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ARSCLIST  September 2014

ARSCLIST September 2014

Subject:

Re: CD time limit

From:

Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 Sep 2014 06:25:50 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (159 lines)

Hi Peter:

Regarding your comments about your aged CD player ...

Old CD players generally are terrible. There were some models better than others back in the day, 
but one reason people with sensitive ears and sonic memories of the LP days came to hate the format 
was the harsh jitter-plagued sound of many consumer CD players.

The good news is, today you don't have to spend a fortune on a meticulously mechanically damped 
monster unless you want to. There are many good DACs on the market specifically designed to 
compensate for the mechanical and timing problems of cheap disc drives. Plus, they usually have a 
much better analog stage after conversion than almost any CD player. I recommend buying a "universal 
player" of moderate quality, perhaps like a lower-end Oppo machine. This way, you also get the 
latest digital playback, plus Oppo includes SACD and DVD-A playback in their machines. Then invest 
your money in a good DAC, one specifically designed for jitter rejection. You should also make sure 
the DAC includes a USB input, so you can hook your computer to it. That way, you can have the 
benefits of a high-quality DAC with computer files, streaming audio, etc. In the sub-$2000 price 
range are many DACs that also act as "preamps" in that they allow for one or more analog input (your 
phono preamp, for instance) and interface directly with your power amp and speakers. If you don't 
need this, just connect the DAC to an "aux" input on your existing stereo, perhaps the former "CD" 
input. Another use for the analog feed-through on these DACs is to play SACD/DVD-A/etc from a 
universal player like an Oppo.

Basically, if you are still using an early-era CD player, not only is it like worn out (the grease 
dries out, they get full of crud, etc), it probably never sounded very good. And, more importantly, 
technology has come a long way in 30 years.

Finally, I have no idea what ripping program you are using, but Exact Audio Copy and dBPowerAmp 
should be able to handle whatever sectors are readable on that disc. If they pressed a disc with 
unreadable sectors, no software will rip it. I have heard of gray-market and tiny 3rd-party labels 
putting out unreadable discs. Those who do this are unscrupulous, have no quality control and deal 
with crooked plants that also have no quality control, and should be avoided.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Hirsch" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2014 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD time limit


> Tom, Paul, Shai, Ellis,
>
> Thanks for the feedback. I did not mention this, but the CD had just been
> taken out of the jewel case for the first time and  I do handle my CDs with
> the same care I was taught regarding those black discs that I first
> encountered in the 1950's. So, I do not think damage or age is too likely a
> culprit (it is a cutout, but I have purchased hundreds from this source,
> many on the same label and there have only been one or two that were
> defective in any way over the span of probably close to thirty years) The
> advice to rip and burn a copy may work, though I am not sure that my cheapo
> software lets me load 79 minutes + onto the burn list. I will give it a try
> anyway. Thanks for the reminder. I now recall that I had another disc that
> sounded like a cellophane factory on fire when I played it on this same CD
> player (it may be time to retire it - I wonder if they still make decent
> hardware to play this "obsolete format"? ;-|)). I recalled this remedy that
> someone mentioned on this list but in a somewhat different context and it
> worked like a charm.
>
> Before I drop this whole issue, I have another thought about how to deal
> with making recordings of Mr. Feldman's works that often are single
> movements lasting well beyond the 63 minute length mentioned in the
> response from one of you. Would DVD audio or some other recording format be
> a possible work around? I don't know a whole lot about the format, but I do
> know that movies a lot longer than an hour and a half commonly fit on a
> single DVD.
>
> Just before I decided to hit send, I had a flashback to a recording of
> Feldman's second string quartet that takes more than five uninterrupted
> hours. My first copy of this recording on Mode was unsatisfactorily broken
> up onto five CDs, but there was a subsequent issue of the same recording
> pressed onto DVD, which I have just dug out. Guess I answered my own
> question. Don't know when I'll carve out the free time to sit down and
> enjoy. Maybe after my next all-day Ring Cycle debauch, I can use it to
> cleanse my palate.
>
> Thanks again,
>
> Peter Hirsch
>
>
> On Sun, Sep 7, 2014 at 7:23 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> Peter, I agree with Ellis and Paul about this -- try ripping the CD to
>> your computer and either playing from the hard drive or burning another
>> copy. Clean the CD first (Ellis is correct about fingerprints). As one who
>> has bought many yard-sale and dollar-bin used CDs over the years, I have
>> found that many discs which won't play in an audio CD player (especially an
>> old one) will rip to WAV or FLAC just fine in my Plextor Pro computer
>> DVD/CD drive (now about 10 years old, so it's no spring chicken either). I
>> use dBPowerAmp's CD Ripper program, which connects to the AccuRip database
>> and tells me if any tracks don't match that data. That happens rarely, and
>> many times those tracks still playback just fine or maybe with one digital
>> pop that I can do in and remove in Soundforge (in other words one tiny part
>> of a track couldn't get error-corrected, which shows up as either a mute or
>> more commonly as a near-zero dB spike, which I just hand-write out of the
>> waveform like a sharp tick on an LP record).
>>
>> In the case of your CD, first clean it carefully, especially the edges.
>> Then, handle it only on the rim. Then, try ripping it to WAV on your
>> computer.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ellis Burman" <
>> [log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2014 2:09 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD time limit
>>
>>
>>  Hi Peter.  CDs are recorded inside to outside, so a super long CD such as
>>> the one you describe has data at the very outer edge of the disc (you
>>> should be able to see this data if you hold the disc up to a light). The
>>> outer edge is where the disc is handled, so fingerprints and dirt can be a
>>> problem, as well as any slight mechanical deformation in the disc.  Your
>>> computer's DVD burner spins the disc at high speed, which may help flatten
>>> it out somewhat if it is slightly warped.  Also, the computer's error
>>> correction might be more robust than that of your CD player.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>>
>>> Ellis Burman
>>> www.burmansound.com
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 9:52 PM, Peter Hirsch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>
>>>  I am listening to a recording of Morton Feldman's Piano and string
>>>> quartet
>>>> on a Bridge CD (catalog no. 9369). This piece clocks in at 79:13 and is
>>>> recorded as a single track of that length. The sound drops out from time
>>>> to
>>>> time for a moment, which leads me to wonder if the unusual length of the
>>>> disc and track is a factor have listened to this disc on my computer's CD
>>>> drive without these dropouts.
>>>>
>>>> Can someone give a lucid, brief, explanation of what causes the dropouts
>>>> and why the results are different on my computer and CD player?
>>>>
>>>> Curious as ever,
>>>>
>>>> Peter Hirsch
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Ellis
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> 818-846-5525
>>>
>>>
>>>
>
> 

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