Do I expect too much from records/analog?

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feldman
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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by feldman » 04 Mar 2019 00:43

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
03 Mar 2019 17:20
feldman wrote:
03 Mar 2019 17:08

They apply noise reduction gimmicks and chop off the tape hiss and in the process castrate the music that is recorded on the tape. Last time I heard that was on the 50th anniversary remix of the Beatles White Album (released on November 9, 2018). They doctored copies of the master tapes, eliminated tape hiss and produced lifeless, gutless mix. Real abomination!
Did you ever think that they did that because they were forced to? Because original master tapes were damaged at that level, that you would hear a lot of damage when listening the music if the whole material wasn`t digitalised and processed to this level that at the end you hear digitally polished clean sound. Maybe not totally natural, but they did what they could. Other option would be to find original vinyl release in perfect condition, record it on reel to reel and make analog mastering. But the end quality is questionable in this case, but more natural yes.
Good point. 50 years can be a long time when it comes to the magnetic tape.

I kind of like your idea of using an original vinyl copy to copy it back to reel-to-reel. I have an original White Album from 1968, and it sounds absolutely amazing!

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 04 Mar 2019 09:23

feldman wrote:
04 Mar 2019 00:43


Good point. 50 years can be a long time when it comes to the magnetic tape.

I kind of like your idea of using an original vinyl copy to copy it back to reel-to-reel. I have an original White Album from 1968, and it sounds absolutely amazing!

Magnetic tape deteriorates through decades. But those who are responsible for storage of originals have to make the best climate for them or make professional new copy. But sometimes they don`t do the job. In this case vinyl record is better format for storage, it doesn`t deteriorate if it is not on the sun or played. But it doesn`t have so high level of the sound like tape.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by zlartibartfast » 05 Mar 2019 06:25

Are we talking magnetic tape or rotating vinyl?

PCM, DSD, name-your-digital-poison -

It really doesn't matter, because they are all analog formats. Analog = ANALOGOUS ie: similar or alike

Wait! Digital recording is actually ANALOG! oh yeah it's a digitally encoded ANALOGY of the original sound
And - in quantum terms - (if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one to make a high-resolution recording, was there any sound to begin with?) there is no distinction between A and D.

in fact I can hear all the music, once I turn off all the noise-making equipment

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by feldman » 05 Mar 2019 15:08

zlartibartfast wrote:
05 Mar 2019 06:25
Are we talking magnetic tape or rotating vinyl?

PCM, DSD, name-your-digital-poison -

It really doesn't matter, because they are all analog formats. Analog = ANALOGOUS ie: similar or alike

Wait! Digital recording is actually ANALOG! oh yeah it's a digitally encoded ANALOGY of the original sound
And - in quantum terms - (if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one to make a high-resolution recording, was there any sound to begin with?) there is no distinction between A and D.

in fact I can hear all the music, once I turn off all the noise-making equipment
One could argue that magnetic tape is digital, because magnetic particles are discrete. But vinyl groove is not discrete, it is continuous (wave form), so it is the true analog.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 00:34

I don't know, I was really drunk at the time...

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Bob Dillon » 07 Mar 2019 00:47

I'd say the TD-165 needs a vacation. Try a new design. Of course vinyl surface noise will always be present. If you're looking for blacker backgrounds and more depth (aside from the vinyl ticks n' flicks) a new TT may be just right for you.

Or stick with digital. Some of the HD downloads I've heard are pretty sweet. Depends on the source and the mastering.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Bullitt5094 » 07 Mar 2019 16:05

Didn't look at the thread for a while but the exchange above and what I've done over the last few days makes me believe... But first what I've done. I received a Acoustic Signature Primus TT and transfered my Hana to it from the Thorens. It made a night and day difference in both nose level and sound. For the first time records approached the level of my digital path. And in some cases surpassed it in sound. But, "in some cases" is important.

What I believe (continued)... Vinyl will never have the dynamic range or S/N ratio of a good digital system. But depending on the record or CD, it can surpass it in "musicality" IN SOME CASES. I now feel my analog and digital systems are both on par with each other and I'm really enjoying both. I don't think may have two equal systems. Most lean toward one belief or the other and build the system that way. Which is logical. In a way I was disappointed the Primus made the Thorens sound as bad as it did. Even with the things I've done to improve the TD-165, it ain't even close to the Primus. I've been drinking that Vintage Turntables are better than modern coolaide for a long time. But my original cost on the TD-165 was $120 back in the 70s. So we aren't talking apples-apples here necessarily either.

So I'm returning the Primus demo unit and have a Feickert Volare with a Origin Silver mk3a tone arm on the way. I've had a great experience with Tony at Ellington HIFI with this "journey". I'll report back with results later on the Feickert.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 17:26

Bullitt5094 wrote:
07 Mar 2019 16:05
I've been drinking ......modern coolaide for a long time.
;-} As have I...(sorry, couldn't stop myself...)

See, there you are Bullitt5094 - sipping more of that sweet vinyl flavored koolaid. Cheers!

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Bullitt5094 » 07 Mar 2019 19:53

Actually I've been drinking vintage Koolaid for a long time.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Sunwire » 07 Mar 2019 20:14

feldman wrote:
03 Mar 2019 17:08


The thing I really resent is when purist engineers decide to do something about the inevitable tape hiss. They apply noise reduction gimmicks and chop off the tape hiss and in the process castrate the music that is recorded on the tape. Last time I heard that was on the 50th anniversary remix of the Beatles White Album (released on November 9, 2018). They doctored copies of the master tapes, eliminated tape hiss and produced lifeless, gutless mix. Real abomination!
Have you heard the 50th anniversary remix?
It's got more life, gut, and detail than previous versions.
Check it out.
I absolutely prefer it to previous versions, including my MFSL vinyl LP.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by hedgehog35 » 07 Mar 2019 21:39

I have enjoyed this debate and was going to suggest that Bullitt try to audition a good quality, modern turntable, but he beat me to it! I am not at surprised by his conclusions listening to a modern turntable which is at the bottom of the Acoustic signature range. Many years ago, I took my precious Thorens 160S/SME 3009 to my local Rega dealer and compared it to the then, fairly new Rega Planar 3. I was shocked to hear far greater musical detail coming out of the Rega and I was convinced to trade in my trusty Thorens. After 50 years of playing around with hi fi, I have come to the following conclusions:
1. Do not always believe that 'older' is better. I often see advice on this forum that suggests a turntable from the 'golden age' of vinyl (i.e. the 60's to 80's), will sound sonically superior to most modern turntables. I have to disagree. While we can admire the quality of the robust, mechanical components of a 70's turntable, it will very rarely sound as good as a well designed modern deck from Rega, Project, Acoustic signature etc. Many makes have acquired an almost mythical status such as the Thorens 150/160, that we assume that little progress has been made in the intervening years. I have owned a Thorens 150 and 160, and am sure both would be well beaten by a modern, reasonably priced deck. Where they have not been surpassed, is the quality of materials they have been made of.

2. Non - vinyl lovers often assume that more expensive turntables will make poor quality records sound worse as they will reveal a greater level of surface noise such as crackles, pops and clicks. They do, but they also retrieve a far greater amount of musical information from the record, and so the signal to noise ratio becomes greater not less. Therefore a cheaper turntable and arm will transmit an equal level of extraneous noise and musical signal, whereas the better machine will send the same quantity of noise to the phono stage, but a much greater quantity of musical information. Therefore surface noise becomes less, and not more noticeable.

3. I have to agree with everyone who suggested a record cleaning machine. If you have invested a very large amount of money in a very revealing and expensive system (as Bullitt has), then a RCM is not an added luxury but an essential part of the system. I have been amazed at what a good clean will do for a 50 year old record that I thought was ready to be chucked out.

4. Finally (you will be glad to hear), it seems that a modern 180g pressing is absolutely no guarantee that it will sound quieter than a fifty year old well - played record. I have been so disappointed at the quality of some new records - I think they are churning them out as fast as possible to capitalise on the resurgence of vinyl.

And just to stir things up - I do not believe that digital has a greater dynamic range than analogue. Suggest everyone should read "Get Better Sound" by Jim Smith. A fascinating book which takes apart some of the myths about recorded sound.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Bob Dillon » 07 Mar 2019 21:53

The arm is a weak spot on older Thorens. The old (fixed) output cables, too. Got to be able to put some decent cable on a 'table.

These refurbed Thorens with upgraded arms from Vinyl Nirvana look very nice : https://vinylnirvana.com/vintage-turntables-for-sale

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by feldman » 07 Mar 2019 22:03

Sunwire wrote:
07 Mar 2019 20:14
feldman wrote:
03 Mar 2019 17:08


The thing I really resent is when purist engineers decide to do something about the inevitable tape hiss. They apply noise reduction gimmicks and chop off the tape hiss and in the process castrate the music that is recorded on the tape. Last time I heard that was on the 50th anniversary remix of the Beatles White Album (released on November 9, 2018). They doctored copies of the master tapes, eliminated tape hiss and produced lifeless, gutless mix. Real abomination!
Have you heard the 50th anniversary remix?
It's got more life, gut, and detail than previous versions.
Check it out.
I absolutely prefer it to previous versions, including my MFSL vinyl LP.
My original White Album pressing from 1968 drives circles around the 50th anniversary remix. Much more air, sparkle, body and details. The bass goes deeper on the original mix, while bass on the remix sounds boomy; they've added a lot of mid-bass bloom, to make it sound like those newfangled 'audiophile' recordings. In the process, they stripped away the rock-and-roll sound from the White Album.

It's an abomination. I remember rushing to my local record store on November 9, 2018 to get the freshest copy of the 50th anniversary White Album remix. Could barely contain my excitement as I got home and washed, rinsed and vacuumed both LPs. Then, sitting down, I remember expecting to be blown away by the sound quality. What a rude awakening when I realized I'm listening to the wimpy, 'audiophile' re-imagining of the Beatles :(

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by Bob Dillon » 07 Mar 2019 22:07

I like the original White Album mix better, too. The idiosyncracies of the original stereo mix are part of what make the WA the WA for me. I don't need it to sound like it took a trip to IKEA to completely redecorate itself.
Sunwire wrote:
07 Mar 2019 20:14

Have you heard the 50th anniversary remix?
It's got more life, gut, and detail than previous versions.
Check it out.
I absolutely prefer it to previous versions, including my MFSL vinyl LP.
The MFSL is no great shakes anyway, it's very hot in the treble. I like just few tracks on i, like WMGGW.

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Re: Do I expect too much from records/analog?

Post by feldman » 07 Mar 2019 22:16

hedgehog35 wrote:
07 Mar 2019 21:39
1. Do not always believe that 'older' is better. I often see advice on this forum that suggests a turntable from the 'golden age' of vinyl (i.e. the 60's to 80's), will sound sonically superior to most modern turntables. I have to disagree. While we can admire the quality of the robust, mechanical components of a 70's turntable, it will very rarely sound as good as a well designed modern deck from Rega, Project, Acoustic signature etc. Many makes have acquired an almost mythical status such as the Thorens 150/160, that we assume that little progress has been made in the intervening years. I have owned a Thorens 150 and 160, and am sure both would be well beaten by a modern, reasonably priced deck. Where they have not been surpassed, is the quality of materials they have been made of.
While I have no opinion on whether new turntables have a better chance to sound better than the old ones, I do object to your claims that Rega and Project are capable of competing against quality turntables from the golden era of vinyl. All my experiences with Regas and Projects revealed to me that these turntables are nowhere near as good sounding as quality turntables from the 60s/70s/80s.

Maybe it's a matter of personal taste, but to my ears these new turntables sound somewhat 'bleached'. They sound almost like someone shone a very bright reflector light on the performers. The sound is sharp, etched, metallic, even screechy. A friend of mine who is in the audio gear business thinks that this brightness found in the new audio gear is the consequence of the buying patterns of the average consumers who are ageing and losing a lot of high-end hearing. So the customers appreciate brighter sound that potentiates the highs.

But my experience with Regas etc. is that they just shove instruments such as cymbals in your face, make them sound really sharp and present, which is absolutely NOT how cymbals sound in real life (I should know, I have Zidjan and Sabian cymbals in my music room).

Now, I don't doubt there are people of all ages and hearing abilities who prefer that type of sound. But to my ears, a soft, lush, detailed sound that has almost velvety character is what I'm getting from those older turntables. The details are all there, but they're not 'in your face', and the sound is not sharp or blaring.

Just my 2 cents...