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Audio Systems/Nothing beats the sound of vinyl?

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Question
QUESTION: Dear Sir,

Is it true that vinyl records have a better sound quality than CDs?

Thank you

ANSWER: Have you ever heard the phrase "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder"?  Same with audio sound quality - it is the beauty in the ears.  Old timers like the sound of the scratch surfaces and the silky audio quality caused by the surface of the disc against the stylus. In terms of actual measured characteristics such as distortion, uniformity of frequency response, noise and modulation properties digital signals test out far superior to vinyl.

I am an experienced audio engineer and recording engineer and to me  a properly mastered cd is head and shoulders above the vinyl.  However, there are many old master recordings only available on vinyl that are really good music - but because of the source music rendition not because of the sound quality.

In my opinion there is no argument; properly mastered and reproduced the CD is an order of magnitude superior to any analog vinyl recording.  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Sir,

Thank you for your kind advice.

What if the music was recorded digitally, rather than via analog means, and then transferred to vinyl and CD. In that case, will there be any differences between the two?

Thank you.

Answer
Yes; big difference. In my opinion the CD will always be better than the analog media.  And, yes, I know there are many old timer golden ear types that will disagree.  I would be delighted to debate them on the science and technology of the differences.  I will stand by my opinion.  Listening to analog media is a trained response and not based on objective, scientific and properly conducted listening tests.  Some people like to listen to the surface noise, distortion and irregular frequency response that is inherent in analog mechanical systems.

Hope this helps.  

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Cleggsan

Expertise

Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.

Experience

Have been associated with audio design, standards, testing and component systems for over 40 years.

Organizations
Life Fellow Member of Audio Engineering Society Life Senior Member of Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers

Publications
Review technical manuscripts for IEEE Spectrum Write occasionally for high-end audio publications

Education/Credentials
BSEE/MSCS/MBA

Past/Present Clients
Past Employee/advisor to several well known audio products manufacturers

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