Is New Vinyl Exempt from Loudness Wars?


I'm seeing new vinyl sold in many unexpected places these days.  

For those who have bought a lot of new vinyl,  I'm wondering if these tend to be mastered differently from similar newer CD  remasters that often show effects of the "Loudness Wars"?

Is it a mixed bag perhaps?   Much like CDs?

I wonder because if I knew there was a different mastering done for new vinyl I might consider buying some if I knew. 

But new vinyl is expensive and I would not want to get essentially the same end result in regards to sound quality as I would get with CD for much less.

Just wondering.
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128mapman
Not if the vinyl was cut from a poorly mastered digital source.
LP mastering is almost always different from that of CD, even if made from the same digital file.

The reason is you don't have to compress LPs because there is no intention that they will be played in a car.
Atmasphere I know it can be different for that reason. My question is if it is in fact done that way? What is the intended audience? Audiophiles that care about the best possible sound or Iphone and Bluetooth speaker users looking for a new toy? At Urban Outfitters on 5th ave Manhattan, over the holidays, they had a large section dedicated to electronic toys. It included things from the cheapest Crosley to several entry level turntables. Also a decent selection of new records $30 a pop or more. I wonder if the records are made to just sell new junk to the masses or to truly take advantage of the format? I suspect the former to a large extent. A lot of the new record releases had nice packaging and artwork, etc. and seemed substantial, but is that just a glossy package?
Barnes & Noble now have LP displays! The sound of any given LP is determined by the record label. Sony is putting out LP's, but I doubt they have theirs mastered the way Mobile Fidelity does. Good luck getting any information from Sony about how their LP's are made.
It is a mixed bag!  If you want new music, it is all digital. Stick with well recorded CDs.

Forget new Lps, just buy used pure analog Lps, from before the CD, for best sonics, IMO.
Don, I know its all digital but that does not preclude having a superior recording in terms of dynamic range on a record compared to CD.

Its all a matter of how done and who is the target audience. I suspect new vinyl targets the masses and is not up to potential as a result. Mostly the same mastering as on CD but released on vinyl for something new to sell.  But I’m hoping I’m wrong. I would buy new vinyl releases of some popular recordings I like if I felt confident that the vinyl product is superior.

My daughter has bought one or two new records recently. One is Thriller. I’ll have to give it a listen and compare. Of course that is one of the best quality original pop recordings of all to start with. You’d think the recording industry would learn that you have to deliver an exceptional product in all regards to have success like that. Will be interested to hear how the new vinyl sounds.
Interesting question.  Limiting is used to make a recording sound loud and avoid distortion on digital recordings. Many modern LPs are cut from the same limited masters used for the digital release. But not all.  

My experience has been mixed.  I though the Annie Lennox and Bennet/Gaga LPs from last year excellent while Florence & The Machine's How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was compressed garbage.  I also found Adele's 21 almost unlistenable in both CD and LP - compressed with annoyingly audible distortion.  I believe it's all in the mastering.  Good masters sound good, bad ones don't.

Happy listening!
Mapman - what follows is a copy and paste of some of the research I did and posted on my system thread on Loudness Wars. you might recall seeing it?
Due to the unfinished state of virtual systems I am not able to link it, so I copy part of it here as I feel it is relevant to your thread.

I spoke with Maegan Ritchat of Lacquer Channel a couple of times last year about this to get some answers about Loudness Wars and the real differences I hear between Vinyl and Cd.

http://lacquerchannel.com/the-engineers/maeghan-Ritchat/

Lacquer Channel is one of the largest mastering studios in Canada.

translated from my conversation with Maegan.

**********************************

When the vinyl is cut from a digital master the engineer must TONE THIS DIGITAL MASTER LOUDNESS FACTOR DOWN. He/she has no choice on this because of actual physical limitations with the cut grooves on the record, and noise itself.

For example.

If the band is bass heavy like a rock or reggae band, the bass may need to be filtered at 40 hz, or put into mono below 40 hz. This prevents the grooves from being cut too wide (<------->) and even running into one another. One of the factors deciding this is how long the songs run on the vinyl side being cut. On the high frequency end depending on how SSSSShhhhh or how Tizzy the digital file sounds; if it was captured sounding a little harsh, a 16k filter can be used as one option with the vinyl. Just one reason vinyl may sound a little more rolled off, smoother, compared to its digital equivalent on some records.
     
The end result is a less fatiguing sound with vinyl, once this "loudness" has been toned down. Maegan said in her experiences to date with customers who have heard digital and vinyl from redbook CD level source files on resolving systems...customers generally prefer the vinyl.

So a couple reasons above why the sound differs between the vinyl and cd, even though the digital master might have been done at 44,1k Hz 16 bits the red book cd standard. Now if the Digital master file is higher than the CD standard 44,1khz. 16 bits
This leads to...

the second finding and Higher Rez files.

When Higher Rez Digital files are available like 96khz/24 bit or higher - it makes sense to use them and these are indeed usually used for the vinyl cut. So when you buy the vinyl you are probably getting the LP's made from the higher rez files if available. Maegan confirmed this. This however would need to be confirmed on a per LP basis with the mastering studio involved.  

The genre makes a difference from a general perspective. She agreed that Classical, Opera and Jazz for example are in general terms, better files to begin with, in that they are more dynamic than your typical rock, pop group digital masters which have more loudness factor and compression.


Compression caters to  pop/rock radio stations who want a blast mid-range so dial isn't changed on dialing car radios .
With only one jazz or classical station ,if you're lucky, these folks aren't changing .
It's hit or miss with the new stuff, for reasons stated above. You have to make sure where it's sourced from.

However, if you go with the established re-issue labels, such as MoFi, DCC, Classic Records and many others, it's clearly stated the records were cut from the original masters, i.e. analog. Do a little research.

There are MANY vinyl records being re-issued from many, many labels now that go back to the ORIGINAL ANALOG MASTERS.

I'd give some links here to internet sellers that specialize in this. There is a TON of good stuff out there sourced from the original analog masters. However, I don't know if it's allowed to give a direct link in this case. If it is, someone please advise and I'll throw a few out there. If it's not and you want to know, send me an e-mail and I'll answer directly.

I've got a LOT of the re-issue stuff, and it's very,very good. WAY Better than any CD version, and usually better than hi-res digital files.

Be advised, as a disclaimer, I am a resolute vinyl junkie. To me the best vinyl always trumps the best digital.

Cheers,                         Crazy Bill



Speaking as someone who masters for production, I can tell you that, broadly, everything said above is true. Essentially, it is all in the mastering, and there is no reliable way to tell if a given LP has been mastered appropriately for that medium. Proper LP mastering is distinctly different from CD mastering in nearly all cases. With LPs, there is no absolute 0 dBFS ceiling to compress up against, as well as a number of other aspects of LP production that require very different mastering considerations. (That’s why LP vs. CD "shootouts" of the "same" recording are, in nearly all cases, simply bogus.) But none of that means that the same, highly compressed, CD master can’t, with some exceptions or minor modifications, be cut to an LP. The LP in that case will likely sound like crap, quite possibly worse even than the "identical" CD, but there is no way for the buyer to know that in advance.

I work with both LPs and digital media a lot. As far as I’m concerned, except as an artifact and as still arguably the best archival media, LPs should otherwise be obsolete. There is no theoretical reason why Redbook CDs, respectfully and properly mastered, shouldn’t in all cases sound as good as or better than any LP. The fact that they often don’t speaks more to the irresistible temptation to abuse the remarkable power of digital technology than to some intrinsic sonic superiority of the LP.

In short, I’m sorry, but, as a consumer, there is no reliable and consistent answer to your question. Good luck and more’s the pity.
Really good info.   Thanks so much. 
The Dynamic Range Database is a good resource for comparing new vinyl and CD releases, at least in terms of raw dynamic range:

http://dr.loudness-war.info/

The vinyl releases aren't always there, but are listed enough such that I use it as a resource when buying new vinyl.

It's also interesting to look at older releases and compare the CD and vinyl versions.
Historically vinyl gets high marks, but no format is completely exempt from overly agressive dynamic range compression. Not vinyl, not SACD, not Japanese SHM CDs, not even hi res downloads. 

When the vinyl is cut from a digital master the engineer must TONE THIS DIGITAL MASTER LOUDNESS FACTOR DOWN. He/she has no choice on this because of actual physical limitations with the cut grooves on the record, and noise itself.

This statement does not sound right. We've yet to encounter a digital master file that we had to 'tone down'; what you are dealing with here is simply that you have to find the right level to get everything in the groove (so this could be simple semantics), but IME you don't have to limit or compress the signal going into the grooves to do that. You don't have to limit the bass either. You do have to be on the lookout for out of phase bass, which can occur in multi-tracked recordings; this can be dealt with by a passive process that senses the out-of-phase bass and makes it mono below a certain frequency for a few milliseconds. But if you are careful and spend some time with the recording, quite often even that process can be avoided simply by changing the groove depth and perhaps adjusting the overall level by a db or so. One or 2 db can have a huge effect when mastering an LP; -3 db means half as much power in the cutterhead- half as much excursion. So reducing the level by only a db might be all that is needed to make the project work, and in the end result that db is hardly audible.

It really comes down to production- if the producer is smart they won't send the LP mastering house the same file that was used to master the CD (which often has limiting, EQ and compression), instead they will send the master digital file with the understanding that the LP mastering engineer will deal with it as needed.

But in all cases the LP is being mastered with something very much like the master digital file, whereas the CD likely is not. Further, people do still master with analog tape, which is great when it happens. This is why the LP usually sounds better- its closer to the source if nothing else.
"they will send the master digital file with the understanding that the LP mastering engineer will deal with it as needed. "

Isn’t that pretty much what they sent the CD mastering engineer as well?

The end result will depend mostly on what determines how it will be dealt with at that point. Is it individual discretion? Maximizing the sound quality? Or compromising it in some way for whatever other reason?

My guess is as mentioned earlier it probably depends on the company and their target customers. That is assuming it costs more to produce a high quality product than otherwise, which is usually the case. Costs will be managed accordingly and differently by maker. In the end is it any different than last go round with records? Most are compromised (like CDs) but a few labels (and maybe some particular artists with clout) focus on sound quality more than others. Those are the ones that might be worth it it seems to me. Unless one just likes to play records regardless (we already know how that ended last time).

In the end it sounds like a very mixed bag, not any different than CDs, except with a format where the ceiling is theoretically higher at least in terms of dynamic range, something mostly only select few audiophiles with really good systems might care about. Resolution as well but the actual significance of the technical differences there are even more debatable.

And only a very few these days would even begin to think about large format tape formats, which is probably the only format historically that most would agree is the real champ.

High res digital can stake a claim even today I think in some cases if one looks hard enough. Someday perhaps not too far off I expect high res digital will in fact gain traction and exclusively claim a significant niche as the high end for home audio fidelity.

Records may survive as well not so much because of sound quality but because records are a nice product you can hold, read look at whatever, you know, teh physical connection  that we largely lost with tiny CDs.
Dear mapman: Today the best 32/384 digital recordings ( if well recorded. ) playingback with units with 32/384 technology beats the analog experience.

Today we are not on those old times of the CD " terrible sounds ". Digital grow up and still does and the players are improving day by day where the analog experience was not so dynamics in that grow up as digital.

The true analog experienc at home is an expensive alternative on what we need for the LP really can shines: right TT, right cartridge ( more than one. ), right tonearm, right phono stage, right line preamp, etc, etc where that " right " means a expensive and well designed items.

In my case I justify not only the very high analog experience price but the in deep learning knowledge and skills we need to " handle LPs" in the right way because I own over 6K LPs where many of them I can't get it in digital format.

If you don't own a good number of LPs my advise is try to improve your digital alternative and just forget the analog experience.

Analog alternative is full of anomalies and ditortions during playback and many of those anomalies starts in the recording " land ". Only to name one of those anomalies/added distortions exist two heavy equalizations proccess with an LP: RIAA equalization during the whole recording process and the inverse RIAA eq. during playback through the phono stage. In both cases both proccess makes a heavy degradation to the musical signal. These not happens with the digital alternative and many other " things ".

I can tell you that I enjoy the music even in my car audio. Music has no " formats ", is just MUSIC.


Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
RR,

Sounds right to me.

Cheers!

RR
Today we are not on those old times of the CD " terrible sounds ". Digital grow up and still does and the players are improving day by day where the analog experience was not so dynamics in that grow up as digital.

Mapman - Sounds right to me 

Are you sure Raul/Mapman. I think it depends on who is involved in doing the "audio job" from start to finish. And I give just one example from today.  

My wife brings home from shopping the Adele 25 cd. $12. She said they had stacks of the cd in the store - Costco.
She saw me watching the NY concert so she bought it.
I know Adele is really, really, popular at Audiogon - 8^0 - with two recent threads dedicated to her.
So in the subject of this thread I look deeper into this.  

The Dr database reveals.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=adele&album=

Adele 25   2015  ratings    05  -  04  -  08       lossless CD
Adele 25   2015                 11   - 09   - 12       lossless Vinyl
Adele 25 (96/24 LP Needle Drop) 2015
                                          11  -  09    -12       lossless Vinyl

Why is vinyl rated higher ?

Has anyone heard both the cd and vinyl versions ?

Curious.....


and if you analize the RIAA curve you can see that exist a significative compression in the bass frequency range that latter on the phono stage  have to be " restablished " through another RIAA eq. degradation mechanism.

It does not matters what any one name it of course exist that bass compression that as I said the digital alternative has not.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
I hate poor remasters where the treble is shrill or there is no open midrange

all the new Booker T and the MGs remasters sound terrible
"The Dr database reveals.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=adele&album=

Adele 25 2015 ratings 05 - 04 - 08 lossless CD
Adele 25 2015 11 - 09 - 12 lossless Vinyl
Adele 25 (96/24 LP Needle Drop) 2015
11 - 09 -12 lossless Vinyl

Why is vinyl rated higher ?

Has anyone heard both the cd and vinyl versions ?

Curious....."

I suspect the real question is, why are both formats so POOR? You know, on the Dynamic Range Database the lowest number for a rating of Good Dynamic Range is 14. The number 8-13 are transitional, and 1-7 represent BAD dynamic range. If I'm not mistaken there’s actually a recording somewhere in the dynamic range database with a 0, zero, goose egg for dynamic range.

So for the Adele releases listed above on the Database, both CD and vinyl, the numbers for Average, Lowest and Highest Dynamic Range are what should probably be described as abysmal.

Do yourself a favor pick up good used LP’s even a 4th or 5th pressing from the late 70’s or early 80’s will sound much closer to the master tape then these wonder vinyl’s that are pressed on 180 gram lp’s.
AN LP MASTERED FROM A DIGITAL CD MASTER WHY BOTHER


Cut to meaningfully compare formats you have to compare the best of both.   Quality of individual releases in any format can vary from horrid to the best.  Format alone assures nothing.  
Sound82

amen
i switched my buying to used lps from the era
unless there is a great analog review here

The sound is so much more open
the rare stylus damaged record

even better
finding first UK pressing
sound better than my pristine japanese copies

why do companies put out old reissues that sound terrible?
4 guys
sundazed
the Amy Winehouse releases
the latest Peter Gabriel 45s
etc
Audiotomb,
The simple answer is money. People will buy them because they think that new vinyl carefully remastered must sound better than the original stuff.
Not so.

Now, in most of the cases, the remastered stuff has been carefully remastered by very competent folks. I won’t mention names. The problem, as I have seen it, is HOW GOOD is the original master tape.

Let’s just use an example of one of my fave classic rock bands; Jethro Tull.
I’ve got original first pressing Island Pink,Chrysalis,Reissues by DCC,MoFi. The sound quality is all over the lot. Usually, I prefer first pressing stuff from Germany. Nothing sounds more open and real to me than those pressings. In the case of Aqualung, I’ve got just about all the important varieties including the Classic Records 45 rpm Clarity Vinyl version, and you know what ?

They all sound like shit. Because, in a nutshell, the original master tape is just that. Not good. The Clarity Vinyl version is the best of the lot, but still not good. Sad, because I love Aqualung, and its hard for me to listen to any version.

That said, most of my re-issue stuff ( and I’ve got a lot ), is very good. But there are some bad ones too. It’s hit or miss. The reviews by the major mags can help a little, but they don’t review them all, so you’re taking a chance.

In many cases the master tapes are old and have degraded over time. Remember that the good first pressings were made from fresh master tapes, and the reissues were made from aged master tapes. The stuff from the 60’s and 70’s is now 40-50 yrs old.

As an example, the last Doors re-issues that used the untouched master tapes were those by DCC. After that the master tapes had deteriorated so much that they needed some digital repair. That said, I have one of the box sets made that way and they are quite good.

For the record, I’ve got a fair amount of Sundazed re-issues. Most of them are excellent, but not all. It’s hit or miss with those and any re-issue.

Cheers, Crazy Bill

P.S. I must disagree ( though only a little ) with Raul about forgoing vinyl and going all digital. While I still prefer vinyl over digital, digital has improved. And as Raul has correctly pointed out, to a point where it is crazy good and very real sounding. But be advised that I’m basing my findings on some very high end digital stuff. My stuff is pretty good ( computer source and three DACs: ifi IDAC2, Weiss DAC202, and Auralic vega played back through high end headphone set-ups ) My buddy’s set-up is actually surreal it’s so good, but between everything ( power,source,DAC and headphone set-up, we’re talking a quesstimate of 70-75K ).

Right now, as I write this, I’m listening to the ifi through Sennheiser HD650 w/ Cardas cable, and I’m feeling no need to stop. For a diehard vinyl junkie like myself, that is saying a lot. So, while I myself will never give up vinyl, Raul’s advice could be totally appropriate for many of you.

Cheers again, Crazy Bill

Geoffkait

re: Adele 25

I suspect the real question is, why are both formats so POOR? You know, on the Dynamic Range Database the lowest number for a rating of Good Dynamic Range is 14. The number 8-13 are transitional, and 1-7 represent BAD dynamic range.
So for the Adele releases listed above on the Database, both CD and vinyl, the numbers for Average, Lowest and Highest Dynamic Range are what should probably be described as abysmal.

That DR database has been around forever and it pops up in forum discussions here and there.  I do find it is pretty consistent but I have not let it guide my music buying. Its easy enough to look up on your phone when buying new or used music. Some findings.  

I played 3 new for me cd's including Adele 25.
Diana Krall - Stepping Out '93, Adele 25, Bizet Carmen - Classical Gold '94

Diana Krall Stepping out from 1993 cd first.  Set the preamp gain and volume levels.  Enjoyable listen. Then I put the Adele 25 cd in. Holy moly.

I stopped the cd bring out the Diana Krall Cd again, and start taking spl measurements - curious.  The SPL Meter was set to 90 db as the midpoint for Krall's album. Peaking at the meter sitting next to me it went from low 80's - 95 db.  With Adele 25 - no change in preamp settings, the SPL meter needed to be set at the next notch - 100 db midpoint (so as not to break the needle). The Adele 25 album in my room A went from 90 - 100+ db at my listening position about 13 feet from speakers.   The space is easily pressurized by the speakers/amp. The 3rd Bizet cd - again enjoyable levels like the Krall CD.  

Diana Krall Stepping Out - The Early Recordings (original CD) 1993
13 12 15 lossless Unknown - All Green

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=diana+krall&album=

Bizet Carmen Classical Gold 1994 London Festival Orchestra - can't find this Cd on the database but it's a good recording. The Bizet's shown in the database high green marks.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=Georges%20Bizet

Now here's the thing. Most long term audio music friends I know - have 2 if not more system kits set up in their house.  With my two system kit setups

In the room that plays full range and is easily pressurized I found the CD way overblown with huge bass extensions. And I say this as a music lover.
But I am pretty sure from past music, since I haven't done it yet, in my example, if Adele 25 gets played in room B on the Quad 57 system with no sub/s and their 45hz limits - It will sound much more listenable.  But the more important thing here to me - the music, and its message.  I can see females blaring this out in their car with windows down. If they are I would steer clear of them. hold on - ok... put my teflon suit on.  

GK - so getting back to your question.  Why are both formats so POOR ? and this thread's topic

In this example the DR ratings show the vinyl album with slightly better transitional ratings versus the cd's poor ratings. Is vinyl enough to save this one ? Let someone come on hear and tell us since I haven't heard the vinyl. 

I do think if engineers think the music is going to played mostly in a car or mobile, they will turn up the bass. If they think its staying indoors on a turntable, they do what they can to make it better. In this case maybe just putting lipstick on a Pig ?  They (engineers) know what they are doing. This is about making money. Look to the target audience.  
  
Happy (DR) Listening.


Here is one I find really interesting. Natalie Merchant. Tigerlily

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=natalie+merchant&album=tigerlily+

Note the values for CD, Vinyl, HD Tracks, 2 lp 45 rpm vinyl (vinyl entry 2nd from bottom)

Again(since you brought it up)- A presentation, by Harman International:http://www.distortionofsound.com Another site that may be of interest to some: http://dr.loudness-war.info/ There are a number of LPs and their DRs listed. A search is available, via either artist or album title. Sorry, if others have already mentioned the site..
I'm not at all surprised by ct0517's finding of Natalie Merchant's work. I've never worked with Natalie, but I've known her in passing and also know several of the people she works with rather well. They all are VERY aware of their sound and the technical considerations that go into it. A group that Natalie has worked with, The Horseflies, recorded and produced a CD several years ago that still blows me away - "Until the Ocean".  http://www.thehorseflies.com/store.htm Unique and phenomenal music, but also a remarkable and brilliant use of the best capabilities of digital studio production. Needless to say, it is not needlessly compressed. But for much the same reason, it's not available on LP, as I doubt that its sound would translate well to that medium.
Natalie Merchant has a voice of gold.   One of my favorites.  I could listen to her sing the phone book. 
Lp2cd

Unique and phenomenal music, but also a remarkable and brilliant use of the best capabilities of digital studio production. Needless to say, it is not needlessly compressed. But for much the same reason, it’s not available on LP, as I doubt that its sound would translate well to that medium.


Lp2cd - can you tell us why this is with the Horseflies album. Why the sound would not translate well ? 
ct0517-
Understand, I had nothing to do with the production of that album. (Also, Natalie Merchant is not on it...) But why would it probably not work on an LP? The short answer is that CDs are a playback medium that is altogether superior to the LP, a fact that has been argued ceaselessly but is simply true. I'll not argue it further; as has been pointed out already, the problems with CDs lay primarily with the common misuse of digital technology. (Hyper clean recordings don't sound quite right either. But that's a different issue.) On "Until the Ocean," The Horseflies made full, proper and creative use of current recording technology and the CD's capabilities. That is not to say it couldn't be produced to LP, but it would undoubtedly require significant compromises in dynamic range and bass response, which, knowing them, they would likely be reluctant to do. (The Horseflies worked, hard, on that recording for several years!)

A further issue surrounding the idea of an LP version of "Until the Ocean," is that very, VERY, few people, especially at the time of its release, had LP playback equipment that would do any justice to that recording, especially if it was dialed down for LP. It's rather a challenge on good CD playback systems, which are far more common, and again, I'm certain that The Horseflies are concerned that their music be optimally heard. (They even bring the fellow who did much of the tracking for the CD, Will Russell, with them on the road to mix their live sound. They're fussy! BTW, Judy Hyman, the fiddler, is Dick Hyman's daughter...)

Besides all that, at the time "Until the Ocean" was released, the LP fad was only just getting started. It would have (and still does...) require considerable extra difficulty and expense to produce an LP. It was enough for them just to produce the CD, which they never expected to sell more than a very few thousand copies.

So this is all speculation on my part. I've known The Horseflies for decades, and I run into them occasionally. Next time I do, maybe I'll ask. They may very well have an answer that is all their own.
The Fasten Seat Belts sign just came on. 

LOL! No it didn't. Well, maybe others will, but I won't argue it. That's been done far more than well enough already, and I've nothing to add.
Lp2cd - thanks for that information.
Never knew that album existed, will listen to the sample tracks to see if I like the music.

Looking to learn, if I can ask you when you say.

That is not to say it couldn’t be produced to LP, but it would undoubtedly require significant compromises in dynamic range and bass response, which, knowing them, they would likely be reluctant to do.

I discussed in the first post here how my talks with that engineer, discussed how with digital files going to vinyl, depending on the loudness factor, quality of the files; the bass may need to filtered or mono’ed at certain Hz, along with a filter at the High frequencies - 16k hz for example. It sounds to me that the album you reference was originally recorded very carefully so that there is little of this loudness problem and of good quality?
Fair statement ?
So when you say significant compromises with the vinyl, are you referring to the physical media itself involved, and maybe that few people remain, that have the skill to do the cutting properly ? And the plants the discs go to - using old equipment and crude techniques. We have all seen how they make records on youtube.

Is this what you were referring to? or something else...

Just one example of vinyl compromise.
My understanding when they cut a record they start with large circles and grooves on the outside and it becomes smaller and smaller as you get inside. In order to accommodate 20 minutes of music the inside circles are smaller in diameter. Harder to track with a pivot tonearm especially with antiskate. Now I have Lp records from artists whose team of people recognize this vinyl design problem, and have put a single album record on two discs; the music does not go much past the physical record’s mid travel point. This is just one example imo of trying to deal with the compromise of this crude piece of plastic.

This part has me curious.
If I can make one more reference to the Natalie Merchant Tigerlily album and what I found surprising. Btw just an album I picked out and looked up. Am a huge fan of hers and her music gets a lot of play in my rooms.

It’s a mid 90’s album 1995 and they stopped using the SPAR coding on cd’s by then. Is the music CD - DDD or ADD ? Some info from the album insert.

Recorded Bearsville Studios Dec 1994 - March 1995
Additional recording The Club House, Germantown NY
Mixed RPM studios, NY,
Additional Mixing Sony Studios, NY
Mastered Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland ME.

The interesting part for me going back to that DR database album link. btw - I am not associated with it and imo the information it provides is just that - information.
if one clicks on this link

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=natalie+merchant&album=tigerlily+

According to this DR database the Vinyl versions of this album have the highest dynamic range over the CD and HD tracks. Why is this ?

Lp2cd do you have an opinion on this based on your experiences ?
Are we looking at a limitation of the gear being used to generate the data from the database itself ?

Anyone else have an opinion on this?

Curious.
and if you analize the RIAA curve you can see that exist a significative compression in the bass frequency range that latter on the phono stage  have to be " restablished " through another RIAA eq. degradation mechanism.

This is absolute nonsense. The RIAA curve has nothing to do with compression!

"they will send the master digital file with the understanding that the LP mastering engineer will deal with it as needed. "

Isn’t that pretty much what they sent the CD mastering engineer as well?
Yes, it is. And when the CD mastering engineer gets a hold of it, at the very least it will get normalized (which is actually a good thing), but will likely also get compressed and may see some EQ. It has to work in a car! So this is why you see the LP showing greater dynamic range.
And when the CD mastering engineer gets a hold of it, at the very least it will get normalized (which is actually a good thing), but will likely also get compressed and may see some EQ. It has to work in a car! So this is why you see the LP showing greater dynamic range.

But the ratings in the database for vinyl are higher than the HD tracks too, according to the DR database.  And according to this HD Tracks link.  

http://www.hdtracks.com/tigerlily

There are 96/24 files available.
Btw - I don't know of anyone that plays HD tracks in their car. :^)
It gets worse, trust me. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

DR scale
bad
01 02 03 04 05 06 07

Transition
08 09 10 11 12 13

Good
14 15 16 17 18 19 20

SACDs compressed, a few examples...

The Who Tommy Deluxe Edition [SACD 2] i 2003 10 07 11 lossless Unknown
The Who Tommy Deluxe Edition [SACD 1] i 2003 08 06 10 lossless Unknown
The Who Live at The Royal Albert Hall (SACD) 2000 09 07 14 lossless Unknown

Peter Gabriel Us [SACD] i 2003 09 07 12 lossless Unknown

Bob Dylan. Street-Legal [SACD, SACD layer] 2003 08 08 09 lossless CD
Bob Dylan. Oh Mercy [SACD-SACD layer] 2003 11 08 14 lossless CD

Jeff Beck Blow By Blow [SACD] i 2006. 09 08 10 lossless Unknown

Pink Floyd. Dark Side of the Moon [SACD] i 2003 10 09 11 lossless Downmix





There was a time when how it would sound in a car was important.  It's now about how it will sound on a cell phone with/without ear buds.
Post removed 
Dear atmasphere: ""  This is absolute nonsense. The RIAA curve has nothing to do with compression.. """"

of course is not the type of digital compression and maybe you are ok with that RIAA curve but if the LP medium is so good why that RIAA curve?, all we know why that kuind of compression in the bass range that you accept it does not means that that severe bass range equalization to lower those frequencies is a compression to me.

That RIAA curve eq. always degrades the original signal but the analog medium has no alternative due to the severe limitation of the LP medium.

I'm ok when you try ( always ) to post that the LP analog experience is superior to the digital one when today it's clear it's not as 20 years ago. As I said digital technology improved " light years "  as never did the LP alternative.

I don't care if you accept it or not the digital alternative but I think that you have not any single " parameter " to always disregard the digital alternative, especially when I post about.

Stay calm, listen, listen, listen and learn as all try to do it each single audio day.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
Let’s take a brief look at Led Zeppelin vinyl, courtesy of the Unofficial Dynamic Range Database.

Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy (2014 Vinyl) i 2014 11 10 12 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy [First UK Pressing] i 1973 13 11 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy 1973 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV [AT/GP] i 1975   11 11 13 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (2014 vinyl) 2014   10 09 11 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV [vinyl] i 1982.  11 11 14 lossless Vinyl

Led Zeppelin Presence [Vinyl] i 2015 11 10 13 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Presence i 2006 14 13 15 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Presence [vinyl] i 1987 14 12 16 lossless Vinyl

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III (1970 USA LP Vinyl) i 1970 12 10 13 lossy Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III i 2014 11 10 12 lossless Vinyl

Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti 1975 13 12 14 lossless Vinyl

Led Zeppelin Coda [vinyl] i 1987   12 11 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin In Throgh The Out Door [vinyl] i 1982   13 13 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Presence [vinyl] i 1987   14 12 16 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin The Soundtrack From The Film The Song Remains The Same [vinyl] i 1982   13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti [vinyl] i 1987   13 11 15 lossless Vinyl
Led Zeppelin Houses Of The Holy [vinyl] i 1987   13 12 14 lossless Vinyl








Re: unofficial DR database. I would like Whart’s opinion on these Led Zeppelin ratings if he sees this post.

Geoffkait do you listen to Led Zeppelin through your Sony Walkman or through a regular stereo ? I have a problem with Led Zep. If I do put it on the Spl’s usually end up going high and I get in trouble. The new recent vinyl from Germany is very good & quiet.

on a sidenote.
I feel I have done my duty and listened to Adele 25 - 3 times now (cd).
I am now ready to start a movement for women against their bad boyfriends.

Someone mentioned Amy Winehouse earlier.

********************************
Amy Winehouse Back to Black (HD Tracks 96/24) 2015
07 05 08 lossless Download

Amy Winehouse Back To Black (The Deluxe Album: The Classic Album + Bonus Disc) 2007
06 04 09 lossless CD

Amy Winehouse Back To Black [171 421 1 EU CD] 2006
06 05 07 lossless Unknown

Amy Winehouse Back to Black [UK & Europe vinyl] 2007
11 10 14 lossless Unknown

Amy Winehouse Back to Black (US vinyl) 2006
10 09 12 lossless Unknown

The only decent ratings come again with vinyl (last 2) and it is in my opinion not great. I have the 2006 vinyl album. You will need VTA on the fly and a tonearm that doesn’t change its alignment settings when you do use VTA with this one.

********************************

Kate Bush 50 Words for Snow - this is a phenomenal vinyl album.

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=kate+bush&album=50+words+

The ratings only show HD files and they all rate good. The vinyl must use these files ?

*********************************

It appears from limited surfing of the DR database that most vinyl rates better than bad digital. And with good digital, vinyl is still right up there.

??????

If there is anyone reading that does not think a regular cd can put you at the performance in your own space.

Get

Holly Cole - Girl Talk - cd

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=holly+cole&album=girl+talk+

Why does the HD tracks have the crappiest rating with the Holly Cole album ?

Must be really hard for the engineers who know how good digital can be ......to add all this loudness in due to the artists/market wishes.




Those DR ratings for Back In Black are a bit surprising but not fatal. I’ve always thought the CD copy I have to be a louder but otherwise good quality recording. Its a good example of why there is more to music than just absolute DR, especially in popular genres. I have many CDs especially newer remasters that have a lot to recommend even if absolute DR is not one of those things. Pop/rock/blues based amplified music does tend to be loud overall when heard live. Classical and other more acoustic forms tend to vary more. Those are the ones where bad DR tend to impact my enjoyment more. But like most here I suspect I still love a great recording with great DR.

Fact is if records were made to full DR potential, most players used today would not be able to track it and would probably even jump the grooves when teh real dynamics hit, like as used to be the case when the early Telarc digital recordings hit the market and would not play on any but the best vinyl setups of the time. With more dynamic CDs or digital a high power amp (Class D now offers smaller lighter and less expensive options for that) and A decent pair of speakers is all needed. Extracting the music from the medium is not as problematic these days with even decent quality digital found on a decent quality Iphone even.
Sorry to disagree but the DR for the CD of Back in Black is actually quite poor.  Terrible, really.  And nobody is saying dynamic range is all there is to the music but if it doesn't have any dynamics to it why bother?

the new Peter Gabriel went to 45 rpm

they seem to put great care into everything but the sound

I have original US

first press UK

Japanese

Classic Albums from 2002

all from analog sources

sound great (us originals a little murky)


not sure what these are but they sound dreadful

lots of detail and dynamics but the top end sounds shrill and way off on tonal balance - no warmth in midrange


Amy Winehouse

BTB, Frank, Lioness

US - bright

UK- a little less bright

new box - haven’t opened it yet


Allah Las - new album

shrill on the lp

tonally balanced on the cd


new Booker T all crap shrill


who lets this stuff out to the masses

"Geoffkait do you listen to Led Zeppelin through your Sony Walkman or through a regular stereo ? I have a problem with Led Zep. If I do put it on the Spl’s usually end up going high and I get in trouble."

Zeppelin CDs and cassettes as vintage as possible through Sony Walkman CD and Cassette players using vintage Sony Walkman Ultralight headphones. Is there such a thing as SPLs that are too high for Zeppelin?
Next up, Rolling Stones.

Rolling Stones vinyl

Vintage vinyl

The Rolling Stones Between the Buttons [vinyl] i 1967   12 10 15 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Some Girls (Australia CUN 39108) i 1978   13 12 15 lossless Vinyl
Rolling Stones It's Only Rock 'n Roll 1974 14 11 15 lossless Vinyl
Rolling Stones Out Of Our Heads 1976         12 10 13 lossless Vinyl
Rolling Stones Aftermath i 1984         14 12 14 lossless Vinyl
Rolling Stones Let It Bleed 1969         13 12 14 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Tattoo You [vinyl] 1981 13 12 15 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Miss You [12" vinyl] i. 1978   15 14 16 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Exile On Main St. [vinyl] i 1973   12 10 14 lossless Unknown

Recent vinyl

The Rolling Stones Wild Horses (Acoustic Version)/Dead Flowers [7" vinyl] i 2015   10 10 10 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones Sweet Summer Sun - Hyde Park Live [vinyl] i 2013                 09 08 12 lossless Vinyl
The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang [Vinyl] i 2005   10 09 12 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Doom And Gloom [Vinyl] i 2012   10 10 10 lossless Unknown

Here are some comparisons of CD vs Vinyl

The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon [vinyl] 1997   12 11 14 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon (2009 Remaster) i 2009   06 05 07 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones Bridges to Babylon i 1997   07 06 08 lossless Unknown

The Rolling Stones A Bigger Band (Special Edition--CD only) i 2005   06  05  08 lossless Unknown
The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang [Vinyl] i 2005   10  09  12 lossless Unknown

- cheers