More and more music lovers are discovering the unique sound of a vinyl record. We have thought about whether it is possible just to make the sound creation factors of a vinyl record audible. A pressed record however has many artefacts arising from the vinyl pressing i.e. distortion, rumble, groove noise, vertical and lateral aberrations, clicks, etc. and other artefacts that are detrimental to a good sound.Having said that, music lovers have already become accustomed to these disadvantages.
It starts by cutting onto a copper substrate. The sonic imprint of the cut is determined by the complex electronics and mechanics of the cutting facility.Immediately afterwards, we play back the cut using the best possible transfer technology and digitize the result. The Neumann VMS-82 cutting lathe is used in this case as the “original record player". After the cutting process, we leave the copper master on the lathe held firmly by vacuum suction. This way the disc has no vertical or lateral movement, which would affect the tracking of the pick-up stylus. With a pressed vinyl record, this source of error is inevitable.
Using the best possible components, we play back the signal from the freshly cut groove. The components used are: an EMT TSD-15 Pick-up, a factory built special version of EMT’s legendary Broadcast TONDOSE TSD-15 and incorporates a diamond made from a square natural rod. This diamond is refined with a highly sophisticated shape with multiple facets resulting in a frontal parabola measuring 17 x 25 µ. This diamond quality secures not only very little distortion, but also very low FIM (Frequency Intermodulation Distortion). Moreover we decided to use an EMT 997 pick up arm and a top of the range EMT JPA66 valve pre-amplifier. With critical listening tests, this combination has proven to us to be the optimal chain when it comes to obtaining a sound as close as possible to the master.
The output of the JPA66 cutting curve equalizer transfers the analog signal to the A/D converter, a "Meitner EMM Labs adc 8 MK IV". This is still regarded as a reference for the best possible conversion to the 1-bit Direct Stream Digital format. The DSD signal is then recorded at a sampling rate of 2.8224 MHz on to our SADiE DSD8 mastering system. Later, on the finished Hybrid-SACD, you will find this true 1-bit DSD layer and also a generated CD format at 16-bit/44,1kHz.
To enhance the tonal quality of the DMM transfer for the DMM-CD, we cut the music programme at 45 rpm, and basically only use the area between the two zero crossings of the cartridge arm. This is the area where the geometry of the pick-up arm is optimal. However, this decision costs a few copper blanks more, as it reduces the running time per side as opposed to the pressed vinyl LP.
With this new sophisticated process, a new digital recording media (DMM-CD) has emerged retaining the original sound of a Vinyl-LP but without the unwanted side effects. The DMM-CD/SACD gives you the direct sound of the DMM Copper cut - without having to go through the stages of pressing a record.
Depending on the quality of your D/A converter, you will experience a new listening pleasure when comparing our "DMM-CD/SACD" with a correspondingly pressed vinyl record. Certainly it will be an emotional decision!