Originally Posted by nick_charles
Vinyl LPs may have better mastering depending on who does it but ripping at 24/96 is pointless unless you are going to do post-processing. The dynamic range of LP is at best 75 - 80 db if you are lucky - an AD capture at 16/44.1 gives you at least 93db of dynamic range i.e more than enough to capture everything audible on the LP. Under no definition is LP high resolution. The only concrete advantage LP has is a theoretically higher high end but actually getting that down on LP is far from trivial as when it is played back high amplitude high frequencies make life very difficult for the cartridge so frequencies above 20k are rare on LP and when they are there are typically at low amplitudes. In fact almost all content on a modern (non-quad) LP above 20K will just be noise !
The whole point of vinyl vs CD lies in the vynil's advantage in high frequency response. You have extremely accurately described vynil dynamic range - it is
signal to noise ratio in reference to 0 dB VU level specified by RIAA - PLUS the level which can be cut above that. If we assume reasonable best case scenario, which is sadly very seldom achieved in practice, this means 60 dB signal to noise ratio ref 0 dB plus + 18 dB @ 300 Hz or 90 micrometers of amplitude, which is the maximum level that is normally being cut . Cutterhead is capable of excursions exceeding 120 micrometers, but that is beyond playback capabilities of all but a handful of cartridges that ever existed and are generally no longer readily available. Cutterhead is limited to approx 27 kHz essentially flat response at real time cutting. Half speed mastering doubles that - to over 50 kHz essentially flat response. This is the limit for analog, not cartridge capabilities - best cartridges achieve(ed) response exceeding 100 kHz.
It is fair to say I am describing Ben Johnsons of analog world here. Anything exceeding 10 kHz at anything but fairly low level amplitude ( cartridge/stylus performance in high frequency region usually gets described for trackability performance not in amplitude but in the velocity in the groove a stylus can still track at a given vertical tracking force ) is tough indeed and specially distortion levels , particularly in most MC cartridges, can go trough the roof. It is anything but pretty sight - or listen, when it does happen. However, those Ben Johnsons that do suceed, will run rings around redbook CD.
Catch 22 of vinyl superiority over CD is one aspect of performance that is only very seldom mentioned , generally overlooked or misunderstood : rate of change of sound pressure level per amount of time. It has been to my knowledge first mentioned by A.J. Van den Hul, most noted for his contribution of the stylus tip geometry that was the first to achieve practical limit in approaching the geometry of the cutting stylus and therefore best possible reproduction off vinyl. Any sharper than that and the stylus would tend to re-cut the groove, an abvious non desirable result. This stylus was first being made available on modified EMT TXD/XSD 15 cartidges, followed by a myriad of VdH's own designs,right to the present day - plus numerous other manufacturers'.
Although CD redbook has 98.XY dB of dynamic range, it is SLOW - its rise time is approx 14 microseconds, consummerate with its brick wall filtered frequency response to 22050 Hz, half the sampling rate of 44.1 khz. That means its rate of change of SPL per amount of time is
98 dB divided by 14 microsec = 7 dB/microsec
An average high quality phono cartridge, either decent MM or MC, has rise time of 10 microseconds or less
78 dB divided by 10 microsec = 7.8 dB/microsec
78 dB divided by 6 microsec = 13 dB/microsec
The best cartridge I had the pleasure to measure and audition, had a rise time of 3 ( in a word : three ) microseconds. Sound - out of this world...
Do you know where this speed is best, or to be precise, NOT audible ( as lag slower formats impart to the sound as heard live ) ?
Solo acoustic bass. You can make your subwoofer exceeding the size of the Planet Earth, if it is driven by a slow source - fuggetaboutit.
This figure clearly shows why and how analog afficionados achieve superiority over redbook CD - admittedly, at a price, cartridges with 6 microsecond rise time are rare and burn a large hole in the pocket.
In my "prevoius life", I used to work in CD retail. I dreaded mondays - because there was a fair chance that I will have to demonstrate (in order to make a sale ) a digital counterpart of the analog record just enjoyed over weekend. THAT was the hardest thing to stromach during those days.
I will present one of the recordings, available (once upon a time) both as CD and limited edition LP,
Here my autographed copy: AAA LP
that due to the particular playing technique and superb originally analog Enja recording demonstrates above described to the fullest. Those "bursts" of Mr. Dusko Gojkovich's trumpet are on LP long over - before CD even starts to build them up, never achieving the full loudness. The first sounds like he is in your room, the other is flat dead. Needless to say, a copy of this AAA record is a collector's item - to the point it is not even listed in Discogs... - with the price to match.