The last part of your posting is interesting. I am not saying it is 100% true, since I've made
plenty of dubs to digital from vinyl of which neither my ears nor the clients' ears can hear any
differences between source and transfer. However, the ideas expressed by your friend as to what
happens to ticks and pops in the transfer process backs up my idea that you need to start with as
good a source as possible and clean the record thoroughly and do everything you can to avoid static
charges on the record as it's played. A classic case of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound
The points Andrew and others have raised about the problems digital sampling has capturing very
short bursts of high energy tell me that vinyl transfers to digital thus require a good bit of
attention and care. I know this -- the _vast_ majority of vinyl dubs I've heard ending up on CD
(granted, they are mostly on gray-market labels out of Europe and Asia, but there are some cases
where masters have been lost and thus LPs or singles were used on legitimate, well-budgeted US
reissues) sound terrible. Transferred from shot-to-hell sources, or clearly not cleaned before
transfer, or processed to an ugly mess by someone with tin ears. My own experience has been that
making a good playback and transfer of any grooved media is usually more tricky than working with
tape. There are more potential ugly sounds lurking in the grooves, and correcting them can be
difficult if not impossible. What I always tell myself and potential clients is that it's worth
searching for that better-condition copy of a record on eBay or elsewhere. As I've said, not always
possible to find, but much less difficult and much less expensive a task than it was 20 years ago.
Regarding George's posting, the problem I described with the Denon cartridge is not a preamp
problem. It happens with any preamp the cartridge is plugged into. It doesn't happen on the same
records played back with an Audio-Technica moving-magnet cartridge. I stand by my theory that it has
to do with saturating or overloading something in the Denon cartridge itself.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew S. Hamilton" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 2:05 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording_78rpm_records
> ---- Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> FWIW I pretty much agree with what Tom Fine says...
>> EQ can be fixed in the digital domain if it was done incorrectly, but
>> results won't be as good as if correct equalization had been used prior to
> I wonder in what way the digital de-RIAA would differ from the analog, since both apply eq which
> alters the amplitude and phase. Perhaps its a matter of precision of the group delay. But, in
> fairness to the pluggos, out there, the filters of digital eq _are_ using the z axis and apply
> that electrician's imaginary constant, j (root-1), in addition to the other familiar elements of
> the electrical syntax of analog filtering, such as pi. Gone also are the days of DSP at mere CD
> sampling rates and wordlengths.
> Personally, the analog domain holds more appeal sonically and conceptually. However, I'm willing
> to accept that double-blind ABX'ing of variously "unmastered" material - as in de-emphasized
> through divers means - could result in completely wrong choices. (L:
>> Ticks and pops must be removed by hand.
> When Masterfonics engineers would transfer from disc to CD, the transfer was often "flat," using
> proper loading of the cartridge. The un-deemphasized audio was easier to de-Click by hand,
> according to our Webboard host, since the clicks stuck out like a sore thumb, or possibly cactus
> thorn... Then the Sonic Studio HD 48 bit de-RIAA could be applied to the deClicked audio with the
> illusion of increased results. It's true that the bandwidth is limited in digital audio, but one
> can get close to vinyl with high sample rate filtering, and the resolution of double-precision 24
> and 32 bit audio is capable of ultra-precise error (l;.
>> It can be an artistic judgment
>> whether they belong in or out, e.g. bows striking music stands. I use
>> iZotope RX 2. On really bad disks automatic click reduction can be used on
>> a conservative setting to get rid of the worst half of the noises, leaving
>> less manual work. (On the worst recordings it can take an hour's work to
>> clean up a minute of music.) This software can also fake tape dropouts,
>> sometimes up to 1/4 second. It can even fake glissando and vibrato that are
>> missing, but this doesn't always work correctly.
> I tried deClicking my personal copy of All Thing Must Pass. The task proved endless. I heartily
> agree about the problem with taking out too much, since strange forests can be left of the
> remaining inaccessible trees. Talking to an eq designer earlier this year, he told me that the
> problem with capturing vinyl isn't the de-emphasis of the cutting eq. It's that the pops and
> clicks are near square waves, in terms of their rise times, and digital can only capture sines.
> So, it changes the attack and harmonics of the surface noise and makes it ugly, whereas the same
> noises on the vinyl are easy to ignore and might even be exciting>?< Incidentally, he said this
> is also why digital fails to deliver, musically, even though it does great telephony, since the
> combined harmonic overtones of a full orchestra during a fortissimo would approach a square wave
> on an oscilloscope, but the CD can't make that happen. So, for all its accuracy and quietude,
> its just a stomp box (LPCM).
>> On Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 8:49 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> > Read the article, it was in the ARSC Journal a while back, maybe a year or
>> > two. Too technical to summarize here, at least for this non-EE.
>> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hamilton" <[log in to unmask]>
>> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> > Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 8:39 AM
>> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording_78rpm_records
>> > Gary has also written for ARSC Journal advocating analog playback and EQ
>> >>>>> of
>> >>>>> grooved media, rather
>> >>>>> than "flat playback" and software EQ, and has specified the technical
>> >>>>> reasons why analog EQ works
>> >>>>> differently from DSP EQ.
>> >> What is it about minimum phase digital audio equalization, such as that
>> >> found in a de-RIAA or RIAA plugin, that Mr. Galo feels is not up to snuff?
>> >> Andrew