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Vinyl Hope

Dan Damon Dan Damon | 10:04 UK time, Thursday, 1 November 2007

People really are buying more vinyl discs.

A friend of mine with a long and successful career promoting music sent me a link to a story in Wired which claims that it's not just mullet-headed musos who prefer vinyl records. They do actually sound better:

"Portability is no longer any reason to stick with CDs, and neither is audio quality. Although vinyl purists are ripe for parody, they're right about one thing: Records can sound better than CDs.

Although CDs have a wider dynamic range, mastering houses are often encouraged to compress the audio on CDs to make it as loud as possible: It's the so-called loudness war. Since the audio on vinyl can't be compressed to such extremes, records generally offer a more nuanced sound.

Another reason for vinyl's sonic superiority is that no matter how high a sampling rate is, it can never contain all of the data present in an analog groove..."

We spoke to Chris Ashworth, owner of United Record Pressing, America's largest record pressing plant, based in Nashville, Tennessee. He told us "You can taste the beer in Alan Jackson's track 'Pop a Top' but you can't on the CD.

"The digital world will never get there," he said.

For me, whatever the sound quality, it's the art work that makes 12 inch LPs more creative.

You just can't get the same impact on a 4 inch square box.

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