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 The Sound of LPs

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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: The Sound of LPs   Sat May 12, 2012 10:49 am


Hi Zonees

As Sonic was listening to CD after CD on my system playing in my balanced room (see my post today on Restoration Road), I read some of my collection of old literature on cartridges -- moving magnet, moving iron and moving coil and some other approaches like the Weathers and Deccas.

I looked at the frequency responses of a number of cartridges and noticed that almost without exception, they exhibited a depression in the 2KHz to 10 KHz range to some degree. Some had a saucer-like depression in this range of anything from 1 to 3 dB, while others might have been flat in this range but had the 100 Hz to 1kHz range elevated by a couple of dB in relation to the 2kHz to 10kHz range.

Most of the cartridges also had a peak around 20kHz. The moving coils and the Deccas had larger variations compared to the Shures in the test reports I read.

Zonees may remember Sonic's remarks about the BBC R&D boffins' identification of the Gundry Dip -- a saddle in the frequency response in the 2kHz to 8kHz range which caused a slightly recessed but subjectively pleasing sound.

Could this be one of the reasons why vinyl records are subjectively so musical?

I understand that small variations of 0.5dB oir even less maybe audible. This means the saddle these cartridges had in their frequency responses will be a factor in their sound signatures.

Only the Weathers cartridge was flat from 100Hz to 10 kHz. A major achievement in its time.

I also remember something Steve Hoffmann of DCC noticed that when he compared CD and vinyl to a master tape, both formats deviated from the source. The LP did not sound like the master tape.

At the same time, there is a view I heard from audiofans who experiment with equalisers (analog or digital) and Real Time Anlaysers. From more than one audiofan, there is the view that a flat frequency response espcially across the 1kHz to 10 kHz band gives a bright, in-your-face sound and a contoured response is preferred.

Sonic therefore wonders: digital has many flaws -- jitter, lack of resolution due to inadequate sampling, distortion, ringing and noise that are peculiar to digital -- but could the medium be also blamed for what it does right too?

Sonic
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beetlejuice

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:10 am

All sources sound completely different. Tape, LP's and Cds I have noticed all have their own sound. It's a physical thing. Their all made from different materials and if that is consistent with nature they will all have their own set of sonic rules. I've heard people talk about audio as if it is something magical and doesn't use the laws of mechanics (things perform like what they are made of) but they sound like a text book junkies if they ask me. Someone who doesn't listen so they stick their nose in a book that has no knowledge of nature.

It's interesting to walk into a store that has all three (not many of those any more) and have them play the same piece of music on all three sources. You can hear the difference in materials clearly. They can through any audio science they want at it, but the results are easy, things sound like what they are made out of.

More people should read this forum and the archive has a ton of good stuff. They should be linked together.


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Sonic.beaver



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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:42 pm


Hi Beetlebug

You are right that different physical materials affect the music. The signals of music are inscribed in totally different ways on different media. Digital pits for CD, grooves for LPs and a magnetic signal for tape.

Which is best? Analog for all its limitations appear best but we must remember there are two components here -- the physical medium (vinyl, tape with its cocktail of chemicals to bond the oxides to the tape and to prevent shedding and plastic which is used for our CDs). There are some listeners who believe that how a signal is written to the media afffects the sound. That is from the esoteric folks and I think Positive Feedback wrote something about vinyl being able to store the graphology of emotion while CD cannot.

Today I think there are too many systems costing the earth , fighting the room and not delivering musick.

Listening to today's high end systems, all you hear is a restricted and analytical sound that lacks life. The size of imaging and soundstage is artificial.

The music doesn't expand and fill the space in front of you, even less around you.

The big horn systems for their punchy, in-your-face presentation got it right, but by the time we got to the acoustic suspension phase of speaker development in the late 1950s, I wonder if that is the point where the industry diverged from reproducing good, dynamic sound and fell into a low efficiency hole.

If this is true, some of the hifi brands that we have come to admire may be the very things that started the downward skid that brought us to where we are today.

Sonic

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:24 am

thought I would throw this in here

"I have a very healthy respect for springs and use them often but on a table you have to be careful to match a spring setup to your floor. Floors and springs are like brothers when it comes to tables and the amount of talking that goes on between the two is huge and you have to be ready and willing to do a pre listening setup every time you put a vinyl on then in most cases tiptoe back to your seat.

The materials a table is made of and the accessories are what make the sound of the record. When playing with tables it is easy and often the case that the table can come out way over dampened giving you spots (holes) in the stage. Surprisingly when you compare a table not done right against a CD done right you will hear a lot of information missing in the vinyl. At first it sounds cool and you think clean but if you pay attention it's actually missing. Once you start removing the dampening you are greeted with all these hidden movements in the music almost sounding like ghost in the ambiance. This again is something that I have had to live with in High End. Once you are use to the music missing you hear it every time and it sticks out at you.

For myself I would go with a simple table every time and spend a lot of time listening to what the table is made out of. This is what I do with everything. Audio signal is and sounds like the materials that host it. This is number one for me. Next I start thinking about grounding. Mechanical grounding is an art that must be mastered by the listener in their own home. I'm use to hearing if something is not right because I go to so many systems but if by myself the only way to hear the sound of a component is to break it down to the very operational parts only and see how they respond to the environment and each other. Honestly if I had a table again it would not be sitting on a stand but a platform stand. The device under a table is where you can make or break the sound of vinyl and all the attributes of it. If someone buys a table and stops at the feet of it they are missing out on what a table can do. Dampening a table too quickly on the way to ground will cause sonic holes that can not be recovered from any arm/motor/platter design. These parts are built to dissipate energy and you need to find how far out from the actual contact point you need to go before you start dampening the sound. Folks who do this right at the cartridge for me do it way too soon. There are many expensive front ends that the industry can keep as they suck the life out way before it ever gets started. For me I like to let energy develop and catch things in the dissipating stage so I can tailor a much bigger tonal response.

Grommets can a usually are disastrous to the sound, as they are throughout the audio chain and sooner or later serious listeners hear this and start thinking about why their systems sound like their own little world instead of the openness that music naturally has."

To me the audio gig is about materials and mechanics. You can trace back the sound of anything to a material that is vibrating by the signal. Isn't that amazing! I have never seen this not be the case. We have built a technology around circuits when it is really about the value of materials as they perform their in/output in relationship to the current. The current is only one part of the signal and a small part as compared to the conduits the signal is attached to and travels through.

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:55 pm

Thought I would add a little info on vinyl

RIAA EQUALIZATION CURVE

FOR PHONOGRAPH RECORDS.

By Don Hoglund

"Curve? We don't need no stinkin' curves." The simplest form of disk-cutter consists of an amplifier, similar to that used to drive a loudspeaker, connected to a cutting-head having a stylus connected to a coil, which is placed in the field from a strong magnet (or, more usually in later designs, a magnet within a coil). When the signal is applied to the coil, the stylus moves and engraves a groove in the blank disk. This is, of course, the simple explanation.

However, because the cutter head's movements translate the amplitude swings of the original signal into velocity - the rate at which the stylus moves during its swings - low-frequency signals would be recorded with a much larger swing than high-frequency signals of the same original amplitude. So, the low frequency grooves would be much wider than the grooves on an equalized disk. Wider grooves take up more room which reduces the available recording time. They are also much harder for the cartridge to track which increases distortion. The solution is to reduce the amplitude of low frequencies during disk cutting and then boost them with a reverse curve during playback.

Another problem is distortion and signal-to-noise ratios in the high frequencies. Early disc recording equipment did not have the extended high frequency capabilities of today's modern equipment. However, as disk cutters improved during the 1940's through the 1960's the need to address the high frequencies increased. The solution was to boost the high frequencies during cutting and then reduce them during playback. Now there was a high and low curve with a "knee" frequency.

Each 3 dB difference in the curve is double the volume. Some of the curves boosted or reduced certain frequencies by 18 dB or 64 times. The "knee" or "cutoff frequencies" ranged from 250 to 500 Hz in the lower end and 6KHz to 15KHz in the upper end. With that much difference in the volume and cutoff points, the curve could not be ignored during playback. Tone controls normally operate at the extremes and don't reach the knee frequency. So, you do need a playback decoding curve.

"Which curve is best?" Well, there's always Gena Davis's curves on Phil's 10ft. HDTV. Or Columbia, Decca, N.A.B., R.C.A., B.B.C., E.M.I., C.C.I.R., A.E.S., or maybe Orthacoustic to name but a few? The experts argued for decades about which curve to use. There were compromises with every option. Each curve traded and balanced signal-to-noise, distortion, trackability, rumble, disk space, and other sonic qualities against each other. The critics complained about "tracking", "muddiness", "smearing", "overmodulation by second & third harmonics of the soprano voice", "cymbals and brass instruments overload the system", and more. While each manufacturer adopted the curve that suited them, the individual disk mastering engineers altered the "company curve" to suit their own preferences. The equipment manufacturers tried to keep up with all the different equalization curves and build playback circuits with curves that would make their own equipment sound "good". Audio equipment in the 1950's had a separate knob for the playback curves. The user had anywhere from 3 to maybe 5 or more choices for the desired playback curve. This meant checking each album cover for the recommended curve or keeping a log nearby for quick reference. Users who stacked their records on automatic changers had to pick a single curve for the whole stack or run to the record changer at every change. Many 78 rpm acoustic recordings had no curve, so their tremendous sonic potential is absolutely ruined by any playback curve. Some record makers didn't give the recommended curve, so the user had to experiment. Others even lied about which curve they used. Imagine your stereo system is located in a busy airline terminal and everyone who passes turns the bass and treble tone controls to different extreme positions. Now imagine you are blind folded and trying to make your system sound "right". That was life before the RIAA standard. In a word, there was CHAOS!!!!

R.I.A.A. to the rescue. In 1955 the Recording Industry Association of America published a new standard equalization curve that was adopted by the entire industry of record and audio equipment makers. Eventually all equipment had only the one playback curve and the EQ knob disappeared. In 1965 the National Association of Broadcasters created the NAB Test Record which "constitutes the only test record made in the U.S.A. certified by any organization which writes and issues standards." Finally there was one curve and one standard by which to check it. The NAB Test Record has individual frequencies recorded on it at the exact correct level. By playing this disk on your stereo system and checking the system output with a decibel meter, you can see if your system is correctly decoding the RIAA Curve.

"But, why do I need to even check it? Surely the equipment makers today have adopted the RIAA standard and built the correct playback curve into their gear?" The short answer is, probably they have. But, the problem is not in the amplifier circuit. The problem is in the cartridge loading. If the phono cartridge is not properly loaded with the correct resistance and impedance, it will not play back flat. It will send the wrong curve to the amplifier for decoding. In other words, garbage in - garbage out. Many modern preamps have user adjustable cartridge loading just for this purpose. (Ahem, like our Granite Audio preamp.)  The RIAA feedback loop in the amp assumes that it is getting the correct curve to begin with. I've lost count of the number of systems that I've checked and found the frequency response off by 6 to 10 dB due to improper cartridge loading. That means the volume at certain frequencies was off by 4 to 10 times! Many times a 10 cent resistor is making an $800.00 cartridge squeal like a ruptured canary. Since most high end audio equipment is sans tone controls, the listener is stuck with some bad or harsh sounds.

"How do I check my RIAA curve?" The first step is to check the amplifier. Plug an audio frequency generator into the amp's phono input. Or use the Granite Audio Model #CD-101 Phono Burn-In & RIAA Test CD in your CD player plugged into your phono input and use tracks 1-22.  Plug a decibel meter into the output. Feed the RIAA test frequencies in at the recommended volume for each. The meter should give a constant reading of 0 dB. Now do the same test with the NAB Test Record supplying the input signal via the turntable. If your response is way off, you will need a knowledgeable tech to modify the loading.  Now, spin some vinyl.

References: Radiotron Designer's Handbook, Fourth Edition; NAB Engineering Handbook, Fifth Edition; Gotham Audio Corp., Engineering Bulletin 26.1.77; NAB Test Record #12-5-98.
_____________________________

BTW I'm not saying Granite audio is something to look into just was referencing how the RIAA came about.

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:51 pm


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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:23 pm


Greetings Zonees

As Sonic is delving into the mists of time reading the early High Fidelity magazine of a time when even before Sonic might claim to be "knee high to a grasshopper" it is education to see how priorities changed over time.

Today musick lovers will use an Ortofon 2M series cartridge tracking at 1.8 gms. Denon, EMT, Koetsu moving coil may be tracked around 2.5 gms, but those days of yore were different when the lowest tracking force that could be used while navigating some test record was an assumed mark of excellence.

These are examples of the mindset of the times:

ADC 25 0.5 gms (1964)

ADC 10E 0.5 gms (1969)

ADC XLM 0.75 gms

Goldring 800 1.0 gms

Ortofon S-15T MC 1.0 gms (1967)

Shure Dynetic 1.5 gms (1960)

Shure M91E 1.0 gms (1969)

Stanton 681EE 1.0 gms (1969)

Of course there were cartridges like the Fairchild SM-2 that tracked at 2.7 gms and the Wonderful/Notorious Deccas that tracked (mis-tracked) at 3 gms.

Today we understand that minimizing record groove wear and most secure tracking is a combination of factors beyond just low tracking force as a singular virtue.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:34 am

Greetings Vinyl-Playing Zonees!

Yes, and even back in those days we had differences in thinking.  The venerable Shure V-15 III was commonly tracked by testers and enthusiasts at 1.0 gm reliably, Shure recommending 0.75 to 1.25 gms. While the Ortofon SPU Classic Green was tracked at 4 gms.

The Shure V15 III is actually a very nice sounding cartridge when loaded correctly --  47 KOhms and 400 pFs. SOme have said to Sonic it was bright and noisy when fed into a phono stage with an input capacitance lower, like 150 to 250 pFs.

But my experience with the its younger brother the M97xE tells me that too low capacitance might tip up the extreme treble but susceptibility noise (ticks and pops) and soundstage definition is more a matter of set up geometry (Sonic uses Baerwald/Lofgren A for LPs and 45s and Stevenson for SPs and 78s) and of course assuming the arm bearings are good and everything rigid and not resonating wildly.

And I don't tighten my cartridge mounting screws and tone to turntable screws over tight.  Sonic follows Michael's principles to not over do things. Just enough tight and a tiny bit more for peace of mind, then leave it.

One thing that always gives Sonic a good feeling is how robust a medium LPs are. I buy mine from all sources and who knows what systems they were played on. Those dating in the 60s and earlier must have been played on changers and the Piezo cartridges. Cleaned with sponges with who knows what chemicals. With a good clean on a Keith Monks device, the play back clean and silent or tolerable noise and distortion. Am listening to The Byrds' Ballad of Easy Rider. It is absolutely clean till the innermost track, distorted but still listenable. My ratio of playable to unplayable recordable LPs stands at something like 1,000:1

Audiophile Vinyl Expert I know says to Sonic "that's because your Ortofon 2M is not telling you the truth about what is in you grooves. My [$5,000 Super Moving Koil with Mighty Geometry Multi-Facet Cut Diamond Stylus] shows most of these LPs I get from the "digs" are distorted things and the noise make them useless. Sonic, sorry for you."

The Byrds are singing Its Over Now Baby Blue -- I can hear the complexity of their harmonies, instruments clear, Clarence White's artistry shines through, a bass line I can follow and little surface noise. I guess I should be miserable.

Sonic


Last edited by Sonic.beaver on Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made correction, add idea)
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:28 pm


Greetings Zonees

While Sonic said on my presently main thread that I don’t want to get more into the analog vs digital debate, I must sketch out one of the reasons behind this thinking. Can be summed up like this:

a. we have to accept that digital has improved a lot. Digital like analog (in all in its forms – reel tape, cassette, LP, EP, SP) matured over time. Not quite right to compare analog in 1980 after decades of development to the new (and prematurely touted) digital.

For sure in the early 80s digital was BAD – shrill, mechanical sounding, a treble distorted that turned the beauty of cymbals into “shhhhhhzz”, artificial silence, thin, good bass though but all fatiguing. It all started at the recording end. Don’t believe me? Sonic recently played the LP of the First Digital Rock Recording – Ry Cooder’s Bop Till You Drop. The sound? Terrible.

But today the sound of both studios and playback have improved so much that the characterization of digital as “shrill, mechanical sounding……” is no longer a valid characterization.

b. when we compare analog LPs with CD re-issues, the two may not be produced from the same mix or master tape which make a proper comparison very difficult – how much of the differences (positive or negative) are due to different source tapes?

Even if it is the same mix tape, has any EQ, filtering, compression, limiting or sundry processing been done when the digital transfer was done? Even the same song issued on digital at different times can sound noticeably different -- I have in my collection the Beatles’ Come Together on the Abbey Road CD and a “Best of” CD. The tone of the bass is so different between the two CDs.

Worse some reissues to CD are also downright sloppy – I have two CDs where the channels are reversed compared to the analog LP. Sonic has read in The Abso!ute Sound where transfers were supposedly done with Dolby switched on during transfer using non-Dolby tapes and vice versa.

If the technicians cannot get things like this right (or use their ears) doing a comparison by just running a CD and the LP version together in sync and switching back and forth will show differences but what comes from native inherent weakness of digital and which are directly a consequence of poor transfer technique?

Me, I prefer LP. I am now listening to a Das Alte Werk (Telefunken) record of renaissance recorder music (Weiner Blockflotenensemble). Ultimately it is the collecting of musick for playback. Like the Schmelzer early baroque I am hunting for, I’ll collect it on any capable format I find it. There are of course “incapable formats” and you can guess what’s on my list.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:26 am

All things do come around in time, that's for sure.

Lately I've been talking to friends in digital designing and it has been some what enlightening. I'm beginning to wonder if the engineer or audiophile even understood what digital was in the early days of it. I've wondered for years why most audiophiles don't know how to separate the language of digital from the analog playing of it. I still read stereophile and see the separation has still not been understood.

And your right the audiophile builds sides analog vs digital when there really shouldn't even be one. It's all analog playing a language. This is exactly what Qualcomm told me this show when I asked "what do you think about digital vs Vinyl". They looked at me as if I was nuts, "what are you talking about". I said exactly, and tell me again so I know I'm not going crazy Laughing . They were very surprised that audiophiles are thinking of the analog part of digital as something other than numbers. Other than a language. I mean I went through the whole thing with them. Their basic answers to me was, the audiophile has built a 2D picture of a 3D event, and in doing so have used this as an excuse to not better the physical end of the playback. It sounded like right out of the book of michael and I would crackup a few times I was so excited. These guys are way Way WAY ahead of the audiophile curve. The audiophile hobby somehow has built a myth and sold it, and I can see how.

Notice how the audiophile passed over reel to reels. The reel to reel was designed by the recording designers, but when the age of the audiophile really got going the reviewers took to turntables, and started their own club, the "audiophiles". For years the program was 95% vinyl. That's what the bench designers made and the reviewers pushed. Audiophiles, being mostly engineer types, had two perfect games to play where they didn't have to go too deep (getting over their heads) to make audio changes. One was the turntable and the other tubes. The audiophile roots are built on these two platforms. Every time something came up against them there was always a little shade thrown. Tubes vs Solidstate is a good example of this too, but not nearly as much as the table vs any other source. No other product in the history of this industry has had the participation involving the modification of the sound for the audiophile. The turntable was soley the audiophile adventure, much as jazz belongs to the US in music terms. The rest of the listening world didn't choose the turntable. They chose tape, but the audiophiles were not about to follow suit. This was one of the major splits between the audiophile and the larger market. A divide was made, and the line was drawn clearly in the sand. Those companies that started going solid state and tape were no longer to be members in the audiophile club. Marantz, Mcintosh, Philips, Sony, Technics, Nakamichi and other cutting edge companies were given a lower status as the name High End Audio stepped up to the plate. Somehow the companies that were produced in quanties got cut out of the picture and the bench designers came out of the woodwork, perfect for the marketing of audiophiles, which never really got above 250,000 clients a year.

So with all this when the CD Player came out and Sony with Digital Tape, going up against the well established turntable and vinyl collections for those 250,000 people, CD being accepted by the audiophile with the average age over 40 was doubtful. So there wasn't any real push for the bench designer to do much more than add another line input labeled CD on their pre-amps. All the high end audio CD Player companies really did was throw Sony and Philips designs into pretty boxes. The companies that started to head in the direction of fine tuning the CD Player never got the press or numbers needed to advance the art.

The other issue is the CD will probably get passed by for files before it gets a chance to be truly explored. The aging audiophiles don't want to do it and there are a lot less than a quarter mil old school audiophiles left. I'm personally not complaining cause I have a stock of magnavox 2300's and adding to. If I had another CD Player, Tables or reel to reel would be more tempting, and I thought about it till I discovered this freak of a digital madman.

So that's a little history. There really isn't a debate, just a bunch of old farts, some who know how to use their stuff and some who belong to the club and don't have to know how to use it. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:47 am


True that there are audiophiles who have made idols out of turntables and tubes, yet we need a balanced mental rigor as we make sense of the world of these items.

But these are very seminal technologies, we must not forget.

Sonic remembers that tubes came before transistors. And before the tape recorder was the turntable. Magnetic tape recorders and the technology was a WW2 US Army spoil of war taken from defeated Nazi Germany. Before that time, direct cut records was the only storage medium for broadcasting.

The trouble starts when minds close and turntables and tubes are elevated to the point where some facet or other of the technology becomes what defines the sound of turntables, cartridges, step-ups, tubes.

Then designers seize on these facets and turn inward on themselves and result in making what is a flaw, a virtue. Think of the exaggerated and coloured sound of some MC cartridges or tube amps that are said to capture the soul of the sound. Which is just an antiquated sound reinterpreted.

The result is sound that is often a parody -- and at prices equal to automobiles and small apartments. No wonder the High End and Ultra-Fi part of the hobby is shrinking.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:23 am


Hello Zonees

Depending on who you listen to, Vinyl is making a real resurgence or the revival is an illusion that vanishes under scrutiny.

There is a lot of data around that you can make a point either way with but:

a. revenue data that shows that today's volume are a mere shadow of the 1960s and 1970s are comparing the sales of new vinyl releases. There is new vinyl released today and it is growing but that is just one of several modes of releasing an artistes work. Today, the bulk of vinyl sales are happening on the secondary market -- second hand stores, collections etc which I understand the data does not present. And yet even what information there is shows a recent uptick in LP sales.

b. Sonic sees in the record stores a large proportion of buyers and browsers are the rather young to middle age with a good proportion of female collectors. The obvious patrons of such shops -- old men reliving their half-forgotten youth -- are not the majority buyers. They are noticeably there I have to say for balance though.

c. the buyers are not all audiophiles. Many have modest systems and they use digital too. Which is good for the revival of the format. Audiophiledom went exclusive and elitist to its own doom.

Like Sonic recently changed the 12ax7 tubes in my phono stage from a pair of China-made tubes that were design to give the warm vintage sound for Sovteks which are modern tubes with no pretension of recreating any target sound. They were trying for Brimar Thorn or something.

As settling in took place with the moderns, the sound of the Rega turntable and Ortofon 2M Blue opened up in detail and immediacy. Sonic is thinking that this is a more honest sound and ultimately will be more satisfying.

The truth is I would jump at the chance to use old Mullards, Telefunkens and Mazdas if they were in as-new working order (real NOS) but with the exception of a really burned out tube and without test gear we cannot tell if a tube offered as expensive NOS really is such. We could be paying a lot for a tube at its last gasp and we are told by dishonest sellers that the closed-down, thick sound is the true vintage sound so we should get to like it. This happened to Sonic but I eventually stopped believing that. We should give the listeners of the 50s and 60s more credit. Many were discerning and sophisticated. Yes there was a lot of junk but I respect that age after my listening to 78s and SPs. Mono but with the single mike technology of the day I can hear the recording people capture a solid chunk of real musick in the grooves.

Sonic


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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:13 am

Greetings Zonees

Sonic just heard this:



This is the first Elvis album I have ever listened to  Shocked

The LP here is the a mono RCA Orthophonic that although dating to 1960 is remarkably well recorded. The voice is more forward and larger in comparison to the band than is the customer today but was the standard back then -- listen to records from Sinatra, Torme' et al.

This mono recording had full frequency range, good dynamics, good separation of instruments and a soundstage that made me check the RCA code again to be sure it was mono.

Sonic can see what the legend of the King was all about  Very Happy

The  LP is in remarkably good condition, just one pop on Side One, very silent everywhere else.

I may have expected the recording and Presley with band to roar a bit more but that might be the signature of my Ortofon 2M Blue.

Sonic is now listening to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier (Landowska, RCA Red Seal LP).  But the Elvis was an experience!

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:59 pm

My thought is that the revival of both Vinyl and Tape will take place but not necessarily within the high end audio club. The youth will more than likely look at the huge products as old and not needed. We're in the age of compact and easily accessible and with this comes a new attention span.

I can see the new hipsters giving rebirth to the collectables (tubes vinyl tape) but it will need to be fashionable and somehow fit into a particular accepted "hip" lifestyle.



The young are hungry and as hip hop, rap and techno become old school, the eyes are turning to what came before and looking forward to the new. Modern music has always gone in cycles and these chapters will never stop feeding a crowd of 250,000-a couple million listeners. Again, I'm not sure that High End Audio (as the big dollar part) will be much a part of this, but the simple system movement is sitting in a good place. Once the snob factor has completely been removed, the way is given to the music lover era, and that chapter is very much like the "50's-70's".  Headphones, tables, tapes, Cd's and downloads. It's pretty amazing to live in an age where we have all of them.

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:13 am


Hi Michael

Agree completely with you. In my account of the turntable system Sonic is setting up for a friend which you can read in my present main thread, the owner has a budget changer which will soon be changed (heh heh) for something affordable but better, a 4-channel receiver and what is possibly Dynaco A25 clones. There is interest in the LPs, and the music from records being bought – stuff like Carole King and such – but absolutely no interest in hi-fi. Not a thought about cables or even speaker placement.

The system is lightweight and simple. And Sonic says “this is the way to go.”

I think the hi-end audio industry will reach its limits and hit the end not long from now. Something more in tune with the times will emerge. There would be digital and analog co-existing. Neil Young he say that “the analog revival is just a fashion statement” which Fremer took exception to but Young is right.

How sustainable and long-lived is the interest in records and tape is yet to be seen but this along with digital sits within a new generation’s way of living and they want the space in their homes to be used.

Uncomfortable truth for the Hi-End – the move for new listeners is on one hand going to be towards a more personal delivery of entertainment along with entertainment being at the time more social…..go figure.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:16 pm

The blend will be fun to work on. I've already started on a more lifestyle setting so when it gets here we can be a part of both.

Here's the good news to this. Music is becoming social again. We once had gatherings, then came the one person listening, and now we move back to the social blending again.

Look for 4.1 systems to be huge.

As for the audiophile hobby, it will only grow from this point forward, but the high end audio part needed to go through a boom & bust. Now it can become more practical, and I believe more exotic as well because the general knowledge will be more known.

Here in the US, I see more rooms being added to homes than less, which is interesting. I'm not sure how long this will last but 3 and 4 bedroom homes are now the norm, with dens, living rooms and sometimes rec-rooms. Bedrooms are converted to rest/media rooms. And on TV social gathering shows show a more communitive scene.

When I had my meetings during the CES the lifestyle social meeting room was talked about far more than the private listening room (in the sense of high end), yet it seemed like this was an add to, and not a get rid of the private listening. It was more like the family could and should have it all and not so much a forced choice. Very much like the multi room movement but more advanced.

will be a lot of fun Smile

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:34 am

Greeting Zonees

Here are two LPs Sonic been listening to. Excellent and enjoyable, the kind of music that helps put the weariness of a working week away.

Hans Martin Linde playing Vivaldi and Telemann



Modern works by Persichetti and Creston



Both are rarities that Sonic found on a dig in an unexpected source.

Sonic
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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:59 am


Greetings Zonees

From Steve Hoffman, DCC’s master of Mastering who has a proprietary method of mastering to CD that captures much of the sound of analog on CD, has carried out an educational comparison where he took a 30 ips analog master tape, cut an 45 rpm acetate from it along with writing a CD and a DSD (SACD) disc and compared them. Go to the link and read the full results of this test.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/what-sounds-just-like-the-master-tape-cd-vinyl-sacd-or-an-open-reel-tape-copy.133328/

You can guess, the 45 rpm acetate was identical to the 30 ips master tape. But see how CD and SACD fared -- a surprise result indeed. A Big Surprise to Sonic Exclamation Hoffmann also tested the sound of a 15 ips tape dubbed from the 30 ips master.

Good stuff for Zonees who are following the sound of LPs.

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:35 am


Greetings Zonees

Hoffman did this test playing the acetate back on the cutting lathe -- guess what cartridge he used? Not a moving coil costing $'000s but a Shure V15.

Yes, a moving magnet cartridge.

Sonic is sticking to MMs. The Ortofon 2M Blue is absolutely reliable and listenable. I may get an Ortofon 2M Black with its line contact stylus. MM sounds more whole with more impactful bass and slam than the MCs I heard.

Wish I could get a properly retipped Shure V15 IV. Now that is one cartridge know for its neutrality.

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PostSubject: Re: The Sound of LPs   Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:11 am


Greetings Zonees

The setting of VTA and/or SRA of the cartridge/arm is something that is vexes the minds of those who listen to LPs. We hear of designers who claim a change of angle by some micro-fractions of a degree make huge differences in sound. Some have arms that can adjust arm pillar height continuously, other have different ways of shimming their LPs to get what they think is the optimum setting.

Sonic has got a good setting where the Rega RB700 arm is more or less parallel to the record surface with the Ortofon 2M Blue and I leave it there.

Let's see what Roy Gandy, the designer of the wonderful Rega turntable and arms (plus lots more Rega stuff) has to say about VTA:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rega VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle) Fact Sheet

by Roy Gandy

Quote: "Every problem has a solution. If there is no solution, there is no problem."

The Tonearm: The maximum up/down adjustment on a tonearm is about 0.5 inches (12mm). That being approximately 1 degree VTA adjustment.

[Correction: if you do the maths' a 0.5inch variation on a 9 inch arm is about a 3° variation. You can work this out yourself once you remember that the sin() of an angle is the change in the y coordinate divided by the radius, so 0.5/9≈ 0.055 ≈ sin(3°)]

The Cartridge: Each model of cartridge has its own unique design which also determines the stylus VTA. Rega has accurately measured the VTA on at least one hundred different cartridge models. The lowest VTA we have measured was 24° (even though the manufacturer claimed 20°) and the highest was 36°. Most cartridges have a VTA of between 28° to 32°. The VTA of Rega cartridge is approximately 28°.

The Record: The VTA of a record cutting stylus is set to give the best continuous cut of the lacquer. Records are cut with a VTA which varies between 0° and 20°. On an individual record the VTA will vary by 7° or more, depending on the type of cutting head used, the depth of cut, the musical frequency and the lacquer springback. The VTA of the groove on every individual record varies by at least 7° over the record. Every record is cut under 20°.

Futility: We can see that cartridge VTA is normally around 10° higher than the record cutting angle. And the record cutting angle varies by around 7° whilst it is being played.

THEREFORE A MAXIMUM ARM ADJUSTMENT OF ONLY 1° CAN BE SEEN TO BE COMPLETELY FUTILE.

To accurately match cartridge VTA to the record cutting angle the back of the arm would need to be well below the record (impossible!) and the cartridge VTA would need to vary at least 7° whilst playing the record!

Normal advice: Most informed advice is to keep the arm tube roughly parallel to the record surface. In fact, the VTA becomes more correct as the rear of the arm is lowered as much as possible, the limit being when the arm or cartridge touches the record.

Read the full article here: http://www.soundorg.com/info/rega/brochures/Rega%20VTA%20Fact%20Sheet%20by%20Roy%20Gandy.pdf

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