- Jan 15, 2022
One of the things I love about playing vinyl is the bump, bump, hiss as the needle hits the record and then how it just disappears when the music starts. I mean it is just so obvious and then nothing (except on the track No One is Safe by Clipping when I listen on headphones, there I can hear it all through the piano intro. Why any classical music lover would listen to vinyl on headphones is beyond my Ken.) It is very illustrative of how I hear that has nothing to do with the 400k% better by the measurements. It is such an obvious example of why chasing SINAD past a certain point (based on the music you listen to and how you listen to it) is pretty silly.Just going by the numbers, and just for noise, assuming a generous -60dB noise floor for an LP and a -96 dB noise floor for a CD that works out to digital being 36 dB quieter which is 398,107% quieter see https://calculator.academy/db-to-percentage-calculator/ . For distortion it is even worse for LP's. But for actual listening how much difference is there? In many cases not much. The fact that LP's measure orders of magnitude worse that CD's but can sound similar is interesting and scientifically investigating why and what is really important for "Hi-Fi" sound will lead you to understanding what matters and what doesn't.
Distortion is also apparently not very audible to me. Every time I have thought I heard it when listening, for example on Thom York’s voice in a certain song on King of Limbs, it turns out it is in the digital version too. Wow and flutter (on my TT well below .5% is also inaudible to me. Knowing my limits allows me to focus on how the music is structured (when I am listening critically) or simply enjoying the sensation, rather than worrying the reproduction chain.