vinyl or high res file: which is better?

Ch3m

New member
Jan 10, 2016
12
0
0
I know it is a hard question. I read thousands of topics on the matter but there are a lot of different opinion on the matter.

My question arises since my dad recently replaced its turntable and he offered me the old one. I accepted the offer (my amp has the phono input) but the problem consists in the fact that I don't have any records. I was considering to start building a collection of classical, jazz and rock LP when the question struck me? In term of sound quality, is a good idea to invest on vinyl or is better to spend the same amount on high res files (24/96 or higher)?

At the moment, most of my music collection is made of CD and 16 bit FLAC, I own only a limited amount of high res track and, even with my modest system, the difference is perceivable.
 

Gray

Well-known member
It's more a case of the recorded quality (or what version of a manipulated / squashed recording you end up with on your vinyl or hi-res file)

Strange how higher resolutions aim for the analogue but by definition digital will never get there.

It depends a lot, of course, on the quality of that turntable, arm, cartridge and pre-amp of yours.

As you've built up no record clutter, some will say go the digital file route as it saves space.

Others will say, for the 'fun' of vinyl, start collecting. And record sleeves (evenCD booklets) will always beat downloads as an experience.

Like others, I've got both. Best sounding are the best recordings.

I like the fact that there's no wear with digital - others would regard that as a non-problem.

I like a physical product but probably prefer a hi-res file rather than the vinyl version of the same recording, but maybe that's only because my TT/arm/cartridge/pre-amp could be better. So who am I to judge?

Time to hear from the next poster.
 

Canguino Purlat

New member
Apr 5, 2016
2
0
0
As you say, there are a lot of different opinions. Impossible to answer. If you haven't got any records, go the digital way. Stop reading forums or you will end doing strange things like leaving your equipment on 24/7 or listening to your amp's transistors instead of music.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
As you've not got any LPs, it is much easier to start with downloads. Even CDs are much better value, £ for sound. Playing records can be immensely rewarding, but be aware the costs are significant and you need much patience and experience to get the best results.

And I'd have to say that hires files sound better in most cases, even though some LPs can sound wonderful.
 

Al ears

Well-known member
nopiano said:
As you've not got any LPs, it is much easier to start with downloads. Even CDs are much better value, £ for sound. Playing records can be immensely rewarding, but be aware the costs are significant and you need much patience and experience to get the best results.

And I'd have to say that hires files sound better in most cases, even though some LPs can sound wonderful.

I'd have to agree with nopiano. As I have had a vinyl collection for many moons I have continued to upgrade the analogue side of my system but if I was starting from scratch (so to speak) today I would not be bothering with vinyl and stick with CD / downloads etc.

Even with very high quality vinyl, both recording and pressing, you really do need to spend a good deal of money on a system to make the most of these LPs. Poorly recorded vinyl is as bad as poorly recorded / highly compressed CD, its just the financial factor that comes into effect then. You cannot get away from the fact that CD's are still cheap compared to new vinyl.

The genre of music you listen to comes into play as well, although many have an analogue system to replay their mainly classical collection I still say that this type of music is more suited to digital and here you would benefit from a good digital set-up to replay thos CD / SACD / higher res download files.
 

Ch3m

New member
Jan 10, 2016
12
0
0
Thanks all for the advice. I know that if started with vinyls, the turntable will be another addition to a system that already is in need of great improvements
confused_smile.gif
!!! On the other hand, I miss the "physicality", not owning a cd player but streaming everything form the PC and I am lloking for something better than the 16/44 of the cds.

Taking in consideration the financial factor I cannot understand the prices for the digital albums. I was scouting the web for Miles Davis Kind of Blue and the new vinyl from amazon is half the cost than the 24/96 files form HD tracks!?!*shok*
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,253
26
19,220
Ch3m said:
Taking in consideration the financial factor I cannot understand the prices for the digital albums. I was scouting the web for Miles Davis Kind of Blue and the new vinyl from amazon is half the cost than the 24/96 files form HD tracks!?!*shok*

KOB is whole 'industry within an industry' in terms of how many ultimate versions (mono and stereo) come out - almost every year it seems - on every format they can throw it at. This has been happening for most of my adult life starting with half-speed masters on LP and then countless remasters for CD.

I bought the cheapest, most mainstream CD version, with the most positive feedback, from Amazon a few years ago and it is fine. A superb recording. I had the LP before that. (Again, the most mainstream pressing you'd have found anywhere back then.)

Spend your money on a better cartridge or phono pre-amp (if vinyl), or better speakers or (sharp intake of breath), more music?
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
1,148
864
20,070
Vinyl is inferior to digital (Assuming they are both of good quality) in all departments, however they do sound nice, and holding something physical is also nice.

Going above 16/44 is pointless, as the ear cannot differentiate between it and higher resolutions, (Unless the DAC is naff) and the only reason studios use 24/96 is because it makes mixing and mastering easier. (mp3 is lossy, so will always be inferior, however if you use high bit rates then you need a good system to hear any difference)

The difference between the lossless formats is down to how the original recording was mastered, and you have no control over this, thus you may find some Hi-Res sounds better than CD, but some sound worse (Or no difference) to CD.

Most quality systems cover all the bases these days, so you can pick and choose which format of a song sounds best to you.

Hope this helps

Bill
 

Al ears

Well-known member
Ch3m said:
Thanks all for the advice. I know that if started with vinyls, the turntable will be another addition to a system that already is in need of great improvements !!! On the other hand, I miss the "physicality", not owning a cd player but streaming everything form the PC and I am lloking for something better than the 16/44 of the cds.

Taking in consideration the financial factor I cannot understand the prices for the digital albums. I was scouting the web for Miles Davis Kind of Blue and the new vinyl from amazon is half the cost than the 24/96 files form HD tracks!?!*shok*

Look on other download sites, there are quite a few, you may find it cheaper than HDtracks which has always been expensive in my opinion. You should not pay more than the cost of vinyl for any particular album download.
 

Al ears

Well-known member
Ch3m said:
Thanks all for the advice. I know that if started with vinyls, the turntable will be another addition to a system that already is in need of great improvements !!! On the other hand, I miss the "physicality", not owning a cd player but streaming everything form the PC and I am lloking for something better than the 16/44 of the cds.

Taking in consideration the financial factor I cannot understand the prices for the digital albums. I was scouting the web for Miles Davis Kind of Blue and the new vinyl from amazon is half the cost than the 24/96 files form HD tracks!?!*shok*

Look on other download sites, there are quite a few, you may find it cheaper than HDtracks which has always been expensive in my opinion. You should not pay more than the cost of vinyl for any particular album download.

The vinyl should be around £15 and download about £13
 

daytona600

Well-known member
99% of all new & reissued records are cut from digital files 16/44 , 24/96 & even MP3s ( DDD )

1% are 100% analogue from independent audiophile labels like mofi , analogue productions etc( AAA )

A - Analogue master tape

A- Analogue mastering

A - Analogue cutting head delay
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
453
12
18,895
Ch3m said:
I know it is a hard question. I read thousands of topics on the matter but there are a lot of different opinion on the matter.

My question arises since my dad recently replaced its turntable and he offered me the old one. I accepted the offer (my amp has the phono input) but the problem consists in the fact that I don't have any records. I was considering to start building a collection of classical, jazz and rock LP when the question struck me? In term of sound quality, is a good idea to invest on vinyl or is better to spend the same amount on high res files (24/96 or higher)?

At the moment, most of my music collection is made of CD and 16 bit FLAC, I own only a limited amount of high res track and, even with my modest system, the difference is perceivable.

While Vinyl may sound OK you have to spend some serious money to achieve a decent sound. Either drop a grand or so on a turntable and get a fair performance from a turntable, spend £50 on a CD player and achieve the same result or even surpass the vinyl. As others have said it can all still depend on the mastering anyway.
 

Ch3m

New member
Jan 10, 2016
12
0
0
Yesterday I spent some time doing a test: I compared a digital (16/44) recording of High Hopes by Pink Floyd (downloaded form Qoquz) with the flac 24/96 that my father extracted from the vinyl of same album (the turntable he used is a rega rp3, I don't known the ADC). The test was not scientific and limited by my equipment (akg 550 mk2 and grado 125i copupled with a TEAC UD-H01).

What I can tell is that the version extracted from the vinyl sounded a bit less detail in the high frequency but more warm than the digital, particularly on the giutar and the voice. On the other hand the vinyl was more open to me. Is that possible?

It might be an artefact arising form a different mixing/mastering or as a result of the background noise of the vinyl record but I liked most the vinyl version.
 

6and8

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2014
87
9
18,545
I've a reasonably large and eclectic vinyl collection. I started collecting records as a kid, buying them with the earnings from my paper round. I haven't stopped since. Apart from the sound of vinyl, there's something really special about the physicality of the record and its sleeve. I can't walk past used record shops and charity shops without popping in hoping to find a gem for a bargain. And if I do, bringing it home and lovingly bathing it in my trusty Knosti, drying it off and putting into a brand new polymer lined inner. I love the ritual of vinyl, the whole process of taking the record from the sleeve, giving it a sweep with the carbon fibre brush, dropping the stylus into the groove and settling back to let the music wash over me. Well, I might be about to get the same treatment as Bob Dylan when he went electric, because this morning I popped a Beatles CD into the Audiolab 8200 and thought, blimey, that sounds good. Which doesn't answer the OP's question, I realise, apologies...
 

daytona600

Well-known member
While Vinyl may sound OK you have to spend some serious money to achieve a decent sound. Either drop a grand or so on a turntable and get a fair performance from a turntable, spend £50 on a CD player and achieve the same result or even surpass the vinyl. As others have said it can all still depend on the mastering anyway.

find the other way round

use my £250 turntable more often than my £10k Cd/Dac
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts