i was thinking...
|An excellent point. However, Todd and I did listen to the exact same recording on vinyl, then on CD, then on SACD, and there wasn't really even a contest. The analog setup completely blew away SACD and CD in terms of tone and smoothness. Detail was just more natural with the vinyl setup. Dynamics were also significantly better. We were comparing the dark side of the moon, "Time," and the introduction of the album
you said detail is more "natural." yes... that is valid, as it is your opinion. and in fact... you are kinda right in a way. you see, when people mix music, they usually use some eq and compression, resulting in higher levels of "detail" than you would hear naturally with your ear. why?-cause to most people that sounds good. vinyl's high frequency roll-off combined with some distortion effectively smooths out these unaturally detailed sounds. but it's all a matter of taste. but when you say "dynamics are better," well, no, they are not. vinyl has very poor dynamic range. however, here's a point telling why you might have thought so:
|Vinyl can't be driven to the same insane loudness levels (compression) as CD, or the needle would jump clean out of the groove... so despite the fact that CD has a theoretical 96dB dynamic range and vinyl has about 72dB, I find that more dynamic range is actually used on most records than on most CD's.
i think that 72db is a very optomistic estimation. but anyway, yes, vinyl is at least 100x less dynamic than a CD. but as he said, many recordings nowadays are very compressed, but that doesn't necessarily mean all CDs have small dynamic range. classical music typically isn't compressed too much... so try comparing those two.
remember what dynamics really are: it's the difference in volume between the quietest sounds and the loudest sounds. go play a good classical recording you have in both vinyl and CD. so, you hear that hissing while playing the vinyl?--well, now, when you switch over to the CD, turn it up until you hear the same amount of hissing....... and get ready to have your eardrums melt. that's the difference in dynamic range while comparing vinyl to CD.
|I just couldn't even listen to CD after hearing vinyl, it just didn't sound even close to as real. It's sort of worn off now, but the realization that there's massive digital hazing in the highs created by the binary nature of the format is still apparent.
yes... same thing happened to me too after tim played some music off his mmf (i think) turntable. the cd sounded really harsh... and just hurt my ears really. but that doesn't necessarily mean the CD IS too harsh, could be vinyl is too soft. what it does point out is that there definitely is a difference in the high-range of the audio frequency between the cd and the vinyl. ...so, which is more accurate?--the cd or vinyl? well, measurement indicate cd is much more "accurate" but of course what you like to lsiten to more is subjective.
...so, what about analog tapes?
|why don't people like tapes if analog is so much better than digital? Besides the obvious problem of tape hiss and lack of dynamic range, what makes a tape worse than a record?
well, like previously said, cassette tapes suck. however, the reel-to-reels used in million dollar studios actually have better measurements than mid-range digital equipment!--we're talking larger dynamic range than CD, and almost as good frequency response! ....the down side... and ultimately why they will never be popular... such high-quality tapes cost more than $100-500 a pop. also weighs a ton. you'll need a whole living room to hold a couple hundred albums. not to mention, a good player/recorder will cost $1,000-20,000. they actually have some cheaper 1/4" reel-to-reels on ebay that are really cheap... but their sound quality still won't be as good as a CD's. a player for them is cheaper... but you'll have to maintain it well. never heard them though, so can't say for sure.
doesn't really matter i guess. if you like vinyl, no reason not to go for it. sounds like fun anyway. i might even buy one eventually just so i have more reasons to tell all you vinyl people off.