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Discussion: Love and Madness - Johannette Zomer, Bart Schneemann

Posts: 18
Page: 1 2 next

Post by Ernani71 January 18, 2011 (1 of 18)
The soprano is totally distorted on the highs. Worst sounding Channel of all the ones I own. Usually Mr. Sachs does an amazing job, but not here. Does anybody else experience problems with this disc?

Post by toddao January 18, 2011 (2 of 18)
Ernani71 said:

The soprano is totally distorted on the highs. Worst sounding Channel of all the ones I own. Usually Mr. Sachs does an amazing job, but not here. Does anybody else experience problems with this disc?

You seem to be having a bad day given all your contemporaneous posts about"bad" recordings from this one to Bruckner,etc. I don't have all the recordings you mention, but I do have this and the Mackerras Mozart. I don't have a problem with either and this one is a demo disc of how to correctly record a soloist and orchestra.
May I suggest you look nearer home for the source of your discontent?

Post by Ernani71 January 18, 2011 (3 of 18)
The problem I experienced with it might well lie nearer home; it wouldn't be the first time. But in order to determine the problem, I would need to rule out the recording itself. I listened to the disc again with pen and paper in hand to jot down where the distortions occur. They are actually too numerous to mention, but on track 1 distortion occurs at 4:00 and 4:43. On track 3 at :12, :20, 1:23, 3:10, and 4:11. On track 7 there's one at 1:03, then at 1:12 and 3:36. The distortions occur throughout the disc whenever Ms. Zomer sings extremely high. There is no distortion relating to any of the instruments. The disc was a real pain to listen to, although I enjoyed the oboe solos. Apart from the distortions, the sonics were pretty much stellar. If you or anybody here who owns this disc could take a listen to the tracks I mentioned and confirm that there is indeed absolutely no distortion present, it would be helpful. I would also add that I have listened to a good amount of opera using exactly the components mentioned and generally experience no problem.

Now, if it's not the disc, what can be causing the problem? Not counting the cables, I am only using three components at the moment: my Oppo player, the Headroom amplifier, and my Sennheiser HD650 headphones, which have a frequency response of 10-39500Hz. Do I need headphones with a higher frequency response?

Performancewise, the recording is decent, but I still find Kiri Te Kanawa's Handel disc, The Sorceress, much more enjoyable overall, although it is not available on SACD.

As for the Linn Mozart discs, what can be causing the unpleasant digital sheen? The Oppo? But then why doesn't it do that to all my discs? For example, both the Blomstedt Bruckner 8th (Querstand) and also the Berg Lulu-Suite (Cybele) sound extremely smooth and natural to me. No digitalis at all that I could perceive. If I unjustly maligned the Mackerras -- or indeed any -- SACD, I apologize, but I can only go by what I hear.

Post by Jonty January 18, 2011 (4 of 18)
I would suggest the headphone amp is being overloaded. I find the disc just fine.I doubt the Oppo is distorting and the 650s can be driven hard. Just how loud are you listening? Does the distortion go when you turn the volume down?

I suppose the other question to ask is, what do you mean by distortion? Is it an actual break up of the sound or a ringing modulation? There can be an interaction with sound levels and your ears.

Post by Ernani71 January 19, 2011 (5 of 18)
Hey, Jonty, thanks. It's an actual breakup of the sound. It happens even when the volume is relatively low. I'm going to dig my old receiver out of the attic and replace the amp with it, see if that solves the problem. Now that two people have stated that they don't experience the breakup, it seems that it's happening on my end. It must be quite a recording if it exceeds the capabilities of an amp that hasn't experienced this problem heretofore. Thanks again.

Post by rammiepie January 19, 2011 (6 of 18)
Ernani71 said:

Hey, Jonty, thanks. It's an actual breakup of the sound. It happens even when the volume is relatively low. I'm going to dig my old receiver out of the attic and replace the amp with it, see if that solves the problem. Now that two people have stated that they don't experience the breakup, it seems that it's happening on my end. It must be quite a recording if it exceeds the capabilities of an amp that hasn't experienced this problem heretofore. Thanks again.

It could be a bad speaker, also or like me, maybe you have a midrange hearing loss. Sometimes I think I hear distortion and then cup my hands over my ears and presto, it's my hearing loss....it's like a raspy distortion.

Post by Ernani71 January 28, 2011 (7 of 18)
rammie, I read your comment about how some people are too vain to admit they have bad hearing, but I honestly don't think that is the problem in this case. I have tinnitus (constant high-pitched ringing in both ears that drives me nuts sometimes), but tests have shown that, despite the tinnitus, my hearing is pretty normal, or at least it was a few years ago. The distortion is specific to this recording and perhaps one or two others. It's also not the speakers because I use headphones and they play other discs perfectly. I just ordered a new amp; hopefully, that will solve the problem.

Post by Ernani71 February 3, 2011 (8 of 18)
New amp did not solve the problem. This Channel "Love and Madness" SACD is going in the garbage. I'm not going to upgrade my entire system for one disc when other discs play fine.

If you want a good Handel aria record, skip this one and go for

Handel: Arias - Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

Post by DSD February 3, 2011 (9 of 18)
Ernani71 instead of throwing it in the garbage why not sell it or donate it to the library?

Post by Ernani71 February 3, 2011 (10 of 18)
DSD, if you would like this SACD I will gladly mail it to you. Maybe you can even tell me if you hear the same thing I do. The reason I was going to throw it away and not sell or donate it is that, although I purchased it brand new, the case/artwork got damaged in the mail, but the disc itself is flawless.

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