Your perception of vinyl based playback?

(Mikael Ollars) #1

When completing some translations in Roon i stumbled upon this, probably imminent phrase:

The audio signal is being processed in order to emulate the sonic character of a record player based playback chain.

I thought it was interesting and quite philosophical! :smiley:

Exactly what is the “sonic character” of a record player based playback chain, to you?

To me the vinyl playback quite easily surpasses the digital side when considering most parts, not so much when focusing on other properties!

So, what does this do? Introduce a higher background noise? Clicks and occasional pops?
I seriously doubt it could do the things that a nice vinyl pressing can do in the right setting, namely recreate the recording moment, let you get closer to the artists and their intent. Flesh out the individual sounds of instruments and voices without clouding their colleagues!

Let’s hear your thoughts!

(Andrew Cox) #2

Was that a description of Roon Mikael ? If so it’s not my understanding of what Roon does.

But to answer your very interesting question, I am familiar with the sonic character of vinyl and reel to reel tape analog sources. Of the two I prefer tape, possibly because of isolation issues with my turntable.

Put very simply I would say that my analog sources “move more air” than digital, although the gap is closing. This may mean a peak in the midrange. It may be a criticism of the design of (my) DAC power supplies. The result can be a more “lifelike” and immediate presentation, even through surface noise or tape hiss.

The other factor to analog character is that both vinyl and tape recordings are EQ’d and use RIAA filters to reverse the EQ upon playback. In the case of vinyl the lower frequencies are cut to prevent needle excursion throwing the cartridge out of the groove. They are then boosted on playback, meaning that a spectral character can be introduced by the phono stage.

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(Mikael Ollars) #3

No, not at all, i’m just speculating here! I assume that the filter has yet to be implemented, otherwise i have just missed this function.

I enjoy vinyl playback frequently, and even though there can be some noise i still really like what i hear on well produced records.
Roon doesn’t sound at all, in my opinion, and digital sounds as well as the recording allows! That said, my Nagra DAC has really launched my digital playback right up, neck to neck, with my turntable!

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(Chris ) #4

What on Earth is this about…Move more air? To me that is meaningless. The speakers move air and a lossy analog signal cannot move more of it than any other decent signal.

I have to assume it’s an expression to attempt to describe the character of the sound and how you prefer it. That’s ok.

(Andrew Cox) #5

The thread is about perception. I’ve described my perception.

(Mikael Ollars) #6

My perception is similar, analog playback systems have a tendency to put more “meat on the bones” on individual instruments and voices. And this without blurring other sounds simultaneously.

Perhaps it’s distorsion, but then its a very tasty distorsion! :slight_smile:

And, analog reproduction cannot be “lossy”, but it might be “degraded” to various extents.

Why dont you offer your perception on what " the sonic character of a record player based playback chain" sounds like then? :wink:

(Dom) #7

Yes describing what one hears is very diificult and obviously very personal. Having grown up with vinyl and even now listening to vinyl at friends places with good equipment, I have a pretty good idea what most people describe as analogue sound. I personally have gone the digital route, but am always trying to get - what I hear live in my livingroom, or at least as close as possible with my budget.
Dac, Amp and speaker plus roomacoustics all have their share. Also being into movies, I have an av-receiver, and the one I had befor sounded thin and somehow to clean, in a bad way. I could not pinpoint it, but something in my gutt did not like it. Then I got a Marantz with very good roomcorrection, suddenly I was happy, “it” was and felt right. There are people out there, that write that amps do not make a difference in sound - to me they do.
What I have now is, to use the phrase loosely “analogue sound”, to me it has all the goodness of analogue plus the positive points of digital playback. As was written before - meat on the bones, is pretty much what I prefer and evenmore esoteric - it has a soul… ( not getting religious here) simply sound alive and live.
I am lucky and have had the opportunity to hear many great singers and orchestras etc live and so have a good idea, what they should sound like (to my ears, never tried others)

So yes, I do get what the perception is about.

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(Henry) #8

For me (good) analogue is a feeling. More specifically a feeling of being close to the performance. In some cases actually being amongst the assembled performers. Digital used to lay stuff out in front of me and lacked intimacy. I have gotten digital to a place where it ticks most of my “best analogue experiences” boxes but I have actually taken steps backwards in my vinyl setup because it wasn’t great only being able to listen to a third of my records because of less than perfect pressings. It is still pretty good but less fussy about vinyl quality.

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(Music and Shawarma Lover) #9

I think it’s a different process. Maybe it’s my ears or my system but I do not notice a vast difference in quality of sound, other than the surface noise and clicks/pops. There is a different character to it, but I couldn’t say it’s better or worse.

It’s the feel of putting on a record that is the experience. It’s like mixing a martini versus opening a beer.

The end result may be more appreciation because you’re listening to an album side, tracks in the order the artist (presumably) determined, as like reading a book with chapters versus a magazine article.

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(Jeff) #10

For me vinyl is excessive noise floor, inner groove distortion and of course the clicks and pops.

Vinyl does have an ease to the presentation but that can also be achieved with the right DAC. Vinyl can also be a little fuller but I often wonder how much the increased stereo cross talk plays in that.

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