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Can anyone explain the vinyl renaissance?

tmtomh

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Or, buy a sarcasm detector, my fine fellow audiophile. :)
Dude, this is exactly the problem - and exactly why I've felt warranted in calling your posts stupid. Every single comment you've posted in this exchange since the initial "what percentage better is digital?" comment, is obviously sarcastic, and I and everyone else knows it. That's the stupid part - you think folks don't get that you're being sarcastic.

The reason you've been able to go off on this little.... whatever this is... of yours is because you prefaced your initial "what percentage better is digital" question with, "This is not a snarky question." The message that sends is, "I know this question will sound sarcastic, so I'm explicitly saying it's not because I'm serious and asking in good faith for people's responses."

It's the equivalent of a kid asking another kid to show them their favorite toy, and when the other kid is naturally suspicious, the first kid says, "I promise I won't take it, I just want to see it." Then the other kid shows the toy, and the first kid steals it out of their hand. That's not clever, sarcastic, or even skillful trolling. It's just childish and stupid.
 

DanielT

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Interest in vinyl remains strong:

"For the second year in a row, "Myrorna" (flea market chain, roughly,available all over Sweden) has asked the Swedish people what they would most like to buy second hand and give as a Christmas present. Now the "Second hand Christmas gift of the year 2023" chosen by the Swedish people can be revealed: the vinyl record.

Interest in vinyl spreads down through the ages
The vinyls submitted to Myrorna span a wide range of music genres and eras. Here you can find everything from rock to jazz, punk and dance bands, but the most common is pop from the 80s, according to vinyl enthusiast Benjamin Lavén, who works with evaluating sound , HiFi at Myrorna's central warehouse in Botkyrka. He believes that he has started to see a new trend among vinyl collectors.

-Traditionally, the interest in vinyl records has been the domain of old men, but I notice how it is starting to spread down through the ages. More and more young girls are buying records, which is great fun. There is a whole world to explore here and there is no algorithm that suggests what to listen to. In my opinion, it is the best gift in the world, both for someone you like and for yourself, says Benjamin Lavén."

 
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Timcognito

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So on Tidal, most albums came with performer info in the "credits" section. Since uploading tracks was outsourced to third parties, that mostly stopped and now you just get "MainArtist" and Recording Engineer a lot of the time. I think if a streaming service got all this information right, even at extra cost, it would actually benefit them in market share.
That's the Roon market proposition.
 

Timcognito

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Rarely playing them, I keep most of my albums in large bookcase and TT in prominent position on top of my glass door media bench so that my son, his friends, nieces, nephew and significant others can see how hip I am. My biggest problem with all of this, is forgetting to call my "records" vinyl. That's is a dead give away that I'm really L7. I think next time someone that age is over here I'm going to walk around with my IEMs in my ears and constantly look at phone to enhance my coolness.
 

MattHooper

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My beef with "high end" turntables.....

I was watching more audio show videos (e.g. Warsaw, Munich) as I enjoy some high end bling here and there. Naturally, lots of super expensive turntables
being used as a source. I like the looks of some of them (though not the flagship oil-rig looking versions).

As to the rational for these turntables I'm of two minds. First, I don't think anyone has demonstrated objectively that they have actually advanced the performance in turntables. (For the same reason, lack of data, I've mentioned before that I also think it hasn't been established that none have, either).

But if, just for the sake of argument, I can grant it's possible the expensive turntables might achieve higher sound quality...

I can see a rational that goes: "Ok, so Mr audiophile, you find record collecting and playing records to be an overall more stimulating, satisfying way to listen to your music. So you put playing records front and center to your audiophile/music activities. And maybe you even feel you prefer the sound of vinyl despite it's technical inferiority to digital sources. Well, if you love playing records AND care about how they sound too, we will help you maximize the sound quality of your records. And we'll make it blingy for you too. So IF you want as high performance for records as you can get with gratifying aesthetics, we have a product for you. It's up to you if you think it's worth it."

Given the goals, that doesn't seem unreasonable, as long as you realize you are paying for something that will never perform to the technical levels of digital. I mean, after all, I used that type of justification to buy my own blingy turntable. And if some audiophile wants to spend even more for a "higher end" model...such is his/her bliss.

The thing that irks me in the high end is the status often given to turntables and records: "Of course, for the BEST high end sound quality you will want to use a turntable."

This is implicit or explicit in many rooms using blingy turntables at high end audio shows. And then the absurdity glows like neon: the amount of engineering effort put towards ultra expensive turntables that are outperformed by any decent $100 DAC.

Now, I believe I've observed that while the type of mysticism in the above approach can still be found, it seems to me on the wane. I actually see far fewer "vinyl is superior to digital" wars in audiophile forums. From what I've seen the majority of audiophiles spinning vinyl these days admit that vinyl isn't "superior" to digital, and is technically inferior....but they still really enjoy turntables and vinyl.

Among the record buying public, though, as we know, vinyl is often sold as sonically superior to digital. (And some believe it...some don't...)
 

computer-audiophile

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Now, I believe I've observed that while the type of mysticism in the above approach can still be found, it seems to me on the wane. I actually see far fewer "vinyl is superior to digital" wars in audiophile forums. From what I've seen the majority of audiophiles spinning vinyl these days admit that vinyl isn't "superior" to digital, and is technically inferior....but they still really enjoy turntables and vinyl.
This is in line with my observations.
 

ta240

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We're discussing the true value of any particular object in a modern hifi.
Again that was the OP's question, to justify it's value
No, you are discussing the "true" value.
I'm discussing the value to the user; and even then not the user spending 6 figures for accessories. Just the person listening to music and enjoying it.
Many people on here seem to get frustrated when other people don't value the same things they do. I like much of the science here, but I also like listening to records, I like everything about it. I do find it ironic that the one purchase I made based on a recommendation here added way more pops to the music than my well cared for records do.

Especially when other people think what they have is better, when the numbers say otherwise.
There is very little "Hey, here is the information, make your own decision" and much more "Why would anyone be so stupid as to enjoy...."

But, I guess, that is just the modern way of discussing things. Extreme examples ($100,000 interconnects) are used to make a point at why it is important to tell people they are stupid for buying records.
Your quest is for SOTA numbers based reproduction. Other people's quest is for what makes them feel the best when listening to it.

I say, inform people but stop trying to save them from the sins of analog reproduction if that is what they enjoy. What they enjoy is 100% opinion and they will always be the foremost authority on their opinion.

The shirt that says "Come to the dark side, we have cookies" fits here. The wacky class A, analog crowd is a lot more fun and tends to have much more of the attitude of "You enjoy it? Then it is awesome"
 
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egellings

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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...
...suffer?
 

DanielT

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....."high end" turntables.....

This is implicit or explicit in many rooms using blingy turntables at high end audio shows. And then the absurdity glows like neon: the amount of engineering effort put towards ultra expensive turntables that are outperformed by any decent $100 DAC.
....is of course a contradiction in itself. If we talk about good HiFi sound.:)

Buy vinyl and play for fun, for nostalgia, to tinker with a physical medium. Give vinyl to your children and if you've reached that age... grandchildren, see #5763. ;):)

By the way. Extremely expensive tube amps paired with esoteric turntables is what makes HiFi fairs...more or less a joke.
 
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Anton D

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Dude, this is exactly the problem - and exactly why I've felt warranted in calling your posts stupid. Every single comment you've posted in this exchange since the initial "what percentage better is digital?" comment, is obviously sarcastic, and I and everyone else knows it. That's the stupid part - you think folks don't get that you're being sarcastic.

The reason you've been able to go off on this little.... whatever this is... of yours is because you prefaced your initial "what percentage better is digital" question with, "This is not a snarky question." The message that sends is, "I know this question will sound sarcastic, so I'm explicitly saying it's not because I'm serious and asking in good faith for people's responses."

It's the equivalent of a kid asking another kid to show them their favorite toy, and when the other kid is naturally suspicious, the first kid says, "I promise I won't take it, I just want to see it." Then the other kid shows the toy, and the first kid steals it out of their hand. That's not clever, sarcastic, or even skillful trolling. It's just childish and stupid.
Mostly keeping it at Sal and Newman's level.

I don't condone their bullying behavior.

Please put me on ignore.
 

Cote Dazur

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I have no axe to grind.
That is extremely funny, thank you.
No, the question was "why is there a revival of interest in LPs", an altogether different question. It's not a "value" question, it's not a "SOTA" question,
Thank you for trying to getting us back on track. As a vinyl user, I am still interested in understanding that.
It feels counterintuitive to me that after all these years, vinyl is still, against all odds, getting back more and more traction despite all its issues and inconvenience. One avenue might be that the main reason for listening to music at home is much more about the music than the quality of the home reproduction sound system. Vinyl and it’s intrinsic ritual brings musical pleasure in ways that many people will not be denied of, even if a “better” alternative is also being offered.
 
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MattHooper

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That is extremely funny, thank you.

Thank you for trying to getting us back on track. As a vinyl user, I am still interested in understanding that.
It feels counterintuitive to me that after all these years, vinyl is still, against all odds, getting back more and more traction despite all its issues and inconvenience. One avenue might be that the main reason for listening to music at home is a much more about the music than the quality of the home reproduction sound system. Vinyl and it’s intrinsic ritual brings musical pleasure in ways that many people will not be denied of, even if a “better” alternative is also being offered.

It is an interesting question.

A lot is made of the tangibility of records as part of their appeal. The idea that people still have some craving for the physical and tangible, which vinyl seems to satisfy in ways streaming might not.

I think we need to be careful with trying to generalize these things, as people will differ. Does the appeal of vinyl speak only to the specific proclivities of those buying vinyl? Or is vinyl just a specific instance of a more general desire most people have?

For instance, I used to really enjoy having a physical collection of movies, on DVDs and Blu Ray. There was something satisfying about physically owning copies of many of my favourite movies. But I feel like I've moved past that, and frankly would give my Blu Ray the collection the boot, if I could easily watch all those movies just on streaming.

On the other hand, I'm getting plenty of the tangible satisfaction from records and my turntable.

Perhaps those who don't get any tangible value from records...just get it somewhere else. For instance fiddling with cars, or fiddling/building stereo equipment, or collecting something else, sports gear, doing other physical things.

So is the vinyl revival part of a mere reaction to streaming? Because it offers something different and this is how swings in culture/enthusiasms work? Or is it speaking to a more general thing people value...there really was something valuable about physical media....where some have turned to vinyl to fulfill that need, and others just have moved on and get it elsewhere?
 

Anton D

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It is an interesting question.

A lot is made of the tangibility of records as part of their appeal. The idea that people still have some craving for the physical and tangible, which vinyl seems to satisfy in ways streaming might not.

I think we need to be careful with trying to generalize these things, as people will differ. Does the appeal of vinyl speak only to the specific proclivities of those buying vinyl? Or is vinyl just a specific instance of a more general desire most people have?

For instance, I used to really enjoy having a physical collection of movies, on DVDs and Blu Ray. There was something satisfying about physically owning copies of many of my favourite movies. But I feel like I've moved past that, and frankly would give my Blu Ray the collection the boot, if I could easily watch all those movies just on streaming.

On the other hand, I'm getting plenty of the tangible satisfaction from records and my turntable.

Perhaps those who don't get any tangible value from records...just get it somewhere else. For instance fiddling with cars, or fiddling/building stereo equipment, or collecting something else, sports gear, doing other physical things.

So is the vinyl revival part of a mere reaction to streaming? Because it offers something different and this is how swings in culture/enthusiasms work? Or is it speaking to a more general thing people value...there really was something valuable about physical media....where some have turned to vinyl to fulfill that need, and others just have moved on and get it elsewhere?
I think part of the appeal, for me, is that I can hear things that are different between cartridges, arms, tables, etc. And they are all valid to my ear. (There is more than one kind of beer or wine to enjoy, too.)

In life, sometimes 'different' is a perfectly fine thing to seek.

This likely does not apply to many new LP aficionados, because they haven't had the leisure for it yet, but it's a joy for me. There is no perfect, so I enjoy the differences between pretty good, even if it isn't 'audibly perfect.'

Different gear shows the point of view of the makers, and can draw my attention toward different parts of a recording in different ways. It reminds me of what they think is important to them.

Analog is like speakers: variation is OK by me. (Same with microphones - man, there are some choices to make there, for sure!)

Liking vinyl doesn't mean one has to apologize for all vinyl gear, either.

So, I like the general sound, the ability to experience different viewpoints or sonic variation, and its ability to allow me some sonic reverie that is its own. (Other formats are fine. It's not a one or the other thing.)
 

Robin L

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It is an interesting question.

A lot is made of the tangibility of records as part of their appeal. The idea that people still have some craving for the physical and tangible, which vinyl seems to satisfy in ways streaming might not.

I think we need to be careful with trying to generalize these things, as people will differ. Does the appeal of vinyl speak only to the specific proclivities of those buying vinyl? Or is vinyl just a specific instance of a more general desire most people have?

For instance, I used to really enjoy having a physical collection of movies, on DVDs and Blu Ray. There was something satisfying about physically owning copies of many of my favourite movies. But I feel like I've moved past that, and frankly would give my Blu Ray the collection the boot, if I could easily watch all those movies just on streaming.

On the other hand, I'm getting plenty of the tangible satisfaction from records and my turntable.

Perhaps those who don't get any tangible value from records...just get it somewhere else. For instance fiddling with cars, or fiddling/building stereo equipment, or collecting something else, sports gear, doing other physical things.

So is the vinyl revival part of a mere reaction to streaming? Because it offers something different and this is how swings in culture/enthusiasms work? Or is it speaking to a more general thing people value...there really was something valuable about physical media....where some have turned to vinyl to fulfill that need, and others just have moved on and get it elsewhere?
My personal "CD Revival" comes from my digital storage of Apple Lossless files becoming corrupted, resulting in the loss of some of my favorite recordings. I have one of those recordings back-ordered at Amazon right now. But, as I have said before, I'm not about to get on the vinyl bandwagon because I simply don't have the room for it.
 

MattHooper

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My personal "CD Revival" comes from my digital storage of Apple Lossless files becoming corrupted, resulting in the loss of some of my favorite recordings. I have one of those recordings back-ordered at Amazon right now. But, as I have said before, I'm not about to get on the vinyl bandwagon because I simply don't have the room for it.

Oh man, there was just some evil scenarios back when people were using iTunes for their music libraries. I'm sure you remember that if you had the "wrong" setting (which I think was actually a default setting) iTunes would helpfully go out and find your album art, replacing even your carefully curated, lossless ripped files with Apple's own lossy versions. I remember a lot of grief and hair-pulling in articles and audio forums. (Luckily I don't think I experienced it myself, but I'm glad to have moved on from itunes to other proprietary systems that won't be so pushy and "helpful").
 

Anton D

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Oh man, there was just some evil scenarios back when people were using iTunes for their music libraries. I'm sure you remember that if you had the "wrong" setting (which I think was actually a default setting) iTunes would helpfully go out and find your album art, replacing even your carefully curated, lossless ripped files with Apple's own lossy versions. I remember a lot of grief and hair-pulling in articles and audio forums. (Luckily I don't think I experienced it myself, but I'm glad to have moved on from itunes to other proprietary systems that won't be so pushy and "helpful").
One day, I was minding my own business, and a U2 album inserted itself into my phone and no matter what I do, I can't purge it. Every time I connect in my wife's car, I get effing "Santa Barbara" and want to kill it.

I uninstalled Apple Music entirely to get rid of it.

I've gone to the Apple Store, tried tutorials, arrrgh. I had an iPhone 6 and went to a 14 when it came out....and U2 followed me! I still keep Apple Music uninstalled.

Sorry for the drift.
 
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jsrtheta

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My problem with this dispute is the fact that I grew up with vinyl, and learned to hate it with a passion. The first time I heard CD, I was amazed. And relieved. Because I was getting so much more information, and with cheaper equipment.

When I first moved from Chicago to Colorado, I boxed up all my vinyl for the trip. Stopped and thought. Called up a friend and asked if he wanted the collection. He said yeah, came and got them. (Damned near blew out his a back end when we loaded it all in the trunk of his car.)

Never looked back. No need.
 

MattHooper

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One day, I was minding my own business, and a U2 album inserted itself into my phone and no matter what I do, I can't purge it. Every time I connect in my wife's car, I get effing "Santa Barbara" and want to kill it.

I uninstalled Apple Music entirely to get rid of it.

I'v gone to the Apple Store, tried tutorial, arrrgh. I had an iPhone 6 and went to a 14 when it came out....and U@ followed me! I still keep Apple Music uninstalled.

Sorry for the drift.

Reminds me of my white-hot hate for Sirius XM. That bloody music service that was being pushed everywhere at one point, especially in new cars.

It came pre-loaded in my VW Golf, something like a few months free service. Well I never used it, never wanted it. But then the "free" portion ended anyway. And now it is still there, stuck in my radio selections as an eternal add for the sirius xm service! In other words, when choosing between inputs, Am or FM or my phone, I continually have to cycle through the useless Sirius add to get what I want. And VW tells me it can't be taken out of the system. I know I'm not the only one deeply annoyed by this (from what I read online).

Back to records...to soothe the anger...
 

MattHooper

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My problem with this dispute is the fact that I grew up with vinyl, and learned to hate it with a passion. The first time I heard CD, I was amazed. And relieved. Because I was getting so much more information, and with cheaper equipment.

When I first moved from Chicago to Colorado, I boxed up all my vinyl for the trip. Stopped and thought. Called up a friend and asked if he wanted the collection. He said yeah, came and got them. (Damned near blew out his a back end when we loaded it all in the trunk of his car.)

Never looked back. No need.

That sounds more like your personal problem with vinyl (why you don't use it anymore), rather than a problem with the "dispute," if I read that correctly.
 

Anton D

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Reminds me of my white-hot hate for Sirius XM. That bloody music service that was being pushed everywhere at one point, especially in new cars.

It came pre-loaded in my VW Golf, something like a few months free service. Well I never used it, never wanted it. But then the "free" portion ended anyway. And now it is still there, stuck in my radio selections as an eternal add for the sirius xm service! In other words, when choosing between inputs, Am or FM or my phone, I continually have to cycle through the useless Sirius add to get what I want. And VW tells me it can't be taken out of the system. I know I'm not the only one deeply annoyed by this (from what I read online).

Back to records...to soothe the anger...
Golf!

2017 here.
 
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