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Topic: Disks Played with Laser Beams (Read 2578 times) previous topic - next topic
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Disks Played with Laser Beams

I've seen this in the past, a little, but why haven't record players that operate on laser beams directed at the grooves become fantastically popular?

This way the record *never* wears out, and surely by 2020 the technology exists to make a *perfect* reproduction of the information the grooves contain. And any dust is much easier to electronically remove since a needle doesn't actually have to touch the dust and make a noise.


Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #2
The record itself was always weak link (with a good turntable & cartridge) so a better playback system doesn't help that much.    If they were able to get good sound out of it, it would have been nice to avoid record wear.

From the Wikipedia article, it appears that it's difficult to get a good signal-to-noise ratio optically.   Probably because it was designed for mechanical playback.    Film used to have optical sound but it wasn't perfect either (until it went digital).  

The first Laserdiscs were analog but I don't know what the quality was like.   Probably not that great since they later went digital.




Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #3
Quote
fantastically popular?

$20.000 (later $10.000) for a laser turntable by ELP might give you a clue
TheWellTemperedComputer.com

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #4
The record itself was always weak link (with a good turntable & cartridge) so a better playback system doesn't help that much.    If they were able to get good sound out of it, it would have been nice to avoid record wear.

From the Wikipedia article, it appears that it's difficult to get a good signal-to-noise ratio optically.   Probably because it was designed for mechanical playback.    Film used to have optical sound but it wasn't perfect either (until it went digital).  

The first Laserdiscs were analog but I don't know what the quality was like.   Probably not that great since they later went digital.
/quote]

Laserdisc analog audio was AFM and was similar in quality to Beta HiFi or VHS HiFi. The video was always FM, almost the same spectrum as PAL 1"  SMPTE C video tape (even for NTSC discs).
When Laser went digital it added 2 PCM channels and kept the AFM channels.



Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #5
Quote
$20.000 (later $10.000) for a laser turntable by ELP  might give you a clue
And the Wikipedia article says they don't sound that good (noisy).    

If there was enough demand to make millions of them in China with child-slave labor the price could probably come down. :D    It amazes me that I can buy a Blu-Ray player for less than $50.     But "audiophiles" who buy this sort of thing LIKE high prices! :D

Whenever I see something like this, or any "improvements" with "records" my 1st thought is, Now, if they could make them digital and make the discs smaller...

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #6
The biggest problem with the ELP laser turntable was that the tiniest piece of dust got read and interpreted as signal by the laser. So it was important to scrupulously clean the LPs.
In contrast, a mechanical stylus tends to plough through minor dust and brush it aside.

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #7
The biggest problem with the ELP laser turntable was that the tiniest piece of dust got read and interpreted as signal by the lase
I think the problem is more conceptual as DVDDoug alluded to above.  The whole basis for vinyl playback is the physical interaction of the stylus and the grooves of the record and the resulting vibration. 

That physical interaction is substantially eliminated with laser playback and from what I've heard the results are really poor.  I have some CDs with vinyl rips taken using laser capture where this is marketed as a feature, but the sound is dull and lifeless.  Very disappointing.




Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #8
The biggest problem with the ELP laser turntable was that the tiniest piece of dust got read and interpreted as signal by the laser. So it was important to scrupulously clean the LPs.
In contrast, a mechanical stylus tends to plough through minor dust and brush it aside.

I'm sure the person paying 10k for a record player can splash out another 500 on a record cleaning machine. Also a mechanical stylus will not plough through disc without making noise.

I find the whole laser payback thing very interesting. I'm hopeful that one day someone will release a more affordable ($2000?) laser turntable.

Groove - what recordings are those? I'd love to hear them

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #9
The biggest problem with the ELP laser turntable was that the tiniest piece of dust got read and interpreted as signal by the laser. So it was important to scrupulously clean the LPs.
In contrast, a mechanical stylus tends to plough through minor dust and brush it aside.

I'm sure the person paying 10k for a record player can splash out another 500 on a record cleaning machine. Also a mechanical stylus will not plough through disc without making noise.

In addition to cleaning, keeping surfaces optically clean means never touching them, keeping them in dust/fiber free casing (so most likely not the packaging they shipped in), etc.  All of these things can absolutely be done, they're just inconvenient.

CD solved this problem by placing the optical surface inside a thick layer of plastic.  DVD further improved this by putting a second layer of plastic on the backside.  Since the optical surface is completely inaccessible the user doesn't have to worry about keeping it clean.



Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #10
Quote
I find the whole laser payback thing very interesting.
40 years go I would have found it "interesting".      :P

Quote
I'm hopeful that one day someone will release a more affordable ($2000?) laser turntable.
But I wouldn't have paid $2000.   I waited until CD players came-down to $200 and since prices  (for CD players) were falling rapidly  I ended-up paying closer to $100.

After I got my 1st CD player I gave-up on upgrading (and always wanting to upgrade) my analog setup.   

Nowadays I wouldn't even consider it, even if it was better than a regular turntable..    Even if played "perfectly" the analog record is not going to sound as good as my CD/DVD/Blu-Ray player for which I paid less than $50.








4100.

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #11
I waited until CD players came-down to $200 and since prices  (for CD players) were falling rapidly  I ended-up paying closer to $100.

After I got my 1st CD player I gave-up on upgrading (and always wanting to upgrade) my analog setup. 

I guess some would go the other way: hearing CD, and then wanting to try that Rohman which was touted as going deeper in the groove where there hadn't (yet) been so much wear. Especially at the time when the LP format was commercially dying and a you could go to the second-hand market and secure a good turntable and a big record collection for the price of thirty CDs ...

... and said CDs would be freshly remastered in the loudness war chamber, with as low dynamic range as possible ...

High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #12
And any dust is much easier to electronically remove since a needle doesn't actually have to touch the dust and make a noise.
Analog has always had limitations. The background noises are part of the limitations.

Of course, the next step up is digital.
exhaleFLAC

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #13
Again, this forum doesn’t seem to appreciate that not everything was pressed to cd. You’re such digital elitists that you miss the whole picture.

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #14
Quote
I find the whole laser payback thing very interesting.
40 years go I would have found it "interesting".      :P

Quote
I'm hopeful that one day someone will release a more affordable ($2000?) laser turntable.
But I wouldn't have paid $2000.   I waited until CD players came-down to $200 and since prices  (for CD players) were falling rapidly  I ended-up paying closer to $100.

After I got my 1st CD player I gave-up on upgrading (and always wanting to upgrade) my analog setup.   

Nowadays I wouldn't even consider it, even if it was better than a regular turntable..    Even if played "perfectly" the analog record is not going to sound as good as my CD/DVD/Blu-Ray player for which I paid less than $50.








4100.

Well bully for you! I have at least 500 LPs never released in any other format. The world is perhaps a little more diverse than your own requirements.

Must be nice to have such generic tastes 😂

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #15
People who swear by an obsolete medium like vinyl LP's are not likely to support a new-fangled contraption like a laser turntable. They'd almost surely argue that the laser ruins the audio signal by taking it out of an analog audio chain.

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #16
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #17
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

lol

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #18
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

But, but .... where's the lasers?

Everything is better with lasers man!

Jokes apart I don't understand this vinyl thing.

I lived when vinyls and tapes was the only thing available and when the cds appeared (and later the computer files) I replaced the first and never look back.

No more ssssssss, crick, pop or scratched

 

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #19
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

That's almost exactly what I do to. I've got an old 1210 mkIII and a nice cart. Everything goes into RX for processing. I'm not sure why @peskypesky seems to think that's so funny - actually it's a great way to find interesting music and I quite enjoy processing the audio too.

I am not arrogant enough to think that a good laster turntable will never come to fruition - perhaps one good enough that post processing is not required. I mean, for goodness sake, there's an archiving technique that takes images of the discs to re assemble the audio.
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

But, but .... where's the lasers?

Everything is better with lasers man!

Jokes apart I don't understand this vinyl thing.

I lived when vinyls and tapes was the only thing available and when the cds appeared (and later the computer files) I replaced the first and never look back.

No more ssssssss, crick, pop or scratched

What are you doing about the vast amount of music never released on CD? I've got an idea! Why don't we smash all the Edison Cylinders too? Have you heard those LOL TALK ABOUT LOW FI HAHAHAHA

Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #20
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

That's almost exactly what I do to. I've got an old 1210 mkIII and a nice cart. Everything goes into RX for processing. I'm not sure why @peskypesky seems to think that's so funny - actually it's a great way to find interesting music and I quite enjoy processing the audio too.

I am not arrogant enough to think that a good laster turntable will never come to fruition - perhaps one good enough that post processing is not required. I mean, for goodness sake, there's an archiving technique that takes images of the discs to re assemble the audio.
I bought an LP for one album that wasn't available on CD. I used a $200 USB turntable to digitize it, then processed it to hell and back with RX.

But, but .... where's the lasers?

Everything is better with lasers man!

Jokes apart I don't understand this vinyl thing.

I lived when vinyls and tapes was the only thing available and when the cds appeared (and later the computer files) I replaced the first and never look back.

No more ssssssss, crick, pop or scratched

What are you doing about the vast amount of music never released on CD? I've got an idea! Why don't we smash all the Edison Cylinders too? Have you heard those LOL TALK ABOUT LOW FI HAHAHAHA

If you are lost your sense of humor go find it.

No need to be pasive-agresive.

The edison cylinders must be in a museum, digitalized. Nobody will be using cylinders now because they are obsolete.

So please, take the life more easly and uou will be more happy and will make the people around you more happy too.

Don't know man, i have a lot of blues recordings only avaibles in the national archive of US and are in a beautiful cd, I wonder how they comes there :)

Relax







Re: Disks Played with Laser Beams

Reply #24
Some maniacs are still keeping the dream live: https://www.vulcanrecords.com/miscellany/the-title-of-this-song-is-longer/

But this people doesn't look like mumbo-jumbo .

Looks more like a conservation project with a shop for support.

The project page look legit to me, restore molds to make posible to listen it again.

"to take the 200+ cylinder moulds from the Christian Leden collection that have been in non-archive storage for over 50 years, and make records from them so they could be played and archived."

Is a laudable action

Or they fool me?

"We can manufacture custom made cylinder or disc records from your audio. To do this, you will provide us with a suitable recording (preferably a digital file – MP3, WAV, etc)"

Hard to say this days but seems to be good maniacs

 
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