Hi Paul,

I would like to respectfully disagree (Agree to disagree?).

First of all, I have, and use, the software you mentioned. I've tried 
the comparisons, not only with Audition 3 and DC-8, but Sound Forge 9, 
Pro Tools and Sonic Solutions (haven't tried after-the-fact phono EQ 
with Cedar or Pyramix) and I agree with those who are on the side of 
hardware EQ in the analog domain. Audiophiles have been arguing for 
years about the virtues of one phono preamp over another. The 
differences that they are really hearing can be defined as the "time 
constants" of a given design. The differences in time constants are 
simply the result of the type of parts used in a particular design and 
how they are arranged, regardless of weather we are discussing solid 
state or vacuum tube circuitry. And, as you know, the debate between 
"toobs" and solid state circuit designs rages on. EQ in the digital 
domain does not make allowances for part tolerances or varying circuit 
designs. I find that when digital EQ is applied to a flat record 
transfer, the result is somewhat lifeless sounding although much more 
precise, I'm sure. I have to agree with Gary Galo that making a "flat" 
transfer does not allow for the headroom needed for the turnover 
frequencies unless you are willing to make your reference level around 
-25DBFS. Not adding the roll-off can make sense if a considerable amount 
of digital processing is needed to reduce noise or remove scratches, 
etc. This is where accessing an external analog EQ is useful for post 
processing (I use a GML8200 for this) although it has to be done in real 
time. If digital processing is going to be required, using a higher 
sample rate and bit depth is also beneficial.

As one who works on both the outside and inside of analog mixing 
consoles (have for years) and, although it wasn't your main point, I can 
tell you that the electronic design world has moved on from the NE5532. 
The disclaimer here is that I have never been a fan of multiple op-amps 
in one package and the NE5532 is the one I would use to make my argument.


Corey Bailey Audio Engineering

> I read Gary's comments on software implementation of the curves, and 
> I'm sorry to say that, for at least some current software, he's wrong. 
> His basic contention is that software-implemented curves are "linear 
> phase", and so have different phase characteristics from 
> hardware-implemented curves (which are "minimum phase". I did some 
> experiments, and verified that at least the software-implemented 
> curves in Adobe Audition and DC EIGHT are in fact minimum phase, and 
> so have the same phase characteristics as standard 
> hardware-implemented curves. I published these findings in a letter to 
> audioXpress several years ago. Gary's criticisms of 
> software-implemented curves may have been correct some years ago, but 
> (at least for the software I tried) are no longer.
> There are still potential advantages to hardware compensation, so 
> that's what I use when I'm confident a disc is RIAA. If I'm not 
> confident of that, I transfer flat and do the compensation in software.
> Incidentally, you cam make a preamp for flat phono transfers from a 
> couple of NE5532 opamp chips, some resistors, some batteries and RCA 
> jacks, and a box to put it all in.
> Peace,
> Paul
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