Which recording sounds best to you?

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings (vinyl , 8-track, etc.)' started by bazelio, May 7, 2019.

?

Which recording sounds best?

  1. File 1

  2. File 2

  3. File 3

  4. File 4

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  1. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    On my system, I favour 4: (what I perceive as) dynamics and resolution are better; eg the big drum hits between 1.45 and 2.00 have sharper attacks and I could hear more reverberation; and the ?triangle hits and string plucks sounded cleaner throughout

    I least preferred 1, for essentially the opposite reasons stated above. I found it hard to distinguish 2 and 3, and would have trouble telling them from 4 if trying blind. I think I could distinguish 1, though, after some (more) time with each.

    UPnP via wifi to RPi-HiFiBerry Digi+ -> optical -> Modi Multibit -> Rotel RA971-II pre-out -> MCTH -> HD6XX. Minimserver was fussy with the aiff files so I transcoded them to FLAC - but not before having formed the 4 vs 1 impression.

    Different ripping software?
     
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  2. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    Forgot to take a guess at the variable. My best guess would be different inputs on soundcard or ADC.
     
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  3. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    @bazelio , gonna keep us in suspense??
     
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  4. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    I figure it could take folks like @Wfojas and @Chris F a month to respond, so we ought to wait. And where are other legends such as @Merrick , @sphinxvc , et al?

    Things don't happen rapidly 'round here.
     
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  5. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Meanwhile, do we have any Audacity gurus who can pick out any differences between files?
     
  6. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    All 4 files are different length, and #4 is louder slightly.
     
  7. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @elmoe I somehow doubt that length matters much.

    At least in this application.

    Well fuck now I have to go and analyse the files now that you bring that up. I'm guessing @E_Schaaf might be more competent though since he actually makes music :))
     
  8. elmoe

    elmoe Friend

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    I think it matters, we'll find out how much when we're told how they differ ;)
     
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  9. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Length difference is just random variation.
     
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  10. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    I prefer the first file, seems the most natural and realistic to me. However, all of them sounded quite similar on the "budget" setup, so it might played a difference here.

    Foobar2000 via USB > Modi 3 > THX AAA 789 > HD 600
     
  11. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Ha! That you await the vinyl mavens makes me think the difference is in the analog realm. Counting out what you've already said it isn't, and thinking that different mastering would be much more apparent - next guess is, different pressings of the same master?
     
  12. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Same record, which by the way was cut "direct to disk" iirc. The ADC was a Lynx Hilo for all 4 needle drops.
     
  13. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    So these weren't ripped by you...
     
  14. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Nope, but nothing I just said gave that away. LoL
     
  15. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    "iirc" did
     
  16. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    You'll be able to find these on the internets just not in the same order as posted here.

    PS I'll go look at the record and confirm direct to disk later...
     
  17. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    That explains your asking people not to spoil the surprise in the OP! Will be lazy-Googling, but won't post in thread if I inadvertently stumble across it. Might bug you via PM about revised order though :))
     
  18. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Pubic hairs! That is, the little tonearm wires that clip to the cartridge on one end and connect to a junction box or are terminated with RCA connectors on the other end going to the phono stage. These wires are probably around 32 AWG if I had to venture a guess. Someone did say interconnects were the difference in play here, and that was close, but I assumed it meant normal line level interconnects. More on the wires in each clip below.

    The arm in play here is a Kuzma 4-point. It's not well-advertised, but Franc Kuzma offers 4 different wiring options. At one point I'd asked him if there was an audible difference between them and he simply refused to answer the question, essentially saying that he didn't want to describe something and have a customer disappointed later. Eventually, he sent 4 arm tubes to Michael Fremer each wired differently, with the four types of wire he offers. He told me later that he instructed Fremer not to post his own opinion but that posting needle drop clips for readers to download was A OK. So the Fremlord did just that. What's nice about the 4-point arm, among other things, is the ease with which you can swap out just the tube (and wire) and reattach the same cartridge in precisely the same alignment to the new arm tube. This takes a matter of minutes to do. Normally you just swap out the headshell to quickly change carts, but in this situation it allowed for easy arm tube change-outs instead.

    So, according to Fremer, the clips differ only in the arm tube (and hence the tonearm wire) that was used. A Lynx Hilo was used for the ADC process, which took its input from a Ypsilon phono stage. I forget which cartridge he used. As for the wires:

    Clip 1: Monocrystal silver tonearm wire. I believe this is the standard tonearm wire that comes on any 4-point.
    Clip 2: Kondo brand silver tonearm wire. I like this clip the best. I don't know why two silver wires sound different, but they do.
    Clip 3: OCC copper tonearm wire. I don't know if there's a brand name for this one.
    Clip 4: Cardas Clear tonearm wire. Yeah, it sounds like Cardas, don't it?

    My reason for posting this? Besides why not, because I sent my arm in to Franc for servicing and he remembered my previous inquiry about the wire (that he had refused to answer). He mentioned that he'd rewire the arm at his cost if I wished. So I spent some time listening to these clips, and eventually took him up on the offer and went with #2. AFTER I selected #2, he then mentioned that he also prefers it and uses it on the tonearms in his personal systems. The arm is done and on its way back to me now, and I was curious what everyone else hears in these clips.

    My impressions: From what I could tell, differences are not huge by any means but they are certainly audible. With #2, I think there is a bit more detail combined with better harmonics and just an overall sense of fluidity that sounds right to me. #1 seems a bit more incisive, but it's not bad. I've lived with #1 for a couple years and have no complaints. #3, #4 I just don't like as much as #1, #2. Interestingly, I know a guy who has two arms, one wired with #1 and the other #2. He confirmed the differences I thought I was hearing, so that was decent validation.

    Horses for courses.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  19. MLegend

    MLegend Friend

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    File 1.jpg File 2.jpg File 3.jpg File 4.jpg File 1.jpg File 2.jpg File 3.jpg File 4.jpg

    Let me know if you want them zoomed in more or not.
    Open the full size images in a new tab and zoom to see the full resolution image.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
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  20. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Hard as hell to see visual differences there.
     
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