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Thread: Dynamic range of vinyl recordings

  1. #151
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Nah, I level-matched the comparisons, mate.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "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.

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  2. #152
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: London, UK

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    I'm Dave.

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    Some CDs, DVDs, Blu rays or SACDs or “studio master” files have been recorded and mastered by people who do use good kit, and at least a modicum of knowledge about what they are doing. Examples might be some of the Linn records classical recordings - e.g. some with the Dunedin Consort. I heard the Dunedin Consort choir live before Christmas - superb. I can’t say that the recordings get close to the live performances, but I am prepared to accept that the hi-res versions do sound slightly better. Possibly the benefits are more apparent with “better” quality kit. I felt that the SACDs sounded a little bit smoother than the CD layer - though others might prefer the sound from CD. I don’t have a wide choice of kit to compare versions., and I can’t do comparisons where the only variable is the quality level of the recordings as sold. Thus any comparisons I do make are not completely valid, even allowing for my own subjective assessment.
    Dave

  3. #153
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Valley of the Hazels

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    I'm AMusicFanNotAnAudiophile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Nah, I level-matched the comparisons, mate.

    Marco.
    What, for Jimbo?
    Chris



    Common sense isn't anymore!

  4. #154
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Yesh, via the telepathy signal we've set up between us

    No, I thought you were referring to the discussion I've been having with Macca.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "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.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  5. #155
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

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    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Yesh, via the telepathy signal we've set up between us

    No, I thought you were referring to the discussion I've been having with Macca.

    Marco.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  6. #156
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 1,422
    I'm Russell.

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    Iíve just spent the last two hours catching up on this thread. And I gotta say, Marco is the Man! Every time I read a post, and had thoughts on it, Marco comes back and reflects my feelings near exactly.

    But you know I gotta add my two cents.

    Much of the blind testing done is suspect. They donít mention what music was used, what equipment was used, and as Iíve mentioned before, they used an average of the population as listening subjects. No wonder results were negative, 50% accuracy supposedly means pure chance. But perhaps half of the listeners had less than good hearing? Or half of the music offered was poorly mastered? Or they were set up in unfamiliar way for most of the listeners? Were the chairs even comfortable? Too many variables to call these test conclusive. If you look up side anyoneís head as you walk through town, notice that no oneís ear looks even remotely the same, each and every human hears differently.

    Many of the A/B tests Iíve read about were designed to bring about the results the tester was looking for. And there is as much bias in reading the data as any expectation bias, so, any test that you didnít conduct yourself should be taken with a grain of salt.

    And I keep reading these theories about how digital works, saying there is no space between samples. And more samples donít help, well I donít buy it. Higher sampling rates do bring higher frequencies, but that is not all itís doing. Yes, there is no space between samples, the sample is flat, a fixed number, for the duration of the sample. So we do start with a stair step waveform. Only after filtering does it become smooth like an analog waveform. Perfect accuracy? Not possible. Nothing is perfect. Anyone who cares to argue this point please tell me of anything that is perfect, besides a cold beer on a hot day. And ďperfect enoughĒ, doesnít count. Itís still not perfect. We donít listen to test tones, music is a super complex waveform. To think you can dice it into a trillion pieces, and reassemble it with absolutely no affect on the original waveform, is pure fallacy. Donít get me wrong, itís pretty amazing! And does a damn good job of delivering what was promised. But to flatly say it canít get any better is naive.

    Changing the subject, getting back to the original subject, I do believe that RIAA equalization has a big effect on why we perceive vinyl to sound better. A necessity to get the lowest, and highest frequencies on the record, bass grooves would be huge, and the needle would be lost in then, and high frequencies would be too small. So, they taper off both ends, and restore them with an equalizer at the time of playback. As a sound man, a room rarely sounds best with the EQ flat, it usually means pulling the middle up, or down, with the ends up, depending on the room, so depending on the phono preamp, and how it shapes this EQ to recover the low signals at each end, could be giving us a more likable EQ curve? More accurate? No, more likable? Maybe?

    While digital is well known for keeping the EQ flat from top to bottom. Any live sound man knows what a BBC is, a magic box that makes your band sound better! But itís really just a fixed equalizer that accentuates just a few frequencies. When you switch it on, everyone thinks it sounds better. So the concept that flatter is better is debatable. More accurate? Yes! Yes it is. Sounds better? Subjective.

    Russell

  7. #157
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,352
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    I’ve just spent the last two hours catching up on this thread. And I gotta say, Marco is the Man! Every time I read a post, and had thoughts on it, Marco comes back and reflects my feelings near exactly.

    But you know I gotta add my two cents.

    Much of the blind testing done is suspect. They don’t mention what music was used, what equipment was used, and as I’ve mentioned before, they used an average of the population as listening subjects. No wonder results were negative, 50% accuracy supposedly means pure chance. But perhaps half of the listeners had less than good hearing? Or half of the music offered was poorly mastered? Or they were set up in unfamiliar way for most of the listeners? Were the chairs even comfortable? Too many variables to call these test conclusive. If you look up side anyone’s head as you walk through town, notice that no one’s ear looks even remotely the same, each and every human hears differently.

    Many of the A/B tests I’ve read about were designed to bring about the results the tester was looking for. And there is as much bias in reading the data as any expectation bias, so, any test that you didn’t conduct yourself should be taken with a grain of salt.

    And I keep reading these theories about how digital works, saying there is no space between samples. And more samples don’t help, well I don’t buy it. Higher sampling rates do bring higher frequencies, but that is not all it’s doing. Yes, there is no space between samples, the sample is flat, a fixed number, for the duration of the sample. So we do start with a stair step waveform. Only after filtering does it become smooth like an analog waveform. Perfect accuracy? Not possible. Nothing is perfect. Anyone who cares to argue this point please tell me of anything that is perfect, besides a cold beer on a hot day. And “perfect enough”, doesn’t count. It’s still not perfect. We don’t listen to test tones, music is a super complex waveform. To think you can dice it into a trillion pieces, and reassemble it with absolutely no affect on the original waveform, is pure fallacy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty amazing! And does a damn good job of delivering what was promised. But to flatly say it can’t get any better is naive.

    Changing the subject, getting back to the original subject, I do believe that RIAA equalization has a big effect on why we perceive vinyl to sound better. A necessity to get the lowest, and highest frequencies on the record, bass grooves would be huge, and the needle would be lost in then, and high frequencies would be too small. So, they taper off both ends, and restore them with an equalizer at the time of playback. As a sound man, a room rarely sounds best with the EQ flat, it usually means pulling the middle up, or down, with the ends up, depending on the room, so depending on the phono preamp, and how it shapes this EQ to recover the low signals at each end, could be giving us a more likable EQ curve? More accurate? No, more likable? Maybe?

    While digital is well known for keeping the EQ flat from top to bottom. Any live sound man knows what a BBC is, a magic box that makes your band sound better! But it’s really just a fixed equalizer that accentuates just a few frequencies. When you switch it on, everyone thinks it sounds better. So the concept that flatter is better is debatable. More accurate? Yes! Yes it is. Sounds better? Subjective.

    Russell
    Good post Russell, I like your thinking on the subject.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  8. #158
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Chorley Lancs

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    I'm Steve.

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    Yes, great post Russell, I understand almost all of it! Looks like the USA has its own Marco. But what about Canada? Please don't say Justin Bieber
    Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side... FZ

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  9. #159
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,352
    I'm James.

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    An interesting article from the NYT which is very apt for this post on dynamic range.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/o...ness-wars.html
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  10. #160
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

    Posts: 1,422
    I'm Russell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigmy Pony View Post
    Yes, great post Russell, I understand almost all of it! Looks like the USA has its own Marco. But what about Canada? Please don't say Justin Bieber
    Rush comes from Canada, so they canít be all bad! We have a joke in my band, ďWe go to practice, but Rush goes to perfect!Ē. Well, I guess you had to be there?

    Russell

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