New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Vinyl Sound Signature
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Welcome to the Graham Slee Audio Products Owners Club

 

Open to all owners plus those contemplating the purchase of a Graham Slee audio product wishing to use our loaner program: join here
Subscribe to our newsletter here (Rules on posting can be found here)


Vinyl Sound Signature

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 8>
Author
miT View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 Jan 2009
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 839
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Vinyl Sound Signature
    Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 8:02pm
Good evening to all the vinyl fans out there,

This is my most ambitious post ever so before I am escorted back to the other sections of this forum for everyone else's safety, brace yourselves...

In my search for a new digital audio player and mission to one day discover a real-world replacement for the HD540ii [enter maniacal laugh here], two high-end players I have been researching have varying descriptions of their specific SQ: one being "clean and precise", the other being "organic and pure".

While I am sadly unable to sample the musical bliss that vinyl provides as I am too heavily invested in digital music (forgive me), my years on this forum have confirmed that vinyl, analogue if you will, is the pinnacle of natural sound due to sounding organic. To my understanding its SQ when recorded well has, among other things, a natural warmth to it that is generally lost in digital formats. As I aim to achieve a true natural SQ, I feel that this warmth must be a vital  part of the picture but cannot quantify the complete SQ as I have not yet experienced it. My question then:

Can you please describe what analogue sounds like to you, especially in comparison to the digital equivalents? I know this one is even more obscure than usual but you really should be used to me by now... Embarrassed

Thanks,


Tim


Edited by miT - 23 Sep 2019 at 8:04pm
Back to Top
John1479 View Drop Down
Regular
Regular


Joined: 05 Jun 2019
Location: Sheffield
Status: Offline
Points: 95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote John1479 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 8:15pm
Well that's a challenge Tim, 

I think, I may be some time..... Wink
John
Back to Top
miT View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 Jan 2009
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 839
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 8:35pm
Originally posted by John1479 John1479 wrote:

Well that's a challenge Tim, 

I think, I may be some time..... Wink
It will be worth the wait!
Back to Top
patientot View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2018
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 256
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patientot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 10:25pm
Very difficult to describe. I love vinyl but I'm not of the opinion that vinyl always sounds better. I tend to be more format agnostic and the best sounding version of an album is not always the one that is on vinyl. It gets even more complicated when you start comparing different LP pressings and different CD pressings cut by different mastering engineers. To top it off, not all cartridges and downstream gear sound the same. 

If you are committed to digital I wouldn't worry too much about vinyl. If you have a friend that is into vinyl, go take a listen at their place if you are curious. Otherwise, don't worry about it. Just focus on getting the best sound you can get out of digital playback system. 
Reflex M + PSU-1 used with AT VM95ML, Stanton 680mkII + Jico Shibata, and Shure M35X cartridges.
Back to Top
Graham Slee View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Telling it as it is

Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Location: South Yorkshire
Status: Offline
Points: 8813
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2019 at 9:32am
The following are my thoughts on vinyl.

Crosstalk: 25dB if you're lucky... "AAA" recordings also feature print-through and print-bleed from the magnetic tape, not forgetting tape saturation and tape drop-outs. In addition it will have passed through a number of amplifiers of different "leanings".

The cutting lathe master tape (a copy) will have been recorded at 7.5 ips, and the mastering engineer will have applied a number of fixes to get it "to fit" the dynamic range of a long player vinyl. These include compressors, limiters and de-essers, and possibly a noise gate.

Some of the clicks and pops you hear are where the swarf breaks off during the cutting of the lacquer, and during loud passages this swarf will be more random which could lead to more "hidden" noise. Some of the clicks and pops are due to air bubbles in the hot vinyl, which might not have received sufficient dwell-time during pressing.

Between 500 Hz and 2500 Hz, 14dB (5x) overload can be accommodated before breakover, reducing at lower and higher frequencies. This might account for some warmth?

The noise "floor" is about -58dB which will be mainly tape hiss and other garbage.

Therefore the total usable dynamic range is about 72dB which corresponds to 12 bits. However, the noise "floor" is "translucent" and small signals can be made out below it - a sort of mixing between noise and the softest parts of the music until it is lost in the noise - which might add another 2 bits of "depth".

If a cutting lathe master tape were to be used to master a CD, the 16 bits on offer would be more than adequate.

One resource says the frequency response of vinyl might extend to 26 kHz after which it is rolled off at 12dB per octave. In fact, it can be pushed to 40 kHz, the upper 20 kHz having been used for quadraphonic rear channel encoding. The difficulty is in getting a stylus to track such "tight bends".

And it is due to the falling ability of the stylus to track at high frequencies, especially the last track, that I would think most vinyl doesn't have much high frequency energy much above 15 kHz.

Moving magnet playback results in subtle treble boost between 10 kHz and 15 kHz. It peaks at only a decibel or less, and this is due to capacitive loading. Even without an intentional load capacitor, the arm wiring and cables contribute 75 - 100 pF.

It could be argued that with so much processing, the highs might be softer. Then again, distortion might increase considerably at high frequencies because of a number of combined factors (including "riding the peaks"), but near the limits of our hearing it might appear as "sweetness".

I am convinced that "red book" digital audio is nigh-on perfect and probably too perfect for the subsequent amplification. It is my opinion that the amplifier is the bottleneck where the differences are heard, and should we ever surmount the little talked about problems in power amplifier design, we will hear much less of a difference between sources (discounting noise that is).
Not simple enough for Google-Bot to understand...
Back to Top
Chris Firth View Drop Down
Moderator Group
Moderator Group


Joined: 16 May 2013
Location: Rossendale, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 838
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Chris Firth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2019 at 9:38am
With what you've just outlined, Graham, it's a wonder it works as well as it does Smile


Back to Top
miT View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 Jan 2009
Location: London
Status: Offline
Points: 839
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2019 at 9:40am
Originally posted by patientot patientot wrote:

Very difficult to describe. I love vinyl but I'm not of the opinion that vinyl always sounds better. I tend to be more format agnostic and the best sounding version of an album is not always the one that is on vinyl. It gets even more complicated when you start comparing different LP pressings and different CD pressings cut by different mastering engineers. To top it off, not all cartridges and downstream gear sound the same. 

If you are committed to digital I wouldn't worry too much about vinyl. If you have a friend that is into vinyl, go take a listen at their place if you are curious. Otherwise, don't worry about it. Just focus on getting the best sound you can get out of digital playback system. 
I agree and after investing so heavily in digital music since my teens, it is too late for me to convert. I am extremely happy with digital recordings because of the magic inside Graham's little boxes, but due to a change of circumstances (children, commuting via trains rather than driving, etc.) I now require a portable system which makes it extremely difficult to integrate even the Bitzie.

Graham's kit has always been my go to and he has my complete confidence, but as I now need to demo new kit I need to understand the natural sound-signature that I love so much as I cannot simply expect it to be there anymore. Sadly the the terms "natural" and "transparent" are overused in marketing but rarely lived up to. Considering that my 25+ year old HD540ii headphones still outperform the majority of the modern competition, I have a battle to wade through the rubbish so need to go in fore-armed.

My years involved with this forum have taught me that a well implemented analogue system playing an exemplary recording brings something unique to the table, a signature with body that sounds natural, almost tangible. While I understand that everyone's ears are different, a real musical instrument can only sound lifelike (albeit the frequencies people hear can alter their perception of it). This is what I wish to achieve, something that sounds real.

Hopefully that brings some clarity to the table as I realise my first post did not explain the reasons for my experiment.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123 8>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.