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Lies about vinyl vs digital

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On 1/6/2020 at 9:58 PM, Rexp said:

Some folks like CD, you're one of them. The last two I tried were by Audio Research and Nagra, do they get any better? 

Well i heard the nagra cd player about 6 years back and disliked the sound. But have not heard the new cd players that nagra just released recently. Have not heard the new audio research cd 9se either - Note CD player is very susceptible to power conditioning and vibration  - minimize or eliminate those two artifacts and you get sweet clean musical sound ...

 

But here is a excerpt from just released article in hifi  - 

 

Perhaps one of the more interesting developments we have seen in the world of audio in recent years is the rise in the availability of high-resolution recordings, together with the equipment necessary to play these files. The origins of this development lie in the dissatisfaction, among some, with the quality of sound coming from Compact Disc. To be fair, much of this criticism came from the fact that, in the early days of CD, every record label rushed to reissue their analogue catalogue on the new medium with little thought of audio quality. It was deemed sufficient to have pop and click free sound. Consequently, the promise of CD was not really exploited until much further down the line. The fact is, CDs can sound absolutely wonderful with a top quality recording and attention paid to mastering and production. However, in many aspiring audiophile minds, the damage had been done and CDs became the villain


Music after life

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39 minutes ago, JoeWhip said:

When I hear folks like MF claim that digital is flat, hard and lifeless compared to vinyl, I just shake my head and wonder what he is listening too. I have had vinyl guys over to hear my room and they are godsmacked with how great digital can sound, especially well mastered cds. There are many wonderful sounding DACS available and some great playback software. Good equipment and a great room environment will get you great sound these days.

A bit unfair about MF. He has a great digital (SACD) setup. He doesn't dislike digital. He dislikes CD. He likes lots of hi-res and has even said there are hi-res versions of albums he prefers to the vinyl version, or at least thinks they are the equal. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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1 minute ago, Ralf11 said:

A "bits is bits fool" is someone with technical knowledge, such as a scientist of engineer.

 

The full dis was "flat-earther bits is bits fools", which I find ironic because a "flat-earther" would be someone who rejects science.

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1 minute ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

The full dis was "flat-earther bits is bits fools", which I find ironic because a "flat-earther" would be someone who rejects science.

 

well, consider the source - a poster with a screen name describing something a dog is doing...

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4 hours ago, firedog said:

A bit unfair about MF. He has a great digital (SACD) setup. He doesn't dislike digital. He dislikes CD. He likes lots of hi-res and has even said there are hi-res versions of albums he prefers to the vinyl version, or at least thinks they are the equal. 

 

Could it be said that some amount of Fremer's notoriety comes from his disdain for CDs?  I think even if he heard a CD he liked that he would be reluctant to taint his legacy.

 

image.png.33c06cddc803508ed064d636c7b04b1f.png

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And yet it is very difficult to distinguish between CD and HiRes.  We know this because of numerous blind listening tests  - Ralf11

 

HiRes is more demanding on things such as the stability and phase noise of the Xtal Oscillator section, as well as generally needing improved low noise power for this area.

With a good system it is easy to demonstrate the differences to others, which they can then employ when listening to their own system. Among the things to listen for are the softening of HF details,( transient HF details for example), that often happen with CD, but NOT after correction as John Dyson is doing with his DHNRDS  S/W  Decoder project.

 This is one area where MQA has been able to improve things a little, but at the expense of the overall dumbing down of a genuine High Res recording, and the unacceptable need for a new format and equipment to play it.

Add to that the possibility of DRM and that it is just designed to milk the consumers for the financial gain of a few.

 These types of corrections could be done by the Record companies as John is demonstrating, and corrected releases made available in the original RBCD format , yet still in many cases sound like genuine High Resolution material where the original recording was well recorded, without numerous types of compression etc.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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10 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

well, consider the source - a poster with a screen name describing something a dog is doing...

Our little puppy (47kg) called Rex,  a true Barkophile...

20190811_185710.jpg

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6 hours ago, JoeWhip said:

When I hear folks like MF claim that digital is flat, hard and lifeless compared to vinyl, I just shake my head and wonder what he is listening too. I have had vinyl guys over to hear my room and they are godsmacked with how great digital can sound, especially well mastered cds. There are many wonderful sounding DACS available and some great playback software. Good equipment and a great room environment will get you great sound these days.

 

If you could afford the astronomical cost of MF's turntable, arm, cartridge and phono preamp combination (assuming that, like me, you couldn't), you might view vinyl somewhat differently. :) And, as Firedog points out, MF has recently been considerably less harsh in his criticism of digital, while he still prefers vinyl.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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1 minute ago, Samuel T Cogley said:

 

If the record companies won't fix the Loudness Wars damage, I think the things you're talking about are even less likely.  Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see the record companies care more about audiophiles, but to date, I just don't see it.

 

 Unfortunately, you are likely to be correct, unless the major Record Companies suddenly realise that there is money to be made by doing this with at least some of the very famous recordings already in their vaults.

 


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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2 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

If you could afford the astronomical cost of MF's turntable, arm, cartridge and phono preamp combination (assuming that, like me, you couldn't), you might view vinyl somewhat differently.  :) And, as Firedog points out, MF has recently been considerably less harsh in his criticism of digital, while he still prefers vinyl.

 Hi Allan

 It still has to come down to personal preference .¬¬

 Compromises have to be made at every stage of the manufacturing of a Vinyl recording, especially at the low end, and in the dynamics of the recording due to the overload factor,(groove separation)  as well as the resulting higher noise floor of a Vinyl recording. Neither can Vinyl have "pin point" localisation of the different elements due to the greatly reduced channel separation of typically close to 50dB compared with even CD.

 

Regards

Alex


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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13 minutes ago, sandyk said:

 Hi Allan

 It still has to come down to personal preference .¬¬

 Compromises have to be made at every stage of the manufacturing of a Vinyl recording, especially at the low end, and in the dynamics of the recording due to the overload factor,(groove separation)  as well as the resulting higher noise floor of a Vinyl recording. Neither can Vinyl have "pin point" localisation of the different elements due to the greatly reduced channel separation of typically close to 50dB compared with even CD.

 

Regards

Alex

I agree -- it is about personal preference and one own priorities.  I don't think that worrying about either/or is all that helpful.  It needs to be on a personal basis.  Trying to 'educate' a vinylphile that digital is so much better can be totally missing the point.

 

Even though digital IS technically much higher quality when measuring and when using EXACTLY the same mastering - vinyl CAN be surprisingly good.   I don't always need 50dB separation, but the availability of ALL aspects of high quality at the same time in digital is much nicer than dealing with the variations in quality on vinyl.   Vinyl always has worse rumble, but I have measured damned good rumble on some vinyl, vinyl almost always has worse separation, but is often good enough.  The frequency response on vinyl can go up higher in frequency, beyond audibility, but CD can track anythnig that can be recorded.  On digitall, no need for a V15type4 or whatever the best tracking cartridges are today -- mostly want equipment that doesn't have a botched design.

 

Good vinyl, virgin disk, virgin vinyl, excellent pickup, wonderful turntable can appear similar in quality to a digital playback -- but it is a lot more work, and a lot more serendipity.

 

To me, given top notch equipment, it is all about 1) very good quality vinyl, and 2) best mastering.   In that case, vinyl can definitely sound better than many day-to-day average CDs -- even as perceived by this digitalphile.

 

John

 

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4 minutes ago, Allan F said:

 

What you say is true, Alex, but it's also true that the quality of the mastering of a lot of old albums to CD was absolutely terrible and the LP sounded infinitely better. With newer well recorded and mastered digital albums, it's a different story.

Agreed.


How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

 

PROFILE UPDATED 26-12-2019

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21 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

SO what are you saying?  Poorly mastered CDs (which is many of them) are not the major problem, but instead other places in the chain are?  The amount of 'distortion' in screwing up of the dynamics and almost randomizing the 3k-20kHz frequency range on a tlot of CDS, if enumerated in a % like HD or IMD is, would likely be greater than 20-30% or more.  Of course, such a measure isn't really meaningful WRT audible ugliness, but it does show that mismastering is MUCH worse on a signal percentage & audible basis than other losses a relatively good system.  IMO, esp with the more recent decoding results -- it is very clear *given a minimally accurate system*.   *Sometimes the voluntary distortion in a CD helps to mitigate quality problems in poorer equipment -- but most audiophiles primary equipment would not fall into that category.

 

Precisely. Everything in my experience has shown me that playing around with frequency response is of very low importance; it's the presence of disturbing anomalies that damages the subjective result. Most of the latter undesirable distortion has greatest impact in the treble area - it's the reason why car radios always have a treble control; to reduce the unpleasantness of badly reproduced high sounds.

 

You see, this is where the 'magic' switches on ... take a CD which on a normal ambitious rig is ripping your head in half from the shriekiness of the treble, and play it on a system which has been adequately 'sorted' - the sound just "works"; it all makes sense to the listening mind ... this pattern I have seen repeated thousands of times; it's part of how I see things, as 'natural' and as obvious as the activity of, say, walking.

 

Quote

* I'd be surprised that even on a cheap system, that disotortion other than transducers would be over 0.1-0.5% at any audible frequency.

Nope -- mismastering wins the prize for quality lossage by far.  Transducers are parity (hard to compare), and the electronics are mostly nil in comparison.  (Assuming we ignore artistic signal processing.)

 

 

John

 

 

Getting clean treble is a major part of the battle - most audio playback will fail here to some degree ... simple, cheap playback can very often deliver adequate quality in that area, and then the mind doesn't have to tussle with the sound, trying to bypass, filter out the especially disturbing distortion of poorly rendered high frequencies.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Every listening test has shown real engineers that variations in frequency response is of very high importance

 

Floyd Toole is good search term

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An amusing aside 🙂  ... my wife can't stand female opera singers on any normal audio playback; she hates the ugliness of the mangling of the tonal qualities that usually occurs - will always demand that "the station be changed", so that she doesn't have to put up with it. Yet we have plenty of opera CDs here, which get played at maximum volume ... 😁.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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5 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

Every listening test has shown real engineers that variations in frequency response is of very high importance

 

Floyd Toole is good search term

 

Have a good handle on what he has to say - like most in the field, he rates the quality of the playback as being of low importance; so I spend a lot of the time shaking my head when I read what he has written.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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