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(Humans Invent)   Why vinyl sounds so much better than CDs or MP3s   (humansinvent.com) divider line 20
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5045 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Nov 2012 at 9:55 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-09 12:53:40 PM  
2 votes:
Sort of amazed at the uninformed opinions stated as facts in this thread. The bottom line is that vinyl has the potential to have better frequency response and better dynamic range than traditional CDs (while CDs are better in the wow and flutter department, a good record player can effectively render this moot). Whether an individual release takes advantage of that potential is, of course, open to interpretation.

I say whatever floats your boat. If I want to sit and listen to something I'll go for vinyl if I've got it, CD if not. Mp3s are good for background fill or the car or just when I'm not paying close attention, but that's just me. I don't get down on people listening to mp3s all the time. I do wish more people cared about fidelity (the loudness wars being a direct result of this lack of concern), but I really can't fault them for liking what they like.
2012-11-09 10:13:20 AM  
2 votes:

The Muthaship: DNRTFA, is the answer "It doesn't"?


This (except maybe for MP3s).

People, particularly "audiophiles", tend to mistake the distortion, wear, and "warmth" of vinyl as better sound, and many others still have stuck in their heads the awful sound of many early CD releases that were poorly mastered. Also, people who still have record players probably have much better systems than the average person, and any source will sound better than your typical consumer-level CD or digital audio player.
2012-11-09 10:04:19 AM  
2 votes:
...because it's analog...? Do people not understand that? No, most people don't give a shiat, and I myself am FAR from an audiophile. But I'm a musician, I've fiddled around with both digital and analog recording, and if you gave me a blind hearing test, I could definitely tell the difference.
2012-11-10 08:18:03 AM  
1 votes:
Well, that all depends on the bitrate of the mp3.

92KBs? Where is my bass? What the fark is wrong with the high hats? I WANT MY RECORDS BACK YOU ASSHOLES!

128KBs? I'll take vinyl please, but if i need it to be portable, I GUESS I can settle for the mp3.

320KBs VBR? fark that record shiat. It's bulky outdated crap.

/spent too much money on his audio setup
//Learned quite a bit about what audio compression sounds like.
///Owns no records
2012-11-10 07:42:29 AM  
1 votes:
So many of you are so astoundingly stupid when it comes to this discussion. There is no sound that can't be replicated on the digital medium. If you do a analogue to digital dump of a vinyl record, then replay it, guess what? It brings along even the stupid pops and static of vinyl.

There is no "more alive" sound, that is just your batshiat stupid nostalgia telling you that spending money of a dead medium was a good deal.
2012-11-09 11:29:07 PM  
1 votes:

NoiseGoth: Sort of amazed at the uninformed opinions stated as facts in this thread. The bottom line is that vinyl has the potential to have better frequency response and better dynamic range than traditional CDs (while CDs are better in the wow and flutter department, a good record player can effectively render this moot). Whether an individual release takes advantage of that potential is, of course, open to interpretation.

I say whatever floats your boat. If I want to sit and listen to something I'll go for vinyl if I've got it, CD if not. Mp3s are good for background fill or the car or just when I'm not paying close attention, but that's just me. I don't get down on people listening to mp3s all the time. I do wish more people cared about fidelity (the loudness wars being a direct result of this lack of concern), but I really can't fault them for liking what they like.


The dynamic range of vinyl, when evaluated as the ratio of a peak sinusoidal amplitude to the peak noise density at that sine wave frequency, is somewhere around 80 dB. Under theoretically ideal conditions, this could perhaps improve to 120 dB. The dynamic range of CDs, when evaluated on a frequency-dependent basis and performed with proper dithering and oversampling, is somewhere around 150 dB. Under no legitimate circumstances will the dynamic range of vinyl ever exceed the dynamic range of CD, under any frequency, given the wide performance gap and the physical limitations of vinyl playback.

I don't understand the nostalgia. I remember hearing my first CD, and being astounded at the complete lack of sound between tracks. As far as quality of sound goes, most people really don't care. Remember how popular prerecorded cassettes were back in the 80's? Almost all of them were terrible (I can only ever remember a couple of cassette releases on CRO2 tape). I couldn't believe people bought them. On good cassette decks, quality tape could come very close to CD quality. Back to back, using good quality metal or chrome oxide tapes, I could only really tell the difference between a CD and a good tape of a CD by the hiss between tracks, and even then you had to have the volume pretty high. But that's good tape, on a good deck, with Dolby C and HX Pro. I home taped all of my cassettes, by renting records or CDs, or borrowing them. The prerecorded cassettes you could buy at the music store were of very poor quality, but people bought them anyway.

METCALFE: I enjoy both formats, but my preference is definitely CD.

DANKOSKY: Now, why CD?

METCALFE: Well, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm primarily a recording engineer, as far as working with music. And it's - the closer thing to what I'm sending into the recorder is very much what I'm getting back out. With analog formats, although the sound can be very pleasing in certain styles, it's definitely imparting its own sound on it. And I think, to an extent, it's that sound that some people are really drawn to. But it's nice as an engineer to have the confidence of knowing that what I'm putting into - in most cases these days, the computer - is pretty close to what I'm going to get out.

DANKOSKY: Sean Olive, I have to ask you. I think I know your answer, but vinyl or CD?

OLIVE: Definitely CD.

DANKOSKY: Yeah? So tell me why.

OLIVE: Well, I mean, I grew up listening to records up until about '85, when the CD was already out. And I was involved in testing loudspeakers up at the National Research Council in Canada. And we were testing cartridges at that time, and it was quite apparent that the amount of distortion coming out of these devices was very high compared to CD. So what we found was that vinyl was a limiting factor in our ability to do accurate and reliable listening tests on loudspeakers, and we had to find a more reliable and more accurate medium.


Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than CD, Or Not
Ant
2012-11-09 03:59:33 PM  
1 votes:
The only thing I miss about vinyl is large album covers and liner notes.
2012-11-09 03:45:10 PM  
1 votes:

doremifaq:
Back to analogue vs digital: they sound different from each other. You can tell by listening. mp3 compression proves that the buying public just doesn't care.


If you're talking guitar amps solid state (digital) vs tube (analog) there's no comparison.

That amp you saw George Harrison playing on the roof at apple records (Fender '68 twin reverb)is still better than nearly any amp made today.
2012-11-09 02:06:22 PM  
1 votes:
''With records you get a better interpretation of the sound intended.''

Aaaand I stopped reading right there. He apparently hasn't seen the RIAA curve which massively/artificially cuts bass (-20db @ 20hz) and boosts high end during mastering (+20db @ 20khz), then the inverse is done on playback. Not to mention far worse separation, uneven frequency response, rumble, and pops. I can respect someone who says they like the sound of vinyl better, but to say that vinyl has better fidelity than CDs is just ignorance and scientifically false.
2012-11-09 01:41:03 PM  
1 votes:

grinding_journalist: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: This brings us to now. Much music is now produced in WMA, or other sampling formats. These are samples of samples, that only reproduce the most important sounds. Very clean, but is it what the artist intended?

Extremely interesting, though it makes you seem like a bit of a snob.


An ignorant snob, even. Completely overlooks microphone and speaker technology. Looking forward to hearing his/her collection of original quadrophonic beeswax cylinders of Dark Side of the Moon....

Back to analogue vs digital: they sound different from each other. You can tell by listening. mp3 compression proves that the buying public just doesn't care.
2012-11-09 12:39:42 PM  
1 votes:

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: This brings us to now. Much music is now produced in WMA, or other sampling formats. These are samples of samples, that only reproduce the most important sounds. Very clean, but is it what the artist intended?


Extremely interesting, though it makes you seem like a bit of a snob.
2012-11-09 11:23:43 AM  
1 votes:

The Angry Hand of God: I enjoy vinyl for one reason. The person playing the music has to be aware of what is playing, how long is left, etc. It requires more attention. There is nothing worse than going to a party where somebody plugs in there 5 billion song iPod and puts it on shuffle...


This. My digital music storage is filled with all kinds of stuff, but I'm really making it a point to curate a collection of only the records that have been REALLY important to me for varying reasons throughout my life. That way, I can listen more actively and appreciate the albums for what they are, rather than giving in to that urge to just hit the shuffle button.
2012-11-09 11:13:56 AM  
1 votes:
Everyone seems to forget that the signal to the vinyl is filtered before the impression is made and then re-filtered in the turntable to counteract the original filtering; a sort of primitive compression if you will. This tends to emphasize the high mids a bit, adding to the perceived warmth.
2012-11-09 10:49:49 AM  
1 votes:

The Muthaship: DNRTFA, is the answer "It doesn't"?

2012-11-09 10:41:53 AM  
1 votes:

Pontious Pilates: Lando Lincoln: Pontious Pilates: I could definitely tell the difference.

Yeah, me too. From all the popping and skipping of vinyl.

Well, yeah, that's the biggest problem with vinyl. It's a fragile medium. But a pristine record played on decent equipment will outshine digital every time. Just not enough for people who don't give a shiat or know how to listen.


except that you could capture the sound of that vinyl record to hi quality sound files, dither it to 16 bit audio, burn it to cd and A\B the recordings and not tell the difference.

Because you can make a cd sound exactly like a vinyl record. the reverse is not true. The myth that vinyl sounds better is a carry over from early poorly mastered cd's that yes, sounded liked crap next to the old vinyl versions.

this is no longer the case.

the mysterious "warmth" is nothing more than the surface noise (steady white noise that human beings like). people that say "but my 10000 dollar turntable is silent, you hear no surface noise" are then fooling themselves about vinyl sounding better.
2012-11-09 10:20:16 AM  
1 votes:
I enjoy vinyl for one reason. The person playing the music has to be aware of what is playing, how long is left, etc. It requires more attention. There is nothing worse than going to a party where somebody plugs in there 5 billion song iPod and puts it on shuffle...
2012-11-09 10:19:18 AM  
1 votes:

Pontious Pilates: I could definitely tell the difference.


Yeah, me too. From all the popping and skipping of vinyl.
2012-11-09 10:16:30 AM  
1 votes:

The Muthaship: DNRTFA, is the answer "It doesn't"?


That's not what TFA says, but it's the truth. That "warmth" from vinyl is a lack of fidelity and noise introduced by the lossy medium. Digital music can reproduce more of the sound, more accurately, then lossy vinyl can.

It's just math. If you want to pretend like it's not true that's fine, but you may be mistaken for a republican.
2012-11-09 10:14:44 AM  
1 votes:
That "warmth" those audiophiles are always going on about? That's farking dust on the vinyl. The absolute opposite of better.
2012-11-09 10:12:11 AM  
1 votes:
Is the answer, "cause your ears are broken"?
 
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