The dog gets it

June 7, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

When HiFi Family member Ed Spilka sent me the following note I just had to smile. How many times have I heard a similar story? Too many times to count.

And here’s the thing. It’s not just about vinyl. I have heard the same stories about DSD, vacuum tubes, and even good vs. bad cables.

I am sure the measurementists will have a field day with this one.

“I wanted to share an interesting audio experience that happened the other day.  We were visiting a friend of my wife’s in San Antonio. She was showing us around their new house when we walked into “his” room which held Wilson Alexandria speakers, D’agostino amps, Berkeley DAC’s etc. You get the idea.

When he came home he invited us into his inner sanctum and we began to play. At one point we were A/B’ing between his vinyl collection and streaming on tidal/qobuz with Sonny Rollin’s Way Out West. On one cut it is just the drummer and Sonny. When Sonny started blowing on the vinyl version, their dog began singing along—howling like crazy. As soon as we switched to the streaming version, the dog was silent, uninterested.

My wife pointed it out to us since we were too engrossed in “listening” to notice the obvious! It happened every time we switched back and forth between vinyl and streaming. Have you experienced that before?”

As I said, this has happened to me with animal reactions more times than I can count.

We might argue like crazy, but the dogs get it.

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54 comments on “The dog gets it”

  1. It could be misinterpretation of the data. Just because the dog was silent how do you know he was uninterested. He could have been calmly listening to and enjoying the streaming whereas he disliked the inherent problems of vinyl which caused him to howl like crazy.

    Of course if it was an HMV vinyl featuring Nipper he could have been reacting to the opposition.

    Apologies to the dog if ‘he’ is a ‘she’.

  2. “The dog” has justified my reason for jettisoning my vinyl collection & my last turntable, back in 1987 – “howling like crazy”…I also used to howl like crazy, internally though, from the lack of dynamics & the ‘snap, crackle & pop’ from the surface (groove) noise of my old records.
    Said dog was probably silent during the streaming version because time & time again I hear that music that has been streamed sounds exceedingly average.
    Thankfully I have all of my favourite canned music stored on Redbook CDs…apparently still the best sounding of the 3 options 🙂

    **Completely & utterly off topic**

    Hey everyone!
    Isn’t it wonderful living in a world where no-one has to take personal responsibility for the messes that they create & foist onto others?
    It seems that these days if you f#@k up, you can always point the finger & blame somebody else for your mistakes OR better still, blame the government.
    Isn’t it wonderful?!!
    I mean don’t people, or organisations, who create havoc & mayhem & then refuse to take responsibility for the resulting harmful results absolutely infuriate you??

    So, Donald Trump, no longer a politician, has stated that the world should band together & demand that China foot the 10 trillion US dollar bill for the financial damage that has been done to all of us from their (China’s) CoViD-19 (pandemic) virus.
    Any debts by countries owed to China should be cancelled immediately as a down-payment on the US$10 trillion owed.
    I never thought that I’d say this but I’m starting to like this Trump guy for showing some balls & showing some ‘personal responsibility’ common sense…even though DJT himself is one of the greatest ‘deflectors of personal responsibility’ known to mankind.
    Happy listening folks 😉

      1. chrisj1948,
        I’m an Aussie, right & with all the money & effort that the US has spent in keeping the peace in Europe & between Europe & Russia (USSR) since WWII & is still paying for, I’d say that said repatriations have been well & truly settled
        …would you like to do the maths Chris?
        Imagine if America completely pulled out of Europe tomorrow…including all the nukes that they have there pointing at Russia…again would you like to do the maths…?

        How much are all nations going to have to spend policing the South China Sea just so that trade between Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, The Philippines, etc. & the rest of the world can continue to operate unhindered?
        Who should pay for that?
        You & me?

      2. What makes this outbreak distinct from all others is that 1. there is growing evidence that it was created in the Wuhan lab; 2. that when people started getting sick, China covered it up, and 3. they quarantined travel out of Wuhan within China, but not to the rest of the world. So yes, if all that is true, then they own the responsibility because they invented it and sneakily exported it. Such deplorable hubris begs justice.

    1. Some people say,
      ‘You’re born and then you’re gone to soon.’
      Sometimes you’ve got to get it together.
      Sometimes you’ve got to howl at the moon!

      Marty Steinhauser (2007)
      “Howl at the Moon”
      Album: “Laid to Waste” by The Tijuana Gigolos

      Roots rock with a shot of tequila from a band of local heroes.

  3. Howling to join in, or howling at the lack of dynamic range and limited bandwidth of vinyl? I think the latter: the dog’s complaining about the lack of higher frequencies!

  4. Maybe “The Dog” was Michael Fremner. 🙂

    ^ And to comment on your Post Martin ( Fat Rat ). I think you make some pretty obvious and important points. People need to be held accountable for their actions and lavishly large mistakes. Anthony Fauci right now is finally a little bit on the hot seat and Bill Gates is being looked at more closely, however I think these 2 individuals are only just the beginning because I believe they’re just big ponds in the grand scheme of things.
    Firmly though, Scheming I feel is the right word to surround these Covid politics. Donald Trump said outright that Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquin are effective Covid 19 treatments and everyone laughed at him. My point to that is modern medicine if in the hands and practiced by the right people like ( Peter McCullough) is really really safe and effective treatment. I feel now this Vaccine looks worse than ever in my eyes because it is a symbol or a slap in the face to our already advanced modern medicine practices and studies.

    If one doesn’t believe me that our medical establishments couldn’t possibly be corrupt I think one needs to sit down and have a cup of coffee and listen to this man’s testimony.

    After one watches this I suggest cranking Queensrÿche’s “ The Needle Lies” or Black Sabbath’s “Heaven & Hell.”
    It is terrifically epic. 🙂

    And believe me. Even the Dog will get it! 🙂

    1. Nedimdim 81 is absolutely correct. Nepidimwit 81 – you are a great ‘Merican. Acknowledging DJT – the greatest of all greatestest Mericans – puts you in the winner’s circle, for sure.

      “Anthony Fauci right now is finally and Bill Gates…”
      You’re correct. They’re both reptilians who kill and eat babies in pizza parlors – just like all of the shadow guberment rulers. Doctors are liars.

      “Donald Trump said outright that Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquin are effective Covid 19 treatments…”.

      Absolutely correct. That’s why, when DJT himself contracted Covid-19, he was given a state of the art regimen of treatment available only to wealthy elite at that time – which included Dexamethasone, Remdesivir, and a super high dose of REGN-COV2 monoclonal antibody.

      So, DJT [the greatest Merican of all time] did NOT get Ivermectin nor Hydroxychloroquin.

      And, DJT [the greatestestes] recovered rapidly. Most importantly, he didn’t die.


      1. DJT often stated publically that he was taking precautionary Hydroxychloroquin before coming down with Covid-19. Obviously, it didn’t protect him. Obviously, Covid-19’s fake news, and DJT was right. Obviously.

      2. DJT was not given Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquin while striken with Covid-19, but he recovered quickly. Obviously, DJT didn’t need any medication whatsoever, because his own Superman Super Strength is what actually cured him. Obviously.

      3. Covid-19 is a lie, created by Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, and doctors [and millionaires and billionaires and babies]. There’s no such thing. It’s just another cold. Anyone who died from it was going to die, anyway.

      4. You’re a great ‘Merican

      When it gets warm, Covid-19 will just disappear. Science is a lie. Doctors and medicals are all liars, just trying to control you. The world is run but shadow governmentes, who are reptilians eating babies.

      Hydroxy 4-Ever.

      Rock on.

  5. Sounds like the interaction of his cartridge (probably an MC with a setup like that) and a slightly mis-loaded phono preamp is leading to an high-frequency spike that’s inaudible to the humans but deeply irritating to the dog. Too much total capacitance (including the leads as well as the phono stage contribution) across the coils of an MC cart can easily cause this.

  6. Strange…I heard the vinyl dog story a few times already, but never first hand.

    However the dog’s judgement won”t solve the battle. Vinyl folks will say “he got it and he’s unbiased” and digi heads will still say something like “the coloration above 20k is just messing around with some of his other instincts” 😉

    This will just be solved when Fremer or PMcG change camps 😉

      1. Yes!

        And we need more dog tests…analog/digitally sourced vinyl…music limited to certain frequency bands c etc. to narrow it down 😉

    1. Raise your hand if you know what clockwise and anti-clockwise (counterclockwise in ‘Merikun) mean. What is your goldfish’s opinion of “La mer” by Debussy?

  7. I care more about what my ears hear than what dog ears hear. If I wanted dog howling, I could blow a dog whistle while I listen to my digital. I could even rig a wire from a sound level meter that gives mild shocks to my dog to make her dance with the drum beats. Then send it to AFV and make $10,000.

    To which amps do dogs howl more: Class A, AB or D?

  8. Some years back i shared life with my dog Roadie(the Wonderdog)god rest her soul,and if there were sound effects of real nature she would perk up. As opposed to man made sounds she could care less…except maybe for snack wrappers.

    1. Back when we had cats and I would play Supertramp’s “Even In The Quietest Moments” that has real birds chirping on one of the songs they would wake up, adjust their ears and look for the birds that they thought were in the house.

      1. My dog is especially attracted to the sound of croaking frogs from the tiny speaker on my Ipad. She tries to find the phantom frogs behind the Ipad.

        When she is lying down in my office, whenever she hears Microsoft’s “Goodbye” on my desktop, she gets up and goes into the bedroom. Goodbye means bedtime. Conversely, when she hears “You’ve Got Mail” she thinks it’s time for a treat.

  9. I just recently had a similar reaction from my Chihuahua Devo. I have a dedicated listening room that I’ve made treatment changes to over the last year. I’ve also upgraded some equipment and cables.
    In the past, he would not stay in the room with me when I was listening. I noticed that after the changes which allowed me to clearly hear more of the musical and spacial cues, he now curls up on my lap and enjoys the music with me.

  10. When I would play a particularly good chamber piece, my dog, Mel, would come in to the room with the stereo and lie down directly between the speakers. I think he found the music soothing.

  11. IF this were my site, I’d had a simple rule :
    1. political comments/statements are not allowed (and will be deleted).
    2. persons who don’t comply with this rule (even after a warning), will be banned from this site.

    As for the dog, there’s a simple explanation : this animal ran away from Michael Fremer, couldn’t stand him and his 100,000 lp’s anymore.
    I’m afraid his (the dog) post-traumatic vinyl disorder will never heal.

  12. Hey completely and utterly off topic. I recently saw the perfect T shirt for you. ( Science doesn’t care what you believe). We’re all following Paul’s post because we are interested in it pertaining to AUDIO. We don’t don’t care what you believe either!

  13. When I play vinyl my parrot dances to the beat on the top of the biscuit tin. When I play digital he doesn’t move at all (thats because I’ve blown out the candle in the biscuit tin).

  14. Funny you mention that, on Rob Wasserman’s Duet album, Angel Eyes (Cheryl Bentyne) on vinyl only made my dog howl with the coyotes. Unfortunately, my Rotty Rocco recently passed. He was a great listening partner. RIP Rocco.

  15. My mother’s favorite song was The Silence (Il Silenzio) by Roy Etzel & his Orchestra. Beautiful trumpet track. On a vinyl 45. With the yellow snap-in insert adapter. She’d blast it as loud as that Webcor all-in-one would go.
    Our dog? – zzzzz.
    14 year old me practicing my band trumpet parts?
    Holy horrific howling hound from hell.
    Draw your own conclusions…
    Unless however, your conclusions disparage my teen trumpet talents. That would be the WRONG conclusion. I’ll have you know I was FIRST chair trumpet. OF SEVEN. And boy could we butcher a Beatles or Chicago tune in stage band….
    And when I went over to my buddy Mark’s house to practice, HIS dog howled as well. And his rooster Rufus would crow & cluck like Herb Alpert himself was after him with an axe and an herbed soup pot…..
    Sadly my mother would NOT let me take the 45 Etzel over to Mark’s house so we really don’t have a control group for this experiment…

  16. I am going to try this trick with my long-hair Chihuahua. I have two different systems for playing vinyl (one with a linear-tracking arm and a Shure 1000E cartridge) and streaming (one of which decodes MQA so I can stream both Tidal and Qobuz) along with the original release of Way Out West as well as a 180 gm reissue. Should be interesting, I’ll post a follow-up if something happens.

  17. My big black lab used to position himself in front of the right speaker. If the music was real soothing to him he would snuggle his back up against the speaker. He never did say a word or sing with the music, just smile and occasionally let out a big sigh. I miss my big boy.
    Way back when I was in school and learning to play the clarinet we had a bagel (fat Beagle) who used to howl with my practicing. Either my playing improved or she just got tired of complaining. She just went upstairs and didn’t make a sound.

  18. My dog barks only when someone she knows is approaching the house. If it is a stranger, nary a peep. Not much of a guard dog, but happy to greet those who love her.

    1. Charlie Brown once told Linus that Snoopy is the kind of dog that burglars fear most because they could be severely injured tripping over him in the dark.

  19. Always trust the dog. They are smarter than you think. Put two dog treats in your pocket and give the dog just one. The dog will stand there until you forfeit the other treat. You can’t fool a dog.

  20. My cat used to love sitting on my lap whilst I listened to my vinyl. If I played a CD he would jump up and move out of the room. I had a state of the art CD player – so it did not sound too bad, but there was something that upset him. It reminded me of when CD was in its infancy in the late 80’s and I would get a headache right in the sides of my temples every time I listened to any CD player. Finally I heard a Wadia and did not get a headache – so I bought one. Trust your ears (and those of the dog and cat it would seem).

  21. How about the Dog howling to the harmonica on the Mademoiselle Nobs track from live at Pompeii. Do you think he was just singing along or was really bothered by the sound. It wasn’t vinyl or digital, it was live.

  22. My Cocker Spaniel is one of my most lovely creatures. He’s a sweetheart who’s also sharp witted, however he started running away from us recently while we were out on a stroll. I made the decision to start walking him with a collar, but finding a collar for a small dog proved challenging. At my quest for a Small dog bark collar – , I looked in hundreds of shops before settling on this one from an internet retailer. The product was reasonably priced, and it arrived quickly as well.

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