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The analog thread.


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19 minutes ago, Knuckledragger said:

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The James Brand x VMP Knife: The Abbey.

 

 

A bargain at $80!  :blink:

So a unitasker, then.

"I have railed against unitaskers for 20 years. I've come around to liking them as strategic gifts for people you don't like."

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/23/460833325/the-unitasker-kitchen-gadgets-alton-brown-loves-to-loathe

 

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20 hours ago, Craig Sawyers said:

The infamous Telarc 1812 with cannons that can push even a good cartridge into leaping out of the groove was a digital recording.

 

1812Overture-1.jpg

the telarc recordings were half speed mastered with no transformers in the signal chain and a frequency response down to 12hz or so with no compression or limiting or any type. They tried to get the entire signal chain as high quality as possible and muck around as little as possible, right down to using only using 3 high performance microphones and not multi milking, spot lighting etc. They designed for proper hifis and not for the average consumer grade kit.  The soundstream digital system also sampled at a higher frequency than the competition (or cd), and unlike early cds, telarc could actually do editing and splicing digitally whereas all the major record companies took the digital recorded it onto analog tapes edited the analog tapes and then played the edited tapes and digitally re-recorded (but still lied and claimed the signal chain was DDD throughout)... or recorded on their didital system and then converted to soundstream edited and then converted back.

Even when DAT and proper computer editing took over the sample rate was higher than cd and had to be down converted and anti aliasing filters applied...

the stream of data off cd also has a delay between the right and left channels. many early cd players did not correct for this which I think was one of the reason the treble was so sharp on the early cd players. A few high end players ended up having two dacs and a time delay circuit to realign the left and right channels. But I never got to hear one at the time.

In many many cases the record companies  transferred analog masters to DAT, and then threw away the analog master tapes... DAT had almost no error correction built in and a few years down the line the DAT tapes were unreadable and the master tapes were gone. So many of the cd reissues of classic analog recordings where actually digital recordings from the lps anyway, and the lp system they used for play back was garbage, the "remasters" sounded bad then and they still sound bad now. I could make far far better recordings from my lp system going through a dcs 905 adc at 24 bit 192Khz sample rate.

Telarc digital on lp vs philips "remasters" of classical lps on cd... no contest. 

I played the telarc 1812 no  issues on a decca black with decca pod, modified tie wire system and a proper line contact diamond. My ortofon cadenza bronze has no issues either and thats a moving coil. Both on a heavily tweaked haddock 242 unipivot arm. (ALL hadcock 228 arms had incorrect geometry and the aluminium arm tube versions lack the weight to properly press down on the inverted uni pivot)).

And of course ALL telarc sound stream recordings have to be down sampled and anti aliased to go onto cd... The sound stream digital was far better sounding than the early Philips PCM - which DID NOT have even 16 bit resolution... it was about 12-14 bits + deliberately added noise because the 14 bits was not that linear and low level signals had about 25% - 75% distortion and looked like square waves..

apologises for incoherent rambling but for me the message from sound stream was make the record chain as good and simple as possible, make as few compromises as possible and don't muck up the sound with filtering or compression and aim for an audience with proper hifi... lessons many recording companies never learned and still need to learn today.

I also wonder if the average person listening to music through their mobile phone gets higher auto quality than the average person in the 1960s or even 1950s... (when a good hifi seemed to be a part of most middle classes lives). I have listened to a friend playing some music through some cheap Bluetooth speakers via their mobile and I seriously wonder if (apart from the surface noise) the sound was better than a 1940s 78 on a good player.

James

 

 

 

Edited by jamesmking
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5 hours ago, jamesmking said:

the telarc recordings were half speed mastered with no transformers in the signal chain and a frequency response down to 12hz or so with no compression or limiting or any type. They tried to get the entire signal chain as high quality as possible and muck around as little as possible, right down to using only using 3 high performance microphones and not multi milking, spot lighting etc. They designed for proper hifis and not for the average consumer grade kit.  The soundstream digital system also sampled at a higher frequency than the competition (or cd), and unlike early cds, telarc could actually do editing and splicing digitally whereas all the major record companies took the digital recorded it onto analog tapes edited the analog tapes and then played the edited tapes and digitally re-recorded (but still lied and claimed the signal chain was DDD throughout)... or recorded on their didital system and then converted to soundstream edited and then converted back.

Even when DAT and proper computer editing took over the sample rate was higher than cd and had to be down converted and anti aliasing filters applied...

the stream of data off cd also has a delay between the right and left channels. many early cd players did not correct for this which I think was one of the reason the treble was so sharp on the early cd players. A few high end players ended up having two dacs and a time delay circuit to realign the left and right channels. But I never got to hear one at the time.

In many many cases the record companies  transferred analog masters to DAT, and then threw away the analog master tapes... DAT had almost no error correction built in and a few years down the line the DAT tapes were unreadable and the master tapes were gone. So many of the cd reissues of classic analog recordings where actually digital recordings from the lps anyway, and the lp system they used for play back was garbage, the "remasters" sounded bad then and they still sound bad now. I could make far far better recordings from my lp system going through a dcs 905 adc at 24 bit 192Khz sample rate.

And of course ALL telarc sound stream recordings have to be down sampled and anti aliased to go onto cd... The sound stream digital was far better sounding than the early Philips PCM - which DID NOT have even 16 bit resolution... it was about 12-14 bits + deliberately added noise because the 14 bits was not that linear and low level signals had about 25% 

James

 

 

 

Wait, what about the Telarc SACD releases?

Have you actually compared those versions to your own LP rip?

Edited by luvdunhill
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13 hours ago, luvdunhill said:

Wait, what about the Telarc SACD releases?

Have you actually compared those versions to your own LP rip?

I have not ripped the telarc lps but I do have telarcs lps, cds and sacds issues of several classical recordings including the famous 1812 and the holst suites, Stravinsky firebird and pictures at an exhibition. I don't have a setup capable of playing back sacds without converting to pcm. I can bit for bit rip sacds. (hint early PlayStation 3 with early firmware could run alternative operating systems and could play sacds)... later firmware releases stopped this possibility and there is no way to downgrade after a firmware update. The telarc cd issues do suffer slightly from the down conversion... for example some of the cd issues do not use all 16 bits per sample. (My rme aes32e sound card has some analysis software and it shows the bottom 1 or 2 bits on some of the cd issues are not used and strangely the number of unused bits can vary between the channels!!). The sacd issues unfortunately do not give any details of how the conversion was preformed. Sound wise I find the lps more musical and a bit less muddled than the cds ripped to flac and played through my dcs elgar plus. However, there is not a lot in it and its possible that this is a limitation of the elgar plus - it was top end in its day but that was a loooong time ago. The sacd rips converted to 192K 24bit pcm do sound different to the cd, slightly less dynamic but more "cohesive" but this could be the effect of the dsd -> pcm conversion. Its also possible since the original recordings were 3 channel that they slightly tweaked the balance between the centre channel and the left and right to reinforce the centre a bit... Again the sacds don't give any details of any adjustments made to the mix...

I have done transfers of my sheffield lab direct to disk lps - sheffield labs did release on them cd and I believe my recordings have better bass and more warmth and are more musical. The official issues do have a little more snap to plucked strings and possibly a bit better imaging. I run a highly modified garrard 401 with regenerative psu, upgraded bearings etc. But the official issue does have lower rumble than I can get from my garrard but the bass of the official issue is rather dry. If I run my recordings through izotope rx9 I can get rid of almost all the rumble and still sound better than the offical lp to cd transfers in the bass end. I suspect my cartridge is the limiting factor for the treble end. Running through the rme soundcards spectrum analyser I can see a fair mount of music above 20Khz in the lps which is cut off by the cd brick wall filter it looks like they did not low pass filter at 20k when doing the direct to disk. Extension past 20k varies from disk to disk - confederation does not have a lot, however the three Harry James lps have quite a bit due to the harmonics in the trumpets and brass instruments in general, cymbals etc. I am really sensitive to bass quality and I almost never play the official cds - I play my lp transfers.

I also have also recorded some of my opus 3 lps and compared to dsd downloads available from dsdfile and in a few cases the offical opus 3 cd issue. (dsd file got the original master tapes and went direct to dsd) here my lp rip setup to the dcs 905 adc can't complete with dsdfiles' top end tape deck playing the original masters - the dsd macro dynamics are better, stereo imaging is better, treble extension is better and snappier, bass is deeper and more solid. Again there is some output above 20khz on the lps and dsd but it falls off above 20khz fairly rapidly which I guess is just the response of the analog tape deck used in the original recordings or possibly some mild low pass filtering.

The potential problem with telarc sound stream onto dsd is, yes sacd has a higher sampling rate than cd but dsd has lots of high frequency noise which either need to be filtered on playback or "ignored" - if your playback system has little bandwidth above 20khz. Secondly you still have do do maths to convert from soundstream to dsd- the bit format for sacd and so will not give you a bit for bit copy of the original. I can't make a fair comparison of the cd vs lp vs dsd sound since my setup in London does not have native sacd support and so I reply on Jriver media player converting my sacd rips from dsd to 192K 24bit pcm. I do have a dsd capable dac - dcs elgar plus, but it can only do dsd via 3 bnc connectors and I dont have anything which can take sacd and provide that output (ironically my dcs 905 adc also supports recording dsd and has the same 3 bnc output). 

The rationale for sacd/1 bit recording was that you don't need to brick wall filter during recording and that its these filters that damage the sound. The filters cause phase shifts and also almost all symmetrical filters have pre ringing - i.e. echoes of the sample before the sample is played. However, with dsd you still need filtering on playback... In fact both the dcs elgar plus and dcs 905 adc have selectable filters for pcm and dsd for playback and record respectively.

Considering non audiophile labels for example the Philips remasters of 1970s classical music - e.g. Marriners complete Mozart symphonies vs my lp transfers there is absolutely no contest. Many of the official cd transfers where from lp - if you spectrum analyse you can see low frequency warps and you can even hear the occasional click and pop of dust. The cd transfers from philips have awful treble, glassy, hard and "stringy" typical early cd sound - are lean, lack of bass almost no warmth. This is particularly bothersome with some of the early symphonies that are mostly just strings and the result is the cds are bit painful to listen to. My Lp rip vastly more musical and better balanced. Philips uncaring cd transfer vs careful lp transfer sound as different as stax sr407 vs sr007.

I have not riped any of my lps to dsd for the simple reason I have no ability to edit the results without converting to 192K 24 bit pcm editing in pcm and converting back - which is not a bit accurate conversion... however unfortunately this is how many dsd recordings are edited. The dcs 905 also has the ability to do 384Khz but this outputs in a special format for a certain nagra digital recorder and I have not bothered to write any software to convert nagra 384K to pcm 384K although it should be possible and should be bit for bit accurate since the nagra simply spreads the stereo 384K over 4 192K channels as it does not have enough bandwidth to record 384K on two channels.... but I don't have a dac which can do 384K anyway.

So for me, my general feeling is: well made original recordings on tape transferred expertly from the original masters to sacd or cd would require a ridiculously expensive lp setup to rival - definitely £20K+ for cartridge, arm, deck and phono stage even without factoring in the adc. Mass market classical cd issues of analog recordings different story. 

 

 

Edited by jamesmking
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/10/2022 at 11:30 AM, Grahame said:

A one-off Bob Dylan recording could sell for £1m

"I don't look at this as a replacement for anything," he says. "I just look at it as another arrow in the quiver for every musician in the world [and] a whole new way of earning a living that we've never had before."

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-62054616

 

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