Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

What's the deal with vinyl?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
99 replies to this topic

#1 of 100 Shane Morales

Shane Morales

    Second Unit

  • 428 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 09 2003

Posted August 13 2003 - 03:57 AM

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.
:::Shane
:::nineshadoweyes.com

#2 of 100 Jack Briggs

Jack Briggs

    Executive Producer

  • 16,725 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 03 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 04:17 AM

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 of 100 Shane Morales

Shane Morales

    Second Unit

  • 428 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 09 2003

Posted August 13 2003 - 04:58 AM

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?
:::Shane
:::nineshadoweyes.com

#4 of 100 ChuckSolo

ChuckSolo

    Screenwriter

  • 1,160 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2003

Posted August 13 2003 - 05:10 AM

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 of 100 Anthony F.

Anthony F.

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 93 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 12 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 07:32 AM

Vinyl kicks ass. Posted Image

#6 of 100 Lew Crippen

Lew Crippen

    Executive Producer

  • 12,060 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2002

Posted August 13 2003 - 07:53 AM

What Jack and Chuck have said is correct. There is however a very big but;
Quote:
, 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.)
Quote:
Vinyl sounds so good, assuming that it is kept in excellent condition,

·Keeping vinyl in excellent condition is an order of magnitude more difficult (maybe two orders of magnitude) than CDs. There used to be fierce debate as to how best to clean LPs.
·The well-set-up turntable, etc. that Jack mentions was quite expensive—and moderately difficult to maintain, as it was largely mechanical. The best way to compensate necessary for the tracking of the tonearm (because the arc that it tracked across the record was not parallel to the grooves of the record) was the subject of another debate. One top end turntable dispensed with the tonearm altogether and had the needle and cartridge suspended from a rail that bisected the turntable, so that the needle always was in the optimal position (this was not a cheap solution).
·The best cartridges were (1) expensive and (2) produced such low voltages that a preamp was necessary.
·Needles needed replacement.
·Even under the best of care, vinyl suffers wear—in theory each time the record was played, it was in a little worse condition than it was before.
·The audiophile recordings that Jack mentions were not cheap.
·And so on.

But it was great sound.
¡Time is not my master!

#7 of 100 Jack Briggs

Jack Briggs

    Executive Producer

  • 16,725 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 03 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 08:59 AM

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 of 100 Lew Crippen

Lew Crippen

    Executive Producer

  • 12,060 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2002

Posted August 13 2003 - 09:48 AM

I had a Dust Bug on my turntable as well Jack.
¡Time is not my master!

#9 of 100 Frank_S

Frank_S

    Supporting Actor

  • 566 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 28 1999

Posted August 13 2003 - 11:06 AM

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.Posted Image


#10 of 100 Philip Hamm

Philip Hamm

    Lead Actor

  • 6,885 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 23 1999

Posted August 14 2003 - 12:03 AM

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:

Posted Image

Posted Image

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.
Philip Hamm
Moderator Emeritus

#11 of 100 Julian Reville

Julian Reville

    Screenwriter

  • 1,197 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 29 1999

Posted August 14 2003 - 08:03 AM

Quote:
There used to be fierce debate as to how best to clean LPs.


Oh, man, there still is. Posted Image Check out the Vinyl asylum sometime.

I still have a couple hundred LPs from the 70s & 80s, and I still buy a few 60s LPs on eBay. Haven't managed to talk myself into a record cleaning machine yet, but one day......

I have a very modest turntable setup: a Mitsubishi linear tracking LT-22, with an Empire 2000III/E cartridge, but with a good LP, the sound can be amazingly good.

#12 of 100 Lee Scoggins

Lee Scoggins

    Producer

  • 6,396 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 30 2001
  • Real Name:Lee

Posted August 14 2003 - 08:14 AM

Frank Philip,

You are killing me with those tube-heavy pics! Posted Image

Here's my two cents:

Vinyl on a good rig absolutely kicks butt! Posted Image

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. Posted Image
Viewing: Sony KDSXBR150, Sony Bluray S570, ATT Uverse
Listening: Sony SCD777ES, Benchmark DAC1Pre, VPI/Modwright SWP9SE/Lyra Argo, Audio Research Ref3/VT100, Maggie 1.7s

 


#13 of 100 matt-f

matt-f

    Second Unit

  • 267 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 08 2003

Posted August 14 2003 - 09:05 AM

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 of 100 Frank_S

Frank_S

    Supporting Actor

  • 566 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 28 1999

Posted August 14 2003 - 09:15 AM

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.
http://www.geocities...et/index13.html

#15 of 100 greg_t

greg_t

    Screenwriter

  • 1,654 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 18 2001

Posted August 14 2003 - 03:11 PM

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 of 100 Chu Gai

Chu Gai

    Lead Actor

  • 7,270 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 29 2001

Posted August 14 2003 - 08:16 PM

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 of 100 Lee Scoggins

Lee Scoggins

    Producer

  • 6,396 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 30 2001
  • Real Name:Lee

Posted August 15 2003 - 03:28 AM

Quote:
Technically speaking, vinyl as medium is grossly deficient


Yet it sounds better than digital...go figure! Posted Image

You are right in that I think digital is great on metrics like wow and flutter and other things, but still somehow does not capture as much musical information, and hence detail, as a well done analog recording and playback chain.
Viewing: Sony KDSXBR150, Sony Bluray S570, ATT Uverse
Listening: Sony SCD777ES, Benchmark DAC1Pre, VPI/Modwright SWP9SE/Lyra Argo, Audio Research Ref3/VT100, Maggie 1.7s

 


#18 of 100 Steve_AS

Steve_AS

    Second Unit

  • 412 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted August 15 2003 - 04:33 AM

Quote:
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.

But hearing is actually more *digital* than analog: the response of neurons is on/off (binary) , not continuous ;>

Anyway, such reasoning is faulty; the nature of the source does not necessarily dictate the nature of the reproduction.
The 'actual sound wave representation' on an LP can be quite
different from the sound waves of the music itself; if you want the msot accurate waveform on the record, you'd use a 'direct to disc' method, which is rare. Generally several forms of distortion are introduced, some purposely, to 'fit' the tracks onto a record. Any distortion is by definitiona deviation from the original 'sound wave. As for digital, it's *output* is analog and can be much closer to the original sound wave, assuming the A/D/A concersion is done
well.

The reason LPs tend to sound *different* than CDs is because different mastering is usually used, and because the LP mastering/playback system itself isntroduces some inherent distortions that its fans find pleasing: the so called 'euphonic distortions' in phasing and some other parameters, that can impart *added* 'airiness' to the original signal.

The bottom line is that digital is undoubtedly more measurably *accurate* to the source than an LP, but both media can sound subjectively excellent; which you prefer comes down to a matter of taste. A vocal minority of audio hobbyists feels that the LPs, and/or tube amps,
makes the music *sound* more 'lifelike' even if it is measurably less accurate a reproduction, than CD or solid-state gear.

#19 of 100 Chu Gai

Chu Gai

    Lead Actor

  • 7,270 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 29 2001

Posted August 15 2003 - 04:38 AM

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

#20 of 100 ChuckSolo

ChuckSolo

    Screenwriter

  • 1,160 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 26 2003

Posted August 15 2003 - 06:16 AM

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.


Back to Blu-ray, DVD, LD, Tivo, Satellite and Other Playback Devices



Forum Nav Content I Follow