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iosiP
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Michael, sorry again

But AFAIK Abbey Road is an album of some group called Beat Less that I never liked and have no record of.
Yes I am a pacifist and think that less beating would be good, but need not be reminded of this in song!

geoffkait
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Home Freezer
iosiP wrote:

I understand quite well how cryo works (and so are you, of course). Now the known and documented effects of cryo treatment have nothing to do with the temperatures used by a home deep freezer (unless, of course, American ladies use liquid nitrogen to keep their tenderloins... well, tender).

Of course the home freezer is not the same temperature as used in cryo. I already said that fer crying out loud. That's kind of the whole point of my mentioning the home freezer. Hel-lol! Don't you think it's at least a little, uh, interesting that home freezers are used by audiophiles to treat CDs, LPs, cables, receivers, CD players? Why, shucks, I was doing all this cryo and home freezer stuff back when Christ was a Boy Scout. Back when Honeywell was investigating whether cryo improved the performance of transistors. That was 15 years ago.

You assume that extremely low temperatures I.e., - 300 F are required to get a (permanent) effect. You know what they say about ASS-U-ME? When you assume something you make an ass out of me and Uma Thurman.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Concepts

toledo
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Is there a tweakers convention in town

Is there a tweakers convention in town crashing Michaels listening party?

Time to move cross town and make yer own party and send out some invites.

If you wish to have a tech theme for your party go for it.

michael green
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what I've noticed

Hi Toledo

Here's what I have noticed so far at least. There are audiophiles coming up and reading and there are others who have no intention of being a part of the thread at all with the exception of getting a free ride. People willing to be off topic to the point of being rude, but in need of a chance to be seen.

I have seen this alot in this business and I hope readers take note of this. A huge part of this industry has nothing to do with listening, at least not at the level worthy of being called high end. An industry of free loaders and fake listeners posing to have the golden key and golden ears but yet too afraid to actually do something all of us who take this hobby seriously do regularly. You have to ask yourself, why are they even here? Why would someone come to a thread on referencing Abbey Road when they know from the very beginning they are not going to be a part of the referencing? They try to turn a simple fun adventure into something that in the end self destructs instead of just getting out of the way and let others have fun and maybe even learn to appreciate a musical standard. But lets make a bigger note, this parallels the very industry of high end audio. Very few of the people are actually listeners, it's just an easy hobby to betray. Telling people to buy Buy BUY, but at the end of the day not getting any closer to the music. Not pulling new people into the hobby of listening that's for sure. Maybe the hobby of what-a-be engineering, equipment or music collecting but certainly not the hobby of listening. I have a forum about listening and you won't see this type of behaviour there. In my mind Stereophile and TAS always stood for the first word in the spreading of a hobby about listening to music. Where in the world did that hobby go? People making claims without really listening, or fabricating their audio fishtales should be a part of some other hobby but not this one. Do they not see that real listeners can see if a system is working or not? That real designers are listening every day and always cutting new teeth? People say "been there done that" but they haven't really been there. Their walking around on here setting up folding chairs and shouting into microphones cause they can, not because they know listening from the inside out. If this industry knew listening they would have already moved on to the next chapter. They sit there with speakers that won't work in the room and systems that can't play the music and blame it on the music itself instead of looking at the reason why it won't play. They have built their own box and called it home, but lets not pretend this is the real hobby. This is some stalled side track to the real thing but it's absolutely not the real hobby of listening. The real hobby is somewhere people are actually listening. A place where people have found answers and actually taken that next step. A step that should have happened with high end a while back but got derailed and hasn't been able to find the tracks under it's own wheels. For a people who have such an ability to make steam why hasn't anything moved in years. The rest of the world has caught up and past, but the high end audio part doesn't even know this. Didn't even see the train going by.

yep, it and they can talk about audio, they just can't reference it

I've been in music all my life and can't believe I'm even talking to people who can't or won't put a little piece of plastic in a machine and play it. They can talk about everything but what this hobby really is. My apologise to the listeners out there who came to a forum called Stereophile and never got a chance to reference a simple piece of music. You would think that people who claim to care about music would care about you the listener, but I guess this is too much to ask.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/ Where listeners are actually listening.

toledo
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Identity crisis

Michael,

You are a pretty laid back cat, and it takes a lot to get you riled.

I have noticed, of late, that the current contentious environment here on this forum occurs elsewhere on other forums. I am not referring to manufactures, but hobbyists. I do think it is bad form and lack of decorum when one manufacturer hijacks another manufactures thread, though.

Everyone is at each other's throats. You used to have small little disagreements over some technical matter, but lately it seems people go toe to toe over the smallest thing on thread after thread. I also notice there are a lot more hobbyist to manufacturer squabbles than there used to be. The internet is the great equalizer.

I think the industry is having an identity crisis and the hobbyists are the ones that are suffering and are lashing out.

So many promises were made and systems purchased and the hobbyist is left with half baked solutions that only sound decent with certain recordings.

It is no wonder a lot of people have lost the art of listening since they spend a considerable amount of time trying to get their systems to perform. The discussions have twisted to technical details as people are constantly trying to find and acquire (or swap) the myriad components, cables, speakers, tweaks needed to put a half decent system together.

Something needs to change.

May Belt
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My answer

>>> “(BTW, I never heard of any manufacturer to just admit he/she doen't know how the device works: he/she just discovered it by accident).” <<<

In that case you don’t know your audio history !!!

>>> “I have no reason not to try the cryo treatment on a few of my CDs, and even to compare the treated vs. untreated (I have qiute a few duplicates). So trying is not my problem!” <<<

But the ‘freezing’ of CDs (and many other things such as components and cables) has been discussed, in the world of audio, for the last 25 years to my knowledge, (both at the cryogenic temperatures and at the domestic deep freeze temperatures) so if you haven’t investigated it by now, then there must be a reason why – so there must be SOMETHING preventing you from trying.

>>> “I understand quite well how cryo works (and so are you, of course). Now the known and documented effects of cryo treatment have nothing to do with the temperatures used by a home deep freezer” <<<

Everyone I know understands FULLY that the temperatures of cryo freezing are not the same as a domestic deep freezer !!!!! It is not about a ‘shoot out at the OK coral’ as to which is best. However, one CAN achieve good results by using a domestic deep freezer - and it certainly is an easy experiment to try !! Especially if one has two identical CDs or have particular CDs where one has been disappointed with their sound and therefore never play them now.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

iosiP
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May, thanks for nothing

I exposed a few problems (and as such, asked a few questions). In your response you only address one of them, and in a derisive form - so no way to consider that a valid answer - then you switch to beating the dead horse of domestic cryo-ing. So would you please answer my (implied) questions, or just admit you can't and I'll get over it?

geoffkait
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Right Church wrong pew
toledo wrote:

Is there a tweakers convention in town crashing Michaels listening party?

Time to move cross town and make yer own party and send out some invites.

If you wish to have a tech theme for your party go for it.

Sorry to disturb the congregation. It's all iosiP's fault for starting up with all that cryo stuff.

It's becoming clear there's no room for humor in high end audio.

;-)

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

toledo
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Where is the humor Geoff ?

Where is the humor Geoff? You love your strawmen.

All anyone sees is blatant self promotion and a lack of manners!

Actually, its all May's fault for the cryo stuff ... I can play also ;)

May Belt
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May, thanks for nothing

iosiP

I didn't see your comments as questions, I just saw them (and still do)as statements.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

May Belt
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My responses

Michael, I merely reply to some of the specific points you raise in YOUR postings. As in your :-

>>> “So take a look at your system and note every where you have twist (they need to be separated or loosened till things open up, transformers bolted and screwed down, heavy faceplates. Speaking of faceplace, take off the nobs and look at how the nob shafts are clamped onto the place with nuts. Look at how much mass is there. High end faceplates sound horrible. That's too much metal close to the signal path. Same goes for the rest of the chassis if it is heavy. Look for anywhere a heavier part might be next to a low mass part, and there is more blockage. Heavy circuit boards are another thing. If you had a lower mass setup next to a high mass setup, and both were tuned, the lower mass will cast a soundstage that is easily twice the size. “ <<<

You refer to those procedures (which I am NOT challenging as being able to change the sound) as ‘unblocking’, meaning that prior to doing those procedures there must have been a “blocking” action taking place. But, a “blocking” of what ? Of the ‘soundstage’ ? But where had that information of the ‘soundstage’ been, previously ? If you had selected the amplifier first as carrying out those procedures you describe, then the information about the ‘soundstage’ MUST HAVE already reached the input of the amplifier ! Meaning that that information of the ‘soundstage’ must have already been ‘handled’ perfectly adequately by the UNTREATED CD player and by the UNTREATED pre-amplifier to be able to reach the input of the amplifier.

And, then, if you can HEAR the improvements in the sound after carrying out those procedures on the amplifier, then this means that all that additional information regarding the ‘soundstage’ must have been ‘handled’ perfectly adequately by the UNTREATED loudspeakers and presented into the room.

Having said that, carrying out similar procedures to those described now on the CD player and the pre-amplifier would, again, produce further improvements in the sound but one cannot get away from the earlier realisation that all the additional information being heard MUST BE on the original recording but had not been resolved correctly earlier. THIS is the realisation (that there is a wealth of information on the recording but is not being resolved correctly) which so many people deliberately choose to AVOID thinking about!! And which I fully appreciate you are trying to get over to people.

>>> “I appreciate a point as much as the next guy but if I'm listening to a 30 plus wide/deep soundstage and May, Costin, Bill, Toledo, Geoff, Tim or who else is listening to a 15, 18, 45 foot one, how can a guy relate unless he hears the reference-er say that? He can't, he just hears quotes from a reviewer going Wow! (sorry just an example) (what designer hasn't had this said), that's what a review is. I don't mean to be mean and I'm glad a reviewer said wow, but what did it sound like with Abbey Road on a system playing on this thread? People are coming up saying use this, but without any listening to tell the listener reading here's what I like and why.” <<<

I quote what significant people in the audio industry are describing because they are CLUES. CLUES which people should be taking note of !!!!! CLUES which tell people that there is ‘something going on’ which needs investigating seriously.

I quote these people not because I regard them as Gods but because they are pointing to the fact that there is ‘something going on’ regarding what people are hearing (or not hearing) and which needs serious investigation. Exactly as you are doing, Michael. I do not challenge what you hear when you do what you describe. But I don’t need to be listening to a specific recording which others are listening to. I can be listening to a recording of a live performance of Tosca and I can follow and do something you describe – such as taking a plastic CD case out of the room and gaining an improvement in the sound – and if I suddenly hear one of the singers take an unexpected breath, or hear an expanse of shimmering treble – which I had not heard before – then I will realise that that information had been on the recording all the time but I had not heard it before !!!! Which would mean that the plastic CD case HAD BEEN having an adverse effect. I don’t need to be deliberately listening to a disc specified by others.

If your experience of finding that introducing a plastic CD case into the listening room had an adverse effect on the sound and you had referred to this in a magazine article, then I would quote THAT also. BECAUSE it is as significant to ‘sound’ and what affects ‘sound’ as would be a faulty/loose electrical/audio
connection !!

>>> “This industry has got to get back to listening or it will be kissed goodbye, cause no one wants to read about CD's in their freezer or cork under a board, sorry but why do I want it if the person presenting it won't reference it. Listeners want to listen and find out how they can get that. But few people here are willing to paint the picture, the soundstage.” <<<

You make comments like that but you don’t seem to want people to respond to those comments. I respond because SOME people, in the audio industry, ARE describing what they hear – and from the most unusual devices. As in a review by Jeremy R Kipnis Lessloss Blackbody Devices in Positive Feedback Online May/June 2013 issue:-

>>> “3) The harmonic structure of instruments and the acoustic space itself (as heard in the various recordings I am auditioning) ALL show a NEW (inter)related connection amongst themselves along with a wholeness of sonic presentation WITHIN the hall which was simply NOT AUDIBLE before.

With these 3 observations also comes the following reactions:

A) I am inclined to turn up the volume several dB because the sense of strain that was present above a certain volume level during playback of known materials is no longer as present. To that end, I can now hear better into the acoustic of the various recordings I'm auditioning because I raised the overall volume, and the presentation suddenly falls into place properly as it would in the actual hall itself—for reference (and so you can try this at home), I am listening here to:

HOLST: The Planets (1985) Charles Dutoit / Montreal Symphony Orchestra; London DECCA

B) Inner details of the recorded acoustic venue and the placement of individual instruments within that space has become vastly more solid and life-like, tangible and palpable; given the perspective found in the recording, which would place one 12 feet in the air hanging over the conductor's head, but back a few feet! Consequently, the holographic imaging has the orchestra descending both BACK and UP; in the same way as you might see it if you were hanging there, like a camera.

C) In spite of hearing this performance many hundreds of times since it came out in 1985 (it's one of my 20 best sounding recordings), I now find myself hearing YET NEW things I have never heard, before. Inner harmonies are now clear during both the most massive and the most silent moments. And the degree to which the soundstage hangs free from the speakers is now PALPABLE and VISCERAL, very much the way the BEST Analog discs and tapes sound!” <<<

Is this a detailed enough description of what this reviewer heard from his recordings sufficient for you, Michael ? Your comment below, Michael, is somewhat dismissive of OTHER’S experiences.

>>> “how can a guy relate unless he hears the reference-er say that? He can't, he just hears quotes from a reviewer going Wow! (sorry just an example) (what designer hasn't had this said), that's what a review is. I don't mean to be mean and I'm glad a reviewer said wow” <<<

Surely Jeremy R Kipnis, saying :-

>>> “And the degree to which the soundstage hangs free from the speakers is now PALPABLE and VISCERAL, very much the way the BEST Analog discs and tapes sound!” <<<

Is him describing the ‘soundstage’ he is hearing ???

The point I am trying to make, yet again, is that the improvement in the sound Jeremy R Kipnis is hearing is from introducing a device into the listening room which cannot possibly be ‘having an effect on the signal travelling through the audio system’ so all that ‘more’ information he is now resolving, which is giving him a ‘freer’ soundstage MUST HAVE already been in the room all the time !!!

Which fundamentally challenges the current thinking of most of the audio industry.

Which is what I think you are also trying to do Michael. But other people’s experiences have, at the same time, to be acknowledged and taken note of because they contribute to the ‘whole’ picture !!

>>> “Why would someone come to a thread on referencing Abbey Road when they know from the very beginning they are not going to be a part of the referencing?” <<<

Now, if something is brought up in the MIDDLE of a thread on referencing Abbey Road, then that is exactly the thread where it would be replied to !!!

>>> “My apologise to the listeners out there who came to a forum called Stereophile and never got a chance to reference a simple piece of music.” <<<

I don’t see anyone NOT having a chance to reference a simple piece of music if they so wish to ! The Stereophile forum is open – but is also open to anyone who wishes to respond to what you keep saying.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

michael green
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here to serve

This morning I got up, walked into my room for "a twist of jobim" and was greeted with my huge smooth stage. I went downstairs and started working on some floor joists going to be heading for Chicago, to be the foundation for a tunable room. The outdoor system was playing more smooth jazz. I thought about some of these threads and started laughing. "oh if they only had any idea"

I have the joy of seeing people reference every day. Hearing their stories of how they opened a piece of music up 3000 miles away and eager for the next step.

"It has cleaned up and in fact it produced good harmonics on the guitar and piano notes
I could hear strong inner impact of the drum, popping of the piano keys, cymbals splashing and plucking of guitar strings. Like I'm inside the instrument body"

or another

"As I write this, listening to J S Bach's Cantata 42 "And in the ev'ing of that very Sabbath" (Nicholas Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wein -- Telefunken)"

And it keeps going on and on, of people actively involved in listening in real time. Uncovering every piece of music out there from all over the world. These listeners (including Toledo) don't live in the one stop fix it world but are hungry to go deeper and deeper into the core of a recording. That to me my friends is high end audio. Not these debates over something that is nothing more than a snap shot of a particular fixed sound. These guys hear something and want, need, the answers for what happen and why that piece of music was made. They have converted their rooms and systems into serious music machines. They don't have time to spin debates over nothingness cause they sit at work waiting for that clock to tic so they can get to the music. What will I listen to tonight and how will it sound, and more importantly how can I get it to show me something more tonight.

To me the audiophile world goes way deeper than what I'm seeing here, Way deeper than a review of stock equipment, speakers sitting in the wrong setting and thick rugs laying on the floor soaking up delicate nuances before the sound ever gets to the lister. Come on folks there are listeners out here, and they want to go all the way not hear things from someone who hasn't listened to a system of their own in 6 years, or another that refuses to listen to something but wants to be on a thread about referencing.

These people are the heart and soul of this hobby and deserve us serving them. They have out grown the basics while the industry has served nothing more than the basics for many years now. Step it up or move over I say. Put yourselves in your own class and debate, but let these listeners listen. If you don't want to keep moving there is plenty of space to start plenty of threads and Stereophile has been gracious enough to provide us all with a platform, use it don't abuse it.

Why would someone who is way ahead of you, who wants to be listening, want to read a thread on referencing when no one here is referencing? You guys aren't the only ones reading, but you will be if you keep disrupting this hobby. You know why you don't see extreme listeners come up on here, cause they don't want to go back to 3rd grade debates. They have moved on and so have I, and if this industry is ever going to catch on again you have got to let listeners grow beyond the basics. Just because you won't try or haven't moved beyond doesn't mean that there aren't thousands who have. If you want to listen to mediocrity do it but don't force us into that class, please, we have moved beyond. We're not here to put you down, but we are here to say there is a step further, and any who want to explore it may. If you don't want to reference or tune, politely move on and let those who do have the same fellowship rights as you do, share where they have gone and are going.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

iosiP
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Yes they are questions
May Belt wrote:

I didn't see your comments as questions, I just saw them (and still do)as statements.

Do I need to rephrase them as such or can you answer whithout my doing it?

May Belt
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Yes they are questions.

>>> “Do I need to rephrase them as such or can you answer whithout my doing it?” <<<

iosiP. Now who is the one MAINTAINING a diversion in a thread which Michael wanted to concentrate on people listening to a specific recording ?

>>> “1. All tweaks are presented as being benefic (in my experience, only one dealer ever told me "Yes, this thing works, but you may not like what it does in yous system". And yes indeed, I didn't like the results (while I loved the results of the device in a friend's system). “ <<<

Statement !! But if you want it regarded as a question requiring an answer then here goes. I don’t know why you didn’t like the results of a particular ‘tweak’ even though you liked the effect of it in your friend’s system. I don’t know why you found that taking the plastic CD cases out of your listening room made your sound worse and you had to bring them back in again. When Michael, me and everyone else I know find that the presence of the plastic CD cases, in the room, have an adverse effect on the sound.

>>> “2. You cannot even figure out beforehand if the tweak will work, and how it will affect the sound of your system since (usually) no explanation is given on how they work, or else, the working principle is so far-off that it makes me (BTW, I never heard of any manufacturer to just admit he/she doen't know how the device works: he/she just discovered it by accident).” <<<

Statement !! But if you want it regarded as a question requiring an answer then here goes. I will give three examples of manufacturers who HAVE STATED how they discovered things by accident.

1) Dr Chow and his Cable Jackets. Dr Chow had spent quite a number of years arranging and re-arranging his audio equipment until it was completely to his satisfaction. Then he bought a new piece of equipment. He was reluctant to, yet again, disturb his equipment arrangement so he positioned the new piece of equipment in an adjacent room, drilled a hole in the adjacent wall to allow a connecting cable through to the main equipment. Everything was sorted to his satisfaction but he now found that there was a draught coming through the hole around the cable. So, he pushed some foam inside the hole, around the cable, to block the area allowing the draught. He now found that the ‘sound’ had CHANGED. BY accident !!! This put him on the path of investigating what had had that effect and which eventually resulted in his Cable Jackets.

2) The Stein Music Harmonizer. I will quote from an article by Jason Victor Serinus:-

>>> “So how does the Stein Harmonizer work? Best to quote directly from Stein. Since, for him, English is a second language, I’ve given him an assist in the editing department.

”Some years ago, my wife used some rose quartz for decoration in our showroom. When we powered up the system, we had the impression that the sound had changed somewhat. It was not a big difference; it was something like moving a curtain into a somewhat different position. But it did make some change.

“We wondered what was causing this phenomenon. Then, while moving the quartz, we found it made a small change in the music. It was small, but detectable. So we asked ourselves how this can be.” <<<

3) The Schumann Resonance device. The Schumann Resonance device was initially developed as an ‘aid’ to a person’s wellbeing. I.e it was created from a health point of view. However, someone with one of those devices, initially ac quired to assist in their wellbeing, found that whilstever that device was in the room, their ‘sound’ was much better !! So, after that report it began to be referred to as ‘also improving sound’ – which, from all reports, it obviously does !!

>>> “3. Some tweaks cost an arm and a leg. Now don't get me wrong, I do agree to pay what it takes for some high-tech device, but too many of them are no more than nicer reproductions of things you can buy at the local home improvement store, so could someone explain to me the actual difference between the $4.99 stuff and the identical $69.99 "audiophile" version?” <<<

You are presuming that things ARE ‘identical’ !! For example. You could have a particular CD on sale at £4.99 and you could have another identical CD on sale at $15 but both will LOOK identical – even though the $15 CD could have been through the ‘cryogenic freezing’ process. There are also ways of ‘treating’ materials to enable them to perform better. But, they will look identical to similar but ‘untreated’ material. Annealing is one such process. You can also have cables (interconnects) where the inner metal conductor could have been through the annealing process and THEN, with the plastic insulation material added the whole thing is additionally then put through the cryogenic freezing process – but that cable, in it’s finished state, would look no different to an identical cable where the metal conductor and insulation had never had those processes !!!!! Then there is the de-magnetising of objects and materials technique. Would YOU be able to spot the difference between something which had been demagnetised and something which had not ? And so it goes on.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

michael green
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referencing

Last night and today I started a little adventure. Nothing too exact but fun. This was inspired by the recent posting going on here. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t241-audiophile-recordings-vs-mainstream#4283

I wanted to do this on TuneLand so there were not as many sidetracks and distractions. Feel free to join me, or comment here of course.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

michael green
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referencing "Modern Times"

Hi Listeners,

When recordings come under fire it makes my ears perk up. Always has, whether it be a mastering thing and I'm tuning up their rooms or home listening. I love referencing things and have found that I learn far more about a recording if I explore it, rather than if I were just sitting there listening to it on a system set to sound one way. My referencing systems range from the very basic to the very extreme room settings. All of my components are modified or built from scratch so it's a little hard for me to say I use this or that, but I do cheat with this sometimes so I can show that a simple low priced system can smoke the big boys not tuned, and many times when the big boys are tuned. The playing field for me as a listener is an even one.

I do want to point out that there are recordings that even I can not tune, but most of these have never made it to the store shelves so that usually isn't that big of an issue. I also have found that some storage and media can be poor, but again this is hardly ever the case from my experience. When I reference it is usually me walking into my neighborhood store and pulling the CD off the shelf like any other shopper does. I have "audiophile" limited addition types as well, but I review them as tough as I do the off the shelf products. Assuming is one of the audiophile's biggest mistakes and I try hard not to fall into that arrogant trap.

On another thread here a statement was made about Bob Dylan's recording "Modern Times". I have this CD but as I do many times I went to my store tonight and bought the CD off the shelf once again. After a quick listen I was pretty satisfied that the two units I have of this recording are plenty close enough to rule out the listener having a bad copy, but of course that can happen.

Modern times has been burning now for about 2 hours and I will let it go through the night and do my main listening in the morning but at first listen I wanted to give some comments.

This recording even at first pass has not a hint of bright, which is usually the first thing someone who doesn't like a recording will say about it. They will usually say the recording is bright, or sloppy or compressed sounding. Well Modern Times passes these tests right off the bat. This recording is dynamically rich with a great bottom end. Nice round detailed bass lines. A wonderful sense of bounce to the bottom and very full, striking with percussive accuracy. Very impressive!

Jack Frost (Bob Dylan) has got his studio chops down on Modern Times, as his miking is excellent and brings meaning to all the instruments. As I read the review "Steve G" made on this recording I wondered if we were listening to the same recording. I found Bob's vocals to be crystal clear and some of his best vocal pitching in some time. And with Bob I always look for that stray note to go bright and hard on me but it never happened. I'm going to take a guess here and say that people who ared downing this recording are having a hard time with soundstage size and a bottom end problem cause this recording has a big stage and an extremely full range to the tonal balance. Snare shots and cymbals are full of life, attack with good halos.

Back to Bob's vocals though. You can hear his mouth getting closer and backing away from the mic. It isn't a big movement but very clear as if he is singing down or sideways and then right on point as he gets into it. It's like he is singing with a fair amount of movement instead of being stuck in one tiny spot on the diaphragm, but you can hear when he squares up cause the vocal resonates and fills the diaphrapms size. You can hear how his tones go from chest throat and up into his nose, and with Bob this is very important cause if you have a system that can not grab this you will more than likely be listening to Dylan doing a nose solo. This is not the case on this recording, his voice is full bodied.

The instruments are miked beautifully and from the middle out giving that midrange tone right up front and then spreading to the outer harmonics. Listen to the snare springs, very nice. And the cymbal rides are just as meaningful.

I'll go pick out a specific song now.

michael green
MGA/RommTune

michael green
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the pull of "modern times"

Several times during the night while "modern times" was softly playing in the next room I was woke up by this emotional pull to the listening room. I'd go in turn the volume up a little (one of those recordings you can play soft or loud) and start listening. This is an emotional recording! If your trying to listen to this cut and dry you may not get it. This is not one of those pieces of music that you approach analytically or your going to find yourself hunting for ghost. Many recordings especially ones audiophiles claim to be references are very straight forward where you follow lines that you can indentify easily and follow them through the song. This is not Modern Times. Bob is drifting things in and out of this recording setting moods over fixtures to follow. I think "could this be what threw off Steve G and others when saying this recording is less than perfect", even to the point of terrible? Not me. Regardless of their view this is a masterpiece in mood creation. There are so many tricks being done on this recording and if you are looking for the norm audiophile blanket statement your not going to get it, cause this recording goes much deeper than this. Bob (Jack) must have lived at the mixer for those few days, or had someone in that studio who knew how to do natural fading.

I thought my first song to take apart was going to be "beyond the horizon", I thought lol. After playing it through 7 or 8 times I sat there saying "no way", it will take days or maybe weeks to pull together the pieces to this song. First of all if you are un-able to play the bottom of this, or any of the songs on this recording, give up. Your not going to understand it. If your trying to make this bass line anything but fat your missing the point of "mood". As the bass line is laid down Bob fills in the other instruments to support a sub to mid bass structure to these notes. For example listen carefully to his piano notes coming in and hitting keys as if they were bass notes instead of the piano lower chords. He does this on all the songs if you pay attention. You think your listening to an instrument but if your system is good at spreading this out you can see the different locations and realize he is speading things across the stage bottom and mid. If your system is not revealing enough this will sound like mudd, but if able to put the pieces together you can see the organization. It's a wall coming at you, and a thick wall at that, and again maybe this is way some of your systems are not showing the separation because the lines are not the regular cut lines that the audiophile hunting for all detail expects. Those lines are there, and their very clear, but you need to have a system that is separating the "shared" space. As I listened I made a tiny tune adjustment to my amp circuit board and the stage became totally analytical, and I could see all the attack, but I backed it off because I liked the emotional part of this recording better and didn't get as into the songs set to be sterilized. I'm thinking again maybe that's what Steve's system was doing. It was set too sterile and not letting the vibrations come through, and this recording is made to vibrate everything lol. I mean everything at my place comes to life when MT is playing. What I'm going to do until I get bored of is focus the system in to see the lines when I need to and back off again so I can feel the songs, which is what I think Dylan was going after.

But to call this anything but a masterpiece is only showing that lack of a system playing it. "ain't talking" just started so I'll be back later.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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TuneLand's version

Hi Guys, while I'm doing this I also want to invite folks to TuneLand as I do the same reviewing with a little twist, directed more at the tunees. http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/t4p435-michael-s-system

Have fun listening!

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

Catch22
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Now you are starting to make sense with your description

This is a very loud and very thick mix. If that was his goal, he achieved it at the expense of even hearing the subtilties of the other instruments. I'm glad to know that you noticed the piano being buried. It's especially subtle when taken with the thickness of his bass notes that seem to walk all over the other instruments and conceal any attempts at definition. From the very beginning of Thunder On The Mountain, it becomes obvious that this is an extremely loud and compressed album. I have to turn down my amps to levels that would make other recordings almost silent. There is very little dynamic range in this album and that only further conceals the performance of instruments when they are intentionally attempting to play them with any delicate techniques.

I would bet money that 99% of people would not even realize that Bob was playing the keyboards on Thunder on the Mountain.

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it's all there

Hi Catch

I don't see this the same way you are describing it, so I wouldn't want you to think (or others) that the instruments are buried. I actually see the instrumention extremely clear. I also don't see this as being as compressed as your describing. Again this is your system and setup that you are making these calls from. I see this recording as thick and extremely layered and when your system is giving those layers you can see what is going on pretty clear. The honky tonk is perfectly layered on my system no matter how I have set the focus on "thunder on the mountain". Just for the sake of this post, I sat in the room as well as walked through my house and could hear the piano and all the instruments doing their own thing. In fact the piano is proudly dancing as I write this. I have a visitor here now and she is saying it sounds like a band is upstairs. I brought her in and asked if she would pick out the instruments, and she did as if they were standing in the room, so the instruments can't be that hidden. I ask her if she knows this recording and she doesn't. But I'm showing her your post and she wants to know how much your betting? She's not having any problem hearing the layout or any instruments from what she is telling me. So that's two of us hearing the recording do it's thing.

So, it's clearly not the recording but your system's way of playing this recording, the way it is currently setup. Could you do me a favor and put this recording back in your car and tell me if your hearing the piano on "thunder" in your car?

Even though this may be troublesome to hear someone having a different view of this recording than yourself I appreciate you taking the time to walk through this. I think it's really important that people get over the thought that their systems are so revealing when in fact their systems being fixed only play part of the info. And that's my point. I could easily setup in your home hundreds of systems that would play this recording just fine, and at the same time hook up tons of systems that wouldn't. Recordings sound different from each other, that's the bottom line. It's also the bottom line that I can take this system at my place right now a de-focus these instruments to sound like yours.

And in doing so, yes I can see how the bass in this setting is overwhelming everything.

And now I'm back to focus, or maybe a blend of focus and musical.

So I can set the system close to sounding like yours on "modern times" (just did) but why would I? I like this recording more musical seeing the instruments but not over done. Your looking at this recording by what you are saying from one point of view, and that's not a pretty picture of a great recording. But if I were doing what you are I would no doubt be saying the same thing, but that's not how I view the hobby. I have learned to use the system as a door to open up the recording not to use it as a one way view point judge. Does that make any sense to you? Could you be open enough to understand that maybe this recording has more on it than your getting or are tuned to get?

I hope people do take advantage of referencing things together on here. You don't have to be in the same room, you just have to be honest and willing to share what you are hearing.

michael green
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Catch22
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I think you miss my point

It's not that you can't hear the piano at all, it's that the piano has no piano sound. It sounds like it's fighting the bass guitar for room to have a tone. It is clearly working with the bass to provide the rhythm, but not with any sound that defines the piano. This extends to the other instruments that are fighting for their identities in most of the jamming. When music gets compressed to the degree that this album is compressed, it becomes a wall of sound as opposed to a recording of performers and their instruments and that is the overwhelming destruction of the recording.

I can appreciate that some people are OK with this from their music. There are lots of people who enjoy the visceral boom and the occasional guitar riff placed in a position of prominance. But, like Guttenberg, I like a sense of what real instruments sound like in a recording. There just isn't much of that on display with this album. And you know it was there to be recorded, Bob just messed it up in a blaze of being who he is. Hell, even Dylan himself said it sounded like crap and that it sounded 10 times better when they were playing.

While this is certainly the worst recording that I own, it's not unique in that many of the recording techniques that destroy Modern Times exist on a lot of other albums, just not as plentiful in such a wide swath of destruction.

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let's reference it

Hi Catch

Lets reference it together. You pick out the song and we'll go through it together and share the sound yours vs mine.

michael green
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Catch22
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Why? I'm clearly not hearing what you are hearing

And you are not hearing what I am hearing. I'm hearing an avalanche of compression and you're hearing an engaging recording with all the hallmarks of good sound. Given your experience with audio, I know you know what severely compressed CDs sound like. Well, that's what mine sounds like.

My copy is the Columbia Limited Edition gatefold set with the DVD extra. I'm not aware of any more recent releases having addressed the sound quality, though it's certainly possible given the almost legendary storm of criticism this recording has received.

If you want, PM me your mailing address and I'll send my copy to you and you can compare it to yours. That would be the most useful way to determine whether we are comparing the same source material. Perhaps you do not find highly compressed discs nearly as unmusical as I do? Like you, I find Knopfler's stuff to be about as good as studio rock recordings get. His stuff has musical life preserved in his recordings. His use of compression and reproduction techniques should be the standard for his genre of music. Not a stinker in his entire, extensive, library or releases...with or without Dire Straits.

Focusing on Modern Times, and to a lessor extent...excessive compression, here is the best read on this subject. For those that are following our little audio adventure, even if you are remotely interested, give this a thorough read and watch the short youtube video and provided links to actual measured results of both the CD and Vinyl versions of this recording. If nothing else, you will be clearly introduced to what was employed on this disc and regularly employed on others as well...just not quite this bad.

http://www.cinchreview.com/bob-dylan-audio-scandal/570/

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up on it

Hi Catch

Thanks for the article. I think it's good that these get read and that people are exploring what is going on with sound in the studios and at home. I'm pretty up on this because of being in the studios and dealing with them as well as the home audio folks. In the early 2000's I did some interviews with VH1 about compression in recordings and showed what has been happening to both the studio sound and the home stereos. So I'm an advocate against compression, in fact I have had many battles against compression in the studios, which is a long story. However where I think we are parting ways is when we are playing our stereos. Take a look at when the loudness wars started and you will see some other changes that were going on at the same time in the studio and in the home. Products in the industry started to dramatically lean toward over building. This is a form of compression.

Lets say you came to my place right now with your Cd and we took almost any CD player you or I choose, put it in the system and turned on Bob. You would hear a sound that would be very compressed so would I. Then we put on a CD player that has been moded. You would sit here and crap your pants, sorry but you would just as everyone who has come here has, or anyone who has done the demo on their own. The loudness wars has nothing to do with me having Bob sound great at my place right now and it sound terrible at yours.

Trust me catch I've only been through this a hundred times (many more), and the referencing results come out the same every time. As bad as you guys are saying the loudness wars are, and I agree I'm not a compression fan, what you and I are talking about is not the loudness wars.

I'm pretty sure my recording here is just as compressed as yours and yet I'm hearing something completely different than you are, and that's the question WHY? Why does this sound good on my system and not yours? I don't have an anti-compression button. Why are all these guys who have tunable system not running into the same problems you guys are with your recordings? Do they hear compression? Sure, but the collapse of the sound is not happening because of this alone. The collapse of the sound is happening because of product designing. Do I like less compression? Sure, don't we all, but this is not what is going on with the sound getting worse in this hobby over the last 15 or so years.

So lets do some referencing and I'll show you.

you said

"Perhaps you do not find highly compressed discs nearly as unmusical as I do? Like you, I find Knopfler's stuff to be about as good as studio rock recordings get."

Well, I might like Mark's stuff, but I don't like the Neve sound most of the time. It's closed in. Does this mean I stop listening to recordings using certain Neve mixes? I personally think Neve mixers make the sound as closed in as compression does, but it's the standard and I work around it. There are a lot of things that go on in a studio and with studio products and production that shape the sound. If they came to me and said redesign it, I would, but those are egos that are not going to turn and the best I can do is make systems open up as much as I can and get the most of the recordings.

The reason why someone is playing a piece of music and it doesn't sound right on their system is do to the system and not the recording. That doesn't excuse Neve, or compression, or EV or any of the parts in the chain. But compression is not nearly as big of a problem as the over building of components. It's not nearly as bad as bad acoustics. It's not nearly as bad as multi drivers in an inert cabinet with foam and a complex crossover. It's not nearly as bad as having 5 or more power supplies driving the system.

The reason my Bob Dylan sounds better than yours has nothing to do with Michael is compression tolerant. Michael has a system that can play it to it's extreme, and that extreme is pretty darn good even with the studio equipment and compression. We can play the audiophile dance till the cows come home but the fact that others are getting better sound through getting rid of the distortion in their systems is very real and is more than some engineer using the compression button.

michael green
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Catch22
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Nope. We just have to agree to disagree

Sometimes the measurements do tell the whole story. Modern Times on CD measures exactly like it sounds like it should.

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the scandal

Even though Catch is dropping out of the referencing I'm going to continue. Why is it you guys always pass on the listening part? Oh well moving on.

"And yet, there was nothing about the songs or performances that I could say troubled me. It had to be the sound. There was something excessive about it. It was too bright maybe; too brittle; too … too something"

This is a quote from the article catch was refering to. Here's why I think referencing is the only way in a comparison. In the writers article he says "too bright, too brittle". When I reference this against my setup the way it is right now, there is not an ounce of brittle or bright anywhere to be found on this recording, not on any song not even close. So this shows me right away the writer has problems with his system. Catch was telling me his bass overroad the rest of the music "99% of listeners wouldn't even know Bob was playing piano on the first song". I was pulled to the "honkytonk" style piano right off, and didn't find it hidden at all. What I did find is a soundstage that is about 15' wide and 20' deep. I would ask them what size stages do they have? Mine is growing as it settles.

thunder on the mountain

First thing that happens is the whole stage sounds off. At that point I hit the beginning over till I find the right volume cause this recording is volume sensitive. Many modern recordings are and unfortunately it's something we live with or don't listen. On Modern times I find it sounds great at low volumes for back ground but when in front of it I wanted to find that right volume, and when I did the sound went from "ok I'm here" to "pop daddy". This is something the guys may not have figured out or I suspect their players are not up to the task. I'm going to tell you something between you and me. There are not a lot of CD players I like. I love CDs, but I'm not that crazy about the industries attempts at making real sounding players. For that reason I use my maggie tuned, or I'd probably be a TT guy, and I would hate to go back to that. NAS, nah, doesn't do me, but I know the future is the computer so I've been playing. This Maggie (FUNAI) you guys have been buying on the side without telling anyone but me and that's ok, I'm hip, but I'm not going to shy about this find, it's the ticket for dynamics. It is my reference for every system now and even if I head to something for testing I come back to this best buy in the audio industry. This unit gives space where nothing else including many turntables don't.

Now that half the people here are POed and feel like I have insulted their honor, let me tell you my next step. I don't do what most do. I don't go through the recording and start to judge it. I listen and see if the instruments are in their own spaces. Most listeners screw up and will listen to a recording without sizing up the soundstage. This is a big mistake, and let me tell you, you have no idea what a recording sounds like if the stage is not in proportion. I'm not sure I know of too many recordings that don't have width and depth wider than the speakers and deeper than the room, and it is shocking when I go listen how many systems are stuck from speaker to speaker and flat as a pancake, with the speakers being way too close together. And this comes from guys who brag about their soundstage depth before I get there, then when I do it's like no no no no, that's not depth (reviewers too). No one gets a pass on this one, a lot of truth stretchers out there. Here's a secret, no matter how compressed something is, compression is dynamic range not soundstage space. A lot of guys blame compression for not being able to spread their stage. They listen to thin audiophile recordings with huge spaces in the stage, but guys not all recordings are made like this. In fact most recordings have a very thick full stage and if you don't spread them out you can't see the instruments because they are squeezed in ontop of other instruments, but this is not signal compression this is acoustical compression and should not be confused, two different sounds altogether. Acoustical compression goes all the way back in the hobby. Audiophiles need to learn how to shape the center stage. They started to get this back in the early RoomTune days, then I don't know what happen to you guys. It's like you stopped knowing how to deal with the center stage and get that wide and deep stage. I see all these speakers against the walls and tiny little tears start in my eyes (lol not that bad). But man guys, your stages, come on whatsup with that? Your hearing compression cause you got that center stage zone all screwed up. Your doing this first reflection thing before even getting a center stage. THINK? It's not that hard. Upper corners, midseams, mid corners, front stage and I bet most of your complaining about compression will stop. Another thing, dampening sounds just like compression, so if you have those cloth traps and foam, you are hearing them give you that dull lifeless sound. Lots of things out there cause that same type of compressed sound, and blaming the studios guys isn't going to get you any closer.

So anyway, off my rant. What I do is take the time to shape my stage if it is not right. I hardly ever blame the recording, I fix it. Once I get the stage right, I go after the tone, once the tone is right and within the stage I'm too busy listening to really worry about any of the studio mistakes. They still bug me like anyone else but now I can hear them and know what they are. I'm not running off blaming something that is not a probelm for something else.

So I'm not going to worry about this scandal stuff I'm just going to enjoy Modern Times and let those who want to put it down, do what they gotta do. I'm diggin it and know how to get there and that's what matters.

It's funny this all got started based on someone saying if you can say with a straight face this recording is good, and I want to say if you can't put on "ain't talken" and get it right your lost, cause this song is bad A** all the way through and at the end the spash rolls at least 15' by 15' and how can that be bad? How can it be bad when at the end of the first verse on Thunder this violin comes out of the thickness to come greet you, then goes back again? Then comes back out again during every guitar break to paint this little piture together with the piano, beautiful. I can look everywhere in the stage and see something fun going on. That's compressed to the point of hidding something? Well if it's hidding it how am I seeing it?

This is a really nice recording and if the lp is better than that's great. If they make this with even less compression for catch that's great too, the world could use a lot less compression these days. Saying this is a bad recording, nah gotta pass on that one. Part of my outlook though is maybe because I know what's good and bad in the recording process and I look for the good, and usually am able to pull it out with some patience. The other stuff I over look. There's way more good in recordings than bad.

Now can I turn this thing off, the compression is killing me, JK. But next on my list to reference over on TuneLand is "Amused to death". Oh yeah! Think I might take a led pause first though.

Catch sorry if any of this bugs you, I really do want you to have the best sound and am happy when a listener gets to where their going. I just draw different lines in the sand than you do from where I sit.

hope we're cool, we just as you say see it different

michael green
MGA/Roomtune

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Modern Times, Classic Dylan

"Have you ever asked yourself why CDs often sound thin, undynamic, threadbare, hollow, tinny, bass shy, whimpy, rolled off, jangly, radio like, congealed, generic, uninspiring, airless and discombobulated? Here we look at some fundamental problems inherent with CD playback that might help explain why CDs frequently sound horrible." (Intro to my article)

Right of of the box without any treatment Modern Times sounded pretty generic, the bass was a little boomy and indistinct and the instruments were not particularly separated in space but Dylan's voice was recorded well enough...my main gripe was the bass performance ...and the closed in sound over all. I almost never even listen to anything unless it has some treatment, I mean, what's the point? Lol. After some treatments were applied the disc sounded considerably more OPEN, with better separation of instruments, especially Dylan's VOICE and the bass performance improved so there was actually some DEFINITION in the lower frequencies. But the most admirable thing was Dylan's VOICE, which was recorded magnificently -full, powerful, with lots of air. I can't help thinking his voice at least is definitely NOT compressed dynamically. I think I can also say this recording is not overly bright, not at all.

Ok, so you're probably wondering how did I treat the CD. Colored permanent ink pens (of purple, green and orange) for outer edge, inner edge and the blank band just before the start of data on the data side, a smidgen of Cream Electret on the label side, Liquid Resolution CD treatment for the data side. A few blasts of Dark matter on the label, allow to dry. Finally, demag with Walker Talisman and some ion spraying with my Particle Accelerator tourmaline gun. No fuss no muss.

Up next, Round 2 of tweaking. Super Intelligent Chip, Leaf Green Cream, disc stiffeners (black tape) and the enigmatic Red X Pen. Oh, my! Oh, a little visit to the Cooler won't hurt, either.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Neve 8028 console

Dave Grohl likes his.....

http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682339/dave-grohl-explains-how-a-70s-era-recording-console-rocks-his-world-in-sound-city

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Nothing but time on my hands....
geoffkait wrote:

.....how did I treat the CD. Colored permanent ink pens (of purple, green and orange) for outer edge, inner edge and the blank band just before the start of data on the data side, a smidgen of Cream Electret on the label side, Liquid Resolution CD treatment for the data side. A few blasts of Dark matter on the label, allow to dry. Finally, demag with Walker Talisman and some ion spraying with my Particle Accelerator tourmaline gun........

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Makes my vinyl ritual look like a time-saving no-brainer. ;)

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referencing

I'm ready for my next reference. I thought both of my copies of Modern Times were just fine, and not all that hard to tune in. Instead of reading about how people can't get their system to play it, I'm gonna go with Rolling Stones review http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/modern-times-20060814 . This is pretty much what was conveyed to me when I listened.

If the message was clear to hundreds of thousands, and I read many reviews yesterday and last night where people absolutely heard the instruments and caught the meaning, it makes me happy for them and sad for folks who couldn't get this. A system being too revealing to hear the music doesn't make sense to me. This to me spells a problem with the system. High End Audio should be about hearing the music, not loosing it.

michael green
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michael green
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neve

Me too, the early ones. Listen to the difference between the 70's neve sound and the 80's and then now. Big difference!! For me anyway.

The 70's consoles and 60's across the board give a warm rich punchy sound (a glow) that I like a lot better than the bigger consoles of today, meaning comparing the big ones then and the big ones now, even though I like the sound of smaller boards better, but engineers wouldn't hear of that. I just dig the 60's-mid 80's sound. And I know a lot of guys who hated giving up their old stuff. But I've heard people swear by the types they own whether it sounds good or not to others, so you'll hear a bunch of debates among these guys too (always big egos with audio guys). But for me I can really hear it in the cymbals and snares, toms and kick. You don't hear a ton (not to say it isn't possible) of guys pulling off the classic sound from back then. Some killer stuff was made back in the day cause I think people spent more time listening (exploring).

Same goes for the older mics too, and as you've heard me say and get beat up for the amplifiers. There was a sound captured back then that is not being produced by the high end now in my opinion, both studio and home. A wholeness to the sound. We called it "fat" or "round". Some people get it now but it doesn't quite feel the same. Harmonics are missing. I do my best with what I get now cause I don't have a choice, I have to make peoples stuff sound good. But if you saw my personal favorites in components you wouldn't see very many new pieces except for these new receivers and low mass amps. I have a bunch of stuff to test but when they go up against the old or the simple well... Most of the newer stuff to me studio wise and home sounds lifeless and sterile. I can only say I'm sorry so many times but you'll find a lot of music guys who feel the same way. We like our textures more rich than what we hear at the Hi Fi Shows. Once in a while you'll see me walking around a show with a studio guy or two, and they don't dig the sound at all. Like me they enjoyed the mid 90's at about the latest for high end. There was some serious magic then and further back to the 60's.

People get mad when you say that but I don't know why. I'm not attacking them. This industry has a screwed up thing about being current. Many people agree the old sound in the pro world was the best but it's the same thing with home audio. The same parts that made new studio stuff sterile made home audio stuff the same way. But you say the truth and you might as well put a target on your head. Damned do, damned don't. So I say forget it. People want to fall off the cliff, let em. I like the old stuff and the low mass new stuff, in the studio and in the home.

You would think the audiophile world would wake up. We like the music from _____ era, well it's the same sound that is what was in the home stuff too. You like the 70's sound in the studio you will like it in the home. You think recordings sound sterile now, well.....? not rocket science. Same parts same designing.

When someone has a different view than yourselves you should chill sometimes and listen, instead of always jumping their case, or trying to find that one up thing, just sayin. There's a lot of us in the music biz that might just have some helpful things to say once in a while, but you guys need to loosen up some. We really are trying to help. Why do you think not many of us have joined your hobby. Cause we don't need hobbyist trying to jump us. We're here to be a part of not against.

anyway two cents for the day

rant

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Ritual
wkhanna wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

.....how did I treat the CD. Colored permanent ink pens (of purple, green and orange) for outer edge, inner edge and the blank band just before the start of data on the data side, a smidgen of Cream Electret on the label side, Liquid Resolution CD treatment for the data side. A few blasts of Dark matter on the label, allow to dry. Finally, demag with Walker Talisman and some ion spraying with my Particle Accelerator tourmaline gun........

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Makes my vinyl ritual look like a time-saving no-brainer. ;)

Yeah, and that was just Phase I. I didn't create reality.

Geoffkait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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referencing

I enjoyed reading Audiophile2000's response in the headphone thread. I think if we look at each others results we are going to see a wider landscape. Everyone of us is hearing something different and yet some similar. This is what referencing is. What we hear and how we got there, and for me how can I hear what others are hearing that allows me to go further with each recording.

michael green
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Catch22
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Of course it's cool

I'm not offended because someone doesn't like what I like or because they do like something that I don't. Cars come in all different colors for a reason. I'm certainly not offended by anyone being able to enjoy bad recordings. I am offended when they drive in front of my house and make my walls shake, though.

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Modern Times - A Great Recording?

Well, today I went in for another peek into the whole inner workings of Modern Times, after wrapping up Phase II of
CD tweaking as promised. I added a few Morphic Message Foils since I has some lying around, figuring what heck,
this CD could probably use 'em. I gotta tell ya, this here Modern Times is really coming around. The kind of bass heaviness feel to the recording has been replaced with a more balanced sound, with plenty of kick and growl in the lower registers. Now one can Differentiate the bass and cello from the drum. But the most amazing things are still Dylan's huge voice, his harmonica on Spirit on the Water, also all the cool rock and roll and blues guitar riffs and fills from some long ago time, like the Chuck Berry guitar in the first track. This recording doesn't seem so much dynamically compressed as just plain dynamic, perhaps it was cut at a higher level than usual, who knows. I dug down deep deep in the mud and pulled up a diamond.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
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Modern Times dr database

link

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/1908

Catch22
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Loud, but still preserving the dynamics

Your comment immediately brought to mind ZZ Top's "Antenna." Now that's a loud recording with all the dynamics preserved for good sound. You can blow out some drivers with that disc. I remember the first time I dropped the disc in my player and being slack-jawed grinning for a long time. Unfortunately, Modern Times was simply compressed into everything being too loud to maintain any dynamic range to speak of.

geoffkait
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Data to the rescue!
wkhanna wrote:

link

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/1908

Ah, the old data play. Well played, sir. That's weird, another great sounding recording, Led Zeppelin's Mothership also measures in the red on the Loudness Wars data base. What's up with that? Lol

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

wkhanna
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Fair Play….
geoffkait wrote:

Ah, the old data play. Well played, sir.
Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Hi Geoff.

Actually, no ‘play’ was intended.
I simply wanted to put as much information as possible on the table for this discussion.
If we are focusing on one particular album or master, the DR measurements serve as only one benchmark for that piece of music that is under scrutiny.

Nearly any time I reference DR Database, I mention that it is only one tool offering information on a recording in a narrow & specific context. It is by no means the panacea for determining the ultimate quality of any recording.

Both subjective & objective analysis is used when I am evaluating music.

This particular piece of music is one not in my library, & also one I have no intention of adding. So referencing the DR numbers helps me to get a better understanding of the basis of the comments being made relative to one aspect of its making.

Be well,

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please -

geoffkait
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The importance of data
wkhanna wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Ah, the old data play. Well played, sir.
Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Hi Geoff.

Actually, no ‘play’ was intended.
I simply wanted to put as much information as possible on the table for this discussion.
If we are focusing on one particular album or master, the DR measurements serve as only one benchmark for that piece of music that is under scrutiny.

Nearly any time I reference DR Database, I mention that it is only one tool offering information on a recording in a narrow & specific context. It is by no means the panacea for determining the ultimate quality of any recording.

Both subjective & objective analysis is used when I am evaluating music.

This particular piece of music is one not in my library, & also one I have no intention of adding. So referencing the DR numbers helps me to get a better understanding of the basis of the comments being made relative to one aspect of its making.

Be well,

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please -

Well, let's see, which one would you be most likely to dismiss out of hand, the Japanese high power amplifier with THD of 0.0001% or the Dart Zeel Monoblocks with distortion figure about 1%?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

wkhanna
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Yes Geoff, numbers can lie....
geoffkait wrote:

Well, let's see, which one would you be most likely to dismiss out of hand, the Japanese high power amplifier with THD of 0.0001% or the Dart Zeel Monoblocks with distortion figure about 1%?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

Without having heard either one, I would take Dart Zeel Mono's in a heartbeat. No questions asked. No regrets.

HoneyBagger says, "F*ck your 1% distortion"

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please –

Catch22
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wkhanna wrote:
wkhanna wrote:
geoffkait wrote:

Ah, the old data play. Well played, sir.
Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Hi Geoff.

Actually, no ‘play’ was intended.
I simply wanted to put as much information as possible on the table for this discussion.
If we are focusing on one particular album or master, the DR measurements serve as only one benchmark for that piece of music that is under scrutiny.

Nearly any time I reference DR Database, I mention that it is only one tool offering information on a recording in a narrow & specific context. It is by no means the panacea for determining the ultimate quality of any recording.

Both subjective & objective analysis is used when I am evaluating music.

This particular piece of music is one not in my library, & also one I have no intention of adding. So referencing the DR numbers helps me to get a better understanding of the basis of the comments being made relative to one aspect of its making.

Be well,

Bill - on the Hill
Practicing Curmudgeon & Audio Snob
- just an “ON” switch, Please -

Very well put, Hanna. To expand on the point a bit, which provides a little more context on a very misunderstood aspect of the whole compression issue is that we are talking about a matter of too much for a particular genre or performance as opposed to ANY compression, which is necessary and desirable.

When you look at Modern Times and its 6-7dB dynamic range, it would not be fair to simply claim that has the same destructive qualities for all types of music. Grunge, for example, has an even narrower dynamic range and that serves to make it sound even...grungier. I don't like grunge and see no point to be critical of using massive amounts of compression in a genre that is trying to create the wall of sound to begin with and probably celebrates distortion as a hallmark.

Classical music often times has a very wide dynamic range that is essential to capture in a recording to sound compelling and full of life and realism. Does the thought of hearing Scheherazade with a 6dB dynamic range sound appealing to anyone?

Between those two extremes, we have all the other genres of music with their own signatures and dynamic range requirements. Since the CD format is capable of 96db of dynamic range, this isn't an issue for the format...there's more than enough available for use.

As a listener, you can decide for yourself whether the lack of dynamic range is musically acceptable for ANY recording, but the lack of dynamic range can't be recreated if it doesn't exist on the disc to begin with and the lack of dynamic range from over compression applied by the sound engineers does not come without a cost to be paid in other aspects of the sound if the sound was created with a wider dynamic range by the performance.

Musical instruments require a certain amount of dynamic range to be rendered with a sense of realism. Add a bunch of instruments and performers into a session and the need for dynamic range becomes important, as well as the many other recording techniques employed to try and capture each one in a realistic way.

Or you can just call your genre grunge and blow it out the front of your two car garage. :)

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Mastering Playback Soundfields

Michael is correct about the general placement of the crickets and frogs. The froggies are perhaps five feet to the right of the right speaker. Crickets are right of center then a quick pan to left but a return to center then a slow fade to left again, finishing up about ten feet to the left of the left channel.

However.

Michael is what I call a BS "High End" fetishist. His fascination in outperforming anyone on the planet in one teeny part of the total setup is typical of the "High End" as that is what these guys all ways do.

A cable that costs 10 thousand dollars which is the BEST.

Magic wood blocks that "tune" your component and is "the BEST."

Frozen whale sperm under your turntable mat because it costs more than caviar and it is "the best" for isolation dampening.

I mean what a load of crap.

On the one hand I applaud his ability to put into words where the individual parts of the finished composition are supposed to BE. But I get a perfectly wonderful three dimensional soundstage with incredible "solidity" (STEREO-in Greek means "solid"). It is simply how a correct system should perform. Even if they rarely do due to incompetence on the part of the owner.

Anybody COULD do it by simply following perfectionist set up "common sense".

For one thing here's something that I would offer into evidence:

If we assume that you have a properly arranged stereo monitoring room with tons of attention to getting your output up to mastering level (where you hear the "life" AND the unique sound of the recording) you will discover that the participants at the session are ALL WAYS locked in place AS AN OUTLINE approximately where they DO go in the left to right display.

HOWEVER, until you adjust your balance control FOR THAT PARTICULAR RECORDING you will not be able to correctly FLESH OUT those outlines and make them holographic and SOLID. What's left is LEFT and what's right is RIGHT---but there will be no "substance" to their position until you get off your butt and set the "balance" control to fill in the spaces correctly.

Why does every recording have its unique DNA as to where the balance is? Well some research here would offer facts.

If I had to guess it is because somewhere during the reproduction chain certain phase and timing cues can get a little bit out of whack depending on whose room it was mixed in...whose room it was played back in...the timing and phase information encoded as "out of phase" information and WASTED by most folks is ALSO part of the problem.

I mean that the mics have phase issues. The room the session was made in has phase issues and timing issues. How the engineer thought it was going to final "tape" was just a guess he made using his monitors.

HERE'S a secret: RECORDING ENGINEER USING MONITORS ARE NOT HEARING WHAT WENT TO TAPE...

THEY ARE HEARING THEIR MONTORS...

THAT is why everybody with half a brain NEEDS a simple balance control in their pre-amp to handle the inevitable "fine tuning" of the soundstage which such a knob brings to the party.

You thought it was there for MOVING the stage around? Hell no!

It is there just to add solidity to the stage WHICH NEVER REALLY MOVES.

I for one would like to hear exactly what Michael has been smoking that allows him to adjust his BALANCE (or what reviewers have called---the "image tuner knob" WITHOUT USING A BALANCE KNOB.

Right there. I call BS.

I smell HIGH END BS.

I AM interested in learning from Michael when he has something worthwhile to offer.

However in my opinion having built reference systems for the better part of 50 years---he simply fetishizes ONE particular aspect of setup to prove his superiority.

Michael---you did NOT invent stereo imaging.

Rudy Van Gelder did.

Look him up. It was a LONG TIME AGO.

OK OK. I admit many High Enders NEVER comprehend even the most common sense setup procedures.

But that is not MY fault. And Michael suffers from what my mother-in-law calls a "speech impediment."

"HE HAS TO STOP TO BREATHE..."

And now I shall stop to take a breath. I am as bad as Michael is, I am afraid...

Catch22
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Just don't use Otis Spann as your reference for soundstaging

:)p

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Fine, fine, fine...

Doesn't look like you actually know what Michael does. He uses a cheap DVD player as his source and a cheap receiver for amplification. Look at his website-
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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Doc needs a prescription for further knowledge

Nice rant doc. Might I suggest you do a little research into something before you disparage it or attack someone.
Variable tuning is a methodology encompassing acoustics, unblocked signal flow and tuning tools that has a simple goal of allowing all music to be enjoyed and each recording can be quickly variably tuned however one decides to listen to it.

I am sure someone with 50years of reference systems can appreciate that goal and have certainly come across many recordings that are mediocre at best reproduced on a system that is fixed in nature that no balance control can fix.

Catch22
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Yeah, the personal attacks and motives aren't really productive

Michael struck me wrong in the beginning and I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions about his motives. I think I was wrong to pull out the long knives so quickly. He obviously cares very deeply about what he's doing and has passion like nobody's business. That's usually a good combination for discovery.

We can discuss, argue and debate perfectly well without saying my father was a hamster and my mother smelled of eldeberry.

michael green
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thanks guys

Thanks guys

Fine, I'm sorry you feel that way and I'm glad your system is the way you like it.

Don't know why you are in attack mode concerning me, but if Stereophile doesn't mind you doing it, what can I say, it's their forum and if they want designers like me coming to visit they might want to say something to you, and if not then we'll see how it goes.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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Re Dr. Fine

Another self-assured Naysayer augers in, to use an old Navy test pilot expression.

A balance control knob, indeed.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Advanced Audio Conceits

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loudness what?

Oh sorry loudness wars, I forgot.

A review on a poorly rated "hell freezes over" from the other side of the world.

"Hi Michael,

Oh man ......I love the beats.....
The whole week I was stuck with Eagles - Hell Freezes Over. It was sooo enjoyable that I kept on playing again and again....

I never hear a LIVE CONCERT with so much power and yet beautiful solid drum beats with great decay ending notes. The guitars jamming and sweet vocal by Timothy were sooo thrilling that my body kept on swaying with the beats. I set the Sherwood volume to 33 and yet sound so effortlessly without hurting my ears

Michael, I was curious how the recording engineer could make a recorded live concert in the open stadium sounded like the band and the audience were doing a live recording together in a controlled huge recording studio environment. I had attended live concert before but never experience such a very detail and distortionless live concert."
______________________________________________

This is exactly what I hear when I play "Hell Freezes Over". One of the great live recordings of our time, yet interestingly the DR rating is not so good. I'm finding many of these as I look over the figures that don't match up with the sound. Another interesting point. This is coming from yet another ultra High End Audio guy who switched over to tuning and simple system. This particular listener happens to be one of the best listeners I have ever dealt with. His descriptions of sound are right on the money and at times I have myself had to go back to take a second listen his ears are so sharp.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune

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