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Can anyone explain the vinyl renaissance?

IPunchCholla

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Just going by the numbers, and just for noise, assuming a generous -60dB noise floor for an LP and a -96 dB noise floor for a CD that works out to digital being 36 dB quieter which is 398,107% quieter see https://calculator.academy/db-to-percentage-calculator/ . For distortion it is even worse for LP's. But for actual listening how much difference is there? In many cases not much. The fact that LP's measure orders of magnitude worse that CD's but can sound similar is interesting and scientifically investigating why and what is really important for "Hi-Fi" sound will lead you to understanding what matters and what doesn't.
One of the things I love about playing vinyl is the bump, bump, hiss as the needle hits the record and then how it just disappears when the music starts. I mean it is just so obvious and then nothing (except on the track No One is Safe by Clipping when I listen on headphones, there I can hear it all through the piano intro. Why any classical music lover would listen to vinyl on headphones is beyond my Ken.) It is very illustrative of how I hear that has nothing to do with the 400k% better by the measurements. It is such an obvious example of why chasing SINAD past a certain point (based on the music you listen to and how you listen to it) is pretty silly.

Distortion is also apparently not very audible to me. Every time I have thought I heard it when listening, for example on Thom York’s voice in a certain song on King of Limbs, it turns out it is in the digital version too. Wow and flutter (on my TT well below .5% is also inaudible to me. Knowing my limits allows me to focus on how the music is structured (when I am listening critically) or simply enjoying the sensation, rather than worrying the reproduction chain.
 

Timcognito

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That's the big problem with the vinyl revival.
The folks here who have been around for years either dumped the PITA things for something better, or hung on for their own reasons, both perfectly fine.
But the "revival" is mostly new entries into HiFi world both young and old, all being suckered in by media, pop culture, hipsters, and all the rest. Every where they go they've read the Mikey Fremer BS line on the glorious sound of analog and vinyl, how digital sounds like a staircase, coarse and nasty, yada yada yada. They're being sold a pack of lies, and in the end what do they end up with, a lot of money wasted on 1960 level technology when they could have something so much better for their money to build their music reproduction world on.
Very sad.
But they will be a generation of collectors, tinkerers and restorers. Their circulation will be better because they have to get up move every 20 minutes. Sal, try to say nice things. Your mom would want that.
:D
 

Anton D

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That's the big problem with the vinyl revival.
The folks here who have been around for years either dumped the PITA things for something better, or hung on for their own reasons, both perfectly fine.
But the "revival" is mostly new entries into HiFi world both young and old, all being suckered in by media, pop culture, hipsters, and all the rest. Every where they go they've read the Mikey Fremer BS line on the glorious sound of analog and vinyl, how digital sounds like a staircase, coarse and nasty, yada yada yada. They're being sold a pack of lies, and in the end what do they end up with, a lot of money wasted on 1960 level technology when they could have something so much better for their money to build their music reproduction world on.
Very sad.
Yes, very sad, many people are saying that. Many.

Everywhere they go, it's Mike Fremer 'hypmotizing' them. They have no free will or ability to listen for themselves, they are just being given Orwellian style orders from the great and powerful Fremer. Money, wasted. Socrates warned us about kids these days. Pop culture, hipsters, (digital) media. It's a wonder they can still afford Starbuck's and avocado toast.
 

Robin L

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Or maybe this explains it:

400366899_10225066668036684_7690878734072805301_n.jpg
 

Anton D

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One of the things I love about playing vinyl is the bump, bump, hiss as the needle hits the record and then how it just disappears when the music starts. I mean it is just so obvious and then nothing (except on the track No One is Safe by Clipping when I listen on headphones, there I can hear it all through the piano intro. Why any classical music lover would listen to vinyl on headphones is beyond my Ken.) It is very illustrative of how I hear that has nothing to do with the 400k% better by the measurements. It is such an obvious example of why chasing SINAD past a certain point (based on the music you listen to and how you listen to it) is pretty silly.

Distortion is also apparently not very audible to me. Every time I have thought I heard it when listening, for example on Thom York’s voice in a certain song on King of Limbs, it turns out it is in the digital version too. Wow and flutter (on my TT well below .5% is also inaudible to me. Knowing my limits allows me to focus on how the music is structured (when I am listening critically) or simply enjoying the sensation, rather than worrying the reproduction chain.
Or maybe this explains it:

View attachment 325327
"If only it were on Spotify."

:D
 

Robin L

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"If only it were on Spotify."

:D
Ah, but Spotify is in the clouds, not physically manifest, only an illusion, not physically tangible. Whereas that old disc is both tangible and extraordinarily fragile, always a winning combination.
 

Timcognito

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So, we have to save people from something they enjoy because, some think, they are enjoying it for the wrong reasons?
When I was in high school they said that about premarital sex. I didn't believe them and looked like mined female friends. Maybe it was the wrong the reasons but I didn't care. Long live vinyl and hope you get what you need from it.
 

cinemakinoeye

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One way to understand the vinyl renaissance is to examine it through the lens of material culture, considering factors of nostalgia and tangibility, there is quite a bit of fascinating research in this area, for example Michael Palm’s article “Keeping what real? Vinyl records and the future of independent culture” (PDF) and Patrick Brynes Jr.’s MA thesis, “Renaissance Records: The Communities and Material Culture Behind the Revival of Vinyl Records from the 1980s to 2010s.” (PDF).
 

goat76

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I think vinyl is the most beautiful physical medium that ever has existed, and it's no surprise at all that it's seen by the big masses as the true audiophile format. Just think about this large disc you have to put on a rolling plate, keep it clean, and handle it with delicacy when you put down the needle into the groove, and when you have done all that, you most likely listen through that record to the end and just appreciate the music. Vinyl is way sexier than anything else in HiFi and that is a fact. I'm just too lazy to bother with it. :)
 

MattHooper

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I think vinyl is the most beautiful physical medium that ever has existed, and it's no surprise at all that it's seen by the big masses as the true audiophile format. Just think about this large disc you have to put on a rolling plate, keep it clean, and handle it with delicacy when you put down the needle into the groove, and when you have done all that, you most likely listen through that record to the end and just appreciate the music. Vinyl is way sexier than anything else in HiFi and that is a fact. I'm just too lazy to bother with it. :)

That's how I feel. CDs as physical objects for me hold no charm. And DACs are just..well...a sort of black box that sits there mysteriously spitting out music.
The combo of the physical feel, aesthetics of a nice record, and the conceptual satisfaction in how it works, tactile interaction with the turntable, and sort of playing your part in how it works caring for the record, adjusting the cartridge, or just placing the needle physically in to the grooves that hold the music, is hard to beat.
 

Galliardist

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Do you guys wear white lab coats or neural nets while sitting in your listening chairs?

;)


CO2A-1.jpg


How do you folks measure which music is best? (No saying 'subjectively,' this is science. FMRI measurements, perhaps?

Non-snarky question: what percentage 'better' is digital than analog? They both give me great pleasure, but I don't sit around perseverating about "betterness" or this "audibly perfect" BS I see people mention. My pleasure with either is about equal, I am having fun and listening to music. (I know that's terrible, to the vinyl triggered crowd.)

Trying to enjoy any medium to the point we prefer is perfectly within the realm of "science," you know. The goal is fun and enjoyment, after all. Let's measure that, while we are at it. :cool:

Perhaps we can compare a graph or 100 comparing vinyl to 'perfect Atmos, digital, whatever' and calculate a difference. Let's actually bring 'science' into it! Then, we can relax, say that digital is "X" percent better than vinyl, and leave people to enjoy what they like.
Nobody with the slightest knowledge of audio science is going to deny subjectivism. Indeed, the big gap is understanding of the sighted subjective response (and I don’t believe for one moment that those long lists of biases people sometimes post here fill that gap when research hasn’t been done)

Moreover music is an art, not a science. Science can act as a servant to the art but no more. As an art, reaction to music should be subjective.

Anyway, vinyl playback is plenty good enough to form a subjective response to music. Anyone my age or older will have only lived with vinyl at best, unless they had access to master tape, for music reproduction in our formative years: and we clearly managed. The argument is not about that.
 

Axo1989

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That's how I feel. CDs as physical objects for me hold no charm. And DACs are just..well...a sort of black box that sits there mysteriously spitting out music.
The combo of the physical feel, aesthetics of a nice record, and the conceptual satisfaction in how it works, tactile interaction with the turntable, and sort of playing your part in how it works caring for the record, adjusting the cartridge, or just placing the needle physically in to the grooves that hold the music, is hard to beat.

That's why I bought a DAC with a sculpted pearl-white front panel, connected to the source via a Thunderbolt cable with fabric and s/steel sheaths and delightful tactility. When the mood takes me I can fondle the cable and enjoy the physicality of the stream. :)

Edit: that's playing from Mac as usual, where the cover art is often animated, but too small. Or I can play from iPad, and hold the artwork (and progress bar) in my hands, just like an LP cover, albeit smaller, but better lit. Haven't had an AppleTV in the mix lately, but no problem with artwork size then. The potential for digital artwork is under-utilised I reckon, compared to the creativity I recall (and still have in many cases) from CD offerings that went beyond the sad jewel cases (and for older people, who grew up with the longer lineage of sometimes-elaborate LP album covers).
 
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tmtomh

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Nope, someone provided the answer, almost 400,000% better for CD. An even greater margin of victory for distortion, as well.

Obviously quantifiable, it's audio science, after all.

If this is how you want to proceed, then I’ll just keep calling you stupid until a mod tells me to stop or you get thread-banned for trolling.
 

thecheapseats

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I don't suffer mine; I enjoy it. I put together a setup with a used Thorens turntable that I lovingly brought back to life, separate arm and MC cartridge, fed through a home-brewed RIAA preamp, made with a low noise JFET (0.9nV/radical Hz) bootstrapped with an AD797 op amp followed by two more AD797s. HF EQ is done passively in the first stage, and LF EQ is done using feedback in the 3rd stage. Second stage is a straight gain block with 3 switchable settings. That way, I can change the preamp's gain without affecting EQ accuracy. It's capable of excellent sound. It's also capable of lousy sound. Depends on the recording and the record's physical condition. The best of the vinyl can rival digital media in perceived (key word, there) accuracy; The worst is, well, the worst in SQ. Once S.Q. gets so good that I would not be able to hear an improvement anymore, then I don't care about that outside of an academic interest in it. I'm not a digiphobe, either, as I work in the electronics industry and know how good it can get. So, I enjoy a streamer, a CD player, FM radio, and vinyl. As for turntables, if you don't like them, then simply sniff at such goings on and pass them by.
it's not a matter of "I don't like them" - please don't put words in my mouth - they are (to me) a bit of a hassle, but are tools (I own two turntables that are very well maintained, calibrated and setup) which I use to listen to vinyl... as I made clear in my earlier comment which you did not quote or may not have read - I willingly use them for their intended purpose...it's all good...
 

Anton D

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If this is how you want to proceed, then I’ll just keep calling you stupid until a mod tells me to stop or you get thread-banned for trolling.
Or, buy a sarcasm detector, my fine fellow audiophile. :)
 

thecheapseats

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It’s a hobby.

The death grip vinylphobic culture is pretty amazing, people get so triggered by folks who like to play records.

Can someone expand and edify? Why is someone else enjoying playing records such a trigger for these anti-vinyl evangelists?

I don’t see metal heads marching against classical music lovers.

Would a thread about an acoustic jazz renaissance compel these types of people to troll about classic rock being better?
not triggered, nor vinyl-phobic at all - I simply don't enjoy messing with vinyl and LPs - but I do so because it's the only way I can hear specific performances I own and have collected over the years... it may be a hobby to some and that's great. - but it's not 'my' hobby...
 
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