CD v Vinyl

andy1249

Distinguished Member
One similarity I noticed between CDs and LPs, are how the same piece of music can sound different on the same format. What I mean by that, is that duplcated pieces of the same piece (even album) can sound different on different CDs and/or LPs. I often wondered why, and in these more recent years, have "uncovered" pretty poor-sounding CDs of an album, and much better examples. I hope the above makes sense, and that I've explained myself well enough.

There was a rush to get material onto CD and into the shops when the format took off.
So there are some truly awful CD versions of big selling titles from that time , usually "mastered" ( quick and dirty dump to cd ) by "Barry Diament" ..... shockingly bad , and I am very specifically talking about Led Zeppelin here , who have never really had a set of CD releases that have been mastered as good as the Vinyl , not even the recently released box sets.
Judging by the content included in the hardback books , there never will be as the original multitrack tapes are decayed to the point of being unusable and only the analog stereo masters are available.
So Vinyl is still the best way to listen to zeppelin if you can find a copy in good condition.
I bought a 45rpm road case collection of these albums and had them "digitally captured" at 24bit 96khz , and these are the best versions I have.
I have a copy of just about every zeppelin release cycle on CD , and the vinyl captures beat them all !

Another favourite of mine is Jimi Hendrix , and again , CD versions vary wildly in quality.
Japanese P20P versions from 1989 are good , but rare , and a set of these will cost you a small fortune.
The 93 masters had new covers and were "tweaked" sonically to better fit the grunge scene at the time , so sound nothing like they should.
97 masters are better but the 2010 masters are probably the best.
Interestingly , as its not usually the case , the analogue productions recent SACDs are quite poor , the stereo phasing got seriously messed up !!!

Pink floyd also varies wildly on CD , and there are tomes of material to read as to which catalog numbers are better than others , the SACDs are generally excellent though.

Another album that as far as I know does not have a decent digital release is Let it Bleed by the rolling stones , in particular , a version of Gimme Shelter that doesn't sound like the volume has been turned down at the start when the song kicks in properly making it lose its power !!
Good Vinyl versions do not have this problem.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Interestingly , as its not usually the case , the analogue productions recent SACDs are quite poor , the stereo phasing got seriously messed up !!!
Amen to that. Are You Experienced is a complete mess with the stereo. The mono is far better. I don't bother at all with the stereo layer.
 

rpr

Active Member
I can't speak for the modern reissues but back in the (pre-CD) day, I recall making trips to London several times a year to visit a specialist record shop in Hammersmith and browsing - and buying some of - their collection of Japanese vinyl. Why? As with many things, the Japanese tended to do it "right": the vinyl was always virgin; records were flat, and the label was in the middle. UK mass manufacture was quite likely to use recycled vinyl with the attendant extra noise from embedded bits of paper (old labels) and so on. I'm sure there were many other factors as well. Japanese discs simply sounded way cleaner than most others.

I was always distracted by vinyl artefacts: clicks and pops, general noise, distortion and pre-echoing from poor mastering; end-of-side distortion and so on.

And then came CD. Frankly, I never looked back and still don't. I still have some vinyl but it's all stuff you can't (easily/at all) get on commercial CD, and it has all been copied to some digital form, so the record deck is put away. Favourites were made in to CDs proper after denoising and declicking; unwanted stuff (garbage B sides etc) are stored "raw" as mp3s.
My best sounding vinyl are all Japanese pressings
 

MartinH32

Well-known Member
Interesting topic. I'm just getting back into vinyl. I say just, I'm waiting for my Pro-ject X2 to be delivered and I'm already collecting 'select' vinyl. I still listen to CD and have a huge collection and these are also ripped on to a music server running Roon, playing through a Cambridge CXNv2. But, the there are three things that have got me coming back. Firstly, the sound isn't as clinical and I find CD's can be a little fatiguing sometimes to listen to (could be my 50 year old ears though). Secondly, you HAVE to listen. Putting on vinyl is an event. Put it on the platter, put the needle down, sit back and listen. All without an easy ability to 'skip', so it makes music more about listening than something on in the background. You listen to the whole album and not just a few skipable tracks. Thirdly, the physical media, especially gatefold sleeves. I really miss that on CD's.
 

morenish

Well-known Member
Interesting topic. I'm just getting back into vinyl. I say just, I'm waiting for my Pro-ject X2 to be delivered and I'm already collecting 'select' vinyl. I still listen to CD and have a huge collection and these are also ripped on to a music server running Roon, playing through a Cambridge CXNv2. But, the there are three things that have got me coming back. Firstly, the sound isn't as clinical and I find CD's can be a little fatiguing sometimes to listen to (could be my 50 year old ears though). Secondly, you HAVE to listen. Putting on vinyl is an event. Put it on the platter, put the needle down, sit back and listen. All without an easy ability to 'skip', so it makes music more about listening than something on in the background. You listen to the whole album and not just a few skipable tracks. Thirdly, the physical media, especially gatefold sleeves. I really miss that on CD's.
Enjoy Martin.

Good choice with the turntable.

I will, in time, upgrade mine, but for now, my money will be spent on uprading my headphones, a dedicated headphone amp, with a possible CD player upgrade.

Let me know of your music experience, with your new addition and using them old ears ! Mine are slightly older 😁

Do you listen via headphones ? I do, nearly all the time.

Take care.
 

MartinH32

Well-known Member
Enjoy Martin.

Good choice with the turntable.

I will, in time, upgrade mine, but for now, my money will be spent on uprading my headphones, a dedicated headphone amp, with a possible CD player upgrade.

Let me know of your music experience, with your new addition and using them old ears ! Mine are slightly older 😁

Do you listen via headphones ? I do, nearly all the time.

Take care.
No, I'm lucky enough to have a movie room, which is combined with music listening. I'll be listening through Tannoy Revolution XT 8F speakers :)
 

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