Nearly half of U.S. households use LED bulbs for all or most of their indoor lighting

N8N

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I've heard some remastered CDs where they squashed out a lot of the dynamic range compared to the original disc, apparently in an effort to make the sound seem fuller or louder. It's ironic in a way that this technique is a throwback to the days of vinyl mastering, where you had to limit dynamic range to keep the stylus from jumping out of the groove.

That seems to be a modern thing and platform agnostic. I do hate the "loudness war" type of mastering on any medium. I agree there is no excuse for it; for use in a noisy environment like a car or in a bedroom late at night when a partner may be sleeping, dynamic range can be compressed by DSP by one's gear easily, there is no need to bake it into the recording and deprive those who want to listen more critically.
 
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While there is a significant subset of audiophiles that do buy some serious snake oil, I guarantee you that just plain old good original pressings from the heyday of vinyl - 60s through early 90s - played on my Technics SL1200 Mk2 (AKA "ones and twos" AKA a turntable that many audiophiles look down their noses at as a "DJ table") with vintage Audio Technica cartridge and JICO Shibata stylus will compare quite favorably to your streams, unless you are streaming at CD quality or better (that is, Qobuz or Tidal in the US, not Spotify). My circa 1963 HH Scott receiver with 7591 outputs would also like a word.

I'm not pooh poohing streaming - I have a Qobuz subscription and love it. However, some time after the CD era we lost our way and are only coming back to the quality of CDs today (however, I'm shameless, and whenever I have some time to kill after work, root through both the CD and LP bins at Value Village to flesh out my collection. We're finally getting to the point though that save for some rarities, most of my collection can actually be streamed through Qobuz, so now it's more of an affectation than a necessity as it was say 10 years ago.)
Tidal, Quboz, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD are all CD or better. Of course even 320KPBS MP3 has far lower distortion and better dynamic range than vinyl.

Vinyl is analog signal processing, a coupling of out of phase cross-talk, distortion, almost almost a non-flat frequency response, and higher noise floor compared to its digital counterpart. The crosstalk alone means it can never be considered technically accurate.
 

N8N

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Tidal, Quboz, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD are all CD or better. Of course even 320KPBS MP3 has far lower distortion and better dynamic range than vinyl.

Vinyl is analog signal processing, a coupling of out of phase cross-talk, distortion, almost almost a non-flat frequency response, and higher noise floor compared to its digital counterpart. The crosstalk alone means it can never be considered technically accurate.

I'm not going to argue that 44.1/16 or better digital files, CD, SACD, DVD-A, etc. are inferior to vinyl, because they're not. However, a well set up turntable with a good cartridge played through a good preamp can easily approach CD quality sound. A lot of negative impressions of vinyl come from ones that have a lot of tar and dirt stuck in the grooves, possible scratches, being played on turntables with bad cartridge alignment and worn styli. My own gear is neither esoteric nor super expensive, most of the cost is in the turntable itself and then my ultrasonic cleaning setup (which is absolutely fantastic, especially when you're buying old, used vinyl.)
 
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I'm not going to argue that 44.1/16 or better digital files, CD, SACD, DVD-A, etc. are inferior to vinyl, because they're not. However, a well set up turntable with a good cartridge played through a good preamp can easily approach CD quality sound. A lot of negative impressions of vinyl come from ones that have a lot of tar and dirt stuck in the grooves, possible scratches, being played on turntables with bad cartridge alignment and worn styli. My own gear is neither esoteric nor super expensive, most of the cost is in the turntable itself and then my ultrasonic cleaning setup (which is absolutely fantastic, especially when you're buying old, used vinyl.)

I have an ultrasonic cleaner as well. Absolutely essential. The importance of the phono pre-amp is IMHO greatly over rated. What is not over rated is matching of the pre-loading to the cartridge. Cartridge setup is also very important and most do a poor job. My turntable gets used almost never. Needle drop into the DAC, then digital every play after that.
 

N8N

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I have an ultrasonic cleaner as well. Absolutely essential. The importance of the phono pre-amp is IMHO greatly over rated. What is not over rated is matching of the pre-loading to the cartridge. Cartridge setup is also very important and most do a poor job. My turntable gets used almost never. Needle drop into the DAC, then digital every play after that.

Eh, it's kind of like cables. Most are decent enough, but a bad one sounds bad, if that makes any sense. I was never happy with TT sound until I ditched a cheap TEC phono pre (that I'd bought years ago to just hook up a turntable to an AVR before I got real serious), while a used Acurus P10 (that I purchased after finding an Acurus integrated in a thrift store - yes really) wasn't super expensive in the grand scheme of things but makes a world of difference. Of course back in the 60s and 70s most receivers had a phono stage that was at least "good" built right in.

Your approach is a modernized version of what more serious guys did back in the day... clean their LPs well, record them at 7.5 IPS, then archive the LPs indefinitely.
 
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Eh, it's kind of like cables. Most are decent enough, but a bad one sounds bad, if that makes any sense. I was never happy with TT sound until I ditched a cheap TEC phono pre (that I'd bought years ago to just hook up a turntable to an AVR before I got real serious), while a used Acurus P10 (that I purchased after finding an Acurus integrated in a thrift store - yes really) wasn't super expensive in the grand scheme of things but makes a world of difference. Of course back in the 60s and 70s most receivers had a phono stage that was at least "good" built right in.

Your approach is a modernized version of what more serious guys did back in the day... clean their LPs well, record them at 7.5 IPS, then archive the LPs indefinitely.

Let's not go down that cable path. 99.9% of what is discussed with cables in audio is pure fantasy. There are some really poorly designed speaker cables that have a sound due to high resistance. Some interconnects may be more susceptible to EMI, but have 0 "sound". The only cable in a system that reliably can make a difference is a MM phono cable. The capacitance can significantly affect the frequency response.
 

N8N

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Let's not go down that cable path. 99.9% of what is discussed with cables in audio is pure fantasy. There are some really poorly designed speaker cables that have a sound due to high resistance. Some interconnects may be more susceptible to EMI, but have 0 "sound". The only cable in a system that reliably can make a difference is a MM phono cable. The capacitance can significantly affect the frequency response.

I think we agree more than not. If you're running a quad rig and trying to decode CD-4 cables are absolutely critical. Most places, though, pretty much anything of good quality will work. I have gone down a vintage rabbit hole so I find myself making up a lot of my own cables with Switchcraft ends because the jacks are close together on some 60s gear. When I do most of them end up being 18" or 24" my theory being that a shorter, good quality cable (I usually use Mogami dual mini coax, I forget the part number) will affect the sound less than a 36" super high end cable. It's just physics... the properties of a cable are dependent on length (resistance, capacitance, and inductance) with possibly some small contribution from the ends. So, just make them as long as they need to be to minimize the effects.

As far as BAD cables go, the only one I can really think of that I've had was some good looking yellow jacketed stuff that I found a whole pile of at goodwill. Bought a couple to try because what the heck. Was tracking down some weird interference that sounded a lot like if you remember the noise your computer speakers would make when you were about to get a call on your cell phone, circa 1999. Discovered big honkin' gaps in the shield braid of this nice looking but obviously NFG interconnect. Still didn't 100% get rid of the noise though, I had to line the wood case of my receiver (at the time, Luxman R-1120) with metal foil tape around the phono stage. Turned out, my WiFi router was in the same room as the stereo, and it was picking up interference from that. There was actually some metal foil in the case but not where it needed to be, although it's hard to fault Luxman engineers for not anticipating a wireless device that wasn't invented for a couple decades. Never had a problem with any unit that had a metal case however (obviously)
 
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A thick shield can be beneficial not just for the EMI rejection, but for just providing a low resistance ground path to reduce ground loops both at line rate, and from switching supplies and noise. I would even say the latter is more important. There may been some crazy speaker cables out there through either incompetence of intention that have enough resistance (and maybe the odd inductive one), that there will be a noticeable change the frequency response.
 

PhotonMaster3

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& they won't even know what they're missing.

Even sadder is that they'll probably eventually ban the sale of incandescent household bulbs altogether. Its nice to have the choice. I like my halogens.
So true, my friend. I only use incandescent myself
 

N8N

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A thick shield can be beneficial not just for the EMI rejection, but for just providing a low resistance ground path to reduce ground loops both at line rate, and from switching supplies and noise. I would even say the latter is more important. There may been some crazy speaker cables out there through either incompetence of intention that have enough resistance (and maybe the odd inductive one), that there will be a noticeable change the frequency response.

Only example that springs to mind is Polk Audio Cobra Cable which in an attempt to reduce inductance, had enough capacitance that it could cause some amplifiers to oscillate which obviously is bad... on the subject of cables I tend to defer to the late Roger Russell, his web page is still up and I agree with a lot of his thoughts.
 
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Only example that springs to mind is Polk Audio Cobra Cable which in an attempt to reduce inductance, had enough capacitance that it could cause some amplifiers to oscillate which obviously is bad... on the subject of cables I tend to defer to the late Roger Russell, his web page is still up and I agree with a lot of his thoughts.

It was not just the cable, but the amplifiers hooked up. More esoteric amps may not have had required output filtering to ensure they did not oscillate into capacitive loads. Spec games with stupid large bandwidths essentially. Naim supposedly still does. There is a guy making flat cables with crazy alloys that impressed the audio nobs, but all he has done is made an expensive resistive cable (ohms from that I have read). Someone spaced the conductors in another far enough apart that the inductance would start to impact high frequencies.
 

wws944

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Only example that springs to mind is Polk Audio Cobra Cable which in an attempt to reduce inductance, had enough capacitance that it could cause some amplifiers to oscillate which obviously is bad... on the subject of cables I tend to defer to the late Roger Russell, his web page is still up and I agree with a lot of his thoughts.

Roger passed away! Oh no!

I've had a pair of his ML-1Cs since the 1970s. Emailed him some years ago about repairing the foam surrounds on the 8" and 12" drivers, and he was quite generous with his feedback and advice. He will be missed.
 

angerdan

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An entire generation will be raised knowing only 80 CRI indoor lighting
Since April 22 2012 there's a cheap and high CRI93 bulb available - exclusive in the U.S.:


 

LEDphile

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Since April 22 2012 there's a cheap and high CRI93 bulb available - exclusive in the U.S.:
The L-prize lamps were never cheap (retail on them was almost $50 IIRC), and didn't stay on the market much past 2013. Since then, most of the focus was on getting cost down, although cost bottomed out a few years back and performance is creeping back up. It's only been in the past few years that the efficacy penalty for 90+ CRI has been small enough for the shift from 80+ CRI products to 90+ CRI products to make sense.
 

angerdan

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There
The L-prize lamps were never cheap
Maybe they have been on sale in 2013 and got cheap then ($15).
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And cheap alternatives had been available from 2014:
 

idleprocess

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Got some 90CRI 5000K Cree bulbs for the office last year and there was a distinct increase in pop as well as perceived brightness vs their predacessors - the original Cree bulb.

The L-prize lamps were never cheap (retail on them was almost $50 IIRC), and didn't stay on the market much past 2013. Since then, most of the focus was on getting cost down, although cost bottomed out a few years back and performance is creeping back up. It's only been in the past few years that the efficacy penalty for 90+ CRI has been small enough for the shift from 80+ CRI products to 90+ CRI products to make sense.
I got the original alien head Philips - which bore a strong resemblance to the L-Prize bulb - circa 2011 and it was a pricey beast at $40 a hit. Took it out of service because I really don't care for 2700K - it's sitting on a shelf somewhere.
 

PhotonWrangler

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Got some 90CRI 5000K Cree bulbs for the office last year and there was a distinct increase in pop as well as perceived brightness vs their predacessors - the original Cree bulb.


I got the original alien head Philips - which bore a strong resemblance to the L-Prize bulb - circa 2011 and it was a pricey beast at $40 a hit. Took it out of service because I really don't care for 2700K - it's sitting on a shelf somewhere.
I ppopped one of the lenses out of an alien head Philips bulb just to see how many LEDs were behind it and how bright they were. They are crazy bright.
 

PhotonWrangler

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Those remote phosphor panels surely contributed to the high price.
I'm sure it did/ They were overengineered, probably because household LEDs didn't have a track record yet and they didn't know how long the phosphor would hold up under direct thermal contact with the LEDs. Remote phosphor design seemed like a good idea considering.
 
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