Does Anyone Think CD is Better Than Vinyl/Analog?

I am curious to know if anyone thinks the CD format (and I suppose that could include digital altogether) sounds better than vinyl and other analog formats. Who here has gone really far down both paths and can make a valid comparison? So far, I have only gone very far down the CD path and I just keep getting blown away by what the medium is capable of! I haven’t hit a wall yet. It is extremely dependent on proper setup, synergy and source material. Once you start getting those things right, the equipment gets out of the way and it can sound more fantastic than you can imagine! It’s led me to start developing a philosophy that goes something like this: Digital IS “perfect sound forever”; it’s what we do to the signal between the surface of the CD and the speaker cone that compromises it.” 
So I suppose what I’m asking for is stories from people who have explored both mediums in depth and came to the conclusion that CD has the most potential (or vice versa - that’s helpful too). And I don’t simply mean you’ve spent a lot of money on a CD player. I mean you’ve tinkered and tweaked and done actual “research in the lab,” and came back with a deep understanding of the medium and can share those experiences with others.

In my experience, the three most important things to get right are to find a good CD player (and good rarely means most expensive in my experience) and then give it clean power. In my case, I have modified my CD player to run off battery power with DC-DC regulators. The last thing that must be done right is the preamp. It’s the difference between “sounds pretty good” and “sounds dynamic and realistic.”
The last time I spun an Analogue disc was in the eighties and I couldn't get rid of it quick enough and it wasn't as if I didn't have a good system.
Ariston RD11S Turntable
Syrinx PU2 arm
Dynavector Ruby Cartridge

This was good gear in that era when Ariston was just as good as Linn.

I went into digital because I was fed up with snap, crackle and pop and tracking distortion and that damned hiss from the analogue recorders that taped the master. I won't say that going digital in the early eighties was great but with my Quad 44 pre amp I could filter away some of that treble glare. It was when Meridian came in with their early CD Players that the CD started to sound good and without the obvious traits that came with vinyl. Now I am a happy camper as I now have a computer I built for streaming and playing CD rips. I now am a headphone addict and the streaming and high rez files that I buy sound as good as and most probably better than some with their high end rigs because I am hearing much more detail than people who listen to speakers as I get much more detail from phones than most speaker system.
jjss49 >>>> 

  • "This is the first and last word on the topic as far as I am concerned

  • if we know what we are doing with analog or digital... we get what we came here for... "

Exactly. With certain tweaks, concentrating on lowering the noise floor, there's a lot more "there, there." Once that type of resolution is attained, the margin between digital and analog is narrowed dramatically. Personally, I'm astounded at how good red book CDs can sound ... and this is coming from an old guy who has been collecting vinyl records since high school. I love my records, but oh you kid. :-)


Tale of multiple formats. Stuff happens even in the controlled environment of a dedicated music room. The result was I needed to either retip or purchase a new cartridge. Since the one was going to take at least six months the only option was a new cartridge. So I retrieved my dac and Oppo 203 and added a little taste from my Mac Pro and viola I was faced with multiple format digital options. So I listened to CD and SACD through the analog outputs of the Oppo and high resolution audio from my Mac Pro running through the external dac. I also used the Oppo using coaxial out to the dac to listen to Blu-ray Pure Audio and DVD audio. The convenient thing about the oppo’s is their ability to play just about any format out there. So I had three weeks of listening to only digital, discovered some of my gold CD’s and Sony super bit map CD’s sounded just as good and if not better than the SACD’s. Blu-ray and DVD audio came the closest to the feeling of being there and emotionally connecting with the music you are listening to. Today came and with it a brand new cartridge, Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC*. Over the years I have done most of the set up myself and enjoyed doing it. Today I had a tech from Overture install and reset up my VPI. This is a step a lot of us ignore and one of the best reasons to still use a dealer. Steve sets up at least two VPI’s a week and installs a lot of Soundsmith cartridges. He has the knowledge, the expertise and the equipment to do the job. For those of us who have invested time and money to put together a highly resolving system this is a no brainer. Hire a tech once a year who will come in and retune your turntable setup, cartridge VTA. Azimuth etc. you deserve it. He reset my tone arm, made sure everything else was functioning properly, installed the cartridge. The TT is about 14 months old and was set up by VPI, he changed some of the settings and right away you could hear the difference. The cartridge will take some weeks to break in but I now can look forward to listening  to my record collection all over again. No more tinkering, just allowing the music to take you to some amazing places. The best form of meditation and relaxation I have come to rely on this year. For me in my system the vinyl lives and breathes. 

Just to add yet another item; Eric Clapton’s ’461 Ocean Boulevard’ from 1974.

The CD, Remastered, 20 BIT ADC, Apogee Electronics... REFERENCE STANDARD and on...
No match at all to the original issued LP, Polydor/Rino, and a 'local' RSA pressing to boot!
The CD sounding sort of ’over-refined’, kind of boness / gutless, when compared to the LP.

So where on earth does that leave one comparing the different systems?

The bass, ’lacking’ with this *Remastered* Clapton CD is in extremely stark contrast to e.g. the CD of Morphine ’cure for pain’ RYKODISC 10262.
So, like most everything: it bloodywell DEPENDS, or as some suggested here: ’ask a different question’.
Michélle 🇿🇦