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Vinyl. It's nice!


SubNormal J3
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I'm not filthy rich enough to be an audiophile, but I just recently got into the vinyl craze for the first time and found a decent Kenwood turntable and some classic records by Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Styx to name a few at a local thrift store for dirt cheap. Even with the old stylus that I just ordered a replacement for, I'm digging the sound. There's something magical about it.

Anyways, I was wondering if there are any vinyl users on the forum with advice on using vinyl and acquiring quality, possibly new pressings in this post-analog age.

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That's what I was thinking. I can't think of why people go to the trouble to get into vinyl unless they grew up on it back in the 60s and 70s. The only reason others want to get into it is because it sounds old.

that's a bit of a generalization, don't you think? vinyl has a very different character than digital in a lot of ways, and it's not just that it "sounds old." a lot of modern electronic styles (like dubstep, garage, minimal dnb, etc.) still have vinyl cultures because producers and listeners prefer the way the atmosphere and bass are represented in an analog format. whether or not you (or me or anyone else) prefer the way it sounds is subjective, but the fact that there is a legitimate difference in the sound of the material is not - it's tangible and quantifiable. digital and analog are different formats, and each has its benefits and disadvantages. digital is far more inexpensive and more practical for most people's listening habits today, but that doesn't mean analog is inherently worse.

edit: for what it's worth, i'd kill to have a really nice vinyl setup and collection. it's something i hope to have the time and resources to get into someday.

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I've yet to see any concrete, scientific evidence that vinyl has inherently better sound qualities than digital formats. It all comes across as romanticised superstition to me. If you truly cared about sound quality you'd probably be able to see past that. But I guess some audiphiles are also rather good at tricking themselves.

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I've yet to see any concrete, scientific evidence that vinyl has inherently better sound qualities than digital formats. It all comes across as romanticised superstition to me. If you truly cared about sound quality you'd probably be able to see past that. But I guess some audiphiles are also rather good at tricking themselves.

'Analogue Warmth'

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I've yet to see any concrete, scientific evidence that vinyl has inherently better sound qualities than digital formats. It all comes across as romanticised superstition to me. If you truly cared about sound quality you'd probably be able to see past that. But I guess some audiphiles are also rather good at tricking themselves.

a) i didn't claim that vinyl was inherently better than digital - i said they were different formats, each with different qualities.

B) do i need to point out the hypocrisy in your statement or was it intentional?

don't mean to be a dick but that was a bit of a ridiculous statement

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It also has record noise, pops, etc..

These things are not an issue with quality components.

To get back on track, I don't know how many newer pressings will be the same as older records since most (if not all) music these days is either tracked, mixed, or mastered in the digital realm.

As far as quality goes, well, this is where things can get complicated (and potentially expensive). Since you want to listen to records for their pure audio quality, you want to make sure the audio signal never converts to digital otherwise you defeat the purpose. This also means that you now have to take every component into consideration, from the stylus and needle, to the record player, to the pre and power amps, the speakers and even the cables connecting everything together. Then again, you could always just get something like this and only have to worry about what speakers to use.

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As far as quality goes, well, this is where things can get complicated (and potentially expensive). Since you want to listen to records for their pure audio quality, you want to make sure the audio signal never converts to digital otherwise you defeat the purpose. This also means that you now have to take every component into consideration, from the stylus and needle, to the record player, to the pre and power amps, the speakers and even the cables connecting everything together. Then again, you could always just get something like this and only have to worry about what speakers to use.

Fortunately, I still use an old silver-face Kenwood KA-8100 made in the late seventies, with a pair of Infinity floor-standing speakers. The Kenwood is in need of a tune up, though (scratchy pots...).

In regards to newer records that have surely been mixed digitally, I'm not that worried about it. Though they are not purely analog, it seems that the limitations of analog mediums can be beneficial regardless of the source material.

I often prefer the sound of mp3s such as the ones on this site after I have transferred them to a cassette tape for use in my car. I like how it trims the highs so they aren't so piercing. It also kind of glues the track together not unlike a subtle compressor. Much of this can easily be accomplished in the digital realm.

But there is one thing PCM cannot do right now. Analog is unpredictable. Every time you listen to tape or vinyl the sound is different. It has to be because the medium is physically tampered with each play. This continual transformation gives you a more lifelike experience with your music. While in digital, you hold the information. With physical mediums, you hold the music.

So for me, I like having digital masters and mixing because it is important to have an original recording that won't deteriorate. Then if you're a fan of the artifacts introduced by tape or vinyl, transfer it there at the end. If you want crystal clear sound, stick with the digital version.

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Yea, analog formats are pretty volatile. You gotta take good care of your records. That's a really cool amp, by the way. I'm with skrupnyuk. I feel like hunting down a nice record player now. Been meaning to since I got a few albums as gifts (Foo Fighters' One By One, Master of Puppets (old record, not a remaster) and Thriller, of course, printed in 1990.)

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I've yet to see any concrete, scientific evidence that vinyl has inherently better sound qualities than digital formats. It all comes across as romanticised superstition to me. If you truly cared about sound quality you'd probably be able to see past that. But I guess some audiphiles are also rather good at tricking themselves.

There are a million essays on this, but basically a digital format like CD cuts off all sound past a certain frequency due to some arbitrary sound limitations imposed by post-analog audio equipment companies. Human ears supposedly can't hear past a certain frequency so why include it?

But an analog format such as vinyl doesn't have these cutoffs, so you are hearing the full recording, including inaudible frequencies that might have more of an effect on the sound than some people thing.

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There are a million essays on this, but basically a digital format like CD cuts off all sound past a certain frequency due to some arbitrary sound limitations imposed by post-analog audio equipment companies. Human ears supposedly can't hear past a certain frequency so why include it?

But an analog format such as vinyl doesn't have these cutoffs, so you are hearing the full recording, including inaudible frequencies that might have more of an effect on the sound than some people thing.

Digital audio has the highs cut off at half the sampling rate. About 22 Khz in the case of CD audio. Analog mediums have their own frequency limitations, though. For example, cassette tape cuts off at about 16Khz. Reel-to-reel, which most analog recordings were mixed and recorded on also has limitations in frequency spectrum depending on the deck and tape, but in most cases it didn't spread exceptionally far into supersonics.

Vinyl was copied off of these tapes, so it wouldn't have a better response unless its source had a better response. Most needles can't pick up substantial quality sound in the supersonics anyways because of the physical limitations of the components. I'm not sure what the limitations in the pressing process are, though. So perhaps with exceptionally high end playback equipment, one could get supersonics off of a vinyl record if the origianl source had supersonics.

DVD Audio and Super Audio CDs can recreate sounds very far into the supersonic range even above 50Khz. So digital can give a much wider frequency response than analog. I've found that it is the imperfections and artifacts from analog mediums that make them more pleasing to the ears.

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