Comments Inspired By Booka Shade - Dear Future Self [Blu-Ray Audio]

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J. PUPSTER

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Yup. That's typical. I did the upgrade, mainly out of curiosity and also for Life in Surround research.
I'm happy with Auro-3D, but wish there were more titles available. I have 16? Rough $20 per title for that license, so far!
I need to check to see if there is any newer Auro content, to be fair. It's been a while.



lots of movies in Auro-3D also, hmmm

 

MagnumX

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Yeah, I think I paid $199 for my Marantz 7010 and then it broke.... I bought the 7012 that came with it and meanwhile managed to repair my 7010 (loose circuit card was shorting it out. Straightened it out and secured it and it was fine again, but I was too lazy to switch back. 7010 had HD Radio and Front Wide support (that you couldn't use in 7.1.4 anyway) but the 7012 had Audyssey XT32 (Adjustable with app; the 7010 required a pro kit to adjust Audyssey curves).

I should probably sell both and get a Monoprice HTP-1 with DIRAC and 15.1 operation.
 

Sal1950

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I should probably sell both and get a Monoprice HTP-1 with DIRAC and 15.1 operation.
If I was in the market for a new pre/pro I believe the HTP-1 would be it.
I think Amir was a bit (lot) hard on it, specially considering he found the setting that fixed the muting/data rate issue that bothered him so.
Sadly they're out of stock and who knows when they'll be around again?
I've really got no problems with my Marantz 7703, it does just about everything I could ask for so I can wait for a year or so to see how the market may shift.
Till then I'm looking at spending a little on improving my room with some treatments to deaden the side walls and maybe the ceiling. Or even upgrade my ceiling speakers though I have no idea with what yet.
Ya can't take it with ya, spend it while you're here to enjoy it. ;)
 

MagnumX

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I can't stand Amir after a rather unenlightening conversation with him. He'd give bad ratings to an awesome AVR/AVP based on a measurement that's literally inaudible (and this in turn turns segments of the market against those products).

An example was with Emotiva's newer flagship. It had some inaudible noise in the DAC that he made out to be poor engineering design. What's he know about designing anything? He just takes measurements. Well, it was a side effect of a chip register setting that wasn't even in use in stereo mode. They turned it off and the measurements were suddenly fantastic.

None of it was audible regardless (ultrasonic noise I believe), but because Emotiva was afraid of the bad publicity, they had to stop what they were doing on fixing the horribly buggy firmware and trace an inaudible noise down instead, wasting customers time who were waiting for usable firmware.

Such is the effect of a site people follow and few/none understand WTF he's even measuring, really but worship the guy like a god (reminds me of Sanjay on AVS and Dante on AVForums. When they're wrong, no one will believe it. It is mind numbing irritating as they believe they're infallible themselves), but says something about alpha dog syndrome.

I wonder if Amir ever listened to a single thing his whole life. I think he listens with a scope...
 
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Sal1950

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I wonder if Amir ever listened to a single thing his whole life. I think he listens with a scope...
Magnum, I believe your shooting from the hip without doing any homework on the man. Have you read his credentials?
"During my time at Microsoft, as VP of Digital Media Division, I grew to manage a division of nearly 1000 engineers, testers, marketing and business development people. One of the groups I managed though was the signal processing team which produced audio and video compression technologies. Both of those relied on refreshing my knowledge of the core signal processing science back in college and learning a ton more about new domains like psychoacoustics. Formal and controlled testing was a part of that just the same. Through training, I became an “expert” in finding difficult audio distortions that many could not. This training is serving me well to this day in being able to pass audio objectivist challenges of blind tests of small distortions."

He's been a "listening" audiophile for as many years as I can remember knowing him on the internet dating back to his many years as co-owner of Whats Best Forum.
I could go on but don't want to come off as some fan-boy. But give the man his dues, I can't think of anyone I know from my 50+ years as a HiFi nut that is better qualified to head a website like Audio Science Review. They along with Gene Dellasala and the crew at Audioholics are finally bringing some common sense and objective science back to an industry that has gone mad with insane snake-oil products from $10k power cords and $50k speaker cables. BLAH
 

MagnumX

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Magnum, I believe your shooting from the hip without doing any homework on the man. Have you read his credentials?
"During my time at Microsoft, as VP of Digital Media Division, I grew to manage a division of nearly 1000 engineers, testers, marketing and business development people.

While I would have to respect getting an EE degree, that was a long time ago and managing people doesn't involve as much engineering as logistic and business skill. I got two degrees in Electronic Engineering in the 1990s, but I'm sure I don't use 85% of that stuff and after 20+ years, I probably don't remember a large part of what I don't use (at least not without some serious review). In 1999, I could have designed electric braking motors or programmed PLC chips for a living. Now I have a vague recollection of it and deal mostly with servicing and repairing industrial machinery (and we're sent for training originating from the specific companies that made it as they know the design better than anyone).

I've talked to Amir there. He's made it quite obvious he doesn't listen much or at all to the gear being reviewed. He MEASURES it. He'll give a bad review or fail a piece of equipment for an inaudible measurement that is meaningless precisely because it is inaudible. You think I want to see Monoprice never offer an AVP again because people avoided due to a bad review from this guy when 90% of his readers don't even understand what he's talking about??? If he worked with these companies to fix issues, it'd be one thing, but he's bad mouthing them on his site for measurements that don't mean dick in the real world. That's what I have an issue with.

He's been a "listening" audiophile for as many years as I can remember knowing him on the internet dating back to his many years as co-owner of Whats Best Forum.
I could go on but don't want to come off as some fan-boy. But give the man his dues, I can't think of anyone I know from my 50+ years as a HiFi nut that is better qualified to head a website like Audio Science Review. They along with Gene Dellasala and the crew at Audioholics are finally bringing some common sense and objective science back to an industry that has gone mad with insane snake-oil products from $10k power cords and $50k speaker cables. BLAH

That's one extreme to the next. Stereophile probably did more damage to the high-end industry that anyone imaginable with their snake-oil pushing crapola to get advertising dollars. Yes, measurements are a good idea, but even Stereophile did measurements. They'd try to correlate them to what their ears told them and that lead to all kinds of crazy conclusions. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for measurements, but they MUST be correlated to actual double blind listening tests to see if they're audible or not. One should build for a certain set of criteria and do a certain job. Amir wants the theoretical best amp/avr that can be built, but that's not what mass market audio is about. You have to turn a profit. It's the "audiophile" boutique brands that try to shoot the moon, but they usually lack conveniences as things like remote controls can introduce noise.

His view seemed to be that's not his job to distinguish what can be heard from what cannot. He just measures with his gear. The problem is he's giving some great products low marks on some BS distortion caused by a DSU mode from Dolby that wasn't even active at the time (Emotiva). He had no idea the cause and blamed it on poor engineering when it wasn't Emotiva's design at all that was at fault, but the chip used. Meanwhile, the poor people that bought the product that quite probably wasn't ready for market had to keep waiting for stable firmware while they scrambled to find the source of that noise that didn't matter one bit in the first place.

All I ever tried to get across to the man was the need to balance measurements with actual provable audible results. As a consumer, I couldn't care less if something has a noise that's beyond the range of human hearing if it has 15.1 Atmos decoding and DIRAC Live. He doesn't care if an op-amp or DAC is used in a headphone amp or a receiver and makes absolutely no distinction between the two, saying how such and such chip did so much better in this headphone amp (DAC I think), but the headphone amp doesn't have 4 layer of circuit boards and amplifiers installed in a small box (thinking of a Denon AVR here). The issue he complained about wasn't likely audible either. He said it wasn't his job to determine whether something is audible or not. They (Denon) should be able to do as well as the headphone amplifier with that product! I'm not a dog. I don't care if there's ultrasonic ringing at 50kHz or not. I do care if I can afford a 15-channel Atmos receiver or not.

Someone can have all the qualifications in the world, but still be tone deaf to the things that matter versus the things that don't and that's my issue with the guy.
 

Sal1950

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I've talked to Amir there. He's made it quite obvious he doesn't listen much or at all to the gear being reviewed. He MEASURES it.
It's not a site for subjective reviews, you want that go to Stereophile, TAS, or any number of websites where some stroke keyboard jockey sits around and tells you what he thinks he heard, most of it BS and imaginary. They'll tell you all about it's creamy midrange, velvety highs, blah blah blah.
When J Gordon Holt started Stereophile, gear was still pretty crude, a trained listener could review components and relate the differences in their sound.
This it 2021 and those days are mostly gone, outside of speakers the difference between DACs, preamps, and amps is extremely subtle, if any difference exists at all. Most disappeared decades ago when listened to under bias controlled DBT conditions most all perceived variances disappear in a cloud of smoke.
So what does that leave, to encourage manufactures to produce the best performing product they can within a given price point.
Amir does work with manufacturers when they are willing to. Look at the remarkable improvements in measured performance of the Denon AVR's over the last two seasons since the issues with the earlier lines were published. With NO increase in price, only a little more time spent in the execution of the design. I hope to see the same from Marantz in the near future, these Covid and factory fire times have a lot of things in slow motion currently. There's no excuse for the $2-5k AV component to have WAY worse DAC performance than the cheapest $100 Chinese one simply for lack of proper design.
Are you serious about wanting to blame Amir for the bugs in Emotiva's AV's not being fixed? They haven't been able to get their heads out of their butts since they started producing AV products. No one's perfect but I've owned a couple of the Marantz pre/pros that didn't exhibit these issues and I don't read about the same from just about any of the others.
Sorry I don't mean to hurt any Emo owners feelings here but that's just the way it is. :(
How did we get to these times of gear being produced way below what's possible with today tech in any price bracket? Because no one was watching and they were just slapping them together with little care for what they could be. Buyers were all paying attention to the subjective guru's trying to sell you their advertisers $750k amps or $20k DAC's, that if you looked at John Atkinsons measurements, were no better than products than some $750 ones.
Peter Aczel said it all decades ago and it's in my signature every post.

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Magnum, we shouldn't just settle for whatever garbage they feed us when so much better can be had with just a little attention to detail. Maybe X Y or Z is audible and maybe not, I don't really see that as the point. Do I HAVE to prove component X has ignored it's measured performance to the point that it really does sound like schiit before we encourage them to do better?
 

MagnumX

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It's not a site for subjective reviews, you want that go to Stereophile, TAS, or any number of websites where some stroke keyboard jockey sits around and tells you what he thinks he heard, most of it BS and imaginary.

I think you're confusing two entirely different issues. I said, yes, Stereophile took measurements, but they didn't PROVE they made a difference and we all know they pushed reviews because of advertising dollars coming in. They shamed Bob Carver, who had some brilliant ideas back in the day (and an awesome ribbon speaker system once fully fleshed out) so I'm not a fan of Stereophile.

But there ARE ways to tell if something is audible or not that are scientific, namely the ABX switch/method, which uses a double blind method to do scientific testing by ear. Neither the person who sets up or listens to the item in question knows which is which. You have to make sure volume levels are exactly the same or psychoacoustics tends to make one select the louder one as more "detailed" when it's actually just louder, but once setup correctly, you can easily run all the sounds, music, etc. you want through the system and let the listener A/B switch all they want for hours, if desired and tell you which is which or which they hear a difference in. Repeat this test multiple times and/or with multiple listeners and you have a scientific statistically significant method of determining whether someone can pick out a component based purely on its sound or not. It works so well, that ABX is well known for its failure to show audible differences among most of those "audiophile" items (Shakti Stones, green pens and even high-end amplifiers).

Taking direct measurements from equipment is great, but if a detected distortion is in the ultrasonic range, what does it matter? You can't hear it. If there's any doubt about such distortions, ABX can be used to test/verify such things, at least by listener (i.e. Some with better hearing might do better than those without, so it tests the listener's claims of hearing things as much as any measurable thing).

Magnum, we shouldn't just settle for whatever garbage they feed us when so much better can be had with just a little attention to detail. Maybe X Y or Z is audible and maybe not, I don't really see that as the point. Do I HAVE to prove component X has ignored it's measured performance to the point that it really does sound like schiit before we encourage them to do better?

I gave my reasons. He's potentially destroying companies and products that are absolutely AWESOME. I'd hate to see a product as brilliant as the HTP-1 (the BEST Atmos processor out there for the money with 15.1 decoding and DIRAC, Auro-3D and the ability to use Top Middle for the VOG and yet it can mix channels together to use speakers Disney locked soundtracks don't use all in a box that rivals the price of the Denon 8500 but with 15.1 decoding. Sure, I'd love to see 17.1 decoding, but it doesn't get any better than that.

So, if Amir trashes the HTP-1 because it contains some anomaly you can't hear and this leads to the product not selling and the company to stop making them (doubt Monoprice would go out of business from that alone, but smaller companies might), what is gained? His massive EGO gets a huge boost for "rightly" trashing the product due to some inaudible noise no one can hear and we lose the best processor out there over inaudible nonsense? Sorry, but I can't support that kind of review and I won't support it. He's trashed several good products by D&M and Emotiva over inaudible signals and I see ZERO VALUE in that. Our hobby is small enough as it is and he's clearly made it his mission to make even smaller by comparing $300 headphone amplifiers to $2000-4000 AVRs that do 1000x the function of a headphone amplifier, yet he expects similar noise levels or he trashes the AVR, despite the specs being perfectly fine for the actual function. Ridiculous.

Getting rid of inaudible noises might ultimately raise the cost of the product by hundred or even thousands of dollars, destroying the price point it was going to be sold at and costing the consumer either the money or a great product in the end. I'm not saying hide the measurements. I'm saying don't trash the grading if you can't prove what you measure affects anything! If you base your conclusions on INAUDIBLE results, it's an absolutely worthless review. Amir is the guy that should be doing the measurements, but someone else should be verifying the results and writing the reviews, IMO. As is, I think he's single handedly trying to destroy the mid-range Home Theater industry, IMO.
 

weekendtoy

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It's $199 or at least was when I did mine. I believe it is well worth having as a option. A large number of folks I know find Auro the best for upsampling of 2ch sources.

Thanks for the info. The firmware upgrade must have come down in price from when I purchased my AVR.

I rarely upsample 2ch and only have one disc that supports Auro so still pretty pricey.
 

temporaryhuman

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... and breath...

Here's an actual review of this Atmos album... I'd wager why most would come here.

I'm a dance music fan. I really like electronic music, to the extent that my tastes are quite rarefied. So there's a lot of dance music I don't like and whole sub-genres that I despise. I start with this declaration because on the first listen I didn't care for this music much at all. It was way too safe for me, too commercial, without bite; not enough soul, not enough electronic glitches or fractured beats to rough up its edges.

However I liked the mix a great deal. The Atmos side of it isn't particularly aggressive, but it does a much to spatialise the sound pushing it out and up in the room - I have a tall ceiling, the Atmos present here gives my living room a cathedral-like openness I can revel in. When I concentrate on that feeling, I find I could loose myself to the space somewhat - even when the mix makes bizarre choices, like channeling the seagulls in track 7 through non-height speakers. Aside from the heights, the general use of surrounds is also quite strong. The call and response between channels is fairly constant, pulsating and open. The listener is always spatially aware of the expansiveness of the soundscape - it's like dancing without moving, in so much as the music is doing the moving for the listener.

So the mix pushes up and out, which I like in the context of dance music. It cradles and supports movement of the body in space - which is what dance music, at base, should do. The exultations - the glissandos and drops - could be more pronounced in my view, but the mix here gives them due space at least. Additionally, the moment the filter (a completely overused DJ hack) floats up and down the room at the end of track 10 kinda reinvents the device for me. It shimmers and flexes like one might by sat right over the twisting of a knob - the very action it is on an Allen & Heath.

So, though not my cup of tea especially, I've still listened to the album 3 or 4 times, in the last 10 days. And so far I'm not tired of the mix at all - even if I crave more edge in actual music itself. The final tracks on the album get better - largely by eschewing vocals and just concentrating on bouncing about the room. I still wouldn't dance to this music - either at home or in a club - but its listenable enough and gives my speakers a work out, even without my movement.

Music: 5.5-6
Atmos mix: 9

The final vote given above accents the mix over the music because that's what is driving me to listen.

I feel this album needs a few more vocal melodies. The mix is great.

I am jeaolus of your tall ceiling! That is the most important aspect of getting good bass. 8ft ceilings= terrible low end.
 

MagnumX

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I feel this album needs a few more vocal melodies. The mix is great.

I am jeaolus of your tall ceiling! That is the most important aspect of getting good bass. 8ft ceilings= terrible low end.

Try room correction. I have 8.5' foot ceilings. I get +/- 2.5dB with most of it within 0.5dB from 20Hz up.
 

perzon57

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Nice. REW or some more advanced DSP? Do you still use a sub? Dennis Foley says do not bother with subs in 8ft rooms.
Here in Norway 2,4m is the standard room height. I have 3 subs, level matched and calibtated as 1 in my 5.1.4 system. I use DSpeaker bass EQ and Audessey XT32. Also have Tubetraps in every corner and I think it sounds quite OK. :cool:
 
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temporaryhuman

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Here in Norway 2,4m is the standard room height. I have 3 subs, level matched and calibtated as 1 in my 5.1.4 system. I use DSpeaker bass EQ and Audessey 32XT. Also have Tubetraps in every corner and I think it sounds quite OK. :cool:
Viva la Norway! Great, sensible nation. Your set up sounds great. I am learning about acoustics and have recenty realised a large percentage of what we are hearing is actually our rooms.
 

MagnumX

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Nice. REW or some more advanced DSP? Do you still use a sub? Dennis Foley says do not bother with subs in 8ft rooms.

I'm using Audyssey XT32 room correction in the home theater. Yes, I still have a subwoofer (15") there. I don't know who this Dennis Foley is, but he sounds like a nutter to me. You can use a subwoofer in a closet and it will still work fine. My Carver ribbon speakers upstairs have 10" drivers down to 26Hz without a sub. They don't need one for music. That room must be like magic as I get awesome bass response there with no correction on the Carvers and even the ribbon speakers manage +/- 4dB without room correction (bass is slightly elevated) and they're dipolar speakers. I have REW on my Macbook Pro to verify response.

Here's the subwoofer (not bad for a 1990s model). It only drops at the right side because bass is set higher than the rest of the spectrum.

DefTechFreq Response 20to200.jpg



Carver Ribbons full frequency response in the room:

Carver AL-III 1-6 Octave Freq Response.jpg
 

sixandnine

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I feel this album needs a few more vocal melodies. The mix is great.

I am jeaolus of your tall ceiling! That is the most important aspect of getting good bass. 8ft ceilings= terrible low end.

My London ceiling is +3m, with deep set architrave - which I like to think helps un box the room a bit. The house was built circa 1904. They knew how to future proof houses before amplification ;)
 
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