A/B Vinyl/Digital

I am sure there are those out there who have compared the same song with vinyl and digital.

Having done so last night was as suspected.

The CD version of the song was fake, plastic, 2D, flat, harsh, & non organic sounding.

The Vinyl version sounded like... well you know how it sounded.

Just don't listen to digital and expect it to sound like organic music IMHO.

Lector T3 is the CDP. I know if I spend $15000.00 + I can get closer to the sound of analog with digital.

It seems strange to me that members here on the 'Gon. only have a digital set up with high end gear. I am only a rookie here (7 yrs.) next to you 30 + audiophiles but I did learn something very valuable here by reading and learning from you analog heads.
The comparison I keep waiting for somebody to make is the Analogue Productions Fantasy or Blue Note 45rpm releases to the companion SACD releases. I would think that would be as close to apples-to-apples, both medium produced in exquisite fashion so nobody can cry foul, comparisons.

I have definitely gotten sound out of my analog setup that I've never experienced with digital, but it has been far from universal that analog trumps digital in all cases, or that digital sounds fake, 2D, flat, harsh, etc. in all cases. Certainly, there are plenty of examples where it does.

I've been into music and a nice systems a lot longer than I've had vinyl in the system, but my take is that there are certain experiences that you can only get with vinyl, but that vinyl takes up a lot of space and is more costly (incl software when I say this), so I really have to value those unique experiences or I'd be all digital. I do value them, so now I have both, but I can certainly understand how many would not.
I'm sure your listening test case results are accurate, but hopefully you realize that it is obviously only a single test case and does not prove anything.

The analog/digital debate is one of everyone's favorites here I am sure.

You'll find some here prefer digital, many prefer vinyl, and some don't care about format and think its all the other stuff that really matters.
If you used your Voyd, which I owned 15 years ago, not only will any CD player come close but even no turntable sounds like a Voyd in my opinion.

Great system Glory
Hey Glory, what made you spend/waste $5200 on a cd player that sucks?
I have done some basic comparisons just for fun. I don't think I am as critical as Glory.

But I've been curious for conducting an A/B comparison what is the best way to level-match a digital source to an analog source since you would need the same exact test sounds to set the level for each. It's hard to set it using music since the SPL are dynamic.

I don't want to go out and buy some $50 test LP. Now that I own an SPL meter, I guess I will just use Max SPL reading from a short music clip that has a more constant sound to set the volume for both.

BTW, there is a great deal of music I listen to is not available on LP so the debate digital vs analog is sort of mute.

I listen to the music, in all flavors and all forms.

cheers, ed
Glory, as tempting as it is back away from the hive , drop the stick and run away! I,m definately an anolog head but this is a well beat down topic of discussion or argument to be more exact. Instead of poking fun at you for spending/wasting $5200 on a CD player that sucks which I know does not let me tell you what my Father said to me when he was with us. " If CD's and CD players are so much better than a descent turntable and cartridge , Why do they cost so much more to try and sound like an anolog LP that is suppose to be inferior to this digital stuff?" I own an Esoteric DV 50s and I bought it because it sounded as close to vynil as I could afford.My Father asked me "does this one came with a bad case of vynil envy too". I still laugh at that as his ability for the simplistic comment to give way to more complex thought about all facets of life.I still prefer the vynil but thats my choice based on what I hear. Music not available on lp does not make the debate between digital and anolog sort of mute. What that does is restricts your choice of medium as dictated by a few for so many.To me and my ears digital has not provided us with the promise's we all were forced to move towards for music other than ease of use but certainly not cost as promised. I do enjoy digital for home theatre. In the end its all subjective to the one who likes what they hear and have paid for ,period.I try not to critisize the digital camp for their beleifs because anolog to my ears works for me. But critisizing the ones who stopped short on their promises of better sound and lower cost,thats another thing all together. Realistically with descent vynil harder to find and the outrageous prices some ask let alone get, I best not critisize something I will undoubtably be more and more dependant on for music. Cheers.....................
If it is strangw to embrase the format that 99.9999% of all modern music is produced on then perhaps you are the strange one, I own and love them both.........and both have strength and weakness but no true music lover IMO can turn a blind eye to digital and only consume the microscopic choices on vinyl.
I never said I would not listen to digital but rather the play back of digital is no match for vinyl in my system. So much so it is shocking to hear.

I have a CDP for the reason stated in this thread that not all music can be had on a LP. I did not waste my $1500.00 investment on a CDP as it does have its place here in my system.


I said I find it strange that members with high end systems here only have digital in their system. I do not turn a blind eye to digital and consume only the microscopic choices on vinyl as you imply. Reread the post.
80% of the "soul" of the music is in the performance. 15% is in the recording and mixing, which may differ for vinyl and digital releases. Of the remaining 5%, the mood of the listener is predominant. The medium, vinyl or digital disc, plays a small part.
But you left out a very, very important issue in your comparison and it will explain why so many have digital only systems. it is really not much of a mystery. Doing vinyl well requires more work, more supplies, and more money than digital. It is that simple.
All the a/b testing I have done for myself and other always come out the same. Analog sounds warmer has more depth and a better sound stage. I am building a HiRes music server and will a/b that later.

Try adding tubes to the digital source via tube DAC and see if that helps even things out.
Yep, my BAT CDP, which is probably worth no more that $1K sounds very analog-like because it has a very good analog output stage. It really doesn't take mega-bucks to get digital close to analog.
Same true I have found using mhdt Paradisea tube DAC ($500 used).
I know I can add tube to the output but after hearing the Berkeley DAC I feel that is the way to go. It just sounds that good.
"I know I can add tube to the output but after hearing the Berkeley DAC I feel that is the way to go. It just sounds that good."

Its true that a lot of digital processing tricks can be played in the digital domain to make digital sound more analog.

DCS would be the best high end example that I have heard and read about.

There is a huge price differance between a Berkeley and the DCS system. I have listen to both and yes the DCS is better, but to me not worth the price differance. I want great sound and with a server system the Berkeley does that. It also made my Meridial 598DP sound better through analog than it does going through my G68.
By the way have you listened to one yet. The biggest thing to me that it did was take the shrill and edginess out and gave both a very nice open soundstage and depth back to digital music.

Not familiar with the BErkeley.

Agree DCS is very nice but way too expensive.

I'm very happy with my $500 Paradisea DAC sourced from either Roku Soundbridge Network Player or modest Denon player,
The a/b that is the most fun is to take the same song and a/b it for someone who says "I don't have good ears like you do..." EVERY time I have done it an amazed look crossed their face and every person prefered vinyl. I have a cheap high-end TT (Rega 2) and compared it with the Rega Planet 2000, which is not only twice as expensive but it was a fine player. I used Nora Jones 2004 album which I bought on vinyl and CD.

Personally I think digital could be better than Vinyl, but SACD is still not good enough. The computer Tech that determined the limitations of redbook CD recording was early eighties "stone knives and bearskins."
I've been listening to digital over the winter because of the dry air. Static on the records isn't my cup of tea. Now that the humidity is rising, I decided to play some lp's the other day. Just as hevac1 said, analog sounds warmer, and has more depth and a better soundstage. Makes me think there may be something wrong with the output tubes in my Jolida cdp, but I know there isn't.
Just a note. Funny thing happened I saved up and purchased the dCS Debussy instead of the Berkeley.
Here are my results from doing so A/Bing Vinyl vs. Digital.

System: An almost new Technics SL-10 with original cart with a Cambridge 640P with Pangea P100 PS vs. an Oppo BDP-83.

Speakers were KEF 104/2s; Amp and Preamp at the time was Kavent S-33 preamp and Kavent P3300 amp combo.

Specs of gear: http://www.kellsieavdesign.com/products/S33-P3300.htm

We listened to a bunch of alt rock records (Depeche Mode, The Cure, Garbage, etc) as these were the only records and CDs we had available.

A lot of us found the difference between swapping between the sources was in this set-up was the music from vinyl was just a lot more relaxed. The music from the Oppo had a bit more boominess in the bass and was a tad more forward. With vinyl the music had a bit more resolution and detail with no fatigue but the volume had to be turned up a little more.

When we were done playing records that afternoon and started discussing things it mostly came down to preference. One listener liked the oomph the Digital recordings had. Another listener enjoyed the vinyl sound. One didn't like the fact that it was such a process to clean the record before and after playing while another didn't mind the process. I think on one Depeche Mode album the CD sounded more treble heavy and there was a bit of harshness in the music.
I don't think one can truly evaluate the differences between vinyl and digital until one compares the Rega P1 to the Sony Playstation 1 while listening to Wham!, Gwar, Weird Al and Burl Ives. Then we'll have a valid comparison.
My digital isn't fake or plastic. Its pretty awesome. Still surpassed by my vinyl - in the way my vinyl is just more...involving. Thats pretty much it for me.
As I just posted yesterday I A-B ed my Al Hirt CD and LP.I played the LP on my secondary table,Perpetuum Ebner 2040 and Signet AM50 cartridge,no contest,the LP dramatically better in every respect.This is on a 40 year old automatic TT.