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

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
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XJ99
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 09 Aug 2019 23:21

Nigel Gomez wrote:
07 Aug 2019 23:51
XJ99 wrote:
07 Aug 2019 04:22
Dang people are hardcore! I used to record my vinyl on to cassettes!
I wanted to preserve my vinyl back in the day. Now I just enjoy it!
Digitizing sucks all the fun out of vinyl records.

If I want digital I buy digital.

My records are for enjoyment to play as a record.

100% agree! MP3s are so compressed, it's not even funny!
Even my good MP3s that I buy for DJ'n are about 8-10 mb.

Last night..

https://i.postimg.cc/pX4NKZ7R/IMG-7392-1.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/HsVDJK66/IMG-7393-1.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/Y2XBCkz4/IMG-7394-1.jpg

I'm the only one in town doing vinyl nights! :wink:

Shadowman82
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 10 Aug 2019 21:55

Well MP3s are an entirely different matter , I don't think anyone ever claimed they sound as good as CDs even . But in theory I see no problems with something like a 24-bit/96khz FLAAC file . I don't think you can argue that Vinyl sounds better than one of those ( presuming it has decent mastering) . But like I keep saying much more music is available on Vinyl than on hi-res FLAAC files , same goes for other file formats .

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

Post by Gravitar8 » 10 Aug 2019 22:14

Not with the SL-15 :)
Shadowman82 wrote:
30 Jul 2019 00:55
It's true it's much harder to skip tracks on Vinyl than it is on CD

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

Post by NOYB » 11 Aug 2019 00:25

Audiophile or Audio-Fooled? How Good Are Your Ears?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgEjI5PZa78

This is only comparing to CD quality (16-bit 44.1KHz). But I think it is interesting and insightful nonetheless.
Skip to the test at 1:38
https://youtu.be/YgEjI5PZa78?t=98

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

Post by Sunwire » 11 Aug 2019 01:15

I used to work with digital audio every day at work for several years. I was curious about what level of compression was needed to fool my ear.
After many, many tests, I found I could ALWAYS distinguish a 128k mp3 from an uncompressed 44/16 WAV file. And the sound was often objectionable, although not extremely so.
Anything lower than 128k would always bug me.
I could NEVER reliably distinguish a 320k mp3 from a 44/16 WAV. I was just guessing.
With 192k I could usually tell the difference. With 256k I could sometimes tell the difference.
So, to my ear, a 320k mp3 is identical to an uncompressed 44/16 WAV.
If it's below 256k, I will always want to find a higher resolution copy.
Higher resolutions than 44/16 can sound better to me, but the difference is subtle. There seems to be an added smoothness to the sound, but I have to be paying attention to notice it. And I'm not sure I could reliably tell the difference. I have not done any rigorous testing on that like I have done with MP3 bitrates.

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

Post by NOYB » 11 Aug 2019 02:12

Yes once upon a time I could tell the difference between raw vinyl and mp3 of it up to about 192 kbps using a mid range 1980 era system in general purpose living room.
What about variable bit rate mp3. How far down the kbps ladder would you be comfortable with?

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

Post by Sunwire » 11 Aug 2019 04:23

I know I did some testing with VBR, but I don't remember any definite results. It was 15 or more years ago when I did this testing. I "think" there was no sonic difference between VBR and constant bitrate. But VBR files are significantly smaller.

I encode everything as FLAC now for my listening. Except if I'm going to play it in the car. My care stereo doesn't accept FLAC. It has to be MP3. I think I usually encode my "car" MP3s as 320k VBR. I just played back a couple of those files in Foobar. The bitrate jumps around from around 120 to 220 kbps depending on what's going on and how much stereo info there is.

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

Post by Sterling1 » 11 Aug 2019 11:19

Sunwire wrote:
11 Aug 2019 04:23
I know I did some testing with VBR, but I don't remember any definite results. It was 15 or more years ago when I did this testing. I "think" there was no sonic difference between VBR and constant bitrate. But VBR files are significantly smaller.

I encode everything as FLAC now for my listening. Except if I'm going to play it in the car. My care stereo doesn't accept FLAC. It has to be MP3. I think I usually encode my "car" MP3s as 320k VBR. I just played back a couple of those files in Foobar. The bitrate jumps around from around 120 to 220 kbps depending on what's going on and how much stereo info there is.
I used MP3 from its beginning to get radio commercials I produced out to radio stations via email. This was a very economical alternative to sending commercials out on reels or DAT via FedX. The audio quality was inferior to DAT in pretty much all manner that inferior could be discerned. Today, I'm satisfied that I can not hear much of divergence between iTunes downloads and the same material from SACD. One thing though, and this may just be my imagination running wild, up sampling iTunes streams or downloads to 24/192 from my OPPO 205 seems to deliver a more detailed sound. I first noticed it while listening to some DOO WOP early 60's music I had purchased from iTunes, which up sampled to 24/192 appeared to reveal tape splice edit points. At any rate, the only music today I have a problem with are the oldest MP3's I have in my iTunes Library which were put there back in 2004, very fatiguing.

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

Post by vanakaru » 11 Aug 2019 14:08

I have revisited this tread from time to time and I would offer one way to answer this initial question: digital can't sound as "warm" as analog because YOU THINK it does not.
There can not be factual scientific evidence to support the claim that digital can't sound as analog because we all are different and "hear" music differently and very personally.
BTW I have played a game with myself sometimes where I put on LP and find it sounding really nice - you know the wow-feeling - and then put on the same recording on CD. Usually I end up listening CD to the end of the album. It sounds as good but has no surface noise and I don't have to stand up to turn the record. Go figure!

Shadowman82
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 12 Aug 2019 00:04

Oh yeah the topic is misleading . Digital can sound as warm as analog , allot of times it just doesn't . As for MP3s I use them for convenience but on my home stereo I can tell the difference between them and a CD . From what I understand one of the areas where they take some stuff out with MP3s is in the deep bass frequencies which is why it might be easier to tell them apart from CDs on a home stereo with good speakers that can do deep bass .

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

Post by Sunwire » 12 Aug 2019 00:18

It is easy to tell the difference between a low bitrate MP3 (128k or lower) and a CD.
I challenge you to see if you can tell the difference between a 320kbps MP3 and a CD.

XJ99
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 12 Aug 2019 13:24

I got rid of all my CDs except for the Bob Rivers Twisted Christmas line.
I have high quality MP3's I use when I DJ, but nothing compares to my
vinyl! Then again, just my 0.02 it's just my opinion... Unless you're using
a tubed CD player (like my brother) you likely won't see a difference from
MP3 vs CD, unless the MP3 really sucks!

Shadowman82
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 12 Aug 2019 23:25

Again on my home stereo I can tell the difference between 320kbps MP3s and CDs but for example on my PC it does become more difficult to tell them apart . Makes sense MP3s were designed to sound fine on equipment with smaller speakers and not on hi-fi equipment . That's why they take some stuff out in the bass frequencies because most people do not listen to MP3s on big stereos that can do that kind of bass .

XJ99
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 13 Aug 2019 00:34

I have the gain set on my DJ software to maintain a certain db level.

I'm using 15"s with some decent tweets. I play at ballrooms, and dance halls.
My MP3s are probably the best you can find. Yes, I buy them..

https://i.postimg.cc/zvSSr597/DJ.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/G3Jk9L5J/DJ1.jpg


Just started vinyl nights at a venue, and people loved it!

https://i.postimg.cc/pX4NKZ7R/IMG-7392-1.jpg

Cool, keep spinning....

Shadowman82
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 13 Aug 2019 23:29

I totally get why DJs love to use MP3s , certainly way more convenient than lugging at bunch of CDs or records around .

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