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30 years of CDs - Page 5

post #61 of 74
Thread Starter 
Vinyl sounded lousy back then too. Manufacturers were recycling and the plastic was full of tiny grit. I always thought they deliberately slacked off on surface quality to make CDs sound better.
post #62 of 74
The noisy imperfections you couldn't see were bad enough, but every few disks had those dimples.
post #63 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkmc2 View Post

The noisy imperfections you couldn't see were bad enough, but every few disks had those dimples.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Vinyl sounded lousy back then too. Manufacturers were recycling and the plastic was full of tiny grit. I always thought they deliberately slacked off on surface quality to make CDs sound better.

The lousy vinyl predated the CD era.  It was related to the oil crises of the 1970s.  IME it was quite variable by label.  WEA and A&M pressings tended to be reasonably reliably good while many of the other major labels seemed to have noisy pressings more often than not.  On the upside record stores would take back noisy pressings and give you a new copy provided you kept your receipt and made the return within a week or so.  The Japanese pressings remained consistently good through the 1970s and the European pressings of the era tended to be fairly quiet as well although there were always exceptions to try the rule.

 

Since this thread us supposed to be about the CD let me direct things back to CDs rather than LPs.  If there was such a thing as the golden age of the CD I would probably argue that it was primarily in the 1990s.  The loudness wars didn't really take hold until the very late 1990s and for the most part CDs from that era sounded better than those mastered and pressed in the 1980s.  The first cycle of Sony/Columbia CDs were remarkably bad, especially considering that Sony was the co-author of the format.  The Sony Super Bit Mastering (SBM) remastering of their jazz back catalog in the late 1990s and early 2000s was a very substantial improvement on their prior efforts.  The JVC XRCD and XRCD2 remasterings were even better, especially the XRCD2 releases.

 

I'm not expecting CDs to die out entirely but I do expect that they will become much more of a niche format just as LPs are now. 

post #64 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantsman View Post

Despite the "Perfect Sound Forever" marketing trumpets both the early CDs and early CD players did not sound good at all.  Vinyl surface noise was banished but early CDs on even the best CD players that existed in the early and mid 1980s sound brittle, closed in the high end and lacked bass relative to good turntable rigs.  By the late 1980s both the hardware and software manufacturers started to get a grip on the technology and the really grating, brittle sound quality started to go away but CD generally still significantly sounded worse than good turntable set ups especially in the top three octaves or so.   

 

 

Not my experience. Perhaps some pop and rock music back then was crappy but classical music engineers got it straight away. My very first CD (Mahler 1, Solti/CSO, 1981) is a superb recording and even on a 14 bit machine so technically superior to my Haitink LP cycle it was just not funny. Not only was it not noisy but it had a superb dynamic range, perfectly clean top end, and was a fantastic recording which I listen to to this day. I grew up in the 60s/70s with vinyl and the noise and distortions on classical music on LP drove me batty.

 

I keep hearing this "CDs were no good back then" and putting on my Psychologist hat suspect that some of the early CD sceptics simply could not get used to the ruthless accuracy of the medium, the lack of familiar warm distortion, the lack of rolled-off treble, the lack of inner groove distortion, the lack of summed to mono low bass, the lack of warbly speed variations. Music without the gross limitations of LP. Karajan summed it up best back then when he said about CD "all else is gaslight".

 

To me CD was a liberation it showed you what music could sound like. I can see how folks were attached to a familiar medium and its characteristics but even a 1982 CD player had utterly flat FR all the way to 20Khz, inaudible noise, inaudible distortion and rock solid speed. LP could not get close to that, still cannot. That some engineers back then were still thinking in terms of compensating for LPs problems is understandable but the classical chaps managed to turn out some superb recordings.

post #65 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantsman View Post

 

 

 

 

I'm not expecting CDs to die out entirely but I do expect that they will become much more of a niche format just as LPs are now. 

That would be sad. I enjoyed album art greatly.I kept the Rollingstone's Sticky finger even when the LP is totally worn out. I also enjoy reading the album credit and comment while listening to the music.

post #66 of 74

Thanks for keeping track of this interesting fact.beerchug.gif

After 30 years it might be time for a better standard than redbook for higher sample rates and stuff.

First CD i ever bought was I think the Man-Machine from Kraftwerk after falling in love an LP version my brother bought a few weeks earlier(massivly warped tho).


Edited by Great Sound - 10/6/12 at 6:19pm
post #67 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantsman View Post

 

I'm not expecting CDs to die out entirely but I do expect that they will become much more of a niche format just as LPs are now. 

 

I'm hoping for that to happen, it'll be easier for a lot of the artists out there who have to get exploited by the record company snobs in order to make a living.

 

Things are not as proprietary as they used to be at a time, recording has become cheaper, and the internet puts everyone on an equal ground.


Edited by proton007 - 10/7/12 at 9:37pm
post #68 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

I'm hoping for that to happen, it'll be easier for a lot of the artists out there who have to get exploited by the record company snobs in order to make a living.

 

Things are not as proprietary as they used to be at a time, recording has become cheaper, and the internet puts everyone on an equal ground.


I don't know what to hope for. I don't want either LPs or CDs (and by that I mean pressed CDs not CD-R on demand) to go away in the near term.  I also don't think the current economic model is working very well for either the musicians or the audience.  The old model was that musicians made their money off recording and toured to support record, cassette and later CD, sales.  Concert tickets were considerably cheaper than they are today and purchased recorded music was only slightly more expensive (inflation corrected).  The record companies were never terribly benign but in the late '60s/early 1970s who was signed and promoted was still largely a decision being made by people who actually cared about the music.  Since the late 1990s the model has flipped and for most musicians they make their money off touring and record to support touring receipts. Certainly the handful of artists at the top of the rock/pop pyramid are still making huge money but the gulf between the 0.1% and the 99% has increased for musicians just as it has in the economy as a whole.  Perhaps I am just an out of touch boring old fart but I'm not aware of musicians who have gone the self produced, self distributed route and who are making more than a middle class income at best.  My perception is that the current model has made it easier to get some exposure but harder to make a real living.   I'm not convinced that that is a good trade.

post #69 of 74
Maybe I can just say that CDs are still awesome after 30 years. Used cds is how I primarily will buy music (though I do like amazon's download service if the price is right). wink.gif My music to do what I want with. I still look over the booklets when I'm first ripping the album, then play it through. Its not quite the same looking at a PDF file.
post #70 of 74

I wonder what's next for physical music formats? I haven't owned a CD player in a decade.

post #71 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpmeat View Post

I wonder what's next for physical music formats? I haven't owned a CD player in a decade.

 

I seriously dount there will be any new developments of a new physical music format.  Therefore, SACD (as a strictly music format) was the end of the line.  You can say Elvis has left the building....although he's coming to SACD in December 2012 and January 2013.

post #72 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundboy View Post

 

I seriously dount there will be any new developments of a new physical music format. 

 

How about something like this?

 

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/26/hitachi-announces-permanent-quartz-storage/

 

post #73 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eee Pee View Post

 

How about something like this?

 

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/26/hitachi-announces-permanent-quartz-storage/

 

 

Saw that before, it's pretty cool but it only stores data at a slightly higher density than CDs.

 

If anything I would think it would be in little solid state cartridges. But we've had that technology for a while and it hasn't happened yet so I don't think there are going to be any new attempts. Or maybe it's just too costly at the moment.

post #74 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

 

Saw that before, it's pretty cool but it only stores data at a slightly higher density than CDs.

 

 

Saw that.  And someone in the comments makes a good point.  From Laserdisc to CD, etc., capacity took some time.

 

How about a thicker piece of quartz?  Make it round, put a hole in the middle, put it in a miniature CD jewel case (NOT DIGIPACK!)...  biggrin.gif

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