RE: Vinyl quality vs. digital sound (whoops!)

Subject: RE: Vinyl quality vs. digital sound (whoops!)
From: Eldad Tsabary (
Date: Thu Oct 21 2004 - 19:41:55 EDT

While it is arguable whether vinyl's frequency response is wide enough
for the human ear (a decent quality turntable is normally specified
around 20-20,000 +-3dB), vinyl is so affected by physical conditions
that we cannot really expect to achieve these specs.

For optimal performance
1) The turntable must stand on a non-vibrating surface (it will reduce
the lows but will increase the crispness and accuracy)
2) It must stand on a leveled surface
3) Obtaining correct overhang length and alignment, tracking angle and
weight and azimuth are essential to reproduce audio accurately
4) Normally a record accumulates tiny dust particles which must be red
of in order to obtain optimal sound quality
5) Also, static tension is often accumulated on the records which
creates noise and a less accurate response
6) Belt condition - a belt stretches 3-5% during its life; this creates
tiny speed irregularities which will also affect the response accuracy.

All this, without referring to the vinyl wear and tear...

Bottom-line is, we never really get the specified frequency response.
It may still be arguable that CDs are not significantly better in
frequency response than vinyl, but CD is a very old format already and
nowadays it is customary to use higher sampling rates (normally up to
192Khz) which do not only obviously have a way-higher frequency
response, but are also not affected by physical conditions.

So... frequency response is not an issue really - digital beats analog
any day and this is only the beginning.

Dynamic range... don't want to even begin talking about the lousy vinyl
dynamic range (I already did). The only thing we can say in vinyl's
favor in that respect is that not all music needs more than 50 dB of
dynamic range - probably most music does not. But art music usually
does - either symphonic or electroacoustic.

so what else?

Those of us who love vinyl over digital usually refer to the warmth of
the analog sound, its realness, and 192Khz 32bit does not really get
this same effect, despite the huge gap in specs.

So what is it then? What's left to be better in vinyl than digital?
Obviously many people believe something... just what it is I am not
really sure.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Rick Nance
Sent: October 21, 2004 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: Vinyl quality vs. digital sound (whoops!)

I'll get my eyes checked along with my ears though. I figure I'll
evetually be able to tell the diff between 100 and 100,000 Hz!
oh well...

But also,

In Digi's HD 24/192KHz recording, I ASSUME it's using the same analog
outputs as the section that is outputting the 16/44.1.

You can hear the difference in the two. ARE they using different analog?

op amps, right?


Rick Nance wrote:

> yeah, well generally I don't worry about things above 15KHz, but
> The problem with high-end audiophile recordings and playback, as far
> I can tell, is price.
> I've heard analog playback that I still swear is better than the same
> publication on CD.
> Elvis, the Sun Years(?)
> half-speed master disc vs 16/44.1
> The confound in the little experiment was price.
> Goldman turntable $15,000 US, Thrush tonearm another grand. vs CD
> It mattered. It was obvious. no placebo effect margin for error.
> ==============================
> Also, I've been probably reading too much on the auditory and now the
> cochlea list but just to remind; the ear isn't analog, and it doesn't
> make fourier transforms. It probably doesn't do "spectral analysis".
> measures differences.
> =============================
> From another list in its entirety here:
> (Comment by Eckard Blumschein: M20 contains just a very interesting
> question by Zatorre and two pertaining reflections of mine. As soon as

> the promised summary is available, I will add it to the archive.)
> ================
> The interesting data follows, but the rest of the letter(s) aren't a
> "As a corollary, audition includes features which are not
> or even not at all reflected within the traditional signal analysis.
> Already the fundamental properties of each neuron provide an
> for that. Nonetheless, beware of ascribing auditory perception to
> neurons. The tradeoff between bandwidth and temporal resolution holds
> for the mechanics of cochlea with exceptions of foveae in bats. The
> smallest perceptible phase difference detectable by humans, 2,
> corresponds with a temporal disparity of 4 microseconds at 100 Hz.
> were reported to even perceive much shorter disparities. The relation
> uncertainty would limit temporal resolution at that frequency to 10
> milliseconds. With different words, hearing outperforms the
> in that case by more then two orders..."
> ===========================================
> John Nowak wrote:
>> On Oct 21, 2004, at 5:15 PM, Rick Nance wrote:
>>> It's not an issue if you believe that 20KHz is a number that
>>> There is some evidence that differences up to 100KHz are detectable.
>> There is also "evidence" that we never landed on the moon and that
>> Stalin was truly a man of the people. I say rubbish!
>> Hesitantly.
>> - John

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