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Records vs CDs

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If one were to use the best equipment then which would sounds better out of the following?

 

1) New record digitised at a bit depth of 24 bits and 96,000 Hz or 192,000 Hz

2) New CD

 

As I understand it: records are made with a bit depth of 24 bits while CDs have a bit depth of only 16 bits which means 16,777,216 vs 65,536 possible sounds.

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PMSL.

 

No, not really. IIRC records were generally made by mixing multiple tracks onto a master tape, then a press made where the vinyl was injected into at production stage. It's an analog recording so there's not really bit depth or sampling rate.

You could say the sample rate is practically infinite but bit depth you could probably put an equivalence to. Or in a more audiophillic type of way you'd probably express the recording quality in terms of signal to noise ratio.

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If you have a good quality master, then what it comes down to is whether you like the analogue flavour vinyl adds to playback vs a more clean playback from digital.

 

The important thing is how it's mastered for the final product, rather than the final product itself.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

I know records are analogue but I would have thought there would be some knowledge about how precise they are.

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If you were to quantify it you'd probably end up with better sampling rate but bit depth that might well be inferior.

 

But one can make up for the other. Double the sampling rate but use one less bit and you have the exact same storage requirements for digital and the end quality should be much the same.

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Vinyl traditionally has poorer signal to noise ratios, which means you could say it has a lower bit depth.

 

Even if you say that vinyl has a better sampling rate - because it's not quantised, being analogue - sampling theory says that for most sounds humans can hear, the 44kHz that CDs offer is good enough.

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One element people dont often talk about is the human perception of enjoyment.

CD's are perfect, every time, and as such a song can get boring faster.

 

The little crackles pops and hisses are 'interesting' to the subconcious, so you'll often find someone can listen to the same record 100 times, where the CD might get done by 75 times.

I dont have a source for this, it was a long time ago i read it.

 

But it's sort of akin to how this generation likes the 'Digital Wasps' of MP3 compression, and some older gen cant handle it (and that info is easy to source; google if you so wish)

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The playing of vinyl is more of a ceremony and I think that adds a lot of pleasure. You don't generally go to the trouble of putting on a record to listen to it in the background these days.

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Similar subjective and unquantifiable things have been said of cassettes... the ritual of dubbing tapes, the time taken to fast forward and rewind creating a heightened sense of anticipation, etc. You can't argue with that, but personally there's no way I would ever bother with a cassette tape or vinyl again, beyond necessity. I don't think I've ever listened to a recording and thought, "I would relish this much more if it was an analog format". I have some old records that I treasure, and digitised with decent equipment, and every few years I listen to the records again just to see if something in my ears has matured in favour of vinyl, for whatever doing such a thing is worth, but so far they sound the same. Maybe the digitisation was so well executed that I am always immersed in a vinyl quality sonic ocean (:

 

Personally I value the musical content over the format, and regrettably some old recordings are degraded through physical damage, so given the choice, I would choose digital every time, due to its convenience and longevity. But that's just me.

Edited by komuso
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Compact Cassette tapes were pretty woeful to begin with. Inferior to the existing home reel to reel ones in most regards except size and convenience and noticably inferior to records.

You tended to get less hiss, crackle and hum but IMO they gave poor reproduction of sound at low and high frequencies.

Not to mention that they tended to get chewed up, especially in car players.

Edited by Rybags

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No argument that cassettes were not all cassetty from me. I was just trying to highlight the problems of investment in subjectively perceived evaluations of a given format, rather than the quantifiable pros and cons of the format itself.

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I use small USB sticks like CD's\Tapes anyway.

I have a metal one, a techno one, a jpop one, a classical one, etc.

 

Works well in the car, they're all on a magnetic strip on the sunshade.

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