CD Got Absolutely Crushed By Vinyl


No comparison, CD always sounds so cold and gritty. Vinyl is so much warmer, smoother and has better imaging and much greater depth of sound. It’s like watching the world go by through a dirty window pane when listening to a CD. Put the same LP on the turntable and Voila! Everything takes on more vibrancy, fullness and texture. 
sleepwalker65
Apples to Oranges.Put on a recording that has been mastered correctly and everything is fine.Get off the Vs thread and save this hobby.
Audio lovers/Audiophiles got absolutely crushed by the mp3 folks!!!

not all CD playback is created equal, and not all vinyl is created equal.

use of words like 'always' and inferring universal domination by vinyl is not helpful. but I agree with some of the spirit of what you are saying.

at the top of the food chain for both formats vinyl is better, but CD (or 16/44 files) can sound awesome.....even compared to great vinyl. and surpassing the very best digital will cost you dearly in dollars.

OTOH maybe you need to find yourself better digital playback if you are open minded enough to consider it?


Agreed with the comments so far: words like "always" aren’t helpful and I can’t take anyone’s claim seriously with descriptions like "always looking through a dirty window pane."


Though I do think the OP was jesting somewhat as a flame on the other thread.

Both digital and LP can be awesome. I’m crazy about vinyl these days, but my digital source - just ripped CDs and Tidal streamed to a regular old Benchmark DAC - continues to sound fantastic - pristine, clear, beautiful. Admittedly things do get some help in sounding rounded and organic going through my Conrad Johnson tube gear. But in any case I’ve had many great listening experiences with digital in plenty of systems, not just mine.

And besides, there’s no good argument against digital’s better potential accuracy. A good digital needle-drop copy can accurately capture the sound of vinyl more than the reverse.
Both
use each to push the other....
but always, always enjoy the music
CD always sounds so cold and gritty
Only if the CD is bad, the player is bad, or both.


There are bad records and bad CD's, and there are examples of both that are quite good. I have always believed that vinyl is superior just because of the way it's made......it's a real time recording of a musical performance whereas CD is is little "chops" of the performance. If you had digital ears, digital recordings would sound superior but our ears are analog. Having said that, I do have discs that sound good and records that sound bad but it's not the format that makes it so, it's the recording engineer.
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A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Amen.
@mikelavigne OTOH maybe you need to find yourself better digital playback if you are open minded enough to consider it?


You raise a good point, but digital has a long way to go before it can fully integrate into traditional systems with both a recording (archiving) and playback (streaming) function in one product that can stand alone or optionally interface to a PC. The variants of DSD have the performance potential, but have not reached a level of consumer-friendliness to go mainstream. That’s not to say that the mainstream even cares, but the products need to be more operator-friendly from an interface and functionality perspective. 
@bsmg 
  There are bad records and bad CD's,

Yes, there are bad records, but it’s not the medium that’s bad, it’s the production. 
Man that has got to be some bad digital you have that it was so easily beaten by vinyl. I am a big vinyl fan but personally feel you need to spend a good 3-5 times more for a vinyl system to have it beat digital.

Also, digital needs to be more operator friendly to compete with vinyl? Vinyl, while it can sound great is about as unfriendly a setup as I have very seen.
@dill 

Do we really need another thread like this?


There are 2 sides to everything. Just like an LP record. Oh well, there’s another thing that Vinyl does better. :-)

Do we really need another thread like this?

@dill,
Yes, because of our big egos!
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Agreed. A $5,000 vinyl rig will sound better than a $500 CD player. Try a $5,000 CD player and report back. 
@kalali

A $5,000 vinyl rig will sound better than a $500 CD player. Try a $5,000 CD player and report back. 


Wow, now that’s a good example of fact-based thinking 🤔 NOT! As in “he said he paid 50% more than I did for exactly the same thing”, so one is a fool and one is a wiseman. Price has little correlation on sound quality after a threshold of VALUE rpt VALUE is attained. By the way, anyone who calls a high end audio system a “rig” is pretty out of touch. 

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Since I build a DAC and phono stage the phono beats the CD playback so far by far.  My DAC sounds better than most vinyl rigs in direct comparison so that should tell you something about the phono stage.  Happy Listening..  
The main problem with CD playback is that scattered laser light inside the transport makes its way to the photodetector where it’s detected as noise. The photodetector isn’t too swift. The Green Pen partially corrected this problem by absorbing the RED portion of the scattered light. But the RED portion is only a fraction of the total scattered light since, you know, the laser nominal wavelength is infrared - invisible, 780 nm. The good news is now you hear what CDs were always *supposed* to sound like. More to follow....
My $1,200 turntable sounds better than my $1,400 CD player. The CD player has tubes in it but the turntable don't. I wonder what it all means. Fact: a vinyl record is a reproduction of a real time musical performance.
Fact: a compact disc is not a real time reproduction no matter how you slice it.
to each his own....  I grew up with vinyl, because that's all that was available and I was glad to see the development of compact disc.  The notion that CD is "cold and gritty" does have some merit because early CD's were poorly mastered in the rush by record companies to build out their CD catalogs.  However the recent re-mastered versions done in the last 25 years, mostly by careful re-equalization, has been most excellent.  I still listen to my vinyl collection from time-to-time but I don't enjoy all the distracting pops and clicks and constant incessant background rumble.  I do enjoy the smooth clean sound of the same music on my CD...and without having to get up and flip the record over half way through the audition.  Don't forget that many albums even from the early 80s were digitally recorded and mixed to begin with.  If you really gotta have your pops and clicks and extreme high frequency roll off there's software that can add the aforesaid noise and rumble to a CD rip....
Always? My David Manley VTL CD's sound very good to my ears. Very well recorded. No fatigue. Not one-dimensional. I use "Toolbox" as one of my reference music sources. 
Not true at all , if you have a good recording and a Good quality
digital playeror dac, with good cables , digital can better a record in several ways that are excellent. Vacuum tube dacs sound rich
and detailed ,as well as top solidstste units..
A record is only capable of12 bits,digital more then double that.  SN ratio not even close, dynamic range is at least 30 dB betterthen any record, as well
as well as low Bass response. Any record player that is decent will cost over $5k with cables, with  a good quality cartridge. Digital in a similarpriced comparison is every bit as good or better, please 
remember the new records are are well mastered.
buy a mobile fidelity digital master , or MQA master digital recordings  you have excellent quality music, and digital keeps getting better and better.
Sleepwalker 65 , you didnot mention what your digital setup was and cost ,and cables, as well as your record player setup.
we want to know what you are comparing to see how you came to that conclusion .i owned a Audiostore ,and they both can sound 
excellent ,the latest digital has several inherent advantages.
SN ratio, Dynamic range , 2x the musical information on the given
disc,or recording, as well as much lower Bass response.
that is the mechanical limitation of records, and every year digital
continues to keep getting better and I donot miss having to clean ,
de static, the pops  and clicks. Cartridge,needle upkeep. No I just 
pull out my tablet play a few CDs in any order I want and just enjoy 
them .
@sleepwalker65,

I know you have not caught up to digital streaming so I will spare you the tech talk. Your shortsightedness and ignorance is clearly evident when you say, 

“digital has a long way to go before it can fully integrate into traditional systems with both a recording (archiving) and playback (streaming) function in one product that can stand alone or optionally interface to a PC”. 

BTW, you no longer need to rely on run of the mill consumer laptop or PC to enjoy state of the art digital streaming. You can look into Aurender, Innunos, Lumin, and Antipodes brands to start your journey into the world of digital streaming....until you do you would never know or understand how far digital streaming has come.
@lalitk 

Your shortsightedness and ignorance is clearly evident when you say, ..... BTW.... until you do you would never know or understand how far digital streaming has come. 




I may be impatient, but not shortsighted. I’ve been watching for something so obvious it’s painful that the industry hasn’t delivered on yet: an unencumbered way to take one’s existing (and possibly massive) media collection of all kinds (LPs, CDs, SACDs, tapes...) and archive it to 2xDSD or 4xDSD on a media server running on a PC or Mac or NAS elsewhere in the home. This is simply not possible without dragging in a PC and connecting up USB cables and an ADC in addition to the DAC / network streaming device required to listen to it. Internet radio and Roon are not enough. Give me the ease of use of a tape deck, albeit with the ability to title each track and group into albums. I don’t think that exists, or maybe I’m looking in all the wrong places. 

@mikelavigne OTOH maybe you need to find yourself better digital playback if you are open minded enough to consider it?


You raise a good point, but digital has a long way to go before it can fully integrate into traditional systems with both a recording (archiving) and playback (streaming) function in one product that can stand alone or optionally interface to a PC. The variants of DSD have the performance potential, but have not reached a level of consumer-friendliness to go mainstream. That’s not to say that the mainstream even cares, but the products need to be more operator-friendly from an interface and functionality perspective.

@sleepwalker65, if you check out my system page....

http://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

......you can see that i have been open minded and have found myself ’better digital playback’, which I’ve compared with my vinyl and RTR tape and found it comes quite close and is not humbled by the analog.

of course, we all have our own viewpoints on what ’better digital playback’ might be and my view is just my own. maybe you have investigated what ’better digital playback’ which can come close to vinyl and could share that information with us?

my only point was to say that digital playback certainly exists that approaches the musical performance satisfaction of vinyl, but depending on the vinyl it might cost a pretty penny to acquire.

and I do have 7+ terabytes of dsd files, 1xdsd, 2xdsd, and 4xdsd, and assure you it’s very mainstream these days with most dacs. I listen to it often.

have a great day and we likely agree more than we disagree.

You guys do know that you can't compare CD vs Vinyl on the same system setup don't you?

Michael Green

@sleepwalker65,

Just like your vinyl which requires a external phono stage.....Digital streaming needs a streamer device and a DAC. You can go with one box solutions from NADAC or Bricasti that can stream and provide internal DA Conversion. And yes, you can create your own ‘playlist’ with each track. No need to run up a USB cable here....all you need is Ethernet cable from you router and analog RCA or XLR to your pre or integrated. One box typically don’t have internal storage so you would need a external NAS to store your ripped files.

Or you can buy Aurender N100C which comes with internal 2-4TB storage and an outboard DAC.

Plenty of choices for a great digital setup that can be just as satisfying as your vinyl setup as long as you’re willing to explore and keep an open mind.
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Vinyl destroys itself every time you play it.  That's why "in the day", enthusiasts would put the 2nd or 3rd needle drop on reel-to-reel and listen to that while keeping the source material carefully filed away in the plain view 'collection'.
Not as much as you might think. Vinyl will eventually lose sound quality after dozens of plays. In the hands of a person who cleans their records, handles them properly, cleans their stylus and uses a line contact or Shibata stylus profile, vinyl lasts a hundred or more plays. 

Having said that, I do plan to archive my collection to 4xDSD as soon as a reasonable solution becomes available. 
If we could have master tape dubs we wouldn't bother with either.
Given good recordings, in terms of sound naturalness even $500 turntable set-up will sound better than any digital, though.
This subject keeps coming as if there was anything unclear. There is no debate, only poor hearing in some cases and commercial interests.
Dream on sleepy head. Every time you play that vinyl you are wearing it out and you won't be able to source replacements of equal quality or possibly of any quality. Plus, your needle is wearing out and will need replacing. Meanwhile, my CD or digital file is capable of reproducing its original quality, time after time. Yes, I understand that the CD may well become unplayable too but the backed-up FLAC copy of it will never degrade or disappear and in fact will sound better and better (up to a point) as DAC quality gets better and better.
that's the right thread, lol 
Since the master for vinyl is almost always different than the master for CD (if not always different), it is virtually impossible to make a meaning comparison between the different formats.  You can’t determine if the differences are because of the formats, or because of the different masters.  
I have a $8000 turntable setup, and a $5000 streamer/DAC.  On most of what I listen to, the vinyl sounds better.  But sometimes CD is better.  But the differences in the source quality, imho, far outweighs the differences in playback capabilities.  The source quality is almost always because of the mastering process, particularly how much processing (and what type) took place. 
@skipskip

Vinyl destroys itself every time you play it.  

It sounds like SONY CD advertisement from the 80s. 

Actually CD destroys itself much faster, one single scratch and it's not repairable and the whole CD or a part of it is unplayable. The worst media format ever. Anyone can look where is vinyl now and where is the CD. 
Hi Sleepwalker,
Could you start with the entire system chain so we know what you were hearing, and the material, so we know the mastering? Without that its really jibberish.
I've been doing some A-B experiments recently to isolate various contributions and its very hard.  Most recently on SPDIF vs USB with a good recovery clock. Quite amazing.
G
The OP is making a nonsense claim. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting my mate who has a top-end Naim set up (Naim Statement pre amp, CD555) with a Linn LP12 deck. So £20k of CD player and the same for the LP12. We compared the vinyl and CD of a number of titles. Both sounded fantastic and the differences were not huge. I would say that more sounded better on CD than vinyl though my friend thought the opposite. The only definitive thing was that bass was deeper on CD on modern recordings (eg Random Access Memories by Daft Punk). I would argue that the differences we heard were more to do with the mastering than the format.

In summary: the differences between CD and vinyl on high-end equipment are marginal - high-end replay of vinyl and digital are essentially similar.  The differences you hear will be more to do with the differences in the respective mastering than in the format itself.   If you are hearing big differences between the two formats then something is wrong with the part of your system playing the poorer sounding format.
The only definitive thing was that bass was deeper on CD on modern recordings (eg Random Access Memories by Daft Punk).
£20k of CD player to listen to the rubbish like the Daft Punk ?

Do you realize that they are recorded digitally in the studio, so what is the point to compare vinyl recorded from the digital master to a CD from a digital master ?

The goal of analog is ANALOG, not a digital converted to analog.

Get youself some proper original records from the 70’s to make sure you’re listening to the state of the art analog, not a digitally remastered reissue or new music recorded digitally. Original pressing from analog master tape is where the vinyl is better than CD of the same music recorded later from digital source. 

Also the phono cartridge is the key to analog.

I used analogy with religions to point out that digital believers

have their own church to address their believe in digital in their

own  forum while we the analog believers have our own. However

our moderators thought that this is some kind of ''political

statement'' and removed my post. It is not easy to accept such

removal if one has no idea why. But I do have some assumptions.

Is this thread in response to the CD "crushing" vinyl thread?

Lots of crushing going on lately...


As if AAD and ADD CDs don’t sound awful enough DDD CDs sound even worse. That’s the fully Monty digital experience.
A great analog recording played on a good vinyl system will almost always win out over digital. Almost all new mastered albums sound worse than the originals.

chakster
Also the phono cartridge is the key to analog
.

Its not the

1) cartridge........ it’s not the
2) table....... it’s not the
3) shelf/stand/room....... its not the
4) tonearm......... its not the
5) Litz..........its not the
6) Phono Stage and Loading of.............

The key is attained knowledge, that allows for the proper set up of all 6 areas to work together, based on each areas different design, and execution. There is a lot to get wrong. 

This is why better set up lesser perceived designs, out perform better perceived designs in places you visit like same room shows. But given one has the knowledge on setup, and that someone can do the proper set up; the better design executed well should out perform the lesser design.


@chakster 

The goal of analog is ANALOG, not a digital converted to analog. Get youself some proper original records from the 70’s to make sure you’re listening to the state of the art analog, not a digitally remastered reissue or new music recorded digitally. Original pressing from analog master tape is where the vinyl is better than CD of the same music recorded later from digital source. Also the phono cartridge is the key to analog.


Totally agree with you Chakster. The purity of the analog mixing, production and mastering process works best with analog playback. Putting digital in any of these stages introduces unnecessary a/d and d/a conversions and associated elements of distortion. 
@itsjustme

Could you start with the entire system chain so we know what you were hearing, and the material, so we know the mastering?


It’s pretty straight-forward. I listen to material recorded to LPs in the 60’s and 70’s on a completely analog (except for CD player) system. My turntable is a fully restored high-end vintage Technics SL-1700mk2 with Audio-Technica VM540ML cartridge playing through a modified NAD PP2 (external regulated power supply, Burson V6 Classic discrete op-amp and XLR connectors with Belden 1696A shielded single pair cable to the tonearm). To replicate this much with off the shelf gear, you’d have to spend the better part of $6,000. 
@ct0517 

The key is attained knowledge, that allows for the proper set up of all 6 areas to work together, based on each areas different design, and execution. There is a lot to get wrong. 
 
Right, but the cartridge is first and only component that physically riding your records, so in my opinion cartridge is the key.