Tazman46

What Sounds Shite On Ya System?

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During a relatively recent visit to L.A I was lucky enough to be introduced to Last of the Independents by the Pretenders, loved the album, and the track that absolutely blew me away was I’m A Mother. It had everything - power, dynamics, crisp, hard hitting bass and you could feel the passion and range in Chrissy’s voice without it ever being in your face, goose bumps everywhere, it just sounded so right.
Problem was that the system was in a shipping container (literally), the speakers were 4 feet apart and 6 feet up on a shelf, the kit I had never heard of but was basically an early 90’s plastic midi system including 6 disc rotary transport and I was standing outside in the open air...The owner of said system and cd made a gift of it to me and needless to say I couldn’t wait to get home and hear it on my far superior system...at which point my whole perspective shifted, it sounded awful, I had to jump up and turn it down and after that,  just off.

I was so disappointed that I considered just giving up all this fun and buying a Sonos, I even dem’d one which put those thoughts straight out of my mind 😃.

So was the L.A system colouring it and hitting gold everywhere, did it just bring out the worst in my system, did my system simply reveal what was there all along or did the stunning scenery and beautiful weather completely cloud my already dodgy judgement?

I thought it might be interesting to nominate those tracks that have a similar effect when played on your gear so the rest of us can have a play and feed the results back in here...

9624F538-4FEE-4F53-8050-8925BF776893.jpeg

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Tried the new EoB album last night streaming MQA on Tidal and had to turn it off after 3 tracks, found it a bit dull and lifeless. Put some King Creosote on in its place and it sounded beautiful in comparison 

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2 minutes ago, Fatmarley said:

Play some different tracks in that shipping container and it would most likely be a different story. 

I’m sure you’re right but I’m just posting what I actually heard via the 2 polar opposite systems. I read a lot about what sounds fantastic but there’s an opposite side to that which gets a lot less press. I’m interested to hear different perspectives on the same tunes played through different set-ups and people, starting with worse case scenario for a given system.

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Posted (edited)

Could be any or many or all of the suggestions you make.

I'd hazard a guess dropping the upper mids by approx. 6db would improve things on a proper hi-fi.

Edited by Headcoat

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Taking the thread title literally .....RAP with a silent c sounds shite on my system aka crap - but to me it shite on any system :rofl:

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16 minutes ago, deadflagbrews said:

Tried the new EoB album last night streaming MQA on Tidal and had to turn it off after 3 tracks, found it a bit dull and lifeless. Put some King Creosote on in its place and it sounded beautiful in comparison 

Not familiar and had to Google it - is that Ed O Brien? I will try this tomorrow and see what comes back..

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Super Wammer

My current audio howler is Texas - The Conversation. No matter whether it's vinyl or CD it just sounds terrible. Is it just me?

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1 minute ago, Jules_S said:

My current audio howler is Texas - The Conversation. No matter whether it's vinyl or CD it just sounds terrible. Is it just me?

Added to playlist...

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Before I had room correction, complex classical was suffering a bit. Luckily, the room correction fixed it. I do also keep a B&O A2 where the music requires a compressed sound. 

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1 hour ago, deadflagbrews said:

Tried the new EoB album last night streaming MQA on Tidal and had to turn it off after 3 tracks, found it a bit dull and lifeless. Put some King Creosote on in its place and it sounded beautiful in comparison 

He's a great artist, I love Diamond mine and Appleman. 

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1 hour ago, Gonepostal said:

He's a great artist, I love Diamond mine and Appleman. 

Agreed, the album and Jubilee ep with John Hopkins are atmospheric & beautiful.

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9 hours ago, Slightly Athletic said:

Agreed, the album and Jubilee ep with John Hopkins are atmospheric & beautiful.

I've never listened to the EP. I loved the original album so much that I didn't want to ruin it, in case I didn't like the EP. 

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Super Wammer

@Tazman46 I tried the track in your OP and it sounded pretty good at first. As it got thrashier, or whatever the word is, I turned it down as it was just nasty.  It was obvious from the start it had a processed, studio-created sound, and I can imagine it blasting out at a disco or in the cabin you describe as having a certain raw impact. 

My take, for what it’s worth, is lots of ‘pop’ music is mixed with car radios, headphones and previously ghetto-blasters in mind, and can therefore be very effective on inaccurate kit.  The inaccuracy is irrelevant because we aren’t capturing a concert hall acoustic, or listening to a delicate violin string.  It’s almost two wrongs making a right!  The mix is designed to be effective on coloured replay gear that rounds off the edges and projects the voice.  But on your more neutral system you’re too aware of the roughness. 

I can’t suggest a killer track, but I have for many years used an early CBS Simon & Garfunkel ‘greatest hits’ CD as my test of a system for making the best of a bad job. Ime, a better system can still let the inherent music shine though without too much emphasis on the scrawny sound. 

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The first half of The Hounds of Love (album) by Kate Bush is a curious one.  It can sound great on the right system, but on most is a little dull and blurry.  I used to think it was just a badly mastered album, but as I upgraded I found that it could sound wonderful.  I'm not sure what causes the effect.  I'm guessing either too much mid-bass for some systems to resolve or just straight-up tonal balance.

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