Vinyl vs CD - what's your experience? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > Analogue Source

Analogue Source Turntables, Tonearms, Cartridges, Phono Stages, Tuners, Tape Recorders, etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 22nd September 2009, 12:05 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
paulspencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Default Vinyl vs CD - what's your experience?

I'd like to hear from those who have compared vinyl vs CD. What differences did you notice and what was your preference?

Of course, this means comparing with everything the same, except the source - the same track on CD then vinyl. As soon as you compare with different speakers or tracks, or different sound systems on different occasions, it's not really a comparison.

I had a chance to compare in this way when invited for a demo by another enthusiast in a dedicated room with a high end setup. To my ears there was definitely a difference and I felt at the time it was in favour of vinyl. It was enough to get my attention and want to experience this more.

Of course, with vinyl there is extra expense and inconvenience, but I'm not considering this here. There are also issues like the little pop noises, but I'm not so concerned with them either. Sound quality. Which is more enjoyable to listen to? Which captures music better? Yes, I'm after subjective opinions!
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 01:24 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
SY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicagoland
Blog Entries: 1
The problem is, you're not comparing like with like. The mix, processing, and often source tape for each are generally different. Just curious, do you think you hear an advantage to vinyl when listening to recordings that had any digital handling in the signal chain?

I personally enjoy both vinyl and CD; I suspect a well-made CD is truer to the master than any vinyl playback, but so much of the music I love has not made the transition to digits very well. And not all masters are terrific, either.
__________________
You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.- Wilford Brimley
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 01:51 PM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
paulspencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sy, I can't really answer that as they were not my CDs or records, and I didn't really know much about them.

Quote:
The problem is, you're not comparing like with like.
I see your point, but in the context of forming a preference, does it matter? You can't separate the medium from the process necessary to create it, but that's an abstract distinction that isn't really necessary when it comes down to which you actually prefer.

I realise I mentioned "comparing with everything the same" but I was referring to the playback system. If you compare system A with tube amps, horns and a turntable and then a month later another system with a CD (different artist) on a solid state system with hifi floorstanders in a different room ... there are so many things that are different that you can't hope to compare just one aspect of the system!

If CD vs vinyl involved no differences at all in their sound, vinyl would almost be extinct, except for the nostalgia and perhaps the visual/methanical appeal. And perhaps a little hifi mythology.

Last edited by paulspencer; 22nd September 2009 at 02:03 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 01:53 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
 
jan.didden's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Great City of Turnhout, Belgium
Blog Entries: 7
I just happen to have a CD and LP from exactly the same master track - in fact they have serial numbers that differ by just 1.
The CD sounds cleaner, clearer, much more balanced overall.

It's like SY says, its pretty much impossible to compare like with like. Many re-issues of LP onto CD are 'improved' meaning some more bass, a bit (or a lot) of extra compression, more extreme placement to left and right, etc. No wonder the LP sounds better in these cases. It's often the technology that gets blamed for messing up the process.

jd
__________________
If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news? - W. S. Maugham
Check out Linear Audio!
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 03:38 PM   #5
SY is offline SY  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
SY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicagoland
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
in the context of forming a preference, does it matter?
Yes absolutely, if one is asking about the CD medium versus the vinyl medium, as opposed to CD mastering of a specific disk versus vinyl mastering of the corresponding LP.
__________________
You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.- Wilford Brimley
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 08:03 PM   #6
brianco is offline brianco  Ireland
diyAudio Member
 
brianco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Scottish Borders - Kelso; on the famous Tweed River!
A point worth bearing in mind is that older...and I mean older than both SY and Janneman ...music enthusiasts more usually have good collections of vinyl recordings and had already amassed the basis of their collections prior to the introduction of CDs. Early CD recordings were almost all remastered from analogue tapes. The record companies were perhaps a bit too 'on the ball' in transferring their back-catalogue to digital. There was a race to see which company would have the largest CD catalogue. Much of this work was out-sourced!

The result was that many budget remastering suites were set-up in a hurry and producers - who were too often second class - had a short field day, whilst the engineers and tech guys were so often unemployable in a more stable studio employment marketplace.

The consequence was that many early CDs were very bad examples of a media which had a far higher potential than was all too often realized.

Concurrent with this was a fast rise in affordable mini multi-track machines from the likes of Akai. Many record companies - because of the race to increase their CD marketshare - encouraged the 'home-recording- industry...it freed-up recording budgets, post-production suites and staff to accelerate back-catalogue digital transfer. In my view this was the time at which so much rubbish music was being plugged and a terrible disservice to music was committed. The new music of the period has produced a few artists who have stayed the course, but vast numbers were five minute wonders.

For my part, being older than the previous posters and even older than John Curl, I have a few thousand good vinyl recordings and not more than a hundred CDs and am only now getting into sorting out a reasonable digital replay set-up. I have chosen a DAC from China and a transformer (filtered) output in place of the poor on-board analogue output stage. My old Philips 850 Mk11 still spins the discs. I have a some early digital sampler discs from music magazine covers. The early ones which are transfers, for the most-part, sound absolutely dreadful , whereas those recorded in the digital domain, in the recent past, really are usually very good.

But my analogue system is in another category and still has quite an edge of advantage despite being a little less quite. To replace this front end with today's equivalent would cost a frightening amount of money! So I will say that an indifferent front end, analogue or digital, cannot be compared with a a top end player of the opposite media. I suspect that the best of digital will now equal the best of analogue provided that the discs are of high quality.

If only they would treat compressors with a lighter hand!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 08:19 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
jan.didden's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Great City of Turnhout, Belgium
Blog Entries: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianco View Post
[I agreed to all that was here!]If only they would treat compressors with a lighter hand!!
Yes, true. But it also had to do with the need to become louder and louder and attention-getting. I actually looked into this a bit, and I found a certain track that had been re-issued 4 or 5 times between 1984 and 2007. Each later re-issue was louder, had less dynamic range and sounded worse than the previous. I could just play them at random and accurately put them in sequence of re-issue. That practise did a lot of damage to CD music quality.

Recently, the trend seems to reverse. My opinion is that the very good sound quality of SACD stems more from the care that goes in the recording and mastering and not so much from the technology. A top-notch CD recording sounds as good as anything else, but its not easy to find them.

PS I'm sure you are older than that youngster SY, but are you sure you are older than me??
I was my last year in high school when JFK was shot.

jd
__________________
If you don't change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news? - W. S. Maugham
Check out Linear Audio!
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 08:28 PM   #8
SY is offline SY  United States
diyAudio Moderator
 
SY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicagoland
Blog Entries: 1
Brian, it should also be noted that many of the CD masterings were done with 2nd or 3rd generation tapes. And that many of the 1st generation tapes had certainly deteriorated with age. One more reason to use older vinyl releases to archive valued music.
__________________
You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants cake?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.- Wilford Brimley
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 08:40 PM   #9
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Glowbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hillsborough, NC/McLean, VA
I prefer vinyl, given the choice, but I do spend a sizable chunk of time listening to CD-based material too.
__________________
Jim J.
  Reply With Quote
Old 22nd September 2009, 09:22 PM   #10
DaveG is offline DaveG  United States
diyAudio Member
 
DaveG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Grease
Personally, on my system, I feel the CD (16_44) has an edge with imaging, but some vinyl seems to have an advantage with rhythm – more toe tapping! Maybe that’s the vinyl magic?
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
vinyl to digital AndrewT Analogue Source 40 1st February 2009 02:31 PM
Vinyl to CD Recordings caw Digital Source 4 28th January 2007 07:49 PM
Vinyl LP Dynsdale Music 7 14th August 2006 01:53 AM
Vinyl Prices Mjr7531 Multi-Way 7 16th January 2005 04:58 AM
Is this vinyl any good? mazeroth Multi-Way 6 1st September 2004 04:45 AM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:18 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2