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Is it too late to start getting into vinyl?


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   robertLP

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Posted October 09 2006 - 10:41 AM

Subject says it all. I'm getting kinda tired of the poor selection on DVD-A and SACD. I love all sorts of music, but the only stuff coming out on SACD only seems to be classical. Call me a late bloomer audiophile-wannabe. Posted Image

Also, regarding that "analog" sound of vinyl - is that even possible these days with nearly all recordings done digitally?

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted October 09 2006 - 11:22 AM

For the question in the thread title, absolutely not. I just got back in - my parents have a Sanyo that's probably older than me that still works, so I bought a few LPs of musicians that I really like. Here's what I've got so far:

Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
Regina Spektor - Soviet Kitsch
The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun

Insound is a great place to get started if you're into indie music.

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted October 09 2006 - 12:19 PM

It's never too late. Pick up a good turntable, cartridge, and phono preamp (if you need one), and go to town.

I use www.gemm.com a lot when looking for old and new vinyl. eBay is OK, but you have to be careful of how people rate their records.

I have twins just over 9 months old, and I hope they get into it. Posted Image CD is convenient, but I simply find more involvement with vinyl.
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#4 of 17 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted October 09 2006 - 12:45 PM

Vinyl seems to be making a come back, at least among the trendy. There is a surprising amount of new stuff available out there, and some of the used places still have a selection. The only problem I've noticed is that as it becomes more popular, the old deals are fading away. When I first started buying vinyl again, I was getting deals like the Talking Heads "Little Creatures" in mint condition for $1. Those deals are getting kind of thin on the ground recently though.
Lay down your law books now, they're no damned good -- The Eagles

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   FeisalK

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Posted October 10 2006 - 05:36 AM

I just saw someone on steve hoffman forums buy a bunch of classic LPs in a garage sale .. for $7 (the WHOLE LOT)

so, hang around garage sales when you can... and maybe unearth some gems
>
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#6 of 17 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted October 10 2006 - 12:47 PM

Quote:
Also, regarding that "analog" sound of vinyl - is that even possible these days with nearly all recordings done digitally?
That vinyl sound *originates* with the vinyl format itself starting with the disc cutting process in the manufacturing stage through to the playback stage at home. The special "euphonic" distortions only analog has can help to warm up a digital recording (digital is generally more accurate than analog but it can sound too analytical for a lot of musical styles).

Quote:
so, hang around garage sales when you can... and maybe unearth some gems
Yes!!

I bought a wad of vinyl albums, which included ELO, Pink Floyd, Led zep, The Eagles, Cream, etc, a couple years ago at a garage sale. For 15 albums (with only the occasional pop/crackle) I paid three dollars!

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   MikeSerrano

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Posted October 11 2006 - 06:22 AM

It has been interesting for me to see this renewed interest in vinyl. Though I consider myself a child of the digital age, I can remember buying 45s with my weekly allowance in the mid-80s at the local Alco (long since closed thanks to Wal-Mart coming to town).

My personal interest in LPs was renewed a few years ago when I noticed a lot of the indie bands I followed had released a lot rare stuff in 7-inch singles. I bought myself a Sony turntable with a built-in preamp and haven't looked back since.

I'm in the camp that acknowledges vinyl's deficiencies when it comes to sound reproduction. But there is just something satisfying knowing that a simple polyvinyl disc, if handled carefully, will last decades--and does not necessarily take complicated hardware to play back.
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#8 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted October 11 2006 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
I'm in the camp that acknowledges vinyl's deficiencies when it comes to sound reproduction.

??

Most people think that, on good quality gear that is properly setup, that vinyl will beat CD everytime. (I'm talking about earlier vinyl releases that were recorded, mixed, mastered, etc, in the analog domain the whole way.) I certainly believe that, and I can hear it in my system. Posted Image However, I still default to CD most of the time when listening to stuff simply because CD is a heckuva a lot more convenient.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#9 of 17 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted October 11 2006 - 11:17 AM

Quote:
Most people think that, on good quality gear that is properly setup, that vinyl will beat CD everytime. (I'm talking about earlier vinyl releases that were recorded, mixed, mastered, etc, in the analog domain the whole way.)
Who are ❝most people❞? The vast majority of vinyl recordings, no matter how much I enjoy listening to them, are going to be inferior even to the "consumer-level" CD PCM, in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range (particularly at high frequencies), channel separation, frequency response, intermodulation distortion, and the other characteristics of fidelity. You may quote stellar exceptions in one or two characteristics, such as Mobile Fidelity's half-speed recordings pressed in super-stiff CD-4 vinyl, but it's true nevertheless. And, to be absolutely blunt, there is a mass of awful-sounding, muddy, just-plain-bad vinyl, and only the smallest fraction of it consists of recordings which were "ruined" by the use of early, crude digital technologies (12-bit 40-kHz recording, anyone?).

Many older recordings, which by their nature are going to be found on LP, were mastered with greater respect for the music than newer ones, found on CD, but that is a separate issue. Truth to tell, the vinyl versions of today's recordings are still mastered better (talk to my sister about this one!), but that's not because the medium is superior — quite the opposite, the engineers are respecting the medium's inherent limitations, instead of treating it (like CD) as a "transparent" medium they can use to transmit any screwed-up sound they like.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted October 12 2006 - 12:21 PM

I'm not sure what you are arguing. You say that most vinyl released today is mastered better than today's CD releases. I agree with that. And most vinyl released in the 70's and 80's *is* still better mastered that how CDs are being mastered today. CD has greater dynamic range, signal-to-noise, etc. So what. If the recording doesn't take advantage of that, then LP is still an analog format that sounds better than CD. If vinyl *didn't* have any sound quality advantage over CD, then why were SACD and DVD-A invented? The same "most people" also feel that SACD and DVD-A hold a sound quality edge over CD, btw. If CD was the end-all-end-all of sound quality, then no one would prefer lp or SACD or DVD-A over it. And that simply is not true.

You can argue "specsmanship" all you want. Posted Image But there is a reason why vinyl software and hardware sales are increasing, and that is *not* the case with CD.

Michael Fremer in Stereophile did a column in the last few months on this very issue. How can he prefer the sound quality of vinyl over that of CD when CD has better "specs"? It's about the "listening" and not about the "specs". He hears what he hears, and I hear what I hear.
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#11 of 17 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted October 12 2006 - 02:53 PM

Quote:
If CD was the end-all-end-all of sound quality, then no one would prefer lp or SACD or DVD-A over it.

Did I say that CD was the ultimate? No. I simply replied to your assertion that "most people" agree that vinyl does a better job at sound reproduction, with a statement that (a) I don't know who you mean by "most people", and (b) it doesn't do a better job at sound reproduction — it's just that the recordings are better. A properly-recorded CD can sound stellar, and you get plenty of comments on this forum about certain CDs which sound, to the listener in question, (nearly) as good as SACD or DVD-A.

Anyway, if sales of CDs and equipment are shrinking, you should notice the prevalence of "portable music players" (quality not great), of computer CD drives, and of DVD players (which also play CDs). With a LaserDisc player and a DVD player in my front room, I don't have a dedicated CD machine, but that doesn't mean I don't play them. The discs themselves are violently overpriced (prices on vinyl are often considerably better!), and when the average consumer sees he can buy a 90-minute movie with extras and oddley-bop for $12, or a plain-jane 45-minute CD for $18, it's clear enough what he'll choose.

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   Seth=L

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Posted October 12 2006 - 03:45 PM

I think MP3's are awesome.Posted Image

It just doesn't get any better than a good compressed MP3. Posted Image

Think of how music is mastered these days. They often master them digitally to cut costs, right. Consider this, they will likely use good equipment to master them to digital and then transfering it to LP would require them to use a DAC. So from the original source, the musician, it goes analog, digital, and then analog. And of course in some cases it stays analog untill they make a master for CD. The path for CD mastered digitally would be analog, digital, analog (same as the LP). The difference is they have the DAC or you do. They may have a better DAC than you do anyway so I would tend to think an LP would still hold it's own even from a digital master, not to mention it is probably a pretty high resolution digital master.

So I don't think LP is in anyway dead, get into it.

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted October 13 2006 - 01:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertLP
Also, regarding that "analog" sound of vinyl - is that even possible these days with nearly all recordings done digitally?

Yes, it's a concern. The majors have released some real suck 180 gram vinyls that just sound like vinyl CD's. This can strike on classic albums that were recorded originally on analog as well as new albums. I got the Allman Brothers first album on 180 gram and it wasn't the original album mix, the about 1980 re-muck. It was obviously made from the same crap, digital file as the CD. It proably sounds a little better but I don't even want to listen to it. I'm looking for a pristene 70's copy with the real deal....both guitarists just blaring, one in each channel. I got Free's Fire and Water 180 gram and it was pretty much the same flat file....

However, when in history was it ever a better time to collect used records? I'd say never! People are discarding records like never before. In the past 5 years I've had a bunch of people give me records. I love to mention in conversation that I have a record player. It may lead to yet another donation to my cause. One of my neighbhors gave me a box full of records last winter and a boot-i-ful copy of a mono Ventures' A' Go-Go was in there, amongst some other goodies.

Then, the woman's daughter gave me all her well-cared for 70's & 80's LP's. Maybe I need to advertise that I'm a vinyl repository??? So many good records out there need a caring home. They're unwanted.....

There is a movement among some U.K. guys back to analog recording. Roddy Frame, Mr. Aztec Camera, is in on it. His latest album Western Skies ia all analog. I have the CD and LP and both sound great. The vinyl sounded damn nice and WARM on it's first play last night. There's alot of new vinyl in the U.K. Vinyl has a big foothold in the U.K. right now. Vinyl has about a 20% marketshare I've read. It's 1-2% in Estados Unidos, I've heard, si? I got Roddy Frame from Amazon U.K.

All in all, used records is where it's at for me. I buy 5-10 new records most years. A new one that didn't disappoint me was the Springsteen Diesels & Dust 2 LP set last year was awesome. It must be a digital recording but it's a winner. I have a couple of used shops to hit and then there's e-Bay, Amazon, yard sales, Goodwill..... homeless records can pop up on any street. A friend once found 500 or so piled up on the curb for the trashmen. He placed 'em in his trunk for safe keeping and found happy homes for 'em. I got a real nice Zappa amonst others out of that lot.

Damn! It's a great time ever to be alive and running an orphanage for lost records! It's fulfillng work.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#14 of 17 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted October 13 2006 - 05:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael B
Damn! It's a great time ever to be alive and running an orphanage for lost records! It's fulfillng work.

It really is! I found a box full of 70 picture discs at a garage sale in September...Great stuff in there including all the "classic" 1970's arena rock albums (Bat Out of Hell, Point of Know Return, Boston and Boston's Don't Look Back...an awesome looking picture disc), Dark Side, Born to Run and even a Stevie Ray Vaughn picture disc of Couldn't Stand the Weather.

I always liked picture discs for the novelty of it, and I remembered most of these from when I was a teenager and I had to pick them up....They were a dollar each, and the guy sold me the box for $50. In talking to the guy, I found out that I missed a box of colored vinyl records by about 15 minutes. Seems the guys son left them in their house years ago, and he didn't want them...It was like picking up a bunch of stuff from my youth that I wanted back then, but couldn't afford to spend $3.88 on each when I was 15. Great fun!
Carl

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted October 14 2006 - 05:49 AM

Carl, I have a few picture discs I've picked up in lots of records in the last decade. I never bought a new one. I wish they had round Album Art fames for 'em. I, too, love those yard sales.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted October 14 2006 - 07:03 AM

Yep, round frames would be cool..all I've ever seen were kits with square mats and die cut circles.
Carl

#17 of 17 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted October 14 2006 - 12:44 PM

The great thing about vinyl these days is the sense of discovery. I picked up a copy of the Eagles "Desperado" for $2 today and loved it. Along with it, I got some assorted classical music including some Bach, a Vivaldi mandolin concerti and an album of Strauss waltzes (Reiner/Chicago Symphony). I didn't enjoy the latter album, but I only paid $1 for it, so I'm still happy.

There's a huge catelog of old vinyl out there, much of which was excellent quality. It's more fun digging through heaps of the stuff at some yard sale than it is simply ordering something online on CD.
Lay down your law books now, they're no damned good -- The Eagles


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