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SH Spotlight What sounds just like the analog 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. Espen R

    Espen R Forum Resident

    About references:
    My best sounding CD in my collection is probably Frode Thingnæs Quintet, Direct to Disc, Universal music Norway, 985595-4, 2006. This was first released on Lp in 1980 and was the first commercially released direct-to-disc recording in Norway. It won a national grammy for best jazz release in 1980.
    Jan Erik Kongshaug was part of the Frode Thingnæs Quintet back in those days, and was he that transferred the recording from best sources to the CD format in his Rainbow Studios. (Sounds way better compared to those Sheffield Lab D-to-D recordings transferred to digital).

    It's all about dynamics…..
    The dynamics are so real on this CD, powerful and tight. It's nearly impossible to listen without tapping your feet. It moves your body.

    My question to Steve:
    why are good direct-to-disc recordings better to reproduce dynamics from recordings, more in the way you hear dynamics from live music? It doesn't measure better than tape based recordings.
    Is it because the transients perform more accurate in the time domain in that shorter signal path, or something else?
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I never listen to direct to disk LP's, can't stand the tension of knowing the players are sweating out making a goof and having to start all over again. I never thought they sounded too wonderful personally but a lot of people love them.
    chacha likes this.
  3. auburn278

    auburn278 Forum Resident

    Baltimore, MD, USA
    Thank you for the informative post!
  4. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    A lot of people on this forum including Steve ( I think) have said that the SACD of Michael Jackson's Thriller is the closest approximation of the master tape that is released.
    Does that mean that any vinyl edition of Thriller sounds "different" to the master tape in this case?
  5. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    One has to remember that any vinyl edition of anything will likely sound different due to the sonic signatures of the playback gear. There are very few TT rigs that are so transparent that they can transcribe the signal from the grooves with absolute audible transparency.
    acdc7369 and carrolls like this.
  6. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    Those Sheffield Labs recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic directed by Erich Leinsdorf come to mind. Very stiff readings in a far from ideal acoustic.
  7. Dentdog

    Dentdog Forum Resident

    My reply would be that Steve wasn't using any spectacular tt/cartridge. Nothing wrong with a Shure V15 though.
    ssmith3046 likes this.
  8. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    He was using the actual cutting lathe. Some would consider that to be rather spectacular. The Shure V-15 (sadly discontinued) while not the most expensive cartridge in the world was arguably the most neutral.
  9. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Motown Legend

    Nashville, TN
    A V-15 did do a remarkable job of matching the tape when I was cutting at Motown during the '60s and our practice was to remix every song until it could be cut flat played from a Studer C-37. I've grown to suspect that the 3M 201 and 206 tape we used deteriorates over time based on the sound of today's CD reissues vs. the original vinyl since mastering from those tapes should be a trivial process.
    Preston, ubiknik and SteelyTom like this.
  10. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    London UK


    The clearest explanation I have seen on this issue, and a good reason to keep buying vinyl.....
  11. George P

    George P Notable Member

    Do you (or anyone else) know the EAC peak levels for this (DIDX-2022 Matrix) mastering?

    I have an ESCA 5408 marked JASRAC with DEPA-29 15 in the matrix.
  12. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    It does not surprise me one bit.i,m using a Shure V15 and listening to Paul simon,s Negotiations and Love songs and it sounds very natural to me.
    Sounds fine on cd. On Lp, he,s in the room.
    Strange thing is that when i used modern cartridges the difference is less, in other words some modern cartridges seem tonally similar to cd,

    Its a personal thing but i think turntables amps speakers, and especially phono cartridges were unsurpassed in the late 60,s to early 70,s. The general consensus today is to squeeze the audiophile dry, with extravagant prices .
    Its interesting when reviewers were severely criticising Shure
    Cartridges in early 80,s its the Shure v15 still used to evaluate newly pressed records for quality control purposes.
    The Lp is a marvel of micro engineering, and i don,t think will ever be surpassed. Nice one Steve.
    teag likes this.
  13. Hiro

    Hiro Forum Resident

    I'm curious what your opinion on the new Playback Designs DSD A/D will be. It's gonna support up to 256x DSD (11.2896MHz) with native conversion.

    I would expect it to come darn close to the master tape... hope you'll have a chance to test it in the studio. :wave:
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The truth!
    Kkfan, snorker, JLGB and 1 other person like this.
  15. Juan Matus

    Juan Matus Reformed Audiophile

    True, yes. But I attribute the resolution loss to a flaw in the transfer / PCM conversion process in cases where the source is an old analogue tape. Just my opinion of course.

    Way too much evidence on the net where people have sampled the SACD layers at 16/44.1 through soundcards and posted pretty detailed results showing that both were identical for me to ignore.
    rhubarb9999 likes this.
  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Somehow, I don't seem to find it at all surprising that the analog disk sounds like the analog master tape, more than the others, as its an analog product, directly interfacing with another analog product. Analog master tapes, making analog records, great match.

    However, I have had this question in my mind for some time.

    I read that because of the renewed interest that today's generation have in vinyl, that young indie bands are no longer releasing CD's but are choosing to release their work on vinyl.

    Seeing that much of this music consists of digitally sourced instruments like synth's and such and often contains more sub bass than normal acoustic instruments. And that most are recorded digitally in the first place:

    1) Wouldn't the mix down to CD sound better, fuller and more accurate to the master recording?

    2) Since they are releasing original content that was recorded digitally, would there be sonic benifits to moving a digital master to vinyl as opposed to CD's, other than just doing it for the sake of having a vinyl product?

    Just curious?
  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    1. Depends on the mastering.
    2. Depends on the mastering.
  18. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    United States
    Mind if I jump in?

    The majority of the time, the master tapes are run through a console. Signal alteration/degradation right there.
  19. George P

    George P Notable Member

    I think he meant that the CD would be more accurate than the vinyl.
  20. George P

    George P Notable Member

    What if the mastering is the same for vinyl and CD for a digital recording?
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Depends on if your digital playback and your analog playback match exactly or not.
  22. George P

    George P Notable Member

    OK, and if they do? Would the CD be closer to the master?
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    It would sound just like it, or should. Closer to "real" is another story.
    Kkfan likes this.
  24. George P

    George P Notable Member

    I'm sorry but I don't follow. I thought we were discussing whether a digital recording would sound closer to the master on CD or vinyl. ( I mean, that's what I am asking.) Again, assuming same mastering and matching playback.
  25. Grant

    Grant Living in the 90s

    United States
    I'm pointing out a reason why this isn't usually the case with most mastering jobs.

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