The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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aldinblack
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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Dom P wrote:
aldinblack wrote: 09 Apr 2021, 09:30 Back in the 70s/80s I used to be a bit of a "hi-fi enthusiast", striving to get the best sound quality I could with the budget I had. It was obviously vinyl then, and I did manage to own a couple of high end turntables.

I did transition to CD but the magic was gone. Part of that was just me getting older and all that entails I guess..

I haven't been bothered for years since, don't own any audio equipment at all, just listen on my phone. I have kept some of my old records though..

But recently I have begun to wonder if I could setup a proper HiFi system again, not vinyl but using some high quality streaming device as the source.

I don't really know where to start though.... has anybody here already done this and have any recommendations ?

Cheers
Just saw this! Have you made any progress? I stream hi res audio via a laptop. This is my recommendation, dont buy a streaming device, no need, they're just doing the exact same job, and a PC allows you infinite choice of software and audio source and will never get obsolete (many streamers don't integrate all the audio subscription services) and using a PC makes i so much easier to stream free music such as on Youtube etc...

I run a USB cable into a DAC (digital analogue converter) and then into amp and speakers. Can be done cheap and cheerful or hideously expensively, but the laptop front end will be as good as anything.. the 1s and 0s are immutable.....
That's very interesting thanks. I haven't found the motivation yet but I've got a decent laptop so may get around to exploring this.

I just assumed that a "proper hifi" streaming device would be superior for sound quality, but its interesting what you say. I guess the quality of the DAC is the real key here then..
Amp & Speakers important too of course but they can only show you what you put into them, right?

Thanks again.

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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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Hifi streamers are a convenience, rather than the ultimate ... the key is getting "bit perfect" audio from the stream. If you are computer savvy then the laptop, using a streaming service app, such as Quboz or Tidal, will easily supply such perfection to the dac. And there are some cracking dacs for £100, and you'd need to spend 10x to get anything "better" from what I can tell... spend the budget on the speakers, then the amp, then the dac...
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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Got a "DragonFly" USB Dac years ago. Used it with a high end set of headphones for a few months. Now it's just sat in my drawer. It does make a difference IMO. Just can't be arsed fecking about with it.

Jim

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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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theraven1979 wrote: 27 Jun 2021, 22:04 Now it's just sat in my drawer.
Put it on ebay...I'll bid a tenner :lol:
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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8088 wrote:
theraven1979 wrote: 27 Jun 2021, 22:04 Now it's just sat in my drawer.
Put it on ebay...I'll bid a tenner Image
Not worth the effort

Jim

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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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theraven1979 wrote: 27 Jun 2021, 23:28 Not worth the effort
Last one I looked at went for around £60
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by teshka »

This last year I have been rediscovering the joys of vinyl. I conclude that it is the best way to listen to music. Just don't have the time to sit and enjoy it. Still mostly listening to music in the car.
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by Jake »

Ah yes vinyl versus CD, to be honest, never really stopped purchasing music on either format, and don’t really have a preference, just slightly more for vinyl, but still have a lot of time time for CD as a format

I’ve been disappointed by some modern repressings here and there, two brand new factory sealed vinyls in recent times were unsealed to reveal a lot of dirt and debris, which ok, you can clean it off, but surface scratches on a new and sealed vinyl, which is something not that uncommon I hear others complain of. One of the records in question was Siouxsie and the Banshees Ju-Ju, the other was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts I love rock’n’roll both playable, but Ju-Ju practically sounded and looked preowned, which is not what you want with new vinyls, which are let’s face it, usually not inexpensive.

On the subject of vinyl, it’s high time the stranglers got a more mainstream rerelease of some of the old classics. There have been a few limited rerelease of the albums, even have a couple of titles, but an accessible version (ie. online only and very limited) of the first half a dozen albums is long over due, would probably get them all too. Hopefully after Dark Matter has been available a while we’ll see some decent stranglers vinyl reissues.
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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Dom P wrote:Hifi streamers are a convenience, rather than the ultimate ... the key is getting "bit perfect" audio from the stream. If you are computer savvy then the laptop, using a streaming service app, such as Quboz or Tidal, will easily supply such perfection to the dac. And there are some cracking dacs for £100, and you'd need to spend 10x to get anything "better" from what I can tell... spend the budget on the speakers, then the amp, then the dac...
Hi,

I purchased a ZenDac v2 and a pair of Austrian Audio HI - X55 headphones. My first venture back into "hi-fi" foy years!

I've subscribed to Tidal's Hifi service on a free 3 month free trial period, £20 per month thereafter.

Using my laptop via USB connection to the DAC. Early days but sounds pretty good.

I'll be trying to asses whether it's worth paying 20 per month for their premium service, or just 10 per month for standard or Spotify etc.

I think 20 is quite a lot to pay every month, so it's gotta be noticeable better sound quality. Would be interested to know what others think, is it worth it, can you really tell the difference between this and the standard Spotify offering?

Also are there other factors that might come into play, eg Wi-Fi / Internet connection?
Would you improve sound quality by using an ethernet cable direct to the router, instead of WiFi for example?

I'm currently "experimenting", but would be interested to hear about what others have found,
Thanks
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by theraven1979 »

I think I mentioned before that I used a DragonFly USB DAC with the highest Spotify streaming quality and I did notice a certain warmth/sparkle was added. That said though I do wonder if my ears could notice anything in higher quality. My hearing in 1 ear isn't what it used to be. Unsure I'd see any further benefit.


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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by Dom P »

Glad to hear you're making your way back in!

On quality, I use Quboz for the lossless and hi res aspect... although there is no discernable difference between the 24 bit 192khz and standard 44 k "CD" quality versions .. i do think when you drop down to Spotify's lossy offerings there is a loss of fidelity ... but at the end of the day, unless you display the bit rate you ain't gonna notice TBH.

And much to the horror of the hi fi world experiments have been done and most people can't tell the difference from 320kb MP3 to hi res in a blind test.

It's neurosis and Fear of Missing Out that keeps people on the lossless path. If you're not endlssly upgrading your kit to eek out the finest sound ever, then don't bother with Tidal. Save the cash and go Spotify ... who are threatening to add CD quality to their service at some point.. when they do i will join... hi res is a waste of time, money and bandwidth.

As to ethernet v hi fi... No difference. I subscribe to the "it's all 1s and 0s" camp. once the digital code has made it through it'll be the same... only difference will be speed of transmission and potential for drop outs if your laptop is miles from your router and the signal is weak. i receive my streams via wifi. the limiting factor is the speed of the internet into your house.

There are some lunatics who are paynig for "audiophile" ethernet cables (£1,000s and more) and switches. Twaddle.

Once you start down the road to acute upgraditis you're fucked and not listening to music but your hifi's performance... that's fun to a point but is ultimately a waste of money.... once you get the sonic kick and thump that satisfies you, stop! And Mp3 over wifi can efficiently do that...
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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Dom P wrote:Glad to hear you're making your way back in!

On quality, I use Quboz for the lossless and hi res aspect... although there is no discernable difference between the 24 bit 192khz and standard 44 k "CD" quality versions .. i do think when you drop down to Spotify's lossy offerings there is a loss of fidelity ... but at the end of the day, unless you display the bit rate you ain't gonna notice TBH.

And much to the horror of the hi fi world experiments have been done and most people can't tell the difference from 320kb MP3 to hi res in a blind test.

It's neurosis and Fear of Missing Out that keeps people on the lossless path. If you're not endlssly upgrading your kit to eek out the finest sound ever, then don't bother with Tidal. Save the cash and go Spotify ... who are threatening to add CD quality to their service at some point.. when they do i will join... hi res is a waste of time, money and bandwidth.

As to ethernet v hi fi... No difference. I subscribe to the "it's all 1s and 0s" camp. once the digital code has made it through it'll be the same... only difference will be speed of transmission and potential for drop outs if your laptop is miles from your router and the signal is weak. i receive my streams via wifi. the limiting factor is the speed of the internet into your house.

There are some lunatics who are paynig for "audiophile" ethernet cables (£1,000s and more) and switches. Twaddle.

Once you start down the road to acute upgraditis you're fucked and not listening to music but your hifi's performance... that's fun to a point but is ultimately a waste of money.... once you get the sonic kick and thump that satisfies you, stop! And Mp3 over wifi can efficiently do that...
Great advice thanks. I get your "fear of missing out" point - eg it's nice to see the "Master" symbol light up on Tidal but are you really hearing anything more or better? Probably not..

As for the upgrading bug, no I essentially lost that once I stopped messing around with turntables which was a very long time ago now..
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