The sound of "quality" audio digital formats-misery

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by bluenite, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. bluenite


    Oct 10, 2016
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    This is not a typical question. I'm rather a personal lover over the sound quality of digital files at all.
    I'm from vinyl LPs generation used on gramochassis with midrange amplifiers, or tape decks. Sound was analog, cracked, full of noise. But there was something differente then todays digital files that doesn't exist today. I personally realized it quite recently when I heard one of my favorite recordings that I once owned on the vinyl LP. I'm not talking about 128-bit mp3, but about flac or ape files, which should be the same as the "original" master. Only theoretically. Indeed, when I heard that record and it was on Denon's high-quality devices, I thought I had a bad hearing. Maybe it will be true, we're all aging. Even it was not just my impression. It was jazzrock music of the 80's, irrelevant. Dynamics flat, bass like a well, the worst it was with cymbal/gentle drums or percussion depths (treble) that were virtually not there. For years I have been listening to music from digital sources, limiting mp3 to maximum. But it is really a misery where the "medium" quality of listening has come. Although I had the ability to hear super-quality devices differently from those who have invested high amounts, the subjective impression of the sound is almost the same.
    I remember from the past analog sound processors that modified the sound of recordings. Are they sure today, will anyone share the experience, if this sound can be "improved"?
    thx for replies
    bluenite, Oct 2, 2017
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  2. bluenite


    Aug 9, 2017
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    Turntable + Valve amplification + Floor Monitors = Happiness
    Muffled Processed Failure number 3 = dissatisfaction
    Roxbrough, Oct 3, 2017
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  3. bluenite

    Empirical Audio

    Oct 12, 2017
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    This is actually not untypical at all. Many folks that compare the WRONG digital systems to analog find them to be harsh, undynamic, compressed and even thin.

    The problems are always the same:

    1) too much jitter in the digital signal to the D/A
    2) poor digital filtering in the D/A
    3) too many op-amps in the DAC, causing compression and distortion
    4) poor power supply and power delivery in the DAC

    If you are using a CD player, then the D/A is inside. Most audiophiles use an external DAC to get better sound quality.

    There are a myriad of ways to solve the above problems. It is possible with enough money spent on the right components to get something far superior to vinyl playback. I'm lucky because I have that. In fact, I don't even spin CD's anymore. I play from a computer to a network and a network DAC plays the music I stream to it. You can get even lower jitter, noise and distortion using computer audio.

    If you don't want to jump through a lot of hoops and learn a lot about digital computer audio, probably the best way to start is to get a SONY HAP-Z1es. This will let you play music digitally, avoiding even a preamp. You can go directly to amps with this device. You will not need anything else. If you have a laptop, you can put your music on it and it will automatically migrate using your WiFi network to the Sony HAP. You can control the HAP from a remote, your iPhone, Ipad or the laptop.

    If you just want to spin CD's, then reducing jitter can be accomplished using a reclocker like the Synchro-Mesh. It will do the trick for even the cheapest CD transport. You will need a DAC with it however and feed it with a digital signal from the transport. These are typically $600 and up if you want good quality, all the way to $50K for the dCS Vivaldi. Chord makes some good affordable DACs, as well as ressonescence. Forget about Denon and other mid-fi brands. Look instead to for good used stuff like the Sony HAP-Z1es

    Steve N.
    Empirical Audio
    Empirical Audio, Oct 12, 2017
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