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Rant: I never knew vinyl...

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I grew up on late 80's-90's music. I was born somewhere in Southeast Asia where the norm was love songs, dance tunes and more songs about love. My family never owned a record player. The only format that was accessible to me was tapes. I was bought tapes like crazy when I was in high school since I didn't have a CD player and CD's were more expensive. Even though I bought tapes, I still disliked them because it gets easily creased/folded. I also disliked the hiss.

When I moved to North America and started working. I finally was able to turn my tape collection into CD's. My dream finally came true as I believed that CD's were the most superior music format. Right now I have more than 500 CD's. I actually thought of buying records before I reached 300 CD's. It was just something that I always had in the back of my head but never able to do.

Still to this day I have never owned a record player, vinyl record or listened to a vinyl record/player. But I believe now that vinyl is superior to the CD format (can I take this back?). As I type this, I'm listening to a 200g vinyl rip (flac) of Led Zeppelin IV. I compared it to my CD and the ripped vinyl is better in sound every other way. The evidence for me was the number of samples found on the file of the vinyl rip. Compared to my CD, there was 4 times more data on the ripped vinyl.

Has anyone else have the same unfortunate rude awakening as I have? BTW I'm not sad but it just sucks. I'm so deep on buying CD's I really can't imagine buying my top 100 records on vinyl without costing an as much as my CD's.


EDIT: New statement: Some vinyl recordings are better than CD and some CD recordings are better than vinyl. Lesson learned.
post #2 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashiro81 View Post

I grew up on late 80's-90's music. I was born somewhere in Southeast Asia where the norm was love songs, dance tunes and more songs about love. My family never owned a record player. The only format that was accessible to me was tapes. I was bought tapes like crazy when I was in high school since I didn't have a CD player and CD's were more expensive. Even though I bought tapes, I still disliked them because it gets easily creased/folded. I also disliked the hiss.

When I moved to North America and started working. I finally was able to turn my tape collection into CD's. My dream finally came true as I believed that CD's were the most superior music format. Right now I have more than 500 CD's. I actually thought of buying records before I reached 300 CD's. It was just something that I always had in the back of my head but never able to do.

Still to this day I have never owned a record player, vinyl record or listened to a vinyl record/player. But I believe now that vinyl is superior to the CD format. As I'm type this, I'm listening to a 200g vinyl rip (fllac) of Led Zeppelin IV. I compared it to my CD and the ripped vinyl is better in sound every other way. The evidence for me was the number of samples found on the file of the vinyl rip. Compared to my CD, there was 4 times more data on the ripped vinyl.

Has anyone else have the same unfortunate rude awakening as I have? BTW I'm not sad but it just sucks. I'm so deep on buying CD's I really can't imagine buying my top 100 records on vinyl without costing an as much as my CD's.

As far as I'm concerned, you're not missing anything. Well, except for scratches, warps, pops, jumping needles, cartridges, calibration, etc. At least those are the elements which I miss - not.

FWIW, I don't miss phones with dials and black and white TV's either.
post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
But I was only talking about sound quality. I know CD beats vinyl in other categories.
post #4 of 44
It depends, I personally think that the real issue is the remastering process... Albums that originally came out on vinyl may sound better than the CD simply because the band was likely involved in the mastering process, whereas with the CD re-release, it could be some engineers doing it, without the artistic input...

Personally, I've been downloading all my music for more than 10 years, so... Whatever (likely subjective) differences there might be between CD and vinyl, the fact is they're far too cumbersome for my taste... I like being able to start playing any one of my 25,000+ songs in less than 10 seconds, I also like being able to put them on my phone, mp3 player, car stereo, etc...
post #5 of 44
Some LPs sound better than the CD's. All Beatles stuff for example (but I read they will be reissuing this fall). Likely Led Zeppelin IV is one of these but I have not compared them.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashiro81 View Post

But I was only talking about sound quality. I know CD beats vinyl in other categories.

several HUGE threads on this topic.....good luck

Quote:


The evidence for me was the number of samples found on the file of the vinyl rip. Compared to my CD, there was 4 times more data on the ripped vinyl.

Distortion takes up more bytes
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by David James View Post

As far as I'm concerned, you're not missing anything. Well, except for scratches, warps, pops, jumping needles, cartridges, calibration, etc. At least those are the elements which I miss - not.

FWIW, I don't miss phones with dials and black and white TV's either.

You missed the boat..................The OP obviously has a passion for his music, and wants to get closer to it.
post #8 of 44
Quote:


Still to this day I have never owned a record player, vinyl record or listened to a vinyl record/player. But I believe now that vinyl is superior to the CD format.

Intersesting. I don't know how you could come to that conclusion, without ever listening to vinyl.

Quote:


The evidence for me was the number of samples found on the file of the vinyl rip. Compared to my CD, there was 4 times more data on the ripped vinyl.

Obviously the rip is at a higher bit rate than CD, nothing to do with it being from vinyl. I can rip my CD's at higher bit rates as well, could probably increase the size 8 times over, but it will still sound the same.
post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dknightd View Post

Some LPs sound better than the CD's. All Beatles stuff for example (but I read they will be reissuing this fall). Likely Led Zeppelin IV is one of these but I have not compared them.

I'm hoping the 09/09/09 Beatles will better the current CD's / come close to the MFSL records.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nr5667 View Post

It depends, I personally think that the real issue is the remastering process... Albums that originally came out on vinyl may sound better than the CD simply because the band was likely involved in the mastering process, whereas with the CD re-release, it could be some engineers doing it, without the artistic input...

Personally, I've been downloading all my music for more than 10 years, so... Whatever (likely subjective) differences there might be between CD and vinyl, the fact is they're far too cumbersome for my taste... I like being able to start playing any one of my 25,000+ songs in less than 10 seconds, I also like being able to put them on my phone, mp3 player, car stereo, etc...

I also agree with you on the remastering process. Both formats could sound good.
I think that's why I never was able to buy vinyl because CD's/digital files are convenient. Plus, I was never able to buy a record player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

several HUGE threads on this topic.....good luck
Distortion takes up more bytes

Yes, I know that even imperfections are recorded on the groove of the record so I guess there are a lot of unwanted data there.
I didn't want to open a can of worms when there are still some open like you said.

It's just a rant because my Led Zeppelin IV copy sucks. The vinyl rip sounded more alive. The sound was thicker.

I'm not an expert in audio or audiophile. I just love music. I want the best sounding record I can get. It cost a lot of money to achieve this.
post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

Interesting. I don't know how you could come to that conclusion, without ever listening to vinyl.



Obviously the rip is at a higher bit rate than CD, nothing to do with it being from vinyl. I can rip my CD's at higher bit rates as well, could probably increase the size 8 times over, but it will still sound the same.

I was in the heat of the moment lol. I based everything on that vinyl rip. My fault that I generalized. I don't want a format war thread.
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashiro81 View Post

..... I'm not an expert in audio or audiophile. I just love music. I want the best sounding record I can get. It cost a lot of money to achieve this.


Yes it does, you will spend time/$$$ in searching for that last 2-5%. It may just not be worth it. Other then that go out and buy some vnyl if you really want to.

Personally I would spend money on a proper room setup before I worry about the content itself.
post #12 of 44
Everything above, valid. I switched to CD's so I could spend my time playing music, not getting ready to play music. I'm an audiophile, tweak, whatever, but in the end, it is still the music that counts.
post #13 of 44
Forgot. Mobil Fidelity box set of the Beatels pressing would just make you cry.
(Modified Thorens, Grace F9e, modified Hafler preamp, BW amp, Celestion 44's with Seas tweeters)
post #14 of 44
If you were to factor the cost of limited edition pressings on vinyl, you could possibly achieve the same sound quality by increasing the cost of your speakers, and enjoying the music without the pops and clicks alluded to in an above post. Back in the day, I would return as many records as I kept, sometimes three or four times, before I could keep one without the dreaded noises associated with records. I own lots of Mobile Fidelity stuff, and have put them into storage, no longer even messing with playing of vinyl. CDs, regardless of the debate about the sound qualities, eliminated that exercise, and just allowed us to concentrate on music. Mastering, whether on vinyl or disc, is what it's all about.
post #15 of 44
Not to start a whole debate here, but if CDs were the last word in sound quaility then why did SACDs and DVD-A come along? What's next? BD audio dics? I seem to recall reading something about their impending debut.

There are limitations to CDs and most uber audiophiles(read pretentious and snobby) either still use turntables or claim to be trying to replicate the sound of vinyl without the pops and clicks as noted before. (I know these are some of the people who buy cables bridges and the like, but still, a lot of them have some esoteric gear)
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Not to start a whole debate here, but if CDs were the last word in sound quaility then why did SACDs and DVD-A come along? What's next? BD audio dics? I seem to recall reading something about their impending debut.

There are limitations to CDs and most uber audiophiles(read pretentious and snobby) either still use turntables or claim to be trying to replicate the sound of vinyl without the pops and clicks as noted before. (I know these are some of the people who buy cables bridges and the like, but still, a lot of them have some esoteric gear)

Did anyone say CDs are the last word in sound qualty?

Although you and I both know there is not enough evidence to prove that the SQ of redbook CDs is worse then SACDs and DVD-A? correct? Personally I do not give a crap, my media is MP3 and my playback device is an IPOD

Although I just purchased two live concerts on BR, Foofighters and Blue Man Group. I hope to hear them this weekend.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Did anyone say CDs are the last word in sound qualty?

What I meant was that I am not inclined to say, 100% positively that CDs are better than vinyl. They are definitely more convenient. Yes, they definitly do not have the pops and crackles associated with poorly kept records, but there might be something more than just nostalgia that keeps them in some people's favor.

Lets just say there isn't a clear superior medium based strictly on SQ, such as between cassettes and CD. IMHO anyway.

I have heard 5 or 6 turntable based systems that absolutely blew me away, but many, many more CD based systems that did the same. In the mid to late '80s I'm sure the ratio would have been quite different. Meaning that there aren't as many "vinyl" people still out there, people want the convenience.

Hell we know that the masses are less and less concerned with SQ. The IPod and other mp3 players prove that. Yes I know they can provide excellent SQ, it's just that the average person is happy with 128 kbps, or less, downloads and rips .

Sorry, that may have gotten off topic.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

What I meant was that I am not inclined to say, 100% positively that CDs are better than vinyl. They are definitely more convenient. Yes, they definitly do not have the pops and crackles associated with poorly kept records, but there might be something more than just nostalgia that keeps them in some people's favor.

Lets just say there isn't a clear superior medium based strictly on SQ, such as between cassettes and CD. IMHO anyway.

I have heard 5 or 6 turntable based systems that absolutely blew me away, but many, many more CD based systems that did the same. In the mid to late '80s I'm sure the ratio would have been quite different. Meaning that there aren't as many "vinyl" people still out there, people want the convenience.

Hell we know that the masses are less and less concerned with SQ. The IPod and other mp3 players prove that. Yes I know they can provide excellent SQ, it's just that the average person is happy with 128 kbps, or less, downloads and rips .

Sorry, that may have gotten off topic.


Very true, good points. More OT stuff (Maybe?)

The whole Vinyl sound/tube sound is less about SQ difference and more about just sounding different and having a "Cool" factor to them.
Last week I went to a house that had a tube amp and he was just playing some good Rock using it, I thought....that is a sound I haven't heard in awhile and I was thinking "I like it".

Now, I have spent the last couple days research Tube amps to try and find something cheap so that I can experience that sound on my own. My sunfire should do something similar according to the user manual but it honestly doesn't.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Not to start a whole debate here, but if CDs were the last word in sound quaility then why did SACDs and DVD-A come along? What's next? BD audio dics? I seem to recall reading something about their impending debut.


Yes, and none of these has ever been conclusively demonstrated to sound different from good old CD at normal listening levels, in scientific tests.

So why were the the 'hi rez' delivery formats promulgated? The reason record companies may get behind technologies that don't necessarily provide real improvement in sound, is either because they provide new revenue stream (the remasters market shows that you can often sell essentially the same thing over an over, if you market it right); moreover, the patents on CD were expiring around the time SACD was proposed as a new consumer delivery format; and last but certainly not least, digital copy protection (CD has none; DVD-A and SACD had plenty, though DVD-A's was eventually cracked).


This is not to say that 24-bit recording and production are useless...far from it, they are standard for good technical reasons of preserving the audio transparency in the face of unexpected loud peaks during recording and multiple rounds of digital processing during production. But there's far less rationale for that at home for simple playback. The best argument for 24bits in home formats is because these days, most gear provides its own internal digital signal processing (DSP), at 24 bits, and converts the signal to that anyway whenever it's used. So you might as well start at 24 and reduce the number of conversions.




Quote:


There are limitations to CDs and most uber audiophiles(read pretentious and snobby) either still use turntables or claim to be trying to replicate the sound of vinyl without the pops and clicks as noted before.

"Uber" audiophiles claim a lot of things that have little or no basis in fact. I would never argue something based on *their* authority.

It is, however a fact that LPs are likely to sound different from commercial CDs for two reasons: differnet mastering, and the common audible distortions of the LP system, some of which are considered 'euphonic' ('pleasant sounding'),e .g., an illusion of increased 'ambience' due to cross-channel and phase distortion.

It is also a fact that a Redbook-rates digital copy made directly off an LP will likely be indistinguishable from the LP itself, in a fair test. There's nothing audible on an LP that CD can't capture -- unless you claim to hear frequencies above 20 kHz. meanwhile, the LP creation/playing process is simply far more 'additive' of noise and distortion than digital recording,so an LP made directly from a CD would likely NOT sound the same as the CD..
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by yashiro81 View Post

But I was only talking about sound quality. I know CD beats vinyl in other categories.

I suspected that's what you meant and I also figured this thread go exactly where it did. That's why I didn't include any subjective opinions on any perceived quality differences.

It's a battle that can't be won. I offered up tangible demonstrable reasons why I wouldn't go back to vinyl if someone paid for the equipment.
post #21 of 44
I've heard lots of high end vinyl setups ( one of my firiends is a world class expert in vinyl professionally) and lots of high end CD setups.
Just whern I think I've heard an unbeatable vinyl setup I hear an even better one from CD.

There are some frankly terrible recordiings about though. I hate listening to a deep multi-layered heavily produced recording and noticing the hiss die off with a certain track or even worse it just hard clip off to nothing.

If I didn't know any better I'd think your average mixer these days is stone deaf but even then they could look at the waveform. ( I was an assistant dubbing mixer in a previous life)

Vinyl setups are nice "things" and they can have stunning performance and I congratulate anyone who owns and cherishes one. Its a totally worthwhile thing to have but I do think the whole CD vs Vinyl debate is sliciing the onion a little too finely.

SACD and DVD-A are frankly amazing given good recordings, real shame nothing really came of them. Hopefully BDA will pick up the baton.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
SACD and DVD-A are frankly amazing given good recordings, real shame nothing really came of them. Hopefully BDA will pick up the baton.

They just are not mainstream, I never heard of them before I join AVS. Outside of the awareness problem most people do not give a crap about quality over convenience and that is where all the revenue stream is so you have to please the masses.

even today after knowing about them, I still couldnt care one bit if it was MP3 playback for DVD-A or SACD. 320kbp MP3 is pretty good itself and the fact that any song is just a touch of screen away from being played anywhere in my house or traveling is icing on the cake. Again, Convenience rules.

BDA, will not pick up because again, the Convenience thing....the whole idea of media is old fashioned period. Everything that matters in terms of true revenue streams will be data based/streamed/stored for playback.
post #23 of 44
It's not that they're just not mainstream. They also apparently don't offer enough of a SQ difference over CD to be noticable to most people.
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

It's not that they're just not mainstream. They also apparently don't offer enough of a SQ difference over CD to be noticable to most people.

I know I didnt get the whole mystic behind them.
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

You missed the boat..................The OP obviously has a passion for his music, and wants to get closer to it.

Good reason to avoid LPs and all the ritual, noise and distortion that they require, but distract one from the actual music.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post

I've heard lots of high end vinyl setups ( one of my firiends is a world class expert in vinyl professionally) and lots of high end CD setups.

In this day and age, being an expert about vinyl setuips is like being an expert blacksmith with a specialization in horse shoes.

Quote:
Just whern I think I've heard an unbeatable vinyl setup I hear an even better one from CD.

That happened to me back in 1983.


Quote:
There are some frankly terrible recordiings about though. I hate listening to a deep multi-layered heavily produced recording and noticing the hiss die off with a certain track or even worse it just hard clip off to nothing.

Those are production problems, not problems that are inherent in either medium.

Quote:
If I didn't know any better I'd think your average mixer these days is stone deaf but even then they could look at the waveform. ( I was an assistant dubbing mixer in a previous life)

There does to be this problem where a lot of the young guys would rather be mixing whoever is the current latest-hottest than who the boss assigned them to today.

Quote:
Vinyl setups are nice "things" and they can have stunning performance and I congratulate anyone who owns and cherishes one.

I think pity would be more to the point. I've never heard a stunning preformance from a vinyl setup for years, aside from stunningly bad.

Quote:
Its a totally worthwhile thing to have but I do think the whole CD vs Vinyl debate is sliciing the onion a little too finely.

Actually, the vinyl versus CD debate was settled for about 99% of everybody back in the mid-90s. Where have you been?

Quote:
SACD and DVD-A are frankly amazing given good recordings, real shame nothing really came of them. Hopefully BDA will pick up the baton.

What's amazing abouy SACD and DVD-A is that:

(1) So many lies and so much hype was used to try to popularize them.

(2) That otherwise sane organizations like Sony, Phillips & etc wasted so much money on such egregriously bad science.

(3) That anybody even mentions them serioiusly given how badly they tanked in the mainstream marketplace.
post #27 of 44
I can't tell you how often I have purchased new versions of recordings I already own hoping for improved fidelity. It is more a matter of mastering, etc. than it is over the medium. I'm an analog guy for the most part, but would love to have 192 kHz/24-bit WAV 1-to-1 Masters of the Beatles catalog for convenience and back-up.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

In this day and age, being an expert about vinyl setuips is like being an expert blacksmith with a specialization in horse shoes.

Or one could say it is an art form that should be admired instead of needlessly, tirelessly and relentlessly put down.

BTW, horses still need shoes.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Or one could say it is an art form that should be admired instead of needlessly, tirelessly and relentlessly put down.

BTW, horses still need shoes.

I think his point with that analogy is, is all that extra effort really required when we have cars? Sure, people still do horses, and horse shoes, as a hobby, but cars are:
*more convenient
*better at their job
*longer lasting
...etc

From a technical standpoint vinyl is not even close.
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

Or one could say it is an art form that should be admired

.


Well stated
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