The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Share

    bluemeanies

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2015-02-09
    Age : 66
    Location : Folsom Pa.

    CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by bluemeanies on Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:29 am


    This question is totally off the grid for you jar heads that are locked into a vacuum...especially you Kentley....lol
    All in jest!
    I think it is a valid question and needs to be talked about. Most posts on the forum seem to be related to tubes, amplifiers and how one can make something better when it's not broke in the first place.
    What about the enjoyment of what we already are experiencing.
    I posted this question on another forum and I will be anxious to compare notes.

    I wanted to get opinions about people's feelings on the differences of audio playback sources. Currently I am using TIDAL which streams CD quality playback. I have compared this with my own cd's playing thru my OPPO 93 with my 2channel system which is made up of Bob Latino tube mono-blocks and a Grace pre/amp/dac monitoring system.
    No complaints. When comparing the two cd vs streaming I cannot notice any difference, at least my ears do not notice any radical change pro/con for cd or streaming.
    I am wondering if anyone here has compared all three, cd, streaming and vinyl playback and if so what are their outtake on the physical end result of the systems performance.
    Not having a TT I was unable to a have a final analysis to voice an opinion about the benefits of vinyl playback.

    Thanks

    skriefal

    Posts : 116
    Join date : 2011-09-20
    Location : Utah, USA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by skriefal on Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:48 am

    Sometimes the CD release will be better. Sometimes the vinyl release will be better. And with older albums there may be multiple CD and/or multiple vinyl versions available, with varying quality across the versions. There is no consistent winner, or even a consistent set of differences between CD vs LP vs streaming. It's mostly a matter of convenience, or the lack thereof.

    Like most things in life, if you believe you would enjoy a turntable (or that new pair of boots, or that new watch) and you can afford it... go for it!

    Kentley

    Posts : 300
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Kentley on Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:45 am

    "This question is totally off the grid for you jar heads that are locked into a vacuum...especially you Kentley....lol"

    I enjoy my vaccum, thank you mary vuch.
    Skriefal states it well - there can be no comprehensive answer. All recording media involve compromise. Vinyl mastering must be carefully monitored for excessive level, particularly in the bass frequencies, otherwise the stylus will literally jump out of the groove. Some ears have become accustomed to this limitation, and will tend to prefer a properly compressed vinyl mix to a relatively undoctored CD or stream. Digital media have different constraints. The only constant is in the relative skill and intentions of the masterer. He must be alert and flexible.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:11 pm

    I would've thought Audio Bill or Skizo to have weighed in by now, as they are digital junkies. And with AudioBill's excessive patience, I got tapped into Tidal and it produces superb, redbook quality sound, if you've got the internet speed to support it. Tidal is marketed to the hip-hop bozoes but you can stream the Fugs, Holy Modal Rounders, all the old Stones and Beatles albums, and a superb jazz and blues catalogue. You'll need a MAC Airport Express ($100) and for full juice, a decent DAC that accepts an optical input from the AE ($400 for an Emotiva plus maybe $10 for the cable), to get the best out of Tidal. Tidal is $20/month but offer a 50% discount for veterans -- just mail 'em a copy of your DD-214 with your SSAN or service number blacked out and there ya go. Hat's off to them for that.
    I prefer archiving vinyl to R2R tape. Archiving vinyl digitally is a technology I'm not sufficiently interested (yet) in learning. Find me a box with a single sheet of instructions in scrutable English and maybe I'll try it.
    I'm backing up my Precambrian vinyl to a Technics RS-1500 series R2R machine, soon to upgrade to the auto-reverse 1700 series. A guy in Gig Harbour, WA, Jeff Jacobs (j-corder.com) refurbishes the belt-less Technics to better than new, and many of the two-tracks are in use in recording studios. Four tracks is sufficient for me. I can't sing Jeff's praises high enough. Even at 3-3/4 ips on 4-track will make your socks roll up and down. You're moving 4x the tape by the heds than a Nakamichi Dragon.  I find myself taping digital Tidal to the Technics. You can, at that speed, put about 3 albums per each side on the tape.
    Plus, just watching those 10.5 inch reels spinning lazily around during record or playback is better than acid, man.
    ATR Magnetics (USA) and Pyral (France) make superb mastering tape for about $70 with metal reels; pancakes are half-price if you've got reels already. Absolutely none of the infamous "tape hiss" and the dynamics are right up with the best if you don't "stuff" them. Vu meters should be below 0 dB except on quick peaks -- forget everything you knew about recording in cassette days. No Dolby, MPX and other crap interfering with the sound, either.
    Good quality mag-tape will perform to spec for about 15 years. Don't, whatever you do, buy antiquated tape, even if new in the box. It will gum up your heads and capstans and not deliver high-quality sound. Unless the price of the old-stock tape is less than the $30 metal reels, run away like the wind.
    A tricked-out Technics RS will run anywhere from $3k on up. But they'll blow the doors off a Revox, Tandberg, or Crown of that era. Sad they're still not making them.
    I guess two further caveats: I'm not on anybody's commission. Also, keep the master volume down real low so no feedback from the turntable gets mechanically transferred to the tape. In fact, if you trust your preamp, just leave the power amp off while recording and keep an eye on the Vu meters.


    Last edited by deepee99 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:16 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling correxioin)

    Dave_in_Va

    Posts : 129
    Join date : 2013-04-02

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:48 pm

    Sorry, nothing is better than acid.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1287
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by sKiZo on Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:08 pm

    Went FLAC a while back, and never going back. Excellent sound quality and easy click 'n play. That said, I still buy vinyl and CDs, then rip those to the HTPC at Redbook resolution. jRiver Media Center resamples those to 96/24 and that's how they stay till they hit my ears.

    Once the music has been ripped, I tag the good tracks for conversion to MP3 256vbr for portable players. jRiver is set to ignore those when building the home playback library. Nice to have a couple thumb drives of tuneage on the road.



    I need new music, I've got a neat little utility program that randomly selects another set of titles based on the thumb drive's size and copies them over. Not something that happens that often as 8 gigs of 256vbr is a LOT of tracks.

    As far as which is better, cd or vinyl, lot depends on the mastering. I know a LOT of the classic rock that came out on vinyl or tape before the dawn of optical was pretty bad when the big rush came to convert over to CD. Then again, a lot of those titles are being remastered for 30-40 year anniversaries, and most of those are quite tasty. Whatever I feel is best is what ends up in the HTPC as FLAC. So, yes and no, all or none of the above, boxers or briefs, depends ...

    Only exceptions here really are SACD and other multi-channel formats. My Oppo player is as good as it gets for that sort of stuff. I also spin vinyl regularly - I'm pushing credulity (I do that a lot) saying that sounds any better than the digital rip, but it's still fun when I'm not looking for instant gratification.

    PS ... notice I didn't mention streaming? This IS a family forum, eh. Suspect

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:34 pm

    I used to stream acid, and I still have a family.

    Kentley

    Posts : 300
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Kentley on Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:55 pm

    deepee99 wrote:I used to stream acid, and I still have a family.
    And the Wind Screams Deepee.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:58 pm

    Kentley, go lay down by your dish (again).

    Kentley

    Posts : 300
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Kentley on Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:10 pm

    deepee99 wrote:Kentley, go lay down by your dish (again).
    Would it help if I revised that snideity to "And the Wind Streams Deepee"?

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:15 pm

    Kentley wrote:
    deepee99 wrote:Kentley, go lay down by your dish (again).
    Would it help if I revised that snideity to "And the Wind Streams Deepee"?
    I will not be drawn into striking Bach at you. It's Moe's art, with a bit of Beets thrown in.

    pmarcin

    Posts : 131
    Join date : 2009-01-20
    Age : 68

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by pmarcin on Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:33 am

    I noticed that it hasn't been mentoned yet, but vinyl involves a certain ritual, which has a pleasant effect on the serpentine brain: pulling the record out of the jacket, holding it so as not to touch the grooves, placing it delicately on the platter, touching the cueing lever, etc. This effect makes this activity more desireable, and, thus, we are somewhat hooked on its repitition. Also, shopping for a new cartridge satisfies other basic needs. Hence, the entire vinyl experience is a little more satisfying.

    The same can not be said for digital, although I'll concede the sound quality has increased dramatically in recent years. ( I have an Oppo(r) and Maverick like Skizo. It appears that the Chinese have really closed the sound gap in terms of price/performance.)

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:24 pm

    pmarcin wrote:I noticed that it hasn't been mentoned yet, but vinyl involves a certain ritual, which has a pleasant effect on the serpentine brain: pulling the record out of the jacket, holding it so as not to touch the grooves, placing it delicately on the platter, touching the cueing lever, etc. This effect makes this activity more desireable, and, thus, we are somewhat hooked on its repitition. Also, shopping for a new cartridge satisfies other basic needs. Hence, the entire vinyl experience is a little more satisfying.

    The same can not be said for digital, although I'll concede the sound quality has increased dramatically in recent years. ( I have an Oppo(r) and Maverick like Skizo. It appears that the Chinese have really closed the sound gap in terms of price/performance.)

    I get dewy-eyed and lusty at the latest Oppo with the Modright upgrade.
    I would agree, the tactile experience handling vinyl and coordinating its recording to a tape deck are hard to beat. Maybe sKiZo could modify one of his Mavericks to support 10-inch reels . . .
    I have two DACs; the Emotiva which has the fancy balanced outs, should your pre-amp accept same, prolly the best deal on the market. In the den, I've got a Schitt Bifrost without balanced outs but will sure put the AE or CD player's onboard DACs to shame.
    Years ago I bought Oppo's first DVD player (87?) when they came out. It is still in near-daily service nearly a decade later and has never offered a bit of grief. If I ever upgrade to Blu-Ray Oppo will be my go-to brand, for sure. You can run 80-grit sandpaper over a disc and the Oppo will sort it.

    audiobill

    Posts : 271
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by audiobill on Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:36 am

    To follow David, here's a recent Emotiva DC-1 dac/preamp review:

    http://www.head-fi.org/products/emotiva-stealth-dc-1-balanced-24-192-fully-differential-dac/reviews/16317

    Stream cd resolution Tidal from your computer (or ipad/iphone through an airport express) through the DC-1 to your VTA amps for choice, convenience, quality and reasonable cost.

    bluemeanies

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2015-02-09
    Age : 66
    Location : Folsom Pa.

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by bluemeanies on Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:56 am

    I think we can all agreed that in any situation the recording itself is right up there as far as the importance of playback whether it be vinyl, cd, or streaming. Besides everyone hears things differently and I would bet my house on the fact that there is not a couple of two on this forum or any other that have the same equipment down to the cables.
    I use TIDAL and I am very pleased with its performance....REDBOOK? Honestly I never heard that adjective before in the quality of music playback.

    STILL the question is out there unanswered...cd, vinyl or streaming, how do they compare.

    Kentley

    Posts : 300
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 64
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Kentley on Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:17 am

    B.M., "Redbook" refers to the original parameters for digital compact disc encoding formulated in 1980 by Philips and Sony. Read Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Disc_Digital_Audio
    The redbook format has come under a ton of criticism over the years for its arguably minimal sample rate and bit size parameters. When properly manipulated in mastering (and there are dozens of methods of accomplishing this) most ears do not hear any difference between this and more "detailed" formats. Another huge problem for Redbook is that originally it was limited to a 74 minute run time per disc. Certain clever mods made it possible to stretch 82 or so minutes out. Why 74 minutes? Sony engineers were convinced that since the Beethoven Ninth Symphony typically ran about this length, and since it was the longest "popular" piece of music they could think of, that 74 minutes was sufficient. Inscrutable Orientals.

    monkuboy

    Posts : 11
    Join date : 2016-03-23

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by monkuboy on Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:59 am

    My usual routine is to purchase a CD, then rip it to my hard drive in .flac format for streaming to my system via a Sonos box. I hardly play the actual CD's anymore, to the point where I put my Emotiva ERC-2 up for sale for a while. I guess many people are like me and hardly play actual CD's these days since there wasn't much interest and after thinking about it, I canceled my sale post because the ERC-2 is too darn nice to sell for what the market will pay for it these days.

    A "worry" I have when I purchase any CD is the quality of the recording. These days so much stuff is compressed or altered to sound big that I am always hoping that they did a good engineering job on the recording I buy.

    Back in the day when I owned a turntable, I had the same worries, except in addition to the quality of the recording itself, I hoped that there would not be excessive ticks and pops. Or warps in the vinyl. In terms of recording quality, some albums were good and some weren't.

    Same with modern day CD's - some have good recording quality and some don't.

    Why some people look so fondly at the old days back when vinyl was the main album media is beyond me. They seem to think that every single vinyl release was a treasure, with quality so good that it made their eyelashes flutter. That simply is not the case. The case is time has rounded out the rough edges so they've forgotten just what a roll of the dice it was for any album when it came to recording quality and quality of the vinyl itself.

    These days CD's are not warped, nor do they have ticks and pops, but the same concerns about recording quality exist. I think the engineering has way more effect than the media itself on how good something sounds.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:37 pm

    monkuboy wrote:My usual routine is to purchase a CD, then rip it to my hard drive in .flac format for streaming to my system via a Sonos box. I hardly play the actual CD's anymore, to the point where I put my Emotiva ERC-2 up for sale for a while. I guess many people are like me and hardly play actual CD's these days since there wasn't much interest and after thinking about it, I canceled my sale post because the ERC-2 is too darn nice to sell for what the market will pay for it these days.

    A "worry" I have when I purchase any CD is the quality of the recording. These days so much stuff is compressed or altered to sound big that I am always hoping that they did a good engineering job on the recording I buy.

    Back in the day when I owned a turntable, I had the same worries, except in addition to the quality of the recording itself, I hoped that there would not be excessive ticks and pops. Or warps in the vinyl. In terms of recording quality, some albums were good and some weren't.

    Same with modern day CD's - some have good recording quality and some don't.

    Why some people look so fondly at the old days back when vinyl was the main album media is beyond me. They seem to think that every single vinyl release was a treasure, with quality so good that it made their eyelashes flutter.  That simply is not the case. The case is time has rounded out the rough edges so they've forgotten just what a roll of the dice it was for any album when it came to recording quality and quality of the vinyl itself.

    These days CD's are not warped, nor do they have ticks and pops, but the same concerns about recording quality exist. I think the engineering has way more effect than the media itself on how good something sounds.

    Monkuboy (and Kentley, thanks for that succinct history of redbook standards). The problem, especially with early-day CDs, was that the recording tekkies, who'd been used to the RIAA EQ curve for vinyl for decades, had nothing to go on and were groping in the dark as to how to find the right EQ for a CD master, hence you get a lot of exaggerated bends and curves in compression, dynamics and frequencies. Many early CDs sounded just flat gawd-awful. They've gotten the hang of it now but as Kentley has suggested, Redbook is now as old as RIAA was back then and technologies and accumulated wisdom about what the CD medium can and cannot do is far better understood.
    I would propose to any .flac junkie that they invest in an SSD. SSDs are far more accurate and reliable than turntable hard-drives - with the caveat that they are more susceptible to a nearby neutron bomb explosion. Which might, at that point, be the least of one's worries.


    Last edited by deepee99 on Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Diction)

    daveshel

    Posts : 148
    Join date : 2011-11-06
    Location : Tucson AZ USA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by daveshel on Mon Jun 27, 2016 1:11 pm

    I still but CDs mostly, and vinyl when it's a good deal. I'll stream or download flac files now and again, but I don't have any subscriptions. I use a Musical Fidelity V-DAC when streaming.

    Ernstmach

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2015-08-30
    Location : Lower Michigan

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Ernstmach on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:48 pm

    I buy cd's and rip them. Playback through my Oppo is ok but I still need to keep the cd available to play it.
    Playback is usually about the same SQ wise.

    I find playing the files via the pc easy and with the sound card I have it is at least as good or better than playing cd's through the Oppo. I also like the option to make playlists.

    Streaming is decent but like everything else the quality of the recording is the bottom line.

    Vinyl can be as good as high quality files on cd in my set up. The quality of the recording varies so much that a definitive answer as to what is best is not possible whether cd, vinyl or streaming.

    I have a few mp3's that sound very good...

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1287
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by sKiZo on Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:55 pm

    Kentley wrote:Would it help if I revised that snideity to "And the Wind Streams Deepee"?

    Ponder the alternative ... DeePee streaming wind ...

    As far as Oppo's go, happy with my trusty old 980H. Fun fact ... that was pointed directly at audiophiles, concentrating on the sound side of the equation, to the point where you can completely switch video off to devote those resources to audio. The video decoders are pretty lame spec wise compared to their other units (doesn't even do blueray) ... bothers me not as it's on my audio system.

    Peter W.

    Posts : 84
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Peter W. on Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:28 am

    Hmmmm... Well.....

    In rank order, in my opinion - and as an original commercially made source, not a played-back recording:

    a) Well recorded CD
    b) Tie - Well Recorded, high-end Cassette (Revox quality)
    b) Tie - Well Recorded vinyl record
    c) Everything else

    Keep a few things in mind: Streamed audio is coming from something, somewhere. Probably not vinyl, possibly CDs, probably some digital storage means from the recording company. It is not live-from-microphone. So it will be no better than the original source anyway. Listening through earbuds, computer speakers, in any vehicle, or anything other than a full blown audio system is another limiting factor.

    Bottom Line: What we hear has many limiting factors, and before we attempt to discern which is "better", the primary limiting factor is the playback system itself. If the source is better than the system, that is good enough.

    Sponsored content

    Re: CD vs VINYL vs STREAMING

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 11:12 pm


      Current date/time is Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:12 pm