Vinyl or CD's...which is superior??

stantheman

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Posts
11,880
Age
67
Location
White Mountains
I'm givin' the Acid Test with Guitar Slim and
Magic Sam and I'll tell you this: NO CONTEST.
Vinyl wins hands down !!! "The Story Of My Life"
on CD is "distant"...whereas on Vinyl, Slim's
swingin' by his knees on the chandelier in the
hall !!! Why did they promote CD's??? They
can't compare when cranked through a hundred
watt amp, no contest. "Now Folks, once I was
a prisoner of war.".... Eddie Jones is standin' in
the room "easin' my sufferin' mind".

Technology Sucks.
 

feojack

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Posts
240
Location
Houston,TX
Maybe Yes, Maybe No

I was/am a vinyl fan. I have a reasonably large vinyl collection. I resisted CDs as long as possible. True, vinyl gives a quality TO the recordings that can't be beat. BUT, even after years of taking better care of my LPs than most folks do, I still have quite a few, with the old, snap, crackle & pop. And to go Rice Krispies one better, some also go skip!

If I use the same amount of care on CDs that I did on my LPs, I can see them lasting forever. Plus,while the CDs lack some of the excitement heard in vinyls played loud on good equipment, I have to remember that I used to listen to my old records on some real crapola machines too. Best sound reproduction didn't even enter into it. I just wanted to hear the music.

Which is one of the things I DO like about CDs today. I just want to hear the songs, maybe learn some of them, copy lyrics & whatnot. I can play one cut over & over without lifting the tone arm & running a risk of scratching the diddy wah diddy out of the record. Heck I can repeat certain passages over & over til I get it right.

And ther is a vast catalog of out of print LPs that have been rereleased on CD. Some music that I hadn't heard or thought about in yonks. The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band comes to mind. And Love.

One thing I really do miss about the old LPs is the fantastic album cover, with artwork and printing you could actually see without using a magnifying glass. I could be going blind from CD boxes & computer screens, lol.

Anyway, I don't think one is better than the other. They're both great in their own way. And for different reasons. Nuff from this geezer,
Cheers, feo
 

Teleologist

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 8, 2003
Posts
382
Location
Chicago
Judging CD technology based on re-released or even re-mastered recordings doesn't really tell the whole story. A lot of those old recordings were EQ'ed for vinyl and later for FM radio - neither of which go much beyond 15Khz. When CDs first came out with real response to 20Khz and 90db+ dynamic range the first recordings were pretty harsh, but recording engineers eventually figured out how to calm things down.

I agree the 16bit CD standard isn't ideal, and I think people will like the new 24bit 96Khz DVD standard a whole lot better(once engineers get used to that). Besides, you still can't play an LP in the car, or out on the boat, or....

Personally, I really disliked LPs - first thing we did was copy them to Cassette(which degraded things even more) because no matter how carefull they were handled, they'd get damaged. With CDs, a little Maguires plastic polish fixes 'em right up :)
 

John Harrison

Tele-Afflicted
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Posts
1,037
Location
Corvallis, OR
LP vs. CD

I'm another that resisted cd technology for as long as I could. While I detect less warmth on cds, when compared to vinyl, cds are just more convenient.

Where I think cds can't compete, however, and where we all lost out, BIG TIME, is with album art. Jewel cases are cold, cold, cold. More significant is that the lp's 13"x13" footprint permits the customer to read liner notes, lyrics, credits, and see pictures and art (remember the enclosed posters, etc.?), without the use of a magnifying glass.
 

Oster

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 18, 2003
Posts
3,799
Age
52
Location
Muddy York
There are certain LPs

..that I refuse to replace with CD. My Led Zeppelin collection for one, not just for the heavy warmth of sound but for the amazing artwork (esp. III & Physical Graffitti). Also my Beatles' Rubber Soul which has the proper songs and running order (ie, 'I've Just Seen A Face' w/ that false start intro) and, again, nice woolly warmth. There are many others. However, CD has made a big improvement on The Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' as well as The Grateful Dead stuff on Warner Bros. The new 'Live Dead' is sonically way better than the vinyl ever was, and the packaging is cool (mini LP-ish with a colour book).
 

Mik

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
1,859
Thanks for the tip, maguiars plastic polish.

I too resisted CDs. I finally broke down and bought a CD player around 1988 because most records were digitally mastered especially classical, breaking the analog process chain. Vinyl can sound excellent but there are bad records just as there are bad CDs. Many records were mastered for AM car radio and other lo-fi media. There are so many good and great sounding CDs today that I'm not looking back. However I have a modest system on which I play vinyl: a '59 Scott tube amp, a noisy '69 AR turntable with original Stanton cartridge and small 2way 8ohm Polk speakers. Not real loud (I have a good analog sounding for its day CD player (Cal Audio Labs) for louder) but it satisfies my vinyl appetite.

I'm confident you'd be impressed by 192khz/24 bit stereo DVD Audio. Very few recordings have been recorded or mastered 192/24 and I 've only heard several samples on a demo DVD-remarkably real. This is DVD Audio, NOT the movie A/V application. I haven't heard Super Audio (?) CD but I'll bet it sounds great too. My point is that digital audio and consumer recordings have come a long way the last 20 years, and anyone who is still hanging on to vinyl and analog exclusively are missing out.

Mik
 

Mik

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
1,859
By the way...

...I implied that the lo-fi mixes for records sound bad, well, not necessarily so but there are of course serious sonic limitations and trade-offs in creating product for such lo-fi playback.

Mik
 

Ben Harmless

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Posts
5,129
Location
Salem, Mass
It all depends on the application.

CDs make far superior coasters, as they are smaller, and do not tend to warp as badly. They also are much more suited to assisting in the application of makeup.

Vinyl however, is better for frisbee-type games, and for reproducing music.
 

tdp46

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2003
Posts
76
Location
North of the Border
Well........

like the rest of the world, I converted my collection to CD, mainly for the convience and the ability to draw on them with a ball-point pen or boil the in soup if the mood took me. Then one day I dusted off the turntable and stuck on an old Byrds LP. Perhaps it's the old nostalgia thing (just what were we doing to old Byrds albums?) but I have to admit that they sound so much better. So if I have the time I play the LP. Interestingly enough they were all recorded a semi-tone higher than the CD.
Cover art is a totally different discussion and there is absolutely no comparison.
 

telemike

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
581
Location
Tuscaloosa, AL
Ever try playing a vinyl record in the car?

I never was into vinyl LP's. I never thought the sound was that great, and they always were scratching and popping and skipping... I was always into cassette tapes more, and the day I bought my first CD player, every one of my cassettes went up for sale to my friends and I started building my cd collection.
 

Bernie

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
1,848
Location
SF Bay Area
In the 70s

In the 70s, when I started buying records, vinyl quality was pretty sh*tty. Records were thinner, entire lots of records were warped (this I discovered when returning the same record three and four times, and finally settling on the *least* warped one), and the only way around it was shelling out for the expensive "audiophile" records (around $20 if I remember correctly.) I had a decent system then (Pioneer, Dual, JBL) and was pretty meticulous about the whole thing - I never piled records on a changer, always Disc-washed and put records back in their jackets when finished, etc. *Never* touched the vinyl. Learning "licks off old records" (Martin Mull, ha) didn't help the situation, as this further degraded an already inferior product, but I was never a "needle dropper" - I always used the arm lifter thing on the turntable or taped the album. Point is, I took care of the vinyl I owned.

I have little nostalgia for vinyl because, in my expereince, the cons outweighed the pros (warmth (is that what lies beyond the hiss and crackle?) vs. hiss, pops, skips, the sound of the record warp, and multiple return trips to the record store). I'll still (begrudgingly) replace my turntable next year because I still have about 200 records left, and many can't be replaced on CD. Every once in a while I'll even buy a used record, but I'm not convinced that records are superior to CDs or vice versa. I guess it's just a matter of what you're willing to put up with when you're listening and buying.

OK, album covers were cool, and they were fun to look at while the tonearm was dragging across the the brand new warped, hissing and crackling record I was listening to ; ) Nowadays, though, artists have entire websites that contain liner notes, pictures, tour dates, gear lists, discussion boards, etc.

Bernie
 

Mark Davis

Telefied
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
31,491
Location
Bakersfield Ca.
Vinyl is better than CD's but it takes a real expensive system to make the vinyl stuff sound as good as a medium prided system with a cd.
 

Poppatwang

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
2,373
Location
St. Paul, MN
I'm shopping for a new turntable...

because I have to much vinyl I won't let go of.
I've heard albums sound better than CDs & Cds that
sounded better than vinyl.

Starting from scratch, it would take a much larger
investment in gear to play vinyl that sounded great.

I've heard amazing sound from LPs played on my pals
$15,000.00 stereo. On my more modest set-up, vinyl
sounds pretty crappy most of the time.
 

stantheman

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Posts
11,880
Age
67
Location
White Mountains
All you guys who dissed Vinyl have

one thing in common....SUCKY TURNTABLES.
Try a vinyl record on a Bang & Olufsen.
I've yet to hear anything digital come close.
And yeah, I've got about 300 CD's and
about 250 records and the CD's have ZERO VIBE.
Is it any wonder that music is so lifeless today
on all fronts ??? Look at the format it's played
on....cold, sterile. The ONLY thing CD's did was to
give THE UNWASHED MASSES a little taste of what
a REAL SYSTEM sounds like because they won't
make the commitment or couldn't afford to....
But that's still all it is...a little taste....a facimile,
it's not real. It's like all those super processed
female singers and "boy groups" who couldn't
hit and hold a note through just a microphone
alone if their lives depended on it.
***for the record (pun intended) you can put
together a Great analog system used for about
750 dollars. The most important part being a
decent cartridge and turntable (go B&O everything
else is overkill), Polk SDA speakers, and any
amp or receiver that can push 100 watts.
The difference is night and day (the night being
preferred as sonic waves react better to non-
light environs.)

stan (formally unwashed stan)
ps cd's are gonna be great for skeet....PULL!!!
 

Mik

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
1,859
There is a much higher landfill to keep on keepin' on ratio for B&O turntables than AR...Stan are you on the payroll of the Queen of Denmark? Oh that's right...B&O hasn't manufactured turntables for years...sorry,
Mik
 

stantheman

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Posts
11,880
Age
67
Location
White Mountains
Yeah but they're still sellin' Cartridges

I heard the newest format on Columbus Day
in a sound room, and it was typical Digital
except a "sanitized" version. maybe the
solution if there is one is to put some kind
of "tube compression simulator" on board
the higher grade players to warm them up.

PS, Long Live The Queen !!! (and her engeneers).
PPS, B&O still has their lifetime warranty on
original purchases as far as I know.
PPPS, the Demo Room CD was "Bop 'Til You Drop"
 

Poppatwang

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
2,373
Location
St. Paul, MN
Sucky Turntable

Back in the day, a nice turntable was an arm & a leg.
Now that the one I have is going belly up, I'll look
for something primo (used). Same can be said for CD players.
I have an old entry level CD player that pales next to
my TASCAM pro unit.
 

Teleologist

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 8, 2003
Posts
382
Location
Chicago
FWIW - You guys looking for turntables - new ones are still available - check out better pro-audio places like Sweetwater Sound, etc. They're usually listed with the DJ gear. I think there's a few in the AMS catalog...
 

feojack

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 2, 2003
Posts
240
Location
Houston,TX
Re: Sucky Turntable

Poppatwang said:
Back in the day, a nice turntable was an arm & a leg.
Now that the one I have is going belly up, I'll look
for something primo (used). Same can be said for CD players.
I have an old entry level CD player that pales next to
my TASCAM pro unit.
My last turntable was purchased at (not an endorsement) Radio Shack for about 80 bucks. I realize some will turn up thier noses at this, but it was a reasonable turntable, & sounded OK with my amp * speaker set up. I have to remember some of the stuff I used to play my records on..... Somwe will laugh, some will cringe, but when I lived in the mountains of Colorado, in a cabin without electricity, we used a battery operated record player with a Fender single 12" extension cabinet plugged into the earphone jack. Man, we were as happy as pigs in slop, being able to listen to the Dead, Airplane, Quicksilver & the like, way out there in the boondocks. Once again, it just boils down to whatever floats your boat. :D
Cheers, feo ;)
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,671
Location
Near BWI Int'l
i think both are best...

...and both are better than each other!

FWIW, i gave my brother my Dual years ago. while i'd like to have it back, i don't even know where i'd put it (it's amazing what an 18 month old can do to anything that is somewhat fragile).

as for album art, that has become a moot point as well. i've grown tired of reading liner notes. i burn so much new music to CD that i don't even bother with jewel cases much any more - any compact sleeve will do.

even this discussion is a moot point to some degree. there are alot of folks who are moving beyond CDs to a complete collection of music w/their computers, iPods, etc. YES, you and i know that any compressed mpeg format file is inferior to even a CD, but hey, times they are a changin' (again)!

and you've also got a growing faction of folks who are converting their old vinyl over to digital format with some cool tools that even help you to iron out the pops and such.

but hey - whatever floats your boat. i like to use all the alternatives to my advantage.

anyone got a toddler-proof turntable rig figured out?
 




Top