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Digital vs Analogue...one man's unscientific experiment

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  • #16
    Originally posted by View Post

    A comparison between MP3 and analog LP really isn't fair. Try instead 24Bit and an LP.
    Actually try 13 bit and an LP.
    https://xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml

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    • #17
      Some kinds of distortion gives music a warm ambiance that some people prefer.
      Tube amps, too. It's all good.

      Click image for larger version

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      Shawn

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      • #18
        Originally posted by swarrfrat View Post
        Actually try 13 bit and an LP.
        https://xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml
        ​MP3 is not a good example or the best in digital either. I have never heard of 13 bit, what is it? I have numerous 16 bit (CDs).

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        • #19
          Thanks for the "review" Carbon13. Your thoughts mimic mine, regardless what those that know everything think, vinyl can be outstanding, even bettering its digital counterpart in some cases. Whether it's due to some form of desirable sonic distortion, differences in the recording process, or whatever, it just works.

          ... but IMO, digital is so much more convenient and easier to get good sound out of, so it's still my daily source.

          YMMV

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          • #20
            If you watched the video, he says that the noise floor of casettes makes them equivalent to 6 bits at best, more typically 5 bits, and the best LP's can reach is equivalent to 13 bits depth

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
              Thanks for the "review" Carbon13. Your thoughts mimic mine, regardless what those that know everything think, vinyl can be outstanding, even bettering its digital counterpart in some cases. Whether it's due to some form of desirable sonic distortion, differences in the recording process, or whatever, it just works.

              ... but IMO, digital is so much more convenient and easier to get good sound out of, so it's still my daily source.

              YMMV

              Ripping one to flac though should be as good as one can get and sound pretty much identical. At least I can't tell the difference and I usually hear differences that many don't. This is why I just pull it into the PC as a flac and don't mess with the all the problems associated with a turntable used regularly.

              I think there are two issues. One others have already mentioned is different mastering of older albums on cd vs. vinyl. The second that nobody touched upon, is cartridge quality and how that impacts the sound. I think that there is as much variance in quality from different carts than other variables. It could be that when one dislikes vinyl it could be more the cart than anything and a different setup might do better.

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              • #22
                I have a lot of fun doing stuff like this. I have a friend that owns a recording studio, and according to him you can't compare vinyl and digital, because vinyl is always going to be mastered different than digital- according to my friend it has to be because a vinyl master sounds bad on digital, and a digital master sounds bad on vinyl.

                But, it's still fun to compare . I have a Peter Gabriel, So... double 12" 45 album that also came with a digital download for the FLAC version of the same album. Using my cousin's Oppo BD105D as the digital transport, and using his VPI table for the record, we A/B'd the 2 and couldn't hear a difference, both sounded [nearly] identical. I thought that... maybe... the FLAC sounded a smidgen warmer (which is the opposite of what I would've guessed), but to correctly identify which of the 2 formats was playing would've been very difficult.

                Originally posted by Carbon13 View Post

                Very true and that's where I have landed. The vinyl experience as a whole is really enjoyable to me but totally understand it may not be for everyone. And as you said, a great sounding system is a great sounding system and they come in many varieties.
                That's where I'm at. I enjoy vinyl because I have fun collecting records. I enjoy the hunt, the cleaning, the tinkering, and it got me back into music. But, I enjoy all of it... I just love stereos and music

                Not sure if you're a Judas Priest fan, but the newly remastered Turbo album is phenomenal sounding.
                "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
                "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

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                • #23
                  I like both vinyl and digital. I try and typically get albums on vinyl that were recorded in a time of analog. In some cases, modern recordings too. I don't feel like they ever got analog to digital transfers right. For new music, I'll go digital all day long. Classic rock, jazz, analog recorded Norah Jones... Vinyl all day long.

                  I feel like if anyone chooses one side only, both sides are missing out. Vinyl can't handle the full dynamics of a lot of modern music. It just can't.

                  Everyone should have some Vinyl, CD, DVDA, SACD, lossless in the collection. It's all good.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by make_some_noise View Post


                    Ripping one to flac though should be as good as one can get and sound pretty much identical. At least I can't tell the difference and I usually hear differences that many don't. This is why I just pull it into the PC as a flac and don't mess with the all the problems associated with a turntable used regularly.

                    I think there are two issues. One others have already mentioned is different mastering of older albums on cd vs. vinyl. The second that nobody touched upon, is cartridge quality and how that impacts the sound. I think that there is as much variance in quality from different carts than other variables. It could be that when one dislikes vinyl it could be more the cart than anything and a different setup might do better.


                    Since an identical copy can be made, that speaks volumes as I have said also. It must be down to simply mastering or changes occuring during making vinyl or playback, not something magically inherent to vinyl or analog.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by killa View Post
                      Has anyone tried digitizing a LP at a good quality and comparing that to the original? This would be a good way to tell if it is the mastering or the format.


                      Actually many have done this, including myself, and it comes out sounding for all intents just like the record, or so close you can not tell which is which. I hate to say identical, but....

                      That in my mind at least, gives me 90% of the answer.
                      It Implies that redbook 16/44.1 is transparent enough to sound just like a vinyl record, therefore the answer must lie elsewhere,(mastering, Cart, Preamp, just how records are made in general, or distortions and noise on records etc)

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                      • #26
                        Well I'm far from a vinyl expert. But they definitely sound different. Many people label it as warm. My analysis of the sound is that it is more laid back in the higher registers which probably attributes to the "warm" sound. I also find it more acoustical sounding and response is a little "slower", almost as if it has a slight amount of reverb to it. I would compare this acoustically coupled nature to it's sound to be not a whole lot different than the sound of a well built transmission line, pipe organ in a church, or either a very large EBS or infinite baffle sub. It has a sort of resonant sound. I would think that this is mostly due to the medium and playback, and only some what because it is analog. A turntable is an acoustical device after all. Compared to tape.... Tape is much more precise, sharper, and quicker sounding, though not as much as a CD. Aside from things like DAT, tape is analog too. Distortion and inaccuracies probably add to the effect as well.

                        But if you have a good soundcard and record the LP to a good quality lossless file.... it is very difficult to tell the difference so long as the DAC you are using for playback is a good one and most of them are.


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                        • #27
                          Concerning technology, digital photography can emulate the grain in film as some still prefer. It may be possible to emulate that vinyl sound with digital processing.

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                          • #28
                            Listening to all of you makes me want to buy a turntable and go back to vinyl again. On second thought, I'm too spoiled by Foobar and playlists, and too tired of getting up to skip tracks I don't want to listen to. Digital is so convenient and effortless.
                            Some people are addicted to Vicodin. I'm addicted to speaker building.

                            The Chorales - Usher 8945A/Vifa XT25TG Build
                            ESP Project 101 Lateral MOSFET Amplifier
                            LM4780 Parallel Chipamp
                            Sonata Soundbar Project
                            The Renditions - Active/Passive Towers

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                            • #29
                              Hello from Australia

                              I've been collecting/listening for over 45 years, and I like vinyl, CDs and even cassettes! They all have pros and cons.

                              I agree with a previous post which noted that the quality of the cartridge is critical to enjoying LPs. I used to have an Audio-Technica on my Pioneer direct drive turntable, and when the stylus carked, I lashed out and bought an Ortofon high output moving coil - it made a huge difference to the sound for about A$200.

                              I like the large, legible covers of LPs, especially as (with The Beatles 'White Album', Dark Side of the Moon etc) you get posters and photos. I don't like warps, scratches and the rumble from poor quality pressings.

                              Equally, I hate the compression and other factors which make some CDs impossible to listen to: 'Californiacation' by the Chili Peppers, for example, has a harsh sound which I just can't take. And I have a really nice cassette of Hendrix BBC sessions which sounds nicer than the CD, even if it once wrapped itself around the capstan of the car cassette!

                              For convenience I convert LPs to CD via my "XP201" thingy , PC and "Audacity" software, and I do find it very hard to tell the copy from the original - except that I can edit out the pops and clicks.

                              And whatever the format, it's the music that counts: a great record is great, a lousy record is lousy even in the highest fi possible.

                              Geoff

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by kevintomb View Post



                                Actually many have done this, including myself, and it comes out sounding for all intents just like the record, or so close you can not tell which is which. I hate to say identical, but....

                                That in my mind at least, gives me 90% of the answer.
                                It Implies that redbook 16/44.1 is transparent enough to sound just like a vinyl record, therefore the answer must lie elsewhere,(mastering, Cart, Preamp, just how records are made in general, or distortions and noise on records etc)
                                Yes that is a good question, what else is there....


                                The answer is found when you consider the company Lexicon of Harman International and what they do for the home market and what they do for the pro market, and you consider why the #1 digital processing company would bother to make a surround processor for no good reason with a serious palette of settings?

                                Unofficial Results of Hundreds of people tested with some of the best turntables arms and cartridges, cd players and surround processors available. circa 1997 to 2007.

                                CD in Trifield....(despite the red faces when the stereo church was burnt down around them, yeah they loved it until the source of the sound was revealed)

                                LP in Stereo traditional 2 channel, analog works

                                CD in two channel stereo.

                                As many have addressed very difficult to compare without great care and with everyone's widely varied experiences, even more difficult.

                                Ask yourself if digital delay and reverb algorithms are modeled in a 360 degree algorithm how does your basic 2 channel system play that back properly? If we take the next step and say it can't then how might the LP benefit and the CD/ digital be negatively impacted by this situation?



                                Never ask people about your work.
                                ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

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