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Can anyone explain the vinyl renaissance?

Doodski

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That's something I miss about my boys being grown up now - picking them up from school when they were young. Even if I were in low energy mode from a hard day at work, just walking toward the school you could hear the absolute wave of energy from the kids playing and getting out of school. It was this huge wave of Happy Energy! It was nice to be around and helped recharge the batteries.
I've mentioned it before here at ASR but I'll do it again...lol. I introduced a 6 year old smart happy boy to first person shooter games via 2 PCs wired together in COOPERATIVE mode so we could frag baddy aliens and monsters as a team. (I'm like the bad influence uncle.) The look on his face when he realized he was in a virtual world was a once in a life experience for me and then when he realized we where a team was a second experience of the same. I was having as much fun as he was after we got going and wound up in the fun of fragging aliens. His mother asked what we have been doing when her kids where visiting me and their father. She said that the boy is now extra careful and watched her back when they are out in public. He took the protecting that he did for "Alex" a female in the game and he applied it to his mother.
 

atmasphere

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Can you provide a citation for this?

I've never seen a noise floor for vinyl quoted below the mid -30s, which stands to reason given that you're physically dragging a needle across a surface.
Talk to a mastering engineer other than myself since clearly my testimony is insufficient. You'll find that any of them know how quiet a groove in a lacquer can actually be if the stylus is correctly set up. I've known Chad (owner of Acoustic Sounds) for 30 years and he is the one that told me about the damping they use in the pressing machines at QRP. We did a project there because a producer wanted it done there and that's when I discovered how much they had advanced the art.
 

beefkabob

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Talk to a mastering engineer other than myself since clearly my testimony is insufficient. You'll find that any of them know how quiet a groove in a lacquer can actually be if the stylus is correctly set up. I've known Chad (owner of Acoustic Sounds) for 30 years and he is the one that told me about the damping they use in the pressing machines at QRP. We did a project there because a producer wanted it done there and that's when I discovered how much they had advanced the art.
And it's still inferior to digital.
 

Holmz

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Can you provide a citation for this?

I've never seen a noise floor for vinyl quoted below the mid -30s, which stands to reason given that you're physically dragging a needle across a surface.

What is the noise floor for magnetic tape @SuicideSquid ?
When I can drop the needle on some LPs, I hear the nothing… and then I hear the tape hiss as few seconds prior to the music starting.
So I know that the LP must have a noise floor be < -10 to -20dB under the tape that recorded the tracks.

And I would have assumed that the tape hiss was around -40dB if not maybe lower.
 

atmasphere

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And it's still inferior to digital.
:)
If digital were really that much better there would be no discussion about cartridges, tonearms, turntables, cartridge setup and most of all discussions like this one! It would be moot. Its been about 41 years since the inception of the CD and LPs are still around?? I've no doubt that one day it will be better in every way... when that day comes people won't argue about it.

The fact this thread exists points to this simple truth.

Anytime a new technology appears, if it is truly superior the prior art vanishes and becomes a thing of collectors for nostalgia only; dust bins of history and all that. Look at side valves in internal combustion engines. Overhead valves showed up and no-one looks back- they are more reliable and offer vastly improved performance. No surprises here: no-one puts side valves in cars anymore. IOW the prior art has vanished.

That's not happened with the LP- yet. So we know (whether we like it or not) the existing art needs improvement. You can make the argument that people prefer distortion.. and other such nonsense. Sheesh! The pragmatic individual will look at the bigger picture and see its really obvious the digital still has some homework to do.
 

killdozzer

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:)
If digital were really that much better there would be no discussion about cartridges, tonearms, turntables, cartridge setup and most of all discussions like this one! It would be moot. Its been about 41 years since the inception of the CD and LPs are still around?? I've no doubt that one day it will be better in every way... when that day comes people won't argue about it.

The fact this thread exists points to this simple truth.

Anytime a new technology appears, if it is truly superior the prior art vanishes and becomes a thing of collectors for nostalgia only; dust bins of history and all that. Look at side valves in internal combustion engines. Overhead valves showed up and no-one looks back- they are more reliable and offer vastly improved performance. No surprises here: no-one puts side valves in cars anymore. IOW the prior art has vanished.

That's not happened with the LP- yet. So we know (whether we like it or not) the existing art needs improvement. You can make the argument that people prefer distortion.. and other such nonsense. Sheesh! The pragmatic individual will look at the bigger picture and see its really obvious the digital still has some homework to do.
Another car argument just as wrong as all the other car arguments. Is any company offering side valves? If it did, do you honestly believe no one would want them? Do you honestly think people function that way? After all the old timers clubs and what-not? Do you see people putting ABS in old-timers? What if there was some interest in pushing side valves and all of a sudden you get sh**load of marketing saying something like: "the true sound of engine", "just like Daimler intended", "side valves, for those who really appreciate driving", "top valves? too technical for me! I'll take side any day of the weak", "if you drive close-mindedly, you drive side valves"...

Dude, people buy Crocs and you think they wouldn't buy side valves if someone gave it a tiny push?
 

tonycollinet

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The fact this thread exists points to this simple truth.

The only thing it points to is a small minority (here) of people listening to vinyl who are still able to delude themselves over it's objective performance (in every respect) compared to digital.

It is a moot point. Every objective measure shows it. Everything else is self delusion or cognitive bias - or both.

Again (for possibly the 10,000'th time in this thread) : "I like it" is not equal to "it is better"

(Speaking as one of the vinyl spinners here who is well aware of its limitations).
 

Holmz

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:)
If digital were really that much better there would be no discussion about cartridges, tonearms, turntables, cartridge setup and most of all discussions like this one! It would be moot. Its been about 41 years since the inception of the CD and LPs are still around?? I've no doubt that one day it will be better in every way... when that day comes people won't argue about it.

The fact this thread exists points to this simple truth.

Anytime a new technology appears, if it is truly superior the prior art vanishes and becomes a thing of collectors for nostalgia only; dust bins of history and all that. Look at side valves in internal combustion engines. Overhead valves showed up and no-one looks back- they are more reliable and offer vastly improved performance. No surprises here: no-one puts side valves in cars anymore. IOW the prior art has vanished.

That's not happened with the LP- yet. So we know (whether we like it or not) the existing art needs improvement. You can make the argument that people prefer distortion.. and other such nonsense. Sheesh! The pragmatic individual will look at the bigger picture and see its really obvious the digital still has some homework to do.

Superior, means that the SINAD of a 120dB DAC is better than the 80dB turn table.

But nothing will change soon, if we only listen with speakers with distortions at 40-50dB or worse, and evolution is not going to make out 80dB ears jump to 200dB.
So really both are fit for purpose, in the same way the mp3 format largely gets the point across.
 

levimax

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It is a moot point. Every objective measure shows it. Everything else is self delusion or cognitive bias - or both.
Digital measures at least 100,000% better than vinyl (assuming 30 dB) but due to the limitations of human hearing this difference for subjective listening is very subtle. Other factors such as the mastering or the condition of the original source material when transferred are much more apparent than the subtle difference between formats.
 

atmasphere

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Digital measures at least 100,000% better than vinyl (assuming 30 dB) but due to the limitations of human hearing this difference for subjective listening is very subtle. Other factors such as the mastering or the condition of the original source material when transferred are much more apparent than the subtle difference between formats.
Uh, you got your math wrong, assuming the 30dB thing was accurate, which it isn't. 30dB is 1000x.
Superior, means that the SINAD of a 120dB DAC is better than the 80dB turn table.

But nothing will change soon, if we only listen with speakers with distortions at 40-50dB or worse, and evolution is not going to make out 80dB ears jump to 200dB.
So really both are fit for purpose, in the same way the mp3 format largely gets the point across.
Oh yeah, I get it. Assuming all turntables are 80dB, which they aren't. Even the best though won't do what digital does. Y'all missed my point though. These things are incremental rather than transformative. Otherwise the conversation would not occur.

This 'debate' has been around longer than the web. At what point do you get that its not going away until people are able to realize the benefits of digital over LP? Clearly that's not happened yet or record stores wouldn't sell LPs. I get there's a collector market but lets look at 78s as a prior art. They stopped making them in 1956 with Doris Day's hit single 'Que Sera Sera'. Its not a matter open to debate that the LP is a better format, the 78 went away and its a done deal.

That hasn't happened with digital yet. Plain and simple. FWIW the last five posts no-one addressed this.
Another car argument just as wrong as all the other car arguments. Is any company offering side valves? If it did, do you honestly believe no one would want them? Do you honestly think people function that way? After all the old timers clubs and what-not? Do you see people putting ABS in old-timers? What if there was some interest in pushing side valves and all of a sudden you get sh**load of marketing saying something like: "the true sound of engine", "just like Daimler intended", "side valves, for those who really appreciate driving", "top valves? too technical for me! I'll take side any day of the weak", "if you drive close-mindedly, you drive side valves"...

Dude, people buy Crocs and you think they wouldn't buy side valves if someone gave it a tiny push?
:facepalm:
 

levimax

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Uh, you got your math wrong, assuming the 30dB thing was accurate, which it isn't. 30dB is 1000x.
1,000X = 100,000% ... what do you think the performance difference is in dB? I am estimating 60 dB vs 90 dB for noise and ignoring the distortion as it is the same area which won't change things much when combined, I do admit it is an estimate but I don't think it is unrealistic based on measurements I have seen.
 

atmasphere

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1,000X = 100,000% ... what do you think the performance difference is in dB? I am estimating 60 dB vs 90 dB for noise and ignoring the distortion as it is the same area which won't change things much when combined, I do admit it is an estimate but I don't think it is unrealistic based on measurements I have seen.
I meant to point out that perceptually 30dB is about 8x to the ear due to its logarithmic operation (10dB is perceived as a doubling in the volume). That's why deciBels are used.

-60dB is an average of typical LP operation so is realistic in that regard but isn't what the media is capable of. That's why I mentioned the bit about conflating anecdote with the media itself. As best I can make out the noise floor of the media itself if everything goes right (mastering setup, vibration in the pressing machine, etc) is more like -85dB. Literally quieter than the playback electronics; with most electronics you'd have no way of knowing the needle was on the LP surface until the music started. That's what happened to me when I first experienced this.

It takes a lot of attention to realize this sort of noise floor, so most pressing operations don't bother.
 

tonycollinet

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I meant to point out that perceptually 30dB is about 8x to the ear due to its logarithmic operation (10dB is perceived as a doubling in the volume). That's why deciBels are used.

-60dB is an average of typical LP operation so is realistic in that regard but isn't what the media is capable of. That's why I mentioned the bit about conflating anecdote with the media itself. As best I can make out the noise floor of the media itself if everything goes right (mastering setup, vibration in the pressing machine, etc) is more like -85dB. Literally quieter than the playback electronics; with most electronics you'd have no way of knowing the needle was on the LP surface until the music started. That's what happened to me when I first experienced this.

It takes a lot of attention to realize this sort of noise floor, so most pressing operations don't bother.
"As best you can make out"?? What does that mean.

Care to share any documentary evidence for that -85dB - or even -60dB come to that?
 

levimax

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"As best you can make out"?? What does that mean.

Care to share any documentary evidence for that -85dB - or even -60dB come to that?
I was just searching for actual measurements and found nothing. It seems like -60dB is quoted a lot and I saw undocumented numbers between -48 dB and -70 dB being claimed with no measurements. In my experience -60 dB seems like a best case scenario but I don't have "real" number to back it up... just experience with noise generators and amps and various records old and new. To me -85 dB seems very unlikely and if there were measurements I would be interested to see them.
 

Holmz

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-60dB is an average of typical LP operation so is realistic in that regard but isn't what the media is capable of. That's why I mentioned the bit about conflating anecdote with the media itself. As best I can make out the noise floor of the media itself if everything goes right (mastering setup, vibration in the pressing machine, etc) is more like -85dB. Literally quieter than the playback electronics; with most electronics you'd have no way of knowing the needle was on the LP surface until the music started. That's what happened to me when I first experienced this.
...

It was quite an eye opener for me when I first discovered that the track was quiet, and I was hearing the master tape noise just before the music started, and after it ended. And then quiet again, before the next song.
I was “wowed”


"As best you can make out"?? What does that mean.

Care to share any documentary evidence for that -85dB - or even -60dB come to that?

I’ll take a crack at it. I am getting the ADC into the system and can do some measurements... but I am sure this has been done and commented somewhere.
 

Bob from Florida

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If the noise floor is -60 db and the recording has at most 30 to 40 db of dynamic range then it would seem the medium is sufficient to play back the recording. Please note I am not making any claims of superiority to digital by saying this.
 

tonycollinet

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If the noise floor is -60 db and the recording has at most 30 to 40 db of dynamic range then it would seem the medium is sufficient to play back the recording. Please note I am not making any claims of superiority to digital by saying this.
That just means you can hear the lowest parts of the music above the noise floor. However, if the noise floor is audible, then it can still detract from the enjoyment.

(Not particularly for me - except for pops/clicks. I'm not that bothered by rumble/roar)
 

Bob from Florida

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That just means you can hear the lowest parts of the music above the noise floor. However, if the noise floor is audible, then it can still detract from the enjoyment.

(Not particularly for me - except for pops/clicks. I'm not that bothered by rumble/roar)
I was being generous with the dynamic range as most recorded music has far less range. However, I can understand being annoyed by audible noise with no music playing. These days my tinnitus is my primary annoyance as it is always evident - even when the music is playing.
 

steve59

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people are lemmings
 
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