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  #1  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:23 PM
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CD vs records

Recently a customer of ours, in a conversation about music quality, proclaimed that a CD could not match the quality of a good record played on tube type equipment. After listening, after a Yukon Jack or two, I would have to agree,,, and I don't have tube type equipment. The records have a definate lifelike sound that the CD's seem to lack. Any comments ?
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Last edited by Pete Geither; 10-24-2005 at 10:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:38 PM
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This should be a good thread. A close friend and famous musician put it like this. Digitally you can record the sounds EXACTLY and replay them EXACT same as the recording so how can a LP be more life like?


The answer is IMO the "warmth" of the LP on a tube amp gives it an ambiance that can only be duplicated with a CD on a tube amp and proper use of a GEQ.

BUT thats IMO LP's can't reproduce the super sharp highs that I used to be able to hear amongst other things.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:48 PM
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Just as I feel,,,, there is something missing on the CD's.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJG56
Just as I feel,,,, there is something missing on the CD's.
It's called "hiss"
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
It's called "hiss"
"pop"
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:18 PM
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LPs sound better. Until I bought an older Carver SD/A490t reference CD player with vacuum tubes. CDs sound real nice on that. Record quality presence.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:29 PM
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I like them both. From the musician side, I prefer a guitar amp that has an orange glow coming from the upside down amp tubes in the back and springs in the reverb tank. From the mixing board side, digital recording sure beats the old limitations of tape. This year I ressurected my Technics turntable, brought the vinyl LPs from the garage and started cleaning and listening. I have a CD and DVD player going thru the same amp and speakers and there are times that it's a real toss up as to which is the better recording.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
I like them both. From the musician side, I prefer a guitar amp that has an orange glow coming from the upside down amp tubes in the back and springs in the reverb tank. From the mixing board side, digital recording sure beats the old limitations of tape. This year I ressurected my Technics turntable, brought the vinyl LPs from the garage and started cleaning and listening. I have a CD and DVD player going thru the same amp and speakers and there are times that it's a real toss up as to which is the better recording.
I think the type background hiss pop and glow is part of the art, a good example is Jimi Hendrix and BB King's duet of Like a Rolling Stone just wouldn't sound right on a CD and the same go for Pink Floyd not as extreme but it sounds better on LP. I don't think Eminem or Blink 182 would sound so hot on a scrathy LP......well I guess some distortion would help eminem a bit.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2005, 11:28 PM
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I think the whole thing is over rated and mostly marketing hype. I've got several thousand LP's and a few hundred CD's so obviously I'm more into vinyl. I'd never go out and spend the money to get a good turntable set up nowadays, but I've got records from when I was a kid that are still good. Back then a Hi-Fi was a geek deal like puters are today and guys are still tweaking that old stuff to good advantage.
There were great recordings made in the late fourties and early fifties (mostly jazz) that are fantastic, and there is also so good recent stuff - not much vinyl. Lots of the old stuff is just not on CD. I've got Billy Holiday - monophonic - "Body and Soul" that's just killer done in 1948 I think, but the most recent - other than some custom re-pressings and specialty blues stuff is "Dead Can Dance" - that's what? 15 or more years ago. Good recordings sound best in the medium they were recorded in and vinyl is always a second step away from tape while digital can be straight to ..--.-. but ..-.--. is a visual thing - sound is an analogue thing. There can be an edge to digital because it perfectly records a lot of inaudible highs, and the old tube tape masters totally miss it.
It's just that good recordings sound good - some were analogue, some are digital and none were 60's RR - ever heard a good "Yardbirds" - all was just done to sound good on an AM radio in a parked car with one crumby speaker.
Tubes vs. SS over rated, but there's a little magic in glowing tubes. If I really get picky I drive my woofers with a NAIM 250 and the mids and tweeter arrays with tweaked out tube gear. Still I'm always changing tubes and they're only on infrequently. The NAIM's been recapped once, but essentially has been bullet proof for nearly thirty years.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2005, 02:41 AM
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I've got hundreds of records, and maybe twenty cds that I've bought? Have a couple hundred burned albums that I downloaded, but I don't believe that counts.

If you want to get technical, a record contains more than a CD. That's why they call them samples.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2005, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danwatt
I've got hundreds of records, and maybe twenty cds that I've bought? Have a couple hundred burned albums that I downloaded, but I don't believe that counts.

If you want to get technical, a record contains more than a CD. That's why they call them samples.

Exactly. A lot of the spatial/imaging information is incomplete on CD. That's not a limitation of digital but a limitation in the cd standard. That standard was set on 20 year old digital technology!! I'm sure that if they developed the standard today it would be quite more comprehensive and the resulting sound would blow vinyl out of the water.

All that obviously means nothing since it would be wasted on the majority of people who are happy listening to 128kbps.

Jorg

Last edited by 89-300ce; 10-25-2005 at 12:25 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2005, 12:18 PM
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Yes.. equipment quality, whether analogue or digital is what makes the difference. Given "equal" source quality and care taken in both the recording / mastering and playback, (if that is even possible), good vinyl will usually sound better, especially with the spatial qualities of a recording. The CD standard was highly compromized, in that it will only sample at 44,100 Hz. This means that the higher audio frequencies, especially those at low amplitude that carry the sound field's characteristics only get represented by two samples per second. It would have been far better had they set the standard at 52 khz (which was the sampling rate of digital studio DAT), or even at 48 khz.

Moving ahead 30 years, digital audio is now easily accomplished at 96 khz on 24 bits- my home computer will do that, and I am taking advantage of this by digitizing my vinyl collection at that rate and burning it onto blank DVD-R. I'm still not fully satisfied however- I think in some cases the vinyl still sounds better, and I blame it on the mediocre quality of my PC's on-board sound. I'm looking at a much better PCI bus card made by M-Audio before I get real serious about digitizing my records.

DVD Audio- 96 khz 24 bit sampling should become as common as the CD within a few years, and it will be far better for the discerning ear.

Dave
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2005, 12:56 PM
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I've been converting my LP collection to digital for a while now. I use a 24-bit device made by M-audio to do the hard part. With the use of good quality equipment from end to end there is no discernable difference between the sound quality/imaging/spatial effects at the LP source and the digital destination. Most of my LPs have been played previously no more than 2x.

Hereís a discussion of differing recording capabilities which goes some way to explain the difference in effects between 16-bit of CD quality and the newer 24-bit or DVD quality.

http://www.tweakheadz.com/16_vs_24_bit_audio.htm

What is quirky about the discussion is that the human ear canít hear differences at a frequency of less than about a 30th of a second. The author of the article above suggests that the greater sampling rate (44Khz for 16-bit vs 96khz or 192khz for 24-bit) might create an effect on the harmonics generated within the audible spectrum. I dunno.

Anyway there most definitely is a difference between 16-bit audio and LPs but none, at least none i can hear, when employing the abilities of 24-bit audio.

Coldwar - check out a device made by M-audio call the Transit. You need a digital (TOSlink) output at the source to provide highest ability.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2005, 01:47 PM
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Money has got to be an issue tho, doesn't it? A better turntable can bring more out of old vinyl, but they still have to be near pristine. It's very hard to find good stuff at the used record stores anymore and new vinyl will run $20/30, and I see stuff like MFSL's going for $50 to several hundreds. So an investment in a LP playback system can get pretty pricey if you don't have an existing collection in very good condition. I've seen these almost modest $5,000 table,arm,cartridge setups with maybe 40/50 LP's on the shelf. Seems a little misguided when a very good CD player can be had for a grand or so.
I bought an LP-12 used years ago, gone through a couple of arms and I get queezy when I think what it has represented in $$ over time, along with the associated collection of pre-amps, and phono stages. When I see what people get into this stuff for nowadays it takes my breath away vs. maybe a CD based system that can be $10,000 total. Then again some great times my wife and I had searching through the bins at "Record Surplus", but last time I was there the goodies were just not there anymore.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2005, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebenz
I've been converting my LP collection to digital for a while now. I use a 24-bit device made by M-audio to do the hard part. With the use of good quality equipment from end to end there is no discernable difference between the sound quality/imaging/spatial effects at the LP source and the digital destination. Most of my LPs have been played previously no more than 2x.

Hereís a discussion of differing recording capabilities which goes some way to explain the difference in effects between 16-bit of CD quality and the newer 24-bit or DVD quality.

http://www.tweakheadz.com/16_vs_24_bit_audio.htm



Coldwar - check out a device made by M-audio call the Transit. You need a digital (TOSlink) output at the source to provide highest ability.
That's a really thought provoking article- and it certainly underlines the fact that no matter what the final medium of delivery to the consumer (vinyl, CD, DVD or MP3), if it is music that was recorded within the last 20 years, it was probably digitized right off the mixing board- or even right in the mixing board.

That Transit gadget looks pretty cool- would be especially good for site recording on a laptop. I'm going to buy their Audiophile 2496 PCI card, as my computer is a permanent fixture in my AV system. Just having the real nice RCA jacks right on the card instead of the usual 1/8" is a good start.
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