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

Sorry to pressure you by raising the stakes... But just this morning I picked up broken Rotel RD-960BX for $50usd and a sealed 1994 TDK MA-110... and I'm about to foolishly declare that tape is better than vinyl :p Unfortunately once that happens, we all know there's no going back :p

I have a box of sealed 2001ish TDK SA90's.......not as good as the metals...but .....;)
 
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OK, I'm listening to a 24/96 recording I did in '06. Alan Parson's The Raven.

Using my old set up... Linn (no Lingo then), Grado Sonata (low output), CJ PV( (prior to Teflon caps), M-Audio Firewire.... my set up has improved tremendously since, but even so by then it was truly High End.

But, how do I get you this file? It's 138MB.

I should note that even as I have up'ed my set up, I don't record much, I figure it's way too much work and my LPs don't really wear out. The only reason why I updated my recording set up is so I can record my Tidal HiFi downloads into WAV files:

( Tablet->DAC->Preamp Aux->Preamp Tape Out->AC/DAC->PC->NAS )
 
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The 24bit-192kHz remaster from Naim of their Antonio Forcione & Sabina Sciubba "Meet me in London" album was a whopping 1.93GB download...

Well worth the wait on the download!

As a rule of thumb, each side of an album, recorded at 24/96 WAV comes out to 600MB. An album thus is 1.2GB.

By way of comparion, the ISO for a DVD movie is around 8GB.
 
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humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
my set up has improved tremendously since, but even so by then it was truly High End.
Now now... don't start making excuses lol. Lets just have a listen first. But let's not forget how much vinyl has been over hyped and exaggerated, so you've set high expectations to meet lol.
But, how do I get you this file? It's 138MB.
138MB isn't that big. The file size is what I was expecting. Like i said before, there are heaps of options. Microsoft one drive, drop box, mega upload etc etc. It kind of makes me think you never opened my links I posted in my first post - I had already uploaded mine in high res. Mega Upload gives you 50GB of free cloud storage to play with.
I should note that even as I have up'ed my set up, I don't record much, I figure it's way too much work and my LPs don't really wear out.
It's not that much work to record one track. you've spent 50x more time writing these forum posts lol
 
I've skimmed through this thread, and will comment on a couple of things in the original post

- The turntable, Pioneer Rondo 3000, is an entry-level 1970's. I recall the Pioneer Rondo 3000 stereo system being heavily advertised on tv, being marketed as an upgrade from low-quality record players. It is similar quality to my first turntable, quality of reasonable reproduction, and when setup correctly won't damage records! The cartridge is probably OK for the quality of the arm/tt, but nothing very special. Your turntable is capable of OK enjoyable sound, but is not capable of high-end sound, so don't expect it to do so. I'm not putting it down, I enjoyed my equivalent turntable for years, until I upgraded. When I did upgrade I waited a few years so I could afford something that was much better quality, and looked at it as a long-term investment. That upgrade produced a significant upgrade in quality from the entry-level. If you are careful, you can get some excellent vintage turntables for much less than an equivalent quality new TT.

- If you are comparing your recordings of records to CDs, the compression added to the mastering will produce a different sound. This has been mentioned before, but I will elaborate. Compression reduces the dynamic range - it reduces the volume difference between the softest and loudest sounds in the recording, so the volume becomes more even. This can make it sound more detailed (the quite sound is increased in volume), and more exciting. However, listening to compressed music over time becomes fatiguing, and the music becomes less engaging. Your record recordings are likely to have bigger dynamic range (which is good). However, comparing to a compressed recording, especially for short periods in a an a-b comparision, the record will sound thinner and less exciting. Your recording will probably sound much better when you listen to the entire recording.

- The phono preamp will also influence the quality of the sound. Upgrading this when (or after) you upgrade your turntable will also be advisable. The one you have isn't too bad, better than a lot of cheapies, but could be better.

- Different masterings and mediums will have different qualities of sound. Different masterings of the same CD will sound different, and they will sound different to different masterings of the same music on LP. An individual record will have different qualities when played on different quality turntables. Putting aside mastering choices that can make the music sound worse (eg. compression, poor eq, etc), these differences may not be good or bad, just different.
 
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humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
If you have a Samsung s10 or better there are some RTA fft programs you can use to Gauge the frequency response of your turntable versus CD through your speakers.
My LP records hit -6 dB at 16khz vs 0db for the 32 hz sound. Woofer is 12 inch.
CD is about the same
Actually thats a good idea. I have a set up mic from my Onkyo system which might*** be up to the task...
But first I tried to do a more scientific test using ahigh quality sweeping sine wave (from audiocheck.net)... My first test to see what my natural hearing ability cut out. At first I thought I was losing my hearing as it seemed like I couldn't hear above 16~18kHz. (I've been medically tested to have perfect hearing maybe 10 years ago).
I then decided to test the limit of my current hardware. So I sticky taped my in-ear headphone directly on the mic, and recorded its output. Turns out the output level tanks at 14kHz. Bottoms to -21dB at 16kHz. It then climbs a tiny bit to -16dB at 20kHz. It then tapers to nothing an no signal is detectable after 23kHz. But looking at the spectrums, it looks like its a complete mess of overlapping reflections. And after 4.5 seconds, that large black area above 22kHz tells me that I've hit the hardware limitation, be it my external sound card, my headphones, my mic or all three.
Having said this, I think I can safely say that I won't be able to tell the difference in quality from CD flac rips to hi-res captures and super duper TT setups. And since I can easily tell that my vinyl setup sounds worse than the CD rips, then I have a feeling that spending $3K on super high end equipment would just be a waste of money. Well, until I hear TonyEE's recordings that is... Feel free to send any time ;)
 

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Actually thats a good idea. I have a set up mic from my Onkyo system which might*** be up to the task...
But first I tried to do a more scientific test using ahigh quality sweeping sine wave (from audiocheck.net)... My first test to see what my natural hearing ability cut out. At first I thought I was losing my hearing as it seemed like I couldn't hear above 16~18kHz. (I've been medically tested to have perfect hearing maybe 10 years ago).
I then decided to test the limit of my current hardware. So I sticky taped my in-ear headphone directly on the mic, and recorded its output. Turns out the output level tanks at 14kHz. Bottoms to -21dB at 16kHz. It then climbs a tiny bit to -16dB at 20kHz. It then tapers to nothing an no signal is detectable after 23kHz. But looking at the spectrums, it looks like its a complete mess of overlapping reflections. And after 4.5 seconds, that large black area above 22kHz tells me that I've hit the hardware limitation, be it my external sound card, my headphones, my mic or all three.
Having said this, I think I can safely say that I won't be able to tell the difference in quality from CD flac rips to hi-res captures and super duper TT setups. And since I can easily tell that my vinyl setup sounds worse than the CD rips, then I have a feeling that spending $3K on super high end equipment would just be a waste of money. Well, until I hear TonyEE's recordings that is... Feel free to send any time ;)

All originals as FLAC played on the same network audio player:--
There is a noticeable audible different between CD quality (16bit 44.1kHz) & any studio masters over 20bit 96kHz.....

There is a slight audible difference between 16bit & 24bit both at CD quality 44.1kHz...

Most humans are sensitive to sound from circa 300khz to 5kHz.....

Most pure notes (instrument or sung) are well under 2,000kHz....only a harp is high at 7,000kHz...

Its only the harmonics which get into the 10,000+kHz range

I think you are forgetting that in recording quality the 44.1kHz etc. is the frequency or "time interval" in which the audio track is looked at or "sampled" (clock speed).

So in CD 16 bits of information are recorded at a time interval speed of 44.1kHz.....

In a 24bit 96kHz master...thats 24 bits of info in a time interval of 96kHz......Therefore, in the same time frame as one CD time frame it has recorded more than 48bits of audio info...compared to 16bits...its that extra detail in the sound & more noticeable with lots of instruments as it then picks up each instruments notes...so more "separation" of the instruments...regardless of what the actual frequency of the note is...
 

humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
Most humans are sensitive to sound from circa 300khz to 5kHz.....
I don't think thats correct...
I think you are forgetting that in recording quality the 44.1kHz etc. is the frequency or "time interval" in which the audio track is looked at or "sampled" (clock speed).

So in CD 16 bits of information are recorded at a time interval speed of 44.1kHz.....
Nope, didn't forget. 44.1kHz sample rate is chosen to be 2x higher than human hearing of 20kHz. (i.e. needing 2 sample points to make a wave with half it's frequency)
In a 24bit 96kHz master...thats 24 bits of info in a time interval of 96kHz......Therefore, in the same time frame as one CD time frame it has recorded more than 48bits of audio info...compared to 16bits...its that extra detail in the sound & more noticeable with lots of instruments as it then picks up each instruments notes...so more "separation" of the instruments...regardless of what the actual frequency of the note is...
Sure, perhaps you could argue that more sample points, the smoother and more detailed the shape of the soundwaves will be (which is audible i.e. sine, triangle, square, saw tooth etc)... Though I am doubtful one could tell the difference at high frequencies. This is just going down the same rabbit hole with videophiles with the resolution limit of the human eye is easily exceeded by 4K video at a certain distance... yet here we are with people throwing silly money at 8K tvs... And good luck finding media supporting it.
I'm beginning to think Hi-Res audio, and vinyl by extension, is a waste of money. Until of course i'm provided with evidence that proves otherwise...
 
Though I am doubtful one could tell the difference at high frequencies.
In age 25 year old, I have medic test something like audiometry because the company that recruited me. In that test, I can hear 19kHz tone, one of my friend can hear 20kHz tone, and other only can hear until 13kHz tone.

Although hearing high frequency above 20kHz still debatable but I believe it can be feel (subjective) like we feel low frequency below 20 Hz. Of course I do not have a prove about it, scientifically just hypothesis. But I think hi-res is require because implementation in analog filter can be easier, not because we can hear hiqh frequency or not. Second reason is engineering safety. If target bandwidth is 20hz - 20kHz, the system should have bandwidth MORE than that so, it can process accurate enough. Digital media is cheap now.

If I can do better (in specification) with same cost or a bit expensive design although it may be still perceive same quality, I still choose the better specification.

Old days, many people think that distortion measurement require only at 1kHz and one level signal. Then they develop intermodulation distortion with SMPTE and CCIF method. And now IMD with 32 tone. I found so many people think our technology is good enough and no need to be develop. May be in old days you can find similar behavior.
 
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humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
So after a bit of digging around, I pulled out what I thought was worse headphones and microphone. I then repeated the test. It looks like my DAC and ADC can output and detect up to 47kHz.
But the bad news is, my hearing really is topping out at 16kHz... Which is disappointing as I'm only 35 yrs old, and I thought I had taken pretty good care of my hearing... :'( I definitely can't "feel" it either, so I honestly fail to see how i could possibly experience Hi-res, vinyl or even CD; to their true sonic potential. Here's to hoping that my testing is wrong and that I haven't lost my hearing just yet :/

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I don't think thats correct...

Nope, didn't forget. 44.1kHz sample rate is chosen to be 2x higher than human hearing of 20kHz. (i.e. needing 2 sample points to make a wave with half it's frequency)

Sure, perhaps you could argue that more sample points, the smoother and more detailed the shape of the soundwaves will be (which is audible i.e. sine, triangle, square, saw tooth etc)... Though I am doubtful one could tell the difference at high frequencies. This is just going down the same rabbit hole with videophiles with the resolution limit of the human eye is easily exceeded by 4K video at a certain distance... yet here we are with people throwing silly money at 8K tvs... And good luck finding media supporting it.
I'm beginning to think Hi-Res audio, and vinyl by extension, is a waste of money. Until of course i'm provided with evidence that proves otherwise...

Wording was off.....I'll reword it clearer.....humans are generally MORE sensitive to sounds around the 300Hz to 5kHz..range....most can hear upto 20kHz...some people under lab conditions have registered upto 28kHz...


More sample points is better.....think of all the individual notes in a chord.....think of all the individual notes from band, let alone the different instruments in an orchestra!

If you are digitally sampling at twice the clock speed thats more chance of picking up all the instruments...as there only so much "sound" you can sample with say 24bits at 44.1kHz......so sampling 24bits two times (say 96kHz) in that same time frame gives you more chance to register all the instruments....& any variations in the sound.....

Using your statement of "44.1kHz sample rate is chosen to be 2x higher than human hearing of 20kHz. (i.e. needing 2 sample points to make a wave with half it's frequency)".....in a 96kHz sample thats 20 points of a 4.8kHz sound...so more of the individual instrument sounds in an orchestra can be registered.

Regarding your example of TV fps.....well why move on from 16fps? as thats the "normal" for the average human eye!...yes 24fps is the best for comfort......yet under lab conditions its claimed the human eye can detect upto 60fps!!...
 
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There are so many variables that can influence vinyl playback. And many ways to improve it. Some are very cheap, like putting the turntable on a heavy platform of some shock absorber. Or replace the stock rubber mat to felt or cork. The interconnect cable from the tonearm to the preamplifier has some infuence, too. If you borrow and try a tube preamplifier, you might be surprised by the change. Not talking about the tonearm and pickup alignment, which costs nothing, but influences the tonal balance.
 

humbug

Member
2010-04-26 9:32 am
like putting the turntable on a heavy platform of some shock absorber.
Would it be better to have the turntable on the concrete floor, or should I put a thick foam mat under it? I assume this is to
Or replace the stock rubber mat to felt or cork.
I could easily buy cork or felt. I'm assuming cork would be grippier and not likely to leave fluff stuck to the record. I'd need to make sure the height isn't affected thus changing the horizontal angle of the tone arm. But what effect does each material have on audio?
The interconnect cable from the tonearm to the preamplifier has some infuence, too.
I'll probably skip that one.
If you borrow and try a tube preamplifier, you might be surprised by the change.
I don't know anyone local who I could borrow anything from.
Not talking about the tonearm and pickup alignment, which costs nothing, but influences the tonal balance.
I've not fiddled with tonearm alignment (I don't think its adjustable). The cartridge was aligned by eye using those printed templates. But I don't think its that critical as the tone arm doesn't stay tangent to the track grooves anyway. I don't see how it could influence tonal balance that much as I would hear it change while playing from start/middle/end.

On a side note, I'm not too surprised TonyEE did a runner. I get the feeling that high end audiophile stuff is more like audiophool snake oil