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View Full Version : C'mon, who still plays LPs...fess up



John Ricci
08-24-2008, 10:02 PM
Since we moved a month ago I took my fave turntable out of "dry dock" (10 years) added a new Ortofon moving coil cartridge then SWMBO and I have been enjoying all of the 12" stuff that we bought back in the 60s~70s~80s that are all still pristine and so much more audibly desirable than their CD counterparts.

There is something more pleasing to the old analog plastic recordings that lacks in the digital world we live in today. I have always kept all of my recordings clean and free of the ticks and pops that I used to hear on my friends copies so in a number of ways the CDs pale by comparison...the LPs just sound more "real" to us. Any of you other audophools wanna throw in your .02 worth to the cause?

J.R.

Andrew Derhammer
08-24-2008, 10:33 PM
Cds are actually more clear than vinyl. Vinyl develops small bumps and ridges to it from being played. These defects make the vinyl sound more full when in fact the digital is more "correct"

Doug Shepard
08-24-2008, 10:42 PM
I just cant make them fit into the slot on my car's dash:confused: Are you spozed to hammer em in er sumpin:confused::D

Ken Fitzgerald
08-24-2008, 10:53 PM
I still do once a decade.

Most of the 60's, 70s and 80s stuff I have on CDs now.

Tom Godley
08-24-2008, 11:12 PM
I use my Sony PS-X7 that I bought in the mid 70's - still connected to the Harmon Kardon equipment I bought at the same time. So many buttons. It was all soooo expensive at the time -- I hated to part with it. For some reason the "Doors" sound better with some distortion. Now I rely on the equipment to provide it-!!

Dan Mages
08-24-2008, 11:14 PM
LOML and I have more than 700 in our living room and listen to them on a regular basis. We even buy new ones every now and then.

Dan

David DeCristoforo
08-24-2008, 11:16 PM
Ya know what I miss most about the old vinyl? It's when you were putting record on the turntable and just ready to ever so gently set the needle down on the surface and all of a sudden the phone rings or there's someone pounding on the door or the dog sticks his nose in yer... SCRRRRRITTTTTCHHHHHH........... Oops....

John Ricci
08-24-2008, 11:22 PM
Cds are actually more clear than vinyl. Vinyl develops small bumps and ridges to it from being played. These defects make the vinyl sound more full when in fact the digital is more "correct"

Andrew, what kind of "lathe" do you use to play vinyl records or do you even play them? Wear deterioration actually cuts the groove down on lower end gear which lops off the top frequencies...a result of too heavy a tracking force with a "boulder" of a stylus forcing the groove to submit over time. Many years ago I sold home audio gear in the mid~high end and learned very quickly what works and what does not. I run my systems flat and if a recording cannot impress me within that criteria then I place the fault with the recording. My signal chain is just fine...table/cartridge, pre/power amps, speakers (multiple choices on all of them and each of them are most respected within the high end audio community)

Perhaps educate your ears . BTW, are you here to answer the Q in my original post or not?

J.R.

John Ricci
08-24-2008, 11:26 PM
Did I just make my previous post in my "out loud in public voice"? Oh well:D

J.R.

David G Baker
08-24-2008, 11:31 PM
I got'em but haven't played them in many moons.

David DeCristoforo
08-24-2008, 11:32 PM
"Did I just make my previous post in my "out loud in public voice"?"

Yeah dude. That was a pretty snooty reply. So do you have a copy of Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters? No esoteric vinyl collection is complete without it you know......

Andrew Derhammer
08-24-2008, 11:44 PM
Andrew, what kind of "lathe" do you use to play vinyl records or do you even play them? Wear deterioration actually cuts the groove down on lower end gear which lops off the top frequencies...a result of too heavy a tracking force with a "boulder" of a stylus forcing the groove to submit over time. Many years ago I sold home audio gear in the mid~high end and learned very quickly what works and what does not. I run my systems flat and if a recording cannot impress me within that criteria then I place the fault with the recording. My signal chain is just fine...table/cartridge, pre/power amps, speakers (multiple choices on all of them and each of them are most respected within the high end audio community)

Perhaps educate your ears and don't fling poop without wearing a mask. BTW, are you here to answer the Q in my original post or not?

J.R.
Not to argue, but anything rubbing against anything causes deterioration. Plus the items used to read a vinyl vibrate themselves adding more to the fullness than what was really recorded. Take a double blind test, same amps speakers and so on and see if there really is a difference that you can tell.

Greg Peterson
08-24-2008, 11:45 PM
I don't listen to much vinyl these days. I know that today's pressings are great, but I place a higher value on convenience rather than the pleasure of vinyl.

My ears are so-so anyway so I doubt I could tell much difference between a good digital or good analog recording. Plenty bad examples exist of both types.

NPR did a story on the analog/digital divide. They did a sound test with a couple musicians and a couple of engineers. The engineers were marginally better than the musicians, being able to correctly identify the source format (analog/digital) 57% of the time. Granted the test would not pass scientific muster, but the point is that music recorded with today's technology will provide a more accurate signal than analog. Whether or not that is as pleasing to the listener or not is purely subjective.

As for MP3's, that's a whole other nut. MP3's are pure convenience. And I am grateful they exist, every minute I spend on the treadmill or eliptical machine. I could not make it through the cardio workout without my CBS Radio Mystery Theater episodes, Brandi Carlile, Cheap Trick.....

There is something to be said about a turntable and tube power amp though. A more organic listening experience perhaps? Regardless, my turntable has been idle for a couple of years now. Perhaps its time to crank it up?

Bruce Page
08-24-2008, 11:45 PM
We have a 30ís Victrola phonograph that I crank up once in awhile. Does that count? :rolleyes:

John Ricci
08-24-2008, 11:53 PM
"Did I just make my previous post in my "out loud in public voice"?"

Yeah dude. That was a pretty snooty reply. So do you have a copy of Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters? No esoteric vinyl collection is complete without it you know......

Point well taken Dave, way too snooty, I agree with you. I do offer my apologies Andrew but I guess we have to agree to disagree on the topic. I have duplicates of a good deal of my collection in vinyl/cd formats but I tend to prefer the old school technology.

J.R.

Andrew Derhammer
08-24-2008, 11:58 PM
Point well taken Dave, way too snooty, I agree with you. I do offer my apologies Andrew but I guess we have to agree to disagree on the topic. I have duplicates of a good deal of my collection in vinyl/cd formats but I tend to prefer the old school technology.

J.R.
No hard feelings, funny i just read something on the subject. In a non scientific study, engineers scored better in a double blind vinyl versus cd study than did musicians.

Mike Henderson
08-25-2008, 12:37 AM
That reminds me of a story. The mother of a little girl was getting frustrated by her daughter repeating things.

In exasperation she cried, "You sound like a broken record!"

The little girl looked at her mother quizzically and said, "Mommy, what's a record?"

Mike

Mike Henderson
08-25-2008, 12:46 AM
I remember the first time I heard a CD (with earphones). The sound was absolutely amazing - the best, clearest music I had ever heard. It was like I was there in the studio when the music was being recorded. I'd never want to go back to analog systems.

Digital always beats analog. The only reason we ever had analog sytems is that we didn't have the systems and processing power to do digital. As soon as we did, the world went digital.

Same is true of video.

Mike

Ken Fitzgerald
08-25-2008, 1:08 AM
Before becoming nearly deaf, music was my big tension relief. Listening, playing, singing...it didn't matter. Music was the world that I could escape to and come back to earth with a refreshed attitude.

Which sounds better? It's a matter of personal taste. What sounds more pleasing to me may sound absolutely terrible to you. And who should say who is right. As long as you are satisfied, that's all that is important.

Take guitar amps...tube versus solid state. There have been extremely heated discussions among muscians on which sounds better. There are some measureable engineering differences as one type responds to odd harmonics more and the other responds to even harmonics more...and thus there is a difference. But.......again, it's a matter of personal taste. Buy what pleases you.....respect others right to have a different opinion on the matter and be happy with what you like and have.

John Ricci
08-25-2008, 1:14 AM
No hard feelings Good to hear that Andrew, thanks.


funny i just read something on the subject. In a non scientific study, engineers scored better in a double blind vinyl versus cd study than did musicians.

That I find really interesting...what did each group pick? I ask because I fall into each category. I have been a musician for nearly 50 years (my dad started me on violin when I was 3, switched to guitar at 5) and have been into the tech end of things since the early 70s. I was the designated sucker whenever one of my bands amps blew up on the road but had to be fixed in the hour before we went on stage...I learned tube tech quickly while still playing every night! SS came later.

I suppose my particular audio arrogance comes from knowing what the instruments should sound like live vs recorded (I was service coordinator for Gibson guitars in Canada from 1973~74 and I learned a lot of invaluable skills there for a young kid at the time). I still do guitar repairs and setups plus repairs and builds of tube amps for musicians to earn part of my living so I pride myself on my pretty well protected hearing all these years later. If you lose it, you really lose it and your income to boot!

J.R.

Denny Rice
08-25-2008, 4:20 AM
Back in the early 90's (1994 I think) my wife and I purchased a new Sony stacked stereo system. It came with a 5 disc CD changer/ dual casette deck, AM/FM radio, amp, ect. Soon after making the purchase my wife was paying the bill when I eye'd a turntable (sony) in the corner and still in the box, I paid 40.00 for the turntable and it works great. When I was a kid I had a lot of Elvis and Kiss albums and still play them today every now and then. I know this sounds stupid, I have replaced everything I have in vinyl with CD's but its still cool to pull out the vinyl and listen to the albums. There is something cool about a 12" album. And one of my Elvis albums is pressed with a clear blue vinyl, can't do that with a CD.

Sean Troy
08-25-2008, 8:51 AM
My sister swiped my collection years ago. I should swipe them back. On her own though, she has the entire collection of original Elvis LP's in pretty good shape. I would asume they are pretty valuable. Yeah, I think I need to swipe them back with Elvis, I mean interest.

Justin Leiwig
08-25-2008, 10:27 AM
Recently I was with my father in law going through his collection. He worked at the local university radio station so he has some rather rare radio only lps and such.

As far as the digital versus analog discussion, it's been beaten to death. Fact of the matter is that few CD's now are recorded at true studio sampling levels. There are few such as Chesky that produce true audiophile reference level CDs. So that being said John and Andrew both have valid points.

My background in this comes from years of car stereo competitions before they were bastardized into the joke they are now. I spent many long nights shoehorning some rack mount burr-brown D/A converters and rane 30 band graphic equalizers into cars that now are done digitally in something the size of a postage stamp. In my prime I could tune a car by ear as well as an RTA analyzer.

Belinda Williamson
08-25-2008, 10:50 AM
We haven't used a turntable in years, but we should. We returned home from a family Christmas visit last year with all of Honey's vinyl (what hadn't been scavenged by other family members). We have very different taste in music (he's a Frank Zappa fan) so it's kinda fun to sit down together with some of the old stuff.

Honey has the music ear, I have a tin one. So, for me the enjoyment of vinyl comes from the sense of nostalgia. There is a difference in sound to me but I truly think it comes from the images and feelings conjured up by hearing the song on vinyl. It's sort of like the rare occasion when I hear the song "Chevy Van" which in its heyday was played to death but our local a.m. radio station. When I hear that song I'm immediately transported to a hot summer day, in a halter top and cut off jeans, ridiculously in love as only a teenager can be, and it just puts a smile on my face. Just about any song by the Eagles has the same effect. :)

Lee Schierer
08-25-2008, 11:02 AM
We played allour vinyl onto CD's and used Cool Edit, back when it was free, to get rid of the most noticeable clicks and pops. Now we can play our older favorites as often as we want. Still sounds like vinyl though as not all the hiss is gone.

David DeCristoforo
08-25-2008, 12:44 PM
"Mommy, what's a record?"

Other questions along these lines:

Why do they call it "dialing"?
Why do you say the phone is "ringing?"
Why do you keep calling "keyboarding" "typing"?
Why do you call CD's "albums"?
Etc....

Rod Torgeson
08-25-2008, 1:10 PM
About a couple of years ago I decided I wanted to record all of my albums onto CDs. I bought a Sony 5 CD changer/recorder and a Sony turntable. The turntable I had quit working and sometimes it cost more to fix then buy a new one. Anyhow after a couple years I have all my vinyls recorded onto CDs. I even got to pick through my neighbors albums and record some of those. So now I have 100s of CDs that I have recorded.

When I was looking for the equipment to do all of this, I went into Best Buy to inquire. I told the salesperson what I wanted to do. He said "what's a vinyl"? He was young.

Anyway it has been a fun process recording and listening to all of those old albums. I still go into thrift shops and sometimes pick up an album or two that I don't have and then record it onto a CD. You have to look at them pretty carefully for scratches and such.

After recording the album onto a CD, I load it onto my computer and then I can make a custom CD and play in the truck.

Rod<---in Appleton, WA

Doug Shepard
08-25-2008, 2:00 PM
"Mommy, what's a record?"

Other questions along these lines:

Why do they call it "dialing"?
Why do you say the phone is "ringing?"
Why do you keep calling "keyboarding" "typing"?
Why do you call CD's "albums"?
Etc....

Or insisting that the TV is broke because there's an old B&W movie on. You try to explain to them but all you get for your troubles is a blank stare.

Jim Mattheiss
08-25-2008, 10:04 PM
I miss the 12" Album Covers. Back in the day there was some real artwork done on album covers because it could be seen. Some of the psychedelic covers are awesome.

The cover of Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass just doesn't make it in CD size . . . I've never even listened to the album, just seen it and admired the icing work . . .:eek:

Jim

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-25-2008, 11:06 PM
I have a Denon turntable I bought during the last gasp of vinyl.

Dave Lehnert
08-25-2008, 11:38 PM
What I miss about LP's is picture disks and the art work on the covers.

Earl Reid
08-26-2008, 11:20 AM
I have about 1000 LPs Plus many Cassets. I have been coping them on CDs (Several hundred to go) We have a Sony CDplayer that holds 400 CDs. There is a mixture of music, But most are Country:)
Earl

Danny Thompson
08-26-2008, 5:02 PM
Now the thing is USB connected turntables which allow you to read your LPs directly onto your computer. And I think the licensing is less restrictive on LPs.

In general, digital is better than analog, but not always. Take MP3s--they are NOT better than vinyl. Compression rate is way too high.

Same with digital cameras. In some ways they are superior, but they have a tendency to wash out whites and blacks. These extremes have a longer "tail" on film. As a result, you can often see more detail in a film shot than digital. This is doubly true on medium- to low-resolution cameras.

That said, although I have a small collection of records and a working turntable, I very rarely play them. Still, just having them around gives me a satisfying connection to the past.

Ben Rafael
08-26-2008, 10:47 PM
Funny that no one mentions tape.
High quality tape produces a more realistic sound than either records or cds.
I worked in pro recording in the early '80s. We had these 1" tape systems that could record from both analog and digital sources. I had to make copies from studio recordings that were on reels. CDs at the time were easy to distinguish from analog recordings. Whether someone thinks one is better than the other is an opinion, but Analog is truer than digital. However, with the quality of a good digital recording today no human can tell the difference

Rafael Carias
08-27-2008, 9:55 PM
You bring a good point Ben. I have been around situations involving hardcore analogue heads and had a chance to compare CD vs 1" tape. I personally was unable to notice the difference when listening to well mastered natural acoustic music but I did notice warmer and richer sound when listening to some seriously Phat analogue synthesizers captured in 1" tape.

Another point that I am surprised that no one has brought up yet is the fact that today's digitally recorded music is mastered so omnipotently loud that any quality in the music sounds squashed (sonically speaking).

Jamie Delker
08-31-2008, 9:50 PM
Another point that I am surprised that no one has brought up yet is the fact that today's digitally recorded music is mastered so omnipotently loud that any quality in the music sounds squashed (sonically speaking).

That, combined with the overwhelming amount of compression on newer recordings. It flattens the signal out, and in my opinion, takes away some of the dynamics/nuances. Tires your ears out a lot faster.

And Ken... tube is better than solid state! :D

Edit: To stay on topic, I have a bunch of old records, and pick them up at garage sales and whatnot if I like the album cover (I have some pretty quirky selections), but I don't have anything to play them on. Was thinking about getting a USB turntable sometime soon.
My latest find, "Enoch Light and The Light Brigade Play: I Want To Be Happy Cha Cha's". I like cha cha, having had the good fortune to be able to listen to my mom's record collection from the late 50's early 60's as a kid growing up in the 70's.

Eric Larsen
08-31-2008, 11:18 PM
I had the same argument with an audiophile who was waaaaayyyyyy out there in hi-fi land.

We were arguing in 1986, I think, about phono being a dead-end technology. I was arguing hard for digital.

"What's your favorite album," he said. (He had everything worth listening to. And a lot of stuff I still can't put my head around - like Captain Beefheart.)

"Aja," I said.

He went to his Steely Dan collection and pulled out the album, the CD and the "Gold Plated" CD they were selling at the time in order to sucker a few more bucks out of consumers.

He fired up his turntable, CD player and tube amp, and had me sit in his listening room so I couldn't see what he was doing.

I listened to "Peg" three times and ordered them. I really listened -- with profound intensity -- to Michael McDonald's vocal track, the guitar solo, and the cymbals.

I picked the LP as "best, richest, deepest" the regular CD as "second best, kind of flat" and the gold CD as "garbage."


I've since quit arguing audio with people.

Jim Becker
09-01-2008, 11:36 AM
I have a very small number of vinyl LPs in storage somewhere...just a few. I also have a turntable in a box somewhere over the shop. But it's been probably 10-12 years since I played anything on vinyl...or more.

David DeCristoforo
09-01-2008, 11:54 AM
"I had the same argument with an audiophile..."

Might as well argue with a brick. I used to read all the "audiophile" mags even though I could never afford any of that stuff. And I was always amused by the terms used to describe the "superior quality" of one speaker wire over another or how much better this tone arm was than that one. Richness, depth, clarity, transparency, dynamics, presence, spaciousness, tightness, veiled, warmth, accuracy, just to mention a few. None of which could be considered objective by any standard. For me, it's always a simple question of if I like the music or not. If I do, I can pretty much listen to it on anything. If not, it does not matter to me at all if the sound is being reproduced "accurately" or not. Nothing sounds as good as live music and from what I have seen (heard) so far, nothing ever will.

Eric Larsen
09-01-2008, 5:35 PM
The one thing I did learn from audiophiles is how much better transmission line speakers are over regular "box" speakers.

That is, if you don't have the bass knob cranked to 11. But if you like "natural" sound, nothing beats TL speakers.

I was thinking, that a loudspeaker is nothing more than a musical instrument. A diaphram moves air, which creates sound, which goes out into the environment. A box is a lousy way to create sound. Think about it, how many musical instruments are "box-shaped?"

I think an ideal speaker would resemble a cello. Curved back for reflecting the sound with a flatter front for spreading it out. Then again, I'm not a speaker designer. Any thoughts, Bill W?

E

Joe Mioux
09-01-2008, 6:24 PM
I still play albums on ocaision.

The very first component I bought was a Dual turntable. that was back in 1979. From there came the Yamaha receiver, cassette deck, and later a cd player.

today, the only pieces still in use are my Polk Audio speakers and that Dual turntable.

when I upgraded and turned the basement in to an entertaiment center. I added Polk Audio speakers for the surround sound, but a Velodyne Sub Woofer.

Ben Rafael
09-01-2008, 8:58 PM
I saw a product at an audiophile show that was obviously being marketed to suckers. It was small blocks of wood that kept the speaker cables off of the floor. The salesman was telling me the keeping the cables off of the floor would improve the sound. The blocks were not cheap. I asked him what if you already have wooden floors? He said that wood is not the factor, that the cable must be off of the floor. I dont remember his spiel about why the sound is better since I try to forget nonsense.

Ed Breen
09-03-2008, 4:14 PM
I guess I'm with Belinda on this. My upperhearing range is zilch, when I listen it is mostly the images and memories that the music evokes which gives me pleasure. I have mostly 45's since I have a juke box and several thousand records going back to the 40's. When I want to go farther back I turn to my middle son who has Dowen's syndrome and has a music idiot savant. His vinyl collection is extravagant with only one problem - He thinks all music is his~!!!
I like siurius at home and in the car but primarily 50's & 60's from my active years and the 30's and 40's if I can find them.
Ed