SH Spotlight What sounds just like the master tape: CD, Vinyl, SACD or a 1:1 analog Reel tape copy?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Fair to say that's a similar test to the Bing Crosby one you recently posted? That was actually pretty eye-opening (or should I say ear-opening) to me.
     
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  2. testikoff

    testikoff Forum Resident

    Why not listen & compare yourself?.. Have a look at a recent thread about the virtues of DSD (follow the links in my post to download all samples + delta). ;)
     
  3. henry babenko

    henry babenko Well-Known Member

    I just scored an original vinyl us version and it sounds great..
     
  4. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    Just a question. I searched this thread, and didn't really see this issue discussed, at least directly. Steve Hoffman's opening post was on the lacquer copy vs the master tape, and the CD vs. the master tape. He concluded that the lacquer was closer. I assume that the channel separation through the Shure V-15 would still be in same 30-40db range as with vinyl? If so, wouldn't that in effect be making the sound "more mono" through the V-15 compared to the CD, which has much wider separation? Is it possible that less channel separation explains a lot of the difference between what was heard? Somewhat unrelated, but I think a lot of people like vinyl because the more "blended" sound is very pleasant to listen to, even though it might not be as accurate as the greater separation on the CD. Just wondering what other people think?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  5. Francisx

    Francisx Forum Resident

    Reel To Reel Master Tape
     
  6. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    I would vote SACD as the closest.
     
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  7. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    That wasn't one of the options; he said "open reel tape copy," which I took to mean a commercial R-to-R release.
     
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  8. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Motown Legend

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    The crosstalk is often out of phase making the lacquer sound a bit wider!
     
  9. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    Very interesting...I seem to recall that Decca put out a series of classical CDs in the late 1980s called "Eloquence" (unrelated to the Australian Decca Eloquence of today), that added out of phase signals. FWIW, they sounded distant and fuzzy, but maybe they were on to something
     
  10. mando_dan

    mando_dan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    With master "tapes" now most often digital files, this question is slowly and thankfully ceasing to be relevant. Sorry analog lovers.
     
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  11. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    Is it? Don't they press digitally recorded music to vinyl? In which case, the vinyl will have less channel separation than the CD.
     
  12. mando_dan

    mando_dan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    True enough. Vinyl's still niche (even with huge susurgence of the medium) so I hadn't thought of that.
     
  13. SergioRZ

    SergioRZ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portugal
    Why? No more mastering to different formats?
     
  14. duneman

    duneman Well-Known Member

    Without getting too cute about it one could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps the medium that sounds closest to the master tape is the medium capable of capturing the original program material with the highest resolution/fidelity (i.e. highest frequency response/dynamic range). Ipso facto (to me at least) that's digital.

    Redbook while not the highest resolution of the digital formats can and often does sound quite good. However, it seems to me, the hi-res formats would be the best possible reproduction of the original, analog, program material. There are different schools of thought as to which hi-res format is superior but that's another topic altogether.

    Obviously, as members of this forum we know that people screw up digital representations (CD/SACD/DVDA/DVDV/BD etc.) of analog tape all the time. A well done LP, CD or reel-to-reel tape can easily best any digital format if the digital format is poorly done.

    N'est ce pas?

    all the best,

    ~dm
     
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  15. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    The problem, and it's surprising after 30 plus years of CD, there's no consensus with regard to which format is the most accurate representation of the master tape, assuming everything is done at the format's optimal capability. This is unprecedented. No one seriously questioned the superiority of the LP over the 78, or of reel to reel over the cassette, the DVD over VHS, and blu Ray over DVD.
     
  16. Bill Lettang

    Bill Lettang Well-Known Member

    If memory serves me well, the laquer he cut (with EQ moves on) was deemed closest to the Master Tape, in fact he and his parter could discern no difference,



    followed by the CD (different, not bad) and SACD (even more different). The reel to reel placed last and I don't believe it was a commercial tape but a 15 IPS copy he made to a reel to reel off that master tape. He also went on to say that these comparisons were mostly noticeable because he had the Master to compare them to.
     
  17. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    It's been nine years since SH opened this topic. I wonder if time has wrought a reappraisal? His posts since then suggest otherwise, but perhaps there's more to be said. Or, perhaps it's yet another case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same. "
     
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  18. Espen R

    Espen R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norway
    I think the only thing different from 9 years back is some further steps in high-rez digital.
    I've read that the new 11.2 Mhz DSD a/d from Playback Design sounds very close to the analog master tape in direct comparison. Would love to hear it.
     
  19. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    They claim the non-DSD converters are better today, but since virtually every remastering since around 1992 sounds worse, I also have to wonder about that. I have to think that "sounding like the master tape" is a not really the goal anymore. Of course, I would hope that "sounding worse" is not the goal either, despite the abundant evidence to the contrary. Of course, our host and a few others are exceptions from this sorry state of affairs.
     
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Bump by request from Germany.
     
  21. Rhapsody In Red

    Rhapsody In Red Formerly Wrapped in Plastic

    I love these threads that give me insight into the workings behind the sound. Thanks for sharing. Im a bit confused by the statement that SACD/DSD has a loss of tonality while offering better front and back resolution compared to CD. Is that due to the overall compression used on CDs?
     
  22. Bytor Snowdog

    Bytor Snowdog Active Member

    Location:
    Texas
    I think its about people impressing an image in their mind to what a certain song/title/album should sound like. A 70's album would have to be vinyl/tape, as would anything earlier. For some folks, any future reproduction/remastering has to have the important qualities of the original. Which actually sounds better becomes secondary. Especially with re-mixes, you can often be picking between which sounds better vs which is more accurate to the original. This borders on getting into the "artists intent" debate, which id rather not.

    Sometimes this debate seems similar to comparing HD video. Sometimes, a newer, more resolute, better reproduction can subtract a certain quality to a film, especially an older one.
     
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  23. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    A great example of what you are saying are the Anesini Byrds remasters. From a clarity and fidelity standpoint they are much "improved" over the original CDs. But in so doing, they lost the the twitchy "jingle jamgle" sound of the originals, and when you lose that, you lose the Byrds -- at least to this humble listener.
     
  24. Bytor Snowdog

    Bytor Snowdog Active Member

    Location:
    Texas
    Much boils down to the "accurate" vs "most realistic" debate. One relies exclusively in science, the other completely outside it. I doubt they will ever agree.

    No matter, if ones first experience of a certain song/track was a modern remix and/or hi-res version of something older, then ones first impression and image is other than the LP/Tape original (for example). In this case, what sounds best might also be the most accurate.
     
  25. Sax-son

    Sax-son Forum Resident

    I have found that much of this is more important to technical folks than that of the general public. Audiophiles and professional sound people have a trained ear and can hear the differences. Others are just interested in hearing the songs and when shown the differences in sound, could really care less unless if differences are monumental.

    I use to really like demonstrating sonic differences in sound but eventually gave up due to finding out that it was an exercise in futility.
     

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