Vinyl / High qual analog tape / High-res digital -- One of these is not like the other


One common theme I read on forums here and elsewhere is the view by many that there is a pecking order in quality:

Top - High Quality Analog TapeNext - VinylBottom - Digital

I will go out on a limb and say that most, probably approaching almost all those making the claim have never heard a really good analog tape machine and high resolution digital side by side, and have certainly never heard what comes out the other end when it goes to vinyl, i.e. heard the tape/file that went to the cutter, then compared that to the resultant record?

High quality analog tape and high quality digital sound very similar. Add a bit of hiss (noise) to digital, and it would be very difficult to tell which is which. It is not digital, especially high resolution digital that is the outlier, it is vinyl. It is different from the other two.  Perhaps if more people actually experienced this, they would have a different approach to analog/vinyl?

This post has nothing to do with personal taste. If you prefer vinyl, then stick with it and enjoy it. There are reasons why the analog processing that occurs in the vinyl "process" can result in a sound that pleases someone. However, knowledge is good, and if you are set in your ways, you may be preventing the next leap.
roberttdid
He'd probably piss-off the instructor.
Dear @roberttdid : """ 24/192 digital in it’s pure form, has far more "information" than is possible by any measure on 15ips tape, and way more than vinyl. When you strip away what happens in mixing and mastering and just look at what the format is capable of, 24/192 digital is unmatched, and 24/96 is not too far behind for practical purposes. Vinyl definitely colors what passes through, and even tape will create colorations. Digital is pure, it’s detailed, its busy, everything is there ... and maybe that is too raw for most people. Musicians say it sounds truest to what they hear coming from the instrument, b...."""

All those was already proved in this thread and many other with facts, measures and several objective links with information that gives absolute certainty to those facts/measures. Exist no doubt about, even many of those facts are only just a little of common sense.

Dear @mikelavigne unfortunatelly you continue talking/posting information with deep foundation on subjectivity where unfortunatelly you can’t prove in anyway all what you said about, just can’t do it you or any one else: impossible.

Subjectivity is not a true/real fact it is not like 2+2=4 . Founded in subjectivity point of views for you that 2+2 can be 4 but other gentleman can be 3 0r 5 because subjectivity is not universal as ovjectivity. Subjectivity is way personal and can’t be proved with true facts.

It’s really pity that all those audiophiles that die for analog and that post in Agon and other forums in this same main subject leave you here alone, I can say a shame of all them.

You know that I value your opinion but here I think that we need a little of objectivity and not try to look things with no biased attitude.

Mike, Robert posted: "" Vinyl definitely colors what passes through..."""

Vinyl not only color everything that pass through due to its inherent high developed distortions during recording and playback process but not only that: you said that digital is missing information when the LP alternative not even can pick up the recorded information from the groove LP surface modulations. Not only lost a lot of information not even can pick-up in accurate way the overall information ! !.

I already said this in different way of what Robert posted:

" Digital is pure, it’s detailed, its busy, everything is there ... and maybe that is too raw for most people... "

Absolutely rigth, Mike you don’t like the " raw " reality when digital is truer to the recording that any LP recording. Digital is way nearer than the LP as how nearfield live MUSIC sounds, this nearfield live MUSIC sounds ( at its real live SPL. ) is what the recording microphones pick up and these mics are at nearfield.

So why want we to listen at our homes something way way different as the LP/tape experiences?, why? . I can understand that that is what you like to hear because is what your brain and mine are acustom to but you and me are wrong about.
You linked twice that LP recording that proves nothing against digital it does not matters that we listen it or compare at your place.

You are an experienced audiophile and a wise gentleman and I don’t want that you accept here that digital is truer to the recording that is already proved. What I insist again to you is that use your " unbiased " common sense.

The whole dialogue in this thread is not for find out who are the winners because at the end here there are not winners or loosers but all of we , including you, are winners because one way or the other all of we are learning something even if we don’t agree with.

Those @djones51 links here and elsewhere are a lesson for me as many other of the links in this specific subject and he posted:

"""  I'm content being a non-audiophile I never expect recorded music to sound like live events only what was recorded. """

That should be the main target for any true audiophile.

Other importan reason why could not likes the digital alternative could be that normally we LP lovers fine tunned our room/system to this specific alternative.
Digital performs way different and is an alternative where the room/system overall " errors " can’t be hidding through its low distortions levels .
The full distortions levels in the LP alternatives could hide those room/system overall set up " errors ".

Btw, truer to the recording is the nearest we can stay to nerafield live MUSIC performance levels. This means: digital alternative.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.


rauliruegas
Other importan reason why could not likes the digital alternative could be that normally we LP lovers fine tunned our room/system to this specific alternative.
Digital performs way different and is an alternative where the room/system overall " errors " can’t be hidding through its low distortions levels .
The full distortions levels in the LP alternatives could hide those room/system overall set up " errors ".

>>>>I’d say that entire paragraph is probably false. I humbly submit the proposition that subjective experience is just as valid as measurements, as evidence in a debate, perhaps even more valid. If the thing that measures better doesn’t sound better maybe you’re measuring the wrong parameter. Once the myth of Total Harmonic Distortion THD was revealed 40 years ago measurements as an enterprise has been on a steady decline. ↘️ But I’m not saying all measurements are irrelevant or of no value. For example, mapping out the room acoustic anomalies is quite important. Otherwise how can you know where the room treatments are supposed to go?
rauliruegas,

An excellent attempt to navigate what can be a confusing pathway.

There has always been an immediate divergence in the differing paths followed by audiophiles, namely that vital decision of whether to discover what was actually recorded or to follow whatever pleases you most.

I suspect many audiophiles follow the latter and always will. If they admit it, that's great. It's when they claim it's better, more accurate etc that problems begin.

This is the infamous objectivist v subjectivist dichotomy. This schism exists not only due to personal choice of the listener but also due in part to the existence of the circle of confusion on audio that Toole and Olive talk about.

Hardly anyone can know what the recording is supposed to sound like.

Audiophiles are notorious for casual dismissing of what others say, including producers, engineers, and musicians who were actually involved in the recording! They are often equally dismissive of technical data accumulated over decades.

Yet they will readily listen what some reviewers may have written. Reviewers who have no more qualification in knowing what was recorded than they have.

Reviewers whose opinions immediately disintegrate once the object they're reviewing is hidden from plain sight!

Needless to say that cable merchants, snake oil doctors, magic pebble peddlers etc all tend to all be firmly on the subjectivist side.

No surprises there.

So are we at an eternal impasse or is there a way forward?

Is reconciliation even possible between those who want accurate sound and those who want a sound they like?

I suspect not.

I'm prepared to acknowledge that digital is a more accurate recording medium than tape, at least in theory.

As for playback, again in theory, digital holds a measurable advantage over tape and vinyl. In fact I'd argue that a vinyl record can never sound better than the mastertape it was taken from.

In practice though things are not so clear due to all the futzing around with the sound the recording industry is notorious for.

Certain period albums still sound best on vinyl and will always remain that way due to industry indifference and sometimes the ravages of time inflicted upon the original tapes.

https://seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/10/audios-circle-of-confusion.html?m=1

+1 cd318! I always have a healthy suspicion of the conclusions of the "golden ears" crowd! After all, progress in anything advances fundamentally by objectivity!