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(Humans Invent)   Why vinyl sounds so much better than CDs or MP3s   (humansinvent.com) divider line 6
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5043 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Nov 2012 at 9:55 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-10 12:37:45 AM
1 votes:
Vinyl will not always have a better sound, but it will generally have a more satisfying one. There's lots of reasons for that. When people who love vinyl talk about "warmth", they are not talking about hiss or noise...they are talking about how the sounds themselves sound. They are fuller and feel much more alive than digital versions. There are two things in particular that I love when listening to vinyl: when there are two or more instruments making distinct sounds, in digital recordings those sounds merge together into a single sound. On vinyl, they remain distinct, and it becomes a much more stimulating experience. The bass sounds on vinyl has a life to them...it's hard to explain without demonstrating, but the bass sounds are just so much more alive on vinyl.

Thing of it is, not all records will sound good. Not all turntables will sound good. I was raised on records on old equipment, they were hissy sounding and tinny. Not that old equipment is all bad...the higher quality equipment from the 70's and 80's can sound excellent. When you've only been listening to cheap equipment and poorly cared for records, it's going to sound awful. But when you get a record in decent shape, on a good turntable, you will hear an amazing clarity and depth to the sound...playing a CD on the same equipment will just sound flat.

You can't blame digital entirely...while I have never had a chance to listen to it, I'm told SACD is right at vinyl quality. It's the popular mastering techniques and limitations of bitrate in CDs that make digital audio sound poor. I can only imagine if they used a Blu-Ray type technology for digital audio...the quality would be excellent. I just don't know if it would feel "live" like vinyl does.

Yes, there can be hiss, there can be pops, there can be scratches (or mysterious skips, even on new vinyl) and toward the end of a side, the sound quality begins to degrade...and CDs lack those problems. Most of those issues can be resolved with cleaning. Once you've started listening to vinyl, you start to embrace those details...it becomes part of the sound. But a good cleaning can make even an old, thrift store record sound excellent. (My Dark Side of The Moon is an old, scratched up thrift store copy...I cleaned it, and it doesn't skip, and only has a slight hiss...and it still sounds more rewarding sound than the CD version. I haven't heard the more recent remasters, though).

If it were up to me, I'd have all my music on vinyl...but it is very expensive, the selection is poor, and very few stores in my area sell it. CDs are good enough for day to day, MP3s are good for background noise (I prefer music to be an active experience, but it can also be background noise), and they are good for portability (I can carry an ipod anywhere, try playing a 12-inch while going on a walk or driving...).
2012-11-09 04:16:52 PM
1 votes:

Ant: The only thing I miss about vinyl is large album covers and liner notes.


I miss album art and liner notes too.

Plus double albums were the BEST for cleaning your stash on.
2012-11-09 04:16:12 PM
1 votes:
farm8.staticflickr.com 
So.... now I have a googlephonic system with a moon rock needle.
And it sounds alright.
For my car.
2012-11-09 10:21:45 AM
1 votes:
I love vinyl! The fact that you can here your own dandruff taking part in the music is great!
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.
 
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