Author Topic: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog  (Read 1639 times)

Online vleisman

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2018, 08:15:57 PM »
Thanks Vleisman. I can appreciate that sentiment. I prefer older things in certain other spheres of technology. Iím not afraid to admit that the preference is out of nostalgia or sentimentalism or even sheer familiarity. But, in sound reproduction, I prefer it to be all the things high resolution digital can be.

High-res digital music is great. Good records on a high end system are great. Funky music on a commercial system in a dodgy club can be great. Many other scenarios. It's all about the context. It's the reaction and emotion  that it evokes that matters. You can't measure emotion very well, trying to measure good sound is pretty much pointless. Imo

Offline King_Julian_S

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2018, 08:26:18 PM »
High-res digital music is great. Good records on a high end system are great. Funky music on a commercial system in a dodgy club can be great. Many other scenarios. It's all about the context. It's the reaction and emotion  that it evokes that matters. You can't measure emotion very well, trying to measure good sound is pretty much pointless. Imo

Well said ok I agree with that
Non audiophile music lover...

Offline Katji

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2018, 09:43:17 PM »
Records rule because of ceremony. The act of unsleeving a record and placing it on a turntable, lowering the arm, aligning the needle, etc etc far outweighs anything that digital can deliver.

According to who or what?




Online chrisc

  • Trade Count: (+133)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,735
  • Total likes: 394
  • Cape Town Hi-Fi Club - get better sound
Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 10:01:18 PM »
That was his personal choice

Personally, I find the "rigmarole" in playing an LP record, all said, cleaning, fiddling about an unnecessary bind, but that is just me.  All the music I listen to is accessed from a computer and I find the ease of access, the vast selection of music, whether it comes from Tidal or my accumulation of music, intensely satisfying. 

I also like the way a computer can offer random access without much effort.  In addition, many amazing musicians feature on YouTube and this makes me not want to change.

Thank goodness we are all different, so there can be no "winner" which is perhaps was the intention of this thread?
Music is the shorthand of emotion

Offline naughty

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2018, 10:46:42 PM »
Records rule because of ceremony. The act of unsleeving a record and placing it on a turntable, lowering the arm, aligning the needle, etc etc far outweighs anything that digital can deliver.

all of that just outlined the disadvantages of vinyl for me and add to that you have to clean the records - then stand up to change the tracks or turn the record over and  walk  around - theres nothing convenient about it - digital is just about in its introductory stage and its at a point where you sit down and press a few buttons on the remote control or tap your phone to control your PC to just play music and you can change albums skip tracks and do everything from the comfort of your chair without having to clean something with a spinning disc cleaner

yes there are many people who have issues with the software but a a little bit of patience and tinkering can you have you back up and running far quicker than you can go and buy a new stylus and replace it .... and we all know from other links elsewhere that the "socalled" superiority of vinyls sound quality is a myth .... and sure i think that many people like duller sound and basically thats what vinyl gives you .... and theres nothing romantic about those snaps, crackles and pops ether (and from my count for every two clean sounding records i hear i will eventually encounter one where the snap,crackle and pop is totally irritating to beyond being able to listen to the music

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2018, 11:33:36 PM »
Reality is analog, I would like if anyone could explain to me, old and stupid, how converting reality to ones and zeroes and then converting them back to analog, the reality, could ever improve upon the original, analog reality?

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.

Offline Stanp

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2018, 11:43:52 PM »
Naughty, while I liked your reply and agree with most of what you say; I don't believe that records sound dull. Not sure why you said that, but if that is what you believe so be it.

I have proved to myself that records and CD's sound equally good. I had a Nad turn table, I upgraded the cartridge. I then bought a Nad CD player some years later. I used to compare my LP's with my CD's, to me they sounded identical.

If a DAC manufacturer does an excellent job, there is absolutely no reason for that DAC not to sound as good as a TT. Our ears can't tell the difference from an excellently reproduced sound wave from the original analogue wave form; well, mine certainly can't.

Our ears and brains, while similar, are not exactly the same so we perceive sound a little differently from each other.

I will stick with my Cd's for the reasons stated by Naughty.

Offline Stanp

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2018, 11:53:11 PM »
Ingvar, the major improvement is convenience, not sound quality. And one never gets the noise issues that one can get from records.

Offline naughty

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2018, 12:02:51 AM »
Reality is analog, I would like if anyone could explain to me, old and stupid, how converting reality to ones and zeroes and then converting them back to analog, the reality, could ever improve upon the original, analog reality?

Ingvar

Ingvar - digital is no less real than anything analogue .... yes when computers were hard to use then i could understand people hating them but nowadays even the 10 year old kids can manipulate digital technology given how good most of them are with using cellphones. And honestly that is a way to get people who otherwise would not have been interested in music to actually continue enjoying music given that CDs as well as LPs are not mainstream anymore

i reckon that a vast majority of people kids or adults dont have time for all the things that the ritual of playing vinyl would represent and a vast majority of the music listening public are not bothered to play the music that the older guys will so it doesnt make a difference to most people how it sounds - in fact a vast majority of the world will be playing their music on their phone through cheap tinny sounding in-ear monitors

and nowadays its not even millions its billions more people have a phone or desktop computer or laptop type of device, compared ot having a turntable ....  that will play their music quickly and conveniently and sounding more than good enough for most out of these devices and current music is made on similar devices so the playback on most new music will be optimised on these devices - no matter how wrong you think it is the vast majority of the mainstream world will rely on these modern devices far more than on older obsolete technology which will always remain a niche market

records for most people is nowadays a novelty item and soon the next generation of people will realize this ie your grandchildren etc will soon stop buying turntables and LPs and their kids wont even get to see one but even 100 years from now people are going to be using their phones to play music and LPs and turntables are going to be as quaint and irrelevant as Edisons phonograph is currently .... yes it served the purpose in guiding the way but as technology moves on so does (or should) everyone else - in 100 years from now even streaming will probably be old hat and there will be universal libraries which everyone will eventually have access to rather than a small select niche band of people just having access to a few select records that only they use

the digital era is a way of selling music to the masses and that surely has to be a good thing or do you want to just keep all the music to yourself because only you and a few others have the LPs? or is it better if millions of people subscribe to a streaming service and they all have unlimited access to a highish res collection that they can select from

and while it starts from mass distribution there will eventually be a new technology high resolution service for enthusiasts because there are always enthusiasts in some form or other which caters for a minimal demand of higher quality technology for people who want to differentiate themselves by spending money on higher quality

the thing is digital is not "coming" anymore .... it is already here with a vengeance and its soon going to stamp out the older obsolete technologies in the minds of the majority with only a very small minority being stubborn and holding on to the obsolete technologies maybe for a generation or two but LPs wont be around for very much longer when they cant really make money out if it .... and im sorry but thats the bottom line "money is what makes the world go around" and right now the only value in records is that its making curious people spend money and its not going to do that for very much longer once the curiosity wanes.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 12:08:34 AM by naughty »

Offline naughty

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2018, 12:06:05 AM »
Naughty, while I liked your reply and agree with most of what you say; I don't believe that records sound dull. Not sure why you said that, but if that is what you believe so be it.

okay maybe i exaggerated for effect but they do sound a wee bit duller than digital solutions which is why i believe that many people prefer them and they claim it sounds "warmer" .... to me the difference is not warmness but a small amount of dullness

Offline Tzs503gp

  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 781
  • Total likes: 123
  • HiFi- trust your ears- eyes lie
Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2018, 07:56:56 AM »
The gist of it, for those who still donít know, is this: record players produce sound by electromagnetic induction, via a mechanical linkage involving huge forces of acceleration. There is a physical limit to how accurately a stylus can track a groove, beyond which, the music is no longer true. Engineering the stylus assembly to more accurately track the groove at insane speeds, is what turntable state of the art is. This development is akin to devolpments in motorsport. Does a cartridge last forever? I donít think so. From the first time you use it, it starts degrading. I know it will last a long time at near peak performance, but weíre talking absolutes. Degradation starts at day one. Then there is the wear and tear on the physical medium. Again, in absolute terms, that wear is undeniable.
So what? Itís still sounds great to you!
Fine by me. No sarcasm intended or implied.

Digitally stored data, by some accounts can also suffer degradation on a bit level. I have never experienced this. From my first post in this thread, it was stated that DACs produce analogue sound via semiconductors. Those are super reliable switching devices. Now record, LP or vinyl proponents might say,Ē Ya but switches in the signal stream sound like squared off sound waves!Ē

They do? I have some news for you, though. That is precisely how your preamp, and final amplification works. Again, there is a cost to performance curve, where those devices are concerned.

Forget the idea of digital. Itís all analogue where it matters. Where a pair of coils or magnets oscillate at the limit of physics on this planet in a turntable system, a semiconductor cruises while modulating a voltage in a ďdigitalĒ system. Reliability, accuracy, convenience, cost. There is no comparison.

Colouration? Choose yours and be happy.

Carbs or efi, itís about burning rubber, no?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 08:09:20 AM by Tzs503gp »

Online chrisc

  • Trade Count: (+133)
  • AVForums Grandmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,735
  • Total likes: 394
  • Cape Town Hi-Fi Club - get better sound
Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2018, 08:09:28 AM »
One must study the Philips patent (and later codicils) which explains in detail the concept of digital recording (the Red Book standard).   Back in 1975, it was realised that a 16 bit sample could never recreate the exact waveform generated by an analogue sound signal.  Engineers at Philips and Sony realised that, in order to "improve" as it were, the possibility of recreating the waveform, the sample rate would need to be increased to at least 24 bit, or else (the clever bit), oversampling and regeneration of the re-sampled signal (off the CD surface) would, as it were, fill in the gaps.

In the late 1970's we had 8 bit computing, the PC had yet to be invented and a 16 bit sample was cutting edge.  Fast forward to 1997, advances in processing power (some 128 times more powerful than the 1979 edition) we are able to achieve 24 bit resolution, thereby lowering the noise floor considerably, and have reading frequencies of 96KHz and even higher.

Further to this, SONY developed DSD and Telarc jumped in with both feet.   DSD 1-bit is also a compromise, and in 1995, a 5-bit format was suggested, but was shelved on account of development costs for players

You canít make a direct comparison between the resolution of DSD and PCM, but an estimate is that a 1-bit 2.8224MHz DSD64 SACD has similar resolution to a 20-bit 96KHz PCM. Another estimate is that a 1-bit 2.8224MHz DSD64 SACD is equal to 20-bit 141.12KHz PCM or 24-bit 117.6KHz PCM.

In other words a DSD64 SACD has higher resolution than a 16-bit 44.1KHz Red Book CD, roughly the same resolution as 24-bit 96KHz PCM recording, and not as much resolution as a 24-bit 192KHz PCM recording.

Both DSD and PCM are ďquantized,Ē meaning numeric values are set to approximate the analog signal. Both DSD and PCM have quantization errors. Both DSD and PCM have linearity errors. Both DSD and PCM have quantization noise that requires filtering. In other words, neither one is perfect.

PCM encodes the amplitude of the analog signal sampled at uniform intervals (sort of like graph paper), and each sample is quantized to the nearest value within a range of digital steps. The range of steps is based on the bit depth of the recording. A 16-bit recording has 65,536 steps, a 20-bit recording has 1,048,576 steps, and a 24-bit recording has 16,777,216 steps.

The more bits and/or the higher the sampling rate, the higher the resolution. That translates to a 20-bit 96KHz recording having roughly 33 times the resolution of a 16-bit 44.1KHz recording. No small difference. So why is it that a 24-bit 96KHz recording only sounds slightly better than a 16-bit 44.1KHz Red Book CD? I'll answer that later in the blog.

DSD encodes music using pulse-density modulation, a sequence of single-bit values at a sampling rate of 2.8224MHz. This translates to 64 times the Red Book CD sampling rate of 44.1KHz, but at only one 32,768th of its 16-bit resolution.

(I can provide a graph to illustrate, if required)

To summarise - a properly sampled digital recording will (IMHO) as accurate and musical as its analogue source.    The mathematics of the original Philips patent require some explanation I agree
Music is the shorthand of emotion

Offline Signet

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2018, 09:37:46 AM »
In my view it comes down to personal choice. 

I am a fan of both and to each his own. 
The main item is the emotion and feel that you get from listening to a particular song.

Sometimes I like the convenience of music in digital format.  i.e. changing songs mid way, browsing through multiple artists / songs, and setting up playlists, etc, etc.

On the other hand, when I want to get into a relaxed mode, the experience of taking vinyl, putting it on a TT and seeing it spin and produce music is amazing (given I'm new and the excitement is still fresh).  As vleisman said, the experience of it is wonderful. 

So when I want to hear music I use digital means, and when I want to listen to music I want analogue means. 
But that is my preference based on the overall experience.  There are much cleverer folk here who break down the science of it.  For me it's emotion first. 

PS - I do find the sound of vinyl warmer and crisper to listen to. 
Never underestimate the predicability of stupidity - Bullet Tooth Tony

Offline Larry

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2018, 11:07:11 AM »


Right...letís not lose sight of the fact that there is no shortage of LPs pressed from digitally mastered recordings, this has been going on since the 70ís if memory serves.  So if analogue is your basis for reality or audio perfection then it might be a tad flawed.

On a side note: I care nothing for the ceremony or process of getting my music actually played, in fact mores the ritual mores the pain.

Offline Ingvar Ahlberg

Re: Get in the ring- Digital vs Analog
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2018, 12:46:47 PM »
Quote
Ingvar - digital is no less real than anything analogue .... yes when computers were hard to use then i could understand people hating them but nowadays even the 10 year old kids can manipulate digital technology given how good most of them are with using cellphones. And honestly that is a way to get people who otherwise would not have been interested in music to actually continue enjoying music given that CDs as well as LPs are not mainstream anymore

No, digital is ones and zeroes, that is not reality, on all other points I agree with You Naughty, the most important in this matter is that people listen to music, I just enjoy beeing a grumpy old man, (and how do You think I find all new artists, endless travels around the globe purchasing LP:s or this pc that I communicate with You friends through?)

Ingvar
A senile Swedish loudspeakermanufacturer, ponytail and all, why is he here?

Responsible for H.A.D Halland Audio Design and The vacuumed cat Company.