Any audiophiles here?

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Winter Haven, florida
Although the music selection is limited, if you want what at least to my ears sound glorious listen to some of the recordings from https://bluecoastmusic.com
Not all dac’s can play the dsd files. Right now my favorite source, although “popular” music is not readily available. These are primarily small recording sessions, which often just sing.
Gary
 
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now they compress the hell out of much of the modern digital music *and* some of the re-releases of old CD's.
I didn't realize that has been happening to re-releases. Thanks for the information!

I was told by a salesman that has been in the industry a long time that the streaming services use compressed files. That made sense to me, so I never tried any of them. It's so easy to transfer a CD from my collection to the CD player that I don't understand why so many people object to doing so.
 
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It really does come down to the mastering. I haven’t bought a new CD in years. I do buy a few LPs every so often. Analog recordings, Mofi, and others.

I did rip all my cds ro flac or wav files at 16 bit/44khz. I stream Qobuz now which has high rez files. I tried out Tidal and Deezer prior to settling on Qobuz for now.
 
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I was just looking for new headphones. Searching the Sennheiser homepage I´'ve found this:
https://de-de.sennheiser.com/sennheiser-he-1

Incredible! Crazy!
The price is in Euro, not Italian ex Lira...

Will they really sell one?

Klaus

And I thought a photography hobby was expensive.
By the way, I thought it was a well known fact that the sensitivity of the human ear for the audio spectrum, diminishes significantly with ageing.
Specifically in the higher tones and from an earlier age for males than females.
A classic "joke" states this is a biological defence mechanism from the male of the species to protect himself from the nagging sounds produced by certain another life forms :rolleyes:
Note the quotes around "joke" (in my own defence).

This would also imply that by the time someone can afford this type of equipment, the person is not really capable of fully taking advantage of it anymore.
A number of other expensive hobbies come to mind that have this in common.

With this in mind, I only use headphones - we have a really small house, especially by USA standards: a B&O and a Bower & Wilkins with anc.
 
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Streaming services like tidal and qobuz have less compression than others. They also have smaller libraries. They actually sound pretty good, at least to these old ears
I have been using Qobuz for a couple of months, so far so good.
Gary
 
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Moscow, Idaho
I've been buying CDs from BandCamp. When you buy something on Bandcamp, an average of 82% of the money goes to the artist or their label, and the remainder covers their operation and payment processor fees. High quality, and they don't rip off the artists.
In my experience, rock and pop CDs have the most compression and lowest quality; Classical and Jazz, the highest. My deck won't play SACDS or DSD, so I am stuck with "Redbook" PCM 16; 44.1 discs.
 
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The image below shows my most recent audiogram, and reveals why I no longer have much interest in high-end audio.

If you are not familiar with these, normal hearing would be a line at about 20 dB.

Audiogram_JRT_Cr.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
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Moscow, Idaho
The image below shows my most recent audiogram, and reveals why I no longer have much interest in high-end audio.

If you are not familiar with these, normal hearing would be a line at about 20 dB.

You have me convinced. My wife taught at WSU's Speech Pathology/Audiology Dept for 30+ years and some of the Aud. grad students tested me some years ago. 20dB out to about 16K then a small drop. I'm sure its not that youthful nowadays!
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Next time I get a hearing test I need to keep a copy of the graph. My hearing loss is a combination of genetics, poor choices and job related damage. All of my paternal lineage had tinnitus and hearing loss at relatively early ages. Add to that my adolescent arrogance and love of ludicrously loud music and the stage was set. Finally, my time in the military around loud noises finished the job.
 
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I didn't realize that has been happening to re-releases. Thanks for the information!

I was told by a salesman that has been in the industry a long time that the streaming services use compressed files. That made sense to me, so I never tried any of them. It's so easy to transfer a CD from my collection to the CD player that I don't understand why so many people object to doing so.
Go onto that site I linked to, "Loudness Wars" and look up one of your albums and see some of them for yourself. You will also need the album number as this relates to the release:
https://dr.loudness-war.info/
Some albums are just unlistenable on a system. My son has a recording by Iggy and The Stooges that has a DR of 01 to 02, it is *unlistenable* due to the compression, "it's just noise", you can't pick out instruments or anything. I mean, I can't see how you can even have a DR that is that low!!! To me that is criminal. This is why DR is so important.
https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/162547

My favourite albums to listen to from an audiophile perspective are all in the 14-15+ DR area with my real favourites at 15+. My son pointed this site out to me as we were discussing why some older albums sounded better than their new "Remastered" versions which were supposed to be better! Don't get me wrong, some newer albums are very good and some of the remasters are also very good, generally if they keep the DR at a decent level, say 12+, which is where I start to draw the line with minimum DR. Having said that, some music and recordings don't necessarily require big DR, but most do. The thing is, the good DR gives depth to the music, whereas compression can make it cound harsh. Funnily enough, I can now put a CD/digital source on and tell almost straight away whether it is compressed too much and my son can also. We both love the high DR versions on an excellent system. On a lesser system it doesn't seem to matter as much, espevially in a car or where background noise is an issue.

We started to investigate this years ago when I purchased remastered albums that I thought the original sounded better, not as harsh, more depth and less distortion and this is when we heard about what they have been doing to digital music via compression. Found out about the Loudness Wars site and everything fell into place. I have a DR listing of all my albums which can be done once you have ripped your music to digital and then put them through the DR measurement on your computer which can be downloaded. My son set it all up for me. Interestingly, most of all my original CDs have very good to excellent DR, some don't of course, but that was how they were recorded anyway.

Obviously there is more to it than just DR, but interestingly even music I am not all that fond of sounds great and is very likeable with excellent DR. My son has a rap album (can't think of it at the moment) that he heard was good simply due to the excellent DR - he isn't into rap either - and I must say, even I liked it! I guess it is like listening to music live, it is always good live even if it isn't the genre you like. Some remasters have excellent DR and have kept or bettered the original albums and they are generally excellent!

One of the best thought of rock/pop albums for a mastering/mixing/engineering perspective is Roxy Music's Avalon and you can see from the link below, some of the releases have a DR of up to 16, and some of those recordings are as low as 13, but on the whole most are excellent due to the fact they kept the DR at a decent level. The high DR versions I think are definitely the best. Interestingly, the HDCD version was only a max 10!! The original version I have is excellent as is the SACD version, which leaves the HDCD version for dead.
https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=roxy+music&album=avalon

Another well recorded album, Thriller, was originally at the max 17 mark on CD when it came out but some remasters and others are as low as 8!!! I have a the original which I purchased way back in the day which sounds great, but some of the remasters are not very good to downright awful, IMO.
https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=michael+jackson&album=thriller

The Police have had some brilliant albums and they are mostly in the 15+, many up to 19!!
https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/1?artist=the+police
The originals and some of the re-releases and some remasters are fantastic, but there are re-releases that are down to 11. The original Outlandos D'mour was (CD 1988) was up t0 15 DR, but the re-matered release was a max of 11 which is too low. You can hear the difference, the original was much better, IMO. The stunning Regatta de Blanc original release in 1988 was up to 16 DR, and the original Synchronicity is up to 18! Some of the remasters have kept or bettered the original albums and they *do* sound superb, IMO. You can see by looking them up on the link above. My SACD version of Regatte de Blanc is still a DR of 16, but sounds better than the original.

The original The Specials album on CD has max DR up to 15 andaverage 14 and sounds great, but when I got the remaster it didn't sound good and I have since checked and it is a max DR of 13 and average 11.
https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=the+specials&album=

Telarc, Sheffiled Lab, Chesky, and many others, made a point of good DR, as well as excellent recording/mastering technique on the whole and you can tell the difference. James Newton-Howard & Friends on Sheffiled Lab records has a DR up to 21!!!! and sounds incredible. A later release is "only" up to 19 but still sounds superb.

Classical music and jazz *requires* good DR, IMO. Generally they don't tend to compress these genres as much but you still have to be wary of it. Sergei Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances has DR up to 17 and sounds glorious. All of the Telarc classical, jazz and pop recordings are high DR up to at least 15 and over and sound great from that perspective.

DR isn't everything but I think it goes a long way to making recorded music sound much better, mostly on a good system. No point in a well mixed album if the DR is flat and I see this time and time again. Again, not all music requires high DR but most does and just because it has good DR doesn't necessarily make it sound good either, but if it more often than not it will sound better even on music you don't like. My benchmark for DR is minimum 13, but around the 15 seems to be the sweet spot.

Of course, these are just my opinions but it does seem that many others feel the same way hence the Loudness Wars site was created. People saw and heard what was happening and are concerned. It is up to us to tell recording companies etc to keep DR up to decent levels. As I stated in an eralier post, one of the big benefits of CD and digital music (among other attributes) when it first appeared was the promise of higher DR than vinyl. Now CDs and digital music has *lower* DR than vinyl - what the F***??!! I just won't buy low DR music any more and if I lose or damage a CD or want to buy a CD, I will look for high DR versions and if they don't have a high DR version will avoid it unless it is music that I don't listen critically to - say background music whilst on the computer doing photo post processing or in whilst in the car. I mean, I still have some low DR music that I like but do not critically listen to but when I want that "critical music experience with the sound wound up to decent levels", then DR becomes important, in fact critical to the enjoyment in that scenario. 😊
 
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Most musical instruments do not have a fundamental frequency over about 4kHz.

http://www.zytrax.com/tech/audio/audio.html

Part of the reason hearing can hear higher frequencies is that harmonics of those notes go well higher giving the instrument its tonal character etc. So, if your hearing starts to drop off at 4kHz, you will hear the original fundamental note ok, but the harmonics of that note will be ever quieter making it a little more difficult to discern the instrument clearly as well as someone with higher frquency range hearing. However, it doesn't necessraily mean that you won't recognise the note or instrument. The decaying harmonics and harmonic under tones are what gives an instrument it's tonal charactersitics among other things. The highest instrument shown on the graph is the high hat cymbal with a fundamental of 4kHz and a 6th order harmonic of 24kHz, but most instruments have fundamentals well lower than that and most have a 6th order of harmonics of well in the range of hearing to say up to 15kHZ, the only exceptions being high hat cymbols, harp and pipe organ. Although, I have also heard tha 5th order harmonics is as much as we need to hear and that means that only high hat cymbols get over 15kHz and are at 20kHz.
 
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Although the music selection is limited, if you want what at least to my ears sound glorious listen to some of the recordings from https://bluecoastmusic.com
Not all dac’s can play the dsd files. Right now my favorite source, although “popular” music is not readily available. These are primarily small recording sessions, which often just sing.
Gary
The Blue Coast All-Star Jam by the Blue Coast All-Stars is well the price of admission. I'm not even mad about the song but their rendition of Rolling In The Deep is well worth a listen.....and it's not just me that says so.
 
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Michael
The image below shows my most recent audiogram, and reveals why I no longer have much interest in high-end audio.

If you are not familiar with these, normal hearing would be a line at about 20 dB.

Definitely the most expensive audio upgrade and in my view the best I've made in the last couple of years is hearing aids. In terms of a great many things they opened up a whole new world but in terms of listening to my sound system.... phantasgamorical...what a dfference. It was't the first thing I tried them out with but certainly on Day One I played quite a bit of music and was blown away by what I'd been missing.
 
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Definitely the most expensive audio upgrade and in my view the best I've made in the last couple of years is hearing aids. In terms of a great many things they opened up a whole new world but in terms of listening to my sound system.... phantasgamorical...what a dfference. It was't the first thing I tried them out with but certainly on Day One I played quite a bit of music and was blown away by what I'd been missing.

I use state-of-the-art high-power Phonaks for those with profound hearing loss. I have a TV adapter which captures sound from my TV and connected audio system and plays it directly into my hearing aids via bluetooth. That allows me to enjoy symphony concerts and operas at any volume level I choose. But I still depend on the subwoofer for the deepest base, which I more-or-less feel.
 
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Joined
Jan 13, 2011
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Location
Australia
Although the music selection is limited, if you want what at least to my ears sound glorious listen to some of the recordings from https://bluecoastmusic.com
Not all dac’s can play the dsd files. Right now my favorite source, although “popular” music is not readily available. These are primarily small recording sessions, which often just sing.
Gary
I have one of the Blue Coast SACD albums, The E.S.E. Sessions - Various Artists. Not all of the music is my cup of tea, but you are correct, all the songs are very well recorded and sound great.
 
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Ken
So glad I made a quick decision on picking up the Samsung buds. I just spent six days in the hospital, and they were wonderful to have with my tablet and phone, especially when I could not sleep and watched videos late at night. They are not perfect, but they are reasonably neutral and very practical, have an insane battery life, and are easy to slip into any small pocket. Sometimes practical is just as important as SQ.

--Ken
 
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Ken
Question for the bottleheads here. Has anybody owned or heard any of the Decware Zen amps (2.3 watt SET design)? They caught my eye again after seeing them many years ago, and was wondering if anybody has experience with them.

Thanks,

--Ken
 

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