Record Collecting Sources

Record Collecting Tips

Do CD's sound better than records?
Answer: NO

Vinyl records, especially from the sixties and seventies are analog recordings. Analog means that the sound from microphones in the studio was converted into electrical signals that were recorded on magnetic tape. CD's are created when these electrical signals are broken apart into many small bits, 44,000 per second, and converted to digital information that is then reconverted into an analog signal when it is played back on your stereo. There is always loss of information in this process.

Also today's CD's are compressed a lot to make them sound good on crappy sound systems. What this means is that the lower sound levels are amplified and the higher levels are attenuated to squash the sound. This can make some things sound great, like Van Halen or other heavy rock but can also destroy the original dynamics of a record.

Re-issues on CD have other problems. Digital technology has given us many things, some good and some best left alone. Software exists that can allow you to fix an out of tune vocal and clean up noise and distortion in an original recording. This can be good for some things and disastrous for others.

We heard a re-issue of classic Kings Men hits from the sixties. Louie Louie was so cleaned up you could just about understand the words. The grunge and the muck of the 45 was gone and so was the soul. The FBI would not have launched their 18 month investigation (this actually happened) on this version. The same went for Latin Lupi Lu.

There are some good CD re-issues of course, but the best re-issues are 180 gram vinyl. Several companies put out brand new new audiophile pressings of classic material that sound great. Also major labels are quietly pressing new vinyl of classic albums. We have seen mainly jazz and funk and some rock releases but keep a look out, you never know what you will find. Check our Record Collecting Sources tabs at the top of this page.