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ojibwe
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Posted: Jan 1, 2018 - 9:45am

 kurtster wrote:
Here's something interesting that you may have always suspected but were afraid to ask ...

They got me, but I got them.  Reading this makes me feel a little bit better about that.
.
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”
 
Wow ....

It was an amazing combination of “We are ripping you off like no one has ever ripped anyone off as a per-unit basis,” but ”We are also building a time bomb that’s going to flatten us forever.”


ojibwe
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Posted: Jan 1, 2018 - 9:39am

 kurtster wrote:
That's my biggest problem with the whole thing.  The treatment of the consumer by the industry as a whole, not just Columbia House.  Let's keep reselling this stuff as long as we can, easy money with so many gullibles out there.  Oh, we have another tweak to the masters, that's worth even more and on.  And the artists don't get squat.  

 ...

Happy reading (I did start this thread as a Journal substitute) and a Happy New Year to all. 

y'all ...


Awesome post Kurt, and Happy New Year to you too. 


kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Dec 31, 2017 - 11:35am

 kcar wrote:


I had no idea Columbia House was so shambolic and profitable. I love this quote: 

 I will also add that’s why when Napster came along, and everybody essentially had a digital master in their home—or hundreds of digital masters in their home—that they could upload very, very easily, I cried not a single tear for those motherf———-s. All of a sudden, by thinking, “Sh*tty format, we’re going to mark it up 180 percent, and everybody’s going to buy them.” Well, yeah, they did, and they ripped them and decided to share those files. The thing about that CD format that I still find to be hilarious is it’s, like, they basically gave the bullets for the people to shoot them down once a new platform came along.

 
That's my biggest problem with the whole thing.  The treatment of the consumer by the industry as a whole, not just Columbia House.  Let's keep reselling this stuff as long as we can, easy money with so many gullibles out there.  Oh, we have another tweak to the masters, that's worth even more and on.  And the artists don't get squat.  

CD's changed everything.  A new format and a new way to hold back sound quality from the consumer.  Before we only had vinyl and if you really wanted to go for the best sound you got Reel to Reel.  That was it, 2 choices.  CD's were supposed to relevel the field and everyone could once again have the same access to hifidelity releases.  OBTW, warning, these digital releases may reveal the flaws of the original analogue recordings.  Then came the loudness wars and another opportunity to resell the same old stuff as new and remastered super compressed.

I quit buying music around 1995 until I found RP back in 2001.  I did get into Napster (the real) full tilt, but only looking for old out of print stuff.  Between Napster and RP, I relaunched my love of music.  I've been ripping vinyl since the days of my 8 Track Wollensack Quad recorder.  Then I met hippie here in 2006 and he offered to teach me how to engineer music and I took it from there and worked hard to make CD's sound like the vinyl I remembered in my foggy memory.  Somewhere in the middle, I got sick and everything changed again.

So with my newly found free time, I dug into it again trying to play around with vinyl, but I just didn't have the right stuff to make worthwhile rips and I stuck with CD's and mp3 sources.  Somewhere along the line I read about a guy in Hong Kong who was legendary for his rips of old vinyl and people where paying him $100 for some "needle drops" burned onto CD's.  Can't remember who it was now.

So after all this horsing around, the wife finally got her accident settlement after 5 years from the date, we bought our forever double wide and I got a room for a studio and set up shop, the way I always wanted to.  I was afraid to go into my vinyl and find out how bad it was.  It was in my ex's hands for 2 years and to my relief, she didn't ruin it.  So now that I've invested in all the stuff to make quality rips, I have found that the vinyl when cleaned and played properly is so good that it doesn't need much, if anything to improve it to be as good or better than CD versions.  I have learned to recognize good sound when I hear it.

So then to discogs to formally catalogue my collection and have readily available track lists for the sides that I rip and save me a whole lot of typing.  That is where I find out exactly what I have and don't have, and learn even more about pressings, engineers and most importantly the lacquer cutters.  It is 100% about who did the mastering and lacquer cutting, everything else being equal.  And have learned a whole lot more about the entire process and how it relates to CD's.

A couple of months ago Steely D posted the Rolling Stones in Mono in what are you listening to now.  That caught my immediate interest and after the sticker shock and lot's of digging, I pulled the trigger on the vinyl box.  In my homework, I found a whole discussion of Chinese counterfeit copies of the CD's.  https://www.discogs.com/The-Rolling-Stones-The-Rolling-Stones-In-Mono/master/1068842  scroll down to the comments.

Further digging led me to this article    Q&A with Barry Diament of Soundkeeper Recordings

From my earliest days in CD mastering, I always noticed that the finished CDs from different replication facilities all sound different from each other and none sounds indistinguishable from the CD master used to make it. Often, CDs made on different production lines within the same plant don’t sound like each other either. In all cases, there is a loss of “focus” and fine detail, usually subtle, sometimes not so subtle.
...

Aside from EQ’d copies created during mastering, sometimes the label is not in possession of the original mixed tapes. This is something I encountered a lot while at Atlantic. The originals might be in a musician’s private library or they might be in an overseas tape library. The label receives a “flat” copy of the original tape for use in creating the records or CDs they sell.

Is this important? There is no hard answer. A well made analog tape copy will exhibit a slight increase in background hiss and perhaps a very slight loss of transient speed. However, in my experience, these are of much smaller magnitude than the changes the mastering engineer is going to make. The question is much like asking whether purchasing produce from a gourmet shop will produce a better meal than purchasing it from a supermarket. If all other things are equal, I believe the answer would likely be yes. But all other things are rarely equal. If two different chefs prepare meals from the same ingredients, the results will often be quite different. Personally, I’d rather choose the chef than the ingredients. Put another way, I’d rather listen to a record George Piros mastered from a third generation copy than some other engineer might have mastered from the original studio mixes.

 
Now I get that.  I found my 1977 LZ I GP mastered reissue and holy shit.  It prompted me to just this past week to pull the trigger on a copy from the same series done by him of LZ II after thinking about it for a month or so.  The seller provided me with an mp3 of his rip to hear before buying.  Its supposed to get here Wednesday. {#Jump}

The Page remasters are now from digital copies of the analogue master tapes and then remastered for analogue reconversion to vinyl.  Better to get the files than vinyl if your looking for the best possible version.  Or find a GP version if you really want it on vinyl.  The Rolling Stones Box is also from digital copies of the masters, but considering the content, I said f*ck it, way too expensive to try and find all the individual albums and take chances on vinyl conditions.

Back to ripping ...

Happy reading (I did start this thread as a Journal substitute) and a Happy New Year to all. 

y'all ...




kcar

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Posted: Dec 31, 2017 - 8:56am

 kurtster wrote:
Here's something interesting that you may have always suspected but were afraid to ask ...

They got me, but I got them.  Reading this makes me feel a little bit better about that.
.
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”

 

I had no idea Columbia House was so shambolic and profitable. I love this quote: 

 I will also add that’s why when Napster came along, and everybody essentially had a digital master in their home—or hundreds of digital masters in their home—that they could upload very, very easily, I cried not a single tear for those motherf———-s. All of a sudden, by thinking, “Sh*tty format, we’re going to mark it up 180 percent, and everybody’s going to buy them.” Well, yeah, they did, and they ripped them and decided to share those files. The thing about that CD format that I still find to be hilarious is it’s, like, they basically gave the bullets for the people to shoot them down once a new platform came along.


SeriousLee

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Posted: Dec 31, 2017 - 6:51am

 kurtster wrote:
Here's something interesting that you may have always suspected but were afraid to ask ...

They got me, but I got them.  Reading this makes me feel a little bit better about that.
.
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”


 
As i was looking for some comfort music, i came across this.

img994


kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 4:20pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

That's a terrific article. I'm sure it was discussed here somewhere else (2015) so I'll spare you my CRC memories

 
During one of my memberships with them I actually got them to require a response from me before shipping the pick o dee month.  It took some doing, now I know why.
ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 3:57pm

 kurtster wrote:
Here's something interesting that you may have always suspected but were afraid to ask ...

They got me, but I got them.  Reading this makes me feel a little bit better about that.
.
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”

 
That's a terrific article. I'm sure it was discussed here somewhere else (2015) so I'll spare you my CRC memories
kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Dec 28, 2017 - 2:08pm

Here's something interesting that you may have always suspected but were afraid to ask ...

They got me, but I got them.  Reading this makes me feel a little bit better about that.
.
Four Columbia House insiders explain the shady math behind “8 CDs for a penny”


SeriousLee

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Location: Dans l'milieu d'deux milles livres


Posted: Dec 17, 2017 - 2:35pm

20171216_072104


kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Dec 12, 2017 - 1:35pm

 miamizsun wrote:
not a vinyl guy anymore but i thought this was interesting...

The best vinyl setups for any budget

 
Some good stuff there.  My preamp to the computer is also by project from the first group of equipment there, a different model though with a USB port that I strongly recommend.  Its $200 ±   This one would be the MacDaddy, but for $600 way too rich for my blood, but it will accommodate any cartridge you could throw at it. 

The one thing that all those turntables lack is a height adjustment for the tonearm though.  It really is critical.  Knowing what I know now and if I couldn't find a good used SL1200 , I would buy this, the SL1200GR  ($1700) if money was no object.

I'll try and put together some audio samples of wrong height and correct height shortly.  What put me over the edge was that I changed the height on one LP just a 1/4 mm up (I forget what LP it was) and the difference was breath taking.  


KurtfromLaQuinta
My lug nuts take more torque than your import puts out
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Posted: Dec 12, 2017 - 12:27pm

 kurtster wrote:
The learning curve never stops, after 50 some years of playing records. 

CLICKY

{#Cheers}  y'all

and Zerostats really work ...

 
Wow!
Sounds great!

All this learning curve stuff reminds me of working on my Six Pack on my truck engine.
So many variables... but when you hit the right combo... all hell breaks lose!  {#Mrgreen}
miamizsun

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Gender: Male


Posted: Dec 12, 2017 - 9:25am

not a vinyl guy anymore but i thought this was interesting...

The best vinyl setups for any budget

Listen up: These are the three best vinyl setups, from budget to bougie


meower

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Posted: Dec 11, 2017 - 7:16am

 kurtster wrote:

No I haven't, at least that I remember.  Have to look it up.  Funny, the CD I have of Quadrophenia is from the soundtrack and the LP seems to be put together differently.  I'll go and find the CD and play them against each other just to be sure.

I thought Layla was yer favorite ... {#Smile}  I just happen to be working on both of these albums right now ... Layla just got finished this very morning (waked and baked to), got another day or so for Quadro.

 
I said one of my favorites
meower

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Gender: Female
Zodiac: Gemini


Posted: Dec 11, 2017 - 7:16am

 kurtster wrote:

No I haven't, at least that I remember.  Have to look it up.  Funny, the CD I have of Quadrophenia is from the soundtrack and the LP seems to be put together differently.  I'll go and find the CD and play them against each other just to be sure.

I thought Layla was yer favorite ... {#Smile}  I just happen to be working on both of these albums right now ... Layla just got finished this very morning (waked and baked to), got another day or so for Quadro.

 
I said one of my favorites
kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Dec 11, 2017 - 6:58am

 meower wrote:

May very well be one of my favorite albums of all time. Have you seen the movie?

 
No I haven't, at least that I remember.  Have to look it up.  Funny, the CD I have of Quadrophenia is from the soundtrack and the LP seems to be put together differently.  I'll go and find the CD and play them against each other just to be sure.

I thought Layla was yer favorite ... {#Smile}  I just happen to be working on both of these albums right now ... Layla just got finished this very morning (waked and baked to), got another day or so for Quadro.


meower

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Posted: Dec 11, 2017 - 5:09am

 kurtster wrote:
So I'm working on Quadrophenia right now.  Been years decades since I've listened to it.   Never really listened to it as a body of work cuz I was pretty burned out with rock operas after Tommy.   Just listened to the singles pulled from it, but jeez what an album when taken all at once.  Prescient, dark stuff.  Kinda makes The Wall feel like Part 2 of Quadrophenia with drugs added.  Wonder if Pete and Roger were neighbors growing up ...

 
May very well be one of my favorite albums of all time. Have you seen the movie?
ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Dec 10, 2017 - 9:21pm

 kurtster wrote:
So I'm working on Quadrophenia right now.  Been years decades since I've listened to it.   Never really listened to it as a body of work cuz I was pretty burned out with rock operas after Tommy.   Just listened to the singles pulled from it, but jeez what an album when taken all at once.  Prescient, dark stuff.  Kinda makes The Wall feel like Part 2 of Quadrophenia with drugs added.  Wonder if Pete and Roger were neighbors growing up ...

 
I haven't listened to it all the way thru, ever. Might finally give it a go.
 
————

Nothing to do with ripping vinyl but our digital collection had gotten really fragmented so I bought a 5TB drive over a year ago, and planned to consolidate everything there... finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago. A dreadful chore, but as I was copying and deleting duplicates and reimporting etc., you know how the computer flashes filenames as it's copying, I was looking at titles and could have sworn I saw "Love Lies Bleeding" which made me go "hmm," because I don't remember having any Elton John. So when it was all done I went and looked and sure enough, we have Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don't Shoot Me..., Madman, Honky Chateau... don't know where they came from! We put the library on shuffle a lot and have never heard them play, so they must've gotten downloaded and never brought into iTunes. Come to think of it, I might have grabbed them in one of those $5 deals Amazon runs sometimes. Now I have to go browse around and see what else we've re-discovered...
 ——————

The "learning curve" post was interesting. Better you than me, tho.
kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Dec 10, 2017 - 8:01pm

So I'm working on Quadrophenia right now.  Been years decades since I've listened to it.   Never really listened to it as a body of work cuz I was pretty burned out with rock operas after Tommy.   Just listened to the singles pulled from it, but jeez what an album when taken all at once.  Prescient, dark stuff.  Kinda makes The Wall feel like Part 2 of Quadrophenia with drugs added.  Wonder if Pete and Roger were neighbors growing up ...
kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Aug 24, 2017 - 5:20pm

The learning curve never stops, after 50 some years of playing records.  All those years I've had only one turntable at a time and basically one cartridge at a time and only two different kinds, but both Audio Technica and both Shibata styluses.  You get used to a certain sound or notion of what its supposed to sound like.  The turntable just held the carts with little adjustments available.  Different carts sounded differently.  This is basic knowledge, but as anyone who did DJing would know that different carts on the same turntable need things like height adjustments to dial in the cart.  I've never had a turntable with a height adjustment before.  Now I do.

I always figured that the goal was to have the tonearm level with the record surface to get the best sound.  Level was where the cart angle was designed to work best by default.  So you try shims or different thickness mats to get you there.  Or you take what you have with the way the turntable presented itself as made.  And there you stay.  That is the sound that you get used to.

Every time I made a tweak to the turntable, it kept getting noticeably better.  These are tweaks that you do just besides getting the overhang right and making sure that the cart is straight on the headshell.  The first one was to get a headshell that rotated so that you could get the stylus perpendicular or square to the vinyl or azimuth.  Without this your stuck in case for some reason the headshell socket in the tonearm is not set perfectly.  Distortion and channel imbalance is part of what happens when this is wrong.  Turns out that mine is not set like it should be.  So when it was all done another noticeable improvement was achieved.

The last tweak (I thought) was to dampen the tonearm to kill any resonant frequencies it made that would be induced into the sound chain as it interacts with the cart.  This is an extension of removing the dust cover for critical listening and ripping.  Tonearm resonance has long been a problem that included matching carts to certain turntable tonearm harmonic combinations.  I read about that some but I don't have the resources to buy different carts.  I read about people having foam blown into tonearms during rewiring, shrinkwrap over the length of the tonearm and stumbled onto Herbie's Audio and found his removable and adjustable tonearm clamp / dampeners that I mentioned earlier below.  At $15, cheap enough for a crap shoot.  

The improvement was the most profound tweak I've yet to do.  Until this, all the tweaks and adjustments made the sound better overall and was acceptable all things considered.  But this one changed everything.  All of a sudden things got brighter, sharper and clearer.  It was profound enough to decide to start ripping all over again.  But it was a little too bright.  I found that I could overcome it with remastering, but the more I got into the ripping I felt that something was wrong, but I didn't know what it was or how to fix it.  Because of someone over at Discogs asking about a problem they were having with their TT and distortion it caused me to do some digging and found this bit about the VTA or tonearm height adjustment.  Its the same place that has that $110k turntable.  Of all the reading over my lifetime pouring through all kinds of audio mags, including 10 years of Audiophile back in the 90's, no one ever mentioned the importance of the VTA to the overall sound.  It was just plain dumb luck that I stumbled on to this information at a critical time.

Lloyd Walker on Fine Tuning Your Turntable

So after some consideration, I figured this was something to try because it dealt with the new sound I was getting from the same equipment.  Evidently with the cart and turntable I have, the more I dial it in, the more critical this one adjustment gets.  What I read about the height adjustment seemed to explain what I was now hearing.  

So to bring it all home, vinyl is pure analogue and getting the most out of it requires treating each individual record, even the same title pressed several years apart, as a separate channel like in the old days of TV and rabbit ears.  Different people mastered different pressings and vinyl mixtures and thicknesses have changed over the years.  You go from paper thin Dynaflex to massive 200 gram pressings that can change the height by up to 2mm, which in the scheme of things is huge when the tracking angle has a couple of degrees of tolerance.

When I bought my present turntable as my forever one, I did not even take the height adjustment feature into consideration.  I got it because of its specs and it was built like a tank and would last longer than me given its history.  I'm now completely dialed in and using it to its full capabilities and realize how lucky I got.  That and going after the cart that had the sound that I wanted.  Being a broke audiophile, I went after the best way to play the stuff over the reproduction side finding the better the source sounded, the better everything else sounded.  A Macintosh receiver can't make a shitty turntable set up sound better than it actually is.  Nothing can.  Not all the equalizers and room tunes and what not.  Tuning the vinyl can though.  You can't tune a CD, just like you can't tune a fish, but you can tune a piano. 

{#Cheers}  y'all

and Zerostats really work ...


kurtster

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Location: drifting
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Libra
Chinese Yr: Dragon


Posted: Jul 16, 2017 - 5:29pm

Sorry there is nothing that I can do with this.  Its been processed to death already.  Anything that I would do to it would only make it worse.

I would need the source of this before processing to be able to do anything good with it.  Not knowing what they started with, this may be pretty darn good from what there was to work with in the beginning.


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