Quantcast
High end audiophile converters - Page 5 - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
High end audiophile converters
Old 25th September 2012
  #121
Lives for gear
 
remote337's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Better, more accurate, whatever, the terminology is irrelevant. How can someone determine that a piece of music sounds 'improved' on a different system when it was conceived by someone else on different cheaper kit which guided and informed each and every decision in that composition?

For instance if I mix a track with a very subtle or subliminal sound which is enhanced, made more apparent or 3 dimensional by an audiophile system is that improved. No, because that's not how I originally intended it to sound on the system it was composed on.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #122
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by remote337 ➑️
Better, more accurate, whatever, the terminology is irrelevant. How can someone determine that a piece of music sounds 'improved' on a different system when it was conceived by someone else on different cheaper kit which guided and informed each and every decision in that composition?
It's called subjective perception. One person's idea of "accurate", "better", etc. can be entirely different than the next. Just look around here to see how opinions vary on what constitutes the "real thing". Piano recording shootouts using various mics, for example. Seems nobody ever agrees on what sounds closer to the real thing. All have their own ideas of what's better, even though they may differ. Some may not want it to sound like the real thing, whether they are aware of this or not.

Also, since they haven't heard what the mix sounds like on your monitors in your studio, they don't have a reference. All they know is what's in their minds as to what the pinnacle of sound is, whether it's far from reality or not. Others may base "accuracy" on what a typical live performance sounds like based on attending a number of these performances. Maybe I'm off base here, but that's what it seems like to me.

That said, rarely have I heard a recording of a rock band that sounds anything like them playing live in the same room I'm in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by remote337 ➑️
For instance if I mix a track with a very subtle or subliminal sound which is enhanced, made more apparent or 3 dimensional by an audiophile system is that improved. No, because that's not how I originally intended it to sound on the system it was composed on.
They still may perceive the sound as improved due to the color their own system and room imposes on the recording, even though they may not even know this is happening or would admit to if they indeed knew that's what was going on. Notice I used the word, "may".
Old 26th September 2012
  #123
Lives for gear
 
aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by remote337 ➑️
Better, more accurate, whatever, the terminology is irrelevant. How can someone determine that a piece of music sounds 'improved' on a different system when it was conceived by someone else on different cheaper kit which guided and informed each and every decision in that composition?

For instance if I mix a track with a very subtle or subliminal sound which is enhanced, made more apparent or 3 dimensional by an audiophile system is that improved. No, because that's not how I originally intended it to sound on the system it was composed on.
I think one could reach the conclusion that playback of music is "improved" by listening to that playback on various systems and making a conclusion about which sounds better.

To your second point: I am not sure quite how to approach an answer to this as many reasons become manifest as you consider a bit.

Many people, including the top Mix engineers Mix on NS-10s.

I am feel safe in asserting that NS-10's are fairly far from accurate - However, they are very mid-forward which in my use has lead to being able to make my Mix balances (I am not a daily NS-10 user but have a lot of experience w/ them).

Also, some of those engineers contend that, in fact the fact that they sound poor makes them useful; for if they are able to make a Mix sound good on them, likely the will sound good on many playback systems.

Another example would be Bob Clearmountain who in addition to the NS-10's - Also extensively uses a little a pair of Apple computer speakers and raves about them.

Surely, you cannot reasonably hold that such engineers are using these speakers with the premise that they will be what the material is played back on.

To be sure, most Mix engineers switch between monitors to check the consistency of sound of a broad range of playback systems.

Personally, I use Event's - a pair of consumer grade Infinity IL-10's - B&W LM-1's and I suppose Audiophile level B&W N802's w/ Krell Master Reference amplification. (and of course ear buds and my Mac's speakers)

Then of course, at the Mastering stage many ME's are using what are traditionally considered "Audiophile" equipment.

This is a crucial point as this is the final point of "quality-control" in the production chain where what the end listener is considered the most important - Opposed to the Mix, where the song is the most important.

It's somewhat interesting that at this stage your most likely to encounter Audiophile monitors and amplification.

The above seems to run contra to your statement that audiophiles using such similar systems in their homes are somehow listening to systems exceeding what the music was initially created using.

Just some thoughts for your consideration - Sorry if my reply seemed abrasive, I was somewhat constructing my counter argument as I typed on my mobile. I meany no ill will nor meant to seem overly argumentative in my above reply.

Best Regards,
Alexa
Old 26th September 2012
  #124
Gear Addict
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
great post Alexa!

I have experienced situations where I heard more detail in a recording that I had actually tracked and/or mixed, but long after the fact - either during the mastering session or even playing it back on an audiophile system at a later date. This was usually a result of not having ideal monitoring in the first place, so when I heard what I had recorded/mixed on a better resolving system, the extra detail was a "bonus". In some cases these were decent mixes that just worked on a wide range of systems (not always though!). NS10s are an example of a speaker that helps a lot of people create a great mix even though they are not particularly detailed.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #125
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nico2600 ➑️
Whatever happened to record players : (
Still spinning here for 41 years and counting. BTW, bravo to Jack Frost, Scott Litt, Dana Nielsen, and Sterling Sound for the vinyl issue of Dylan's "Tempest". Outstanding job!

WW
Old 26th September 2012
  #126
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
NS-10's are good for people who are forced to mix. I studied tabla under a master, and when I was forced to practice and play every day, a crappy drum was better, because it forced me to try to hit harder and smoother to get some kind of good sound out of it, so when I did get a good drum it would be that much better. However when I was not taking lessons, I got a really good drum which made me want to play more and became better because of it.

The same goes with monitors, if you work in a studio and are forced to mix, NS-10's are good. However at home when I am on my own time and only work when I feel like it, I want to have the best sound quality possible, because it reinforces my desire to mix.
Old 26th September 2012
  #127
Lives for gear
 
aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Deleted
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #128
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Think back to the late 50's when Bob Fine and Wilma Cozart were making their great Mercury recordings. Their monitors were pretty limited. Now fast-forward 20 or 30 years. Record-buyers were going nuts for that old vinyl, and they were right. When Wilma got her old Ampex restored and played the 3-track masters for Philips, who wanted to do the CD transfers, everyone was blown away. There was gold in those tracks (and in the grooves) that couldn't possibly have been heard when they tracked, mixed, and mastered them.

Monitors like NS10s are great tools, but I've never heard them make anything sound either good or real. You can't listen to a live orchestra at Carnegie, then go to your studio and enjoy listening to that orchestra on NS10s. There are home systems that let you do that. Also, there is more and more blurring between "pro" and "home" systems,. I've seen the same ProACs, B&Ws, Focals, and Duntech/Dunlavys doing good jobs in studios and homes, though there's most often a hyper-detailed something like NS10s sitting around, 'cause that's what lets you hear everything that's going on.

And yes, while a few audio hobbyists spend obscene amounts of money on gear, others know how to build a good room and put together a repro system that's pretty great, with an almost sensible budget. They are not idiots; they are the customers who keep performers, labels, and studios in business.

WW
Old 26th September 2012
  #129
Gear Maniac
 
AtomicMidi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well Blimey! I wasn't expecting this many answers that's for sure! Meanwhile I have purchased me some monitors and guess what, I bet you guys haven't even heard of wilmslow audio hsm monitor kits, have you? But an audiophile would be able to tell you they sound straight and true, just like a monitor should!
Old 26th September 2012
  #130
Gear Guru
 
elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The goal is pure and unadulterated reproduction, therefore more accurate is better. THAT is "high fidelity." Fewer pollutions in the chain, that's better, yes. But here's the thing... it's proven that the ear doesn't necessarily prefer purity - a little distortion can be like sonic candy - which at least partially explains why many hi-fi systems aren't impressive to everyone. But to the mind of the audiophile, a sick and deranged character I'll admit, a cleaner signal is a better signal. Personally, I prefer vinyl (in most cases).

So where are all the record players? They're alive and well, I assure you. If hipsters have contributed anything to my life it's the preservation of vinyl.
Old 26th September 2012
  #131
Lives for gear
 
TheBrightSide's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Well said elambo.
That's why the original HMV ad's are so great. It sums it all up.
(My avatar is my version of that)


Old 26th September 2012
  #132
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrightSide ➑️
Well said elambo.
That's why the original HMV ad's are so great. It sums it all up.
(My avatar is my version of that)


Actually, the hmv "his master's voice" logo is a historical distortion. The original painting had a wax cylinder (which you could record onto, hence the dog hearing his master's voice).

It was redrawn for this logo to feature the phonograph, which could not be recorded onto by the end user. Short of the owner getting his own voice pressed to vinyl professionally, the dog would not have been able to hear a recording of his master!
Old 26th September 2012
  #133
Lives for gear
 
TheBrightSide's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Maybe it's Thomas Edison's dog.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #134
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrightSide ➑️
Maybe it's Thomas Edison's dog.
Nipper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

yours
Old 27th September 2012
  #135
Gear Maniac
 
AtomicMidi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just a thought - If I REAMP say a single ended triode amp, and record through it (thus imprinting it's sonic signature on the material), will it make the sound more appealing to people who like the characteristics of single ended triode amps?
Old 28th September 2012
  #136
Lives for gear
 
aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicMidi ➑️
Just a thought - If I REAMP say a single ended triode amp, and record through it (thus imprinting it's sonic signature on the material), will it make the sound more appealing to people who like the characteristics of single ended triode amps?
I am not sure I quite follow what you are inquiring about in the above post to comment...

Can you expand on your thought a little more? Perhaps, also include an example of what you are thinking?

Best,
Alexa
Old 30th September 2012
  #137
Gear Maniac
 
AtomicMidi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you are familiar with the concept of reamping, be it reamps or guitar pedals or whatever, I was thinking about applying it to audiophile gear, valve or other, for colour.
Old 30th September 2012
  #138
Lives for gear
 
aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicMidi ➑️
If you are familiar with the concept of reamping, be it reamps or guitar pedals or whatever, I was thinking about applying it to audiophile gear, valve or other, for colour.
I am quite familiar with the concept of re-amping - I was just unclear how you were proposing going about it with Audiophile equipment.

Could you explain what your method would be?

I would curious to hear your idea(s).

Look forward to hearing back.

Best,
Alexa
Old 30th September 2012
  #139
Lives for gear
 
TheBrightSide's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
My setup is far from high end, but I do have a few nice pieces.
When I did masters, I sent a signal from my computer into a Musical Fidelity valve headphone amplifier, then to an external eq/compressor, then into a second computer which recorded it.
The valve amp definitely imparted a pleasing tone to the final master.

I have since changed a few components, and can no longer hook it up this way, but I was happy with the results when I was doing it this way.
Old 30th September 2012
  #140
Gear Guru
 
elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
It sounds like AtomicMidi is suggesting that the tube sound be built into the recording, at least as an option, perhaps at the mastering stage. It's an interesting option for those who don't have tube gear but prefer those characteristics in their playback. In no way would it be a substitute, but it might be a less expensive step in the right direction.
Old 30th September 2012 | Show parent
  #141
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicMidi ➑️
If you are familiar with the concept of reamping, be it reamps or guitar pedals or whatever, I was thinking about applying it to audiophile gear, valve or other, for colour.
I'd say the easiest way, if the audiophile was not opposed to using a computer-based music application as a source, of which supported a plug-in technology like VST (JRiver Media Center, for example), would be to utilize many of the tube/distortion emulations from Nebula in realtime. Although I've never tried using Nebula in the above application.

EDIT: Obviously there will be a bit of latency, so not truly realtime.
Old 30th September 2012
  #142
Lives for gear
 
aTelecine-Lex's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo ➑️
It sounds like AtomicMidi is suggesting that the tube sound be built into the recording, at least as an option, perhaps at the mastering stage. It's an interesting option for those who don't have tube gear but prefer those characteristics in their playback. In no way would it be a substitute, but it might be a less expensive step in the right direction.
My first thoughts with regard to his thinking were almost identical to yours.

However, the use of the term "re-amping" made me wonder if perhaps he had some more radical idea in mind.

Hopefully, he'll offer some clarity to his thoughts soon.

I am currently working on a new "album" of solo work which I am almost primarily using original "Tape-Looping process

(The closet example of this would be some of early Steve Reich pieces which utilized a very similar approach)

Therefore, I have recently become accustom to somewhat non-traditional, if not bizarre approaches to recording atypical material.

On the one hand it's wonderful to explore that sort of new territory - On the other, my imagination when someone describes what they are working on has been wondering a bit out in left field Lol

So I try not to assume much of late in light of the above reason(s) :-)
Old 30th September 2012 | Show parent
  #143
tkr
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➑️
I'd say the easiest way, if the audiophile was not opposed to using a computer-based music application as a source, of which supported a plug-in technology like VST (JRiver Media Center, for example), would be to utilize many of the tube/distortion emulations from Nebula in realtime. Although I've never tried using Nebula in the above application.
This is utter nonsense. You have obviously no idea about what is happening in the audiophile world. The biggest trend in audiophilia at the monent is computer- based music playback, and JRiver is among the most popular plugins.

As to tube emulations, at the moment they are simply not good enough. And yes, I have tried them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSueMe ➑️
EDIT: Obviously there will be a bit of latency, so not truly realtime.
Why would latency matter, as long as you only play music back?

yours
Old 30th September 2012 | Show parent
  #144
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkr ➑️
This is utter nonsense. You have obviously no idea about what is happening in the audiophile world. The biggest trend in audiophilia at the monent is computer- based music playback, and JRiver is among the most popular plugins.
No need for audiophule defensiveness. I was merely suggesting a *possible* solution to a specific question from a poster on this thread; I wasn't claiming anything.

And I'm very familiar with JRiver; been using it for over ten years, and did the whole audiophile thing decades ago. Been there/done that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkr ➑️
As to tube emulations, at the moment they are simply not good enough. And yes, I have tried them.
Do you actually own the Nebula Pro version, and have tried all of the third-party tube emulations from CDSoundMaster, AlexB, etc.? All of them? Then you haven't tried them and making a blanket statement like that means absolutely nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkr ➑️
Why would latency matter, as long as you only play music back?
Did I say it mattered??? I was just qualifying my previous remark of "realtime" using the word "EDIT". Did you miss that?
Old 6th October 2012
  #145
Gear Maniac
 
AtomicMidi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I cannot warm to virtual valves (no pun) so I won't discuss vst's. As for reamping - work it out yourselves.
The clue is in the name. :beer:
Old 6th October 2012
  #146
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I think the difference between audiophiles and engineers is in the definition of "better". IMO audiophiles tend to want a nice sound, engineers a neutral sound. To read that some audiophile rooms may sound better than some mastering studios is no surprise, as in a mastering room you have to put a desk and some reflecting surfaces (read compressors, Eq's and so on) in order to work, and that's surely not going to help the room designer (but still, I'd like to know how is that "better" defined).

Regarding prices, I firmly believe that in the audiophile world prices are, when compared to quality, often inflated in a ridiculous way. Seeing that fi Grado is selling what may be defined as a cheap version of a CMOY headphone amp in a nice wooden box at a price above 400 usd is almost unbelievable. Looking at the BOM of audio hardware isn't telling everything, but can sometimes go a long way. I never found a way to build a pro audio device at less than 1/10 of it's selling price.
Beside the BOM, I discussed with an engineer that is projecting audio devices and he brought up quite alot of examples of thinghs he saw in audiophile devices that did just not make sense at all from an audio standpoint. I'm sure the more technical readers of GS have had similar experiences. Of course, those thinghs made perfect sense if you wanted to increase the building costs of a device in order to increase your margins and in order to have a marketing argument that would look great to less technical people... and those companies are probably selling well. I'm not saying that all audiophile gear is so, but to see that companies selling snake oil since years are still well respected in the audiophiles community leaves me great doubts about the competencies of said community.
I don't want to generalize too much, as there surely are many audiophiles that know very well what they are doing, but overall I feel much more confident in buying pro gear which has been used and tested by hundreds of engineers worldwide.

A last point that in my view is very often under-considered is the price of making something look beautiful. Pro gear often doesn't look that good, and that's bringing to HUGE savings. To build great looking devices in small batches is extremely expensive. In audio there is no need for something to look cool, but when I look at audiophile gear I see that very often everything possible to make the devices look good has been done. That's going to multiply the price by 4 very easily.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 56 views: 6996
Avatar for Reptil
Reptil 16th April 2005
replies: 217 views: 78973
Avatar for chessparov2.0
chessparov2.0 12th September 2020
replies: 698 views: 248023
Avatar for EffinPoop
EffinPoop 28th May 2021
replies: 777 views: 179387
Avatar for Sapro
Sapro 15th April 2021
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump