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Thread: Digital audio vs vinyl

  1. #91
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,999
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi Brian,

    Could I just confirm which member owns the system you're referring to and where he lives?

    Marco.
    Hi Marco,

    When I first joined this site one of the first people I met on AOS was a chap called Steve who kindly offered to clean some records for me as he is only 5 minutes round the corner. Steve now has a business selling high end equipment and has become a good friend over the years.

    Not only does he sell very good equipment he also has an extraordinary environment in which to listen, it is unique and very special.

    I don't want to say anything more about him on this post but if you would like to know more just PM or give me a call.

    Jim
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  2. #92
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,604
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Fair enough mate, why not ask him to join AoS, contribute to discussions and sell some of his stuff?

    We need to have a sesh anyway, as we've talked about for a while, so when I pop down to your place, we can perhaps 'kill two birds', as it were

    Essentially, I'd like to bring my Sony DAC down and hear it in Steve's system, against the Chord Dave. You can tell him that he may have a potential customer.

    Marco.

    P.S Just noticed you appear to be saying that he's already a member here?
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  3. #93
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,999
    I'm James.

    Default

    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  4. #94
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Sheffield - UK

    Posts: 5,669
    I'm Mark.

    Default Digital audio vs vinyl

    I have a lot of experience with regard to the digital vs vinyl debate and have been known to take quite a firm stance - but let me try to explain how I see things.

    Since the invention of CD I've done masses, perhaps hundreds, of digital versus analogue comparisons - most A/B in systems other than my own but also some in my own system. I've compared budget solutions and state of the art equipment costing many, many thousands. In recent years most of these demos or comparisons have involved playing files (as opposed to a CD) or streaming. Now I'm heavily invested (financially, physically and emotionally) in vinyl and have a record collection dating from my early teens (so over thirty years), but I'm not blind/deaf to what digital can offer, or the faults of vinyl. In fact I would go so far as to say that if CD sounds very hard to you (these days) and vinyl is all warm and welcoming, then something is very wrong - probably with your speaker/amp/room interface but almost certainly with your turntable (pleasant sounding as it may be).

    Back in the day when CD was introduced and Philips promised 'Perfect Sound Forever' it was quite profoundly different to the sound of 'good' analogue. The vinyl was all about drive and dynamic swing but a bit opaque and rolled off at the extremes. The CD was all about leading edge attack and flat response (not the magazine) but low on visceral impact and hard verging on unrelenting in delivery. Speakers with slightly peaky tweeters were common because vinyl didn't stress them and a bit of 'sparkle' was appreciated - CD sent the same tweeters into a breakup mode freak out that endangered the enamel of your teeth.

    Move on to the current day and CD is a whole lot better. In fact, it's not only more polite than before, it's sometimes too polite! The best CD players still cost quite a lot of money though and budget ones, whilst not hard and brittle, are pretty bland affairs. On the other hand streaming and files are a real moveable feast - high res files can sound amazing but at its worst streaming can sound like second rate MP3 (unfortunately common in fact).

    So what about vinyl? Well, the truth is that I'm more experienced with budget digital than budget vinyl and pretty much all my experience in the last 15 years (or so) has been with vinyl rigs costing many, many thousands. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that if you want really good performance vinyl costs - but then it does deliver in a quite different way than more 'reasonably priced' vinyl setups. The best vinyl systems are now tonally pretty much identical to a very good digital solution and the differences boil down to stereo imagery, depth and subtle aspects like lyricism and palpability.

    Sorry, I might write a bit more in a bit, I seem to have written a bit of an essay.

    100% Analogue

  5. #95
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 26,747
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    Nice analysis Mark.

    I think I agree, but it all depends on budget really. I've spent rather more on CD replay than on my very good sounding record playing setup, but I get equally satisfying results from both.
    Mr. Tact!

    Main system: MMs/ADCs/Low output MC's/One rare Japanese SUT/One scarce British phono stage/various tonearms/hefty Japanese DD TT and hefty Japanese BD TT and small British BD TT. 4 CD players/2 jitter buster/2 DACs/Valve buffer. TVC stepped attenuator or valve pre-amp or solid state pre-amp. Current dumping power-amp or either of two Class A SS power-amp or Class A EL34 valve monos or big Japanese (part Class A) integrated. Big dual concentric speakers/Smaller dual concentric speakers/Two way British compacts and full range speakers, amongst others. And too much more to list!

  6. #96
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,604
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by YNWaN View Post
    I have a lot of experience with regard to the digital vs vinyl debate and have been known to take quite a firm stance - but let me try to explain how I see things.

    Since the invention of CD I've done masses, perhaps hundreds, of digital versus analogue comparisons - most A/B in systems other than my own but also some in my own system. I've compared budget solutions and state of the art equipment costing many, many thousands. In recent years most of these demos or comparisons have involved playing files (as opposed to a CD) or streaming. Now I'm heavily invested (financially, physically and emotionally) in vinyl and have a record collection dating from my early teens (so over thirty years), but I'm not blind/deaf to what digital can offer, or the faults of vinyl. In fact I would go so far as to say that if CD sounds very hard to you (these days) and vinyl is all warm and welcoming, then something is very wrong - probably with your speaker/amp/room interface but almost certainly with your turntable (pleasant sounding as it may be).

    Back in the day when CD was introduced and Philips promised 'Perfect Sound Forever' it was quite profoundly different to the sound of 'good' analogue. The vinyl was all about drive and dynamic swing but a bit opaque and rolled off at the extremes. The CD was all about leading edge attack and flat response (not the magazine) but low on visceral impact and hard verging on unrelenting in delivery. Speakers with slightly peaky tweeters were common because vinyl didn't stress them and a bit of 'sparkle' was appreciated - CD sent the same tweeters into a breakup mode freak out that endangered the enamel of your teeth.

    Move on to the current day and CD is a whole lot better. In fact, it's not only more polite than before, it's sometimes too polite! The best CD players still cost quite a lot of money though and budget ones, whilst not hard and brittle, are pretty bland affairs. On the other hand streaming and files are a real moveable feast - high res files can sound amazing but at its worst streaming can sound like second rate MP3 (unfortunately common in fact).

    So what about vinyl? Well, the truth is that I'm more experienced with budget digital than budget vinyl and pretty much all my experience in the last 15 years (or so) has been with vinyl rigs costing many, many thousands. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that if you want really good performance vinyl costs - but then it does deliver in a quite different way than more 'reasonably priced' vinyl setups. The best vinyl systems are now tonally pretty much identical to a very good digital solution and the differences boil down to stereo imagery, depth and subtle aspects like lyricism and palpability.
    Superb post, Mark! I concur 110% with what you've written (especially the bit in bold), as it mirrors my own experience. I think we're also coming at it from similar directions

    Marco,
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  7. #97
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,999
    I'm James.

    Default

    I,m following you Mark and agree with all your observations.

    For me it's not really worth using CD as a benchmark for digital as file based systems quite easily better any CD player out there and I have heard some mega bucks stuff. Quite simply although CD has its place the future for really great digital I feel will be from file based systems via the best DACs out there.

    However as digital systems slowly unravel the potential in digital recordings they seem to strangely start to sound more analog which is not a bad thing. Ultimately the sound is still not yet for me as good as a great vinyl system which delivers a presentation and acoustic rendition of a recording that digital cannot quite achieve. It may come down to the fact that delivering music from these two very different technologies will never be the same and there will always be discernible differences as there are between say valves and transistors.

    Digital will I believe always have it own sound as will vinyl. Some folk extol the technical virtues of digital which on paper trounce vinyl but in practice don't quite cut the mustard. Somehow the prehistoric mechanical nature of vinyl delivers analog sound that our ears and soul loves. Digital seems to forever inhabit another universe which does not quite connect with the brain in the same way.

    Now I have heard digital completely blow me away and do things vinyl could only dream of but I always feel slightly disconnected.

    All the debate about the technicalities for me is meaningless and trying to translate those technicalities to win an argument one way or the other is pointless. Ultimately you need to just sit down and listen and that will tell you all you need to know.
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  8. #98
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: W Lothian

    Posts: 34,392
    I'm Grant.

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    still quite like cd personally. I am as per usual out of step
    Regards,
    Grant ....
    Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
    .... ..... ...... ...... ................... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
    IMUTO TAURUS X4 BATTERY SUPPLY. - RPI2B & AUDIOPHONICS DAC running MOODE 3.7- TONBRUX BATTERY SUPPLY & CHROMECAST2 AUDIO DONGLE no1 - JBE SERIES 3 SLATEDECK & EMOTIVA XPS-1 PHONO - DENON DV2900 - TWIN PRO MONOBLOCK AMPLIFIERS. - XIANG SHENG DAC\PRE\HEADPHONE AMP. -AUDIO TECHNICA ATH-MSR7 & OPPO PM-3 PLANAR HEADPHONES - WIN10 JRIVER22, SPOTIFY PREMIUM- KINPS CABLES, SMSL M6 MINIDAC, CHROMECAST2 AUDIO DONGLE no2 POWERED BY ANKER BATTERY PSU - FULL RANGE TWIN & SINGLE TELEFUNKEN's - Q ACOUSTIC BT3 actives - CANTON SUB - TANDBERG TCD310 CASS - CARTS.. ACD xlm mk1 integra, AT95SA Shibata, SHURE N55 SAS, SHURE M55E original, JVC MD1029. - RCA CABLES BY BRIAN SPKR CABLES BY MOI HAIR BY MARCO FEET BY ELECTRICBEACH - MAINS REGENERATED BY POWERINSPIRED AND FILTERED BY BELKIN PUREAV.

  9. #99
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 70,604
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    I think that the most ardent digital fanboy would get a shock, and a rather rude awakening, listening to truly top-notch vinyl replay (which many of them simply have never heard and have little concept of); indeed I've seen evidence of that at bake-offs, where you can see the look on their faces of 'WTF is happening here, then?'

    These are usually folk who've been brainwashed by the 'facts' presented by technical specifications or measurements, and struggle to grasp why what they've been told by supposed 'experts' simply doesn't tally with what their lugs are clearly hearing!

    Anyway, with regards to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo
    However as digital systems slowly unravel the potential in digital recordings they seem to strangely start to sound more analog which is not a bad thing.
    It's like I've been saying all along, mate. The LEAST any vinyl or digital source imposes its own sonic signature on the music, the MORE you hear of both the music itself, and the true capabilities of the format. Most of what's perceived as wrong with 'digital sound' isn't the CDs or files themselves (given a good recording), but the limitations of the associated playback equipment.

    It's as simple as that

    Marco.
    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do". - Milan Kundera.

    "Your validity or worth are not defined or determined by the views of others with their own superimposed agendas". - Pharos (on AoS)

    My system:

    Modified Technics SL-1210MK5G/Mike New high-precision bearing & baseplate/Mike New ETP platter/Bruil record weight/Nagaoka GL602 crystal T/T mat. Paul Hynes SR7EHD PSU (plus regulator modules)/DCSXL pure-silver DC lead. Ortofon RS-212D tonearm/'Speedy Steve' custom-made Ebony armboard. Yannis Tome 423.5 Phono Silver-Litz tonearm cable, with Furutech CF-DIN(R) and Eichmann silver Bullet Plugs. Cartridges: Denon DL-S1 in AT MG-10 headshell with AT-6106 Quattro Hybrid lead-wire. Denon DL-103C1 in '103U' headshell with AT-609 silver lead-wire. Vintage Denon DL-103AU in AT-Ti15ANV Titanium Headshell. Shure M55E in Denon PCL-300 headshell with 6N silver lead-wire. Shure original USA SC35C. Audiocom-modified Sony X-777ES/DAS-R1 transport/DAC. Raspberry Pi-3 Model B and IQaudio Pi-DAC+/Paul Hynes SR3DR-05 linear PSU/Williams Audio NAS linear PSU. Heavily-modified Croft Charisma-X preamp. Stereo Coffee LDR. Head-amp: Paul Hynes design/SR5 PSU. Also modified Lentek. Tube Distinctions 50W Class A P/P Copper amp with cryo-treated Tung Sol KT150s. Speakers: 'Lockwood Majors', using 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds, modified with bespoke crossovers. Also Celestion Ditton 15XRs. Stands: Mana Acoustics (non-magnetic stainless steel 'clones’). Hi-Fi Racks Podium T/T wall shelf. Sony ST-5055L tuner. Cables: Furukawa EE/F-S 2mm & 2.6mm solid-core mains leads, fitted with Furutech FI-50 IECs and FI-1363Rs. Stereo interconnects: Sommer Carbokab 225 (with silver-plated MS Audio non-metallic POM RCAs). Speaker cable: VDH 'The Wind' Hybrid II. Digital coaxial cable: 1m Trompeter Electronics Triax TRC-75-2, with MS Audio ‘Starline' silver-plated RCAs. Mains block: Mark Grant 6-way, modded with Furutech FP-1363R sockets and Furukawa cable. Tube Distinctions digital noise filter. VPI HW 16.5 record cleaner.

  10. #100
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 2,999
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    I think that the most ardent digital fanboy would get a shock, and a rather rude awakening, listening to truly top-notch vinyl replay (which many of them simply have never head and have little concept of); indeed I have seen evidence of that at bake-offs, where you can see the look on their faces of 'WTF is happening here?'

    These are usually folk who've been brainwashed by the 'facts' presented by technical specifications or measurements and struggle to grasp why what they've been told by supposed 'experts' simply doesn't tally with what their lugs are clearly revealing!

    Anyway, with regards to this:



    It's like I've been saying all along, mate. The LEAST any vinyl or digital source imposes its own sonic signature on the music, the more you hear of both the music itself, and the true capabilities of the format, and most of what's wrong with 'digital sound' isn't the CDs or files, but the limitations of playback equipment.

    It's as simple as that

    Marco.
    I agree with both of your statements there Marco. Regarding your last statement about the limitations of playback equipment this is so true. Pity the really good stuff is so expensive!

    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

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