• 09-22-2004, 07:53 AM
    Steve_B44
    Nothing sounds the same anymore.
    My dilemma may be familiar, but here goes.
    My old Hi-Fi sounded Great. Marantz 6100 Turntable with an A&R cart+stylus. Marantz PM 310 Amp and big old Speakers - either called Marston Hall or Marsden Hall. The speakers gave up the ghost so I bought some Tannoy Mercury M2's and a Marantz CD6000 OSE SE for CD playing. I thought maybe my hearing was going a bit as time has moved on. But the sound quality is definately not as good as it was with the old speakers and vinyl. My wife tells me it's my age, but I found some old TDK AD tapes I'd recorded onto with my Akai CS-MO2 cassette deck. Some of these are 15 years old + but still sound far better than CD's do thru my system. How can I make CD's sound as good as my old vinyl did???????
  • 09-22-2004, 08:47 AM
    Wireworm5
    I dunno, I think that cds should sound just as good or better. I would have to think that the change in speakers is the culprit. Your use to hearing their characteristic sound and the new ones don't do it for you. It may take some time to adjust to the different sound. With a pair I bought I wasn't satified either but I couldn't put a finger on it immediately to tell what was missing. After a month or two of listening I realized that I prefered a sharper treble. So I went out and purchased two bookshelves that had this characteristic. It was just a small change like this that made the difference.
  • 10-02-2004, 03:05 PM
    Kaboom
    Vinyl is superior
    You cant. CD does not sound as good as vinyl. the best explanation i've seen of this is here. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question487.htm
    If you look at the graph u'll see above the 10khz range the CD does a pretty lousy job of sampling the signal. This means that trumpets, cymbals and in general all metal instruments will have a part of their harmonics reproduced incorrectly. This pretty much sucks. Of course u'll only notice it with the propper equipment. No doubt a crappy-ass turntable with a lousy cartridge compared to a kick-ass CD player hooked the the same amp will sound worse, but hey if we are talking about comparable range equipment, there IS an audible difference between the two.
    And if you are careful, clean and maintain ur records and needle and use a cartridge tracking below the 1.75g frontier, wear and tear are no issue.
    Ok CD-lovers, let the flaming start...
  • 10-02-2004, 03:47 PM
    Feanor
    Too bad it's simplistic nonsense
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kaboom
    You cant. CD does not sound as good as vinyl. the best explanation i've seen of this is here. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question487.htm
    If you look at the graph u'll see above the 10khz range the CD does a pretty lousy job of sampling the signal....

    Whether or not LPs sound better than CDs, the explaination offerred in your reference is basically wrong. It has been demonstated in theory and practice that the 44.1KHz sampling rate is completely adequate to for accurate record up to 20KHz. On the other hand, there are more complicated, techical reasons why CDs haven't always sounded great.

    But main reason probably isn't a technical one, but rather the recording and mastering methods that engineers and producers have choosen to use for CDs vs. LPs.
  • 10-02-2004, 04:21 PM
    Geoffcin
    All I do is digital now
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kaboom
    If you look at the graph u'll see above the 10khz range the CD does a pretty lousy job of sampling the signal. This means that trumpets, cymbals and in general all metal instruments will have a part of their harmonics reproduced incorrectly

    Ok CD-lovers, let the flaming start...

    And I don't feel I'm missing anything. On the contrary, I've been replacing a lot my old vinyl with DVD-Audio disks, and am hearing things I've never heard before on these tracks. Of course it could be that they are going back to the master tapes to make the DVD-Audio pressings, but I've never heard YES, the Eagles, or even the Doors sound so good.

    The link to the "how stuff works" site is nice, but a look at it shows that's it's graph is misleading. The Waveform of a CD recording is not a truncated square wave like the graph shows when it reaches your preamp. The A/D converter of your CD player decodes the waveform from the digital PCM. It doesn't look like the graph after this is done. A good CD player will show a perfect 10khz waveform with the corresponding PCM signal.

    The one test that phono looses, and it's a big one, is in the signal to noise ratio. Even the best cartridges have ratings up in the 60's, while the best CD player approach 100db or better. This does not mean the vinyl doesn't sound good, it just means that all things being equal CD's can be better.

    The real problem that I've found with CDs is that the quality of the Recordings can be very poor. A lot of recorded music has been purposely mixed for cars & or clubs, and is NOT of high quality. Audiophile quality CDs can be very expensive too, so your not likely to see them in your local music store. JVC, Telarc, and a few others make these, and they are quite a revelation if you ever have a chance to sample one with a good CD player.

    I've also replaced my FM tuner with the Digital music channels that come in with my digital cable. They are of much higher quality than I've been able to get with FM, and some of the Jazz recordings even rival CD. I'm using an Scientific Atlanta HD cable box, and I'm pretty sure it's got 192khz/24bit decoders in it.

    Oh, there's not going to be any flame wars here either, I assure you!
  • 10-02-2004, 09:26 PM
    topspeed
    You did audition the Tannoy's before you bought them, right? My guess is you are going through a transition period as your brain recalibrates to the new sound of your speakers. Changing out something as dramatic as speakers will make a far greater difference than switching out your front end, although that too will sound different. Is vinyl superior to cd? For the sake of everyones sanity, let's just let everyone decide for themselves and leave it at that. LP's are far too fussy for me to worry about these days, especially when you have SACD and DVD-A available. Like Geoff mentioned, most of the problem lies not in the medium but the competency of the recording engineer, which more often than not is questionable at best.

    Give your brain a little time to acclimate to the new sound signature of your rig. If you still don't like it after a few months, I'd look into turfing the Tannoys and looking for a warmer sounding speaker.

    Good luck
  • 10-03-2004, 10:52 AM
    thepogue
    send me all your LP's...
    I'll test them and send you a full evaluation...

    BTW it may take...ohh..40 years or so?

    Peace, Pogue ;)
  • 10-04-2004, 08:46 PM
    shoe
    what kind of music are you listening too?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steve_B44
    My dilemma may be familiar, but here goes.
    My old Hi-Fi sounded Great. Marantz 6100 Turntable with an A&R cart+stylus. Marantz PM 310 Amp and big old Speakers - either called Marston Hall or Marsden Hall. The speakers gave up the ghost so I bought some Tannoy Mercury M2's and a Marantz CD6000 OSE SE for CD playing. I thought maybe my hearing was going a bit as time has moved on. But the sound quality is definately not as good as it was with the old speakers and vinyl. My wife tells me it's my age, but I found some old TDK AD tapes I'd recorded onto with my Akai CS-MO2 cassette deck. Some of these are 15 years old + but still sound far better than CD's do thru my system. How can I make CD's sound as good as my old vinyl did???????

    I bet you are listening to old rock recordings or alot of music recorded 15 + years ago.
    With the higher resolution afforded compact Disks and our newer systems we hear all the recording errors and faults that come along with the older recordings. Harsh highs especially and a definate lack of bass..perhaps the recording didn't need to be so good back then anyways because we mostly listened to the radio. Lets face it the old speakers rounded out the notes and smoothed things out a bit and alot of them had some decent sized woofers in them!.
  • 10-05-2004, 08:41 AM
    piece-it pete
    Whoooooo-weeeeeee we got ourselves a lp vs cd shootout!!!

    The reason many old rock albums sound worse on lp vs cd is the original release was of poorer quality for the most part, at the time they were pop.

    Not a 100% rule, but mostly. And I've got rerelease cds that sound exactly like they were taped on casettes before burning - yeech.

    What we need to hear is a straight one on one between an audiophile recording on lp and a re-release of the same one on quality cd, on similar range players on the same system.

    I haven't heard a cd yet that gives that sense of realism I get from my best albums, though some sound quite good. They tend to harshness, in a big way!

    lps' have:
    Microdirt -
    Infinite range (within spec) +
    Inexpensive generally (that's GENERALLY - like the pogue I buy handfuls of albums at a time for $.25-2.00, albums I actually like, that includes Ricci on London to Yes on Atco) +
    Pain in the neck to handle -

    cds' have:
    Bit-limited range -
    Clean transfer +
    More expensive generally -
    Easy to handle +


    I'm waiting for the next generation cds, many many more bits hopefully, just think -- eq'ing for room (and speaker) deficiences with NO degradation of signal. Could it be true? I hope so. Then us old timers can talk about the day, when men were men and music was lps!

    Pete
  • 10-05-2004, 09:19 AM
    Kaboom
    Of course the DAC smoothes things out, but that's missing the original point. the thing is that the quick transitions are lost. that's what the article says. not that waves are reproduced as truncated squares, just that detail is lost in the higher frequencies, specially in stuff with a lot of harmonics such as braass and cymbals
  • 10-05-2004, 09:49 AM
    BRANDONH
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    cds' have:
    Bit-limited range -
    Clean transfer +
    More expensive generally -
    Easy to handle +
    Pete

    you forgot to mention that you can hang a CD on a piece of string from your rearview mirror
  • 10-05-2004, 10:37 AM
    piece-it pete
    Brandon, I forgot about that one, CDs' win!!

    :D

    Pete
  • 10-05-2004, 03:00 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Steve_B44
    My dilemma may be familiar, but here goes.
    My old Hi-Fi sounded Great. Marantz 6100 Turntable with an A&R cart+stylus. Marantz PM 310 Amp and big old Speakers - either called Marston Hall or Marsden Hall. The speakers gave up the ghost so I bought some Tannoy Mercury M2's and a Marantz CD6000 OSE SE for CD playing. I thought maybe my hearing was going a bit as time has moved on. But the sound quality is definately not as good as it was with the old speakers and vinyl. My wife tells me it's my age, but I found some old TDK AD tapes I'd recorded onto with my Akai CS-MO2 cassette deck. Some of these are 15 years old + but still sound far better than CD's do thru my system. How can I make CD's sound as good as my old vinyl did???????

    I think it comes down to what you're used to. I've mostly bought CDs for about 10 years now, and whenever I go back to an older LP or even a CD version of an older recording, the first thing I notice is how much less dynamic range was available on those older recordings.

    Vinyl has a sonic signature and its own limitations. Mastering engineers had to work around those limitations, but the best of the bunch (guys like Bernie Grundman, Bob Ludwig, or Doug Sax) could work magic with the vinyl medium and get the LPs to sound quite good, even if the original recording was less than stellar. Often, the CD transfers were rush jobs done by different engineers who had no clue as to the type of sound that the original mastering engineer was aiming for. They would just find a master tape and transfer it, without regard for the tweaking and EQing that might have accompanied the vinyl version or any processing added to the master tape that would need to be compensated for on a digital transfer. In these cases, the well mastered LP will easily sound better than the shoddily done CD. The harsh and tinny reputation of CDs arose out of those poorly done early transfers, and a lot of them are still on store shelves. CDs and CD players have gotten a lot better in the last 10 years, and I think that comparing the sound of a CD versus an LP is a situational comparison.

    You can't make a blanket condemnation that all CDs are inferior to the LP version because in my experience that's just not true. And LPs are subject to all kinds of other variables, like which disc stamper was used, the quality of the vinyl, how clean the pressing is, etc. Conversely, I can point to plenty of LPs in my collection that sound far superior to the CD version. Going with DVD-A or SACD, you have a much better chance of winding up with something that sounds as good as it should simply because when the multichannel versions of older albums get done, the mixing engineer has to go all the way back to the original multitrack master tape. Unlike a CD transfer, which can be done quickly and sloppily, working with the multitrack master requires more meticulous attention to detail. If this attention to detail carries over to transfering the stereo soundtrack (which all 5.1 DVD-A and SACD discs also include), then there's little chance that it does not improve upon the CD version.

    The thing about the TDK AD is that they were formulated with a +3 db rise in the highs. With an LP, you got that rolloff at the top end, and the boost from the TDK AD tape can actually benefit what you hear on the playback. When I was dubbing off of CDs, I much preferred using tapes with more linear tonal characteristics because a hot high just made the sound harsh.

    Getting CDs to sound like your old LPs? Won't happen. Too many variables involved, and there's a tendency to recall things as being better than they actually are.
  • 10-06-2004, 10:26 AM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Feanor
    Whether or not LPs sound better than CDs, the explaination offerred in your reference is basically wrong. It has been demonstated in theory and practice that the 44.1KHz sampling rate is completely adequate to for accurate record up to 20KHz. On the other hand, there are more complicated, techical reasons why CDs haven't always sounded great.

    But main reason probably isn't a technical one, but rather the recording and mastering methods that engineers and producers have choosen to use for CDs vs. LPs.

    44.1khz may be adequate(but it certainly isn't accurate) to capture frequencies up to 20khz, but at what kind of quality?
  • 10-07-2004, 12:24 PM
    Feanor
    Great points, Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I think it comes down to what you're used to. I've mostly bought CDs for about 10 years now, and whenever I go back to an older LP or even a CD version of an older recording, the first thing I notice is how much less dynamic range was available on those older recordings. ...
    The harsh and tinny reputation of CDs arose out of those poorly done early transfers, and a lot of them are still on store shelves. CDs and CD players have gotten a lot better in the last 10 years, and I think that comparing the sound of a CD versus an LP is a situational comparison. ... You can't make a blanket condemnation that all CDs are inferior to the LP version because in my experience that's just not true. ...
    Going with DVD-A or SACD, you have a much better chance of winding up with something that sounds as good as it should simply because when the multichannel versions of older albums get done, the mixing engineer has to go all the way back to the original multitrack master tape. ...

    This is all pretty much my experience too. But when I say I don't find LPs better than LPs, topspeed, RGA, and other dismiss my comment saying that my vinyl playback is too crappy for me to know the real score.

    So I dunno the truth, but in any case I'm not going to spend a fortune to upgrade for the sake of the 200 or so LPs I own.
  • 10-07-2004, 12:35 PM
    Feanor
    Perfect
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    44.1khz may be adequate(but it certainly isn't accurate) to capture frequencies up to 20khz, but at what kind of quality?

    From all the theory I've heard from the experts, (I'm not one), 44.1KHz records 20KHz perfectly. Trouble is, you've got to get ride of the "quantization" errors inherent between 20KHz and 44.1. The various efforts made over the years to do this can cause distortion below 20KHz, i.e. in the audible range. Standard examples is the "stone wall" (very steep cut-off) analogue filter that causes phase shifts well below the cut-off frequency.
  • 10-07-2004, 02:23 PM
    musicoverall
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    You can't make a blanket condemnation that all CDs are inferior to the LP version because in my experience that's just not true. .

    I agree. You also can't make a blanket condemnation that digital is an inferior medium to analog. All I can say is that in the vast majority of cases, the LP's I've heard are superior sounding to my ears than the same CD. This tends to be true whether I'm listening to rock, jazz, classical, blues or ethnic music - but not always. I usually concede (as you did) that both mediums have their faults and compromises. Consequently, it's the disc that sounds better that is the winner, whether that disc is CD or LP. As a result, I own over 1000 LP's and only 300 CD's. Probably 275 of the CD's are in my collection not because they necessarily sound better than the LP but because I can't find the music on vinyl.