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Which one is most accurate digital or vinyl?

Discussion in 'audio' started by kristoffer, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. kristoffer

    kristoffer Danish Hi Fi NERD

    The latest ed. of the Podcast Accidental Tech Podcast talks about vinyl vs digital. They state that digital is far more accurate when it comes to capturing sound or music. Digital has a wider dynamic range ( in theory ) and is more accurate compared to vinyl which is cut in plastic.

    I prefer vinyl and I don't really care whether or not it is the most accurate reproduction or not, but does the guys from Accidental Tech Podcast have a point? :confused:
  2. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    Common knowledge old chap... Anyone that thinks otherwise is surely either deluded, in denial or a sandwich short of a picnic ?
  3. Rodney gold

    Rodney gold Im just me...

    The only thing that matters is the signal that hits your ears and whether you like it..
    Why get bogged down in some pointless debate when you plainly prefer vinyl
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Whichever format has the better mastering of the title you wish to listen to available is the better format. The end.
  5. Guest432

    Guest432 Guest

    It all depends on the type of cable used for the digital signals, has to be a nice shiny expensive one.
  6. windhoek

    windhoek The Phoolosopher

    If vinyl is so bad, why does it sound so good?
  7. istari_knight

    istari_knight pfm Member

    It doesnt... To me ;)

    I am a child of the digital age so put it down to that but to my ears most vinyl setups sound unnatural, coloured and sometimes downright bad. The very finest examples I've listened to in £10K+ systems have ultimately sounded very similar to a half decent CD player... Which leaves me begging the question "why bother ?"

    But thats just me...
  8. Debs

    Debs pfm Member

    Whichever format you prefer to listen to is the better format. The end.
  9. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    While one may or may not be more accurate than the other, neither vinyl nor digital is most accurate.

    Because I am most accurate.
  10. abbydog

    abbydog pfm Member

    Portrait, still photograph, cinematography - which is more accurate? Which gives you most information about the subject?
  11. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    Much truth in this ...
  12. 2 many boxes

    2 many boxes pfm Member

    I've got to agree with that, but I'd say that ultimately for sheer accuracy, digital beats vinyl hands down, which is why I prefer listening to classical music digitally. But for rock music, vinyl is just so enjoyable somehow. It's dirty, it's exciting, I really must get a life:)
  13. gary yeowell

    gary yeowell pfm Member

    I prefer film cameras.
  14. Jo 90

    Jo 90 pfm Member

    I stopped comparing years ago.

    It is true that one is more accurate than the other, but both pale compared to live music. Both are flawed media and in this imperfect world, with imperfect hearing why chase the rabbit ?

    But if you want an answer to the question, I would say digital is more accurate, vinyl is more likely to elicit an emotional response.. Due to its flaws (which we always forgive it for )
  15. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    Do you mean digitally recorded music on vinyl? Records have be digitally cut since the late 70s.
  16. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    I have taken the view that a Download, a CD and Vinyl record are totally different works of art, like the artist who works with 35mm projection forced to work with video and projected screen.

    The technology renders a similar image
    But a different experience unfolds
    Qualitative changes that persist in the way we incorporate that sound
    From its inception to its consumption it will differ at every point and from every point of view.

    Let me explain

    LeftField Rhythm and Stealth exists as 10" singles, 12" LP, CD and download, each has a slightly different mastering each has a different way of listening from different order between digital formats and different track order to jackrabbitting up and down between tracks for the box set vs passively being spoon fed it on cd and in half doses by vinyl.

    See the problem?

    It's something I battle with all the the time; "what media ought you live on?" And even should you even be allowed to be in this world? Should you outlive me? forever? performed only once or allowed to be stored or allowed to gracefully rot and degrade? this is not a faithful reproduction not because of sound quality but experiential differences from the interaction with the media to the cd to the artwork on an iPad, it is different and that changes from variations in record to record with imprint versions of foreign imports with blurrier covers and old plate pressings and so on.

    The fixed form media is such a delicious conceit but it cannot be relied upon, necrophile reprints and remasters may clean it up but is that accurate? so you have to to take what you have at face value. There is no accurate because humans cannot perceive accuracy, that is something for far greater beings than we are ever going to be.
  17. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    You forget the limited edition 2xCD set which includes the standard album plus a whole other CD chock full of remixes etc! I have that one plus the 10" singles box set. To be honest I've only ever played the latter once or twice as it's such a faff flipping records after every track, especially little 10" ones where you have to stop the platter to get the things off again!

    PS The Leftfield item to hunt down is the original 3xLP of Leftism, that thing sounds amazing!
  18. Mike42

    Mike42 Heard it all before...

    On a Sunday afternoon you decide to take a drive for the hell of it. You have a Nissan 350Z and a Jaguar E Type. Which do you take?

    One is accurate, one is enjoyable. Neither are both in the long run. Same as digital vs vinyl IMO.
  19. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    I think this is about right. If we are really talking about accuracy, the answer is clear and it's digital that is more accurate, by a mile.

    There is a lot to be said on the question of whether accuracy is what matters though, or even -as Fox points out- whether a disc is a medium or a work in itself.

    My pet theory is that for rock music the recordign is the work. Live rock music is a completely different thing from studio albums: the two things simply don;t sound the same and can't be made to sound the same. I have rarely enjoyed live rock albums perhaps becasue they sound absurd to me when they are not played back at ear splitting volume. For most middle aged/old rock fans vinyl simply is the reference. This explains why it "simply sounds right". "Better" mastering of vinyl (which might with some fairness be said to be masterign to the taste of the more mature audience) of course adds to this.

    Equally it explains why classical music sounds better on cd than vinyl to the vast majority of classical music fans (especially those who go to concerts regularly). This is of course assisted by the fact that classical music cds have largely been mastered without excessive dynamic compression.

    I am aware that there are some people who apparently go to classical concerts and think that vinyl more faithfully captures the live sound. I admit that that beats the hell out of me.
  20. Fox

    Fox The sound of one hoof clopping

    The people I know as friends that invite me to concerts do not actually own a hifi
    They might have a bose or something like that but they would ever spend much on listening at home but they will spend a lot on a season pass to the barbican or the Berlin Phil.

    I think they feel why the heck bother? Its cheaper just to go hear it live
    A very different mindset.
    I like that. Its alien to me but I understand the logic.

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