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  1. #31
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,815
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigmy Pony View Post
    I've followed this debate with interest, though the term "unstoppable force meets an immovable object" comes to mind for some reason
    Lol - that's what happens when someone with a rather rigid, deeply-ingrained, belief system (and set of biases) is faced with considering something that challenges their veracity, by someone determined to make them do so!

    Reason I've highlighted part of Marco's post is that it reads to me like spending fortunes on t/t, arm, cartridge, audiophile pressings, coupled with painstaking set up, can produce vinyl rips virtually indistinguishable from a shop-bought CD. Have I got that right, or am I missing something?
    Yes, that's not really what it's about.

    What it's about is that it takes a considerable financial investment [to pay for the necessary engineering], but more importantly, a LOT of experience/know-how, to get a turntable (and with it vinyl replay) to sound [note not measure] as 'accurate' as digital, by allowing it to overcome its technical limitations in comparison, in such a way as when you listen, you can't hear them.

    Too many turntables sound like turntables, but in a bad way [in that you're left under no illusion that you're listening to a rock tracing grooves on a piece of plastic], because you can easily hear their limitations, due to a myriad of mechanical interactions that haven't been properly addressed or optimised, and as such the whole aspect of their performance is sub-optimal and distorted.

    The best turntables simply don't 'sound' like turntables: they sound like 'digital done well' [quiet, clear, unfailingly speed/pitch-stable, sonically rock-solid and 'un-flustered', and exhibit very low-levels of audible distortion or coloration], but yet still retain all the best attributes of vinyl [including its inherent addictive musicality].

    Essentially therefore, the best turntables, playing mint well-produced vinyl, aren't an audible 'victim' of their technical limitations - they simply showcase the music contained in the record grooves - and so unless you look up and see a platter spinning round, you could just as easily be listening to a very good CD player.

    Hopefully that makes some sort of sense? And coincidentally, that's also why the best CD players don't sound 'digital' [in a bad way]!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  2. #32
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,815
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StingRay View Post
    The problem with cds is the compression or I should say the over compression that is used on many pop/rock albums in the last 20 years. But then a lot of early digital conversions of analogue recordings were not done well.
    Very true, Ray, and it's also why, back in the day, if you can remember when CDs were marked as 'AAD', 'ADD' or 'DDD', and if the recording process was good, often the 'AAD' discs sounded best!

    I'm afraid I wasn't one of those who 'revelled in the wonderfully clear sound' of the 'DDD'-produced CD of 'Brothers in Arms', when it was first introduced, and instead could readily hear what it lacked (was wrong) with how it sounded, in comparison with that of the best 'AAD'-produced discs.

    There's a lot more to realistic sounding voices and instruments than 'forensic clarity'!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  3. #33
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,815
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    I missed this earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebottle View Post
    An excellent phono stage is vital to hearing vinyl at its best IMO. Having some top notch phono stages on the rack gives a real appreciation of what can be achieved.

    Hurry up and get the Krell down to me and I'll get it fixed, then Marco and I can show you what you are missing.
    Spot on, Alan. So much music is lost from a good turntable by a poor (or not of a similarly high-standard) phono stage. Essentially, for top-notch vinyl replay, your phono stage should cost as much, and/or be as good as your preamp!

    It's such a small and delicate signal being amplified, so great care must be taken to maintain its integrity. Furthermore, too many people get the hierarchy incorrect between a tonearm and cartridge, wrongly believing that the latter has the most important influence on the sound, when actually it's the other way round!

    Quite simply, you'll never make a great cartridge sound great, when strapped to a poor or mediocre arm. However, you can make a good cartridge sound sublime, when strapped to a top-notch arm. I've taken that principle to extremes in my system, by using a £100 MM cartridge in a £2300 tonearm - jeez even the headshell costs three times as much as the cartridge!

    But it sounds absolutely sublime, simply because the cartridge in question is intrinsically well-designed and being given every chance to shine - and that's also why a quality phono stage is mandatory for hearing vinyl replay at its best!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  4. #34
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,815
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Hi Steve,



    Lol - that's what happens when someone with a rather rigid, deeply-ingrained, belief system (and set biases) is faced with considering something that challenges their veracity, by someone determined to make them do so!



    Yes, that's not really what it's about.

    What it's about is that it takes a considerable financial investment [to pay for the necessary engineering], but more importantly, a LOT of experience/know-how, to get a turntable (and with it vinyl replay) to sound [note not measure] as 'accurate' as digital, by allowing it to overcome its technical limitations in comparison, in such a way as when you listen, you can't hear them.

    Too many turntables sound like turntables, but in a bad way [you're left under no illusion that you're listening to a rock tracing grooves on a piece of plastic], because you can easily hear their limitations, due to a myriad of mechanical interactions that haven't been properly addressed or optimised, and as such the whole aspect of their performance is sub-optimal and distorted.

    The best turntables simply don't 'sound' like turntables: they sound like 'digital done well' [quiet, clear, unfailingly speed/pitch-stable, sonically rock-solid and 'un-flustered', and exhibit very low-levels of audible distortion or coloration], but yet still retain all the best attributes of vinyl [and its inherent addictive musicality].

    Essentially therefore, the best turntables, playing mint well-produced vinyl, aren't an audible victim of their technical limitations - they simply showcase the music contained in the record grooves - and so unless you look up and see a platter spinning round, you could just as easily be listening to a very good CD player.

    Hopefully that makes some sort of sense? And coincidentally, that's also why the best CD players don't sound 'digital' [in a bad way]!

    Marco.
    Did that make sense, Steve, or did I just waste half an hour of my life tying that out for the (dubious) good of my health?

    Marco [hates it when folks don't acknowledge his (very carefully) written and considered replies].
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  5. #35
    Join Date: Jun 2020

    Location: Rotorua NZ

    Posts: 174
    I'm Peter.

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    Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK - two of them, on different labels, don't know what that's all about.
    Isn't the EMI the expensive one as there was only a short print run before EMI booted them out, and the other the A&M issued that followed?
    TT: Pro-ject 1.2, Ortofon Blue
    Phono stage: Muffsy
    Cd: Linn Karik
    Dac: Music Streamer II
    Amps: Pre: EleKit TU-8500, Plinius CD-LAD Power: Cambridge Audio Azur 651W
    Speakers: Chario Hiper Tower 2000
    Cables: Linn & Straight Wire
    Headphones: Sennheiser HD450

  6. #36
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 29,086
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post

    The best turntables simply don't 'sound' like turntables: they sound like 'digital done well' [quiet, clear, unfailingly speed/pitch-stable, sonically rock-solid and 'un-flustered', and exhibit very low-levels of audible distortion or coloration], but yet still retain all the best attributes of vinyl [and its inherent addictive musicality].

    Essentially therefore, the best turntables, playing mint well-produced vinyl, aren't an audible victim of their technical limitations - they simply showcase the music contained in the record grooves - and so unless you look up and see a platter spinning round, you could just as easily be listening to a very good CD player.

    .
    I don't disagree with this, and I agree your point that done well the differences between the two are small enough to be pretty much irrelevant, at least in terms of just enjoying the music. But it does go back to the reason why I ditched vinyl, which is that I was improving my vinyl replay system to try to sound like CD - so the logical solution was to drop the vinyl system altogether and just use CD.

    Agree with Alan that the phonostage is a big part of it.

    Don't agree that early CDs of analogue recordings were poor transfers. I and many others actively seek out the early transfers because compared to the re-masters that came later, they have higher dynamic range. Tony L who runs PFM for e.g - and he owns a record store so you'd think he'd have the experience to know.

    There are exceptions to that of course.

    I've yet to see anyone give a specific example of an early CD transfer that was done badly even though the claim is made quite a lot. I do have at least one that is (subjectively) not as good as the vinyl, why that is I don't know. It isn't hard to record a tape to digital.

    It was all Jerry's fault to begin with, he loaned me a passive pre-amp to try and that absolutely changed my mind about digital.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Oppo BDT-101CI* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


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

  7. #37
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,815
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    I don't disagree with this, and I agree your point that done well the differences between the two are small enough to be pretty much irrelevant, at least in terms of just enjoying the music. But it does go back to the reason why I ditched vinyl, which is that I was improving my vinyl replay system to try to sound like CD - so the logical solution was to drop the vinyl system altogether and just use CD.
    Brilliant - I'm glad we're now on the same page!

    In terms of the bit in bold, that's *exactly* where I am with my T/T, and why I can happily switch back and forth from CD to vinyl and not feel 'short changed' either time.

    *BUT* you simply can't get there on the cheap, or more importantly, without the necessary patience and experience to eke out maximum performance from your respective purchases.

    In terms of cost, I'd reckon that a minimum spend of £3-4k on a T/T, tonearm and cartridge, and around £2k on a phono stage, is what's necessary to genuinely enter the world of 'vinyl done well', and that presumes the ownership of a professional record cleaner, as you will NEVER hear vinyl at its best playing worn or dirty records, or badly produced ones either, which many were during the 70s!

    Therefore, a significant investment is also required on the SOFTWARE side, as much as on the hardware side.

    Lastly, given you agree that done well the sonic differences between CD and vinyl are rendered as irrelevant, you have to wonder then why that's so, considering the disparity in their measured technical spec, which if looked at literally would scare off any hi-fi enthusiast, who didn't know better, from buying a turntable!!

    For me, it simply proves the point I've always made that many measurements in audio, whilst important to consider, simply don't matter in the *real world* (i.e. in the final analysis in terms of what your ears hear) - and ultimately that's got to be what matters MOST!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  8. #38
    Join Date: Jun 2014

    Location: Chorley Lancs

    Posts: 7,107
    I'm Steve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Did that make sense, Steve, or did I just waste half an hour of my life tying that out for the (dubious) good of my health?

    Marco [hates it when folks don't acknowledge his (very carefully) written and considered replies].
    I read your essay a couple of hours ago, but hadn't replied yet as I knew you'd still be in your kip! It makes sense of course, as did your previous posts. I thought I may have misunderstood something, turns out I hadn't

    I get it that many people will not be getting the best from their vinyl due to poor set up, ill-thought out hierarchy (deck>arm>cartridge) and skimping on phono stage. So do you think my four grand deck might benefit from something better than my £120 Chinese jobbie? Only kidding, I'll be addressing that just as soon as funds permit Thing is I'm blessed with cloth ears, sausage fingers, and finite patience, so until someone with golden ears and a couple of of spare phono stages comes along to show me what I'm missing, I'll just carry on enjoying it in all its flawed glory

    No I don't think I was missing your point, but it looked a bit like you was missing Macca's, which to me looked like he's found a sound (CD source) that he really likes but without all the faff and expense of vinyl. Simple as that
    I just dropped in, to see what condition my condition was in

    T/T: Inspire Monarch, X200 tonearm, Ortofon 2M Black. Phono: Yaqin MS-22B CD: Marantz CD6006 (UK Edition); Headphone/pre: Myryad Z40; Amp: Audion Silver Night 300b stereo
    Speakers: Zu Omen Def. Cables: Atlas Equator interconnects, Atlas Hyper 3.0 speaker cables

    T'other system:
    Echo Dot, Amptastic Mini-1, Celestion 5's, BK XLS-200 DF

    A/V:
    LG 55" OLED, Panasonic Blu Ray, Sony a/v amp, MA Radius speakers, REL Storm sub

  9. #39
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 100,815
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigmy Pony View Post
    No I don't think I was missing your point, but it looked a bit like you was missing Macca's, which to me looked like he's found a sound (CD source) that he really likes but without all the faff and expense of vinyl. Simple as that
    No, not at all. I totally got where he was coming from and it makes perfect sense. But what's happened in reality is that he simply never managed to get his T/T to sound as good as his CDP, not that CD is inherently superior to vinyl, in terms of what matters most, as we've just discussed!

    I was debating the point that I don't buy the notion that vinyl is inferior sonically because of its technical limitations, and I've proved the point.

    However, I do think that, with respect, Martin worries too much sometimes about measurements/specs and places a little too much importance on them when making his buying decisions and also when forming his conclusions on audio, where instead I feel he'd benefit more by just 'going with the flow'.

    But hey, none of us are perfect, especially you!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” - John Lennon.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix.

    Protect your HUMAN RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE FOR COVID-19!

  10. #40
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 29,086
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Therefore, a significant investment is also required on the SOFTWARE side, as much as on the hardware side.

    Lastly, given you agree that done well the sonic differences between CD and vinyl are rendered as irrelevant, you have to wonder then why that's so, considering the disparity in their measured technical spec, which if looked at literally would scare off any hi-fi enthusiast, who didn't know better, from buying a turntable!!

    .
    Our hearing is not that great, that's why. Although some of the aspects are audible, off-centre or warped pressings for example with that wow you get on piano notes. That was also the point I was making about consistency. Not consistency in the set up of the deck, which isn't an issue unless you are using a poorly-designed one, but consistency in the quality of the LP records themselves.

    The claim you made that I took exception to was that vinyl is more accurate to analogue recordings. That was what got us into the technical side of things. Whatever justified claims can be made about vinyl, it being more accurate as a format is not one of them, for all the reasons I listed. Okay so you say you can spend £5K on a set up and at that point most of those problems become irrelevant in practical terms. I don't disagree. But it's £5K! The cost- reward ratio of that does not add up for me.
    Current Lash Up:

    *Oppo BDT-101CI* Nelson Pass DCB1 / Krell KSA100 mkII * JM Lab Electra 926 *


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

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