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24x48
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Loud speakers will die?

Hi,

I am starting to wonder whther there will be a place for loud speakers in future. The problem is with the wide-spread of Compressed Crap Codecs (CCC). What I hear from digital televisions, digital radios, even in DVDs, the prevalence of compressed digital music will make large loud speakers useless. Basically, compression means killing of volume-depth information which results in poor base sound. There is no point buying expensive large loud speakers. From my digital televison sound, I don't find any need for bigger than laptop speakers! They are too compressed. I hardly hear any sound that loud speakers can make difference. This is also true in DVDs. LPCM sound is great. But compressed codecs like Dolby Digital and DTS, their base sound really sucks! I think that's why hardware manufacturers make surround speaker systems made of mini speakers.

JoeE SP9
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loud?

We obviously are not hearing or seeing the same things.

There are plenty of manufacturers producing lots of models of speakers in every size from mini monitors to large ones like Focal Grand Utopia's. I suggest you look around a little. most Classical and Jazz recordings have little or no compression. It's all in what you listen to.

Many of the OTA TV programs in the US have fairly decent sound. Concerts on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) usually have good sound. Some of them have very good sound.

I play TV and DVD/BD sound through my stereo (tube driven esl's) system and I'm quite happy with the results.

24x48
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Your eqip too heavy for higher definition!

I don't think you enjoy the true breathtaking sound of higer definition music stored in DVDs and Blurays. You should be able to tell the difference between sampling ratios and bit widths and different codecs from sound comming from your equpments. Your equipments are too heavy and slow analog stuff. They are outdated to enjoy higher sampling and bit width modern music. Sound quality stored in DVDs and Blurays are far much superior than your miserable CDs. That's why I stopped using CDs ever since DVDs became available.

The problem is with the laws of physics! The core of your loud speakers is "moving coil" cones. Loud speakers have large moving coil and cones. They are heavy and thus too slow to produce highly exquisite sound available in higher definition sound tracks. Because of this, world's cutting edge R&D sound engineers were predicting the death of loud speakers. I heard this several years ago. They were predicting people will use small new generation speakers and headphones. That's what I do now! Alanis Morissette's Storytellers DVD contains 24bits and 48khz sampling rate LCPM tracks. The sound is really nice. Of course, her voice is the best of bests. I cannot hear the same sound on loud speakers.

BTW, your "analog" tube amplifier is also an issue. Your equpments may be good for CDs and other low-definition music. Not for higer definition. You better look for "Class D amplifiers" also known as "digital amplifiers". Avoid any analog things as much as possible. Anlog circuits always introduce distortion and noise. Any try out smaller speakers built using new generation materials and unamplified head phones. With those equipments, you should hear CD sound rather "coarse and dirty". But amazing sound from DVDs and Blurays!

jackfish
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WOW! Where do people come up with these ideas?

Both Joe and I do not have speakers with large cones and coils, he has electrostats and I have planar/quasi-ribbon. The literature suggests that 90 percent of people cannot tell the difference between 16-bit, 44.1 kHz material and 24-bit, 96 kHz material. Your analog vs. digital comparisons don't stand up in the real world. So-called digital amplifiers also exhibit distortion and noise. Nice delusional rhetoric though.

24x48
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Yes, you can!

Yes I can! Of course you should, only if you use really fast headphones or speakers manufactured using such technology. You also need to understand some characteristics of digital sound waves produced by DACs. Sound waves produced DACs are not smooth curves. It's "stairs-shaped jagged" curves. Fast headphones reproduce the jagged curves! In lower sampling rates, the jaggedness is large. It's like stairs with large steps. This makes sound quite coarse and dirty on fast speakers. With higher sampling rates, this jagged steps get smaller. You hear of this problem much less severely. Of course, sound tones also get better. With proper equipments, anyone can tell the difference between CD's 16bits/44.1khz and DVD's 16bits/48khz. Just 10% higher sampling rate makes huge difference in sound quality. A friend of mine visited me. I let him hear 16bits/48khz LPCM live concert dvd tracks and immediately CDs and MP3s. He said immediately "no good, no good!".

With 24bits, volume depth get wider and more detailed. This give you more grandeur sound, especially in low frequence sounds such as base guitars and drums. You can clearly hear the distance between microphones and sound sources. You can notice people clapping and shouting from a "distance"!

With higher bits and sampling rates, improvement can be noticed especially in low frequency sound such as base guitars. Sound is crispy and clear. Sound boundary is continuous and sharp! You can hear base guitar sound spreading like tides move! I really enjoy this kind of sound!

Compressed codecs such as Dolby and DTS reduce volume depth (=bits) to reduce bits and create duplicate sound samples. This kills off grandeur of low frequency sound. You also loose distanceness of sound. You hear sound is light and very near to you. Clapping and shouting in live concerts become very light sound originating very close to you! But this is good for some classical music, in some sense. Female vocalist bands tend to use Dolby. Male vocalist band tends to use uncompressed LPCM. For surround, they use Dolby or DTS, although some blurays contain LPCM 5.1 tracks.

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Congratulations

24X48, I cannot agree with much in your first post, except maybe that compressed formats are crap, though I wouldn't put it that way. But congratulations on your excellent hearing. It is wonderful that you have ears that can hear the jagged steps of 16bits/44.1khz audio files, as stated in your last post.

With my old, but otherwise normal human ears, I can not generally tell what the sample rate is when listening to digital music files. The quality of the recording process seems vastly more important to the sound I hear than does the digital format. I have many 16bits/44.1khz tracks that sound wonderful, just as I have some in 24bit/96khz  or 192khz that sound like the older, compressed, or relatively crude recordings that they are. I cannot divide my music by format. (I don't have any MP3's though)

I listen at times with headphones, and the sound is different than through my speakers, not inherently better, but different. Maybe you could give us an example by telling us exactly what "small new generation speakers and headphones" you are using. And while you are at it, could you also explain what "unamplified head phones" is it that you are using. I'm very curious.

24x48
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Thanks!

I am also rather old. I don't think I have special ears. Probably a little bit of training and use of very fast headphones. In early 1980s, I had 46kilogram JBL speakers, enjoying Spyro Gyra Freetime LPs. After the introduction of DVDs in laptops, I started using laptops as my sole multimedia player. I am a computer scientist. So I was quick to take advantage of new technology. Laptops normally has quite good sound cards. My previous laptop was specially designed for multimedia professionals. It had Yamaha 24 bit sound cards. It also had speakers made of headphone technology. That time, everyone wanted to exchange their miserable-sound laptops with mine, of course, jokingly. That's when I switched to laptops as my multipurpose media player. My current laptop has 16 bit high definition sound cards. So I ended up buying a USB-based 24 bit DAC which has no analog volume knob. I have to control volumes from Windows media players and master volume control, yes digitally! The DAC produces sound wave directly to headphone power level. It's a kind of digital amplifier for headphones. It also has RCA and Toslink connectors. I cannot tell whether it's on or off unless I play something or see diode lamps of the DAC, because it has no audible noise. If I turn volume to zero, there is absolutely no sound. It's because it's pure digital device. So there is no introduced noise. Only problem is that it does not support all codecs. I have to hassle with Windows sometimes. This is manufactured by a small Taiwanese company and sold here by a local comapy with their own box. So it will be difficult to buy from your place.

The headphones I use is Bose AE2 around ears headphones. This is my second Bose headphones. Price is also very low compared to other expensive headphones. I tried various headphones such as Beats, Senheiser, etc. I also have two other headphones which are craps. They are not that fast enough for higer definition. However Bose headphones is not good for CDs or MP3s. It gives you coarse sound. But with higher definition, you will notice the sampling and bit size difference. That's why I can tell the difference.

BTW, sound is somewhat hard! But it's nice to hear bands that allow you to hear individual instrument separately at the same time, e.g, Jazz or jazz-like music. But it's too hard for rocks and heavy metals. So I use a home-made base boosting amplifier to soften sound tones for such music.

There is a down-side as well. After DVD, I stopped using my piles of CDs. Currently I keep using a "small selection of music DVDs" repeatedly, to enjoy certain sound!

jackfish
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Misconceptions abound...

No DAC is a "pure digital device", it by its nature has analog output. All DACs exhibit distortion and noise. If a DAC has a headphone jack then it likely has an analog amplifier to produce a signal compliant with typical headphone input requirements. If one is using a laptop computer as a music server, it is likely that, due to poor isolation of internal components, the laptop itself is introducing distortion and noise to the signal.

There are a growing number of people who recognize that the "hi-rez" trend is a scam designed to sell us things we don't need. We don't need 24-bit/192kHz music, we DO need better engineering and mastering of music for the 16-bit/44.1kHz format.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html The debate continues...

Demondog
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Visionary

I wonder, should I sell my AKG K701, and get the Bose AE2?

and jackfish, I don't know about 24/192 being a scam. I just know I will not replace lower sample rate music just to get it in the higher format, nor will I pay a premium for it over, say 24/96.

Also agree about better engineering and mastering. That's where the real improvement lies.

JoeE SP9
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Are you serious?
24x48 wrote:

I am also rather old. I don't think I have special ears. Probably a little bit of training and use of very fast headphones. In early 1980s, I had 46kilogram JBL speakers, enjoying Spyro Gyra Freetime LPs. After the introduction of DVDs in laptops, I started using laptops as my sole multimedia player. I am a computer scientist. So I was quick to take advantage of new technology. Laptops normally has quite good sound cards. My previous laptop was specially designed for multimedia professionals. It had Yamaha 24 bit sound cards. It also had speakers made of headphone technology. That time, everyone wanted to exchange their miserable-sound laptops with mine, of course, jokingly. That's when I switched to laptops as my multipurpose media player. My current laptop has 16 bit high definition sound cards. So I ended up buying a USB-based 24 bit DAC which has no analog volume knob. I have to control volumes from Windows media players and master volume control, yes digitally! The DAC produces sound wave directly to headphone power level. It's a kind of digital amplifier for headphones. It also has RCA and Toslink connectors. I cannot tell whether it's on or off unless I play something or see diode lamps of the DAC, because it has no audible noise. If I turn volume to zero, there is absolutely no sound. It's because it's pure digital device. So there is no introduced noise. Only problem is that it does not support all codecs. I have to hassle with Windows sometimes. This is manufactured by a small Taiwanese company and sold here by a local comapy with their own box. So it will be difficult to buy from your place.

The headphones I use is Bose AE2 around ears headphones. This is my second Bose headphones. Price is also very low compared to other expensive headphones. I tried various headphones such as Beats, Senheiser, etc. I also have two other headphones which are craps. They are not that fast enough for higer definition. However Bose headphones is not good for CDs or MP3s. It gives you coarse sound. But with higher definition, you will notice the sampling and bit size difference. That's why I can tell the difference.

BTW, sound is somewhat hard! But it's nice to hear bands that allow you to hear individual instrument separately at the same time, e.g, Jazz or jazz-like music. But it's too hard for rocks and heavy metals. So I use a home-made base boosting amplifier to soften sound tones for such music.

There is a down-side as well. After DVD, I stopped using my piles of CDs. Currently I keep using a "small selection of music DVDs" repeatedly, to enjoy certain sound!

 

Where to begin?

Age first. I'm 64 and have been involved in this passion for 46+ years.

The weight of your old JBL's is not relevant to anything.

Being a computer scientist has virtually nothing to do with audio. I'm a BS Electrical Engineering and MS Computer Science so I have some insight in this area.

Laptops normally have truly awful onboard sound cards. 

Digital volume controls usually control volume by reducing the bit count. This is counterproductive to good sound.

Who cares what technology is used for laptop speakers they are all too small to produce sound worth listening to.

The only speakers faster than esl's are speakers with no diaphragms. It's physics related. You do know about moving mass? 

As for headphones; IMO my Grado's are an order of magnitude better than Bose. The Stax electrostatic "earspeakers" I gave to a friend are even better.

I don't listen to MP3 files. None of sound good enough to me.

A bass boosting amplifier can't soften "sound tones" unless it simultaneously rolls of the high frequencies. That results in a dull bass heavy sound. 

24x48
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Not really!
JoeE SP9 wrote:

The only speakers faster than esl's are speakers with no diaphragms. It's physics related. You do know about moving mass? 

The best speaker system is the ones of which speed matches the sampling frequencies. So playing 44.1khz CDs will be good on normal speakers. But this normal speakers cannot move fast enough for high frequency sampling rates to produce unblurred sound.

Digital technology is disruptive. Companies that don't adapt will have trouble. What leading edge sound researchers said was that we have technology that we can record in tremendous detail. But we don't have technology that we can reproduce it. So we have impedence mismatch! We can record even ultra high frequencies that can cause cancer! Look, I am not crazy! That's why they even restricted 192khz sampling rates to be the maximum, despite we have technology that we can build giga hertz sound cards!

I am not writing this information from my own thinking. I worked some time with digital audio tech researchers. Mostly I heard from them. Digital audio tech is well in computing area now!

If you hear from those researchers, you will hear things we never thought about. There are things that we cannot discuss here!

Finally, digital audio can give you well detailed sound, not by money you spend. But by the sheer numbers of bits! So that anyone can enjoy high quality sound at little cost. It's audio democracy!

24x48
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Recording quality is very important
Demondog wrote:

Also agree about better engineering and mastering. That's where the real improvement lies.

This is quite true and this is my main complaints. There are hundreds of music DVDs in my public library. All are not in good recording quality, except some. There are very limited music titles that give me real benefit of higher resolution recording. Some music DVDs released from 20 year old analog tapes! The music is great. But not the quality of recordings!

jackfish
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24x48

Thank you for ignoring my counter to your specious claims.

JoeE SP9
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Are you serious?
24x48 wrote:
JoeE SP9 wrote:

The only speakers faster than esl's are speakers with no diaphragms. It's physics related. You do know about moving mass? 

The best speaker system is the ones of which speed matches the sampling frequencies. So playing 44.1khz CDs will be good on normal speakers. But this normal speakers cannot move fast enough for high frequency sampling rates to produce unblurred sound.

Digital technology is disruptive. Companies that don't adapt will have trouble. What leading edge sound researchers said was that we have technology that we can record in tremendous detail. But we don't have technology that we can reproduce it. So we have impedence mismatch! We can record even ultra high frequencies that can cause cancer! Look, I am not crazy! That's why they even restricted 192khz sampling rates to be the maximum, despite we have technology that we can build giga hertz sound cards!

I am not writing this information from my own thinking. I worked some time with digital audio tech researchers. Mostly I heard from them. Digital audio tech is well in computing area now!

If you hear from those researchers, you will hear things we never thought about. There are things that we cannot discuss here!

Finally, digital audio can give you well detailed sound, not by money you spend. But by the sheer numbers of bits! So that anyone can enjoy high quality sound at little cost. It's audio democracy!

 

Everyone has been extremely polite in responding to the nonsense you keep posting. Let's get real here.

You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Where in Vermillion hells do you get these wacky ideas about "speaker speed" having anything to do with sampling rate or high sampling rates causing cancer.

Please post the names of  these "researchers" and the titles of any of their white papers.

I would put you on my ignore list but you make me laugh with the absurd ideas you post. You should post to the "Open Bar" there's plenty of threads full of nonsense there.

I have one question. What criterea do you use to match the "speed" of a speaker to the sampling rate?

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can't tell the difference?

" The literature suggests that 90 percent of people cannot tell the difference between 16-bit, 44.1 kHz material and 24-bit, 96 kHz material."

Really? I trust you Jackfish, as you turned me on to Emotiva (thank you so much!) but my experience with cd and higher res files is completely different. The most striking instance is when I was using dB Poweramp to reduce a high res file so a friend could play it. It was a file from Chicago II, an album my wife and I have loved since it was released. I was grooving to one of the songs at 24/96 then switched to the recently down convertered file. My wife came in from the next room and asked "What did you just do?" in a petulant voice. She was not at all pleased with the loss of information!

It was a good conversion using a good program and it sucked the life out of the music to the point that the non-audiophile SWMBO heard it and commented. From the next room.

I am interested in the methodology of the tests as their results so fly in the face of my own (considerable) experience in this area.

Trey

JoeE SP9
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90%?

Obviously you and you wife are not part of the 90%.devil The few high res recordings I have sound really good. Maybe I'll downsample one and do some comparing.

Is it possible dB Poweramp is responsible for a large part of the difference? I've never used it and I'm curious.

Demondog
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Don't know if I'm alone, but

I find 24X48's posts very entertaining, and was trying to entice him into giving us more. It's not that common to to find people willing to ignore traditional logical thinking so completely, to come up with their own unique ideas. (Not counting a few tweakers.)

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Entertaining, but even though

Entertaining, but even though I'm new to speakers, I've been studying headphones for a bit (I still don't own anything so...lol) and if I apply what you say, I can say the exact same with headphones. You're saying moving coils are basically the death of drivers using those as they're too slow. Headphones use moving coils as well. Just like headphones though, there are speakers using planar and electrostatic drivers that are much more responsive and faster. I think your argument is rather invalid.

Not every company or broadcaster is going to send everything in 320kbps MP3 or higher, much less FLAC, ALAC, or WAV.

If something sounds fast, it's either 1. It's somehow accelerating the sound or 2. it just gives off an aggressive sound that sounds like it's pushing the music forward. What you're concerned about is latency. Honestly, it's impossible to have no latency. Even light has latency. Honestly, latency is low enough in most modern day products that we don't notice the puny difference of video and audio matchup as it's only by a few milliseconds.

24x48
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Headphone coils and cones are smaller!

"Headphones use moving coils as well."

Yes most headphones also use moving coils and cones. But they are tiny and lighter. Also use very thin special celluroid cones. This allows cones and coils move faster so that phones can move closely to electrical waves. The downside of headphones is that since it uses small surface, it cannot generate large volume sound! So you cannot hear low frequency sound in high volume!

24x48
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You can ignore my comment!
JoeE SP9 wrote:

You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Where in Vermillion hells do you get these wacky ideas about "speaker speed" having anything to do with sampling rate or high sampling rates causing cancer.

I don't it's worth to reply your comment.

you can put me into your ignore files.

JoeE SP9
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I refuse

I will comment as long as you continue to post nonsense.

You make pronouncements but won't respond to any questions about where and how you come up with your "strange" ideas.

If you can't or won't respond to valid questions and criticisms perhaps you shouldn't make questionable posts.

Beside, your ideas are good for providing a daily laugh.

BTW: Windows 8 provides support for optical drives.

59mga
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Trust your ears...

...and you'll do no wrong. So says the owner of my local audiophile shop.

The last time I purchased any new audio equipment was nearly 30 years ago. And now I'm in the market for somethig new. Been doing my homework regarding all the latest and greatest in technology. Not always impressed. And why should I have to purchase a PC or laptop to enjoy my music? (Yeah, I read to comments about the music industry following the advice of Steve Jobs.) Ain't nothin' simple in life anymore? What should I do with my collection of vinyl, r-to-r tapes, CDs...technology will have changed and my new gear will be obsolete by the time I get it home and hooked up.

I'm just an old guy ready to retire and all this techno jibber-jabber about bit rates, compression and MP3s I'll leave to you folks who understand it better than myself.

A recent hearing test revealed that my hearing is better than that of someone in their 20's. I'll take the advice with which I started my rant.

(But I do enjoy reading folks thoughts.) 

     

24x48
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Nonsense?

By saying that I say nonsense, you are admitting that you know nothing about electro-magnetic theory, digital audio technology and speakers!

I know that if someone posts things that average folks like you cannot understand, there are always some people reacting like you. That's why I deliverately added the cancer remark to see if you know something what you talking about.

I won't tell you more about cancer to embarass you.

However you can test about the speed of speakers with your digital TV or digital radios. If you hear your digital TV sound over fast headphones, you will hear extremely dirty sound! The same sound on your slowish TV speakers look quite nice! Sometimes we have quite nice concert programs. Unfortunately the heavily compressed low sampling rate sound is no good for fast headphones!

24x48
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Bluray enabled laptops are the best!
59mga wrote:

A recent hearing test revealed that my hearing is better than that of someone in their 20's. I'll take the advice with which I started my rant.

Hearing is also dependent on the ability to concentrate on sounds. You will need a bit of self-training to follow sounds.

IMHO, the best media player is laptops with built-in Brulay drive. You can play almost anything digital except SACD. By the way, there are very few SACDs available. The sound cards of laptops are not too bad. Mostly they have 16bit DAC. Only problem is with noise. There are some hiss-noise coming from cheap analog amplifier. Also noise from disk drives and CPUs. You can get rid of this noise using external devices. There are two types of external devices for non-professionals. One is DAC which produces sound only. The other type is sound cards which provides both sound reproduction and recordings. Older laptops provide a number of interfaces such as PCMCIA/ExpressCard, iLink, and USB. Unfortunately recent laptops support only USBs. So you have to buy USB-based external DAC or sound cards.

The rest, you use your existing systems: headphones, amplifiers, speakers, etc.

If you like surround sound, you may need surround systems as well.

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