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Dave Owen
2005-02-17, 13:25
>> The true Audiophiles are in the
>> main still on vinyl because CD's "don't have the same warm feel".

> Rubbish. Sorry, that's too polite: bollocks. Early digital technology
> was not well understood and did indeed sound poor. Current technology
is
> far better and sounds comparable to "quality" vinyl.

Here's an interesting story: After more than fifteen years without a
record player, I just obtained a nice old Technics SL-D20 record player.
I mosey'd down to the store, bought a new (cheap) needle, and hooked it
up. I then threw an old (but good condition) Elton John record onto the
platter and started listening.

It sounded WONDERFUL. Vibrant. Really, really good. Crisp. Real. I was
actually expecting it to sound lousy by comparison to the latest
technology, and I was surprised. We're not talking about a really good
stereo system, either (although it's not a bad one). Just for snicks and
grins, I played the same album as a CD on the same stereo, and it
sounded -cleaner- (no pops or hiss) but not nearly as vibrant and crisp.

Without telling my wife of my experience, I let her know the player was
hooked up and dropped the needle on the album (it's one of her
favorites). Within two minutes she asked me why it sounded so much
better than the CD.

I'm not an audiophile, but I do think there's something to the "analog
sounds better" theory, even now. After all, movies don't look as good as
real life, even though you can't see that they flicker -- so perhaps
perfect reproduction of a subset of frequencies just don't sound as good
(although they do sound great) as less-than-perfect reproductions of all
frequencies.

But that's just me. :)

momerath
2005-02-17, 13:37
I have had similar experiences in the past, and was resigned to the
thought that a vinyl rig would always sound better than a redbook one
in some intangible way, though I still chose the convenience of CDs
and HD based storage. More recently, I came across non-oversampling
digital-filterless DACs, and, I believe, the presence and musicalilty
of analog is to be found in these designs. The difference, as I
understand it, is that NOS designs have FAR better transient response
than other DACs. Frequency response, which is easier to measure and
appears on spec sheets is far from the whole story. Music is all
about timing, and an analog circuit will not cause the time-smearing
effect that a digital filter will. Its hard to describe the effect
that good transient response has on music; I just know that I find
myself lost in the music far more often when listening to my Ack dAck.

On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 12:25:48 -0800, Dave Owen <dowen (AT) sapient (DOT) com> wrote:
> >> The true Audiophiles are in the
> >> main still on vinyl because CD's "don't have the same warm feel".
>
> > Rubbish. Sorry, that's too polite: bollocks. Early digital technology
> > was not well understood and did indeed sound poor. Current technology
> is
> > far better and sounds comparable to "quality" vinyl.
>
> Here's an interesting story: After more than fifteen years without a
> record player, I just obtained a nice old Technics SL-D20 record player.
> I mosey'd down to the store, bought a new (cheap) needle, and hooked it
> up. I then threw an old (but good condition) Elton John record onto the
> platter and started listening.
>
> It sounded WONDERFUL. Vibrant. Really, really good. Crisp. Real. I was
> actually expecting it to sound lousy by comparison to the latest
> technology, and I was surprised. We're not talking about a really good
> stereo system, either (although it's not a bad one). Just for snicks and
> grins, I played the same album as a CD on the same stereo, and it
> sounded -cleaner- (no pops or hiss) but not nearly as vibrant and crisp.
>
> Without telling my wife of my experience, I let her know the player was
> hooked up and dropped the needle on the album (it's one of her
> favorites). Within two minutes she asked me why it sounded so much
> better than the CD.
>
> I'm not an audiophile, but I do think there's something to the "analog
> sounds better" theory, even now. After all, movies don't look as good as
> real life, even though you can't see that they flicker -- so perhaps
> perfect reproduction of a subset of frequencies just don't sound as good
> (although they do sound great) as less-than-perfect reproductions of all
> frequencies.
>
> But that's just me. :)
>

T
2005-02-17, 13:52
> NOS designs have FAR better transient response than other DACs.

But they also have far more phase distortion, due to the brick-wall
anti-aliasing filters.

However, phase distortion looks bad on spec sheets.

Tom

Mike Hartley
2005-02-17, 14:18
Dave,
Your ears may be on to something. The link below is to an article by
Christina Tham that attempts to explore this issue objectively using
spectral analysis and an attempt to compare apples to apples LP to CD. I
have seen some people fault her methodology and assumptions, but it's still
an interesting attempt to quantify a very subjective subject. In fact, some
of the discussions (arguments) about vinyl vs CD make the argument over
forums vs e-mail lists for SB look downright tame.

Her conclusion, for what it's worth: "It appears that the vinylphile claims
are not as outrageous as they seem: LPs do have a usable dynamic range far
greater than the measured dynamic range would suggest, and LPs consistently
have higher relative dynamics over digital formats. But it is also true that
LPs have higher distortion levels which translate to ultrasonic frequency
harmonics.
The question is: is the higher relative dynamics of LPs an indication of
higher accuracy, or are LPs exaggerating transients and dynamics? I'm not
sure, and I would welcome comments.

If LPs have higher distortion and are exaggerating dynamics, it may explain
why the apparent "benefits" of LPs translate even into LP recordings, and
potentially explain why LPs of digital recordings sound better than their CD
equivalents."

The full article is here:
http://users.bigpond.net.au/christie/comparo/part4.html and it's an
interesting hypothesis.

Mike


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Owen" <dowen (AT) sapient (DOT) com>
To: "Slim Devices Discussion" <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 3:25 PM
Subject: [slim] audiophile cred (tangent)


>> The true Audiophiles are in the
>> main still on vinyl because CD's "don't have the same warm feel".

> Rubbish. Sorry, that's too polite: bollocks. Early digital technology
> was not well understood and did indeed sound poor. Current technology
is
> far better and sounds comparable to "quality" vinyl.

Here's an interesting story: After more than fifteen years without a
record player, I just obtained a nice old Technics SL-D20 record player.
I mosey'd down to the store, bought a new (cheap) needle, and hooked it
up. I then threw an old (but good condition) Elton John record onto the
platter and started listening.

It sounded WONDERFUL. Vibrant. Really, really good. Crisp. Real. I was
actually expecting it to sound lousy by comparison to the latest
technology, and I was surprised. We're not talking about a really good
stereo system, either (although it's not a bad one). Just for snicks and
grins, I played the same album as a CD on the same stereo, and it
sounded -cleaner- (no pops or hiss) but not nearly as vibrant and crisp.

Without telling my wife of my experience, I let her know the player was
hooked up and dropped the needle on the album (it's one of her
favorites). Within two minutes she asked me why it sounded so much
better than the CD.

I'm not an audiophile, but I do think there's something to the "analog
sounds better" theory, even now. After all, movies don't look as good as
real life, even though you can't see that they flicker -- so perhaps
perfect reproduction of a subset of frequencies just don't sound as good
(although they do sound great) as less-than-perfect reproductions of all
frequencies.

But that's just me. :)