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Old 21st May 2008, 10:58 AM   #1
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Default Vinyl Records

I am 56 years old and had not listened to a vinyl source record in perhaps 30 years -- until the other day. A nice gent at work still had some original Doors albums, plus a million others, and an old Garrard turntable. He is by no means an audiophile or music buff -- he just keeps stuff -- even long after it is broken. Anyway I was just wondering how many people remember the vinyl sound. I was very pleasantly surprised. The music was the way I had remembered it. I think we have lost something along the way with technology. Maybe Kudos must go to the tube folks. Just a thought. Tad
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Old 21st May 2008, 01:56 PM   #2
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I'm about your age and have been listening to vinyl a lot lately. IMO, technically it's a very contaminated media due to turntable and arm resonances, and resonances within the records themselves. Not to mention surface noise and a pop and crackle here and there, in spite of careful cleaning. And don't forget pre-echo from the adjacent groove. (actually, an LP only has one groove per side, but who's counting) IMO again, the contamination is harmonically related to the music, and for whatever reasons, the resulting sound is far more pleasing than most CDs. The problem isn't CDs themselves, as I can transfer an LP to CD and lose nothing of the LP sound. I think most CDs are carelessly produced, or maybe there is too much reliance on the fact that everything has flat frequency response. When making an LP, there were all sorts of things that had to be compensated for, so it was no big deal to tweak the sound for the most pleasing result. I have a few very good CDs, but after listening to vinyl for a while, about 95% of my CDs could be labeled "severely lacking". (don't forget, there are also a lot of really bad LPs!)
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Old 21st May 2008, 02:30 PM   #3
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I'm only 22, and recently fell in love with the sound of vinyl, my collection is small, but growing. The only way I can describe cds now is sterile. Although I really do like the sound of my sony playstation cd player...

-Justin
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Old 21st May 2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Conrad Hoffman
I'm about your age and have been listening to vinyl a lot lately. IMO, technically it's a very contaminated media due to turntable and arm resonances, and resonances within the records themselves. Not to mention surface noise and a pop and crackle here and there, in spite of careful cleaning. And don't forget pre-echo from the adjacent groove. (actually, an LP only has one groove per side, but who's counting) IMO again, the contamination is harmonically related to the music, and for whatever reasons, the resulting sound is far more pleasing than most CDs. The problem isn't CDs themselves, as I can transfer an LP to CD and lose nothing of the LP sound. I think most CDs are carelessly produced, or maybe there is too much reliance on the fact that everything has flat frequency response. When making an LP, there were all sorts of things that had to be compensated for, so it was no big deal to tweak the sound for the most pleasing result. I have a few very good CDs, but after listening to vinyl for a while, about 95% of my CDs could be labeled "severely lacking". (don't forget, there are also a lot of really bad LPs!)
Conrad... bashing vinyl are you? It is certainly not that bad but yes, there is bad gear and records "out there".

With a good analogue setup it is rather hard to diffirentiate between a cd and lp of the same album - I have a few cd's and lp's of the same album and I love doing A/B's.

I take a different view on the "format war" - digital and analogue cant be compared!! Yes, it is both audio carriers but not in the same family.

I have a great passion for analogue. I develop my own turntable and now-and-then refurb a MC cartridge or two...

Vinyl is great!
D
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Old 21st May 2008, 06:17 PM   #5
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Maybe all of the tweaking is what was eventually called the Motown sound. The people in the business back in them days were not technical gurus but real honest to goodness music folks.

I like my amplifiers, speakers and projects ---- but---- I miss the crackle and distortion from vinyl. It was part of the experience.

Tad
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Old 21st May 2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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Gliding, I'm not so much bashing as calling it what it is from a purely technical standpoint. By the numbers, the worst CD should blow away the best LP- if those numbers really meant anything. The reality is that LPs are usually far more pleasing to the ear. Since I admit that, and have been mostly listening to LPs, I'm not sure whether to call myself friend or foe to LPs or CDs. I was pretty happy with my CD system, though it's just a low end Marantz player, and in an A/B comparison I can often say the CD sounds cleaner. OTOH, longer term I'm not happy with what seems to be a thinner sound, and the sense of "being there" is much stronger with an LP. I really think much of this comes not from some mysterious thing that LPs do better, but is a direct result of the artifacts that get added to the signal. I don't expect that explanation to make anybody happy
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:52 PM   #7
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yes, 'pleasing to the ear' is the quote for vinyl.. :-)

I am only 38, but have been listening to vinyl for a good 30 years now, and mainly from my 18-24 years in party mode, then I had everything boxed up while I traveled. Now that I have a house and family I got all my 'stuff' sent from the now 'grandparents' place ( shipping records and amps overseas is not cheap), and when I get time (about one day a month) I just LOVE putting on a clean vinyl record and cranking it up, makes me happy all week :-)
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Old 21st May 2008, 11:06 PM   #8
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Sterile - right, you'd rather have MRSA? It's like complaining about a lens being too sharp.

I can't keep CDs clean and scratch free. I'm putting everything on my HD. If I never see one of those black monstrosities again it'll be too soon...

w
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Old 22nd May 2008, 04:20 AM   #9
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IMO, a lens can certainly be too sharp. Maybe those uncoated Tessars from the 1930s please the eye in the same way an LP can please the ear.
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Old 22nd May 2008, 05:53 AM   #10
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Hi all

There are photos which are "context intensive" with no technical manipulations (Hansel Adams B&W photos filmed with a pin hole camera).
And there are photos which are "context indifferent" with a lot of technical manipulations in between (Colour landscape scene through Paint Shop manipulations).

Which one has the potential to steer some strong emotions to you as a viewer? A scratched, faint, aged copy of the former, or a shinny brand new copy of the later?

Further on, will a copy of the former, digitally reprocessed to enhance the aged and scratched image, be any bit better - in terms of emotion steering potential - than the original one ?


Regards
George
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