Question Poll, what do you think, is vinyl better or CD?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

Is vinyl better or CD?

  • Vinyl

    Votes: 6 12.0%
  • CD

    Votes: 32 64.0%
  • Both equally good

    Votes: 12 24.0%

  • Total voters
    50
  • Poll closed .

twinkletoes

Well-known member
How weird is that :) that's unfortunate!
There are other models this seller is selling, found something even cheaper.
View attachment 6565
just to add Pioneer 565a could play SACD's, can be picked up for a 10er so if any body fancy's spinning a few discs to see what they're like, its a good place to start without breaking the bank

For me never really interested me due to the lack of music for my taste.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jasonovich

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
279
61
4,970
Visit site
Hard to say. It's horses for courses.
Both formats possibly surpassed by a Studer A80 playing the original master tape?
If pre recorded tapes were available at reasonable prices (not $300-$600... and with a very limited choice of material available)! I would be sorely tempted to order a refurbished Revox B77 II directly from Revox ($8,500 and a waiting list).
I feel that it would be better value than a $30,000 Linn Klimax LP12?
where did you find a master tape, i couldn´t get my hands on one of those ,all my life, but they use to sell albums in reels ,home use type and say original master tape ,those i have maybe 170 but didn´t open the second box where i have more, it belonged to my father,

and i´m still opening boxes of all his hi-fi gear and boxes of diferent formats he bought as in music, original ones, like vinyl, reels and a few cassettes, pre-recorded ones, as other say "...aproaches the clarity of cd..."

it seems some here never heard a instrument being played, cds can have more clarity but don´t come close of the instrument played as in all that were recorded till today, or the expansion of sound being narrow and fake in a cd ,or maybe they think they have a good hi-fi system and it´s in reality very bad, as i also heard people saying the cartridge 2Mred from Ortofon is good , i had never heard such a bad sound in a turntable , not even in those cartridges that came originally with the cheapest turntables in the 70´s, 80´s, 90´s, in the 2000´s i´m not aware of what was done to all recordings, only some
 
it seems some here never heard a instrument being played, cds can have more clarity but don´t come close of the instrument played as in all that were recorded till today, or the expansion of sound being narrow and fake in a cd
I play bass and have heard everything live from an orchestra via acoustic to loud rock - and what you are saying is simply not true.
 

Jasonovich

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2022
1,166
725
2,070
Visit site
Not so sure about that. Last time I heard vinyl was 10 years ago admittedly, and that too was after a very long time. And the thing that immediately struck me was its fluidity. Very few digital systems sound like that. Maybe SACD, but I've never heard those.

Turntables may approach the clarity of CD, if that's what you mean. But digital, be it streaming or CD, still lacks that liquid like quality, where the sound just flows.

And that I can only put down to electronics - as those bits have to be converted, requiring processing etc.
Have you by chance listened to DSD?

SACD aka DSD64 is very smooth and fluid. I really love the sound of my DSD512 albums, it is incredibly natural, tonally pleasing with a wide sound stage. CD's can sound hard, it may be these require special care in setting up or quality of the recording is naff. Worth mentioning, PCM above sampling rate 192/384 khz (24/32 bit) can also sound liquid and smooth.

It is often said the human hearing does not go beyond 20 khz and yet paradoxically many people including myself, swear the higher frequencies make a difference. Is it the placebo effect or is it processing? Or is because I'm wired to some super cables, the one's I got from Messrs. Snake Oil and Co. Ltd :ROFLMAO:

Again, if the quality of studio recording is poor the high res won't make it sound better, same with vinyl.

Anyway, it is music that brings us together, I'm going to chill for the next hour listening to music - someone sent me this link I think? :)

 
Last edited:

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
279
61
4,970
Visit site
Not so sure about that. Last time I heard vinyl was 10 years ago admittedly, and that too was after a very long time. And the thing that immediately struck me was its fluidity. Very few digital systems sound like that. Maybe SACD, but I've never heard those.

Turntables may approach the clarity of CD, if that's what you mean. But digital, be it streaming or CD, still lacks that liquid like quality, where the sound just flows.

And that I can only put down to electronics - as those bits have to be converted, requiring processing etc.
all that you mention about the compact disc even in a record with noises inbetween tracks , the instruments played sound like instruments ,real ones as in guitars , NHEC NHEC isn´t the sound of a Gibson Les Paul with a early 80´s Marshal amplifier and speaker, not even Segóvias sound that bad and look just like expensive Les Paul made in Spain, doesn´t have to be liquid to flow ,air flows with music in it,

this to blame only Sony for selling a 40 years format being the first digital one , making millions for not improving it , the DAC even the most expensive in the world can´t change what is printed , with a bad mixing with all levels changed and cutted sound mainly at low levels as it is reconised as noise,

i first thought i would have a improved format ,but no just a expensive one without possible improvement, there are good guitar players in this world not recognising the sound of the guitar played by him in a cd ,

after explained several changed the way of equalizing their guitars so it could sound a litle like they played it in studio, but some speakers when conected to some amplifiers do sound good but not as it was supposed to sound as part of the sound in unheard , the dac only improves it if the amplification system allows it, or amplifier and speakers.
Today, there are cds who sound good but with litle number of tracks recorded in each channel, folk music wins a lot by being most of it acoustic and simple, there one can say that is faithfull to the sound played in studio ,
but if one hears the band play it live with good sound , one says "it´s not like they played it on the cd" maybe because all of those analog instruments are sounding like they really do, even the now fashion of using 60´s and 70´s electronic keyboards , mainly ,they are not digital but electronic
 

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
279
61
4,970
Visit site
1/ R2R Tape
2/ Records - AAA Analogue
3/ SACD
4/ Vinyl - Digital
5/ CD / Streaming
also digital since the 80´s had evolved but the 70´s cd format while making money they will never change it, kind of Twilight Zone, "for you the viewer this is the end ...Compact Disc" I remenber years away of being released they would say ,
"SACD will be cd´s that match the vinyl sound"i´m getting old and i don´t find early Bob Dylan´s albums with a guitar being played in a far speaker and the second guitar being played in the more closest speaker and voice like in front of you being a wonder
as i have dificulties of hearing the same song thousands of times, so when will the SACD meet vinyl quality or studio quality(happy with just instruments sounding like instruments)
and for once forget turntables but we are in 2024 and it seems not close to happen as they found a way of people spending money to hear vinyl sounding bad, so a decrease to us all
 
So oversimplified a question I cannot answer.
Better at what?
Depends entirely on what you have built your system around.
And there is no 'best 'format. That would depend on what you are expecting from a syst and what you want to hear.
I listen to digital files on my DAP when away from home CD in the car, SACD along with CD and vinyl when I have time at home.
It's not about the format it's more to do with convenience, and indeed about the music.
 
Last edited:

manicm

Well-known member
Have you by chance listened to DSD?

SACD aka DSD64 is very smooth and fluid. I really love the sound of my DSD512 albums, it is incredibly natural, tonally pleasing with a wide sound stage. CD's can sound hard, it may be these require special care in setting up or quality of the recording is naff. Worth mentioning, PCM above sampling rate 192/384 khz (24/32 bit) can also sound liquid and smooth.

It is often said the human hearing does not go beyond 20 khz and yet paradoxically many people including myself, swear the higher frequencies make a difference. Is it the placebo effect or is it processing? Or is because I'm wired to some super cables, the one's I got from Messrs. Snake Oil and Co. Ltd :ROFLMAO:

Again, if the quality of studio recording is poor the high res won't make it sound better, same with vinyl.

Remember it is music that brings us together, I'm going to chill for the next hour listening to music - someone sent me this link I think? :)


As I said, I haven't had the chance to listen to SACD/DSD. Would love to though.
 

Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
279
61
4,970
Visit site
And there is no 'best 'format. That would depend on what you are expecting from a syst and what you want to hear.
in my humble expectation i need something that might have some noises but music while playing is faithfull to the sound of what was played in studio not just a cheap form of it, like live music is not the only way of hearing real instruments making sound even filled with efects, depending on the style
 

Covenanter

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2012
90
35
18,570
Visit site
I buy very few recording now as I mainly listen to classical music and I have one or more versions of everything I need. I couldn't be bothered with all the faff that does with vinyl and technically I know that vinyl comes with built in distortion (I'm not willing to argue about that. We did that to death here a decade or so ago!) so CDs are my preferred medium. My Morantz SA8500 does play SACD of course and I can convince myself that the SACD versions are better than the CD versions but it is slight and it might just be psychological - expectation bias. Moreover at 74 my ears aren't what they were.
 
I prefer cd. I listen to that format most. Vinyl has become more of a collector product than a source of music. I do play it, but get bored/frustrated by its limitations. Some double albums only have two tracks per side, that gets a bit tedious when you just want to sit and listen. Pops, clicks, faults, scratches add to the situation.
 

My2Cents

Well-known member
Nov 10, 2023
379
278
770
Visit site
where did you find a master tape, i couldn´t get my hands on one of those ,all my life, but they use to sell albums in reels ,home use type and say original master tape ,those i have maybe 170 but didn´t open the second box where i have more, it belonged to my father,

and i´m still opening boxes of all his hi-fi gear and boxes of diferent formats he bought as in music, original ones, like vinyl, reels and a few cassettes, pre-recorded ones, as other say "...aproaches the clarity of cd..."

it seems some here never heard a instrument being played, cds can have more clarity but don´t come close of the instrument played as in all that were recorded till today, or the expansion of sound being narrow and fake in a cd ,or maybe they think they have a good hi-fi system and it´s in reality very bad, as i also heard people saying the cartridge 2Mred from Ortofon is good , i had never heard such a bad sound in a turntable , not even in those cartridges that came originally with the cheapest turntables in the 70´s, 80´s, 90´s, in the 2000´s i´m not aware of what was done to all recordings, only some
Obviously, almost no one has access to the original studio master tapes and many are either seriously degraded or have been destroyed.
However, there are some specialist companies offering 'close to master' pre-recorded reel to reel, but a very limited selection.

Interesting stories abound:
The most commonly used (only surviving) third gen. copy of the DSOTM master tape got damaged by a company that was using it to do a digital conversion for remastering. After it was repaired the owners won't let anyone use it anymore. DSOTM remasters are now done from one of the earlier digital files created from that tape.
When Queen were recording Bohemian Rhapsody, they did so many vocal overdubs on some of the tracks that the 2" tape was almost worn out even before it was transferred to 2 track for mastering. The magnetic oxide coating was almost down to the cellulose backing in places.

 

My2Cents

Well-known member
Nov 10, 2023
379
278
770
Visit site
Interestingly, many high quality Classical recording were/are recorded onto digital tape and then mastered digitally before being sent to the cutting machine to make the vinyl master disc/s.
Classical labels were the first to use digital tape for recording as it was deemed too expensive for popular music recording. Ry Cooder's 'Bop Till You Drop' was the first major popular artist to record digitally in '79 on a 32 track 3M machine and Dire Straits recorded Brothers in Arms on Sony 24 track digital in '85.
If music is destined for vinyl from the get go, the recording and mixing process has to be done with that analog end result in mind. Most music today is recorded and mixed specifically with a digital medium end result in mind, not vinyl.
The record company says "we want to release a vinyl version" and so they take that mix (that was done with a digital end result in mind) and they put it through a quick vinyl mastering process (using digital software) and throw it to the master cutter to make the master disc.
The end result is usually a poor master disc and poor pressings (because many pressing plants really don't care too much about the quality of the product that they are making).

The art of vinyl mastering reached it's peak in the 70's early 80's. The boffins at EMI had spent a few decades figuring out and honing the skills required to make a good vinyl master disc, resulting in the famed EMI TG12410 solid state mastering chain in the 70's.
Young engineers today are new to the game are now trying to re-learn the lost art of vinyl mastering (those EMI engineers are long gone and took most of their knowledge with them).
These new kids on the block are also working with recordings and mixes that were never made for vinyl to begin with. They mostly take the digital master (made for CD) and run it through some software (often TG12410 emulation software) and call it done.
Hence most new 'pop' vinyl LP's are junk (including new pressings of such albums as PF's DSOTM and F Mac's 'Rumours'... 2 of the top 20 best selling vinyl LP's last year).
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts