Digitally recorded vinyl vs streaming

I know this is an hot button for many, but here goes... I like vinyl and have many albums from the 60's, 70's and 80's.  I'm interested in some 80's and 90's albums - like U2, REM, Nirvana,  but I wonder if they will sound any better than streaming since they were probably recored digitally.


Have not reviewed all responses but my two cents is, which one “sounds” better - streamed or digitally recorded and cut to vinyl - has to do with your preferences and quality of playback front end. Certainly, a digitally sourced record can sound great and I have had plenty of those in my collection. But why spend the money on an LP form a digital source, if you can stream it?

I have changed my thinking about this over the years. I used to be heavy pro record, thinking that the analog source was superior. Records did sound nicer in my system, but the quality of my vinyl rig and cartridge (Hana SL with Rega, vpi and well tempered turntables, various well regarded phono stages from Lehman and Tom evans) was far greater than digital. I was using a Bluesound node at that time. But then, I switched DACs, first to Schiit then to chord. Suddenly the LP versus the streamed version (either analog original source or digital) mattered much much less, and I couldn’t honestly say that one was consistently better, or that the sound was different, depending on the recording. This, I strongly suggest the other user suggestion that you get a better DAC than the Bluesound. It will change your perspective and priorities. 

In my view, a well done digital system and well done vinyl rig are (usually) striving towards neutrality, ie not imparting distinct sound on the recording.* Therefore the better your gear, the more parity. I do appreciate that analog provides some additional spice/distortion, apparently second order harmonic, that is typically subtle but alters the sound. See Dave McNair’s writings on this topic. I like it and am not putting it down. 

I have also found that ripping my records using a high quality A/D in high res, played on a high quality DAC, sounds identical to live LP playback. This makes sense to me as digital is transparent to source. The digitized LP sounds like a record (since it is recording the sound of your vinyl rig, table cartridge phono and the LP). Whether or not that is “better” than the DDD streamed is in the eye of the beholder. Similarly, try listening to an A>D tape. THese can sound great and retain an “analog” sound quality. 

for me today, I sold my fancy turntable and phono stage and downgraded to a vintage well regarded table, solid entry level cartridge and phono, and just enjoy records for the experience. That is not to say that digital is “better” than analog. It is just different. And MUCH cheaper to achieve the same level of sound quality.  

*nothing against products that affirmatively “sound like…,” ie introduce distinct distortions on the source. But I do wish people would accept that those sounds are indeed distortions and not “what the artist intended” or “connecting to the emotion of the music” or whatever other phrases are out there…

@mojo771 , I am going to agree with @mikelavigne on this one.

I record vinyl to a hard drive on a regular basis using the same system Michael Fremer uses from Channel D. In 24/192 it is extremely hard to hear any difference between the digital recording and the album itself. For very special records like the Led Zeppelin 45 RPM box set by Classic Records it is a no brainer.

It does not matter how the record is recorded. Vinyl will always sound like vinyl with the characteristics of your system and the quality of the record added to the mix. Once an album becomes vinyl it stays vinyl from a sonic perspective even when played back from a digital file.

I am a music collector. To me streaming in not a first line modality. It is useful for listening to new material before you spend your money on the software. 

Sounds like you want to stream due to its convenience and that is a perfectly valid reason to go that route. If you want it to be a better sound experience than vinyl then spend more money on separates; DAC and Streamer. You will easily be able to exceed your present vinyl rig but you will need to dump money into it. The Bluenode and Rose as nice and convenient as they are will not get you there in my opinion although the Rose is getting a lot of praise. I also feel the Rose is a larger step up from the Node than you feel based on the Rose's expense. As I said if you want a much more noticeable sound improvement over vinyl then your digital set up must cost a comparable amount more.

The 90s were chaotic as to whether a vinyl recording was AAA, ADA, DDA. There are other variables, as others noted, too many variables. I’d go maybe a little farther than others here by simply saying that you have to judge on a case by case basis. Each LP has its own unique set of issues. 

My collection is 96% vinyl. You should keep both formats maybe. 

I actually am keeping both formats.  I love the convenience of streaming though and its allowed me to sample albums I may not have listened to otherwise.  I've found soome I really like from the nineties but I just didn't know if it made sense to buy it since it was recorded digitally. 

I'm still considering the hifi Rose rs150, but it seems from the posts above that I may not get the sound I'm seeking unless I go to the 10k range.  And many posts have said I need a better DAC while others have said I just need a better streamer.  So I'm still researing and trying to understand the gear.