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In Reply to: RE: Super Important Question That Has Parallels Today posted by Charles Hansen on June 19, 2017 at 17:03:36
You are right about the need for ongoing improvement in A/D converters!
I do think that if HDCD had caught on big, that Keith Johnson would have also created better A/D converters beyond the model 2, which is already at or close to the best presently. According to your posts, most of the HDCD advantage was in the performance of the A/D converter that was ahead of it's time. Engineers still could have used other newer converters that were non HDCD as things went forward. My point was that a rapid embrace by mastering houses for the PMD converter would have resulted in quite a few better sounding CDs over the years to the present. And I am sure that PMD would have created even better filter chips at the user end.
Oh, by the way. I appreciate your very knowledgeable posts on these topics, and the lovely design work that you are doing with Ayre equipment.
> > I do think that if HDCD had caught on big, that Keith Johnson would have also created better A/D converters beyond the model 2, which is already at or close to the best presently. < <
Are you sure? This is very much like saying we should all use Spectral electronics in our system. Please don't misunderstand - I would *far* rather have Spectral electronics than a Sony receiver. But is Spectral "better" than Audio Research, Conrad-Johnson, Vaccum-State Electronics, Aexthetix, VTL, Convergent Audio Technology, or Ayre? Even if you say "Yes!", will that still hold true five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now? These are some of the issues that come along with proprietary closed formats.
As always, strictly my personal opinions and not necessarily those of my employer or pool boy.
The PM AD converter did that come in 16 and 24 channel versions? I'm thinking that with all the multi-track recording they would have to use them right from the start.
A friend of mine built a studio in his basement and the 8 channel AD/DA he has is 16/44 or 48, very outdated, but also not impressive at all.
That is one of the things with MQA, they say they have to know what converters were used. I have seen a lot of albums where the recording was done in say like 5 or 6 different studios.
With the Dead CDs, the only consistency was the stuff Jerry did with Grisman, at Grisman's home studio.
I have a Lindemann 825 that does HDCD, when using the built-in transport, but does not on any of it's other inputs.
> > The PM AD converter did that come in 16 and 24 channel versions? I'm thinking that with all the multi-track recording they would have to use them right from the start. < <
No the PM A/D converters were only two channels. They were typically used for transferring stereo analog tape masters to CD format. Multi-channel digital audio workstations (DAWs) were introduced in the early '90s but recordings made with multi-channel digital would not need to go through another round of A/D conversion. I'm guessing that the Dead continued to record to analog tape. Although this practice has become less and less common, some studios (eg, Shangri La, run by famed producer Rick Rubin) still uses this workflow - one final conversion to digital at the very end.
As always, strictly my own opinions, prone to error and not necessarily those of my employer or producer.
Always a pleasure to read your posts, Charles. I could not get the mix of technology discussion and industry history from anybody else.
I still like to understand enough about the technology behind buzzwords to be an informed consumer.
As an occasional consumer of audio gear and a regular consumer of recorded music, I look at new technology like MQA and decide whether it makes sense for me. For HDCD, SACD, DVD-A and now MQA my reaction has been "no sale". Very little of the music that matters to me will ever appear in those formats. Becoming wedded to formats like these also restricts my choices in gear too.
I buy hi-res PCM downloads instead of Redbook versions when I want to performances and the possible improvements in sound quality might be worth a modest premium. Pragmatic decisions based on value for money.
my blog: http://carsmusicandnature.blogspot.com/
"I buy hi-res PCM downloads instead of Redbook versions when I want to performances and the possible improvements in sound quality might be worth a modest premium. Pragmatic decisions based on value for money."
Tough to argue with this approach.
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