You are here

Log in or register to post comments
geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Are SACDs compressed?

Just wondering, are SACDs involved in the loudness wars like Redbook CDs? for hybrid SACDs is the Redbook layer equivalent to the Redbook CD in all respects including dynamic range? if the Redbook CD layer is compressed on hybrid SACDs does that necessarily mean the SACD layer is also compressed? or do the powers that be consider SACD off limits for dynamic range compression?

Geoff Kait
machine dynamica

Astacide
Astacide's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: Oct 26 2015 - 9:04am
All about the mix

The dynamic range compression is something that the mix engineer decides when mixing and mastering the content, not by the format itself. As far as file size compression, the audio is DSD-audio, which is effectively the closest representation possible for a digital audio signal. So much so that it has been dubbed "the final audio format" in some circles. It's used for archiving in some studios. Back to mixing. Generally, most SACD mixes are done in 5.1 and specifically with audio quality in mind. Generally gonna have a less "loudness war" influenced mix in that case. On a normal stereo mix, instruments can only be separated so much in the stereo image. In 5.1, you have 5 speakers to move your sound around the room, which leads to less of a challenge in keeping instruments from stepping on each other in the mix. None-the-less, the mix engineer is the captain of compression.

Regards,
Blake Rizzo

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
It makes sense for CDs to be

It makes sense for CDs to be compressed since the sound can then be made louder, presumably for the iPod generation, the ones who are buying most of the CDs. But SACDs are marketed to a different uh market, presumably older folks with deeper pockets and systems that can play things with high dynamic range. So I would not expect SACDs - at least the SACD layer of Hybrid discs - to be compressed dynamic range wise. The question is, and it's an important one, is the Redbook CD layer marketed to the same market as the SACD or is the CD layer marketed to the younger mobile crowd? I do not wish to listen to say the last few Dylan CDs or the last couple Stones CDs or the last few Led Zeppelin CDs on regular CDs (that are all aggressively compressed) IF I can purchase the HYBRID SACD VERSIONS - assuming there are such things - which have uncompressed Redbook CD layers? Or ANY HYBRID SACDs that have uncompressed CD versions of music that was released on standard CD only in compressed format.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Nellomilanese
Nellomilanese's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: Feb 9 2013 - 9:30am
Re:

As mentioned by others...technically the cd layer of a sacd can be compressed but I have yet to encounter an Sacd with a compressed cd layer. Sacd are for a different demographic clientele...one that cares about sound quality. ALL my Sacd have the cd layer at the same level as the sacd layer...no compression.
For what it's worth I would care more about the quality of the recording on some Sacd. Yes there are some Sacd that are just cds up sampled. I have a Marvin Gaye sacd that I swear sounds worst than a Norah Jones mp3 file ! Same thing for Audio BluRay....bought a few...total flop...most of them sound worst than my early 90's cds! Go figure.
I have a good system and an extensive collection of cds, vinyls, bluerays and ALL formats can sound amazing or like crap. In the end it's just a matter of chasing THE RIGHT RECORDING.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
This is weird!

Here's a copy of two lines from the official dynamic range database for two Bib Dylan SACDs. Note the EXTREME. On procession on street legal. But dynamic range is quite good on the second album. The numbers shown are average Dynamic Range, Lowest Dynamic Range and highest Dynamic Range, where the numbers are representations only not in decibels. Anything below 10 means compressed rather severely.

Bob Dylan Street-Legal [SACD - SACD layer] 2003 08 08 09 lossless CD
Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks [SACD multichannel stereo downmix] 2003 14 12 16 lossless CD

I will provide data for any artist or group on request. In the case of Dylan there are SO many albums and reissues it's difficult to generalize results. Same for Pink Floyd, Stones, any body with a long history.

So just based on that info we know all SACD layers are not uncompressed and by extension perhaps that all CD layers on hybrid SACDs are not uncompressed.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
the recording? the format?

If you have a system that only plays one sound, how can you possibly play different recordings and or formats to their potential?

This conversation is so "old news" and so "limited" that it has remained a cycle topic that will never go away until the hobby gets past it's "fixed sound" mentality.

"I have a Marvin Gaye sacd that I swear sounds worst than a Norah Jones mp3 file ! Same thing for Audio BluRay....bought a few...total flop...most of them sound worst than my early 90's cds! Go figure.
I have a good system and an extensive collection of cds, vinyls, bluerays and ALL formats can sound amazing or like crap. In the end it's just a matter of chasing THE RIGHT RECORDING."

the above is half the battle

The other half is getting back to making variable audio systems again.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
No matter what color you paint the donkey

You can make variable audio systems til you're blue in the face. This discussion is not, or at least it is not intended to be, about formats, it's intended to be about under-achieving formats that have been promoted as being far superior to analog, specifically vinyl but I also include cassette tape and reel to reel. It is the failure -and perhaps for some good reason - of digital to deliver the goods in many cases, some of which I have already described. Music is all about dynamics and restricting dynamic range is akin to castrating the prize winning bull. You can tweak or tune till the cows come home but it will not change the fundamental situation, which is the deliberate limiting of audio performance at the source. All you can do is optimize whatever you've got. You cannot overcome inherent dynamic range compression. Things are tough enough trying to resurrect the sound buried in these records and discs without being hair lipped by the Governor. Getting SACDs or CDs that are what 6 to 10 dB down from their vinyl cousins is not good not matter how you try to paint it. Look at it this way. You buy a Ferrari and you drive it somewhere say out in the desert where you can wind it out and see hiw it performs. After all, it is a Ferrari, right? But when you get it out in the desert you discover, to your horror, that there is a rev limiter built into the Ferrari. So, instead being able to wind the thing out into the red at what 8000 RPM the damn thing craps out at 6500 RPM. The sons a bitches out a rev limiter in it. Same thing when you get readings like 8 9 10 on the a Dynamic Range Database for your CD or SACD. The fix is in. You've been rev limited. No matter what color you paint the donkey it's still a donkey. When push comes to shove as far as I can tell on the Dynamic Range Database when you cannot find any CD or SACD with dynamic range numbers in the green, you can usually count on vinyl records to give you dynamic ranges solidly in the green, up around 12-16 on the scale used on the database.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
getting back to systems and tests

As our friend said above, you can go out and buy any of these formats and have hit and miss results.

The interesting part is, these results vary from system to system. This can be referenced as far back as music reviews have been published. An example of this can be found in one of my visits to TAS's Tom Miiller, where we took several of his panned recording reviews recordings, tuned them in, and the reviews went from panned to glory.

Fact is you can't remove the equipment, both testing and playback, out of the equation. If your looking at the database, you must also look at the equipment performing these results, and when you start to do this you find that the testing itself has no quality standards. Random testing submitted by random people using random equipment doing the testing.

Ferrari and VW's have a common technology for their performance, it's called "tuning". A tuned VW will beat up on an out-of-tuned Ferrari all day long. As well an MP3 with the right conditions, will beatup any of the other formats in the wrong conditions.

bottom line is Geoff

When you write about these topics, you should come prepared to do the testing yourself or consult with others who do. There are many levels to this hobby and many differing tests and results, all of which are based on more than reading a datasheet. It's good that we collect peoples testing and opinions of these testings but the truth comes from personal experience and what each of us finds in our own particular settings.

I enjoy all the formats, but to grade them without the best case conditions is not an audio test at all, but someone who has a ways to go in the hobby of listening.

I also see that you use a Sony Walkman Portable Cassette Player as your referencing system. How does this stack up against a middle of the road vinyl setup, and what is that vinyl setup?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
It doesn't have to be Hit and Miss

Michael wrote,

"As our friend said above, you can go out and buy any of these formats and have hit and miss results."

If one consults the Official Dynamic Range Database one won't get hit and miss results, at least in terms of dynamic range. Obviously recordings vary due to many factors. I don't think that's headline news. But at least we can home in on music that is dynamic - as opposed to sounding like a radio - using the dynamic range database. One also is clued into the fact that vinyl records provide the most consistent level of dynamic range according to the DR database. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Michael also wrote,

"The interesting part is, these results vary from system to system. This can be referenced as far back as music reviews have been published. An example of this can be found in one of my visits to TAS's Tom Miiller, where we took several of his panned recording reviews recordings, tuned them in, and the reviews went from panned to glory."

Another non-headline. Of course all systems are different. I doubt there is anyone who would disagree with that statement. You might as well say the sky is Blue. But what I am saying is no matter what you do to improve the system, by improving room acoustics, improving cabling, tweaking the system, CD treatments, employ isolation, etc. the dynamic range of the CD or vinyl limits the performance of the system - no matter how much you can improve the system performance. It's the Ferrari rev limiter analogy! You can tune the Ferrari every which way to Sunday, you can even cryogenically treat the engine, but if there's a rev limiter in place you will NOT be able to get up into the higher revs. Which is where the POWER is. Hel-looo!

"No matter how much you have in the end you would have had even more if you started out with more in the beginning." - old audiophile expression

Michael also wrote,

"bottom line is Geoff

When you write about these topics, you should come prepared to do the testing yourself or consult with others who do. There are many levels to this hobby and many differing tests and results, all of which are based on more than reading a datasheet. It's good that we collect peoples testing and opinions of these testings but the truth comes from personal experience and what each of us finds in our own particular settings."

If you wouldn't set yourself up as some sort of paragon of truth and experience it would be much appreciated. Especially in light of all of the lies you've been caught at. Do you think I just conveniently forgot about them? Besides, I am an experienced tester. You're just grousing. The conclusions that can be drawn from the Dynamic Range Database - which is what this thread is really about, not some wild goose chase of incessant tuning you appear determined to change it to - don't actually require testing, my fluffy headed friend. They require only knowing how to interpret the data. Hel-looo!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Snapshots from the Offical Dynamic Range Database

First the numbers. the Transition occurs around 9, 10, 11.

bad. transition good
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

OK, here's a snapshot of a section of one page of Rolling Stones releases showing a number of vinyl releases. Note high dynamic range. the first number represents the AVERAGE dynamic range measured, the second number the LOWEST DR and the third number is the highest DR measured

The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed [vinyl] i 2003 12 11 14 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers [vinyl] i 1986 13 11 15 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup [vinyl] i 1979 11 10 12 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones It's Only Rock'n Roll [vinyl] i 1986 13 11 15 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Black And Blue [vinyl] i 1976 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Some Girls [vinyl] i 1978 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Dirty Work [vinyl] i 1986 14 11 17 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Undercover [vinyl] i 1983 13 12 15 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue [vinyl] i 1980 14 13 16 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Tattoo You [vinyl] i 1981 13 12 15 lossless Vinyl

Next up, here's another snapshot of Rolling Stones releases, showing some CD releases. Note abysmally low dynamic range.

The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers [Super Deluxe Edition] CD3 i 2015 06 05 08 lossy CD
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers [Super Deluxe Edition] CD2 i 2015 07 05 07 lossy CD
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers [Super Deluxe Edition] CD1 i 2015 07 05 10 lossy CD

And,

The Rolling Stones Love is Strong [4 trk single] i 1994 08 07 10 lossless CD
Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue i 2009 08 06 09 lossless CD
The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers (Deluxe Edition) (SHM-CD) i 2015 06 05 10 lossless CD

And,

The Rolling Stones Undercover i 2009 08 07 08 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Some Girls [Deluxe Edition] [HD Tracks 24/96 bonus disc] 2011 07 05 09 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Some Girls [Deluxe Edition] [HD Tracks 24/96, original album] 2011 06 05 07 lossless Unknown

And finally,

The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang--Universal reissue i 2009 06 05 08 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones A Bigger Band (Special Edition--CD only) i 2005 06 05 08 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Goats Head Soup (1973) i 2009 06 05 07 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Love You Live (Universal Remaster) Disc 2 i 2009 06 04 09 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Love You Live (Universal Remaster) Disc 1 i 2009 06 05 08 lossless Unknown

Any questions?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
OK, let's take a look at Bob Dylan

Here is a smattering of Bob Dylan CD releases to illustrate the vagaries of compression in popular CDs. It pays to check out what you'll be getting in terms of dynamic range on the Dynamic Range Database before you buy. It goes without saying that the Dynamic Range Database does not provide guidance for other audio parameters audiophiles hold dear such as frequency response, transparency, depth of field, tonality, warmth, sweetness, tonality, etc.

Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind 1997 12 11 15 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan Modern Times i2006 07 06 09 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan Tempest 2012 09 05 12 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966, The Royal Albert Hall Concert [disc 2] 1998. 08 07 08 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan World Gone Wrong i1993 12 11 14 lossless Unknown
Bob Dylan Together Through Life [Deluxe Edition 2-CD] i2009 08 07 10 lossless Unknown

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
the sky is blue

Fact is geoff, from our view the sky is many colors. That's because we are the end user doing the viewing. Same goes for playing back recordings, which from the last I checked, that's what this hobby is.

Again backing up what our friend said earlier and what is being experienced by listeners all over the world. There are two parts to this and looking at a database is not the same as listening.

geoff says any questions

1) Yes, where is this test conducted? If it's a standard for us to follow than there must be a testing facility to which these test are made.

2) What are the variables with these tests? Meaning what is the plus or minus of the results? All testing has a margin of error + or -. In audio a margin of error is huge for the end listening results.

3) What is the EQ settings for these tests? We are all aware that vinyl and tape have EQ settings to choose which makes the results varied. In the case of CD the industry doesn't use an EQ out of the gate, this is because when CD's came out the EQ was a component available in most playback systems. CD is the only source that has not had the same attention as the others.

In our testing we have found that when you give the CD their own set of variables they compete just find against the other sources.

4) geoff, have you actually done EQ testing on Redbook CD's?

geoff, you may be able to talk on a starter level and even pull a few beginners in, and you are able to start audio forum wars, but this means little to the more advanced listeners out there that use more than earphones on a portable cassette player.

Let's move beyond the shallows and get to system tuning.

here's the facts

This is a hobby that has a beginning and moves forward from there through learning and experience. Each step along the way shows us that the more we tune our systems the more we get in return. Producing vinyl this was discovered, same with tape and this is being found true with files. The CD was never given the same choice because of the rush to market a "perfect" source. Well we have realized since then that every source needs EQing in order to match the end use conditions to the recording itself. We don't put on tape and vinyl without adjusting, and we are quickly finding out the same holds true for files. CD's however was that format that fell right in the middle and because it was called digital, and also because the trend of discrete hit at the same time among the hi end (foolishly) the compact disc never got the same study and technical assistance that the previous formats did.

Fact is, you EQ a CD and give it the same attention as any other source and your results are going to improve dramatically.

The way that I EQ (tune) I actually find that the CD in many cases goes further than a lot of other sources because of their limitations. So making the blanket statements, or doing DRT on un-tuned EQ is a few levels below advanced listening. OK for starters, but for the skilled audiophile, who not only chooses recordings that work well on his or hers system, but also knows how to tune his system for the different formats, it's a little on the shallow side.

We moved beyond with tables, and we did it with tape, in time we as audiophiles will move forward with all the sources given to us. It's all about us learning how to tune our hobby.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
There you go again! Off on your own wild goose chase.

Are you crazy? Things must be real slow in ToonLand to elicit such a non sequitur response. All of your so called questions are irrelevant to the discussion. You can forget about EQ, testing, tone, soundstage, or whatever is upsetting you. They are for another discussion, for another day. This thread is not about testing or EQ or any such thing. It's about the data contained in the Official Dynamic Range Database. It is also about why generally speaking vinyl rules the day when it comes to consistently delivering the goods when it comes to DYNAMIC RANGE. And why CD and SACD frequently delivers a VERY inferior product when it come to DYNAMIC RANGE. Even for new releases! This is what the Loudness Wars are all about, silly. Have you been asleep? Do you even know what dynamic range is? Help is on the way....

Music
In music, DYNAMIC RANGE is the difference between the quietest and loudest volume of an instrument, part or piece of music[citation needed]. In modern recording, this range is often limited through dynamic range compression, which allows for louder volume, but can make the recording sound less exciting or live.[31]

The term dynamic range may be confusing in music because it has two conflicting definitions, particularly in the understanding of the loudness war phenomenon.[32][33] Dynamic range may refer to micro-dynamics,[34][35][36] related to crest factor,[37][38] whereas the European Broadcasting Union, in EBU3342 Loudness Range, defines dynamic range as the difference between the quietest and loudest volume, a matter of macro-dynamics.[32][33][39][40][41][42]

Try to get back on the rails, Michael. Figure out what this thread is actually about then respond accordingly. So far you're just shooting blanks in the dark.

To help you try to keep up here's the link to the Official Dynamic Range Database. Enter any artist or group in the space provided at the very top of the page to see dynamic range results. Also notice how the color changes from RED to ORANGE to RED based on the numerical representation of dynamic range in case you're having trouble with the numbers.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/3?artist=Bob+dylan

Have a nice day,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Moving right along

OK, now were going to look at an example, actually a very good example, of the progressive aggressive dynamic range compression that has been affecting a lot of music over the past 20 years or so. I'm providing a link to a page of the Official Dynamic Range Database for The Clash. As you look over the various releases notice how all green (good dynamic range) for early releases changes to all red (bad dynamic range) for recent releases. Then back to all green moving to the bottom of the page as the dates of release go back in time. Back in time to when dynamic range was not aggressively compressed.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=The+clash&album=

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
the pro dude

Hi geoff

Well, as you call me "the pro dude" it might serve you well to study a little more before making comments, which has been suggested many times by many people you have trolled on many audio forums.

At the same time I do appreciate you posting quotes so people can read some of what others say about these topics.

fact is

In order for our hobby to gain more of a knowledge on recordings and playback the industry, hobby and hobbyist would benefit by learning, even experiencing first hand, the process of production so they can understand the variables involved. If they and you do, it will be found that the audio chain, as a process, starts back at the beginning of the recording and along the way has many options available for not only different markets that require various dynamic ranges, but also the industry is moving toward a new frontier of playback formatting of which SACD was part of the experiements.

As with all the formats of the past the audio industry finds new and sometimes improved formats for certain applications that have a plus for certain users. Something "new" has always caught the ear of the audiophile trends, as well something "used". The debate over what is best will not be solved by some user database that has no standards, but it's a start in getting the hobbyist to look at the variables that do exist in our hobby.

The now & next step of the hobby is putting the end user back in the driver seat which is where high end audio got de-railed for a minute. A better understanding and more involved hobbyist is our next and maybe best generation for the audiophile. Will some of the old-timers have an interest? I hope so, because their knowledge about the sound of the older formats are going to be needed, and maybe even reborn to a degree. So the database, even though at this point not so accurate, serves a purpose. Building the next generation testing and playback tools & methods however will make the current data-base in need of a redo.

With all these formats it comes down to some basics.

a variable recording
a source format (also variable)
a variable playback system

The audiophile movement is all about the variables, whether it's making an adjustment on the recording end, at the source, or in playback. The one thing that we have learned designing different formats, is change. With this we can either line up all the different formats and debate based on millions of points of views or we can read the message left to us, "there are millions of ways to view the same recording".

SACD has played it's role as has the Database, but this would be a mistake for anyone to say this is how I choose my music soley and blindly. The new world of files is evidence to the fact that this hobby has only just begun as it is based on Variables.

The faster we get to variable systems the faster we can get to the modern meaning of being an audiophile.

one last point from the pro dude lol

if you understood recording geoff, you would know that every recording is compressed to a degree :)

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

Nellomilanese
Nellomilanese's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: Feb 9 2013 - 9:30am
Bottom line is :

If you buy cds you get 1 or 2 well recorded out of 10.
If you buy vinyl you get around 7or 8 well recorded out of 10...or even 10 out of 10 if they're pre 1985 or so.
I have a BIG collection...and recently I picked up a George Michael "Faith" LP (first print...8 € used) just to compare it with my Sony DVD (all his hits)....well I tell you my jaw just dropped...the vinyl was ON A DIFFERENT PLANET...detail, dynamic, everything. I was hearing strokes and notes never heard b4 on the DVD (24bit 96khz? LOL ).
And this was a pretty used vinyl played on my Rega RP3 w Elys2 cart vs Oppo 103 player....pure analog on the amp for both.
Even after 5 sec into "Kissing a fool" the difference was just embarrassing!

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Response to the Pro Dude

Michael wrote,

"one last point from the pro dude lol

if you understood recording geoff, you would know that every recording is compressed to a degree :)"

I never said they weren't compressed to a degree, all of them. Obviously you're not going to get 130 dB or whatever of dynamic range from any home audio system like you can in real life. one does what one can. That's kind of the whole point. It's all relative. That's precisely why dynamic range is given in decibels, it's relative. And why the numbers and colors shown on the Official Dynamic Range Database represent RELATIVE DYNAMIC RANGE. But if you're still sticking your head in the sand and minimizing the differences in dynamic range shown on the Dynamic Range Database say between 8 and 14 then shame on you. or if you ignore the plain fact that digital has been compromised - even HD Tracks - then shame on you. When you say there are a million ways to view the same recording you're obviously ignoring the plain fact that if the recording is limited in DYNAMIC RANGE there's precious little you or anyone else can do about it. you cannot view it another way and magically make it go away. IT IS WHAT IT IS. The emperor has no clothes. Let the Official Dynamic Range Database be your guide. Without good dynamic range there an be no music. And the numbers 6, 7, 8 and 9 are very poor indeed. The numbers 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 on the other hand are very good indeed. But the pathetic dynamic range of many recent releases like Dylan's Love and Theft and Modern Times and Tempest ad the Rolling Stones' Bridges to Babylon and a Bigger Bang is pretty unacceptable.

Among other things, one point of my ramblings on dynamic range on this thread that I suspect hasn't sunk through the pro dude's head yet is the great big irony that while CDs promise 90 dB of dynamic range - 100 times greater than a very good vinyl set up - it is in fact vinyl that SOUNDS more dynamic than CDs in many cases. And in fact measures better in terms of dynamic range. Much better. Hel-looo! Now, if you insist on living in a limited pro audio world, a dynamic range limited world, it's mox nix to me.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Machines that Move

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
George Michael "Faith"

This is a great recording! I've have it in several formats on several systems.

One comment I might add to the discussion on this issue is, I don't recommend multi-source systems for comparisons.

This goes back to several threads I have talked on, as well on TuneLand. If you look into the input settings for your vinyl you will find it different from your line levels. This is an issue with many audiophiles who have not explored the tuning of CDP's. Setting up your TT and running it through your Phono stage is a different ball game than running a CDP through a line level.

It's sad that the reviewers and designers have not addressed this or in many cases even looked into how to tune a CDP. For many years the listener and reviewer and designer have bought into the idea that CD's are a fixed format, but this is not the case. Digital is only a language and if not treated with the same attention that is given to tape or vinyl, as it is passed as analog the results are going to be hit and miss at best.

As the member above says 7 or 8 out of 10. I totally agree, however on a system designed to tune the CDP we have found the results are quite different.

The Digital language is a completely different one than was used in the past, and you will find that it as well responds differently to components. Let me give you an example.

Take your vinyl, line level pre and play them switching between the different settings on your equipment. There have always been interference between the inputs, but this gets glossed over for the sake of marketing. You have your preamp with several inputs lined up next to each other. You also have a switching unit that allows you to go from one to another. Look at how close to each other they are. With vinyl and tape it is sensitive, but not nearly as sensitive as the effect that happens with CD's or any digital formats. Digital formats are more reactive to certain designing that the older formats didn't deal with, or as impactful.

Let's look past geoff's audio trolling for a momment and onto what is happening.

Tape & vinyl are technologies that use a different language and component specific parts to pass the audio signal. CDP's are based on DAC, which are different in their reaction to the mechanical conduits. Take a look at your 103 (BTW my favorite Oppo to tune). If you keep the top off and remove the transport casing, snip your wire ties, replace the feet with tuning blocks and hard wire the power cable, a couple other simple adjustments and you will be surprised at how much closer this CDP will sound compared to your Rega (which we are dealers for).

I like your Rega setup, but if you are comparing it to a naked CDP without any physical tuning there's your difference in sound. It's not the CD's, it's the fact that CDP tuning hasn't been impliment whereas tapes and TT's have been tweaking the mechanics forever. PreAmps have been built for tables and tapes and FM, but when CDP's came along the attention was never given to the mechanical needs and sensitivities of this format. This goes for Digital in general. However look at what happens as the digital formats of the future get treated as unique sources.

I can tell you right now if you were to do a comparison at one of our places you would not be able to tell the difference between our CDP's and tape or vinyl if you weren't looking at them.

stock to stock

Have any of you ever played a stock turntable? Not one no-where! Why should CDP's be any less important?

If designers don't know how to build them, and reviewers don't know how to tune them, don't blame the CD, blame high end audio for the oversight.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
That reads just like a ToonLand Promo

Michael wrote,

"I can tell you right now if you were to do a comparison at one of our places you would not be able to tell the difference between our CDP's and tape or vinyl if you weren't looking at them."

And I can tell you that you must be officially deaf if you cannot hear the difference between digital tape and vinyl. I had the world's most extensively modified Oppo 103 (yes, you heard me right, in the world!) and the difference between that unit as amazing as it was and a stock cassette tape on a stock (good) portable cassette player is like the difference between glass and diamond. When you piddle around with your little tuning stuff on the Oppo you really don't have an idea what that thing can sound like. The difference between the CD and the cassette is a paradigm shift, It has to do with the whole character of the sound. Oh, I almost forgot, you can't hear the difference between tape and CD. I take you at your word. But I can certainly understand that many audiophiles cannot hear properly or have mistakes in their systems so are unable to hear the differences between such two radically different sounds. C'est la vie. ;-)

So let the Tuning Academy Promotional tour continueth. Be my guest.

note to self - so far Mr. Green has failed to address the fundamental issue of this thread which is dynamic range and how it applies to SACDs, CDs and vinyl and how it has been compressed over the years to the point of ridiculousness. One assumes Mr. Green has no idea what I'm talking about and simply uses this thread as another platform for his rather tedious Tuning Rants. Oh, and to put me in place I suppose by calling me a troll. It's all so uh pedestrian.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
TuneLand

Actually, geoff kait is the one who calls himself an Audio Troll. Anyone can put geoff kait in a search engine and look for themselves, nothing new. Sadly newcommers to these sites usually encounter geoff before they realize that trolling is what he is doing and does. Truth be told geoff kait doesn't even have a stereo beyond a portable cassette player and zero test gear. This can all be seen on the threads here so again no biggie.

As far as TuneLand, we welcome listeners to visit and explore the potential of their systems. We cover TT, R2R, Cassette, all disc formats and files. We have several listening rooms and a variety of equipment coming in and out for system reviewing.

Our troll geoff, says we don't know the difference between sources to get a rise, but again he knows that we are perhaps the leader in comparing the variables between formats as well as the mechanics of components.

If you the listener find yourself having issues with your playback, stop by and we will help you turn your system into a tuning machine able to play all your sources and recordings.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Ouch! Very ouch!

Is that all you got? You're sputtering again. Maybe time for break.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
In which we look at Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin is an interesting case. Let's take a look at some of their catalog on the Official Dynamic Range Database, shall we?

Let's start off with Mothership, 2007, and Song Remains the Same, same year.

Led Zeppelin The Song Remains The Same - disc : 1 i 2007 08 07 08 lossless Unknown
Led Zeppelin The Song Remains The Same - disc : 2 i 2007 08 07 08 lossless Unknown
Led Zeppelin Mothership - 2 CD - disc : 1 i 2007 07 06 08 lossless Unknown
Led Zeppelin Mothership - 2 CD - disc : 2 i 2007 08 06 09 lossless Unknown

For comparison, look at Physical Graffiti, the original CD,

Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti - Disk 2 i 1987 12 11 13 lossless Unknown
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti - Disk 1 i 1987 13 12 15 lossless Unknown

And Presence CD (1990)

Led Zeppelin Presence 1990 13 12 14 lossless CD

Some vinyl releases, again for comparison.
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy 1973 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 1975 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Presence i 2006 14 13 15 lossless Vinyl

In Through the Out Door (Japan) CD. Dynamic range up the wazoo.

Led Zeppelin In Through The Out Door [Swan Song 32XD-423, Japan] i 1986 14 13 15 lossless CD

More early vinyl,

Led Zeppelin In Throgh The Out Door [vinyl] i 1982 13 13 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Presence [vinyl] i 1987 14 12 16 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same [vinyl] i 1982 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti [vinyl] i 1987 13 11 15 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy [vinyl] i 1987 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV [vinyl] i 1982 11 11 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III [vinyl] i 1987 11 10 12 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II [vinyl] i 1987 12 11 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I [vinyl] i 1987 11 11 12 lossless Vinyl

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Allen Fant
Allen Fant's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 21 hours ago
Joined: Sep 12 2010 - 3:42pm
Pretty good discussion -men.

Pretty good discussion -men.

Nello- go for the Rega RP-8, you will not look back after this purchase.
Others- the OP asks is it the format or recording? It will always be the recording/mixing, hit-and-miss,
regarding titles. CD has been compressed to death for the use-less i-Pod crowd. I rather enjoy SACD very much, there are titles that do not demonstrate the format in the proper light. Otherwise I would venture to say that the other 99% delivers the audio "goods".

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
A brief comment on SACDs

For SACDs like CDs I'm only focusing on dynamic range in this thread. Therefore I request that folks be more specific in their comments. Im not doubting that CDs can sometimes sound "very good." Or that they can have large sound stages or that they can sound smooth or detailed, etc. What I am contending is they have generally speaking become more compressed for both reissues and new releases. As for SACDs, I'm also not contesting the observation that many or most SACDs sound very good. That's not the issue. The issue is dynamic range. While many if not most SACDs that appear on the Dynamic Range Database for the selected artists I perused, most have high dynamic range, relatively speaking, but not higher than CDs or even vinyl of the same artist, necessarily. All is not well in SACD Land as illustrated by the following examples, taken from a few popular artists. Not all artists contained in the database have released SACDs. This is not to say there are many examples of SACDs with high dynamic range as well, but so are there examples of vinyl and CDs with high dynamic range.

Keep in mind this key to reading the numbers, and note GOOD doesn't begin until the number 14.

DR scale
bad
01 02 03 04 05 06 07

Transition
08 09 10 11 12 13

Good
14 15 16 17 18 19 20

SACDs compressed

The Who Tommy Deluxe Edition [SACD 2] i 2003 10 07 11 lossless Unknown
The Who Tommy Deluxe Edition [SACD 1] i 2003 08 06 10 lossless Unknown
The Who Live at The Royal Albert Hall (SACD) 2000 09 07 14 lossless Unknown

Peter Gabriel Us [SACD] i 2003 09 07 12 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan. Street-Legal [SACD, SACD layer] 2003 08 08 09 lossless CD
Bob Dylan. Oh Mercy [SACD-SACD layer] 2003 11 08 14 lossless CD

Jeff Beck Blow By Blow [SACD] i 2006. 09 08 10 lossless Unknown

Pink Floyd. Dark Side of the Moon [SACD] i 2003 10 09 11 lossless Downmix

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Nellomilanese
Nellomilanese's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: Feb 9 2013 - 9:30am
You busted my bubble :D

I have that edition of the Dark Side of the Moon Sacd...and all along I thought it's a showpiece for what the sacd format can do...now you busted my bubble with the 11 in DR LOL
Honestly I wanted to check that database to see what recordings from my collection score high but on a second thought I better not. I know i'll get biased immediately towards some records vs others just because of that score, so i'm just gonna play "ignorance is bliss" on this one and continue to enjoy ALL my records ;)
Sounds like a good plan!

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Some things it's best not to know (just kidding)

A lot of CDs I see for sale around town including some I actually purchase score rather poorly, even abysmally, on the Official Dynamic Range Database. Coincidence? Lol

I was disabused of my favorable bias toward Led Zeppelin's Mothership, for a long time arguing strenuously that that particular CD box set was not, could not, be compressed. Jimmy Page would simply not ALLOW that to happen, certainly. Boy is my face red. You know, since that particular box set is solidly in the RED. Another thing I find these days, when a CD is of questionable heritage I consult ye olde DR Database and lo and behold more frequently than not it's in the RED dynamic range wise. Perfect example - Dylan's CD of what ten years ago, Love and Theft. Modern Times, too. The horror! Are overly compressed CDs absolutely positively unlistenable? Well, yes and no. Nevertheless, some of my own favs like the relatively recent Stones A. Bigger. Bang CD, all recent Dylan CDs, almost all Radiohead CDs, all Green Day CDs and of course Mothership, to name a few, arrive DOA dynamic range wise with numbers solidly in the RED. More pissed off I could not be about them apples.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
sacd

N- you're right its the quality of the recording that trumps format.I have audio blu-rays that sound like crap and a few Redbook CDs that sound excellent.The important fact here is that no amount of Mickey Mouse "tuning" can make a bad recording sound good, and a really good recording doesn't need it.

Nellomilanese
Nellomilanese's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: Feb 9 2013 - 9:30am
Re: Bluray Audio

If there ever was a DOA (dead on arrival) audio format the BlurayAudio is the very definition. I go weekly to the most obscure hi-fi stores around and meet some of the most hard-core audiophiles around and I have yet to encounter 1 that collects Bluray Audio!
Already audiophiles are like what 1% of the population...the hard-core ones like 0,1% or less. Not even them are buying it! why would your average Joe would want to pay 15-20€ for a bluray that only does audio LOL he can buy like-new used cds on amazon for 1$ LOL
And you can rip it in mp3 or wav for ur phone or play it in the car.
It's too bad really because theoretically the Bluray Audio format should be superior to everything else...except sacd and dsd maybe (I prefer dsd vs pcm).

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Audiophiles and Blu Ray
Nellomilanese wrote:

If there ever was a DOA (dead on arrival) audio format the BlurayAudio is the very definition. I go weekly to the most obscure hi-fi stores around and meet some of the most hard-core audiophiles around and I have yet to encounter 1 that collects Bluray Audio!
Already audiophiles are like what 1% of the population...the hard-core ones like 0,1% or less. Not even them are buying it! why would your average Joe would want to pay 15-20€ for a bluray that only does audio LOL he can buy like-new used cds on amazon for 1$ LOL
And you can rip it in mp3 or wav for ur phone or play it in the car.
It's too bad really because theoretically the Bluray Audio format should be superior to everything else...except sacd and dsd maybe (I prefer dsd vs pcm).

Well, for starters I suspect the real percentage of the general population is probably more like 0.001% or less. And the number of hard core audiophiles is actually only 50 by my last count. Lol. But seriously, has anyone heard a Japanese SHM Blu Spec or for that matter an SHM (Super High-Performance Material, one assumes) CD from Japan? The out of print CDs are going for crazy prices on eBay. Speaking of Japan, is anyone else enamored of Japanese pressings in general, vinyl, CDs, Blu Ray, whatever?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

Nellomilanese
Nellomilanese's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 8 months ago
Joined: Feb 9 2013 - 9:30am
Re: Japanese prints

Yes I love the japanese versions/prints ! Very often they're far superior to their european or US versions in the audio quality (specially vinyl) and also the inlets and overall materials used are top notch (although at a high cost).
It helps that my brother-in-law travels to Japan often for work...last time I got myself the Bowers&Wilkins "Very Audiophile New Recordings" CD. I'm telling you in my collection to this day there's nothing that beats the sound quality out of that CD! You either cry from the 1st notes or you drool with your mouth open!

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
bluray

I've got six audio bluray discs. I bought them because,as you said,they SHOULD (in theory), have better sound. In fact,in my experience,they don't. I still believe they are capable of superior sound if someone would master them right. See if you can find Eric Clapton "slowhand" on SACD. It has excellent sound quality. Probably because it was recorded or remastered carefully.I have two Supertramp blu-rays, "Crime of the Century", and "Breakfast in America". They both have good sound,but so do the redbook CD's of the same recordings. I'm going to buy a pair of Martin Logan ESL's. Maybe the resolution of the new speakers will reveal a difference between formats.

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
trumps, sounds like a campaign speech

David says

"N- you're right its the quality of the recording that trumps format.

mg

Everything in the audio chain from the recording studio to your practice of listening dictates the sound.

David

"I have audio blu-rays that sound like crap and a few Redbook CDs that sound excellent."

mg

I believe your statement was "I have 300 CD's and only 10 of them sound good". This my friend is a system problem.

David

"The important fact here is that no amount of Mickey Mouse "tuning" can make a bad recording sound good, and a really good recording doesn't need it."

mg

It's no fact at all if you don't and haven't tuned. That's like saying you play a mean guitar without ever putting it in tune.

You can't make audio fiction into musical truth. You can raise your voice on any topic, but this only spells repetition, it has nothing to offer the guys who are well versed in tuning recordings.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Super High Material CD

For the discerning audiophile I thought I'd mention that the Japanese SHM CD sound quality is at least in part attributed to the better transparency offered by their special formulation of the polycarbonate layer. As I've been saying for ten years ever since I published the definitive explanation how the Intelligent chip works, the transparency of the clear layer is certainly an issue, you know, since the standard formulation of the polycarbonate layer is only around 90% transparent. So one can easily image the amount of laser light scattering and the attendant noise that must occur.

From the SHM Wikipedia page:
Super High Material CD

SHM-CD logo
SHM-CD is a digital optical disc data storage format. It is an improved compact disc format with the greatest change being a different polycarbonate material that allows more precise physical representation of stored bits during pressing and less laser scatter during reading. These improvements aim to facilitate playback by producing fewer errors and potentially better sound quality. SHM-CDs are played on a standard CD player.

The format was developed in Japan by Universal Music Japan and JVC. The same material can also be used to manufacture SHM-SACD discs.

The improved transparency also probably explains the boost in sound quality afforded by those super expensive glass CDs. Of course, one must be careful not to change the index of refraction of the clear layer as the physics of how the laser reads the data has all been worked out in advance and due to the nanoscale of the data and the light beam one should be careful not vary too far from the Index of Refraction of polycarbonate. Otherwise the carefully worked out geometry would be disrupted.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
CD

In the last few months I've bought 12 new CDs (on the Rolling Stones greatest albums list) and almost all of them have very good sound quality. They've all been remastered and I'm guessing someone is finally mastering them right. Patti Smith "Horses", Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison", Love "Forever Changes",U2 "The Joshua Tree", and Velvet Underground and Nico all have excellent sound quality. I take back whatever I said about crappy redbook CD quality. I now think the determining factor is the recording quality. I don't think the format means anything.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Rolling Stines
David Harper wrote:

In the last few months I've bought 12 new CDs (on the Rolling Stones greatest albums list) and almost all of them have very good sound quality. They've all been remastered and I'm guessing someone is finally mastering them right. Patti Smith "Horses", Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison", Love "Forever Changes",U2 "The Joshua Tree", and Velvet Underground and Nico all have excellent sound quality. I take back whatever I said about crappy redbook CD quality. I now think the determining factor is the recording quality. I don't think the format means anything.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Rolling Stone Greatest Albums List
David Harper wrote:

In the last few months I've bought 12 new CDs (on the Rolling Stones greatest albums list) and almost all of them have very good sound quality. They've all been remastered and I'm guessing someone is finally mastering them right. Patti Smith "Horses", Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison", Love "Forever Changes",U2 "The Joshua Tree", and Velvet Underground and Nico all have excellent sound quality. I take back whatever I said about crappy redbook CD quality. I now think the determining factor is the recording quality. I don't think the format means anything.

It would rather interesting to see how the remastered CDs fair on the Official Dynamic Range Database. I have not exactly contented if you read what I wrote that compressed CDs sound totally crappy, they only sound compressed. They can still sound very good in other respects. The issue I have is that I want my cake and eat it, too. I want it all and I want it now! Music is all about dynamics. If audiophiles hold up live unamplified music as the ideal to strive for, I have some news. Live unamplified music is not compressed. It's DYNAMIC.

From the ODRD...

The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground & Nico [45th Anniversary Remaster] i 2012 09 07 10 lossless CD

If that was NOT the remastered CD you purchased you dodged a bullet as the other issues of the CD have not been tampered with dynamically to that extent according to the ODRD. Most of the other CDs from the Rolling Stone list you mentioned actually have VERY HIGH dynamic range according to the ODRD. Which is most likely why they sound so GOOD.

For example, let's take Love,

Love Forever Changes 1987 13 11 15 lossless CD
Love Forever Changes i 1992 13 11 15 lossless CD

And Johnny Cash,

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison i 1999 13 12 14 lossy CD

That's what I'm talking about!

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

May Belt
May Belt's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: May 8 2006 - 1:51am
Looking at it logically.

>>> “all have excellent sound quality. I take back whatever I said about crappy redbook CD quality. I now think the determining factor is the recording quality. I don't think the format means anything.” <<<

David. Logically, if you are using exactly the same audio system as when you had disappointing experiences with other standard CDs, then the suggestion put forward earlier by Michael G i.e “This my friend is a system problem” cannot be correct – if the same audio system is now able to show excellent sound quality.

However, in many cases, I also don’t think your suggestion that the actual recording can be blamed as the determining factor either.

Because, again, logically, if after applying such as a demagnetiser to LPs and hearing improvements in the sound which Michael Fremer described (in an earlier Stereophile Chat Forum exchange) :-

>>> “But more importantly, why don't you trust your ears???????

I trusted mine when I heard what the Furutech did, despite my utter cynicism about it (which is why it sat on the floor for 3 months before I tried it).

What I heard was so obvious, so repeatable, so clear, it was like "is that the Empire State Building?" Not "I'd better do an A/B/X to prove it really is the Empire State Building" (I know that analogy is not valid). The point is, not one skeptic---and I'm talking recording engineers, mastering engineers whose names you know, and the editor of the magazine have all heard the difference....the only reason. The only reason you wrote what's above is because you haven't experienced it. Because had you, even if you don't trust your own ears (or your own eyes I guess), this is an easily heard, easily repeatable phenomenon. It's a HUGH difference.” <<<

SAME discs, same recording, same audio system but a significant improvement after the ‘treatment of the actual LPs’.

Exactly the same logic applies when you read such as Greg Weaver’s experiences (in January 2011 issue of Positive Feedback Online) describing the sound before and then the sound after treating his CDs with such as George Louis’s UltraBit Platinum-Plus™ liquid.

Again, SAME discs, same recording, same audio system but a significant improvement after ‘treatment of the actual discs’.

The recording is the same in both examples. If, for example, the recording is of an orchestra playing the musical score of Dvorak’s New World. You cannot add more musical score to what is already on the recording just by applying a chemical (or a demagnetiser). You cannot add a further half an orchestra to what is already on the recording just by applying a chemical (or a demagnetiser). So, if considerable improvements in the sound is heard, after such treatments, then the ‘treatment’ must be alleviating an adverse problem – so that more of the available musical information is better resolved.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

michael green
michael green's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
Joined: Jan 10 2011 - 6:11pm
CD's

David said

"In the last few months I've bought 12 new CDs (on the Rolling Stones greatest albums list) and almost all of them have very good sound quality. They've all been remastered and I'm guessing someone is finally mastering them right. Patti Smith "Horses", Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison", Love "Forever Changes",U2 "The Joshua Tree", and Velvet Underground and Nico all have excellent sound quality. I take back whatever I said about crappy redbook CD quality. I now think the determining factor is the recording quality. I don't think the format means anything."

mg

I'm glad to see you enjoying some CD's now David.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Rolling Stone Greatest Album List
David Harper wrote:

In the last few months I've bought 12 new CDs (on the Rolling Stones greatest albums list) and almost all of them have very good sound quality. They've all been remastered and I'm guessing someone is finally mastering them right. Patti Smith "Horses", Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison", Love "Forever Changes",U2 "The Joshua Tree", and Velvet Underground and Nico all have excellent sound quality. I take back whatever I said about crappy redbook CD quality. I now think the determining factor is the recording quality. I don't think the format means anything.

Have you compared the remastered CDs to the original CDs? I strongly suspect the original CDs were also very well recorded but perhaps you will correct me on that point. What I find actually looking over the Official Dynamic Range Database, as I've oft pointed out on this thread, the later reissues of many popular CDs suffered the indignity of overly aggressive dynamic compression. Furthermore, the albums that appear on the Rolling Stone list, in particular the Top 100 one presumes are good sounding, no? Why would the magazines experts place a bad sounding album on the list?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
CD

My old CDs are all 25 or thirty years old. Maybe most don't sound good because of compression, as Geoff says. Maybe it was the Loudness wars?? I don't know, but I haven't treated any of my CDs with anything. After reading Geoffs post, I looked at the Velvet Underground CD again, but theres not much info on it, just that it was mastered by Bob Ludwig at Portland Maine. I also just bought Bruce Springsteen "Born to run" and Buffalo Springfield "Again", and The Band "The Band". These too have good sound quality. I don't think Rolling Stone considers sound quality in their picks,I think it's all about the music.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
The Older CDs are not the problem, actually

Actually what I have been saying is that as time progressed compression increased in frequency and in amount, so odds are good that older CDs are NOT compressed. This is why folks like myself try to purchase *older CDs* if there's a choice. Hope that clarifies my position a bit. Which older CDs of yours do you think sound bad? Just curious. If the RS picks you are buying all have good sound quality I have a sneaking suspicion that sound quality just might well have been a consideration, you know, as well as the music. Apologies for being argumentative.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
CD

Geoff, you may be right. but I've read that early CD was equalized incorrectly because mastering engineers were accustomed to attenuating high frequencies because of the high frequency limitations of vinyl, so they did the same thing to CD, not realizing that CD was superior in its frequency response. Truth is, I haven't listened to my old CDs much, so you still might be right that they don't sound as bad as I remember them. The latest CD purchases I got; Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" has unimpressive sound quality. Buffalo Springfield "Again" has good SQ, maybe a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. "The Band" has incredible SQ- maybe the best I ever heard from CD. It sounds like actual instruments in the room.The Springsteen CD seems to be the original 1975 mastering. The Buffalo Springfield and The Band CD's are both remastered. Buffalo Springfield is "HDCD"(whatever that means) and "The Band" says on the packaging "all tracks 24 bit digitally remastered" (again, whatever that means)

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
David Harper wrote:
David Harper wrote:

Geoff, you may be right. but I've read that early CD was equalized incorrectly because mastering engineers were accustomed to attenuating high frequencies because of the high frequency limitations of vinyl, so they did the same thing to CD, not realizing that CD was superior in its frequency response. Truth is, I haven't listened to my old CDs much, so you still might be right that they don't sound as bad as I remember them. The latest CD purchases I got; Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" has unimpressive sound quality. Buffalo Springfield "Again" has good SQ, maybe a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. "The Band" has incredible SQ- maybe the best I ever heard from CD. It sounds like actual instruments in the room.The Springsteen CD seems to be the original 1975 mastering. The Buffalo Springfield and The Band CD's are both remastered. Buffalo Springfield is "HDCD"(whatever that means) and "The Band" says on the packaging "all tracks 24 bit digitally remastered" (again, whatever that means)

One reason possibly why you remember the older CDs as sounding bad is that the older CD players often sounded bad. It just be a case of mistaken identity. It was the big standard DACs, transports, clocks, etc. In the early players that sucked. Then later, as players got much better, people remarked, gee, I didn't realize how good CDs sounded. ;-)

On a more conciliatory note I recently picked up at a local junk shop The Band's CD, High on the Hog, which I had actually had never heard of, recorded in the 90s. Amazing sound quality! Nothing special, just a regular CD, a well recoded regular CD.

Re the Springsteen CD, CDs were not introduced until 1983 maybe 1982 so the 1974 refers to the vinyl record release date. Born in the USA was a Bob Clearmountain production and has excellent SQ, btw.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
Player

I used to listen to my old CDs on a twenty year old Sony DVD player (that cost 39.95),and now I'm listening on a Marantz UD 7007 (that cost about a grand), so I'm going to have to listen to my old CD's all over again, apparently.

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Born to Run

Here are some Born to Run issues, illustrating the wide variation in Dynamic Range.

Bruce Springsteen Born to Run i 2005 08 07 10 lossy CD

Bruce Springsteen Born to Run i 1990 12 11 15 lossless CD

Bruce Springsteen Born To Run i 1985 11 10 12 lossless CD

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Born To Run i 2009 08 07 09 lossless Download

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Now, this is more like it

Listening to Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark's Crush from 1985 and it's got very good sound, punchy and dynamic fittingly enough. So I thought to myself, self, what's the dynamic range of this CD look like? I have the Official Dynamic Range Database bookmarked for just such occasions so....guess what? The dynamic range is very good, just like it sounds it would be. All or almost all of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark albums are dynamically uncompressed. The exceptions being the most recent ones, of course. Give them a shot. You might like them.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Crush i 1985 13 11 16 lossless Unknown

Check out the big numbers on this puppy... 23, are you kidding me?

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Architecture & Morality i 1984 18 16 23 lossy CD

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
dynamic range

Geoff, do classical CD's have better DR than pop and rock? How much DR is a CD actually capable of? If you could, see if you can find the DR of an SACD "Vangelis- Blade Runner" (the soundtrack music) I have this SACD and it sounds really good. I'd be interested to know it's DR. Is SACD capable, theoretically, of greater DR than redbook CD? Are there any audio blu-rays on the DR database? Like Diana Krall "The look of Love"? Or Supertramp "Crime of the Century"?

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Blu Ray

Here's some answers to your questions.

crime of century on Blu Ray not in database, but this is,

Supertramp Breakfast in America (HFPA Blu-ray Audio ) 2013 10 09 13 lossless Unknown

(The numbers for that Blu Ray are just so so)

Supertramp Crime of the Century (40th anniversary deluxe edition) CD 1 i 2014 13 11 15 CD

Supertramp Crime Of The Century [24/96 ProStudioMasters download] 2014 13 12 15 lossless Download

Supertramp Crime Of The Century [AM+] i 1987 13 12 14 lossless CD

Supertramp Crime Of The Century [MFSL] i 1987 16 14 17 lossless CD

The winner

Diana Krall The Look Of Love (HDTracks 96/24 download) 2001 12 12 14 lossless Download
Diana Krall The Look Of Love i 2001 12 11 13 lossless CD

The Blu Ray version not in database

Vangelis Blade Runner (Limited Edition Hybrid SACD) -- CD layer i 2013 13 10 17 lossless CD
Vangelis Blade Runner (Limited Edition Hybrid SACD) -- SACD layer i 2013 13 11 17 lossless CD
Vangelis Blade Runner - Music From The Original Soundtrack i 1994 13 10 17 lossy Download

Note: those are great numbers, relatively speaking

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
compression

Makes one wonder why anyone would compress music at all. I know why they do it with computer files, but why CD? I looked at the DR database site and it looks like in general vinyl has much better numbers than CD. Is there a reason why?

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
I know. What's up with that?

That's precisely what I've been going on about for the past several months. LOL. Why does vinyl have better numbers than CDs? It doesn't make sense. The only reason that makes some sense is that however is in charge at the Companies that produce music, oh, I don't know the sales manager or maybe the CFO, decided that the only way to increase sales was to appeal to the mobile user. This was back in the 90s that this dynamic range compression appears to have begun. Back then mobile users probably means teenagers. Since dynamic range and loudness are more or less inversely proportional to each other they figured, hell, why don't we just increase the level and compress the dynamic range. The little brats will never know the difference! It's Lao possible that one cheap mobile systems that too much dynamic range would result in distortion (clipping). Whereas raising the level (loudness) would not. So that's what they did, compress the dynamic range and increase the level (loudness). That's why they call it the loudness wars.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

David Harper
David Harper's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 7 2014 - 2:23pm
compression

I was on the DR database for a couple hours today and it's kind of a revelation to me. the Cd's that sound the best to me all have good numbers,and the ones that sound the worst have the worst numbers! I finally think I know the answer to what's been driving me nuts: why do some CD's sound so unlistenably crappy. And others sound so good. I've been wondering why my pure audio blu-ray of Neil Young's "Psychadelic Pill" sounds so bad. It's a bluray; it should have superior sound quality, but it sounds like shit. Now I know why. The only mystery is why a guy who purports to care about sound quality (Neil Young) would allow such compressed mastering of this disc.

Pages

  • X