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Vinyl. Who woulda thunk?
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Sui_City
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11th January 2008
Old 11th January 2008
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Vinyl. Who woulda thunk?

Vinyl Gets Its Groove Back - TIME

Yeah, yeah, ok. So not a big deal really. But I'm glad about it.

I recently started buying things on vinyl again. Radiohead's "Hail to the thief" and Miles' "Kind of Blue" are my two most recent purchases, with about another $3,000 worth of purchases on my wishlist. And the smell of new vinyl just rocks.

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11th January 2008
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the smell of old vinyl rocks
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11th January 2008
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sweet article!


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11th January 2008
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i've been getting really into vinyl too. I got a pretty sweet vinyl playback system for a now whopping total of $115. People don't know how a "real" stereo hooks up these days because kids were brought up with aiwa 5 cd changer boomboxes and then itunes. Vinyl is really an addiction, and with my new cartridge (Shure m97xE which sounds great and cost only $60 bucks), music is more pleasant to listen to than ever. I love how it sounds, I like listening to whole sides and having not rushing through hit mp3s, I love being able to really see the artwork, and I love fancy releases like color or 180 gram. Altogether it's a better product... I can just download a CD but you can't download vinyl or the quality and packaging

The things I don't like are minor - like listening to an album on vinyl that was made to be one solid work that blends between songs (like Wilco's YHF which sounds incredible on vinyl nonetheless). I don't like that it's less portable or convenient but that might be a blessing in disguise. I also don't like how much some classic stuff costs that I want from my highschool days when I listened to CDs, like modest mouse's lonesome crowded west or this is a long drive, two of my all time favorites, both well over 100 bucks each

Vinyl has made me a more patient, happier, more respectful and overall more enriched music listener.
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11th January 2008
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Yeah baby! I've been buying my favorite "new" records on vinyl if at all possible and looking for old/great records recently too...

Surprisingly, my entire family thinks that the vinyl just has a great sound and vibe to it compared to playing the itunes playlist over the homestereo... we've moved the record player out to the living room and bought a console style table to hold it..
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11th January 2008
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I did this, it got expensive, now I'm on a break! It's a pleasure having your classics on record. I still don't know why.
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11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savernake View Post
... It's a pleasure having your classics on record. I still don't know why.
Well, because it is a ritual.
#8
11th January 2008
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From the article:

...Sound quality LPs generally exhibit a warmer, more nuanced sound than CDs and digital downloads. MP3 files tend to produce tinnier notes, especially if compressed into a lower-resolution format that pares down the sonic information...

Buzz words anyone?

The article is good, though.
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The smell of trying to find a working record player that doesn't cost a fortune sucks.

Anybody help me out here?
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11th January 2008
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Right on, bring it on I say!!!
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11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enroper View Post
The smell of trying to find a working record player that doesn't cost a fortune sucks.

Anybody help me out here?
I bought a little Vestax Handy Trax which does the job and is portable too.
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#12
11th January 2008
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I used to like it too

Going to yard sales picking up old records, the big format covers, the romance of watching the little red lights dance on the side of the wheel as it goes around. Not to mention that all important: Album Covers you can roll a joint on.

But then I realised that I like music more than the format it comes on.

And in the real-world (and the non-rich mans one) real vinyl that hasnt spent it's life in laboratory conditions, played on equipment that a dude like me can afford, sounds worse than shit - crackles, pops, skips, rumble noise, worn out needles, records that get worn out ofter too many plays.

CDs dont sound like anything at all, thats why I like em.

Im all for analog warmth, I just prefer the type that's deliberate: Let a proffessional record on analog tape and master it though tubes etc, and let me hear his work on a nice transparent format that doesnt crap it up : 16 bit 44.1 KHz will do nicely.
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11th January 2008
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11th January 2008
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vinyl --clicks pops, no low true low end, restricted dynamics..etc etc etc....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
Sigma... I do hope your being sarcastic

Some people just don't like the vinyl...but that's cool. I love the vinyl experience, though I sometimes struggle with bypassing the convenience of digital formats. That being said, the more hands on approach truly is an antidote to the evolution that has created the 'music as commodity' atmosphere in this era of the disposable digital lifestyle saturation.

Also, I don't care what technical virtues or lack thereof either format have. For me, vinyl is simply is more enjoyable to listen to...most of the time. I do own a pretty high-dollar turntable rig and know how to set it up properly and this helps, but still... I've done A/B comparisons for people on a handful of occassions with records I have in both formats and vinyl has won every time (although I recall that the Miles Davis 'Bitches Brew' release was so close it was more about them being a little different - not necessarily better). That being said, this could be considered a comment on modern mastering in the digital realm as much as anything.
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11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
vinyl --clicks pops, no low true low end, restricted dynamics..etc etc etc....
Clicks, pops, sure if a record has been beat up. But no true low end, dynamics? Not true in the least. Come over to my place some time, I'll show you some dynamics on vinyl!

--


Yeah this is great! I have bought like 20 or 30 more records in the last few months. Some used, but they are mostly trash. Lost of brand new ones that sound great!

Brand new records from Skynyrd, the Doors, the Tubes, Van Halen, Paul McCartney, etc. thumbsup
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11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
vinyl --clicks pops, no low true low end, restricted dynamics..etc etc etc....
I find this one a bit strange too. My turntable absolutely blows away any CD player I've heard, and it's not the best turntable I've heard, either!

Cheaper turntables (and particularly direct drives) don't have powerful enough motors or heavy enough platters. You need a lot of momentum to keep an even speed. Those clicks and scratches that are so prevalent on lesser turntables will actually slow the record down, which just exaggerates those annoying sounds. A decent turntable will be through any defect on the record before you've really noticed it. And if you look after your vinyl (and get an anti-static pistol) you shouldn't hear anything but the music.

All the good turntables I've heard have way more bass extension than any CD player I've heard. More detail, more open soundstage, more of the music. Dynamics have never been an issue either. I've heard records that have been truly frightening in terms of sheer dynamics, particularly classical recordings.

Like any Hi Fi, you do need to start throwing a bit of money at it to get results and I will agree that a cheap CD player will most likely sound better than a cheap record player. Personally, I think a decent hifi is well worth the investment!
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11th January 2008
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One big plus with vinyl versions of many of the older recordings is that they aren't compressed to death. So often the CD re-issues have the life sucked out of them.
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buy any of the classic sounds roy orbison records - not cheap - $29.99
amazing - 200 gram - straight from the analog two tracks - 1960 or thereabouts -
pure analog magic - as good as vinyl can sound - plenty of all frenquencies
plenty of dynamics
sounds that are not possible if there is any digital anywhere in the
chain except in a watch.......



be well

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11th January 2008
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I have 1200 vinyl LPs and around 100 7" and 10" discs, and two turntables (which cost about $450 and $740 when they were new)... down in the garage.

Vinyl sounds different, no question. Does it sound better?

A lot depends on the mastering of the vinyl as well as the digital recordings... certainly I have vinyl copies of records that sound better than some CD versions I've heard. (Lately, the plague of "remastering" has metastasized into a near-systemic assault on catalogs of classic recordings. I'll take a scratchy old record [I bought some used] any day over some ballooned out sqaushed to full scale "remaster.")

But as far as the medium goes, I'll take an optimally mastered digital recording over vinyl.

Maybe I've gotten lazy -- I used to eschew even auto-liftoff on turntables -- but I don't feel like jumping up every 15 or 20 minutes to flip sides or go through the stacks looking for the next play. For me, high quality mp3s and my subscription service have taken the place of my stereo old reel to reel as a source of continuous music. Being able to quickly search for a specific song or album out of tens of thousands of albums is huge.

And, frequently -- not always but frequently -- I find myself listening to one of the subscription service's 192 kbps WMA streams of an album I have on vinyl and thinking -- man, this sounds so much better than the vinyl. Think about that.


A specific example that rally slammed into me: I own the original vinyl of Cal Tjader's exotic, heavily produced/orchestrated Several Shades of Jade.

It's a wonderful record, filled with supremely well recorded fully orchestrated tracks. The vinyl, I always thought, sounds really good. But when I dialed it up on my subscription service (it was released on a 'double' CD with another album), I was set back by the increased delicacy of the high end. Nothing strident, harsh, or shrill there.

There are some resined bow effects on one track that produce really complex overtones... the improvement over the vinyl version was a bit shocking. Strings and double reeds (which there are a lot of on the album) come off with more defnition and complexity. Cymbals shimmer appropriately. Tjader's vibes [and I'm listening now] have a clear, rich definition with complex harmonic definition.

Admittedly, that's one case -- but it was an LP that I considered one of the best recorded, most hi fi albums I owned back when I was a teen-aged "audiophile" (loved the word because back then almost no one knew what it meant -- and that was (mostly) well before the flood of know-nothings who throw enormous amounts of money into voo-doodoo like $3000 interconnects and Clever Little Clocks).

Anyhow, I think it's fine that folks are getting into vinyl, and I, for one, am not parting with my LPs (or at least the core of them -- I have some early punk records I haven't listened to since the early 80s that are apparently worth some serious bank).

Still, I think it's good for people to keep the ears open, keep a broad perspective, and really listen and think about what it is they like about vinyl and and the experience of using it on a day-in, day-out basis (which I did for the better part of four decades).

I mean... besides the smell...
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11th January 2008
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Great Thread thumbsup

The great thing about vinyl is that it makes you listen! It reminds me of when I was a kid and how I would actually sit there and listen, and lose myself in the artwork (Revolver and the gatefold Sgt. Pepper come to mind). It is a whole experience, and you don't want to get up and clean the house like you do with listening with cds and iTunes.... The fact you have to get up and change sides helps keep you focused, and in the room too.

And... I've never played a vinyl album and thought: "Gee, this sounds louder than the last one I played".

Jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasermonkey View Post
I find this one a bit strange too. My turntable absolutely blows away any CD player I've heard, and it's not the best turntable I've heard, either!

Cheaper turntables (and particularly direct drives) don't have powerful enough motors or heavy enough platters. You need a lot of momentum to keep an even speed. Those clicks and scratches that are so prevalent on lesser turntables will actually slow the record down, which just exaggerates those annoying sounds. A decent turntable will be through any defect on the record before you've really noticed it. And if you look after your vinyl (and get an anti-static pistol) you shouldn't hear anything but the music.

All the good turntables I've heard have way more bass extension than any CD player I've heard. More detail, more open soundstage, more of the music. Dynamics have never been an issue either. I've heard records that have been truly frightening in terms of sheer dynamics, particularly classical recordings.

Like any Hi Fi, you do need to start throwing a bit of money at it to get results and I will agree that a cheap CD player will most likely sound better than a cheap record player. Personally, I think a decent hifi is well worth the investment!
It's amusing you should mention classical recordings.

I'm a pretty big fan of "serious" music (I've seen about 120 symphonic concerts over the years) and have listened to it just about my whole life.

The problem with classical recordings on vinyl is precisely that the dynamic range is limited. It's the nature of vinyl. To people who grew up on popular music, a classical recording can sound pretty dynamic -- but a vinyl LP is going to be a far cry from the actual dynamics of a live orchestra.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've heard a lot of classical recordings from the last 25 or 30 years that don't sound good -- but a lot of that is the misapplication of spot miking techniques (to my way of thinking, anyway). But I've got to tell you that something like von Karajan's version of The Rite of Spring (which does sound brilliant on the old DGG vinyl) can really get big when freed of the restraints of vinyl's rather slim s/n ratio.
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11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Clicks, pops, sure if a record has been beat up. But no true low end, dynamics? Not true in the least. Come over to my place some time, I'll show you some dynamics on vinyl!

--


Yeah this is great! I have bought like 20 or 30 more records in the last few months. Some used, but they are mostly trash. Lost of brand new ones that sound great!

Brand new records from Skynyrd, the Doors, the Tubes, Van Halen, Paul McCartney, etc. thumbsup
duh ask any mastering engineer of the realiatic dynamic range capabilities of vinyl as opposed to cd's

and while your at it ask about the effective bottom end range and sarcrifice of bottom/play time too

vinyl mastering was always a fight over level/bottom/play time

you speak of that which you know not of
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#25
11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
can really get big when freed of the restraints of vinyl's rather slim s/n ratio.

The "slim" s/n ratio of vinyl is greater than most rooms or listening environments can support.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
It's amusing you should mention classical recordings.

I'm a pretty big fan of "serious" music (I've seen about 120 symphonic concerts over the years) and have listened to it just about my whole life.

The problem with classical recordings on vinyl is precisely that the dynamic range is limited. It's the nature of vinyl. To people who grew up on popular music, a classical recording can sound pretty dynamic -- but a vinyl LP is going to be a far cry from the actual dynamics of a live orchestra.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've heard a lot of classical recordings from the last 25 or 30 years that don't sound good -- but a lot of that is the misapplication of spot miking techniques (to my way of thinking, anyway). But I've got to tell you that something like von Karajan's version of The Rite of Spring (which does sound brilliant on the old DGG vinyl) can really get big when freed of the restraints of vinyl's rather slim s/n ratio.
love Beethoven's 9th that he conducted in germany direct to disk
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11th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
duh ask any mastering engineer of the realiatic dynamic range capabilities of vinyl as opposed to cd's

and while your at it ask about the effective bottom end range and sarcrifice of bottom/play time too

vinyl mastering was always a fight over level/bottom/play time

you speak of that which you know not of
I have been listening to vinyl for over 40 years. I have been listening to CD's since they became mainstream in about 1983. I think I know a little something about how both sound. On paper, no question digital has more dynamic range capacity. In the real world, with real music, in real listening rooms the results don't always come out that way.
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I told you! (To whoever....told )

Sidenote: If I'm not mistaking wasn't the mastering engineers job originaly all about maintaining the standard threshold for a record lathe?? So what the hell are they doing now?
This is that debate...why master your stuff? If you are good engineer or producer shouldn't your mixes be what they are...duh? We don't need to worry about the "Lathe" nor do we need to worry about FM modulation...
Didn't Sgt Peppers have a note on the masters that basically stated "do not master or do not change a thing!!" and the label and Master Engineers flipped out and they all reached an agreement where I guess George Martin or whoever from that side of the camp had to be present during mastering to authorize any "slight" "adjustments"?
Anyway back on topic. Vinyl rocks. So does radio!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
duh ask any mastering engineer of the realiatic dynamic range capabilities of vinyl as opposed to cd's
Realistically, a typical release will probably still have more dynamic range on vinyl than it would have on the kung-fu-grip-compressed CD, though. I mean, how often, these days, does a CD make use of all that dynamic range? Or even a fifth of it?

Peece,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I have been listening to vinyl for over 40 years. I have been listening to CD's since they became mainstream in about 1983. I think I know a little something about how both sound. On paper, no question digital has more dynamic range capacity. In the real world, with real music, in real listening rooms the results don't always come out that way.
1. during the early days of cd, in the rush to get out material to the 3 cd pressing plants in the world ..i believe they were in europe, japan and usa..they took the mastering from the vinyl session notes..which was really fawked up as the mastering dealt with inner band compensation and other issues/limitations germaine to transcribing to the vinyl medium

2. comparing mixes of today to mixes from yesteryear that aren't as compresssed brings up mix issues , not that of vinyl as a better transcription medium than cd

FACT..vinyl has limited low frq response and dynamic range when compared to cd

FACT..vinyl mastering always had the trade off issues of level/bottom/time..this was/is a PROBLEM not a benefit

FACT..record 1 from a disc presser didn't sound the same many times as record 10,000 [i picked a random number i don't know the press stamper life..it was a long time ago] many times in the pressing plant they didn't change the plates as often as they should have [money verses degredation..from the minute the first pressing is made it's a fact that infintesimal degredation of the stamper is happening and over a period time groove distortion creeps into the vinly pressing creating among other things high end loss .] did ya ever go to a pressing plant? i did and talked to the manufacturers

FACT when playing a record there is a trade off of pressure vs tracking..the more pressure the more wear..less pressure worse tracking..this has always been a PROBLEM

let's not even get into types and quality of vinyl used or dubious 'inventions" such as the rca "flexi disc" [no it won't warp as easily but damn on the 100th play i don't have anymore high end]

it's a FACT..i hate when instead of getting to facts we stray to opinions
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