Is vinyl high-end?

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jim

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Oct 22, 2001, 7:34:16 PM10/22/01
to
Folks I need enlightenment.

As a newcomer to this group I have been reading it with interest over
the past few months and I have to admit I am staggered by what is
posted here:

The number of posts concerning turntables and vinyl!

How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

The actual ability of vinyl to reproduce sounds across the audible
spectrum is pretty poor. To compensate for this the bottom end has to
be

boosted and compression has to be applied to make it sound halfway
decent. Now I do not have a problem if you like listening to music
with lots of compression - but can it *really* be considered
"high-end"?

If I turned up here and started a discussion about this top value
three-in-one portable sound system with 1000 watts of power
(pmpo)that I

got for $300 you would all tell me to go away, so could someone
*please* explain:

Why is vinyl considered high-end?

Jim

P.S. This is a genuine post and not trolling for a big argument. I do
not understand why vinyl is considered high-end and would welcome
some explanations.

Harry Lavo

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Oct 22, 2001, 8:38:14 PM10/22/01
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"jim" <j...@tasmail.com> wrote in message
news:9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com...

> Folks I need enlightenment.
>
> As a newcomer to this group I have been reading it with interest over
> the past few months and I have to admit I am staggered by what is
> posted here:
>
> The number of posts concerning turntables and vinyl!
>

<ship>

>
> Why is vinyl considered high-end?
>
> Jim
>
> P.S. This is a genuine post and not trolling for a big argument. I do
> not understand why vinyl is considered high-end and would welcome
> some explanations.

And this is not a snide remark. One listen is worth a thousand words and
caveats. Find a local audio club or dealer who has a really top quality
vinyl rig set up, and spend and hour or two listening. Then you will
understand.

One giveaway: if your experience is only with a phono setup that is prone to
"floor bounce" then you are dealing with a system setup that cannot possibly
yield good sound. So I am assuming that you have never really heard a
near-SOTA vinyl system, circa CY2001.

On such a system, the negatives are minimized and vinyl's virtues are
maximized....the scientists here will call it euphonic distortion, and it
may be, but those of us who love vinyl feel that at this level of
reproduction it often sounds more lifelike that the vast majority of cd
material out there. Another aspect is that there is much older vinyl
floating around that is not on CD and is available for bargain prices. Much
is in good shape, and even that that isn't can often be restored with proper
cleaning and preservative treatment.

Give it a try, and then see if you still have the same questions.

Harry

You Know Who ~

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Oct 22, 2001, 10:47:58 PM10/22/01
to
Hi

You appear to have some misconceptions about vinyl.

In the four channel mode (yes, there was such a format) it was shown that
the LP could reach a frequency response of well above 30cps.

There was no compression. There was an equalization of the signal which any
decent phono preamp could deal with and restore to a very flat frequency
response. (by the way, the often used dithering, which is deliberately
adding noise to digital recordings could be attacked in the same way,
though, like equalization, it is not something that interferes.

Analog is a continuous signal while digital is still a sampling medium, and
many of us believe it doesn't sample often enough, especially in the high
frequencies.

The bottom line is that I have some music on both CD and LP. In most (not
all) cases, the LP sounds better.

--
You know who~
TAV http://www.audiophilevoice.com/
Cats and audio links: http://you_know_who.home.att.net/
----------------------------------------------------------------
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:
music and cats." -- Albert Schweitzer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"jim" <j...@tasmail.com> wrote in message
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Chris Johnson

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Oct 22, 2001, 10:56:30 PM10/22/01
to
In article <9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com>, jim <j...@tasmail.com> wrote:
> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
> reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
> frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
> to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

Clicks and pops are intermittent sounds. The frequency response isn't
as limited as you might think- wow is a mechanical problem dealt with by
inspired design or just plain mass- flutter's more an issue with tape
players, such as cassette players- footsteps are more a problem for
mid-end gear rather than the cheapest or most expensive- but none of this
addresses the real question.

My opinion is that it's a question of linearity in the midrange. It
takes quite a bit of digital trickery to get a comparable amount of
linearity out of digital- the motions of the rock scraping through plastic
are inherently a linear process.

There are high levels of additional noise produced- but they are either
intermittent, or strongly frequency dependent, such as rumble. For years
this has all been lumped under 'noise', but it's more common today to
examine spectral content, and it's unusual for an analog/mechanical
process to produce perfectly uniform noise, or even the moderately uniform
noise floor of digital truncation.

Honestly, it's not as bizarre as you think. People still use
reel-to-reel tape professionally in audio work, too.

Chris Johnson

Stewart Pinkerton

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Oct 23, 2001, 3:12:00 AM10/23/01
to
jim <j...@tasmail.com> writes:

>How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
>reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
>frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
>to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

Because top-quality vinyl rigs are *very* expensive (top cartridges
alone cost $2-6,000), which puts then well into the aspirational
range. Additionally, getting the very best results from this precision
electr0-mechanical process requires great attention to detail and a
lot of 'tweaking'. This qualifies vinyl as high-end, regardless of
absolute sound quality.

>The actual ability of vinyl to reproduce sounds across the audible
>spectrum is pretty poor. To compensate for this the bottom end has to
>be boosted and compression has to be applied to make it sound halfway
>decent. Now I do not have a problem if you like listening to music
>with lots of compression - but can it *really* be considered
>"high-end"?

Not in my opinion, but no doubt you'll hear a *lot* of opposing
opinion in this arena! :-)

--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is art, audio is engineering

Stewart Pinkerton

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Oct 23, 2001, 3:20:37 AM10/23/01
to
jinx...@sover.net (Chris Johnson) writes:

>In article <9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com>, jim <j...@tasmail.com> wrote:
>> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
>> reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
>> frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
>> to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?
>
> Clicks and pops are intermittent sounds. The frequency response isn't
>as limited as you might think- wow is a mechanical problem dealt with by
>inspired design or just plain mass- flutter's more an issue with tape
>players, such as cassette players- footsteps are more a problem for
>mid-end gear rather than the cheapest or most expensive- but none of this
>addresses the real question.

They are however real effects which would seem to eliminate vinyl as a
contender in any true high-fidelity sound system - as distinct from
that strange term, 'high-end'.

> My opinion is that it's a question of linearity in the midrange. It
>takes quite a bit of digital trickery to get a comparable amount of
>linearity out of digital- the motions of the rock scraping through plastic
>are inherently a linear process.

It takes no 'trickery' at all to get a linearity from digital which is
at least ten times *better* than that of vinyl in the midrange, and
over a *hundred* times better at the frequency extremes. If you think
that vinyl is 'inherently linear' at any frequency, perhaps you should
take some basic engineering courses, as this is demonstrably untrue,
from surface roughness at one end of the dynamic range to elastic
limits at the other.

> There are high levels of additional noise produced- but they are either
>intermittent, or strongly frequency dependent, such as rumble. For years
>this has all been lumped under 'noise', but it's more common today to
>examine spectral content, and it's unusual for an analog/mechanical
>process to produce perfectly uniform noise, or even the moderately uniform
>noise floor of digital truncation.

It remains tha case however, that the noise floor of vinyl is 10-20
times higher than that of 16/44 digital, in relation to peak recorded
level, even for the very best vinyl.

> Honestly, it's not as bizarre as you think. People still use
>reel-to-reel tape professionally in audio work, too.

What has this to do with vinyl?

Arny Krueger

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:15:43 PM10/23/01
to
"jim" <j...@tasmail.com> wrote in message
news:9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com...
> Folks I need enlightenment.

> Why is vinyl considered high-end?

I think you've made a critical error in trying to relate the
technical performance of vinyl to the phrase "high end".

"High End" is a marketing term. For example, "Rolls Royce" is a high
end brand of automobile. However few if any automotive authorities
suggest that a Rolls Royce automobile is a technological wonder in
terms of raw performance or the automotive technology it embodies.
The car is a out-accelerated, out-handled, out -stopped, and out-fuel
economized by any number of cars with vastly lower price tags.

"High end" relates to price tag and status.

Vinyl itself is neither "high end" or "mid fi" or "low end". However
it remains possible for there to be high end vinyl players. However,
the majority of vinyl playback equipment being sold at this time is
designed to be used by "turntablists" who work in dance clubs and at
parties in private homes. Most new titles being released in the vinyl
format are directed towards the dance market, not the high end of
audio.

Howard Ferstler

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:35:52 PM10/23/01
to
Arny Krueger wrote:

> "High End" is a marketing term. For example, "Rolls Royce" is a high
> end brand of automobile. However few if any automotive authorities
> suggest that a Rolls Royce automobile is a technological wonder in
> terms of raw performance or the automotive technology it embodies.
> The car is a out-accelerated, out-handled, out -stopped, and out-fuel
> economized by any number of cars with vastly lower price tags.
>
> "High end" relates to price tag and status.
>
> Vinyl itself is neither "high end" or "mid fi" or "low end". However
> it remains possible for there to be high end vinyl players. However,
> the majority of vinyl playback equipment being sold at this time is
> designed to be used by "turntablists" who work in dance clubs and at
> parties in private homes. Most new titles being released in the vinyl
> format are directed towards the dance market, not the high end of
> audio.

Arny's point is well taken.

High end relates more to a state of mind than anything else,
since you can get excellent sound from a system that is not
normally considered high end. I think that if two-channel
audio is your bag, you can get sound from vinyl that is
adequate to be called high end, provided that you do not
mind the surface noise. And of course, if you purchase a
player that costs a bundle and resembles fine machine art,
you obviously have a high-end device.

Howard Ferstler

Stewart Pinkerton

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:36:15 PM10/23/01
to
"You Know Who ~" <you_kn...@att.net> writes:

>You appear to have some misconceptions about vinyl.

Actually, he seems to have nailed it pretty well........

>In the four channel mode (yes, there was such a format) it was shown that
>the LP could reach a frequency response of well above 30cps.

Indeed yes, about a thousand times higher! :-)

However, this signal was down by 20-30dB from the main signal, and
didn't last long once that old rock got scraping in those grooves...

>There was no compression.

Yes, there was, also peak limiting.

> There was an equalization of the signal which any
>decent phono preamp could deal with and restore to a very flat frequency
>response. (by the way, the often used dithering, which is deliberately
>adding noise to digital recordings could be attacked in the same way,
>though, like equalization, it is not something that interferes.

Excuse me? Dither is an *essential* part of the A/D process, and
purely beneficial to sound quality. It has no similarity whatever to
RIAA equalisation.

>Analog is a continuous signal while digital is still a sampling medium, and
>many of us believe it doesn't sample often enough, especially in the high
>frequencies.

Analogue may be a continuopus process, but it is one with very poor
resolution...............

BTW, why don't you consider 192k sampling (as used in two-channel
DVD-A) to be adequate, since it offers a bandwidth much wider than
that available from *any* analogue master tape?

>The bottom line is that I have some music on both CD and LP. In most (not
>all) cases, the LP sounds better.

To you, perhaps. My experience is exactly opposite.

Paul van der Hulst

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:36:21 PM10/23/01
to
jim wrote:
>
> Folks I need enlightenment.
>
snip

>
> The actual ability of vinyl to reproduce sounds across the audible
> spectrum is pretty poor. To compensate for this the bottom end has to
> be
>
> boosted and compression has to be applied to make it sound halfway
> decent. Now I do not have a problem if you like listening to music
> with lots of compression - but can it *really* be considered
> "high-end"?
>

Over-all frequency response of vinyl is flat, if you use the phono
input sockets like you're supposed to.
On many CDs the same thing is done on the high end: pre-recording
amplification of high frequencies, neutralised by attenuation after
DA-conversion. It's called 'emphasis'

No points there I'm afraid

Paul

Joseph Oberlander

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:36:26 PM10/23/01
to
You Know Who ~ wrote:
>
> Hi
>
> You appear to have some misconceptions about vinyl.
>
> In the four channel mode (yes, there was such a format) it was shown that
> the LP could reach a frequency response of well above 30cps.
>
> There was no compression. There was an equalization of the signal which any
> decent phono preamp could deal with and restore to a very flat frequency
> response. (by the way, the often used dithering, which is deliberately
> adding noise to digital recordings could be attacked in the same way,
> though, like equalization, it is not something that interferes.
>
> Analog is a continuous signal while digital is still a sampling medium, and
> many of us believe it doesn't sample often enough, especially in the high
> frequencies.
>
> The bottom line is that I have some music on both CD and LP. In most (not
> all) cases, the LP sounds better.

I agree. Good analog recordings do better justice. There is a
reason studios use high-speed tape several decades after it was
introduced. Analog in, analog out.

A good record player and stylus will sound incredible.

If you have good ears, you can hear some cd players generating the
tone in steps - this usually requires a stable tone like a pipe organ
or flute. You can hear the harmonics aligning differently than they
do in real life. It bothers me because I played woodwinds for ten
years and know how they sound - and CD just doesn't have RL sparkle
at higher frequencies because it takes incredibly fast sampling rates
to capture upper-range harmonics and CD is just not quite fast enough
for most insturmental music. Frequency and dynamic range isn't
everything. Neither is the absolute lack of a few clicks and pops.
Sonic accuracy to the original signal is.

I can understand - the technology is over ten years old and they had
to make serious compromises back then based upon the available
technology.

If you spend time around samplers you know this syndrome - the
waveforms are plainly jagged on a scope compared to a pure analog
signal. Most of the time, though, you don't get a tone all by itself
in music and adapt to how a CD sounds over the years.

Now, MP3s can thankfully sample at a high enough rate to do it
better, so it may well be the next step and come closer.

Arny Krueger

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:36:35 PM10/23/01
to
"You Know Who ~" <you_kn...@att.net> wrote in message
news:9r2liv$1u8$1...@bourbaki.localdomain...

> Hi
>
> You appear to have some misconceptions about vinyl.

> In the four channel mode (yes, there was such a format) it was shown that
> the LP could reach a frequency response of well above 30cps.

The proper number was more like 30 KHz. The given number is off by a
factor of 1,000.

> There was no compression.

Compression was optional and frequently used.

> There was an equalization of the signal which any
> decent phono preamp could deal with and restore to a very flat frequency
> response.

It is very rare to find a vinyl record/playback facility that was
flat within 1.0 dB over the range where the human ear is most
sensitive to differences in frequency response. One major issue that
was only infrequently addressed was the fact that the frequency
response of phono cartridges is dependent on the capacitive load
provided by the arm, the cables and the phono preamp. A few preamps
were built that provided means for adjusting this, but far fewer
audiophiles ever set these up properly. BTW for the last decade or so
that I listened to vinyl, I addressed this issue very faithfully, and
was rewarded with a great deal of listening pleasure.

In contrast, a CD player can be flat within 0.1 dB over the same
range of frequencies. It is well known that the human ear is almost
completely insensitive to even total elimination of frequencies in
music that are above 16 KHz. You can hear this for yourself at
http://www.pcabx.com/technical/low_pass/index.htm . Therefore claims
that vinyl is obviously superior because it has response above 16 KHz
are poorly-informed.

> (by the way, the often used dithering, which is deliberately
> adding noise to digital recordings could be attacked in the same way,
> though, like equalization, it is not something that interferes.

The difference is that dither is applied at very low levels, say 90
or more dB below peak levels. Performance at these levels is
generally moot, because it is masked by noise primarily in the
recording studio, but also to a lesser degree in the playback room.
Equalization affects all levels, and therefore equalization errors
are far more audible.

Until 1979 there was no exact solution to the design of RIAA
equalization networks, which hindered the accuracy of all playback
systems designed before that date.

> Analog is a continuous signal while digital is still a sampling medium, and
> many of us believe it doesn't sample often enough, especially in the high
> frequencies.

I think that having various beliefs is a lot of fun, but when
theories can be verified experimentally, they should be. It's easy
to confirm or deny whether or not 16 bit, 44 KHz sampling has audible
artifacts, and it has been repeatedly shown that critical listeners
cannot detect the interposition of a good quality job of 16 bit, 44
KHz coding. An early example of this can be found at
http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx_digi.htm . The same issue
can be investigated in a contemporary, personal context at
http://www.pcabx.com/technical/sample_rates/index.htm .

> The bottom line is that I have some music on both CD and LP. In most (not
> all) cases, the LP sounds better.

Of course, personal preference is sacrosanct and need not be related
to rhyme or reason. It just is.

Arny Krueger

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:36:39 PM10/23/01
to
"Chris Johnson" <jinx...@sover.net> wrote in message
news:9r2m52$29u$1...@bourbaki.localdomain...

> In article <9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com>, jim <j...@tasmail.com>
wrote:

> > How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
> > reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited

> > frequency response, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance


> > to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

Aside from the issues of price and status that I cover in another
post, the performance issues you raise can be addressed more
directly.

> Clicks and pops are intermittent sounds. The frequency response isn't
> as limited as you might think-

The frequency response of vinyl is difficult or impossible to control
to the same degree as is commonly done in digital audio. It is a
reasonable goal, if true high fidelity is the objective, to maintain
amplitude response within 0.1 dB over the range which the ear is most
sensitive, which runs from about 100 Hz to 10 KHz. Not only is it
difficult or impossible to maintain this tolerance with vinyl, there
are other forms of amplitude distortion that can intrude on vinyl
playback. One of them is the fact that the actual sensititivity of a
cartridge can vary by a dB or more as small imperfections in the
flatness and eccentricity of the record cause the cartridge to vary
its distance from the groove.

>wow is a mechanical problem dealt with by inspired design or just

>plain mass.

Once the rotation of the turntable is stabilized by mechanical
design, there are still wow and flutter problems that remain because
records are rarely if ever perfectly mechanically flat. It is very
difficult to make a record sit perfectly flat once it has been stored
for a while. It is one of the ironies of audio that vinyl advocates
rant about jitter in digital audio when measurements show that jitter
(FM distortion) is not only far greater in magnitude, but generally
also more concentrated in frequency ranges where the ear is most
sensitive, in vinyl.

>- flutter's more an issue with tape players, such as cassette
> players-

One of the things that sold me on digital was the elimination of
flutter from my favorite piano pieces.

> footsteps are more a problem for mid-end gear rather than the
> cheapest or most expensive-

Without the use of elaborate seismic supports, it is difficult or
impossible to have what in modern terms would be a full-range audio
system incorporating vinyl. If you have a high-performance subwoofer
and want to play vinyl you either just add a low-frequency roll-off
for playing vinyl, or provide some means for further isolating the
turntable from the low frequency sound that the subwoofer can
provide.

>but none of this addresses the real question.

> My opinion is that it's a question of linearity in the midrange.

Measurements show that in terms of linearity in the midrange, vinyl
has very substandard performance.

> It takes quite a bit of digital trickery to get a comparable amount of
> linearity out of digital- the motions of the rock scraping through plastic
> are inherently a linear process.

Technically speaking, this is exactly NOT the case.

> There are high levels of additional noise produced- but they are either
> intermittent, or strongly frequency dependent, such as rumble.

Yup, and there is nothing like a good subwoofer to show that vinyl
adds a wealth of low frequency noise to whatever is recorded that
way. Furthermore tone arms used to play vinyl typically have very
pronounced resonance in the 5 to 30 Hz range which make good bass
performance almost impossible. These resonances can even influence
sound quality in the lower midrange.

> For years
> this has all been lumped under 'noise', but it's more common today to
> examine spectral content, and it's unusual for an analog/mechanical
> process to produce perfectly uniform noise, or even the moderately uniform
> noise floor of digital truncation.

The noise floor of vinyl is so high, particularly at low frequencies,
that it in no way compares to the noise floor provided by digital
audio.

> Honestly, it's not as bizarre as you think. People still use
> reel-to-reel tape professionally in audio work, too.

The charm of analog tape is that its sensitivity and frequency
response vary strongly with amplitude. If you look at the frequency
response curves of an analog tape recorder taken say every 10 dB, you
find that almost every one is different, and most of the upper ones
aren't even a uniform distance apart. This provides a very euphonic
means for reducing dynamic range, and a media that is very forgiving
of operator errors.

Keith Garratt

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Oct 23, 2001, 12:36:46 PM10/23/01
to
OK Jim, as I've already got my pen and notepaper out, I'll bite:

"jim" <j...@tasmail.com> wrote in message
news:9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com...

> Folks I need enlightenment.
>
> As a newcomer to this group I have been reading it with interest over
> the past few months and I have to admit I am staggered by what is
> posted here:
>
> The number of posts concerning turntables and vinyl!

Well, this should tell you that a fair number of people represented
in RAHE are passionate about vinyl - one way or the other.

> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
> reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
> frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
> to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

I agree. Makes about as much sense as throwing steak onto a grid over
an open fire or baking an apple pie with real apples.

> The actual ability of vinyl to reproduce sounds across the audible
> spectrum is pretty poor.

If this isn't just a wind-up, I'll just say that it is patently
obvious you haven't heard any decent vinyl.....

To compensate for this the bottom end has to
> be boosted and compression has to be applied to make it sound halfway
> decent. Now I do not have a problem if you like listening to music
> with lots of compression - but can it *really* be considered
> "high-end"?

"Vinyl boosted and compressed"? Ooh, I don't think so - merely
equalised to reduce stylus excursion which, as was pointed out in
another post, is entirely restored by the phono stage to a ruler-flat
frequency response line even by inexpensive phono stages.

> If I turned up here and started a discussion about this top value
> three-in-one portable sound system with 1000 watts of power
> (pmpo)that I
>
> got for $300 you would all tell me to go away, so could someone
> *please* explain:

No "portable sound system" could be considered "hi-fi" in my book -
my personal belief is that it isn't really true "hi-fi" if you can
lift it, let alone carry it about!!!

> Why is vinyl considered high-end?

"High-end"? What does this really mean? Surely it is an abbreviation
for the "high end of the price scale" for hi-fi equipment? Vinyl, per
se, cannot be considered "high-end" any more than CDs, Radio, Tape
etc. could automatically be called "high-end" (or not). What price 7"
vinyl 45s being played for hours on end, on a Dansette-type
"portable" record player, by millions of kids worldwide, a decade or
two ago? - Never was hi-fi, let alone high-end, but it was most
definitely vinyl.

> Jim
>
> P.S. This is a genuine post and not trolling for a big argument.

Yes Jim, this peeves me somewhat. - For some wacky reason so many
people in this group seem to consider analogue and digital music to
be mutually exclusive - much like the valves/SS arguments.

>I do not understand why vinyl is considered high-end and would welcome some
>explanations.

All I would say to this, having read the posts in this thread, is
that I fully endorse the view "give it a try" that has been expressed
elsewhere. Only then you will know for yourself. No amount of
argument or explanation can actually give you the experience or the
enlightenment you seek.

(Just my two penn'orth.)

Regards,

Keith G.

jj, DBT thug and skeptical philalethist

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 12:35:32 PM10/23/01
to
In article <9r2m52$29u$1...@bourbaki.localdomain>,
Chris Johnson <jinx...@sover.net> wrote:

> My opinion is that it's a question of linearity in the midrange.

Sigh, sorry to be contradicting you all the time, but that
is not supported by any evidence.
Linearity is a well-known technical term, and mean-squared
error, also known as SNR, is its complete measure.

>It
>takes quite a bit of digital trickery to get a comparable amount of
>linearity out of digital- the motions of the rock scraping through plastic
>are inherently a linear process.

Digital has much higher SNR than vinyl at any frequency below the
cutoff of the anti-alaising/imaging filters. This is something that
is a question of measurement, and it has been measured to death.

> There are high levels of additional noise produced- but they are either
>intermittent, or strongly frequency dependent, such as rumble. For years
>this has all been lumped under 'noise', but it's more common today to
>examine spectral content, and it's unusual for an analog/mechanical
>process to produce perfectly uniform noise, or even the moderately uniform
>noise floor of digital truncation.

And at least some people find the higher noise level to enhance
their listening experience. Nothing wrong with that.
--
Copyright j...@research.att.com 2001, all rights reserved, except transmission
by USENET and like facilities granted. This notice must be included. Any
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jj, DBT thug and skeptical philalethist

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 12:35:23 PM10/23/01
to
In article <9r2liv$1u8$1...@bourbaki.localdomain>,
You Know Who ~ <you_kn...@att.net> wrote:
>There was no compression.

Whoa, there, nearly all vinyl has some level compression!

>Analog is a continuous signal while digital is still a sampling medium, and
>many of us believe it doesn't sample often enough, especially in the high
>frequencies.

This, as they say, is a belief you get to have, but one that
lacks any concrete evidence.

jj, DBT thug and skeptical philalethist

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 12:35:14 PM10/23/01
to
>How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
>reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
>frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
>to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

How about because the distortions so induced have been shown
to improve many people's perceptions of the limited perceptual
space available with 2 channel audio?

If you're going to suggest that ultimate analytical accuracy
is what is required in a 2-channel system, well, I'm just going
to

WATCH!

Chris Johnson

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 3:49:05 PM10/23/01
to
In article <9r468...@enews4.newsguy.com>, j...@research.att.com (jj, DBT

thug and skeptical philalethist) wrote:
> In article <9r2m52$29u$1...@bourbaki.localdomain>,
> Chris Johnson <jinx...@sover.net> wrote:
> > My opinion is that it's a question of linearity in the midrange.

> Sigh, sorry to be contradicting you all the time, but that
> is not supported by any evidence.

You know, this warms my heart :) I _know_ you're going to be
contradicting me all the time- I'd figured that out by now. It's cheering
to hear that you're sorry about it: this tells me that my efforts to
continue 'flagging' my opinion as such and not pursuing arguments too far,
are working. It suggests I'm coming across as less hostile and annoying
than I might otherwise be :)

> >It takes quite a bit of digital trickery to get a comparable amount of
> >linearity out of digital- the motions of the rock scraping through plastic
> >are inherently a linear process.
>
> Digital has much higher SNR than vinyl at any frequency below the
> cutoff of the anti-alaising/imaging filters. This is something that
> is a question of measurement, and it has been measured to death.

Certainly. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, even the very first CDs, which
are now widely accepted to have sounded awful, did manage to substantially
outperform vinyl for signal-to-noise ratio.

Since a great deal of vinyl out there sounds _substantially_ better,
more lifelike, and more convincingly real than the first, crude attempts
at CDs, given even passably acceptable vinyl playback equipment, I would
ask, why is this? That's the question I'm trying to answer. If my answers
aren't suitable, then they're not suitable. The question remains, and the
answer must be something else.

Note that I'm not talking about modern CD playback- that makes things
more difficult and I myself have tried to make CD rival or beat vinyl,
possibly with success. I'm talking about the old stuff, the first CDs and
the first, no-oversampling, players. Even that generated SNR superior to
records, yet the sound was appalling and many years passed before it got
good. I don't believe for one second that it's due to magic or good vibes-
in my way I am as hardcore-scientific-rationalist as you. There is a
technical reason for this disparity, and that is what good vinyl still
offers. Hence, my speculations.

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 3:49:45 PM10/23/01
to
In article <9r46a...@enews4.newsguy.com>, "Arny Krueger"

<ar...@hotpop.com> wrote:
>> In the four channel mode (yes, there was such a format) it was shown that
>> the LP could reach a frequency response of well above 30cps.
>
> The proper number was more like 30 KHz. The given number is off by a
> factor of 1,000.

I'm keeping records of exactly who pounced on this obvious typo
for the sake of correcting the person publically ;)

Personally, I think the ideal response would have been:

>> the LP could reach a frequency response of well above 30cps.

'yes' ;)

Chris Johnson

Jeff Connelly

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 6:18:23 PM10/23/01
to
"jim" <j...@tasmail.com> wrote in message news:9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com...
> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
> reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
> frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
> to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?

"Scraping rock through plastic"? Well, when you put it that way, how can
shining light on holes in metal result in "high-end" sound? ALL musical
REPRODUCTION systems have pros and cons. None have ever been invented that
actually create real live music (unless you consider something like the
Bosendorfer Reproducing Piano, but that is not "audio" in the accepted sense.
It's a real piano.)

> Why is vinyl considered high-end?

This is a meaningless question. This is like asking "Why are speakers
considered high-end?" or "Why are CDs considered high-end?".

It's not the medium per se - it's the reproductive quality of whatever element
in the reproductive chain you're talking about. Let's take a "really good"
system playing a "really good" vinyl record. Then let's take a "really bad"
system playing a "really bad" CD. Which is going to sound better? Sorry for
asking obvious questions, but you get the point.

The answer to your question is "Well, it's not, necessarily." High-end vinyl
reproduction is considered high-end. Crappy vinyl reproduction is considered
crap.

A record playback system is usually harder to get "really good" than a CD
system, simply because it's more complicated. But some are much simpler than
others, and still good. I don't get any clicks or pops on my "good" records
and I certainly don't feel the frequency response is limited. I get no
discernible wow or flutter. On the other hand, many less expensive CD players
can sound harsh and grainy. I'll say this - a $150 record player (including
arm and cartridge) is probably going to sound worse than a $150 CD player,
especially if it's setup carelessly. However, if it's setup correctly, it
might well sound better *in certain respects* than a "weak" CD player. The CD
will probably have it beat in dynamics and extension of frequency response.

On the other hand, I've heard $3000 record players that outperform $3000 CD
players. It depends a lot on the recording of course. There are some bad CD
recordings out there. There are some recordings on vinyl that are simply
higher quality than their CD counterparts (some of the Classic Records
releases, for example, beat the generic version CDs.) But all things
considered, for anyone who has to ask this question about vinyl, I would say
they'd probably be better served with a decent CD player. There are certainly
some "high-end" CD recordings out there too.

Alex Eisenhut

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 6:28:02 PM10/23/01
to
> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
>

Ridiculous, isn't it? Almost as crazy as using a rock IN plastic to
reproduce audio? Like a transistor or an IC? Hmm?

Rob Gold

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 7:38:31 PM10/23/01
to
Stewart Pinkerton wrote:>Because top-quality vinyl rigs are *very* expensive

(top cartridges
>alone cost $2-6,000), which puts then well into the aspirational
>range. Additionally, getting the very best results from this precision
>electr0-mechanical process requires great attention to detail and a
>lot of 'tweaking'. This qualifies vinyl as high-end, regardless of
>absolute sound quality.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

$2,000-$6,000? Hey, Stewart, what magazines are you smoking? My Denon DL103D
cart cost me US$175 last year. Together with a Teres turntable and modified
Rega arm, my all-in cost is under $1,800, including shipping. Oh, add $24 for
my DIY wall-mount shelf. You could spend more on an LP playback system, but
I'm having trouble imagining what sonic benefits you might get (well, OK,
getting rid of LP's many obvious problems would be nice, but why do the results
have to sound like CD's?).

Rob Gold

N.P. -- Stravinsky's Apollon Musagette on Argo LP.

Loiskelly1

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 10:26:58 PM10/23/01
to
> ALL musical
>REPRODUCTION systems have pros and cons. None have ever been invented that
>actually create real live music (unless you consider something like the
>Bosendorfer Reproducing Piano, but that is not "audio" in the accepted sense.
>It's a real piano.)

An excellent example of which is presented on Telarc CD-80489, Rachmaninoff: A
Window in Time.
As far as the analog/digital debate is concerned, one should consider that
neurons either fire or do not fire, making at least some portion of the process
of perception digital, in that discrete signals are being registered by the
brain. Of course, the mechanisms that precede neurological interpretation are
analog in nature- the basilar membrane, for one. Now why exactly can't we hear
a tone of say 1MHz? It is because there exists no position on the basilar
membrane corresponding to such a frequency. Now this may be an outlandish
number that I have offered, but the point is that as long as there is SOME
limitation to the frequency range (ie: bandwidth) that can be picked up by the
human auditory system, then there MUST be a corresponding bit rate
(mathematically determined via Shannon's information theory) that will provide
sufficient information capacity. In other words, if the desired bandwidth and
dynamic range are known, then the capacity required of the system (in bits per
second) CAN be calculated. This is the same whether we are talking about "high
end" audio or telecommunications, where a common transmission scheme (OC48)
routinely passes 32,256 voice channels multiplexed over a 2.4 Giga bps line.
Now how, exactly, does this relate to digital vs. vinyl in audio? It means
that digital, if not perfect, can at least be perfectible. It also means that
whether 16/44.1 offers up sufficient dynamic range and bandwidth is certainly
open to debate, but whether a digital scheme can be constructed that will
accommodate a given set of parameters is not.

Loiskelly1

unread,
Oct 23, 2001, 10:32:13 PM10/23/01
to
>How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
>reproduce sounds.......

It sounds positively space aged compared to the little bits of carbon jumping
around in the mouthpiece of a telephone. Let us never forget how well served
we were by analog technology. I am every bit as impressed by the cumulative
body of science that has brought us radio transmission as virtually anything
since.

Now playing- My guitar wants to kill your momma. F. Zappa

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 2:54:53 AM10/24/01
to
Paul van der Hulst <pa...@home.nl> writes:

>jim wrote:
>>
>> Folks I need enlightenment.
>>
>snip
>>
>> The actual ability of vinyl to reproduce sounds across the audible
>> spectrum is pretty poor. To compensate for this the bottom end has to
>> be
>>
>> boosted and compression has to be applied to make it sound halfway
>> decent. Now I do not have a problem if you like listening to music
>> with lots of compression - but can it *really* be considered
>> "high-end"?
>>
>
>Over-all frequency response of vinyl is flat, if you use the phono
>input sockets like you're supposed to.

Flat to within a dB or two from 50Hz to 15kHz, perhaps. CD is flat to
better than 0.1dB from 20Hz to 20kHz.

>On many CDs the same thing is done on the high end: pre-recording
>amplification of high frequencies, neutralised by attenuation after
>DA-conversion. It's called 'emphasis'

On many CDs made before 1985, perhaps, but that technique hasn't been
used for more than ten years.

>No points there I'm afraid

Be afraid, be very afraid..........

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 2:58:03 AM10/24/01
to
jinx...@sover.net (Chris Johnson) writes:

>In article <9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com>, jim <j...@tasmail.com> wrote:
>> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
>> reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
>> frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
>> to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?
>
> Clicks and pops are intermittent sounds. The frequency response isn't
>as limited as you might think- wow is a mechanical problem dealt with by
>inspired design or just plain mass- flutter's more an issue with tape
>players, such as cassette players- footsteps are more a problem for
>mid-end gear rather than the cheapest or most expensive- but none of this
>addresses the real question.

They are however real effects which would seem to eliminate vinyl as a


contender in any true high-fidelity sound system - as distinct from
that strange term, 'high-end'.

> My opinion is that it's a question of linearity in the midrange. It


>takes quite a bit of digital trickery to get a comparable amount of
>linearity out of digital- the motions of the rock scraping through plastic
>are inherently a linear process.

It takes no 'trickery' at all to get a linearity from digital which is


at least ten times *better* than that of vinyl in the midrange, and
over a *hundred* times better at the frequency extremes. If you think

that vinyl is 'inherently linear' at any frequency, you need to revise
your thinking, as this is demonstrably untrue, from surface roughness


at one end of the dynamic range to elastic limits at the other.

> There are high levels of additional noise produced- but they are either


>intermittent, or strongly frequency dependent, such as rumble. For years
>this has all been lumped under 'noise', but it's more common today to
>examine spectral content, and it's unusual for an analog/mechanical
>process to produce perfectly uniform noise, or even the moderately uniform
>noise floor of digital truncation.

It remains the case however, that the noise floor of vinyl is 10-20


times higher than that of 16/44 digital, in relation to peak recorded
level, even for the very best vinyl.

> Honestly, it's not as bizarre as you think. People still use


>reel-to-reel tape professionally in audio work, too.

What has this to do with vinyl?

--

Paul van der Hulst

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 12:13:35 PM10/24/01
to
Stewart Pinkerton wrote:
>
> Paul van der Hulst <pa...@home.nl> writes:
>
> >Over-all frequency response of vinyl is flat, if you use the phono
> >input sockets like you're supposed to.
>
> Flat to within a dB or two from 50Hz to 15kHz, perhaps. CD is flat to
> better than 0.1dB from 20Hz to 20kHz.

Ofcourse you understand very well that I'm saying there is no delibirate
boost or compression of the whole low-frequency range. In those days
they were really trying to do it properly. No nitpicking _please_.

> >On many CDs the same thing is done on the high end: pre-recording
> >amplification of high frequencies, neutralised by attenuation after
> >DA-conversion. It's called 'emphasis'
>
> On many CDs made before 1985, perhaps, but that technique hasn't been
> used for more than ten years.
>
> >No points there I'm afraid
>
> Be afraid, be very afraid..........
>

Maybe you're right, I don't know much about current recording practices.
The point is still: no deliberate boost or compression of some frequency
range for either CD or LP

PS Disclaimer: Being an engineer with only limited hearing experience, I
know what I'm talking about technically, but I have absolutely _no_
opinion about which _sounds_ better. Both have their pro's and con's.
Maybe even more important: both have their supporters and opponents. I'd
rather not get stuck in between.
Knowing what I know, I know that I know very little. (Try to be creative
if you want to get me on this one.) Understanding the theoretical
details just isn't enough if you cannot translate them into qualitative
or even quantitative terms; audio perception theory just isn't very
sophisticated at the moment. Even a quantitative term such as THD is
only significant to a certain extent (one frequency or whole frequency
range etc. ). First we have to figure out which measurements really tell
us something about the audio quality. An example: for their new SACD/DVD
player, the engineers at PHILIPS made 15 modifications to their design
based purely on listening tests. Measurements revealed no differences at
all. (I know, PHILIPS isn't exactly a high-end company, but they do know
how to measure. Just try to get my point.)
If you don't know what and how to measure audio, how can you say
anything significant?
Instead of _fighting_ over which is best you better go to work and try
to figure out what really is the point of good sound reproduction.

PPS This thread is turning into a flame war (maybe my fault, I should
have known). Bye!

Paul

Rob Gold

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 11:57:28 AM10/24/01
to
> j...@research.att.com (jj, DBT thug and skeptical philalethist) wrote:
>
>You Know Who ~ <you_kn...@att.net> wrote:
>>There was no compression.
>
>Whoa, there, nearly all vinyl has some level compression!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hiya, JJ!

Correct, most real world vinyl LP's use compression, rolloff at the
frequency extremes and (often) summed-mono for the bass. Of course,
most real world CD's do exactly the same (without the summed-mono).
In neither format is this really necessary, but is done for reasons
as varied as marketing (to sound "good" on cheap walkmen), practical
issues (playing time limitations for vinyl offering true bass
extension), and sheer orneriness (not many folks *really* want to
hear what a trumpet playing fortissimo would sound like in their
living rooms).

There are two separate arguments here: the sorry commercial realities
of either storage/playback media, and the potential of each when
fully and sensitively implemented. I certainly don't want the idiots
who run record companies and radio stations messing with my logical
absolutes, so I stick with the latter perspective, which says:

1) The Rube Goldberg contraptions known as vinyl LPs have no right
sounding good at all, yet at their best they do. 2) Theoretically,
CDs *should* sound magnificent, but too often in my experience they
are flat, two-dimensional, uninvolving and lifeless-sounding. Go
figure. 3) For the time being I'll keep building my LP collection on
the cheap, and buy CD's (or whatever) to fulfill my new-music jones.

Rob Gold

N.P. Holst's St. Paul Suite on Lyrita LP

Ron-A...@magmar.freeserve.co.uk

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 12:34:42 PM10/24/01
to
On Tue, 23 Oct 2001 02:47:58 GMT, "You Know Who ~"
<you_kn...@att.net> wrote:

>
>Analog is a continuous signal while digital is still a sampling medium, and
>many of us believe it doesn't sample often enough, especially in the high
>frequencies.
>

>The bottom line is that I have some music on both CD and LP. In most (not
>all) cases, the LP sounds better.
>

Most analogue LPs actually come from tape recorders that don't have a
"continuous signal" - the bias frequency certainly sets an upper
frequency limit. I think for my Revox the bias frequency is around 190
KHz - but that's from memory.

Whilst I'd agree that LP reply can sound better than a lot of CDs - it
does seem to cost a lot to achieve. For example, my LP player system
costs more than double the CD player, and requires a periodic
expensive cartridge up-date. And these days a lot of preamps are only
line level, so you need to buy another item of kit - plus
interconnects ...

If I was starting out afresh (wiothout an LP collection) I'd invest in
a better all-round system than spread the money out more thinly.

Hope this helps.

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 12:55:05 PM10/24/01
to
Paul van der Hulst <pa...@home.nl> writes:

>Stewart Pinkerton wrote:
>>
>> Paul van der Hulst <pa...@home.nl> writes:
>>
>> >Over-all frequency response of vinyl is flat, if you use the phono
>> >input sockets like you're supposed to.
>>
>> Flat to within a dB or two from 50Hz to 15kHz, perhaps. CD is flat to
>> better than 0.1dB from 20Hz to 20kHz.
>
>Ofcourse you understand very well that I'm saying there is no delibirate
>boost or compression of the whole low-frequency range. In those days
>they were really trying to do it properly. No nitpicking _please_.

Contrary to several statements in this thread however, the vast
majority of vinyl *is* compressed and peak limited, plus it's rolled
off above 15kHz to avoid overheating the cutter, while bass is summed
to mono below 80Hz to preserve groove depth, and rolled off below 40Hz
to maximise playing time.

>> >On many CDs the same thing is done on the high end: pre-recording
>> >amplification of high frequencies, neutralised by attenuation after
>> >DA-conversion. It's called 'emphasis'
>>
>> On many CDs made before 1985, perhaps, but that technique hasn't been
>> used for more than ten years.
>>
>> >No points there I'm afraid
>>
>> Be afraid, be very afraid..........
>>
>
>Maybe you're right, I don't know much about current recording practices.
>The point is still: no deliberate boost or compression of some frequency
>range for either CD or LP

See above.

>Instead of _fighting_ over which is best you better go to work and try
>to figure out what really is the point of good sound reproduction.

Been doing that for over thirty years, still got a long way to go! :-)

Curtis L. Coleman

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:13:07 PM10/24/01
to
Rob Gold's experience mirrors mine. I have a Rotel RCD 945BX CD player
(Arcam Alpha 9 amp, B&W DM 302 speakers, Velodyne sub) and a Music Hall MMF2
with an AT OC9 cartridge. Good CDs sound good. Well recorded and mastered
CDs sound great. Poor CDs sound flat and lifeless. Good LPs (e.g., the new
Classic Records "Kind of Blue", Loggins & Messina "Full Sail", etc.) sound
superb; unnoticeable surface noise, huge sense of space, coherent sound.
Poor LPs sound flat and lifeless. Comparing the "Kind of Blue" CD I have to
the Classic LP, the LP seems to have a larger and deeper soundstage.

Obviously, I don't have the ultimate in CD playback. But I don't have the
ultimate in LP playback either. I enjoy listening to music on both media. I
think it needs to be stated, however, that one can enjoy listening to LPs
on a sub-$1,000 system. For those of us with signficant numbers of LPs, the
choice is obvious, and people should not be scared away from resurrecting
their vinyl collection by statements that multi-kilobuck playback equipment
is necessary. Get a good belt-drive turntable and a decent or better
cartridge (Goldring, Grado, Benz, Clearaudio, or the AT OC9 even), clean
your old records and enjoy.

What is equally necessary, however, is a good record cleaning system. For
that, I recommend the Disc Doctor system of brushes and cleaning fluids.

Curt Coleman

Rob Gold <rgvi...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:9r6od...@enews4.newsguy.com...

Fill

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:05:44 PM10/24/01
to
People here will argue jitter and signal to noise ratio all day long
and get into personal, bitter, reductionist discourses about what it
all means. Don't worry about specs. Worry about how it sounds to
you.Go listen to a good analog system at a store and a good digital
one. Better yet, listen to several. You'll probably prefer one or the
other. You don't listen to specs, you listen to music.

P h i l i p

______________________________

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."

- Gore Vidal

PETEKOW

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:05:50 PM10/24/01
to
Now playing- My guitar wants to kill your momma. F. Zappa<< >>

I thought that was Franks kid? D. Zappa?

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:08:28 PM10/24/01
to
rgvi...@aol.com (Rob Gold) writes:

>Stewart Pinkerton wrote:>Because top-quality vinyl rigs are *very* expensive
>(top cartridges
>>alone cost $2-6,000), which puts then well into the aspirational
>>range. Additionally, getting the very best results from this precision

>>electro-mechanical process requires great attention to detail and a


>>lot of 'tweaking'. This qualifies vinyl as high-end, regardless of
>>absolute sound quality.
>
>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>$2,000-$6,000? Hey, Stewart, what magazines are you smoking? My Denon DL103D
>cart cost me US$175 last year.

That otherwise very nice cart (I used one for several years) has a
spherical stylus, and cannot be considered a 'top' cart. You know I'm
talking about Clearaudio, VdH etc.

> Together with a Teres turntable and modified
>Rega arm, my all-in cost is under $1,800, including shipping. Oh, add $24 for
>my DIY wall-mount shelf. You could spend more on an LP playback system, but
>I'm having trouble imagining what sonic benefits you might get (well, OK,
>getting rid of LP's many obvious problems would be nice, but why do the results
>have to sound like CD's?).

Try listening to a Rockport fitted with a Clearaudio Insider, then
tell me it doesn't sound noticeably better than your rig.

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:06:10 PM10/24/01
to
Joseph Oberlander <josephob...@earthlink.net> writes:

>You Know Who ~ wrote:

>> The bottom line is that I have some music on both CD and LP. In most (not
>> all) cases, the LP sounds better.
>
>I agree. Good analog recordings do better justice.

In your opinion, of course. I mostly find the opposite to be the case.

>There is a
>reason studios use high-speed tape several decades after it was
>introduced. Analog in, analog out.

Irrelevant, they just like the sound of the soft limiting offered by
analogue tape. You can hear the effect quite clearly on good CDs made
from analogue tapes, although you'd never know on vinyl.......

>A good record player and stylus will sound incredible.

Yup, I don't find the sound very believable, either....... :-)

>If you have good ears, you can hear some cd players generating the
>tone in steps - this usually requires a stable tone like a pipe organ
>or flute. You can hear the harmonics aligning differently than they
>do in real life.

If this is the case, it's because of poor recording - there is
absolutely nothing in CD technology which would cause such an effect.
Vinyl OTOH has the harmonics wandering about all over the place
because of phase shifts.

> It bothers me because I played woodwinds for ten
>years and know how they sound - and CD just doesn't have RL sparkle
>at higher frequencies because it takes incredibly fast sampling rates
>to capture upper-range harmonics and CD is just not quite fast enough
>for most insturmental music.

What, a 20kHz bandwidth is not enough for music? It's wider than
you'll find on 99.9% of LPs.............

>Frequency and dynamic range isn't
>everything. Neither is the absolute lack of a few clicks and pops.
>Sonic accuracy to the original signal is.
>
>I can understand - the technology is over ten years old and they had
>to make serious compromises back then based upon the available
>technology.

Seious compromises? CD captures *everything* that is on any analogue
master tape up to more than 20kHz, which is above the limit of hearing
of the vast majority of adults. How is this a 'serious compromise'?

>If you spend time around samplers you know this syndrome - the
>waveforms are plainly jagged on a scope compared to a pure analog
>signal. Most of the time, though, you don't get a tone all by itself
>in music and adapt to how a CD sounds over the years.

This is utter rubbish! The output of a CD player contains *no*
jaggedness, this is just flat-out WRONG!

>Now, MP3s can thankfully sample at a high enough rate to do it
>better, so it may well be the next step and come closer.

Shame about the heavy compression that throws away 90% of the data...

Denis

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:08:34 PM10/24/01
to
The real undistorted dynamic range of RMS values(which really
reflects the difference between piano and forte) of current CD
format(44 kHz/16bits) is about 20 dB. The acoustic guitar has a
dynamic range of 26 dB. Virtually nothing can be recorded on this
format without any degree of compression.

From other side, vinyl as a recording medium has no limitations on
dynamic and frequency range. These limitations are originated first
from the playback, and second, from the recording equipment. The
playback limitations now are gone together with piezo cartridges!
Modern vinil releases in fact handle absolutely incredible dynamics,
and this is a pure analog recording medium. Even 24 bit digital
formats cannot compete. Need one say more?

Dennis.

jim <j...@tasmail.com> wrote in message news:<9r2ad...@enews1.newsguy.com>...

> Folks I need enlightenment.
>
> As a newcomer to this group I have been reading it with interest over
> the past few months and I have to admit I am staggered by what is
> posted here:
>
> The number of posts concerning turntables and vinyl!
>

> How can something that consists of scraping rock through plastic to
> reproduce sounds that have numerous clicks and pops, limited
> frequency reponse, wow and flutter (not to mention little tolerance
> to people walking past) be considered as "high-end"?
>

> The actual ability of vinyl to reproduce sounds across the audible
> spectrum is pretty poor. To compensate for this the bottom end has to
> be
>
> boosted and compression has to be applied to make it sound halfway
> decent. Now I do not have a problem if you like listening to music
> with lots of compression - but can it *really* be considered
> "high-end"?
>

> If I turned up here and started a discussion about this top value
> three-in-one portable sound system with 1000 watts of power
> (pmpo)that I
>
> got for $300 you would all tell me to go away, so could someone
> *please* explain:
>

> Why is vinyl considered high-end?
>

> Jim
>
> P.S. This is a genuine post and not trolling for a big argument. I do

Steven Sullivan

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 1:55:03 PM10/24/01
to
Paul van der Hulst <pa...@home.nl> wrote:
: us something about the audio quality. An example: for their new SACD/DVD

: player, the engineers at PHILIPS made 15 modifications to their design
: based purely on listening tests. Measurements revealed no differences at
: all.

THis is incredible. IF there are no measurements to correlate to the
differences, how did they know what to change?

--
-S.
The 80's was a really hard thing to put up with. -- Steve Howe

fathom

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 2:15:52 PM10/24/01
to
ste...@pinkertons.fsnet.co.uk (Stewart Pinkerton) wrote in
news:9r6se...@enews2.newsguy.com:

> Shame about the heavy compression that throws away 90% of the
> data...

Using 256 or 320 kb/s encoding is throwing out approx. 75% and
66% of the data, respectively. Music sounds pretty good at those
bitrates.

Also, using lossless encoding it is possible to reduce filesizes
by 45% while retaining 100% of the data. This is where the
future lies.

Graeme Jaye

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 3:02:05 PM10/24/01
to
On Wed, 24 Oct 2001 16:34:42 GMT, Ron-A...@magmar.freeserve.co.uk
wrote:

>Most analogue LPs actually come from tape recorders that don't have a
>"continuous signal" - the bias frequency certainly sets an upper
>frequency limit.

Nonsense! Of course an analogue tape recorder provides an analogue
output.

Upper frequency limit is mainly established as a combination of tape
speed and head gap - it has nothing to do with the biasing.

The bias signal (which, incidentally, is sinusoidal and certainly
continuous) is there to push the recorded signal onto the linear part
of the hysteresis curve of the recording medium - ie, rust :-)

graem...@iname.com

Audio Restoration and CD Repair
http://www.personal-cd.com

Steven Sullivan

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 3:02:13 PM10/24/01
to
Rob Gold <rgvi...@aol.com> wrote:

: 1) The Rube Goldberg contraptions known as vinyl LPs have no right


: sounding good at all, yet at their best they do. 2) Theoretically,
: CDs *should* sound magnificent, but too often in my experience they
: are flat, two-dimensional, uninvolving and lifeless-sounding. Go
: figure. 3) For the time being I'll keep building my LP collection on
: the cheap, and buy CD's (or whatever) to fulfill my new-music jones.

4) By deduction from (2) , if even *one* CD does *not* sound flat,
two-dimensional , uninvolving and lifeless, then the fault cannot be
in the compact disc medium or digital audio per se.

Richard D Pierce

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 3:02:28 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r6si...@enews2.newsguy.com>,

Denis <denis_af...@mail.ru> wrote:
>The real undistorted dynamic range of RMS values(which really
>reflects the difference between piano and forte) of current CD
>format(44 kHz/16bits) is about 20 dB. The acoustic guitar has a
>dynamic range of 26 dB. Virtually nothing can be recorded on this
>format without any degree of compression.

And where on this good earth did you come up with THIS piece of
utter techno-rubbish? I hope you didn't pay for this
informati because, even free, it's a bad deal, because it is
totally incorrect.

Having, in fact measured innumerable systems, I have yet to see
a 16 bit 44 kHz system that had less than about 86 dB dynamic
range, quite a few that attained the teoreitical 93 or so dB
with dither, and ALL of them with dither achieve narrow-band
dynamic ranges well in excess of 96 dB.

From other side, vinyl as a recording medium has no limitations on
>dynamic and frequency range.

Thus, you are claiming that an LP has infinite dynamic range and
infinite bandwidth, right?

If that's youre claim, then it requires that LP system use
infinite energy and must exist for infinite time.

Clearly, this is absurd, as are your claims of dynmaic range and
frequency response. These absurd requirements simply follow
logically from your absurd claims.

>These limitations are originated first
>from the playback, and second, from the recording equipment. The
>playback limitations now are gone together with piezo cartridges!
>Modern vinil releases in fact handle absolutely incredible dynamics,
>and this is a pure analog recording medium. Even 24 bit digital
>formats cannot compete. Need one say more?

Yes. Your assertions are nonsense and are unsupportable.

Where's the obilgatory smiley, because I can't believe anyone
would post such technically incorrect with a straight face.

--
| Dick Pierce |
| Professional Audio Development |
| 1-781/826-4953 Voice and FAX |
| DPi...@world.std.com |

Howard Ferstler

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 3:02:32 PM10/24/01
to
Denis wrote:
>
> The real undistorted dynamic range of RMS values(which really
> reflects the difference between piano and forte) of current CD
> format(44 kHz/16bits) is about 20 dB.

Where on earth did you get this information?

> From other side, vinyl as a recording medium has no limitations on
> dynamic and frequency range.

Are you saying that if the mastering technician adjusts the
cutter that makes the disc so that the surface noise will be
inaudible during quiet passages that the disc will have
grooves that will be trackable by even the best phono
cartridge? I don't think so.

The fact is that if a disc is cut so that the loudest
passages are trackable, the surface noise will still be
audible, and considerably louder than what you find with the
CD. That takes care of your dynamic-range argument. As for
frequency range, how many LP records have significant
response to beyond 15 kHz. Most engineers do not let their
cutters work up above that point, because it would possibly
cause damage. Besides, there is no musical reason to go much
higher, anyway.

> These limitations are originated first
> from the playback, and second, from the recording equipment. The
> playback limitations now are gone together with piezo cartridges!
> Modern vinil releases in fact handle absolutely incredible dynamics,
> and this is a pure analog recording medium.

Just what do you think allows an LP with a S/N ratio of 60
dB to satisfactorily handle orchestral program sources with
dynamic ranges in excess of 70 dB?

> Even 24 bit digital
> formats cannot compete. Need one say more?

Well, yes they should, since you are dead wrong in your
comments about the dynamic range of the LP and the CD.

Howard Ferstler

Chris Johnson

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 4:35:28 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r6se...@enews2.newsguy.com>,
ste...@pinkertons.fsnet.co.uk wrote:

> Seious compromises? CD captures *everything* that is on any analogue
> master tape up to more than 20kHz, which is above the limit of hearing
> of the vast majority of adults. How is this a 'serious compromise'?

This is an absurd claim. Talk to some mastering engineers before
mouthing off in this manner... you've got no idea how foolish that sounds
to someone who actually has the job of doing the capturing.

It does not. It's hard work to capture _most_ of the openness, ease and
tonal richness of even 15 ips tape, and the professional standard is 30
ips half-inch two-track tape. I question if you've ever heard _or_
measured this.

Perhaps you were referring to the Philips cassette?

Chris Johnson

Richard D Pierce

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 4:45:59 PM10/24/01
to
On Wed, 24 Oct 2001 16:34:42 GMT, Ron-A...@magmar.freeserve.co.uk
wrote:
>Most analogue LPs actually come from tape recorders that don't have a
>"continuous signal" - the bias frequency certainly sets an upper
>frequency limit.

Uh, no. If that were true, all we would need to do is change the
bias oscillator frequency and we would change the high frequency
limit. And that CERTAINLY is not the case at all.

What it comes down to, and this is hard for a lot of analog-only
proponents to swallow because it is non-intuitive, is that the
output of a discrete time-sampled system is just as smooth and
continuous as the output of a continuous-time analog system of
the same bandwidth. To put it in more practical terms: if your
tape recorder has the same bandwidth as your CD player, the CD
player will be just as continuous as the tape recorder. If your
LP has the same bandwidth as you CD, the output from CD will be
just as smooth and continuous as the output from the LP,
REGARDLESS of the way in which the signal was originally
recorded.

Contrary to much of the bunko surround these topics, some of
which we have seen repeated YET AGAIN by respondants to this
thread, the output of a CD DOES NOT have discrete stairsteps,
the output of a LP DOES NOT have more resolution in time, and
all that.

You may like one over the other for whatever reasons you want,
and no one will argue with your choice. WHat WILL be argued with
is spouting such nonsense as "stairsteps from CD's" and "the
infinite resolution of analog" and "the phase distortion of the
RIAA curve" and any other such examples of uninformed technical
nonsense.

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:45:54 PM10/24/01
to
tgr...@maig.com (fathom) writes:

>ste...@pinkertons.fsnet.co.uk (Stewart Pinkerton) wrote in
>news:9r6se...@enews2.newsguy.com:
>
>> Shame about the heavy compression that throws away 90% of the
>> data...
>
>Using 256 or 320 kb/s encoding is throwing out approx. 75% and
>66% of the data, respectively. Music sounds pretty good at those
>bitrates.

Shame that the *vast* majority of MP3 files are 128kb/s.........

>Also, using lossless encoding it is possible to reduce filesizes
>by 45% while retaining 100% of the data. This is where the
>future lies.

However, this (MLP) has no relevance to MP3.

Richard D Pierce

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:59:11 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r78le$uts$1...@bourbaki.localdomain>,

Chris Johnson <jinx...@sover.net> wrote:
>In article <9r6se...@enews2.newsguy.com>,
>ste...@pinkertons.fsnet.co.uk wrote:
>
>> Seious compromises? CD captures *everything* that is on any analogue
>> master tape up to more than 20kHz, which is above the limit of hearing
>> of the vast majority of adults. How is this a 'serious compromise'?
>
> This is an absurd claim. Talk to some mastering engineers before
>mouthing off in this manner... you've got no idea how foolish that sounds
>to someone who actually has the job of doing the capturing.

Well, I, for one, HAVE and DO talk to a number of mastering
engineers all the time. And quite a number of them flatly
diagree with your mischaracterizations of their opinions and
flatly state the contrary of what you are claiming. I would only
refer you, for example, to the late Mr. Wiener, who mastered
some of the finest classical recordings in ANY medium, who
clearly contradicts what you claim.

>
> It does not. It's hard work capture _most_ of the openness, ease and


>tonal richness of even 15 ips tape, and the professional standard is 30
>ips half-inch two-track tape. I question if you've ever heard _or_
>measured this.

You may question it all you want, but I and quite a few others
have seen instances where self-proclaimed astute audiophiles
have been unable to distiguish the direct feed from such a tape
recorder from a 44.1/16 bit encode/decode process, using
equipment of their choice to listen.

I thus, in light of these result, question whether YOU'VE heard
to many mastering engineers or heard and measured the results
you claim.

Chris Johnson

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:39 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r6roi$m3k$1...@bourbaki.localdomain>,

ste...@pinkertons.fsnet.co.uk wrote:
> Contrary to several statements in this thread however, the vast
> majority of vinyl *is* compressed and peak limited, plus it's rolled
> off above 15kHz to avoid overheating the cutter

OK, quick question for Stew here: what order of filter would that
be, Stewart? Do you understand the concept of filter slope? Given a
broadband input of 10-100Khz, how many db down would you figure 60K
would be- infinite?

> while bass is summed
> to mono below 80Hz to preserve groove depth, and rolled off below 40Hz
> to maximise playing time.

By the same token, the vast majority of CDs from the last 5-10
years or so are produced through Pro Tools' undithered 16 bit output
buss, and do you hear us analog fans complaining?

Well- yes, of course you do. Because that sounds pretty awful and
has actually given Pro Tools itself a somewhat unjustified bad name
among pro audio types. But my point is, most audiophiles either don't
get the records like that, or get 'em and eventually sell them or
throw them away. In particular, the audiophile warhorse vinyl records
do not have these characteristics. You're talking about teen pop
disposable records- you're talking about a lot of records which
audiophiles would run screaming from.

I could as easily give a list of CDs which have been horribly
maimed in sound for the sake of loudness- did you know that the big
secret weapon from a couple years ago up to now has been digital
distortion, nothing less than brutally clipping the waveform AFTER
hard peak limiting, so that it becomes intentionally flat-topped and
puts out fierce crunchy distortion?

One advantage of vinyl is that you _can't_ do that to it: you
can't peaklimit that hard without busting the needle. Instead of
fighting to defend the dubious honor of the CD, maybe you'd better
keep an eye out for what's being done to it, because it's been a
steadily worsening progression- and the direction it's leading will
have any schmuck off the street insisting that vinyl has more dynamic
range than CD in level-matched comparisons, simply because the CD is
_destroyed_ with incredibly aggressive peak limiting until it has no
dynamics at all, nothing but 'loud'.

That is what lurks out there waiting to exact karmic vengeance on
your generalizations of LP bass-summing/rolling-off habits. In all
seriousness- don't even go there. ;)

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:25 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r737...@enews3.newsguy.com>, Steven Sullivan

<sull...@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> wrote:
> Rob Gold <rgvi...@aol.com> wrote:
> : 1) The Rube Goldberg contraptions known as vinyl LPs have no right
> : sounding good at all, yet at their best they do. 2) Theoretically,
> : CDs *should* sound magnificent, but too often in my experience they
> : are flat, two-dimensional, uninvolving and lifeless-sounding. Go
> : figure. 3) For the time being I'll keep building my LP collection on
> : the cheap, and buy CD's (or whatever) to fulfill my new-music jones.
>
> 4) By deduction from (2) , if even *one* CD does *not* sound flat,
> two-dimensional , uninvolving and lifeless, then the fault cannot be
> in the compact disc medium or digital audio per se.

Worth commenting on- the same is true for analog, of course. If
even one vinyl record (a direct-to-disc extravaganza?) substantially
outperforms the usually dismal technical performance cited, then...

To me, the interesting question becomes: what needs to be done, in
each format, to accomplish this- in particular, what can make each
format reach towards the strong suit of the other?

For vinyl and analog in general, keeping a simple signal path
seems to be the proper way- and a lot of the goofy audiophile
practices come into play in, I think, a _cumulative_ fashion: if none
of them make a hearable difference but all of them put together
amount to a hearable difference, that's a win. The first thing to go
is frequency extension and noise level.

For digital, the situation becomes very interesting- cumulative
mathematical distortions take on extreme importance, and the first
thing to go is soundstage depth and image dimensionality. There's a
good litmus test: Bob Katz of Digital Domain invented what's called a
'bitscope', which simply links bits of digital audio to LEDs: for
instance, running CD audio through a 24-bit bitscope, only the top 16
bits will light (anything over half volume will make the top bit
light, by the way). If you haven't heard of a bitscope, you're not
doing professional work in digital sound mastering (at least not on
the Internet!) and if you can't see why one would be needed, you are
_way_ too trusting. One Yamaha mixer Bob tested sent only 20 bits of
information out the SPDIF output, and 24 out the AES/PDU output.
Another DAW exhibited a veiled quality that was eventually traced to
a one-bit level offset on positive wavefronts only as the signal
crossed zero- literally, crossover distortion in digital alone, due
to a programming mistake! <http://www.digido.com/morebits.html>.
Having mastery of this sort of thing is what's needed to bring out
the maximum soundstage and dimensionality of CDs, and the usual
trappings of audiophilia are no help at all...

It's an evolving situation, and neither 'side' are standing still.
For every Andy Rockport on the analog end, making quarter-ton
turntables, there's a Bob Katz pushing digital designers to use
48-bit floating point for the internal math of digital audio
workstations, minimizing the inevitable mathematical errors.

The only difference is in the character of the error when these
things aren't done. Rob's done a good job of describing what bad or
mediocre digital sounds like. This is the digital equivalent of a
plastic turntable from Radio Shack, and the problems are known and
understood (though sometimes hotly denied by people who want to
insist all digital is perfect- and they really should be more
grateful). As both analog and digital approach perfection, they grow
closer to each other in sound- from opposite extremes. The trick is
to not try to improve either by emulating the FLAWS of the other.

Chris Johnson

Loiskelly1

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:33 PM10/24/01
to
Underestimating my age by at least 20 years, Petekow offered-

>Now playing- My guitar wants to kill your momma. F. Zappa<< >>
>
>I thought that was Franks kid? D. Zappa?
>

D. Zappa did indeed record a cover of the aforementioned tune, which
first appeared on daddy's album "Weasels Ripped My Flesh".

Now playing-
Catacombae Sepulchrum Romanum, from Jean Guillou's infamous organ
transcription of Mussorgsky's Pictures, on Dorian.
Now there's something you can't hear on vinyl!!!

jj, DBT thug and skeptical philalethist

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:05 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r737...@enews3.newsguy.com>,

Graeme Jaye <graem...@iname.com> wrote:
>On Wed, 24 Oct 2001 16:34:42 GMT, Ron-A...@magmar.freeserve.co.uk
>wrote:

>>Most analogue LPs actually come from tape recorders that don't have a
>>"continuous signal" - the bias frequency certainly sets an upper
>>frequency limit.

>Nonsense! Of course an analogue tape recorder provides an analogue
>output.

Really now, this is relevant how? The statemetn made by
Ron Ardell is very simple, the bias frequency sets an
upper limit.

DO you have any evidence otherwise? Do you know why stereo FM
tuners have "subcarrier traps", and the like?

He's right, you know.

>Upper frequency limit is mainly established as a combination of tape
>speed and head gap - it has nothing to do with the biasing.

I see, and if I put in a signal at 90% of the biasing frequency,
you assert I won't get anything out at 10% of the bias frequency?

Really?

Try it!
--
Copyright j...@research.att.com 2001, all rights reserved, except transmission
by USENET and like facilities granted. This notice must be included. Any
use by a provider charging in any way for the IP represented in and by this
article and any inclusion in print or other media are specifically prohibited.

N. Thornton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:10 PM10/24/01
to
There is one rather major point not yet mentioned. A heck of a lot of
music is available on vinyl, from the 1950s to the present day. Far
more than on CD. And most of us already have lots of vinyl, and want
to hear it!

So if you want to enjoy your music, you need vinyl. With CD you won't
hear it at all, as it just wont play properly when you jam the record
into the CD player ;)

This has to be one big reason to keep using vinyl.

The first requirement of a high end system is that it can play your
music. If it can't, it's not high end in my book, its just
pretentious.

Vinyl has many technical shortcomings, yet surprisingly it still seems
to sound superb some of the time. For some reason all those sources of
distortion just don't seem to be ones my ears are too worried about -
except for the clicks and pops. I have watched a record do some very
non textbook things and still sound pretty good. I have found that
pitch accuracy isn't the most important thing after all.

Those of us who've put the work into setting up a decent turntable
know that it is *possible* to get excellent results from vinyl. But
most decks people own are pretty awful. Vinyl has such a poor
reputation simply because it is so easy to get it wrong, and quite
difficult to get right. Add all those scratchy abused records, and its
no wonder people usually go for CD.

BTW CD is *far* more complex than vinyl, but the complexities are all
hidden from the user. With vinyl you have to play with the small
number of complexities yourself.

Vinyl is very primitive technology, yet for some reason it just seems
to shine on.

I have masses of vinyl I bought second hand, of music that is simply
not available on CD.

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:43 PM10/24/01
to
jinx...@sover.net (Chris Johnson) writes:

>In article <9r6se...@enews2.newsguy.com>,
>ste...@pinkertons.fsnet.co.uk wrote:
>
>> Seious compromises? CD captures *everything* that is on any analogue
>> master tape up to more than 20kHz, which is above the limit of hearing
>> of the vast majority of adults. How is this a 'serious compromise'?
>
> This is an absurd claim. Talk to some mastering engineers before
>mouthing off in this manner... you've got no idea how foolish that sounds
>to someone who actually has the job of doing the capturing.

I have done, often. Please specify *exactly* what is *not* captured.
Try to avoid artistic hand-waving, and get down to specifics.

> It does not. It's hard work to capture _most_ of the openness, ease and
>tonal richness of even 15 ips tape, and the professional standard is 30
>ips half-inch two-track tape. I question if you've ever heard _or_
>measured this.

I certainly have, for many years. Care to provide some numbers to back
up your rhetoric?

> Perhaps you were referring to the Philips cassette?

No, 30 ips 2-track 1/2 inch masters. Do you understand anything about
the real limits of such a medium?

Loiskelly1

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 6:04:16 PM10/24/01
to
>The real undistorted dynamic range of RMS values(which really
>reflects the difference between piano and forte) of current CD
>format(44 kHz/16bits) is about 20 dB. The acoustic guitar has a
>dynamic range of 26 dB. Virtually nothing can be recorded on this
>format without any degree of compression.

Earlier in this thread, someone, quite accidently I am sure, claimed
that vinyl could extend way out to 30cps. Even though he clearly
meant 30 kHz, he was promptly ripped a second sphincter.
Accordingly, you may want to retract/rethink/reconsider the above.

Each bit added to the word length gives about 6 dB of dynamic range
(20 times the base 10 logarithm of 2, or 6.02). A 24 bit word length
provides a dynamic range of better than 144 dB, which not only covers
the region from the threshold of audibility to the painfully
intolerable, but will even accommodate the needs of that blaring,
raucous, stentorian, and earsplitting instrument of torture, the
dread acoustic guitar.

"Sarcasm- I've never been very good at it, but I hear it can be
terribly effective."
-Slartibartfast

Stewart Pinkerton

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 5:48:52 PM10/24/01
to
denis_af...@mail.ru (Denis) writes:

>The real undistorted dynamic range of RMS values(which really
>reflects the difference between piano and forte) of current CD
>format(44 kHz/16bits) is about 20 dB. The acoustic guitar has a
>dynamic range of 26 dB. Virtually nothing can be recorded on this
>format without any degree of compression.

I don't know where you got this weird stuff from, but the reality is
that the *average* CD has 90-93dB of available dynamic range.

From other side, vinyl as a recording medium has no limitations on
>dynamic and frequency range.

The dynamic range from surface noise of the finest virgin vinyl to the
'hottest' peak cutting level of 'killer' Telarcs is around 80dB in the
midrange, and significantly lower at the frequency extremes.

Frequency range is *in practice* limited to around 40Hz at the low end
(to allow more than ten minutes per side), and 15kHz or so at the top
end (to stop the cutter head melting!). A *tiny* minority of
'audiophile' vinyl has exceeded this, with resulting playing times as
low as 8 minutes a side on some direct-cut Sheffields, and half-speed
mastering on the defunct MFSL label.

No available vinyl however can exceed 20Hz-30kHz or 80dB dynamic
range, which are hardly examples of 'no limitations'.

> These limitations are originated first
>from the playback, and second, from the recording equipment. The
>playback limitations now are gone together with piezo cartridges!
>Modern vinil releases in fact handle absolutely incredible dynamics,
>and this is a pure analog recording medium. Even 24 bit digital
>formats cannot compete. Need one say more?

One might say something accurate, which would be nice..........

Joseph Oberlander

unread,
Oct 24, 2001, 7:36:10 PM10/24/01
to
Howard Ferstler wrote:
>
> Denis wrote:
> >
> > The real undistorted dynamic range of RMS values(which really
> > reflects the difference between piano and forte) of current CD
> > format(44 kHz/16bits) is about 20 dB.
>
> Where on earth did you get this information?
>
> > From other side, vinyl as a recording medium has no limitations on
> > dynamic and frequency range.
>
> Are you saying that if the mastering technician adjusts the
> cutter that makes the disc so that the surface noise will be
> inaudible during quiet passages that the disc will have
> grooves that will be trackable by even the best phono
> cartridge? I don't think so.
>
> The fact is that if a disc is cut so that the loudest
> passages are trackable, the surface noise will still be
> audible, and considerably louder than what you find with the
> CD. That takes care of your dynamic-range argument. As for
> frequency range, how many LP records have significant
> response to beyond 15 kHz. Most engineers do not let their
> cutters work up above that point, because it would possibly
> cause damage. Besides, there is no musical reason to go much
> higher, anyway.

So, given that:
- Sounds less than 20db are usually not present in recorded music.
- Sound over 80db are not usually present either.
- 40hz is pretty much the limit for musical recordings.
- 15khz is pretty much the top of most music for both formats.
- People can't hear the difference between .1 db and 1db...

I see it as a 6 of 1 type argument...

Pro:
CDs do have a benefit from the point of durability and ease of
manufacture. Like MP3s, they sound acceptable with even
very inexpensive equipment and sound roughly the same in all
players. This is great for marketing and use as a format for
music sales.
Con:
Cd's suffer greatly from poor engineering and mastering and are
often "slapped onto the disc" as if proper attention isn't
required(the "digital solves everything" view)
They also have a problem of a too low sampling rate.

My bet is on DVDs for music in a few years.
They can encode MP3s with no loss/compression and 512 bit+
encoding and still fit over 80 minutes of music plus extras on the
video tracks. Nice.

5-channel audio would also be a reality - not the compressed
junk on movies, but real 5-channel recordings of symphonies and
such at 512 bit or better.

Joseph Oberlander

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Oct 24, 2001, 7:22:18 PM10/24/01
to
Stewart Pinkerton wrote:

> Seious compromises? CD captures *everything* that is on any analogue
> master tape up to more than 20kHz, which is above the limit of hearing
> of the vast majority of adults. How is this a 'serious compromise'?

You need to do some research about sampling rates. CD can do 20Khz,
but the sampling suffers. Remeber - this is a 15+yr old
technology now and when they made the standard, it was for practical
(marketing and legngth) reasons and not audio quality.

The sampling quality of high-frequency harmonics makes a dramatic
impact on subtle things like imaging and whether or not it sounds
somewhat like a live performance.

> >If you spend time around samplers you know this syndrome - the
> >waveforms are plainly jagged on a scope compared to a pure analog
> >signal. Most of the time, though, you don't get a tone all by itself
> >in music and adapt to how a CD sounds over the years.
>
> This is utter rubbish! The output of a CD player contains *no*
> jaggedness, this is just flat-out WRONG!

Then you need to spend some time with a real Oscilloscope.



> >Now, MP3s can thankfully sample at a high enough rate to do it
> >better, so it may well be the next step and come closer.
>
> Shame about the heavy compression that throws away 90% of the data...

You can record the signal with no compression if you want. What you
gain is a huge increase in sampling quality. Of course, the file
tends to be 20+ megs a minute...(grin)

jj, DBT thug and skeptical philalethist

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Oct 24, 2001, 7:22:40 PM10/24/01
to
In article <9r799k$ved$1...@bourbaki.localdomain>,

Richard D Pierce <DPi...@world.std.com> wrote:
>If that were true, all we would need to do is change the
>bias oscillator frequency and we would change the high frequency
>limit. And that CERTAINLY is not the case at all.

It's also true that if you get anywhere near a
bias frequency input, you'll get, due to nonlinearity,
something hideously close to aliasing.

However, increasing the bias frequency ALONE won't do a
thing for the HF response of the average tape deck, indeed.

David Collins

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Oct 24, 2001, 8:33:52 PM10/24/01
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