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What is Hi-Fi ?

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Hi-FiOutlaw

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2011
236
0
18,790
John Duncan said:
alchemist 1 said:
John Duncan said:
No, you put forward the view that one should avoid listening to music if it is poorly recorded, because there is plenty of well recorded music to listen to. *That* is trash.

Further, you may try to avoid personal insult, but on many occasions you fail, which upsets the house rule monitor in me.
Your cross to bear.

Were you a prefect at school ?..........:)
Not in the first intake, no, because I dressed like this: The black shirt was contraindicative. They let me in the next year so that it would look good on my UCCA form.
you looked the most normal for the time JD! :)
 

alchemist 1

Well-known member
Mar 28, 2012
85
2
18,545
John Duncan said:
alchemist 1 said:
John Duncan said:
No, you put forward the view that one should avoid listening to music if it is poorly recorded, because there is plenty of well recorded music to listen to. *That* is trash.

Further, you may try to avoid personal insult, but on many occasions you fail, which upsets the house rule monitor in me.
Your cross to bear.

Were you a prefect at school ?..........:)
Not in the first intake, no, because I dressed like this: The black shirt was contraindicative. They let me in the next year so that it would look good on my UCCA form.
A bit of a radical then...........:)

On the subject, I think hi-fi is a transport for our emotions and memories.

Load up, and off you go. ............:) :cry: :dance: :mad: :rockout:
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
0
0
Vladimir said:
Have you noticed that drums in jazz recordings from the 50s and 60s were poorly miked and recorded?
Actually I have not, I have found most to be fairly well recorded, can you give some examples, I had about 50 50/60s jazz cds. Yes modern recordings are often better. If I was to pick instruments that were not so well recorded in jazz it would be the double bass which is often a bit muddled and lost in the background and also piano could be better.
 

Jim-W

New member
Jul 29, 2013
2
0
0
BigH said:
Vladimir said:
Have you noticed that drums in jazz recordings from the 50s and 60s were poorly miked and recorded?
Actually I have not, I have found most to be fairly well recorded, can you give some examples, I had about 50 50/60s jazz cds. Yes modern recordings are often better. If I was to pick instruments that were not so well recorded in jazz it would be the double bass which is often a bit muddled and lost in the background and also piano could be better.
Piano and bass for me too, although, having said that, there are notable exceptions:Bill Evans Trio records on Riverside have very clear piano and bass which demonstrate the tonal range of the instruments. A lack of tonal range is the issue with Blue-Note 50's and 60's recordings; Rudy Van Gelder did a good job with the notoriously difficut to record tenor sax, but he fares less with the piano and bass; piano, especially, sems to lack any sparkle and just plonks away in a dull and muffled kind of way. Horace Silver Blue-Notes maybe an exception. On the great Coltane quartet records, Jimmy Garrison's bass seems to go missing or is recorded/ mixed far too low; McCoy Tyner's piano is ok but lacks a real suggestion of dynamic range.Despite these gripes, I'm often surprised at how good most of this stuff sounds, given that it's 60 or so years old.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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Well first example that springs to mind is how badly recorded Elvin Jones is. Other players in the group, John Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, McCoy Tyner, all have decent sound. Sounds like its jus one mic for the whole drum set and there is clipping on the recordings when he goes balistic (he is a very energetic player).

Compare that to Billy Cobham - Shabazz (1974).
 

Jim-W

New member
Jul 29, 2013
2
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Vladimir said:
Well first example that springs to mind is how badly recorded Elvin Jones is. Other players in the group, John Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, McCoy Tyner, all have decent sound. Sounds like its jus one mic for the whole drum set and there is clipping on the recordings when he goes balistic (he is a very energetic player).
'when he goes balistic' Ha! The only drummer who could keep pace with, and even challenge, Trane. Yes, there is some clipping and his cymbals certainly suffer. Decent sound for the others? Certainly for Trane and Tyner but I still think Jimmy Garrison's bass is muted. The bass solo section at the beginning of Side 2 of 'A love Supreme' always seems to lack real definition to me, but maybe the cd is better. On the subject of Coltrane, 'Giant Steps' is well-recorded. I could listen to Coltrane on a dansette and still feel that power.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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Jim-W said:
'when he goes balistic' Ha! The only drummer who could keep pace with, and even challenge, Trane. Yes, there is some clipping and his cymbals certainly suffer. Decent sound for the others? Certainly for Trane and Tyner but I still think Jimmy Garrison's bass is muted. The bass solo section at the beginning of Side 2 of 'A love Supreme' always seems to lack real definition to me, but maybe the cd is better. On the subject of Coltrane, 'Giant Steps' is well-recorded. I could listen to Coltrane on a dansette and still feel that power.
Dearly Beloved on Sun Ship... its WARP 9. It is beyond this world, beyond comprehension how powerfull that song's head is.
 

Jim-W

New member
Jul 29, 2013
2
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Vladimir said:
Jim-W said:
'when he goes balistic' Ha! The only drummer who could keep pace with, and even challenge, Trane. Yes, there is some clipping and his cymbals certainly suffer. Decent sound for the others? Certainly for Trane and Tyner but I still think Jimmy Garrison's bass is muted. The bass solo section at the beginning of Side 2 of 'A love Supreme' always seems to lack real definition to me, but maybe the cd is better. On the subject of Coltrane, 'Giant Steps' is well-recorded. I could listen to Coltrane on a dansette and still feel that power.
Dearly Beloved on Sun Ship... its WARP 9. It is beyond this world, beyond comprehension how powerfull that song's head is.
Coltrane wailing over a wash of cymbals and piano...the most beautiful sound in the world...or out of it. 'First Meditations For Quartet' is unbelievable as is 'Stellar Regions.' Warp 9 as you say.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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I am not a big fan of John Coltrane (I know, I should probably be shot) so I an not really that familiar with the recordings you mention. I have played the classic quartet recordings a good few times but have never really warmed to them.

In more general terms I think you are being a little severe. The recordings of that period are pretty good given the technology of the day, mixed on the fly with a handful of mics for the whole band, no overdubs or post production 'sweetening' etc.

Recording in this way can also capture the energy and the spontaneity that seems to go missing in more complex recordings, or at least this is what I find.

That said I am very new to jazz and am slowly working out my preferences (be bop mainly, so far anyway). I came to the Rudy van Gelder recordings via Dexter Gordon (IIRC) but agin I feel the strength of those recordings is in the 'feel' rather than any great technical quality.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
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0
Rudy van Gelder has a reputation for not being very good at recording pianos, if you want you can read various jazz forums about it, also as he was getting older it seems his remasters were getting brighter. As for late 50s jazz recordings I find most much better than many 60s/early 70s rock recordings, its surprising how fresh and clear some are. Not a huge Coltrane fan, first early albums upto Love Supreme were fine for me. Don't have many Blue Notes either, Cannonball Alderley Somethi' Else and 2 Dexter Gordons, most of my cds are OJC.

As for miking drum kits, even John Bonham's you only need 4 mikes: http://therecordingrevolution.com/2011/01/10/the-glyn-johns-drum-recording-method/
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
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BigH said:
Rudy van Gelder has a reputation for not being very good at recording pianos, if you want you can read various jazz forums about it, also as he was getting older it seems his remasters were getting brighter. As for late 50s jazz recordings I find most much better than many 60s/early 70s rock recordings, its surprising how fresh and clear some are. Not a huge Coltrane fan, first early albums upto Love Supreme were fine for me. Don't have many Blue Notes either, Cannonball Alderley Somethi' Else and 2 Dexter Gordons, most of my cds are OJC.

As for miking drum kits, even John Bonham's you only need 4 mikes: http://therecordingrevolution.com/2011/01/10/the-glyn-johns-drum-recording-method/
I agree about the general quality of 60s and 70s recordings, given the technology available at the time I think they are pretty damn good. I can handle some of the obvious limitations far more easily than the overprocessed pap of a lot of modern recordings.

I feel that a lot of the 'freshness' you speak of comes from the relative simplicity or the recordings and the spontananiety of the playing, getting it down in just one or two takes is important I think.

The Glyn Johns 'method' was indeed simple but I feel relied on decent acoustics, I was privy to a conversation between my boss (at the time) and Eddie Kramer, whose miking technique was highly regarded (same sort of era).

He told stories of bands coming into Electric Lady looking for that elusive drum sound, even trying to copy the mic positioning from some photos of the Hendrix sessions.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
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davedotco said:
I feel that a lot of the 'freshness' you speak of comes from the relative simplicity or the recordings and the spontananiety of the playing, getting it down in just one or two takes is important I think.
Yes I think you are right, most jazz albums were recorded live, with just 1 or 2 takes and no or very little practice. Art Pepper did not even know about the recording until the morning of it and did not know any of the material that was to become his best regarded album (Meets the Rythem Section).
 

Jim-W

New member
Jul 29, 2013
2
0
0
:rofl:
davedotco said:
BigH said:
Rudy van Gelder has a reputation for not being very good at recording pianos, if you want you can read various jazz forums about it, also as he was getting older it seems his remasters were getting brighter. As for late 50s jazz recordings I find most much better than many 60s/early 70s rock recordings, its surprising how fresh and clear some are. Not a huge Coltrane fan, first early albums upto Love Supreme were fine for me. Don't have many Blue Notes either, Cannonball Alderley Somethi' Else and 2 Dexter Gordons, most of my cds are OJC.

As for miking drum kits, even John Bonham's you only need 4 mikes: http://therecordingrevolution.com/2011/01/10/the-glyn-johns-drum-recording-method/
I agree about the general quality of 60s and 70s recordings, given the technology available at the time I think they are pretty damn good. I can handle some of the obvious limitations far more easily than the overprocessed pap of a lot of modern recordings.

I feel that a lot of the 'freshness' you speak of comes from the relative simplicity or the recordings and the spontananiety of the playing, getting it down in just one or two takes is important I think.

The Glyn Johns 'method' was indeed simple but I feel relied on decent acoustics, I was privy to a conversation between my boss (at the time) and Eddie Kramer, whose miking technique was highly regarded (same sort of era).

He told stories of bands coming into Electric Lady looking for that elusive drum sound, even trying to copy the mic positioning from some photos of the Hendrix sessions.
Funny really, most of the Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer engineered stuff that I had at the time was listened to on a PHILIPS GF813 BSR turntable and ,with its ceramic cartridge and barely adequate mono speaker, they could have used a hundred mics and it would have made absolutely no difference to the crappy sound quality. Still loved records by the Steve Miller Band, Family and The Who though that he produced. 'Electric Ladyland' sounded particularly naff until my old man bought a music centre and then it really exploded off the turntable :rofl: My dad said it was a bloody racket and he was half-right.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
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0
Looking at this topic made me look at my set up - in my opinion its a humble system and no where near as fancy as alot of kit listed in some members footnote..... all components bought new total cost over 2000pounds. The speakers being the most expensive component.

The amp is an old AV amp and so would not be considered HiFi, but it sounds 'high fidelity'.... its subjective though, maybe personal but I enjoy it and those who I have had the pleasure to bore with demonstrations tend to agree it sounds hifi

High Fidelity is what it says it is - getting the most detail, dynamics...... etc a system that can rock and sooth you in equal measure. I was lucky my system works well.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
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0
those jazz albums you guys are talking about are they on vinyl or CD - I have some Coltrane, Davis & Armstrong on cd I actually find they work really well when played via a DSP mode 'Hall', 'Club' it really seperates the players and offers a geniune depth well outside the speakers - with non of the issues you guys are seaking of.
 

Jim-W

New member
Jul 29, 2013
2
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0
Thompsonuxb said:
those jazz albums you guys are talking about are they on vinyl or CD - I have some Coltrane, Davis & Armstrong on cd I actually find they work really well when played via a DSP mode 'Hall', 'Club' it really seperates the players and offers a geniune depth well outside the speakers - with non of the issues you guys are seaking of.
I've got them on vinyl but some Coltrane on cd. The Coltrane cd's certainly sound good but I prefer the records. Miles is always good whatever the format. Your system sounds as if it works well and, unlike most of us, you're happy with it. I prefer music to hifi, no contest.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
0
0
Thompsonuxb said:
those jazz albums you guys are talking about are they on vinyl or CD - I have some Coltrane, Davis & Armstrong on cd I actually find they work really well when played via a DSP mode 'Hall', 'Club' it really seperates the players and offers a geniune depth well outside the speakers - with non of the issues you guys are seaking of.
MIne are all cds, as I got into Jazz after I stopped buying vinyl.
 

mikeparker59

New member
Apr 6, 2010
4
1
0
[/quote]

I feel that a lot of the 'freshness' you speak of comes from the relative simplicity or the recordings and the spontananiety of the playing, getting it down in just one or two takes is important I think.

[/quote]

I think that's why I prefer unplugged or acoustic versions of a lot of material.

E.G Seal Best of 1991-2004 I have the two disc set and much prefer the disc with the acoustic versions. I also have Matt Cardle's Letters album, the deluxe version or whatever it's called that has a number of acoustic versions that I find far more enjoyable to listen to than the overengineered versions.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
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0
if you guys can, check out Lee Morgan 'The Sidewinder' if you have not already its 'groovy' but really nicely recorded.... old school stereo. (sounds great through the dsp on the amp)

And if your into Horns check out the Ben Williams - State of the Art - 'The Lee Morgan story' the solo by Christian Scott at the end of a pretty insepid rap about Morgan is stunning, turned up ......wow horns jump clear out of the speakers, skip the rap and listen to that solo.
 

Covenanter

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
63
0
18,540
This thread seem to have become sidetracked!


HiFi used to mean "high fidelity", ie a system that aimed to reproduce as closely as possible the original. For me that is what it still means.

However, for the majority of the contributors to this forum and indeed for the magazine itself I think it means something different. That something different is IMO a cross between a fashion statement and a system that sounds "good" even if that "good" isn't actually what the original sounds like.

This is why I have problems with WHiFi reviews. Putting to one side the meaningless language they use, and which they are unwilling to defend, they don't review stuff on the basis of whether it can reproduce the original accurately. I think there are two factors here. Firstly when it come to "popular" music the concept of an "original" is somewhat unclear and indeed many modern recordings are so distorted that they make that almost impossible. Secondly I think that when it comes to classical music, where the idea of "original" has some meaning, I think they generally have no idea what they are talking about. I've not auditioned masses of kit (because I have a life) but I do know what classical (and some popular) music should sound like and I wouldn't depend on WHiFi reviews at all. I'd much more depend on some of the people who post here (and my own ears).

Chris
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
129
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0
Covenanter said:
This thread seem to have become sidetracked!


HiFi used to mean "high fidelity", ie a system that aimed to reproduce as closely as possible the original. For me that is what it still means.

However, for the majority of the contributors to this forum and indeed for the magazine itself I think it means something different. That something different is IMO a cross between a fashion statement and a system that sounds "good" even if that "good" isn't actually what the original sounds like.

This is why I have problems with WHiFi reviews. Putting to one side the meaningless language they use, and which they are unwilling to defend, they don't review stuff on the basis of whether it can reproduce the original accurately. I think there are two factors here. Firstly when it come to "popular" music the concept of an "original" is somewhat unclear and indeed many modern recordings are so distorted that they make that almost impossible. Secondly I think that when it comes to classical music, where the idea of "original" has some meaning, I think they generally have no idea what they are talking about. I've not auditioned masses of kit (because I have a life) but I do know what classical (and some popular) music should sound like and I wouldn't depend on WHiFi reviews at all. I'd much more depend on some of the people who post here (and my own ears).

Chris
Sorry thats piffle..... "can reproduce the original"....prrrft!

as someones already stated a horn in this room may not sound the same in another, so what is real.

HiFi just means defined, to be able to differentiate between a high hat & a triangle a trumpet and a trombone, a bass note and the foot drum if your system can do that then fine, some systems or combinations of equ do it better than others. Some kit adds nuances, ambience, 3dness engineered into recordings better than others - there to add to the enjoyment.

Some of you guys really need to come down to earth, honestly.

I know if yo go to a hall to listen to live music loudly - ear buds make it sound just like your stereo.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
388
197
19,070
The only thing a hi-fi can be accurate to is the recording and as recording is always an imperfect process (to differing extents), accuracy to the sound of the original performance just isn't possible. Even when you achieve accuracy to the recording it can be easily distorted by reflections in the listening space.
 

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