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Analog: Still Better?


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2 hours ago, semente said:

 

 

And whilst CD can sound almost indistinguishable from the master tape it cannot sound like an LP unless it has been digitalised from one (I have some very old jazz and blues digital recordings which where made by the Bibliothèque nationale de France which sound like the shellac records they were made from, warts-n-all).

Which master tapes and their CD equivalents have you compared? 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

 

Which means that you're not so far from intuitively understanding what's going on ... the vinyl playback is not highlighting the deficiencies of the recording, by exaggerating them with the wrong type of added playback chain distortion. Something that digital systems often have troubles with.

 

What you seem intent on confirming, to yourself, is that digital is inherently incapable of "getting it right" - this was wrong thinking, over 3 decades; and is even more wrong these days. Which means you will probably unconsciously always sabotage every listening session you're at - because it's more important for you, to hang onto that belief as compared to being able to hear competent digital sound.

Quite strange that you are giving hopkins advice when he has both vinyl and digital so can easily compare and you have what? 

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1 hour ago, Rexp said:

Quite strange that you are giving hopkins advice when he has both vinyl and digital so can easily compare and you have what? 

 

As mentioned in several posts now, I have an audio friend nearby, who does both vinyl and digital. And I've been tracking how his systems have performed over many years. His vinyl at its best is as good as I have ever heard vinyl - meaning, effectively convincing sound. And his digital, especially lately, is working at the same levels.

 

A standard thing we did, was that when I arrived, we would do a run around of all the potential setups he could demonstrate - and the one that showed the best potential would be that which "would be worked on"; forget about the others, for the rest of the day. Quite often it was vinyl; and the other times it would be a digital combo that showed the greatest promise.

 

 

That means, there are no simple answers - the best SQ comes from the setup which is best sorted - at that moment. Which could be analog - or digital.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

 

As mentioned in several posts now, I have an audio friend nearby, who does both vinyl and digital. And I've been tracking how his systems have performed over many years. His vinyl at its best is as good as I have ever heard vinyl - meaning, effectively convincing sound. And his digital, especially lately, is working at the same levels.

 

A standard thing we did, was that when I arrived, we would do a run around of all the potential setups he could demonstrate - and the one that showed the best potential would be that which "would be worked on"; forget about the others, for the rest of the day. Quite often it was vinyl; and the other times it would be a digital combo that showed the greatest promise.

 

 

That means, there are no simple answers - the best SQ comes from the setup which is best sorted - at that moment. Which could be analog - or digital.

 

Frank,

 

Let's get this right.

Your frame of reference for high end vinyl playback is your home made phono preamp that you figure to be better than many state of the art references and your mate up the road that has a vinyl rig?

Forgive me for not believing any of the perls of wisdom that you seem to want everyone else to swallow.

 

If you get hours of fun tweaking each others gear, more power to you m8.

I guess it gives you something to do on a weekend.

I just listen to music :)

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1 hour ago, EvilTed said:

 

Frank,

 

Let's get this right.

Your frame of reference for high end vinyl playback is your home made phono preamp that you figure to be better than many state of the art references and your mate up the road that has a vinyl rig?

Forgive me for not believing any of the perls of wisdom that you seem to want everyone else to swallow.

 

Sorry, you got it wrong. Very wrong. I don't have vinyl now, and haven't used it for 35 years. Friend has Musical Fidelity phono preamp, which has been very heavily modified by him - it's gone through many, many iterations over the years.

 

Quote

 

If you get hours of fun tweaking each others gear, more power to you m8.

I guess it gives you something to do on a weekend.

I just listen to music :)

 

Fair enough. But my overarching interest is being able to play any recording, at any sane volume - with complete comfort, and great satisfaction. It generates the same buzz you get when hearing live musicians doing something in the same room you're in - which is something that 99.9% of audio playback rigs can't get right. If yours is in that other 0.1% category, then, congrats 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, EvilTed said:

Your frame of reference for high end vinyl playback is your home made phono preamp that you figure to be better than many state of the art references

That sounds rather snobbish, especially if you are using a Vacuum Tube based RIAA preamp with an inferior S/N to the best of solid state. Most DIY people also pay far greater attention to the PSU area than the majority of typical commercial deigns  , perhaps even using extremely low noise S.O.A. voltage regulation (e.g. 0.8uV RMS(10HZ to 100kHz) which is unable to be used with tubes due to the higher voltages involved. 

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 13-11-2020

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8 hours ago, fas42 said:

 

Which means that you're not so far from intuitively understanding what's going on ... the vinyl playback is not highlighting the deficiencies of the recording, by exaggerating them with the wrong type of added playback chain distortion. Something that digital systems often have troubles with.

 

What you seem intent on confirming, to yourself, is that digital is inherently incapable of "getting it right" - this was wrong thinking, over 3 decades; and is even more wrong these days. Which means you will probably unconsciously always sabotage every listening session you're at - because it's more important for you, to hang onto that belief as compared to being able to hear competent digital sound.

 

 

I only bought a turntable this year (first a very cheap one, second hand, two months ago a decent entry model AT). I bought a turntable not out of dissatisfaction with digital, but in order to listen to some albums which are only available on LP. I also bought a few recent good quality pressings, but the objective is certainly not to replace my files. Once again, listening to a relatively modest turntable, I am surprised by the quality. 

 

In this context, it is hard to claim that I have been sabotaging every listening session over the last 20 years (before that I was not an "audiophile")! 

Moreover, my digital system has never sounded as good. 

 

Anyway, no big deal, just wanted to offer my point of view, which is that vinyl is not to be dismissed (in spite of some obvious flaws). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my blog

 

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1 hour ago, hopkins said:

 

 

I only bought a turntable this year (first a very cheap one, second hand, two months ago a decent entry model AT). I bought a turntable not out of dissatisfaction with digital, but in order to listen to some albums which are only available on LP. I also bought a few recent good quality pressings, but the objective is certainly not to replace my files. Once again, listening to a relatively modest turntable, I am surprised by the quality. 

 

In this context, it is hard to claim that I have been sabotaging every listening session over the last 20 years (before that I was not an "audiophile")! 

Moreover, my digital system has never sounded as good. 

 

Anyway, no big deal, just wanted to offer my point of view, which is that vinyl is not to be dismissed (in spite of some obvious flaws).

 

 

I wouldn't have reacted as I did, if you hadn't come storming into the thread, responding to a post of mine,
 

Quote

 

I could not disagree more...

 

Digital systems do not YET offer the same fidelity - regardless of cost. Noise, errors/glitches in DAC conversion, jitter, are well known sources of degradation in digital sound reproduction. 

 

 

... does not quite reconcile with, "my digital system has never sounded as good" ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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9 hours ago, fas42 said:

 

If you have a capable system which you can sabotage and restore the SQ of, repeatably, it's easy to hear what happens: wind the treble up high; if below par it becomes screechy, unlistenable to; if of the necessary standard, you just get the sense of it becoming more intense - think of moving more into the direct line of fire of a live trumpet, as a comparison.

 

I find it interesting that almost no-one appreciates this FR thing ... an everyday, obvious example of how this works is hearing a very trebly song on a mediocre car radio - it sounds obnoxious, because the distortion of the treble is so bad; so you wind back the highs as much as you can, so that it can be listened to without cringing. Exactly the same thing is happening in many audio rigs - but it's far more subtle - and, from habit, is accepted as being part of the landscape ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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4 hours ago, hopkins said:

 

Yes, I did come in a little strong - sorry for that.

 

Vis à vis your second comment, I see no contradiction here. 

 

My digital system consists of equipment from ECDesigns (you can refer to the thread in the DAC section). I have been using their equipment for the past few years, and it has constantly improved. I don't think I could significantly improve upon it today by "tinkering" - I use their DAC with their source, which is a low noise USB key player (UPL), so no network (it does not bother me). They are working on a new version which I will upgrade to when it is released (sometime this year). Anyone who has read that thread knows how enthusiastic I have been over their products. I have obviously listened to other digital systems (high end stuff as well). The current issues of digital are well know - as I mentioned earlier - and they (ECD) are striving to understand them and to find solutions, undoubtedly other manufacturers as well. We will see what all this leads to.

 

My turntable is certainly not "high end". The funny thing is - and it really does surprise me - I feel no need to invest more (I prefer spending money purchasing records). To my years, it is very satisfying as is. Why ? Very hard to explain...

 

I recently bought this album: https://elusivedisc.com/frank-sinatra-sing-and-dance-with-frank-sinatra-numbered-limited-edition-180g-lp-mono

 

When I put it on, I told myself: damn this sounds good, maybe I should have started collecting vinyl 10 years ago ! 

 

This one also impressed me (also available on CD, which I ordred out of curiosity, to compare): https://www.discogs.com/Earl-Hines-Hines-Comes-In-Handy/release/5456308

 

 

 

 

 

Vinyl may cost more to begin with but once you have reached your  "plateau of blissful ignorance", its far easier to stop spending money on upgrades

than it is when trying to tame digital 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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10 hours ago, hopkins said:

This one also impressed me (also available on CD, which I ordred out of curiosity, to compare): https://www.discogs.com/Earl-Hines-Hines-Comes-In-Handy/release/5456308

 

Are you sure you can't find any older stuff ? 😉

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 13-11-2020

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10 hours ago, hopkins said:

 

Yes, I did come in a little strong - sorry for that.

 

Thanks, I appreciate that, 🙂.

 

Quote

 

Vis à vis your second comment, I see no contradiction here. 

 

My digital system consists of equipment from ECDesigns (you can refer to the thread in the DAC section). I have been using their equipment for the past few years, and it has constantly improved. I don't think I could significantly improve upon it today by "tinkering" - I use their DAC with their source, which is a low noise USB key player (UPL), so no network (it does not bother me). They are working on a new version which I will upgrade to when it is released (sometime this year). Anyone who has read that thread knows how enthusiastic I have been over their products. I have obviously listened to other digital systems (high end stuff as well). The current issues of digital are well know - as I mentioned earlier - and they (ECD) are striving to understand them and to find solutions, undoubtedly other manufacturers as well. We will see what all this leads to.

 

I've been coming at getting good sound from a very different angle for decades, because I was fortunate enough to stumble across convincing SQ right at the start of the CD era - my viewpoint won't make sense to a lot of people; but it's entirely based on experience ... the manufacturers can make it work; but they will be heavily constrained by the need to fit in with products from other manufacturers. The all-in-one solutions, which are appearing now at an increasing rate, are a smart way of delivering high performance - if they do the work to get the engineering right ...

 

Quote

 

My turntable is certainly not "high end". The funny thing is - and it really does surprise me - I feel no need to invest more (I prefer spending money purchasing records). To my years, it is very satisfying as is. Why ? Very hard to explain...

 

I recently bought this album: https://elusivedisc.com/frank-sinatra-sing-and-dance-with-frank-sinatra-numbered-limited-edition-180g-lp-mono

 

When I put it on, I told myself: damn this sounds good, maybe I should have started collecting vinyl 10 years ago ! 

 

This one also impressed me (also available on CD, which I ordred out of curiosity, to compare): https://www.discogs.com/Earl-Hines-Hines-Comes-In-Handy/release/5456308

 

 

"Satisfying" is the name of the game ... it's all about the fact that vinyl doesn't have the digital replay distortion anomalies which are so disturbing to the listening mind - unless one understands what's going on, and knows enough techniques to eliminate the digital "nasties", then one can spend a lot of money and time trying to "fix" things. The important point is that digital playback can always be made to work well - but it may require thinking outside the usual boxes to get there.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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People most likely will not believe this, but when a vinyl setup is getting most things right, and a digital rig is likewise - then the listening experiences, for a particular album, can easily completely match ... how can it not otherwise, since you are recreating the same musical event? ... Severely differing masterings of course will get in the way of that; but the essence of what occurred in front of the microphones doesn't change ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Okay, tracked down this post,

 

Right, you're listening in the good zone - the Fractal DAC is Yet Another Design which serves as a means of getting very close to the intrinsic nature of the recordings ... an interesting approach which helps circumvent many of the noise issues that plague a lot of digital chains.

 

Many Roads to Rome 😉 ... none are ultimately "better than the next" - including mine, 😝. Hopefully, the lessons of the ECDesigns thinking can propagate in some manner to other designers, and manufacturers - engineering the circuitry so that it's intrinsically more robust in the presence of degrading influences will always be a smarter way of getting high standards of SQ 🙂 ... I'll be keeping an eye on what this company is doing, from now on ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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14 hours ago, hopkins said:

 

Yes, I did come in a little strong - sorry for that.

 

Vis à vis your second comment, I see no contradiction here. 

 

My digital system consists of equipment from ECDesigns (you can refer to the thread in the DAC section). I have been using their equipment for the past few years, and it has constantly improved. I don't think I could significantly improve upon it today by "tinkering" - I use their DAC with their source, which is a low noise USB key player (UPL), so no network (it does not bother me). They are working on a new version which I will upgrade to when it is released (sometime this year). Anyone who has read that thread knows how enthusiastic I have been over their products. I have obviously listened to other digital systems (high end stuff as well). The current issues of digital are well know - as I mentioned earlier - and they (ECD) are striving to understand them and to find solutions, undoubtedly other manufacturers as well. We will see what all this leads to.

 

My turntable is certainly not "high end". The funny thing is - and it really does surprise me - I feel no need to invest more (I prefer spending money purchasing records). To my years, it is very satisfying as is. Why ? Very hard to explain...

 

I recently bought this album: https://elusivedisc.com/frank-sinatra-sing-and-dance-with-frank-sinatra-numbered-limited-edition-180g-lp-mono

 

When I put it on, I told myself: damn this sounds good, maybe I should have started collecting vinyl 10 years ago ! 

 

This one also impressed me (also available on CD, which I ordred out of curiosity, to compare): https://www.discogs.com/Earl-Hines-Hines-Comes-In-Handy/release/5456308

 

 

 

 

 

This is true, I feel very sorry for folks who listen to audiofools like Darko who tell them a Node 2 sounds as good as an equivalent turntable. 

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2 hours ago, semente said:

 

I don't watch Darko but isn't that a matter of opinion?

 

I much prefer digital so it is likely that I would find the Node 2 better than the equivalent vinyl player, you would probably say the opposite. None of us is wrong of course because it is a matter of personal preference...

Most of the population think mp3 sounds as good as lossless, do you value their opinion? No, they are clearly wrong. Darko seems to play mainly poorly recorded modern pop records, which sound as bad on vinyl as they do digital, hence his conclusion. 

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1 hour ago, Rexp said:

Most of the population think mp3 sounds as good as lossless, do you value their opinion? No, they are clearly wrong. Darko seems to play mainly poorly recorded modern pop records, which sound as bad on vinyl as they do digital, hence his conclusion. 

 

Like I said, I don't watch Darko.

 

I mostly listen to often reasonably well recorded classical music, hence my conclusion.

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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9 hours ago, Confused said:

I know what you mean here, but I do not think they can ever "completely match". 

 

They might get close.  As it happens I was running through some recordings for which I have both vinyl and digital versions.  I was listening to one track, and the vinyl and digital versions sounded very similar, in terms of tonality, detail and other factors.  They did not completely match though.  With this track there was a clear difference in soundstage.  I suspect this is resulting from the small amount of crosstalk that you get with vinyl, something that is virtually non-existent with digital.  Plus, as frequencies drop, vinyl is mono.   

 

Meaning, that there was a stronger sense of a soundstage with the vinyl? The rest of your post implies that; and adds the proviso that it's probably "LP distortion" - anyway, if so, then rest easy, grasshopper 😜 ... the soundstage is what's on the recording - it's up to the particular digital chain to lift its game, to match that of the vinyl ... 😉.

 

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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3 hours ago, fas42 said:

... the soundstage is what's on the recording - it's up to the particular digital chain to lift its game, to match that of the vinyl ... 😉.

 I used to have quite a few vinyl recordings that sounded better than the later digital release, but that wasn't due to the CD format, it was due to poor quality mastering to the CD format by more than likely Mastering Engineers who didn't put the same amount of effort into it as when the Vinyl recording was mastered, or perhaps were simply inexperienced in the early days of the CD format. 

The very first CD players were also pretty poor by today's standards, and that may not have helped either with their early mastering efforts? (I had a Sony CDP101 . The Sony CDP -101 is the world's first commercially released compact disc player. The system was launched in Japan on October 1, 1982 at a list price of 168,000 yen (approx US$730). )

 

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 13-11-2020

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14 hours ago, Confused said:

I know what you mean here, but I do not think they can ever "completely match". 

 

They might get close.  As it happens I was running through some recordings for which I have both vinyl and digital versions.  I was listening to one track, and the vinyl and digital versions sounded very similar, in terms of tonality, detail and other factors.  They did not completely match though.  With this track there was a clear difference in soundstage.  I suspect this is resulting from the small amount of crosstalk that you get with vinyl, something that is virtually non-existent with digital.  Plus, as frequencies drop, vinyl is mono.   

 

In this case, I actually subjectively preferred the soundstage effect with the vinyl version, but I suspect this is simply a case of the vinyl crosstalk "messing things up a bit" from a purely technical perspective, but then actually creating something subjectively preferable.

 

As an aside, in the digital domain you could add some crosstalk, in an attempt to get the digital side to maybe more "completely match" the vinyl.  It would be impossible to do this the other way around though. 

Could your class D amps be a bottleneck perhaps, have you tried a class A amp in this system? 

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