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Wmcmanus

Neil Young claims he was working on an audiophile iPod with Steve Jobs

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The whole "vinyl is better" being pushed by the younger generation is indeed being driven by people who have never heard digital done right, only crappy mp3's or cd's off some minisytem. I'd love to pass a digital source through the RIAA eq twice and see if people like the sound better then... :)

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What about it? For the stylus to be able to track properly then the groves must be within certain limits, not too big and not too small. To achieve this with full frequency response (or close to it) then a EQ curve has to be applied to the signal before it goes to the cutting head. This curve is then reversed on playback.

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What about it? For the stylus to be able to track properly then the groves must be within certain limits, not too big and not too small. To achieve this with full frequency response (or close to it) then a EQ curve has to be applied to the signal before it goes to the cutting head. This curve is then reversed on playback.

Pretty much. Though there were some other equalizations used pre-RIAA.

Maybe Marc has one of those special phonos that can decode Decca and stuff.

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Ric, I agree that exposure is the key, and kids today (and even kids from 10, 15 and 20 years ago) simply won't ever have a proper frame of reference in terms of what is possible (or even what existed routinely when we were kids) unless they wander into the audio "hobby" by some stroke of good luck (err, good luck, other than the potential wallet and brain damage that can come with the hobby if you take it or yourself too seriously).

Agree also that Neil's percentages are a bit jazzed and overly dramatic. The real message needs to be simply that audio quality has been terribly compromised, both at the recording level and the playback level (both sides of the donkey, or goat, or whatever the fuck he was talking about). His message was spot on, though, when he talked about the fact that the technology is there. It's just a matter of whether the market is there, and to the extent that it's not (at present), how does one spread the message to help create that market?

Marketing is all about perceived needs; identifying them and/or helping to create them! If young people have never heard high quality recordings played back through reasonably good equipment, then it will be hard to sell them on the idea that they're missing something and thus that they deserve to have better choices made available to them, and at affordable prices. At the end of the day, it's not really an analog versus digital war. That war has long since been lost, at least to the masses. But it doesn't really matter anyway, because high resolution audio (whether analog or digital) cannot escape the ear. They'll know it when they hear it!

Neil's central argument seems to be that we owe it to them to provide a choice, and in this day and age, there's no technological reason for that choice not to exist. It can be done; it's just a matter of who will step forward with the kind of player he's talking about that will bring high res back to the ears of the masses and at a reasonable price point.

bhjazz, as for my nephew, he considers himself "lucky" to have heard what is possible and now talks a lot about it to his friends and calls me to ask about headphones and such (alternatives to the Beats). I'm steering him to the new Phillips line, especially the L1 (even though I haven't heard them myself, but knowing that they'll serve him well in terms of the value proposition). But word of mouth is a slow process. You only have so many nephews...

Edited by Wmcmanus

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How much more does it cost for companies to maintain & distribute multiple formats (say...full/hi-rez (up to 24/192), hi-quality mp3 (320k), lo-quality mp3 (128k), & streaming quality) and allow the consumer to choose? Is it worth it for them?

My 64GB Touch can play all of that, including full-rez Redbook & downsampled hi-rez, in Apple Lossless, AIFF, FLAC, & WAV formats. This, in a portable player that fits in my palm & slips into a shirt pocket. How much more do I want on the hardware side other than full hi-rez?

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Here's a link to a new interesting article about improving digital quality. The only thing that bugs me is they make it sound like vinyl is perfect, and the poor SNR, high maintenance for cleaning LP and needles, need for RIAA EQ and pre-amp, and short play time all make it less than so for me.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-02-04/nashville-sound-quality/52963362/1

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And the masses with their white $2 freebie headphones are going to heat what, exactly?

It starts with the speakers and headphones. If you are used to 'bad' or 'mediocre' sound and content with you freely supplied ear buds you will never hear the difference. Those Beats-things are hardly an improvement.

I once let a friend listen to a track through a studio headphone connected to an old discman. It startled her that she finally heard everything yet she continued to use the Apple ear buds which only have acceptable mids for me.

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^ I think you want the device to download high res files quickly, store a lot of music, and not break the bank.

Download speed is a matter of network bandwidth. Which network do you want to use? Your Internet provider's or your cell phone provider's?

Storage space is a matter of what you are willing to pay for solid-state storage. How much storage do you need/want in a portable device?

Both of those become affordable over time with no other impetus from audiophiles.

My (minor) issue is the fact that the process of obtaining & backing up my music will still require effort from me. Today I buy a CD or DVD-A, and rip it myself to the format my players (home & portable) can play. That won't change with downloads when shiny discs go completely away. Tomorrow I will download a hi-rez album & then have to back it up to a disc for safe keeping. The same process, just in reverse. And now I have to pony up for the backup medium.

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I'm really not sure how high in bitrate and general technical complexion I would go for a portable device before I hit the spot where external noise and skeletal microphonics become a major factor.

Also I'm largely skeptical regarding content distribution via optical storage. It may be just me but distribution via downloading is not only more convenient for the consumer but also produces less waste than all the materials needed to manufacture a CD/DVD and the case. An exception might be video because I'm not sure if many internet providers are able to provide bandwidth needed for streaming FullHD video.

Regarding Spritzer's remark about youngsters and vinyl. I'm not sure if at 24 I'm still a youngster but I find vinyl to be more or less as a functional souvenir that I get when I pay my money to a certain artist. They are nice to listen to or to show off to my friends, but my main music storage will always be in high-res digital.

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My work has kept me pretty busy since before Christmas but it's calmed down a bit over the last week so I've been trying to catch up on some reading. I just watched that Neil Young video and noticed that there's a new version that's over 30 min. long as opposed to 10, I haven't watched it yet but figured others might be interested to see what I'm guessing is the full interview. http://allthingsd.com/video/?video_id=26CFE0B4-3677-4CD5-AA27-6071B2765CEB

Edited by elnero

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My work has kept me pretty busy since before Christmas but it's calmed down a bit over the last week so I've been trying to catch up on some reading. I just watched that Neil Young video and noticed that there's a new version that's over 30 min. long as opposed to 10, I haven't watched it yet but figured others might be interested to see what I'm guessing is the full interview. http://allthingsd.co...27-6071B2765CEB

That's the 10 minutes one.

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As awesome as that jam was, my guess is the real album won't be that great. Hopefully it will be included in a future Archives release, preferably on Blu-Ray. I haven't been able to get into any Neil Young studio albums this last decade.

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That's the 10 minutes one.

That's really odd, they appear to share the same link, when I copy and paste from the 30 min video the link takes you to the 10 min. one. Anyway, just scroll down the page, the longer version was posted on Feb. 7.

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That's really odd, they appear to share the same link, when I copy and paste from the 30 min video the link takes you to the 10 min. one. Anyway, just scroll down the page, the longer version was posted on Feb. 7.

Thanks for the link, Phil. Just watched it. I'd say they did a pretty decent job in their editorial efforts to get it down to 10 minutes. Some other topics were discussed, like the role of record companies and such, but nothing too very interesting. There was a short Q&A session toward the end where one audience member made a great point about the 'soul' of the music being lost in low res (speaking as an audiophile and how emotionally involved you can become in music when it's recorded well and played back on a high end system). Neil hadn't yet addressed that point, so he essentially said, "Well, ya... exactly... that's why this is important..." (although not in exactly those words).

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Just wanted to say this thread is at a high level. I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I recently got a cartridge for my TT and a bit of vinyl to try out and while it sounds good, there are drawbacks for sure. I tend to agree with people here who say hi-res digital is the way to go, even though my hi-res collection is still in it's infancy.

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Actually, I hardly ever listen to digital and prefer vinyl and tape by a fair margin for most of what I usually listen to. My pals in the industry (hi end audio and recording/mastering) feel the same way.

I have to admit (grudgingly) that the best digital I've heard is getting pretty darn close though! ( Pacific Microsonics Model 2, Pyramix software playing master files).

When I'm being lazy or multitasking, I put on an SACD or listen to hi rez files. But for the most part, I don't feel like a little swipe of a record brush or cleaning my tape heads is too much to ask for considering the lifetime of work and dedication it takes to produce the music.

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Actually, I hardly ever listen to digital and prefer vinyl and tape by a fair margin for most of what I usually listen to. My pals in the industry (hi end audio and recording/mastering) feel the same way.

I have to admit (grudgingly) that the best digital I've heard is getting pretty darn close though! ( Pacific Microsonics Model 2, Pyramix software playing master files).

When I'm being lazy or multitasking, I put on an SACD or listen to hi rez files. But for the most part, I don't feel like a little swipe of a record brush or cleaning my tape heads is too much to ask for considering the lifetime of work and dedication it takes to produce the music.

Pretty much feel the same way (though no tape playback, but hope to rectify that). Though I'm really satisfied with my digital and use it quite a bit. Doubt it will ever change.

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I'm 100% sure this is just going to be another branding label, along the lines of "Beats Audio." Now we can hear the same poorly mastered songs with higher levels of distortion and much larger filesizes, and all the hipsters will jump with glee that they are listening to the best of the best.

No details, but he's getting more serious...

Neil Young Trademarks New Audio Format: http://ow.ly/1JT3FV

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I dunno. Neil Young seems to generally disdain celebrity branding (see: his entire career). I'm not particularly a fan, but I think he actually does care about fidelity.

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I have gathered that from him, yes. But the corporate interests that he will have to partner with will undoubtedly not feel the same way. No file format can force a minimum level of dynamic range, for instance. It would not surprise me if they end up re-releasing 256k mp3s in his new formats, much like those uneducated souls who transfer their mp3 collection into FLAC and claim it sounds better.

I dunno. Neil Young seems to generally disdain celebrity branding (see: his entire career). I'm not particularly a fan, but I think he actually does care about fidelity.

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