Posted the following few paragraphs to an online forum earlier when discussion turned to the usual ‘why would anyone bother with vinyl when CD is technically able to be so much better?’.
There are more listening sessions to be had I’m sure, but in the meantime I’ll leave a summary of first-impressions gleaned from my first month of vinyl use.
Based on my rather eclectic LP collection, it seems that anything recorded and mixed specifically with an analogue signal chain tends to result in the LP version sounding rather better than the CD version, whether the CD is specifically branded as a “remaster” or not. In my experience over the last month or so, this has specifically held true for works by Queen, Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre, ELO, Supertramp, ELP, Suzanne Vega and Mike Oldfield, as well as a bunch of random 80’s pop recordings. I was a vinyl sceptic for years having grown up in the age of CD and all that can bring. Yet having heard what vinyl can do, especially when the equipment considered is at a similar price-point to digital sources, I’m absolutely blown away by the musical and technical quality on offer. I certainly did not expect to end up preferring LP versions of so many well-loved CD recordings I’ve owned for 15 years or more!
I also have some wonderful 50’s and 60’s classical recordings on vinyl, the best of which completely surpass any digitally-recorded versions of the same works/tapes I’ve heard. The best so far is Giulini conducting The Philharmonia Orchestra playing Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony in London’s Kingsway Hall, circa 1961. I’m not a classical-phile by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m being won over with every black disc I play from my inherited collection.
In this day and age, anything that opens us up to a musical or technical education is clearly a Good Thing™ – and if it takes a technical regression to do it, with potentially better results, then I’m all for it.
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