Idea: The ultimate CD/DVD auditing tool

Tim May timcmay at
Tue Jul 8 16:59:42 PDT 2003

On Tuesday, July 8, 2003, at 04:09  PM, Major Variola (ret) wrote:

> At 03:14 PM 7/8/03 -0700, Tim May wrote:
>> As for hearing heterodyning in 28 KHz and 30 KHz signals, maybe. CD
>> players have brickwall filters to of course block such frequencies.
>> Some analog groove-based systems can have some kind of signal up there
>> at those frequencies, but not much.
> Regular vinyl is (was) also recorded with all kinds of filters, too,
> including the lowpass ones.
> If you cut vinyl (or metal) through a signal chain that didn't
> impose the filtering, perhaps the ultrasonics would remain,
> which is perhaps the analogophiles claim.  You would need
> a special vinyl cutter though.  Some of the filtering imposed
> on vinyl was to not fry the cutter, or otherwise deal with its inertia.
> (BTW, I thought your Monster USB cable was a prank.. its not..
> some folks just don't get digital..)

Yes, they are real. I perhaps should have inserted a "this is not a 
joke," but I didn't think to.

When I was the judge in the First Internet Witch Trial, one of the 
examples I used was how believing something doesn't make it so, despite 
what the believers think (though the psychological effects may be 
real). An example being some audiophile nonsense, such as the Tice 
Clock (which is/was also real...some people bought the snake oil about 
how an LED clock plugged in could "soften the harshness of digital." 
With the Tice Clock, with the Monster USB cables, one can examine the 
effects on bit error rates, and even look at timing jitter (a claim 
some manufacturers of snake oil make). For any of us with a remotely 
scientific bent, seeing that the bitstream is unchanged, that the bit 
error rate is unchanged, is pretty convincing evidence that no matter 
what we _think_ we hear, especially in non-double blind listening 
tests, there simply _is_ no difference.

And yet there are people who claim to hear differences between 5 dollar 
digital cables and thousand dollar digital cables, even when the 
bitstreams are identical. (And even if they are not, they are within 
the capture window of the next digital gadget, and hence are for all 
intents and purposes absolutely identical.)

One might as well sell "Monster Cable Power Cords for PCs," claiming 
they make the Pentium 4 "perform more accurately." Actually, I'll bet 
the tweaks are already buying special power cords for their Athlon 
2200+ homebrews.

Most so-called high end tube amps do in fact sound different, perhaps 
"better," perhaps not. This is of course because tubes are usually rich 
in odd-order harmonics. That $4000 Krell tube amp is actually 
_coloring_ the sound. So much for 20-bit DACs in the signal source: the 
amp is altering the sound at about the 6th or 8th or whatever most 
significant bit.

Bob Carver and a few others have "emulated the tube sound" so well with 
DSPs that double-blind tests  using audiophiles cannot tell the 
difference, and where the waveforms look identical.

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