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drummerman's picture
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Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Yup, another one of those, hoping to convince a few of you to take up vinyl as an other source, rather than to abandon digital or damn the format.

I rarely buy the same recordings both on vinyl and cd/download unless I come across a bargain or want something to rip. Vinyl is usually my first choice these days but because of increasing prices I probably buy as much if not more cd's. Both can sound very good and both can sound abysmal. When buying vinyl I normally try to source an 'original' early press in as good condition as possible rather than re-pressings, even the 'audiophile' ones on heavy duty plastic. There is a better chance that it was cut from the original master rather than copied from a cd, often the case these days unless you know the labels which pay meticulous attention to sourcing the originals (if still available).

Anyways, one of those albums I have on both formats is Branford Marsalis 'Random Abstract'.

All subjectiv of course;

On vinyl; Involving, dynamic and with superb resolution througout the frequency range. Bass hits hard and clean, the trumpet is live (life) like hanging just in front of the speakers plane about man height. Drums have real impact and delicately struck high hats are just that, absolutely lovely to listen to. The whole thing is knitted together beautifully without that sometimes 'wrong' almost phasey spatial resolution that especially high bit players exhibit. Piano again is wonderful with texture and impact.

CD; Clean, orderly but 'flat' with no real depth perspective. High hats almost seem distorted and the signal just seems suddenly to end without that dissappearance into space. - There is more subjective separation to the players but the downside is the play apart rather than together, there is less cohesion which, to me anyway, distracts from the music. Piano tinkels away with no real passion, its difficult to make out keys being struck with different force.

I have no reason to believe the CD is not recorded from the original as it was produced by the same company but it sounds very different. Less enjoyable only because I also have the vinyl to compare with.

What I'm saying here is not that vinyl sounds better than CD, it doesn't always and to be honest, it doesn't matter to me sometimes, but its a source to be taken seriously. When it is good it is seriously good.  It's longevity surely being proof enough but for those doubters out there, do yourself a favour and get a Turntable and some nice vinyl if you can.

So many starting collecting vinyl again can't be wrong.

regards

 

 

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Drummer intersting about your quest to source first press/origianls - Well i have been look out for an original Queen is Dead at a reasonable price, but was in FOPP, Nottingham and saw the reissue, purchased and to me it sounds absolutely fantatsic! 

Always used to be a bit averse to Reissues but the ones I have bought have all be impressive!

I will say that Vinyl does not deserve the right to sound better than it does, but in my system my TT wipes the floor with the Apollo R

 

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Are you sure Drummerman...... I mean really sure those differences are real or is it .....you know... imagined?

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

People just like the sound of distortion.

Chris

Marantz PM8005 / SA8005 / KEF R700s / AKG K702

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Covenanter wrote:

People just like the sound of distortion.

Chris

Chris, which TTs have you owned?

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Quote:
What I'm saying here is not that vinyl sounds better than CD, it doesn't always and to be honest, it doesn't matter to me sometimes, but its a source to be taken seriously. When it is good it is seriously good.  It's longevity surely being proof enough but for those doubters out there, do yourself a favour and get a Turntable and some nice vinyl if you can.

I can agree that vinyl is a seriously good source, but so is CD, and as you say, sometimes the differences just don't matter. I used to have a turntable and as an objet d'art I'd have another, but not as a source. The cost of a decent turntable and cartridge, the faff (aka nostalgic riutual), and the cost of new vinyl are all major negatives compared to CDs and a half decent modern digital source.

 

SBT • Wadia 151 • Aliante PF

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Most of my purchases nowadays are vinyl. I now despise paying anything more than a fiver for a CD as there's just no value - as soon as you've bought it, its worthless. I buy most of my CDs used from Play or Amazon for a few quid, and many on there are available for less than £1 in very good condition, which just goes to show the depreciation with CD. CD is now worthless. At least with vinyl you can probably get your money back in a few years time, despite it being used! The main reason I buy the CD as well as the vinyl is to be able to use the material for demonstrations. I have a few albums now that are now worth much much more than what I paid for them. 

Virtually all vinyl I buy now is new and re-released. Music On Vinyl are of a very high quality, and can generally be trusted. There are quite a number of albums that I have had to buy as a remaster or re-release as the original releases are £50+, sometimes hundreds each.

Your description of vinyl is spot on. I too find it to sound more tangible, three dimensional, and free of the speakers, despite many who say that the difference between digital and analogue is distortion. I really think that those who dislike vinyl and enter into online hate attacks against it either cannot be bothered with the source, think that it sounds rubbish purely because it is analogue and no other reason, or can't hear in vinyl what you have described. Of course, they may just not like the sound of it, which is fine - that can be admitted without slagging the format off. I have to admit that we have had a couple of people in store who, after we have answered their question as to why we are stocking vinyl, have been quite vocal in their response. I believe one even called my colleague 'childish' for listening to them! 

Anyone who is doubtful about all this can pop in and we'll show them how good vinyl can sound from an attainable deck (Michell, Rega, Clearaudio, Project). I think some people would be surprised, especially when the CD is listened to afterwards. Some of the differences are astounding. We have yet to decide what we will do on Record Store Day, but a couple of CD vs Vinyl comparisons could be arranged for those who are curious!

As you have said DM, both formats can sound amazing when they're mastered properly. 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Sorry, but I find the hyperbole about vinyl beyond the pale.  And last time I looked, there were any number of LPs kicking around in the £1 bins and they'd been there for years, so this isn't something that's unique to CD and the only reason there aren't as many is the reduced number of record shops selling used LPs.  Pop into any charity shop and have a look at how many 20p albums are sitting there.  

Digital is as lifelike, as three dimensional, with as much presence as LP ever did.  Hey, I grew up with vinyl, it's given me my nickname on here for pete's sake, but the well over-egged pudding (with more eggs getting added it seems) about how awesomely great it is is a tad cloying in the end.  Get an attainable setup of any description, that's well designed and it'll blow you away.  Nothing to do with the format whatsoever. 

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

86sb has been ready for spinning for a while but really need to compare. DSOTM & Dire S' owned on both formats (inc 5.1). Some (probs) put off by price & setup complexity. Lots cant be bothered maybe? I'll check how they compare.

Yamaha V2065. MS Mezzo 5.1 Panasonic 42. Sony BD. Garrard 86SB. WD Live TV. SkyHD.

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/home-cinema/lounge-hc-signature-update-bass-traps

 

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD) RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

CnoEvil wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

People just like the sound of distortion.

Chris

Chris, which TTs have you owned?

I had a Dual kit turntable (I don't remember the arm but the amp was Sansui)  in the early 1970s and then I moved up to a Thorens TD160 with a Hadcock arm (lovely AKG cartridge) in the late early 1970s (bought from Billy Vee in South London).  I loved it and then CDs came out and I heard something that actually sounded like the original sound and I have never been tempted to go back.

I don't mind people liking the vinyl sound but anyone who pretends that it isn't simply distortion is out there with the fairies.  You have to Angel distort the sound to get it on vinyl (RIAA filtering) then (b) the geometry means you can never get it back accurately and then (c) the RIAA to get it back can never 100% match the RIAA in.  To repeat, you might like what it sounds like but it simply isn't accurate.

So guys please don't pretend.  Just say that you like the sound, not that it sounds more like the original than a digital source because simply it doesn't and indeed can't.

Chris

PS This is the main problem with this forum.  When it comes to this or cables or mains regulators or whatever, the protagonists simply don't have the globular objects to admit that their beliefs are just based on what they hear and have no basis in objective reality.  I don't mind you thinking that vinyl is better just as I don't mind that there are people who believe in ghosts.  I am used to a world where a good percentage of people live in a fantasy land.

PPS I actually think that most of the posters to this forum have no interest in "fidelity", ie reproduction of a sound that is close to the original, but simply in what sounds good to them.

Marantz PM8005 / SA8005 / KEF R700s / AKG K702

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

I love the idea of vinyl, I’ve heard some great vinyl systems, and I have a couple of hundred LPs (which I'm reluctant to sell, though some are quite valuable). I’ve been thinking about returning to vinyl for some time now.

But for me the issue is cost. My digital “front end” cost £300: it’s a NAS drive. It goes via USB into a Devialet and Martin Logans. Based on the systems I’ve heard, I reckon that to achieve anything like the same SQ with vinyl would cost me twenty times as much as my £300 NAS.

Have I got this wrong? 

:cheers:

Matt

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Vinyl has been around for a very long time. There's plenty of well worn vinyl out there that will end up in £1 or 50p bins and many of these are readily available in any number of used vinyl stores, hence their price. Others are so obscure that there's no chance anyone will buy them, so they're reduced to peanuts in order for someone to take a punt! A CD and its case could be mint, and it'd still only sell for a quid or two. My main point is there is no value to a physical digital format, which seems really odd, as it was touted as "perfect sound forever"!

Let's take Adele's '19' album as a random example. Available new on vinyl for £16.86, and used from £11.06. Available new on CD for £5.99, or used for 84p. This is a six year old album. Even though I'm not familiar with this album, I'd be prepared to use it as a 'digital vs vinyl' example. 

It is understandable that those who don't like vinyl will be negative towards it, and the positive talk about it will grate on them. If that's the case, then they don't need to be part of threads like this.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

It is understandable that those who don't like vinyl will be negative towards it, and the positive talk about it will grate on them. If that's the case, then they don't need to be part of threads like this.

But since the thread is titled "vinyl vs digital", people on both sides of the debate can surely have opinions of equal relevance to the thread.

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Sorry David, but if that's a veiled one at me, then it's time wasted.  Your new release vinyl sounds worse, costs more to produce and takes up more shelf space.  Good luck with your POV.  And last time I looked, it's an open thread.  Nothing to do with being a vinyl hater, just a realist. 

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD) RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Covenanter wrote:
You have to Angel distort the sound to get it on vinyl
In the digital world, they call this 'encoding'.

Quote:
then (b) the geometry means you can never get it back accurately and then (c) the RIAA to get it back can never 100% match the RIAA in.
And this is called 'decoding'.

Given that hugely negative way of looking at vinyl, it just makes vinyl all the more impressive - to still get a sound out of the speakers that sounds like a piano is massively impressive.

Quote:
PS This is the main problem with this forum.  When it comes to this or cables or mains regulators or whatever, the protagonists simply don't have the globular objects to admit that their beliefs are just based on what they hear and have no basis in objective reality.
It has never been about admitting that. With claims of superiority that can't be proven, that is all they can be based on - what we hear. The real problem with certain members of this forum is that the people who say they hear a difference are told in no uncertain terms that they imagined it or are lying. Some people need to stop thinking in numbers and open their minds. Everything we know is only true until we find out something else that makes us think differently.

Quote:
I don't mind you thinking that vinyl is better just as I don't mind that there are people who believe in ghosts.
Do ghosts exist?

Quote:
PPS I actually think that most of the posters to this forum have no interest in "fidelity", ie reproduction of a sound that is close to the original, but simply in what sounds good to them.
It's called personal preference isn't it? Does everyone have to conform now? Is no one allowed independent thought? I'm not even going to draw the comparisons...

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD) RE: Vinyl vs. Digital (CD)

Covenanter wrote:

CnoEvil wrote:

Covenanter wrote:

People just like the sound of distortion.

Chris

Chris, which TTs have you owned?

I had a Dual kit turntable (I don't remember the arm but the amp was Sansui)  in the early 1970s and then I moved up to a Thorens TD160 with a Hadcock arm (lovely AKG cartridge) in the late early 1970s (bought from Billy Vee in South London).  I loved it and then CDs came out and I heard something that actually sounded like the original sound and I have never been tempted to go back.

I don't mind people liking the vinyl sound but anyone who pretends that it isn't simply distortion is out there with the fairies.  You have to Angel distort the sound to get it on vinyl (RIAA filtering) then (b) the geometry means you can never get it back accurately and then (c) the RIAA to get it back can never 100% match the RIAA in.  To repeat, you might like what it sounds like but it simply isn't accurate.

So guys please don't pretend.  Just say that you like the sound, not that it sounds more like the original than a digital source because simply it doesn't and indeed can't.

Chris

PS This is the main problem with this forum.  When it comes to this or cables or mains regulators or whatever, the protagonists simply don't have the globular objects to admit that their beliefs are just based on what they hear and have no basis in objective reality.  I don't mind you thinking that vinyl is better just as I don't mind that there are people who believe in ghosts.  I am used to a world where a good percentage of people live in a fantasy land.

PPS I actually think that most of the posters to this forum have no interest in "fidelity", ie reproduction of a sound that is close to the original, but simply in what sounds good to them.

As each person is spending their own cash (I would hope) on buying their system isn't there room for both opinions?  If people enjoy the accurate hifi-ness of their system, great.  If others just like boogeying to music they like then that's great too isn't it?  Personally I slot into both camps depending on the mood I'm in and what music I'm listening to.

When I play Radiohead's Amesiac, I love the textures & timing of the SOUNDS they make, not just the music.  But I can also appreciate the emotion of good song-writing with Ray LaMontagne's All the Wild Horses for example.

i have nothing against vinyl per se, but just can't overcome my initial reasons for swapping vinyl for CD 25 years ago. Storage of vinyl is an issue, keeping them flat, dust-free and away from the heat and they do take up so much room. I don't have the space for a turntable: being a top-loading device I can't slot it in the rack under my TV next to the Bluray player and I have recollections of spending ages dusting and cleaning records before playing them which in the Spotify era seems quite a faff, especially when you only like 2 tracks on side one and 1 track on side two!!

I like THE IDEA of vinyl; there is a certain nostalgic romantic coolness about turntables, but I just think I'd run out of patience in practice.

As for insisting that others can't possibly spend THEIR money on THEIR system because I don't like it, that's just Waldorf Salad.

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