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Explain: Why do Vinyl with a Digital/PC source?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by Audman71, Aug 22, 2019.
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  1. Redcarmoose
    The Ultima Thule book has no mistakes it’s the Cope Book which he was told had mistakes, there for will not do a reprint.
  2. Steve999
    Well this seems to be music where the extra fidelity made possible by having it re-issued in the digital format really pays off handsomely.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Redcarmoose likes this.
  3. SilverEars
    This day in age, people grow-up getting used to instant gratification. Number of options available now a days is so much greater than previous generations, and I'm sure it causes some complexity and changes people's focus of interests.

    One thing I've been concerned with today's generation growing up with connected display devices, and access to wealth of information instantly is that, they may get too wrapped up in various subject matters in a shallow experience compared to those that have a certain focus of interest with no such distractions that dedicate their time on a particular subject matter. For example visual arts, drawing by hand, and with so many options for children to get distracted, I'm afraid children with much potential will not spend the time to develop their skills. Same for other traditional skills as well.

    I find that different people having unique and specialized interest and also potential in their particular areas provides us all with so much variety of well crafted and thought out stuff out there. There are people with such narrow area of interest that, it's quite important for them to exist.

    I've been through a generation of video game consoles being added that steer interests. We had cinema, and broadcast television in which we watched shows on schedule. Now a days there's so much more media out there for alternative that would take up people's time. They tend to hook people, and eat up so much time. I think social media is something that didn't exist in the past, and we had different stuff that occupied our time. Social media is another time occupier for this generation, and it probably takes over past generation's television and cinema interests.

    Perhaps you are from a generation record listening was much more common.

    There's certainly generation gaps among us. And this gap depends on what we had access to when we growing up.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  4. bigshot
    We called it stoner music back in the day.
  5. Audman71
    By that logic, therefore, you have to have grown up in said time period to fully understand and appreciate the experience. If you grew up before the age of the internet, you may appreciate aspects of life familiar to you like Commodore 64s or Furbys or hoola-hoops or pet-rocks that someone like myself who grew up during the dark age of the post-dotcom-bubble, pre-iPhone era of internet would be unable to appreciate on the same level. At the same time, whatever comes after Facebook and Twitter I might show similar concerns about that day’s youth, of which I am not a part of.

    Man, nostalgia is a real kick in the teeth sometimes, isn’t it?:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
    megabigeye likes this.
  6. bigshot
    I think I understand where the current generation is coming from. I played a computer game in 1969. My family had the very first gaming console. I was a part of making the first top down graphical role playing game. I was on the net in the days of usenet and gopher. I produced the first animated cartoon on the internet. Technology has always been a part of my life. The problem now isn't access to technology. It's not knowing how to take advantage of it. You can drive technology or technology can drive you. It may seem to be a platitude to say "you're limited only by your imagination", but when it comes to the internet, it's 100% true.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  7. stonesfan129
    I find that it's usually nostalgia or snobbery. I have a record collection of about 100 LPs and some singles, but these are not ones I have bought. This is my parents' collection that I didn't want to see go in the trash when they moved.
  8. Redcarmoose
    Probably one of the most interesting ideas is how much audiophiles truly enjoy degrading filters. No one wants to admit it to themselves or the public. Much of this must come from the attempt to replicate music in the home as true to life as possible.

    Slowly it started from radio and 78 rpm records later being amplified louder. Still it goes against much of audiophile behavior to realize that dulling it and softening sound could actually be wanted?

    Then the stunning realization that your high priced gear is actually making distortion and color far removed from actual fidelity.
  9. JazzVinyl
    Both formats do a good job.

    I most definitely have Vinyl's that sound better than the CD. Steely Dan "Gaucho" comes to mind. The original vinyl is an absolutely heavenly sonic treat. As good as the CD sounds...there is more palatable information present on the vinyl.

    Another vinyl I have that smokes the CD, is Grover Washington: "Wine light" have the 1/2 speed mastered vinyl by the label "Nautilus" and I have never had anyone over, who would disagree that the vinyl has a quality and presence that is just absent from the CD.

    Another one....Weather Report: "Domino Theory" - the Vinyl places the instruments in the sound stage very precisely. There is a song where towards the end of the tune, someone comes in with a cowbell. On the vinyl, you turn your head to see this fellow, it is so 'real', and he is behind you, to the your. Same song on the CD and everything sounds "right" nothing is wrong, it sounds good. But you don't feel like the fellow on the cowbell is "real" and he is not so perfectly placed in the sound field.

    I definitely have CD's that smoke the vinyls, too. But more often than not, the vinyl sounds better (because of natural timbre and precise sound stage) than the digital counterpart.

  10. old tech
    The claim that vinyl has a more natural timbre and precise sound stage is nonsense - perhaps one for the myths thread?

    It is not possible for vinyl to have a more precise soundstage as the stylus is compromised, having to track two channels independently. This is borne out by high amount of crosstalk between channels, compared to digital being perfectly separated. Then you have phase issues with vinyl playback that can create an artificially sounding wider sound stage but it is far from accurate. While it is possible that a particular vinyl record may have a better soundstage because the mix behind its master is different, that has nothing to do with the format.

    As for natural timbre, well no. I have yet to hear analog playback that can accurately reproduce a sustained piano note. Instrument separation is better with digital which of course reflects the more accurate timbre of the instruments. Why do you think classical music enthusiasts overwhelmingly prefer CD over vinyl?
    stonesfan129 likes this.
  11. bigshot
    The Gaucho multichannel SACD blows away the LP. It's one of the best sounding albums I've heard.
  12. Redcarmoose
    So being a 16 year old high school student in 1978....Rush was one of the ultimate rock bands. Great memories of seeing them live and playing 33.3 Rush vinyl!

    Still the years past and my quest for the ultimate audiophile gear moved on and on. It’s not that I simply concentrated on vinyl sound quality but went through a large list of turntables. Each table had a sound all it’s own. Techniques 1200s sounded a little cold and detailed. My Thorens TD 160 sounded big soft and forgiving. But I always wanted a better turntable. Finally I purchased my VPI Scout in 2008. Now such a table is not the everything in vinyl but it had an increase in detail and seemed to be a grand vacation from the mutts I played vinyl on. For the first time much of the surface noise was gone. Even pops and crackles went away to a point due to better tracking and simply getting a more effective place for the needle to stay. Most of my collection was the best I’ve ever heard it. The Beatles White album came out as a new digital remaster. There was threads in Head-Fi and multiple magazines talking about this new Beatles remaster music.

    On the way home from work I purchased the remastered Compact Disk White Album. Playing it on my CD player was very much a disappointment. I ran across the street and my favorite used record store had an original White Album for sale on vinyl. Wow...... finally some amazing sound! Times like these make you believe vinyl is a whole different world. The original Beatles album was miles better than the remaster to my ears. Maybe it was that I just liked the sound of vinyl? Maybe the original record was simply better? All this could have been system synergy or maybe sun spots? :)

    With all this new vinyl excitement I finally retrieved my Rush collection on vinyl. I had collected everything from those early days. All early pressings and in tip top form. So when I finally put on the classic Rush albums it was a huge disappointment. Strange too as you would think they would be recorded and mastered well? It just was a total let-down. Every album, every pressing. I had multiple pressing and all of them sounded like AM radio? Really a big learning experience!

    Now having Rush digitally is my preference. But again it really depends on the album. Dead Can Dance made an album called “Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun” and I have it in every format. I have the UK first CD pressing, the SACD remaster and the original vinyl. For what ever reason the original vinyl is the best. Though due to ease of use, I play a hi-res FLAC copy. It’s not that I totally have to go through the motions to play the vinyl. Each copy of the album is different. The original 16bit-44.1mHz is probably the most flat. The remasters actually have a noticeable boost in the low end. But again......you wouldn’t even notice unless you took them out and listened to them side by side.

    In a nut-shell that’s the magic of vinyl. It’s that every album is different. Getting into digital can be full of delusional self-lies. Boston’s first self titled debut in 1976 was absolutely incredible on vinyl. Looking back digital is always missing a slight warmth that the guitars had on the original pressing? Was the vinyl warmth affecting the Tom Scholz guitar sound? Was it? Was the euphoria emotion in the guitar sound simply always the vinyl? Why can’t we ever find it digitally? Is it simply that we have told ourselves it’s not there digitally?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    Steve999 likes this.
  13. old tech
    I think part of the 'magic' is that how you originally got to know and enjoy any particular album is tied together somewhat with your other senses and memories and the effect is has on how sound is enjoyed is very personal. If the first time you really got into Rush was back in your younger days with music being a youthful experience, the smell of the vinyl, gently lowering the stylus onto the groove, hearing the gently crackle in the lead-in and then blasting the music while watching the record spin round, then yes hitting play on a CD player or clicking on a file is not going to match that overall experience. Whether it is a positive or an overall negative on your enjoyment of the music is purely subjective and, individualistic and nothing to do with objective sound quality.

    An interesting anecdote is the old 1950s AM valve radio I have in my study - it is the same radio that was in my parent's home and one which I grew up with during the late 60s and 70s. I sometimes have that radio playing in the background and often when a song is played that I listened to when I was a kid, it takes me back in time to what I was doing as a child back then. I never get that sort of connection when playing back those old songs in high fidelity.

    Then of course as you point out, there are also different masterings and mixes of an album and generally, most people prefer an original mix over a remix if the orginal mix is how they got to know the album. Take the White Album for example, the 2018 remix by Giles Martin is undoubtedly better than all the earlier LPs and CDs in terms of sound quality but most prefer the sound of the original because that is how we got to know the album. Just on the matter of subjectivity, I too grew up on the LP version of that album but I prefer the 1987 CD to any of the LP issues or later CD remasters. It has a flawed but raw and quite dynamic sound to it, Steve Hoffman (an analog guy) even prefers it saying it sounds identical to the raw master tape.
    bfreedma and Steve999 like this.
  14. Steve999
    Back when I was a kid I had to walk to walk back and forth through a blizzard and an ice storm every day, uphill both ways, just to get to school. Kids today just don’t know how easy they have it.

    It took me a little while to transition from the signature sound of LPs to digital media, I’d say maybe a few years, before I could really put my heart into digital recordings. My cartridge had a bit of a hot treble, which I had gotten used to, and CDs were more neutral, and CD bass came at me clean and hard, rather than softer like LPs. I think Tracy Chapman’s first album was the first thing I fell in love solely on CD. And you had the Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” song. Those were things I first heard on CD and I was like, not gonna happen on LP. And then I came to realize all my favorite symphonic recordings sounded better on CD.

    Damnit. There are some kids on my lawn. Not happy about that. Hold on. . .
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
    bigshot and bfreedma like this.
  15. Redcarmoose
    So........here maybe we are at a crossroads where in reality the new edition remixed White Album should sound better. It may even sound better to young kids who never heard the White Album before? Just like the remix of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.....the mix now seems to reflect the modern time. The effects on the song would be better placed in a Dido album? But it’s exciting and it’s new. Not to offend anyone...... it’s a choice to listen to it or turn your nose.

    It’s just like George Lucas putting new explosion effects in Star Wars. Yet then as the new edition of Star Wars plays out......much of the new CGI starts to obstruct our way of dating the film. To kids though, maybe this stuff doesn’t matter? Picasso went back and kept touching up his paintings even while they were hanging in the museum? Should strangers with art degrees get the OK to make improvements on old classics when the painting was made 100 years ago? Maybe the art could be made more accessible to today’s youth? Maybe the Mona Lisa needs a new day glow dress.

    Is the remix of Sgt Pepper’s better?

    Maybe some of the charm is yes, the elements are now better separated. God knows they could do more than the 4 track mix-down.......but is it better? It’s obviously just introduced as a novelty and maybe a preciously held new style of music.

    In the end it’s all marketing. LPs were marketed as a way to increase profit by selling more songs at once. Albums were created by the musicians and producers to start to take hold of the “long play” format. Going back and making a study we find out Led Zeppelin was actually sequencing songs into this new longer playing medium. Though coincidently the White Album ended as a nonsensical mix-mash of old song remnants from older records. So even if the White Album was not written as a concept like the prior Beatles releases, the sheer talent and careful amalgamation was a success. But...... it is the sequence of music? The silent notes you hear in your mind of the first song yet to be played on the flip-side. The mistakes of playing the wrong side first. The mistakes of finding the wrong record in a record jacket.

    The final frontier for us digital users has been vinyl emulating software in our portable DAPs. Small amounts of surface noise digitally added along with warmer digital amplifiers and warmer headphones to try and emulate the inadequacies of equipment long broken and forgotten.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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