State-of-the-Art Digital

JackD201

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This is interesting to me, and puzzling. As much as I love a lot of garden-variety 1980s rock and pop songs musically and lyrically I think of those recordings as being shockingly poor sonically in terms of multi-track synthetic unnaturalness and early CD digititis.

Do you mean that listening to those recordings on your high-end audio system now sounds better than how you recall they sounded when you listened to them then on a CD Walkman?
Alas so many 80s commercial pressings sound so thin that using MCs is just not an option for me. Sometimes I just want to plop on of my 1200s on my rack and mount a simple Spherical tip MM on it. :) Otherwise it is a case where digital remasters is often preferred by me.
 

the sound of Tao

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I have gone through my whole CD collection recently since i have the new DAC / 360S
Also rock like Iron maiden, deep purple AC/ DC ( pink floyd ) and to my surprise its good and listenable .
Im even thinking of buying more CD s ( high rez ).
This high quality recording ( CD /SACD ) never really stood out but with the Levinson DAC its finally real music .

https://www.spiritofturtle.com/?product=mozart-requiem-download&v=796834e7a283

I also have quit a few rock mastertape dubs , and i must say digital aint bad .
I have had to reset my negative thoughts about digital recently , but i do realize im very picky regarding DAC s.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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There may be a lot wrong w 80s cds, and 80s rock/pop...but there's also a lot right. I'm finding a fair number of current remastered 80s stuff is lacking guts and dynamics (80s Rush and King Crimson especially).

Tears For Fears, Talk Talk, Depeche Mode, XTC...fantastic, and holds it's head up proudly w any era. Throw in 80s synth era Rush, 90s Steve Hogarth era Marillion, and you're good to go.
 
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howiebrou

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Jun 29, 2012
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This is interesting to me, and puzzling. As much as I love a lot of garden-variety 1980s rock and pop songs musically and lyrically I think of those recordings as being shockingly poor sonically in terms of multi-track synthetic unnaturalness and early CD digititis.

Do you mean that listening to those recordings on your high-end audio system now sounds better than how you recall they sounded when you listened to them then on a CD Walkman?
Ron, I think it is probably partly nostalgia but yes. It sounds a lot better than i remember. Then again i was using tapes well into the 90's. Shitty headphones didn't add much to the quality back then. We only dreamt of Sennheisers.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Jun 13, 2013
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It looks like the criticisms of 16/44 rbcd were maybe premature. I must have listened a dozen cdps in 80s, and other than one (Marantz CD12/DA12), all were way inferior to analog at the time.
Today? Using a cdp that majors on analog flow and mids texture, 80s cds sound just fine.
Ironically, today's remastered cds sound en masse worse than the originals released in 80s and 90s (that we thought sounded lousy at the time).
 

JackD201

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It's the 80s commercial LPs that were often poor. :( Probably pressed PVC that had been recycled a million times. Don't get me started on local presses. You lucky ducks got the US and UK as normal. Those were just too expensive for kid in the Philiippines on an allowance. Even then pop dogs abounded. if I knew what I knew now, I probably would look at the total minutes per side and skip the crammed LPs. By 88, given my limited experience ( I didn't know how to align a cart either LOL) digital WAS better :D
 
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JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Lock down :cool::) spare time

I have gone through my whole CD collection recently since i have the new DAC / 360S
Also rock like Iron maiden, deep purple AC/ DC ( pink floyd ) and to my surprise its good and listenable .
Im even thinking of buying more CD s ( high rez ).
This high quality recording ( CD /SACD ) never really stood out but with the Levinson DAC its finally real music .

https://www.spiritofturtle.com/?product=mozart-requiem-download&v=796834e7a283

I also have quit a few rock mastertape dubs , and i must say digital aint bad .
I have had to reset my negative thoughts about digital recently , but i do realize im very picky regarding DAC s.
I still have mine. Now if only I could find my one and only L type power cord. Have you tried it with 24/96? I didn't get the chance to. I bought into DSD and went with EMM.
 
Jan 23, 2011
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I still have mine. Now if only I could find my one and only L type power cord. Have you tried it with 24/96? I didn't get the chance to. I bought into DSD and went with EMM.
:).
Hi jack , my dac with the L shaped connector originally came from england and i had to put another european wall socket connector .
I m sure these L shaped ones can be still found on the net .
The whole idea from levinson of putting the connector right in the middle of the underside of the dac had to do with shortened print lay outs i heard .

You can always try some woodblocks under the feet and use a regular connector for the time being i did so for a weekend.

No i have listened only to 44.1 .
When i connected the meitner digital out with the 110 ohm aes / ebu cable the screen said 44.1 and i havent looked into anything else..
I dont have much knowledge of digital issues i must confess.
But i have quite a few cd /sacds s which are mixed mastered recorded in DSD.
But when i play them on the levinson which supposedly doesnt have all those specs its a complete different ballgame still after 15-20 years .
And as im not listening to specs the choice was easy .
I m looking to buy a 30.6 as well in due time.
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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This is interesting to me, and puzzling. As much as I love a lot of garden-variety 1980s rock and pop songs musically and lyrically I think of those recordings as being shockingly poor sonically in terms of multi-track synthetic unnaturalness and early CD digititis.

Do you mean that listening to those recordings on your high-end audio system now sounds better than how you recall they sounded when you listened to them then on a CD Walkman?
i get into an 80's pop mood sometimes. but you have to hear it on it's own terms. personally that was the period in my life when my kids were growing up and i was into going to their games, and boats and vacations. music was a background thing and not a me thing. so mostly the finer points musically (assuming that there were finer points) passed me by.

when you listen to power-pop from the 80's at high rez or vinyl it can sound really good. (likely CD disc is great too with the right deck). but you have to get your head in the right place. Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and Toto just to name a few examples. to my ears this music takes on a whole new dimension of energy and sparkle with my big rig.......when i'm in the mood. who knew how much depth is in that stuff? the highest level dacs and servers can really find the information and bring more life. and with streaming you can do a playlist and just sit back and really take it in without thinking too much.:cool: forget what it's not doing. just go with it.

it soars and scales. it can be digital or vinyl.

i'm not saying it has the naturalness i prefer. but it has power and interesting nuance i can wrap my head around. again......you have to accept it on it's terms. it's like being a beer snob; but once in a while an ice cold 'Bud' is just right for the mood. you do have to get past yourself.;)

i'd compare it to large scale classical. if your system can do that well, it can find new life in 80's power pop.

i will agree that 50 years from now 80's music will be in the dustbin of history; 60's and 70's pop/rock will live on as 'classic'......relatively.
 
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asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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It looks like the criticisms of 16/44 rbcd were maybe premature.
...
Ironically, today's remastered cds sound en masse worse than the originals released in 80s and 90s (that we thought sounded lousy at the time).
Agree on both counts. There's an "underground" resurgence of folks purchasing early pressing CDs, for the same reason folks snap up early pressing LPs: they just sound better.

Ron, what are some of your faves from the 80s? Maybe I can pull some early CDs for you to listen at Keith's or at my place next time you're over!

cheers,
Alex
 
Jan 16, 2013
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i get into an 80's pop mood sometimes. but you have to hear it on it's own terms. personally that was the period in my life when my kids were growing up and i was into going to their games, and boats and vacations. music was a background thing and not a me thing. so mostly the finer points musically (assuming that there were finer points) passed me by.

when you listen to power-pop from the 80's at high rez or vinyl it can sound really good. (likely CD disc is great too with the right deck). but you have to get your head in the right place. Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and Toto just to name a few examples. to my ears this music takes on a whole new dimension of energy and sparkle with my big rig.......when i'm in the mood. who knew how much depth is in that stuff? the highest level dacs and servers can really find the information and bring more life. and with streaming you can do a playlist and just sit back and really take it in without thinking too much.:cool: forget what it's not doing. just go with it.

it soars and scales. it can be digital or vinyl.

i'm not saying it has the naturalness i prefer. but it has power and interesting nuance i can wrap my head around. again......you have to accept it on it's terms. it's like being a beer snob; but once in a while an ice cold 'Bud' is just right for the mood. you do have to get past yourself.;)

i'd compare it to large scale classical. if your system can do that well, it can find new life in 80's power pop.

i will agree that 50 years from now 80's music will be in the dustbin of history; 60's and 70's pop/rock will live on as 'classic'......relatively.
Agree 100% Mike:) Your description of you have to meet it on it's own terms is a great way to describe how to enjoy anything from the 60's/70'/80's OR even new hip-hop.

If you happen to have grown up with that music then it's AMAZING to listen to on a current high end system that can do big scale sound. No, it's not like listening to natural vinyl or R2R etc, it's ABOUT THE MUSIC.

I grew up with albums coming out in the 60's and 70's and it wasn't just a good album, it literally changed ones life. It did for me many times. I went off on different directions when the Beatles albums were being released (Abbey Road, the White Album, Sgt. Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour), Zepplin, CSN&Y and MANY more.

So now to hear them on a as you say it "big rig" can be like magic. I have much more of an emotional connection to this music that I grew up with than all of the other great and well recorded music that I also listen to and enjoy.
 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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i get into an 80's pop mood sometimes. but you have to hear it on it's own terms. personally that was the period in my life when my kids were growing up and i was into going to their games, and boats and vacations. music was a background thing and not a me thing. so mostly the finer points musically (assuming that there were finer points) passed me by.

when you listen to power-pop from the 80's at high rez or vinyl it can sound really good. (likely CD disc is great too with the right deck). but you have to get your head in the right place. Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and Toto just to name a few examples. to my ears this music takes on a whole new dimension of energy and sparkle with my big rig.......when i'm in the mood. who knew how much depth is in that stuff? the highest level dacs and servers can really find the information and bring more life. and with streaming you can do a playlist and just sit back and really take it in without thinking too much.:cool: forget what it's not doing. just go with it.

it soars and scales. it can be digital or vinyl.

i'm not saying it has the naturalness i prefer. but it has power and interesting nuance i can wrap my head around. again......you have to accept it on it's terms. it's like being a beer snob; but once in a while an ice cold 'Bud' is just right for the mood. you do have to get past yourself.;)

i'd compare it to large scale classical. if your system can do that well, it can find new life in 80's power pop.

i will agree that 50 years from now 80's music will be in the dustbin of history; 60's and 70's pop/rock will live on as 'classic'......relatively.
I see many excellent and insightful observations here! Thank you, Mike!

I don't care at all for beer, but you are correct there as well: for me, if I am taping together and packing boxes on a hot day in preparation for a move, or after a long day in the sun at a barbecue, somehow a cold beer is exactly the right medicine.
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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i get into an 80's pop mood sometimes. but you have to hear it on it's own terms. personally that was the period in my life when my kids were growing up and i was into going to their games, and boats and vacations. music was a background thing and not a me thing. so mostly the finer points musically (assuming that there were finer points) passed me by.

when you listen to power-pop from the 80's at high rez or vinyl it can sound really good. (likely CD disc is great too with the right deck). but you have to get your head in the right place. Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, and Toto just to name a few examples. to my ears this music takes on a whole new dimension of energy and sparkle with my big rig.......when i'm in the mood. who knew how much depth is in that stuff? the highest level dacs and servers can really find the information and bring more life. and with streaming you can do a playlist and just sit back and really take it in without thinking too much.:cool: forget what it's not doing. just go with it.

it soars and scales. it can be digital or vinyl.

i'm not saying it has the naturalness i prefer. but it has power and interesting nuance i can wrap my head around. again......you have to accept it on it's terms. it's like being a beer snob; but once in a while an ice cold 'Bud' is just right for the mood. you do have to get past yourself.;)

i'd compare it to large scale classical. if your system can do that well, it can find new life in 80's power pop.

i will agree that 50 years from now 80's music will be in the dustbin of history; 60's and 70's pop/rock will live on as 'classic'......relatively.
Mike, if you think Depeche Mode, Talk Talk, Tears For Fears, Sparks, Marillion, 80s synth period Rush etc will be in the dustbin, I beg to differ.
 

marty

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Apr 20, 2010
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Agree with almost everything except:
1) ... it's like being a beer snob; but once in a while an ice cold 'Bud' is just right for the mood. you do have to get past yourself.;)
I lived in St. Louis from 1990-2003. I am definitely not a beer snob but for the life of me I can't understand why anyone would drink and like Budweiser.:eek:

2) i will agree that 50 years from now 80's music will be in the dustbin of history; 60's and 70's pop/rock will live on as 'classic'......relatively.
Totally agree about 60's and 70's classic rock but the 80's had a lot of good stuff as well. The 90's is where it all goes south. But in 50 years, we will be in the dustbin as well, right alongside Janet Jackson, Green Day and too many others to name!
 
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howiebrou

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Jun 29, 2012
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Mike, if you think Depeche Mode, Talk Talk, Tears For Fears, Sparks, Marillion, 80s synth period Rush etc will be in the dustbin, I beg to differ.
I think it all depends on your age as well. We all love the music we grew up with, although my kids's music of today will probably make me eat my words!
 
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Jan 23, 2011
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I just put my money where my mouth is .:)
I bought 6 new Cds , first time since 2015.
3 ZZ top , Andre hazes /dutch, mahler 9 th , Faure requiem .
Put some pressure on the system with zz top / la grange .;).

And thats basically why i make own speakers .
Put ZZ top of other rock on and 95 % of the so called high end speakerdesigns fail miserably :oops::)
 
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Jan 16, 2013
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The difference in the 60's/70's rock was at the time it was tied to literally a revolution that was going on. This was different than just a great album coming out and the music was great and you grew up with it.

When CSN&Y came out with DejaVu and "almost cut my hair" all of a sudden all of the jocks and straights ended up growing their hair long.

It was different than just music attached to you growing up. It was for me anyway;)
 
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howiebrou

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The difference in the 60's/70's rock was at the time it was tied to literally a revolution that was going on. This was different than just a great album coming out and the music was great and you grew up with it.

When CSN&Y came out with DejaVu and "almost cut my hair" all of a sudden all of the jocks and straights ended up growing their hair long.

It was different than just music attached to you growing up. It was for me anyway;)
You mid-century kids were always more impressionable! :p
 
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