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June 6, 2015 10:20 am  #1


Audio Purity

This was sent out on Cosford's e-mail list last week.

How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?

I am one of the folks audiophiles despise.  I can appreciate great audio quality, but I'm quite happy with 'okay' when I'm listening.  I like a 320k mp3 file, I like a WAV file, but if the only thing I can find is a 128k file of the song I'm looking for, that's okay.

I bombed this test huge.  

A large part of the problem being I like compressed (over compressed?) music.  I'm a fan of AM radio, top-40 on FM, a wall of compressed sound etc.  In many ways I found the music of the 70's and 80's sounded better on an AM Radio than an FM.  I like a PPM meter that looks like it melted in position .  So if something sounds loud and full I'm probably going to pick it over something that sounds clean and genuine.  

Sorry .

Have fun.

 

Last edited by ig (June 6, 2015 10:21 am)


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
 

June 6, 2015 12:50 pm  #2


Re: Audio Purity

I always preferred FM stereo and since I'm partial to the free form format the music on those stations sounded best on stereo regardless of genre. A good FM tuner brought a lot of joy. The WBCN  FM airchecks are a good example. I transferred them at 320 KB ( Wav is too large a file) and they sound quite good today after 44 plus years.

Early FM Top 40 such as WRGQ ( Q 97) also sounded quite good in stereo  and actually those top 40 stations had wider playlists. They picked up selections which were FM hits and some of those were better suited for FM. I even preferred oldies in stereo as long as the mixes were not botched ( i.e. fake stereo).

Never a fan of AM stereo but I only experienced that on two Sony receivers.The CHUM AM cable feed in the late 80's and earl 90's delivered better stereo.

Last edited by Fitz (June 6, 2015 12:50 pm)


Cool Airchecks and More:
http://www.lettheuniverseanswer.com/
 

June 6, 2015 12:54 pm  #3


Re: Audio Purity

Iain, if you like playing around with audio processing, there's a great software program called Stereo Tool.  You can get it for free for the version that will run with Winamp and other audio programs.
The thing is so much fun and so versatile in getting the sound you like that its inventor has been hired by the Telos Alliance, witch produces all types of audio equipment including hardware and software processors, I believe including Omnia.  I'm a hardware guy myself but Stereo Tool is fun to play with and a great solution for those running an internet or low power station.

 

June 6, 2015 1:55 pm  #4


Re: Audio Purity

Mike Cleaver wrote:

Iain, if you like playing around with audio processing, there's a great software program called Stereo Tool..

It's funny you mention that.  In the old days before virtual private servers, when I'd stream stations from home, Stereo Tool was my 'internet radio' secret.  It allowed me to get the compression, limiting and loudness on an interent station that involves an Omnia and thousands of dollars on a terrestrial one.    People would ask how I got such loudness and clarity on a 128k stream.  It was amazing.

My first licence was bought in 2009 and I pleaded with him in 2011 to figure out an OSX version since I was working with a bunch of mac people.   Anyone I ran into who used that 'Sam Brodcaster' software with its brutal 'audio processing' section, I'd try to convince them to bypass the Sam processing, run it through ST and use Winamp to create the stream.  I walked away from Sam when they moved to an annual hand in my pocket deal so it might have got better.

Anyway, Stereo tool is an Incredible piece of software for what it does, and moreso for the price.

StereoTool





 


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
     Thread Starter
 

June 6, 2015 1:57 pm  #5


Re: Audio Purity

Fitz wrote:

I Never a fan of AM stereo but I only experienced that on two Sony receivers.The CHUM AM cable feed in the late 80's and earl 90's delivered better stereo.

Never liked AM Stereo either.  Depending on your cable system, CHUM was a bus feed on 2 15k lines from yonge and St. Clair.  Same with many of the local AM stations.  RB was a left channel of the board feed, which became painfully apparent during those Bay-Bloor radio spots with the discrete swoosh that goes from left to right.  
 


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
     Thread Starter
 

June 6, 2015 2:35 pm  #6


Re: Audio Purity

What was it that you disliked about AM Stereo Iain?
I will have to check out "Stereo Tool"
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

June 6, 2015 2:45 pm  #7


Re: Audio Purity

It made the sound too thin.  I found myself switching the reciever back to mono, more often than not.   You're taking me back 30 years, but I seem to remember a really tinny flanging top-end.   It was also another Betamax vs VHS fight, with Motorola winning the VHS fight.  Kahn sounded infinitely better, but never caught on.

I know of a bunch of AM stations across the continent that kept the stereo pilot tone going, and many listeners who 'enjoyed' AM stereo for years after the second audio pair were a distant memory.


Jody Thornton wrote:

What was it that you disliked about AM Stereo Iain?
I will have to check out "Stereo Tool"
 

 


Madness takes its toll.  Please have exact change.
 
     Thread Starter
 

June 6, 2015 2:48 pm  #8


Re: Audio Purity

My hearing is shot from cranking the headphones too much while I was on the air.. that being said, the kids... mine included.. are really missing out only listening to mp3's

 

June 6, 2015 7:05 pm  #9


Re: Audio Purity

2/6 NPR Test.
4/5 Tidal Test.

Could it be the way the mp3 is processed that also makes a difference?

When comparing the qualify of 50 songs I like from all genres and decades - the differences between the 320 Google Music stream and the Tidal HIFI one was night and day on 22, a slight improvement on 4, and no discernable difference on 24.

 

 

June 6, 2015 7:10 pm  #10


Re: Audio Purity

I bombed on the first three because I went for the "brightest" as sounding better (but my hearing has deteriorated badly as well).  On the last three, I chose the warmest/dullest sound (which I liked least ... lol) and got them right as "wave" format.  Show I'm not so much audiophile as I used to be.

That said, I still enjoy hi-fi equipment.
 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

June 6, 2015 7:14 pm  #11


Re: Audio Purity

ig wrote:

It made the sound too thin.  I found myself switching the reciever back to mono, more often than not.   You're taking me back 30 years, but I seem to remember a really tinny flanging top-end.   It was also another Betamax vs VHS fight, with Motorola winning the VHS fight.  Kahn sounded infinitely better, but never caught on.
 

Yes I remember hearing CHUM and CFTR while they were still using Harris.  To me stereo was only part of the deal.  Wideband AM, even in mono, sounded terrific.  I wonder if you were listening on narrow bandwidth. (note: if you were listening on a modulation monitor [or air feed in the control room] you heard full wide bandwidth)


Good working with you today Iain.

 


Cheers,
Jody Thornton
 
 

June 6, 2015 7:55 pm  #12


Re: Audio Purity

If you are over 40 and work(ed) in the music or entertainment business including radio and television, you seriously need to have your hearing checked regularly.
Approaching 70, I'm still good in quiet environments but anywhere it's noisy, I need my high end in ear aids.
At home in the studio, I use my hearing loss graph to set a sophisticated equalizer to compensate for the loss when using speakers and headphones.
All that loud music, concerts and high level noise we endure plus ageing naturally means your high end hearing starts to decline rapidly in middle age.
As for AM Stereo, CHUM started out with Kahn/Hazeltine and when the majority went the other way, so did they.
The Khan system was chosen because it sounded better.
Betamax was still the better video format but lost out to VHS when Sony failed to license the system to other manufacturers until finally giving in after it was too late to recover.
That's why Beta lasted so long with TV stations.
Final thought:  Everyone hears and sees differently.
Choose what works for you.
 

 

June 6, 2015 11:02 pm  #13


Re: Audio Purity

Never considered myself much of an audiophile, and rarely care about compression and sampling rates. That said, using $15 earbuds on my computer, I got 5/6 with NPR and 5/5 with Tidal. Rather surprised by this. Also, i have never worked in radio or any media kind of thing.

The things you find out about yourself.