From: RichA on
On Jan 6, 5:27 am, "R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclay...(a)btinternet.com>
wrote:
> "Richard" <smith...(a)btinternet.com.invalid> wrote in message
>
> news:4b445273$0$2480$db0fefd9(a)news.zen.co.uk...
>
>
>
> > "R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclay...(a)btinternet.com> wrote in message
> SNUP
>
> >> Bit like valve amplifiers though...
>
> > Not at all like a valve amplifier (IMNSHO)
> >http://www.kenrockwell.com/rollei/images/rolleiflex28.jpg
> >http://www.techdigest.tv/mystere_ia21_valve_amplifier.jpg
> > ;)
>
> The mindset is.
>
> Adherents of valve hi-fi amplifiers claim that the sound is better, whereas
> the reality is that the noise level is far higher (those heated cathodes -
> Boltzman and all that) and the fidelity less.  The only advantage is that
> due to its deficiencies an overdriven valve amp gently rounds off the peaks
> whereas a semiconductor amp clips (which sounds terrible).  They also pay
> bundles for a valve amp where the component valves cost a few dollars each.
>

Not really. 300B values can cost $300/ea. (using the Western Electric
manufacturing process) or more. The Chinese have made some cheap
ones.
There have been some really interesting limited production amps made
using old military value stock.
You are right, they do distort and have higher noise, but the sound
can be pleasant.
From: R. Mark Clayton on

"RichA" <rander3127(a)gmail.com> wrote in message
news:f0847abf-bc2d-47fd-942e-7718c64ab68e(a)s31g2000yqs.googlegroups.com...
On Jan 6, 5:27 am, "R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclay...(a)btinternet.com>
wrote:
> "Richard" <smith...(a)btinternet.com.invalid> wrote in message
>
> news:4b445273$0$2480$db0fefd9(a)news.zen.co.uk...
>
>
>
> > "R. Mark Clayton" <nospamclay...(a)btinternet.com> wrote in message
> SNUP
>
> >> Bit like valve amplifiers though...
>
> > Not at all like a valve amplifier (IMNSHO)
SNIP
>
> The mindset is.
>
> Adherents of valve hi-fi amplifiers claim that the sound is better,
> whereas
> the reality is that the noise level is far higher (those heated cathodes -
> Boltzman and all that) and the fidelity less. The only advantage is that
> due to its deficiencies an overdriven valve amp gently rounds off the
> peaks
> whereas a semiconductor amp clips (which sounds terrible). They also pay
> bundles for a valve amp where the component valves cost a few dollars
> each.
>

: Not really. 300B values can cost $300/ea. (using the Western Electric
manufacturing process) or more. The Chinese have made some cheap
ones.

A sucker can pay $300 for a speaker cable or digital internconnects, but
that does not mean to say that is what it cost to make. Back in the days
when TV's were full of valves, replacements cost a dollor or two retail,
indeed even now sophisticated audio valves (e.g. EL81) are still only �6
($10) new.

The other big problem with valves is low MTBF, which on ones that got a hard
life (like the PCL85/805) was not much better than a light bulb...


I almost forgot another fadist category - vinyl record buffs, who maintain
(against all the evidence) that their worn hissy crackly records, played
with wow, flutter and usually a generous helping of crosstalk are better
than CD's - I still remember some of the article in EDN - CD's have a
dynamic range of 96dB, which pretty much goes from inaudible to deafening.


From: Wolfgang Weisselberg on
R. Mark Clayton <nospamclayton(a)btinternet.com> wrote:

> Adherents of valve hi-fi amplifiers claim that the sound is better, whereas
> the reality is that the noise level is far higher (those heated cathodes -
> Boltzman and all that) and the fidelity less.

You write that down as if they were opposites.
As if "the sound is better" merely was 'less noise' and 'higher
fidelity'.
As if a TIFF was million times better than a JPEG for viewing at
web resolutions and on your browser, because JPEG has evened out
detail, quantisised data (and thus added noise) and destroyed
most of the fidelity.

> The only advantage is that
> due to its deficiencies an overdriven valve amp gently rounds off the peaks
> whereas a semiconductor amp clips (which sounds terrible).

There's another advantage. It's obvious:

> They also pay
> bundles for a valve amp where the component valves cost a few dollars each.

.... there is something they want, for some reason (and that
reason is the advantage) so much, they put much money where
their mouth is.

> Similarly users of particular cameras systems will illogically claim they
> are better than more advanced solutions. In the long run EVF will supplant
> SLR because it is better in the same way that SLR supplanted TLR. Just
> complaining about problems with current systems will not change the
> underlying fact.

In the future, artifical intelligence will supplant you and your
job, just as the buggy whip maker was supplanted by the automobile.
(see? Two can do bad logic.) Just complaining about the sorry
state of current AI doesn't change the underlying fact: You are
about to be made redundant in your job and as a being.

We'll --- that is I and the AI that replaced you will ---
talk again about lag times and power needs and so on, when the
resolution and fidelity are finally close to proper SLR standards.

Remember (or tell that AI), there's a reason why most video
consumer cameras have a fold-out monitor in addition to the EVF.

-Wolfgang
From: R. Mark Clayton on

"John A." <john(a)nowhere.invalid> wrote in message
news:l71hk59hd7dfs5qig2al9lg8mr47ksu23e(a)4ax.com...
> On Wed, 6 Jan 2010 18:08:52 -0000, "R. Mark Clayton"
> <nospamclayton(a)btinternet.com> wrote:
SNIP
>
> I hear (and, IIRC, have posted before) that scientists have managed to
> optically scan old wax cylinders and get better sound out of them than
> any of the original players.

Indeed - the tracking weight of an optical reader would be zero, whereas the
weight of a needle and horn would be substantial and vastly reduce top end
fidelity.


> I wonder if the same could be done with LPs.

Possibly, but a decent arm and cartridge would only load the needle with a
gram or two. You can buy one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_turntable
for about $3,000 (compared to about $30 for a laser CD reader).

> Could be it's the playback devices that are lacking, not the recording
> medium.

S/N on moving magnet cartridges were quite good (but still the weakest point
in a pre-digital hi-fi system). The main problem is the discs. Most discs
are third generation pressings (there was a market in [expensive] second
generation direct metal mastered pressings in the early 80's but this died
out.

The medium has problems because of: -

Wear
Production quality (defects in the material)
and most of all
dust.


Suffice it to say that when CD's first came out, I could easily tell the
difference between CD's and LP's on the radio* while driving up the M6 at
XXmph.


* top quality vinyl decks back at the studio obviously - the much poorer
quality of vinyl was obvious even with the intervening FM radio segment and
over the noise of a car (albeit a BMW 735i) travelling at speed.



From: nospam on
In article <l71hk59hd7dfs5qig2al9lg8mr47ksu23e(a)4ax.com>, John A.
<john(a)nowhere.invalid> wrote:

> I hear (and, IIRC, have posted before) that scientists have managed to
> optically scan old wax cylinders and get better sound out of them than
> any of the original players. I wonder if the same could be done with
> LPs. Could be it's the playback devices that are lacking, not the
> recording medium.

it's been done.

<http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/digitizing_vinyl.html>

Haber realized that computer programs they'd designed to track the
twisting paths of subatomic particles could also be used to track the
movements of the groove, giving them a "virtual needle" that could
play the high-resolution picture of the record. When they applied the
computer programs to the picture of the grooves, they were able to
recreate the music. But they were also able to improve it.

or use a desktop scanner, but not quite as good:
<http://www.wired.com/entertainment/music/news/2003/02/57769>