Vinyl vs CD - what's your experience? - Page 16 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #151 of 153 Old 06-28-14, 04:03 PM
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Re: Vinyl vs CD - what's your experience?

I grew up listening to vinyl. That was all there was. When CDs came out I was not impressed. The brick wall filters that they used caused ringing just out of audio band. The ringing gave me a headache even though I could not hear it. So, no CDs for me.

I remained faithful to vinyl over the years while hoping the Red Book format would improve. In the late '90s I started buying Hi End CD players because the new music was only available on CDs. However, not even the expensive Sony SCD-1 with $2,500 of mods came close to what I heard from my vinyl rig.

A few years ago I heard a recording made with a Korg 3000 digital recorder. The output from a Hi End cartridge/turntable/phono stage was recorded with the Korg in double DSD and played back at 24/192. The music that was recorded was a Louis Armstrong rendition of St. James Infirmary. This was a vinyl recording that I had played dozens of times on my own system. The only differences that I heard from the music played on my own vinyl rig versus the digital version played back via the Korg was the differences caused by using a different cartridge/turntable/phono stage combination. Digital playback had arrived in my estimation.

Rather than continuing to buy expensive CD players I bought a MacBook Air, Pure Music software, and a pro ADC/DAC and used iTunes as the database software. Problems with the inflexibility of iTunes caused me to switch to JRiver MC 18 on a PC. I am now using JRiver MC 19 with a headless music server that I assembled. The sound from the music server is different from the sound that I hear from my vinyl rig. However, both systems produce music that is satisfying to my ears (brain).

The music server is very convenient. 2,500 CDs are at my finger tips, easily accessible. Accessing my 9,000 LPs is not the same even though the LPs are cataloged and filed by manufacturer by album number. I continue to use both systems.

In comparing digital to analog sound I use as my reference the sound of unamplified acoustic instruments; i.e. what I hear in the concert hall. To my ears/preferences I find the analog sound to be closer to what I hear in the concert hall. However, digital reproductions usually are more detailed with better dynamics.

I am glad that we have the choice between analog or digital or both. I am also glad that the sound quality of both digital and analog technology continue to improve.
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post #152 of 153 Old 08-04-14, 03:21 PM
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Re: Vinyl vs CD - what's your experience?

This thread spans so many years and touches on even more topics that I don't have the time to read all replies; so please forgive any repeats...

I own and listen to about an equal number of vinyl and CD albums. The original post of this thread referred to comparing the same recording on both media. There are good and bad recordings on both, but good recordings would make for a better comparison, as would a "better" system. But now we need to define "better." Neutral? Pleasing? Regardless, how would the digital and analog front-ends be selected so as to be in the same league?

Such an apples-to-apples comparison between CD and vinyl is extremely difficult to perform, because a performance cut from the same master would need to be located. Why does that make a difference? In the case of analog, added tape noise and deterioration is the obvious answer. A multi-generational distribution copy of a master wouldn't do. In the case of a digital master--bits are not bits, by the way, but that's a topic for a different thread--the quality of the transfer in the studio and in the manufacture of the CD pits and lands
make a difference.

Even if the same master is used, sound quality conclusions based on media alone are ambiguous. There are too many influential factors introduced throughout the listening chain. Is the phono stage as neutral as the DAC? Is the spindle hole on the LP centered as well as that of the CD?

I've run out of time, but welcome your thoughts and comments.
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post #153 of 153 Old 08-07-14, 08:22 PM
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I've recently resurrected a NOS h/k table I found on the cheap in a pawn shop over a decade ago. Got myself a decent cartridge, phono pre, learned how to line it all up and a friend built a wall mount for me.

I also have several universal players, enjoying most Redbook, and almost all of my hi rez DVD-A and SACD recordings.

Digital does tend to put me on edge just a bit, while well recorded analog (seems there is more well recorded analog than digital ) makes me relax.

Analog does not have the impact (dynamic range/lower noise floor) of digital, nor the ultra deep bass. Digital does not have the natural highs nor the warm, natural midbass sound I've found analog to have.

I have come to appreciate each format's strengths and recognize their weaknesses.

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
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