Is the resurgence of vinyl LP's a fad?

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Whenever I see digital vs analogue arguments, I just get reminded of all the records I have that sound naff on CD. One of the first 12" singles I bought was David Bowie's Cat People. I played that to death. I recently played it on a full-fat AVID ACUTUS, and it still sounded great. About 6 months later, I was helping out at an event and o someone had the CD copy of the soundtrack to Cat People. I popped it on, sat down to enjoy it, and it was just naff. Flat, lifeless. Nothing technically better about it.

I used to use an album by Jonas Hellborg on vinyl to demonstrate KEF Reference 101/3 and 102/2 loudspeakers. All tracks are played on a bass guitar, nothing else. I hadn't played it for years, but came across the CD at a record store, so I bought it, expecting it to kick ass as the vinyl was an audiophile recording/release. I ended up taking it back and getting a refund. Zero magic. Dull.

That's just two examples.
 

Leon74

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It amuses me how people still think Sony and Philips spent millions on R&D to release a format with inferior sound quality to some ancient format.
Very strong argument. I only wish minidisc would have made it instead of the CD. Then we would have had a good sound format and a better (more durable) physical format.
 

Leon74

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Whenever I see digital vs analogue arguments, I just get reminded of all the records I have that sound naff on CD.
Then I have to repeat what Gray already said above:

"Quality of recording / mixing / tonal balance makes the difference between pleasure and pain"

A lot of vinyl music was just "thrown" on CD with as a result a bad sounding CD. That has nothing to do with the format.
When I listen, for example, to Morrissey's album "Vauxhall and I" on CD, for example the song "Now My Heart is Full" with that super vibrant intro, I doubt a record will produce a sound as good as the CD.
 
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Freddy58

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I have no axe to grind, after all, I invested £700 in a CDP and have probably over a thousand CD’s. However, IMV, vinyl has that certain ‘something’ that for whatever reason, digital can’t replicate. Want to call me a “Luddite”? That’s fine, I can live with that, I’ll keep on listening to music how I like.
 

Leon74

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I have no axe to grind, after all, I invested £700 in a CDP and have probably over a thousand CD’s. However, IMV, vinyl has that certain ‘something’ that for whatever reason, digital can’t replicate. Want to call me a “Luddite”? That’s fine, I can live with that, I’ll keep on listening to music how I like.
That "little something" without doubt is noise records "suffer" from.
But instead as seeing it necessarily as something negative, I think this noise adds to, or changes the sound experience when listening to vinyl and in that way it surely differs from CD for people who can hear the difference. For some this difference is positive, for others negative. For most the difference (if experienced positively) is too little to bother with the vinyl format I guess.
I think technically without doubt a CD wins and a CD can produce a clarity a record never will, but the rest is taste...
Btw, I saw software/apps that using digital music allegedly can reproduce the vinyl sound... but I guess that must sound gruesome to purist audiophiles :)
 
Very strong argument. I only wish minidisc would have made it instead of the CD. Then we would have had a good sound format and a better (more durable) physical format.
Minidisc didn't sound great. It was fine as a portable medium, but you needed a high-end player in order for it to sound anywhere near half way decent, but even then, you still lost about 90% of the original.
 

Leon74

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Minidisc didn't sound great. It was fine as a portable medium, but you needed a high-end player in order for it to sound anywhere near half way decent, but even then, you still lost about 90% of the original.
Maybe in the beginning, that's not what I remember from when I had minidisc myself.
I read in internet:

"Yes, ATRAC compression used on MiniDiscs is lossy. The quality of encoding tracks increased quite significantly over the format's first 5-10 years, and by the time that ATRAC 4 and Type-R came to the market, the audio quality had increased to being nearly identical to CD."
 
That "little something" without doubt is noise records "suffer" from.
But instead as seeing it necessarily as something negative, I think this noise adds to, or changes the sound experience when listening to vinyl and in that way it surely differs from CD for people who can hear the difference. For some this difference is positive, for others negative. For most the difference (if experienced positively) is too little to bother with the vinyl format I guess.
I think technically without doubt a CD wins and a CD can produce a clarity a record never will, but the rest is taste...
Btw, I saw software/apps that using digital music allegedly can reproduce the vinyl sound... but I guess that must sound gruesome to purist audiophiles :)
Do I have to say it again? I can play you an album on CD and vinyl that sounds virtually identical - no "noise" from the vinyl, just two formats produced properly and producing sound to such a standard that would convince 85% of people to just choose whichever format they prefer - the other 15% would be those that blindly believe nothing can touch digital because it's digital and all zeros and ones.

I'm not sure enough people have heard vinyl without the usual noise and distortions associated with it. Most have just heard mediocre decks that add a certain amount of character.

No - digitally produced music can't authentically reproduce the sound of vinyl as it's a mechanical/physical process. Most likely it's just noise shaping and adding in the previously mentioned attributes as well as some pops and clicks for good measure - so, the sound of poorly maintained vinyl played on a budget deck.
 
Maybe in the beginning, that's not what I remember from when I had minidisc myself.
I read in internet:

"Yes, ATRAC compression used on MiniDiscs is lossy. The quality of encoding tracks increased quite significantly over the format's first 5-10 years, and by the time that ATRAC 4 and Type-R came to the market, the audio quality had increased to being nearly identical to CD."
Yeah, cos the internet is full of correct information isn't it! :ROFLMAO:

I read on the internet that ATRAC4 is 288kbps.

The first thing compression loses is ambience and spatial information. Nope.
 

Leon74

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Do I have to say it again? I can play you an album on CD and vinyl that sounds virtually identical - no "noise" from the vinyl, just two formats produced properly and producing sound to such a standard that would convince 85% of people to just choose whichever format they prefer - the other 15% would be those that blindly believe nothing can touch digital because it's digital and all zeros and ones.

I'm not sure enough people have heard vinyl without the usual noise and distortions associated with it. Most have just heard mediocre decks that add a certain amount of character.

No - digitally produced music can't authentically reproduce the sound of vinyl as it's a mechanical/physical process. Most likely it's just noise shaping and adding in the previously mentioned attributes as well as some pops and clicks for good measure - so, the sound of poorly maintained vinyl played on a budget deck.
Hm, on one hand you say "I can play you an album on CD and vinyl that sounds virtually identical"...while on the other hand you say "No - digitally produced music can't authentically reproduce the sound of vinyl".... maybe my English is lacking but there seems to be a contradiction there.

I'm convinced that "certain amount of character" from mediocre decks is exactly what most people are attracted by nowadays apart from the fact that it is simply hip to listen to records especially for young people.

But please don't misunderstand me, I'm not a missionary :) Everybody should listen to what he personally likes most.
 

Leon74

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Yeah, cos the internet is full of correct information isn't it! :ROFLMAO:

I read on the internet that ATRAC4 is 288kbps.

The first thing compression loses is ambience and spatial information. Nope.
Citing a bitrate doesn't impress me and is not a tell all as to audio quality as hi-res lovers want to believe.
There is more than bitrate to audio quality.

As for compression first losing ambience - it's not that simple:

"Previous research has shown that MP3 compression changes
the similarities of musical instruments, while other research
has shown that musical instrument sounds have strong emotional characteristics. This paper investigates the effect
of MP3 compression on music emotion. We conducted
listening tests to compare the effect of MP3 compression
on the emotional characteristics of eight sustained instrument sounds. We compared the compressed sounds pairwise over ten emotional categories. The results show that
MP3 compression strengthened the emotional characteristics Sad, Scary, Shy, and Mysterious, and weakened Happy,
Heroic, Romantic, Comic, and Calm. Interestingly, Angry
was relatively unaffected by MP3 compression"

source: https://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/15838/1/bbp2372.2016.080.pdf

Btw, they used very low bitrates.

Atrac stereo bitrate is 292 and comparable to 320 mp3: 99% of people cannot discern higher bitrates, so there is no point in asserting minidisc didn't sound half as good as CD.
 

abacus

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Badly recorded music on the best format isn't the best format's fault. CD/SACD sounds better than anything else, IF the recording and mastering are treated with care. You can't get the same amount of detail from an old format, all things being equal. I feel people are missing the point with high res formats. The potential sound quality exceeds that of vinyl and tapes, IF it's a good recording. LPs and tapes and all the old stuff can't come close to modern formats, with good quality recordings and care when mastering. Modern formats, from CD onwards, sound better with the same quality recordings. If nobody cares about the sound quality transferred to CD, it doesn't mean LPs have inherintly better sound quality. Why is this so difficult for people to understand? The potential sound quality of CD or SACD far exceeds that of vinyl or tapes, IF care is taken with recording and mastering. It amuses me how people still think Sony and Philips spent millions on R&D to release a format with inferior sound quality to some ancient format. This didn't happen by the way. CD and SACD are capable of reproducing music with more accuracy than LPs or tapes. If it's a bad recording, or mastering, when transferring music to a CD or SACD, that's NOT the format's fault or shortcoming. Many people are still fixated with the old stuff and I still don't understand why.
I don't know why you keep banging on about this, everybody on this thread agrees that Hi-Res is technically better, and to keep claiming that they don't is just ridicules.
Also, as I and others have mentioned time and time again, it is the mastering that makes the difference, so banging on about this when it has already been said multiple times, is also pointless. (Everybody knows)
As always it is the final result that matters not the playback medium. (Whether that is listening between 2 cups and a piece of string or the latest Hi-Res is irrelevant)

Bill
 

twinkletoes

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Citing a bitrate doesn't impress me and is not a tell all as to audio quality as hi-res lovers want to believe.
There is more than bitrate to audio quality.

As for compression first losing ambience - it's not that simple:

"Previous research has shown that MP3 compression changes
the similarities of musical instruments, while other research
has shown that musical instrument sounds have strong emotional characteristics. This paper investigates the effect
of MP3 compression on music emotion. We conducted
listening tests to compare the effect of MP3 compression
on the emotional characteristics of eight sustained instrument sounds. We compared the compressed sounds pairwise over ten emotional categories. The results show that
MP3 compression strengthened the emotional characteristics Sad, Scary, Shy, and Mysterious, and weakened Happy,
Heroic, Romantic, Comic, and Calm. Interestingly, Angry
was relatively unaffected by MP3 compression"

source: https://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/15838/1/bbp2372.2016.080.pdf

Btw, they used very low bitrates.

Atrac stereo bitrate is 292 and comparable to 320 mp3: 99% of people cannot discern higher bitrates, so there is no point in asserting minidisc didn't sound half as good as CD.

See this is what confuses me. Digital "purists" and many here will state they can’t hear the difference between 256hz and a bazillion hz and will happily sing the praises of and willingly pay for Spotify, yet! Some how magically they can hear the differences between an Lp and a cd (and then ridicule those that listen to vinyl). It really puzzles me! if that thought process is correct then how do they hear the differences in this case? isnt it a contradiction when applied to this larger discussion?

This statement you stated above effectively sums up the format war here.

“There is more than bitrate to audio quality” for me right there, though contradictory within the larger scope of this thread is completely right.

I guarantee 99% can't hear the difference when push comes to shove.
 
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Friesiansam

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Here's the way I see this format war. Everybody's equipment and hearing is different so, some hear differences, some don't. With that in mind, go with whatever you want regardless of format or bit-rate, digital or analogue. Just go with what makes you happy.

One proviso: Shut the hell up, trying to tell other people what to do, when they don't like the same thing as you do...

If you don't like the blunt way I have put this, tough, your problem not mine.
 

Jasonovich

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You're not kidding it's an advantage!
The recording quality is always more relevant than the playback format.

Quality of recording / mixing / tonal balance makes the difference between pleasure and pain.....(decent) playback formats don't have such differences between them.
Back in WHF hey day, they had this window analogy, 'rubbish coming through the window, is rubbish coming out of your system is true'. A good source i.e. excellent recording is King :)
 
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Jasonovich

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Whenever I see digital vs analogue arguments, I just get reminded of all the records I have that sound naff on CD. One of the first 12" singles I bought was David Bowie's Cat People. I played that to death. I recently played it on a full-fat AVID ACUTUS, and it still sounded great. About 6 months later, I was helping out at an event and o someone had the CD copy of the soundtrack to Cat People. I popped it on, sat down to enjoy it, and it was just naff. Flat, lifeless. Nothing technically better about it.

I used to use an album by Jonas Hellborg on vinyl to demonstrate KEF Reference 101/3 and 102/2 loudspeakers. All tracks are played on a bass guitar, nothing else. I hadn't played it for years, but came across the CD at a record store, so I bought it, expecting it to kick ass as the vinyl was an audiophile recording/release. I ended up taking it back and getting a refund. Zero magic. Dull.

That's just two examples.
See those eyes so green... love it, I wish Bowie had done more stuff with Giorgio Moroder.
 

Jasonovich

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There are plenty of hi-res and by that I mean DSD download sites that pride themselves on the quality of their recordings and, in fact, need them to be exceptional to survive.
Blue Coast Music is one such site that I have purchased from. Excellent quality all round as many albums recorded direct to DSD.
It's a bit like the smaller LP issuers like Chasing the Dragon that really go for quality over quantity.
Yes, you pay for it but it's better than buying a duff mainstream recording, in my view.
Absolutely, I brought a couple of albums from Blue Coast DSD256 and I concur, the quality is amazing. I tend to shop mostly from NativeDSD, apart from DSD and FLAC, they also do Vinyl and master tape from their own recordings. Worth checking these guys out. https://www.nativedsd.com/catalogue/
 
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Freddy58

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Here's the way I see this format war. Everybody's equipment and hearing is different so, some hear differences, some don't. With that in mind, go with whatever you want regardless of format or bit-rate, digital or analogue. Just go with what makes you happy.

One proviso: Shut the hell up, trying to tell other people what to do, when they don't like the same thing as you do...

If you don't like the blunt way I have put this, tough, your problem not mine.
I don’t see it as a “war” as such. Seems to me that most folks are accepting of other peoples choices 👍
 

Friesiansam

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I don’t see it as a “war” as such. Seems to me that most folks are accepting of other peoples choices 👍
I'm sure you're right about "most folks" but, there are those who refuse to accept that any point of view other than their own, with regard to choice of vinyl, CD, or streaming, can possibly be valid.
 
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Gray

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Back in WHF hey day, they had this window analogy, 'rubbish coming through the window, is rubbish coming out of your system is true'. A good source i.e. excellent recording is King :)
Yes, the 'rubbish in - rubbish out' message was used a lot before CD came about.
Spend the highest proportion of your budget on the turntable and almost any old amp and speakers would do - according to some.

These days, with digital sources so prominent, the reverse is a more popular choice for many - giving much more priority to speakers and amps.

Is there anyone here willing to argue that quality differences between modern digital sources are remotely comparable in scale with those between different makes/ models of speaker?
 

Leon74

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The dynamics of the thread remind me of the male circumcision debate: a lot of myths and the tribal "we versus them" with a few rabid antis and pros who seem to have made a sport of advocating their side.
 
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