How close does it come to the digital master?

Anthony_F_Thompson

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I have an expensive Turntable equipped with an expensive cartridge and stylus. I have a vinyl of an album from my favorite artists. I have it plugged in to an AE-5 Sound Blaster sound card via Line In from the preamp Line Out on the turntable. I use audio software to record a song from the vinyl onto my computer at 32bit 384kHz as a .WAV. The file is huge and overkill.

How close does it come to the original digital master? from 0 to 10. I would rate it 8 out of 10.

24bit 96kHz 5 out of 10

Same with CD version. 16bit 44.1kHz as a .WAV. 0 to 10. I would rate it 3 out of 10.

16bit 44.1kHz WAV 80 minutes = 826.9MB
24bit 96kHz WAV 80 minutes = 2,700.0MB
32bit 384kHz WAV 80 minutes = 14,400.0MB

I'm probably wasting my time with this question. I'm some how convinced that studios convert to a lower at least 24bit and 192kHz.
 

10tacle

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Well I'm no hard core audiophile so I can't answer that. However I will state that I was around in 1986 when the shift movement went from LP/cassette recording to buying CDs and CD players. Compared to my Marantz turntable with a Shure cartridge stylus steup turning my LPs, my first CD (Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet) was disappointing in sampling frequency (bass to treble) and even the stereo separation was poorer. This can be fully supported by comparing the quality of my LP->cassette transfers with CD->cassette transfers before cars had CD players (and I had, still have, I high end Technics cassette deck in my home audio hardware collection and yes, that all sits in boxes these days but I'm never getting rid of them).
 

Anthony_F_Thompson

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Yup. I wouldn't expect so much head room from back in the day but over time philips/sony really pulled through and gave us something that's survived since 1981. I believe they were just getting out of 20Ks of kHz with what equipment they had. In fact a lot of albums before the release of CDs still sounds pretty bad unless they were digitally remastered. Like going from black and white to color.
 

photonboy

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Hi,
First of all what do you mean by "how close"?

There have been many tests done with compression and basically it's virtually impossible for anybody to tell the difference between a high quality song and one compressed to an audio CD level (then even further down to a certain point depending on the codec) ... IN TERMS OF COMPRESSION.

*Where the difference lies from the studio master to the audio CD is how it's manipulated and unfortunately that's often done for lower-quality speakers with less bass playback capability.

Mixers will actually keep $1000+ headphones for the studio but mix with cheap earbuds.

Other:
In terms of losses from a TURNTABLE to digital audio again it's not COMPRESSION that's the issue. You may have some losses due to the quality of the ADC (analog-to-digital converter) or even before that some changes to the analog signal due to wire quality and connections.

Summary:
When talking losses and differences we must be very clear what we are comparing. Again, we can COMPRESS a great deal with minimal to no audible differences, but HOW we manipulate the original source depends on the target media and unfortunately audio CD's aim for the general market with cheap speakers.
 

photonboy

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Your question confuses me slightly too... the ALBUM has already been manipulated so it's not going to match the digital master anyway so how do we compare especially with no access to the original master?

You can compare your digitized version to the record via the same speaker pathway. That's all you can do.
 

Anthony_F_Thompson

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Oh no! I'm not comparing the sounds here. I'm literally asking if you could put the analogue recording on file with whatever best possible conversion you get from the ADCs we have today. How huge is the source compared to what we can make from merchandise. What I could list was what seemed what the average consumer could pull off if they tried. 15GB at best AT MAXIMUM for what can fit down onto a compact disk when converted down. I based this math on multiply 32 with 384 and them multiplying that by 2 channels and then dividing it by 8 for 8Kb per KB and then divided by another 1000 for 1000KB per MB.
 
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