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Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #75
The first chapter of Principles of Digital Audio will go over computer language such as binary and hex and help you understand exactly what lossy encoders do.


You do know LAME developers use this forum don't you? As did/do the developers of FLAC etc.

You make the completely incorrect assumption that because it's a forum that everyone here is someone just messing about in their spare time with this stuff.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #76
In the meantime, all the pros are exporting their Pro Tools HDX recordings back into an analog soundboard using analog gear for inserts and there is a reason for that.

Hi cdroid

I had no idea that this was going on! However, my scepticism with this sort of thing knows no bounds, and that is because of basic psychology i.e. that we are all susceptible to 'expectation bias' and all its variants, and that even the most hardened professional cannot avoid it. There was a little example of this a couple of months back on a BBC radio programme where they got some professional recording gurus to describe what they were hearing when comparing standard CD with 'high res'. They could hear extra warmth, detail, "reverberant tails" etc. etc. But it turned out that the producer had mistakenly given them the files in the wrong order or some such (or done it deliberately - I can't quite remember), and they ended up with egg on their faces despite their guru status. If a "pro" decides that audio sounds better when patched through an analogue mixing desk, or played back via a gramophone, it simply has no effect on me. These same "pros" are probably deeply dismissive of audiophiles and would laugh if we suggested they should use $1000/m cables in their studios or raise them on little ceramic supports. It's all the same thing, in my opinion.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #77
Please perform a double-blind test to back your claims up. If the difference is trivial to distinguish, an ABX of it would be a cinch to perform at <0.01 confidence.


I think an ABX test between an analog piece of gear and the digital counterpart could be passed relatively easy in some cases, considering a lot of them probably don't sound 100% identical despite being made for the same effect or purpose. But just because they're slightly different, who's to say which one is objectively "the best"?

Why would the analog version be "the best" only because it's older? What if most people happen to like the sound of the digital version (ie. a more accurate and precise signal treatment)?

At that point, we're moving into subjective opinions.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #78
I'm impressed. Not many people can read Principles of Digital Audio, including its chapter on perceptual coding, and come away spouting nonsense like AAC must be discarding gobs of important data, just because it's way smaller than WAV.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #79
Please perform a double-blind test to back your claims up. If the difference is trivial to distinguish, an ABX of it would be a cinch to perform at <0.01 confidence.


I think an ABX test between an analog piece of gear and the digital counterpart could be passed relatively easy in some cases, considering a lot of them probably don't sound 100% identical despite being made for the same effect or purpose.


Given the range of quality levels of equipment that exists, from $10 portable CD player on up, the above would appear to be a truism. It seems to skip over the meat of the controversy.

The meat of the controversy includes false ideas such as the following:

(1) No piece of digital gear can sound good because of all of the inherent flaws in digital audio including the missing data between the samples.
(2) Only exceptionally well-engineered gear that is highly expensive can sound good.
(3) Every piece of audio gear has its own obvious characteristic sonic signature due to the different designs and parts that are used.


and so on.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #80
I've read some of your responses and I'm slightly upset to be perfectly honest. First allow me to respond by qualifying myself.
No, I am not a hobbyist. I am a student with a certificate in digital audio and I'm currently working towards an AA. I spent all morning discussing digital audio theory with my professor who would adamantly disagree with the responses I've read. No, my post was not riddled with audiophile lore, it was riddled with facts from my course books. I have also chosen this as my career path and am literally paid to know these things.

First I will discuss the MP3 and DAC related posts that many people commented on.
Yes, MP3 lossy compression actually is a serious problem and we can actually test that very simply;
Grab a CD with Red Book specifications. Now, set your iTunes to decode to AAC. Burn the disk to AAC. Now listen. Then set your iTunes to decode to WAV. Now listen.
I did this test a couple days ago because I'm looking at upscaling my entire iTunes library when I sync to a NAS server on my internal network, and I noticed a huge improvement even on small shotty speakers over my shotty DAC on my iMac.
If you can't hear the difference from this test, then you're probably a hobbyist with untrained ears. Look at the file difference. The WAV files are going to be almost 5 times the size of AAC files. The AAC encoder is dropping a whole lot more audio information than you'd care to admit. And put AAC vs. WAV aside for a second, I think we can all agree that AAC is better quality than MP3. How much more will the difference between MP3 and WAV be?


Two words: sighted evaluation. Doing DBTs involving lossy encoding are very easy to do, and I'm surprised that many people's alleged education has skipped over this.

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Now let's start talking DACs. Just so you have a feel of where I'm coming from; I no longer am impressed by Avid Venue DACs (or preamps, but that's another issue) or the last couple generations of Pro Tools HD DACs (again, Avid Preamps suck). I was, however, impressed with the MIDAS and Digico DACs. In the studio I would be happy with UAD Apollo DAC as well as Apogee DAC.
In the more affordable range, I used to use PreSonus for DAC and I thought it was hot but that was about 5~6 years ago now. Now I use the new Behringer DACs and I'm very happy for the price. When I need high fidelity quality for mixing or mastering, I use my MOTU interface and have been satisfied.



Same two words: sighted evaluation. Doing DBTs involving DACs and ADCs  are also very easy to do, and I'm surprised that many people's alleged education has skipped over this.



Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #81
I've read some of your responses and I'm slightly upset to be perfectly honest. First allow me to respond by qualifying myself.
No, I am not a hobbyist. I am a student with a certificate in digital audio and I'm currently working towards an AA. I spent all morning discussing digital audio theory with my professor who would adamantly disagree with the responses I've read. No, my post was not riddled with audiophile lore, it was riddled with facts from my course books. I have also chosen this as my career path and am literally paid to know these things.
Irrelevant. I'd argue the other way around, it's pretty sad that you can certified without basic knowledge about lossy encoding:
If you can't hear the difference from this test, then you're probably a hobbyist with untrained ears. Look at the file difference. The WAV files are going to be almost 5 times the size of AAC files. The AAC encoder is dropping a whole lot more audio information than you'd care to admit. And put AAC vs. WAV aside for a second, I think we can all agree that AAC is better quality than MP3. How much more will the difference between MP3 and WAV be?
I'd also like to know how your line of reasoning can explain that AAC can sound better than MP3 while using less bits per second. Didn't the AAC encoder drop more information than the MP3 one? Shouldn't that already have shown you that your reasoning is flawed, that you contradict yourself in just the next sentence?

One of the biggest issues with cheaper DACs like the ones in phones and the like is the signal to noise ration. When you use cheap parts you're going to get noise.
Have you actually looked at measurements of MP3 player and phone DACs? copper has a nice selection of RMAA results, and you can easily find lots more. While these might not be good enough for producers and engineers, most of them are just fine for consumer audio reproduction.

I forgot to reply to the post that irritated me the most. I had said that DSP (digital signal processing) has not surpassed analog processors, and some dude who admitted he has no experience said he doubts it. For starters, when you see Chris Lord Algae selling his LA-2A, then you can believe that the CLA-2A plugin has surpassed analog. In the meantime, all the pros are exporting their Pro Tools HDX recordings back into an analog soundboard using analog gear for inserts and there is a reason for that.
And do you care to elaborate on that reason? Or is it just "because they are pros"? I guess it gives a warmer and fuzzier feeling to work in the analog domain. Because you really can't trust computers to add and multiply numbers.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #82
I've read some of your responses and I'm slightly upset to be perfectly honest.


Good. So you should be. Now turn that into something by learning from some of the people here. You have no idea what a rich resource you have stumbled into.
The most important audio cables are the ones in the brain

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #83
Time to fire up my old gear and listen a Burr Brown PCM63 (1990) with Burr Brown OPA627 (1989) listening to a full digital DDD recording done by Telarc in 1981, The Nutcracker.
Now i really have to wonder what part of digital audio is better understood now?
The uncountable really bad sounding recent records is only a sign of a declining art by strange audio engineers to me.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #84
The uncountable really bad sounding recent records is only a sign of a declining art by strange audio engineers to me.
Leads one to wonder if that is somehow related to the claim that "pros" are using analog gear again.
It's only audiophile if it's inconvenient.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #85
No, I am not a hobbyist. I am a student with a certificate in digital audio and I'm currently working towards an AA. I spent all morning discussing digital audio theory with my professor who would adamantly disagree with the responses I've read. No, my post was not riddled with audiophile lore, it was riddled with facts from my course books. I have also chosen this as my career path and am literally paid to know these things.


hahaha

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #86
I have studied UFOlogy, and as such I can tell you with certainty, that aliens visit us regularly. I am literally an expert in this field, so you can trust me that I relay this information 100% accurately.

I am offended, however, that y'all seem to reject that fact.
"I hear it when I see it."

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #87
I saw a person argue that DACs have been stable for 20~25 years (I do not kid you, go read the second or third post from mine, it will give you a good laugh if you understand digital audio and computer theory)


I don't know where you got the idea that anybody thinks that DACs have been stable for 20-25 years.

There have been one general area of great change being price/performance. The change has been in two directions, the first being higher performance and the second being lower prices for a given amount of performance.  The technological revolution has been the introduction and development of sigma-delta converters, However sigma delta converters are nothing new - the basic technology goes back to 1962.  In the early 1990s (22 years ago) they became the predominate converter technology, based on digital logic with sufficiently high speed coming down in price.

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which is preposterous since digital recording was only available to the consumer about 25 years ago.


All consumers need is digital playback, and digital playback has been available to consumers since 1982 which is 34 years ago. I guess that some revisionist history is being bandied about.

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My professor who has used Pro Tools since it was called Sound Tools would have argued that even 20 years ago it was new and unstable technology, and if you asked him I think he'd argue that even the last generation of Pro Tools HD DACs are unstable (the new architecture of HDX is a lot better).


Here's a news flash - Pro Tools is not the sole center of the universe, and like so many *name* products, technologically it hasn't always been that great. Furthermore, it has been tied to proprietary hardware, and hoping for an organization to get both hardware and software right is a big expectation.

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There are a few things that effect DAC quality (besides being inherently vulnerable to errors) including noise, harmonic distortion, max sample rates, and dynamic range.


That's all true, but the law of diminishing returns affects converters just like everything else. Numbers are just numbers, and specs are just specs. Whats of the essence is determining the performance level that is required to have good sounding recording and playback.


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One of the biggest issues with cheaper DACs like the ones in phones and the like is the signal to noise ration. When you use cheap parts you're going to get noise.


This isn't a discussion about telephones, its about professional recording hardware and quality consumer playback hardware. That all said many of the DACs in most portable music players, smart phones and the like are really quite good - about as good as the first and second generation CD players which is really quite good.

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I don't feel like reading the rest of the responses tonight because I really am just not in the mood for that. Surprise; it upsets me to spend 8 hours with a college professor and another hour or two reading suggested course material only to log onto my computer to have a hobbyist refer me to some youtube videos and wiki pages.


I'm hoping that you aren't getting he most out of your university experience, because I'd be really ticked off if I thought that what I was hearing here is good rendition of their best.

Also, don't confuse HA with your typical consumer hifi forum. There are pros here, and there are people with good audio credentials.


Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #88
The Sony CDP-101, released in 1982, had only one "major" flaw: due to production costs they only used 1 DAC for both channels.

Sure, its low-level linearity was not awesome (still better than vinyl) because they didn't use oversampling (which was however also available in 1982 in the Phillips CD100), but other than that it was an excellent product.
"I hear it when I see it."

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #89
The Sony CDP-101, released in 1982, had only one "major" flaw: due to production costs they only used 1 DAC for both channels.

Sure, its low-level linearity was not awesome (still better than vinyl) because they didn't use oversampling (which was however also available in 1982 in the Phillips CD100), but other than that it was an excellent product.


I've had two CDP 101s that were still operational available to me for detailed testing. Mine died in the early 90s and was disposed of in the garbage.

The non-use of oversampling was the biggest problem, but it didn't manifest itself as low level nonlinearity, it manifests itself as the frequency response and phase ortifacts of the all-analog LCR brick wall  low pass filter.

The shared DAC made itself known as a half-sample delay between the channels which added more phasing effects.

The low level nonlinearity was just fine - no evidence of it at all or shall we say it was randomized by dither and therefore had no audible or measurable consequences.

Jitter was just fine, too.

With pink nose or certain choral works the FR and phase funnies have been detected in DBTs.  It was mentioned by the SR "All CD players sound the ame?" article.

The next generation CD players that came out in the mid-90s were sonically blameless.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #90
Oh yeah, the min phase brick wall, how could I forget that? It's hard to believe that some audiophiles still use something like that today ...

But from a purely technological point of view: they could have used 2 DACs. Oversampling was available too. That was over 30 years ago!
"I hear it when I see it."

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #91
@Arnold
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I don't know where you got the idea that anybody thinks that DACs have been stable for 20-25 years.

cdroid got that idea from me, when I said almost exactly those words in this thread, in response to his implication that expensive new-ish DACs are required in order to have good sound quality.

I'm no hardware expert, but I'm under the impression that newer DACs are not doing anything substantially different than those of the mid-1990s. They're smaller, cheaper and generally have even better specs now than before, but they're not the weak link in his playback chain, because all the technological innovations that really mattered for sound quality were made by the mid-'90s and would've been in pretty much any soundcard by the late '90s.

If that assertion is incorrect, or if saying the technology is "stable" in that regard is inappropriate, then I apologize, but the rest of your post seems to suggest that we are on the same page here. I mean, if we change out his DAC with one from 1996, everything else the same, is it going to make any difference whatsoever in a blind test?

That's not to say that he necessarily gets ideal sound from his example of a low anchor, his iMac's internal audio hardware. I have no way of knowing. Maybe, like a lot of on-board soundcards, it picks up noise from other parts of the system. That wouldn't be an issue with the DAC's operational specs, though, as he seems to believe.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #92
Oh yeah, the min phase brick wall, how could I forget that? It's hard to believe that some audiophiles still use something like that today ...

But from a purely technological point of view: they could have used 2 DACs. Oversampling was available too. That was over 30 years ago!


Bingo!

2 DACs and oversampling was exactly the technology that the competitive Philips/Magnavox CD-100 used. It probably worked better, but one of them in working condition just never happened to fall into my hands.

However. in general even the CDP-101 with its minor warts and all was a huge sonic and convenience improvement over any kind of analog, then or now.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #93
@Arnold
Quote
I don't know where you got the idea that anybody thinks that DACs have been stable for 20-25 years.

cdroid got that idea from me, when I said almost exactly those words in this thread, in response to his implication that expensive new-ish DACs are required in order to have good sound quality.


It's really about the exact choice of words, and how they are interpreted.

Speaking out against the false idea that expensive new-ish DACs are required in order to have good sound quality is justified by the relevant facts.

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I'm no hardware expert, but I'm under the impression that newer DACs are not doing anything substantially different than those of the mid-1990s.


Based on professional journals, 1992 was the year that Sigma-Delta converters became a viable mainstream technology because the cost of producing the high speed mixed signal chips that they are implemented with crossed over into financial viability about then. Note that the core technology dated back to 1962, but awaited semiconductor technology to catch up with it. 

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They're smaller, cheaper and generally have even better specs now than before, but they're not the weak link in his playback chain, because all the technological innovations that really mattered for sound quality were made by the mid-'90s and would've been in pretty much any soundcard by the late '90s.


Consumer sound card technology was lagging mainstream consumer digital music player during the 1990s and up until 2005 or so. The first sound card with true 16 bit performance was probably the Turtle Beach Pinnacle/Fiji which was on the market in the middle 90s, ran $250-400 depending on model and features. Cards like the DAL CardDeluxe introduced around Y2K were among the first that exceeded Redbook performance.

Cards like the LynxTWO introduced a few years later had the latest greatest converter chips from the leading producers and dynamic range and THD equal or better than 115 dB.

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That's not to say that he necessarily gets ideal sound from his example of a low anchor, his iMac's internal audio hardware. I have no way of knowing. Maybe, like a lot of on-board soundcards, it picks up noise from other parts of the system. That wouldn't be an issue with the DAC's operational specs, though, as he seems to believe.


http://www.geocities.jp/k_hyodo_2000/Comparison/iMac.htm  suggests competitive performance for an on board audio intgerface ca. 2005 but not Redbook quality.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #94
I skipped about half of the thread, but am I the only one here who finds the question in and of itself absurd?  This discussion has gotten crazily in-depth, but all of it sits on top of a flawed premise.

Digital is by definition fixed and accurate; analog is not.  The two do not operate on the same principles.  Because of this, they are fundamentally not comparable.

Here are some factors off the top of my head for digital:

1. What is the sampling format?
2. What DAC is used?

And for the vinyl?

1. What is the molecular composition of the vinyl?
2. What needle and cartridge are used?
3. What is the weight balance of the cartridge?
4. What drive system is used?
5. What physical insulation is the turntable sitting on?
6. What pre-amp is used?
7. What is the ambient temperature?
8. What is the ambient humidity?
9. What angle of rotation is the turntable at?

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #95
If one is young (or even not so young, like me) and full of misconceptions, then one is very likely to ask questions that are based on false premises. Necessarily, one has to be prepared to take a knock or two in the process and, I believe, we should just be glad that there people willing to patiently explain and straighten us out. The threads are often useful, as the misconception of one must be the misconception of many.

Don't know how I would have felt about all that when I was "student-"aged: even 40-plus years on I can still pig-headed. I guess young Mr cdroid is just starting on this path where the learning is as much human as technical

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Hey, so I just got bullied off another forum (I probably should have just hung out here, those guys weren't very nice and they didn't seem to understand the audio world outside of the theoretical) and I had some questions about what we were discussing; The quality of digital vs. the quality of vinyl.
Hope I put this under the right tab, the only other place to put it that made sense was beginner questions but this seems a bit advanced compared to the other questions there and I'll be asking for in-depth answers rather than basic explanations ...

Gearslutz
The most important audio cables are the ones in the brain

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #96
Digital is by definition fixed and accurate; analog is not.  The two do not operate on the same principles.  Because of this, they are fundamentally not comparable.
You just compared them 

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #97
I skipped about half of the thread, but am I the only one here who finds the question in and of itself absurd?  This discussion has gotten crazily in-depth, but all of it sits on top of a flawed premise.

Digital is by definition fixed and accurate; analog is not.  The two do not operate on the same principles.  Because of this, they are fundamentally not comparable.


There is no requirement that things being compared operate on the same principles.

For example, hydrocarbon fuel power and nuclear power operate on fundamentally different principles. Yet there are books of comparisons between the two. Someone wants to build a power plant, and the first thing they do,  they have to choose.

The true requirement is that to be compared, the things being compared have to have comparable functions.

And now to twist things around, both analog and digital do operate on comparable principles.  They code information in accordance with schemes based on information theory.

One thing that may surprise many is that digital preceded analog in the human development of means of information transfer.



Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #98
Digital is by definition fixed and accurate; analog is not.  The two do not operate on the same principles.  Because of this, they are fundamentally not comparable.
You just compared them 


Not only that but they were compared very badly. Illogical logic and non factual facts!

Digital is not accurate except within its own domain. It is always an approximation of outside reality. What the illogical and poorly informed don't seem to understand is that analog is also an approximation of outside reality.

Vinyl is equivalent to which digital bit-depth and sampling rate?

Reply #99
But analog has infinite resolution!!!!1111111
"I hear it when I see it."

 
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