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CD or Vinyl anyone?

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Richardl60 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 10:06pm
After some CD listening which was very enjoyable this afternoon, decided to spin some vinyl.

Whilst I chose not to directly compare any albums on both formats both have great attributes.

My CD system is 'enhanced' as I can with the best mains and XLR interconnects I can lay my hands on which also includes a Marigo disc to sit on top of the CD.  The end results are poles apart from the starting point with far more powerful, tighter bass, scale and dynamics and very open and clean open mid-band and removed the 'CD hardness/harshness' often cited as a failing.

My vinyl front end is 'good', cartridge is a keeper as are the Accession/Elevator until something better comes along (hint Graham).  I would like to upgrade my (original) Mission 774 arm with an Audiomods V and would like to replace my heavy Luxman direct Drive with something lines an Orbe SE.  At the same time as I bought my PSU for the then Era Gold V some years ago I also replaced the rubber mat with a Funkfirm Achromat also.

When the deck/arm combo were previously owned by a close family member an arm upgrade did remove some colourations seen with the Mission and improved a number of areas (Mid & Bass).  Similarly when replacing the Luxman with a substantial 5 point Direct Drive that also showed up deficiencies in the bass of the Luxman in terms of detail, power and drive and openness in the mid-upper areas.  So I know limitations of my Vinyl system, albeit in absolute terms it is a good front end.

Whilst I am not attempting the conclude whether one format is better or preferable to the other in my config both are very enjoyable to listen to.  I have never dabbled with other digital formats.

After some Ricky Lee Jones, Nancy Sinatra and 'Beautiful' musical soundtrack CDs this afternoon which were great I spun a freshly washed but second hand Double Fantasy which sounded very good.  The most noticeable feature was the midband being a little sweeter but bass not quite as weighty, punchy or layered as has been experienced with CD in the afternoon.  Switch to Madonna's Like a Virgin, a very good pressing; bass very much cleaner, some incredibly deep bass like falling on a cliff which send a shiver down your spine on Material Girl and Like a Virgin.  Angel, Like a Virgin and LAV displaying lots of speed changes I cannot recall (no I don't think the motor is giving up).  Whilst there is some deck colouration in the middle bass I am aware of in the deck speed and tempo changes I have found from good vinyl tend to stand out more that with CD when they are more easily hidden though still there at times (but try B52s Dirty Back Road that works on both formats very well).

Overall I do prefer the bass on my CD system on the majority of music the exceptions being very well recorded vinyl which avoids some deck and arm induced colourations, but some compressed high level 'modern' CD recordings are not good, though that is probably recoding related.  I expect this will change with arm and deck in particular.

There is little to choose between aspects such as depth, width etc which is good as I don't feel short changed either way.

It is always enjoyable to listen to both formats and have the knowledge of something better still in the future to come (hint!) on Vinyl whilst my CD appears at its limit.

Edited by Graham Slee - 23 Jul 2017 at 3:24am
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Richardl60 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richardl60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2017 at 10:07pm
oops sorry re the Crapola!!!
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Aussie Mick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie Mick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2017 at 2:47am
Good question, Richard!
      When assembling my system (below) I went out of my way to balance CD and vinyl performance so that one didn't make the other seem a poor cousin. I can listen to either firmat quite happily, finding that the biggest arbiter of quality is the mastering. I think that indicates the system is well balanced all round, so I'm happy.

If I have two well mastered versions of the same album, LP often wins, but not always. A poor LP pressing is bettered by a good CD mastering. HI-res downloads are sometimes best, sometimes not.

Mick.
Rega RP8/Ortofon 2M Black/Rega Apheta 2 - Reflex M/Elevator EXP - C.E.C. TL5 CD Transport - MacBook Pro/JRiver - Majestic DAC - Proprius - PMC Twenty5.22
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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2017 at 3:24am
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

oops sorry re the Crapola!!!


Crapola removed by me Wink


Edited by Graham Slee - 23 Jul 2017 at 8:37pm
There are only two things to stop you being a success in life and they're both called Google - Notions are not solutions!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2017 at 8:47pm
Originally posted by Richardl60 Richardl60 wrote:

...I spun a freshly washed but second hand Double Fantasy which sounded very good.  The most noticeable feature was the midband being a little sweeter but bass not quite as weighty, punchy or layered as has been experienced with CD in the afternoon.  Switch to Madonna's Like a Virgin, a very good pressing; bass very much cleaner, some incredibly deep bass like falling on a cliff which send a shiver down your spine on Material Girl and Like a Virgin.

...Overall I do prefer the bass on my CD system on the majority of music the exceptions being...


The RIAA standard calls for bass boost below 50Hz...

(here I am sure many who have studied RIAA curves will think I'm barking, but the truth of the matter is those RIAA curves they see do not represent the record but the homogenised output of both record and cartridge - one going up - the other coming down)

... I will restate, the RIAA standard calls for bass boost below 50Hz. However, there is only so much time available on the record, and to pack more music on it, the bass has to be curtailed because bass modulation takes up more space.

Therefore some records will use the prescribed boost, others none, and others somewhere in between.

Those with the prescribed boost will sound as awesome as CD bass, the others will sound thin compared.
There are only two things to stop you being a success in life and they're both called Google - Notions are not solutions!
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