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oldbass

The demise of the CD?

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All formats have their own advantages, if you look closely enough.[list]
[*][b]Digital[/b] - highest theoretical sonic fidelity, best storage density / general portability
[*][b]Vinyl[/b] - maximum space for artwork
[*][b]CD[/b] - best physical medium for sound quality, high durability (as it's non-contact)
[*][b]Minidiscs[/b] - high durability, doesn't mind being bumped around a bit, rewriteability
[*][b]Cassette[/b] - doesn't mind being bumped around a bit, rewriteability
[/list]
I'm struggling to think of an advantage that cassette has over minidisc though. I suppose just general availability.

I've left "nostalgia" out of the list as it's subjective.

S.P.

Edited by Stylon Pilson

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[quote name='Earbrass' timestamp='1498816952' post='3327227']
You are forgetting the recordability side - rewritable CDs came along a lot later and were still more of a faff to use (though far better quality) than cassette. I'm sure many of us will have memories of making "mix-tapes" or of borrowing friends' (expensive) LPs to tape.
[/quote]

It's a fair point I guess, but having done quite a few vinyl-cassette mix tapes at one time my overwhelming recollection is of it being an enormous PITA to do. :unsure:

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I want chip in on the point that virtually all music is recorded digitally now, so there is little point on playing it back on an analogue medium like vinyl.

I think the 'loudness wars' have a lot to answer for here...
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's the trend of using sometimes excessive audio compression to make a record as loud as possible - but removing much of the dynamic range. Apparently most folk automatically equate louder with better.

I recall reading that many of these highly compressed recordings were simply not suitable for vinyl - damage could be caused to the needle or something. So, modern vinyl releases are produced from a different master, with less compression. Assuming this is correct, the vinyl version could sound better. (Though the exact same version could be released on CD, the vinyl itself adds nothing)

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I haven't bought a CD in over 6 years and all the ones I had I threw away. Spotify is my only collection now and I can use it anywhere.

My car doesn't even have a CD player, I just stream via Bluetooth.

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[quote name='leftybassman392' timestamp='1498816319' post='3327222']
In truth I've always been a bit of a fence-sitter in the Vinyl vs. CD debate: on the one hand CD has measurably better audio fidelity than even the best vinyl, but on the other hand a good vinyl setup is just so nice to listen to. Hmmm... <_<
[/quote]

I try to keep out of the debate usually, but this is my take on it, too. Digital has far higher frequency and dynamic range than vinyl reproduction, with lower noise, but the disc and system of reproduction brings something which can, subjectively, make the sound 'better'. Easy to confuse the meaning though- vinyl sounds 'better' to some despite the fact that technically it's 'worse'. More noise, reduced frequency range, low headroom, issues with dust and scratches on the disc, needle wear, etc. However, many agree that those dusty, distorted jazz recordings from the 40's sound 'better' than the glossy Radio 2 Jazz of today. They are technically much worse, but it's about the vibe more than technical perfection. Turns out high fidelity can actually detract from music sometimes!

Point is, I think some people have misunderstood and believe that vinyl has much higher fidelity than modern formats, whereas it's the lower fidelity and the compromises made to the recordings to compensate which make it aesthetically better in some circumstances.

One could site the stepped digital rather than smooth analogue wave as a lack of fidelity, and cause for a lack of 'soul' in the sound, but I think that is much like worrying about frame rate in visuals. There is a point at which we cease to see frames flicking by and begin to see smooth motion as in real life, and I think that those kind of differences in sound fall well outside our ability to discern the difference.

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I'm just a progressive old fart and want my audio well produced and delivered with clarity.

About 30 years ago, I watched [i]Tomorrow's World[/i] dreaming of a future where everything would be delivered via the Information Superhighway; I distinctly remember a piece where one of the presenters, possibly Michael Rodd, explained that there would be a future where every song ever recorded would be delivered in ones and zeros via a little cube of some sort (suffixed with the quote, 'Like this,') while he fumbled around with a small opaque plastic box with a couple of wires coming out of it.

Well, that future is now. Why are so many people uneager to embrace it?

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[quote name='gs_triumph' timestamp='1498758486' post='3326892']
A good quality vinyl LP played on a good quality turntable through a decent amp and speakers will sound superior to a compressed digital format. You can tell the difference but the playback device makes a massive difference.
[/quote]

This is utterly delusional. A lot of music has to be seriously compromised in order to get it onto vinyl in the first place.

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[quote name='Earbrass' timestamp='1498816952' post='3327227'] I'm sure many of us will have memories of making "mix-tapes" or of borrowing friends' (expensive) LPs to tape.
[/quote]

I never did that because I would have killed music... :mellow:

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[quote name='Conan' timestamp='1498823155' post='3327325']
I never did that because I would have killed music... :mellow:


[/quote]


:lol:

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I still use my Mac and wireless speakers for most of my casual listening, but I buy quite a lot of vinyl.

Call it what you will, but buying a nicely designed album on heavyweight vinyl (especially limited colours) is really fun. I like buying music properly this way. You wouldn't believe the jump in value of some of the recent limited runs.

I love the sound and listening to a full album with vinyl. Great experience. Proper coffee and chilling with a new album is great.

I've got boxes of amazing albums on CD, but they don't get used often.

Most people complain about vinyl prices because they get cheap mp3s (or 'free') and they don't realise that a double heavyweight album does command £20....plus times have changed and physical music is more 'expensive' due to general increases in the cost of living.

I recently bought Radiohead's 'OKNOTOK' on limited blue vinyl from one store that was a little later putting it online for pre-order. I'm really REALLY happy with it. Much rather have the vinyl + mp3s rather than a CD.

Yes, you do need a decent turntable, amp and quality speakers are a must.

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[quote name='JellyKnees' timestamp='1498820570' post='3327281']
This is utterly delusional. A lot of music has to be seriously compromised in order to get it onto vinyl in the first place.
[/quote]Good point. Sting's 2nd cd (Nothing Like The Sun) was also released on double vinyl presumably so that the dynamics were retained instead of trying to squeeze it (time and compression-wise) onto a single LP.
Genesis were one of the biggest offenders, often squeezing 25 mins per side onto vinyl.

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[url="http://s1187.photobucket.com/user/panamonte/media/Ella.jpg.html"][/url]

Well, unless Ella has added unacceptable signal to noise ratio, wow & flutter and drop outs to her phenomenal vocal technique...

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[quote name='geoham' timestamp='1498818846' post='3327248']
I think the 'loudness wars' have a lot to answer for here...
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's the trend of using sometimes excessive audio compression to make a record as loud as possible - but removing much of the dynamic range. Apparently most folk automatically equate louder with better.
[/quote]

++++1 No matter how good the dig recording there is never the dynamic range and seperation that there is with studio tape to vinyl....it all sounds like crystal clear mush to me.

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people have been banging on about the demise of the CD ever since MP3s started taking off. In the UK and US CDs still have the largest share of the pie while downloads are falling. Streaming is popular among younger casual music listeners while at over £20 a pop vinyl is only ever gonna be a niche product for collectors. In many other countries, like Germany, CD sales are still strong

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As someone who works in the broadcasting industry, I can certainly confirm that old vinyl records offer far more dynamic range than modern CDs. If I'm recording a vinyl record into the computer - and watching the wavy line (technical term!) to ensure I don't over record - the line rises and falls all over the place. I need to ride the fader to stop the levels going into the red. With a CD I get a solid bar with little or no variation in level.

I do have some old LPs that have also been released (some years later) on CD and there is a noticeable difference in the music content. You can hear subtle tones and even instruments on the vinyl that are not there on the compressed CD. I don't know if modern vinyl uses the same compressed recordings as the CD but if they do there is no point in buying the vinyl. As for MP3s - well, they are very handy but are so compressed that most of the music has been squeezed out of them!

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Go to hi-fi or high end forums if you want to have fun talking about superiority of this format over this one.

Most of them don't even know that digital appeared before analogue : never heard of telegraph ?

And the digital laws are so older that it's funny to read such crap.

Just for the record (funny, no), to record "analogue" music on that ugly noisy warping black disc, you have to compress the bass and enhance the treble. The bandwidth goes from 20 Hz to 15 KHz, when the cd goes from 0 Hz to 20 KHz. All of this being theorical. There is no compression on a proper made cd as it's not necessary.

The dynamic range is a maximum of 80 dB for the vinyl when it's 96 dB for a cd (this is the reason why there is no need for compression).

So stop taking the Philips engineers for fools, they knew exactly what they were doing when they fixed the Redbook norm because they knew the digital rules and the famous Nyquist-Shannon theory dating back to 1928 !

Stop asking yourself which one is better and simply listen to the music, don't listen to your system...

And no human can hear below 20 Hz or above 20 KHz, that's a fact, so the good old 16 bits 44,1 KHz cd is the perfect solution for music or sound. There is no need for something else and THAT is the real problem in a world ruled by marketing and planned obsolescence.

The only improvement is the suppression of the mechanical movement and THAT is also done.

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[quote name='LeftyP' timestamp='1498836543' post='3327485']
As someone who works in the broadcasting industry, I can certainly confirm that old vinyl records offer far more dynamic range than modern CDs. If I'm recording a vinyl record into the computer - and watching the wavy line (technical term!) to ensure I don't over record - the line rises and falls all over the place. I need to ride the fader to stop the levels going into the red. With a CD I get a solid bar with little or no variation in level.
[/quote]

Isn't that a reflection of the production of the individual CD? I say that with regards to relatively modern music being quite excessively compressed on purpose (re: volume wars, where dynamic range was reduced "on purpose").
I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm genuinely asking, I don't know the answer and it looks like you may have a better knowledge of these things.

Also, wasn't there some special EQ curve applied to recordings prior to vinyl pressing, and subsequent inverse EQ curve applied at playback, to be able to better deal with bass frequencies which would otherwise result in too wide groove 'swings'? How does this relate, if at all, with the available dynamic range on vinyl?

[quote name='LeftyP' timestamp='1498836543' post='3327485']
As for MP3s - well, they are very handy but are so compressed that most of the music has been squeezed out of them!
[/quote]

I was under the impression that MP3 do not add compression... the reduction in file size is achieved through a mix of *data* compression -not sound compression- and complete removal of some data that it's judged to not be noticed by the listener based on their algorithm...

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[quote name='Hellzero' timestamp='1498838493' post='3327496']
Just for the record (funny, no), to record "analogue" music on that ugly noisy warping black disc, you have to compress the bass and enhance the treble. The bandwidth goes from 20 Hz to 15 KHz, when the cd goes from 0 Hz to 20 KHz. All of this being theorical. There is no compression on a proper made cd as it's not necessary.
[/quote]

Right, is that the RIAA EQ curve thing that is 'inflicted' upon recordings before making the vinyl records, then? (just remembering very vaguely things I half knew years ago :))

So dynamic range *is* wider on CD, then, as I thought.

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[quote name='bazztard' timestamp='1498808239' post='3327126']I guarantee you that an audiophile will very quickly tell you which is which.
[/quote]

High resolution, lossless digital formats have proven indistinguishable from high quality vinyl time and time again in 'blind tests' with industry pros.

It's an old and thoroughly tired debate.

And I say that as a self-confessed vinyl junkie :)

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1498839163' post='3327500']
So dynamic range *is* wider on CD, then, as I thought.
[/quote]

Yup.

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Streaming is already bigger than cd's and vinyl (which is really a tiny portion of a labels income) combined.
And it is only getting bigger. Revenue will go up and quality of the streams will go up. Now if we can get everybody on board.....

Most vinyl nowadays is recorded digitally anyway so what's the point.

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I miss vinyl, but the mix & master is more of hot topic for me than CD vs vinyl.

Thankfully it seems like the art of a good mix and master is coming back into fashion.

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I remember Hi Fi magazines of the seventies saying that the best LPs were digitally mastered.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1498901014' post='3327829']
I miss vinyl, but the mix & master is more of hot topic for me than CD vs vinyl.

Thankfully it seems like the art of a good mix and master is coming back into fashion.
[/quote]

+1

The early 2000s saw some great music being released that I just cannot bring myself to listen to anymore for that reason. It fatigues my ears.

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