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NY Times.com: The New Audio Geeks

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Julio Di Benedetto:
Interesting read Jim.......the one non myth that really struck me is this quote from the article copied below

"Experiments have shown that people can hear the difference between sources where one is just 0.2dB louder than the other – and a trained mixing engineer can probably do better than that. The effect is one reason why the A&R staff at record labels insist on making masters as loud as possible – a track that sounds louder on the radio will often fare better with audiences."

This fact that music, especially pop music has been made to be as loud as possible has actually destroyed the pleasures of listing to music.  By making the master as loud as can be the music gets distorted, and this is not tape distortion or subtle tube distortion that our ears like. Also by making everything loud the dynamics are severally altered where and instruments that may have been more desecrate in the original mix are know right up front. 

This is less of a concern for the ambient / electronic genres we love here but like most things there is a trickle down effect and with many ambient musicians, who are not mastering engineers, doing there own mastering with software presets designed with a modern approach, care needs to be taken.

So how does this effect the person sitting in front of their $10,000 audiophile system and that person with an iPod and ear buds......perhaps the ipod will not exhibit this problem and the audiophile's microscopic show every audio detail system will hear the nasty truth in all its glory.  I would expect it to be this way. 

As the quote states....."a track that sounds louder on the radio will often fare better with audiences." suggests that people dont care or perhaps to know to care in the first place and that slamming the music at the mastering stage potentially ruins it

mgriffin:
When people tell me they can hear the difference between $10 and $50 cables, I don't doubt them. Likewise, it's not far-fetched to imagine you can hear the difference between a $200 amplifier and one costing $1000.

I wonder about people who claim they can hear huge improvements between $50 cables and $100 cables, though… or $2000 and $4000 amplifiers.

I also think it's funny how many people will assert that power cables, HDMI cables and USB audio cables of different/better quality will result in better sound (or picture) coming from the components connecting them.

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