General discussion


Recordings old and new

By Oz_Media ·
Being in a business with extremely high end audio products, I have noticed that there are few to no recent recordings that actually display high resolution, soundstaging, transparency etc.

While it appears that music quality is of the utmost these days, nothing is cleaner than digital they say, I have actually not seen a quality recording for ages.

In the old vinyl days, Chesky recordings were the tops. Nobody had ever recreated audio the way he and his team did. His high resolution recordings, 96kHz/24bit, have yet to be topped....that I have heard.

Have people just simply forgotten about real audio due to the low grade trollop we are force fed these days, or do people actually feel that today's recordings offer a high enough standard to show off your system?

Is it perhaps that our ears are being desensitized and having lower expectations?

Are big box stores, blowing out Mexican made Polk speakers, now considered quality audio retailers?

Do people who buy a $4000.00 plasma TV and then spend $200.00 on "surround sound in a box" actually feel they are getting their money's worth?

Maybe the younger generation has never heard quality audio and they feel that what is around now is suitable?

Why, with all of the technological advancements around today, is it harder to find an audiophile quality recording amongst the trash?

To this day, the best recordings I've heard include just about anything by Telarc, Chesky recordings (circa 1985)and the old B7W audiophile tracks (they did two pretty good jazz disks) and of course, Dire Straights Bros. In Arms, which is still one of my favorite demo disks, and one of the most dynamic too.

Perhaps THAT is the issue, most high res recordings are of Jazz or soloists singing acappella, not exactly the fodder of today's mainstream. Then again, most of you know I am into heavy metal and have managed some pretty hard core bands, but I still appreciate quality audio when I am looking to have my ears sweetened.

Does anyone here know of high quality recordings anymroe, or is it a lost art even in a far more advanced audio world.

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Try 2am

by jdclyde In reply to It really is the little t ...

you get much more bang for the buck! B-)

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Not here you get your equipment seized.

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Try 2am

Something about creating undue noise when people are asleep. But I know from experience when I lived in the country that the neighbours could hear my music when I played it. They where only 3 miles away over cleared and tree ed ground and over a couple of hills.

God it sounded great. :^0

Now I have to keep it quite because all the neighbour hood complains except when the JW's are making the rounds and War Pigs gets played at high volumes.


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I have to totally agree with you here OZ

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Recordings old and new

I haven't heard anything half way decent in years.

Personally I think that it's the Recording Industry pushing out the junk because it's easier to produce and press so there is no time spent properly recording and mixing the tracks. The over all quality of Music has fallen down the Sewer with no one complaining any more. The best that I can say is that I'll stick with my older Vinyl and Turntable and be happy with it. I may even get a cassette player one day but I just can not stomach the noise that they make any more.

As for decent Audio Stuff it's no longer available new and even something as simple as Open Real Tapes are almost impossible to buy at what passes for High Fi Audio Stores. They seem to be selling complete crap to the public relying on iffy marketing spiels to sell product like Long Crystal Oxygen Free Copper used in Transformer windings some how make the things sound better. :^0

What is really disappointing is the way that people buy this crap and think that they have something good when the truth is that most of it is complete crap that I wouldn't have bought when I first started working and had no money. But the ones who drive me nuts are those who waste money on car sound systems and then insist that they have Great Sound and are unable to hear the crap coming out of the speakers.

The only good thing about these sound systems is that with what is played on them it's impossible to call any of it good music most is just noise and from what I've seen it's better to blow out glass than have clean sound. The people who buy this stuff insist that they have excellent sound equipment that gives clean sound and then insist on turning it up to Audio Assault Levels which is OK provided that the entire body of the car isn't vibrating in sympathy and colouring the sound.

For some reason they think that this is great but I just cringe at the horrible noise that is being made.

However I'll stick to my expensive Pickup's that are almost impossible to get now days unless on special order as no one currently uses needles anymore. Apparently they are no longer made by anyone or so I'm told. :^0

As for the Surround Sound systems people think that the sound is Good which it is compared to what the TV make but it still leaves a lot to be desired, however for what it is it's OK provided that you do not press it up the Audio Scale.

There is very little Low End Response or High End Response delivered now days. Seems that provided that they can pump out noise without any guts things are good to the average punter today.


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Or maybe

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I have to totally agree w ...

People now consider sound like a Poker Machine Hi Fi.

That would explain quite a lot wouldn't it?

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Ahhhh! The days of vinyl

by DadsPad In reply to I have to totally agree w ...

Oh yes, to buy the equipment you needed a 2nd mortgage! The equipment also seemed to need repairs more that you would think.

Unfortunately, they also sold very cheap record players back then also. Many people had them. When I met my now wife, I did notice her record player sounded like crap, but my focus was on her more than the sound. Later when we were engaged, I told her the record player was ruining her collection. She accused me of being elitist because I had a better system than her. I asked her to just put on an record and look closely at the needle. Vinyl was being pealed up behind the needle in a ribbon. She decided to play them on my system as we would be living together soon.

I had the habit of playing a vinyl record album the first time and recording to a reel to reel, then moving to cassette for portability.

I am not sure that I haven't lost my 'ear' to hear the real difference between true high quality recording and what they call high quality recordings now. But I do notice that sometimes instuments are not a clear as they should be on a CD.

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Thanks for bringing this up Oz

by DadsPad In reply to Recordings old and new

It is hard to have younger people understand what recordings used to sound like.

I will admit right up front that I was not in or part of a band, and I could never afford the high end equipment I wanted. I just obtained the best I could at the time. But it seemed better that most of the stuff out today. Yes, for most of the music that is sold and listened to, the new players work just fine.

I found that most new equipment is designed to give theater enhanced sound. This is not the same as high quality recordings. [It does seem, to me, that movie theaters in the past had much better sound systems than today, but that is just my memory (which, like my hearing, is not functioning as well as back then.] :)

I remember when I was starting out, a sound system was an important part of a new apartment/house. Now days young adults have most of their songs on their laptops and just by computer speakers for it. That is their sound system and all they know about how recordings should sound like.

In some ways it is sad.

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Home Theater

by Oz_Media In reply to Thanks for bringing this ...

Having seen a few million dollar+ home theater systems, engineered over months with hours and hours of consultative calls from manufacturer's, sound staging, sonance testing etc. I can tell you firsthand, you really can build an incredible system (not that I have such a system myself of course).

RBH is one company that makes a tower system (T-3 I believe) that has been tested with high output levels. It is apprently putting out 120db of sound pressure!! A lot more than your local Cineplex. It does it cleanly too, I may add.

Yes there is great hardware still, but just as before, that hardware (Cambridge, Rotel, Radford Grant etc. comes at a very hefty price, offers low wattage and sells on possible sound pressure levels and amperage (ooooh amperage!!!).

Yup, my old HK870 will stay with me for a long time. I just picked up an H/K 680i receiver for less than $100.00 WHAT A STEAL!!! It still runs circles around anything Future Shop spews out today, and even most of HK's newer product....and hey, who can resist a brushed, champagne gold face? Oooooh, no wi wanna go home and listen to my tunes, the system in my soundroom at work just doesn't compare (time to upgrade by buying old hardware).

YOu know you can still buy those old MArantz receivers too for next tonothing now?? Just look at the goodies these guys have!?!? And CHEEEEEEAAAAAPO!!!!!!!! WOW! Why go to Best Buy when guys like this do it right?? YOU can even get old tube amps, with tubes cleaned or replaced, for less than the price of a ticket to see the American Idol Tour!

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What worries me

by jdclyde In reply to Home Theater

is that you would know how much a ticket to see the American Idol tour would cost.....


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by Oz_Media In reply to What worries me

Perhaps a bad exmaple, I don't know but I am sure they cost more than a tube amp from the 70's or even a decent Marantz from the 80's.

I mean these amps are SO cheap and sound SO much better than today's products. Mind you, you have to settle for 2-channel sound, or a quasisplit 4-channel. I'll take that over theater effects in my media room anyday.

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the main difference with the new sound systems

by DadsPad In reply to Okay,

[not the custom jobs, you can always buy the best] is the speaker hookups. It is nice to be able to directly hook a subwoofer into the receiver.

What nobody seems to be remembering is that the old analog components varied in frequency range, and it was a big deal in those days. There was hundreds of tests run in magazines on the stereo components. Of course, the ones mentioned here were among the better tested models. They also are, mostly, still beyond what I can afford, over $300.

Something else worth remembering is the crossovers were in the speakers, now they are in the receivers. These were also tested and reviewed a lot in magazines. The speakers made to use with these older components seem to be about the same price as the components. Try Oakstreet and see the prices of the older speakers.

Just make sure you have the room to put these pieces of furniture.

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