The Demise of disc format

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Wagonmaster_91

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I've seen a few tight fit examples but not grossly undersized. I haven't been buying much vinyl since most audio sources became digital. Give me the most lossless source, please and thank you! And now with the "resurgence" for the facsimile vinyl experience and vinyl being cut from the 44.1k CD master most often...
I agree that there is no point in buying a vinyl LP cut from a CD or digital master. I try to research that before buying a title and if that is the case, I'll pass. I usually look for a vinyl alternative when the CD is brickwalled - the vinyl almost always sounds better. Van Halen "A Different Kind Of Truth" sound awful on CD, great on vinyl. Rush "Clockwork Angels" and Blue Oyster Cult "The Symbol Remains" are a couple of recent ones I can think of that the vinyl beats the CD.
 

jimfisheye

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I agree that there is no point in buying a vinyl LP cut from a CD or digital master. I try to research that before buying a title and if that is the case, I'll pass. I usually look for a vinyl alternative when the CD is brickwalled - the vinyl almost always sounds better. Van Halen "A Different Kind Of Truth" sound awful on CD, great on vinyl. Rush "Clockwork Angels" and Blue Oyster Cult "The Symbol Remains" are a couple of recent ones I can think of that the vinyl beats the CD.
Agreed. I've gone after vinyl copies that were less damaged copies of the master than the other release choices more than a few times. I guess I should be happy I have a pretty dialed in turntable setup and have the opportunity! It's just wrong though. They (obviously) have the original unmolested HD master and they're refusing to release it in full quality.

When vinyl was the highest technology and people were making their best effort, the high marks were to be revered and celebrated! This facsimile nostalgia trip is wrong from every angle! But when one of them is still the best copy... Well, you listen to that instead of something worse, right?

The times I got burned (from lack of research I suppose) and the stupid vinyl copy sounded EXACTLY like the brick walled CD copy, I was not pleased!
 

Sonik Wiz

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I agree that there is no point in buying a vinyl LP cut from a CD or digital master. I try to research that before buying a title and if that is the case, I'll pass. I usually look for a vinyl alternative when the CD is brickwalled - the vinyl almost always sounds better. Van Halen "A Different Kind Of Truth" sound awful on CD, great on vinyl. Rush "Clockwork Angels" and Blue Oyster Cult "The Symbol Remains" are a couple of recent ones I can think of that the vinyl beats the CD.
Apart from music & audio, my world includes anime. For anime fans there is no higher valued collectible than a hand drawn original cell from a film or TV series. It always comes with a paper pencil sketch outline that shows where to ink & color in. You don't realize it until you see one in front of you that not only is (some) animation hand drawn & colored it is drawn in reverse mirror image... drawn on the back side of the acetate cell & flipped over to shoot a single frame. Amazing to me.

As I said some anime is done this way. The older stuff is but for a long time things might be hand drawn but it's on a computer sketch pad & color & gradations are dropped in. So like with LP's cut from CD masters, the trend for several years is to ink jet print on clear plastic from a CG frame & sell as an anime cell collectible. Preposterous!
 

atrocity

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The hole was just small enough that the record would not drop.
I have a British HMV Noel Coward 78 from 1932. The spindle hole is way too small and the record already cracked, so there was no way I was going to try to widen the hole. Wound up stacking enough records under it that it sat above the spindle. Bad for the VTA, I'm sure, but I was able to play and capture it.
 

Imbobman

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Soundfield

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I don't know if this has been mentioned here but Nakamichi made a turntable to address this problem of off-center hole in records, the Nakamichi Dragon- CT.
A very expensive solution...
Here's a link to it.
Nakamichi DRAGON-CT Computing Turntable - Super Rare Masterpiece from Japan
Talk about a solution looking for a problem! Of my countless hundreds of LPs collected over decades I don't ever recall having one that was off centred (or had an undersized hole for that matter). I wonder if they actually sold any of those things (or even intended to - lots of this sort of stuff is just a statement piece of engineering capability for brand publicity and image building).
 

Sal1950

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No one is less happy over the DR wars than myself but,
Seriously folks, do you really believe the loss of a few points in DR is the lesser SQ destroyer than all the combined weaknesses of vinyl?
How do I loath ye vinyl, let me count the ways.
  1. Snap, Crackle, Pop, Rice Krispies
  2. The grinding growl of surface noise, starts the moment needle meets LP
  3. Wow & Flutter that makes pianos sound like a Leslie organ.
  4. Inner grove distortion that make every LP get worse sounding start to finish.
  5. Mono'd bass.
  6. Off Center Records
  7. Warped Records
  8. The more you play them the worse many above points become.
Reality Check
There's more but that's enough for now
 

jimfisheye

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Sanity check alright!

I feel ya @Sal1950! You see someone read something the riot act because they saw a number on a meter (heh, the easily skewed DR reading number :D) even though it sounds nearly perfect but then seem to not notice some of the absolutely mutilated masters. (Did someone even listen? And on what?! A soundbar?)

Vinyl could be amazing when best efforts went well! Shockingly amazing! I sure don't miss being disappointed with the pressing/mastering about 85% of the time though! And I'll take the discrete lossless HD digital surround all day long, please and thank you! F those awful truly f'd matrix mutilations cramming 4 channels into two. Just f them to f'ing f f f f f abcxyz! Holy shit that stuff was altering and those abominations were a distorted mess! Digital is SO much happiness and light for this now!

You have to really step on a digital master to really damage it. Really screw up and step on it hard! And some people do just that and we talk about them around here! And those people should feel bad! Yeah... How is it that collecting for best intact fidelity is more of a thing in the digital age than in the analog age?!
 

MagnumX

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No one is less happy over the DR wars than myself but,
Seriously folks, do you really believe the loss of a few points in DR is the lesser SQ destroyer than all the combined weaknesses of vinyl?
How do I loath ye vinyl, let me count the ways.
  1. Snap, Crackle, Pop, Rice Krispies
  2. The grinding growl of surface noise, starts the moment needle meets LP
  3. Wow & Flutter that makes pianos sound like a Leslie organ.
  4. Inner grove distortion that make every LP get worse sounding start to finish.
  5. Mono'd bass.
  6. Off Center Records
  7. Warped Records
  8. The more you play them the worse many above points become.
Reality Check
There's more but that's enough for now

What?!?? I was personally assured by Mr. Atkinson at Stereophile that LP simpy WIPES THE FLOOR of horrible stair-step digital, especially the LOWLY CD format from 1982 (invented in '79). Oh the simply horrible sounding brick-wall filters and stair-step digital that loses so much of that pure analog sound! But if you paint green markers around the edge, add an extremely heavy mat the players were never designed to play with and sprinkle Shakti stones around the room and use a $50k DAC, it can sound almost as good as the LP on a bad day!!! ;)
 

jimfisheye

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Haha. Yeah, the entire digital audio industry and all hardware AD and DA makers are all liers. All digital audio outputs waveforms with stairstep looking square waves with hideous grating distortion. You can't see it on an O-scope because something something what's an O-scope? We're all just really crude basement dwellers around here listening to grating blown out distortion. Derp.
 

kap'n krunch

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I mentioned before that the ONLY release I have come across in my collection where the LP is not a big improvement over the CD counterpart is Mr. Mister "Welcome to the real world" early CD pressing and early LP European pressing. As for all of the rest of the albums which I have on both formats the LP just wipes the floor with the CD version sound quality wise.
Let me see if I can post a few very eye opening samples... I NEVER EQ my LP rips (nor compress or mess with them)...poor CDs wind up feeling and whining like Beaker from the Muppets...

beaker.gif
 

MagnumX

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Some of you guys seem really bitter about vinyl. What happened to induce such hatred?

Doug
I don't "hate" the LP. I just put up with 30+ years of magazines like Stereophile and other "audiophile" groups telling me what GARBAGE digital is (which is pure absolute bullcrap). Many of these same rags perpetuated audiophile myths and snake oil in many other areas as well, putting advertising dollars above actual factual and scientifically testable truth. ABX boxes made it plenty simple for them to find out what is truly audible and what is not, but they rarely, if ever used them because it would defeat their subjective claims and quite possibly cost them tons of advertising. What they did to Bob Carver with his TFM modified amps was just sad (admitting it worked and they couldn't tell with the prototype but then claiming the end manufactured result was garbage without any proof behind those claims whatsoever).

In truth, the LP format itself really cannot be compared to even 16/44.1 digital. There is no argument to be made here. Yes, there are a lot of bad CD releases, but that's purely the mastering stage (louder! LOUDER!) not the format's fault. Some LPs sound better because they literally cannot compress them any further without the needle jumping all over the place. So yeah, there are some better LPs, but it's not because the LP itself is some great format. It's an ancient format played with a needle for god's sake. It's amazing it can sound as good as it can, really, but I've had brand new LPs that are just NOISE scraping along in the background because they used recycled vinyl. I can digitize it and remove problems like that, but then my end result is digital.

Without a nice high-end vacuum cleaning system, it can be very hard to get the dirt out of the grooves (I've tried washing by hand, etc.) with old/used records (clearly many have more patience than I do) and the static issues with pops and the tiniest dust particles causing clicks and it getting worse with every play (e.g. My DSOTM 30th Anniversary edition sounded about as good as any vinyl record can possibly sound on the first play with no significant noise or clicks and I'm glad I recorded it on that pass because after even a dozen plays, surface noise has increased and there are now little clicks to be found. I'm sure many vinyl fans can just tune that crap out, but it grates on my nerves. But I can play the digital copy I've recorded and even remove clicks/pops and even surface noise with Izotope RX, but then I'm listening to "digital" in the end once again, so what was the point other than to get the occasional better mastered recordings to sound as good as they can?

I've mentioned before it would be possible create a modern updated analog FM mini-laserdisc system using blue lasers like BD UHD uses (that could be put into a mini-disc like shell) and it would quite possibly be the cat's meow for analog sound without ANY of the really big problems of the LP. But is it going to sound better than Blu-Ray Audio in 24/96? No, at best it could sound comparable to it. So why bother? The record industry might like it if they could get it to catch on because you could no duplicate it with recordable systems without converting it to digital (defeating the point for analog purists). But would enough people bother when "most" audiophiles now accept that 24/96 or 24/192 or SACD sound at least as good or better than the LP? It's doubtful. They can't even get Blu-Ray Audio to sell and it uses Blu-Ray players that are already out there (I picked up a nice LG UHD player for $92 on sale that's plenty good enough for audio discs).

The LP has its market. Some people love the giant discs and the rituals of cleaning, adjusting and tweaking. For the days of streaming, it offers a physical alternative and technological difference to digital that some find appealing just by its very nature. It forces you to either listen to an entire album or go to a lot more work to move to the next track (there used to be players that could auto-cue but I haven't seen one in a long time and they probably weren't the best decks for sound quality seeing as I saw one in a DAK catalog).
 

ummagumma

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Great post!!

I enjoy playing records, if I want to focus & chill out. It forces me to pay attention to the music, and shut other distractions out. Kind of like a ritual, I guess.

I also have a computer full of music I create/loop playlists with, while I do stuff around the house.

And CD's I'll keep spinning until my stash of CD players eventually all die. Or they rot.
 

Sal1950

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Some of you guys seem really bitter about vinyl. What happened to induce such hatred?
Doug
Why?
I just put up with 30+ years of magazines like Stereophile and other "audiophile" groups telling me what GARBAGE digital is (which is pure absolute bullcrap). Many of these same rags perpetuated audiophile myths and snake oil in many other areas as well, putting advertising dollars above actual factual and scientifically testable truth.
That's why.
The audiophile and general public have been lied to over and over in the simple interest of money. They revived a wholly inferior dead market because the systems fragile nature makes everything you breath on change its sound and you can tweak for audible changes indefinitely. Then there's the fact of the mechanical nature of things like needles wearing out and the constant worry over is something going wrong. Spend Spend Spend
Look thru Stereophile, TAS, and all the advertiser supported websites, a good 75+% of the ads are either vinyl or cable related. The whole market that was supposed to be about High Fidelity has turned it's back on accuracy and measurements, for a smoke and mirrors system that requires only some guru to say, "I heard it, so it is so".
Bottom line, NO vinyl isn't on the same planet, let along ballpark, as digital when it comes to offering the ability to reproduce the sound the microphones heard on your system. That's what High Fidelity is all about, or at least is meant to be.
I find being ripped off and taken for a fool very distasteful.
 

MagnumX

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Bottom line, NO vinyl isn't on the same planet, let along ballpark, as digital when it comes to offering the ability to reproduce the sound the microphones heard on your system. That's what High Fidelity is all about, or at least is meant to be.
I find being ripped off and taken for a fool very distasteful.
To be fair, I've heard "some" vinyl sound very close to the CD on the first few plays (I once used Pink Floyd's Division Bell LP to switch back and forth in real time between it and the CD and I couldn't tell them apart 95% of the time (it was a quiet LP). Throw in some processing and noise/click removal and even an old '70s copy of Smokey and the Bandit soundtrack still sounds surprisingly good. To me, a 'great' LP can certainly "approach" a CD for usable sound quality, but then there's still issues of ultimate dynamic range, sibilance ('s' sounds are often exaggerated on LP), etc.

I do like my digital copy of Dark Side of the Moon from the 30th Anniversary LP better than any of the CD versions (recorded on the 1st play) as believe it or not, it has incredible bass on it (exactly the opposite of most LPs). I wouldn't say it's more accurate, but it's more enjoyable to me. But then, that was the first play on 180g virgin vinyl, etc. It's developed some minor clicks since then. I've also found several LPs that have never been transferred to digital/CD (e.g. Wild Cherry's 2nd through 4th albums, which actually had some great songs on them. It wasn't hard to locate brand new LPs a few years back for less than inflation would have been since the late '70s / early '80s. Of course, after I ran them through Izotope RX, they're preserved in digital form now. :D
 
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