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Vinyl still the king? Am I missing something?

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
my sub $100 audio technica cart outplays my 1212M easily, in terms of pure enjoyment factor, the 1212M seems overpolite and boring although hyper-detailed. When playing my records I get a full-range sound that I'm not used to hearing with digital. How do I get a better sound out of a digital setup? I want my music files to sound as natural and effortless as my vinyl setup. Is it possible?
post #2 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbucla2005
How do I get a better sound out of a digital setup? I want my music files to sound as natural and effortless as my vinyl setup. Is it possible?
not really. Even a modest well set up vinyl front end will wipe the floor with any digital playback system i have ever heard upto 5000USD anyway.
post #3 of 91

I Hate Vinyl

As a baby boomer, I spent alot of my money replacing almost all of my records with CD's & I'm glad I did. I can not tell you how many scratched records I had even on just a couple of playings. I don't miss this one bit. As to the actual sound, I can not even remember what vinyl sounds like & even if it is better, it was more then offset by scratched records. One of the great things of CD is that it brought on a vast output of hard to find singles & albums on CD collections & box sets which never would have come out in these quantities if it wasn't for CD.
post #4 of 91
I dumped my vinyl rig and all my solid state amps after getting all digital TACT gear for my 2 channel and 5.1 channel systems. IMO, a top notch digital system sounds better than a vinyl rig, however both are limited by the recording/mastering of the source material.
post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by memepool
not really. Even a modest well set up vinyl front end will wipe the floor with any digital playback system i have ever heard upto 5000USD anyway.
I have to humbly disagree - I had a decent turntable setup back in the early 1980s (Rega Planar 3/RB300/Nagaoka MP11 Gold) and I found that even my first generation CD player Marantz CD63 was preferable. I guess some people just prefer the low distortion, extended frequency range, dynamic range and non-existent noise of digital audio and some prefer the ah, um , er , something or other of vinyl
post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbucla2005
my sub $100 audio technica cart outplays my 1212M easily, in terms of pure enjoyment factor, the 1212M seems overpolite and boring although hyper-detailed. When playing my records I get a full-range sound that I'm not used to hearing with digital. How do I get a better sound out of a digital setup? I want my music files to sound as natural and effortless as my vinyl setup. Is it possible?
If you want computer based files to sound as good as even basic vinyl I think you might have some trouble. The very best CD Players and even some of the good ones, like my Naim CDS3, are starting to approach the better vinyl setups, but an MP3 getting close is beyond my imagination. If possible, I think it would be very expensive. Good luck.
post #7 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner
If you want computer based files to sound as good as even basic vinyl I think you might have some trouble. The very best CD Players and even some of the good ones, like my Naim CDS3, are starting to approach the better vinyl setups, but an MP3 getting close is beyond my imagination. If possible, I think it would be very expensive. Good luck.
What makes you assume that if someone is using a sound card, they're playing MP3s? Research on lossless audio codecs.

Back to OP, computers are not the best place for analog domain, so to improve a digital source, use the computer as a transport to a DAC of your preference. Tube DACs or amps can make digital sound more natural and [insert all other tube stereotypes here].

High-End CD players are getting phased out too, because the future is about digital media centers loaded with lossless audio, outputed to personilized DACs which perform at a fraction of a cost. Vinyls will get even more competition due to much cheaper and improved digital sources. And they're also will get more heavier, since heavier=better.
post #8 of 91
There's no question about it CDs are a superior sound. They have a flat frequency response, they don't degrade, wider channel separation and a much lower noise floor. IMHO though they don't get anywhere near vinyl's ability to absorb you into the music. I've enjoyed a modest $1200 setup I have more then any other digital source under $7000AUD, and many even over this price range. The only deal breaker is the CDX series from NAIM who seem to be able to replicate this pure enjoyment.

That said they can't do it for $1200 either.
post #9 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by vpivinylspinner
but an MP3 getting close is beyond my imagination. If possible, I think it would be very expensive. Good luck.

Well numerous blind tests have been done and they tend to show that the vast majority of folk cannot distinguish between good quality MP3 and uncompressed wave files ( in blind testing) thus MP3 is in many cases equivalent to CD and if CD can appraoch Vinyl then it logically follows that
MP3 must be able to approach Vinyl also QED
post #10 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by gevorg
What makes you assume that if someone is using a sound card, they're playing MP3s? Research on lossless audio codecs.

Back to OP, computers are not the best place for analog domain, so to improve a digital source, use the computer as a transport to a DAC of your preference. Tube DACs or amps can make digital sound more natural and [insert all other tube stereotypes here].

High-End CD players are getting phased out too, because the future is about digital media centers loaded with lossless audio, outputed to personilized DACs which perform at a fraction of a cost. Vinyls will get even more competition due to much cheaper and improved digital sources. And they're also will get more heavier, since heavier=better.
You are right I just generically referred to MP3. Those are some pretty bold statements about phasing out high end CD Players. Are you refering to the standalone units like the Linn Kivor system or are you saying that a desktop computer with a good sound card will someday replace high end CD Players as a preferred source?
post #11 of 91
I like a good digital setup, but it still doesn't sound as good as a good vinyl rig. Records have a warmer, fuller sound that digital still hasn't caught up with IMO. They don't have the dead quiet black background of digital, but that's the only thing digital does better IMO. I don't own a vinyl rig just because I got tired of carrying around all my LP's. I miss it though.
post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by hciman77
Well numerous blind tests have been done and they tend to show that the vast majority of folk cannot distinguish between good quality MP3 and uncompressed wave files ( in blind testing) thus MP3 is in many cases equivalent to CD and if CD can appraoch Vinyl then it logically follows that
MP3 must be able to approach Vinyl also QED
Ah, but I said the best CD Players. I don't think the average CD player will come close to vinyl. Oh yeah, that unsubstantiated scientific research you referred to really had me on the fence for a second but I still prefer CD to MP3 and Vinyl to CD. Good try though.
post #13 of 91
The my modest experience and the consensus certainly seems to be that when you compare audiophile quality digital sources with comparitively priced turntable setups, CDs come up second best with regards to the 'involvement' factor.

However if you are willing to spend considerably(maybe alot) more on a digital source than your turntable you could probably find something comparably enjoyable, if you look hard enough.

But once you start getting to the real high end of things, i don't know if digital can really sound like vinyl. I've never heard any really high end stuff but it seems alot of people with good vinyl setups wouldn't switch to CD if you payed them.
post #14 of 91
vpivinylspinner- For one, I do think that computer-as-source is going to eclipse standalone CDPs. I switched a few months back to ALAC/FLAC though a DAC, and couldn't be happier. The sound quality is excellent and the convenience is unmatched. In my opinion, it's just a matter of time. The iPod has been universally adopted for these reasons, and the same thing will happen to the high end.

That being said, I'm also close to investing in a vinyl setup. I need to finish off a few projects first, but will probably bite around the end of the year. You get excellent sound off vinyl, too, but more importantly for me, it opens up a world of music not available on a digital source.
post #15 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hershon2000
As a baby boomer, I spent alot of my money replacing almost all of my records with CD's & I'm glad I did. I can not tell you how many scratched records I had even on just a couple of playings. I don't miss this one bit. As to the actual sound, I can not even remember what vinyl sounds like & even if it is better, it was more then offset by scratched records. One of the great things of CD is that it brought on a vast output of hard to find singles & albums on CD collections & box sets which never would have come out in these quantities if it wasn't for CD.
I was in the same boat, except I never actually got rid of my records, or my parents' records. I hate to tell you this, but <$500 for a VPI record cleaner and some fluid and I'm golden. My turntable and cartridge are much better than anything I had in the sixties through eighties.

I'm taking RCA mono red seals from the 50s, and rock from the 60s cleaning and listening. These were played on mono console players, they were stacked, they were played on my record player for kids, as well as on Dual and Phillips turntables. The record cleaner really helps with anything short of a grand canyon sized scratch that goes to the bottom of the groove. I didn't believe it either when I got talked into going back to vinyl.

But, it isn't even close. Not to mention that the CD issues of many of my favorite 60s and 70s stuff just plain sucked.

Digital off a hard drive is great for easy listening, and I ain't giving it up, but no question that, to me, vinyl sounds soooo much better. And try some of the new re-masters on 200gm vinyl (Ahhhhh). Just my own experience.
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