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I agree that a D2D LP would work. I will have time to do this in a controlled-environment way later 
this year. Unfortunately, no matter what you do, there are variables at every stage. I was recently 
at a very good mastering place, listening as they compared PCM and DSD codecs, against each other 
and against the source. On good speakers, listening carefully, everything makes a difference, 
usually small but noticeable. One thing that was clearly and blatantly noticeable was the difference 
between DACs playing the same 96/24 archival-transfer files, especially between one manufacturer's 
new DAC and older version. Note that the only difference is a new power supply design, which they 
claim leads to more stable clocking. Whatever the reason, the stereo field out of the new version of 
their DAC was wider and more stable out at the edges. Everyone heard that. Where there was debate 
was who "favored" the sound qualities of DSD vs 192/24 PCM vs 96/24 PCM. Everyone heard differences 
between DSD and PCM. I wasn't convinced I heard any appreciable difference between 96/24 and 192/24 
PCM from the same converter, but I did hear differences at either resolution between the two PCM 
converters.

My point is, even using a "controlled test source" such as a tape or D2D LP, it's hard to say what 
differences will emerge, or what will be causing them!

Caveat: let me emphasize that these differences in the DSD/PCM listening session were evident only 
because we were in a Storak-designed mastering suite with extremely good full-range speakers driven 
by superb power amps. And a precision-designed level-matched A-B-C-D comparison system that's 
level-accurate within a 10th of a dB. I doubt these differences would be audible under normal 
listening conditions, even most audiophile-normal listening conditions. However, I do think good 
headphones would reveal the differences if the headphone amp could reproduce them accurately. I 
definitely came away believing that there is not yet a 100% transparent audio medium. Close, but not 
zero differences.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gray, Mike" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:49 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music"


>I wish someone would try this test using a *tape* source, skipping the LP cutting/reproducing 
>stages entirely. Unless, of course, you're using a direct-to-disc LP. Any takers?
>
> Mike Gray
>
>