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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Thu 21, 2015 4:37 pm 
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Lets not have this divulge into an analog vs digital discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Thu 21, 2015 5:19 pm 
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+1 to Tube Radio's last comment. Entire discussion groups and forums are out there for those wanting to get into the digital vs. analog debate. But just like discussing religion and politics, nothing is ever accomplished because you can't change anyone else's opinion on the subject.

But back to the original subject, talamakara has made a wise comment when he says that listening to different opinions on his Zenith is very instructive. Ultimately he will make his own decisions, and of course there really is no "right" or "wrong" answer, but listening to different opinions can be very educational, albeit sometimes confusing.

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Thu 21, 2015 5:27 pm 
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The OP asked a direct question and deserves a direct answer. The question was the relationship between the sound of a record and the sound of a high-rate audio file, and the answer is that they will not sound the same. How different, and whether the difference is "better" or "worse" is where the opinions are. But they will be different.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Thu 21, 2015 5:38 pm 
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dberman51 wrote:
The OP asked a direct question and deserves a direct answer. The question was the relationship between the sound of a record and the sound of a high-rate audio file, and the answer is that they will not sound the same. How different, and whether the difference is "better" or "worse" is where the opinions are. But they will be different.

-David


True and assuming both digital and analog sources were professionally recorded, also what playback equipment is used.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Fri 22, 2015 12:19 pm 
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your MP3 example should fit well under the lid without ruining any aesthetics :|


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Fri 29, 2015 3:58 am 
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What Brett is saying makes sense, except the pissing part, bad form, but I believe he is talking about gear that many of us will never (nor have the desire to) own. I prefer to have 70's vintage gear around. I like old stuff and I like the way it sounds. Most of it was also bought very reasonably and it reminds me of the stuff I grew up with. I use analog and digital sources and enjoy both. I do prefer analog. I'm not saying it's better, I'm saying I prefer it. I like tube and solid state and both have good and bad sounding models. Do you have to agree with me? Absolutely not.

Although I'm not a console collector, they do have their place and some folks do like them. If you bought at 1970 Lincoln in good condition, would you tear the 460 out and put it in something else, junk it, or refurbish it and drive it. Many (most?) of us would do the later. Is it going to compete with your new BMW 5 series? Everybody knows what the answer to that is. Same thing with this console. As Dennis put it, Zenith never made a better console than this one, so it is well worth saving for that reason alone. Does that make it valuable, not yet, maybe never, who knows. But it is rare and you will be hard pressed to find another most likely. Does that make it sound as good as my Empire 698, playing through a HK730, into my modded (already modded when I bought them) JBL L-100's, no, not even close. But that's not the point. In good running condition, it will be a great sounding console. Some people get it, some don't. Some do as they age as I finally did.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Fri 29, 2015 9:45 am 
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Brett_Buck wrote:
You need to hear a quality system. You cannot hear or measure "digital artifacts" on a properly-operating hi-fi system running Red Book CD resolution.

I've never tried to measure it, but I have always wondered if the "CD sound" is a result of the noise shaping from the delta-sigma modulation in modern A/D and D/A's. Delta-sigma modulation pushes the energy spectrum of the quantization noise toward the high frequency end of the spectrum. I suspect that leads to the somewhat bright and harsh sound of CDs as compared to vinyl (which has its own set of artifacts, of course).

If my theory is correct, then first-generation CDs made before delta-sigma A/Ds became popular, played back on an early CD player without a delta-sigma D/A, should sound better. (Unless the phase shift from the high-order anti-aliasing filters is noticeable.)

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Fri 29, 2015 4:59 pm 
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stevebyan wrote:
Brett_Buck wrote:
You need to hear a quality system. You cannot hear or measure "digital artifacts" on a properly-operating hi-fi system running Red Book CD resolution.

I've never tried to measure it, but I have always wondered if the "CD sound" is a result of the noise shaping from the delta-sigma modulation in modern A/D and D/A's. Delta-sigma modulation pushes the energy spectrum of the quantization noise toward the high frequency end of the spectrum. I suspect that leads to the somewhat bright and harsh sound of CDs as compared to vinyl (which has its own set of artifacts, of course).

If my theory is correct, then first-generation CDs made before delta-sigma A/Ds became popular, played back on an early CD player without a delta-sigma D/A, should sound better. (Unless the phase shift from the high-order anti-aliasing filters is noticeable.)


There's nothing wrong with the D/A or A/D. The biggest electronic problems were and probably still are in the analog filtering and output circuits. The early CD players tended to sound like Japanese receivers because they used the same output circuits. Replacing them with better circuit designs removes a lot of the problems, and outboard DACs are typically a remarkable improvement.

The other problem is at the source end. Particularly early on, they took master tapes intended for LPs and plunked them on CDs unmodified. This frequently resulted in horrifically harsh and nasty-sounding records as the CD faithfully reproduced all the compensations that were made to overcome the limitations of LPs. The better companies (like Telarc) figured it out pretty soon, but even in a single company, some engineers just didn't get the idea at all.

The third thing going on is that people tend to conflate issues with "digital" with the issues with digital compression. The original Red Book CD spec permits essentially perfect reproduction of any audio-range signal and a dynamic range of 98 db, also far beyond any practical use. That's not an opinion - it's mathematically true, unassailable, and not subject to individual interpretation. That is certainly not true of lossy compression schemes. People compare what comes out of the radio from a compressed source at the station, or low-bitrate MP3's or AAC like from iTunes played on second-rate equipment and say, "digital sounds bad". I can hear digital dompression artifacts in these types of sources very easily on high-end equipment, no one is arguing it doesn't exist.

But the other half of the equation is that people don't hear the absolutely horrific errors arising from playing a vinyl LP, or at least the errors are less grating. But the errors themselves are MASSIVE, even on a perfectly-aligned turntable/tonearm/cartrtidge on a perfectly-produced record. If you consider what is going on, it's a miracle it works at all, much less as well as it does. But even poorly done digital contains far less errors, and properly done digital has *no errors at all* at least not as a function of the medium or the fact it is digital.

An in any case, it's very hard to distinguish the problems on the sort of equipment most people have, because other problems in the system tend to obscure the issues with the source. This is a well-known phenomenon and the better your system gets, the more you can distinguish about the source material. Plug a standard CD player into a Yamaha receiver and you aren't going to tell much about how the CD was engineered.

This has gone round and round for decades now, and the issues are perfectly well understood. There are plenty of places to read them.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: May Fri 29, 2015 6:30 pm 
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snap crackle pop rice krispies


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 02, 2015 1:49 am 
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Is it live, or is it Memorex?


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Tue 02, 2015 2:07 am 
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I apologize for taking things further off topic, but when it comes to digital and analog sound. It seems to be personal preference.

Another thing which frustrates me is the idea that HD radio is better than analog. Particularly FM.
Most stations use so much processing and compression, it is NO WONDER FM radio sounds crappy compared to a CD!

I'm sure, with careful transmission and a decent receiver, the quality can be comparable!

AM can sound much better as well.

All have their quirks and problems, but I tell you, if HD radio wins and analog disappears, they will continue to process and compress the crap out of the audio and it will sound JUST as bad....

sorry for the rant.

Oh, one day I was given a nice TASCAM open-reel tape deck that is capable of 15 ips. I did some recordings on it from CD and I have to say, at top speed, it's quality was right up there!
At least to my ears... which isn't saying much.

This is what i recorded.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF26jtMA9U0

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Wed 03, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Joining in the chorus of DO NOT REPLACE THOSE SPEAKERS. Nothing on the market today can come close to the performance and quality at the time the stereo was built. As others have pointed out, this was a top of the line unit.

You don't really make any changes to this unit, use the tape input for mp3 and you're good to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Wed 03, 2015 2:05 pm 
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Brett_Buck wrote:
stevebyan wrote:
Brett_Buck wrote:
You need to hear a quality system. You cannot hear or measure "digital artifacts" on a properly-operating hi-fi system running Red Book CD resolution.

I've never tried to measure it, but I have always wondered if the "CD sound" is a result of the noise shaping from the delta-sigma modulation in modern A/D and D/A's. Delta-sigma modulation pushes the energy spectrum of the quantization noise toward the high frequency end of the spectrum. I suspect that leads to the somewhat bright and harsh sound of CDs as compared to vinyl (which has its own set of artifacts, of course).

If my theory is correct, then first-generation CDs made before delta-sigma A/Ds became popular, played back on an early CD player without a delta-sigma D/A, should sound better. (Unless the phase shift from the high-order anti-aliasing filters is noticeable.)


There's nothing wrong with the D/A or A/D. The biggest electronic problems were and probably still are in the analog filtering and output circuits. The early CD players tended to sound like Japanese receivers because they used the same output circuits. Replacing them with better circuit designs removes a lot of the problems, and outboard DACs are typically a remarkable improvement.

The other problem is at the source end. Particularly early on, they took master tapes intended for LPs and plunked them on CDs unmodified. This frequently resulted in horrifically harsh and nasty-sounding records as the CD faithfully reproduced all the compensations that were made to overcome the limitations of LPs. The better companies (like Telarc) figured it out pretty soon, but even in a single company, some engineers just didn't get the idea at all.

The third thing going on is that people tend to conflate issues with "digital" with the issues with digital compression. The original Red Book CD spec permits essentially perfect reproduction of any audio-range signal and a dynamic range of 98 db, also far beyond any practical use. That's not an opinion - it's mathematically true, unassailable, and not subject to individual interpretation. That is certainly not true of lossy compression schemes. People compare what comes out of the radio from a compressed source at the station, or low-bitrate MP3's or AAC like from iTunes played on second-rate equipment and say, "digital sounds bad". I can hear digital dompression artifacts in these types of sources very easily on high-end equipment, no one is arguing it doesn't exist.

But the other half of the equation is that people don't hear the absolutely horrific errors arising from playing a vinyl LP, or at least the errors are less grating. But the errors themselves are MASSIVE, even on a perfectly-aligned turntable/tonearm/cartrtidge on a perfectly-produced record. If you consider what is going on, it's a miracle it works at all, much less as well as it does. But even poorly done digital contains far less errors, and properly done digital has *no errors at all* at least not as a function of the medium or the fact it is digital.

An in any case, it's very hard to distinguish the problems on the sort of equipment most people have, because other problems in the system tend to obscure the issues with the source. This is a well-known phenomenon and the better your system gets, the more you can distinguish about the source material. Plug a standard CD player into a Yamaha receiver and you aren't going to tell much about how the CD was engineered.

This has gone round and round for decades now, and the issues are perfectly well understood. There are plenty of places to read them.

Brett


Uhmm. No. As you said, the first CD's were actually pressed from master tapes. The EQ needed for pressing for vinyl is placed into the signal chain after the master, as the acetate plate is cut. In the mid to late 80's, many albums, such as George Strait's Ocean Front Property, had designations such as AAD on the cover, which in this case, meaning that the signal chain was Analog, Analog, Digital.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 6:15 am 
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Artcurus wrote:

Uhmm. No. As you said, the first CD's were actually pressed from master tapes. The EQ needed for pressing for vinyl is placed into the signal chain after the master, as the acetate plate is cut. In the mid to late 80's, many albums, such as George Strait's Ocean Front Property, had designations such as AAD on the cover, which in this case, meaning that the signal chain was Analog, Analog, Digital.


I think you mean RIAA equalization, which was indeed applied after the master tape. But when creating the master tape, they were mixed to accomodate the limitations of the medium beyond just the RIAA curve. It was highly variable from engineer to engineer. In fact, much of the art of mastering was lost is unnecessary.

The AAD was indeed an indication of what was going on, and also of the problem. Even now, relatively few are straight DDD (original track/master tape/CD or digitial medium) recordings.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 1:59 pm 
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Brett_Buck wrote:
Artcurus wrote:

Uhmm. No. As you said, the first CD's were actually pressed from master tapes. The EQ needed for pressing for vinyl is placed into the signal chain after the master, as the acetate plate is cut. In the mid to late 80's, many albums, such as George Strait's Ocean Front Property, had designations such as AAD on the cover, which in this case, meaning that the signal chain was Analog, Analog, Digital.


I think you mean RIAA equalization, which was indeed applied after the master tape. But when creating the master tape, they were mixed to accomodate the limitations of the medium beyond just the RIAA curve. It was highly variable from engineer to engineer. In fact, much of the art of mastering was lost is unnecessary.

The AAD was indeed an indication of what was going on, and also of the problem. Even now, relatively few are straight DDD (original track/master tape/CD or digitial medium) recordings.

Brett


Studio recording for vinyl requires three stages, first, the band records a two inch 32 track master, that master is then mixed down to a stereo 1/4 inch 15ips 2 track, then finally, to the acetate plate for pressing. When a recording is to be pressed to vinyl, the bass is mixed down to mono, that's the only real major change. The RIAA curve (which is standardized) is NOT added during the main processing, it's added at the final preamp/amp at the consumer end. Early CD's would have been pressed either from that 32 track master, or the 1/4 inch 2 track depending.

Here's the problem what you are saying, many of today's country stars are actually going back to tape masters from all digital because the sound is so much better. The engineers don't care about what the consumer is listening to, they are working for the best possible sound in the studio and considering that 90% of the consumers are listening to music over streaming and cheap ear buds, the point is mute anyway because of the loudness wars.

And about records sounding worse than CD and being more distorted, I call BS. In early 2000's, Train released Drops of Jupiter on Columbia as one of the last commercially produced 45's. I ripped this 45 using a Technics SL1200 tt with a Shure V15 III cart. The preamp was a 1962 Stromberg Carlson with 6EU7 in the phono preamp stages. The ironic thing was that this was a 192 bitrate rip. I then released it to the more "interesting" parts of the internet that existed at the time. The so called "official" rip, was a 320 from a CD.

On mine, during the final instrumental bridge toward the end of the song, there's a series of cymbal hits, you could actually hear the stick hitting the cymbal. On the official version, those cymbals sounded like static in the background. My mp3 slowly overtook the official one, until it became the de facto rip for that song.
,
Another example is a country song from the early 80's by Louise Mandrell-I'm Not Through Loving You Yet, that I ripped from 45. On my copy, the transients are clear, the very slight echo that RCA usually adds to the vocals at that time is there, the strumming of an acoustic guitar can be clearly heard, the snap when drumstick hits the snare, can be clearly heard, there's also sense of "openness".

All this is missing on the commercially produced mp3.

In relation to the original post
Quote:
It can't, and record fidelity barely reaches the level of acceptable from a technical standpoint with far, far better equipment than this turntable. In this case the relatively high tracking force and very questionable tonearm limits you to very low end cartridge. The fact that any microgroove stereo record works as well as it does is actually quite amazing considering what is really going on.


That's a Voice of Music changer with a "floating" cartridge, it tracks at about a gram, and in fact, tracks better than many low end turntables with magnetic carts.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 2:39 pm 
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I didn't know the bass was mixed down to mono for a vinyl pressing.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
I didn't know the bass was mixed down to mono for a vinyl pressing.



That has to be something that is more modern than original "stereo" because if the bass fiddle was in the left side of the orchestra, the bass was in the left channel. Now, I am not trying to disagree. I makes sense since having one side with bass only will leave today's "Listeners" feeling somewhat hollow. People want that bass throughout. But it is not technically accurate for what it is worth.

Again, I am NOT disagreeing with what was said about "how it is done".

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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 8:32 pm 
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Artcurus wrote:
In relation to the original post
Quote:
It can't, and record fidelity barely reaches the level of acceptable from a technical standpoint with far, far better equipment than this turntable. In this case the relatively high tracking force and very questionable tonearm limits you to very low end cartridge. The fact that any microgroove stereo record works as well as it does is actually quite amazing considering what is really going on.


That's a Voice of Music changer with a "floating" cartridge, it tracks at about a gram, and in fact, tracks better than many low end turntables with magnetic carts.


Uh, OK, if you think the turntable out of a brown coffin console is a good hi-fi part, then there's really not much more to discuss. We are talking about two utterly different things. There are plenty of places to learn about high fidelity principles and equipment, might want to avail yourself of them.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 8:36 pm 
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Don Cavey wrote:
Tube Radio wrote:
I didn't know the bass was mixed down to mono for a vinyl pressing.



That has to be something that is more modern than original "stereo" because if the bass fiddle was in the left side of the orchestra, the bass was in the left channel. Now, I am not trying to disagree. I makes sense since having one side with bass only will leave today's "Listeners" feeling somewhat hollow. People want that bass throughout. But it is not technically accurate for what it is worth.

Again, I am NOT disagreeing with what was said about "how it is done".


Heavy bass can cause the needle to jump the track. Stereo bass can cause phase problems. While this company does one off vinyl, the process remains the same, just replace the dub plate with acetate.

http://vinylcarvers.com/faq/

In reference to your orchestra example, here's Neil Diamond's America. The lower end bass instruments are mono, true stereo is being represented by percussion, violins, and the rest of the orchestra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBwA6xKADr8


Many early 60's stereos had a single bass speaker in the middle, with two or four satellite speakers for tweeters and mids. Many early stereo records were "hyper" stereo, putting it mildly. A good example is Harper Valley PTA (vinyl) by Jeannie C. Riley. The bass drum and bass lines were run the bass channel, while the snare/cymbals were run through one side, and a sitar ran through the other channel. Vocals ran through both channels.


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 Post subject: Re: Zenith Solid State...?
PostPosted: Jun Thu 04, 2015 9:27 pm 
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Brett_Buck wrote:
Uh, OK, if you think the turntable out of a brown coffin console is a good hi-fi part, then there's really not much more to discuss. We are talking about two utterly different things. There are plenty of places to learn about high fidelity principles and equipment, might want to avail yourself of them.

Brett


Depends on what turntable was used in the console.

Some could be quite decent.

Well at least they are better than some of the modern cheap record players.


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