Compare your cd playback to vinyl and post here. Please participate!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by JazzPolice, May 15, 2014.

  1. JazzPolice

    JazzPolice Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I'm gathering data out of curiosity regarding vinyl vs cd playback for my own purposes. If you feel like playing along, please perform this test and post here: Grab a couple of lp and cd pairs of the same title out of your collection which you are reasonably sure are mastered the same. Play the lp and cd together and switch back and forth and answer the following questionnaire honestly:

    1 Which is brighter? LP or CD?

    2 Which seems to have more fullness/bass/low end energy? LP or CD?

    3 What cartridge are you using?

    4 What is your turntable/tonearm?

    5 What cd player do you have?

    6 Which title(s) did you use for the experiment?

    I have a feeling this thread could get very interesting. Thanks for doing this if you decide to.
     
    RickH likes this.
  2. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    They won't be mastered the same, can't be really. But good topic! I'm interested to see some peoples tests :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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  3. JazzPolice

    JazzPolice Well-Known Member Thread Starter


    Close enough works. In other words, I use an original '80s USA pressing of U2 "Joshua Tree" along with the original USA vinyl. Also, Echo and The Bunnymen s/t and another one is "The Best of Chet Baker Sings" pressed on the same label around the same time and sounding very similarly mastered.
     
  4. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    1. CDs typically have more sibilant sounds. Neither is characteristically bright.

    2. Notably, LPs.

    3. AT 440MLa (24K/100pF)

    4. Sota Comet III/RB300

    5. Oppo DV-980H

    6. John Abercrombie—Timeless, Polvo—Celebrate the New Dark Age, John Coltrane—Love Supreme, Wire—154, Van Dyke Parks—Song Cycle. (These are my go-to titles for comparison. The ECM is probably the best comparison. As mentioned, mastering will vary, but none of these are remastered titles.)
     
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  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Can't possibly mean anything unless you know that the digital version and the vinyl version were mastered by the same person at the same time with the same equipment. Otherwise, meaningless. And of course it totally depends on the quality of your personal digital and analog playback.

    Try the DCC AQUALUNG CD/Vinyl.
     
  6. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I've tried the DCC Aqualung comparison and I prefer the vinyl hands down. More natural timbre IMO. This is why I am an all analog advocate whenever possible.
     
  7. JazzPolice

    JazzPolice Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    The mastering issue does present a problem and skews the data. I'm just looking for generalizations and fun, though. Nothing seriously critical. But I was thinking that most forum members probably have a good idea or could search the archives for example titles wherein the mastering is the same on both formats. Thank you for the excellent suggestion, Steve. I don't have any DCC vinyl. Only cds. Unfortunately I can't perform the test with "Aqualung".
     
  8. JazzPolice

    JazzPolice Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Awesome! Could you fill out the questionnaire, please?
     
  9. JazzPolice

    JazzPolice Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I just searched the archives and didn't find much. If there are any other suggested titles where it's verified that the mastering is the same on both formats, please post them here.
     
  10. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I take it back, the Polvo is remastered by Bob Weston.
     
  11. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Im interested regardless of the differences in mastering. I reckon more appropriate might be compare two titles, which do you prefer CD or LP and why. Afterall, at the end of the day thats ultimately what we are interested in, and mostly the reason for playing LP's in the first place.
     
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  12. back2vinyl

    back2vinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    The thing is, CD players have a flat frequency response whereas cartridges most definitely don't. So you can never make a meaningful comparison. Whenever you play an LP, in effect you remaster it with the EQ choices made by your cartridge. So even if the masterings start off as identical - which is rare in itself - they won't be the same by the time they reach your amplifier.

    It could still be fun, though. I'll try to think of some titles.
     
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  13. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Unless you measure and correct the cart output. :shh:
     
  14. Sid Hartha

    Sid Hartha Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Midwest
    I actually did this last week. From memory:

    1 Which is brighter? LP or CD? CD
    2 Which seems to have more fullness/bass/low end energy? LP or CD? LP
    3 What cartridge are you using? Stanton 681 with Jico Shibata stylus
    4 What is your turntable/tonearm? Thorens TD160 with stock arm
    5 What cd player do you have? Onkyo C7030
    6 Which title(s) did you use for the experiment? Tom Waits - "Bad As Me" (using the CD that came with the LP)

    To be completely honest, both sounded extremely close to each other. Can't really say I favor one over the other.
     
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  15. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    There are so many variables in this kind of comparison -- as others have noted, the source material's not the same; the output voltage from the sources probably aren't the same so unless the listener had taken some steps to assure that the playback levels are identical, differences in level are going to have an impact on the listener's hearing -- that it seems largely meaningless to me. But, OK:

    1 Which is brighter? LP or CD? CD

    2 Which seems to have more fullness/bass/low end energy? LP or CD? At the lowest extreme -- and I wasn't listening to anything with super low bass -- the energy was about the same, but the LP seemed to have significantly more "fullness" with more lower midrange and upper bass energy.

    3 What cartridge are you using? AT33EV

    4 What is your turntable/tonearm? Merrill Heirloom; Rega RB250 with modified end stub, counterweight, wiring, and mounting system.

    5 What cd player do you have? Shanling S100 with modified clock, upgraded op amps and various other parts.

    6 Which title(s) did you use for the experiment? Joan Armatrading S/T third album.
     
  16. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    Would it maybe help to simply make a CD-R or digitize a vinyl record, then compare that copy to the vinyl?

    That way you remove all mastering changes, all cart and vinyl playback changes etc.

    Is the idea to see what is different between CD and Vinyl, OR to see how mastering changes between formats?


    Otherwise you are comparing masterings and changes made before it hits the vinyl or CD.
     
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  17. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident


    I have had carts that compared to others I have owned sounded a lot "different".
    My OM-30 was detailed and bright, and my Shure V15 XXX (forget the exact number now) was very neutral and more accurate.
     
  18. Jim T

    Jim T Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mars
    I would agree that this can be a futile exercise without knowing if the same mastering was used so as to render the comparison flawed from the get-go.

    I am a big fan of ECM and have a number of Keith Jarrett recording, many matches on cd and lp. I am not so much a fan of ECM lps, at least the ones I have, but I keep in mind that whoever does the lp mastering made some choices that may not be my or your cup of tea. I find them all a little thin sounding, but I do have tone controls and used them on theses lps.

    There is nothing like the black backgrounds of digital, but it can be awful bright at times. It is certainly getting better in the last few years.
     
  19. RonW

    RonW Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I can compare the CD "Outrider" by Jimmy Page to the LP easily:

    1. Which is brighter? LP or CD? CD
    2. Which seems to have more fullness/bass/low end energy? LP or CD? LP
    3. What cartridge are you using? Shure V-15 Type II
    4. What is your turntable/tonearm? Harman Kardon ST-7 Linear Tracking
    5. What cd player do you have? Marantz SA-8003

    Mastering? No idea. I am just making a direct comparison between the CD/LP media. They sound very close.
     
  20. gloomrider

    gloomrider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA, USA
    Agreed. But then you're at the mercy of how "neutral" the pink noise is on your test record. I know I've read how our host sometimes "matches" a remaster to the sound of an LP, and no doubt there's some "special sauce" there. But I would be extremely eager to know how one goes about getting "neutral" out of a vinyl rig.
     
  21. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident


    I think something we often gloss over, if someone is either very into CD or Vinyl, most times, they try to make their preferred media sound most neutral or good. That will in most cases make the other media less than ideal.

    There is no way, CD and Vinyl will both just happen to sound "Ideal", and often beyond mastering changes obviously, we are talking about system set up preferences.
     
  22. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    For me, in a non-critical application, looking at measurements taken with different software, some dedicated cartridge analysis with its own pink noise tracks, some from other test records; there seems to be a consensus of data regarding the response of certain cartridges. That is close enough for me.

    I guess with a remastering, you look at as many sources as you can/have time to. That is not my bag.
     
  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    I've never matched one of my remasters to the sound of an LP in my life.
     
  24. gloomrider

    gloomrider Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA, USA
    Forgive me Steve, I stated that rather awkwardly. How about using the sound on a previously mastered LP to provide guidance for how the remaster might sound?
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Not even that. How it SHOULD sound is how I want it to sound, really. I want to hear what the original sound was, of course, but if it sucks, why would I imitate it? No, I respect what came before and if the original mastering falls in with my "vision" of what it COULD sound like, that's great. If it doesn't, no way I'm going to repeat the same sound over again just because that's how it was done first. That's nothing to spend your money on, heck, the original could be out there for 2 bucks in that case.
     

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