Dietzel’s done this before… and I’m not sure if he’s happy about it or not…
For some reason, Dietzel’s mouth made me think of one of the close-up shots of Sigourney Weaver vs the Alien….
Maybe it’s the gum line?
And we all wonder which Soviet Air Defense sector headquarters got raided for those tubes!
This is called “Cabin FEVER”. Imagine what she would be dreaming or hallucinating about if different catalogs had arrived.
well she IS an audiophile afterall
Get a room, girlie!
I swear – she’s having a nerdgasm.
Maybe–but don’t we all tend to become nerds when approaching the areas of our interests (read: fixations)? 😀
Well, if she’s having a nerdgasm she’s in the right place. NERDS!!
I agree, but the woman NEEDS her fix! Just like us WAPSI junkies. I’ll cut her some slack – But I would like to hear it, just once. OK so I’m a recovering audio junkie. 2 roommates with way too much money in uni.
I’ve been around audiophiles before. Being trapped inside with one thanks to a blizzard would have me feeling like Dietzel looks in the first two panels – even if they were as cute as Monica.
I’m confused by jargon
Vacuum tubes vs. solid-state circuitry in audio amplifiers.
Tubes are generally attributed a warmer, more real sound than MOSFET-driven amps, thereby tube amps are generally sought after by audiophiles.
Tubes end up needing replaced after extended usage, though – they basically burn out like lightbulbs. Quality of manufacture affects sound quality significantly – the better the tube, the better the performance. The USSR/Post-soviet Russia tended to use tubes in a lot of their electronics, so they tended to have more experience in mass-producing high-quality tubes.
So how do I know if I can get the right tubes to fix, say, my old Crosley or Philco bakelite tabletop special? Is there a cross-reference chart for their numbers vs. ours? Or do they use the same numbers?
Some are marked like ours (made for export) the best have soviet markings (the ones She’s talking about) are usually labeled by the importer with our numbers most often as a label on the box.
Among die-hard audiophiles, tube amplifiers are considered to deliver a “warmer” and more “true” sound than solid state electronic amplifiers. One of the many theories behind this is the very slight vibrations of the tube components as they do their job, which adds a slight resonance to the sound signal they’re processing.
If you can tell the difference in sound quality between an MP3 playback and the original CD recording, say, with really good headphones, then crank things up a notch for the Tube vs Solid State argument.
And, of course, there’s Vinyl vs CD…
Digital vs analogue debate in 3 . . . 2 . . .
…Well, honestly, digital only goes down to whatever the programmer lets it go to. Eventually, someone rounds off. Analog has no round off.
Really, though, I think it’s less ‘analog vs. digital’ and more ‘custom craftsmanship’ vs. ‘plastic crap’. I’ve heard a few old style stand-up radios from the 40’s, and even though our science is better, the sound is amazing out of those old boxes. I’m convinced that if someone were to use the custom cabinetry, heavy (overbuilt?) construction of my parents time, and the modern computer-designed cones and drivers, you could make a digital experience to make even non-audiophiles weep.
Funny you say that. My brother took our family’s old custom Stereo cabinet(Uncles & father made it) and inserted rather pricey speakers into it(to give my then infant son quality classics to help acclimate him to his new home). He could only afford to replace two(the other speaker cabinets are still holding the antiques), but the sound is quite impressive. This coming from someone who doesn’t know much about speakers, but appreciate quality music.
Monica being all “Mommy talking to precocious child” is hysterical. She better give Dietzel some quality time with his Pizza Girl later when the weather thaws.
In theory, yes. Digital has a “sample rate” while analog does not. In practice, however, taking into consideration the inertia of the speakers and various electronic capacitances, you’re not going to be able to detect those individual samples. Also, vinyl does have a fixed resolution as well that diminishes with every playback.
Also, ALSO, vinyls are pressed using digital sound files. So…
Ultimately it boils down to which experience makes you appreciate music the most. In that respect, “better” is a purely subjective term.
Oh dear *cowers behind sofa, fingers in ears*
Feh! Digi? Ana? Wrecked my ears by fiddling around with synths on a too high volume for years. Sooo..wouldn’t notice the somewhat imbalanced overtones that make “old stuff’ sound so warm..
It’s true though that the first cd’s were over-processed here&there, but any decent 24-bit conversion of vinyl to lexan is good enough for me *ducks somewhat lower behind sofa*
on a side-note: With a Marantz NR1501 hooked-up to Jamo 606’s I wouldn’t hear it anyways, even when my hearing wasn’t so fracked…[listening to muffled “thump” of audiophiles all over the web fainting on the spot]
It is OK tho unfortunate if you’ve got damaged hearing. In America most people do after about 30. Considering the sheer volume some people run those earbuds at its a wonder they could hear a train horn.
Analogue is the purest, but is perishable. Time, distance, storage medium, transmission, all these things degrade analogue where as Digital is not so perishable.
Just compare the sound difference between the Mini/Little Phattie Moog synthesizers and any digital one. The analog ones like the Moogs produce a “fuzzier/fuller” waveform compared to a very precise one produced by the digital. Think: chord vs note.
It’s not hard to introduce that sort of effect in a digital synth – just a matter of adding a little random-phase feedback and a couple other things.
OTOH, very few synthesiser patches that attempt to mimic the Fender Rhodes/Clavinet electric piano get it precisely right – they sound good – they just don’t quite match the original.
There are good Farfisa and Baldwin patches, though.
So far as i’m concerned, the true sound of rock’n’roll – bearing in mind that i turned eleven the year the music died – pretty much requires a Farfisa or Baldwin organ, a Fender Rhodes or Clavinet and an over-blown sax – Strat or Les Paull optional, really.
True, but all synths with a digitally generated base-waveform have the same problem if one gets in the higher registers. They all start to sound shrill and thin somehow. An MS2000 does an admirable job, but the moment I fire up my minikorg 700s, odd as this beasty may look, you immediately realize there is a serious difference between analog and digital waveforms.
So essentially, analogue vs digital is Fresh fruit vs Dried fruit both do the job, but most will go for the easier to eat fresh fruit since it is smoother and generally consiered the best. however dry fruit keeps forever and still tastes good. The amateur finds them both good but a conneseur may have a definite favourite.
Thank you all I feel a lot less ignorant
well if they ever manage to **fully** reconstitute dried fruit to what fresh fruit is like, you may be right… still beyond todays tech though..
Even freeze drying destroys a large number of cell membranes, that is why the difference…
Of course if your taste buds are as ‘blasted’ as some ears, that the difference of cassette vs CD cannot be heard, well…. 🙁
With some people I’m convinced they couldn’t tell an 8-track from a CD. Trust me and the poor bugger was only 22!
Dietzel’s got quite the set of choppers there… 🙂
Vacuum tubes were much better than transistors!
Not according to honest double-blind testing.
In the early days of cd’s analog records really did sound better. But it was because the analog to digital converters in the cd players were , umm, really bad. OK. I’ll stop now.
Even more so, engineers didn’t know how to master CDs, and used masters that had been EQ’d for LP production
I bought my first CD player in 1986. (There was this Springsteen box set…)
Properly mastered CDs – like the Buddy Holly disk i bought (and wish i still had), or my copy of Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock’n’Roll” (which do still have) that i bought about then sounded just fine.
Others … not so much.
The thing that a lot of people don’t really understand/realise is that the “warmth” often ascribed to vinyl records is, in fact, non-linearity of reproduction and surface noise.
(I remember when painting the edges of your CDs green was supposed to make them sound better.)
I have to explain to younguns that is what Mike is doing in this skit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THbKEXBk8X0 Although he’s using blue for some reason.
Supposedly it eliminated bit-position jitter caused by multipath laser reflections within the plastic.
Actually, there is no jitter, anyway, since CD players read the (serial) data into a register and then dump all of the (parallel) data to the D/A converter at once.
Ugh. I have plenty of vinyl albums AND their CD counterparts. I listen to 1940’s-50’s-60’s pop and rock ‘n’ roll. And every CD I have where they’ve gone back and re-mastered the original masters from the vault, it sounds WAY better than the vinyl. Period. You get something that sounds like it was recorded in a studio instead of Joe’s Greasy Spoon, where you can hear the “onions frying” in the background. Even the CD’s where the only original masters existing are where they were recorded directly onto acetate discs have been cleaned up admirably. It’s amazing what modern technology can do to preserve the past.
Heheheheh . I love Dietzel’s expression in the first two panels .
Hmmm . There were also quite a few other choice Russian items of similar vintage , that I imagine are still floating around the marketplace .
God, I hate movies like that.
Honestly, to me, sound is sound. I have records, CDs, cassette tapes, radio, internet streaming, and MP3s…
They all sound the exact effing same. Aside from the record static, but when it comes out clear, it sounds the same as the cassette which sounds like the CD which sounds like the MP3, which sounds like the radio. I’ve never understood audiophiles, the human ear can only handle certain waves and frequencies… nothing makes 130mhz sound any different than another 130mhz…
My ears, fortunately, are in that class. Saves lots of money. Why spend the money for a really good set of speakers and the amp to drive them when I can’t hear the difference?
But some people say they can hear the difference, and will spend the money.
Actually, you’re not going to hear 130MHz, no matter what – the upper bound of audibility is about 20KHz.
However, i can generally hear differences in sound between mediocre, good and excellent reproduction – in general, cassettes aren’t going to be much better than “good”, due to limited frequency response and inherently low signal-to-noise ratio.
I can hear the difference in quality between 256K and, say, 96K MP3s.
(For that matter, i can see the difference between film and analog video tape on television almost 100% of the time. This sometimes makes older BBC shows – like “Doctor Who”, with video soundstage shots and film exteriors – fascinating to watch.)
And i can (usually) hear the difference between cheap/cheesy, fair, good and excellent audio gear – but i can’t hear the further difference between excellent and “extreme audiophile” gear that some claim they can hear … and, as i said elsewhere, neither can they in properly-designed and run double-blind listening tests.
Of course, similarly, the people who claim to be able to identify various beers by taste generally can’t in double-blind tests.
And then there’s Steed, at the wine-tasting in “The £50,000 Breakfast” – “… from the north side of the vineyard…”
Being able to distinguish between quality sounds from speakers is really just a more refined version of quality judgment. I mean, if you can listen to two talented people sing the same song, and distinguish which one provides better vocals in that instance, you’re making a similar judgment call…and if you can make that call when both people are the same gender and have similar vocal ranges (i.e. two mezzo-sopranos), you are distinguishing between sounds in the same frequencies.
Audiophiles do the same thing, but with speakers.
That said, I don’t speak the jargon (though I understand a fair amount given my father’s lifelong love-affair with sound systems). I just know what I like to hear and buy based on that. 😛
I’m probably 1/4 deaf, so the debate is mostly theoretical. I just get my music in the non-perishable digital format so no mater how many times I play it or store it it doesn’t degrade.
Alechsa, that may be true with ‘pure’ waveforms, but music is a far more complex waveform… the complex mix of harmonics needs such a big bandwidth to preserve this..
I can only say, if you think cassette, CD, radio all sound the same to you, you are either tone deaf, or too lazy to bother listening properly…
I’ve had vocal/music training, so I can discern the subtle differences in tones and pitches. There’s just nothing really different enough to make me prefer one over the other. Meanwhile, my boyfriend cannot even tell the difference between Gaga and Katy Perry’s voices (Perry is a soprano with comfort levels in alto, Gaga is a sultry contralto with a fairly decent belted soprano support, at least as I hear them)…. and swears by his iPod over anything…. Eh.
Oooh but it’s true. A Russian company called Svetlana made some of the best and least expensive broadcast tubes available during the early 1990’s. And the insulating ceramic was a very pretty pinkish coral color. A 4CX15000A was almost half the price of the American made equivalent. In the mid 90’s the quality went down hill fast. Paul knows his stuff.
I love it! Thank you for the beautiful Monica informed audiophile fantasy.
Wish I still had my stash of tubes. in the ’70s I bought (cheap) the tube tester and 200+ tubes from a defunct drug store. Kept my ham radio gear like new and made some nice cash fixing TVs etc.
The term for such tubes, at a time when they were a black market trade item, was “virgin commies”.
I have a Russian made 500mm mirror lens (in T-mount), and have always regretted not having picked up one of the “Seagull” TLRs when they were easily available…
Ah.. Russian Things. Build to last. Design follows function, not the other way round. I remember the sailgasm that my father had when he got (back in the early 80ties!) a russian marine mirror sextant for 200 dollars from a russian sailor in Hamburg. You can drop this thing, you can lay it for ages into salt water, it does not mind. And accurate like hell… kay, its ugly like nothing else, but who cares?
I have a Russian Ammo box that my ex’s father gave me to hold my oils and Sable brushes. Makes many weapons collectors drool and cry for some reason. That thing is solid, heavy, and takes a fair bit of abuse(I know, think of what it held inside). A good craftsman’s products are worth their weight in gold.
Wait, what? Monica doesn’t have her credit card number memorized? Is that even possible? 😀
You know, I was thinking the same thing… 🙂
Soviet times ended in 1991. You can’t call 91-93 years soviet time.
They were made to spec, ordered by the Soviet gov’t before the 1991 collapse. So, in that sense, they *were* “Soviet-made”.
Ah, conspicuous consumption. It warms my heart so.
Um, any tubes after Dec. 1991 were not “soviet-made.” They were Russian.
That is a well trained dog.
Given that Dietzel seems to understand English, can communicate ideas, etc, I don’t think training is involved. 😉
I”m not an audiophile, I’m an amateur (occasionally paid) musician and an industrial maintenance tech., and have been for 40 years. My ears are as good as can be expected for someone who blew out the left speaker of Mom & Dad’s console Magnavox with an Emerson, Lake & Palmer album in 1969 (they never noticed). My professional experience leads me to appreciate something simple that works. A few years back I met the guy who’s father founded Bryston – he owns it now. I asked him why an inexpensive new receiver had tons of features while a megabucks high-end system had nothing but an on/off switch. He replied,”It only does one thing, but it does it very well.” He then took me into his listening room, sat me in the sweet spot and put on some vinyl that I loved and was very familiar with. I was promptly carried away to a wonderful place where nothing existed but the sound and the pictures in my head. I’m not going to get into any this-is-better-than-that arguments, but I can totally understand Monica’s obsession.
You go girl!
Ditto. What you like (so long as it gets the job done well enought to suit you) is what you need.
Huh…I never would have known that the Russians made such excellent audio gear.
It’s not “audio gear”, it’s just the vacuum tubes that went into them. The Russians carried radio tube technology much further than the US did because they had trouble making transistors reliably. That and the tubes were much more resistant to the electromagnetic pulse that accompanied a nuclear detonation…
I didn’t know Monica was such an Audiophile.
Remember that Monica advised her friend what kind of speakers to use at the gym she was creating.
I still have a small but dwindling stock of SovTech tubes for my good old Peavy Encore 65. Only break it out to record, as it doesn’t really travel well, so that supply may yet last a while.
I just don’t love music that much. :3
I could use a backup set of ECC83s and EL84s for my Trace Speed Twin and Velocette…
I agree with those who claim it is more about quality craftsmanship than quality audio, because I know that, like a palate that can distinguish different vintages of a good Côtes du Rhône, an ear that can truly distinguish audio reproduction is rarer than anyone will admit.
That said, I think I’d like to see a much bigger effort in improving the audio engineering in cell phones…I tire of that tinny reproduction I must deal with…
I’d be happy if they would just give “ear” feedback, so the persons using them in public would not feel the need to speak so loudly all the time.
It’s called “sidetone”.
A bit sad with the russian electronics thingy. A whole generation of electronics is vanishing so fast and very little is done to preserve it. Everything wasnt just copies of western eletronics. Thankfully a few people are now collecting old russian arcade machines, computers and schematics so it wont be lost forever..
Next time: Monica builds an Interociter!
Look out for the catalogs printed on sheet metal…
There is no way anyone can tell me that Dietzel isn’t a smart dog.
I believe that Monica knows that … but doesn’t really show it, so it won’t go to his head.
I was just thinking these guys better be on the level. You don’t want to mess with someone who can do things that science and forensics don’t accept as true and possible.
Keep focused people…especially on Monica’s pose in the last panel!
Ye-um. Excellent laying-down-boob art, Senior Taylor!
We know Monica has great boobs. Russian vacuum tubes are new.
I think the new M statue being shipped has inspired Pablo to revist M’s audiophilia 🙂 been a while since we seen her spaz out over speakers. What next? Shelly picking up a Bass? 🙂 Good to see the good old storylines and character details coming back after so much drama!
And yet more confirmation of why I made a small killing off the 105mm howitzer-shell box of tubes I got out of my father’s estate, and which I flogged on eBay for an aggregate of several hundred bucks–no Soviet-made, either; they were all US-made GE, Sylvania, etc. Some a those mamas (e..g, the 42s, 45s, and 79s) went back to the ’30s, and none was older than the late ’60s.
The incredulous/faraway look on Dietzel’s face in the first panel was ass-kickin’ PLATINUM DIPPED! You go, Paul! 🙂
Poo. Beat me to it.
Speaking of the audiophile Monica – got my Patch Together Monica in Headphones yesterday. She’s now sitting on top my system speakers next to Tepoztecal with his beer. Wonder what Tepoz has been up to… 😉
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