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CD v Vinyl


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Initial post: 14 Jul 2009 21:07:56 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
We've touched on this in a previous mp3 thread but those of you who play both CD and Vinyl which is the best? It's vinyl for me purely because of the superior sound quality however some of the newly remastered CD's are catching up. I also read recently that the format you listen to in your 'formative years' always sounds best as a result of 'audio conditioning'. Any thoughts?

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 21:11:55 BDT
S.R.J says:
Vinyl-it's harder to flamin' well lose!
S.R.J

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2009 21:19:42 BDT
hypergod says:
I've managed it SR (see your lost CD thread).
Love.
ps I initially typed 'lost VD thread'! What's THAT all about?
More Love.

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 21:22:24 BDT
For pure sound quality - vinyl gets my vote providing you've got a turntable to get the most out of a LP.
For convenience and the fact that most of what I buy is not available on vinyl - CD. Once again though, anyone that has spent a few hours in a specialist hi-fi shop will quickly realise the different sounds that might be obtained from various CD players.

I used to belong to a Hi-Fi club where one evening direct comparisons were performed between LP and CD with the turntable set up equal the CD player in cost (overall source/amp/speaker system about £5k). The whole meeting considered vinyl won every time!

"You know this notion just crossed my mind"

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 21:58:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jul 2009 22:00:13 BDT
A. Holland says:
Vinyl is way better. That's why DJs use it. Admittedly you do need a decent turntable to appreciate it. Having said that, having had a few rather dodgy experiences with cheap CD players, I'd argue the same is true of CDs.

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 22:43:41 BDT
Greysuit says:
And the problem with Revox was ???

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2009 22:55:55 BDT
Dragonlord says:
Vinyl has more of a warm sound then cd and is overall better if you have a good turntable. If an album has a striking cover it does have more of an impact on vinyl.
However cd's are better for selecting what tracks you want to listen to and take up alot less room. Also cd's don't scratch easily like vinyl can.

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 23:00:37 BDT
N. C. Riley says:
CD for me, only because i have ruined so much vinyl by dropping them etc whilst pi$$ed up.

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 23:23:53 BDT
On average most folk who say vinyl is better have been able to spend more on th cartridge alone than most folk can afford for an entire system.
The problem with CD in the early days was that engineers and producers didn't really understan hoe to record/engineer/pmix etc in order to get a quality recording and there was also a lot of laziness and lets make a fast buck involved in haphazardlt transferring stuff to CD .The original issue of Brothers in Arms which was reputed to be responsible for CD players flying of the shelves was absolute sh:te and it was not alone by a long chalk. Vinyly played on a tabletop via a rusty nail tanked it, so no wonder enthuisiasts were reluctant to switch.
Since learning how to properly master discs, CD in the main has an excellent sound and players have also come along way.
Albeit a second hand unit, my vinyl listening is now done on a Linn Sondek (Valhalla spec), not the last word but magnitudes above what i used in my youth. While it shows that much vinyl was way better than I'd even imagined it has also shown tha a lot of suffered from duff recording and engineering values much like early CD.
At the end of the day my vinyl sounds superb but I prefer CD>

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 23:49:19 BDT
A. Holland says:
CDs react even worse to scratches than vinyl. Come on, let's face it, we were all conned!

Posted on 14 Jul 2009 23:55:10 BDT
I think recording and mastering in digital loses harmonics on stringed instruments. Hence digital gets the clean sound but I feel ruins the music. Especially guitar. A distortion pedal gets the distortion by bringing out or amplifiying odd harmonics. This creates the distorted sound we love. Digital chops the harmonics out of the picture leaving just the bare bone note. I haven't really discussed this with anyone in the business or not in the business but just come to this conclusion just about everytime I listen to music that i've had on vinyl and replaced with cd.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 00:02:33 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
I think CD's are slowly catching up but there's nothing like a 180g or 200g Audiophile vinyl for sound quality IMO. I think the best of the 'new breed' of CD's is Brendan O'Brian's remix/remastered 'Ten' by Pearl Jam. I also think Jimmy Page and George Marino did an excellent job with the Led Zep remasters. I'm also a big fan of the quality of early 'New Order' 12" singles on Factory Records. They really did know how to produce a quality sound in the early 80's. Didn't work on the 7" singles though. Someone might be able to explain why.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 07:41:50 BDT
Collette says:
move with the times. cds are much superior quality now although i agree with srj that they're easier to lose. do remember years ago mind you, all chuffed with myself walking along with a tower records or hmv bag with a brand new album inside that i'd saved up my pocket money for.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 08:47:32 BDT
Surely what counts is the signal that goes to the speaker. If you were to digitally record that signal from a record player, and then stick it onto a CD, would the sound not be exactly identicle to the vinyl output? And does that mean that CDs are capable of sounding exactly the same as vinyl, assuming it is recorded correctly? I'm not a music buff, nor do I know anything about digital/analogue recording techniques, but it seems that technically a CD should be able to sound indistinguishable from vinyl in the right conditions.

But I could be wrong...

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 09:33:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Apr 2011 22:04:15 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Hello Mr NLT. I think CD has the capacity to sound as good as vinyl but apart from a few exceptions, within my limited experience, they're not there yet. Some sound engineers/ producers are on the money. Brendan O'Brian and Jimmy Page to name but two are excellent in my opinion. Interesting point about the signal that reaches the speakers. My speakers receive two different signals via the same mid priced amp (£900) The analogue signal from my turntable (£700) sounds significantly better than the digital signal from my CD player (£900) however it does vary depending the individual CD or vinyl

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 09:58:34 BDT
If you're into production values, try listening to the recent stuff produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, The Mars Volta guitarist/songwriter/producer/oddball. It helps if you like what you're listening to, though. I love The Mars Volta, but you may not. Who knows?

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 10:12:10 BDT
For me, without a doubt, vinyl sounds better than CD. With the same amp, same speakers, same environment a turntable will produce a richer sound than a CD player. I know it has something to do with analogue vs digital but I will not pretend to know enough to be able to explain it.
However I would argue to REALLY notice the difference you need to spend serious amounts of cash and have an environment set up for listening. Most people don't have that, or the space for storing vinyl. So hopefully CD's do continue to catch up.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 10:14:45 BDT
The quality of components will always make the difference with vinyl or CD, with the transport, power supply and DAC making a world of diifference for CD. Anyone who remembers early CD's and the players will know that originally they sounded like a tin can, and cost a fortune, so the premise that a digital signal is pure and can't be effected is not true.

Let your ears decide!

"Riding that train"

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 10:55:45 BDT
MC Zaptone says:
I love my vinyl but nearly everything I buy these days is on CD, What I find really worrying is the trend towards all-in-one units that don't have a stereo soundstage because the speakers are only 18 inches apart at best. Even Mp3 recordings are stereo, so why not utilize it?
I realise that 'proper' separates systems will always be available at a price but that is for me the problem. A decent set-up will cost at least £1500 - so why do the manufacturers not concentrate on making newer cheaper products with good quality DAC's and speakers rather than touch-screen, woofer based nonsense? I totally refute that it's what people want, it's just manufacturers trading cheap style over substance. Give them quality and they will always demand quality, by giving them tosh with flashing lights they are harming the whole music industry as quality will figure less and less.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 11:26:20 BDT
Toffeeman says:
I grew up with Vinyl and probably prefer it (when new) to CD. Vinyl does start to go off almost immediately and CD doesn't. on the other hand, damage to a CD can be more catastrophic than damage to an LP.

I do find CDs much easier to play in the car and probably have less risk of being damaged when being delivered by post.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 11:27:33 BDT
J. Milner says:
Never been able to fathom this opinion that vinyl is better than CD. It isn't. CDs are unfairly lambasted because of the failure of the industry to manufacture them correctly. By that I mean recording, mixing and mastering techniques that do not allow the fidelity of the CD to be utilised in a respectful manner. Flattening the dynamic range, digital clipping and distortion are all present on many CDs today. Those traits cannot be attributed to vinyl so it is impossible to bastardise the sound of a vinyl recording as much as a CD. Technically a CD is so far ahead of vinyl that I could never consider it to be anything other than the best source for music. The mere fact that a needle is touching a revolving piece of degradable plastic is enough to tell me that it is totally impossible for it to be better than a revolving disc, untouched by a laser. Vinyl is prone to damage in so many ways. Surface noise, vibration etc. A CD that is mastered for dynamics and not for loudness will allow much more detail and clarity of the original recording to be heard than vinyl. All this talk of vinyl sounding warmer. I don't buy it at all. It is an outdated format that contains vast limitations and is not anywhere near a fair representation of music recorded in a studio. Too many people have got it into their heads that CDs are thin and clinical. Some are. There are many amazing sounding CDs from the 1980s that are a pleasure to listen to. Sadly, people have for too long been subjected to artificially loud CDs that are robbed of their dynamics just to make an instant impact. Metallica's Death Magnetic is the ultimate example. It's painful to listen to. The ability to enjoy music rests on the peaks and lows of the sound and the seperation between instruments. When a recording is compressed it has no peaks and lows - the brain is then unable to distinguish sounds efficiently and it becomes monotonous, leading to hearing fatigue. Do searches on Google for 'Loudness War' and 'Dynamic Range Compression'. It's a complex subject but when understood you will realise just how far the music industry has fallen in terms of quality. If CDs were recorded properly and the technology was not abused then vinyl would have been dead and gone years ago.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jul 2009 11:40:18 BDT
Collette says:
toffeeman
bought a procare cd surface scratch repairer off the internet and it really works. i used to be a bit uncareful with my cds (especially listening to them when i was drunk) and enden up with quite a few covered in really bad scratches. a couple of times in the procare machine and they're as good as new.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 11:44:54 BDT
James Warner says:
Vinyl may have the better sonic range, but what good is that if it's made so badly that it sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies the first time you play it? I had so many trips back to the record shop with sub-standard vinyl in my youth I was overjoyed when CDs came along.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 11:46:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jul 2009 11:49:11 BDT
Toffeeman says:
Collette,

Thanks. I don't have any problems currently but I'll bear the advice in mind.

All,

I remember when I got my first copy of Tubular Bells on vinyl it was terrible and it wasn't just mine, they all seemed to be awful.

And, given the convenience factor perhaps we should be comparing CDs to Pre-Recorded cassettes. You don't get them any more do you?

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 11:51:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Jul 2009 11:54:32 BDT
A. Holland says:
J. Milner - Audio CDs are still based on 44.1 KhZ and 16 Bit sample-rates, whereas vinyl plays at real-time. Therefore, quality vinyl still outstrips CD quality wise and accounts for the former's 'warmer' sound - this is why DJs still prefer it. This is also the reason that tape (usually half-inch) is more-often-than-not used in the mastering process to this day. Digital sound is still based on the 'sampling' process, henceforth it loses the more extreme ends of the aural spectrum. It will catch up with vinyl and tape, but it's not there yet.

When CDs were first introduced, cynical record labels began producing more and more sub-standard vinyl to induce people into buying CDs. I've still go a number of disgraceful vinyl records from that period, some with playout grooves that seem to take up 6-inchs of the space - does anybody else out there remember that period?
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Discussion in:  music discussion forum
Participants:  228
Total posts:  3761
Initial post:  14 Jul 2009
Latest post:  15 Aug 2014

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