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Can anyone explain the vinyl renaissance?

Timcognito

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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 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.
This is all true and many here started with records or LPs when AM radio went to Stereo FM radio and whole LP sides were played of new, not Top Forty music. It was about music not gear because to have music many had access to a record player, could play full sides at home with friends and not just 45 rpm songs. Quality improved and the gear from Japan was relatively inexpensive. The HiFi hobby flourished and the digital age brought more quality and CDs, size, portability, skip songs and ease of use but one still had to shop at the "record store" for the still physical media.

I think some derision comes when a newer generation came in and physical media was fading fast and initially quality is lessened with the internet streaming music, ubiquitous and no longer requiring a lot of gear or shared experience. As quality improves older generation says wow look at the access, look at quality and ease of use, purchase and storage but it is still a hobby about quality music reproduction and gear. They live in family units not dorms or cheap apartments anymore so they too lose the group experience and musical tastes evolve but wow look they have all they need for the hobby, highest quality ever, internet radio, forums on gear and music, purchasing without brick and mortar, no physical media and no mechanical players. Why would one ever go back to tedious procurement, storage, cleaning, surface noise, and interruption of music and manipulation of media? The newer generation has not lived through the "hard times" and music is a ubiquitous and nearly free substance, taken for granted, few care about sound quality and more care about brand affiliation.

At some point with all the $2 LPs floating around and abandoned TT's a fad starts, it's cool to have all that ritual, what FM radio was to that older generation, a reason to coalesces around a shared interest and it gets renamed vinyl. It's not records anymore, it's new, and a gateway for some to enter audio hobby seeking better sound. There they encounter us, with many recalcitrant stranglers who are still embracing there LPs TT and phono amps, they find a home, and with the new blood, some veterans are even willing to rename it the vinyl renaissance. But also they encounter the digital/streaming/internet technology, next new thing guys that don't even want to go back to bygone days of flipping discs or even CDs. The range war gets more entrenched with the young recruits joining the TT stragglers waging war against the digital data-heads for HiFi eliteness and supremacy. The war continues on page 289 of this thread ASR. Stay tuned for the latest developments.
 

thecheapseats

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It's at the limit for my eyes these days. I can really only do SMD under a live microscope/cam on a monitor and it won't be long before even the serious experts doing mobile phone reworks hit their limits. I put the tri-nocular 'scope and the hot-air rework unit in the spare room earlier this year as I've had enough of stupid small stuff until I go see the optometrist.

Yes, lighting is the key. You can do almost anything with tons of light, but to everyone else it looks like a ball-park lit up at night.

I find myself only wanting to do rebuild/restorations on vintage through hole stuff at the moment. It's older, simpler, bigger, better built and more fun.
ha! - yep, big fat thru-the-hole components - those were the days - much easier... thank goodness for "live microscope/cam on a monitor" systems...
 

thecheapseats

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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.
proper attribution (credits) has fallen by the wayside... spelling my name wrong doesn't matter if it was never printed, I suppose...
 

thecheapseats

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My local dealer would agree, he told me a lot of his customers are collectors who search out rare LPs but don't even own a turntable and don't play them.

This is a completely different market/type of hobby though.
I have a stupid-large collection of vinyl mostly because it supplemented my music education... vinyl exposed me to everything - performances, orchestration techniques, combining sonorities - it was invaluable...
 

restorer-john

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geez - I typed smt in my comment - transistors on my mind I guess - getting old sucks...

I knew what you meant. :)

I recall SMT referring not just to transistors, it was IIRC, Surface Mount Technology. Then came SMTs and general SMDs. Didn't it all start with flexible substrate film-like PCBs with flattened components in the early 70s- calculators particularly? Some of the early HP scientifics. A lot of 70s servo motors had SMTs on flex PCBs inside the housings. By the time walkmans were on the market, SMD and flex PCBs were everywhere.
 

thecheapseats

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I knew what you meant. :)

I recall SMT referring not just to transistors, it was IIRC, Surface Mount Technology. Then came SMTs and general SMDs. Didn't it all start with flexible substrate film-like PCBs with flattened components in the early 70s- calculators particularly? Some of the early HP scientifics. A lot of 70s servo motors had SMTs on flex PCBs inside the housings. By the time walkmans were on the market, SMD and flex PCBs were everywhere.
I figured I had just made a mistake calling out the form factor...
 

Newman

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This is all true and many here started with records or LPs when AM radio went to Stereo FM radio and whole LP sides were played of new, not Top Forty music. It was about music not gear because to have music many had access to a record player, could play full sides at home with friends and not just 45 rpm songs. Quality improved and the gear from Japan was relatively inexpensive. The HiFi hobby flourished and the digital age brought more quality and CDs, size, portability, skip songs and ease of use but one still had to shop at the "record store" for the still physical media.

I think some derision comes when a newer generation came in and physical media was fading fast and initially quality is lessened with the internet streaming music, ubiquitous and no longer requiring a lot of gear or shared experience. As quality improves older generation says wow look at the access, look at quality and ease of use, purchase and storage but it is still a hobby about quality music reproduction and gear. They live in family units not dorms or cheap apartments anymore so they too lose the group experience and musical tastes evolve but wow look they have all they need for the hobby, highest quality ever, internet radio, forums on gear and music, purchasing without brick and mortar, no physical media and no mechanical players. Why would one ever go back to tedious procurement, storage, cleaning, surface noise, and interruption of music and manipulation of media? The newer generation has not lived through the "hard times" and music is a ubiquitous and nearly free substance, taken for granted, few care about sound quality and more care about brand affiliation.

At some point with all the $2 LPs floating around and abandoned TT's a fad starts, it's cool to have all that ritual, what FM radio was to that older generation, a reason to coalesces around a shared interest and it gets renamed vinyl. It's not records anymore, it's new, and a gateway for some to enter audio hobby seeking better sound. There they encounter us, with many recalcitrant stranglers who are still embracing there LPs TT and phono amps, they find a home, and with the new blood, some veterans are even willing to rename it the vinyl renaissance. But also they encounter the digital/streaming/internet technology, next new thing guys that don't even want to go back to bygone days of flipping discs or even CDs. The range war gets more entrenched with the young recruits joining the TT stragglers waging war against the digital data-heads for HiFi eliteness and supremacy. The war continues on page 289 of this thread ASR. Stay tuned for the latest developments.
A well-reasoned argument.

But, regarding the emboldened words above, the vinyl renaissance is really more about the rise in $40-$100 (Matt’s estimate) new record sales, bought by people who only half the time own a TT. The origins were not so much in “$2 LPs and abandoned TTs” and much more in hip-hop/rap/DJ culture moving from cool ethnic to ultracool mainstream (laughed at by the cool ethnic originals), and those LPs were and are primarily full-priced. Once it hit mainstream, the Music Money Industry’s eyes lit up, and millions of fools and their money were soon parted, for exactly the same (or less) music at insane per-song prices.

The proof being tendered that this renaissance is real is the data on new record sales. Without that, there would be no discussion of renaissance, just a sidebar to this hobby that gets filed alongside restorers of old radios.
 

thecheapseats

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This is all true and many here started with records or LPs when AM radio went to Stereo FM radio and whole LP sides were played of new, not Top Forty music. It was about music not gear because to have music many had access to a record player, could play full sides at home with friends and not just 45 rpm songs. Quality improved and the gear from Japan was relatively inexpensive. The HiFi hobby flourished and the digital age brought more quality and CDs, size, portability, skip songs and ease of use but one still had to shop at the "record store" for the still physical media.

I think some derision comes when a newer generation came in and physical media was fading fast and initially quality is lessened with the internet streaming music, ubiquitous and no longer requiring a lot of gear or shared experience. As quality improves older generation says wow look at the access, look at quality and ease of use, purchase and storage but it is still a hobby about quality music reproduction and gear. They live in family units not dorms or cheap apartments anymore so they too lose the group experience and musical tastes evolve but wow look they have all they need for the hobby, highest quality ever, internet radio, forums on gear and music, purchasing without brick and mortar, no physical media and no mechanical players. Why would one ever go back to tedious procurement, storage, cleaning, surface noise, and interruption of music and manipulation of media? The newer generation has not lived through the "hard times" and music is a ubiquitous and nearly free substance, taken for granted, few care about sound quality and more care about brand affiliation.
good points all... a good read...Thanks...

...At some point with all the $2 LPs floating around and abandoned TT's a fad starts...
in the back of my mind the large number of second-hand TTs 'must' have a lot to do with a vinyl fad resurgence...

most used TTs floating around are 'dumpster meat' - but simply doing the math of the number of TTs sold in the last half of the 20th century of devices that were above-average in quality, cared for and mainatined - it is certainly enough to jump start a new-use market without a huge cost-barrier to overcome. imo...
 

Axo1989

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That is extremely funny, thank you.

Might be a true statement in the present tense. No axe to grind? By now he will have ground the axe-head all the way back to the handle.

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.

Yes, and even though I don't have (and didn't grow up here with) LPs and turntables, I think the aesthetics, haptics and pleasing ritualistic aspects are obvious enough.

As for sonics, I recall a digital vs vinyl comparison posted by @IPunchCholla a while back. Listening blind I preferred the digital-sourced on balance, but the vinyl-sourced had some pleasing aspects that I appreciated and that I'm sure many enjoy. I also recall the low-SINAD vs high-SINAD amp comparison posted by @GXAlan. I was one of a small number who could differentiate blind, but most couldn't.

I've concluded that 1) vinyl sourced music can sound good, and 2) certain aspects of SoTA reproduction are not particularly audible depending on the music being played, and stated positions are often ideological/theoretical.
 

Timcognito

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A well-reasoned argument.

But, regarding the emboldened words above, the vinyl renaissance is really more about the rise in $40-$100 (Matt’s estimate) new record sales, bought by people who only half the time own a TT. The origins were not so much in “$2 LPs and abandoned TTs” and much more in hip-hop/rap/DJ culture moving from cool ethnic to ultracool mainstream (laughed at by the cool ethnic originals), and those LPs were and are primarily full-priced. Once it hit mainstream, the Music Money Industry’s eyes lit up, and millions of fools and their money were soon parted, for exactly the same (or less) music at insane per-song prices.

The proof being tendered that this renaissance is real is the data on new record sales. Without that, there would be no discussion of renaissance, just a sidebar to this hobby that gets filed alongside restorers of old radios.
Not discounting the above but a good friend runs a new and used record (music) store since 2007. In the first five years a box of 25 -75 used records would be placed at his doorstep 1 to 3 times a week for free. Some people would bring them in for store credit to get new or used CDs. A decent Beach Boys LP would sell for $3 and the same one with rougher surface but playable was a $1. Those same used albums are now $14 mint and the lowest is $5. A rare Charles Mingus in good shape might be $35. My friend goes to auctions and pays for collections competing with other dealers for what was once free. Do you go to used record shops? the prices are above the same used CD. I have no interest in anything unless in it can't be found digitally. Just look on eBay the prices are insane. Its big even in the used market.
 

Axo1989

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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'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.

I'd forgotten that Apple+U2 promotion. Had to check and yes it's still there in my library Songs of Innocence. I don't recall playing it either, but I did end up liking Lykke Li (feat. on the last track).

Fairly apropos for this thread: I do recall the promotion was a real tempest in a teacup at the time (I'm not someone who really curates a tidy library though, or sorts my email or any of those things).

Edit: it deleted normally just now
 
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MattHooper

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Might be a true statement in the present tense. No axe to grind? By now he will have ground the axe-head all the way back to the handle.



Yes, and even though I don't have (and didn't grow up here with) LPs and turntables, I think the aesthetics, haptics and pleasing ritualistic aspects are obvious enough.

As for sonics, I recall a digital vs vinyl comparison posted by @IPunchCholla a while back. Listening blind I preferred the digital-sourced on balance, but the vinyl-sourced had some pleasing aspects that I appreciated and that I'm sure many enjoy. I also recall the low-SINAD vs high-SINAD amp comparison posted by @GXAlan. I was one of a small number who could differentiate blind, but most couldn't.

I've concluded that 1) vinyl sourced music can sound good, and 2) certain aspects of SoTA reproduction are not particularly audible depending on the music being played, and stated positions are often ideological/theoretical.

Nice summation!
 

GXAlan

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computer-audiophile

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This was discussed earlier. It also means that vinyl listeners also have friends/family who buy them gifts.
Yes, that's old news.

The discussion is caught in an unproductive loop of repetition. There is a constant circulation of supposed facts that rely on a very thin data foundation. Whether one chooses to believe it or not is subjective. However, certain participants in the discussion seem quite inclined to readily accept certain assertions.
 

Galliardist

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:D:D:D:D:D

Yeah, sure! It's not a fad. Sure.
So, we are talking constant use since 1958. The growth in LP record sales has been going on for sixteen years since 2007 and may have started earlier if the market was catered for.

When does it stop being a fad? If it ever was? Even if a lot of the discs don't get played - and we have enough people arriving here for first system advice that are buying a turntable to play existing records, suggesting that they may do in the end?
 
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