CD vs LP - Who cares when it's a crappy recording?

I read the recent post about CD vs. SACD vs. LP's. I have a CD player only, and am new to audiophile-dom. But I must say, I'd be a happy camper if all my CD's sounded as good as my best CD. I'm way less concerned with improving the source sound of the FORMAT, and way more concerned that some of my CD's sound beautiful while others just suck.

Wouldn't you trade in all the discussion about better formats if the recording engineers would all get their acts together so that any type of music you bought would sound as good as possible for its format?

Also, can someone confirm that there are as many bad recordings on record as there are on CD?
I personally like bad recordings highly compressed in MP3 format. (I'm only kidding of course)

There are, in fact, a boatload of poor recordings on vinyl. whether it's equal (percentage of poor recordings) between CD and vinyl is open for debate and I would rather not go there. I agree with your statement though. Good recordings, regardless of the format, are equal to spending thousands in equipment upgrades. The problem is that "it is what it is" and the correct upgrades in your front end will make all recordings as good as they can be. From my limited perspective I must say that going with active crossovers made nearly all of my library very listenable. Do others have the same experience?


You are correct. Format is less important than implementation. There are awful recordings in all formats. There are also fantastic recordings in all formats.

Some formats have the potential to sound better than others due to available bandwidth, etc.

In some cases, it's simply a matter of availability, too. There are lots of records that never made it to cd. Conversely, there are lots of cd's that were never available on vinyl.

Any "audiofool" worth his or her salt should be open to using more than one format, for the reasons stated above.
Of course there is much difference of opinion about what constitutes a great recording as there is about different formats.
I actually care more about the music than the recording and that's another set of opinions again........
No question that there are a lot of crappy recordings in all formats; it is just a damn shame that many audiophiles miss out on music that is both moving and compelling simply because it is poorly recorded.
The quality gap between my best Chesky HDCD's for example, vs. some of the dreck that I own surpasses any incremental improvement in formats. I don't want to start an Audiophile war, but these mastering differences dwarf the differnces between cables, etc. Ditto for vinyl.

You have good common sense, use it and enjoy the music.
I would have to agree with the consensus that each format has its own merit, depending upon the quality of the recording. Having spent the past week or so really examining the differences between SACD, XRCD discs and vinyl, I have reached the conclusion that each can be completely satisfying. Vinyl is most enjoyable when the recording is top-notch and the record is spotless.There just seems a "rightness" to the presentation that is hard to articulate. It is, however, a pain-in-the-ass to maintain, clean and operate. SACD shows tremendous potential and might sound as musical as vinyl with the right recordings.I recently picked up the ubiquitous Philips SACD 1000 for $400.00 at Tweeter, and I must say certain recordings really sound fantastic. Some recent XRCDs I've obtained are spectacular and when played through my allegedly antiquated Jadis megabuck redbook rig leave me wanting for nothing! At this point, I could not see abandoning any of these formats.
There really are substantial differences between vinyl and digital; among the digital formats, the differences are much more subtle (excepting the number of channels, of course). But overall, I'd rather listen to a good performance on a boom box than a bad performance on God's own audio system.
Matt8268; for being "new to audiophile-dom", you have already come to a really meaningful conclusion-- an open mind will do that for you IMO-- and I totally agree with your observation. Cheers. Craig
Please direct me to a "fantastic recording" in the MP3 lossy compression format. I'll admit, I downloaded ONE song, directly from the legitimate record company's website. THAT was enough to convince me that it is NOT a valid audiophile format. I wasn't able to take measurements, but I believe it would be shelved between "microcassette" and AM mono (without antenna).

There are some good movies available in black and white. But why restrict yourself to watching everything on a black and white television?

Per YOUR quote:

"There are also fantastic recordings in all formats." I disagree.