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Vinyl is not as bad as I expected.

PeteL

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Hang on, it was you who just finished saying that most vinyl was heard on good hifi systems of the day. Now you are saying we have to admit the opposite?
Context, I said most, it was good in opposition to tabletop and portable AM radio, by good, I meant "better than" sorry if I wasn't clear. I didn't use the word hifi, just good. followed right after by There were people that cared about fidelity and good sound. As in, some, not most, not all. Gee that's picky, i'll try to be better with my wording sorry
 

rdenney

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In the UK, at least, most records were played on mono portable record players, or cheapish radiograms, with ceramic cartridges and speakers that make modern smart speakers sound like paragons of virtue, well into the 1970s.The majority of records were mastered accordingly.

There was no golden era when vinyl wasn’t compromised.
There were always the constraints of the medium. But mastering engineers were not utterly uncaring about hi-fi. I recall a story about EMI's (Decca? Angel? London? I think it was Angel in those days) seminal early-60's studio recording of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen. He wanted Kirsten Flagstad to perform for part of it, but she was aging and her experience with sound reproduction had left her disillusioned about the very notion of recording, and she refused. The producer (whose name I don't now recall--I read about this probably 35 years ago) went to her home, set up a proper stereo, and played records to her. She came to realize that playback could actually represent her artistic intentions well enough, and she participated in the recording. Those guys at EMI were not thinking 12-year-olds were going to be listening to Gotterdamerung on their little Decca players. And they definitely were aiming to convert the previous generations of live-listening-trained listeners to modern equipment, which would encourage them to buy new recordings. Therefore they mastered them to attain high-quality playback on good equipment, not merely acceptable playback on poor equipment, though I'm not sure those two objectives are as much in conflict as people make them out to be.

In another genre, I'm recalling how Jon Anderson went over and over with recording to get the sound he wanted from a Yes album--to a greater extent than the other musicians in the group at the time. He has little technical understanding, but a clear vision of the result he wanted. We think Eddie Offord did that work, but Anderson was right there demanding his own vision. Yes, there was the circle of confusion with respect to their playback equipment. But I don't recall anything at all in what Anderson said about making it sound good to 12-year-olds and their Decca record players. He wanted it to sound like he wanted it to sound--he was pleasing himself first and foremost. All the musicians of that time knew that the mastering of an LP could make or break what they were trying to achieve. Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe were doing an interview in maybe 1972, and Wakeman was just going to hear the first cut of his first solo album. That album was extremely dynamic and required all sorts of tricks, I'm sure, to get it onto the vinyl. A&M reissued it on CD in the 80's, and I have both versions. If there's a difference in the mix, I can't tell it.

Yes, there were compromises made in relation to the medium, as with the production (and reproduction) of any art form. Photographers have to limit the color gamut when printing photos, compared to what they can show on a monitor, or by projection of a transparency. Sometimes, features are exaggerated to make up for what that medium lacks otherwise. And so on. But that doesn't mean all of them were consistently targeting the lowest common denominator. Top-40 stuff, maybe, but I was never really into that (well, except for early Elton John and Cat Stevens).

Rick "in no way, however, does this mean LP's are better than CD's, unless the CD was ruined by later mastering mistakes" Denney
 

Bob from Florida

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Telarc Time Warp CD - I have a copy and it is supposed to be uncompressed. The loudness wars list shows the below. 14 is average, 10 is minimum, and 18 is max dynamic range. I was unable to determine if those numbers are in db or some kind of relative scale. Does anyone know the answer to that question? Because if those numbers are accurate in db then this whole discussion is meaningless. If they means bits of resolution that would make more sense.

 

Newman

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Just bear in mind the TTDR tool is not just broken for LP, it can’t be relied on for CD either. Basically, just ignore it (and ignore the opinion of anyone who uses it to base an opinion).
 

Mart68

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Just bear in mind the TTDR tool is not just broken for LP, it can’t be relied on for CD either. Basically, just ignore it (and ignore the opinion of anyone who uses it to base an opinion).
I share your reservations but as far as I'm aware it's the only game in town. You can go by that, or by nothing.
 

levimax

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LP’s had to be cheap, if kids were to afford them.
45's were cheap and for "kids" .... LP's were more expensive and were for "adults" or "older kids". Growing up I played 45's on a cheap Crosby and my father played LP's on his "Stereo Council" which I was forbidden to touch but or course didn't stop me.
 

Newman

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I share your reservations but as far as I'm aware it's the only game in town. You can go by that, or by nothing.
But that’s a bit like choosing to believe a liar on a topic he is well known to lie about, because he is the only one talking.

Not only believe him, but quote him publicly as a reference. (!!) :facepalm:
 
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Holmz

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Telarc Time Warp CD - I have a copy and it is supposed to be uncompressed. The loudness wars list shows the below. 14 is average, 10 is minimum, and 18 is max dynamic range. I was unable to determine if those numbers are in db or some kind of relative scale. Does anyone know the answer to that question? Because if those numbers are accurate in db then this whole discussion is meaningless. If they means bits of resolution that would make more sense.


dB - so 15 dB is 5 bits less than peak.

If full scale is 16 then RMS is 11 bits.
If fiull scale was 14 then it is 9 bits.
 

PeteL

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But that’s a bit like choosing to believe a liar on a topic he is well known to lie about, because he is the only one talking.

Not only believe him, but quote him publicly as a reference. (!!) :facepalm:
Îm curious how do these number gets there, pure speculation? Liar, lie, etc. Sounds a bit strong, you mean errors or you mean lie? You mean he just invent random number without audio analysis or is it the process that’s flawed? What is the background of your findings? Because just like you put it, sorry the creddibility of those claims are not much stronger than his but if you explain a bit we could get what you mean.
 

Blumlein 88

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Telarc Time Warp CD - I have a copy and it is supposed to be uncompressed. The loudness wars list shows the below. 14 is average, 10 is minimum, and 18 is max dynamic range. I was unable to determine if those numbers are in db or some kind of relative scale. Does anyone know the answer to that question? Because if those numbers are accurate in db then this whole discussion is meaningless. If they means bits of resolution that would make more sense.

It is something of a time averaged Peak to RMS level ratio.
 

Galliardist

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There were always the constraints of the medium. But mastering engineers were not utterly uncaring about hi-fi. I recall a story about EMI's (Decca? Angel? London? I think it was Angel in those days) seminal early-60's studio recording of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelungen. He wanted Kirsten Flagstad to perform for part of it, but she was aging and her experience with sound reproduction had left her disillusioned about the very notion of recording, and she refused. The producer (whose name I don't now recall--I read about this probably 35 years ago) went to her home, set up a proper stereo, and played records to her. She came to realize that playback could actually represent her artistic intentions well enough, and she participated in the recording. Those guys at EMI were not thinking 12-year-olds were going to be listening to Gotterdamerung on their little Decca players. And they definitely were aiming to convert the previous generations of live-listening-trained listeners to modern equipment, which would encourage them to buy new recordings. Therefore they mastered them to attain high-quality playback on good equipment, not merely acceptable playback on poor equipment, though I'm not sure those two objectives are as much in conflict as people make them out to be.

In another genre, I'm recalling how Jon Anderson went over and over with recording to get the sound he wanted from a Yes album--to a greater extent than the other musicians in the group at the time. He has little technical understanding, but a clear vision of the result he wanted. We think Eddie Offord did that work, but Anderson was right there demanding his own vision. Yes, there was the circle of confusion with respect to their playback equipment. But I don't recall anything at all in what Anderson said about making it sound good to 12-year-olds and their Decca record players. He wanted it to sound like he wanted it to sound--he was pleasing himself first and foremost. All the musicians of that time knew that the mastering of an LP could make or break what they were trying to achieve. Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe were doing an interview in maybe 1972, and Wakeman was just going to hear the first cut of his first solo album. That album was extremely dynamic and required all sorts of tricks, I'm sure, to get it onto the vinyl. A&M reissued it on CD in the 80's, and I have both versions. If there's a difference in the mix, I can't tell it.

Yes, there were compromises made in relation to the medium, as with the production (and reproduction) of any art form. Photographers have to limit the color gamut when printing photos, compared to what they can show on a monitor, or by projection of a transparency. Sometimes, features are exaggerated to make up for what that medium lacks otherwise. And so on. But that doesn't mean all of them were consistently targeting the lowest common denominator. Top-40 stuff, maybe, but I was never really into that (well, except for early Elton John and Cat Stevens).

Rick "in no way, however, does this mean LP's are better than CD's, unless the CD was ruined by later mastering mistakes" Denney
I don't see how, because people did remarkable things with LPs back in the 1960s - and continue to do so today - we can get to the point that LPs are preferable (which is the argument, really) than CD. There are too many constraints around the need for the stylus to be able to track the groove, before we get to the issue that other problems with playback are obviously audible.

In any case, any mastering engineer whose product didn't play on lesser equipment would soon have been out of a job. That makes the "better" LPs even more remarkable. My first contact with the music of Yes as a 14 year old was on a school common room "portable" player (well, it had a handle on the side) from the early 1960s with a heavy tonearm, ceramic cartridge, probably a knackered stylus, and all the mechanical problems you can imagine as it was also pretty much worn out. The records played, and my very distant memory is that they sounded better than the 45rpm pop fare that was the staple on that thing.
 

Newman

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Îm curious how do these number gets there, pure speculation? Liar, lie, etc. Sounds a bit strong, you mean errors or you mean lie? You mean he just invent random number without audio analysis or is it the process that’s flawed? What is the background of your findings? Because just like you put it, sorry the creddibility of those claims are not much stronger than his but if you explain a bit we could get what you mean.
I used an analogy, I didn't call anyone a liar. The words "that's a bit like" are introducing an analogy. You understand what is an analogy? “Finding that lost dog will be like finding a needle in a haystack.” - doesn't mean I am accusing a dog of being a needle.
 

PeteL

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I used an analogy, I didn't call anyone a liar. The words "that's a bit like" are introducing an analogy. You understand what is an analogy? “Finding that lost dog will be like finding a needle in a haystack.” - doesn't mean I am accusing a dog of being a needle.
Fair enough, but was mainly curious why you tought those numbers are unreliable.
 

Newman

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And although those links I posted focus on DR scores for vinyl vs digital, a further comment by the mastering engineer seen in those links also puts the nail in the coffin for using the TT-DR tool for digital vs digital.

She's-a-broken. At least if you want to use her for post-mastering dynamic analysis. Still useful in the mixing and mastering studio, where it was originally meant to be used.
 

levimax

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And although those links I posted focus on DR scores for vinyl vs digital, a further comment by the mastering engineer seen in those links also puts the nail in the coffin for using the TT-DR tool for digital vs digital.

She's-a-broken. At least if you want to use her for post-mastering dynamic analysis. Still useful in the mixing and mastering studio, where it was originally meant to be used.
Nothing in any of the posts proves anything. Contrived "tests" and unverified hearsay is all they are. The DR meter is just math that compares peak to RMS and is no doubt flawed and abused but it is based on reasonable mathmatical assumptions and I find strong correlation between the DR values and percieved loudness. Preference of course is another matter. In an era of ever louder and more compressed music the DR values do provide some useful information especially with the online database. Knowing that a tool is limited and imperfect does not mean it is useless.
 
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