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  #31  
Old 2008-02-16, 06:16 PM
FalloutBoy FalloutBoy is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAR.oner View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
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  #32  
Old 2008-02-16, 07:05 PM
FalloutBoy FalloutBoy is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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?
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  #33  
Old 2008-02-16, 07:30 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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.
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  #34  
Old 2008-02-16, 07:58 PM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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.

Last edited by Tubular; 2008-02-16 at 08:04 PM.
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  #35  
Old 2008-02-17, 02:27 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
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  #36  
Old 2008-02-17, 04:02 PM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

http://www.24bitfaq.org/#Q0_1_1

Quote:
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
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  #37  
Old 2008-02-17, 04:12 PM
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paddington paddington is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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.
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  #38  
Old 2008-02-17, 04:15 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf-pgh View Post
the Toshiba-EMI releases I've heard are top shelf imo.
some of the best CD's Ive heard.

Black Triangles?
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  #39  
Old 2008-02-17, 04:19 PM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

But I want my record to be as loud or louder than so and so's on my shitty iPod earbuds!!

Last edited by Tubular; 2008-02-17 at 04:25 PM.
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  #40  
Old 2008-02-17, 04:37 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskg View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolf-pgh View Post
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)

Last edited by direwolf-pgh; 2008-02-17 at 04:44 PM.
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  #41  
Old 2008-02-18, 04:00 PM
FalloutBoy FalloutBoy is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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
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  #42  
Old 2008-02-18, 04:19 PM
FalloutBoy FalloutBoy is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskg View Post
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/produ...hame/index.php

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  #43  
Old 2008-02-18, 04:28 PM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
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

Last edited by Tubular; 2008-02-18 at 04:36 PM.
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  #44  
Old 2008-02-18, 06:06 PM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
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.
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  #45  
Old 2008-02-19, 10:39 AM
victrola victrola is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
relax with wax!

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.
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