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Compare for yourself: Vinyl vs. CD
ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 07:37
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This is from a message I just posted to uk.rec.audio and rec.audio.opinion:

On Thu, 27 Mar 2003 22:53:58 GMT, Moi <zis_guy@NOxSPAMMxhotmail.com>
wrote:

>This one is from Peter Kater's "Gateway" ca. 1988 (Gaia/Polygram
>Records). This one may in fact exist on CD, so somebody may be able
>to check perceived speed stability and etc. against the CD. The song
>is from side 1, track 2 titled "Talk Back."
>
>This one was also most likely recorded to digital before pressing the
>LP, and I'm not responsible for any possible digital ugliness you may
>hear ;-).
>
>Wish I could post longer samples, but space and downloading time
>constraints prevent it. As again, this one is about 3.5MB in size,
>and requires the LPAC decoder, available here:
>
>http://www.nue.tu-berlin.de/wer/liebchen/lpac.html
>
>The sample itself can be downloaded here:

http://ff123.net/export/pksample.pac

I changed the link to point to my server to remove the bandwidth load
from Moi's site.

Moi described his setup in an earlier message: TD-160/M97xE/Technics
SU-C01.

I purchased the 1988 CD version of this album (< $10 used) and ripped
the same section as Moi's sample.

http://ff123.net/export/pksamplecd.pac

I time aligned it as best I could. The sample is about 34 seconds
long. The vinyl version takes about 60 msec longer to complete than
the CD version, so the speed accuracy of the turntable is about 0.2%
on the slow side if the CD can be considered the reference.

I applied -0.43 dB to the left channel of the CD version, and +0.26 dB
to the right channel. The volume was compared with the vinyl version
via average RMS. WavGain (which uses David Robinson's replaygain
algorithm) gives about the same answer as average RMS.

I applied a linear fadeout to about the last 4 seconds of the sample
to approximate what Moi had done with his sample.

I won't say what I hear just yet. If you think the difference is
sufficiently subtle to warrant the use of a double-blind tool, visit
one of the following sites:

http://pcabx.com/
http://ff123.net/abchr/abchr.html
http://www.kikeg.arrakis.es/winabx/winabx.zip

ff123

Edit: Oops, I think I posted this to the wrong forum

This post has been edited by ff123: Apr 1 2003, 07:41
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Atlantis
post Apr 1 2003, 09:59
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Could you provide a sample of the piano solo in the end of current sample?
Thanks!

I think vinyl sample has much more tonality on the piano than cd: imho cd is sharper, but colder and somewhat less audible.

Since i cannot test the samples (here at work) right now, and since i've listened them with cheap speakers & medium/loud environment, please take this cum grano salis. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Atlantis: Apr 1 2003, 10:00


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ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 15:23
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QUOTE (Atlantis @ Apr 1 2003 - 12:59 AM)
Could you provide a sample of the piano solo in the end of current sample?

I only have the CD, not the LP, so I couldn't provide samples of both to compare unless Moi makes more available. Also, perhaps the end of this sample may be problematic, since I had to guesstimate how Moi did his fade.

ff123

This post has been edited by ff123: Apr 1 2003, 15:25
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n68
post Apr 1 2003, 16:01
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yup..


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yup...


actually... i don`t need to do a comparison..

i have never heard a digital track... that
"beats" a analouge one..

yes.. am a vinyl-freak..
but to do exact clone is impossible..

it is possible on the other hand.. to do a "perfect"
digital track.. but if so.. the hole reproduction system
must bee 100% digital.. and so on.
but the human ear isn`t compatible....


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boojum
post Apr 1 2003, 16:15
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If you want really good sound I have some wax cylinders in the basement. This is another April Fool's stunt, right? B)

This post has been edited by boojum: Apr 1 2003, 16:16


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ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 16:19
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QUOTE (boojum @ Apr 1 2003 - 07:15 AM)
If you want really good sound I have some wax cylinders in the basement.  This is another April Fool's stunt, right?    B)

Heheh, that would have been a good one. I should have made some 3.5 MB files available for download which just say "April fools!" on them, one recorded from vinyl and the other from CD.

ff123
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ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 16:45
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QUOTE (n68 @ Apr 1 2003 - 07:01 AM)
yes.. am a vinyl-freak..
but to do exact clone is impossible..

it is possible on the other hand.. to do a "perfect"
digital track.. but if so.. the hole reproduction system
must bee 100% digital.. and so on.
but the human ear isn`t compatible....

Well, there are many levels of comparison:

1. Live feed vs. digital recording
2. analog master vs. digital master
3. direct to vinyl vs. digital master
4. vinyl from analog master vs. CD from digital master

etc., etc.

All of the above would only be fair assuming that the equalization wasn't twiddled with between the different formats. But in real life, this often happens, especially when a recording is re-released and re-mastered. Older vinyl recordings, unless of the "audiophile" variety were often made from a second-generation analog master (or worse).

This comparison is probably:

vinyl from digital master vs. CD from digital master, although the CD doesn't have a code on it, so it could be an analog master. There's no telling how the equalizations differed between the two. But at least both CD and LP were from the same year.

Still, I wouldn't take this comparison too seriously, not knowing all the details. It's just for your entertainment.

ff123
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Bedeox
post Apr 1 2003, 16:46
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Hehe, most vinyl sound so good,
because they were made only with analog technology.

Mixing digital and analog is the weak point in most mastering studios...
They don't use good DACs/ADCs/filters. (Around here, that is.)
<edit>
Especially AD conversion is messed up. (Look at my flag...)
</edit>

But properly recorded, 100% digitally made CDs beat vinyl...
(means: are more accurate, have better dynamics, are more resistant to wear)
Been there, heard that.

@ff123: Are you sure that this CD is not a remastered version?
<edit>
Heh, I'm writing too slow...
So this is a digital recording.
</edit>

Another question: Will there ever be a Linux version of your abc/HR utility?
I will try to port it with dumb interface (command-line, no ncurses,
ASCII-art, no gpm support(cause I can't code that yet smile.gif )

This post has been edited by Bedeox: Apr 1 2003, 17:00


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ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 16:50
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QUOTE (Bedeox @ Apr 1 2003 - 07:46 AM)
@ff123: Are you sure that this CD is not a remastered version?

I bought the 1988 version of the CD, which was the original release date for both the LP and CD. There is also a 1992 version of the CD, which I didn't purchase.

QUOTE
Another question: Will there ever be a Linux version of your abc/HR utility?
I will try to port it with dumb interface (command-line, no ncurses,
ASCII-art, no gpm support(cause I can't code that yet smile.gif )


Carsten Haase was working on a Linux version when he was interrupted by a birth in the family. He says he has a workable version, though. You might wish to contact him.

ff123
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Bedeox
post Apr 1 2003, 17:22
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I am actually using some tool written by the author of MAD.
It's very generic, takes two commandlines and mixes them,
asks which is which few times and after the test gives out the probability.

(Sorry, can't find that guy on the web... email, webpage?)


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ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 17:32
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QUOTE (Bedeox @ Apr 1 2003 - 08:22 AM)
I am actually using some tool written by the author of MAD.
It's very generic, takes two commandlines and mixes them,
asks which is which few times and after the test gives out the probability.

(Sorry, can't find that guy on the web... email, webpage?)

There was a Perl script written by Monty (Ogg Vorbis):

http://ff123.net/128test/abx_perl1.txt

There is LinABX:
http://www.beryllium.net/~remco/linabx/

Frank Klemm also wrote a command line version for *nix, which is in the lame source code as abx.c, but that version is uninteresting smile.gif

The author of MAD is Rob Leslie.

ff123

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tacitus10
post Apr 1 2003, 17:38
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Most Vinyl tracks I have heard sound superior than that of CD. I do not believe this means vinyl is technically better. My Vinyl rips recorded at 24 bit, dithered to 16 bit, sound better than original CD's. I believe this is because sound engineers master CD for todays tiny stereos, radio, car and portable players. The CD format is not weak, its the usage of unnatural dynamics compression and eq by engineers that make vinyl sound better.
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Pio2001
post Apr 1 2003, 18:30
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And what about this version ?

piosample.pac ?
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Bedeox
post Apr 1 2003, 18:41
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@ff123: Thanks, these utils are great, but none shows probability...
and none can compare multiple files. That's why I'll make my own product...
(wxWindows 2.4.0, platform-neutral, statically linked versions will be avaliable... command line later)
The problem is, that these are LARGE (1MB at least...
Sorry, ld (GNU linker) includes too much of wxWindows code even with minimal samples.
Luckily they seem to not grow much with increasing complicity.)

<edit>
@Pio: The server is very slow... That version will download whole day sad.gif
</edit>

This post has been edited by Bedeox: Apr 1 2003, 18:43


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Pio2001
post Apr 1 2003, 19:31
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No other webspace lets me upload files bigger than 1 MB. It's not the server itself, I just downloaded it in less than 60 seconds (very max speed of my 512 kbps line). It must be the ISP connection with the web, too bad...
If someone with a better server sends me his mail by PM, I can mail it.
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Bedeox
post Apr 1 2003, 19:38
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Well, I've downloaded all of them... that server wasn't all that horrible...
Why have you posted these in LPAC format, not FLAC?
(I have to dload decoder now wink.gif )


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ff123
post Apr 1 2003, 19:40
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QUOTE (Bedeox @ Apr 1 2003 - 10:38 AM)
Why have you posted these in LPAC format, not FLAC?
(I have to dload decoder now wink.gif )

The original poster of the LP sample (Moi) used Lpac, so I kept things the same.
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Pio2001
post Apr 1 2003, 20:27
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I updated piosample.pac.

I realized that it was beginning with a short silence. So if you want to perform ABX tests with the other files, either remove manually the silence at the beginning, either redownload it.
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Bedeox
post Apr 1 2003, 20:35
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CD sample has much more high frequencies, sounds like major quantization problems.
(or vinyl is loosing much of high freqs)
Pio's is so similar to 'original' but has very slightly less muffled sound.

Test result (Pio vs. 'original') 7 of 8, p = 0.035, Pio's sample has 'cleaner' plates at ~4 sec.

<edit>
I've removed the silence already, thanks.
</edit>

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ff123
post Apr 2 2003, 06:03
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QUOTE (Pio2001 @ Apr 1 2003 - 09:30 AM)
And what about this version ?

piosample.pac ?

Hehe, I see what you did, Pio. I was thinking of doing something similar myself. This version sounds quite close to pksample.pac, and really does warrant the use of ABX. It's not quiet in my house right now, but I'll try to give it a go later.

ff123
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darin
post Apr 2 2003, 06:45
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I don't know alot about the tech. side of audio, but just lestioning with my raw ears(which really it all comes down to) I have always thought that vinyl sounds significantly better than cd's.



Life would be alot better if I could marry an actress and my cd's would sound as good as vinyls.



-Darin
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fewtch
post Apr 2 2003, 07:35
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I definitely hear the higher frequencies in the CD version much better. The two samples are definitely different enough not to need ABX, in my opinion.

However, the vinyl is nowhere near unlistenable (somebody had a good clean pressing too). Since I've been listening mostly to vinyl the past couple years, CD's have begun to sound uncomfortably "chiseled" to me (maybe due to the wider frequency extension, possibly to some other factors). The vinyl sounds "mellower" and easier on my ears, although somewhat less detailed and 'receded'. It may just be a matter of getting/being used to listening to one rather than the other.

It should be noted perhaps that we're hearing a CD (digital) vs. "vinyl recorded to digital" (lord knows what ADC was used) -- so it isn't a true comparison of vinyl vs. CD. Interesting exercise nonetheless.

Edit -- sounds like the frequency balance of the vinyl is pretty good, being well under 1dB difference in channels compared to the CD version (assuming the same balance was used on both the vinyl and CD recordings... seems logical).

This post has been edited by fewtch: Apr 2 2003, 08:09


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ff123
post Apr 2 2003, 07:45
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QUOTE (fewtch @ Apr 1 2003 - 10:35 PM)
I definitely hear the higher frequencies in the CD version much better.  The two samples are definitely different enough not to need ABX, in my opinion.

Agreed, for the pksamplecd.pac file. I can hear this difference pretty clearly even through my labtec computer speakers smile.gif

piosample.pac is pretty close to the vinyl version though. I believe Pio did some equalizing to the CD version to make it sound similar.

ff123

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ff123
post Apr 2 2003, 08:11
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QUOTE (ff123 @ Apr 1 2003 - 09:03 PM)
Hehe, I see what you did, Pio.  I was thinking of doing something similar myself.  This version sounds quite close to pksample.pac, and really does warrant the use of ABX.  It's not quiet in my house right now, but I'll try to give it a go later.

Pio, you're good. I don't believe I can tell the difference between your sample and the vinyl version.

ff123
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budgie
post Apr 2 2003, 08:39
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Have a fun... You can find cases when a LP sound better than CD (the same interpret and title) but from technical point of view is LP inferior to CD, so where's the problem? I used to be a vinyl freak (as I own more than 5000 LPs) but I would never switch back to LP now as I know how good a CD may sound when properly done.
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