do cds sound as good as vinyl?

i remember a lot of my old vinyl of 60s/70s music sounded great, there was a depth to to the sound, depth and unique sound...unfortunately i don't have any music on vinyl anymore, i lost all my vinyl over the passage of time...but i still do have a lot of cd albums, not as much as some i know of, but more than i thought...and i wondered could the cds i have of 80's, 60s and 70s music sound as good as the vinyl i once had?

plus i have no wish to start collecting vinyl again and do not have a turntable or record player.

10 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Best Answer

    As the other OLD TIMERS do, I have both Vinyl and CDs. Yes, vinyl has faults. I can hear even finger prints on a vinyl record. Scratches, and pops are always present. As far as that goes, and adding more easy handling, CDs are what I use most now.

    The ONE thing I notice, and it IS something I REALLY miss, is that the bass is not as deep, and the cymbals lack that LIVE hurt your ears sound as a live performance on ALL CDs. I happen to like a realistic cymbal crash to accent.

    As I say here often, I believe this RED BOOK Standard baloney is the reason CDs, lack a bit of what I like to hear. That standard tries to say human hearing is capable of hearing only from 20 Hz to 20,000 KHz. That is FLAT OUT B.S.. I am a Commercially Licensed Pilot. I am required to take a FAA Certified Flight Physical once a year. This includes a Hearing test. Routinely MY hearing is shown to be up to 22,000 Hz, thus EXCEEDING this baloney Red Book premise. SO yes, I do miss those high frequency cymbal crashes and all the other goodies that are below 20Hz, and above 20,000 Khz.

    I have NEVER had a CD that includes a cymbal accent that almost hurts your ears as in REAL LIFE. I DO have vinyls that do.

    IDK ? In the end which is Better ? I guess the argument continues perpetually.

    When I was younger, I ALWAYS selected my equipment by the specifications ON PAPER. I ALWAYS checked that on the High Frequency side my gear WAS capable of up to 22,000 KHz.

    • Staap It
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      Thank YOU for BA. Yeah, I am one of those old timers : )

  • 1 month ago

    yes but compact disc means that its been compressed and compression ALWAYS means that you are LOSING quality somewhere down the line

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    They sound about the same. However, vinyl does give you noises like clicks and pops. That is why I prefer CD sound over vinyl records. I grew up with vinyl records, but I stopped buying vinyl records once I got my first CD player.

  • 1 month ago

    Of course this question has been asked hundreds of different times and being the expert in this area i cant resist to answer it. Especially when i see so many wrong replys. First the question doesnt have a simply answer. There are times the vinyl version is better than the digital version or a particular recording and vice versa. It depnds on how it was originally recorded, and weather it was recorded in the analog domain or digital. Also the equipment it was recorded on multi track or 2 channel 1/4 inch analog, or a good digital system and at what bit rate it was recorded at. Then you have the mastering process. Who was the madtering engineer as they all hear sounds differently and master the music to their liking. ( i have my preferred mastering engineers who master the music to my liking ). Then if its a analog record how and who pressed it.

    So with that said which there are many variables that effect the sound and which one is going to have a better sound.

    Now for me and many other true audiophiles and many of the best mastering engineers analog tape and records clearly have a superior sound, but all the stars must line up. Good analog recording, from a good mastering engineer, it was properly pressed onto vinyl then its no contest analog is still and probably always be the king in sound quality. Digital simply has its limitation even know the numbers ( specifications ) tell you digital should clearly be better. But numbers dont tell you everything. Same goes for audio equipment. You cant go by specification to know what is a good sounding piece of audio gear. Specification are pretty much useless in this regard, you simply have to listen to it. That also applys to speakers.

    So back to sound quality. I have heard the best in both analog and digital both at the recording end consumer playback side. The playback equipment also has a huge effect on the sound quality you will ultimately hear. Turntables, tonearms, phono cartridges, phono preamplifiers and the calibration of the turntable vary significantly in quality which in turn effects the sound quality and same goes for digital, The quality of the server or disc drive, the DAC ( Digital to Analog Converter ) the cables ( yes the cables ).

    And of course the quality of the music system. I have designed, setuo and calibrated the very finest of music system for over 40 years that was my passion and career. My goal was to help consumers design a system that gave them the pleasure of hearing music as close to what it would sound like if the artist was playing right in there room with them. I wish more consumers had took the opportunity to hear a truly state of the art music system to know how realistic a listening experience it can be. Does it have to be super expensive to be good ? Well . . . It does get better with more expensive speakers and gear but here again just spending a lot of money does not guarentee you a good sounding system. Its combining the speakers and gear to complement one another to create a sound that has synergy.

    Anyway yes vinyl can and is a better sounding format by far if it was well done and is being played back on a good playback system. Digital just doesnt capture all the subtle nuances of music that analog can and does. This of course pisses off all the digital heads who claim BS and then spew the Nyquist Theorem out there and say the math proves me wrong lol. Well sorry the math and specifications and measurements dont tell me what my ears hear. My ears ) our ears are my sensitive then any test gear and i know what i hear. And no its not placibo affect either lol. Granted i have highly trained ears but the average consumer can hear these differences to. You just have to hear a comparison on a good system to see and hear for yourself.

    Now how do you find and buy the best recordings ? Well that is a whole other long winded answer lol.


    40 years high end audio vido specialist

    • Kevin L
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      There is some excellent sounding budget gear out there you just have to choose carefully and find someone who has the knowledge in designing high quality music systems. So no it doesnt have to ultra expensive to be good.

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  • David
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    Cd's (or other uncompressed digital sources) sound much better than vinyl. I've still got hundreds or LP's but I almost never play them. LP's have many sonic drawbacks including wow & flutter, ticks & pops, limited frequency response, limited dynamic range. The list goes on and on. These are easily identified and quantified deficiencies unlike the so called advantages that no one can accurately describe.

  • In
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Some "purist" snobs think vinyl has more depth of sound, but the fact is that vinyl did not have the frequency range of CD's and had hissing, cracking, and popping from the least little speck of dust, so if you like listening to noise then vinyl is the format for you.

  • 1 month ago

    I have a large number of titles on both LP and CD. 

    ALL of them sound better playing from the CD. 

    No matter what you believe, Records Are Inferior.  

    • Josh1 month agoReport

      you must have a crappy record player then moron and old crappy vinyl

      do u think before you answer questions?

  • 1 month ago

    Many people feel that analog recordings have greater depth and dynamic range than digital recordings. This may be true, although digital continues to improve. BUT.....analog is not the same as vinyl. Analog is the method of recording and storage. Vinyl is just one medium that it's distributed on.

    Two points:

    1. Vinyl has faults. Every time it's played, the needle wears the grooves a little bit. It's also subject to scratches and dust. As a practical matter, a new LP sounds really good, but it soon develops pops and crackles.

    2. The quality of vinyl is only as good as the playback gear. The typical "Crosley" record player isn't even close to capable enough to hear the difference.

    Back in the 80's when CD's were new, they sounded harsh. It was easy to tell if you were listening to a CD, especially when played through a good stereo system. The difference is a lot more subtle these days. I don't have a good enough stereo to hear the only clue is when I hear all those pops and scratches on the vinyl. I guess my answer to your question is that vinyl has the *potential* to sound better than CD's, but in the real world, it doesn't live up to that potential.

  • 1 month ago

    Most sound better. It depends on the production and of course your system. I often buy JVC XRCD. They're kind of expensive but sound fantastic - Limited selection though. I'm listening to a JVC XRDC of Bill Evans at the moment. Its beautiful!

    When CDs first came out in the 80s they were very harsh. Not so today. CDs nowadays sound sound great! (again, depending on production etc)

  • John
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Vinyl records won't fit in my dashboard in my car player.

    • Josh1 month agoReport

      that wasnt the question freakin moron

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