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.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -


by Oz_Media In reply to the main difference with ...

While you are right in that the receiver now separates the channels, this is a result of the DVD or original recording, 5.1 or 7.1 for example.

The speakers still have crossovers, though much lower aquality than before and not very accurately tuned, so you end up with 'one note' bass or midrange. There's nothing more annoying than hearing a subwoofer try to recreate mids or a midrange driver that doesn't pick up the top end of a bass kick drum.

There simply is no comparisson to good equipment, my theory is if you can't buy a top of the line Cambridge (or equivalent amp) and high end speakers, go and buy a two channel vintage system. The entire system can cost you half of what a new receiver costs and you will be FAR mroe impressed with quality 2-channel than poor quality 5.1 surround.

When it comes to the sub, I like to play in and out of phase before finding the best match. In this case, you can biwire it to a 2-channel amp without any problems and it will sound great. Note also that older amps actually USE current(Amperage), therefore by double loading a speaker pair, you don't take a 100W and turnit into 50. INa decent amp they will drive a lot more power with less resistance.

ex. A 50W HK amp (8 ohms) will put out about 85W into 6 ohms or over 120 into 4 ohms. The more you load it, the better it drives. :)

Collapse -

I both agree and disagree with you

by DadsPad In reply to Crossovers

I bought two Yamaha HTR5960 receivers to work with TV, DVD, CD and am very satisfied with it. I bought it online for about the same as I could for a vintage Marantz receiver.

I used my Sansui 5000 receiver for many years as a primary sound source. I have mentioned elswhere here how I obtained it. The speakers I have with it are close to 4 ohms. I had to make sure the kids did not turn the sound up to where the speakers blew or destroyed. :) I remember using headphones until I could buy speakers.

Collapse -

Equipment then and now

by jdclyde In reply to Okay,

Back in the 80's I got a little Peavey RAGE amp with my first guitar. Nothing to write home to mom about, but a nice little practice amp that is very portable. ( great for when I worked 3rd shift at a gas station ).

About 8 years ago, I bought my boys their first guitar, a little ibanez (so they would leave mine alone!) and a new rage.

Now that they are old enough to know more about it, they prefer the sound to my old amp over their much newer one.

Newer doesn't make better. B-)

Collapse -

While these components are less than they were new

by DadsPad In reply to Home Theater

I think I will have my Sansui 5000 repaired.

Collapse -

If it's a G-5000 here'sa manual

by Oz_Media In reply to While these components ar ...

or download it directly here:

If it's a BA-5000, firstly I want one too and secondly, YES get it fixed!

Collapse -

Thanks for the manual, but it is a rar file

by DadsPad In reply to If it's a G-5000 here'sa ...

I do not have any software to unpak it.

I will have to check what the model is. I think I still have the original manual, it also came with a one page (two sided) laminated guide. There were, at least, two model 5000, the later one had an electronic update. This one is the earlier model.

I obtained this model used from my supervisor in the service (this should date me :) ) he was going back to Vietnam and would buy an newer model. Knowing how much I liked his system and his family, he sold it to me very reasonably.

I want to set it up in the bedroom to work with the tv/dvd there.

Collapse -

Win Rar is

by Oz_Media In reply to Thanks for the manual, bu ...

Use Win rar, it also opens Winzip. Download a trail copy here:

Trials for winrar are like trials for WinZip, you don't really notice it's a trial, especially if you download a serial online somewhere.

Collapse -

AV I'll try to help you understand Speaker Colouring

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Recordings old and new

First you need to understand some Theory but I'll keep it Simple.

Put Simply sound travels in 1 of 2 ways from any Speaker Enclosure. Bass tends to be non-directional and try to make a sphere around the Bass Driver of the Speaker while the other frequencies tend to be Directional.

So it's possible to have lots of Bass and still not hear it depending on what's in the way to absorb it before you hear it or not to reflect it from it's originating point. When it comes to the other Frequencies these tend to be where the Speaker is aimed so you have a better chance of hearing these. Now that's the theory but the practise is something different again as other things come into play and you get reflection of Sound by stray things like Walls, Floors and the like though this reflection also can be altered between each speaker. The most common way this happens is to have a window behind one speaker which doesn't reflect the same amount of sound that a solid wall would.

While OZ told you to walk the room and listen this is only of any use if there is nothing in the room which is ideal for a listening room but if you are looking at a house this isn't piratical as most people want things like Sofa's, chairs and other things between them and their speaker enclosures. What you are trying to achieve here is to get a pleasant listening experience that you like personally. So you alter the sound output to suit your own tastes. If you like Bass you turn it up or if you like Top End you turn that up and lower the Bass.

The thing that you need to be aware of is that other things in the room affect the sound as well so if you are like my wife who constantly moves furniture around you will never have a listening room that you can live in as she likes to move the Sofa's around and these absorb Bass quite a lot. If you have the opportunity to listen to the same setup in the same room with different furnishings you will immediately notice the difference even with very bottom range equipment the most obvious thing will be a reduction in Bass from the same setup.

The other thing that you need to keep in mind is that the Speakers Enclosures themselves need to be firmly mounted so that they do not create any unwanted noise that they where not designed to make. So they need to be solidly mounted on something and aimed at your preferred listening area. When you have them setup to suit what you desire you can then start to change the Settings on the different frequencies. Depending on what you have available to alter you can change a Knob that moves from Bass to Treble or if you have a Graphic Equaliser you can start changing the Bass settings to get the sound that you like personally. After you get this right you can then proceed to move through the different frequency ranges and adjust as you see fit till you get to the end of your available adjustments.

Now you have your Room setup but the moment that you move anything the sound will change and you'll need to reset the room again though provided that no major changes are made the need to change settings to suit your listening needs need not be overly great.

Depending on the floor type you may get some problems being added to the sound from there. Wooden Floors are notorious for doing this and in the old days could cause a Needle to skip on a Record though today Vinyl is not used much so that very obvious problem doesn't raise it's head much now. The main thing that you will hear is the floor moving and resonating at a different level to the Speaker Enclosures so you get some distortion present. Distortion in this form is any stray resonance that is caused by the building materials and provided that you have sufficient adjustments you can tune out the problem areas when you hear them. This is generally achieved by lowering the amount of Bass present as it causes a lot of things to rattle about.

Glass in Windows can also cause this to happen behind Speaker Enclosures and the only real solution here is to move the Enclosures to prevent this from happening when you hear it occurring.

Anything that is between you and the speakers can cause a drop off in sound levels from one enclosure that requires balancing out to overcome.

Ideally you should have a decent distance between speakers Enclosures to achieve what is called Stereo Separation which is effectively allowing the sounds to appear to originate from different places around the front of the room. This is easier to pick up with some Orchestral Recordings but you first need to make sure that they where recorded in such a manner that allows the sound to appear to be originating from different places. Generally a minimum of 10 feet between speaker enclosures while at the same height will do, closer runs the risk of not allowing the separation to be as noticeable if at all and it's really not a good idea to have the speaker enclosures side by side. OZ put it correctly when he said that when you close your eyes you should be able to hear the different sounds coming form different areas, unfortunately with quite a lot of the new recordings this isn't taken into account and when the piece is recorded the different instruments are sat in front of a Mic and recorded then all thrown together and there is no distinct sound difference between different instruments. Ideally the Bass Instruments should appear to be originating from a point towards a point about midway between the speaker enclosures depending on how the recording was made and the other instruments that produce a higher frequency sound should appear to be scattered around the front of the room. With a good recording you should be able to hear the individual instruments and that goes down to the different instruments in the same group. So ideally if there are 3 violins you should not only hear the 3 Violins but they should appear to be coming from slightly different places when you listen to the recording. The majority of the Bass sounds should appear to originate from a point midway between the speakers and at the same height as the speaker enclosures while the individual instruments can come from different places.

This is what OZ was meaning when he posted this thread the current generation of recordings are no where near as good as the older ones used to be and are not recorded correctly with an idea to recreate the original sound in concert.

If you want to go the whole hog you can use some back speakers to Fill In the sound but these do not need to be loud or move a lot of air they are only there to enhance the front enclosures and fill in any holes that are caused by the room that you are listening in. If you use Back Speakers they do not need to have very low end response but a good high end wouldn't hurt provided that they are not driven too hard and made loud. Back Speakers should only ever enhance the front speakers unless you are listening to sound effects as when at a concert you will never find any musicians behind you while you are facing the stage. Surround Sound or Quadraphonic Sound is better suited to Movies or other such Sound Effects where the attempt to create a different situation is occurring.

The real problem with attempting to Uncolour Speakers is that you don't actually know what the original recording actually should sound like and while it is possible to produce a reasonable copy of the original sound unless you spend a lot of money it's not possible and even then the individual may not like the sound and then alter it to suit their own tastes. So over all I would say that it's better to setup things as you like them than attempt to alter things to what you think that they should be. Though if you get a chance to grab a copy of any Reference Recording I would suggest that you grab it and use it to setup what you like. Not that it's necessarily better just easier to do things this way.

I hope that's not too confusing.


Collapse -


by Oz_Media In reply to AV I'll try to help you u ...

Of course what we have been describing here is mainly 2-channel or, as noted, quad sound. Ideal placement for 2-channel, almost regardless of the room, is about 7' apart, at least 15" out from the wall, with front channels, toed in slightly so that the points between tweeters meet at the listening position,

Today's movies are usually 5.1 or 7.1, and there's been some great ones. As much as I dislike Sly Stallone, cliffhanger has a great test for surround and timber. (AV, timber matching is generall when all speakers use identical drivers or at least are tuned to sound identical. This way when a voice moves across the soundstage, each speaker, Left, Center then Right, the tone of the voice should not change, offering a truly life like experience.

As Colin noted, furniture placement is critical, I would always build my room around the stereo, luxuries of being single.

TIPS FOR YOUR SUBWOOFER: First off, as noted, subwoofer placement is not really critical, as long as the frequencies are trulu subsonic (generally anything below 40Hz). The sound isn't heard, but felt. It doesn't matter where the rumble and boom originates from though. But furniture can add a boominess that takes away or adds to the resonance.

I usually place a sub up front, just inside my left speaker for the cleanest result.

Something important to check: Phase Your subwoofer can be hooked up in two ways, in or out of phase. This simply means, in hase is when the positive wire runs from positive on the amp to positive of the speaker and negative to negative. In phase provides deeper bass notes and may cause boominess.

Playing out of phase, positive to negative etc. Will allow the speaker to play more of a full range. What happens is that the subwoofer and other channels move at opposite times. So when the front channel is moving out, the sub is moving in and so on.
This causes many low frequencies to effectively cancel one another out and results in less bass.

Playing with subwoofer phasing is just another step in setting up your room to match the furniture.

Anyhow, if you're still following this thread I hope you've had some ideas to test. If not, oh well, it wouldn't be the first time Col and I have ended up blabbing together to nobody.

Collapse -

I saw Cliffhanger

by AV . In reply to 2-Channel

I thought it was probably one of his better movies due to the special effects, but looking back, I never noticed the sound to be honest with you.

When you talk about Phase, I'm definitely an out of phase person as I don't want to **** out the windows of my house with the bass.

I'd like to ask you to read the post I made to Col and tell me if you think I can do what I want to without mortgaging my house. I think what I want to do will work, but after reading the posts that both of you made, and knowing what I do now, it might not have the sound quality I'm looking for in a home stereo.

Much appreciated, OZ.


Related Discussions

Related Forums