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LPs do sound better than CDs (qualified)


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Posted by Chris on November 10, 2005 at 21:41:30:

In Reply to: Re: I don't know what it is exactly either posted by Ross-O on November 10, 2005 at 20:48:13:

Good LPs on a good turntable with a good cartridge played in an environment without audio feedback do sound better than CDs. However a good turntable and cartridge is probably ore than most people spend on their entire audio system. CDs have brought very good sound to the masses, but they are not better than some LPs.
Even though LPs do sound better, they are much more trouble. Although I have all of the gear to play back LPs, the difficulty in doing so with audio feedback has kept me from setting up my turntable since I moved. I now just rip my CDs to my hard drive and play music from the computer. It sounds good and is oh so convenient. But when I had my system set up with the turntable there was no question that a good LP properly played back sounds better than a CD. It just in my old-age laziness I no longer want to deal with it.
I have not listened to a HDCD, but because of their much higher sampling rate they have the potential (if properly produced) to sound better than LPs.
There are excellent amplifiers in all technologies, and many mediocre and bad ones as well.

LPs vs. CDs <----> film vs. digital

LPs sound better than CDs because the steep anti-aliasing filters cause ringing (the harshness you hear in CD). These are part of the recording chain. The dynamic range of CDs (peak level to dithered noise floor) is equivalent or better than LPs analog dynamic range, but the harshness from the filters is key failing in CDs.

Film has a much greater dynamic range (light to dark) than digital. It gets this by having a soft roll off (non-linear response) on the bright and dark end of the intensity scale. Digital has a very linear response and a very sharp cut off at the extremes of it's response. Also noise in film and digital noise have a different perception quality I don't know how to quantify.

Digital recording has advanced to higher sample rates and resolutions, thus if done properly can be better than any analog method.

Anyway I'm out of time for this rant.

... Chris



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