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Article: Does Vinyl Really Sound Better?

MattHooper

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#81
The first thing some of my freinds do who are addicted to their Vinyl is making asap a digital copy to preserve the quality. When listning to the Vinyl or digital copy in a a/b comparison we realy could not hear any difference.
I get why some people do that.

I'm not motivated to make digital copies of my vinyl because that somewhat defeats the point in terms of my vinyl experience.

By turning a vinyl LP into a digital file I ask myself: If I was going to listen to a digital file...I'd just listen to digital files. The point of my having physical LPs is that it adds to the experience of the listening and having a music collection. I could think "Well, vinyl degrades so why not make a digital copy now while it's in the best condition?" Again...same problem. By that criteria, I may as well digitize every LP and only listen to the digital files. Which doesn't provide what I get from the real thing. And I find vinyl doesn't degrade appreciably fast, at least as it concerns my experience.
I've played very old albums that still sound terrific, and have spun new albums many times and don't notice degradation. So it's not a compelling reason for me to bother digitizing.

Again, that's just my own rationalizations for how I go about things, not that digitizing vinyl isn't justified for other people.
 

Snarfie

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#82
I get why some people do that.

I'm not motivated to make digital copies of my vinyl because that somewhat defeats the point in terms of my vinyl experience.

By turning a vinyl LP into a digital file I ask myself: If I was going to listen to a digital file...I'd just listen to digital files. The point of my having physical LPs is that it adds to the experience of the listening and having a music collection. I could think "Well, vinyl degrades so why not make a digital copy now while it's in the best condition?" Again...same problem. By that criteria, I may as well digitize every LP and only listen to the digital files. Which doesn't provide what I get from the real thing. And I find vinyl doesn't degrade appreciably fast, at least as it concerns my experience.
I've played very old albums that still sound terrific, and have spun new albums many times and don't notice degradation. So it's not a compelling reason for me to bother digitizing.

Again, that's just my own rationalizations for how I go about things, not that digitizing vinyl isn't justified for other people.
Besides preserving the quality they use the digital version in another room using a NAS or in their car or on their phone. At the end you have to enjoy your music as it suites you.;) Most people i know (realy a few) buying vinyl don't make copies
 
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#83
How does that make sense?

Real life images have far more resolution than 4K and we don't find this "overloads our visual cortex."
Looking at my flower bed, there is far more visual resolution available than any TV, yet it feels perfectly comfortable and natural.
Real life images are reflective rather than emissive and don't have as much artificial sharpness as a screen or projector image which have lots of whats of light energy beaming towards your retina.

It is my personal theory that the retina isn't even an external structure but actually part of the brain pooched out via the optic nerves which are very thick and have lots of fibers. A great deal of potential sensitivity.

Google the you tube video "You don't see in 4K" Actually we may have reached a limit where further increases are diminishing returns.
I know on still pix you have to start zooming in to see some of the detail captured. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=you+don't+see+in+4k

The colors you always see on the many screens at costco and best buy are always WAY more vivid than real colors. Sharper edges than real, brighter returns to your eye than real, more contrast than real and more saturated colors than real. No wonder the Mrs. fled.
 

Blumlein 88

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#84
If one were doing this on the cheap using stuff readily available from say a hardware store, what would be good materials for suspension and isolation? I would guess some kind of heavy foam or rubber-type material, then a concrete or stone slab, and then the turntable - is this correct?
The simplest I've seen work very well in almost all cases is sand.

For instance, build a rectangular box at least 4 or 6 inches deep top to bottom. Leave the top off. Fill it 75% full of sand. Play sand from the big box stores is clean, dry and consistent. Cut a top that is a little smaller than your box. This way you can put the top floating on the sand, but not touching the sides of the box anywhere. Variations of this are used sometimes by holograph hobbiests. Vibration is a big problem making your own holographs. Such a box mounted to a wall like Frank suggests would be excellent.

Of course sand is messy. I've seen people caulk around the opening to seal it, but leave it flexible. Leave the gear on the sand a couple weeks if you do this to make sure it is done settling. I've seen people put the sand in a plastic bag and put that in the box. That seems to work okay if you don't overfill the bag so it restricts the sand. I seen people use soft felt on the edge of the floating lid for something of a seal.

Less effective, but still helpful is to make a box including a fixed lid. Then fill it completely with sand through a small hole you then plug. Vibrations get absorbed by the sand in the box. Obviously this is heavy and you need a sturdy shelf.

The old Arcici TT stand worked reasonably well. It was a welded 3 legged stand with points for feet. You filled the legs with either sand or lead. On top were two heavy coated lead bars. You set the turntable on these.

I had some success using contact cement to attach layers of roll type vinyl flooring to thin metal sheets. I had three sheets of aluminum with a layer of vinyl flooring between each set of sheets. Vinyl flooring absorbs and dissipates vibration pretty well. I'm sure using some of the sheets of various soft material made for audio would work even better.

Never had much look with foam. Very light springs stuffed with soft foam can decouple and the foam acts like friction dampers to soak up some energy. Those were pretty finicky. layers with springs between can act like filters so adding more than one is like adding additional filtering. Still I didn't go very far with that approach.

Why is it vinyl is good exactly? :)

Another approach, one I've seen used on analytical balances in labs. Three big slabs of marble. I'd brace the floor under-neath or the floor will just bounce the whole thing at a low frequency.

1562442202969.png


Another variation.
1562442243163.png


You also could use these with a heavy table on top for the proper loading. Notice they are just neoprene or neoprene and cork.
http://weisstechproducts.com/product/anti-vibration-pads/
 

mansr

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#85
Real life images are reflective rather than emissive and don't have as much artificial sharpness as a screen or projector image which have lots of whats of light energy beaming towards your retina.
A TV isn't nearly as bright as a sunlit outdoor scene. Reflective or emissive doesn't matter. There's only one kind of photon.
 

digicidal

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#86
A TV isn't nearly as bright as a sunlit outdoor scene. Reflective or emissive doesn't matter. There's only one kind of photon.
While true, in a very bright outdoor setting your pupils have contracted significantly... this has the effect of both reducing the glare as well as increasing the focal distance of the eye itself (sharpening if you will) the same as a camera lens at a high f-stop. You are also more likely to focus or concentrate at a distance greater than a normal TV viewing distance. Most people watch TV at much lower light levels so in general your eyes are much more sensitive to emissive light from a single source - because they are also slower to react to the difference. More blurring occurs as well at the edges due to the larger aperture of the pupil - although this is somewhat helpful in 'smoothing' the image so we see fewer pixels and smoother tones as well.

Go outside and look at a flashlight... go inside, wait a few minutes and look at same flashlight... odds are it will be much more uncomfortable inside than outside - unless you have a glass house or some gymnasium lighting in your living room. :cool:
 

MattHooper

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#87
Real life images are reflective rather than emissive and don't have as much artificial sharpness as a screen or projector image which have lots of whats of light energy beaming towards your retina.

It is my personal theory that the retina isn't even an external structure but actually part of the brain pooched out via the optic nerves which are very thick and have lots of fibers. A great deal of potential sensitivity.

Google the you tube video "You don't see in 4K" Actually we may have reached a limit where further increases are diminishing returns.
I know on still pix you have to start zooming in to see some of the detail captured. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=you+don't+see+in+4k

The colors you always see on the many screens at costco and best buy are always WAY more vivid than real colors. Sharper edges than real, brighter returns to your eye than real, more contrast than real and more saturated colors than real. No wonder the Mrs. fled.

As mansr said, reflective vs emissive doesn't settle things. Either can be comfortable or either can cause eyestrain. Depends on the context. I have a projector and I can pump up the brightness so high that the reflective image can be a strain to watch in my "black pit" viewing room.
But if it were outdoors with our eyes adjusted to that light level, it would appear dull. Same with an emissive display.

And no current screen can produce as much contrast as we encounter in every day circumstances, especially on a sunny day.

But it's possible in less bright conditions, e.g. in some AV stores, to have the brightness set so high as to produce some eye strain in some people.
Basically, the people I'm referencing who think an image is "so sharp it hurts my eyes" have misdiagnosed the situation. They may not be accurately describing how the image affects them, or if in fact they experience eye-strain, it isn't going to be due to image "sharpness," as there is no link between a clearer, sharper image and eyestrain. Again...walk out the door and you'll see a clearer, sharper image than any TV will give you.
(Caveats about viewing angles/TV resolution...though even if one has a screen resolution/viewing angle that produces all the resolution of a real life images, it will still be the case the TV can not produce contrast on a level available in the real world).
 

andreasmaaan

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#88
The simplest I've seen work very well in almost all cases is sand.

For instance, build a rectangular box at least 4 or 6 inches deep top to bottom. Leave the top off. Fill it 75% full of sand. Play sand from the big box stores is clean, dry and consistent. Cut a top that is a little smaller than your box. This way you can put the top floating on the sand, but not touching the sides of the box anywhere. Variations of this are used sometimes by holograph hobbiests. Vibration is a big problem making your own holographs. Such a box mounted to a wall like Frank suggests would be excellent.

Of course sand is messy. I've seen people caulk around the opening to seal it, but leave it flexible. Leave the gear on the sand a couple weeks if you do this to make sure it is done settling. I've seen people put the sand in a plastic bag and put that in the box. That seems to work okay if you don't overfill the bag so it restricts the sand. I seen people use soft felt on the edge of the floating lid for something of a seal.

Less effective, but still helpful is to make a box including a fixed lid. Then fill it completely with sand through a small hole you then plug. Vibrations get absorbed by the sand in the box. Obviously this is heavy and you need a sturdy shelf.

The old Arcici TT stand worked reasonably well. It was a welded 3 legged stand with points for feet. You filled the legs with either sand or lead. On top were two heavy coated lead bars. You set the turntable on these.

I had some success using contact cement to attach layers of roll type vinyl flooring to thin metal sheets. I had three sheets of aluminum with a layer of vinyl flooring between each set of sheets. Vinyl flooring absorbs and dissipates vibration pretty well. I'm sure using some of the sheets of various soft material made for audio would work even better.

Never had much look with foam. Very light springs stuffed with soft foam can decouple and the foam acts like friction dampers to soak up some energy. Those were pretty finicky. layers with springs between can act like filters so adding more than one is like adding additional filtering. Still I didn't go very far with that approach.

Why is it vinyl is good exactly? :)

Another approach, one I've seen used on analytical balances in labs. Three big slabs of marble. I'd brace the floor under-neath or the floor will just bounce the whole thing at a low frequency.

View attachment 29026

Another variation.
View attachment 29027

You also could use these with a heavy table on top for the proper loading. Notice they are just neoprene or neoprene and cork.
http://weisstechproducts.com/product/anti-vibration-pads/
Thanks! That’s a wealth of information to work with. The sand sounds a bit too delicate for my purposes, but I’ll look into all the other ideas :)
 

mansr

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#89
While true, in a very bright outdoor setting your pupils have contracted significantly... this has the effect of both reducing the glare as well as increasing the focal distance of the eye itself (sharpening if you will) the same as a camera lens at a high f-stop. You are also more likely to focus or concentrate at a distance greater than a normal TV viewing distance. Most people watch TV at much lower light levels so in general your eyes are much more sensitive to emissive light from a single source - because they are also slower to react to the difference. More blurring occurs as well at the edges due to the larger aperture of the pupil - although this is somewhat helpful in 'smoothing' the image so we see fewer pixels and smoother tones as well.

Go outside and look at a flashlight... go inside, wait a few minutes and look at same flashlight... odds are it will be much more uncomfortable inside than outside - unless you have a glass house or some gymnasium lighting in your living room. :cool:
Looking at a small bright screen in an otherwise dark room can indeed be straining. The solution is to have some ambient light to reduce the contrast between the screen and surroundings.
 

jsrtheta

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#90
As someone who was too young to own much vinyl (and certainly too young to buy decent gear to play it on) I never really understood the dedication to the media... felt the same about cassette, but again - I was also listening on a $100 car stereo most of the time and a cheap walkman with $5 headphones the rest of the time. When CD arrived on the scene, I was working my first job, had my first real(ish) gear to play it on... and it all clicked.

That being said, I finally get it now (albeit in a strange way) thanks to my wife and TV. :D A year ago, I treated myself to a beautiful 65" OLED 4K TV and carefully calibrated everything in the video path 'just right'. My wife stopped watching TV in that room completely... eventually she told me that it was because she found it too disturbing watching movies and shows "as if you were there looking through a window".

I was incredulous! Isn't that exactly what you want? To be able to see exactly what it was like, on set (or in the editing room at least) at the time? NOPE. I reduced all the color levels, set the input max to 1080p/24, and suddenly... my wife was back on the couch and enjoying her shows.

I think for a great number of people subjectively 'better' is almost synonymous with 'nostalgic' - even if that also means 'innacurate' or 'noisy'. I think the theory of the extra reverb being part of the appeal is quite likely. Even for myself, if it's something I first heard (and developed a connection to) on vinyl or cassette... then it sounds 'less wrong' to me on that media than something I'm not familiar with. I also agree with there being a rewarding ritualistic value that isn't as present on CD and is completely missing in pure data form. The unpacking, wiping, careful placement on the turntable, etc... at least physically says you care more than just pushing a small picture on a tablet does.
This is why I still watch Perry Mason every night. It ain't for the acting, and it sure ain't for the technical wizardry.
 

watchnerd

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#91
The simplest I've seen work very well in almost all cases is sand.

For instance, build a rectangular box at least 4 or 6 inches deep top to bottom. Leave the top off. Fill it 75% full of sand. Play sand from the big box stores is clean, dry and consistent. Cut a top that is a little smaller than your box. This way you can put the top floating on the sand, but not touching the sides of the box anywhere. Variations of this are used sometimes by holograph hobbiests. Vibration is a big problem making your own holographs. Such a box mounted to a wall like Frank suggests would be excellent.

Of course sand is messy. I've seen people caulk around the opening to seal it, but leave it flexible. Leave the gear on the sand a couple weeks if you do this to make sure it is done settling. I've seen people put the sand in a plastic bag and put that in the box. That seems to work okay if you don't overfill the bag so it restricts the sand. I seen people use soft felt on the edge of the floating lid for something of a seal.

Less effective, but still helpful is to make a box including a fixed lid. Then fill it completely with sand through a small hole you then plug. Vibrations get absorbed by the sand in the box. Obviously this is heavy and you need a sturdy shelf.

The old Arcici TT stand worked reasonably well. It was a welded 3 legged stand with points for feet. You filled the legs with either sand or lead. On top were two heavy coated lead bars. You set the turntable on these.

I had some success using contact cement to attach layers of roll type vinyl flooring to thin metal sheets. I had three sheets of aluminum with a layer of vinyl flooring between each set of sheets. Vinyl flooring absorbs and dissipates vibration pretty well. I'm sure using some of the sheets of various soft material made for audio would work even better.

Never had much look with foam. Very light springs stuffed with soft foam can decouple and the foam acts like friction dampers to soak up some energy. Those were pretty finicky. layers with springs between can act like filters so adding more than one is like adding additional filtering. Still I didn't go very far with that approach.

Why is it vinyl is good exactly? :)

Another approach, one I've seen used on analytical balances in labs. Three big slabs of marble. I'd brace the floor under-neath or the floor will just bounce the whole thing at a low frequency.

View attachment 29026

Another variation.
View attachment 29027

You also could use these with a heavy table on top for the proper loading. Notice they are just neoprene or neoprene and cork.
http://weisstechproducts.com/product/anti-vibration-pads/
Why not suspend from the ceiling in a hammock type thing?
 

Frank Dernie

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#92
If one were doing this on the cheap using stuff readily available from say a hardware store, what would be good materials for suspension and isolation? I would guess some kind of heavy foam or rubber-type material, then a concrete or stone slab, and then the turntable - is this correct?
For isolation over the audio bandwidth a heavy block suspended on steel springs to have around 2Hz natural frequency and no damping isolates well mechanically. Dynamic damping "short circuits" the suspension as frequency rises. Absorbent polymers are difficult to predict because their performance depends on load and temperature.
The Garrard test rig was a high tower with extension springs supporting a concrete block of around 50kg or so. The springs were not vertical as the isolation was calculated in all 6 degrees of freedom not just vertically, which seems to be a common but essentially stupid assumption...
 

Frank Dernie

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#94
Thanks @Frank Dernie :) I didn't quite understand this part though. What's dynamic damping and what do you mean by "short circuit"?
My mistake, I meant normal damping not dynamic (which I used to change mode shape rather than damp anything, like a crankshaft "damper"). It is easiest to see it by looking at the response of a simple system of spring, mass and damper. We are interested in the movement of the mass and the excitation enters at the free end of the spring. With damping = zero the movement increases as resonance is reached, becoming infinite, then decreases to about zero by about 2x the natural frequency and staying there. The isolation is effective from 2xFn. When you add damping the movement at resonance is reduced but the movement never gets to zero since the force generated in the damper by any movement continues to be transmitted to the mass at all frequencies. This "shorts out" the suspension, perhaps a poor term since it isn't 100% like an electrical short, but partial. Damping is essential for something like a car suspension in which resonance will be excited almost all the time and perfect isolation can't happen unless an active system is used. For a passive suspension where the requirement is complete isolation and impacts causing resonance can be avoided zero damping gives the best result.
 

levimax

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#95
For isolation over the audio bandwidth a heavy block suspended on steel springs to have around 2Hz natural frequency and no damping isolates well mechanically. Dynamic damping "short circuits" the suspension as frequency rises. Absorbent polymers are difficult to predict because their performance depends on load and temperature.
The Garrard test rig was a high tower with extension springs supporting a concrete block of around 50kg or so. The springs were not vertical as the isolation was calculated in all 6 degrees of freedom not just vertically, which seems to be a common but essentially stupid assumption...
Great information.... Thank you..... Can you post a sketch of the Garrard test rig? How many springs? What angle from vertical?.... All the same or all different? How high is a high tower?
 

digicidal

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#96
Although likely falling into the category of 'esoteric' (certainly cost-wise) I wonder if anyone has ever made an isolation stand with viscous fluids as the suspension agent? As long a it was designed as a sealed cavity with something like a high viscosity silicone oil to dampen direct vibration as well as shear provided the plate had enough room on all sides.

Though obviously not as good as the suspension rigs... how much better would a wall mounted shelf be? I would think better than a stand, but maybe I'm over-simplifying things - at the very least the vibrations would have a less direct path to the surface (depending on where the shelf was located).
 

watchnerd

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#97
Although likely falling into the category of 'esoteric' (certainly cost-wise) I wonder if anyone has ever made an isolation stand with viscous fluids as the suspension agent? As long a it was designed as a sealed cavity with something like a high viscosity silicone oil to dampen direct vibration as well as shear provided the plate had enough room on all sides.

Though obviously not as good as the suspension rigs... how much better would a wall mounted shelf be? I would think better than a stand, but maybe I'm over-simplifying things - at the very least the vibrations would have a less direct path to the surface (depending on where the shelf was located).
Like a waterbed mattress filled with silicone oil?
 

digicidal

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#98
Like a waterbed mattress filled with silicone oil?
Did I bring back a fond memory? :p

Yeah basically... except with a very dense, decoupled casing. They use it in the huge seismic dampeners for skyscapers (just like massive hydraulic shocks), as well in some automotive shocks. I just picture a shock housing that's square and flat rather than long and cylindrical. As long as the allowances were enough, excessive motion would be prevented via compression, but nominal 3-axis motion allowed.

I suppose another option would be like a large active gimbal with a fixed mount... you could even spin vinyl during an earthquake. LOL
 
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