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Vinyl or CD ? headache !!! - Page 4

post #46 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

Regardless of what you call it, the distortion is there, even if it is not "clipping" by the strictest definition, the audible effect of intermodulation distortion is similar once the compression is made fast enough (clipping is basically "infinitely" fast peak limiting). Here is a zoomed in section of the same file as above, which indeed shows what for practical purposes looks and sounds like clipping:

Those flat peaks are definitely clipping - but when you look at a zoomed out overview of the whole track as you showed in your first example, that can appear to be clipped, but actually isn't when you zoom in or run any kind of clip detection on the track.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

That does not fix the degraded sound quality.
You're right, that won't fix clipped audio - but if the track is simply compressed to hell and mastered loud, ReplayGain will at least normalize the volume level with other tracks, and reducing the volume of the track eliminates clipping caused by inter-sample peaks.
post #47 of 72
Thread Starter 
More stuff:

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/iandm/part12/page2.html
post #48 of 72
Thread Starter 
--Double Post--
post #49 of 72

Hi guys,

 

I recently tried my old vinyl setup and compared it to my (new) cdp (find that post in my profile). The CD player sounded so much more enjoyable compared to the vinyls.

The main reason for that is of course the age of my turntable and amp. But to get to the point where you get a really good sound from a turntable, it is necessary to invest a lot of money (tonearm, cartridge, phono amp). The same amount invested in a first class dac certainly results in equal or even better sound.

 

As has been written, the LP has less dynamic reserve than a CD (55 compared to 96 db). This shouldn't have any consequences though, because even my most dynamic recordings have only a dynamic range around 20 (Zaide, from Mozart).

But vinyl recordings are equalized by design. The riaa equalization curve - it is used to enhance highs and reduce bass in the production of an LP. This is done to make the high frequencies recordable and prevent the needle to hop out of the grove because of strong bass. The phono amp reverses that.

If it is not perfectly reversed, the original sound is altered. Fine details may even get lost in the noise.

Could be the reason, why vinyl sounds different. Less treble finally sounds enjoyable! But it is not how it sounds in reality.  

 

The op SunJ writes, he wants to investigate vinyl because his CD sound clips. In my experience, clipping occurs in many modern recordings and remasterings. My most dramatic recent experience is Lana del Rey - terrible sound on CD as well as on vinyl. Lots of clippings on the CD and less than 5db of dynamical range. The second best treatment for this kind of sound is to use a tube amp. Tubes distort much nicer and the overall sound of crappy recordings is much better compared to solid state. I have tubes at the output stage of my cdp and my headphone amp is an otl tube only design. Even Lana del Rey is kind of listenable on this equipment.

 

The best treatment is of course sending back the CD and complain about its bad quality! I indeed buy old CDs (dirt cheap nowadays) or I try to stick to labels like Mobile Fidelity, Telarc, Deutsche Grammophon and the kind, only to be sure to get first class, uncompressed recordings. There are also download alternatives. Did anybody try Studio Masters? Where ever the target audience is audiophile, I have the impression, the quality is better. This may be  true for new vinyl pressings (although, its a hype and thus by definition something to make quick money). But it is certainly true for highest quality downloads. I recently discovered Linn records, who offer uncompressed 24 bit, 96 kHz studio masters. Brilliant sound!

 

So, please, support the labels who deserve it. Buying vinyl nowadays bears the risk to fall for a quick moneymaking hype where turntables are sold for many thousands instead of hundreds, what they should actually cost. Everybody tries to get his share, so the risk of being ripped is high.

Instead, look ahead. The future is digital (the present actually is digital too). That does not exclude high quality artwork, we only accepted it like this. But, as someone mentioned, today music is recorded digitally. This can be pressed to vinyl, but the result can never be superior, in the sense of more authentic, than the original digital format.

If your favorite band produces crappy recordings, write to them and complain, instead of wasting thousands in the hope that on vinyl, things may sound better. 

 

The inferior quality of CDs does not come from the medium, it comes from the way, recordings are treated. Well made music can sound great on vinyl, on CD and as download (uncompressed of course). The problem is not the medium, it is the management of the record labels, the sound engineering and the listeners, who buy and accept inferior quality.


Edited by mironathetin - 6/5/13 at 7:37am
post #50 of 72

Vinyl, all the way if you can swing it. (I'm a biased scum) The most Important thing is to do a lot of listening yourself, and of course It's not an inexpensive habit, but I find that vinyl mastering is, in general a lot better. Despite the impermanence of  the media, If you collect jazz or classical you can find amazing recordings for dirt cheap.

post #51 of 72

Vinyl and Digital

 

I like both but lean heavily toward vinyl. Why ? Several reasons.

 

Part of it is nostalgia, going back to the roots of music when I was a kid in the 60's and a teen in the 70's. That is a small piece but there is so much more to it than that. A large part is the process and ability to "play with the equipment".

 

Think of aficionado's in any hobby. A coffee connoisseur. A woodworking hobbyist. They are as much into the process as they are into the final result. So too with vinyl. The ability to tweak an alignment, ohm loading on a cartridge, etc.

 

Then, there is the purity of the analog sound. Digital is only today reaching the same level as analog reproduction (that is fact so please, lets not argue) because while analog is infinite (up to the limits of human hearing) it is also linear. Previously, the gaps between bytes in digital music gave it a flat and cold sound in comparison. That is NOT the case today (thanks for DAC ! and improved digital format/bitstreams) and those gaps which will always be present and so small as to be irrelevant. Don't really want to go here or it will be digital VS vinyl in a negative sense as opposed to comparisons and I LIKE BOTH.

 

Cost. It is not true that vinyl is expensive though it can be more expensive than digital..but that depends on equipment because digital equipment can be pretty damn pricey also,

 

A really great legacy turntable with a good cartridge could cost you say $400. That same table probably went for $400 in 1972 which would be almost double that today. And those $1000, $2000, etc..and up turntables are not hype or milking anything. As a person who works on and has built turntables from scratch, I can appreciate the build of a better table much as a car enthusiast prefers a BMW over a Hyundai or a person buys a Ferrari over a Corvette. What you can afford, what you need, and no question on superior technology.

 

Bottom line, I love both formats (although I say digital rather than CD because for me, CD is dead). Maybe like vinyl, CD's will make a resurgence but digital files are dominating and growing, and CD's don't have the endearing "process" that turntables have.

 

As to sound, in so many ways they are different bit both quite enjoyable. Is the solid state listener wrong because he doesn't have tubes ? Is the tube listener wrong ? Nope...so there will always be room for vinyl and digital.

post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mironathetin View Post
 

 

So, please, support the labels who deserve it. Buying vinyl nowadays bears the risk to fall for a quick moneymaking hype where turntables are sold for many thousands instead of hundreds, what they should actually cost. Everybody tries to get his share, so the risk of being ripped is high.

Instead, look ahead. The future is digital (the present actually is digital too). That does not exclude high quality artwork, we only accepted it like this. But, as someone mentioned, today music is recorded digitally. This can be pressed to vinyl, but the result can never be superior, in the sense of more authentic, than the original digital format.

If your favorite band produces crappy recordings, write to them and complain, instead of wasting thousands in the hope that on vinyl, things may sound better. 

 

The inferior quality of CDs does not come from the medium, it comes from the way, recordings are treated. Well made music can sound great on vinyl, on CD and as download (uncompressed of course). The problem is not the medium, it is the management of the record labels, the sound engineering and the listeners, who buy and accept inferior quality.

This really bothered me ...vinyl is not a quick moneymaking hype nor is music truly all digital. In the end it is ALWAY analog. Always. 100% of the time. You do not hear in digital you HEAR in analog. So no matter how it is recorded, pressed, mastered, format, it will always be converted to analog for your listening pleasure. So why not listen on vinyl if that's what a person likes? No reason not to.

 

There can be bad vinyl pressings and bad CD pressings...mastering is a key ingredient.

 

I suggest you watch the documentary Sound City - watch the whole thing. You own a lot to the analog sound studio.

post #53 of 72
We're all analog.

Peace.

On a more serious note, if someone's been collecting records and been listening to vinyl since the 60s, I sure won't ask them to throw it away.
For someone thinking of getting into it from scratch, I don't recommend it. I see it has more of a nostalgic value than technological.
Edited by proton007 - 12/29/13 at 12:02am
post #54 of 72

Audio clarity wise vinyl is not on par with cd especially older used vinyls with a lot of crackles and pops....

But when listening to blues or jazz to me nothing beats a belt driven tt with at least a 2M red through a tube amp and hd650 on the other end...

When it comes to pop and some rock I do prefer to have them in cd format....

To me vinyl puts a soul into music...

BTW in not old I'm a teenager who just got into head-fi but have been collecting vinyl for the last few years...

My father has a huge vinyl collection so that's a plus for me...

post #55 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcorob View Post
 

In the end it is ALWAY analog. Always. 100% of the time.

This is true for sure.

I also do not disagree with the point, that completely analogue processed and replayed music can sound very, very good.

 

But all that was not my point.

post #56 of 72

Personally I think that both can be anjoyable, but a well mastered CD has less pops and other noises not related to the music making it easier for me to concentrate purely on the musical details etc.. I have read though that in blind tests many people prefer a little added noise... The reasons for this is not entirely clear, but maybe it sounds more "live" or "real" some way?

 

Nevertheless, I'm all digital, so I'll here give my view of CD's vs. digital LP rips, hopefully that can add something to the discussion.

 

I have have compared many LP rips (digitalized LP recordings) with various versions of the same music on CD. Unfortunately in many cases (not all) there is something lost in this digitalizing making me typically prefer a good CD or the original LP. Thats if there is a good CD mastering.... Here it's good to search for an MFSL version or old CD that has not been remastered/destroyd.

 

Maybe it's all better explained with a few examples of CD vs. LP rip:

-Music example 1: Adele 21. The CD is horrible with 50% og the signal limited making the singers voice sound flat and dull. The same as an LP rip makes Adeles voice flow in a much more natural way giving me the shivers (in a good way that is!). This is an excellent example of good music needlessly digitally ruined.

-Music example 2: Roger Waters Amused to death. The normal CD is excellently mastered and very similar to the MFSL version, which is also excellent. Here the LP Rip, that I have heard, is not up to scratch. Many if the finer echo-sounds simply dissapear to my hearing and the spacial effects are less pronaunced.

-Music example 3: Dire Straits Brothers in Arms. Here the first CD version is terrific. The second "generation" remastered was much much worse and the latest third generation has been deprived its former glory completely. LP rips are worse in my ears than the first version but in many ways better than the remastered CDs. (SACD and other versions are not incl. in this comparison)

-Music example 4: Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. Here the original CD is alive and with great dynamics, and many details come through well. The MFSL version is somewhat "smiley" (low mids) and very similar to the LP rips that I have heard - very enjoyable actually. The dark triangle CD is similar to the MFSL, but without the "smile", but still with less "wow" than the "normal original CD", does not use the CD headroom at all. Original, MFSL and Black triangle are not limited at all and all sound good in their own way. The SACD and never remasteres are block-limited to death and has an over-natural focus on musical details that is tiring to listen to.

 

best. STJ

post #57 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jespersen View Post
 

Personally I think that both can be anjoyable, but a well mastered CD has less pops and other noises not related to the music making it easier for me to concentrate purely on the musical details etc.. I have read though that in blind tests many people prefer a little added noise... The reasons for this is not entirely clear, but maybe it sounds more "live" or "real" some way?

 

Nevertheless, I'm all digital, so I'll here give my view of CD's vs. digital LP rips, hopefully that can add something to the discussion.

 

I have have compared many LP rips (digitalized LP recordings) with various versions of the same music on CD. Unfortunately in many cases (not all) there is something lost in this digitalizing making me typically prefer a good CD or the original LP. Thats if there is a good CD mastering.... Here it's good to search for an MFSL version or old CD that has not been remastered/destroyd.

 

Maybe it's all better explained with a few examples of CD vs. LP rip:

-Music example 1: Adele 21. The CD is horrible with 50% og the signal limited making the singers voice sound flat and dull. The same as an LP rip makes Adeles voice flow in a much more natural way giving me the shivers (in a good way that is!). This is an excellent example of good music needlessly digitally ruined.

-Music example 2: Roger Waters Amused to death. The normal CD is excellently mastered and very similar to the MFSL version, which is also excellent. Here the LP Rip, that I have heard, is not up to scratch. Many if the finer echo-sounds simply dissapear to my hearing and the spacial effects are less pronaunced.

-Music example 3: Dire Straits Brothers in Arms. Here the first CD version is terrific. The second "generation" remastered was much much worse and the latest third generation has been deprived its former glory completely. LP rips are worse in my ears than the first version but in many ways better than the remastered CDs. (SACD and other versions are not incl. in this comparison)

-Music example 4: Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. Here the original CD is alive and with great dynamics, and many details come through well. The MFSL version is somewhat "smiley" (low mids) and very similar to the LP rips that I have heard - very enjoyable actually. The dark triangle CD is similar to the MFSL, but without the "smile", but still with less "wow" than the "normal original CD", does not use the CD headroom at all. Original, MFSL and Black triangle are not limited at all and all sound good in their own way. The SACD and never remasteres are block-limited to death and has an over-natural focus on musical details that is tiring to listen to.

 

best. STJ

 

So a well mastered CD is just as good (or better) than vinyl, without the pops and cracks.

post #58 of 72

Dear Proton007, that's my opinion, others may not agree :wink:

Note though that especially with new music there are many many ... many very poorly mastered CD's...

.

post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jespersen View Post
 

Dear Proton007, that's my opinion, others may not agree :wink:

Note though that especially with new music there are many many ... many very poorly mastered CD's...

.

 

I concur.

Intelligent technology needs to be used intelligently in order to prove useful.

post #60 of 72

I agree too...

It's only mainstream popular music which is mostly mastered properly...

For some reason I like blues with pops...

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