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Songs for Distingué Lovers—Streaming/vinyl

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jupiterboy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Jun 2020 at 6:10pm
This particular Billie Holiday recording has been a vinyl favorite for a long time, but also a demo and test recording. Last night, I listened to the first two tracks on Qobuz (24/196) and then put on the LP version.

This was interesting. Assuming the same mastering, the differences were not subtle. The additional dynamic range of the streaming really changed my sense of the recording. Where the vinyl presents each musician's performance as very forward, the streaming has a similar sense of timbre but creates a great gulf in the volume and placement of the instruments, leaving some horn solos almost lost in the back of the room. If a hit on the bass drum is a face punch on the LP, the streaming version is a tap on the knee. 

I am currently working out how to establish the best gain chain for streaming, and admittedly have the rendering device volume, the Qobuz host volume, and the streaming computer volume all in line with the volume of my integrated amp. That said, I played these two versions of the recording back to back in part to test and listen to see if the volume level was comparable.

One thing I note is that the LP version reveals a fair bit of tape noise, but the digital version seems to have de-emphasized this. I suppose that is a result of the lower dynamic range of the LP. 

Question: If I wanted to create a test tone to use in measuring the output voltage from the RCA outs on the rendering device, could I do this with a basic multi-meter? Hot to center pin and black lead to the outside ring? Would a 1 kHz tone generated at zero dB be the thing to use? For reference, the input sensitivity of my integrated is 390 mV, which I use as a target for my analogue source.

Edited by jupiterboy - 09 Jun 2020 at 6:11pm
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patientot View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2020 at 6:21pm
Is the LP a recent version or and old one from way back? Is there surface noise on the vinyl?

I don't know this recording at all (the only BH material I have are CD comps of her 1930s material), but the mastering could be very different between the two versions. If the LP is very old there were a number of tools not available to engineers back then, and many engineers would master vinyl for the equipment of the day (often a console record changer). 
Reflex M + PSU-1 used with AT VM95ML, Stanton 680mkII + Ogura, and Shure M35X cartridges.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jupiterboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2020 at 6:58pm
Originally posted by patientot patientot wrote:

Is the LP a recent version or and old one from way back? Is there surface noise on the vinyl?

I don't know this recording at all (the only BH material I have are CD comps of her 1930s material), but the mastering could be very different between the two versions. If the LP is very old there were a number of tools not available to engineers back then, and many engineers would master vinyl for the equipment of the day (often a console record changer). 


It's a recent reissue, and on Fremer's list: https://www.analogplanet.com/content/100-recommended-all-analog-lp-reissues-worth-owning

It's from 2012 (newly mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound), so I assume the Qobuz version is this same mastering. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2020 at 7:07pm
Originally posted by jupiterboy jupiterboy wrote:



It's from 2012 (newly mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound), so I assume the Qobuz version is this same mastering. 

Gotcha. Marino passed away in 2012 - big name in his day. According to Acoustic Sounds' site Marino also did a PCM mastering and DSD conversion of the same album around the same time for an AS Hybrid SACD release. RE: Qobuz, just like with Tidal, it can be difficult to tell what version you are actually streaming off there (full credits are typically lacking). You have to download the files (after purchasing) and then compare the peak levels to a digital version where the full credits are listed. In other words they could be the same version or perhaps not. 

I may give Qobuz another shot at some point. Last year when I tried it both the Android app and Windows Desktop software were non-functional and customer service wasn't much help at all. 
Reflex M + PSU-1 used with AT VM95ML, Stanton 680mkII + Ogura, and Shure M35X cartridges.
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