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Biggest advance in Audiophile technology over the past 10 years?

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I thought this would make an interesting topic.

What in your opinion has been the biggest/most important advance in audiophile technology to occur over the past decade?

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Hmmmm... to my mind, it has to be something related to computing/processing power. Good DACs started coming onto the scene twenty years ago, so can't really be that. So I'd have to go with home streaming and the squeezeboz/ Soolos. Why? Because until five years ago, affordable optical drives were too slow and processing power too limited to rip CDs.

Left field (again computing power): digital signal processing for room correction

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Gotta go with room correction, even though I don't have any.

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Vinyl, tubes and full range drivers :party

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Basically there has been none.

Yep, it's been down hill since the introduction of the cd.

The biggest advance would be convenience, at the cost of quality.

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My votes go to Super Audio CD introduced in 1999 (so it just slips in) and to Blu-ray disc for improved picture and sound quality with the introduction of lossless audio codecs such as Dolby Digital HD and dts-Master Audio formats and the utilisation of hi-def LPCM audio.

Cheers,

Alan R.

Edited by Alan Rutlidge

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Biggest advance - More an more Vinyl becoming available...

+1

Abso-bloody-lutely. :party

I was about to suggest the same.

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none really as i like all vintage stuff all this new so called high end sounds crap.

like 24/192 cd players and dacs.

but thats on my system and my ears.....

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Flac and bigger HDD drives for the easiest access to CDs ripped in excellent quality and available all in one place.

Cheers,

Al.

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draw between DSD and ADSL. for those less technical, DSD is the data format of the music on an SACD, and ADSL is the encoding format for TCPIP that broadband uses.

DSD: DSD is important because although the SACD is basically dead in the mainstream market, there was a lot of technology (microchips etc) designed to work with it, and therefore there are now devices that can be used to encode, process and decode digital audio at very high bitrates. I don't have much optimism for SACD in the future because although it's enjoying a niche market utilisation, I don't think it will ever be the default standard - the internet will become the distribution standard. However, DSD allows places like Cheskys and other quality recording / mixing / mastering studios to have access to high quality and affordable equipment.

SACD is a bit like DAT - they launched it in the consumer market and it failed, but it was useful so it was picked up by studios the world over. Before people recorded directly to harddrives, pretty much everything went through DAT in the studio before being put on CD to get it to the consumer.

ADSL: I think that the internet will become the default distribution mechanism for all digital music formats (DSD streams and PCM alike) and before ADSL this would simply have been impossible.

To put it in perspective, the fastest modem adopted in the market was 56k. Now we enjoy 24,000k in most suburbs in Australia. and all without having to upgrade the phone lines, which are an abysmal medium to try and put high speed information over. I can remember several times having a problem with my phone line (crackles etc), calling up Telstra and them coming out and finding the pit with my cables in it full of water from a storm. We talk about spending $1000 for a 1m interconnect with gold-plated connectors.. they probably paid $1c per meter for a raw twisted pair, it's crimped at both ends with many connections between you and the exchange, parts of it will have dirt, water, oil, bugs, tree-roots etc in it, and they're putting so much data down it, you could watch at least 2 DVDs simultaneously streaming them live over that wire which can be up to 3 kilometers long.

Not 100% these were invented in the last decade, but they've certainly only hit the mainstream in that time. :party

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draw between DSD and ADSL. for those less technical, DSD is the data format of the music on an SACD, and ADSL is the encoding format for TCPIP that broadband uses.

DSD: DSD is important because although the SACD is basically dead in the mainstream market, there was a lot of technology (microchips etc) designed to work with it, and therefore there are now devices that can be used to encode, process and decode digital audio at very high bitrates. I don't have much optimism for SACD in the future because although it's enjoying a niche market utilisation, I don't think it will ever be the default standard - the internet will become the distribution standard. However, DSD allows places like Cheskys and other quality recording / mixing / mastering studios to have access to high quality and affordable equipment.

SACD is a bit like DAT - they launched it in the consumer market and it failed, but it was useful so it was picked up by studios the world over. Before people recorded directly to harddrives, pretty much everything went through DAT in the studio before being put on CD to get it to the consumer.

ADSL: I think that the internet will become the default distribution mechanism for all digital music formats (DSD streams and PCM alike) and before ADSL this would simply have been impossible.

To put it in perspective, the fastest modem adopted in the market was 56k. Now we enjoy 24,000k in most suburbs in Australia. and all without having to upgrade the phone lines, which are an abysmal medium to try and put high speed information over. I can remember several times having a problem with my phone line (crackles etc), calling up Telstra and them coming out and finding the pit with my cables in it full of water from a storm. We talk about spending $1000 for a 1m interconnect with gold-plated connectors.. they probably paid $1c per meter for a raw twisted pair, it's crimped at both ends with many connections between you and the exchange, parts of it will have dirt, water, oil, bugs, tree-roots etc in it, and they're putting so much data down it, you could watch at least 2 DVDs simultaneously streaming them live over that wire which can be up to 3 kilometers long.

Not 100% these were invented in the last decade, but they've certainly only hit the mainstream in that time. :party

Putting the ADSL bit into perspective.

Firstly street paired cable is Category 1 cable intended for voice transmission (i.e analogue baseband telephony). Placing an ADSL2+ link on it pushes the frequency on the line to approximately 2.2MHz. Regrettably at this frequency crosstalk is a major issue between the mutiple pairs and services sharing the same cable sheath. The use of "gel" in the cable which is intended to assist in keeping water out of the cable and preventing the detrioration of the insulation around the wires has created more problems an it was supposed to prevent.

To effectively reduce HF crosstalk between cables pairs the original design spec for ADSL1 which has frequencies on the line to 1.1MHz was only 1 pair in 10 was to carry ADSL traffic. Since those days, the spec has been somewhat compromised, not due to a change in the recommendations regarding cable pair utilisation, but rather the unprecendented demand for broadband internet services.

The cable in my street is stuffed. The big T has known about it for years but won't replace the faulty water affected sections. Instead they will send a communications tech to "fix up" affected services as much as 3 times per week in the wet months of the year. The ageing copper network has its days numbered. The only advantage of ADSL over copper is the DMT signals are robust and designed (to a point) to cope with interference and a less than spectacular bearer to operate over.

Single mode optical fibre to the home or business premises is the only sensible way to provide broadband communications. The only internet worries will then be the restricted bottlenecks from the ISPs to the wider communications networks.

Cheers,

Alan R.

Edited by Alan Rutlidge

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Internet access to audio information, whether it be forums, webzines, or simply searches, that make this info available when it wasn't so easy to get (if at all) before.

Then if comes down to evaluating the usefulness of said info. But I'd rather have it than not.

Best regards,

Jim Smith

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