pod wrote:Give me your most technical description on why vinyl sounds "better".
The 'richness' in the playback of vinyl is the result of higher order harmonics (a form of distortion, really) added the audio that are not present in the playback of digital media. Most likely, depending on the quality of the converters, most or all of these harmonics are lost when the analog signal is then fed through a digital playback system. This is why audiophiles try to use end-to-end analog equipment for listening. You are not only losing some of your analog waveform during the conversion to digital, but also the higher order haronics that add warmth and richenss to the sound.
sound engineers will argue that the second order of harmonics you speak of are more euphonic than anything and not a accurate reproduction of the original sound. basically just a form of distortion that is pleasing to the ears
the theory behind vinyl sounding better than digital is steeped in the fact that vinyl is basically uncompressed audio (such as a WAV or AIFF file) versus lets say an MP3 which is a form of compressed audio. the waters start getting murky when comparing your higher bit rate (192Kbps>) forms of compressed audio (lossy) to lossless (WAV, AIFF). Could a panel of pro DJs and industry professionals tell the difference between the different compressed audio formats of mp3, AAC, WMA, and Vorbis? DJmag put five experts to the test through the infamous system at London club Fabric
only two of the five experts could spot the 320Kbps MP3 vs uncompressed
only one of the five experts could spot the 192Kbps WMA vs uncompressed
finally at 128Kbps we see a consistent audible difference
"After collating the test data, the results are a clear triumph for compressed audio. The experts, who between them have some of the best ears in the business, could not consistently tell the difference between the original and the lossy."
experts have been saying for a long time that the average person cannot tell the difference between even a 192Kbps mp3 and a lossless, or even a 320Kbps file. its really not even disputed in the scientific community. anyone can do a simple double-blind ABX listening test and see for themselves. obviously if your average person cannot differentiate between a lossless form of audio and a mp3 encoded at 192Kbps it doesn't lend much credibility to the vinyl side of the argumenthere is a rather informal blind ABX listening test between vinyl and digital
"so it's a failure whatever way we interpret the results"
Richie Hawtin November '07 Mixmag - "The quality of digital is as good if not better than vinyl."