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A strange experiance . . .

CJSF

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Mmm . . . Due to TV iPlayer buffering problems, I have had to have my Virgin broad band upgraded to 30mgs, it was already 20mgs. No doubt you saw Watchdog the other night re the various Virgin adverts?

Anyhow, they offered to do the upgrade for free. To get 30mgs I would have to upgrade to a 'Hub' . . . instead of my 3 year old standard hard wired modem??? The Hub it turns out is hard wired to the computer but then has various whiz-bangs and whistles that I could make use of . . . I really dont understand these, but one day I might get someone to explain 'how and why' :roll:

Mr Virgin man left . . . All seemed to be working, so I put the Archers on via BBC iPlayer as we do and listen over lunch.

As I say a strange experience, the spoken voice was so much sharper and real, image placement was wide and tight!!! This is only the Archers, Hazel noticed as well. Lunch over, straight on to Spotify, various favourites exhibited the same tight, wide, deep imaging . . . However musically I was not so sure???, sharp and bright almost edgy . . . "I dont know if I like this?" says I to Hazel.

I left Spotify playing, swapping around from album to album and track to track most of the afternoon.

Here we are, 3 hours on. The edge has gone, leaving detail, the old warmth and the super image . . .

I thought SS digital was not supposed to run in? I wonder how things are going to go over the next few hours?

If you had have told me the sound would change, I would have questioned the statement, both before and after?

A strange experiance, any explanations, views or coments . . . ????????????

CJSF
 

drummerman

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If I'd have to hazard a guess ... you just got used to it after the initial excitement.

regards
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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CJSF said:
This is only the Archers...
"...only the Archers" !!

That's fighting talk on a Sunday morning in this house! (My wife has always been an avid listener and loves the Sunday morning omnibus edition.)

Anyhoo, 'The Archers' (like any decently recorded BBC drama) is a good reference when gauging audio quality. I know exactly how it sounds in 128K AAC (wired and via AirPlay), FM and DAB (on the M-CR603's tuner and Vita R1 Deluxe in kitchen and Pure Evoke Flow in bedroom) and via Freeview --> M-CR603's DAC from TV and from Humax recordings and from BBC iPlayer on almost everything (excluding the fridge).

Historically speaking, I have heard it regularly on everything from a radiogram in medium wave on the 'Home Service' (when I was a kid) to a Naim NAT05 tuner (and half a dozen other tuners in the past) and 25 year's worth of various Roberts Classic portables (my favourite portables before the Vita Audio R1 Deluxe came along.)
 

Macspur

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May 3, 2010
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CJSF said:
Mmm . . . Due to TV iPlayer buffering problems, I have had to have my Virgin broad band upgraded to 30mgs, it was already 20mgs. No doubt you saw Watchdog the other night re the various Virgin adverts? Anyhow, they offered to do the upgrade for free. To get 30mgs I would have to upgrade to a 'Hub' . . . instead of my 3 year old standard hard wired modem??? The Hub it turns out is hard wired to the computer but then has various whiz-bangs and whistles that I could make use of . . . I really dont understand these, but one day I might get someone to explain 'how and why' :roll: Mr Virgin man left . . . All seemed to be working, so I put the Archers on via BBC iPlayer as we do and listen over lunch. As I say a strange experience, the spoken voice was so much sharper and real, image placement was wide and tight!!! This is only the Archers, Hazel noticed as well. Lunch over, straight on to Spotify, various favourites exhibited the same tight, wide, deep imaging . . . However musically I was not so sure???, sharp and bright almost edgy . . . "I dont know if I like this?" says I to Hazel. I left Spotify playing, swapping around from album to album and track to track most of the afternoon. Here we are, 3 hours on. The edge has gone, leaving detail, the old warmth and the super image . . . I thought SS digital was not supposed to run in? I wonder how things are going to go over the next few hours? If you had have told me the sound would change, I would have questioned the statement, both before and after? A strange experiance, any explanations, views or coments . . . ???????????? CJSF
The big questions are... will Falon take the job at Jacks and are Emma and Ed on the rocks?

Mac
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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CJSF said:
As I say a strange experience, the spoken voice was so much sharper and real, image placement was wide and tight!!! This is only the Archers, Hazel noticed as well. Lunch over, straight on to Spotify, various favourites exhibited the same tight, wide, deep imaging . . . However musically I was not so sure???, sharp and bright almost edgy . . .
Are you sure that the change in sound isn't just your imagination? Or maybe something else in your system might have changed?

The only reason that I say this is because you should still be receiving the exact same packets of digital data that you were before so nothing should have changed. The only difference should be that you'd get fewer dropouts because the old router didn't have the necessary bandwidth to keep up with the amount of data that you needed. But not having enough bandwidth wouldn't effect the sound quality in any way, it would just cause dropouts.

EDIT - Unless I'm missing something here? I'm not aware if the iPlayer's able to automatically detect your bandwidth and change the bit-rate of the compressed audio data that it sends without you realizing. :?
 

BenLaw

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Nov 21, 2010
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steve_1979 said:
CJSF said:
As I say a strange experience, the spoken voice was so much sharper and real, image placement was wide and tight!!! This is only the Archers, Hazel noticed as well. Lunch over, straight on to Spotify, various favourites exhibited the same tight, wide, deep imaging . . . However musically I was not so sure???, sharp and bright almost edgy . . .
Are you sure that the change in sound isn't just your imagination? Or maybe something else in your system might have changed?

The only reason that I say this is because you should still be receiving the exact same packets of digital data that you were before so nothing should have changed. The only difference should be that you'd get fewer dropouts because the old router didn't have the necessary bandwidth to keep up with the amount of data that you needed. But not having enough bandwidth wouldn't effect the sound quality in any way, it would just cause dropouts.

EDIT - Unless I'm missing something here? I'm not aware if the iPlayer's able to automatically detect your bandwidth and change the bit-rate of the compressed audio data that it sends without you realizing. :?
You're not missing anything, as CJ says it happens with spotify also. So either something else has changed or he is imagining it, but either way he's happy :)
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Maybe the knowledge that your music (or The Archers or whatever) isn't suddenly going to stall at any random moment - a regular pre-upgrade event according to CJ - means finally being able to relax and enjoy without annoying distraction (or anticipation of the next glitch).

Lack of annoying distraction (constant buffering) enables one to concentrate and engage with the material rather than the failings of transmission.

I'd be suprised if it didn't sound better.
 

CJSF

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I'm with you all . . . did I, am I, imagining it??? I'm not one to get excited over 'differences', I was not getting excited, I simply went in and tried to understand what was going on, hens the question, digital should not change? . . . we are told.

OK, so everything was switched on right through to the end of 'Horlicks hour' . . . The presentation did ease, however, the web sound is different, there is a clearer, lighter tone to the musical voicing. I made mention in another thread, the Star Trek version of Pachellbel Cannon, how I 'thought' there was base information that would be good on a big system, I got an idea what was there but could not be sure. The inner workings of that track are now totally accessible to me . . . ? BBC Radio voice is crystal clear, voice image is 'pin sharp'.

As I say, "what is going on"? My system, although very simple, is sensitive to showing change, this was evident last year when I was down to 'tickling' the TT, it was also evident I had not lost my ear to hear these small change.

What I have not done yet is compare vinyl with what Spotify is now presenting . . . ? Do some comparisons over this weekend . . .

CJS
 

CnoEvil

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CJSF said:
I'm with you all . . . did I, am I, imagining it??? I'm not one to get excited over 'differences', I was not getting excited, I simply went in and tried to understand what was going on, hens the question, digital should not change? . . . we are told.
IMO You have spent most of your adult life around Hifi, listening to, and discerning subtle differences, to be totally fooled by what you are hearing.

I believe there has been a change, but not sure what caused it.
 

CJSF

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CnoEvil said:
CJSF said:
I'm with you all . . . did I, am I, imagining it??? I'm not one to get excited over 'differences', I was not getting excited, I simply went in and tried to understand what was going on, hens the question, digital should not change? . . . we are told.
IMO You have spent most of your adult life around Hifi, listening to, and discerning subtle differences, to be totally fooled by what you are hearing.

I believe there has been a change, but not sure what caused it.
Thats about it CnoEvil, I have been around hifi long enough . . . but this one . . . I dont have a clue, there is a change but we are dealing here in digital . . . its not tangable???? :wall:

I will do some more listening, I have duplicates in; vinyl, CD and Spotify, see if I can find a peg to hang something on???

CJSF
 

CJSF

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OK, people are laugh, point the finger . . . they are entitled to their opinion, but I know what I hear, 'I trust my ears'.

So with this trust, I sat and listened, I have to find a peg to hang this one on!!!

. . . The peg is 'laziness' on my part and forgetfulness on the part of others? . . .

I have not listened to vinyl for a few months, one was slipping into accepting the Spotify presentation as the norm, which in my system has always been acceptably good. However, the change that the new hub imparted was a shock, this cant be, 'digital does not change' . . . believe me it does!

Tight, crisp, detail, it even crossed my mind that it might be better than vinyl . . . :doh: !

So, taking a couple of very well known and loved tracks that I had on CD and vinyl as well as in my favourites on Spotify, plus an album that I did not know well. Therefore one had no preconceived ideas, although it was from my 1980's collection of audiophile recordings, a safe bet on quality.

Listening head firmly screwed on . . . I spent a few minutes jumping about in Spotify, then the old audiophile vinyl, followed by the well know LP and finally the CD of said well known and loved LP. As I say, 'listening head' on, if you cant spot the difference in the first 30 seconds to a minuet, there is not enough difference to worry about. After that initial listen, one can dig deeper if necessary, I dug deeper.

Spotify (digital) had crisped up with more detail, so it had swapped the original less detailed, warmer sound, for the cooler precision of full digital, that it in a nut shell. Re acquainting myself with vinyl . . . one heard detail, warmth, inner almost implicated information that simply did not exist on the digital version. I had forgotten how involving and organic vinyl can be. And finally CD, somewhere between the two I would say.

My Spotify is still very good but the extra crispness and detail imparted by the 'new hub' has moved it towards a 'digital' sound that to me, has a cold uninvolving edge which I believe, because I use valve based amplification, I can live with. It is now evident I was not getting a clean sound from the original Spotify offering, but ‘clean and crisp’ has its trade-offs IMHO. I know there will be the faster quality bit rate issues, but for me its still digital with all that may imply?

The peg of ‘my laziness’ . . . points to others having changed to digital and forgotten just how involving a good vinyl recording can be . . . For the ultimate in detail, maybe digital has it, but for a warm powerful, musical and believable sound . . . give me old technology every time.

Where the spoken human voice is concerned . . . the jury is out on that one, I need to listen to more Archers episodes and a bit of 1950's Journey into Space . . . I think its 10 to 2 in favour at present:) . . . there is hope for the digital medium, I wont stop using Spotify, just dont leave such big gaps between analogue sessions :cheers:

I need to get some more needle time in and keep trusting the ears

CJSF
 

CJSF

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OK, a few days have passed since the new hub was installed and the early audible changes noted. As is the nature of the beast, it has been permanently switched on, with lots of listening on line and needle time for comparison.

I am amazed how the hub has settled, it was noted as; 'sharp and bright almost edgy but liveable with excellent image' . . . the whole thing has become, warm and detailed, thats not treacle warm, just lost the bright edge, retaining the detail and image. Very acceptable in comparison with vinyl, my PC/Spotify listening has taken significant step forward for the good. A subtlety I have noticed develop is in the lower frequencies, they have become more defined with perceived extension of bass?

Where that puts 'digital not changing'? . . . perhaps it is the SS components that have run in, we are always talking about it???? What I do know is that the Digital/Spotify and BBC iPlayer are a pleasure to listen to . . . I recon there is more to this digital computer stuff than meets the eye?

CJSF
 

Xanderzdad

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For fear of ridicule by the self acknowledged oracles hearabouts I have refrained from posting this before but....

I upgraded my PC and fitted a new DVD drive and the rips I am now making are noticeably better sounding than those from my old PC but I am using iTunes with the exact same settings as before.

I am baffled but even my wife has noticed and she didn't know I had changed anything.

Go figure....

(Bear in mind we used to think the earth was flat and at the centre of the universe so we don't know everything!!)
 

CJSF

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Xanderzdad said:
For fear of ridicule by the self acknowledged oracles hearabouts I have refrained from posting this before but....

I upgraded my PC and fitted a new DVD drive and the rips I am now making are noticeably better sounding than those from my old PC but I am using iTunes with the exact same settings as before.

I am baffled but even my wife has noticed and she didn't know I had changed anything.

Go figure....

(Bear in mind we used to think the earth was flat and at the centre of the universe so we don't know everything!!)
I hold with you Xanderzdad, I am a flat earther where vinyl is concerned:doh: . . . the changes I have made and noted are making me think twice??? In the same way as our observations may make digital gurus think before putting us down . . . fact in reality

. . . the earth is flat, I know it is . . . :wall: CJSF
 

BenLaw

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Nov 21, 2010
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Xanderzdad said:
For fear of ridicule by the self acknowledged oracles hearabouts I have refrained from posting this before but....

I upgraded my PC and fitted a new DVD drive and the rips I am now making are noticeably better sounding than those from my old PC but I am using iTunes with the exact same settings as before.

I am baffled but even my wife has noticed and she didn't know I had changed anything.

Go figure....

(Bear in mind we used to think the earth was flat and at the centre of the universe so we don't know everything!!)
Do you have error correction turned on?
 

cheeseboy

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taken from the iplayer faq...

"The BBC iPlayer app automatically detects the best available bandwidth to play the most suitable quality video and audio format. If you are in an area with low Wi-Fi connectivity, the application will detect this and send a lower quality video stream, which can sometimes be audio only. As soon as the application detects you are in an area with better Wi-Fi connectivity, a higher quality video stream is transmitted."

Also worth noting that spotify has 3 different quality levels as well.

so, looks as though your last internet connection (especially if it buffered a lot) was knackered and sites were deafulting to the lowest streaming option, and now they are not.
 

The_Lhc

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Xanderzdad said:
Bear in mind we used to think the earth was flat
You might have done but nobody else did, you can go back to the dawn of civilization on almost every continent and find contemporary scientists showing that the earth is a sphere using a variety of different methods. An ancient greek even made measurements to determine the circumference of the Earth and wasn't that far out.

I do wish people would stop using this a comparison, the only ignorance it demonstrates is their own.
 

Craig M.

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cheeseboy said:
so, looks as though your last internet connection (especially if it buffered a lot) was knackered and sites were deafulting to the lowest streaming option, and now they are not.
Possible reason for an initial change in sound quality, although I don't know if spotify will auto select the bit rate based on available bandwidth. CJ, the data you are getting through your router has not changed since it was plugged in due to warming up or burning in or any such thing. Instead you should look at it as confirmation that humans are fallible and your ears are most certainly not to be relied on in this instance. If the sound you are getting through iplayer and spotify were to change in this manner, you could also expect to find that typing bbc iplayer into Google would take you to Tescos instead!
 

CJSF

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The_Lhc said:
Xanderzdad said:
Bear in mind we used to think the earth was flat
You might have done but nobody else did, you can go back to the dawn of civilization on almost every continent and find contemporary scientists showing that the earth is a sphere using a variety of different methods. An ancient greek even made measurements to determine the circumference of the Earth and wasn't that far out.

I do wish people would stop using this a comparison, the only ignorance it demonstrates is their own.
Afraid you are at it again The_Lhc . . . the earth was considered flat by many seafarers . . . a long time ago. There was a program on TV last night, in eighteen hundred and something, a scientist put forward that everything is made of atoms, no one believed him . . . we dont even question it these days . . . and then there is evolution, the earth is only 10,000 years old, they said . . . need I go on?

People often see things long before science and gurus proves the point. Been there myself, heavy or loaded stands dont work . . . they said . . . its the norm to recommend filling as an option these days, you can even buy 'wiz-bag proper filling' made for the job (of parting you from your cash) . 8)

Just my humble opinion of course . . . CJSF
 

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