Once upon a time all that was available for listening to music was records and the radio.
When they came along, 8- tracks were good, but their construction had inherent problems. Like, clicking from one portion of the tape to the next in mid-song because of time limitations.
Reel-to-reel came along, and that could play the whole piece in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, reel-to-reels needed special, expensive equipment to use, and they had a tendency to lose the magnetic particles carrying the sound with every playing.
Then came cassette tapes, small, portable, and playable on everything from a portable cassette player to a high-end cassette deck as part of a component stereo system. They lost magnetic particles at a faster rate than reel-to-reels and they were limited to 1/2 hour per side.
Through all of these vinyl records- LP’s(albums), EP’s(long-playing singles), and 45’s(singles) hung on, they were still more reliable than any of the tape methods, unfortunately, they scratched easily, so they required careful handling.
I got into the habit of buying high-end vinyl-Japanese and European Imports, and Half-Speed Master and Master recordings. I would play them once on my component system, recording them on to cassettes as I did so.
Then came the day… the world went digital, with Compact Discs, and MP3 players. So many people thought that that was the end of everything else, so they dumped all of their passè goodies in favour of CD’s.
I still had my component system, and so I kept my vinyl and cassettes, and still used the cassettes as I slowly replaced them with compact discs. I was very ‘into’ CD’s, they could be played over and over, were tougher than vinyl, and had an advantage in clarity of sound.
Recently, vinyl has begun making a comeback, and CD’s are not as favourable as they once were. I have listened and have noticed a marked difference in the feel of vinyl, as opposed to CD.
I have the soundtrack to Walt Disney’s “Fantasia”, on CD, and I recently was gifted with a double-album of a “Fantasia” cover, I sat there listening to “A Night on Bald Mountain” by Moussourgsky and I had gooseflesh running up and down my legs from the subtleties missing on CD.
My brother and I have talked about it at length and we thing/feel/intuit that difference lies in the fact that the LP reproduces exactly what the musician and producer wanted, and the CD reproduces what it ‘percieves’ to be the music.
We have also noticed that when the music was recorded after the advent of digital sound reproduction there is little difference in sound quality, but… when the music was recorded prior to digital it is better on vinyl than CD. So… we now divide our music into P.D. (pre-digital) and A.D. (after digital) categories.