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Better mastered music could be on the way!

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CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Mirren Boy wrote:

Linn is a very open company. Unless it is an actual Linn recording they have no legal right to change anything in the recordings. So I would suggest you send an e-mail to Linn, can guarantee you will be given an answer to your question. It’s a strong accusation. So lets see what Linn have to say

I would also suggest this.

Back in 2010, Linn became aware of 24/96 being a problem from Arts (initially with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, discovered much like this). The original recording was fine, but somewhere in the "translation" to Linn, the resolution got upsampled from 16/44.....something to do with incorrect filtering, I think.

All customers were informed, and the Arts Catalogue withdrawn from sale until checked.

@Steve 1979

If this isn't a Linn Records recording, it would be worth doing the same thing, with one that is....would be interesting to find if this is a rare case, or an endemic problem.

FWIW I have found Linn's own 320 kbps recordings to sound better than most.

BTW. Good job

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Fascinating stuff, particularly the analysis of the Linn sampler. I was all geared up to purchase a streamer capable of 24/192 as I'm still able to download stuff from HDTracks, but I was curious so I compared a 16/44 flac backup of my old CD of Massive Attack's Blue Lines to the new 24/96 flac that's just come out, both streamed via my Oppo through a Musical Fidelity VDACII and piped through my thoroughly run-in Fidelity Audio HPA100 headphone amp and AKG Q701 headphones. Huge differences, night and day. Then I downsampled the new 24/96 flac down to 16/44 using "Switch"  and streamed it through the same setup. I went backwards and forwards expecting to hear something but I drew a blank. I tried the same thing with Linda Ronstadt's "What's new", old CD/Flac to remaster then downsampled remaster. Exactly the same pattern, huge benefit with the remaster but nothing between the high res remaster and the downsampled one. I suspect if my setup had a "Studio Remaster" light that came on when streaming the 24/96 I could probably convince myself I could hear a difference, but without it I had to conclude that either my own ears were incapable of discerning the difference, or my set up was incapable of resolving the difference. If it's my ears then it's not worth spending more money, if it's my setup then the benefits are beyond my own budget. It's obvious to me that if it's mastered well then the benefits are audible, but then I guess that was the point of this thread in the first case.

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Mirren Boy's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

jacobmorrison wrote:

Fascinating stuff, particularly the analysis of the Linn sampler. I was all geared up to purchase a streamer capable of 24/192 as I'm still able to download stuff from HDTracks, but I was curious so I compared a 16/44 flac backup of my old CD of Massive Attack's Blue Lines to the new 24/96 flac that's just come out, both streamed via my Oppo through a Musical Fidelity VDACII and piped through my thoroughly run-in Fidelity Audio HPA100 headphone amp and AKG Q701 headphones. Huge differences, night and day. Then I downsampled the new 24/96 flac down to 16/44 using "Switch"  and streamed it through the same setup. I went backwards and forwards expecting to hear something but I drew a blank. I tried the same thing with Linda Ronstadt's "What's new", old CD/Flac to remaster then downsampled remaster. Exactly the same pattern, huge benefit with the remaster but nothing between the high res remaster and the downsampled one. I suspect if my setup had a "Studio Remaster" light that came on when streaming the 24/96 I could probably convince myself I could hear a difference, but without it I had to conclude that either my own ears were incapable of discerning the difference, or my set up was incapable of resolving the difference. If it's my ears then it's not worth spending more money, if it's my setup then the benefits are beyond my own budget. It's obvious to me that if it's mastered well then the benefits are audible, but then I guess that was the point of this thread in the first case.

 

Have down loaded quite a lot from HDTracks which is a hit and miss. All their high resolution tracks have been taken from a copy of a SACD they have a license to do this . Anyway down loaded a couple of 24bit Talking Head albums which did not sound right. Have remasters of the same album on CD which are way better than the 24bit from HD tracks. After playing tracks back to back from both albums I discovered HDtracks had copied the 5.1 surround mix which obviously does not work right in stereo. Wrote to HDtracks about this and was given a full refund for both talking head albums. Another bad 24bit recording is Nirvana Nivermind to me it’s shocking. Have burnt Mobile Fidelity gold CD of Nevermind which knocks the socks off 24bit Nivermind. However I have plenty other 24bit that are a much more enjoyable to listen to over the CD versions. Linn’s own recordings are very reliable they have one of the most modern recording studios in the UK up in Glasgow

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Craig M.'s picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

CnoEvil wrote:

Back in 2010, Linn became aware of 24/96 being a problem from Arts (initially with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, discovered much like this). The original recording was fine, but somewhere in the "translation" to Linn, the resolution got upsampled from 16/44.....something to do with incorrect filtering, I think.

All customers were informed, and the Arts Catalogue withdrawn from sale until checked.

You'd think then, given they've had the same problem in the past, that they'd be more careful, especially as the free downloads are probably being offered as a promotional tool to entice people to buy their offerings.  I think this thread now highlights the benefit of testing things for yourself, and not relying on someone with something to sell to look out for your interests.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

CnoEvil wrote:

Mirren Boy wrote:

Linn is a very open company. Unless it is an actual Linn recording they have no legal right to change anything in the recordings. So I would suggest you send an e-mail to Linn, can guarantee you will be given an answer to your question. It’s a strong accusation. So lets see what Linn have to say

I would also suggest this.

Back in 2010, Linn became aware of 24/96 being a problem from Arts (initially with Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, discovered much like this). The original recording was fine, but somewhere in the "translation" to Linn, the resolution got upsampled from 16/44.....something to do with incorrect filtering, I think.

All customers were informed, and the Arts Catalogue withdrawn from sale until checked.

@Steve 1979

If this isn't a Linn Records recording, it would be worth doing the same thing, with one that is....would be interesting to find if this is a rare case, or an endemic problem.

FWIW I have found Linn's own 320 kbps recordings to sound better than most.

BTW. Good job

 

done. let's now see what Linn have to say.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

 

Good man Oldric should be intresting

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:

 I think this thread now highlights the benefit of testing things for yourself, and not relying on someone with something to sell to look out for your interests.

I agree with your sentiment......though at this stage, all we have is one (non-Linn production?) example. One swallow doesn't make a Summer, which btw doesn't mean it's excusable.

I too will be waiting with interest for the outcome, but I will be most surprised if Linn is deliberately setting out to hoodwink their customers. It's not their style, and goes completely against why they set up their own Record company in the first place....their standard has been too high, and won awards on the back of this.

At the money they charge, everything needs to be well above board.

 

 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

I've just downloaded todays free song 'Symphonie Fantastique' from Linn in 24bit lossless FLAC and 320kbps MP3 formats.

When comparing the two files by listening to them they both sounded the same to my ears. When comparing the two files using Audacity it shows that the volume on the MP3 version has been very slightly reduced in comparison to the FLAC version.

 

This raises three questions:

1. It's easy to convert 24bit 192kHz lossless FLAC files into 320kbps MP3s that look and sound the same as the original FLAC file so why do Linns MP3 versions differ?

2. Why is the volume on todays MP3 file slightly reduced compared to the FLAC version?

3. Why was the dynamic range in yesterdays MP3 file compressed compared to the FLAC version?

 

 

Todays Linn 24 bit lossless FLAC file

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff512/steve__1979/Linnday3flac.jpg

 

 

Todays Linn MP3 file

http://i1239.photobucket.com/albums/ff512/steve__1979/Linnday3MP3.jpg

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

oldric_naubhoff wrote:
done. let's now see what Linn have to say.

Hopefully they'll be able to answer my three questions.

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Craig M.'s picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

steve_1979 wrote:

oldric_naubhoff wrote:
done. let's now see what Linn have to say.

Hopefully they'll be able to answer my three questions.

A detailed response on how this could happen would be good.  My understanding is it would require actions other than simply creating an mp3 version of the flac file.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

Craig M. wrote:
A detailed response on how this could happen would be good.  My understanding is it would require actions other than simply creating an mp3 version of the flac file.

Yes that's right. When simply converting a FLAC file into an MP3 file the volume and dynamic range of the music doesn't change. To change the volume or compress the dynamic range of the music in the converted MP3 file it would require additional actions to taken.

I do however feel that I should apologise to Linn for saying "Linn has deliberately mastered the MP3 version to sound different" in my post on page 7 of this thread. If I was able to edit that post I would like to remove the word "deliberately". It may have happened by accident and be a genuine mistake.

It would be very interesting to find out how this could have happened though.

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oldric_naubhoff's picture
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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

keep 'em coming steve. already waiting for the next episode. this is getting interesting.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

steve_1979 wrote:

Craig M. wrote:
A detailed response on how this could happen would be good.  My understanding is it would require actions other than simply creating an mp3 version of the flac file.

Yes that's right. When simply converting a FLAC file into an MP3 file the volume and dynamic range of the music doesn't change. To change the volume or compress the dynamic range of the music in the converted MP3 file it would require additional actions to taken.

I do however feel that I should apologise to Linn for saying "Linn has deliberately mastered the MP3 version to sound different" in my post on page 7 of this thread. If I was able to edit that post I would like to remove the word "deliberately". It may have happened by accident and be a genuine mistake.

It would be very interesting to find out how this could have happened though.

 

I’ve been in touch with Linn a few times. Normally you recive a thank you for your e-mail and a message saying a member of staff will reply later. Have you had that ? Your not to know it’s a Linn recording when we download music it is for exactly that I for one don’t look to see what label the artist is on.

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

It shouldn't matter one bit if its a Linn recording or not. If they retail it they should know what they're selling. 

 

Its in these companies interests to perpetuate the myth?  And profit from customers quest for higher quality. 

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RE: Better mastered music could be on the way!

richardw42 wrote:

It shouldn't matter one bit if its a Linn recording or not. If they retail it they should know what they're selling. 

 

Its in these companies interests to perpetuate the myth?  And profit from customers quest for higher quality. 

 

Are you on Drugs ?

Q - Hi Johnny where do you work

A – Quality control at Linn.

Q- Wow must be great checking out all the HIFI gear

A-   No , I sit an measure every album sold on the Linn music store to make sure every album and every track is as it should be.

Just like the guy’s at HMV who sit and play every album in every format to make sure they are ok.

 

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