How many buying vinyl again?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Randy99CL, May 18, 2020.

  1. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Synchromatic

    Feb 17, 2020
    I was an audiophile for decades but then working on jets in the Navy and with a bar band took their toll on my hearing. Severe HF loss in both ears.

    High end audio equipment was wasted on me so I sold everything in the '90s and bought CDs of my favorites. I A/B tested CDs and (consumer grade) albums and preferred CDs.
    In the 2000s I ripped all my CDs to MP3s and today have over 700 CDs ripped into my computer. I used the highest bit rates and I have no complaints with the sound.

    Recently got some Hi-Tech hearing aids that are tuned to return my hearing to close to flat. Amazing, I can hear high frequencies again!

    I am fascinated by the vinyl albums on sale today. Even GC sells turntables and albums.
    I'm looking for an audio dealer where I can listen and compare.

    How about you guys/gals? From the talk here I am sure most of you prefer the sound of analog and is it worth the expense of the equipment and high album prices??
    RedPanzer5150 likes this.
  2. Scott Fraser

    Scott Fraser Country Gent

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I don't prefer the sound of analog. I prefer good sound & I don't care how it is arrived at. As a recording engineer since the mid 1970s I am very familiar with the process required to get recorded sound released on vinyl. Every single album I recorded back then was an enormous disappointment when it came to the final step, because the test pressings always sounded so much worse than the master tape. I couldn't get into CD soon enough. I did my time with analog, I have no nostalgia whatsoever, & good riddance I say.
    That being said, I finally, after maybe 3 decades of the analog vs digital debate, heard a vinyl release which was ever so slightly preferable to its accompanying CD. But it was a limited release, very custom premium high grade pressing, on a spectacularly expensive stereo system. And everything which was preferable about the vinyl, could have been implemented in the mastering of the CD.
  3. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I bought my wife a record player and powered speakers for her birthday a couple of years ago. I bought her Michael Jackson record and The Song Remains the Same by Led Zeppelin. We haven't bought any since. I guess just not that interested. The main reason I got it, though, was so that she could listen to records that belonged to her mom, so it was a success even though it didn't lead to a revival of vinyl in our lives. Actually, it wouldn't be a revival at all for me. Those were the first and only two records I've ever bought.
  4. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    I only have a few LP's, but need to go to my dad to listen to them. I don't own a turntable. I seriously started listening to music since the late '80s, early '90s. Buying CD's was the logical choice then. Never had any complaint about the audio quality. I do own a good quality CD-player though (Primare CD22). All music is analog when it reaches your ears.
  5. BohemianLikeMe

    BohemianLikeMe Gretschie

    Apr 18, 2020
    Prague, CZ
    Been listening to records since I was a wee hipster. I was never really into CDs. Mp3s/streaming are cool, but sometimes you just want to throw on a record and let it play.
  6. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    I’ve collected vinyl since I was a young boy, but I’ll listen to music by any means necessary.
    I still have 100’s of records, cassettes, cd’s, digital downloads.... I’ll take it any way I can!
    As long as I get the musics, I’m happy!
  7. BohemianLikeMe

    BohemianLikeMe Gretschie

    Apr 18, 2020
    Prague, CZ
    I hated the trend of everybody releasing CDs a few years back-- I basically just ripped them, sold them back to the store or left them in my apartment gathering dust because they'd get scratched to hell and skip just by looking at them.
  8. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    Still buying vinyl. I never completely stopped.
    I started buying records in late 70s, still have the first ones I bought then.

    I only had a CD turntable in 1992: I had bought a 4 LP set (Phil Spector "Back to mono" compilation) which turned out to be a 4 CD set in a LP-sized box :(
    I told the story and complained that I could not listen to it at the office where I was a trainee and when I left that company a few months later, they offered me a CD turntable as a departure gift :)

    When there were no longer vinyl in most record shops, I started buying CDs but continued to buy used vinyl at used record shops and garage sales. Much cheaper than before :D
    Up to the point that I now find new vinyl expensive and scarcely buy some.
  9. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    To me, vinyl is just too crude a technology, and I grew up with it. I had an argument with a friend in the early '80s about whether he could hear a difference or that digital had missing information. Yes, it had missing information, but sampling at 44,000 times per second, how much?
    We used to describe the old record players as "a baseball bat with a nail". Every play degrades the medium.
    wilblee and Wozob like this.
  10. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    Started buying vinyl as a kid back in the 70's played on the "house" turntable (a decent cabinet radio/record player, no idea now what brand). Then acquired a small collection of LPs that belonged to an uncle of mine. He was in the Air Force stationed in Germany and was an ardent jazz fan so lots of those, along with swing and of course some German language records. He was killed in a plane crash in 57 there so all prior to that date. Some pretty good stuff imo. Fun music! Naturally somewhat scratchy compared to CD quality, but still worth listening to.
    More recently my kids started buying albums for me (I think because I was the only person they knew that still had a turntable started it) Now vinyl is available in lots of genres and artists of course; but I rarely see anything I would buy. Seems to be focussed on eras that aren't really mine, or something.

    Short version is I still listen to vinyl, but most of the really old stuff has been ripped to digital to save more wear. Like a vinyl pressing of "Ape Man" played by Johnny Dodds and originally recorded on wax in 1919 or thereabouts. According to the album notes the track was recorded from the original... not sure about that, but it sort of sounds like it! Still, fun to hear..

    Sorry, kind of a long winded post
    Sabato likes this.
  11. KuKuKu

    KuKuKu Gretschie

    Aug 28, 2016
    I switched back to vinyl about 7 years ago, when I realised I didn't listen to music anymore. I had a lot of stuff as mp3, but it was just one big mess of hundreds of songs that friends gave me. I missed actually consciously picking out music and actively listening to it. With mp3s you just click a button and a tsunami of music rolls in. With vinyl you pick one record out of your collection, you have the big cover with nice artwork and maybe some informative text written on it about the artist. And it's big and that leaves a stronger mark than a teeny tiny CD with its mini-booklet. Even holding that thing in yours hands feels good. You have to clean the record, you have to flip it over. That's actual work you have to do. So you only do it, when you really want to listen to it. And you concentrate on the music and appreciate it. It enhances the mindfulness. At least that's how I experience it.

    I don't care that much about the quality of the recording, although I have a decent stereo and a good sound is important to me. But as I almost exclusively listen to music from the 30s, 40s and 50s nowadays, I dont need an absolutely clean sound. I even enjoy the sizzling and crackling an old record may produce. It ads to the mojo. :) Maybe I had only low quality mp3s, but to me they always sounded cold and sterile compared to a vinyl record.
  12. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    You should try the old mechanical 78 rpm turntables. There's one at my grandma's house. The arm is... heavy!

    Now I have 2 examples of records which I didn't like as CD and liked when I heard the vinyl. But one of them is Dylan's Love And Theft which probably was not recorded analog. Then I suspect I need to hear the base ball bat scratching the plastic to like the music :p
    Oh. And I love to get up and flip the record at half time. And I prefer a tracklisting that's organised in twice 20-25 minutes, with a starter and a final for each side. Just like all these classic albums I've spent my life listening to.
    ZackyDog, Scott, Sabato and 1 other person like this.
  13. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Sound is analog. It doesn't matter how much digital processing you do in-between, but a microphone picks up analog sound, and a speaker reproduces analog sound.

    That being said, I still have gone to CDs for most of my music. 80 minutes vs 22, less storage space, and CDs are just easier to use. Something else to consider is that you wipe everything above 15KHz off the first time you play a record, and the inherent hiss and pop is still there. As a child of the '60s, my wife still listens to 45s. Go figure. I still use an iPod on occasion with songs burnt from CDs, but my tapes and LPs are long gone. I don't do downloads due to the fact that one glitch could wipe out your entire music collection. I will always have the source material.

    Another consideration----
    People have opted for tiny, tinny mono Bluetooth speakers. No highs, no lows. Even worse is listening to tunes from 1/2" iPhone or computer speakers. When was the last time you saw an audiophile stereo store? Those that have survived went over to home theater surround sound.

    I just thought about it---I haven't bought vinyl since the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey" LPs had to be recalled due to a bubble in the master. That's when I got it on CD---and bought a CD player to go with it. 1985, I think.
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  14. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I prefer it for most things primarily because you tend to get less "loudness optimized" masters w/ a grand total 1 db of dynamic range IME. It's fairly ironic being that CD should completely own vinyl in this category.

    A lot of stuff just sounds better &/or more correct to me on vinyl. The lows seem warmer on average & the highs tend to be less sibilant & shiny. That's not necessarily optimal for all content, but for a fair amount of it, it's exactly the right thing IMO. I'll certainly take a well mixed & mastered CD over the quintuply (or more) re-encoded & compressed VBR stream regardless of the content though.

    I found CDs to wear out pretty predictably too, albeit not as fast or as easily, but they're fairly far from indestructible & immutable.
    Hammerhands and Scott like this.
  15. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    I wish I had some of the 78s that my Dad had out in the garage, When we were kids we thought it was great fun to shatter them as they were so brittle..
    thunder58 likes this.
  16. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    Analog media may not “sound” better than digital but I feel the difference.
    Vinyl is my favorite way to listen to music.
    kidtwist, JHowdy and Yukimajo like this.
  17. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    You should seek professional help...
  18. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    I bought 2 records this year, I pay more for the records to support the artist and cuz they are cool. The most recent record is translucent pink . Here they are.

    2020-05-18 16.16.10.jpg 2020-05-18 16.17.06.jpg
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  19. ramjac

    ramjac Synchromatic

    Aug 14, 2011
    I’m buying more CDs than ever now that the prices are so low for many titles. They sound good even using relatively inexpensive players (compared with vinyl), the players are still affordable and accessible, navigating the content is super easy from the couch, longer playing time, it’s easy to rip copies ... all the reasons you’re familiar with and either agree with or don’t.

    Perhaps the lone detractor is the one pointed out above regarding the limited dynamic range in some of the masters used for CD. He’s right. That stinks. But that also seems like less of a media issue and more of a mastering issue. I don’t buy new vinyl, so I can’t speak as to whether this mastering issue hasn’t also creeped into the vinyl format. I’m told that separate masters are required for vinyl and CD, but also that this does not necessarily dictate vastly distinct compression levels, and loudness war techniques can be applied to both. So I’m not ready to join the war on the loudness war via a switch to vinyl yet.

    I’m also not a fan of analog warmness imparted by the playback equipment as opposed to the recording. And there seems to be a lot of this type of warmth in even some of the more expensive turntable systems. And vinyl is expensive even aside from the playback equipment. Buying used vinyl to save $ is also a bigger gamble. Yes, CDs also scratch, but with vinyl you have to be careful to avoid those cheap flimsy Columbia House and BMG reprints that wear fast and warp easy. And vinyl is inconvenient, doesn’t travel well, and getting up to flip a record, skip a track, or lift the needle when it gets stuck doesn’t make me feel more connected with the music. Again, all the reasons you’re familiar with and either agree with or don’t.
    BrianW likes this.
  20. BrianW

    BrianW Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    I can't really argue the "warmth" of analog mastering vs digital either, or the convenience of storage, playback etc. I guess I have mostly noticed losses or compression with ripping CDs to a memory card for in auto listening - that can be a huge difference! And yes it depends on which software and which format... but I find even the so-called lossless formats lose very noticeable parts of the music. Not the same as comparing vinyl to CDs I know but that is where I can definitely hear differences.

    I "inherited" a lot of old albums that aren't in the best condition as I said earlier, but I did want to play them so got back into it. That would be my biggest reason for using vinyl - that music just isn't available (that I have seen) any more. The new albums of course are a different story.

    Sabato likes this.
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