Breaking News
Comments
Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 5 / 6   >   >>
old account Frank Eory
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
old account Frank Eory   10/30/2010 11:48:32 PM
NO RATINGS
I always find these debates amusing, because in the end, listener preferences are somewhat decoupled from measurable technical facts. That doesn't mean one person is wrong when he says A sounds better than B -- it's just his opinion -- and another person will be just as convinced that B sounds better than A. There are so many electronic and psychoacoustic factors, it's difficult to sort out why each holds the opinion that he does. Familiarity is certainly a part of it. I'm not surprised that some people find SACD to be audibly superior to redbook CD -- with its higher dynamic range and wider sample width, technically, SACD should sound better. But I think it is a rare individual who can actually hear the difference. And despite the fact that audio equipment designers try hard to achieve the flattest amplitude response, the most linear phase response, the best transient response (whatever that means), etc., I personally do no think that most listeners would say that such a near-perfect processing system produces the best sound -- whether the originating source was analog or digital.

WKetel
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
WKetel   10/30/2010 8:06:43 PM
NO RATINGS
For starters, "there is no accounting for taste", and a persons preference may be for a sound that is certainly not a faithful reproduction of anything. It is usually impossible to do a comparison between vinyl and CD, since the CDs are a different mix. So of course they will sound different. The fact that I may enjoy the obviously "colored" spectrum from old cassettes does not mean that they are better, just more familiar. It would be a valid debunking effort to attempt to evaluate the mechanism by which the quantum device produces the claimed benefits. The last time that I asked a client to explain a process and he was unable to explain how his invention worked, it was realized to be a fraud, several months later.

milliganp
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
milliganp   10/28/2010 10:29:20 AM
NO RATINGS
Why do digital detractors always quote 10kHz or 20kHz. Middle C is about 260Hz, the top note of a soprano is G6 or about 1560Hz and the top note on a piano is ~4kHz. High frequencies are normally very low energy by comparison with fundamentals. 30+ years ago I read a recording engineer declare that vinyl was dreadful, only 15ips half-track tape was worth listening to!

tomelex
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
tomelex   3/8/2010 3:51:04 AM
NO RATINGS
OK, now, I know you are a strong advocate that cd is more accurate than vinyl. All the "published" measurements show it. Yes, vinyl is band limited via the RIAA filters at the recording and playback ends and of course redbook cd is bandlimited as well. You must have some excellent speakers to be able to reproduce a ten kilohertz squarewave but i take it that you mean that our ears tend to more detect changes at those frequencies verses the actual frequeuncy itself. But if redbook is technically superior to vinyl, why is it that listening to cd at realistic levels irratates me within maybe fifteen minutes yet if i listen to vinyl at realistic levels there is no irratation in hours. I am convinced that there is something going on there and when I listen to a non amplified orchestra or ensemble or whatever I am not irratated at the sound in ten minutes or so. I have always hoped that it had more to do with the recording style than the medium, but there is no way for me to square this anomaly or difference between the two formats. Therefore, if vinyl does not irratate but cd does, what else for me to do but come down against redbook? For the purpose of sort of closing down this discussion let's just say that something about redbook digital just does not "jive" with me. Some have argued that the high frequeny hash that is produced by the cd players reproduction circuits is not adequtely filtered by the cd digital filters and thus causes intermodulation issues within the voltage and finally current amplification stages needed to move the speakers. cheers

rpell
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
rpell   2/11/2010 4:51:19 PM
NO RATINGS
Sinewaves are easy for a filter to reconstruct from a square wave. In fact, redbook cd playback essentially tries to turn everything back into sinewaves. ?? Any band-limited system - including vinyl and your ears - will tend to turn square waves "back into sine waves." Do you think you can hear the difference between a 10-kHz square wave and a 10-kHz sine wave (properly matched for loudness)? The fact is that many prefer the sound of high quality analog reproduction playback. Here is what some of us notice in cd playback in general ... Why then - if CD is so bad - does a vinyl LP digitized onto CD still sound like vinyl? Such subjective reports of problems with CD playback could have any number of explanations having nothing to do with any technical limitations in the format itself, not least of which could be audiophiles hearing what they expect to hear. This phenomenon (unconscious bias) happens all the time in science, but few audiophiles seem willing to even consider it as a possibility in their own listening experiences. If you have heard high end audio systems and preferred digital, then thats great and lucky you! I live in both worlds due to convenience and music choice etc, and I do not know why I often prefer vinyl. Again, the original point was not which format I or anyone preferred, but which format is technically more accurate at audio reproduction. (As it happens I do prefer digital, having listened to vinyl on high-end systems and headphones for many years.) In a comparison to sacd, I preferred the sacd sound to redbook cd, and there is a higher sampling frequency and I suppose quantization etc. Again it sounds like you might be hearing what you expect to hear, but it could also be a simple matter of a different mastering of the recording or even differences in the way a particular player processes the respective signals. I'm not aware of any scientific tests showing audible differences between SACD (or hi-res digital) vs. CD once such issues are accounted for. The more I looked into cd hardware and processing the less I liked what I saw. CD certainly isn't the be-all and end-all of digital, but to date - almost 30 years after its introduction - I'm not aware of any convincing, scientific studies showing audible differences between Redbook CD and higher-resolution digital recordings.

tomelex
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
tomelex   2/3/2010 3:50:28 AM
NO RATINGS
OK, there is no need to debate the digital format if you thinks its accurate. Sinewaves are easy for a filter to reconstruct from a square wave. In fact, redbook cd playback essentially tries to turn everything back into sinewaves. The fact is that many prefer the sound of high quality analog reproduction playback. For example, I know many audiophiles who have both "analog" , ie vinyl and digital cd as source material. Here is what some of us notice in cd playback in general: 1) fatigue after maybe an hour or so of playback for cd verses many hours for vinyl 2) lack of low level information retrieval, the cd sound seems to drop very fast into the noise floor, the decay is too fast compared to vinyl 3) dynamic range of cd should be better than vinyl, but vinyl tends to have better "impact" and transient attack 4) many of us agree that cd no doubt reproduces bass signals better and some prefer the low mids but the highs are irratating Items 1, 2, and 3 above are not a step forward but backward in how we hear things. And please be assured, we are listening to vinyl playback systems that are near reasonable top tier (cartridges near $1k). If you have not truly heard systems at this level of resolution using vinyl playback then you will not understand items 1, 2 and 3. If you have heard high end audio systems and preferred digital, then thats great and lucky you! I live in both worlds due to convenience and music choice etc, and I do not know why I often prefer vinyl. I remember in the late eighties when I proudly brought home my McIntosh CD player and my wife and I listened to several cds and promptly took the thing back to the audio saloon. The highs were harsh. Many have said that that was due to the fact that somehow audio engineers at the time were just copying audio tape masters that had hot high ends and low amplitide low ends because they were set up for vinyl cutters etc. That still does not explain why to this day the highs do not satisfy and the other issues many of us notice. It's simple really, it is a matter of preference. In a comparison to sacd, I preferred the sacd sound to redbook cd, and there is a higher sampling frequency and I suppose quantization etc. So, there is some difference there that sounded more accurate to me and did not fatigue, so something is better...at least for me with sacd. The more I looked into cd hardware and processing the less I liked what I saw. I might put it like this, I prefer the glow of a candle to the far superior light output of a modern light bulb. The light bulb is obviously more advanced at putting out light, but it does not emotionally satisfy.

rpell
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
rpell   1/20/2010 6:23:51 PM
NO RATINGS
Well, now really, how accurate a representation of say a simple sinewave at 20 khz are we getting with redbook sampling frequency? A virtually exact representation. Better than vinyl. How about at 10 khz? Ditto. In fact this is one of the egregious errors being promoted on that silly "How Stuff Works" page mentioned in the original post. I am not convinced that redbood [sic] cd standards are any where near accurate ... You can choose to remain unconvinced of demonstrable facts, but that doesn't change them from being true. When we get the sampling rate high enough we will have analog again! Again, a popular misconception. You only need 2x sampling frequency to perfectly capture and reproduce the original (band-limited) signal. Too bad music is so compressed nowadays that it sounds horrible right out of the gate. Some of it does, that's for sure. At least we can agree on that.

tomelex
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
tomelex   1/16/2010 3:38:37 AM
NO RATINGS
Well, now really, how accurate a representation of say a simple sinewave at 20 khz are we getting with redbook sampling frequency? How about at 10 khz? Connect the dots! I am not convinced that redbood cd standards are any where near accurate and let alone considering the actions of the filters used and the output filters used as well to filter out all the added garbage etc. In listening tests I felt sacd did perform better than vinyl when it came to sound and of course specwise there is no argument. When we get the sampling rate high enough we will have analog again! Too bad music is so compressed nowadays that it sounds horrible right out of the gate. Let's not forget that audio engineers used to proclaim that one could not hear an electrolytic capacitor either and we all know they distort. And what about carbon resistors, they are modulated by high voltages and produce harmonics, etc. Just want to keep some balance here. Cheers!

dalebert
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
dalebert   1/14/2010 11:03:02 PM
NO RATINGS
One item not mentioned is the music content used to compare audio. Even for low sample rates, MP3's are probably fine for some of today's hard rock bands that run their amps into full clipping and the singer is screaming into the mic. It?s quite a bit different than a recording of a live orchestra or acoustic guitar solo with mic?s spaced appropriately. What is used for these comparisons? Also consider the recording studios today are using several tracks, some for each instrument. Only portions of the song may be recorded in one session. Track-overs are added later. The studio then reconstitutes the tracks onto an album. There's a bit of art here too. Sound effects, echo, mixing, pitch changes, and so on. Is the instrument to be on the left or right channel? Not at all like a live recording. (Many of today?s' studios are digitally recording the audio anyway, so where?s the analog?). However I do believe that vinyl had a certain distortion that folks liked and were used to hearing. Even the clicks and pops add to the ambience. There are similar arguments for tube amps vs. solid state. What is ?warmness?? Yet today we accept using tiny wall speakers and big subwoofer, tricking our minds into thinking we are hearing everything as recorded. The playback system and speakers (headphones) are a big part of the equation. Even in a car the road noise can be several dB above the music. Pressure changes are considerable stronger than the bass (unless you have a 1KW sub using a 10,000 Farad capacitor in your bouncing SUV). In most cases, the sound today is good or even excellent. Then someone comes along and puts a bug in your ear about the unperceivable differences (where's the scientific data?). So, I found that if I put a magnet around my gold-plated oxygen-free optical fiber, I get much less distortion in the digital stream. The photons stay aligned and centered. They don't wear out the fiber walls causing stragglers slowed down by the worn wall friction. In addition they travel further due to MPG improvements magnets provide. Dale D

kc6zut
User Rank
Rookie
re: Vinyl vs. CD myths refuse to die
kc6zut   1/14/2010 10:34:51 PM
NO RATINGS
In a similar vein, "super-duper speaker cable" etc. This comic seems appropriate for this discussion. http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/spinal_tap_amps.png There's one born every minute.

<<   <   Page 5 / 6   >   >>


Flash Poll
EE Life
Frankenstein's Fix, Teardowns, Sideshows, Design Contests, Reader Content & More
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer

Future Engineers: Don’t 'Trip Up' on Your College Road Trip
Rishabh N. Mahajani, High School Senior and Future Engineer
3 comments
A future engineer shares his impressions of a recent tour of top schools and offers advice on making the most of the time-honored tradition of the college road trip.

Max Maxfield

Juggling a Cornucopia of Projects
Max Maxfield
11 comments
I feel like I'm juggling a lot of hobby projects at the moment. The problem is that I can't juggle. Actually, that's not strictly true -- I can juggle ten fine china dinner plates, but ...

Larry Desjardin

Engineers Should Study Finance: 5 Reasons Why
Larry Desjardin
37 comments
I'm a big proponent of engineers learning financial basics. Why? Because engineers are making decisions all the time, in multiple ways. Having a good financial understanding guides these ...

Karen Field

July Cartoon Caption Contest: Let's Talk Some Trash
Karen Field
140 comments
Steve Jobs allegedly got his start by dumpster diving with the Computer Club at Homestead High in the early 1970s.

Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)