With the proper turntable set up, vinyl yields better bass than most CD set ups. For instance, my old VPI HW19 MkIII with and ET2 arm and an AT33PTG cartridge - nothing on the cutting edge have you - regularly beats the snot out of my Parasound C/BD 2000 transport AES/EBU connected Mark Levinson No.36 from top to bottom and especially on the bottom end. My CD setup sounds good, but I really like vinyl better at my house.
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The bass response of vinyl is beyond what you're capable of hearing so you need not worry for your purposes. There are some practical difficulties in recording very low frequencies because of the size of the vibrations on the record groove. It could literally bounce the stylus out of the groove. The greater limitation will be your turntable and what limitation the recording engineer put on the recording, rather than the record itself. Actually, as an aside, record warp will produce a frequency around 8 HZ. You won't hear it but it can cause damage to your system.
A phono cartridge has no problem reproducing signal well below 20 Hz, and that can be a big problem. Both the playback and recording turntables have some "rumble" (LF noise from the bearing) and LPs also can be warped. Many phono preamps have a deliberate roll off below 20 Hz so as to minimize this signal, which would needlessly use amplifier power and cause woofer cones to "pump" in and out with adverse effect on the higher frequencies. Most rumble is vertical groove modulation, and better rumble filters cut this component of the signal, starting at a higher frequency like 30 Hz, without drastic effect on the horizontal groove modulation signal. Little is lost when this type of rumble filter is used because records are usually cut without any LF vertical groove modulation because less-than-audiophile cartriges might hop right out of the groove. Another way of saying this is that LP bass is mono, which is certainly OK for people who use a single subwoofer.
Check this out;
"A record is cut with the low frequencies reduced and the high frequencies boosted, and on playback the opposite occurs. The result is a flat frequency response, but with noise such as hiss and clicks arising from the surface of the medium itself much attenuated. The other main benefit of the system is that low frequencies, which would otherwise cause the cutter to make large excursions when cutting a groove, are much reduced, so grooves are smaller and more can be fitted in a given surface area, yielding longer playback times"
Dear Gnugear: If we take in count what is already done on Lp recording we can say that the frequency range could be this: 8Hz to 50kHz, the 1812 recording on Telarc goes to 8Hz and the cutting machine on the recording goes to 50kHz: so this is the theorethical frequency range.
Now, which is the frequency range response that we normally heard at home systems?, the answer is a complex one because there are several factors that define that frequency response range: the recording it self, the cartridge, the phonolinepreamp, amplifier, speakers and room interaction.
The whole frequency range response never was/is a problem with the analog reproduction recordings: we have all the " music " frequency range like in a live event.
Regards and enjoy the music.
Here I am again quoting Poaul Ladegaard.Anyway the 8hz resonance is due to the rubbish that exists in the vinyl groove at about the 3-4hz level,so there is your real limitation to the bass end.The Sheffield discs indeed did go out to 50Khz and Stereophile's John Atkinson found that most commercial vinyl seems to extend typically out to about 35Khz most days.
I used to believe that 20KHz was tops, based on microscopic visual groove inspection. However, I now have a spectrum analyser, and although it only goes up to 20KHz it shows that some LPs still have signal at 20 KHz, and the signal level is rolling off with frequency at a rate which suggests it would go to zero in the 30-35KHz range.
If you wanted to test this you could play the record at half speed (some TT will do this) and see what you get. If you saw 20KHz that would mean that the LP grooves had 40KHz wiggles. Whether your cartridge and/or speakers and/or ears could handle 40KHz is another matter.
If any of you guys were alive in the 1970s :) remember the CD-4 system that RCA used for 4 channel? The LPs were cut as 2 channel records, but had the rear channels imposed on a 42KHz FM carrier that was *also* cut on the record. And this was with 1970s cartridges! (of course there were CD-4 cartridges that they recommended, but a good 2 channel unit would work too).
IOW, exceeding CD bandwidth is a piece of cake. You can do that with cassettes for pete's sake!
If you are measuring the output of your phono stage, you better make sure that the phono stage bandwidth is not limiting (mine is rated flat out to 100 kHz). Also, if you are using a moving magnet cartridge other than a Grado, the high inductance of its coils will roll off the treble rapidly, sometimes starting below 20 kHz. This rolloff gets worse with increased load capacitance.
Tafka_steve...Flat to 100KHz is not a big deal for electronics. I doubt that my Shure V15mr cartridge goes that high, but it would still be sensitive at 35KHz. However, please note that I am inferring the maximum frequency from the behavior evident below 20KHz, a range where the frequency response of the cartridge is not an issue. An analogy would be to estimate the distance of a baseball home run by observing the height and trajectory of the ball as it dissapeared over the fence.
Has anyone done the half speed experiment? That would provide the best answer. 16 rpm turntables are not common, but a 45rpm record played at 33 would give some idea.
Eldartford, which phono stage are you using that is flat out to 100 kHz? Mine is Lloyd Walker's Reference Second Edition Plus. I've seen frequency response measurements of the Shure V-15VMR (most recently by John Elison at Vinyl Asylum). They measure very flat, but roll off prematurely starting around 16 kHz, due to the high coil inductance resulting in an aggressive low pass filter.
Typical moving coils show a rise above 15 kHz, with peaking around 30-40 kHz. Again, this behavior can be calculated based on the low pass filter due to coil inductance and R and C load parameters. [Hagermann has a website that allows you to see curves with plug in values.] Yes, this shows up as ringing on square waves. But MCs do not roll off highs before 20 kHz like the Shure.
Eldartford, the article does not refer to playback capability, only the encoding capability of the Ricker's cutting system and the master lacquer. As I mention in my post of 1/30, I do not know if that signal can be transferred through all the pressing steps to a vinyl record, and I don't know of many cartridges that are rated out to 100 kHz.
In case I did not make it clear, the Shure cartridges are NOT limited by their mechanical parameters. The line contact stylus, extremely low tip mass, and high compliance should permit outstanding high frequency MECHANICAL behavior. The problem is that you never see that at the phono stage, because the Shure cartridges are ELECTRICALLY LIMITED in high frequency response by their huge coil inductance. Duh, some design. It is no wonder that you measure a vinyl rolloff before 20 kHz.
Tafka_steve...Whatever you think about the sonic characteristics of Shure cartridges (and other stuff) Shure does an outstanding job of testing and specification. I believe Shure specs. For the V15mr They say "esentially flat from 10 to 25KHz". The graph shows a dip of about -0.2 dB near 16KHz, and then a rise to about +0.2 dB at 20KHz (where the graph ends). The low end is completely flat to 10 Hz.
However, the RIAA curve is only defined from 20 to 20KHz, so phono preamp frequency response can really be talked about only in this range. Outside that range, say up to 100 KHz, a phono preamp can use whatever equalization is necessary for flat response. I said that 100KHz is a walk in the park for electronics. If that were not the case there would be no radios, much less radar or GPS.
My phono preamp is ancient: a PS Audio II. However it is a very simple circuit built with some very good components, and I have never felt the need to replace it. There are but two gain stages with a passive RIAA equalization network in between them. Open loop bandwidth (-3dB) is 120KHz. From 30 to 20KHz it's spec'd at 0.1 dB. There is a rumble filter that brings the response down -0.25 dB at 20 Hz. A "small" amount of negative feedback is applied "for stability and lowered distortion". With feedback the bandwidth is 1.7 MHz, but there is an RFI filter which brings this down to 550 KHz.
I really think that there are more important things than extended frequency response in a phono cartridge and/or preamp. I did like the sound of the MC cartridges which I used, but they didn't track like the Shure, and the Stylus replacement issue was an ongoing headache.