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CD vs. Vinyl...the DeathMatch!  

post #1 of 2578
Thread Starter 
Here you go...your very own thread to argue the pros and cons of both formats. Make and place your bets, quote famous audiophiles and articles, point to various experiments and tests, and then dare each other to come over to compare on your systems. I'm all for a well-bred discussion among enthusiasts, but every single thread about vinyl and turntables gets hijacked by people who don't own either, have no interest in either, and therefore shouldn't care about either.

J.
post #2 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonColeman View Post

Here you go...your very own thread to argue the pros and cons of both formats. Make and place your bets, quote famous audiophiles and articles, point to various experiments and tests, and then dare each other to come over to compare on your systems. I'm all for a well-bred discussion among enthusiasts, but every single thread about vinyl and turntables gets hijacked by people who don't own either, have no interest in either, and therefore shouldn't care about either.

J.


No, nothing happens when vinyl and its preferences are discussed, nothing to challenge. But, the proverbial stuff hits the fan when claims are made and can be tested. Hard to test a preference.
post #3 of 2578
Thread Starter 
Geez...how did I know that it was either going to be you or PulleyMan that would jump on in? Is it Spanish Intuition...nah, that's not it. Blind Duck...nope. I've got it...it must have been the Cluck of the Irish...

B'KAW!!!

J.
post #4 of 2578
The CD as a physical medium is far more practical medium compared to vinyl. If you include SACD/DVD-Audio then you have the most important difference in sound quality: multi-channel playback.

Vinyl is easily damaged even with careful handling, and the vinyl is degraded just by playing it. The playtime is short compared to CD, and the physical size is surely to the CD advantage. It is easier to maintain good sound quality with CD than LP.
post #5 of 2578
This "Death Match" has been going on for a while.

From http://www.soundstage.com/feedback/resp04.htm:

Quote:


If we can't compare vinyl with CD's with blind A-B testing for the reason stated above, we can at least compare a CD with the original analog master tape. And, I understand TDK (a leader in the manufacture of analog and digital tape) did just that at a recent Consumer Electronics Show. The company would give one-million dollars to anyone who could correctly identify the source, tape or CD copy, for 10 successive trials in double blind A-B testing. I assume that the test included closely matched levels--say within 0.1 dB. No one could do it.
post #6 of 2578
Yes, which basically suggests that a person who is into vinyl would not prefer either the original analog tape or DAT.
post #7 of 2578
I like vinyl. Black vinyl. Tight, shiny black vinyl. And whips and chains.
post #8 of 2578
So does/did Angelina Jolie.
post #9 of 2578
Does the vinyl vs CD debate really reduce to the old analog vs digital debate? The contention is sound is ruined when digitized. So you might test a good sounding vinyl record, mastered from an analog tape, against a CD mastered from the same tape. If you also have the master analog tape, you might test it against the CD. Today that test is difficult because most of the records produced before the digital era (i.e Mercury Living Presence) are 50-60 years old!

I think the test material should be acoustical instruments and not corrupted by excessive post recording mixing and processing. The most realistic sounding recording in my collection is vinyl; a masterfully performed performance of the Brandenburg Concertos with every delicate nuance of each instrument captured. Electronic instruments don't 'do it' for me.

I have never heard a recording, be it vinyl, CD, tape or whatever that sounds like what I hear at Lincoln Center.

--- CHAS
post #10 of 2578
Amen to that.
post #11 of 2578
I have vinyl, CD, SACD and DVD-A for pre recorded music formats. Each has their respective places. One thing that I do miss with vinyl is the artwork on the covers. This seems to be a lost art with CD's since it doesn't have the same impact on a 5 1/4" jewel case as it does on a 12" record cover. IMHO, record companies just spend the $ on creative / artistic covers. When I was back in high school, many of the "rockers" would replicate the artwork on their jean jackets. I could be wrong but you don't see this anymore.
post #12 of 2578
I think the average LP will beat the average CD in sound quality, although things may even out, if you look at these a few years after purchase/use. Much of this is becuase CDs usually are compressed so badly. But LPs wear as they are played.

But, if you take a well mastered CD (especially DVD-A or SACD), vs. a well mastered LP, than the CD would win out becuase of it's lack of hiss, pops, etc. Because of LP degradation, the CD would gain even greater advantage as time goes on.

I think the CD medium has greater potential but suffers from generally poor mastering and over compression.

These are my thoughts in general. Of course some will cite music/artists that sound so much better on LP, and they will be right. LP is a great match for some type of sounds.
post #13 of 2578
My personal experience dictates that the average turntable is very hard to beat even by the "best" CD or SACD players. There are some CD recordings that are incredibly good though and can be easily compared to their vynil counterparts.

One thing I´ve seen is that most vynil samples that have been recorded to the CD format using a CD recorder such as the Yamaha CDR-HD1300, tend to sound better than the original version of the same CD! (No blind conditions for the testing, BTW)
post #14 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post


I have never heard a recording, be it vinyl, CD, tape or whatever that sounds like what I hear at Lincoln Center.

--- CHAS


Not from 2 speakers you won't and most likely not from anything less than one speaker for each instrument in such a large acoustic space. That was done many years ago by Villchur, I believe, not the entire orchestra but one or two players. Interesting results.
post #15 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

This "Death Match" has been going on for a while.

From http://www.soundstage.com/feedback/resp04.htm:


Quote:
If we can't compare vinyl with CD's with blind A-B testing for the reason stated above, we can at least compare a CD with the original analog master tape. And, I understand TDK (a leader in the manufacture of analog and digital tape) did just that at a recent Consumer Electronics Show. The company would give one-million dollars to anyone who could correctly identify the source, tape or CD copy, for 10 successive trials in double blind A-B testing. I assume that the test included closely matched levels--say within 0.1 dB. No one could do it.

I wonder if we compared HDCD, SACD and DVD Audio to CD, if someone could pick it in a double blind test? If not does that 100% prove that HDCD, SACD and DVD Audio are absolutelry no better and I mean not one iota better than CD? Hmmm, my opinion is no.

Is a DBT the be all and end all, 100%? I'm not too sure about that one myself, but if I had to give a definative answer I would say no. Not just posing these questions to you but to anyone.

Cheers.
post #16 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by classic77 View Post

I wonder if we compared HDCD, SACD and DVD Audio to CD, if someone could pick it in a double blind test? If not does that 100% prove that HDCD, SACD and DVD Audio are absolutelry no better and I mean not one iota better than CD? Hmmm, my opinion is no.

That depends on the setup and material played, as well as on the subjects listening, doesn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by classic77 View Post

Is a DBT the be all and end all, 100%? I'm not too sure about that one myself, but if I had to give a definative answer I would say no. Not just posing these questions to you but to anyone.

Cheers.

Of course DBT is not appropriate for everything and those than knows what DBT is about does not claim so, but it is a very important scientific tool that is widely used and accepted.
post #17 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

That depends on the setup and material played, as well as on the subjects listening, doesn't it?

You bet it does! Just like when you compare the original analog tape to a CD version as you quoted from another forum. Which tape player, CD player, what speakers and listeners and all else etc.
post #18 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

Of course DBT is not appropriate for everything and those than knows what DBT is about does not claim so, but it is a very important scientific tool that is widely used and accepted.

Accepted for what? Was a DBT appropriate for conclusively testing CD vs analog? What does a failed DBT prove? Why do I ask so many questions?

Let me try. If failed it proves that the difference was not BIG enough for a given test subject to perceive, under the given test paramters for a given period of time.

It does not prove that the differences (if they extist) are not perceiveable by the same test subject, with quick A/B level matched switching.
post #19 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

Of course DBT is not appropriate for everything and those than knows what DBT is about does not claim so, but it is a very important scientific tool that is widely used and accepted.


And, accepted in acoustic studies and audio. Even at AA there is such a statement

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/dbt.html
post #20 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by classic77 View Post

Accepted for what? Was a DBT appropriate for conclusively testing CD vs analog? What does a failed DBT prove? Why do I ask so many questions?

Let me try. If failed it proves that the difference was not BIG enough for a given test subject to perceive, under the given test paramters for a given period of time.

It does not prove that the differences (if they extist) are not perceiveable by the same test subject, with quick A/B level matched switching.


One thing is for sure, sighted comparison is totally unreliable for detecting small audible differences.
post #21 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

One thing is for sure, sighted comparison is totally unreliable for detecting small audible differences.

Yes if the listener is lying it's totally unreliable! If they are 100% truthful then it's much better.

Better still if the listener does not know which is playing during level matched A/B switching, they cannot be biased and can only pick the one that they thought was better (if they do think one is better over the other).
post #22 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post

One thing is for sure, sighted comparison is totally unreliable for detecting small audible differences.

A say a DBT is also totally unreliable for detecting small audible differences, because our brains are simply not good enough to remember exactly what something sounds like, especially as time passes. If our brain was 100% good at remembering them, why do we bother to re-listen to music anyway?

Now I admit I really have no idea how good the average human brain is at remembering sound quality but I assume it's a bit vague really. I don't think our brain can do some sort of A/D conversion, store the data in our brain, then hear something else an do the same process and then compare the two.

I really struggle to accept that a DBT it's the be-all and end-all. As a matter of fact, i think that overall it's rather quite useless.
post #23 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by classic77 View Post

Yes if the listener is lying it's totally unreliable! If they are 100% truthful then it's much better.

Better still if the listener does not know which is playing during level matched A/B switching, they cannot be biased and can only pick the one that they thought was better (if they do think one is better over the other).

I think that is what Charles was saying though. It doesn't matter how honest or truthful a listener is....merely knowing what is being played can (and probably will) influence their opinion.
post #24 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willd View Post

I think that is what Charles was saying though. It doesn't matter how honest or truthful a listener is....merely knowing what is being played can (and probably will) influence their opinion.

I agree it's an unknown how much a listener would be influenced for sure. I understand and accept Charles's points. An A/B test where the listener does not know which is which is maybe the answer?

Even then Vinyl lovers might claim things like it's the long term continuous listening of CD's that becomes fatiguing. That the "eupohonic" nature of Vinyl becomes appreciable over time. Something that is seemingly impossible to test or prove.

On paper a CD looks like it got the goods over Vinyl (I personally have not heard Vinyl since I was eight) but objective and subjective testing/comparisons are two different things. I'm prepared to accept that Vinyl COULD sound better to a particular listener. I'm mainly speaking in a practical sense here with real world listening and music appreciating, not scientific testing.
post #25 of 2578
post #26 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBTINGTHOMAS29 View Post

This is a good read.


Dynamic Comparison of CD's vs. LP's

If this is a DEATHMATCH, does this article mean add 1 frag to Vinyl?
post #27 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I like vinyl. Black vinyl. Tight, shiny black vinyl. And whips and chains.

Vinyl does have one advantage. The large sleeves are great for cover art. CD covers are too small to allow the same level of creativity. (Also, without going into the details, album covers are great tools for certain illicit activities, especially gatefolds.)
OT, but I bust a gut every time I visit here and see the headline "Great looking racks".
post #28 of 2578
the most obvious advantage of CDs over vinyls for me is the higher dynamic range.
But that is wasted in mastering with so many CDs. I like vinyls for old recordings, till, say mid 80's. But it's CD only since then.
post #29 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willd View Post

I think that is what Charles was saying though. It doesn't matter how honest or truthful a listener is....merely knowing what is being played can (and probably will) influence their opinion.


Yes, exactly. And, one can also be influenced by others in a single blind testing if any contact is made with those others.
post #30 of 2578
Quote:
Originally Posted by classic77 View Post

If this is a DEATHMATCH, does this article mean add 1 frag to Vinyl?


What it means is that they measured recordings and not the capability of the mediums when mastered to their best or mastered equally.
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