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Music Listening Technology: Which Do You Use?

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Showing 76-100 of 181 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 13, 2013 11:14:06 PM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
I'm still trying to figure out why vinyl is preferred by liberals and why CDs appeal to conservatives. I would have thought conservatives would favor vinyl, shellac, or Edison cylinders.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 5:41:05 AM PST
"I'm still trying to figure out why vinyl is preferred by liberals and why CDs appeal to conservatives."

Keep working on it Dr. Mikey. We're rooting for you.

ps Is shellac is making a comeback?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 8:57:09 AM PST
If liberals like vinyl and conservatives like CDs, does that mean libertarians like only hi-res formats?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 1:44:32 PM PST
Music Luver says:
Why don't you rip to FLAC if you are archiving? The sound will be like the cd

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 2:35:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 2:36:02 PM PST
"And if/when something like FLAC or some other lossless form becomes more the standard and playable on ipods, I can re-rip everything if I have to. Will be a pain if/when that happens but not near as painful as re-buying everything I have!"

FLAC is not playable on IPods, but ALAC or Apple Lossless is.

"(never on iTunes: their lower bit rate = lower sound quality and last I'd heard anyway, they're still screwing around with digital rights managment which restricts what you can do with them, ie, how many pc's you can play them on, etc. Screw that."

I do not know how long it has been since you checked out ITunes, but since 2009, they have been offering their downloads at 256kbps VBR (previously they were at 128kbps CBR) which is as good as 320kbps and less space-consuming. Also they do not have DRM restrictions anymore.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 2:44:33 PM PST
To me, there was a big difference going from vinyl to CDs. I hated CDs at first, but now I am used to them. I do not notice any difference going from CDs to 128 kbps WMA files, which I copied from CDs. Nor do I want to notice any difference, since I have already sold all of my MFSL CDs (for a pretty penny, mind you).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 3:22:37 PM PST
zlh67 says:
I do! If I don't own the cd, I rip to 320kbps for listening on my ipod and have a separate archive only drive that I archive to FLAC in case I need to burn to cd and re-rip for any reason. If I own the cd though, no need to really worry about if I lose my 320kbps rip. I'll just re-rip for the original cd....

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 3:25:58 PM PST
zlh67 says:
I'm not familliar with ALAC, but even though it's playable on ipods, i wonder if it's destined to become the loss-less standard. On Roxio programs, etc., seems like they are FLAC compatible but not ALAC. I could be wrong on that though.

Re, iTunes, I guess it's been awhile, but when I re-imaged the desktop I use here less than a year ago, all the files I'd purchased from iTunes over the years, which wasn't a lot (maybe 20-30) required me to log-in with a password and authorize them on my "new" computer (which of course wasn't new) and it was a big pain. And since they were older, they were all 128kbps anyway, so I assumed (incorrectly it sounds) that that's how they still did things, but either way, iTunes lost me with that crap way back when, so I'll stick with Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 3:55:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 3:55:28 PM PST
Music Luver says:
Cinn Dan, wish I knew you when you were selling those MFSL disks.....

If you're listening on a PC or portable device, you probably don't hear a difference.
Not trying to sound like an audiophile, but I certainly hear the difference even on a PC, though the speakers I have are better than the average $40 specials.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 3:58:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 3:59:26 PM PST
alysha25 says:
@zlh67 , "but either way, iTunes lost me with that crap way back when ,so I'll stick with Amazon. "

sames here.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 4:13:26 PM PST
I wish someone would describe the difference they hear with a CD, and say a 128kbps download. Is it volume, missing sounds, clarity?

I was listening to the beginning of "The Dark Side of the Moon" today in my vehicle (which has a good sound system), and the low level bass, that I used to have to turn down the bass setting when listening to a CD or vinyl, didn't sound quite as thunderous.
But, other than that, I didn't notice any loss in quality.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 5:02:35 PM PST
S. Rice says:
Dan, try this test and see for yourself.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 5:08:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 14, 2013 5:14:20 PM PST
alysha25 says:
Oh , I took the test, and got it "right" the 320 kbps, but I won't tell you which it is. On the results page looks like more people guessed wrong!

Well, ripped to my computer is a mish mash anywhere from something like 64 kbps up to 256 kbps . Not sure if I've seen higher in there. And there's no way I'm bothering to change or convert any of it, even if it can be done.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 6:12:40 PM PST
Roxio is FLAC compatible and not ALAC, true. But ALAC is lossless, plays on IPods, and you can burn your ALAC files to CDs using ITunes.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 3:32:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 3:34:41 AM PST
MC Zaptone says:
Re the Mp3 TEST: I'm definitely not in the first flush of youth but I ran my laptop through a separate DAC, NAD amp and Bowers & Wilkins 685 speakers and the difference was crystal clear. Even though I knew the result I did listen again through decent headphones connected straight to the laptop, I'd say the difference was tiny, if at all noticeable. So for me I work on the principle that playback equipment will only improve and so I'm going to keep my music at the highest possible quality. If there is really no extra cost involved, why wouldn't you?
I would agree that a lot of hifi add ons are pure snake- oil but if anyone wants to seriously upgrade their older system and make it noticably much better just add a DAC (Digital/Analogue Converter) it is the one component in your hifi system that has been improved vastly in the last five years and the results are fantastic. They range from $50 - $1000 here is a really good model.
Musical Fidelity V-DAC MKII

Here is the product description and I agree with every word:
The V-DAC II brings true hi-fi quality digital-to-analogue conversion to an affordable price point. From CDs to music streaming and downloads - if you listen to digital music then you need a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) before amplification and speakers can work their magic.Computers - and even many CD players - use very basic DACs, meaning you won't get close to hearing the best from your music. That all changes when you add the dedicated V-DAC II: from lower bit-rate internet streams to better-than CD quality music files, your listening will be transformed.With co-axial, optical and USB inputs, there's not a digital device the V-DAC II can't enhance - it'll even boost the performance of your TV receiver and Blu-ray/DVD player.Crucially, it's a 24bit/192kHz asynchronous USB design, offering a significant sonic step up for computer music lovers.All this high-end hi-fi technology is presented in a solid casing with a sleek brushed silver finish. As with the rest of the V Series, the V-DAC II is a product you'll be proud to own.Design and BuildThe original V-DAC was praised for offering premium hi-fi performance at an affordable price. The upgraded V-DAC II, with an advanced specification and fresh styling, provides even more exceptional value for money.At the heart of the V-DAC II are a high-quality Burr Brown DSD 1796 DAC and Burr Brown SRC4392 asynchronous sampler. No other DAC at this price can offer such a combination of 24bit 192kHz up sampling, re-clocking,

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:01:26 AM PST
Music Luver says:
Ok. For example what i hear is a boxy squeezed sound on a good system

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:12:08 AM PST
Music Luver says:
Flac is the lossless standard many major groups release their works in this format.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 8:16:45 AM PST
B L T says:
I can't hear a difference between 128 kbps and a CD most of the time. With bit rates below 128 I hear a hollow tinny sound. I have a good system.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 8:50:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 15, 2013 8:58:31 AM PST
B L T says:
A lot of the sound quality with MP3s depends on what type of music your playing. A jazz duo consisting of an upright bass and a saxophone doesn't need a high bit rate, there's a minimum amount of information to begin with. A rock song with drums, keyboards, bass, vocals, slide and lead guitars has a lot of information and requires a higher bit rate.

Anybody else notice this?

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 12:18:20 PM PST
B L T says:
I have a couple of vintage mid 70s receivers that produce a nice warm sound, even with MP3s.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 1:46:18 PM PST
A customer says:
CDs are generally the best, because most of the music I own was digitally recorded. LPs are better for music recorded with analog equipment. Can't use MP3s any more. Has to be lossless. FLAC is nice. Everything gets pumped through tube amps and Sennheisers (rarely use speakers). No TV speakers, ear buds or boomboxes allowed in my household.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 12:44:48 AM PST
Tonè says:

I am not an audio technician, but I believe the "warmth" of LPs is actually background noise generated by the operations of the physical equipment, in addition to other environmental vibrations, including feedback from speakers. All these get passed thru the stylus and create an illusion of enriching fullness and wholesomeness. CD laser pickup does not receive physical interference, so it presents a pure sound, which may sound sterile.

Noise and other imperfections are present in live music performances -- echoes, sound shaking the walls, vibrating musical equipment, people, the musician shuffling around, hands moving across instruments, etc.

With CDs, we got what we wanted and then decided that we don't want it: perfection. A studio-produced guitar solo sounds like a ghost was playing the instrument, you only hear the intended sound from the guitar string, even the plucking dissonance sound is removed.

There's no way I'm gong back to turntables, but I'll keep the 100 or so LPs that I have saved over the years, no new ones. Speakers with a good interpretation of mid-to-upper level bass sound can provide the warmth that so many music fans desire, even from CDs and other purely digital media sources. Such speakers need no cost too much, but you'd have to search around.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 8:03:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 8:05:36 AM PST
MC Zaptone says:
Warmth can also be attributed to the fuller 'analogue' recording sound which is often less technically modified. A mate of mine runs a studio that has both digital and old late sixties analogue recording equipment. The analogue gear is much more in demand these days as lots of young bands try to recreate the 'mod' sound of the sixties and seventies.
I think a lot of people realised that CDs/digital recording weren't the perfect answer when engineers started over producing everything in the eighties. Remember the '80's & '90's 'loudness wars'?

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 8:22:16 AM PST
Some of "we" still love the perfection, the crispness, and the clarity of the digital music format. I don't begrudge those who love older formats and older technology as, like many things, the enjoyment of music is a very personal and subjective thing. But analog is not universally "better" for all people.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 8:32:50 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 8:33:43 AM PST
MC Zaptone says:
Remember, the 'perfection' as you call it is often manipulated to sound crisp with much of the real sound digitally modified and is probably much more false than you realise. Personal preference has probably much more to do with the emotional attachment you have to the particular style that was prevalent during your musical formative years than anything technical.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  181
Initial post:  Jan 9, 2013
Latest post:  Aug 27, 2013

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