Vinyl not as perfect as I was expecting? First time Recording to Hi-Res Digital

redjr

Member
2011-05-05 4:29 am
CT
Bottom line is.... IMO you'll never get the level and quality of digital out of vinyl. It sounds thin, because it is thin. Vinyl simply lacks the dynamic range and high signal to noise ratio you're used to with digital. That's not to say vinyl can't sound good. It just sounds different so you have to set your expectations to what vinyl can deliver. I have a reasonably moderate to high-end early 70s turntable with a fairly nice moving coil (MC) cartridge, feeding a very nice preamp and active speakers with a separate subwoofer. Newer, well-mastered pressings sound very good indeed, but they're not digital. Older vinyl, sounds, well, like older vinyl and thin. Without depth, body, and oomph. Oh, did I mention dynamic range? If I want to visit yester-year and kick back with sounds I fondly remember from the days of my youth in the 60s and 70s, I'll put some vinyl on, both old and new albums and enjoy them and the artists I loved. They sound better than I remember, but that's because my whole system then, cost less than about $600 at its best. My system today is better equipped.
 
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Thanks, but just to emphasise again, the point of this exercise is to record the best backup possible from the vinyl copy that I physically own. I possess FLAC files of the same tracks (i presume ripped from CD). Obviously I don't have access to the master, nor either do I know the master's format/bit rate etc are. Even for arguments sake, the master is only 16bit 44kHz, then it's kind of irrelevant, as I'm not even able to meet that benchmark with vinyl. I just want to get the best out of my record, as it's MY physical copy. To quote full metal jacket, "There are many others like it, but this one is MINE".
I've always heard obsessed audiophiles (who are usually going deaf from age) ramble on about how much better vinyl is compared to CD. So far my results haven't been successful. The inconsistent mixed messaging hasn't really helped either. But has been pointed out, my equipment and technique needs improvement, which i will address over time. So I think we've sufficiently covered that topic for now.
As for the many artist/album recommendations, cowanaudio is 100% correct. My mum probably has a few of those in her collection but it's not my thing. I respect and appreciate that high quality pure analogue is achievable, and I mean no disrespect but I honestly do not like, nor will I ever like that kind of music. So i'm sorry but I wont be going out to hunt Elvis records anytime soon.

My example of Elvis was not meant to you, but to describe to Marcel that the old analog recordings have very high quality music in them.

My comments to you have been that you have to spend about $2500 in a TT set up before you will give LPs a chance to sound comparable with modern Red Book Audio.

And, also, that if you are listening to music made after the 80s, quite likely you are better off searching for High Rez digital sources because the LPs were recorded and mastered in the digital realm.

Keep the analog sources in the analog world.
Keep the digital sources in the digital world -hopefully Hi-Rez.

Avoid the mess that was the 80s. Avoid DDD discs.

That's why I made the comment that if you want to own your own media, then you have two options...

(1) Upgrade your TT set up and recording configuration.
(2) Upgrade your digital streaming and recording configuration and record THAT.

Either way, store the files into an NAS.

Otherwise, if you feel that FLAC is better, just back those files up.

I guess I don't know what you are trying to do anymore.

Have fun.
 
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Bottom line is.... IMO you'll never get the level and quality of digital out of vinyl. It sounds thin, because it is thin. Vinyl simply lacks the dynamic range and high signal to noise ratio you're used to with digital. That's not to say vinyl can't sound good. It just sounds different so you have to set your expectations to what vinyl can deliver. I have a reasonably moderate to high-end early 70s turntable with a fairly nice moving coil (MC) cartridge, feeding a very nice preamp and active speakers with a separate subwoofer. Newer, well-mastered pressings sound very good indeed, but they're not digital. Older vinyl, sounds, well, like older vinyl and thin. Without depth, body, and oomph. Oh, did I mention dynamic range? If I want to visit yester-year and kick back with sounds I fondly remember from the days of my youth in the 60s and 70s, I'll put some vinyl on, both old and new albums and enjoy them and the artists I loved. They sound better than I remember, but that's because my whole system then, cost less than about $600 at its best. My system today is better equipped.

The bottom line is that you really have no clue.
 
Nope. I got the original US release LP. AAA.

" the original 30ips analog master tapes"

https://fromvinyltoplastic.com/love-over-gold-180-gram-vinyl-review/

There was an AAD CD as well.

I gotta tell you a secret... I Want My MTV is a lot more fun... ;-)

How about ALL of Steely Dan? Katy Lied... Aja... wow... honestly, it sounds better than Love Over Gold. The music is not as dramatic... but God is it fun.

OP... here's the deal... THESE LPs are some of the reasons why we still play LPs. If all I listened to was Hoff, I'd be doing it on 128Kbit CBR MP3, over a Bose soundbar.

BTW, when I think of DDD with dread is the DDD DG CF box set of Beethoven's symphonies with Karajan and the Berlin Phil. I bought the set because at that time that combination was at its peak with Beethoven, but the recording quality sucks. Sometimes music and the performance transcends terrible sonics... I just had to have that. Cost me close to $75 in '85...
 
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wollie

Member
2006-02-03 3:31 pm
Hear the differences in draatafel,different material on plateaus,aluminum,perspex,mdf,then the pickup arm also in different materials,then the turntable springing or not springing,then the motor direct drive or string,and then we are not talking about pickup elements.😀😀🥴. CD also has its major problems in electronics. You have analog fantasist and digital fantasist. I would say enjoy the music. Wollie. 😀😀😀
 
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humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
Keep the analog sources in the analog world.
Keep the digital sources in the digital world -hopefully Hi-Rez.
I guess this is where things become a little illogical... And probably should have been obvious to me that not everyone is aware of this; specifically to this genre, it's a new retro thing by deliberately combining the old and obsolete with new and modern. It's kind of a fusion of technologies for the sake of aesthetics.
(1) Upgrade your TT set up and recording configuration.
I thought I already acknowledged this...?
(2) Upgrade your digital streaming and recording configuration and record THAT.
I didn't think my digital and recording end was a problem... I'm pretty content with it.
I guess I don't know what you are trying to do anymore.
Have fun.
For example, I could also buy these same albums on cassette tape. https://gunship.tmstor.es/product/56148
Though it's kind of pointless or redundant when they are mass produced on cheap type 1 tape on possibly on a mediocre quality machine pumped out at a high speed... Plus I could also easily record my own onto chrome or metal directly from the digital lossless and end up with a much better tape recording... But like I said, it kind of defeats the point of buying physical media from the artist. The point of it all is just tinkering for fun trying to get the best quality.
I could argue it's the same reason people soup up old minis squeezing the last horsepower. But dropping in a modern engine would be blasphemous... or worse, buying a new car.
TLDR, it's the journey, not the destination - or in this case - the final product.
The bottom line is that you really have no clue.
I don't think that's really called for...
How about ALL of Steely Dan? Katy Lied... Aja... wow... honestly, it sounds better than Love Over Gold.
I don't see how discussing artists is relevant to the topic - technology. Plus I have no idea who these people are...
If all I listened to was Hoff...
Actually... I'm starting to think you have an ashamed secret craving for the 'Hoff' :ROFLMAO:
 
I guess this is where things become a little illogical... And probably should have been obvious to me that not everyone is aware of this; specifically to this genre, it's a new retro thing by deliberately combining the old and obsolete with new and modern. It's kind of a fusion of technologies for the sake of aesthetics.

I thought I already acknowledged this...?

I didn't think my digital and recording end was a problem... I'm pretty content with it.

For example, I could also buy these same albums on cassette tape. https://gunship.tmstor.es/product/56148
Though it's kind of pointless or redundant when they are mass produced on cheap type 1 tape on possibly on a mediocre quality machine pumped out at a high speed... Plus I could also easily record my own onto chrome or metal directly from the digital lossless and end up with a much better tape recording... But like I said, it kind of defeats the point of buying physical media from the artist. The point of it all is just tinkering for fun trying to get the best quality.
I could argue it's the same reason people soup up old minis squeezing the last horsepower. But dropping in a modern engine would be blasphemous... or worse, buying a new car.
TLDR, it's the journey, not the destination - or in this case - the final product.

I don't think that's really called for...

I don't see how discussing artists is relevant to the topic - technology. Plus I have no idea who these people are...

Actually... I'm starting to think you have an ashamed secret craving for the 'Hoff' :ROFLMAO:

(1) My point is that since you are listening to music post the digital transition, I don't know why you want to record it from an LP. Can't you just stream it and then record it? Like the other fellows mentioned, there are some awesome sounding LPs that will do justice to your spending a bunch of cash on your TT setup, but if you are not going to reach back to those Dark Ages and only play post-digital LPs (DDA) then I don't understand your quest. Your choice of LPs will not allow your analog front end to reach its potential, so you are actually wasting your time.

(2) It was called for... not intended to you.... it was a response to a value judgement that said that analog sounded "thin". Actually, the opposite... good LP playback sounds fuller than Red Book. Only 24/96 approaches the quality of analog. And that only if the LP is an AAA processing affair. DDA defeats the purpose. Recall I wrote that I use Tidal HiFi... huh? They offer masters that are really good. I don't do MQA myself... but that's another story.

(2A) Mind you, a well maintained vintage Thorens belt drive from 1980 with a good modern cartridge will do those Dark Age LPs justice. If you really want to hear what LPs can do and are willing to pony up the cash for the TT, then you might want to research those Dire Straits and Steele Dan records... they will blow your mind away with their sonics!

(3) Your comment about a cassette is a non sequitur. I used to have a High End Cassette deck once upon a time, three heads, top of the line Akai, etc... I got rid of it once I realized I could buy an AD/DAC that sounded better.. and I could also burn my own CD-Rs for the car.... I used to have a bunch of Acuras with ELS audio. I even tried my hand at DVD-A recording. Trust me, even CD-R sounded better than a cassette.

(4) Hoff.... OK... so this is diyAudio, right? Recently I had a pair of Aleph 2 amps built for me... awesome. The builder joked that he had played Hoff through them to test them... so we laughed about it, and I told him I would have to play some audiophile LPs for hours to erase the damage he might have done to those fine Class A FET circuits. It was all in jest, just us two having a good time. When I received the amps, he sent me a copy of a Hoff CD. Mind you, I have not listened to it, but the cover looks cool in an 80s sort of way. Anyhow, that's my Hoff story. I was hoping you'd enjoy it.

As I wrote, have fun. This is not a serious affair, it's a hobby. Until you play Hoff, that is, then you are losing your marbles. ;-D
 
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humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
  1. Because it's the fanciest format they sell. I also have their special edition gold record: https://gunship.tmstor.es/product/90967
    Though I am yet to record it as I atleast want to get my setup dialed in at least. You can easily call it a waste of time, and you're by all accounts correct. But like I said, you're overlooking the real reason why they make these LPs and why people buy them... I guess if you can't relate or refuse to accept it, then I suppose you probably never will.
  2. I know it wasn't directed at me... it just seemed mean spirited. I come here to learn about DIY audio, not drama.
    2A. FYI, i'm less interested in the 'dark age' sonics, for the sake of experiencing the pinnacle of analogue. I'm more interested in improving my setup and techniques to get the best out of my new vinyls, as it currently sounds like farts. I'm not really concerned with analogue purity, and digital contamination be damned. I'm not a purist, plus I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between hi-res digital and pure analogue anyway. Chasing that pure analogue pinnacle is what seems pointless to me.
  3. I don't see how it's a non sequitur. I also have a cassette deck, and obviously that can't compete with CD. Though you make a comparison to CD-Rs... There is zero audio quality difference between pressed CDs and burned CD-Rs. But lets not go there please.
  4. I was also joking... But if you secretly love the Hoff, then thats fine too... I won't judge ;)
 
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humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
Ironically i stumbled on this while looking for tapes to buy... And holy moly its as if this guy has walked the exact same path i'm heading down gulp that turntable looks expensive >.< though i also find it hilarious he's loving the exact same vinyl that i bought and you guys are pooping on because its digital... Plus he's myth busting the exact same records you guys are over hyping. Very interesting lol
 
That is exactly right. The key difference between an analog or digital recording sounding good is all down to the recording and mastering engineers. Either technology CAN sound fantastic.
Cowanaudio you are correct, both technologies can and do produce excellent results. Back in the day when I first worked in studios the engineer would come in, set the mic gains and eq then nudge up the faders to find the noise floor. A band check would determine the level and he would work between the two. Today the guys turn every knob on the console to max then add every bit of compression they can find to try and rescue the sound. You can't compare these artificially loud sounds with a fully dynamic recording. Sadly many digital copies of classic albums have been given this treatment to appeal to the mp3/earbud audience.
 
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Humbug,
looks like you are using Audacity for editing - like me. Some tips:

Take recording 24/96 because it's best for editing, I play one side of an LP nonstop, then split tracks before editing. Check level so that no digital clipping happens
Edit tools can do wonders for analog copies
- remove clicks and pops.
- remove rumble (highpass)
- PEQ tone adjustment (is seldom needed) if your preamp doesn't have RIAA
- etc.

Like others have stated, analog recordings during 70-80s were mostly very good, with high dynamic range. Also early CDs had high DR. LP noise is much higher than digital, and that cannot be fixed. But after rumble highpass, it's not a problem, just a feature...

audacity tools.jpg cale 5 vinyl rip boilin pot 12dB2 5Hz.jpg cale 5 vinyl rip raw.jpg cale wave dr.jpg
 
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Bottom line is.... IMO you'll never get the level and quality of digital out of vinyl. It sounds thin, because it is thin. Vinyl simply lacks the dynamic range and high signal to noise ratio you're used to with digital. That's not to say vinyl can't sound good. It just sounds different so you have to set your expectations to what vinyl can deliver.

Have to disagree with some of that. The vinyl system here is not the best but its probably well beyond anything you have heard so far. I would say forget moving magnet, optical is now in another league. Every little thing mechanical matters, from headshell, to tone arm, to TT, to record mat, to plinth, the table its all sitting on, etc. Some of what's here is used and or diy, yet there is probably a good $15k into it if not more. Its a very good system for that approximate cost point, probably better than most.

On the subject of digital and dacs, dynamic range and S/N ratio are hardly all that affects the sound they produce. Discrete resistor dacs can sound quite warm in the lower midrange. Oversampling dacs may sound more thin in that frequency range, yet may more accurately articulate HF reproduction. IMHO neither one can duplicate the accuracy of some instruments in live-to-disk-lathe vinyl. It's that digital has noise and distortion artifacts that are different from vinyl, and that don't necessarily show up very well on an AP analyzer. That doesn't mean digital distortion and noise can't be measured, only saying that an AP is not a complete instrument to fully characterize all of it.

Of course, people only know the best they have heard. Maybe someday hearing a dac that can beat the vinyl setup here will change my views. Likely the situation is about the same for everybody else, they only know the best digital and vinyl they have heard so far. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant
 
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DNic

Member
2021-08-31 9:57 pm
If you really want to go down this road, then you should be using Hi Res downloads as the bench mark. (they cost around $10 to $25 to download)
Flac files ripped from CD's will always be substandard, because of the imposed 14K brick wall of the CD itself. So CD will always sound dead compared to a GOOD LP on a GOOOD player.

Cheers