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I'm a believer! Lp's really do sound better!


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202 replies to this topic

#41 of 203 Bob Segno

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Posted April 12 2002 - 07:59 AM

Thanks for the tip on acousticsounds, Rachael. I've also had good luck on E-bay,especially sealed albums.

#42 of 203 Scooter

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Posted April 12 2002 - 08:02 AM

Up to about 5 years ago an outfit in Phoenix I think offered these for around 16k. And dunno how it translated sound..but it would ignore 99.99% of clicks and pops.

Never heard anything recorded from it tho.

I also recall one time Eastwood main squeeze Sandra Locke had his jazz LP's restored using laser turntables and digital manipulation for his birthday.

#43 of 203 JaleelK

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Posted April 12 2002 - 08:30 AM

Quote:
In your mind, but you pass it off as fact. By the same token, the LP is an analog format, while the CD is a digital approximation. Should CD sound better than the LP? One should not make that assumption. You are making an assumption, but you pass it off as fact and insult people in the process.


It is a fact and something that easily measureable. It has been measured and has been proven less accurate than the digital CD.

I cite as a point of authorities, from Ethan Winer:

Myth: Digital audio sounds worse than analog, and the lack of digital's fidelity is revealed as a sterile and harsh sound that lacks warmth, depth, imaging, clarity, and any number of other vague and elusive descriptions.

Fact: Analog tape compresses dynamics and adds distortion, which can be a pleasing effect for many people (including me). But for pure faithfulness to the original signal, modern pro-quality digital wins hands down every time. It is true that when digital audio is recorded at too low a level, the result can sound grainy. This distortion is in addition to the hiss that an analog recording also has, and it is caused by using an insufficient number of bits. That is, recording at too low a level on a 16-bit system is similar to recording at a normal level on an 8-bit system.

Vintage analog synthesizers may sound "warmer" than current digital models, but only because of the distortion inherent in their design. That wonderful fatness is the result of pushing the analog VCF and VCA circuits to their limits, in an effort to obtain a usable signal to noise ratio. But there is no reason a modern sampling synth cannot reproduce, if not generate, those same sounds exactly if given a proper source signal.

Ethan Winer is: Ethan Winer has been a professional musician, composer, audio engineer, recording instructor, computer programmer, and consultant since the 1960s. He was a writer and contributing editor for PC Magazine for many years, and has written feature articles for Electronic Musician, Recording, and R-e/p magazine. Ethan now writes mostly classical music, and plays the cello in the Danbury (Connecticut) Symphony Orchestra.

As you can see, its not me insulting someone, other folks in the field of audio agree with me.

#44 of 203 Jack Briggs

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Posted April 12 2002 - 08:40 AM

It all comes clear, pun intended.

Jaleel, I received your private communication, and I've reviewed this thread for the first time in more than twenty-four hours.

There's no problem with debating the issue of which sounds better--vinyl disc or compact disc--as I see that is what this thread is about, despite its being started by a devoted follower of vinyl.

I think the problem people are having--and I'm sorry, everyone, for pausing the conversation this way--is the tone in which you're contributing to the issue. A better approach would have been to quote my post as you did, and then preface your remarks with something to the effect--and this is only an example--"Yes, I understand, but..." See what I mean? It's all in the approach!

So, consider your opinion duly noted and continue in the discussion, bearing in mind the pro-vinyl nature of the thread itself.

As for me, I would dearly love for SACD of DVD-Audio to live up to the hype. Eventually, they might. But the airiness and the transient attacks I've heard in the best vinyl recordings still best the garden-variety CD when heard on the best equipment possible.

But I prefer the convenience of an optical disc.

Also, I did mention the problem with inner-groove distortion--which is unavoidable.

#45 of 203 KeithH

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Posted April 12 2002 - 08:53 AM

Jack, thanks for jumping in here. Much appreciated.
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#46 of 203 DEAN DE FURIA

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Posted April 12 2002 - 11:38 AM

Let's face it, CD's are much more convenient and more durable, easier to carry and for non-critical listening, sound pretty good.
Vinyl, on the other hand, damages quickly, can't be played in a car, requires pretty good equipment to sound good and gets dirty.
BUT, there is something about seeing the record spin, that gentle THUNK when the need hits, the "air" around the playback, the whole visual thing.
Can LP's sound better? Well, I think so, but I started the thread.
The bottom line for me: It's fun to have both, and SACD and DVD-A.
I like playing with all the formats.
So, again I'll say, go buy a turntable and some used vinyl and have some FUN!

#47 of 203 John Royster

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Posted April 12 2002 - 11:58 AM

Quote:
So, again I'll say, go buy a turntable and some used vinyl and have some FUN!


well said.

#48 of 203 Bob_L

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Posted April 12 2002 - 01:17 PM

Quote:
Ethan Winer is: Ethan Winer has been a professional musician, composer, audio engineer, recording instructor, computer programmer, and consultant since the 1960s. He was a writer and contributing editor for PC Magazine for many years, and has written feature articles for Electronic Musician, Recording, and R-e/p magazine. Ethan now writes mostly classical music, and plays the cello in the Danbury (Connecticut) Symphony Orchestra.


OK, Jaleel, just for the heckuvit, let's try this:

Bob Lindstrom (me) is: Bob Lindstrom has been a professional musician, composer and conductor since the 1970s. He has received grants in music study from the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and the Finnish government. As a journalist, he was a professional classical music and dance critic for 10 years; Editor-in-Chief of Ziff Davis' A+ and Computer Shopper Magazines; the first recipient of the Best Software Reviewer Award from the Software Publishers' Association; and a monthly columnist for OMNI. His articles have appeared in BYTE Magazine, Electronic Musician and many other publications. As a producer and designer of computer software, three of his products have earned a place in Computer Gaming World's Hall of Fame.

Now, then, with my credentials behind us, let me state that I disagree with Mr. Winer.

So what? Who cares?

My opinion is no more measurement or proof of the superiority of analog or digital technology than Mr. Winer's is. They are opinions. Educated opinions, perhaps. But just opinions.

Let's get off the high horse and recognize that every sound recording technology is a reasonable facsimile of live performance at best and that digital and analog techniques of sound reproduction (or, in the case of synths, "production") have their own benefits and liabilities.

Why is that so difficult for some folks to understand? And why is it even worth arguing about?

#49 of 203 Mark_E_Smith

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Posted April 12 2002 - 01:25 PM

Why are there no more electorstatic panels? I would have thought with the advent of really good subwoofers and cheap clean power amps that they would be much more popular. Could it be that they show the limitations of the cd?
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#50 of 203 Michael_T

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Posted April 12 2002 - 01:59 PM

Quote:
My opinion is no more measurement or proof of the superiority of analog or digital technology than Mr. Winer's is. They are opinions. Educated opinions, perhaps. But just opinions.

Let's get off the high horse and recognize that every sound recording technology is a reasonable facsimile of live performance at best and that digital and analog techniques of sound reproduction (or, in the case of synths, "production") have their own benefits and liabilities.

Why is that so difficult for some folks to understand? And why is it even worth arguing about?


Thank you.

Discussions of the superiority of formats goes on all the time, not only here, but on other sites like www.audioasylum.com and www.stevehoffman.tv, and the "opinions" many express tend to show their shortsightedness. I wish more people had an open mind, and could except things for what they are - but that just doesn't always seem to be the case.

I see benefit and detriments in all formats - and I own a Turntable, SACD player, DVD-Audio player, redbook CD player, etc. I find something to like in all of them.

We should be grateful that we all have freedom of choice - and that so many formats can seem to co-exist together.

#51 of 203 Philip Hamm

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Posted April 12 2002 - 01:59 PM

Quote:
The Rice Krispies comment was directed to the snap crackle pop noises they generate while playing
Yeah I had caught that. It's an unavoidable problem, but can be minized. My record collection doesn't hardly ever pop or snap. Some used discs do, and some on porr vinyl, but on the whole, mine are very clean. I still use an old Zerostat gun on my records and I've come to the conclusion that static electricity is to blame for at least one fourth of the snapping and popping noises on the average (for me - which is immaculate for some) untreated LP.
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#52 of 203 Bob Segno

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Posted April 13 2002 - 05:29 AM

Bob L. I agree with you. In a "nutshell", all the different formats have their own unique sound, AND pros and cons. Bob

#53 of 203 Ross L

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Posted April 13 2002 - 08:57 AM

Just have to throw in my 2 cents worth. Posted Image

Back in the 60's when my hearing was at it's peak, LP's ruled and CD's didn't exist. Today LP's still rule for 60's music as far as I'm concerned because they involke memories from those times better than CD's do.

When I first hear "The Association's Greatest Hits" on CD, I wasn't sure if they were the original recordings or not. I later decided they were but somehow sounded different. I came to the conclusion that the difference was in the medium and not in the recording. The LP sounded better to me Because the music sounded like I remembered. Not better but truer, if this makes any sense.

Today I enjoy both formats as I have a large LP collection that hasn't made it to CD and maybe never will. I've never thought one format was better than the other but always acknowledged there was a difference.

#54 of 203 Bob_L

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Posted April 13 2002 - 10:32 AM

Quote:
I've never thought one format was better than the other but always acknowledged there was a difference.


I agree. The only aspect which I still think is clearly superior is that CD is a much better DELIVERY MEDIUM than LP. It's less prone to damage, wear is virtually non-existant, and the playback devices are much less sensitive. (Turntables have wow and flutter to deal with, as well as inner groove distortion, anti-skating, etc.)

I think the superiority of the CD as a delivery medium is what REALLY accounts for people's preference (sometimes FIERCE preference) for digital technology.

An intriguing thing to consider is what might have happened to analog technology if digital hadn't supplanted it. We'd probably have a delivery medium as convenient and damage-proof as CD with a much wider dynamic range than LP afforded. A tantalizing prospect. Remember, LaserDisc was analog audio matched to an optical delivery medium, until the addition of AC3 near the twilight of LaserDisc's commercial lifespan.

#55 of 203 Mattias_ka

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Posted April 13 2002 - 08:45 PM

Well, this tread is something for me...

Quote:
Ok..next level. How about the laser read turntables? I know the cost of these were astronomical..but did these find the balance as it were. Reproducing everything an LP could without surface noises and stuff?


They are still for sale. There are 3 models, the cheapest one cost 13,500US$. You can look at ELP
Do they sound as good as a turntable/arm/pick-up for the same money? No according to all audiophiles I spoken to that have listen to it.


Quote:
I spent most of my high school and college days buying at least 1 album a week, sometimes more. As stated here, no matter HOW well I took care of my albums, they NEVER survived. Dust, dirt, scratches, anything else killed my vinyl. I was very meticulous about my LPs and no matter what, I couldn't't keep them in good shape. LP cleaners never worked 100%, so in 1987 when I bought my first CD player, I started throwing away my vinyl.


I don't know what you did wrong but IF you had been careful they SHOULD be in mint condition. I have WELL played records from the 70's and 80's that are in mint condition.
Maybe you had too much weight on your tracking or something.


Quote:
Then there is the inherent bass feedback, at decent levels you can't isolate the LF from the tonearm. I guess feedback equals warmth. I guess if you had a seperate turntable room in block house you could do it....then run over to the speaker room


Any good turntable DON'T have this problem.


Quote:
LPs sound like crap IMO, Rice Krispies! I CAN hear the difference in tonal qualities, but I don't find it to be so greatly appealing that it even comes close to making up for the other flaws in the format



Ok, you must clean your apartment at least 2 times a year so the dust-rats don't attack the records.Posted Image Have you heard a mint record on the good turntable (not a cheap 80's table) and with a good phono stage?


Quote:
One of the local used record stores that I frequent gets some new records. I think they are for lack of a better term gray market items. I think they are made for export to places where CD hasn't exactly caught on yet. I could be wrong about this? I do know that alot of music gets put on record in very limited quantity however. You should call any and all used record stores near you and ask


Well, those records are NOT any grey market items. There are STILL a demand from buyers and the artist that the album is released on vinyl. Why do you think? Well, because there ARE people still felling vinyl is better than CD.
And WHY sould an artist like Bob Dylan, Beck, REM, etc etc record their music on analog tapes and want them to be released on vinyl if CD and digital is better? Can ANYONE say that the artist don't know what they are talking about?


There are still much more new vinyls sold than SACD, many great 180 g reissues of older albums, more and more new turntables/arms/pick-up's/RIAA'S, more people getting into the vinyl market. There are MANY online stores that ONLY sell new vinyl.
And the sound has been VERY much improved on all aspects on turntable/arm/pick-up/RIAA over the 10-15 years so if you don't have heard any good new table you all should.
BTW, beware of the BAD RIAA/phono stage that are in most amplifiers today. No money at all has been put into that so do buy a separate RIAA, there are MANY on the market.

Well, the noise floor on my VPI HW-19 MK4 is low and there are many much better player than mine.

#56 of 203 Mattias_ka

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Posted April 13 2002 - 08:50 PM

BTW, buy and listen to the GREAT reissues of Led zeppelin's records now released on 180g vinyl by classic's records they sound SUPERB much better than any CD version I have heard. BTW, the Page was involved in this project, he is a vinyl kind of guy too.Posted Image

#57 of 203 Ken Garrison

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Posted June 12 2002 - 05:35 PM

Vinyl does have that sound we all remember. It's not that it sounds better or worse than a CD; it's the character of the music. Some LPs I have are absolutly silent, even with headphones. You don't hear the pops and clicks.

Quote:
Fact: Analog tape compresses dynamics and adds distortion, which can be a pleasing effect for many people (including me). But for pure faithfulness to the original signal, modern pro-quality digital wins hands down every time. It is true that when digital audio is recorded at too low a level, the result can sound grainy. This distortion is in addition to the hiss that an analog recording also has, and it is caused by using an insufficient number of bits. That is, recording at too low a level on a 16-bit system is similar to recording at a normal level on an 8-bit system.


I would say that is a myth in some ways. Fact if you're dealing with cassettes that run at a sluggish 1 7/8 inches per second. But I own a 30 year old Sony TC 377 Reel to Reel deck that goes 7 1/2 inches per second and a frequency response of 20 - 20,000 HZ. That's the range of most human hearing. I also lug that thing and a couple of Shure SM 57s microphones and record the music performances at the school and the sound comes out very good. I mean GOOD. I keep an eye on the VU meters and make sure they don't hit the red mark. The quality of Reel to Reel is very good. Actually better than CD, IMO. I recorded a CD to the R2R deck and the quality didn't change a bit. I have to admit, I do record it to the computer, edit, then burn it to CD since CD sounds better than cassette and editing is easier on the computer rather than splicing tape.

#58 of 203 John Knowles

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Posted June 13 2002 - 04:01 AM

I'm one of ones who had vinyl growing up (late 70s-mid 80s), dropped it when I got my first CD player (1985), and rediscovered it in the early 90s (at the end of college). When I was younger, I had a cheap, mass-market Japanese table, never got the cartridge properly set up (never knew there was anything more to it than eyeballing it to make it straight), and probably used a Discwasher once in a while to wipe off the crap that accumulated.

So, when CDs came along, they were a real improvement over my mediocre analog rig and life was good. When I was away at college, a friend dragged me to a high end audio dealer and had me listen to a well set-up table (a Linn LP12) playing through a good system--very revealing. He played a few songs from one of the early Simon&Garfunkel lps (an old 60's vinatage copy) and I couldn't believe how great it sounded. I know the dollar amount between what I'd owned and the Linn system was WAY different, but it showed me what the analog lp was capable of. So after that, I found a 70s Thorens table in a pawn shop for $30, picked up a decent Shure cartridge, and with the help of my friend, got the cartridge set up properly, the suspension set right, and the VTA correct. It sounded pretty damn good--not a Linn, but miles ahead of the crap I was using before. This rig served me well until recently when I upgraded to a new Rega 3 and new cartridge. The new rig sounds even better.

All along I have continued to buy CDs and think they can sound quite decent. They are really convenient and don't have to be pampered like vinyl does. But when I want to actually sit down and just listen to music, more often than not, I go for the vinyl. Surface noise tends to be less of an issue with better hardware (assuming the record is clean and undamaged) and if the vinyl and stylus is kept clean, there is very little, if any wear with repeated plays. There will always be some noise and it can simply come down to how tolerant one is to hearing it (it doesn't bother me, but I grew up listening to it)

If you want examples of vinyl sounding better, try comparing original UK vinyl of the Beatles catalog to the CDs. No contest, IMO. I have yet to hear SACD or DVD-A in a good system, but I'm more than willing to give it a shot. And of course, there's the easy point of having that great lp-sized artwork--sometimes it's worth it just for that.
So turn in your shoes...FOR INDUSTRY!!!

#59 of 203 Frank_S

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Posted June 13 2002 - 12:33 PM

Quote:
If you want examples of vinyl sounding better, try comparing original UK vinyl of the Beatles catalog to the CDs. No contest, IMO.


Great point, I was just given a mint German pressing(early 70's) pressing of S.P.L.H.C.B. from a very good friend. The first time I played it, I laughed out loud, it sounded so sweet compared to horrific Cd version. I had never heard it sound so good.

Quote:
Vinyl, on the other hand, damages quickly, can't be played in a car, requires pretty good equipment to sound good and gets dirty.

If you don't take the time to set your TT up properly, yes , vinyl damages quickly.

Can't be played in a car(CD's ARE more convenient, no argument)

Requires pretty good equipment to sound good(Dollar for Dollar I'll put my TT/phono stage/preamp up against any digital combo of the same $ amount)I sold my $3k CD player(Cary CD303) a year ago because my Vinyl rig sounded better.

Gets dirty(If you leave your records on the floor and out of their sleeves, I agree, they will get dirty. What is so hard about putting the record back in its sleeve? Posted Image

#60 of 203 Larry B

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Posted June 14 2002 - 01:40 AM

Rachael said

Quote:
Some of the prices may make you appreciate CD

To which I will add, "But the sound will quickly make you wonder why you spent so much on your CD collection."

Happy listening to all.

Larry

P.S. to Bob-L: My sincerest compliments on your post.


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