Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
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Shadowman82
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 11 May 2019 01:05

Perhaps instead of warm one should say "pleasing to the ear " . I mean warm can describe a great many things like stepping into a fresh cow pie . :lol:

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by hobie1dog » 11 May 2019 03:39

Sterling1 wrote:
10 May 2019 13:58
hobie1dog wrote:
10 May 2019 04:07
267 replies. Have we warmed up the sound of digital yet?
Yes, a lot of posts about an unsubstantiated claim using a descriptive term which does not have a universally accepted meaning in application to what recorded music sounds like.
Such an elegant response, well said.

terry-a
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by terry-a » 12 May 2019 17:32

Perhaps "warm" has a similar meaning to "breadth and depth." Although those sound like words that might be used to describe a body of water.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 12 May 2019 19:25

terry-a wrote:
12 May 2019 17:32
Perhaps "warm" has a similar meaning to "breadth and depth." Although those sound like words that might be used to describe a body of water.
I have used breadth and depth to describe a sound stage not a sound.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by terry-a » 12 May 2019 22:01

Sterling1 wrote:
12 May 2019 19:25
terry-a wrote:
12 May 2019 17:32
Perhaps "warm" has a similar meaning to "breadth and depth." Although those sound like words that might be used to describe a body of water.
I have used breadth and depth to describe a sound stage not a sound.
So "warm" is an unsubstantiated claim using a descriptive term which does not have a universally accepted meaning in application to what recorded music sounds like, while "breadth" and "depth" and "soundstage" are substantiated claims using descriptive terms which have a universally accepted meaning in application to what recorded music sounds like?

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 13 May 2019 10:58

terry-a wrote:
12 May 2019 22:01
Sterling1 wrote:
12 May 2019 19:25
terry-a wrote:
12 May 2019 17:32
Perhaps "warm" has a similar meaning to "breadth and depth." Although those sound like words that might be used to describe a body of water.
I have used breadth and depth to describe a sound stage not a sound.
So "warm" is an unsubstantiated claim using a descriptive term which does not have a universally accepted meaning in application to what recorded music sounds like, while "breadth" and "depth" and "soundstage" are substantiated claims using descriptive terms which have a universally accepted meaning in application to what recorded music sounds like?
YES. Depth: distance from the nearest to the farthest point of something or from the front to the back. Breadth: the distance or measurement from side to side of something; width.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 13 May 2019 21:43

I think depth and breath on Vinyl is often determined by how the master recording was recorded and the mastering of the Vinyl . But I personally have never come across a case where the CD version of an album had more depth and breath than the Vinyl .

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 13 May 2019 23:06

Shadowman82 wrote:
13 May 2019 21:43
I think depth and breath on Vinyl is often determined by how the master recording was recorded and the mastering of the Vinyl . But I personally have never come across a case where the CD version of an album had more depth and breath than the Vinyl .
My conversation about depth and breadth is about what makes multi-channel SACD so desirable, not about stereo SACD, CD or vinyl.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Jim Leach » 15 May 2019 01:20

RussW wrote:
11 Apr 2019 22:33
I went through the comparison of ripped vinyl to original recordings a few years ago. I wanted to archive my vinyl so I could play it without wearing out my reference recordings faster than other recordings that I play less often. I was using a high powered laptop that has a SoundBlaster HD card capable of 24b/192khz capture. I started at standard CD recording quality and then moved upwards in bit depth/sampling rate.

The result was that in order to match the sound of my vinyl playback the recording needed to be a minimum of 24b/96kHz (uncompressed) to not be able to hear any loss in image/depth. A system that has better resolution (or a better listener) might require going to 192kHz. The file size at 24b/96kHz was huge, I think it would take several GB per record at that recording quality, so I abandoned the idea of archiving my collection.

What I also found interesting was that I tested recording onto metal bias cassette tape as well using a Dolby HX-Pro recorder. The sound of the tape recording was much closer to the original vinyl in quality (very close to 24b/96kHz). It's too bad that audio tape degrades over time and it's tedious to find a particular track, otherwise I'd consider using tape as an archive medium.
Interesting post. And I have several TDK SA tapes I recorded in the late 80’s that sound decent still. But now I have a better deck, and a better understanding of how tape works. Keep it cool and dry, and it holds up quite well. Over on Tapeheads.net there are 50+ year old open reels of tape that still sound amazing. You may consider going to open reel as that is as good as vinyl. 15 Ips sounds great; 30 is unbelievable. Or rather, BELIEVABLE. But, new reels of tape are quite expensive. And a 10” reel of tape doesn’t last long even at 15ips. 7-1/2 ips is quite serviceable and what most commercial pre-recorded tapes are recorded at.

It’s fun. Better than digital to me, more because of the physical interaction than sound quality.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 15 May 2019 10:58

Jim Leach wrote:
15 May 2019 01:20
RussW wrote:
11 Apr 2019 22:33
I went through the comparison of ripped vinyl to original recordings a few years ago. I wanted to archive my vinyl so I could play it without wearing out my reference recordings faster than other recordings that I play less often. I was using a high powered laptop that has a SoundBlaster HD card capable of 24b/192khz capture. I started at standard CD recording quality and then moved upwards in bit depth/sampling rate.

The result was that in order to match the sound of my vinyl playback the recording needed to be a minimum of 24b/96kHz (uncompressed) to not be able to hear any loss in image/depth. A system that has better resolution (or a better listener) might require going to 192kHz. The file size at 24b/96kHz was huge, I think it would take several GB per record at that recording quality, so I abandoned the idea of archiving my collection.

What I also found interesting was that I tested recording onto metal bias cassette tape as well using a Dolby HX-Pro recorder. The sound of the tape recording was much closer to the original vinyl in quality (very close to 24b/96kHz). It's too bad that audio tape degrades over time and it's tedious to find a particular track, otherwise I'd consider using tape as an archive medium.
Interesting post. And I have several TDK SA tapes I recorded in the late 80’s that sound decent still. But now I have a better deck, and a better understanding of how tape works. Keep it cool and dry, and it holds up quite well. Over on Tapeheads.net there are 50+ year old open reels of tape that still sound amazing. You may consider going to open reel as that is as good as vinyl. 15 Ips sounds great; 30 is unbelievable. Or rather, BELIEVABLE. But, new reels of tape are quite expensive. And a 10” reel of tape doesn’t last long even at 15ips. 7-1/2 ips is quite serviceable and what most commercial pre-recorded tapes are recorded at.

It’s fun. Better than digital to me, more because of the physical interaction than sound quality.
I dumped my Sony 766-2 Reel-To-Reel Recorder. I have not missed it. In Pre-Digital Days, I used it to play radio commercials my advertising agency produced for its clients and it was the source component for Compact Cassette client handouts. Its operation was tedious, inconvenient, and required frequent maintenance. Also, certain Sony tape formulations had binder separation problems, which caused great anxiety. In the early 90's I replaced the 766-2 with a pair of Sony PCM-7010F Time-Code DAT Recorders along with a Sony RM-D7200 Dual Remote Controller, which performed 3 frame accurate automatic edits. This system permitted me to take original DAT Masters and archive/copy them to DAT for instant presentation, radio station distribution, etc. Over all, the DAT Recording system was better than reel-to-reel in all manner better could be discerned: economy, sound quality, convenience, and editing speed/accuracy-no tape splicing. I still use the PCM-7000 Series System today, for the most part, to record dance music remixes discovered on the internet, which for whatever reason are difficult or impossible to copy by other means.
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Jim Leach » 16 May 2019 00:14

DAT is a great format that, like the mini disc, sort of got lost in the abyss between compact cassette and streaming services.

I’ve never owned one, I have been tempted a few times over the years.

That Sony deck looks like a serious piece. Congrats on that!

Meanwhile, I have a Tascam 122 Mk. III cassette deck and a 32 1/4” half-track deck. I record to tape or straight to CD so the DAT would be a bit redundant for me.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 16 May 2019 01:21

Jim Leach wrote:
16 May 2019 00:14
DAT is a great format that, like the mini disc, sort of got lost in the abyss between compact cassette and streaming services.

I’ve never owned one, I have been tempted a few times over the years.

That Sony deck looks like a serious piece. Congrats on that!

Meanwhile, I have a Tascam 122 Mk. III cassette deck and a 32 1/4” half-track deck. I record to tape or straight to CD so the DAT would be a bit redundant for me.
Yes, your Tascam units are awesome. The only use I have today for my DAT Recorders is ripping DATs to computer.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Jim Leach » 16 May 2019 01:45

You need to exercise the DAT!

I sort of went straight to CD with an Alesis Masterlink as a mastering deck but I also have a Tascam CDRW-402 that has analogue in as well as full duplication capabilities. The Masterlink supports higher sampling rates to standard CDRs but then it is native to that device only for playback. But it does redbook standard, with the ability to add text to each song (Tascam does as well) so they are a fun collection of toys that once I had running as I wanted the tape decks sat idle for a while.

But I still prefer tape, due to a more intimate connection with the media...

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by dysmike » 16 May 2019 04:52

DAT to Nak, that was a heavily used combo in the 80s and 90s, when I was into bootlegs.

I really wish DAT had caught on. I still have a CD recorder, but neither tape deck. That was brilliant.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 16 May 2019 10:53

dysmike wrote:
16 May 2019 04:52
DAT to Nak, that was a heavily used combo in the 80s and 90s, when I was into bootlegs.

I really wish DAT had caught on. I still have a CD recorder, but neither tape deck. That was brilliant.
I had 4 Sony consumer DAT Recorders, all had SCMS, which precluded making digital copies of copies. That was irritating. At any rate, for the most part, DAT was a means to playlists from CDs, which sounded better than playlists recorded to Compact Cassettes. Thing is, those are the sort of recordings enjoyed in a car while driving and DAT does not work in a car, too harsh an environment for it; and, therefore, few DAT Players were made for mobile applications. I only recall Lincoln/Mercury offering a DAT Player. The place where DAT worked well was in Radio Broadcast and Post Production, but only during the mid 1990's. It was superseded by mp3 recording, which could be emailed. So, while radio commercials recorded to DAT were less time consuming to produce and mail than reel-to-reel, mp3's made emailing possible, vastly less expensive and less time consuming than sending physical tape to radio stations all over the country. I invested about $17000 in DAT back around 1994 and by 1997 it was pretty much obsolete, replaced by computer audio, not because mp3 sounded better, it sounded pretty bad; but, with one click on the computer a radio commercial could be sent out to every radio station on the planet in a heartbeat sans time/material/handling/FedX costs, saving the client about $20 per station mailing.

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