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In Reply to: RE: Thanks for the Clarity on HDCD - Charles post is a must read posted by Charles Hansen on June 13, 2017 at 20:41:14
Charles, do you happen to have Lucinda Williams "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road"? If so, could you check it to see if it is real or fake HDCD?
I tried doing a search, no luck on that CD, but I found a discussion on HDCD that was quite amusing. See the link, even back then Kal was correcting misinformation.
And for another good laugh, here is a link to Corey Greenberg's review of Howard's book. All from 2005.
> > Charles, do you happen to have Lucinda Williams "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road"? If so, could you check it to see if it is real or fake HDCD? < <
Sorry, I like that album a lot but never bought it. It was released in 1998, so if it lights up the HDCD light, chances are that it did use an HDCD feature that can be decoded but that is just a guess. The PM A/D converter is still one of the best sounding units ever made. Any mastering engineer that cared enough to purchase and use it was clearly dedicated to sound quality. Right off the bat those are two good signs - a great A/D converter and a mastering engineer who cares about sound quality.
As noted in the previous post LLE was not meaningful for popular music. As to whether PE was used would be just a guess without running the ripped file through Foobar. The operator's manual states:
Listening to both undecoded as well as decoded 16-bit playback is important, since HDCD
amplitude encoding effects such as Peak Extension limiting are more audible undecoded.
Limited Dynamic Range Pop or Rock
The best method to record highly compressed, limited dynamic range material depends
greatly on the results that are desired with undecoded playback.
Using Peak Extension allows very high average recording levels without "clipping" or gen-
erating "overs". This approach can be used to get the "hottest" possible sound (almost no
dynamics) during undecoded playback for air play, with decoding restoring normal dynam-
ics for home listening.
However, because Peak Extension limiting has an "easy over" curve that begins to affect
the signal at - 3 dBfs, it usually shouldn't be used with highly compressed source material
that will almost always be in the limiting curve, unless a highly limited or distorted sound
is desired during undecoded playback.
Typically, Peak Extension recordings do not have the "crunch" or "edge" produced by hard
clipping that is sometimes desired for certain types of rock material.
To get a hard "crunch" without any "easy over" limiting, turn Peak Extend off and adjust
DSPGAIN to a level just below full scale, usually - 0.1 dB. The digital input signal level can
then be adjusted using an external device such as a 24-bit editing workstation. This allows
as much clipping as desired without generating any "overs". To eliminate the need for an
external gain adjusting device, the Model Two can be put into a dual output mode with
digital output 2 set to HDCD_24, and digital output 1 set to HDCD_16, and offset -0.1 dB
relative to output 2 using OUT1OFS in the Levels Menu (see page 36). DSPGAIN can then
be adjusted to provide "crunch" on digital output 1 without generating any "overs". Digital
output 2 may then "over", but isn't used.
When a "dry" or "punchy" low level sound is desired with limited dynamic range material
that has little ambient information, Low Level Extension can be turned off.
That gives a "peek behind the curtains" as to the job of the mastering engineer. Clearly they are looking to create a "sound", not necessarily a direct transfer of the microphone signals to the disc.
I read your link to CG's review of Howard Ferstler's book. Pretty funny stuff! And have to admit that as a teenager in the '70s also had a Watts "Dust-Bug"... :-)
I still own the Watts Dust Bug, but haven't used it in 40 years. I wonder if it a collectable?
Around the days of the Watts I and a few friends tried the original Discwasher, and found it to create static. So, for many years I used a 3" Staticmaster, it had a horsehair brush and a strip of polonium. I still use the brush, but the polonium strip is outdated. Also use the AQ record brush.
You're probably right about Lucinda's CD actually using the HDCD settings. That album was recorded, scrapped, recorded again, and then she spent a lot of time adding and removing overdubs. I read that she was obsessed with getting it just right. All the effort paid off as she won Grammys, and lots of critical acclaim. I have found all of her albums to be well recorded. With the "Blessed" deluxe release the included second CD are the demos recorded in her kitchen on a portable Zoom recorder. And, they are surprisingly very listenable.
I've always admired your designs, but I live in Milwaukee, and I have never been aware of a dealer who sold them. So, I have never had an opportunity to hear any of your designs, particularly the amps would have been of interest. I was joking over at PS Audio that with the feedback on the latest firmware update, they should get the bronze busts ready for the Audio Hall Of Fame. I think there would be a place for you, if one existed.
I think everyone appreciates your contributions here.
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