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Lies about vinyl vs digital

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12 hours ago, marce said:

You said the same gear, are your goalposts on wheels?

Same playback chain starting at the DAC, including amp, speakers, room, etc. Goalposts remain steady,

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20 minutes ago, John Dyson said:
Regarding mastering...  If you have a CD that doesn't sound 'quite right', and the equivalent vinyl...  Esp if the CD is from before about 1994 or mastered back then, I can probably come fairly close to the sound of the vinyl with my software.


It is hard to make direct comparison between the two. Mastering for vinyl and CD is not the same. Furthermore, vinyl is often setup according to your taste by your preferred phono stage, cartridge and others which can significantly alter the sound. Different RIAA curve can do that and there is no standard unlike CD where the FR can only be flat. 
 

If you are going to compare the current CD and Vinyl then this can be more challenging as most of the new vinyl we’re made using mastering for digital. 
 

The major difference in vinyl and why it sound is preferred even though it measured poorly compared to the sound of the CD is because the sound from vinyl is more similar to natural sound heard in the room. If you look at a sine wave from the vinyl, it will be wobbly unlike from a digital output. This behavior gives you a gentler and thick sound compared to CD.  This are things not related to measurements but matters related to how we hear sound. 
 

If you think you can rip the vinyl and it will sound like the vinyl playback then the answer is no. It is hard to replicate the identical sound from a vinyl playback through the vinyl rip.

 

Having said that, I am a digital man.  And I don’t think anyone here can do a blind test to guess whether the sound is from vinyl or CD without side by side comparison. 
 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

Regarding mastering...  If you have a CD that doesn't sound 'quite right', and the equivalent vinyl...  Esp if the CD is from before about 1994 or mastered back then, I can probably come fairly close to the sound of the vinyl with my software.   I need perhaps 2-3 significant snippets from the CD, perhaps 55seconds each.  The snippets have to have good amount of HF detail of different types.  I can usually guestimate a reasonable set of decoding parameters, and then the result will come 'close' to the vinyl.  On the other hand, if I have the entire CD and a rip of a good portion of the album -- spending about 15-20minutes trying the various common EQ settings -- the result will probably be similar to the vinyl from before it was ever played.

 

The CDs have basically all of the information that was on the vinyl, but it is a bit mangled.   The key is to de-mangle it.

 

Differences in mastering is where many of the CDs don't sound quite as good as the vinyl.

We have had a pre-historic version of MQA all along -- just didnt know it :-).

 

John

 

 

 

do you have a database of the 'bad' CDs?

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2 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

do you have a database of the 'bad' CDs?

Unfortunately, I have no database of 'bad' CDs.  I have found it to be hit or miss on CDs before 1994, usually a hit (bad.)  Not always, but very often.

I can state that my ABBA albums are all 'feralA', ABBA Gold (1992) and more ABBA Gold(1993) are a different kind of FeralA, Phil Collins No Jacket, Phil Collins very best, Brasil 66, Herb Alpert Very best, Burt Bacharach collection 2 CD set, Carpenters albums (all), Bread, Nat King Cole Story (Analog Productions), Carly Simon Greatest hits, every Linda Ronstadt that I have, ONJ 48 early singles EMI, Carpenters Singles from HDtracks, Paul McCartney Band on the Run unlimited HDtracks, The Cars Complete greatest hits, Suzanne Vega 1987, 1985, 1992 albums, Simon & Garfunkel (parsely, bridge, sounds), a sample from Sheffield Labs (I have the music in me) is also feralA.

 

Frankly, almost everything that I have is FeralA -- except a remastered Supertramp and a few esoteric like that.

 

My taste probably hits the feralA problem perfectly.  I cannot believe that everything is feralA.  However, when I try to decode material that is NOT feralA, it sounds BAD.

 

John

 

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1 hour ago, Ralf11 said:

welded?  what happened to soldering everything in place?

 

Try this for a thought experiment ... you can have any supercar you like, with the proviso that all wheel nuts can only be done up finger tight, and no more, at all times ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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14 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

 

My taste probably hits the feralA problem perfectly.  I cannot believe that everything is feralA.  However, when I try to decode material that is NOT feralA, it sounds BAD.

 

John

 

 

Neither can I, 😉. But I certainly believe, from long time experience, that most high end rigs do a terrible job with replay of them "bad" CDs - it's very much a case of "the better the car, the better the roads it must be driven on" type of thing, 🙂.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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19 minutes ago, John Dyson said:

Unfortunately, I have no database of 'bad' CDs.  I have found it to be hit or miss on CDs before 1994, usually a hit (bad.)  Not always, but very often.

I can state that my ABBA albums are all 'feralA', ABBA Gold (1992) and more ABBA Gold(1993) are a different kind of FeralA, Phil Collins No Jacket, Phil Collins very best, Brasil 66, Herb Alpert Very best, Burt Bacharach collection 2 CD set, Carpenters albums (all), Bread, Nat King Cole Story (Analog Productions), Carly Simon Greatest hits, every Linda Ronstadt that I have, ONJ 48 early singles EMI, Carpenters Singles from HDtracks, Paul McCartney Band on the Run unlimited HDtracks, The Cars Complete greatest hits, Suzanne Vega 1987, 1985, 1992 albums, Simon & Garfunkel (parsely, bridge, sounds), a sample from Sheffield Labs (I have the music in me) is also feralA.

 

Frankly, almost everything that I have is FeralA -- except a remastered Supertramp and a few esoteric like that.

 

My taste probably hits the feralA problem perfectly.  I cannot believe that everything is feralA.  However, when I try to decode material that is NOT feralA, it sounds BAD.

 

John

 

 

I'm wondering what the best (cheapest, most efficient) way to find the albums that need to be processed would be...

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3 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

I'm wondering what the best (cheapest, most efficient) way to find the albums that need to be processed would be...

You just came up with the key to the issue..  I have no idea other than test decodes...  I often cannot even reliably 100% tell by listening -- my hearing is fooled just as much as anyone else, and I am also still used to the feralA sound.

It almost requires a test decode, and that isn't even 100% accurate.  I have one Taylor Swift cut that would be outrageous if DA encoded, but decoding it does work at 100% quality.   I JUST DONT KNOW!!!

 

Early on, Richard and I thought about the possibility of automatic detection, but after these couple of years, i cannot figure out a reliable automatic method.  If I could figure something out, I'd write a simple portable program to do the detection, and pass it around.

 

The biggest problem is that it makes no sense for me to send the DHNRDS to everyone because it is command line and arcane to use.  Even after I add the command line features for feralA, it still will be almost unusable in this mostly-GUI world nowadays.

 

If everyone had an easy-to-use DHNRDS DA, then finding the feral material wouldn't be an issue -- because people could decode the material themselves to see if it is feral...

 

Frankly, it will require someone who has a better background in human factors and writing GUI code to make the DHNRDS useable for most people -- then we could collect/create the database...

 

I AM SO FRUSTRATED about this.  In a way, my presence here is to somehow find the magical idea on how to solve the problem!!!

 

John

 

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58 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Neither can I, 😉. But I certainly believe, from long time experience, that most high end rigs do a terrible job with replay of them "bad" CDs - it's very much a case of "the better the car, the better the roads it must be driven on" type of thing, 🙂.

 No. It's just a simple case  of them showing that GI = GO  (Garbage In = Garbage Out.) 


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 hours ago, John Dyson said:

ABBA Gold (1992) and more ABBA Gold(1993) are a different kind of FeralA

 

What do you mean by that? Are these albums worse than the studio albums? Since I'm not a huge ABBA fan, I thought I would keep only these 2 albums.

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2 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

Which makes perfect sense because the equipment is accurately reproducing what's on the recording.

 

No, that's the key misconception ... if it were truly accurate, it would reproduce all the low level information with absolutely minimal adulteration. But it doesn't, so the ear/brain won't receive enough uncontaminated information to properly unscramble, unravel what it's hearing - the recording sounds cluttered, unpleasant, screechy, a mess ... how many phrases do you want, to describe, "bad" 😉.

 

The 'miracle' is the turnaround which occurs when the data received by the listening mind is sufficient - all the threads of the sound snap into focus, and everything makes sense ... this is why you can call it, audio conjuring 😁.

 

This only occurs when a rig is in a very high state of tune, by current standards. So it's rare, unfortunately ... I can't recall having a single recording fail me; I learnt over the years that the "impossible!!" just takes a bit longer, a bit more effort, 😜.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

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

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3 hours ago, STC said:

 

 

Having said that, I am a digital man.  And I don’t think anyone here can do a blind test to guess whether the sound is from vinyl or CD without side by side comparison. 
 

 

 

This is the issue, some 'digital men' can't tell the difference so they just don't get it. 

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3 hours ago, John Dyson said:

You just came up with the key to the issue..  I have no idea other than test decodes...  I often cannot even reliably 100% tell by listening -- my hearing is fooled just as much as anyone else, and I am also still used to the feralA sound.

It almost requires a test decode, and that isn't even 100% accurate.  I have one Taylor Swift cut that would be outrageous if DA encoded, but decoding it does work at 100% quality.   I JUST DONT KNOW!!!

 

Early on, Richard and I thought about the possibility of automatic detection, but after these couple of years, i cannot figure out a reliable automatic method.  If I could figure something out, I'd write a simple portable program to do the detection, and pass it around.

 

The biggest problem is that it makes no sense for me to send the DHNRDS to everyone because it is command line and arcane to use.  Even after I add the command line features for feralA, it still will be almost unusable in this mostly-GUI world nowadays.

 

If everyone had an easy-to-use DHNRDS DA, then finding the feral material wouldn't be an issue -- because people could decode the material themselves to see if it is feral...

 

Frankly, it will require someone who has a better background in human factors and writing GUI code to make the DHNRDS useable for most people -- then we could collect/create the database...

 

I AM SO FRUSTRATED about this.  In a way, my presence here is to somehow find the magical idea on how to solve the problem!!!

 

John

 

 

I am wondering if a crowd sourcing approach might help - those who have both vinyl and digital systems could report (on the internet) that they prefer the vinyl of XXX albums.  If they like the CD of YYY album, you'd exclude that one (or defer work on it).

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On 1/8/2020 at 7:17 PM, lucretius said:

 

LOL! The "bits is bits fools" refers to anyone who claims that playing back a bit perfect file will sound the same each time (on the same equipment).

So you think it is like vinyl.  Playback varies with each playing. 


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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6 hours ago, lucretius said:

 

What do you mean by that? Are these albums worse than the studio albums? Since I'm not a huge ABBA fan, I thought I would keep only these 2 albums.

The ABBA Gold uses a slightly different feral EQ than the ABBA albums, that is what I mean.  The resultant decodes are really good -- in fact, ABBA Gold was my first test DolbyA material because it is closest to true DolbyA of what I have, except for the cut from I have the music in me and Nena 99 Red Balloons.  The 'Music' and 'Nena' recordings are really close to true DolbyA (nice and shrill.)

 

The ABBA Gold CD (not more ABBA Gold) doesn't appear to have as much of the feral HF eq (that is, the EQ in the above 3kHz region), and only the normal MF boost between 750 to 3kHz range (which means that my EQ has to have a dip.)   The HF region is molested less on the ABBA Gold CD only.  

 

The other two (The I have the music in me and Nena) can be decoded almost straight out...  The Nena CD also has the CD pre-emphasis, so it has two layers of harshness.

 

I have included a snippet decoded from ABBA Gold 1992.   I can give you the parameters if you want.  There might be a few errors in the numbers, might not be 100% correct, but this will give you an idea when comparing with the CD or vinyl.  Let me know how close to the vinyl, if you have it?  (cut 6, SuperTrouper, starting approx 30seconds for 55 seconds length.)

 

John

 

06.stFromGold.mp3

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4 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

I am wondering if a crowd sourcing approach might help - those who have both vinyl and digital systems could report (on the internet) that they prefer the vinyl of XXX albums.  If they like the CD of YYY album, you'd exclude that one (or defer work on it).

 

Bingo - I think that you win the prize.

 

I come from my own viewpoint of having very few vinyl rips, but if enough people on the outside can be convinced that it is worth their while to do the compare, then that would be best.

 

My problem is that there is a strong general sense that the feralA problem doens't really exist.  Frankly, I didn't believe it for a long time myself -- even with the data in front of me.  It is hard, very hard, to believe that so many of the CDs have been sold in such a relatively mangled state.

 

If the feralA problem can be better publicized -- I am doing my very best to do so, then maybe we can get more people to actually accumulate the information.   I can/have contributed access to the decoding software, and willing to do the decodes to verify -- but that isn't good enough.

 

Your idea about people who have both, doing the comparison -- maybe not so much under the guise of feral DolbyA, but instead the poor state of CD mastering, then we might awaken more people to the problem...

 

John

 

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1 minute ago, marce said:

Digital man, what is a digital man, is he someone who has fallen to Bits, due to reading some peoples responses?

Or is it a man who has fingers and toes as opposed to paws or tentacles?

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14 hours ago, John Dyson said:

The CDs have basically all of the information that was on the vinyl, but it is a bit mangled

 

In this case, given the source is analog tape for both vinyl and CD, how is it that the signal was decoded properly before cutting vinyl but not before pressing CDs?  Is this just related to time -- the CDs being pressed many years later and studios not having access to the same equipment or just getting lazy? 

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7 minutes ago, lucretius said:

 

In this case, given the source is analog tape for both vinyl and CD, how is it that the signal was decoded properly before cutting vinyl but not before pressing CDs?  Is this just related to time -- the CDs being pressed many years later and studios not having access to the same equipment or just getting lazy? 

There are at least two/three/four possibilities.  It could be that the DolbyA decode is part of the normal vinyl process, but not CD.  It could be that the limitation that DolbyA takes realtime because it is a traditional HW device, while a digital filter and copy is essentially immediate.  It could be that the digitized master tapes were created in feral-A form, yet the old analog tapes might normally be used for vinyl.  There are so many possibilities at that level.

There is another problem as explained by someone who actually did 'greatest hits' type CDs -- he said that the metadata on the tape (labels, documentation, etc) is sometimes poorly maintained.  He said it was a b*tch to figure out what to do with them.

 

With all of this supposition -- I usually come up with a new potential scenario for the feralA to happen once a month -- there are so many possibilities in the process.  Note that the Library  of Congress procedures for backing analog tapes onto digital make the decoding process OPTIONAL...

I truly don't know the specific reason why feral-A occurs, but the interesting thing is that almost all feralA filtering is very, very, very similar, with just a small variation in parameters, as if optimized for each recording.  It is weird, and hard to believe even for me.

 

John

 

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7 hours ago, esldude said:

And I might not.  His rig can't overcome inherent limitations in the medium, most especially the mastering necessary to stamp out a playable disc.  It is also possible having optimized his rig to gloss over or make acceptable the short comings of vinyl he has impacted some of the extra resolution that CD can provide when done well.

 

A top mastering engineer working with well maintained vinyl presses can produce discs of excellent quality. As others have said, ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Vinyl can sound as good (or to some, better than) digital, depending on the associated gear.


"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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