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Questions for cleverer brains than mine:  Tracy Chapman's eponymous first album seems to be well thought of on vinyl.  Looking at my CD copy I notice that it is a DDD (all digital) recording.  Does this imply that any benefit from it being analogue and on vinyl has been lost in the process?  Or is this a too purist view?

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9 minutes ago, eyeofnewt said:

Does this imply that any benefit from it being analogue and on vinyl has been lost in the process?

 

No.... the vinyl may be digital all the way to the record cutter.... but it could be a completely different "mastering" of the album.

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In the case of this album there appears to be only one master (digital) that has been used to cut all LP, CD and CC copies. Going by this, the various versions don’t seem to be remasters (as is often the case), the only outlier being the Amazon MP3 version.

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9 hours ago, eyeofnewt said:

Questions for cleverer brains than mine:  Tracy Chapman's eponymous first album seems to be well thought of on vinyl.  Looking at my CD copy I notice that it is a DDD (all digital) recording.  Does this imply that any benefit from it being analogue and on vinyl has been lost in the process?  Or is this a too purist view?

Re-mastering aside it probably is a "too purist view". (Un)Fortunately it's mine too.:lol:

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2 hours ago, GregWormald said:

Re-mastering aside it probably is a "too purist view". (Un)Fortunately it's mine too.:lol:

 

I’m afraid I can be too much of a purist, too. However, this has nothing to do with the final format. A good master is a good master, even after being subjected to the tortures of Red Book downsampling or (gasp) analog/mechanical cutting.

 

What usually spoils the result is remastering with a lesser, more mass-market purpose in mind – car stereo use, mobile audio, that sort of thing. These use case may quite possibly trounce any other form of consumption by sheer numbers, but they ruin it for the (small) rest of us. Curiously and notably, the LP format has been immune to these types of “adjustments”, because an LP is suitable neither for car nor for mobile use.

 

This whole format debate might boil down to the simple fact that the (objectively superior) CD format was hampered by its broad appeal for mass consumption in less than ideal listening conditions, and the detrimental mastering decisions to suit, while the (objctively inferior) vinyl record format was spared such atrocities. This could explain why LPs are usually cut from good masters, while CDs are often cut from bad remasters. I’m kind of guessing here, because in the genres that matter most to me, CDs usually sound excellent and at least as good as LPs. Early (late ‘80s) aberrations notwithstanding. 

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I’ve got the 1988 WEA vinyl recording of this album. It’s a DMM cut which was 
“Digitally recorded and Mixed”.

Sounds pretty good to me.

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On 01/04/2021 at 10:23 PM, Steffen said:

This whole format debate might boil down to the simple fact that the (objectively superior) CD format was hampered by its broad appeal for mass consumption in less than ideal listening conditions, and the detrimental mastering decisions to suit, while the (objctively inferior) vinyl record format was spared such atrocities. This could explain why LPs are usually cut from good masters, while CDs are often cut from bad remasters. I’m kind of guessing here, because in the genres that matter most to me, CDs usually sound excellent and at least as good as LPs. Early (late ‘80s) aberrations notwithstanding. 

 

A really useful observation.  An interesting question for me is ,  given all the inherent flaws of vinyl,  why do some recordings still sound best on LP? This anomaly is why (or at least one important reason why)  so many of us audio folk continue to persist with vinyl as a medium.  It is of course about the mastering, but why these mastering decisions are made is a mystery to me.   

 

Has anyone done a side by side comparison of the eponymous album on  CD vs the vinyl?  I only have the vinyl version of this - the 1988 DMM version @TravellingTT refers to - so I can't compare. 

 

I do have a CD and vinyl press of Tracy Chapman  "Crossroads" . Both sound excellent  to my ears; indeed the CD sounds so good it wasn't clear to me that the vinyl was worth listening to if you had a choice  -  at least in my rig.  

Edited by mkaramazov
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  • 3 weeks later...

Can i propose a different paradigm? 

 

You are treating the digital master as being immutable via the dac. It is not. A dac will impart a "sound". The same way any cartridge would impart a sound to a groove, be it one with a digital or analog source. 

 

The question might be - why does the cartridge flavour tend to be preferred to the consumer dac flavour? Is it the implementation of the dac? A pleasing quality to the flavour lent by a cartridge, or something else? 

 

 

Edited by adhoc
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On 07/04/2021 at 9:53 AM, mkaramazov said:

 

 

Has anyone done a side by side comparison of the eponymous album on  CD vs the vinyl?  I only have the vinyl version of this - the 1988 DMM version @TravellingTT refers to - so I can't compare. 

 

 

No  ... but ...

 

The Dynamic Range Database suggests the CD and Vinyl have a similarly good analysis (suggesting a common master(?)) ...

https://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=Tracy+Chapman&album=Tracy+Chapman

 

Also, most of the 1986-89 CDs were pre loudness wars and good quality.

 

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The issue is that all optical disc players have this problem with residual playback memory affecting the operation of the dac causing degradation to their reproduction sound quality. 

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29 minutes ago, jeromelang said:

The issue is that all optical disc players have this problem with residual playback memory affecting the operation of the dac causing degradation to their reproduction sound quality. 

What is residual playback memory?

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8 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

What is residual playback memory?

Bites lip and refrains.

Note to self if I have nothing nice to say don’t say nothing.

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On 01/04/2021 at 6:47 AM, eyeofnewt said:

Questions for cleverer brains than mine:  Tracy Chapman's eponymous first album seems to be well thought of on vinyl.  Looking at my CD copy I notice that it is a DDD (all digital) recording.  Does this imply that any benefit from it being analogue and on vinyl has been lost in the process?  Or is this a too purist view?

Arent you then forgetting them your own play back system? 

Edited by cafe67
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On 07/04/2021 at 7:53 AM, mkaramazov said:

Has anyone done a side by side comparison of the eponymous album on  CD vs the vinyl?  I only have the vinyl version of this - the 1988 DMM version @TravellingTT refers to - so I can't compare. 

 

Yes, I have the original CD and the 1988 DMM MASTERDISK cut LP.
I have not compared them but will do and report back.

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Given almost all vinyl is mastered digitally and then sent for the cut from a digitally dithered export file on digital media...

 

I love the tactile nature of vinyl but it’s exceedingly rare that anyone has a totally analog path from recording to vinyl these days. In fact, doing so is so costly as to be prohibitive in many instances.

 

Also vinyl masters are different to the digital masters in the mastering process too. They get a lot of EQ treatment to deal with sub bass particularly so a 1:1 comparison isn’t all that useful. 

Edited by BugPowderDust
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1 hour ago, rockpig said:
On 07/04/2021 at 7:53 AM, mkaramazov said:

Has anyone done a side by side comparison of the eponymous album on  CD vs the vinyl?  I only have the vinyl version of this - the 1988 DMM version @TravellingTT refers to - so I can't compare. 

 

Yes, I have the original CD and the 1988 DMM MASTERDISK cut LP.
I have not compared them but will do and report back.

 

Tracy.jpg.b888ee2c7884d44021ed8f5bb71bf74c.jpg

 

OK I did an A/B comparison of the original CD and the 1988 DMM MASTERDISK cut LP.

Namely these exact versions:

https://www.discogs.com/Tracy-Chapman-Tracy-Chapman/release/770495 CD

https://www.discogs.com/Tracy-Chapman-Tracy-Chapman/release/2806538 LP

 

I played them simultaneously and was able match the volume because my phono pre-amp has a volume control, and instantly switch between the two.
Initially they sound pretty much the same tone and mix wise.
However, after a short time I could hear in the guitar only sections that the guitar sounded a bit more natural, acoustic like on the LP. Then I could hear that there was a difference in the vocal presence. The CD vocal sounded a bit flatter than the LP.
But overall if you did not play them side by side you would be pretty happy with the CD or LP, but for me on my system the LP has the edge.
I did a blind test and had another person mix up the input selection so I did not know which was playing and could easily pick the CD from the LP every time.

I must admit that I have more money invested in gear for the Phono side than CD, so that may account for the differences I hear.

$2.5K Yamaha CD2000B SACD player verses a $13K rig of TT, Kiseki Purple Heart MC cartridge, valve phono pre amp, both into a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP - Amplifier.

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2 minutes ago, rockpig said:

 

Tracy.jpg.b888ee2c7884d44021ed8f5bb71bf74c.jpg

 

OK I did an A/B comparison of the original CD and the 1988 DMM MASTERDISK cut LP.

Namely these exact versions:

https://www.discogs.com/Tracy-Chapman-Tracy-Chapman/release/770495 CD

https://www.discogs.com/Tracy-Chapman-Tracy-Chapman/release/2806538 LP

 

I played them simultaneously and was able match the volume because my phono pre-amp has a volume control, and instantly switch between the two.
Initially they sound pretty much the same tone and mix wise.
However, after a short time I could hear in the guitar only sections that the guitar sounded a bit more natural, acoustic like on the LP. Then I could hear that there was a difference in the vocal presence. The CD vocal sounded a bit flatter than the LP.
But overall if you did not play them side by side you would be pretty happy with the CD or LP, but for me on my system the LP has the edge.
I did a blind test and had another person mix up the input selection so I did not know which was playing and could easily pick the CD from the LP every time.

I must admit that I have more money invested in gear for the Phono side than CD, so that may account for the differences I hear.

$2.5K Yamaha CD2000B SACD player verses a $13K rig of TT, Kiseki Purple Heart MC cartridge, valve phono pre amp, both into a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP - Amplifier.

 

Thanks for sharing this comparison.  I have an original DMM Aus press. Its a great pressing, clean and punchy,   though to my ears  a touch bright like many 80s DMM presses.  Fantastic to hear your thoughts on the CD, on a system that far exceeds mine!

 

Shame this recording had not bern remastered for SACD or hi res PCM!  

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On 01/04/2021 at 8:47 AM, eyeofnewt said:

Tracy Chapman's eponymous first album seems to be well thought of on vinyl.

 

I am not aware that this album is "well thought of on vinyl".
I consider it OK, but do not class it as great high fidelity.

 

On 01/04/2021 at 8:47 AM, eyeofnewt said:

Looking at my CD copy I notice that it is a DDD (all digital) recording.  Does this imply that any benefit from it being analogue and on vinyl has been lost in the process?  Or is this a too purist view?

 

This is an interesting question and in my listening tests on my system I prefer the LP over the CD. If you have a decent digital rig and have the CD already there is not enough difference for me to endorse replacing it with the original LP.

 

This thread has reminded me of the Shelby Lynne album Just A Little Lovin' .

I have owned the 2008 origin pressing for a long time and thought it sounded really good.
That was until I found out there was a stuff up with the cutting from the analogue tapes which lead to the LP being re-cut from a CD digital master because the record company said it would cost too much to do it analogue again. (Info gleaned from a You tube video by Micheal Fremer)


In 2014 Analogue Productions decided to go the huge expense of recutting it from the original analogue tapes and press it on 2 x 45rpm records. These pressing are jaw dropping compared to the 2008 and 2011 releases.

It is when you hear differences like this that you realise how much we are missing out on because of cost based decisions in the production chain.

Edited by rockpig
typo
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