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CD-R and Audio Hardware => Vinyl => Topic started by: ozmosis82 on 2011-10-13 17:56:11

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: ozmosis82 on 2011-10-13 17:56:11
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mona-elyafi/..._b_1008876.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mona-elyafi/vinyl-records-sound_b_1008876.html)

Ugh.

Of special note is the 5th paragraph where she basically shoots herself in the foot:

"Now I don't pretend to be a tech whiz by any means and I am sure I know absolutely nothing about how it all works and why, but the one thing I know for certain though is that music sounds better on vinyl."

If they approve my comment, it should be the first one.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dhromed on 2011-10-13 18:32:12
I don't mind vinyl lovers liking the physical aspect of a record. And that's all this column is about, really.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: ExUser on 2011-10-13 20:00:25
It's an opinion piece, nothing more. Music sounds better in digital; the artist's work is not drowned out by vinyl surface noise. Your comment, ozmosis, pretty much sums up the counterargument. Well-put.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: C.R.Helmrich on 2011-10-13 20:12:07
Indeed. An opinion of a person who grew up with vinyl. I grew up with CDs and learned to appreciate their clear sound (assuming adequate mastering and playback device), usability (instant track switching and restarting), and portability (a Discman is slightly easier to carry around than a turntable...). And I feel just like her when unpacking a newly bought CD and listening to it with my best pair of headphones.

Chris
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: DVDdoug on 2011-10-13 20:23:37
How did on opinion piece leak onto The Huffington Post????

At least she's not claiming better sound quality:
Quote
There's just nothing like the vintage feel of crackle and hiss of old vinyl LPs and 45s to keep you connected to the music. Vinyl records by far carried more life.
  I guess "life" means noise!  (Most "audioiophiles" don't define their terminology so clearly.)

    This cracked me up too:
Quote
However, to be fair, Steve Jobs is not entirely to be blamed for the tragic absence of intimacy in our current listening habits.


P.S.
Of course, most of her readers have never heard vinyl, or haven't heard vinyl for 30 years.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Brand on 2011-10-13 21:29:58
I think your rant is a bit out of place here. It's just a column written by a woman -who usually writes fashion/gossip stuff- where she pretty much just says she likes the hiss and crackle of vinyl and the whole listening procedure.

It's not like she's saying vinyl has technical advantages in terms of audio transparency over digital reproduction.

tl;dr: Go pick on someone your own size.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: tawd on 2011-10-13 23:27:49
As she admits she is not aware of the technical aspects behind the different formats, perhaps her statement is based on valid factors she does not understand enough to describe in her column. Old albums that she originally heard on vinyl are endlessly remastered and re-released on CD with differing and often catastrophic results. Given her admitted lack of technical expertise, she may well hear brickwalled or poorly mixed remasters of her favorite albums on CD, not like it as much as the vinyl she is used to hearing and assume it is a flaw with the compact disc format rather than the recording itself.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Cavaille on 2011-10-14 01:28:21
Quote
And I'm not just talking about the way it furiously (nearly) ruined the music industry facilitating the easy and rapid cloning of music by ways of CD burning hardware on computers to the detriment of artists getting royally ripped off.


I´m sick of hearing this argument. This woman swallowed the exaggerations of the industry wholeheartedly and simply ignores decades of copying vinyl onto compact cassettes, elcassette and open reel. Articles like that should be forbidden...

Quote
But for the audiophile purists, that certainly was a very small price to pay to get that one of a kind sense of intimacy, closeness and warmth that only phonograph records deliver.


IMO, "audiophile" and "vinyl" don´t go very well together...

All in all, she can rant and have her opinion as desperate as she wants but she cannot change the reality that most people will always go for convenience anyway - which means CD and mp3. Her whole article is from the opinion of "those good old times" but she fails to see that the old times weren´t better, only different.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: polemon on 2011-10-14 02:08:51
I believe, that what she's referring to, is the romantic value to playing records. The clicks and pops of the record, actually adds to the experience of listening to records.

Digital music (no matter what physical media it is on), is clean and sterile. I believe this is why she claims that vinyl sounds "better" (except if they're encoded badly. Then, they're just digital junk).

I's like saying a printed book is "better" than eBooks. The advocacy for Vinyl is quite similar to that of reel-to-reel tape. I'd even argue, that the open reel advocacy is even more militaristic, since it is of audiophile, high quality and doesn't introduce the clicks and pops of vinyl. At the same time, the machinery looked awesome, with large tape wheels spinning on the machine.
I like vinyl as well. But I'd never claim we should go back to them.

It's like having a vintage motorcycle in the garage that you take for a ride on a nice Sunday.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Woodinville on 2011-10-14 02:15:57
It would be nice if the author didn't deify her preference as universal.

She likes some forms of euphonic distortion. Good for her.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: testyou on 2011-10-14 03:16:49
She's just an older person with nostalgia for the sound she heard during her earlier experiences with music.

It's mostly harmless and not worth discussing here.  It's just another example of "audiophile" + "vinyl" kinds of people.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: andy o on 2011-10-14 04:34:37
Sheesh, if that's your beef with the FluffPo, don't check their articles on medicine (or should I say "wellness").
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: IgorC on 2011-10-14 04:51:19
Vinyl was my first experience with music when I was 4 y.o.  10 years laters when CD era has come I threw away all vinyls.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: hellokeith on 2011-10-14 06:33:37
How much work has been done on vinyl simulation?

Tube simulation in various forms has been around for a long while.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: FreaqyFrequency on 2011-10-14 07:00:41
http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/ (http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/)

If you have any DAW software, make a quick recording and check that out.  Free stuff! 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: polemon on 2011-10-14 10:58:54
This might me slightly off-topic, but I'm wondering: Is it possible to have once own recording on Vinyl?
As in: Can I submit my own audio and get my own recorded vinyl?

I've seen videos where people made their own vinyl cutters, but that's not what I mean.

I imagine to have my own lossless audio pressed on vinyl, just for shits and giggles. Since I listen to rather "questionable" music at times, this would add to the confusion. Fun.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dhromed on 2011-10-14 11:07:01
Assuming the cutting process is flawless, you can rip it and gain valuable insight in the troubles of digitizing vinyl.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: mixminus1 on 2011-10-14 17:25:29
This might me slightly off-topic, but I'm wondering: Is it possible to have once own recording on Vinyl?
As in: Can I submit my own audio and get my own recorded vinyl?

Sure, just find a mastering house that has a lathe, submit the songs you want cut as WAVs on a CD-R, and tell them you want a "flat transfer", i.e. no mastering per se, just whatever tweaks they need to do to prepare it for cutting to vinyl.

It would probably run you a few hundred dollars just to get a test pressing of one record, but hey, there have been plenty of vanity songs/albums made over the years (Rebecca Black's "Friday" being one of the most (in)famous, certainly as of late)...why not "vanity vinyl"?

(Ooh, that's a good name...but for what?  An album?  A record store?  A stripper?  )
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: FreaqyFrequency on 2011-10-14 18:42:02
http://soundcloud.com/theastralobservatory...-gain-test-clip (http://soundcloud.com/theastralobservatory/axefx-ii-high-gain-test-clip)

A recording made with a device centered around guitar amp modeling and effects processing called the "Fractal Audio Axe-FX II."  Some of you in the guitar scene may be familiar with it.

The "vinyl" sound made in the first portion is all coming from that machine.  It's not as complex or as variable as a real vinyl record sound perhaps (i.e., the pops and clicks are not randomized, as dust in grooves would be), but judge for yourself whether or not it achieves a suitable "old timey" effect. 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Glenn Gundlach on 2011-10-14 19:04:37
http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/ (http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/)
<snip>


Looks cute but does it also add off-center 'wow' and inter-channel phase 'wobbles' and will it simulate tracing distortion? I do NOT miss vinyl. When it was all we had it was OK because the alternative was nothing.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: polemon on 2011-10-15 01:24:54
It would probably run you a few hundred dollars just to get a test pressing of one record, but hey, there have been plenty of vanity songs/albums made over the years (Rebecca Black's "Friday" being one of the most (in)famous, certainly as of late)...why not "vanity vinyl"?


OK, this might be too expensive for me, but the idea digs deeper. I was discussing this with some friends, we were talking about the current hipsterism craze. The idea is to have vinyl versions of whatever podcast from the internet pressed on vinyl, and sell that to hipsters. Granted, the idea came up, after around four liters of beer and a pizza for everyone, but still, the idea shouldn't be that bad. However, since cutting vinyls is so expensive, it might be the nail on it.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: musicollector on 2011-10-27 02:39:06
I believe, that what she's referring to, is the romantic value to playing records. The clicks and pops of the record, actually adds to the experience of listening to records.

Digital music (no matter what physical media it is on), is clean and sterile. I believe this is why she claims that vinyl sounds "better" (except if they're encoded badly. Then, they're just digital junk).

I's like saying a printed book is "better" than eBooks. The advocacy for Vinyl is quite similar to that of reel-to-reel tape. I'd even argue, that the open reel advocacy is even more militaristic, since it is of audiophile, high quality and doesn't introduce the clicks and pops of vinyl. At the same time, the machinery looked awesome, with large tape wheels spinning on the machine.
I like vinyl as well. But I'd never claim we should go back to them.

It's like having a vintage motorcycle in the garage that you take for a ride on a nice Sunday.


I was spellbound by this thread. I still have LPs, cassettes, 45's and open reels ranging from hundreds to thousands for each category. Before digital came along, I swore up and down that LPs were the best of the breed and my reels sounded fabulous. It did take me a while to get used to CD's when they first arrived. Being in the music business, I still remember, like yesterday, when PolyGram unveiled the new John Cougar album on CD at a listening session in 1983. The next month, I won my first CD player, a single-play Sony model, from CBS Records. The rest is history!

Today, I hardly play any LP that is available on CD because, in contrast to her, I despise pops and clicks! Be that as it may, I still go back to my vinyl or open reels when the song or album is not available anywhere in any format. And, I have a LOT of rare material. In those cases, I digitize the songs and live with the pops and clicks...just too lazy to process them out. I really hated cassettes because of the ubiquitous hiss but they were portable. What else could I use in the car? If I turned on noise reduction, despite what Dolby said, I could hear the high frequencies being chopped off. (Before that, 8-tracks didn't get any points form me, either. I mean, who would want a song fading off in the middle just so the track could change?!) Something was missing. So, I played my cassettes with no NR but equalized the hiss as much as possible. Of course, using CRO2 tapes were costly and economically prohibitive. Open reels were right behind vinyl, but I had that annoying hiss even if I recorded at 15 IPS. So, I was ecstatic when digital came along. I can also imagine the ecstasy radio stations felt when digital came along. Working in radio, I found the wow on the odd startup and cueing up records, etc. very laborious and mundane. CD's changed all that.

Today, there is no need to fast forward or rewind with instant access to any portion of the song or painless repeats. Hiss is hisstory! Portability is out of this world! Songs can be emailed to and from distant shores in seconds! No need to physically handle media anymore. No cleaning with multiple brushes or annoying static. No degradation of sound quality when copied. No misplacing the stylus off the outer edge of the record. I still feel romantic looking and handling records thinking of the Good Old Days. But, they remain in my library as beloved icons of an era when they served their purpose VERY well. Long love vinyl. But, I'll defer to digital.

Oh, I still love listening to my reel-ro-reel machine and dig watching those reels roll. 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: MichaelW on 2011-10-27 22:59:14
I still feel romantic looking and handling records thinking of the Good Old Days.


A Japanese company sells CDs that are miniature reproductions of the original LPs. But the real hipster marketing play would be to sell mockups of LPs together with the digital version. You'd read the sleeve, handle the disk with a fake groove, and think about the Good Old Days whilst listening to proper reproduction. And your collection could once more take up major wall-space.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: db1989 on 2011-10-27 23:18:32
Surely, if they were really good, they could make a real ‘dualdisc’: ordinary CD on one side, cut groove on the other!

I have a select few vinyls by a couple of my favourite bands, mainly for collectibility’s sake and, I guess, to support the label that released them as both it and the bands (the latter now defunct) are not exactly overflowing with money. Who’s to say that some day down the line, I won’t feel an irresistible urge to rip them open and throw a needle on them?  But I think they’ll remain in the cupboard for a while yet.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2011-10-28 02:03:15
Most newly released LPs contain a link for a digital download of the album....
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Goratrix on 2011-10-28 10:16:51
But the real hipster marketing play would be to sell mockups of LPs together with the digital version. You'd read the sleeve, handle the disk with a fake groove, and think about the Good Old Days whilst listening to proper reproduction. And your collection could once more take up major wall-space.


Something like THIS (http://www.synthgear.com/2010/artists/jeff-mills-cd-vinyl-hybrid/)? 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: PoisonDan on 2011-10-28 11:38:22
That's actually quite cool. Not really useful, but cool anyway.

Reason for edit: removing unnecessary full quote of above post
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Juha on 2011-10-28 14:28:35
What 'bout sound of DBX 'coded' vinyls?

IMHO is that those I had were more clean and dynamic compared to std vinyl versions of them (i.e. sounded better to my ears). Never got a change to compare those against CD versions.

Juha
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Remedial Sound on 2011-10-28 17:20:01
Here's another golden nugget from a reviewer at pitchfork (aka hipster-central)

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15971-we-stay-together/ (http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15971-we-stay-together/)
Quote
There's another reason to get this record on vinyl: It sounds way, way better. That might seem odd, given that so much of Stott's sound has to do with using compression, distortion, and other effects to make his music not just strange but even ugly. But, on wax, his swollen low end growls in a way that's almost sensual. (If you must buy digital, pay the extra bucks for the FLAC version; the difference between the high-bitrate version and a compressed MP3 is very real.)


Two audio myths perpetuated in one paragraph!
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: DVDdoug on 2011-10-28 17:50:09
Quote
What 'bout sound of DBX 'coded' vinyls?
I dont remember DBX records, but I might still have a DBX cassette machine in my closet... .

It's one of those things like using an optical pickup to play a record...  Once you have CDs, any improvements in vinyl just don't make sense (economically).

With DBX's 2:1 compression/expansion doubles any frequency response errors in the playback system, and if you've got any bad scratches in the record the expansion is going to make them worse.


Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: musicollector on 2011-10-28 18:34:13
I still feel romantic looking and handling records thinking of the Good Old Days.


A Japanese company sells CDs that are miniature reproductions of the original LPs. But the real hipster marketing play would be to sell mockups of LPs together with the digital version. You'd read the sleeve, handle the disk with a fake groove, and think about the Good Old Days whilst listening to proper reproduction. And your collection could once more take up major wall-space.


I have to admit that I am not inspired by these small CD jewel cover-size graphics. Hohum! Those were the days when I listened to Jethro Tull's "Thick As A Brick", which is one whole song on each side, and magically get transported to St. Cleve, never ever getting tired of re-reading those news items and ads! I lived there and interacted with those people for the duration of the record! Or, "Living In The Past"'s gatefold jacket or Paul McCartney's "Red Rose Speedway". 50% of the excitement was listening to the awesome music and the other 50% was tirelessly reading (repeatedly, every time) the plethora of information. Nowadays, I listen to the CD's while reading the original covers!  Then, there were all those great albums with lyrics printed right on the inner sleeve, like "Sgt. Pepper's". WOW!
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Raptus on 2011-10-28 19:37:28
It is a matter of aesthetics and not (how laymen often erroneously think) a matter of fidelity.
If a CD production truly wanted the vinyl sound, it could simulate it, or go for the real thing: Press a vinyl from the mix, record it and press that to CD.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: MichaelW on 2011-10-28 21:51:54
Something like THIS (http://www.synthgear.com/2010/artists/jeff-mills-cd-vinyl-hybrid/)? 


Oh dear, 5" artwork. No, I'm afraid that would be the worst of both worlds. But I didn't know that modern vinyl came with the option of a digital download. The only question then is, why bother to cut a real groove in the LP?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: db1989 on 2011-10-28 22:03:32
Quote
The only question then is, why bother to cut a real groove in the LP?
Haha…how many people would ever notice? Wait a minute [goes to check own records] WHY YOU LITTLE
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: d_headshot on 2011-10-29 01:06:58
New music on both vinyl and digital sounds terrible because it all comes from a brickwall limited distorted master.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: musicollector on 2011-10-29 04:10:04
Quote
What 'bout sound of DBX 'coded' vinyls?
I dont remember DBX records, but I might still have a DBX cassette machine in my closet... .

It's one of those things like using an optical pickup to play a record...  Once you have CDs, any improvements in vinyl just don't make sense (economically).

With DBX's 2:1 compression/expansion doubles any frequency response errors in the playback system, and if you've got any bad scratches in the record the expansion is going to make them worse.


DBX was a flash in the pan, just as Betamax was.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: musicollector on 2011-10-29 04:14:52
I still feel romantic looking and handling records thinking of the Good Old Days.


A Japanese company sells CDs that are miniature reproductions of the original LPs. But the real hipster marketing play would be to sell mockups of LPs together with the digital version. You'd read the sleeve, handle the disk with a fake groove, and think about the Good Old Days whilst listening to proper reproduction. And your collection could once more take up major wall-space.


Well my turntable can be programmed to play any song in any order, repeat, etc. much like a CD, but with pauses as it finds the next song. There is a neat millisecond mute that kicks in when the stylus drops and lifts. However, it doesn't run the LP over - all this happens on one side!
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: ron spencer on 2011-10-29 16:06:13
doesn't this depend on the mastering?  Everybody knows the issues with Rush's Vapor Trails.....aweful sounding CD.  I have it and the vinyl...vinyl is soooooooo much better, nicer, easier to listen to.  So in this case, yes, vinyl is better than CD, at least for me.  But these cases are rare are they not?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: RonaldDumsfeld on 2011-10-29 21:26:20
Quote
Something like This? (http://www.synthgear.com/2010/artists/jeff-mills-cd-vinyl-hybrid/) smile.gif


That's Jeff Mills. He was also the first person to release a collection of locked grooves on vinyl. (AX-08, 1994).

Another of his projects is called 'Rings of Saturn'. The size of the used grooves and the space between them on the vinyl record are proportional to the actual rings of Saturn and and the planet itself.

It's a clever and harmless way for an independent musician to earn a living. Offer something you cannot download for free.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: musicollector on 2011-10-29 21:52:12
doesn't this depend on the mastering?  Everybody knows the issues with Rush's Vapor Trails.....aweful sounding CD.  I have it and the vinyl...vinyl is soooooooo much better, nicer, easier to listen to.  So in this case, yes, vinyl is better than CD, at least for me.  But these cases are rare are they not?


Oh, I'm sure there are exceptions. I compared America's "Greatest Hits" on CD with the LP and the LP came out on top, by far. But, that was not the case in many other comparisons.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: smpltn on 2011-10-29 22:37:55
It's all about the mastering at the time vinyl was popular compared to today.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: mixminus1 on 2011-10-30 06:11:59
It all depends on the choices made by the artists/producers/engineers.

I've bought a handful of albums on both vinyl and CD/download in the past few years.  Most - such as Lady Gaga's "The Fame" and Depeche Mode's "Playing the Angel" - have obviously been mastered exclusively from the brickwalled CD master:  the vinyl both sounds - and looks (waveform) - like a slightly distorted version of the CD.

However, there have been some - most notably Pink Martini's "Splendor In the Grass" and Radiohead's "The King of Limbs" - that had obviously different masterings for the CD/digital and vinyl releases, with the vinyl exhibiting no signs of brickwall limiting anywhere.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: ron spencer on 2011-10-30 14:38:39
That's the rub then...one needs to know how the CD and vinyl were mastered.  This is too bad really, with so much brickwalling going on, a person needs to know both the CD and vinyl sources.  This begs another question, why are the labels messing up some CDs but then producing some stellar LPs of the same album that are so much better?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2011-10-31 00:44:52
They probably think that people who buy vinyl are more discerning. On average, they are probably right.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: liffy99 on 2011-10-31 09:05:50
It's not the medium, it's the actual recording in my opinion. All else being equal I far prefer the freedom from most distortion that CD brings (and the convenience !). But there's little doubt in my mind that the actual recordings have been 'processed' so much more in the easier digital domain - often in a way to play to the lowest common denominator, like a phone or MP3 player. There was far less you could do to an analogue signal designed to live within the physical limitations of a vinyl groove.

That said I've now moved to a wholly streamed digital audio source (which has introduced its own set of compatibility issues).

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away there was but a single source - the vinyl record - one ring to bind them all. The limitations as to how it then sounded post production was how good your system was and the time you spent tweaking it (great fun!). Now the producers play around with the source so much we have lost control - for example the compression built in to so many pop and rock records - it's like having a permanently switched on 'Loudness' button (remember those ?) that we can't turn off .
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2011-10-31 13:34:59
Actually the loudness button did something quite different. It boosted the bass as you turned down the volume control to compensate for how our hearing shiftes with loudness.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Wombat on 2011-10-31 13:55:09
How i was happy the first day i played a CD at home 
No more clicks and pops, never!
I luckily don´t have to think about if there is a better vinyl version out there. It can´t! All vinyls will introduce noise that drives me mad.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: liffy99 on 2011-10-31 18:29:32
Actually the loudness button did something quite different. It boosted the bass as you turned down the volume control to compensate for how our hearing shiftes with loudness.


Well yes, I was just trying to say that sound altering controls have been taken away from us and built into the actual source whether we want them or not. If compression (average loudness raising) is wanted, why can't a button that does that be incorporated into a device (like an MP3 player) to be used at the listener's discretion ? And leave the source unsullied . . .
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2011-10-31 18:56:14
Well yes, I was just trying to say that sound altering controls have been taken away from us and built into the actual source whether we want them or not. If compression (average loudness raising) is wanted, why can't a button that does that be incorporated into a device (like an MP3 player) to be used at the listener's discretion ? And leave the source unsullied . . .

Totally agree!
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2011-10-31 19:56:39
Actually the loudness button did something quite different. It boosted the bass as you turned down the volume control to compensate for how our hearing shiftes with loudness.


Well yes, I was just trying to say that sound altering controls have been taken away from us and built into the actual source whether we want them or not. If compression (average loudness raising) is wanted, why can't a button that does that be incorporated into a device (like an MP3 player) to be used at the listener's discretion ? And leave the source unsullied . . .


As long as you are *allowed* to buy equalizers, whether hardware or software, sound altering controls are still available to you.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 4sure on 2011-11-01 04:36:24
When CDs first arrived, people often complaint about their harsh sound; some returned to vinyl. Tho it was not a fault of digital audio some people are still afraid of buying CDs or other digitized forms. IMO, the only reverential place a vinyl may have is when an album etc. is not digitized for its past sale history, or other reasons.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2011-11-01 05:51:31

Quote
people often complaint about their harsh sound;


Actually, I do not think that happened right after the introduction of the CD, but sometime later,0.
I remember reading about this sometime in the early 90s, when some audiophiles put it down to an inherent flaw of the CD instead of problems with the transfers using substandard masters.
I clearly remember the awful quality of the first Kind of Blue CD which sounded like shit. After I bought the remastered version years later I knew that a CD can sound as good or better than LP.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: mixminus1 on 2011-11-01 13:28:19
Yes - for the past 25 years or so, the "audiophile" press has made a professional sport out of shooting the messenger...
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Brod on 2012-02-09 04:08:07
New music on both vinyl and digital sounds terrible because it all comes from a brickwall limited distorted master.


I don't think there are many mixed masters that are brickwalled. Hell, even Metallica's Death Magnetic had a good master, which is why the album was able to be saved by Guitar Hero.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-09 05:24:19
Hell, even Metallica's Death Magnetic had a good master

I'm not so sure about that...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=588006 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=27691&view=findpost&p=588006)
http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/09/me...ps-on-both.html (http://audiamorous.blogspot.com/2008/09/metallicas-death-magnetic-clips-on-both.html)
...in fact yours is the very first post I've ever seen claiming that the vinyl edition came from a "good" master.

Do you have any evidence to support this?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Brod on 2012-02-09 16:38:05
...in fact yours is the very first post I've ever seen claiming that the vinyl edition came from a "good" master.


I did not claim this. In modern music production a mixed master isn't the same as a master that is used for CD and/or vinyl production.

It's actually pretty incredible that the Guitar Hero folks managed to negotiate access to these 'holy grail' recordings... if they could distribute them without using lossy compression and at a higher sample rate it would really be something special.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Roseval on 2012-02-09 17:30:02
Vinyl sounds superior by design.
First step is to EQ the bass of.
Than you cut a groove in a plastic master
Then you make a metal copy of this master
This metal copy is pressed into vinyl
At playback the lack of bass is compensated by EQ
A copy of a copy with EQ applied two times.
Combine this with a silent groove producing 30 dB noise on its own.
Small wonder digital can’t beat this.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-10 03:03:08
Vinyl sounds superior by design.
First step is to EQ the bass of.
Than you cut a groove in a plastic master
Then you make a metal copy of this master
This metal copy is pressed into vinyl
At playback the lack of bass is compensated by EQ
A copy of a copy with EQ applied two times.
Combine this with a silent groove producing 30 dB noise on its own.
Small wonder digital can’t beat this.


 

I couldn't point out some of the many defects of vinyl any better.

Paul

     
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Brod on 2012-02-10 07:44:23
The defects of vinyl are irrelevant if only the CD version of an album is brickwalled - the compressed version will always sound worse.

Now, if a CD has been well mastered then there is little reason to buy the vinyl, but there aren't many new albums on CD that are mastered for dynamics.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: ExUser on 2012-02-10 07:55:19
The defects of vinyl are irrelevant if only the CD version of an album is brickwalled - the compressed version will always sound worse.
Over-compression is like vinyl's surface noise: there are some people who legitimately like it, and perhaps prefer it to uncompressed, dynamic music. I don't, nor do most of the people who post around here, but understand that just like vinyl surface noise, it's subjective as a quality criterion.

For what it's worth, I agree with your assessment.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-10 14:04:47
The defects of vinyl are irrelevant if only the CD version of an album is brickwalled - the compressed version will always sound worse.

Now, if a CD has been well mastered then there is little reason to buy the vinyl, but there aren't many new albums on CD that are mastered for dynamics.

How is it the fault of the CD if there are bozos out there.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: skamp on 2012-02-10 14:19:54
Hell, even Metallica's Death Magnetic had a good master

I'm not so sure about that...


I think he meant that a better master exists, and has been used in the video game Guitar Hero:
http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2008/09/does-metallicas/ (http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2008/09/does-metallicas/)
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=588122 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=27691&view=findpost&p=588122)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Bartholomew MacGruber on 2012-02-10 14:33:25
I've heard various arguments about vinyl being able to reproduce higher frequencies that CD cannot and they seem bogus given that humans can't hear that high, but I was wondering if anyone could provide information about the "dynamic resolution" or smallest difference in volume that CD can reproduce.  I imagine CD surpasses the human ear in that area, but I haven't been able to get the final word on that.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-02-10 15:03:17
If you don't change the volume setting while you are listening (i.e. turn it up during very soft passages) and don't make the loud passages so loud that they are painful, you are very unlikely to hear the limitations in dynamic range of a CD. The same is not true of vinyl, tape, etc.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-10 15:30:21
If you don't change the volume setting while you are listening (i.e. turn it up during very soft passages) and don't make the loud passages so loud that they are painful, you are very unlikely to hear the limitations in dynamic range of a CD. The same is not true of vinyl, tape, etc.


In which vinyl and tape have less dynamic Range than a CD.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: julf on 2012-02-10 15:41:24
I was wondering if anyone could provide information about the "dynamic resolution" or smallest difference in volume that CD can reproduce.


The theoretical resolution of CD (16 bits) is 96 dB.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-10 16:02:24
With using dither, the dynamic range can be increased on CD's, 115dB comes to mind.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: k00zk0 on 2012-02-11 13:02:20
A lot of people definitely like noise, and I'd bet the result wouldn't be consistent across different tracks for the same person. NwAvGuy said he found a few users preferring equipment with oscillating opamps and strange, rather noisy design, because it added interest to the audio. Non-repetitiveness is interesting.

The reason "humanization" (randomly varying the time offset/amplitude of the samples) is added to a lot of synthesizers (eg. drum machines), the brain clearly recognizes that the music is too perfect and mechanical, and can predict what comes next. In contrast, listening to a human play the same drum loop forever can be comforting and enjoyable, since the same sound pattern never hits the listener's ear twice. The brain can start focusing on the few millisecond shift and few percent difference in volume as being the entire meat of the music in this case.

For a plainly synthesized, repetitive pattern, adding noise would "humanize" it slightly. I bet that is why we clip a lot of pop... the easiest way to make it non-periodic! Combined with the differences in how each system handles 0dbfs signal, the record is even more psychologically "interesting" on each listen, whether you focus on the difference or not.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dumdidum on 2012-02-11 13:15:16
For a plainly synthesized, repetitive pattern, adding noise would "humanize" it slightly. I bet that is why we clip a lot of pop... the easiest way to make it non-periodic!

if you don't want, say, a drum loop to sound perfectly quantized, you can simply put in slight random variations (for example using follow actions in ableton). personally, i don't see the virtue of clipping your track...
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: andy o on 2012-02-11 16:39:08
I was wondering if anyone could provide information about the "dynamic resolution" or smallest difference in volume that CD can reproduce.


The theoretical resolution of CD (16 bits) is 96 dB.

I think what he means is that 16-bit should have in theory at the most 65536 discrete levels of "volume". I think it's a misguided way to look at it, but if someone could explain in detail I'd also be interested.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: julf on 2012-02-11 17:37:13
Why do you think it is misguided? Of course, you could argue that turning one LSB in one word in the whole file from a "0" to a "1" increases the average volume of the whole file by very, very small amount, but I am not sure that is the right way to look at it either.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-02-11 19:49:06
I'm not sure that I would call it misguided either. If no dither is applied then the ratio of the largest signal value to the digital noise is 96 dB.

When the signal is properly dithered, however, the ratio of the largest signal to the audible noise is considerably higher, well over 100 dB.

Not that one generally needs even 96 dB S/N.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: julf on 2012-02-11 20:37:33
When the signal is properly dithered, however, the ratio of the largest signal to the audible noise is considerably higher, well over 100 dB.


Absolutely. But I don't think the original question was about S/N.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-11 20:40:36
The question was about dynamic resolution.  Maybe someone might like to define it first, as it is not an accepted technical term to the best of my knowledge.

EDIT:  I should have put dynamic resolution in italics, as I am interested in the term "dynamic resolution" not resolution (of course I know what resolution means ).  I also know what dynamic means , but seriously, these two words placed together don't really make much sense.  Is this intended to be the same as the nonsense audiophile term "microdynamics" or was it the proper term, "dynamic range" that was meant?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: andy o on 2012-02-11 20:48:47
What I think he meant is that if there's any way if you could tell sound jumping from one level to another (of the 65536), in any circumstance. That's what I thought was misguided, but again, I also would like more clarification, cause I don't really know. It would be easier to picture the example with 8-bit audio or lower, for instance.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: julf on 2012-02-11 21:02:00
The question was about dynamic resolution.  Maybe someone might like to define it first, as it is not an accepted technical term to the best of my knowledge.


Resolution (audio) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_%28audio%29)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: andy o on 2012-02-11 21:18:19
I have a feeling for what he's trying to ask, cause I've also encountered claims of this "resolution", that higher resolution will, just like in a digital picture, offer smoother transitions, in this case between slightly different sound levels. But, only from greatly dubious articles/authors, like this (http://www.tested.com/news/the-real-differences-between-16-bit-and-24-bit-audio/1905/). Never from engineers or technical people, or even that wiki article.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: krabapple on 2012-02-11 21:40:59
The question was about dynamic resolution.  Maybe someone might like to define it first, as it is not an accepted technical term to the best of my knowledge.


Resolution (audio) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_%28audio%29)



What this this sentence from that wiki page supposed to mean?

"CD Audio has also left a lasting impression on computer and other digital audio applications, where 16-bit is the default "hi-fi" sample resolution (as opposed to earlier 8, 6 or even 4-bit efforts), with higher precision often considered the reserve of audiophiles as the representable range of intensities rapidly exceeds the theoretical limits of human perception, particularly when environmental noise is considered."

Language issue or a bad edit job?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: julf on 2012-02-11 21:44:00
Language issue or a bad edit job?


Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: krabapple on 2012-02-11 21:56:50
And I  think one non-highly-technical version of the question of  'resolution'  could be two-fold,

1. what is the smallest change in level that the human ear can resolve?  (my understanding is that, at best, with an appropriate probe signal, it's 0.2dB, so that the standard target for level-matching it to match to within 0.2dB)

2. does 16bit format permit that small a difference to be resolved? (yes)


Then there is a slightly different approach -- what is the 'quietest' signal that can be distinguished above background noise? That depends on the background noise level.  Tape's and vinyl's is higher than Redbook's, so......
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: krabapple on 2012-02-11 21:58:05
Language issue or a bad edit job?


Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan?



I'd go in and fix it if I was confident about the intended meaning.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: bred on 2012-02-12 11:22:10
Vinyl sounds superior by design.
First step is to EQ the bass of.
Than you cut a groove in a plastic master
Then you make a metal copy of this master
This metal copy is pressed into vinyl
At playback the lack of bass is compensated by EQ
A copy of a copy with EQ applied two times.
Combine this with a silent groove producing 30 dB noise on its own.
Small wonder digital can’t beat this.


Ok your have right.
From the point view of an oscilloscope digital is better, without any doubt!

But consider that our brain prefer the middle frequencies and the vinyl EQ the middle.
We don't like hi freq ... and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

And probably in the vinyl there are also some distortion that our that our brain interprets as pleasant.

So the vinyl sound "better".
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: lvqcl on 2012-02-12 12:40:56
Quote
But consider that our brain prefer the middle frequencies and the vinyl EQ the middle.
We don't like hi freq ... and vinyl cut out the hi freq.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiley_face_curve (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiley_face_curve)

(http://cdn.head-fi.org/2/20/20015f20_fb-eq-smiley.gif)

...Oh noes, this:

(http://www.rainfall.com/cdroms/images/audio_eq_smiley.jpg)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-02-12 13:14:42
We don't like hi freq ... and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

I'm shocked! I thought one of the reasons that vinyl sounded so much better was that it provided those crucial ultrasonics that are missing from CD?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: LithosZA on 2012-02-12 13:20:18
Quote
...Oh noes, this:
, nothing can go past 0.
You have to either move the preamp lower or make the smiley below the 0db range and make 0db the highest value.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kennedyb4 on 2012-02-12 13:30:04
Quote
...Oh noes, this:
, nothing can go past 0.
You have to either move the preamp lower or make the smiley below the 0db range and make 0db the highest value.


Nope. If its on Winamp's EQ, its got to be perfect. 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-12 14:03:17
We don't like hi freq ... and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

I'm shocked! I thought one of the reasons that vinyl sounded so much better was that it provided those crucial ultrasonics that are missing from CD?


That works only for bats that listen to music.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-12 19:00:16
Quote
Ok your have right.
From the point view of an oscilloscope digital is better, without any doubt!

But consider that our brain prefer the middle frequencies and the vinyl EQ the middle.
We don't like hi freq ... and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

And probably in the vinyl there are also some distortion that our that our brain interprets as pleasant.

So the vinyl sound "better".


Where does that bullshit notion come from? Did you ever look at a spectrogram from a test record?
I tested my denon dl 103 with the Flloyd Toole test record and the spectrogram as displayed on my DEQ 2496 is almost perfectly flat after the RIAA decompression from 20Hz to 20kHz.

Where do YOU have any proof for your nonsense like:
and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

Quote
The recording/tracking ability of vinyl is easily at least 50 kHz and perhaps as high as 100 kHz. The most notably proof of this is the CD4 quadraphonic system which relied on a 45 kHz bandwidth to be accurately reproduced. That said, the high-frequency response accuracy of vinyl varies tremendously. Frequency deviations of 5-10 dB or greater are not uncommon in the 20 kHz range for many records.


http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl) (http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl))
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Antigen on 2012-02-12 19:41:02
This is the same war that actually is made by CD vs Compressed Music

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Bartholomew MacGruber on 2012-02-13 15:24:16
And I  think one non-highly-technical version of the question of  'resolution'  could be two-fold,

1. what is the smallest change in level that the human ear can resolve?  (my understanding is that, at best, with an appropriate probe signal, it's 0.2dB, so that the standard target for level-matching it to match to within 0.2dB)

2. does 16bit format permit that small a difference to be resolved? (yes)


Then there is a slightly different approach -- what is the 'quietest' signal that can be distinguished above background noise? That depends on the background noise level.  Tape's and vinyl's is higher than Redbook's, so......



That's basically what I was getting at.  A common and quite old argument about the superiority of vinyl is basically about missing information and it seems pretty straightforward to refute with regard to the highest frequency that can be reproduced because it's very rare for anyone to hear any higher than 22,050 Hz, but I wasn't clear on whether the 16 bit format surpassed the capabilities of the human ear. If it does, then arguments about vinyl being better for that reason seem to also be wrong in a similar way.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-02-13 15:47:58
If the human ear had been better than 16 bits of dynamic range then vinyl (with about 12 bits of dynamic range) would have died out very quickly as soon as something better came along.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: MichaelW on 2012-02-14 03:23:08
If the human ear had been better than 16 bits of dynamic range then vinyl (with about 12 bits of dynamic range) would have died out very quickly as soon as something better came along.


But it did anyway, didn't it?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 05:50:04
I think I'm in the minority on this thread.

I can give you the perspective of someone who loves both digital and analog music music which has been properly recorded, mixed, and mastered with loving care -- but vinyl wins over CD, no doubt in my experience.

And I'm not in love with vinyl over the darn cover art as some would suggest -- furthermore I'm certainly not a hipster although I grew a beard once in my life.

I returned to vinyl about 1 year ago afters decades of CDs and a collection in the thousands, the horrific over compressed sound of modern CDs sent me running back to vinyl.  Once I started ripping my vinyl and listening back on digital equipment, I was blown away by how much better (natural, open, dynamic) it sounded. 

Most of this was due to differences in mastering and perhaps a bias towards the frequency content of LP (I grew up on vinyl).

BUT, I also noticed something interesting in my return to vinyl:

16 / 44.1 is NOT enough to fully capture the content of an LP when ripping the LP and playing back on good equipment.

I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing.  The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural -- I realize these are all subjective but I did this test with no axe to grind and I was actually hoping 16 bits would be enough since I could then move these also to my iPod for convenience -- however, the comparison was convincing enough that despite less convenience (must dither the files to play on iPod) and more storage space needed, I settled on 24 bit for my ripping process.

This suggests to me that vinyl has more to give than 16 / 44.1.

My equipment is very good -- Thorens turntable, Delos Cartridge, Burl ADC, Lynx AES card, Pure Vinyl software, and a Burmester system for playback including Burmester DAC.

Has anyone else tried this experiment? 

I love the convenience of digital -- it has allowed me to carry around 100's of LPs ripped at 24 bit which I can play back instantly with a good DAC.  So, I'm by no means "anti digital", its just clear to me that vinyl has more fidelity than 16 / 44.1 can reproduce.  Especially old vinyl just sounds incredible -- clear, wide and deep sound stage, realistic, open.

On a practical level, my LPs destroy my CDs of the same material (I have thousands of both CDs and LPs).  The dynamic range (peak to RMS) is almost always measurably better for both old and new vinyl than CD counterparts.    I realize that this is mainly due to mastering differences, which is why I qualify this point with the word "practical". 

The frequency range of LPs that I rip is far superior (out to 48k when ripping at 96k) than CD counterparts -- this is obvious but I don't really know if this matters -- although I'm not a bat (or a hipster) I tend to think it probably does matter in ways that we don't fully understand quite yet, but I've not proven it to myself.

My point here is that I've proven, at least to myself, that LPs not only practically sound better than CD counterparts but also carry more than 16 bits of information. 

I'd be really interested to hear from others who have done a similar experiment using good equipment with an open mind, what have you found?

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-14 06:48:26
Quote
The frequency range of LPs that I rip is far superior


Who gives a fuck about noise? Do you really think there is actual musical information contained? How would you know that? Are you of the order chiroptera?

Quote
Has anyone else tried this experiment?

No, I own a few thorens and a transcriptor and a technics sl10, with denon cartridges and the technics M310. I have tried cartridges from Shure Ultra 500 to Shure V15VXMR to Goldring 1042 to several ortofons. I aslo have used tonearms from Acos Lustre to Rega RB 350 to the present setup with an airbearing tangential arm to a SME 2 and an SME 3 arm.

Each change was the result of intensive listening and selecting the best arm/cartridge combo as to behaviour on test reords and actual music. Criteria was sibliance, sensitivity to surface noise, tracking etc.

I stuck with the Denon because of their neutral sound when compared to other cartridges. My preamp is a DIY customized studio Logitek with transformer impedance matching inputs. I also have used the Stanton and a freestanding Naim phono section with a very quiet powersupply only to find I was unable to hear a difference. I still have over two thousand LPs but in contrast to you I have done blind test (really blinded) with level matching and switching done by a friend, and in no way can support your contention that vinyl is in any way superior.
I ran the analogue and the digital signal from a Micromega Stage 2 through a sample rate converter at 24/96  into a deq 24/96 used for room response correction. The signal this way could be easily level matched and after some tries timed precisely and switched trough the SRC easily between the two sources.

I ran Bryston BP20 preamp for the analogue section (tuner and phono) with a passive volume control with Alps sixgang pots after the deq into total of three Bryston amps (2B, 4B, 4BST)

To our combined chagrin the sound quality was only distinguishable by the typical noise - if ever so faint on the best records - of the lead in and the between tracks silent groove who unfortunately even on new old stock records fresh out of the plastic cover is never silent.

Quote
its just clear to me that vinyl has more fidelity than 16 / 44.1 can reproduce. Especially old vinyl just sounds incredible -- clear, wide and deep sound stage, realistic, open.


That is a contention you would have to prove in a blinded test - which unfortunately because of the inherently higher noise in records can only be done by digitizing LP and cleaning it up sonically.

I have listened to both side by side and can only say you claims are at the same level as those who claim they can hear differences between cables, shakti stones and other such unfounded statements.

And btw - after I had compared an fucking ancient Quad 405 amp with bulging caps in the PS section into the same Kef 104/2 and absolutely could not hear any sonic difference between the two (a Bryston 4BST, running CD bypassing all the sound processing stuff) I sold all the Bryston gear and got myself two AS 2.100 amps from hypex and mounted those in the base of the kefs, fed directly from my server and never regretted the move for on instance.

Oh, I think you are definitely in the minority, as your contentions seems to be more inspired by untested belief than by evidence.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-14 08:01:24
That is a contention you would have to prove in a blinded test - which unfortunately because of the inherently higher noise in records can only be done by digitizing LP and cleaning it up sonically.

I would think that if you do 20 separate digitizations, it would be possible to do a proper ABX test of vinyl vs digitized vinyl. There would be audible noise, distortion etc, but not in a way that would unfairly make it easier to identify which is which.

If (predictably) 16/44.1 does not audibly degrade sound, then we have indication that CD can be used for anything that vinyl can be used for, as long as those bits and bytes are filled with the subjectively preferred data.

It is well-known that masterings do differ significantly, and not surprising that some people will prefer specific masters from the 60s, 70s or 80s over more recent ones. It also seems that choice of vinyl playback equipment can affect sound audibly, and if some audiophile refuse himself to alter the sound of CDs using suitable means, but allow himself to do the same for vinyl playback, this opens up a larger window for perceptually pleasing vinyl.

This discussion shows the amazing fact that vinyl, though being half a century or older in its mature form, was still good enough to be even considered compared to todays technology.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-02-14 08:07:36
Quote
its just clear to me that vinyl has more fidelity than 16 / 44.1 can reproduce. Especially old vinyl just sounds incredible -- clear, wide and deep sound stage, realistic, open.


That is a contention you would have to prove in a blinded test - which unfortunately because of the inherently higher noise in records can only be done by digitizing LP and cleaning it up sonically.


If there is a case where the to the best of their ability part of TOS#8 is to be invoked, it would be cases where blinding the study will kill the patient. You won't see docturs arguing over using double-blind studies of heart transplants, and you shouldn't see Hydrogenaudio participants arguing that room acoustics is insignificant just because a user doesn't bother to spend a million on an anechoic chamber.

What you could do, is of course digitize the LP and play back the signal with no difference (bar volume matching). That way you could isolate the audible effect of digitization.



Quote
Are you of the order chiroptera?


Remember that 22.05 kHz is only two halftones off 20 kHz.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-14 08:15:25
Remember that 22.05 kHz is only two halftones off 20 kHz.

I was not able to hear 20kHz when I was 17, much less now.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-02-14 08:26:40
I was not


... individual variations, yeah.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-14 09:03:22
I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing.  The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural

I have also compared 16 and 24 bit rips of vinyl and I hear no difference.

There are other possible reasons why 24 bit sounds better than 16 bit to you:

1. Expectation bias. It's no use saying that you had no axe to grind and were hoping 16 bit would be good enough. If you did these comparisons sighted, then the results are not trustworthy. You need to repeat the comparison blind. Using Foobar's ABX comparator is very easy, so there's no excuse not to do a blind test.

Let's assume you do a blind test and still hear a difference between 24 and 16 bit rips. If you made the two recordings in separate runs, then there are possible reasons why the results may sound different:

2. Vinyl is an analogue medium and is not 100% repeatable in playback. The two recordings *will* have delivered different signals. For example, the first play of an LP typically cleans the grooves out a bit, so a subsequent play might deliver slightly less surface noise. Or particles of dust may fall onto the record prior to the second play, resulting in additional minors ticks.

3. You got the gain staging slightly different so that the levels are not precisely matched. Even if you don't consciously notice a volume difference, small level differences can still alter the way things sound.

4. Perhaps your A/D converter happens to operate better at 24 bit rather then 16 bit.

If the goal here is to discover whether vinyl contains more information than can be captured at 16 bit, then the correct methodology is to record once at 24 bit, then convert that same recording to 16 bit and do an ABX comparison. In principle you should add dither when converting to 16 bit, but IMHO the vinyl noise floor is so high that you can probably afford to just truncate the bottom 8 bits.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Woodinville on 2012-02-14 10:01:35
It is remarkably hard to run such a test, accurately and sensitively.

I, too, however, am tired of the myriad of deniers of obvious issues like euphonic distortion.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dhromed on 2012-02-14 11:06:49
This discussion shows the amazing fact that vinyl, though being half a century or older in its mature form, was still good enough to be even considered compared to todays technology.


Only because people want it to. Certainly not because of the inherent technical properties of vinyl.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Woodinville on 2012-02-14 11:33:18
This discussion shows the amazing fact that vinyl, though being half a century or older in its mature form, was still good enough to be even considered compared to todays technology.


Only because people want it to. Certainly not because of the inherent technical properties of vinyl.


The 50 years of practice using it certainly help, too.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-14 11:58:24
16 / 44.1 is NOT enough to fully capture the content of an LP when ripping the LP and playing back on good equipment.

I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing.  The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural -- I realize these are all subjective but I did this test with no axe to grind and I was actually hoping 16 bits would be enough since I could then move these also to my iPod for convenience -- however, the comparison was convincing enough that despite less convenience (must dither the files to play on iPod) and more storage space needed, I settled on 24 bit for my ripping process.
It would be very easy to do a double-blind ABX test of the 16-bit vs 24-bit files to prove that you really heard a difference.

Just saying "I heard a difference" is not enough on HA.

Let me say it again: an ABX test of 16 vs 24 bits is trivial to perform.

Generating the 16-bit version from the 24-bit version is the easiest - guaranteed time + level matched.

Time aligning separately captured 24-bit and 16-bit captures should also be possible. Unless something else changed between captures, there should be no level difference.

Cheers,
David.

EDIT: more interestingly, you could upload a 30 second 24-bit capture, and anyone here could create a 16-bit version and ABX the two - though not necessarily with the same high quality playback. We would, however, benefit from your high quality vinyl playback and capture.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-02-14 12:01:30
And some years of digital malpractice for quite a few reissues. It wasn't exactly 'perfect sound forever' ...

The CD format is turning 30. (Later this year, if we start at the first retail market release.)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dhromed on 2012-02-14 12:40:31
Generating the 16-bit version from the 24-bit version is the easiest - guaranteed time + level matched.


Just wondering, would it be helpful to generate a 48bit recording, if possible, and then derive both the 24 and 16-bit version from that 'master', since 48 is an integer multiple of both 16 and 24, and additionally it would eliminate possible problems with the resampler?

I still tend to compare audio resampling to image resampling, where downsampling with any factor that is not a power of 2 often yields imbalanced and blurry results. If that comparison is completely misguided, I'd like to know.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 13:11:35
This discussion shows the amazing fact that vinyl, though being half a century or older in its mature form, was still good enough to be even considered compared to todays technology.


Only because people want it to. Certainly not because of the inherent technical properties of vinyl.



I returned to vinyl because the odds were better there that the recordings would not be squashed in the mastering process. To my ears the damage of compression is significant so I prefer to rip vinyl and listen to that. 

I may also have a preference for the euphonic distortions as well, but I think the main improvement has to do with the mastering.  The improvement in dynamic range can be easily measured with AudioLeak or Pure Music by comparing a vinyl rip's dynamic range (RMS to Peak) to the same song on a CD.    This does NOT prove that LP is technically better, but it practically has proven to me that in today's world of hypercompressed CDs that I get an improved dynamic range (RMS to Peak) typically from LPs and I certainly prefer the sound of vinyl.

If CDs return to better mastering practices and less compression then I will be ecstatic and probably and could once again enjoy the convenience of CDs -- cleaning and ripping vinyl is a lot of work!


Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-14 13:26:22
Only because people want it to. Certainly not because of the inherent technical properties of vinyl.

Whatever the reason is, many people find that vinyl is "good enough" for their listening. This could be due to bias or not, I still think it is remarkable given the age of the medium. How many argue for betamax video tapes these days?

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: probedb on 2012-02-14 13:29:11
I returned to vinyl because the odds were better there that the recordings would not be squashed in the mastering process. To my ears the damage of compression is significant so I prefer to rip vinyl and listen to that.

The problem is (as discussed elsewhere) that just because something is released on vinyl it doesn't mean it's a different mix or has been mastered any differently to the CD version.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-14 13:57:39
Just wondering, would it be helpful to generate a 48bit recording, if possible, and then derive both the 24 and 16-bit version from that 'master', since 48 is an integer multiple of both 16 and 24, and additionally it would eliminate possible problems with the resampler?

No. Man-made DAC and ADC tend to be limited to approximately 20 bits or real resolution. Higher intermediate may make sense to avoid round-off errors, but that is very algorithm-specific.
Quote
I still tend to compare audio resampling to image resampling, where downsampling with any factor that is not a power of 2 often yields imbalanced and blurry results. If that comparison is completely misguided, I'd like to know.

This comparision is flawed because you are comparing bit-depth to sample-rate. The relevant analogy would be "Is 16 bit per pixel enough to compare 8 bit per pixel to 12 bit per pixel image formats?" I believe that it is.

Further, image resampling is different from audio resampling in that audio tend to adhere to sampling theoreme quite well, while images tend to "let through" a lot of aliasing to increase the perceived sharpness (and because complex optical/digital image filters are often expensive or practically impossible).

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 15:26:15
I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing.  The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural

I have also compared 16 and 24 bit rips of vinyl and I hear no difference.

There are other possible reasons why 24 bit sounds better than 16 bit to you:

1. Expectation bias. It's no use saying that you had no axe to grind and were hoping 16 bit would be good enough. If you did these comparisons sighted, then the results are not trustworthy. You need to repeat the comparison blind. Using Foobar's ABX comparator is very easy, so there's no excuse not to do a blind test.

Let's assume you do a blind test and still hear a difference between 24 and 16 bit rips. If you made the two recordings in separate runs, then there are possible reasons why the results may sound different:

2. Vinyl is an analogue medium and is not 100% repeatable in playback. The two recordings *will* have delivered different signals. For example, the first play of an LP typically cleans the grooves out a bit, so a subsequent play might deliver slightly less surface noise. Or particles of dust may fall onto the record prior to the second play, resulting in additional minors ticks.

3. You got the gain staging slightly different so that the levels are not precisely matched. Even if you don't consciously notice a volume difference, small level differences can still alter the way things sound.

4. Perhaps your A/D converter happens to operate better at 24 bit rather then 16 bit.

If the goal here is to discover whether vinyl contains more information than can be captured at 16 bit, then the correct methodology is to record once at 24 bit, then convert that same recording to 16 bit and do an ABX comparison. In principle you should add dither when converting to 16 bit, but IMHO the vinyl noise floor is so high that you can probably afford to just truncate the bottom 8 bits.



CliveB, thanks for your response -- I actually did the test exactly as you suggested.  I used MBIT+ dithering of the 24 bit 96 khz down to 16 bit 44.1 -- I first convert the bitrate then I convert the sample rate.    I think  your suggestions on bias are certainly fair, the other bias that you maybe didn't mention is that converting directly to 16 / 44.1 may be better than downsampling from 24 / 96 down to 16 / 44.1.  My Burl ADC only samples at 24 bit so I have to dither down to 16 bit to compare.

I'm checking with the moderator on how I can upload some samples for folks to check out for themselves.

And to be clear, I think at least 90% of my preference for vinyl has to do with improved mastering done for vinyl, perhaps a preference for euphonic distortion (although I can't really prove this), and perhaps a preference for some high end roll off (CDs tend to sound harsh, grainy and bright in comparison to me).

I mentioned my experience with deciding on 24 bit vinyl rips over 16 bit vinyl because I thought it would be interesting here for folks to hear that perspective.

My primary point though would be that LPs in general are less compressed than CD counterparts and that makes a HUGE difference in the enjoyment factor of the material, especially when you turn up the music.  Again, I don't discount the fact that I perhaps prefer my music uncompressed I think it opens up the soundstage and allows the music to be played loud without fatigue.



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 15:32:51
I returned to vinyl because the odds were better there that the recordings would not be squashed in the mastering process. To my ears the damage of compression is significant so I prefer to rip vinyl and listen to that.

The problem is (as discussed elsewhere) that just because something is released on vinyl it doesn't mean it's a different mix or has been mastered any differently to the CD version.


Absolutely true -- in fact, I recently experienced the opposite with Sugar's "Copper Blue".  I was excited to get the vinyl release BUT the LP sounded worse than the CD.  This rarely is the case in my experience but it was true in this case.  The CD sounded less compressed. 

Garbage in garbage out...

If the LP is just a pressing of the same CD master then my enjoyment of the LP over the CD is probably due to euphonic distortion or roll off of the highs.

However, there are quite a few cases where the LP mastering has been given special attention, certainly all the releases done by Mobile Fidelity.  To my ears those releases sound stunning.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-02-14 15:36:17
CliveB, thanks for your response -- I actually did the test exactly as you suggested.  I used MBIT+ dithering of the 24 bit 96 khz down to 16 bit 44.1 -- I first convert the bitrate then I convert the sample rate.    I think  your suggestions on bias are certainly fair, the other bias that you maybe didn't mention is that converting directly to 16 / 44.1 may be better than downsampling from 24 / 96 down to 16 / 44.1.  My Burl ADC only samples at 24 bit so I have to dither down to 16 bit to compare.

This is the wrong order. Decreasing the bitrate, with dithering, should always be the LAST step. Otherwise you have negated the previously applied dither and introduced additional digital noise when you downsampled.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 15:45:48
16 / 44.1 is NOT enough to fully capture the content of an LP when ripping the LP and playing back on good equipment.

I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing.  The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural -- I realize these are all subjective but I did this test with no axe to grind and I was actually hoping 16 bits would be enough since I could then move these also to my iPod for convenience -- however, the comparison was convincing enough that despite less convenience (must dither the files to play on iPod) and more storage space needed, I settled on 24 bit for my ripping process.
It would be very easy to do a double-blind ABX test of the 16-bit vs 24-bit files to prove that you really heard a difference.

Just saying "I heard a difference" is not enough on HA.

Let me say it again: an ABX test of 16 vs 24 bits is trivial to perform.

Generating the 16-bit version from the 24-bit version is the easiest - guaranteed time + level matched.

Time aligning separately captured 24-bit and 16-bit captures should also be possible. Unless something else changed between captures, there should be no level difference.

Cheers,
David.

EDIT: more interestingly, you could upload a 30 second 24-bit capture, and anyone here could create a 16-bit version and ABX the two - though not necessarily with the same high quality playback. We would, however, benefit from your high quality vinyl playback and capture.



Thanks -- I appreciate your note -- I'm checking with the moderator on rules for uploading samples.  I captured at 24 bit / 96 kHz and dithered those down to 16 bit / 44.1 using MBit+ dithering -- I could provide samples of both.    Note that on a laptop I hear no difference, on my Burmester stereo turned up nice and comfortably loud I hear a difference, I can perhaps provide some insight on what I'm hearing for others to compare against.

Note that as I said before, I think the better sound of vinyl is mainly attributed to better mastering with less compression --  I typically get more dynamic range (peak to rms) from a vinyl release than from commercial CD counterparts and I think that sonic difference is dramatic.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 15:55:33
CliveB, thanks for your response -- I actually did the test exactly as you suggested.  I used MBIT+ dithering of the 24 bit 96 khz down to 16 bit 44.1 -- I first convert the bitrate then I convert the sample rate.    I think  your suggestions on bias are certainly fair, the other bias that you maybe didn't mention is that converting directly to 16 / 44.1 may be better than downsampling from 24 / 96 down to 16 / 44.1.  My Burl ADC only samples at 24 bit so I have to dither down to 16 bit to compare.

This is the wrong order. Decreasing the bitrate, with dithering, should always be the LAST step. Otherwise you have negated the previously applied dither and introduced additional digital noise when you downsampled.


Thanks Clive, I followed whatever order Izotope recommended so I probably did do it in the order you suggested.  To be sure, I will redo it again and have another listen.    Hopefully I can sort out a way to upload them.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 16:12:59
It is remarkably hard to run such a test, accurately and sensitively.

I, too, however, am tired of the myriad of deniers of obvious issues like euphonic distortion.



If you are referring to me, I beg to differ -- I'm not in denial at all. 

To my ears, as a practical matter at this point in time, LPs sound way better than CDs.  Why?  Mostly due to the mastering not being so heavily compressed when they make the vinyl -- also probably due to some bias I have for euphonic distortion and the fact that the high end of vinyl seems to roll off which may reduce some of the grain / harshness that I hear on my CDs.

I believe I DO prefer the euphonic distortion since I compared an HDTracks download at 24 / 49 to the same song on vinyl and I prefered the vinyl still.  This sort of proved to me that I have a bias towards the distortions of vinyl.

That said, I thought my experience that 24 bit vinyl sounded better than 16 bit vinyl would be interesting to folks who maybe don't prefer the biased sonics of vinyl --  and I'm hoping to upload some samples, but the fact that I mention that does not mean I'm in denial about why I love vinyl. 

I think everyone who loves music during this day and age so help figure out a way to get CDs to sound good again or simply switch over to vinyl.  In my opinion the hyper compression is a HUGE and dramatic sonic disaster for anyone who wants to crank up some tunes and really get into them.



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-14 16:50:44
Whatever the reason is, many people find that vinyl is "good enough" for their listening. This could be due to bias or not, I still think it is remarkable given the age of the medium. How many argue for betamax video tapes these days?
Yeahbut you can see the 250 lines of luma resolution, 30 lines of chroma resolution, picture noise, drop outs, time base errors etc throughout the video, whatever the content.

Whereas, with good condition vinyl on an excellent turntable, most pop music sounds fine. You can only hear the crackles between the tracks, and then, who cares? It sounds good enough. It's inconvenient and easily damaged, but the sound is fine.

What I don't understand are people who listen to classical music from vinyl. There are such people. They ignore the imperfections of vinyl the same way that they ignore people coughing in the concert hall (to quote Mr Fremer). Myself, I'd rather no one was coughing  At the very least, if the performance only exists on vinyl, I'd rather digitise it and remove any obvious clicks before listening to it.

Cheers,
David.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-14 17:00:57
I'm checking with the moderator on rules for uploading samples.
There's an upload section. Everyone has permission. Anything under 30 seconds is fine.

Quote
I captured at 24 bit / 96 kHz and dithered those down to 16 bit / 44.1 using MBit+ dithering -- I could provide samples of both.    Note that on a laptop I hear no difference, on my Burmester stereo turned up nice and comfortably loud I hear a difference, I can perhaps provide some insight on what I'm hearing for others to compare against.
Ah, sample rate AND bit depth? That's slightly harder to ABX. Some sound cards audibly click/mute when changing sample rate.

There are other threads where we've discussed the potential advantages of higher sample rates. There's no sound(!) theoretical reason why higher sample rates should sound better. Plenty of possible reasons why a given implementation might - especially once you consider driving non-linear transducers (i.e. any speaker) with the output of imperfect filtering (most DACs). Even then, I think there have been only two or three "successful" ABX tests in over a decade of HA, and those were dubious IIRC.

Quote
Note that as I said before, I think the better sound of vinyl is mainly attributed to better mastering with less compression --  I typically get more dynamic range (peak to rms) from a vinyl release than from commercial CD counterparts and I think that sonic difference is dramatic.
I think it's hit and miss, and I'm not going to indulge an industry that's scr3wing me like this by buying two copies of everything to find the best.

There's still plenty of music out there that is well mastered. Sadly most chart CDs are so smashed that I can hear the distortion on my car stereo, never mind my hi-fi.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-02-14 17:18:16
They ignore the imperfections of vinyl the same way that they ignore people coughing in the concert hall


In my living room, I have a big couple of well-prononuced double D-size humps. They can certainly be a bit distracting, but after getting used to them I can fairly well mentally compensate and still focus on the music.

Paradoxially, I've put a lot of money in them. (I even upgraded from a smaller pair with the same mid and tweeter, so there's a lot of 8"s to get them into resonance.)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-14 17:36:09
I have a big couple of well-prononuced double D-size humps. They can certainly be a bit distracting

Paradoxially, I've put a lot of money in them. (I even upgraded from a smaller pair
Is anyone else reading this and thinking "breast implants?!", or is it just me?       

What are you actually talking about Porcus? Please explain and stop me looking quite so stupid! I'm assuming speakers, but...?

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-02-14 18:02:46
I returned to vinyl because the odds were better there that the recordings would not be squashed in the mastering process. To my ears the damage of compression is significant so I prefer to rip vinyl and listen to that.

The problem is (as discussed elsewhere) that just because something is released on vinyl it doesn't mean it's a different mix or has been mastered any differently to the CD version.


Vinyl is so technically limited that it is pretty much  a given that most good contemporary  program materially has been modified in potentially audible ways to make it *fit* onto vinyl.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-02-14 18:06:11
It is remarkably hard to run such a test, accurately and sensitively.

I, too, however, am tired of the myriad of deniers of obvious issues like euphonic distortion.



If you are referring to me, I beg to differ -- I'm not in denial at all. 

To my ears, as a practical matter at this point in time, LPs sound way better than CDs.  Why?  Mostly due to the mastering not being so heavily compressed when they make the vinyl



Since vinyl has inherent significant dynamic range limitations compared to CDs, it is much more likely to have had its dynamic range compressed in order to create a listenable and playback LP.

If the music on a CD is significantly compressed, that was an artistic or market-driven choice, not done to compensate or adapt the music to any limitations of the CD format.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-02-14 18:24:26
Where does that bullshit notion come from? Did you ever look at a spectrogram from a test record?


Yes. It is impossible for an LP's frequency response in use to be any better than the cartridge that tracks it, and there simply are no cartridges that have flat, smooth frequency response that can be sensibly mentioned in the same sentence as a CD.

Furthermore, the LP format has pretty significant dynamic range issues above 5 KHz.  As a rule frequency response and square wave test bands on test LPs are cut at reduced levels compared with what's possible at lower frequencies.

Quote
I tested my denon dl 103 with the Flloyd Toole test record and the spectrogram as displayed on my DEQ 2496 is almost perfectly flat after the RIAA decompression from 20Hz to 20kHz.


Spectrograms are usually do not have the highest resolutions. It is possible to set parameters so that they 0.1 dB resolution, but that is not done often for practical reasons.


Quote
Where do YOU have any proof for your nonsense like:
and vinyl cut out the hi freq.


It is well known that the trackability of cartridges suffers at high frequencies. This document shows trackabilty for one of the best-tracking cartridges known to man:V15 User Manual (http://es.shure.com/idc/groups/tech_pubs/@global_managed/documents/webcontent/us_pro_v15iv_ug.pdf) Trackability starts suffering greatly above 3 KHz.

Quote
The recording/tracking ability of vinyl is easily at least 50 kHz and perhaps as high as 100 kHz.


It is well known that frequency response is not smooth, distortion is not low, and groove life is not good at those frequencies.

Quote
The most notably proof of this is the CD4 quadraphonic system which relied on a 45 kHz bandwidth to be accurately reproduced.


Not true. CD4 decoders contained quite a bit of technology to recover the high frequency carrier in the face of the technical problems with tracking it. First generation CD4 decoders were notoriously sensitive to the condition of the recording and the playback stylus.

Quote
That said, the high-frequency response accuracy of vinyl varies tremendously. Frequency deviations of 5-10 dB or greater are not uncommon in the 20 kHz range for many records.


Thanks for that little side trip out of the land of denial. ;-)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-02-14 18:27:58
Only because people want it to. Certainly not because of the inherent technical properties of vinyl.

Whatever the reason is, many people find that vinyl is "good enough" for their listening.


Many people still ride horses and find that they are good enough for certain kinds of recreational transportation. The number of people choosing horses over more modern means for transcontinental trips is usually vanishing.

Many people still listen to LP and find that they are good enough for certain kinds of recreational listening. The number of people choosing LPs over more modern means when they go jogging is usually vanishing.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 18:33:12
It is remarkably hard to run such a test, accurately and sensitively.

I, too, however, am tired of the myriad of deniers of obvious issues like euphonic distortion.



If you are referring to me, I beg to differ -- I'm not in denial at all. 

To my ears, as a practical matter at this point in time, LPs sound way better than CDs.  Why?  Mostly due to the mastering not being so heavily compressed when they make the vinyl



Since vinyl has inherent significant dynamic range limitations compared to CDs, it is much more likely to have had its dynamic range compressed in order to create a listenable and playback LP.

If the music on a CD is significantly compressed, that was an artistic or market-driven choice, not done to compensate or adapt the music to any limitations of the CD format.


Absolutely -- my point is PRACTICAL not THEORETICAL here, for whatever reason (market driven, itunes, etc..) the reality is that in this day and age an LP sounds better than the commercial CD counterpart, often by a long shot, especially any CD remasters of music that was originally done on vinyl from the 70s or 80s.

To not listen to vinyl because it theoretically SHOULD sound worse is sad to me -- we live an imperfect world in the first place, so it comes down to what sounds more musical to an individual.  I think people should give it a try, crank it up, listen to it, look at the measurements, look at the waveforms and decide if the hiss and crackle is a reasonable price of admission for a more dynamic and 3D experience.  And yes, CD's COULD sound as good in these respects but in our day and age they just do not.

I own thousands of CDs, many are very good -- but most in recent years so like crap when you turn them up on a good system -- my only way to fight the loudness wars is to buy vinyl right now. 



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-02-14 18:56:11
I have a big couple of well-prononuced double D-size humps. They can certainly be a bit distracting

Paradoxially, I've put a lot of money in them. (I even upgraded from a smaller pair
Is anyone else reading this and thinking "breast implants?!", or is it just me?       

What are you actually talking about Porcus? Please explain and stop me looking quite so stupid! I'm assuming speakers, but...?



Of course the hump enhancing the sixty-nine ... Hertz (oooh, auf Deutsch!) ... which is amplified way beyond what is natural and beautiful, it is of course the frequency response curve in my room. Humpty-dumpty.

(Freud is quoted to have said that puns are the lowest form of wit, and I bet that was in response to the nth joke over his name.)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Goratrix on 2012-02-14 19:34:22
the reality is that in this day and age an LP sounds better than the commercial CD counterpart, often by a long shot, especially any CD remasters of music that was originally done on vinyl from the 70s or 80s.


The word should be "some", not "any". For every butchered 70s and 80s remaster that gets all the bad press, there are 10 other remastered albums that sound much much better than their vinyl predecessors.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-14 20:07:29
I politely disagree -- the word should be "almost all" or "most" but definitely disagree with "some". 

Perhaps you spend doing this or you are just hypothecating -- I actually do this as I'm building a library for digital playback on my audio system.  I've ripped 100s of LPs and listened to them and measured them using Pure Music.  If you have done the same and compared these side-by-side I'd certainly be interested in what you've found.  I own thousands of CDs and maybe I can sell you a few of them now that I've ripped the vinyl.  To each his own I suppose, but I do disagree with your assertion and I apologize for using a term such as "all" which is clearly unfair.    I can think of 2 cases in the hundreds that I've ripped where the vinyl was not as good as the CD and those are Copper "Sugar Blue" (recent LP release is compressed and muddy) and REM's "Fables Of The Reconstruction" remaster which was compressed and sounded worse than the original CD.  REM did go with Mobile Fidelity for "Life's Rich Pageant" vinyl reissue and that sounds excellent.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-15 00:59:58
Quote
Where do YOU have any proof for your nonsense like:
and vinyl cut out the hi freq.

It is well known that the trackability of cartridges suffers at high frequencies. This document shows […]

Where do you get the notion from that vinyl is uncompressed? Do you really have any clue what you are talking about?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm...Q-Curve.svg.png (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/eb/RIAA-EQ-Curve.svg/300px-RIAA-EQ-Curve.svg.png)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-15 05:13:16
16 / 44.1 is NOT enough to fully capture the content of an LP when ripping the LP and playing back on good equipment.

I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing.  The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural -- I realize these are all subjective but I did this test with no axe to grind and I was actually hoping 16 bits would be enough since I could then move these also to my iPod for convenience -- however, the comparison was convincing enough that despite less convenience (must dither the files to play on iPod) and more storage space needed, I settled on 24 bit for my ripping process.
It would be very easy to do a double-blind ABX test of the 16-bit vs 24-bit files to prove that you really heard a difference.

Just saying "I heard a difference" is not enough on HA.

Let me say it again: an ABX test of 16 vs 24 bits is trivial to perform. […] EDIT: more interestingly, you could upload a 30 second 24-bit capture, and anyone here could create a 16-bit version and ABX the two - though not necessarily with the same high quality playback. We would, however, benefit from your high quality vinyl playback and capture.

David, I've created 12 different 30 second 24 bit 96 kHz samples of vinyl rips that I'd like to upload and you can convert it yourself and compare or I can upload my converted 16 bit 44.1 kHz samples that were converted using Izotope.  You may have your own commercial CDs of the same recordings to compare as well as a matter practical comparison.  Can you direct me to the upload section, I can't seem to find it.

Thanks
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: mzil on 2012-02-15 06:04:27
I'd think an AB or ABX test of LP vs CD would be pointless, since the faint pops and ticks, surface noise, etc, at least audible during the quiet passages or between cuts, even on the best pressings on the best setups, would be a dead giveaway when you were hearing vinyl.

Using the clever Meyer/Moran trick (http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195)  of an LP vs. a "bottlenecked" digitization of it, however, i.e. a quick A/D and then back through a D/A of a CD recorder [Called an "A/D/A loop"] , would make sense to me. Even at elevated levels, the surface noise of the direct LP record should swamp any other noise introduced by the digitization process, so I'm confident listeners would not be able to tell any difference under any real world conditions.

If a CD recorder can perfectly replicate an LP to the human ear, that would prove that anyone who "prefers" LP is simply prefering its added distortions.

Anyone ever hear of such a test having been done?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-15 08:55:52
And to be clear, I think at least 90% of my preference for vinyl has to do with improved mastering done for vinyl, perhaps a preference for euphonic distortion (although I can't really prove this), and perhaps a preference for some high end roll off (CDs tend to sound harsh, grainy and bright in comparison to me).

Nobody here is going to criticise you for expressing a personal preference for vinyl. (As it happens I rather like the sound of vinyl, too).

What you're being pulled up on is your speculations as to the source of your preference. You have made two claims:

1. That 16 bit isn't good enough to fully capture the information on vinyl. This is patently untrue and has been demonstrated countless times by others. If you want us to believe you definitely hear a difference, you need to prepare a 16 bit sample by bit-reducing a 24 bit recording of vinyl (which you have already done), then run them in a Foobar ABX test and post the results log.

2. That vinyl releases routinely have less dynamic range compression that CD. This probably used to be the case, but it sadly isn't these days. Many reports here and elsewhere seem to indicate that most modern vinyl is cut from the same hypercompressed master as the CD.

Perhaps your playback system has charteristics that suit vinyl better. Since vinyl has restricted high frequency capability, a system that has a bright tonal balance can make vinyl sound nice and CD sound rather strident.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: db1989 on 2012-02-15 09:27:47
Thanks for specifying that, cliveb. You are completely correct that no one is going to be condemned for having a personal preference. It’s when they begin attributing such a preference to some supposed technical superiority that there is a problem. Especially when said claims have been amply disproved. (Using the usual assortment of fuzzy buzz-words doesn’t make your case any more convincing, either!)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-15 09:31:23
Whereas, with good condition vinyl on an excellent turntable, most pop music sounds fine. You can only hear the crackles between the tracks, and then, who cares? It sounds good enough. It's inconvenient and easily damaged, but the sound is fine.

That is sort of my point. For many listeners, for a lot of content and for a lot of listening situations, vinyl seems to be at least "good enough". CD also seems to be "good enough", but that is 50-100 years newer technology.

Given the energy and money spent on good sound and good sound reproduction (both by audiophiles and self-proclaimed rationalists), I find this remarkeable, dont you?

Of course, writers of glossy audio magazines may claim that the vinyl format in itself is "better" than CD, but then they usually have no technical background, usually have no interest or experience in solid listening tests, and have an economical interest in selling magazines and advertisements. I don't see any reason to get worked up over their nonsense.
Quote
What I don't understand are people who listen to classical music from vinyl. There are such people. They ignore the imperfections of vinyl the same way that they ignore people coughing in the concert hall (to quote Mr Fremer). Myself, I'd rather no one was coughing

If one wants to accurately simulate the audio part of going to a concert, one could argue that coughs are a part of that experience. Vinyl scratches certainly are not a part of the regular classical concert, though.

If my favorite mastering of my favourite music was only available on vinyl, I would listen to it in some way (perhaps digitaized) and enjoy it and probably be able to not be annoyed by the flaws of the medium. I would rather have a pristine copy made from the original (well-preserved, hopefully) tapes, mastered closely to the original but delivered on a format without audible flaws, but I may not have that luxury all of the time.

Had I been 10-20 years older, I might also have had a larger collection of vinyl from my youth. Picking a large sleeve from the shelf and connecting the physical experience with memories and emotions from more hormonal years might be an experience that I would appreciate as my hear grew gray and my hearing deteriorated :-)
Quote
At the very least, if the performance only exists on vinyl, I'd rather digitise it and remove any obvious clicks before listening to it.

As long as no-one has proven that 44.1/16 audible degrades sound under sensible conditions, I see no sound (pun intended) reason not to digitize it. Rather, given that analog media wear down, I think that repeated playback should be done using digital gear, at least as a favour to future generations.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-15 11:03:39
Can you direct me to the upload section, I can't seem to find it.
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showforum=35 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showforum=35)

You might run out of space with lots of large files though.

Mediafire has no such limit, though HA blocks links to it. You can always put spaces in the links to get over this, but don't link anything longer than 30 seconds.

Cheers,
David.

P.S. cliveb is being modest - he's done a lot of this kind of thing, with very decent equipment and results.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: db1989 on 2012-02-15 11:08:53
Really? Mediafire should (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=92152) be allowed now. I just tested posting a link and did not observe any alteration thereof; the page loaded as normal.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-02-15 12:37:47
And some years of digital malpractice for quite a few reissues. It wasn't exactly 'perfect sound forever' ...

The CD format is turning 30. (Later this year, if we start at the first retail market release.)


The problem with modern recordings when there is one, is in the artistic choices, not the limitations of the medium.

People keep saying that some digital sounds like crap and it does, but the problem is with commercial and artistic choices, not the technology.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: MichaelW on 2012-02-15 12:37:58
For many listeners, for a lot of content and for a lot of listening situations, vinyl seems to be at least "good enough". CD also seems to be "good enough", but that is 50-100 years newer technology.


I think the point is that although vinyl is capable of very good reproduction, it takes a lot of care and reasonably serious money to achieve that standard. In the 1950s and '60s, most music was listened to on very suboptimal equipment (I think I went through the career of The Beatles with ceramic cartridges). Nowadays, equivalent consumer electronics bought in the same furniture stores will produce vastly superior reproduction, equal to or better than the exotic best of the vinyl era (always excepting speakers). That seems like real progress.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-15 17:05:09
And some years of digital malpractice for quite a few reissues. It wasn't exactly 'perfect sound forever' ...

The CD format is turning 30. (Later this year, if we start at the first retail market release.)


The problem with modern recordings when there is one, is in the artistic choices, not the limitations of the medium.

People keep saying that some digital sounds like crap and it does, but the problem is with commercial and artistic choices, not the technology.


Agreed -- digital can sound really good, check out Eric Claptons 24 bit releases on HDTracks they are amazing -- also, Band On The Run by Paul McCartney is available in 24 bit download from HDTracks and the uncompressed version blows me away.    I'm going to upload some 24 bit vinyl now and check that out too you should be able to convert it to 16 bit if you wan to compare for yourself for what it's worth.

The synergy of analog is digital is the real power that we have at our fingertips now.  I'm personally blown away that digital technology (Burl, Pure Vinyl, Burmester DAC) can provide the ability for me to hear my LPs played back digitally at high resolution, and, to my ears, they sound awesome.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-15 17:11:45
For many listeners, for a lot of content and for a lot of listening situations, vinyl seems to be at least "good enough". CD also seems to be "good enough", but that is 50-100 years newer technology.


I think the point is that although vinyl is capable of very good reproduction, it takes a lot of care and reasonably serious money to achieve that standard. In the 1950s and '60s, most music was listened to on very suboptimal equipment (I think I went through the career of The Beatles with ceramic cartridges). Nowadays, equivalent consumer electronics bought in the same furniture stores will produce vastly superior reproduction, equal to or better than the exotic best of the vinyl era (always excepting speakers). That seems like real progress.


Yes and no -- I've certainly spent a lot of care and money on my vinyl setup -- my Burl ADC alone probably costs more than most folks whole sound systems.  But I would say, in my experience, that vinyl quickly exceeds CD for the right material (I listen to much 70s and 80s vinyl) and is not just providing "good reproduction" but rather "stellar reproduction" that I can't seem to get from my CD playback and my 16 / 44.1 playback is done by Burmester which is a pretty good name in the business.  Even with my more modest Denon cartridge before upgrading to my Delos, I felt that my vinyl playback exceeded my CD playback when both were compared on my Burmester audio system.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-15 17:28:00
And to be clear, I think at least 90% of my preference for vinyl has to do with improved mastering done for vinyl, perhaps a preference for euphonic distortion (although I can't really prove this), and perhaps a preference for some high end roll off (CDs tend to sound harsh, grainy and bright in comparison to me).

Nobody here is going to criticise you for expressing a personal preference for vinyl. (As it happens I rather like the sound of vinyl, too).

What you're being pulled up on is your speculations as to the source of your preference. You have made two claims:

1. That 16 bit isn't good enough to fully capture the information on vinyl. This is patently untrue and has been demonstrated countless times by others. If you want us to believe you definitely hear a difference, you need to prepare a 16 bit sample by bit-reducing a 24 bit recording of vinyl (which you have already done), then run them in a Foobar ABX test and post the results log.

2. That vinyl releases routinely have less dynamic range compression that CD. This probably used to be the case, but it sadly isn't these days. Many reports here and elsewhere seem to indicate that most modern vinyl is cut from the same hypercompressed master as the CD.

Perhaps your playback system has charteristics that suit vinyl better. Since vinyl has restricted high frequency capability, a system that has a bright tonal balance can make vinyl sound nice and CD sound rather strident.


Sure CliveB,

(1)  I'm uploading 24 bit samples now and the 16 bit-reduced versions.  You can decide yourself -- I can also give you notes on what I hear as differences and you can compare.  I'm interested in whether YOU hear a difference. 

(2)  Agreed -- when I buy new vinyl music it often sounds equally as bad as the CD and sometimes worse due to poor pressing quality.  However, if I do buy a recording that was mastered by a place like Mobile Fidelity then it tends to sound outstanding to my ears. 




Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Light-Fire on 2012-02-15 17:50:27
...(1)  I'm uploading 24 bit samples now and the 16 bit-reduced versions.  You can decide yourself -- I can also give you notes on what I hear as differences and you can compare.  I'm interested in whether YOU hear a difference.


Did you hear the difference through a double blind test (16 x 24bit)? You should be interested in whether YOU can hear a difference.

When you say in your comments that you "proved to yourself" aren't you interested in bringing some EVIDENCE to the table so you can really prove it (at least) to yourself that you can hear the difference.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-15 18:30:32
Thanks for specifying that, cliveb. You are completely correct that no one is going to be condemned for having a personal preference. It’s when they begin attributing such a preference to some supposed technical superiority that there is a problem. Especially when said claims have been amply disproved. (Using the usual assortment of fuzzy buzz-words doesn’t make your case any more convincing, either!)


I just uploaded some samples -- have a listen with a good DAC and system and see what you think.  If the 16 bit versions sound like they could be improved with better bit reduction then please do let me know, I'm certainly open minded and I'd like to have both 24 bit versions and 16 bit versions.  I used Izotope MBit+ which I understand is very good, but I'm open minded to the fact that there may be much better converters out there.

Have fun, stay safe...
Feedback welcome when you give them a listen.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-16 10:05:57
I think the point is that although vinyl is capable of very good reproduction, it takes a lot of care and reasonably serious money to achieve that standard. In the 1950s and '60s, most music was listened to on very suboptimal equipment (I think I went through the career of The Beatles with ceramic cartridges). Nowadays, equivalent consumer electronics bought in the same furniture stores will produce vastly superior reproduction, equal to or better than the exotic best of the vinyl era (always excepting speakers). That seems like real progress.

Yes I agree, digital certainly have made it possible for the average consumer to get sound that is really close to how the producer heard it (talking about the source now, not loudspeakers/room).

On the other hand, audible differences between different digital components seems to be small, and "modding" digital equipment is really hard. This seems to frustrate audiophiles and elitists.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-16 14:24:40
That somebody can be taken seriously here who implies that vinyl signal is "uncompressed" and that the LP is in any way superior is a bit astonishing.

One does not need samples and digitization to check out the replay quality differences. Just put on the best test LP with sinusoidal signal that you have and run it: Check at 1000Hz and above.
Then do the same with a cd. No, you do not need an blind A/B/X test, you just have to listen a few times.
The CD signal comes through clearly without any audible distortions, The LP signal always makes my skin crawl with the harmonics produced. And that is independent of tonearm/cartridge combination.

There is physically no way a LP signal being transducted to a mechanical signal and back to an electrical signal can avoid being distorted.
The combination of cartridge/tonearm and the mechanics of the cartridge itself is fraught with resonances that cannot be eliminated, and that simply do not occur to the same extend (if at all) in a system like CD  read/write or even better in purely electrical transmission as in high quality downloads direct from the mastering.

No problem with somebody preferring vinyl - but do not claim that the signal is objectively better, don't even claim it is subjectively better, better meaning less distorted sine wave and the least amount of harmonics.
To do that is one thing only: lying in the face of evidence.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-16 16:55:18
Well it seems Cliveb disgarees. See post 165. And I think you do need ABX to back up claims about audible differences on HA.

Why aren't you also asking cliveb for ABX results?

FWIW botface, I will be asking neither for ABX results, but if kraut would like to upload a sample of a 1kHz tone digitized from vinyl that would be great.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-16 21:54:29
Sorry, but I am working at present. I will try to post audio samples asap and as soon as I have familirized myself how to post such samples.
I have about four different test records, and on all of them the distortions (odd and even order harmonics)  of a test sinus wave are clearly and unambiguously audible.

As to vinyl - vinyl is compressed to conform to the RIAA curve and decompressed through the reverse curve in the phono preamp.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-16 22:10:03
Compressed or equalized?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-16 22:28:49
OK, I have listened to Gretschguy's vinyl clips and done a cursory ABX test with Foobar.

I was unable to hear any difference between the 24 and 16 bit versions. […] Notwithstanding my failure to distinguish 24 and 16 bit versions (which frankly does not surprise me), I do want to say that these are very nice vinyl rips. I have three of the tracks on CD and prepared the same 30s clips from those in order to compare. I also measured the RMS-to-peak ratio for the CD and vinyl rips:

[…]

CliveB, thanks for taking the time to listen, compare, and share your notes.  This makes a lot of sense to me. 

For whatever reason, maybe my comfort growing up on vinyl, I've mapped this RMS-peak measure very much to my personal preference / enjoyment -- in fact, as I mentioned in a previous post, I prefer the CD of Sugar's "Copper Blue" to the new "audiophile" vinyl that was supervised by Bob Mould -- to my ears the vinyl sounds compressed and closed in, the CD sounds just awesome.  I should measure the two -- I bet the CD has more RMS-peak spread.

This thread has opened my mind to checking out some stuff from my CD collection without such a closed mind -- I bought so many remasters and new CDs in the past 5 to 10 years that I just got hugely negative on CDs and once I returned to my vinyl I was overwhelmingly happy with the results and I'm zealous about sharing my experience -- however, I've not yet converted to being a hipster.  But after buying some loser 24 bit / 96 kHz downloads and some loser vinyl, I've been coming to the conclusion that almost all formats are "good enough" for me but rarely is modern mastering "good enough" for me. 

I will check out my CDs made in the 90s, they probably sound awesome on my system and I've largely ignored them after having become so frustrated with CDs.

I hope, just as this thread has inspired me to take a fresh look at my old CDs, that it may have inspired someone along the way to check into vinyl releases of their favorite artists with the possibility that they too may hear something they like better given the reality that the mastering might be very different.  I would suggest anyone in particular who may have grown up on vinyl and has also bought many remastered CDs should give vinyl a shot, especially the Mobile Fidelity and Analogue Productions vinyl.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-17 01:27:40
As posted earler, one can copy a LP to a CD and the CD will sound like a LP with all the added sound. But one can not make an LP sound like a CD.

If one likes that added sould of an LP, fine, I for one don't.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-17 01:54:19
Quote
Compressed or equalized?


I heard it both ways. Some call it compression, some  equalized.

http://www.euronet.nl/~mgw/background/riaa...ckground_1.html (http://www.euronet.nl/~mgw/background/riaa/uk_riaa_background_1.html)

Quote
Coding/Recording lower frequencies require most space on Vinyl, since the lower the frequency the wider the groove. This could result in difficulties for the stylus to follow the groove without jumping out and at the same way it reduces the recording time on the record (which is not fixed but dependent on the number of grooves that fit on one side). The solution was to reduce the amount of lower frequencies during recording and reverse this process (amplify lower frequencies) during playback.

Higher frequencies are amplified before putting them on the record, and corrected during playback. Since noise is for a large part present in the higher frequencies, so this process makes the signal to noise ratio a lot better.

To me it sounds what Dolby compression (equalization?) did to reduce the noise on tape recordings.
I had used it when it first came out on some private live recordings, pumping noise was however quite noticeable in the unit I used.

I have to figure out the recording procedure in windows (I have trouble at present recording in foobar, cannot get the level up??)
I just show some screenshots of the test record to illustrate the quite heavy harmonics. One has to decide for him/herself if there is a chance of audibility.

(http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/2434/capture10khzffloydtoole.png)
By kraut_2 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/kraut_2) at 2012-02-16

(http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/600/capture5khzflloydtoole.png)
By kraut_2 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/kraut_2) at 2012-02-16

(http://img140.imageshack.us/img140/8876/capture1khzflloydtoole.png)
By kraut_2 (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/kraut_2) at 2012-02-16

This test record is actually the best, where I do not have to grit the teeth at one kHz. It is:

Audio System Test Record, produced by the editors of SOUND Canada, in conjunction with McGill University Records with the assistance of the National Research Council of Canada.
Recording Engineer was Flloyd E. Toole and Wieslaw Woszczyk, pressing by CBS Canada, Producers both of them and Alan Lofft.
The most interesting track on the record is the Anti Skating adjustment, which is not done by an empty track, but what I call dynamically by adjusting the bias so a signal mix of 1kHz and 1.5kHz produces an equal buzzing sound in both channelsm at increasing sound levels. Works great.

The system used to play back is a technics SL 10 with tangential arm and a 310MC system by technics, using a  add on phono section from Naim preamp with a separate powersupply by Marchand Electronics.

I have used the other tonearms (MG! and SME 3 with both Denon DL 103) on Thorens TD 125 in the past with similar if not identical results.

I run the phono preamp signal (RIAA equalized!) to the analogue input of the m-audio 1010lt soundcard.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-17 02:00:05
As posted earler, one can copy a LP to a CD and the CD will sound like a LP with all the added sound. But one can not make an LP sound like a CD.

If one likes that added sould of an LP, fine, I for one don't.

Paul

   


Paul,
As I stated above, I think most of my preference is due to the lack of compression being applied since I find certain new CDs preferable to certain new vinyl when I feel the mastering has squashed the sound.  Likewise, I've heard some 24 / 96 downloads that theoretically should sound great but sound lousy to me.  I can't say I agree or disagree with your assertion, but I would disagree that a person likes vinyl only due to added coloration.  I do think I like the added coloration but given the choice I would probably go with the CD over vinyl if the dynamics have not been crushed.

If the dynamics are equivalent (same mastering essentially) then my gut feeling is that I like the vinyl better due to LESS sound in the high frequency range and maybe MORE sound in the bass and midrange which I suppose is harmonic.

I'm ripping Siamese Dream vinyl from Smashing Pumpkins today, it will be interesting to see how this measures since the original CD was really, really good.  I'm a little suspicious that the new vinyl may be squashed and I probably will not prefer it.  Should be an interesting one to compare.

Again, I'm not trying to argue, just trying to give perspective.  For me, the remastering trend eventually sent me running back to vinyl as I tried to understand why I no longer liked the CDs I was buying --- keep in mind, I own many thousands of CDs over a long period of time.  For a long time, I really loved my CDs.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-17 02:09:07
I heard it both ways.

I'm certain it's equalization, not compression.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-02-17 03:06:15
I heard it both ways.

I'm certain it's equalization, not compression.

Quite right.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-17 04:26:15
Paul, tonight I'm ripping the original vinyl Siouxsie & The Banshees "Tinderbox" -- Pure Music measures "dynamic range" for "Party's Fall" at 24dB (dynamic range here is defined as peak to LEQ ratio) -- I loaded up my remastered CD I bought last year and it measure 14dB on the same song!

I know you probably are aware of this whole loudness war thing, but I'm not sure folks appreciate that guys like me have run screaming back to our vinyl for this exact reason.  That's some massive compression on the remaster -- that's more than a 40% reduction right?  It's a lot more "sound" probably due to multi-band compression which seems prevalent in mastering in the last five years or so (I'm guessing here, I'm not sure when this gem of modern technology was bestowed upon us).

I do my own mastering in my studio and compression has some damaging effects.  Again, I apologize if this is obvious to everyone.  I just don't think the "colorization" of vinyl is the main point for some people such as me who think our old vinyl smokes these new remasters.  This one is atrocious!  Maybe its useful for me to take down some of my other samples and load up a comparison of "Party's Fall" original vinyl to the new remaster?  Let me know if anyone is interested.

Does anyone have "Tinderbox", do you measure what I measure.  Holy smokes.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-17 09:03:24
The differences Cliveb highlighted indicate that he could easily ABX the samples so there doesn't seem to be the need to ask him to do so. And his opinions were based on careful listening to the samples under discussion rather than a test signal

Just to clarify. Botface's comment could be interpreted as meaning that I was able to ABX the 24 and 16 bit samples uploaded by Gretschguy. This is NOT the case. I was unable to ABX the 24 and 16 versions of the clips that Gretschguy uploaded. Posting a log would be pointless.

What I *did* report was that I could easily discern the diference between Gretschguy's vinyl rips and my CD versions. I could post logs, but they would just show 100% success. In any case, being able to ABX a vinyl rip against a CD (which could well have been produced from a different master) is hardly surprising.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-17 09:13:41
I will check out my CDs made in the 90s, they probably sound awesome on my system and I've largely ignored them after having become so frustrated with CDs.

There is a vanishingly small window during the late 80s when rock/pop CDs were routinely well made. In the very early days, they were often produced from Nth generation copy tapes, and once we got into the 90s the dynamic compression excesses started. The Led Zeppelin set remastered by Jimmy Page and George Marino in 1991 is probably the earliest example I can think of where rot had begun to set in.


Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: zaentzpantz on 2012-02-17 12:06:41
I will check out my CDs made in the 90s, they probably sound awesome on my system and I've largely ignored them after having become so frustrated with CDs.

There is a vanishingly small window during the late 80s when rock/pop CDs were routinely well made. In the very early days, they were often produced from Nth generation copy tapes, and once we got into the 90s the dynamic compression excesses started. The Led Zeppelin set remastered by Jimmy Page and George Marino in 1991 is probably the earliest example I can think of where rot had begun to set in.

You are right, there was a lot of poor cds released in the 80s from production copies of master tapes, which often had a bit of equalisation to compensate for the vinyl cutting process. A couple of Genesis albums definitely. I even had one cd which had the analogue transfer dolby decoded when there was no dolby encoding. It was similar in the world of analogue when discs were often transferred to tape to send off to far flung countries as master tapes for cutting to vinyl again.
Many modern cds sound bad because of the poor recording techniques, no longer are experienced studio engineers working in calibrated acoustic control rooms, instead we have talented musicians using fairly good speakers in a spare room and the quality of sound just isn't there to start with. Listen to "Back to Black", which has a fairly thin sound and a mix that sounds like the faders were all set at zero and left for the duration, yet it's retro music that's been done superbly in they days of analogue. It's not the technology sometimes, but the way of recording which doesn't need as much care or expertise to sound half good.
My preference is for SACD, there's some wonderful Stones albums done and Little Red Rooster sounds like great analogue.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: botface on 2012-02-17 12:51:00
I've uploaded a recording of a tone sweep taken from vinyl Here (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=93516) in case anybody's interested in having a listen
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-17 13:51:41
I’m talking about the medium, and not way some children are now using it with some types of music.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Wombat on 2012-02-17 16:01:38
Is it only me or do others think this thread is getting pointless?
Gretschguy repeats over and over how good his vinyl sounds. To me a rip can have some fancy audiophile dB value above 50 and even when i only hear one vinyl artifact i´m done with it.
The claim 24bit is better as 16bit he never proved. I have the feeling he simply says to himself we wackos here have no Burmester so what do we know.
Doe sthis thread still have any value?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-17 16:33:17
I wondered myself if this was at once a good thread that got hijacked, but after reading the first post again I don't think so. It's fine for people to explain why they like vinyl. It does not mean that this thread needs to go on and on comparing vinyl to CD on a title by title, pressing by pressing basis. It is definitely not a repository for comments about personal digital transcriptions of vinyl. In fact I'm pretty certain that we already have at least one dedicated discussion for that.

For those of you who haven't already, please read the article that is the topic of this discussion before posting.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Wombat on 2012-02-17 16:46:18
Ok, sorry if i sounded to pinheaded but you are right. The only thing that made me interested here was the 24bit claim, since this came out to be a false alarm let everyone keep his feelings float in here, why not.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-18 21:24:04
Is it only me or do others think this thread is getting pointless?
Gretschguy repeats over and over how good his vinyl sounds. To me a rip can have some fancy audiophile dB value above 50 and even when i only hear one vinyl artifact i´m done with it.
The claim 24bit is better as 16bit he never proved. I have the feeling he simply says to himself we wackos here have no Burmester so what do we know.
Doe sthis thread still have any value?


Wombat, not at all -- apologies if I came off arrogant, I was originally a bit miffed that folks dissed vinyl so strongly when I feel there are very compelling reasons to listen to vinyl, especially vintage vinyl which was the original medium of the work product.  And I also wanted to express that it's not just the extra stuff too, I think its actually a different overall presentation with (excuse me) more air and deep bottoms and less weight in the upper high frequencies -- a different tonal balance typically that I prefer.

I did not mean to hijack this thread or cause a stir, the topic seemed subjective to me -- heck even hipsters were dragged into it -- but then it got really technical with sine waves and stuff and I thought, oh no, I've landed in an odd place.    I just wanted to give my perspective on why I like vinyl and I really don't think it is JUST coloration.  It has a lot to do with remastering and my feeling that only over a short period of time do CDs, to my ears, sound very good on a practical level.  Since I love the music of the 70s and 80s its almost entirely true for me that the vinyl sounds better.

I constructed an AB test of my 16 bit versus 24 bit Dire Straits sample, on my system I scored 65% hit rate of identifying the correct sample (24 or 16) over 20 samples.  I'm not sure if that is a valid AB blind test or not, I had a friend arrange the samples into a group of 10 (5 each) and rename them so I would have no idea which sample was which.  This might have actually been harder than an AB test since I had him arrange them in a random order.

65% is lower than I had honestly expected I would score.  To identify the samples I felt I heard some deep lows on the bass drum and some additional clarity on the vocals.

I then did an EQ match on the two samples using my Logic Pro system and I found that the 16 bit sample has a noticeable missing hump of bottom with a max diff around 5dB near say 35Hz and the 16 bit sample has a bump of about 1dB to 2dB around 1k.  If I'm generous with my hearing, I'd say that I may be picking up on some lack of definition around the vocal at around 1k -- let's call it blurring or smearing.  The kick drum also sounded a little different to me and, again, if I'm generous about it perhaps I'm hearing that difference at 35Hz. 

Those tonal differences could no doubt have to do with the dithering, I have no idea.  Maybe someone can technically compare the two samples and give us some insight.

I'm not an audio engineer, I just play one on TV, so maybe using Logic Pro's EQ Match is an off the rocker idea -- I don't know -- I wanted to look at whether tonally they lined up exactly and they did not. 

I will try to post the EQ Match from Logic Pro.

GG









Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-18 21:52:22
Hey, dumb question, how do I drop a picture (screen shot) into a post?  I've tried to drag and drop and no luck.
Thanks



Please stop including pointless full quotes of other posts, especially when they are huge and completely unrelated
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: lvqcl on 2012-02-18 22:13:50
I then did an EQ match on the two samples using my Logic Pro system and I found that the 16 bit sample has a noticeable missing hump of bottom with a max diff around 5dB near say 35Hz and the 16 bit sample has a bump of about 1dB to 2dB around 1k.  If I'm generous with my hearing, I'd say that I may be picking up on some lack of definition around the vocal at around 1k -- let's call it blurring or smearing.  The kick drum also sounded a little different to me and, again, if I'm generous about it perhaps I'm hearing that difference at 35Hz. 

Those tonal differences could no doubt have to do with the dithering, I have no idea.  Maybe someone can technically compare the two samples and give us some insight.


I downloaded your "Romeo And Juliet" samples and (according to Adobe Audition 3.0 frequency analysis) there are no differences in their spectral characteristics.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: tpijag on 2012-02-18 22:41:19
Quote
Hey, dumb question, how do I drop a picture (screen shot) into a post? I've tried to drag and drop and no luck.

You use the insert image button/capability and an image hosting service.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Wombat on 2012-02-18 23:23:22
65% is lower than I had honestly expected I would score.  To identify the samples I felt I heard some deep lows on the bass drum and some additional clarity on the vocals.

I then did an EQ match on the two samples using my Logic Pro system and I found that the 16 bit sample has a noticeable missing hump of bottom with a max diff around 5dB near say 35Hz and the 16 bit sample has a bump of about 1dB to 2dB around 1k.  If I'm generous with my hearing, I'd say that I may be picking up on some lack of definition around the vocal at around 1k -- let's call it blurring or smearing.  The kick drum also sounded a little different to me and, again, if I'm generous about it perhaps I'm hearing that difference at 35Hz. 

Those tonal differences could no doubt have to do with the dithering, I have no idea.  Maybe someone can technically compare the two samples and give us some insight.

65% means nothing.
These tonal differences you describe can´t be related to different bitrates or any dither. Either your playback chain has some serious problems or your expection bias is just unexpected high that you even can imgine different tonality with up to 5dB added. Never heard anyone descriping the differences with 5dB loss in bass and added content around 1kHz. This isn´t how things work.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-02-19 05:22:43
Is it only me or do others think this thread is getting pointless? .............................................................I will try to post the EQ Match from Logic Pro.

GG


Long story short, copy it to a CD and it will sound the same.

Paul

   
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-19 09:55:19
I was originally a bit miffed that folks dissed vinyl so strongly when I feel there are very compelling reasons to listen to vinyl, especially vintage vinyl which was the original medium of the work product.  And I also wanted to express that it's not just the extra stuff too, I think its actually a different overall presentation with (excuse me) more air and deep bottoms and less weight in the upper high frequencies -- a different tonal balance typically that I prefer.
Given that all these advantages can be accurately reproduced in your 24/96 copy (and, IMO, in your 16/44.1 copy), that's a compelling reason to download needle drops, not to buy vinyl. Digital itself is just fine. In some cases modern releases are compressed to death, in others they're sourced from less worn/aged master tapes, but in others it's just vinyl distortion that makes it sound "better" to you. In all these cases, it'll sound just as wonderful on a digital copy.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm not advocating piracy. Buy the CD. Download the needle drop(s). Listen to whichever sounds better.

Or just buy the vinyl and copy it to digital, if you're fairly sure the CD is worse. You can always check Spotify or whatever to hear the level of compression.

The irony is, if you're seeking out second hand / used vinyl, the artist isn't going to get a penny from your purchase.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-19 14:26:15
Thanks David, I like my own needle drops -- it's a hobby per se, I want to fine tune the sound with a cartridge that I like not some random setup.  The Delos for example is considered to be detailed and dynamic relative to other more lush cartridges.

Its time consuming no doubt, but it's legal and it's fun actually (for me at least).

Good point on the artists, but I do subscribe to Spotify and I buy a lot of new music on vinyl, HD Tracks, and sometimes CD.  I own a zillion different copies of Who's Next on vinyl, CD, etc.. -- they, for example, have my pound of flesh!

So for several reasons I would not download needle drops nor would I upload my own.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-19 15:16:22
Is it only me or do others think this thread is getting pointless? .............................................................I will try to post the EQ Match from Logic Pro.

GG


Long story short, copy it to a CD and it will sound the same.

Paul

   


Paul, I'm happy to be done with it.  I'm going to stick with 24/96 since my Burl does 24 not 16 which avoids me dithering as an additional step and I have no idea what the future holds on this subject, smarter people than I line up on both sides, I just don't want to re rip a 1000 CDs if we do find some use or content in those bits.  I hope I didn't violate the TOS there, I honestly am not convinced either way at this point, but I'd like to error on the side of ripping too much data than too little just in case since data is cheap but my time ripping is not.

On the specific EQ diff that I see, I wonder if I have a 44.1 versus 48 problem there?  Does anyone know if that diff in EQ would be subtle or really obvious?  Again, this is not important really, but I'm curious why I see it.

What I find much more interesting is to look at some EQ curves (20 to 20) and see the diffs between modern CDs and vintage vinyl.  I see some really interesting things anecdotally that I think help map to this preference that people have which is where this thread started as I understood it but then maybe i inadvertently took it into a theoretical discussion.  From some spot checking I see the modem CDs have less EQ on the extremes and much more weight around 1k zone.  That may explain some of the fatigue with modern CDs for guys like me.  When I applied the vinyl adjustment to some tracks I was able to turn them up louder and enjoy them more.





Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-19 19:59:03
As was pointed out earlier a score of 65% does not adequately demonstrate that you can determine a difference.

Please read this topic which also happens to be linked in the description of TOS8:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=16295 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=16295)

The rule is also specific about the use of subjective language to communicate differences. Terms like 3D, openness, air and weight are not welcome. I'm reading about how this is becoming a theoretical discussion, yet there is no theoretical basis for differences in low frequency content, nor differences at 1kHz. It reads like more pseudoscientific nonsense.

Regarding dither as an additional step, has anyone adequately demonstrated that the lower 9 bits of a normalized 24 bit digitization of vinyl are comprised of something other than noise?  IOW I don't see much of a case demonstrating that dithering is even necessary when preparing vinyl for a 16-bit delivery format.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-20 08:58:25
Regarding dither as an additional step, has anyone adequately demonstrated that the lower 9 bits of a normalized 24 bit digitization of vinyl are comprised of something other than noise?  IOW I don't see much of a case demonstrating that dithering is even necessary when preparing vinyl for a 16-bit delivery format.

It was by no means a rigorous test, but I did a casual ABX of vinyl ripped to various bit depths and posted the results here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=735710 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=85555&view=findpost&p=735710)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-20 09:53:58
There's a thread somewhere about the use/point/non-noise-like-ness of the LSBs in any audio, not just vinyl. And lossyWAV to show just how many you can often remove without dither

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-20 10:00:11
@Gretschguy,

I also have several different copies of certain favourite albums - sometimes because finding a decent version is so elusive. One is enough if it sounds great. Five isn't enough if they're all flawed. Strange though that the most incompetent / couldn't-care-less record companies get to make the most money out of this racket.

As for 24/96 vs 16/44.1, you're not doing any harm using the former (assuming storage is inconsequently cheap) - with a ADC and/or DAC that doesn't support 44.1kHz, you're probably doing some good.

Only problem is, you can't come on HA and claim vinyl as a medium sounds better than CD, or 24/96 sounds better than 16/44.1, without double blind test results to back up those claims. Such results are rare, because the actual advantages are vanishingly small on well designed equipment, and inaudible.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-20 19:31:03
As was pointed out earlier a score of 65% does not adequately demonstrate that you can determine a difference.

Please read this topic which also happens to be linked in the description of TOS8:
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....showtopic=16295 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=16295)

The rule is also specific about the use of subjective language to communicate differences. Terms like 3D, openness, air and weight are not welcome. I'm reading about how this is becoming a theoretical discussion, yet there is no theoretical basis for differences in low frequency content, nor differences at 1kHz. It reads like more pseudoscientific nonsense.

Regarding dither as an additional step, has anyone adequately demonstrated that the lower 9 bits of a normalized 24 bit digitization of vinyl are comprised of something other than noise?  IOW I don't see much of a case demonstrating that dithering is even necessary when preparing vinyl for a 16-bit delivery format.


Greynol, I agree -- 65% does not adequately demonstrate, I may try the full song for my own purposes to see if I get a better score, but I'm getting tired of that tune now!      Hopefully I've been honest and transparent, my aim is just to share my experience.

Hey my point on the 1k thing was anecdotal, I thought I was clear about that, its not technical at all -- simply take a 70s or 80s LP rip in any format and do a comparison of the EQ curve to something modern.  It's not a technical claim at all, its trying to help explain why foks, such as I, perhaps may have a preference for vinyl.  Nothing more.

In fact, my 1k thing there helps argue your case that you can take a modern CD and make it sound more like vinyl.  That would be a really fun thread actually. 

Here's what I did, I took "Dreaming of You" by War Tapes and lowered the level, then applied a curve from David Bowie's '76 vinyl "Golden Years", I then applied dynamic expansion using the "add punch" setting in Logic Pro.  The result was pretty darn good, it only took a few minutes and the result was that I had a song that I found hard to listen to suddenly become enjoyable (for me). 

Let me clarify that this experience is anecdotal (I did a couple songs and will do more) and not meant to suggest any technical superiority of either format.  That exercise is not for me -- sorry again, that I stepped into it.  I will look for a thread or other forum that has interest in the work that I'm doing to recapture vinyl like qualities on modern CDs.

I actually see the CD format as not very relevant for me since my car does 24/48 from a hard drive and my home equipment does up to 24/192 there seems only the advantage of less data storage to choosing 16/44.1,  44.1 seems kind of arbitrary for me given that I don't want to cut a bunch of Red Book CDs, there would be no point in the physical media for me.

With regard to CDs specifically, I find it more interesting, practically speaking, in how I can take modern CDs and give them a more vinyl like sound through some modern mastering techniques -- perhaps, in my opinion, doing something that, for me, would be a more constructive use of modern mastering tools than a destructive use (multi-band squashing).

Sorry if I annoyed people, you guys seem like a good bunch, I'll stop focusing the thread now on my preferences / desires / opinions / etc.. and I'll move along with my ripping and anti-remastering now.


All the best,
Have fun, Stay safe



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: xpander on 2012-02-21 01:09:15
what perhaps has not been mentioned is the fact that vinyl was made in a different time

everything was different

ok if you copy vinyl onto cd / digital it will sound near as dammit the same

but

most commercial cds have been mastered for CD and have been made louder and brighter in the process

so i dont really care whether vinyl is better than cd or not

at least if i listen to an old vinyl i know i will be hearing the way it sounded when it was released

I cant stand the sound of remastered old music

only now is there a school of thought that says a good remastering for CD is a perfect transfer

sound always changes

now its loud bright and wider than is mono compatible

i still buy old vinyls and would prefer to listen to them when listening to older (better) music



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-21 01:23:39
near as dammit the same

What a stange and unnecessary idiom.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: xpander on 2012-02-21 02:08:10
near as dammit the same

What a stange and unnecessary idiom.

why?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-21 02:13:47
near as dammit the same

What a stange and unnecessary idiom.


Huh?  Why?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-21 05:56:54
what perhaps has not been mentioned is the fact that vinyl was made in a different time
everything was different
ok if you copy vinyl onto cd / digital it will sound near as dammit the same
but
most commercial cds have been mastered for CD and have been made louder and brighter in the process
so i dont really care whether vinyl is better than cd or not
at least if i listen to an old vinyl i know i will be hearing the way it sounded when it was released
I cant stand the sound of remastered old music
only now is there a school of thought that says a good remastering for CD is a perfect transfer
sound always changes
now its loud bright and wider than is mono compatible
i still buy old vinyls and would prefer to listen to them when listening to older (better) music


Yes, vinyl was made at a different time using equipment that was not necessarily the most noise less or the most flat. That might account for the many Rock and Blues albums I have that are simply atrocious in sound quality. There are  exceptions however.  My special beef is with classical records that seem to be imbued with more surface noise than any other records, even fresh out of the package and cleaned and run wet.

I listen to a lot of new blues, rock, jazz and classical. I cannot concur that the majority of those CD's is in any way more or less compressed than the best vinyl productions.

I have as a prime example "Kind of Blue" in remastered CD, original cd (that went to Sally Ann) format and as LP - the CD beats the vinyl and the 1st edition cd. I also have some remastered Zappa CD's, that beat any of the original issue cds  and the vinyl as well.
By that I mean cleanly audible and measurable extension to about 20kHz, with low noise and excellent balance between the instruments and a satisfying spatial presentation. I also have listened to Robin Trower's CD transfers that are more pleasurable to listen to then the original LP I have as well. The frequency range is extended, the instruments do not sound clumped together.
So much for violating some TOS, but the differences are very clearly discernible in a simple A/B comparison. And as I own samples of both formats, I really have no problem to say which one sounds better - better as defined.

I also have found no compatibility issues with mono, having tried on a few for test purposes (i.e testing ambio effects)

I really like to know which music you find categorically better because of "old".

In the categories I listen to, which includes a lot of "world" music, (many cd's from african musicians), Blues, Rock, electronic music and some chamber music of new material, I only can say that "old" has its value, but that in no way diminishes the the new music out there, which through "cross-breeding" is very exciting.
Just think of the stuff that Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Beck, Sonny Landreth, the Kronos Quartet, Tan Dun, Ali Farka Tore and hundreds of other musicians world wide produce.
Older is better? I guess you have a problem.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: botface on 2012-02-21 08:38:31
I'm sure Jeff Beck would be thrilled to be sen as "new" - and Sonny Landreth to a lesser extent.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-21 09:42:57
at least if i listen to an old vinyl i know i will be hearing the way it sounded when it was released
This is pretty fascinating (for me!)...

http://www.beatledrops.com/ (http://www.beatledrops.com/)

Short clips from each released version of each Beatles album. To my ears, the originals are the best if you can hear past any clicks, noise and distortion.


However, if you want to be that critical, there's always something wrong. e.g. take Gretschguy's excellent upload of "Father and Son" (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=93477). At 24 seconds in, on the word "away" there's distortion that you could think was Cat's voice cracking. Except if you have the CD, you can hear no such distortion, because it's not part of the original recording. It's vinyl distortion. Even 128kbps mp3 never changed an artist's intention so much - yet vinyl does it all the time. I think different people learn or choose to ignore different shortcomings.


The original vinyl isn't always better. Some original vinyl is poor. Plenty of 1950s and 1960s records have stunning (almost compression-free) remixes from the 3/4-tracks or remasters from the 2-tracks available on CD which utterly trounce the original vinyl releases. I bought the original UK vinyl of "Come Dance with Me" by Frank Sinatra, but it's a pale shadow of the CD. The CD itself is a fairly straight 1980s transfer of the original tapes - nothing special, but nothing bad.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-02-21 13:16:13
Audio System Test Record, produced by the editors of SOUND Canada, in conjunction with McGill University Records with the assistance of the National Research Council of Canada.
Recording Engineer was Flloyd E. Toole and Wieslaw Woszczyk, pressing by CBS Canada, Producers both of them and Alan Lofft.
The most interesting track on the record is the Anti Skating adjustment, which is not done by an empty track, but what I call dynamically by adjusting the bias so a signal mix of 1kHz and 1.5kHz produces an equal buzzing sound in both channelsm at increasing sound levels. Works great.

The system used to play back is a technics SL 10 with tangential arm and a 310MC system by technics, using a  add on phono section from Naim preamp with a separate powersupply by Marchand Electronics.

I have used the other tonearms (MG! and SME 3 with both Denon DL 103) on Thorens TD 125 in the past with similar if not identical results.

I run the phono preamp signal (RIAA equalized!) to the analogue input of the m-audio 1010lt soundcard.


I find the spectral analysis shown in the post to be pretty much what I expected. If they were from an amplifier or a CD player they would be highly distressing to most. They are closer to being like the results of similar tests performed on loudspeakers, but probably still not as good.

However, by themselves they don't portray actual audibility of vinyl artifacts when listening to music. This is because the tests involved single pure tones. The harmonics are thus at higher less audible frequencies which may lull some into a false sense of comfort. 

Were the tests performed with musically relevant multiple tones, even just two tones, there would be artifacts down at frequencies where the ear is highly sensitive, even more sensitive that it is to some of the test tones.

Also, the spectral plots don't have enough resolution to show the FM distortion, which is endemic in vinyl, and in fact in most analog recordings.

There is a reason why most everybody got out of analog as soon as they could, and the reason has a lot to do with the quest for higher fidelity to the original sound.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-21 15:00:26
Quote
I'm sure Jeff Beck would be thrilled to be sen as "new" - and Sonny Landreth to a lesser extent.

I have listende to Jeff Beck since yardbird days, and to Sonny Landreth for about ten years now.
Making new music does not mean you have to be young or a "new" musician. New music can be well made - and mostly is -by experienced musicians.
Zappa made "new" music all the time, although being on stage for centuries.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: botface on 2012-02-21 15:39:19
Sorry for trying to introduce a note of levity there.

Actually your post is a very good one for highlighting how differently we can perceive things. I have lots of old blues and rock on vinyl that sounds great to me. I have lots of blues and rock on CD that sounds great too.  And while I've often been disappointed by remasters I have some good ones as well. I've also never found classical recordings on vinyl to be problematic unless the record was faulty. Indeed record companies used to go to a lot more trouble over their classical/jazz pressings than their pop/rock ones - virgin vinyl, less pressings per stamper etc. Perhaps it just shows that the music interests me more than the carrier or the replay equipment
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-21 16:23:07
Indeed record companies used to go to a lot more trouble over their classical/jazz pressings than their pop/rock ones - virgin vinyl, less pressings per stamper etc.
I think that must be a US thing. In the UK, even budget "pop" re-releases from the late 1960s (on EMI labels at least) seemed to have the quality that people die for these days. Though by the 1980s the vinyl was becoming paper thin in comparison. I've never noticed a difference in pressing quality between serious classical and ephemeral pop in either decade (from the same family of labels at least).

The very few 1960s US pop LPs I have are atrocious in comparison, but it's hardly a usefully large sample.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-21 16:34:10
near as dammit the same

What a stange and unnecessary idiom.

why?

Do you have any objective and verifiable evidence demonstrating that CDDA, as a delivery format, cannot 100% faithfully capture the sound of vinyl?

Unless you do and until you present it, you really have no business telling anyone that they sound different, whether only "near as dammit" or otherwise.

PS: Don't bother presenting arguments appealing to dogs and bats.

EDIT: @xpander, don't bother answering if it will read any thing like your recent binned reply (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=93593).  @Gretschguy, please, not another round of this.  You failed quite miserably in your last attempt.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: botface on 2012-02-21 19:04:37
Indeed record companies used to go to a lot more trouble over their classical/jazz pressings than their pop/rock ones - virgin vinyl, less pressings per stamper etc.
I think that must be a US thing. In the UK, even budget "pop" re-releases from the late 1960s (on EMI labels at least) seemed to have the quality that people die for these days. Though by the 1980s the vinyl was becoming paper thin in comparison. I've never noticed a difference in pressing quality between serious classical and ephemeral pop in either decade (from the same family of labels at least).

The very few 1960s US pop LPs I have are atrocious in comparison, but it's hardly a usefully large sample.

Cheers,
David.

David,
        No, I'm talking about the UK from the mid-70's to late-80's. 60's pressings do seem to be thicker/heavier and there's the "it's an original" factor that probably makes them more collectible. Conventional wisdom says it was the oil crisis (1974??) that caused a vinyl shortage and hence lighter records. Not sure if that's true or whether it was record company accountants that were responsible.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-22 04:50:53
near as dammit the same

What a stange and unnecessary idiom.

why?

Do you have any objective and verifiable evidence demonstrating that CDDA, as a delivery format, cannot 100% faithfully capture the sound of vinyl?

Unless you do and until you present it, you really have no business telling anyone that they sound different, whether only "near as dammit" or otherwise.

PS: Don't bother presenting arguments appealing to dogs and bats.

EDIT: @xpander, don't bother answering if it will read any thing like your recent binned reply (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=93593).  @Gretschguy, please, not another round of this.  You failed quite miserably in your last attempt.


I just thought your comment was rude that's all -- you seem like a nice guy Greynol, I think it's uncool to be rude to this guy or to me or anyone else m'kay?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-22 04:53:38
at least if i listen to an old vinyl i know i will be hearing the way it sounded when it was released
This is pretty fascinating (for me!)...

http://www.beatledrops.com/ (http://www.beatledrops.com/)

Short clips from each released version of each Beatles album. To my ears, the originals are the best if you can hear past any clicks, noise and distortion.


However, if you want to be that critical, there's always something wrong. e.g. take Gretschguy's excellent upload of "Father and Son" (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=93477). At 24 seconds in, on the word "away" there's distortion that you could think was Cat's voice cracking. Except if you have the CD, you can hear no such distortion, because it's not part of the original recording. It's vinyl distortion. Even 128kbps mp3 never changed an artist's intention so much - yet vinyl does it all the time. I think different people learn or choose to ignore different shortcomings.


The original vinyl isn't always better. Some original vinyl is poor. Plenty of 1950s and 1960s records have stunning (almost compression-free) remixes from the 3/4-tracks or remasters from the 2-tracks available on CD which utterly trounce the original vinyl releases. I bought the original UK vinyl of "Come Dance with Me" by Frank Sinatra, but it's a pale shadow of the CD. The CD itself is a fairly straight 1980s transfer of the original tapes - nothing special, but nothing bad.

Cheers,
David.


Agreed -- there's a definite trade off -- I was listening to the original "Who's Next" Decca release and it sounds really noisy but also really raw and powerful, sounded really dynamic to me.  It's a trade off, but I prefer that sound.


Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-22 05:03:35
[quote name='Gretschguy' date='Feb 22 2012, 06:53' post='787024']

Here's an interesting thing I was reading today about "Mastered For iTunes":

http://images.apple.com/itunes/mastered-fo..._for_itunes.pdf (http://images.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/docs/mastered_for_itunes.pdf)

Here's an interesting comment from the Apple folks on mastering:

"When creating a master, mastering engineers take into account the limitations and
characteristics of the medium or destination format, as well as the listening environment
of their audience. For example, a master created for vinyl is unlikely to be listened to in
an airplane or car, and therefore is often mastered for a listening environment where a
listener can hear and appreciate a wider dynamic range. Similarly, a master created for a
club environment might take into account the noisiness of the intended listening
environment."

Essentially Apple is suggesting, it sounds to me, that vinyl mastering is done with more dynamic range because it is meant to be listened to in an environment where people can appreciate it -- whereas the digital stuff that winds up converted to iTunes should consider the portable reality of that audience -- they seem to condone use of compression (without excess) due to the fact that the target audience of their devices is using the device in a portable way often in noisy environments.

This would really explain why the vinyl music and digital music are being given different treatments in practical terms these days.  If the reality is that you digital release is aimed at portable use then you compress the dynamic range more than a vinyl release that is aimed at a different environment.

Of'course Apple probably doesn't speak for all engineers, but given how much of an impact iTunes has right now on digital music sales it seems that this may help explain partially why music sounds better on vinyl these days to those of us who prefer more dynamic range.

It's worth taking a read through the whole article, it's interesting and shines a light on this subject IMHO.



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-22 05:37:14
you seem like a nice guy Greynol

Impressions can be deceiving.  In the meantime, let's refrain from derailing this topic into yet another side-show.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-22 05:55:18
you seem like a nice guy Greynol

Impressions can be deceiving.  In the meantime, let's refrain from derailing this topic into yet another side-show.


Indeed --
but I think the explanation of why vinyl sounds better to many of us is right there in that Apple article -- that speaks volumes to me about what's going on.  Essentially they suggest to master vinyl for sound quality (as best as the format can) and master digital for portable use -- to sell to folks with earbuds and ipads / ipods.  That seems to explain what I'm anecdotally seeing with new digital music and others are suggesting as well.

We should collectively look at now how EQ and compression are mastered differently when the end game is a portable device in a noisy environment.  That seems to be what we are getting now from digital mastering while mastering for "hi fi" is being left for the vinyl folks. 

I think if we really want CDs to sound good again we have to figure out a way that iTunes can get "portable" versions of the songs that are EQ'd and compressed for portable devices in noisy environments, while generating CDs that are meant for playback on full range systems.  Hey everyone with a turntable still has a CD player, why not? 



Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2012-02-22 08:17:55
We should [...] we have to figure out [...]

We, as the people of HA and music listeners, cannot do anything about audio mastering quality. Our only possible action is to not buy horribly produced music, so that hopefully ultimately either this kind of production approach will die, or the responsible producers and engineers get replaced by apt people. Most Music gets produced for sale after all, and no sales will hopefully send the right message. Though, previously, "bad" sales have been attributed to piracy instead of diminished production values. The producers need to put the power over the volume knob and dynamic compression back to the listener.

In my opinion people buying vinyl are supporting the broken system, since the major labels get additional money from the vinyl-crowd. Just resist, there is so much other worthwhile music out there which isn't produced in a "hot" fashion, and worthwhile to listen to.


More specificically:
Essentially they suggest to master vinyl for sound quality (as best as the format can) and master digital for portable use -- to sell to folks with earbuds and ipads / ipods. That seems to explain what I'm anecdotally seeing with new digital music and others are suggesting as well.

This isn't necessary and just a sales pitch to sell extra "audiophile" versions. Why not master digital releases properly, too? Why should digital releases get mastered in a different way? Apple could just use EQ and DRC on their devices to make all music sound "hot", if they so want, but please don't force that onto all customers.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-22 17:04:04
I think that must be a US thing. In the UK, even budget "pop" re-releases from the late 1960s (on EMI labels at least) seemed to have the quality that people die for these days. Though by the 1980s the vinyl was becoming paper thin in comparison. I've never noticed a difference in pressing quality between serious classical and ephemeral pop in either decade (from the same family of labels at least).

When I was a student in the early-mid 1970s, I worked in the record department of WH Smith during my holidays. It's a long time ago now, but I have fairly firm memories that the quality of pressings for pop/rock albums took a serious nose-dive after the 1973 oil crisis. Specifically, not only did pop/rock pressings become much thinner, they also seemed to get a lot noisier. Meanwhile, the quality of classical pressings from the likes of DG, Decca, HMV and Philips remained good throughout my time at Smiths.

Returns are recycled to be ground down and the vinyl reused. There was a rumour at the time that prior to the huge oil price rise the centre (with label) was cut out first, whereas after the oil crisis, the whole LP (including paper label) was ground down for re-use. Thus albums pressed with that recycled material could have tiny fragments of paper (too small to see by eye, but plenty big enough to affect the stylus) embedded in the vinyl. (But only for pop: classical remained pressed from virgin vinyl). Whether this rumour had any basis in fact I don't know, but it seemed a widely held belief amongst record retailers at the time.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: DonP on 2012-02-22 17:25:37
I think if we really want CDs to sound good again we have to figure out a way that iTunes can get "portable" versions of the songs that are EQ'd and compressed for portable devices in noisy environments, while generating CDs that are meant for playback on full range systems.  Hey everyone with a turntable still has a CD player, why not?


It's a big leap to assume the environment.  You could be listening to a download on a train,  car (luxury car, or an open top Jeep?), or on a regular stereo in a dedicated listening room.  If you need compression for a noisy environment, the place to do it is in the player as an option.


Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-22 22:09:54
It's a big leap to assume the environment.  You could be listening to a download on a train,  car (luxury car, or an open top Jeep?), or on a regular stereo in a dedicated listening room.  If you need compression for a noisy environment, the place to do it is in the player as an option.

Even though I agree, I will offer a counter-argument.

So you are a professional musician. You work hard to make an album, and you want it to sell well and to sound good. You know that radio-stations will squeeze the hell out of it. Perhaps hand-held devices will do dynamics processing to make it louder. And you have this small niche of audiophiles and hydrogenaudio readers that will complain that it sounds overly processed.

Who do you prioritize? If your album is going to be squeezed, would you rather it happened in the mastering studio under your (partial) control, or in some iPhone proprietary algorithm?

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Redark on 2012-02-23 00:01:35
Who do you prioritize? If your album is going to be squeezed, would you rather it happened in the mastering studio under your (partial) control, or in some iPhone proprietary algorithm?


What annoys me about the complaints against compression is the presumption that compressed music will always sounds worse. How could we know? In the case of modern releases we've only got the compressed version, sometimes accompanied by a less, but still significantly, compressed alternate release. The problem is that all stages of the process are likely done with a compressed final product in mind, you can't just say that album X would have sounded better if recorded in the 70's, because it just wouldn't be an even remotely similar record.

But if we try to compare remasters against original releases, the converse problem pops up: compositions, performances and recordings that were done with little or no compression in mind can't just be passed through a compressor and released as if they had been created with a modern mindset.

In pop music, at least, the recording and production are part of the aesthetic experience. As such, they ought not to be dismissed on the grounds of simple psychologizings of the kind "most people are too stupid to realize they could just turn up the volume on their own in a recording with proper dynamic range".

This kind of argument annoys me, but I don’t have the technical knowledge to refute it. In the following video, however, the loudness skirmish is dismissed by professionals as an irrelevant issue. The question begins around the 45:00 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...p;v=gGwaHBH4_Oo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gGwaHBH4_Oo)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-23 08:34:35
In the following video, however, the loudness skirmish is dismissed by professionals as an irrelevant issue. The question begins around the 45:00 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...p;v=gGwaHBH4_Oo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gGwaHBH4_Oo)

This is just shocking. One of them (starting around 47:00) basically said that the we don't need to worry about the loudness war any more because people have got used to hearing "distressed" sound. So that's OK then.

Using the same argument, I guess we don't need to worry about starvation in Africa any more because the people who live there are used to it? In other words, Mr Mastering Engineer, just because something is now commonplace and most people are used to it doesn't mean it's acceptable. Diptheria and Polio were commonplace a century ago.

(I will just point out that I do not believe that the problems in audio mastering are remotely as important as starvation and healthcare - they were chosen as analogies to emphasise what a stupid point of view he holds).
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-23 08:38:15
There was a rumour at the time that prior to the huge oil price rise the centre (with label) was cut out first, whereas after the oil crisis, the whole LP (including paper label) was ground down for re-use.

I just wanted to post a followup on this subject. Botface PM'd me to say that he worked at Phonodisc around the same time and at that plant the centres were always cut out before regrinding, and that he believed it was common practice throughout the industry. So it seems that the rumour that was going around the retail industry at the time may have been false. Doesn't alter the fact that pressing quality definitely went down at the time, though.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-23 13:56:25
In the following video, however, the loudness skirmish is dismissed by professionals as an irrelevant issue. The question begins around the 45:00 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe...p;v=gGwaHBH4_Oo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gGwaHBH4_Oo)

This is just shocking. One of them (starting around 47:00) basically said that the we don't need to worry about the loudness war any more because people have got used to hearing "distressed" sound. So that's OK then.
I haven't watched the video - but while it's not OK, I think that if enough people come to regard highly compressed/distorted sound as "normal", it's hard to sell them anything else. There comes a point where it's not possible to change.

I'm fairly clued up (I think), but if I listen to very compressed material for a week, and then switch back to something mastered conservatively in the 1960s or 1970s, it does sound very strange to me. Kind of "empty". It's not just the loudness, or the distortion itself - it's the whole density of sound, the balance between vocals and instruments, etc has changed over time.

When listening to modern recordings, I often wonder if there's a way to get that "dense" kind of sound without introducing blatant distortion. So it will still sound loud and in-your-face, but without clipping it. So that on a decent system, while it still won't sound natural, at least there won't be obvious distorted drum kicks etc.


I also remember that singles which I heard loads on the radio often sounded "wrong" when I finally bought the CD. But then when subsequent singles were released from that same CD, those later singles (which I'd listened to first on CD) sounded "wrong" on the radio. It's easy to like what you've got used to.


I have a theory that modern music is changing to adapt to hyper-compression. Look at the number of songs that introduce minute pieces of silence into the track, just to give it some dynamics. This was really rare years ago (a few examples stick out), but now tracks often have a very sparse arrangement (because the DRC will make it fuller anyway?), staccato rhythms, gaps etc. A few tracks use an over-loud kick drum + heavy compressor to "stuck out" all the rest of the content at the moment of the kick drum, effectively giving you a beat surrounded by brief moments of silence to accent it. All (to my ears) clear trends that make the music cut through the hypercompression. What would once have been quieter verses (vs louder choruses) are now sparser verses vs full instrumented choruses. It's the only way to get some form of light/shade through the compressor.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-23 14:11:26
I think the explanation of why vinyl sounds better to many of us is right there in that Apple article -- that speaks volumes to me about what's going on.
I think it's wishful thinking that the whole process is so carefully thought through.

As far as I know Apple (the computer company) have nothing to do with mastering music. Apple (the record company  ) may be in a place to make intelligent comment.


FWIW people were mixing music for the lowest common denominator back in the 1960s. Google Auratone.


You'd think DVD-A and SACD would offer the place for what you're suggesting (mixes with more dynamic range). Sometimes that's true, but mostly not. It's just a way of making money, not genuinely offering more. Same is true of some 24/96 downloads. Same is true of the Beatles 24-bit USB stick! Same is true of some vinyl.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-23 15:01:10
When listening to modern recordings, I often wonder if there's a way to get that "dense" kind of sound without introducing blatant distortion.

Not now Phil Spector is banged up 

I have a theory that modern music is changing to adapt to hyper-compression. ...
What would once have been quieter verses (vs louder choruses) are now sparser verses vs full instrumented choruses. It's the only way to get some form of light/shade through the compressor.

So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art. That could explain why pretty much all modern pop/rock sounds the same to me. (And I thought it was just because I'm getting old).
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-02-23 15:59:15
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art. That could explain why pretty much all modern pop/rock sounds the same to me. (And I thought it was just because I'm getting old).

Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.

Up until now, seemingly every time there have been a trend 'A' for some time, there have been a period of 'not A' afterwards.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-02-23 16:47:28
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art.
I don't think "constraining" is quite the right word, because anyone can choose to release a non-compressed CD (though there are plenty of reasons they might choose not to).

The Beatles were constrained by 4-track tape when making most of their albums. They had no choice. The constraint contributed to the final product in both positive and negative ways. Who can say how Sgt Pepper would have sounded if it had been made with Pro Tools?

I'm not suggesting that having to cut through hypercompression is raising today's artists to quite the same level of genius, but it's certainly helping them to find something new.


Quote
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art. That could explain why pretty much all modern pop/rock sounds the same to me. (And I thought it was just because I'm getting old).
It might be because you're not interested in it. Which may have something to do with getting old. I'm 36 and not interested in it either. But to try to avoid my kids being too out of it (they borrow my gramophone records, and are quite happy with music from the 1930s-1960s) I'm trying to get into it again.

It's bound to be less interesting when it's no longer the sound track to key moments in your life. If you're just talking about pure musical value, I think you have to look harder for that. The non-bland stuff was rarely in the charts when I was 16, and that's still true today. I realised the other day that, living in the countryside, I miss pirate radio. The internet could easily make up for it, but you have to go looking.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: cliveb on 2012-02-23 18:07:11
So what you're saying is that the modern dogma of hypercompression is constraining musicians and songwriters as to how they conduct their art.

The Beatles were constrained by 4-track tape when making most of their albums. They had no choice.

Of course you are right - I was a little too hasty making my comment.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that I do not care for the "in your face" style of modern music with its lack of dynamic subtlety. It seems that dynamics these days is limited to quiet bits and loud bits. (And of course with modern mastering, the quiet bits are anything but). Whatever happened to the middle ground?

I'm 36 and not interested in it either.

A mere whippersnapper. As I approach my 55th birthday, I am resigned to admitting there is a generation gap and I'm on the wrong side of it.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: rick.hughes on 2012-02-24 13:40:48
I'm 57. I have found that music follows Sturgeon's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_Law) whatever the era.

I have found something good in "new music" for 5 decades now. A lot of it never got any "airplay".
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Gretschguy on 2012-02-25 04:36:11
I'm 57. I have found that music follows Sturgeon's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon%27s_Law) whatever the era.

I have found something good in "new music" for 5 decades now. A lot of it never got any "airplay".


I can also find music from each decade including new music that I enjoy.  The difference is that I can listen to a recording from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's but most stuff from the 00's just sounds bad.  So I don't really buy into this a stylistic thing I think its a bigger problem brought on the death of the hi-fi in favor of the portable player. 

In fact I like a lot of new music when I hear it over my tiny tiny iPhone speakers (not even headphones) when I listen to my favorite internet radio show.  Then I go buy the stuff on CD, vinyl, or download and it sits around collecting dust (or taking space).  It's just no fun to listen to it.  Sometimes the vinyl is decent which makes vinyl the last oasis for hi-fi in my opinion right now (SACD to a certain extent too).

I have a suggestion -- why don't they simply create two versions of each release -- one "portable" and one "hi fi" -- the portable release could be compressed and EQ'd for small speakers and noisy environments (subway).  The "hi-fi" version would be for people with full range speakers who listen in quiet controlled environments.  Having these releases in hi-res would be a plus but not even the biggest issue in my opinion.

Hey, I'd rather have 12 bits of hi-fi audio than 32 bits of brickwalled, EQ shifted, presence boosted audio.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: kraut on 2012-02-25 08:04:24
Quote
but most stuff from the 00's just sounds bad.


I knew from your postings that you were full of yourself. You just have proven conclusively that you are.
What percentage of music have you listened to to come to such an idiotic statement?
Read carefully, you did not say `what I listened to...sounded bad`, no, in your all encompassing arrogance that is well reflected in your previous postings about the supremacy of an utterly flawed medium - falsifiable so by measurement alone, not to mention critical unbiased listening - you clearly state `most of the stuff.
Let me repeat the question: What percentage of released music did you listen to...

Any of these:

Johnny Cash
American

Béla Fleck
|  |  +---Daybreak
|  |  +---Drive
|  |  +---Inroads
|  |  +---Left of Cool
|  |  +---Little Worlds, Disc 1
|  |  +---Little Worlds, Disc 2
|  |  +---Little Worlds, Disc 3
-Tinariwen
    |  +---Aman Iman
    |  +---Amassakoul
    |  \---The Radio Tisdas Sessions
    +---Toubab Krewe
    |  \---Toubab Krewe
    +---Toumani Diabate with Ballake Sissoko
    |  \---New Ancient Strings
    +---Toumani Diabaté
    |  +---Kaira
    |  \---THE MANDE VARIATIONS
    +---Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra
    |  \---Boulevard de l'Indépendance
    +---Various
    |  +---Musical Crossroads of Asia
    |  +---Rai Rebels
    |  +---The Wassoulou Sound Volume 2- Women of Mali
    |  +---The Wassoulou Sound- Women Of Mali
    |  \---Zimbabwe The Soul of Mbira
    +---Vas
    |  \---In The Garden Of Souls
    +---Vieux Diop
    |  \---Afrika Wassa
    +---Vieux Farka Touré
    |  \---World Village
-Yo-Yo Ma, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Silk Roa
    |  \---New Impossibilities
    +---Yo-Yo Ma, The Silk Road Ensemble
    |  +---Silk Road Journeys- Beyond the Horizon
    |  \---When Strangers Meet - The Silk Road Project
|  +---Ben Harper
|  |  +---Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals
|  |  |  \---Lifeline
|  |  +---Both Sides of the Gun, Disc 1
|  |  +---Both Sides of the Gun, Disc 2
|  |  +---Burn to Shine
|  |  +---Diamonds on the Inside
|  |  +---Fight for Your Mind
|  |  +---The Will to Live
|  |  +---There Will Be a Light
|  +---Jimmie Vaughan
|  |  +---Do You Get the Blues¿
|  |  +---Out There
|  |  \---Strange Pleasure
|  +---Kenny Wayne Shepherd
|  |  \---Ledbetter Heights
|  +---Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
|  |  \---Trouble Is
|  +---Robert Randolph & The Family Band
|  |  +---Colorblind
|  |  +---Live At The Wetlands
|  +---Altramar
|  |  +---Iberian Garden, Vol. 1
|  |  \---Iberian Garden, Vol. 2
|  +---Arvo Paert
|  |  +---Arbos
|  |  +---Arvo Part - Lamentate (2005) [FLAC]
|  |  +---Arvo Part - Litany, Psalom, Trisagion
|  |  +---Arvo Part - Triodion
|  |  +---Neeme Jarvi_ Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra-Nielsen_ Symphonies #4 & 6
|  |  +---Neeme Jarvi_ Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra-Nielsen_ Symphonies #4 & 6 (2)
|  +---Evelyn Glennie
|  |  +---Evelyn Glennie; Drumming
|  |  +---Light in Darkness
|  |  \---Shadow Behind the Iron Sun
|  +---Giya Kancheli
|  |  \---Kancheli; Caris Mere
|  +---Philip Glass
|  |  +---'Low' Symphony
|  |  +---1000 Airplanes On The Roof
|  |  +---Akhnaten, Disc 1
|  |  +---Akhnaten, Disc 2
|  |  +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 1
|  |  +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 2
|  |  +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 3
|  |  +---Einstein on the Beach, Disc 4
|  |  +---Glassworks
|  |  +---Itaipu; The Canyon [Shaw]
|  |  +---Kundun Original Soundtrack
|  |  +---Philip Glass - 1999 - Dracula [FLAC]
|  +---Leonard Cohen
|  |  +---Cohen Live
|  |  +---Dear Heather
|  +---Bill Frisell
|  |  +---Blues Dream
|  |  +---gone, just like a train
|  |  +---Live
|  |  +---Music for the Film of Buster Keaton
|  |  +---Music For The Films Of Buster Keaton - Go West
|  |  \---Nashville
|  +---Bill Frisell Quartet
|  |  \---Quartet
|  +---Billy Cobham
|  |  +---Powerplay
|  |  +---Shabazz
|  |  +---Spectrum
|  |  \---Total Eclipse
|  +---Bob Mintzer
|  |  \---[Big Band] Camouflage
|  +---Bobby McFerrin
|  |  +---CircleSongs
|  |  +---Hush
|  |  +---Medicine Music
|  |  +---Paper Music
|  |  \---Play
|  +---Branford Marsalis
|  |  +---Crazy People Music
|  |  +---Mo' Better Blues
|  |  +---Random Abstract
|  |  +---Requiem
|  |  +---The Dark Keys
|  |  \---Trio Jeepy
|  +---Brecker Brothers
|  |  +---Out Of The Loop
|  |  \---The Return Of The Brecker Brothers
|  +---Buena Vista Social Club
|  |  \---World Circuit - Nonesuch
|  +---Béla Fleck and The Flecktones
|  |  +---Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
|  |  +---Flight of the Cosmic Hippo
|  |  +---Live Art, Disc 1
|  |  +---Live Art, Disc 2
|  |  \---UFO Tofu
|  +---Carla Bley
|  |  +---4x4
|  |  +---Duets
|  |  \---I Hate To Sing
|  +---Carla Bley & Paul Haines
|  |  +---Escalator Over the Hill (Disc 1)
|  |  \---Escalator Over The Hill (Disk 2)
|  +---Cassandra Wilson
|  |  +---Blue Light 'Til Dawn
|  |  +---New Moon Daughter
|  |  \---Thunderbird
|  +---Charles Lloyd
|  |  +---Canto
|  |  +---The Call 1993
|  |  \---Voice In The Night
|  +---Charles Mingus
|  |  +---Right Now - Live At the Jazz Workshop
|  |  +---Thirteen Pictures- The Charles Mingus Anthology Disc 1
|  |  \---Thirteen Pictures- The Charles Mingus Anthology Disc 2
|  +---Charlie Haden
|  |  +---Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra
|  |  +---Dream Keeper
|  |  +---Haunted Heart
|  |  +---Night And The City
|  |  +---Nocturne
|  |  +---Now Is The Hour
|  |  +---Silence
|  |  \---The ballad of the fallen


just a few examples from my library of well produced music.

Let me be presumptuous and similarly arrogant as well - maybe the music you are listening to just doesn`t deserve the name.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: MichaelW on 2012-02-25 10:29:09
The non-bland stuff was rarely in the charts when I was 16, and that's still true today.


+1
It is chastening to look at compilation albums of the Number Ones of the '60s and '70s. In my case, the soundtrack to the significant events of my life (good phrase) included Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Dylan, The Band, The Incredible String Band et al. What reached the top of the charts? Mercifully, you have forgotten/never heard of most of it.

The mastering/remastering discussion has parallels to the Original Instruments and Historically Informed Performance bit. Remastering old music to make it louder is a bit like performing Baroque keyboard music on a Main Battle Steinway. Ultimately a question of taste (though it is possible to discuss taste in a disciplined fashion), but it would be nice to be able to make the choice. And hey, the music companies could sell us their back catalogue one more time.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Wombat on 2012-02-25 15:40:52
I wonder if some of the people who prefer Vinyl simply have an unbalanced, badly sounding system most likely the speakers.
They try to compensate some nastyness in sound with muddening the source. Just came me to mind when thinking about the problem gets better with lowering the music at ~1khz. Wouldn´t be the first time. Especially some so called High-End speakers measure badly and are voiced to have some special charakter, they can´t sound good with certain sources.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-02-25 16:45:53
FWIW, the loudness war began in the very early '90s.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pioneer31 on 2012-08-03 22:50:17
There's an obvious issue with vinyl that I never hear/see mentioned.

Unless you have a linear tracking deck, the tracking angle is incorrect for much of the LP, no matter how you align it.

Also, the inner (last) track of an lp has lower resolution than the first. There is less 'groove' flying past the stylus in one revolution. Add this to tracking alignment error and you have problems.

I grew up with vinyl and even as a kid, was aware that an LP's first track ALWAYS sounded noticeably better than the last one. I didn't know why though.

The degradation in sound is very noticeable. The music becomes 'mushy' sounding and sibilance tends to be worse.

For this reason alone, I think vinyl loses. I can't have my favourite tracks being on the end of an LP.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: RonaldDumsfeld on 2012-08-03 23:29:47
Quote
was aware that an LP's first track ALWAYS sounded noticeably better than the last one.


They always put the best track as #1 on side 2.

Music sounds good because you like it. Not because of the 'quality' of the playback system.

If you think the ability of music to move you is down to the way it was recorded you are doing it wrong.

Vinyl is good enough. Fucks sake, cassette was good enough in the right circumstances.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Ron Jones on 2012-08-04 05:38:12
She likes some forms of euphonic distortion. Good for her.

By definition, everyone likes euphonic distortion. Disagreeable distortion is by definition not euphonic

EDIT: Necro'd, of course. Oh well.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: chrisz78 on 2012-08-04 11:25:58
Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.


Pardon? To the best of my knowledge, people have been making music for many centuries before any sound-reproducing or -transmitting technology was available. How's that for "always interacting"?

And I find it puzzling that everybody here seems to accept the boundless arrogance of music producers (yes, including - but not invented by - Phil Spector) in not even attempting to faithfully reproduce the sound made by the voices and instruments of the artists, but rather subjecting listeners to (in the least offensive case) copious amounts of the ambience of the recording room - most if not all modern "classical" recordings suffer from this - or (much worse) to an artificial "ambience" created by adding reverberation, compression, limiting, intentional distortion etc. All of this hopelessly distances the performance from the playback location of the resulting record, no matter if analogue or digital, mini-portable or audiophile Hi-Fi. Unless you habitually listen in an acoustically dead box and attempt to convince yourself you are really sitting in a concert hall or a stadium, the only recording that would sound truly natural in your living-room would be one that carries as little ambient sound with it as your own voice or any noise you make, namely NONE. In the very old days (probably beyond the knowledge of most here), recording engineers knew that and meticulously dampened any recording room to get as little irritating reverb as possible, and (despite the mostly very noisy media available at the time) used volume control settings mostly to adjust the level during rehearsals to zero headroom at the loudest spots, and left it at that. It was the performers' responsibility to not overstrain the dynamic range of the machine - this kept the less disciplined and refined ones mostly out of the recorded repertoire, which had a nice side-effect on musical taste as well.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-08-04 12:18:22
Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.


Pardon? To the best of my knowledge, people have been making music for many centuries before any sound-reproducing or -transmitting technology was available. How's that for "always interacting"?

Musical instruments required technology to work. And they enabled new kinds of music.
Quote
And I find it puzzling that everybody here seems to accept the boundless arrogance of music producers (yes, including - but not invented by - Phil Spector) in not even attempting to faithfully reproduce the sound made by the voices and instruments of the artists, but rather subjecting listeners to (in the least offensive case) copious amounts of the ambience of the recording room - most if not all modern "classical" recordings suffer from this - or (much worse) to an artificial "ambience" created by adding reverberation, compression, limiting, intentional distortion etc. All of this hopelessly distances the performance from the playback location of the resulting record, no matter if analogue or digital, mini-portable or audiophile Hi-Fi. Unless you habitually listen in an acoustically dead box and attempt to convince yourself you are really sitting in a concert hall or a stadium, the only recording that would sound truly natural in your living-room would be one that carries as little ambient sound with it as your own voice or any noise you make, namely NONE.

Well, i have listened to music in anechoic chambers, and I have listened to music that was recorded in anechoic chambers. It does not sound very good. Most living rooms have a fairly short RT60, nothing like the ambience that you will find in a stone church. If you want some realism in those church organ recordings, you (currently) need to include the ambience of the recording venue.
Quote
In the very old days (probably beyond the knowledge of most here), recording engineers knew that and meticulously dampened any recording room to get as little irritating reverb as possible, and (despite the mostly very noisy media available at the time) used volume control settings mostly to adjust the level during rehearsals to zero headroom at the loudest spots, and left it at that. It was the performers' responsibility to not overstrain the dynamic range of the machine - this kept the less disciplined and refined ones mostly out of the recorded repertoire, which had a nice side-effect on musical taste as well.

In the very old days, musicians used to crowd around a single recording device, and had to stand close in order to be heard over the noise floor. Does not mean that it was the ultimate acoustic choice.

There have been several "trends" in recording technique. "close" microphones. "ambient" microphones.... There seems to be single solution that everyone is happy with. Part of the problem is the variable playback conditions. If everyone had properly corrected multichannel ambisonic-type rigs (in well-damped rooms), perhaps the recording engineers could agree on the "right" way to recreate a sonic event.

Anyways, I think that you are missing an important point: sound engineers are not really engineers. They are craftsmen or artists. In most recordings, their role is to generate a pleasing sound, usually synthetic and physically unrealisable.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-08-04 12:40:22
@chrisz78: I don't see much evidence supporting the assumptions you have made about the HA community and am more than a bit perplexed as to why you stated them.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-08-06 11:32:06
There's an obvious issue with vinyl that I never hear/see mentioned.

Unless you have a linear tracking deck, the tracking angle is incorrect for much of the LP, no matter how you align it.

Also, the inner (last) track of an lp has lower resolution than the first. There is less 'groove' flying past the stylus in one revolution. Add this to tracking alignment error and you have problems.

I grew up with vinyl and even as a kid, was aware that an LP's first track ALWAYS sounded noticeably better than the last one. I didn't know why though.

The degradation in sound is very noticeable. The music becomes 'mushy' sounding and sibilance tends to be worse.
This is true (though I think it's often mentioned) - but the problems of the inner groove are much less audible on a decent turntable than on cheap rubbish IMO/E. Not just the obvious geometry/tracking errors, but a decent cartridge and stylus won't trash the groove and create mushy sibilance nearly as much as a poor one.

(I don't think there are many poor ones around any more - though there's some really atrocious geometry on a few modern decks).

I have a theory that poorer cartridges and styli are doing the same damage throughout, but it's more obvious on the inner groove for the reasons you mention. Whereas a decent stylus won't cause so much damage, and the "problems" of the inner groove can be almost inaudible (i.e. not noticeably worse than the start of the LP).

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-08-06 11:39:26
Technology, the art of sound production and the art of music making have always been interacting.


Pardon? To the best of my knowledge, people have been making music for many centuries before any sound-reproducing or -transmitting technology was available. How's that for "always interacting"?

And I find it puzzling that everybody here seems to accept the boundless arrogance of music producers (yes, including - but not invented by - Phil Spector) in not even attempting to faithfully reproduce the sound made by the voices and instruments of the artists, but rather subjecting listeners to (in the least offensive case) copious amounts of the ambience of the recording room - most if not all modern "classical" recordings suffer from this - or (much worse) to an artificial "ambience" created by adding reverberation, compression, limiting, intentional distortion etc. All of this hopelessly distances the performance from the playback location of the resulting record, no matter if analogue or digital, mini-portable or audiophile Hi-Fi. Unless you habitually listen in an acoustically dead box and attempt to convince yourself you are really sitting in a concert hall or a stadium, the only recording that would sound truly natural in your living-room would be one that carries as little ambient sound with it as your own voice or any noise you make, namely NONE. In the very old days (probably beyond the knowledge of most here), recording engineers knew that and meticulously dampened any recording room to get as little irritating reverb as possible, and (despite the mostly very noisy media available at the time) used volume control settings mostly to adjust the level during rehearsals to zero headroom at the loudest spots, and left it at that. It was the performers' responsibility to not overstrain the dynamic range of the machine - this kept the less disciplined and refined ones mostly out of the recorded repertoire, which had a nice side-effect on musical taste as well.
I'm surprised that you can't accept the work of the producer as part of the music making process. You might not like it, but it is. The choice of microphones and their placement can be as important as the choice of musical instrument. The choice of mixing and mastering can be as important as the style of playing. etc.

But I want to pick you up on one thing - in the mid-late 1920s, there was a craze in the UK recording industry for getting as much ambience on recordings as possible. "Recorded in a public hall" the labels proudly declare - which usually means there's so much echo on the recording that you can't hear many details at all. I can't find a decent example on YouTube - this is one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0jmFhVxKNY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0jmFhVxKNY) but it's not that obvious the way it's been transcribed that all the echo is on the record itself.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: mjb2006 on 2012-08-06 19:28:28
the inner (last) track of an lp has lower resolution than the first. There is less 'groove' flying past the stylus in one revolution. Add this to tracking alignment error and you have problems. [...] The degradation in sound is very noticeable. The music becomes 'mushy' sounding and sibilance tends to be worse.

I don't think you should attribute these audible differences solely to the two causes you state.

I've read that producers were aware of the limitations of vinyl, and deliberately stacked the relatively dynamic and likely-"hit" songs up front on each side, leaving less demanding songs for the end of each side, where they wouldn't suffer as much. Engineers master the sides accordingly, to ensure the songs in the chosen order indeed won't send the needle flying out of the groove. So some of the 'mushy' sound may be coming from the choice of songs and in the way they were mastered.

Also each pressing plate wears out pretty quickly; it can be the luck of the draw whether you get a pressing that was made near the beginning or near the end of a plate's life. My unscientific guess is that the inner groove problems are likely to be worse in the latter case.

As for "sibilance", I think you mean sibilant distortion or perhaps distorted sibilants. Ideally you're not trying to get rid of sibilants, but to have clear, distortion-free ones.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-08-08 10:26:32
deliberately stacked the relatively dynamic and likely-"hit" songs up front on each side
albums usually start with a hit, but there are plenty of examples where they go out with a bang too. Quite rare to end on a quiet track.

They eye is drawn to the start and end of the track list when browsing albums, so they put hits at both ends. Apparently!

Cheers,
David.

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Steve Forte Rio on 2012-08-08 12:09:36
Could you recommend me a vinyl and CD that were written from the same master?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Kohlrabi on 2012-08-08 12:34:22
Music sounds good because you like it. Not because of the 'quality' of the playback system.

If you think the ability of music to move you is down to the way it was recorded you are doing it wrong.

Vinyl is good enough. Fucks sake, cassette was good enough in the right circumstances.
How are recording and playback quality not part of the enjoyment? There is a lot of music out there which I like, but where the offered recordings are so utterly shit that I take less joy out of the music. Especially since I know how it could sound. And there have been instances where I only noticed small details when I used good enough headphones instead of shabby speakers. All this does matter, and it's certainly not wrong to long for well recorded music and a transparent playback system. Of course the compositions itself are not affected by any of this, but I don't sit down and just read the music to enjoy it.

And while I agree that vinyl is good enough in most cases, the downsides compared to CD or digital files in handling and wear should convince everyone that it is an obsolete format, on top of its technical deficiencies discussed here.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dhromed on 2012-08-08 12:50:51
There is a lot of music out there which I like, but where the offered recordings are so utterly shit that I take less joy out of the music. Especially since I know how it could sound. And there have been instances where I only noticed small details when I used good enough headphones instead of shabby speakers. All this does matter, and it's certainly not wrong to long for wrong well recorded music and a transparent playback system.


It can be argued that there exists music, notably folky songs, that don't deteriorate in musical quality as the signal quality is reduced — down until the intelligibility is lost, of course.

A guy and his guitar, playing well with fine lyrics, sounds good even at 64kbps, or even lower. If you disagree, than I personally feel you're listening to the wrong bits. You don't need $2000 equipment to feel the music, because that's not where the feeling is.

When your recording is riddled with pops, clicks and stutters, however, that is an exception. That's like being punched in the face every so often while listening.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: bug80 on 2012-08-08 14:29:04
There is a lot of music out there which I like, but where the offered recordings are so utterly shit that I take less joy out of the music. Especially since I know how it could sound. And there have been instances where I only noticed small details when I used good enough headphones instead of shabby speakers. All this does matter, and it's certainly not wrong to long for wrong well recorded music and a transparent playback system.

It can be argued that there exists music, notably folky songs, that don't deteriorate in musical quality as the signal quality is reduced — down until the intelligibility is lost, of course.

I think a good example of this is The Tallest Man on Earth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsy4Qbwl5a8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wsy4Qbwl5a8)

I think he records on crappy tape, at least it sounds like that. But it adds to the raw sound of his voice and to the lyrics.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-08-12 22:16:01
Could you recommend me a vinyl and CD that were written from the same master?


There never should ever be such a thing.

When a LP is cut, the SQ has to be pulled back to make the music fit.

No such problem with CDs - the media is wide open for whatever it takes for good sound.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-08-13 06:27:54
Not to mention RIAA equalization.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-08-13 11:37:52
I don't see why it would be no examples of a vinyl/CD release where the vinyl master was used as a CD master (except RIAA that is supposed to be inverted anyways). The problem might be to find them, and to document that this really was the case?

Anyways, I think that the listening test problem can be solved by degrading vinyl by a CD-quality ADC/DAC stage. If CD does not degrade vinyl audibly, then there is no reason to belive that CD releases can not sound as good (or bad) as vinyl if the mastering engineer wants to. If mastering engineers wants their CDs to sound differently than their vinyl, then there may be good reasons to go for the release medium that suits your taste.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: DVDdoug on 2012-08-13 20:36:29
Quote
I think that the listening test problem can be solved by degrading vinyl by a CD-quality ADC/DAC stage. If CD does not degrade vinyl audibly...
I believe that's been done, and the ADC/DAC does not audibly damage the audio.

If you digitize a vinyl recording, the CD should sound identical to the original vinyl (in a blind ABX test).    Of course, that assumes no noise reduction or other digital processing.

CD is technically far superior to vinyl (noise , distortion, and frequency response).    Of course, that does NOT mean CD "sounds better" if you like the "warm crackle" of vinyl.   

There is theoretical quality loss if you pass-through an ADC/DAC stage (or when you pass the analog signal through any active circuitry), but the quality loss shouldn't be audible.  Certainly the quality loss is less than what you get with a phono preamp, since the phone preamp has to deal with very-low input signals.    And of course the quality loss in the ADC/DAC process is far less than you get from the whole electrical-to-vinyl-to-electrical process. 

Quote
...then there is no reason to belive that CD releases can not sound as good (or bad) as vinyl if the mastering engineer wants to.
I assume every professionally produced CD sounds exactly like the producer wants it to sound...  Assuming he/she got a good performance from the talent.

It is possible to make a CD sound like vinyl.  Izotope has a FREE vinyl simulation plug-in (http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/).
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: knutinh on 2012-08-14 06:35:11
I believe that's been done, and the ADC/DAC does not audibly damage the audio.

The debate of CD vs vinyl is still raging, may continue forever. I think that the rationalist contribution should be to advice on testing methology that lets the subjectivist (sensualist?) crowd confirm their beliefs in a somewhat scientific manner. Either that or stand on top of soap-boxes, screaming at each other.
Quote
If you digitize a vinyl recording, the CD should sound identical to the original vinyl (in a blind ABX test).

I believe that it will sound identical to how that vinyl sounded at that time. If the vinyl sounds audibly different from time to time, this might reveal it against a single digitized recording in an ABX test. If this variance has no trend, you might accomplish the same by digitizing it 20 times (for an ABX test of 20 trials).
Quote
CD is technically far superior to vinyl (noise , distortion, and frequency response).

You and me may think so, and we may think that we have the proper technical and perceptual data to support our view. But repeating it for 20 years have not changed much.
Quote
I assume every professionally produced CD sounds exactly like the producer wants it to sound...  Assuming he/she got a good performance from the talent.

Sure, but there are reasons why a producer (and the folks paying her) might want a CD release to sound inferior to a BluRay Ultra HD golden shine ? release that happens to cost twice as much.

-k
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-08-15 16:41:13
Not to mention RIAA equalization.


I dunno about that.

If you want to have a constant dynamic range across a frequency band, then it is arguable that you need to cut the disk with constant amplitude as frequency rises. But, to play that disk back with a device that responds to velocity such as a magnetic cartridge, then you need a constant 6 dB/octave roll off. 

That leaves you with RIAA minus the shelf around 1 KHz.  The shelf around 1 KHz is justified by wavelength-induced difficulties cutting and tracking really high frequencies.

If you play the disk back with a device that responds to changes in position, then you don't need anything, and the resulting bump causes moderate coloration in the form of a presence rise.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-08-15 16:50:04
Are you telling me that RIAA pre-equalization doesn't make its way onto the master used to cut an LP making it specifically different from a master that is used to create something other than an LP?

You do know about that (at least I hope you do!) or I am completely wrong in what little I know about vinyl?  If I'm not wrong then I think you're making more out of my pedestrian post than what was intended.

...or I "get to be wrong on both counts" ?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Paulhoff on 2012-08-15 16:54:26
The bottom line of it all is that the more mechanical things that are used in any operation and/or system chain the more changes will be introduce into it.


Paul


     
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-08-15 17:11:51
The tapes aren't RIAA equalised. I know people sometimes claim that, but tape doesn't have 40dB of SNR to throw away at low frequencies to make this possible.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-08-15 17:24:40
I get to be wrong on multiple counts! 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-08-15 17:28:25
Are you telling me that RIAA pre-equalization doesn't make its way onto the master used to cut an LP making it specifically different from a master that is used to create something other than an LP?


Yes. The RIAA equalization pre-emphasis is applied between the tape machine and the cutting lathe.

This article may help:

LP Cutting Article (http://www.smartdevicesinc.com/riaa.html)

This article seems to proudly announce that in order to cut a LP, they first make a CD and then they process the %$#!! out of it so that it is suitable for cutting LPs.  In my view, they've just replaced the master tape with a CD.

Cutting Vinyl From A CD (http://www.gsmastering.com/services/Vinyl/)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: greynol on 2012-08-15 17:40:50
In my view, they've just replaced the master tape with a CD.

Provided they make full use of the available bandwidth (frequency and bit-depth) do you have a problem with this?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Arnold B. Krueger on 2012-08-15 17:46:23
In my view, they've just replaced the master tape with a CD.

Provided they make full use of the available bandwidth (frequency and bit-depth) do you have a problem with this?


Not at all.

It is just kinda ironic in the face of all of the history of poorly-informed people touting the LP as sounding superior to the CD!

One of the first commercial uses of digital audio involved cutting LPs.

Engineers in that day wanted to get the music onto digital media as early in the process as they could to avoid degrading it with analog tape.

Makes you wonder about the old-time cutting engineers who now hype the LP format as they do. Back in the day they seemed to know better! ;-)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-08-16 08:46:10
...It is just kinda ironic in the face of all of the history of poorly-informed people touting the LP as sounding superior to the CD! ...


I have more than a few examples of LPs that sound better* than the CDs

...but I honestly prefer digital and know that it can faithfully reproduce sound far better than vinyl. ...so I like to digitize those records and blast them in my car and on my home stereo. I also have a few records that sound like crap and/or were poorly pressed. Only once have I gotten a defective CD and it was replaced by the record label (Metropolis.)

I like to play records sometimes but many people are just kidding themselves thinking that vinyl is more capable. My favorite record sounds incredibly good (it's a 2xLP gatefold,) but it actually sounds better to me digitized @ 16/44.1 because I fixed the clicks and stuff. CDs can be amazing. It's damned disheartening that most modern production is not doing the format justice and people like me have to go chase down the vinyl to hear a less headache-inducing version...and then digitize it so as not to wear out the vinyl or my needle.

...but yeah: if someone told me "that LP that you like so much was mastered from a CD" I would respond with "that's great! It sounds good."

*By sound better I mean they sound far more pleasing to me and I am not at all trying to be objective. Some people might actually prefer the clipped version. IDK
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Blueshirt on 2012-08-17 01:43:40
*By sound better I mean they sound far more pleasing to me and I am not at all trying to be objective. Some people might actually prefer the clipped version. IDK


Generally with LPs that's all it is about for me... what sounds pleasing to my ears. Others may feel differently, but they have their own ears not mine. If CDs are technically better, so what? I love collecting vinyl... I love to hold a record, touch it and look adoringly it at - and the cover too - in a silly nostalgic sort of way. If when I play an LP it happens to sound good, then I am happy. If others prefer the CD version, good luck to them. It's not about what is better, for me it is about what I like!
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: DVDdoug on 2012-08-17 03:03:29
Blueshirt,

I'm sure that's cool with everybody here at HydrogenAudio. 

It's only when people claim vinyl is  better because music is analog and records are analog, or that vinyl has infinite-analog resolution...  That's when we go feeekin' crazy and blood starts shooting out of our eyes! 
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Blueshirt on 2012-09-01 12:39:03
It's only when people claim vinyl is  better because music is analog and records are analog, or that vinyl has infinite-analog resolution...  That's when we go feeekin' crazy and blood starts shooting out of our eyes!

Some people feel that they have to justify their membership of The Cult of Vinyl, but they shouldn't really, as it is nothing to be ashamed of. I can't say what other people hear or don't hear, but I do know that in life what other people do and think shouldn't affect what you yourself like or dislike. So I like vinyl because I like it, it's a simple as that. I like some CDs too, although you can't play them backwards and hear subliminal or Satanic messages, so I don't tend to like them as much! So for me Vinyl is definitely better... for backmasking!   

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dhromed on 2012-09-01 13:17:55
I like some CDs too, although you can't play them backwards and hear subliminal or Satanic messages,


You can rip them and reverse the audio.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-09-01 13:55:14
I like some CDs too, although you can't play them backwards and hear subliminal or Satanic messages,


You can rip them and reverse the audio.


I actually just did that last week because my daughter didn't believe me about that passage in Stairway to Heaven 

...but Blueshirt; I'm with you. Vinyl is fun and cool to collect.  Life is way too short to squander on being an apologist for ones own personal preferences.  (BTW: If you like late-eighties metal, I recommend you check out the Back on Black (UK label) reissues. I've been very pleased with every one I got thus far. QC is far above average and they are very nicely packaged and presented. Just don't screw them up by playing them backwards!)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Blueshirt on 2012-09-01 16:06:41
If you like late-eighties metal, I recommend you check out the Back on Black (UK label) reissues. I've been very pleased with every one I got thus far.

I have some of the BOB Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest re-issues, they are very good and I am pleased with them too...
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-09-06 10:34:02
Thank goodness for a definitive statement on this at last...

[attachment=7107:vinyl_is_superior.jpg]



Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Blueshirt on 2012-09-07 00:59:30
Thank goodness for a definitive statement on this at last...

Actually, it's a few years old now, but I thought that this experiment was the definitive statement on this issue!   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5dCMz4gKLI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5dCMz4gKLI)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Kees de Visser on 2012-09-07 08:14:29
Thank goodness for a definitive statement on this at last...
No surprise, I bat he has superior hearing !_!
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-09-07 10:07:30
Actually, it's a few years old now, but I thought that this experiment was the definitive statement on this issue!   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5dCMz4gKLI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5dCMz4gKLI)
Ah, I tried that in the early 90s, but found my CDs had much less background noise than his  (they ended up with a spiral groove cut into them though).

The related videos are interesting - an LP that looks like a CDR:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF2cUqSetwo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF2cUqSetwo)

A CD that you can really play on a record player:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE5ecVK4iDk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE5ecVK4iDk)
...with links how to make it - though this is more advanced:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU8Pegs5brM (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU8Pegs5brM)

A guy with 3 million records:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4S9tV8ZLcE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4S9tV8ZLcE)

The chocolate record is quite cool too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVM18iJTMZs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVM18iJTMZs)

Not so exciting are the videos where people spend ten minutes telling you about their record shelves! It's an EXPEDIT from IKEA - you are not the first person to fill one with records!

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Dig it Al on 2012-09-07 10:12:11
That's Jeff Mills. He was also the first person to release a collection of locked grooves on vinyl. (AX-08, 1994).



NON's Pagan Muzak (Gray Beat, 1978) is a one-sided 7-inch with multiple locked grooves and two center holes, meaning each locked groove can be played at two different trajectories as well as any number of speeds. The original release came with instructions for the listener to drill more holes in the record as they saw appropriate.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: RonaldDumsfeld on 2012-09-07 13:13:46
I stand corrected and am grateful for the information.

Sadly I can no longer edit the original post.

I'll have to try and drop the artist an e-mail because I believe both he and the cutting engineer believe it to be a first themselves. It's part of the mythology of Detroit Techno.

If one wanted to quibble (which one doesn't) you might be able to claim axis 008 was the first locked groove cut in time. The music concrete sample is more or less just noise.

(anxiously awaits further correction)

here are some samples. See what you think.

Jeff Mills AX008 Loop A3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WA42vxtS3U)

Pagan Music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGj6wUDZrN4)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-09-07 17:30:39
...I want to pick you up on one thing - in the mid-late 1920s, there was a craze in the UK recording industry for getting as much ambience on recordings as possible. "Recorded in a public hall" the labels proudly declare - which usually means there's so much echo on the recording that you can't hear many details at all. I can't find a decent example on YouTube - this is one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0jmFhVxKNY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0jmFhVxKNY) but it's not that obvious the way it's been transcribed that all the echo is on the record itself.
This one shows the amount of ambience recorded onto some 1920s records...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrwfVJWTa2Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrwfVJWTa2Q)
...compare with any other recording on the same Youtube channel - the room the gramophones sit in is "dry" - the echo is all on the record.

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-09-07 17:38:35
Pagan Music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGj6wUDZrN4)
Wow. Mad, but so innovative! check out the version played with the centre hole too (lots of silence in between these clips unfortunately)...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feu0xPFkIvY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feu0xPFkIvY)
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: botface on 2012-09-08 17:19:49
in the mid-late 1920s, there was a craze in the UK recording industry for getting as much ambience on recordings as possible. "Recorded in a public hall" the labels proudly declare - which usually means there's so much echo on the recording that you can't hear many details at all.

David.

Do you have any more info on this - a book you could point me to or something? It's an era that interests me and I've not come across this suggestion before
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Dig it Al on 2012-09-08 19:21:33
I stand corrected and am grateful for the information.

Sadly I can no longer edit the original post.

I'll have to try and drop the artist an e-mail because I believe both he and the cutting engineer believe it to be a first themselves. It's part of the mythology of Detroit Techno.

If one wanted to quibble (which one doesn't) you might be able to claim axis 008 was the first locked groove cut in time. The music concrete sample is more or less just noise.

(anxiously awaits further correction)

here are some samples. See what you think.

Jeff Mills AX008 Loop A3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WA42vxtS3U)

Pagan Music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGj6wUDZrN4)


This is a better sample of Pagan Muzak:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrInnSXaQ0o (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrInnSXaQ0o)


Locked grooves were used much earlier on individual tracks such as the end of The Beatles Sgt Pepper in 1967
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-09-08 22:07:32
I am inclined to believe that loops etc. have run out of fashion simply because the popular distribution formats (CD and the usual file format suspects) do not support it.  I'd say that the one feature I would have asked for if I were to design The Format To Distribute Audio To Consumers, is programming instructions. (Disregarding, of course, that Microsoft anno 1999 or Adobe anno 2012 would have made it into a marvellous malware infection vector.)

I'd have wanted at least:
- loops. Of course not limited to inifinite 1.8 second or 4/3 second loops offered by LPs/45s.
- reuse a previous part of the signal, either as-is or with a diff.
- randomize! Once every now and then, play a different solo. (This is also possible, within narrow limits, with vinyl.)
- instructions for downmixing.

And, what could easily be implemented by a tag, if everyone agreed: a reference volume. This record was mixed and EQ'ed for playback at xx phon; then a DSP could implement your best shot at equal-loudness-contour based EQ.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: dumdidum on 2012-09-09 09:07:42
I am inclined to believe that loops etc. have run out of fashion simply because the popular distribution formats (CD and the usual file format suspects) do not support it.

this is getting really off-topic but i can't resist adding my 2c.

arguably, loops are more popular than ever. entire websites concentrate on selling loops (e.g., loopmasters.com, soundstosample.com, sounds.beatport.com, etc.) so i don't think that loops haven run out of fashion. it's quite to the contrary.

also, it's gotten much easier to create loops yourself. only absolute purists (basically, vinyl guys that don't use other digital equipment) need locked grooves. even if you're a vinyl DJ, you can create your own loops by using a digital mixer or dj effects processor (a la korg kaoss pad) with looping capabilities. or if you play out on CDJs (that is, pioneer's popular line of DJ CD players), you have frame-accurate or better looping tools at your disposal anyway. lastly, virtually any pertinent software for producers and/or DJs (e.g., DAWs, sequencers, digital DJ software) allows you to loop.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Porcus on 2012-09-09 12:01:51
I am inclined to believe that loops etc. have run out of fashion simply because the popular distribution formats (CD and the usual file format suspects) do not support it.

this is getting really off-topic but i can't resist adding my 2c.

arguably, loops are more popular than ever. entire websites concentrate on selling loops (e.g., loopmasters.com, soundstosample.com, sounds.beatport.com, etc.) so i don't think that loops haven run out of fashion. it's quite to the contrary.


Right, of course, as a working tool you are right. Mea culpa.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2012-09-12 18:25:11
Do you have any more info on this - a book you could point me to or something? It's an era that interests me and I've not come across this suggestion before
Sadly not, though one is mentioned in this interesting thread...
http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic...?f=3&t=7493 (http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7493)

Cheers,
David.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: botface on 2012-09-13 08:19:13
Do you have any more info on this - a book you could point me to or something? It's an era that interests me and I've not come across this suggestion before
Sadly not, though one is mentioned in this interesting thread...
http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic...?f=3&t=7493 (http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7493)

Cheers,
David.

Thanks for the link. Quite interesting. I'd always assumed that they used a "Public Hall" (the Wigmore Hall in the case of Columbia) for convenience. Most of those bands were based in central London and were doing 2 shows a day so it was much easier to pop round the corner to record than have to go all the way to the studio in Hayes
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Satellite_6 on 2012-09-13 12:42:36
Music sounds much better on CD.

According to some audiofools only 24/96 files sound as good as vinyl, and they are both superior to CD. 

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: pdq on 2012-09-13 14:35:39
Music sounds much better on CD.

Not necessarily. All you can really say is that CD has the potential to reproduce music more accurately and more repeatably than vinyl, but there is also the potential to screw up the mastering on the CD version.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: probedb on 2012-09-13 15:55:28
Music sounds much better on CD.


To you, to me yes, but not to everyone, 'better' is subjective really.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: jayess on 2012-09-13 21:51:38
So a band goes into a studio and makes a recording for a CD or vinyl record. How is that recording stored/created (past/present) before its transfer to a vinyl record?

The point of the question is: are they feeding a digital recording into a machine that's carving out records on vinyl?
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Engelsstaub on 2012-09-14 00:17:07
...are they feeding a digital recording into a machine that's carving out records on vinyl?


I believe 99.9% of the time, yes.  ...but that should not be an issue to any (sane) buyer of modern LPs. IMO to not use digital studio equipment today is counterproductive at the least. I own two metal records (that came out a year ago or less) that were said to have been recorded on analogue equipment. (Prong's Carved Into Stone and Krisiun's The Great Execution.) They don't "sound good" because they were put on analogue tape, but rather because of the extra care that somebody who would undertake such an endeavor put into the mastering process. (Both albums are too loud on CD.)

IOW: Many modern records have "pre-clipped" masters put on them. I think that's the real draw for some.
Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: jayess on 2012-09-14 02:08:45
...are they feeding a digital recording into a machine that's carving out records on vinyl?


I believe 99.9% of the time, yes.  ...but that should not be an issue to any (sane) buyer of modern LPs. IMO to not use digital studio equipment today is counterproductive at the least. I own two metal records (that came out a year ago or less) that were said to have been recorded on analogue equipment. (Prong's Carved Into Stone and Krisiun's The Great Execution.) They don't "sound good" because they were put on analogue tape, but rather because of the extra care that somebody who would undertake such an endeavor put into the mastering process. (Both albums are too loud on CD.)

IOW: Many modern records have "pre-clipped" masters put on them. I think that's the real draw for some.


Thanks.

I always found it amusing that people could claim a recording transferred from an electronic file or tape to vinyl could sound better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_recording (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_recording)

Title: "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"
Post by: Ed Seedhouse on 2012-09-14 06:37:42
I always found it amusing that people could claim a recording transferred from an electronic file or tape to vinyl could sound better.


Well if by "better" you mean "more accurate" it can't.  But most people don't use the word "better" that way, they use it in a subjective sense, so "better" means that they like that sound better.  And there is no reason why someone can't like a less accurate recording better, so in what I think is the normal use of the word "better" it can be perfectly reasonable to claim a less accurate recording "sounds better" so long as one isn't making an absolute claim that it is "better" for everyone.

After all we have two words, "accurate" and "better" because they have slightly different meanings.  Myself I prefer accuracy to inaccuracy, or at least I think I do since I rarely get a chance to objectively assess the accuracy of a particular instance of a recording to the original.  But others prefer certain colourations they find pleasing, and why shouldn't they? 

If you happen to like the colouration a vinyl record imparts to the sound then you just do, and it's a free country (at least in this respect).  It is only when you make claims that amount to claiming that vinyl records are more accurate that I demur.
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