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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:13 am 
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cleon wrote:
Try doing a FZ mix of beat the boots tracks jumping from album too album on too tape It,s A fucking Nigthmare.


It was always hard to make a mix tape using only the controls on the tape deck when the source music flows from one track to another with little or no gap between tracks. I bought a small two input mixing board and added a turntable and cassette deck to my computer. The bundled software that came with my sound card plus the software that came with the turntable took much of the pain out of making difficult mixes from music as you described. I essestially copy a track to my PC, display the wave forms in the software with a greatly expanded time base and I can locate a point where I can chop it and end the track cleanly before the transition to the next track starts. The software will also add a fade in or a fade out automatically which is nice when that's the only way to start or end a track cleanly.

The beauty of this arrangement is I can make CDs or cassettes from any or all three formats, digital, LP, and tape. A great example is I have a Zappa release that was from Guitar Player (I think) magazine that was cassette only and I was happy to be able to make a CD version since cassettes wear out or fail mechanically. It's also great to catch the occasional concert, special, or interview from satellite radio.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:58 am 
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cleon wrote:
jimmyzen wrote:
zomby truth wrote:



It seems the author of this piece doesn't understand the definition of digital. I guess he's talking about mp3 downloads when he talks of digital and CDs are just CDs. Here's a quote illustrating what I mean: "According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, in 2007 CDs accounted for 90 percent of album sales in the United States, with digital accounting for the other 10 percent. Just two years later, that number had shifted to 79 percent CDs and 20 percent digital, with the remaining percentage point being made up of vinyl and other media."
I think what it says is vinyl is over :roll:



It will never return to it's former glory days, but it is still valid as a format and things are still being released on it. I have noticed that quite a few new releases have had and still have vinyl formats available. I recently purchased Jimi Hendrix's Valleys of Neptune and First Rays of the New Rising Sun on vinyl along with the reissue of Funkadelic/America Eats its Young on vinyl. The latest Neil Young has a vinyl version available as well. I'm not saying I buy only vinyl when it's available, but it is a format I will continue to buy.

Maybe I still enjoy it because I grew up with it and it was the main format when I was able to afford my first decent audio system. I predate cassettes, but certainly don't wax nostalgic for old 4 track systems which died quickly in favor of 8 track although I did once have a rarely used high-end 8 track recorder/player as a component on my stereo. Cassettes were like a utility format to me. For a few years decades ago, I bought cassettes as my main music source. As others had mentioned, I was getting tired of replacing records that got damaged from the partying that was almost non-stop at the time and my own moments of clumsiness. Soon I found that many cassette tapes were poorly constructed. The biggest failure was with the pad that holds the tape against the head falling off. There were tapes that degraded substantially after a dozen or so plays. Some were poorly mastered that on first listen sounded as if a quilt had been draped over the speakers. Many cassette decks also had very limited frequency response in the higher spectrum. Most topped at around 15Khz to 17Khz. Some were worse. I remember a friend having a unit installed in his car that sounded pretty bad. I looked at the manual and it had a frequency response of 100 to 10Khz! But, a few years down the road I sprung for a high end cassette deck ( I still have and use a Nakamichi BX300). As cassette caught on, the quality blanks and better materials revived my interest in the format. I didn't buy any more releases on tape again, making my own tapes from my LP collection.

Back on track, there is also the fact that there are lots of things on vinyl that will never make CD. In the realm of FZ's music I have a lot of things that will never see CD or downloads and even if they did, it wouldn't be the same. The most immediate example is my copy of Goodnight Vienna. Very limited pressing and the centers were individually painted. Then there was colored vinyl, which while not sounding any better, gave the record a little extra uniqueness. I have a still sealed 4 LP Lather set and a sealed Beat the Boots box. I have still sealed mono and stereo copies of Freak Out! The only officially released Zappa on vinyl I don't have is the Zappa in New York with Punky's Whips and the original WOIIFTM with the Beatle Sgt. Peppers parody to the outside. There are dozens of other things by many other artists in my collection on LP that will never be released on CD. The most immediate thing coming to mind there is my clear Ziggy Stardust double LP.

Here's an article citing and increase in sales that's much more current than the 2007 article cited.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/musi ... sance.html

Last point: One post mentioned breaking needles and stretching belts. I never broke a needle or had one break. I can't imagine how that could happen unless it was a rare manufacturing defect or a huge bout of mishandling. I have had my turntable since about 1979 or so and I replaced the belt once. It's a Harmon Kardon T45 with one of the really sweet Benz hand built cartridges. I run a Vincent cartridge preamp rather than the phono preamp stage in my preamp, a Parasound Halo P3. The base is solid wood and platter weighs a full kilo. It has a weight that can be used over the spindle for records that are warped or just to add more mass. It has a feature to add capacitance to the patch cord to compensate for its length, pitch control that allows manual or automatic speed adjustment. It had been a wonderfully durable bit of gear!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:56 am 
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I take it your not happy vinyl is a thing of the past :D

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:58 am 
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cleon wrote:
I take it your not happy vinyl is a thing of the past :D



I'm not sure where you get that I am unhappy about vinyl being a thing of the past if this was directed at me. My CD collection is easily 5 times the size of my vinyl collection and I still have hundreds of cassettes as well. I still have around 1500 LPS and I still buy vinyl but I don't exclusively buy music on it. Vinyl is just different. It's a different sound, a different experience.

My point was/is vinyl is NOT a thing of the past! It isn't dead from the point of equipment manufacturers, it isn't dead from the companies that press vinyl, it isn't dead from the artists who ask for vinyl releases of their products in addition to the CD. It certainly isn't dead from the consumer as there has remained a market for LPs continuously since CD was released. It wasn't/isn't as big a market as when that's nearly all there was, but it has remained. It isn't like I would stop buying music if I couldn't get vinyl. In fact, until the Internet and eBay came into my life I didn't buy any vinyl for years. Once eBay came along I quickly replaced all the old records that had got away from me over the years or been damaged. I have every commercially released FZ on vinyl, many I have multiple releases of such as overseas copies, remasters, and re-releases, promo copies, and a large number of unofficial releases. I have the same thing with FZ CDs. I have them all in original and remastered versions.

There are lots of voices claiming the CD is over and done, killed off by downloads legal and otherwise. (Funny how the music industry blames that alone rather than themselves for turning art into profit.) I have been repeatedly told I am a dinosaur because I still have (and love) a large (in terms of size) multi component stereo system. Today it's like the only acceptable place for music to be playable at high volume is in boom box cars. Where once every small city had a stereo store, now they are scarce. Last year I went looking to buy a new graphic equalizer. It was almost more sad than funny as one clerk asked another and calls were placed to supervisors and managers as the twenty-something clerks tried to figure out what an equalizer was. I finally had to buy one on line. I think 85% of folks below, say 40, have never heard the music they listen to on a high quality sound system or one that didn't involve ear buds. So, audio gear is dead as vinyl? To me, mp3 is the audio equivalent of passing off microwaved pre-prepared meals as home cooking. You may believe it if you never had much home cooking to start with, but if you did you understand the difference.

So, no. I am not sad vinyl is a thing of the past. It isn't.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:20 am 
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It,s not,You wonna Wake up and Smell the coffee.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:54 am 
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Although analogy is the weakest form of argument...
While vinyl is no longer the most popular girl at the party, she still puts out, and while many people are most fond of new meat, there is plenty to be said for that which has been around the block a bit.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:34 am 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
Although analogy is the weakest form of argument...
While vinyl is no longer the most popular girl at the party, she still puts out, and while many people are most fond of new meat, there is plenty to be said for that which has been around the block a bit.




:lol: Well said!

I just shot over to Amazon and under vinyl saw a number of LPs. Dylan's new release is also available on vinyl. I saw Appetite for Destruction was on vinyl, Radiohead, Floyd's DSOM, some Doors on audiophile vinyl, Coltrane, Hendrix, plus some other tasty items. I looked up vinyl records on eBay and it has 2,296,283 listings. If one searched with other terms such as record album or LP the total would probably exceed 3,000,000. Google returned 1,500,000 hits for record store. I know that last one has to be taken in perspective because the term is entrenched in the language so thoroughly. Still, not too bad for something considered dead by some.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:44 am 
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jimmyzen wrote:
...Last year I went looking to buy a new graphic equalizer. It was almost more sad than funny as one clerk asked another and calls were placed to supervisors and managers as the twenty-something clerks tried to figure out what an equalizer was...

I ran into that this past winter, when I went to buy something that played DVD-A. Store, after store, had me explaining to the clerks what DVD-A was, so I couldn't get a simple yes or no about whether or not they had a unit that could play them. At one place, they said "Here...buy this PS3. It plays everything!". Nedless to say, there is one format PS3 doesn't play. :roll: I finally went to a specialty shop, found a DVD-A player (yay!), and spent about 30 minutes in their sound demonstration room, listening to a $14,000.00 record player. Real nice sound! (but out of my league. :( )

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Last edited by just plain doug on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:48 am 
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jimmyzen wrote:
The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
Although analogy is the weakest form of argument...
While vinyl is no longer the most popular girl at the party, she still puts out, and while many people are most fond of new meat, there is plenty to be said for that which has been around the block a bit.




:lol: Well said!

I just shot over to Amazon and under vinyl saw a number of LPs. Dylan's new release is also available on vinyl. I saw Appetite for Destruction was on vinyl, Radiohead, Floyd's DSOM, some Doors on audiophile vinyl, Coltrane, Hendrix, plus some other tasty items. I looked up vinyl records on eBay and it has 2,296,283 listings. If one searched with other terms such as record album or LP the total would probably exceed 3,000,000. Google returned 1,500,000 hits for record store. I know that last one has to be taken in perspective because the term is entrenched in the language so thoroughly. Still, not too bad for something considered dead by some.

You come back with a millon numbers and one Lp by Bob dylan new,that must be the one percent that Lp make up record Sales you referred too in your first post :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:22 am 
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cleon wrote:
jimmyzen wrote:
The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
Although analogy is the weakest form of argument...
While vinyl is no longer the most popular girl at the party, she still puts out, and while many people are most fond of new meat, there is plenty to be said for that which has been around the block a bit.




:lol: Well said!

I just shot over to Amazon and under vinyl saw a number of LPs. Dylan's new release is also available on vinyl. I saw Appetite for Destruction was on vinyl, Radiohead, Floyd's DSOM, some Doors on audiophile vinyl, Coltrane, Hendrix, plus some other tasty items. I looked up vinyl records on eBay and it has 2,296,283 listings. If one searched with other terms such as record album or LP the total would probably exceed 3,000,000. Google returned 1,500,000 hits for record store. I know that last one has to be taken in perspective because the term is entrenched in the language so thoroughly. Still, not too bad for something considered dead by some.

You come back with a millon numbers and one Lp by Bob dylan new,that must be the one percent that Lp make up record Sales you referred too in your first post :wink:


And that would be where in my first post? I don't see where I used the words 1% percent at all. I actually came back with 3 numbers in my last post: eBay actual plus a projected number I put out and a Google figure.

Ok! You win! If you want to be right and me to be wrong, fine! Vinyl is dead! Melt your records and crush your turntables! Only Heretics and Madmen would even consider touching something 12" across, flat, thin, and made of plastic! Burn them all! Kill their children and send their women into slavery! Declare yourself King of the World as well :wink:! Nothing will change. You will believe vinyl is dead; I will still believe it lives to some degree. I will still buy the occasional new LP and enjoy playing and listening to it immensely. You can sit in reverent satisfaction believing vinyl to be dead and having the power to pronounce it so. The world will still spin in the current direction, my dog will still drool, ZFT will still release music more slowly than any of us would like, and you and I will still leave the planet at the designated time and place. Peace to you, my friend! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:39 am 
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You posted a post here with 1% record sales for Vinyl :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:19 pm 
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cleon wrote:
You posted a post here with 1% record sales for Vinyl :mrgreen:


Er, I don't think so. My first post on this topic in this thread is at the top of the page where I started talking about making mix tapes with just the tape deck controls can be difficult. It was in response to another comment a member left. I then went into a discussion of my mini mixer board and the audio gear on my PC and how I use the sound card software and the turn table software to expand the time base of the stored audio signals so I could find a cut off spot. etc. I also commented on comments about broken needles and stretched belts. I spoke of mp3 being the equivalent of microwave food. I commented on the perception that those of us with physically large and sophisticated (for lack of a better word) stereo systems are dinosaurs. I linked to an article that said record sales had actually increased. I believe I spoke of some of my stereo equipment a bit. I don't see where i said anything about percentages of anything. I have no idea what percentages of music are sold in any particular format, rising or declining. It's not my nature to make such comments without some form of proof or evidence to back up my claim, so I can't see me saying it. Other comments were that I still buy LPs, manufacturers still make and sell turn tables, cartridges, phono pre-amps, record cleaning devices and the attendant fluids, etc. I further commented that there are a number of new releases coming out and out both as new stuff and re-issues that are on vinyl. Hence, I conclude that vinyl is not dead. In a later post I quickly did a few searches at a couple places I buy vinyl from, eBay and Amazon, to see a sample of available titles at one and the number of selections at another. I then did another quick search on Google to see how many shops were listed under record stores. You remain unconvinced so I concluded vinyl being dead is more important to you than me. The facts seem clear to me- it's still out there and I'm buying it! I tried gracefully, tactfully, and hopefully with a dab of humor to defer to your opinion because it isn't that important to me what you believe about vinyl's current state. I just own lots of it, play it regularly, buy it regularly, have the equipment to play it, and most importantly, smile until my face hurts from listening to it! So what could I possibly know? :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:50 pm 
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just plain doug wrote:
jimmyzen wrote:
cleon wrote:
...Last year I went looking to buy a new graphic equalizer. It was almost more sad than funny as one clerk asked another and calls were placed to supervisors and managers as the twenty-something clerks tried to figure out what an equalizer was...

I ran into that this past winter, when I went to buy something that played DVD-A. Store, after store, had me explaining to the clerks what DVD-A was, so I couldn't get a simple yes or no about whether or not they had a unit that could play them. At one place, they said "Here...buy this PS3. It plays everything!". Nedless to say, there is one format PS3 doesn't play. :roll: I finally went to a specialty shop, found a DVD-A player (yay!), and spent about 30 minutes in their sound demonstration room, listening to a $14,000.00 record player. Real nice sound! (but out of my league. :( )



Ain't it great? I don't get what happened. It's like music is just a fashion accessory for so many and has so little meaning other than it's an alternative to silence. Back through my high school days and through most of my adult life, music was very important to me and everybody I knew. A good stereo was as much a matter of pride as a nice car or sweet girlfriend. I couldn't imagine growing up and living without good audio gear. I thought it was great that decent audio finally found its way into cars and such and portable music players were nice to have and very handy. But all those are just stop gaps to fill in when true aural ecstasy isn't handy. I never expected that home audio would disappear as much as it has.

Years ago I remember when video -TV and such- began getting attention from the entertainment equipment manufacturers and multiple channels developed to accentuate the viewing experience. I believe the sound coming from all around masked the quality of the audio to a degree. I know that equipment was advertised with high power but many didn't get it was cumulative over many channels. And low power at high volume = distortion, which = clipping which is sending DC to the speaker coils which makes them very unhappy. I think that was the beginning of the end. Most people didn't have the room (or money) for two systems much less an army of large speakers. I think many of the surround sound systems were not real audiophile quality, but nobody complained. The makers shrunk speaker sizes, which while it helped the development of the subwoofer, still compromised "powerful" sound. I have two systems- my stereo with a pair of Polk RSi 12s and a pair of Polk PSW 1000 powered subs. My TV has a 7.1 surround sound so there are 12 speakers in my living room. Very crowded! My computer has a 1000 watt 7.1 surround sound system on it as well and my work shop has a traditional stereo. The other sinister thing I remember was when mp3 was first coming out and the industry was claiming it was indistinguishable from listening to source material over an high quality sound system. Having worked with electronics and computers my entire career I saw and understood the technical data on mp3 and knew it was bull pucky to even suggest it sounded the same. Most people don't have good hearing so they can't always tell or like I said earlier, if that's all you have to go by, an iPod sounds pretty good. But, alas the audiophie world is full of snake oil and charm bracelets, magic potions and alchemic substances. It's a greater stretcher of the truth than professional wrestling and a certain news channel that rhymes with box.

We used to have some really good stereo shops around here! I remember one shop close to where i worked I'd drop by to dream about the super high end stuff they sold. I was awfully late back to work one day when they were demo-ing a set of very tall Infinity planar speakers (ribbons?) and comparing them to others speakers in the listening room. The Infinities were around $75,000.00 for the pair. I remember they were every bit of 6 feet tall and very thin. The down side was they were a beige color. I think they had a woofer box on the bottom. They were driving them through an insanely wonderful sounding Macintosh amp. Those were the days! Hell, we don't even have a decent music store here anymore and once there were three!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:19 pm 
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jimmyzen wrote:
... Having worked with electronics and computers my entire career I saw and understood the technical data on mp3 and knew it was bull pucky to even suggest it sounded the same. Most people don't have good hearing so they can't always tell or like I said earlier, if that's all you have to go by, an iPod sounds pretty good. But, alas the audiophie world is full of snake oil and charm bracelets, magic potions and alchemic substances. It's a greater stretcher of the truth than professional wrestling and a certain news channel that rhymes with box...

I'm an audio guy who has been out of the game for a while. My education in terms of audio is still pre-iPod. I think in terms of noise floor, headroom etc, which don't always line up with mp3s. In short, better or worse don't really work for me when I think of mp3 quality. The best I can come up with is confusing. If I hear a piece of audio pre-mp3, I can analyze it all kinds of ways and make reasonably accurate guesses as to how it has been processed. But, with mp3s, there is so much compansion and mystery processing that its hard to tell what is going on, even on pieces of audio that I know well. If you have some technical data on mp3s of various types that I can link to, that would be great. Anything to do with signal chain, AAC, tone, ipod normalization, or any processing info would be great. I used to strive for a 1:1 ratio of unity gain throughput, meaning that I am able to listen as closely to the source recording as possible. Now that mp3s screw with that so much, I rarely have any idea what the original recording was like. I'd like to learn what differences mp3s make to sounds outside of what most people say such as higher bit rate = good, or that mp3s tend to sound brittle on the high end and boopy on the low.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:13 am 
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Fact is more audiophiles are buying new analog front end systems than CD/MP3 players.
There are over 2100 manufacturers of analog playback systems. Thats 5 times as many
that manufacture digital ones. Here is one of the higher end models:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:49 pm 
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I am even to lazy to change cds so i sold my cd player + all my cds i put em all on 3 dvds and play em with my pc.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:26 pm 
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Hey jimmyzen, long time no see. Welcome back.

jimmyzen wrote:
cleon wrote:
You posted a post here with 1% record sales for Vinyl :mrgreen:
Er, I don't think so.
Cleon has trouble with words at the best of times, I think he means well but gets easily frustrated with the written word. What he's trying to say I think is about your post near the end of page 3 of this thread where you quote some stuff:

"According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, in 2007 CDs accounted for 90 percent of album sales in the United States, with digital accounting for the other 10 percent. Just two years later, that number had shifted to 79 percent CDs and 20 percent digital, with the remaining percentage point being made up of vinyl and other media".

I think this is where the 1% idea came from and I think Cleon was trying to make a joke that your purchases were the ones that made up that 1%, but as I said his difficulty with the written word got in the way.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:53 am 
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polydigm wrote:
Hey jimmyzen, long time no see. Welcome back.

jimmyzen wrote:
cleon wrote:
You posted a post here with 1% record sales for Vinyl :mrgreen:
Er, I don't think so.
Cleon has trouble with words at the best of times, I think he means well but gets easily frustrated with the written word. What he's trying to say I think is about your post near the end of page 3 of this thread where you quote some stuff:

"According to data from Nielsen SoundScan, in 2007 CDs accounted for 90 percent of album sales in the United States, with digital accounting for the other 10 percent. Just two years later, that number had shifted to 79 percent CDs and 20 percent digital, with the remaining percentage point being made up of vinyl and other media".

I think this is where the 1% idea came from and I think Cleon was trying to make a joke that your purchases were the ones that made up that 1%, but as I said his difficulty with the written word got in the way.

Yes that is what i meant I also got a good feeling thats what people knew i meant,

The only communication Problem i can see is Doug made a mistake He quote i said something that i didn't on this page,

The post Where i wrote "You posted a post here with 1% record sales for Vinyl"

Was my post after i posted "You come back with a millon numbers and one Lp by Bob dylan new,that must be the one percent that Lp make up record Sales you referred too in your first post"

So where is my Trouble with words


There sould not be Arguments in this Thread A Fact is A Fact Vinyl is a thing of the past.
Only a Fool would believe else.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:38 am 
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At this point, I feel duty bound to concede digital wins on mass popularity; most new music is digitally recorded and listened to over digital devices. The reasons for digital's "victory" have little to do with sound quality; digital is cheaper (or free), and it's more convenient to use than analog.

But the LP's resurgence grows stronger every year. In New York City where retailers pay sky-high rents, I've seen more and more vinyl on display. They aren't stocking vinyl because it's groovy, they're devoting more and more shelf space to LPs because they sell. ...

Analog and digital audio formats are both imperfect; the best of both types still fall short in creating truly life-like sound. So for the time being we should enjoy analog and digital for what they do well.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:35 am 
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I still contend that Vinyl was much more fun and for reasons that have nothing to do with sound quality; i.e. packaging, shopping, searching, discovering...etc... I believe that was an integral part of the music scene in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and the 90's to a certain extent...maybe this is why the modern listener is missing an aspect and does not experience the total package in a way anymore that leaves a deep groove in your heart. It all seems so sanitized and mechanical these days...just thinking out loud :idea:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:35 am 
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Plook wrote:
I still contend that Vinyl was much more fun and for reasons that have nothing to do with sound quality; i.e. packaging, shopping, searching, discovering...etc... I believe that was an integral part of the music scene in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and the 90's to a certain extent...maybe this is why the modern listener is missing an aspect and does not experience the total package in a way anymore that leaves a deep groove in your heart. It all seems so sanitized and mechanical these days...just thinking out loud :idea:

Ever try cleaning weed on a CD jewel case?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:09 pm 
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cleon wrote:
...The only communication Problem i can see is Doug made a mistake He quote i said something that i didn't on this page,...

Sorry 'bout that. All fixed now, for future generations to read.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:32 am 
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polydigm wrote:
Hey jimmyzen, long time no see. Welcome back.


Thanks! I popped back in a time or two but it seemed a new crowd was kind of taking over and they were not as much fun as the old crowd was. I'm essentially retired for better or for worse for health reasons so I'm home all day with little to do. How has life been for you in the interim?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:19 am 
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The Forum Killed Arkay wrote:
jimmyzen wrote:
... Having worked with electronics and computers my entire career I saw and understood the technical data on mp3 and knew it was bull pucky to even suggest it sounded the same. Most people don't have good hearing so they can't always tell or like I said earlier, if that's all you have to go by, an iPod sounds pretty good. But, alas the audiophie world is full of snake oil and charm bracelets, magic potions and alchemic substances. It's a greater stretcher of the truth than professional wrestling and a certain news channel that rhymes with box...

I'm an audio guy who has been out of the game for a while. My education in terms of audio is still pre-iPod. I think in terms of noise floor, headroom etc, which don't always line up with mp3s. In short, better or worse don't really work for me when I think of mp3 quality. The best I can come up with is confusing. If I hear a piece of audio pre-mp3, I can analyze it all kinds of ways and make reasonably accurate guesses as to how it has been processed. But, with mp3s, there is so much compansion and mystery processing that its hard to tell what is going on, even on pieces of audio that I know well. If you have some technical data on mp3s of various types that I can link to, that would be great. Anything to do with signal chain, AAC, tone, ipod normalization, or any processing info would be great. I used to strive for a 1:1 ratio of unity gain throughput, meaning that I am able to listen as closely to the source recording as possible. Now that mp3s screw with that so much, I rarely have any idea what the original recording was like. I'd like to learn what differences mp3s make to sounds outside of what most people say such as higher bit rate = good, or that mp3s tend to sound brittle on the high end and boopy on the low.



Many years ago there was a magazine called Stereo Review before they dropped the stereo part and started covering home theater, turned to a waste of reading time and maybe disappeared. I stopped reading it because I was and am a committed music separatist believing in a dedicated audio listening system. Towards the end of their publication run as Stereo Review, one of their writers did an article on mp3 that to this day was the best one I ever read. Besides the tech side with all the attendant charts and graphs, expanded wave forms, the author wrote as a music lover. The thing in the article that immediately got my attention was that the philosophy of mp3 was that music contained information that could be stripped away with minimal effect to the music listening experience. That was and is heresy to me. Admittedly it can be more obvious depending on what type of music you are listening to- a 3 piece power trio may sound OK where a string quartet or orchestra will not sound quite right in a way difficult to explain. My thinking about excess information in music goes like this: they start with removing harmonics. since harmonics have multiples covering a range removing them has a broader effect than just chopping off the one frequency. Harmonics are an integral part of any musical instruments sound character and they help establish its presence when playing with other instruments as well as facilitate the way certain sound and tones blend or work off each other. Start stripping them away and it has to affect the sound. Even with a well written compression logarithm, music is so variable that it doesn't seem possible that compressing and then decompressing is going to reproduce what was there originally. Even file size comparing mp3 to precessed FLAC files, to WAV, or other audio files clearly shows something is missing. The argument can be made even digital has it's draw backs. Consider a sine wave. The digital reproduction of it follows the contour but is like a set of stairs that simulate the analog signal. The analog signal will continue to rise, say, but does it continuously. The digital signal mimics this by rising to a certain level, flattening off, rising again, level off again, and repeat. What digital does is put such a large number of steps in that it becomes very close to the analog equivalent. But if you imagine stretching a carpet over the stairs tightly so it's smooth, the fact is the space between the flat spot of the stair to the underside of the stretched carpet is missing information. The more steps you put in though, the less missing information there is. Extremely simplistic explanation, but it helps visualize what goes on with digital vs analog and the basis for much of why there is a perceived sound difference between the two and why people argue about them. But back to mp3- part of the gamble and payoff about it is that human hearing, supposedly 20 to 20 KHz, seldom has the ability to hear that wide a spectrum even if it's a range that playback equipment can reproduce. As we age (dammit!) we lose the ability to hear well in certain frequency ranges naturally. It's wider if you have loud hobbies or work in a noisy environment. (An aside- I read a study that said wind noise generated in crash helmets worn by motorcyclists is detrimental to hearing. Barring wearing a full face helmet, it was recommended to wear ear plugs with an open helmet.) So, with mp3, we have audio content removed because it was deemed unnecessary to the reproduction of the audio information, what's there gets smashed down to make it small, and then it gets cookie cutter reproduced to be heard by people with less than perfect hearing over often less than ideal equipment. Throw in if it's background music or an intense listening session and that's even more variables. This may not be the best comparison, but if I take a piece of music I am familiar with, do a WAVE conversion of an mp3 version of it, burn it to CD and then play it over my sound system, it sounds worse, relatively speaking, than the same track played from the original CD. Again, admittedly, some pieces are more noticeable than others, but it's there. I found it ironic when I saw some very high end and super expensive straight class A amplified mp3 player docking stations. Don't get me wrong, I used my mp3 player a lot but most of the time I copied stuff into it in WAVE format.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:23 am 
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cleon wrote:
There sould not be Arguments in this Thread A Fact is A Fact Vinyl is a thing of the past.
Only a Fool would believe else.



I'm quite happy to be a fool on this one! :mrgreen:

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