Here's why CDs are the better, cheaper alternative to vinyl records

Geoff-W

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May 15, 2020
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"And not only are they yours to play in a CD player, hi-fi system or in your car..."
Not many modern cars have CD players anymore. They are more into USB sticks or streaming off your phone.
 

Tommyo

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Jun 10, 2022
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Also, older vinyl is often degraded from use- especially if played on inexpensive turntables. New vinyl is expensive, and needs relatively expensive gear to appreciate the sound (and avoid PD- premature degradation lol). My choice is SACD (although I was fortunate enough to buy an OPPO the last year of production).
 
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manicm

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May 1, 2008
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"And not only are they yours to play in a CD player, hi-fi system or in your car..."
Not many modern cars have CD players anymore. They are more into USB sticks or streaming off your phone.
But that's the point - you can simply rip your CDs and copy to USB stick, especially if your car does not have a modern infotainment system.

This may not seem obvious - but CD remains the most versatile digital medium.
 

the Splund

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Jan 29, 2022
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Forget about the vinyl revival, there are plenty of reasons why you should be playing and buying compact discs.

Here's why CDs are the better, cheaper alternative to vinyl records : Read more
Still got all my old vinyl, it's boxed up and in the garage with my CDs - the CDs are ripped to lossless files but serve as a backup. My faithful Rega 2 (re-belted, re-oiled, levelled and isolated), Rega Bias (correctly tracked and weighted) and Cambridge Audio 640P are still ready to play the black plastic stuff at the drop of a hat (or needle) but TBH they just don't sound as good as my FiiO X5iii into the same sytem. I admit it's a meager vinyl setup, but I have no idea how people with lesser vinyl setups can possibly think vinyl is better - they must have crap digital sources (much like how CD won over LPs in the 90s).
 
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Wolf

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Jun 5, 2020
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Still got all my old vinyl, it's boxed up and in the garage with my CDs - the CDs are ripped to lossless files but serve as a backup. My faithful Rega 2 (re-belted, re-oiled, levelled and isolated), Rega Bias (correctly tracked and weighted) and Cambridge Audio 640P are still ready to play the black plastic stuff at the drop of a hat (or needle) but TBH they just don't sound as good as my FiiO X5iii into the same sytem. I admit it's a meager vinyl setup, but I have no idea how people with lesser vinyl setups can possibly think vinyl is better - they must have crap digital sources (much like how CD won over LPs in the 90s).
I still remember the annoyance back in the 80's/90's, having bought a new vinyl, first time playing and you got a bad pressing with a nice crackling or hissing sound at every turn :-(
First thing I did, was always record/copy the vinyl to my tape deck (Sony Esprit), to avoid wear and tear on the vinyl's.
I regard vinyl's these days more as a fashion statement. To me, CD's are superior in sound, way more durable and easy to rip to Flac for streaming.
 
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Simon C

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Jun 11, 2022
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I suspect a large number of listeners who are espousing the virtues of vinyl playback may have taken the plunge due to the "hip" factor and relative underground coolness of this playback format. Many doing so are not fully aware of the labour needed to align a cartridge properly onto the tonearm, set up your anti skate and dial in the right tracking weight on their new fangled turntables. Do they realise that the styli on cartridges wear out and require replacement or re-tipping? Also different cartridge and turntable combinations need to be considered. And then, there's your choice of phono stages. It is, not plug and play unlike a current day CD player, which has come a long way since the first ones were heard during the 80s! These people will eventually turn to physical CDs when they discover the convenience and relative low maintenance of the format compared to listening to vinyl which requires more commitment which some of us actually enjoy as a process. Exciting times ahead for physical formats! Last I saw, some of these chaps were whispering about analogue cassette tapes...
 

Mr. C Nation

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Mar 21, 2020
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A friend who spent 30 years as an engineer in the major recording studios of London - Sony Hit Factory, Virgin etc had an expression for the type of person who believes that superseded tech such as vinyl is superior to correctly recorded and masted digital - "The Golden Ears Brigade".

These people can apparently hear or see the improvement that results from spending wads of money on HDMI leads, for example, ignoring the fact that a 1 or a 0 in at one end and coming out the other cannot be improved upon. These people will spend similarly absurd amounts of money on devices which they believe improve the performance of their systems by altering the characteristics of the mains supply to their devices.

Vinyl is a fad, encouraged by manufacturers who need to move product, especially if they have a legacy range of t/tables, cartridges and tone arms, and encouraged by magazines and websites which need to retain audience for the companies which advertise thru' them.

The one benefit of 12" vinyl over CD - and streaming, of course - is the 12" square sleeve, which became a 20th C classic art medium. I watched a YT vid of a woman demonstrating how to hang a picture on a stud wall. The picture was a nicely framed Miles Davis 12" album cover. My copy of his 'Tutu' is CD. I will have to do a hi-res copy of the stunning cover photograph of Miles and enlarge it to make it worth framing.
 
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Wolf

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Jun 5, 2020
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I suspect a large number of listeners who are espousing the virtues of vinyl playback may have taken the plunge due to the "hip" factor and relative underground coolness of this playback format. Many doing so are not fully aware of the labour needed to align a cartridge properly onto the tonearm, set up your anti skate and dial in the right tracking weight on their new fangled turntables. Do they realise that the styli on cartridges wear out and require replacement or re-tipping? Also different cartridge and turntable combinations need to be considered. And then, there's your choice of phono stages. It is, not plug and play unlike a current day CD player, which has come a long way since the first ones were heard during the 80s! These people will eventually turn to physical CDs when they discover the convenience and relative low maintenance of the format compared to listening to vinyl which requires more commitment which some of us actually enjoy as a process. Exciting times ahead for physical formats! Last I saw, some of these chaps were whispering about analogue cassette tapes...
A friend who spent 30 years as an engineer in the major recording studios of London - Sony Hit Factory, Virgin etc had an expression for the type of person who believes that superseded tech such as vinyl is superior to correctly recorded and masted digital - "The Golden Ears Brigade".

These people can apparently hear or see the improvement that results from spending wads of money on HDMI leads, for example, ignoring the fact that a 1 or a 0 in at one end and coming out the other cannot be improved upon. These people will spend similarly absurd amounts of money on devices which they believe improve the performance of their systems by altering the characteristics of the mains supply to their devices.

Vinyl is a fad, encouraged by manufacturers who need to move product, especially if they have a legacy range of t/tables, cartridges and tone arms, and encouraged by magazines and websites which need to retain audience for the companies which advertise thru' them.

The one benefit of 12" vinyl over CD - and streaming, of course - is the 12" square sleeve, which became a 20th C classic art medium. I watched a YT vid of a woman demonstrating how to hang a picture on a stud wall. The picture was a nicely framed Miles Davis 12" album cover. My copy of his 'Tutu' is CD. I will have to do a hi-res copy of the stunning cover photograph of Miles and enlarge it to make it worth framing.
You have a digital "The Golden Ears Brigade" version as well :).
I remember back in the late 80's/early 90's an article back home in Germany well respected Hi-Fi magazine,
where they did claim, they could HEAR a clear difference and improved clarity on golden CD's compared to the standard silver CD's.
And don't get me even started with the magic cables....
 

Mr. C Nation

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Mar 21, 2020
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"vinyl tends to sound distinctively warm and full and… can I say ‘alive’? While CD has a more consistent, crisp, clean and accurate presentation, as vinyl inherently doesn’t deal as well with extreme highs or lows, or large dynamic ranges "

You can say that again! Friends of mine, the late Tony Duhig and John Field, as 'Jade Warrior', released 4 instrumental albums on Island Records in the 1970's. One of the characteristics of the music was extreme dynamic range. If you want to hear how well your system copes with extreme dynamic range I recommend you check out these albums.

I was present at most of the recording of all four albums, over the years. I heard the stereo mix-down from master to 1/4" of all of them. Of course, I owned vinyl copies of the releases.

Come the day when these albums were released on CD, I was present at the remix of the original master 1/4" to digital. When we listened back to the digital master disc to be sent to the pressing plant, John and Tony were amazed at how much more information was coming thru' and how well the digital version was coping with the dynamic range of the music.

"Warm and full" may be because vinyl tends to major on mid-range frequencies - a bit like a vocal piece with the tenor and the mezzo-soprano only, the soprano and the baritone barely discernible.

Give me "consistent, accurate" presentation every time. It's what the musicians intended us should hear.

John Field 'Jade Warrior'. The Manor Studios [Virgin Records] Oxon. UK
© Chris Nation
John Field. Fusion composer. The Manor Studios. Oxfordshire. England-0050.jpg
 
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Mr. C Nation

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Mar 21, 2020
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You have a digital "The Golden Ears Brigade" version as well :).
I remember back in the late 80's/early 90's an article back home in Germany well respected Hi-Fi magazine,
where they did claim, they could HEAR a clear difference and improved clarity on golden CD's compared to the standard silver CD's.
And don't get me even started with the magic cables....
Yes... adding gold [Au] to anything makes it sound better ! ;)
 

High Figh

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Jun 11, 2022
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The headline says “Everyone is buying vinyl”. Sales figures say otherwise:

UK figures 2021 (source BPI):
  • CD: 14.4 million units sold.
  • Vinyl LP: 5.3 million units sold.

USA figures 2021 (source RIAA):
  • CD: 46.6 million units shipped.
  • LP/EP: 39.7 million units shipped.
 

Limma

Member
Jun 16, 2022
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I continue to appreciate CDs very much and, while recognizing the "acoustic" differences with vinyls, I can't do without the audio quality that these small supports continue to guarantee (of course if recorded well and, even before that, if "played" well by skilled musicians ...).
I have been a musician all my life and I also had the opportunity to record a vinyl, before the boom of the CDs (and from that moment I have taken part in about forty CD recordings).
Much, much more complicated my relationship with streaming music, also and above all because I listen above all to "classical" music, from the Middle Ages to the 1900s.
I listen to music on vintage hi-fi systems and I love my Tannoy speakers from the 70s, among others.
 
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Wolf

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2020
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I continue to appreciate CDs very much and, while recognizing the "acoustic" differences with vinyls, I can't do without the audio quality that these small supports continue to guarantee (of course if recorded well and, even before that, if "played" well by skilled musicians ...).
I have been a musician all my life and I also had the opportunity to record a vinyl, before the boom of the CDs (and from that moment I have taken part in about forty CD recordings).
Much, much more complicated my relationship with streaming music, also and above all because I listen above all to "classical" music, from the Middle Ages to the 1900s.
I listen to music on vintage hi-fi systems and I love my Tannoy speakers from the 70s, among others.
I'm absolutely agreeing with you.
The main issue to me for sticking with CD is, that most people don't and cannot know the "acoustic" differences, unless they buy the same vinyl and CD and to compare it.
Even if they do, the question is, what is the "right" sound and what's the one closed to the original/the intended sound. You as a musician will hear it, but not the "Hi-Fi" consumer.
Than you have the online and print magazines, pushing for vinyl and streaming, because they of need the advertising money (fair enough).
Vinyl is a fashion thing. It might be staying with us, if the Hi-Fi magazines, like this one, can keep it going like the cable myth and other topics to keep their buyers/subscribers happy.
 
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