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Thread: Dynamic range of vinyl recordings

  1. #101
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

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    I'm Adrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi Adrian,


    My own experience concurs largely with yours, with perhaps the exception that all else being equal, including mastering, when comparing recordings, then high-res, done well, consistently produces a discernibly superior sound.

    Now, bear in mind when making that observation, I'm not near the TV or computer screen, but simply listening to the music (I could be working in the kitchen or anywhere), and so have no idea whether I'm listening to a 'MASTER' quality recording or not. It's only when I actually look at the screen for confirmation of such, or otherwise, that I'm faced with the reality... And almost always, the difference is easily heard!

    I don't know what criteria Tidal use for giving certain recordings their 'MASTER' title (perhaps someone who knows could say?) but it seems a bit too much of a coincidence that, unprompted, almost every time I hear one, it sounds better than the others, through the exact same system.....

    Marco.
    I would agree with most of what you say with the exception of hi-res, I cannot personally discern a difference between it and CD level quality, if the playing field is equal and from the same master. That is on my system and my friends, he is of the same opinion, maybe its the sad fact of old or buggered ears, mine definitely roll off at 15khz.

    What is interesting is the TIDAL experience with their MASTER titles, and I would agree with you these generally do sound exceptionally good when compared to other recording of the same. So it would be interesting to know what they are sourced from (and I am deliberately choosing to ignore all the arguments around MQA and whether it is better or not, on my system it will only be resolved on level to CD quality anyway). Like yourself I often listen to TIDAL random playlists and find new music that way and it can be quite pronounced when the quality is better, interesting.

    There has been much said on this thread and on the ground box one around "perceived' aural quality and what is real and what is not. In my experience only you as an individual can judge that for yourself, after all we each have a pair of ears and brain and by human definition they will not be the same, possibly similar but they will be slightly different. So by that fact alone it is very likely our listening experience and how we perceive music individually will be different to anybody else. So IMO it is best to listen and make your own judgment on what you like to hear and what you don't.
    [FONT="Arial"]
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  2. #102
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,521
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    In all cases where differences have been noted the reason was that the mastering was not identical. This is even true for packages that contain the 16/44.1 version and the 24/192 version although they purport to be the same thing. So this is the most likely case.

    All trials take a 24/192 recording and reduce it to 16/44.1 for the comparison, thus guaranteeing that any difference will not be due to mastering. If you didn't verify this then your comparison has no value. If you did then you have made a breakthrough that would create some serious waves in the audio science community.
    I was listening to the same mastered material just released as 24bit and CD quality.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

  3. #103
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 24,780
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I was listening to the same mastered material just released as 24bit and CD quality.
    Yes but it is important to verify this is truly the case. There is at least one instance where the mastering of the CD version was demonstrably hobbled compared to the 24/192.


    Here's a link to the most commonly cited paper http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195 you have to pay to download the whole thing but the conclusions are reproduced on the title page:

    Engineering Report] Claims both published and anecdotal are regularly made for audibly superior sound quality for two-channel audio encoded with longer word lengths and/or at higher sampling rates than the 16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard. The authors report on a series of double-blind tests comparing the analogue output of high-resolution players playing high-resolution recordings with the same signal passed through a 16-bit/44.1-kHz “bottleneck.” The tests were conducted for over a year using different systems and a variety of subjects. The systems included expensive professional monitors and one high-end system with electrostatic loudspeakers and expensive components and cables. The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems. The noise of the CD-quality loop was audible only at very elevated levels.

    My bold.

    Now this is not conclusive proof and no-one has claimed it is. In any case you only get to really prove things in mathematics. And I want to emphasise again that this is not 'my' argument. It is simply my opinion that having read the research that vast bulk of it demonstrates that we are unable to hear the difference between 16/44.1 and higher sampling rates. It's a opinion shared by the vast majority of researchers into the subject.


    For balance http://www.aes.org/tmpFiles/elib/20190207/18296.pdf here's a fully available meta-analysis (note this paper has been highly criticised for both methodology and conclusions) that suggests that 'evaluation of audio discrimination involves testing the limits of perception and it is clear from the presented meta-analysis that it is difficult to detect.'


    So best case we are talking about a difference (not an improvement, that's not the same thing) which is at best on the edge of perception - how good is your hearing these days?



    And to finish an accessible lecture from a record producer who has made over 100 hi rez recordings (AIX Records). https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...tter.11/page-3


    Note he points out that if you didn't record hirez and digital all the way from the microphones onward, it isn't and can never be 'hi rez' regardless. You think you've been listening to the hi rez version of Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'? No you haven't.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  4. #104
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,521
    I'm James.

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    "So best case we are talking about a difference (not an improvement, that's not the same thing) which is at best on the edge of perception - how good is your hearing these days?"

    This is what I found when I was listening to hi res vs 16bit.

    Your last point regarding recording in digital also has lots of questionable implications, not only was the recording done digitally in the first place but was the hi Rez version just up scaled from 16bit or in the case of CD downscaled from a 32,DSD or 24 bit recording.

    I have read lots of papers on the net that have used a sample of the population to verify if they could hear hi res vs CD and many are inconclusive but if you were not there you also don't know what bias there maybe, how the system is set up and what were the precise conditions.

    As we found when we did the phono stage bake off in the summer it is hard to match exact gain and keep all equipment on the same conditions and as a result we had quite mixed reactions and preferences.

    Ultimately no matter what controlled circumstances you read about in evaluation of digital music, the way they are written up and interpreted can be very subjective. Not least how individuals hear and perceive sound!

    Nothing beats your own personally experience in the environment you know well especially if you have access to good equipment and recordings.
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  5. #105
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 85,466
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Here's a link to the most commonly cited paper http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195 you have to pay to download the whole thing but the conclusions are reproduced on the title page:

    Engineering Report] Claims both published and anecdotal are regularly made for audibly superior sound quality for two-channel audio encoded with longer word lengths and/or at higher sampling rates than the 16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard. The authors report on a series of double-blind tests comparing the analogue output of high-resolution players playing high-resolution recordings with the same signal passed through a 16-bit/44.1-kHz “bottleneck.” The tests were conducted for over a year using different systems and a variety of subjects. The systems included expensive professional monitors and one high-end system with electrostatic loudspeakers and expensive components and cables. The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems. The noise of the CD-quality loop was audible only at very elevated levels.

    My bold.

    Now this is not conclusive proof and no-one has claimed it is.
    Ok, but you were using it earlier to refute Jim's opinion, and that of others who think differently on the subject, based on the results of their personal experience, which is why I pulled you up on it. And now that you've had a chance to think about it more, your stance has somewhat softened

    In reality, the results of those tests are only relevant to what was tested for on that day, under the specific conditions in question. You can't necessarily extrapolate them as proof of something else, in the context of a another situation, and where the conditions aren't the same.

    In any case you only get to really prove things in mathematics. And I want to emphasise again that this is not 'my' argument. It is simply my opinion that having read the research that vast bulk of it demonstrates that we are unable to hear the difference between 16/44.1 and higher sampling rates. It's a opinion shared by the vast majority of researchers into the subject.
    Sure, and I certainly agree with your point on mathematics, but that opinion (although a learned one) isn't necessarily more valid than Jim's or mine on the subject, and as you say, it doesn't act as conclusive proof of anything. It's simply another opinion (among many) to throw into the mix for consideration.

    So best case we are talking about a difference (not an improvement, that's not the same thing) which is at best on the edge of perception - how good is your hearing these days?
    Well, at the end of the day, you hear what you hear, and how well that stands up to scrutiny, depends on a number of factors, including listening tests in the real world with your own system and recordings.

    And to finish an accessible lecture from a record producer who has made over 100 hi rez recordings (AIX Records). https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...tter.11/page-3

    Note he points out that if you didn't record hirez and digital all the way from the microphones onward, it isn't and can never be 'hi rez' regardless. You think you've been listening to the hi rez version of Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'? No you haven't.
    Fair enough, but when introduced at any point in the recording chain, it could still be enough to influence the final result, and thus be responsible for why, with hi-res, some of us can clearly hear the difference.

    As an aside, I think you'd benefit greatly from embracing music streaming, as it would provide access to a much broader range of recordings, thus allowing you to make more comparisons, which are relevant to discussions such as this (i.e you could assess what I'm hearing with 'MASTER' quality recordings on Tidal, and offer an opinion on that), rather than using tests from researchers to support your arguments.

    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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  6. #106
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I have read lots of papers on the net that have used a sample of the population to verify if they could hear hi res vs CD and many are inconclusive but if you were not there you also don't know what bias there maybe, how the system is set up and what were the precise conditions.
    Yup, that's also my view, which is why it *proves* nothing, in the context of what we're currently discussing. I also agree with the rest of your post.

    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!

  7. #107
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 24,780
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Ok, but you were using it earlier to refute Jim's opinion, and that of others who think differently on the subject, based on the results of their personal experience, which is why I pulled you up on it. And now that you've had a chance to think about it more, your stance has somewhat softened


    Not in the slightest. As a gambling man I would say you are betting against massive odds. Best case nobody hears a 'clear difference' with hi-res. It's at the limit of perception. Any clear difference is due to different mastering. Which is what I have said all along. Aside from anything your speakers don't have the bandwith - what's the upper roll off on a Tannoy 15 inch gold?


    Anyway you asked for studies, you got them. Did you watch the video?
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  8. #108
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 85,466
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Not in the slightest.
    Well, IMO, your current stance is less dogmatic than it was in some of the statements you were making earlier, and if I could be arsed scrolling back through what's been written, I could quote you to prove my point.

    As a gambling man I would say you are betting against massive odds. Best case nobody hears a 'clear difference' with hi-res. It's at the limit of perception. Any clear difference is due to different mastering.Which is what I have said all along.
    Sorry, in terms of the first bit, I've no idea what you're referring to, so please clarify?

    In terms of the bit in bold. how can it be when (along with Jim and Adrian) I've heard clear differences in sound quality, during the streaming of music (as mentioned from my experiences on Tidal), when all else is has been equal, apart from the recording sampling rate.

    Therefore, that clearly disproves your assertion, unless you're saying that we're all imagining it?

    Aside from anything your speakers don't have the bandwith - what's the upper roll off on a Tannoy 15 inch gold?
    No idea, as I have little interest in such measurements, only in what I know I can hear. And besides, the listening in question was carried out on my Celestion 15XRs (with upgraded crossovers), not the Tannoys.

    Anyway you asked for studies, you got them. Did you watch the video?
    Not yet. Is it relatively short and sweet, not overly geeky, and therefore not too boring? I don't want to fall asleep tonight any earlier than necessary

    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!

  9. #109
    Join Date: Sep 2013

    Location: North Island New Zealand

    Posts: 1,202
    I'm Chris.

    Default Is it Herbert's fault ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post

    'Many listeners hear a great difference when 20kHz band-limited audio signals are compared with wide band signals.'
    - no they don't, at least not when put to the test. The difference between this article and the previous two is that in this article a bloke is trying to sell you something.
    I think if you look into Davids background being the founder of DBX you will find his ethics to be without question, rather he fairly examples what he knows
    and has contributed engineering to. https://earthworksaudio.com/wp-conte...yond-20kHz.pdf

    What is needed is a rethink of the CD standard and accompanying equipment replaying CD's to lift the available frequency.
    20-20kz is safe, predictable and great for manufacturers, but not for high fidelity audio. We need to realize we are being short changed.

    Nyquist sampling simply determines that the sampling occur at twice the upper frequency limit, its mathematics places no apparent restriction.
    Things would be much better had the upper frequency originally designed to be 44.1khz and therefore the sampling to be at 88.2khz, but thinking like this got in the way
    http://www.indiana.edu/~emusic/etext...er5_rate.shtml

    " Rumor has it that video equipment already had clocks that ran at 44.1K that could be integrated into the first CD players. I have also heard that Herbert von Karajan complained
    to Sony that Beethoven's 9th would not fit on the early CD specifications. By lowering the rate to 44.1K, 74 minutes could be recorded onto a CD using 16-bit samples, enough to do the trick."

    Now to find other equipment following this same mediocrity path by providing 20-20khz or OMG less, is not good for the future of high fidelity
    Here in comparison we see the Denon DL103 cartridge providing 20hz to 45khz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denon_dl103

  10. #110
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 4,521
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Dependant Resistor View Post
    I think if you look into Davids background being the founder of DBX you will find his ethics to be without question, rather he fairly examples what he knows
    and has contributed engineering to. https://earthworksaudio.com/wp-conte...yond-20kHz.pdf

    What is needed is a rethink of the CD standard and accompanying equipment replaying CD's to lift the available frequency.
    20-20kz is safe, predictable and great for manufacturers, but not for high fidelity audio. We need to realize we are being short changed.

    Nyquist sampling simply determines that the sampling occur at twice the upper frequency limit, its mathematics places no apparent restriction.
    Things would be much better had the upper frequency originally designed to be 44.1khz and therefore the sampling to be at 88.2khz, but thinking like this got in the way
    http://www.indiana.edu/~emusic/etext...er5_rate.shtml

    " Rumor has it that video equipment already had clocks that ran at 44.1K that could be integrated into the first CD players. I have also heard that Herbert von Karajan complained
    to Sony that Beethoven's 9th would not fit on the early CD specifications. By lowering the rate to 44.1K, 74 minutes could be recorded onto a CD using 16-bit samples, enough to do the trick."

    Now to find other equipment following this same mediocrity path by providing 20-20khz or OMG less, is not good for the future of high fidelity
    Here in comparison we see the Denon DL103 cartridge providing 20hz to 45khz https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denon_dl103
    I have read in another article that indeed it was set at 44.1k purely so that 74 mins could be recorded onto CD. 88.2 k would have resulted theoretically in a much higher quality recording.
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Spendor SP2

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