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Author Topic: High definition vinyl
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6785
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 12-05-2016 12:19 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Digital Music News (excerpt)
The HD Vinyl process involves a longer period perfecting the topographic, computer-generated, 3D modeling imprint before any physical manufacturing takes place. “We adjust the distance of the grooves, we correct the radial/tangential errors, and we optimize the frequencies,” Loibl continued. “You could say we ‘master’ the topographical data, which is a totally different approach.”

After that, a ‘pulsed high-energy Femto-laser’ burns the audio directly onto the stamper. Distance between the grooves and depth adjustments happen automatically, with a 90-degree burning angle eliminating possible distortions. All in, Rebeat and Joanneum estimate that stamper-related costs will be reduced by 50 percent, while the time required to produce a new piece of vinyl slashed by 60 percent.

So what they're essentially talking about is a further refinement of the DMM process, whereby the entire surface of the record is designed and simulated within a computer, rather than groove pitch and depth being adjusted on the fly during the cutting process on the lathe.

Neat, but is there enough of a market to make it viable, especially if these records initially cost significantly more than old school lathe-cut ones?

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 12-05-2016 01:00 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the entire thing is modelled before manufacturing it, you would be further ahead sound-wise to play the model as a sort of virtual record rather than creating a physical object and losing whatever definition you will lose going from the original digital to analog format.

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Rex Oliver
Film Handler

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From: Greenville, NC. USA
Registered: Apr 2013


 - posted 12-05-2016 01:39 AM      Profile for Rex Oliver   Email Rex Oliver   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ahh heck-I was thinking of playing those "modeled" records on the Finial Laser TT I was thinking of buying.Have to save 30 grand!This type of record player scans the record grooves with a laser instead of a stylus and a cartridge on a tone arm.If the record master is going to be "modeled" on a computer program-why bother with the analog process as was pointed out-guess this record will end up being played on that $100K TT with the $28K tone arm and $15K cartridge-then listened to on the Living Voice Pilladium speakers-only $2mil for the pair!!!When is this audiophool stuff going to end?How further up in price will they go?Google "Living Voice Pilladium" and you will see those 2mil speakers!If you buy a pair-the designer builder will deliver them and set them up for you in your very own home!What a bargain!!!

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 12-05-2016 11:08 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Especially as (it's being reported in various places) Amazon's biggest selling piece of audio hardware last month was a $50 record player...

Quite apart from the "is it really analog?" question, I get the impression that a lot of "vinyl revival" buyers are doing it for the sleeve artwork and other reasons besides the audio quality.

As for that question, I suppose that if you take an analog master tape, analyze the signal on it with this software and use the results to control a DMM-but-with-a-laser cutting process, then as long as the signal modulating the laser is straight from the analog tape deck, then I guess you have a totally analog signal path from studio to home playback, even if the cutting of the disc is under computer control and using the results of digital analysis.

However, I am very skeptical about the claim that the process could enable 45-60 minutes on a side with no loss of subjective audio quality on conventional equipment, and complete backwards compatibility with existing turntables and cartridges. Polyvinyl carbonate simply can't hold a groove wall that thin, no matter how precisely the stamper from which it's made has been cut, and furthermore the stylus pitch would be too wide to track the groove reliably.

From what I've heard of the ELT, the problem is that the laser tracks the groove so precisely that it picks up dust and crud that a conventional stylus would miss, and that as a result, unless your record has just been cleaned in a laboratory environment, it will sound unacceptably noisy and dirty. Still, for archival transfers of unique material (e.g. lacquers or acetates) you don't want to risk the friction from a stylus on, this non-invasive method of playback is, from what I understand, a very useful option. Not for your average home listener, though, even an "audiophile" with more money than sense.

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Frank Angel
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From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 12-07-2016 11:37 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Leo, the album art on LPs is certainly an attractive hook for lots of vinyl enthusiasts, but there is also the other thing that some will admit to, and I have endless discussions with friends who never stopped playing their LP collections. While there are those who try explain their bond with the medium based on sound quality and what they think they can hear or not hear -- all very nebulous and decidedly subjective -- we all finally admit that a big part of the attraction is that there is a certain human connection that is very satisfying.

The medium itself demands that you HOLD the LP, you carefully take it out of the sleeve making sure you don't touch the surface; you CLEAN it with care...you place it on the turntable and you SEE the thing turning; you have to gently place the arm, always aware that any misstep could scratch the thing. You watch it playing and know where the stylus is at any moment just by a glance. Then you have this big album cover sitting there to admire or the sleeve information to read while listening. For awhile you probably handle that album cover. it's a ritual...it's tactile, and it's all very sensually engaging, mostly it seems on a subliminal level as it took awhile for us to realize how enjoyable the ritual actually is.

None or very little of that sensual interaction happens to that same extent with digital media, be it CDs or thumbdrives or smartfones and certainly not with clicking on a playlist.

Then of course all of these folks are of a certain age who had a fairly extensive LP collection in the first place and couldn't bring themselves to junk them when the CDs came along. And still there are LPs in collections that have never been rereleased on CDs and that was a factor for some of us, especially we have two musicologists who have extensive LP collections -- hundreds -- and you can see why they still have their turntables. Of the five guys, only two of them actually buy current LP releases, and then only rarely. Most simply keep their LP playback capability for the practical legacy reason.

BTW, during these discussions, I realized that the whole physical component of handling film -- a ritual that certainly demands that you engage both mind and body (all the senses, especially touch) -- is one of the things so satisfying and pleasurable about handling film, but on an even more intense level.

Years ago, sometime in the late 70s I think, a company that sold imported, low-end electronic items (DAK, I think) was selling an LP player that looked and acted like a Laserdisc player. It mimicked the front slot opening and you put your LP in, it grabbed it and swallowed it just like some CD players do. Then there were two sets of 12 small buttons -- one for each side of the LP. You could select random cuts from either sided of the LP and in any order. It was designed to operate just like a CD. That's right, this unit played BOTH sides of the LP. I always had a mind to take it apart to see what kind of an ingenious mechanical system was being used to track grooves upside down! Never did. But the point being, after the novelty of being able to program a play list consisting of any cut on any side of the LP and in any order, there was something unsatisfying about not actually being able to see what was going on -- no arm, no turning table.

As for the ELT laser turntable, I had looked into having the college library purchase one so they could archive some of their rare collections and while it certainly sounded like a perfect solution, we could not find anyone who could give a positive endorsement of the ELT system. Like you said, it read dirt and noise as robustly as audio. But that was then...today, they've got enough digital software out there that is smart enough to be able to delete dirt noise from audio that this would probably work in such situations where you don't want to risk having any contact with the groove wall at all.

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Monte L Fullmer
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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
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 - posted 12-09-2016 03:53 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And now with the increase in vinyl sales, one could think that DMM process can come back to the States after the last DMM lathe was sold a decade ago.

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Scott Norwood
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From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
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 - posted 12-09-2016 09:49 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think that there was a recent news item about how a significant number of vinyl purchasers don't even listen to the records that they own. Apparently, they are buying them as "collectables" and/or for the cover artwork. [Frown]

I suppose that this is better than the people who are listening to them on the $50 turntable and probably end up destroying the records after the first couple of plays. [Frown] [Frown]

Neither group is probably interested in high-fidelity advancements.

That said, I continue to be impressed with how far the LP format has progressed since it "died" in 1990 or so. The disks that are manufactured now are of significantly higher quality than what was available in the 1970s and 1980s and there are some excellent turntables available now at many different price levels, as well as high-quality styli and preamps.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6785
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 12-31-2016 12:29 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
I suppose that this is better than the people who are listening to them on the $50 turntable and probably end up destroying the records after the first couple of plays.
I can't think of a way in which the $50 turntable would destroy a record if used properly. We bought our 8-year old nephew one for Christmas, and my tracking force gauge said it was putting 1.9 grams on the record, which isn't excessive. Of course if he chips the stylus or lets it wear out without being replaced, that will destroy records, but the same applies to a $20K, "audiophool" moving coil cartridge. The main drawback of the $50 record player is that it sounds like an MP3 file played through the internal speaker on a cellphone.

quote: Scott Norwood
That said, I continue to be impressed with how far the LP format has progressed since it "died" in 1990 or so. The disks that are manufactured now are of significantly higher quality than what was available in the 1970s and 1980s and there are some excellent turntables available now at many different price levels, as well as high-quality styli and preamps.
Agreed. 180-gram pressing and few fewer presses per stamper than pre-1990 seems to be the industry standard now, and $300 will buy you a turntable/RIAA preamp/cartridge combo (e.g. Denon DP-300F), the performance of which would have cost audiophool money in the 1980s. They must be selling in sufficient numbers in this price bracket to justify the R & D in this new generation of models.

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