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Skeptoid: Digital vs Vinyl, Podcast casts its skeptical eye on digital audio
kraut
post Apr 10 2012, 06:09
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QUOTE
as is your vile defamation of those who have actually bothered to become informed.


Thanks for your kind words.
I have no idea what the slander consists of, but I guess to raise questions is enough to invite such characterization.
I also appreciate the friendly invite to spend 20$ per paper to access information that others refer to without actually citing specific results in most cases (except one as far as I recall).

As to predominant:
"pre·dom·i·nant
   [pri-dom-uh-nuhnt] Show IPA
adjective
1.
having ascendancy, power, authority, or influence over others; preeminent.
2.
preponderant; prominent: a predominant trait; the predominant color of a painting."

Which to me means elastic deformation is "preeminent" at an unspecified lower tracking weight

I think after that pleasant experience:
when asking questions and where the attack on statements - for sure not in the most pleasant manner - are being framed as "personal and now even "vile" attacks;
on a site that claims to be dedicated to evidence based claims where I think I am permitted to vigorously question postings and statements that do not contain any specifics;
where I am asked to confirm for myself claims made by others without supporting data, to read up and pay for papers that are behind a paywall;
where it is ok for some to characterize postings and statements in a not very friendly manner but not by others (from my observation of the behaviour of mods and long term residents apparently a question of seniority)

I frankly think it is time to just walk away and in future mind my own business.

This post has been edited by kraut: Apr 10 2012, 06:10
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knutinh
post Apr 10 2012, 09:16
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QUOTE (Woodinville @ Apr 10 2012, 05:58) *
QUOTE (knutinh @ Apr 9 2012, 15:28) *
I'd like to see more attention on the capture and rendering of spatially realistic audio and reference playback behaviour (absolute loudness, frequency response etc).

-k


That, in a nutshell, is precisely the place where "stereo" falls light-years short.

I've been a member here for some years. These discussions about minute differences between different stereo media never seems to end. Although it can be interesting to follow them due to the energy put into the science of perception as well as the art of debating, I think that the mind and time of those who choose to contribute could have been better spent elsewhere.

Common for these discussions all is that:
1. They usually cannot be confirmed using blind listening
2. When compared to the scale of modifications caused by recording technicians, loudspeaker (placement) etc, they tend to seem irrelevant

Compare this to the case with spatial reproduction. We know that humans can sense the direction of a sound source to within 5 degrees or 1 degree or something thereabout - in a sphere surrounding our head. No doubt further limited in many ways, this nevertheless suggests that sound reproduced over 2 loudspeakers in a room will never be anything but a crude approximation to most general soundfields encountered in real-life. The indeterminacy of the playback setup further means that the sound engineer have no accurate idea of what the playback really will sound like, and is therefore limited in the amount of "tricks" or "compensation" she can apply to the severe limitation that 2 channels represent.

We have all of this cheaply available dsp-power in our hands, and shelf-meters of science on perception. Instead of using this to improve listening experience in a significant way, we argue over audibility of stuff that is 40dB or 96dB below the signal, and playback mechanisms that are too fragile and cost-inefficient to ever become sensible mainstream audio playback systems.

-k
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Nessuno
post Apr 10 2012, 10:56
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QUOTE (knutinh @ Apr 10 2012, 10:16) *
We know that humans can sense the direction of a sound source to within 5 degrees or 1 degree or something thereabout - in a sphere surrounding our head. No doubt further limited in many ways, this nevertheless suggests that sound reproduced over 2 loudspeakers in a room will never be anything but a crude approximation to most general soundfields encountered in real-life.


True in general, but every "real life" musical experience comes from musical sources in front of the listener, unless you want to reproduce the player's own experience, so the two channel approximation all in all is not so crude.


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knutinh
post Apr 10 2012, 11:52
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 10 2012, 11:56) *
True in general, but every "real life" musical experience comes from musical sources in front of the listener, unless you want to reproduce the player's own experience, so the two channel approximation all in all is not so crude.

I shall stop my offtopic contribution with this post. Perhaps this discussion should be split into a separate thread.

Unless you are trying to simulate the acoustics of an anechoic chamber, and you are also listening in an anechoic chamber, I believe that:
1. The soundfield that you are trying to emulate will include energy from practically all directions (although at highly different levels)
2. The signal coming from your amplifier will be altered by the loudspeakers and room to come from practically all directions (although at highly different levels)

The problem is that 1. and 2. will usually deviate from one another in complex, perceptually significant ways (my claim). The concert hall might include desirable late-arriving significant reflections from side-walls to your left and right (difficult to record and distribute), while the listening room might include an undesirable, significant reflection from the wall directly behind you (difficult to suppress). The individual pipes of an pipe organ will both have a different direct path to your head, and interact with the reverbrant room in somewhat different ways. The end-result is that the sound that reach your ears is "spatially complex", and I believe that there is sufficient evidence that humans have (at least) the low-level sensory aparatus to appreciate such differences. This is in contrast to e.g. energy > 20kHz where evidence of perception is very scarce to say the least.

I think it is reasonable to speculate that "spatial accuracy" is the single largest perceptual audiological flaw in "state-of-the-art" reproduction of acoustic music, perhaps the only. I.e. what cause listeners to perceive the difference between "being there" in a concert hall, and listening to commercial recordings of the same event, when all senses and biases except hearing is excluded.

-k

edit:
Most pop-music is produced with goals different from that of reproducing a real acoustic performance. I think my point still stands: people will be able to perceive more spatially "rich" rendering than we usually have today, and pop music producers might want to exploit this space to do creative stuff. But the reproduction chain from studio to listener severly limits them from doing so.

This post has been edited by knutinh: Apr 10 2012, 12:15
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pdq
post Apr 10 2012, 12:54
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Say what you will about two channels, but I grew up in the age of mono, and the first time I heard stereo I was blown away.
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pdq
post Apr 10 2012, 15:44
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QUOTE (splice @ Apr 9 2012, 17:03) *
QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 9 2012, 08:54) *
@splice: That's an awful lot of conjecture, and frankly I see almost nothing that I would agree with.


We were indeed making great strides in vinyl technology in the 80s, and the Soundstream system was real.

I don't have any details on the Soundstream system of recording audio data optically on a card, but let's muse on that a little.

A CD has a data track that is over 5,000 meters long by 1.6 micrometers wide. It is scanned at a rate of about 1.2 meters per second. The disc is about 1 mm thick so that a lens that is almost in contact with it can have a very short focal length and very small f/ number. Without that it would not have enough resolution at the wavelength available in early 1980's diode lasers to resolve 1.6 micron details.

Now what would be the equivalent in a "card"? To have the same storage area as a CD it would need to be about 8x10 cm. To be able to read the data with the same inexpensive diode laser you would still need to have the lens almost in contact with the card, but now you are scanning the data rectilinearly, i.e. scan one axis very rapidly while tracking the other axis within 1.6 microns. To achieve 1.2 meters per second scanning you would need to scan the long axis 12 times per second back and forth. Does any of this actually sound like a viable alternative to CD?

If someone has real information on how the Soundstream system worked I would love to hear it. Perhaps they had some approach that I have not thought of that made it all practical, but after all, their product was never introduced and shortly after they went out of business.

Edit: I searched for Soundstream's patents, and none that I found related to optical storage of audio data. Apparently they didn't value the idea very highly.


This post has been edited by pdq: Apr 10 2012, 16:43
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DonP
post Apr 10 2012, 16:18
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Apr 10 2012, 05:56) *
True in general, but every "real life" musical experience comes from musical sources in front of the listener, unless you want to reproduce the player's own experience, so the two channel approximation all in all is not so crude.


Ambiance of the venue aside, you can distinguish between live performances where the sound is coming directly from each performer's instrument and/or mouth, and those where it all comes from a speaker or stack on either side of the stage.

I have heard some very engaging 5.1 concerts where the rears had some music reflections, but the surround was mostly audience sound.

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lvqcl
post Apr 10 2012, 16:39
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Don't know about Soundstream... found this: http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/aeshist/stan...ds/jaes29-1.pdf

QUOTE
JVC AHD DIGITAL AUDIO DISK SYSTEM:

Pickup method: Grooveless electro-tracking capacitance pickup system
Disk size: 260 mm (10 in)
Revolutions: 900 r/min, the same in PAL and SECAM countries
Playing time: 2 hours (1 hour per side)
Number of channels: 4 (3 audio channels and 1 still-picture channel)
Quantization: 16 bit linear
Sampling rate: 47.25 kHz
Picture transmission method: Digital
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Nessuno
post Apr 10 2012, 18:09
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QUOTE (knutinh @ Apr 10 2012, 12:52) *
I shall stop my offtopic contribution with this post. Perhaps this discussion should be split into a separate thread.


I keep answering here, but yes, if a mod could fork another thread, that would be better.


QUOTE
Unless you are trying to simulate the acoustics of an anechoic chamber, and you are also listening in an anechoic chamber,


Well, I think a main point here is deciding if a musical recording is intended to be a mere reproduction of the whole sonic event or rather a media to deliver the artistic content of the event itself.
I lean toward this latter meaning, so the idea of an event recorded and reproduced in anechoic chambers is not so far from what I expect from an ideal recording, be it live or studio (BTW: for this reason I do like near field listening): every "non musical" content, like poor auditorium acoustic treatment, large cathedral reverberations etc... must be, as much as possible, avoided. Under this point of view, which is of course a subjective one, a stereophonic rendering is always an approximation (no vertical and limited depth resolution) but not such a bad one and worth devoting further researches. Miking and mixing techniques on one side, room treatment and most of all, speaker placement on the other can do wonders!


QUOTE
Most pop-music is produced with goals different from that of reproducing a real acoustic performance. I think my point still stands: people will be able to perceive more spatially "rich" rendering than we usually have today, and pop music producers might want to exploit this space to do creative stuff. But the reproduction chain from studio to listener severly limits them from doing so.


This is more related to the ways an artist could find to express his aesthetic choices and how he is able to master and overcome technical limitations which are inherent in every tool he could use. But it would be an act of artistic creation: if a composer feels like using a surround multichannel system, which already exists, as part of his artistic work, then that system will become a tool required to perform and reproduce it. And maybe as long as other artists will embrace this movement, more surround systems will enter music fan homes.

All that said, using surround to help me better localize that coughing one two rows behind and five seats right… no, thanks! wink.gif


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splice
post Apr 10 2012, 21:54
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QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 10 2012, 07:44) *
... If someone has real information on how the Soundstream system worked I would love to hear it. ...


There was a multi-page article in, I think, HFN&RR back in the 80s. I'll get the publication date if you want. After reading your theorising on how it worked, you need to prepare for a paradigm shift... 3 lasers and pickups, mounted 120 degrees apart on spinning discs, facing each other. The film card travelled between them, mounted on a leadscrew driven carrier. The data was recorded in an arc across the card. As one head left the card at one edge, the next head was starting to read at the other edge. I never found any explanation why they didn't pursue it, but I suspect it may have been too hard to "productionise" the tolerances needed to harmonise the tracking of the 3 heads. It would be a lot easier with current electronics (one head and a buffer), but now film technology is going away...


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 11 2012, 16:14
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QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 10 2012, 10:44) *
If someone has real information on how the Soundstream system worked I would love to hear it. Perhaps they had some approach that I have not thought of that made it all practical, but after all, their product was never introduced and shortly after they went out of business.


Wikipedia Soundstream article

Check the last 2 footnotes...
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splice
post Apr 17 2012, 02:47
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Mar 29 2012, 03:26) *
QUOTE (hlloyge @ Mar 29 2012, 09:44) *
QUOTE (Fandango @ Mar 29 2012, 03:38) *
I doubt he will challenge the theoretical limitations of the vinyl format.


Aren't those limits practical limits, not just theoretical? S/N, crackling, wow&flutter...?


Maybe the sense is that the practical limits of common hardware prevent you to reach the theoretical ones of the format?


Jim LeSurf did some work in the trackability area, examining the theoretical limits and the limits used in practice.
My apologies if you've seen them before. I don't think they've been quoted in HA recently.

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/LP1/KeepInContact.html
http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/LP2/OnTheRecord.html
http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/LP3/aroundthebend.html
http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/HFN/LP4/NewLampsForOld.html



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pdq
post Apr 17 2012, 13:34
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Only in the world of vinyl would 1% THD be referred to as "excellent".
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 17 2012, 13:43
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QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 17 2012, 08:34) *
Only in the world of vinyl would 1% THD be referred to as "excellent".


Umm, 1% THD is also cosidered to be excellent in the world of loudspeakers.

Under some conditions 10% THD is considered both excellent and acceptable for a loudspeaker.
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Pio2001
post Sep 15 2012, 16:45
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QUOTE (Fandango @ Mar 29 2012, 22:13) *
But I dare think no-one has ever done an elaborate ABX test between vinyl and CDs where they have checked for vinyl playback giveaways. Would be interesting, even though I also have made my choice based on more practical reasons years ago.


Hello guys,
For what it's worth, I have a small collection of samples recorded from vinyl and ripped from CD, that are time and level-aligned in order to allow a comparison, or atleast to listen to the specific distortions of vinyl, recorded into digital files.

In this listening test, some samples from the same songs come sometimes from vinyl vs CD, sometimes from different pressings of the same vinyl, sometimes from different masters. Several intersting cases are present.
Here is the link : http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=37328
The result were only published in French, there : http://forum.hardware.fr/hfr/VideoSon/HiFi...jet_87812_1.htm
But if you need some clarification in English, just ask me.

It features a total of 8 pairs of samples, plus one set of 4 ones from various sources. 14 people downloaded and commented them. All were invited to ABX them. Indeed, all pairs were easily ABXable, except one that is only ABXable with some concentration.


Besides this test, here is a more specific pair of samples :

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...speed-level.wav
http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...trackmaster.wav

The same record, taken from two different turntables, with two different stylii. The samples are speed-corrected (turntable speeds didn't match), level-aligned, and equalized (the cartridges had a different frequency response). The goal was to listen to a specific distortion that might be related to stylus wear, of maybe tonearm quality, I don't know. The distortion was present in one of the two playback setup, and I wanted to ABX it. It's the same kind distortion that you hear at the end of a 33 rpm side when chorus or organ is recorded, except that here, we can hear it caused by the playback equipment.
It seems easy to hear in non blind conditions, however, succeeded this ABX test was a challenge for me. But I did it. There is indeed more distortion in the Trackmaster file. It took me a lot of time and effort to spot it, but once I did, the ABX suddenly became a piece of cake.


Here are six isolated samples. I selected them long ago in order to illustrate the surface noise of vinyls in the most common conditions. Just in case someone was curious.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...ise/33clean.mpc
An example of high quality 33 rpm record. The label was EyeQ, and their releases, though aimed at DJ's, were always top quality.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...ise/average.mpc
The average surface noise of a clean LP. The recording level is similar to the other samples, it's just that this part of the music is quiet.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vinylnoise/bad.mpc
An example of poor quality, but brand new LP. It was not uncommon to get new records with that amount of noise.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...ise/defects.mpc
Two examples of defective records. Both from the 1990's.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vinylnoise/occaze.mpc
An example illustrating the average noise of an LP bought second hand.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vinylnoise/worn.mpc
An example of good quality record (bought second hand, btw), that has been played tens and tens of times.


Last, I have got a very special test, of little interest. I recorded two times the same record with the turntable just in front of the speaker. One time with the speaker off. One time with the sound at full power directed right on the cartridge. I wanted to test the claim that feedback from the speakers was a plague for sound quality, and that a Larsen loop was even possible.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...ithfeedback.mpc
http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...outfeedback.mpc

No Larsen. Nothing. I can't even ABX them !
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hlloyge
post Sep 15 2012, 19:09
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QUOTE (Pio2001 @ Sep 15 2012, 17:45) *
Last, I have got a very special test, of little interest. I recorded two times the same record with the turntable just in front of the speaker. One time with the speaker off. One time with the sound at full power directed right on the cartridge. I wanted to test the claim that feedback from the speakers was a plague for sound quality, and that a Larsen loop was even possible.

http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...ithfeedback.mpc
http://3141592.pio2001.online.fr/files/vin...outfeedback.mpc

No Larsen. Nothing. I can't even ABX them !


Well, I had a tape of recorded from vinyl Kraftwerk album, The Man Machine, with the sound of some acid house in the distant background, almost at the noise level - you could hear it while listening with headphones on the quiet parts. Tape was new, unsealed, Type2 TDK SA.
Friend who taped me that said he was recording and listening quite loudly to some house CDs.
That was in late 80's. I can't abx that, because this tape doesn't exist anymore, as I bought Kraftwerk albums on CDs in the mean time... smile.gif
And FYI, I'm not audiophile in the means that I need expensive gear to enjoy music - I'm more of an musicfile, gear has to be adequate so I can recognize the instruments... smile.gif
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Pio2001
post Sep 15 2012, 19:31
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Yes, that is something that I noticed too. Never listen to something else while you record a vinyl ! But it seems that either this kind of feedback is harmless if the signal is the record itself, or some turntables are more sensitive than others. The one used for the feedback test was a Technics SL-3100.
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mzil
post Sep 16 2012, 00:57
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On some receivers/preamps the record out selector (or just input selector) doesn't have perfect isolation between inputs, there is electrical bleed through -[just like the L and R ch also sometimes bleed through to each other], even if those other inputs aren't being listened to. On receivers this can particularly be a problem since you can't really turn off the tuner section on many, it is always "on" even if no frequency is displayed. The best you can do is tune to dead air and/or disconnect the antenna, if it is a problem.
---

On turntables acoustic feedback is often via vibration from the resting surface and not via sound waves through the air. If one were to want to induce it, try placing the turntable on the (full range) speaker and defeat (if possible) the phono preamp's subsonic filter.

In its extreme form it will make a loud howling noise, just like stage mics are known to, however it also can subtly color the music at lower levels. The effect is subtle and easily masked in many situations. Turntables with good vibration isolation, such as ones with a floppy, floating sub-chassis (keeping the arm and platter suspended in their own separate world, without a direct connection to the plinth), are typically immune to this problem, in fact that is why they are made this way.

This post has been edited by mzil: Sep 16 2012, 01:23
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krabapple
post Sep 16 2012, 18:22
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For us non-Francophones, here's Google Translate's attempt of the Conclusion. Some bits are less comprehensible than others ;>



QUOTE
We found that the difference between vinyl and CD can be heard on digital copy, which is not surprising, vinyl does not have perfect sound.
More surprisingly, the greatest differences are not always found between CD and vinyl (RMB, bad press), but also a vinyl to another (Depeche Mode - A Question of Lust), and even throughout another of the same vinyl (Legendary Pink Dots - Pennies for Heaven / Evolution).
 
Among other differences, the differences in balance bass / treble are important. They vary from one disk to another, from one label to another (the German distributor of Depeche Mode, Intercord, produces vinyl still missing treble), but always returns a trend: these excerpts vinyl have more serious (about 50-100 Hz), and less acute (around 3000 - 12000 Hz) than their counterparts in CD. Cete trend can not be attributed to the recording chain. This is a characteristic of the cell used to read the disc: Stanton Trackmaster EL one. Phonolectrices cells have very different response curves, which determine a large part of their "tonal color."
The CD has the merit to linearize the response curve, very unstable vinyl.
 
It begs the question of whether these differences disappear when we turn to the high end. From my own experience, I found the same saturation and distortion, and the same response curve differences between different vinyl with a platinum Rega Planar 3 (excellent audiophile turntable input range) with a cell Denon DL-110 (voice coil high output). For cons, the trend "serious before, acute withdrawal," which gives a "warm and round" is definitely not a feature of the "vinyl sound" is unique to my system read-only.
 
We can also ask whether the defects highlighted here are not offset by the qualities of vinyl, the digital copy could not reproduce. A blind test conducted with the material used to prepare the samples, same source, same ACD, showed that the loss of quality due to scanning are negligible, even if they are audible: http://www.hydrogenaudio. org / forum [...] = 21 & t = 7953"
 
We have also seen that blind, without prejudice to the race and high volume nasty labels, a remastering of 1998, once compensated volume, seems extremely bad for all listeners, compared to the record original.
 
I hope you enjoyed this test, and allowed you to have a more concrete idea of ​​the faults in the sound of vinyl.



I'm most curious about the statement " blind test conducted with the material used to prepare the samples, same source, same ACD, showed that the loss of quality due to scanning are negligible, even if they are audible" Not sure what this is supposed to mean. If it means, there is a an audible loss of quality due to digitization of an LP -- or even a an audible difference -- that doesn't seem to be demonstrated in the link provided.

Btw, has anyone rigorously examined the per-play variability of a turntable system? I've been told that this alone could make any ABX of vinyl vs a 'needledrop' problematic. If there's an audible difference between the same LP played back twice, then the results of a vinyl vs needledrop would be impossible to ascribe to one cause.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Sep 16 2012, 18:22
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mzil
post Sep 16 2012, 21:02
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Sep 16 2012, 13:22) *
If there's an audible difference between the same LP played back twice, then the results of a vinyl vs needledrop would be impossible to ascribe to one cause.

Not if that needledrop is literally the same playing of the vinyl, via the Meyer/Moran trick of digitizing and then converting back to analog, via a professional CD recorder with a very low latency A to D, and then right back to A, "loop," virtually instantaneously. [Level matched, obviously, and using a wired A/B/X switch box .] Which is why I advocated it in another thread.

The advantages are many:

-same wow and flutter and overall speed error for both the vinyl and the needledrop version
-same needle wear/condition
-synchronized [Just make sure the CD recorder's latency is very low. It worked fine for their SACD vs CD test so I don't see why it would be an issue here.]
-same number and location of ticks and pops
-same "thump" noise when listeners ask to have a musical section replayed
-same master [This is critically important, yet people blissfully compare CDs to vinyl all the time and ignorantly assume they are from the same master, yet they pretty much never are.]

This post has been edited by mzil: Sep 16 2012, 21:35
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Pio2001
post Sep 16 2012, 21:14
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Sep 16 2012, 19:22) *
For us non-Francophones, here's Google Translate's attempt of the Conclusion. Some bits are less comprehensible than others ;>


Thanks, krabapple,
The translation is indeed terrible. Here is a corrected version :

QUOTE
We found that the difference between vinyl and CD can be heard on digital copies, which is not surprising, vinyl does not have perfect sound.
More surprisingly, the greatest differences are not always found between CD and vinyl (RMB, bad press), but also between a vinyl and another (Depeche Mode - A Question of Lust), and even throughout one side of a single vinyl (Legendary Pink Dots - Pennies for Heaven / Evolution).

Among other differences, the differences in bass / treble are important. They vary from one disk to another, from one label to another (the German distributor of Depeche Mode, Intercord, produces vinyl that always miss treble), but a trend is always present : these copies of vinyl have more bass (about 50-100 Hz), and less treble (around 3000 - 12000 Hz) than their counterparts in CD. This trend can not be attributed to the digitizing chain. This is a characteristic of the cartridge used to read the disc, a Stanton Trackmaster EL. Cartridges have various response curves, which determine a large part of their "tonal color."
Hence, the CD has the merit to linearize the frequency response curve, that is very unstable with vinyl.

We can ask ourselves if these differences disappear when we turn to the high end. From my own experience, I found the same saturation and distortion, and the same response curve differences between different records using a Rega Planar 3 turntable (excellent low-end audiophile turntable) with a Denon DL-110 cartridge (high output moving coil). On the other hand, the trend "more bass, less treble" which gives a "warm and round" sound is definitely not a feature of the "vinyl sound". This is a property of my own playback system.

We can also ask whether the defects highlighted here would not be balanced by other qualities of vinyl, that the digital copy could not reproduce. A blind test conducted with the system used to prepare the samples (same source, same A/D Converter), showed that the loss of quality due to digitalisation is negligible, if audible at all : http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....f=21&t=7953

We have also seen that in a blind listening test, without preconceptions about the loudness race and the big nasty record companies, a remastering of 1998, once the levels are aligned, sounds extremely bad for all listeners, compared to the original version.

I hope you enjoyed this test, and that it allowed you to have a more precise idea of the inherent flaws in the vinyl sound.


QUOTE (krabapple @ Sep 16 2012, 19:22) *
I'm most curious about the statement " blind test conducted with the material used to prepare the samples, same source, same ACD, showed that the loss of quality due to scanning are negligible, even if they are audible" Not sure what this is supposed to mean. If it means, there is a an audible loss of quality due to digitization of an LP -- or even a an audible difference -- that doesn't seem to be demonstrated in the link provided.


Nope, the translation is wrong. It's not "even if they are audible", but "if audible at all" smile.gif

This post has been edited by Pio2001: Sep 16 2012, 21:16
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krabapple
post Sep 17 2012, 16:40
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A disadvantage to any method involving LP is the latency of replay -- the time it takes to move the arm back to the start of a section. But otherwise, I agree , mzil's method is probably the best we can do. (And as regards his last point, anyone who tests transparency of digital recording by comparing a commercial CD to an LP has no idea what they're doing.)

This post has been edited by krabapple: Sep 17 2012, 16:43
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krabapple
post Sep 17 2012, 16:49
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QUOTE (Pio2001 @ Sep 16 2012, 16:14) *
We can ask ourselves if these differences disappear when we turn to the high end. From my own experience, I found the same saturation and distortion, and the same response curve differences between different records using a Rega Planar 3 turntable (excellent low-end audiophile turntable) with a Denon DL-110 cartridge (high output moving coil). On the other hand, the trend "more bass, less treble" which gives a "warm and round" sound is definitely not a feature of the "vinyl sound". This is a property of my own playback system.


So, if I understand clearly, you're saying the boosted bass and reduced treble that you observed from LP, compared to CD, was a product of *your* particular setup, and *not* the vinyl mastering vs CD mastering? Even though you found the same response when you used a different TT and cartridge? This seems contradictory to me.


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Pio2001
post Sep 17 2012, 22:23
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No, I mean that I observed the same distortion artifacts (e.g. the RMB EP has the same intermodulation in treble, the Question of Lust 7" has the same loss of clarity), and the same difference of frequency response from vinyl to vinyl (eg. the Intercord german pressings have less treble than the french of english pressings, the last track of Legendary pink dots has much less treble than the first), but the frequency response of the Denon cartridge is different from the Stanton's. It doesn't have the same lack of treble, for example.

Thus, while all my vinyl samples seem to have less treble than my CD samples, this is Stanton's fault. Denon disagrees with this. It is not, in any way, a demonstration that CD sounds metallic, cold and dry compared to vinyl.

But if all german records of Depeche Mode have less treble than the same records imported from England, this is not Stanton's fault. Denon agrees with this. There are variations from a record to another.

I didn't bother posting samples from different pressings of a given CD from the same master, as they are usually bit-wise identical.
I checked this with Dead Can Dance - Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, english CD vs french CD. Same result with Depeche Mode - Strangelove (maxi mix), taken from the 1987 cardboard sleeved english Maxi-CD vs the german 1991 reedition of all Depeche Mode maxi-CD. Bit for bit identical... until the fade out, that doesn't have the same length of both CDs.

This post has been edited by Pio2001: Sep 17 2012, 22:24
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robbo1802
post Sep 27 2012, 08:03
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Hello Pio,

It has been a long time, I think I last corresponded with you in the EAC forums under the username Bobhere.

I happened upon this thread through a search for something else and saw your avatar.

I for one was grateful for the appearance of CDs, up until that time I had spent a truly obscene amount of money on vinyl playback equipment (not that CD players were cheap, my Sony CDP101 cost about $1100AUD when released - if memory serves).

I will add a few more points as grist to the mill. The difference between different vinyl pressings both within a label and between labels is a rather complicated mess. Not only can these differences be attributed to which master/mother/stamper was used but also to how many mothers/stampers/records had been created from each higher level part of the process, worn out or damaged stampers were more common than people realized (not to mention disgusting considering the cost of records). Also the quality of the vinyl was a big issue, the major companies used a lot of recycled vinyl, initially when they got back records for recycling they would use a big punch to remove the label area and throw it away but as vinyl costs increased they took to grinding the paper label off and reusing all the vinyl, this often lead to contamination of the subsequent pressings - I remember a high end Decca I bought that had a piece of paper embedded in the playing surface! Yet this recycled vinyl was often of better quality that some new vinyl which had too much filler.

To make things worse, the analog tapes used to create the masters were often shipped to the country where the records were mastered and pressed. This caused numerous problems such as the different playback tapedecks having different playback qualities - these could be much greater that you would think amounting to multiple dB variance in the top end and serious distortion issues. Even worse there is no guarantee that the different tapes were even of the same generation, i.e whether they are 1st or 2nd generation copies of the stereo master.

I did a lot of work comparing different playback chains in the seventies and for me the phono cartridge was always the weak link. I must add that I live in a sub-tropical climate and this has serious effects on both the performance and longevity of phono cartridges, especially moving coils (due to the type of suspension normally used on MCCs of that period).

I used to test cartridges against each other using 2 identical but modified Pioneer PL1000A linear tracking turntables, they each had modified tonearms, phono wiring, and each had its own identical RIAA preamp (and MCC head amp) with variable input impedance. The two direct drive turntable motors could be slaved to the one master clock so that they rotated at identical speed. Despite this (and a variable spead control with allowed the two records to be brought into close synch) direct switching AB testing was never very successful, the slight out of synch was too confusing. In the end testing consisted of running the two turntables about 20 seconds apart and comparing the same sound fragments one after the other.

All this required multiple copies of the same records and at one time I had 5 copies of each of Sheffield records, Harry James, Amanda McBroome, and Dave Gruisin as testers - I did say obscene amounts of money, didn't I?. There were of course many other test record sets of 5 as well as some 2 and 3 record sets of the Nimbus Supercuts. I will add that the Sheffield Labs CDs sound quite poor compared to my (fallible) memory of the LPs, but of course we are comparing direct cut LPs to CDs mastered from hissy analog tape recordings (using valve electronics (if memory serves).

Enough rambling.

Regards,
Bob
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