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Vinyl Long live the LP. Post topics about LPs, players, setup and more.

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Old 06-28-2009   #55
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

They are using real world recordings. Recordings that may not take full advantage of either technology or one or the other. They do say the technical dynamic range of CD is better. Even though recordings may not take advantage of this. My statement was about the medium not necessarily real world. I'm sure if other LPs and CDs were used the outcomes would have been different.

But we can agree to disagree.
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Old 06-29-2009   #56
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Cool Re: CD vs Vinyl

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Originally Posted by rbinck View Post
They are using real world recordings. Recordings that may not take full advantage of either technology or one or the other. They do say the technical dynamic range of CD is better. Even though recordings may not take advantage of this. My statement was about the medium not necessarily real world. I'm sure if other LPs and CDs were used the outcomes would have been different.

But we can agree to disagree.
Well, I think we are beginning to agree-or at least to get to the point: that is, in real world good LPs have better dynamics; most of times; with a good source and a good turntable/cartridge...and for me the most important test for music is listening-in real world. Today I made a very rough comparison with my sound level meter (B&K) between a CD and a comparable (somehow) LP (Beethoven 3rd on original instruments, with 2 different directors and levels around an average of 80dBs at 3m (a very approximate measure)): they both had a peak dynamics in strong passages of around 27 dB, with a slight advantage for CD (28 against 26). But the LP was a bit more clear and definite-so the overall impression was in favour of the LP.
This is I think an important point regarding dynamics and quality: if you have a strong piano passage you not only have a huge difference in pressure, but also a lot of harmonics coming out from everywhere: if they are clean and full (like in a good LP-listen to the Koln Concert, part 2)) the overall impression is much much better than a CD with muddied or cutoff harmonics (listen to the same on CD: nice, but flattened).
Final point: I can't buy a universal statement like delColliano's in another thread that LPs, on any turntable, have much less dynamics than CDs: I don't think it's true-in a real world. I could accept something with the full W(hat)W(here)H(ow) specifications: this CD against that Lp with that Cartridge/turntable, those speakers...so I could check. This is the whole point: check-with your ears.
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Old 06-29-2009   #57
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

There is a difference between what you describe as dynamics, I guess, and dynamic range. Dynamic range would be the difference between the lowest sound level possible and the highest sound level possible. Listening to a passage on the two technologies can not measure this. Real world listening tests are going to lead to a subjective, not measured, conclusion.

Many CDs are compressed for recording due to the great number of user and broadcast equipment that really can't handle much more than what a LP can produce. To really know what is going on with your tests, one would need to know how the source was recorded. It may not contain the dynamic range.
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Old 06-29-2009   #58
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Talking Re: CD vs Vinyl

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Originally Posted by rbinck View Post
There is a difference between what you describe as dynamics, I guess, and dynamic range. Dynamic range would be the difference between the lowest sound level possible and the highest sound level possible. Listening to a passage on the two technologies can not measure this. Real world listening tests are going to lead to a subjective, not measured, conclusion.

Many CDs are compressed for recording due to the great number of user and broadcast equipment that really can't handle much more than what a LP can produce. To really know what is going on with your tests, one would need to know how the source was recorded. It may not contain the dynamic range.
I agree: my tests were not real nice measurements, just intended to convey a feeling; and I also agree that many sources have a lot of compression (not only on CDs but on LPs as well), so comparisons are not exploring all the possibilities of the two media. And also so many parameters change from my setup to yours that a real comparison would be almost impossible. Just speaking of my personal setup: at leat 30% of my 'impression' of great dynamics has been given by the new cartridge (Transfiguration Esprit after a VandenHul Mc2). With the old one I wouldn't have been so convinced.
But then we all should agree that many times (most for some, sometimes for others), with our real world music and setups, vinyl simply sounds better than CD.
Yes, CD is simpler, easier, and even (sometimes) more affordable: but you have also to think about one simple thing: how many LPs have been produced? Once I read it was one or two orders of magnitude greater than CDs (that is, 10-100 to 1): so your only chance to get that rare recording (say: Couperin for harpsichord played by Scott Ross, or the Little Town Old Boys Chorus singing Christmas carols-with you inside) could be only on LP; not to speak of price: yes, new ones are expensive, but I get wonderful editions for 5$ each just going downtown in a second hand shop.
My personal feeling is: when I want easygoing I go CD, when I get audiophile I go LP. It's the only one that really (sometimes) gives me the illusion of beeing there.
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Old 07-01-2009   #59
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Default "rediscovering vinyl, not giving up my SACD & DVD-A disks"

thats wise. i didnt dump my vinyl when cd came in, it didnt suddenly sound bad. my first cd was brothers in arms and i loved it but when i put on my 99cent copy of the same, it was a jaw-dropping surprise. the vinyl sounded better and i didnt have any presupposed conclusions either. i didnt know WHAT to expect.

i have somewhere aroung 6k pieces of vinyl, a couple thousand CDs, and maybe a hundred SACDs. i am NOT giving any of them up. its all about the music, not so much the format.

the nice thing is that sacd players mostly upsample and rbcd sounds VERY good on them. that made my cd collection much more valuable to me. i seriously doubt that i will go to downloads with a server nor digitizing my vinyl. i will continue to enjoy my music in whatever form i acquire it in.
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Old 07-14-2009   #60
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Default Re: CD vs Vinyl

A number of years ago I compared my oracle delphi MkV turntable fitted with an eminent technology tone arm and a vanden hull mc cartridge - running through a morrison preamp, conrad johnson amps and quad 63 speakers.
I have a pretty good ear. I've been listening to music for many decades, studied music at university and have been building instruments since 1971 and spend a lot of time listening to minute differences between instruments that many people would never notice or listen for. I can tell for instance by ear many details about a players techniques etc. So I consider my ears fairly well trained and able to hear fairly subtle detail in music performance.
I hooked up a relatively inexpensive mass market cd player and connected the 2 through an A/B comparator box.
The box used very good cabeling, gold and mercury contact switching etc. - it was a custom laboratory equipment. The box also was able to match the two inputs for volume within .2 dB.
The box allowed the listener to choose to listen to input A (record player) or B (CD player) or push the middel button which randomly would play either A or B. The listener could listen to A or B as much as they liked and when they felt they would be able to tell the difference they would then press the middle button and after listening would then guess which they were listening to. The listener would do this a number of times and the results were recorded and checked. If the listener could tell the difference reliably then the results would clearly show this. If the listener couldn't tell then the results would be close to chance or 50/50.
We had about 20 titles that we had both the CD and LP. I did the test numerous times, so did my wife and many of my audiophile friends and even some of my none audiophile friends. The results were quite astonishing. On some of the titles nearly everyone was able to tell the difference but on most of the titles no one could reliably detect the difference.
Puzzled about this I asked an audio engineer acquaintance. It's easy he said, on some CD mastering the engineer fools around enough with settings, eq or whatever that the two formats are for all intents different recordings. These would be easy to tell apart. The recordings that had been remastered properly for CD format would sound like the LP and therefore would be indistinquishable and, they were. These results seem to show that the engineering in the recording - mikes, placement, mixing, mastering etc. have more effect on the final sound than the playback technology.
I kept doing the comparison for a week, hunting down more CD titles. At the end of the week I was convinced. I sold the table, arm and cartridge
You can try this for yourself. You will have to enlist the aid of a 2nd party to do the switching for you and act as the "random" selector since that function won't be built in and volume matching may be a little tricky too. You could use a good quality passive volume control.
I'm sure you've heard it before but - very little of our hearing goes on in our ears, most of it goes on between them, and is influenced by everything else there. If the difference is really there and audible you should be able to pick it out blindfolded.
It's an educational and fun experiment. By the way the sound level matching is important many experiments have shown that listeners will choose the louder of two choices as sounding better pretty much every time.
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