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Thread: If CDs are the most faithful approximation of how master tapes sound...

  1. #21
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

    Posts: 2,166
    I'm Alex.


    Quote Originally Posted by AJSki2fly View Post
    Yes that is right, but if a cd has light scratches or a not a great pressing then it may impact just how much the cd can do. As I understand it a CD player spins at one high speed when playing a disk, whereas a transport being used to rip a cd can slow the spin speed down as well to try and get a more accurate read from the cd surface. Maybe someone on here that has more knowledge can advise.

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    True. I once had a scratched CD (so much for the myth how CDs are indestructible). It refused to play. I then attempted to rip it using the most strict setting. It took almost the entire afternoon for the burner to read the CD properly, but in the end it succeeded! So the burned CD now plays nicely

    I would assume that a typical CD player can read the spinning CD ahead and load the bytes into its memory. It then streams the bytes into the DAC while continuing to read ahead. Any problematic areas of the CD would then get a chance to be re-read and re-read again, while the player is simultaneously streaming the already read valid bytes into the DAC. Modern processors excel at this kind of parallel processing, so I'd be surprised if CD players are not equipped with such algorithms.
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  2. #22
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Dagenham Essex

    Posts: 10,923
    I'm Alan.


    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Were they master tapes or safety copies, or copies of copies .... ?
    Ex BBC masters
    Please note , I cant spell , now you all know

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  3. #23
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: Cheltenham

    Posts: 949
    I'm Charlie.


    It depends on what you call the master tape. You can have a) the original multitrack recording (often 24 track), b) the first generation stereo mix down master, c) a second generation distribution master copied from b) by the record company to send out to pressing plants or d) copies (or copies of copies...) 3/4/5/6th... generation thereafter. So called "safety masters" could be anything from a proper record company copy of a distribution master to a cheap poorly duplicated rip off from anything.

    In days gone by, duplicating tapes was usually done accurately by record companies, accepting that one can lose a tiny bit of dynamic range on each duplication. Nowadays, there are fewer and fewer people, who can do this properly, with both the repro and recorder machines cleaned, demagged if need, lined up properly, repro azimuth checked on the master tape against the repair machine, and new tape bias set up correctly on the recorder. Ideally if you are copying, using Dolby SR helps to minimise any loss of S/N ratio in the new copy.

    Stewart (Lodgesound) did indeed have a number of BBC masters, as well as some 1/2 inch stereo mic down masters from Sear Sounds in NYC. Audio Al is indeed correct in saying that they sounded fabulous in Stew's old house in Oxted.

    Going back to the OP, a close generation tape will sound way better than even the most pristine first pressing LP. Mastering to CD involves further manipulation with compression etc, which can reduce the dynamic range significantly (hence the "loudness wars"). A well made digital master can sound every bit as good as proper analogue recording on multitrack tape. Like everything in life, it's not what you use, it's how you use it.
    R2R: Studer A820 1/2 inch 2 track; Otari MTR-12 1/4 inch 2 track; Sony APR 5003; Sony APR 5002; Studer A807/II. Vinyl: Platine Verdier Allaerts MC1B/Schroeder Reference & Model 2 Decca C4E/Hadcock 228 TRON Seven Reference phono. Keith Monks MkII RCM Other analogue source: Nakamichi Dragon with ANT4066 mods. Amplification: TRON Meteor preamp TRON Voyager 20B SET power. Speakers: Avantgarde Duo. Digital: computing at last with Prism Sound Lyra 2 A2D converter

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