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Picture discs and their sound quality
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N.



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 1193

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:32 pm    Post subject: Picture discs and their sound quality Reply with quote

I have a good friend who I trust and he declared, "If you have a good turntable, you'll notice that pic discs have inferior sound quality." So I investigated that a bit, and I did notice that pic discs seem to be lacking in...something, I can't put my finger on it exactly.

So, when a new vinyl release is out and there is the option of picture disc, do you buy that or do you go for the plain traditional vinyl? I guess I'm just seeking confirmation on my suspicions and would like some insight. Myself I always go for the regular vinyls, just to be sure. And if pic discs are of lesser quality, why are they usually more expensive? Hope this doesn't sound too naive...

However I will say that I have Angel Witch - S/T pic disc lp and I wouldn't trade or sell it for anything, as it's a classic and sounds decent enough.

Thoughts?
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caligulasremains



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
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Location: Khan O. Sewer

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

someone posted this link in another thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hKgYLxZANU
notice the super thin layer used for the grooves. thats one theory as to why the music sounds so poor and has surface noise galore on pic discs. myself, i've bought a few pic discs (resold them all cept for two 7"s) and they sounded poor quality. i only buy regular vinyl now.
the reason pic discs cost more is because they have to be made by hand, like the video shows.
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Haunt In The Dark



Joined: 24 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people agree with the fact picture discs usually sound inferior for the reasons mentioned above.

However, metalheads also love "gadgets" and it's a cool "collector" item, therefore they keep buying them.

I never buy picture-discs because they sound bad and I also think they're extremely ugly. And they usually come without proper covers to house the record or those uber-thin plastic sleeves that break right away or have a re-sealable sticky flag that get disgusting and sticks on everything. I'm too OCD for that shit and I listen to all the music I buy so...
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asmael LeBouc



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok that thread pops every couple years.

Remember:

-we're talking about OVERSATURATED, over-mastered, mostly 100% computerized music. Sure pic discs have that slight noise surface but then, all hell breaks loose and you cannot possibly hear it any longer. It's submerged under layers of guitars, loud drums, bass, screams etc
So your noise surface? Inaudible

-it's a known fact that pic discs are supposed to sound not as good.
So people EXPECT them to sound not as good. I have never done the test with the same exact album, same release same label same year ergo same mastering 1st played on black wax, then pic version and vice versa without touching any setting. Has anyone done that, say with one of HHB release?

-it's not an ultimately refined Bach fugue played on a XVIth century Harpsichord we're dealing with here, one with lots of silences, super quiet parts, in which you can hear the player actually BREATHING...
Plus who here has a full lamp amp with $2,000 speakers? Maybe with an outstanding setup the difference could be more obvious?

Some pic discs are said to sound very good. My 1st press Repugnant's Epitome... sound amazing
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Sunnportal



Joined: 18 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

asmael LeBouc wrote:
Some pic discs are said to sound very good. My 1st press Repugnant's Epitome... sound amazing


Do board members complain about the great albums being released by NWN! and HHR on PicLP? I can't say i've read that.
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IIIRD GATEKEEPER



Joined: 02 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunnportal wrote:
asmael LeBouc wrote:
Some pic discs are said to sound very good. My 1st press Repugnant's Epitome... sound amazing


Do board members complain about the great albums being released by NWN! and HHR on PicLP? I can't say i've read that.


Well, I've tried to keep the pic discs at minimum in my collection, but two that have fine quality to me are Sarcofago's INRI LP released by NWN! (so no complaints here) and Poison Idea's Latest Will and Testament...
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asmael LeBouc



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TRUPPENSTURM "Salute..." Was solely on pic disc and it sounds DEVASTATING

Merciless Die Hard reissue on TOP was also a Pic LP and it sounds real good
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caligulasremains



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

asmael LeBouc wrote:
all hell breaks loose and you cannot possibly hear it any longer. It's submerged under layers of guitars, loud drums, bass, screams etc
So your noise surface? Inaudible

I have never done the test with the same exact album, same release same label same year ergo same mastering 1st played on black wax, then pic version and vice versa without touching any setting. Has anyone done that?

-it's not an ultimately refined Bach fugue played on a XVIth century Harpsichord we're dealing with here, one with lots of silences, super quiet parts, in which you can hear the player actually BREATHING...
Plus who here has a full lamp amp with $2,000 speakers? Maybe with an outstanding setup the difference could be more obvious?


to the first thing: it's audible to me, and i'm not playing games or making things up. to the second: i've done the pic disc vs regular vinyl test with rabid deaths curse, deathspell omega records, and arckanum/sataros grief split 7". the pic discs sound noticeably muddier, i would describe it as... mossier.

to the third thing, deathspell omega. lots of silences, especially in kenose, fas, and si monumentum. not all music is war metal. the pic disc collection for dso was absolutely unlistenable for me. i can imagine the revenge pic discs are fine to listen to.

however i have seen someone post on here saying that their iron maiden live album pic disc was their best sounding record in their entire collection.
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Shiru



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

caligulasremains wrote:

however i have seen someone post on here saying that their iron maiden live album pic disc was their best sounding record in their entire collection.

those are definitely far from anything what sounds anyhow good Laughing
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Descension



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had numerous releases from HHR/NWN/etc on picture disk and black vinyl. Picture disk has different waveforms, more surface noise, and thinner dynamics. The day that I decided to actually to actually test this was the same day I listed all of my picture disks for sale. If you're not anal about listening to records, it is not a big deal at all. Seriously. But on the flip side of this argument, why would you listen to vinyl if you do not care about fidelity anyway, when you could put a down payment on a new car instead of a HiFi and an Expedit packed with records? And because CDs are infinitely cheaper, easier to maintain, less prone to damage, etc.
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mlotek



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading an article from the early 1980s, and it was when there was a sudden glut of picture discs because they cost only two dollars more than black vinyl .
Supposedly they sounded 'better than the past' with only "an audible hiss".
Now I am curious how well they were crafted compared to all the metal pic discs that started appearing a lot in the 1990s to now.

Back then in the early 1980s, it seemed everybody, not just major label artists, but indie bands (punk, new wave, heavy metal) were releasing an extra version of their singles which were limited edition picture discs.
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jameswolfe



Joined: 28 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Descension wrote:
I have had numerous releases from HHR/NWN/etc on picture disk and black vinyl. Picture disk has different waveforms, more surface noise, and thinner dynamics. The day that I decided to actually to actually test this was the same day I listed all of my picture disks for sale. If you're not anal about listening to records, it is not a big deal at all. Seriously. But on the flip side of this argument, why would you listen to vinyl if you do not care about fidelity anyway, when you could put a down payment on a new car instead of a HiFi and an Expedit packed with records? And because CDs are infinitely cheaper, easier to maintain, less prone to damage, etc.



A lot of this.

By in large I do think Picture Discs do not sound as good. In my earlier years of record listening I didnt notice. But just a few days ago I put on AK's Incendiary and it was really noticeable. To the point I didnt even listen to the whole record. I think I may pick it up more now that I have a decent table. Anyway I do not buy picture discs anymore but rarely. The last one I bought was Wrathprayer's Sun Of Moloch. I bought it because it just looked so damn good. And on that release I dont notice the poor sound much at all.....perhaps because its the band is highly distorted to begin with.


Two more examples where I dont notice poor sound quality from PDs is my Ulver and Burzum boxed sets. Both sound really good to the CD copies I have and I dont pic up any noise on them. So Im wondering if certain pressing plants can put out PDs that dont have the surface noise and such....
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Haunt In The Dark



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are insane.
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Reaper's Grave



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My turntable is cheap so i do not know anything about quality of sound comparisons, but picture discs themselves do not seem worth getting. Either they lack a jacket and make them messy to file anywhere (and then become wall decoration to take down occasionally to play) or they come with a jacket which defeats the whole purpose of making it into a picture disc unless it has one of those disco windows.

Its similar to CD's without jewel case for CD collectors, they seem cool but they're really incovenient in an archival sense and a lot of wasted cash.
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SepticSchizo



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some piclp`s sound like shit, but the newer ones, for instance those who came as die-hards from NWN sounds really good. Is it made excactly the same nowadays, compared to the 80's?
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