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Author Topic: Does LP music sound richer and warmer than a CD?  (Read 984 times)

Offline mrsmith2211

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Does LP music sound richer and warmer than a CD?
« on: 16/01/2016 07:20:57 »
OK, so wife is sleepy, a rock and roller since way back when, she used to be a baby sitter for rock and rollers, keep them of drugs etc, but I decided to fire up the turntable, doors morrison hotel, and crank it, now I have to say there is a warmth and richness in the sound that I have not felt listening to cd. As a side note I picked up an old 60 vintage epiphone amp off the curb, had a warning may shock you, it had a sweet tone but sold it to a music store for 350,

How feel you all, lp, vacuum tube sound experience? 4 crates of lp,s, putting on side 2 morrison hotel, doors, now
It feels better with the depth of tones listening to an lp instead of a cd. Just my imagination?
Cheers
« Last Edit: 16/01/2016 08:25:56 by chris »


 

Offline chris

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Re: Does LP music sound richer and warmer than a CD?
« Reply #1 on: 16/01/2016 10:48:42 »
There are a few things to consider here. First, the LP record works by tiny bumps on the vinyl corresponding to the musical frequencies being transmitted to the record player stylus (needle). This, in turn, converts those vibrations into small electric currents that are fed to the amplifier to make them larger. An amplifier based on valves will impart a colouration to the sound because the current output from from the tube is not a straight line where current in corresponds linearly to current out. This is referred to in the industry as "warmth" and has a characteristic sound quality which many people like. These currents are then used to drive the speakers to produce the sound.

This is an analogue process. The stylus will respond better (owing to resonance) to some frequencies than others. The records will also be worn, through previous playing, altering the rendition of the sound. Together, all of these factors produce the sound experience you hear, which people will become accustomed to and believe that this is the way the track "should" sound.

A CD is a digital storage medium. The sound information is encoded in pits cut into the disc surface in a track a few miles long. As the disc spins a laser reads the pattern of pits and converts them, using a binary code, into a series of values corresponding to the shape of the sound wave that was recorded in the first place. This is amplified and played to you. Because the sound is digitally encoded, there is no colouration of the sound by the reading process. The amplifier will still impart its own tonal qualities, but the representation of the soundscape that was recorded will be more faithfully reproduced, so the sound will be much more detailed.

While this sounds attractive, the high fidelity of digital reproduction can make the sound harsher to listen to and it is sometimes referred to as being "clinical" compared with the original. As a result, this doesn't always sound as "nice" as a good quality analogue set up, for some. This is because the gentle "smudging" effect of analogue does the audio equivalent of air-brushing and can help to smooth sounds together. Loud transient sounds in an analogue circuit just saturate out tunefully, while digital "overs" clip in a harsh, grating way.
 

Offline mrsmith2211

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Re: Does LP music sound richer and warmer than a CD?
« Reply #2 on: 17/01/2016 05:05:20 »
Thanks  ch ris for your gre at res ponse, it see ms my next or some bo dies next project would be to manip ulate the digital to rep licate ana log. wow blaclkisted term what is it? must be the at symbol above 2 key
 

Online evan_au

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Re: Does LP music sound richer and warmer than a CD?
« Reply #3 on: 17/01/2016 08:35:37 »
I assume that we are talking here about Compact Disc Audio format, which uses "loss-less" encoding of sound frequencies up to 20kHz, storing around 80 minutes of audio. Today, it is possible to store over 10 hours of audio on a "CD" by storing it compressed formats like MP3. These use a "lossy" compression scheme, which intentionally discards some audio content, especially at the lower bitrates.   

CDs don't suffer the same level of hiss and crackle that often occurs with dust on vinyl records. This might make them sound a bit "empty".

CDs have a greater dynamic range than an LP, which might lead the sound engineer to reduce the average sound level on a CD edition in order to allow for the peaks in the performance. Peaks in sound level are undesirable on vinyl, as they require a wider track spacing, and reduce the duration of the track that can be recorded; this requires more aggressive compression of the dynamic range on an LP.

Apart from the differences of the recording medium, there are differences in the amplifier used; older LPs were often played on a vacuum-tube amplifier, while modern CDs are often played on a semiconductor amplifier, generally using integrated circuits. Some people claim to be able to hear the difference between these types of amplifier.

CD players are often portable, with small-diameter speakers in a small enclosure, which limits the bass response.

All-in-one CD players can't achieve the audio channel separation of large speaker boxes properly placed around the listening position.

In the end, the speakers are likely to produce more distortion than the amplifier.

The only real way to disentangle these effects is to listen to the same recording on CD & vinyl, which can be played through the same amplifier and speakers, without the listener knowing which source is being used at any given moment. I suspect that very few people could tell the difference.

But in the end, the greatest distortion for old rockers is likely to be the severe attenuation of high frequencies due to prior exposure to loud sounds. You can get an App for your smartphone to measure the frequency response of your ears, and that might give you an indication of whether it is worthwhile to spend lots of money on a high-end sound system.
 
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Re: Does LP music sound richer and warmer than a CD?
« Reply #3 on: 17/01/2016 08:35:37 »

 

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