Is the DR database really accurate for vinyl?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mij Retrac, Oct 3, 2013.

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  1. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Watch this great video by Ian Shepherd for the answer. I would love to hear your take on it.
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  2. botley

    botley Forum Resident

    I've been saying this for years; Shepard is 100% right.
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  3. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I agree. I was sucked into the myth for a few releases until I learned my lesson. ALthough I do still by new release vinyl every now and then but I'm much more cautious before doing it and try to do more investigating before I take the plunge. I try to make sure and just buy vinyl that has been taken from the analog master if at all possible or when I know that there is a special master just for the vinyl release.
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  4. Stefan

    Stefan Senior Member

    Montreal, Canada
    Amen! This should be required viewing/listening for everyone on this forum!
  5. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That's why I put it here. I've been involved in so many arguments on here about this subject it's crazy. I finally feel vindicated with this video.
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  6. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Boston MA
    Hi Res vinyl is better the CD quality vinyl. Really, all analog is the way to go.
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  7. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hi res vinyl? Isn't that redundant? Did you watch the video? Vinyl is actually changing the way the original master sounds. You aren't getting an accurate representation of what was on the original master. Now if it's an analog master then it I will give you that it will be closer than the CD in most cases assuming the vinyl was cut and pressed correctly and well. I just don't think you can make a blanket statement that vinyl is always better.
  8. JBryan

    JBryan Forum Resident

    Baltimore/St Louis
    Perhaps the analog signal traveling through the cartridge's magnetic field is able to utilize harmonics to create and extend the peaks from the same track that the digital signal has filtered out and can not add or enhance anything further.
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  9. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    In the video he makes it very clear that the vinyl and CD have the exact same master. So the vinyl maybe doing what you say but it is adding things that aren't there originally. More to the point the DR database IMHO is a useless tool to decide whether the vinyl has a different master than the CD released at the same time as evidenced by this video.
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  10. JBryan

    JBryan Forum Resident

    Baltimore/St Louis
    Exactly, if its the same master, then something must be happening downstream to account for the difference - unless maybe the TT software has a glitch when reading the analog signal.
  11. Tullman

    Tullman Senior Member

    Boston MA
    I meant digital Hi Res sourced vinyl. CD sourced vinyl isn't worth the bother.
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  12. c-eling

    c-eling They're made of light,We never would have guessed

    Always enjoy Ian's vids thanks for posting
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  13. Agent57

    Agent57 Marshall will buoy, but Fender control

    Very interesting.
  14. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    Will take a look but if it's the "use your ears" I agee. DR ratings are just a tool and, with vinyl, it does fluxuate even between carts.

    But the ratings generally match up with what I hear -- I usually do a drop and then take a guess before I run the tool and I'm usually pretty accurate with my guesses. Even on heavily compressed sources, vinyl seems to tone it down at least a bit but that might be some EQ'ing going on pre-pressing, there's really no way to know.
  15. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Not of this world

    I like the TT DR tool...and use it all the time too. Besides showing a dynamic range, it, as Ian said, is great for comparing masters from lossless digital files of which I always use for my cd's. I've never done vinyl, so the comparison's are virtually moot to me.

    Thing is...many deride the tool. But they use the EAC 'peak' values for mastering comparisons. I've never used EAC but does it show the RMS like the DR tool does ? Surely it would.

    For all the cd titles that have been analyzed on this SHtv site for mastering seems as though the vast majority are using the EAC peak values to confirm same or different digital, all lossless or not ?, masterings. Few use the DR tool even though it's just as accurate for comparisons, plus the RMS is right there with it. How come when most here use EAC for comparisons they don't include the RMS value, just the peak ? :shrug:
  16. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    SPOILER ALERT! The video shows a track that was mastered by the narrator of the video. The same exact master was use for the CD as it was for the vinyl yet the vinyl had a 50% higher DR rating on it. Proving that just because the vinyl has a higher DR than the CD that came out at the same time it doesn't mean it's more dynamic. I mean, how can it be more dynamic than the master used to make it?
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  17. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    You ruined it! :)

    It can be more dynamic, due to the format. It's similar to me re-EQ'ing a digital source in a tool like Audacity and then re-running the DR tool on it and the numbers go up. It's still the same source, just the EQ has been tweaked.

    In general when I see DR8 / DR9 on a vinyl drop that sounds compressed, I usually say to myself "probably the same source, likely just re-EQ'd for vinyl". And you won't hear a major difference between the vinyl and CD either, perhaps a very small difference. But when the numbers go to DR11 and beyond (and comparing a CD source that's DR5/6) then I have to wonder what else is going on. This is in regards to modern vinyl btw -- I've seen some DR9 50's and 60's vinyl too, so that's obviously something different.

    When I do a drop / CD rip A/B testing, it's normally an ear test. DR numbers I do later just to see if the numbers match up to what I'm hearing.
  18. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I think the video will change your opinion on this. I won't spoil any more of it for you but you definitely need to check it out in its entirety and I think you will change your mind. I have rarely seen EQ changes make more than a db or two of difference on the DR rating. I have experimented and the most I could change the rating was 2db I believe but that was with major EQ adjustments, were talking 10-12db boost in the bass and/or treble.
  19. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    An analogy would be doing a "laser drop" from the analog output of your CD player. It will always look more dynamic than a straight rip of a heavily limited digital source.
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  20. George P

    George P Notable Member

    The video also seems to prove that it is misleading and inaccurate to use waveforms to compare the dynamics of a CD mastering to a vinyl mastering.
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  21. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I completely agree which means what you actually hear will be very close to the same minus the coloring your TT, cart, tone arm, pre amp etc add to the sound. I would venture to say the will sound exactly the same minus that coloring stated.
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  22. Mij Retrac

    Mij Retrac Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Exactly!!! Which is why I always say don't go by what you see, go by what your ears tell you.
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  23. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    I'm halfway through. Nope, doesn't change my opinion too much. Remember, I had said "use your ears first" as well. The only difference being that Mr. Shepherd mentioned that the DR rating was 12, so my DR9 threshold is likely off then. And I can't hear too much difference between the two clips (granted, it's a YT video so that doesn't help).

    But it does seem to match up my guess on vinyl masterings in that it's just a bit different due to the format - perhaps EQ'd a bit differently which is what we're hearing sometimes. I've actually wondered if I could just take a compressed CD, EQ each song a bit and then de-clip it and then would that sound a bit better? Are my ears just being "tricked" and it would be cheaper to just buy the CD and EQ it myself?

    Also something to consider is the actual source - is is 24/44? 24/96? Or it is an actual redbook mastering being used? Would that make a difference? A lot of factors at play.
  24. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    HI res meaning what exactly?

    How can Vinyl truly have better resolution, when its noise floor and resultant dynamic range is compromised?

    I see in theory how a "Higher resolution master" might be better, but in practice is vinyl really able to take advantage of it?

    I know many mis use the Resolution term, it simply means dynamic range.

    If A CD has say 96 db of range, how does vinyl with maybe 50 or so beat CD?

    Not trying to give you a hard time, but your comments are going against the very idea OF increased resolution.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  25. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    I'm almost certain that my cart colors the sound. The fact that I can switch between carts and the sound changes significantly seems to back that up.

    But here's the thing -- if the vinyl drop sounds "better", it doesn't much matter to me. And Mr Shepherd, at 9 minutes in (as I'm listening) even talks about all the possible factors at play. I A/B my drops to my CD / lossy sources all the time, and if the drop is easier / more pleasant sounding, then that's my go-to copy.

    But, I also know that my ears may be getting tricked. But outside of the hit to my wallet for that premium price, it doesn't much matter to me. :)
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