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Smokey
08-20-2011, 05:27 PM
If somebody ask you to catagorize main stream physical audio formats from past to present in term of sound quality, how would you rank them?

Here is my list starting from lowest fidelity to highest:

Cassette Tapes
8-track tapes
Vinyl LP record
Compact Disc (CD)
Reel to Reel (commercial version)
SACD
DVD-Audio (DVD-A)
Blu-ray

JoeE SP9
08-20-2011, 09:21 PM
I pretty much agree except for your two lowest selections. I would reverse their order. I've never heard an 8-track player with acceptable wow and flutter. All the cassette recordings I have were made on one of my Naks using high bias or metal tape and Dolby B/C without trying to saturate the tape with insane recording levels.

DVD-A and SACD (two channel only) are fairly equal IMO.

dwayne.aycock
08-21-2011, 06:45 AM
I vote this way.
8-track tapes
Cassette Tapes
Vinyl LP record
Reel to Reel (commercial version)
Compact Disc (CD)
SACD
DVD-Audio (DVD-A)

In the end it is the quality of the entire audio stream (amps, power conditioning, inter-connects, speaker cables, speakers, and of course the quality of the source component....table....digital platform.. and the listening space itself. I heave heard great systems sound crappy in bad listening spaces and crappy systems sound great in good listening spaces. I know there are arguments about each or all of these. Face it...if you were not in persuit of perfection at some level, you would not be on this forum. None of us would.

Feanor
08-21-2011, 11:08 AM
If somebody ask you to catagorize main stream physical audio formats from past to present in term of sound quality, how would you rank them?

Here is my list starting from lowest fidelity to highest:

Cassette Tapes
8-track tapes
Vinyl LP record
Compact Disc (CD)
Reel to Reel (commercial version)
SACD
DVD-Audio (DVD-A)
Blu-ray
I'd reverse 8-Track and Cassette but other than that I, for one, have no arguement -- assuming "highest fidelity" you are referring to accuracy to the recording. Vinyl has it's own following of romantic types who feel that LP delivers an idealized, caramel-coated vision of reality that is from their mind's eye rather than actuality.

We ought to added HD files (usually downloaded) to the list. Given the limitation of stereo (vs. multi-channel), they are the best I've heard on my own systems. Two points in that regard: (1) my stereo system is much higher quality than my multi-channel HT system, and (2) my SACD player in my stereo system isn't really good enought to do SACD full justice.

Multi-channel has the potential to beat stereo, but the practical limitations for audiophiles are (a) relatively few, good recordings, and (2) the cost of upgrading one's m/c system to match one's HT. The latter is a luxury a few can afford, (e.g. Sir Terrence, and E-Stat's bud, Harry Pearson); those people tend to affirm the superiority of m/c.

Presently I have no SACD capability in my HT, but I'm thinking of going for an OPPO, a BDP-83 or, less likely, a BDP-95, that can sent SACD to my Onkyo receiver via HDMI as hi-rez PCM. In PCM format my modest receiver can provide all its DSP potential including Audyssey EQ.

RGA
08-21-2011, 12:19 PM
It would be nice if people actually heard good examples of the technology - hearing some Lenco from the 1970s is laughable.

8 track was before my time as was reel to reel. So I really can't comment on them or how good they can be.

What I can say - the makers of the best equipment - and have heard the best examples of the technology focus less on the discs and more on the playback. Plenty of vinyl sounds better than plenty of SACD or CD. Whether due to the recording process is irrelevant. If there is one album on 4 formats and the best it sounds is on vinyl which is pretty true of virtually everything recorded before 1980 - then you need the best available technology to get that recording to sound the best - ie a turntable. If However it sounds better on CD then you need to buy a CD player in order for your album to sound its best.

My only gripe with vinyl is that it seems to cost a LOT more money to get playback that will do it any sort of justice. I find the Rega P3 to be shockingly boring to listen to. And this is the go-to reference table for many folks.

I bought into the notion that a $500 turntable will beat any CD player so I bought a NAD 533 (which is a Rega P2 with a different name on it). I never really liked it. Sure some LPs sounded better than CD - big deal - many CDs sounded much better. There were pops and clicks it was quieter. Basically the vinylphiles were out to lunch I felt. I also disliked the inner groove issues - the last song on an album sounded distorted and you could hear the vocals go off pitch. Overall my CD player was better.

I replaced the cart with a Shure M97xE which tracked better and got rid of the inner groove issue (mostly) but still this is an insanely popular cartridge and deck and still - very mediocre results.

UHF magazine wrote an article in which they basically said the same thing and noted that it took roughly an expenditure of $2500 to really hear what vinyl was about. Pointing out the severe deficiencies of cartridges and tables and phono stages. IME I hate to say it but I tend to agree with their figure - there may be exceptions but tables are made in smaller production runs, ditto for carts, arms and phono stages. I tried a cheap battery operated phono stage (still have it) and several of the ones made by turntable makers (you would assume they'd be good like those from Rega and Grado - sadly they're dreadful.

Even Linn tends to have a coloured sound - it's warm and rich and syrupy but it seems to do that to everything - I want revealing, and transparent with big dynamics and powerful bass lines when they're there. I don't want paper over the cracks whether components or the overall stereo. I want a system that will contrast the differences of the equipment and the source discs (whatever they are) the most. Few systems do this I'm sorry to say.

This also applies to CD and SACD. This review is from a fellow who at that time owned a pretty upscale SACD player and was reviewing another top flight SACD player - he compared it to a CD player playing the same music - the CD player won. He then stopped reviewing and became a dealer for the CD player maker. But again - it costs more audionote (http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue8/audionote.htm)

Smokey
08-22-2011, 08:23 PM
Looks like there is agreement that Cassette is better than 8-track in term of sound quality. I thought since 8-track have higher speed and wider tape than cassette, it may sound better. But due to its finickiness (such as precise magnat head alignment) limit its potential for better sound quality.



UHF magazine wrote an article in which they basically said the same thing and noted that it took roughly an expenditure of $2500 to really hear what vinyl was about. Pointing out the severe deficiencies of cartridges and tables and phono stages.

What about the deficiency of LP itself (dynamic/separation and S/N ratio). No money spend can overcome those shortcomings :)

RGA
08-22-2011, 11:14 PM
Looks like there is agreement that Cassette is better than 8-track in term of sound quality. I thought since 8-track have higher speed and wider tape than cassette, it may sound better. But due to its finickiness (such as precise magnat head alignment) limit its potential for better sound quality.



What about the deficiency of LP itself (dynamic/separation and S/N ratio). No money spend can overcome those shortcomings :)

Those limits only matter if they can be audibly heard as limitations. 16megapixels is better than 4 megapixels but a high quality lens in a 4 megapixel camera will always take better pictures than a poor lens in a 16 mega pixel camera. So the numbers are all fine and good but it's the extraction ability of the lens that actually counts.

A well recorded LP on an excellent turntable will sound better than a dumpy recording of the same album on a CD player no matter how much the CD player costs (ditto applies to SACD).

The LP has a frequency range of 8hz to 50khz (Stan Ricker claims it goes above 100khz) way way beyond the limits of human hearing. Many CD players hack everything off below 20hz and nothing above 20khz or 22khz - except Audio Note which doesn't use filters. CD players miss information and piece it back together by a glorified guessing based engines.

Signal to Noise Ratio is a joke. Vinyl is capable of a true 75db or more SNR. While you will see "propped up" SNR on CD players of 96-110db in some cases.

However "SNR in digital systems is also a measure of quantization noise. This means how much error was there when the digitizer had to make a choice between two adjacent fixed amplitude values versus the real value of the amplitude. This error (noise) can become very dominating when you are talking about low level signals that only use the least significant bits (LSB's) of the digitizer. Dither is especially useful for helping with this type of error although it is not a free lunch, dither actually raises the noise floor in digital recordings. Sigma-delta digitizers (like DSD) greatly reduce this effect but of course they must have high levels of noise shaping.

There is no such problem in an analog system. The noise in an analog system is just random noise caused by all kinds of things. So all you can do is try to keep the noise sources as low as possible [during] recording, cutting and playback."

"In the analog world, SNR and dynamic range vary with frequency. There is no mathematical absolute like there is with digital."

Read Bill Otto on why vinyl sounds better. Technically the CD should sound better - it has a larger envelope but the people who make the recordings are not using the technology to its best advantage - which is unfortunate.

Here's what he had to say:

Is the sound quality of a CD-DA consistently better than the very best vinyl disk, cassette tape, open reel tape, DAT or HiFi VHS?

I used to give the answer "Yes" here. Unfortunately, record companies do not take full advantage of the CD-DA medium when releasing their older analogue recording. See the next question for the reasons why many commercially produced CD-DA's do not match the quality of the same material released on vinyl.

Here's why CD-DAs are capable of better recording than the other formats. 16 bits gives a maximum signal to noise ratio of 96 dB, although unlike analogue systems, this limit applies to narrow band SNR (signal to noise ratio) as well as broad band. However, properly set-up, digital SNR is rarely audible and is overall superior to LPs and tape. Some people claim that a professional 30 inch per second half inch width analogue tape running a little hot (over driven peaks) can be better at signal to noise than 16 bit digital audio. This is probably true. In my experience, tape has significant problems other than SNR: ....


Why is it that my HiFi friends swear that a CD version of a recording is not as good as the LP vinyl version?

You ears and your guests are probably right! It's not the limitation of the CD format that is the biggest contributor to this (although it does play a role at the upper range of frequencies). It is due to some or all of the following factors:


Care in transferring the archives of tapes to CD. Many record companies regarded the old recordings as not worthy of a first class transfer. Also, there was a large catalog and very little time to get to market. So, the transfers were done with less care than they deserved. Also, the artists and the original engineers were not involved in most cases, so the pride in the work just was not there. When Mobile Fidelity met its demise, many audiophiles lamented its passing, since it specialized in doing justice to the recordings. To give just a quick example of how shoddy the work was, in the U.S. CD releases of The Buckinghams, Herman's Hermits, and the Rascals (even boxed sets) most of the cuts appear in mono on the CDs even though the LPs were released in very decent stereo. This is not the work of someone who really cares! (There is now quite a market on ebay.com and other places to get import versions of CDs that were produced with greater care and better sound.)
The master tapes were older when the CDs were mastered than when the LPs were. The tapes do tend to "soften" over time and lose some of the sparkle. When the LPs were mastered, the tapes did not have time to degrade much. This effect can be mostly mitigated by judicious processing to recover the lost high frequencies and remove the tape print through.
The CD allows less dynamics processing. To some this may be a drawback, since some of the music will be more delicate and more difficult to hear than on the LP. By comparison, the well produced CD may seem lack luster. The use of "compromises" is so universal in tapes and vinyl recordings prior to the 1980's that HiFi enthusiast are accustomed to the sound.
Some of the digital processing engines were somewhat shoddy, causing inadvertent degradation of the signal before it got to the CD.
All phono cartridges add coloration. There are mild resonances and dips in frequency response. These may be pleasing to the ear.
All phono cartridges have left/right channel variation in phase and amplitude response with frequency. These have a tendency to increase the apparent separation and spatial fullness of stereo sound.
I believe that my thoughts on this seem to be confirmed by the liner notes released with Elton John's Empty Sky album:

All the tapes used to create these new masters are the original mixes. However, due to the fact that the original is at least 27 years old, it has "softened up" to varying degrees. On behalf of the original producer, Steve Brown, we have passed the sound through the most up-to-date digital processing equipment, at 20 Bit Resolution; namely The Sadie Digital System and Prism Super Noise Shaper. The effect is purely to "enhance" rather than "colour" the sound. Had this equipment been available at the time, it would have been used during the original vinyl mastering. The very nature of analogue recordings being transferred to vinyl demanded major compromises. With the benefits of digital sound these constraints are removed, and the recordings can be heard much closer to the reproduction that had originally been intended.
It is quite possible that you and your guests find the compressed spectral dynamic range as used to master the vinyl more pleasing or superior. It is entirely possible that the compression allows you to hear subtleties in the recording that you can not hear in the relatively raw CD version. Alternatively, the high frequency response may have suffered due to tape aging.

Of course, there is the possibility that something inherent in analog mechanical recording is superior to digital recording. I personally still find it difficult to believe that the vinyl could be more accurate.

The exception that I would grant you is if you can hear above 16 kHz. The CD sampling rate of 44.1 kHz really does have a fairly deleterious impact on frequencies up there. I can no long hear such frequencies, so it makes no difference to me personally, With very good equipment and unworn styli, I can believe that the vinyl reproduction would be more accurate and superior at high frequencies. This particular issue should be addressed by the 48 kHz sampling rate of DAT and DVD. It should be entirely wiped out by the Super Audio Compact Disc, or SACD.

Point number 4 above is in agreement with the article on Mobile Fidelity in Audio February 2000. Points 5 & 6 are consistent with audio clinic in Audio December 1999."

Like I have said often - it's less about the specific disc - it's about how it was recorded and the quality of the playback gear. Turntables vary in design to a greater degree than CD. Which is why expensive CD players are rarely distinguished in blind tests from 300 disc mega changers. And as noted above - if you still have high frequency hearing then vinyl has a big advantage.

This isn't tough and it doesn't need blind tests - if thousands of people all complain about the SAME problem - high frequency noise and irritation then there IS a problem. And what was the common complaint about CD - horrible highs which causes fatigue. But that is more a problem with the recordings and it gave CD a bad name. I have heard excellent sound from CD so I am not dumping on it at all. I like it - I will buy it and continue to. Still - the best sound I have heard from anything was on a $100,000 turntable - second best a $30,000 Voyd. Even as a vinyl owner I was pretty stunned that that kind of sound could be had from an LP. I have heard nothing better in the dynamics department or bass, or treble extension - just amazing. But $30k is abnormal.

Problem with vinyl is you simply can't get the "great" sound with inexpensive turntables. You can get great CD sound for $2 grand.

As for dynamics - neither uses anything close to their ability - as Steve Hoffman pointed out "There is only 20 db there! All of the below consoles only have 20 db on their meters. True, sometimes there is much more on the tape but c'mon. Let's not worry about dynamics on the type of music we love the best. Both digital and vinyl can handle anything that is thrown at it."

And that's a big problem because people focus on numbers that never get taken advantage of.

Some vinyl is also noisy because they were recorded from analog tapes which has audible tape hiss that got transferred over to the vinyl.

So it is not that vinyl has a hiss - it is hiss from the original recording. The easy way to check is to a hear a modern day vinyl LP from Sarah McLachlan - Her album - Touch or Surfacing or Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - are noiseless - (and without surface noise on a good player).

CD suffers loudness wars which basically reduced their dynamic ability greatly.

Of course vinyl has to be recorded properly as well - and this site illustrates how difficult it is - especially for new makers trying to make their own vinyl. FAQ's (http://www.recordtech.com/faq.htm)

RGA
08-22-2011, 11:42 PM
"Bob Ludwig has demonstrated vinyl frequencies up to 50khz based on his Neumann lathe. So that right there gives you an equivalent 100khz sampling rate equivalent using Nyquist.

So vinyl then has over twice resolution of redbook at 44.1khz."

And before we assume that CD just wins how about looking deeper at the measurements and see what you think.

There is dynamic range - great - but in the real world what you need to consider is "relative dynamic range" and here LP beats CD, SACD, DVD-A, DSD.

Dynamic Comparison of LPs vs CDs - Part 4 - page 2 — Reviews and News from Audioholics (http://www.audioholics.com/education/audio-formats-technology/dynamic-comparison-of-lps-vs-cds-part-4/dynamic-comparison-of-lps-vs-cds-part-4-page-2)

This illustrates the "theoretical vs the real world" advantage and it appears that the LP wins. There are several pages of measurements but it is clear that the LP measures better than both CD with regards to dynamics and clearly supports what most people who have heard good examples of both technologies hear. And it measures better despite the fact that he is using a very modest Rega P3 set-up which I don't consider to be a very good turntable.

Ultimately, the issue becomes what sounds better to you. Neither are "accurate" so once you accept that fact you need to choose the non accurate device that sounds the best with music you play. What I have found is that I like some CDs better and some LP's better. I generally like the sound of the LP over the CD where I have a copy of both, some are fairly equal where I wouldn't care which format it was on. And of course I have lots of albums only available on one or the other.

Feanor
08-23-2011, 04:38 AM
...
A well recorded LP on an excellent turntable will sound better than a dumpy recording of the same album on a CD player no matter how much the CD player costs (ditto applies to SACD). ...

This, at least, is true


...
Why is it that my HiFi friends swear that a CD version of a recording is not as good as the LP vinyl version?

You ears and your guests are probably right! It's not the limitation of the CD format that is the biggest contributor to this ...
This also is true!



....
All phono cartridges add coloration. There are mild resonances and dips in frequency response. These may be pleasing to the ear.
All phono cartridges have left/right channel variation in phase and amplitude response with frequency. These have a tendency to increase the apparent separation and spatial fullness of stereo sound. ...
Damn! This is true too!


...
It is quite possible that you and your guests find the compressed spectral dynamic range as used to master the vinyl more pleasing or superior. It is entirely possible that the compression allows you to hear subtleties in the recording that you can not hear in the relatively raw CD version. Alternatively, the high frequency response may have suffered due to tape aging.

Of course, there is the possibility that something inherent in analog mechanical recording is superior to digital recording. I personally still find it difficult to believe that the vinyl could be more accurate. ...
Yeah, me too. In fact the comments provided demonstrate that it is NOT.


...
The exception that I would grant you is if you can hear above 16 kHz. The CD sampling rate of 44.1 kHz really does have a fairly deleterious impact on frequencies up there. I can no long hear such frequencies, so it makes no difference to me personally, With very good equipment and unworn styli, I can believe that the vinyl reproduction would be more accurate and superior at high frequencies. ...
What about the rest of the frequencies? :ciappa:

We don't have concede that CD highs (to 20kHz) are necessarily bad, depending on the filtering, etc. In any case personally I don't hear above 10kHz so obviously CD is better for me. :15:


...
This isn't tough and it doesn't need blind tests - if thousands of people all complain about the SAME problem - high frequency noise and irritation then there IS a problem. And what was the common complaint about CD - horrible highs which causes fatigue. But that is more a problem with the recordings and it gave CD a bad name. I have heard excellent sound from CD so I am not dumping on it at all. I like it ...
Well exactly -- CD doesn't always sound "harsh"; it depends on the recording.


...
- I will buy it and continue to. Still - the best sound I have heard from anything was on a $100,000 turntable - second best a $30,000 Voyd. Even as a vinyl owner I was pretty stunned that that kind of sound could be had from an LP. I have heard nothing better in the dynamics department or bass, or treble extension - just amazing. But $30k is abnormal.

Problem with vinyl is you simply can't get the "great" sound with inexpensive turntables. You can get great CD sound for $2 grand. .. (http://www.recordtech.com/faq.htm).
In fact you can get great CD sound with a $400 computer and a $100 DAC.

For all the verbal deluge, RGA only demonstrates that with a great LP and expensive playback equipment many people will prefer vinyl sound though it might not be more accurate. Q.E.D.

hifitommy
08-23-2011, 12:31 PM
what i have noticed on LP vs CD is the greater 'jump factor' where the music suddenly has a sudden dynamic burst. vinyl nearly always exceeds cd here. there are other factors to the sound that hp uses the word 'verisimilitude' for.

another thing is not recognizable in the short term is the relaxed, satisfied feeling that you are left with after a lengthy listening session with LP. contrast that with the edgier (emotional) feeling you are left with after a cd listening period of the same or shorter time.

also, the price point at which LP and cd converge is about $200 with the vinyl increasing distance over cd as you go up. this is from personal experience.

yes, its fussier to set up the LP player but with the right choices of equipment and proper setup, its easy to surpass rbcd sound. not so much compared with higher rez formats like sacd, dvda, bluray, and DAD.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
08-23-2011, 01:32 PM
"Bob Ludwig has demonstrated vinyl frequencies up to 50khz based on his Neumann lathe. So that right there gives you an equivalent 100khz sampling rate equivalent using Nyquist.

Ludwig and Grundman have stated numerous times that if you want accuracy true to the analog tape, don't look for it with vinyl. The people who transferred the Mercury living presence recordings from tape to vinyl and CD state the CD is more true to the tape than the vinyl is.


So vinyl then has over twice resolution of redbook at 44.1khz."

Resolution is not measured by the frequency response. Resolution is established by the recording system, not the playback system. Yes LP has the ability to playback frequencies up to 50khz, but how many cartridges have that response? What this establishes is that vinyl has a wider frequency response than CD, because of the anti aliasing filter implemented in the player.


And before we assume that CD just wins how about looking deeper at the measurements and see what you think.

There is dynamic range - great - but in the real world what you need to consider is "relative dynamic range" and here LP beats CD, SACD, DVD-A, DSD.

Dynamic Comparison of LPs vs CDs - Part 4 - page 2 — Reviews and News from Audioholics (http://www.audioholics.com/education/audio-formats-technology/dynamic-comparison-of-lps-vs-cds-part-4/dynamic-comparison-of-lps-vs-cds-part-4-page-2)

This illustrates the "theoretical vs the real world" advantage and it appears that the LP wins. There are several pages of measurements but it is clear that the LP measures better than both CD with regards to dynamics and clearly supports what most people who have heard good examples of both technologies hear. And it measures better despite the fact that he is using a very modest Rega P3 set-up which I don't consider to be a very good turntable.

When this comparison first came out years ago, many like myself were able to poke a considerable amount of holes in his conclusions. Many of his comparisons did not take into consideration of questions like "do you know if identical masters where used on both formats?" It is a common thing to master separately for each formats, and they usually had equalization applied to compliment the qualities of each format. So no exact apple to apple comparison. His conclusions are also subjective and personal, and not collaborated by anyone else.(no panel of listens). His results are representative of the CD players performance with its D/A converters, not representative of a wide variety of CD players D/A converters. I could go on, but this whole comparison was loaded with personal bias, not objective scientific conclusions.


Ultimately, the issue becomes what sounds better to you. Neither are "accurate" so once you accept that fact you need to choose the non accurate device that sounds the best with music you play. What I have found is that I like some CDs better and some LP's better. I generally like the sound of the LP over the CD where I have a copy of both, some are fairly equal where I wouldn't care which format it was on. And of course I have lots of albums only available on one or the other.

CD is more accurate than LP is, and that has been confirmed. Neither is perfect would be a true statement.

If you notice, once the comparison goes to DVD-A higher bit and sample rate, all of the supposed advantages of vinyl disappear.

Woochifer
08-23-2011, 02:18 PM
Smokey -

Gotta say, this is kind of a nonsensical topic, because what information are you going off of to rank order a format? All of these formats are wrought with variables, most notably the master source and the playback chain.

Just as an example, comparing a cassette tape with an 8-track -- are you comparing prerecorded commercial tapes, or ones that you record at home? If you're comparing home recordings, then how do you account for the format, rather than the equipment?


"Bob Ludwig has demonstrated vinyl frequencies up to 50khz based on his Neumann lathe. So that right there gives you an equivalent 100khz sampling rate equivalent using Nyquist."

T beat me to it, but Ludwig has also stated that vinyl is incapable of providing a transparent reproduction of the original source. Among the formats that he works with, his preference is high res PCM.


There is dynamic range - great - but in the real world what you need to consider is "relative dynamic range" and here LP beats CD, SACD, DVD-A, DSD.

And where again are you getting this from? If DSD is the original source, then how does vinyl improve the "relative dynamic range" in cases where the SACD is a one-to-one transcription of a DSD master? Or if DVD-A and Blu-ray can transfer the full 96/24 or 192/24 resolution of an original PCM master?

Are you now making the argument for processors and equalizers, because the vinyl medium will add its own coloration? Top flight vinyl mastering engineers like Bob Ludwig and Bernie Grundman are the best of their craft because they know how to work around the vinyl medium to get the best possible sound quality. And despite their best efforts, it still does not capture the full sound quality of the original source.

Smokey
08-23-2011, 10:40 PM
"Bob Ludwig has demonstrated vinyl frequencies up to 50khz based on his Neumann lathe. So that right there gives you an equivalent 100khz sampling rate equivalent using Nyquist.

So vinyl then has over twice resolution of redbook at 44.1khz.".

That is such a nonsense. Take a look at RIAA Equalization Curve and you see why:

http://www.platenspeler.com/background/riaa/figure_1.1.gif

As you can see, there is 6 dB per Octave drop as frequecy rise so every thing is pretty much filtered out above 15 khz.

As a side note, music notes does have have higher frequecy than 20 khz in terms of complex harmonics. That is one reason higher resolution formtas such as SACD or DVD-A sound better than CD. Where CD tend to brick filter any thing above 20 khz, other formats move frequency filtering above 50 khz to keep harmonics intact-thus better "warmer" sound.

And Woocher, I was comparing prerecorded commercial formats as oppose to record at home.

RGA
08-24-2011, 04:49 PM
Not sure I was making an argument that LP was more "accurate" than the other newer formats. If so that was not the intent.

I think, and I believe I did say it, was that it is mostly dependent on the recording and that the LP with a good turntable has enough dynamic range and frequency response for pretty much any recording you throw at it.

I sorta get why people like Sir T are interested in the technology and theoretical advantages of one technology over the other. I am not interested in the least bit in that - what I am interested in is the result. I am not interested in comparing two albums that were both recorded the same way on three formats. Because the reality is that such albums barely exist. Sure on LP and CD they exist but here' the problem - CD is technically superior but in the majority of cases - people who own good CD players and good turntables often prefer the turntable. People who have bad turntables (which sorry most people own) - well I don't particularly care what opinion they have.

What I am interested in and any person on the user side ought to be interested in is the result.

So when I buy Ray Charles, or Lucinda Williams (live at the Fillmore), Jackson Browne (all of them), Madonna Immaculate Collection, Pat Metheny (any of them), Dave Brubeck (Time Out), Wes Montgomery, Ricky Lee Jones, and the list goes on - If the sound is MILES better on vinyl than CD when played back on "good" examples of each then I am not exactly interested in the "theoretical" advantage of CD over LP. A Ferrari is faster than a Hyundai Elantra but not if it's under water. Analogy being that the RE has the Ferrari - but some arse in accounting/marketing is telling him to make everything loud and compressed then it may as well be dumped under water - meanwhile the trusty little Elantra zips on by.

When I can't buy the tens of thousands of great albums on DVD-A (if it's still around) and SACD (according to the Sony rep here they may soon stop making all software but worse all hardware) then once again the comparison isn't even an issue because the LP version wins by default. I can listen to Sarah McLachlan on LP or CD but not on SACD - so SACD loses.

And that is true the other way - the format loses if there is no alternate from the other formats. If you like Celine Dion, and apparently some people do, the LP loses because she ain't on it (unless they added her recently). Still though you can't win if you're not in the game.

To me the entire argument makes no sense - if people actually gave a damn about music they would own at least a turntable "AND" CD player. If you're just interested in sound effects and Sonics then I don't really care what you buy because we're not on the same page. The entire point of this hobby is about Music. If you're not into music - then choose another hobby - unless your hobby is technical debates on audio forums - which it seems for many is the "real" hobby.

Theresa illustrated "some" sonic advantages of LP over CD and she noted the limitations. Since both formats have serious problems then you use the best tool for discerning quality - Hint: they're attached to the sides of your head.

I am happy to go to the new formats but I am concerned somewhat on their long term health - There are even rumblings that Blu-Ray is on the chopping block for a new technology. Blu-Ray's main support is film - if something replaces that then whatever audio advantage it has is gone too since it won't be "kept" just for audiophiles.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
08-26-2011, 11:30 AM
Not sure I was making an argument that LP was more "accurate" than the other newer formats. If so that was not the intent.

I think, and I believe I did say it, was that it is mostly dependent on the recording and that the LP with a good turntable has enough dynamic range and frequency response for pretty much any recording you throw at it.

I sorta get why people like Sir T are interested in the technology and theoretical advantages of one technology over the other. I am not interested in the least bit in that - what I am interested in is the result. I am not interested in comparing two albums that were both recorded the same way on three formats. Because the reality is that such albums barely exist. Sure on LP and CD they exist but here' the problem - CD is technically superior but in the majority of cases - people who own good CD players and good turntables often prefer the turntable. People who have bad turntables (which sorry most people own) - well I don't particularly care what opinion they have.

What I am interested in and any person on the user side ought to be interested in is the result.

So when I buy Ray Charles, or Lucinda Williams (live at the Fillmore), Jackson Browne (all of them), Madonna Immaculate Collection, Pat Metheny (any of them), Dave Brubeck (Time Out), Wes Montgomery, Ricky Lee Jones, and the list goes on - If the sound is MILES better on vinyl than CD when played back on "good" examples of each then I am not exactly interested in the "theoretical" advantage of CD over LP. A Ferrari is faster than a Hyundai Elantra but not if it's under water. Analogy being that the RE has the Ferrari - but some arse in accounting/marketing is telling him to make everything loud and compressed then it may as well be dumped under water - meanwhile the trusty little Elantra zips on by.

When I can't buy the tens of thousands of great albums on DVD-A (if it's still around) and SACD (according to the Sony rep here they may soon stop making all software but worse all hardware) then once again the comparison isn't even an issue because the LP version wins by default. I can listen to Sarah McLachlan on LP or CD but not on SACD - so SACD loses.

And that is true the other way - the format loses if there is no alternate from the other formats. If you like Celine Dion, and apparently some people do, the LP loses because she ain't on it (unless they added her recently). Still though you can't win if you're not in the game.

To me the entire argument makes no sense - if people actually gave a damn about music they would own at least a turntable "AND" CD player. If you're just interested in sound effects and Sonics then I don't really care what you buy because we're not on the same page. The entire point of this hobby is about Music. If you're not into music - then choose another hobby - unless your hobby is technical debates on audio forums - which it seems for many is the "real" hobby.

Theresa illustrated "some" sonic advantages of LP over CD and she noted the limitations. Since both formats have serious problems then you use the best tool for discerning quality - Hint: they're attached to the sides of your head.

I am happy to go to the new formats but I am concerned somewhat on their long term health - There are even rumblings that Blu-Ray is on the chopping block for a new technology. Blu-Ray's main support is film - if something replaces that then whatever audio advantage it has is gone too since it won't be "kept" just for audiophiles.

RGA, whoever told you that Bluray was on the chopping block needs their head examined. Bluray is the only media that is growing right now, and there is absolutely no support for anything beyond 1080p.

Music on Bluray is also doing fairly well. Its growing while CD is failing fast.

Ajani
08-26-2011, 12:32 PM
Not sure I was making an argument that LP was more "accurate" than the other newer formats. If so that was not the intent.

I think, and I believe I did say it, was that it is mostly dependent on the recording and that the LP with a good turntable has enough dynamic range and frequency response for pretty much any recording you throw at it.

I sorta get why people like Sir T are interested in the technology and theoretical advantages of one technology over the other. I am not interested in the least bit in that - what I am interested in is the result. I am not interested in comparing two albums that were both recorded the same way on three formats. Because the reality is that such albums barely exist. Sure on LP and CD they exist but here' the problem - CD is technically superior but in the majority of cases - people who own good CD players and good turntables often prefer the turntable. People who have bad turntables (which sorry most people own) - well I don't particularly care what opinion they have.

What I am interested in and any person on the user side ought to be interested in is the result.

So when I buy Ray Charles, or Lucinda Williams (live at the Fillmore), Jackson Browne (all of them), Madonna Immaculate Collection, Pat Metheny (any of them), Dave Brubeck (Time Out), Wes Montgomery, Ricky Lee Jones, and the list goes on - If the sound is MILES better on vinyl than CD when played back on "good" examples of each then I am not exactly interested in the "theoretical" advantage of CD over LP. A Ferrari is faster than a Hyundai Elantra but not if it's under water. Analogy being that the RE has the Ferrari - but some arse in accounting/marketing is telling him to make everything loud and compressed then it may as well be dumped under water - meanwhile the trusty little Elantra zips on by.

When I can't buy the tens of thousands of great albums on DVD-A (if it's still around) and SACD (according to the Sony rep here they may soon stop making all software but worse all hardware) then once again the comparison isn't even an issue because the LP version wins by default. I can listen to Sarah McLachlan on LP or CD but not on SACD - so SACD loses.

And that is true the other way - the format loses if there is no alternate from the other formats. If you like Celine Dion, and apparently some people do, the LP loses because she ain't on it (unless they added her recently). Still though you can't win if you're not in the game.

To me the entire argument makes no sense - if people actually gave a damn about music they would own at least a turntable "AND" CD player. If you're just interested in sound effects and Sonics then I don't really care what you buy because we're not on the same page. The entire point of this hobby is about Music. If you're not into music - then choose another hobby - unless your hobby is technical debates on audio forums - which it seems for many is the "real" hobby.

Theresa illustrated "some" sonic advantages of LP over CD and she noted the limitations. Since both formats have serious problems then you use the best tool for discerning quality - Hint: they're attached to the sides of your head.

I am happy to go to the new formats but I am concerned somewhat on their long term health - There are even rumblings that Blu-Ray is on the chopping block for a new technology. Blu-Ray's main support is film - if something replaces that then whatever audio advantage it has is gone too since it won't be "kept" just for audiophiles.

This argument makes sense to me... at the end of the day it comes down to what sounds good to you and has the albums you are interested in playing...

I see a number of audiophiles doing what you suggest (owning 2 formats). Though instead of CD and Vinyl I'm seeing a lot of Vinyl and Music Server combos... If I return to North America, I could see myself doing just that... (assuming high res downloads are not more widely available and the vinyl sounds better than my music server)...

tube fan
08-26-2011, 06:23 PM
Reel-to-reel copies of masters, or close to masters, simply DESTROYS vinyl, and, yes, of course any digital. We have been hearing FROM THE START that CD sound was miles better than analogue! Only a fool would NOW defend early CD "sound". Yet, most of those defending "high res" digital were the same early defenders of CDs vs analogue. They were wrong at the start, and they are still wrong. At the 2011 CAS, the representative of Magico volunteered that, when he played analogue, people stayed in the room much longer than when he played high res digital. DUH! In one room, they were playing various levels of ever higher digital versions of Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby". After they played the highest super-dooper high res digital version, I got them to play my vinyl version. People immediately started LOL because the vinyl was so superior!

To get great vinyl sound I think you have to spend about $5,000. My current analogue costs about $10,000 (VPI Super Scout, Fosgate phono, Auditorium 23 tranny, and Benz Ruby 3). It will obliterate any digital. Yes, of course, IMO.

Feanor
08-26-2011, 07:45 PM
... Only a fool would NOW defend early CD "sound". Yet, most of those defending "high res" digital were the same early defenders of CDs vs analogue. ..
I'm a fool then. Many early CDs were bad, some were good -- I still have a few of the good ones, (e.g. many Telarc). My first CD player circa 1985 was bright sounding but listenable; my next in 1991 was much better and things have been uphill since then.

Early suboptimal recording and mastering aside, CD was and is more accurate than vinyl, (I'm not arguing euphonic). Hi-rez is simply better still.

hifitommy say $200 is enough for vinyl rig to beat CD; RGA says decent vinyl playback starts at $2500; you say one really needs to spend $5000. I say a person could spend $100,000,000 and it wouldn't make vinyl more accurate than RBCD much less higher resolution.

SlumpBuster
08-26-2011, 08:54 PM
1. Cassette Tapes
2. Vinyl LP record
3. MP3/Itunes/ect
4. Compact Disc (CD)
5. Blu-ray
6. 8 Track
7. SACD (tie)
7. DVD-Audio (DVD-A) (tie)
7. Reel to Reel (commercial version) tapes (tie)

How have I arranged them? Can you name the order? From most what (?) to least what (?).

SlumpBuster
08-26-2011, 08:55 PM
hifitommy say $200 is enough for vinyl rig to beat CD

you know his record collection must be awesome!

Feanor
08-27-2011, 04:01 AM
1. Cassette Tapes
2. Vinyl LP record
3. MP3/Itunes/ect
4. Compact Disc (CD)
5. Blu-ray
6. 8 Track
7. SACD (tie)
7. DVD-Audio (DVD-A) (tie)
7. Reel to Reel (commercial version) tapes (tie)

How have I arranged them? Can you name the order? From most what (?) to least what (?).
Regardless of what "what" might be, do you seriously suggest that 8-Track is between Blu-Ray and SACD? :confused:

Jack in Wilmington
08-27-2011, 04:50 AM
Regardless of what "what" might be, do you seriously suggest that 8-Track is between Blu-Ray and SACD? :confused:

I remember listening to 8 track and tape hiss and the changing tracks in the middle of a song. It was just plain irritating. When I got my first car, I made sure that I got a cassette player installed.
I haven't heard enough Blu-Ray to garner an opinion. I just got "Return to Forever" on Blu-Ray and it sounds great. I'm hoping to find more live performances like that.

SlumpBuster
08-27-2011, 05:37 AM
Regardless of what "what" might be, do you seriously suggest that 8-Track is between Blu-Ray and SACD? :confused:

Yes. Because it is the order that I'm most likely to listen to the format these days. For the past 3 months I've been on a cassette kick, hence most. And 8 track comes before SACD because I don't have any SACD, DVD-A, or reels.

Feanor
08-27-2011, 06:48 AM
If somebody ask you to catagorize main stream physical audio formats from past to present in term of sound quality, how would you rank them?

Here is my list starting from lowest fidelity to highest:

Cassette Tapes
8-track tapes
Vinyl LP record
Compact Disc (CD)
Reel to Reel (commercial version)
SACD
DVD-Audio (DVD-A)
Blu-ray
What about FM radio? And MP3 (which SlumpBuster as already mentioned)?

There isn't as much on FM as there once was, though I still listen a bit. I always liked FM sound from a good tuner when reception was good. For many years I used an analog-tuned Denon TU-500 and today a quartz-tuned Denon TU-767, both very decent tuners.

I was very impressed over the years with live music recorded by the CBC; I suspect they used minimal microphoning and the results were terrific. However I also really enjoyed music that I knew originated from CD -- somehow it seem mellower than CD.

Now, it's interesting that various informal studies have found that many people prefer MP3, especially 256+ kbps, to CD. Here again the effect is typically mellower than CD, (also less resolved and airy, of course).

So there we have it: FM, MP3, and vinyl are all preferred to CD by various people under various circumstances. All these media filter digital sound to sound mellower; they sort of "deburr" the sound to the approbation of those of us with more delicate ears -- or who just can't handle the truth.

RGA
08-27-2011, 10:28 AM
I'm a fool then. Many early CDs were bad, some were good -- I still have a few of the good ones, (e.g. many Telarc). My first CD player circa 1985 was bright sounding but listenable; my next in 1991 was much better and things have been uphill since then.

Early suboptimal recording and mastering aside, CD was and is more accurate than vinyl, (I'm not arguing euphonic). Hi-rez is simply better still.

hifitommy say $200 is enough for vinyl rig to beat CD; RGA says decent vinyl playback starts at $2500; you say one really needs to spend $5000. I say a person could spend $100,000,000 and it wouldn't make vinyl more accurate than RBCD much less higher resolution.

None of them will be "accurate" least of all to someone who can't hear.

The main argument against CD for 2 decades was the lousy High frequencies - since you can't hear high frequencies you were lucky never to hear the problems people complained about - but don't be an ass and say that there are no problems when most people who own both CD and a Good turntable make a claim that one has a problem - they're not making stuff up, they're reporting what they hear.

RGA
08-27-2011, 11:12 AM
Sir T - yes Blu-Ray is growing - DVD used to be growing too and it got chopped. There was a show on TV here not long ago about a company that is putting out movies on some sort of "non-disc" based system - I'm sorry I caught the end of the program and didn't hear what the name of this technology was - you may know about it. It supposedly will kill the video store (although Blockbuster is already belly up and will be gone in Canada soon as well). This technology I assume is some sort of download but the company noted that the movies will be cheaper to buy than rent. Now if it was a download then there is no reason you can't download in HD - it just takes more space and download times longer - but it may have been a stick - I just didn't see the actual technology but they were proclaiming that within a few years it would be more popular than Blu Ray and because you don't have to have a library of discs it saves space - the young people are going to love it just like they love iPod.

Someone mentioned above that people are skipping CD for download music which makes sense to me. CD as a format is technically superior to vinyl but the execution was poor for the most part (for audiophiles which is why all the top stereo companies bring Turntables to audio shows - it sounds better whether it is less accurate is irrelevant). Vinyl has an ownership quality (bigger art work etc).

CD is convenient - this is the big selling feature - convenience - can put it in the car - discmans - can hold more info and is arguably more durable. Once Mp3 came out it was the beginning of the end of the CD. Because MP3 despite sounding much worse - people bought it because it was "convenient" - don't have to lug a big discman around, don't have to worry about skipping or damage in the car deck and don't have to carry a 128 CD case around with you. Nope - a little device the size of silver dollar and you can store over 1000 CDs on it. On top of that all the poor people (most of the country) working at Wal-Mart who can't afford $15 CDs can download it for free (yes it's illegal but companies invented the technology and when people use they seem shocked). Or the person with the $100 budget will download the music and use the $100 to buy XBOX games because you can't rip those.

SACD never really sold on quality outside the niche market within the niche market of audiophiles. People were not buying PS3 because it had SACD (indeed they scrapped it on the new players). That propped up SACD player sales to make it appear people were buying them. Sony was throwing this into 400 disc DVD/CD players and $100 DVD players - so they get to say we wold X number od SACD machines. But that's not what people were buying and I bet 90% of people who bought such players don't even know they have an SACD machine. And that is evidenced again by sales - the newer players don't have the capability anymore. Indeed, they had to make the software "Hybrid" so that they would work in regular CD players. So how many SACD Hybrids are sold to people into SACD or to people who were in a store and were looking for the CD and happened to get a hybrid?

Most people simply don't care about the quality - what they want is convenience and "good enough" sound. SACD never really took off - and it never will. People choose convenience and if they can get their movies on something smaller and don't have to have a chunky disc or box to store someplace they will choose it every time over something that looks better. LD was much better than VHS - much better picture and sound and if offered wide screen - nobody bought - it struggled along for years. People didn't buy for quality. Beta is better than VHS - people didn't buy for quality.

Blu-Ray is still fairly new - sales have nowhere to go but up. The heavy campaigns at Best Buy - trade your old DVD and get $5 off the Blu Ray has been going full tilt. DVD has been around strong for about 15 years. Blu Ray sales increase because players aren't $500 anymore - $89 for a Toshiba. How many of those sales figures are tied to the PS3? They should not count as Blu-Ray sales since the main reason to buy one is for the video games.

Don't get me wrong - I like the quality of Blu-Ray. It is better than DVD. It is better than LD and it's miles better than VHS. But virtually everyone I have talked to in person about DVD and Blu-Ray don't care all that much about the "quality" difference.

Yes it's better but not being a videophile - DVD would have been "good enough" for me. When I watch a movie I watch it for the story and the effects if it has them - what I am not doing is putting my face up to the screen to see if there I can see the individual hair strands on someone's head a little better. LD arguably failed on price - had they been much cheaper more people may have bought them - but that is the case with increased Blu-Ray machine sales. Under $100 for a player from name brands. And it will play DVD so of course people when their player dies will buy such a machine. I don't buy that they're all buying JUST for the Blu-Ray. If for example Blu Ray came out and could NOT play DVD the guy with 3000 DVDs very likely would not have changed - the difference between Blu Ray and DVD is not as dramatic as DVD to VHS or even LD to VHS. I would argue that widescreen of LD made more of a dramatic improvement over pan and scan VHS and that quality difference is still the biggest advantage of movie watching. Nobody bought LD because it wasn't backwards compatible and you couldn't record.

Blu Ray will sell like CD and DVD - but as soon as something comes along that takes up less space and is more convenient they're dead. And it doesn't matter if the quality is "lesser" the market illustrates time and again they will pay for convenience over quality.

Feanor
08-27-2011, 11:56 AM
None of them will be "accurate" least of all to someone who can't hear.

The main argument against CD for 2 decades was the lousy High frequencies - since you can't hear high frequencies you were lucky never to hear the problems people complained about - but don't be an ass and say that there are no problems when most people who own both CD and a Good turntable make a claim that one has a problem - they're not making stuff up, they're reporting what they hear.
So there we have it. To paraphrase, "You're not entitled to an opinion because you don't have good enough equipment and, anyway, you are deaf".

This is the standard Golden Ear argument, to which I reply ... :dita:

Smokey
08-27-2011, 07:20 PM
What about FM radio? And MP3 (which SlumpBuster as already mentioned)?


That is a good question. I guess I put FM at bottom of list in term of sound quality. In the station they might use prestine hi resolution source or good microphone, but by the time the signal is modulated and air born with limited bandwidth, it does loss its fidelity. I use to have an Hitachi analog FM tuner that was size of a tank and it did sound good. But it never sound as good as quality recording of cassette or vinyl.

MP3 is another animal as quality can vary depending on the bit rate. But I admit that high bit rate MP3 (above 320kbps) can sound very comparable with CD, but would rank it below CD in term of sound quality due to compression algorithm-where CD uses raw PCM.


The main argument against CD for 2 decades was the lousy High frequencies.

No, the main complain against CD was lousy recording. The first generation CD were pressed using masters that was optimized for LP which meant dynamic, channel separation, S/N ratio and frequency response was not up to CD potential. Early release of Led Zepplin albums on CD are good indication of that. It sounded so bad that even Jimmy Page complained about the sound quality.

That is why he went back to studio and remaster the original tracks for CD and re-release the albums on CD box set and it sounded much better than earlier CD versions. I also suggest you read history on Rykcodisc label company where they made notable successes in the CD-reissue industry. Their re-isssue of David Bowie albums on CD is very sought after.

Feanor
08-28-2011, 09:52 AM
...
No [CD doesn't have lousy highs], the main complain against CD was lousy recording.....
This has been my belief since Day 1.

Inferior recordings have always been around. That was true back when LPs where the main medium; it is still true today. One still hears new CDs and and even hi-rez that are overly bright (and occassionaly, too dull). One still hears veiled accoustics, lack of air, indistinct imaging, and flat soundstages even as we heard these shortcoming on LPs -- I still have quite few crappy old LPs to prove that point.

I don't find the good CDs to have "lousy highs". Good CDs played back on good, but not necessarily extravagant, equipment sound great full-range including the highs. (I get this from my current, $50 eBay DAC which is at least as good as my previous DAC that cost me 8x as much.)

Lots of CDs, including many early ones made from LP masters, sound pretty awful, but it is the best CDs that prove the capability of the medium, not the worst. High resolution is a step up from CD, but not actually all the big a step in terms of the consumer end product.

RGA
08-28-2011, 10:31 AM
So there we have it. To paraphrase, "You're not entitled to an opinion because you don't have good enough equipment and, anyway, you are deaf".

This is the standard Golden Ear argument, to which I reply ... :dita:

You admit you can't hear above 10khz - since that is the MAIN gripe with CD by most everyone who gripes about CD well others can make that call - I have my view of it.

RGA
08-28-2011, 10:35 AM
That is a good question. I guess I put FM at bottom of list in term of sound quality. In the station they might use prestine hi resolution source or good microphone, but by the time the signal is modulated and air born with limited bandwidth, it does loss its fidelity. I use to have an Hitachi analog FM tuner that was size of a tank and it did sound good. But it never sound as good as quality recording of cassette or vinyl.

MP3 is another animal as quality can vary depending on the bit rate. But I admit that high bit rate MP3 (above 320kbps) can sound very comparable with CD, but would rank it below CD in term of sound quality due to compression algorithm-where CD uses raw PCM.



No, the main complain against CD was lousy recording. The first generation CD were pressed using masters that was optimized for LP which meant dynamic, channel separation, S/N ratio and frequency response was not up to CD potential. Early release of Led Zepplin albums on CD are good indication of that. It sounded so bad that even Jimmy Page complained about the sound quality.

That is why he went back to studio and remaster the original tracks for CD and re-release the albums on CD box set and it sounded much better than earlier CD versions. I also suggest you read history on Rykcodisc label company where they made notable successes in the CD-reissue industry. Their re-isssue of David Bowie albums on CD is very sought after.

I agree - many of the re-issues of CD's have been greatly improved - I wonder if you have heard re-issues on vinyl on 45rpm of many jazz artists and on what vinyl replay system have you heard them.

I am not tied to vinyl or CD or any particular format - I don't need to be since I have both CD and vinyl and have heard arguably the best on the planet of both formats.

People taking issue with vinyl also don't seem to be ready to mention what turntables they've heard or what phono stages - and it actually does matter more so arguably with vinyl. It can change your mind - it did me.

hifitommy
08-28-2011, 10:40 AM
just as driving a car CAPABLE of 150mph, you can feel the effects that it isnt working hard at 110.

the unrestrained airiness heard in hi-rez recordings (that includes LP) just isnt there with the frequency limited rbcd.

just like a car only capable of the 110mph doesnt have the feeling of unbridled freedom of control that the 150 capable car does.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
08-29-2011, 06:12 PM
Sir T - yes Blu-Ray is growing - DVD used to be growing too and it got chopped. There was a show on TV here not long ago about a company that is putting out movies on some sort of "non-disc" based system - I'm sorry I caught the end of the program and didn't hear what the name of this technology was - you may know about it. It supposedly will kill the video store (although Blockbuster is already belly up and will be gone in Canada soon as well). This technology I assume is some sort of download but the company noted that the movies will be cheaper to buy than rent. Now if it was a download then there is no reason you can't download in HD - it just takes more space and download times longer - but it may have been a stick - I just didn't see the actual technology but they were proclaiming that within a few years it would be more popular than Blu Ray and because you don't have to have a library of discs it saves space - the young people are going to love it just like they love iPod.

RGA, DVD is nearly fifteen years old, and just about everything that could come out on it, has. That is why it is in decline. Since 2006 when Bluray and HD DVD first came out, there have been dozens of announcements of HD disc killer technologies on the way. None have shown up. First it was downloads, and so far revenue has been flat this year. Then streaming comes along, and that was supposed to kill Bluray, but it ended up killing DVD rentals instead.

There is a big impediment for HD downloads. A) the pipeline, and B) download caps. Downloading to a stick is a non starter unless it is HDCP encoded. This has been proposed before, and rejected by the studio out of piracy concerns.



Blu-Ray is still fairly new - sales have nowhere to go but up. The heavy campaigns at Best Buy - trade your old DVD and get $5 off the Blu Ray has been going full tilt. DVD has been around strong for about 15 years. Blu Ray sales increase because players aren't $500 anymore - $89 for a Toshiba. How many of those sales figures are tied to the PS3? They should not count as Blu-Ray sales since the main reason to buy one is for the video games.

The PS3 is largely why Bluray beat HD DVD, so its impact on sales of disc cannot be underscored.


Don't get me wrong - I like the quality of Blu-Ray. It is better than DVD. It is better than LD and it's miles better than VHS. But virtually everyone I have talked to in person about DVD and Blu-Ray don't care all that much about the "quality" difference.

I haven't heard anyone talk about DVD in years. I guess the folks I hang around with do care about quality.


Yes it's better but not being a videophile - DVD would have been "good enough" for me. When I watch a movie I watch it for the story and the effects if it has them - what I am not doing is putting my face up to the screen to see if there I can see the individual hair strands on someone's head a little better. LD arguably failed on price - had they been much cheaper more people may have bought them - but that is the case with increased Blu-Ray machine sales. Under $100 for a player from name brands. And it will play DVD so of course people when their player dies will buy such a machine. I don't buy that they're all buying JUST for the Blu-Ray. If for example Blu Ray came out and could NOT play DVD the guy with 3000 DVDs very likely would not have changed - the difference between Blu Ray and DVD is not as dramatic as DVD to VHS or even LD to VHS. I would argue that widescreen of LD made more of a dramatic improvement over pan and scan VHS and that quality difference is still the biggest advantage of movie watching. Nobody bought LD because it wasn't backwards compatible and you couldn't record.

Every time I hear or read somebody say that the difference between Bluray and DVD is not all that dramatic, I have to wonder if their eyesight is up to par, are they watching it on a set 40" or smaller, is their equipment calibrated, or they just don't want to see a difference so it could justify them staying with DVD. Starting off with a clean source, DVD cannot come close to giving us nearly what you see on the printmaster, its color gamut is not wide enough, its resolution is not even close. Now that we have Bluray as a comparison, you really realize the drawbacks and limitations of the format.

Folks are buying JUST for Bluray, that is why it is the only digital media that is doing well right now. DVD players are on their way out the door, and DVD sales are dropping like a rock. The studios are already starting to delay releases to the DVD format by a month after the Bluray comes out.


Blu Ray will sell like CD and DVD - but as soon as something comes along that takes up less space and is more convenient they're dead. And it doesn't matter if the quality is "lesser" the market illustrates time and again they will pay for convenience over quality.

It will be a long while before something else comes up, that is for sure. DVD rentals and digital rentals at this point is flat as a pancake, and streaming is killing DVD but not effecting Bluray sales at all. About the only shining star in HD media altogether is Bluray. VOD is also sinking like a ship at present, and Netflix price increase surely has effected its streaming side. Apparently at this point quality is ruling.

Smokey
08-29-2011, 07:33 PM
The unrestrained airiness heard in hi-rez recordings (that includes LP) just isnt there with the frequency limited rbcd.

I think you should have "IMO" somewhere in that sentence because it probably won't fly as a fact, especially LP being a hi-rez recording :)

RGA
08-29-2011, 08:56 PM
Sir T

Well I was comparing on a 32.

Last night I plopped in a Blu-Ray of the 1982 version of "The Thing". I have had this movie on VHS, LD, DVD and now Blu-Ray. And I will eat crow on this. The Blu Ray just utterly anialated (Sp? though I am pretty sure this is the correct spelling but I get a red underline - anyway??) the other versions. I decided to set the Sony LCD to Vivid and it is just eye-popping good. Cinema and Standard have darker pictures but Snow should be bright bright white. On Vivid it is like real life. And it didn't get my eyes tired either so... The DVD is fuzzy in comparison.

Also The Thing had picture in picture running commentary. I bought several Blu-Rays and I will take them with me to Hong Kong and buy a PS3 over there. They dropped the price of them $50 so that was nice timing.

So far I have
The Thing
The Shining
Clockwork Orange
Goodfellas fancy edition
Shawshank Redemption fancy edition
Poltergeist fancy edition
American Werewolf in London
Cairo Time (never seen it but $5 at blockbuster so what the hell)
Terminator 1 and 2 - really interested to see T1 because it usually looks rather dark(grey dark) and grimy.

I may drop by and trade some DVDs in for Blu Ray - then I can get the James Bond movies for $5. I wish they would bring out the Spy Who Loved Me - that was the best Roger Moore one - the only one I really liked from him. License to Kill was good. All the Connery ones though I didn't love Thunderball or Never say Never Again.

I fixed the settings on my Insignia 32 - it has considerably better picture than the Sony 40 interestingly enough. It's better on regular cable as well. It has full 1080p while the Sony is 1080i and it has 600hz. I still get some shimmer on lines with both TVs - straight lines give that shimmer effect.

hifitommy
08-29-2011, 09:07 PM
"it probably won't fly as a fact, especially LP being a hi-rez recording"

that is certainly up for debate. one that will likely show that vinyl IS hi-rez. it certainly outdoes rbcd.

RGA
08-30-2011, 09:26 AM
I should say the only downside to "The Thing" blu-ray is that they gutted all the extras that the DVD has - and those extras were very good. But of course they do this on purpose so that a few years later than they can release a new second edition of The Thing charge more money and get people to buy it a second time. Unfortunately that kind of marketing only irritates people like me - who value a dollar.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
08-30-2011, 10:24 AM
I should say the only downside to "The Thing" blu-ray is that they gutted all the extras that the DVD has - and those extras were very good. But of course they do this on purpose so that a few years later than they can release a new second edition of The Thing charge more money and get people to buy it a second time. Unfortunately that kind of marketing only irritates people like me - who value a dollar.

They probably won't charge more, but they certainly will double dip with a SE edition.

RGA
08-30-2011, 12:13 PM
Had I known I would not have bought it but I wasn't paying close enough attention.

It should be noted that my initial comparison of Blu Ray versus DVD was off of the movie Goodfellas - which is so-so on Blu-Ray - actually somewhat disappointing given that I bought the nice edition with the booklet and the picture quality is hardly anything to write home about. Though I can't complain because if memory serves I has to flip over the DVD version.

You'd think they'd make sure to give this the 5 star video treatment given that most people still grumble that it didn't win best picture. Arguably one of the best 5 films of the 1990s.

I hope the Terminators are good - gonna watch one tomorrow night. I usually expect some sort of new version of T2 - there were something like 5 DVD versions of it LOL.

I want Raiders, Schindler's List, Boxed edition of the original Dawn of the Dead, Pulp Fiction. Geez - they come out with a bunch of absolute crap but hold off on the good movies. Hurry up! studios! And I hope they do a better job on the Schindler's List issue cause the DVD was pretty pathetic - the Laser Disc Boxed set was quite good.

Sir Terrence the Terrible
08-31-2011, 12:45 PM
Had I known I would not have bought it but I wasn't paying close enough attention.

It should be noted that my initial comparison of Blu Ray versus DVD was off of the movie Goodfellas - which is so-so on Blu-Ray - actually somewhat disappointing given that I bought the nice edition with the booklet and the picture quality is hardly anything to write home about. Though I can't complain because if memory serves I has to flip over the DVD version.

You'd think they'd make sure to give this the 5 star video treatment given that most people still grumble that it didn't win best picture. Arguably one of the best 5 films of the 1990s.

I hope the Terminators are good - gonna watch one tomorrow night. I usually expect some sort of new version of T2 - there were something like 5 DVD versions of it LOL.

I want Raiders, Schindler's List, Boxed edition of the original Dawn of the Dead, Pulp Fiction. Geez - they come out with a bunch of absolute crap but hold off on the good movies. Hurry up! studios! And I hope they do a better job on the Schindler's List issue cause the DVD was pretty pathetic - the Laser Disc Boxed set was quite good.

The quality of the Bluray is always going to be a slave to the quality of the printmaster, and the artistic impression the director and DP want. Not all films quality can be compared to the next film based on this. Goodfellas on Bluray will always be better than Goodfellas on DVD - especially if the same master is used for both which is par for the course these days.