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Question about Vinyl and CDs. - Page 3

post #31 of 46

If the mastering is the same on both vinyl and CD, CD wins hands down. But the mastering probably is never the same, because there are compromises that have to be made when mastering to vinyl that aren't required for CD.

post #32 of 46

 

I think this has been posted in this subforum quite some time ago, but good find nevertheless.

 

 

Quote:
 OLIVE: No. We basically designed our speakers so that they will sound good if you play good sound and music through them. We don't try to compensate for - in the loudspeaker system for deficiencies in the MP3 or vinyl.

Comparing low bitrate mp3 with vinyl.. :D 

 

 

and, off-topic but highly interesting:

Quote:

DANKOSKY: Is that really true that you can't really buy your speakers on a price point?

 

OLIVE: No. I mean, we have many examples where we do double blind tests, and some of the competitors are very expensive, but they don't sound very good because I think it's a matter of, you know, the more expensive the speaker is the fewer you sell. So your R and D budget is much smaller, and you just don't have the money to spend on good measurements, for example.

 

I never thought about it this way but there may very well be something to it.


Edited by xnor - 11/11/13 at 11:18am
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
 

 

I think this has been posted in this subforum quite some time ago, but good find nevertheless.

Indeed it is.

 

In the interview, Scott Metcalfe said:

 

     "Well, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm primarily a recording engineer, as far as working with music. And it's - the closer thing to what I'm sending into the recorder is very much what I'm getting back out. With analog formats, although the sound can be very pleasing in certain styles, it's definitely imparting its own sound on it. And I think, to an extent, it's that sound that some people are really drawn to. But it's nice as an engineer to have the confidence of knowing that what I'm putting into - in most cases these days, the computer - is pretty close to what I'm going to get out."

 

If you look through his perspective, as an engineer, this can be very well be made true. I've done studio work myself, and can agree with the concept that analog doesn't always reproduce the sound an artist wants - it has it's limitations. Of course, many can agree that Vinyl has a certain majestic quality unlike CD sources, but it isn't to say that Vinyl is a "better format" than it's digital counterpart. Of course, this doesn't endorse Digital formats with the same title either.


Edited by Destroysall - 11/11/13 at 1:25pm
post #34 of 46

I guess for the rest of the world that's not into vinyl it's more important that the format itself does NOT change the sound, or as little as possible anyway.


Edited by xnor - 11/11/13 at 2:35pm
post #35 of 46

Destroysall said: "Of course, many can agree that Vinyl has a certain majestic quality unlike CD sources," 

 

Care to elaborate on this "majestic quality?"  I'm curious as to what exactly it is and why CDs lack it.

 

Edit: I can't get that NPR page you linked to earlier to load.  Got another link?  Thanks.


Edited by BlindInOneEar - 11/11/13 at 9:34pm
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindInOneEar View Post
 

Destroysall said: "Of course, many can agree that Vinyl has a certain majestic quality unlike CD sources," 

 

Care to elaborate on this "majestic quality?"  I'm curious as to what exactly it is and why CDs lack it.


It's the warmth and surface noise, that "rounded curve" of the vinyl sound. The analog sound of tape and vinyl implements it's own sound over a recording that digital does not. It relatively is a "veil" that provides the sound that most seek for and enjoy more than the "clean and pure" sound digital sources (like the CD) have.

 

Apropos: I wouldn't consider Vinyl to be a superior format to digital formats as the gap between is extremely minimal compared to what it was years ago. Even today, the Analog-to-digital method is growing repetitive in sound engineering today than it has previously. Aforementioned in a previous post, it narrows down to the quality of the mastering. If the mastering on a Vinyl is the same as CD equivalent, then there simply isn't a difference to be heard.

post #37 of 46

Analogue vs digital isn't an issue among sound engineers. Try and find a recording studio with a functioning 24 track tape deck set up to record. They're all in the dub room, set up to transfer analogue to digital.

post #38 of 46

Detroysall said: "It's the warmth and surface noise, that "rounded curve" of the vinyl sound."

 

So what you are saying is that  extra distortion "improves" the sound?  I bet you have a "tube DAC" too. 

 

Funny, how the "hi-fi" elitists worry about mundane things such as tone controls while ignoring bigger issues.  What if we had a pre-amp with a variable "tube sound" control or a variable "majestic" control instead of just boring old bass and treble?  I suppose, so long as "tube sound" and "majestic" remain undefinable they would meet with acceptance from the "enthusiast" hi-end community unlike such pedestrian concepts as "bass" and "treble."    

 

Who knows?  Maybe stuffing cotton in your ears will improve the sound!

post #39 of 46

The problem is that a lot of criticism of CDs or digital audio in general by vinyl lovers is completely backwards.

 

They criticize that 16 bits (about 98 dB dynamic range, about 120 dB perceived with noise shaping) are not enough but the bearing rumble in their turntable system is usually louder than -80 dB, that is weighted. Unweighted there can easily be peaks of rumble over -60 dB.

 

They criticize jitter in the ballpark of a couple of hundred ps (1 ps = 0.000000000001 s, audibility with music starts in the (ten)thousands), but turntables easily (best case!) show wow and flutter in the 0.0x% range which is magnitudes worse and there's usually also much larger absolute speed errors.

What this means is that a vinyl system cannot play a clean 1 kHz tone. The tone itself will have a higher or lower base frequency, this frequency will change over time and there will be sidebands as known from jitter measurements - just at a much higher level.

 

For example a cheap (€ 220) turntable by Lenco has sidebands so high, that in the digital world it would be classified as sinusoidal jitter (the worst kind) of 2 us = 2,000 ns = 2,000,000 ps RMS! I don't think any piece of digital hardware ever even came close to something like this, not even greeting cards with music.

 

Digital audio is pop- and click-free.

 

They criticize the frequency response but especially high-frequency response accuracy varies tremendously with vinyl. According to HA amplitude deviations of 5 to 10 dB are not uncommon, playback of ultrasonic frequencies is not guaranteed ("Many MM cartridges have resonant peaks defined by the preamp loading, or stylus tip resonances defined by the cantilever, that attenuate high-frequency content."), groove wear occurs much faster at high frequencies. People at HA also argue, some of which are in the recording industry, that often there isn't any ultrasonic musical content left for reproduction with vinyl. Often it's just ultrasonic noise and distortion.

CDs on the other hand have flat frequency response to over 20 kHz, and theoretically are not limited in the bass range, unlike vinyl where you have to have mono bass and a filter that rolls off very low bass.

CD audio also doesn't have to run through RIAA equalization (needed to achieve acceptable signal to noise ratio).

 

"Digital audio is played as a stepped waveform": read up on the sampling theorem and reconstruction. I guess after the previous paragraphs I don't need to go into what nonsense "vinyl tracks the analog signal exactly" is.

 

"CDs are limited to 1/44100s time delays": that's just wrong.  Simply compare the sample value of a 10 kHz sine wave at t=1/44100 and the same with 0.01° offset. The sample values are different even though the offset is much smaller than the sampling interval.


Edited by xnor - 11/12/13 at 7:03am
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindInOneEar View Post
 

Detroysall said: "It's the warmth and surface noise, that "rounded curve" of the vinyl sound."

 

So what you are saying is that  extra distortion "improves" the sound?  I bet you have a "tube DAC" too. 

 

Funny, how the "hi-fi" elitists worry about mundane things such as tone controls while ignoring bigger issues.  What if we had a pre-amp with a variable "tube sound" control or a variable "majestic" control instead of just boring old bass and treble?  I suppose, so long as "tube sound" and "majestic" remain undefinable they would meet with acceptance from the "enthusiast" hi-end community unlike such pedestrian concepts as "bass" and "treble."    

 

Who knows?  Maybe stuffing cotton in your ears will improve the sound!


I never considered myself a "hi-fi" enthusiast nor did I say or mean the extra distortion "improves" the sound.

post #41 of 46

Sorry to pick on you Destroysall.  But in all seriousness, you aren't the only person I've run across who prefers vinyl to digital.  I'm genuinely curious as to what vinyl has that digital lacks.  Is it just a case that mixing and mastering was done differently when the target medium was a vinyl LP, as opposed to modern music where the target medium is an MP3?   Or is there some special sound that vinyl has that people simply enjoy?  Would pressing a digital recording onto an LP "cure" the recording of the digital ills or at least give it that special vinyl sound?

post #42 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindInOneEar View Post
 

Sorry to pick on you Destroysall.  But in all seriousness, you aren't the only person I've run across who prefers vinyl to digital.  I'm genuinely curious as to what vinyl has that digital lacks.  Is it just a case that mixing and mastering was done differently when the target medium was a vinyl LP, as opposed to modern music where the target medium is an MP3?   Or is there some special sound that vinyl has that people simply enjoy?  Would pressing a digital recording onto an LP "cure" the recording of the digital ills or at least give it that special vinyl sound?

No worries! :p

 

I wouldn't say I prefer Vinyl to Digital yet, as Digital has a lot of pros and works a lot more fluently for me than Vinyl most of the time. In a response to your inquiries though, Digital and Vinyl have no technical difference most of the time. It's just nowadays Vinyl has been associated with the "audiophile" term like both SACD and JVC's XRCD has; thus a relatively new marketing technique has been invented in which the masters between the two formats are hugely differentiated.

 

One of my favorite mastering engineers, Ian Shepherd, has a website (http://productionadvice.co.uk/about/) with examples that prove this. The results can lead others to conclude that Vinyl is better, but I think it just heavily depends on how the mastering is done. I have numerous amounts of CDs where the sound is absolutely marvelous. 

post #43 of 46

Classical music has always been well mastered and uncompressed, on both LP and CD. Today, almost all classical music listeners collect CDs. Classical records sell for a buck or two a disk at garage sales. That should tell you something.

post #44 of 46

I see no problem with someone preferring one over the other. Only thing I don't like is misinformation.

 

Some more people getting the vinyl version of an album that was clearly less destroyed ("mastered") than the CD version should give the industry food for thought. We don't want (remastered) hypercompressed crap, regardless of the format.

post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindInOneEar View Post
 

I'm genuinely curious as to what vinyl has that digital lacks.

 

Two words: euphonic distortion

 

All the information on an LP (in the traditional 20 - 20K range)  can be captured accurately using a 16 bit AD conversion. This has been tested numerous times, most famously and hilariously when Scottish Tory bigot (and the inventor of the Linn LP12)  back in 1984 was found to be incapable of detecting the presence of a A/D/A stage inserted between his "dragging a rock thru a canyon while it careens wildly from side" device and the amplifier. What miracle of ADA was used , why the nominally 16 bit SONY PCM-F1 !

 

http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing2.htm

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