RAM TWEAKS are sound optimizations that you download from the internet and install in your speakers. You get the opportunity to adjust and trim the sound in ways that have not been possible before.
The technology in our digital Silverback speakers makes it possible to customize the sound in completely new ways.
RAM TWEAKS are digital files that optimize the sound with a variety of advanced technologies.
Music lovers are familiar with tweaks in analog music systems, where a new cable or amplifier can improve the sound.
Digital tweaks are far more effective and create greater audible differences than tweaks in analog music systems.
You can make the sound bigger and the bass deeper than you've ever heard before. You can make the sound stage more precise. You can optimize the speaker's acoustics if it’s placed close to a wall and you can adjust the sound to the acoustics of your room.
There are many options.
Welcome to a world where you can optimize your music experiences to an extent that has not been possible before.
RAM TWEAKS are free and easy to use.
Update with the latest knowhow
A Silverback speaker has an advanced built-in Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that processes the audio signal and keeps track of all aspects of the sound.
The advanced DSP is an important component of the digital speaker and new technologies are constantly being developed for DSPs.
At System Audio, we want to give you the opportunity to update your music experiences with the latest technology advances.
That's why we invented RAM TWEAKS.
Now you can keep your speakers updated with our latest knowhow and the best sound.
But technology alone does not create a great digital speaker.
Technology can’t stand alone
A truly musical and engaging speaker is more than just technology. The hand-built Silverback drive units are built as a craft with great precision.
We can't design a great digital speaker unless we have a superior analog speaker to begin with.
The sound of the speakers and their interpretation of the music is the result of our expert work together with our listening panel. We have created and shaped the sound of the speaker.
Therefore, when you experience the sound of an SA speaker, it is not only the technology you hear. You also hear the result of talented people's passionate sense of sound.
In this respect, RAM TWEAKS is a fascinating tool.
Choose from several ideal solutions
The sound in your room is the result of a teamwork between the acoustics of the speaker and the acoustics of your room. In the bass, we have SA Room Service to create a well-balanced sound, but in other frequencies a different tool is needed.
Some rooms have lots of furniture, others have a few. Some rooms have a warm and friendly sound, while others sound harsh.
That's why we have different RAM TWEAKS for the same speaker.
All RAM TWEAKS are created as ideal solutions, but one of them will fit you and your room perfectly.
These differences are not small
They are big. Tweaks in analog music systems are often so small that only a few can hear them.
RAM TWEAKS takes control and adjusts the sound without coloring the sound or losing quality.
RAM TWEAKS can:
RAM TWEAKS influence the structure of the sound. The experience of lightness and clarity. The quality of sound when you play at low volume. The energy of the music and rhythmic drive.
Every single tweak has been thoroughly tested. It is built on evidence and documented in a way that far surpasses tweaks in analog music systems.
You are free to choose from the tweaks available to your speaker. You can choose another if a tweak does’nt suit you.
You can change RAM TWEAK in your speakers as often as you like.
We now present five RAM TWEAKS for SA legend 5.2 silverback (and 5 silverback).
One of them is the brand new and upgraded version of the performance of SA legend 5.2 silverback.
It’s a very surprising upgrade!
In the coming months, we will present RAM TWEAKS to the other Silverback speakers. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the news.
We now supply Stereo Hub with a nice remote control in aluminium.
Price of Stereo Hub remains the same.
* Disable Bluetooth. Press PREV and NEXT simultaneously for Bluetooth ON/OFF
* Fixed volume on each input. Choose input and set volume to desired level and press mute for 3-5 seconds. Volume is fixed. Fixed volume may be cancelled the same way (ex. the USB Audio input)
Room correction is possibly the biggest upgrade you can make to your music system. After all, great loudspeakers only show their full potential when adapted to the room.
Your room and its shape are critical to the sound you hear in it. Furniture, floors and walls reflect and color the sound in the room before it reaches your ears.
This means that you not only hear the sound from your speakers and your music system when you listen to music.
You also hear how the acoustics in your room affect the sound.
For example, if a loudspeaker is placed close to a wall, the bass will sound twice as powerful compared to a placement away from the walls.
The same loudspeaker has 6 times as much bass when placed in a corner.
The room's acoustics also influence some frequencies so you never hear them. Some notes simply disappear.
This means that the sound we experience when we listen to music can be quite far from the sound on the recording.
In other words, we hear a changed and colored version of the music when we hear it through a music system.
It applies no matter what kind of music you hear and how much money you have spent on your music system. It also applies no matter how loud (or how low) you play.
In other words: The loudspeakers' interaction with room acoustics limits how good sound quality you hear.
And next: A good music system will give you good music experiences.
Professional recording studios are furnished with acoustic panels on walls and ceilings to minimize the impact of the room acoustics, but few of us want to live that way.
If you don't to install acoustic panels on the walls, there is only one way to go to upgrade the sound experience in your room.
It's room correction.
Until now, it has been difficult and expensive to get room correction in a music system, and it has stopped many from getting it.
Now, digital technology makes it possible to apply room correction in an easy and simple way, so you don't need to spend a fortune to get this upgrade.
You only need a smartphone.
We have created SA Room Service. A simple and ingenious App that measures the acoustics of your room, calculates a room correction and upgrades the sound.
SA Room Service is created for users of our digital SA legend silverback speakers and Stereo Hub.
It is a revolutionary innovation that sets a new standard compared to traditional analogue music systems.
SA Room Service is a simple and brilliant way to get a fantastic, deep and clean bass in your living room.
Owners of the Stereo Hub and SA legend silverback speakers can get incredible bass in their music systems with SA Room Service.
It's an App for your iPhone.
The app upgrades the sound from your music system by making acoustics in your living room co-operate with the acoustics of your loudspeakers. In that way you get far better music experiences.
Modern living rooms often suffer from poor acoustics that make the music sound unnatural.
Some living rooms have far too much bass, while others have almost no bass.
Both are annoying to music lovers and the reason is that the room's acoustics are not made for music listening.
The solution is to get the speakers and acoustics in the living room to work together for a balanced and lifelike bass sound.
1 minute. That’s the amount of time Room Service needs to map the acoustics in your living room and calculate a room correction that will enhance your music experiences.
You simply use your iPhone as a digital measuring device and you only need to do the measurement once.
SA Room Service saves the measurement in Stereo Hub to upgrade the sound from all your sources.
Here is an example of how much room correction means for the sound of a pair of SA legend 5 silverback.
The red curve shows the speaker’s frequency response measured in a living room using the SA Room Service.
(Note, that 6 dB corresponds to doubling of the level of sound)
The speaker in this example plays more than 6 dB too loud in the range between 150 and 300 Hz, which causes a considerable coloring of the sound.
The speaker also plays 6 dB too low between 60 and 100 Hz, which is a big coloration of the sound.
All bass notes (on all types of music) are played either twice as loud or half as loud as they do on the recording.
It’s not the speaker that contributes to this coloration.
It is the acoustics of the room that color the music experience.
The sound is distorted this way, no matter which speakers you put in the room.
The solution is the SA Room Service.
The green curve shows the speakers frequency response after room correction.
That's a big, big upgrade of the sound!
Experience SA Room Service with your own ears.
SA Room Service can be used with iPhone 6S and up.
WiSA in California has published a press release stating that our SA legend 7 silverback and SA legend 10 silverback are the latest WiSA certified products.
This means that SA legend silverback is the largest family of active wireless speakers with WiSA technology.
See our new family members here:
SA legend 7 silverback is a 3-way active and wireless on-wall speaker with exceptional sound quality.
SA legend 10 silverback is a 3-way active and wireless High End center channel speaker.
The on-wall SA legend 7 silverback is a complete wireless music system with top class sound quality when used with Stereo Hub .
The small wireless control unit is the connection point for all your audio sources and it transmits the sound to the speakers using WiSA technology. In addition, SA legend 7 silverback is prepared to take any position in a home theater.
SA legend 10 silverback is an important product for users who want their own Silverback home theater with up to 8 wireless speakers, Dolby Atmos and superb 24/96 High Definition sound quality.
Our two new speakers are in stock in Roskilde, Denmark and ready for sale.
WiSA is the world's best
At System Audio, we do not hesitate to call WiSA the world's best wireless technology. It is the only technology developed for high quality sound. Bluetooth is developed for speech and WiFi is created for data.
WiSA has a much higher quality than both and transmits the signal without any loss. The sound will not be colored or changed with WiSA. This makes WiSA superior to cables.
Speakers with cable will not disappear. No way. This is why our wireless speakers are available in a passive version. They can be easily upgraded to wireless when the user is ready to take advantage of the wireless technologies.
WiSA makes great audio experiences accessible to people who could never dream of living with speaker cables and lots of equipment in their living room.
Only a few years ago, it was a technical impossibility to imagine a home theater without DVD player, AV receiver and meters of loudspeaker cables in the living room.
Today, you only need a flat screen, our wireless speakers and a mobile phone to stream cinema experiences that are bigger and better than you've ever experienced with physical media.
WiSA connects devices from different brands. Wirelessly
WiSA is not just a technology. It’s an organisation of 60 brands that share the same vision of users having the easiest and best possible audio experiences without limiting their freedom of choice.
Among the 60 brands that support WiSA, you will (besides System Audio) find brands like: Primare, Electrocompaniet, Bang & Olufsen, Klipsch, Microsoft, LG and many others. The number is constantly increasing.
It means that if you want to use your LG flat TV with your wireless SA speakers, you just do that.
Both brands support WiSA and operate perfectly and wirelessly with each other. You may also use a Primare device with your wireless SA speakers in an uncompromising music system.
There are many possibilities.
That's why a Californian press release today is a glimpse of an exciting future tomorrow. Actually, now!
PS. Want to know what WiSA is? Read this blogpost
Here are some useful updates for improved security and stability in your Stereo Hub and Silverback speakers.
The update to Stereo Hub applies to firmware versions lower than 12123. Check in Google Home that the firmware in your Stereo Hub is lower than 12123 before making the update.
If your Stereo Hub already has firmware version 12123 installed, you don’t need to update it.
Below you find updates for:
Stereo Hub is updated.
Stereo Hub and remote control are paired.
The loudspeaker is now updated.
The loudspeaker is now updated.
The loudspeaker is now updated.
The loudspeaker is now updated.
The loudspeaker is now updated.
This update is included in all Silverback speakers and Stereo Hubs delivered from the System Audio factory after January 30, 2020
Enjoy music in the best audio quality, without having your living room invaded by cables and equipment and without spending a fortune.
Until now, you have only had one way to enjoy music in the best audio quality in your home: Buy an expensive music system with exotic equipment, custom-built cables and special loudspeakers.
Now, there is a new way to great music experiences. It's simple, easy to live with ... not to mention: cheaper than a High End music system.
SA legend silverback is a family of digital, wireless speakers and a technological breakthrough.
Now you just need a smartphone, a pair of wireless speakers and a small digital control unit to experience your favorite music in amazing High Definition quality.
You don't need anything else to get the top-class audio experiences.
You no longer need an amplifier, different music sources or speaker cables.
Two speakers and a small digital control unit is all you need.
A solution with SA legend silverback is significantly cheaper than a High End music system and you even save up to 80% power.
SA legend 40 silverback has been awarded Product of the Year in Norway, Wireless Speaker of the Year in Germany and it has won the respected Diapason d'Or in France.
SA legend 5 silverback has won the prestigious EISA Award for Best Wireless Speaker.
Any member of the family can operate a music system with SA legend silverback. You only need your smartphone or tablet to play music, radio or whatever you like. It’s all you need. You don’t need to learn to operate a new user interface.
Stream your music with Chromecast from your Android or with Airplay from your Apple. Both technologies are already integrated into your smartphone and provide better sound quality than CD.
You can also stream using Bluetooth or Spotify Connect, which are both easy to use.
All of these technologies are already built into this system.
Even though the world's entertainment has moved to the internet, we are still a lot of music lovers who like our vinyl records and CDs or enjoy high resolution music from the computer or our own server. All these formats require audio that is transmitted through a cable.
Here, Stereo Hub is the digital control unit that acts as the meeting point for all devices that use a cable.
As a result, you do not abandon traditional audio formats when upgrading to digital and wireless speakers.
You get more out of them than ever before.
Stereo Hub also receives audio from your TV, so you can enjoy the excellent sound of the speakers when watching TV or streaming movies.
You can use all this:
Stereo Hub does not have to be in a visible place. You can hide it away if you want.
The remote control works with radio frequencies and you do not have to point with it to control the sound.
You can stay up to 20 meters away from Stereo Hub (and in a completely different room) and still adjust the volume, etc.
Stereo Hub connects to your network using the Google Home app the first time you connect it.
In this way, your SA legend silverback becomes an integrated part of your smart home, where you for examples control the light, ventilation, entertainment systems etc. in all your rooms.
With Google Assist, you can operate the system with your voice.
All SA legend silverback speakers are prepared to be part of a wireless 7.1 home theater with uncompressed 24/96 High Definition audio quality if you want.
All of these options allow you to experience music and movies the way you want and with amazing sound quality.
If you already have an analog music system but would like to upgrade to Silverback technology sometime in the future, you can buy the speakers in the passive version called SA legend.
They are built to operate in your analog music system and can be upgraded to Silverback later.
SA is the only brand that allows this transition from traditional to new technology.
Today, we can stream music from our smartphones in a higher quality than we've ever experienced through any physical media.
Hundreds of millions of songs are available through streaming services and several of them deliver the music in a higher quality than both CD and vinyl.
The internet and our wifi can fully transport all the data required for the whole music to arrive to its full extent at home in our living rooms.
We only needed a technological upgrade of the traditional analog equipment, speakers and cables to get the full experience of the music.
SA legend silverback is that upgrade.
Great audio experiences have previously been for those who were willing to pay a lot of money for a High End music system.
The combination of equipment in a High End system require (except for money) a lot of knowledge and desire to test ex. different cables to determine their influence on the sound.
Hifi afficiados have always known that these experiments would only result in a good compromise, because the perfect cable does not exist. Finding a compromise is the whole idea (and the big limitation) when it comes to analog technology.
Digital technology is more uncompromising.
Digitalization such as SA legend silverback is the biggest upgrade in audio quality in 40 years.
No other technology has brought such a big improvement in sound quality, usability and price.
People who love great sound have been waiting for this moment since we started recording music digitally in the 80s.
Now you can experience it all with your own ears.
The past 10 years have been amazing for music lovers and for audiophiles.
It may have been the most fantastic decade ever!
More and more music has become available on the internet for everyone to discover and enjoy.
More music is written and published now than during any other time in history.
We even buy more acoustic guitars than ever before!
Streaming services have continuously upgraded sound quality and we’re now able to enjoy streamed music in a higher quality than through any physical media.
Artists are able to publish music directly from their home studios to audiences all over the world thanks to digitalization.
Today, we listen to music everywhere. In the metro, in the car, on the bicycle, when doing sports and in the living room.
Well, actually in every room of our homes!
We use all kinds of technology to enjoy the music we love. Smartphones, computers, servers, CD players, Super Audio CD players, cassette decks … and … of course … turntables.
In fact on March 28, 2020 we celebrate our 10th vinyl fair and you’re welcome!
Vinyl is still the biggest music format with more than 600 million songs published (only 180 million on Spotify).
Genuine music lovers still turn to vinyl to get access to all of this music.
Being a Danish loudspeaker brand, this anniversary was particularly amazing, as the loudspeaker is a Danish invention.
100 years ago, the loudspeaker brought music into people’s homes along with a lot of equipment, cables and buttons.
Music has been digitally recorded since the 80’s (yes, including music for vinyl records) and the past decade has seen incredible steps forward for digital technology.
There are now digital solutions for everything that used to be analog.
The only way to seriously improve the loudspeaker is to implement smarter technology.
WiSA is a technology that transmit music digitally and wirelessly instead of a loudspeaker cable. With WiSA there is no loss, no compression, no coloration, nothing added and nothing taken away from the music.
Digital signal processing allows us to work with the sound in the loudspeaker like never before.
Digital technology together with fine acoustic design and incredibly solid mechanical construction helped us to create SA legend silverback, a family of digital active loudspeakers.
You can now:
• Enjoy music with a more life-like and musical sound
• Hear all the instruments even at low volume
• Experience deeper bass than ever before
• Finally enjoy the true dynamics of the recording
• Save up to 80 % of electrical power compared to a traditional music system
It is the biggest technological breakthrough in audio for 30 years.
The most amazing thing about the past decade is that almost no technology or format have disappeared.
Technology is no longer a battle between A and B.
It’s not a battle between true believers and lost souls.
We are still going to have analog music systems with cables and buttons and passive speakers.
There's room for ambitions of all kinds.
Digital technology allows us to move the loudspeaker forward.
But we will continue to produce passive loudspeakers for good traditional music system (like we’ve always done)
But we will start the new decade just like we started the old one.
We say: “Guys, it’s all about the loudspeakers”.
Enjoying great music is all about the quality of the loudspeakers.
Never forget that.
Now, we present SA saxo 60.
It is the new top model of the saxo family and it brings good news in many ways.
The sound has the well-known musical nerve as you already know from other saxo members.
But there is much more.
We have learned from the experiences with the legend family and we have developed new woofers for SA saxo 60.
It means that SA saxo 60 is the saxo speaker with the biggest sound, the deepest bass and most life-like sound, ever.
Many speakers sound horrible when standing close to a wall. The placement makes the bass sound boomy and dull.
Voices are unclear and the music does not seem life-like.
This happens when the speaker is not designed to work under the special acoustic conditions that apply close a wall.
In the design process of SA saxo 60, we have taken the influence of the wall into account when designing the acoustics of the speaker.
It means that the sound is in complete balance when the speaker is placed close to a wall.
You come here because you want to get the best out of digital sound and avoid spending your money wrong.
Here is the blog post number two in a series of five. This time it's all about the source. The place we get the music from.
The quality of the data we collect is of great importance to the experience we get in the end.
There has been a sensational development and streaming services today deliver the music in a higher quality than we have ever been able to buy on a physical medium. But there is also a lot of poor quality out there.
That's why there's a good reason to keep track of what to do when you love music and want to get the best sound.
But let us first get this in place.
Since the 80s, music has been recorded digitally in all-world studios and concert halls.
The music that the artist and producer creates for all of us music lovers are created and processed in a digital format.
This is true regardless of whether the music is published on an analog LP, a digital CD or a streaming service.
The vinyl plate is reputed to be an alternative to digital sound, but it is other factors than just the sound that make people hold of vinyl records. This is, for example, a The social and cozy in putting a plate on and not least, that (so far) more music has been released on vinyl than on any other medium.
Vinyl records have its full entitlement for all of us music lovers, but come to cards when it comes to sound quality.
The thing is, all music is recorded digitally. Even the sound on a vinyl plate comes from a digital recording.
There is a treasure trove of unrivalled sound in the digital formats. Many have unfortunately not discovered it yet, but phantom music experiences are only a few clicks away.
If we are to be a little technical, it can be said that the music contains up to 96,000 data information per second in the best formats.
We'll get back to that.
It's the music lover's ultimate dream. To experience the music that the artist wanted us to hear it.
We want to feel the music. Atmosphere. The talent of the artisans. We will enjoy the energy and the fine shades.
Unfortunately, few of us have experienced the music of the quality.
There are various reasons for this and today we are talking about the first one: the source.
The technologies have never been able to transport all the massive data information all the way from the studio and home in our living rooms.
Not until now – and we're going to talk about that shortly.
Since the 80s, music has been recorded in a digital quality that has subsequently been scaled down so that our players at home can better follow along.
For example, the dynamic range of the studio sound of 144 dB becomes Limited to 50-60 dB when the music is placed on a vinyl record. The pickups would jump out of the groove if it were to reproduce the dynamics of the studio. Therefore, you limit the sound by removing some of it.
The LPE is also not good at storing data in the innermost grooves. That's why you change the sound when you make an LP, so the inner grooves get a slightly darker sound than the outer ones.
The instruments thus sound a little bit different at the beginning of a vinyl record than at the end, and the audio quality of the LP is overall not near the original sound from the studio.
Here, Compact Disc is an improvement compared to LP. For example, the dynamic range is of 96 dB and the instruments have the same sound throughout the CDen.
The technologies of the appliances at home in the living room have (in other words) not been able to convey the entire music experience from the studio because one has had to transform the original digital format into another.
You can use different concepts to describe sound quality, and here I will use kilobits per second ( Kbps ), which is an expression of where, many data information flows through the format per second. It is also called bitrate.
It is true for bitrate that the higher the number, the better the sound quality. It is similar to the resolution of an image where low resolution makes the image grained and unclear, while high resolution makes it clear with clear colors. Within digital images, we talk about pixels, where we talk about bits in sound.
Let's get started.
In a recording studio, the best quality is called 24 bit/192 kHz (or 24/192). This corresponds to 9,216 kbps.
Another and widely used quality is called 24 bit/96 kHz (24/96), which is equivalent to 4,608 kbps.
These figures are not particularly informative if you do not compare them with anything.
Therefore, a CD has a bitrate of 1,411 kbpsin comparison.
You can therefore safely say that digital sound quality is incredibly many things.
There is a big difference in the quality of the sound of the 9,216 Kbps in the studio and 256 kbps on Youtube Music.
Youtube Music is shockingly 36 times worse than the original sound.
We have wondered about this very much with System Audio.
And the first news is really good.
Now we can experience the music at home, just as it was created in the studio. It's a real sensation.
Subscribe to, for example, Tidal Hifi and set your phone, tablet, etc. to stream in Master quality. This way you'll experience music at 4,608 Kbps and a resolution of 24/96.
It is a sound quality that is more than 3 times better than CD.
Digital Audio has moved much more than most people realise.
To experience the high quality, it requires the many data to arrive at your speakers. It is not enough just to download the good sound down from the Internet.
The sound must be sent all the time and we will return to it in the later sections.
Yes, it must! The music becomes so much more gripping, magnificent and entertaining when you experience it as it really sounds.
It is great to experience.
But there are also times in everyday life where the entertainment just runs in the background.
How good should the sound be?
The short answer: as good as possible.
The slightly longer answer: we have experimored part with System Audio. We have tested many sound qualities in everyday situations, such as: work, family life, on the go, etc.
In short, situations where music is not in the center, but still important to have in the background. How good sound do we need?
Here we recommend Spotify Premium or a similar quality (320 kbps).
Spotify wins in particular on the functionality of the free Spotify Connect app, which is easy to use.
The audio quality of Spotify Premium is OK if you just don't combine it with bad speakers or a bad music system. Not to say: Bluetooth or cable connection from the phone to the music system.
Because then it goes wrong and the sound gets flat.
However, streaming Spotify over Wi-fi to a good sound system with good speakers is both good and easy in everyday life.
That's why you'll find Spotify Connect built in for example.
Spotify, on the other hand, does not offer what we call light quality. So the quality where you really hear the music.
Here is Tidal Hifi, Deezer Hifi and CD equal competitors, which you should clearly prefer when listening actively and enjoying the music.
For Tidal Master, HDTracks, Pro Studio Masters and others offer you to stream in studio quality 4,608 Kbps (24/96, Hi-Res, High Definition etc) and this is the first time ever we can experience music in such a high quality.
At System Audio We have therefore worked with the new opportunities and created SA legend Silverback: A family of active speakers that leads digital audio all the way from the studio to the speaker units without the sound being converted or machined at any stage of the process.
The clean sound from the studio comes untouched to the speaker units.
The solution constitutes in every way the music lover's desire dream since the start of digitised the music.
It's a very overwhelming way to experience the music. A lot of people are amazed at how much it means for the music experience that the sound is not going through long copper wires, conversions and analog electronics, but is disseminated digitally and completely without loss from the audio studio and into the speaker.
It is a technological breakthrough that cannot be ignored when you love good sound, and it even entails a great simplification of the music system.
Here are our recommendations:
Brief summary of today's blog post
You follow This blog about digital audioBecause you want to know more and want to avoid mistakes.
I opted to divide digital audio into 4 areas.
Through four blog posts, we need to follow the music path from the studio and all the way via the Internet and out of your speakers.
We must identify the places where the quality of the digital sound can stumble and how we solve it.
This section was about the source. Follow the next time we talk about transmission.
There are 4 areas of digital audio that you need to know before you can experience your favorite music in a new and better quality.
Therefore, I will now introduce you to:
I do this because digital audio often appears as just one single thing.
The impression is almost that if only the word DIGITAL is included in a product name, it is also a question of digital quality.
It's just not like that.
You follow this blog because you want to know more about digital audio and want to avoid costly error purchases.
Therefore, I have chosen to divide digital audio into 4 areas.
Through four blog posts, we need to follow the music path from the studio and all the way via the Internet and out of your speakers.
We must identify the places where the quality of the digital sound risks stumbling and how we avoid it.
I will write in a clear and untechnical language, but finally send an email if you have any questions or comments. Then I will answer for the best of my ability.
We are in the midst of a digital revolution.
The revolution has happened relatively quietly, but everyone has of course discovered the internet, smartphones, GPS, social media etc. Far fewer, however, have noticed how digital audio now surpasses its analog ancestor.
Digital technologies have made more progress in sound for the past 10 years than analogue technologies have done in the past 30.
Today we can stream music through the Internet at a much higher quality than we have ever experienced with a physical medium. All we have to talk about here on the blog.
The progress of digital audio takes place in several areas, and if you want to experience your favorite music in an unprecedented (high) quality, you need one thing:
With overview, I mean the 4 areas:
Source. This is the first area we need to talk about. From here the music is delivered (yes, or the film). The supplier can be Spotify, Tidal, Itunes, Netflix, Google Music, CD, etc. The quality of the data we collect from the sources is of great importance to the experience we get in the end. That's why we start here.
Transmission. That is the second area we need to talk about. Transmission is about the way we move sound data. It can be done through a cable, via Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular data, etc. We risk losing precious data that can never be recreated if we do not have control over the transmission. On the other hand, there are good, reliable solutions. Therefore, this is an important field.
Control. Want to have music in multiple rooms? Do you prefer to press a button or do you want to control the music with your voice? Do you know the audio difference between CD, Chromecast, and Airplay? And do you want to control the light and sound throughout your home? There are many possibilities and, therefore, control has its very own section.
Playback. The last stop of music before it hits your ears. In the playback section, we have amplifier, speaker, D/A Converter and the acoustics in your living room. Here the digital signal is transformed into sound that we can hear. Playback is the area where the digital sound really risks losing quality if we are not awake. This is the last of the 4 areas of digital audio.
Welcome to a small gradient where you get to meet the 4 symbols again.
We must follow the music all the way from the studio and into your own living room, to get the best sound experiences and avoid wasting money.
We'll see the next time we talk about the SOURCE and the incredible difference that's on the quality of sound through different providers and formats.
On Facebook, there are groups of vinyl fans that talk about the war between digital and analog audio. They are examples of how misinformation can turn into truths, no one dares to stand up against.
I love vinyl. I have two turntables and I arrange vinyl fairs, which means a lot to me.
But listen: there is no war between analog and digital.
Digital won a long time ago and changed our world.
Email won over the letter. Online banking won over the physical bank. GPS won over paper maps. The cell phone beat the phone. Online newspapers beat over the paper edition, etc., etc.
Wait, says vinyl enthusiasts…. music experiences are not the same as online banking.
I just want to know if you own a DVD-player, a Blu-ray or maybe you are streaming Netflix on the TV at home. Do you?
Do you ever sit back and enjoy these forms of digital media?
Because then I want to know what you think about the experience?
What exactly happened to the picture when the analog VHS was replaced with DVD?
Did the same thing happen when you decided to go for analog audio, instead of digital?
Let me guess. You think digitalization is a fantastic step forward. The picture is clearer and the sound cleaner.
Can't we then also agree that another (but really good) reason for preferring vinyl is that a staggering 500 million songs have been released on LP, while only 180 million are available on streaming?
Exciting music for small audiences rarely appears on a streaming service. By the way, it is not as nice to meet over an app on the phone than meeting over a box of vinyls.
Because vinyl, it's not about the sound. After all, if it was, people would compare the sound differences from different turntables, cartridges and tone arms before deciding what to buy.
But they don't, do they? People buy turntables as standard solutions. Packages, all adjusted from the factory, in order to call themselves vinyl freaks.
But buying a ready-made turntable is not particularly freaky, I think.
It is against the whole nature of the media, to deal uncritically with what you buy. There is an audible difference depending on how you put your turntable together. A big difference.
Just for fun, I created a poll in one of these vinyl groups.
I asked: How many have heard the difference between streaming and vinyl with their own ears?
I repeat: 25% heard the difference before deciding which technology to choose. Put another way: People are more than willing to join any trend as long as they can talk about the war between almost anything.
Nobody asks: What the hell are we doing in our bubble?
Sound expert and reviewer from the test magazine L&B, John Alex Hvidlykke, says: “Even with a good turntable, you can't compare vinyl and digital at all, as it is almost never the same master they are made from. Since you can’t make an LP with the frequency range and dynamics that’s possible on digital media, a new master is made prior to the vinyl cutting. So, to compare "identical" recordings is to compare apples to bananas.
The fact is that a really good vinyl record has a dynamic range of maximum 70 dB, while modern streaming with 24/96 resolution has a dynamic range of up to 144 dB.
Attempting to increase the dynamics of vinyl records means that bad record players are unable to play the records, as some enthusiasts have discovered.
A vinyl record sounds different in the outer grooves compared to the inner grooves. It simply sounds worse, the closer you get to the middle. That's because of the technology. That is why you often place the quiet songs in the end, to make the poor sound quality less audible.
The order of the songs is therefore not an expression of the artist's work, but a matter of the limitation of technology.
Can't we stop calling vinyl the best music media?
Visit the HiFi stores and hear the products yourself. Step out of the digital media and into the analog world. Drag yourself into a physical store and experience the differences with your own ears. Don't naively believe in recommendations from the talking heads on Facebook. They have no idea what they are talking about.
There are huge differences between different products and you might lose money if you do not insist on comparing them.
People are confused about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of consumer electronics and many of us are easy victims of fake stories.
We add motives and ideals to the products that they never had. The vinyl record is not a noble or a more musical format just because it is made before the internet and the hole in the ozone layer.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is a source of incredible amounts of music. Much more music than streaming. It's nice to put on a record, and there are great communities around vinyl that we can’ t find in streaming.
But digital sounds far, far better when we talk about services like Tidal and Deezer.
One of the challenges is that there is no way to label sound quality. There is nothing to comply with as a consumer, and therefore there is free access to all kinds of stories, such as the vinyl record's alleged amazing sound.
We need to be critical of who we listen to and not just believe anything we hear on the web.
Let's start a wave.