The recordings are analog, but the medium is ink on paper.
This article describes the process used by Indiana University, and contains recordings from the nineteenth century.
The HiFi Shock website fills a unique niche, specializing in showing what’s inside audiophile gear.
Some very interesting images.
New startup idea: do video.
We all lament how difficult our hobby is. How can we capture, remember, and describe an ephemeral audio event? How can we reconcile the results of objective vs subjective testing? Of sighted vs blind testing?
When I’m asked what it’s like to be an audiophile, I usually point to wine-tasting as the closest analog. Both involve fleeting, personal experiences. Both have myths and sciences. And, when in doubt, both favor the subjective view over the objective.
And both suffer from the bugaboo of expectation bias. Take, for example, the following passage from this article in The Atlantic:
An expert’s own expectation can act like Kryptonite on their superpowers. Expectation, as it turns out, is just as important as raw sensation. The build up to an experience can completely change how you interpret the information reaching your brain from your otherwise objective senses. In psychology, true objectivity is pretty much considered to be impossible. Memories, emotions, conditioning, and all sorts of other mental flotsam taint every new experience you gain. In addition to all this, your expectations powerfully influence the final vote in your head over what you believe to be reality.
Sound familiar? Read the article for an interesting and humorous account of enological blind testing.
It’s a shame that good articles like this 11-year-old piece have fallen into the Wayback-machine crypt. But they have.
A key conclusion reached is that not only does DSD suffer imperfections in accuracy, but also in precision. Ergo, it’s unlikely to produce the same waveform twice (due to intense noise modulation).
Of course, these technical imperfections may yield superior sound – especially when compared to 24/96.
I, for one, enjoy the DSD sound qualities (as do most folks that try them).
Q magazine features this article about a 20-year-old’s first experience listening to vinyl – LZ’s “Whole Lotta Love” no less.
Charming and hopeful. Wait until she hears DSD! LOL.
Click here for some other contemporary opinions
This video contains the most lucid instruction on digital audio theory that I have seen.
The exposition should benefit non-technical folks as much or more than techies, but beginners may want to start here.
…and DSD recording session.
BAAS members climbed into the Belmont hills yesterday to observe a live DSD-based recording session and to sample and audition four representatives from the current generation of DSD-capable DACs. The devices were:
- Playback Designs MPD-5 (link)
- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (link)
- Mytek Stereo 192 DSD DAC (link)
- TEAC UD-501 (link)
Musical selections – some of which were free downloads and available in both DSD and hires PCM – included:
- “Lush Life” and “Freddie” from AJP3 (link)
- Selkye:”Slow Day” from BCR (link)
- Mahler 2/1 from Channel Classics (link)
- Mahler 1/4 from DLN (link)
- Iyer:”Human Nature” from DLN (link)
- Recording from the live session
As to the results of the listening tests, I’ll leave the details to JVS and his report on Audiostream.com. I will say that the most prominent trend was once again sound quality mirroring price. But opinions varied, especially in the second session.
Also, late in the day and at a member’s request, we conducted a brief single-blind listening test. The setup was simple: two 30-sec level-matched excerpts were played on the MPD-5, one hires PCM and one DSD. Pick the DSD track. Consensus a priori was that this task was “easy” and a “waste of time.” The test results suggested otherwise.
Many thanks to Cookie Marenco, Patrick and the Blue Coast team, and Jason McGuire (master of Flamenco guitar). Great job in making this happen.
This is one place where a new generation of audiophiles are hanging out.
You may have heard of it. The site is reddit.com.
Headphones and vinyl define the new frontier. If pressed to name a third, I’d be hard pressed between Sonos and desktop DACs.
Get with it. join in. Be hip. Chat with Steve Mejias tomorrow.
Researchers at Rockefeller University in New York recently empirically tested the accuracy of the so-called “Fourier Uncertainty Principle (FUP).” In a nutshell, human hearing is much better than the FUP predicts.
Such news indirectly bolsters the subjectivist arguments that careful listeners can discern sonic elements that are opaque to engineering testing.
But we already knew this, right?
The video below will help prepare you for what might be the next wave in high-end digital. It will also serve as a great intro for our next session at Blue Coast Records.
(There’s a lot of good info to be had from the various RMAF videos.)
To see more of the like, just view this page, and refresh the page as desired.
Last Saturday, about 40 BAAS members converged on Jason’s house in Oakland for another DAC shootout. (The then-new Berkeley Alpha DAC was the star of the last such event.)
- Audioquest Dragonfly ($250) (link)
- iFi iDAC ($300) with iUSB ($200) power supply (link , designed by AMR)
- Schiit Bifrost ($450 with USB) (link)
- Halide DAC HD ($495) (link)
- USB has emerged as a mature, great-sounding standard
- There are some seriously-good fidelity to be had in the $250-500 price bracket; and
- The Halide DAC deserves its Class A Stereophile rating. It is special
Given this last point, many members were delighted to hear that Jason has secured a BAAS “Group Buy” discount on the Halide.
Check out this thread on What’s Best’s audio forum. You’ll find the video by MA Recordings and the Pac NW Audio Society – featuring our own John Stone!
You’ll also discover a bunch of free high-resolution downloads, some in DSD. Todd G, like Cookie M, is sold on DSD.
The WB forum is one of the best IMO. Several BAAS members participate….
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