Vinyl - How does it sound [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-02-2013, 06:36 AM
I was watching the news and they had a sort segment about the reemergence of vinyl. One of the people mentioned that vinyl sounded warmer than digital. I've heard others say the same thing, my experience is much different.

The difference I hear is a great deal more detail and naturalness throughout the entire spectrum with analog and the soundstage with digital is more compressed. The difference is not subtle. In every case, vinyl sounds much better when directly comparing it to the CD version. Well, that's my experience. I only have a modest vinyl playback system.

I realize that better digital gear can close the gap, but from your own experience, using equipment that you own, what differences do you vinyl owners hear? Is it just a warmer sound, or do you hear what I hear? Are the differences subtle in your system or very apparent?

I would appreciate your opinion and experience. What differences between vinyl and digital do you hear?

03-02-2013, 02:56 PM
I don't know if we can be sure the news segment was using the word "warm" the way we use it in audio. My Dual/Shure combination produces a warmer sound than my Rega/Benz combination. They're so different that it tells me there's no uniform tendency among analog setups to sound warm. I think I'd say my Rega CD player sounds warmer than my Rega turntable. It's a close call, though. They can sound very much alike with a good example of both media.

The difference I do hear is a little like what you're saying you hear, in that I do perceive more detail and a more natural presentation. What I sometimes lack in the analog setup, as compared to digital, is the punch and precision at the extremes.

03-03-2013, 06:42 AM
02audionoob -Thanks

I realize that everything in a system makes a difference, speakers, amps, and sources and it makes it hard to compare results. It does sound like you're getting a more "even" result between digital and analog than I am. What's even more interesting is that your analog gear is much better than mine, so is your digital gear.

I have two cartridges, a rather dated Shure, which came with the turntable, and an Audio Technica. The differences between those two cartridges are huge.

I suppose that the reason I started this thread is because I know why I prefer vinyl (more detail and much better soundstage), but not too many people seem to comment on this except to say that it sounds warmer or more natural, which, in my mind, wouldn't be enough to pursue vinyl. You could get warmer with a tweak of the EQ, but what makes it sound more natural?

In any case, thanks for your reply. It helped.

03-03-2013, 08:58 AM
My own layman’s theory about LP reproduction and its sometimes preferable sound is that it could perhaps be attributed to a lack of precision and sharpness. Taking the edges off the extremes makes the sounds less distracting and allows the music to become a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. I’m just thinking out loud…haven’t really put serious thought into that. I’m not one to believe analog is inherently better than digital, only that there are things to like about both. I believe the better both get, the more accurate both are. If true, that would mean they’d have to converge as they get better.

03-03-2013, 10:56 AM
Digital is closing the gap and we can only assume that eventually it may even overcome analog. That said, the technology is expensive and ever changing.

All things being equal, I prefer analog for the simple reason of musicality... it sounds MORE like music. The thing I listen for when comparing analog and digital is cymbals. To put it simply, I find that more often than not, analog will deliver a more realistic sound with shimmer, body and tone. The digital problem with cymbals tends to be the same for all units which struggle with it - the cymbals become akin to a hiss.

Anyhow, in my home digital and analog walk hand in hand. I rip my LPs to FLAC and use a Squeezebox to transfer them up to my family room. The results are wonderful and i get tons of enjoyment from my digital front end.