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"Music Sounds Better on Vinyl", I am so tired of this argument being brought up by the layperson
ozmosis82
post Oct 13 2011, 17:56
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mona-elyafi/..._b_1008876.html

Ugh.

Of special note is the 5th paragraph where she basically shoots herself in the foot:

"Now I don't pretend to be a tech whiz by any means and I am sure I know absolutely nothing about how it all works and why, but the one thing I know for certain though is that music sounds better on vinyl."

If they approve my comment, it should be the first one.
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Gretschguy
post Feb 14 2012, 06:50
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I think I'm in the minority on this thread.

I can give you the perspective of someone who loves both digital and analog music music which has been properly recorded, mixed, and mastered with loving care -- but vinyl wins over CD, no doubt in my experience.

And I'm not in love with vinyl over the darn cover art as some would suggest -- furthermore I'm certainly not a hipster although I grew a beard once in my life.

I returned to vinyl about 1 year ago afters decades of CDs and a collection in the thousands, the horrific over compressed sound of modern CDs sent me running back to vinyl. Once I started ripping my vinyl and listening back on digital equipment, I was blown away by how much better (natural, open, dynamic) it sounded.

Most of this was due to differences in mastering and perhaps a bias towards the frequency content of LP (I grew up on vinyl).

BUT, I also noticed something interesting in my return to vinyl:

16 / 44.1 is NOT enough to fully capture the content of an LP when ripping the LP and playing back on good equipment.

I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing. The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural -- I realize these are all subjective but I did this test with no axe to grind and I was actually hoping 16 bits would be enough since I could then move these also to my iPod for convenience -- however, the comparison was convincing enough that despite less convenience (must dither the files to play on iPod) and more storage space needed, I settled on 24 bit for my ripping process.

This suggests to me that vinyl has more to give than 16 / 44.1.

My equipment is very good -- Thorens turntable, Delos Cartridge, Burl ADC, Lynx AES card, Pure Vinyl software, and a Burmester system for playback including Burmester DAC.

Has anyone else tried this experiment?

I love the convenience of digital -- it has allowed me to carry around 100's of LPs ripped at 24 bit which I can play back instantly with a good DAC. So, I'm by no means "anti digital", its just clear to me that vinyl has more fidelity than 16 / 44.1 can reproduce. Especially old vinyl just sounds incredible -- clear, wide and deep sound stage, realistic, open.

On a practical level, my LPs destroy my CDs of the same material (I have thousands of both CDs and LPs). The dynamic range (peak to RMS) is almost always measurably better for both old and new vinyl than CD counterparts. I realize that this is mainly due to mastering differences, which is why I qualify this point with the word "practical".

The frequency range of LPs that I rip is far superior (out to 48k when ripping at 96k) than CD counterparts -- this is obvious but I don't really know if this matters -- although I'm not a bat (or a hipster) I tend to think it probably does matter in ways that we don't fully understand quite yet, but I've not proven it to myself.

My point here is that I've proven, at least to myself, that LPs not only practically sound better than CD counterparts but also carry more than 16 bits of information.

I'd be really interested to hear from others who have done a similar experiment using good equipment with an open mind, what have you found?

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cliveb
post Feb 14 2012, 10:03
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QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 14 2012, 05:50) *
I've convinced myself that vinyl carries more information that 16 / 44.1 simply by ripping the same material to both 16 bit and 24 bit and comparing. The 24 bit vinyl rips of the SAME material sounds better -- more punch, smoother, more natural

I have also compared 16 and 24 bit rips of vinyl and I hear no difference.

There are other possible reasons why 24 bit sounds better than 16 bit to you:

1. Expectation bias. It's no use saying that you had no axe to grind and were hoping 16 bit would be good enough. If you did these comparisons sighted, then the results are not trustworthy. You need to repeat the comparison blind. Using Foobar's ABX comparator is very easy, so there's no excuse not to do a blind test.

Let's assume you do a blind test and still hear a difference between 24 and 16 bit rips. If you made the two recordings in separate runs, then there are possible reasons why the results may sound different:

2. Vinyl is an analogue medium and is not 100% repeatable in playback. The two recordings *will* have delivered different signals. For example, the first play of an LP typically cleans the grooves out a bit, so a subsequent play might deliver slightly less surface noise. Or particles of dust may fall onto the record prior to the second play, resulting in additional minors ticks.

3. You got the gain staging slightly different so that the levels are not precisely matched. Even if you don't consciously notice a volume difference, small level differences can still alter the way things sound.

4. Perhaps your A/D converter happens to operate better at 24 bit rather then 16 bit.

If the goal here is to discover whether vinyl contains more information than can be captured at 16 bit, then the correct methodology is to record once at 24 bit, then convert that same recording to 16 bit and do an ABX comparison. In principle you should add dither when converting to 16 bit, but IMHO the vinyl noise floor is so high that you can probably afford to just truncate the bottom 8 bits.
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Posts in this topic
- ozmosis82   "Music Sounds Better on Vinyl"   Oct 13 2011, 17:56
- - dhromed   I don't mind vinyl lovers liking the physical ...   Oct 13 2011, 18:32
- - Canar   It's an opinion piece, nothing more. Music sou...   Oct 13 2011, 20:00
- - C.R.Helmrich   Indeed. An opinion of a person who grew up with vi...   Oct 13 2011, 20:12
- - DVDdoug   How did on opinion piece leak onto The Huffington ...   Oct 13 2011, 20:23
- - Brand   I think your rant is a bit out of place here. It...   Oct 13 2011, 21:29
|- - tawd   As she admits she is not aware of the technical as...   Oct 13 2011, 23:27
- - Cavaille   QUOTE And I'm not just talking about the way i...   Oct 14 2011, 01:28
- - polemon   I believe, that what she's referring to, is th...   Oct 14 2011, 02:08
|- - musicollector   QUOTE (polemon @ Oct 13 2011, 19:08) I be...   Oct 27 2011, 02:39
|- - MichaelW   QUOTE (musicollector @ Oct 27 2011, 13:39...   Oct 27 2011, 22:59
|- - Goratrix   QUOTE (MichaelW @ Oct 27 2011, 23:59) But...   Oct 28 2011, 10:16
||- - PoisonDan   That's actually quite cool. Not really useful,...   Oct 28 2011, 11:38
||- - MichaelW   QUOTE (Goratrix @ Oct 28 2011, 21:16) Som...   Oct 28 2011, 21:51
|- - musicollector   QUOTE (MichaelW @ Oct 27 2011, 15:59) QUO...   Oct 28 2011, 18:34
|- - musicollector   QUOTE (MichaelW @ Oct 27 2011, 15:59) QUO...   Oct 29 2011, 04:14
- - Woodinville   It would be nice if the author didn't deify he...   Oct 14 2011, 02:15
- - testyou   She's just an older person with nostalgia for ...   Oct 14 2011, 03:16
- - andy o   Sheesh, if that's your beef with the FluffPo, ...   Oct 14 2011, 04:34
- - IgorC   Vinyl was my first experience with music when I wa...   Oct 14 2011, 04:51
- - hellokeith   How much work has been done on vinyl simulation? ...   Oct 14 2011, 06:33
- - FreaqyFrequency   http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/vinyl/ If y...   Oct 14 2011, 07:00
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (FreaqyFrequency @ Oct 13 2011, 22...   Oct 14 2011, 19:04
- - polemon   This might me slightly off-topic, but I'm wond...   Oct 14 2011, 10:58
|- - mixminus1   QUOTE (polemon @ Oct 14 2011, 02:58) This...   Oct 14 2011, 17:25
|- - polemon   QUOTE (mixminus1 @ Oct 14 2011, 18:25) It...   Oct 15 2011, 01:24
- - dhromed   Assuming the cutting process is flawless, you can ...   Oct 14 2011, 11:07
- - FreaqyFrequency   http://soundcloud.com/theastralobservatory...-gain...   Oct 14 2011, 18:42
- - db1989   Surely, if they were really good, they could make ...   Oct 27 2011, 23:18
- - kraut   Most newly released LPs contain a link for a digit...   Oct 28 2011, 02:03
- - Juha   What 'bout sound of DBX 'coded' vinyls...   Oct 28 2011, 14:28
- - Remedial Sound   Here's another golden nugget from a reviewer a...   Oct 28 2011, 17:20
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE What 'bout sound of DBX 'coded' ...   Oct 28 2011, 17:50
|- - musicollector   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Oct 28 2011, 10:50) QUOT...   Oct 29 2011, 04:10
- - Raptus   It is a matter of aesthetics and not (how laymen o...   Oct 28 2011, 19:37
- - db1989   QUOTE The only question then is, why bother to cut...   Oct 28 2011, 22:03
- - d_headshot   New music on both vinyl and digital sounds terribl...   Oct 29 2011, 01:06
|- - Brod   QUOTE (d_headshot @ Oct 29 2011, 08:06) N...   Feb 9 2012, 05:08
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Brod @ Feb 8 2012, 20:08) Hell, ev...   Feb 9 2012, 06:24
|- - Brod   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 9 2012, 13:24) ...in...   Feb 9 2012, 17:38
|- - skamp   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 9 2012, 06:24) QUOTE...   Feb 10 2012, 15:19
- - ron spencer   doesn't this depend on the mastering? Everybo...   Oct 29 2011, 16:06
|- - musicollector   QUOTE (ron spencer @ Oct 29 2011, 09:06) ...   Oct 29 2011, 21:52
- - RonaldDumsfeld   QUOTE Something like This? smile.gif That's J...   Oct 29 2011, 21:26
- - smpltn   It's all about the mastering at the time vinyl...   Oct 29 2011, 22:37
- - mixminus1   It all depends on the choices made by the artists/...   Oct 30 2011, 07:11
- - ron spencer   That's the rub then...one needs to know how th...   Oct 30 2011, 15:38
- - pdq   They probably think that people who buy vinyl are ...   Oct 31 2011, 01:44
- - liffy99   It's not the medium, it's the actual recor...   Oct 31 2011, 10:05
- - pdq   Actually the loudness button did something quite d...   Oct 31 2011, 14:34
|- - liffy99   QUOTE (pdq @ Oct 31 2011, 13:34) Actually...   Oct 31 2011, 19:29
|- - pdq   QUOTE (liffy99 @ Oct 31 2011, 14:29) Well...   Oct 31 2011, 19:56
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (liffy99 @ Oct 31 2011, 14:29) QUOT...   Oct 31 2011, 20:56
- - Wombat   How i was happy the first day i played a CD at hom...   Oct 31 2011, 14:55
- - 4sure   When CDs first arrived, people often complaint abo...   Nov 1 2011, 05:36
|- - kraut   QUOTE people often complaint about their harsh sou...   Nov 1 2011, 06:51
- - mixminus1   Yes - for the past 25 years or so, the "audio...   Nov 1 2011, 14:28
- - Roseval   Vinyl sounds superior by design. First step is to ...   Feb 9 2012, 18:30
|- - Paulhoff   QUOTE (Roseval @ Feb 9 2012, 13:30) Vinyl...   Feb 10 2012, 04:03
- - Brod   The defects of vinyl are irrelevant if only the CD...   Feb 10 2012, 08:44
|- - Canar   QUOTE (Brod @ Feb 9 2012, 23:44) The defe...   Feb 10 2012, 08:55
|- - Paulhoff   QUOTE (Brod @ Feb 10 2012, 03:44) The def...   Feb 10 2012, 15:04
- - Bartholomew MacGruber   I've heard various arguments about vinyl being...   Feb 10 2012, 15:33
|- - julf   QUOTE (Bartholomew MacGruber @ Feb 10 2012, 1...   Feb 10 2012, 16:41
|- - andy o   QUOTE (julf @ Feb 10 2012, 07:41) QUOTE (...   Feb 11 2012, 17:39
|- - julf   Why do you think it is misguided? Of course, you c...   Feb 11 2012, 18:37
- - pdq   If you don't change the volume setting while y...   Feb 10 2012, 16:03
|- - Paulhoff   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 10 2012, 11:03) If you d...   Feb 10 2012, 16:30
- - Paulhoff   With using dither, the dynamic range can be increa...   Feb 10 2012, 17:02
- - k00zk0   A lot of people definitely like noise, and I'd...   Feb 11 2012, 14:02
- - dumdidum   QUOTE (k00zk0 @ Feb 11 2012, 14:02) For a...   Feb 11 2012, 14:15
- - pdq   I'm not sure that I would call it misguided ei...   Feb 11 2012, 20:49
|- - julf   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 11 2012, 20:49) When the...   Feb 11 2012, 21:37
- - greynol   The question was about dynamic resolution. Maybe ...   Feb 11 2012, 21:40
|- - julf   QUOTE (greynol @ Feb 11 2012, 21:40) The ...   Feb 11 2012, 22:02
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (julf @ Feb 11 2012, 16:02) QUOTE (...   Feb 11 2012, 22:40
|- - julf   QUOTE (krabapple @ Feb 11 2012, 22:40) La...   Feb 11 2012, 22:44
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (julf @ Feb 11 2012, 16:44) QUOTE (...   Feb 11 2012, 22:58
- - andy o   What I think he meant is that if there's any w...   Feb 11 2012, 21:48
- - andy o   I have a feeling for what he's trying to ask, ...   Feb 11 2012, 22:18
- - krabapple   And I think one non-highly-technical version of t...   Feb 11 2012, 22:56
|- - Bartholomew MacGruber   QUOTE (krabapple @ Feb 11 2012, 22:56) An...   Feb 13 2012, 16:24
- - bred   QUOTE (Roseval @ Feb 9 2012, 18:30) Vinyl...   Feb 12 2012, 12:22
|- - pdq   QUOTE (bred @ Feb 12 2012, 07:22) We don...   Feb 12 2012, 14:14
||- - Paulhoff   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 12 2012, 09:14) QUOTE (b...   Feb 12 2012, 15:03
|- - kraut   QUOTE Ok your have right. From the point view of a...   Feb 12 2012, 20:00
- - lvqcl   QUOTE But consider that our brain prefer the middl...   Feb 12 2012, 13:40
- - LithosZA   QUOTE ...Oh noes, this: Off topic: That preset i...   Feb 12 2012, 14:20
- - kennedyb4   QUOTE (LithosZA @ Feb 12 2012, 08:20) QUO...   Feb 12 2012, 14:30
- - Antigen   This is the same war that actually is made by CD v...   Feb 12 2012, 20:41
- - pdq   If the human ear had been better than 16 bits of d...   Feb 13 2012, 16:47
|- - MichaelW   QUOTE (pdq @ Feb 14 2012, 04:47) If the h...   Feb 14 2012, 04:23
- - Gretschguy   I think I'm in the minority on this thread. I...   Feb 14 2012, 06:50
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (Gretschguy @ Feb 14 2012, 05:50) I...   Feb 14 2012, 10:03
- - kraut   QUOTE The frequency range of LPs that I rip is far...   Feb 14 2012, 07:48
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (kraut @ Feb 14 2012, 08:48) That i...   Feb 14 2012, 09:01
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (kraut @ Feb 14 2012, 07:48) QUOTE ...   Feb 14 2012, 09:07
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (Porcus @ Feb 14 2012, 10:07) Remem...   Feb 14 2012, 09:15
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (knutinh @ Feb 14 2012, 09:15) I wa...   Feb 14 2012, 09:26
- - Woodinville   It is remarkably hard to run such a test, accurate...   Feb 14 2012, 11:01
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