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Andrewjvt

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MajorFubar said:
Andrewjvt said:
I'm not knowledgeable enough about DSD to pass an informed comment. I strongly suspect I personally wouldn't hear a difference between a DSD audio file and the same thing converted to 16/44 PCM.
But ive been listening to sample tracks and parts of songs and dont know if its the mastering or the quality but its sounds very very good
 

MajorFubar

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Apologies, I didn't answer this:

David@FrankHarvey said:
But we continued to capture music at a higher quality than our ears can deal with anyway? Sorry, I don't buy that. If CD is as good as our ears get, we would only need to capture music at 16/44.1.
No, for the reason I tried to explain in my mathematical analogy which it's unfortunate you're not seeing the relevance of, it's generally beneficial to capture/record the music at a higher definition than you need so that digital processing (eq/mixing/compression) doesn't introduce noise and quantisation errors by processing a signal which is already at the final bit-depth and bit-rate.

It's not always the case though: early digital transfers from 15ips analogue masters were completed using Sony tape machines that only had 16/44 ADCs on board.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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MajorFubar said:
Oh absolutely and more's the pity! But this is what happens when you invent something which doesn't ever need to be technically bettered. They purposefully under-use its potential so they can make us buy into something new.
What, louder, more compressed versions?

CD does need to be bettered, in my opinion. If an analogue format that has been around for well over 60 years can sound as good (arguably better, from the point of view of sounding more natural to the ear), then that doesn't say much for a "bang up to date", technically perfect medium. CD should be miles ahead.
 

MajorFubar

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Andrewjvt said:
But ive been listening to sample tracks and parts of songs and dont know if its the mastering or the quality but its sounds very very good
Indeed...I'm very much open minded on this one. It's a new technology I don't fully understand, and once again, trying to weed-out the fiction from the facts is a challenge. The bloke who developed BitPerfect for Macs wrote what seemed to be a very good article on his website about DSD, full of superlatives about why it's the second coming and why PCM is so yesterday. But in the next breath he also witters on about why hi-res PCM audio downloads like 24/96 and 24/192 are so revolutionary and amazing, and I know enough about digital audio to know that's balderdash.
 

MajorFubar

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David@FrankHarvey said:
What, louder, more compressed versions?
No, hi-res files and now DSD

David@FrankHarvey said:
CD does need to be bettered, in my opinion. If an analogue format that has been around for well over 60 years can sound as good (arguably better, from the point of view of sounding more natural to the ear), then that doesn't say much for a "bang up to date", technically perfect medium. CD should be miles ahead.
It should, and has the capability to be so, but it's only ever going to sound as good as the master you put on it. Anyone who undertakes their own recording/mixing/producing knows that on the right equipment the CD sounds exactly like the hi-res master file on their DAW. But anyone who has never recorded their own CD, they're unavoidably basing their whole opinion of them on what someone else's recordings sound like. That's not a personal criticism to you, it's just a fact.

I found many early CDs [cut from from analogue masters] sounded shrill and the bass was poor. Sometimes this was because they'd been mastered from re-EQ'd tapes that were originally mastered for vinyl, sometimes it's because many of the cutting/pressing plants were in a different country and they used a master several generations older than the original which was still sat in a vault half way across the world, plus if I'm being fair the earliest ADC converters weren't really up to the same standard you can now buy from a pro-audio shop for about £200. It's ironic we've now reached the stage where we can make perfect digital copies from the old tapes, but then during the digital mastering they have to go and f-k it up with compressors and limiters to make it too loud.
 

BigH

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David@FrankHarvey said:
BigH said:
I do agree with one thing, there are quite a few cds now with vinyl crackling on the beginning, try Portishead and quite a few of more recent albums, can't remember the ones off hand, David Bowie - Black Tie white Noise. I don't like it, one thing I don't like with vinyl, why put on digital.
So if an artists purposely adds in vinyl crackle, you don't like it - does that mean you won't listen to that track? What if an artist adds in blatant distortion?
Look if I wanted a load of crackling and pops on my music I would buy vinyl, its just some trendy effect. And no I generally don't play it but I have come across it when streaming, I just move on. Blatant distortion depends how its done.
 

BigH

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David@FrankHarvey said:
MajorFubar said:
Oh absolutely and more's the pity! But this is what happens when you invent something which doesn't ever need to be technically bettered. They purposefully under-use its potential so they can make us buy into something new.
What, louder, more compressed versions?

CD does need to be bettered, in my opinion. If an analogue format that has been around for well over 60 years can sound as good (arguably better, from the point of view of sounding more natural to the ear), then that doesn't say much for a "bang up to date", technically perfect medium. CD should be miles ahead.
But most cds and digital is not sold to hifi users, so why should the record labels care, they care about the money and sales not about a few hifi enthuiasts. If they believed they would sell a lot more cds if the dynamic range was 20 and not 5 then I'm sure they would produce it.
 

Dom

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2011
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David@FrankHarvey said:
DomCheetham said:
I watched a video on YouTube, it explained that 16bits with dither has a 120db's s/n. A good cassette tape can get 6bits. It basicaly hiss, a CD at 44100hz can perfectly recreate the all the music.

A vinyl cannot sound better than a CD, Its not physically possible.
If a 16bit/44.1kHz CD can hold a musical event perfectly, then how come a digital master isnt 16bit/44.1kHz?
Ok, Im not technically savvy. Im not sure what a digital master is but for 24bit recording and synthesis is for reducing clipping. I don't know why they ever use higher than 44100khz.

But from a listening stand piont there's little difference between 24/96 and 16/44. It might be sweeter at higher bit rates.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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davedotco said:
Nothing to argue about here. Read my post again, I clearly state that vinyl playback is "more involving and enjoyable", is that 'twaddle' too...*dash1*

We know from empirical data that adding the right amount of distortion to music playback can make it sound more real, surely understanding that is helpfull in that it can help in optimising our playback system for our own musical enjoyment.

Interestingly, come serious vinyl enthusiast find the "top players" mentioned above, (think SME20/30, Goldmund or top of the line SOTA or VPI players) to be inferior, less musical is the usual term, precisely because they add less to the playback.
I wouldn't rate the SME 20's I've heard as top players. Not in a million years.

They focused on detail retrieval at the expense of dynamics.

I hate boring / compressed / shut-in sounding hi-fi components.

I've heard reports from someone whose judgement I trust that VPI suffer from the same issues too.

SME 20's may not add much to the playback but they certainly take away a lot of the fun and impact of the musical performances.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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BigH said:
Look if I wanted a load of crackling and pops on my music I would buy vinyl, its just some trendy effect. And no I generally don't play it but I have come across it when streaming, I just move on. Blatant distortion depends how its done.
On relatively clean, unscratched vinyl - which is most of my collection - you may get some clicks on the run in groove. I use an inside to outside sweep of my carbon fibre brush when removing dust. Some of it ends up in the run in groove.

Once the music starts there is no audible surface noise. And only the odd click or pop - like maybe one every other track. With my best cared for vinyl there's no audible surface noise and no clicks or pops.
 

lindsayt

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Here's a question: If CD and digital music sources had never come along, would we still have the deplorable state of modern rock and pop recordings where excessive compression is applied so universally?

Or would mainstream recordings still be as good as they were in the 1970's? IE not perfect but still a lot better than modern recordings.
 

spiny norman

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Jan 14, 2009
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lindsayt said:
Here's a question: If CD and digital music sources had never come along, would we still have the deplorable state of modern rock and pop recordings where excessive compression is applied so universally?
Depends whether people were by now playing their LPs on nasty-sounding portable devices with tiddly speakers or not-much-better 'earbuds'.
 

Al ears

Moderator
lindsayt said:
davedotco said:
Nothing to argue about here. Read my post again, I clearly state that vinyl playback is "more involving and enjoyable", is that 'twaddle' too...*dash1*

We know from empirical data that adding the right amount of distortion to music playback can make it sound more real, surely understanding that is helpfull in that it can help in optimising our playback system for our own musical enjoyment.

Interestingly, come serious vinyl enthusiast find the "top players" mentioned above, (think SME20/30, Goldmund or top of the line SOTA or VPI players) to be inferior, less musical is the usual term, precisely because they add less to the playback.
I wouldn't rate the SME 20's I've heard as top players. Not in a million years.

They focused on detail retrieval at the expense of dynamics.

I hate boring / compressed / shut-in sounding hi-fi components.

I've heard reports from someone whose judgement I trust that VPI suffer from the same issues too.

SME 20's may not add much to the playback but they certainly take away a lot of the fun and impact of the musical performances.
That's not the SME deck doing that, it's the arm cartridge combination.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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You may well be right on that Al ears. I can only speculate as to how much of the bland sound was down to the SME 20 and how much to the SME arms or high end MC cartridges used on the ones I heard.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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There are certainly more capable arms than the Series V but for all practical purposes the 20A and 30A are integrated players.

The point of bringing these players into the argument is that they are technically very good. They reduce microphony and resonance to miniscule levels and damp the vinyl by using clamps and other techniques.

This results in a sound that is more accurate to the master, more CD like if you prefer. Noise, both mechanical and vinyl are reduced to a level that is inconsequential. As I said above, many vinyl users do not like these players, equating this lack of colouration (an old 70's term resurected for the occasion) to sterility and to a lack of 'musicality' (an old 80's term.....*wink*).

People hear things differently, sometimes they hear things exactly the same but interpret them differently, it takes all sorts. There is no argument to be had here, if it sounds more like music to you then it is better to you.

The only argument comes about from the assertion of some enthusiasts that their interpretations are correct and others are wrong. It is bad enough when such assertions imply that the other party is deaf or that there system is crap, but even worse when mangled science, that is clearly not understood, is used in an attempt to justify these views.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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BigH said:
Look if I wanted a load of crackling and pops on my music I would buy vinyl, its just some trendy effect. And no I generally don't play it but I have come across it when streaming, I just move on. Blatant distortion depends how its done.
Whether badly treated records is a "trendy effect" or not, the artist (the one who wrote the track, and probably has artistic control over most aspects of it) has decided to add it - it is then as much a part of the track as any other instrument. If that narks someone, then I don't really know what to say about that. I have numerous albums (on CD) where the odd track has added 'vinyl noise', and I've never thought twice about it, and it has never bothered me in the slightest - because it is part of the track.
 

lindsayt

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davedotco, no the SME 20's are not technically very good. They do not have a sound that is more accurate to the master.

They are technically mediocre because they sound compressed.

They are not accurate to the master because they compress the sound.
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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David@FrankHarvey said:
BigH said:
Look if I wanted a load of crackling and pops on my music I would buy vinyl, its just some trendy effect. And no I generally don't play it but I have come across it when streaming, I just move on. Blatant distortion depends how its done.
Whether badly treated records is a "trendy effect" or not, the artist (the one who wrote the track, and probably has artistic control over most aspects of it) has decided to add it - it is then as much a part of the track as any other instrument. If that narks someone, then I don't really know what to say about that. I have numerous albums (on CD) where the odd track has added 'vinyl noise', and I've never thought twice about it, and it has never bothered me in the slightest - because it is part of the track.
The "trendy effect" is trying to get digital to sound like playing a vinyl record. Some vinyl lovers don't like it because it makes vinyl seem bad sounding, they say it is a bad advert for vinyl. I don't find it musical in fact I find it a distraction from the music. One reason why I like digital because usually it does not have that noise. I grew up with vinyl in the 70s.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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lindsayt said:
Here's a question: If CD and digital music sources had never come along, would we still have the deplorable state of modern rock and pop recordings where excessive compression is applied so universally?

Or would mainstream recordings still be as good as they were in the 1970's? IE not perfect but still a lot better than modern recordings.
It's an interesting thought experiment however you seem to be assuming the loudness wars started with CD, it didn't, it started with AM radio, as far back as the 50s producers started asking for "hotter" cuts on their releases, in order to make them sound better on AM broadcasts that people were starting to listen to on their new-fangled car radios. The difference back then though is that vinyl puts an upper limit on how loud you can go with the recording before the needle starts to jump out of the groove. When CD arrived it removed that limit and allowed the situation to reach its ultimate, ridiculous conclusion, 0db dynamic range.

So yes, I'd say if we'd stuck with vinyl things would probably be better than they are now, as far as compression is concerned.
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
There are certainly more capable arms than the Series V but for all practical purposes the 20A and 30A are integrated players.

The point of bringing these players into the argument is that they are technically very good. They reduce microphony and resonance to miniscule levels and damp the vinyl by using clamps and other techniques.

This results in a sound that is more accurate to the master, more CD like if you prefer. Noise, both mechanical and vinyl are reduced to a level that is inconsequential. As I said above, many vinyl users do not like these players, equating this lack of colouration (an old 70's term resurected for the occasion) to sterility and to a lack of 'musicality' (an old 80's term.....*wink*).

People hear things differently, sometimes they hear things exactly the same but interpret them differently, it takes all sorts. There is no argument to be had here, if it sounds more like music to you then it is better to you.

The only argument comes about from the assertion of some enthusiasts that their interpretations are correct and others are wrong. It is bad enough when such assertions imply that the other party is deaf or that there system is crap, but even worse when mangled science, that is clearly not understood, is used in an attempt to justify these views.
I am not arguing with you there. However, the idea that these decks are a 'package' is purely down to the decision of the buyer to make it so by purchasing tonearm from the same manufacturer. It is, ultimately, the choice of cartridge that determines the 'analytical' nature of the sound quality.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Al ears said:
davedotco said:
There are certainly more capable arms than the Series V but for all practical purposes the 20A and 30A are integrated players.

The point of bringing these players into the argument is that they are technically very good. They reduce microphony and resonance to miniscule levels and damp the vinyl by using clamps and other techniques.

This results in a sound that is more accurate to the master, more CD like if you prefer. Noise, both mechanical and vinyl are reduced to a level that is inconsequential. As I said above, many vinyl users do not like these players, equating this lack of colouration (an old 70's term resurected for the occasion) to sterility and to a lack of 'musicality' (an old 80's term.....*wink*).

People hear things differently, sometimes they hear things exactly the same but interpret them differently, it takes all sorts. There is no argument to be had here, if it sounds more like music to you then it is better to you.

The only argument comes about from the assertion of some enthusiasts that their interpretations are correct and others are wrong. It is bad enough when such assertions imply that the other party is deaf or that there system is crap, but even worse when mangled science, that is clearly not understood, is used in an attempt to justify these views.
I am not arguing with you there. However, the idea that these decks are a 'package' is purely down to the decision of the buyer to make it so by purchasing tonearm from the same manufacturer. It is, ultimately, the choice of cartridge that determines the 'analytical' nature of the sound quality.
But I did say 'for all practical purposes'. In the early 90s we sold a lot of SME players, in fact for several years we sold more 20As and Rokan TMS players than all other uk dealers combined.

We never sold a 20A with any other arm, though the cartridge choices were quite varied. Mostly they were Koetsu, Kiseki and Lyra models, though we did fit others on occasion. We did a lot of dems during this period, including several to jounalists and magazines, we also took part in listening tests with the manufacturers and witnessed some of the developement work directly.
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
Al ears said:
davedotco said:
There are certainly more capable arms than the Series V but for all practical purposes the 20A and 30A are integrated players.

The point of bringing these players into the argument is that they are technically very good. They reduce microphony and resonance to miniscule levels and damp the vinyl by using clamps and other techniques.

This results in a sound that is more accurate to the master, more CD like if you prefer. Noise, both mechanical and vinyl are reduced to a level that is inconsequential. As I said above, many vinyl users do not like these players, equating this lack of colouration (an old 70's term resurected for the occasion) to sterility and to a lack of 'musicality' (an old 80's term.....*wink*).

People hear things differently, sometimes they hear things exactly the same but interpret them differently, it takes all sorts. There is no argument to be had here, if it sounds more like music to you then it is better to you.

The only argument comes about from the assertion of some enthusiasts that their interpretations are correct and others are wrong. It is bad enough when such assertions imply that the other party is deaf or that there system is crap, but even worse when mangled science, that is clearly not understood, is used in an attempt to justify these views.
I am not arguing with you there. However, the idea that these decks are a 'package' is purely down to the decision of the buyer to make it so by purchasing tonearm from the same manufacturer. It is, ultimately, the choice of cartridge that determines the 'analytical' nature of the sound quality.
But I did say 'for all practical purposes'. In the early 90s we sold a lot of SME players, in fact for several years we sold more 20As and Rokan TMS players than all other uk dealers combined.

We never sold a 20A with any other arm, though the cartridge choices were quite varied. Mostly they were Koetsu, Kiseki and Lyra models, though we did fit others on occasion. We did a lot of dems during this period, including several to jounalists and magazines, we also took part in listening tests with the manufacturers and witnessed some of the developement work directly.
I did catch that Dave and didn't want to appear confrontational. I dearly wish I could afford a 20A with 12 inch SME V and a nice Koetsu, however analytical, but that is still a lottery-win pipe dream. :)
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Even more expensive these days then they were back in my day.

£30k for a model 30 with 12 inch arm, scary.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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18,970
MajorFubar said:
Andrewjvt said:
But ive been listening to sample tracks and parts of songs and dont know if its the mastering or the quality but its sounds very very good
Indeed...I'm very much open minded on this one. It's a new technology I don't fully understand, and once again, trying to weed-out the fiction from the facts is a challenge. The bloke who developed BitPerfect for Macs wrote what seemed to be a very good article on his website about DSD, full of superlatives about why it's the second coming and why PCM is so yesterday. But in the next breath he also witters on about why hi-res PCM audio downloads like 24/96 and 24/192 are so revolutionary and amazing, and I know enough about digital audio to know that's balderdash.
DSD is not a 'new' technology. SACD was developed around 1999 and employs DSD like cd does Pcm.
 

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