Author Topic: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique  (Read 529 times)

Offline mresseguie

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WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« on: February 22, 2020, 10:20:13 AM »
"Streaming Music Doesn't Flow, It Evaporates" written by Virginia Heffernan.

Listening to streamed tunes through a smart speaker squeezes the ecstasy out of the experience. There are ways to get it back. [Link to article below.]

Alexa has no knack for pianissimo. Here's how to tell. Set her to living-room volume and ask her to play Berlioz's rapturous epic of sex and opioids: Symphonie Fantastique. The opening passages should be erotic and feather-light, but on the Echo the massive orchestra comes through as smothered whooshes, the exhalations of a pint-sized table fan caked in dust.


https://www.wired.com/story/streaming-music-amazon-echo-sound/

This was practically the first thing I read this morning. I have an Echo, but I absolutely do not (and will not) use it to listen to orchestral works or big dynamic pieces. Geez. Even my Adelphos two-way speakers aren't quite up to the task without a subwoofer tucked into a WAF-acceptable corner.

What do you think?

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Offline S Clark

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2020, 11:27:57 AM »
I guess it comes down to your expectations.  Our kitchen Echo gets played a lot-- by my wife while baking (Phil Collins radio) or by me cooking dinner (Rossini Overtures, Light Crust Dough Boys, Andres Segovia, or whatever).  It's just background music and not actively listened to, but at least there's music playing.  If I want a submersive experience, I've got other systems for that purpose.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline Nick B

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2020, 12:47:03 PM »
What S Clark said. I don’t have an Alexa, but if I want background music, then I play one of the great fm radio stations that Roon has listed. Any serious listening is usually after 9:00 pm
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Offline tmazz

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2020, 01:39:46 PM »
All I kept saying to myself while reading this article was "Duh, what did you expect?"

The author complains about the lack of dynamic range and fidelity from the Echo device. Well it only has a 3" woofer. If you are looking for dynamic range and fidelity you had better look elsewhere. The Echo is all about convenience, not good sound. It is good enough for many consumer level listeners, it does not, nor did it ever claim to provide audiophile sound.

Let's be real the echo is a device that contains speakers an amp, a WiFi connection  streamer software and a DAC that all retails for less money than many audiophiles pay for a single fuse. How good did she think it was going to sound? This is like bringing a pocket knife to a gunfight and then complaining that the guy with the AR-15 has an unfair advantage.

Then she goes on to complain about the music sounding compressed when she chose a device that plays MP3 files, which is compressed music by definition.  :duh

But what took the cake was the statement that "Only if you change your streaming settings to high or very high can you begin to hear a song or piece at near CD quality." Really??? Has this guy ever heard of Tidal or Qobuz???

For somebody who is writing for a supposed high tech web site she is really pretty clueless.  :-k

But I don't know what I expected. Anyone who complains that they cannot reproduce the dynamics of a full symphony orchestra with a single 3 inch driver has pretty much lost any sense of credibility with that single statement alone.

You don't go out and buy a Mini Cooper if you need to haul 4x8 Sheetrock for a carpentry business and likewise you don't buy an Echo if you are looking for high fidelity sound.
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline rollo

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 09:58:57 AM »
  No Echo , no Alexa we do it the ole fashioned way. We stream the Radio for background music. "The Ranch" from Ft Worth Texas.


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Offline doug s.

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2020, 11:25:29 AM »
what do i think?  i try not to, it gives me a headache.   :mrgreen:

seriously, i think you know what's coming next - get either a used grace gdi-irdt200 or new ocean digital wr10, and send the digital out to a quality dac and that to your preamp. (these units are almost identical, the grace is nla new; and the only real difference between the two is the on-line software interfaces they use to program stations is different.)

as everyone (and you as well) knows, i'm addicted to:
https://www.fip.fr

but there's a plethora of quality internet radio out there for all tastes; you can start here:
http://radiobit.50webs.com

doug s.
"Streaming Music Doesn't Flow, It Evaporates" written by Virginia Heffernan.

Listening to streamed tunes through a smart speaker squeezes the ecstasy out of the experience. There are ways to get it back. [Link to article below.]

Alexa has no knack for pianissimo. Here's how to tell. Set her to living-room volume and ask her to play Berlioz's rapturous epic of sex and opioids: Symphonie Fantastique. The opening passages should be erotic and feather-light, but on the Echo the massive orchestra comes through as smothered whooshes, the exhalations of a pint-sized table fan caked in dust.


https://www.wired.com/story/streaming-music-amazon-echo-sound/

This was practically the first thing I read this morning. I have an Echo, but I absolutely do not (and will not) use it to listen to orchestral works or big dynamic pieces. Geez. Even my Adelphos two-way speakers aren't quite up to the task without a subwoofer tucked into a WAF-acceptable corner.

What do you think?

Offline Brap

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2020, 12:05:10 PM »
Tmazz = Spot on analysis.  I got a chuckle about the review compared to the name...…….wait for it...……….wired.
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Offline doug s.

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2020, 01:55:52 PM »
run that by me again?   :mrgreen:


doug s.
...You don't go out and buy a Mini Cooper if you need to haul 4x8 Sheetrock for a carpentry business and likewise you don't buy an Echo if you are looking for high fidelity sound.

Offline tmazz

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Re: WIRED: Symphonie Digitique
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2020, 08:00:58 PM »
run that by me again?   :mrgreen:


doug s.
...You don't go out and buy a Mini Cooper if you need to haul 4x8 Sheetrock for a carpentry business and likewise you don't buy an Echo if you are looking for high fidelity sound.

OK Doug, you got me. But..... I didn't say buy a Mini to pull a trailer of sheetrock.  :lol:

However, while you might get away with that once in a blue moon as a homeowner, I can pretty much guarantee that if you haul around that kind of weight day in and day out as a contracting professional you will burn up the transmission in a Mini in pretty short order. So I stand by my original statement.

Also being a small front wheel drive car that was never meant for towing, I'm not sure how much tongue weight you can put on the rear bumper before to lift the front wheels to the point that you lose traction or affect the steering.

All that said, it was a cute picture and I got a good chuckle out of it.  :thumb:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 08:02:39 PM by tmazz »
Remember, it's all about the music........

• Nola Boxers
• Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
• McIntosh MC 275
• ARC SP-9
• VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Benz Micro Glider
• Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
• DigiBuss/TWL PC/MIT Cable