Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40
  1. #1
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ozarks
    Posts
    3,959

    Categorizing audio formats in term of sound quality

    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

  2. #2
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,710
    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.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  3. #3
    Forum Regular dwayne.aycock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Riverview, FL
    Posts
    58
    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.

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    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.

  5. #5
    RGA
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,539
    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

  6. #6
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ozarks
    Posts
    3,959

    Thanks everybody

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    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

  7. #7
    RGA
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,539
    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    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

  8. #8
    RGA
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,539
    "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

    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.

  9. #9
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    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!


    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ....
    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!

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    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?

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    ...
    - 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. ...
    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.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular hifitommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    sylmar, ca. in beautiful so cal earthquake country
    Posts
    1,442
    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.
    ...regards...tr

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,826
    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    "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

    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.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  12. #12
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    6,883
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    "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.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    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.
    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
    Panasonic VIERA TH-C50FD18 50" 1080p
    Paradigm Reference Studio 40, CC, and 20 v.2
    Adire Audio Rava (EQ: Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP1124)
    Yamaha RX-A1030
    Dual CS5000 (Ortofon OM30 Super)
    Sony UBP-X800
    Sony Playstation 3 (MediaLink OS X Server)
    Sony ES SCD-C2000ES
    JVC HR-S3912U
    Directv HR44 and WVB
    Logitech Harmony 700
    iPhone 5s/iPad 3
    Linksys WES610



    The Neverending DVD/BD Collection

    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

  13. #13
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ozarks
    Posts
    3,959

    Thanks everybody for chiming in

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    "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:



    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.

  14. #14
    RGA
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,539
    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.
    Last edited by RGA; 08-24-2011 at 06:30 PM.

  15. #15
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,826
    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    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.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  16. #16
    Ajani
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by RGA View Post
    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)...

  17. #17
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    355
    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.

  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by tube fan View Post
    ... 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.
    Last edited by Feanor; 08-26-2011 at 08:04 PM.

  19. #19
    Mutant from table 9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,205
    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 (?).
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  20. #20
    Mutant from table 9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,205
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    hifitommy say $200 is enough for vinyl rig to beat CD
    you know his record collection must be awesome!
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster View Post
    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?

  22. #22
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,483
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Regardless of what "what" might be, do you seriously suggest that 8-Track is between Blu-Ray and SACD?
    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.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  23. #23
    Mutant from table 9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,205
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Regardless of what "what" might be, do you seriously suggest that 8-Track is between Blu-Ray and SACD?
    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.
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  24. #24
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    8,127
    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    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.

  25. #25
    RGA
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,539
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    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.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •