• 09-19-2012, 09:48 AM
    StevenSurprenant
    You're absolutely correct. Of course I was referring to 16 bit.

    Another thing that crosses my mind is that the eye has a persistence factor of about 30 frames a second. It wouldn't surprise me if the ear has something similar. Once the sample rate exceeds that then we've reached the needed limit. Of course, as the word size increases, the distance between words that the DAC has to interpolate becomes more accurate. Maybe 24/96 in the magic number?

    As for op amps versus discrete circuitry, I trust that you are correct about that too.
  • 09-20-2012, 05:18 AM
    3db
    Has anyone picked up both the CD version and the vinyl version of Tom Petty's "MOJO" album released two years ago. Both are stunning achievements of what can be done on either format. Problem is, people often blame the CD format and not the player for sounding poor.
  • 09-20-2012, 01:46 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    FYI, I just installed my new Audio Technica AT-120E cartridge in my turntable and I have to tell you that you folks saying that vinyl sounds more natural are understating the facts big time.

    I have never heard my system sound like this, everything I lost from the 70's is back and much more. I can't believe how much information is missing from CD's. I couldn't stop laughing from the joy of it. Granted, my digital is not very good, but compared to vinyl, it's midfi, at best.

    Anyway, I'm happy now and want to thank everyone for the discussion.

    Maybe someday, I'll look into upgrading my digital, but I have to get over my excitement about rediscovering vinyl.

    Thanks
  • 09-20-2012, 03:43 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    Granted, my digital is not very good, but compared to vinyl, it's midfi, at best.

    Honestly, I don't entirely share your overall assessment of digital vs. vinyl and discovered that you use an Oppo DV-980H. Coincidentally. I have a similar vintage DV-971H used as a DVD player in a spare bedroom. Since I play it through an old 27" CRT based TV, I never really thought about its audio quality.

    Just for grins, I connected it to the garage system in lieu of the Touch network player. I see what you mean. While not offensive, it is not nearly as good sounding as the $300 Touch. Even more so as compared to the Audio Research DAC7. Muffled at the top with less resolution across the range. You're likely getting much better high frequency response from your vinyl rig.
  • 09-20-2012, 05:40 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    I've had a Marantz 63SE CD Player amongst numerous other CD and DVD players, but nothing to write home about. I've had a CAL Audio Labs tube DAC and an Aragon DAC with HDCD, plus I've had a Genesis Digital Lens. I've also used a heavily modified Behringer digital crossover as a DAC and the latest addition was my Emotiva digital pre amp as a DAC. I should also mention that my Yamaha receiver also has a DAC which I've tried.

    So you see, it's not like I didn't try.

    I do have to say that the Oppo (digital out) going through the Emotiva was very clear.

    I've owned B&W (lower model), Quad ESL's, and System Audio speakers, and others, not so nice. I've used Mark Levinson for power and tried several others, also owned other amps.

    It's odd that I began with a decent pair of speakers and decent turntable going through a JVC receiver (back in the 70's), progressed through electrostatics and amps that weighed more than my girlfriend and now I'm back to a little amp that fits in my pocket and another decent turntable feeding home made speakers. Go figure?

    I realize that it doesn't make sense to you. It doesn't make sense to me, but there it is. If it was a marginal change I would say so, but it's much more, even profound, if I'm allowed to say that.

    I'm not saying that it's the best I've ever heard, that would be a lie, but for a system that cost me about $1,500 it's amazing. The speakers cost me about $1,000 in parts (including box and crossovers) and I got most of those parts for a big discount. Retail on the parts would have been about $2,000 (just the drivers) not counting the crossovers and material for the boxes. I didn't skimp of the crossover parts either, it's good stuff. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that my speakers are fairly decent. They are about 91db efficient so my little Trends amp drives them very well in the room they are in. By the way, the Trends amp reviewed very well. The only other thing in the signal path is the ART Phono Plus preamp which seems to be very transparent. I got lucky on this since I don't know one from another.

    It's a simple system with a short signal path. I haven't messed with fancy speaker wire yet, but I am using a solid silver interconnect between the ART and the Trends.

    Prior to this I was running the Oppo through the Emotiva to the Trends, so the system hasn't been radically altered. BTW, the analog out on my Oppo is poor quality, it needs to be connected digitally, and I agree with your assessment of it if you had used analog out.

    Just a thought, but it always seemed to me that my DIY speakers were actually clearer sounding than my quads, but I thought my Quads had better tonal qualities for voices. Perhaps it's the equipment which was different for both systems.

    Anyway, as it now stands (for me), vinyl rules, but when I get the time and drive I'm going to look into better digital systems.

    I had another opportunity to play back another vinyl of which I have the CD and I still prefer the vinyl. I loved the music on both but the CD hurt my ears so much that I had to play it at a low volume. The record still has a certain amount of shrillness to it, but nowhere near what the CD has. Besides, I could hear a great deal more detail on the vinyl.
  • 09-21-2012, 12:47 AM
    frenchmon
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    FYI, I just installed my new Audio Technica AT-120E cartridge in my turntable and I have to tell you that you folks saying that vinyl sounds more natural are understating the facts big time.

    I have never heard my system sound like this, everything I lost from the 70's is back and much more. I can't believe how much information is missing from CD's. I couldn't stop laughing from the joy of it. Granted, my digital is not very good, but compared to vinyl, it's midfi, at best.

    Anyway, I'm happy now and want to thank everyone for the discussion.

    Maybe someday, I'll look into upgrading my digital, but I have to get over my excitement about rediscovering vinyl.

    Thanks

    Sounds like you are on your way to becoming a vinyl junkie like a few of us...welcome to the good side.:14:
  • 09-21-2012, 01:30 AM
    frenchmon
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I've had a Marantz 63SE CD Player amongst numerous other CD and DVD players, but nothing to write home about. I've had a CAL Audio Labs tube DAC and an Aragon DAC with HDCD, plus I've had a Genesis Digital Lens. I've also used a heavily modified Behringer digital crossover as a DAC and the latest addition was my Emotiva digital pre amp as a DAC. I should also mention that my Yamaha receiver also has a DAC which I've tried.

    So you see, it's not like I didn't try.

    I do have to say that the Oppo (digital out) going through the Emotiva was very clear.

    I've owned B&W (lower model), Quad ESL's, and System Audio speakers, and others, not so nice. I've used Mark Levinson for power and tried several others, also owned other amps.

    It's odd that I began with a decent pair of speakers and decent turntable going through a JVC receiver (back in the 70's), progressed through electrostatics and amps that weighed more than my girlfriend and now I'm back to a little amp that fits in my pocket and another decent turntable feeding home made speakers. Go figure?

    I realize that it doesn't make sense to you. It doesn't make sense to me, but there it is. If it was a marginal change I would say so, but it's much more, even profound, if I'm allowed to say that.

    I'm not saying that it's the best I've ever heard, that would be a lie, but for a system that cost me about $1,500 it's amazing. The speakers cost me about $1,000 in parts (including box and crossovers) and I got most of those parts for a big discount. Retail on the parts would have been about $2,000 (just the drivers) not counting the crossovers and material for the boxes. I didn't skimp of the crossover parts either, it's good stuff. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that my speakers are fairly decent. They are about 91db efficient so my little Trends amp drives them very well in the room they are in. By the way, the Trends amp reviewed very well. The only other thing in the signal path is the ART Phono Plus preamp which seems to be very transparent. I got lucky on this since I don't know one from another.

    It's a simple system with a short signal path. I haven't messed with fancy speaker wire yet, but I am using a solid silver interconnect between the ART and the Trends.

    Prior to this I was running the Oppo through the Emotiva to the Trends, so the system hasn't been radically altered. BTW, the analog out on my Oppo is poor quality, it needs to be connected digitally, and I agree with your assessment of it if you had used analog out.

    Just a thought, but it always seemed to me that my DIY speakers were actually clearer sounding than my quads, but I thought my Quads had better tonal qualities for voices. Perhaps it's the equipment which was different for both systems.

    Anyway, as it now stands (for me), vinyl rules, but when I get the time and drive I'm going to look into better digital systems.

    I had another opportunity to play back another vinyl of which I have the CD and I still prefer the vinyl. I loved the music on both but the CD hurt my ears so much that I had to play it at a low volume. The record still has a certain amount of shrillness to it, but nowhere near what the CD has. Besides, I could hear a great deal more detail on the vinyl.

    I've got a CDP that retailed for $1500, and it has a huge and very nice external power supply.... Its not about being the most detailed...has no digital edge to music and limited and very low digital noise, has a slight warmer tubed like tone. Its really a muiscal player and its very good. And I have a $1300 TT with a $700 Cart. The digital while very, very good, the sound from the TT will best it in my opinion. The TT play back has to do with the way vinyl sounds. I like it more. Its smoother, flows better, drums, horns guitars etc all sound more natural, low level detail and clarity is better and the cohesiveness of the overall sound , depth, and staging is greater in my opinion. Also, I think I have a greater ear for the vinyl because I grew up with records and a record player due to my dad playing records all the time, so I had a very early exposure to vinyl play back while I was still in diapers. I abandoned vinyl at the advent of CD's. Sold all my albums and TT's and got a CDP and used it for years until about 3 years ago. I then rediscovered vinyl again after my wife gifted me a mmf-2.1 and after the needle hit the record for the first time again after about 20 years, I could immediately hear the difference in vinyl playback which was unlike CD playback. It was like I had found something I had lost years ago. I often wonder would I feel the same way about vinyl if I was born in the CD generation.
  • 09-21-2012, 04:26 AM
    StevenSurprenant
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frenchmon View Post
    The TT play back has to do with the way vinyl sounds. I like it more. Its smoother, flows better, drums, horns guitars etc all sound more natural, low level detail and clarity is better and the cohesiveness of the overall sound , depth, and staging is greater in my opinion......

    after the needle hit the record for the first time again after about 20 years, I could immediately hear the difference in vinyl playback which was unlike CD playback. It was like I had found something I had lost years ago. I often wonder would I feel the same way about vinyl if I was born in the CD generation.


    I agree with how vinyl sounds. The increase in low level detail that I'm hearing is amazing and really makes the instruments sound more real and depth and staging are as you said, better. It also sounds more dynamic. Someone here mentioned that already. Hands down, better all the way around. I realize that I sound overly zealous about this, but for the first time since the 70's, music is vibrant again.

    I'm not saying that vinyl is perfect, but for me, with my digital equipment, digital sounds dull in comparison.

    With the new cartridge, I hear even more detail than I remember from the past, so I'd say that my present analog system is better than what I had back in the day. The new cartridge is a little bright, but I understand that after about 50 hours it quiets down a little.

    I think that I made all the wrong choices for my digital front end because I've heard digital sound very good too, but not at home. The best soundstaging and clarity I've heard was with digital, but that happened with only a few systems. However, there is one difference between the best I've heard and what my TT sounds like and that is vinyl sounds more vibrant with more micro details. Perhaps saying it sounds more natural is a good way of describing it.

    I did try to convert the output of the TT into digital through a Behringer digital equalizer at 24/96, but it didn't sound very good .
    No surprise there because many people have stated that analog input into that unit wasn't very good, and they were right.

    To be fair, my excitement is in relation to my digital gear and not in comparison to the best digital I've heard, so what I say has to be taken with a grain of salt.

    I've learned a lesson here because people support both sides of this discussion. While the improvements I've experienced is extreme, it might not have been so had I had a better digital front end, so I understand why some might think I've gone over the top with this.

    As for the younger generation, I've heard some of them say that digital is far superior, but I question what they are comparing it to?

    E-Stat mentioned that he questions my assessment and I fully understand. I love stats and I imagine that his system is to die for. I would be almost ashamed to let him listen to my system considering what he has.

    The other thing is that I can only imagine that your analog is much better than mine as are many others, and that makes me want to get on the audio roller coaster again, but as for now, I'm enjoying my new found rediscovery.

    Thanks for sharing your views with me.

    BTW, you might want to try "Caverna Magica" on vinyl. It sounds very good.
  • 09-21-2012, 02:30 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I'm not saying that vinyl is perfect, but for me, with my digital equipment, digital sounds dull in comparison.

    Call me an optimist, but I continue to point out that what you object to is merely an arbitrary application of digital - the lame Redbook standard. Better exists, but the music industry keeps us from enjoying it.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    IE-Stat mentioned that he questions my assessment and I fully understand. I love stats and I imagine that his system is to die for. I would be almost ashamed to let him listen to my system considering what he has.

    Don't get me wrong. I merely observe that the villain is not digital per se, but the specific application and even with Redbook recordings, there are players that to these ears come pretty darn close to the best analog. HP listens to his EMM players as much or more than the $150,000 Clearaudio Statement. At least when I visit. With no apologies.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    IBTW, you might want to try "Caverna Magica" on vinyl. It sounds very good.

    I will most certainly have to agree with you as that is one of my favorites. There is one thing, however, that one must do when listening to this music: turn out the lights!
  • 09-21-2012, 08:54 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    E-Stat, I'm sure you're right about all that, but if good digital costs that much than it is out of the reach of people with an average income and so is of no value. What I'd rather see is a digital front end that is relatively low cost, something most people could afford, and something that equals, if not surpasses what I hear on vinyl.

    From my point of view, digital may be technically superior, but if what most people own (can afford) is not giving the best that digital has to offer and a low cost vinyl system outperforms it, then it is not better. In other words, what most people end up with is the equivalent of record players of the seventies compared to a good turntable.

    What under $500 comes close to an EMM player? Or what is closer for under $1,000? There's many CD players out there, but what's the real deal priced affordably? You get the picture.
  • 09-22-2012, 05:46 AM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    E-Stat, I'm sure you're right about all that, but if good digital costs that much than it is out of the reach of people with an average income and so is of no value. What I'd rather see is a digital front end that is relatively low cost, something most people could afford, and something that equals, if not surpasses what I hear on vinyl.

    Using a 25k EMM Labs XD-S1 player is no more required than using the $150k Clearaudio Statement along with the $15k Goldfinger cartridge. Although there will always be at any relative level, tradeoffs with either format. Aside: The Statement is an incredible piece of mechanical engineering. Have you ever seen one in the flesh? This 800 lb turntable is a combination of precision instrument and Nautilus weight machine. It uses magnetic drive and the positively MASSIVE lower platter is mounted in a gimballed structure supported by a series of weights. Consequently, the platter assembly can pivot in any direction. Just a nudge of your finger gently rocks the entire assembly. And it uses the ultimate development of Lou Souther's Tri-Quartz linear arm (I use the original from 1984 on my VPI Scout). Hearing some 45 RPM Classic Records releases with this gentle giant out to Scaena 1.4s using spectacular components in between provides quite the musical experience.

    Click here for images

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    What under $500 comes close to an EMM player?

    The same number that under $500 vinyl rigs come close to the Clearaudio.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    Or what is closer for under $1,000? There's many CD players out there, but what's the real deal priced affordably?

    I think in today's market you can find reasonably priced digital gear that doesn't have to apologize. Given the ongoing transition to computer based server systems, it seems that most are not players, but DACs. I find that the modest Squeezebox Touch Network player sounds pretty darn good when supplemented with a linear power supply. I have two sets that run under $500 for the both. One is played through its internal DAC in the garage system, while the other feeds a better sounding Audio Research DAC7 in the upstairs system. Naturally, my arrangement also requires a computer as transport, but you could always use one of your existing players for that. While I cannot vouch for it, many folks have praised the Schiit Bifrost DAC which is also at the $400-$500 level. I'm now convinced that faster spinning rust works better than shiny plastic when it comes to transports. Not to mention convenience and far easier access to your library. :)

    I also have renewed appreciation for the quality of mobile audio having just purchased some Shure SE535 in ear monitors. You complain about lack of detail with digital systems. My iPhone 4S playing lossless content through the 535s provides all sorts of detail. I was listening to them late last night and marveling at some nuances in a couple of recordings that I had never been aware of before. Not to mention varying textures in the bass region.
  • 09-22-2012, 08:27 AM
    StevenSurprenant
    Thank you!
  • 09-26-2012, 03:09 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Ralph, thanks for restoring some balance in this syrupy vinyl pat fest. I was getting diabetes just reading all of this.

    Vinyl lovers choose the disc because of its euphoric qualities, and some sort of physical romance with it. That is it. There are no inherent performance advantages over digital, especially Hi resolution digital. Some have gotten quite accustom to the distortions that vinyl introduces, and find it quite pleasing. That is all there is to it. Performances advantage....Inherent performance advantages...I don't think so.
  • 09-26-2012, 04:58 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Ralph, thanks for restoring some balance in this syrupy vinyl pat fest. I was getting diabetes just reading all of this.

    No problemo. While I'm just an old boomer f*rt who grew up spinning records, I hope folks understand that I'm in no way attached to the required ceremony of cleaning the record and stylus before every play. It's just that such is necessary. to get the best results. I would love nothing more than to find ALL my music magically converted to high resolution (24/88 or better) digital. And not crippled by the old world limitation of having to spin a disc. I like to think that my assessments are entirely based upon objective qualitative observations of recorded music vs. the live unamplified reality.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Vinyl lovers choose the disc because of its euphoric qualities, and some sort of physical romance with it. That is it. There are no inherent performance advantages over digital, especially Hi resolution digital.

    For the most part I agree, but the unfortunate reality is that the overwhelming majority of the music catalog is available in no better than the limited Redbook standard. Yes, Redbook has some advantages over vinyl and arguably, I spend far more time listening to it. On the other hand, there are a few areas where the best vinyl trumps the Redbook standard. Low level resolution. Top octave response. Choose your set of compromises.

    As for hi-rez, the challenge is that its availability is incredibly limited - when compared with the enormity of available music content. You won't find anyone more than I who truly wishes that the music industry would provide hi-rez capability to more than 2% of the catalog!

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Some have gotten quite accustom to the distortions that vinyl introduces, and find it quite pleasing. That is all there is to it. Performances advantage....Inherent performance advantages...I don't think so.

    It's all about tradeoffs. I find it a crime that so much valuable musical content from the last three decades has been forever compromised by the Redbook standard - entirely dictated by computer storage technology standards of the 80s.

    Long live high resolution digital - when it actually gets here for the lion's share of the content that people buy! I may be old, but I as a computer guy, I am a technologist - this evening I was spending time in my neighbor's driveway while listening to the garage system and love nothing more than to control the content using my iPhone via Wi-Fi connectivity. He and his teenage daughter were washing her car so I selected a playlist of her music.

    I get it.
  • 09-26-2012, 06:58 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    E-Stat

    I don't have the background of either of you folks and so I can't comment on hi-rez very much except to comment on my very brief experience with HDCD and SACD. I thought, depending on the quality of the recording, that it was an improvement over standard CD's. As I said, my exposure was very limited. However, neither sounded as good as vinyl (at it's best), colored or not. With that said...

    Show me one system that isn't colored. I have never heard two speakers sound alike and since the whole purpose of owning a sound system is to reproduce what we hear in real life, how can any claim be made that vinyl is colored when everything we reproduce sound with is colored.

    I would imagine that everyone on this board has a different system and that all these systems sound completely different. Sir T mixes on a system that is also different than any one of us has. I would imagine that his monitors don't sound like your stats, so it would be a complete surprise if what he hears in his studio would be what you hear in your home.

    The point is that being colored is the name of the game. I have never heard anything in audio that compares to live in all it's fullness. There was one system that was very close, but then I only listened to one song on one CD on it that the store owner provided. That particular recording excelled at soundstaging and was very impressive.

    I once listened to a group of musicians playing Canon in D and I was within 3 feet of them. It brought tears to my eyes and I couldn't speak without my voice breaking up. No stereo has ever effected me to that degree. I don't care if you're running stats, horns, line arrays, or the very best dynamic speakers that money can buy, nothing can replace live in that context.

    Another time I was listening to Avalon speakers running with state of the art Spectral gear and sat there thinking how real it sounded. That was until my friend stood between the speakers and began mimicking the song and I immediately understood how lacking the system was. You should try that.

    Don't get me wrong, I love audio... For what it is and don't fret over what it is not. We can be very pleased with how our systems sound, but, unless we delude ourselves, we cannot rightfully claim accuracy. What that leaves us with is a facsimile that we find pleasing. I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "that sounds real", as I'm sure you've also thought, but does it really?

    Sir T's remark, "Vinyl lovers choose the disc because of its euphoric qualities, and some sort of physical romance with it. That is it.", implies that your friends 600 pound turntable is less accurate than his CD player. Do you agree with this?

    I concur that higher word sizes and bit rates should sound better and at some point put vinyl to shame, but that's not living in the real world that most people have access to, nor is it supported by recording companies that mass produce what we find in the stores.

    So, if I wanted to buy a system that is totally accurate, which speaker would I buy, which amp and preamp, and which digital front end would I look for? The problem is they all sound different, so tell me which ones are not colored.

    The bottom line is this...

    knowing that everything is colored, don't you think that it makes sense to get what sounds good and don't worry so much about accuracy?

    I can understand Sir T's position in this because digital is his life and he has access to the very best, plus I also think there's a strong possibility that he has gotten used to digital and so it sounds more natural to him.

    I don't think my vinyl sounds more real than digital, but the bass is better defined, the treble is better defined, soundstaging is better defined, well... everything is. I know you said that a good digital front end can sound as good, but after throwing thousands of dollars at it, I give up. Besides, I've heard better digital (in the stores) than I have ever heard at home, but I've never heard a digital system sound "over all" as good as vinyl does now.

    One last thing...

    As you know, I love stats, but I've heard many people say they don't like anything dipole. Why is that? This is more of a rhetorical question.

    The only reason for this last question is because people have said that dipoles are less dynamic and they had some concern for the reflected waveform from the rear disrupting the signal from the front, causing peaks and dips. Thus they claim dipoles are less accurate. I don't see it that way, but the fact is I love the effect, accurate or not. But the real question is, are they correct? I think many box speakers sound like a box which many dipole owners can readily hear. I remember A-B ing a pair of Thiel speakers next to a pair of Magnepan's and the box sound of the Thiel was almost too much to bear.



    Thanks!
  • 09-26-2012, 07:52 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I concur that higher word sizes and bit rates should sound better and at some point put vinyl to shame, but that's not living in the real world that most people have access to, nor is it supported by recording companies that mass produce what we find in the stores.

    Indeed, the music industry has failed us in not universally adopting better standards.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    knowing that everything is colored, don't you think that it makes sense to get what sounds good and don't worry so much about accuracy?

    Absolutely. The problem is that apparently you have a poor digital source relative to analog.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I don't think my vinyl sounds more real than digital, but the bass is better defined, the treble is better defined, soundstaging is better defined, well... everything is.

    I really couldn't disagree more with respect to my system - except for the top end response where analog still reigns over Redbook.

    I use a $3500 turntable/arm/cartridge combination that sounds pretty good, but cannot duplicate the first octave response of my similarly priced digital playback. The Telarc 1812 sounds pretty impressive, but the analog gear simply cannot deliver the same impact of the digital. The opening two seconds of the Avatar soundtrack is beyond vinyl's low end capability. As is the ASO recording of The Firebird, a recording in which I played a minor role in the recording. Rihanna's Hard Feat, Jeezy contains some incredible first octave bass. You feel the weight of the bass hanging in the air as you hear its complex texture. Vinyl simply can't do that in my experience. Not on HP's $500k system, either.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I know you said that a good digital front end can sound as good, but after throwing thousands of dollars at it, I give up. Besides, I've heard better digital (in the stores) than I have ever heard at home, but I've never heard a digital system sound "over all" as good as vinyl does now.

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I get phenomenal results with a Squeezebox Touch player using an Audio Research DAC7.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    One last thing...

    As you know, I love stats, but I've heard many people say they don't like anything dipole. Why is that?

    Who are they? How familiar are they with the sound of live, unamplified music? What exactly is their reason? I won't try to speculate as to what they think they're missing. The very best sounding systems in my experience are not *impressive* sounding from an audio cowboy perspective. If what they seek is boom, sizzle and punch they most certainly won't find it. The sound is simply natural and live.
  • 09-26-2012, 08:14 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    Quote:

    Who are they? How familiar are they with the sound of live, unamplified music? What exactly is their reason? I won't try to speculate as to what they think they're missing. The very best sounding systems in my experience are not *impressive* sounding from an audio cowboy perspective. If what they seek is boom, sizzle and punch they most certainly won't find it. They simply sound natural and live.
    I've heard this many times over the years and I always take it with a grain of salt. People are always arguing over one thing or another. I've even had one fellow say that my Quads sounded almost as good as his Bose, so beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

    My system doesn't go to the lowest octave of bass but what's there is sweet. Some day I'll get around to adding a sub. The bass I'm getting from vinyl is better than what my digital can do... (with my system)

    You can be sure that I'll be researching digital. Maybe someday?

    Thanks again.
  • 09-27-2012, 03:02 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    The bass I'm getting from vinyl is better than what my digital can do... (with my system)

    That suggests to me that your digital source needs a stiffer power supply. Impactful bass requires joules. Which is one reason why I use an aftermarket linear supply with the Touch player. Not only does it clean up the top, but it provides more authority at the bottom.

    The Emotiva DAC has only four small power supply caps:

    Interior pic
  • 09-27-2012, 04:23 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    would imagine that everyone on this board has a different system and that all these systems sound completely different. Sir T mixes on a system that is also different than any one of us has. I would imagine that his monitors don't sound like your stats, so it would be a complete surprise if what he hears in his studio would be what you hear in your home.
    One can have a different presentation, but no less quality from that presentation. My Dunlavy system's presentation is very different than my ATC system. However sound quality wise, they are equal in every way. The system in my signature has all of its front speakers built into a Baffle wall(no rear reflections), and has a completely different presentation than my Thiel CS-3.7 multichannel system. Sound QUALITY wise, both are very good. Presentation difference does not necessarily mean less sound quality....just a different presentation.

    Quote:

    I concur that higher word sizes and bit rates should sound better and at some point put vinyl to shame, but that's not living in the real world that most people have access to, nor is it supported by recording companies that mass produce what we find in the stores.
    Those stores are disappearing faster than we can breath. Based on that, you need to look elsewhere to find the Easter egg. If you like Classical or Jazz, there are a dozen or so download sites that have quite a bit of 24/88.2 and 24/96khz downloads of those gene. This my friend is the new real world. Gone is most of the brick and motar stores you speak about, and hello to downloading of music. I have 10 terabytes of high resolution music on my music server. The distribution of music is rapidly changing, and during this transition, you have to look for the quality nuggets - they are not going to fall into your lap.

    Quote:

    Sir T's remark, "Vinyl lovers choose the disc because of its euphoric qualities, and some sort of physical romance with it. That is it.", implies that your friends 600 pound turntable is less accurate than his CD player. Do you agree with this?
    The weight of the turntable is absolutely irrelevant in this case. How do you make this statement without even knowing what kind of CD player I own? Assumptions are not better than facts.

    The very nature of a needle touching a vinyl record introduces distortion. It is the same with the cassette and any other media where something touches something else. When you compare the original analog tape with the first vinyl pressing and the QC CD, the CD wins because it does not add anything like the vinyl record does. With vinyl all of these wonderful sonic qualities come out that were not apart of the original master. More midrange bloom, exaggerated separation, the softening of transients are just some of the things you hear when you actually have something to compare vinyl to. Audiophiles do not like neutral sound, or they would not pick vinyl as their listening choice. They enjoy the "euphoric" coloration it imparts, and that is what vinyl folks are looking for - not boring neutral sound quality.
  • 09-27-2012, 07:41 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    Quote:

    One can have a different presentation, but no less quality from that presentation.....just a different presentation.
    Comparing a live performance to a playback system, there is only one presentation that is closer to being there. I suppose that you could argue that one system gets closer one way and another system gets closer another way. However, I don't disagree with you that different presentations can be very good. I like dipoles and speakers with a tall vertical waveform such as line arrays. I suppose that how the music gets presented isn't important to me as long as the image is disassociated with the actual speakers.

    Quote:

    Those stores are disappearing faster than we can breath....
    No doubt, and I've been to some of these sites selling Hi-Rez files, but for the most part, it's not the kind of music I prefer. Jazz and classical are low on my list of desirable recordings. Below that is RAP and much mainstream pop music of today, I do have an interest in New Age, but a little goes a long way. I do love vocals, but much of what is available on these better formats is not to my liking. For instance, Diana Krall, a real favorite of many, just doesn't do it for me. Truthfully I can't put my finger on what I like and what I do really like can come from many different genres. Usually it will be only one song from the mix.

    Quote:

    The weight of the turntable is absolutely irrelevant in this case. How do you make this statement without even knowing what kind of CD player I own? Assumptions are not better than facts.
    I was implying that it was a state of the art turntable without equal. I don't know anything about your CD player and never alluded to it. I assume you have much better equipment than a simple CD player.

    Quote:

    The very nature of a needle touching a vinyl record introduces distortion. ...
    Everything has distortion. Your microphones, your speakers, your electronics, you name it and it has it. You can even say that speaker presentation that we referred to above can be considered a form of distortion, although it is not normally referred to in such a way. The fact is that if you compare two different speakers with different presentations and they are both equal in sound quality, what would you call the effect that makes them sound different? For sure, I wouldn't call it accuracy.

    Quote:

    Audiophiles do not like neutral sound, or they would not pick vinyl as their listening choice. They enjoy the "euphoric" coloration it imparts, and that is what vinyl folks are looking for - not boring neutral sound quality.
    It's an odd thing... When I listen to live music, it's not a boring neutral sound. It's vibrant and tactile. CD's, at least the ones, I've had do not convey that vibrancy of being live whereas vinyl does get closer. Keep in mind that I've not heard all the CD players so I cannot say that it's not capable of being vibrant or that Hi-Rez recordings are better or worse than vinyl. I assume that Hi-Rez will (or does) close the gap and exceed vinyl in every way.

    I have to be frank with you about my conclusions about CD players. Most mainstream CD players were meant to replace peoples record players and average stereos. It does this very well and the improvement has been tremendous. They are not a replacement for a higher end audio system with vinyl. This in no way implies that the higher end CD players aren't vinyls equal in one way or another. I am not making a blanket statement that vinyl is without equal, but average CD players do not surpass a decent turntable system.

    Quote:

    ...More midrange bloom, exaggerated separation, the softening of transients ...
    I don't find any of this to be true. When I play my favorite CD and record of the same recording, they sound almost alike. Where they differ is that I hear more detail, less blurring, and sound closer to what I've heard live which, I believe, is a product of having more detail.. So far this has held true for all copies that I have in both formats. I assume that eventually, I will find, in some cases, the opposite to be true since others have had that experience.

    It all boils down to this... Vinyl is not perfect, digital is not perfect, electronics are not perfect, audio transducers are not perfect, the recording process is not perfect, and our hearing is not perfect (or the same). Throw in all the abnormalities of room reflections and what you have is a cornucopia of imperfections that distort, in one way or another, what we hear. Why argue which one is more imperfect? Perhaps in the future, audio systems will improve to a point as to make the best of today sound like a gramophone in comparison.

    People used to argue the same way over video and standard definition and then HD came along and blew it away, but it isn't stopping there. Higher definition formats are in the making and 3D transcends it all. Still, technology marches on to improve the state of the art of today.

    Hi-rez audio formats are a step in the right direction, but it is only a step, which brings us a little closer to live. It cannot be considered the final solution to bridge the gap between live versus recorded.
  • 09-28-2012, 03:44 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    Comparing a live performance to a playback system, there is only one presentation that is closer to being there. I suppose that you could argue that one system gets closer one way and another system gets closer another way. However, I don't disagree with you that different presentations can be very good. I like dipoles and speakers with a tall vertical waveform such as line arrays. I suppose that how the music gets presented isn't important to me as long as the image is disassociated with the actual speakers.

    If jazz and classical is not high on your list, then throw out your live performance comparison. These are the only two genres that do not require a P.A system in a acoustical environment. Also if you are using a live comparison, then where you sit in the venue determines your live perspective. In any auditorium, where you sit determines your acoustical perspective, and not all halls or performance spaces are the same.

    Quote:

    No doubt, and I've been to some of these sites selling Hi-Rez files, but for the most part, it's not the kind of music I prefer. Jazz and classical are low on my list of desirable recordings. Below that is RAP and much mainstream pop music of today, I do have an interest in New Age, but a little goes a long way. I do love vocals, but much of what is available on these better formats is not to my liking. For instance, Diana Krall, a real favorite of many, just doesn't do it for me. Truthfully I can't put my finger on what I like and what I do really like can come from many different genres. Usually it will be only one song from the mix.
    If you don't know what you like, then how can you search for quality sources of anything? Jazz and Classical are the most supported genres of high resolution audio, so you are essential searching for a needle in a hay stack, with filter applied to that search even further.

    Quote:

    I was implying that it was a state of the art turntable without equal. I don't know anything about your CD player and never alluded to it. I assume you have much better equipment than a simple CD player.
    A state of the art turntable is not without equal when the medium itself is already compromised in terms of accuracy and transparency. That is a fact, and if you choose to ignore that, then your opinion is already compromised.

    Quote:

    Everything has distortion. Your microphones, your speakers, your electronics, you name it and it has it. You can even say that speaker presentation that we referred to above can be considered a form of distortion, although it is not normally referred to in such a way. The fact is that if you compare two different speakers with different presentations and they are both equal in sound quality, what would you call the effect that makes them sound different? For sure, I wouldn't call it accuracy.
    If you would call it accuracy, then your comments on vinyl are official negated. The best mastering and pressing engineers I know have stated that vinyl is the least accurate playback system there is, even though it is probably the most euphoric and pleasing format.


    Quote:

    It's an odd thing... When I listen to live music, it's not a boring neutral sound. It's vibrant and tactile. CD's, at least the ones, I've had do not convey that vibrancy of being live whereas vinyl does get closer. Keep in mind that I've not heard all the CD players so I cannot say that it's not capable of being vibrant or that Hi-Rez recordings are better or worse than vinyl. I assume that Hi-Rez will (or does) close the gap and exceed vinyl in every way.
    Then all one can conclude is you don't have a very good digital playback system.

    Quote:

    I have to be frank with you about my conclusions about CD players. Most mainstream CD players were meant to replace peoples record players and average stereos. It does this very well and the improvement has been tremendous. They are not a replacement for a higher end audio system with vinyl. This in no way implies that the higher end CD players aren't vinyls equal in one way or another. I am not making a blanket statement that vinyl is without equal, but average CD players do not surpass a decent turntable system.
    You continually mention CD over and over again, and that is hardly the best digital presentation you can compare against vinyl.



    Quote:

    I don't find any of this to be true. When I play my favorite CD and record of the same recording, they sound almost alike. Where they differ is that I hear more detail, less blurring, and sound closer to what I've heard live which, I believe, is a product of having more detail.. So far this has held true for all copies that I have in both formats. I assume that eventually, I will find, in some cases, the opposite to be true since others have had that experience.
    If you don't have a high quality digital source, then your comparison is already flawed.

    Quote:

    It all boils down to this... Vinyl is not perfect, digital is not perfect, electronics are not perfect, audio transducers are not perfect, the recording process is not perfect, and our hearing is not perfect (or the same). Throw in all the abnormalities of room reflections and what you have is a cornucopia of imperfections that distort, in one way or another, what we hear. Why argue which one is more imperfect? Perhaps in the future, audio systems will improve to a point as to make the best of today sound like a gramophone in comparison.
    I can just see your skirming right now, you are now reaching for points that discredit everything, and that shows the weakness of your prevous points. Not one thing in the statement degates the fact that vinyl is a imperfect medium for accuracy and neutrality. The room could be perfect, and it would still expose the coloration of the vinyl format as a playback system.

    Quote:

    People used to argue the same way over video and standard definition and then HD came along and blew it away, but it isn't stopping there. Higher definition formats are in the making and 3D transcends it all. Still, technology marches on to improve the state of the art of today.

    Hi-rez audio formats are a step in the right direction, but it is only a step, which brings us a little closer to live. It cannot be considered the final solution to bridge the gap between live versus recorded.
    How could you even make the last statement without any experience with high resolution audio? 24/96khz and 24/192khz audio far more than bridges any gap, most believe that is an overkill for the human ears - and yet it is out there.

    I would rather have formats that exceed the capabilites of my ear in terms of frequency, transparency, and resolution, than one that sugar and spices it to death.
  • 09-28-2012, 06:27 PM
    StevenSurprenant
    "skirming" - what does that mean?

    How many times must I say this... Vinyl is not perfect, digital is not perfect.

    Analog is a technology past it's prime and digital will supplant it entirely at some point in the future, but it's not going to be today, not with redbook as the standard for the average consumer.


    Copied from another site...
    Quote:

    ...a digital recording is not capturing the complete sound wave. It is approximating it with a series of steps. Some sounds that have very quick transitions, such as a drum beat or a trumpet's tone, will be distorted because they change too quickly for the sample rate....

    ...A vinyl record has a groove carved into it that mirrors the original sound's waveform. This means that no information is lost....

    ...This means that the waveforms from a vinyl recording can be much more accurate, and that can be heard in the richness of the sound...

    ...CD quality audio does not do a very good job of replicating the original signal. The main ways to improve the quality of a digital recording are to increase the sampling rate and to increase the accuracy of the sampling...
    That is the crux of the problem, CD's and MP3's are what is being fed to the public. - As E-Stat has mentioned more than once.
  • 09-29-2012, 09:09 AM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    "skirming" - what does that mean?

    It is a slang word for a person who tries to equalize something that is not really equal. You do that a lot my friend.

    Quote:

    How many times must I say this... Vinyl is not perfect, digital is not perfect.
    This is skirming. You are trying to equalize something by pointing out something obvious. Sure neither is perfect, but vinyl is far LESS perfect than even the CD. Doug Sax, Bob Katz, Bernie Grundman, Bob Ludwig, Wilma Cozart Fine and Steve Hoffman have all gone on the record(no pun intended) as saying so. Bob Ludwig stated that if you wanted accuracy and trueness to the original master, don't listen to vinyl. I have heard it for myself when doing a concert project for my church that Doug Sax mastered and cut the vinyl on. I HAVE ACTUALLY MADE THE COMPARISON, so my opinion is not made in a vaccum like yours is. Wilma Fine stated it this way - "Yes my husbands says the CD sample rate is too low, but the CD's are closer to the masters than the LP is. She was speaking of the living presence collection.

    Quote:

    Analog is a technology past it's prime and digital will supplant it entirely at some point in the future, but it's not going to be today, not with redbook as the standard for the average consumer.
    The Redbook standard is in decline, and has been for years. Even high end CD players no longer conform to the standard, as they are upconverting and upsamping the audio. CD sales have been dropping by 6-10% year over year every since 2003. Audiophiles have moved on to high resolution disc or downloads, and the general public towards MP3.


    Copied from another site...

    Quote:

    .a digital recording is not capturing the complete sound wave. It is approximating it with a series of steps. Some sounds that have very quick transitions, such as a drum beat or a trumpet's tone, will be distorted because they change too quickly for the sample rate....

    ...A vinyl record has a groove carved into it that mirrors the original sound's waveform. This means that no information is lost....

    ...This means that the waveforms from a vinyl recording can be much more accurate, and that can be heard in the richness of the sound...

    ...CD quality audio does not do a very good job of replicating the original signal. The main ways to improve the quality of a digital recording are to increase the sampling rate and to increase the accuracy of the sampling...
    Whoever wrote this does not have a great understanding of PCM audio. The reconstruction filter combines the individual samples into a singular waveform so that it conforms to the orignal waveform. It is much like a interlaced video being processed into a progressive video format. Each interlaced field is combined to create a single field of video information. Both processes are invisible to the ears and eyes. CD does an excellent job of replicating the original until it gets to 10khz.Above that is where CD has its problems. How much above 10khz can you hear Steve?

    At least the person who wrote this comment got the last sentence right, even if he failed on all the rest.

    Quote:

    That is the crux of the problem, CD's and MP3's are what is being fed to the public. - As E-Stat has mentioned more than once.
    Let's bring a little context to Ralph's comments. He is referring to the kind of music HE LIKES. He does not like classical or jazz, and aside from that, there is not much to choose from in high resolution. If you like classical and jazz, there is a ton of high resolution music out there for the picking. I have a 10 terabyte raid drive full of high resolution music, and another one on the way into my system.

    Nobody is being fed anything, it is what you seek out. Seek and ye shall find. If you don't seek, you will find nothing. If you want high resolution music of your liking, you can probably find it these days. HDtracks has Jazz, rock, electronic classical, country and bluegrass, gospel, hip hop and rap, and quite a few subgenre's of the Blues. They have New age, R&B, pop, raggae, soundtracks, and world music. You have to look for them Steve, it is not going to drop in your lap.
  • 09-30-2012, 03:12 AM
    StevenSurprenant
    I can't hear anything above 16k. That was true 30 years ago and it's true today. From what people say, I imagine that will change in my later years, for the worse. However, my hearing is quite good. For instance, I can hear a floor fan upstairs sitting on thick carpeting and padding from downstairs as long as the rest of the house is quiet. Another example is when I was listening to a live band, I could focus on the reflections coming from the walls of the room which were distinct from the source. I'm extremely sensitive to bass and cannot stand bass that is excessive, even a little.

    Also, I am glaringly aware when the balance is off between fundamental frequencies and it's harmonics. For instance, my systems doesn't go down to 20Hz so when a note is played that goes below the threshold of my speakers, I can hear the harmonics, but not the fundamental. It stands out like a sore thumb. This is also true for the rest of the frequency range if there are humps or dips in the output. Of course there is a limit to my ability to detect these abnormalities. It becomes harder to detect when the change is gradual over an extended range, which in cases like this, it takes extended listening to finally say that it just doesn't sound right. I assume that all I said is normal for people interested in highend audio and I don't see this (ability?) as anything but normal..

    I don't use tone controls or equalizers. I own some, but with quality speakers it's usually a DB up here or a DB down there, not worth dealing with in most cases.

    When I was creating the crossover for my speakers I had one speaker set up about 16 feet away and about 5 foot from a side wall. I was amazed that the sound came distinctly from between the speaker and the wall. I realized that what was causing this was I was hearing the speaker and the reflection from the wall causing the image to come from between them. It occurred to me that this could be a good thing or a bad thing. Bad from the viewpoint that this strong reflection had to be tamed or good because, if set up correctly, could make the soundstage appear wider and outside the speakers. I suppose that you could call that presentation. BTW, I use Newform ribbons that seem to have a high dispersion pattern down to 1,000Hz. This also means that my SEAS woofer is nowhere near the point where it beams and perhaps it too has wide dispersion. I'm guessing on this last part.

    The point of this monolog is to point out that I am not a passive listener. I imagine that very few people here are. I don't like smiley faces on EQ's and don't care much for lower quality speakers mostly because they have sloppy bass or the bass is accentuated to make people think they go lower than they do. I'm mostly a midrange guy who would rather have very little bass rather than have poor bass. The highs are second on my list in importance.

    Back to CD's (redbook)...

    One of my favorite recordings is “Starry Night” by Julio Iglesias which I have on CD and Vinyl. Tonally, they are identical on both mediums. Admittedly, they use a little too much reverb, but I can live with that. What's different between the CD and the vinyl is that the vinyl presents much more detail than the CD version plus the highs are extended on vinyl. When I say extended what I mean is that the highs are there on both formats, but on the vinyl I can hear the cymbals shimmering in the background, but on the CD all I can hear is the tink of the stick hitting it. This effect pretty much applies to the entire frequency range which is why I say CD's sound dull in comparison. The bass or midbass is not accentuated as you implied, it is the same on both formats. The only real difference is the amount of detail present and separation of instruments in the soundstage. I would assume that my choice in phono cartridges and preamp has something to do with that. Because of this detail, everything sounds more real.

    Look, I don't always understand why things are as they are, I can only report what I hear. I use a Trends TA 10.1 modified amp putting out about 5 watts and that completely blows away my previously owned Mark Levinson class A amp costing $4,000 in terms of sound quality. It doesn't make any sense, nor would I imagine that the T-amp specs out nearly as well as the ML. Maybe it's a synergy thing? Here is one area where I think digital exceeds analog, but I'm sure that many people would disagree with me on this, at least with their system. Also I'm sure there is better than my T-amp, but at nowhere near the price range.

    Skirming...

    I don't equalize CD's and vinyl, they are not equal. With the digital equipment I have and have owned, vinyl wipes the floor with digital. With the right digital equipment I might change my mind and would love it if I could. Records are a pain in the butt, but well worth it for the increase in sound quality. Of course we're speaking about redbook versus vinyl.

    As for these people you mentioned, I don't have a clue who they are. Also, there is a great difference between recordings whether on CD or vinyl. Perhaps Doug is not so adept at creating vinyl or the process he used wasn't up to the task. You keep comparing things to the masters, but you should be comparing it to live. I have also heard that analog tape masters are far superior to vinyl or digital at any resolution.

    As I mentioned earlier, my experience is that CD and vinyl sound the same, the only difference is that redbook lacks the detail of vinyl and digital sounds very harsh when there is a lot of high frequency content.

    As for running a music server and high rez files, that's not for me. I might listen to a record/song or two every day, or not, and it is much simpler for me to throw in a CD or record than turn on my computer and navigate through my files to find what I want. I can see the draw of a music server if I had a huge number of recordings or listened to a great deal more music.

    Besides, my computer is an overclocked i7 system which pulls about 300 watts average, plus I use dual monitors that add to that. My stereo uses less than 25 watts total. Why would I want to use nearly 400 watts to do what I can do with 25 watts?

    You can talk till your blue in the face, but if you came to my house, I wouldn't let you in. That's a joke. But if you did hear what I hear, you would be out of your mind to think that digital is better.

    You say CD's are more truthful to the master, but why do CD's lack the detail I hear on vinyl? Why does digital sound harsh? I'm sure you will blame that on my equipment and you might be right, but in the end, if a modest priced turntable sounds much better than a modest priced CD player, where is the advantage of digital. I spent about $400 on my turntable/cartridge/preamp and why do I have to spend thousands on a digital front end just to equal that and more to exceed it?

    Forget about Hi-Rez, we're comparing redbook with vinyl.
  • 09-30-2012, 01:01 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I can't hear anything above 16k. That was true 30 years ago and it's true today. From what people say, I imagine that will change in my later years, for the worse. However, my hearing is quite good. For instance, I can hear a floor fan upstairs sitting on thick carpeting and padding from downstairs as long as the rest of the house is quiet. Another example is when I was listening to a live band, I could focus on the reflections coming from the walls of the room which were distinct from the source. I'm extremely sensitive to bass and cannot stand bass that is excessive, even a little.

    Also, I am glaringly aware when the balance is off between fundamental frequencies and it's harmonics. For instance, my systems doesn't go down to 20Hz so when a note is played that goes below the threshold of my speakers, I can hear the harmonics, but not the fundamental. It stands out like a sore thumb. This is also true for the rest of the frequency range if there are humps or dips in the output. Of course there is a limit to my ability to detect these abnormalities. It becomes harder to detect when the change is gradual over an extended range, which in cases like this, it takes extended listening to finally say that it just doesn't sound right. I assume that all I said is normal for people interested in highend audio and I don't see this (ability?) as anything but normal..

    I don't use tone controls or equalizers. I own some, but with quality speakers it's usually a DB up here or a DB down there, not worth dealing with in most cases.

    When I was creating the crossover for my speakers I had one speaker set up about 16 feet away and about 5 foot from a side wall. I was amazed that the sound came distinctly from between the speaker and the wall. I realized that what was causing this was I was hearing the speaker and the reflection from the wall causing the image to come from between them. It occurred to me that this could be a good thing or a bad thing. Bad from the viewpoint that this strong reflection had to be tamed or good because, if set up correctly, could make the soundstage appear wider and outside the speakers. I suppose that you could call that presentation. BTW, I use Newform ribbons that seem to have a high dispersion pattern down to 1,000Hz. This also means that my SEAS woofer is nowhere near the point where it beams and perhaps it too has wide dispersion. I'm guessing on this last part.

    The point of this monolog is to point out that I am not a passive listener. I imagine that very few people here are. I don't like smiley faces on EQ's and don't care much for lower quality speakers mostly because they have sloppy bass or the bass is accentuated to make people think they go lower than they do. I'm mostly a midrange guy who would rather have very little bass rather than have poor bass. The highs are second on my list in importance.

    Back to CD's (redbook)...

    One of my favorite recordings is “Starry Night” by Julio Iglesias which I have on CD and Vinyl. Tonally, they are identical on both mediums. Admittedly, they use a little too much reverb, but I can live with that. What's different between the CD and the vinyl is that the vinyl presents much more detail than the CD version plus the highs are extended on vinyl. When I say extended what I mean is that the highs are there on both formats, but on the vinyl I can hear the cymbals shimmering in the background, but on the CD all I can hear is the tink of the stick hitting it. This effect pretty much applies to the entire frequency range which is why I say CD's sound dull in comparison. The bass or midbass is not accentuated as you implied, it is the same on both formats. The only real difference is the amount of detail present and separation of instruments in the soundstage. I would assume that my choice in phono cartridges and preamp has something to do with that. Because of this detail, everything sounds more real.

    Look, I don't always understand why things are as they are, I can only report what I hear. I use a Trends TA 10.1 modified amp putting out about 5 watts and that completely blows away my previously owned Mark Levinson class A amp costing $4,000 in terms of sound quality. It doesn't make any sense, nor would I imagine that the T-amp specs out nearly as well as the ML. Maybe it's a synergy thing? Here is one area where I think digital exceeds analog, but I'm sure that many people would disagree with me on this, at least with their system. Also I'm sure there is better than my T-amp, but at nowhere near the price range.

    Skirming...

    I don't equalize CD's and vinyl, they are not equal. With the digital equipment I have and have owned, vinyl wipes the floor with digital. With the right digital equipment I might change my mind and would love it if I could. Records are a pain in the butt, but well worth it for the increase in sound quality. Of course we're speaking about redbook versus vinyl.

    As for these people you mentioned, I don't have a clue who they are. Also, there is a great difference between recordings whether on CD or vinyl. Perhaps Doug is not so adept at creating vinyl or the process he used wasn't up to the task. You keep comparing things to the masters, but you should be comparing it to live. I have also heard that analog tape masters are far superior to vinyl or digital at any resolution.

    As I mentioned earlier, my experience is that CD and vinyl sound the same, the only difference is that redbook lacks the detail of vinyl and digital sounds very harsh when there is a lot of high frequency content.

    As for running a music server and high rez files, that's not for me. I might listen to a record/song or two every day, or not, and it is much simpler for me to throw in a CD or record than turn on my computer and navigate through my files to find what I want. I can see the draw of a music server if I had a huge number of recordings or listened to a great deal more music.

    Besides, my computer is an overclocked i7 system which pulls about 300 watts average, plus I use dual monitors that add to that. My stereo uses less than 25 watts total. Why would I want to use nearly 400 watts to do what I can do with 25 watts?

    You can talk till your blue in the face, but if you came to my house, I wouldn't let you in. That's a joke. But if you did hear what I hear, you would be out of your mind to think that digital is better.

    You say CD's are more truthful to the master, but why do CD's lack the detail I hear on vinyl? Why does digital sound harsh? I'm sure you will blame that on my equipment and you might be right, but in the end, if a modest priced turntable sounds much better than a modest priced CD player, where is the advantage of digital. I spent about $400 on my turntable/cartridge/preamp and why do I have to spend thousands on a digital front end just to equal that and more to exceed it?

    Forget about Hi-Rez, we're comparing redbook with vinyl.

    So, in saying all of this, you are admitting that your digital playback gear is weaker than your vinyl playback gear, or your ears love the distortion of vinyl, and hate the lack thereof from digital. You are also dismissing Hi-rez because of your lack of experience and exposure to it. You cannot realize the advantage of digital without experience the best of it - so you perspective is pretty narrow in evaluating it even on a fundamental level.

    Those of us who have actively pursued Hi-Rez digital whether through downloads or disc know your comments are naive, narrow-minded, and very short of objective fact. I say you need to further explore and expose yourself to Hi-Rez before you make proclamations about any vinyl to digital comparison - subjective or not.

    As far as the mastering engineers I mention, the fact that you don't know them if very telling. Those guys represent the best of the best in terms of mastering for both digital(at all levels), and analog(most exclusively vinyl). They happen to be some of the best vinyl lathe cutting master makers in the business. All are Grammy award winners at that.