Who plays vinyl records here? What have you bought lately?

Lee Scoggins

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I'm curious as I finally bought a VPI turntable (Scoutmaster) which was something I had planned to do for several years.

I am finding vinyl quite fun for several reasons:

1. Sound quality is very hirez and non-fatiguing in long listening sessions.
2. It's fun to scavenger hunt and find gems for low cost like the $4 Ludwig Brothers in Arm record I found yesterday.

3. The vinyl community is very rich and diverse with many folks quite passionate about the hobby.
4. Really amazing title selection both historically and in new audiophile and non-audiophile releases like the upcoming Warner vinyl push.

Anyone else out there doing the retro thing and buying LPs?

What albums have you purchased lately?
 

Philip Hamm

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I play records regularly but haven't bought much of anything in a long time. My local Tower records went our of business so there's noplace around here to easily find new vinyl. The last new release I bought was Busta Rhymes Genesis and it's the worst sounding vinyl I've ever heard. I couldn't even get past the first song. Other than that I bought Metallica's "Reload" a few years back, and scored the late 90s re-release of the Beatles "Seargent Pepper", "Abbey Road" and "Rubber Soul" which all sounds TERRIFFIC, Apple/Capitol did a fantastic job with those. Also I got Sonny Rollins "Saxophone Collossus" and John Coltrane's "Blue Trane", not the 3 disc 45rpm ultra-audiophile version but the regular one - sounds amazing anyway.

I don't spin vinyl out of any particular "audiophile" desires - I'm just a bit of a luddite and records sound fine to me. I never saw a reason in the 80s and 90s to "replace" my LP collection with CD, the LPs sounded fine to my ears. (I haven't replaced many of my LDs with DVD either) I picked up a $300 Denon direct drive DP-7F in 1994 and the thing's been bullet-proof ever since.
 

Lee Scoggins

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That's good to know there is another retro guy out there...
 

Greg_S_H

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I think the most recent thing I bought was Martin Denny's Taste of Honey.
 

Gary Seven

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I do, but availablilty here makes getting new ones impossible. I do have a few hundred LP's, which I still listen to. Getting vinyl through the mail I figure would be a pain since depending on package and/or handling, they probably would arrive warped or broken.
 

Brian L

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I do....

For Christmas, I got a couple Steve Hoffman masterings; the RHCP "Stadium Arcadium", and Yes "Fragile". I also got a gift cert from Elusive Disc, and picked up the 200g Classic Records version of Zeppelin's "Prescence" and "Physical Grafitti".

As for Sonics, Fragile is the best of the lot, followed closely by Presence. SA nd PG are not the best sounding recordings on the planet, but both have their moments.

Some of the vinyl I own is absolutely top shelf; Dire Straits "Love Over Gold" for example is probably the best sounding recording I own, in any media.

And I do get a certain nostalgia when I a cue up some hot wax and play through some favorite album sides. That just does not happen with a digital disc.

Brian
 

KurtEP

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I picked up a ProJect turntable a few years ago and love it. I have some new vinyl, but I usually view it as a scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, the selection at my usual haunts has gotten pretty slim lately. I don't know whether it's old stocks drying up or too many new fans.

As to recent purchases, my most recent used ones were probably the Eagles Desperado and Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town. The most recent new ones were a while back, and were the Stooges on 180g and the Kill Bill soundtrack.
 

RichP

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I am fond of vinyl myself, but let's not be silly and call vinyl "hi-rez." It is nothing of the kind. You may like the way it sounds, but it is certainly not "hi-rez" at all. LPs do not carry much if any information > 12kHz or so and have limited bass response and dynamic range when compared to true "hi-rez" formats.

Nothing wrong with enjoying LPs, but let's keep the terminology straight.
 

Lee Scoggins

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"I am fond of vinyl myself, but let's not be silly and call vinyl "hi-rez."

That's another topic but I do believe it is hirez. Bob Ludwig, the famous mastering engineer, believes vinyl is the equivalent of 100khz PCM.
 

Kevin C Brown

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I used to, and hope to again someday. I have 13 month old twins, and I don't want to show them that part of my rig so that they could mess with it.


I don't do it as much for the high res part either though. Just that I grew up on "lp", and while I've replaced a lot of them with CDs (for convenience), I still do have a bunch of lps where I never bought the CDs.

I do find lps more ... involving. But for me, the convenience of CDs wins out most of the time.
 

Carl Miller

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I play vinyl and use the same Gerard turntable I had as a teenager...Hard to get needles for it though. Last purchase was a couple of weeks ago when I picked up a bunch of Miles Davis albums at an estate sale. I don't know much about Miles beyond Bitches Brew, but for $2 each I couldn't resist and I'll get to listening to them soon.

Buying records via mail really isn't a problem by the way..Most dealers use record mailers which are either adjustable or can be filled with cardboard inserts (or both) for a tight packing. I've purchased quite a lot of records thru Goldmine and even Gemm. Never had a problem with bad packaging.

Don't know about the "quality" of sonics, but I've always enjoyed sound on vinyl more. It sounds more true to me...less processed, warmer, whatever you want to call it as compared to CD's.
 

Lee Scoggins

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"Buying records via mail really isn't a problem by the way..Most dealers use record mailers which are either adjustable or can be filled with cardboard inserts (or both) for a tight packing."

All the audiophile vendors like Acoustic Sounds and Elusive Disc use quality packaging and I have never had a problem either.
 

SteveJKo

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As I nightclub DJ I was still receiving 12 inch singles up to a year and a half ago. However, since '99 I'd been converting any vinyl sent to me to CD. The problem became that even if a club had turntables, they were not usually in very good shape and management would always promise to get them serviced and this, like the promise to get new styli, would never come about.

I miss how vinyl dominated the DJ booth. People would walk in and see that spinning platter and it just commanded your attention, knowing that black twelve inch disc was the reason for the pandemonium on the dancefloor.
 

Philip Hamm

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100Khz 12bit maybe.

The continuous nature of the alanog groove is nice, but the poor s/n ratio and limited frequencies are impossible to dismiss.

The best sounding record I own is Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut".
 

ChristopherG

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I have been spinning some vinyl lately but to be honest it has been in order to rip it. I just got a new cartridge for my Technics SLQ5 turntable and it has been a lot of fun playing with some "records". Mostly ripping OOP and not available on CD types of things, some collectibles and such. Lots of records can be found if you just look hard enough. Sadly the used market usually has many but in horrible shape.
 

Lee Scoggins

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"100Khz 12bit maybe."

Actually Bob is not limiting the bit range at all below redbook standard. The signal to noise ratio is better than people give it credit for and in any event less important sonically than the fine detail that a well pressed record can offer up.
 

Kevin C Brown

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I remember when some magazines used to actually test and measure turntables, cartridges, and phono preamps.
Typically, you could only get in the 70 dBs to low 80's for s/n. That's a lot lower than theoretical for CD. But ... Most CDs today are so badly mastered that the reality is that you *do* get a better s/n on most lps vs CDs.
 

Lee Scoggins

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Kevin,

Listen to a cymbal on a good jazz recording...listen on a CD then on a record on a good table. I think the LP is closer to a real cymbal sound.
 

ChristopherDAC

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I certainly spin LPs, but not too often, since they do wear out with repeated playback. Having the sound quality leak away isn't something I enjoy. For sheer aural beauty, a nice copy of "Making Movies" (Dire Straits) is hard to beat, in my book, although I admit a bias in favour of Mark Knopfler. Let him believe it, but don't tell me that. Vinyl is capable of amazing things, to be sure. The surface is flat enough on the microscale that you can record analog video on it, although the grooves have to be very fine indeed to give any kind of playing time at 450 RPM. Nevertheless, the vinyl audio record is a very limited medium. The stiffness of the material, the contact area of the stylus, the mechanical inertia of the stylus and electrodynamic intertia of the cartridge, all combine to limit the rapidity of the waveform excursion. It is, in effect, a slew-rate limit, and it results in a decrease of dynamic range with frequency. You can still produce beautiful sound, but it has inherently limited fidelity. With the right formulation of vinyl, and the right stylus and cartridge, you can get response out beyond 30 kHz for quite a number of plays, but "response" is not the same thing as "fidelity". There's phase distortion, wave-shape distortions, high levels of noise, heavy rolloff, and so on — the subcarrier on CD-4 records is frequency-modulated for a good reason (vinyl video records ditto). A CD, on the other hand, can encode a square-wave at Fs/2, which is a much better model of a fast "attack" than the slope even a very good vinyl system produces. Of course, most LPs and most turntables aren't that good, but it apparently doesn't matter, since most CD mastering is decidedly low-fi these days. Let's not forget, dbx and CX noise-reduced LPs were mastered to compete with 14-bit 44.1 kHz PCM recorded on Beta cassettes.
 

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