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LM2940's picture
Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: May 16 2006 - 10:36am
Perhaps Mr. Fremer was a bit harsh on CDs

Ouch, Mr. Fremer doesn't hold back his bile towards the CD format in this month's "Analog Corner"!
Yes, the Compact Disc had a rocky start but the medium sounds pretty darn good now.
Unlike Mr. Fremer, I'm hoping that the CD format, or at least some form of uncompressed digital disc format, lives on and continues to improve.

cew65w's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 5 2005 - 11:35am
Re: Perhaps Mr. Fremer was a bit harsh on CDs

Take Fremer's words with a grain of salt. Like him, I will concede that in most cases, vinyl does sound better but such performance comes at a cost-a cost that can be far over the point of diminishing returns. Despite what we remember about the format's introduction, it was never about quality. It was about convenience and it still is.

mikeymad's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 31 2006 - 4:06pm
Re: Perhaps Mr. Fremer was a bit harsh on CDs

Sometimes, just sometimes, I like for someone to take a stand on one side of the fence and say 'this is the way it is'. Right or wrong.

The soapbox is still alive. Say on, Sir Fremer, say on.

gkc's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Feb 24 2006 - 11:51am
Re: Perhaps Mr. Fremer was a bit harsh on CDs

You need a double-hyphen to represent the dash -- the hyphen is confusing. "And we thank you, Miss Grundy," they said. I wrapped my feeble brain around "a cost-a cost" for a full thirty seconds before I could see the sense...the sentence sense, that is. The sense of it doesn't make sense. What are the "diminishing returns" that are suffered by what cost of owning vinyl? I have had more CD's crap out than I have had vinyl...and CD's go out with these pitiful little squeaks, chipmunk sounds...I don't like to hear Britten reduced to the BeeGees, with no warning. At least my LP's, on the few occasions they give up the ghost, do so gradually, pouring out the soul of the music, even while the pops and ticks warn of future mortality.

You say it's about convenience. I thought it was about the music. Now, my newer SACD's are starting to give me the raspberry, at the end of the music. Now, how bad is THAT?

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Perhaps Mr. Fremer was a bit harsh on CDs

I think for most of us who still love vinyl...we wish that we had taken better care of our vinyl collection. I wish I had been more "Mr. Monk the TV character" about my vinyl collection, but I cannot reverse the past or I would have lost these extra 20 pounds I carry around long ago.

And when we were promised "perfect sound forever" we some how thought that we could handle these shinny discs any way we please, only to find out that was not totally the case. I now own a cheaply made, but eminently practical disc doctor that does repair scratched discs very well for $29.00 . My 12 year old son, Nick, who used to treat his $40 PS2 dics rather poorly has learned this lesson. Do not let Dad find discs sitting around outside their boxes.

My contention is that it takes more effort and money to do vinyl RIGHT than it does to do digital well. Things mechanical are harder problems to solve. I would think that we all would agree that the totally black backgrounds that CD offers is a great benefit, especially for classical music with the dynamic range left mostly intact.

With all of the great CD players that have been reviewed over the last few years at Stereophile I doubt that anyone who ownes a Class A player feels like they are missing much. Whether it is the Quad CDP99, the Ayre C5 or 7, or the August review of the Classe, or the 2 box Musical Fidelity are all remarkable achievements. If you owned the Ayre, Classe, or the Musical Fidelity and did not do vinyl I would not think poorly of you as I would want to spend mucho time listening to shinny discs on them as well.

Art Dudley's article this month hit the nail right on the head about other folks choices for me. I whole heartedly agree. I am also very happy for Mr. Fremer that he can and does own the Continuum. What he has done to preserve and resurect the dead vinyl disc is not an insignificant achievement. It is not inherently flawled, but eminently musical.

Monty's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: Perhaps Mr. Fremer was a bit harsh on CDs

I think it ironic that when CDs first hit the market, it was the players that were flawed and producing less than acceptable results. Now, the players are quite good and the discs are compressed all to Hell...producing less than acceptable results.

I agree 100% with your cost vs benefits observation with regard to CD vs vinyl. While vinyl is currently enjoying some nastalgia and would appear to be making a comeback, I don't see it lasting and would hazard to guess that it will be rather short lived.

Having recently started spinning vinyl again, I have already experienced just as many poorly pressed and crappy recordings on vinyl as I do with CDs; so for me, the "vinyl sounds better" rant translates to "vinyl can sound better." Well, yeah, it can sound better, but so can CDs. And, you're going to have to spend some significant money getting that vinyl to sound better and still fall victim to the recording and pressing problems that aren't unique to CD.

Vinyl makes sense for two types of people. Audio nuts like us who will gladly spend stupid money on gear...and people who already own large vinyl collections. I wouldn't even attempt to talk someone new to the high end into looking at vinyl if they didn't already have large record collections.

I would talk serious tuners, though. If you have a decent FM station in your area, analog can be easier to appreciate and easier on the pocket book with a good tuner and antenna. Let the radio station spend mega bucks on a great front end and all you have to do is spend chump change on a tuner and antenna. I looooooove my tuner.

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