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Author Topic: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset  (Read 16708 times)

Dominick

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 07:51:40 pm »

  Agreed. Increased convenience always is the primary factor.
However.
Significant increases in sound quality were achieved in parallel with added convenience with;
LP's & 45 rpm vinyl records over 78 rpm shellac
CD's over LP's.
Shields up!
Sorry analogophiles, a properly done 44.1 kHz 16 bit CD is a beautiful thing that surpasses the best LP's in all specifications
You can buy into the euphonics and mojo of LP's & 45's (I do) but there is no denying what is a more accurate copy of the source material.

Cassette tapes offered added convenience over LP in terms of portability and insensitivity to external vibration at the expense of fidelity and long term durability.
They eventually surpassed LP's in the market

MP3 & AAC offer the same conveniences over CD that cassettes had over LP's with the additional benefit of better long term durability. Fidelity is again a compromise but as you said that's never been the main marketing benefit.
As history repeats itself, they (in legal and illegal form) have surpassed CD's
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Dominick Costanzo

Tim Halligan

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 08:18:57 pm »

Dominick wrote on Thu, 27 January 2011 08:51

 Fidelity is again a compromise but as you said that's never been the main marketing benefit.




Indeed.

Even when a compact medium with allegedly CD-like fidelity was released, it bombed.

Remember DCC - the Digital Compact Cassette?

Cheers,
Tim
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Nicky D

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 08:36:21 pm »

no.
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ssltech

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 08:49:21 pm »

Yep. Philips DCC Sponsored the all-conquering Alfa Romeo 133's in the 1994 BTCC.

CD-LIKE quality was ATRAC if I remember correctly. -A data compression predating MP3 etc, and Philips got into a slugging match with Sony, pitting DCC against mini-disc.

Disadvantage of DCC? one-eighth inch super-thin tape at 1.775 ips...just like analog, with the attendant dropout/chewing/creasing problems. Like all tape/linear systems, seek/access to another track was always woeful and tedious.

Unlike many, I thought that CD offered much more than Elcaset ever did. -Harsh sound of immature converter/filter designs aside, the search convenience was a plus, the flat and predictable frequency response, and the low noise were all advantages. robustness and reliability of recorded data was also better.

Of course, the PCM 1600/1610/1630 converter sound was pretty poor, but CD has matured pretty well... to the point where it's VASTLY preferable to what most people are prepared to accept (127kbps mp3 as a 'standard', anyone?)

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

Nicky D

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2011, 02:47:32 am »

I think CD audio files are much better than mp3's...but I surpsingly dn't mind mp3's at 224 and up...they don't bug me that much..the conversion or whatever is happening in different places on the interweb...where people choose their music is generally horrendous and needs an intervention
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ssltech

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2011, 07:57:56 am »

Here's a 1994 BTCC pic which perfectly dates the marketing campaign for Digital Compact Cassette:

http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/431238/1994%20AR%20155%202.0%20TS%20BTCC_06.jpg

(the DCC logo is immediately beneath each headlight)

...and here they demonstrated how much more 'skip resistant' DCC was than in-car Compact Disc.

http://assets.speedtv.com/images/easy_gallery/1021238/crash06_01_m.jpg

Twisted Evil

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

kats

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2011, 10:59:34 am »

Dominick wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 18:51

 
Sorry analogophiles, a properly done 44.1 kHz 16 bit CD is a beautiful thing that surpasses the best LP's in all specifications




The nice thing about "specifications" is that they never take into account real world application.
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Tony K.
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mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2011, 12:14:21 pm »

Right. Sorry, digiophiles - a good properly set up well-made turntable will beat the living hell out of almost any CD played back on a conventional CD player. And the LP will be playable in 100 years.

I've only heard one digital device that can compete with the DeParavacini magnetically-floated-platter 'table. Assuming what we're talking about is disappearance of the playback device itself, and getting to the sound contained in the source material.

This assertion was very obviously made without the qualifications to make it, i.e experience. Ignorance is just an excuse for belief.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2011, 12:29:13 pm »

ssltech wrote on Thu, 27 January 2011 12:57



...and here they demonstrated how much more 'skip resistant' DCC was than in-car Compact Disc.


Boy, did THAT format crash and burn.

Literally.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2011, 12:37:17 pm »

I compared Slayer's "South of Heaven," a very well-recorded album that I'm very familiar with, with lots of high frequency energy and very strong drum transients at both high and low frequencies. The vinyl sounds VERY close to the CD. I attribute this to great engineering and great vinyl mastering.
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ssltech

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2011, 01:17:16 pm »

Depends what market.

Most albums were mastered in each territory. Many times, things were mastered differently in different territories, as well as for different formats...

Take Donald Fagin's "the Nightfly". (-Please!!!)  -The difference in sound between the UK vinyl release and the UK CD release is not down to digital versus analog. It's because one was mastered on Venus, the other on Mars.

Keith
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MDM (maxdimario) wrote on Fri, 16 November 2007 21:36

I have the feeling that I have more experience in my little finger than you do in your whole body about audio electronics..

Dominick

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2011, 04:36:38 pm »

Tony & Dan

I've no doubt you enjoy you vinyl collections.
I certainly enjoy mine and prefer the experience of playing vinyl over any other format.
However -
"a good properly set up well-made turntable will beat the living hell out of almost any CD played back on a conventional CD player"
"Beat the living hell"??? What does that mean? Is this a WWF match?
Your description of the gear in that statement is vague to say the least.

I'm sure the DeParavicini is a stellar piece of gear. A fair comparison to vinyl playback on it would perhaps be some exotic $10,000 CD transport playing through a Pacific Microsonics HDCD D to A converter.

Anybody won the lottery here?

"disappearance of the playback device itself, and getting to the sound contained in the source material"
If by "source material" you refer to the vinyl pressing, that sound would include surface noise, limited bandwidth, limited dynamic range, limited channel separation,  IM distortion, inner groove distortion, etc.  compared to the original source material - the master tape.

I work at a mastering studio. We've done some very high budget reissue projects that were released in both formats. We start by comparing the original master tapes to several EQ'd cutting masters made at the time of the original release and to original release 1A pressings (played on a "high quality properly set up turntable") to hear the sonic differences. These comparisons are important. Our intent is to be faithful to the original release. There will be the inevitable reviews in audiophile  magazines comparing the reissue to their "holy grail" original 1A pressings played on some esoteric turntable setup that costs more than my annual NYC apartment rent.
We don't have a lathe, so vinyl masters are cut at a highly respected facility in town from the original master tapes. Again using EQ'd cutting copies and 1A pressings as references. The reissue producer and our mastering engineer attend the session. Audio path from the repro head to the cutter amp is pure analog. Pressings are made on 180 gram virgin vinyl.
At our facility, we prepare the CD masters. Again remaining faithful to the sound of the original release. Decisions are made as to which processing will be done analog and which will be done digital. After any analog processing, program is digitized from the original master tape through Pacific Microsonics converters. Digital processing (if any) is applied. The 44.1 kHz 16 bit CD master is assembled and sent to the plant.
We get the test vinyl pressings and play them on our "high quality properly set up turntable". Ultimately we get pressings we approve. Do they sound good? They sound great. We compare the new pressings to the original pressings and EQ'd cutting masters. Do they sound the same? Close, but no. I'll not attempt to list the dozens of possible reasons why.
Then we compare the CD test pressings to our CD 44.1 kHz 16 bit master files. Do they sound the same? Very much so.
We compare the CD to the vinyl. Do they both sound good? Yes, we've done our job as best we can. Do they sound the same? No. How could they? Apples vs. oranges.

Which release format would you prefer? That's up to you.

Here's a less complex scenario. A client comes in with a new project mixed to 1" 2 track analog tape. He want to release both on LP and CD. He insists that absolutely no processing be done to the master. He's confident of his mixes. We comply & do a straight transfer to digital with absolutely no processing in the generation of the CD master. The same master tape is brought to the disc mastering house. The same 1" 2 track playback tape machine used at our facility is transported to the cutting facility to eliminate that variable. Master discs are cut, again with no processing, flat from the master tape, Pure analog.
Highest quality pressings are made and approved.
A CD pressing and a LP pressing are compared to the original master tape.
Which one sounds more like the master tape?
I'm afraid the CD would give the LP a good, old fashioned, James Caan, Godfather I, garbage can lid to the head beating.
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Dominick Costanzo

mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2011, 06:10:45 pm »

Dominick wrote on Thu, 27 January 2011 13:36

I'm sure the DeParavicini is a stellar piece of gear. A fair comparison to vinyl playback on it would perhaps be some exotic $10,000 CD transport playing through a Pacific Microsonics HDCD D to A converter.

Anybody won the lottery here?

No, just earned money, and spent it where I liked. Was that the point? If you mean on a budget system a CD will sound better, that's often true. But this isn't really the point, is it?
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Dominick

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2011, 10:11:09 pm »

My point was if your comparing vinyl vs. CD, the reproducers should be of equivalent quality.

Yes a $60. CD player against a $60. turntable / cartridge / preamp would have the vinyl at a great disadvantge.
What about the $400. Harman Kardon HD-990?
Would a $400. turntable setup be equivalent? Probably not.
$800. gets you an entry level audiophile turnable / cartridge / preamp setup.
Both the Harman & the $800. turntable setup would give respectable performance.
But the problem remains that your still comparing apples to oranges.
Whatever works.

I'm happy for you and jealous of your DePavaricini
One of our turntables is a Rockport with a David Smith modified Cello preamp.
It's insane. One of 5 built. It was purchased at a time when cost was no object. A time long gone.
It is not a real world turntable (unless your world includes 100 meter private yachts). It's a highly specialized tool.
 
I love my vinyl. Lots of it is obscure stuff  that will never be reissued. I like the tactile nature of using it, the large graphics, fonts that are large enough to read. 45's are even more fun. Best format ever but lots of the attraction is again physical. That physical nature is part of the listening experience and affects my emotional response to the entire experience.
That's when I'm home enjoying myself.

I'm also a professional. I've been in this business 40 years and have learned the importance of objective evaluation when comparing X vs. Y.
That's my job.
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Dominick Costanzo

mgod

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Re: consumer indifference explained: Elcaset
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2011, 03:14:08 am »

I don't have a DeParavacini, they're hard to get, less hard to spend some time with. I have an Immedia RPM 2, Immedia arm, Helikon SL and EAR G88 preamp; and a Theta Gen Va and Data III transport with Illuminati cables. $12k table, $12k CD player. The table killed the Theta set up until I started powering the whole system from the PS Power Plant. That stepped the Theta way up (which - theoretically - shouldn't have happened. How much power supply regulation is enough?). But the only dig competitive with the Immedia so far is the Memory Player which is a different ball game and redefines what 16-bit 44.1 is.

As the DeParavacini (and presumably the Continuum and the megabuck Clearaudio) redefines a table by demonstrating that even though you don't know you're hearing any motor rumble, once you get rid of it completely you become aware of what it was doing, the Memory Player redefines digital playback by demonstrating, among other things, what playing out of a buffer does to the sound - its a synthesizer in effect. Motor rumble, even apparently inaudible as in the Immedia, is one of the things that a table does to distort the sound away from the sound of a master. All that buffering and interpolating is what any sort of normal CD playback does in the same way. None of this matters until you hear it - then its always apparent.

The idea that a 16/44.1 CD in conventional playback is close to a master is nothing that has ever been supported by any of the professionals I've worked with for decades. Although its inarguable that from a theoretical technical standpoint a table must be more of a change, the CD usually sounds further until you really start throwing money at it. Then you stand a chance of approaching the performance of a good table.

But, again, the Memory Player changes all of it. Its so good that when a record sounds better, it makes me wonder what the record is doing that might be enhancing the signal. I keep wondering if some sort of plug-in couldn't be written for it that emulates that whole L-R thing to test some of this. I've had some email with Jim Johnston about it. Does a cutter-head make audio apparently better? Its a little mysterious still. If it does, how? And why does digital sound closer to reality as it approaches some of the odd quirks of analog?

I have no interest in arguments about objectivity. Years in these fora have shown me that one man's objectivity is another man's religious conviction. I've never met two people in audio who define their job the same, and everyone thinks they're objective. I'm only interested in how things sound, or more precisely, how they don't sound. I'm just as certain that I'm more objective than you as you are of your own objectivity. I can't learn if I'm not objective. And we go around and around.

I'm delighted to hear that David Smith got inside the Cello stuff. That couldn't have done anything but made it better. He was something.
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