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JIMV
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Re: RIAA Curve

Thanks...the article I spoke of spoke specifically of columbia recordings from the early 1960's sounding better with columbia equalization, it also notes that the Beatles "let it be" on Apple was also not recorded using RIAA and that was also well after the 1954 universal change to RIAA.

I do assume all modern recordings are done to one standard.

linden518
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Re: RIAA Curve

The RIAA issue seems very real, and I'd be curious to test out some of the amps. Obviously, the Zanden phono stage is priced astronomically high. I think Gram Slee now makes an affordable phono stage with switchable RIAA curves. VAS Citation offers a solution, too, I think, as do that Sentec and the crazy EMT JPA-66. One that I'm most curious about is the Soundsmith Strain Gauge, as the system purportedly bypasses all RIAA issues, with the carts that utilize silicon beams & the proprietary preamp.

michaelavorgna
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Re: RIAA Curve

This is certainly a confusing issue. I spoke to a few friends who have extensive mono and 78 collections as well as early stereo and both use a phono preamp with adjustable eq. However both feel the majority of post-1956 LPs will be RIAA. This PDF gets into details about companies and curves (and some dates): from Rek-o-Kut

The Beatles example is interesting. I've heard about some different mixes for the original mono Rubber Soul where George Martin did not like the first pressing, feeling it was mixed too loud. This was 'fixed' with the 2nd pressing, which of course makes the first pressing more valuable even it is less desirable sound-wise. Shrug. I honestly don

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Re: RIAA Curve

I've heard the Sentec on a number of occasions and it certainly seemed to be a big hit at the last CES. Again for serious early LP collectors (especially mono) and certainly 78s, adjustable EQ seems advisable. Not to mention an appropriate cartridge...

Elk
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Re: RIAA Curve

Great discussion and interesting issue.

CECE
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Re: RIAA Curve
michaelavorgna
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Re: RIAA Curve

Hi DUP,

The KAB website uses frames so I'm not sure which page you were linking to. I'm guessing this RIAA page?

michaelavorgna
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Re: RIAA Curve

Yea, a very interesting subject. The only reason I'm aware of this is because I'm fortunate enough to have friends who are seriously into music from this era. And they're very generous with their knowledge and time.

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Re: RIAA Curve


Quote:
This is certainly a confusing issue. I spoke to a few friends who have extensive mono and 78 collections as well as early stereo and both use a phono preamp with adjustable eq. However both feel the majority of post-1956 LPs will be RIAA.

Roy Gregory did some dems at last year's RMAF, using the Zanden phono stage to apply the correct de-emphasis to some early LPs. But if I remember correctly, the LPs were from the 1950s.


Quote:
This PDF gets into details about companies and curves (and some dates): from Rek-o-Kut

A great resopurce. Thanks for the URL, Mike.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

michaelavorgna
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Re: RIAA Curve

My pleasure JA.

Jonathan Halpern originally sent me that Rek-O-Kut PDF and I thought it could help shed some light on this issue. I look forward to Keith Howard's technical primer on the RIAA curve.

CECE
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Re: RIAA Curve

And also they have 2 models for multiple RIAA stuff and settings for different types. checkout their pramp stuff for equlizations of different vintage records..stuff they mfg not just resell from otehrs

michaelavorgna
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Re: RIAA Curve

I'll check those out DUP - thanks. It seems to me that if someone is going to go down this road, they'd want a product that offers multiple (as in dozens+) eq options.

JIMV
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Re: RIAA Curve

nothing to do with your post...what about reissues of old stuff. Do they compensate for the old different systems or just copy what is there in RIAA. Is this a very dumb question?

linden518
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Re: RIAA Curve


Quote:
I've heard the Sentec on a number of occasions and it certainly seemed to be a big hit at the last CES.


Michael, did Jonathan run the Shindo Garrard through the Sentec during our Analog Drunkards night a couple months ago? I remember seeing it on the rack but don't know if he used it...

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Re: RIAA Curve


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...what about reissues of old stuff. Do they compensate for the old different systems or just copy what is there in RIAA. Is this a very dumb question?


Not a dumb question at all.

From what I have seen, reissues are RIAA equalized. Even most enthusiasts do not know that varies curves exist.

However, there may be reissues which use the original equalization for purchase by the cognoscenti.

JIMV
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Re: RIAA Curve

Thank you

michaelavorgna
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Re: RIAA Curve

Mr. selfdivider,

I am not going to tell because you shouldn

gkc
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Re: RIAA Curve

Again, you have no say in the matter. You are speaking from reading, not listening. You haven't listened to vinyl since 1983, by your own admission. 1983 was the beginning of digital. Vinyl playback has improved immeasurably since then. There is no comparison between what you can buy now for, say, $3,000, and what you could buy in 1983 for $20,000. No comparison. I know, because I have, as they say, skin in the game. You don't.

Digital is good. And I am grateful for the additions to my catalogue. But vinyl, on balance, sounds better. RIAA curves have nothing to do with it. I may be old, but since I started collecting vinyl (around 1958), RIAA has been standardized, as others on this thread have noted. If Columbia sounds bright in the upper midrange, and Philips sounds more muted in the same area, and RCA is wonderfully inconsistent, these quirks have more to do with the ears at the console than RIAA standards. And, guess what. Digital has the same quirks.

If you blindfolded me, I could hear the difference between Disney Hall, Severance Hall, the DAR in Washington, and Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. And I am not even a golden ear. Performances differ from hall to hall, and from conductor to conductor. And the differences are not subtle. And so do the recorded renderings of them. There is no "standard" sound, digital or analog. You sound like you believe that there is a flat standard that all recordings have to replicate. Get an equalizer. In the digital domain, if that turns you on. Then all your recordings can sound the same. How dull.

You can't judge any medium until you use contemporary playback equipment. Technology moves fast and efficiently. Vinyl has benefited as much as digital, if not more.

And you haven't heard it. Yet, you argue as though you have.

All of your arguments against vinyl are abstract and derived from the writings of others. You have nothing original to contribute. You have to listen before you can judge.

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Re: RIAA Curve

No technology in analog playback has not moved as quick as it does in digital. Why does it take a $100,000 spinning platter to sound so great when a $200 SACD/DVD-A player will still sound better as good or better, with a lot less effort, and much greater eas of use. LP is obsolete, not being upgraded, just marketed differently to those who want to follow the past. If it is how it was recorded anyway, whether digital or vinyl, why do they (the marketers) trumpet teh fact that some obsolete LP is now on some magic formula vinyl and of a certain weight? When ya get SACD/DSD DVD-A the material is the same format is the same. The LP is like stuggling to keep selling to the few, at absurd prices, and they keep trying to push some irrelevant detail as some miraculous breakthrough. The LP is 33 1/3 spinning obsolete vinyl, on some grossly over priced spinning platters. And it takes a mega thou$and$ phono cartridge? Mega buck phono pre amp, an don and on. Digital, it imporved video, tv, communications, it improved recorded sound, time to join the 21st century, and let the past go. Anything recorded recorded in digital will be better, with less fuss. The technology inside makes it all happen....and ya don't need teh $500 LP cleaning nachine, to make teh mega buch phono cartridge, work in the multi thousand tone arm, sitting on teh $100K platter, controlled by some retarded priced speeed control...to play the grossly over priced 200/180 gram slab of oil based vinly. Christ, the future wants to even stop burning the black crap as fuel, so let's stop using it for a recording media. And I have a TT tone arms and a pile of LPs'. SACD digital beats em all. And they are new, re issues, stuff from over 30 years ago, all the clouded talk about which one is better, I have the experience, and the LP lovers are out of touch. Or just deaf How do you like that rotary phone, knob tuner on teh 1963 GE tv, with rabbit ears?

JIMV
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Re: RIAA Curve

The problem with 'great vinyl' is that, in addition to very deep pockets, it involves serious tweaking not just to set up but to routinely use. 'Great' digital si no harder to set up and use than mediocre digital...and that is easier then mediocre vinyl.

linden518
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Re: RIAA Curve

Hey, JIMV. I partly agree with you. It's definitely easier getting 'optimal' performance out of a digital system than an analog one. But there are so many vinyl aficionados who love $500 set-ups, the Technics users. The Denon direct drive users. They don't have deep pockets & may not even be serious tweakers. But they're definitely not stupid when it comes to music & I'm sure they'd tell you their records on their modest set-ups sound better to them than from CDs on a $1K CDP. Our own Stephen M, too, uses Rega P3-24, which retails for ~ $1K. With the VPI 16.5 record cleaner, the set-up costs roughly the same as Cambridge Audio 840C, a very highly regarded CDP. I won't even speculate as to Rega vs. Cambridge Audio 840C in terms of sound quality. I've had 840C in my system for a while, though, and all I can say is that it found a way out. Of course, this is all a matter of preference (which some fanatics & fascists at this and other forums refuse to accept for some odd reason).

I also agree that in general, CD production quality is better than LPs, especially considering that most of us are purchasing LPs that are used (although new LPs sound consistently better than CDs in my system.) But still, many of the $1 LPs I picked up sound better than the costlier CDs I picked up. The Heifetz RCA Shaded Dog Brahms Concerto, for example, which I also have on CD. I have some audiophile friends who discourage me from ransacking the bargain $1 bins, but I've had far too great of a success to not go there. I've picked up some gems, especially classical music.

JIMV
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Re: RIAA Curve


Quote:
Hey, JIMV. I partly agree with you. It's definitely easier getting 'optimal' performance out of a digital system than an analog one. But there are so many vinyl aficionados who love $500 set-ups, the Technics users. The Denon direct drive users. They don't have deep pockets & may not even be serious tweakers.

Count me in that world (Thorens TD170, parasound phono amp, $40 cartridge, and basic cables in my vinyl system) BUT, I do not confuse my $800 system with even a $700 CD player with a $100 cable. Not even a close race. That is my problem with the debate. Folk are making claims for the sort of systems you note that are simply not true.


Quote:
But they're definitely not stupid when it comes to music & I'm sure they'd tell you their records on their modest set-ups sound better to them than from CDs on a $1K CDP.

Note the bolding


Quote:
Our own Stephen M, too, uses Rega P3-24, which retails for ~ $1K. With the VPI 16.5 record cleaner, the set-up costs roughly the same as Cambridge Audio 840C, a very highly regarded CDP. I won't even speculate as to Rega vs. Cambridge Audio 840C in terms of sound quality. I've had 840C in my system for a while, though, and all I can say is that it found a way out. Of course, this is all a matter of preference (which some fanatics & fascists at this and other forums refuse to accept for some odd reason).

You seem to note my objection to the debate. I wish I had the money for your CD rig but I can say with what I consider to be absolute assurance, that it is less tweaky, sounds inherently better, and plays a media more consistenly well than any similiarly proced vinyl rig, period.


Quote:
I also agree that in general, CD production quality is better than LPs, especially considering that most of us are purchasing LPs that are used (although new LPs sound consistently better than CDs in my system.) But still, many of the $1 LPs I picked up sound better than the costlier CDs I picked up. The Heifetz RCA Shaded Dog Brahms Concerto, for example, which I also have on CD. I have some audiophile friends who discourage me from ransacking the bargain $1 bins, but I've had far too great of a success to not go there. I've picked up some gems, especially classical music.

CD selection is exactly like record selection. Pick the good stuff and not the cult favorites with the psychodelic covers. CD's are engineered just like vinyl and the performance depends on the quality of that engineering. I have yet to buy a Holly Cole or Loreena McKennit or Nora Jones CD that is not engineered well. If I buy the CD used, it either plays or doesn't and if it does, it plays as well as new. Cannot say that for used vinyl.

I buy vinyl because I can get performances that were never shifted to CD. I do not buy vinyl with an inherent, nay, religious, awe of the tweaky process and odd quirks associated with playing it.

linden518
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Re: RIAA Curve


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I buy vinyl because I can get performances that were never shifted to CD. I do not buy vinyl with an inherent, nay, religious, awe of the tweaky process and odd quirks associated with playing it.


Same here. Which is one reason I don't mind the bargain bin LPs, b/c I can get a Radu Lupu recital disc or out of print Krystian Zimerman LP for 2 or 3 bucks. Not possible w/ CDs at all, getting that kind of material. Plus, the $1 or 50-cent records I get, as I've said, are mostly of pretty great quality, not to mention difficult/impossible to get on digital. That's such a bonus... I've never bought a 50-cent CD, even at used CD stores, and usually the ones in the clearance bins are the ones I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.

I'm not a tweaker by any means, as I'm pretty mechanically inept. I was going to cry when I succeeded in tying the knot of the nylon string belt for my TT the first time. But I do enjoy the process of laying down the LP on the platter, dry brushing it, then lowering the needle onto the grooves. It's not of some 'religious awe,' but something far more naturally pleasant & instinctive. Like dbowker's son, my daughter is also very fond of listening to records with me. Sure you can chalk that up to a simple childish curiosity, but consider most of our lifelong passions are borne out of simple curiosities. I do realize there is a cultish aspect of analog that borders on lunacy & comedy, i.e. the discussion on which dental floss works best as a belt, etc. Still, there is a crowd - most of us - who just love to put that record on, simply.

Still, the music that follows, no doubt, is the primary reason for my preference. I love it and I find it pretty silly when people try so damn hard to say I (or other vinyl lovers) love to listen to records primarily or only because of the ritual or the experience. Like they're some ultimate mind-readers who see into the deepest depths of our hearts? LOL, lame. They can keep drinking that hatorade, I don't care.

But your points about CDs being more accessible & easy to optimize, I totally get. Which is also why I have a reasonably good digital system I love listening to.

gkc
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Re: RIAA Curve

How would YOU know, JIMV? You haven't bought OR heard vinyl since 1983. You have no reference, other than rumor and the unfounded ramblings of others.

Look. Endorse digital. I have no problem with this. But do NOT pretend to understand vinyl if you have no GROUNDS. I tweak my analog LESS than I tweak my digital. And it still sounds better.

You are mouthing cliches and bad generalizations that you have gleaned from others, who probably do the same.

If you haven't experienced contemporary vinyl playback (and, by your own self-admission, you haven't, for 25 years!!! What if somebody told you that digital is lousy, and that HE hadn't listened to it since 1983?).

I own both. I love both. I prefer vinyl on balance, or at the margin, however you want to see it. At average-to-expensive price points. I know. You do not. You are 25 years behind the curve concerning vinyl.

You have no idea about the "serious tweaking...(necessary) to routinely use" vinyl. You do not HAVE contemporary vinyl playback gear. If you are going to generalize, at least do so with the weight of experience behind you.

There is NO "serious tweaking" involved with MY analog playback equipment. None. I have a $2000 analog system, a $17,000 analog system, and a $28,000 analog system (by "system," I mean turntable, arm, pick-up, and phono preamp). On balance, each system outperforms digital at its price point. On balance. Not always. At the margin. Not always. And NONE of this equipment requires "serious tweaking." Or even NON-serious tweaking.

Once again, you prove that you have no idea what you are talking about.

Enjoy your digital, as I shall enjoy mine. But stop pretending that you are a qualified judge of vinyl playback equipment, when you are 25 years behind the curve.

dbowker
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Re: RIAA Curve

Yeah, what Clifton said.

Seriously, if I want to tweak my analogue rig and squeeze some more out I can- but I definitely don't need to. Once set up it just runs and sounds great. Noise and crackle free, no rumble, just better sound and more fun than anything else I've heard. I have a digital setup too (Rega Apollo and a lossless ipod setup). I don't hate digital but it just doesn't do it for me by and large. I was just yesterday over listening to a friend's more expensive digital setup with itunes and a new Benchmark DAC and it sounded great. Still not MY thing but that's OK too.

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Re: RIAA Curve

You folks might find this very telling.

I've got a DEQX unit. A 2.6P. Very nice. It is capable of decoding digital into analog a 24/96..and then sending a signal to 3 sets of stereo channels, in the digital domain and it acts as a very malleable crossover for three stereo output channels. Ie, a three way crossover.

I put in components in an intelligent sense, components of the best quality that can be found. The parts cost, calculated at standard manufacturing pricing procedures..would elevate the DEQX to a list price of $12000.

As you would imagine, compared to the stock units, it sounds very...very good.

I tried to sell it on Audiogon. $4K. New stock units sell for more.

Nobody wanted it.

Why? As far as I can tell, advocates of digital..seem to think that 'parts make no difference'. They just don't get it. A sweeping generalization, for sure, but that's the overall consensus.

Digital audio: Music and technology based de-elocution lessons for audiophiles.

JIMV
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Re: RIAA Curve


Quote:
Again, you have no say in the matter. You are speaking from reading, not listening. You haven't listened to vinyl since 1983, by your own admission. 1983 was the beginning of digital. Vinyl playback has improved immeasurably since then. There is no comparison between what you can buy now for, say, $3,000, and what you could buy in 1983 for $20,000. No comparison. I know, because I have, as they say, skin in the game. You don't.

All true, but I have followed digital very closely through fad and fashion and can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that the digital world today is nothing like 1983 as well. The vinyl systems I have heard have been what I would consider basic and are little better than in 1983 except the media itself is mostly used. A very pricy vinyl system should/will sound vastly different than what I hear today, but I do not know anyone who has even $10K in vinyl gear. Dollar for dollar todays digital tops vinyl at price levels I see and know.


Quote:
Digital is good. And I am grateful for the additions to my catalogue. But vinyl, on balance, sounds better. RIAA curves have nothing to do with it. I may be old, but since I started collecting vinyl (around 1958), RIAA has been standardized, as others on this thread have noted. If Columbia sounds bright in the upper midrange, and Philips sounds more muted in the same area, and RCA is wonderfully inconsistent, these quirks have more to do with the ears at the console than RIAA standards. And, guess what. Digital has the same quirks.

Would you say that if CD's from company A sounded different than CD's from company B? I doubt it. You would probably say, correctly, the the media has a flaw and warn folk to watch out.


Quote:
All of your arguments against vinyl are abstract and derived from the writings of others. You have nothing original to contribute. You have to listen before you can judge.

And all your commentary is simly personal opinion so far, coupled with attacks on those who dare to disagree. Either the equalization matters or does not, either the media produces a limited dynamic range or it doesn't. Either the channel separation is less or its not. You have not addressed those issues, just posted opinion. I believe emperically the data does show vinyl limited as to range, channel separation, and equalization in many cases. Good gear will get more of what is in the grooves than poor gear but even if one got all that is in the grooves, and no noise or vinyl artifacts, you still have about 30db less dynamic range possible than in digital, far less channel separation and the same equalization problems folk write of.

That is all undoubtedly true. It leaves different questions. Does good vinly produce better sound in the areas it does accurately reproduce than digital...that is the question and that is the real case for great vinly.

$1000 dollar systems playing used vinyl are for hobby folk, not music lovers, folk who live to tweak, fiddle, and often seem to confuse noise with the music, vinyl flaws with the 'experience'.

I'll stick with getting vinyl, good or bad, that has music I cannot find in CD's so I can rediscover artists and recordings long forgotten by most folk. That is the experience for me, not any pretend superiority of the media on any sort of a system I can afford.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: RIAA Curve

Most advocates of digital are listening NOT on players upwards of $1K. For the most part they are into the convenience of mp3s and listening on cheap ear buds. I am taling about where the masses live, not audiophiles.

I also believe that you must spend upwards of $1K in a TT to begin to get all that it can offer. And, with a phono stage and decent cartridge, about $2K is the bottom for great analogue. I would also bet money that for most people their CD player is now their DVD player and that few "videophiles" have 3 or 4 sytems around the house. I would not consider the Wave Radio a "system", although you might.

I would also agree that vinyl enthusiasts have much to overcome as with any totally mechanical medium. To deal with sound quality all over the place in vinyl that is not as bad in CD, but they are doing their best to keep up.

I have heard here at the house Thorens (800s) 850s, Music Hall 5, 7, & 9, Dual CS 5000 (and back as far as 1209 and 1228s) and my current totally refurbished 502, Rega P3, and I have preferred them all to most of my CD collection.

I have run that through a Cairn Fog, Jolida JD100, Music Hall 25, Audio Analogue Maestro ($2500 retail), Sony 755 SACD, (all great to good players), yet I still listen to more vinly at home than I do CDs. I am even willing to go through more work to do so. I have also had enough CD-rom failues to think less of the digital format. Yet, there are some discs that do sound remarkable, as do most of my SACDs. But, with little support for SACD, I could wish for a pony for Christmas as well.

I also consider lps cut at 33 1/3 and 45 rpm as the cd equivilent of a sample rate issue. I have to get out of my chair enough at 33 1/3 as it is and not have to worry about the "nascar issues" at 45 rpm, especially with slightly warped discs. I am most glad for the vinyl resurgence and those who will keep me in new vinyl releases. Shelby Lynne gets it. We will see who else does.

For most the sound is what drives us to keep playing vinyl, and I still find remarkable that with all of the mechanical issues to overcome to sound as great as it does most of the time, a remarkable achievement.

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