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What do you think about vinyl?
Old 29th January 2014
News Desk Editor
The Press Desk's Avatar

What do you think about vinyl?

Do you like and prefer vinyl? Scour the yard sales for gems? Do you detest vinyl? Tell the world why!

American History Now is an experiment in digital publishing. We want to bridge the gap between what tedious academics do and know and what practitioners and expert enthusiasts know. At American History Now you can read short pieces on the history and culture and practice of vinyl. You can rate and comment on what you read, but you can also make contributions of your own. We’re looking for contributions of roughly 500-1500 words, on any aspect of the experience of vinyl records—production, use, scouring yard sales for hidden gems; sneering at hipster pretension.

Link : American History Now

Last edited by Grahamdwc; 29th January 2014 at 08:30 PM..
Old 29th January 2014
Lives for gear
Here's the correct link--My mistake

American History Now
Old 29th January 2014
Grahamdwc's Avatar

OP Updated!
Old 29th January 2014
Lives for gear
jaxman12's Avatar
I grew up on vinyl records. Scratches, pops, crackles were inevitable. Digital is much more accurate. That warmness people talk about is an added result of the analog circuitry back then. The needle or stylus was made of metal, sapphire, or diamond. From the first time you played a vinyl record the stylus would wear into the grooves and deteriorate the record. Vinyl was all we knew for many years. Cassettes were somewhat better but not high quality. 8 Tracks were the worst. When CD format came in, it took a while for people to get used to it. They were not used to the cleanness of the sound and thought it was too sterile. With the higher sampling rates coming along the accuracy of recordings became much better also.

So in answer to your question, "What do you think of vinyl"? I think it is an old technology that is inferior to almost every other technology and I'm glad it is gone and technology evolved.

Oh, and if the vinyl got hot, it warped and ruined the record. You could not leave it in a car.
Old 29th January 2014
Lives for gear
T_R_S's Avatar
I have about 1500 LP's in my closet I can't bring myself to get rid of them.
I use to cut lawns work outside in the hot sun shovelled a lot of snow in the winter to buy those suckers. I never liked how easy they would scratch not to mention the discwasher routine to get them ready to play.
I also hated when I first started to multitrack record how the mastering house would roll off all the bottom end in my mixes. Mixing for vinyl was a compromise all the time.
I think kids like them because to them they are "New & Different"
When I was a kid I liked my parents old 78 records when I dug then up as well.
They sucked bug time for reproduction but they were cool because they were so different.
I sooo miss the album artwork and posters and stickers you use to get.
Old 29th January 2014
Lives for gear
jaxman12's Avatar
I sooo miss the album artwork and posters and stickers you use to get.
Forgot about that. That was great.
Old 30th January 2014
Lives for gear
skyshaver's Avatar

I was a professional vinyl only dj for ten years. I miss the tactile aspect of vinyl but I do not miss the weight. I learned to put record crates and shelves close to support beams on the floor so it wouldn't mess up the flooring. I still have about 10 crates taking up space in my studio. They are hard to get rid off. I only buy digital downloads these days. Strictly for space, convenience and the ( at least perceived) lower environmental impact. I miss the record store though.
Old 30th January 2014
Gear Guru
monkeyxx's Avatar
My vinyl story is not past tense. I like vinyl because I think it is the best sounding format, overall, to my ear. I have really good digital now, finally, a high end stereo DAC changed that for me. But I still think vinyl sounds slightly better. It blows away cheap and mid-grade digital. I love that coloration you get from the medium. I also love how vinyl releases tend to be mastered better, ie, less squashed, than digital masters of the same release. A little brightness off the top, and some grit or soul or whatever, is very welcome to my ear as well. I even like 24/96 digital vinyl rips over standard 320 kbps MP3. My turntable is not really all that fancy, but my phono preamp is actually nice (Boozehound Labs JFET). I'll listen to good digital all day, but, vinyl feels and sounds a little more special to me. Cassette is a distant third!
Old 30th January 2014
Gear Addict

lately i have been spending a lot of money on vinyl. now that i have a decent turntable (a pioneer 510a and a good phono preamp (advent model 300) it is a joy to listen to vinyl in my control room. especially when Im taking breaks from mixing or just chilling in my studio. its great to a/b my mixes with vinyl.

I'm starting to consider digital to be so worthless. I'm drawn to the ability to physically touch and put on a vinyl record. even to put on a CD is better than to play a digital file off my ipod. that said I am extremely grateful for the digital technology and am fully embracing it, however there is a treasure trove of information in all of these vinyl records that are collecting dust and i think people are losing a sense of what makes records so important with the flippancy with which they regard these dusty record collections.

I am just now arranging for my mother to ship me from her home in chicago to my home in nyc her personal record collection, which includes records she had growing up as a kid in the 50's, lots of essential records from the 60's (dylan, beatles, the band, leonard cohen, the stones, zeppelin, fleetwood mac and more) It was those records which were sitting in a box in our family linen closet that forms the basis for much of my worldview of music. I have a personal connection to these records. They were important to my mother during her formative years in the 50's-60s and in the 90's when I was a high schooler in my bedroom they were important to me, i dragged those records out of the packed away boxes and discovered them and had my own personal connection with them, and they can continue to live on as records and as physical objects.

There is such incredible power in this ability for this music to be passed down from generation to generation. The physicality of vinyl allows for it to be an object that is passed down as an heirloom. Digital music does not have this same sort of multiplying nature. It does not serve this same sort of lifechanging end goal for the listener or the artist.

Vinyl has the same tactile appeal as a piece of gear. Vinyl is to gear as digital downloads and streaming music is to plugins.

Much like you won't see people be nostalgic about plug ins 20 years from now, you won't see people be nostalgic about their experiences with digital downloads 20 years from now. This represents the hollowing out of the culture. This is not something to be celebrated.
Old 30th January 2014
Gear Maniac

Recordings made with lots of tubes and transformers in the signal path are still the absolute best for my taste.... they just sound better on CDs vs. vinyl.

I recently listened to a few Amy Winehouse recordings on iHeart radio, and there it was... that old analog sound coming from a digital "radio". It's the best.
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