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Schu

Is... Analog Dead?

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The problem, of course, is that many of the old analog recording practices of the master tapes aren't necessarily up to the quality that you mention in the two releases above.  For the recordings from 20+ years ago, Blu-Ray is only being made for the biggest hits.  Bummer. 

 

The download 24/96 tracks from HDTracks and others are essentially the same quality.  You have to watch the Blu-Ray music disks a bit because they sometimes want to sell you 48 KHz sample rate recordings (DVD quality) for a Blu-Ray price.  It's not the bit rate--it's the care and attention to detail, including not compressing the final tracks down to make it sound "phat". 

EXACTLY!

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Ticks and pops are so inconsequential with a good rig, so that's a moot point now if you ask me. It really comes down to what you prefer listening to. For me, vinyl just sucks me in and compels me to sit in the sweet spot to listen. Digital has never made me feel that way. YMMV...

 

Mike

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What digital sources have you tried?  The timing and delivery of that digital media is critical and has to be done well for it to sound "right."  Most DACs fall short and are missing that last percent of which at least part of that percent is some of what you love about vinyl.  

 

I admit that it is amazing how folks can measure and criticize the output of a recording from vinyl and yet it still SOUNDS like it far surpasses those measurements!  

 

Funny thing is that I've spent way more on digital than vinyl and I can still get sucked in by a good recording in either format.

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gallery_26262_6_6642.jpg

Don't just throw a cutesy cut and paste picture up. Say exactly what you think is BS and why....

 

 

Shakey

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Sorry - it so reminded me of what PWK would do. :)

Edited by Chris A

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What digital sources have you tried?  The timing and delivery of that digital media is critical and has to be done well for it to sound "right."  Most DACs fall short and are missing that last percent of which at least part of that percent is some of what you love about vinyl. 

If you take a look at Mike's system profile you'll see that the digital source is an Oppo BDP-83SE. No offense to Mike, but this player is 4-5 years old, and Oppo, while being a nice "good" quality component is certainly not in the same league of what the highest quality digital currently available is, even at modest price levels. Also take a look at the other components. Again, no offense to Mike or NOSvalves (who builds some very excellent amplifiers & knows his stuff), they are still linear amplifiers. A lot has changed in the last couple years. Any linear amplifier I've heard regardless of price or pedigree does not have the resolving power, resolution, openness, lack of noise of the best direct digital amplifiers. And I have both kinds in my possession to make direct comparisons with. Mike's system is biased (tuned) towards analog so naturally analog sounds better to him.

 

As Always, any Forum member is welcome to my place for a visit and welcome to bring your own recordings and equipment for comparison.

Edited by artto

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I'm pretty sure that you don't want my opinions on this subject, which is why I assembled a couple of articles and a video on this general subject back in post #103.

 

Have you read them yet or watched the 8 minutes of video?  It's just an idea, but we could first discuss what those people's opinions are and just who those people are.

Edited by Chris A

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I watched the video. Comparisons of a vinyl record made using a digital master doesn't tell you much. How about comparing the analog master to the digital master? That's where the story lies.

 

Regardless of measurements. I know that most of the time, the record sounds better than the seedee. I have only a handful of examples where the reverse is true.

 

Shakey

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Virtually all new vinyl titles produced today comes from digital masters--mostly 24/96 masters.  It is relevant. 

 

I'd recommend thinking perhaps a few nanoseconds longer about the implications of what Ian Shepherd is saying...and what he does for a living.

 

I also recommend reading the two other linked articles - they aren't really very long.

Edited by Chris A

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If you think talking down to me is making your point, you are sadly mistaken. I am trying to be nice to you, but let's be clear on one thing. I wrote the book on that kind of inuendo and sarcastic wordplay.I am just keeping it in check for the sake of the sensitive, thin skinned audience that I know is watching. Toes would be stepped on and I am trying to avoid that.

 

So to get back to the original post. Analog is not dead, nor is it even ailing.

 

Shakey

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I have heard numerous good digital sources. My dvd-a's and blu-Rays sound amazing. They just don't move me. And Chris, lighten the hell up! You have no idea what my rig sounds like nor what my ears are hearing. I think everyone here knows your opinion. And it matters no more than mine.

Mike

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Chris, please educate yourself to how vinyl is being clreated today. 99% of what I'm buying and listening to is being recorded off the master tapes.

Mike

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How many of you have made at least one recording of live un-amplified music or natural sounds, simultaneously, in both digital and analog formats of the highest quality available at the time?

 

If the answer is none, your opinion is unqualified and your point of reference is your own imagination and memory (or lack thereof).

 

On the other hand, you are the only one who has to like what you hear. It's your ears and your money.

 

The original post was "Is Analog Dead?"

 

Clearly it is not. Otherwise we would not be discussing this. Many of us use and maintain both for various reasons.

 

To each his own.

 

Regardless, just remember mine is still better than yours  :wacko:   :rolleyes:   :P

 

I love you all  :wub:

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Toes would be stepped on and I am trying to avoid that.

 

Doing an admirable job too I might add.

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...I think everyone here knows your opinion. And it matters no more than mine....

Mike

 

Shakey - sorry to be the one that burst the bubble on "analog recordings and vinyl".  It's like learning that there's no Santa Claus. 

 

And I'm not talking down to anyone - but I am just trying to punch through.  When you ask my opinion and I give you links to good articles, IMHO, I am taking the time to answer you in the best way I know how.  It's just courtesy to at least make effort to read them in enough depth until you understand why they were provided.  Again, this is IMHO.

 

Understanding what is happening is sort of like making sausage, and few stand still to learn how it's made, but most people I know still eat sausage nevertheless.  Also note that "New Coke" was introduced--there was a public outcry--then "old Coke" was brought back to the market.  Except that it really wasn't old Coke.  YMMV.

 

A similar thing happened in the big-screen cinema business - first all the editing started to be done digitally, starting farthest back, then color balancing, then recording (digital cameras), then distribution.  I recommend the documentary "Side by Side" for an excellent look at the same kind of reaction that we are seeing here.  It's excellent, IMHO.  Keanu Reeves is the interviewer throughout.  I believe that this is available on both Netflix and Amazon streaming for free if you have paid for the basic service.  It's 1 hour and 39 minutes in length.

 

Mike - take a close look at "master tapes" - they're likely digital nowadays (99+%) - unless you're talking about recordings made no later than about 1991.  That's a long time ago.  Sheffield Lab bit the dust about that time (...they were proponents of analog-only DTD recordings...).  And I'm pretty sure that all mastering is being done digitally.

 

If you are advocating listening only to recordings made more than 20 years ago as "good sounding music" then I do have some issues with that, personally, but you might not.

 

YMMV.

 

Peace brothers - it's all good listening, and better than working for a living. ;)

 

Chris

Edited by Chris A

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The question is... Is Analog Dead? Not yet, but it's circling the drain. Vinyl sales are at 6 million/year while CD sales are at 250 million/year, both for 2013. Digital downloads are more than double CD sales. Saying that digital dominates the marketplace is an understatement.

 

Those with a vinyl fetish are quick to point out that vinyl sales are up 600% since 2005. Still, 600% of near nothing is not much relative to the total annual sales of music. The total annual sales of all music purchases is over 1.8 billion/year.

.

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The question is... Is Analog Dead? Not yet, but it's circling the drain. Vinyl sales are at 6 million/year while CD sales are at 250 million/year, both for 2013. Digital downloads are more than double CD sales. Saying that digital dominates the marketplace is an understatement.

 

Those with a vinyl fetish are quick to point out that vinyl sales are up 600% since 2005. Still, 600% of near nothing is not much relative to the total annual sales of music. The total annual sales of all music purchases is over 1.8 billion/year.

.

 

If sales are going up and pressing plants are running at full capacity then how can one say "its circling the drain?"

 

Will it over take digital? No way, but it doesn't have to to remain viable. Most music today is listened to through ear buds off an ipod, I wouldn't call that superior just because of its wide use.

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If you are advocating listening only to recordings made more than 20 years ago as "good sounding music" then I do have some issues with that, personally, but you might not.

 

I do not advocate this. I listen to many genres of music on both analog and digital formats. I don't think digital sucks. Far from it. I can go an entire weekend listening to only digital recordings and never cue up a record. I can do the same thing with records. I think anyone who limits themselves to only one format, no mater which one it is, is missing out on a lot of good music.

 

Do I still prefer records, all things being equal? Yes, yes I do.

 

Shakey

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