Originally posted by digitalclips
I can't speak for the others in this brief discussion but of course I listen to them, otherwise how could I say I can hear the difference between a CD and an LP?
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
Also, regarding the LP/CD difference...
I was talking about comparing an LP to a good digitization of the signal output from that very same LP
, NOT comparing LP to CD. Of course LP and CD sound very different!
Originally posted by e1618978
I fully appreciate the differences that you hear between LP and CD, and I hear them too and I know for a fact that they are not added distortion (because the magic goes away when you digitize an LP at 16/44.1, and it sounds tinny and non-musical) - shetline thinks that 44.1/16-bit samples are perfect, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a kook.
I said "like a 10 year old talking about sex" because I don't think that he listens to stuff in order to make up his mind, he just repeats what he learned in electronics class or whatever.
I never said 16/44.1 is "perfect", but it's so close that the number of listeners who could hear the effects of such a digitization when done with moderately decent equipment, and the listening conditions under which even those few true golden ears could detect such an effect, are going to be far, far fewer than the number of reports to the contrary.
If the effect can be heard at all, it's terrible unlikely to account for total loss of LP's "analog magic".
As for "what I learned in electronics class"... let's consider psychoacoustics and Occam's Razor instead. The influence of psychology on human hearing is well known and easily demonstrated. Give a bunch of people a switch to play with or a knob to twiddle, make up a suggestive story about some effect the switch or knob is supposed to have, and even if that switch or knob is wired to absolutely nothing
you'll consistently get people reporting effects and describing differences produced by such completely functionless devices.
Then consider the following:
1. From what's known about the limits of human hearing, and from what can be calculated based on known theory, the effect of good quality digitization (low-noise, low jitter A/D-D/A conversion with properly done and mostly digital cut-off filtering to minimize phase shift effects) is highly unlikely to be audible, and if audible, is highly unlikely to be perceived as very significant.
2. As far as I know (please, present data otherwise if you have it) no well-conducted double-blind study has shown any significant detectable audible effect from such digitization. (Even a 10 y/o should be suspicious if teens and adults tell him that having sex can literally make you fly like Superman, for instance. Experience does not always count for everything.)
3. Audiophiles who claim such effects routinely dismiss all negative results as a failure of the listener or a matter of inadequate equipment. Only positive results are considered valid.
4. The types of effects such audiophiles claim to hear fall well within what can be expected from known effects of the power of suggestion on hearing.
Now apply Occam's Razor. Which is more likely?
A. Under horribly uncontrolled circumstances, validated only by anecdotal evidence, audiophiles have discovered acoustic and/or electrical effects indicating a major failure in currently known science regarding audible phenomena and the functioning of electronic devices.
B. Said audiophiles are suffering from a well-known, well-documented effect of the power of suggestion on hearing (which effects sane
people -- you don't
have to be crazy to be affected!).
If there is any kookiness here, it's not in thinking one hears these things, it's the far more common problem of insufficient skeptical thinking.