CD vs. LP: which one gets the most airtime in your listening room?

CD vs. LP: which one gets the most airtime in <I>your</I> listening room?
100% LP
3% (11 votes)
90% LP, 10% CD
9% (38 votes)
80% LP, 20% CD
7% (27 votes)
70% LP, 30% CD
6% (26 votes)
60% LP, 40% CD
4% (18 votes)
50% each
3% (12 votes)
40% LP, 60% CD
3% (13 votes)
30% LP, 70% CD
4% (16 votes)
20% LP, 80% CD
6% (25 votes)
10% LP, 90% CD
13% (54 votes)
100% CD
38% (156 votes)
other (explain)
3% (11 votes)
Total votes: 407

Most audiophiles' record collections include LPs <I>and</I> CDs, but one format invariably is played more than the other. In yours, which one is it, and by how much?

Greg Roe's picture

CDs are for the car, aren't they?

Ben Blish's picture

The only - I say ONLY - reason that I *ever* play an LP is simply because I can't get it on CD. I am a musician, audio enthusiast, and recording engineer, and while in the early days there were good reasons for CD's to sound "bad", a well recorded CD played on a good CD player beats any LP ever made on any turntable ever made using any cartridge ever made. Ever. Signal to noise, lack of damage artifacts and dust artifacts, separation, honest frequency response, dyn. range (same as S/n for a CD, not so for an LP)... gads. LP's. If only we could get everything on CD... Sigh.

Rick Torres's picture

LPs are just more involving, in the way you have to care for them, and in the way they reproduce music.

Graz's picture

Hi This was not always the case! All serious listening is with lp. Equipment is Sonic Fronteirs CD1 or Alpason+Atlas/Zeta/Karat 23Rs2. this feeds Lhnman cube/Krell KAV300i/ Apogee Dueta Signatures. Love it!

John Crossett's picture

Hey, much as I am a vinylholic and would love to spend ALL my time with vinyl, there is far to much new music that is only on CD. That being the case, I do spend about 30% of my time listening to CDs. But for my real listening pleasure, the CD player gets unplugged, the lights are dimmed, and the vinyl spins.

Steve Guttenberg's picture

It's the music that matters, but somehow I'm more likely to really listen only when I'm spinng analog.

George Bahrynowski's picture

When I listen to music on my system, I play LP's. When I want background sound, I put on a CD.

C.  Andrew Jackson's picture

I gave up analog years ago even though CD was still the inferior format. I did this because I knew that eventually it would catch and possibly even surpass analog in sound quality. I saw enough potential in the inherent strengths of the digital format (ease of use, no wear and tear on CD's, ability to select whatever track you want instantaneously, able to buy a transport for less than a good cartridge with a longer life etc..) and weaknesses in analog ("the analog ritual", outrageously escalating costs for decent cartridges, turntables, and software, albums wearing out, constant fussing over set-up, etc..) to do this. By unloading all my gear and software, this allowed me the resources to build a large library of CD's so that when CD playback finally did arrive sonically (it's REAL close now)), I had a broad base of titles to enjoy. I have never looked back!

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

If I could buy more LPs with my favourite music, this ratio might be very different...

George E.  Bennett's picture

It's the lazy and time factor. CDs are just so much simpler to enjoy.

A.Lungu's picture

Since I discovered the beauty of LP, my records get more and more time on my Rega Planet.

Bob Bookman's picture

God Bless the CD!

Carlos_E's picture

I stopped buying LPs 11 years ago.

Anonymous's picture

I would likely listen to more LP's, but I have far more CD's, and at the age of 16, LP's, aspecially new ones, are expensive.

Mark A.'s picture

My mix is 80% CDs, only because that's what I've been buying for the last 15 years. However, with the recent acquistion of a new Planar 3 'table, I find myself listening to my old records more and more, and really enjoying the sound.

Jonathan Towle's picture

CD sound is not acceptable to me. Obviously, it has gotten better over the years, but current technology is still bumping against the limits set by the low bandwith--after all, it's a late-70s technology. DVD and/or its rival SD may be better, but it will take years to resolve format wars, get the equipment working properly, and build up a library of music anyone would want to hear. Meanwhile, LPs are common and dirt cheap.

John Leosco's picture

Does the very best vinyl still sound better than the very best CD? Yes, I think so, although there are advantages on both sides. No matter. I didn't own a huge collection of vinyl, so, for better or worse, I decided to go 100% digital almost a decade ago and don't regret the decision. No anal cleaning and care for me. I'd also rather listen to my system than scrounge around at garage sales and flea markets for the latest vinyl treasure. The sound of CDs can be very, very good. Just listen to the remastering of Joni Mitchell's Blue and tell me I'm wrong. I bought it at my local music store this last weekend for 12 bucks.

Sam Tellig's picture

LP still rules . . . if you have a great turntable, arm, and cartridge. Take the Rega 25 with Goldring 1042 combo---into a decent phono stage, it will probably sound better than the most expensive digital gear.

Dick Coe's picture

I own a serious music system because I like to listen to good music, not pfutz around with stuff. A medium that needs a bath before every listening and playback equipment that must be constantly tweaked, only to yield sound filled with scratches and similar artifacts is not something I want to be involved with. Besides, much of the music I prefer doesn't seem to be available on vinyl. I got rid of my eight-track tapes long ago, too.

Barry Krakovsky's picture

I play LP's %90 of the time, if not more. This is because most of my music is on LP. I should add that if an option exists to purchase an LP versus a cd , in most cases I will opt for the LP. Sometimes if there is a huge discrepancy in price , the LP costing more, I will purchase the cd if the sound is halfway decent.

Karl Richichi, U.T.  Film Dept.'s picture

Errr . . . 15% LP, 85% CD. :( I have well over 1000 LPs and CDs. However, CDs are used the most in our home simply because we are too lazy. To lazy to fire up the LP12, unseal the Japanese plastic covers, clean the disc, flip it over, put it back in the sleeve, and repeat with the next LP. I simply need to make more time, I think.

Stan Wolaniuk's picture

If I want to play music, it will probably be a CD; if I want to listen to music, it will be vinyl.

Willis Greenstreet's picture

The question is hard to answer as we also use the DSS music channels as well. We do have a larger collection of LP's than cd's. This is both a preference and a cost consideration.

Joe Hartmann's picture

With a collection of over 3000 LPs before CDs existed, I go to LPs for performances I enjoy. It took me a while to find an acceptable digital player, but it took me 20 years of record collecting before I first heard the Linn LP12 and realized what the LP was fully capable of delivering. I must admit that I am still discovering the ability of that medium. I own two CD players and about 700 CDs.

David Mitchell's picture

100% CD, but I have some LPs that I will listen to as soon as I get around to buying a player. That may be a while, though, because I want to upgrade my electronic drumset with better triggers, get a mixer, see if a banjo might fit with rock music . . .

Stephen Curling's picture

digital is the only to go!

Joe Ferrente's picture

I own more records than CD's but even more importantly, vinyl just seems to get the music right.

yongfei's picture

In my audio dreams, I always dream about LP. It is a wonderful experience to listen, touch, and feel. Some folks keep on complaining about LP's high noise level, inconvenience to set up, etc. But I think that live music has a much higher S/N ratio and is also inconvenient to attend. I would think of LP as film, turntable as camera, and cartridge as optical lens. My analog Nikon camera has a much higher resolution than its digital cousin. Best of all, in S. Tellig's way of argument, LP can never be out of date, since it has already been out of date. You can not kill LP twice! I would happily listen to LP forever. But in reality, LP has some fatal shortcomings. My Sumiko cartridge was killed last month by a friend. I will remain an analog guy in my heart until the day my blood and flesh become zeros and ones.

Craig Okruhlica's picture

I made the decision to stick with CDs... for now. Once my system is to the point where further upgrade becomes unfeasable (from a monetary standpoint), I might become interested in exploring vinyl. Until then, my finite budget is better used to upgrade the hardware.

Jim Bowdren's picture

I only own a CD player and have never considered owning a turntable.