Vinyl is expensive, fragile and a PITA. I know, I’ve been collecting it for nearly 50 years and have some 3500+ LPs. I still don’t bother with vinyl mastered from high res digital, even when the digital versions are only available in CD quality. The latter sound pretty good via ripped FLAC or Qobuz via Roon to my NDX2. There is so much used and new purely analog vinyl that I want, that digitally sourced vinyl just doesn’t make it to my shopping cart.
As for newer recordings that were mastered in high resolution digital but only available as CD quality, I just hope that will change over time and services like TIDAL and Qobuz expand.
My view is of course based on my own experience (supplemented by a one time diehard vinyl trumping friend), but of course I haven’t heard all possible vinyl sources. However, you cannot get away from the noise floor and ultimately limiting dynamic range of the disk itself. And that is noise floor before deterioration due to wear or dust or damage with time/plays.
I’d be interested to know if you’ve listened to digital through Dave as the DAC?
In the meantime despite your academic arguments against vinyl (dynamic range, noise floor), my experience with it is musically more satisfying than with digital. I really don’t notice any difference with dynamic range and the noise floor is minimal. Of course, that’s based on my analog front end and how it is setup.
Well, unless you hear through a good enough DAC like Dave you might well not be convinced… (of course, you might argue similarly regarding your source.
But I found that probably half the LPs I bought had noticeable surface noise from new (and that is back in vinyl’s heyday), while after 100s of plays there would usually be some evidence of deterioration no matter how carefully handled. But I am aware that no-one talked about washing machines back then, so I have no idea how much may have been due to ingrained dust.
There are plenty of new reissues on vinyl that are all analog. I listen to jazz and classical and it’s out there. Sadly no one seems to be recording to analog tape any more so for new music I reach for digital.
You keep making this superiority claim about the Dave, but what analog front end are you using to base your claim on that it’s so clearly better than vinyl. Please describe it in terms of the turntable, tonearm, cartridge and phonostage used, as well as how it is sited. Or is it really your assertion that the Dave DAC is better than all vinyl sources, bar none?
As for record surface noise, that’s just as much a function of the analog front end as it is of the vinyl record itself. For example, I upgraded from a Clearaudio Magnify tonearm with a Clearaudio Concerto cartridge to the Clearaudio Universal tonearm with a Dynavector XV-1s cartridge. The drop in surface noise and the noise floor overall was quite dramatic. I have well over 3000 LPs, mostly jazz and classical. Much of it is original pressings from the 60s-80s, but also reissues of the last 20 years or so. I just don’t really notice the noise anymore, and I can hear just as much (or more) clarity and detail as with anything digital I listen to, and that includes everything from quiet Renaissance lute music to large scale orchestral works from the lies of Mahler and Strauss, not to mention jass and everything in between.
I have no doubt the dave is great, but I think your claims of superiority over vinyl needs substantiation.
Best to judge any new vinyl on how well it plays and sounds and not get too hung up about whether it’s cut from a digital file or not. If it’s done right from a digital file - a hi res studio master - then they can sound superb. Witness for example the latest Kate Bush remasters. Have a listen to The Dreaming vinyl reissue and then tell me that you prefer the CD just because the vinyl was cut from digital.
My point is that there is so much great analog vinyl (used and new) I can spend my money on that I just assume listen to digital sources in the digital domain, and spend my money on analog vinyl. You can find fault with that if you want, but it’s not like I’m missing out on great music, and that’s what makes me happy. The NDX2+XPS plays just fine, even with CD quality.
This is a subject which has no real answer. Which is better?
I heard a Linn/ Naim LP system 30 years ago which got me into hi-fi… Years later I heard a system that was fantastic; I bought a Wadia digital system 27/270 which was amazing. With this system I did not miss analogue. But it was very expensive (when was that a problem in our hobby?),
Much later, Wadia had financial problems, and my equipment stopped working so I looked for an alternative, back to LPs.
And now I have to say I love the whole vinyl experience. Compared to the digital option it seems silly- streaming allows complete disconnection with the media which is great- all remote controlled. Not hands on at all.
Simple vinyl example; I bought an LP cleaning machine- you buy a second hand LP and check it under a light, then clean it and think “that looks like it’s new”. It all takes so much more time, but this is what makes it great.
All my records are cleaned. In the old days I used the DiscWasher thingy, but since about 2011 I use a RCM, and all my records have been cleaned on it. This year I bought a higher end Audio Desk Ultrasonic cleaner. Washing records makes a big difference, especially for noise. Using the ultrasonic cleaner has an even bigger impact. I don’t even play a new record without cleaning it first.
Because it is the best I have heard - but I do not know if it is audio nirvana - some say it takes an MScaler (or Blu2) added to do that. I wouldn’t know as I haven’t heard. Not having heard Dave seems to be a common amongst people who insist vinyl sounds better, but I doubt it is universal
If you read what I wrote, you will note that I did say that I have not heard all vinyl sources and by implication recognised that although I think the medium is flawed I cannot rule out the possibility that some source of other could make it sound better than digital - although good digital is so good, so involving, so musical, that It gives me cause to doubt. And then, of course there is the all-important mastering issue, that all but makes impossible direct comparison. (And as you can even have two supposedly identical digital recordings that sound different from one another - and, likewise I recall of vinyl decades ago,)
If you think that, then do you not also think the same applies to your own claim of vinyl superiority needs, as you haven’t heard all digital?
But no matter, as I did clarify that I was expressing my own view. I accept that a lot of people on this forum think differently and say that to them vinyl sounds best: but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter, as what is important is simply being able to play music one likes and enjoy it, whatever medium that conveys it.
Please don’t put words into my mouth that I never uttered. I made no claim that vinyl is superior to digital, or anything else. I only stated that it sounds better and is more musically satisfying to me. That was also both implicitly and explicitly qualified as applicable to my system with my setup. I did not make any kind of blanket claim that vinyl beats digital like it’s fact (as you did for digital).
Not only did you make the claim that “digital beats vinyl because it has fewer compromises” but went so far as to make a ridiculous claim without merit whatsoever that “a preference for vinyl is for reasons other than sound quality.” That might have some small hint of truth for the teens who buy records and play them on cheap setups for the coolness factor, but they aren’t buying the more expensive high quality vinyl issues anyway and don’t care about SQ beyond their Apple music. Further, I doubt you’ll find that applies to anyone in these or like forums.
in all vinyl threads IB is there and it always makes people nervous. Always banging that people who never heard to the Dave will never know how digital can be better vs vinyl.
I think this forum has overemphasized the chord dacs. I am sometimes reading audiophile style, head hifi, whatsbestforum, audiogon…and in all these forums chord dacs are considered as dacs among other. Some have heard the Dave but now are reporting on other dacs they prefer. even the entry level from dcs or less expensive as Mytech Manhattan, or more as MSB, EMM Labs, CH precision…
God Sake!, stop banging and banging these chord dacs as audio Nirvana. It’s stupid !
@frenchrooster, i opened by stating a view about digital because someone else had introduced a comparison. This is an open forum, and I may contribute my views. It was you who first introduced the term “audio nirvana” about Dave, and I have already clarified for you that I do not know if it offers audio nirvana, and indeed I have never suggested it does. And it is perfectly valid to observe that where someone hasn’t heard what I have (yes, digital through Dave), then they can no more say that vinyl sounds better than any digital than I can say that digital sounds better than any possible vinyl implementation.