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Old 2015-02-05, 09:09 AM
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Re: Vinyl records vs. Cds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasmueller View Post
Found this on another site and thought it might be of interest to some.

http://www.laweekly.com/music/why-cd...-vinyl-5352162

I find the discussion about the dynamic range of digital vs vinyl on "classical" recordings interesting. It reminds me of one of the 1st CD's I bought which was a recording of the 1812 Overture. I felt that I could hear things that were missing before. I did not have a vinyl copy of the same performance, but that is how it sounded to me at the time.
My brother has long had what was considered one of the most difficult LP's for a turntable to accurately track which is the 1812 Overture with live cannons firing. Most people's systems will fail to reproduce the dynamics contained in the grooves, either your cartridge will not be able to track it or it and /or your speakers cannot reproduce the extreme low bass and dynamics of the cannon fire but that release is the exception, extreme dynamics and low bass grooves need a lot of space between grooves on vinyl. Technically speaking greater dynamics are possible with cd vs. vinyl.

Vinyl does have some limitations, the inner grooves will tend to sound worse than the outer because of the speed/distance the needle is travelling in the inner grooves. The RIAA required equalization curve for disc equalization exists because of the nature of the cutting head used to gouge the groove into the lacquer master disc, and that of the pickup cartridge used to replay the pressed vinyl record. Extreme low frequencies (under 20hz) can excite the turntable arm and cartridge causing resonances. So most LP's have the frequencies under 20 or 30hz cut out, not necessary on cd, although most people's systems couldn't reproduce signals much lower anyway, you need a quality subwoofer to get 25hz or lower. Although cd has an upper frequency limit of 22.05khz which vinyl isn't limited to but freqs above 20khz is pretty much entirely noise and distortion on vinyl. some will say the human ear can only hear freqs between 20hz-20khz and that is fairly accurate except freqs under 20hz can be easily felt rather than heard thus are still crucial.

Most mass produced records from the 60's on were made of shitty vinyl which is why we used to buy Japanese pressings made on virgin vinyl. American record companies melted down old records for new vinyl except they never bothered to clean the records or even remove the labels prior to meltdown - take a look at those records under a blacklight and be prepared to be shocked vs. a virgin vinyl release.

Of course the cd problems include how the first decade or so of digital recording and mastering sucked ass until engineers learned how to work in digital. And of course all of the recent remasterings suffering from the "Loudness" wars does make many go back to the old vinyl. The cost of a decent analog system to maximize the best sound from vinyl likely greatly exceeds the cost of a decent digital system but that is very objective depending on how critical a listener one is.
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