Soft Vinyl versus Sharp CD Sound: Which One is Better?

However far the modern technologies of the digital sound have gone, the vinyl recordings and CD discs don’t lose their auditory and even increase it. Many music geeks today still look for the best budget speakers for turntable or an affordable CD player. The “old school” discs fans say there is a huge difference between vinyl and CD sound.

So, the two types of recording differ from each other. They have a different way to fix and produce the sound. Actually, it is a difference between analog and digital sound. And they both have pros and cons.

Authenticity
The vinyl analog sound is the closest to the actual live perception. The vinyl records have the grooves shaped parabolically as the sound wave comes. Thus, they enable the full audio information to be fixed and reproduced. The ambient effects, the vibration of the voice, and the improvisation of the musical instrument are clearly heard and recognized.

The CD sound is the snapshot of the analog sound. The accuracy of this snapshot is measured by the number of captures per second (sampling rate) and the range of the snapshot (e.g. 16 bit, 32 bit). The digital sound takes several series of such snapshots in order to recreate the sound wave. Though the modern records have high sampling rates and accuracy, they still represent a “worked out” analog sound. So, the digital sound is a “secondary” one to the analog audio.

Noise
The vinyl records produce a mellow rich sound. Still, comparing to CDs, the tiniest damage or interference influence on the quality of the produced sound. Dust or damages can cause deviations of the sound wave and fill the silent gaps with noise. It is distinctly heard in the purely instrumental compositions. Many know the distinctive “cracking” of the vinyl records, which is a good example of such interference.

The CDs have tiny grooves that don’t let get through even the dust. They can suffer from major damage only. These records don’t lose their properties and accuracy of performance over time. That makes them a good keeper of the recorded audio.

Additional Equipment
The vinyl record player produces analog sound — the one humans can hear. However, the signal is quite weak and the audio is very low. In order to boost the signal and make it audible, the amplifier is applied. Some turntables already have the built-in preamp, so you can enjoy the sound right away without plugging it into the external amplifier.

The CD player (as well as DVD one) also needs an amplifier. However, before sending the signal to the amplifier, CD/DVD player must first convert the digital sound into an analog one. Upon that, it can be boosted by the amplifier and you can enjoy your audio record.