Does Vinyl really sound better? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 147 Old 12-15-2014, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Does Vinyl really sound better?

Interesting Article. What's your thoughts on this?

http://www.oregonlive.com/music/inde...nd_better.html
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post #2 of 147 Old 12-15-2014, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by The Murderousone View Post
Interesting Article. What's your thoughts on this?

http://www.oregonlive.com/music/inde...nd_better.html
Not always, but it certainly can.
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post #3 of 147 Old 12-15-2014, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post
Not always, but it certainly can.
I found it interesting where he described where the "warmth" we here comes from in the making of the Vinyl...........
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post #4 of 147 Old 12-15-2014, 07:37 PM
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Personally I don't miss vinyl due to all the pops (despite taking meticulous care of my records) and the inconvenience. A well mastered CD sounds great to my ears.
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post #5 of 147 Old 12-15-2014, 08:02 PM
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First, the underlying question isn't - Does Vinyl sound better based on some technical standards. The Technology of CD is certainly more advanced.

They question is - Which do I like?

I like vinyl for serious listening, because I find it more engaging.

I like CD for the convenience and for background listening.

So, it is not - Which is better? But - Which do I like?

I have one perfect example - Bloomfield, Kooper, Stills - Super Session

I have an old version on vinyl, an original print that is in bad condition. It still plays without skipping but it is very noisy. I'm sure I bought it used from some desperate soul. No album I ever bought new, ended up this trashed.

But it is thrilling. The musicianship is spectacular.

The same album on new CD is dull as paste. Absolutely un-engaging and uninspiring. That's just the way it is. Yes, the musicians are they, they are still playing the same music, but it doesn't captivate the same way this poor condition vinyl does.

Now to be fair, I have CDs that I like that sound good. They are nice to play in the background while I work on my computer. And they don't warp, they don't scratch as easily, they are more compact. They have advantages. But being engaging and inspiring is low on their list of advantages.

Just one man's opinion.

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post #6 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 09:14 AM
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We all build sound systems to our personal audio taste. I don't need graphs or charts to tell me what I should like or dislike. I have invested in my system over a number of years and I'm very happy w/it. Just build the system you enjoy and spend the rest on music.
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post #7 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 10:56 AM
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One thing I do notice concerning Vinyl versus CD.

With vinyl, I find myself listening to the entire album, where as with a cd, I tend to skip some songs .

I'm sure it's just me, but vinyl makes me want to set time aside for listening. Of course your mileage my vary


Alan
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post #8 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

But it is thrilling. The musicianship is spectacular.

The same album on new CD is dull as paste. Absolutely un-engaging and uninspiring. That's just the way it is. Yes, the musicians are they, they are still playing the same music, but it doesn't captivate the same way this poor condition vinyl does.


You are just comparing a good master to a bad master. It has nothing at all to do with the medium and everything to do with the mastering studio. The masters could have been reversed.
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post #9 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 03:03 PM - Thread Starter
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You are just comparing a good master to a bad master. It has nothing at all to do with the medium and everything to do with the mastering studio. The masters could have been reversed.
+1................FMW i was thinking the same thing.......
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post #10 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 03:23 PM
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You are just comparing a good master to a bad master. It has nothing at all to do with the medium and everything to do with the mastering studio. The masters could have been reversed.
Within a context I agree. I've said many time before, in a variety of ways, that it is not what media it is on, but rather what is on the media.

The difference I am hearing is not in the musicianship, but rather in the mix that was cut onto the format.

Though I will say that this is probably a debate not worth having. We could be arguing which is better CD or SACD? Well to a technical standard SACD is better. But, much like vinyl, what has been placed on the SACD means more than the SACD Format itself.

We could argue the same with DVD vs BluRay. Pit a good DVD against a bad BluRay and the DVD wins. Pit a good BluRay against a run-of-the-mill DVD, and the BluRay wins.

Similar to my Super Session case above, there is a video on YouTube related to the Loudness War where a guy pits an original pressing of a given CD against a recently purchased version. The dynamic range is so much better in the original, and the sound quality is more engaging and dynamic. So, even the same content on the same format can differ depending on the Mix.

Though it is hard to know how long it will take, it seems we, the consumers, are winning the Loudness Wars. By various means, things are being done to moderate or eliminate the loudness variation from what you actually hear, rendering it pointless to even put that added loudness on the CD or MP3 to begin with.

In my opinion, it can't come soon enough. It seem the height of absurdity to modify the music based on some marketing concept of what someone somewhere thinks I want to hear, or based on what they think will sell more music. Let the music sell on its own merit.

If I could get CD at full fidelity and full dynamic range, I would be a happy camper. It is really annoying and it makes buying music something of a crap-shoot when I have no way of knowing the quality before I buy. They are actually compressing out all the advantages that a CD brings to the table. Which in my mind just seems stupid.

So, full circle back to my point, just because CD can sound better doesn't mean it does. And conversely, that is also true of Vinyl, or SACD, or DVD-A, or BluRay-A. Just because they can sound good doesn't mean they do sound good.

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post #11 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzin View Post
...

With vinyl, I find myself listening to the entire album, where as with a cd, I tend to skip some songs .

I'm sure it's just me, ...

Alan
No, I actually think what you are experiencing is very common.

I think it can be summed up in one word - engaging - vinyl is engaging.

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post #12 of 147 Old 12-16-2014, 03:42 PM
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Though this certainly hasn't been proven; it falls far more into the catagory of a random observations.

I saw a video by a recording engineer who also works with cutting vinyl masters and he noted that there seemed to be enhanced dynamic range on the vinyl relative to the the recording that the vinyl was made from. He speculated, though is far from proving, that perhaps due to some inertial force, the cutting needle was over-cutting and seeming to enhance the dynamic range.

Whether this will bear out under deeper investigation or not remains to be seen. But it is an interesting concept.

Just a random thought.

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post #13 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Though this certainly hasn't been proven; it falls far more into the catagory of a random observations.

I saw a video by a recording engineer who also works with cutting vinyl masters and he noted that there seemed to be enhanced dynamic range on the vinyl relative to the the recording that the vinyl was made from. He speculated, though is far from proving, that perhaps due to some inertial force, the cutting needle was over-cutting and seeming to enhance the dynamic range.

Whether this will bear out under deeper investigation or not remains to be seen. But it is an interesting concept.

Just a random thought.

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post #14 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
No, I actually think what you are experiencing is very common.

I think it can be summed up in one word - engaging - vinyl is engaging.

Steve/bluewizard
I can't help but think this sentiment is motivated by the hassle of playing individual tracks and the hassle involved in putting a record away, washing and playing another one. The engagement to which you refer could be engagement in having gotten through the ritual and wanting to make the most of it.

If I encounter a track I don't particularly like, a single press of a button on the remote will skip to the next. With a record I have to get up, walk to the turntable and try to put the stylus where I want it without scratching anything. And all of this to get a noisy presentation with reduced dynamic range. Engaging?
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post #15 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Though this certainly hasn't been proven; it falls far more into the catagory of a random observations.

I saw a video by a recording engineer who also works with cutting vinyl masters and he noted that there seemed to be enhanced dynamic range on the vinyl relative to the the recording that the vinyl was made from. He speculated, though is far from proving, that perhaps due to some inertial force, the cutting needle was over-cutting and seeming to enhance the dynamic range.

Whether this will bear out under deeper investigation or not remains to be seen. But it is an interesting concept.

Just a random thought.

Steve/bluewizard
I think the recording engineer is spewing nonsense. The dynamic range of a vinyl record is limited by the ability of the stylus to stay in the groove. At best, its dynamic range is significantly less than what can be recorded and mastered to red book CD. The recordist is stating beliefs that fly in face of facts.
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post #16 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 07:22 AM
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I think vinyl sounds better. However, I have an elaborate system with 8' tall electrostats and four different tt's, all properly set up, with quality cartridges.
With vinyl, there are a lot of variables that can kill the sound, hence the popularity of cd's. I have around a 1000 cd's, but I don't listen to them that often; they don't have the same openess that vinyl has Go try to get a listen and decide for yourself.
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post #17 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post

I saw a video by a recording engineer who also works with cutting vinyl masters and he noted that there seemed to be enhanced dynamic range on the vinyl relative to the the recording that the vinyl was made from. He speculated, though is far from proving, that perhaps due to some inertial force, the cutting needle was over-cutting and seeming to enhance the dynamic range.
"Inertial force" and "over-cutting" translates to gross distortion. Those two mechanisms, though real, are overcome deliberately by cutter head design and to a greater extent, the driving amplifier. If they weren't, the result would be massive amounts of distortion. The guy sounds like one who may be cutting lacquers (there's no such thing as a "vinyl master"), but may not understand what he's doing fully.

If you think of they physics, the velocity of the cutting stylus is a function of frequency and amplitude. If you can cut a 20KHz groove at the highest possible level without the trailing groove colliding with the rear facet, there's no issue handling the acceleration and deceleration mid-band.
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post #18 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 07:31 AM
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I think vinyl sounds better. However, I have an elaborate system with 8' tall electrostats and four different tt's, all properly set up, with quality cartridges.
With vinyl, there are a lot of variables that can kill the sound, hence the popularity of cd's. I have around a 1000 cd's, but I don't listen to them that often; they don't have the same openess that vinyl has Go try to get a listen and decide for yourself.
Are you kidding? I listened to vinyl records on high end systems for 50 years. What you have is a belief based on hearing bias, not a revelation that the old technology is better.
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post #19 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 07:45 AM
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With any recording-be it any media, what goes in comes out, Crap in-crap out. I was in a used music store recently,the owner was telling me how the youger generation, is seeking vinyl over cd's and mostly mp-3. And the most desired is the stuff of the 70's! Plus, they are buying quality turn tables and carts. There is a discussion now over at the quad site about how record makers are stamping 24/7 to keep up with the demand, and how too few LP machines are left, keep breaking down due to extreme use.
My take is this: with music sold as a download, high res or not, it would be good sense to keep the physical media machines around, instaed of trashing them like they did with vinyl machines.
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post #20 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
Are you kidding? I listened to vinyl records on high end systems for 50 years. What you have is a belief based on hearing bias, not a revelation that the old technology is better.
Is that not what I just said? I said I think vinyl sounds better. That is what I said. I also said give it a listen and decide for yourself. Technology doesn't necessarily equate to better sound quality. Satellite radio is a great technology but would you argue that it sounds better than vinyl too?
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post #21 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 09:50 AM
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Is that not what I just said? I said I think vinyl sounds better. That is what I said. I also said give it a listen and decide for yourself. Technology doesn't necessarily equate to better sound quality. Satellite radio is a great technology but would you argue that it sounds better than vinyl too?
You intimated that those of us who don't share your belief haven't heard vinyl. I was simply correcting that assumption. Satellite radio sounds terrible but not because of the technology. It sounds terrible because of the implementation of the technology. The original Fats Waller records don't sound so hot either.
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post #22 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
I can't help but think this sentiment is motivated by the hassle of playing individual tracks and the hassle involved in putting a record away, washing and playing another one. The engagement to which you refer could be engagement in having gotten through the ritual and wanting to make the most of it.

If I encounter a track I don't particularly like, a single press of a button on the remote will skip to the next. With a record I have to get up, walk to the turntable and try to put the stylus where I want it without scratching anything. And all of this to get a noisy presentation with reduced dynamic range. Engaging?
Speaking for myself only, I enjoy the ritual as you put it, of cleaning Vinyl and playing it on my TT. I also enjoy the ritual of making a good cup of coffee in the morning, or a fine meal in a good restaurant.

Are any of the above required ? Nope. Doesnt mean I'll stop enjoying any of them soon.

Alan
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post #23 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by quad4.0 View Post
With any recording-be it any media, what goes in comes out, Crap in-crap out.
It's actually Crapin + NAD = Crapout+NAD where NAD= Noise And Distortion; anything that is added to the original Crapin, such as noise, distortion, time or frequency domain modifiers. In the case of analog systems, nothing is subtracted, it's always added. Once NAD is added, it cannot be removed without modification to Crapout as well.

The formula works for any recording or transmission medium, though for a bit-perfect digital clone, NAD=0. That would be true for a CD made from a digital master, and not necessarily true of a CD made from an analog master.
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post #24 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Cruzin View Post
Speaking for myself only, I enjoy the ritual as you put it, of cleaning Vinyl and playing it on my TT. I also enjoy the ritual of making a good cup of coffee in the morning, or a fine meal in a good restaurant.

Are any of the above required ? Nope. Doesnt mean I'll stop enjoying any of them soon.

Alan
Well said. I enjoy the ritual as well. I have, however, compartmentalized the ritual enjoyment separately from audio enjoyment. Even when the vinyl has been made from a better master, and sounds "warm" (whatever that means), the noise, ticks, mistracking distortion, speed issues, all if it gets in the way of suspension of disbelief. One tick, I'm out of it, one per revolution, I'm wishing for the CD.

I'm sorry, I've never enjoyed getting up to flip the record over. Butterfingers here has damaged more than one record and stylus in his life, even with all the practice of handling them ever day.
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post #25 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzin View Post
Speaking for myself only, I enjoy the ritual as you put it, of cleaning Vinyl and playing it on my TT. I also enjoy the ritual of making a good cup of coffee in the morning, or a fine meal in a good restaurant.

Are any of the above required ? Nope. Doesnt mean I'll stop enjoying any of them soon.

Alan
I agree with Alan. I enjoy vinyl even when I don't play it. Just looking at the turntable and arm is a treat. Putting a record on the platter and lowering the arm is like mixing a perfect martini. Pure joy. But I listen to digital discs more than 90% of the time.

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post #26 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Cruzin View Post
Speaking for myself only, I enjoy the ritual as you put it, of cleaning Vinyl and playing it on my TT. I also enjoy the ritual of making a good cup of coffee in the morning, or a fine meal in a good restaurant.

Are any of the above required ? Nope. Doesnt mean I'll stop enjoying any of them soon.

Alan

One man's ritual is another man's hassle. I have no problem with that. For me it is a hassle.
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post #27 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a very interesting discussion and i must say i am enjoying it.......
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post #28 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post
I can't help but think this sentiment is motivated by the hassle of playing individual tracks and the hassle involved in putting a record away, washing and playing another one. ...

If I encounter a track I don't particularly like, a single press of a button on the remote will skip to the next. ...
There are two kinds of people in the world -

- Song People

and

- Artist People

You are a Song Person.

I'm an Artist Person.

Never the twain shall meet.

As I will point out again, and have pointed out before, the Dynamic Range of the format is irrelevant. What matters is the Dynamic Range of the content.

What good is Dynamic Range in the CD Format, when it is all compressed out of the content?

Steve/bluewizard

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post #29 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 05:38 PM
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... At best, its dynamic range is significantly less than what can be recorded and mastered to red book CD. The recordist is stating beliefs that fly in face of facts.
I think you are assuming facts not in evidence.

The Dynamic Range is only the Dynamic Range of the content put onto the CD, which in the modern world is pretty poor. I doesn't matter if a format has 200db of dynamic range, if the the content applied only has 50db.

The 'recordist' stated nothing, at least stated no facts. He simply reported an observation, and acknowledge it need more study. But he demonstrated that Observation on graphs charting the dynamic range.

Once again, he speculated on why what he observed may have happened.

He never claimed otherwise and neither did I. Therefore you should not assume otherwise.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #30 of 147 Old 12-17-2014, 06:35 PM
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It's official, there will never be peace in the audio world.....this thread proves it.

Since my teenage years in the 90's, there was the vinyl vs. CD battle, that other battle no one cared about between SACDs and DVD-Audio, and today, I would venture to say we are back to vinyl vs. CDs vs. HD Audio downloads (to some extent).

I went to a local antique store that also specialized in vintage stereos & record players. They also had a large collection of used vinyl and a fair amount of used CDs. There was a group of 20 something "kids" [I think I can call them that now] that were trying out different records and discovering new artists. There is something to be said about "the experience" of vinyl and there are many records out there with fantastic album art to collect. Since it is a little harder to skip tracks, it tends to cut back on the instant skipping of music and allows one to focus on the entire album.

For me, I prefer the accuracy and dynamic range that CDs can provide (provided it is mastered well). I still buy CDs when there is a good album out there and rip it to my media PC. For everything else, I use Amazon or iTunes as I cannot tell the quality difference between their downloads and the CD version. I still like a physical backup & browsing the album art from time to time on a CD. Vinyl just seems to me to be too much work.

Last edited by Speaker Robert; 12-17-2014 at 07:20 PM.
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