VideoGameCritic wrote:I should mention this record feels a lot heavier than what I'm used to. They must be using different material.
Indeed, most modern pressings of vinyl records are now done to the standard of ''180 gram'', whereas pressings done in the past would be considerably lighter. This, I suppose, is to give the record more rigidity in order to prevent warping. While it technically makes sense, I've found that the 180 gram pressings I've purchased have a greater tendency towards flaws. I went through 3 copies of Pantera's Cowboys from Hell album with each and every brand new copy skipping like mad on the first several seconds of both sides of both records. I finally replaced my stylus with a brand new, mid-range one (that costs twice what the turntable did!), and it mostly calmed those spots to just cracks and pops.
My two cents on the quality of vinyl versus cd versus digital is as follows:
Vinyl, if the recording in question was mastered specifically for said format, will always have the greatest dynamic range without question. This is because vinyl is a true analog format. If you're listening to music that was recorded in the early 90's or prior, it likely was intended for vinyl and will sound the best this way. I find little value in buying albums done in the last 20 years, though in most cases there is a marginal difference between the cd master and the vinyl. That said, no vinyl is perfect and every time you play it, you degrade it's quality.
CDs are, to me, the best compromise between convenience and quality. In terms of digital media, you're not getting better. MP3 will always be seriously compressed, meaning you lose frequencies in various ways, and you also lose resolution (depending on the encoder). Just listen to a song on a legitimate cd and then play the same song on Youtube, you'll notice how tinny the upper frequencies will sound first and foremost. WAV files tend to be pretty close to their source material, and FLAC files are supposed to be identical. Much like videogames, I cringe at the thought of paying for diminished or identical quality for downloading something when I could own the physical copy. Never once in my life have I paid for iTunes, or Spotify, or any other ''quantity and convenience over quality'' services, and I never will. That sort of attitude has killed the once burgeoning music scene and left it the shambles it is these days, where image rules over substance and marketability crushes creativity (kind of like videogames, damn I must be getting old)...but that's a rant for another time and venue...
I'll argue that any rock album or metal album made pre-1990 is going to be way better on vinyl. Since Queensryche was mentioned, I'll use that as an example. I've been listening to Operation: Mindcrime on cd (remaster from 20 years ago-ish) for a long time, and just a month ago got an original pressing of the vinyl. Let me tell you, there were dozens of moments where I looked at the wife as we had a beer and absorbed the glory of hearing subtleties that simply are buried in the loudness of the cd master. It was as if someone took the blankets off the speakers and we heard this magnificent album for the first time in all it's glory.