The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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Dom P
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by Dom P »

aldinblack wrote: 25 Aug 2021, 22:47
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..
Now Tidal "masters", ie MQA, is another can of worms! Some say they are anything but "masters" ... but aother form of addiction ... i use the Topping d10 as a usb spdif converter for my Naim dac and it is exciting to see 96, or 88 or 192 display ...like Master symbol, or the colour coding on the Draonfly dacs that Jim mentioned ... ooh magenta! Tidal master!!! :grin:
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by theraven1979 »

My Dragonfly is gathering dust in a drawer. Too much hassle to wire in these days. I have a decent set of Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones (Sony XM3s). For me it's more convenience over quality and as mentioned I don't think I'd notice the different anyway with my old ears.

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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by 8088 »

Dom P wrote: 26 Aug 2021, 01:04 Now Tidal "masters", ie MQA, is another can of worms!
I hadn't even heard of MQA til you mentioned it.

I think the format wars are largely irrelevant now as the battle has been lost to streaming and most people don't care/are unaware of the format used as long as the music sounds good - which will probably mean some DSP massaging.

DSP and making music sound bigger and better is not true fidelity but it works for most people - I have to EQ the hell out of everything now as my ears are shot.
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by Bear Cage »

theraven1979 wrote: 26 Aug 2021, 08:30 …For me it's more convenience over quality and as mentioned I don't think I'd notice the different anyway with my old ears.

Jim
I think you would, a descent sound system will reveal details and reproduce with clarity, providing the source is good enough.
Which is also the real differentiator between CD and vinyl. In theory CD should always sound better as it has the range to capture more. However the reality is that mastering and pressing quality seem to be the differentiator, with cd sounds often compressed into a small band to sound loud on the radio and all subtlety lost. Vinyl’s restrictions tend to prevent this compression, so it often sounds better.
I still play and buy both, but prefer the vinyl experience with the two ~20 minute sides normally seeming to be about the right amount before a change (and fit nicely with the enjoyment of a nice pint of something).
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by theraven1979 »

Sounds ideal. I do prefer vinyl over CD. Especially since you had those Sound Wars or whatever the fuck it was called. I swear I have some CDs that you can hear vinyl crackle in also :lol:

The vinyl is more of an experience. Dropping the needle, examining the sleeve notes all part of the enjoyment/ceremony. Definitely more of an experience.

I've a friend who spent 10s of thousands on his sound system. So much so when he bought it some bloke from the place he bought it from spent the day with him getting the levels right and everything. What does he listen to? Phil Collins! I keep meaning to pop round with some decent music and check it out.


Jim
Bear Cage wrote: 26 Aug 2021, 09:44
theraven1979 wrote: 26 Aug 2021, 08:30 …For me it's more convenience over quality and as mentioned I don't think I'd notice the different anyway with my old ears.

Jim
I think you would, a descent sound system will reveal details and reproduce with clarity, providing the source is good enough.
Which is also the real differentiator between CD and vinyl. In theory CD should always sound better as it has the range to capture more. However the reality is that mastering and pressing quality seem to be the differentiator, with cd sounds often compressed into a small band to sound loud on the radio and all subtlety lost. Vinyl’s restrictions tend to prevent this compression, so it often sounds better.
I still play and buy both, but prefer the vinyl experience with the two ~20 minute sides normally seeming to be about the right amount before a change (and fit nicely with the enjoyment of a nice pint of something).
"I bathed in sun and walked in rain
It taught me how to laugh again"
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by aldinblack »

So with my new headphones and DAC I've been trying to work out if I can hear any difference between Tidal's premium service using their "Master" tracks, and Spotify at half the price of £10 per month.

I have both running on my laptop (borrowed my son's Spotify account) and playing a song, or even a small section of a song, and then switching to the other and playing exactly the same, comparing like for like.

I've not been able to pinpoint any difference at all so far. I'm using songs I'm familiar with, including some Stranglers tracks - I tried some off the Raven & Meninblack last night.

Perhaps if I was using a high end amp & speakers (instead of headphones) I might hear some difference, who knows..

But right now I couldn't justify paying double for the Tidal service..
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by theraven1979 »

If you have the original CDs for what you're listening to you'd probably be better off ripping them to a high end lossless format like WAV or FLAC and listening to them through a good set of headphones via DAC.


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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

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aldinblack wrote: 27 Aug 2021, 08:50 So with my new headphones and DAC I've been trying to work out if I can hear any difference between Tidal's premium service using their "Master" tracks, and Spotify at half the price of £10 per month.

I have both running on my laptop (borrowed my son's Spotify account) and playing a song, or even a small section of a song, and then switching to the other and playing exactly the same, comparing like for like.

I've not been able to pinpoint any difference at all so far. I'm using songs I'm familiar with, including some Stranglers tracks - I tried some off the Raven & Meninblack last night.

Perhaps if I was using a high end amp & speakers (instead of headphones) I might hear some difference, who knows..

But right now I couldn't justify paying double for the Tidal service..
How are you playing back the songs.. to make the most of Tidal you need to download their app, and then go into settings to ensure you have Master Quality and also set to Exclusive Mode, otherwise it will not be playing the bit perfect version.....You may also need to set the DACs settings in the Sounds panel of the laptop as well to ensure it can be used in exclusive mode.... it's not just plug and play IME.

The Tidal app settings are crucial....
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by aldinblack »


Dom P wrote:
aldinblack wrote: 27 Aug 2021, 08:50 So with my new headphones and DAC I've been trying to work out if I can hear any difference between Tidal's premium service using their "Master" tracks, and Spotify at half the price of £10 per month.

I have both running on my laptop (borrowed my son's Spotify account) and playing a song, or even a small section of a song, and then switching to the other and playing exactly the same, comparing like for like.

I've not been able to pinpoint any difference at all so far. I'm using songs I'm familiar with, including some Stranglers tracks - I tried some off the Raven & Meninblack last night.

Perhaps if I was using a high end amp & speakers (instead of headphones) I might hear some difference, who knows..

But right now I couldn't justify paying double for the Tidal service..
How are you playing back the songs.. to make the most of Tidal you need to download their app, and then go into settings to ensure you have Master Quality and also set to Exclusive Mode, otherwise it will not be playing the bit perfect version.....You may also need to set the DACs settings in the Sounds panel of the laptop as well to ensure it can be used in exclusive mode.... it's not just plug and play IME.

The Tidal app settings are crucial....
Thanks again sir great tip re Exlusive mode! I did have the desktop app and Master settings, but not Exclusive. Have now found this and can even toggle it on/off while a song is playing. And the improvement is clear, just sounds more open with more clarity/better definition throughout..

and yes better than Spotify easily now!
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by Jake »

Just had yet another new and sealed vinyl with some pretty atrocious factory damage, here’s wishing “Dark Matters” isn’t going to be a bad pressing with any factory damage
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by kincajou »

My first copy of DM on red vinyl was warped and had surface scuffs. Returned it to Townsend music two weeks ago and haven't heard from them since. After sending it back they ran out of red vinyl, so I got one off ebay which is fine.

I'm also now on my 3rd black vinyl copy of DM after the first two were badly warped/scuffed and clearly scratched respectively. It's happening more and more with vinyl, which given it's increasingly expensive, is a right pain in the arse!
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Re: The Great CD vs Vinyl debate

Post by Jake »

kincajou wrote: 29 Sep 2021, 20:47 My first copy of DM on red vinyl was warped and had surface scuffs. Returned it to Townsend music two weeks ago and haven't heard from them since. After sending it back they ran out of red vinyl, so I got one off ebay which is fine.

I'm also now on my 3rd black vinyl copy of DM after the first two were badly warped/scuffed and clearly scratched respectively. It's happening more and more with vinyl, which given it's increasingly expensive, is a right pain in the arse!


It’s a fucking disgrace. There’s no quality control in vinyl manufacturing these days or it’s seriously lacking at least. I have bought a few new vinyl albums in recent times with similar experiences. My DM red vinyl was ok, looked a little scuffed, but was only superficial, did not notice on playback. I’m not likely to play it often, so I a suppose it’s a little bit annoying it lowers the collectibility.

I think one of the reasons this happens is down to the lack of pressing plants, too few pressing plants and too many vinyl orders. I believe most vinyl is pressed in EU, specifically Czech Republic and they are completely overrun with pressing orders. I don’t know what the state of play is with British pressing plants, I am reluctant to say there are none, but certainly the skill and expertise is something that has long gone, together with the huge scale production line of vinyl records that was once seen in England. It was exceptionally rare that vinyl records came out of pressing plants in days gone past in the shocking conditions of vinyl in the age of the so called “vinyl resurgence”
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