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  • Noise floor

    we all post about it but what do say about it when it's gone. How do we know it's gone is it ever complelty gone.
    The one thing I know is as our systems get better and as it is is lowered more lower volume details are revieled.
    The texture of each note becomes more there. I have no real idea how any of this should sound. And I love when some claim they know. One thing I do know is none of our systems are true to real. At least any I have ever heard.
    Just google gary of genisis video of his flagship with a sax playing with them. While I think they are the best made for a world class sound the sax is just not as the rest. It shows just how far off our stuff is. While I'll bet his sound amazing to others. Having said that noise floor effects the sound in many ways and you don't know how much or hiw till it's lowered. I just warmed up my system for an hour while I updated my server to a new AO beta. It just blows me away how it can be better. When I want to hear what's better we all have our go to tracks. But sometimes it's better to play some new stuff first then go back into the older reference stuff. Analog productions and SHM really is amazing stuff. Funny great seems to always be sourced from great tape. Who the hell knew while I was getting stoned in my room with speakers next to my ears playin tape lol. I was hearing dubbed great ness.
    Shm stuff does not have to be my kind of music like go to see a band you don't know. But end up having a greet time. Noise floor be it analog or digital is one of the biggest items to lower but for me I don't know it's better till I hear it's loss.
    analog stuff.
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
    Dacs lampi various

  • #2
    I think that as your system evolves, noise is one of the biggest factors holding its performance back. I guess like cables, how much do you spend on suppressing noise and when in the audio journey?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Reduced noise can impact sound in ways we might not recognize as such.

      For example, noise floor reduction may appear as increased dynamic range. We hear information closer to the start of the transient (earlier in time) and farther out in the decay. We gain finer grained loudness/volume when there's less noise to muddy the gradation. It's not so much that instruments respond faster, although it may sound that way, we simply recognize more information as music, perceiving what noise had masked.

      Better dynamic facility can come with a tighter sense of the beat or rhythm because more information tells us more about where notes start and stop.

      Put together improved dynamics and rhythm and you have more drama. Phrasing and subtle change in expression become more obvious which can mean a greater sense of texture across multiple instruments. It all adds up to emotional impact and increased musical enjoyment.

      Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
      I think that as your system evolves, noise is one of the biggest factors holding its performance back. I guess like cables, how much do you spend on suppressing noise and when in the audio journey?
      I agree that noise is a huge negative factor, partly because we don't know that it exists until it is gone or shifted to a different frequency and partly because we do not always know where it's coming from. Remove one layer of noise only to hear more noise hiding beneath it. The noise onion. As to where to start noise reduction - I say start at the source - the player that is - and with electrical input.


      Comment


      • #4
        As with many other aspects of audio phenomena, what you think that you will get and what you actually get may differ. In my case, a lowering of the noise floor delivers an increased ability to hear dynamic gradations at the very softest end of the spectrum coupled with an increased ability to hear low level ambient hall information. As a consequence, you are better able to hear the back and sidewalls of the recording venue (assuming that it was actually recorded in a hall). Three dimensionality also seems to improve. For me these things can be subtle but are significant in making the illusion more believable.
        Rockport Sirius turntable, Lyra Atlas SL cartridge, Audio Note M9 SE Phono stage, Audio Note M10 (Signature) linestage, EMM Labs TX2/DA2 digital, Audio Note Balanced Kegon amps, EMM Labs MTRX amps, Acapella Triolons, Jorma Prime and Odin 2 cables, Stage 3 Kraken power cords, HB Marble Powerslave, Finite Elemente Pagode Reference stands and Cerabases, Halcyonics active isolation bases, HRS Equipment stand, Stillpoints Ultra 6 footers, Furitech cable isolators and plugs, Loricraft and Audiodesk vinyl cleaners, Yamaha CT7000 Tuner.

        Comment


        • #5
          There are other factors that go into this, that relate to efficiency/sensitivity and probably other considerations: for example, when I listened to Crosby Quads, they seemed to tolerate pretty noisy (by today's standards, e.g. ARC SP-10 mk ii preamp) gear and because of the design/sensitivity, I didn't hear noise and got spatial cues (something the Quad is very good at- imaging). But, put those old electronics on my horns- yuck! Lot's of electronic noise (that old ARC preamp was a great microphonics tester- few tubes could pass muster). What does that comparison show? That the Quads, with their peculiar electrical characteristics/efficiency/sensitivity were, in effect, masking noise that was otherwise in the chain? Perhaps it is as simple as "dude, if you have very efficient speakers, you're gonna be more prone to noise issues" but that noise was there, in the electronics, whether or not the particular speaker (in my case, the Crosby Quad) reproduced it in an audible way. So, if there is stuff rattling around in the wires, tubes, in between components and elsewhere, it's clouding the sound even if you can't hear it (as "noise"). Maybe this is a hidden ingredient in why some gear sounds better than others. I'm wearing my tinfoil hat if you want to respond accordingly. (I'm not sure I have a coherent view of all this, more in the nature of "why is that big thing with the teeth staring at us like that.")

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          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
            Editing a comment
            The noise onion.

          • Bill Hart
            Bill Hart commented
            Editing a comment
            You mean, you peel it back, and you cry? And there are yet more layers? And it is often better once fully cooked than raw? I'm sure there's more but I ran out of brain.

          • fcrowder
            fcrowder commented
            Editing a comment
            I also owned Crosby modified Quads and my experience was very similar including the subsequent move to horns. I think that there may be a related topic with respect to how a speaker/system decodes noise. With the Crosby Quads and Richard Lees modified Spectral gear, the noise always localized on the face of the electrostat and not in the music which resided to the rear of the panels. For me, the real problem is when the noise is mixed into or meshed with the music. It is less difficult to tolerate when it exists in a separate plane such as in front of the music. Noise is handled in a similar manner with my Acapella Triolons.

        • #6
          Noise is complex as it is imbedded in every thing. In the digital realm there is more layers or places it exists. My purpose for the thread was why I built a server and before the server I owned many USB converters
          some feel spidif is cleener than USB. Msb dacs claim when using the umt plus as a server aes is best. Even when you think it's lowered as someone said it can reviel what is under it. One place noise noise exists is grounding
          moving devices around can better or worsen things.
          I have tried to measure results with a meter but a scope is needed to see what really is going on. Amp probs that can measure milli amps or micro show current flow
          analog stuff.
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
          sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
          new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
          thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
          thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
          kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
          phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
          speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
          mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
          digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
          Dacs lampi various

          Comment


          • #7
            Noise is an interesting subject. Certainly low noise is a goal so we can reveal the lowest level micro details that exists in out music. Eliminating it completely is another matter.

            There has been debate whether total removal of a noise floor is a natural background for a musical performance. Nowhere in nature is there an environment where noise does not exist. Some debate whether vinyl's attraction is partly due to the constant noise background. I am not familiar with the research around this subject but it would seem to be a worthy theory given our hearing abilities and our hearing experience. At what point does the removal of background noise stop being a benefit and start becoming a detriment?

            It costs a lot to remove that last bit of noise from the background. It might measure well and cause a lot of buzz when comparing specs but what does it really mean when the performance being reproduced comes with background noise of its own that will be reproduced? When the background noise is reproduced what does all of that investment give us?

            Yeah, I know we don't want to add anything that is not there but really, how much difference can it make after we reach a certain threshold? Like everything is this hobby, there is a law of diminishing returns. When it comes to noise, and we might call it pink noise, when we combine the low noise of a competently engineered component with the noise from a musical performance can we ever tell the difference? And does our listening environment have such a low noise threshold?

            I suspect that the answers above hint that we should take that extra load of cash for x db less noise and invest it in more vinyl, or whatever your media of choice is. At some point we have to face reality. We can reach a point where further upgrades make little sense. The gear will change but our enjoyment of music will stay the same, or sometimes reduce. We have all experienced it. We wish we held on to that last setup and spent the money elsewhere.

            Manufacturers would call this heresy but anyone in this hobby for any length of time knows this subject very well. There are certainly better components being made but do the gains translate to greater musical enjoyment? That new component does this or that better but does it make music better? How the hell can you ever figure something like this out?

            Sorry but this is one of those subjects that invites this reaction.
            Life is analog...digital is just samples thereof
            https://www.edsstuff.org

            Analog: Walnut VPI Prime TT, HRX Pulley + 3 Belt Drive + ADS, Dual Pivot Assy, Tru Lift, HW-40 Feet
            Analog 2: Ortofon Windfeld Ti + Bob's Devices VPI Sky 30 Stepup + Liberty Audio B2B-1, Stereo Squares Dust Cover, Wayne's Audio Peripheral Ring
            Analog Care: VPI MW-1, Kirmuss KA-RC-1, Record Doctor V, Hunt EDA VI Brush, AQ Brush, Discwasher Record Care Kit
            Digital: TASCAM UH-7000 USB Interface, Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai Universal Disc Player, NAD C448 Internet Radio/Streamer
            Digital 2: Digital Audio Workstation (Toshiba P75-A7200 w/MS Windows 10, 24GB RAM, 1.5 TB Crucial MX300 SSD Internal Storage, Intel i7-4700MQ Processor)

            Amp: Rogue RP-9 Line Preamp, Schiit Loki Tone Ctrls, Parasound A21 Power Amp
            Speakers: Magnepan MMC2, REL T9/i Subwoofer
            Headphones: Stax SR L700 MkII + Woo Audio GES, Focal Clear + Schiit Lyr 2, Stax Lambda Pro + SRM1 Mk II
            Wires: Kimber Hero ICs, Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables, AQ Leopard Phono IC, Pangea Silver USB Cables, StraightWire Expressivo ICs
            Power: Furman Elite 15 PFi

            Comment


            • #8
              All reactions are good ones. I see your points and agree some. Ambient noise from the venue or studio is part of the recording for me as such not in the total noise floor.
              Vinyl noise if measured well is part of the total dynamics and effects low passages less but we hear below it.
              Now how it effects the sound is where complexity abounds. In the digital realm it's more obvious to hear some noise is called jitter and it's heard very easily.
              But when you get it low enough other types of noise remain and as you lower this magic happens. My room
              looks like a experiment and how I achieved it is even more out of bounds in some ways. But the result is extremely pleasing to me and at each stage the change was heard and repeatable.
              analog stuff.
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
              otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
              sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
              new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
              thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
              thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
              kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
              phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
              speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
              mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
              digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
              Dacs lampi various

              Comment


              • #9
                I think another factor is that noise is non-linear and doesn't affect all frequencies equally. Or information. Remember the old Jon Dahlquist observation that the "ear" can listen through and become used to things if it's a linear from top to bottom problem.
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Al, didn't you lower your noise floor by installing Audiophile Optimizer for Windows 2012 or server 8, i think it was beta 5 2.20.
                  Chris
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------
                  Kef 201/2, Pass xa30.5, W4S STP-SE, Manley Chinook, VPI Classic, Dynavector DV20x2L, ExaSound e32, Acoustic Zen cables. (Office): Vincent SP331 Mkll, Quicksilver Pre, Lumin D1, (Ken Lau Signiture Edition PSU), Bryston BCD-1, Vapor Audio Breeze, WooAudio W6se,Questyle Audio CMA800R LCD-3,HD800s, HD600, Mr Speaker Ether C Flow,

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                  • #11
                    Yes. I did and it notable improved what I think is noise floor. It has increased low sounds greatly.
                    My server is all I could do. It has 4 D.C. Reg psu
                    mall ausio grade parts,
                    but still as AO improves with updates. The thing is not everyone will hear changes it does depend on each system. In no way am I claiming mine is great either but noise floor does matter. My system is compleltly isolated ot grounded to my home. Only one ground path from each device back to one point like that EXPensive ground thing.
                    If I touch a house ground wire to the audio panel I hear a change for the worse its easy to here.
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

                    Comment

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