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"Music Sounds Better on Vinyl", I am so tired of this argument being brought up by the layperson
Goratrix
post Feb 14 2012, 20:34
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QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 14 2012, 20:33) *
the reality is that in this day and age an LP sounds better than the commercial CD counterpart, often by a long shot, especially any CD remasters of music that was originally done on vinyl from the 70s or 80s.


The word should be "some", not "any". For every butchered 70s and 80s remaster that gets all the bad press, there are 10 other remastered albums that sound much much better than their vinyl predecessors.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 14 2012, 21:07
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I politely disagree -- the word should be "almost all" or "most" but definitely disagree with "some".

Perhaps you spend doing this or you are just hypothecating -- I actually do this as I'm building a library for digital playback on my audio system. I've ripped 100s of LPs and listened to them and measured them using Pure Music. If you have done the same and compared these side-by-side I'd certainly be interested in what you've found. I own thousands of CDs and maybe I can sell you a few of them now that I've ripped the vinyl. To each his own I suppose, but I do disagree with your assertion and I apologize for using a term such as "all" which is clearly unfair. I can think of 2 cases in the hundreds that I've ripped where the vinyl was not as good as the CD and those are Copper "Sugar Blue" (recent LP release is compressed and muddy) and REM's "Fables Of The Reconstruction" remaster which was compressed and sounded worse than the original CD. REM did go with Mobile Fidelity for "Life's Rich Pageant" vinyl reissue and that sounds excellent.

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 15 2012, 10:19
Reason for edit: removing unnecessary full quote
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kraut
post Feb 15 2012, 01:59
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 14 2012, 18:24) *
QUOTE (kraut)
Where do YOU have any proof for your nonsense like:
and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

It is well known that the trackability of cartridges suffers at high frequencies. This document shows […]

Where do you get the notion from that vinyl is uncompressed? Do you really have any clue what you are talking about?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm...Q-Curve.svg.png

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 15 2012, 10:23
Reason for edit: truncating huge quote; interested readers can look it up (e.g. click the red arrow)
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Gretschguy
post Feb 15 2012, 06:13
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 14 2012, 13:58) *
QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 14 2012, 05:50) *
16 / 44.1 is NOT enough to fully capture the content of an LP when ripping the LP and playing back on good equipment.

I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing. The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural -- I realize these are all subjective but I did this test with no axe to grind and I was actually hoping 16 bits would be enough since I could then move these also to my iPod for convenience -- however, the comparison was convincing enough that despite less convenience (must dither the files to play on iPod) and more storage space needed, I settled on 24 bit for my ripping process.
It would be very easy to do a double-blind ABX test of the 16-bit vs 24-bit files to prove that you really heard a difference.

Just saying "I heard a difference" is not enough on HA.

Let me say it again: an ABX test of 16 vs 24 bits is trivial to perform. […] EDIT: more interestingly, you could upload a 30 second 24-bit capture, and anyone here could create a 16-bit version and ABX the two - though not necessarily with the same high quality playback. We would, however, benefit from your high quality vinyl playback and capture.

David, I've created 12 different 30 second 24 bit 96 kHz samples of vinyl rips that I'd like to upload and you can convert it yourself and compare or I can upload my converted 16 bit 44.1 kHz samples that were converted using Izotope. You may have your own commercial CDs of the same recordings to compare as well as a matter practical comparison. Can you direct me to the upload section, I can't seem to find it.

Thanks

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 15 2012, 10:24
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mzil
post Feb 15 2012, 07:04
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I'd think an AB or ABX test of LP vs CD would be pointless, since the faint pops and ticks, surface noise, etc, at least audible during the quiet passages or between cuts, even on the best pressings on the best setups, would be a dead giveaway when you were hearing vinyl.

Using the clever Meyer/Moran trick of an LP vs. a "bottlenecked" digitization of it, however, i.e. a quick A/D and then back through a D/A of a CD recorder [Called an "A/D/A loop"] , would make sense to me. Even at elevated levels, the surface noise of the direct LP record should swamp any other noise introduced by the digitization process, so I'm confident listeners would not be able to tell any difference under any real world conditions.

If a CD recorder can perfectly replicate an LP to the human ear, that would prove that anyone who "prefers" LP is simply prefering its added distortions.

Anyone ever hear of such a test having been done?

This post has been edited by mzil: Feb 15 2012, 07:21
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cliveb
post Feb 15 2012, 09:55
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QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 14 2012, 15:26) *
And to be clear, I think at least 90% of my preference for vinyl has to do with improved mastering done for vinyl, perhaps a preference for euphonic distortion (although I can't really prove this), and perhaps a preference for some high end roll off (CDs tend to sound harsh, grainy and bright in comparison to me).

Nobody here is going to criticise you for expressing a personal preference for vinyl. (As it happens I rather like the sound of vinyl, too).

What you're being pulled up on is your speculations as to the source of your preference. You have made two claims:

1. That 16 bit isn't good enough to fully capture the information on vinyl. This is patently untrue and has been demonstrated countless times by others. If you want us to believe you definitely hear a difference, you need to prepare a 16 bit sample by bit-reducing a 24 bit recording of vinyl (which you have already done), then run them in a Foobar ABX test and post the results log.

2. That vinyl releases routinely have less dynamic range compression that CD. This probably used to be the case, but it sadly isn't these days. Many reports here and elsewhere seem to indicate that most modern vinyl is cut from the same hypercompressed master as the CD.

Perhaps your playback system has charteristics that suit vinyl better. Since vinyl has restricted high frequency capability, a system that has a bright tonal balance can make vinyl sound nice and CD sound rather strident.
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db1989
post Feb 15 2012, 10:27
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Thanks for specifying that, cliveb. You are completely correct that no one is going to be condemned for having a personal preference. Itís when they begin attributing such a preference to some supposed technical superiority that there is a problem. Especially when said claims have been amply disproved. (Using the usual assortment of fuzzy buzz-words doesnít make your case any more convincing, either!)
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knutinh
post Feb 15 2012, 10:31
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 14 2012, 18:50) *
Whereas, with good condition vinyl on an excellent turntable, most pop music sounds fine. You can only hear the crackles between the tracks, and then, who cares? It sounds good enough. It's inconvenient and easily damaged, but the sound is fine.

That is sort of my point. For many listeners, for a lot of content and for a lot of listening situations, vinyl seems to be at least "good enough". CD also seems to be "good enough", but that is 50-100 years newer technology.

Given the energy and money spent on good sound and good sound reproduction (both by audiophiles and self-proclaimed rationalists), I find this remarkeable, dont you?

Of course, writers of glossy audio magazines may claim that the vinyl format in itself is "better" than CD, but then they usually have no technical background, usually have no interest or experience in solid listening tests, and have an economical interest in selling magazines and advertisements. I don't see any reason to get worked up over their nonsense.
QUOTE
What I don't understand are people who listen to classical music from vinyl. There are such people. They ignore the imperfections of vinyl the same way that they ignore people coughing in the concert hall (to quote Mr Fremer). Myself, I'd rather no one was coughing wink.gif

If one wants to accurately simulate the audio part of going to a concert, one could argue that coughs are a part of that experience. Vinyl scratches certainly are not a part of the regular classical concert, though.

If my favorite mastering of my favourite music was only available on vinyl, I would listen to it in some way (perhaps digitaized) and enjoy it and probably be able to not be annoyed by the flaws of the medium. I would rather have a pristine copy made from the original (well-preserved, hopefully) tapes, mastered closely to the original but delivered on a format without audible flaws, but I may not have that luxury all of the time.

Had I been 10-20 years older, I might also have had a larger collection of vinyl from my youth. Picking a large sleeve from the shelf and connecting the physical experience with memories and emotions from more hormonal years might be an experience that I would appreciate as my hear grew gray and my hearing deteriorated :-)
QUOTE
At the very least, if the performance only exists on vinyl, I'd rather digitise it and remove any obvious clicks before listening to it.

As long as no-one has proven that 44.1/16 audible degrades sound under sensible conditions, I see no sound (pun intended) reason not to digitize it. Rather, given that analog media wear down, I think that repeated playback should be done using digital gear, at least as a favour to future generations.

-k

This post has been edited by knutinh: Feb 15 2012, 10:38
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2Bdecided
post Feb 15 2012, 12:03
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QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 15 2012, 05:13) *
Can you direct me to the upload section, I can't seem to find it.
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showforum=35

You might run out of space with lots of large files though.

Mediafire has no such limit, though HA blocks links to it. You can always put spaces in the links to get over this, but don't link anything longer than 30 seconds.

Cheers,
David.

P.S. cliveb is being modest - he's done a lot of this kind of thing, with very decent equipment and results.

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db1989
post Feb 15 2012, 12:08
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Really? Mediafire should be allowed now. I just tested posting a link and did not observe any alteration thereof; the page loaded as normal.

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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Feb 15 2012, 13:37
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Feb 14 2012, 07:01) *
And some years of digital malpractice for quite a few reissues. It wasn't exactly 'perfect sound forever' ...

The CD format is turning 30. (Later this year, if we start at the first retail market release.)


The problem with modern recordings when there is one, is in the artistic choices, not the limitations of the medium.

People keep saying that some digital sounds like crap and it does, but the problem is with commercial and artistic choices, not the technology.
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MichaelW
post Feb 15 2012, 13:37
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QUOTE (knutinh @ Feb 15 2012, 22:31) *
For many listeners, for a lot of content and for a lot of listening situations, vinyl seems to be at least "good enough". CD also seems to be "good enough", but that is 50-100 years newer technology.


I think the point is that although vinyl is capable of very good reproduction, it takes a lot of care and reasonably serious money to achieve that standard. In the 1950s and '60s, most music was listened to on very suboptimal equipment (I think I went through the career of The Beatles with ceramic cartridges). Nowadays, equivalent consumer electronics bought in the same furniture stores will produce vastly superior reproduction, equal to or better than the exotic best of the vinyl era (always excepting speakers). That seems like real progress.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 15 2012, 18:05
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 15 2012, 14:37) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Feb 14 2012, 07:01) *
And some years of digital malpractice for quite a few reissues. It wasn't exactly 'perfect sound forever' ...

The CD format is turning 30. (Later this year, if we start at the first retail market release.)


The problem with modern recordings when there is one, is in the artistic choices, not the limitations of the medium.

People keep saying that some digital sounds like crap and it does, but the problem is with commercial and artistic choices, not the technology.


Agreed -- digital can sound really good, check out Eric Claptons 24 bit releases on HDTracks they are amazing -- also, Band On The Run by Paul McCartney is available in 24 bit download from HDTracks and the uncompressed version blows me away. I'm going to upload some 24 bit vinyl now and check that out too you should be able to convert it to 16 bit if you wan to compare for yourself for what it's worth.

The synergy of analog is digital is the real power that we have at our fingertips now. I'm personally blown away that digital technology (Burl, Pure Vinyl, Burmester DAC) can provide the ability for me to hear my LPs played back digitally at high resolution, and, to my ears, they sound awesome.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 15 2012, 18:11
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Feb 15 2012, 14:37) *
QUOTE (knutinh @ Feb 15 2012, 22:31) *
For many listeners, for a lot of content and for a lot of listening situations, vinyl seems to be at least "good enough". CD also seems to be "good enough", but that is 50-100 years newer technology.


I think the point is that although vinyl is capable of very good reproduction, it takes a lot of care and reasonably serious money to achieve that standard. In the 1950s and '60s, most music was listened to on very suboptimal equipment (I think I went through the career of The Beatles with ceramic cartridges). Nowadays, equivalent consumer electronics bought in the same furniture stores will produce vastly superior reproduction, equal to or better than the exotic best of the vinyl era (always excepting speakers). That seems like real progress.


Yes and no -- I've certainly spent a lot of care and money on my vinyl setup -- my Burl ADC alone probably costs more than most folks whole sound systems. But I would say, in my experience, that vinyl quickly exceeds CD for the right material (I listen to much 70s and 80s vinyl) and is not just providing "good reproduction" but rather "stellar reproduction" that I can't seem to get from my CD playback and my 16 / 44.1 playback is done by Burmester which is a pretty good name in the business. Even with my more modest Denon cartridge before upgrading to my Delos, I felt that my vinyl playback exceeded my CD playback when both were compared on my Burmester audio system.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 15 2012, 18:28
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 15 2012, 10:55) *
QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 14 2012, 15:26) *
And to be clear, I think at least 90% of my preference for vinyl has to do with improved mastering done for vinyl, perhaps a preference for euphonic distortion (although I can't really prove this), and perhaps a preference for some high end roll off (CDs tend to sound harsh, grainy and bright in comparison to me).

Nobody here is going to criticise you for expressing a personal preference for vinyl. (As it happens I rather like the sound of vinyl, too).

What you're being pulled up on is your speculations as to the source of your preference. You have made two claims:

1. That 16 bit isn't good enough to fully capture the information on vinyl. This is patently untrue and has been demonstrated countless times by others. If you want us to believe you definitely hear a difference, you need to prepare a 16 bit sample by bit-reducing a 24 bit recording of vinyl (which you have already done), then run them in a Foobar ABX test and post the results log.

2. That vinyl releases routinely have less dynamic range compression that CD. This probably used to be the case, but it sadly isn't these days. Many reports here and elsewhere seem to indicate that most modern vinyl is cut from the same hypercompressed master as the CD.

Perhaps your playback system has charteristics that suit vinyl better. Since vinyl has restricted high frequency capability, a system that has a bright tonal balance can make vinyl sound nice and CD sound rather strident.


Sure CliveB,

(1) I'm uploading 24 bit samples now and the 16 bit-reduced versions. You can decide yourself -- I can also give you notes on what I hear as differences and you can compare. I'm interested in whether YOU hear a difference.

(2) Agreed -- when I buy new vinyl music it often sounds equally as bad as the CD and sometimes worse due to poor pressing quality. However, if I do buy a recording that was mastered by a place like Mobile Fidelity then it tends to sound outstanding to my ears.




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Light-Fire
post Feb 15 2012, 18:50
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QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 15 2012, 13:28) *
...(1) I'm uploading 24 bit samples now and the 16 bit-reduced versions. You can decide yourself -- I can also give you notes on what I hear as differences and you can compare. I'm interested in whether YOU hear a difference.


Did you hear the difference through a double blind test (16 x 24bit)? You should be interested in whether YOU can hear a difference.

When you say in your comments that you "proved to yourself" aren't you interested in bringing some EVIDENCE to the table so you can really prove it (at least) to yourself that you can hear the difference.

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Gretschguy
post Feb 15 2012, 19:30
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 15 2012, 10:27) *
Thanks for specifying that, cliveb. You are completely correct that no one is going to be condemned for having a personal preference. Itís when they begin attributing such a preference to some supposed technical superiority that there is a problem. Especially when said claims have been amply disproved. (Using the usual assortment of fuzzy buzz-words doesnít make your case any more convincing, either!)


I just uploaded some samples -- have a listen with a good DAC and system and see what you think. If the 16 bit versions sound like they could be improved with better bit reduction then please do let me know, I'm certainly open minded and I'd like to have both 24 bit versions and 16 bit versions. I used Izotope MBit+ which I understand is very good, but I'm open minded to the fact that there may be much better converters out there.

Have fun, stay safe...
Feedback welcome when you give them a listen.

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knutinh
post Feb 16 2012, 11:05
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Feb 15 2012, 14:37) *
I think the point is that although vinyl is capable of very good reproduction, it takes a lot of care and reasonably serious money to achieve that standard. In the 1950s and '60s, most music was listened to on very suboptimal equipment (I think I went through the career of The Beatles with ceramic cartridges). Nowadays, equivalent consumer electronics bought in the same furniture stores will produce vastly superior reproduction, equal to or better than the exotic best of the vinyl era (always excepting speakers). That seems like real progress.

Yes I agree, digital certainly have made it possible for the average consumer to get sound that is really close to how the producer heard it (talking about the source now, not loudspeakers/room).

On the other hand, audible differences between different digital components seems to be small, and "modding" digital equipment is really hard. This seems to frustrate audiophiles and elitists.

-k
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kraut
post Feb 16 2012, 15:24
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That somebody can be taken seriously here who implies that vinyl signal is "uncompressed" and that the LP is in any way superior is a bit astonishing.

One does not need samples and digitization to check out the replay quality differences. Just put on the best test LP with sinusoidal signal that you have and run it: Check at 1000Hz and above.
Then do the same with a cd. No, you do not need an blind A/B/X test, you just have to listen a few times.
The CD signal comes through clearly without any audible distortions, The LP signal always makes my skin crawl with the harmonics produced. And that is independent of tonearm/cartridge combination.

There is physically no way a LP signal being transducted to a mechanical signal and back to an electrical signal can avoid being distorted.
The combination of cartridge/tonearm and the mechanics of the cartridge itself is fraught with resonances that cannot be eliminated, and that simply do not occur to the same extend (if at all) in a system like CD read/write or even better in purely electrical transmission as in high quality downloads direct from the mastering.

No problem with somebody preferring vinyl - but do not claim that the signal is objectively better, don't even claim it is subjectively better, better meaning less distorted sine wave and the least amount of harmonics.
To do that is one thing only: lying in the face of evidence.

This post has been edited by kraut: Feb 16 2012, 15:25
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greynol
post Feb 16 2012, 17:55
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QUOTE (botface @ Feb 16 2012, 08:35) *
Well it seems Cliveb disgarees. See post 165. And I think you do need ABX to back up claims about audible differences on HA.

Why aren't you also asking cliveb for ABX results?

FWIW botface, I will be asking neither for ABX results, but if kraut would like to upload a sample of a 1kHz tone digitized from vinyl that would be great.


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kraut
post Feb 16 2012, 22:54
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Sorry, but I am working at present. I will try to post audio samples asap and as soon as I have familirized myself how to post such samples.
I have about four different test records, and on all of them the distortions (odd and even order harmonics) of a test sinus wave are clearly and unambiguously audible.

As to vinyl - vinyl is compressed to conform to the RIAA curve and decompressed through the reverse curve in the phono preamp.
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greynol
post Feb 16 2012, 23:10
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Compressed or equalized?


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Gretschguy
post Feb 16 2012, 23:28
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QUOTE (cliveb @ Feb 16 2012, 11:17) *
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. […] 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:

[…]

CliveB, thanks for taking the time to listen, compare, and share your notes. This makes a lot of sense to me.

For whatever reason, maybe my comfort growing up on vinyl, I've mapped this RMS-peak measure very much to my personal preference / enjoyment -- in fact, as I mentioned in a previous post, I prefer the CD of Sugar's "Copper Blue" to the new "audiophile" vinyl that was supervised by Bob Mould -- to my ears the vinyl sounds compressed and closed in, the CD sounds just awesome. I should measure the two -- I bet the CD has more RMS-peak spread.

This thread has opened my mind to checking out some stuff from my CD collection without such a closed mind -- I bought so many remasters and new CDs in the past 5 to 10 years that I just got hugely negative on CDs and once I returned to my vinyl I was overwhelmingly happy with the results and I'm zealous about sharing my experience -- however, I've not yet converted to being a hipster. But after buying some loser 24 bit / 96 kHz downloads and some loser vinyl, I've been coming to the conclusion that almost all formats are "good enough" for me but rarely is modern mastering "good enough" for me.

I will check out my CDs made in the 90s, they probably sound awesome on my system and I've largely ignored them after having become so frustrated with CDs.

I hope, just as this thread has inspired me to take a fresh look at my old CDs, that it may have inspired someone along the way to check into vinyl releases of their favorite artists with the possibility that they too may hear something they like better given the reality that the mastering might be very different. I would suggest anyone in particular who may have grown up on vinyl and has also bought many remastered CDs should give vinyl a shot, especially the Mobile Fidelity and Analogue Productions vinyl.

This post has been edited by db1989: Feb 17 2012, 20:40
Reason for edit: truncating quote (click red arrow for full post)
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Paulhoff
post Feb 17 2012, 02:27
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As posted earler, one can copy a LP to a CD and the CD will sound like a LP with all the added sound. But one can not make an LP sound like a CD.

If one likes that added sould of an LP, fine, I for one don't.

Paul

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kraut
post Feb 17 2012, 02:54
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QUOTE
Compressed or equalized?


I heard it both ways. Some call it compression, some equalized.

http://www.euronet.nl/~mgw/background/riaa...ckground_1.html

QUOTE
Coding/Recording lower frequencies require most space on Vinyl, since the lower the frequency the wider the groove. This could result in difficulties for the stylus to follow the groove without jumping out and at the same way it reduces the recording time on the record (which is not fixed but dependent on the number of grooves that fit on one side). The solution was to reduce the amount of lower frequencies during recording and reverse this process (amplify lower frequencies) during playback.

Higher frequencies are amplified before putting them on the record, and corrected during playback. Since noise is for a large part present in the higher frequencies, so this process makes the signal to noise ratio a lot better.

To me it sounds what Dolby compression (equalization?) did to reduce the noise on tape recordings.
I had used it when it first came out on some private live recordings, pumping noise was however quite noticeable in the unit I used.

I have to figure out the recording procedure in windows (I have trouble at present recording in foobar, cannot get the level up??)
I just show some screenshots of the test record to illustrate the quite heavy harmonics. One has to decide for him/herself if there is a chance of audibility.


By kraut_2 at 2012-02-16


By kraut_2 at 2012-02-16


By kraut_2 at 2012-02-16

This test record is actually the best, where I do not have to grit the teeth at one kHz. It is:

Audio System Test Record, produced by the editors of SOUND Canada, in conjunction with McGill University Records with the assistance of the National Research Council of Canada.
Recording Engineer was Flloyd E. Toole and Wieslaw Woszczyk, pressing by CBS Canada, Producers both of them and Alan Lofft.
The most interesting track on the record is the Anti Skating adjustment, which is not done by an empty track, but what I call dynamically by adjusting the bias so a signal mix of 1kHz and 1.5kHz produces an equal buzzing sound in both channelsm at increasing sound levels. Works great.

The system used to play back is a technics SL 10 with tangential arm and a 310MC system by technics, using a add on phono section from Naim preamp with a separate powersupply by Marchand Electronics.

I have used the other tonearms (MG! and SME 3 with both Denon DL 103) on Thorens TD 125 in the past with similar if not identical results.

I run the phono preamp signal (RIAA equalized!) to the analogue input of the m-audio 1010lt soundcard.

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