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Analog Playback
Topic: Although Romy raises two intriguing options...

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 10-28-2011

I do not read printed audio publications. The last one I held in hands it was a year ago or more. Today I stop by in my local Burlington Barnes and Noble and since I was there already I took 3 Stereophile and 2 issues of TAS from newsstand, bought a sandwidge and decided to look through the magazine.

What hit me was how much fur away I am from all of it. With the same success I would take a magazine about cultivating of rabbits – I have the same expose to the filed as I have to the nonsense that audio publication prints. I did make an effort to read some articles but superficiality, lightweightness or open stupidity of the writers was too insulting. The poor men were so obsessed to sell in their prose the new dally crap the was given to them to sell that had no aptitude to step out of the shoe box and look a bit wider and wiser and what they do and in what kind shallow and muddy water they swim.

There was one article however that did attracted my attention and I would like to talk about it a bit. The article was by Wayne Garcia and was about the Michael Tilson Thomas who released his cycle of 10 Mahler symphonies on LPs.

The premise that Mr. Garcia pushed was fascinating – the limited edition of the release shall assure the success of the product in the mind of the certain people. For sure it will but it is not the point. The point that I would like to make is my typical stupid point that in different cultures have different name and in English it could be translated as “common sense”.

The concerts were recorded from 2001 to 2010 on DSD and the records as I understand were pressed from DSD masters. Wayne Garcia goes in some extend explaining that his LP version of this Mahler cycle sounds better than his SACD. He provided details that are pretty much standard common difference between analog and digital.

No, I do not question Wayne Garcia findings. I do not know if they are accurate but Wayne Garcia is not the idiot Jonathan Valin caliber and not the rest whores from his publication. I tend to believe that Mr. Garcia did reported what he observed. However, if what he reported is correct then what does it mean? Does it depict how good LP are or it just describes how bad SACD are? If Wayne’s finding are accurate, and I think they are, and if the SACD and LP were pressed from the same DSD masters then there is only two options:

1)      Wayne Garcia digital SACD playback is way inferior to his LP playback
2)      Conversion from DSD raw file to SACD disk fuck up Sound in the same to the conversion from PCM raw file to CD.

Well, when I say the DSD raw file then it is a big variable as there is no such a thing as DSD raw data. Any aditine is made by conversion of DSD to PCM and most of the best SACD played convert the read DCD stream to 384K PCM right after the reading the disk. Still, think: they have DSD master file (I believe it was PCM file but they would not admit it publicly), then they converted it to analog file vial A/D processor and press the analog signal to LP. Then the LP turns out to sound better than the original DSD file. Do only I with my corrupted sense of reality see a problem in this plot?

Romy the Cat

Posted by clarkjohnsen on 10-28-2011
...there is a third: The two versions are in opposite polarities, meaning that one will sound better on his (or anyone's) fixed-polarity system. And no telling which!

This is quite apart from any possible problems (and they are rife) in conversion.

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