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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question, I thought you guys could maybe inform me a bit. My dad has a set of old Technic speakers that must be from the late 70's. He has a newer Sony receiver (1992) that he uses for his CDP and Turntable. Anyway, the thing with this setup is that Records sound great through these speakers, but CD's sound really lousy.


Does this have to do with how digital sound is carried to these speakers? Or is the receiver? Sorry if this topic jumps to other areas, but I thought I would get the best answer here. Thanks in advance.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by booloo /forum/post/0


I have a question, I thought you guys could maybe inform me a bit. My dad has a set of old Technic speakers that must be from the late 70's. He has a newer Sony receiver (1992) that he uses for his CDP and Turntable. Anyway, the thing with this setup is that Records sound great through these speakers, but CD's sound really lousy.


Does this have to do with how digital sound is carried to these speakers? Or is the receiver? Sorry if this topic jumps to other areas, but I thought I would get the best answer here. Thanks in advance.

Turntables have a much higher S/N - signal to noise ratio than CD players, and thus will come across with more dB's and more likely, better dynamics and punch - compared with a cd. It has nothing to do with the speakers. Guys who are into vinyl refer to records as "LP's", or long playing records for future reference.


BTW - that "newer" 1992 receiver is ancient by AVS standards.
 

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Actually, the inherent signal-to-noise ratio or dynamic range of the CD standard is very high. Consider this admittedly qualitative "thought experiment":


You have a well-recorded CD with a track that is designed to demonstrate the full dynamic range of the format. The track begins with a "minute of silence", then has music that starts out very soft and gets louder and louder until it reaches "peak level". You also have a high-power, low-noise amplifier, and speakers that can play at very high dB level with low distortion; state-of-the-art, "money is no object" gear. Set up in (of course) a quiet listening room.


OK, start to play the track. Turn up the volume control until the background noise in the "minute of silence" is just barely audible. Now keep listening, without touching the volume control again. I bet that in this experiment, most listeners would run out of the room (to protect their ears) before the music reached the peak level.


Or, here is a demo that could actually be done in my home. Take a well-recorded CD with a symphony by a composer (like Bruckner, Mahler, Shostakovich) that contains passages from "whisper soft" to "loud as possible" (using the full resources of a large orchestra of 100 or more acoustic instruments). Now start listening on high quality headphones. Don't even worry about "background noise"; just find the softest passage in the symphony. Turn up the volume until you think that soft passage is at a nice, reasonable, level where you don't have to strain to hear all the notes. Now, keep listening without touching the volume control until you get to the loudest passage
You won't forget the lesson "CDs have inherently wide dynamic range"



However, many actual CDs are nothing like the CD standard. Especially in rock and pop music, the trend has increasingly been to record everything as loud as possible, as close as possible to "peak level", so the music volume is far far above the inherent "background noise level" of the CD, but the music is very compressed and distorted by "clipping" at the peaks. Those not already familiar with this trend might ask "Why would the (pop music) industry deliberately abuse digital recording technology in that way? Are they all crazy, or what!?" I can't answer that, but apparently a lot of people like their CDs loud, compressed, and distorted, because those loud CDs sell well, and the recording industry keeps making them.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=778779
 

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Quote:
Turntables have a much higher S/N - signal to noise ratio than CD players, and thus will come across with more dB's and more likely, better dynamics and punch - compared with a cd. It has nothing to do with the speakers. Guys who are into vinyl refer to records as "LP's", or long playing records for future reference.

A record and phono stage will never have the signal to noise ratio of a cd player, you're looking at around 100db s/n on a cd player and my new "turntable" has a signal to noise ratio of maybe 60-70 db.

On dynamic range most modern "pop/rock" CD's have very narrow dynamic range, along the lines of 6db meaning that the difference between the loudest and softest parts of the recording is 6db.

Specs can only go so far, at the end of the day its garbage in garbage out. If the recording and mastering was piss poor, it doesn't matter what it was recorded on.

I like to refer to my record collection as vinyl, just because "LP" stands for specific type of record.

What difference in sound do you hear between vinyl and cd?


Rock On
 

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What type of speaker design do the Technics feature? I ask because speaker design has evolved over time to reflect the different strengths and weaknesses of the recording mediums. Back when vinyl was prevalent, midrange and upper bass dynamics were abundant in recordings. What everyone strived for was cleaner, crisper treble. It's no surprise that many of the speakers of the time period are of the sealed design; the vinyl source puts out plenty of midrange warmth and depth and bass power, so the sealed cabinet design helps create a crisper treble environment. Fast forward to the present, with CDs and digital audio sources being the dominant media format. CDs offer stunning clarity and treble detail, but often lack the powerful midrange and upper bass character of vinyl. What do most all common speakers feature now? Ported designs, intended to fill out some of the upper bass and midrange sound to create a "fuller" sound environment. This is certainly no hard and fast rule, but it's one of the many trends you can observe in audio and may help to explain a situation such as this one. I always thought it was an interesting way at looking at the audio world in the context of changing recording mediums.
 

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I bought my first portable CD player before most of my friends had CD players at all. Their stereos ran the gamut from quite poor to excellent by the standards of the day. I demoed the discman by hooking it up to their systems, and all were impressed compared to the turntables and/or tape decks they were used to. Several bought CD players shortly after that.

I find your experience unusual as a result.
 

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It sounds like there is an issue with the input that the CD player is plugged into? Do not use the same input as the turntable. Any other labeled AUX, Tape, TV, VCR etc.. should work fine.


All my speakers are from the 70's or older (my center channel is from '65) and they sound fantastic with anything from vinyl to DVD-A/SACD. I would not suspect the speakers.


Laters,

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks so much for all the detailed replies. I am new to these boards and I have never seen such great posters. Thanks again.


The model of the speakers are "SB-K23". I was looking for some sort of manufacturing date, but couldn't find anything. The only thing it listed was "3-way speaker system, output pressure level 94dB/w".


The CDP is hooked up through the "CD" input. Maybe it is something as simple as bad cables being hooked up to the player? It has been awhile since anything has been touched with that setup. I guess it's worth a shot.
 

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What kind of CD player is it? Is an optical connection an option?
 

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Maybe something is up with the drivers or the crossovers? Install new caps in crossover maybe? I've had similar problems with somethings not sounding right... but I guess that has nothing to do with CD vrs vinyl. But it did improve the sound of CD's with no signifigant changes to the vinly end.
 

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I suspect the warmth of the LPs are making the speakers sound better than the more neutral CDs. FWIW, even inexpensive speakers from makers like PSB, NHT and Paradigm would blow away those old speakers from the 70s.
 

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I dunno, I still like some of my old Altecs
 
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