Vinyl Sound Quality

With some new records, I notice that the Qobuz stream has better quality. Examples London Grammar Californian Soil, St Germain Tourist (remastered).

Is this due to my setup or is the vinyl quality?

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Probably the latter. After the CD explosion of the last century, loads of record pressing plants closed. Now, in the wake of the current vinyl boom, more have opened, but the demand surpasses the ability of existing plants to keep up. This has created delays and quality control issues across the board. Also, most new albums are recorded digitally, and mastered with an eye to digital sound. Vinyl is an afterthought, but a profitable one, and I doubt major labels spend money to master correctly. So most major labels will issue (and reissue) new vinyl, but the quality of the final product is probably poor.

On that note, I always roll my eyes when I see a sticker on a new record that says “180-gram audiophile press” but without any acknowledgement of remastering. Thicker vinyl in and of itself does not make something “audiophile.”


Some of the tourist pressings are terrible , the blue note one on the other hand is very good.

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100% I should have added that there are some labels (like BN) that do a (mostly) fantastic job of issuing new vinyl, and many reissue labels that print fantastic-sounding reissues (like Speakers Corner and Analogue Productions). But then there are the rest.


So I have to ask myself the question, do I still invest in the hardware turntable and in the purchase of new records, if there is disappointment at the end of the day when I compare the record with the stream.

My first idea was to buy the power supply for the goldnote ph-10 and also test a rega planar 8.

I actually think those sound like good investments! And there is plenty of new and used vinyl that will knock your socks off and sound brilliant. But some things might sound better streamed through a decent DAC. There’s no one answer. The perennial forum question is which sounds best, digital or vinyl. I think the answer is both. Some things sound better on vinyl, some better on CD or file. What matters is production and the quality of the medium (record, disc or file). But I would say that the quality of streamed music has a worse track record than any physical medium. I’m often listening to stuff streamed and wondering why everything sounds two-dimensional. Good vinyl never sounds that way to me. BTW Discogs is a good place to find reviews of particular pressings, and at least to get a sense whether there are any particular issues with a pressing, especially for new stuff.

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There are a variety of threads covering various aspects of the topic that may provide an answer to the question. These two from the middle of last year may be worth a quick scan:

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The thing to do is stop comparing and enjoy the music in whatever format. I’m discovering new music to me on Qobuz. Then, if I like it, I buy the LP, play that and never listen to it again on Qobuz.


That’s exactly my way. Then I listen to the new record and think OK and listen to stream briefly as a comparison and think I could have saved myself money :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Lots of poorly mastered digital recordings too.

Except that doesn’t answer the question as to where money is best spent!

Yes most of my Blue Note records are superb both musically and sonically.


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