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Taming vinyl audio, Treble seems to be a bit higher than CD's - what to do
krafty
post Jan 13 2014, 22:45
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I own a CD for Depeche Mode's Sounds Of The Universe, so I think it's fair for me to get a vinyl rip which is much better sounding because its better mastering.
The rip was done using a Technics SL-1200MK2 and Audio-Technica 440MLa cartridge. The rip was not processed, just captured.
However, the rip is brighter than the CD. Should I bring down the treble level to the same as the CD counterpart, or just leave as it is?

What software do I use to compare the levels of bass and treble?

Thanks for answers.

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Apesbrain
post Jan 13 2014, 23:23
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QUOTE (krafty @ Jan 13 2014, 17:45) *
What software do I use to compare the levels of bass and treble?

You can load the same track from each into Audacity and run its "Analyze" > "Plot Spectrum" component.
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Juha
post Jan 13 2014, 23:32
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Just to be sure, did you connect the turntable directly into audio interface or was there phono pre-amp in your connection?
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krafty
post Jan 13 2014, 23:58
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QUOTE (Juha @ Jan 14 2014, 00:32) *
Just to be sure, did you connect the turntable directly into audio interface or was there phono pre-amp in your connection?


There was a phone stage - phono stage: Pioneer Elite A-35R
ADC: Tascam HD-P2


Here are the results from Audacity:

http://imagebin.org/index.php?mode=image&id=286653
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DVDdoug
post Jan 14 2014, 00:26
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QUOTE
However, the rip is brighter than the CD. Should I bring down the treble level to the same as the CD counterpart, or just leave as it is?
That's up to you. On one hand, you are saying that the LP has better mastering, yet you seem to be saying that the CD sounds better.

If your cartridge is a little bright, that might be a contributing factor... If your other records also sound bright, it's probably the cartridge. It could be your phono preamp, but that's unlikely. If none of your other records sound overly bright, it's the mastering. All kinds of things can happen with analog... I've only digitized older records and they are often dull. I've never digitized a modern record.

QUOTE
What software do I use to compare the levels of bass and treble?
I'd just do it by ear, especially since you don't seem to be happy with the overall sound of the CD anyway. It would be kind-of sad if you end-up with a vinyl rip that sounds exactly like the CD rip, but with more noise! Izotope Ozone includes a Matching EQ, but it's a $300 USD application.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jan 14 2014, 00:28
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Juha
post Jan 14 2014, 00:36
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You say the vinyl sounds better than CD ... is the comparison done when listened through your Hi-Fi system?
Doesn't the rip sound as good when played through Hi-Fi? It should sound about as good as the vinyl does because of your recorder is good enough for to capture the original. If it doesn't then something was wrong in your recording path.
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krafty
post Jan 14 2014, 00:38
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QUOTE
yet you seem to be saying that the CD sounds better.


No DVDdoug, the LP is far better. It is just that is has a little more treble than most CDs of the same era.
What I want to achieve is to bring the LP sound to the "standard" CD treble, if you know what I mean.

Even if I remove some of the treble, this LP will sound much much better than CD, which is squashed and has whimpy bass: a mess.

Do these graphs I presented show anything, like "well, remove this bit of treble using sox through this command line and that will give you what you want more or less".....?
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DVDdoug
post Jan 14 2014, 02:16
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I can't download the image. I don't know if it's something wrong on my end, or if it's something with the link.

But again, I'd do it by ear... Your ears are telling you that something's wrong, and they should tell you when you get it right. Mixing & mastering engineers use their ears, typically with a known-good reference recording in the same genre "to keep their ears calibrated". (If you listen to something long enough, it starts to sound normal.)

Poking around the Internet, quite a few people mention that your AT 440MLa cartridge is "bright" and/or "detailed". It's not a cheap cartridge, so I'd assume wouldn't need any more than 1 or 2dB of correction. I'm sure Audio Technica doesn't feel it needs any correction. wink.gif (I didn't run across any actual measurements.)

But, records tend to be the BIG variable and if you combine a bright record with a bright cartridge, you may need a bit more EQ.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jan 14 2014, 02:20
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mjb2006
post Jan 14 2014, 09:26
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Wouldn't the capacitance of the turntable's cabling vs. the impedance of whatever they're being plugged into be an issue, as well? There's a cottage industry around matching the two, since mismatches, I've read, result in frequency response variations. Or is this audiophile hooey?

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Jan 14 2014, 09:26
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cliveb
post Jan 14 2014, 09:40
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QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Jan 14 2014, 08:26) *
Wouldn't the capacitance of the turntable's cabling vs. the impedance of whatever they're being plugged into be an issue, as well? There's a cottage industry around matching the two, since mismatches, I've read, result in frequency response variations. Or is this audiophile hooey?

If the capacitance of the phono preamp input (plus the capacitance of the cable between cartridge and phono preamp) is too low, the treble will be a bit bright. (And conversely too much capacitance will bring the treble down). Adding something like 100pF - 200pF between signal and ground at the phono preamp input can tame an overly bright setup. But this should only be done if *all* LPs sound too bright. If it's just the odd LP here and there with the problem, the issue is in the mastering, not the playback system.
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krafty
post Jan 14 2014, 14:53
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DVDdoug,

Please, try this now... http://imagebin.org/286653
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mzil
post Jan 14 2014, 16:59
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I suspect the problem is you aren't actually using the phono playback RIAA EQ as you think you are:

[Note, this wikipedia image is shown in the more common logarithmic horizontal scale, not linear like the ones you linked to. Your images would also be easier for us to read if they used the same scales on all axes.]

I bet if you spin your Pioneer Elite A-35 integrated amp around you'll discover that you are errantly connecting to the tape monitor IN (play), whereas you should be connecting to the tape monitor OUT (record).

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 14 2014, 17:12
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DVDdoug
post Jan 14 2014, 20:16
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The frequency plot doesn't really tell me anything... It doesn't look unusual to me. You are looking at music, so no two spectrums are ever going to look identical. Maybe, we'd see something different if we compare the same song on the CD.

The only thing that looks odd is that you've got a sample rate of 44,100Hz, which means there is absolutely nothing above 22,050Hz, yet the plot shows signals past 30kHz. That's got to be an artifiact of the FFT analysis. Not that it's important, since it's beyond the audio range and more than 70dB down.

QUOTE
Wouldn't the capacitance of the turntable's cabling vs. the impedance of whatever they're being plugged into be an issue, as well? There's a cottage industry around matching the two, since mismatches, I've read, result in frequency response variations. Or is this audiophile hooey?
It's true that parallel capacitance creates a low-pass filter. I'm not sure at what point it becomes significant. The cartridge manufacturer may specify the recommended load, including the recommended (or recommnded maximum) capacitance. Audio-Technica doesn't mention capacitance.

If I've calculated correctly, an RC filter with a 47k resistor and a 100pF capacitor has a -3dB point around 30kHz. 200pF would put the -3dB point around 15kHz. But, 47k is the typical recommended load impedance, and I assume that the actual coil impedance is less than that, pushing the cutoff frequency higher.

Back in the "analog days", I used to tweak stuff like that... I think the last RIAA preamp I built (a million years ago) has a little bump in the bass, probably because my speakers were a little light in the bass... In the digital age, I realize that you can never get digital perfection with analog and it's just not worth the effort (or expense) to me.

Now, I'd probably just use EQ.
Besides the fact that you can never overcome all of the analog weaknesses, you've got the variations in records/recordings, which means your tweaked setup will only be optimized for a small fraction of your recordings.

QUOTE
I bet if you spin your Pioneer Elite A-35 integrated amp around you'll discover that you are errantly connecting to the tape monitor IN (play), whereas you should be connecting to the tape monitor OUT (record).
Unlikley, since the output of a phono cartridge is about 1/100th of line-level ("tape" level). wink.gif
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mzil
post Jan 14 2014, 20:57
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With a variable input gain with a 42.6 dBV range of adjustment for its line-level in, his Tascam HD-P2 can boost such weak signals with no problem.

Anyway, checking to be sure the correct jacks on the integrated amp's monitor loop are being used only takes a second. It's a common mix-up I've seen happen many times before. People are often incredulous to this problem because they do get a signal at these incorrect jacks, afterall.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 14 2014, 21:07
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Juha
post Jan 14 2014, 21:29
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By Owner's Manual: "Turning on LOW CUT provides a -18dB/oct, 100Hz lowcut filter to the analog inputs" ...
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pdq
post Jan 14 2014, 21:56
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QUOTE (Juha @ Jan 14 2014, 15:29) *
By Owner's Manual: "Turning on LOW CUT provides a -18dB/oct, 100Hz lowcut filter to the analog inputs" ...

What has that to do with this topic?
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2Bdecided
post Jan 15 2014, 11:41
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QUOTE (mzil @ Jan 14 2014, 15:59) *
I suspect the problem is you aren't actually using the phono playback RIAA EQ as you think you are:
If the OP's equipment hadn't applied the RIAA curve, I don't think they'd be making statements like "shall I tame the treble or leave it as it is?" - I mean, no one listening to vinyl replay without the RIAA curve applied is going to think about leaving it like that for even one second.

Cheers,
David.
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mzil
post Jan 15 2014, 15:51
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I'm sure he'll take the two seconds to visually inspect the connection I'm suspicious of, and report back to us.
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markanini
post Jan 15 2014, 19:21
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QUOTE (mzil @ Jan 15 2014, 15:51) *
I'm sure he'll take the two seconds to visually inspect the connection I'm suspicious of, and report back to us.

We're talking about 20dB bass cut and 20dB treble boost.
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mzil
post Jan 15 2014, 20:07
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Yes, or about 12.5db boost and cut at the ends of what I would consider the most important range, between 100hz and 10kHz, something one could even, I suppose, almost compensate for with just simple bass and treble controls (not to imply that's the right approach, of course, although I have heard some people discuss, including in this thread, the concept of compensating for tonal balances they didn't care for via this very method).

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 15 2014, 20:37
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markanini
post Jan 15 2014, 22:59
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Highly unlikely. OP wouldnt be talking about how he prefers the Vinyl mastering, he'd be complaining unpleasant sound, insane surface noise etc.
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mzil
post Jan 16 2014, 00:28
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^Certainly not based on the first minute of that particular album he's recording, if you've heard it.

Anyway, hopefully krafty will report back to let us know if the simple problem I suspect is the issue.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 16 2014, 00:31
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Juha
post Jan 16 2014, 10:52
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QUOTE (mzil @ Jan 14 2014, 19:59) *
I suspect the problem is you aren't actually using the phono playback RIAA EQ as you think you are: [Note, this wikipedia image is shown in the more common logarithmic horizontal scale, not linear like the ones you linked to. Your images would also be easier for us to read if they used the same scales on all axes.] I bet if you spin your Pioneer Elite A-35 integrated amp around you'll discover that you are errantly connecting to the tape monitor IN (play), whereas you should be connecting to the tape monitor OUT (record).


But the linked frequency analysis pics shows missing RIAA correction is not the case.

Here's an example showing the difference (in frequency plot) between cases missing RIAA and RIAA applied:

http://i40.tinypic.com/jtv621.png

Left = no RIAA

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mzil
post Jan 16 2014, 15:07
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QUOTE (Juha @ Jan 16 2014, 02:52) *
Left = no RIAA


Thanks. His graphs are unlabeled, have different starting points, different scale axes, and I don't understand why people are showing linear as opposed to the more conventional and easier to read logarithmic scale (other than because that's the default one when you open that option).

At least I can read yours. But what is your source? Did you run those yourself? Please give details.

edit to add: What I see with his is one of the two sources (I don't know which one it is since they aren't labeled) has around a 24db/octave cut from 10k to 20k, whereas the other one is 18dB/octave, giving a difference between the two of 6dB/octave. Since this is music and not test tones, the graphs are (as expected) bumpy and imprecise, but that's what I see.
That looks close to RIAA to me.

He also says the LP is the brighter, more high frequency rich source one, yet the graph with the 22.05k brick wall is the brighter one. I don't get why that's the case.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 16 2014, 16:07
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mzil
post Jan 16 2014, 15:59
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Sorry, I've added several additions to my last post, so people may want to reread it.

Also I retract that the thing happening on the top, in one of the OP's plots, is a 22.05 kHz brick wall filter [introduced obviously by 44.1k sampling] . Look at the actual frequency plot more closely [remember it's linear, not what most of us are used to] and you'll see it isn't. It is more like a ~ 20 kHz lowpass filter introduced perhaps from his phono preamp circuit? That's my guess, but again, since these aren't labeled, I'm not even sure which source this one is.

This post has been edited by mzil: Jan 16 2014, 16:36
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