CD vs Vinyl vs Streaming Jul 8, 2016 13:59:55 GMT -5
Post by nwobhm on Jul 8, 2016 13:59:55 GMT -5
It is the way that digital albums are being mastered that is the problem, not some limitation of the technology.
What you should really A/B is a capture of your vinyl track to flac (or some other lossless format) using a good quality phono preamp and 96k/24bit sound card input. Then level match the two sources and compare playback. I bet they sound the same.
What is most likely is the vinyl is mastered better than the CD version. Check this site out: dr.loudness-war.info/
For almost all albums, the vinyl version has better dynamic range. I have no doubt you can hear the difference, but it has to do with the fault of the marketers of the record labels trying to make their CD as loud as they can by compressing the difference between the highs and lows.
Our ears love hearing dynamic range because that is how real life is. I have no doubt anyone on hear can hear the difference in mastering. It is very obvious even for me and I'm not a musician.
A few recent examples. For each, the dynamic range of the vinyl version is mastered much better than the CD version.
Taylor Swift 1989:
dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/83022 versus dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/86980
Daft Punk Random Access Memories:
dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/99181 and dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/88615
Go find your favorite albums in the database. I am certain this is the difference you are hearing and it really is there which is why I try to "find" the best possible version in terms of dynamic range, then play that back on my PC.
yeah, no - I don't disagree with anything you've written. The annihilation of dynamic range over the last 15 years is a serious issue and a major reason I try to steer digital loving friends and family away from modern "remastering" reissues. The sad fact, though, is most don't care. I do, so, I forgo all that nonsense and "get back to the garden" and seek out the earliest original vinyl pressings I can reasonably afford unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise.
It's important to note that I typically don't listen to a lot of music created in this era and the relatively few CD's (when compared to my vinyl collection that I have curated over more than three decades) I do own are decades old as well. A vast majority of my music purchasing over the last 15 years has either been used vinyl or vinyl re-issues from labels and pressing plants that I trust, and there are painful few of those.
Just for the sake of clarification - a good example of an a/b comparison track I use would be pre-remastered The Police "Synchronicity" vs a standard original vinyl pressing. Again, I'm not speaking in absolutes here.... my system, my room, my preferred music genre.
Nonetheless, my gut reaction is that the reason we may have for finding the vinyl preferable may be rooted in exactly the butchered modern mastering you reference. At the end of the day though, does the "why" matter? It doesn't. I have limited commercially available media to choose from, I'm going to choose the one that more consistently sounds better to me with the full realization that I am in the minority of the vast music listening public who are completely content to continue streaming bricked highly compressed nonsense.
I realize I'm just a curmudgeonly cynic dinosaur, but, the root of the problem is that society, as a whole, has pretty much chosen convenience over quality when it comes to just about everything but especially with regards to music. They are perplexingly happy to have it delivered with little consideration as to the integrity of how the music was made from an artistic standpoint, much less the quality of the mastering and it's delivery system.