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  #46  
Old 2008-02-19, 05:51 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
Quote:
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.

Quote:
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/docu...ing_Theory.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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?
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.

Quote:
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.
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  #47  
Old 2008-02-21, 12:17 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FalloutBoy View Post
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.
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  #48  
Old 2008-02-21, 01:17 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five View Post
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.
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  #49  
Old 2008-02-21, 01:24 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMoonlight View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Five View Post
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
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  #50  
Old 2008-02-21, 01:29 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

thank you DJs and punk rock kids!
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  #51  
Old 2008-02-21, 09:01 PM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalloutBoy View Post
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.
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  #52  
Old 2008-02-21, 09:26 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

All of this discussion clearly points to the fact that analog really is the ultimate sampling rate.........continous!
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  #53  
Old 2008-02-21, 09:27 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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
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  #54  
Old 2008-02-22, 02:09 AM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Five View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FalloutBoy View Post
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.
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.
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  #55  
Old 2008-02-22, 02:21 AM
Tubular
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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).
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  #56  
Old 2008-02-22, 02:42 AM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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...
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  #57  
Old 2008-02-22, 10:55 AM
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cmaz cmaz is offline
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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:



or one of these:



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/sho...d.php?t=145059

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

Anyway...just sayin'
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  #58  
Old 2008-02-23, 08:19 AM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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!
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  #59  
Old 2008-02-23, 01:55 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

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.
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  #60  
Old 2008-02-23, 04:39 PM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubular
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Five
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.
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