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  • #31
    Originally posted by Stuart Br View Post
    I would like to put a little defence up for the "audiophiles" (not a term I like BTW) here. What you have here is some stunning design and superb engineering. Is this any different to buying a budget car or a Ferrari?
    I would also ask anyone who has a budget USB turntable, if they have ever heard a decent vinyl setup? The difference in sound quality and consequential enjoyment of music is massive. The USB TT's are nasty, full stop.
    I happily admit that my hi-fi system including a significant turntable setup is worth much more than the contents of my workshop. It gives me a huge smile every time I listen.
    All I ask is for those who doubt this stuff to take a listen before rubbishing the whole industry. I'm not denying that there is snake-oil out there though. But a modest investment brings huge enjoyment.
    Another analogy I guess is comparing an import lathe with a DSG?
    I can appreciate what you are saying, to a degree. My system is "pedestrian, level 2.1" with late model Denon AV receiver and KEF louspeakers. I appreciate clean crisp highs with being overly "bright", midrange that delivers even response and bass that is tight yet true to the original instruments (not overwhelming.)

    To my mind there is a short point of diminishing return with turntables because of the limitations of the vinyl recordings. A digital recording (please, not MP3's!) has such a cleaner sound and significantly higher dynamic range, better channel separation, markedly lower signal-to-noise ratio, and so on. I rarely listen to the vinyl recordings I have, mainly because of the inconvenience of the packaging. They've got a certain appeal, but I prefer the higher quality of digital.

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    • #32
      Worked for Leak Wharfedale many years ago. Monthly amusement was reading the Hi-Fi comics and how much better for anal(ysis) his front room was in comparison to £1M worth of anechoic chamber. Distortion and harmonics that he could hear were fantastic. Sadly, the numpties reading all the c*ap in monthly doses never seemed to realise the overblown wages these "Experts" were demanding were extracated from their hard earned. One "Reviewer" never gave a good report unless his review product was left as a "Sample" for his disposal.

      Hans Christian Anderson got it right many years before. "The Kings New Clothes"

      Regards Ian.
      You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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      • #33
        Is the background music from a CD or is it just muzak hard to tell on my computer speakers ?
        Alan

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        • #34
          bull**** is, and will allways be, the commodity prized highest by the whealthy ignorant.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by PixMan View Post
            To my mind there is a short point of diminishing return with turntables because of the limitations of the vinyl recordings. A digital recording (please, not MP3's!) has such a cleaner sound and significantly higher dynamic range, better channel separation, markedly lower signal-to-noise ratio, and so on. I rarely listen to the vinyl recordings I have, mainly because of the inconvenience of the packaging. They've got a certain appeal, but I prefer the higher quality of digital.
            Curiously, your digital CD recordings ALWAYS have LESS dynamic range than good vinyl.

            They use 16 bit integer encoding. Actually 15 bits plus a sign bit, same basic thing.. The SACD, which never was a success, used oversampling, but IIRC no radical difference in the encoding.

            As digital reaches the lowest levels the distortion rises hugely due to the low bit resolution. You don't get 16 bits, you get maybe from one to 5 at the low end of the range. It's a "hard limit" when you finally run out of bits. Like digital TV... its there, or it's gone, no snowy picture.

            The last bit is not usable sound, it is just "static-like" noise. For several bit positions above that it is nearly the same.

            As a result, much digital has to be "MP3'd" by compressing the loudest parts, and raising the average level enough to get the soft bits out of the "digital mud".

            For any assumed dynamic range, you have to decide how many bits reduction you can accept and still call it "sound". Then you can see what the real dynamic range is before you get to your pre-defined limit.

            Analog vinyl has a dynamic range that extends down into and below the noise. Your brain can separate the desired sound from noise, as it HAS TO at any live acoustic music venue.

            Whether or not the range is USED is another story, but it's AVAILABLE.

            More could have been made available if a floating point format was used, but other technical limits were presumably thought to make that less attractive. The basic noise level of the electronics is one such.
            Last edited by J Tiers; 03-04-2015, 08:42 AM.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by janvanruth View Post
              bull**** is, and will allways be, the commodity prized highest by the whealthy ignorant.
              Not unlike the "new SouthBend" labeled lathes and accessories.

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              • #37
                Re the concrete table rotating on a marble in the 1950s, it was fairly common to mount turntables on a shaft that rested on a single ball bearing at the bottom of a hollow shaft in the 50s-70s.
                The AR turntable was so setup and driven by very small motors, one inside to kick start the turntable and a second belt drive for the turntable.
                Steve

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                • #38
                  I have a theory, completely unproven, untested and based on an almost complete ignorance of digital technology, as to why vinyl sounds better to some people than digital.

                  The character and perceived quality of the sound of a musical instrument depends on the relationship of the harmonics to the fundamental tone, and the effect can extend at least up to the thirteenth harmonic. Vinyl recordings will lose the higher harmonics, with little perceived effect other than giving the impression of a less brilliant, but somewhat "warmer" tone. The sampling technique used for digital can capture bits of the upper harmonics, but only in a random manner, not completely. The impression, when played back, can be that there are harmonics not typical of the particular instrument's sound, and of harmonics that are out of tune with the fundamental note. The result is that to most people, digital sounds more brilliant, but to many, it also sounds harsher, and even somewhat noisy.

                  To put that another way, a recording may sound better to some people if the upper frequencies are lost, rather than present in a distorted form.
                  Last edited by cameron; 03-04-2015, 02:28 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Curiously, your digital CD recordings ALWAYS have LESS dynamic range than good vinyl.

                    They use 16 bit integer encoding. Actually 15 bits plus a sign bit, same basic thing.. The SACD, which never was a success, used oversampling, but IIRC no radical difference in the encoding.

                    As digital reaches the lowest levels the distortion rises hugely due to the low bit resolution. You don't get 16 bits, you get maybe from one to 5 at the low end of the range. It's a "hard limit" when you finally run out of bits. Like digital TV... its there, or it's gone, no snowy picture.
                    Ummm, errrrr, not sure I am really convinced.

                    16 bits is 65536 steps of level and I believe a CD is encoded with 44100 samples per second. The linear speed of the pickup in the vinyl groove is something like 62 cm per second, 620000 microns of groove travel for each second of music. 620000/44100=14.06 microns per sample (about 0.00055354 inch), can you really make a steel press plate to that resolution?

                    BTW, this is pure BS
                    "You don't get 16 bits, you get maybe from one to 5 at the low end of the range."
                    , you still get 16 bits but the first 11 are '0'.
                    Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 03-04-2015, 06:51 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post

                      BTW, this is pure BS , you still get 16 bits but the first 11 are '0'.
                      Ummm.... NO!

                      Using that logic, all CDs have resolution to 128 bits, but the first 112 are zero.....

                      You fail entirely to understand resolution.... and decibels, etc.

                      with one bit active (the LSB), the difference of the LSB being "0" or "1" is rather larger as a percentage than it is with larger numbers of 10 or 12 bits. The difference between nothing and something.

                      Once you have more than one bit "active", you are comparing two "somethings" with values.... But the difference between nothing and something is "kinda large".
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        You're the expert, not me. All I do know is that my old Dual turntable with Ortofon cartridge playing the same vinyl album back to back with a CD of the same music, I like the sound I get out of the CD better.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          One blessing of age is a deterioration of hearing ability. Just ask any oldster. A very few have an increase, but the majority have a decrease. Mine was the '60's generation. Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Music at the blood drawing level. The person next to you could be screaming her head off, and all it was to you was lips moving.

                          Let's add to that hobbies. Rifle and pistol marksmanship, hotrodding of boats and cars, motorcycles, industrial arts of various kinds, and your hearing ain't what it's s'posta be. Mostly the high frequencies get lost. Ask your family doc.

                          Walk down the street. See the ear buds? Can you hear their music? If you can, hearing damage is happening right before your eyes.

                          Those who claim they can hear those high frequencies either spent their lives in a cave, with no music, or are lying.

                          Interesting blind test occurred in Ft. Lauderdale last year. Starbucks and McDonalds laid out unmarked cups of coffee. People off the street were asked to choose the best. McDonalds won. Toyota Camry beat Cadillac in ride comfort blind test.

                          But, all that being said, I still love my Marantz 62700 direct drive turntable. Cartridge brand unknown, but bought from Radio Shack in 1988. Played on a Sansui 8 Deluxe, model year 1974. Polk speakers. Mamas and the Poppas, Skirl of the Pipes, Fantasia, Stokowski and Wagner, Mary Kay Place, Burl Ives. Parliament. Buckwheat Zydeco. All on vinyl. Hard to find on CD. KEEP YOUR TURNTABLES! NOT ALL YOUR MUSIC MAKES IT TO CD! Treat them with reverent care. Yeah, your heirs won't know what dumpster to throw them in, but you can enjoy them as long as you live.

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                          • #43
                            A lot of what might be called "middle of the road" equipment is quite good. The audiophiles are really working in the last 2 to 5% of the "goodness range".

                            That's especially true with standard amplifiers and receivers, etc. It's not hard to make a product that is really very good at reproducing the signal. There tend to be the fewest compromises with even just reasonably good amplifiers and their connecting wires. That's NOT what the people who sell to audiophiles want to have spread about... And even the audiophiles don't really want to hear about that... they like their delusions....!

                            The weakest link is the speaker. Every speaker is a compromise, and there are as many types of compromise as there are designers. Some are better than others, and there are well recognized ways of assessing goodness with speakers. But every compromise has good and bad features.

                            Another weak point is storage of the sounds.... vinyl records are actually quite good, given what they are, and even their bad features are not as bad as the bad features of many digital media and digital recovery devices (CD players, etc.) But again , all of these are a compromise of one sort or another.



                            Originally posted by cameron View Post
                            I have a theory, completely unproven, untested and based on an almost complete ignorance of digital technology, as to why vinyl sounds better to some people than digital.

                            The character and perceived quality of the sound of a musical instrument depends on the relationship of the harmonics to the fundamental tone, and the effect can extend at least up to the thirteenth harmonic. Vinyl recordings will lose the higher harmonics, with little perceived effect other than giving the impression of a less brilliant, but somewhat "warmer" tone. The sampling technique used for digital can capture bits of the upper harmonics, but only in a random manner, not completely. The impression, when played back, can be that there are harmonics not typical of the particular instrument's sound, and of harmonics that are out of tune with the fundamental note. The result is that to most people, digital sounds more brilliant, but to many, it also sounds harsher, and even somewhat noisy.

                            To put that another way, a recording may sound better to some people if the upper frequencies are lost, rather than present in a distorted form.
                            Missing is indeed better than distorted in most cases. But digital recording is quite capable of reproducing the entire audible spectrum (of most human hearing). The 44 kHz sampling frequency will, with suitable filters, be perfectly sufficient to give all the information contained in the audible recording.

                            However, you actually have a very significant point, that you probably do not realize you have. It hits several factors in the electronic reproduction of sound.

                            First; if the sound frequency is ABOVE HALF of the sampling frequency, that is, above the 22 kHz limit for a 44 kHz sample rate, the sounds above that limit WILL NOT be reproduced correctly. they will add a bunch of extra signals (distortions). The phenomenon is called "aliasing", it is rather similar to what you described, and as you mentioned, it does not sound very good.

                            Second; To avoid that, the makers of CD players and recording equipment put in some rather fancy filters to block any such "interference". If they expect to block what's above 22 kHz, but allow as much as possible up to 20 kHz, the filter has to be a "high order" filter, which essentially means it has a lot of parts that work together and in opposition to each other to cause a "very steep rolloff" of high frequencies.

                            This has two problems. First, such filters are not perfect, they may let through some of the higher frequencies, and thus produce some of the bad sounding "aliasing". Second, the more perfect they are at blocking frequencies that are over the limit, the more they distort the "phase" of the frequencies that are still under the limit. Your ear is somewhat sensitive to effects that are related to phase, so you may "hear the filter", even if you don't "hear the aliasing". Depending on the type of filter, and the mathematics it is based on, the effects of the filter may reach down into areas where many people can hear.

                            Both of these real effects come generally under the description you gave. So, your theory has some merit, even if maybe not exactly how you initially thought about it.
                            Last edited by J Tiers; 03-04-2015, 10:18 PM.
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by PixMan View Post
                              You're the expert, not me. All I do know is that my old Dual turntable with Ortofon cartridge playing the same vinyl album back to back with a CD of the same music, I like the sound I get out of the CD better.
                              I'm the opposite, I prefer the LP. I have several copies of the same albums, Led zep III, album, cassette and CD,(As well as in through out door, houses holy, physical graphitti and 1, 2, runes/4) Beatles SPLHCB Album/cassette, Elton John Goodbye yellow brick road Album and CD. The albums have cleaner highs and stronger, less 'mushy' bass in my opinion. (A solid thump instead of a thud) Cassette is closer to the album than the Cd as well. I have a couple of moody blues in cassette and CD, and find the cassette -seems- to have better range than the CD. That could be the CD player I have though as it is an old sony I purchased for work. Most of my cassettes have been recorded to Flac now though.
                              Even the MP3 copies I made from albums sound better than the same songs copied from CD.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                                Ummm.... NO!

                                Using that logic, all CDs have resolution to 128 bits, but the first 112 are zero.....

                                You fail entirely to understand resolution.... and decibels, etc.
                                Obfuscation! A 16 bit sample is still 16 bit even if the value of the sample is zero.

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