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The post in which Darko basically tells anyone who isn't a rich rube to ignore him and audiophilia in general

Robin L

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Is the ludicrousness of the taste-makers new data?
As a recovering vinyl addict, and noting how such a system is supposed to be more resolving, I can't imagine the surfaces of LPs are going to be as quiet as Mikey sez they are. Again, this is supposed to represent the top of the analog food chain?
 

Dmitri

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As a recovering vinyl addict, and noting how such a system is supposed to be more resolving, I can't imagine the surfaces of LPs are going to be as quiet as Mikey sez they are. Again, this is supposed to represent the top of the analog food chain?
Have you gotten to the step where you have to apologize to others for how you ruined their lives? I hear that’s a rough one.
 

Robin L

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Have you gotten to the step where you have to apologize to others for how you ruined their lives? I hear that’s a rough one.
It mostly ruined my life. Once you start cooking and injecting PVC, your social life goes all to hell. Those "musical participation awards" on 12" black discs could have been bowling trophies or Scout badges. And why did I get the third or even fourth copy of "My Aim Is True", money that could have been spent on a date? Look at the squalor of poor Mikey, how he let his vinyl obsession take over his life and the lives of so many others.
 

KaiserSoze

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As a recovering vinyl addict, and noting how such a system is supposed to be more resolving, I can't imagine the surfaces of LPs are going to be as quiet as Mikey sez they are. Again, this is supposed to represent the top of the analog food chain?
That bit about the vinyl being long-lasting is probably another reaction to one of the valid criticisms of all analog information storage. With digital information storage you include redundancy in a way that allows you to correct errors. You decide what level of certainty that you want to achieve, with respect to the likelihood of an error going undetected and uncorrected, and you use redundancy accordingly. With analog, there is no way to know with certainty what errors have occurred. Several decades ago the Sistine Chapel underwent a major restoration, only the most recent of many that have taken place over the past five centuries. The hues all came out much more vivid, i.e., saturated, with much greater contrast. There was a ruckus that has not subsided. Some art historians were furious, insisting that Michelangelo only used muted colors and liked to dress up in a ninja turtle costume. But the thing is, no one can possibly know for certain. And if pre-digital photography had been used to record the original appearance (if photography had been invented four and a half centuries earlier), this would not have helped. A similar situation exists with classical music. In recent years there has been a movement of sorts with some conductors performing baroque and classical music the way that they say it was originally performed, to the great ire of some critics who insist that the way that Beethoven has traditionally been performed, in the previous century, is how it was always performed. But no one can say with certainty whether the way Beethoven was performed toward the end of the 20th century was consistent with the way it was performed in the early 20th century. And if early 20th century performances had been recorded using analog technology, this wouldn't really have helped. In fact the restoration of early phonograph recordings is itself problematic.

Analog encoding of information cannot be repeatedly copied without undergoing slight change with each iteration. Over time the slight changes accumulate to major changes, and there is no way to know what the changes are or their severity. It remains forever unknown. We will never know what the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel looked like when Michelangelo put away his brushes. We will never know whether the first time time the 9th Symphony was performed it was performed like it typically was performed at the middle of the last century or in a way that was faster and with greater variation in intensity. Fremer might be correct in saying that vinyl analog recordings of music have greater value from an archival standpoint than magnetic tape. But that comparison just isn't a very useful comparison.
 
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Robin L

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A similar situation exists with classical music. In recent years there has been a movement of sorts with some conductors performing baroque and classical music the way that they say it was originally performed, to the great ire of some critics who insist that the way that Beethoven has traditionally been performed, in the previous century, is how it was always performed. But no one can say with certainty whether the way Beethoven was performed toward the end of the 20th century was consistent with the way it was performed in the early 20th century. And if early 20th century performances had been recorded using analog technology, this wouldn't really have helped. In fact the restoration of early phonograph recordings is itself problematic.
Where do I start? We know more about tempi and articulations in Baroque and Classical era musics because of lots of research. Beethoven put metronome markings on most of his music. 19th/20th century musicians thought the tempi were too fast, the articulation strange. But books on musical instruction, indications on scores, the physical designs of musical instruments in their older, "un-improved" form, all pointed to necessary changes in performance practice in order to properly represent the composer's intent. The way Beethoven was performed in the later 20th/early 21st century is no doubt closer to what Beethoven intended at the end of the 18th and start of the 19th centuries than the romanticized performances that were recorded in the early 20th century. There were exceptions of performance practice in the earliest recordings, acoustic era. As we have recordings, as we have scores, the truth isn't something mysterious. And while the Historically Informed Performance Practices may have been more controversial in the 1970's and 1980's, by 2020 it's pretty much a done deal. Because of, you know----research. Kinda like, because of science.

Sorry for the tangent.
 

ng411s4

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Speaking of Stereophile... in an hysterical historical way... this might be of interest to some folks (even here). :)

https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-All-Audio/Stereophile.htm
The worldradiohistory.com website is absolutely wonderful. Not all that interested in Stereophile (to which I have a subscription that I keep trying to cancel, but can't -- don't ask!) ... however ... they have what looks like a complete collection of Wireless World (before it became Electronics World). As a schoolboy in the early 70's, a highlight of the month was when the next WW issue came out. Hmm ... I was probably a strange sort of schoolboy ... :) ... That collection has sorted out my reading list for some time to come ... They also have a Studio Sound collection ... that was a great pro-audio magazine back in the day ... Wow!
 

ng411s4

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A quick glance at the February 1971 edition of Studio Sound contains an advertisement from Quad that Mr. Fremer would no doubt hate. It says:

"Even with a perfect pickup, the distortion from a gramophone record for sounds of equal level increases very rapidly at high frequencies, eventually doubling for every major third increase in pitch. There comes a point when, to musical ears, the distortion is increasing faster than the musical quality. The QUAD filter system is designed to enable those with ears to hear to obtain more of the music and less of the distortion."

When vinyl was the only music distribution medium (well, the main one), everyone knew its limitations, and tried to work around them.
 

cistercian

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The worldradiohistory.com website is absolutely wonderful. Not all that interested in Stereophile (to which I have a subscription that I keep trying to cancel, but can't -- don't ask!) ... however ... they have what looks like a complete collection of Wireless World (before it became Electronics World). As a schoolboy in the early 70's, a highlight of the month was when the next WW issue came out. Hmm ... I was probably a strange sort of schoolboy ... :) ... That collection has sorted out my reading list for some time to come ... They also have a Studio Sound collection ... that was a great pro-audio magazine back in the day ... Wow!
That website is epic.
 

KaiserSoze

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Where do I start? We know more about tempi and articulations in Baroque and Classical era musics because of lots of research. Beethoven put metronome markings on most of his music. 19th/20th century musicians thought the tempi were too fast, the articulation strange. But books on musical instruction, indications on scores, the physical designs of musical instruments in their older, "un-improved" form, all pointed to necessary changes in performance practice in order to properly represent the composer's intent. The way Beethoven was performed in the later 20th/early 21st century is no doubt closer to what Beethoven intended at the end of the 18th and start of the 19th centuries than the romanticized performances that were recorded in the early 20th century. There were exceptions of performance practice in the earliest recordings, acoustic era. As we have recordings, as we have scores, the truth isn't something mysterious. And while the Historically Informed Performance Practices may have been more controversial in the 1970's and 1980's, by 2020 it's pretty much a done deal. Because of, you know----research. Kinda like, because of science.

Sorry for the tangent.
I'm good with your tangent and am humbled by your knowledge of musicology as it pertains to this question. In my CD collection which I presently am not able to access I have a recording of John Eliot Gardiner conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of the 9th. I don't recall the label or where and when it was recorded, but back maybe ten years ago I used to listen to it repeatedly and never got tired. Only my arms got tired.

That said, I feel obliged to say that you did manage to obscure the point I had made about one very important, fundamental difference between analog recording of information vs. digital recording of information. If I had known you were this close to one of my attempted illustrations, I would used just the other one. If on the day that Michelangelo finished painting the ceiling, if it had been carefully photographed using one of the fine digital cameras that exist today, the recorded raw files would look exactly the same today as they would have looked on the day the images were captured, if such cameras and high quality monitors had existed. But if the same had been done using the photographic technology that was prevalent a half century ago, it wouldn't make much difference, because the films and prints would all have faded and would have needed to be re-photographed every half-century or so. This is a fundamental, important difference between digital encoding of information and analog encoding of information. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I'm never sure what is and isn't common knowledge.

 

Robin L

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I'm good with your tangent and am humbled by your knowledge of musicology as it pertains to this question. In my CD collection which I presently am not able to access I have a recording of John Eliot Gardiner conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of the 9th. I don't recall the label or where and when it was recorded, but back maybe ten years ago I used to listen to it repeatedly and never got tired. Only my arms got tired.
The Gardnier/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique set of the Beethoven Symphonies is now 25 years old. They were recorded for "Archiv", DGG's label for "Early Music" [Bach mostly, to start with] since the 1950's. The 1990's were the time HIPP started being applied to classical and romantic era composers. There were earlier examples, but Historically Informed Performances of Beethoven became a "thing" in the early 1990's. HIP Baroque as the norm has been going on longer than that.
That said, I feel obliged to say that you did manage to obscure the point I had made about one very important, fundamental difference between analog recording of information vs. digital recording of information. If I had known you were this close to one of my attempted illustrations, I would used just the other one. If on the day that Michelangelo finished painting the ceiling, if it had been carefully photographed using one of the fine digital cameras that exist today, the recorded raw files would look exactly the same today as they would have looked on the day the images were captured, if such cameras and high quality monitors had existed. But if the same had been done using the photographic technology that was prevalent a half century ago, it wouldn't make much difference, because the films and prints would all have faded and would have needed to be re-photographed every half-century or so. This is a fundamental, important difference between digital encoding of information and analog encoding of information. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I'm never sure what is and isn't common knowledge.
I'd say that issues with deterioration of audio recording are all over the place. Analog tape can deteriorate from bad storage, wear obviously applies to the disc formats. And then there's CD rot, like that Hannover Band set of the Beethoven Symphonies that I found [the first complete Historically Informed set], all the silver coating on the discs turned to grey, rendering the discs unplayable. Storage of digital sources might hold up better over time, but that will require a lot of back-ups of digital data. Hard drives wear out, SSDs can lose all data catastrophically, lord knows how long Micro SDs hold up [I've got one filled with 500gb of music, another, redundant, Micro SD with 400gb.] For me, the greater concern is that audio discs, LPs, 78's and so on, have the sound quality go downhill right from the get-go, due to the groove slowing down as the stylus gets to the end of a side, something that cannot be worked around. It doesn't matter how much money gets poured into playback gear or discs, the sound quality will go downhill on an LP as it plays.

Interesting choice, Beethoven's 9th. The first recording I heard [50 years ago] was Bruno Walter's New York Philharmonic recording, taken from two sessions, a 1949 session and one made a few years later, all on a single LP. I think that was the first complete Ninth on LP. The adagio had to be split in two over two sides, both sides were over 30 minutes in length. The sound wasn't very good in the first place, but it got much worse by the end of the choral finale. Didn't hear a properly dynamic recording of the 9th's scherzo until Solti's recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of the 1970's, where the symphony was spread across 4 sides with the scherzo having a side of it's own. Of course, by the time these recordings made it to CD, the point was moot.

 
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CDMC

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He listens to cables. I just tried listening to a few of mine. They all sound the same, silent.
 

StefaanE

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Where do I start? We know more about tempi and articulations in Baroque and Classical era musics because of lots of research. Beethoven put metronome markings on most of his music. 19th/20th century musicians thought the tempi were too fast, the articulation strange.
Sorry for the tangent.
Well, there still is quite some discussion over the metronome markings of the ”classical” period. To summarise, the school that believes they mean the music should be played twice as fast, is probably wrong. Science isn’t certainty.
 

Robin L

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Well, there still is quite some discussion over the metronome markings of the ”classical” period. To summarise, the school that believes they mean the music should be played twice as fast, is probably wrong. Science isn’t certainty.
It's not "twice as fast", and while there's wiggle room as regards tempos, remember Beethoven said to a performer complaining about the difficulty of one of his scores---"What do I care about your damn fiddle?" He knew it would be hard to play, he didn't care. Beethoven's music can be performed at Beethoven's metronome indications, there's plenty of recordings that demonstrate that. Again, smaller venues, fewer players, instruments with different sounds, particularly Beethoven's primary instrument, the early pianos [Fortepianos, as they are often called] with a much shorter duration of each note. This isn't guesswork, and while the sluggish tempi of recordings by the likes of Furtwangler and Klemperer or Barenboim became accepted by critics, in no way are they anywhere near the "Classical" style of performance. Beethoven isn't Wagner. There's more than enough documentary evidence of the validity of faster tempi.
 

StefaanE

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It's not "twice as fast", and while there's wiggle room as regards tempos, remember Beethoven said to a performer complaining about the difficulty of one of his scores---"What do I care about your damn fiddle?" He knew it would be hard to play, he didn't care. Beethoven's music can be performed at Beethoven's metronome indications, there's plenty of recordings that demonstrate that. Again, smaller venues, fewer players, instruments with different sounds, particularly Beethoven's primary instrument, the early pianos [Fortepianos, as they are often called] with a much shorter duration of each note. This isn't guesswork, and while the sluggish tempi of recordings by the likes of Furtwangler and Klemperer or Barenboim became accepted by critics, in no way are they anywhere near the "Classical" style of performance. Beethoven isn't Wagner. There's more than enough documentary evidence of the validity of faster tempi.
But fortepianos also have rather ‘brittle’ mechanisms that make faster tempi quite challenging. I’m quit sure Liszt and the other virtuosi of the Romantic period were not admired for their slower tempi :) . But yes, Furtwängler’s tempi are sometimes glacial, but not because he didn’t know what the metronome markings meant, but because he ignored them.
 
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