MBL Noble Line N31 CD player-DAC Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: NAD M50.2 music server; iPad mini & iPhone 6S with Apple Camera Connection Kit; AVM Ovation MP 8.2, Ayre Acoustics QX5 Twenty, PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DACs; Mac mini running Roon 1.3.
Preamplifier: Ayre Acoustics KX-5 Twenty, NHT Balanced Passive Volume Control.
Power Amplifiers: MBL Corona C15, Pass Labs XA60.8 monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: GoldenEar Technology Triton Reference.
Cables: Digital: AudioQuest Coffee (DACs), Belkin Gold (iDevices), USB; DH Labs, AES/EBU; Esperanto, S/PDIF. Interconnect (balanced): AudioQuest Wild Blue, Canare. Speaker: AudioQuest K2. AC: AudioQuest Dragon, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Target TT-5 equipment racks; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators; AudioQuest Niagara 5000 Low-Z Power Noise-Dissipation System. AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from breaker box.—John Atkinson

COMPANY INFO
MBL Akustikgeräte GmbH & Co.
US distributor: MBL North America, Inc.
217 N. Seacrest Boulevard #276
Boynton Beach, FL 33425
(561) 735-9300
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Axiom05's picture

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this whole issue a consequence of the mastering being done poorly? If the people doing the mastering didn't "push" the recorded levels so high, right up against 0 dB, then there wouldn't be any intersample overs? Isn't this another issue caused by the poor quality of the recordings that we are being offered? A higher quality of engineering would eliminate so many of the problems that we are facing in recorded music. These are not "digital" defects, these are symbolic of poor quality work. IMHO, of course...

CG's picture

Yes!

But, this is being done deliberately by somebody in the recording chain. I can only speculate that this is what they feel they need to do in order for the recording to play well over the devices of the time. So, it's not "poor work", although we might think so.

It's funny... People wonder why young folks today don't show as much interest in "hifi" as kids did back in the 70's or thereabouts. Maybe part of the reason is that the contemporary music they like doesn't reproduce well over what we might call "hifi" systems.

supamark's picture

and mastering engineers (and consumers). Labels want it to sound "good" on earbuds and crappy bluetooth speakers because that's how most pop music is consumed so it's heavily compressed/limited, and mastering engineers do it because that's how you keep the lights on and the rent paid.

The upside, if you like vinyl, is that records are mastered with far less compression of the dynamic range (you simply can't cut a record as hot as modern CD's and expect it to be playable). Those young hipsters buying vinyl are the next crop of audiophiles. Unfortunately, a good vinyl playback chain is significantly more expensive (and fiddly) than a comparable DAC/transport.

supamark's picture

that white/gold finish looks TACKY in pictures. The black/silver is a bit cold, but at least it doesn't look like it has a comb-over and tiny fingers [rimshot].

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