Hi Ted:

I agree there were terrible problems with some CDs. I always figured the guys who made those CD 
master had no top end hearing, or terrible monitoring environments, and there was no low-pass right 
at the cutting chain like in LP days.

Also, people need to remember that the master tape is no some Holy Grail - NOT TO BE EQUALIZED. 
That's just dumb (almost as dumb as not putting bypassable Baxandall-style bass and trebles controls 
on the most expensive "high end" amplifiers). In many cases back in the day, a master tape is 
harshly equalized or dull, and the magic of the original LP was the mastering engineer making it 
sing upon playback, after the RIAA curve. I do think some of the mastering guys still do this with 
CDs, but there were egregious examples early on of inadequate care and attention (and there are 
still mastering guys with poor aesthetics, at least to my ears, vis-a-vis equalization and 

On a good note, all the debate about "loudness wars" seems to have gotten far enough that almost 
nobody is going in and slamming the dynamics on a jazz reissue anymore. If we could teach them to 
watch the dynamics on soul/R&B and early rock reissues, too, that would be great.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ted Kendall" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only Worthwhile Way to Own Music"

> Half the trouble with early CD transfers was that mastering engineers no longer had to be careful 
> about how much top they wound in. Too much top on an LP cut would, of course trigger acceleration 
> limiting or blow the cutter . Human nature being what it is, several issues had ridiculous degrees 
> of top lift - hair-parting stuff, in some cases.
> On 25/03/2014 14:12, John Haley wrote:
>> Can't get anything right this AM.  I meant several thousand Hz, not kHz.  I
>> wish we could just convert all of this to note names--life would be much
>> simpler!   If we could talk about "My stereo gets up to quadruple High C
>> and yours only to the G below that," it would all be a lot more meaningful
>> to most people.  Discussion of frequency in Hz can definitely lead to a lot
>> of techo-babble, but there we are.
>> Best, John
>> On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 10:07 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Sorry.  Need more coffee here.   That cloud of quantization noise is not
>>> above 96 kHz, because that is where a recording sampled at 192 cuts off.  I
>>> meant between 48 kHz (where a recording sampled at 96 kHz cuts off) and 96
>>> kHz.
>>> You have to keep in mind that these large numbers way up there are really
>>> small differences in pitch, as the numbers double per octave.  Several
>>> thousand kHz of frequency way up there is a very small pitch spread, where
>>> in the lower end of the spectrum, several Hz is a large pitch spread.
>>> Best, John
>>> On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 9:59 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> I am just reporting what you see in a .WAV file (in spectral view), since
>>>> you can't directly hear it.  Noise does not look at all like music most of
>>>> the time.  What you see extending up above 22 kHz in the spectral view of a
>>>> hi-def .WAV file is the extension of certain tones that have a lot of upper
>>>> frequency content right up into the stratosphere.  I looks just like music
>>>> looks, not random noise.  Could it be "ringing" set off by that note?
>>>>   Perhaps.  But I would expect that kind of corruption of particular notes
>>>> to have some kind of audible effect in the range I can hear, or to be
>>>> visible as in increase in energy at upper levels, which would not happen
>>>> with musical overtones (not what you see).  All I can say I how it looks.
>>>>   Many LPs do appear to have content up there above 22 kHz, and good
>>>> cartridges can capture that.  What happens in the rest of an audio system
>>>> chain is up for grabs.
>>>> Since I started doing restoration work at 96/24, I have noticed some
>>>> things.  I can also do it at 192 sampling rate, but when you do that you
>>>> get a .WAV file having a very visible layer of quantization noise (an upper
>>>> thick cloud of noise blanketing the top of the "picture") above 96 kHz.
>>>>   It's not audible, but why put the equipment and the media thru all the
>>>> trouble to produce/reproduce that, when (because it is noise) it cannot
>>>> possibly add anything to the musical signal?  At 96/24, all of this noise
>>>> is eliminated, and the audio signal at 96/24 is audibly indistinguishable,
>>>> to me, from the same signal recorded at 192.  At that point, whatever
>>>> benefit might be gained by using 192 has become insignificant in the real
>>>> world--i.e., not audible, and as Tom points out, possibly damaging to
>>>> equipment.  But that is not true at all for the comparison between 44/16
>>>> and 96/24, which is very much audible.
>>>> I think a lot of early CD's had stinky upper frequency sound because of
>>>> phasing errors caused by the way upper frequencies above 22 kHz were
>>>> filtered out, causing "side effects" in the audible signal.  Not to
>>>> mention, human beings were doing the audio work, and not everyone really
>>>> knows what they are doing, or cares, then and now.  I don't think any of
>>>> the bad rap that early CD's got were the fault of the medium itself.  But I
>>>> agree that many of the earliest CD releases do not sound right, having a
>>>> "hard," unnatural treble.  I think that situation improved drastically as
>>>> time wore on, and generally a CD issue would sound better than a prior LP
>>>> issue, because (1) we got rid of the groove noise, and (2) the CD's were
>>>> often the result of a return to the master tape.  But these days, I don't
>>>> assume anything.  I listen to a lot of CD transfers that do not sound as
>>>> good as the materials they were created from.  That's the human factor at
>>>> work again, not to mention variations in equipment used, as pointed out by
>>>> others.
>>>> Best,
>>>> John
>>>> On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 9:27 AM, Mark Durenberger <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>>>> One refers to Rupert Neve's thoughts on why coherent super-audible
>>>>> response is useful if not necessary.
>>>>> Someone else on the list may know where his paper was delivered...I have
>>>>> the audio of his remarks for anyone interested.
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>> Mark Durenberger, CPBE
>>>>> -----Original Message----- From: Gray, Mike
>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:03 AM
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: [ARSCLIST] "Why Vinyl Is the Only
>>>>> Worthwhile Way to Own Music"
>>>>> Seconding Tom's comments - what exactly *is* that energy above 20kHz?
>>>>> Mike