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Beginning of the end for you B&o?

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seethroughyou
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seethroughyou posted on Fri, Mar 15 2013 7:56 PM

For nearly 14 years I have been an avid B&o fan starting with a Beosound 9000 and Lab 1 & 2s and then moved to Beolab 5s in 2004. I saved for a whole year and was on the bread and water to save for my Lab5s and was blown away. I bought a Beoeound 5 and that was the beginning of the big disappointment. Since my Bs5 purchase I have grown to despise it with its silly dial and its sluggish pointer and limited functionality. I felt a sense of relief when I eBay'd it a few weeks ago. I contacted B&o about upgrading the DAC in my lab5 and never heard back and given their terrible customer service with this and the never appearing ALAC I am now going to part with my beloved Lab5s. B&o where are the new 24bit/192 kHz DACs do i can listen to Studio Master downloads, the amazing streamer, the next reference speaker....? Why have you neglected your audio? Why are you persisting with the Bs5 when it was already out of date in 2009? Why is your build quality so poor compared to your products from the 80s and 90s? Are you coming up with a slick computer audio solution? Why is your software so terrible when small firms like Naim, Linn, Cambridge Audio are constantly refining their apps to control their streamers? It seems as if B&o are punch drunk, lost at sea, on screen saver mode....I haven't bought anything of inspiration since 2004. Is this the end, please say it isn't. Please don't let 2013 be another damp squib of a year!

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seethroughyou
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0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false

Dear Jeff,

Well I do apologise that I didn't have an acoustic laboratory, several hundred subjects and a statistician to do the analysis of which truly sounded more detailed and superior but what i did was iron out as many variables as i could. I know it's not to your high principled satisfaction but it is better than most mere mortals can muster given limitations in time and resources. I am sure your attempts at auditioning hifi must be far superior and methodologically correct so i bow to your dizzying heights of knowledge on this matter.

'mastering hijinks' well if you believe that that is your opinion that i suspect is driven out defensiveness of not wanting to move forward in life or being unable to move forward. I imagine you are the character from whom the thought of the move from vinyl to tape to cd and now to streaming were abhorrent 'hijinks'. Have you got any recent hifi or does your post and the condescending manner in which its written indicate you have a B&O eliminator from 1925 and anyone else that suggests anything different is foolish, duped, gullible and those that you can 'tut tut' to. I digress you do have a CD player I am sure so you are some part a hypocrit as as others would consider your move from vinyl to CD a ‘hijinks’. Sure, some high res material is dodgey but so are a lot of modern CDs where the level has been set higher by the engineers to give an impression it sounds better and labeled ‘remastered’ but I don’t hear you criticising your CD fraternity… A few articles criticising and scorning high resolution written by some audio engineers and music producers who have a lot to lose by changing of the status quo is not evidence for me. A mention of change is immediately met with condescension - if you believe that high resolution material is a big conspiracy then i shall resign you to the same box as the flat earthers, moon landing conspirators, and alien abductees…

You express frustration that people continue to express their concerns that their much loved hifi maker is coming out with drivel and is losing its way. You also comment that the number of times you hear this. Had you perhaps stopped to think that there maybe some merit to this rather than empty doom mongering. My trusted B&O store has just closed and i hear hundreds others are closing, profits are slipping, staff have been laid off in Denmark and around the world. Sorry Jeff, I know you know more than me but aren’t these the first symptoms and signs of a company in decline and in order to prevent it going bust needing to resort to drastic measures. I think B&O’s vision of making high quality unpretentious hifi that can grace ones living-room is a noble vision and quite unique in the world of black boxes overpowering ones living environment so I am genuinely concerned that things are on a terminal decline but I will not pretend like you do that this is just a bit of a market trough and people need to stop exaggerating. Your 1912 Titanic denial of anything could go wrong and scoffing attitude as verging on a little misguided.

 

You get the impression….blah blah. Well that is one impressive hypothesis but completely unfounded and manufactured in your head. No one slagged off B&O and anyone that did probably wouldn’t have my company for long. When I first went to the audition I did not say what I had or what I believed I simply said I was looking for a streamer that could play my cd-rips and a few high res downloads I had amassed and was also looking for a good interface to control it with from the comfort of my sofa. I then said that I wanted to audition several makes and wanted a few variables controlled as best as possible. They were at all times respectful of my budget and never did I hear them criticize anyone or any brand. They simply invited me in for the whole morning and simply said you’ve got to let your ears do the choosing. They didn’t even take my name or number; deeming that if were interested I could approach them or not. Jeff, if you could get lay that everyone wants too slag off B&O inferiority complex to one side and try to appreciate that not every salesman is out to make a quick buck and some may even be interested in helping you find the solution that is right for you in a respectful, quiet manner and professional manner akin to B&O sales staff.

 

Yes, you guessed right I am rather disappointed with my Bs5 and quite a few B&Oers here feel the same. I also disappointed with the BL5 with its DAC that can’t be upgraded to handle the music I want to play on it. I was given the impression that upgrading wouldn’t be an issue when I bought it in 2004 but when I contacted B&O I never got a reply and now find out that upgrading the DAC is completely impossible. I put my hands up; it was partly my fault I should have had the foresight not to buy a pair of speakers with inbuilt DACs. I love the ALT and consider it to be far superior to cones in boxes but that’s no good when an increasing proportion of my music is inaccessible. I think it’s ok to be disappointed after having saved up for over a year for my BL5  and placed greater focus on buying a sound system than buying a sofa and a new bathroom. I was a young professional and loved music and wanted the best as I considered it to be. As hard as it might be for you to cognitively process and as bewildering as it may be for you to grasp I am not alone it wanting my music machine to play a variety of formats in the breadth of bit rates and sampling frequencies that is common place in the digital music scene.

 

The second point to be made and a very important one is that B&O need to find a younger customer base and not rely on stick in mud types like you. Young people want flexibility and today’s generation are listening to more music more of the time as evidenced by millions of commuters plugged into their mobile phones - a proportion want better quality than their mp3 hence lossless and the slowly expanding market of high res material. All my music is in electronic format now and that is the way it is going like it or not. My wife’s school kids have never bought a CD…ripping and downloading is all they know. As much you wish to stick with your format there is a slowly increasing cohort who are mioving. If B&O cant play these formats they will lose business and the market position to those that can. You may deem this evolution of the audio scene to be foolish and in response denigrate others but the world of audio is changing and will not be frozen in red-book 16-bit times as much you wish it or rebel against it.

 

Coming at it from a slightly different angle hundred of millions of people buying hundreds of plastic discs is not good for the environment when electronic music files are so accessible. I adored my Beosound 9000 in 1999 but I no longer comfortable with the accumulation of more and more plastic.

 

As we both disapprove of expensive interconnectants I find your attempts to ridicule me about something we both agree on rather bizarre and uncalled for and the whistling face at end of your posting a little passive aggressive and immature.

 

.

Millemissen
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Reading this gives another aspect on the Red Book-CD/Highres war Hmm

http://www.aixrecords.com/articles/real_hd-audio.html

Just a short except:

"CD-Quality" cannot accommodate HD Audio content. It is not, as one digital download site states, "perfect audio". It is limited to 44.1 kHz/16-bit PCM, 2-channel stereo. This translates to 20-20 kHz and 96 dB [optimistically].

Real life music exceeds these limits. So in order to experience real HD Audio, the source recording has to be made with HD recording equipment AND the musicians need to be present to record their performance. Anything else should not be construed as HD.

Would be nice to have a Bang & Olufsen audio-setup that could match "source recordings"!

Greetings Millemissen

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Dillen
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Dillen replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 8:44 AM

Frustrating if design and technical superiourity doesn't always go together, but that's life and in my opinion the
sound quality of B&O is still up there with the better of the bunch. Works for me, anyways.
B&O never claimed to be the highest of highend and I believe the majority of B&O buyers and B&Os main
targets aren't highend audiophiles.

With B&O, you will own the worlds prettiest sound.
Frustrating that producers of highend units can't make decent designs.

Martin

Millemissen
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Hej Dillen,

have a look at this thread:

http://forum.beoworld.org/forums/p/5263/47448.aspx#47448

My last post says the same - B&O sure have the 'prettiest sound'!

Greetings Millemissen

 

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

kallasr
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kallasr replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 10:59 AM

bsantini:
seethroughyou:

 

I listened to the same 2 albums at home on the Bs5 & BL5 set up in the morning. We then went to the dealer and listened to the same tracks same listening distance away from the speakers ..

 

However

 

Never forget the impact of the room upon listening

 

 

B

Very true!

Ralf

Living Room: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-6 (Center), Beolab 8000 (Fronts and Rears) and Beolab 2. Screen: Panasonic TX-P65STW60
Home Cinema: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-2 (Center), Beolab Penta 2 (Fronts), Beolab 4000 (Rears) and Beolab 2. Projector: Sony VPL-HW55
Home Office: Beovision 10-40 on STB Bracket wall mount masterlinked to Beosound 9000 MK3 on horizontal wall bracket driving Beolab 5000 Speakers
Bedroom: Loewe TV with Beolab 6002 and Beolab 11 (all White)
In storage: Beolab 5000/Beomaster 5000 (1960s). 

Puncher
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Please remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion whether you agree with it or not. By all means post counter arguments etc. to support your opinion but try to refrain from personal slight when others oppose your view.

Ban boring signatures!

Peter
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Peter replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 2:31 PM

I think brushwoodgreen is perfectly entitled to his view. He clearly has taken the time to listen to music on different systems and has found his BS5 wanting. I am surprised that the BL5s are also found wanting as I have not heard speakers produce better sound - I have heard speakers I prefer but I think that is simply down to taste.

Peter

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 3:21 PM

One of the things that's always been interesting to me is how hard people in audio will hold onto their opinions, even when it's proven to them in a controlled test that they are mistaken (and for the record controlled tests are not that difficult to perform, or at least to limit the variables, you just have to want to do so). Something I don't see in, say, the videophile community. Unlike audio, in video there is a set of measured parameters that are precisely defined that people accept and strive towards. You don't get someone saying that a TV set with a 10,000 deg K color temp is more realistic than one at 6500, you don't get someone claiming that they can see blacker than 0 IRE, etc.

But in audio, a person will claim that this cable or that amplifier is night and day different and better, and then spectacularly fail a proper test. Most of the time the response isn't what you'd logically expect, say, finding out that a 500 dollar amp is sonically identical to a 5,000 dollar amp should be cause for happiness, why, you get the same performance for a tenth the price! But in 99 times out of 100 the person will start finding excuses for why this huge difference didn't show up in the test, it's your fault, or the tests, or such a huge difference suddenly becomes a subtle difference only a sensitive person can distinguish and the test obviously obscured such a subtle effect. More than most areas, it seems in audio a person's emotions and self image get all wrapped up in what they think they can perceive, and that the usually more expensive item is superior.

It continues even when a difference is found if the cause of the difference is not what was expected. Say, as in this case, if high res audio was found to sound different because of the issues with subharmonics and ultrasonic stress pointed out in one of the references, and not that it was closer to "real." The real reason is rejected out of hand and usually not even considered, as it once again seems to bang up against emotions and self image. You can explain the logic, the human hearing aspect, the mathematics of sampling theory and such till you are blue in the face to no avail.  I don't know how else to explain how someone can jump from one person's experience to this experience marking the "beginning of the end" for a product line. Ultimately all such arguments by people not involved with forcing new formats down the publics throat are all a tempest in a teapot, for all the heat generated.

Not trying to insult anyone (despite the fact that almost universally pointing such things out is perceived as such), just share some observations from years of doing this kind of thing. Full exposure, I used to be a member of the Boston Audio Society, and knew E. Brad Meyer and David Clark and such, though I haven't spoken or communicated with them in years and years.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 3:47 PM

I really do not understand the complexities of DACs etc and have been reading here about the limitations of the Beolab 5s. Also, I see the statement here regarding studio masters.

My question is this.....I have purchased multiple studio masters from Linn and downloaded them into my Beomaster 5/Beosound 5 which is connected to both a pair of Beolab 1s via a Beovision 10, and a pair of Beolab 9s connected via a Beovision 7-55. 

They work fine and I can certainly hear a substantial improvement in quality over the quality of CDs I play in my Beosound 3000 or that have been copied to the BM/BS5. 

So what  exactly are the B and O products doing with the studio masters I have installed that allows them to play, sound much much better than CDs, but not be  studio master quality? 

Similarly I have an audio BluRay disc with tracks in 192khz, 24 bit. If I put the disc in my Oppo BluRay player, it plays fine. If I bring up the Audio display in the Oppo menu it shows that it is playing 192khz, 24 bit.  So if the Oppo is playing 192khz/24 bit and sending it to the BV7 and then the BV9s, what is the BV7 doing with the input? Is is downgrading the quality?

Thanks in advance. 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 4:19 PM

Razlaw:

I really do not understand the complexities of DACs etc and have been reading here about the limitations of the Beolab 5s. Also, I see the statement here regarding studio masters.

My question is this.....I have purchased multiple studio masters from Linn and downloaded them into my Beomaster 5/Beosound 5 which is connected to both a pair of Beolab 1s via a Beovision 10, and a pair of Beolab 9s connected via a Beovision 7-55. 

They work fine and I can certainly here a substantial improvement in quality over the quality of CDs I play in my Beosound 3000 or that have been copied to the BM/BS5. 

So what  exactly are the B and O products doing with the studio masters I have installed that allows them to play, sound much much better than CDs, but not be  studio master quality? 

Thanks in advance.

I think the thing is how and where you, or anyone, attributes the difference in sound to. You say it's an improvement in quality, that's fine, to your ears it sounds better. You can't make any judgement about accuracy however unless you also have the real, unadulterated, trusted master to listen to. You might find the CD sounds more like it than the "studio master" audio file you have. You might not. You just don't know in these situations. Plenty of people have compared CDs to original master tapes when the CDs were mastered well and found them to be indistinguishable, so the format is capable of being complely transparent. If done properly, it often is not.

So you have to look at what, really, is causing the difference, especially if the DAC is not handling the file in native resolution. Chances of the CD and this file being mastered the same are about zero. Was more care taken in remastering it? Possibly, even probably, there are a lot of crappy recordings that came off great master tapes. Is it due to bit rate and such? Unlikely. Could it be the CD player in the 3000? Perhaps. Could the rip be odd? Maybe. There's so many possible reasons it's impossible to jump to the conclusion that it's the bit rate of the delivery system.

Or, better yet, you don't have to really worry about why you like it better, just sit back and listen to it and enjoy it! During the endless LP vs. CD wars, the problem was never when someone came in and said "I don't care what the math says, I just like the sound of LP better." The problem and arguments occur when someone comes in and says things like "The LP is more accurate, and if you don't hear that you must either have crap for a system or be deaf!" Smile Which is what usually happens.

Ultimately you like what you like, whether for reasons of actual differences or only imagined ones. Like I said earlier, if you like it fine, in the case of this thread the worst thing that happens is someone gets a used set of Lab 5's and will be happy, and the original poster gets to play whatever resolution audio files float his boat, and will hopefully be happy.

 

The only thing that matters is that you think it sounds better regardless of the reason.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Stan
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Stan replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 5:34 PM

Razlaw,

My take on your question (and perhaps I'm just summarizing Jeff, but I did read most of the reference articles and even understood some of them - recalling a rather challenging signal processing class I took in college when DSPs were quite new) is that there are many reasons why a "hi-rez" audio file may sound better, but research and mathematics suggest none of reasons have to do with the fact it is 192khz/24bit.

Note that the main study cited did not say "hi-rez" didn't sound better than CDs.  It simply said that "bit-ness" (i.e. 192khz/24bit) was not a factor.  It is quite likely that there are "hi-rez" files out there that are more carefully or realistically mastered, than the "mass produced" CD.  However, just like many have found with "remastered" CDs, different isn't always better.

This has motivated me to try this myself, can you (or anyone) suggest a few "hi-rez" album or track downloads that you feel sound especially good (relative to their CD equivalent)?

Stan

Raeuber
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Razlaw:

Similarly I have an audio BluRay disc with tracks in 192khz, 24 bit. If I put the disc in my Oppo BluRay player, it plays fine. If I bring up the Audio display in the Oppo menu it shows that it is playing 192khz, 24 bit. So if the Oppo is playing 192khz/24 bit and sending it to the BV7 and then the BV9s, what is the BV7 doing with the input? Is is downgrading the quality?

Thanks in advance.

Hi Razlaw,

Take a look into audio menu of your Beovisions: If audio format "PCM 7.1 or 5.1" is shown, there will be no quality downgrading by BV 7/9, because your Oppo had decoded 192/24 bit and after this had sent it to BV 7/9 as PCM.

BTW: If you listen to a track playing 192/24, can you hear a difference to the same track in normal resolution? I can't hear a difference with my Beolab 1, probably there is a difference with your Beolab 9!?

Regards

Räuber
Razlaw
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Razlaw replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 5:51 PM

Thank you both for your answers, but they did not answer my question. I wasn't asking about subjectiveness of sound, which of course there are many things that can affect it.

What I was asking is this, and my apologies if it was not clear:

It has been stated here that no B and O product will handle 192khz/24 bit. However, I have downloaded Linn studio master tracks to my Beosound 5 and they play fine. Also, I have an audio BluRay that has 192khz/24 bit tracks. If I play it in my Oppo BluRay player it will display out put as 192khz/24 bit and plays fine through my B and O.

If B and O products do not work work with 192khz/24 bit, what happens to the 192khz/24 bit data once it gets to a B and O product?

More specifically, what does the Beosound 5 do with the Linn Studio Master tracks on it that allows them to be played by the B and O products?

and

What does the BV7-55 do with the 192khz/24 bit it is receiveing from the Oppo that allows it also to play?

Or put another way, assuming what has been said here about B and O not supporting 192khz/24 bit, why/how am I able to download studio masters from Linn to the Beosound 5 and have them work? Is the Beosound downconverting the files or making other changes to them?

Or maybe I misread the post that caused me to ask the question. I can't find it now. I thought I had read in here that no B and O product worked with 192khz/24 bit.

 

 

Chaka
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Chaka replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 7:15 PM

So well said.

Chaka
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Chaka replied on Sun, Mar 17 2013 7:18 PM

@ Martin.  (Martina Navratilova)

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