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Old 11-16-2011, 01:59 PM
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:03 PM
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They've been saying this for a while. CD sales for toss-away pop music are way down compared to downloaded. Talking about the latest, greatest marketed entertainer, e.g. like the last 5 Super Bowl half time bands who were not the Rolling Stones. But people who listen to music for more than just background noise like having physical mediums and liner notes. Even Crash I bet would say the worst CD sounds better than a good MP3 and that isn't exactly the highest bar to jump. It certainly goes LP->CD->MP3 in my order of medium preference when buying a new record and I'm not anti-CD-ite by any stretch.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:40 PM
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Dave, I've heard some simply awful CDs but you are right, I'd say they still sound better than MP3. It wasn't that long ago when CDs were labeled "Perfect Sound Forever", was it? Wrong on both counts. Hi-rez computer audio is the new frontier and some amazing playback products are doing justice to the downloads. Still, at the recently held Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, most of the rooms were using vinyl as their prime source material to display their wares.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:00 PM
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Dunno about the perfect sound forever, but they are certainly the exact same sound forever (assuming no scratches). It's worth keeping in mind that the CD spec was written in 1980 when 16-bit audio was difficult to comprehend technically. Sony/Philips wanted to use a wider data word or higher sampling rate but technology at the time meant that the disc would be huge and the hardware requirements unmanageable. They compromised that a 120mm disc at 16-bit, 44.100KHz would be reasonably good sounding for a majority of people, be portable and fit a standard recording of Beethoven's 5th.

It's hard to argue that it really is a successful medium, sounds much better than cassettes, less prone to damage than vinyl. It does sound fine for 95% of people (most of whom think MP3s are OK, though) and even for many of the 5% audiophile it's usually tolerable at a party or in your car. It's like anything, the sound can be tailored to the medium, some CDs really do sound terrible if the levels were wrong or the mix was targeted for vinyl. But OTOH I've heard some really lousy LPs lately because the punk kid engineer was used to mixing for a CD and the sound was muddy. I also have a really terrible sounding Springsteen LP that is vintage, I bought it in 1984 myself. I never realized how bad it sounded until I got a decent table.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:59 PM
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I just read an article recently regarding the resurrection of cassette tape popularity. Seems that people sometimes fall back on the "sound" they grew up with. Cassettes aren't made by many companies these days and good blanks aren't nearly as cheap as they used to be.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsman View Post
I just read an article recently regarding the resurrection of cassette tape popularity. Seems that people sometimes fall back on the "sound" they grew up with. Cassettes aren't made by many companies these days and good blanks aren't nearly as cheap as they used to be.
Sweet, I've got a couple hundred in the garage ready for Ebay

Personally I've never understood the fascination of old LP's. I'm pretty tone deaf so they don't sound any better to me, sometimes worse but I never owned a good turntable.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:16 AM
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I think familiarity has a lot to do with this. I have a pretty decent soundstage here at the house, and my vote is that unless it's live and purely acoustic, its muddled.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a musicians house, so I have some history with this. my mp3 collections is about 95gig, all at high or very high bitrate. to me it is convenience. what I think influences audio more than anything in the last 70 years is recording technology. It's a simple fact that the recordable frequency range has changed in our time. This in turn is influenced audio transport methodology.

I think there is a lot of nostalgia for vinyl, and I get it. I listen to a lot of jazz from the 50's and 60's, and I can say vinyl or cd, nothing can improve how horribly it was recorded. That said, I have several super audio cd's and hd cd's, and the sound quality is truly incredible. However, these tasty morsels were done from the start with a goal of superior sound, using the best in recording methods, with quality being as important as profit margin.

MOST people listen to vinyl, with worn lp's, on a worn needle with a weak magnet, through a poor pre-amp without a true phono stage, output to big box speakers without proper placement.

What's funny to me, is that a lot of modern recordings are recorded with the lower to mid freq's so over boosted when mixed that a neutral/flat amplifier will project said recordings for what they are. crap. I have actually had to turn down my amps when such recordings come on, as the lower freqs seem to be boosted by 10-15db to sound normal on low-fi systems.
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