Vinyl the best?

The One

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Aug 31, 2022
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I am in dubt CD Player or turntable. No streaming anymore. I listen mostly to symphonic metal. On cd, there is the loudness war. Too shame. My question will sound this on vinyl better then on cd? What are your experiences.
 
Not all CDs suffer from what you refer to as loudness, some do, not all material is available on either format, one thing for sure is that LPs are more expensive than their CD equivalent and you are going to need to spend more on a vinyl replay set-up than you are in a CD one to get better sound quality.
Some will no doubt point out that you cannot get the same sort of frequency range in vinyl as you can on CD.
 
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A good DAC can extract an awful lot of information from a CD, or CD derived file, don't dismiss CDs because vinyl is fashionable. A bad CD can sound crap and a good one can be excellent, just like vinyl...
Any DAC will extract whatever is on a CD, if it was good enough to be fitted to the CD in the first place it should suffice.
there should be no reason to buy another DAC unless you wish to 'tune' what is on the CD.
Agree that a bad CD is going to sound rubbish whatever decoder you use.
 
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DCarmi

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Nov 15, 2019
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Some will no doubt point out that you cannot get the same sort of frequency range in vinyl as you can on CD.
Surely the point is more that because the cartridge is sending a weak analogue signal for the pre-amp to... ermm... amplify, you will then enhance distortions produced by the cartridge. This limits that amount of loudness you can engineer on vinyl, without making it unplayable.

Granted that the loudness war probably started with singles and jukeboxes, so as to make artists tracks stand out more from those recorded at more normal levels.

Also, given that much music is consumed by radio and streaming services and these use signal processing to normalise loudness, the loudness war is a bit pointless now. In fact, it would be counter-productive because they are just compressing audio, not enhancing its presence.

As someone who prefers vinyl, remove loudness from CDs and the argument over which is better is made more difficult.
 
Surely the point is more that because the cartridge is sending a weak analogue signal for the pre-amp to... ermm... amplify, you will then enhance distortions produced by the cartridge. This limits that amount of loudness you can engineer on vinyl, without making it unplayable.

Granted that the loudness war probably started with singles and jukeboxes, so as to make artists tracks stand out more from those recorded at more normal levels.

Also, given that much music is consumed by radio and streaming services and these use signal processing to normalise loudness, the loudness war is a bit pointless now. In fact, it would be counter-productive because they are just compressing audio, not enhancing its presence.

As someone who prefers vinyl, remove loudness from CDs and the argument over which is better is made more difficult.
I think you need to check more on the 'loudness ' side of things. It has little to do with actual volume.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I thoroughly enjoy vinyl and CDs. I would stay clear of remastered CDs, as some are very good while others are over compressed and can sound thin and mechanical.

My 'go to' format has always been the black spinny things but don't dismiss the quality CDs can bring to the party.
 
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DCarmi

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I think you need to check more on the 'loudness ' side of things. It has little to do with actual volume.
As I understand it, it is the levels at which recordings are set (gain). Doing so you reduce fidelity by compressing the dynamic range and you then can get effects like clipping which can produce an unpleasant, distorted sound.

The engineers used compressors to reduce these peaks which might clip producing a perceived overall increase in volume. Basically you get a bigger but less defined audio.

I have a couple of CDs where the really pushed the "loudness" and I find these difficult to listen to because they just sound harsh.

With Vinyl, there is a limit to how much "noise" you can record because changes in amplitude can cause tracking issues (if I understand correctly).
 
As I understand it, it is the levels at which recordings are set (gain). Doing so you reduce fidelity by compressing the dynamic range and you then can get effects like clipping which can produce an unpleasant, distorted sound.

The engineers used compressors to reduce these peaks which might clip producing a perceived overall increase in volume. Basically you get a bigger but less defined audio.

I have a couple of CDs where the really pushed the "loudness" and I find these difficult to listen to because they just sound harsh.

With Vinyl, there is a limit to how much "noise" you can record because changes in amplitude can cause tracking issues (if I understand correctly).
you are correct, just checking.... :)
This phenomenon is normally only readily apparent in CD production to me knowledge.
 

Gray

Well-known member
a perceived overall increase in volume.

With Vinyl, there is a limit to how much "noise" you can record because changes in amplitude can cause tracking issues (if I understand correctly).
You're right about loudness causing a perceived increase in volume.
It's their trick way of making it seem louder, not least by ensuring that the naturally quiet bits never fall naturally low.

But 'perceived' is the key word.
There is no higher peak amplitude (just a volume- limited mess of a sound).
As such, the compressed sound can just as easily be transferred to vinyl - where the cartridge can (without mistracking) faithfully reproduce the horrible, compressed sound.

They may limit the actual level of the compressed recording - so that it can be accommodated by the vinyl.
And it's likely that they've pushed the compressed sound as close as they can to the 0dB maximum on your worst sounding CDs.

This means that the same compressed recording would sound equally horrible whether on vinyl or CD......but you'd just need to turn up the volume on the vinyl to hear it at the same volume as your CD.
 
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Gray

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All depends whether compression takes place at the transfer to CD, or on the actual master itself (usually the former). Some albums may be better on one format or another.
True, compression could be introduced at any stage.
But the point I was trying to make was that, assuming you start with a compressed master recording, there's no reason for the vinyl to sound less compressed than the CD version.

I'd suggest that maybe the reason people have traditionally noticed it more on CD, is because most transfer to vinyl happend before loudness became fashionable.

Having said that, isn't some dynamic compression necessary (if not desirable) with vinyl - to prevent over modulation of the cutter? which would lead to playback mistracking.
There's the irony; they can put a higher dynamic range on CD, but they often choose not to 😕
 
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Rui

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Mar 23, 2021
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Not all CDs suffer from what you refer to as loudness, some do, not all material is available on either format, one thing for sure is that LPs are more expensive than their CD equivalent and you are going to need to spend more on a vinyl replay set-up than you are in a CD one to get better sound quality.
Some will no doubt point out that you cannot get the same sort of frequency range in vinyl as you can on CD.
i found it the other way, you´ll never find the wider spectrum of frequencies on cd that you´ll find in a lp record or vinyl, a turntable with original cartridge and stylus from 1971 from pioneer ,the PL-12 will show a wider spectrum of frequencies like 15hz to 57 khz ,a cd with average price will never goe for more than 20hz to 20khz ,there are better cd players but will cost around 5.000€ but there are older turntables in good condition for prices around 200€ with a cartridge that maybe needs to be new or not will cost the same price or a bit more ,don´t try to buy any pl-12 because i ´ve looked a lot and they all are missing parts next to the counter-weight , also depends on the amplifier and speakers you use ,i also like metal and guitars are the first to suffer with digital recording ,normally today bands are still using old guitars (50´s and 60´s)and effects are also looked for in analog not those digital boards who emule analog efects sounding very bad compared to the original and most of the recent metal albums i own are still record in analog studios only the final product is digital ,the cd ,i could go on for a lot of time to explain what to buy and what to be improved , but to end as an example when buying cds for the first time i bought old records converted to cd and they didn´t had alf of the quality nothing sounded as the vinyl version, as said before there are other digital formats that can be converted at a 100% from analog but cd is the worse example ,i bought once a live album and it sounded perfect the guitars almost sounded as being played in my room but in the back cover said "directelly recorded into DAT" and not having enough money i bought the vinyl version that was cheaper ,later i found the cd and having some extra tracks that some were my favorite from the band i bought it ,when playing it on 3 diferent cd players the cd sounded always horrible compared to the vinyl version but the source was digital, so cd is also good but when analog instruments are recorded analog will always be the best because they have no limit while digital allthough today it´s much better today are still very limited but one thing you have to choose is the way you listen to music and if already having a system where cds sound good , to buy, old or new to hear analog recordings you´ll spend a lot more money ,if you have an old system at home try it , but to hear music in analog format it will become expensive if you´ll start now ,if already having a good system where the sound is ok for you just improve it ,instead of investing in vinyl ,i´m also saying this because some vinyl i bought recentelly have no quality not refering to the sound but to the vynil itself ,i have records bought in the 80´s free of noise while records i bought 2 years ago and placed next to the old ones they are getting noise very fast while the old ones still sound perfect and using the same turntables, regards
 
i found it the other way, you´ll never find the wider spectrum of frequencies on cd that you´ll find in a lp record or vinyl, a turntable with original cartridge and stylus from 1971 from pioneer ,the PL-12 will show a wider spectrum of frequencies like 15hz to 57 khz ,a cd with average price will never goe for more than 20hz to 20khz ,there are better cd players but will cost around 5.000€ but there are older turntables in good condition for prices around 200€ with a cartridge that maybe needs to be new or not will cost the same price or a bit more ,don´t try to buy any pl-12 because i ´ve looked a lot and they all are missing parts next to the counter-weight , also depends on the amplifier and speakers you use ,i also like metal and guitars are the first to suffer with digital recording ,normally today bands are still using old guitars (50´s and 60´s)and effects are also looked for in analog not those digital boards who emule analog efects sounding very bad compared to the original and most of the recent metal albums i own are still record in analog studios only the final product is digital ,the cd ,i could go on for a lot of time to explain what to buy and what to be improved , but to end as an example when buying cds for the first time i bought old records converted to cd and they didn´t had alf of the quality nothing sounded as the vinyl version, as said before there are other digital formats that can be converted at a 100% from analog but cd is the worse example ,i bought once a live album and it sounded perfect the guitars almost sounded as being played in my room but in the back cover said "directelly recorded into DAT" and not having enough money i bought the vinyl version that was cheaper ,later i found the cd and having some extra tracks that some were my favorite from the band i bought it ,when playing it on 3 diferent cd players the cd sounded always horrible compared to the vinyl version but the source was digital, so cd is also good but when analog instruments are recorded analog will always be the best because they have no limit while digital allthough today it´s much better today are still very limited but one thing you have to choose is the way you listen to music and if already having a system where cds sound good , to buy, old or new to hear analog recordings you´ll spend a lot more money ,if you have an old system at home try it , but to hear music in analog format it will become expensive if you´ll start now ,if already having a good system where the sound is ok for you just improve it ,instead of investing in vinyl ,i´m also saying this because some vinyl i bought recentelly have no quality not refering to the sound but to the vynil itself ,i have records bought in the 80´s free of noise while records i bought 2 years ago and placed next to the old ones they are getting noise very fast while the old ones still sound perfect and using the same turntables, regards
ouch!
Please break up long threads into paragraphs, it will make reading more pleasurable.
 
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Rui

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2021
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you are correct, just checking.... :)
This phenomenon is normally only readily apparent in CD production to me knowledge.
i remenber to ask you if you have cds bought in the 80´s ,this because i didn´t have a lot but only 7 ,and till 93 i used to ask some friends of mine cds to record or listen at home and the ones i kept one could clean them with a scoth-brite with running water and Sonasol and they would play again but most of the ones i kept they don´t have a bright look anymore but not one track jumps. When in early 90´s they anounced they would make cds more afordable because they had discover other material cheaper to fabricate cds but that´s when if one had not a good cd player any scratch would skip or jump to another section of the cd ,i saw this mainly on Sony cd players i had a pioneer cd player and in mid 90´s or a bit later bought a CEC belt drive that was refered as one of the best cd players . I also remenber friends that bought expensive cd players after some years they started to fail and a curious saying it was a electronic technician would always changed the laser but after maybe 4 or 5 monthes the problem persisted and they would throw them to the garbage and the ones i could get they ofered me them ,this talking about around 500€(direct exchange not taking in account the inflation percentage) at the time from every known brand , this because i discovered that the laser could be tuned or its path because going from the start to the end a litle lubrification existing would produce a mass with the dust making the laser not getting to the cds table of contents part ,not playing any cd ,this made me have several brands of good cd players working perfect, my first cd player with standart measures for a system was the PD-7300 from pioneer, the laser in 2015 cost me 400€s it is still working in my bedroom but only after being used every day not only for a month each year when going in vacations ,this since 87 ,i think it´s 28 years without any new part,this because i have problems in sleeping and with music playing i can sleep and the display didn´t fade being conected almost every night of the year, But ,what is your opinion about the first cds sold compared to the ones released in early 90´s(i edited the year i bought my first cd player)
 
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Rui

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Mar 23, 2021
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I'm guessing, that when you typed post #17 above, you forgot about the post I have quoted here...
yes, but is it related with what you´ve said ,maybe i explained my self in a bad way , also it´s not my first language ,allthough i talk english for a long time ,to writte is completely diferent ,some words might be confusing , i was refering only to early cds but new at the time not old records released in cd, sorry if i didn´t express myself correctelly
 
yes, but is it related with what you´ve said ,maybe i explained my self in a bad way , also it´s not my first language ,allthough i talk english for a long time ,to writte is completely diferent ,some words might be confusing , i was refering only to early cds but new at the time not old records released in cd, sorry if i didn´t express myself correctelly
I think what he meant was surely you use paragraphs in your language....
 
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Rui

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Mar 23, 2021
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i´ll try to improve my written english , i never use the google translate because it´s two diferent types of language in it´s origin and when reading the translation one notices that doesn´t make any sense ,as an example the french is very close to Portuguese because both came from Latin, English is more easy to learn but sometimes one translate badly the way the words are putted together having a completely different meaning , but i´ll try
 
i´ll try to improve my written english , i never use the google translate because it´s two diferent types of language in it´s origin and when reading the translation one notices that doesn´t make any sense ,as an example the french is very close to Portuguese because both came from Latin, English is more easy to learn but sometimes one translate badly the way the words are putted together having a completely different meaning , but i´ll try
It's not so much a translation issue more a point of the layout of the text.
One big block makes it difficult to read.
Thanks.
 

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