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  Reply # 688966 20-Sep-2012 17:22 Send private message

I'm going to put my neck out and say that if you were blindfolded, and played some music through the same speakers you wouldn't be able to tell whether it came from vinyl or CD etc.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed listening to vinyl records, loved watching the little timing light on my uncle's Technic 1200 mk2 when I was younger, but now that I mainly listen to music in the car or at work, it has to be digital.


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  Reply # 688987 20-Sep-2012 17:48 Send private message

I'd agree with insane but argue it further, unless you were listening on extreme quality equipment most people wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between a 128 Kbps MP3 and a CD/vinyl record. Try a blind test in a quality Hi-Fi dealer one day, you will be surprised when they tell you which track was the MP3 and which the CD/vinyl.

I also agree with some other previous posts, the mastering before it is put on to the CD/record is more important than anyone seems to realise. Almost no vinyl records now are produced purely in analogue so their 'warmth' and 'feeling' is pure placebo. They aren't anything more than nostalgia these days.

CDs aren't much better with almost all records having 'loudness' levels (this happens on vinyl too, BTW) raised during the mastering process. There are only a few boutique record labels that do not mess with loudness levels anymore which means that no matter what, the audio is distorted on good speakers.

My personal opinion is that a good set of speakers and a pure digital stream (HDD -> optical/Coax -> DAC -> Amp. -> speakers) is the best and cheapest option for someone looking to reproduce quality audio at home; short of an audio engineer, of course :)

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  Reply # 689014 20-Sep-2012 18:34 Send private message

I completely agree with 1080p. I think it takes a well trained ear to notice any differences in quality, plus it will always be subject to opinion by the few that can. But I also agree with an earlier post, vinyl is just cooler. It's retro and is therefore more interesting. If I walk into a house for the first time and see a room filled with records I'm going to be impressed but the same (or even more) amount of CD's won't wow me nearly as much and even less if somebody was to show me their 500gb music folder on their PC.




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  Reply # 689288 21-Sep-2012 10:22 Send private message

WOW - what and interesting and informative thread.

I personally found CD's to sound flat compared to vinyl - certainly to my ears.

Now to work out what to do with my audio cassette collection that is sitting in boxes in the cupboard. LOL

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  Reply # 689303 21-Sep-2012 11:11 Send private message

keewee01: 

...I personally found CD's to sound flat compared to vinyl - certainly to my ears....



Agreed, and disappointing.  Technically CD should support a wider dynamic range, but in my experience many just sound nasty and compressed :-(




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  Reply # 689355 21-Sep-2012 12:35 Send private message

To me is doesn't matter that much, you could have the best record player or digital system in the world but if your ears are rubbish whats the point. Everyone has different hearing levels so I'd say pick which ever type YOU think sounds best not what someone else recommends.

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  Reply # 689380 21-Sep-2012 13:07 Send private message

BTR: To me is doesn't matter that much, you could have the best record player or digital system in the world but if your ears are rubbish whats the point. Everyone has different hearing levels so I'd say pick which ever type YOU think sounds best not what someone else recommends.


Is that not like saying that it's OK that movies are shown slightly out of focus 'cos few people have perfect vision?

Personally, I think it sucks that recording companies are happy to produce and sell product that's not as good as it could easily be.  I'd be interested in what they're trying to achieve by this.

Back to the OP - the whole point of this thread is opinion, which is what makes it interesting.  Not many votes for CD yet beyond convenience.




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  Reply # 689391 21-Sep-2012 13:20 Send private message

If I think back to when CD's were launched... (Giving my age away now)

Everybody was is awww. And it was all about how clear they were, no noise, clarity was all about no interference. No physical contact on the disc like a needle to a vinyl. Apart from the convienience, thats what made them good. I also recall CD's being marketed that they will last forever.

Who remembers the Laserdiscs? They stored analoge video and audio. I would love to know how the audio quality on one of those compares to CD. Surely its like Vinyl but lacks the needle.

 

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  Reply # 689423 21-Sep-2012 13:57 Send private message

BraaiGuy: If I think back to when CD's were launched... (Giving my age away now)

Everybody was is awww. And it was all about how clear they were, no noise, clarity was all about no interference. No physical contact on the disc like a needle to a vinyl. Apart from the convienience, thats what made them good. I also recall CD's being marketed that they will last forever.

Who remembers the Laserdiscs? They stored analoge video and audio. I would love to know how the audio quality on one of those compares to CD. Surely its like Vinyl but lacks the needle.

 



Agreed. It was about how portable they were, and more robust (than vinyl), and far better quality than audio cassette (certainly wasn't price with what the earlier pressed CD's were costing - too much for this school boy to afford!). Sure, no pops and cracks but most albums I've found on CD don't have the depth to the sound that you seemed to get from vinyl. Clear and no noise didn't necessarily make them better. I have a couple of classical CD's - ones with powerful compositions on them - that do have depth to them, but that's about it. One is the 1812 Overture by the London Philharmonic and the other is a Time Warp - Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.  That second one has pieces on it that can destroy speakers!!!

Ah, Laserdiscs. I remember finding a huge pile of them in Cash Converters once and thinking 'WOW - how cool'.

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  Reply # 689425 21-Sep-2012 14:01 Send private message

I preferred the emotional commitment of vinyl. The shear act of pulling it out, setting up and putting one on meant you were going to commit to listening to it. The order of songs on albums was important and the last song had set you up for the next etc. You couldn't make your own play lists, you were committed to the experience of the album.

That sort of romantic connection has gone, with ipods, the fascination on singles only, crap albums with singles and a few rushed fillers, loudness wars (because we can't operate a complicated volume control aye?!), normalisation equalisation, mp3 compression, download streaming, tiny bundled speakers or headphones, smaller at all costs, home theatre in a box, bose golf ball sized cube speakers. In the '70s they committed to sound quality, made a big deal about it, treated huge speakers as important furniture, rearranged rooms so they sounded better etc etc.

If it sounds good to you, what else matters?

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  Reply # 689435 21-Sep-2012 14:06 Send private message

It's been so long since I played vinyl I don't think I could answer confidently. My turntable is buggered.

No qualms with the mp3 format as long as the bitrate is good. Don't like buying off ITunes though, as I can hear the compression sometimes. Would rather buy the CD.

I read a great quote from Alan Parsons, and I'm paraphrasing here, but it goes something like "Many audiophiles don't use their equipment to listen to music - they use music to listen to their equipment."




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  Reply # 689479 21-Sep-2012 14:44 Send private message

Its all in the distortion on vinyl.

Friend proved it very easily. Record the output of the pre-amp onto a CD in a consumer CD recorder, play it back, still sounds like vinyl.




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  Reply # 689674 21-Sep-2012 20:42 Send private message

Vinyl for enjoyment.
FLAC or AIFF for ease of use and the sheer size of my library.
I rarely catch my partner listening to the computer based rig, but I've walked in to her and her friends listening to Kind of Blue on the turntable more than once...

And as with anything, if you train your ears (like a seasoned musician or production engineer) you'll really be able to discern the nuances between the two. However, if you're working in a noisy environment every day, then you're going to struggle.

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  Reply # 689939 22-Sep-2012 17:22 Send private message

BraaiGuy: If I think back to when CD's were launched... (Giving my age away now)

Everybody was is awww. And it was all about how clear they were, no noise, clarity was all about no interference. No physical contact on the disc like a needle to a vinyl. Apart from the convienience, thats what made them good. I also recall CD's being marketed that they will last forever.

Who remembers the Laserdiscs? They stored analoge video and audio. I would love to know how the audio quality on one of those compares to CD. Surely its like Vinyl but lacks the needle.

 


Actually laserdiscs stored video as analogue but audio as digital (16/44.1) in the later versions. Then they brought in Dolby Digital (AC3) audio as a RF modulated signal digital signal on the left analogue audio channel which when properly decoded brought a fantastic 5.1 audio experience that no videotape could ever match.




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  Reply # 689942 22-Sep-2012 17:25 Send private message

I moved onto HD audio in the forms of SACD and DVD-A. Currently I am listening to a remaster of the first two ELP albums (ELP and Tarkus) from the original 16 track masters in 96/24 5.1 lossless audio. I defy any vinyl album to sound as good as that.




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