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    The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

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    deepee99

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    The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:28 pm

    A friend just sent me this link:

    http://theweek.com/article/index/254901/the-baffling-revival-of-the-vinyl-lp

    from The Week magazine.
    Couldn't quite figure out what was so 'baffling' about the renaissance of the long-playing vinyl record until I looked at the reporter's CV. His apparent youth means he probably thinks hi-fi is listening to a Dragonfly on ear-buds . . .
    Nevertheless, the sales figures for vinyl, while miniscule, are certainly trending upwards. Shopping on-line, I have noticed Amazon and other are starting to pay attention to this market.

    sKiZo

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sKiZo on Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:05 pm

    Amazon's nice because most of the vinyl purchases include their autorip bonus mp3's. Real decent sound quality to load up to the HTPC for when you're feeling lazy.

    Both digital and analog have their plus sides. Digital doesn't have much in the way of pops and clicks or background noise accumulating with time, but there's a certain magic about a well produced vinyl that's impossible to match. I also find that I enjoy the music more after going thru the "process" of finding my selection, cleaning it, hitting it with the ZeroStat, cuing it up, and sitting back for a listen.

    Also worth mentioning, with minimum effort, you can make vinyl last forever. CDs on the other hand seem to have a ticking clock built in ... delamination and pitting seem to be getting to the older disks as we speak. Take a look thru a few of yours and see if you can see any light thru the foil. That, my friends, is the kiss of death for optical sources.

    Blitzen

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by Blitzen on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:53 am

    The only way vinyl will last forever is if you never play it. Out of my collection of thousands of CDs, there are probably less than 10 that have a problem, and I think most of those started that way. I wish I could say the same for my vinyl collection, which was always babied...

    Brap

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    Baffling revival of Vinyl

    Post by Brap on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:33 pm

    I agree. Just purchased the Halo P-5 pre-amp and have a Denon SACD and Rega TT going to that. Have the P-5 feeding a 12WPC 2A3 I built 8 years ago driving Klipsch Forte's and have Bob's ST-70 with mods driving Paradigm Studio10 V5 bookshelf. I have duplicate copies of Miles Davis "Kind of Blue", Nora Jones and Dave Brown Trio in both formats. This set-up lets me make some excellent comparisons with both formats, amps and speakers.

    Initial observations is a difference in soundstage with the vinyl. Depending on who did the master work on the CD's if it was a good house (Telarc, Sheffield) it won't be that noticeable. If a plain Jane studio -- WOW vinyl kicks butt. Not too mny clicks and pops yet since the vinyl is 200 gram and was given as Christmas presents. Older LP's have this nuance -- wish I had better tables and cartridges back in college!!

    Next up will be to compare Pandora and others from my phone to see what sounds ok but I am not holding my breath.

    sailor

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sailor on Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:18 pm

    The best buy [not the cheapest] CD Blueray player out there is the OPPO BDP-105 hands down. At $1199 it has 2 of the best audio chips made the Sabre ES9018 at about $70 a chip. One to run the 7.1 movie section the other is in a audiophile quality stereo audio section. This section has its own transformer and power supply. It compares to the McIntosh player at around $8000. The biggest reason CD don't sound as good as a high end vinyl system is not because it is analog. In fact almost all recordings for many years have been in digital even the ones later put on vinyl. So why the difference. Simple it's recorded digitally at 4 times the sample rate of CD. So CD loose a lot of fine detail when stepping down. Kind of like CD to MP. The problem is CD are as antiquated as 78 records [Are you old enough to remember them]. There needs to be a new format based on the higher sample rate which is no problem for the chips of today that operate in the mega HZ. But this is not going to happen because that is not where the money is for the music producers.
    http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-105/

    Tube Nube

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by Tube Nube on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:43 pm

    I've been fond of lecturing my idiot friends that reconstituted audio, like reconstituted orange juice, might be free of pops, ticks and pits, but there's no hiding which one is more natural and closer to the sound, the feel of live music.

    If minimalism has discernible impact by intruding least on the original signal, surely the byt-ification and re construction of sampled audio is the very worst case antithesis available to the audio reproduction chain.

    So I had a gathering of friends who had concluded that digital was logically better than analog reproduction. I played then Take Five from a nexus cd over a decent digital system. Squeeze box with Monica3 outboard dac and custom power supply.

    Then I played it on my much updated Sondek--staggeringly better. They didnt want to believe the undeniable evidence of their own senses. It was pretty funny.

    "But, but but...how much was the turn table relative to the digital system?" I was asked. It hardly matters, if the argument was that digital is inherently superior.

    Of course, better digital systems, and higher sampling rate digital recordings will sound better than wgphat I have now, but I dont ever listen to digital. The record player sounds so good, I'll continue to upgrade that.

    And I'l probably get more electronics from Roy and Bob.

    Keep 'em spinning boys!

    sKiZo

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sKiZo on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:24 am

    Just got done listening to some vinyl ... sort of ...

    I do like the convenience of point 'n click with the HTPC, so I've ripped a bunch of the old records to FLAC at 48/24 using SoundForge. I also "pretreat" the albums as needed using a dbx SNR1 that's inline with the phono stage. With conservative settings, you CAN eliminate a lot of the background noise inherent in old vinyl, but it's also easy to lose music. Hence, the conservative thing. I also use a shibata stylus on a quality table.

    Took a few titles and some experimentation to get it right. The results are quite nice, easily comparable to direct playback.

    I've got a couple FLAC rips that were "half-mastered" from original vinyl played back at 16rpm and adjusted back up to speed via software. Outstanding! Dynamic range is off the charts!

    sailor

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sailor on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:08 pm

    Tube Nube, You should be thanking the record industry for there fine quality Digital recordings. If your vinyl is a standard recording made in the last 25 years then there is about a 90%+ chance you are listing to a digital recording on your record player. Why, because almost all recording studios only make masters in digital any more. So whether you like it or not you are listing to a D to A recording. It just that the DtoA conversion was done at the vinyl mastering area instead of a CD player in your home. Here is the real kick, I can't stand most of my CD that were originally recorded back in the 60s and 70s because of the poor quality of the analogue Master tape. Please understand that if you have an exceptional
    record player with a top of the line cartridge and a state of the art phono stage it should sound better than almost all digital recordings sold today. This would not be true if the digital disks were at 192,000 HZ and 24 Bits or even 32 Bits. I have a state of the art Bluray player which can play such a disk if I could find some place to buy it. This can be proven, rent a movie with great sound in both DVD and Bluray. There will be no question which has the more dynamic cleaner audio and most movies in bluray are only at half the rate I mentioned above.

    Tube Nube

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by Tube Nube on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:49 pm

    Hey there Sailor (I just realized how that sounds . . . :-/ )

    I know you're right that 192k Hz recordings are vastly better than what's on a CD. A friend of mine has some kind of new fangled music player that is capable of playing these files. Or perhaps just one step down.

    As quality digital players become more available that can play these types of files, I'll be interested to know if the current analog advantages continue to be discernible. Time will tell.

    I have to declare I don't know what our bit-sampled world is coming to, though. First, there was an analog record player renaissance, a few years ago, followed in recent years by reports that analog records are the only area in the music biz where sales are increasing.

    Now there's something of an analog film renaissance in 35mm photography happening?

    If it's true that "progress marches on", then surely there's something destructive and down right anti capitalist about this regressive clinging--worse--de-evolution to ways of the past. What's next, horses and buggies?

    ;-)

    sailor

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sailor on Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:21 pm

    I totally agree that analogue records do sound better. Of course, the best sounding ones were digitally mastered. ;-). I have been an audiofool sense 1972. So I have owned a lot of audio gear including 5 high end turn tables. I would probably still spin a record every now an then if it wasn't for the fact that my first wife got my record collection in the divorce.
    Here is a question: Telarc recording company started a revolution with the 1812 overture. Does anyone know what they did?

    Bob Latino
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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:02 pm

    I believe that Telarc was the first to make a digital recording of the cannons back in the late '70's. The cannons when they fired had such a wide dynamic range that they warned on the liner notes to turn the volume down when you played the piece. Of course, some did not heed the warning and smoked fuses on the speakers and/or took out the woofer's voice coil. I still have my copy here. Telarc's digital recording with its extremely wide dynamic range (I believe) actually preceded the introduction of the CD which was in the summer of 1982.

    I still have here one of the first if not the first CD player that Sony produced, the CDP-101 CD player. As I recall the DAC in this first CD player was really a single channel DAC that was multiplexed between the two channels.

    Bob

    sailor

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sailor on Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:26 pm

    I think you are 99% right. They actually used digital to record whole thing including the music. They warned only about the cannons because it was the most dangerous to play. This is to my knowledge the first AtoDtoA record ever made. It was made in 1978 and put a lot of very expensive tone arms to shame when the needle went flying out of the grove to the center of the record. I have always thought that Telarc put a little bit of panic into the industry and may have caused the advent of the CD.
    That Sony player cost a fortune when it was released.

    daveshel

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by daveshel on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:14 pm

    Yes, I remember bouncing the needle out of the groove with a Telarc disk is a stereo shop where I worked in 1981. We didn't have too many turntables that would track it.

    deepee99

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:36 pm

    I still have my old Telarc of the 1812 as well, and Bob, I think you're correct in that it was the first digital recording (1979) of live cannon-fire. Heard mine through a Sony CD player as well, thru Carver amps and Dahlquist DQ-20s. From the liner-notes:
    "To recreate the most authentic recording ... three different and authentic 19th Century cannons, owned and manned by the Fifth Virginia Regiment ... were utilized. A total of 24 different charges of varying sizes were exploded and recorded . . . The recording took place in the courtyard area on the campus of Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. In the process of firing the largest of the three pieces of ordnance, an oversized charge managed to remove the glass in the lower windows of the college's department of English building some several hundred feet away."
    They culled 16 of the best explosions from the 24 actually shot, to match Tchaikovsky's original score.
    The boom following the initial 2k-3k Hz crack at ignition reached down to 6 Hz -- no wonder about them there windows.
    CD sound was still a bit gritty back in those days, and a more musical (to my ears) version of 1812 can be found on a DG recording by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra released in 1990. This also used live cannon-fire, courtesy of of the Gothenburg Artillery Division, utilizing c. 1863 muzzle-loading 6.7 cm-bore black-powder monsters. This will also test your voice coils and power supply.

    GP49

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by GP49 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:46 am

    Many who THOUGHT their cartridges were tracking the Telarc 1812 were sadly mistaken. They were jumping the groove but since they didn't hear a skip, they THOUGHT they were tracking it. The groove literally had an almost right-angle bend in it and these owners' cartridges had been plowing straight ahead, jumping out of the groove at the sharp bend. If the antiskating were set just so, the stylus would drop back into the groove after jumping out of it, and close examination of the record under high magnification would reveal the line that was marked into the "land" of the vinyl by the stylus as it did so.

    deepee99

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:14 pm

    GP49 wrote:Many who THOUGHT their cartridges were tracking the Telarc 1812 were sadly mistaken.  They were jumping the groove but since they didn't hear a skip, they THOUGHT they were tracking it.  The groove literally had an almost right-angle bend in it and these owners' cartridges had been plowing straight ahead, jumping out of the groove at the sharp bend.  If the antiskating were set just so, the stylus would drop back into the groove after jumping out of it, and close examination of the record under high magnification would reveal the line that was marked into the "land" of the vinyl by the stylus as it did so.
    Never knew there was a vinyl issue of the Telarc recording. My first experiences with digital-to-vinyl were Ry Cooder's Bop till You Drop and Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus on Mo-Fi. State of the art back then was, of course, those Sheffield Labs direct-to-disk vinyls. They fetch a fortune now.

    sKiZo

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sKiZo on Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:59 pm

    Sheffield Labs also did some direct to lathe recordings that even bypassed the digital stage ...outstanding! Getting something like the Wagnerian classics out of a symphony orchestra in one take had to be the ultimate challenge for a recording engineer ...

    Thanx for the reminder. Have to dust that off and give it a spin.


    GP49

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by GP49 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:37 am

    "Direct-to-Disc" was what it was called.  The process was on the market BEFORE digital; Sheffield popularized it as an audiophile medium at around the same time as digitally mastered LPs.  There were a few other purveyors of "Direct-to-Disc" but not many.  Production was limited to the number of records that could be derived from a master (through the conventional mother-stamper lineage), multiplied by the number of masters that were cut during the performance.  

    Repertoire was obviously too limited to be useful for a general audience.  Audiophiles who played the same records over and over again to show off their rigs MIGHT have been satisfied, for a while.

    Sheffield's "Direct-to-Disc" recordings were backed up by both analog and digital tape recorders.  Their CD reissues, now that the supply of "Direct-to-Disc" records has been depleted, have been derived from the analog safety tapes.

    deepee99

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:02 am

    GP49 wrote:"Direct-to-Disc" was what it was called.  The process was on the market BEFORE digital; Sheffield popularized it as an audiophile medium at around the same time as digitally mastered LPs.  There were a few other purveyors of "Direct-to-Disc" but not many.  Production was limited to the number of records that could be derived from a master (through the conventional mother-stamper lineage), multiplied by the number of masters that were cut during the performance.  

    Repertoire was obviously too limited to be useful for a general audience.  Audiophiles who played the same records over and over again to show off their rigs MIGHT have been satisfied, for a while.

    Sheffield's "Direct-to-Disc" recordings were backed up by both analog and digital tape recorders.  Their CD reissues, now that the supply of "Direct-to-Disc" records has been depleted, have been derived from the analog safety tapes.

    Are they any good?

    GP49

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by GP49 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:31 pm

    The Sheffield Direct-To-Discs were splendid.

    Something that one could not do with most records, but could with the Sheffields, was to play them with the same cartridge used by their mastering engineer in the production process. Doug Sax openly revealed that he calibrated the recording chain using the Stanton 881S to audition the finished product in a carefully-calibrated playback system. That didn't sit well with some audiophiles who preferred the moving coil cartridges of the day. Problem with the audiophiles was that the response of their cherished moving coils had a distinct and measureable rise in the treble; the Stanton measured essentially flat. Most likely the audiophiles had either ears or loudspeakers with a rolloff, and their cartridges acted as "equalizers" for the rolloff. Either that, or they heard the rising, tizzy, often underdamped high end as "detail" and "air."

    sailor

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sailor on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:29 pm

    As I love to say, us audiofools love our distortion. We perceive it as that little extra detail that makes our equipment special. The Holy Grail that causes us to buy and sell thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment in the search of perfection that does not exist. There should be an AA [audiofools anonymous] meeting for us. After all we are powerless over our addiction to audio and we need serious help. I would need to attend the meetings once a day.

    deepee99

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:32 pm

    sailor wrote:As I love to say, us audiofools love our distortion. We perceive it as that little extra detail that makes our equipment special. The Holy Grail that causes us to buy and sell thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment in the search of perfection that does not exist. There should be an AA [audiofools anonymous] meeting for us. After all we are powerless over our addiction to audio and we need serious help. I would need to attend the meetings once a day.

    Whaddya call this forum, Sailor?

    sailor

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sailor on Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:25 pm

    I guess? The free sample.
    I can't help being mesmerized by the pictures of those beautiful glowing tubes or Sal's perfect wiring jobs.

    sKiZo

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:18 pm

    GP49 wrote:The Sheffield Direct-To-Discs were splendid.  

    Something that one could not do with most records, but could with the Sheffields, was to play them with the same cartridge used by their mastering engineer in the production process.  Doug Sax openly revealed that he calibrated the recording chain using the Stanton 881S to audition the finished product in a carefully-calibrated playback system.

    Might help explain the outstanding playback here. I use a Pickering V15/625E, which is the same cartridge, only better. My score of the year was a NOS stylus still sealed in the original box. Those are getting hard to come by. Wahoo!

    skriefal

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    Re: The 'Baffling' Revival of the Vinyl L.P.

    Post by skriefal on Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:53 pm

    Actually not the same cartridge... the XV15 is moving iron, but the 881S is moving magnet. The Pickering equivalent to the 881 would be the XSV3000/4000/5000 series. But both should be great!

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