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All my CDs sound horrid, am I going crazy?? =/

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok so here's the thing.

I've been dabbling somewhat in higher~ish quality audio for a while now so let me first of all state what equipment I use most of the time.

Mostly I listen music on the computer, and I'm using a Asus Xonar One -> Little Dot MKIII -> HD650.

And for a while now I've been hogging vinyl records like crazy just because I kinda like collecting them mostly :P

Got lots of friends who collect records as well and we're having fun digitalising them and cleaning em up with iZotope ^^ fun times.

And ofc I've been plundering HDtracks.com (I'm broke now :rolleyes:).


So, that said, I've recently tried to listen to some of my CDs again and the thing is... they all sound like absolute trash.

Everywhere I go people tell me it's impossible that a vinyl record sounds better than a CD because of this this and that and *insert a hundred arguments* but the fact of the matter is that I just can't listen to my CDs...

Actually, they sound so cramped and narrow that it almost physically starts to hurt my head...


Am I going bat**** crazy or what?

I mean, the difference between a HDTracks.com release and a CD release has always been obvious but I've ,ever really had a problem with CDs until a few weeks ago :confused:


Is it just my equipment that makes it sound cramped or something?

I find it VERY strange that a CDs started to sound like mp3s to me... maybe tinnitus is finally catching up?


Euh... what's going on? :triportsad:

post #2 of 9

Vinyl sounds better. You're perfectly sane (or at least that's not the proof that you're crazy :p). Even so, I can't be bothered with records and I listen to CDs.

post #3 of 9
Well mastered stuff will sound much much better than regularly mastered music, even if the well mastered track's bitrate is lower. The stuff on HD tracks are incredibly well mastered. And also what claritas said.
post #4 of 9

Nah - I really don't suspect any of the above.  My question is, "what is your CD player?"  It may have a very simple, cheap opamp on the output with very little power regulation.  That can sound worse than almost the most inexpensive turntable.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh with CDs I mean CDs that I ripped to FLAC files :P

post #6 of 9
Yes, you are going crazy. Welcome to the club...........biggrin.gif
post #7 of 9

Your not going crazy at all... Welcome to the wonderful world of vinyl :D. I also much prefer records over digital formats. To me records just sound so much more realistic, lifelike, and musical. Even though they cannot match digital formats in terms of frequency extension and detail, this, to me, is not what matters. Records sound enjoyable to me while digital formats just sound stale. What record player do you have?

post #8 of 9

If you're listening to newer vinyls vs your CD rips, chances are the mastering actually is a lot better. Why? Because if the artist bothers to release vinyl for audiophiles, chances are (though it's no guarantee) that they do the recording and mastering right. Look at a lot of modern power/symphonic and progressive metal albums these days - even with electrically amplified instruments there's enough L-R bias on the guitars, there's some space between each instrument, etc, vs other modern pop rock albums aimed at younger listeners. The only thing wrong really is that their CD releases are still waging the Loudness Wars - easy enough to  tell that the newer discs are noticeably louder than the older releases, so there's a good chance that the same album might even sound better on the vinyl.


Of course, while it is better in a lot of ways, I want my rice krispies on a bowl at breakfast, not in my audio system where my (mental) finger snaps with the beats are (or at some point will be) accompanied by crackle and pop. Actually, I'm really more of a wheat or corn cereal guy, since I get enough rice for lunch.


The only thing worse than cereal elves in an otherwise great audio system are electronic gremlins.

post #9 of 9

For the most part my Audio Technica AT-LP60 with my JDS Labs O2 as a preamp performs equally as well as my Audioquest Dragonfly. I rarely notice a difference aside from the subtle differences in detail retrieval from the differences between the sources. Really, vinyl and digital can perform equally as well... there's no magic voodoo going on. The format is really personal preference, some people say one or the other sounds better, but in a perfect world where vinyl doesn't get scratched or have dust on it they should be identical in reproduction capability. Though, as ProtegeManiac stated, mastering differences make all the difference. If the vinyl is mastered better, then hands down the vinyl system will win even with lower quality components than a digital system. My limited edition copy of Fallen by Evanescence sounds so good I wonder why I even own the digital copy. Every time I want to listen to it I hook up my turntable, that's how good the mastering is in comparison to the digital copy. A lot more care was put into it.

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