Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
Sign in to follow this  
Schu

Is... Analog Dead?

Recommended Posts

 

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.

 

Yeah, I saw that a while back sometime around when I first heard of the DR database.   You called what "Sounds good" on vinyl, noise and distortion. Those are pretty strong words...  Ian was at least honest enough to say he didn't know what it was or what caused it... that there are many variables... something in the analog signal chain or physical properties of the vinyl or record deck used to play.  Perhaps it is noise to you and yet it is magical vinyl pixie dust to others.  What do you care?

 

I also have a problem with the analog vs digital  article talking about "We don't need what we don't hear."  This is not true and here is why: http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548#ref-29

 

I use the DR database all the time for choosing a CD and find it useful.   I also buy multiple versions of the same thing often...  and there are differences such as with comparing my original Pink Floyd DSOM cd I bought in 1985 with the SACD version.  Same thing happened with my Dire Straits CD and SACD.  Why did I like my original version better?  Was it because it was what I was used too?  I heard the vinyl version more times but it was pretty far gone.  Turns out the DR score of the SACD version was lower than my original CD.  Interesting...

 

Artto, like it or not we are talking about subjective stuff here.  An opinion is also valid if it is based on experience and not just imagination or heresay.    We are all different and people will perceive the same stimulus in different ways.  I'm lucky that I have gotten to hear a really good setup to use as a reference for which I can strive.  I'm sure your system is awesome and would love to hear some good music through it!

 

Some people only want to deal with the objective, measurable, and properly applied scientific method.  The science of it is very interesting but it doesn't make that which falls outside all BS. 

  

Good discussion... mostly civil.  I was surprised I elicited a BS.  I think that makes twice now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...You called what "Sounds good" on vinyl, noise and distortion. Those are pretty strong words...  Ian was at least honest enough to say he didn't know what it was or what caused it... that there are many variables... something in the analog signal chain or physical properties of the vinyl or record deck used to play.  Perhaps it is noise to you and yet it is magical vinyl pixie dust to others.  What do you care?...

 

...I also have a problem with the analog vs digital  article talking about "We don't need what we don't hear."  This is not true and here is why: http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548#ref-29...

 

Good discussion... mostly civil.  I was surprised I elicited a BS.  I think that makes twice now.

 

 

I read that article when you posted it.  It was interesting, and still gathering information about this subject.  Here is a more concise article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypersonic_effect.  Perhaps the one person on the forum that I know is well trained in this subject area might chime in (and he owns Jub clones, to boot...).  Note that digital formats aren't limited to human hearing frequencies (except 44.1/16), but typically, analog recordings are.

 

I'm an engineer by training, education, and by trade.  "Magic" in signal processing is BS, but you can extract signal from noise sometimes.  But to say that you love the noise is a new chapter in creative writing for me.  Sorry about the bluntness.  It does matter that people know that it's noise...but if they want to listen to noise, then, like $100K cables, I'm looking for my way into that market for a quick buck (...and then exit quickly before the market collapses...).  :)

 

Chris

Edited by Chris A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are choosing to call it noise for lack of what else to call it.  I understand your choice but don't be surprised by others reactions.

 

Perhaps it just doesn't affect all brains the same way... 

Perhaps a bottle or two of Lone Star would do the job better for us?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do I still prefer records, all things being equal? Yes, yes I do.
 

 

Hey Shakey - you don't have to answer this, but what formats did you grow up with in your youth? What about when you were under 10, and then in your late teens / early 20's?

 

One other question, but less interesting to me....is your vinyl completely without ticks/pops? Or is there the occasional low level artifact spitting out just above the noise floor?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Under 10 it was 45s mainly. Teenage years was vinyl, cassettes, and 8 track. I tried to jump on the digital bandwagon in the early 80s and got rid of most of my records and all my cassettes. I came back to vinyl in the early 90s.

 

My records have the usual ticks and pops. I clean them all once with a Nitty Gritty machine, then try to maintain them. Unlike many, I have no problem listening through whatever surface noise is there. Some are very good to excellent, some not so much.

 

Shakey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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

 

Hey Shakey - you don't have to answer this, but what formats did you grow up with in your youth? What about when you were under 10, and then in your late teens / early 20's?

 

One other question, but less interesting to me....is your vinyl completely without ticks/pops? Or is there the occasional low level artifact spitting out just above the noise floor?

 

Doc, nice to see you in here, I was jamming on my Wall of Voodoo album last night and there may have been an artifact here or there but I was inmeshed in how good the music was and they faded away. Yes, I'm 58 years old and have tons of digital on disc and files but on my rig they pale in comparison to that natural ambience and warmth of vinyl (I too like Mr. Lindsey am drawn into analog music and I just hear digital) . This is an to each his own type of question, I bet that good looking dog in Chris's avatar prefers vinyl too ;) Suffic to say in 58 years I've drank my share of Lone Star longnecks as well as a few stinky cans of it if no necks were available :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is kind of sounding like a Tube vs SS debate.

 

I like adding coloration, harmonics, wet sound, higher THD values, etc. VS   I like the dry, clinical and over use of negative feedback sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Actually I have done exactly that. I record my guitar and piano playing all the time. I have some modern digital recorder but for realism I use my old reel to reel. I am using acoustic instruments. I have a number of quality guitars and with the reel to reel I could tell you which one I was playing. Not so much with the digital recorder. The piano is the hardest in my mind to reproduce. The combination of percussion and sustain is tough. The reel to reel sounds closer to real than the digital. I have two reel to reels One is a Tandberg 64 the other is a newer Sony. I cannot recall the digital recorder model or info. I bought it at Leos pro audio in Berkeley and it was highly regarded as a reasonably priced qualtiy option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am all digital now.  My order of preference, from best to worst, is: Blu-ray, SACD, CD.  Good engineering can trump format.

 

But ... I would enjoy hearing just one digital recording that had the quality of the vinyl Westminster Classical Sampler of c1958 ... or the Crystal Clear Records Direct to Disc Sonic Spectaculars ... or any of a number of others.  By "quality" I mean the emotional gratification and feeling of the musicians really being there that the very best vinyl of the past could bring.  Yes, there was no very deep bass, and you had to be lucky enough to get a good pressing.  I don't know about the really new stuff made from digital masters.

 

For the record (no pun intended), I grew up on vinyl, later added 15 i.p.s. 1/2 track tape for original recording, hated cassettes, and was nauseated by 8 track, and, in later years, revolted by MP3.  It is hard to get a really good CD, for all the reasons given by others, but there are some, and I've had good luck with SACD, and great luck with Blu-ray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

Years ago I was given a tape of Side A from Kansas' Leftoverture, made at the studio that recorded that album, from the original master tape. I had both the LP and the CD so I set up a comparison test, taking the time to match levels exactly, and synchronized the playback so that I could easily switch between the three formats. There were several people present at the comparison and, using the tape as a reference standard, everyone agreed that the CD sounded closer to the tape. No one but me knew whether the CD or the LP was being compared to the tape. 

 

I did other tests between CDs and LPs without any comparison reference, and the CDs beat the LPs in every case. No measurements were taken during any of the comparisons I made.

Edited by Don Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

 

Years ago I was given a tape of Side A from Kansas' Leftoverture, made at the studio that recorded that album, from the original master tape. I had both the LP and the CD so I set up a comparison test, taking the time to match levels exactly, and synchronized the playback so that I could easily switch between the three formats. There were several people present at the comparison and, using the tape as a reference standard, everyone agreed that the CD sounded closer to the tape. No one but me knew whether the CD or the LP was being compared to the tape. 

 

I did other tests between CDs and LPs without any comparison reference, and the CDs beat the LPs in every case. No measurements were taken during any of the comparisons I made.

 

 

Don, I have done the same kind of experiments and experienced exactly the same results!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

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.

 

Years ago I was given a tape of Side A from Kansas' Leftoverture, made at the studio that recorded that album, from the original master tape. I had both the LP and the CD so I set up a comparison test, taking the time to match levels exactly, and synchronized the playback so that I could easily switch between the three formats. There were several people present at the comparison and, using the tape as a reference standard, everyone agreed that the CD sounded closer to the tape. No one but me knew whether the CD or the LP was being compared to the tape. 

 

I did other tests between CDs and LPs without any comparison reference, and the CDs beat the LPs in every case. No measurements were taken during any of the comparisons I made.

 

 

Don, I have done the same kind of experiments and experienced exactly the same results!

 

You two should live together! Sounds like a match made in heaven..

 

Just to stay on topic, I have over 400 cd's and 2000 LP's, with a number of the same recordings on both formats, and the vinyl trumps the CD every time, maybe with the exception of my Kansas lp's. None of the originals are worth a damn, and that includes some half speed masters and audiophile pressings.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the vinyl trumps the CD every time,

On your system (as with many others'), naturally. That'd be a given as its almost entirely optimized for analog source material.

 

The only way to ever experience the digital portion or your library in its finest light, as Artto was getting at, is to unplug all the tube gear and patch in a special type of digitally driven SS amp....the tubes won't do it, you'll always be hearing the input / output stages. 

 

It has to be two different and entirely separate front-ends for the two different sources.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, I have many systems. The only one mentioned in my sig is the 2-channel. I also have a very nice sounding 5-ch system that shares the Khorns, and uses an Anthem D2 pre-pro ($6K) with 5-ch of Acurus amplication. As mentioned, the Blu-Rays and DVD-Audio discs sound outstanding. The Oppo also has a separate 2-ch out that I use with my 2-ch rig, and I mostly play 2-ch SACD's thru it. It all sounds very good. A lot of it sounds spectacular. All I am saying is I still prefer the vinyl most of the time. Having said that, most of the vinyl I am playing are audiophile recordings, and cost s between $30 and $75 per LP.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been no posts for more than 6 hours so I know you all must be waiting for this!  LOL

 

I would like to reiterate, as several others have, the topic of the post is “Is Analog Dead?” not is analog better than digital, or digital better than analog, or which you use most or prefer.

 

As Max 2 said in post #168 (and I in post #135 ), this is indeed much like the tube verses transistor debate that’s been going for decades and suspect this will be no different.

 

There are in fact many people who still prefer their 78rpm monaural records and monaural playback systems. And they have good justification. Using the Klipschorn as an example, with its inherent required corner placement, imagine for a moment what it was like back in the monaural days. You have this large (but relatively small) low distortion loudspeaker that could produce really low bass for the first time in a typical home. Its corner placement & polar response allowed a very wide listening area with everyone having pretty much the same perspective from a “single point source” (not really a true single point source, but you know what I mean), much like they would in a large concert hall.

 

And also as Max2 said in post #168I like adding coloration, harmonics, wet sound, higher THD values, etc. VS   I like the dry, clinical and over use of negative feedback sound”, while I don’t agree with his subjective interpretation of the later, this is perfectly valid. It’s OK to like what you like. Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot arguing that one is “better” than the other which is a completely subjective argument valid for you and only you.

 

Joshnich post #169: I disagree. That is not what you have done. You do not have a true direct digital playback system that has completely digital throughput. The same goes for Mike Lindsay (post #175) and Garyrc (post # 170). Yes, you have many different systems. But you are missing the point or possibly misunderstanding. As Quiet Hollow pointed out in post #174, your existing systems, regardless of how highly regarded the components, or highly “optimized” you feel they are, have one thing in common – none are direct digital with completely digital throughput. They are all compromised by analog components in the signal path.

 

Where am I coming from?

 

The original recording is recorded digitally. It should be recorded digitally in some high resolution digital format such as at least 96KHz/24 bit .WAV or FLAC file, or preferably 192KHz/24bit or DSD (.DSF). The recording is NOT played back from some spinning hard disk drive or BluRay/CD/SACD player or anything with moving parts. The hi-res WAV or FLAC file is played from solid state memory such as a computer (not from a sound card) with digital media player software of highest quality. From here the signal is transmitted digitally (no sound card) with no further digital to analog or analog to digital or various upsampling/downsampling or other format changes DIRECTLY to the receiver which is a true direct digital amplifier which is capable of doing the one and only digital to analog conversion at the very end of the signal chain to drive the loudspeakers.

 

My preferred method of digital signal transmission from computer to direct digital amplifier is HDMI. In order for this to be equal or superior to asynchronous USB the components must be using the latest HDMI specification AND make use of the Audio Rate Control command so that the receiver becomes the master clock for the source otherwise you will have the digital jitter problems many people associated with pervious versions of HDMI which used the video part of the signal for synchronization. No video, no synchronization = USB was better for audio.

 

There are very few products on the market that fit this scenario, each with different degrees of capability, and with good reason. It’s relatively new. It’s patented. So until someone figures out another way to achieve the same thing or until the patent expires, for better or worse, like it or not, it’s the only game in town.

 

In other words, until you get your ears on a system like that, you will not be able to make a valid judgment regarding any difference. And your system will be biased towards analog ~ because it is analog! (at least in part)

 

Let me make one other thing perfectly clear. Don’t confuse a direct digital amplifier with so-called “digital amplifiers”. Just because its class D or class H doesn’t make it a true digital amplifier and it is certainly not a direct digital amplifier.

 

Example:

 

Crown Drive Core Series (DCi), Class D output stages. This is NOT a direct digital, all digital amplifier. In Crown’s own words “a proprietary hybrid digital-analog integrated circuit………….”

 

QSC DCA Series Digital Cinema Amplifiers DCA2422 class H.

This is NOT a direct digital, all digital amplifier. The word “digital” in this instance is referring to the RS232 data port interface for DCP Digital Cinema Processors and DCM Digital Cinema Monitors. It has a switching power supply but is otherwise a traditional linear analog amplifier.

 

Hypex PSC2. This is NOT a direct digital, all digital amplifier. It has no direct digital inputs.

 

Hypex PSC2d. This IS a direct digital, all digital amplifier. It has direct digital inputs although it is a power amplifier only, not the whole nine yards (preamp functions, DSP, etc.)

 

NAD M2 or C390DD. These are true direct digital all digital amplifiers.

 

Core Audio Technolgies Kratos. This is a true direct digital, all digital amplifier.

 

There are a couple others out there with varying power output and input capabilities. The NAD products are the most notable main stream products from a reputable company with a long standing history. My personal opinion is that the C390DD is the current better choice as it has much more flexibility for both digital and analog inputs as well as upgradability which is slowly being adapted to their Master series.

 

In summary, you cannot really compare the two unless you get rid of the hybrid part and eliminate anything analog or mechanical in the signal path, from source (recording and playback source), transmission, processing and amplification.

 

As I said in post #131 (and this was simply to provoke one’s thoughts – theoretical physicists don’t all agree on it, why should we?), “analog” as we perceive it may not actually exist. But assuming it does………….

 

Like what you like but don’t expect anyone to agree with you. It’s you that matters.

 

And NO, analog is not dead.

 

If history of related components/topics holds true, analog will be around for decades and so will the debate.

Edited by artto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Unlike dragging a miniature rock on the end a small stick mounted to a large stick

 

I said goodbye to ticks and pops over 30 years ago

Now, now Claude, I'm thinking you are a bit confused.  Jitter, distortion, sterile compression are just another form of ticks and pops.

 

If you are playing cd's you are simply dragging a light over a spinning disk on an arm that's connected to a tangential arm. A hard drive is just another arm dragging across a platter.

 

So digital is so different from vinyls?  Let's compare the medium. Wax is made from oil and so is a plastic cd.  Yes a diamond is a stone, so what is silicone if not a rock? 

 

Find me someone here who has never lost a large amount of data, weather records, pictures, whatever on their foolproof digital devices such as hard drives, ram, or smartypants phones.  You can't because everyone had had a data dump of some kind or another.  Between Home Depot and Target over 130 billion private accounts have been hacked.  Someday soon there will be a virus that simply wipes hard drives. What then?  Wait until we have a real cyber-war, with whole governments involved, and you know that will happen sooner or later.  What's going to be left of your online experience then, not to mention the cloud?

 

To put it into digital terms.  When the  01110011011010000110100101110100 hits the fan you are going to be up a

01100110011101010110001101101011ing creek without a paddle.

 

Plus vinyls sound better to analogue beings.  If you want digital become a robot.

 

 

Thebes, not quite.

 

"Jitter, distortion, sterile compression are just another form of ticks and pops."

Not true. The result of jitter is actually much like wow & flutter in the analog domain. Distortion is the alteration of the original shape of something. Ticks and pops are not part of the original "shape" or sound at all. They are added after the fact with little or no control of the user/listener. Pray tell, what exactly is "sterile compression"? It certainly is NOT another form of "ticks & pops". If anything, the vast majority of vinyl LP have much more compression (of any kind) than CD or better quality digital. That's a fact. Vinyl LP (or analog tape) do not have as much dynamic range as any decent digital system, especially by today's standards, even if you through in the digital dither argument.

 

"If you are playing cd's you are simply dragging a light over a spinning disk on an arm that's connected to a tangential arm."

No. you are NOT dragging light over anything. You are reading reflected light from a spinning surface. The fact that its a tangential arm has nothing to do with anything. In fact the digital data is not even in "sequence". It's interleaved - to make forward error correction more robust and data less susceptible to damage than if all the data where arranged sequentially along the same "path".

 

"A hard drive is just another arm dragging across a platter"

No it is not. It is not dragging across anything. If it were, the disk would sustain the same eventual damage that vinyl records do. In the hard drive world this eventually comes to be known as a "crash".

 

So digital is so different from vinyls?  Let's compare the medium. Wax is made from oil and so is a plastic cd.  Yes a diamond is a stone, so what is silicone if not a rock?

And wax, oil, plastic, diamond, silicone, breasts, ice cream sandwiches, vacuum tubes, transistors, my lunch, your lunch, and everything else, are made of atoms, or more accurately, fields.

So What.

 

"Find me someone here who has never lost a large amount of data, weather records, pictures, whatever on their foolproof digital devices such as hard drives, ram, or smartypants phones.  You can't because everyone had had a data dump of some kind or another.  Between Home Depot and Target over 130 billion private accounts have been hacked.  Someday soon there will be a virus that simply wipes hard drives. What then?  Wait until we have a real cyber-war, with whole governments involved, and you know that will happen sooner or later.  What's going to be left of your online experience then, not to mention the cloud?"

And what will happen to all our vinyl when the sun turns into a white dwarf?

 

"To put it into digital terms.  When the  01110011011010000110100101110100 hits the fan you are going to be up a

01100110011101010110001101101011ing creek without a paddle."

That's what error correction and offline backup are for. Anyone not doing that is simply asking for trouble. Anyone who wants to steal or destroy what's on my laptop media center ~ be my guest. I'll have it up and running within hours while I'm off doing something else. BTW, interesting bit depth ~ 31

 

"Plus vinyls sound better to analogue beings.  If you want digital become a robot."

Your embellished dramatization are always entertaining and fun. However, there is no such thing as "analog beings. We are made of bits & pieces (and fields). And so is time itself, the smallest "bit" of time being the Planck Unit,

 

09665dca7498e8de864f01151e8377c8.png

which is roughly 10 to the minus 43 seconds.

 

Like it or not, We are digital robots, in a digital world.

 

Well 01100110011101010110001101101011 me! I leave town for a few days and come back to a whole lotta Bull01110011011010000110100101110100.

 

First things first Artto.  Math!  You dare present me with math?  You so shamelessly flaunt Special Forum Rule Number 23a, Subsection C, that states in no uncertain terms "that no Member shall introduce math into a discussion in which Thebes is involved. It confuses the poor lad, makes him blubber, and effects the whole tenor of the Forum ."

 

I won't get into all the specifics. For all I know you have successfully rebutted all of my points.  Hard to tell because I can't see the screen too well through the spinning of my head and the tracks of my tears.

 

However, I can't believe that you aren't willing to admit that cd's and digital streaming stuff has its own types of distortion.

 

Why that's just distorted!

 

If it was so perfect why would they keep coming up with new digital formats?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The bottom line is that both formats have their attributes and drawbacks and any choice will come with an armful of compromises but come on guys.. pick up the pitchforks and axes and lets get some blood flowin' here!    :emotion-14:

Well said!  I can't believe that any vinyls lover isn't aware of the limitations of vinyls.  Again, most of us who own a record player abandoned wax when  cd's came out only to come back to it at a later date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

You guys have certainly helped me to form an opinion.  Thanks...

As the marketing guru Jack Trout once famously said " If your assigment is to change peoples minds, don't accept the assignment"
I get your point, but now get mine.

 

Analogue guys are far from absolutists, sticking with the party line while heads roll at the Kremlin.  Far from it.

 

I, like almost everyone here, abandoned vinyls for cd's in the 80's.  I and many others, when we got a bit older, and started crafting better systems, dipped our toes back into analogue, and realized, very belatedly that we had run from a good thing.

 

I would posit that there is not a vinyls guy here that doesn't have a closet full of cd's.

 

And, here's another point, many of  what you think are nostalgia throwbacks have some of the best systems available in audio today, mostly crafted around horns.  They  have devoted years of their lives to the pursuit of what is much more than a mere hobby, and realize that analogue is heck-of-a-way to go.

 

Don't forget that many of us dinosaurs also share with you the idea that Heritage speakers are still cutting edge and not simple nostalgia.

I'm not sure if you addressing this to me....but I could not agree more. My road back to vinyl was very similar to yours and it definitely wasn't based on nostalgia! I have continued to search for a digital option and indeed have put together what many would consider a "serviceable " system. My digital combo components sound great and they are indeed easy and convienent to use. They just don't produce music that is as pleasurable to listen to!

 

Sorry Josh. My reply was not directed at you.  Grabbbed the wrong quote in the heat of battle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The bottom line is that both formats have their attributes and drawbacks and any choice will come with an armful of compromises but come on guys.. pick up the pitchforks and axes and lets get some blood flowin' here!    :emotion-14:

Well said!  I can't believe that any vinyls lover isn't aware of the limitations of vinyls.  Again, most of us who own a record player abandoned wax when  cd's came out only to come back to it at a later date.

 

Hear hear Sir, to each his own. I'm just hurt Artto did not reference one of my post #'s :sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...