After hearing the difference on some of my favorite music it was easy to choose to toss digital out the window (not completely as a bunch of stuff I love is digital only).
The revelation for me was NIN's Pretty Hate Machine. I have the original (slaughters the 2010 master) CD from 1989 and the 2010 remastered LP. The LP still walked all over the original CD.
There are of course always going to be exceptions, but it's what I've been finding more and more.
Again, I realize that vinyl as a format has had (and still has) just as many (if not more flaws) than CDs...but right now, at this moment I feel it's safe to say that you'll usually get better sound out of an LP.
Also, of course we have things like DVD-A, SACD, and High Res downloads that will get you more range than your average CD usually, but when talking costs they can easily be just as bad, if not worse than vinyl in this day and age.
EDIT: For reference, here's the DR numbers on the NIN stuff.
Nobody has done the 2010 vinyl but while I feel it still may be less dynamic than the 1989 CD it just sounds better. I still find this album quite harsh in some parts regardless of the master, and the LP fixes that in a big way as well as filling out the low end nicely without being stupid.
Edited by MorbidToaster - 1/1/13 at 10:42am
Originally Posted by tomb
That was a cool link about the Orbit! I would rather they not include the cartridge, though. I was never keen on Ortofons. They were always inexpensive, though, and I guess that's their aim.
I agree completely with what you're saying about the dynamic range. Anyone who's installed the VU meter option on Foobar can readily see this. Most CD's - even ripped carefully with EAC - vary little more than 10dB in many cases. Finding a popular music CD that varies more than about 20dB in dynamic range is exceedingly rare. More than 30dB, and you've found a rare jewel. It's a shame, although many SACD, DVD Audio, and other formats offer a pretty good alternative and seem to fight against this tide.
I think the compression depends on which medium is meant for the masses vs. audiophile. Right now, vinyl is for the audiophile. So great care is probably taken in most instances - otherwise no one would purchase them. However, when vinyl was king - there was just as much compression going on, perhaps more so. There were some really sterling popular vinyls that were produced back in the day, but most were truly sh*t, IMHO. There were a hundred terrible LPs for every good one. You also had to buy them when the release was current. If you waited a year or two later, the pressings were worse because the masters had been used so much or they would substitute inferior vinyl and poor packaging. Of course, warps were an ever-present danger in any LP you ever bought. One trick to save money was removing the "fold-out" album feature present on current releases and just converting them to a single cardboard outer sleeve with a cheap paper liner. Buying audiophile protective sleeves garnered a great following. Even then, the move toward MFSL, half-speed masters, etc. was prevalent until CD's hit.
I guess I'm ambivalent about vinyl. I enjoy my turntable from time-to-time, but I view it as a fun option - and not for my primary music collection.