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Christmas Portrait & An Old-Fashioned Christmas

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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I cleaned up these 2 original Lp's that I got when they were first issued, I'm so glad that I really took care of my old records. I ran these through my record doctor twice & they sound so amazing.

I'm not sure what it is but with my 200 watt stereo receiver & turntable these Xmas Lp's sound so incredible. What is it about LP? For me they sound so clear & upfront vocally. There is just something I get from Lp (listen wise) that I can't capture from CD.

I am loving this!!!

...playing Carpenters Xmas music in May, online..


Hi Chris.

Have you ever considered checking to see if your CD player may not be functioning at its best? You've posted several remarks about things sounding "different" to you -- LPs, old vs. remastered CDs, etc., where they really shouldn't sound all that different.

AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS on LP is exactly the same mix you'll find on the CD in the CHRISTMAS COLLECTION. While it's true that vinyl does have a different sound to it, it's in the ambiance and tone color rather than how "up front" the vocals are and how clear the recording sounds.

If your CDs are not sounding as clear as a vinyl record, you might want to get a higher-end CD player. Sometimes a CD player can have a dirty lens, which can affect the sound; sometimes it's the error-correction system gone goofy. It can also be dirt and scratches on discs themselves -- if you play CDs in your car, it's very likely that your CDs have (sometimes microscopic) scratches on the surface, which, while the sound is processed by the error-correction system in the CD player, can affect the clarity of sound.

Different CD players also have different digital-to-analog processors, some being better than others.

This could explain why your different LOVELINES and VOICE OF THE HEART CDs sound more different to your ears. I have both the original and remastered versions of both of those albums, and the sound, played through my very high-end CD player and headphones, is virtually the same. The EQ is a little different, but the mixes and clarity of the two versions are virtually identical.

Now, there IS a difference between the two versions of CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT you probably have. Unless you have the original 1984 German CD of CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT, you have a remix. All versions of CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT that have been released in the United States and Japan are remixed. Only the German CD from the 1980's is contains the original vinyl mix.

Anyway, gotta run to work. Since you enjoy the music so much, you might want to look into investing in a really nice CD player. It can make a difference.


Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Dan, I didn't say they were different just that they sounded alot better to me, it's probably just the memories of me playing these vinyls from long ago & now finally picking them back up again.

So I'm not saying there are any noticable differences here on the Christmas albums, that is not what I was referring to just that it is very cool re-visting these vinyls. That's all.

Re-read my post, I just said they sounded so incredible after all these years. Not that I noticed anything "different" as you mentioned.

Dan, I have a terrific CD player, don't worry. I already have everything on CD including some Japan Lp MINI Cd's.

Unless you grew up in the vinyl era & then went to Cd & then went back & revisted the Lp era, you wouldn't understand what I was trying to point out.

I have very high end audio equipment & I don't compare stuff using headphones, it's not the same from high end harmon kardon sound systems.

Dan I'm not saying that Lps are better than CD's don't misread me, but ask any person here if there is something special about listenig to Lp's & you'll understand.


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Must be the old analog 'warmth' coming from those LPs! Since the advent of CDs, people have been arguing the merits of digital versus analog. There are certainly times that I enjoy the analog warmth as opposed to the digital 'coldness.' Yet I also enjoy the purity of digital sound. It's nice to be able to have it both ways.

...enjoying the merits of all formats, online...


Staff member
Site Admin
OK, let's see:

1. An LP has a higher background noise level than CD.

2. An LP also has ticks and pops occasionally (or worse :wink: ).

3. Distortion on LP playback is measurably higher, especially as you get closer to the inner grooves.

4. Channel separation in LP is nowhere near what CDs are.

5. Some LP masterings are rolled off on the high and low ends, and compressed, in order to get a playable groove into the lacquer master.

So...why do I find myself pulling out the vinyl before the CDs so often? For me anyway, I've been finding some CDs to be fatiguing to listen to. (Yes, even over a $1500 Nakamichi CD player.) And on recent CDs, which are so heavily compressed, the vinyl is the only way to hear it as originally intended. Keep in mind, too, that the masters were much newer back when the LPs were originally pressed; any tape in storage will lose some of its detail over time, with the high frequencies being the most vulnerable.

My own money is on SACD as having the best sound characteristics...an engineer I'm acquainted with has done comparisons with DVD-Audio (which is still PCM, or Pulse Code Modulated, but at 24 bits. vs. 16, and either a 96kHz or 192kHz sampling rate, vs. 44.1kHz), and SACD (which uses DSD, or Direct Stream Digital, a newer 1-bit method of encoding digitally that does not assign a value to each sample, but instead reecords the difference between adjacent samples, which can provide infinitely better detail), and prefers the sound of SACD. I have yet to hear it myself, but initial reports on some titles are that SACD comes closer to the analog experience.

The specs for vinyl sure don't play out well on paper, but well cared-for vinyl has been doing well for me, and just seems a lot more enjoyable (and less fatiguing) to listen to. And I sure as hell can't explain it! :D

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I may be straying from the Carpenters for a moment but today in the mail I got a sealed copy of Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits 180 gram Virgin Vinyl (pretty heavy LP) I cleaned it up & there are no pops, if there are I can't hear them. The sound is just amazing, I can't explain it.

I also have this same Greatest Hits on CD.

I think harry nailed it by saying "analog 'warmth", Maybe this is what I was trying to say above but I just rambled on :D

I think that is the key Rudy, getting well cared for vinyl. I pulled out my really really old 70's LP of Clearly Love by Olivia & cleaned it up & it sounded very good. I guess it does pay to keep good care of your LP's

OK, So I don't break the rules here, I will say that I bought a Japan Carpenters LP "Live in Japan" from my local dealer last weekend it was an opend copy but still mint, I have the CD Version also. The LP is really cool cause it opens & there is a huge booklet inside with photos from the concert, one that I never saw before. then there was a color poster of Karen & Richard inside too. I cleaned both Lp's up & sounds very good, except for the oldies Medley on side 3, it is pretty rough but the other sides are great. It worked out ok cause that Oldies Medley was not my favorite anyway. The song Sometimes Live is just an amazing delivery by Karen.
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