Worth getting a HDCD Player to play vinyl transfers?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by heath1s, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. heath1s

    heath1s
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    Difficult to decide which are to forum to post this to, but as it's more relating to a new hardware purchase....

    I'm looking at getting a new separates system, and one of the things which will be included is a new turntable for the wife's large vinyl collection which she rarely plays. One of the things I've discussed with her is the potential to convert it to HDCD or DVD-A. My question is - is it worth going through this. I ask becuase I've spent 2 weeks last year ripping our CD collection onto MP3 only to find that when played back on our older hifi that the difference in MP3 vs original CD is as clear as night and day. I'd previosuly done test runs upping the same rate until I was happy there was no difference using the newer stereo in the study and the pc - popping my headphone between the 2. I've yet to check but it may be just the ipod output - any way I digress..

    Given that I can be bothered to start something similar again with her vinyls - will CD quality be good enough? Or should I go the whole hog and rip to something like 24bit 192khz and write out to DVD-A?

    I've been looking at the deal superfi are doing on the NAD C542 CD & C352CT, which gets good reviews - and also plays HDCD - which as a prerecorded format hasn't really taken off. Does it use standard CD's and would I be able to write this format using a standard CD/DVD burner?

    Cheers for any opinions.
     
  2. CJROSS

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    Heaths, first off I dont know what HDCD has got to do with getting Vinyl to CDR, if you use CDR you are at 16 Bit 44.1, you cant encode a vinyl transfer with the 20 Bit info HDCD possesses, but I see you are considering a DVD-A burner of some sort, this to me is a good route to go simply due to how good DVD-A @ 24 Bit 96Khz & 192 Khz stereo sounds to me, it gets as close to vinyl as any digital medium I own (that includes HDCD or SACD) ie not far off vinyl. If it were me (and I listen to vinyl on my TT so it wont) I would look seriously at recording onto DVD-A @ 24/96 or 24/192 before getting a CDR to listen to burn copies.

    There is a sublime second hand buy you should consider if you go down this route for playback, the Toshiba SD-9500 DVD-V/DVD-A/HDCD/CD player has a cult following on AVFs due to its fantastic performance, you will get DVD-A & HDCD into the bargain, and its a league above the players you are considering now. Go to the DVD player forum and search for SD-9500 or SD9500 lots to read.

    Final idea, why not buy a £200-£300 TT from the likes of Project or Rega, purely to play the vinyl you already own ? You will struggle below £1000 to get CD to beat that IMHO. You have a lot of material that played on a TT is quite simply mesmerising, would seem a shame to consign those black slabs to the loft.
     
  3. overkill

    overkill
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    First off the HD-CD idea is a non goer. You can only currently burn with 16bit 44khz to CD-R. You can however, as you and CJ suggest burn audio DVD's. However, these are not DVD-A. There is currently no domestic software out there that will burn a true DVD-A. You can however, burn DVD's with audio, and, as CJ says up to 24bit 192khz. Thus enabling high quality DVD's to be played back using a DVD player. I would suggest a cheap, multi format machine to do so.

    I have used said software to burn some cassettes to DVD audio and the results are incredible when compared to standard 'copy to CD'. I wouldn't go as far as CJ, but DVD-Audio is I agree, the best digital format for people wanting to get an 'analogue but digital' sound. If you know what I mean...........:D

    As above though, to get really high quality recordings you need to be able to record to PC.

    If you wants some advice on software give me a PM.
     
  4. heath1s

    heath1s
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    Thanks for your answers guys, after researching a bit more, I've decided to stay away from this route, I'm not convinced I'll be able to keep the chain clean enough while extracting from vinyl. I.e. I'll need to upgrade the PC soundcard as my current is only 16 bit, and due to the age of my PC have then started worrying about the amount of noise it generates - both accoustic and electrical! Its a full tower stuffed full of expansion cards and hard disks. I can hear it running upstairs whike sitting in the dining room - which is the otherside of the house. Not a good starting point for transferring the vinyls. I'll wait till I get round to a new pc or laptop - hopefully with quiet fan and 24 bit included - and do it downstairs where the floors are concrete.

    In the mean time I think both me and the wife are convinced spending a bit more on a turntable would be better - i.e. £250+ so things like the Project Expression and such like come into play.

    Just getting into this separates route is quite involving - I'm on here every night at the mo, searching, checking prices on retailers, reading some reviews etc. Be about a month before I go listen and 2 before I open the wallet I reckon. I just wish the wife though it wasn't so :boring: - she could focus on the TT & speakers while I sort the amp and CD.
     
  5. Kilian

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    Don't confuse audio tracks of DVD Video and DVD-Audio, using MLP encoding. No domestic software can encode DVD-A.

    You can capture analogue sound from TT to the computer at 24/192 if you have a suitable sound card. There's software to turn it into an audio DVD, but I think that's only a video DVD (the files are all in VIDEO_TS) with no video (a true DVD-A has files in AUDIO_TS).

    The CD route would be easier in a way as there is more program support. You can capture directly as wav and then burn to CD. Of course if you do any editing then be prepared to spend a lot more time.
     
  6. CJROSS

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    I should say here that DVD-V recorded at 24-96Khz PCM (old DAD standard) to my ears is as good as DVD-A @ 24-96 Khz stereo PCM. Same thing is it not ? Actually freeing up the bits, from 16 to 20 (HDCD) & 24 (DAD 24/96 & DVD-V 24/48 PCM & DVD-A 24/96-192) Bits does something nice with PCM to my ears IMHO.

    "In the mean time I think both me and the wife are convinced spending a bit more on a turntable would be better - i.e. £250+ so things like the Project Expression and such like come into play."

    Wise wise choice. £300 should get you a RPM5 which has the same arm used on Projects TTs up £1000. Anyway without doubt using a TT is the best way to get stunning audio from your existing vinyl collection.
     
  7. karkus30

    karkus30
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    I have no intention of turning my vinyl collection into CD, but as I have several singles that I wanted to preserve I used an old Phillips CDR 870 recorder (Pretty much first generation analogue to digital conversion to stop digital pirates) and it worked spectacularly. The quality was on par with the rest of my CD collection which stunned me as I was expecting a maked deterioration. The Phillips machine is as cheap as chips if you can find one.


    forgot to mention that you play the recording back on a good quality CD player and not the Phillips machine. The recordings are usually very crisp and clear and retain some of the vibrancy of the record, but ultimately they are a digital copy so you dont get the 'air' that you find in vinyl playback. Impressive though.
     
  8. Kilian

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    Yep CJRoss you have a good point about stereo linear PCM (LPCM) at 24/96. I just want to make it clear that DVD-V and DVD-A although closely related are not the same beast, in case the uninitiated think they are. DVD-A can support 24/192 whereas DVD-V cannot.

    Since you mentioned SACD too, someone did a limited and simple study and found the waveforms for DSD and DVD-A at 24/96 are virtually identical. Not quite relevant to this thread I admit.

    But we all agree that HDCD is a non-starter.

    Those who are interested can read up about the specs at meridian's website on DVD-A and here:
    http://pioneer.jp/crdl/tech/dvd/5-3-e.html.
     
  9. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Yep I get the fact that DVD-V cant do 24-192 Kilian, but having listening to Dave Gilmours Meltdown Concert on DVD-V 24 Bit 48Khz PCM stereo, that to me sounds as good as a couple of DVD-A 24 Bit 192 Khz stereo mixes Ive heard. In fact the best thing I have probably heard audio wise from DVD-A in stereo is Fleetwood Macs Rumours, in glorious stereo 24 Bit 96 Khz, ie DVD-V level, which to me shows the idiocy of the DVD-V Forum, they could have gave us 24-48 & 24-96 stereo all along without the 5.1 MC turkey that is DVD-A.

    HDCD to me also can sound superb, shame that Bill Gates got his hooks into it, the kiss of death IMHO.
     
  10. Kilian

    Kilian
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    Oh I never doubt your expertise CJRoss!
    It's a pity the albums you mentioned aren't my taste (classical) but I fully take your point!:clap:

    And I've also been impressed with some HDCDs from Linn and elsewhere. I too wish the format gets more acceptance. I mean it's a non-starter for home recordings.

    May I ask, which DVD-A actually comes with 24/192 stereo tracks? I've never come across any!
     
  11. av-phile

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    Regardless of whether you will eventually burn your digital files into 16/44.1 CDs or into 24/48 or 24/96 DVD-V LPCM, it's always a good idea to make the digital recording on the highest possible digital resolution your PC soundcard can support if you can live with the really huge files. I started out with 32-bit/196 khz but eventually settled to a more modest 24/96 because I have to admit I could not distinguish the quality.

    Decimating to 16/44.1 is quite easy and automatic when you instruct NERO to burn your 16/48 files into CD-Rs. But it's also easy when burning into DVD-videos as 24/96 I think is native LPCM resolution in that format.

    There are excellent DVD video authoring software that even allows you to mix JPG files into your DVD LPCM tracks as well as organize your selections into chapters with their own navigable menus. It was quite interesting while it was novel. I had a DVD-video of Christmas songs with scanned Chirstmas cards on jpg files displayed along with each track. But the novelty eventually wore off. It was a lot of work when I started in 2004 and now I just burn on CD-Rs simple audio tracks in the redbook format.

    I did some transciption of my old favourties earlier recorded from vinyls into metal cassette tapes. That was my hobby since the early 80s transfering my favourite vinyl materials into premium metal cassettes. After dispoing the LPs and turntable I was left with hundreds of cassettes for which the task of transcribing them into CDs became quite attractive as a past time. It's interesting to note that a downloadable Goldwave audio editing shareware does a very effective job of cleaning or cancelling the inherent tape hiss as well as turntable rumble and LP surface noise captured on tape. It isn't 100% clean but it does the job well. The software samples the silent segments of a recording, tape hiss and LP surface noise, inverts the sampled segment signal and applies it to the entire recording and you have a really clean silent background. This tool might help you make cleaner transciptions form LPs to CDs. I know purists would not want to have any form of processing in the audio path, but I have to say, the result can be very good. But ofcourse that's all up to you.
     
  12. overkill

    overkill
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    Easy - Eagles Hotel California!:D
     
  13. overkill

    overkill
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    Agreed. It's worthwhile pursuing the 24/96 route and burning to DVD as I find there is a marked difference when comparing the two. With similar quality sources of course...........

    I must admit I find Soundforge the easiest to use. You can obtain the filters you need for each task, you can limit their effect on a sliding scale, and thus reduce any sonic degradation. However, I don't get any rumble from the TT, and the cartridge and phono stage reduce surface noise to virtually nothing even with pretty badly damaged LP's. Add in an LP cleaner and you really shouldn't get any problematic interference. This eliminates the need to mess with filters. However, it's not cheap! :D

    Mind you I can't remember having a TT (apart from my ancient Garrad) where rumble was a problem anyway. :confused:

    I do use filters with cassettes though, as the hiss levels are a pain!
     
  14. CJROSS

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    Paul Simon : You're The One. Quite sublime, also comes on HDCD too FWIW.

    Kilian there seems to be a real split when it comes to classical music, this is the preserve of SACD, also worth noting that all Linn SACDs I have bought the CD layer is actually HDCD.

    FWIW having set up 2 stereo system to run SACD & DVD-A, DVD-A seems more rounded to my ears, SACD can sound razor sharp and precise, but DVD-A has the bass fluidity that is prefect to my ears. Shame the catalogue is dead, but here hopes a user that DVD-V can bring more LPCM stereo mixes to the party at 24 Bit resolution.
     
  15. overkill

    overkill
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    Ditto. I find SACD more detailed and expansive than CD, but the medium has many of the 'leading edges' that I don't like about CD and digital sound in general. DVD-A doesn't.

    There is still stuff coming out on DVD-A, CJ, but it's a trickle rather than a flood. I think SACD has won the battle. For what it's worth.............:rolleyes:
     
  16. Kilian

    Kilian
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    I've had some limited experience when transferring cassette recordings to PC and then CDs. But my old SBA soundcard only encodes 16-bit. When I eventually get a new PC then I'll get a high-end soundcard like M-Audio that can encode 24/96. I haven't made any audio DVD-V and I realise it will be time consuming.

    Perhaps non-classical stuff on SACD is another story. I'm quite happy with classical on SACD overall although very few are original DSD recordings.
     
  17. av-phile

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    Yup, tape hiss is really quite objectionable that neither dbx nor dolby c can mask effectively without masking the high frequencies as well even on my 3-head deck. So are the occasional clicks and pops on LPs after a while, especially a pain on classical music with lots of silent and low level signals in highly dynamic recordings. The rumbles and surface noise are not as audible but using an audio editing software reveals them VISUALLY on the frequency display. Inverting them using noise filters does a convincing job to cancel them out, same with the tape hiss, that makes their clinical silence virtually indistinguishable from CDs of the same title. I too have Soundforge but I've found the Goldwave filters more intuitive and easier to use for my simple needs.
     

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