Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Radar, Sep 9, 2019.
So you’re actually saying they made speakers better back in the day than they do now?
For those complaining of the rice crispies, you have never used a micro line (or similar type) needle in a high quality arm before.
For the consumer market, FAR better, by leaps and bounds. Most of the technology used today in speakers relies heavily on the R&D done by companies making them during the rock era.
Or, in the case of Bose who were always the forerunners, kept on with R&D into todays technolgy.
Most people don't even realize that all of the surround sound satellite speaker systems with sub woofers was invented by Bose with their original Acoustamass system.
Most guys now don't even care about good home stereo gear, they just want little toys to hook up to their computers to listen on. Or ear buds.
Which, ear buds were an advance in technology that was more modern, the ability to make tiny speakers that can sound as if they are full range.
But that still doesn't hold a candle to the amazing sound of a pair of Realistic 3 way 15s hooked to a 1970s Marantz black face blue light receiver.
Or Bose 901s. Those things were amazing, but you had to have them set up in a rather large room in order to place them in exactly the right place to appreciate what they could do.
But believe me, nothing in the world has even come close to the massive concert hall sound a pair of 901s sounded like in a specially designed room for them. I feel fortunate to have experienced that back in the 70s, it is an experience I will never forget.
Nobody cares about any of that now, they just want little portable things and could care less about high fidelity and clarity. So speaker makers just do not focus on that kind of sound now.
Manufacturers only do what there is enough demand for to make it worth their while.
That is exactly why music gear made in the 70s is so highly priced now. It is the holy grail of listening pleasure, and one that has become rare enough to become valuable.
What I have seen in my age group (40’s) is a lot of people that were really into music in the CD era coming back around to vinyl.
We are the folks that used to dig through CD bins, buy our favourite bands albums the day it came out, have listening parties, etc.
When the mp3/Apple Music/Spotify/etc came along we moved to that. And while convenient - lost a lot of what made music special.
Vinyl is about reconnecting with that. Better sound, adding value back to the music, the social aspect of getting together with friends to throw albums on, spend a Saturday afternoon hitting up record stores.
Plus, even throughout the digital era, I’ve been one for supporting bands I go see by buying albums at their shows. I need a turntable to do that now
A good setup, a good brush and a record cleaner does trick. Listening to the XX right now (very sparse album with a lot of space) loudly and not a crackle, pop or hiss to be heard.
Unless I have records that are older that were mishandled - my setup is dead quiet.
One thing I have been told by people far more knowledgeable in this space than myself is that the farther you get into audiophile territory - the less forgiving the setup is to the quality of vinyl.
For example - I was advised by my local audio dealer on needles to stick with the OM30 and not move to the OM40 - as the 40, while better sounding is far less forgiving.
Another happy vinyl collector here. Like others, there are a few reasons I enjoy listening to records. I like how it makes me pay more attention and “be in the moment”. I love going over the liner notes, and seeing who played what parts. I like being able to see and really appreciate great cover art. Most importantly, I like supporting the artists. As hard as it is for musicians to make a living now, I just can’t bring myself to rely on Spotify or Apple Music to pay an artist fairly. If an artist I like has put in the effort and money to release an album on vinyl, I’ll almost always buy it, especially if they’re not some big national act.
As for sound quality: I don’t know that one format is necessarily “better” than the other. I will say there are definitely records that I’ve bought/heard after only ever hearing a digital version, and been shocked how much better they sounded. The MoFi versions of Beck’s “Sea Change” and Miles’ “Kind of Blue” immediately come to mind. Not too long ago, I scored an original pressing of the first Rage Against The Machine record. At the risk of sounding like a cliche or hyperbolic, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. Sounded amazing! And my system is hardly high end. However, it is vintage. I think the stereo equipment from the 60s and 70s, in general, was really well made and made to last. You don’t have to break the bank for a nice vinyl setup. Whenever someone comes to my place and sees my records and turntable, they often laugh. They then talk about how they don’t like the hiss and pops of records. But once they hear a clean record on a nice system, they realize how good it can sound. And despite what people may think, there are still lots of bands and studios that record to analog/tape. DapTone records, Drive-By Truckers, The War on Drugs, and Foo Fighters come to mind. Hell, Dave Grohl made a great documentary about the subject of analog recording.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate having tens of thousands of songs in my phone. It’s great in the car or at work. And there are fantastic DACs being made now. So it’s not like digital can’t sound amazing too. But when I’m home, nothing beats vinyl for me.
Another cool aspect about vinyl that I had forgotten about, is hanging out in record stores and chatting with shop owners and other shoppers about music and records. I love chatting with the guy at my local shop. He’s turned me on to some records, I may not have known about otherwise.
There is room for both analogue and digital. I come down in the analogue camp, but understand that many people don't understand that there is room for both.
That's why I only stick with mint or near-mint albums.
Where are you getting that from? There's tons of amazing pressings out there from high quality labels ; MFSL and Analogue Productions, for instance. Lots of terrific pressing plants like RTI, Pallas, et al. which are infinitely better than what was available in the pre-CD era.
CDs absolutely have. They are in every way superior to vinyl. Bass is in stereo, better clarity, wider range of frequencies, ability to have as much bass as you want on a record without worrying that some guy's crappy tonearm will jump, etc.
However, there's far more than meets the eye about it. There are tons of different pressings of each album and the range in sound quality is quite wide from terrible to amazing. In the 80s, when CDs were released, albums were released onto CDs by taking the same mastering done for vinyl and merely digitizing this. Unfortunately, there was no RIAA equalization done for CDs so the albums typically sounded goosed in highs with no real body to the music leading to crystal clean sound and an unsatisfying experience. Once mastering engineers finally understood a whole different set of mastering rules would need to be used for digital, the same albums sounded a million times better.
That has nothing to do with the medium but rather the mastering trends of the period. The ridiculous amount of compression and limiting artificially made the recordings sound congested and brashly loud. You'll notice that if you took an original first-year CD release of an album (pre-1990) and compared it to a much-touted "Remastered" version released in the mid-to-late 1990s that the latter will sound much much louder. This process limits dynamic range which accounts for how the song breathes. Cutting DR makes everything sound lifeless and dull. It's loud and obnoxious. Unfortunately, this also has the consequence of inducing ear fatigue. Before I knew all this stuff, I didn't quite understand why I listened to music for hours on end with no problem in my early teens but couldn't listen to 1h straight without wanting to lower the volume and eventually turn off the stereo. That's why.
Using any tool to the extreme is usually not a good thing. To moot, some albums' DR is so restricted that the term "brickwalled" was coined to refer to how the lack of dynamics and the cranking of everything that is left makes a the waveform look like a big wall of brick instead of the varied spiky type. See the below example.
As mentioned earlier, that is factually incorrect. Modern audio gear is infinitely more revealing than what was offered 50 years ago. It's not even close. Nothing wrong with being nostalgic but if I offered a comparison of what you used before and had a competently modern setup playing the same material being switched in real-time, you wouldn't believe how much your setup sounded like mud. Nostalgia has a way of making us think certain things like that. If you don't believe me, grab an old Sansui and plug some JBLs, then grab a low-end decent amp like a Yamaha S-501 and a pair of mid-level Polk Audio. Night & day difference. And that's with a low-end setup!
That's because the average system back then sucked. Even a cheap AT-150 table today wouldn't skip unless it was not calibrated correctly.
Exactly. I'd like to know if there is ANYBODY in this thread who doesn't use vinyl who actually sits down for a whole hour or more to listen to an entire album from start to finish without interruption or distraction (PC, smartphone browsing and texting). I'd be surprised if there is even one person who does that. People would LIKE to think they truly listen to music. The reality is listening habits of 99% of people changed. They listen through earbuds while on the subway or put it on while doing housework. Dedicated serious listening is almost entirely gone.
Convenience of digital also led to a huge drop in patience and appreciation for anything that doesn't offer immediate instant gratification. People will hear the first 10 secs of a song and skip it. With vinyl, due to its inconvenience, skipping isn't done as often and one develops an appreciation for songs which maybe didn't offer an immediate payoff. For instant, prior to using a high-end vinyl setup, I never had taken the time to shut the world out to listen to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in its entirety. The hits are great but there are soooo many deep cuts that are utterly fantastic and it's amazing music that'd be easy to otherwise miss. In fact, my favorite on that album is Harmony, a track which wasn't released as a single.
Also, music of today is focused on songs as opposed to albums. To one extreme, there was the odd "album concept" but even generally-speaking, throughout an album of released many decades ago, there was a conceptual attribute you could hear. Now, most albums sound homogeneous to me... which doesn't help matters.
"Better" is subjective. The funny thing is I've noticed what most people tend to react positively to with cheaper vinyl setups is what is removed from the music. Too much detail and too many hyped frequencies will lead to ear fatigue and frankly, it sounds unnatural. A cheap vintage setup removes all that because it's not capable of rendering the same sound... and people (usually) love it!
But if you want to be able to get everything you can from vinyl, you definitely need a system that costs many times that of a good digital one. Now, keep in mind that most people would never consider spending the cost of a Friedman amp on their home stereo but that is what I'm referring to. A digital-based stereo with a quality DAC will easily sound much better than a cheap vinyl rig... unless one responds favorably to what is removed.
For a vinyl rig to really come alive, one needs a quality dedicated phono preamp. There are some (and I use this term loosely due to the high cost of audiophile-caliber components in general) bargains out there especially when buying used and believe me, this is oftentimes a discounted or even unknown component to some! Yet, it's one of the most important ones.
When all the pieces are of great quality, the vinyl rig can easily overtake digital but it does cost more to get that accomplished.
There is also something to be said about the sequencing of the album. For instance, a trick George Martin used for The Beatles was to finish the A side on a climax and start side B with the quietest song to cleanse the pallet, kind of the calm after the storm.
On Sgt Pepper, that was done with the louder and louder build-up of random organ music clips strewn together and ending with that loud arpeggio... only to be followed by Within You, Without You. On Abbey Road, it was I Want You (She's So Heavy) that ends with a wall of white noise being cranked and stop suddenly, only to start the next side with Here Comes The Sun.
Wrong. A good properly calibrated/isolated table won't experience this. At all.
All vinyl is colored. Yes, even black.
Nautilus and Columbia was crap. MFSL did some great things in the late 70s and 80s but by the time the 90s rolled out, they would goose the highs and lows and have a hollowed midrange. That period for MFSL isn't looked at very fondly.
On cheap crap vinyl gear with LPs in terrible condition which haven't been cleaned, sure. CDs are technically superior but the mastering is oftentimes what ultimately makes the end result sound utterly terrible.
MiniDisc is a terrible format which uses compression. IIRC, it was MPEG-2, MP3's predecessor.
Wrong. There is way more to the RIAA equalization than cutting highs and rolled off highs aren't part of the sound of vinyl on a good system. Only cheap stuff. Then, there's that whole source and mastering bit which changes how things sound dramatically from pressing to pressing...
Incorrect. Some are, some aren't.
As for what is inferior, that's another blanket statement in a thread full of them.
The source and mastering is what will ultimately make or break how the end result sounds. One technique is to digitize the source and provide the mastering engineer with those files. In some cases, it's the master tape but in others, it's a safety copy or a 4th-generation copy, for instance. The source is crucial. If that process is followed, the mastering engineer now has to master what he was sent. If the source is terrific, the potential for amazing sound is there. In the hands of capable pros like Bernie Grundman, Steve Hoffman, Kevin Gray and the like, the results can be spectacular. In the hands of idiots like Joe Reagoso, it's bound to suck!
And then, there are plenty of times when the actual master tape is directly used to master a new release in which case, that will almost always sound better pre-master. Again, if the mastering engineer is great, usually the end result is terrific. Master tapes in the hands of a dolt won't turn out sounding great either.
Vinyl records of old, as you call them, had tons of issues as well. All the pressing plants needed access to plates so the albums could be manufactured. The label would often provide some based on safety copies or Xth-generation copies so everyone could be ready for the release date, leading to quality dips all over the place. Who had access to plates created from the master tapes? Were there ANY? In a lot of cases, no. That, along with the far superior mastering gear, allows releases of today to easily eclipse ones of yesteryear.
I could name dozens of examples, easily.
It is but that is due to mastering trends. How albums were mastered 30 years ago is quite different than how the same task is tackled now. The volume wars opened the door to music fans who told themselves "Wait a minute. How come the digital version sounds so aggressive and horrible but the vinyl version sounds natural?"
There are a lot of associations done by some in this thread without much (if any) experience. There are a lot of factors contributing to the confusion and needless debating which is why a lot of disclaimers have to be used when making a correct statement of fact.[/QUOTE]
You cant have True Stereo in Digital.
Also in Analog, you must use the Trinaural Processor to correct the Mathematical Flaw in Stereo production, that was never corrected in the 50s, until the early 2000s.
The device won Best Highend End Stereo Component at CES
Closer to the Live Event
The Trinaural Processor is a totally unique device that addresses what Jim Bongiorno considered an inherent flaw in the traditional music playback system—specifically, that it only produces sound in two channels. According to Jim, there is very little absolute left or right information. The sonic panorama is shaped more like a large arc across the sound stage, wherein the most important information comes from the center. Thus, for tangible, truly live-sound emulation, it’s necessary to add a center channel to the setup.
The initial hurdle is how to properly integrate a center speaker. It won’t work to simply add a summed center channel, because normal power levels are not created to accommodate three channels and moreover, things would sound odd. Proper implementation requires re-vectorization of the composite stereo information for three channels. Enter the Trinaural Processor. Using the Trinaural Processor, typical two-dimensional stereo sound is transformed into immersive, life-like acoustic reproduction like you've never heard before.
An important technical note is that the Trinaural Processor is a linear, completely analog device with no digital processing. The Trinaural also has a bypass switch which allows you to connect your home theater pre/pro/receiver as a pass-through, enabling you to use your two-channel preamplifier for music reproduction without having to go through the Trinaural. So get ready—listening to music will never be the same again!
Add To Cart
FEATURES CES “Best of the High-End” Award and Stereophile Magazine “Class A” Recommended Component
Creates a more real, live sounding experience than any traditional two-channel system can.
Completely analog processor; no digital processing
Home theater bypass
Subwoofer-out with built-in crossover and level control
XLR and RCA inputs and outputs
SPECIFICATIONS Input Impedance 50kΩ Maximum Output Voltage 11V RMS unbalanced; 22V RMS balanced Output Impedance 47Ω THD (Awt) .001% max 20Hz-20kHz, 4V out Weight 6 lbs. Dimensions 6 ½" L x 17 ⅜" W x 2 ¾" H
Uh, no. Completely wrong in every way.
Driver size doesn't have a direct correlation with how capable a loudspeaker is. Subwoofers came into play because of home-theater but quality musical ones are now integrated in some stereos to more faithfully reproduce lows and fill out the bottom-end. Plenty of loudspeakers made today are full-range but won't reproduce the entire frequency range. Speakers of yesterday were far FAR more limited in every way.
This is yet another one of those nostalgic ignorant comments boiling down to "Things were better before" when they factually weren't.
What did you use back in the day?
Where are you getting this? Speakers such as the famed LS3/5A model were available in the 70s and are praised for their accuracy. Why is it that every thread you post in, you do so with a sense of authority and knowledge on the topic when you're always wrong on every level? Doesn't that ever get old?
That was due to yesteryear's designs being incapable of having a linear response from low to high volume and is just an arbitrarily set EQ boost which obviously wouldn't take into consideration in any way how the music was mastered.
Wow. So many crazy things written here.
Realistic? Seriously? Any $200 speaker at Best Buy wipes the floor with that junk. Volume doesn't have anything to do with sound quality. If you're concerned about volume exclusively, there are plenty of brands like Cerwin Vega that'd appeal to you.
Efficiency also doesn't have anything to do with sound quality. If you had the choice, would you rather have an efficient speaker that sounds like crap or an inefficient one that sounds great? Thankfully, there are efficient speakers which sound good.
Based on what? What system did you use to make that determination? Do you have an acoustically treated room?
SOME speakers are made to be accurate whereas others aren't. In fact, accurate flat-response speakers are actually a niche market so again, no idea why you keep posting made-up crap like this.
That's not a proper dampening scheme. You'd also need suspension for the slab, such as using isolation pucks, otherwise what you describe will continue to happen.
Where are you getting this? Designs of audiophile-caliber speakers are and away entirely unique from the ones from decades ago and have next to nothing in common from an engineering POV.
Bose? They sound like crap and are rightly regarded by every audiophile as being horrendous. Using them as some sort of example of great sound is laughable! Their designs are for lifestyle types whom need their wife's approval to buy gear and those tiny cute things are so much nicer looking than those big awful boxes (i.e. regular loudspeakers).
Bose sold a system together that way which was popular but it was a 2.1 solution released in 1987. Surround as a 5.1 system wasn't released by them until 1996.
There were solutions on the market by other brands before each of those years.
An experience rooted in nostalgia as a direct comparison would present you with an easily dethroned set of Bose speakers. It's not even close.
Just like when I thought some shows I liked as a kid were amazing then, if I watch them now, I'm wondering "how did I ever think that was any good?" Same thing. Nostalgia is fine. Reality can be brutally honest.
That's a healthy model for any business. Audiophile-caliber speakers is a niche market. And I'm talking about high-end stuff. Not the 70s Radio Shack stuff, here.
I have no idea what is meant by this. Makes no sense whatsoever in every way imaginable.
There are many more components to take into consideration when using a vinyl setup. For the stylus, it's about its profile. If you have a conical-shaped one, you won't have much detail in the music and it will be much more forgiving of scratches and any other problem with the LP. If you have a Shibata-shaped one, it'll run into the groove a lot deeper and provide much more musical information but will also reveal every imperfection along the way.
You can either get cheap $1 records which aren't in great condition or you can buy near-mint ones which will be more expensive but it's much more worth it, IMHO. And there are so many pressings of all those albums we love that if you dive into this, finding the right pressing to get the very best sound quality possible is fun.
Complete and utter BS. Messing with the stereo image by artificially producing a narrower range for mids using phasing methods. There's a reason why every device like this one never caught on.
Agreed. Speaker technology has improved significantly since the 60-70’s. I’ve owned a number of vintage speakers over the years. Not bad, but things have improved by leaps and bounds.
I’m confused by the full range and efficiency comments. There have always been full range options. There may be more stand-mount options now than there used to be, but that’s a nice option for those with smaller rooms. There are myriad options with modern speakers where a separate subwoofer is not required.
The efficiency matters as it pertains to matching the speakers to the amp and room. Beyond that, not so much.
Hey, at least it’s only $3,000.
It matters insofar as wanting to use puny solid-state amps in the 30W range along with any speaker possible. There are many different design philosophies, quite a few which resulted in better SQ but some happen to be less efficient. I guess it matters to those wanting to blast their ears at 95db while using those old puny SS amps but otherwise, I agree it's a non-factor in most cases.
It won High End product of the year in 2003 at CES vs more than 15,000 other manufacturers.
Beat 15,000 other High End manufacturers.
It does work, and you ARE WRONG.
Stereo is actually not stereo because of the math flaw, which was never corrected, until this device came along.
Mr Bongiorono.. RIP.... was also chief engineer for Dynaco, Marantz, Harmon Kardon, and several other manufacturers.
James also invented Class A Solid State Power Amps.
Invented Servo Control, and many other electronic innovations.
James Bongiorno’s long and storied career spans two entirely distinct eras, from Hadley, Dynaco, Marantz, and SAE in the 1960s, to Constellation Audio in the second decade of the 21st century. Bongiorno designed amplifiers in six different decades, working alongside other industry legends such as Richard Sequerra, Sidney Smith, David Hafler, Morris Kessler, John Curl, and Bascom King.
But Bongiorno will best be remembered for Great American Sound (GAS), the company he founded in 1974 after leaving SAE. The GAS Ampzilla power amplifier was an instant classic, outperforming many much more expensive amplifiers and sending ripples through the industry. This was the dawn of the high-end renaissance, right about the time of Phase Linear and Audio Research, when the demand for relatively high-powered amplifiers was exploding. The 200Wpc Ampzilla was the first to feature a full dual-differential complementary amplifier circuit, a topology that is the basis for nearly every modern solid-state power amplifier. The Ampzilla not only sounded terrific and sold in huge numbers, but Bongiorno exemplified the maverick entrepreneurial designer who created his company from nothing but talent, a dream, and (literally) a kitchen table.
Here’s an overview of his work:
Hadley Laboratories 622C Power Amplifier, contributing engineer
Marantz Model 15 Power Amplifier, contributing engineer
Dynaco Stereo 400 Power Amplifier, Designer
Dynaco AF-6 AM/FM Tuner, contributing engineer
SAE (Scientific Audio Engineering)
XXXIB Power Amplifier, Designer
IIIC/CM Power Amplifier, Designer
IVD/DM Power Amplfier, Designer
VIB Stereo Tuner, contributing engineer
IC Stereo Preamplifier, contributing engineer
The following products continued to use my circuit topology:
2200, 2300, 2400, 2500, 2600, “A” series, “X” series
GAS (The Great American Sound Co.) Chief Designer
Ampzilla Power Amplifier
Ampzilla II (World’s first servo-controlled power amplifier)
Thaedra Preamplifier (World’s first (and only) servo controlled preamp
Son of Ampzilla Power Amplifier
Grandson Power Amplfier
Sleeping Beauty Moving Coil Cartrdges
Sumo Electric Co. Ltd. Chief Designer
The Power, World’s first 450 watt/channel fully balanced Bridge Power Amp
The Gold, World’s first patented solid state Class A Power Amplifier
The Nine, World’s first low cost solid state class A power amplifier
The Nine+, Ruggedized version
“Charlie” the Tuner, world’s first premium low cost stereo tuner
The Half-power, stereo power amplifier
Andromeda, world’s first low cost solid state class AB Balanced Power Amp
The Sumo I, Magnetic Phono Cartridge
The Sumo II, Moving coil Phono Cartridge
Harmon-Kardon, Consultant, Completely redesigned the Citation 23 Tuner
Crown Radio, Japan, 4 luxurious Power amps, 2 Luxuious Preamps, a fully
Equalized (phase & amplitude) 3-way electronic crossover.
Spread Spectrum Technologies Inc.. Chief Designer
Ampzilla 2000, fully balanced monobloc power amplifier
Consulting Analog Engineer - Constellation Audio
In high-end, it also pertains to people trying to drive massively efficient horn speakers with a 2W (or less) SET tube amp.