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View Full Version : Vinyl records vs. Cds.


bob francais
2008-02-05, 03:09 AM
I went crazy on ebay and bought a ton of vinyl records. About 1500 or so, I know I must be crazy because I already have almost all the music on cd already. I would like to know if any of you like the sound of vinyl records more than cd digital sound? To me cd digital sound is clearer but not as warm or full. Maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part because i have all these classic rock and jazz records on vinyl. There are still other crazy people like me on ebay because I look from time to time and people still bid on vinyl records. What do you think? Also I converted some vinyl recordings to cd and they sound a little different then the factory released cd's. The converted vinyl to cd sound ok to me but I guess that defeats the purpose of the vinyl record right? Please give me your opinions? Should i sell the records while I still can or will people still want them in the future? I am talking about vinyl records in very good plus cond to near mint ,not all beat up ones.

AAR.oner
2008-02-05, 05:25 AM
yes, i prefer vinyl to cd any day of the week...hell, i typically prefer my own LP>CD transfers as opposed to factory pressed CDs of the same album as well

its not wishful thinking, analogue recordings with no digital stage have a MUCH warmer,fuller sound than digital...if you look at a sine wave recorded analogue [smooth wave shape], as opposed to the same sine recorded digitally [stairsteps], you'll understand why -- it all comes down to the 1's and 0's of digital

vinyl isn't going anywhere, there will always be audiophiles, collectors, DJs, etc who will want vinyl...that said, if yer interested in selling any of yer records, let me know...i'm always in the market for a few more records to spin

pawel
2008-02-05, 05:42 AM
Get a tube or an Accuphase amplifier to listen to CDs ;-)

drkhollow
2008-02-05, 11:35 AM
it's all in the turntable!!

daddyray
2008-02-05, 12:50 PM
some stuff sounds much better on LP than anything else but the old old old recordings of jimmie rodgers or charley patton and the like are only listenable (imho) since the sonic solution-type stuff happened. I like access to all media formats.

saltman
2008-02-05, 01:46 PM
mehh. warm with pops and crackles. Go digital. sell the records.

Tubular
2008-02-05, 01:54 PM
relax with wax! :rockin: :tunes:

Someday digital may approach or surpass analog vinyl in sound quality because there is a limit to what we can hear in terms of accuracy of the waveforms. That said, CDs aren't close to that limit.

Plus, if you get a 24 bit soundcard or external AD converter, you can transfer those records and they will sound BETTER than their 16 bit CD release. The vinyl will eventually wear out, but if you burn new data discs every 10 years or so, you can keep the digital forever.

Thulani
2008-02-05, 03:33 PM
I prefer cassettes.
But if I had to choose from those two I would choose vinyl.
I will always hate CDs because of their prices.

Tubular
2008-02-05, 03:48 PM
Most cassettes sold in stores in the last 15 or so years as official albums are probably digitally sourced.

Cassettes are great for dubbing vinyl for the car or walkman. Unless you have something like this:

http://www.imperialclub.com/Repair/Accessories/HiWay/Ad.jpg

Tubular
2008-02-05, 03:50 PM
16 2/3 rpm records! :lol

direwolf-pgh
2008-02-05, 03:54 PM
16 2/3 rpm records! :lol that is so retro cool. terrible idea..but very cool.

brimstone
2008-02-05, 06:54 PM
Vinyls and CD:s often sound different but 44,1 kHz/16 bits is perfectly adequate for home reproduction of recordings. There are no real benefits of increasing the bandwidth and the dynamic range and this is confirmed by double-blind listening tests.

Tubular
2008-02-06, 03:34 AM
Not true. Have you ever heard any DVD-Audio discs or 24 bit recordings? They sound quite a bit better than 16 bit CDs. When the bit depth is increased, the resolution is increased, and this is easily heard. Increasing the sample rate is less perceptible in PCM.

brimstone
2008-02-06, 10:52 AM
The idea that increased resolution and sampling rate over standard CD-quality gives an audible difference is not supported by double-blind listening tests (except at very elevated levels). The most recent and comprehensive study in this subject was published this September in Journal of the Audio Engineering Society (1). When DVD-A discs (or vinyls) sound better than CD:s it's most likely because the sound engineers did a better job.

(1) E. B Mayer and D. R. Moran, "Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted to High-Resolution Audio Playback", J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 55, No. 9 (September 2007)
(It's not available on the internet for free but i could probably email it if anyone is interested)

jamroom
2008-02-06, 01:47 PM
Hey - get one of these and your vinyl will never wear out - it even has a declicker! However, you will need deep pockets for this TT - base price is $10,000.

ELP Laser Turntable (http://www.elpj.com/)

http://www.elpj.com/images/lt1.jpg

Tubular
2008-02-06, 02:40 PM
Found this:
http://theaudiocritic.com/blog/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=41&blogId=1

Proven: Good Old Redbook CD Sounds the Same as the Hi-Rez Formats

Incontrovertible double-blind listening tests prove that the original 16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard yields exactly the same two-channel sound quality as the SACD and DVD-A technologies.

Which type of DA converters did the high end SACD/DVD-A player use? 1 bit sigma delta type that also accepts 24 bit input or true 24 bit ladder type R2R for PCM with a separate 1 bit sigma delta converter for SACD? The player also had an SACD player built in, so it might have had a 1 bit sigma delta type for both SACD and DVD-A. I have read articles that say that 1 bit converters are terrible, and that SACD is inferior to even a good CD player with a true multibit converter (Stereophile confirmed this years ago)

Also what type of AD and DA converter did the 16/44.1 stage have?

It doesn't say they compared vinyl at all, just CD vs. SACD vs. DVD-A.

Someone posted here a few months ago about how he and some friends recorded an album @<hidden> 24 bit. They were really enjoying the nice warm sounds. Once he dithered to 16 bit to make a CD res version, all that warmth and definition was largely gone. He said he couldn't believe the difference.

Five
2008-02-06, 03:03 PM
those double-blind listening tests aren't very impressive anyways since average mp3 will also pass that test when it comes to average ears!

I like the sound of vinyl, just listen to your records when you're at home, that's what they're for. If you are taking the walkman out use a digital format its still pretty good. Yes, and 'needle drop' recordings do sound great for some strange reason.

there's also the experience of the larger coverart & side 1 then side 2 as two listening experiences.

however, cds will often sound better than records that are pressed with too much music on them--like 30mins per side (check an old k-tel record out) or just poor pressings. there's also the problem of inner groove distortion.

some cassettes sound quite good as well, back in the day I remember preferring use your illusion on cassette over the cd version fwiw.

brimstone
2008-02-06, 05:07 PM
Meyer's and Moran's report didn't involve vinyls at all. Sorry if I wasn't clear on that. The point I was trying to make was that s good analogue playback system and a good digital playback system will both have very good fidelity so the main differences will be in the recordings themselves. The advantage with digital signals are that they are robust in a way that an analogue system like vinyl records will never be. You will never have any problems with clicks, pops, surface noise and other kinds of distortions associated with vinyls and turntables.

If you want to know more about Meyer's and Moran's report the best thing would be to read it. There is also a website with more details about music and equipment.
http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/explanation.htm

rspencer
2008-02-06, 06:34 PM
Another benefit of vinyl is that there are often both mono & stereo versions. Far too often it's fake stereo, which can produce a horrid sounding record (see the Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow). The mono version sounds great though.

And there's a plethora of material that has never been reissued on CD, and most likely never will. Buy the vinyl & make your own CDs.

Tubular
2008-02-06, 07:16 PM
All of the source components listed in that test are universal SACD/DVD-A/CD players or SACD only players, which means they might have 1 bit sigma delta type converters for PCM CD and DVD-A playback. I'd probably have to call the companies for info on which type of DA converters they use for PCM playback, that info isn't easy to come by for all brands. The only player that is high end is the Sony, and it is an SACD/CD player, and its DA converters are 1 bit sigma delta type. 1 bit converters are used primarily for cost savings, not for high performance.

IMO great vinyl is leaps and bounds above any CDs I've heard, although some CDs are better than others. DVD-A sounds better than CD on a DVD-A/V/CD player IMO. It doesn't have SACD playback, so it may have true multibit converters.

Studios for years have recorded at 24 bit or 20 bit and dithered to 16 bit often using the Apogee UV22 process. They have found that this sounds much better than simply recording at 16 bit with no dither. But one experiment using standard consumer crap throws out all of this research and experience?

“Listening tests have shown the Apogee UV22’s 16-bit output is the closest to what we hear on our 20-bit
source. It’s really like getting something for nothing.
“We chose the Ravel recording to test dithering schemes because of its wide dynamic range, distinct imaging
and deep sound stage. The piece opens with very low level tympani, high woodwinds and light strings and
slowly builds to a 250-voice and orchestra crescendo. Any change from the 20-bit source, especially in those
opening bars, is immediately apparent.
“All other systems changed the sound stage and the tonal balance. The Apogee UV22 holds the detail,
holds the soundstage and holds the tonal balance across the spectrum. The UV22 was very open and very
clean”.
Michael further used the UV22 on a recent Brazilian project, Paraiso, featuring Gerry Mulligan and Jane
Dubo (October 1993 release, Telarc catalog number CD-83361).
“The UV22 makes all the difference in the world in fades to digital black.
“The reverb detail and stereo spread are amazing; it makes an overall improvement in the final product”

Tubular
2008-02-06, 07:34 PM
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may99/articles/hhb.htm

Analogue source recordings were also handled quite well (the delta-sigma A-D converters have a claimed 92dB signal/noise ratio). Better performance can be obtained with external A-D converters: for the digital input, HHB claim a signal/noise ratio of 108dB, matching the playback figures.

All of those entry or mid priced consumer players must have had 1 bit sigma delta converters, because they heard no difference at all between the source, and passing it through the sigma delta AD > sigma delta DA loop of the HHB CD burner. Multibit converters sound much better.

brimstone
2008-02-07, 10:34 AM
The whole delta-sigma vs. multi bit DACs to me sounds a lot like "audiophile fashion" rather than serious input on electrical engineering. Meyer and Moran's article has been the subject of lengthy discussion in other forums with comments from the authors themselves. I think that most types criticism has already been brought forward.

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=prophead&n=38080&highlight=EBradMeyer (This link probably has the most info)
http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=prophead&n=36592&highlight=EBradMeyer
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=43e8d1ba4264775facb20fb2e1

shopkin
2008-02-08, 12:59 AM
http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=35578


:thumbsup

Tubular
2008-02-11, 07:30 PM
Here's a good article about multibit DACs vs. single bit sigma delta DACs. The SACD system is single bit sigma delta @<hidden> high sample rate by design. What that experiment shows, or attempts to show, is that the 1 bit sigma delta DAC is the best digital sound will ever have to offer. I don't believe this is the case, and I also don't believe it is just a case of better mastering making all the difference in sound quality, although this is a big factor. Perhaps 24 bits is too little to really make a huge difference? Perhaps all the source components in the test had 1 bit converters which might have been the equalizing factor (bringing sound quality of all sources down) no matter if the source was 1 bit SACD, 16 bit CD, or 24 bit DVD-A? :hmm: 1 bit DACs are severely lacking IMO and a particularly bad 5 disc Sony CD changer made me loathe digital sound with a passion for the longest time. I much preferred my LPs, there was no contest, and I only had an entry level Denon turntable w/stock cartridge. There are other ways to describe the sound of analog other than warmth. Presence or realism come to mind. Theoretically, this can be matched eventually with digital if enough bits per sample(esp.)/samples per second are used.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0506/zero_oversampling_dac.htm

It is ironic that 25 years after the introduction of the first generation CD player by the Sony/Philips consortium a groundswell of designs has emerged that challenge one of the medium’s fundamental engineering assumptions. It had been considered a given that an anti-imaging filter is necessary to remove the ultrasonics generated during the digital to analog conversion process. Recall that the earliest players used multi-bit DAC chips followed by analog "brick wall" filters designed to steeply attenuate the image spectra above 22 kHz. While the specs looked good on paper, the promise of "perfect sound forever" turned sour quickly as a chorus of complains echoed a common theme: bright, fatiguing sound that ultimately resulted in digititis – an allergic reaction to digital sound. The establishment’s initial reaction was to blame the messenger; namely, digital masters were said to be the culprit. I recall listening to J. Gordon Holt’s Sony CDP-101, the first kid on the block with a CD player. This one being a seminal first-generation player, and a gift from the marketing folks at Sony. Out of a stack of some 30 CDs, only a couple managed to sound decent. Slowly, the real problem was recognized to be the brick wall filter and sure enough second-generation players took advantage of evolving digital signal processing technology and incorporated digital oversampling filters positioned prior to the multi-bit DAC. I have no preconceived bias against digital filters; they neither generate new information nor improve resolution, but they do allow the use of much gentler analog filters, which are audibly benign.

Now, just when it appeared that the digital ship had righted itself, a new "dark age" was spawned with the advent of the single-bit sigma-delta converter. Author Ken Pohlmann (The Compact Disc Handbook) gives an excellent analogy of how such a chip works. He likens it to a light switch operating at a high frequency. The two extreme amplitude states are off and on, but also any intermediate level can be achieved by toggling the switch off and on rapidly at a given frequency. The single-bit DAC was seen as offering the potential of increased linearity relative to the older R2R type at lower cost while obviating the need for factory calibration. In contrast, the R2R DAC uses an onboard voltage-divider resistor network or ladder capable of generating 65,536 voltage values. Each bit in a 16-bit data word enters the ladder through a switch. The most significant bit (MSB) enters the ladder at the top, while the least significant bit (LSB) is assigned the last section in the resistor network. A data zero keep the corresponding switch open, while each 1 closes a switch and allows that bit to contribute to the overall output voltage. Granted, the LSB is difficult to maintain in calibration, but the output is free of the RF switching noise that afflicts the sigma-delta type, which requires sophisticated digital noise shaping techniques to work at all. Since noise cannot be destroyed, noise shaping merely shifts the noise: reducing noise within the audible bandwidth while increasing it at higher frequencies. More recent low-bit sigma-delta designs improve the situation somewhat but fail to change the bottom line: improving linearity at the cost of increasing high-frequency noise is a poor tradeoff.

In my experience, designs based on the sigma-delta chip tend to sound bright and/or lack convincing timbre accuracy. Altmann Micro Machines’ progenitor, Charles Altmann, is much more empathic about this issue. In his opinion, there is no music possible with sigma-delta DACs. In his experience R2R chips are the only way to achieve a listenable sound quality. However, the type of R2R chip used, he feels, is of far less importance than the skill of the designer. While from a technical standpoint he appreciates R2R type DACs such as the Burr-Brown PCM1704 (true 24-bit noise-free resolution), they are not necessarily well suited to zero oversampling applications. He believes that he has been able to push the Philips TDA1543 dual 16-bit DAC to incredible results. Incidentally, by virtue of its single +5V voltage rail, it is compatible with battery power supplies. Some might consider the TDA1543 as a relic from a bygone era, but its low-cost, potential for good sound and compatibility with battery power have made it a favorite with many designers. In fact, three of the four DACs reviewed herein use this particular chip.



So Are Anti-Imaging Filters Really Needed?

Well, yes, if using a sigma-delta DAC; the noise shaping employed makes anti-imaging filtration mandatory. However, the answer would appear to be a resounding No in the case of an R2R DAC. The definitive means of settling such questions is, to my mind, the time-honored listening test. It was the inimitable Harry Olson, who elucidated this principle many ears ago in the form "the ear is the final arbiter in audio matters." There is not necessarily a direct relationship between what is measured and what is perceived. Al Bregman, author of Auditory Scene Analysis: The Perceptual Organization of Sound (MIT Press, 1994) relates that in about 1969, a few years after he had arrived at McGill University as an assistant professor in cognitive psychology, he became involved in an experiment on auditory perception in which the signal was a rapid sequence of unrelated sounds. The realization that the perceived sequence was not the actual sequence of sounds launched him into a life-long study of auditory perception. Unfortunately, the scope and spectrum analyzer have displaced the auditory system in the mistaken belief that perceptual pleasure is an inevitable consequence of engineering excellence.

It was the golden-eared Peter Qvortrup at Audio Note UK who first dared to listen directly to an R2R’s DAC output – minus analog filters and what he refers to as "digital trickery." What Peter discovered is a sound quality that is much more closely akin to the vinyl experience. In my experience, zero oversampling gives the impression of a more believable soundstage. The spatial impression in terms of depth and width perspectives is typically better defined relative to oversampling designs. It is as though the auditory system is presented with a better set of cues with which to synthesize a 3-D impression of the auditory stream. Perhaps the Gestalt psychology principle of closure is at work here. This is a mechanism for dealing with missing information, a means, if you will of connecting the dots (to use a visual analogy). An example given by Al Bregman is that of a soft sound being masked or drowned out by a louder one. If the softer sound can be heard both before and after a burst of the louder sound, it can be perceived to continue behind the louder sound – even if it is physically removed while the loud sound is being played.

Welcome to the natural voicing of zero oversampling. What a breath of fresh air! Gone is the endemic brightness of early CD players and sigma-delta converters and its associated sensory overload. Yet, the relative paucity of zero oversampling designs makes you wonder whether most DAC designers spend more time measuring than listening.

What about the ultrasonic energy present at the output of a zero oversampling DAC? Is it likely to overload or generate distortion products in the associated analog chain? While that is always a possibility with high-frequency test signals, there is no evidence that this is at all an issue with music program material. The proof is in the listening.

Tubular
2008-02-11, 07:53 PM
http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/pcm1704.html

Here's the page of the Burr Brown PCM1704 24bit/96kHz R2R DAC that was referenced in the article.

Eliv8
2008-02-11, 08:13 PM
Vinyl sounds a lot better imho. Vinyl sounds more like 'Gold' CD's

Tubular
2008-02-11, 11:40 PM
Do you mean that the MFSL Gold CDs sound more like vinyl, vinyl being the current sound quality champ?

direwolf-pgh
2008-02-12, 01:59 AM
its the mastering dynamics of the media type imo.

grab an album you're intimately familiar with >
listen to it on several different remastering attempts on several different media types

ive found there are several versions Ill enjoy for certain characteristics/qualities.


Eliv8
2008-02-12, 12:04 PM
Do you mean that the MFSL Gold CDs sound more like vinyl, vinyl being the current sound quality champ?

Yes, at least the MFSL's Ive listened to.

direwolf-pgh
2008-02-12, 02:01 PM
the Toshiba-EMI releases I've heard are top shelf imo.
some of the best CD's Ive heard.

FalloutBoy
2008-02-16, 06:16 PM
yes, i prefer vinyl to cd any day of the week...hell, i typically prefer my own LP>CD transfers as opposed to factory pressed CDs of the same album as well

its not wishful thinking, analogue recordings with no digital stage have a MUCH warmer,fuller sound than digital...

The major reason vinyl recordings often sound better than cd versions of the same recording is because they haven't been ruined in the mastering process (the awful "loudness race").
The "warm" sound on the other hand is usually the result of harmonic distortion and/or compression.

It's also worth noting that the vast majority of vinyl recordings made in the past 30 years have gone through a digital stage.

if you look at a sine wave recorded analogue [smooth wave shape], as opposed to the same sine recorded digitally [stairsteps], you'll understand why -- it all comes down to the 1's and 0's of digital

That is a common misunderstanding. As long as the sampling frequency is greater than twice the maximum frequency of the signal being sampled, the output from the D/A-converter when you play the recording will be just as "smooth" as any analogue recording.

FalloutBoy
2008-02-16, 07:05 PM
There are other ways to describe the sound of analog other than warmth. Presence or realism come to mind. Theoretically, this can be matched eventually with digital if enough bits per sample(esp.)/samples per second are used.

I'm not sure I follow you.
Bits per sample is what determines dynamic range.
CDDA uses 16 bits/sample, and that gives a dynamic range of 96dB.
Vinyl records have a varying dynamic range depending on several factors, but it's usually between 60-80dB (equivalent to about 10-12 bits/sample).

Samples per second (or sample rate) determines the maximum frequency of the recreated signal (half the sample rate, according to the Nyquist theorem).
CDDA uses a sampling rate of 44100Hz, and that gives a maximum frequency of 22050Hz.
Vinyl doesn't have a real frequency limit, but is usually cut off around 20000Hz (by a brick-wall filter). Both to prevent high-frequency noise from being audible and because of the engraving process.

So how are 16bits and 44.1kHz not enough?

FalloutBoy
2008-02-16, 07:30 PM
Do you mean that the MFSL Gold CDs sound more like vinyl, vinyl being the current sound quality champ?

Vinyl is a nice format. And it is sadly the only format where the potential of the medium is regularly used. It is actually the limits of the format that makes it impossible to ruin the recordings in the same way they do with many CDs and the other technically superior digital formats.

Mastering makes a much bigger difference than format.

Tubular
2008-02-16, 07:58 PM
When the bit depth is increased is also means that those waveforms are more smoothly shaped, they more closely match the sine wave shape. This is because there are more available voltage values within the given range. Analog has an infinite number of possible voltage values within a given range. So even though vinyl may not have a great dynamic range, the sound is more accurate within that range.

Great vinyl sounds 'alive' to me, whereas CDs, even though they still often sound great, are lacking.

FalloutBoy
2008-02-17, 02:27 PM
When the bit depth is increased is also means that those waveforms are more smoothly shaped, they more closely match the sine wave shape. This is because there are more available voltage values within the given range.

More bits give you a lower noise-floor and extended dynamic range (+6dB for every added bit).
That doesn't mean that lesser bit depths are less accurate in general, just that they are accurate in a lesser range.

Higher bit depths are often used in recording to keep noise added in the various steps from entering the final product.

Analog has an infinite number of possible voltage values within a given range.

So does the electrical output-signal from the D/A-converter. You are confusing the stored representation of the signal with the signal itself.

So even though vinyl may not have a great dynamic range, the sound is more accurate within that range.

The dynamic range of vinyl is sufficient in most cases. There are much worse technical problems with vinyl.

And I'm not sure what you mean by accurate.
The CD-system can accurately store and recreate any signal that is within the limits of the specifications of the system.
A CD is a (downsampled) digital copy of the digital master. There is no way to create a vinyl record with that kind of accuracy, if that was what you meant by accurate.

Great vinyl sounds 'alive' to me, whereas CDs, even though they still often sound great, are lacking.

I like vinyl as well. It has a special sound and feel, and many albums are only available on vinyl (at least if you want them without "loudness"-mastering).

But it is never going to give you the accurate and precise reproduction the digital formats are capable of. And that may be a good thing since it would probably lose its special sound if it did.

Tubular
2008-02-17, 04:02 PM
http://www.24bitfaq.org/#Q0_1_1


0.1.1 Why 24 bits? Isn’t 16 bits enough?

A: 16-bit technology is over 20 years old, but that’s not simply a reason in and of itself. The Compact Disc format and specification that promised superior quality audio was derived from a compromise between playback time and sonic quality. It is this compromise that facilitated putting 16-bit audio within reach of everyone’s home, car, and person. However, it is this same compromise that has left audiophiles to grasp tightly onto their old vinyl LP’s and their audiophile-grade turntables in hopes that something better would come along. Today, 24-bit audio technologies promise to deliver the same sonic experience once promised by CD’s. The notable difference here is, 24-bit technology actually delivers the level of performance most audiophiles expected long ago. Sure, nothing beats the live performance experience, and 30 i.p.s. 2” analog reel tape is second to none in its ability to reproduce that experience. But we can surely say that the edge 24-bit recording has over their 16-bit counterparts puts a big smile on the audiophiles face. Why? What’s missing on my 16-recording?



Simply, the answer is detail. The PCM format provides its optimal resolution when signal levels are at their very highest. As signal levels decrease to lower levels, resolution deteriorates, leaving quiet cymbals and string instruments sounding typically sterile, dry, harsh, and lifeless. The more bits you have available to you in the process of quantizing the amplitude of a waveform at any given sampling, the more accurately a lower level signal can be represented. If an instrument is very loud while standing next to it, but is recorded at a low level, there are less numbers that can be used to represent just exactly how loud it is at any given moment. We know that a wave modulates between silence and its maximum amplitude or volume, while the number of times per second this modulation occurs gives us the pitch of the wave.



For example, if there are only 4 discrete numbers that can be used to represent the volume level of a particular recording, 1 would be silent, 2 would be very audible, 3 would be louder, and 4 would represent the loudest level. Can you imagine what all your audio would sound like if these were the only choices for representing amplitude at any given moment? Definitely horrible, and it would sound like square wave distortion and noise. This example would be a 2-bit recording.



In order to make this sound better, we need to be able to have discrete values in between these values. A fading piece of music can’t just go from very audible to silent, or it wouldn’t be a smooth fade. A 4-bit recording would have 16 discrete possible amplitude levels. Can you again imagine what this would sound like? Definitely better, but its still a totally horrible representation of the sound. We can deduce from this that the more discrete values available to us, the better it will sound. Is there a limit to the human ear’s ability to perceive these inaccuracies? Definitely, but it unfortunately does not stop at the 65536 discrete values afforded to us by 16-bit technology.



The overriding concept here is called dynamic range, and is measured in dB. The dynamic range of a recording is the difference between its loudest point and its quietest point.

To elaborate further, each bit gives us the ability to represent about 6dB of dynamic range. A passage that is 6dB louder than another passage is said to be twice as loud as the other passage. In the 4-bit example, we theoretically have 24dB of dynamic range that can be used. But what if recording doesn’t take advantage of all that dynamic range? What if the recording never peaks beyond 6dB of its maximum possible limit? In this case, the recording would only take advantage of 3 of what we call the least significant (or left-most) bits, meaning 18dB of dynamic range. 16-bit recordings are capable of a theoretical maximum limit of 96dB of dynamic range. This means that a single wave could have up to 65536 discrete values that can be used to represent it. But if the same wave recorded at 16-bit peaks at 48dB below its maximum possible limit, then there would only be 256 discrete values that can be used to represent it, taking advantage of only 8 of the least significant bits. The 8 most significant bits would contain no information whatsoever, and would remain unused. In the case of 24-bit recording, you’d have a maximum of 16,777,216 values to choose from, and in the case of a wave peaking at 48dB below its maximum possible limit, the wave would still have 65536 possible discrete amplitude values that could be used to represent it.

The more discrete values available in the digitization stage, the better, until the limits of human hearing to perceive inaccuracies are reached. The DA converter has to reconstruct the waveform from the discrete values. The more available values there are digitially, the more accurate the conversion can be to analog.

NUMBER OF BITS_____RESOLUTION______DYNAMIC RANGE
2_______________4__________________________12 dB
3_______________8__________________________18 dB
4_______________16_________________________24 dB
8________________256_______________________48 dB
12_______________4,096______________________72 dB
16________________65,536____________________96 dB
24____________16,777,216____________________144 dB
32____________4,294,967,296_________________192 dB
48___________281,474,976,711,000_____________288 dB
56_________7.20575940379 E16 (add 16 0s)______336 dB

paddington
2008-02-17, 04:12 PM
I understand, exactly, the arguments regarding dynamic range capabilities with more bits in a sample (and that's a great post).. but here's the $64,000 question:

If these shit-head mastering 'engineers' insist on crushing the life (and nearly all dynamics) out of a recording BEFORE makeing the glass masters, what difference will it make? If the entire fucking recording only has 1 db of dynamic range, none of that shit matters.

I wish someone would concentrate on getting the record companies to demand some minimum-acceptable dynamic range to be enforced by the pressing plants. They have to WANT to do it.. however that may be accomplished.

paddington
2008-02-17, 04:15 PM
the Toshiba-EMI releases I've heard are top shelf imo.
some of the best CD's Ive heard.


Black Triangles?

Tubular
2008-02-17, 04:19 PM
:cry: :grr: But I want my record to be as loud or louder than so and so's on my shitty iPod earbuds!!

direwolf-pgh
2008-02-17, 04:37 PM
the Toshiba-EMI releases I've heard are top shelf imo.
some of the best CD's Ive heard.


Black Triangles?yeah - they have a pic of Mr. Spock wearing headphones on them.
those CD versions of Abbey Road & DSOTM are the best ive heard. (imo)

FalloutBoy
2008-02-18, 04:00 PM
http://www.24bitfaq.org/#Q0_1_1

I've read that article before and it is outdated and full of misunderstandings and unsubstantiated opinions. But I do agree with the major conclusion about using 24 bits when recording.

The more discrete values available in the digitization stage, the better, until the limits of human hearing to perceive inaccuracies are reached.

If by "inaccuracies" you mean background noise, then I agree: Higher resolution -> lower noise-floor.

How much dynamic range do you think is needed?
A study published by AES[1] claims 75dB is required for loudspeaker systems and 80dB for headphones.

The DA converter has to reconstruct the waveform from the discrete values. The more available values there are digitally, the more accurate the conversion can be to analog.

The conversion is always accurate as long as the original signal is within the bandwidth and signal/noise ratio of the system.



[1] Signal-to-Noise Ratio Requirement for Digital Transmission Systems
Spikofski, Gerhard
AES Preprint: 2196

FalloutBoy
2008-02-18, 04:19 PM
If these shit-head mastering 'engineers' insist on crushing the life (and nearly all dynamics) out of a recording BEFORE makeing the glass masters, what difference will it make? If the entire fucking recording only has 1 db of dynamic range, none of that shit matters.

It is just as much a fault of the record companies and artists who want their records to sound as loud as possible.

Here is a list of some of the worst examples available:
http://www.cutestudio.net/data/products/audio/CD%20clipping/shame/index.php

:disbelief

Tubular
2008-02-18, 04:28 PM
We can deduce from this that the more discrete values available to us, the better it will sound.

Do you disagree with this?

When I say more accurate I mean a more faithful representation of the live waveform

Tubular
2008-02-18, 06:06 PM
In order to make this sound better, we need to be able to have discrete values in between these values. A fading piece of music can’t just go from very audible to silent, or it wouldn’t be a smooth fade. A 4-bit recording would have 16 discrete possible amplitude levels. Can you again imagine what this would sound like? Definitely better, but its still a totally horrible representation of the sound. We can deduce from this that the more discrete values available to us, the better it will sound. Is there a limit to the human ear’s ability to perceive these inaccuracies? Definitely, but it unfortunately does not stop at the 65536 discrete values afforded to us by 16-bit technology.

What about this do you disagree with, FalloutBoy? With more bits per sample, the digital representation of the live waveform's amplitude can be smoother and less square and stairstepped.

victrola
2008-02-19, 10:39 AM
relax with wax! :rockin: :tunes:

Someday digital may approach or surpass analog vinyl in sound quality because there is a limit to what we can hear in terms of accuracy of the waveforms. That said, CDs aren't close to that limit.

Plus, if you get a 24 bit soundcard or external AD converter, you can transfer those records and they will sound BETTER than their 16 bit CD release. The vinyl will eventually wear out, but if you burn new data discs every 10 years or so, you can keep the digital forever.


All of my SACD classicals surpase their vinyl counterparts. I haven't heard an Impulse SACD recording that sounded inferior to vinyl.

Tech. is there, but consumer support isn't.

FalloutBoy
2008-02-19, 05:51 PM
We can deduce from this that the more discrete values available to us, the better it will sound.

Do you disagree with this?

It is true in some cases, depending on the signal being represented. In other cases it will sound the same.

It also depends on other factors, such as sample rate, dither and noise shaping.

When I say more accurate I mean a more faithful representation of the live waveform

That accuracy is determined by the sample rate.

Nyquist Sampling Theory: A sampled waveforms contains ALL the information without any
distortions, when the sampling rate exceeds twice the highest frequency contained by the
sampled waveform.

Here is a good a paper on the sampling theory by Dan Lavry (developer of professional A/D and D/A equipment):
http://www.lavryengineering.com/documents/Sampling_Theory.pdf

In order to make this sound better, we need to be able to have discrete values in between these values. A fading piece of music can’t just go from very audible to silent, or it wouldn’t be a smooth fade. A 4-bit recording would have 16 discrete possible amplitude levels. Can you again imagine what this would sound like? Definitely better, but its still a totally horrible representation of the sound. We can deduce from this that the more discrete values available to us, the better it will sound. Is there a limit to the human ear’s ability to perceive these inaccuracies? Definitely, but it unfortunately does not stop at the 65536 discrete values afforded to us by 16-bit technology.

What about this do you disagree with, FalloutBoy?

I think it is highly misleading, as you can't possible deduce anything about how a recording sounds just from the bit depth.

It also doesn't mention the nature of the "inaccuracies" (quantization errors) it mentions.

And it doesn't even mention dither and noise shaping which makes the conclusions drawn moot.

With more bits per sample, the digital representation of the live waveform's amplitude can be smoother and less square and stairstepped.

True. More bits per sample -> less quantization error -> lower noise floor.

Five
2008-02-21, 12:17 PM
In other cases it will sound the same...
umm yeah, copy a pure analog source from cassette/vinyl/reel to your computer at any setting, do an a/b and it will sound "the same"? gimmie a break. all you have to do is try it for yourself. digital does have its advantage, mainly CHEAPNESS & convenience.

did you ever copy a pure analog source to digital and a/b it afterward and have it sound identical?? If so, I want to get whatever equipment you're using but it had better be exact.

MrMoonlight
2008-02-21, 01:17 PM
digital does have its advantage, mainly CHEAPNESS & convenience.

Both of those, as well as speed are pretty much the only advantages... which make it possible to argue that a lot of the music being recorded and produced in this day and age is mostly garbage and sounds terrible when heard...

Well, I guess I'm sort of biased... i think most of the music sucks without even being recorded anyway...

But vinyl vs. cd is no contest... Any analog source (as probably previously mentioned) will blow the sound of any cd out of the water... It's warm and inviting... The sound is full and it's almost right there... I seriously hope vinyl will continue to be produced until the day the world goes deaf... Or dies... Whichever comes first.

AAR.oner
2008-02-21, 01:24 PM
digital does have its advantage, mainly CHEAPNESS & convenience.

Both of those, as well as speed are pretty much the only advantages... which make it possible to argue that a lot of the music being recorded and produced in this day and age is mostly garbage and sounds terrible when heard...

Well, I guess I'm sort of biased... i think most of the music sucks without even being recorded anyway...

But vinyl vs. cd is no contest... Any analog source (as probably previously mentioned) will blow the sound of any cd out of the water... It's warm and inviting... The sound is full and it's almost right there... I seriously hope vinyl will continue to be produced until the day the world goes deaf... Or dies... Whichever comes first.

you can thank the DJs and punk rock kids for the fact records are still being pressed ;)

Five
2008-02-21, 01:29 PM
thank you DJs and punk rock kids! :wave:

Tubular
2008-02-21, 09:01 PM
In other cases it will sound the same...
umm yeah, copy a pure analog source from cassette/vinyl/reel to your computer at any setting, do an a/b and it will sound "the same"? gimmie a break. all you have to do is try it for yourself. digital does have its advantage, mainly CHEAPNESS & convenience.

did you ever copy a pure analog source to digital and a/b it afterward and have it sound identical?? If so, I want to get whatever equipment you're using but it had better be exact.

I think he was saying that if you transferred a tape at 16/44.1, then transferred it again at 24/44.1, then both digital transfers may sound the same in some cases. I don't think he was saying that the analog or live source would sound the same as the digital transfer. :hmm:

popskull
2008-02-21, 09:26 PM
All of this discussion clearly points to the fact that analog really is the ultimate sampling rate.........continous!

paddington
2008-02-21, 09:27 PM
meh..

perfect cd in perfect cd player will always lose to perfect vinyl on perfect turntable when played back through the same amp & speakers. But the perfect digital sure comes close and it's about 1000 times more convenient.



the problem with CDs is the idiots that master them with 1db dynamic range. I know the argument that if some do it they all must do it to keep getting hired by the tone-deaf people that just want their company's CDs as loud as the other company's CDs... but that's the problem. A CD, properly mastered, can be so close to the quality of perfect vinyl that 99% of the people listening can't tell the difference.. the medium isn't problem, it the people using it. Garbage in = garbage out

Five
2008-02-22, 02:09 AM
In other cases it will sound the same...
umm yeah, copy a pure analog source from cassette/vinyl/reel to your computer at any setting, do an a/b and it will sound "the same"? gimmie a break. all you have to do is try it for yourself. digital does have its advantage, mainly CHEAPNESS & convenience.

did you ever copy a pure analog source to digital and a/b it afterward and have it sound identical?? If so, I want to get whatever equipment you're using but it had better be exact.

I think he was saying that if you transferred a tape at 16/44.1, then transferred it again at 24/44.1, then both digital transfers may sound the same in some cases. I don't think he was saying that the analog or live source would sound the same as the digital transfer. :hmm:
ahh you're right sorry about that.

I think he's saying 24/44.1 > dither down/dither down with noise shaping > 16/44.1 sounds about the same as stright to 16/44.1. Direct capture you can avoid the dither but then some of the 24bit tapers here swear that it sounds better to their ears than straight to 16/44.1. Now how about 24/96 dithered down to 16/44.1 vs straight to 16/44.1? Yes the sampling rate has a tremendous effect on improving the sound quality but if your destination is back to 44.1 then there's an extra resampling phase there. Conventional wisdom says to follow the shortest path for the cleanest most true signal. I can't say too much about it since I haven't tried all the possibilities yet.

but overall the diff between choosing 24/44.1 vs 16/44.1 is there but not really earth-shattering imo (I guess I kind of agree then). But it is natural for a craftsman to take every available advantage so there's no harm in it.

Tubular
2008-02-22, 02:21 AM
lol, I don't wanna break yer balls, but I think he was meaning that something captured 24/44.1 > dithered to 16/44.1 sounds about the same as something captured 24/44.1 with no dithering applied. The dithering really improves the sound a lot I guess vs. capturing in straight 16/44.1. I should have been more specific in the previous post.

I thought the bit depth had a bigger effect than increasing the sampling rate.

What I find hard to believe is that a great recording with a great reel to reel recorder > played back analog with no digital stages, will sound about the same as a great digital recording (16 or 24 bit capture).

sleepless
2008-02-22, 02:42 AM
Well, I think the quality is in your ears...and yours alone.

Some "hear" different things-we have aural preferences that are unique.

Although I prefer Vinyl over digital, I have my own very unscientific reasons for justifying:

1. Speakers are analog
2. Vinyl is analog...seems a natural match
3. Vinyl has a "warmth" that is missing in digital. I can't really can't define warmth, but it is a obvious difference that I hear.
4. It is the same difference between using tube amps vs. solid state, you lose something when you take those little lit-up, heat producing tubes out of the equation.
5. I recently bought a DAC along with an external amp for a set of good headphones, and I must admit, this sounds great out of my computer.
6. But nothing (and I spent way too much looking) comes close to Abbey Road, side 2, running through my 1974 McIntosh tube amp...wish I could explain why!!
7. On the other hand, I can't take any sizeable music collection with me when I travel (and I do alot)...so there is nothing that compares to my rockboxed iPod or my laptop using again a DAC with a portable amp...into in-ear canal headphones. When I'm crusing at 34,000 feet, I feel like I'm in my living-room...the sound is quiet and very sweet...

Probably a little elementary for this thread, but that's my opinion...

cmaz
2008-02-22, 10:55 AM
For me, the issue is not one of ideals: Given the best equipment in the world for each format, which sounds better? But rather one of pragmatism: Given my budget, which will give the better sound?

Of course, if you have one of these:

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/c_mazur/2vk0mlh.jpg

or one of these:

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii203/c_mazur/Dsc_0108.jpg

And you can spend $500 per footfor cable, etc etc etc...the turntable more precisely recreates the musical soundstage of the recording. That goes without saying.

But i don't have that kind of cash, nor do i think i ever will. So, what's my best bet. With my $400 marantz receiver and my $200 Advent Prodigy Towers all strung together with "normal" cables which is going to sound better: A simlarly priced turntable or a simlarly priced cd player?

Although i love my vinyl, i'm betting that short money can probably buy a better (more technically advanced--jitter correction, etc) cd player than lp player.

BTW, for more eye-drooling pics of turntables (if you swing that way), check out these links:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=145059

http://www.zerogain.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16819

Anyway...just sayin'

Five
2008-02-23, 08:19 AM
lol, I don't wanna break yer balls, but I think he was meaning that something captured 24/44.1 > dithered to 16/44.1 sounds about the same as something captured 24/44.1 with no dithering applied. The dithering really improves the sound a lot I guess vs. capturing in straight 16/44.1. I should have been more specific in the previous post.
the dithering helps keep some of that 24bit goodness, stops fades from sputtering etc. I was reading the post as "the same" not "about the same" ... "about the same" I would agree with, there is an improvement in quality but its splitting hairs compared to a simple analog vs digital comparison for example.

What I find hard to believe is that a great recording with a great reel to reel recorder > played back analog with no digital stages, will sound about the same as a great digital recording (16 or 24bit capture).
"about the same" is pretty subjective... but I think anybody with ears can hear a dramatic difference. You've just got to try it for yourself.

I thought the bit depth had a bigger effect than increasing the sampling rate.
try it out, see what you think. too much speculation and white papers and theory in this thread for my tastes, I would rather see FLAC samples posted up, with a post like "hey guys, listen to this 24bit vs 16bit comparison to hear what I'm talking about. I created these samples using xxx ...". Even "I tried comparing x transfer method vs y transfer method at home, and to my ears it sounds like x is about the same as y, so I use method y" etc etc.

If you only believe what's technically sound on paper then solid state is clearly better than tube!

direwolf-pgh
2008-02-23, 01:55 PM
I'm having a tough time with this debate as well.
At first, I had real warm-fuzzy thoughts of records & tapes..but then reality set in.

That store bought reel-reel was probably recorded for Dolby B or C.
Talk about a dynamic crushing algorithm... yuck. I dont miss those days at all.
If you played tape without Dolby.. the headroom is launched to the limits with hiss.

Records. Sure I love them, but pops & surface noise..it came with the territory.
Not to mention that in the 70's & 80's vinyl records were very low grade.
The discs were so thin..they were like 12" floppies by 1984.

I have no issue with CD's - except the mastering or remastering process.
for my favorite recordings I'll search different transfers for the one that hits me right.

I also believe with the newer media on the horizon (DVD-A/Blu Ray)
there is so much bandwidth space for the engineers to work with - it will only get better.
And again we will find ourselves repurchasing out favorite recordings all over again.

FalloutBoy
2008-02-23, 04:39 PM
I think he's saying 24/44.1 > dither down/dither down with noise shaping > 16/44.1 sounds about the same as stright to 16/44.1.

I wasn't referring to any particular bit depths. The point was that how it will sound depends on several factors, and the bit depth (noise limit) is just one of them.
I do believe it is a good idea to record at higher resolution as it gives you more headroom, and thus makes it easier to keep noise added while processing the signal from entering the final product.

Now how about 24/96 dithered down to 16/44.1 vs straight to 16/44.1? Yes the sampling rate has a tremendous effect on improving the sound quality but if your destination is back to 44.1 then there's an extra resampling phase there.

The sampling rate determines the bandwidth (frequency range) of the recording. The practical reason for increasing the sample rate in digital systems is because it makes it easier (and cheaper) to implement low-pass filters.

But how does extending the frequency range outside the limits of the human ear improve the sound quality?
CD and vinyl records are usually cut at around 20kHz.

but overall the diff between choosing 24/44.1 vs 16/44.1 is there but not really earth-shattering imo (I guess I kind of agree then). But it is natural for a craftsman to take every available advantage so there's no harm in it.

It really depends on what you are recording, and what you're going to do with it. But it's always good to have room for error.

lol, I don't wanna break yer balls, but I think he was meaning that something captured 24/44.1 > dithered to 16/44.1 sounds about the same as something captured 24/44.1 with no dithering applied. The dithering really improves the sound a lot I guess vs. capturing in straight 16/44.1.

As I stated above: It really depends on what you are recording, and what you're doing with it.

If you record at 24/44.1, you can keep noise added during processing out of the final 16/44.1 version.
If on the other hand you record at 16/44.1, you have minimal room for error.

I thought the bit depth had a bigger effect than increasing the sampling rate.

Effect on what?
Bit depth determines the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range.
Sample rate determines the frequency range.

What I find hard to believe is that a great recording with a great reel to reel recorder > played back analog with no digital stages, will sound about the same as a great digital recording (16 or 24 bit capture).

I don't believe anyone has claimed they will sound the same.

Reel-to-reel recorders represent the best analog equipment available, and it is possible to make fantastic sounding recordings with them.
But even if they are reasonably accurate, they do add a little warmth to the sound due to slight third harmonic distortion, head bumps, and tape compression.
They also add the less desirable effects: tape hiss, frequency-response errors, wow and flutter, print-through, and modulation noise (which varies with the signal).

Digital recording systems don't have these problems (and in addition have a wider dynamic range), so they will more accurately capture the sound.

Does that mean digital recordings sound better than analog recordings?
Not necessarily. The warmth added by analog recording (similar effects are added by tube amps and vinyl playback) is generally very pleasing to the human ear.
It is in fact not uncommon for artists to run their digital recording through an analog tape recorder just to achieve this effect.

That's why it's important to differentiate between what sounds best (subjectively) and what sounds closer to the original.

If you only believe what's technically sound on paper then solid state is clearly better than tube!

Solid state is technically superior to tube in most ways, but that doesn't really matter as it is the flaws (and the distortion caused by them) that give tube gear its appeal.

FalloutBoy
2008-02-23, 05:15 PM
meh..

perfect cd in perfect cd player will always lose to perfect vinyl on perfect turntable when played back through the same amp & speakers.

Can you explain why the cd would lose to the vinyl?

Although I prefer Vinyl over digital, I have my own very unscientific reasons for justifying:

1. Speakers are analog
2. Vinyl is analog...seems a natural match

That doesn't really make any sense. And the signal coming out of D/A-converter is also 100% analog.

3. Vinyl has a "warmth" that is missing in digital. I can't really can't define warmth, but it is a obvious difference that I hear.
4. It is the same difference between using tube amps vs. solid state, you lose something when you take those little lit-up, heat producing tubes out of the equation.

In both cases it's not really a case of losing or missing something. The warmth (harmonic distortion) is actually added by vinyl and tube amps.

Five
2008-02-23, 05:17 PM
excellent post... I understand much better now thanks very much :clap:

The sampling rate determines the bandwidth (frequency range) of the recording. The practical reason for increasing the sample rate in digital systems is because it makes it easier (and cheaper) to implement low-pass filters.
could you explain what you mean here? how does it make it easier and cheaper to implement LPF and what is the practical use?

I normally use 24bit/44.1kHz (or 32bit/44.1kHz) when there's some adjustments to be made. Not only for better signal-to-noise/dynamic range but to avoid the re-re-re-re-re-rounding off of sample values if there's some processing happening before I dither down to 16bit/44.1kHz.

Am I understanding correctly that you do not recommend using a sample rate above 44.1kHz ?

thanks

FalloutBoy
2008-02-23, 06:49 PM
excellent post... I understand much better now thanks very much :clap:

That's great to hear! :cool:

The sampling rate determines the bandwidth (frequency range) of the recording. The practical reason for increasing the sample rate in digital systems is because it makes it easier (and cheaper) to implement low-pass filters.
could you explain what you mean here? how does it make it easier and cheaper to implement LPF and what is the practical use?

I can see how that was a bit unclear, sorry about that. I was actually referring to the workings of D/A-converters.
But it's actually not technically correct to (as I did) refer to oversampling as increasing the sample rate. It is more of an interpolation of the data.

Here is an brief explanation of oversampling:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oversampling

I normally use 24bit/44.1kHz (or 32bit/44.1kHz) when there's some adjustments to be made. Not only for better signal-to-noise/dynamic range but to avoid the re-re-re-re-re-rounding off of sample values if there's some processing happening before I dither down to 16bit/44.1kHz.

That's a good practice.

Am I understanding correctly that you do not recommend using a sample rate above 44.1kHz ?

I think this is a good rule: "The optimal sample rate should be largely based on the required signal bandwidth." - Sampling Theory For Digital Audio, Dan Lavry

VonOben
2008-02-28, 04:32 PM
if you look at a sine wave recorded analogue [smooth wave shape], as opposed to the same sine recorded digitally [stairsteps], you'll understand why -- it all comes down to the 1's and 0's of digital

This is not true. Alot of people tend to beleive it is true, and so did I not too long ago.

However, it's not at all trivial to understand why this isn't true.

The CD-format, if implemented correctly, can reproduce all waveforms < 22.05kHz perfect. The mathematics behind this is called the Sinc-function: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinc_function

I understand this enougth to understand that it's true, but I do not understand it well enougth to explain it, so please don't ask questions. ;)

VonOben
2008-02-28, 04:49 PM
A little bit of clarification to my previous post, more specific the line "can reproduce all waveforms < 22.05kHz perfect."

This is only true for < not for =. Vinyl have very little signal, if any at all, that high up. It does however have alot of distortion in this range if a signal is present. (Alot of people tend to like this distortion! I do too, at times!)

It is also only true within it's dynamic range. Vinyl as a system has a dynamic range that is alot worse than cd, but because of the loudness war the mastering techs destroys this huge advantage, and turns it into a disadvantage; vinyl can't be as compressed as cd for mechanical reasons.

AAR.oner
2008-02-29, 06:56 AM
thats what they claim...maybe so, maybe no...mathematical theory is pretty interesting like that ;)

Five
2008-02-29, 12:59 PM
damn... this is like a political thread! :lol

dasmueller
2015-02-04, 09:12 PM
Found this on another site and thought it might be of interest to some.

http://www.laweekly.com/music/why-cds-may-actually-sound-better-than-vinyl-5352162

I find the discussion about the dynamic range of digital vs vinyl on "classical" recordings interesting. It reminds me of one of the 1st CD's I bought which was a recording of the 1812 Overture. I felt that I could hear things that were missing before. I did not have a vinyl copy of the same performance, but that is how it sounded to me at the time.

Homebrew101
2015-02-05, 10:09 AM
Found this on another site and thought it might be of interest to some.

http://www.laweekly.com/music/why-cds-may-actually-sound-better-than-vinyl-5352162

I find the discussion about the dynamic range of digital vs vinyl on "classical" recordings interesting. It reminds me of one of the 1st CD's I bought which was a recording of the 1812 Overture. I felt that I could hear things that were missing before. I did not have a vinyl copy of the same performance, but that is how it sounded to me at the time.

My brother has long had what was considered one of the most difficult LP's for a turntable to accurately track which is the 1812 Overture with live cannons (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlWm5NRJlJM) firing. Most people's systems will fail to reproduce the dynamics contained in the grooves, either your cartridge will not be able to track it or it and /or your speakers cannot reproduce the extreme low bass and dynamics of the cannon fire but that release is the exception, extreme dynamics and low bass grooves need a lot of space between grooves on vinyl. Technically speaking greater dynamics are possible with cd vs. vinyl.

Vinyl does have some limitations, the inner grooves will tend to sound worse than the outer because of the speed/distance the needle is travelling in the inner grooves. The RIAA required equalization curve (http://www.stereophile.com/features/cut_and_thrust_riaa_lp_equalization/)for disc equalization exists because of the nature of the cutting head used to gouge the groove into the lacquer master disc, and that of the pickup cartridge used to replay the pressed vinyl record. Extreme low frequencies (under 20hz) can excite the turntable arm and cartridge causing resonances. So most LP's have the frequencies under 20 or 30hz cut out, not necessary on cd, although most people's systems couldn't reproduce signals much lower anyway, you need a quality subwoofer to get 25hz or lower. Although cd has an upper frequency limit of 22.05khz which vinyl isn't limited to but freqs above 20khz is pretty much entirely noise and distortion on vinyl. some will say the human ear can only hear freqs between 20hz-20khz and that is fairly accurate except freqs under 20hz can be easily felt rather than heard thus are still crucial.

Most mass produced records from the 60's on were made of shitty vinyl which is why we used to buy Japanese pressings made on virgin vinyl. American record companies melted down old records for new vinyl except they never bothered to clean the records or even remove the labels prior to meltdown - take a look at those records under a blacklight and be prepared to be shocked vs. a virgin vinyl release.

Of course the cd problems include how the first decade or so of digital recording and mastering sucked ass until engineers learned how to work in digital. And of course all of the recent remasterings suffering from the "Loudness" wars does make many go back to the old vinyl. The cost of a decent analog system to maximize the best sound from vinyl likely greatly exceeds the cost of a decent digital system but that is very objective depending on how critical a listener one is.

dasmueller
2015-02-05, 11:22 AM
131596

This is the recording I was referencing . Catch the note at top left referencing digital cannons.

Liner notes state-" WARNING The cannons of the Telarc Digital "1812" are recorded at a very high level. Lower levels are recommended for initial playback until a safe level can be determined for your equipment."