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Vinyl - a challenge to forum members.


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I am told on other threads that a iPhone will beat any vinyl system for SQ. A more considered post suggests that, at mid price, digital "easily outstrips" vinyl.

 

I don't agree and offer this challenge to forum members:

 

Do you have both vinyl and digital front ends in your current home system?

 

Have you spent a similar amount on each front end? As a rough guide no more than +/- 30% variation in spend.

 

Have you spent between $1k and $10k on each front end?

 

Is each front end made up wholly of products (excluding the music itself) manufactured currently?

 

Have you listened to both systems in the last week?

 

Are you prepared to say that your digital front end "easily outstrips" your vinyl front end on SQ?

 

If so post details of both front ends.

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Why the $1K minimum? Are you conceding that digital always beats vinyl below that price point?

 

That would support Chris's assertion that the vinyl resurgence is NOT about sound quality, because the average consumer driving vinyl sales is not dropping a grand on a turntable.

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I don't have to own an 8-track tape player to know that it is inferior technology with sub-standard sound.

 

However, the vinyl vs. digital debate exists in the mind of trolls like Fremer. Why feed the troll?

 

Many people here like both. Many people like tube amps. So what?

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I don't have to own an 8-track tape player to know that it is inferior technology with sub-standard sound.

 

However, the vinyl vs. digital debate exists in the mind of trolls like Fremer. Why feed the troll?

 

Many people here like both. Many people like tube amps. So what?

 

+1000

 

what is the point of discussing this over and over? Some people like one, some like the other, some like both. Just accept that we're not all the same.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Path: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Cayin iDAC6 MKII (tube mode) (XLR)>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Why the $1K minimum? Are you conceding that digital always beats vinyl below that price point?

 

That would support Chris's assertion that the vinyl resurgence is NOT about sound quality, because the average consumer driving vinyl sales is not dropping a grand on a turntable.

It isn't about sound quality.

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I was going to comment that in my system my Project X-Pack (£500) was similar and the UnitiQute streaming didn't "easily outstrip" the vinyl playback ... only the drive belt snapped on the Project so the UnitiQute now does "easily outstrip" it :-)

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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That would support Chris's assertion that the vinyl resurgence is NOT about sound quality, because the average consumer driving vinyl sales is not dropping a grand on a turntable.

This is a bit rehashing old arguments and I'm speculating here (and making several assumptions) ... but I wonder if some of the appeal of vinyl (if as its said younger people are buying it) is that its a different listening experience.

 

Generally vinyl would be played via speakers (vs. headphones) perhaps in more of a group situation rather than a solitary experience. Also with vinyl you're more forced to listen to the whole album, or at least a side at the time.

 

Just another thought as to the difference in the experience (for many people) between vinyl and digital playback.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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From the linked article:

 

there are sonic artifacts and emotional attachments with vinyl that many people find pleasing

 

He's wrong.

 

I have the 1969 LP of Tommy. When I play the intro to Pinball Wizard, I guarantee it will make the hair on the back of your arms and neck stand up. It's damned exciting. When I play the same song from a 24/96 DVD-A rip, it is blah, vanilla. A DSD rip from an SACD approaches, maybe equals, the 46 year old LP. The cost of my vinyl rig is close to the same as my DAC, perhaps a little less, though since the DAC is part DIY I think its quality would be considered better than my cost would suggest.

 

I know what Pinball Wizard is supposed to sound like - I've heard both The Who and Eric Clapton play it live. (The latter was mind-blowing.) The sound from the LP is very definitely not "sonic artifacts and emotional attachments," it is dynamic range, transients - just great sound.

 

This general experience is true of a number of recordings I have in both media.

 

There are also files I play on my digital rig that give me better sound than I've heard from vinyl. So I'm not religious either way. I do consider those who are doctrinaire on either side to simply be wrong about this.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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both my front ends are about $600

i like both

they both sound different

i would not say one sounds better than the other, just different

i listen to far more digital because of convenience

i do however listen to vinyl once a week or so, because i enjoy it, and to remind me the difference in sound, plus it is nostalgic.

 

I don't even know why the debate...enjoy them both.

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I don't even know why the debate...enjoy them both.

 

+1

 

I'm happy to have both.

 

The source material is what matters most. In some cases vinyl provides the better source, in other cases it is digital.

 

Great examples from my favorite band Yes.

 

I have early plumb UK vinyl pressings of The Yes Album and Fragile.

 

The UK vinyl Fragile beats all my digital versions including the 96/24 version from HDTracks.

 

Opposite situation with TYA. Highs are rolled off on the original vinyl. I prefer the MoFi CD of all vinyl and digital versions.

 

And then there's The Beatles white album. My original mono UK top loader demolished all digital and vinyl versions (including the recent vinyl reissue). The tapes seem to have lost a lot of magic over the years. Those who have only heard this from digital have no idea how great this sounds.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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+1

 

I'm happy to have both.

 

The source material is what matters most. In some cases vinyl provides the better source, in other cases it is digital.

 

Great examples from my favorite band Yes.

 

I have early plumb UK vinyl pressings of The Yes Album and Fragile.

 

The UK vinyl Fragile beats all my digital versions including the 96/24 version from HDTracks.

 

Opposite situation with TYA. Highs are rolled off on the original vinyl. I prefer the MoFi CD of all vinyl and digital versions.

 

And then there's The Beatles white album. My original mono UK top loader demolished all digital and vinyl versions (including the recent vinyl reissue). The tapes seem to have lost a lot of magic over the years. Those who have only heard this from digital have no idea how great this sounds.

 

I also agree with you...as a matter of fact, i just wrote this blurb in the other thread...

 

Except for new digital recordings, the quality test for digital remasters is how well it reproduces the analog recordings...and many will argue that there isn't any good music that compares to old music, and that is probably particularly true of rock music...

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I don't have to own an 8-track tape player to know that it is inferior technology with sub-standard sound.

 

However, the vinyl vs. digital debate exists in the mind of trolls like Fremer. Why feed the troll?

 

Many people here like both. Many people like tube amps. So what?

 

That's more than a bit disingenuous, plenty of posters have been only too happy to volunteer unfavourable comparisons of vinyl to digital on this forum in recent days. From where I stand, the minute I try and inject a little objectivity (from a low base- I do ask that you must actually own both front ends to be able to comment) into the debate, suddenly the very same posters change their tune...

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From the linked article:

 

there are sonic artifacts and emotional attachments with vinyl that many people find pleasing

 

He's wrong.

 

I couldn't agree more that he's wrong.

 

If vinyl has inherently pleasing qualities, you'd expect great consistency in sound across every record. That's simply not the case in my system.

 

My vinyl collection includes a large percent of bad-sounding records that have no pleasing artifacts whatsoever. Many of these are classical albums that feature string tone that nearly causes paint to peel off the wall. And many more are rock albums that just aren't a pleasure to listen to because they are completely lacking in any warmth.

 

Those who make the above claim about vinyl are simply outting themselves as individuals who've never heard a really good analog front end and have no interest in hearing one for themselves.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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Why the $1K minimum? Are you conceding that digital always beats vinyl below that price point?

 

That would support Chris's assertion that the vinyl resurgence is NOT about sound quality, because the average consumer driving vinyl sales is not dropping a grand on a turntable.

 

Not at all, I just wanted to concentrate on a middle ground price range as that is where it is alleged that digital really beat vinyl.

 

Actually I agree that vinyl sales are an unlikely indicator of sound quality, not least as I guess that most of these sales will be of digital recordings transferred to vinyl. If I want to hear digital I'll use a digital front end and vice versa.

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I am told on other threads that a iPhone will beat any vinyl system for SQ. A more considered post suggests that, at mid price, digital "easily outstrips" vinyl.

 

I don't agree and offer this challenge to forum members:

 

Do you have both vinyl and digital front ends in your current home system?

 

Have you spent a similar amount on each front end? As a rough guide no more than +/- 30% variation in spend.

 

Have you spent between $1k and $10k on each front end?

 

Is each front end made up wholly of products (excluding the music itself) manufactured currently?

 

Have you listened to both systems in the last week?

 

Are you prepared to say that your digital front end "easily outstrips" your vinyl front end on SQ?

 

If so post details of both front ends.

 

In my system, vinyl consistently sounds more realistic and more engaging than my digital front end. That being said, I'm 30% vinyl 70% digital in terms of the time I spend listening. That's mostly a function of the size of my digital media collection (600+ ripped CD's, plus Tidal, plus Archives.org vs 150 LPs) and convenience.

ROON Rock NUC, ALLO usb bridge, Exogal Comet, LTA MZ2, Quick Silver Mid Monos, Audio Note AN/E.

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Why the $1K minimum? Are you conceding that digital always beats vinyl below that price point?

I would actually argue that you can get a better viny setup for £500 than you can for a *complete* digital setup (Vinyl - Project Debut Carbon plus phono stage; Digital - off shelf laptop plus AudioQuest Dragonfly).

 

eloise

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
it is dynamic range, transients - just great sound.

 

Exactly what I always look for. Soundstage usually follows naturally from that.

Dedicated Line DSD/DXD | Audirvana+ | iFi iDSD Nano | SET Tube Amp | Totem Mites

Surround: VLC | M-Audio FastTrack Pro | Mac Opt | Panasonic SA-HE100 | Logitech Z623

DIY: SET Tube Amp | Low-Noise Linear Regulated Power Supply | USB, Power, Speaker Cables | Speaker Stands | Acoustic Panels

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I would actually argue that you can get a better viny setup for £500 than you can for a *complete* digital setup (Vinyl - Project Debut Carbon plus phono stage; Digital - off shelf laptop plus AudioQuest Dragonfly).

 

eloise

 

It's true of me, and it might be of others, that I had already bought for other purposes the computer I wound up using for audio, so it may be reasonable to exclude the price of the computer in such a case.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> iFi NEO iDSD DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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It's true of me, and it might be of others, that I had already bought for other purposes the computer I wound up using for audio, so it may be reasonable to exclude the price of the computer in such a case.

I'm not talking about necessarily people going out and buying new, but surely when you are comparing similar price vinyl and digital systems you need to include the computer if using a USB DAC (I will allow an exception for streamers); just IMO of course.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
If vinyl has inherently pleasing qualities, you'd expect great consistency in sound across every record. That's simply not the case in my system.

 

HUH?? That is not logical thinking?

 

If you can even get quality sound out of just ONE record, that tells you that the technology is "capapble". If other records don't sound as good, it means it is the record itself, the recording, or something else, but it doesn't disprove the technology is capable....

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Actually I agree that vinyl sales are an unlikely indicator of sound quality,

 

+1, i would say that the biggest reason is costs in manufacturing, efficiency in production, and convenience to user, not to mention the maintenance and proper care necessary for vinyl to avoid skips, ticks, and other noise inherent to vinyl.

 

I am sure many will suggest digital is better than vinyl, and to some degree i would agree with that crowd, but i would say the previous reasons are the bigger reason.

 

I mean, i don't remember the last time i played vinyl in my car (grin)....it's all about conveniency and $$. To the "true audiophile", I am sure there will always be debate as to which is better (and rightfully so).

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I don't have to own an 8-track tape player to know that it is inferior technology with sub-standard sound.

 

However, the vinyl vs. digital debate exists in the mind of trolls like Fremer. Why feed the troll?

 

Many people here like both. Many people like tube amps. So what?

 

+1

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