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Digital or vinyl for classical?

Digital or vinyl for classical music?  

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I find debate on such issues to be extremely irritating, because it starts nowhere and goes nowhere. I thought the Wigwam might be above such matters, but no.

I don't give a damn about what anyone else thinks on this topic. The only opinion that matters to me is mine, and I act upon it accordingly.

I run a "high-end" CD player and turntable/phonostage which cost me roughly equal amounts, and I have twice as many LPs as CDs for the simple reason that I started collecting the former earlier. I do not hear end-of-side distortion (cartridge correctly aligned) nor clicks and pops (I know how to clean LPs - I was once an organic chemist) nor digital "glare" except on badly-mastered CDs. But I have a strong preference for one format; a preference which is mine alone and which I do not need to defend. Neither do I feel the need to crusade on behalf of my preference, since anyone with opposing views will take as little notice of mine as I take of theirs.

The end result is that we go nowhere. It is a matter of personal preference, like tastes in music, and no-one in their right mind criticises anyone for preferring the operas of Janacek to those of Mozart, or vice-versa.

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Have to aver that I prefer 'Classical' live acoustic, or via FM radio, if not playing my digital-versions of my-choice loved meaningful analogue recordings ...

I wish that more brilliant 'classical' musicians - especially in big orchestra - would just 'jam' without a conductor ...

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The best seem to be Multichannel SACDs heard in multichannel, even with lesser speakers and electronics they beat excellent 2-ch with high end gear. But the Mch needs to be set up properly, for music, not for movies. Pentatone, Channel Classics, all seem to do very good Mch SACDs, and Living Stereo 3-channel sounds very good too.

The SACD gets downsampled, but still sounds brilliant, and in some case, the DSD or hires can be retained in Mch

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I find debate on such issues to be extremely irritating, because it starts nowhere and goes nowhere. I thought the Wigwam might be above such matters, but no.

I don't give a damn about what anyone else thinks on this topic. The only opinion that matters to me is mine, and I act upon it accordingly.

I run a "high-end" CD player and turntable/phonostage which cost me roughly equal amounts, and I have twice as many LPs as CDs for the simple reason that I started collecting the former earlier. I do not hear end-of-side distortion (cartridge correctly aligned) nor clicks and pops (I know how to clean LPs - I was once an organic chemist) nor digital "glare" except on badly-mastered CDs. But I have a strong preference for one format; a preference which is mine alone and which I do not need to defend. Neither do I feel the need to crusade on behalf of my preference, since anyone with opposing views will take as little notice of mine as I take of theirs.

The end result is that we go nowhere. It is a matter of personal preference, like tastes in music, and no-one in their right mind criticises anyone for preferring the operas of Janacek to those of Mozart, or vice-versa.

Thanks for sharing.

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Blu-rays actually might be the best medium because you can watch the conductor and his expressions while enjoying the high quality masterings. Recently I was watching Claudio Abbado and the Lucern Festival Orchestra (for which he handpicked the best musicians from various orchestras on adhoc basis) play Mahler's 5th, and it was awesome. Face it, seeing makes a difference to our hearing, else we wouldn't have had a subjectivist forum

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^ Agree - I have Abbado's Mahler 9 & Bruckner 5 from Lucerne on Blu-ray, and they are magnificent. The TV & Blu-ray player (a PS3) are attached to a fairly humble stereo hifi system but they are fantastic to watch & listen with the volume turned up!

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Too too often even hissy-manqued ole analogue vinyls recorded etc to digital HDD-CDR-CDRW are better than the CD/whatever commercial-flogging ...

BUT - I voted as usual 'digital' (although my from-my-vinyl archived Digits are superior to commercial-CD equivalents I have purchased ...).

We are all messed-up by the market - enjoy ...

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I have just listened to the Rite of Spring played by Joseph Levine with the orchestra of the New York Met on dgg digital CD. I love my vinyl, but there isn't a hope of getting that quality of incredibly explosive recording from an lp. You cannot technically put that information, with its extreme dynamic range and huge channel-specific bass information, onto the medium. Even if you could, the stylus would not be able remain in the groove. One strike of that massive subbass drum would cause it to jump, simple as that.

An awesome recording btw, for what it's worth!

For much classical music, vinyl is capable of beautiful results, but for this? No, the medium simply isn't capable.

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I know I said this before but wanted to resurrect the comment again - I hear much more accurate timbre on vinyl than digital. This is with respect to any orchestral instrument. Anyone else notice this? Strings on my vinyl are to die for. Digital strings = meh.

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I know I said this before but wanted to resurrect the comment again - I hear much more accurate timbre on vinyl than digital. This is with respect to any orchestral instrument. Anyone else notice this? Strings on my vinyl are to die for. Digital strings = meh.

Bill, we do not disagree. Strings can sound mighty fine on vinyl, and awful on digital. But they can sound excellent on digital also. There is no doubt that there is added euphonic second harmonics on analogue vinyl. You are not hearing the original (who cares? Hifi can't get close to live music unfortunately), but you are hearing a very musically pleasing sound which I love also.

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Bill, we do not disagree. Strings can sound mighty fine on vinyl, and awful on digital. But they can sound excellent on digital also. There is no doubt that there is added euphonic second harmonics on analogue vinyl. You are not hearing the original (who cares? Hifi can't get close to live music unfortunately), but you are hearing a very musically pleasing sound which I love also.

Hi John,

Maybe my digital sources have never been quite good enough? If I go through all my digital recordings and look for the best, it still gets destroyed by my best vinyl from a timbre perspective. I agree that vinyl is not accurate in the true sense but it is accurate in terms of replicating the sounds of instruments to my ears - I have played in orchestras all my life so am used to hearing instruments.

I recently got some sacd recordings and these seem better on this front but never quite at the vinyl level.

Oh well. Who cares - it is all about the music so whatever format for me. Digital, vinyl, ss, valves - they are all good :)

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