Hypothesis as to why some prefer vinyl: Douglas Self - diyAudio
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Old 30th December 2015, 07:57 PM   #1
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Default Hypothesis as to why some prefer vinyl: Douglas Self

An intriguing theory has been put forward in the Letter section of Hifi News (December 2015, p123) as to why people assert they prefer vinyl to digital, despite the undeniable problems with noise, distortion, clicks, etc etc. Mr Patrick Wallace points out that vinyl signals always come with a background of low-frequency noise due to pressing limitations & so on, and that some of this is vertical with respect to the stylus, and therefore appears out of phase and cannot be localised by the ears. He says it therefore is interpreted as 'surround sound' ambience on the recording.

This is the first hypothesis I have come across that gives a plausible reason why vinyl, with its inescapable limitations, might be preferred to digital, and I would be glad to see some discussion of this on DIYaudio.

I'm sure you are all wondering if there would be a market for a vinylising box that would add suitable out-of-phase low-frequency noise to clean signals.
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Old 30th December 2015, 08:02 PM   #2
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I have been saying the same for years - groove noise with spectrum decay with frequency and limited resolution.
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Old 30th December 2015, 08:06 PM   #3
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That might be. One of the things about vinyl that I notice is now gone with CD is the kind of thrilling anticipation that I used to feel when the stylus was first set down onto a disk, playing nothing yet except LF noise. It had a feeling of life to it, definitely artificial, but seeming real none the less. Of course, if this was added to CD on purpose, I'd probably find it annoying, knowing that it needn't be there!
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Old 30th December 2015, 08:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post
That might be. One of the things about vinyl that I notice is now gone with CD is the kind of thrilling anticipation that I used to feel when the stylus was first set down onto a disk, playing nothing yet except LF noise. It had a feeling of life to it, definitely artificial, but seeming real none the less. Of course, if this was added to CD on purpose, I'd probably find it annoying, knowing that it needn't be there!
I agree with you completely!
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Old 30th December 2015, 09:10 PM   #5
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I haven't read the latest linear audio, really should before I comment, but to extend Bill's point I wonder how you would extract the anticipation bias from the actual sound. I've never tried ripping an LP to see how different that sounds. Been meaning to for (mumble) years now.
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Old 30th December 2015, 09:20 PM   #6
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I once prepared a test with a CD track x CD track with added noise recorded from empty groove
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Old 30th December 2015, 10:10 PM   #7
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I once took the same piece of music (which is electronic music, produced on a computer, no real instruments) in two formats, vinyl and download version, ripped the vinyl and compared them. The vinyl version had a nice, full sound, with well defined bass, whereas the download version sounded thin and lifeless. Don't know if it was the mastering process, the vinyl itself or the preamp, but I liked the vinyl better.
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Old 30th December 2015, 10:22 PM   #8
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Having to get up and flip the disc necessitates mixing another cocktail, quod erat etc erc
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Old 30th December 2015, 11:07 PM   #9
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It could of course just be that many dacs have imperfect filters that some people dislike. Add to that the greater routine and physical presence of vinyl and you have your answer.

I like both equally.
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Old 30th December 2015, 11:33 PM   #10
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I've ripped a lot of vinyl to digital, but I clean all of the clicks, pops, rumble, and other surface noise using software. I must admit it usually sounds fuller/better thN the CD versions I have compared them too. But it may make my be due to poor mastering Nd limited technology at the time when the CD's were made. Currently well produced digital music is hard to beat. But for the.nostalgia vinyl is a lot of fun, inconvenient, but fun.

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