more careful about what they release. Just because they have the current market cornered, doesn't mean it will always be that way.

Quite true.

An important corollary to this, if one is to believe HDTracks assertion that they are only passing along the "bad" files that they receive from the record companies, is that between the easy tests one can conduct which reveal the true nature of these "bad" files and the ease which one can spread the word of these test results via the internet there is no place to hide.

At this point in time Stereophile can choose to either remain in the crowd insisting that the emperor is finely dressed or they can get out in front of the crowd tell us just how naked the emperor really is. Either way most listeners/readers will know that the emperor is naked. Now Stereophile needs to decide whether they're on the side of the emperor or the people.

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HD Tracks?

Could someone point me to where Robert Baird mentions the HD Tracks version in this "Aural Robert"?

I see the various CD-versions, the LP set and the “Super Deluxe Edition” but no mention of the 24/96 version available on HD Tracks. He does mention listening to WAV and 256kbps files of the Paramount Show and Devonshire mixes but these have nothing to do with HD Tracks.

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my experiences with H tracks

have all been positive. I have not bought too many tracks, but I have compared the McCartney tracks I bought and they are much better than cd quality files. They have most of the positives of my vinyl, none of the tics, and are a bit more dynamic as they are not compressed for release. I have read the problems with HDtracks and read their solution, and I am satisfied. They will get more of my business.

 

Trey

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he doesn't I did...
michaelavorgna wrote:

Could someone point me to where Robert Baird mentions the HD Tracks version in this "Aural Robert"?

I see the various CD-versions, the LP set and the “Super Deluxe Edition” but no mention of the 24/96 version available on HD Tracks. He does mention listening to WAV and 256kbps files of the Paramount Show and Devonshire mixes but these have nothing to do with HD Tracks.

 

 

He doesn't mention hdtracks...I opened that can of worms...as Mr. Baird had made mention of the different formats for which he did review I also have all of them as well..and I also have the hdtracks 24/96( I refuse to follow political geeky correctness...it should be bit rate before sample rate!!!! worked for over 20 years as the correct way). My point in mentioning hdtracks was simply to show that all of the versions available are squashed compressed and clipped to hell. Since hdtracks( in theory at least) is the most "audiophile" digital version I was disappointed in its quality as being no better really than all the othe compressed atrocities that are victims of the loudness wars.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that Mr Baird had reviewed the hdtracks version...nor to involve or accuse JA of anything involving his integrity...I simply have become more and more concerned that those who we count on as our "Generals" in the war on loudness seem to be either oblivious to the attacks or have succumbed to the labels and are now accepting compression and clipping as dynamic and acceptable.

Nevermind is neither dynamic nor acceptable as being claimed to be dynamic in this version. My point in posting was to bring to Stereophiles attention the need to discuss the methods for which claims of dynamics are made and to bring this very important music issue back to the front...we seem to have forgotten the hard fought lessons of Metallica's Death Magnetic already...and Mr. Bairds review only further hindered that issue.

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O.K. Then!

Everyone has reached an understanding.  There is something of an apology. 

Can't we all just get along?

And now, HDTracks needs to weigh in?

jazzfan
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Agreed
BigBuck wrote:

Everyone has reached an understanding.  There is something of an apology. 

Can't we all just get along?

And now, HDTracks needs to weigh in?

I agree and apologize.

I am often left scratching my head in amazement over how little effort HDTracks puts in after receiving the digital files from a record company and BEFORE making these files available for sale to the public. The simple tests that I keep referring to could easily be performed on the files by HDTracks BEFORE making the files available. This would go a long way towards preventing most of the issues that have arisen regarding the quality of the high resolution files being sold by HDTracks.

I am still of the opinion that until HDTracks cleans up its act Stereophile should be on the side the consumer and help to hold HDTracks feet to the fire by testing the files themselves and publishing the results.

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