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1
General Audio / Re: Why wasn't there ever a VHS based consumer audio format?
Last post by Artie -
Wow! This thread is definitely a trip down memory lane.  8)

I still have an old NEC Hi-fi VHS recorder that could be used in an "audio-only" mode using the spinning video heads. IIRC, it's frequency response and dynamic range exceeded the best R2R's of the day. It's been sitting in a closet for about 30 years.  :P

I also still have a couple of old 3-head Dolby B/C cassette decks. (A Nak and a Sony ES.) And, I still have a couple of car tuner/preamp cassette decks, that also had Dolby B/C. (A Nak and a Harman-Kardon.) The cool thing about the Nak was that it had a front panel azimuth adjust knob for making fine tweaks on the fly.

I need to dig those and play with them again.
3
Audio Hardware / Re: may i know your favorite headphone?
Last post by 16Bit Audiophile -
I recently switched to HD 660 S. I have tried pretty much every better known headphone out there and the sonic improvements get fairly insignificant above this point if you add some minor EQ adjustments. I would love to get a Focal Clear, though, which impressed me a lot with its accurate tonality. If I ever start feeling old and retire in a comfy music chair, I might invest in a Stax SR-009 (S). The Hifiman HE-560 is another good open headphone, which I probably prefer over the warm Audezes. Can't complain much about the MX4, other than the price. Fostex T50RP Mk3 is a good budget recommendation, IMO.

For closed, I still use an Oppo PM-3. If it weren't for PM3's superb build, comfort, isolation and portability, I would have upgraded to the MrSpeakers Æon Flow Closed. I'll get my hands on the HD 820 next month, but based on the forward treble of the open HD 800, I am still a bit reserved until I have actually spent some time with them.

For very critical listening, I usually grab IEMs. My favorite pick is the InEar ProPhile 8, which perhaps has the best tonal accuracy of any IEM from 20 Hz to 10 kHz. I mix it up with some CIEMs, including the qdc Gemini, but most of them are more fun-sounding. Doesn't have to be that expensive, though. The Etymotic ER4XR is a safe bet. I also like to recommend the Final E2000 and Sony MH1 which perform incredibly well for their low price.
4
Listening Tests / Re: I can't tell the difference between a Macbook Air and a Magni 3 + Hifiberry DAC+
Last post by 16Bit Audiophile -
Hi, somebody on reddit already gave you a very good reply. I want to add:
1. Apple's MacBooks and iMacs have very good headphone outputs. The iPad 2 and iPhone 4 remain among the best portable sources yet, though also succeeding products have never completely failed. Apple usually has extremely low noise floor, so if you have enough power (headroom to avoid clipping), there is not much to expect.
2. The Schiit Magni 3 is known as a good entry-level amp. It's a budget focussed solution. Should your headphone need more power than your MacBook can provide, I'd try to tip you over to go for an Objective o2 or similar.
3. Personal opinion: DACs are overrated. IMO this is the part in the audio chain we have to worry about the least in 2018 because jitter, THD and IMD are usually far out of our hearing range. The hifi community likes to overdramatize this, maybe because they try to search an explanation for their mood swings. However, there are some useful DSP functions in some DACs, like crossfeed or equalizers, but if your source is a MacBook you best handle it via software and save some money.
4. If you want to hear a difference with the HD 600, add a 75 ohms resistor. It will significantly boost the bass because these Senns are not stable to the impedance. However, that's not what they were intended to sound like. If you came from a less optimal source, for example a low or mid-tier A/V receiver, you'd perhaps now perceive the HD 600 as much faster and cleaner (as they'd have a more linear bass response). But that brings us back to point 1.
5
General - (fb2k) / Re: Can foobar can remain partially off screen when switching from Clone > Extended?
Last post by MaxDread -
What I meant was, a single application could fix the issue for just itself, by keeping regular track of where its windows are, and tracking through system messages when the desktop layout changes, and resetting window positions after the desktop settles back into a familiar configuration that matches its previous layout.

Excellent!  Well, that's kind of what I thought you meant; I just wasn't able to explain it so well :)  The rest of the application I have are not a problem, so if foobar stops re-configuring, everything will fall into place nicely.

So that leaves the question...  Presuming that foobar doesn't do this now, how difficult a thing would it be to write into the application?  Is it something developers might take an interest in doing?  And if so, how best should I make the request?

Many thanks
6
General Audio / Re: This is a High Resolution Listening test
Last post by cliveb -
I don't do Facebook, so I downloaded it from Dropbox and also tried the attachment to your post.
In both cases, my results were as follows:

Decoding failure at 0:00.085 (Unsupported format or corrupted file)

Anyone else get this error?
7
General Music Discussion / Re: Can remastered CDs sound too different and modernized?
Last post by magicgoose -
some albums labeled as "FDR" (that's full dynamic range), when they were previously released only with a lot of compression:
Carcass — Swansong
At the Gates — Slaughter of the Soul
(for all of the above I ignored releases on non-digital mediums, of course)

Earache's "full dynamic range" series, well ... not all have higher DR. I have not scrutinized it, but I found that both Bandcamp downloads of Sleep's Holy Mountain have a DR of 13, which is the same as my 1992 CD.
So they have a "full dynamic range" remaster with no higher dynamic range ...
That's why I added "when they were previously released only with a lot of compression".
Of course some of them had no problem to begin with.
8
General Music Discussion / Re: Can remastered CDs sound too different and modernized?
Last post by Porcus -
some albums labeled as "FDR" (that's full dynamic range), when they were previously released only with a lot of compression:
Carcass — Swansong
At the Gates — Slaughter of the Soul
(for all of the above I ignored releases on non-digital mediums, of course)

Earache's "full dynamic range" series, well ... not all have higher DR. I have not scrutinized it, but I found that both Bandcamp downloads of Sleep's Holy Mountain have a DR of 13, which is the same as my 1992 CD.
So they have a "full dynamic range" remaster with no higher dynamic range ...
9
General Audio / Re: Source for objective headphone review
Last post by 16Bit Audiophile -
do IEM raw measurements need to be compensated at all for a good picture of their performance? they pretty much only interact with the eardrum, so ideally shouldn't they be simply flat on raw measurements?
Exactly the opposite, but you already found a link for explanation yourself.
If you look at raw measurements, you basically want to see a rising slope from 1 to 3 kHz that slowly falls down after. (Extremely simplified. It's a bit more complex and it also depends on the coupler you are using. Finally, every person has a different HRTF.)
However, many people do prefer a v-shape, especially boosted bass for IEMs so they can feel the bass. I think it also has to do with the volume so some added bottom-end leads to lower listening levels as shown by Fletcher and Munson. In my experience, I listen at lower volumes with IEMs than larger headphones.

In the end, IEMs are highly subjective. I do think there are some very objective approaches but the user market is just much too diverse. A perceived linear reference just doesn't achieve as high popularity as a near-field monitor would. That, for me, is the main finding of Harman referenced in the article - the target curve not so much.
10
WavPack / Suggestion/feature request: True VBR mode (fixed SNR goal) for WavPack lossy
Last post by magicgoose -
Right now one can only set a bitrate and WavPack encoder will introduce extremely varying distortion.
In can be even demonstrated by encoding a sine sweep with -x3 and lowest possible bitrate. For the most part it sounds okay, but there will be several distinct bursts of noise when the frequency goes higher up.
A reasonable lossy encoder would try to distribute distortion more or less evenly across the record — in order to not spend too much bits on the parts which have less distortion than the worst part of the record.

Given the nature of WavPack, I think something simple could do the job — for example setting a fixed signal to noise ratio as a quality goal, in dB.
For example, a quality setting of 30 dB would mean that at any short part of the record the encoder is allowed to add distortion that's up to -30 dB as loud compared to the momentary loudness of the record at this point in time, but not louder (unless some other settings, such as "pre-quantize", make this goal unreachable at this moment).

When the goal is to have predictable quality level, this will both prevent spending unnecessary bits on super easy parts, and neutralize the most notorious killer samples by spending as much bits as needed to always meet the quality goal.
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