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PostPosted: Mon February 4th, 2019, 20:05 GMT 
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I’m wondering which format suits Bob’s records best, CD or Vinyl? I’m sure there are some on here who have opinions on this. From what we know about his preference of recording himself and the band live in the studio, does that lend itself to sounding better on vinyl? We also hear about protools/ digital stuff etc since maybe after Love And Theft, so is there very little or any difference in the format in which it is played? I suppose what I’m wondering is if there is much difference anymore, are releases issued on vinyl for those who use that format and don’t have CD players and vise versa? I know little about this stuff and would love to hear what people think as I am thinking of getting a better unit to play music on.

Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Mon February 4th, 2019, 20:18 GMT 
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Having grown up in the pre 8track, cassette and CD era I can testify there's nothing sexier than a needle drop.


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PostPosted: Mon February 4th, 2019, 23:13 GMT 

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Sweetheart68 wrote:
Having grown up in the pre 8track, cassette and CD era I can testify there's nothing sexier than a needle drop.


If you are entering the game now, I would stick with digital files (downloads, CDs). A lot of the early records are so long that the grooves are crammed together at the expense of fidelity. Digital "generally" sounds better, but LPs are nice as well.


Last edited by finbar on Tue February 5th, 2019, 00:46 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon February 4th, 2019, 23:16 GMT 

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Sweetheart68 wrote:
Having grown up in the pre 8track, cassette and CD era I can testify there's nothing sexier than a needle drop.


It is indeed sweet, but that sweetness turns to anxiety when you hear the repeated "click" of the needle stuck on the run-off groove 15-20 minutes later, and you are faced with either saving a relationship or your favourite record.


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PostPosted: Mon February 4th, 2019, 23:49 GMT 
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Analogue gets in my blood a little more than digital which gets in my brain a little more than analogue.

I do them both depending on what I’m craving.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 11:07 GMT 
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This subject is a lot more complex and subtle than a lot of people suggest. The short answer is it depends on a myriad of factors - sometime vinyl sounds better, sometimes digital. It depends.

I listen to Bob Dylan on vinyl, CD and digital files. As Finbar noted, the first thing to consider is the pressing as well as the original mix. In the case of Street-Legal and Desire, for example, the new CD releases are better because the original pressings were crap. If I've got a really nice vinyl pressing, I've then got to consider the condition of my turntable set up. Any wear on the needle or motor hum and the benefit of increased fidelity is cancelled out, not to mention wear on the actual record, so again I'm better off with CD.

Ideally, I'd like to listen to really good quality digital needledrops, but most of these are rubbish. Though, I've got Dr Ebbet's vinyl rips of the Beatles' discography and they sound like pure sex, genuinely better than my actual vinyl copies, which have wear and the aforementioned motor hum.

To be honest, most of the time I don't actually care about audio quality because I'm on a bus or doing other things so listen on Spotify or MP3.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 12:12 GMT 
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Audio quality aside, I think the best way to listen to Dylan's albums from the pre-CD era is on vinyl, as this way the original sequencing of the material comes to the fore.

For instance, on vinyl, Side One of Highway 61 Revisited ends with Ballad of A Thin Man: it's a closing statement on Part One of that record, as opposed to being a track positioned somewhere in the middle of the CD version.

Similarly, on the vinyl Blonde on Blonde, Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands is a standalone track: the physical act of having to turn the album over and dedicate your attention to the song, and only that song, isolates it from the rest of the album. On CD, however, it follows Obviously 5 Believers, which is a song positioned, like Ballad of A Thin Man, to END a sequence of songs, not create a bridge to Sad Eyed Lady. The same is true of Just Like A Woman, which on vinyl is the dramatic climax to Side 2, but on CD isn't a climax at all, as rather than be followed by silence, it is immediately followed by Most Likely You Go Your Way, and the spell is broken...


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 13:52 GMT 

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I've never listened to any Dylan album on vinyl (I came in 1999/2000) and I'm fine with that.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 14:32 GMT 

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waits wrote:
I've never listened to any Dylan album on vinyl (I came in 1999/2000) and I'm fine with that.

I sold all my vinyl albums years ago.
But I can't forget the sound of the dropping needle, the first crackling of the needle and the hissing of the speakers, before the music started.
Maybe from today's point of view you would call this "noise", but I loved it (and love it still in my memories).
It was the foreplay for the great sounds you listen to in some seconds, it increased the tension for Bob's music and for all the other great stuff.
But of course: This is a nostalgic view back into the past.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 14:57 GMT 
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littlemaggie makes a good point. Blonde on Blonde doesn't work on CD at all. It's just about the only Dylan album I don't on CD. I don't one to listen to those 14 songs in one straight go. I want to ponder over each side in turn, pausing to breathe in the gaps.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 15:24 GMT 
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I once had an old beater with no brakes and “3 on the tree.” The vehicle was quickly & appropriately named “Blonde on Blonde.” Got it for 300 bucks and the first tape I plopped into the shitty dashboard stereo was BOB. The cassette got stuck and wouldn’t eject, rewind or fast forward, only continuously play. So I listened to Blonde on Blonde, in original track order, for a year and a half, non-stop, everytime I drove. Drove most of my passengers crazy.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 17:20 GMT 
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I'd have turned the volume off and "drove that car as far as we could. Abandoned it out West."

Now, on the other hand, if it was Knocked Out Loaded stuck in machine... :D


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 17:33 GMT 

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As I started listening to Dylan it was the first time on CD until now.

I stopped collecting LPs or singles about 20 years ago.


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PostPosted: Tue February 5th, 2019, 22:59 GMT 
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On VINYL for me... or on my own lossless needledrops - that I make of every record I own.

Also, the newer albums - Modern Times, Together Through Life, Christmas In The Heart, Tempest - sound like crap on CD, which are all brickwalled and/or just poorly mastered. They all sound fantastic on vinyl.

This also true of the most recent three I think, though perhaps to a lesser degree. Although Shadows In The Night sounds distinctly better on vinyl than on CD, to me...

Most of the early CD pressings are too bright brittle for me... the vinyl has nearly always won out. Of course, if depends on the pressing and the condition of that pressing, but all of my records sound just great.

And then, of course, there's the artistic/aesthetic element that littlemaggie mentions... because sequencing is actually a thing... I have to agree with that point as well.

My point? Vinyl wins here. For me at least.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 00:32 GMT 
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having been a fan since 1966 I have Bob in all formats. For ease of playing I prefer cd.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 03:33 GMT 
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littlemaggie wrote:
Audio quality aside, I think the best way to listen to Dylan's albums from the pre-CD era is on vinyl, as this way the original sequencing of the material comes to the fore.

For instance, on vinyl, Side One of Highway 61 Revisited ends with Ballad of A Thin Man: it's a closing statement on Part One of that record, as opposed to being a track positioned somewhere in the middle of the CD version.

Similarly, on the vinyl Blonde on Blonde, Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands is a standalone track: the physical act of having to turn the album over and dedicate your attention to the song, and only that song, isolates it from the rest of the album. On CD, however, it follows Obviously 5 Believers, which is a song positioned, like Ballad of A Thin Man, to END a sequence of songs, not create a bridge to Sad Eyed Lady. The same is true of Just Like A Woman, which on vinyl is the dramatic climax to Side 2, but on CD isn't a climax at all, as rather than be followed by silence, it is immediately followed by Most Likely You Go Your Way, and the spell is broken...


Well put and true of many classic albums, all of them, actually (before the cd era). Also, for all the talk about modern attention spans, the length of an album side was a perfect amount of time to give your complete focus. Even with a record changer you'd have a little break and a bit of framing.

Most Dylan albums from this century sound better on vinyl because of brickwalled mastering on the cds. Modern Times has the biggest difference of those I've heard, if you can find a rip of that vinyl get it for sure, it's almost like a different album. I'm curious about the vinyl sound of Triplicate - my cd is literally every bit as loud as anything by Kanye West and it's a ridiculous way to hear that kind of music, after so much care was taken to record it in a dynamic, natural way.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 05:17 GMT 
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If I had time on my hands and the space I would listen to them all on vinyl. I don't have time but instead have children and a wife so it's mp3s.

I got did a lossless vinyl rip of modern times and it smashes the cd out the park. I don't think the difference between the two was so dramatic with l&t so I left it at that.

Thinking about it all of the cd releases after l&t sound a bit restricted so I would imagine the vinyls of triplicate, tempest, Christmas, shadows etc would sound much better. I bought the whitmark tapes on vinyl and that sounds a lot better than the cd. Give a go guys, it's not nostalgia.

As an aside, I would buy bott on vinyl if only they made meet me as the last song on side a. That blooming harmonica bit at the start of lily is way too loud and the lovely slide ending of meet me is too quiet.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 05:19 GMT 
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Pauley wrote:
If I had time on my hands and the space I would listen to them all on vinyl. I don't have time but instead have children and a wife so it's mp3s.

I got did a lossless vinyl rip of modern times and it smashes the cd out the park. I don't think the difference between the two was so dramatic with l&t so I left it at that.

Thinking about it all of the cd releases after l&t sound a bit restricted so I would imagine the vinyls of triplicate, tempest, Christmas, shadows etc would sound much better. I bought the whitmark tapes on vinyl and that sounds a lot better than the cd. Give ita go guys, it's not nostalgia.

As an aside, I would buy bott on vinyl if only they made meet me as the last song on side a. That harmonica bit at the start of lily is way too loud and the lovely slide ending of meet me is too quiet.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 10:59 GMT 
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If, hypothetically of course, rimshottbob felt like sharing any needledrops via PM, I'd be very interested to hear the results...


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 13:08 GMT 
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littlemaggie wrote:
Audio quality aside, I think the best way to listen to Dylan's albums from the pre-CD era is on vinyl, as this way the original sequencing of the material comes to the fore.

For instance, on vinyl, Side One of Highway 61 Revisited ends with Ballad of A Thin Man: it's a closing statement on Part One of that record, as opposed to being a track positioned somewhere in the middle of the CD version.

Similarly, on the vinyl Blonde on Blonde, Sad Eyed Lady of The Lowlands is a standalone track: the physical act of having to turn the album over and dedicate your attention to the song, and only that song, isolates it from the rest of the album. On CD, however, it follows Obviously 5 Believers, which is a song positioned, like Ballad of A Thin Man, to END a sequence of songs, not create a bridge to Sad Eyed Lady. The same is true of Just Like A Woman, which on vinyl is the dramatic climax to Side 2, but on CD isn't a climax at all, as rather than be followed by silence, it is immediately followed by Most Likely You Go Your Way, and the spell is broken...

All of this may be true but quite honestly, I never paid much attention to album sequencing in terms of interpreting what their point is. It seemed to me that it was more about hour many minutes the had to work with on each side. For example, if Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands been the third song on the first side, one would have to quickly flip the LP to not have too long of a gap in the song itself. Some people would likely complain about that.

Interpreting the sequencing on albums is akin to interpreting secret messages in the NET shows, their sequencing, lyric changes, the key the song is played in, the city he's performing in... It seems to me the people who do that may be nuts.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 13:28 GMT 
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To be honest I don't know what your point is. I didn't suggest there was some arcane code hidden in the sequencing of the songs. All I suggested was that the songs were deliberately sequenced according to their position on the original vinyl releases, and that when the albums are listened to as a CD that sequencing loses some of its integrity. If you think that's nuts, maybe you're nuts.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 14:23 GMT 
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littlemaggie wrote:
To be honest I don't know what your point is. I didn't suggest there was some arcane code hidden in the sequencing of the songs. All I suggested was that the songs were deliberately sequenced according to their position on the original vinyl releases, and that when the albums are listened to as a CD that sequencing loses some of its integrity. If you think that's nuts, maybe you're nuts.


Totally agree.

On the flipside (see what I did there), I did get a big laugh over Radiohead's uber fans bending themselves into all sorts of shapes around the sequencing of tracks on their last album A Moon Shaped Pool when the tracklist was finally revealed after months of fevered speculation. Surely the alphabetical ordering by first letter had some meaning? Clearly, the tracks were renamed by the band to make them work alphabetically after they'd done their meticulous sequencing?

Um, nope. According to Jonny Greenwood, they had so many arguments about the running order that they finally gave up and just punted it out alphabetically, since that worked as well as anything.


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 15:23 GMT 
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:lol: A bit like the numbering of the Holland team in 1974.

I wonder how much input Bob had on the tracklistings in the 60s. You get the impression that after he'd captured the recording, he had already lost interest and moved on to the next thing. Such was his pace of work. Wasn't he in Europe while BoB was being mixed?


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 16:58 GMT 

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Still Go Barefoot wrote:
So I listened to Blonde on Blonde, in original track order, for a year and a half, non-stop, everytime I drove. Drove most of my passengers crazy.


:) and yourself, still recovering? (I mean, since you’re hERe?!)


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PostPosted: Wed February 6th, 2019, 18:10 GMT 

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gibsona07 wrote:
:lol: A bit like the numbering of the Holland team in 1974.

I wonder how much input Bob had on the tracklistings in the 60s. You get the impression that after he'd captured the recording, he had already lost interest and moved on to the next thing. Such was his pace of work. Wasn't he in Europe while BoB was being mixed?

I reckon that Bob took (and takes) quite a lot of care with sequencing, even as far back as the 60s. The albums all seem to flow very logically from one song to the next, and, in particular, the songs that begin and end each side of the vinyl-era albums seem to have been very carefully chosen. Mixing is another issue, and personally I suspect Bob just gets that done as quickly as possible.

The only albums that I would guess were thrown together with no thought to song order would be Dylan, Knocked Out Loaded and Down In The Groove.


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