RE: Forward into the 19th Century

Subject: RE: Forward into the 19th Century
From: Eldad Tsabary (
Date: Thu Oct 21 2004 - 18:29:25 EDT

Jay, you can always say that you were only checking if we're awake or
are we lost in our own stream of ideas.

Of course nobody will believe you though...

But that's ok also as sylvi will surely verify.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jay Smalridge
Sent: October 21, 2004 5:27 PM
Subject: RE: Forward into the 19th Century

ouch...I knew I should have kept my mouth shut...
On Thursday, October 21, 2004, at 02:00PM, Eldad Tsabary
<> wrote:

>Jason smalridge wrote:
>"I think that technology doesn't have to change to be better. Some
>technologies were actually better then newer "advancements". Correct
>me if I am wrong but doesn't the vinyl records produce better sound
>quality then electric tapes and CD (when I say quality I mean frequency

>Well. Not really - they do not produce better frequency response - on
>the contrary, vinyl has a thinner frequency response and a much less
>flat (accurate) one - meaning it does not respond equally to all
>frequencies - unlike digital processing. Not only vinyl has a fairly
>lousy frequency response it also has a much lousier dynamic range.
>Even more disturbing, is the fact that vinyl's frequency response and
>dynamic range which are already lousy to begin with deteriorate the
>further we move into the inside of the vinyl as a result of the shorter
>spins and the angle of the needle - in the past there were experiments
>with vinyl records manufactured to begin on the inside part and play
>outwards to get better quality towards the end of the side - especially
>designed for symphonic music which normally develops on a longer scale
>then pop music songs.
>In fact, CDs were invented with classical music in mind because of
>being such a lousy format for it - normally too short to include an
>entire symphony on one record and even then it is on two sides (not
>continuous). Also, the dynamic range of the symphony orchestra is huge
>- probably up to approx 110dB, while the normal LP could handle about
>With digital recording the dynamic range is solely limited by the
>of bits per word (16 bits CD allows about 98dB - a serious improvement
>from vinyl) and frequency response is solely dependent on sampling rate
>- roughly half of the sampling rate minus compensations for aliasing
>filters slope etc...) - audio CDs are pretty good up to 20,000Hz
>However, back to the original subject....
>Does this mean quality? Frequency response and dynamic range? They are
>part of it for sure but they do not define quality. Quality is a much
>bigger concept and has to do with what we want as well. Do we want
>clinical accuracy of the digital sound? Apparently not.
>So those of us who prefer vinyl on cds (or at least sometimes)... What
>is it we want? What do we find as having better quality in them?
>Apparently - to your question Jason, vinyl does not have better
>specifications than cds - but it is still more desirable for other
>What would they be? I'd love to hear some ideas....
> A few that I can think of:
>1) It has a lousy sound quality and we love it: the fact that its
>frequency response is not flat - it emphasizes certain frequencies
>gives its sound an identifiable character which we grew to love.
>2) Again, it has a lousy quality and we love it: its limited dynamic
>range inevitably requires compression which limits an accurate
>reproduction of the music but perhaps gives it more punch and maybe
>clipping distortion which we also got used to and learned to identify
>a certain character.
>3) It's mechanics is much more understandable to us - it is very
>we hold the needle in our own hand and lay it carefully on the LP and
>sound begins to play.
>In short - it has character so we can love it. Digital media does not
>have an identifiable character - except for being accurate and mechanic
>- it is easy to appreciate it but not necessarily to love it.
>-----Original Message-----
>[] On Behalf Of Jason Smalridge
>Sent: October 21, 2004 11:49 AM
>Subject: Re: Forward into the 19th Century
>I agree.
>I look around my room here and see a midi keyboard that plugs into my
>computer so that I can have access to "analog" synths. A digital
>camera that works with the same principles as my old analog one(except
>for an LCD screen of course). A guitar amp that is a reissue of a tube

>amp (When I bought it, they were emphasizing the fact that it actually
>had tubes in it. It was actually more expensive then the only
>transistor amps).
>I think that technology doesn't have to change to be better. Some past

>technologies were actually better then newer "advancements". Correct
>me if I am wrong but doesn't the vinyl records produce better sound
>quality then electric tapes and CD (when I say quality I mean frequency

>Either way, I know that my phone doesn't have a "normal" ring, only
>stupid songs, and I keep it on vibrate all the time. I think the
>novelty of technology tends to wear off fast and then we realize, "hey,

>what we had before was actually a lot better. Let's go back a step."
>On 21-Oct-04, at 11:32 AM, wrote:
>> I've noticed three times in the past week now, phones (usually
>> expensive
>> flashy digital ones) which have a ring which mimics the old style
>> analog bell sound, except of course produced digitally, which makes
>> sound
>> dull and processed.  This morning I was talking to a receptionist
>> at
>> Concordia and her phone rang with the analog style ring.  After she
>> was off
>> i asked her about it, and she said it was one of the custom settings
>> she can
>> choose on the phone.  I asked her if she liked it better, and she
>> she
>> still hates the sound of phones ringing (as most receptionists
>> probably do),
>> but it was the best option available.  I find it very interesting
>> we've
>> gotten to the point where we use our new technology to re-create
>> out-dated
>> technology, and just as interesting that given the choice people seem

>> to
>> prefer sensations which connect back to the old technology.  I
>> back
>> to the section in Shafer's "Tuning Of The World" where he foretold
>> that one
>> day people would be able to choose custom rings which could play
>> and
>> such, which has obviously come to pass.  I wonder though if he ever
>> imagined
>> that we'd get to the point where given the choice people would simply

>> select
>> the type of ring which already existed then.
>>   Any thoughts or comments?
>>     and ever...
>>       - chris galanis

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