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Thread: Digital vs. Analog from Dummies like me...

  1. #16
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    Hope you are being facetious ?

    It doesn't have to be "either or" , both co-exist in a system very well . I'm not going to advocate for either side. They both have pluses and minus's .

    Had gotten tired of CD and veered back the LP direction until I obtained a player with an outstanding DAC and then things shifted again.

    Using vinyl records as the representative for analog I think is misleading. NEARLY all analog has emanated from tape. Maybe we should be comparing digi to tape*, not records ?

    From my experience, a well recorded 15ips (or 7.50) can well rival digital. Much great sounding digi was created in the AAD stream . Now I'm seeing an increasing amount of DAD stream , meaning the mix was done analog.

    *R2R , not 8T or cassette
    I tend to agree with everything here. I, too, have listened to great DAD CDs. The limiting factor for analog tape is saturation. It can only tolerate so much signal until it's overloaded to distortion...and the best analog recordings are done at 30ips to better the signal to noise ratio. 30ips make for an enormous amount of tape to burn through.

    One last thought. The relatively recent advent of artists like Jimmy Page going back to the catalogue to digitally remix and remaster the original recordings from 2" tape masters, uncovers lots of tiny details that never made it to the original vinyl pressings. John Bonham's squeaky kick drum pedal is an example. Another is the reed noise of Sonny Rollins' saxophone. Great stuff to be able to hear like you're in the room with them.
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  2. #17
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    Hope you are being facetious ?
    I guess you haven't read my posts on this thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    From my experience, a well recorded 15ips (or 7.50) can well rival digital.
    Yes, but at a lower "equivalent" bit depth and as has been pointed out above there are limitations in magnetic tape's ability to capture low frequencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    The limiting factor for analog tape is saturation. It can only tolerate so much signal until it's overloaded to distortion...and the best analog recordings are done at 30ips to better the signal to noise ratio. 30ips make for an enormous amount of tape to burn through.
    That is one of the limitations... as tape and tape head technology improved this limitation was reduced. As I recall 30ips gives you better high end and lowers the noise floor a bit, but lower speeds actually handle low frequencies better.


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  3. #18
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post

    That is one of the limitations... as tape and tape head technology improved this limitation was reduced. As I recall 30ips gives you better high end and lowers the noise floor a bit, but lower speeds actually handle low frequencies better.


    Widget
    Here's a great article from several years ago on how using various analog and digital formats can be used artistically to come up with a final product.

    Tools in the tool box. Sometimes a good screwdriver in hand is the best option.

    http://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/analogue-warmth
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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    which is better technologically.
    I'm pretty sure that any technology that doesn't involve dragging a hardened stylus through a bunch of vinyl grooves at high velocity would be the better technology...

    It was a pretty groovy invention for the time though.

  5. #20
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4313B View Post
    I'm pretty sure that any technology that doesn't involve dragging a hardened stylus through a bunch of vinyl grooves at high velocity would be the better technology...
    Now that's what I'm talkin about!


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  6. #21
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4313B View Post
    It was a pretty groovy invention for the time though.
    And originally they didn't have the problem of inner-groove distortion:
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    And originally they didn't have the problem of inner-groove distortion:
    Awesome!

  8. #23
    Senior Member ivica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Does it?

    A quiet record may only be the equivalent to 10-11 bits, but other than noise floor, I'm not convinced digital is superior.


    Widget
    Hi,
    May be interesting how many bits are recorded for each audio data sample

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comp..._Digital_Audio

    As I have understood for 6 stereo ( 2 x 16bits) it is used 588 bits on any audio CD,
    So for 6x2x16=192 bits, of real data bits would spend 588 bits
    Over 3 times more.
    May be I am wrong in understanding the data encoding scheme.


    ......Data encodingEdit

    Each audio sample is a signed 16-bit two's complement integer, with sample values ranging from −32768 to +32767. The source audio data is divided into frames, containing twelve samples each (six left and right samples, alternating), for a total of 192 bits (24 bytes) of audio data per frame.

    This stream of audio frames, as a whole, is then subjected to CIRC encoding, which segments and rearranges the data and expands it with parity bits in a way that allows occasional read errors to be detected and corrected. CIRC encoding also interleaves the audio frames throughout the disc over several consecutive frames so that the information will be more resistant to burst errors. Therefore, a physical frame on the disc will actually contain information from multiple logical audio frames. This process adds 64 bits of error correction data to each frame. After this, 8 bits of subcode or subchannel data are added to each of these encoded frames, which is used for control and addressing when playing the CD.

    CIRC encoding plus the subcode byte generate 33-bytes long frames, called "channel-data" frames. These frames are then modulated through eight-to-fourteen modulation (EFM), where each 8-bit word is replaced with a corresponding 14-bit word designed to reduce the number of transitions between 0 and 1. This reduces the density of physical pits on the disc and provides an additional degree of error tolerance. Three "merging" bits are added before each 14-bit word for disambiguation and synchronization. In total there are 33 × (14 + 3) = 561 bits. A 27-bit word (a 24-bit pattern plus 3 merging bits) is added to the beginning of each frame to assist with synchronization, so the reading device can locate frames easily. With this, a frame ends up containing 588 bits of "channel data" (which are decoded to only 192 bits music).

    The frames of channel data are finally written to disc physically in the form of pits and lands, with each pit or land representing a series of zeroes, and with the transition points—the edge of each pit—representing 1. A Red Book-compatible CD-R has pit-and-land-shaped spots on a layer of organic dye instead of actual pits and lands; a laser creates the spots by altering the reflective properties of the dye....



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    Ivica

  9. #24
    Member Mitchco's Avatar
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    Regarding digital vs analog, I would argue that isn't the issue: Dynamic Range: No Quiet = No Loud

  10. #25
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchco View Post
    Regarding digital vs analog, I would argue that isn't the issue: Dynamic Range: No Quiet = No Loud
    I feel your pain, but that is another conversation. Poorly mastered over compressed music is available in all formats.


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  11. #26
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    Amazing
    2017 and it's still raging on
    Of all the things in the world to waste time on haranguing, "proving" points about
    You could easily come away with the impression that certain individuals were stock holders
    Or maybe some sort of religion or sports team rivalry sort of thing
    Hey, while we're at it, let's revisit the tubes versus solid state thing too!
    Dead horse
    I personally prefer my music on Lp whenever available but that's just what it is, my preference
    I don't care which one measures or is technically better
    I buy the format that sounds best to my ears
    Spent a great deal of money on CD playback and could never get happy with it - never more happy than I am with records
    Most of the time, overall
    But there are certainly some records that just outright sound like shit to me so for that reason I do keep a couple CD players around
    I don't feel as if I have to make a choice, prove a point or join a team in order to enjoy my music collection
    I do like CDs for the car
    The only thing I find a major disappointment with records, at times, is they are too much like wine or cigars or any natural product - they can be so different from example to example of the same recording
    That due in large part to the fact that so much of their production is essentially handmade
    But, as others have so clearly pointed out there are plenty of CDs that sound like shit too - I own a bunch and the titles one finds to be a dud or not to his liking are difficult to get rid of without it being a total loss
    Nowadays no one wants them anymore, CDs that is - you can't get anything for them like you used to be able to, taking them back in for trade at the local music emporiums - not so the case with the records

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