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What about the return of Vinyl?

Started by Unknown March 9, 2015
appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound better? It analogue after all. The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound better?
gyansorova@gmail.com wrote:
> appears to be popular again. > Just a gimmick or does it really sound better?
Retro is in. Sometimes I still get out my film camera for the fun of it.
> It analogue after all. The noise is worse of course but could > there be any advantage at all?
Well, the noise is different. If you clean them well enough (anyone remember Discwasher?) to remove the pops, most of the time they aren't so bad. In an noisy room, you won't notice the difference.
> Then we have valve amps. > What's the fuss about them? Do they sound better?
There are supposed to be designs for transistor amps that have the sound of tube (valve) amps. -- glen
On 3/9/15 12:38 PM, gyansorova@gmail.com wrote:
> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound better? It analogue after all.
well, eventually it's all analog as the wavefront of pressure deviation impinges upon our eardrums.
> The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all?
there's more than surface noise. there's less effective bandwidth in vinyl than in CDs up to 22.05 kHz.
> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound better?
the tube amps (like McIntosh) for playback of stereo music for your living room, i sorta doubt it. i personally don't understand the desire for much other than straight, linear, and flat playback with options like a level compressor and graphic and parametric EQ in the path (whereas all of these can be adjusted to have no effect). now, if someone likes the way their vinyl sounds better than a CD of the same music, they can record the vinyl playback at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz uncompressed, burn a CD with that, and play that CD back. shouldn't sound any different than the actual vinyl, pops and surface noise and all. now, for guitar amps, that's a little different. the distortion one gets in a guitar amp by cranking it up to arcweld (or up to "11" in the Spinal Tap movie) is a "guitar effect" along with many other effects. with **really** careful emulation of the tube amp, we should be able to get an indistinguishable sound with a linear (and solid state) amp and the digital effects processor. but i don't think that anyone has yet set up a blind testing studio with a Mesa Boogie in the room that can be secretly switch to a DSP/LinearAmp using the same input jack and the same loudspeaker in the box. right now, no discriminating guitarist will admit that they might not hear the difference, because they can **see** the difference between when they plug into the tube amp vs. plugging into a DSP effects box. so, i believe (and i am saying "believe") that, with careful and accurate modeling of the tube amp (and there are lotsa things to model; tube curves, inter-electrode Miller capacitance, transformer non-linearity and hysteresis, power supply droop when the guitarist hits a power chord, 60 or 50 Hz AC hum intermodulating in there, shot noise), that in really blind testing, we can actually fool the hard-core guitar hero. but that has not really been done yet, even though some nice emulation products have appeared, both in hardware and in plug-ins. -- r b-j rbj@audioimagination.com "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
glen herrmannsfeldt <gah@ugcs.caltech.edu> writes:

> gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: >> appears to be popular again. >> Just a gimmick or does it really sound better? > > Retro is in. > > Sometimes I still get out my film camera for the fun of it. > >> It analogue after all. The noise is worse of course but could >> there be any advantage at all? > > Well, the noise is different. If you clean them well enough > (anyone remember Discwasher?) to remove the pops, most of the > time they aren't so bad.
Yes, I remember Discwasher. Does anyone remember Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs' half-speed master pressings? EXCELLENT quality vinyl. So the noise is different AND worse... LOL!
> In an noisy room, you won't notice the difference.
Like with a jackhammer? ...
> >> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound >> better? > > There are supposed to be designs for transistor amps that have the > sound of tube (valve) amps. > > -- glen >
-- Randy Yates Digital Signal Labs http://www.digitalsignallabs.com
robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> On 3/9/15 12:38 PM, gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: >> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound >> better? It analogue after all. > > well, eventually it's all analog as the wavefront of pressure deviation > impinges upon our eardrums. > >> The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? > > there's more than surface noise. there's less effective bandwidth in > vinyl than in CDs up to 22.05 kHz. > >> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound >> better? > > the tube amps (like McIntosh) for playback of stereo music for your > living room, i sorta doubt it. i personally don't understand the desire > for much other than straight, linear, and flat playback with options > like a level compressor and graphic and parametric EQ in the path > (whereas all of these can be adjusted to have no effect). > > now, if someone likes the way their vinyl sounds better than a CD of the > same music, they can record the vinyl playback at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz > uncompressed, burn a CD with that, and play that CD back. shouldn't > sound any different than the actual vinyl, pops and surface noise and all. >
It doesn't.
> now, for guitar amps, that's a little different. the distortion one > gets in a guitar amp by cranking it up to arcweld (or up to "11" in the > Spinal Tap movie) is a "guitar effect" along with many other effects. > with **really** careful emulation of the tube amp, we should be able to > get an indistinguishable sound with a linear (and solid state) amp and > the digital effects processor. but i don't think that anyone has yet > set up a blind testing studio with a Mesa Boogie in the room that can be > secretly switch to a DSP/LinearAmp using the same input jack and the > same loudspeaker in the box.
Right. There's been no market feedback for it. But that's changed in the last few years. ElevenRack, AxeFx and Kemper are all taken seriously. And for pure *solid state* amps. the Lab Series, MOSVALVE and now the Quilter Tone Block may make inroads. Even the cheap Fender solid state amps are good, they're just not a Twin.
> right now, no discriminating guitarist > will admit that they might not hear the difference, because they can > **see** the difference between when they plug into the tube amp vs. > plugging into a DSP effects box. >
Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag it up stairs - be my guest. "Amateurs study (tone) - professionals study logistics" - Clausewitz, paraphrased.
> so, i believe (and i am saying "believe") that, with careful and > accurate modeling of the tube amp (and there are lotsa things to model; > tube curves, inter-electrode Miller capacitance, transformer > non-linearity and hysteresis, power supply droop when the guitarist hits > a power chord, 60 or 50 Hz AC hum intermodulating in there, shot noise), > that in really blind testing, we can actually fool the hard-core guitar > hero. but that has not really been done yet, even though some nice > emulation products have appeared, both in hardware and in plug-ins. > > >
And the kids with their iPhones and all that will not probably bee quite as enamored of large and hot tubes. But they buy D/A converters with 12AX7s, so who knows? -- Les Cargill
Les Cargill <lcargill99@comcast.com> writes:
> [...] > Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag > it up stairs - be my guest.
Back in the 70s our guitarist bought a brand new Twin - those suckers are heavy, even though they're short! -- Randy Yates Digital Signal Labs http://www.digitalsignallabs.com
On Mon, 9 Mar 2015 09:38:31 -0700 (PDT),
gyansorova@gmail.com wrote:

>appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound better? It analogue after all. The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound better?
Valve or tube amps that are overdriven sound better than solid state amps that are overdriven. That's because solid state amps have hard clipping when they reach their supply limits. That produces lots of nasty high-frequency distortion products. Tube amps saturate more softly as they approach their limits, so instead of clipping the peaks they have more rounded tops, with less of the higher-frequency products. Of course, you *could* just keep the volume down on your solid state amp so you don't get anywhere near clipping. But the funny thing is that people's judgement of loudness is intricately tied up with the amount of distortion. Some experiments (back in the '70s, as I recall) asked observers to adjust the volume on various amps, one amp at a time, to "comfortable" or "loud". I think the amps themselves were disguised so all the observers saw was a box with an unmarked knob. The resulting power levels were measured, and it turned out that the observers had cranked the actual power up *much* higher on the high-power (100 watt plus) amps until they reached their personal "comfortable" or "loud" levels. Conversely, they judged the little 25-watt amps to be at the same subjective levels when the amps were near their limits, even though they were putting out a fraction of the power of the big brutes. All of those amps were solid state, but imagine if the same sort of experiment were done comparing tube amps versus solid state. Since you usually don't know the actual acoustic power, you'd just crank the knob up until it sounded "loud". But the tube amp would always sound better at that point, with its lower-order distortion products. If, on the other hand, you did the experiment by comparing amps at equal output power settings, and kept upping the power, the tube amp would sound "loud" (actually, distorted) at much lower power levels than a big solid state amp. For those who aren't familiar, it is *much* easier, not to mention cheaper and less massive, to get clean high power levels from solid state than from tubes. I haven't compared price/performance in ages, but expect that tubes are at least 5x more expensive in dollars per watt at moderate power ranges (40-50 watts) and go up from there. Best regards, Bob Masta DAQARTA v7.60 Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis www.daqarta.com Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Sound Level Meter Frequency Counter, Pitch Track, Pitch-to-MIDI FREE Signal Generator, DaqMusiq generator Science with your sound card!
On 3/9/15 8:49 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
> robert bristow-johnson wrote: >> On 3/9/15 12:38 PM, gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: >>> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound >>> better? It analogue after all. >> >> well, eventually it's all analog as the wavefront of pressure deviation >> impinges upon our eardrums. >> >>> The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? >> >> there's more than surface noise. there's less effective bandwidth in >> vinyl than in CDs up to 22.05 kHz. >> >>> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound >>> better? >> >> the tube amps (like McIntosh) for playback of stereo music for your >> living room, i sorta doubt it. i personally don't understand the desire >> for much other than straight, linear, and flat playback with options >> like a level compressor and graphic and parametric EQ in the path >> (whereas all of these can be adjusted to have no effect). >> >> now, if someone likes the way their vinyl sounds better than a CD of the >> same music, they can record the vinyl playback at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz >> uncompressed, burn a CD with that, and play that CD back. shouldn't >> sound any different than the actual vinyl, pops and surface noise and >> all. >> > > It doesn't.
:-\ same sound system, otherwise? then your CD or .wav file recording system lacks transparency.
> >> now, for guitar amps, that's a little different. the distortion one >> gets in a guitar amp by cranking it up to arcweld (or up to "11" in the >> Spinal Tap movie) is a "guitar effect" along with many other effects. >> with **really** careful emulation of the tube amp, we should be able to >> get an indistinguishable sound with a linear (and solid state) amp and >> the digital effects processor. but i don't think that anyone has yet >> set up a blind testing studio with a Mesa Boogie in the room that can be >> secretly switch to a DSP/LinearAmp using the same input jack and the >> same loudspeaker in the box. > > Right. There's been no market feedback for it. But that's changed in the > last few years. ElevenRack, AxeFx and Kemper are all taken seriously. > > And for pure *solid state* amps. the Lab Series, MOSVALVE and now the > Quilter Tone Block may make inroads. Even the cheap Fender solid state > amps are good, they're just not a Twin.
well, that's the going narrative. the fundamental fact is, in both situations (either the real amp, or an emulated amp *driving the same loudspeaker*) a signal goes in to the amp (from the guitar) and a signal comes out. that signal that comes out is a causal mathematical function of the signal going in along with some noise source and hum. it's a mathematical function performed by the physical description of the analog parts and of the circuit hooking them together. it's not magic, but we might not know all of the math.
> >> right now, no discriminating guitarist >> will admit that they might not hear the difference, because they can >> **see** the difference between when they plug into the tube amp vs. >> plugging into a DSP effects box. >> > > > Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag > it up stairs - be my guest.
i've (with another person) hauled B3's up and down ramps. and boxes filled with heavy snakes. and other boxes filled with heavy lighting controllers. and boxes filled with hardware. and large woofer and driver cabinets. etc. etc.
> "Amateurs study (tone) - professionals study logistics" - Clausewitz, > paraphrased. > >> so, i believe (and i am saying "believe") that, with careful and >> accurate modeling of the tube amp (and there are lotsa things to model; >> tube curves, inter-electrode Miller capacitance, transformer >> non-linearity and hysteresis, power supply droop when the guitarist hits >> a power chord, 60 or 50 Hz AC hum intermodulating in there, shot noise), >> that in really blind testing, we can actually fool the hard-core guitar >> hero. but that has not really been done yet, even though some nice >> emulation products have appeared, both in hardware and in plug-ins. >> >> >> > > And the kids with their iPhones and all that will not probably bee quite > as enamored of large and hot tubes. But they buy D/A converters > with 12AX7s, so who knows? >
i know. that's the whole goofy thing. -- r b-j rbj@audioimagination.com "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
On 3/10/15 1:02 AM, Randy Yates wrote:
> Les Cargill<lcargill99@comcast.com> writes: >> [...] >> Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag >> it up stairs - be my guest. > > Back in the 70s our guitarist bought a brand new Twin - those suckers > are heavy, even though they're short!
Twin Reverbs sound great and are less to haul than a Marshall stack. -- r b-j rbj@audioimagination.com "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Bob Masta <N0Spam@daqarta.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 9 Mar 2015 09:38:31 -0700 (PDT), > gyansorova@gmail.com wrote:
(snip on valve/tube amps)
> Valve or tube amps that are overdriven sound better than > solid state amps that are overdriven. That's because solid > state amps have hard clipping when they reach their supply > limits. That produces lots of nasty high-frequency > distortion products. Tube amps saturate more softly as they > approach their limits, so instead of clipping the peaks they > have more rounded tops, with less of the higher-frequency > products.
It shouldn't be that hard to make a softer clip on a transistor amplifier, but you have to do that before it reaches the peak. That will reduce the rated power at the usual low distortion value, and so will be less competitive overall.
> Of course, you *could* just keep the volume down on your > solid state amp so you don't get anywhere near clipping. > But the funny thing is that people's judgement of loudness > is intricately tied up with the amount of distortion. Some > experiments (back in the '70s, as I recall) asked observers > to adjust the volume on various amps, one amp at a time, to > "comfortable" or "loud". I think the amps themselves were > disguised so all the observers saw was a box with an > unmarked knob.
As I remember, some also used to adjust until the noise was just audible, in the case of vinyl. Some CDs came with a warning not to do that.
> The resulting power levels were measured, and it turned out > that the observers had cranked the actual power up *much* > higher on the high-power (100 watt plus) amps until they > reached their personal "comfortable" or "loud" levels. > Conversely, they judged the little 25-watt amps to be at the > same subjective levels when the amps were near their limits, > even though they were putting out a fraction of the power of > the big brutes.
Well, 100W is 6dB more than 25W, so it isn't so surprising that people can't easily tell the difference that way.
> All of those amps were solid state, but imagine if the same > sort of experiment were done comparing tube amps versus > solid state. Since you usually don't know the actual > acoustic power, you'd just crank the knob up until it > sounded "loud". But the tube amp would always sound better > at that point, with its lower-order distortion products.
How many buy them by the power and distortion numbers, instead of actually listening?
> If, on the other hand, you did the experiment by comparing > amps at equal output power settings, and kept upping the > power, the tube amp would sound "loud" (actually, distorted) > at much lower power levels than a big solid state amp.
(snip) -- glen