Yale deserves good SQ recordings to evaluate as many parameters as possible in the best possible light


#1

Regarding one’s choice of recordings when evaluating FW, Yale is so good that it really deserves good SQ recordings to evaluate as many parameters as possible in the best possible light. If you shine a 15-watt bulb in your room it is hard to see everything clearly. But if you shine a 100-watt bulb in there then lots of things come clear. I think that’s a good analogy.

There are so-so stereo and even mono recordings that I like to listen to with Yale. Regarding the latter, they often serve a special purpose – to evaluate FW for reasons that may have special meaning for us. But Yale really shines when you offer it the best you have. This does not necessarily mean that you need to use the most modern recordings put together in today’s high tech cyber studios. In fact, some of my most favorite reference recordings go back to the 60s and 70’s with occasionally forays even into the 50s. It depends on the mastering. For instance, I have a bootleg DSD Frank Sinatra CD with recordings from the 50s and 60s that is superbly mastered and is excellent for evaluating Yale.

All parameters – detail/definition, tonality/harmonics, dynamics, transients, sound stage, imaging – are much better served up by Yale with well-recorded material. Lesser quality material will not show the improvements rendered by new FW to the same extent. Indeed, It may sometimes be difficult to distinguish one FW iteration from another when using lesser quality material for evaluation. To look at in another way, it may be difficult to say if such-an-such a parameter “moved” much at all with some material.

Another older recording I have talked about on the forum is The Trio at The London House with Oscar Peterson. Norman Granz did a superb job with the London House series. With Yale, the tonality of the piano, the snares and the bass are so well rendered, nearly 55 years after this recording was made. With each new FW upgrade you can easily hear the improvement in SQ on these and other good recordings. Yale is a real pleasure to listen to hours on end. I wonder how much further future FW upgrades will take us? It’s hard to imagine the sound getting much better than this.


#2
Duke of Earl said It may sometimes be difficult to distinguish one FW iteration from another when using lesser quality material for evaluation.
I do not have this difficulty. My guess is few do. "Lesser" recordings reveal as much, sometimes more, than "really good" recordings. It depends on how you listen, what you are listening for, your experience generally and specifically with a given recording, etc.

As an analogy: a new, perfectly smooth road provides reveals little about the compliance of a racing suspension. A single high speed corner under heavy braking with a bumpy entry and an off-camber apex can tell you everything.

And did not we just discuss this very topic a few pages back?


#3
Elk said
Duke of Earl said It may sometimes be difficult to distinguish one FW iteration from another when using lesser quality material for evaluation.

I do not have this difficulty. My guess is few do … And did not we just discuss this very topic a few pages back?


People may have different experiences. Unless a survey is done we really can only speculate about how many have a similar experience. We did discuss this a while back but this current post talks in a broader way and with more details. I see no harm in this.

#4
Elk said
wglenn said I really enjoy Sinatra's "… Only the Lonely" for superb sound although there is at least one track that is sub-par. It's a winning combination of great musicians in a great room with a great engineer. All the modern tricks and gear in the world won't reproduce this combo, I'm afraid.cool
A good part of this is the magic of the classic Neumann U47 and the RCA DX77 ribbon mic he used, singing off-axis. He understood exactly how to work with a mic ...
I think miking was one of the problems with Teo Macero's Time Out album. To my ears the tinny snares and tinkling piano are overpowered by Desmond's lovely saxophone work. This varies from track to track but, generally speaking, this is characteristic of the recording. To my ears in my system, anyway.

#5
wglenn said "And Nelson Riddle's amazing arrangements. They are scored like a classical concerto; instruments with the same timbre and/or frequency range move out of the way when the soloist enters." - Elk

Cool! I didn’t realize this. I’ll put it on right now… sorry, Glenn Gould…

EDIT: Yes, BB “GV’s” is a shining example of this!


My ears say that most of the Sinatra material with Nelson Riddle is superbly recorded – excellent material for assessing the merits of Yale.

#6

One vintage recording I highly recommend for assessing the merits of new FW is Junior Walker & The All Stars – The Definitive Collection (Motown). This superb remaster dwarfs all other recordings of Junior Walker’s that have graced my system. There are so many layers and subtleties to this new remaster and Yale brings out everything superbly. The ambiance and background vocals intertwine perfectly with organ, sax and guitar. The continuity is amazing, undoubtedly due in part to the great miking. If you like this kind of music and can pick up a copy I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It is one of my favorite Motown albums.


#7

Duke of Earl said

It may sometimes be difficult to distinguish one FW iteration from another when using lesser quality material for evaluation.

and

Regarding one’s choice of recordings when evaluating FW, Yale is so good that it really deserves good SQ recordings to evaluate as many parameters as possible in the best possible light.

There is a risk (I’m sure not intended) of exclusivity or elitism here, which raises some points of a methodological nature.

Each of us living with our own unique system hears a unique sound. The common element we all share is the Directstream DAC itself. We try to describe what we hear using metaphorical language e.g. Al’s weight, air, detail, etc. It’s like colour (or wine tasting) - is the pink that you see the same pink that I see - how do I tell you what the colour pink is? There is a potential miasma here that has all the makings of an existential hell, isolating us helplessly from each other and any possibility of progress. Thankfully, we’re not consigned to subjective futility.

My own system is its own reference. There are fixed elements - DS DAC, speakers, amplifier, PC - present for all my tests, and there are variable items – software, cables, etc. that I can tweak and optimise at any time. I can eliminate variation in sources by playing a list of test tracks and formats, some good and some not so good, that I know well. I know my own system well. When I make a change (such as upgrading from PP to Yale) I can track the impact against history and experience, and I can share this knowledge, as best I can (in metaphorical language!). In all of this I am, of course, no different from anyone else - including those involved in testing new systems.

The point of all this is to highlight the fact that the development of the Directstream involves both objective (engineering) and subjective (listening) factors and the process of testing and voicing the DS involves a good measure of both. PS Audio have the task of finding the balance and satisfying listeners.

I don’t know what lesser quality material is, or how quality might be determined. Our ears are the arbiter of the subjective.

PS Audio asks us - like friends, Romans, countrymen - to lend them our ears. We all have ears, and they are all welcome I’m sure.

L

Directstream DAC, Harbeth M30.1, Nordost BH i/c + speaker, USB cable (short and cheap), solid state PA, Foobar, Qobuz, audio laptop Win 8, control laptop Win 8.1/RDP.


#8

By lesser quality I mean there are obviously recordings that sound better than others. For instance, you can take old recordings of Junior Walker & The All Stars and compare them with The Definitive Collection remaster. Yale will enable the listener to hear a lot more in terms of detail, tonality, sound stage, etc. Which makes it a lot easier to evaluate the merits of FW. The same goes for, let’s say, some of the older Sinatra material, or The Beach Boys, or just about any of the older recordings where there are now great remasters available that dwarf the quality of most of the earlier releases. Of course, one can enjoy “lesser quality” recordings as well and one can use them for evaluation, if one wishes. Everybody has their own system and their own preferences. One an enjoy toe-tapping to the old transistor radio. For sure. But the quality of objective parameters are elevated to such an extent with Yale, especially on really good recordings, that if one wants to do the best evaluation of the FW’s potential, high quality remasters offer that opportunity more than the original recordings, in most cases, in my experience. This has nothing to do with elitism. It has to do with giving Yale the best possible opportunity to perform its magic. It cannot turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. But it can turn a silk purse into a silkier purse. To my ears, in my system, anyway.


#9
lonan said I don’t know what lesser quality material is, or how quality might be determined. Our ears are the arbiter of the subjective.
Precisely.

#10
Elk said
lonan said I don’t know what lesser quality material is, or how quality might be determined. Our ears are the arbiter of the subjective.
Precisely.
I think I have stated this pretty clearly, above. Better masters and remasters are what I call "higher quality". Most early recordings are of "lesser quality" in comparison and I have given a few examples of those earlier recordings so that people can go directly to them and judge for themselves. Better mastering or remastering delivers a huge leap forward in SQ. That's the whole point. Pretty easy to hear, I think. Which is not a judgment of the person doing the choosing or the listening. Just a factual statement about SQ.

#11
Duke of Earl said Better mastering or remastering delivers a huge leap forward in SQ.
Which is both entirely subjective and an entirely different topic.

#12

When CD’s were relatively new I remember going into the local CD store and just having seen “Excalibur” looking for the “Carmina Burana”. There were about 20 different recordings so I asked one of the helpful staff “Which one is the best?” He asked “Best performed or best recorded?” I answered “Best performed” and he recommended the one by the New Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos on an economy EMI red lablel. He said the best recorded in stock was the Telarc. Tho indeed the noise level on the EMI was quite high, the performance was wonderful. I especially remember the soprano on track 21 “In Trutina”. When I later got the Telarc version too I could hear the wisdom of the staff person’s choice immediately.

Later I got Barbra Streisand’s “Classical Barbra”. Her version of “In Trutina” tho well recorded was more boring, flat and unemotional than the Telarc version (both the accompaniment and the singing.)

Tho I always liked that first recording (to me) now with Yale I can’t get thru a few measures without tears coming to my eyes. If Yale took that away from me I wouldn’t care a hoot about what else it might do on any other recording. Like pops on vinyl, I just don’t notice any noise when the music starts.


#13

Wonderful story, Ted! I have these recordings and know them well. Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos has an amazing ability with tempos and creating rhythmic, propulsive drive. We need to find the staff who advised you, top notch.

I like a good amount of Barbara Streisand’s work but, like other pop performers, she is not well suited to classical. I typically have the same reaction to opera singers playing around with spirituals and jazz.

Tho I always liked that first recording (to me) now with Yale I can't get thru a few measures without tears coming to my eyes. If Yale took that away from me I wouldn't care a hoot about what else it might do on any other recording.
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#14

When really seriously evaluating a component etc. I use a series of recordings that I made on a two track tape recorder of bands I rehearsed and played with and recorded the second half of the 'eighties. These were made in my then garage apartment: I know the room, the players, the equipment etc. I transferred these to cdr to be able to evaluate Redbook playback.

But when I get Yale I’ll just play my discs, I know the sound of Pike’s Peak well enough now that just playing what I want and watching what I want on DVR or Blu-ray etc. will show me the differences enough to know what a step forward or backward it will be. I’m moving further and further away from analytical listening, partly because the DirectStream and PWT into my Decware amp and speakers is giving me such high quality sound that I just am drawn into the music, the joy of being in communion with the shiny discs.


#15

Perhaps I was misunderstood. Ted made an excellent point, of course. Best performed or best recorded. Being moved is the most important thing about music, for most of us, I presume, be it from an HD recording or a transistor radio. But I believe it is important to note that the 2 points Ted made are not mutually exclusive. My point was to choose the best recorded material for evaluating changes in FW from among the exact same recordings. In other words to choose the best remaster available since Yale will allow us, in most cases, to hear more of its potential with better remasters than with some of the earlier recordings.


#16

[cue the sound of furious back-pedaling] smile

lonson said . . . just playing what I want and watching what I want on DVR or Blu-ray etc. will show me the differences enough to know what a step forward or backward it will be.
Yes, "just playing what I want" reveals everything I need to know as well.

#17

Is it just me, or does Duke’s avatar look like Gary Coleman in a top hat 65_gif…No offense to the late, great Duke Ellington. It just ‘messes’ with me! I’m sure that using ‘The Dude’ as an avatar likewise elicits preconceptionssurprised-011_gif

All in fun…


#18

What’chu talkin’ 'bout, Timequest?

I missed this; I turn off all avatar images as I find them annoying. But this sounds highly amusing.

I have never found the perfect avatar which allows me to present myself in as many parameters as possible in the best possible light.


#19
timequest said Is it just me, or does Duke's avatar look like Gary Coleman in a top hat 65_gif.....No offense to the late, great Duke Ellington. It just 'messes' with me! I'm sure that using 'The Dude' as an avatar likewise elicits preconceptionssurprised-011_gif

All in fun…

It's Gene Chandler, of course. LOL

#20

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