Luke's "are identical CDs identical?" thread

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Xenu
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Postby Xenu » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:09 pm

Only in an incredibly shallow fashion. It's not a CD *without errors* that sounds different in a constant, identifiable way.

I also don't think "on a certain CD player" came into the original question. Of COURSE some players will play back certain CDRs differently. The original argument that we were screaming about was that the differences were a) of the usual suspect audiophile characteristic, and b) NOT the fault of the specific player.
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Postby lukpac » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:16 pm

Andreas wrote:
lukpac wrote:If the errors really "add up" in the way you are describing, I would think there would be far more than would be able to be interpolated, and you'd actually end up getting clicks and such.


Any source for that?


Well...yeah, the Red Book standard. If errors get longer, the player can no longer interpolate.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby lukpac » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:18 pm

Xenu wrote:The original argument that we were screaming about was that the differences were a) of the usual suspect audiophile characteristic, and b) NOT the fault of the specific player.


Right. A UD is better than a UD2 and if you can't hear that you're deaf or have an inferior system.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Andreas » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:24 pm

lukpac wrote:It seems to me "static" would be covered under #2, would it not? It can't correct the error or interpolate, so it produces garbage instead.


Yes, audible garbage.

Do you agree with me that the CDR has too many physical errors that cannot be corrected by the CD player? But yet it can be extracted without problems with my DVD drive at 14 times speed? This seems to contradict what you wrote earlier, namely that a CD player spins much slower and should have no problem reading the disc then.

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Postby Andreas » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:29 pm

Xenu wrote:Only in an incredibly shallow fashion. It's not a CD *without errors* that sounds different in a constant, identifiable way.


Well, every CDR that sounds different from the original has errors. That's the point of my theory: Some CDRs sound different because they have errors. And these error can come in the form of skips, static noise or something else.

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Postby Andreas » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:32 pm

lukpac wrote:Right. A UD is better than a UD2 and if you can't hear that you're deaf or have an inferior system.


Please don't confuse me with what Dave mentioned.

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Postby Xenu » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:35 pm

Andreas wrote:Well, every CDR that sounds different from the original has errors.


No, because some CDRs that don't have errors at all can be read just fine elsewhere. Some CDRs without errors may just not be liked very much by a certain player.

That's the point of my theory: Some CDRs sound different because they have errors. And these error can come in the form of skips, static noise or something else.


It's the "something else" that bothers me. I don't understand what we're attempting to say here. Of course CDRs with major errors will sound wrong. Some CDRs without major errors will still play weirdly in some players. Some CDs without major errors will still play weirdly in someplayers. Some CDs *with* major errors will play fine, if those errors are small and the interpolation works its magic.

But these things will *NOT* make the bass "clouded" or anything like that.
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Postby Andreas » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:41 pm

Xenu wrote:But these things will *NOT* make the bass "clouded" or anything like that.


How does frequent interpolation affect the sound, in your opinion? Let's say, the amount of errors is less than the amount necessary for static noises, but more than the boundary for accurate error correction...how would it sound?

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Postby lukpac » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:47 pm

Andreas wrote:Well, every CDR that sounds different from the original has errors. That's the point of my theory: Some CDRs sound different because they have errors. And these error can come in the form of skips, static noise or something else.


Again - in some cases, sure. But are you trying to say the majority of discs - all UD2 pressings, for example, are so poorly produced that CD players are forced to interpolate or worse?

Besides, poorly burned discs usually have other issues beyond poor sound, most notably slowness in reading the TOC, advancing to the next track, etc. I've seen this myself, but again, it's pretty rare. Certainly not what I'm talking about here.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Andreas » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:19 pm

lukpac wrote:But are you trying to say the majority of discs - all UD2 pressings, for example, are so poorly produced that CD players are forced to interpolate or worse?

Where does the reference to UD2s come from? I have never posted about UD1/UD2 differences.

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Postby lukpac » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:24 pm

Perhaps not, but that's one of the main points of this thread.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Andreas » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:32 pm

lukpac wrote:Perhaps not, but that's one of the main points of this thread.


Okay, sorry about that. Factory pressed CDs should not have unreasonably many errors, so bit-identical CDs will sound the same. Every perceived difference is imagined.

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Postby Xenu » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:35 pm

Do I detect a note of displeasure?

Not every, but most are either imagined or are somehow the product of the individual player, and are not extrapolatable.
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Postby lukpac » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:48 pm

Andreas wrote:Factory pressed CDs should not have unreasonably many errors, so bit-identical CDs will sound the same. Every perceived difference is imagined.


Well...I'm not yet willing to go that far in that direction either. The whole point of this thread is:

- it might be possible that identical discs (say, MCA vs. Polydor Quad) sound different.
- these differences are most likely due to CD player design.
- these differences are totally system dependent - some systems might indeed reveal no differences, while others will. And a CD-R will remove any differences.

Without a trial once and for all that would prove that differences are just in people's heads, I'm not going to make that claim, and I'm willing to accept the explanation I mentioned above.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby Rspaight » Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:54 pm

How does frequent interpolation affect the sound, in your opinion? Let's say, the amount of errors is less than the amount necessary for static noises, but more than the boundary for accurate error correction...how would it sound?


In my opinion, it's for all intents and purposes impossible for there to be errors in a CD (or CD-R, for that matter) that are *exactly* at the level required to audibly affect playback (that is, greater than the capacity for error correction) *throughout* the running time of a CD, especially without creating at least some artifacts such as white noise, pops, clicks or skips.

You might get distortion here and there, but not "veiled upper mids" or any such thing throughout the whole disc.

That's a feat akin to every frame of a full-length motion picture containing exactly the same scratch.

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