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Why do records sound so much better than digital?

beagleman

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It's always the same when something new arrives that makes old technology obsolete.

People that are invested in the technologie or the medium are going to deny the advantages of the new thing.

I just had a argument with someone yesterday about his 1080i plasma TV and he feels like there is not much available in 4k anyway and OLEDs are unnecessary and (Q)LED still can't compete with the quality of his plasma.
Except Plasma was never obsolete.

They simply quit pushing them as they were able to make far more profit on LCD TVs.

OLED, in my comparisons, really is not much or any improvement over plasma, especially at the huge price I paid for mine.
I almost feel a bit let down, I paid so much for OLED, and my old Plasma side by side, still held up.

I have all 3 types in my house, and the old 2013 Panasonic Plasma, still astonishes me, color wise, and overall clarity and detail wise.

They got forced out of the market, not obsoleted really.
 

beagleman

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I think the Real test, is to take an album on a great turntable, and make a digital copy.

Compare the two. I have heard them to sound identical with my comparisons years ago.

Comparing a vinyl album VS a CD retail, is only comparing the different masterings usually employed.
 

NHL99

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Moving Magnets have the quality which betters clinical CD's. Had an expensive Moving Coil with a separate RIAA, and it was too close to the infamous CD one is trying to avoid.

Summary
Moving Magnet - Yes,
Moving Coil - No.
 

mhardy6647

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FWIW: All of my favorite "moving magnet" cartridges to listen to are, in fact, moving iron (so-called "variable reluctance") types.
I am just sayin'.

PS. nothin' clinical sounding about a good LOMC, IMO and IME.

:cool:
 

beagleman

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Moving Magnets have the quality which betters clinical CD's. Had an expensive Moving Coil with a separate RIAA, and it was too close to the infamous CD one is trying to avoid.

Summary
Moving Magnet - Yes,
Moving Coil - No.
Wow, no idea what you are talking about.

First off, there is no such thing as "Clinical" sounding. What does it actually mean, in language that someone objectively listening would understand?

Something either reproduces the frequency spectrum correctly or it does not.

And I hate to say, as someone who does "enjoy" records to some degree, NO vinyl reproduction chain will ever be more accurate, neutral, or close to ideal frequency response as even the most average CD or digital playback. That is simply a fact.

And to reiterate, EVERY vinyl album I put to digital, sounded identical to the vinyl. That alone made me realize, CD/Digital the medium is higher in quality than vinyl, but it is the media/mastering that make Vinyl sound "Different"
 
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NHL99

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Let's put it like this - If I were to enjoy a Madonna album from the 80's, then a Pro-Ject Debut Pro with a Moving Permalloy Nagaoka would be the means. The mastering of the Madonna CD's was probably not done with the aquired skills of today.
 

Robin L

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Wow, no idea what you are talking about.

First off, there is no such thing as "Clinical" sounding. What does it actually mean, in language that someone objectively listening would understand?

Something either reproduces the frequency spectrum correctly or it does not.

And I hate to say, as someone who does "enjoy" records to some degree, NO vinyl reproduction chain will ever be more accurate, neutral, or close to ideal frequency response as even the most average CD or digital playback. That is simply a fact.
To start with, the built-in high frequency bump found on most condenser microphones is ameliorated by the progressive high-frequency droop of analog recording---the higher the level of volume recorded to analog tape, the lower the level of the treble on the resultant recording. This was noticeable in particular on early digital recordings. But, and more to the point, digital recording is better at recording treble. Digital is better at both frequency extremes. Digital playback of recordings was initially noticeably brighter than LP playback for most [not all] audiophiles. Audio systems designed around LP playback would sound different playing back CDs, some would find the improvement a 'revelation', others find it proof of the inferiority of digital formats.

It took only a few years [mid-eighties] for the treble issue to get ironed out [amazing how much audible change a small re-positioning of microphones can do], along with the other myth of "Laser Rot', something limited to a few titles pressed by Nimbus early on. So, these myths explaining how digital recording was inferior [and that CDs can rot over time] continue to this day, mostly by people who think of themselves as audiophiles, but who are just parroting disinformation people have been saying for close to forty years.
 

beagleman

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To start with, the built-in high frequency bump found on most condenser microphones is ameliorated by the progressive high-frequency droop of analog recording---the higher the level of volume recorded to analog tape, the lower the level of the treble on the resultant recording. This was noticeable in particular on early digital recordings. But, and more to the point, digital recording is better at recording treble. Digital is better at both frequency extremes. Digital playback of recordings was initially noticeably brighter than LP playback for most [not all] audiophiles. Audio systems designed around LP playback would sound different playing back CDs, some would find the improvement a 'revelation', others find it proof of the inferiority of digital formats.

It took only a few years [mid-eighties] for the treble issue to get ironed out [amazing how much audible change a small re-positioning of microphones can do], along with the other myth of "Laser Rot', something limited to a few titles pressed by Nimbus early on. So, these myths explaining how digital recording was inferior [and that CDs can rot over time] continue to this day, mostly by people who think of themselves as audiophiles, but who are just parroting disinformation people have been saying for close to forty years.
I feel like it became cool to bash on CD after a certain point in time.

The stuffy high end audiophiles that value botique caps and cables, did the same thing to vinyl. They overly romanticized it falsely, and made CD to look inferior.
 

Sancus

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Except Plasma was never obsolete.

They simply quit pushing them as they were able to make far more profit on LCD TVs.
Sort of true, but the main reason plasma died is purely practical. It was not possible to manufacture 4K plasmas cost effectively and they would never have been capable of reaching HDR brightness levels. Even if they could, power consumption would have been far beyond reasonable domestic levels. All problems that OLED does not have.
 

Holmz

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Let's put it like this - If I were to enjoy a Madonna album from the 80's, then a Pro-Ject Debut Pro with a Moving Permalloy Nagaoka would be the means. The mastering of the Madonna CD's was probably not done with the aquired skills of today.

uh huh…

I would expect that the level of sales and popularity of Madonna would enable affording good mastering.
 

thewas

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The best sound quality in a Madonna was the "Ray of Light" alblum produced by Willam Orbit and having really good (and unpopular for radio and poor audio systems) dynamics and deep bass.
 

levimax

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I suppose one could use an LP mastering minus RIAA EQ. I don't know anyone doing that, but it is possible.
My understanding, learned from internet forums so not sure it is correct, is that many early classic rock / pop CD's were mastered from the LP mastering tapes and that in many cases the original master tapes were discarded and they only saved the LP mastering tape as that what was considered useful / valuable. I also understand that the RIAA EQ is not done on the LP mastering tape but was programed into the cutting lathes. My only "backup proof" of this is that I have some early CD's where the "fade out" of the song does not line up exactly with the "track change" i.e. the fade out carries over into the new song after the CD changes tracks. I also have the the original Pink Floyd Wish you were CD with only 2 tracks (side one and side two) when you play the disk while the notes say there are 5 tracks .... this was fixed on later versions. While many people think using the LP master is terrible I think it is a mixed bag as you do get the benefit of the "famous mastering engineer" possibly "improving things" with the trade off of summed bass. The CD's then sound very similar to the LP's only quieter. If you grew up listening to the LP mastering this can sound "right".
 

JP

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I also understand that the RIAA EQ is not done on the LP mastering tape but was programed into the cutting lathes.

Correct.
 

Robin L

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My understanding, learned from internet forums so not sure it is correct, is that many early classic rock / pop CD's were mastered from the LP mastering tapes and that in many cases the original master tapes were discarded and they only saved the LP mastering tape as that what was considered useful / valuable. I also understand that the RIAA EQ is not done on the LP mastering tape but was programed into the cutting lathes. My only "backup proof" of this is that I have some early CD's where the "fade out" of the song does not line up exactly with the "track change" i.e. the fade out carries over into the new song after the CD changes tracks. I also have the the original Pink Floyd Wish you were CD with only 2 tracks (side one and side two) when you play the disk while the notes say there are 5 tracks .... this was fixed on later versions. While many people think using the LP master is terrible I think it is a mixed bag as you do get the benefit of the "famous mastering engineer" possibly "improving things" with the trade off of summed bass. The CD's then sound very similar to the LP's only quieter. If you grew up listening to the LP mastering this can sound "right".
My understanding, derived from multiple sources, is that initially the big companies grabbed the very first tape they could find and rushed that to market. The Simon & Garfunkel early CD issues are a case in point. Some second/third-generation dubs, destined for a pressing plant in the boonies, already eq-ed for vinyl, noisy on account of not being first generation, becomes the source for the first CD issue of some titles. Thus, re-masters and remixes, which just might alter history, stepping on a butterfly and all that. Remastering engineering is reaching its limits, while the original tapes are getting mighty old. Now we enter the uncanny valley of "Get Back" [nearly 8 hours of AI rendered video and sound] and the Giles Martin Beatles remixes [realigning history on Pro Tools so that Paul becomes the best drummer in the Beatles].

History just ain't like it used to be.
 

beagleman

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My understanding, learned from internet forums so not sure it is correct, is that many early classic rock / pop CD's were mastered from the LP mastering tapes and that in many cases the original master tapes were discarded and they only saved the LP mastering tape as that what was considered useful / valuable. I also understand that the RIAA EQ is not done on the LP mastering tape but was programed into the cutting lathes. My only "backup proof" of this is that I have some early CD's where the "fade out" of the song does not line up exactly with the "track change" i.e. the fade out carries over into the new song after the CD changes tracks. I also have the the original Pink Floyd Wish you were CD with only 2 tracks (side one and side two) when you play the disk while the notes say there are 5 tracks .... this was fixed on later versions. While many people think using the LP master is terrible I think it is a mixed bag as you do get the benefit of the "famous mastering engineer" possibly "improving things" with the trade off of summed bass. The CD's then sound very similar to the LP's only quieter. If you grew up listening to the LP mastering this can sound "right".
correct, but for one thing. The original masterings were not discarded, but often stored away, rarely to be touched or played.
 

dshreter

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Except Plasma was never obsolete.

They simply quit pushing them as they were able to make far more profit on LCD TVs.

OLED, in my comparisons, really is not much or any improvement over plasma, especially at the huge price I paid for mine.
I almost feel a bit let down, I paid so much for OLED, and my old Plasma side by side, still held up.

I have all 3 types in my house, and the old 2013 Panasonic Plasma, still astonishes me, color wise, and overall clarity and detail wise.

They got forced out of the market, not obsoleted really.
It kind of seems like you’re making their point. Plasma is obsolete for numerous reasons - brightness was way lower, it’s expensive to build, difficult to miniaturize for 4K.

They handled motion well, but this seems small compared to the advantages of OLED. Yet many are still talking about their Kuros like they were the pinnacle of television.
 

beagleman

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It kind of seems like you’re making their point. Plasma is obsolete for numerous reasons - brightness was way lower, it’s expensive to build, difficult to miniaturize for 4K.

They handled motion well, but this seems small compared to the advantages of OLED. Yet many are still talking about their Kuros like they were the pinnacle of television.
Brightness was not way lower though.

In showroom they appeared not as bright, but at home, mine is plenty bright. The 4k part may be true, but most was based on LCD being far cheaper and far more profit.
Remember Plasma cost LESS than a comparable sized LCD just several years ago......

OLED still to this day, is really not mainstream or affordable to most people. I have seen some of the better LCD (LED) Tvs and they simply are not comparable to my old Plasma in all ways.

I do have an OLED, but almost regret buying it. SURE, it looks great, it does 4k, but I keep feeling like for the money is was a not much of an improvement over my 8 year old Panasonic Plasma. It cost 4 times as much. ............I have some buyers regret I guess.

I feel like I could have waited a few more years.
 

tonycollinet

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My 5yo Panasonic LED is better than the plasma (admittedly 10+yo at the time) it replaced, though when I visited my daughter who inherited the plasma, I was always surprised by how good it was.
 
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