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.”
mijostyn:  "Like I said Tim, that is the responsibility of whomever controls the rights to the recording. HD Tracks has to have permission and pay for what they do. The last thing HD Tracks wants is to get embroiled over pirating substandard copies of recordings for profit. They have a good thing going, why ruin it. Within the normal realm of recording quality I have been very pleased with their product so far. Of over a thousand files there have been two clinkers that I can think of and I do not think it was their fault. If there is an issue with the download they have always made it right. One more thing, any transfer at 24/192 ( the studio standard) is totally invisible. It is not like analog where everything you do adds damage."

Hello mijostyn,

     Yes, I agree with your comments that "HD Tracks has to have permission and pay for what they do. The last thing HD Tracks wants is to get embroiled over pirating substandard copies of recordings for profit. They have a good thing going, why ruin it."
     My main points are:
1.  Yes, HD Tracks has to have permission and pay the recording company for access to the artist's existing master recording.  And that it's in the best interests of the recording company, as well as all other parties involved, for the record company to deliver the highest quality master recording of the artist's music that they possess.
2. The main issue, as I understand it, is that the highest quality master recording of the artist's music in the recording company's possession is highly likely to be no better in quality than a standard resolution master, most likely in the form of a reel to reel tape. The provenance and sound quality level of the recorded music on this master tape, of course, is limited by the optimum specifications or capacities of the medium the master is originally recorded onto.  The quality level of  the recorded music, in effect, is set in stone after it's been originally recorded and cannot exceed the quality levels of the medium it was originally recorded on. 
3.  HD Tracks subsequently transferring this analog reel to reel master tape recording in standard resolution to a hi-res digital master recording format, therefore, has absolutely no capacity to improve the sound quality levels of the original master tape.  An analogy is a photograph that is limited by the camera technology and capacities of the camera utilized when the photo was originally taken.

     Unfortunately for music lovers, this means that original older music recordings, from artists that are no longer together or even alive, cannot be improved upon by transferring them to the higher capacity format of hi-res digital.  The only benefit of these transfers is that these recordings are in a much more durable format that does not degrade over time or with each use.

I have only read the first page of this thread, so apologies if someone has already said what I am about to.  I wonder if it comes down to the way someone hears. We know everyone's hearing is different to lesser or greater degrees.  Perhaps some hear a problem with digital that others are simply unable to hear.  Perhaps the same applies with vinyl.  I haven't heard  r2r in decades and even then, not on a good system, so I obviously can't speak to that format.  My own system is nice but a very long way from state of the art and, for my hearing, the recording is the deciding factor.  Bad recordings sound bad on digital and vinyl.  Good recordings sound good on both.  To the OP, I would say ask yourself why you might want to try analog.  If it is because you are dissatisfied with digital (which doesn't appear to be the case) then go ahead.  However, if you receive consistent pleasure from digital, then I wouldn't suggest going down that path.  Perfection doesn't exist and you can drive yourself crazy trying to find it.  I once had a professor who was an enthusiastic fan of classical music.  He once said to me that he often thought he should explore rock and jazz more, that he might be missing something.  My response was life is too short.  You can spend a lifetime listening to one genre of music and not have the quality of your life diminished in any way.  I would say the same about digital vs. analog.

I have listened to 63k turntable and similar CD, plus a 80K turntable v DCS Vivaldi 4 years ago.  Turntable more relaxed but detailed.  I really wish there was a CD player as good as a simple 50k. Master Innovation turntable.  Piano note purity on vinyl, smeared with CD, using master innovation, Jubilee cartridge, Universal 12 in arm.   CD player is Esoteric k01x and Simaudio Andromeda CD player.   I have bought high end since 1987.


Additionally, in 2022,  TechDAS Air Force 3 Premium vs DCS Rossini APEX.   Wagner Solti Gotterdammerung, vinyl wins.