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Cassette vs. iPod

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Posted on March 11, 2017 at 09:43:49
DRam
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Last Tuesday I had to tow a small trailer on a 350 mile run. Since my '97 Dodge is one of the old diesels I use noise blocking ear buds and an iPod for a more pleasant ride. This time, however, my old Sony Walkman came out along with cassettes that had been recorded in the 80's and 90's along with some pre-recorded tapes.

Even on the old Walkman and old tapes I was surprised at how good the sound was.

Once home I a/b compared cassette and CD versions of ABBA's SuperTrooper by playing them simultaneously and switching sources back and forth on my receiver. The cassette sounded better all around.

Now it's time to dig through my collection for some classical or baroque and compare that.

 

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There's no need...., posted on March 11, 2017 at 14:20:25
kootenay
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to go through with the comparison process as it will be just a waste of time (:. The cassettes will sound better than Ipod. Unless for some reason the Ipod acquired more bits than the nominal mp3 resolutions then, of course, all bets are off.

If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
(Proverb)

 

Not necessarily, posted on March 12, 2017 at 10:49:04
Inmate51
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I've heard awful cassettes, as well as compression distortions on mp3s.

What you really compared was not "cassette vs ipod/mp3", but rather, THAT cassette and THAT mp3 through YOUR stereo system.

Also, "better" is a subjective term.

There are many variables in the record/playback chain which affect the final sound character.

:)


 

Not Necessarily, posted on March 12, 2017 at 18:20:53
DRam
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Actually what I compared was that cassette played on my Nakamichi BX-1 and a CD played on a Samsung BlueRay player through my stereo system. The cassette was one I recorded years ago using a Pioneer cassette player recorder. The CD is a commercially recorded item.

The music on my iPod is what I recorded to my computer using GoldWave, saved as a wave. file, then transferred to the iPod as a wave file.we

However, your point is valid. "Better" is subjective. And other cassettes may not pass the same test. But given a good cassette and a decent player analogue most likely will give better results that digital. YMMV.

 

RE: Not Necessarily, posted on March 13, 2017 at 09:16:49
Inmate51
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Now you've got me totally confused:

"Actually what I compared was that cassette played on my Nakamichi BX-1 and a CD played on a Samsung BlueRay player through my stereo system."

So, where does the iPod fit into the picture? And, what was the source you used to make the cassette recording (vinyl LP, CD, etc.)?

This is part of what I meant when I said there are many variables in the record/playback chain. Even more-so when we re-record different sources and transfer to different devices! It's too easy to make meaningless comparisons and draw unfounded conclusions. It's harder to make useful comparisons and draw valid conclusions.

Apparently, I mistakenly picked up on and assumed you were playing an mp3 as a result of reading Kootenay's post, and thought you had created an mp3 for your iPod from your original CD, and thought you were playing your iPod through your stereo. Shame on me and Kootenay! So, then, I looked up the ".we" file type, and found nothing on neither the Windows nor Apple websites, although, I did find some references on "3rd party" sites which I've never heard of, and which I don't "click on" for safety reasons.

In any case, I'm not being argumentative - you're making an effort to compare. That's good. I'm just trying to help you understand that you have many more variables here than would allow you to draw your conclusion, and the importance of accurately describing the test/comparison conditions and source material.

:)

 

RE: Not Necessarily, posted on March 13, 2017 at 10:06:56
DRam
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The iPod is what was usually used on long drives. Last week a Sony Walkman was used instead. My initial comparison was one of iPod (memory) and tape being used at the time.

Source for the cassette used was vinyl played on a Dual 704, Shure V15III cartridge, so that tape was analogue from source to recorder.

Files saved to the iPod are sourced from vinyl. saved to my computer as .wave files on GoldWave audio editing program, the loaded to the iPod.

The .we you were looking for is a typo.

The entire experience was one of comparing digital to analogue after finding that an .wave file digitized didn't sound as good as tape played on an old Walkman. I used a CD to see if there was a difference between a commercially created source, expecting to find there wasn't much difference.

I felt there was a noticeable difference in favor of the tape.

I apologize for my lack of clarity.

 

RE: Not Necessarily, posted on March 13, 2017 at 15:17:38
Inmate51
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Thanks for the follow-up. If I understand correctly (IIUC), you played your cassette on one machine, made on another machine, from an LP, and your original commercial CD? If so, then this really isn't a cassette vs iPod comparison. As the American Airlines computer voice would say, "Have I got that right?" :)

DRam, buddy, pal, you literally cannot draw ANY conclusions from your comparison, other than to say that YOU liked one over the other on this stereo system. It cannot be said that it has anything to do with analog vs digital.

Uncontrolled comparisons are fraught with perils, and this one is just the tip of the iceberg! :)

:)

 

RE: Not Necessarily, posted on March 15, 2017 at 08:02:16
Inmate51
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Having said that, I recently had the opportunity to compare multiple formats of a song on multiple systems. Originally recorded digitally, it was produced on vinyl LP, SACD, CD and is on Youtube. I've heard all of them on some very nice systems, and there are definite differences. But that's a story for another day.

:)

 

RE: Cassette vs. iPod, posted on March 24, 2017 at 00:02:17
jusbe
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I prefer my walkman too.

Big J

"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."


 

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