Please excuse my complete ignorance - but when I see "vinyl" I think of the original LP's that I used to put on the record player, with the little needle that played the songs. Are you (anyone here) saying that after all of the updated music equipment since the 1970's from 45's to LP, then 8 track, then cassette, then CD, then iPod - now we're going BACK to the original vinly records??
Is there a difference between "vinyl" in 2007 from "vinyl" in 1977??
If anyone has this info, it would be so kind of you to post. Thanx
Yes there is a difference. Some (not all) vinyl today is REALLY good. Get yourself a good turntable and HEAR how good it sounds. It will amaze you. Vinyl is the BEST sound format in existence. If anyone disagrees, well, they're wrong :)
Yes, vinyl sounds great. Today's plastics are superior. But the cartridge really can't pick up the high frequencies one can hear on a CD, because the needle can't physically oscillate fast enough. Then there's dust, which is inevitable, and eventually wears the vinyl.
I have classic old vinyl, but I never play it. OTOH, I wouldn't part with it !
Thanx for your replies - they were very informative. I'm going to stick with the new audio DVD's, current CD's and digital downloads for convenience. Plus, I'm sure we couldn't play ANY vinyl in the car. One bump and the album is scratched.
Do you have a turntable, Barbara? If so, you should get this collection on vinyl. From what I hear, the songs sound really great. And they will sound even better on vinyl then on cd. Vinyl doesn't have the digital 'glare' that cd has.
I really think you should try to hear them both and compare for yourself.
That is very good that you asked; I can imagine how most people today, even ones around when vinyl was the main format, would immediately think it odd to bring that up...
I will add to Mr. /Ms. Healy's comment which is quite correct. I truly do not mean to come across as a know-it-all, I promise : ) but I honestly have been a serious 'Audiophile' for over 25 years now and I have closely watched and participated in the transition from vinyl (records) to digital formats with ONE and ONLY ONE thing paramount... SOUND QUALITY.
Now, simply put here is what I have observed over the last 22 years or so since CDs have been introduced. For the 1st 5 years or so they were pretty much unlistenable. Remember now, I'm speaking STRICTLY from an Audiophile standpoint. After next 5 years they became tolerable. Approaching the millennium they actually started sounding pretty good overall.
Now, here is the deal, and Healy is quite right; when a person has decent enough and ACCURATE equipment (this is NOT necessarily synonymous with EXPENSIVE!) GOOD vinyl will always sound better on good equipment to the discerning ear. BUT, I would honestly say that for almost all people or most people UNLESS they have a specific interest in UNCOLORED ACCURATE audio, really the technology has improved enough to where todays CDs and DVDs truly sound great.
So, I do hope that this has perhaps explained things in a bit more detail, at least from an avid and enthusiastic Audiophile's perspective : )
BTW, from an excellent review on this album here on Amazon it appears that 'MOTHERSHIP' is NOT mastered from the original Analog sources. If this is true then for the real SOUND afficianados this would be less preferable.
MR. Healy lol :) And yes, vinyl is THE best sound format in existence. Now I haven't heard this collection yet, but I get the impression that it's had a few "digital" things done to it.
Those "digital" things are less apparent on vinyl. Basically it goes like this: If you think it sounds great on cd, it will sound even better then that on vinyl. The cool thing about vinyl is, you don't NEED a very expensive rig to enjoy it. It helps but it's not essential.
The other cool thing about vinyl is many many new titles are coming out on vinyl. Vinyl opens things up more sonically. You don't have to be an audiophile to enjoy vinyl. But you might BECOME one once you do!
Only clarification that I would add , you inferred it, is that if the master tape is analogue, as in this case, then the final playback medium that will sound best is analogue (vinyl). This of course assuming you have the right equipment (excellent turntable/tonearm/cartridge/ phono preamp), well maintained, including a FluxBuster (most important) and a proper alignment protractor to adjust the stylus-surface interface. Records should be cleaned with a proper vacuum device (vpi, Nitty Gritty) and a thousand other details.
I only mention all this to make the same point made by Jaime and others: to exceed the sound quality of the current digital state of the art in the analogue medium requires incredible dedication and desire. For most it is just too expensive and time consuming. And you can't play it in your car! Yet for those with the time, money and inclination, the rewards are worth it, particularly in the area of depth and soundstage placement. On a well engineered recording, it can seem as if you can place the players in the room, and even sense you are in the original venue. Incredible effect!.
I have heard other proclaimed experts claim that honestly digitized music should sound no worse than the original source. Matter of fact, it should be exactly the same. If anything it would sound better than vinyl because vinyl intoduces it's own low level of distortion that digital can avoid. The "warm" sound people describe the vinyl having is this distortion. Now, this is not to say that in remastering the original one cannot change the music's qualties, and change the music, possibly for the worse. Or, as in the past, just botch it and not truly transfer the music properly one way or the other. But thats a different question. Does anyone agree with this, or are the other experts wrong? Thanks.
The "experts" are wrong, sort of. Good quality digitization of an audio signal _should_ sound remarkably like the original signal. But it is different, and it is of lesser quality. An audio signal is a complex wave, but if you imagine hearing a signal musical note, that is, one frequency, you can picture why analog is technically "better" than digital. A signal note produces a sine wave, smooth and perfectly curved. An analog recording/reproduction system records that wave, with all its curvature, reads it, and produces it back, still curved. In theory, the reproduced sound will sound just like it did when it was recorded (with the obvious problem of different rooms for recording and playback, among others, but common to all recorded sound whether analog or digital). As long as all the equipment in the process is accurate, the playback from a vinyl record will mimic the original signal very closely.
Digital formats cannot do this. That sine wave that analog systems reproduce _cannot_ have _any_ curvature in a digital signal. It is comprised entirely of straight lines (if viewed, for instance, on an oscilloscope). The reason for this is what digital sound is. It is sound (analog sound, no less) cut up into small bits (called bits, for good measure), then reproduced. If done crudely, this process would render the playback unrecognizable from the original sound. However, at CD quality (even much lower quality, really), the playback is very easily recognized. The digital "samples" occur at fine enough intervals to make the digital approximation sound remarkably like the original source.
So the question becomes this: Given that digital recordings _absolutely are, as a matter of scientific fact_ of lower quality than their analog counterparts, are they of such lower quality that the difference is perceptible by human ears? Many people say digital is just fine, and the wide acceptance of the CD seems to indicate that it is. Others claim they hear a difference, and that analog is superior. I play CDs and vinyl. I like vinyl. I like CD. I do think vinyl somehow provides a more, er, engaging (?) listening experience. I should note that I'm using a fairly decent turntable. But CDs easily win the convenience battle, and can wind up on my iPod within minutes of getting them out of those confoundingly difficult jewel cases (well, ok, the tape on top of the cases). Further, the finer the sampling rate and higher the resolution on digital recordings, the closer to analog it sounds. But do we need this? The answer may be no: audiophiles are convinced that SuperAudio CD and DVD-Audio is superior to CD, but those technologies are both pretty much forgotten by the mainstream. They seem to be an improvement very people were looking for. So, if you've got vinyl, get a good turntable up and running and I think you'll like what you hear.
Thanks a lot, RF. You have me convinced wiith your explanation. Now all I have to do is actually put it to the "street" test. Of course the last turntable I owned was destroyed 15 years ago. But now I have the interest to listen to vinyl when I do get the chance. Thanks.