It's funny how records are still best.

With all the technology & new formats I find it funny how records are still the best way to listen to music. You can spend as much as you want on a CD player & A modest record player will almost always sound better.
Not much funny for me. Music has gotten lonlier as a hobby as an event and as part of culture. A magpie on my deck was singing beep and braaaak and other un-bird sounds. My fewer and fewer music listening guests stare at my LPs and have a hard time saying anything except remembering when they threw theirs out. Then I play one. They guess I have spent three times what I have. But I like mp3 because I can again get the samples that good radio used to take as part of their value to caring audience. I met an ex-LA music executive in NYC. He told me he left LA for NYC to get into something less depressing. He remembers the LP days as fun and amazes his tony guests with the sound of his collection.
To each their own, personally I can't stand vinyl anymore. There are so many high end CDP's and SACD players today that surpass vinyl that I put all mine away.
After a brief fling with SACD, I find I'm buying more LPs than anything else. SACD and CD are fine for convenience, and some music is available nowhere else, but when I really want to LISTEN, only LPs and R-R tape will do. And I have a $3K SACD player.

I know exactly what you mean. I'm sure those old LP's are taking up too much space that could be used to store new SACD's and CD's. You can easily store 4 or 5 in the space that one LP takes up. So, if you're inclined to get that old vinyl stuff out of your way let me know. I'd be glad to take them off your hands. It would be a slight burden, but I have a large, finished basement with lots of storage space. Just consider it a favor between A'gon members.
What was your TT, Tonearm, Cartridge and phono stage and pre-amp ?
I am with merganser. Vinyl is just to much of a hassle to bother with. All the cleaning and set-up and still too noisy for me. I will take my SACD's over vinyl anytime. However, having said that I am sure under the right conditions vinyl is wonderful but I have yet to experience it.

One of those statements I cannot follow anymore. I stilll have my Transrotor/SME and Thorens TD 124 turntables along with about 2000 LPs but I think that when it comes to pure diving into the music they have no chance against my CD setup. All this hissing and cracking, all this hassle with cleaning the bloody LPs, this rushing up every 20 minutes for turning the disc..... In fairness we are comparing excellently edited material here, right? I keep my vinyl just because I have it for almost all my life and there's some pretious stuff among the collection but for serious listening I much prefer the digital setup in a true high end (tube) system.
Do you prefer brown gravy or cream gravy on your mashed potatoes? Which is best?

It makes no difference which gravy each of us prefer. It is important that we enjoy the results. It is about the music, isn't it?

By the way, I prefer brown gravy.
I have many new LP's. The more I buy,the more I want. Vinyl is the way to go,digital just doesn't cut it for me. I can play records for hours on end. The CD player keeps my attention for 20 minutes.

Geez, Dan ... it would be terribly unfair of me to let you shoulder the burden of storing Merganser's LP collection all by yourself. Just to help you out, I'll take half.

BTW, isn't a Merganser a duck? :-)
Records are the best. There is no legitimate argument that anyone can make against that. It's not preference but fact. The preference is if your too lazy to deal with the inconvenience. But the sound is the best.

It is funny with all the Audiophile technology. The best sound from software comes from a format that was around in the 19th century.
Robm321 you are wrong, wrong, wrong! Open reel tape is the best. There is no legitimate argument that anyone can make against that. It's not preference, but fact. The preference is if you're too lazy to deal with the inconvenience. But the sound is the best.
It depends on how the recording was mastered as to which one sounds the best and the quality of the vinyl used. Some of my LPs are as quiet as the CD version and usually sounds better. This is not always the case. Sometimes the CD sounds better. But one thing is for sure. CDs will make you fatter.
>>But one thing is for sure. CDs will make you fatter<<

And richer. As someone who misguidedly threw out all his hundreds of LPs 15 years ago, and starting from scratch again in the voodoo world of vinyl, I am amazed that the same recordings I bought for a couple of dollars in the 80s are now about $30-40 (classical re-issues). Ouch!
But think of all those people who foolishly sold all their vinyl (thanks folks, I'm enjoying them a bunch at a buck a pop) to replace it with expensive CDs! OUCH!

Another funny thing, the industry did not develop CDs out of a humanitarian desire to benefit the human race and bring music to our thirsty ears, they did it to vastly increase their profits (production costs a fraction of vinyl, price at least doubled at the time, or more). In doing so, they made it possible to download and send the data via the internet, which killed CD sales and sank the record companies' profits. CD: down. SACD: down. DVD-Audio: down. Hoist by their own petard, what oh what will they do next? Poetic justice! No wonder everyone is getting fed up and vinyl is undergoing something of a renaissance. The King is dead, long live the King!
Merganser is not a duck, it is a troll and we all just bit on the lure.

I'm far from a troll and I don't appreciate your personal attack.

As you can see, I'm not the only one who feels that vinyl isn't the answer. If you prefer it, fine. I don't and you should respect that if you call yourself a audio lover. It strikes me as odd that some vinyl lovers feel the need to proclaim their choice as the best and then berate anyone who feels differently. That is certainly not the spirit of this hobby.

the crafty kinda duck
A Thorent TD 124? No wonder you CD's sound better get a real table. Learning to set it up properly would help too.
Merganser and Czbbcl, I respect your opinions and decisions. Now, how about letting go of those LP's you have? Why would you want to keep them if you don't think they're worth listening to? Seriously.

BTW, I see this whole thread as a troll, a fun troll, but a troll none the less.

I agree reel tape sounds better than Records, but I was speaking about mass produced formats, not recording studio equipment. Basically anything that has been on shelves at record stores. You have to draw the line somewhere. I haven't seen a section at Tower Records for open real tapes.

"You can spend as much as you want on a CD player & A modest record player will almost always sound better."

Not in my experience.

My modest CD setup
Marantz CD67->Monarchy DIP classic->Monarchy 22A
beats my modest vinyl setup
Rega P3/RB300/Goldring1042->Audiolab 8000PPA

though I will admit that it is close, and the quality of recording and mastering is more of the final determinant of sound quality than whether it is a CD or LP I am listening to.

I have the same digital front. Marantz CD 67SE is a fairly decent player. But a proper set up Lenco blows away the Marantz and Monarchy. I had the stock Lenco arm and Shure V15 IV. It sounds rich and full. The Lenco does have some pop noise occasionally. Digital is quieter. But Lenco got all the music. Remind you Lenco can be bought for $50. I cannot comment on Rega P3, which I never had in my system, though it's a reputable entry-level player.

Analog requires patient and knowledge to get the most sound out of it. You need a RCM, and bunch of maintenance kit to keep belt, bearing, and cartridge in the top-notch condition.

Analog is not for everyone. But if you are the type of tweaker, join the dark side.
Mutex ... I clean my records, I setup my P3 very carefully. I have a good mirrored protractor, and I use the Shure stylus balance.

Do you have the monarchy DIP classic ? This is the single part of my digital chain that made the most improvement, showing that the CD67 has high jitter on the digital out. I started with the Marantz ... OK but lacking definition. I added the Monarchy 22A and got very little improvement. Then I added one of the original PLL based DIPs and suddenly the music became focussed and the CD player jumped level with the turntable. Substituting the newer DIP classic, which fully reclocks the data rather than using a PLL took the CD replay above the vinyl.

I enjoy both, and I wouldn't give up vinyl, particularly as used vinyl is cheap and widely available, but since getting the DIP classic I simply can longer say that vinyl is superior or even equal to CD in my system because it isn't.
Seand, glass and particle board is not a real vinyl experience. Get something with real speed/rotational stability and you might end up with real close setups--like yours truly.

With psychic power and primal intensity,
Not. Different but equal.
So much of my vinyl is mass-produced, hastily made, sub- $5.00 product.
The Foghat vinyls on Bearsville is an example of good-to-great music with recording quality that makes me scream or cry with frustration.
Digital will always have a digital sound, vinyl will always have a analog sound, and be a PITA to deal with.
I dont think it's that much of a PITA

Cleaning a record with machinebtakes two mins, only needs to be done once per record. I listen to CDs for backgroud music, and vinyl when I really want to pay attention. Yes, have to change side after 20-25 mins, but really not that big of deal

As for shitty recordings on vinyl, yes, they're out there... b ut plenty of good stuff for cheap. It is more work than CDs, but the rewards are there if you're willing to deal with the minor hassles.
Vinyl is great. I just bought a clean $5 Van Halen (first album) that smokes the cd. Without any doubt, I don't have a classical cd that sounds as good as vinyl. Especially on classical, it's just much more musical and dynamic than cds. Another thing I've found is that a lot of older vinyl I have sounds great at low volumes.

Big problem I have found these days is getting a new vinyl copy that isn't warped.

I have about 100lps and plan on keeping them for nostalgic purposes only. Besides some day I may decide to try vinyl again. Also some turntables are absolutely gorgeous to look at. My friend has a Micheal Gyrodeck which is both beautiful to look at and sounds great.

>>It's funny how records are still best.<<

Ditto vacuum tubes.
Could you please be more specific as to which CD or SACD player or transport/DAC combo would "surpass”, or at least match LPs ? It’s been a long time since I’m looking for one. Over the years I spent dozens of thousands on digital equipment and lately found out that Technics 1300 TT which I bought on Ebay for $25 and Denon 103 for $180 (not even mention Shelter 901 from audiogon for $1000) blow away all that digital shem called CD/SACD. And now I can’t forgive myself for not buying tons of LP’s back in 1998-1999, when they sold for 3.99 brand new, sealed and almost everything was available. Unfortunately my collection of LP's is a joke and can’t match my CD collection, so, I would gladly trade some of my CDs/SACDs on to matching names of your LP's, which you seemed not to need anymore anyway. Sounds like a good deal to me. :)
But if you really can point me to the player or transport/DAC combo, which indeed match musicality and softness of LP's presentation, I will owe you big.
People like whatever format they like and I am not going to begrudge them that. However my cheap tt set-up and standard of the shelf vinyl did not even compare to my digital set-up of today. I just can not understand how people can buy these used lps at gargae sales for next to nothing and claim they are so superior in sound to cd/sacd when most of them have had their groves torn to shreds on some old junk set-up with no thought given to anti-skating adjustments or tracking force etc. etc. Even my friend who is big into vinyl says it takes 180-250 gm virgin vinyl cleaned to perfection with his rig set-up properly to better his digital set-up and he has a very cheap digital set-up. But to each his own.

Hi Chuck,

I don't have a distaste for digital. I happen to enjoy my CDP very much. In my very humble opinion it is necessary to have both to enjoy all of the music that is available. And there certainly are examples of the ceedee being better than it's vinyl counterpart, usually due to remixing or just crappy vinyl. As good as my CDP is, there is still a real step up when I spin records. Very much like the difference between SS and really good tubes. Granted, my sources while not being the creme are still a long way from modest. While quite good in some cases, SACD never seemed to me to reach the "analog-like" claims. Plus I have always been leary of what I consider a proprietary format from a company that has long held tightly to the reins of how there products are marketed and seem to be developed to sound best when all of their components are used. Call me paranoid but I don't trust Sony as far as I can spit. Then there is that whole issue of buying a library that again is driven mainly by a single company and limited in choice. Naw, I'll stick to redbook thanks. At least until there is an end to the format wars.

I agree with you that I don't see how people who buy vinyl with the grooves worn out could get them to sound good. But then the idea is not to buy the worn out ones. I tend to buy mostly from local used record stores where I might average $6 per but I can see the vinyl and judge what I can clean and what will usually not recover no matter how many times I clean it. I've also had those 50 cent near mint garage sale LP's, but they are not the norm from this source. I would say that many of my best samples have been given to me by folks such as yourself who kept their records for many years, took great care of them and in the end decided that they weren't ever going to play them again. I do disagree with your friend about the need for heavy vinyl. I have some 180g LP's that just are well made. Then I have some of those wafer thin LP's from the '70s and '80s that are very quiet and sound terrific.

Now if we use background noise as the criteria for deciding whether digital or analog is better then I would probably give the nod to the 1's and 0's. But when you consider the sonic qualities there is no question in my opinion that analog is better. I wish it could be reel-to-reel but I'll take the licorice pizza's!
After wasting whole day on comparing CDs to LPs i. e. same albums LPs to CDs, using one of so called, analog like DAC's I think may be I was too critical :). And I did forget to mention in my privious post, that exapt Technics for $25 and Shelter for $1000 I also used phono for $2000, so its all ads up. You know.:)
However, one has to compare same albums, i.e. its not fair to take some CD which was originally recorded in 24 bit or in DSD somewere in 2004 and compare it with 1938 Benny Goodman's LP.
Yes, there are a many "not perfect" recordings on LPs, but it still sounds less irritating and fatigue, at least to my ears, then same crappy recording on CD, or moreover on SACD. Likewise good recordings on LPs will be also more plesant, to my ears, then on CDs. For example I compared Mobil Fidelity Dark Side of the Moon to its counterpart on 180g vinyl (25 years aniversary adition, and LP was better. And my analog rig i.e. table/tonearm/catridge was not seted up by sombody who really knows what he is doing, which as I understand very important.
P.S. However, after listening for LPs only, for about 10 days straight, I have to admit that it such a relief to be able to use "pause" button on remote, versus jumping of the couch and lift a tonearm every time you have to answer the phone.

I can appreciate your thoughts and opinions and the fact you like vinyl. That is certainly your choice. But yes it is about background noise the snaps the clicks and the pops that take away from the pleasure of the music at least for me. This is especially true during the quiet passages of a classical piece or even when the full orchestra is playing and it sounds somewhat distorted/congested.

My friend rig is top notch and has experienced good vinyl and poor vinyl and he fully understands what it takes for vinyl to perform at its best. Now I am sure that when vinyl is done right and set-up properly it will outperform cd/sacd I just have not heard it yet. I certainly know that my inexpensive tt/tone arm set-up is/was not going to do it. If you are peronoid about Sony and are biased against them then so be it. Again that is your choice.

I for one have embraced the format and will continue to support it (read Hybrid). I have found plenty of titles available for my listening pleasure and continue to see more releases every day if only from the small specialised labels. Happy listening

Hi Chuck,

I am very curious about hybrids but admit that I don't know much about them. Is this only cd/sacd? In all fairness, Sony is only part of my issue with sacd. I did get burned by the Betamax thing years ago and then there was my brief excursion into quadraphonics. OH, the horror! Blue-ray makes me cringe just thinking about it and I haven't experienced it at all, yet. Upon reflection I believe that I suffer from "early adopter syndrome". This hasn't paralized me 'cuz I bit into HDTV a few years ago. Glad that investment is starting to pay off! I chose an analog tube HD set based on picture quality. Don't know what that means except that video is an area where digitalization is an improvement. But it ain't worked for displays. High-end plasmas may be the exception, but they still suffer from motion artifacts.

Back OT, I can sympathize with the noise issue. I suppose that since I grew up with vinyl I learned a long time ago how to listen passed the occasional ticks. But then again, that is why I believe that I have always been more anal about playback than most people I know. I can easily tolerate some noise between tracks but it does make me squirm in my chair abit when it happens during a critical piece of a song. Looking over my vinyl collection it is no wonder I have several copies of some LP's. But when it's right, wow! That distortion you mention on loud passages makes me want ot try adjusting VTA,VTF, better tracking tonearm or cartridge. See! I'm ill with it!

Yea, vinyl is not a perfect format and it does take alot of fussing and tweaking. But I've always been into hands-on kind of hobbies. So to echo the cliche for others that might be following along, if you're willing to put in the effort it can be very rewarding.


The real answer to the cd/vinyl debate is BOTH - depending on the date. Much of my early 50's jazz collection is still unavailable on cd or if it is, it's often a crapy remastering. Even the best don't compare to the original LP's IMHO - at least not on my system. Some cd remasters of early jazz also suffer from deterioration in the master tape. On the other hand, most jazz after the early 80's is not available on LP, or if it is, there is likely a digital stage somewhere along the line in the mastering so you might as well just have the cd.
I find most cd's made from music recorded in the past 10 years to be quite musically enjoyable and would not wish to have an LP version. CD's of music recorded in the pre-cd era does not hold my interest like the LP.
As for the pops and clicks everyone complains about - clean your records properly and don't buy crapy old LP's and this will never be an issue. I have hundreds of records from as early as the late 40's which have barely any decernable noise but awesome sound!

The hybrid disc contain both an SACD layer and a redbook layer. This allows the disc to be played on a standard cd player and an SACD player. Obviously the standard player will only play the redbook layer.

I don't see the vinyl versus cd really being a debate at all both formats offer positives and negatives. And I agree when vinyl is done right it is wonderful just as tube electronics still sounds wonderfull. I will say as a mechanical engineer I can appreciate the beauty of some turntables which in the end may cause me to take the plunge. My friends Micheal is a thing of beauty. And just like you I also enjoy some of the hands on aspects of this hobby and cd's just don't lend themselves to this kind of intimacy. I have a audio shop fairly near me that is heavy into analog (vinyl)so it would be easy for me to get into it and have support for it. Anyways good luck and enjoy the music.

at the time records were the norm, there were a lot of great pieces to choose from, both performance-wise and sound-wise.
at some future point, record-making got cheap and dirty, and the poor quality became obvious even to the average consumer. then along comes the cd, without all of the problems inherent in bad pressings--hurray!... of course, the cd didn't sound all that great for a long time. now they sound better, but the cd catalog will never compare to the variety and quality of vinyl in its golden days. so, with all of the software issues at large, it seems imperitive to have a decent cdp and record player, and build a collection of material, some dig, some analog, that gets your toe tapping. the choice of software is by far the most important ingredient in the mix. and if you really have golden ears, a great performance will keep you listening for hours even if it sounds mediocre, because great art is not diminished by thd or jitter or surface noise.
French Fries, Nice of the most reasonable posts I've seen on one of these Vinyl vs CD's threads.
I see and have the need to have both Vinyl and CD's (and I do have both).
In my system, on most of my records, I have not have pops or clicks. When I listen to the same recording on Vinyl that also is out on CD, the Vinyl has been significantly better 100 % of the time for me and anyone that has ever visited (audiophiles and rookies).
Do I listen to CD's; yes, but I listen to Vinyl 95 % of the time because it is much more involving and more enjoyable with more detail and better sound staging.
My system is quite resolving on both the Vinyl and CD side. My sense is that if you think CD’s are better, it might be because you have not heard a well set up Vinyl system playing clean LP’s that are well recorded.
I can listen all day to Records, but CD’s wear me out in somewhere between and 1 ½ - 2 hours and then I am drained.
If you think CD’s are better, do yourself a favor and seek out a chance to listen to a great Vinyl system and see how you feel afterwards. If you don’t have the time or mentality to do the work needed for LP’s, enjoy your CD’s.
We all know that a dog has FAR superior auditory capacities as compared to any human. Having said that, if the Edison cylinder was good enough to fool Nipper the dog, how much better does it have to get to sound like "real, live music" with a cd or record??? I'm selling all of my digital and vinyl and going back to Edison cylinders. You guys are all deaf AND dumb : ) Sean
As a fellow vinyl lover I have to agree that the closest thing to the sound of the master tape is open reel. Had a great reel score the other day. Just so hard to find compared to vinyl.

I see you have a pair of AR-90's. I still have mine in original condition. I need to rebuld (refoam) the dricers otherwise they are fine.


Boy open reel that stuff is got to be hard to find.

Czbbcl, your right about tape being hard to find. It's not like vinyl where you can walk into any music outlet anywhere in North America and find rows and rows of new vinyl.
Yes very hard to find.
Some places where I have had success are Antique stores, Vinyl stores, and thrift stores. There is always ebay of course but the thrill is in the hunt!
Well worth it though the sound on a good recording is simply outstanding and slays everything else in my opinion. Yet most of my time its vinyl that i listen to. Or late at night when I have had to much to drink and am lazy I still put on cd's for as long as I can stand it!