The Digital/Analog Dialectic

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Cut 4: Oscar Peterson Trio: Nigerian Marketplace – Side 2 Track 1: Nancy with the Laughing Face



http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut4_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut4_96.wav

Piano jazz, live recording (Red vinyl first press) Recorded in 1982 in Digital

Did I hear a difference? 5 Yes / 4 No

Actual: A was straight-thru, B was A/D/A Loop – Result: 6 correct/ 8 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: crisper, softer, more “live”, cymbals sound better, preferred (1x)
B: muffled, more resolution, harder, faster, bass more expressive, preferred(2x)



Cut 5: Les Brown and his Band of Renown: Goes Direct to Disc – Side 2 Track 1: Tickle Toe



http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut5_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut5_96.wav

Big band, lots of brass (all analog, recorded direct to disc, pressed at Teldec, Germany)

Did I hear a difference? 5 Yes / 3 No

Actual: A was straight-thru, B was A/D/A Loop – Result: 6 correct/ 6 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: Brass not as bright, bigger soundstage, sizzle a lot harsher, more resolution, preferred (2x)
B: bass deeper, separation of instruments more distinct


Cut 6: Minoru Nojima: Nojima Plays Liszt – Side 1 Track 2: la Campanella, Grandes etudes de Paganini



http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut6_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut6_96.wav

Classical Solo Piano (Reference Recordings Prof. Keith O. Johnson recording)

Did I hear a difference? 8 Yes / 0 No

Actual: A was A/D/A Loop, B was straight-thru – Result: 10 correct/ 6 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: Mids more forward, rounder, sweeter
B: Highs were clearer and cleaner, more body, more full, greater harmonic density, more resolution, more open, more like real piano, sound outside of speakers, preferred (3x)
 
Last edited:

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)

Cut 7: Royal Opera House Orchestra, Alexander Gibson: Gounod Ballet Music from Faust - Waltz




http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut7_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut7_96.wav

Classical Large Orchestral (RCA Red Seal – probably 2nd press)

Did I hear a difference? 4 Yes / 5 No

Actual: A was straight-thru, B was A/D/A Loop – Result: 6 correct/ 6 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: Orchestra hangs together better
b: Preferred (1x)


Cut 8: Deep Purple: The Mark 2 Purple Singles – Side 1 Track 1: Smoke on the Water (Live)




http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut8_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut8_96.wav

Rock down the house (Limited edition clear purple vinyl) - my favourite Deep Purple LP.

Did I hear a difference? 1 Yes / 1 No

Actual: A was A/D/A Loop, B was straight-thru – Result: 6 correct/ 8 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: far sweeter, sounded like what appears to be rear channel info, preferred (4x)
B: scratchy, harsh (2x), edgier, more noise, sharper treble, preferred (2x)

This particular track was played really loud - and the comments may have reflected that the speakers were over-driven.


Cut 9: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Side 1 Track 1: Can’t We Be Friends?



http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut9_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/Cut9_96.wav

Jazz in Mono (Direct metal mastered Waxtime re-issue) This cut was played twice. The LP was de-magnetized with an Acoustic Revive RL-30 Mk II prior to playing the second time.

Did I hear a difference? 2 Yes / 1 No

Actual: A was A/D/A Loop, B was straight-thru – Result: 7 correct/ 7 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: more musical to tap toes to, preferred (1x)
B: more metallic, Louis’ voice got muddied with the bass, spread out better vibrato in voices, more natural

Two respondents commented that they heard a bigger difference post-demagnetization, both got it right the second time (A was straight thru, B was A/D/A loop)
 
Last edited:

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Cut 10: Hugh Masekela: Hope – Side 4 Track 1: Stimela



http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/CutA_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/CutA_96.wav

World music audiophile’s reference (45rpm Analogue Productions 180gm re-issue)

Did I hear a difference? 2 Yes / 1 No

Actual: A was straight-thru, B was A/D/A Loop – Result: 10 correct/ 4 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: more clarity, more detail, more data, preferred (1x)
B: more metallic, preferred (1x)



Cut 11: Edmundo Ros: Heath vs Ros Round 2 – Side 2 Track 1: Granada

Unfortunately, I couldn't find an actual image of the album - it's the one on the lower right hand corner on this attached graphic.


http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/CutB_44.wav
http://www.genesisloudspeakers.com/downloads/CutB_96.wav

Big Band in Mono (Promotional mono version of the Phase 4 Stereo)

Did I hear a difference? 0 Yes / 3 No

Actual: A was straight-thru, B was A/D/A Loop – Result: 5 correct/ 5 wrong

What difference did I hear?
A: preferred (1x)
 
Last edited:
Jan 27, 2011
8
0
0
Gary, thanks for all of your hard work and getting all of this online! And all the rest of us had fun. Actually, several others provided equipment, helped Gary move his and did the set up at the meeting.

Under "maybe snow" Seattle skies, Gill
 

Lee

Active Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,402
0
36
Alpharetta, Georgia
This is an interesting event Gary but I have one big concern. In my listening experience the Minerva DAC is not very reference despite Weiss being an excellent firm. The 202 DAC is much better in my opinion. Could you obtain one of those?
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
This is an interesting event Gary but I have one big concern. In my listening experience the Minerva DAC is not very reference despite Weiss being an excellent firm. The 202 DAC is much better in my opinion. Could you obtain one of those?
In stock form, the Minerva is not very reference. But we've compared my modified Minerva to the DAC202, and it's quite a bit better. As it is, the A/D/A loop was quite transparent, I'm sure that with a better DAC, it could be even more transparent. However, I thought that it was transparent enough for most of the listeners.
 

Lee

Active Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,402
0
36
Alpharetta, Georgia
In stock form, the Minerva is not very reference. But we've compared my modified Minerva to the DAC202, and it's quite a bit better. As it is, the A/D/A loop was quite transparent, I'm sure that with a better DAC, it could be even more transparent. However, I thought that it was transparent enough for most of the listeners.
That makes sense. What mods did you do to it?

And apologies for the Monday morning quarterbacking. It's still a cool test and I think the quality is very high.
 
Dec 26, 2011
265
0
0
Late to this thread...... :p

Am I right to say the same track (the same portion on that side of the same vinyl) was played twice in each of these tests?

Did no one questioned this methodology?
I'm shocked.....!
 

garylkoh

WBF Technical Expert (Speakers & Audio Equipment)
Late to this thread...... :p

Am I right to say the same track (the same portion on that side of the same vinyl) was played twice in each of these tests?

Did no one questioned this methodology?
I'm shocked.....!
No, it is not played twice. The phono-stage used had a built-in ADC. We compared the analog output of the phono-stage with the digital output reconverted back to analog with an external DAC. We took great pains to level-match the two.