Article: "Spin Me Round: Why Vinyl is Better Than Digital"


Article: "Spin Me Round: Why Vinyl is Better Than Digital"

I am sharing this for those with an interest. I no longer have vinyl, but I find the issues involved in the debates to be interesting. This piece raises interesting issues and relates them to philosophy, which I know is not everyone's bag. So, you've been warned. I think the philosophical ideas here are pretty well explained -- this is not a journal article. I'm not advocating these ideas, and am not staked in the issues -- so I won't be debating things here. But it's fodder for anyone with an interest, I think. So, discuss away!

https://aestheticsforbirds.com/2019/11/25/spin-me-round-why-vinyl-is-better-than-digital/amp/?fbclid...
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Thank you for sharing. I have to agree with the article and his love and attraction to vinyl. Very well written and thought out. 
FWIW, a major flaw in article regards sonics -- the author's exclusion of lossless digital.

From the article: "And while there are distinctions within digital formats, I use the term to cover MP3s and other digital lossy files and streaming services....It’s key to note that the sound limitations in digital formats almost always concern the compression at their nature....Because digital formats are compressed lossy files and are not played by a physical instrument upon a physical format in the same sense that a record is by the needle on the stylus, on the arm of the turntable, through a receiver and speaker set, then this quality of warmth is absent in digital formats."

My experience is that high resolution, lossless digital produces many of the qualities the author celebrates in vinyl. That said, I don't have the two in my system to compare. Other comparisons between vinyl/albums and the immaterial digital files of streaming/hard drives is interesting, too.

It's written by someone who wants to explain why vinyl sounds better without knowing why it is so, and so pads it out with philosophy and a partially-understood discussion on digital. The superiority of vinyl doesn't have anything to do with the openness of grooves allowed instruments to express themselves and resonate, it's about the superior dynamic performance which contributes to sense of "realness". Why does vinyl mastered from an analog source have this superiority, I don't know. Possibly it's related to time domain resolution which digital is bad at. It's okay to just admit you don't know why exactly vinyl performs better than digital in some ways.
All that matters is what YOUR brain thinks .
Mine thinks vinyl is in a airy room.
It thinks CD is playing in a room with no air in it .
Have to agree with madavid0 in that this guy doesn't seem to know much at all about what he criticizes.If he's trying to explain why people prefer vinyl because they can play with the records and the record jackets, that is fine.  I play with mine.
If he is trying to explain why vinyl is better, it sure doesn't include reason of sound quality other than his constantly rendered subjective crap reasons. I just hate subjective arguments where the author takes his opinions of "rich sound" like facts. Give me a break, please.I love my vinyl and it can astound people. But it's not better.
Yes on reflection the article is much weaker than I originally thought and if I knew how to delete it I probably should. Still the comments here are better and more interesting and I'm learning from them.
Vinyl is a 100 year plus old flawed technology. People spend a fortune trying to address the flaws and still can never win because all records have flaws it’s just a matter of how many and how much.

The packaging is better than ever though for those who must own but you will pay for that.

Digital is much easier to get right these days.

ive been collecting records for years and still do when the price is right so there are few titles out there that i would ever need to buy new. When CDs came out in the 80s I invested in a good turntable to preserve the investment I had already made in vinyl.

These days when I have time to play records I work on getting them digitized and into my digital music library for easier access (and still top notch sound). That is a time consuming process though.
The article is written by a philosophy professor. No credentials AFAIC.

I gave up thinking one is "better" than the other, after hearing plenty of great digital setups. The only thing about them is, I still find myself comparing the sound of a track with the LP copy. f

That said, playing an LP still has an unexplainable magic, a "perfect" file  has yet to replicate.
A good turntable is always better than a bad digital....

But a not so good turntable will be beaten by a good digital system...

And if money is not a problem you could argue for the superiority of one or the other endlessly... And many people here do that endlessly... 😁

But for most of us digital rightfully embedded is at least on par with almost all turntable especially if the turntable system is not so well embedded mechanically, electrically, and acoustically...

In this case any good audio system rightfully embedded can beat one that is not, be it a digital one or an analog one....

For sure for a meaningful comparison the 2 system compared must be on comparable engineered design level...

A bravo amplifier at 50 dollars dont compare with a 1000 amplifier.....

In audio never-mind digital or analog, tube or S.S., nevermind the speakers categories, magneplanar, 2way boxes, multiway, electroacousatic, horns, no speakers can beat the room, be it acoustically embedded or not....

My own experience is that audio S.Q. is proportional to the rightfully embeddings controls and treatment in the mechanical, electrical, amd acoustical dimensions way more than solely the choice of an electronic component....

Few people say that clearly in audio forum, the reason is simple, people are way more devoted to the upgrading endless process and way less to the rightfull embeddings conditions, the fact is most people dont have the knowledge and the experience about that and most of the times even not a clue; and the sellers want to sell, whatever their own knowledge is, why stopping the upgrading process for the benefit of an audiophile experience at very low cost ? 😊 That goes without saying...

That is my experience, and i say here what i should have heard 7 years ago when i entered audio forums but never heard it.... Then i figure it out myself, with 2 intense years of continuous listening experiments with homemade created devices mostly....

Dont upgrade before embedding everything right.... Simple....

Analog or digital is only a red herring in the sea of audio forums....Dont go for the bait, think.....

Merry Christmas.... 😌
Tried to make it through that article. Really I did. But its just too poorly written. Basically keeps repeating the same stuff over and over again wordier and wordier. Tried skipping ahead, same old.

Fact of the matter, it seems to me, no one really knows for sure why records are so much better. They just are. I've written before several times now how surprised my wife and I were when my beat up old Technics with a bent cantilever trounced my expensive new CD player. Wasn't even close.

I've done similar comparisons with lots of people many times over the years. This is with lots of different CDPs and turntables. The only people who ever even question it are audiophiles. Normal people who just enjoy listening to music, the only thing they find surprising and hard to believe is just how much better records really are.

If you want to get philosophical about it, I believe this is because records recreate a connection with the original performance that cannot be matched any other way simply because it is indeed a connection. The performer caused the air to vibrate, then the microphone, then the wire, on and on to the speaker, the air in the room and then finally all the way to you.

"To the paper through the eye to the mind to the soul again" https://youtu.be/bCQMyG_1YWs?t=403   

Playing a record is like looking through a window. You're not really there. You're on the other side of a wall, looking through glass. Layers and layers of glass. Some of them clear, some colored, some optically perfect, some wavy as hell. The scene is bent and blurred and colored and far from perfect. But its perfectly clear to your brain. To your brain this is no different than looking at a fish in the stream. Yes the water is wavy, murky, muddy, maybe even. But for all that there is no doubt in your mind, not the slightest shred of doubt, that there is a nice tasty trout in the stream.

When we push play on a CD we get a video on a screen. And the picture we see, it went through all the exact same layers of distortions as the record. Only now in addition to and on top of all that its been converted to video. No matter how sharp the contrast, how vivid the colors, there is never a doubt in the mind, not the slightest shred of a doubt, that we are looking at a video monitor. There is no trout. Maybe never was. Could be really good AI. Who knows?

If digital is so wonderful then why do you think it is that all the best movie directors and actors try so hard to film on location, to actually perform their stunts? Its because the brain is uncannily good at figuring out what is fake, what is fraud, and what is real. When we play a record, whatever it was and however good or bad it sounds, at least we know its the real deal.
@millercarbon
If you want to get philosophical about it, I believe this is because records recreate a connection with the original performance that cannot be matched any other way simply because it is indeed a connection. The performer caused the air to vibrate, then the microphone, then the wire, on and on to the speaker, the air in the room and then finally all the way to you.
This makes sense on an immediate, intuitive level. I do wonder two things. First, why the "connection" involved here -- which is a complicated, electrified, highly technological process of amplification and translation -- more "natural." Don’t those added transmutations to the initial sound deprive us of the right to call it a "natural" or even special connection?

Second question I have is why we cannot call digital "natural" also. It works in a different way, but it is still artifactual. Why might we think that "digital" is as natural? Because while it does convert a sound vibration to symbols, that’s the same process we use to communicate. We turn arbitrary sounds into words. (In both cases there is a representation involved.) And when we do it with words, we call it "natural language." On this line of reasoning, language and digital music both involve a move from the physical to the symbolic -- and so there’s something "natural" and "organic" about digital sound, too.

In neither case are we guaranteed good sound or pleasing sound. But the article’s author wants to separate them on this "natural" vs. "non-natural" basis, and I suspect that cannot fly.
78s playing on a 1920’s Victrola also has a kind of magic to it. Mostly nostalgic.

I have converted 78s to digital. Sounds the same, but something is missing....can’t quite figure out what it is.
Silliness. This sort of rumination drives me nuts. Audiophiles love vinyl because it gives them stuff to tinker with, to "improve." Vinyl is a tweaker's adventure. Only speakers offer as much if you care to get involved. But, with vinyl it's easy. You have cartridges, tonearms, turntables, cables, mats, weights, stands, phono stages, tubes, etc. Digital is boring in comparison. What can you do to a DAC? 
As for as sound goes I would say it's 50/50 depending mostly on the mastering. A music lover will take advantage of both. Digital has one huge advantage. Once the music is in numbers it is very hard to corrupt. You can perform any number of functions without adding distortion. If I record a vinyl album in 24/192 and play it back synced to the original switching back and forth you would never be able to tell which was the real record. 
Vinyl is a tweaker’s adventure. Only speakers offer as much if you care to get involved. But, with vinyl it’s easy. You have cartridges, tonearms, turntables, cables, mats, weights, stands, phono stages, tubes, etc.
Good observation....

But the goal is precisely in audio to eliminate the many occasions of disturbance and noise....Digital permit to eliminate some, perhaps more easily indeed...

Digital is boring in comparison. What can you do to a DAC?

We can do with a dac what we can do with a turntable or with the complete audio system: mechanically optimally isolate them and coupling/ decoupling them, we can lower the noise floor of each audio component and decrease also the noise floor of the electrical grid of the room and the house, and we can maximise the S.Q. with active(electronical or non-electronical one) and passive controls of the acoustic of the room....Dac or turntable, any of the 2 need to be implemented in these 3 dimension or embedded rightfully anyway....

Is it boring? Not at all.... 😊

Analog or digital had, any of them, their specific advantages or inconvenients....

There is no absolute here, because the comparison objectively between the 2 types in the same conditions is almost impossible for most of us, because there is no 2 digital audio system identical and immersed in identical environtment nor 2 analog systems in the same conditions ...

Some will say: in my room my turntable is better than my dac.... Ok then, ask yourself: is my dac the best there is and perfectly embedded? Probably not.... Then reaching an absolute conclusion make no sense.... Reverse the argument for those who will claim that their dac is better than any turntable....

The truth is, i will repeat myself, nevermind the components, the most important question is how well are embedded my electronic components in the system, in the house, and in the room?
😎😋
😊😌


As for as sound goes I would say it's 50/50 depending mostly on the mastering. A music lover will take advantage of both.
And i concur with your conclusion....

Merry Christmas to you and to all.... 🎄🎈🎀🎁
I don't know why analog sounds better, it just does. To me digital is like following someone's favorite recipe to the T, but the result comes up short compared to the original-there's just something missing. It's like soul food without the soul. Don't get me wrong, digital can be very good. It's just not "slap yo mama" good.
I don’t know why analog sounds better, it just does.
To begin with in my experience it is more difficult even today to have digital right especially with low cost component, than analog right with a low cost component....

Then....

At low cost level analog will sound better most of the times....

The reason is simple, most low cost dac sound unnatural...

My first low cost dacs were so unnatural that i was thinking to kill myself.... 😥😛


When people dont know how to make something sound right they call the electronic component that sound better among others, when compared in the same conditions, their "taste"....

But almost any good component, analog or digital, will deliver a good S.Q. if it is rightfully embedded in the first place....After that we can always have our "taste" for one, analog or digital, among the others.... But it is not significative of any truth for most of us...It is only an arbitrary "taste"....

The choice of  components is subjective then, the way to embed them is objective facts and rules....

At the end there is not ruling "taste" in audio, because when the instrumental timbre rendition is natural, there is no more taste for "warmer" or "cleaner" sound... Timbre is not warm or clean....These adjectives pertain to the analysis of sound not to the perception of musical instrument...

Then i want a system able to give me the more natural music timbre, not warmer or cleaner sound, just the more natural timbre...Timbre is not a pure generic sound out of any room....

Timbre perception was and is the key to listening experiments about audio system and his not only speakers dependent but room dependent....

Warmer or cleaner colors are related to only frequencies hues, but musical timbre for his definition ask for 5 characteristics and is then a very complex phenomenon, linked not only to speakers, dac, turntables, or amplifiers choices but mainly to the room acoustic, and to the other 2 embeddings controls :

  1. «Range between tonal and noiselike character
  2. Spectral envelope
  3. Time envelope in terms of rise, duration, and decay (ADSR, which stands for "attack, decay, sustain, release")
  4. Changes both of spectral envelope (formant-glide) and fundamental frequency (micro-intonation)
  5. Prefix, or onset of a sound, quite dissimilar to the ensuing lasting vibration»

Wikipedia





I have found people who prefer digital say digital is better. Those that prefer vinyl say just the opposite. That settles that.
IMO: if you think vinyl is better, then you don't have a good dac. Once you get a very good dac, then you will need a great sounding expensive turntable to compete with digital and then I still prefer digital. 
There's much more to consider than just sq in these 2 formats: availability and longevity. Most of my jazz and blues groups didn't produce vinyl for any of their new music. As for aging: Let's play an album and a cd or ripped music each 100 times. Vinyl gets noisier after each play, digital does not.

I’m willing to bet that more often than not audiophiles that greatly favor records over digital, particularly cds due to their general availability since basically Avalon was released (first cd my dad bought at a shop that used to exist in Evergreen, CO called the Blue Spruce), is their first experiences that got them hooked on building an audio system were likely with LPs. I say this because my dad regularly questions if my Node2 streamer with my new MHDT Orchid tube DAC can come anywhere close to a cd player. He often associates streaming with highly compressed mp3s much like the early, and largely very bright DDD cd recordings. He had a Technics record player in the early 80’s, but cds are what hooked him. So much of our preference are imbedded from life experiences that changed us in profound ways, much like great albums like Peter Framptom’s “Framptom Comes Alive” and Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” have been those hooks for so many like myself (among many others). Night Moves instantly takes me back to backpacking trips with my dad in southwest (most memorably Anasazi cliff dwelling canyons). This passion we are engaged in is emotional at its core and therefore very personal. This is why the majority of people I talked to about my system smile with a blank look on their face because they didn’t develop their passion around music and building their own audiophile rig and that’s ok. It solidifies for me how personal my system is to me and how I created a place in this world I can escape in some ways immersed in sonic beauty that brings spine tingles and tears at times. Once in while I truly am able to share it with others and that is priceless as well. This thing of ours drills to the heart of what being human is all about.
Most of my jazz and blues groups didn’t produce vinyl for any of their new music.


More than half of my big collection cannot be in vinyl format ...
Then if someone listen music not to the sound first, the choice of digital is simple....You are right for sure...

I’m willing to bet that more often than not audiophiles that greatly favor records over digital, particularly cds due to their general availability since basically Avalon was released (first cd my dad bought at a shop that used to exist in Evergreen, CO called the Blue Spruce), is their first experiences that got them hooked on building an audio system were likely with LPs.
For sure when you have already vinyl collection you stick with your first habit...

These 2 posts explain this eternal non sensical debate analog versus digital....

Merry Christmas to the two of you....



P.S. i hope someone will understand my point about the fact that there is no ideal or better alternative in the absolute from between which we must choose, digital or analog...It is an illusion associated with habit or promoted with the alias of "taste"....

Because we must choose, first and last, natural instrument "timbre" sound quality and it is a room dependant phenomenon, not a digital or analog dependant phenomenon at all.... And the perception of timbre is not mainly a taste induced phenomenon either....

And timbre is not best perceived in so called " warmer" or "cleaner" system, or in digital or analog system, We cannot  reduce "timbre" to some frequencies summation and this phenomenon  is ultimately and acoustically room dependent for his adequate rendition and perception...In one word the room contribute more than the engineering design of the analog or the digital system for his ultimate perception....

First of all, although I part ways with the author numerous times, there is real content here. Those who responded specifically on issues of audio quality either didn’t read carefully enough, didn’t understand it or chose to respond with issues of your own agenda. That is fine. This is a social site and we all want to have our voices and concerns heard.

This misunderstanding also is true  for those digital defenders who jumped into a discussion of quality digital reproduction. If you did that, you were not paying sufficient attention. The author states he is speaking of the paradigmatic content in which each format is played. We audiophiles are a strange minority and little about our musical reproduction proclivities is paradigmatic of anything. It is 100% unarguable that most listeners of digital music use compressed media and often as background. That may well change but for now it remains true.  
The paradigm of each reproduction format shapes the aesthetic experience of the music for most who participate in that format. Does anyone here doibt that? Why?
This entire debate over vinyl vs digital, and for me digital is CD or SACD...I don't stream music; seems to ignore the fact that all we listen to is dependent on the recording process. 
The studio, the recording equipment,  engineer, the producer, how it has been finally mixed. I have over 1500 LP's and over 1500 CD's...I have vinyl that sounds better than CD and I have CD that sounds better LP. 
It's all about how that recording was made as much as the format used for the end product.
It is 100% unarguable that most listeners of digital music use compressed media and often as background. That may well change but for now it remains true.
The paradigm of each reproduction format shapes the aesthetic experience of the music for most who participate in that format. Does anyone here doibt that? Why? Report this

Nobody can contest that....

And nobody can contest the fact that bad digital format mostly in use among young listener create bad habit and dont work very well for a most educated music evolutive perception...

When db level and binary rythm count more than timbre perception, there is a problem for sure and it is very easy then to satisfies ourselves with a compressed digital small phone....We dont generally listen Bruckner symphonies with a compressed digital phone... 😊

But the fact that vinyl listeners are generally more musically educated dont means that digital is less able to deliver subtle natural "timbre" perception than vinyl with losless format...

Digital is more practical for use not more musically perfect and not less perfect than vinyl....

It is not only the paradigm of the format, analog or digital, that dictate the aesthetic; it is also some particular aesthetical paradigm which can also easily satisfies itself with the more practical compressed digital format...It is a 2-way phenomenon...

Being an audiophile i use losless digital never compressed format ....

Merry Christmas to you....
I’ve tried to show that vinyl records and associated equipment offer certain features of appreciation and evaluation that are unavailable in digital formats. Auditory features are warmer, richer, and deeper, and there are also tactile, visual, and epistemic features that expand the artistic platform and enrich the aesthetic experience.
There is mainly 2 groups of argument by the author of the article...

First: auditory features, warmer,richer, and deeper...

That makes no sense, because the primary musical sound phenomenon is not "warm" or "cold" or "clean" it is the accurate timbre instrument rendition and perception...And the acoustical setting of the listener room will way more impact the timbre perception than the vinyl choice versus the digital choice...The perception of depth in sound is also way more increased by acoustical room control than by choosing a vinyl versus a dac....

The writer speak also of the esthetical tactile and esthetical visual aspect of the vinyl object, but it is no more music here, it is fetichism....😊

And for the epistemic feature, if i listen music from my computer files and dac i can access way more visual and written information than the few pages of a booklet...I can activate a silent film akin to the music for example... Etc


Only one thing is true  the tactile aspect of the object is no more there, but contrary to sex, music dont need to be touch by hand... 😊

This article reflect only the writer taste absolutely nothing else...Except the sociological evident fact that compressed files are not good neither esthetically nor pedagogically ... And he is right about that because younger poor listener choose a digital format that is portable and low cost(phone) for a music that is more commercially produced than really refined...

Utter rubbish.
😊

« "Utter rubbish" is an argument only if we lack a gun or a brain» - Groucho Marx

I dont even know if you speak of my post or about the article... Anyway...

Merry Christmas...
I am certainly not an expert in either analog or digital recording or playback. I look at the more simplistic analysis, in that we humans are analog creatures, naturally not a bit of digital in the body (yes we can add digital items such as cochlear hearing, heart pace makers and such).
Could it be a fundamental thing (for want of a better expression) that our brains are attuned to analog more so than the sound digital zero and ones produce from the source.
Digital devices can manipulate sounds to any requirement, but to my limited understanding analog can also be manipulated (cartridges, speakers) but they are still analog, in tune with the brain.

Have I got this one way out there?   🇦🇺
i was thinking exactly the same 7 years ago...My dac was horrible and i have no clue about the way to embed, mechanically, electrically and acoustically my audio system... The sound was like all this description of digital by vinyl amateur...

But now none of these qualification apply...My lossless files are read by a very good Nos dac and mostly the acoustical setting of my room gives me a natural timbre perception...

Merry christmas to you....
By the way, everyone have a Happy Christmas and pray for a much much better New Year 2021. 🇦🇺
Maghister, I’m 7 years behind in understanding, perhaps a few more years in age, wasted not understanding audio to an audiophile stage. Have a good one. 😀
" By the way, everyone have a Happy Christmas and pray for a much much better New Year 2021. 🇦🇺 "
Lots of opportunity to improve over 2020. So much opportunity....
Best to you & yours @amg56.
Maghister, I’m 7 years behind in understanding, perhaps a few more years in age, wasted not understanding audio to an audiophile stage. Have a good one. 😀
Thanks for your kind words...

I wish you the best for this coming year....
More than one recording engineer has said to me "most people don’t realize how much manipulation goes into making something sound natural." I could not stand to listen to consumer digital formats when introduced. Digital has gotten much better, not just because the playback gear has improved, but I think engineers (I’ll lump the recordists, mixers and mastering engineers under one roof) seem to better understand how to capitalize on its strengths.

I don’t have the energy or inclination to argue analog v digital at this point, though I was a dyed-in-the-wool analog guy for many years. Now, I’m agnostic.
A recording sounds "right" to me or it doesn’t.
One telltale for me is timing from the initial attack of a note to the harmonic overtones and decay, taken together with the ambience of the environment in which the recording was made.
I don’t get to hear that on many recordings because it isn’t there- lost, somehow, in how the thing was mic’d (or DI’d from an electronic instrument) or set in an isolation booth or somehow lost in the recording process somewhere.
Given how hard it is to create the illusion of real music in a room that is typically not designed for the purpose and reproduced over gear that is relatively affordable by consumers, I’m not surprised when the illusion falls down. To the contrary, I’m surprised that it works so well so often.
whart

interesting post ... my experience resemble yours...

Merry Christmas....


The scientists call it Euphoric Distortion... that's the scientific term explaining why we humans prefer an analog sound, our ears and brain prefer the distortion from a vinyl record more then the distortion from a digital source. Why else would a person spend a ton of money on turntables, cartridges, phono preamps, record cleaning machines, brushes, anti magnetizers and anti static gear?
IMO digital sounds just as good, less work, less money and sounds closer to the actual recording, unfortunately it just leaves you feeling unsatisfied.
Long live VINYL.

Merry Christmas

My DAC has various filters that can make it sound like tubes or a vinyl recording. Considering that all newer music is recorded digitally then why would you not listen to it the way it was meant to be? You can make a digital source sound however you like. Vinyl sounds like uh vinyl. 

At the ultimate level, it's not analog vs. digital, it's ANY recording vs. direct-to-disk. After all these years, a superior d-2-d LP played on a superior turntable/arm/cartridge is STILL vastly more "alive" sounding that ANY electronic---analogue OR digital---recording.

There are those who like well made pre-war 78's (themselves d-2-d) for the same reason.

Digital is no comparison to vinyl not even close  we build a point to point wired, DHT R2R DAC with a 30lb power supply.  The phono we build using a JC Penny TT is just better sounding.  The DAC is awesome but in direct comparison vinyl still sounds better.

Happy Listening.    
I trust you on this.....And it is very interesting to know this experiment of yours bigkidz ...

I must be a little deaf tough.... 😊

With my relatively low cost minimalistic NOS dac, Starting Point Systems with an internal battery and very low noise level because of that and his single TDA 1543 chip with almost nothing else to create noise and a very well embedded acoustically, mechanically and electrically audio system, i listen to no detectable digital glare or digital noise....My Sound is holographic, with natural instrumental timbre without the fatiguing highs at all.... And even if my Sansui AU 7700 is S.S. the sound is better than my past tube amplifier....I cannot even listen no more to any of my headphones including 2 stax, 2 different orthodynamic, 2 dynamic one and a hybrid because my speakers are better than any of them now on all count including details....

Then....I must be deaf without knowing it perhaps ?....

Or i am like those who addicted to porn called it love...

Because for vinyl afficionados digital is 2 dimension porn compared to the 3-d living love....

I am damned without even knowing it....😮😯😪😶 Like Calvin already demonstrated it before the success of protestant capitalism which was a way for the lucky rich to know that God choose them to be like they are: rich... ( i apologize to digress, i am not only half deaf but a bit nut it seems)

And i dont mock you, i take your own experiment seriously but what?
What about mine?

Food for toughts indeed....I dont eliminate the fact that habit condition us all even me....😁

Merry Christmas to you and thanks for this interesting post.......


@mahgister- thank you and a thousand holiday blessings to be bestowed upon you as well. 
Time is a construct. Back to the nuclear lab before they know I'm missing. :)
Bill
There way too many variables within this argument.  I started out in the late 60’s with decent separates, and the only choices were turntables, then reel to reel for recording LPs.  Eight tracks were never considered, due to performance issues.

Fast forward to the 80s when CDs came out in force.   The combination of diminished size and less fussiness and the ability to play the same item at home and in cars killed the underperforming cassettes.

Now we have DACs, streaming and a variety of ways to take music anywhere.

What gets lost in all the arguments is system price points versus sound quality.  The few with unlimited budgets live in a different world tan most of the rest of us.

I am lucky in that I live somewhere in the upper middle ground.  My current system makes it sound like Eva Cassidy is in the room singing directly to me.  This is in a digital format.  Time and circumstance (divorce) caused me to lose my vinyl rig years ago and I decided my constant moving back then was not conducive to rebuilding in vinyl.

I still love what vinyl does, but the structural impediments keep me from revisiting the form, Not the sound.

I would posit that what we see if fairly comparing systems at a variety of budget constraints is that decent sound can be acquired at a modest cost, then you get into the audiophile marginal cost versus marginal gain debate that will never be resolved for all the known reason.  Once you pass the point of five figures in your system, gains at the margin become ever thinner.

In context for this debate, I own a Mercedes E400 coupe that has all the bells and whistles, and my other car is a 1958 Austin-Healey Bugeye sprite that makes me smile every single day.

Enjoy your rig, digital, vinyl or both, no one will make you change your mind, most of all, enjoy the Music!





lhasaguy thanks for another wise post...


I would posit that what we see if fairly comparing systems at a variety of budget constraints is that decent sound can be acquired at a modest cost, then you get into the audiophile marginal cost versus marginal gain debate that will never be resolved for all the known reason. Once you pass the point of five figures in your system, gains at the margin become ever thinner

Wise indeed and truthful for me....



Just a remark coming from my own experience with a 500 hundred dollars system... Way more low than 5 figure budget then...
My experience is that money generally dont necessarily buy an audiophile experience, rightful embeddings controls almost always did it ....

Because there is no reason an amplifier at any price will  sound good in a non mechanically embedded audio system, in a high noise floor electrical grid house, and in a badly acoustically designed room....






Merry Christmas to you....
@mahgister- thank you and a thousand holiday blessings to be bestowed upon you as well.
Time is a construct. Back to the nuclear lab before they know I’m missing. :)
Bill
Take care of the radiation....

Time indeed is a construct of the brain, i think we live on at least 2 levels at the same time: ( past «-now) and( future-» now) the brain filter information from this 2 locations in time creating our freedom answers and questions in the now moment to these 2 almost simultaneous rythmical flows of information...

Back to my asylum with my friend Einstein....😁😏

Merry Christmas....
Ihasaguy, love that Bugeye Sprite! 

Someone above mentioned that you can go anywhere with a digital signal but you cannot do to much to an analog signal. I would add that you can not do much to an analog signal without adding distortion unless you digitize it. 
As far as recordings go, studio recordings always reflect the intension of all those involved in the recording process and is in short an art form. It does not reflect the reality of a band playing on stage. It reflects the reality of a band playing in a studio frequently at different times and locations. I do not try to think of it as a band playing on stage. If you do you will be sorely disappointed. A vocalist can still sound as if they are standing right in front of you just not on a stage in a big hall. This is why some of us love live recordings such as Waiting for Columbus, a wonderful recording wherein you get the feeling of a live band playing on stage in a large concert hall. I have both the mobile fidelity vinyl and high-resolution digital versions of this concert.  Because the bass in the mobile fidelity version was boosted this is a case where the high-resolution digital version sounds better. Mobile fidelity did this sort of stuff a lot in the old days.
I think that I am somewhat of a traditional list. I prefer to keep in a log recordings analog and digital recordings digital. So records recorded before 1985 I will usually get the vinyl version if available. Recording is done after 1985 I will look for high resolution downloads. I try to get 24/96 or better. There are some older recordings that were remastered for digital such as led Zeppelin 1.  The high resolution version of this recording is far superior to the original analog record. Led Zeppelin 2 was also re mastered but the original analog vinyl still sounds superior. Go figure. 
Mahgister, you are entitled to think that doing all that stuff to a DAC will make it sound better but that is psychological and solely in your own world. The only way you can make a DAC sound different is by dumping it in the bathtub.  However with a turntable all you have to do is increase the VTF a little. There are all sorts of things you can do to a turntable to change its sonic characteristics. Getting a turntable to sing separates the men from the boys.  Anybody can get a DAC to play even millercarbon:-)))
I have a very good DAC and a very good turntable. I listen to both formats. I don't agree that one audio format is intrinsically better than the other and both are somewhat flawed. 

I think it comes down to what you prefer. My digital sounds plenty warm. Playing through a tube preamp and amp helps..but it sounded warm through solid state as well. A good DAC is very important.

I think what vinyl does do better is also a  function of one if its flaws. When analogue musical instruments are played loudly, they distort. This is a natural part of their sound. Play a piano or cymbal louder and you will hear it. 
The distortion recedes with the volume.

The stylus in a groove hitting a loud section or large percussive note does the same thing.
This is why wooden claves, hitting cymbals on their bells or cowbells sound so convincing on vinyl in my system.

I think this little bit of distortion helps make vinyl unique but not better. With digital and solid state, you get a much cleaner rendition of the recording. Digital sins are more subtractive...vinyl is flawed by the additive: distortion and rumble and surface noise.
I think it comes down to what you prefer to put up with. 








Ear buds and computer speakers for “digital” is where it got insulting. The tactile thing; yes indeed. Size (in this sensory input) matters too. You touch, look at and even smell records. That’s not nothing. But as for the sound.......

A high end FLAC/streaming/dac listened against a high end record set up would leave many stunned.

Sadly the cost of a great vinyl set up on par with a great streaming set up is staggering. In the upper middle I’d put CDs. My CDs are gathering dust.

“Digital” done right has caught up.

Both are great and really who cares as when you’re in your chair and blissed out that’s the ticket.
@
richmos
 Thank you!  "
This entire debate over vinyl vs digital, and for me digital is CD or SACD...I don't stream music; seems to ignore the fact that all we listen to is dependent on the recording process.
The studio, the recording equipment, engineer, the producer, how it has been finally mixed. I have over 1500 LP's and over 1500 CD's...I have vinyl that sounds better than CD and I have CD that sounds better LP.
It's all about how that recording was made as much as the format used for the end product."
Mahgister, you are entitled to think that doing all that stuff to a DAC will make it sound better but that is psychological and solely in your own world. The only way you can make a DAC sound different is by dumping it in the bathtub. However with a turntable all you have to do is increase the VTF a little. There are all sorts of things you can do to a turntable to change its sonic characteristics. Getting a turntable to sing separates the men from the boys. Anybody can get a DAC to play even millercarbon:-)))


Any piece of gear is always an ideal GENERIC design with measured and verified theoretical capabilities, but any piece of gear, to produce a sound or to contribute to produce a sound, must be implemented in a SPECIFIC environment, which will be each time different... This is the reason why reviews have only anecdotal meanings...

A dac like a turntable will sound differently if the mechanical, electrical, amd acoustical embeddings are controlled OR not...

A dac can be isolated mechanically like a turntable, his metal box can be coupled/decoupled in the right way or not, the electric field around the arm of a turntable like the electromagnetic field around the dac can be act upon , and no vinyl on a turntable will be perceived in the same way in different room like any speakers.... You cannot review a dac or a turntable in the same way with the same results in different conditions...

When you throw a dac in a bathtub you change his GENERIC capabilities by introducing it in a new SPECIFIC environtment.... This is drastic change.... The modifications of the 3 embeddings controls do the same BUT in a controlled and subtle way and the dac can continuously work...It cannot in a bathtub....

And by the way spare me the "placebo" accusation....😁 You know better....I hope you know better anyway....🤔

The psychological placebo effect dont work in the same way in audio and in the case when you give unbeknown to someone a pill of sugar, his spirit being directly linked to the body the sugar pill can do miracles because the link between brain and body is a complete unity...

But in audio cumulative materials modifications in an incremental way with an increase in positive S.Q. for many years, after hundred of experiments with my homemade devices, cannot be reduce to be "placebo" only and mainly, because the link between my brain and the perception of sound is MEDIATED in a complex way by different material working dimensions (mechanical, electrical and acoustical) and is NOT direct link like in the case of the spirit and the body.... Miracles are possible in medecine not so much in audio...Except in the nutcase people ready for asylum , and i hope you will exclude me from this case....

Getting an audio system to sing  is what  really " separate the man from the boys" by the way, anybody can tweak a turntable even you .... But to embed rightfully and to win on all S.Q. counts the many elements of an audio system, working on the vibrations and resonance problems, and decresing the noise floor of the system and of the house because they are coupled together indeed, and implementing a complete sets of acoustical passive and active (non electronical) controls in the room acoustic, all that for peanuts money,mthis is what i call separate man and from boys....

Anybody with enough money can buy some S.Q. buying  good electronical devices, but audio begins after that... Not anybody can with peanuts money changing the three embeddings and create an audiophile experience.... I succeed... Call it placebo if it is your only argument and if this contribute to your peace of mind.... 😊 And i dont doubt that you can tweak your turntable without placebo effect in play....Anybody can do that by the way... But almost all people own an under working audio system, not knowing how to embed it especially at no cost....

I wish you the best and Merry Christmas 😌

 If the discussion is  how music feels and all the other stuff? ok here it goes. 454 10.25 compression ratio, 600 cfm Holly , Muncie 4 speed, 4.11 gears  OR  a 375 volt Tesla with 3 batteries. Old school. Talk about openess. First one analog next digital..  IMO.

   Merry Christmas and a happy new year everyone.  HO HO HO