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Why CDs may actually sound better than vinyl


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ghatgepatil

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#2
{Or, as Kees Immink says: "Some people like marmalade and some people like mustard. If people like to listen to vinyl, do so, enjoy life. But don't say that the sound is better."}

The "REAL-ISM" is simply missing on CD/digital format. It is just plain convenience that has kept it going. And, yes, this is coming from a CD user! :eek:
 

sandeepmohan

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#3
Very interesting read. Thank you for sharing.

As described in the article, I have experienced a degradation (considerable) of sound on a turntable as basic as a Akai AP-D3, hooked to basic Hi Fi system. I see no reason why this should not apply to a higher quality turntable/rig as well.
 

preth30

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#4
I am also a person who went around saying cds sound as good if not better than vinyl. I never bothered to get into vinyl. For me convenience had a main say along with quality. And when it comes to convenience, vinyl is a big loser. Cds score when it comes to the number of songs stored in the disc. Dust accumulation is not a worry for cds. Cd is good sounding too unless you compare side by side with a vinyl record. Play a song in cd and play the same song recorded in vinyl. Then you will feel the difference. Then you will know how much you missed while listening to cds. If you can ignore the inconvenience, if you can ignore the flutter flutter sounds, if all you care about is great sound, vinyl is definelty the winner by far.
 

navinsinha

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#5
And what about the fatigue? Listen the CD for 5 hours and compare the same with 5 hours of vinyl on a good system and find out for yourself!
 

Sumanta

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#6
I go by availability and price first. Old songs, music in records are better value for money.
If only records are in good condition.

For system setup of amp and speaker, records connects quite emotionally.

Struggle is to have a good record playing setup and good records.
 

koushik

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#7
And what about the fatigue? Listen the CD for 5 hours and compare the same with 5 hours of vinyl on a good system and find out for yourself!
Poor system leads to fatigue, distortion leads to fatigue. Not source.

find out for yourself!
I listen to digital since 2002 or so. I am an ardent music lover and my music basically is not of audiophile grade but poorly recorded old Bollywood music. Still I listen to them for long time over this 13-14 years period and I don't get fatigue.
 

plasmoid

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#9
CDs mastered in the 80's and 90's sound really good. I can easily listen to these 5-8 hours continuously without fatigue. IMO after the loudness wars CDs have become literally unlistenable. Really glad I did not replace my old cds with remasters.
 

alpha1

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#10
The crux of the article is captured in these paragraphs:
It is a fact that vinyl sounds different from CDs. And many people prefer vinyl's sound. But it's not clean reproduction of a recording that makes vinyl a preferred format; it's the affect the vinyl adds to a recording that people find pleasing.

"I think some people interpret the lack of top end [on vinyl] and interpret an analog type of distortion as warmth," says Jim Anderson, a Grammy-winning recording engineer and professor at New York University's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. "It's a misinterpretation of it. But if they like it, they like it. That's fine."

It's also clear that the vinyl experience is about more than just sound. Pete Lyman, co-owner and chief mastering technician at Infrasonic Sound, an audio and vinyl mastering studio in Echo Park, says he believes listeners are gravitating toward vinyl for the physical experience of owning, holding and flipping an LP.

"I don't think that [sound is] really the appeal for people right now," Lyman says. "They like the collectability factor. They like the whole ritual and process of listening to it. They're more engaged with the music that way."
 
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mpw

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#11
Dr Bass,

what are your own thoughts on this article ?

would like to know .

My thoughts are tempered by using both sources for music listening.

I love the vinyl sound - dont care if its "better" or not.

I have not observed the "degradation of sound "in the inner tracks of the vinyl. Maybe its just my ears.

But some music is not available on vinyl and hence the next best option for me is the CD.

But that again opens up a pandoras box of analog vs vinyl which is a meaningless debate - as all of music is for the sole purpose of enjoyment.

And enjoyment is a totally personal criteria.

regards
 

Dr.Bass

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#12
Dr Bass,

what are your own thoughts on this article ?

would like to know .
Hi mpw, my thoughts on digital recordings may sound amusing. I think digital is amazing. What an innovation! People who conceptualized it and actually made it a reality are sheer genius. I am huge fan of digitally recorded music as long as the digital to analog conversion is done via a phono cartridge:eek:hyeah:.
I honestly mean what I just mentioned. Technically, even if the music was recorded digitally, the LP contains analog information so phono cartridge is not exactly doing the conversion. However, if you consider the chain of events from the time music gets digitally recorded to the final event of music being played back at the listeners home, the phono cartridge plays a very important role. For the end user it is THE most important component in bringing music into the room. I had recently shared my experience about new bollywood LPs here. All these LPs and many more that bought after this experience (Rang de Basanti, K3G, Lagaan etc), all confirmed that they were all fantastic recordings (all digital). I have the CDs of all these albums too. I have played these CDs in some of the best CD players in existence. Recently I tried these CDs on a Esoteric Grandioso in a friend's system. It sounded terrific. Even my Singaporean friend who owns this CDP started liking bollywood music after listening to some of the catcy AR Rehman numbers I played on his system. But when he visited my place and I played the LPs of the very same albums, he had no hesitation in admitting that LPs were lot more soulful and realistic. This is coming from a guy who doesnt understand bollywood music, yet he recognized whats going on.

The point is, both LPs and CDs of these albums are coming from the same digital recording however in a CD context the recording->mastering->storage->playback are all in the digital domain. This long chain of digital processing is definitely adding/subtracting artefacts which is musically unrecognizable hence irritable.

In an LP context only the initial recording is in digital domain, everything else is happening in the analog domain. Somehow it eradicates almost 80% of the digitis that we often talk about in CDs or digital music. The remaining 20% is highly ignorable and in fact these LPs are very enjoyble because the advantages of digital is totally preserved and is very audible. It sounds funny isnt it ?;)
 
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vkirti

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#13
Hi mpw, my thoughts on digital recordings may sound amusing. I think digital is amazing. What an innovation! People who conceptualized it and actually made it a reality are sheer genius. I am huge fan of digitally recorded music as long as the digital to analog conversion is done via a phono cartridge:eek:hyeah:.
A very interesting and insightful observation Dr. Bass. Have been limiting myself to old, pure analog bollywood LP's as I thought that the new LP's will sound "Digital". I guess based on your inputs will try out Maachis & Marasim (which I have been eyeing for some time).

I have cd's of both and they are both excellent recordings.

As far as old hindi songs are concerned, there is no comparison as Sa re ga ma produces CD's which sound worse than their cassettes, leave alone vinyl.
 

Dr.Bass

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#14
A very interesting and insightful observation Dr. Bass. Have been limiting myself to old, pure analog bollywood LP's as I thought that the new LP's will sound "Digital". I guess based on your inputs will try out Maachis & Marasim (which I have been eyeing for some time).

I have cd's of both and they are both excellent recordings.
vkirti, do not hesitate. The LPs are much superior even if it was digital recording. Another interesting example is Jodha Akbar, I have the CD and LP both. The CD I only played twice because it sounded horribly digital and thin. But the LP is fantastic, I listen to it twice every week:). So, it doesnt really matter whether the CD was well recorded or not, the LP has every time sounded far superior, much more musical, emotionally engaging and full of life.
 

matbhuvi

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#16
Apart from CD / Vinyl players, we also need to consider standalone DACs. The article says that the moving parts of CD does reduce the SNR. Vinyl also introduces its own noise that we all know. But, standalone DACs have no moving parts and theoretically has better chance of producing cleaner analogue sound.

Recently, many of my friends who have 2 lakh+ ICE setup has started using Fiio X3 / X5 as DAC rather than using Pionneer 80prs or Clarion HX-D2. The external DAC in Fiio provides clearly superior output than the CD transport of high end head units.
 
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