SH Spotlight Vinyl vs. master tape?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Holy Zoo, Jan 12, 2002.

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  1. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Grant,

    I'm familiar with what MP3 is and what it is intended for. In my past life, I was a pre-sales Systems Engineer at Apple. My point was that there are lots of digital formats. When does *digital* become accurate? better than LP? At what sampling rate? If a lossless codec is used, theoretical S/N and THD are influenced by the playback mechanism, the hardware. Same with frequency range -- it's not just the format.

    Further, I'm curious as to why you are able to state that MP3 isn't suitable for "serious listening" while millions of users swear that it's just as good as CD? In fact, that they can't tell a difference between the two?

    Let's not throw around "ignorant" -- I find that very offensive.
     
  2. sgb

    sgb Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    What about capacitance and inductance? Whether the interconnect chosen is garden variety or esoteric, differences between different lengths can be measured. I don't have bat ears, but I can hear the differences in my own 1 and 2 meter sets of Super Silver II interconnects.
     
  3. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    trhunnicutt

    Sorry I didn't respond to your question about two pages ago. The Linn LP12 was prefered by 2 to1 over the Linn CD player which I think retails for either 20,000 dollars or 40,000 dollars. I would consider a Linn to be a bottom of the line highend turntable (sorry to all the Linn owners)
     
  4. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Linn CD-12 = $20K
    Linn LP-12 = ~$8K

    I agree with you on the LP-12.

    So, an impartial group of people preferred the LP, at almost 1/3 the retail price, to the then state of the art and most expensive single box CDP extant?

    It counters the argument -- "those who prefer LP ususally skimp on their CD rigs" --doesn't it?
     
  5. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    Ironically I think one can do a lot better than the Linn LP 12 rig for a lot less money
     
  6. Sam

    Sam Senior Member

    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Grant, why do digital advocates like you keep clinging to specs?? Who cares what the specs are on vinyl or digital?! IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SOUND. For those WHO CARE TO LISTEN, vinyl has the poorer specs but to many sounds better. Why??? And as analog Scott keeps saying, all you guys that are bashing vinyl have NEVER really performed a honest to god comparison. Sorry Grant and Goldenboy, but the tables you have out not a good enough representation of what is capable. And you don't have to spend a fortune. I have a $2500 VPI analog setup that has yet to finish second to any cd player or cd that has gone against it.
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    The three M's:

    The MAGIC of the MUSIC is in the MIDRANGE.

    Whatever gets that right, wins.
     
  8. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    Location:
    United States

    No, I used the word "ignorant" in the proper meaning, not as an insult! And, I stated "SOME audiophiles, not you, specifically!

    "Ignorant" simply means a lack of knowledge.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    Location:
    United States
    Why do vinylphilles ignore measurments?
     
  10. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    Location:
    United States
    I respect that, and you'right, but it isn't the only thing in the musical picture! I know you believe that if you get the mids right everything else falls into place. I know you are the great Steve Hoffman, but i'll have to think about that...
     
  11. sgb

    sgb Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    Because.

    Maybe that's too simplistic, but I think Steve Hoffman and trhunnicut have hit the nail on the head.

    What it really amounts to is that many here are talking different languages.

    Or to quote Paul Simon:

    "When a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."
     
  12. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    Location:
    United States
    I use MIT. Good cable!
     
  13. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Steve,

    Absolutely. If I remember correctly, at one point you stated that some of the masters from the 50's and 60's (Sinatra, Nat Cole, etc.) peaked at ~15khz. Is that correct?

    If so, I'm curious as to why people feel that a playback mechanism has to measure out to the *nth* degree for it to be considered "accurate"?

    Grant,

    Let's set aside the sounds better discussion. If the playback mechanism can at least meet, or exceed, the specs of the original (tape), wouldn't that qualify as an "accurate" reproduction of the original master? If not, why?

    To quote your previous post "CD, with noise shaping can have a dynamic range of as much as 117! CD is 20Hz-20kHz which is double of the highest frequency range. Tape can only dream of that". Aren't the specs of tape and vinyl comparable?

    I'm still waiting on your thoughts as to when *digital* becomes "accurate" or "better" than an LP? I believe that some of the newer 24/196 players and converters can actually achieve a DR of 125. Would that make 16/44 then "inaccurate" or just less accurate?
     
  14. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Measurements? What measurements? Of the format? Of the playback devices? Read the previous posts. Are we talking what makes something "accurate" or "sounds better"?

    In either situation, I think strong cases have been made that *better* "specs" or "measurements" don't necessarily mean that something is more accurate or sounds better than something else.

    It's not just a vinylphile thing. Coming from someone who loves mono mixes, which have limited frequency range based on when and how they were recorded, I don't know why you don't see this? A master that tops at ~15-17khz, just won't have any more information, whether or not it's played on tape, vinyl, redbook cd, or sacd.

    I can buy a $500 boombox that has a freq response of 20hz-20khz, with a SN ratio that's better than almost all tube gear out there, maybe even including Steve's. Does that make it more accurate or sound better? I think we can all agree that it can't. Or can we :)
     
  15. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Steve,

    I am in awe.

    Your posts always exhibit class, decorum, and get straight to the point.

    You answer the debates, but leave room for the other viewpoint. You are one skilled individual. "Similar tonality" has to be the greatest answer in the history of audio.
     
  16. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    No problem. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  17. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    Grant
    "why do vinylphiles ignore measurements?"

    I don't ignore them. I find the specs and the design concepts and implimentations of turntables very interesting. Same with speakers. When the specs say one thing and my ears say something very different I go with my ears. After all we do listen to the equipment in the end, do we not? I can not take any refuge in reading the perfect specs of a piece of gear while it is making my ears bleed.
     
  18. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    sgb,

    Actually, I liked your original one word answer. I was laughing my $@# off.

    Quite pithy.
     
  19. John Oteri

    John Oteri New Member In Memoriam

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    Grant,

    Have you crossed a line here? You've posted here more than anyone else recently, yet on other websites, you "make fun" of us "Hoffmanites". Believe it or not, you are one of us!

    Let's all lighten up.
     
  20. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
    And with all due respect, there's simply no getting around the possibility of sighted bias /level mismatch effects in cases like this *unless* they have been controlled for.
    Both of those *will* influence the perception of difference.
     
  21. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
    If you listen *only* with your ears -- e.g. other confounding variables have been accounted for -- then this is valid.

    That;s what DBT is designed to do -- to remove the perceptual noise so that *only* what is actually heard matters.
     
  22. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
    yes, difference can be measured between almsot any two cables, even those of the same type, due to the fact that our measuring devices are more sensitive than our ears...but are the differences *in the realm of audible*?

    Have you heard differences in you 1/2 meter SSIIs in a blind test? If so, what were the conditions, number of trials, etc? Also, are SS IIs *designed* to sound different at such lengths? (That would be a sign of *bad design*, btw)
     
  23. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
    I'm not saying you don't hear what you hear. One more time: vinyl playback *intoroduces* certain artifacts to the signal.
    This is demonstrable. Some of these distortions result in what some people perceive as added 'liveliness' or 'realism' or 'musicality'. They are NOT properties of the master tape, though. IF YOU PREFER THIS SOUND then obviously you are going to prefer a system that reliably introduces these nonlinearities to the signal. LPs will therefore almost *always* sound better to *you*.

    for more discussion on euphonic distortion, see for example:
    http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=9dpiki0n98@news2.newsguy.com&output=gplain
     
  24. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Interesting link. Very forcefully presented.

    However, if one wanted to get closest to the master, one would play that master back on an analog tape machine, which has, and introduces it's own set of, *distortions* and spec limitations.

    Don't forget that forms of *nonlinearities* can be introduced in the components of ANY playback mechanism, including CD. So, are we talking about what is *theortically* more "accurate" and what should *theoretically* sound better?

    Again, last time I went to a jazz concert, the singer and band were miked and amplified with good old analog equipment, which all have their own sets of "spec limitations" and *distortions*.
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Friends,

    EVERYTHING in the recording process introduces artifacts into the recording; the microphones, mixing console, cables, tubes, transistors, tape heads, limiters, compressors, EQ units, etc.

    So? The artifacts that sound most pleasing are the "good" ones, right?

    Playing back this flawed recording on an unforgiving medium is not what some folks think of as a good time.

    For me, when I play back a master tape, I can hear all the distortions caused by everything under the sun. This is my reality, my cross to bear, and I can "block it out" and enjoy the music, much the same as a film editor can watch a movie and not see just the cutting style.

    What ever makes YOU happy is all that matters.
     
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