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CD vs Turntable , whats better with a small budget

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey ;> When a budget is limitem to around 600 dollars do you think it is better to buy a CD Player or a turntable ? I really do value a musical sound with a hint of warmth, so i keep thinking about the TT , but how much worse technically will be a …Lets Say for example a "pro-ject debut Carbon 2M Red" than a "Marantz CD6005" ? Is the vinyl really not black in the background , sloppy and loose in the bass region etc ?

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post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lup1 View Post

Hey ;> When a budget is limitem to around 600 dollars do you think it is better to buy a CD Player or a turntable ? I really do value a musical sound with a hint of warmth, so i keep thinking about the TT , but how much worse technically will be a …Lets Say for example a "pro-ject debut Carbon 2M Red" than a "Marantz CD6005" ? Is the vinyl really not black in the background , sloppy and loose in the bass region etc ?

 

Any vinyl playing system even the very best has far more incipient noise, http://www.freesound.org/people/NoiseCollector/packs/11621/?page=1#sound there are numerous sources of noise  https://soundcloud.com/benjaminbiel/sets/free-vinyl-record-noise/  (rumble, hum, mistracking, motor breakthrough, the plain noise of scraping the walls of a groove) http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/iandm/part12/page2.html , if you listen on headphones to certain types of music this noise may be highly intrusive, vinyl has other technical issues such as end of side limitations on high frequencies, relatively terrible speed stability or accuracy, bass summing to mono below 80hz, far inferior channel separation, less even frequency response and more distortion

 

 

 

 

 

Vinyl has two technical advantages but whether they are important is open to debate, vinyl can output sounds above 20K but with limits  near the label, vinyl also has a better rise time, I've never found any empirical evidence that this superior rise time is audible (nobody has bothered to test this in any meaningful way )  and the relevance of very high frequency components is much debated to date the empirical evidence in peer reviewed sources suggests no real advantage.

 

With competent CD player such as the cheapo Marantz  CD5004 http://www.stereophile.com/content/marantz-cd5004-cd-player-marantz-cd5004-cd-player-measurements you get exemplary technical performance within a 20khz bandwidth.

 

 

On the other hand if you digitize vinyl you can use audio editors to filter out the noise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krWIvP9DKvc


Edited by nick_charles - 12/7/13 at 9:31am
post #3 of 19
+1 agreed
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ok so I'll probably stick to the CD Players but one more question just out of my curiosity. Many times when i watch on youtube the best/most expensive soundsystems they are using a vinyl. Why is that so ? Pure preference of the owner ,or an actual advantage of TOTL Turntables over TOTL Cd Players ?

post #5 of 19

If you throw enough money at it a lot of vinyls noise factors are cut dramatically.  It ends up being that some people prefer vinyl because of its lush sound signature. That 80hz cut off ends up not being so bad when you remember that due to age you probably can't hear 20hz or 30hz, and physically having the music is a very nice feeling and watching it spin.  And all the positive memory you might have from your childhood or young adult life listening to vinyl.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lup1 View Post

Ok so I'll probably stick to the CD Players but one more question just out of my curiosity. Many times when i watch on youtube the best/most expensive soundsystems they are using a vinyl. Why is that so ? Pure preference of the owner ,or an actual advantage of TOTL Turntables over TOTL Cd Players ?

Because at that level - or in virtually any real high-performance system - LPs sound better. It's that simple.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Chavez View Post

If you throw enough money at it a lot of vinyls noise factors are cut dramatically.

True. It doesn't even have to be a lot of money, though, just some expertise in choosing the proper gear and setting it up. That being said, there is a minimal cost of entry that is not low.
Quote:
It ends up being that some people prefer vinyl because of its lush sound signature. That 80hz cut off ends up not being so bad when you remember that due to age you probably can't hear 20hz or 30hz, and physically having the music is a very nice feeling and watching it spin.  And all the positive memory you might have from your childhood or young adult life listening to vinyl.

Not to nitpick, waves that low aren't really heard; they're felt. This is especially true in the lowest octave, which manifests itself as pressure and/or room ambiance. Do yourself a favor and listen to a well-setup full-range LP rig. You'll likely be very surprised. If you're near NYS, you're welcome to come over for a demo. Bass, you say? LOL!

smily_headphones1.gif

Edit: text
Edited by Shaffer - 12/8/13 at 7:42pm
post #8 of 19

Ive listened to a few vinyl setups with headphones that run around 3k-5k and one actual speaker set up.  Your right that the lowest hz are emp/body shaking/ambiance. I even own a few records from my favorite albums just to decorate the walls. And personally I won't recommend a CD setup either since your limited to 16bit 44.1khz on most CD's minus some crazy 24bit ones and SACD's (stands for "super audio CD").  I would recommend you save up for a nice DAC (digital to analog converter) and shop on line at places like HDtracks.com where they sell the music files they used in the studio (before they compressed it to CD).  A CD track upsampled to 24bit 192khz is different then having the original 24bit 192khz recorded version of the track. 

post #9 of 19


Quote:
Originally Posted by David Chavez View Post

Ive listened to a few vinyl setups with headphones that run around 3k-5k and one actual speaker set up.  Your right that the lowest hz are emp/body shaking/ambiance. I even own a few records from my favorite albums just to decorate the walls. And personally I won't recommend a CD setup either since your limited to 16bit 44.1khz on most CD's minus some crazy 24bit ones and SACD's (stands for "super audio CD").  I would recommend you save up for a nice DAC (digital to analog converter) and shop on line at places like HDtracks.com where they sell the music files they used in the studio (before they compressed it to CD).  A CD track upsampled to 24bit 192khz is different then having the original 24bit 192khz recorded version of the track. 

Me, too. Well... kinda.
post #10 of 19

Small budget? CD is better. Or even better: PC, a decent but cheap soundcard (Behringer uca 202 or asus xonar x3 and flac ape files. 

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaffer View Post


Because at that level - or in virtually any real high-performance system - LPs sound better. It's that simple.

 

Says who ?

 

The great Von Karajan on CD opined  "all else is gaslight" , but you don't have to take his word for it. The technical abilities of LP and CD are well documented.

 

 

It is possible to prefer vinyl despite its technical limitations but that does not make it in any way objectively better, on almost all sensible criteria LP is far inferior. CD has potentially the far more accurate rendering of recorded sound, vinyl is fatally hamstrung by many things including the laws of physics no amount of money or care will give LP playback system an SNR of better than 80db ever. Look at the graphs I included these are for a very good cartridge but the distortion levels are atrocious. 

 

But here is something - here is a $1600 cart and its measurements  http://www.stereophile.com/content/london-decca-jubileereference-phono-cartridge-measurements

 

These distortion figures are terrible !

 

 

 

Here is the Linn LP 12 http://www.stereophile.com/content/linn-lp-playing-system-measurements

 

Look at those skirts  - genuinely awful !

 

What can a low end CD player such as a bog standard Marantz CD5004 do >?

 


Edited by nick_charles - 12/9/13 at 2:52pm
post #12 of 19
Measurements/shmeasurements!wink.gif Most tube amps, even the most high end costliest ones have lousy measurements and yet sound glorious! When talking about audio, it's best to let your ears, not your eyes, decide what sounds best to you. I own 1000's of LP's but it's not for everybody. When it comes to Audio I find 'blanket' best/worst statements regarding ANYTHING are best ignored!
post #13 of 19
What genres do you listen to? If your music is a victim of the 'loudness war' digital is probably not the way to go(with cheap modern/computer digital it's either bright or mushy... bright + loudness = lots of fatigue.) Another factor is that records can either be significantly more expensive, significantly cheaper, or simply not available depending on your musical taste.

Personally I'd split your budget to ensure you can get the best recordings of your favorite albums(neither format is universally superior.) I'd say spend $200 and grab an old high end CD player off ebay, and put $400 into either a decent modern or good vintage table. Try to save at least $80 for the cartridge, based on your musical preference and my experience I'd say to go for a Nagaoka(or Grado if your musical tastes are what it excels with.)

Cheap computer audio will leave you disappointed imo. I do believe that with an unlimited budget the computer can overcome the disc spinner, but even my >$500 DAC, custom high performance computer(not built around audio though), and $150 Jplay software isn't as good as my old CD player in some regards. The CD player can be found for $50 on ebay too. Well, that is with bad recordings at least. Good records sound glorious on each format, though not always for the same reason. In my experience analog is king of soundstage and timbre, whilst digital is better for getting that 'you are there' feeling as ambient information comes through clearer.

And don't read too much into things, it is possible to tune either format to sound like the other. I'd have a hard time telling my old Dual701 with a cheap AT cartridge apart from the ASUS Essence STX I used to have. They were both very bright, and very dynamic sounding. Stereotypical 'digital' sound from the both of them. They were also about the same price.
post #14 of 19

To me, the CD is just a bit of a quagmire now. CD are being slowly phased out because of the ease of getting a digital file online that can be off much higher quality, and it doesn't have the allure that vinyl has. Buying vinyl is relatively cheap when you just buy the big boxes most folks have in their attics or closets. I haven't had a vinyl collection for more than one year, and thanks to an uncle, a dad, and two sets of friends parents, i turned $80 into about ten milk crates of records. granted, all vinyls i bought from record stores cost me anywhere fro 10 to 40 bucks a pop (depending on things like rarity or perhaps a MFSL re-press. But besides that, the biggest hit will be the Turntable itself and the pre-amp. I'd say the Rega P-1 would be a better choice that the Project, since the Rega was recently updated with a new cartridge reba made in conjunction with audio technica, among other things.

post #15 of 19
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