Vinyl , why in todays world?

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mantis
mantis Posts: 17,087
Hello everyone,
I recently acquired a Thorens T-170 Table. Honestly for decades, I have not 0 desire to want to play records. With todays technology and for the last Decade or so with high Rez files and now how good streaming services have got, why bother to Spin a Record?

So I get the physical media part, touching feeling the ritual of putting a Record on a table and dropping the needle has a big part of why someone would want to do this. But once you go back and sit down, you have what 3 to 5 songs and then you got to get up and either change the record or flip to the other side. For video it reminds me of my laser disc days, watching a movie, then having to flip the disc.

So I guess there are pro's and cons to the experience besides the actual listening but really, even with an elite level table which I have more of an entry level table, do you think vinyl is a better way to listen to music over any other way?
Dan
My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
«13

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  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,231
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    mantis wrote: »
    Hello everyone,
    I recently acquired a Thorens T-170 Table. Honestly for decades, I have not 0 desire to want to play records. With todays technology and for the last Decade or so with high Rez files and now how good streaming services have got, why bother to Spin a Record?...
    do you think vinyl is a better way to listen to music over any other way?

    Sometimes, but only rarely, from my perspective.


  • msg
    msg Posts: 9,668
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    For people without immensely resolving turntable setups, even without the full benefit of analog recordings, listening to real records provides the experience you mentioned - it's more involving. For people who enjoy that, it's not to be understated.
    Here are a few things I've noticed and like about it
    • It forces you to sit down and listen to an album. Records, as we all know from being spoiled with streaming of various types, are not efficient for hopping around to different songs.
    • It requires maintenance. Cleaning records provides a sense of satisfaction in being able to improve the playback quality. It's fun cleaning records, but it takes time.
    • There's just something about sitting back in the listening seat in a comfortably lit space, listening to a record on a well tuned system... just knowing that the sounds you are hearing in all the complexity are all being generated live, in real time, coming that little scratchy thing dragging across the black plastic-y thing that's spinning on that round thing, either by rubber band or little electric motor.
    • In a world moving as fast as ours is, it can be almost a discipline at times to force oneself to sit down to listen to a record. I've found that in doing so, it forces relaxation in a way.
    • That said, all those benefits do require time, and in my life, it's got its place. I "put off" listening to records or being involved in its various rituals if I know I've got other stuff to do, but then again, maybe those are exactly the times I need to be more disciplined and make myself sit down and chill. You're either in the mood, get in the mood, or you're not in the mood.
    Drawbacks
    It can be expensive to enjoy vinyl, depending on your level of involvement.
    • The records themselves are not cheap.
    • The maintenance is expensive - washers, cleaners, vacuum systems, ultrasonic things, cloths.
    • Then there are cartridges, cables, and phono preamps, and on and on it goes
    You can't hop around.
    • If you have an album that sucks, you'll be up and down like you were in middle school, switch albums out for that one good song.
    • I only buy my absolute favorite albums on vinyl. The quality isn't there for me, not to mention, let's face it, not all artists can pull off a good album. How many records, cds tapes or 8-tracks did you guys buy that only had one or two good songs?

    I hate 45rpm records with just 2 or 3 songs per side. This, to me, ruins the listening experience. As you've said, @mantis , it's a lot of up and down. I loved it in the beginning, because it was more opportunity to be involved, but once that wears off a little bit, it gets back to being a little more about the music, and I find that disruptive.

    I disabled signatures.
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,414
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    I had more than a thousand LPs built up in a collection in the 1970s and 1980s. I ended up with my brother's collection too. Mostly rock and pop music. Once CD came out I stopped buying new LPs but I still used a turntable and still continued buying used LPs. I continued buying used LPs in used record stores because they were dirt cheap and also picked up quite a few from Mr. George Grand here. Never stopped listening to albums on vinyl. I do think when CDs came out it was a game changer for me with listening to classical music. The clicks and pops in quiet passages of classical music on vinyl is very distracting.

    The bottom line for me is that each format has its place. The stereo mix can also appear to be quite different between CD and LP.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,537
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    I bought my TD-160 in 1973. I already had a few dozen LPs, due to a previous college roommate owning a stereo. Record stores were plentiful and competitive. By the time CDs came out, I had over 400 records. Many of these are still unavailable in modern formats. I enjoy listening to vinyl, especially the high quality pressings such as direct-to-disc. But to be truthful, I pretty much agree with Dr. Hardy’s assessment above. If I were a budding audiophile now, as I was in 1973, I’m not sure I’d bother with the format. I find it hard to understand the dudes who invest heavily in a high end turntable, cartridge and phono preamp, but they have only a handful of LPs.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    Hello everyone,
    I recently acquired a Thorens T-170 Table. Honestly for decades, I have not 0 desire to want to play records. With todays technology and for the last Decade or so with high Rez files and now how good streaming services have got, why bother to Spin a Record?...
    do you think vinyl is a better way to listen to music over any other way?

    Sometimes, but only rarely, from my perspective.

    That's what I would like to talk about.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    msg wrote: »
    For people without immensely resolving turntable setups, even without the full benefit of analog recordings, listening to real records provides the experience you mentioned - it's more involving. For people who enjoy that, it's not to be understated.
    Here are a few things I've noticed and like about it
    • It forces you to sit down and listen to an album. Records, as we all know from being spoiled with streaming of various types, are not efficient for hopping around to different songs.
    • It requires maintenance. Cleaning records provides a sense of satisfaction in being able to improve the playback quality. It's fun cleaning records, but it takes time.
    • There's just something about sitting back in the listening seat in a comfortably lit space, listening to a record on a well tuned system... just knowing that the sounds you are hearing in all the complexity are all being generated live, in real time, coming that little scratchy thing dragging across the black plastic-y thing that's spinning on that round thing, either by rubber band or little electric motor.
    • In a world moving as fast as ours is, it can be almost a discipline at times to force oneself to sit down to listen to a record. I've found that in doing so, it forces relaxation in a way.
    • That said, all those benefits do require time, and in my life, it's got its place. I "put off" listening to records or being involved in its various rituals if I know I've got other stuff to do, but then again, maybe those are exactly the times I need to be more disciplined and make myself sit down and chill. You're either in the mood, get in the mood, or you're not in the mood.
    Drawbacks
    It can be expensive to enjoy vinyl, depending on your level of involvement.
    • The records themselves are not cheap.
    • The maintenance is expensive - washers, cleaners, vacuum systems, ultrasonic things, cloths.
    • Then there are cartridges, cables, and phono preamps, and on and on it goes
    You can't hop around.
    • If you have an album that sucks, you'll be up and down like you were in middle school, switch albums out for that one good song.
    • I only buy my absolute favorite albums on vinyl. The quality isn't there for me, not to mention, let's face it, not all artists can pull off a good album. How many records, cds tapes or 8-tracks did you guys buy that only had one or two good songs?

    I hate 45rpm records with just 2 or 3 songs per side. This, to me, ruins the listening experience. As you've said, @mantis , it's a lot of up and down. I loved it in the beginning, because it was more opportunity to be involved, but once that wears off a little bit, it gets back to being a little more about the music, and I find that disruptive.

    What a awesome perspective. Thank you so much for taking the time to write that. I love it.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    Emlyn wrote: »
    I had more than a thousand LPs built up in a collection in the 1970s and 1980s. I ended up with my brother's collection too. Mostly rock and pop music. Once CD came out I stopped buying new LPs but I still used a turntable and still continued buying used LPs. I continued buying used LPs in used record stores because they were dirt cheap and also picked up quite a few from Mr. George Grand here. Never stopped listening to albums on vinyl. I do think when CDs came out it was a game changer for me with listening to classical music. The clicks and pops in quiet passages of classical music on vinyl is very distracting.

    The bottom line for me is that each format has its place. The stereo mix can also appear to be quite different between CD and LP.


    I grew up on Vinyl myself. I had a lot of records as well as everyone in my family. I actually moved away from Records when I got into 8 tracks, then Cassettes , then CD and now I don't rarely put a CD in, I prefer to stream it or play a High Rez file from my Computer.
    But I recently as I said got a Thorens Table , hooked it up and haven't played it yet. I only have 1 record now and it's a local band that I want to check out. I don't see myself being strictly a Vinyl guy but I like the jackets, reading the stories and lyrics etc. I think it's a nice fun thing and I'm pretty glad it's back the way it is.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    maxward wrote: »
    I bought my TD-160 in 1973. I already had a few dozen LPs, due to a previous college roommate owning a stereo. Record stores were plentiful and competitive. By the time CDs came out, I had over 400 records. Many of these are still unavailable in modern formats. I enjoy listening to vinyl, especially the high quality pressings such as direct-to-disc. But to be truthful, I pretty much agree with Dr. Hardy’s assessment above. If I were a budding audiophile now, as I was in 1973, I’m not sure I’d bother with the format. I find it hard to understand the dudes who invest heavily in a high end turntable, cartridge and phono preamp, but they have only a handful of LPs.


    This is a hobby man and we all find things that excite us. Owning a high end Turnable is no different. I have installed 12k Tables and they are beautiful. Works of art in so many ways. The attention to detail without even listening to it is a enough to satisfy most Audiophiles. Just looking at it is a thrill just like a fully killer 2 channel system. I'm not ever going to own extremely high end gear as for me I have my limits, I'm not rich and I don't put that much value in it for me to spend 12k on a Turnable amp or basically any 1 piece of equipment or speaker. But man they are very nice.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,537
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    There’s no question that I’d like to own and use a $12k turntable. I still look at the current examples that I can now possibly afford to buy. But my point above was that I’m not sure if I would dive into that particular rabbit hole if I were just starting out in this hobby.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    maxward wrote: »
    There’s no question that I’d like to own and use a $12k turntable. I still look at the current examples that I can now possibly afford to buy. But my point above was that I’m not sure if I would dive into that particular rabbit hole if I were just starting out in this hobby.
    That is an interesting perspective.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • maxward
    maxward Posts: 1,537
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    Well, if I were in my 20s, I’m not sure I’d want to buy in to the whole “expense and inconvenience” thing, to quote a cartoon I’ve seen somewhere around here.
  • stangman67
    stangman67 Posts: 2,227
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    For me it’s just fun. Streaming is easy and simple and relatively cheap to get high end sound. Vinyl collecting is fun, the hunt for records is enjoyable. I also like the fact that I generally get through a whole record, with streaming it is too easy to skip around and ship sounds and that is no good for discovering new tracks that maybe I haven’t listened to much in the past
    2 Channel in my home attic/bar/man cave

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  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,414
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    I remember the story about one of the original backers of the CD format demanidng that he be presented with a single disc that could present a whole symphony to him in one sitting so he wouldn't have to get up and flip an LP or cassette to the other side. Nowadays someone can set music to play until the next power outage and only get up for biological reasons.

    B)
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    I listened to my table for the first time and granted nothing to compare it to but the experience is really nice.
    I have a local Band LP Our Sunday Affairs Presents CAVE and it's totally not my kind of music. Kinda alternative in a strange way not like Alice N chains or anything I'm use to listening to in a Alternative way but the sound quality is nice. It's warm inviting and pleasant to listen to. The Bass response is really nice. I use Velodyne DD 10 Plus subwoofers and man they sounded great replaying Vinyl well this LP anyway. I listened to side A 2 times as it's pretty easy only a few songs on it.

    I can see why people would really take the time and enjoy this old format. Sometimes just locking into one LP at a time is a really nice thing. Sorry to say I might travel down this rabbit hole for awhile.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,747
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    Dan you have certainly stepped in it today! I suggest you take off your shoes at the door........BEFORE going in :D
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,414
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    Always fun to see a rampaging cable and physical media debate. Haven't seen a DSD vs PCM debate lately though. :)
  • SCompRacer
    SCompRacer Posts: 8,373
    edited March 2023
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    NM
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  • mikejedi0619
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    Ok .. here goes .. my audio journey started with my wonderful late Dad .. (lost him two.5 years ago at 81) he was always tweaking and listening to his Dual 1009 , Teac cassette , and Akai R2R. He educated me about diffeeebt things and took me around all the local high end stores here in Vegas in the 1989s , I had some cassettes and had gotten into CD as well by the late 80s. One day Dad said I will show you that LPs do actually sound better than CDs. I heard some nice LPs on his Dual but at that time I think it was in disrepair (he did eventually fix years later ) and the dude put on a LP on a high end table and high end speakers etc. and I was like Dad this sounds amazing 🤩. He said told ya. Lol. And kept listenening at different places etc. he said if i want that someday you gotta save and work for it. And he taught me to be independent etc thankfully I have had the same job for 23 years ..etc. anyways .. in 1998 I bought for myself a Yamaha DD P750. It sounded okay but I didn’t mess with it as much. I tried but I think I was disappointed and didn’t continue. I actually gave it to my Dad and he used it for awhile and enjoyed it. I think he liked the sound. He gave it back to me in 2005 and I hooked it up with a buddy of mine on the system I had at the time (nice Yamaha receiver etc) and we were both impressed. My audio friend said records really do sound good .. I agreed and I had forgotten how good they can sound. But I still felt could get better sound on the analog end. My friend spent 450 dollars in a Technics SL1200mk5 in 2007 and put on a Shure M97xe. We listened on his system (similar to mine Yamaha receiver) and put Steely Dan on … we were both blown away and it really reminded me of how good LPs can sound. It clearly sounded better than the equivalent CD based on of course the current CD player my buddy had.. anyways I went out and bought a SL1200 MK5. Which I still have and have played tons and tons of albums. Went through 4 carts. My current cart on there is a Denon. I can state clearly that it’s an experience and can get expensive and is not for everyone. Especially on jazz I can hear a marked difference .. big time. And even on some rock. If the record is clean and does not have massive groove wear .. even with a click or a pop it’s still sounds better. Some of the re issues when done right are jaw dropping!!! Pink Floyd to me sounds way better on LP imo. Again this is in
    My more revealing system(s) with nicer cartridges , wires etc. and don’t get me wrong I still really enjoy digital when I’m in a mood to just pop in a CD , SACD etc. but there really a something magical about it. On my upstairs loft system , two years ago I was able to acquire a brand new 4k DDrive Technics 1200G (the highest end table they currently make other than the 20K SP10). It is without a doubt the best table I have ever heard in my life and that includes tables cost 2-3x. I have been buying Records since the mid 90s (only a very small amount at that time compared to CDs) and accelerated from the mid/early 2000s to now. I will say in the last two years my used record buying has gone way down to buying like A small handful per year, now as the prices imo are out of control. !!! Once in a blue moon I may pick up a great audiophile jazz recording from Analogue Productions or etc. other good audiophile label. At one point my Dad couldn’t believe they were even coming back. He said they are so inconvenient etc. but he acknowledged that again they can sound freaking spectacular. By then he was more into home theater and still enjoyed audio but didn’t care for the expense and inconvenience of albums his hands had bad arthritis by then so totally undertaki
  • mikejedi0619
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    Continued. Understanding where my Dad was at in his life. He would come over and we for example we listened to Analogue Productions 45 RPM Getz/Gilberto and we my Dad and I were amazed aT the sound of this excellent sounding reissu mastered from the original tapes at Sterling. !! I do have the original stereo and mono copies I acquired years ago and they are great but in this instance the re issue is superior. :). Anyways I got more to tell will chime in later peeps. :)

  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 25,206
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    Did you ever learn what a paragraph is and how to use them?
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  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,479
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    It also depends on the LP. If it's a recording off a digital recording from a remastered analog recording found in someone's closet. Well it sounds like an MP3.
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  • mikejedi0619
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    audioluvr wrote: »
    It also depends on the LP. If it's a recording off a digital recording from a remastered analog recording found in someone's closet. Well it sounds like an MP3.

    Very true :)
  • mikejedi0619
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    Did you ever learn what a paragraph is and how to use them?

    Lol sorry I was somewhat distracted with my daughter .. multi tasking :)

  • skipshot12
    skipshot12 Posts: 1,032
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    ^ What all said above….

    I can’t put my finger on why it’s so enjoyable listening to my vinyl but, there’s just something different about it that makes it so nice.
    It’s more work, it’s noisier than my digital but damn do I enjoy it.

    Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing?
    The effort one has to put into it provides a more intimate experience?
    Not getting up to pass a track you don’t like cause it’s a pain in the arse?
    Reading the jacket & liner notes while the music is playing?

    Can’t explain it but I like the crap outta it 😳
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 4,414
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    I listened to Steve Winwood’s Back in the High Life on LP and 16 bit PCM upsampled to DSD yesterday. The vinyl was so much better with a more natural sound. A fuller and more engaging sound especially in bass performance. The digital was pristine and clear but thin sounding and not really as engaging. The LP is a run of the mill original pressing version but still in mint condition after all these years with very little surface noise.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    Emlyn wrote: »
    Always fun to see a rampaging cable and physical media debate. Haven't seen a DSD vs PCM debate lately though. :)
    We could start one if you want.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    I'd like to buy the record of what I own the CD of and also have the streaming version then do a 3 way shootout. That would be fun to hear any differences between the 3 different medias.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • SCompRacer
    SCompRacer Posts: 8,373
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    IMO digital takes more work to get right. DSD vs PCM, can you really tell a difference between 768kHz and DSD512? Does your DAC convert DSD to PCM to play? If it does why not send it PCM and eliminate the conversion? If you are upsampling/converting PCM to DSD have you tried different filtering, if available, for best SQ? Prefer NOS, that's great too. You get what you accept.

    Vinyl, just RIAA equalization. Perhaps an oversimplification, but you can get into specifics and argue about where it happens and if its passive or active. :)
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  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,087
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    Toolfan66 wrote: »
    Not all Vinyl is better than CD’s, and not all CD’s are better than Vinyl, and the same goes for SACD’s and DVD-A’s. The biggest player in this game is your gear, and the marriage between them. I guarantee you that one CD, Vinyl, SACD, etc. can sound fabulous on one system and maybe so-so on another.

    Just because your player will play SACD’s does not mean when you play one it will instantly sound better than your CD copy.

    We can sit here and nitpick this to death, but at the end of the day if your gear is not at a certain level to hear the benefits of each media, even streaming than the argument/discussion is a moot point.

    I have vinyl that melts my brain, I have SACD’s and DVD’s that do the same as well as CD’s, If the manufacturing/production is not that good a good balance system will show that instantly..

    I can honestly say that sometimes I miss just having a basic low-mid system, the days you just threw in a CD and rocked the house, it didn’t matter what it was.

    But having a system that allows you to hear everything, sometimes those favorite CD’s just don’t sound the same, the production sucks.

    Iron Maiden is a good example of this, I just can’t stand most of their stuff on my system, in the car I’m rocking out!!

    At the end of the day everyone of our systems will differ in what we hear, also I will add, that how clean, how anal you are in cleaning your vinyl makes a huge difference in play back as well.

    Most of what I said is echoed from others over the years. It really comes down to the rabbit hole you choose to be in..

    Totally agree but still fun to compare them. I don't think 1 or even 20 versions of any albums will yield a superior format. It would be nice to hear which format sounds best with a certain album.

    Iron Maiden , I don't think they have 1 great sounding album but yet if you go to there concert, it's one of the very best sounding Rock concerts you can go to. They are totally anal about their sound which is strange it doesn't reflect on the CD's anyway. Not sure about LP's or streaming compared if these versions are all of the same or different. Ether way Maiden is awesome and yes it sucks when you have a higher end system and can't stand the way things sound. I have a Pair of RT16's in my basement that I love rocking out to not so good sounding stuff.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.