A really good article about vinyl, digital files and cd's

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Tim64, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Tim64

    Tim64 Well-Known Member

    North Central West Coast
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  2. justjed2

    justjed2 Active Member

    I think part of what makes vinyl a more enjoyable medium for many is the ambiance. The background noise. If you've ever been to a concert, you KNOW that it's not quiet, even when it's quiet. All those people, all that breathing, the humming, singing along, whatever. There is no silence in live music. And even a good record is still not totally silent. Unlike CD, where the music seems to come from nowhere and nothing, with a record, it's more like being there. Even if there never really was a "there."
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  3. bluemooze

    bluemooze Active Member

    What do you think is really good about it? :)
  4. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

    "It is a fact that vinyl sounds different from CDs."

    Not for my better recordings. I was setting the gain matching feature on my preamp last week by playing George Winston's Autumn album synchronized with CD and find little difference.

    While the upper bass was a touch thinner on the LP, the two recordings sounded remarkable similar. That experience also helped me choose the best loading for the Dynavector.
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  5. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    I really find nothing to disagree with in the article. I think a lot of people confuse the recording sampling rate (44khz, 192khz or ?) with the kbits/s rate of compressed music. regardless of the kbits/sec, compression = loss, regardless or what they call the format. and the loudness wars as it were, is only half understood, its not just make the format louder (in the digital world, the relative volume of a section is just a number, very easy to do, very easy to apply to a range, heck I have free software from the web that lets me 'remaster' mp3s) but also to aid compression by making ALL facets of the recording, the same volume. "there is no dark side of the moon, really. as a matter of fact, its all dark" understand the implications behind that quote, and you understand the problem. Or to put it another way, doug gray taps an unmiked tambourine while at the same time Chris hicks rips off a blinding lick on a marshall stack. in a live performance, you get the subtlety of both without engineering the hand instrument to sound like a box of castanets just got dumped on your head

    FWIW, when CDs came out, it was true at first the rendering was faulty, the mixing was faulty, but the players were pretty stout. now that we are in the future, the players are junk, unless you find a $2000 'audiophile' version somewhere, but at least they finally learned what to do with the bits...so for the 3-6 months the (any machine built after say 2005) player will last, you will like it.

    FWIW2: I find that CD players, 1-12 disc built 1990-1999 are in fairly high demand as those who have re-discovered 2 channel goodness want CDs as well as vinyl. Kudos to the pioneer (and optimus) makes that take the 6 disc cartridge - people really love those. I blame this backlash on those who have <insert digital media player of choice> plugged into the good stereo with the good speakers. or in other words, if you want to hear just how shitty your laptop or ipod or ? sound in real life, plug it into my office sx890 and carvin monitors and take a listen. I keep a trash can close by so when you vomit....
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  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    That is also part that makes vinyl, for some, not worth the effort. The noise can be annoying as sin.

    This is a topic that can go on forever and no one will win. It is all in the area of, 'Whatever you like'.
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  7. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

    Behind you.
    Not quite. There is lossless compression and lossy compression. Lossless compression, used by audio file formats like FLAC and general-purpose compression like ZIP, uses various techniques to reduce the size of the file whilst not losing any data. For example, a lot of audio data contains repeated information.


    You can represent the above by indicating the character followed by a count, like this:

    K5I5N5D6 O4F4 L5I4K4E4 T4H7I5S4​

    That takes less space, but represents exactly the same information. You can reliably always get back the original data, so it's losslessly compressed.

    On the other hand, lossy compression actually removes data -- like the MP3 audio format -- whilst (hopefully) not being (too) noticeable. For example, my example could be lossy compressed to be:


    It's still essentially readable, but some data has been irretrievably lost. It is lossy compression.
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  8. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

    So it actually is a "digital is better article", the summary at the end states as much. Now if he had stated something like "But don't say it's more clinically accurate" then I might believe there wasn't an agenda to the article. I see this as a heavily biased article, and I'll take vinyl over digital any day, the sound IS better.

    Or, as Kees Immink says: "Some people like marmalade and some people like mustard. If people like to listen to vinyl, do so, enjoy life. But don't say that the sound is better."
  9. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    It is not really. They talk to a variety of engineers from both the hardware and software (music production) side. This is a common problem - he was just going to summarize what the 'experts' said.

    If the vinyl and CD were from the same master and care was taken to make both - which would be better? it depends on the end user. But if you analyzed - CD would end up being a little better - why? Compression of bass and treble on the vinyl - stereo separation reduction on the vinyl - compression used on vinyl to lower the dynamic range. Then there IS a difference in the reproduction of the first song vs. the last song on vinyl - only a linear tracking TT can really produce 1st to last track properly but the complexity of linear trackers make them a pain to deal with.

    Many people like older vinyl because there are no hard limits on the recording (like there is in digital). This maybe what people find better.

    Use what you will and listen to what you will and just enjoy. Respect each others choices and we will all be better for it.
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  10. stevo137

    stevo137 AK Subscriber Subscriber





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  11. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    yessir, that is true and it works well for repeatable data, be it data, audio, video, stills, etc.

    however, unless your album consists of 1 khz tone for 40 minutes, it dont work exactly that way (and I only say this cuz I wrote quite a few algorithms for such data compression whilst at IBM) what we ALSO do is take (using your example) the relative font size of each character and instead of fonts from say 4pt to 26 pt, reduce them to font ranges such that 4-8pt is one, 9-14 is another, 16-20, 22-26, then group them, but when the font ranges change from say lower to next to higher etc, create a transistion artifact since the human ear CAN hear the tonal changes quite well. you hear the artifact as more as a slew - like an airplane turning towards you vs away, but hear the difference you will. the best example I have ever found is a pure analog recording of santana black magic woman, vs a digital one.

    but if you are not sure you can hear it, go see it instead. in video, even 1080p, in dark passages, even on a 4k ultra tv, blacks and reds are VERY VERY VERY easy for the human eye to see variations in (that particular science is not in my pay grade) but very very very hard to compress and render and even the the lastest and greatest will have a digital cloud or pixelization effect. note, that this is irrespective of the actual number of datapoints in the signal.
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  12. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    if this is your way of saying that a B&O record deck is a PITA to work on and repair, I agree....
  13. vwestlife

    vwestlife Well-Known Member

    Then I assume you never listen to any records newer than 1981 or so? Because after then, digital audio was most likely involved somewhere in the production of your vinyl records. Heck, quite a few LPs from the mid-1980s proudly proclaimed "DIGITAL" on their cover.
  14. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I listen to both digital and vinyl (new and old). Most of the time I listen to digital as it is easier to deal with. Just remember, there is no such thing as a digital microphone - that is analog pure and simple :D .
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  15. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

    Behind you.
    Quantization error?

    In modern digital audio systems, dithering is done to convert quantization error to low-level noise.
    Digital video uses lossy compression; what you're seeing are lossy compression artifacts.
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  16. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Also with Video you are usually dealing with LCD/LED backlighting issues. There is no perfect TV set that does everything well just like there is no audio system that does everything perfect. We do the best we can with what we can afford.
  17. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    Love ya dave.

    first statement shows that it is a loss of something from the original. even if we engineer it to be very small, its still a very small error. aim small, miss small.

    second sentence, in a netflix stream, yup. cue up a blue (or red) ray dvd and you can still see it (most streaming loss is due to frame compression anyways)

    i dont think we are necessarily disagreeing


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  18. DaveVoorhis

    DaveVoorhis Super Member

    Behind you.
    It's a "loss" which for 16 bits and above is lower level than the typical background noise in typical room-temperature or above analog circuitry. In other words, there is equivalent or greater loss in a working analog system.

    Therefore, using lossless audio compression, the input waveform is (measurably, if you try it) equal to the output waveform above the noise floor. The same is notionally true of any analog reproduction, though typical analog mechanisms are also subject to all manner of distortion.
    A DVD is lossy MPEG-2 compression; BluRays are usually MPEG-4. On consumer devices, you normally won't ever see uncompressed video.
    I think we're in violent agreement. :biggrin:
  19. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    part of the article also mentioned that perversely, artists and listeners, prefer some sort of distortion and the preservation of the distortion is part of the intended product...
  20. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Think guitar amps...

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