CD - seedy and Completely Dreadful - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > Digital Source

Digital Source Digital Players and Recorders: CD , SACD , Tape, Memory Card, etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th December 2005, 02:37 PM   #1
stevers is offline stevers  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Limousin
Default CD - seedy and Completely Dreadful

Oh Dear. I'm sorry I can't make a more incomprehensible post, but then I am a newcomer to this Forum.
I reluctantly went over to CDs in the '80s because they didn't get scratched. I always thought the sound over bright and frequently plain distorted.
I was convinced by the discussions here that the problem was in an odd thing called The DAC (Dark And Complicated) which was hidden from us simple folk somewhere in the guts of the CD player and needed to be brought out into the light of day whereupon it would react to the attention by producing a sound to make Angels wet themselves in envy. So, I bought myself a RAKK DAC for Christmas (we all know the best presents are those one buys for oneself) and an El Cheapo Phillips Everything Player with a hole in the back to connect it to.
Now here's the good bit - Kevin Carter,www.kandkaudio.com,
is a gem. Never had service like it and both he and his kit are mightily impressive. Cost me 250 plus bottles of St Emilion mind.
I have a collection of a few hundred CDs from the 80s and 90s.
Two or three sound fabuous, unbelievable, almost like vinyl with a Decca London but the rest sound awful, if possible worse than they did on my old Technics player. It's the same old CD thing, a nasty tizz on violins/female voice as if a bit of metal has got in the works. So what's going on ? I can't believe you guys have cloth ears to a man but CDs do sound awful, even with expensive kit (the rest of it is a Quad 606 driven directly from the RAKK active output stage and a pair of ESL63s with some bass help).
Any ideas ? Has CD format secretly changed in the last 15 years so I'll have to throw all my old stuff away ?
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 02:42 PM   #2
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: UK
A lot of CDs from the 80s sound a bit bad but that's not really the fault of the format itself
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 03:03 PM   #3
stevers is offline stevers  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Limousin
No, honestly, it's not a 'bit bad'. It really isn't possible to get any pleasure out of listening to them.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 03:34 PM   #4
jives11 is offline jives11  Europe
diyAudio Member
 
jives11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hampshire
Quote:
Originally posted by stevers
No, honestly, it's not a 'bit bad'. It really isn't possible to get any pleasure out of listening to them.
Have you tried a mild treble cut ? I have a quad 44 preamp for it's excellent tone controls. Many CD's benefit from a little or even a large treble roll-off IMHO, though I know this is not a fashionable view

A simple and cheap solution is to try putting a 250pf cap from the signal to ground on each channel. Costs almost nothing but can remove some of the treble glare and is easily removed if you don't like it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 03:40 PM   #5
diyAudio Moderator
 
pinkmouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chatham, England
I have quite a few 80's CDs that were just burnt from the vinyl cutting master tapes, and as such, have pre-emphasis applied for the cutting process. One day I'll get round to knocking up a filter so I can play them again...
__________________
Rick: Oh Cliff / Sometimes it must be difficult not to feel as if / You really are a cliff / when fascists keep trying to push you over it! / Are they the lemmings / Or are you, Cliff? / Or are you Cliff?
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 04:06 PM   #6
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kuala Lumpur
There is an interesting parameter for video and rf ADCs "effective number of bits" which is graphed against input frequency. Usually the resolution falls significantly towards the upper frequency limit. Audio ADC specs rarely show this parameter, but most '80s ADCs were nothing like 16 bit by 10KHz input. In addition clock jitter was not a well understood issue back then and digital mixers did not have enough bits of working resolution. The result is gross distortion of the higher harmonics
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 05:15 PM   #7
stevers is offline stevers  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Limousin
Jives11, thanks - I was (rather tongue in cheek) going to suggest summat similar on my initial post - I reckon 1000uf is probably needed !!
Pinkmouse, I didn't know that, useful again. Any advance on 1000 uf ??

Are we agreed these 'early' CDs sound awful ?

How I wish I'd not sold my 401/SME/London for a few quid.
I'll probably get banned for heresy on the Digital Channel (and satellite radio sounds awful too, exactly the same over bright tinny distortion. Oddly Classic FM (urgh) sometimes sounds quite good, perhaps when they're not sending supermarket price lists in the gaps between bits or whatever else they get up to.

What about DVD-A - should I be thinking about buying these as replacements ?

Sorry this is a simplistic post but I can't be the only one out there with this problem.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 05:19 PM   #8
gmarsh is offline gmarsh  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
gmarsh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada
I don't have any fundamental issues with 44.1/16 PCM as an audio format; there's no restriction in the format itself that strictly prevents *all* CD's from sounding good.

Some CDs just sound bad. I've got early CDs with lots of hiss, "ugly sounding" treble and other things arising from poor sampling and mastering. Nowadays ADC/DAC design has evolved greatly and I believe recording engineers now have a better "ear for their tools", so I wouldn't judge CDs as a whole by using a 1980's era CD.

But on second thought, I wouldn't judge CD's based on any brand new CD either, especially the RHCP "Californication" CD. If you listen to this CD with a pair of headphones on, I guarantee you'll get angry. The gain is boosted to make the CD as loud as possible, and it clips HARD. I've taken an amplifier apart because of this CD, thinking it was amp trouble! And this has become a bit of a trend, unfortunately.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 08:05 PM   #9
stevers is offline stevers  France
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Limousin
gmarsh
Im ashamed to say I pulled my ESL63s apart to find the problem. The problem was....there wasn't one. I've listened to CDs on a nice old Meridian CD player and all sorts of others. I don't claim my current system is the best but it's a lot of money's worth. The trouble is that CD's sound awful. I think we may have initially supressed how awful they sound because they are free of clicks and pops but they sound awful. I was brought up by Arthur Radford. He got me to listen to uncompressed recordings off a 15" ps Revox via his amps and speakers. He disliked Quad as "f***ing amateurs" and only really rated the original Decca FFSS vinyl disks. We seem to have lost our way. I see wonderful postings of DAC response curves given(presumably) specially crafted single frequency CD masters. What I hear, compared with early 1960's valve analogue, is rubbish.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th December 2005, 08:15 PM   #10
ash_dac is offline ash_dac  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: UK
Hi,

My dad's Queen greatest hits album:-

-1981
-Made in Japan

Good music but there is alot of noise on the tracks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greates...en,_Hollywood)


The later versions will probably be re-mastered tracks.

I'm guessing they didn't have 24bit dac's in the early 1980's.

Is 1981 pre NE5532/4 ?



Cheers,

Ashley.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
And now for something completely different ...... MJK Full Range 38 20th February 2006 05:59 PM
Something completely different Ulas Digital Source 0 16th August 2005 03:28 AM
Why doesn't this sound dreadful? bigwill Full Range 16 2nd May 2005 05:06 PM
And now for something completely different.... ThorstenL Everything Else 47 24th December 2002 03:04 AM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:02 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2