CD or vinyl?

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
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silvershadelynx
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CD or vinyl?

Post by silvershadelynx » 25 Oct 2018 18:50

Hi, I collect vinyl records as I love the medium for it's look and feel, but at least equally important because it's sound quality. Unfortunately, oftentimes cd's tend to have lower dynamic range and sound not as good as their vinyl counterpart. At the other hand, vinyl is much more expensive and cumbersome. I would like to be able to just buy a cd but I always tend to check and compare it to the vinyl version on http://dr.loudness-war.info. And when it turns out the cd has lower dynamic range I don't buy the cd. What do you think about this? Do you think dynamic range is a good reason to not buy some cd versions? Or, to buy (second hand) older cd versions that generally have higher dynamic range than newer versions?

Shadowman82
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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Shadowman82 » 25 Oct 2018 23:13

Whenever something is available on Vinyl I buy Vinyl because to me it just sounds better . As you stated this is partly do to better mastering than CD releases . The other reason is that Vinyl being analog it's not limited by the CDs 16-bit/44.1khz ..

jusbe
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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by jusbe » 26 Oct 2018 12:14

It's a bit of a crapshoot these days. Whilst aware of the loudness site, I don't usually refer to it unless I need to confirm my ears. Too many audio neuroses as it is!

I buy according to taste, preferring media in the order vinyl, CD then cassette. I treat downloads or streaming as a useful adjunct. It seems to be the bigger publishing houses that introduce loudness c**k-ups most frequently, though not exclusively so. Reading reviews is a useful habit to form, as they can throw up news of sonic issues as they occur.

Right now, LPs are trending up in price and I'm keenly aware that CD players might die away soon.

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Sterling1 » 26 Oct 2018 14:39

I don't make any rules for myself in this hobby arena, except to not buy impulsively. One thing I know for sure is I get the most pleasure listening to multi-channel SACDs, so, I first look for the music I am seeking in the SACD catalog. If I can't get it there, then I look for availability on DSD or Flack for download purchase. Pop and Dance genres all come to me via Apple Music. Some of those, which I wish to record to CD, or other, I will purchase from the iTunes Store. Even though those purchases are delivered as AAC files, they sound great, usually indistinguishable from 24/192 PCM files, especially when processed through my OPPO UDP-205 usb DAC. Now, I have purchased about a dozen new LPs this year for some experimentation to see if I might be missing out on better sounding music. So far, while those LPs sound really good, the snaps, crackle, and pop from them precludes me from the distraction free experience I'd like to have with LPs. For this reason I mostly just use my turntables to digitize and enhance used thrift store LPs for enjoyment from my iTunes Library.

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Sterling1 » 26 Oct 2018 14:51

jusbe wrote:
26 Oct 2018 12:14
It's a bit of a crapshoot these days. Whilst aware of the loudness site, I don't usually refer to it unless I need to confirm my ears. Too many audio neuroses as it is!

I buy according to taste, preferring media in the order vinyl, CD then cassette. I treat downloads or streaming as a useful adjunct. It seems to be the bigger publishing houses that introduce loudness c**k-ups most frequently, though not exclusively so. Reading reviews is a useful habit to form, as they can throw up news of sonic issues as they occur.

Right now, LPs are trending up in price and I'm keenly aware that CD players might die away soon.
"keenly aware that CD players might die away soon" what gives you that impression?

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Shadowman82 » 26 Oct 2018 23:55

I do not think that CDs are going away anytime soon . While I do see a possible future where music is just available as digital files and on Vinyl I don't think that's happening in the next little while .

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by jusbe » 27 Oct 2018 11:29

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45950477

Perhaps it's subjective, but it's driven more by the observation of our collective behaviour. So when I say think CD players (or optical digital discs) might disappear soon, I'm referring to the retail market for new devices. I'm not a fan of cloud-based services in our type of economy, whereby content aggregators are driven solely by profit and can make changes to our libraries at will. Or where services are only available with a connection provided by a third party.

Personally, I still buy CDs and like the format for some of my music (even if I prefer vinyl and even sometimes cassette). And I'm happy buying vintage players with solid transports that can either be repaired or replaced. For my part, I have extra laser transports put aside for my disc spinners as they are dirt cheap right now. I simply asked the manufacturer which model they used. They told me and I bought some. I always advise colleagues to do the same.

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Sterling1 » 27 Oct 2018 12:58

The CD is so ubiquitous: players, recorders, burners, and universal players are all out there today because folks still have a desire for it. For sure, folks are drawn to iTunes and other computer players for their utility and convenience for digital storage, downloading, and wired/wireless streaming but since UBD and multi-channel SACD still deliver the best in audio/video, universal players, which play CDs too, seem not to be in jeopardy of being made obsolete.

jusbe
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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by jusbe » 27 Oct 2018 17:57

Regarding CD playback, that's all well and good. Plenty of discs around, players, etc.

Regarding new issue and publishing, that's less clear. I imagine that there is an interest on behalf of publishers to skip CD release and head straight to streaming or download. And I imagine artists are keen to have physical copies of their work to ensure they retain some control over their content and more directly manage the experiential relationship with their audience. I figure this is one of the reasons vinyl (and to a lesser extent cassette, on the indie and experimental scene) does well.

Digital releases can and frequently do sound great. But if digital content is not available physically, not only am I less likely to listen to it, I'm usually less likely to discover it in the first place. This is of more interest to me right now. The accompanying dwindling in new disc players is more a symptom, as I see it, and not the cause of concern per se.

jusbe
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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by jusbe » 27 Oct 2018 18:22

silvershadelynx wrote:
25 Oct 2018 18:50
Do you think dynamic range is a good reason to not buy some cd versions? Or, to buy (second hand) older cd versions that generally have higher dynamic range than newer versions?
I wouldn't avoid buying the music, if I wanted it. I might be inclined to send the artist/label an email expressing my disappointment! I do often seek out older/original release of CDs for that very reason.

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Shadowman82 » 27 Oct 2018 18:44

I tend to moan to artists if they don't release something on Vinyl . Luckily most indie bands that I like are very much in tune with Vinyl .

Speaking of CD and Vinyl it's really too bad that you don't really know sometimes with modern Vinyl if they made the Vinyl from the original master recording or if they just copied the CD on to the Vinyl . I do hope that when it comes to pro non bootleg releases that this isn't done very often but you never know .

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by lbls1 » 27 Oct 2018 19:25

The comparison between vinyl and cd/digital can be a difficult and non-ending one. Two basics I have developed though: Vinyl has a more focused, warm, and "live" sound quality (dare I say livlier). CDs in my opinion have a greater ability to reproduce wider music ranges, can have better accuracy due to the absence of vinyl noises (pops from scratches, age, etc). CD reproduction has also improved greatly, in that CDs can now master deeper and louder bass ranges, and can excel in most musical ranges.

Vinyl still, IMO has an advantage with vocal notes, in that (with good equipment) it can focus better with voices, percussion and string instruments. Vinyl with excellent cartridges, stylus and turntable can also have excellent stereo separation and great bass.

Its hard for one media to trump the other. One would think that CDs and digital are superior, until one hears the intricate reproduction of a vocal, band or instrument selection. I don't believe that we will ever truly reach a conclusion of which media will be superior.

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Sterling1 » 28 Oct 2018 20:29

lbls1 wrote:
27 Oct 2018 19:25
The comparison between vinyl and cd/digital can be a difficult and non-ending one. Two basics I have developed though: Vinyl has a more focused, warm, and "live" sound quality (dare I say livlier). CDs in my opinion have a greater ability to reproduce wider music ranges, can have better accuracy due to the absence of vinyl noises (pops from scratches, age, etc). CD reproduction has also improved greatly, in that CDs can now master deeper and louder bass ranges, and can excel in most musical ranges.

Vinyl still, IMO has an advantage with vocal notes, in that (with good equipment) it can focus better with voices, percussion and string instruments. Vinyl with excellent cartridges, stylus and turntable can also have excellent stereo separation and great bass.

Its hard for one media to trump the other. One would think that CDs and digital are superior, until one hears the intricate reproduction of a vocal, band or instrument selection. I don't believe that we will ever truly reach a conclusion of which media will be superior.
I have about a dozen Diana Krall Albums on ACC, CD, SACD, and multi-channel SACD; and, although experiments comparing the same music from each medium suggests to me that multi-channel SACD delivers the highest quality sound, I am still amazed that LPs can sound as distortion less as CD. In fact, if it were not for being distracted by ocassional pops, I might not be able to distinguish between CD and LP. This gives me confidence that my turntable and cartridge are getting all there is out of the groove to get, and with digitization, I can enjoy pop free thrift shop LPs in iTunes for very little cost and a lot of entertainment.

Shadowman82
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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by Shadowman82 » 28 Oct 2018 23:22

Yeah I too would expect SA-CD to sound the best but alas not that much is available on it . But anyway with modern releases the Vinyl almost always sounds better than CD .

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Re: CD or vinyl?

Post by patient_ot » 01 Nov 2018 22:38

Please don't put any stock in the DR ratings of vinyl on that website. They're total bunk.

Now, you can compare DR ratings of CDs and lossless digital versions. The trouble is, DR is only one element of sound quality. The source and EQ matter and DR isn't going to tell you anything about that. You can have two different CD pressings with different mastering that have the same DR rating. One could be better and one could be worse. Many people don't understand this.

As to older CD versions of older albums, they can sound better than the current in print release but that is not always the case. A glaring example for me is Black Sabbath. Here in the U.S. we were stuck with those terrible WB discs forever and for the most part they sucked. The current crop of remasters you can buy right now were done by Andy Pearce and sound excellent IMHO, far better than the old WBs. They have decent DR too. Not every new CD is a loudness war hack job.

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