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Old 7th December 2006, 01:25 PM   #1
protos is offline protos  Greece
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Default CD as good as vinyl?

Linn Sondek/Denon 103 vs 24 chip non-os dac + EAC.

Finally found a digital combination that can sound as good as vinyl.
Let me explain.
Many vinyl fans know how hard it is to get cd to sound as good as vinyl.My vinyl set up (sondek/ittok/denon 103/ naim 323phono boards)which is quite respectable, although not as hi-end as some others, usually sounds quite a bit better than cd.
My new 24 chip non-os dac (which obviously does not have a three figure price either)came close to this sound but did not quite make it.Out of 10-12 records/tracks that I have both on cd and LP what I noticed was that some cds came closer to vinyl than others.This points to the fact that cds are not always well mastered or produced.Particularly cds mastered from analog are more variable of course and older cds eg late 80s or early 90s were more disapointing than newer ones.Even newly mastered cds in the last 5 years sometimes were unexpectedly disapointing.
So I think bad cd sound has a lot to do with mediocre mastering/production .
Nothing really to do about that except hope studio engineers might get the wax out of their ears and do a better job in the future.
However it seems there is another factor.The quality of the cd stamping is also crucial it seems.Copying good sounding cds with the EAC software so that the cdr are error free brings a new dimension to what is possible from digital sound.I can say now that beginning with a reasonably good cd transfer and copying with EAC brings digital and vinyl sound on the same level.At least with the combination listed above.
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Old 7th December 2006, 01:45 PM   #2
ssmith is offline ssmith  France
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Default Re: CD as good as vinyl?

Quote:
Originally posted by protos

So I think bad cd sound has a lot to do with mediocre mastering/production .
I could not agree more.
I think a lot of the CDs from the 80's/90's were very lazily transferred.

As an example, I had U2's 'Unforgettable Fire'(1984) and 'Joshua Tree'(1987) on vinyl, but went on to buy 2 copies of each on CD -- the initial CD releases and the '蛃land Masters' versions, which I bought later in the hope that they were better.
On both of these CD's, I remember the sound never being anywhere near up to par with vinyl. They were very 2 dimensional.
But I recently got the MFSL versions of the two albums -- totally different, far superior in quality to the other CDs.

Sadly I cannot compare the MFSL with the vinyl, as my collection is in storage and I'm without a player.

I also have a 24 chip NOS dac (the DDDac), which I feed with Flacs (ripped with EAC) via Asio>USB. For me it has really brought digital to a whole new level. At the same time, poorly recorded/mastered CDs still sound bad, only less so than the DACs I was using before.

I feel I've finally got somewhere with digital -- although I still miss that vinyl crackle and my diy TT is still on the drawing board.
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Old 7th December 2006, 01:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: CD as good as vinyl?

Quote:
Originally posted by protos
[snip]This points to the fact that cds are not always well mastered or produced.Particularly cds mastered from analog are more variable of course and older cds eg late 80s or early 90s were more disapointing than newer ones.Even newly mastered cds in the last 5 years sometimes were unexpectedly disapointing.
So I think bad cd sound has a lot to do with mediocre mastering/production .[snip]
Bingo!

Quote:
Originally posted by protos
[snip]Copying good sounding cds with the EAC software so that the cdr are error free brings a new dimension to what is possible from digital sound.I can say now that beginning with a reasonably good cd transfer and copying with EAC brings digital and vinyl sound on the same level.At least with the combination listed above.
Another possibility is to copy your LP's to CD. It has been described on this forum. The general impression (also my own experience) is that LP's recorded to CD sound almost exactly like the original LP, but with all the mechanical and handling advantages of the CD format.

Jan Didden
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Old 7th December 2006, 02:28 PM   #4
Werner is offline Werner  Europe
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Default Re: Re: CD as good as vinyl?

Quote:
Originally posted by janneman

Another possibility is to copy your LP's to CD.
Doing so now, but to audio-only DVD-V at 96kHz/24b.

Present-day mastering, especially in popular music, is dreadful due to the marketing pressure to make everything louder than everything else.

80s: good mastering practice, mediocre ADCs and digital gear.

00s: awful mastering practice, excellent ADCs and digital gear.

Listen to the soundtrack of music DVD-Vs: these 192kb/s AC3 tracks often surpass their CD equivalents by a big margin, simply because the movie industry employs serious quality standards for soundtracks.


More on this:


http://www.digido.com/modules.php?na...le&sid=7#part2
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Old 7th December 2006, 02:40 PM   #5
protos is offline protos  Greece
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Default Re: Re: CD as good as vinyl?

Quote:
Originally posted by janneman


Bingo!



Another possibility is to copy your LP's to CD. It has been described on this forum. The general impression (also my own experience) is that LP's recorded to CD sound almost exactly like the original LP, but with all the mechanical and handling advantages of the CD format.

Jan Didden
Well my first LP-cd recording experience with a first generation hi-fi component type Philips Cd Recorder (i still have it but forgot the model no)circa 1998 was not good.But then this recorder could not even make excellent cd-cd copies as i do on the computer now.So I guess the quality of cd recording has gone up a lot.
I remember some years ago when component cd recorders were the fashion some included the SONY SBM software which everybody thought was great for transferring analog to cd.I still see it on some production cds.However I was wondering if this was possible with our existing software on computer?
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Old 7th December 2006, 03:15 PM   #6
protos is offline protos  Greece
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I agree that bad mastering is very endemic.I still cannot believe how bad some so-called remastered cds sound.You have high expectations and they are severely disappointed.I was very disappointed with a recent Dark side of the moon release a few years ago despite all the hype of careful remastering.Also Beatles No.1 sounds excruciating.Rolling Stones 40 licks terrible too.
However one of my main points in my first post was that the actual cd stamping is also contributing to mediocre sound because there is quite a difference between the original and a EAC copy.There should not be such a difference.
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Old 7th December 2006, 03:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Re: Re: CD as good as vinyl?

Quote:
Originally posted by protos

Well my first LP-cd recording experience with a first generation hi-fi component type Philips Cd Recorder (i still have it but forgot the model no)circa 1998 was not good.But then this recorder could not even make excellent cd-cd copies as i do on the computer now.So I guess the quality of cd recording has gone up a lot.
I remember some years ago when component cd recorders were the fashion some included the SONY SBM software which everybody thought was great for transferring analog to cd.I still see it on some production cds.However I was wondering if this was possible with our existing software on computer?

There is a thread here somewhere about copying CD's. Several people worked on it and showed that what came off a mediocre computer CD player was bit-for-bit what was on the original even after several copies. Think about it: how could Windoze ever work if CD copies were not bit-for-bit identical?
Of course there is the issue of jitter but that comes AFTER you have the copying done.

These guys used the M-audio audiophile external USB ADC (120 $) to record the output of their phone preamp with EAC.

Jan Didden
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Old 7th December 2006, 03:57 PM   #8
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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I can抰 repeat this often enough. Beware of new vinyl as well. They seem to use the same mediocre mastering for pressing a vinyl copy which would please us audiophile vinyl junkies.
One of the best examples is Donald Fagen抯 'Morph the Cat'. Despite the raving reviews, recording it on HDD with software that makes the waveform visible reveals the severe clipping and shameless compression applied to not only this master.
You don't even need the software to view the clipping, it can be heard most easily on a simple listening session.

/Hugo
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Old 7th December 2006, 04:24 PM   #9
protos is offline protos  Greece
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This review article on EAC perhaps explains (maybe)why there is a difference between bit-perfect cds.
http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/eac/eac_2.html

Anyway what about SONY SBM software? Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 7th December 2006, 04:26 PM   #10
protos is offline protos  Greece
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Quote:
Originally posted by Netlist
I can抰 repeat this often enough. Beware of new vinyl as well. They seem to use the same mediocre mastering for pressing a vinyl copy which would please us audiophile vinyl junkies.
One of the best examples is Donald Fagen抯 'Morph the Cat'. Despite the raving reviews, recording it on HDD with software that makes the waveform visible reveals the severe clipping and shameless compression applied to not only this master.
You don't even need the software to view the clipping, it can be heard most easily on a simple listening session.

/Hugo
Cannot believe that a hi-end vinyl audiophile label would do what you say.Jeez!
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