Thread: CD vs Vinyl
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Old 08-06-2010   #88
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 5
Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

Sometime in the late 80's a batch of CD's came out where the label print dyes reacted with the protective layer, thereby exposing the aluminium layer to the air which caused it to oxidise. Although non can predict, it's a fairly safe bet that the rest of your CD collection will be unaffected by this, as that type of print dye stopped being used. So you probably do have a case, but you'd be better off just replacing them with new CD's. I'm inclined to believe that CD's in general have good longevity. Funnily enough, the actual data on your damaged CD's is still there, stamped into the polypropylene.

On the subject of vinyl, surface noise seems to be the only criticism that is used to suggest its inadequacy. But if surface noise was the real harbinger that it has often been claimed to be, it would be a fairly straight forward case to use a pro grade ADC, digitaly process the surface noise out of the most battered and scratched vinyl. For example, an equivalent box as the Meitner CDSA-SE for CD. You could use 24 or 48 bit with a high sample rate, it would cost a lot less to build, and with the kind of processing power available today, I don't think it would require a genius to program.

However, you're only going to be trading one problem for another. ADC's and DAC's introduce distortions all of their own, though of course it is possible to over engineer your way out of a problem. For use of an analogy, you could with a great deal of effort build a bridge to span a river using no arches or curves and just have a straight piece of concrete and lots of pillars to support it, and then explain that the reason why it's better than a suspension bridge is because it doesn't sway in high winds. The fact that larger boats wouldn't be able to get under the bridge for want of pillars proponents can claim is not a problem because with even more over engineering you can use cranes to lift them out of the water and resettle them on the other side, and if anyone complains, you can improve the quality of the lift mechanism.

At the end of the day, for a couple of grand you could have a Linn Sondek and play the best made L.Ps on that and have no surface noise. Musical content tends not to go beyond 60db max in terms of dynamic range, and it's frequency range rarely gets as high as 10KHz, making the parameters of L.Ps adequate. Contrary to popular belief there have been advances made in stylus technology over the past 20 years. In conclusion, because you don't need to over engineer vinyl playback apparatus in order to make it work to render musical content transparently, that would make vinyl systems sonically superior to that of even SACD. The best replay system cannot exceed the qualities of a plain copper cable. It can be less than that, as good as, but not superior to, and as an LP playback system can match it, that SACD may also be able to match it, would still render the system inferior in HI-FI terms, because it has the disadvantage of needing to be so heavily over engineered in order to work, as is evidenced by it's price tag which is beyond the pocket of most people. So in order for people with less money to access that kind of quality, their only course available is vinyl.
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