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Vinyl Records vs Cd's - Page 5

post #121 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

...Vinyl recordings are constantly degrading, both measurably and audibly as they are played back again and again due to surface and stylus wear.

There are additional geometric distortions associated with vinyl playback, some of which can be addressed by straight line tracking tone arms, and some that can't be helped.

What could possibly go wrong here?

post #122 of 156
Anyone who thinks that a digital audio of a CD is better than the analog recording on a well made vinyl record is a complete fool!
The fact is  all natural sound starts out in "analog" form. In order to make a CD, the original analog recording has to be converted & broken up into a bunch of 1s and 0s, and regardless of how many 1s and 0s go into it, or how high the bitrate is etc, its still not not as natural as music from an analog vinyl record. 

If you look around on audiophile websites, you will be surprised to find that they manufacture outrageously expensive high-end vinyl recording equipment and turntables. I'm talking "record players" that sell for over $10,000.00, $20,000.00....and some even (believe it or not) over $100,000.00. Yeah NO SH#@!???!  
Now why on earth would they make a vinyl record player/turntable that cost as much as a Ferrari? Perhaps it's some kind of gimmick. Maybe it has been hand-crafted by some crazy Italian artist, made with solid gold, engraved with all kinds of artistic designs, and a "needle" made of the finest emerald? No, they are not intended to be works of art but in fact they are technologically advanced players that rich audiophiles WILL PAY $$$ for... for REAL REASONS.

Also I have in fact talked to  people over the years who do not have much technical understanding, yet they claim that there is something about listening to vinyl record that they can't quite put their finger on... in which it seems to just have more "soul" in it than a CD recording of the same music. Most recently this opinion came from an elderly black gentleman who did not have much education and was for the most part oblivious to understanding the difference between analog and digital. Yet he insisted on being able to notice a difference, and yet he couldnt say exactly what it was only that the music had more feeling when playing from a vinyl record.  
The jury is in- vinyl recordings still offer the most natural reproduction of sound available.   Case closed.
post #123 of 156
Quote:
In order to make a CD, the original analog recording has to be converted & broken up into a bunch of 1s and 0s, and regardless of how many 1s and 0s go into it, or how high the bitrate is etc, its still not not as natural as music from an analog vinyl record.

First off: analogue is heavily compressed in order to get the low frequency content into the groove, and has to be de-compressed for replay.
No idea why that should be more natural than converting to digital.
Secondly, almost all new material is being produced in the digital domain, so yeah, it makes a hell of a lot of sense to go and first convert to analogue, compress and cut to a deeply flawed medium - vinyl.
I have likely more listening experience with vinyl than you - I started with vinyl in the mid sixties, went digital in the late eighties and went partly into vinyl into the late 90's. Some of it was simple nostalgia, the possibility of almost endless tweaking - but definitely not superior sound quality. This is a lie that can be disproved by measurement and unbiased blind listening...actually, the problem there is that almost NO vinyl is without surface noise, which makes a record even blinded detectable w/o problems.

You must be kidding if you imply that expensive record players are a sign of superior quality of vinyl. It is a sign that there are enough technically challenged out there to throw good money at a bad source of sound, and it is a sign of excellent marketing - I just wonder what the volume of sales is on any player above 2000$.
Quote:
The jury is in- vinyl recordings still offer the most natural reproduction of sound available. Case closed.

Just repeating often mouthed ******** doesn't make it true. The jury is out that vinyl is a slowly dying breed of sound reproduction.
i wonder why "natural" seems to be a measure of value or quality for anything. Nicotine is natural, so is E Coli, so is Yersinia pestis, so are earthquakes and tsunamis. All natural and all potentially deadly.
Edited by kraut - 4/22/13 at 5:53pm
post #124 of 156
Hi Sherwin,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherwin Maxawow View Post

Now why on earth would they make a vinyl record player/turntable that cost as much as a Ferrari?
Because there are people stupid enough to pay it.
post #125 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHotchkiss View Post

Hi Sherwin,
Because there are people stupid enough to pay it.
Hey now watch the judgement. If it is something I want and it is a miniscual portion of my income and someone is putting their effort into it. Why call me dumb? Where do you draw the line, everyone should just shack up in the bare minimum manufactured home and drive the bare minimum locomotion that gets them to point b and eat the bare minimum sustenance? You my friend, sound less than intelligent with that comment.

As to CD and vinyl and streaming I enjoy it all. Vinyl really can sound great. Digital without the "loudness wars" problems can sound great too. Even moderately compressed files can sound impeccable. Just enjoy what all you can experience.
post #126 of 156
Hi Colohtpc,
Quote:
Originally Posted by colohtpc View Post

Hey now watch the judgement. If it is something I want and it is a miniscual portion of my income and someone is putting their effort into it. Why call me dumb?
Yes, that is my judgment, I don't deny it. But I doubt I am the first to post my judgment on this site.

Are you saying that paying $100,000 for a turntable is not dumb? There is absolutely no way spending that much on audio equipment can be cost effective. For that amount of money, you can hire the original artist to play live. If one has that amount of disposable income, I think he/she should be looking into philanthropy rather than audio.

Quote:
As to CD and vinyl and streaming I enjoy it all. Vinyl really can sound great. Digital without the "loudness wars" problems can sound great too. Even moderately compressed files can sound impeccable. Just enjoy what all you can experience.
There, we fully agree.
post #127 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by HelloCDClub View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Well, the sound waves aren't jagged, for one thing.



I really think people who blindly bash vinyl, and say we only like it for nostalgia have never heard a good setup themselves.

What you don't seem to realize is that the picture above does not represent the analog output of any reasonable digital player. It is a fabrication.
post #128 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraut View Post

First off: analogue is heavily compressed in order to get the low frequency content into the groove, and has to be de-compressed for replay.
No idea why that should be more natural than converting to digital.
quote]

No. A slight misapprehension there. There is typically some compression in vinyl mastering in order to get the sound within the more limited dynamic range of the medium. But the step that makes bass recordable and playable without using too much space or becoming impossible to track is simple equalization. The RIAA curve turns down the bass so ti takes less space to record and is easier to track. Then on playback the RIAA curve is applied (iverted of course) to restore the bass.

IMO vinyl and digital can be expected to sound different for a plethora of reasons, starting right at mastering, whether the original recording is digital or analog...
post #129 of 156


Ok, I used the term compression instead of equalization. My mistake, although I heard the RIAA curve addressed as such in the past.

http://www.platenspeler.com/background/riaa/uk_riaa_background_1.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization
Quote:
The official RIAA standard defines three time-constants with pre-emphasis rising indefinitely above 75 µs, but in practice this is not possible. When the RIAA equalization standard was written the inherent bandwidth limitations of the recording equipment and cutting lathe imposed their own ultimate upper limit on the pre-emphasis characteristic, so no official upper limit was included in the RIAA definition.

Modern systems have far wider potential bandwidth. An essential feature of all cutting lathes—including the Neumann cutting lathes—is a forcibly imposed high frequency roll-off above the audio band (>20 kHz). This implies two or more additional time constants to those defined by the RIAA curve. This is not standardized anywhere, but set by the maker of the cutting lathe and associated electronics.
post #130 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraut View Post



Ok, I used the term compression instead of equalization. My mistake, although I heard the RIAA curve addressed as such in the past.

http://www.platenspeler.com/background/riaa/uk_riaa_background_1.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization

of course a sharp rolloff above 20 KHZ to meet the lathe's needs sounds an awful lot like the brickwall filter at a similar frequency that is necessary to convert analog to digital at CD standard sampling frequencies without aliasing. Not necessarily a distinguishing factor soncially.

IMO to the extent vinyl sounds better than especially modern CDs, its quite likely due to reduced dynamic compression in the vinyl mastering chain. Hopefully the volume wars are turning around for popular music and that distinction will vanish as a benefit of vinyl. It is a little bizarre that the medium with the far greater dynamic range capability (digital) has for years been used to put out music with almost no peak-to-average dynamic range at all . . .

If nothingelse, the vinylpphile has multiple steps in teh reproduction chain to affect overal tonal balance etc, with impacts everywhere from the phono preamp/RIAA implementation (does it present the right input impedance for the cartridge? Is he RIAA equalization dead-on accurate?) to the differences between different cartridges differently setup . . . .
post #131 of 156

I like vinyls and I like CDs. So what? Am I wrong?

post #132 of 156
Hi Jorge,
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

I like vinyls and I like CDs. So what? Am I wrong?
Absolutely not. You can never be wrong about what you like (even if it sometimes changes).

I like vinyl, I like CDs, I like 1/4" tape and I like digital music. I listen to all four. But if I were to say that one format was "superior" to another, I had better be prepared to justify my claims.
post #133 of 156
Nothing wrong with either format. I buy CD because they're cheap, sound good enough for me and are easy to store. Plus I can easily rip em and play them back on a portable device which will support its resolution.

If you're aiming for sound quality, I'd say go after those 88.2/24 or 96/24 high-resolution downloads and have a couple external hard drives to back them up on. Anything above 96khz is overkill IMO.
Edited by hogger129 - 4/24/13 at 7:24pm
post #134 of 156
I think you have missed the boat - in the near future any physical medium for audio will be more or less a niche product - like LP.
Quote:
Vinyl produces better sound quality if it's in good condition and you play it back with good equipment

Like a true believer - no matter the evidence to the contrary, keep spouting untruth.
http://www.macfh.co.uk/JavaJive/AudioVisualTV/Vinyls/VinylVsCD.html
Quote:
Signal To Noise Ratio (SN or SNR) - measured in dB, a measure of the ratio between the wanted signal - the music being recorded and played back - against unwanted noise introduced by the reproduction system - tape hiss, vinyl noise, turntable rumble, etc. For comfortable listening, say a good amplifier, this should be at least 100dB. Audio Cassette (AC) was typically around 40-50dB, perhaps 60dB using Dolby, vinyls varied from being better than AC when new, to worse when badly worn; they also vary in time - a scratch will probably be louder than the surrounding wanted signal. By contrast, CD systems should be as good as an amplifier, around 100dB, although scratches or other damage to CDs and wear in the player can both cause jumps in the sound that are similar in effect to scratches on vinyl.
Frequency Response (FR) - measured as an error figure in dB, conventionally ±3dB, over a frequency range, say 20Hz-22KHz, a measure of how evenly sounds are reproduced. The full range of human hearing is from about 25Hz-25KHz, although the extremes draw in significantly with age - I tested my upper range to be about 23KHz in my late teens but it was already down to 17KHz in my early twenties. FR should be flat over the human range, with no particular frequencies being unduly over or under amplified. The lower limit being relatively easily achieved, the upper is the usual fail point, but there isn't much difference between the best legacy analogue and modern digital systems. CD's upper limit is fixed by the sampling rate at 22KHz. That of a Shure V-15 vinyl cartridge is 20KHz. That of tape depends on tape speed - professional systems used for mastering, and even consumer open reel systems at their fastest speeds, should match CD, but AC's low speed only reaches about 15KHz, a significant failing.
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) - a measure of alteration to the sound, 0.002% to 0.003% being good for amplification of both, and for digital. However, the little data available suggests that distortion in analogue transduction processes - tape recording and playback, and master cutting, vinyl pressing, and playback - is orders of magnitude worse.
Stereo/Channel Separation - usually measured in dB. This measures how well the channels in the signal, simply left and right for stereo, are kept apart by the system, and is similar in concept to SNR, left signal in the right channel being noise as far as the right channel is concerned. Consequently, similar figures of 100dB or better are to be expected for digital systems, but stereo cartridges such as the Shure could only manage about 25dB.
Wow And Flutter - a percentage measure of the variation in speed for turntables, tape decks, CD decks, etc. Legacy analogue systems are particularly prone to such problems, especially as they wear with age. A new turntable may quote less than 0.1%, a new cassette deck around 0.1%, but an old cassette with old tapes may be significantly worse. By contrast, a CD system may be 'Below measurable limit', though see also the note under SNR.

So in all these technical specifications CD systems match or exceed legacy analogue systems.

Again, why lie about facts when simply stating that you prefer vinyl would have been sufficient? Vinyl addicts do their hobby no favour spreading bull and demanding to be taken seriously when they simply spread lies about a flawed medium with measurably worse performance data.

http://underdesign.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-math-behind-why-compact-discs-sound-better-than-vinyl-records/
25-40 Micrometres vs. 65,536 digital values

Which has more nuance and detail? A wiggling groove moving a mere 25-40 thousands of a millimeter, or 65,536 different values available on a 16-bit CD recording?

Edited by kraut - 4/24/13 at 7:55pm
post #135 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherwin Maxawow View Post

Anyone who thinks that a digital audio of a CD is better than the analog recording on a well made vinyl record is a complete fool!
What a foolish comment.rolleyes.gif
Quote:
The fact is  all natural sound starts out in "analog" form. In order to make a CD, the original analog recording has to be converted & broken up into a bunch of 1s and 0s, and regardless of how many 1s and 0s go into it, or how high the bitrate is etc, its still not not as natural as music from an analog vinyl record. 
I don't think you understand sound.
Quote:
If you look around on audiophile websites, you will be surprised to find that they manufacture outrageously expensive high-end vinyl recording equipment and turntables. I'm talking "record players" that sell for over $10,000.00, $20,000.00....and some even (believe it or not) over $100,000.00. Yeah NO SH#@!???!  
Now why on earth would they make a vinyl record player/turntable that cost as much as a Ferrari? Perhaps it's some kind of gimmick. Maybe it has been hand-crafted by some crazy Italian artist, made with solid gold, engraved with all kinds of artistic designs, and a "needle" made of the finest emerald? No, they are not intended to be works of art but in fact they are technologically advanced players that rich audiophiles WILL PAY $$$ for... for REAL REASONS.
Of course they hare real reasons. I am unable to comprehend imaginary reason. But, so what does this have to do with the technical data?
Quote:
Also I have in fact talked to  people over the years who do not have much technical understanding, yet they claim that there is something about listening to vinyl record that they can't quite put their finger on... in which it seems to just have more "soul" in it than a CD recording of the same music. Most recently this opinion came from an elderly black gentleman who did not have much education and was for the most part oblivious to understanding the difference between analog and digital. Yet he insisted on being able to notice a difference, and yet he couldnt say exactly what it was only that the music had more feeling when playing from a vinyl record.  
Just anecdotes, not much value in them. Stories, in fact.
Quote:
The jury is in- vinyl recordings still offer the most natural reproduction of sound available.   Case closed.
OK, for you the case is closed. I wonder who is on that jury of unbiased humans.
Actually the case is also closed for me, but it is just the opposite outcome from your case.wink.gif
post #136 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post


No, vinyl's frequency response is relatively non-flat and often quite audibly so. It's especially bad above 5 KHz, and often terrible above 10 KHz. Dips and peaks and all that.

That begs a question. If vinyl has this kind of response, how faithful is it to the source? If vinyl supposedly sounds "warmer" (due to these dips and peaks), is that necessarily how the artist or engineer/producer or the mastering engineer wanted it to be heard?
post #137 of 156
Hi Bo,
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

That begs a question. If vinyl has this kind of response, how faithful is it to the source? If vinyl supposedly sounds "warmer" (due to these dips and peaks), is that necessarily how the artist or engineer/producer or the mastering engineer wanted it to be heard?
If you are asking if the artist or engineer/producer made it "warmer" to avoid the pitfalls of the non-flat frequency response, then that is a possibility, depending on the sophistication of the engineer. But I rather doubt it.

As far as how faithful it is to the source, it isn't. The dips and and peaks that Arny mentioned are mostly cartridge dependent - which is why the cartridge is so important. The cartridge is a mechanical device, and its unavoidable internal mass and resonances are what make it difficult for it to respond to high frequencies in a uniform way. Every cartridge acts differently.
post #138 of 156
The media itself does not have a flat response that is why this is required.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization
post #139 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

The media itself does not have a flat response that is why this is required.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization

RIAA equalization is applied to the master when it is cut. It's used because to capture loud low frequency information on vinyl requires either too much space for the fat squiggles or becomes unplayable by mortal cartridges and tonearms. So they roll down the bass (and high treble) when the sound is cut to the master disc, then the reverse RIAA equalization is applied in the phono preamp stage to put those frequencies back where they belong. Has nothing to do, really, with the inherent frequency response of the medium. It's the practicality of having decently long recording lengths and simple playability.
post #140 of 156
"Reducing the low frequencies also limits the excursions the cutter needs to make when cutting a groove. Groove width is thus reduced, allowing more grooves to fit into a given surface area, permitting longer recording times. This also reduces physical stresses on the stylus which might otherwise cause distortion or groove damage during playback.Therefore, it was necessary to attenuate the bass frequencies below about 250 Hz, the bass turnover point, in the amplified microphone signal fed to the recording head. Otherwise, bass modulation became excessive and overcutting took place, with the cutter into the next record groove."

This along with what you said are limits to the meduim.
post #141 of 156
post #142 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

"Reducing the low frequencies also limits the excursions the cutter needs to make when cutting a groove. Groove width is thus reduced, allowing more grooves to fit into a given surface area, permitting longer recording times. This also reduces physical stresses on the stylus which might otherwise cause distortion or groove damage during playback.Therefore, it was necessary to attenuate the bass frequencies below about 250 Hz, the bass turnover point, in the amplified microphone signal fed to the recording head. Otherwise, bass modulation became excessive and overcutting took place, with the cutter into the next record groove."

This along with what you said are limits to the meduim.

that IS what I said. Not exactly a frequency response inaccuracy in vinyl itself - - assuming everything is perfect, you could achieve perfectly flat response within the medium's reasonable pass band. But you couldn't do it for more than 10 minutes or so on an LP side with heavy bass without using the RIAA equalization scheme, which if perfectly implemented would not change the flat frequency response . . .
post #143 of 156
post #144 of 156
FWIW, among the folks who immediately preferred the digital medium are Tom Dowd (producer of, for example, the Allman Brothers Fillmore East album) who IIRC liked the extended bandwidth. Can't recall if he focused on the dynamic range, but maybe. To his ears, digital sounded more real than analog. The second that leaps to mind is Keith Jarrett (pianist) who claims he can hear wow and flutter in ANY analog recording of a piano and it drives him nuts. So he prefers digital, where his sustained notes sustain at the same pitch they started

Been a while since I paid attention, but on the recording side, at least until 5 or 10 years ago, the big plus for analog was the ability to achieve tape saturation - essentially a kind of compression mediated by the tape/head/bias that just sounds good on some things (record those vocals HOT) and was not, at least several years ago, reasonably recreatable with digital equipment when recording. You can of course drop an analog mix onto a digital medium and all that good tape saturation etc built into the tracks will stay there . . .
post #145 of 156
What could and what is, are two different things! The fact is the sound wave is altered in order to promote recording and in theory altered back to its original amplitudes at playback. Doesn’t sound much different than digital when you put it the true terms of what is happening in which technology is applied.
Edited by Just cruising - 4/29/13 at 7:56am
post #146 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

What could and what is, are two different things! The fact is the sound wave is altered in order to promote recording and in theory altered back to its original amplitudes at playback. Doesn’t sound much different than digital when you put it the true terms of what is happening in which technology is applied.

Lots different from digital to me. In its "normal" setting, digital (PCM) simply takes enough samples of the waveform to be able to recreate the waveform accurately, and requires no preemphasis or RIAA type manipulation to work practically. Unlike vinyl, wher you can increase the time on the disc by using the RIAA scheme, in PCM, you can't make any such frequency related changes that reduce the data rate, and therefore storage requirements of the PCM data. In digital, what you have to do is compress the data. The most popular data compression allows lots more music on a CD, if that's the way you want to carry it around, but once you've applied any lossy encoding to shrink the data, there is no way to recover the stuff that got "lossied." On vinyl, you simply use a phono preamp which automatically reinstates the original frequency response. In digital, if the treble has been taken to mono, for example, or rolled off to save bits for low bitrate MP3, you cannot get stereo treble or full treble extension back. Of course, if you need less data storage savings, lossless compression is entirely possible, in which case you can indeed recreate what the original sound was after decoding the lossless compressed data.
post #147 of 156
Not sure why you are talking MP3 as this is not the Red Book standard? "LPCM is used for the lossless encoding of audio data in the Compact disc Red Book standard (informally also known as Audio CD), introduced in 1982."

But since you are about data compression that is exactly why we have the RIAA curve as you have pointed out. Without the curve and this anolog means of compressing the signal you could not have the standard 20 minutes or so on a LP.
Edited by Just cruising - 4/29/13 at 11:37am
post #148 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

Not sure why you are talking MP3 as this is not the Red Book standard? "LPCM is used for the lossless encoding of audio data in the Compact disc Red Book standard (informally also known as Audio CD), introduced in 1982."

But since you are about data compression that is exactly why we have the RIAA curve as you have pointed out. Without the curve and this anolog means of compressing the signal you could not have the standard 20 minutes or so on a LP.

Edit: Actually, never mind. Pointless to continue so I won't

but as I think I said before, the similarity between RIAA compensation and data compression is that they allow more music on whatever storage device you are using. Otherwise, as I thought I made very clear since you seemed to run them together, they are utterly different from each other in every way.

PCM also exists very commonly in 48Khz and increasingly in 96Khz and 192 KHzsample rates, with bit depths of up to at least 24 bits. All once esotreric, now commonly available to a high schooler with a job for home recording (I mean that quite literally, it's an amzaing time for a person (not me) to be young and getting into this stuff. Genuinely useful and useable equipment available for a relative song.)

The reason I did not delve into red book is because of the existence of these other available PCM sampling rates and bit depths and I didn't want to get more complicated attempting to elucidate what is, in the end, a very very simple concept. Which I think you got although AFAIK you didn't realize I actually said it.
Edited by JHAz - 4/29/13 at 12:15pm
post #149 of 156
Your right about one thing I am not sure what you are getting at? But none the less whether you care to acknowledge it or not the RIAA curve does represent a form of compression. Just because it happens in the analog domain does not mean it is not a form of compression. I am pretty familiar with both formats and I really have always thought this to be silly argument. Anyone that understands the technology also understands that CDs are far superior to vinyl. Not sure what the standard voltage swing is on an audio D to A but on a + and – 10volt signal using a 16 bit signed word it is just over 305 micro volts per step. I constantly am amazed how people like to talk about step resolution of this type of conversion and how that makes the format inherently inferior. The voltage swing of an audio D to A is only a few volts resulting in a much smaller step resolution than 305 micro volts. I do find the argument interesting and have no problem with people spending their money on whatever makes them happy but people don’t buy vinyl because its better only different.
post #150 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just cruising View Post

This is interesting. http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697658/why-vinyl-sounds-better-than-cd-or-not

More sad than interesting, to read that the "director of recording arts and sciences at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University" apparently doesn't have a clue how lossy perceptual coding works, or how to compare the *sound* of an mp3 to its lossless source. Hint: 'hearing what was lost' via a null test isn't it.

But at least he does refer to that as a 'trick'.
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