What's the deal with vinyl?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Shane Morales, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Every now and then I stumble upon a picture of some odd, exotic music setup with tube amps and record players in sand boxes and slabs of granite and really odd looking speakers. And there's always a bunch of vinyl on shelves or litterig the floor and stuff.

    Is it because these people are really old and bought lots of vinyl back in the day and now they don't want to buy all their albums again in a newer format? Or is it that vinyl kicks ass? I ask out of ingorance.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    No, it's because, all things considered, a very well-recorded vinyl LP played on a well-set-up turntable/tonearm/phono-pickup combo connected to a well-calibrated audio system built with excellent components can produce a magical, airy, wide-dynamics pallate for the music. (The records, of course, must be kept as clean and dust-free as possible.)

    Until you've heard a truly good direct-to-disc or half speed-mastered orchestral recording you've not heard some of the best-possible sound one can achieve in a home environment.

    Just because we're in the digital age doesn't mean analog vinyl has outlived its usefulness.
     
  3. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Hmm... Guess you didn't notice that I also asked "Or is it that vinyl kicks ass?". I wasn't saying newer is better or anything.

    What makes vinyl so good? (compared to CD, tape, etc)

    Is this a hobby that is open only to those who already own a bunch of vinyl? If I wanted to buy a bunch of records where would I get them?
     
  4. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Vinyl sounds so good, assuming that it is kept in excellent condition, because the sound you hear is coming straight from the analog source and not having to go through any digital conversions. The grooves on vinlyl LPs are the actual sound wave representation of the music itself. Most real music, non-synthesized, but played on actual instruments is after all, analog.
     
  5. Anthony F.

    Anthony F. Stunt Coordinator

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    Vinyl kicks ass. [​IMG]
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    What Jack and Chuck have said is correct. There is however a very big but;
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yes it was. And I sure spent a bundle obtaining it, and I was very good for the economy at the Watts record-cleaning products outfit in the UK during vinyl's heyday (had 'em all; no disc ever played without also the Dust Bug doing its job on the panel opposite the tonearm).

    I never bought into moving-coil cartridges simply because of the need for a pre-preamp as well as the relatively high mass and tracking forces. So, in my final years with vinyl, I used a number of Grado moving-magnet pickups.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I had a Dust Bug on my turntable as well Jack.
     
  9. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, I'm a vinyl and tube guy,I listen every night to LP's.
    I clean my records thoroughly once, put them in a new sleeve and store them in a sealed outer jacket. I may run a carbon fiber brush over it before a play, but it is not necessary. Taking care of vinyl is NOT hard, however if you are a careless person who does'nt take care of things in general, then you will have a problem.[​IMG]
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Because of my age, vinyl was the major delivery medium of music for much of my life. I'm not an audiophile or anything like that. I just can't justify rebuying stuff that I already own. I have a $300 Denon turntable from the mid 90s and I've been working on transferring all my vinyl to CD for the last couple years for convenience (to replace MiniDiscs, which replaced cassettes).

    Personally I think on a mid-fi system like mine, that vinyl sounds just fine. Good vinyl can sound excellent, bad sounds bad, just like good and bad CDs.

    When I think of tubes I think of my bass guitar amplifier:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't know about for hi-fi, but for musical instrument amplification, Russian "Sovtek" brand tubes sound wonderful. Much better than Chinese tubes. I don't know where hi-fi tubes come from.
     
  11. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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  12. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Frank Philip,

    You are killing me with those tube-heavy pics! [​IMG]

    Here's my two cents:

    Vinyl on a good rig absolutely kicks butt! [​IMG]

    This is due to the music being captured in analog as our ears hear it.

    In spite of many promising advancements, digital always has two extra steps in the recording:

    (1) analog to digital and
    (2) digital back to analog.

    And, unfortunately neither conversion process used is sonically perfect.

    My friend Bob has a VPI turntable fully loaded and a Sony SCD-1. Playing a Classic Records album and the same title in Super Audio on the older flagship Sony...both sounded great but the vinyl was better. [​IMG]
     
  13. matt-f

    matt-f Second Unit

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    Yup I believe the theory too but I also go by this. Analog in it's purest form is definately better than digital for anything.
     
  14. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    A huge reason I am such a vinyl advocate is that I am a major fan of The Beatles and their LP's from the 60's kick butt over any CD you will ever own. I am speaking solely of the UK Yellow & Black Parlophone records, not the crappy US Capitol LP's. If you want to hear how good the Beatles sound, you'll have to get a turntable and own these great LP's. Here is a pic of one of my prize possessions, a "Factory Sample" MONO Sgt. Peppers, made for EMI execs and the like when this LP was released. I would say this LP is worth a pretty penny and it is in absolute MINT condition. I bought it from a guy in Germany(Ebay) who bought it from an EX EMI employee.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    This is kind of off topic, but does anyone know of any good turntable dealers in the St. Louis area? What I'd really like to do is see and play with a MusicHall MMF-7 as I'm interested in one. Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Very cool Phil. My son picked up a 70's Fender guitar amp (tube) for $50 from a neighbor's father for which we were offered over $1000 at a local guitar shop. I told him not to even think about it.

    Frank also very cool with the Beatles album. What did you pay? I was rummaging around my son's former room and it broke my heart to see a Michael Jackson picture LP that he'd tossed to the side and buried under some boxes broken. I can only imagine that were it in good condition it would've fetched a pretty penny.

    Old vinyl can be found in all sorts of strange places and often you never know what you're going to get. Garage sales, estate sales, thrift shops such as the Salvation Army (make them a low-ball offer for anything you find),

    Technically speaking, vinyl as medium is grossly deficient and has much going against it but I will say that when all that existed was vinyl, piracy was pretty hard.
     
  17. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  18. Steve_AS

    Steve_AS Second Unit

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  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well the limited dynamic range can be kind to us old geezers!
     
  20. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Well, take for example a distorted power chord played on a guitar through a tube type Marshall amplifier. The sound produced by that amplifier is defiantely different from one played through a solid state amp. As a musician I have heard this over and over again. The sound emanating from a solid state amp of the same wattage as the tube amp sounds distictly "thinner" coming from the solid state amp. Why? I couldn't really tell you, it just does. There's a reason that the '70s tube amp mentioned in this thread was valued by a dealer at 1K bucks. Ask any musician and he will tell you that tube amps always sound better. Whether this is because of ANALOG processing or not is debatable. Same is true for vinyl LP versus digital CD. I just don't see how degrading soundwaves through digital signal processors could not cause some type of loss in fidelity.
     

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