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I'm a believer! Lp's really do sound better!

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by DEAN DE FURIA, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. DEAN DE FURIA

    DEAN DE FURIA Well-Known Member

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    I have a large LP collection that I have had for years. I re-bought most of my favorites on CD's over the years and almost forgot about my LP's until I came across an HK Citation 1 Tube amp (early 60's) and set up a dedicated 2 channel system away from my home theater. So, I dragged out the old Thorens, bought a new Grado Cartridge, set it up with a GEODISC and sat down to listen.

    WOW!

    I can't believe the sound coming out of my speakers. So much warmth with a huge soundstage. Acoustic songs sound like they are in the room. I'm re-discovering my LP's.

    Even CD's sound better with the tubes. But, it's the LP's that are the real stars of the show.

    I encourage you brave ones to give it a try. Get a decent 2nd hand belt-drive turntable and a cheap Grado Cartridge.

    Used records are available in any major city.

    Gotta go now, have to flip the sides over!
     
  2. Scooter

    Scooter Well-Known Member

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    I have wondered from time to time..if you took your LP collection and copied to CDR/CDRW, would that same "warm" tone be captured by the CD? Would be the best of both worlds.
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    My CDs of records sound very good but lack the "air" of LP records.
     
  4. Dylan Savage

    Dylan Savage Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if it's the inaccuracy of LP's combined with all of the dust and junk on the surface of it causing errors which makes it sound "live" rather than the perfect digital copy of the studio master which you get with a CD. Myself, I prefer the CD, but I've never liked concerts either.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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  6. Miles_W

    Miles_W Well-Known Member

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    This is a timely thread. I picked up a phonostage a couple of weeks ago and last week snagged an Oracle Delphi MkI with SME iv tone arm. I dragged out a couple of LP's and purchased a copy of Enya's Watermark on Vinyl... Wow [​IMG] wipe that big stupid grin off my face. I think the issue has been discussed on the forum in another area but the biggest difference is the way the stuff is recorded/mixed. I think Vince M has provided great insight into this. All the material on CD's seems to be compressed and despite far superior s/n ratio they seem to lack in dynamic range. Listening to Hotel california on cd and then on lp the drums seem to play back at a completely different volume level on the lp in the back ground so to speak... on the cd everything seems to be the same... it is difficult to describe but very easy to hear! congrats on your rediscovery I know it is bringing me a lot of enjoyment!!!
     
  7. Scooter

    Scooter Well-Known Member

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    I am not totally versed in digital audio so pardon my ignorance. My understanding is that CD/Digital recordings are an exact copy of what was recorded. I know that from one digital source copied to the next they are identical, but I am drawing a difference here. SO..given that...does the mechanism that digital uses for recording take away nuance and such from the source? Not a digital mix mind you but a copy from your LP to CDR or DAT.

    MP3 and MiniDisc from what I understand DO alter the input from any given source..but my impression is that CDR and DAT are supposed to capture it all.

    What am I missing here?
     
  8. John Royster

    John Royster Well-Known Member

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    Scooter,

    Digital audio is NEVER an exact copy of the analog waveform that is music. Sound is an analog waveform. When you digitize it you use electronics to try and capture as best you can that analog waveform.

    SACD and DVD-A are trying to overcome some of these limitations.

    Anybody that is into audio really owes it to themselves to own a decent turntable/cartridge. You will be amazed.
     
  9. Scooter

    Scooter Well-Known Member

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    Ok..so if I understand this:

    Digital source to digital source = exact copy

    Analog to Digital = Reasonable copy but not identical

    Digital Recording-Digital Master-Digital Medium =exact reproduction of said performance?
     
  10. John Royster

    John Royster Well-Known Member

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    scooter, you're real close. but only if we had digital ears. [​IMG]
     
  11. Bob_L

    Bob_L Well-Known Member

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    CD's sample the sound 48,000 times a second. The operative word is "sample." Whatever sound is occurring between those samples is thrown away.

    LP is an analog medium which means it records continuously. While it may have some limitations in dynamic range, it does not throw away any of the sound.

    As a result, LP's seem to reproduce some of the details of the performance -- in terms of timbre, subtlety and "air" -- that CD's do not. Personally, I find that LP's lead to less listener fatigue than CD.

    Unfortunately, LP is a problematic delivery medium prone to damage, dirt and manufacturing flaws. To appreciate the quality of analog recording, you really ought to compare an analog master tape with a digital master tape. Still, LP does reproduce most of the merits of analog.

    Even when the CD format was being created, many folks were questioning whether the 48K sampling rate was high enough. However, the technology of the time really didn't allow for a higher rate for a commercially viable product. As higher sampling rate formats are developed -- such as SACD and DVD-A (and higher) -- we'll get close to replicating the accuracy and subtlety of analog recording in the digital medium.

    CD's are -- as Scooter points out -- an exact copy of what was recorded. But a digital recording is NOT an EXACT copy of what was performed. Just a very good facsimile.
     
  12. Scooter

    Scooter Well-Known Member

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    Ok..next level. How about the laser read turntables? I know the cost of these were astronomical..but did these find the balance as it were. Reproducing everything an LP could without surface noises and stuff?
     
  13. John Kotches

    John Kotches Well-Known Member

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    Guys,

    Let's clear up one thing. Neither digital nor analog recording are perfect. They both have tolerances, and neither one will ever exactly reproduce the original event.

    In terms of transfer / transport, etc, etc, etc there are issues that analog has which digital does not. Generational degradation is the primary one. Others include sensitivity to tape head alignment and media wear and tear. Have you ever made a photocopy of a copy of a copy? Nothing illustrates this concept better. Granted the generational losses in analog tape copying are not as extreme, but they are there.

    Digital can make perfect copies generation after generation after generation. Digital is rife with its own imperfections though, so it isn't anywhere near the perfection it is (at times) touted as having.

    They are both still improving, and I think this type of competition improves them more rapidly than if only one existed. Perhaps this is an argument for SACD and DVD-A remaining viable -- both will improve in response to the other.

    Regards,
     
  14. John Royster

    John Royster Well-Known Member

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    John Kotches,

    Exactly!

     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    I've always preferred the sound of really well-mastered vinyl LPs--especially those that were half-speed mastered from high-quality source tapes. And those direct-to-disc recordings from small audiophile labels of the late '70s and early '80s were awesome.

    A big caveat, though (other than vinyl's tendency to wear out): inner-groove distortion. Even with a straightline-tracking tonearm, the inner portion of the recording sounds constricted at the frequency extremes; it's RIAA equalization doing the best it can to cope with an unavoidable fact of geometery and physics.

    As for the "sound" of vacuum tubes, this former high-end audio enthusiast long ago came to the conclusion that tube distortion simply sounds more palatable than solid-state distortion.
     
  16. Bob Segno

    Bob Segno Well-Known Member

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    Ease of operation for CD's and DVD's are surely a big selling point, not to mention great sound. I bought my first cd player in 1985, a Sony 520es, which I still use today.The sound ....fantastic,and sooo easy to use with all these new features.BUT, as my 18 year old daughter says, well, I guess your Technics turntable playing (of course in Good condition)records and your Reel to Reel Teac do sound pretty darn good as well. Even that "old" Nakamichi DR-10 sounds damn good. But the bottom line is people today can't be bothered with albums and the bit of care and maintinence involved, or the threading of a tape around the heads to a takeup reel...Too much work for her and most other people, even if they admit that YES analog does sound better. To me I get in my recording moods, find a new MFSL record and transfering it to the Teac or Nak just for fun.....and the great analog sound.
     
  17. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Well-Known Member

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    It is not which you prefer but which is more accurate,
    most people believe CD's are more accurate.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    CD and vinyl LP should both be "accurate" if properly produced. The specifications, though, seem to favor CD. But the final listen often gives the nod to vinyl. (Why use "LP" to differentiate vinyly from CD? If anything, CDs can play longer!)

    There's something "airy" and visceral about the sound of a well-recorded vinyl production. Anyone here remember Sheffield Labs? Now those were state-of-the-art records.
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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  20. DEAN DE FURIA

    DEAN DE FURIA Well-Known Member

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    To answer a previous question, I have found that Cd's that I make fron LP's tp a Pioneer Pdr-99 stand-alone recorder sound about 80-85% as good as the LP it came from. It lacks some of the presence or "air" of the original, but still sounds better to me than the commercial CD. For example, I recorded a MFSL "Fleetwood Mac" LP to CD and it sounds MUCH better than the store bought CD. The factory CD has bloated bass, and is very strident to my ears. Makes you think that if I can make a VERY good sounding CD from vinyl, why can't WB make an excellent CD from a master tape?

    Another point: If you really want to hear what's on your LPs, get a "Nitty Gritty" or similar record cleaning machine.It is probably the best "tweak" I come accross to maximize the sound of even a marginal LP.
     

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