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Vinyl or CD - Which sounds better


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Showing 1-25 of 99 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2012 1:01:17 AM PST
JOHN DOE says:
I like vinyl better

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 1:59:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 2:00:21 AM PST
Well, you have to have a working turntable to spin all those Lawrence Welk albums. Not many Joe Feeney or Norma Zimmer titles ever made it to CD. And forget about those Wink Martindale albums, too!

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 4:56:25 AM PST
Chazzzbo says:
JTF - Beauty is in the ear of the beholder. This is an old discussion, but each format has its strengths and weaknesses. There is no one completely correct answer.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 1:43:13 PM PST
V sounds warmer at first. But once it gets played a dozen times the grooves start to wear out and it gets noisy, hissy, poppy...

I will stick to noise free CD. Much LOUDER and much quieter too.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 3:07:26 PM PST
D. Hinson says:
I think vinyl is GROOVY!! (:

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 4:33:29 PM PST
Neaklaus says:
It depends on the recording.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 4:54:54 PM PST
Music Luver says:
This is about the 4000th time this has been brought up.....

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 5:02:39 PM PST
Music Luver is correct, this topic has been talked to death.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 5:08:40 PM PST
Music Luver says:
I mean seriously.. People buy what you like. whatever makes you happy.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 5:08:55 PM PST
Music Luver and Philip S Wolf are correct. Why keep scraping this roadkill off of the pavement?

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 5:55:29 PM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
It's been talked to death, but still, you hardly ever hear anyone talk about vinyl w/o using the word "warmer." Warm is a temperature, not a sound. I invite someone to explain what that means techinically -- the difference between digital and analog. OK, I know digital is 0's and 1's but how does that SOUND different from vinyl grooves?

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 8:59:48 PM PST
I like to go "junking" for vinyl, usually in the range of 50-cents to $1 each, and I can't find that price for a CD. Granted a buttload of easy listening orchestra schlock to flip through, but that's been the norm since I started looking at Lps in the mid-'70s. Some great just oddball stuff comes up outside of the (usually non-existent in the thrifts in decent condition) rock guitar bands, and most of it has never been reissued on CD. It's a kind of fascinating archaeology dig, too, looking at such utter @#$%& titles and artists, and realizing what incredibly lousy taste most (whitebread) people have in the arts. I just picked up four albums at 75-cents each, nothing special, but had to flip through what seems like the entire catalog of Roger Williams (tinkly piano easy listening guy known for "Autumn Leaves") to find a few possibly interesting titles. Downside to CDs: retail cost; what older reissue stuff is the really obvious and uninteresting, and new sale titles era start in the '90s. Downside to used vinyl: most everything went out of production by 1988-89, and the OVERWHELMING retail taste prior to 1980 is easy listening with orchestra. Judging by what shows up, Andy Williams dominated the 1960s by several orders of magnitude vs. the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Zombies, and Hollies.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 9:33:39 PM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
It would be interesting to know which performers are best represented in vinyl at the yard sales and thrift shops. Roger Williams is certainly in the top echelon. It does seem that easy listening is overrepresented. Besides Williams, I've seen lots of Ferrante and Teicher, Mantovani, Lawrence Welk, and Rogers and Hammerstein musicals like South Pacific, Oklahoma, and Carousel. Jim Nabors apparently put out a lot of records also. Oh, yes, and Andy Williams. I would estimate that about 75% or maybe higher of the records I have to search through should be destroyed because of terrible condition. Many are unplayable and lots have ripped or water-damaged jackets. Landfills would be fuller, but it sure would save time in looking through the stacks.

Another thing I've noticed --at yard sales more than thrift stores-- is that the vinyl resurgence in recent years has driven up the price of many pop/rock albums. People are now expecting several dollars for old albums, often in poor condition, that would have be 25 or 50 cents a few years ago. It's not like they are 180 gram remasters, but by some of the prices, you would think they are.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 9:49:30 PM PST
As parents would give away comic book collections and all the toys after sonny or missy went off to college a few decades back today those very same sons and daughters are now dealing with their parents possessions after their passing. The circle game continues....Such are the contents of many a thrift store in 2012.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 10:10:33 PM PST
Music Luver says:
Dr. Mikey, thank you I was going to bring that up at some point. "Warm" is the buzz word that always comes up, and none of them can really explain it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 10:16:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 10:52:03 PM PST
Agreed. Columbia artists in gawdawful quantities would be Andy Williams, Jim Nabors, Jerry Vale, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Ray Conniff, Robert Goulet, Barbra Streisand (easily #2 after Andy Williams!). Next most popular are '60s Reprise albums by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. Then rounding out the usual '60s suspects, Roger Williams, Ferrante & Teicher, Jack Jones, John Gary, Eddy Arnold, Glen Campbell, and Rouvan. When you hit the '70s, Carole King, Elton John, James Taylor, Helen Reddy, Anne Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Carly Simon, Bread, Keith Carradine, Shawn Cassidy, Bobby Sherman, Partridge Family, New Seekers, Mike Curb Congregation, Kenny Rogers. The ONE ALBUM that chokes everywhere is beat-to-manure copies of Andy Williams' MOON RIVER AND OTHER HITS FROM THE MOVIES, second being that DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Lp. Sheesh!

Flipping through these stacks of vinyl, the same artists, the same mix of titles, for 30 years. It's like all our parents/grandparents dumped their entire record collections into a time-travel wormhole in 1975 and they've been endlessly circulating in someone's thrift garage unsold for decades.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 10:24:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 10:35:40 PM PST
<<Dr. Mikey, thank you I was going to bring that up at some point. "Warm" is the buzz word that always comes up, and none of them can really explain it. >>>
I tried to explain it once and got tied up in the definition of 'white noise'.....
If white noise is picked up on a tone arm in its limited frequencies of the tone arm and then amplified then it is no longer technically 'white noise'.
However that doesn't mean there is no noise.

the illusion 'warmth' comes from this(ever so slight) noise created from the mechanical process of friction between the stylus and the groove.

when a stylus is placed into the groove at the beginning of a record even before the music starts there is a 'sound' that is not there before the stylus drops. That makes the recording a tad bit more 'soft focus' than it really is.

Don't believe me? get yourself a turntable and try it for yourself. Turn up the VOL.(even louder than you would normally listen). place the stylus in the groove and there is noise there that was not there before the stylus was placed in the groove.
or when the side is over, turn up the vol before you lift the tone arm.
No music to play, no tape his, one should hear silence. Then lift the tone arm and much of the 'buzz' goes away. (noise sometimes enters in the amplification process)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 11:00:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 11:02:43 PM PST
I call it the vinyl "swish." CDs and vinyl are different, not better/worse. Besides, recordings are a ghost of a performance. Listening to a recording is akin to the difference between being with a beautiful, interesting woman, and looking at a retouched photo of the same person.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 11:15:28 PM PST
Vinyl. More warm.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 11:32:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2012 11:36:47 PM PST
Warm, to me, has always been the depth of a recording. It can be difficult to explain but on well mastered vinyl there is more of a real sound as opposed to a recorded one. I picked up the Heart reissue of Dreamboat Annie and I swear there are parts where Ann Wilson sighs and it sounds so real, not recorded. It comes down to the sound waves, digital sound waves do not bend, analogue does and I personally feel that adds depth and nuance to the sound...ie warmth.

Yes, CDs done properly sound amazing ..but so does vinyl and the best vinyl I have heard has a more authentic sound quality than a cd. That's my 2 cents.

I know people are going to disagree but I'm speaking as someone who had not listened to a single vinyl album from 1987-2010 and when I did, I noticed the difference immediately..a more natural sound..a warm sound.

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 9:17:01 AM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
Thanks, everyone for explaining this. old pal Jacky, I know what you mean about the sound of the stylus in the groove, what Son of Flintstone refers to as "swish." I guess that's why it's so important to keep records clean and properly stored. Exile, I did not know that analogue sound waves bend whereas digital do not. I'm sure that means something different to the ear. I do have a turntable and have recently begun to buy more vinyl, used and the newer heavy ones. Sadly, I got rid of many records about 10 years ago, but fortunately kept my favorites. PHILIP, I'm glad you didn't mention baseball cards, or I would have to start crying. I recently got McCartney's "Ram" on vinyl and something really jumped out at me - I'm still trying to figure all this out, so thanks. There is also the mono-stereo difference (which I probably should check out other forums in order to understand better).

Son of Flintstone, thanks for the list of albums. You are spot on: those are exactly the ones I come across. I did find a great Website that is devoted to those really cool 50s and 60s records (which they are calling "Space Age Pop") with lots of sub-genres). It has a wealth of information: http://www.spaceagepop.com/whatis.htm

Posted on Nov 9, 2012 10:48:59 AM PST
S. Rice says:
I prefer vinyl, but I've noticed a pattern when it comes to physical media formats. People who grew up with vinyl remember their flaws, and tend to prefer CDs. People who grew up with CDs remember their flaws, and tend to prefer vinyl.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 2:08:57 PM PST
I like the old country stuff, and finding the GOOD ones vs. Nashville pop is always a treasure hunt, so lots of what I prefer is either never reissued, or $250 Bear Family box sets. When CDs first came out, they were said to be perfect forever, impervious to mishandling, perfect sound. By my ears, wrong or overstated on most counts: I've had maybe 10-15 CDs die on me, though most of them were bought used; flaws and mishandling may not be noticeable at first, but over time they can degrade. Perfect sound: '80s CDs sounded too "bright" on the highs, which I think came via early adoption issues--digital recording (those CDs maked "DDD") made the hi-hats, cymbals, "tinny". The mid-'90s releases sounded better; now we have the loudness issues with CDs sporting mixes aimed at maximizing MP3 sound. Nashville jumped on digital recording in the studio early, and the '86+ stuff just sound like c*** with ear-bleed highs breaking up and a sense of hearing thin-sounding AM radio.

And CDs cost $15 for what was an $8 album; Lps on what I thought were 2nd-rate acts were good-enough and at least the crowd I hung with thought paying the CD price was only for a high profile release. The industry kept the CD retail price inflated to $18 and got caught in the courts. They also did everything they could to kill mom&pop retail in the early '90s by making CDs a non-return item sticking small retail and favoring chains. And now the RIAA labels are eating that decision as WalMart and Best Buy are cutting out CDs at retail.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 6:58:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 9, 2012 7:29:13 PM PST
vinyl swish? I've always heard it called surface noise. And if you don't have a flat record (the label area and the outer edge are usually thicker than the playing area, this prevents the playing area from direct contact when records are stacked, such as on low-fi changers), the noise from the lead-in groove is much greater because the stylus is "racing down hill" with greater velocity. Hence the lead-in groove noise has been termed "ocean roar" to distinguish it from regular surface noise.
In the early days of the CD, there used to be warnings given not to turn your volume up. The rationale was that the public would be expecting to hear the familiar ocean roar at the start of a CD, but when they didn't hear it they would turn up the volume and then get blasted as soon as the music started.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 9, 2012 7:47:11 PM PST
Dee Zee says:
Vinyl can be warm and a CD cold like a room can be warm color or cold color. Not talking temperatures but ambience.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  99
Initial post:  Nov 8, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 24, 2012

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