Monday, August 26, 2013

Vinyl vs. CD - #144

Vinyl vs. CD

It's the old discussion, but I'll not take it up again ... except to say, that I was a bit irritated yesterday, when I pulled out four(!) brand new LPs from all the vinyl that's sitting here, still waiting to be heard. They were all sealed copies, and imagine my surprise (and anger) when each and every of these albums sounded like they had been played with a very well worn (if not to say completely damaged) stylus. The kind of heavy distortion you get when you played your vinyl transparent. Of course, I know, there could be a number of reasons, not the least a fault in production, like a much too short cooling off period after pressing. But four albums in a row? Give me a break! I had thought that my needle had gone across the Jordan.

Even cleaning the stylus a couple of times didn't bring any betterment to the audio quality, I really thought I had shot my stylus and damaged some records in the process. The only thing that seemed a bit strange, was, that the distortions didn't last throughout the whole running times of these LPs:

Cramps - RockinnreelinginAucklandNewZealandxxx
Monument - The First Monument
Original Film Soundtracks - The Best Of Godzilla 1954-1975
Who - Phases (the only secondhand item)

Although all look like being in pristine condition, I had to double check with some vinyl that I knew played just fine. So on went

Gash - A Young Man's Gash (a horrible album btw, but easily worth EUR 300.00 in m- condition)
McKenna Mendelson - Stink
Sound Explosions - Teen Trash
Keith Jarrett - The Köln Concert (especially to check wether the piano was affected, as it seemed)

and, no, those records played just fine, the way they're used to sound. Today I've pulled another two LPs and they are

Moses - Changes
Triode - On n'a pas fini d'avoir tout vu

Those two sound full, excellent sonic quality and not a fault to be found with them. I must confess, yesterday's four out of four sequence had me thinking how seldom a CD listener experiences this kind of problem. I've never come across such a series with regards to my digital collection, but then I haven't heard something like this from my vinyl corner either. And the icing on the cake is, I can't even remember where I bought this stuff months ago, so there's no use trying to exchange it.

Anyway, enough of this, my favourite medium will be vinyl, no question about it, but it did bring up the question why so many newly pressed LPs (and 7"s) are of such bad quality. I'm buying also quite a few punk LPs and guess what, 95 % of them are of audiophile quality pressing. No distortions in the quiet areas or elsewhere, and that's the way it should be.



No comments:

Post a Comment