I’m 60. In my childhood I listened to 78s, 33-1/3s and 45s. I do not miss vinyl. I do not miss the snap-crackle-pop in soft passages, scratches that cause skips, the loss of high end, shorter sides sounding louder than longer sides which are softer, space consumption, wasted cardboard, the large display of mostly crappy graphics, dust collecting, moving a weighty vinyl collection up to a friend’s third floor apartment, warping and washing off beverage stains from last night’s party.
With the advancement in higher sampling rates and greater bit depths the sonic quality is greatly improved. Since I couldn’t find the old vinyl in my collection, I recently purchased a CD of “The Kingston Trio Live at the Hungry I” (circa 1959). I wasn’t sure what to expect. The re-mastering blew me away. The room tone was there. The frequencies, especially a sweet sweet bottom end. No loss of high end. No plastic nails scratching glass; a well-rounded sound. Except for clinking cocktail glasses, there was no noise; a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
This romance with retro stuff is nonsense. We are supposed to be moving forward with technology, not going backward. Vinyl was a stepping stone. Let it go. Anyway this fad with vinyl seems to have the marks of someone heavily invested in recycled vinyl (which is not as flexible as virgin vinyl) and related tools, and has created a need so they can unload and get rich.
I have a home studio with nice monitors connected directly to a computer using a studio oriented sound card (with very wide dynamic range). This setup is notable for price performance and because it creates an opportunity for digital room correction, which nowadays you can do with miniature computers.
The RME fireface is as close as anything to an industry standard. Echo Audiofires are notable for amazing value. These are products that are virtually indistinguishable from stuff that costs a lot more. Anything equal to or better than them will be fine.
The best audio recording I have ever listened to is a CD, "The Nightfly" by Donald Fagan of Steely Dan fame. This CD was in DDD format, which I assume meant that it was recorded digitally rather than converted from an analog recording. The sound is wonderful, at any volume, and far surpasses any vinyl recording I have ever heard. Gives me goosebumps!
Steve jobs is dead because he ate herbs instead of having surgery. He was never an engineer or a scientist. He never let facts get in the way of his feelings.
Analog 'warmth' is nice, but once you get used to high quality digital there's no going back. Its sad, but vinyl just sounds muffled now :(
"Finally, I have to chuckle a bit when I read "...I record my vinyl to digital format and it sounds better than retail CDs..."
Sound is subjective. So your chuckling really just goes to show how narrow minded you are.
Someone tells you something SHOULD sound better... and like a sheep you believe it.
The most obvious difference between vinyl and CD is the ability to reproduce frequencies above 20khz. Just because we can't hear those frequencies on their own doesn't mean they don't effect the frequencies we can hear. Those overtones may be the difference between the ear fatigue that CD listening causes and the smooth high end that a high quality analog playback system provides.
I think that a big part of the debate is driven by an unfair comparison between something that is still in its relative infancy (Digital audio), and something that had been developed nearly to its material science limits (analog vinyl LP recording).
The technical limitations of the CD standard are well understood and many audiophiles will agree that, while it has improved over time, standard CD is only viewed (or rather, heard) as marginally audiophile quality.
However, Digital audio should not be painted with the same CD standard brush. With greater bit depths and wider bandwidth, there is no physical reason, other than for THE LACK of familiar and perhaps comforting analog distortion and S/N characteristics, that digital audio cannot readily outperform vinyl, both in measurement and to the trained ear. Of course, without also upgrading the rest of the audio chain to deal with shorter rise/fall times, wider dynamic range, lower noise floor, flatter frequency and phase responses, etc., the more demanding digital source material could elicit some less than flattering behaviour out of an existing system.
Finally, I have to chuckle a bit when I read "...I record my vinyl to digital format and it sounds better than retail CDs...". Kinda reminds me of those old color TV commercials when the maker shows a shot of their set playing some colorful scene and some guy exclaims to the viewer "Just look at that picture!"
Blog Doing Math in FPGAs Tom Burke 24 comments For a recent project, I explored doing "real" (that is, non-integer) math on a Spartan 3 FPGA. FPGAs, by their nature, do integer math. That is, there's no floating-point ...