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why bother with all this $$$ equipment? - Page 6

post #76 of 90


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danz03 View Post

Why not? Since you obviously have no idea how a record is mastered or what is involved in producing a vinyl record or the technical differences between analogue and digital and then claim that the SQ of vinyl record is more superior, I was merely trying to enlighten you with the facts. Why can't people understand the difference between a digital master of a piece of classical recording and a vinyl record of it is just distortions and nothing else, and if they really think the vinyl version is better it's because they like the distortions. Why is it so hard to admit it? Anything that is added to the original signal of the master is distortion. Vintage tube sound is basically distortion, I like it myself, but I wouldn't say it sounds more superior.

 

Both CD and vinyl mixes are usually identical, if the non-classical CD mix sound different to the vinyl version, it's because it has been heavily compressed and limited during post production. Most non-classical CDs nowadays have dynamic range of less than 10dB, but that's not the problem of the CD format, it's just because the vinyl master was not compressed like the CD master. So if you really want to compare sound quality, you should use a classical CD, otherwise you are merely comparing apples to oranges.

 

SACD has great potential technically but it is still only as good as the master, if the master was heavily compressed like most CDs nowadays, it will not sound any better. However, I think most remastered recordings on SACD recently are quite well made, especially the surround mixes, makes me not want to listen in stereo ever again. Listening to an SACD surround mix on a decent 5.1 system is better than the best stereo system I've ever heard. That's probably the reason why they are getting more popular recently. wink.gif

 

 



I don't have a beef with anyone, and don't wish to.  This thread has been educating and interesting to an extent but:


The reason why people would want to state their honest opinions in contrasting debate is because of you, Danz03, specifically.  You give your opinions, you give your background, but you also aggressively attack anyone who likes vinyl as "needing enlightenment" "lovers of distorted sound" "can't understand the difference between masterings".  You are essentially calling other respectable people to a sense, retarded.  That is why no matter what you say, the nature of your comments are not agreeable or favorable.


You've identified the problems with mediums, mastering etc... as have many in this thread many times over.  This Apples to Oranges again supports other peoples statements.  I have LPs that were never mastered well on a CD, the band is disbanded, the members came back together for a reunion where they played some "best hits".  These songs were then translated to English and the new CD (although having a better format) released by probably a contracted recording company had 10dBs of dynamic range, lacked ambiance/soundstage, and overall sounded horrible compared to the LPs from 1989.  It was hard to get mint LPs from 30 years ago but furthermore... only about 15% of the songs were re-released in this 2010 reunion release.  Not all artists can afford an expensive mastering in both Vinyl and CD.  The CDs from 1989 sound horrible compared to the LPs for this band.  For this reason alone people are saying they think vinyl has a reserve space in their wallet.  They don't need bashing, or re-education based on what mediums are or what mastering is. 

 

To support your statement, I am a lover of classical music, I find CDs from this century's recording rewarding indeed.  I have no need to look for a vinyl copy of this century's boston harmonic symphony because the CD mastering is just that professional and excellent.  However what about artists from the 70s and 80s that never had a digital master copy.  Horowitz in recital? Masterful composers, musicians that never had a perfect CDs to record.  That is where the care and effort of people who preserve records come in.  Those pieces are limited and inevitably dying but they are still priceless for those that want to hear it.  As you probably know and can tell a few decades ago, people had more concern for quality and valued sound integrity more than they do in modern iPod heaven with 10 dollar inner-ear-monitors.

 

You've given me insight on the recording industry and tape-tape originals and I am thankful.  But I can't sit here and agree that people, who are giving their empirical experience with Vinyl, are fools.  I'd rather ask you what SACD Classical music you suggest as a good purchase so I can truly enjoy newer technology with a good player's DAC.


I've tried Norah Jones - Come Away With Me SACD and I don't have a very good rig but... it sounds almost exactly the same as the Remastered Hybrid CD release....  I can't help but feel a little bit ripped off paying over 50 dollars for one CD release.  SACD recording studios could record with 5 mics?  wouldn't that be a possibility to record better surround sound.

 

My other question would be... is stereo really the only path in audiophile land?  Is this because we only have two ears?

post #77 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Boy View Post
 I'd rather ask you what SACD Classical music you suggest as a good purchase so I can truly enjoy newer technology with a good player's DAC....SACD recording studios could record with 5 mics?  wouldn't that be a possibility to record better surround sound.

 

 



 

I'd strongly suggest going after the Living Stereo and Mercury Living Presence SACD remasters.  These releases (now out of print but most are readily available on Amazon for under $20), are all of historically significant and historically recorded works and all of these works can be easily compared to excellent LPs when on hand.  I just picked up two more Mercury Living Presence SACDs this afternoon and had a listen to Janos Starker: Cello Concertos of Schumann, Lalo, Saint-Saëns first and next up: Dvorak: Concerto For Cello & Orchestra, also by Starker.  I delayed the listen of the second disc when I had more free time to actively listen.  I also own this work on a Speakers Corner reissue LP as well as the original LP in NM condition.  I have my work cut out for me in comparing.  As always, these releases are blissful, some are in surround (3 channel for these ones) as well as having 2 chan SACD and a CD layer.  Lots of variability and quiet, well thought out mastering for these transfers.  It is really too bad they are going out of print and with the way physical media is going, this could well be the last time these great performances are found new on any physical disc.  Get them while you can!

post #78 of 90
X2 on the Living Stereo SACDs. I have a bunch of them (from back when they were $10 or so) and they're wonderful. Shame they're going OOP. They were some of the best bargains out there.
post #79 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

X2 on the Living Stereo SACDs. I have a bunch of them (from back when they were $10 or so) and they're wonderful. Shame they're going OOP. They were some of the best bargains out there.


They also were the best recordings of classical music in the 50's fritz Reiner  were all special. If they go OOP there will be bargains under 10.00 The Mercury are also very very good especially the Wilma Cozart Fine productions.

post #80 of 90

I don't think anyone has been able to ABX CD vs SACD of properly mastered music sample in realistic settings. The only examples I've found were comparing music released on both SACD and CD formats that were either mastered differently, played the music at obscene volumes during quiet passages, or used a high frequency square wave.

CD vs SACD study: http://drewdaniels.com/audible.pdf

 

In reality: CDs are mastered poorly, so SACDs are still worth it.

 

In relation to vinyl: I don't imagine that anyone could tell if you passed the output of a high quality turntable through an ad/da conversion. I know someone that did it to a friend as a prank. He hooked it up while is friend was in the bathroom and had him friend compare it to a digital copy that was ripped from one of his vinyls ealier. The differences were "obvious" to his friend. Not strictly scientific but it makes you think.

 

But no reason to not like vinyl for other aesthetic reasons. I might start a collection one day if I have enough funds floating about.

post #81 of 90

Oh law..

post #82 of 90


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macius View Post

In reality: CDs are mastered poorly, so SACDs are still worth it.

 


The thing is that most SACDs are classical music, and classical CDs aren't typically mastered poorly.

 

I have hundreds of classical CDs and hundreds of classical SACDs. My personal conclusion after spending thousands of hours listening to my music collection on my high-end equipment is that the sound you get from the SACD format isn't really perceptibly better than what you get out of the CD format. I consider multi-channel to be the only real-world advantage of SACD.

 

post #83 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post


 


The thing is that most SACDs are classical music, and classical CDs aren't typically mastered poorly.

 

I have hundreds of classical CDs and hundreds of classical SACDs. My personal conclusion after spending thousands of hours listening to my music collection on my high-end equipment is that the sound you get from the SACD format isn't really perceptibly better than what you get out of the CD format. I consider multi-channel to be the only real-world advantage of SACD.

 



actually not true. there are many many non classical SACD's, you just need to know where to look.

 

if you go to Acoustic Sounds;

 

http://store.acousticsounds.com/c/8/Hybrid_SACDs

 

you will find 2829 Hybrid SACD's, with over 1000 being mostly Jazz and Blues, but also plenty of pop and rock. almost all of it (thank God) analog sourced. as vintage recordings are remastered for vinyl, they are also mostly doing SACD's.

 

if you want recent pop recordings in SACD you will be wasting your time and money even if they were out there to purchase. why? you ask. well.....they were recorded and mastered to PCM digital, so they simply don't have the data to make SACD optimal. you cannot retain info that was never there to begin with.

 

as far as comparing CD and SACD, i must disagree with your conclusion that the difference is not worth it. if you have the digital source and system that will optimize SACD you will get your money's worth from them. not that there are not plenty of excellent sounding CD's......i have 4000 plus of them. but SACD just has lots more of the substance of the musical message waiting to be enjoyed.

 

of course, these issues are subjective and YMMV.

 

post #84 of 90


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossback View Post


actually not true. there are many many non classical SACD's, you just need to know where to look.

 

if you go to Acoustic Sounds;

 

http://store.acousticsounds.com/c/8/Hybrid_SACDs

 

you will find 2829 Hybrid SACD's, with over 1000 being mostly Jazz and Blues, but also plenty of pop and rock. almost all of it (thank God) analog sourced. as vintage recordings are remastered for vinyl, they are also mostly doing SACD's.

 

if you want recent pop recordings in SACD you will be wasting your time and money even if they were out there to purchase. why? you ask. well.....they were recorded and mastered to PCM digital, so they simply don't have the data to make SACD optimal. you cannot retain info that was never there to begin with.

 

as far as comparing CD and SACD, i must disagree with your conclusion that the difference is not worth it. if you have the digital source and system that will optimize SACD you will get your money's worth from them. not that there are not plenty of excellent sounding CD's......i have 4000 plus of them. but SACD just has lots more of the substance of the musical message waiting to be enjoyed.

 

of course, these issues are subjective and YMMV.

 


Like I said, most SACDs are classical, even on Acoustic Sounds.

 

The best recordings (DSD/DXD) are almost entirely classical.

 

Not sure what "more of the substance of the musical message" means... Like you said, there are plenty of excellent-sounding CDs. I have some of the best equipment available, and could never hear the superiority of SACD. No one has been able to tell me what to look for exactly. My best CDs sound just as good as my best SACDs in stereo. I'm extremely picky about sound quality and listen analytically. I can't detect a difference in detail, dynamics, soundstage or anything else.

 

post #85 of 90

 

Quote:
I have some of the best equipment available....

such as....? my gear is linked at the bottom of my post. understand i'm not assuming anything here, but it's hard for me to respond without some idea of your gear. regardless of your gear, you have every right to disagree with me. as i said above; YMMV.

 

Quote:

Not sure what "more of the substance of the musical message" means.........and could never hear the superiority of SACD. No one has been able to tell me what to look for exactly.

 

let me count the ways....first, we are speaking about either analog based SACD's or DSD recorded and mastered SACD's. SACD has considerably more ambient and spacial information, you hear deeper into the noise floor, instruments have a less 'cookie cutter' digital signature and a more organic texture, dynamics are more natural and substanitive, not as un-naturally crisp and rough, bass has more tonality and body, finally there is simply a more natural flow to the music. i have 3 tt's and 3 RTR decks and am mostly an analog listener. SACD is much closer to sounding analog to my ears.

 

i even did SACD multi-channel in my room for a few years but found i did not listen to it enough to justify the system complications so i removed the multi-channel aspects.

 

 

post #86 of 90
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mossback View Post

 

such as....? my gear is linked at the bottom of my post. understand i'm not assuming anything here, but it's hard for me to respond without some idea of your gear. regardless of your gear, you have every right to disagree with me. as i said above; YMMV.

 

let me count the ways....first, we are speaking about either analog based SACD's or DSD recorded and mastered SACD's. SACD has considerably more ambient and spacial information, you hear deeper into the noise floor, instruments have a less 'cookie cutter' digital signature and a more organic texture, dynamics are more natural and substanitive, not as un-naturally crisp and rough, bass has more tonality and body, finally there is simply a more natural flow to the music. i have 3 tt's and 3 RTR decks and am mostly an analog listener. SACD is much closer to sounding analog to my ears.

 

i even did SACD multi-channel in my room for a few years but found i did not listen to it enough to justify the system complications so i removed the multi-channel aspects.

 

 


I have a number of SACD players, including the Marantz SA-7S1 and Sony 5400ES. I have a number of speaker setups, including Dali Helicons and Focals. Many headphones setups, including Stax SR-009 connected to KGSS. Still, my best SACDs don't sound any better than my best CDs. I know what you're saying in terms of sound quality, but I get the same with the best CDs.

 

One example of this was when I recently discovered that one of my best-sounding discs was actually a CD when I thought for a long time that it was a SACD because I bought it with a bunch of SACDs.

 

post #87 of 90

I tried giving SACD a crack when it came out but considering that 99.99% of what I listen to isn't available on SACD it's a dead format to me. I'll stick with vinyl and regular digital formats.

post #88 of 90



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by visualguy View Post




I have a number of SACD players, including the Marantz SA-7S1 and Sony 5400ES. I have a number of speaker setups, including Dali Helicons and Focals. Many headphones setups, including Stax SR-009 connected to KGSS. Still, my best SACDs don't sound any better than my best CDs. I know what you're saying in terms of sound quality, but I get the same with the best CDs.

 

One example of this was when I recently discovered that one of my best-sounding discs was actually a CD when I thought for a long time that it was a SACD because I bought it with a bunch of SACDs.

 

the Marantz SA-7S1 is a fine digital player, i owned the Marantz SA-1 back in 2000 and for a few years it was the best sounding SACD player out there......so i do appreciate that Marantz can make good gear. i've heard the SA-7S1 and enjoyed it. there are a few levels of SACD/Digital players above the SA-7S1, where the finer distinctions between digital formats are more pronounced. but frankly, i would have assumed that the SA-7S1 would be at a level where you'd get that too. your speaker set-ups are high quality and more than up to the task of telling you what is happening.

 

if you ever get a chance to listen to a Playback Designs MPS-5 with CD and SACD, or when the Playback Designs is used as a server dac, compare hi-rez PCM downloads to SACD. the Playback Designs has a programable dac which's outputs 6.1Mhz DSD as it's native resolution. anything DSD goes to another level (yet it's still the best sounding PCM i've heard). even my previous digital, the EMM Labs SE separates, 'separated' even very good redbook form SACD easily. the Playback Designs MPS-5 is more expensive than the Marantz SA-7S1, $15K compared to $7k.....but it's not 'crazy expensive' yet competes with digital players $20k--$60k.

 

in my system, my reference is RTR 15ips 1/4" master dubs and 45rpm Lps. any PCM is exposed as lacking in direct comparison and SACD/DSD is obviously closer to that sound to my ears. i have many dozens of recordings where i can start with the CD, go to a hi-rez download, then SACD, then vinyl 33rpm, then vinyl 45rpm, then even a few with 15ips 1/4" tape master dubs. it's easy to hear the consistent character of each step. it's clear. a good friend of mine does the majority of the Hi-rez download mastering for HD Tracks and various labels in North America. it's easy to sit in his studio and have him run any source thru every digital format up from MP3, thru Redbook, 48Khz, 88khz, 96khz, 176khz, 192khz, 384khz, 2.6Mhz DSD, 6.1Mhz DSD, and analog. after that any illusions about PCM receed into the rear view mirror.

 

to be clear, i'm not knocking PCM. i love the way it sounds and listen to it often. as i mentioned i have 4000 CD's, i also have 2000 or so PCM hirez downloads on my server. i'm not anti-PCM. it's more an issue of degrees of good.....and SACD has more of the good.

 

anyway, we are just hearing different realities......which is sometimes how things are. thank you for responding to my questions.


Edited by Mossback - 6/21/11 at 6:18am
post #89 of 90

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9pintube View Post

Quote:


Mossback, I'll go along with your comment for sure....This is turning into a joke..Cd's have never been a truthful musical medium when compared to the original recording....You believers that Cd's are far Superior to vinyl are just following someone Else's believes, no matter who or what has been written or where it has been written. You and those pro- "CD'ers" are stating facts that carry no merit. You've been reading and telling us to read "Stuff" that convinced you to believe, what so many reviewers and or pro-CD writers have been spewing since the early eighties when the CD was being marketed as the "best sound ever", remember??? Also like I've said and a few others it's the convenience and slight wearing of the ones and zeros on the disc that had people nodding their heads, you're right, this is the best recorded music ever! Nobody has mentioned the original intent of the Cd's was to make "it" the most durable and cheapest way to listen to recorded music....For those to young to remember or didn't know, Cd's were going to sell for around 4 bucks, new! The only place I've seen that happen are the used CD outlets or stores like "Buy Backs" that deal in USED DISC!  What happened there??? Can you say corporate greed and screw the artist!.....One other thing how can you CD lovers/ believers explain why they are selling less each year then ever before and damn near few and far between sold in music stores? I know high res. down loads are all the rage now, could it be the convenience reality biting at many heals in today's music market,again?  I'm not talking MP3 downloads, either.. Why is it that new vinyl, be it remastered Lps or the artist that are recording new music on vinyl plus giving you a free mp3 or disc of the same music that's on their LP's so you can have a copy for your car or portable players are out selling Your "perfect sound forever" disc???  PS. As some of us have said, they each have their faults, but get real, and listen with your ears!


Yes, I know I am a few months late to the party but I could not pass up the opportunity to respond to your comment:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

 


Edited by comperic2003 - 6/21/11 at 11:37am
post #90 of 90

Since the original question was asked, this thread has moved around a lot, but I want to get back to the original question of why some people spend so much money on audio equipment.  I think the answer is simple:

 

1.  People are willing to pay what they buy because the "value" of the product to them is equal to or greater than the price (taking into account the value they derive from other products they could buy) and

2.  These same people have the ability to pay the price.

 

We don't all have the same preferences or objectives in purchasing audio equipment, and we don't all have the same amount of money to spend.

 

Now get on with the good discussion.

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