SH Spotlight Vinyl vs. master tape?

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

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  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    trhunnicutt, you beat me to it! LOL!
     
  2. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC


    It is demonstrable that not all those who care to listen (or who have listened) find LPs to sound better. You can find any number of audiophiles here and on rec.audio.high-end, for example, who have owned/auditioned high end turntable rigs and still prefer CDs.

    So please stop writing as if those WHO CARE TO LISTEN comprises all who HAVE listened.

    As for 'why??' those who recognize the poorer specs of LP still prefer its sound, the answer is al most tautological: they prefer it because they think LPs sound better.
    LPs can sound *different* from their CD counterparts for several reasons, some inherent, some not: euphonic distortion and different mastering are two examples.



    Firstly, it's hard to say how 'us guys' could ever satisfy *all* possible vinylphiles (e..g ' But you never heard *MY RIG*!!) Second, there is certainly testimony from
    audiophiles who *have* chosen CD over LP after owning high-end TT rigs after honest-to-god comparisons. Fourth, it is certain that LP playback specs are not up to those of CD, i.e., LP playback *introduces* types of nonlinearities in the signal chain that CDs do not. Fifth, it therefore comes down purely to *preference* for a *type* of sound, regardless of superior specs. There is no way to objectively 'prove' that LP *sounds* better than CD. So saying that you haven't heard heard an LP that isn't better than its CD counterpart demonstrates *nothing* re: the 'superioity' of LP. Con versely, there are ways to *prove* that CDs are more *accurate* reproductions of the master, but there's no way to *prove* that this sounds *better*. Personally, I have found that both LP and CD can provide highly satisfactory playback, though a lot more work and $$$ has to go into getting it from LP.
     
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  3. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    krabapple,

    You actually make a lot of good points, but this one just takes the cake. You've got to be kidding me. Based on all your other posts, on other topics, it looks like I need to listen to my own music, in my own house, with a double-blindfold on. Otherwise, how could I know what I like? Please...
     
  4. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
     
  5. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I'll ask the same question I asked Grant earlier, which all of you like to sidestep:

    When does digital become *accurate*?

    - MP3?
    - 16/44.1 redbook?
    - 24/96 DAD?
    - DVDA?
    - SACD?

    In addition, what constitutes digital being *done right* in your mind?
     
  6. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
    Then you've misread. You only need to do a DBT to prove that difference really exists when there is good scientific reason to doubt it does. There is no test that will 'prove' which sound is 'better'. You already *know* what you *like*. The argument comes when people infer *accuracy* from *preference*. The funny thing is that most vinylphiles eventually agree that they don't *care* if LPs have worse specs than CDs...*they just like the way they sound*. Which is an unarguable assertion. Unfortunately before this admission they also tend make technically unfounded assertions and hypotheses about digital.

    Btw, I usually *don't* do DBTs at home...and I certainly *don't* make any assertions of difference where difference is unlikely, as a result! Which is to say, I *don't* trust my ears in cases when I *haven't * controlled for things that are known to affect the perception of subtle difference. If all audiophiles did this, the hobby might be less rhetorically lively, but it would also cull out a lot of ********,
    pricey products. IMO, it's the audiophile press that should be leading the charge on controlled comparisons.
     
  7. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC
    these are demonstrably less 'accurate' in the bit-duplicative sense, but there appears to be a bitrate threshold above which this becomes inaudible.


    here


    all gilding the lily, IMO.



    good source, careful mastering, good A/D conversion if necessary.
     
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  8. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I didn't misread, or misunderstand, your post. It was a joke.

    I'm hanging it up for the night and going to listen to a little "imperfect", "innacurate", James Taylor on vinyl. And you know what, I'm going to enjoy myself.

    I'm going to let some others respond to your latest posts, then circle back tomorrow.

    Ciao :)
     
  9. mikel

    mikel Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Bend, Wa.
    i've read some of this thread and all this talk about noise and distortion in LP playback prompts me to point out that these "non-linerarities" are mostly artifacts of particular vinyl playback systems and not a "format" problem......if you have a proper isolation system, a vaccuum hold-down platter, an air-bearing platter, and an air-bearing linear tracking arm.......your LP playback will have no noise, little distortion and MUCH MORE information......with all those pesky gaps that digital has FILLED with information.

    the proof is in the listening......if you take a cd, sacd, 33rpm vinyl, and 45rpm vinyl of the same music and play them consecutively on my system the "truth" is undeniable.

    don't get me wrong.....i love my digital.....but vinyl gets you closer to the event.

    i know i am coming on strong with my first post in this forum, but i am just relating my personal experience in my system.
     
  10. Grant

    Grant Cranky! It'll happen to you too, kids!

    Location:
    United States
    My last post on this thread, guys.

    I do NOT make fun of "Hoffmanites" on other websites. I may be critical of some for whatever reason.

    I did not mean that post the way apparently everyone has interpreted it. I won't even try to explain it. You guys would misinterpret it too. You guys must think I walk around angry or something.

    I mean no disrespect to Steve Hoffman or his views. The only thing on my mind was the thing about midrange being correct. I apologize to Steve and all of whom I may have insulted. Again, NO insult was intended!

    I posted here a lot yeaterday because I had the day off, was restoring an LP on another computer and doing laundry, and did what many others here do to spend time every day, posting on the SH forum!

    Besides, since this thread seems to be going around in circles now, what better time for me to pull out of it? I've said my piece about vinyl and CD-R, and the majority disagrees. I have no problem with that, it's just that no minds are really opening up, incliding mine. So...
     
  11. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    Scott,

    Thanks! When you have time I would appreciate a detailed comparative analysis of several albums where you believe the LP beats it's CD counterpart, why you feel that way (what you hear--the details) and why you prefer the LP over the CD. I believe this is where this discussion should head--the details of why we feel they way we do--with detailed examples and descriptions. I have an open mind on this "debate" and would be interested in hearing the "finer" details of comparative listening tests.

    You have quite an investment there, by the way!

    Bob :)
     
  12. Beagle

    Beagle Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Yeah, I've noticed that. I've really noticed that. What I have also noticed is a bunch of digital/numbers/measurement defenders (who would sneer at those who passionately indicate a preference for LP's and a good LP playback system) who seem to have no interest in doing any actual proper listening to formats they are slagging and enjoying music to it's fullest potential, otherwise they would be doing that. But maybe if I only owned CD's and listened exclusively to digital, I would be posting 200 times a day too. I can't believe that some posters here find the time to work, exercise, enjoy music (there's simply never enough time for music) and post 24/7. Something does not add up. If music is used merely as background noise then some people are talking out the back of their arses, not debating.

    I think Steve Hoffmans post summed everything up nice and tidy. You are going to have to select colorations that provide an enjoyable musical experience. And you are going to have to go with what your heart and soul tell you is "correct", not meters or measurements. Do you season your food to taste or do you "measure" it? It's amazing the amount of time some people have spent denying or condemning something they have not heard and the amount of times people like trhunnicutt, Scott Wheeler and Sam have had to defend something they have heard.
     
  13. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    Beagle,

    Your points are well staed, as always. However, postings contain very few examples and listening notes of either specific LP's and CDs. I would highly welcome the details and nuances as detailed by Forum members on LP's versus their CD counterparts so I can explore those differences and compare media for myself. Since I have an open and inquistive position on this subject, I need the examples to learn and grow from this thread, otherwise it is simply a collection of informed and passionate opinions. It seems to me that the real learning experience is in the music and the comparative listening experience.

    Bob :)
     
  14. Beagle

    Beagle Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Yes! If it makes you dance, cry, or gives you goosebumps, it's doing it, REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE SAYS OR MEASURES!!
     
  15. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    South Texas
    Hi,

    Me thinks me smells tubes!

    -Jeffrey
     
  16. sgb

    sgb Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    Beagle,

    That's an excellent statement you've just made.

    All along I've tried to make the point that listening to music is an individual thing. And, like many other members of this forum, I have spent a lot of time and money getting my audio system to a state where I believe I couldn't do much better. I know that there are better tonearms and turntables out there than my SOTA Star Sapphire/Formula 4/Shure V15 combo, for example, but how much more would I have to spend to get the kind of performance Scott Wheeler is with his Forsell, and how much of a difference would I perceive? And, even more importantly, am I absolutely positive I would find it more satisfying in the end?

    My point is, that even with my 30-year-old tonearm on my 19-year-old table (which was one of the best in its day, I should add) I am in a position to come to some conclusions about the way things sound. The same is true of my Rosinante Evolution Signature loudspeakers. While they cost me a mere $6000, I prefered the way they sounded to my Martin Logan CLSes through my 18-year-old Quicksilver MS-190 and Rogue Audio 66 Magnum tubed power and pre amps. I wanted a sound that I could live with and enjoy to the fullest - not merely one that I thought could accurately convey a sense of what might be on the master tape (we all know that's simply impossible, don't we?). I freely acknowledge that much of the time LPs offer a more satisfying sound than my CDs and SACDs can, and my present turntable setup demonstrates this adequately.

    From an economic perspective, however, I have to admit that over the past 10 years or so I've spent much more money on CDs than I have on LPs. There are several reasons for this, the most important of them being that since I don't live in a major metropolitan area, there are no music shops at all in my area where I could go in and browse for new records. That means that if I wanted to buy LPs exclusively, I'd have to compete with others for the things I want on ebay, or limit myself to the expensive vinyl reissues (which may or may not sound any better than original pressings - depending on who's doing the listening) from the audiophile mail order houses. If one chooses judiciously and listens carefully, there are some digital recordings that can come close to the sound of a quality vinyl recording from my point of view (that should satisfy krabapple and goldenboy), so, like Bob Lovely, I happily listen to both formats.

    There is another subjective point that I ultimately enjoy about listening to my SACD player (a Marantz SA-14), and that is the convenience factor. The Mahler Second Symphony comfortably fits on one SACD instead of two records so I can listen to it from beginning to end. That's a trade-off I can live with the older I become - even though I'll readily admit the record still sounds a little better to my ears.
     
  17. sgb

    sgb Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    Hi Bob,

    Do you have a copy of the DCC Nat Cole Album, Love Is The Thing? If you do, I would like to offer you a CD-R of my copy of the LP that has been masterfully transfered by one of the best amateur LP to CDR guys I've ever known. Like me and you, my friend readily enjoys both analog and digital in our audio systems, and strives to make his SeeDees (as he calls them) sound as much like his records as possible. He freely admits that they are not always exact replicas, but I can say that in some of the instances where he has provided me with some examples of the things he has done, I've always preferred them to my own copies of the commercial CD (Dire Straits comes to mind).

    The big thing that I hear in his CDR's that's not on the commercial CDs is depth and image. Thinking about that, I recently mailed him my stone mint copy of LITT so that I could listen to it on CD and be satisfied that I would be hearing something as close to the DCC CD without having to spend $150 or more for a copy on ebay. If you have the record, as I do, then you'll be in a position to determine for yourself whether or not the CDR is close to the LP or not.

    I would be willing to make this offer to anyone who has the official DCC CD of this recording too: trade me a CDR of your DCC CD for one of my record. That is if Steve H doesn't mind, of course.
     
  18. GoldenBoy

    GoldenBoy Purple People Eater

    Location:
    US
    Amen to that brother! :)
     
  19. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    sgb,

    I would welcome such an exchange. My DCC CD of Love Is The Thing is presently in storage until I move in to my new condo, but after I get moved in and get organized I would be very happy to make you a CD-R of it for comparative listening. I do not own the DCC LP of Love Is The Thing but, I would love to hear a CD-R of the LP. You are welcome to PM me regarding any arrangements.

    Bob :)
     
  20. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
    ---------------
    Bob
    Im still working on that list. I'll try to keep it reasonable in length but being a "vinylphile" remaining "reasonable" may be beyond my grasp.
     
  21. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Bob,

    I'd love to provide a list, as I performed many head-head comparisons between CD's and LP's -- some mastered from the same tapes (i.e. DCC and Analogue Productions labels, Patricia Barber titles) and some not (i.e. Mellencamp, Chapman, Windham Hill to name a few).

    My hesitation is that folks "from the other side" will ask what gear I use, claiming that I skimped on the CD side. When I answer that, I'll be called an audiophile snob. Then, they'll challenge what masters were used (same or not), and whether everything was level matched (which it was), cables, etc. Then, to top it off, my results will be dismissed as "conditioning" and "expectation bias".

    So, that's what's holding me back from taking the time.

    I can tell you, though, that I found that in all cases, even when the original was a digital master, the LP counterpart bettered the CD in almost all categories, except maybe in the lowest of low bass.

    Now that should get the sharks circling the chum :)
     
  22. krabapple

    krabapple New Member

    Location:
    Washington DC



    Nope, just plain wrong, sorry. Please see the relevant links I posted to r.a.h.e and suggestiongs for google searches regarding *inherent* nonlinearities in vinyl playback, and the myth of 'much more information' on vinyl.





    What is undeniable from that test is that you prefer the sound of vinyl on your system. That's all.


    Subjectively this can be true. In terms of technical, measurable i.e. *objective* fidelity to the information on the *source tape*, a CD is definitely more capable of getting 'closer' than an LP. (note that each word in this statement has been chosen carefully.)

    Don't worry about it. I'm sure I've already annoyed 99% of people here jsut by
    attempting to adhere to more rigorous standards of proof and statement validity.
     
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  23. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    trhunnicutt,

    dum, dum, dum, dum, dum (tempo increasing)...

    I think you should list your observations and not be worried about people thrashing your system or taste. You're opinion is equal to everyone else's (it's all subjective). The fact that you're willing to take the time and list in detail your experience is to be respected. If anyone attacks your system, taste, etc. (or even release the hounds or a new Monkees album) then I'm sure the gorts will jump in (or beam in). I think this is a place where you should feel free to express your views in a friendly manner...

    Todd

    P.S. “Intimidation is only by invitation”- E. Roosevelt
     
  24. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Todd,

    Thanks for the encouragement. I think I've shown that I'm not afraid to step into the fray. I'm just getting tired of the whole merry-go-round.

    Great quote, but it wasn't intimidation, just momentary fatugue.

    My favorite is "In the Arena".
     
  25. trhunnicutt

    trhunnicutt Member

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    krabapple, Goldenboy, Grant,

    In a previous post krabapple states that any digital format "greater" than 16/44 redbook is "gilding the lily".

    Krabapple, can you expound on this further, as it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense in light of your other posts.

    I am REALLY curious if any of you feel that these digital formats sound better than 16/44 redbook, and if so, why?

    Your brother in the battle...
     
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