Goal of Gaudi II

2018/09/07 created
2018/09/07 updated

Basically, the goal of Gaudi II is hi-fi (high fidelity). The term 'hi-fi' is almost dead language in Japan. So it may be better to call it 'Hi-Res' (high resolution). It's a more contemporary expression.

Definition of hi-fi

It is rather difficult to define hi-fi.
In the old website 'Tonochi's Audio Room', I defined two sorts of hi-fi; (1) physical hi-fi: reproducing sounds precisely analogous to signals contained in the source media, and (2) psychological hi-fi: reproducing sounds I feel just like a live performance to my ears.
I didn't think the physical hi-fi always match the psychological hi-fi. There could be a psychological hi-fi system that is not physical hi-fi. I decided to pursue the latter one.
Now I don't think I gave enough consideration about this issue. Lately, I considered it again and came up with another definition 'musical hi-fi'.

I thought the physical hi-fi was not so important, because I felt the frequency response of Gaudi was flat though it was physically not. I misunderstood because I didn't know much about the fact that distortion affects volume.
As Gaudi was getting improved and distortion was gradually reduced, I became able to recognize the frequency response was not flat. Now I believe the physical hi-fi is a must.

In addition to the physical hi-fi, I'd like to define the other important concept: 'musical hi-fi'.

What is 'Musical hi-fi'?

My definition of 'musical hi-fi' is exact reproduction of the sounds the musicians intend to convey to the listeners. In this context, the 'musician' means every staff concerning creation of music, which includes not only performers but also composers, arrangers, recording engineers, producers, etc.

Some musicians create sounds of music considering what kind of audio device listeners use.
I've heard that some of today's J-pop musicians create sounds on the assumption that listeners use in-ear headphones.

Some vinyl discs are made without a limiter in the cutting process. The peak level of such discs exceeds 0dB. I hear that there are discs whose peak level is as high as +20dB.
There don't exist sounds whose levels exceed 0dB in the digital world, but there exist in the analog world. Automobil engine's 'red zone' is a good analogy. Sounds in the red zone may be slightly distorted, though, the distortion is so subtle to human ears it could be a good effect rather than distortion. It tends to make sounds more dynamic.

I hear that some hard rock musicians in the analog age utilized this subtle distortion to create dynamic sound. It is natural that many hard rock lovers are fond of analog discs.
I myself feel this effect when I listened to early fusion music. I experience often that a fusion LP sounds so exciting with the powerful sound of the rhythm section, while the CD of the same recording sounds soft and mellow like easy listening music.

This implies that in some cases physical hi-fi, where signals contained in the media are transformed to sounds precisely, is not enough to reproduce the musicians' intention.

Target

The main source of Gaudi II is vinyl discs just like Gaudi. Reproduction of sounds musicians intended to create is the major goal of Gaudi II (musical hi-fi).

As for digital source, I am determined to pursue physical hi-fi.

I wouldn't make much effort for recordings that are suitable for listening with headphones. Decent sound quality is satisfactory.

Through building Gaudi, I've been pursuing my favorite sound. But these days I feel happy when my friends praise the sound quality of Gaudi II or get caught up in music Gaudi II plays.
I'd like to set another goal: sound quality as high as audiophiles and music lovers other than myself would praise. Especially, I would like to satisfy female music lovers (because women tend to have better hearing than men).