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JohnnyB, what do you think about this one...? Home Phono Recorder


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That's interesting. The Kickstarter campaign is ending in a few days.

Just thinking what it's worth to have a machine like that at home. I could cut CDs on to vinyl that had been published CD only or digital. Or even better, cut some of my musical experiments and present it to friends that I don't want to have me call again. B)

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It’s a cool idea!! But...If you’re cutting vinyl from a CD why not use the CD as the source? I gotta be missing something here. Anyone able to explain the benefit of putting the audio on vinyl? I’ve been out of the home audio stuff for quite a while. My newest piece is a 80 watt Onkyo (2003) receiver I bought for surround sound. Speakers are Infinity and JBL Studio Monitors from the 90’s. (Since they where studio monitors I could write them of on my taxes)

Edited by Dutchman
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4 hours ago, Dave Scepter said:

The whole idea of a vinyl vs CD is "analog vs digital"... Why would you use a digital source then record it with analog? 😞

Question is, where to get an analog source nowadays other than life-to-LP cuts?

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14 minutes ago, gorch said:

Question is, where to get an analog source nowadays other than life-to-LP cuts?

Exactly!.. & If you record a CD on Vinyl, it'll still be digital with added pops and crackles

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I think it would be a cool device to cut vinyl of your own material. We recorded our album digitally, and mixed it digitally through an analog board, then we sent it for mastering. We paid for a CD mastering, an mp3 mastering and a vinyl mastering. We got the files back in digital format. And we used the files mastered for vinyl to cut 500 LPs and a good pressing facility. The vinyls came out fantastic sounding. Im very happy. 

A machine like this could be cool to cut your own EPs in smaller batches. Lets say we cut 10 EPs and sell them at our next gig. Now that is pretty limited an unique. A very cool thing to share. I think that if this machine works it could be a great thing for artists who wants to do smaller numbers of vinyl. Just need to be very careful with the mastering. I don't think it is something one should do at home. So there is the catch.

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On 10/13/2019 at 7:35 AM, Dave Scepter said:

The whole idea of a vinyl vs CD is "analog vs digital"... Why would you use a digital source then record it with analog? 😞

Because of two factors: 1) Some potential customers may have a turntable but no CD player. This is especially true when vinyl's popularity started coming back (first as a novelty or nostalgia concept)  around 2007. From this standpoint, the attraction could be based on an old medium that's still trendy and can stimulate cash flow and/or commerce. But you don't have to be a golden-eared high end audiophile to prefer vinyl. There is a fairly large nostalgia market for the Crosley reproduction record players and radios.

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In fact, one of my wife's co-workers received one of those Crosley nostalgia record players for Christmas. She was ecstatic. To give her something to play, I combed through my LP collection and gave her some of my duplicate LPs including Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" and The Beatles' "White Album." She was ecstatic. Similarly, my wife's granddaughter was in a staged school musical of "The Lion King." We gave her a Crosley record player/radio and sent her an LP of "Lion King" and other Disney musicals she loves. So here's a 15-year-old girl who's ecstatic to play some records instead of digital streaming and CDs.

A vulnerability in digital recording is attributed in some circles to steep slope filters in an attempt to maintain the dynamic range (I think) inherent in digital recordings. These steep slope filters interrupt the phase relationships between different voices and instruments, and to some ears (mine included) make the music sound edgy and out-of-sync. The high end audio industry has been working on this since 1987, and made a debut in MQA decoding around 2013. MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated which takes the steep slope filters used during recording, and corrects the steep curves on playback. In a high end demonstration of Magnepan's flagship panel speakers, I heard a stunning demonstration of an MQA encoding/decoding. It sounded great.

In a round table discussion I read about, one of the legends of vinyl mastering mentioned that the analog signal chain is especially adept at preserving phase relationships, which makes LPs sound more real, fleshed out, and easier to listen to. After buying my first turntable after 20 years of listening strictly to digital, I can attest that--in my experience--the music in vinyl playback frequently feels emotionally better than playback through all-digital signal chains. Preserving the phase relationships among several voices and instruments makes for more realistic and musical-sounding harmonies resulting in a more lush sound and better sense of the performance stage or studio.

In the history of recorded music, no obsoleted audio format ever roared back the way 33-1/3 vinyl has in the 21st century.

P.S. I'm not dissing the component that started this discussion. I like the concepts of musical empowerment and creative transfer of music to formats of your preference. Even our granddaughter's Crosley retro player is Bluetooth-compatible.

Edited by JohnnyB
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On 10/13/2019 at 12:42 PM, Dave Scepter said:

Exactly!.. & If you record a CD on Vinyl, it'll still be digital with added pops and crackles

It may still be "digital," but with a pro-quality DAC, it may sound like pure analog. The DAC circuit in your CD player is usually a $40-$150 DAC. The transfer of a digital recording to an analog master probably uses a thousand-dollar (or more) professional, studio quality DAC, and they sound like it. E.g., the Dire Straits' album, "Brothers in Arms," was one of the earliest and most "pure digital" recordings in pop/rock music. I have the LP of it, and on playback, you'd never suspect it was originally recorded digitally. It has a lush, full, detailed, and most of all, musical sound to it. From an artistic and emotionally captivating standpoint, it is one of my very favorite records.

Also, if your LP playback is getting drowned out by "pops and crackles," you're doing it wrong.

carbon-fiber brush, stylus cleaning brush, anti-static zapper:
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spindle-mounted bubble level                                   motorized record cleaning machine
                                                                                       with fluid, brushes, and wet-vac               

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It was that the campaign has been very successful and they are making progress in the development. 
The pricing will be higher than anticipated, so I assume that the product won’t create any mass product effects. You can pre-order comparably cheap for a few days though.

https://phonocut.com/blogs/news/pre-order-today-new-prototype-pricing-delivery-update

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9 hours ago, gorch said:

It was that the campaign has been very successful and they are making progress in the development. 
The pricing will be higher than anticipated, so I assume that the product won’t create any mass product effects. You can pre-order comparably cheap for a few days though.

https://phonocut.com/blogs/news/pre-order-today-new-prototype-pricing-delivery-update

It also might help expand a fan base with after-gig record sales. In that situation, the relatively slow reproduction time wouldn't be too much of an obstacle.

Edited by JohnnyB
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On 10/13/2019 at 12:25 PM, gorch said:

Question is, where to get an analog source nowadays other than life-to-LP cuts?

It depends on what analog source you want. If it's for personal use, you can get a brand new, pretty high quality cassette deck from Amazon for only $159.

Front:

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It turns out that vintage open 7-1/2" reel restored vintage tape decks are becoming more common, too. Restored Teac 7300 for $600 on eBay:

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12 hours ago, JohnnyB said:

Actually, I had never been happy with the tapes in the old times and preferred to buy vinyl where I could afford it. My cassettes are all gone. The vinyl stayed.

However, I surprised that these are coming back to. But I see that they have USB to kind of digital converting into mobile world.

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6 hours ago, gorch said:

Actually, I had never been happy with the tapes in the old times and preferred to buy vinyl where I could afford it. My cassettes are all gone. The vinyl stayed.

However, I surprised that these are coming back to. But I see that they have USB to kind of digital converting into mobile world.

If you're referring to ready-to-play cassette tape versions of album releases, you are right. Those were crap. However, with a good open reel tape machine from Tandberg, Teac, Sony, Revox, etc., or a cassette deck from Advent, Tandberg, Nakamichi (though very expensive) using blank tape from TDK, Maxell, Sony, and a few others, you could achieve a better sound than from an LP. I'm talking about the '70s here, when home audio was getting big, and there was a worldwide petroleum embargo, causing the record companies to use thinner and less pure vinyl to make LPs. RCA came out with a really thin, flexible product called "Dynaflex" in an effort to make their flimsy, low-vinyl content products seem desirable. Dynaflex LPs weighed about 95 grams, vs. 140g LPs pressed in the '60s and earlier.

Today, the high quality pressings often weigh 180g and even 200g (about 0.44 lb.) This was further exacerbated by the record companies recycling the vinyl in the '70s, adding lots of impurities to the vinyl pressings of the time.

In 1975-6 I worked in a couple of audio stores in Southern California. Many of the run-of-the-mill records sounded so bad we played direct-to-disc Sheffield records instead. Also, I had a Tandberg open-reel tape deck that had a high quality built-in phono preamp. I could tape records directly into my tape deck and bypass the crummy phono stages in most of the receivers. The results defied conventional wisdom, as the recordings easily sounded better than the original records.

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53 minutes ago, JohnnyB said:

However, with a good open reel tape machine from ...

Actually, I started in the 80s using quality equipment, which was a Dual top line deck and TDK cassettes. The better ones too. I thought the sounds were thin compared to LP. CD then opened new doors.

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On 7/30/2020 at 8:12 AM, gorch said:

Actually, I started in the 80s using quality equipment, which was a Dual top line deck and TDK cassettes. The better ones too. I thought the sounds were thin compared to LP. CD then opened new doors.

I did find some wide variety of cassette quality, even on copies to the decks with reputations. The store I worked in carried Nakamichi 700 and Nak 1000. Compared to my Tandberg open reel transfers, the Nakamichis sounded "meh." On the other hand, we also had some Advent factory-recorded CrO2 cassettes, and I was trying to copy an Advent orchestral classical recording to my Tandberg open reel deck. To my surprise, the Advent tape had so much dynamic range, my open-reel Tandberg running at 7-1/2 ips couldn't handle the dynamic range of the Advent's real-time transfer onto a CrO2 Compact Cassette. We also had a modestly priced 3-head Hitachi deck that we put on our test bench. It had a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz + 0dB at 1/20th the price of a Nakamichi 1000. Go figure :D.

 

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Dynamic ranges, those were the times. Nowadays, they sometimes compress to death. The guys from Avantgarde Acoustics once told me at a personal presentation that they stopped buying modern vinyl for that compression reason. The LPs keep sounding meh on their high end equipment.

https://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/en/

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On 7/30/2020 at 11:42 PM, gorch said:

Dynamic ranges, those were the times. Nowadays, they sometimes compress to death. The guys from Avantgarde Acoustics once told me at a personal presentation that they stopped buying modern vinyl for that compression reason. The LPs keep sounding meh on their high end equipment.

https://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/en/

One of the stories I heard was--that for radio play--when listeners turned the tuner dial--the louder songs are what they stopped and listened to, which also translated to more record sales. Compression made it easier to set playback to higher average volume.

This never quite made sense to me, because I was under the impression that the radio stations could apply compressions to their broadcasts to make the music louder. I've heard a few anecdotes about the recycled vinyl era. Some claimed that they saw metal shreds and remnants of record labels pressed into recycled record pressings, but I never saw any, nor read of them in reputable magazines.

I do remember commercial records of some companies that sounded particularly good. A&M's sound quality consistently stood out. I remember when some hi-fi enthusiasts would play a Tijuana Brass album when they wanted to show off their new stereo. A&M signed a wide range of artists from hard rock to soft rock and jazz, and I remember them generally sounding particularly good compared to big company labels. Even there, some had great quality. In the '70s, decade of the oil embargo (and reason behind recycled vinyl), A&M records's early signed artists had good sounding albums by Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, The Police Sergio Mendes, SuperTramp, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, and Peter Frampton.

I know that list includes some artists that aren't popular with HFC regulars, but these A&Ms were good-sounding albums. At the stereo store we often used Supertramp's "Crime of The Century" to show off some of our premium gear and its dynamic range. Ditto for Cat Stevens on A&M. I remember before getting into quality audio myself, I visited a guy with an impressive-looking stereo system. To show it off he played a Tijuana Brass album, and the sound was clean, well-imaged, and dynamic.

Speaking of dynamic range and Nakamichi,  in the summer of 1975, a week or so before got the job at a high end store in Southern California, the founder of Nakamichi stopped by to demonstrate one of his cassette decks. Steam locomotives were still active in Japan, and he recorded a steam locomotive-pulled train as he stood alongside the track, arms spread, a microphone in each outstretch hand to record the sensation of a train passing by from the right to the left. The managed to record such a dynamic range of a live locomotive that at the peak of the playback it blew out the midrange drivers of the twin Dahlquist DQ-5s in the demo room, and these were pretty rugged, 5" dia. midranges in a 5-way design where no driver had an excessively wide frequency range to reproduce.

This may seem to contradict my "meh" comment, but context is everything and sometimes the same component--or model of that component--can sound different depending on other circumstances such as playback room, recording acoustics, mic quality, incidental parts of the signal chain, etc. But according to everyone who worked at that store and witnessed Dr. Nakamichi's demo, the midrange blowout was exactly what happened.

The picture below shows a sample pair of DQ-10s with their drivers exposed on their individual baffles. The midranges are the mid-sized cone speakers on the outer left and outer right positioned above the 10" woofers.

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Edited by JohnnyB
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