Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Jan 2017 11:19 UTC
Multimedia, AV

Back before all-digital music, back before the Digital Compact Cassette, back before even the Digital Audio Tape existed, there was a strange audio device that briefly captured the imagination of Hi-Fi freaks across the world. The Elcaset, as it was called, was an enlarged cassette that started in Japan, wove its hidden, spinning spools around the world, and then finished, appropriately enough, in Finland.

As someone who swore by MiniDisc up until quite recently, I love obscure audio formats. This article is from the summer of last year, but I only came across it just now thanks to Atlas Obscura.

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Comment by dionicio
by dionicio on Mon 9th Jan 2017 15:32 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

No cualquier caset, EL caset!

Thanks Thom, great link and Grateful to AtlasObscura and Arstechnica.

High End Equipment need of very precise timing to be successful.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by dionicio
by dionicio on Mon 9th Jan 2017 15:42 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Politics will bring back analog. Power to the people!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by dionicio
by Ragnarok on Tue 10th Jan 2017 07:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by dionicio"
Ragnarok Member since:
2017-01-04

Politics will bring back analog. Power to the people!

Even today analog formats already lost almost all of their advantages over digital. You really need to look hard to find any advantages of analog apart from biased nostalgia. And even those few advantages of analog will vanish soon enough...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by dionicio
by enryfox on Tue 10th Jan 2017 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by dionicio"
enryfox Member since:
2012-02-19

It doesn't have to be better than digital, but recording or playing in analogue is definitely fun !

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by dionicio
by ezraz on Tue 10th Jan 2017 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by dionicio"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

"Politics will bring back analog. Power to the people!

Even today analog formats already lost almost all of their advantages over digital. You really need to look hard to find any advantages of analog apart from biased nostalgia. And even those few advantages of analog will vanish soon enough...
"

if you are right it's a bad thing.

analog is still more real unless you have the absolute top of the line digital setup ---

24bit discreet converters, smart filtering on the ADC, no dithering, no downsampling, no lossy compression anywhere in the chain. then on playback you need a good DA chip, discreet power, and quality output stage.

Of course - most people don't have a high-end digital rig, they have their phone or a laptop or even worse, something wireless, and therefore they don't hear better sound than the analog days.

it's sad but true. average consumer in 2017 gets worse daily sound quality in most things than in 1997, which itself was worse than 1977.

we are going backwards in regards to audio quality and have been for decades now.



most people don't have this chain. a high-end digital chain can be as good as analog quality. and WAY more convenient, that's for sure. but most people listening to digital music these days are listening to craptastic versions played on craptastic systems.

lots of distraction built into the music now to compensate for this sad state of affairs.

Edited 2017-01-10 19:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by dionicio
by Alfman on Wed 11th Jan 2017 06:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dionicio"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ezraz,

it's sad but true. average consumer in 2017 gets worse daily sound quality in most things than in 1997, which itself was worse than 1977.


I seem to recall the consumer grade analog audio gear was relatively bad back then, I remember playing with it for hours just for fun. I guess maybe professional analog studio gear could have been better, but the CDs were noticeably better compared to the cassettes/8tracks we had.


Some people still prefer records even, In my head I can still here the white noise produced by the record playing silence between music tracks. Ironically the low fidelity actually sounded better for some individuals because it produced a "warm" feeling sound that was characteristic of the early analog recorded music at the time.

It's probably similar to the white noise some phone carriers add to digital telephone calls, apparently the lack of such noise makes people less comfortable. According to this thread it's not done universally though.

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/white-noise-during-calls.106998...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by dionicio
by unclefester on Wed 11th Jan 2017 09:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by dionicio"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13




Some people still prefer records even, In my head I can still here the white noise produced by the record playing silence between music tracks. Ironically the low fidelity actually sounded better for some individuals because it produced a "warm" feeling sound that was characteristic of the early analog recorded music at the time.

It's probably similar to the white noise some phone carriers add to digital telephone calls, apparently the lack of such noise makes people less comfortable. According to this thread it's not done universally though.

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/white-noise-during-calls.106998...


I have a pathological hatred of sound artifacts (wow, flutter, rumble, hissing, popping etc) in recorded music. They don't occur in live performances and I don't want them in my recordings.

Edited 2017-01-11 09:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by dionicio
by unclefester on Wed 11th Jan 2017 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dionicio"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13


it's sad but true. average consumer in 2017 gets worse daily sound quality in most things than in 1997, which itself was worse than 1977.


I was a teenager in 1977. Consumer audio equipment at the time was total shite. A good component stereo (which sounded far worse than an MP3 played on a modern $20 phone and $10 earbuds) cost as much as a new car.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by dionicio
by enryfox on Wed 11th Jan 2017 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by dionicio"
enryfox Member since:
2012-02-19

I tend to agree that the quality of consumer grade equipment both in the 70's and 80's was quite poor. Anyone remember those terrible turntable + cassette player + amplifier combo with detachable speakers ? I remember one in my uncle home and it sounded terrible.

In my Hi-Fi set-up I have two units from the 70's (namely the power amplifier and the turntable) and they sound excellent but they were expensive back then.

The elcaset was quite expensive too and the sound quality was mostly the same as an open reel recorder running at 3 3/4 ips. It sounds great with no Noise Reduction system, but it was not meant as a general consumer support (as cassette or mp3 today).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by dionicio
by Ragnarok on Wed 11th Jan 2017 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dionicio"
Ragnarok Member since:
2017-01-04

if you are right it's a bad thing.

analog is still more real unless you have the absolute top of the line digital setup ---

24bit discreet converters, smart filtering on the ADC, no dithering, no downsampling, no lossy compression anywhere in the chain. then on playback you need a good DA chip, discreet power, and quality output stage.

Of course - most people don't have a high-end digital rig, they have their phone or a laptop or even worse, something wireless, and therefore they don't hear better sound than the analog days.

it's sad but true. average consumer in 2017 gets worse daily sound quality in most things than in 1997, which itself was worse than 1977.

we are going backwards in regards to audio quality and have been for decades now.



most people don't have this chain. a high-end digital chain can be as good as analog quality. and WAY more convenient, that's for sure. but most people listening to digital music these days are listening to craptastic versions played on craptastic systems.

lots of distraction built into the music now to compensate for this sad state of affairs.

It's simply because most people don't care about audio quality. As long as they can understand words in a song, it's good enough for them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by dionicio
by fmaxwell on Fri 13th Jan 2017 10:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dionicio"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

analog is still more real unless you have the absolute top of the line digital setup ---

24bit discreet converters, smart filtering on the ADC, no dithering, no downsampling, no lossy compression anywhere in the chain. then on playback you need a good DA chip, discreet power, and quality output stage.

Of course - most people don't have a high-end digital rig, they have their phone or a laptop or even worse, something wireless, and therefore they don't hear better sound than the analog days.

it's sad but true. average consumer in 2017 gets worse daily sound quality in most things than in 1997, which itself was worse than 1977.

we are going backwards in regards to audio quality and have been for decades now.



most people don't have this chain. a high-end digital chain can be as good as analog quality. and WAY more convenient, that's for sure. but most people listening to digital music these days are listening to craptastic versions played on craptastic systems.

lots of distraction built into the music now to compensate for this sad state of affairs.


I've been an audiophile since the mid 1970s and everything you wrote is absurdly wrong. I've seen way to many audiophiles doing their versions of The Emperor's New Clothes, in which they suggest that their superior hearing, listening skills, and systems allow them to hear and appreciate things that others do not.

Modern digital, including high bitrate lossy digital is, far superior to analog from 1977. I sold consumer stereo gear in the late 1970s and I know what crap it was. LPs, open reel, cassette, etc. were all utter garbage. LPs did, and still do, suck no matter how good your playback system. And every consumer tape format, including 1/4" open reel, sucked even worse.

Consumer audio tape employed Dolby B, Dolby C, Dolby HX/HX Pro, and DBX companders to try to fight against the horrible levels of noise, only to end up with 60-some dB S/N ratio even after that. They had audible wow, flutter, and they had THD numbers that were listed to the left of the decimal point.

If you prefer the sound of analog, it's because you like noise, distortion, non-linear frequency response, crosstalk, and other forms of distortion that plague analog formats. It's called "euphonic distortion" when you like its effects.

Reply Score: 2

Still Expecting Analog DVD burning....
by dionicio on Mon 9th Jan 2017 15:52 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

Maybe from somewhere outside of the DRM axis.

Reply Score: 2

Thom ...
by p13. on Mon 9th Jan 2017 17:03 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

You should really subscribe to "techmoan" on youtube if you haven't already.
Wonderful channel.

Reply Score: 2

VHS Hi Fi
by unclefester on Tue 10th Jan 2017 09:18 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

In the early 80s a few companies sold expensive 'audiophile' tape decks that used standard VHS tapes.

Reply Score: 2

RE: VHS Hi Fi
by enryfox on Tue 10th Jan 2017 16:30 UTC in reply to "VHS Hi Fi"
enryfox Member since:
2012-02-19

If you have a VHS with Hi-Fi feature and audio input, you can still use it ! It is one of the best analogue recording media available to end consumer, quite high SNR, flat frequency response. VHS video quality was definitely poor, but audio quality (when using Hi-Fi) it was quite good.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: VHS Hi Fi
by dionicio on Tue 10th Jan 2017 18:11 UTC in reply to "RE: VHS Hi Fi"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Thanks for the advice, Enryfox. Aunt definitively has one of that. Will check status.

Reply Score: 2