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Downloads vs CDs vs Vinyl

What format might you buy (please read post before voting)

  • I'd like a 12" vinyl LP or EP

    Votes: 3 9.7%
  • I'd buy the download and burn my own CD

    Votes: 8 25.8%
  • No, I want a proper CD in a nice Digipak etc.

    Votes: 15 48.4%
  • I'll just download it free illegally

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Vinyl, CD & legal download

    Votes: 5 16.1%

  • Total voters
    31
  • Poll closed .
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Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,954
I hear there is a resurgence in vinyl.

I was talking to my favourite mastering engineer, and he said many people are now releasing stuff as downloads and vinyl only (no CD)

The assumption is if people buy the download, they can then burn a CD if that's what they want. And they get artwork with the download as PDF files to print a nice CD cover. NB: With something like bandcamp the downloads are hi quality files, not just mp3.

Or they buy the vinyl and get a free download voucher, again they also get the CD if they burn it from the download.

I've been wondering about this for my next CD release, so I'm doing a bit of a market survey, please vote on the poll and add comments here.

Do people really still want vinyl?

Of course if you burn your own CD from the download, you need to faff with printing the artwork and putting it in a jewel case as opposed to getting a nice digipak like with Mr Lucky.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I don't like downloads and printing my own stuff, I only ever do it with things that I want to listen out of curiosity and if I like anything then I buy the CD proper version. Il love booklets , pictures and the whole paraphernalia.
That stuff is even better in large format vinyl but would I listen to it? No! I have a good collection of , mainly '70, records which I still buy if I come across anything that I fancy at a some charity shop but I hardly ever play them. If you want to produce something for the fastidious audiophile make sure there is a vinyl AND a cd to go with it so that the vinyl can be kept for the collection and the CD will be listened to more often than the vinyl will or could be.
 

sirspinbad

New Member
Messages
10
retro

I listen to vinyl,an occasional CD

...but mainly i watch laserdiscs....exclusively!! i dont think ive watched a dvd in half a year
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
I remember those..........I took beautiful pictures for Philips in 1987 of those things............
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,954
I don't like downloads and printing my own stuff, I only ever do it with things that I want to listen out of curiosity and if I like anything then I buy the CD proper version....
If you want to produce something for the fastidious audiophile make sure there is a vinyl AND a cd to go with it so that the vinyl can be kept for the collection and the CD will be listened to more often than the vinyl will or could be.
This is the way I feel. But I am of course asking this from the POV of a label with limited resources and a "niche" market.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,954
...but mainly i watch laserdiscs....exclusively!! i dont think ive watched a dvd in half a year
I remember those..........I took beautiful pictures for Philips in 1987 of those things............
Yes, we have a few laserdisc, and a Pioneer player which I'm about to put up on ebay once I get it repaired. Or it might go in the yardsale.
 

old git

Tremendous Bore
Messages
5,545
Vinyl every time but it must be direct cut with just valve amplification. Well maybe, half speed cuts from tape originals and one of those lovely, hand-made, Japanese, moving coil cartridges.

PM for how to make donations.
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
Trying to be as brief as possible, so this is over-simplified. Note also that I am referring to audio reproduction in audiophile-quality systems.

Since the inception of CD in the mid-80s, there has been a band of die-hard audiophiles who claim that vinyl (i.e. analogue) is superior to CD (i.e. digital). Ignoring dynamic range (CD is vastly superior to vinyl) and surface noise, up until about five years ago there was actually a technical reason why this could be possible:

The linear-phase anti-aliasing filters employed in the digital-to-analogue converters of virtually all CD players introduced "ringing", which amounts to time-smearing of the audio before and after the audio "event", and is now understood to be degrading to audio quality. Today, many high-end CD players make use of "minimum-phase" filters which eliminate the smearing *before* the event; post-ringing is interpreted by the brain as echo which is a completely natural phenomenon, but pre-echos do not occur in nature; this results in natural audio reproduction, particularly for material recorded in a live acoustic - more like "analogue", in fact. ;}

I have no interest in buying source material on vinyl. I am only interested in downloads if they are at least CD quality. I have the equipment to benefit from 24/96 material, so this would be my preferred option. Both lossless 16/44.1 and 24/96 downloads are hard to come by, so for the time being, I want a physical CD.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Supporter
Messages
13,954
Both lossless 16/44.1 and 24/96 downloads are hard to come by, so for the time being, I want a physical CD.
I am definitely thinking of lossless 16/44.1 downloads, (I would be offering via my Bandcamp site) though 24/44.1 would be possible (I record at 24/44.1, so even though I could convert to 24/96 there would be no advantage)
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
I used to be an audio nut. But these days a CD is more than good enough for me. CD please, and I'll rip it to my phone to listen to at work. It's a fag, but an iso to burn my own CD would also work - but I do like the feel of a real album. And there's also no argument over copyright.

For me it's sad that vinyl disappeared - the artwork was something else and small CD size cases don't cut it, although the cover for MR Lucky was pretty good. Remember the rotating disk in the Original Led Zep 3.... Or the pull out undies in Sticky Findgers? Or those coloured and sometimes printed records?
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,793
I like LP and also the nice information you can read on a gate full LP sleeve!!

I've been trying to buy a recordlabel that are just have records in LP format. The owner to the label refuse to sell and and to have his records on CDs. Me like, that he refuse to have the music on CDs!

I'm going to have the real stuff on LP and gatefold LP sleeves. And I'm also going to have tha songs on internet MP3s. No other information or pictures on internet. And maybe not all songs as well. So if you want the to download just pay and do it. The LP buyer is probably the consumer that want more and are willing to pay for a good product.

So I buy LPs/EPs/Singles 12" vinyl, CDs and I also download single songs. Never download igegally. I couldn't vote!!!
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
Subscriber
Messages
8,890
Have you thought about putting it on an 8 track.
If I have a sniff of my free sample of Hai Karate I might remember where I left the player.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,932
Owing to the majority of ways I listen to music these days I hardly even use discs anymore let alone vinyl.
At home iTunes on my Mac, lap top and iPad do everything I need for my mediocre speakers.
In the gym I use a shuffle.
In the car it's an SD card
At work the iPod on my phone.
My home Hi Fi separates are all but redundant.
Download will do everything for me.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
With regard to the most realistic listening, there is no competition, it's vinyl every time. Old git was obviously an audiophile and involved in the early '70s revolution in HiFi. The equipment in favour was a direct cut record, on a Linn Sondeck (direct drive) turntable, with a Supex (moving coil) cartridge, feeding into a Naim transistor or Quad valve amplifier. The sound produced was that of live music, not only stereo width, but also depth (you could actually hear the position (depth) of the instruments on the stage).
CD's have never attained this.
Of course this all cost an arm and a leg, the Supex cartridge alone costing £1,000!!!! I don't see many of us forking out that kind of money.

John.
 
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VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
Personally, I feel that CD done well has now surpassed vinyl in all audio criteria. Having said that, I've spent a lot of money building my AV system. As always though, the catalogue is king; I have equipment to play CD, HDCD, SACD, DVD-A, cassette and vinyl - whatever it takes really. And one of these days I will digitize my vinyl collection at 24/96 and place it on my Squeezebox Server with the rest of my (legally) ripped music.

I am definitely thinking of lossless 16/44.1 downloads, (I would be offering via my Bandcamp site) though 24/44.1 would be possible (I record at 24/44.1, so even though I could convert to 24/96 there would be no advantage)
No point converting from 44.1 to 96: my Hifi upsamples 44.1 to 88.2 anyway :). But recording, mastering and distributing 24-bits is definitely worthwhile; IMO this is much more important than the higher sample rate, especially for studio material.
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
CD's have never attained this.
They most definitely have, but sadly, at a price. I've heard piano and vocals recorded in a live acoustic and reproduced with a Meridian 808.2 CD player (£10k) and DSP8000 DSP loudspeakers (£35k a pair) and the result was breathtaking. Not only was there depth in which it was almost trivial to pinpoint the performers, but you could discern the "air" surrounding the performers; that is, it was possible to close one's eyes and know the acoustic environment where the recording took place.
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
John, Linn Sondeck turntables (all Linn turntables, to my knowledge) are belt drive. Pretty primitive technology, but well executed, and garnished with a liberal sprinkling of Linn pseudoscientific smoke and mirrors. I've got a pretty good vintage analogue set up, Linn turntable through Richard Allan BBC monitors, but lets be honest, almost all vinyl is pretty crap. Anything routine, from a high street shop, will not be as good as the equivalent CD. And that's when new. Vinyl degrades through use, and after a while the surface noise spoils the listening pleasure - avoidable if you live in hermetically sealed environment, otherwise not. Although CDs are nowhere near as durable as Phillips claimed they were when they were first launched, they are a lot more durable.
 

Riversider

Member
Messages
58
I’ve been down the high end LP route (which is capable of beautiful music) but moved to a high end CD player and speakers (Meridian) —mainly because of the availability and ease of use of CD. A good CD system is every bit as good as VirusKiller says, but the key clue for the very best material is in the mastering (LP and CD both). Look out for CD discs mastered by (among others) Bob Ludwig, Greg Calbi, Sterling Sound. These are guarantees of exceptional ambience and musicality. Full quality downloaded digital sources are certainly on the horizon and may well be as good, (if I had the equipment to do it justice), but for me, good mastering is the key.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Have you thought about putting it on an 8 track.
If I have a sniff of my free sample of Hai Karate I might remember where I left the player.
Maybe it was in the car you sold 20 years ago... :)))
 
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