Sunday, January 23, 2011

Digital music

As I feared, purchasing a couple of choice SACDs (Bach's Magnificat by Channel Classics and McCoy Tyner's Land of Giants by Telarc) for my old Sony DVP NS 755V, would make an SACD-addict out of me, and now I have to fight the compulsion to order more SACDs. The sound is so natural that I find myself listening to music, and not audio.

To get the most out of SACDs and CDs, they need to be "clarified" periodically with a Bedini Clarifier. The improvement, which is not subtle, obviously is due to an improved ability to read the disc. How this translates into an improved corrected error rate is beyond me, but I suspect that the error-correction isn't all it's said to be, and that by reducing raw errors, the corrected error rate is reduced.

One of the advantages of SACDs is the simplicity of the playback circuitry, and the fact that it is all analog. There's no high-speed switching-and-glitching circuitry intimately bound up with low-level analog circuitry. All that is required for SACD playback, after the bitstream is corrected and decrypted, is essentially a filter which integrates the pulse-density modulated bitstream (Direct Stream Digital) and produces the original waveform with negligible distortion of any kind, and none of the artificiality caused by digital interpolation, which almost every CD player uses. Some Audio Note CD players, considered by many audiophiles to be the only ones to properly replay CDs precisely because they avoid the use of both interpolators and brick-wall filters, go for $40,000 or more. Still, because they don't use oversampling or brick-wall filters, there is high frequency noise on the output which can cause problems with some audio equipment down the line. Filtering out the noise would roll off the high end and/or introduce phase distortion, which causes misalignment of musical harmonics. So, if you want to "get it right" with CDs, you have to take out a mortgage and risk frying your tweeters.

SACDs unfortunately didn't replace CDs as Sony hoped they would, and I think it's precisely because they are so natural-sounding and so inexpensive to play back. One popular audio gear reviewer initially praised SACDs, and later came out with an insane critique on the basis that they're TOO SMOOTH.

LaRouche has exposed the war on classical culture, including the war on Bach's influence [1], and he is a critic of digital audio, and I think there's a connection. If everyone were to have access to a truly natural audio medium (prevented by releasing pop music in inferior digital formats), they would gravitate toward classical music, which wouldn't set well with those waging a war on our souls.

[1] The referenced page refers to a "Kit Kat Club" as one of Bach's major foes. This odd spelling makes sense when converted to numbers: 40 32 38, i.e. 72 38, i.e. 9 11, two of Satanism's "sacred" numbers.