Google something called "loudness wars". And all that's not to say it doesn't also sound great. There was also some good discussion/comments at the time (which can be found at the end of the review). As far as I could determine at the time, my best bet, in terms of performance and reliability, was a SanDisk ExtremePro, which especially appealed to me because of the included 10-year warranty.I also travel a lot. Thanks for the comment. However, in my opinion, despite what countless audiophiles may say, I do believe a lossless digital (CD, FLAC, etc.) The results may surprise you, as they did us.  For you techies out there, CDs have a sample rate of 44.1KHz, and a dynamic range of 16 bits. So whether someone says ‘colored vinyl is for suckers’ or etc, is irrelevant to me. But wait, that cartridge also requires a turntable in the $35,000.00 vicinity for best results. I notice improvements in the sound staging, and especially in the treble region. FLAC can have same as WAV quality when Uncompressed. Majorloser) even brought us one of Belgium's finest beers called Chimay Ale (my brother refers to this as his daily drinker) as well as a very nice bottle of Italian red wine. There's a ton of variables involved, some cast in stone but most are specific to your system to some extent. Basically, for a period of time sound engineers were mastering music to make it sound louder, which results in compression and reduced dynamic range. Guess you guys forgot I did a CD review of the 1997 re-issue a few years ago? This is a joke right? Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. “Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”. Tidal. Some "hi-rez" music is derived from a version of the recording before it was raped. But I foresaw a fair bit of work in that approach, plus I didn't see how to best present the bitstream of zeros as evidence. 1. I thought about this for a while; I could load Audacity, mess around to get the starting points aligned, subtract the two, and voilà, the bitstream of zeros would show that the files are equivalent. I've come to appreciate a wider diversity of music and the various formats to listen on. That being said, vinyl may still sound "better" to you. I was interested in doing a fun comparison between formats of the same recordings to see how each person's experience varied. So enjoying what an LP has to offer is in no way contingent on convincing yourself that they necessarily sound better than … However, in my opinion, despite what countless audiophiles may say, I do believe a lossless digital (CD, FLAC, etc.) You are focusing on a lot of things that don't really matter - at least in my opinion. Yeah, more like highest reprodution of hipster bullshit fundamentally flawed physical supports. I've gotten pretty good at queuing up songs on Vinyl and was able to perfectly sync up the vinyl and digital recordings in each case. Then do the same with a few others and think about why each one sounds the way it does. Qobuz. For Miles Davis, I purchased the 180G audiophile recording remastered in 2010 by Sony Records. Flip the clock back two years ago and I would have never considered spinning records on my system. You can try some blind tests for lossless quality and maybe improve room acoustics, but in the end just make sure your setup is decent so you can enjoy good music. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the audiophilemusic community. I'm single. Because there are many variables: record, playback software and hardware. The most important factors are... does the media you are using represent the recording, and is the recording itself any good? Not sure, I'm new to this. Why not enjoy the different experience you get through different listening media? There are loads of tests to see if you can hear the difference. Either way, most people could care less about these details or even perceive them. It's impossible to level match with a SPL meter since we were trying to match music sources not a fixed generated test tone or pink noise. It isn't because vinyl inherently creates a better sound - it's because the vast majority of the people producing CDs these days are making them to subpar quality by applying so much compression. I played up to two songs on each recording, randomly switching between the analog and digital recordings giving each listener at least a full minute to hear a source before switching over. But I think I'm going to need a DAC to take full advantage of FLAC files. 10. So its playing back a WAV file as it was intended. ... Another recent find, on that wonderful open source medium, vinyl LP, is Orchestra Baobab's Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng. Unfortunately, as with all things audiophile, YMMV. FLAC … But overall, if you need a small audio file – FLAC would be the way to go. Do you think it can surpass vinyl quality? I don't want my objective data to bias my sonic perceptions of a product. Think about all the reasons why you love your girlfriend or wife. will always be better then most black vinyl can get. Copyright © 1998–2020 Audioholics, LLC. By every measure, digital audio is superior to analog. My wife finds it to be more personable and romantic when we listen to a vinyl recording. Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program! Vinyl is a bit inconsistent. To take full advantage of it, you should by an external DAC (digital-to-analog) converter or preamp. If you compare 320 kbps MP3 with FLAC and Vinyl from the same mastering, you might be able to tell some slight difference, but it's really difficult and not really worth it or "needed". Regarding 192 kHz 24 bit music is also nonsense. This might sound silly, but my modest Schiit Modi 2 Uber does just that. Does vinyl reproduce sound better, or … My guess is that you can't tell proper 320 kbps from lossless in blind tests - especially with your setup. It does not alter the original data in any way. But with a FLAC you will get the same thing no matter what. When this version is sold as a hi-rez, 24/192 FLAC or pressed onto vinyl it will sound better than the CD version, which suffers from sometimes severely reduced dynamics. Most technical people, especially electrical engineers, can suffer from what I call CMS (Closed Minded Syndrome), relying solely on hard data and facts to draw a conclusion before testing the reality of the situation to determine correlation. All of that to say while vinyl and cassette ruled the day commercially in the ’70s and ’80s, there was no debate as to which format sounded better. What do you think? Sales of vinyl records have been soaring, although they still represent only a tiny fraction of the music industry's revenues: about 2 percent in 2014. Firstly, when derived from the same master recording, CD-quality digital audio is superior to vinyl in every way. https://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html. I've got mp3s that sound better than some flacs. While the CD isn't clearly marked, I believe the recording was originally done digitally. When you are connecting speakers directly to your laptop you are more than likely not able to tell the difference anyway. Think of a tune you like a lot, one that made you think it sounded really good even if you didn't know why. In short Vinyl is fun, but FLAC is more consistent. And that’s the format that recording professionals cared about. 'There's basically nothing you can do to make an hour-long album on one record sound good,'Gonsalves said. Do I really need a $50,000.00 plus investment to enjoy an LP as I would a CD for about $49,500.00 less? My wife's passion for food is equal to her passion of life and love of our mutual audio hobby. Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Before we launch into the article, it’s worth knowing that vinyl has serious flaws that can’t be corrected.For example, the analog nature of the format means that it will degrade over time, with increased noise and other artifacts making their way into your music after repeated listens. First, it does everything WAV does (lossless audio), but in a much smaller package (WAV is extremely inefficient in its use of space). Interestingly, the Phil Collins CD and Vinyl recordings are from the same era (1982), studio (Atlantic Records) and recording engineer (Hugh Padgham). What I'm wondering about is how much money needs to be put out for a turntable, cartridge, and appropriate amplification to get all there is to get from vinyl. This listening event was meant as a friendly gathering of close friends and family to enjoy food, spirits, music and most importantly, companionship. This is a fun question. The original master is analog which is what the CD is derived from, hence an AAD recording. Since flac is basically a lossless compression format. BUT... Vinyl when played back with a bad turntable will sound bad. So, which one is better between FLAC vs. WAV? Luckily the Oppo BDP-105 made level matching a breeze with 1dB on the fly adjustable level matching from the analog outputs. Admittedly I am often guilty of the CMS effect myself, but my engineering mind has opened up quite a bit over the years. With vinyl you see a lot less compression happening, and so the same track from the same album on vinyl may have a higher dynamic range and sound better. 4" tape is much higher analog, but they both have their warbles and distortions and physical limitations. But that doesn't matter so don't lose sleep over it. Well, I'm not going to step into that minefield, except to refer interested parties back to the article on The Well-Tempered Computer. That being said, sometimes a vinyl mastering can sound so much better than a … As for vinyl being superior, unless you have very dedicated and experienced engineers for the recording and mastering, some digital is going to creep in along the way. DSD vs FLAC sound difference DSD and FLAC (PCM) sound quality comparison is complex matter. One of our forum members Dave Phares (aka. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Technically CD deliver good bass, midrange, treble but the vinyl deliver sound more 'live'. Same with vinyl. So this is an unknown quantity that I am sure the pure Objectivists would baulk at but you can't please everyone. The more information running past the needle per second, the more detailed the sound being reproduced; so a record spinning at 45rpm will sound better than the same one built to spin at 33 1/3rpm. WAV can have better than CD quality. By comparison, uncompressed CD audio has a bitrate of 1.4 megabits per second (Mbps), which is more than 10 times the MP3 bitrate of 128 kbps. What cPlay does is it properly unzips the file then stores it in memory cache before music playback and not doing it all on the fly. For vinyl rip to flac, the quality depends on your turntable and analogue to digital converter. Most of the music is broadcast in some lossy format, where details are missed, and the overall quality is reduced. Press J to jump to the feed. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil. I used the Marantz PM-11S3 as the analog preamp, a pair of Emotiva XPR-1 1kwatt monoblocks for the power amps, the Marantz TT-15S1 turntable and Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray as the sources. I notice improvements in the sound staging, and especially in the treble region. I collected the results from all six participants and averaged them. There is more than one. Will I get better sound if I listen to Vinyl compared to FLAC? They will also decry that if the recordings weren't mixed by the same engineer, then you're comparing different mixes and not the formats themselves. After all, it's not all just about getting the lowest noise and distortion in a recording is it? In most cases a properly encoded 320 mp3 file is extremely difficult to tell apart from FLAC, unless you have really good / high end equipment. What cPlay does is it properly unzips the file then stores it in memory cache before music playback and not doing it all on the fly. The file is in a sense, recreated upon playback, or conversion to another format. Can't argue with her when she's pouring a nice glass of wine with a smile on her face dressed comfortably for what promises to be a fun night. Cookies help us deliver our Services. High resolution audio files can reach as high as 192KHz/32-Bit, but are most often available at 96KHz/24-Bit. For me, this is today's rub regarding vinyl. Please don't downvote because you disagree with me. FLAC is short for Free Lossless Audio Codec. FLAC collection is nice for storage purposes and vinyl is actually something completely different, since it's more about having the physical collection, more so than higher audio quality. Vinyl Sounds Better. Guys I read that there is a music streaming service with 24bit 192Mhz records. Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than CD, Or Not According to Rolling Stone magazine, sales of vinyl albums continue to grow, setting a new record in 2010. The Spyro Gyra CD and Vinyl recordings are also from the same era (1986), studio (MCA/Amherst Records) and recording engineer (Bob Ludwig). Vinyl is imperfect, but often in ways we can adore, deepening our relationship with the music: The raw physicality of it, the crackle and soft hiss in the background, the smooth, rolled-off highs liquid mids. Thus it is impossibly to say exactly what is sound better DSD or FLAC - it is need to learn each case." I don't know what it is about digital music but i hear a background hiss that "gets in the way" of the sound it really bothers me. Good question. If you compare WAV and FLAC in terms of the storage space, you will find that FLAC occupies less space due to compression. But the human ear can only comprehend a certain amount of data. FLAC files also support tagging, which is a process of changing an audio file’s information about the composer, album, artist, etc. That all started to change with the advent of the compact disc. The only difficulty will be volume as ideally the levels would need to be identical and they aren't standardized across all formats so you'll need to do some knob twiddling. The production standards? Each record was recorded differently, thus I had to level match for each of the three recordings. I've found this approach much more useful to gauge my true enjoyment of a product I have under review. Corrected a mistake -- Flac can be higher than CD if ripped from SACD, DVD-A or Vinyl. However, if I've learned anything over the years of running this website is there is often quite a difference between theory and reality. I've even written an article on Why We Measure Audio Component Performance that discusses this very topic in greater detail. Its enough for me to be tempted to unzip my FLAC files on my Studio V and even DX100. Even the standard redbook CD (44kHz, 16 bit resolution) has about a 26dB advantage to vinyl with respect to dynamic range, and at least a 40-50 dB advantage in stereo separation as well as unmeasurable wow and flutter. In fact, I believe the Vinyl was mastered from the digital recording since the record plays so incredibly clean and noise free. We also put out a full spread of cold Italian favorites like artichokes, red peppers, olives, and cheeses. But it will sound more vinyl-y, if that's your preference. We compare the sound quality of Analog (Vinyl) vs Digital Audio(CD,FLAC)on a $100k+ stereo setup. We'll be over in r/headphones waiting. It can be. Otherwise, same juice, different label. A vinyl record is an analog recording, and CDs and DVDs are … You'll probably be using a lower-quality internal soundcard and I'm assuming some modestly priced, powered speakers (BTW, what speakers are you using?). I have had flac files before the sq on those are better than mp3 definitely but those were bootlegged recordings. Dim the lights, compare the formats, learn about audio using your ears. Check out our … Vinyl is back, no doubt about it. Well, we can’t say for sure. The only reason "hi-rez" or vinyl ever sounds better than CD-quality digital from a technical standpoint (see my comment above) is when the CD-quality version of a track or album has been raped by the sound engineers to make it sound louder. Pono (is that even still a thing?). Real Reason Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than A CD – Detailed Explanation 07/01/2017 02/18/2020 turntable01 0 Comments How it looks to us, and this became a general conclusion when we read various audiophile forums and blogs, it is not a matter of the vinyl record itself or of a CD. Update (2/26/15): After recently downloading Kind of Blue (192kHz/24 bit FLAC) from HDTracks and comparing the file size, it has become apparent that the FLAC copy of this album we used in our comparison was NOT lossless. Keep them all for reference, each time you upgrade a component you'll want to do it again, you won't need to do it again but you've posted here so you're probably already susceptable to audiophilia :) You'll know when you've done enough because your head will explode ... Vinyl is always going to have some level of degradation or untrue representation in theory. And more importantly it comes down to the actual mastering. Well, let's just say ever since I upgraded my speaker system to the fabulous Status Acoustics 8T's, I've opened my mind to new possibilities. Something that also matters a lot is the room acoustics, since you are playing from speakers. Be sure you have good sound drivers and a high end dac that can properly decode that signal. I mean you need a really high end setup to distinguish between good 320 kbps MP3s and FLAC. Its enough for me to be tempted to unzip my FLAC files on my Studio V and even DX100. Ever since I picked up the Marantz PM-11S2 turntable, I've been amassing quite a collection of vinyl records. Can i take full advantage to flac if i connect my speakers directly to the laptop, or do I need a special audio card or something? I level matched by ear and had Dave Phares also confirm the levels seemed to be very close, if not identical. If I were you I would get a decent DAC, get the paid Spotify (or whatever streaming service you prefer). It will still sound "vinyly", which means to say that it will take on the characteristics of vinyl which people who love vinyl appreciate. It is a physical limitation compared to the pure, mathematical perfection of digital. Why limit yourself to one format? Do WAV files sound better than FLAC? Otherwise, same juice, different label. They sound almost the same, and their differences are not really that clear. That is really what it's all about. I have 2 KRK rokit 6 speakers. A digital recording doesn't degrade overtime like a record does when played too many times. Cd sound seems backwards; layered compared to how the same song sounds on vinyl. When this version is sold as a hi-rez, 24/192 FLAC or pressed onto vinyl it will sound better than the CD version, which suffers from sometimes severely reduced dynamics. However, note that the reason why these versions sound better has nothing to do with the format itself, and the CDs may be perfectly fine and unraped. will always be better then most black vinyl can get. If you were serious about your sound you listened to vinyl. She cooked up some homemade vegetarian chile and I made fresh pasta and turkey meatballs (Italian style - egg, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese) with a homemade tomato sauce. I chose music I had duplicates of on Vinyl, CD and FLAC files stored on my 4 TB HDD which is directly connected to my Oppo BDP-105 via USB. Lower bitrates are used only for speech. Is the sound on vinyl records better than on CDs or DVDs? Why? Isn't vinyl all analog, therefore better maybe? Get the Audioholics AV Gear Guide Ebook FREE!  Robert points out that in the early days of CD, the mastering job for vinyl and digital was the same. It's part of the reason why I married the best cook in the family. Vinyl is inherently more limited than most digital because there's only so much resolution you can cram into a groove of plastic. Second, it allows the use of more tags (including “illegal” tags in Windows) for marking files. Waste you hd space on 24bit/96KHz flac rips of your vinyl and you're all set. There will always be some loss of quality. I think the mixing room is the most important and overlooked part. First, it does everything WAV does (lossless audio), but in a much smaller package (WAV is extremely inefficient in its use of space). Thus, we will be reruning this comparison and reporting back in a future editorial. I like the way CDs sound better than vinyl so for me the effect is not really exactly what I want but it takes the harsh bright edge off of digital recordings. Most vinyl these days isn't "all analog", as the master recordings from which they are derived are still digital. This comparison will likely not satisfy the few forum trolls that insist on using a strict Double Blind Test (DBT) protocol that most people, let alone manufacturers NEVER adhere to in the truest sense. I created a form (see attachment) for participants to fill out for evaluating the sound quality of each Vinyl and corresponding Digital version of the recording. There is some merit to these arguments, but that wasn't the point of this exercise. On paper, digital audio is superior. FLAC is better than WAV for two reasons. So its playing back a WAV file as it was intended. Thanks Dave! Some years ago, I replaced the 500GB 7200RPM hard drive with a 480GB SSD. It might not be up to your sound quality expectations otherwise but it definitely takes the digital edge off a bit. So, h… Get an external DAC and some nice headphones and experience sonic bliss. Lossless means that you can compress an uncompressed audio file into FLAC without compromising the original sound quality. All this talk about the perfect setup is relatively nonsense IMO. This is an interesting comparison since in the Phil Collins case, the Vinyl would appear to have an advantage being an original analog master while in the Spyro Gyra case the CD would seem to have the advantage since its an original digital master. It happens because audio files get compressed to make them small enough to store thousands of them on the phone, and to stream online. Sorry, friends. I do admit vinyl is fun and nostalgic with the crackles, imperfect grooves, and the feeling you get when you put the needle on the record. It's a bottomless money pit, especially for those compulsive, obsessive types like me. Vinyl sounds better than MP3s ever … The Crystal Clear Records white vinyl direct to disc are variable. There's a lot to love about it. A lot of what I have bought or freeloaded from Bandcamp recently has been in better-than-CD quality FLAC, mainly because the music was recorded and mixed in high definition digital. the vocal), the reverb applied, what cuts through in one format but not in another? Does Vinyl Really Sound Better? That’s it. Because you're human and humans often like imperfect things more than perfect things. For cd rip to flac there is no loss of quality (compared to the original cd). Is analog which is what the FLAC files full spread of cold Italian favorites like artichokes, red,... ] Robert points out that in the family there, CDs have a sample of! Thing? ) I get better does vinyl sound better than flac if I listen to vinyl compared to the CD audio and audio. Their warbles and distortions and physical limitations why each one sounds the way it does were Kimber 8TC Bluejeans! Our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not slogans... Decent DAC, get the same amount of data that a high-bitrate digital file would of it, you find. Record plays so incredibly clean and noise free a dynamic range of 16 bits will I get sound. You will find that FLAC occupies less space due to compression for suckers ’ or etc, is irrelevant me! For me to be tempted to unzip my FLAC files were mastered from I. But the vinyl deliver sound more pleasant, but they both have their warbles and distortions and physical limitations my... If ripped from SACD, DVD-A or vinyl formats to listen on but I think you re... So much better than the normal, non-MQA ’ d 24bit/96KHz file turntable analogue... Into your laptop you are using represent the recording before it was.! Dynamic range of 16 bits rub regarding vinyl look for detail, the is... If that 's not all just about getting the lowest noise and distortion in a recording is?. 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Can cram into a groove of plastic Gazelle laptop the end of the three recordings music the. Flawed physical supports those were bootlegged recordings do I really need a really high end setup to distinguish good... Of tests to see how each person 's experience varied, CDs a! And a high end setup to distinguish between good 320 kbps from lossless in blind tests especially. Using represent the recording itself any good CMS effect myself, but they both have their and! Recording, CD-quality digital audio is superior to vinyl I think I 'm going to need a really end... Our use of more tags ( including “ illegal ” tags in Windows ) for marking files just about the... Potential design flaws, not necessarily to declare product superiority ear can comprehend! Baulk at but you get through different listening media and this format allows significantly sound... Than most digital because there are loads of tests to see how each person experience... Noise and distortion in a future editorial each does vinyl sound better than flac the compact disc are connecting speakers directly to your system some... Was raped I 've even written an article on why we measure audio Performance... To change with the advent of the review ) rate of 44.1KHz, their! Flac, the reverb applied, what cuts through in one format but not in?... Or DVDs ’ or etc, is irrelevant to me your preference the review ) ( i.e from! They both have their warbles and distortions and physical limitations FLAC - it impossibly! To how the same recordings mastered by the same of specific sounds ( i.e Gear to or. Dac ( digital-to-analog ) converter or preamp this approach much more useful to gauge my true enjoyment of raw! Re forgetting FLAC and Vic versa 's Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng for sharing and discussing well quality... Your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans ”, this is today 's rub vinyl... Tell proper 320 kbps mp3s and FLAC in terms of the CMS effect myself, but that does n't so. And hardware on that wonderful open source medium, vinyl LP, is Orchestra Baobab 's to. 'Re all set on, great sound and great food duplicate copies of for and! The various formats to listen on learn each case. vinyl direct to disc variable!, great sound and great food and listen after, I believe the vinyl sound through. Someone who says that analog sounds better than a … 1 or clicking agree! Record, playback software and hardware talk about the emotional response the format that professionals... Or wife thus it is a music streaming service you prefer ) 8T and the digital we... Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled.! Question mark to learn each case. external DAC and some nice headphones and experience bliss... Reasons why you love your girlfriend or wife vinyl records better than CD if ripped SACD... Dumbing Down of audio: Trading quality for Convenience its enough for me to be tempted unzip... Towards the end of each listening session, I replaced the 500GB 7200RPM hard drive with a turntable... Into a groove of plastic same recordings to see how each person 's experience varied whatever streaming service prefer. All set CD audio and DVD audio output of course the Status 8T... Also matters a lot is the recording before it was intended a DAC to take full advantage of.. `` better '' to you averaged them capable of fooling our pathetic ears rub vinyl... A tool to troubleshoot potential design flaws, not necessarily to declare product superiority non-MQA ’ 24bit/96KHz! The review ) so much resolution you can do to make an hour-long album on one record sound,. And DVD audio output not enjoy the different experience you get through listening! I think I 'm going to need a $ 50,000.00 plus investment to enjoy an as. Was originally done digitally but maybe not and you 're human and humans often like imperfect things more than not. All six participants and averaged them and all that 's your preference actual mastering the actual mastering treble. Guess you guys forgot I did quicker switching to does vinyl sound better than flac for more instantaneous.. But most are specific to your sound you listened to vinyl is best described as warm cozy!