Is vinyl worth getting into? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CSG123 View Post
And to a number of us, part of the ritual way back when was cleaning our stash on the album cover. Extra points for a double album...
Oh, the gatefold album covers were the ONLY option. LOL! Best acknowledgement of this is the album cover of Jefferson Airplane's LONG JOHN SILVER. The cover can actually be folded into becoming a cigar box with the stash pictured on the bottom of the box. And it can be unfolded back into the album cover. The coolest album cover ever made!

A note regarding "prep" to listen on vinyl. My TT connects to my Denon receiver. My only preparation is putting the disc on the TT and hitting "Play" No muss, no fuss. No more trouble than putting a CD into a player. I recognize that those with more equipment and elaborate set-ups may have more to do...but for most, it's not a "process."


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Old 08-22-2014, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post
A note regarding "prep" to listen on vinyl. My TT connects to my Denon receiver. My only preparation is putting the disc on the TT and hitting "Play" No muss, no fuss. No more trouble than putting a CD into a player. I recognize that those with more equipment and elaborate set-ups may have more to do...but for most, it's not a "process."
Same here - except I run my brush from back to front on the stylus first...takes about 2 seconds.

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Old 08-22-2014, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I agree. But I just don't get the ritualistic part of vinyl everyone refers to. To me, it's a waste of my time. To me the ritual is in the listening experience, not the preparation for the listening experience, thus I find no use for vinyl and opt to maximize the quality of the listening experience, which again is not vinyl.
I grew up with vinyl and there was no ritual to it. Certainly no more than assuming everyone of the cd generation were buffing their disks everytime they wanted to play them. Handling everything with kid gloves might have been preferable but never a requirement.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:13 PM
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Sidenote: Current episode of FX's YOU'RE THE WORST has a segment taking place within a record store. Smiled when a girl held up a 45 rpm disc and squealed "Look! A baby record!"
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by plissken99 View Post
So the question is, is vinyl really worth all that effort and expense? Or would the better route be to seek the best digital version out there?
No, imho, getting into vinyl at this point is not worth the effort and expense. Digital beats vinyl in every way. (Except album covers.)

My bottom line:

There’s just never anywhere near enough time or money. – Forget vinyl and use the saved time and money on other things that interest you.

Dave
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TheWind View Post
Digital beats vinyl in every way. (Except album covers.)
Not always true, as previously stated.

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Old 08-22-2014, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSG123 View Post
I think the ritual is something people who grew up with vinyl would appreciate more than younger people who grew up with CD's, MP3's and streaming.

The ritual is more than just making sure the record is clean and running a dust brush around it. To me, slipping the record out of the jacket and sleeve and bringing the cover to my sofa with the artwork and liner notes was part of the experience.

And to a number of us, part of the ritual way back when was cleaning our stash on the album cover. Extra points for a double album...
I grew up with vinyl. As a boy I had original Capitol 45s of the Beatles! I've experienced all the things you mention. I still don't get it. The experience is the music, not the preparation. You hear the experience, ritual, and nostalgia everywhere. Seems to just be a way of justifying an inferior format.

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Old 08-22-2014, 05:12 PM
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I don't think it's justifying an inferior format (and there are plenty who'd make the case that it's a *superior* format. But not everyone experiences things the same way. I think, in general, digital is far superior to vinyl but I still like the nostalgia of playing LP's. I recently bought a late 60's Zenith hi-fi console in near mint condition as much for the kitschy nostalgia of it as anything else. But because it has a tape input on the back, streaming Pandora and similar is the main way it's used. Kind of best of both worlds. So one person's nostalgia, ritual, whatever, is another's absolute waste of time.

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Old 08-22-2014, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWind View Post
Digital beats vinyl in every way. (Except album covers.)
As my music comes off a server and the titles are viewed on a 50" screen, I still fail to see how having the album cover in your hand is better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSG123 View Post
and there are plenty who'd make the case that it's a *superior* format.
And they'd be wrong.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
As my music comes off a server and the titles are viewed on a 50" screen, I still fail to see how having the album cover in your hand is better.
It's not just the cover. Many LPs were bi-fold, so really 4-sided, with inserts/liner notes, etc. That may not float your boat, but for many people it beats just the cover viewed on a screen.

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Old 08-22-2014, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Gecko85 View Post
It's not just the cover. Many LPs were bi-fold, so really 4-sided, with inserts/liner notes, etc. That may not float your boat, but for many people it beats just the cover viewed on a screen.
I have about 5 thousand LPs: I still don't see the benefit of the cover in your hand. I can get liner notes, lyrics etc in JRiver too.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:48 PM
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Horses for courses.

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Old 08-22-2014, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
As my music comes off a server and the titles are viewed on a 50" screen, I still fail to see how having the album cover in your hand is better.

And they'd be wrong.
Hmmm.... music broken down to Ones and Zeroes and reassembled compressed vs. the music as originally played and recorded with full dynamic range. Oh yeah, they'd be SO wrong.

About a year ago (just for fun) we did a blind "taste" test...play some music and let the blindfolded folks guess whether it was CD or vinyl. With one exception (that I've forgotten), if it was CD, people guessed vinyl. And if it was vinyl, people guessed CD. Because people believed that CD was "superior", if the music audio seemed lacking, they'd assume it was because it was vinyl. And if it sounded full and impressive, they assumed it was the "superior" CD. Hearing was believing. (Or, as one participant put it at the time...the difference was like "night and day.")

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking other formats. CDs are great for the car. MP3 has the portability factor. But for sheer audio pleasure, when you want to just sit and listen, vinyl gets my vote. (Your mileage may vary.)


Last edited by cinema13; 08-22-2014 at 06:08 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:07 PM
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Hmmm.... music broken down to Ones and Zeroes and reassembled compressed vs. the music as originally played and recorded with full dynamic range. Oh yeah, they'd be SO wrong.
Ah, the canard from ignorance. To paraphrase the old saying, you would have looked less the fool by remaining silent.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Ah, the canard from ignorance. To paraphrase the old saying, you would have looked less the fool by remaining silent.

Yeah. Right. (giggle) Continue to enjoy the sterile, sibilant audio. And feel free to offer the inferior vinyl discs to those of us here. We'll take 'em off your hands.


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Old 08-22-2014, 07:12 PM
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Hmmm.... music broken down to Ones and Zeroes and reassembled compressed vs. the music as originally played and recorded with full dynamic range. Oh yeah, they'd be SO wrong.
No. You'd be so wrong. If you think vinyl offers "full dynamic range," you don't know anything about vinyl, or how records were made back in the day.

Granted, a lot of digital releases are heavily compressed, but that's a choice of the people making the record, not a requirement of the format.

Personally, I have a collection of vinyl jazz LPs from the 50s and 60s, and I love putting one on and listening to music as it was heard when it was new. But if digital had been developed first, no one would have invented analog.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:43 PM
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As I write this I'm taking a break form digitizing a virgin vinyl first pressing of Allan Holdsworth's "Road Games". Why digitizing? Because it will never sound as good from the first time played - subsequent spins will further degrade the disc - so this is as good as this spin gets Plus eliminating the few offensive clicks helps my listening experience next time I queue it up in Foobar........

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Old 08-22-2014, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I agree. But I just don't get the ritualistic part of vinyl everyone refers to. To me, it's a waste of my time. To me the ritual is in the listening experience, not the preparation for the listening experience, thus I find no use for vinyl and opt to maximize the quality of the listening experience, which again is not vinyl.
From a ritual perspective the thing I notice the most is 23 mins of continuous unstoppable listening.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:53 PM
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If your willing to put the time into collecting historical discs and
browsing through old record stores then a modest investment into
vinyl is probably worth it. The technology to manufacture quality
vinyl discs died about 15-years ago. And it ain't coming back.
Don't let anyone on this forum convince you differently.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wilcal View Post
The technology to manufacture quality
vinyl discs died about 15-years ago. And it ain't coming back.
Don't let anyone on this forum convince you differently.
Sorry, but no. The highest quality vinyl ever produced is being produced right now. The vinyl is much thicker and higher quality than anything produced 15+ years ago.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SMHarman View Post
From a ritual perspective the thing I notice the most is 23 mins of continuous unstoppable listening.
As opposed to 45 minutes to an hour of continous unstoppable listening from a cd? Oh, wait there is one exception. Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever. After song 5 he pauses and says ]

"Hello, CD listeners. We've come to the point in this album where those listening on cassette, or record, will have to stand up, or sit down, and turn over the record, or tape. In fairness to those listeners, we'll now take a few seconds before we begin side two. [pause] Thank you. Here's side two."
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:38 AM
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^
Yes. Listening on CD and don't like track 3 >>|
Need a potty break ||
Vinyl you get up and cue up track 4 or raise the tone arm. Not much but more effort
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:46 AM
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I have a turntable, but I only bought it because my parents have a lot of vinyl packed away, and I got my table for $10 at a garage sale, only needing a new stylus. It is a Sony PS-X5 which I guess many would consider "mid level." Good enough that I should never have to upgrade anything.

I don't think I'd ever buy a record new. Especially when they cost $30+. Think of how much investment I would have had to make to get a turntable of this quality, new? I'd bet I'd easily go over $300. Then consider that you have to constantly maintain it, it might need a phono preamp (which vary in quality and can burn a hole in your pocket), clean off your records each time you play them, that the table puts wear on them every time they get played, that even with the cleanest record - you can get a crappy pressing, you have to store them in a dry, cool place or they will warp.

None of this really plagues CD or digital files at all. All I have to do is pop in a CD and press play. Or plug in my hard drive and queue up my playlist in foobar2000 (or whatever music app you use). Plus it's always going to sound the same (no wear), it costs a lot less, and you never have any surface noise. I'd rather drop $30+ for an MFSL or AF Hybrid SACD, or some out of print CD that sounds good, over buying a record.

For me, the choice is obvious in favor of a digital setup. I have vinyl and play it from time to time. I think if I didn't have any records, I would not have bought a turntable. I've never found any evidence that it sounds 'better' either unless the digital versions are a horrible mastering.

I laugh even harder at some of these people who are now saying cassettes sound better than a CD. Most of them never grew up with cassettes. I did. I remember having to throw them away when my car deck ate them up and the tape came all unwound. The only way you could get good sound quality on a cassette was if you dubbed a record onto high quality tape with a high end tape deck.

Don't buy into the myths.

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cinema13 View Post
Yeah. Right. (giggle) Continue to enjoy the sterile, sibilant audio. And feel free to offer the inferior vinyl discs to those of us here. We'll take 'em off your hands.
I have some rarities in great shape that I would sell for ~$300 each.

Last edited by hogger129; 08-23-2014 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by hogger129 View Post
I have a turntable, but I only bought it because my parents have a lot of vinyl packed away, and I got my table for $10 at a garage sale, only needing a new stylus. It is a Sony PS-X5 which I guess many would consider "mid level." Good enough that I should never have to upgrade anything.

I don't think I'd ever buy a record new. Especially when they cost $30+. Think of how much investment I would have had to make to get a turntable of this quality, new? I'd bet I'd easily go over $300. Then consider that you have to constantly maintain it, it might need a phono preamp (which vary in quality and can burn a hole in your pocket), clean off your records each time you play them, that the table puts wear on them every time they get played, that even with the cleanest record - you can get a crappy pressing, you have to store them in a dry, cool place or they will warp.

None of this really plagues CD or digital files at all. All I have to do is pop in a CD and press play. Or plug in my hard drive and queue up my playlist in foobar2000 (or whatever music app you use). Plus it's always going to sound the same (no wear), it costs a lot less, and you never have any surface noise. I'd rather drop $30+ for an MFSL or AF Hybrid SACD, or some out of print CD that sounds good, over buying a record.

For me, the choice is obvious in favor of a digital setup. I have vinyl and play it from time to time. I think if I didn't have any records, I would not have bought a turntable. I've never found any evidence that it sounds 'better' either unless the digital versions are a horrible mastering.

I laugh even harder at some of these people who are now saying cassettes sound better than a CD. Most of them never grew up with cassettes. I did. I remember having to throw them away when my car deck ate them up and the tape came all unwound. The only way you could get good sound quality on a cassette was if you dubbed a record onto high quality tape with a high end tape deck.

Don't buy into the myths.
I'm liking that many New release vinyl come with a digital download key.

My new PSB vinyl did so I have vinyl which is actually wide spaced so 4 sides of 12 minutes and digital for in the go.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:52 AM
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I'm liking that many New release vinyl come with a digital download key.

My new PSB vinyl did so I have vinyl which is actually wide spaced so 4 sides of 12 minutes and digital for in the go.
I can get a CD for less money, that sounds better than a record, and make my own lossy versions.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:00 AM
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I can get a CD for less money, that sounds better than a record, and make my own lossy versions.
I can get a new release on vinyl that sounds better than the overly-compressed CD. Better dynamics, fuller sound. (Not every CD, but many. Particularly true of the majority of CDs released from the mid 90's to within the past couple years. But even a lot of new releases suffer from dynamic compression.)

Case in point: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/li...bum=Sound+city

I've heard both, and the vinyl release is noticeably better.

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Old 08-23-2014, 10:48 AM
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The discussion is already pretty long, so I'm not sure if I can really add anything.

First - Should you get into vinyl? I don't know - should you?

Meaning as a novelty, it is pretty expensive. If you fully intend to collect over 100 albums, then it might be worth getting a decent entry level turntable, but entry level means about $400. If you fully intend to collect over 300 albums, then perhaps you can invest in a better turntable. Perhaps up to $1000. Equally if you plan on having 500 or more, then we can consider +$1000 turntables.

How does that fit with the equipment you have now? If you currently have a $500 stereo, or God forbid, a $500 surround sound system, then an additional $400 is something of a waste.

So, you need to consider this from two perspectives. One, how deeply do you plan to get into this vinyl 'thing'? If it is a novelty, then it is an expensive novelty. If you think you are really interested, then are you $400 interested?

Next, what system do you have now? Both the depth to which you will explore vinyl, and a turntable in reasonable proportion to the depth, and to the value of your other equipment, points to the direction you should explore.

As to whether vinyl is better than CD? That is the wrong question. The real question is, is the CONTENT on vinyl better than the CONTENT on CD?

Other have already referenced the Loudness War, in which some genius (sarcasm) at the record companies decided that Louder is Better. Of course, it is not actually louder, it is just the perception of louder. So, modern content is overly compressed, killing the Dynamic Range and subtlety of the music.

The advantage of CD is that it has immense Dynamic Range, but what good is it, if it is all compressed out.

Vinyl may not have the same Dynamic Range, but it still sound silky sweet. Now as someone else mentioned, if a vinyl album is just a CD copied on to vinyl, then there is nothing to gain. But, commonly, vinyl is mixed differently, and has far less compression; not no compression, just far less. Typically vinyl is produced with a different attitude, and because production runs are so much smaller, they get little interference from the corporate executives.

Let me illustrate this by another example to show that the real question involved the content, not the medium. There is a video on YouTube related to the over compression of modern music. The person found a newly pressed CD of a CD he already had (sorry don't remember the details) . He bought it out of curiosity to compare them to see if it had change. Indeed it had. The modern version was horribly compressed compared to the original version. Which lead him to make a video showing the difference between the two. You can see the music waveform for both pieces of music, and you can clearly see the compression and lack of Dynamic Range in the modern version.

Right now as I type, I'm listening to a Django Reinhardt - Solos/Duets/Trios - Volume 2 on vinyl, and it is a delight - clean, clear, crisp, quiet. Given that these recordings were, at best, laid down in the 50's, it really sound good. Given that this album is out of print in vinyl, I was curious if I could buy it on CD. So, I searched Amazon, and sure enough it is available. But I can't help wondering how badly they screwed it up? I'm sure for convenient casual listening, it would be fine, but the vinyl has subtleties that I can't describe.

In another case, I have Super Session (Bloomfield, Cooper, Stills) on vinyl. This was a used album I picked up somewhere, and it is not in real good shape; a lot of surface noise from years of abuse (not by me). Still even with all the noise, this is a stunning and engaging album. I also have a new CD of the same album, but the CD is dull and unengaging. When I play it, I'm hardly aware that I'm even listening to it. But the album, bad as it is, grabs and holds your attention, even when you have it playing in the back ground.

So, back to Django, do I or don't I buy the CD? I would like to but with any CD I consider, there is always the worry that they have screwed it up. That they have compressed all the Dynamics out of it. The Record Labels wonder why CD sales are down. Given how bad CD sound, it is no wonder no one is buying them.

CD's do have the potential to sound very good, but just because they have the potential, doesn't mean that potential is delivered to you the consumer. The same with vinyl, it can sound breath taking, assuming the music hasn't been compromised by humans in a misguided attempt to make it better.

The Loudness Wars have gotten so bad, in the UK, they are thinking of passing a law that says, all digital music will have to have a bit of meta-data in it indicating the relative loudness. If it is recorded really hot (loud), the the player will automatically bring it down and level match it to a common standard. Now, this in no way effects whether you can turn the volume control up or down. The purpose of excessive compression is so that when the music switches between someone else's song and one of your songs, your song will appear to be louder. But with everyone doing the same thing, they just push louder and louder, with less and less Dynamic Range in essence flattening the music down to nothing. With meta-data equalization scheme, all music will be the same level, and the incentive is lost to keep compressing the music to make it seem louder. With the incentive lost, the hope is that they will start mixing music for quality rather than loudness.

So, it gets down to attitude, the attitude guiding the mix of what will later be pressed on to a given medium. Highly commercial music is far more likely to suffer from compression whether on vinyl or CD. Music like jazz and classical, because their audience demands high quality sound, are less likely to be overly compressed. Older CDs and older vinyl are less likely to be compressed regardless of genre.

So, in the modern world, how good an given content will sound will depend more on how the content is put on the medium far more than the medium itself.

JVC XRCD are proof that CD done right can sound very very good. JVC established some parameters by which common Red Book CD's could sound its best. Unfortunately, the method never caught on, mostly because Record Companies take a "good enough" attitude. Does this music sound good? No, but it sounds "good enough". Unfortunately, "good enough" really IS NOT good enough for people who truly like to listen to music. For 14 year old girls drooling over teen heart throbs, "good enough" might be good enough, and that does represent a huge segment of the buying market. But for people who truly love music and strive to hear it at is best, "good enough" is far far far far from good enough.

So, should you get into vinyl? How much time and money do you have to spend? As I said before, if you aren't determined to have at least 100 albums, then there is little point.

Steve/bluewizard

Last edited by bluewizard; 08-23-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:22 AM
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As to whether vinyl is better than CD? That is the wrong question. The real question is, is the CONTENT on vinyl better than the CONTENT on CD?

Other have already referenced the Loudness War, in which some genius (sarcasm) at the record companies decided that Louder is Better. Of course, it is not actually louder, it is just the perception of louder. So, modern content is overly compressed, killing the Dynamic Range and subtlety of the music.

The advantage of CD is that it has immense Dynamic Range, but what good is it, if it is all compressed out.

Vinyl may not have the same Dynamic Range, but it still sound silky sweet. Now as someone else mentioned, if a vinyl album is just a CD copied on to vinyl, then there is nothing to gain. But, commonly, vinyl is mixed differently, and has far less compression; not no compression, just far less. Typically vinyl is produced with a different attitude, and because production runs are so much smaller, they get little interference from the corporate executives.

Let me illustrate this by another example to show that the real question involved the content, not the medium. There is a video on YouTube related to the over compression of modern music. The person found a newly pressed CD of a CD he already had (sorry don't remember the details) . He bought it out of curiosity to compare them to see if it had change. Indeed it had. The modern version was horribly compressed compared to the original version. Which lead him to make a video showing the difference between the two. You can see the music waveform for both pieces of music, and you can clearly see the compression and lack of Dynamic Range in the modern version.

Right now as I type, I'm listening to a Django Reinhardt - Solos/Duets/Trios - Volume 2 on vinyl, and it is a delight - clean, clear, crisp, quiet. Given that these recordings were, at best, laid down in the 50's, it really sound good. Given that this album is out of print in vinyl, I was curious if I could buy it on CD. So, I searched Amazon, and sure enough it is available. But I can't help wondering how badly they screwed it up? I'm sure for convenient casual listening, it would be fine, but the vinyl has subtleties that I can't describe.

In another case, I have Super Session (Bloomfield, Cooper, Stills) on vinyl. This was a used album I picked up somewhere, and it is not in real good shape; a lot of surface noise from years of abuse (not by me). Still even with all the noise, this is a stunning and engaging album. I also have a new CD of the same album, but the CD is dull and unengaging. When I play it, I'm hardly aware that I'm even listening to it. But the album, bad as it is, grabs and holds your attention, even when you have it playing in the back ground.

So, back to Django, do I or don't I buy the CD? I would like to but with any CD I consider, there is always the worry that they have screwed it up. That they have compressed all the Dynamics out of it. The Record Labels wonder why CD sales are down. Given how bad CD sound, it is no wonder no one is buying them.

CD's do have the potential to sound very good, but just because they have the potential, doesn't mean that potential is delivered to you the consumer. The same with vinyl, it can sound breath taking, assuming the music hasn't been compromised by humans in a misguided attempt to make it better.

The Loudness Wars have gotten so bad, in the UK, they are thinking of passing a law that says, all digital music will have to have a bit of meta-data in it indicating the relative loudness. If it is recorded really hot (loud), the the player will automatically bring it down and level match it to a common standard. Now, this in no way effects whether you can turn the volume control up or down. The purpose of excessive compression is so that when the music switches between someone else's song and one of your songs, your song will appear to be louder. But with everyone doing the same thing, they just push louder and louder, with less and less Dynamic Range in essence flattening the music down to nothing. With meta-data equalization scheme, all music will be the same level, and the incentive is lost to keep compressing the music to make it seem louder. With the incentive lost, the hope is that they will start mixing music for quality rather than loudness.

So, it gets down to attitude, the attitude guiding the mix of what will later be pressed on to a given medium. Highly commercial music is far more likely to suffer from compression whether on vinyl or CD. Music like jazz and classical, because their audience demands high quality sound, are less likely to be overly compressed. Older CDs and older vinyl are less likely to be compressed regardless of genre.

So, in the modern world, how good an given content will sound will depend more on how the content is put on the medium far more than the medium itself.

JVC XRCD are proof that CD done right can sound very very good. JVC established some parameters by which common Red Book CD's could sound its best. Unfortunately, the method never caught on, mostly because Record Companies take a "good enough" attitude. Does this music sound good? No, but it sounds "good enough". Unfortunately, "good enough" really IS NOT good enough for people who truly like to listen to music. For 14 year old girls drooling over teen heart throbs, "good enough" might be good enough, and that does represent a huge segment of the buying market. But for people who truly love music and strive to hear it at is best, "good enough" is far far far far from good enough.

So, should you get into vinyl? How much time and money do you have to spend? As I said before, if you aren't determined to have at least 100 albums, then there is little point.

Steve/bluewizard
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:37 AM
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Hmmm.... music broken down to Ones and Zeroes and reassembled compressed vs. the music as originally played and recorded with full dynamic range. .

(Your mileage may vary.)
Based upon the inaccuracy of that opening line, better get your odometer checked ASAP!

Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.
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