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David Harper
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digital vs analog?

Audiophiles have been arguing for twenty years about if digital sound is better than analog.
It occured to me that photography is a good comparison. So I typed a search for "which looks better,digital photographs or film photographs"
Well, guess what? That's right,professionals say digital images still cannot match the resolution and quality of the best film.
Sound familiar?
This is a very good comparison, I think, because our visual acuity is less subjective than our auditory.
In other words, most observers agree that a good film image is superior to a digital image. There's less nonsense involved.
I would welcome opinions on this.

Demondog
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This one again?

Today's digital is way better than early digital, but as to whether it's better than analog? I don't think we are much closer to answering that question than in those early years.

No doubt most who care will have an opinion. My response is to ask, "Better at what?"

As to the camera/photo thing, much easier. Enlarge any photo to extremes and the quality should be pretty obvious (given the limitations of the enlarging process). Seems audio is harder to evaluate with human senses. (So I guess I agree with you on this.)

I guess we could go off on the whole subjective/objective slant now.
:)

geoffkait
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How to Tell Which is Better, Vinyl or Digtial

I spent considerable time discussing the pros and cons of analog vs digital right here on this forum over the last several years. My, how time flies. I even devised a comprehensive system engineering approach for analyzing any recording, CD, vinyl, cassette, whatever. You know, a logical, subjective yet analytical approach using criteria, and a system for rating recordings for a wide range of audio parameters. I personally think the whole analog vs digital debate is rather complex and depends on the system, the recording and the listener and his preferences among other things. Search the archives or even better, here's the link to the OP of that thread, How to Tell Which is Better, Vinyl or Digital,

http://www.stereophile.com/content/how-tell-which-better-vinyl-or-digital

In addition, I have gone on and on on the evils of digital and even explained at length why digital, stock and untreated, generally sounds thin, tinny, two dimensional, irritating, like paper mâché, metallic, lifeless, bass shy, rolled off, jarring, clunky, congested, uninteresting, cheap, like Karaoke, extremely synthetic and dull.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

mtymous1
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This might be a better post for...

...the crApple minions over on Lavorgna's AudioStream.com. I think it'd be more interesting to read their responses rather than rehash here.

audiostream.com/forum

commsysman
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CD Sound Quality
David Harper wrote:

Audiophiles have been arguing for twenty years about if digital sound is better than analog.
It occured to me that photography is a good comparison. So I typed a search for "which looks better,digital photographs or film photographs"
Well, guess what? That's right,professionals say digital images still cannot match the resolution and quality of the best film.
Sound familiar?
This is a very good comparison, I think, because our visual acuity is less subjective than our auditory.
In other words, most observers agree that a good film image is superior to a digital image. There's less nonsense involved.
I would welcome opinions on this.

High-quality digital photos are indistinguishable from good film images, to the naked eye. The only way you can tell the difference is to magnify a tiny part of the image until the grain or pixels become visible, which is only of academic interest.

When it comes to CD sound quality, however, the situation is rather different.

It has been demonstrated that the 16-bit resolution of the basic Red Book CD system of reproduction is so good that it is not going to produce any degradation of the music that is audible, IF what is on the disc is reproduced WITH PERFECT ACCURACY (a VERY BIG IF!!!).

I maintain that there are very few players that have the resolution and error-correction hardware and software to properly process what is on the CD. The engineers who created the CD apparently assumed that inexpensive playback hardware would almost immediately materialize and we would have "perfect sound".

This has not happened, and this is why there are still exotic players that cost $10K and more that use complex solutions to produce good sound from a CD. It is also why the vast majority of CD players do sound more or less crappy. It is not the fault of the CD; it is the messenger that is the fault, not the CD itself.

Players such as the OPPO BDP-95 and 105 are getting a lot closer to the goal, however, and are producing some excellent results. My $1000 BDP-95 comes very close to giving me the same sound quality as my $2000 turntable/cartridge. When I compare a particular LP with the CD of the same recording, it is often hard to discern a difference. **

I am highly annoyed, however, when ignorant people decry "CD sound" when they are listening to their CDs on a 10-year-old cheap player that is basically a low-resolution piece of crap, and comparing it to the sound quality of a good turntable; hardly a fair comparison. The apparent general opinion that all CD players sound pretty much the same is incredibly ignorant IMO.

If we can get to the point where the majority of CD players sound as good as the OPPO BDP-95 and BDP-105, I think that the carping about the alleged defects of the sound of the CD itself will pretty much disappear. Unfortunately, 99% of the CD players in existence will need to go to the recycle bin before that can happen.

** (just for reference, so people will not assume that my audio system is not up to the required quality for good comparisons, I am using:

Vandersteen Treo speakers, an Audio Research LS26 preamp, a Musical Fidelity M6PRX amp, a OPPO BDP-95, and a Music Hall MMF-9 turntable with Benz Micro Ace cartridge and a Musical Fidelity V1NL phono preamp)

David Harper
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images

Commysman is probably right that a good digital image is, visually, indestinguishable from a film image in most cases.
But there are a lot of photographers who enlarge images, especially high quality portrait images. And scientific images.
From what I read about this, film images can be enlarged without losing resolution and detail much better than digital images.
One website showed two identical photos, one with film and the other digital, and then cropped a tiny square in exactly the same spot from each and blew it up.
The digital crop was an unrecognizable blur, but the film crop was amazingly clear and detailed.
I have a digital stereo with a Marantz UD 7007 player and an analog stereo with a project turntable.
The best CD's sound real good on their own,without comparing them to the analog sound.
But when I listen to the analog rig, (with good vinyl source material), I hear a physicality and an immediacy in the sound of instruments that CD just doesn't have. Especially on acoustic recordings. Not so much on electric instruments.
Most Rock sounds like shit. The Neil Young album "Psychadelic Pill" begins with an acoustic guitar that sounds amazing, and then launches into an electric guitar song that sounds awful.
I realize there are other factors in play here, like maybe vinyl is mastered better than CD(for whatever reason)
The ticks and pops are annoying, but to me,the best vinyl sounds different and better than CD.

michael green
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a good move

The most important phrase on this entire thread so far is

"** (just for reference, so people will not assume that my audio system is not up to the required quality for good comparisons, I am using:

Vandersteen Treo speakers, an Audio Research LS26 preamp, a Musical Fidelity M6PRX amp, a OPPO BDP-95, and a Music Hall MMF-9 turntable with Benz Micro Ace cartridge and a Musical Fidelity V1NL phono preamp)"

This is where the rubber meets the road and it's not a matter if all agree or disagree with commsysman's statements and/or opinions. What matters is commsysman gives a point of reference to speak from. If just this one thing was done on the threads here we would see the productivity of this community climb to the mountain top it deserves.

Saying this, I don't see the sound of digital as

"thin, tinny, two dimensional, irritating, like paper mâché, metallic, lifeless, bass shy, rolled off, jarring, clunky, congested, uninteresting, cheap, like Karaoke, extremely synthetic and dull"

If someone is getting these sounds it's time to look at the system being played. Something in the chain is not in-tune with something else.

as a reference I use R2R, cassette, tuner, turntable (just hooked up one of Roy's 7.3), CDP (have 12 different players) and about to implement laptop. Already hooked up at the La Crosse location.

What I find with recordings is they are what you make out of your system.

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

geoffkait
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In that case, Michael, not

In that case, Michael, not that I am familiar with any of the components of your system you listed, it appears you are completely deaf. The Oppo 95 one assumes is what, gotta be 15 years old? Undoubtedly by super modded Oppo 103 would kick your Oppo 95's butt. In fact, my modded Oppo 103 was the most extensively modded Oppo 103 in the world.

I have always enjoyed out little game of Wack a Mole, although in all honesty I would think your head is getting kind of sore.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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components

Geoff would have to take the 103 vs 95 up with Commsysman, Commsysman is the one using the Oppo BDP-95. I do remember reading though that geoff replaced his modded 103 with a Portable Sony Walkman Cassette Player.

read about Geoff's move to the Walkman

http://www.stereophile.com/content/you-want-dynamics

As far as the Oppo vs Vinyl, what I like about Commsysman's post is that he shows us what he is using to make the comparisons. His reasons for the comparison is legit because he has the components to do the comparisons with.

I believe the whole whack a mole type of thing is getting old, if I am correct that a couple of posts on this thread have been deleted.

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

geoffkait
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I have a wide range of

I have a wide range of experience using many different components. Since when does one have to be using a particular component at the present time to be able to discuss it intelligently? Or have to have used any particular product or component to be able to discuss sound and the differences between vinyl and CD? You're just being silly. Your whole argument is a high school Strawman Argument. I have had the best of the best in turntables, speakers and electronics. My current systems are portable CD and cassette players. I even have a portable Sony Walkman AM/FM radio, which sounds great by the way. You act as though there is something wrong with that. Yet you yourself promote small lightweight systems. Hel-loo! So your argument doesn't make sense. One assumes you're probably jealous because my lightweight systems are MUCH lighter than yours.

There are many reasons why very lightweight systems like the ones I'm using have excellent sound which I have described many times already. How lightweight am I talking about? Less than 12 ounces! But to recap: My ultra lightweight systems have NO house AC, NO power cords, NO interconnects, NO digital cable, no transformers, no crossovers, no speaker cables, no speakers, no big capacitors, no GROUND, no room anomalies (or room treatments).

Yes, some posts were deleted. Those posts included yours and your shill ChrisS. So stop pretending to be so innocent. And stay off this thread if you don't actually have anything to contribute. Otherwise...you know

Geoff Kait
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commsysman
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OPPO 95/105 vs 103
geoffkait wrote:

In that case, Michael, not that I am familiar with any of the components of your system you listed, it appears you are completely deaf. The Oppo 95 one assumes is what, gotta be 15 years old? Undoubtedly by super modded Oppo 103 would kick your Oppo 95's butt. In fact, my modded Oppo 103 was the most extensively modded Oppo 103 in the world.

I have always enjoyed out little game of Wack a Mole, although in all honesty I would think your head is getting kind of sore.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

The sound quality of the OPPO BDP-95 and BDP-105 (which use identical audio processing and playback circuits, according to OPPO) is far superior to the 103, which uses completely different and much less expensive circuits for the audio (the 105 uses the premium ESS SABRE DAC chipset, while the 103 uses the much cheaper Cirrus CS4382A).

The 105 is essentially a 95 that OPPO added some additional features to, but they are identical in sound quality, because all of those circuits are identical on both. It is ridiculous to say the the BDP-95 is 15 years old; BluRay has only existed since 2006, and the BDP-95 is obviously newer than that.

You are delusional if you think any 103 (however modded) is going to equal the sound quality of the 95/105; that is a joke. Its fundamental design is exactly what you would expect for less than half of the price; there is a lot less there. Whacking any thingy you want won't make a 103 equal to a 95 or 105. You can mod a Miata all you want and a Porsche or Corvette will still run circles around it.

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It's not really so much that

It's not really so much that one DAC is superior to another as much as how the DAC is implemented. And the implementation of the DAC in the modded Oppo 103 is superior to it's stock bretheren. In addition for the modded Oppo 103 the clock is superior; the modded Oppo 103 contains the OPPOMODS Linear Power Supply which includes a big honking toroidal transformer. My Oppo 103 was isolated on a 3 Hz isoaltion stand. The transformer was isolated from the circuit boards. RFI/EMI treatments were used for the ICs. The transport mechanism was treated to reduce mechanical vibration of the disc. These are just A FEW of the mods and tweaks that were performed on my Oppo 103. It would take a while to list everything. As I said it was the most extensively modded and tweaked 103 extant. The sound quality was sublime. And the discs themselves were extensively treated. So, actually you cannot compare a stock 95 or whatever to a modded 103. It's like trying to compare apples and watermelons. Hell, the mods alone for the 103 cost more than the 95 itself! Unless you actually roll up your sleeves and tweak and modify whatever you have you're living in a ffool's paradise.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
No goats no glory

commsysman
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103 Delusions
geoffkait wrote:

It's not really so much that one DAC is superior to another as much as how the DAC is implemented. And the implementation of the DAC in the modded Oppo 103 is superior to it's stock bretheren. In addition for the modded Oppo 103 the clock is superior; the modded Oppo 103 contains the OPPOMODS Linear Power Supply which includes a big honking toroidal transformer. My Oppo 103 was isolated on a 3 Hz isoaltion stand. The transformer was isolated from the circuit boards. RFI/EMI treatments were used for the ICs. The transport mechanism was treated to reduce mechanical vibration of the disc. These are just A FEW of the mods and tweaks that were performed on my Oppo 103. It would take a while to list everything. As I said it was the most extensively modded and tweaked 103 extant. The sound quality was sublime. And the discs themselves were extensively treated. So, actually you cannot compare a stock 95 or whatever to a modded 103. It's like trying to compare apples and watermelons. Hell, the mods alone for the 103 cost more than the 95 itself! Unless you actually roll up your sleeves and tweak and modify whatever you have you're living in a ffool's paradise.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
No goats no glory

The 105 and 95 cost twice as much as the 103 precisely because the DAC is not only better, but much better implemented too. Its power supply, for example, is far more sophisticated and expensive. Everything is better designed and better implemented in the 105/95. That's why it costs twice as much...duhhhhh.

The mods of the 103 are a nothing but a desperate attempt to catch up with the superior design and performance of the 95/105, but they just don't do it. Sorry. That is a mere delusion.

It costs 10 times as much to rebuild and mod as it does to design a superior product in an integral manner to start with, and the result is seldom as good. The costs reflect a lot of inefficient effort, so the cost is naturally much more than an efficient and superior original design. That doesn't imply that the result is worth it.

And you think treating your discs helps, too. My, my. You ARE doing a lot of whacking. Don't overdo it.

You are still trying to get your Miata to perform like my Porsche. Lots of luck with that and all of your delusions.

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Digital vs. Analog

So, my analog rig isn't quite as nice as commsysman's. Rega RP3 w/ Exact2 and Vincent Pho8 Phono Stage however my digital rig is one of the few units rated higher than the Oppo BDP-105 here at Stereophile in that it is the Marantz Reference NA-11s1. I feed it ALAC files and have a PS3 and Marantz CD player attached to it via digital cables. At the moment, my digital sound is probably slightly superior to my analog system but it is not obvious on every track and I am confident that if I got a higher end table, cartridge and phono stage that my analog sound would be as good if not slightly better. Previously, I had a Marantz NA-7004 which has a similar DAC to the OPs Marantz Disc Player. I will say that going from a very, very good DAC in the NA-7004 to a truly elite in the NA-11s1 has been extraordinary. I feel like my soundstage went from great to truly special.

Which is better? well analog is probably technically better but the question is, when you get good enough gear to expose everything digital can do, can a human being perceive the difference between analog and digital? We can debate features and benefits and the overall industries bad habits when it comes to slaves vs masters in creating copies, but a well recorded CD vs a well recorded record sound almost exactly the same on my system.

The balance of my system is an Ayre Acoustics K-5xeMP preamp, Rogue Hydra power amp, Revel Performa3 M105s with a Sunfire Tru SuperJunior Subwoofer.

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now back to the OP

The talks about digital vs analog has been around the block millions of times, but let me bring up some points that some here might find useful. Notice when the this vs that is the topic very few times do you see one, if not the most important, differences between these sources talked about. Hobbyist and reviewers alike try to spell out the differences as if they should be the same and interchangeable, but they aren't. Earlier on this thread I mentioned expertise which appears got some ruffled. However look at the context and meaning. The experts I know, know that CD's, tape, FM, vinyl and files are all done on different "Equalizing" scales.

Audiophiles for years have been trying to compare apples and oranges as if magically they are apples and apples, their not. let's raise the bar a little here and get real. If you plug & play your system to sound good with vinyl it is not going to reach the same level when playing tape. Same goes for vinyl vs CD, CD vs file and down the list we go. Fact 2, all recordings are not only EQed differently for sources but they are also EQed differently from each other as masters. The whole Pre-amp selector idea was made for convenience sake not quality, and certainly not discrete. Sorry to brake the bubbles but the fact is, there are more variables in this industry and hobby and until we start getting our ears out of the sand (this means all of us) the bar will not be raised. You can get mad at me, delete me or even banned me, but this is a big problem and egos are not going to fix it, only practical application will, and the designs that follow.

High end audio has another chapter but if you never let it happen, it's game over. Maybe not while the marketed are still buying but as soon as people show the others a more realistic path, what do you think is going to happen? How long before the simple designing efforts blow high end audio as we have built it out of the water?

Now, put on your FM hear the difference in Eqing? Do it with your files, tape, vinyl what have you. Tell me guys, are you saying you don't hear the different sources playing differently? Now for those with better systems and better hearing plug in only your CDP. Let it break in a few hours on repeat. Now plug in a component to any other or even all the jacks into your pre, what do you hear? Congestion! My friends if you are playing your high end audio system with several components plugged into your pre section you are not listening "discrete". The whole discrete theory is one big myth. All recordings sound different, all inputs sound different, all sources sound different, and all ears and environments sound different. Now if some audiophiles wish to continue to play the plug & play game that's cool, but lets for the sake of music not say we have reached the all knowing ultimate and attempt to set ourselves above the others who have gone beyond.

My friends lets not be fools and lets not be fooled. This industry has many hobbies within it's umbrella and each can either learn from the next or fold up tent and pretend they are their own island.

Digital vs analog? Well the answer is, they are two different hobbies under the same umbrella. BTW they are both only signal languages but I think the OP was talking of this in the way people are comparing the sound of the two.

You know guys, a lot of these topics are really not all that hard, and getting great sound isn't so hard either. It's a matter of growing and learning or many times being willing to learn. Playback by now 2016 is not as tough as people make it sound. They make it sound tough only because they themselves have not arrived at the basic understandings of all the variables. Then sadly many times when one of us who have been exploring and using these variables comes along pride gets stepped on and the karma of moving forward is lost in ego.

this hobby, the true hobby of listening, is above this

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

David Harper
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system

my vinyl system actually is discreet. Its a project tt plugged into a Marantz integrated which is connected to a single pair of ELAC B6 speakers on pedestal stands. It even has it's own single wall outlet.
I've been reading Michael Fremer's writing about the sound of CD v vinyl, and I think I hear everything he hears.
Like him, I also bought the first digitally mastered album, Ry Cooder's "Bop Till You Drop". I hated it but I wasn't sure why.The sound was awful.Devoid of any realistic sound quality.A little like eating freeze-dried food. It doesn't taste like anything. This was back at the beginning of digital, so who knows what kind of technology was used. Bit rate, sampling rate,DAC, etc.
Like Fremer,I think digital has now reached a level of advancement where the best digital recordings are sounding very good. If they're not compressed and processed too much and f-cked up too much. But not many CD's are mastered well.
I wish I like classical music more because probably the CD's are mastered much better than pop and rock.
There are some artists like Randy Newman and Norah Jones and "Johnny Cash at Folsom prison" which sound really good on CD.
But Coldplay, for instance, is horrible.Their CD's are recorded at an incredibly loud level. The DR must be 0-0-0.
Problem with good new vinyl is it's pretty expensive. I buy maybe one a week.I tried used vinyl but the groove noise is so bad it's unlistenable. MOFI has some new pressing technology that eliminates one step in the production process.
I once had a direct-to-disc LP "Dave Grusin Discovered again". I've never heard anything else like it before or since.

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How long has the vinyl vs CD

How long has the vinyl vs CD debate been going on? Well, since the introduction of CDs circa 1982 depending on which source you believe. This debate has been long and hard fought. Of course like any debate there are strong supporters on both sides. I have been shall we say rather outspoken on this issue on this particular forum like, forever. Aside from the system engineering approach to determining which format sounds better for a particular recording that I alluded to earlier I have taken CD to task a number of different ways. It would be prudent to point out that CDs more so than vinyl suffers the indignities of overly aggressive dynamic range compression AND polarity inversion. These two important points alone should insure that most - but perhaps not all - comparisons would favor vinyl. I frequently like to also mention that if someone is playing stock untreated CDs he is not really giving the medium a fair chance.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
No goats no glory

michael green
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Mo Fi

Hi David

MoFi now your talking. Shawn is one of my favorite buds in the biz, and can tell you lots about how each recording has it's own life. Some of their recordings are good examples of dynamic range not measuring so well on the data base yet played through a system setup correctly for their particular mastering will blow your mind with all kinds of richness and girth.

here's something that bugs me

Audiophiles so many times as I mentioned earlier don't take the time to understand the uniqueness of each recording as a unit of production. They'll put on one recording after another and judge the recordings based on what the system is doing not looking at if the system is in-tune to that particular recording.

Lets say you setup your system to play ECM Keith Jarret Bye Bye Blackbird. You tune the system to bring out the mid harmonics and nice halos around the cymbals. You get done listening and decide to listen to MoFi's Alice Cooper Welcome to my nightmare. Guess what, after tuning your system to ECM which commonly tilts up slightly putting on the MoFi your going to think it sounds mushy. Fact is the MoFi isn't mushy at all, your system is tuned for a different sound. the opposite will also happen, so which recording is wrong? Neither one.

Same exact thing happens when you go from a CDP vs vinyl. Right now I have 3 systems hooked up. I can take my tape system and make it blow away my vinyl and vice versa. Same with my digital vs the others. Now if I setup my table and CDP through the same pre, more than likely I'm going to favor one over the other. I'll put the same recording on the CDP as the table and I'm going to make judgements based on that particular setup. If that setup is more in-tune with the vinyl source on that recording I'm going to think this format is better than the CD. However if I take the time to tune the CD in, I'm going to choose the CD over the vinyl.

This is the part (next level) of this hobby that many high end hobbyist don't get to. Judgements are made about recordings and recording types without making the necessary adjustments to get the most out of the recordings. This is an area where the old school tape and table guys get because most of these guys use equalizers and know how to make adjustments to their systems. High end audio thinks Equalizers are a no no. This is completely ridiculous. These guys will hook up line conditioners, use complicated crossovers and speakers with over damped cabinets, sitting in a room out of pitch, and blame their bad sound on recordings. This teaching is absolutely backward from how this hobby even works. Hobbyist have these big over built systems with all these pre inputs plugged in and because they don't have tone controls think they are discrete. Now I personally don't use an equalizer, but this is because all my parts and pieces are variably tunable. I also don't use crossovers on my main speakers. I spend time matching my drivers and cabinets so I don't need crossovers. Everything that requires extra parts like crossovers and multiple inputs take us further away from discrete.

Now lets say you haven't gotten into room acoustics yet, or your not so up on how to tune a room for a recording. If you took a good phono stage, an amp, speakers with minimal crossovers or no crossover and added a good EQ to compensate for some of the rooms interactions with your recordings, you will blow away the guy that is using a complicated system. using an EQ in that case is more discrete than the system using all those other parts. This hobby's teachings sometimes is very strange and a whole lot of theory without these guys ever doing. This is why you see a ton of audiophiles now building extremely simple systems. The audiophile hobby is better than it has ever been from the view point of simplicity. Not everyone is into it, but there are more people putting together great sounding simple systems than the big complicated ones now.

Sounds like your heading in the right direction David.

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

David Harper
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system

The vinyl system I've put together,(especially since I went to the ELAC speakers), sounds just about as good as I can get without spending huge bucks. Down the road I want to get electrostats or planar speakers, so that will eliminate crossovers.
My other system is a Denon AVR X 1100 W receiver, a Marantz UD 7007 CDP, and a pair of Polk Rtia5 speakers with a B&W sub.
Talk about comparing apples to oranges, huh? I'm comparing apples to electric bananas.
I'm going to order 3 or 4 Neil Young LP's from Amazon. Hawks and Doves, American Stars and Bars,and a couple more I haven't decided yet.

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Preserve our essence

As Shannon Dickson, reviewer at large for Stereophile magazine and author of Bad Vibes, the landmark longish article on the sticky subject of vibration isolation and in particular the Vibraplane, the microscope stand turned audiophile tweak, iso platform that had recently been introduced to an unsuspecting and naive public declared in his 1997 report on CES in Stereophile, "...at the geek meet in the dessert most exhibitors have not yet been able to get up out of the noise floor." Of course what Mr. Dickson was referring to was the utter dismissal of tweaks like vibration isolation that existed at the time. You would think things would be better now but as we have seen there's quite a lot of rather strong resistance or perhaps you could say backlash to tweaks, mods, and new approaches to the hobby. So, when it comes to the age old debate of which sounds better, digital or analog there will always be those who are sitting on the fence. The reason they are sitting on the fence, if we take them at their word, is they haven't gotten up out of the noise floor yet so as to be able to have a snowball's chance in hell of differentiating the sound of digital vs analog - I.e., it all sounds pretty much the same. There seems to be a movement afoot to resist using tweaks at the big audio shows and at audio salons and stores. Even the relatively progressive Deja Vu in McClean VA resists the temptation to use any tweaks in the listening rooms in order, ah hem, to preserve the natural purity of the components and speakers. My observation is the audio industry as a general rule is rather slow on the uptake when it comes to things like aftermarket fuses, wire directionality, vibration isolation, not to mention more sticky subjects. One need look no further than the thread on the new Black Fuse from Synergistic Research to see not only the great enthusiasm by customers but also the reactionary and hyper skeptical blowback from the great unwashed.

Preserve our essence.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
No goats no glory

mtymous1
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Recommendation

(Enough with all of the rhetorical posts already. Sheesh.)

Do some naked ear auditioning and determine which sounds best to YOU on YOUR equipment. That's it.

I recommend using Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" for auditions since it is available in various formats: vinyl, CD, SACD, and BluRay audio.

Connect your turntable to the Denon, which will likely require a phono preamp since your particular model doesn't seem to have a separate phono input. This will ensure control of the environment for your experiment. Then play the various formats (vinyl, CD, SACD, BluRay, and perhaps even MP3 if you like) and take notes about your likes/dislikes.

Conversely, you could also find ways to play the digital files through your analog system. (Again, am stressing the importance of controlling the environment in your experiment.)

Start with that, then once you've drawn some concrete conclusions, you can obsessively tweak thereafter.

On another subject, your Denon AVR-X1100W appears to support high-res (including DSD), so if you are using AirPlay to stream your digital content, you're not getting the most out of the Denon. (Recall that AirPlay downsamples 96- and 192-kHz files.) Hopefully, you are using a DLNA-based delivery stream and components that support HRA.

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Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon

Excellent idea. So what was the big winner?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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big bucks, not really the judge for great sound

Hi David

Another suggestion if I may. Keep in mind that new does not mean best. New obviously gets more marketing but as you dig deeper there are tons of jewels to take advantage of without the big bucks. I put together many less than 1000 buck systems for folks every year that would blow the mind. You know the old drive your new car off the lot rule. Well in this hobby when you know what to look for that rule is ten fold. The mainstream of audiophiles usually over spend at first and in time as they learn their art of the hobby tend to go simple. Many if not most times audiophiles end up going back to systems they are able to fit into their lives. It goes like this. Spend all your money climbing the ladder while learning along the way about what you like as opposed to what others like. Then after a little pride swallowing the real learning kicks in this time with you becoming the master of your own mind and music. You become less dependent on others ears and more on your own. I would say this is probably what 85% of audiophiles end up doing. You don't read them cause their done. These listeners are busy building their recording collections and may still bring in a component from time to time but their main focus is more mature. The more serious you become as a listener the less money you will spend.

example

This last year I probably had 30 or so amps through my revolving door equipment room. Because I live in Vegas the equipment choices both brand new (barely used or demos) and classics are at my request. Do you know how much this years winner cost me? $200.00 . Now I listened to up to $25,000 price tags easily, but the people listening with me were shocked at what happened when we did our comparisons. Even the source we use commonly said to me "don't do these comparisons in house while the spenders are here", no joke that's exactly what he said to us. So obviously we ended up doing the demos at TuneLand so to not put the supplier on the spot.

here's my advice

Pay attention to the guys telling you to explore, like the poster above who said start with dark side of the moon. Just so happens I've been using this very recording downstairs for about 3 weeks voicing things before just 2 days ago moving to Haydn's 3,4,11,12,13,18,19,20 & 40 symphonies. Now you probably won't go this extreme, but experienced listeners will tell you that developing your references and learning to use them as you make adjustments is the key to learning what your system will and will not do. The other thing I recommend is reading those reviewers and posters who engage in making their systems adjustable. Listeners who know how to make system adjustments are the guys you want to eventually get to know. This way you will learn to do things more on the soundstage side of the hobby than the theory side. Theory is cool and we all like to talk about what we think is happening, but this doesn't make your music play. There is a wealth of great listeners out there that you can befriend and listen together with. Referencing music together, even long distance, is a huge benefit. If you do this your going to in short order, you are going to learn one big lesson. All recordings are different, all systems are different, all ears are different. This is a hobby for you, no matter what anyone else says. You and you alone will make your own rules as you go.

I have listened to Dark Side of the Moon (as most have) a trillion (the new million) of times, and the one thing I can promise you as a person who has been in the music business all my life, I have never heard this recording sound the same on any two systems. This hobby needs to accept the facts and then let the levels of listening be what they are.

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

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darkside

I have dsotm on SACD. I've only listened to it once or twice,so I'll have to start playing it more often. My tt has a USB output on the back, all I have to do is plug it into the front input on the AVR.Don't even have to move anything.
I'll try it this week. Come to think of it though, that won't prove much. Too many variables.
I could connect the analog stereo outputs on the back of the CDP to the Marantz integrated, and play through the vinyl rig.
That would be apples to apples, right?
Most new vinyl has been digitally mastered anyway, and new releases of older albums on vinyl have been digitally remastered,so true analog is pretty much nonexistent nowadays.
Maybe it's what has been said here that most CDP's aren't good enough. But mine is a pretty good one,according to the reviews.

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What he said

Michael wrote,

"I have listened to Dark Side of the Moon (as most have) a trillion (the new million) of times, and the one thing I can promise you as a person who has been in the music business all my life, I have never heard this recording sound the same on any two systems. This hobby needs to accept the facts and then let the levels of listening be what they are."

I knew if I waited around long enough we'd finally agree on something. You are absolutely positively right that DSOTM will sound different on different systems. On the other hand you have to start somewhere, I don't think it's correct to simply throw one's hands up. I mean, come on, even speakers can often sound different in different rooms, as can cables, amps, whatever. You can't just give up. As I've stated already, anyone can determine for himself which format he prefers by following my simple easy to understand system engineering approach. This approach will help you figure out which format/medium you prefer in YOUR room and on your system. You can forget about all the other rooms and systems. You can also forget about everyone else's hearing ability, their listening skills, and their listening preferences. You're making things way too difficult. The best way to solve a set of simultaneous equations in multiple unknowns is simply get rid of some of the unknowns.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. The approach considers a list of audio parameters (you can use my parameters or make your own list if you prefer) that are weighted 1-10 by the listener (you) conducting the test. Then each parameter is scored 1-10 during the listening test. To get the composite score for each recording of any medium, vinyl, CD, SACD, cassette, you simply multiply the weighing factor by the score for each parameter. That is called the composite score. Add up the total of all the composite scores and voila - that's the total score!

Audio parameters, weighted 1-10 by listener (me in this example); if you want to weight them all 10 that's OK). So, you will get a total score for each medium and each recording. This removes a lot of the guesswork out of trying to figure out which medium is best. Who knows, you might find out cassette scores very high.

MEDIUM = CD, Recording = Kind of Blue

AIR (weight=8). SCORE=5. Composite score= 8x5=40

SOUNDSTAGE (HEIGHT, WIDTH, DEPTH) (weight=9). SCORE=7. COMPOSITE SCORE=63

TONALITY (weight=8) SCORE=6. COMPOSITE SCORE = 48

RESOLUTION (8)

TIMING/PACE (7)

BASS RESPONSE (8)

MUSICALITY/DANCEABILITY (9)

HIGH FREQUENCY EXTENSION (6)

MACRO DYNAMICS (DYNAMIC RANGE) (7)

TOTAL SCORE = SUM OF ALL COMPOSITE SCORES

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
The difficult we do quickly, the impossible takes longer

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SACD version of DSOTM

Wasn't the whole point of this thread "Digital v. Analog"??

You could certainly listen to the vinyl via USB, but you wouldn't be getting an analog signal for your comparison. (Might even be only up to 48kHz - you'd have to check your TT's manual to be sure.)

The intent behind the suggestion was to minimize *some* of the variables in your experiment by listening to all media formats on the same system. I get that there are various engineering and production methods, but unless you have ALL of them, it's the best you can do. (The CD alone has masters, re-masters, 30th anniversary, imports, etc.) But it's good to see that the light is on for you, and that you're realizing the variables.

If you don't want to test an analog throughput, I believe the SACD version is a hybrid, so that alone could provide you four different formats with minimal effort:

1. SACD-layer
2. CD-layer
3. Ripped FLAC from CD-layer
4. Ripped MP3 from CD-layer (if you wanted)

Let us know which signal output YOU enjoyed the most with YOUR hi-fi components.

(Hopefully, your findings will help extinguish all of the personal attacks and rhetoric!)

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A deep hole

You probably didn't read my many posts regarding analog vs CD sound on this forum on a number of threads over the last year or year and a half. Those posts primarily concerned the differences in sound quality between a very good headphone system and an inexpensive portable cassette player as well as an inexpensive portable CD player. In those posts I described CDs as generally sounding synthetic, generic, wooden, unnatural and bland. Whereas I describe the sound of cassettes (analog as well as digitally remastered cassettes) as generally speaking full, rich and true in tone, more dynamic, more air, more exciting to listen to. These differences are especially evident when comparing CD and cassette versions of the very same recording, for example the famous RCA Living Stereo Brahms Violin Concerto by Heifetz. Then the overly smooth lackluster and boring CD is made apparent by great sounding cassette, albeit on an inexpensive Sony Walkman Cassette Player. That's my story. Anyone can come up with their own story. As far as having analog and digtial systems to compare, that's a good point. One does what one can. As I mentioned somewhere along the line CDs and SACDs have their own can of worms that analog doesn't, at least not to the same degree and those worms are polarity inversion and dynamic range compression. So, in my humble opinion you should know you're already starting off in a deep hole when attempting to compare digtial and analog.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

May Belt
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Playing stock, untreated discs.

Geoff said :-

>>> “I frequently like to also mention that if someone is playing stock untreated CDs he is not really giving the medium a fair chance.” <<<

This can also often apply to LPs and tapes as well, Geoff !!

There has been enough references over these past 30 years, by experienced and well respected listeners, of how they have gained considerable improvements in the sound of exactly the SAME disc/recording, by carrying out certain ‘treatments’ on the actual discs etc. Before any other ‘tweaks’ are applied elsewhere in the room or to the audio system.

Geoff said :-

>>> “Unless you actually roll up your sleeves and tweak and modify whatever you have you're living in a ffool's paradise.” <<<

This is the one area where we are in agreement with Michael G. That EVERYTHING in the modern environment affects the ‘sound’ !! And, EVERYTHING one changes, in the listening environment, affects the ‘sound’. The point where we (you and I, Geoff, and I would add, many others) diverge with Michael G is on which emphasis to concentrate on. That if one does not address problems with the actual physical disc etc, one is working with one’s hand tied behind one’s back, or with blinkers on (self imposed blinkers usually applied by relying solely on one’s education (degrees), or electrical and electronic training) and not on actual listening experiences.
Instead of the original question asked i.e. digital vs analogue (which is so obviously proving difficult to answer) why not change the question around to investigating the same recording - untreated versus treated - both CD or analogue ? I think the results (without too much extra expenditure) will surprise many people.

Regards,
May Belt,
PWB Electronics.

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comparison

seems the only way to compare the formats right would be to get two versions of the same recording; one on vinyl mastered from analog tapes,the other on CD. Then play both through the same system. This would, admittedly, be a lot of screwing around to prove a point to ones self.
I do have a few LP's that were mastered from analog tape,so it would be pretty easy to compare them to CD.
I suspect vinyl sounds good because it's inherently less suitable for f_cking up, unlike CD, which has infinite potential.
So all that has to happen is for the music industry to STOP F_CKING UP THE RECORDINGS!!!

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Do Persons

If I may volunteer, I would like to be one of the "do" people in this discussion. Now I'm not looking for people to agree with my findings. I'm only wanting to share from the "tuning" view point on these topics. Everyone is going to have their own experiences and results, but I would like to talk about this topic from "real-time" referencing as my particular view.

Last night I cued up cassette, vinyl and CDP for Dark side of the Moon and begun my playing. I have to run to an appointment but will be coming back to share some thoughts with this thread.

Have fun listening see you in a bit :)

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

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Results cannot be generalized

Sorry, Michael, but I don't trust you any farther than I can throw you. Sad to say you are not exactly what is commonly referred to as an honest broker. You have an axe to grind. Your results are tainted by the dynamics of the discussions here, especially your hostile and bizarre rantings with respect to me and May that have been non-stop for what, two years? This is also why I will not allow you to have any of my products for testing. You cannot be trusted. You have a dog in this fight and that dog will bite. Besides, we already know, in fact we all pretty much agree, that results will be different from system to system, room to room and person to person. Remember, that's what we finally agreed on? Geez! Now you're going to tell us the "answer?" Even if we found an honest broker his results cannot be generalized or extrapolated. Furthermore, as May pointed out, there are no absolutes in the sound and everything, including all of the various formats, can be improved and tweaked ad infinitum; so ultimately there is not much point to anyone, yourself included, providing results to the group. For those reasons I'm out.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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the doing

As I said earlier I needed to do an appointment. Lucky for me he was interested in the listening I am doing and so the fun began.

Before getting into any results his first comment was "I have never heard Dark Side with this big of a soundstage". This is usually the first comment I get from clients, studio engineers and reviewers. I like big stages. One of my beefs with high end audio is the un-realistically tini soundstages that are so squeezed and scaled down that it's hard to get a sense of the real recording. Once he became accustom to the whole room and than some stage, his comment was "there's a lot more here than I knew of before". It didn't take too long for him to take in a fair reference and so we did a quick listen through focusing on a few cues like the runner and drum moments. We also looked at two specific problems he usually runs into on dark. One being the extreme guitar leads and the female vocals, which he told me both of these for him some how always turn up a little on the harsh/bright side.

Starting in Rm#3 (downstairs), then Rm"2 and #1 upstairs. Out of the 3 at first listen we both ended up choosing RM#3 with the Modded CDP playing. Next was Rm#1 with cassette and last #2 with TT. After some tuning both in the rooms and equipment we made #1 and #2 sound much more like #3. The Music Hall 7.3 was actually now out doing the Mag CDP in smoothness. #1 was just musical period after it's tune up.

now time for the switcher-ru

With all 3 systems sounding somewhat close to each other, not exacts but the runner was doing the same thing on all three, I moved the TT downstairs (setup it up), moved the CDP to #1 and the cassette over to #2. Now we didn't touch anything but the sources. Everything else was the same acoustically and rest of the systems. My new friend was horrified in how bad all 3 systems sounded. Harsh, squeezed, lack of dynamics, disembodied and boring, on the verge of out of phasy sounding. All 3 after the source switching the runner stared in the one speaker, jumped in the middle, then directly in the other.

At this point I brought the CDP back down, plugged it in (setup the same as first time) and the stage was back. Not quite as good as at first but way better than the table. I then un plugged the table and carried it upstairs while my friend listened down, I heard him say "Holy ___". Downstairs was restored to a great performance.

This was as far as we got before he left.

It was clear that the systems were all source dependent, meaning tuned to that specific front end. It was also the case that all 3 systems could be tuned to pretty much sound like each other and by tuning out do each other. The main take away for him was how variable system tuning is.

next step for me is to tune the downstairs system to all 3 sources

I have them all plugged into the preamp and will switch between them, leaving the rest of the system the same.

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

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next step

here's my next listening report using the Dark Side Of The Moon reference

System #3 is using Tape, Vinyl and CD as sources playing the reference. Upstairs #1 and #2 are using Cd's.

All the CD playbacks are set for listening to the runner and the drums to follow for stage placements. The other cues can follow, but for the sake of making this fairly easy to understand for others I usually choose a specific staging placement. The runner goes well outside all 3 rooms and in a fairly straight line as this happens (no banana stage or speaker grouping). It's a nice smooth line that travels. I'm using CDP's as my main reference because I have 3 of these modded the same way same model.

With the CDP all 3 systems even with the staging somewhat the same after tuning, sound completely different from each other. I can take one of the CD's to each system and they each will sound different. I can play different issues of Dark Side on each system and they will sound different. Downstairs I can play the LP, CD and tape and they all sound different. The difference between playing the 3 sources on one system is far different from playing the different issues of DS on one player.

I've now done many different tests so a settling rest needed to take place but I have done some other quickies. Note: doing tests requires settling time between the A/B. If you go too fast your stage regardless of change will start to distort. This goes for any system and every recording. Recordings are codes and everytime you shakeup that code it takes time for physics to settle back in. That's why while testing I usually do longer sessions. Having 3 main systems in separate rooms is a minimum for somewhat accurate A/B testing.

Downstairs #3 I played the CD, then unplugged the table and tape deck. The change was as big as changing one issue of DS to another. The change was different but clearly as big. This I have done on easily over a hundred preamps with the same results. All inputs are not created equal! Every input has it's own sound. Every input on any component has it's own sound from another component. I've done the same testing with my tape decks with the same results.

My first conclusion in this short testing is that every variable made on any system, changes the sound. Second comparing tape, vinyl and CD all on the same system setting is not a true comparison. Any system using a multi-input-pre system is not discrete. Keep in mind I have done this same testing type since the late 70's and including the CDP in the early 80's. Never have the results come out any other than saying this technology is absolutely variable.

Comparing Digital vs Analog is a lot bigger task than merely talking limited theory. Think about it, based on the fact that every recording plays so dramatically different per situations and conditions, and every recording itself being so dramatically different, the whole "this is better than that talk" is only talk.

This entire hobby is based on the varying differences that are caused by the momentary human experience and physics. There really is no building the case of absolute, past particular snap shots of memory and being in the moment.

That next level to the hobby that I came here to tell you about, is fact. You can do your own testing or have me or others do it but there's not one hobbyist, designer, reviewer, expert that can re-create something that has always been, all over again. The highest level to high end audio is not a component you buy, a review you read or any audiophile man made myth, no matter how brilliantly the words have flowed from mind to pen. It's not about measuring methods and snapshots of a moment in time. This hobby is about the continuum of physics and your own personal journey. The levels of this hobby are as well a continuum. We all grow as we learn and we all learn as we continually "do" the hobby. Things you have learned yesterday are only there to show you the possibilities for tomorrow. You won't cheat physics, you will only experience or not experience it. Those who have not moved on to variable tuning have made a decision not too. That's how learning works and how we reach the next levels of life. Change itself is a variable. Change is a step forward or backward, up or down, side to side, in and out. Change is a sliding rule, not a fixed place. Fixed is only a view at one particular moment that varies the very next blink on an eye. Accepting this and working within this is what keeps you and I "High End". Like I said, it's not what you buy, read, measure or theorize. High end audio is what you do and keep doing.

You know how to tell when someone is a high end audio audiophile? When they never stop hearing changes and don't get stuck on fixed moments. A true audiophile never stops and never confuses experienced vs experiencing.

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

mtymous1
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The rhetoric never ceases...

...even after the horse has long been dead from its beatings. Plenty of evidence in this thread alone that suggests why Stereophile forum posters may have dwindled and the remaining ones think twice about doing so.

David Harper: I implore you to *NEVER* post this subject again! ;-)
(Although, I am interested in your findings, so please PM me. Thanks!)

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The rhetoric never ceases...

...even after the horse has long been dead from its beatings. Plenty of evidence in this thread alone that suggests why Stereophile forum posters may have dwindled and the remaining ones think twice about doing so.

David Harper: I implore you to *NEVER* post this subject again! ;-)
(Although, I am interested in your findings, so please PM me. Thanks!)

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the OP

The subject is fine and provides branches into other topics. What needs some adjusting is us as posters. As much as I too have seen the dwindling take place, with a little self control and monitoring it would take no time at all to see these pages spring to life. All depends on motive. Interesting from my point of view, as members dwindled here we on TuneLand experienced the hungry internet partakers join, post and mostly emailing us. If an audiophile is searching they are going to find their answers regardless to where they look.

I find it interesting that a politician gives the exact same speech for a year and half and still has crowds. How hard can it be to size up a politician? Not hard, but people get in line to hit the spin cycle. High end audio is very much the same way. Everyone knows the path is very simple, except for the ones never wanting to get on the path of doing themselves. How many times have I seen this take place here? Nope David's OP is just fine. How we respond to it is the interesting part.

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

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Analog vs digital - the beat goes on

Michael, thanks for your input. I have already posted my opinions on the subject from my own experiences a great many times on these threads. And my experiences are many, varied and at a very high level. I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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not sure....

...anyone was talking to you Geoff, I wasn't.

My posting is for those who wish to do music referencing. Digital vs analog is a topic that pertains to I would say most of the older audiophiles and the newer hipster crowd I meet at the record stores. I know you haven't had a turntable for at least 10 years (if ever) so I don't expect you to join in with anything new that you are doing on the topic.

Sorry if you thought this topic was about you specifically. Don't think it was from the OP I read.

But for those who do "real time" testing this is part of my findings with many more test that can be done. No comments about anyone else's similar listening tests just mine. If no one on the stereophile forum wants to explore this topic with dark side of the moon, I'll move on to other topics people are asking me about on here or other forums. A fun journey though as I love PF and AP works. Got a bunch of new recordings in to go through, including George Harrison studio cuts & live that came into my possession. got to love this hobby :)

michael green
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rrstesiak
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Analogue vs Digital

All:

From personal experience with my own British mid-fi digital and analogue rig (description of my components at bottom of this post), a previous poster had the right idea:

Buy the SAME ALBUM in as many different formats as you wish to compare.

To expand, when I asked this question of my own system, I purchased a record, CD, and 192Khz digital album of Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue.
I felt those three media examples of Viny, Compact Disc, and Digital File represent the current main stream formats that are relevant.

And also, be sure to play it ON YOUR SAME SYSTEM ... aka Amp, Speakers..so no new variables cloud the results of the testing.

So have at it! Buy your favourite album in different formats and tune your system accordingly for each media if necessary.

Haven't been around here in awhile... looks like the place is starting to make a comeback.
For my system, in its current state, Digital edges out Vinyl ever so slightly on most recordings, with Vinyl edging out digital on a handful.

Perhaps most originally, I do prefer 192KHz files to CD's if they are available. Though I'm certain a $2,000 CD Player would sway my opinion. So, after learning about this hobby, I can state with certainty that when it comes to the question of Analogue vs. Digital, the answer merely lies within how much money one wishes to spend!

Kind Regards,

Ron

Creek Evolution 50A Integrated
Bryston BDA-1 DAC
Rega RP1 turntable
NAD 516BEE CD Player
Linux Rack Server
M2TECH HiFACE TWO SPDIF converter
Ortofon 2M Red cartridge
Vincent PHO-8 Phono Stage
Audioquest cabling
Epos Epic 2 Speakers
Epos Speaker Stands
Bowers & Wilkins ASW10CM Subwoofer

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Michael, obviously you have

Michael, obviously you have some personal issues. No need to get a case of the ass. This is just the latest example of your trying to hijack a thread and turn it into another platform for your tiresome preaching and ranting. No wonder everyone headed for the hills. Why don't you take a little more time off before coming back. You could use the rest.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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All:

I just answered the original question of analogue vs digital, but I see the forming of maybe a NEW post regarding referencing. If anyone is up to it, I am as always.

Cheers,

Ron

michael green
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levels of listening

Hi Ron, good to see you! Hope you are well.

Hi Guys

Sorry my system list is not the component review monthly journal. My systems are more private music concert halls rather than stereos in living rooms. Let me explain. Where some here are listing one or two component based stereos, I scratch my head. I look at my place and see this whole house is one big music machine. The only rooms without stereos are my bathrooms, no kidding, and even those are acoustically voiced :) For this reason I can see why others have their points of view, mine are possibly different based on my "several" "points" of view. I don't want to judge anyone as wrong. I believe everyone here sees their points through how far they have gone in their process. At the same time I hope folks can understand the "audiophile" world is far Far FAR bigger than what is seen here. Or as what I have seen here. I guess I see audiophiles as being people with massive on growing music collections and music everywhere you turn when visiting their place. It's not a hobbyist would has to beg friends to come into their house sitting in the chair for 10 minutes before twinging. I see audiophiles as hubs for the neighborhoods listening palaces. A place that feels like entering a concert hall over a casual living room with a plug and play system at one end.

No, what shocks me here is the lack on painting that experience that music lovers can't keep away from. I have to push people out of my listening chairs when they are visiting. There's a system outside for the BBQ and music at every stage of the house. Not one wall in this whole house is without acoustical voicing. When I read here I also get the feeling that there are a bunch of guys with equipment mostly against a wall and maybe the speakers placed some what out. Discrete is used as a tip of the hat that someone is in the know but these component lists are not discrete. So let me start to give my lists and you guys can see if there is something maybe a little different from the other lists.

#3 system for starters.

Leather listening chair
Rear SAM mechanical/acoustical music wall (tunable)
Acoustical treatment: PZCFS, RoomTune, Sound Shutters, MGA Room Voice, Tuning Boards, SAM-FS
Platforms: MGA BP/LTR pre Platform, Big Boy Music Ply Platform, Music Ply Speaker Platforms, MGA Sub-plus
Speaker Stands: Mini Mod SPBP/P
Speakers: MGA Tom Tom (ribbon top)
Subwoofer: MGA SW 12 BP
Sub Amp: MGA/Yung Mod
CDP: Maggie Mod
Pre Amp: Stan Warren Special Rev, MGA Mod
Amp: Luxman M113 MG Mod
Cable: Bare Essence, Picasso
Cable Supports: BP Cable Grounds, LTR Cable Blocks
Cones: MGA Spikes & Cones
MGA Harmonic Springs
Blocks: MGA LTR Blocks, MG Exotics
Electric: MGA Power Cords, Treated Outlets & Panel
Static & Ion conditioning
EM: MG-Reset

OK, what did I miss downstairs :)

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

mtymous1
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Wow...

...good thing not all of the threads are like this.

Special note to the newbies:

If you hung in this far (and why would you unless you're a glutton for punishment!), there actually is some useful (and believe it or not, group-consensual) info that can be extracted from all of the verbose rhetoric, personal attacks, and shameless self-promotion: go back to the first post about the various media formats of Dark Side of the Moon and playing them all on the same system.

Happy Listening!

michael green
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the OP

"digital vs analog?

Audiophiles have been arguing for twenty years about if digital sound is better than analog.

It occured to me that photography is a good comparison. So I typed a search for "which looks better,digital photographs or film photographs" Well, guess what? That's right,professionals say digital images still cannot match the resolution and quality of the best film.

Sound familiar?

This is a very good comparison, I think, because our visual acuity is less subjective than our auditory.
In other words, most observers agree that a good film image is superior to a digital image. There's less nonsense involved.

I would welcome opinions on this." david harper

mtymous1,

The original OP invites opinions on digital vs analog. I don't see anything in there about using only one system to reference. That suggestion is a little weird to be honest. Thousands and thousands of audiophiles use multiple systems as their referencing parameters. As a matter of fact Harry Pearson TAS (who I enjoyed tuning) had his place laid out specifically this way. So does Gary Reber Widescreen Review, Jim Bookhard AA and many more. Maybe you guys who only use one multi-source system should do a little more schooling on your high end audio referencing history before being so emphatic.

My recommendation is doing a little more research on referencing both in high end audio and recording before being so dogmatic.

mtymous1, not to be mean, but some of your comments are making you look like the newbie here. I'm sure this is not your intent but maybe you should widen that lens just a little.

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

David Harper
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SACD

I've been listening to SACD's for three days. Dark Side of the Moon,Wish you were here,Slowhand(Eric Clapton), and the Vangelis/Bladerunner soundtrack music. SACD does seem to sound more "open" and "airy",as if I'm hearing more space between the instrumental sounds.(don't you love these subjective descriptions of sound?)
But it's hard to know if there's a placebo effect going on,you know, "expectation bias". If I got someone to play a CD and an SACD on my system without telling me which is which, I'm not sure I could tell the difference.
I did some research online about SACD, and the amount of misinformation is amazing. One site says it's 24 bit, another site says it's one single bit. One say's it's 88khz, another says it's some enormous sampling rate in megahertz, one said the reason it's better is because SACD avoids the digital filters with their steep slopes that are involved in CD.
Maybe the inventors of it, Sony and Phillips, know how the hell it works.

geoffkait
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Let's keep the facts straight

Michael wrote,

"Audiophiles have been arguing for twenty years about if digital sound is better than analog."

Let's keep the facts straight. CD came out circa 1982 or 1983 depending on who you believe. Consequently it would be correct to say audiophiles have been arguing for at least thirty three years if digital sound is better than analog.

Obviously, the debate continueth.

Cheerios,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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Polarity and dynamic range

I would be remiss if I didn't repeat something I said somewhere along the line, perhaps more than once. That is that one should consult not only the Unofficial Dynamic Range Database in order to select CDs and Vinyl recordings that do not suffer from overly aggressive dynamic range compression as well as the list of audiophile recordings that are out of absolute polarity on the list compiled by George Louis. Now, I'm not saying that having correct polarity is everything or that having very good dynamic range is EVERYTHING. But it's a lot. Why shoot yourself in the foot by using (relatively) crap recordings for your comparisons. It goes without saying your system should be set up for correct absolute polarity. Just too more things to worry about that could cloud your judgement and keep you out of audio nirvana.

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

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
No goats no glory

mtymous1
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Who said anything about one system?
michael green wrote:

Thousands and thousands of audiophiles use multiple systems as their referencing parameters... Maybe you guys who only use one multi-source system should do a little more schooling on your high end audio referencing history before being so emphatic.

Who said anything about one system? I said the SAME system and even suggested that the original poster play his digital sources through the analog rig. Go back and read the post from four days ago (you'll notice that the time stamp remains unchanged). Looks like you misunderstood.

michael green wrote:

some of your comments are making you look like the newbie here. I'm sure this is not your intent but maybe you should widen that lens just a little.

With respect to the newbies comment, your context usage reads as more of a derogatory term. Ease up if you want to help foster growth from new recruits (and prevent further deletion of your posts by the editor).

My intent was to encourage the construction of tacit knowledge through experimentation with controlled variables (or as controlled as they can be) and empirical evidence. For the less experienced, this is a far more effective approach than trying to decipher poor attempts at didactic manifestos that rival "War & Peace" in length.

Remember that music is a performing art, and that recording and sound reproduction are the sciences that attempt to recreate audible components of such related performances. Furthermore, while some may come pretty damn close, NO system will EVER sound EXACTLY the same as the live performance.

I've said my peace and am out of here.

Happy listening! (After all, that's what it's all about...)

geoffkait
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SACD and dynamic range

The problem with SACD is no. 1 it's a home theater format always was. They just used that format for music just like they use Blu Ray which is another home theater format. There's no guarantee of anything and in fact if you peruse the Unoffical Dynamic Range Database you'll discover that SACDs are not immune from overly aggressive dynamic range compression any more than CDs, which suffer the most. Even hi res downloads suffer dynamic range compression often, just not as much as CD. Personally I will not even listen to ANY CD with poor dynamic range as described in the Dynamic Range Database which by the way now contains over 86,000 recordings. If I research a CD that I already have and discover that it's dynamically challenged it's out the door to the local thrift store. Life is just too short. And here's another little secret while I've got a full of steam. When you take a look at what's available in used CD stores and thrift stores, guess what? Most of them are on the list of the dynamic range database as having poor dynamic range. Coincidence? And going a little further it's difficult to say which is better CD or SACD for a whole boatload of reasons. Who is listening, whose system is being used, the CD and SACD players, whether you're using aftermarket fuses, other tweaks, the room!! Why, it's enough to drive you crazy.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

michael green
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thanks mtymous1

Hi mtymous1

Thanks for the explanation!

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

michael green
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I'm getting old LOL

Thanks for the correction Geoff :)

Now that I think about it, I've been exploring digital since the late 70's. When you said 82 I had to think about where I was then and it didn't add up. I guess it would have been around 77 or so when I was introduced to digital recording. I'm pretty sure I was 17 or 18, maybe even earlier. I was more analog but can remember Marty and Brent playing around with these (I think) 2 and 8 channel units.

Anyway, I don't know when the consumer audiophile started the debate full blown so thanks for your dates. That would make sense.

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

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