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Vinyl Long live the LP. Post topics about LPs, players, setup and more.

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Old 08-05-2010   #85
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

Hello Wilkinsb, OK, here is a puzzle that perhaps you can help me out with.

There is this performer I know, well, actualy I know quite a few but to keep it short the general gist is this.
On stage there is this electric guitar player. His rig and the way he plays produces this depth in his blues sound. It's full on and warm, rich in tombre. When the performance is recorded by taking a feed fom the PA to two machines, one is an open reel-reel, the other is a digital recorder and the sound is played back through the PA from the open reel after the show, it sounds more like the performance that has just happened, while the playback from the digital device does not. Over time different makes and models of recorder are used to record the show, some are analogue, some are digital. A pattern emerges where one of the two types of device scores consistantly over that of the other in producing an authentic playback of the concert. When enquirey is made, it is found that the analogue recorders that tend to produce the playback which is deemed to most accurately match that of the concert.

But this isn't the end of the puzzle, because the performer decides every now and then to make available to the public various records of his performances. In one case, he puts it out on vinyl and in another he puts it out on CD. There is a mix of tracks, some of which were recorded digitaly and some on the open reel, on both CD and vinyl issues. When he talks to his fans he hears comments that some of the tracks on his vinyl LPs sound more full on and real while others sound sonicaly incomplete. However, the feedback he gets about his CDs is that at all the tracks sound equal.

Now the question is this, which of the two types of system are feeding distortion into the signal chain? Is it the one that sounds most like the original gig because when all said and done an electric guitar through a tube amp is a mess of distortion anyway, or is it the digital devices, which when all said and done, clean up the sound and make it more authentic to how the musician would have sounded had he just fed his guitar directly into the mixing boards instead of miking it via his own combo unit and therefore revealing him to be the rotten musician that he is because he doesn't sound as good when he plugs his guitar directly into the desk?

Grtgrfx, having responded to Wilkinsb I shall now read your post and endeavour to respond.
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Old 08-05-2010   #86
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

[QUOTE=occupation;25794]Hello Wilkinsb, OK, here is a puzzle that perhaps you can help me out with.

There is this performer I know, well, actualy I know quite a few but to keep it short the general gist is this.
On stage there is this electric guitar player. His rig and the way he plays produces this depth in his blues sound. It's full on and warm, rich in tombre. When the performance is recorded by taking a feed fom the PA to two machines, one is an open reel-reel, the other is a digital recorder and the sound is played back through the PA from the open reel after the show, it sounds more like the performance that has just happened,



I fully concur with your comments about a R-R I have worked with them for years, still own a Revox PR 99 2 channel, and a professional R-R at 15 IPS or higher will great a great reproduction.
When comparing digital recordings I am leary as to exactly how that recording was done.
Many factors go into a digital recording that can easily produce unwanted artifacts if not done properly.
My comments were made in regard to comparing CD to SACD, Among the things that happen in conversion from digital tape to SACD is a removal of the digital distortions by the EMM Labs converter. Exactly what oit is out of my technical realm however you might find a general description on EMM labs website. if not contact them through the website. the exact method is under patent by EMM Labs and Ed Meitner.
If you look at their list of clients these are all SACD producers who exclusively process their recordings through EMM equipment. I like the sound of SACDs over regular CDs as well as vinyl when the SACDs are played over the appropriate equipment.
One of the reasons why I switched to CDs early was certain companies had already learned the techniques of how to maximize fidelity and as a tech I hated all the surface sounds as well as the harmonics generated in vinyl playback.
In the 1950s our school was visited by an RCA Tractor trailer unit that was a complete mobile studio and one thing they demonstrated was a synthesized creation of a piano piece that they would alternate with a real piano recording. They then told us that they had assembled a group of technicians and musicians back at home base to listen to a blind comparison asking them to identify the real piano and the synthesized recording. Only the techs got it right the musicians could not hear the difference. The techs identified the recording without the key clicks as the synthesized. Musicians ignore everything except the notes when they listen.



while the playback from the digital device does not. Over time different makes and models of recorder are used to record the show, some are analogue, some are digital. A pattern emerges where one of the two types of device scores consistantly over that of the other in producing an authentic playback of the concert. When enquirey is made, it is found that the analogue recorders that tend to produce the playback which is deemed to most accurately match that of the concert.

But this isn't the end of the puzzle, because the performer decides every now and then to make available to the public various records of his performances. In one case, he puts it out on vinyl and in another he puts it out on CD. There is a mix of tracks, some of which were recorded digitaly and some on the open reel, on both CD and vinyl issues. When he talks to his fans he hears comments that some of the tracks on his vinyl LPs sound more full on and real while others sound sonicaly incomplete. However, the feedback he gets about his CDs is that at all the tracks sound equal.

Now the question is this, which of the two types of system are feeding distortion into the signal chain? Is it the one that sounds most like the original gig because when all said and done an electric guitar through a tube amp is a mess of distortion anyway, or is it the digital devices, which when all said and done, clean up the sound and make it more authentic to how the musician would have sounded had he just fed his guitar directly into the mixing boards instead of miking it via his own combo unit and therefore revealing him to be the rotten musician that he is because he doesn't sound as good when he plugs his guitar directly into the desk?

CDs do not have the distortions caused by the stylus tracing the groove, nor do they have the high noise floor of the vinyl, as to specific circumstances full of unknown variables I can not comment
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Old 08-06-2010   #87
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Angry Re: CD vs Vinyl

At the beginning of June I decided to record many of my cds on my new ipod.Since I had 2 months to do this I figured it would give me a chance to get reacquainted with some of my favorite records.Imagine my horror when I slipped my Howard Hanson on Mercury Living Presence cd and no sound came out.I took out the cd and saw that the cd had...disappeared. The aluminum was GONE.I couldnt believe it.Later I stuck in my Emily Remler This Is Me cd.Once again no sound and no aluminum.I was ****ed.Perfect sound forever?Later on I tried to play/record my Stan Getz The Bossa Nova Years.3 of the 4 Cds were missing part of the aluminum.Hell. this set had cost me $49.About 10 of my 400 cds had the aluminum gone.What the hell is this?None of these CDs were 20 years old.Ive got Cds that sound really good.The three I mentioned sounded Superb...When they existed.Ive got Lps that sound excellent.Of course I have a Stevie Wonder Songs To the Key Of Life that sounded awful as soon as I removed it from the packaging. But at least I can hear it,lousy sound and great music.Now Im worried about my Cd collection.What will happen in 10 years?Il would send these cds to their labels but Im sure those lying jerks will say It was my fault.Woe is me!!!
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Old 08-06-2010   #88
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

Sometime in the late 80's a batch of CD's came out where the label print dyes reacted with the protective layer, thereby exposing the aluminium layer to the air which caused it to oxidise. Although non can predict, it's a fairly safe bet that the rest of your CD collection will be unaffected by this, as that type of print dye stopped being used. So you probably do have a case, but you'd be better off just replacing them with new CD's. I'm inclined to believe that CD's in general have good longevity. Funnily enough, the actual data on your damaged CD's is still there, stamped into the polypropylene.

On the subject of vinyl, surface noise seems to be the only criticism that is used to suggest its inadequacy. But if surface noise was the real harbinger that it has often been claimed to be, it would be a fairly straight forward case to use a pro grade ADC, digitaly process the surface noise out of the most battered and scratched vinyl. For example, an equivalent box as the Meitner CDSA-SE for CD. You could use 24 or 48 bit with a high sample rate, it would cost a lot less to build, and with the kind of processing power available today, I don't think it would require a genius to program.

However, you're only going to be trading one problem for another. ADC's and DAC's introduce distortions all of their own, though of course it is possible to over engineer your way out of a problem. For use of an analogy, you could with a great deal of effort build a bridge to span a river using no arches or curves and just have a straight piece of concrete and lots of pillars to support it, and then explain that the reason why it's better than a suspension bridge is because it doesn't sway in high winds. The fact that larger boats wouldn't be able to get under the bridge for want of pillars proponents can claim is not a problem because with even more over engineering you can use cranes to lift them out of the water and resettle them on the other side, and if anyone complains, you can improve the quality of the lift mechanism.

At the end of the day, for a couple of grand you could have a Linn Sondek and play the best made L.Ps on that and have no surface noise. Musical content tends not to go beyond 60db max in terms of dynamic range, and it's frequency range rarely gets as high as 10KHz, making the parameters of L.Ps adequate. Contrary to popular belief there have been advances made in stylus technology over the past 20 years. In conclusion, because you don't need to over engineer vinyl playback apparatus in order to make it work to render musical content transparently, that would make vinyl systems sonically superior to that of even SACD. The best replay system cannot exceed the qualities of a plain copper cable. It can be less than that, as good as, but not superior to, and as an LP playback system can match it, that SACD may also be able to match it, would still render the system inferior in HI-FI terms, because it has the disadvantage of needing to be so heavily over engineered in order to work, as is evidenced by it's price tag which is beyond the pocket of most people. So in order for people with less money to access that kind of quality, their only course available is vinyl.
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Old 06-22-2011   #89
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

Vinyl wins in many ways. not even comparable to CD in my opinion.
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Old 07-06-2011   #90
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

Here's a shocker for you. When CD's came out, it was proclaimed that they had a signal to noise ratio of 90dB. This was worked out by adding 6dB for each bit increase. i.e. the 1st bit (lsb) is considered as 0dB. So 15 x 6 = 90. Impressive? However, in order that there is no perceived loss of information in a complex wave form, the wave must have a resolve of at least 12 bits. i.e. you are above the noise floor when the signal spans a depth of at least 12 bits. Unlike with analogue tape, you cannot hear the noise floor on a digital system but is has the same destructive effect on a signal. Therefore, the true 0dB starts at the 12th bit which means that a CD has a signal to noise ratio of only 24dB!!!

Vinyl has a s/n of 48dB.
Cassettes have a s/n around 50dB without NR
SACD has a s/n of 48dB but an internal standard NR system improves it

A full symphony requires 48dB of headroom so that there is no loss of signal quality for the quietest notes played.
A 24 bit system offers full 72dB of headroom without NR. So a professional 24bit system with NR can get you in excess of 90dB which makes it more forgiving to work with level adjustment wise.

So red book is definitely a basket case. It might not have been so bad had mfrs agreed upon a NR standard before going to market. SACD is too little too late.

As for what the future holds, with digital systems discredited, the cost of producing vinyl in small quantities is too great for small productions, which leaves us with the 1/4" tape as the only viable method of distributing the highest possible fidelity content. At it's professional best, a digital system can only equal it.
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