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Which format is closest to the master: vinyl, CD, DVD-A, or SACD? - Page 3

post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
Is this post addressed to my passband argument? If yes: the mentioned artifacts aren't missing harmonics, but crippled transients in the audible range. You can either go the Wadia route and put up with a ~3.5-dB roll-off at 20 kHz, a measuring result caused by a format-inherent amplitude modulation, or you can accept a drastic ringing (the Gibbs phenomenon) as a result of the equalized amplitude modulation and response.

Carefull JaZZ! I see a new TT in your future!
CPW
post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
Is this post addressed to my passband argument? If yes: the mentioned artifacts aren't missing harmonics, but crippled transients in the audible range. You can either go the Wadia route and put up with a ~3.5-dB roll-off at 20 kHz, a measuring result caused by a format-inherent amplitude modulation, or you can accept a drastic ringing (the Gibbs phenomenon) as a result of the equalized amplitude modulation and response.

Jazz,

I have heard of Gibbs Phenomenon in reference to medical artifacts in imaging devices, but don't believe in the phenomenon in audio. Maybe my ears aren't good enough to hear that high.

I am not sure that they involve tranients in the audio signal sense, but harmonic transients in the actual waveform, at a frequency only dogs can hear.
post #33 of 64
I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to hear "Jazz at the Pawnshop"
on SACD, CD, and a 15ips tape copy. The tape was vastly superior to
either of the others, and sacd was marginally better that CD. With the
continuing improvement in DACs and ADCs, I expect that digital will
continue to close the gap with tape.

I am not a vinyl fan because I dont like all the fiddly things involved with
it, nor do I like the rice crispies sound effects. And further, I cant really
hear the superiority of vinyl, and I have tried. I think those folks who
tout the superiority of vinyl to other media are trying to convince
themselves of its supposedly superior qualities.
post #34 of 64
I think the problem with the ringing is that it actually causes distortion that is easily measured. An anti-aliasing filter is applied in these upsampling cases. I decided to put my money on NOS for the heck of it. I figure little to no music is at 20khz in the first place, not to mention my ability to hear it.
post #35 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1
I have heard of Gibbs Phenomenon in reference to medical artifacts in imaging devices, but don't believe in the phenomenon in audio. Maybe my ears aren't good enough to hear that high.

I am not sure that they involve tranients in the audio signal sense, but harmonic transients in the actual waveform, at a frequency only dogs can hear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
I think the problem with the ringing is that it actually causes distortion that is easily measured. An anti-aliasing filter is applied in these upsampling cases. I decided to put my money on NOS for the heck of it. I figure little to no music is at 20khz in the first place, not to mention my ability to hear it.
The ringing that you see on these square waves is at ~21.5 kHz, not 20 kHz, so actually you can't hear it. Nevertheless, it's also present with signals in the audio band, such as 10 kHz, just vastly reduced. The sharp bandwidth restriction disables the ability of a signal to stop immediately. So a 10-kHz sine wave will take a few cycles until it's quiet. There's no reason why this phenomenon shouldn't be audible. Also Wadia seems to believe it is.

post #36 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpw
Carefull JaZZ! I see a new TT in your future!
CPW
As you know I was close to buying a new turntable, after the phonostage. The decisive factor was that I'm afraid of the crackle. And I'm lazy.

post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
As you know I was close to buying a new turntable, after the phonostage. The decisive factor was that I'm afraid of the crackle. And I'm lazy.

I guess I'm kinda tolerant of the crackle. It reminds me of my youth (long time ago and there aren't that many things still around that take me back!). My next purchase may in fact be a cleaning machine which should help w/ the crackle.
As for the lazy part, I can certainly relate to that but in those rare occaisons when I have some time to dedicate more than 20 mins to "critical" listening, I don't really mind the "ritual" of vinyl. I know these have nothing to do w/ sound quality but for me vinyl is more than just about the "sound". That said, I have a handful of records that really sound "better" than my cds.
CPW
post #38 of 64
I think this is an unanswerable question. All the equipment you use to play them back will vary from person to person and from system to system. Even a universal CD/SACD/DVD-A player may be better or worse at any one of the formats than the others, biasing the result you hear. Also, comparing a digital front end to a turntable which is a horse of a totally different color, a completely different and separate output device will make direct comparison complicated. As has been pointed out, different gear with different signal paths will be used in converting the master tape to CD, SACD, DVD-A and vinyl, so it's never an apples-to-apples comparison.

Finally, we still need to play back the tape on an analog tape machine to hear it or to transfer it to digital. Therefore, the playback device will always impart its own coloration on what we hear. We'll never really know what the analog tape really sounds like in the abstract sense. How do we know we are hearing the sound of the master tape or the sound of the playback device?

Yeah, that's probably splitting hairs but I think this is a complicated question. I would also venture a guess that virtually no one here on the site has ever actually listened to an original master tape to begin with, so they have no baseline to compare to make a pronouncement one way or another. And if they have heard a master tape, it was probably material that they didn't know like they know their favorite CD/LP/SACD/DVD-A version of it, and played back in a studio on unfamiliar gear. So they still have no real sense of what it might sound like on their own rigs as compared to CD, SACD, DVD-A or vinyl, in an environment/test bench with which they are familiar.

post #39 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
I think this is an unanswerable question. All the equipment you use to play them back will vary from person to person and from system to system. Even a universal CD/SACD/DVD-A player may be better or worse at any one of the formats than the others, biasing the result you here. Also, comparing a digital front end to a turntable which is a horse of a totally different color, a completely different and separate output device will make direct comparison complicated. As has been pointed out, different gear with different signal paths will be used in converting the master tape to CD, SACD, DVD-A and vinyl, so it's never an apples-to-apples comparison.
I agree. Although I've expressed my hopes that the playback gear won't color the sound too much, I'm aware that it possibly will be enough to make a fair valuation impossible. However, this thread is meant for philosophizing and phantasizing rather than gaining serious insights.

Quote:
Finally, because we still need to play back the tape on an analog tape machine to hear it or to transfer it to digital. Therefore, the playback device will always impart its own coloration on what we hear. We'll never really know what the analog tape really sounds like in the abstract sense. How do we know we are hearing the sound of the master tape or the sound of the playback device?

Yeah, that's probably splitting hairs...
I agree on the last sentence. In fact all recording/cutting and digital encoding is made on the basis of the above-mentioned state-of-the-art tape recorder, more precisely: its line out, which also serves as reference in the audition. That's my idea. Ingenious, isn't it?

post #40 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
Interesting statements. But still too subjective («superb», «beautiful») to really help to find out which format is most true to the original signal. I know that for many people beautiful and superb is enough, and I guess these attributes are often associated with accuracy. That's not my opinion at all. I tend to think that analog tape could be the most accurate data format -- but it has no meaning as a music data carrier. And I'm rather sure that vinyl is more euphonic than accurate.

A question to the vinyl advocates: Why do you think vinyl is more true to the signal than DVD-A or SACD -- from a technical perspective?

notwithstanding the superb and beautiful comment by Geise,

I do not have a copy of the original article but
The people involved are in the business of creating and/or evaluating recordings and IMO their opinons are the ones that matter more than any measurement since they are the ones that hear the original unmixed music and then decide how it should sound.

So what is it that you're trying to quantify since the process of music creation itself is subjective?
post #41 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
The ringing that you see on these square waves is at ~21.5 kHz, not 20 kHz, so actually you can't hear it. Nevertheless, it's also present with signals in the audio band, such as 10 kHz, just vastly reduced. The sharp bandwidth restriction disables the ability of a signal to stop immediately. So a 10-kHz sine wave will take a few cycles until it's quiet. There's no reason why this phenomenon shouldn't be audible. Also Wadia seems to believe it is.

Doesn't that only apply to that particular square wave? I dont know why the example that stereophile chose to show was at the edge of the spectrum. Square waves at other frequencies could well be within the audible range, starting from 20hz and up, right?
post #42 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
Doesn't that only apply to that particular square wave? I dont know why the example that stereophile chose to show was at the edge of the spectrum. Square waves at other frequencies could well be within the audible range, starting from 20hz and up, right?

AKAIK, it affects any waveform where the ultrasonic harmonics interact with the base tone to alter the shape of the resultant wave in the audible spectrum (ie most if not all musical instruments). This would cause a change in the percieved timbre of the instrument when the harmonics are missing. The square wave example is just an excellent illustation of this effect (as everyone knows what a square is supposed to look like, and it simply cannot be reproduced prefectly in digital rts without infinite harmonics).

another simple example:
http://www2.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/hand...rposition.html

In the end, the argument about whether we can directly hear or 'detect' ultrasonics is irrelevant, because they inevitably affect the waveforms in the audible spectrum anyway.
post #43 of 64
Even in the old days of 1/4" tape, transferring means lossing a fair chunk of dynamics in the process, not to mention today's digital master tape. So vinyl would probably come last in this topic, and I would go for either SACD or DVD-A as the winner.
post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
Square waves at other frequencies could well be within the audible range, starting from 20hz and up, right?

They will still be affected, just less severely, as more harmonics will be present in a 20hz tone (more headroom to capture more harmonics- 20kHz on cd) than will be in 16kHz tone (only 4-5 kHz of headroom on cd) so, treble will suffer the most dramatically from this phenomenon (scratchy cymbals anyone?). If you want good, accurate treble you need this headroom!
post #45 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leporello
Ok, here's what I guess:

Vinyl would sound most different from the original master tape (yet many would find the sound the most pleasing, of course).

Cd, SACD and DVD-A would sound practically identical and at least very similar to the master tape.
Yeah, you're guessing all right...
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