• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

The Truth About Vinyl Records

levimax

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
1,609
Likes
2,315
Location
San Diego
Except the only measuring tool you have for that claim is broken. So you've got nothing but ambit claims. And 95% of the claims are about ...some... pop music.

All you are left with is comparing bad mastering on one format vs good mastering on another format. Well duh.
There is a lot more to mastering than DR including EQ changes and more. Seems like we are in agreement that format is less important than mastering which is may point.
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,936
Likes
2,258
I take that point as a given. To which I would add this point:-

1664754170665.png
 

Yuhasz01

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
104
Likes
56
I'm right in the vinyl crosshairs, being 68. I'll admit I don't get it. Full-depth digital just sounds cleaner to me. I don't miss tubes, either. There must have been a series of memos I missed.
Everything old becomes new after a bit of time. I had vinyl decades ago and what a pain. Digital music files are currently pretty pleasing. ….and the play back devices are sublime….
 

restorer-john

Master Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
9,989
Likes
28,532
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Except that the mastering moves made after the recording production team is finished are more significant than any difference between formats so the argument against vinyl on accuracy to the master tape falls apart as neither LPs nor digital are accurate to the source.

Have you ever heard LPs which were direct cut from live sessions in real time? Where the musicians do the entire A-side (then B) direct to two track, cutting lathe in the studio. At the same time, a parallel 30 IPS master is made and the flat transfer CD ultimately pressed from that.

I have a few including an early Tommy Emmanuel (Guitar legend).

Those recordings, be they on LP or CD are amazing, the album was 1979.
 

levimax

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
1,609
Likes
2,315
Location
San Diego
Have you ever heard LPs which were direct cut from live sessions in real time? Where the musicians do the entire A-side (then B) direct to two track, cutting lathe in the studio. At the same time, a parallel 30 IPS master is made and the flat transfer CD ultimately pressed from that.

I have a few including an early Tommy Emmanuel (Guitar legend).

Those recordings, be they on LP or CD are amazing, the album was 1979.
Yes and no argument from me that even more important than mastering is the quality of the original recording and direct ones often times do sound great.
 

levimax

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
1,609
Likes
2,315
Location
San Diego
I come across some of these "Project 3 Master Recorded on 35 mm magnetic Film" LP's occasionally and not sure about "magnetic film" compared to tape but the LP's are also "direct cut" from the tape without any mastering and they sound pretty good for mid 1960's technology.



PXL_20221003_040407355_2.jpg
 

Attachments

  • PXL_20221003_040407355_2.jpg
    PXL_20221003_040407355_2.jpg
    185.2 KB · Views: 9

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,936
Likes
2,258
…and some people think the claim of “pure perfect sound forever” was execrable marketing hype….looks like Philips and Sony were playing in the shallows.
 

egellings

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2020
Messages
2,210
Likes
1,664
Magnetic film, if I have it right, has a magnetic tape strip on the film itself, so playback is always in sync with the video material.
 

sergeauckland

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
2,980
Likes
7,609
Location
Suffolk UK
Magnetic film, if I have it right, has a magnetic tape strip on the film itself, so playback is always in sync with the video material.
That's COMMAG. Magnetic tape was also manufactured in 35mm format with sprocket holes so it could be used as normal magnetic tape, albeit in a special transport that used sprocket drive rather than capstan.

S.
 

Robin L

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
4,679
Likes
6,642
Location
1 mile east of Sleater Kinney Rd
That's COMMAG. Magnetic tape was also manufactured in 35mm format with sprocket holes so it could be used as normal magnetic tape, albeit in a special transport that used sprocket drive rather than capstan.

S.
Mercury was the one company most famous for recording on that media, there were early Everest recordings and issues on the Command Performance label sourced from 35 mm tape as well. Apparently 35 mm tape recordings did not store as well as regular tape so that when the Mercury Living Presence series was carefully reissued on CDs, sometimes the back-up tapes---three channels on 1/2" tape---were used instead. During the late fifties/early sixties, when these sorts of recordings were being made, there was a push to make three-channel recordings and getting that format accessible to the public. RCA's three channel recordings were eventually issued as three-channel SACDs, and Mercury did the same, if I recall correctly. I remember much improved lateral stereo imaging playing the 3-channel sourced material back when I had a 5.1 system. Still have the SACDs.

Think of it---took 40 years and the development of high-resolution audio media to reproduce the sound the audio engineers were hearing back in 1960.
 

BogdanR

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
58
Likes
65
Location
Richmond Hill, ON
Sorry but I can’t help from being sarcastic here. Big news!!! Digital recording/ reproduction is technically superior to its analog counterpart!!! Wow!!! Who knew?

Sarcasm and 1812 (not 1612) Overtures aside, there’s an argument to be had about old LP recordings. Take Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. The original analog master tape is almost 40 years old, so arguably an original ‘73 Blue Harvest release LP in good condition will currently hold more detail than the said master. While indeed being pretty far from the ideal medium, considering the absolute torturous process of producing it, the LP is significantly less affected by the simple passage of time than any well preserved tape.
There’s a good reason why original, good condition LP releases from the ‘60s and ‘70s are sometimes commanding a premium on the used market.

For new recordings, there’s absolute no question, digital is superior in every conceivable way. For old stuff however, the imperfect old initial release LPs (not recent remasters) are the way to go and perhaps good digitization the best way to conserve whatever is left.
 

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
534
Likes
664
The original analog master tape is almost 40 years old, so arguably an original ‘73 Blue Harvest release LP in good condition will currently hold more detail than the said master.
Your logic is sound. But wouldn’t the 1973 LP need to have never been played? Even a couple handful of plays would be as much use as the master over the last 40 years. Also not sure a transfer to LP is perfect to begin with and defer to someone more knowledgeable than myself to know how precise LP transfers are. I gave up on vinyl when CDs came out so am no expert.
 

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
534
Likes
664
And shame on me for not reading the entirety of this thread until just now. The OP gives one of the more impressive histories on vinyl and it’s limitations that I have seen anywhere. Really exceptional stuff.
 

BogdanR

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
58
Likes
65
Location
Richmond Hill, ON
Your logic is sound. But wouldn’t the 1973 LP need to have never been played? Even a couple handful of plays would be as much use as the master over the last 40 years. Also not sure a transfer to LP is perfect to begin with and defer to someone more knowledgeable than myself to know how precise LP transfers are. I gave up on vinyl when CDs came out so am no expert.
I played my Blue Harvest DSOTM LP only twice from new. I do have the old Canadian Capitol release to play with. This as a side note. As for playing LPs, a well set, low tracking force cartridge, on a decent tonearm, on a decent turntable won’t do as much damage as you think.

I too gave up LPs when I came to Canada in the mid ‘90s but quickly realized CD quality on the music I liked was atrocious so I got back in the game. LPs were considered dead media in the mid ‘90s, so I picked up a lot of them, some pretty rare, for 50 cents a piece… not too bad I think.

The problem back then was the “remastered“ CDs. Take Led Zeppelin’s recordings for instance. They weren’t particularly great to begin with and the so called remastering process compressed them further making them quite a bit worse. Unfortunately this was at that time a pretty common trend: new stuff such as Radiohead or Smashing Pumpkins or the like were OK. Music from the ‘60s and ‘70s less so. This regrettable trend has fortunately subsided, however the masters are now quite old. It is what it is.

In the meantime I have acquired an EVGA soundcard but never gotten around to digitizing the recordings I most praise. I will, eventually. Until then my ‘73 DSOTM will remain safely in its sleeve even though playing it on my turntable would not cause much damage at all.
 
Last edited:

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
11,117
Likes
12,239
Location
Central Fl
I too gave up LPs when I came to Canada in the mid ‘90s but quickly realized CD quality on the music I liked was atrocious so I got back in the game.
Oh brother, hear we go again. :facepalm:
An absolutely ridiculous statement.

So you can't hear the,
Surface noise
Pops and clicks
Wow and flutter
Speed stability issues
Inner groove distortion
Mono'd bass
All the rest of vinyl distortions.?
flintstone.png
 

BogdanR

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
58
Likes
65
Location
Richmond Hill, ON
Oh brother, hear we go again. :facepalm:
An absolutely ridiculous statement.

So you can't hear the,
Surface noise
Pops and clicks
Wow and flutter
Speed stability issues
Inner groove distortion
Mono'd bass
All the rest of vinyl distortions.?
View attachment 242565

You absolutely missed the point I was making. It is OK, we will both survive this and continue to enjoy our otherwise common hobby in completely different ways.

Cheers!
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,936
Likes
2,258
Take Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. The original analog master tape is almost 40 years old, so arguably an original ‘73 Blue Harvest release LP in good condition will currently hold more detail than the said master.
Arguably...and arguably not.

On the one hand, master tapes degrade rapidly if not competently stored and handled (but much less with good preservation practices).

On the other hand, analog tape reproducer machines kept improving, and quite significantly. Experts in this area report that any music recording tape, new or old, yields higher quality audio when played on later reproducer machines. So if the DSOTM originals are well preserved, it can be argued that the later the remaster, the more detail is extracted from the tape. Hence, arguably, the original issue LPs are, compared to later remasters, limited by the quality of reproducer machine available in the day.

For old stuff however, the imperfect old initial release LPs (not recent remasters) are the way to go and perhaps good digitization the best way to conserve whatever is left.
Fred Thal of ATAE says that industry insiders know that most analog-era recording veterans weren't audiophiles. That's not good news for your assumption that the original analog-era masters are superior to a more modern remaster done by recording engineers with attention to sound quality.

cheers
 
Last edited:

BogdanR

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
58
Likes
65
Location
Richmond Hill, ON
Arguably...and arguably not.

On the one hand, master tapes degrade rapidly if not competently stored and handled (but much less with good preservation practices).

On the other hand, analog tape reproducer machines kept improving, and quite significantly. Experts in this area report that any music recording tape, new or old, yields higher quality audio when played on later reproducer machines. So if the DSOTM originals are well preserved, it can be argued that the later the remaster, the more detail is extracted from the tape. Hence, arguably, the original issue LPs are, compared to later remasters, limited by the quality of reproducer machine available in the day.
Unfortunately in this particular case that may not be the reality. The machines are undoubtedly better, however a 30-40 year old tape will lose detail thru simply demagnetizing over time even IF they were reasonably well preserved. The new machine cannot extract what is not there anymore.

Fred Thal of ATAE says that industry insiders know that most analog-era recording veterans weren't audiophiles. That's not good news for your assumption that the original analog-era masters are superior to a more modern remaster done by recording engineers with attention to sound quality.

cheers
Sorry but this doesn't sound logical. So the original was not all that good but a remaster from this original made 30-40 years later could be better? How? Sure if they could get the band to come in the studio and re-record the album. But we're dealing with a recording that happened in '73 and the final mix is done and gone into production. Whatever quality you have on that tape is the absolute best you will EVER get. Time and subsequent copies will invariably sap that quality. So, at this point the only way to get a better re-master from that original recording would likely involve time travel with modern equipment in tow.

Cheers.
 

kchap

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
459
Likes
435
Location
Melbourne, Oz
Everything old becomes new after a bit of time. I had vinyl decades ago and what a pain. Digital music files are currently pretty pleasing. ….and the play back devices are sublime….
Ditto, even down to our ages.
 

Digby

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
918
Likes
746
Having had the misfortune of hearing LPs produced in the US during the 1970s oil crisis, I can understand why some members have a VERY strong Pavlovian response to vinyl. If I was in their position, I'd likely have the same too. UK pressings are typically much better, often considered among the best in fact, so I haven't had to suffer the flaws of vinyl as much as our American friends.

This might explain much of someone like Sal's response to vinyl. He is certainly of the right age and from the right place to have experienced the worst of vinyl at a formative time in his life.
 
Top Bottom