‘CD is the best successor to vinyl’


The co-founder of Ableton – Robert Henke – has seen the light: he thinks CD is an excellent successor to vinyl.

The retro craze is slowly beginning to look like a rediscovery journey for some of humanity. For example, Robert Henke – co-founder of Ableton as well as an artist – found out that the CD is actually better than the LP. Among the reasons he cites in a Facebook post are “superior signal-to-noise ratio, channel separation and frequency range. He also says the compact size is more practical than that big LP: ‘I still love physical products. But manufacturing big heavy discs of plastic and having them shipped around the globe is a huge waste of energy and resources. In times of global warming and dependency on cheap energy from the likes of Russia or Saudi Arabia, I consider not doing any releases on vinyl anymore, but fully embrace CDs. The last big physical media innovation, with a better signal to noise ratio, better channel separation, better frequency response than vinyl in a smaller package 🙂 Compact Disk, you are underrated and you will always have a place in my heart‘.


New, in 1981

But seriously: weren’t those the same arguments that were used when the CD was introduced in 1981? The environmental aspect of vinyl production and its worldwide distribution is also mentioned. The same applies, of course, to large-scale production of CDs. Plastic is plastic, in any form. When would streaming be discovered by the hipsters?


  1. For goodness sake, don’t let him discover silver disk’s descendants like Super Audio CD, Digital Versatile Disk, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray!

    Perfect sound forever? The massive redundancy built in means I have never damaged a silver disk so badly it has become unplayable. Some of my favourite CDs started life as analogue ‘classical’ recordings from 50 or 60 years ago. No ignorant producer has mixed these in the digital domain and they sound much better than the vinyl.

    Seems to me streaming services are just now trying to catch up with CD-quality sound and will need 10 times the bandwidth to get to SACD-quality. While data files can be transferred perfectly across the Internet (faulty chunks are retransmitted) ‘streaming’ takes the easy option and just drops chunks.

    I always buy the SACD version if one is available. But hardly any record store staff have heard of them!

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