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Can anyone explain the vinyl renaissance?

carewser

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I'm a member of a couple of reddit audiophile threads where people post pictures of their rigs and most of the time they include turntables and every time I see one my mind is blown because I outgrew vinyl only a few years after buying my first CD player in the '80's. Back then I had a tape deck, a turntable and a CD player but once I heard digital I knew they was no going back yet people en mass are and I find it baffling given all the benefits of youtube. The first and most obvious benefit is, it's free. Secondly, youtube has an almost endless catalog of music, with the original music video, the karaoke versions of songs, live versions and videos that include the lyrics. Thirdly, the convenience of simply clicking my mouse a few times and opening up a world of music is pretty alluring. I always wondered about the sound quality though so I bought a CD a few years ago to compare youtube to CD and couldn't hear any difference. LP's on the other hand can only be played one at a time, require time, money and effort to obtain and play and also require money and effort to maintain and as your collection of LP's grows it obviously becomes more expensive and takes up space-something youtube doesn't yet most reddit audiophiles are flocking to them

Does the vinyl renaissance make sense to you because it sure doesn't to me
 

Ricardus

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Physical media has substance. It's tangible. It's real. You can hold it. I think some people are sick of streaming. There is something to say for the vinyl experience. Not quality, but ritual.
 
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charleski

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Turntables are important if you want to show people on Reddit how cool you are. It’s important to keep a sense of perspective, vinyl sales are still just a small fraction of the levels seen in the ‘80s, and the growth in profitability for labels has come almost entirely from streaming.

Source
recorded_music_revenue_2018_dollars.png
 

makinao

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Not an answer, just an observation. CD re-issues brought many old pre-1990s analog albums back to the public awareness. Today, vinyl re-issues are giving post 1990s digital albums new life. I just received a vinyl copy of an album I produced in 2005, but went out of print on CDs by the early 2010s. It's one of those numbered "limited edition" reissues, and has apparently already sold out.

I'm not a fan of the vinyl sound, but I'm OK with it bringing back attention to outstanding digital albums.
 
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DWPress

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Too much extra money? My daughter has the vinyl bug now and has pulled a few titles from my now diminished collection of a couple hundred albums but delights in finding a new pressing for $20 and proclaims to me that it was a deal!
:facepalm:
 

Leporello

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Many vinylphiles find scarcity appealing. Sure, you can find just about any classic rock album on spotify, but finding it after some serious crate digging on vinyl is supposed to make it something special. I kind of understand the sentiment but I am too old to bother about style over substance.
 

rDin

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Simple: sound quality.

Heresy, I realise, but I can only speak from my own experience which is this: after 20 years of pursuing the digital dream I decided to try some of my old records and was blown away by what I heard, compared to what I was used to for those past years: MUSIC. Toe tappingly, head bobbingly engaging MUSIC. And it was the same, again and again - each record I tried sounded way more enjoyable than the same digital album, particularly with an all analogue recording. Now I'm 95% vinyl and 5% digital in my active hi-fi listening.

Plus there is the pleasure of curating and caring for a collection, which you do not have with digital. It brings a connection to the music utterly missing from a digital collection and makes listening to music more of an event rather than just a background activity.
 

Leporello

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Simple: sound quality.

Heresy, I realise, but I can only speak from my own experience which is this: after 20 years of pursuing the digital dream I decided to try some of my old records and was blown away by what I heard, compared to what I was used to for those past years: MUSIC. Toe tappingly, head bobbingly engaging MUSIC. And it was the same, again and again - each record I tried sounded way more enjoyable than the same digital album, particularly with an all analogue recording. Now I'm 95% vinyl and 5% digital in my active hi-fi listening.

Plus there is the pleasure of curating and caring for a collection, which you do not have with digital. It brings a connection to the music utterly missing from a digital collection and makes listening to music more of an event rather than just a background activity.
Every time I have tried this with classical music I have realized very quickly why I do not listen to vinyl. You may call your subjective preference MUSIC, but others hardly agree.

It also amazes me how so many vinylphiles seem to be attracted by all the extra- musical things. Instead of music they seem to be interested in the act of listening to music. If you are truly connected with music you do not need a particular medium to keep you away from doing something else.
 
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bluefuzz

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each record I tried sounded way more enjoyable than the same digital album,
I have quite the opposite experience. I still own all my old vinyl LPs - probably 1000 or more - and my old Pioneer PL12D turntable bought new in 1973. Once in a while I dust them off to hear again what it was like in the old days. But I'm disappointed each time I do it and the turntable quickly gets packed away again. Even lossy Spotify sounds unequvically better than vinyl. No contest. The much derided digital remasters of classic albums sound invariably way better to my ears than the original vinyl pressings that I still own. And getting up of the sofa every 20 minutes to change sides gets old very quickly ...
 

Aerith Gainsborough

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There is only one objective reason why one would prefer a vinyl over a digital pendant when it comes to sonics:

pre loudness war mastering. If the master isn't available digitally, all you've got is the vinyl version.

That being said: I find the whole vinyl-ritual-worship idiotic at best but humans do what humans do and most of it cannot be explained logically. *chuckles* Personally, I won't touch that inferior format with a 10ft pole. I'm even annoyed by digitized versions that contain the usual vinyl noises, even if the record / music itself is good.
 

ThatM1key

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Why I think there's a vinyl renaissance? Its a Novelty. People gives excuses like "It sounds better" or "I can hold it in my hands". CDs sound better and you can hold a CD in your hands. If you see somebody buy a new LP over a CD, they don't care about sound quality. They think its neat hearing music on a format that's really old. If a person cares about sound quality, there gonna build an all-digital system and buy well-mastered CDs.

A record can last a 100 years but a CD can technically last forever through other digital formats and such.
 

rDin

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Every time I have tried this with classical music I have realized very quickly why I do not listen to vinyl. You may call your subjective preference MUSIC, but others hardly agree.
I recognise that, of course. But here's the thing: it doesn't matter. I'm describing my subjective response to what I hear, and that's all I'm interested in; maximising my subjective experience. The OP asked for perspectives on why there is a vinyl renaissance, and I gave mine. I respect your subjective experience too.
 

rDin

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Nostalgia, anti-complexity and an enjoyment of mechanical engineering.
There is some truth to the first and last point; I'd disagree with anti-complexity due to the effort required to set up a turntable. Complexity is part of the experience. It's also part of the satisfaction; the effort required to set up a turntable - there is something deeply satisfying about being so involved in the process.
 

Mart68

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I hate car analogies as much as the next man but I saw one of these the other day



30 years ago they were ubiquitous and you wouldn't give it a second glance. Now it's the coolest thing on the road, even though performance is poor compared to the modern cars. I think there's something of that effect with vinyl too.
 

Mart68

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You should, as in this instance it's a false analogy.
maybe for you personally. I still have 600 odd records and a turntable, never play them, bought them all again on CD. Not saying the SQ benefit of the digital playback is massive but it's certainly an improvement.
 

JeremyFife

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It's a hobby, an interest ... doesn't have to make sense :) Nostalgia and the tactile pleasure of handling a well designed record is up there too.

Digital (redbook 16/44.1 sets the standard) are objectively higher quality formats; lower noise, greater dynamic range - just better. To be clear, digital music has the *potential* to be better. Vinyl as a format is inherently limited.

Crap mastering of digital music, dumbing it down in the search for "loudness" and shiny, short term, impact wastes that potential and makes me want to weep!

Love my vinyl, love music more - and listen to much more music digitally than on vinyl, mostly with great enjoyment
 
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