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Vinyl will always sound *different* than digital, right?

Sal1950

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WillBrink

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Hello music lovers,

After reading the thread The Truth About Vinyl Records, it confirmed to me again that vinyl will just always sound different than any digital version.

My understanding here is, that there is really a hell lot of tweaking being done when the master record is being cut, much of which doesn't appear to be necessary when going straight from e.g. 1/4" tape to digital.

To give you an example, the article states:


I am bringing this up because I do every so often compare the sound 1:1 (with appropriate volume matching) of my vinyl record to digital sources, and often can simply only note one thing: They sound different.

Isn't the reason for that simply that the transferring process was completely different? Essentially one could say the original recording was "remastered" once again, although on a simpler scale, once to fit the limitations of a vinyl disc, and then that of a CD or some HiRes format.

The result of my 1:1 comparison is often quite shocking to me... some vinyls sound a lot sweeter to me than their digital counterpart, while others are clearly sounding worse.

And by the way... I do record some of my vinyls to the PC, and when playing back the digital recording, it sounds just like the vinyl... in other words, the difference is not in my source... my digital recording of my vinyl still sounds vastly different than the digital version from Tidal etc.

What are your thoughts?

I feel that sentence answered your own Qs on it. The older I get the more I think it's not the medium as much as the master that matters most.
 

atmasphere

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The band Its a Beautiful Day famously burned the master tapes of their first LP during a dispute with the record label. That's the one that has the cut White Bird

In cases like this where the master tape is for whatever reason missing, the LP will be the only surviving documentation. I was lucky enough to find a mint condition first press of the above LP, which I like to play as demo at audio shows, not because its a great recording (its not, but its not bad either) but because most everyone has heard it and its nice to show what it actually sounds like.

The CD of this particular recording is made from a dub.
 

Sal1950

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The band Its a Beautiful Day famously burned the master tapes of their first LP during a dispute with the record label. That's the one that has the cut White Bird
Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. :facepalm:
 

Sal1950

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But rather about the proud writer's restricted field of musical curiosity.
Tell us about your extreme "musical curiosity" that you find a dead end in digital sources?
With something as simple as Apple Music which currently offers over 75 million songs what can't you
find to satisfy your "esoteric" tastes that you NEED LP's?
How many LP's in your library do you think you couldn't find digitally? 50, 100?
Please tell us all about your special needs?

So much music and so little time.
 

antcollinet

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Do you need an explaination? Well, not about digital availability. But rather about the proud writer's restricted field of musical curiosity.

I was going to answer, but then saw @Sal1950 had done a much better job than I was going to.
 

levimax

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I have been playing around with the new vinyl measurement script developed by some members. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-measurement-script.41148/page-2#post-1456576

Looking at the new "full range" results below it becomes clear why vinyl, despite measuring 10,000 times worse than digital, doesn't really sound a lot different. FR is fairly flat with a very low Q downward tilt (kind of like the Harmon Curve) and distortion, while in total it is high relative to digital, where our ears are most sensitive it is as low as 0.1% and stays below 1% from 100 Hz to 4 KHz and this is primarily 2nd order. In my experience with the online distortion generators I can't even being to hear distortion this low when music is playing. Where distortion does get higher it is either inaudible because it is too HF or in the LF region where our hearing is less sensitive. While certainly imperfect compared to digital the LP's limitations tend to match our hearing limitations quite well.

AT33PTG2_SUT_SL1310_STR100.png
 

atmasphere

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Having done LP mastering for a number of years I can tell you that the vast majority of distortion occurs in playback rather than record. IOW distortion of the LP is a function of how well the pickup is set up and how well its geometry actually works.

Other variables include cartridge loading (of high output MM, not LOMC), damping of the platter pad (ability to damp the platter as well as the LP), rigidity and deadness of the plinth. To the latter, if there is any play between the surface of the platter pad and the mount of the cartridge, the cartridge will interpret that as a coloration. So the plinth must be profoundly rigid and dead (damped) so if there is any vibration in the platter, the base of the arm is vibrating in phase and in the same plane- in this way the vibration will not be picked up. Obviously any turntable which has a plinth of different material compared to the armboard will be suspect since the two will handle vibration differently.
 

daftcombo

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Tell us about your extreme "musical curiosity" that you find a dead end in digital sources?
With something as simple as Apple Music which currently offers over 75 million songs what can't you
find to satisfy your "esoteric" tastes that you NEED LP's?
How many LP's in your library do you think you couldn't find digitally? 50, 100?
Please tell us all about your special needs?

So much music and so little time.
And so little time to answer to such stupidity and ignorance.
Go on Discogs, and learn.
 

antcollinet

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daftcombo

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daftcombo

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A comparitively tiny minority of recordings that are available only on vinyl doesn't significantly limit musical curiostiy though, does it?
It is not a tiny minority. There are thousands of records from all around the world which never made their way to digital.
I myself have ripped more than 120 records with the appropriate rig in order to be able to listen to them on digital. If I could have found them in digital (in 16/44.1 at least, better than Youtube quality), it would have spared me a lot of time.

I don't argue that you can't spend your life without vinyl. But you'll miss some good tunes.

When I was 12 or so, I thought I knew all the music in the world just because I knew every song that was played on my favorite radio station. At 14 or so, I realized I couldn't buy all the songs of my favorite bands because a lot were confined to the flipside of 12'' records. That number of unobtainable songs had increased ever since, until I got a turntable.

It's cool if you can find rips on Youtube now. It is not the case for all vinyl records, and the quality isn't always the best because of the ripping equipment used.

I apologize for the previous tone.
 
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Sal1950

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And so little time to answer to such stupidity and ignorance.
Go on Discogs, and learn.
I apologize for the previous tone.

But rather about the proud writer's restricted field of musical curiosity.
I myself have ripped more than 120 records with the appropriate rig in order to be able to listen to them on digital.
Apology accepted.
I would hope that the next time before you start called folks stupid, ignorant or having a "restricted field of musical curiosity"
you would think about what your saying. I would venture a guess that there are 10s if not hundreds of albums on my 5000 album
hard drive that you never heard of either.

All this over your desire to hear 120 recordings. :facepalm:
 

daftcombo

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Apology accepted.
I would hope that the next time before you start called folks stupid, ignorant or having a "restricted field of musical curiosity"
you would think about what your saying. I would venture a guess that there are 10s if not hundreds of albums on my 5000 album
hard drive that you never heard of either.

All this over your desire to hear 120 recordings. :facepalm:
I only have 3.000 albums on mine. You've got the longest. And you win.

(I don't add my 1.200 LPs and 12'', half of them still being digitally unavailable, to that because, according to you, that music doesn't deserve to even exist, being "a minority").
 
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Sal1950

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I only have 3.000 albums on mine. You've got the longest. And you win.
Hardly matters anymore with what the streamers offer.
Except they can't shut our hard drives off. ;)
 

Sal1950

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(I don't add my 1.200 LPs and 12'', half of them still being digitally unavailable, to that because, according to you, that music doesn't deserve to even exist, being "a minority").
You just apologized now you want to go all snarky again. :facepalm:
 

daftcombo

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You just apologized now you want to go all snarky again. :facepalm:
There is good music which is still only on vinyl, on cassette, and so on.
Instead of saying that we could live without it, it is more useful to indicate how to extract the music from them properly, to be as hi-fi as possible.
I'd rather listen to a song I like in mp3 128 kbps than whatever I don't care for in 24/96. Wouldn't you?

So, your intervention in this thread about the vinyl sound made be a bit "sharky", as you say. When I saw your post, I felt like my efforts to discover good stuf (I am also a DJ), whatever the format, were attacked in the first place. I can't even imagine what hardcore "crate diggers" would think of it.
 
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