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Beolab 50 and Turntables - Is the sound digitised

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Epsilon20
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Epsilon20 posted on Thu, Jun 27 2019 3:19 PM

Hi Guys, I've been offered a LINN Sondek LP12 at a great price to use with my Beolab 50s  and considering buying it however. The Beolab 50s and more recent speakers  as i understand it is a digital speaker and if i were to connect the turntable to the speakers via the phono in (first through a phono stage) the speaker would digitise the sound which takes away the whole reason of getting a Turnable /analogue source.

Am i correct in thinking that turntables with B&O systems of recent times 17s, 18s, 20,50's & 90s is pointless if you want an analogue sound? I hope not Crying 

I've already bought Vinyls and was about to pay for the Linn sondek which is an absolutely beautiful and great sounding turntable.

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Mikipidia
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maybe a silly question to start of with, but what do you consider to be analoge sound? And how do differentiate it from digital sound? If you would let's say record a record/vinyl 1 to 1, could you actually tell the difference?

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Epsilon20
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I would say Analogue sound is sound that was recorded in analogue and reproduced in analague, This would mainly really apply to old music produced prior to the digital age. The music i want to listen to was recorded in the 50s, 60, 70s and early 80s.

I would also consider digital sound to be anything that was sampled from analogue sources like tapes. I dont think theres anything wrong with digital music. I just want to listen to Vinyl.

 

I confirmed with a B&O dealer that indeed the 50s (and newer speakers) will sample the analogue signal and digitise it before playing it.

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Beolab 50s silver & Oak, Beolab 18 Brass with Smoked Oak, Beolab 18 Rose Gold with Maple Covers, Beolab 19 Black.

Esax
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Esax replied on Thu, Jun 27 2019 5:04 PM
Sounds like you bought the wrong speakers.

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Mikipidia
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I understand what you're saying but I don't think it fully applies here as the 50's will still happily play all the faults/charm of the vinyl and if you want them to ''digitise'' it even less then you can always turn the room comp off. I have a few recordings of basically LP's and they sound very analogue/the same as analoge to me through the 50's. If analoge is the thing you want then you kind of have to say to what level as LP's are already compromised to the extent of the medium used and then also the amps, cables,cross overs and speakers them selves. In the case of your 50's you'll get the sound closest to how it is on the Record itself, just none of the in between steps will be an altering factor to any real degree. just my opinion though, try it before judging I would saySmile

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BEOVOX141
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Mikipidia:
I understand what you're saying but I don't think it fully applies here as the 50's will still happily play all the faults/charm of the vinyl and if you want them to ''digitise'' it even less then you can always turn the room comp off. I have a few recordings of basically LP's and they sound very analogue/the same as analoge to me through the 50's. If analoge is the thing you want then you kind of have to say to what level as LP's are already compromised to the extent of the medium used and then also the amps, cables,cross overs and speakers them selves. In the case of your 50's you'll get the sound closest to how it is on the Record itself, just none of the in between steps will be an altering factor to any real degree. just my opinion though, try it before judging I would saySmile

I know what you are saying,- but the 50 is exclusively a digital system.

The DSP will do filter transformations you cannot possible do in an analog system, and thus the sound will never be or resemble an analog sound.

You have even (unknowingly perhaps) very accurately described that sound somewhere in one of your videos... Smile

Note I did NOT say better or worse- just different!

 

DMacri
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DMacri replied on Thu, Jun 27 2019 7:21 PM
So if you can hear the difference between a full analog signal and an analog signal that has been converted to a high resolution digital signal, then yes, you may hear a difference on the 50s. I’d bet I couldn’t.Big Smile

Dom

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BEOVOX141
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That is not even remotely what i wrote! 

politician
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Yes, the BeoLab 50s will digitise your LP12's output – but then so would a complete Linn system. In fact, Linn's latest phono stage, the Urika II, is designed to digitise the turntable's output before feeding it to their active speakers, as they believe that the best sound quality is attained by digitising the signal at the earliest possible stage. Digital speakers with DSP are simply the way high-end is going, and this will soon become the norm.

Epsilon20
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Yes the 50s are a pure digital speaker and really I do love them. I just always assumed I had an option of playing analogue especially since most dealers have turn tables in the shops. My music up until recntly was 100% digital which I love as I have hi-Rez music streaming subscription up to 24bit 192khz. 

i simply wanted to play some vinyl. I tempted to move the analogue to digital conversion job to a separate device like the ps audio phono NuWave that would take the vinyl source and samples it via DSD and convert it to digital. The Ps audio also outputs pure analogue in case I want passive speakers later on for a separate listening setup.  

 I know this solution defeats part of the purpose of playing pure vinyl but I’d feel better as the analogue to digital converter in the 50s isnt audiophile grade in my opinion and can’t compete with standalone units. Plus I need a phono stage anyway so if the ps audio phono stage has a fantastic DAC & ADC then great.

Beovision Eclipse 55 Brass Edition with Oak covers and Brass Orbital stand

Beolab 50s silver & Oak, Beolab 18 Brass with Smoked Oak, Beolab 18 Rose Gold with Maple Covers, Beolab 19 Black.

BEOVOX141
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1. I can assure you there is a conventional analog gain stage ahead of the ADC.

2. Apart from a more accurate RIAA compensation, I fail to see the benefit in not using the analog gain stage for the compensation?

Show me some facts, i.e noise figures!

3. The BL 50 could do the RIAA compensation without breaking a sweat. 

 

 

Epsilon20
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That makes me feel allot better. I did suspect linn”s speakers were active with dsd but I find the products from linn esoteric in the sense they don’t explain allot on their website and they don’t have allot of dealers unlike B&O. 

Beovision Eclipse 55 Brass Edition with Oak covers and Brass Orbital stand

Beolab 50s silver & Oak, Beolab 18 Brass with Smoked Oak, Beolab 18 Rose Gold with Maple Covers, Beolab 19 Black.

BEOVOX141
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@ Epsilon 20

What exactly do you mean by "not audiophile grade" ?  

I you want to the "purity" of vinyl you shouldn't even be considering the BL 50!

You should go for a classic analog amp and analog speakers instead.

DMacri
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DMacri replied on Thu, Jun 27 2019 10:15 PM
BEOVOX141:

That is not even remotely what i wrote!

That was my response to the OP, not you. Sorry if you misunderstood.

Dom

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Epsilon20
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Don't get me wrong the way B&O have balanced the tweeters, power application and design are top notch. BUT the DAC and ADC are quite old and outdated.

The 50s Analogue inputs which also include the power link connector uses a Texas Instruments PCM4220 Analogue to Digital converter.

The Digital to analogue converter, which I now question what the purpose is since its a digital speaker is the the Burr-Brown 1798 DAC which is a 15 year old DAC. Texas Instruments bought Burr-Brown http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm1798.pdf

My portable chord Mojo DAC cost £500 has quite a significantly better DAC. My oppo 205 also has two DACs that are better than the single one in the 50s and that cost £1200. 

Beovision Eclipse 55 Brass Edition with Oak covers and Brass Orbital stand

Beolab 50s silver & Oak, Beolab 18 Brass with Smoked Oak, Beolab 18 Rose Gold with Maple Covers, Beolab 19 Black.

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