Originally Posted by Frostyboy115
As for vinyl, I am really glad that I lived through that era and have many wonderful memories of great times listening to albums for hours with buddies. But overall, I don’t miss it enough to want to go back to it. Even with those long-time buddies, we never sit around listening to music together like we did when we were younger and that really is a shame. I think that digital technology is far superior to vinyl but digital is too often not mastered to take advantage of that. It SHOULD always be better but often it is not.
I'm 56 so grew up listening to records but dumped records for digital when CDs came out and mostly never looked back. Until the vinyl revival wave came, which helped revive my own interest in vinyl.
I'd kept a turntable around on and off for years too, that I'd throw in the system to listen to the records I'd been too lazy to throw away. That was both part of the reason I hadn't gone back to vinyl AND a spark for eventually getting me back in to it. Essentially, while I did notice and enjoy a certain nostalgic and/or comfy alluring sound to vinyl when I played it, I associated it mostly with "Old Dusty Things." All my original records were pretty moth-eaten in terms of covers and sleeves, and I hadn't taken a lot of care of them so they tended to be pretty noisy and scratchy. And for the longest time even stepping in to any surviving record shop was to look through similar reams of "dusty old Second-Hand records." Felt like both a sonic and aesthetic backwards experience.
What changed things for me was the revival of vinyl when I started noticing how much NEW vinyl was being released - both new recordings and re-releases of previous albums, re-masters, etc. I'm a huge fan of soundtracks and that soundtrack genre was particularly big on vinyl, with many re-releases of older soundtracks and most new soundtracks being released on vinyl. The attention to detail in the vinyl soundtrack releases was often off the charts.
The artwork often gorgeous, the attention paid to the materials and feel of the album, even the vinyl coming in many intriguing color designs. And then to slide out a Brand New Record from the sleeve, spanking new pristine vinyl, something I never really experienced since vinyl's hey-day. It felt "new" again, re-vitalized.
And even on my older micro seiki turntable I kept around, the sound quality...new, quiet vinyl...was often fantastic!
So as I dipped more and more in to buying newly released vinyl I found it a really compelling, rewarding experience in every parameter, from aesthetic, to physical, to the sound. The fact I was buying more vinyl induced me to upgrade my turntable to a high-mass and, to me, gorgeous looking turntable. And that introduced yet another pleasing aspect of playing records: turntables are just really cool (to me) both in the engineering and aesthetic appeal, so I get to interact with a really cool piece of gear every time I select a record. Plus, the turntable/arm/cartridge/phono-stage upgrade made ALL my vinyl sound better than I imagined it could.
And down the rabbit hole I went. Despite owning a great digital system (ripped CDs lossless streaming, Tidal, all through a Benchmark DAC) and loving digital, I found myself being drawn more often to purchasing and playing records over the past several years. (I also fell in love with a genre - Library Music - which is mostly found on LP, not in digital form).
None of that is to say "vinyl is better than digital" but rather it's just a description of why vinyl has been rewarding for ME, personally.
And I'll end off with some pros and cons of mediums in terms of my own criteria:
PROS: When they came out: cleaner more accurate sound. Smaller form factor took up less room. Sound stayed "perfectly the same" if cared for properly.
CONS: Hate, hate, hate the form factor. Can not stand jewel cases which are ugly, not nice to hold, which break and snap at a moment's notice. At this point the CD itself seems superfluous to me: I see it as simply a carrier of the 1s and 0s which can be more conveniently stored on hard drives or streamed. So I don't want CDs to take up any physical space in my house at this point.
2. STREAMING DIGITAL (Both streaming ripped CD library and paid services, in my case Tidal):
PROS: Far more convenient in most ways once set up. Cool interface on iphone or ipad. Countess albums and songs at flick of a finger, never even have to get out of my seat.
CONS: Ripping the physical CDs, and doing the work to organize metadata, was a soul-draining experience. Tedious as hell and just went on and on and on. Glad it is behind me. Also, while album art can be decent on a hand held device, it's not nearly as satisfying as a nice LP in the hand.
Also, one of the PROS also turned out to be something of a CON for me. The instant access to thousands or millions of tracks meant listening to music became more like surfing the web. A "this is interesting, but I wonder what this link will lead to" where I ended up surfing through and sampling music more than really settling down and absorbing. I'd rarely listen to whole albums - there was a restless quality to imbibing music. And, there was the "more of it you have, the less you value it" psychology meant, for me, music felt a bit less substantial, more background. As well, given like many people I work all day on a computer, this meant that listening to music involved yet more interaction with computers and screens. My computer and my phone are tugging at me all day long for attention. I don't want more of the same. Switching to listening to vinyl is a way of really taking a break from digital life for a while, of unplugging. Like reading a paper-back book on the sofa.
PROS: (Again: from my perspective): more fulfilling physical/aesthetic experience that ultimately enhances the music listening experience. I almost always settle down for at least a full album side, usually a whole album.
And the fact vinyl tends to be more expensive and is a commitment to a whole album means that my music collection is more carefully curated. I tend to buy albums that I really want to listen to, and I can usually demo most of the tracks to know I like the album. So I can pull any album off my shelves and usually enjoy the whole thing.
Whereas I did not tend my early CD collection so closely (hence have many albums from which I only like a few pieces) and my Tidal favorites collection would tend to be filling up with individual tracks of variable interest...because it was just so easy to add anything to favorites.
Again, love owning and using my turntable.
SOUND: Vinyl, though technically not as capable of objective accuracy as digital, nonetheless tends to sound different. And I often find myself really enjoying the sound of vinyl records. Sometimes preferring the vinyl version to digital. And in just sheer "sound quality" terms, plenty of my LPs blow my mind just like my digital source can, so I rarely feel like I've compromised by listening to "poor sound quality" for the benefit of the other aesthetic elements.
I enjoy having a record collection. There is something about cognitively mapping the music on to the physical object that, for me, enhances the object and the music. There's a bit of that in why I like my tube amplifiers as well:
I love the glow of the tubes and there is a certain conceptual satisfaction that what I'm seeing is the musical signal glowing through those tubes!
Buying records is fun. Though I probably buy most from discogs, I also love the proliferation of record stores where I live, visiting is fun, and I enjoy the interaction with the staff and other record buyers at the store.
CONS: Everyone knows them as they've been listed in this thread. in particular the sonic liabilities - susceptible pops, snaps, warble, background noise, sonic degradation over time, lower technical accuracy, etc. Though some of the "cons" of "having to store the physical object" or "select and play the record, get up half way through to flip it" are "pros" to other people.