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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
    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.



    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.
    I know that digital is mastered differently than lp, and from what I have experienced the lp master is generally superior, but I would like to know why they have to be different other than perhaps dynamic range. If anyone can elaborate on this, other than the unwashed masses want heavy compression.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by ugly woofer View Post
      ... but I would like to know why they have to be different other than perhaps dynamic range. If anyone can elaborate on this,....
      A digital recording HAS to have a filter to prevent aliasing.

      "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
      "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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      • #33
        They tend to squish digital to as high an average level as possible, removing all dynamic range in order to be perceived as loud.
        Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
        Wogg Music

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        • #34
          Originally posted by wogg View Post
          They tend to squish digital to as high an average level as possible, removing all dynamic range in order to be perceived as loud.

          So it is 2017 ......please consider RIAA equalization and the loudness wars rage on LP too. This is not the difference maker.

          EVERY LP is compressed.....channel separation ...disasterous! but a helpful patch for 2 channel's weaknesses on center imaging

          Seriously guys, we can't google how LP's are made?

          What speed does your turntable play at when the cartridge is on the rest? What speed does it play at when the cartridge is dragging around the grooves?

          Here's one you may not have considered, what is the speed error of your digital source? So many details to consider, multiplied by all the varied systems we own.



          It is great people can enjoy music in any format. .
          “Never ask people about your work.”
          ― Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DE Focht View Post


            So it is 2017 ......please consider RIAA equalization and the loudness wars rage on LP too. This is not the difference maker.

            EVERY LP is compressed.....channel separation ...disasterous! but a helpful patch for 2 channel's weaknesses on center imaging

            Seriously guys, we can't google how LP's are made?

            What speed does your turntable play at when the cartridge is on the rest? What speed does it play at when the cartridge is dragging around the grooves?

            Here's one you may not have considered, what is the speed error of your digital source? So many details to consider, multiplied by all the varied systems we own.



            It is great people can enjoy music in any format. .
            LP mastering is compressed, but not nearly as hard as they target for CD. Example (granted, from 2012)

            RHCP Stadium Arcadium for CD
            Click image for larger version

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            And for LP
            Click image for larger version

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            Huge difference.

            Of course wow and flutter and channel separation are going to go to advantage digital, there's no question there. IMO... this change in dynamics is the leading cause of craptastic sounding CD's that push people to prefer vinyl. And that's not the technology's fault, it's the producer's.

            The most enlightening part of this thread are the folks who've digitized their LP's and compared with little to no difference.

            All IMHO
            Electronics engineer, woofer enthusiast, and musician.
            Wogg Music

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            • #36
              Has anyone else ever looked at what sine waves look like on a scope, being played from vinyl?

              The argument is usually "We listen to music, not sine waves", but going back to the simplest of sounds and seeing what is being done, often will lead to a better understanding of why a much more complex signal (music) sounds the way it does in the end.

              My personal opinion, is that vinyl is not exactly the same as analog, even thought it technically is analog.
              Vinyl has a small palette of coloration's and distortions that are not common to any other analog carried, but in fact are what makes vinyl sound the way it does. Many wrongly attribute the vinyl sound to it being analog, but are actually mild distortions inherent to vinyl.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by DE Focht View Post


                So it is 2017 ......please consider RIAA equalization and the loudness wars rage on LP too. This is not the difference maker.

                EVERY LP is compressed.....channel separation ...disasterous! but a helpful patch for 2 channel's weaknesses on center imaging

                Seriously guys, we can't google how LP's are made?

                What speed does your turntable play at when the cartridge is on the rest? What speed does it play at when the cartridge is dragging around the grooves?

                Here's one you may not have considered, what is the speed error of your digital source? So many details to consider, multiplied by all the varied systems we own.



                It is great people can enjoy music in any format. .
                Channel separation via turntables is disasterous... lol, was that conclusion drawn using a Crosley turntable with a penny taped to the tonearm head?... . Channel separation from my turntable vs channel separation from my CDP isn't much different at all (and I don't have cheap CDPs; and actually I would say my turntable bests my CDP in channel separation most of the time, but definitely not by a long shot, and it depends on the album being played. For example, my Fleetwood Mac, Rumors SACD sounds better to me than my Fleetwood Mac, Rumors record... but my DSOM record sounds (mildly) better than my DSOM CD. And my Bros In Arms record vs my Bros In Arms SACD is nearly impossible to differentiate... unless I get a static pop while playing the record. My Wish You Were Here record will annihilate my Wish You Were Here SACD in terms of SQ. And in some situations, you can't get a CD that sounds as good as a record... like Monster Magnet, Powertrip for example sounds pathetically compressed on CD, and sounds excellent on vinyl. I'm not saying I've scoured the world over for different masterings of the Powertrip album on CD, but that CD sucks compared to my record. I haven't found the gap from "sounds like crap on record but sounds amazing on CD" to be nearly that large when comparing any of my records to my CDs, they're a lot closer- my Rumors albums from SACD to record is the furthest, and both sound good, I just prefer my SACD.

                Edit: Just remembered my Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA albums... CD is vastly superior to my original vinyl pressing here; the vinyl is horribly bright.

                Turntable speed is very easily verified, not only are there inexpensive devices that (very) accurately show turntable RPM, there are even reliable (free) cell phone apps that show what your turntable's actual speed is. I contemplated a speed controller for my turntable so I could dial it in, but before I did that I decided to get the speed monitor for it and check it... and my Music Hall turntable is perfectly at 33 RPM while I'm playing a 33 RPM record, and a 45 plays perfectly at 45 RPM. And while speed can effect sound a LOT, it isn't a variable that (short of checking out of curiosity just to confirm that your table isn't a turd) really needs to be considered on most respectable turntables... you'll hear a speed issue if you have one immediately.

                IMO, the biggest factors in vinyl that effect the sound of the music being playing (in order) are...
                -The cartridge <(probably a tie with...)> The album master (the actual record being played)
                -The phono preamp <(probably a tie with...)> the turntable itself

                Now that^ is assuming your table is properly setup (cartridge alignment, azimuth, tracking force, etc). And also assuming there are no flaws in the actual design of your turntable. And that order would obviously be situational, a phono preamp could be the #1 cause of bad sound in your system, or the table, or the cartridge... but generally speaking that's the order from greatest to least... IMO.
                "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

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by kevintomb View Post
                  I think you may be hearing differences between masterings, and applying those traits as inherent to Digital/Analog.

                  The real double check, is take a vinyl record, rip it to a file at 16/44.1 or 320Mbps Mp3 or whatever resolution you want, and compare that final file to the original vinyl record.
                  That eliminates mastering differences, and keeps any traits of your cart/table/pre-amp intact, so you are truly comparing Vinyl versus a digital copy, instead of comparing most likely very different masterings with built in or not Compression, EQ and so on.


                  FYI, vinyl will have a sound that is different than Open Reel also. So you are not just hearing "Analog", but vinyl's version of Analog.

                  Ripping an LP to a digital file would not eliminate differences in mastering.

                  As a side note, some albums are mastered differently; one version for vinyl LP and one version for digital distribution. But this is not always the case; sometimes, one master is made and it's used for both vinyl and digital products. Ironically, modern vinyl releases are supplied in a digital WAV file, which is then lathed. From the link below; "whereas for vinyl the delivery is generally two WAV files, one for each side of the record.".

                  Digital formats have a much greater dynamic range and channel separation that what is possible on vinyl LP due to the physical limitations of vinyl technology.

                  Here's a short discussion about mastering in the vinyl and digital world:

                  http://www.soundonsound.com/sound-ad...gital-releases

                  In the recent past, mastering tended toward a "louder" sound overall. This is why some people don't like some recent "remastered albums". Thankfully, this trend is fading.
                  Note that neither vinyl nor digital products are immune to the practice.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

                  Shawn

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
                    ...IMO, the biggest factors in vinyl that effect the sound of the music being playing (in order) are...-The cartridge...
                    That certainly was the largest factor for me. ;)
                    Vinyl fans might be interested to know that Direct to Vinyl recording is in resurgence.
                    "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                    "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      On a related note: Ortofon cutter head settings for frequency response and Music Genres
                      http://www.torbenteknik.dk/Ortofon%2...2021111620.PDF
                      "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                      "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Sydney View Post
                        That certainly was the largest factor for me. ;)
                        Vinyl fans might be interested to know that Direct to Vinyl recording is in resurgence.
                        That's interesting: I think Telarc did this in the 1970s with its "Direct to Disc" classical recordings. I've heard a few, and they sound great - but the actual performances weren't quite as good as the best recordings from EMI, Decca and RCA.

                        The RCA "Living Stereo" and especially Mercury "Living Presence" were great LPs with usually excellent sound.

                        Geoff
                        Last edited by Geoff Millar; 03-26-2017, 02:12 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post

                          That's interesting: I think Telarc did this in the 1970s with its "Direct to Disc" classical recordings. I've heard a few, and they sound great - but the actual performances weren't quite as good as the best recordings from EMI, Decca and RCA.

                          The RCA "Living Presence" and especially Mercury "Living Presence" were great LPs with usually excellent sound.

                          Geoff
                          Affirmative on Telarc.
                          The problem with Direct is NO room for error and NO possibility of editing.
                          "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                          "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            From the conversation, the debate depends on what comprises the reproduction chain. What components are used and their effect on the final sound is the key and should be addressed in an individual's evaluation.
                            Kenny

                            http://www.diy-ny.com/
                            DIY NY/NJ 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGwA...ature=youtu.be
                            Man does not live by measurements alone, a little music helps.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by kenny_k View Post
                              From the conversation, the debate depends on what comprises the reproduction chain. What components are used and their effect on the final sound is the key and should be addressed in an individual's evaluation.
                              Yes indeed, but to me the first thing to consider is 'is the music any good'? For example, I have a 1926 recording of Fritz Kreisler playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto in both LP and CD formats. In any format it sounds awful by the standards of even 50 years ago - but it's great music

                              Geoff

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                              • #45
                                I listen to mostly instrumental symphonic music and I played trumpet in my (much) younger years, but if a recording, whatever the media used, has poor fidelity, it won't matter how good the musicianship is, I won't be able to enjoy it. I will most likely not be able to differentiate between a superior performance and simply a good performance.
                                Paul

                                Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post

                                Yes indeed, but to me the first thing to consider is 'is the music any good'? For example, I have a 1926 recording of Fritz Kreisler playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto in both LP and CD formats. In any format it sounds awful by the standards of even 50 years ago - but it's great music

                                Geoff

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