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Does analog gear really sound "better", or is it just a learned response?
Old 10th September 2019
  #4231
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
It seems clear to me that that story doesn't say anything at all about the luthier in question.
You can compliment an instrument outside the player. In complimenting the instrument, you're complimenting the instrument maker. There's no leap there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Well, for one thing, it's not conclusive just on the basis of that statement that he's full of himself.

I took it as him trying be witty and funny.
Yes that was me trying to be funny, in response to an absurd question.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4232
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Full of himself, apparently.

Again, I'm completely lost as to the point of these beyond obvious statements.
Wrong, the correct answer is "His tone is a little dead."
Old 10th September 2019
  #4233
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
One of my favorite sounding guitars is a $300- Epiphone from the dreaded 70's Norlin era. However the neck is absolute crap.......

You seem to be a fairly well versed guitar player. so you're saying the experienced played actually likes playing a sh*tty guitar, and can play to as high a level on it? Really?.......
Did I say that?

Jeez.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4234
Gear Guru
Read Norbert Putnams book... there's a chapter I believe on Chet from someone who was there..... a guitar player's guitar player and a real gentleman... probably where the Gretsch guitar name came from as a tribute....
Old 10th September 2019
  #4235
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Did I say that?

Jeez.
I'm probably reading more into it.... FWIW. Conflating is contagious!.....
Old 10th September 2019
  #4236
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Well, for one thing, it's not conclusive just on the basis of that statement that he's full of himself.

I took it as him trying be witty and funny.

Just on an aside note, while someone who's known as "Mr Guitar" could easily be full of themselves, Chet always struck me as a very gracious, humble, even shy person, not in any way haughty or self absorbed.
Exactly; I see no need to attribute any smugness to his comment. It's pretty clear that a guitar and a guitar player don't sound like much of anything without each other, so it's likely just a harmless joke.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4237
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
I'm probably reading more into it.... FWIW. Conflating is contagious!.....
You got that right!


Also, I think I'm not in the right frame of mind for this place today, or at least not right now. I think I'll go drink some more coffee and listen to some music.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4238
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfnickster View Post
There was an interesting double blind test done a few years back in which expert violinists couldn't tell which violin they were playing was a Stradivarius...and expressed a preference for the sound of the newer violins over old (1 Strad, 2 Guarneri del Gesu).

https://www.pnas.org/content/109/3/760

I would take the results with a grain of salt, but it does kind of imply that the Strads have an undeserved reputation. Who knows, maybe the one they borrowed was a 'dud'?
The reputation was derived from a cavalcade of the world's best players over several centuries, owning them, playing them and giving effusive praise for them. So much so, that certain instruments becomes famous by who played it, and gets passed onto other famous, notable performers.

I would take all those sorts of blind tests with a grain of salt, not necessarily due the integrity of the tests, but it has no bearing on the community of performers who play them. They don't give a flying F about them.

I don't consider Itzhak Perlman or Yo-Yo Ma fools for choosing to play Strads when newer violins or cello may sound as good if not better. They kinda sound fine as it is.

...there's still conjecture about the Stradivarius sound. For awhile the working theory was that it had to do with a particular varnish that were used, other than the impeccable craftsmanship. But there's been back and forth on that as well.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4239
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
The reputation was derived from a cavalcade of the world's best players over several centuries, owning them, playing them and giving effusive praise for them. So much so, that certain instruments becomes famous by who played it, and gets passed onto other famous, notable performers.

I would take all those sorts of blind tests with a grain of salt, not necessarily due the integrity of the tests, but it has no bearing on the community of performers who play them. They don't give a flying F about them.

I don't consider Itzhak Perlman or Yo-Yo Ma fools for choosing to play Strads when newer violins or cello may sound as good if not better. They kinda sound fine as it is.

...there's still conjecture about the Stradivarius sound. For awhile the working theory was that it had to do with a particular varnish that were used, other than the impeccable craftsmanship. But there's been back and forth on that as well.
Right, but the blind test at least implies that those beautiful sounds may have at least as much to do with the player as with the build quality of the instrument. Does Perlman's Strad sound amazing mostly because Perlman is playing it? I'm not qualified to answer that, but it certainly doesn't mean the instrument maker gets no credit.

The Chet Atkins anecdote covers the same point made earlier about Phil Spector...people tend to underestimate the contribution of the player/engineer to the sound. I definitely disagree that DSoTM would have sounded the same with someone other than Alan Parsons at the desk.

I seem to recall a story a few years back about a chemical analysis of the wood Stradivarius used showing a certain type of fungus may contribute to the sound, but I can't find it.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4240
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
That's just beyond obvious, no? That the guitar needs someone
to play it?

Chet offered a dumb response that missed the point of complimenting
a luthier's craftsmanship in a self centric all-about-me manner. Which
isn't uncommon among artists

I guess Chet's response would seem 'dumb' - to audiophiles!
Old 10th September 2019
  #4241
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfnickster View Post
Right, but the blind test at least implies that those beautiful sounds may have at least as much to do with the player as with the build quality of the instrument. Does Perlman's Strad sound amazing mostly because Perlman is playing it? I'm not qualified to answer that, but it certainly doesn't mean the instrument maker gets no credit.

The Chet Atkins anecdote covers the same point made earlier about Phil Spector...people tend to underestimate the contribution of the player/engineer to the sound. I definitely disagree that DSoTM would have sounded the same with someone other than Alan Parsons at the desk.

I seem to recall a story a few years back about a chemical analysis of the wood Stradivarius used showing a certain type of fungus may contribute to the sound, but I can't find it.
Look no one is saying the player doesn't have everything to do with the performance. The discussion is about how great iconic instruments inspire the performance.

Yeah some say were made with waterlogged wood which could be plausible. Look, no two guitars sound alike and Strads are crazy expensive due to rarity. To do some clickbait test saying they aren't anything special because some cheaper violin "beat" it in a test is really vapid. Sorry, but you have to play and live with an instrument to get it's true worth.

You may also be surprised that professional violinists will have a bunch of different instruments for different pieces. I know a violist who plays with one in the orchestra and has a couple in the safe at home. I really hate these price comparison threads. It's a stupid topic because people aren't stupid and artists certainly use what they feel inspired by.

Saying a piece of gear or an instrument is overrated which you don't play and have never even touched, is completely ignorant..... It certainly is the holy grail for a reason and inspires the greatest out there.....
Old 10th September 2019
  #4242
Lives for gear
OLD GEAR, OLD MEN

I am a bit surprised that Stradivarius violins, over 300 years old, are still playable. So I am surprised too, that people are surprised that new violins sound better than the old.

Music is a special place. Olde is better. That’s a fact.

Let’s go to another place, tennis. Remember Björn Borg’s comeback and his antique wooden racket? What was he thinking?

Old 10th September 2019
  #4243
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by svarthvitt View Post
OLD GEAR, OLD MEN

I am a bit surprised that Stradivarius violins, over 300 years old, are still playable. So I am surprised too, that people are surprised that new violins sound better than the old.

Music is a special place. Olde is better. That’s a fact.

Let’s go to another place, tennis. Remember Björn Borg’s comeback and his antique woode racket? What was he thinking?

Others too:
Quote:
The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 21, 1991:

Despite such criticism, Borg soldiered on with his wood rackets. "I tested other rackets, but I feel at ease with my old one," he said. "Many claim that it's impossible to play tennis with a wooden racket nowadays. I know it's possible." Just do it, as the Nike posters say -- and Borg tried.

Sports Illustrated, May 6, 1991:

Svensson and his fellow players were right. Once Borg's skills were put on public display, polite encouragement from his colleagues became pointed appraisals. Jack Kramer, the 1947 Wimbledon champ, said it would be "miraculous if [Borg] made it back to the top 25." Offered McEnroe: "It's really hard to know what he's thinking or trying to accomplish." Stefan Edberg, then the number-one player in the world, said, simply, "It's very, very sad."

Svensson, who practiced with Borg, was the most generous. "He's still the best player in the world with a wood racket," he said.

https://www.oregonlive.com/tennis/20..._comeback.html
There are cases where gear did matter. For James Jamerson, the great Motown bassist, it was at the same time his signature and his downfall. He was notoriously famous for not changing his flatwound strings, and it did contribute to his famous tone and sound, but after his move to LA, the music changed as well what was becoming a more common studio bass tone, one that was brighter, usually with roundwounds, and that the very old stale strings contributed to intonation problems didn't help either. Nor did his alcoholism, but I digress.

The other great studio bassist around Jamerson's time was Carol Kaye, who didn't really care that much either...whenever she needed to, she supposedly went to the local music store and bought a retail P-Bass off the shelf.

It's a far cry from where bassists are at nowadays, where most of them are anal and persnickety about their equipment.
Old 10th September 2019
  #4244
Gear Maniac
It does sound better... The end!
Old 10th September 2019
  #4245
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Saying a piece of gear or an instrument is overrated which you don't play and have never even touched, is completely ignorant..... It certainly is the holy grail for a reason and inspires the greatest out there.....
As I said, I can't make that call. But at least a few people who do play, and have a wide experience of violins, could not tell the difference. As with the "golden ears" types who troll around here, there may be "golden strings" violinists who would swear to their dying day they could always tell the sound of a Stradivarius... maybe they can?

Add'l:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Look no one is saying the player doesn't have everything to do with the performance. The discussion is about how great iconic instruments inspire the performance.
Well and good, but I was talking about the sound, not the performance, and how much the performer/engineer contribute to that.

I recall a doco about Pink Floyd where the engineer was talking about one of David Gilmour's solos (IIRC it was on "Comfortably Numb") and said he gets asked all the time how he got that sound in the studio. He said something like "all I did was add a little reverb, the rest was all Dave!"

Last edited by mfnickster; 11th September 2019 at 12:43 PM..
Old 10th September 2019
  #4246
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Others too:


There are cases where gear did matter. For James Jamerson, the great Motown bassist, it was at the same time his signature and his downfall. He was notoriously famous for not changing his flatwound strings, and it did contribute to his famous tone and sound, but after his move to LA, the music changed as well what was becoming a more common studio bass tone, one that was brighter, usually with roundwounds, and that the very old stale strings contributed to intonation problems didn't help either. Nor did his alcoholism, but I digress.

The other great studio bassist around Jamerson's time was Carol Kaye, who didn't really care that much either...whenever she needed to, she supposedly went to the local music store and bought a retail P-Bass off the shelf.

It's a far cry from where bassists are at nowadays, where most of them are anal and persnickety about their equipment.
James wanted an acoustic and they were too cheap to buy him one so his bass was a FU gesture and he was able to play around it. He literally didn't care or change the strings and intonation he did by feel, was how I heard it......Amazing player.....
Old 10th September 2019
  #4247
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Others too:


There are cases where gear did matter. For James Jamerson, the great Motown bassist, it was at the same time his signature and his downfall. He was notoriously famous for not changing his flatwound strings, and it did contribute to his famous tone and sound, but after his move to LA, the music changed as well what was becoming a more common studio bass tone, one that was brighter, usually with roundwounds, and that the very old stale strings contributed to intonation problems didn't help either. Nor did his alcoholism, but I digress.

The other great studio bassist around Jamerson's time was Carol Kaye, who didn't really care that much either...whenever she needed to, she supposedly went to the local music store and bought a retail P-Bass off the shelf.

It's a far cry from where bassists are at nowadays, where most of them are anal and persnickety about their equipment.
Thanks for interesting answer.

FWIW, the Borg comeback happened when he was 35 years old, Federer is now 38, Nadal is 33. So the comeback could make sense given his age. If I remember correctly, I think he had to be provided rackets from a private storage because the model was long out of production...

Still, quite interesting this gear thing where feelings play such a big role.

FWIW2: Borg now plays with a modern racket.
Old 11th September 2019
  #4248
Gear Maniac
 
SongJohn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I think these definitions of 'analog' are all over the map and in many cases it seems like some will switch definitions in the middle of a post, if it suits their argument. So one minute it's about capture and storage (tape vs DAW) and the next minute it is about plug-ins vs hardware, if that makes their point better.
I'm actually guilty of this, and wondered about its implications, but the thread title is clearly 'analog gear sound better....' so it's not just a thread about recording equipment, but literally analog equipent period.

But even if it weren't, I'd have a hard time not pairing the good old analog days with analog effects. They just go hand in hand. One of the reasons I've had actually an easier time getting into analog than say digital is because the way the mixer works in an analog set-up. I'm sure I'm a complete fool here, but it hasn't really been demonstrated to me how to hook up a mixer to my laptop. The thing I need in a mixer is effects loop(s), channel inserts, buss inserts, all because I want to run those effects like echoplex, compressors, and the like. All I've ever got to use in a digital sense is a Steinberg 4 channel audio interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post

PS... About that mp3 to mp4 issue -- it's a very good best practice to try to never rip FROM a lossy format into another lossy format, no matter how high the bitrate of either. Always try to use a full quality source for such lossy copies. FLAC and ALAC can be considered lossless for these purposes, as a rule. If you need to grab a copy of lossy audio playback, it IS definitely helpful to capture in lossless format to preserve whatever quality is in that lossy format file.

I think the best thing about the Gold Star tour was sticking my head into the little doorway into the chamber we looked at and talking into it a bit. (Was NOT gonna sing! ) The sounds that bounced between those walls, eh?
Wow...well did you at least clap and say hello and make the room shake a bit?

As for your advice, I really do appreciate it. I felt the last video I posted up had a horrible, horrible sound (poor recording), so I really felt the need to re-record the song. This time I also synced the video of the tape and the audio with a .wav file instead of mp3. Definite audio improvement. This video is literally the "mix down" in process. The sad thing is, a hit on the fidelity is definitely taken in the Youtube process I never noticed before.

I'm not sure about the sound of the mix, but one thing I'll say, analog is damn robust. This tape is from 1976, and I literally re-wound it hundreds of times re-recording, re-mixing, and finally giving up and saying "I'm done"... but remarkably the tape is still in one piece, not sounding too different from the first spin, or with any drop-outs. All opinions are welcome. I'm very amateur with recording, but these tapes seem to give forth the sound I've trying to get out of DAWs for years. Unfortunately still forced to work in mono due to having just 1 speaker

Old 11th September 2019
  #4249
Gear Guru
Funny I tried playing a wooden tennis racquet and it sounded better than my graphite one!.....
Old 11th September 2019
  #4250
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Funny I tried playing a wooden tennis racquet and it sounded better than my graphite one!.....
A skilled tennis player draws a lot of information out of the sound of his/her racket (and balls, surface, air (thickness) etc.).

I am not on Grand Slam level myself...so this is hearsay: I heard that top players use the information of the sound of his/her opponnent’s service (>200 km/h) to prepare for returning the ball. If correct, it tells us how good humans are, or can be due to nature and/or nurture, at using our senses in surprising ways.
Old 11th September 2019
  #4251
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by svarthvitt View Post
A skilled tennis player draws a lot of information out of the sound of his/her racket (and balls, surface, air (thickness) etc.).
A skilled tennis player always has a mismatched pair of forearms.



Old 11th September 2019
  #4252
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
A skilled tennis player always has a mismatched pair of forearms.



Somewhat disturbingly, a tennis player’s arms grow and get stronger the longer, harder and louder he plays. A mastering engineer’s ears, on the other hand, weaken the longer, harder and louder he plays. In other words, many experienced mastering engineers have very «small» ears.

Though this is an important theme, I have a feeling this is a bit off topic, though. Maybe someone could help me find the digital-analog angle...

Old 4 weeks ago
  #4253
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
The Spector sound is a sub-set of that era’s sound though. There are plenty of sub-sets of sounds within eras, but generally you can spot records as 50s, or early 60s, or late 60s, etc etc within seconds of hearing them, regardless of any specific engineering approach. The sounds of the eras last century are largely a reflection of the technological limitations of their times, with some variance in sound depending on the engineer.
There was that and things like The Wrecking Crew, which made so much stuff from the 60’s sound the same. From movie scores to pop music, 90% of it(at least what came out of LA) was some combination of the same musicians recording in the same space.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4254
Quote:
Originally Posted by svarthvitt View Post
Thanks for interesting answer.

FWIW, the Borg comeback happened when he was 35 years old, Federer is now 38, Nadal is 33. So the comeback could make sense given his age. If I remember correctly, I think he had to be provided rackets from a private storage because the model was long out of production...

Still, quite interesting this gear thing where feelings play such a big role.

FWIW2: Borg now plays with a modern racket.
I played in men’s ice hockey league until very recently (I am 46) and as a goalie I couldn’t for the life of me get a grip (pun intended) on new sticks. Even the wooden ones. They all had too much curve to the stick (ya know cause goalies want to score goals and all) and I had to use my old 80s ones. When they ran out I had to get copies made of the 80s ones. You like what you like ya know.
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