are digital recordings on vinyl any better than CD
I have several LPs from the early/mid 80s that are digital recordings.They sound clear and crisp but lack bloom somewhat compared to analog recordings.Given that they are digital to start with is there any advantage to these over the CD of the same recording?
Your CD is digital that's turned to analog. The vinyl record is digital turned to analog. How could it be better? I'm sure people who like LP's will say it's better. But since I'm most concerned with the music, maybe I shouldn't have posted.
I would say no advantage. I have some of these LP's that were "digitally mastered" in the 80's...not very impressive. Oddly enough they charged more $$$ back then for digital mastering. If you can find the same LP w/o the digital mastering it will sound better and cost less.
I'll give you an example. The album "Passion Grace&Fire" by John McLaughlin/Paco de Lucia/Al di Meola. Digital recording,mastering. The year was 1981. I have it on Japanese original Mastersound CD, Japanese Mastersound DSD CD, Japanese LP, American LP. The best sound comes from Japanese LP followed by Japanese DSD CD. American LP and original Japanese CD sound about the same. I would guess that though my analog rig is better than digital it is not by much. So it is possible that if you put that DSD CD on EMM Labs player or something like that, it will sound better than Japanese LP on my Spacedeck, but that would not be the point.
Your vinyl rig may be better than digital or vice versa. That will be a major factor regarding which sounds better.
And/or the digitally mastered recording delivered on vinyl could be superior to the CD version or vice versa.
One way the vinyl could be superior is in dynamic range. CD format specifies the maximum dynamic range which is pretty high but a limit nonetheless. Vinyl does not impose a limit, so it is possible a really good digital master rendered to vinyl could have better dynamics.
Big if though.
Not likely with most actual digital recordings on lp.
Many vinyl rigs might not be able to track a recording with very large dynamics accurately resulting in mistracking and distortion rather than better sound.
Many famous early Telarc digital vinyl recordings were made this way to demonstrate the potential of digital. Many turntables of teh day could not play them properly without mistracking.
Once the novelty of digital eased a bit, this approach became less common and digital recordings on vinyl often became more mundane, with digital limitations abounding and few or no benefits.
So it all depends.
In general, on a high performing CD playback rig, I would expect most good modern CD recordings to sound better than most good modern vinyl recording equivalents played on a good vinyl rig. It's usually the older high quality analog recordings that reach the highest echelons of sound on vinyl, not modern vinyl, most of which is digitally mastered these days (just like CDs). Plus, many buyers report a lot of quality control issues with modern vinyl recordings, which also tend to be more expensive. Vinyl recordings are a niche market today and corners appear to be cut often in order to bring a product to market at a cost some might be willing to pay. THe golden age of vinyl during which quality was high generally and cost generally low due to mass marketing is long gone.
So practically, buy old, used vinyl in good condition for reasonable cost for the best recordings there. Otherwise, you are better off optimizing the digital playback in your system and seeking out new or used CDs as needed for newer music.
On Pat Metheny Still Life Talking and Letter from Home Lp's the difference is dramatic compared to the cd,far better in every respect.But my cd player is not equal of my TT in all fairness.But even so it can produce great sound fed a great sounding Cd.
How can you say one is better than the other when you are not comparing apples to apples. It's common to have a large investment in a turntable and an inexpensive CD player. Also, the end result has a lot to do with which source you have designed your system around. I know of a speaker manufacturer who voiced his speakers with a Linn LP-12. He thought he was doing the right thing because he felt analog was the superior source. Needless to say CDs sounded dull and lifeless because the two sources have very different high frequencies.
You are discussing early 1980's digital mastering in the production of vinyl records. The quality of digital recording and mastering has advanced since the 1980's, and today you can find current production digitally recorded and mastered music on vinyl (think Diana Krall etc). Though I scrupulously avoid these albums, I am sure that there are those that can comment about the virtues of modern digital released on modern vinyl with less compression than the comparable cd. To me vinyl makes more sense when you start with an analog recording, analog mastering etc, and hence preserve the essence of 50's, 60's, and 70's recordings that were conceived and produced to be played on TT.
"To me vinyl makes more sense when you start with an analog recording, analog mastering etc, and hence preserve the essence of 50's, 60's, and 70's recordings that were conceived and produced to be played on TT. "
Those are the vinyl recordings that are "magical" to me.
Most can be found used for a pittance, if in good condition.
I'll by old vinyl recordings I've never heard of from the "golden age" by the dozens on the cheap just for the distinctive sonic thrills many can deliver on a good modern rig.
It's the combo of the analog recording and mastering techniques used in record production back in those days along with the format itself that can deliver the kinds of distinctive sonic thrills audiophiles seek. Format alone assures nothing.
@harold-not-the-barrel +1 ;-) Totally voodoo (or placebo?) but it works on me! As I said before, maybe its time to stop self-medicating (with alcohol) while relaxing and listening to music and relapse back into my second-favorite hobby/condition of "upgraditis". The first one is spending all my "allowance" on music, of course, but this one is incurable! ;-) A few months ago, when testing the results of me restoring Nakamichi cassette deck I was listening to a cassette recorded from a CD played thru a cheap Discman. I liked the cassette much better than the "original", and thats when I realized that I need medical attention. It just did not make any sense to me!!! When the same thing was mentioned by Mike Fremer in one of his YouTube ramblings, I realized that I am not alone!?! Whats wrong with me/us? I can tell the difference between lo-mid and hi-end sound but it looks like I like analog wow and flutter distortions. Art Dudley of Stereophile mag also had a post about him loving distortions and, like myself, also got confused about what he was trying to say. Anyhow, its an interesting question, thank you @harold-not-the-barrel for digging it up!
Analogue tape is the best medium there is. If the deck is up to the task and you use better tape, talking reel to reel, except for extra noise the recording will overall sound better, with more natural flow and drive. To paraphrase the immortal expression - it's the tape stupid.
@inna "tape stupid" is a good one! Thats Exactly how I feel about analogue sound! As a professional "academic researcher" I've learned not to trust others folks findings until its been confirmed, and this topic of digital masters onto LPs bothers me A Lot! I did spend my Christmas present on the latest Wadia SACD player a few years back but it still could not beat my Sondek... dCS stack is out of my reach (well, unless Allah will "smile on" my business! ;-) ) so until then I say that analog sounds the best. As I mentioned elsewhere, having half-decent analogue rig will make you bitching about AC noise and sneezing neighbors at LA Opera. Disclaimer: just getting to LA Opera is a torture with all the traffic, so my say on Live vs Canned music is totally skewed!
Inna you are correct, tape sounds better; you have 2 track or 1/2 track which records in one direction only, and you have 1/4 track which records and plays back in both directions.
2 track that records in only one direction is very expensive in regard to tape, but whatever you record will sound much better; your speakers will appear to have gotten larger. Since I have tape from the time it was cheap, I can enjoy that luxury.
As for the original question, I will have to experiment before I can answer it, but it seems to me that you would have a multiplicity of variables to take into account.
First, digital sounds better than cheap analog; therefore the bottom line depends on the price of the unit; that's where the multiplicity of variables come into play.
You can only get what is on a vinyl record with the right rig perfectly set up.
Analog people seem to think you can get that sound with a stock "Dual" turntable that comes with arm and cartridge. I'll take the CD any day over that.
Hi SEVS: I remember a number of years ago (about 4) at a NY audio show, an exhibitor pitted the DCS stack against a Top end Basis audio tt with Lyra Titan on the same system to prove that the DCS stack was in the ballpark with the tt in terms of SQ. Most listeners walked out as I did thinking it was a great way to promote the Basis table with Lyra cartridge. It was not that close.
Orpheus10, I will both agree and disagree with you about Dual example. In some ways Dual would still sound better with a well-recorded record than any cd system but overall probably not if that cd system is excellent. I have bad sounding records and good sounding cds, which ones sound better ? Overall, probably good sounding cds, and my analog is higher level than digital. To return to the original subject, in my very limited experience digital recording or analog recording/digital mastering on LP sounds like best cd I could get. Original Japanese record beats any remastered or original Japanese cd. But again, my analog front end is pretty good, though CEC belt drive player is not bad at all.
Anything will sound better on playback with 2 Track reel.
CD's become analog on playback, that goes for playback on cassette as well. , Although I enjoy it because I bought tape and reel a long time ago, I couldn't even think about affording it now, because I don't even know where you can get a reel repaired, and tape costs too much.
Orpheus, there are quite a few places that service and repair reel to reel decks, some are very good, as I heard. No, it is not inexpensive but nor is it necessarily very expensive. Tape cost will depend on how many of reels you need and the speed at which you record, of course, assuming two track in any case. And you can get Otari deck in apparently good condition for about $1000. I am just not ready for this project yet but I'll get there in time. 80% of my listening is tape, Nakamichi 682ZX with Maxell Vertex cassette, 10% - records and another 10% - computer. I virtually don't listen to cds, I record the tracks I like onto the tape and listen to compilations. And I have my Nak serviced and aligned every 5/6 years by Willy Hermann in California.
I had a friend in the 70's who preferred the sound of an LP on tape to the sound of the same LP (direct, not taped). Go figure. It's somewhat subjective. I would bet that many CD fans will prefer the CD and many vinyl fans will prefer the vinyl in this situation. It puts them in their respective comfort zones.
Tape is the only true audiophile medium, in my view, and it shows even when the original is not tape. I am not surprised at all. But you do need good reel to reel to fully appreciate it. Cassette has its limits, and I think I have reached them.
As an additional note, I have one Vertex cassette that I played probably 500 times, and though mechanically it does show age, it sounds just as it did the first time. Try that with any record on any turntable. And I keep playing it every week or so. But I almost never rewind or fastforward, that's how you wear tapes. And I clean playback head about every ten hours of play.
Tape is a natural medium. It breathes. The cassettes I have of Heifetz violin concertos on RCA Living Stereo exceed their CD bretheren in terms of forcefulness, tone, detail and overall musicality. It actually sounds like a Guarneri and not something generic.
Inna, the clutch went out just recently on my Otari MX 5050; that's the 4 channel that comes in two pieces. I will give it to you if you pay shipping. I have two professional shipping cases. It was working perfectly before the clutch went out.
I have no idea how much repair costs, but I'm not going to get it repaired.
Tostados, it's not at all subjective in regard to LP or CD when the total cost of your analog rig is a minimum of 4K. I know I said 3K once before, but cartridges seem to have gone up, so that is 3K for the table and in the vicinity of 1K for the cartridge.
I have it with the "analogers" (that's what I call them) because their always making outlandish claims, like a run of the mill TT will sound better than CD, and that's just not true.
Inna I have a Technics 2 track that I listen to a lot. Most of the time I listen to the playback list on the computer.
A few years ago, Stereophile ran articles on the best audiophile cards to install in your computer, and there was a lot of discussion here about down loading your LP's (you have to have the proper interface) Although there's a lot of reading involved, it's not expensive as "audiophile" equipment goes, and it's well worth all the time and effort. It also helps to know a computer "geek".
Right now I'm enjoying LP's on computer play back, and not missing any nuance on a recent cartridge upgrade.
Orpheus10, I appreciate your gift, thank you, but unfortunately I'll have to decline. As I said, I am not ready now for reel to reel project, and when I embark on any project I try to do it right. In this case this would involve going all over the deck, servicing and aligning it, in addition to fixing clutch and whatever else might be close to breaking.This would be quite expensive but worth it. Besides, I was thinking of highest performance, that's two track deck. And I would need at least twenty or so reels plus good balanced cable to get it going. Perhaps, you could reconsider and have it fixed. You play tapes a lot. I just don't want to imagine it being thrown away. It's good machine, it doesn't deserve it.
Can anyone explain why digitally remastered cassettes sound so good? Take Kind of Blue for example. The digitally remastered cassette is powerful, dynamic and engaging, quite unlike many of Kind of Blue CD incarnations which can sound kind of blah. Ditto the epic live AC/DC cassette, also digitally remastered, If You Want Blood.
While of course it can be debated which sounds better --cd or vinyl-and this is all based on the sophistication of the equipment used to make those recordings. It was easy to make that comparison when cd's first came out. It was hands down that analog vinyl sounded better. Not to go into that debate --suffice to say--Now a days you have to ask the label if the record was transcribed from a digital master or was it actually produced and mastered throughout the process using analog only. My point being---if there is going to be any perceivable difference one way or the other how is that going to happen if the processes are not kept separate? if the record has been produced using digital master I dont know what it would sound like using all analog process. Why would I even buy a record that has been produced via digital master? The idea to me is to buy an authentic analog recording and it aint that if there is a digital master in there somewhere. So, Im not buying much vinyl these days,,except for the occasional dated pressing before the advent of digital.
Thats how I feel, marked all my Digital Recording LP and put them in a separate box. Thats why I am so surprised the guys here havent crucified my finding about CD "ripped" onto cassette... Looks like its a "general knowledge" among those in the know!?! Been reevaluating those digital LPs these last few months and noticed that they do beat my CD and SACD players... I am going to follow the advise from one of the parallel threads here and post my"big rig" photos. If you guys do the same, this will get such anonymous chitchat onto a higher level. Just a thought...