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Thread: CD’s are still the best playback format according to John Darko!

  1. #16
    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Cassette was the format for mix tapes. I assume that is where the interest lies.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    I see cassettes listed on Bandcamp a lot. Like, pre-made albums, just like you used to buy at your favorite music store in 1985.

    https://bandcamp.com/tag/cassette

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    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
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    There were very high quality versions of cassettes that took special players, but there's not too many produced and not too many players that will play them at this point. But as far as a resurgence of plain ferric cassette tapes, I think it's kind of ridiculous.

    I understand keeping a CRT television around for old games, but keeping a pile of cassettes? I'm not saying I hate cassettes, but I don't think they've ever been the best format during the height of their use. What cassettes had was convenience, and technology has made them seem inconvenient these days. I guess if you miss listening to something that slowly wore out and never sounded as good, freshly out of the wrapper as a CD you've had on the shelf for 10 years.

    I like vinyl, I have a good collection. I think there's some qualities to the sound, the analogue nature of them, and the ceremony of just letting the album play. I will never argue that it's a better sound. At the end of the day, I'm constantly cleaning, and removing static from my LPs, hoping to get them to sound half as clean as a CD. I still think vinyl has merits for the at home listener.

    Oddly enough though, I probably only have like 5 classical albums total. The biggest bulk of it is jazz. And that is leading me to the next argument for vinyl. Big Band, Jazz, and other recordings from that era released on CD often have so much of the detail scrubbed out, and that's part of the reason I opt for vinyl recordings.

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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalieriIsInnocent View Post
    Big Band, Jazz, and other recordings from that era released on CD often have so much of the detail scrubbed out, and that's part of the reason I opt for vinyl recordings.
    I think it's also at least partially a matter of taste. Jazz recordings from the 20s and 30s in particular can be pretty variable, sound-quality-wise, and I think that's just due to the state of the master recordings. I know some people have a high tolerance for surface noise and such if it means that more of the original music is preserved. I think I have a somewhat lower tolerance. Some years ago I shelled out some pretty big bucks for that Duke Ellington RCA Centennial box set (24 CDs), and was looking forward to some better overall sound than I had been used to. But it seems like on many of the tracks, there's very little noise reduction at all, and in the louder brassier sections, it seems to really crackle and kinda break apart. It's hard to listen to, in my opinion.

    Strangely, the same person responsible for remastering that RCA set also did the Columbia/Brunswick Mosaic Duke Ellington big band set, which to me sounds pretty much perfect. Maybe the source material was just better, I don't know.

    I have a lot of JSP and Proper CD sets of material from the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Especially with the JSP sets, some people rave about the sound quality, and some people think it's just muted and muddy. Go figure. Most of the time I don't really have anything to compare it to, so I really couldn't say.

    (Okay, I'll stop talking about jazz on a classical music forum now.)

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    I think it's also at least partially a matter of taste. Jazz recordings from the 20s and 30s in particular can be pretty variable, sound-quality-wise, and I think that's just due to the state of the master recordings.
    It can also have a lot to do with the way the record is played back. Early acoustic records never sound as good with electrical transcription as they do when they're played on a well maintained acoustic phonograph. The combination of mica diaphragm and horn create a sound that presents the music with more presence than high fidelity pickups do. Electrical transcription is better suited to electrical recordings.
    Last edited by bigshot; Apr-16-2019 at 20:58.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    About cassettes ... just so that there's no confusion, I'm not referring to the mass-produced (fast duplicated) PRE-RECORDED variety. They sounded poor. Tho' a few audiophile companies (MFSL) did produce quality tapes (half-speed master or chrome formula).

    Rather, I am referring to self-recorded tapes, using high-quality decks (e.g., Nakamichi) on name-brand chrome- or metal-formula tapes (e.g. TDK, Maxell). For best results, it's important to keep heads aligned (and clean, along with transport) , as well as demagnetized. Also, deck owners manuals provide a list of tape brands that meet the decks factory bias adjustment. Very high-end decks (Nakamichi, Tandberg or Revox) feature automated bias trim and head alignment.

    Bottom line: if you're careful, you can tape your vinyl with very good fidelity.

    Back in the 80s, for portable apps, I used a few Sony Walkman's with Dolby B/C NR and smaller Sennheiser MS-100 headphones. Playing back metal tapes recorded on my Nakamichi, on the system below, is still a sonic treat!

    sennheiser-ms-100.jpg

    sony_wm-dc2_01.jpg
    Last edited by 13hm13; Apr-16-2019 at 22:20.

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    Cassettes don't sound bad at all if you used the right machine and blanks. Not quite as good as reel to reel, but close.
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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  9. #23
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    What's a cassette?

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    Senior Member bigshot's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind having one of these, but I can't afford it.

    DSC_0773.preview.jpg
    CD Sound Is All You Need: http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
    AES Audio Myths Seminar: http://youtu.be/BYTlN6wjcvQ
    AES Damn Lies Seminar: http://youtu.be/Zvireu2SGZM

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    Senior Member chill782002's Avatar
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    I have a high end Sony cassette deck that I got given over 20 years ago by a friend who received it as a gift and didn't want it. It's been sitting in my attic ever since, I haven't even taken it out of the massive cardboard box that it shipped in, never mind unwrapped the deck itself from the plastic sheeting that I assume it's covered in within the box. I'd completely forgotten about it until I saw the last few posts in this thread. Not sure why I never got rid of it as I'd made the transition to CDs a few years before I received it. Maybe I somehow unconsciously foresaw that cassettes would make a comeback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andolink View Post
    After 3 months of experimentation, John Darko now acknowledges the superior sound quality of CD playback vs. computer audio, streaming services and vinyl using the Hegel Mohican and PSA DMP/DSD:

    https://youtu.be/vgmzh77KMCU
    Darko is one of the few audiophile gurus that I find believable. Thanks for sharing this

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  15. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    There's a hipster niche market for cassette tapes now (but not for classical music, as far as I know), which blows my mind. There are no redeeming qualities of cassette tapes, aside from perhaps nostalgia.
    Agreed. Cassettes were utter crap. Get them Tangled once and you would forever have a glitch. Glad I'm not still relying on them.

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    I haven't seen any votes for high resolution downloads here...I have some that are amazing, others less so.
    I am a fan of the silver disc in all it's forms-CD, DVD-A, Blu Ray, SACD. They can all be optimized to sound great, as can downloads. I do enjoy multichannel and 2 channel.
    Vinyl and cassettes don't enter the conversation for me except to be dismissed.
    I am not against streaming, but it distresses me that streaming has so dominated the market that it will drive all silver discs to extinction. I'd like to have choice

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  18. #29
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    I like CDs, but more for the books that come with them, and the feel of something tangible in my hand. But I haven't bought a CD in a long time. Virtually all my music purchases are digital download, and I listen to all my music through my phone or iPad. The sound quality is just perfect for me.
    Last edited by DrMike; Apr-30-2019 at 22:09.

  19. #30
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    I haven't seen any votes for high resolution downloads here...I have some that are amazing, others less so.
    I am a fan of the silver disc in all it's forms-CD, DVD-A, Blu Ray, SACD. They can all be optimized to sound great, as can downloads. I do enjoy multichannel and 2 channel.
    Vinyl and cassettes don't enter the conversation for me except to be dismissed.
    I am not against streaming, but it distresses me that streaming has so dominated the market that it will drive all silver discs to extinction. I'd like to have choice
    I have some, but not too many classical titles. My favorites are some of the Blue Note titles. In many cases those were remastered by people who knew what they were doing. I suspect its rare that one of the major labels remasters for hi-rez downloads.

    I picked up Kubelik/Mahler 96/24 a couple of years ago. I wonder if it's the same of the current re-issue.

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