How to love background noise - to a degree

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Active Member
May 28, 2009
This is mainly for the artsy / audiophile crowd.

One might go to great lengths to get their audio gear as noise-free as possible, yet still love the charm and quality of an analog vinyl LP with a pop or two, or perhaps just get in tune with very low level grooves.

When CD's arrived on the scene for me, and played back on the proper equipment, I was like everyone else "wow, no pops! Dynamic range!". Still cool, as long as a later remaster didn't destroy it completely.

To this day, I can have a quality FM audiophile experience, despite the 15k freq response limitation, and sometimes not a fully quieting signal either.

As long as my gear's own circuit noise itself isn't too intruding, or if the signal isn't in a multipath region, the low level background noise can still be acceptable.

WHY? Simply because it can be considered an analog "canvas" upon which all is painted - sonically I guess. If it is *too* perfect, it can be almost analytically sterile. Much like staring at an original Rembrandt, or looking at a holograph of a Rembrandt. I guess psychologically one seems real on a canvas, and the other one without is a dream.

The DANGER is that this should not be an excuse for manufacturers to put out noisy products!

Essentially, to live with background noise as a canvas, even THAT has to be high-fidelity. Multipath is not high-fidelity! :)

So strive to make your gear as clean as possible - that way if your source material has an *acceptable* amount of background noise, that is where the "canvas" will be, not shifted with an un-natural disconnect to your own gear.

Mostly this is a tip for any analog FM broadcast fans like myself on how to live with small amounts of background noise and not get discouraged. It is a fine line between an excuse for garbage, and "art" obviously. Know the difference and you'll be happy!
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