Where is the world going regarding sound quality? We have changed our LPs, CDs and FM sound quality with Streaming and DAB! Is that’s why Amiga’s 8-bit sound in 2016 sounds better than ever? Here in this article I want to raise the debate about todays sound quality.
Beats turning into No beats
I so remember the times of my childhood when I had my Amiga 500 and Amiga 1200 hooked up to my Sony rack HiFi system. Also when I just listened to radio or CDs, the sound quality that was pulsing out made something with my mind and soul. I often turned the volume up quite high when I listened to MODs and MP3 music on 68030. Later I got PPC card, Amiga 4000 and DelfinaDSP soundcard also. The music sounded awesome on Amiga because of the phono cable sound quality. For people with much more technical understandings, this article might be not so useful but I am writing this from a end user perspective.
Beats in every music tone and sample got way more beats and music feeling back in the days. After I slowly got PowerBooks, PC laptops and later Mac Intel laptops after 2003. The sound of every tone were great, but at the same time I felt that there was something not right still. After I sold my Amiga 4000 with my DelfinaDSP card, I got myself a Pegasos II machine and a Soundblaster card that turned my Amiga sound love into a PC world of sound. However, AHI made it still give some of the Amiga sound quality that lacked in my PC and Macs machines. I really regret it until today, to have sold that Amiga 4000 machine more and more.
Understanding more today
Now I am older and I do understand more about why my mind was thinking as it did about Amiga vs digital sound. It has certainly got something to do with phono sound connection and minijack connection. So now with Apple trying to change that standard again, I just had to write this article down. At Distrita’s office, we have several machines. One of them is a Amiga 1200. We tend to listen a lot to YouTube clips and listen to stream services on-line. The music is great, but the quality is so paper alike… I don’t have words! Because when we put the MODs on from my Amiga 1200 that is connected thru phono cables to a LG 37″ LCD TV from 2006 the quality is really shocking in difference. Even with the simple 8-bit 4 channel Paula sound coming from the Amiga 1200. The sound quality is like night and day compared to the YouTube and streaming qualities for sure.
Retro sound is Better than todays sound “period!”
With our minds set into this digital sound world. Its unreal to even saying or writing about how great Amiga’s 8-bit sound is! Yes, its not 16-bit sound at all, but my ears loves the Amiga sound. And it’s not only Amiga sound. We also have a SEGA Dreamcast connected to the very same TV, that is also connected thru phono connectors. For test, we have used a VGA box etc. The quality of sound is just so much better.
More crystal clear sound with real beat touch
Listening to the music on today’s choices is nice. I even have several bluetooth headsets tested towards different HiFi-systems and mobile phones. The sound is great with devices having good equalizers. WinAMP also got this fantastic Equalizer sound the extra depth. But the phono connectors from the Amiga 1200, creates a crystal sound that gives the sound quality a much better vibe to the sound. It is simply not that flat! Yes… Try running AmigaAMP or Amplifier apps on AmigaOS 3.1 and turn on the Equalizers there gives the sound that little extra sound touch over WinAMP that makes worse MP3 sound quality sound better in some cases and MOD music way better. It is hard to describe in words… But do a this test:
- Put Amiga 1200 with Paula 8-bit sound, playing a 8-bit MOD connected to a phono compatible Hi-Fi system or Soundspeaker system
- Put a PC with a soundcard with phono connectors, playing a 8-bit MOD connected to a phono compatible Hi-Fi system or Soundspeaker system
- Put a PC or a Mac with minijack connectors, playing a 8-bit MOD connected to a minijack compatible Hi-Fi system or Soundspeaker system
Using adapters between minijack and phono connectors is not an option in this test as it does reduce sound quality. There is also 16-bit soundcards as mentioned in this article for Amiga. But thats for another article about the same topic. We have tested this set up for Amitopia many times and the best sound goes to the Amiga 1200. So if you have any Amiga model, you will have the very same sound quality pouring out. But the PC sound from a soundcard having phono connectors is also a nice way to have better sound. Or just by having a SEGA Dreamcast or a HiFi system with phono connectors connected to speakers that have phono connector connection helps your ears a lot.
If you want to have crystal clear sound that puts you in good mood. Then forget minijack sound or todays sound. With Equalizers on, you can sort of get the emulated version! The topic picture of this article was choosen because its one of Amigas most iconic drawn images from a TBL demo production. These demoscene productions tends to give you quality music tunes that is really recommended. Amiga’s quality is represented in every article here on Amitopia and so we present art in all categories. It is related to the article. Back to the topic of this article. Amiga sound is something on its own. As written in this article, we at Distrita got Amiga 1200 in our office and listening to the Amiga sound is really giving the extra edge now in 2016. After listening too many days on today streaming options that is said to have HD quality even. It is not the same!