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24 bit vinyl clips, Examples of 24 bit vinyl and bit-reduced versions
mjb2006
post Feb 16 2012, 03:43
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I wouldn't worry about using SoX. Izotope's sample rate conversion is fine (except maybe Advanced RX 2's "intermediate phase"). See http://src.infinitewave.ca/
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Gretschguy
post Feb 16 2012, 03:49
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QUOTE (xnor @ Feb 16 2012, 01:31) *
Thanks for the samples. A simple analysis showed that most don't even use over 20 dB dynamic range. There's one sample which uses ~31 dB dynamic range.

As for sample rate conversion I suggest SoX. Dithering shouldn't be audible with those dynamic range numbers unless you use some aggressive noise shaping that adds a lot of HF noise .. which is only audible if you don't have HF hearing loss though.


Thanks Xnor, I measured these on AudioLeak and I get about 20dB between peak to RMS. Typically my CDs measure less than that. So is your 20dB the same as what AudioLeak is measuring? Would it help if I gave the snapshot from AudioLeak?

The last I tested my HF response it was very good. I will check SOX and I'm also going to look at the frequency spectrum difference in the samples using Logic Pro's EQ match.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 16 2012, 03:51
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QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Feb 16 2012, 04:43) *
I wouldn't worry about using SoX. Izotope's sample rate conversion is fine (except maybe Advanced RX 2's "intermediate phase"). See http://src.infinitewave.ca/


Thanks, this is helpful, I will check it out.
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cliveb
post Feb 16 2012, 10:17
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OK, I have listened to Gretschguy's vinyl clips and done a cursory ABX test with Foobar.

I was unable to hear any difference between the 24 and 16 bit versions. The playback was via an M-Audio AP2496 soundcard and modest Sennheiser HD435 headphones. I will acknowledge that the playback chain is perhaps not adequate, but I am not in a position to perform proper ABX tests on my main system (Slim Devices Transporter into ATC SCM100A speakers).

Notwithstanding my failure to distinguish 24 and 16 bit versions (which frankly does not surprise me), I do want to say that these are very nice vinyl rips. I have three of the tracks on CD and prepared the same 30s clips from those in order to compare. I also measured the RMS-to-peak ratio for the CD and vinyl rips:

1. Yes/Roundabout. My CD is an original (pre-remastered) British pressing. It has a bit more weight, whereas GG's vinyl rip has more sparkle and sounds more "airy". Perhaps the impression of "weight" on the CD is simply due to the lack of top end. RMS-peak ratios: CD=16.5dB, vinyl=17.1dB.

2. Prefab Sprout/Faron. My CD is an original (pre-remastered) US pressing (where the album is called "Two Wheels Good" instead of "Steve McQueen"). There is very little difference between this and GG's vinyl rip. The vinyl rip seems to have slightly better defined bass, but only on careful listening. RMS-peak ratios: CD=17.0dB, vinyl=16.7dB.

3. Dire Straits/Romeo and Juliet. My CD is a the first British remastered version. (I suspect there have probably been more remasters since then). The CD clearly has more dynamic range compression than GG's vinyl rip. Apart from the compression, the balance and detail seems very similar. RMS-peak ratios: CD=15.9dB, vinyl=19.0dB.

It interesting to note that there is precious little difference in RMS-peak ratios between the CD and vinyl for pre-remastered CDs, whereas there is a marked difference in the case of the remastered Dire Straits CD. Which pretty much confirms what a lot of us think about remastered CDs.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 17 2012, 05:33
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"Candyman" from the same remaster CD is measuring 13dB in Pure Music. The whole remastered CD is in this 13-14 range and the vinyl was measuring up around 23-24.

[again, I'm not claiming technical superiority of vinyl here, I'm claiming practical superiority in my opinion due to this lack of artificial compression that has been applied to recent remasters.]

Hey, any one want to buy some Siouxsie & The Banshees remastered CDs really cheap???

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 17 2012, 20:43
Reason for edit: deleting even more pointless full quote of own above post (pre-edit: behemothic quote pyramid). Stop doing that.
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2Bdecided
post Feb 20 2012, 14:34
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Sorry to reply a third time!

I've been enjoying your samples in the other thread. Here are some thoughts...

1) They're very good. I can come close, but not consistently.

2) They all have a slight smiley EQ (boosted bass + treble) compared with the digital copies I can find. It seems fairly consistent, which is remarkable given the various sources. The only conclusion I can draw (unless anyone has another one) is that either the vinyl mastering, or your playback, adds this smiley EQ - intentionally or not.

3) There are examples where every digital copy I can find includes audibly reduced dynamics, while the vinyl copy you posted sounds fine. I wish the Romeo and Juliet sample had lasted longer - I suspect the loudest drum beat a few seconds later would have revealed an even greater difference.

4) Even when apparently perfect, there's something about the sound of them that I associate with analogue. People say things like "more air" as a good thing, but my best guess is its down to small amounts of wow/flutter, distortion, noise, and reverb-like properties which add to the signal in a "nice" way. I may be imagining it (can ABX due to DRC+EQ differences, so that doesn't help!), but that's what I think I hear in your samples.

This last point is interesting to me. I think it's what some people prefer about vinyl. Many people claim that the vinyl lets you hear more of the original, but having heard pure digital recordings have this "added" to them on vinyl, I'm convinced it's (almost?) all "nice" distortion, and not revealing "more" of the original.

Take this as pure speculation if you wish. I'm as guilty of placebo as anyone. Can anyone think of a way us mortals can test it properly?

Cheers,
David.

P.S. I can't hear a difference between the 16/44.1 and 24/48 versions.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 20 2012, 20:09
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 20 2012, 12:00) *
@Gretschguy,

I also have several different copies of certain favourite albums - sometimes because finding a decent version is so elusive. One is enough if it sounds great. Five isn't enough if they're all flawed. Strange though that the most incompetent / couldn't-care-less record companies get to make the most money out of this racket.

As for 24/96 vs 16/44.1, you're not doing any harm using the former (assuming storage is inconsequently cheap) - with a ADC and/or DAC that doesn't support 44.1kHz, you're probably doing some good.

Only problem is, you can't come on HA and claim vinyl as a medium sounds better than CD, or 24/96 sounds better than 16/44.1, without double blind test results to back up those claims. Such results are rare, because the actual advantages are vanishingly small on well designed equipment, and inaudible.

Cheers,
David.


Cheers David, thanks -- can I say that the Decca release of "Who's Next" is the best (in my opinion!!!) smile.gif Noisy as all heck but sounds like (in my opinion) that there is little noise reduction or compression on that version. Check it out sometime if you like The Who. All the best...


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Gretschguy
post Feb 21 2012, 03:24
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 20 2012, 15:34) *
Sorry to reply a third time!

I've been enjoying your samples in the other thread. Here are some thoughts...

1) They're very good. I can come close, but not consistently.

2) They all have a slight smiley EQ (boosted bass + treble) compared with the digital copies I can find. It seems fairly consistent, which is remarkable given the various sources. The only conclusion I can draw (unless anyone has another one) is that either the vinyl mastering, or your playback, adds this smiley EQ - intentionally or not.

3) There are examples where every digital copy I can find includes audibly reduced dynamics, while the vinyl copy you posted sounds fine. I wish the Romeo and Juliet sample had lasted longer - I suspect the loudest drum beat a few seconds later would have revealed an even greater difference.

4) Even when apparently perfect, there's something about the sound of them that I associate with analogue. People say things like "more air" as a good thing, but my best guess is its down to small amounts of wow/flutter, distortion, noise, and reverb-like properties which add to the signal in a "nice" way. I may be imagining it (can ABX due to DRC+EQ differences, so that doesn't help!), but that's what I think I hear in your samples.

This last point is interesting to me. I think it's what some people prefer about vinyl. Many people claim that the vinyl lets you hear more of the original, but having heard pure digital recordings have this "added" to them on vinyl, I'm convinced it's (almost?) all "nice" distortion, and not revealing "more" of the original.

Take this as pure speculation if you wish. I'm as guilty of placebo as anyone. Can anyone think of a way us mortals can test it properly?

Cheers,
David.

P.S. I can't hear a difference between the 16/44.1 and 24/48 versions.


David, thanks for the notes -- this is very interesting. Take a look also for more presence around 1k in modern CDs -- anecdotally that's what I'm seeing. I hypothesize (no proof) that vinyl sounds clearer to some people because those frequencies are not built up so much thus providing a little less subjective harshness and the vocal perhaps sounds clearer as the upper midrange is often (from what I see) a little boosted on vinyl. This is PURE speculation but worth checking out.

Also, when I use the term "air" I'm usually just referencing the upper frequencies (> 12k). It is short hand for saying "the upper high frequencies beyond about 12k". In mixing terms I see the term often used, when you add "air" you usually boost the highest frequencies available to you. I don't think of it as an pseudo science term at all -- now the word "engaging" is perhaps over the line, but I feel I really finally understood what that term meant when I actually started tapping my foot and bobbing my head to "Oh Yoko" off a vinyl rip because it sounded so fantastic (to me). smile.gif

Cheers for taking the time to have a listen.
GG










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