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Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #150
Link to M83 - Midnight City
CD and LP samples:
http://www.hydrogenaud.io/forums/index.php...107033&st=0

Judging from the pictures (especially the second and the fourth one) you posted earlier, I would say they are from the same master. I've tried to apply some equalization to your LP sample to make its sound closer to the CD. However, there is still a difference between the two, but I believe it would be possible to make it sound nearly the same.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #151
I'm not sure about the expense any more, as I don't even own a decent turntable. The M83 rip was not mine nor was the NIN. Both were done on decent tables, but I'm not sure when the stylus was replaced etc... All my rips were done on a nice table but owned by my brother. And then I have a bunch on a hollow plastic table with $100+ DJ Ortofon cart. I haven't even gone into more than one of either of these yet.

So no, there will be no testing of carts because I am finding almost 100%, new records are the CD master, and when they are not one is going to know about it, like in the case of Californication 2012 Vinyl, even though they didn't specifically say "dynamics now!" They hired Grundman to "re-cut it" and when put to the visual and listening test I feel confident that it is NOT the same master. The same can't be said of most other's I have examined. I am compiling a list of my own collection with screenshots in case any vinyl enthusiasts want to know(provided they are not still under the same delusion I have been.)

The effects of my brothers' table(s) are what they are and are not going to be re-ripped, so it is what it is. Many of the records have been resold to buy more records. I am not in a huge hurry as I see a pretty definite trend. If I find an exception, or one I just can't decide on, I will ask the community for input. The test record sounds intriguing though, if it is less than $20.

I am seeing a pretty consistent trend in the sonic qualities that differ from CD to vinyl versions of the same master. As is said in previous posts, I think it just comes down to the stylus acting as an eq. I don't know why CDs don't have that sweet sizzle in the high end, but a little EQing pretty much can make them sound the same. I think the "physical" aspect of the record playback can make it sound more "alive" sometimes, but not more dynamic. IME so far, a lot of CD's, especially loud masters(everything modern I listen to) have a lot more low-mid and less high end (10k+.) It varies wildly though.

See, I am not a vinyl enthusiast. When I started listening to music a lot and buying CDs again in 2008 I quickly learned about the loudness war. Then I read that vinyl could not be brickwalled(basically), then I learned a week ago(here) that, yes, they absolutely can. All my LPs are modern records with compressed CD counterparts. I am music/sound/DR enthusiast, not vinyl. I had been destitute from 2009-2013. I was really close to throwing down on at least a $400 TT and a $100 Pre-amp and a $200 cart. I think this forum has saved me just in time, because what, am I going to spend $800 to listen to Californication? I don't even like that record. The $ will be going into Hi-fi gear to make my movies and compressed CDs sound as good as possible, and maybe a HiRes player for those exceptions like Playing the Angel SACD... unless I already have an SACD player(PS3?) And of course more gear to just make my own.

My posts are never short.

In regards to the level matching, look at the NIN pic above, the gain on the CD is -6.2 or something. The M83 audio samples are not matched because I believe I saw someone else get asked not to do that in Uploads. I am on a Mac at the moment so I don't think we have Replaygain AFAIK. I do it by ear, by eyeballing RMS and/or with the iTunes' inferior Soundcheck level.
end the LOUDNESS war... please?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #152
It might be worth creating a wiki page with a list of vinyl pressings which use a less clipped master than the CD. Maybe also a list showing the ones that are cut from the same clipped master. In both cases links to the relevant forum post(s) to prove the claim.

If sound quality bothers you, try to like some older music, and/or different genres. Not all the world's music is clipped!

Cheers,
David.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #153
I've written a few blog articles on this, complete with samples.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #154
This is a nice idea for a series of blog posts, cheers. The Nas vinyl sounds so much better.

Wish there were vinyl rips of all albums tbh. I have a little collection of vinyl but lack a turntable to rip them

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #155
The links removed per violation of TOS #9, though I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.

[attachment=8191:nas.jpg]
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #156
I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.


I find this hard to believe, they sound identifiably different. Why would simply being on vinyl change it that much?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #157
There may be differences, but the clipping is still there.  The image doesn't lie.

As far as statements about sound quality differences, they are still bound by TOS #8.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #158
There may be differences, but the clipping is still there.  The image doesn't lie. As far as statements about sound quality differences, they are still bound by TOS #8.


Quote
All members that put forth a statement concerning subjective sound quality, must -- to the best of their ability -- provide objective support for their claims. Acceptable means of support are double blind listening tests (ABX or ABC/HR) demonstrating that the member can discern a difference perceptually, together with a test sample to allow others to reproduce their findings.

Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.


So, made two ABX tests of the audio files from the original blog post. One using no ReplayGain adjustment, the other using auto ReplayGain adjustment. Both using Foobar2000's foo_abx 10 times each test. Difference seemed clear to me  ¯\_(?)_/¯.

Result 1 (no ReplayGain):

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0 report
foobar2000 v1.3.6
2015-02-25 03:57:17

File A: NASUntitledCD.ogg
SHA1: a0c0ad7e40c0e4056b3016295b8109802fe9082c
File B: NASUntitledVinyl.ogg
SHA1: 90535984e07271d00a67478219d3f49b08b204d2

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

03:57:17 : Test started.
03:58:18 : 01/01
03:58:49 : 02/02
03:59:02 : 03/03
03:59:15 : 04/04
03:59:33 : 05/05
03:59:43 : 06/06
03:59:53 : 07/07
04:00:02 : 08/08
04:00:13 : 09/09
04:00:22 : 10/10
04:00:22 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 10/10
Probability that you were guessing: 0.1%

-- signature --
4086796ba86de53b7c90371a7bdbc506d85e899f


Result 2 (ReplayGain adjustment):
Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0 report
foobar2000 v1.3.6
2015-02-25 04:01:22

File A: NASUntitledCD.ogg
SHA1: a0c0ad7e40c0e4056b3016295b8109802fe9082c
Gain adjustment: -7.40 dB
File B: NASUntitledVinyl.ogg
SHA1: 90535984e07271d00a67478219d3f49b08b204d2
Gain adjustment: -3.86 dB

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

04:01:22 : Test started.
04:02:25 : 01/01
04:04:02 : 02/02
04:04:37 : 03/03
04:05:05 : 04/04
04:07:35 : 05/05
04:07:47 : 06/06
04:08:55 : 07/07
04:09:43 : 08/08
04:10:21 : 09/09
04:11:10 : 10/10
04:11:10 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 10/10
Probability that you were guessing: 0.1%

-- signature --
f0bb8f3dbb9bad06b0f6a95766d1b77fcf6ed6d0

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #159
That doesn't change the landscape regarding my point that the vinyl version exhibits the same clipping as the CD version.  It occurs in the same places for the same duration.

As an aside, differences imparted by the process of vinyl transfer have been discussed many times over.  So even if your samples were adequately time-aligned and level-matched (both of which I doubt, despite the use of replaygain), there can (and likely will) still be audible differences.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #160
That doesn't change the landscape regarding my point that the vinyl version exhibits the same clipping as the CD version.  It occurs in the same places for the same duration.

Interestingly, the channels appear to be swapped and the phase reversed.

As an aside, differences imparted by the process of vinyl transfer have been discussed many times over.  So even if your samples were adequately time-aligned and level-matched (both of which I doubt, despite the use of replaygain), there can (and likely will) still be audible differences.

If the vinyl is cut from the same master as the CD, it's still likely to sound significantly different due to the various distortions and frequency response anomalies inherent in vinyl. And those distortions can actually be quite euphonic. There's no disgrace in finding the vinyl reproduction preferable to the CD - as long as you don't mistake that for greater accuracy.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #161
Interestingly, the channels appear to be swapped and the phase reversed.

Yep and the channel reversal should make ABXing quite trivial all by itself. 

If the vinyl is cut from the same master as the CD, it's still likely to sound significantly different due to the various distortions and frequency response anomalies inherent in vinyl. And those distortions can actually be quite euphonic. There's no disgrace in finding the vinyl reproduction preferable to the CD - as long as you don't mistake that for greater accuracy.

I agree.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #162
Why are people continuing to cite DR numbers in a CD vs. Vinyl comparison when they have been shown to be bogus for this purpose?

Both of the "vinyl mixes" I cited earlier were included with limited versions of the CDs. I wasn't referring to a needledrop.
I forgot to reply to this.
It was clear from your original post that you weren't comparing a vinyl digitization to a CD rip.  My rant was misplaced; I apologize.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #163
I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.


I find this hard to believe, they sound identifiably different. Why would simply being on vinyl change it that much?

The EQ is different. It could be mastering differences, but as it's a very similar difference on both of your samples (i.e. CD vs vinyl shows the same trend for NAS and Bowie), I think it's more likely that your vinyl replay system (mostly cartridge and pre-amp) EQs the sound, while your CDs don't have that change applied.

Here's a plot of the long-term spectrum of each of the Bowie files:
[attachment=8192:bowieCDvinylEQ.gif]
pink/cyan is CD
red/green is vinyl

The vinyl is slightly quieter overall (I didn't fix that for the comparison). Note how at around 10kHz the vinyl has as much treble as the CD, but at 3kHz it's 4-5dB lower. It recovers very slightly in the bass. It falls off dramatically above 15kHz (though few listeners will notice this).

Basically, if you matched the loudness, you would find the vinyl has far more treble, far less midrange, and fractionally more bass than the CD. If you EQ the CD to match, it sounds almost the same as the vinyl.

On the Bowie sample, there's no absolutely hard digital clipping*, but there's strong limiting. Take a look at 22.507 seconds (CD) vs 22.526 seconds (vinyl). You get exactly the same flat top on both, just with a slope added on the vinyl version due to vinyl's AC coupling and phase errors. It looks like the same master.

EDIT: here's a greynol style waveform plot of that part, with the two tracks time-aligned...
[attachment=8193:bowieclipping.gif]
CD top, vinyl bottom.
* = I know it looks like pure digital clipping on this scale, but it isn't if you zoom in. The signal was obviously clipped, but not in the final digital mix.

I agree that, as presented, the vinyl sample sounds nicer. I think you could process the CD to sound almost exactly like the vinyl. The vinyl is not giving you any information from the master tape that's lost on the CD.


It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred. Surprising, because IME the real hardcore audiophiles who prefer vinyl often wouldn't dream of using EQ to change the sound themselves. Yet by buying vinyl, more than anything they're buying a huge EQ change.

IMO most good recordings on good systems shouldn't be messed with at all, BUT where recordings or equipment or rooms have issues which can be fixed with suitable EQ, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

Cheers,
David.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #164
The EQ is different. It could be mastering differences, but as it's a very similar difference on both of your samples (i.e. CD vs vinyl shows the same trend for NAS and Bowie), I think it's more likely that your vinyl replay system (mostly cartridge and pre-amp) EQs the sound, while your CDs don't have that change applied.

It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred. Surprising, because IME the real hardcore audiophiles who prefer vinyl often wouldn't dream of using EQ to change the sound themselves. Yet by buying vinyl, more than anything they're buying a huge EQ change.

IMO most good recordings on good systems shouldn't be messed with at all, BUT where recordings or equipment or rooms have issues which can be fixed with suitable EQ, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

Cheers,
David.


Insightful comparison, cheers  Explains why even with gain matching it was still possible to pick the difference (at least in the Nas sample, didn't hear spend much time with the Bowie track). Btw they're not my albums, but Funkstar's.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #165
I didn't bother with the Bowie albums because I figured the vinyl version could have been sourced from an analog master, considering the age of the release.

Thanks for doing the heavy lifting, David.

For those who don't know by now what axe I have to grind, my involvement here is essentially limited to attempting to assess whether vinyl was sourced from a different master than that used to create a heavily compressed CD.

I also suspect that perceptions of dynamics are heavily influenced by expectation bias. I also believe this is not limited to vinyl vs CD.  Questioning the validity of strongly held beliefs rarely goes over well.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #166
I also suspect that perceptions of dynamics are heavily influenced by expectation bias. I also believe this is not limited to vinyl vs CD.  Questioning the validity of strongly held beliefs rarely goes over well.


For me at least this was the exact opposite. For years have known vinyl isn't inherently superior to digital, and didn't come in with any vinyl bias whatsoever tbh. The sample I compared did sound different but apparently that was both the EQ and the changes that occur in vinyl transfers, rather than the master as it turns out.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #167
The vinyl is slightly quieter overall (I didn't fix that for the comparison). Note how at around 10kHz the vinyl has as much treble as the CD, but at 3kHz it's 4-5dB lower. It recovers very slightly in the bass. It falls off dramatically above 15kHz (though few listeners will notice this).


I see it, but could you repost the graph with log scaling?

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #168
The vinyl is slightly quieter overall (I didn't fix that for the comparison). Note how at around 10kHz the vinyl has as much treble as the CD, but at 3kHz it's 4-5dB lower. It recovers very slightly in the bass. It falls off dramatically above 15kHz (though few listeners will notice this).


I see it, but could you repost the graph with log scaling?

Both axes are log scale.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #169
It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred. Surprising, because IME the real hardcore audiophiles who prefer vinyl often wouldn't dream of using EQ to change the sound themselves. Yet by buying vinyl, more than anything they're buying a huge EQ change.
Not quite true, most audiophiles will gladly buy amplifiers and/or headphones which are far off from a flat frequency response.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #170
It's surprising how many vinyl vs CD samples show an EQ difference, with the vinyl usually being preferred.


The surprise goes away if you understand the inherent limitations of the LP format which are pretty severe and audible.

The LP and its predecessor (cylinder, 78) formats were tuned over decades if not for more than a century to put their music into a frequency response/dynamic range strait jacket that was generally acceptable if not bland and limiting. 

The CD format and most sequel digital formats took the technical out-of-bounds areas out of the production process.

For production people the new order became: "Your gun, your bullet, the public's ears".

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #171
Why are people continuing to cite DR numbers in a CD vs. Vinyl comparison when they have been shown to be bogus for this purpose?

Both of the "vinyl mixes" I cited earlier were included with limited versions of the CDs. I wasn't referring to a needledrop.
I forgot to reply to this.
It was clear from your original post that you weren't comparing a vinyl digitization to a CD rip.  My rant was misplaced; I apologize.


Thanks/not a problem.

I've come a long way in my "understanding" since I first started this thread  (IOW: I was pretty much wrong.)
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #172
The links removed per violation of TOS #9, though I made a comparison between the two versions of the Nas tracks.  The vinyl version was sourced from the same digital master used to create the CD version.

[attachment=8191:nas.jpg]


I think you working on a huge assumption there.  The sample, final mix may be clipped, but the master is certainly not.

 

Modern Vinyl "Masters" vs. CD--My Experience

Reply #173
"Master" is an overused word (though IMO greynol uses it correctly here; YMMV), but there is certainly clipping at some stage of the process between microphone and consumer, and that same clipping has made its way onto the CD and vinyl. Are you saying there is another release format/version that doesn't have this clipping? Or are you trying to make some other point?

Cheers,
David.

 
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