TP-028, Nat Adderley's Work Song is now available

Author Topic: The SACD vs Tape Challenge  (Read 25329 times)

Offline braver

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« on: February 17, 2009, 12:08:59 AM »
Well the good folks at the QuadraphonicQuuad reminded that Paul S. is one of the top SACD mixing engineers.  Hence I believe we finally can solve the "analog vs digital" once and for all.

Mix stereo SACD from a master tape -- directly to DSD -- and compare to a Tape Project tape.  Do it in a double-blind panel setup.  The equipment has to be the same -- it's not fully possible, but for just stereo output can hopefully be approximated with the same amp.

Alexy Khrabrov
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 08:40:32 PM by braver »

ceved

  • Guest
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 07:13:49 AM »
In the time it would take to do as you suggest, I would prefer to listen to new music I had never heard before.
But there are those who really 'need/want' to know the results of these 'shootouts'; and that is just fine.
To my eyes, the key conundrum to your proposition is the phrase....'its not fully possible'...
Having said that ...'once and for all'... will still allude you.
In the meantime I will be enjoying music and the shootouters will be comparing sounds.
We each have our own curiosities, manifested in different activities.
But then that is the beauty of audio diversity, and of this forum eh?


Offline braver

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 02:15:07 PM »
ceved -- if you read this forum, several threads talk about comparing a tape to an equivalent LP.  Basically, if you only got 8-10 tapes, you've got plenty of time on your hands and might as well do a reality check.  Now I'm a computer scientist and a physicist and am sick and tired of all the nostalgic stuff.  Either an SACD with HDMI 1.2a out and an appropriate modern amp is better than a tape feeding a tube amp, or it is not.  My hunch is, a properly recorded DSD-throughout-SACD beats the living stereo out of your tapes.  However, Paul S. is the SACD guy, so he is in a unique position to either prove or disprove it.  If he really believes it, he'll make it happen; if not, it means this analog enterprise is just a business model geared to high-spending audiophiles, right there with $1000 cables and other gold-plated stuff.  I believe digital HDMI supercedes any gold-plated cables, IMHO; and the challenge is stated as clear as ever possible -- the very best possible analog vs. the very best digital.  Take it or leave it -- but then we get a default judgement.

Alexy Khrabrov
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 08:40:12 PM by braver »

Offline Ben

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 304
  • Bring on the music
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 03:17:06 PM »
Check check ... testing one two three *loud feedback *.
I'll stick my money still on analog audio. What I question is the Digital to analog
conversion in modern equipment, as they all seem to use the same $.95 part
if it not covered under some patented software format. There is no midrange in
digital any more it seems. As for SACD it seems off hand still limited by sample
rate to 44KHZ if I remember right. 
Set 45,Open baffle speakers,Otari 5050,,Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD/CD/SCAD player

Offline docb

  • Administrator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
    • Bottlehead Corp.
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 04:03:15 PM »
Generally a guy who makes a challenge is taken more seriously if he has something to lose if he's wrong.  We have indeed gone to the effort and expense to make the comparisons you are talking about, and shared the experience with others. Maybe you should too, if you think you need to prove some point that is important to you. As far as I can see we have no reason to waste any more time on this.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline braver

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 04:39:59 PM »
DocB -- true, you guys have the capacity to implement it.  But not many others.  Basically you have the master tapes, and Paul who is an expert in making SACDs.  I missed a tape comparison with SACD if there was one?  I agree that it would be nice to provide a way to set up this challenge so I have something to lose, yet so is the majority in this forum -- in fact, everybody except you guys in charge.  However the comparisons are made all the time, and it's legit to ask for ways to substantiate them...  Obviously it's a hypothesis and you may or may not be able to do it.

SACD effective range is 100KHz.  It beats tape in all technical parameters -- effective frequency is 100KHz, sampling is 1 bit at 3 GHz.  Notice G for Giga -- this is not PCM for discrete A/D, this is what Sony and Philips call "digital analog" for capturing the waveform.  Folks can see more on SACD at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD, or the SACD forum, http://sa-cd.net/.

I personally would appreciate Paul's opinions from his own SACD mastering experiences on whether a DSD recording directly from the master tape realized as SACD can beat the tape copied through 2 generations.

Alexy Khrabrov
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 08:37:07 PM by braver »

Offline docb

  • Administrator
  • leader in spreading disinformation
  • *****
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
    • Bottlehead Corp.
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 06:45:11 PM »
It has been brought to my attention by other members here that you haven't posted your name on your posts as required by the forum rules.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline braver

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 08:39:42 PM »
DocB -- am correcting this.  I have a genuine interest in the high fidelity audio, and as a scientist I'm always asking the questions about any claims and proposing experiments to solve such questions.  Hopefully something beyond message format can be found to support a constructive discussion!

It would be nice to identify some areas where tape can beat SACD, or differences create substantially different listening experiences, aside from watching reels turn, -- which is definitely a plus for tape, seriously, as it adds to the experience, similarly to LP providing a physical evidence of the music playing.  However purely acoustically, a master tape can be copied to DSD directly, and then comparisons can be made...

Cheers,
Alexy Khrabrov
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 08:56:14 PM by braver »

Offline bobschneider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 57
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 09:21:52 PM »
Waltz for Debbie is available on SACD, as is Saxophone Colossus.  It should be easy to set up a blind test of the SACD version against the TP versions.  Has anyone tried this?
Bob Schneider

Offline braver

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 11:04:33 PM »
Bob -- thanks for the info!  It would be a very interesting comparison indeed; and it might show advantages of tape, too, or some features of tape folks prefer to SACD -- and vice versa.  Definitely a few different SACD/tape pairs are best to gauge what the spectrum is.

Cheers,
Alexy Khrabrov

Offline astrotoy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 377
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 02:22:47 AM »
Here are my comments on Waltz for Debby SACD, vinyl and TP that I did last October. They are in the WfD part of the Forum. I am currently in London, so I don't have access to any of this right now.    Larry

"Another comparison of Waltz with the R2R vs. SACD and 33rpm both from Analogue Productions. First, I have upgraded my front end, so now the TT, cartridge and phono pre are almost exactly 3 times the cost of the Bottlehead Technics 1506/Repro. Not ten times like Mike, but not a shabby system. I also can change polarity remotely with my new Herron VTSP3 and with my system, all of the sources - SACD, LP and R2R require reversed absolute polarity. The easiest way to hear this is in any of the Scott LaFaro bass solos (as in the middle of Waltz for Debby) where without the correct polarity the bass plucks are much more lifeless and flat in perspective. Also you can feel the impact of Evan's hammer strokes on the piano with the correct polarity. The SACD is the clear loser, although quite nice in its own way. The B side of the LP is pretty close to the R2R, very realistic, not quite the depth of the tape. But side A is where the R2R shines - I agree with Mike's assessment of the utter ease of the playing and the lifelike you are there feeling of the R2R. You can hear the difference immediately in the beginning of the first cut - "My Foolish Heart".  Again the LP is quite spectacular on its own - I don't have the 45 to compare, though I have always found the 45 versions of the Classic Records pressings superior to their 33 rpm. I don't have any of Chad's 45 pressings. Another winner. BTW, lights off when playing this album makes it even more real.  One point that Dan may have a comment on. Several times in the album, the tape has a little drop out (most notably at the beginning of the B side - the first few seconds of "My Romance" and right at the end of "My Foolish Heart"). It is there in the SACD, so it must be in the master. However, in the LP it isn't there. Not sure how Chad was able to remove the problem. AP did both the LP and the SACD and only the LP has the drop out problem removed. Mike may want to comment on whether the 45 has this issue.  Larry

Finally, does anyone know about the album "Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard." I got the SACD in the same bunch of SACD's where I got Waltz for Debbie. It sounds very much like it came from the same sessions - the liner notes indicate that also. The three performers are in the same acoustic and in the same positions in both albums."   
Larry Toy CharterMember-BHReproTechnics1506/Akai747dbx/OtariMX5050B3-ClassicalVinylFreak-15Krecs-VPIHRXRimDrv-LyraSkala-HelikonMono-HerronVTSP3A/BHPhonoPre-PacificMicrosonics Model2 - Pyramix&MykerinosCard-OppoNE-Proceed AVP2+6/CVP2-CJ MET1-Cary 2A3SE-AvantgardeDuos-3Solos-VelodyneDD18Sub

Offline steveidosound

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 484
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2009, 02:50:07 AM »
In the time it would take to do as you suggest, I would prefer to listen to new music I had never heard before.
But there are those who really 'need/want' to know the results of these 'shootouts'; and that is just fine.
To my eyes, the key conundrum to your proposition is the phrase....'its not fully possible'...
Having said that ...'once and for all'... will still allude you.
In the meantime I will be enjoying music and the shootouters will be comparing sounds.
We each have our own curiosities, manifested in different activities.
But then that is the beauty of audio diversity, and of this forum eh?



" O.K. But what about MUSIC ?
Can I listen to MUSIC on my system?"
"What for? It's (Hi-Fi) only good for checking to see if you have wow and flutter or if you can still hear the turntable rumble. That's all it's for - nothing else ! Only purpose!"
- Stan Freberg - Dr. Herman Horne on Hi-Fi
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline jcmusic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 345
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2009, 10:39:57 AM »
What is the point of all this? You either like tape or you don't, let's move on!!!

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.

Offline john

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2009, 01:37:50 PM »
SACD effective range is 100KHz.  It beats tape in all technical parameters -- effective frequency is 100KHz, sampling is 1 bit at 3 GHz.  Notice G for Giga -- this is not PCM for discrete A/D, this is what Sony and Philips call "digital analog" for capturing the waveform.  Folks can see more on SACD at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD, or the SACD forum, http://sa-cd.net/.

I personally would appreciate Paul's opinions from his own SACD mastering experiences on whether a DSD recording directly from the master tape realized as SACD can beat the tape copied through 2 generations.

Alexy Khrabrov

Alexy, you are talking about making a copy of an analogue master tape so sacd having a effective range of 100kHz is a moot point. The master tape that the TP and sacd copy's are derived from is one and the same, it didn't capture anything above 25KHz at best and probably less. The high sampling rate cannot be compared to tape as nothing is sampled during the tape copy process its simply tape to tape, no conversion to digital. Everytime you make a copy, something is lost no matter how you do it. When you digitize something you don't just copy it you convert it ( to digital ) store it, and then you make a stamper ( another conversion ) in order to produce the disc. After purchasing said disc you take it home read it with a laser ( another conversion ) send the resultant signal through a Dac ( another conversion ) in order to hear it. No conversion is perfect no matter the what the sampling rate is. thats an awful lot of conversions!!! Tape to tape is the way to go it doesn't take a scientist ( or physicist ) to work that out.
John Taylor

Revox C270, Teac X-2000R, Technics RS1506, RS7500, Nakamichi Dragon, CR7E, Sony WM-D6C, Sony EL7 ( Elcaset! ) Brinkmann balance, Brinkmann Ti Cart, Clearaudio Balanced Ref, Esoteric XO1-D2, ARC Ref3, Ref 210, JM Lab Micro Utopia Be and Jas Audio Plato.

Offline jcmusic

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 345
    • View Profile
Re: The SACD vs Tape Challenge
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2009, 02:37:14 PM »
SACD effective range is 100KHz.  It beats tape in all technical parameters -- effective frequency is 100KHz, sampling is 1 bit at 3 GHz.  Notice G for Giga -- this is not PCM for discrete A/D, this is what Sony and Philips call "digital analog" for capturing the waveform.  Folks can see more on SACD at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD, or the SACD forum, http://sa-cd.net/.

I personally would appreciate Paul's opinions from his own SACD mastering experiences on whether a DSD recording directly from the master tape realized as SACD can beat the tape copied through 2 generations.

Alexy Khrabrov

Alexy, you are talking about making a copy of an analogue master tape so sacd having a effective range of 100kHz is a moot point. The master tape that the TP and sacd copy's are derived from is one and the same, it didn't capture anything above 25KHz at best and probably less. The high sampling rate cannot be compared to tape as nothing is sampled during the tape copy process its simply tape to tape, no conversion to digital. Everytime you make a copy, something is lost no matter how you do it. When you digitize something you don't just copy it you convert it ( to digital ) store it, and then you make a stamper ( another conversion ) in order to produce the disc. After purchasing said disc you take it home read it with a laser ( another conversion ) send the resultant signal through a Dac ( another conversion ) in order to hear it. No conversion is perfect no matter the what the sampling rate is. thats an awful lot of conversions!!! Tape to tape is the way to go it doesn't take a scientist ( or physicist ) to work that out.
Way to go John!!! No one could have said it better or more planner!!!

Jay
Redpoint Model D TT/Soundsmith Sotto Voce Cartridge Otari MX 5050 BII/BH Tube Repro deHavilland Model 222
 Ah Njoe Tjoeb 4000, Rogue Magnum 99, Korneff 45 SET Amp, Klipsch K-Horns Bass Bins/2" Tractrix Horns 2" BMS Drivers, Vintage Tubes.