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  1. #1
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    Yes, vinyl vs CD

    It is not my intent to start another cd vs vinyl debate but to share an experience I had. Vinyl vs CD has too many variables and subjectives to ever have a definitive conclusion.

    Most of the Yes I like is on old vinyl that isn't in good shape, it was all bought used or freeby. So I bought the CD Yes, Classics, years back for when I get the Yes jones. This CD's sound quality was never appealing to me, it sounds dead or muffled for lack of a better description. Maybe the remasters sound better. Yes's early stuff seems to have a certain type of engineering sound anyway. Recently I bought a nearly pristine copy of Yes's, Fragile, for $3.00 at a record show. I cleaned with my record machine and threw it on the table, wow, I was just amazed at how much better this album sounded over the mentioned CD. I've had similar experiences with older albums, they just seemed to lose something in the transition to disc. I know remastering is big and sometimes it helps but on some albums although it sounds cleaner, it still seems like the remaster took something away, the soul of the recording. I am glad I didn't go crazy trying to replace all my favorite albums with CD. The ones I did, I regret for the most part. It should also be mentioned that some of my vinyl sounds like crap too, no matter the format there must be a good master to begin with, so my statement toward older albums on vinyl is just a generalization.

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I think the reason why I love YES is that their albums sound 100 times better on vinyl. But I have yet to hear CTTE adn Fragile on MF CD.
    Though I'm not too crazy about Fragile, I do have 2 copies on LP, 1 on CD, and a recent $30 reissue. The CD version has no dynamics to speak of. I might just prefer my older pressings than the most recent one I purchased. The one by AcousTech sounds too smooth for me. I think I need to play it a couple more times (I believe in breakin-in records).

    I found a cleanest copies of Close to the Edge and Yes the Album I've seen in my life last month at an Antique store. I only picked up one of each. I should just pick'em up next time I go to Knoxville. They sound so much better than the ones I have on CDs. CD versions sound like they were ripped at 128kbps. If I manage to pick one up, I'll send it to you Mr P. Probably not Yes the Album. I think that album is a bad recording in general. But of all 3 copies of CTTE, I have yet to experience bad sound quality.

    Have you had a chance to listen to one on DVD-A? I've been wondering about that one. My friend has Denon DV-19XX universal player. I should buy the album and hear how good it sounds.

    JRA

  3. #3
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Fragile...

    If it's any consulation the DVD-Audio of the classic YES album FRAGILE ain't nothing to write home about either. Such a shame...this band needs some serious remastering on the digital formats.

  4. #4
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    Oddly enough, I have not bought any DVD-A or SACD's. My old Denon 1600 plays DVD-A I just haven't tried anything on it. I have been fortunate enough to have very good CD players and never got to enthused about the other formats. In store demos at high end shops I couldn't tell enough difference to change my mind either. So far I have very little interest in 5 channel music.

    I do have a CD that when I put it in my HT system played in surround sound. The name escapes me now but it was one of those Classical pieces done on synthesizer. That actually was pretty entertaining. I knew it was artificial though and it was more of a novelty. I like music to sound like I'm at the show and I haven't been to any concerts yet where the band surrounds you.

  5. #5
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Oddly enough, I have not bought any DVD-A or SACD's. My old Denon 1600 plays DVD-A I just haven't tried anything on it. I have been fortunate enough to have very good CD players and never got to enthused about the other formats. In store demos at high end shops I couldn't tell enough difference to change my mind either. So far I have very little interest in 5 channel music.

    I do have a CD that when I put it in my HT system played in surround sound. The name escapes me now but it was one of those Classical pieces done on synthesizer. That actually was pretty entertaining. I knew it was artificial though and it was more of a novelty. I like music to sound like I'm at the show and I haven't been to any concerts yet where the band surrounds you.
    Thanks for mentioning something that I feel is vitally important to discuss and that is music in 5.1....

    I personally have a few feelings about multichannel music and it's pretty basic when I think about it. Essentially it is broken down into two groups:

    LIVE MUSIC REPRODUCTION vs. STUDIO MUSIC REPRODUCTION


    True, I have never been to a concert where I was surrounded by all the musicians and therefore my feeling is that LIVE concerts should be handled with care when it comes to multichannel/surround sound/5.1 you name it. To me, the mix should reflect what it would be like sitting there watching the actual event, very similar to how a concert DVD should be mixed. That is, the band should be focused in the front channels representing the stage with instruments and vocals true to their position. The surrounds should only reflect ambience of crowd noises. This enables the listener to feel surrounded by the event, not just the musicians. I can think of a few really good examples...Roy Orbison Black & White Night concert DVD in DTS 5.1, the Roger Waters The Wall Live in Berlin SACD, and most of the Mobile Fidelity Multichannel SACD's of classical music.

    Studio albums on the other hand are a different beast altogether and therefore I am more tolerable of interesting mixes for 5.1. This is mainly due to the fact that in most cases it is the actual artists who are making that mix happen or supervising, therefore their original vision is never lost, it's just modified for a new format. Also, with the advent of things like SACD, more musicians are thinking in terms of 5.1 prior to even recording and therefore are already mindful of interesting ways to create their final mix. I've heard both disasters and improvements with this. One of my favorite albums in 5.1 happens to be Beck's Sea Change, which fully utilizes all the channels to create a really engaging experience. Although in this case the music also happens to be easily adapted for an interesting mix. The final point is that the music should dictate the mix, never the opposite.

    Thanks for bringing up a hot topic of debate and hopefully others will feel lead to express their feelings on the matter.

    I personally prefer to hear the album the way it was intended, so if it's a 2-channel CD, then I want only two front speakers producing sound. If it was remixed for 5.1, then I'll listen to that as well. I don't care for using the receiver as a surround toy that allows you to take 2-channel sources and butcher it into surround sound. It never sounds right.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    I think that's a good point about live vs. studio for the surround stuff. Most studio stuff is all multitracked and not really designed to come across as a picture of the band there playing anyway, so messing with the placement is just a further extention of that.

    But, back to the CD vs vinyl thing. I'm not really too into the argument myself. You listen to whichever you prefer and there are great sounding records and cds out there and horrible examples of each. But, yeah, there are some where the cd is just lots worse than the vinyl. 2 cases I always remember are the Jesus & Mary Chain's Darklands album and the Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions LP, bith of which seem to loose a ton of their ambience on cd.

  7. #7
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Yep, the original pressings of the Yes albums on CD were muddy, murky crap, but the recent remasters in the digipacks are excellent and simply sound better than some worn out old record ever possibly could.

    Listen, I own 5000 LPs (mostly rare, weird crap), so I'm not simply dismissing vinyl, but a properly mastered CD sounds better than vinle if both pieces are brand new facotry fresh. 20+ years down the road and the CD still sounds immaculate like it did that first day. Not the LP. I don't care how perfectly you care for your LPs, they just are too fragile (pun intended) to have any sort of hi-fi shelf life.

  8. #8
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Yep, the original pressings of the Yes albums on CD were muddy, murky crap, but the recent remasters in the digipacks are excellent and simply sound better than some worn out old record ever possibly could.

    Listen, I own 5000 LPs (mostly rare, weird crap), so I'm not simply dismissing vinyl, but a properly mastered CD sounds better than vinle if both pieces are brand new facotry fresh. 20+ years down the road and the CD still sounds immaculate like it did that first day. Not the LP. I don't care how perfectly you care for your LPs, they just are too fragile (pun intended) to have any sort of hi-fi shelf life.
    I agree. I myself have heard vinyl that sounded way better than the first issue CDs. As far as Yes goes, I too have the recent remasters and I think they're great; much much better than the first or second issue CD. I agree that vinyl can sound great, but I'm with you - they're high maintenance. Sure, a properly handled LP w/ high-end stylus/turntable, blah, blah, blah...too much Ritual for me (pun intended).

  9. #9
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    Good comments everybody.

  10. #10
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Good comments everybody.

    uhh.....thanks?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Good comments everybody.
    I mean.... everybody BUT 3-Lockbox

  12. #12
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    MoFi...

    I wonder how the album FRAGILE sounds on the newly remastered Mobile Fidelity Gold CD???? Anyone got it?

  13. #13
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    I gotta get me a stand alone CD recorder. My neighbor has tons of vinyl not even released on CD yet. Hes has three or four Yes albums as well. He's got a couple of Kingfish LPs I like quite a bit (sans Bob Weir) that I want to get transfered to CD, as well as a pristine copy of Buckingham Nicks that for some reason never saw the light of CD.

  14. #14
    Oldest join date recoveryone's Avatar
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    Here a quick note you guys may find useful when hunting for older transfers of LP's to CD. Look on the back of the case and see how it was transfered. on older CD it will have logo like: AAD (analog to analog to Digital) ADD (analog Digital to Digital) DDD (Digital to Digital to Digital). As we all know, now days music is recorded digitally so analog is never a factor anymore, but older stuff was always done in analog tape first then transfered later which depending on which method use can result in less than ideal reproduction.
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