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Kimo

2019 and I am still fighting the format war

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I just took a quick look at what I have picked as the reference versions for some of my favorite recordings, and I am all over the place with formats.  

 

1. The Beatles: The Mono Vinyl box, except for the flat transfer of The While Album found on the Blu Ray.  For stereo, the USB stick.

2. Jimi Hendrix: The first 3 records on remastered analog vinyl from a few years back

3. Pink Floyd: DSOTM and WYWH Blu Ray, Animals, Saucerful, and Piper remastered digitally sourced vinyl

4. The KInks: Downloads for the Arista years.  Mono vinyl box in analog for the Pye years.  PRT CDs for the stereo Pye years.  

5. Frank Zappa: Vinyl reissues where available, though the latest run of CDs isn't bad.

6. Miles Davis: High Res downloads, except for a couple of XRCDs.

7. Bill Evans: XRCDs, except for the Waltz For Debby.  High res download for that one.

8. King Crimson: The Blu Rays are comprehensive.  The original CDs aren't bad, though.

9. John Coltrane: Almost exclusively high res downloads.

10. Fleetwood Mac: Original high res downloads, except for Rumors.  Original or Hoffman vinyl for that one.

11: Rolling Stones: For mono, high res downloads.  For stereo, original WG CDs.

12: The Beach Boys: High res downloads for everything except Pet sounds.  PS, Carl Wilson Blu Ray, or Analog Productions vinyl.

 

Final tally:

1. Vinyl: 7

2. High Res download: 7

3. Blu Ray: 4

4. CD: 4

5: USB: 1

 

I sold off my SACD collection, so at least I don't have to worry about those.  CDs, Blu Ray rips, and downloads are all stored on the Innuos server, but it looks like I won't be ditching my turntable any time soon.   

 

I expect many share this reality?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It seems like you only have two formats: records and digital files from various sources.

 

Have you considered creating needle drops of your records?


“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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51 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

It seems like you only have two formats: records and digital files from various sources.

 

Have you considered creating needle drops of your records?

Not really.  I have around 200 records and there is no way I have the patience to do so.  I barely have the patience to deal with vinyl in the first place.  

 

I do have a few needle drops from other sources.  The Professor Stoned ones are pretty good.  The professional vinyl transfers on the King Crimson box sets aren't so great, though they are interesting to a point.

 

The Kinks are a perfect example of the silliness.  The Arista downloads are all you need.  The PYE downloads aren't bad, but are a little loud.  The PRT CDs were mastered rather indifferently and truer to the tapes.  No mono downloads, but a mono CD box (compressed) and an all analog mono vinyl box are available.  CD box isn't in print.

 

And, of course, I will engage in more silliness this Friday when I pick up Orchestral Favorites from Zappa.  To get the high res, I will need to buy the record.  To get the extra material, I will buy the CD set.  I would pay the same amount for everything in high res as a download, but that won't be an option.  

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Kimo said:

Not really.  I have around 200 records and there is no way I have the patience to do so.  I barely have the patience to deal with vinyl in the first place.  

 

So you're not this guy?

 

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“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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4 minutes ago, Kimo said:

I really don't get how anyone could find the ritual to be anything but annoying, especially with 45s.

 

I think for some folks it's just an excuse to buy more toys.

 

I'm at the point in my life where I want less stuff.


“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone listening to music.”

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15 minutes ago, Kimo said:

I really don't get how anyone could find the ritual to be anything but annoying, especially with 45s.

The old jukeboxes are fun to watch.

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10 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

I think for some folks it's just an excuse to buy more toys.

 

I'm at the point in my life where I want less stuff.

Yep.

 

I have been selling off extra cables, cartridges, etc.  

 

That being said, my wife bought me the VPI, the VPI record cleaner, and the highly overpriced plastic cover for Christmas/Birthday.  My  vinyl rig ain't going anywhere.

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4 minutes ago, mansr said:

The old jukeboxes are fun to watch.

I occasionally run into a guy who has several.  He told me that prices were on the way down, and parts were getting harder to find, but he was going to stick it out until he was dead.

 

He is an older Dinosaur than I.

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Personally I like the choice in formats, as I find it enjoyable, so I wouldn't characterize it as fighting format wars.


That said, my playback setup is all-digital, and 90+% of the dozen or two LP sets I have are deluxe/multi-format packages that come with a CD and/or DVD or HD download card, etc.

 

I do have some vinyl rips on my digital music server, but honestly in the past 2-3 years as I've optimized my stereo system, moved into a new listening space, and applied acoustic treatments, I've found myself ditching most of the rips and replacing them with proper digital versions.

 

There are a few albums, though, where the best mastering (at least IMHO) is only available in vinyl form, or where the mastering is overly compressed or unpleasant sounding and a high-quality vinyl rip "out there" online tames some of the unpleasantness. So I do still have some in my collection.

 

Personally I love SACDs, although I'm not convinced it's the format itself: A lot of hybrid SACDs have a CD layer that's either a different mastering, or else the same base mastering but with peak limiting applied (or in some cases just pushed to clipping - WTF?). So I think SACDs just tend to have more care in the mastering and production of the SACD layer.

 

Finally, in the last year or so, my level of affection for high-res - both optical discs like SACD and DVDA, and digital files - has waned considerably. The extra headroom for anti-aliasing filters is nice, and the lower noise floor from higher bit depth theoretically is good to have, but with modern filters and noise-shaping dither, I'm hard-pressed to really give much of a damn anymore about the file's resolution. (Not to mention, lower bit depth and aggressive noise-shaping is how SACD is possible at all.) 

The quality of the original recording and mastering, not to mention the acoustic treatment of one's listening room and the noise floor and accuracy of one's source components and amplification, along with the quality of one's speakers, are just so much more important and audible that I can't be bothered to care very much what the sample rate is. Just give me an ergonomically convenient digital streaming/playback system that can do on-the-fly resolution switching, and something of good quality to spin my CD/digital disc collection on, and I'm happy.

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On 8/25/2019 at 6:30 PM, tmtomh said:

Personally I like the choice in formats, as I find it enjoyable, so I wouldn't characterize it as fighting format wars.


That said, my playback setup is all-digital, and 90+% of the dozen or two LP sets I have are deluxe/multi-format packages that come with a CD and/or DVD or HD download card, etc.

 

I do have some vinyl rips on my digital music server, but honestly in the past 2-3 years as I've optimized my stereo system, moved into a new listening space, and applied acoustic treatments, I've found myself ditching most of the rips and replacing them with proper digital versions.

 

There are a few albums, though, where the best mastering (at least IMHO) is only available in vinyl form, or where the mastering is overly compressed or unpleasant sounding and a high-quality vinyl rip "out there" online tames some of the unpleasantness. So I do still have some in my collection.

 

Personally I love SACDs, although I'm not convinced it's the format itself: A lot of hybrid SACDs have a CD layer that's either a different mastering, or else the same base mastering but with peak limiting applied (or in some cases just pushed to clipping - WTF?). So I think SACDs just tend to have more care in the mastering and production of the SACD layer.

 

Finally, in the last year or so, my level of affection for high-res - both optical discs like SACD and DVDA, and digital files - has waned considerably. The extra headroom for anti-aliasing filters is nice, and the lower noise floor from higher bit depth theoretically is good to have, but with modern filters and noise-shaping dither, I'm hard-pressed to really give much of a damn anymore about the file's resolution. (Not to mention, lower bit depth and aggressive noise-shaping is how SACD is possible at all.) 

The quality of the original recording and mastering, not to mention the acoustic treatment of one's listening room and the noise floor and accuracy of one's source components and amplification, along with the quality of one's speakers, are just so much more important and audible that I can't be bothered to care very much what the sample rate is. Just give me an ergonomically convenient digital streaming/playback system that can do on-the-fly resolution switching, and something of good quality to spin my CD/digital disc collection on, and I'm happy.

 

I just ended the battle for one part of my collection.  I finished selling off the last bit of my jazz CD collection, which leaves me exclusively with 24 bit downloads for my jazz listening.   I certainly am a fan of extra bits, in general.

 

Rock will remain a more complex proposal.  I am guessing that remastering will slow, except for deluxe editions.  The Beatles Mono box may remain the definitive source, until the day I kick it.   I doubt the Paul Revere and the Raiders catalog will see a 24/96 release or a vinyl box set, so the Sundazed CDs will stay where they are at.   I do think that CDs are more of a legacy product at this point, than vinyl or downloads, though the latter seems to be drying up just as fast.

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