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heymisterk

What are your thoughts on vinyl?

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What I admit to liking most about iTunes/MP3s is that it has ushered in the Return of the Single. There are many, many artists where I just want a song or two, and not the whole album; with iTunes, I am able to buy just what I want. To me, it is the modern version of the 45.

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There are many, many artists where I just want a song or two, and not the whole album;

 

One of the great things about the LP (to me) was discovering what else was on the record besides what was being played on the radio. If I liked what I heard on the radio, knowing that the station was going to play the "commercially acceptable" (or "hit") song (which was usually song 1, side 1 on the LP), I could pretty much bet on the fact that there would be other songs more to my liking hidden away on the album.

 

The album that first comes to mind on this theory is the first Sanford-Townsend Band album. It contained the hit song "Smoke From A Distant Fire", which in itself WAS a great song, but when I heard what was on the rest of the album I was completely blown away by the songwriting and musicianship. That album could stand very well on it's own WITHOUT the "hit" song. The early "Chicago" albums were the same way (especially the double album), once you get past the "hits" there was some incredible music.

 

Being a musician and never really into "top 40" or "hit" radio, when I bought a new LP I would ALWAYS play side 2 first. To me, that's where all the "good" songs were tucked away.

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My thoughts:

 

There are no perfect methods of recording/playback - they all introduce some kind of distortion. The opinions assume the recordings are well engineered and duplicated.

 

To my ears, LPs have a sound that is truer to the original as long as the initial recording was also analog. They do have the distortions of surface noise and depending on the state of the turntable some wow and/or flutter.

 

CDs have a thinner, edgier sound. I assume it is from quantization errors and the harmonics they introduced (I read about this from one of the engineers who was on the team that developed them). So the distortion is improper sound reproduction. However there is no surface noise.

 

SACDs to my ears sound much better than CDs, but they are not available in many titles.

 

Mp3s sound inferior to all the above, but a well encoded, high bitrate mp3 can sound almost as good as a CD

 

Those old cassette tapes that were popular decades ago sound worst of all.

 

BTW, I like tube amps too, but I don't have one anymore. I have a lot of vinyl, a lot of CDs, and a few SACDs. I listen to mp3s in the car.

 

That's it for me. YMMV.

 

Notes

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I have a few CDs, a few vinyls, but... When I listen to music today one way or another, it's run by a computer.

 

Regardless what's said about the vinyl, the surface noise to me never went away. Maybe it's because I grew up first hearing 78s off a juke box or Mom's record player, then 45s and 33s... I dunno, it's something I'm always aware of.

 

The CD lacks the "show" one gets with a vinyl album.

 

I'm also with Larry about the preference for a whole album because sometimes the material that's "popular" for whatever reason may not be the piece that trips my own aesthetic trigger.

 

I have the hardware to record some of the old albums but the turntable has been in a box for some 20 years.

 

m

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I like vinyl, but I can't say I miss it that much. What I will miss is record stores. Something about browsing through stacks of records, buying that new record, taking it home, putting it on that state of the art turntable and sound system, and listening all the way through. Something about taking extra care of vinyl to insure that it will play in ten years like it did new. The thing about vinyl is that in it's heyday, recording quality was not what it is during the digital age of today- something about going from tape to tape to vinyl lost something in the transition.

 

Part of the problem I have with "classic rock" radio is they don't play "B-side" songs that are often the real gems.

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My thoughts:

 

There are no perfect methods of recording/playback - they all introduce some kind of distortion. The opinions assume the recordings are well engineered and duplicated.

 

To my ears, LPs have a sound that is truer to the original as long as the initial recording was also analog. They do have the distortions of surface noise and depending on the state of the turntable some wow and/or flutter.

 

CDs have a thinner, edgier sound. I assume it is from quantization errors and the harmonics they introduced (I read about this from one of the engineers who was on the team that developed them). So the distortion is improper sound reproduction. However there is no surface noise.

 

SACDs to my ears sound much better than CDs, but they are not available in many titles.

 

Mp3s sound inferior to all the above, but a well encoded, high bitrate mp3 can sound almost as good as a CD

 

Those old cassette tapes that were popular decades ago sound worst of all.

 

BTW, I like tube amps too, but I don't have one anymore. I have a lot of vinyl, a lot of CDs, and a few SACDs. I listen to mp3s in the car.

 

That's it for me. YMMV.

 

Notes

Don't you have to have a special CD player to play SACD's? Someone told me that the quality won't pop out if you just play it out of a normal CD player.

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One of the great things about the LP (to me) was discovering what else was on the record besides what was being played on the radio. If I liked what I heard on the radio, knowing that the station was going to play the "commercially acceptable" (or "hit") song (which was usually song 1, side 1 on the LP), I could pretty much bet on the fact that there would be other songs more to my liking hidden away on the album.

 

 

I hear ya. But there are some artists where I just know I am not going to like the whole album. For instance, I freely admit that there are a few songs by Madonna - yes, that is right - that I enjoy. But I am pretty confident I am not going to like the whole album. Closer to this forum, there are many songs by Wings that I enjoy, but I have found that often the album as a whole is not worth having.

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I hear ya. But there are some artists where I just know I am not going to like the whole album. For instance, I freely admit that there are a few songs by Madonna - yes, that is right - that I enjoy. But I am pretty confident I am not going to like the whole album. Closer to this forum, there are many songs by Wings that I enjoy, but I have found that often the album as a whole is not worth having.

Yeah I agree on that.. I remember years ago I had only enough money to buy either the new Lenny Kravitz Album (the Circle one) or the new Foo Fighters album (the first one) (and Lenny was good up till that point)... And man oh man was I dissapointed... And I think the record companies and maybe even some artists got really lazy (this was the early nineties). Albums were something like £16.99 back then which was a total rip off.

 

The way things are done today I get to hear it before I purchae it (or at least samples).. I love that.. and as mentioned you dont even have to buy a whole album. It certainly has given the consumer more choice rather than buying a dissapointing album based on a single release (which im almost sure in some cases was just a marjketing ploy to sell a crap product).

 

Today theres nowhere to hide when it comes to quality.

 

BUT I also think that there will always be a vinyl hardcore so hopefully they wont dissapear all together (I recently got a Metallica magazine that came with a free vinyl record :))

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The LP's sometimes had some cool posters that came with them too. Or the album opened up, and there were some good photos there. This one was the album opened on Blue Cheer, "Outsideinside" album, 1968.

 

Bluee_Cheer_Inside_Cover.jpg

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The LP's sometimes had some cool posters that came with them too. Or the album opened up, and there were some good photos there. This one was the album opened on Blue Cheer, "Outsideinside" album, 1968.

 

Don't forget the Sticky Fingers album cover with working zipper, the Cheech and Chong Big Bamboo with huge, working rolling paper, or the colored vinyl records.

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Don't you have to have a special CD player to play SACD's? Someone told me that the quality won't pop out if you just play it out of a normal CD player.

 

SACDs have to be played on a SACD player, I have one but rarely use it. They run on a 5.1-like setup so you have much more channel separation. Dark Side of the Moon sounds amazing.

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Great thread! Hope you don't mind if I self-indulge.....

I grew up with vinyl....this is Abercrombie to Khan, with box sets and classical on the top shelf;

 

LPs2012.jpg

 

King to Zawinul is another 3 shelves (out of the picture).

 

Playback on Garrard 401, SME 3012, brand new Audio Technica cartridge (which is amazing!);

 

Deck2012.jpg

 

Then to Quad amps and Gales speaker cabs upgraded with 2x8" drivers and tweeter each side. Loud, clean, massive.

With guitar-based rock (e.g. Jimi) on LP the absolute ultimate thing I have found to do is to run each side of the stereo signal into a Fender Twin. Serious, I'm not joking.

You would need a large isolated room with no neighbours though!

 

I have about twice as many LPs as CDs. Also hundreds of old cassettes - airchecks, live concerts, still got a DAT, and SACD. But no TV.

IMO LPs still project in a way that digital doesn't. Regards to all.

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SACDs have to be played on a SACD player, I have one but rarely use it. They run on a 5.1-like setup so you have much more channel separation. Dark Side of the Moon sounds amazing.

 

Yes, this CD cost me a bunch of money. I heard a radio DJ talking about the 5.1 release of "Dark Side", so I ran out and bought it figuring it would play on my 5.1 home theater system through the regular CD/DVD player......WRONG.

 

So I then had to go out an buy a SACD CD/DVD player just to hear "Dark Side" in 5.1. It's still the ONLY SACD I own, but to hear this album in 5.1 was worth every penny.

 

Oh yeah, then the airplane fly-by part blew my subwoofer....more $$. That turned out to be one extremely expensive CD.

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For me there's no question in LP's greatly out performing CD or any digital material. Keep in mind that a loudspeaker is a total analog device as was a phono cartridge, amp/receiver etc. I remember sitting at CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in 1981 I think it was. Sony had a prototype player & Philips the Disc in a large room. The hype was as follows:

 

No Skips, pops, or static discharge crackles (did that except in the personal players & cars)

Greatly Enhanced Dynamic range (NOT!!!)

Better Freq response (20-20k wasn't good enough?)

Would make a $6.00 LP prices drop to $3-$4. (Didn't happen came out for $14.95)

More real sound (Will not image or provide depth in music like an LP)

 

Until the great home robbery of 1986, I had about $25k in Electrostat speakers, Oracle belt drive T Table, Audio Research Tube Preamp & Power amp and SME tonearm w/Moving Coil cartridge. Remember, that $25k in 1986 $$$. A CD really sounded thin & lifeless on this type of gear. Even had (still do) a Record Cleaning machine that cleaned with distilled water/Ethyl alcohol (think it was ethyl, that or methyl). Almost no surface noise, in fact, you could hear the tape hiss (signal to noise ratio) of the master multi-track tape recoding equip. that was used most of the time. Man, it didn't get much better than that sound. That was back in the day when we did medium & high end 2 channel audio gear.

 

Where a CD really sounded rather good was on lower end to lower mid-fi stuff. Like a system for $750-$1500. Sold a lot of them for those price ranges. Once you got into something close to $3000 CD's lost their edge and became "edgie" at least to most of us gear-heads then. Won't even go into how much great music was dicked up with "remastering the CD's to "improve" on the originals. Listen to the old Badfinger stuff on LP vs CD. Ain't EVEN the same music almost. Ruined tons of original works that were just the way the bands had wanted them to sound for many of us. Just like when they started to try to colorize B&W masters of classic movies. Awful!! Thank goodness most have been restored with the original quality and just reprinted.

 

Aster

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After growing up and listening to vinyl since getting my first record player in 1957 I have developed a deep fondness for that form of recording music.A lot of the music that was recorded in the 40s 50s and 60s will never be recorded in a CD or downloadable format and you'll only be able to hear it on your original vinyl albums and 45s.It's for that reason my daughters gave me a cool Memorex recording system that converts tapes and vinyl to CD format in real time without having to use your computer.All you do with this unit is to load in a recordable CD and put on your album or tape and hit the play and record buttons.After the tape or album has run its course the machine shuts itself down and you are left with an exact copy of your album in CD format without having to go through the bother of creating and downloading files on your computer.Now I can spare all my classic albums and tapes from further wear and tear of constant playing by transforming them to CD format in just 2 easy steps.

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What's the model # on that bad boy Bonzo? I'm all into archiving some of these "priceless" things these days and listening to in a safe to transport manner.

 

Aster

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Yes, this CD cost me a bunch of money. I heard a radio DJ talking about the 5.1 release of "Dark Side", so I ran out and bought it figuring it would play on my 5.1 home theater system through the regular CD/DVD player......WRONG.

 

So I then had to go out an buy a SACD CD/DVD player just to hear "Dark Side" in 5.1. It's still the ONLY SACD I own, but to hear this album in 5.1 was worth every penny.

 

Oh yeah, then the airplane fly-by part blew my subwoofer....more $$. That turned out to be one extremely expensive CD.

 

Yep, the first time I heard Dark Side of the Moon on SACD it blew my mind.

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I have several thousand LPs, almost all of them have only been played on high end turntables with a high end cartridge, so there are very few pops and crackles-usually the product of mis-handling or lower end players. Currently I have a mid-80s AR (I don't remember the model) with a Sumiko Blue Point cartridge. Often, when I play an LP I record it on a PC and save it in a low loss format, burn a CD and put it in the record sleeve. Then it can be played in the car and helps preserve the LP from accidents. I also use a vacuum type record cleaning machine, not sure of the brand right now and I'm at work. I clean them before each play.

Brad

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After growing up and listening to vinyl since getting my first record player in 1957 I have developed a deep fondness for that form of recording music.A lot of the music that was recorded in the 40s 50s and 60s will never be recorded in a CD or downloadable format and you'll only be able to hear it on your original vinyl albums and 45s.It's for that reason my daughters gave me a cool Memorex recording system that converts tapes and vinyl to CD format in real time without having to use your computer.All you do with this unit is to load in a recordable CD and put on your album or tape and hit the play and record buttons.After the tape or album has run its course the machine shuts itself down and you are left with an exact copy of your album in CD format without having to go through the bother of creating and downloading files on your computer.Now I can spare all my classic albums and tapes from further wear and tear of constant playing by transforming them to CD format in just 2 easy steps.

 

Being a veteran of the 1960's I have hundreds of classic LP's that were played once or twice then transferred to cassette-all of these old tapes have gotten destroyed of abused and my wife bought me a ION USB turntable for Xmas a few years ago,all of the albums are now on CD or DVD,a very simple plug turntable into laptop and let her rip-all those old classic vinyl records are saved on a source indefinitely and my vinyl records are saved-just look up ION turtables on the net,problem solved!

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Simple.

 

Ipod: Convince and great for travel/car.

Vinyl/LP: Quality for when your at home.

 

Done.

 

This. Minus the iPod part of course. Wouldn't touch one of those with a ten foot pole. I love the sound of vinyl! It beats digital up and down the street every day of the week. msp_thumbup.gif

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Hi Aster 1 and anyone else interested in the vinyl/tape-CD recorder.The model and model number are as follows: Innovative Technology ITRR-501 and the toll-free call number for inside the U.S. is 1-877-483-2497.I got the model wrong and thought that it was a Memorex but I got mixed up because Memorex does make one almost identical to mine.Once again just to make it perfectly clear,there is absolutely no need to use your computer,everything is done in just a couple of easy steps with the recorder that is made up to look like one of the old Philco radios from the 30s and 40s.If my memory serves me correctly they also have a website.

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