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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:41 pm 
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Hello all,

Not to long ago I came across a song that you can use to test the resolving power of your audio system.

On the Jackson Browne, Running On Empty digitally remastered CD go to the second track, The Road. If you listen between 2:56 and 3:00 there is a break in the song. If you listen carefully, in the background you should hear a cricket chirping. With the volume set to be comfortable for the main part of the song the cricket is just about at the limit of my ability to hear it. I have had the album for a long time (and many moons ago I had the original LP) and it wasn't until recently (when my system finally is near reference quality) that I noticed the cricket. I did a quick web search and I haven't seen anyone else mention this one so I thought I would throw this out to the CAM crowd.

If you listen with headphones and the volume up a little it is pretty easy to hear, but in a room setting with normal listening levels things have to be right to hear it.

:D :D ROVA :D :D


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:42 pm 
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Nice! Now I'm going to have to have a listen!

Reminds me of when I first noticed the Cuckoo clock at the very end of Supertramp's Asylum. That was on a mofi half speed mastered copy of the album, but going back to the original vinyl, it was there, just really down in the noise....

Cheers, Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Was Running On Empty not recorded on tape (cassette?) in hotel room(S)?


I have a vague recollection......and used to LOVE that album.

Cheers, del Sol


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:12 pm 
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Rova wrote:
Hello all,

Not to long ago I came across a song that you can use to test the resolving power of your audio system.

On the Jackson Browne, Running On Empty digitally remastered CD go to the second track, The Road. If you listen between 2:56 and 3:00 there is a break in the song. If you listen carefully, in the background you should hear a cricket chirping. With the volume set to be comfortable for the main part of the song the cricket is just about at the limit of my ability to hear it. I have had the album for a long time (and many moons ago I had the original LP) and it wasn't until recently (when my system finally is near reference quality) that I noticed the cricket. I did a quick web search and I haven't seen anyone else mention this one so I thought I would throw this out to the CAM crowd.

If you listen with headphones and the volume up a little it is pretty easy to hear, but in a room setting with normal listening levels things have to be right to hear it.

:D :D ROVA :D :D


Any recording really. Yet, perhaps counter-intuitively, something such as Enya's 'Watermark'; mostly vocals and a few accompanying instruments would be a great choice. The recording environment/technique (on simple arrangements) can be quite pronounced -and profound. Several songs on this excellent album uses vocals upon organ-synth/piano -and not much else. Yet, the sound quality varies greatly depending on system/component resolution/transparency.

Consider that a resolving sound system/component must reproduce the critical 10-500 Hz frequency range with precision and finesse, extracting/resolving nuance completely absent from lesser equipment.

Try something like this album -or similar- for the reasons noted above.
pj


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:46 pm 
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dcrooks wrote:
Reminds me of when I first noticed the Cuckoo clock at the very end of Supertramp's Asylum.


good one! Here are some of the ones i use to test.

- slight lisp in the singer's voice on 'Some Other Time' from Alan Parson's I Robot
- crickets on Ride Across the River on Dire Straights Brothers in Arms
- Mick Jaggers characteristic phrasing of 'don'tcha' in the background vocals of Carly Simon's You're So Vain
- the bongo drums on the Doors, Riders on the Storm

I also have the sheffield labs drum test record, it's a good workout but i find listening for very specific things is an easier way to determine the resolution of a speaker (which is a different issue from liking/not liking the sound)

it's fairly easy to make even a mediocre speaker sound good using a great recording...an old audio store trick


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:52 pm 
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allhifi wrote:
Consider that a resolving sound system/component must reproduce the critical 10-500 Hz frequency range with precision and finesse, extracting/resolving nuance completely absent from lesser equipment.

Try something like this album -or similar- for the reasons noted above.
pj


?

100 to 500hz maybe?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:56 pm 
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At normal listening level it's easy to miss, The cricket sings for only two seconds, I hear it only because I now know it's there.
Everyone's ears, hearing and listening habits will vary. With casual listening, distractions and other house noises you will never hear it.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:10 pm 
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I heard them though my crappy TV speakers listening on YouTube. Not exactly a resolving system so I was surprised to hear it at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:44 pm 
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RalphH wrote:
allhifi wrote:
Consider that a resolving sound system/component must reproduce the critical 10-500 Hz frequency range with precision and finesse, extracting/resolving nuance completely absent from lesser equipment.

Try something like this album -or similar- for the reasons noted above.
pj


?

100 to 500hz maybe?


Hi Ralph: That's fine too. But, why omit 0.1Hz.-99Hz ?

Unbeknownst to many is that there is considerable ambient cues in recordings (both in natural acoustic and in recording studios) that exist well below 100 Hz. That, and some music instruments fundamental frequencies dip to/below 50/60 Hz.

I suspect the greatest 'offender' (to clean/resolute LF) in many listening rooms is the room gain imposed by typical loudspeaker positioning/room acoustic interaction -typically demonstrating excessive gain in those first few octaves; 20-to-300 Hz.

pj


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Will try the cricket test too!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:45 pm 
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allhifi wrote:
RalphH wrote:
allhifi wrote:
Consider that a resolving sound system/component must reproduce the critical 10-500 Hz frequency range with precision and finesse, extracting/resolving nuance completely absent from lesser equipment.

Try something like this album -or similar- for the reasons noted above.
pj


?

100 to 500hz maybe?


Hi Ralph: That's fine too. But, why omit 0.1Hz.-99Hz ?

Unbeknownst to many is that there is considerable ambient cues in recordings (both in natural acoustic and in recording studios) that exist well below 100 Hz. That, and some music instruments fundamental frequencies dip to/below 50/60 Hz.

I suspect the greatest 'offender' (to clean/resolute LF) in many listening rooms is the room gain imposed by typical loudspeaker positioning/room acoustic interaction -typically demonstrating excessive gain in those first few octaves; 20-to-300 Hz.

pj


why not 0 to 500hz?

Under 20 may be important to blue whales... people not so much.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:11 am 
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I have to admit that I find this thread pretty funny, and I was really hoping that the original post would remain unanswered for a while so someone could post 'Crickets' as the second post :P
There was a time when I would really go after this kind of test and make some sort of judgement of the system based on it, but those days are long gone. I prefer to just listen and if I enjoy the sound, I enjoy the sound, crickets or no...
That being said, there is another cool 'test' to hear, though I don't remember exactly where on the album set it takes place. On one of the LP's of the Starker Bach Cello suites set there is a point where you can, if you listen closely, and the system has the 'inner detail' resolving power, hear a car door close and then hear it drive away from (presumedly) the studio...I always thought it was a good test of both the turntable/tonearm/cart/phono stage, but yeah, at this point it doesn't matter so much to me - I just love the playing Janos pulls off on that set :)
B

_________________
Without music, life would be a mistake"
Friedrich Nietzsche


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:30 am 
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del Sol wrote:
Was Running On Empty not recorded on tape (cassette?) in hotel room(S)?


I have a vague recollection......and used to LOVE that album.

Cheers, del Sol


I don't know about the cassette tape but I do recall reading that the album was recorded in a number of places and not the studio. I do recall at least one song was recorded in a hotel room.

:D :D ROVA :D :D

-- 09 Nov 2018 12:42 --

James_W wrote:
I heard them though my crappy TV speakers listening on YouTube. Not exactly a resolving system so I was surprised to hear it at all.


I'm sure, in part, emphasis of certain frequency ranges would help make the low level sound audible. Note that resolving power is not the same as fidelity. I have no doubt that many speakers and systems can have good resolving ability but poor fidelity and / or poor imaging. Another can have great imaging but lacks resolving ability, and so on. For sure the ability to resolve a very low level sound into a recognisable instrument :wink: above noise and distortion is only one aspect of the whole picture.

Fortunately, I find the Running On Empty album a pretty well done album, in spite of how it was recorded. There is a lot of detail in the album.

As others have already alluded to there are other test tracks that are good for other reasons. You really need a variety of music to judge how good a system is overall.

:D :D ROVA :D :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:53 am 
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mantisory wrote:
I have to admit that I find this thread pretty funny, and I was really hoping that the original post would remain unanswered for a while so someone could post 'Crickets' as the second post :P
There was a time when I would really go after this kind of test and make some sort of judgement of the system based on it, but those days are long gone. I prefer to just listen and if I enjoy the sound, I enjoy the sound, crickets or no...
That being said, there is another cool 'test' to hear, though I don't remember exactly where on the album set it takes place. On one of the LP's of the Starker Bach Cello suites set there is a point where you can, if you listen closely, and the system has the 'inner detail' resolving power, hear a car door close and then hear it drive away from (presumedly) the studio...I always thought it was a good test of both the turntable/tonearm/cart/phono stage, but yeah, at this point it doesn't matter so much to me - I just love the playing Janos pulls off on that set :)
B


Agree, I wouldn't judge any system on simple single tests like this one. I also agree that the music, as a whole, is the thing that really needs to come across well. However, this test can be a tool, as part of a bigger palette of musical test tools, that helps sort out where a system is good and where a system is lacking. In the end the toe tapping test is one of the best tools; namely if you get so caught up in the music that you stop trying to analyse it and just end up listening and tapping you toe (or nodding your head, or swaying or whatever it is you might do when you really enjoy the music).

Anyway I just wanted to point it out as it was something new to me and Jiminy its a cute little cricket for heavens sake :D .

:D :D ROVA :D :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:34 am 
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In my experiences, there is a more revealing resolution ability test approach than just a brief / 2- second “blackout “ interlude creating a silent background that highlights and emphasizes a single (and now prominent solely due to elimination ) 2-dimensional sound during that illusory momentary “black-out” span.

First and foremost, it starts with the source ...not any particular soundtrack by itself.

(1) It’s all about the source ability to resolve a blooming and floating 3-dimensional soundstage wherein now it’s able to resolve a very subtle continuous instrument sourced way in the back of a 3-dimensional very broad (wide AND deep ) soundstage while all the other prominent instruments and vocals are in full bore.

An example ..... a clear ability for the listener to subtly but clearly pick out the drummer softly playing his snare drum gentle “swishes” with pinpoint placement with his soft drum brushes way in the back of the 3-D soundstage, while the rest of the band and all their instruments and vocals are prominently placed according in the track soundstage as envisioned by the CD track recoding engineer

(2) My buddies and I have our own fave soundtracks on CDs that we use in A-B bake offs ..... it comes as no surprise that different sources have differing abilities to resolve them (ergo deeper and better)

(3) There are many many available CD tracks ... just use your own faves ....there is nothing unique in this easy test. I have some CDs that are mastered in both a 16/44 red book version and also in a hi-Rez XRCD version at three times the price.

Just one fave XRCD sample that fits the above that I use in A-B bake offs (I’m not preaching it’s the “best” by any means)

DIRE STRAITS - BROTHERS IN ARMS ...... track # 5: WHY WORRY ( the snare drum brushes example above....)

In general an XRCD version (20 or 24 bit that can be played on a 16-bit source) may be able best the red book version IMO , depending on the skills of the recording engineer in lockstep with the audio performance capabilities of your source.

(4) I heartily agree with the former posted comment that a favourite trick of audio stores demos is to play the hi-Rez version . It was frequently used at the recent Toronto Audiofest,

But then...if the source DAC can resolve it to a bespoke higher and more pleasing level in the bespoke opinion of the listener ...then WTF .........why not???


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