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Can anyone explain the vinyl renaissance?

theREALdotnet

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Nope. Dumped them and never looked back. So I am not people ;-)

Same here. I actually dread the memory of playing records, and all the futzing around it required.
 

Leporello

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'Of course' to the former, 'depends' to the latter; 'depends' if you are pragmatic. If so then you know why LP sales are increasing. And for anyone into digital, that should be a wake up that digital still needs to improve.

So then why has the LP been on the upswing? It shouldn't be...
https://www.riaa.com/u-s-sales-database/
It really should be ... gone!
I see a lot of denial around its existence. You can say how much better digital is and I won't argue that its better. I argue that its not better enough. The simple fact is the LP is still around and sales are increasing. That doesn't happen when a superior technology succeeds the prior art.
Nope. Again you have invented a personal definition of superiority to support your own argument. Not convincing at all.
 

Waxx

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The anti vinyl posse is just denying there is something that keeps vinyl alive, they say it's a fashion for over 30 years now. 30 years is not a fashion, that is that it means something real for a lot of people and as long as you keep denying it you will never understand the reason why vinyl keeps selling and the sales numbers go up. Saying it's a fashion is just saying i don't want to know....
 

killdozzer

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Over 70 pages!

And to think the answer is as simple as:

You may like them better, but they can't perform better. :facepalm:

And the vinyl crowd still thinks it's the other guys...
 

Leporello

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The anti vinyl posse is just denying there is something that keeps vinyl alive, they say it's a fashion for over 30 years now. 30 years is not a fashion, that is that it means something real for a lot of people and as long as you keep denying it you will never understand the reason why vinyl keeps selling and the sales numbers go up. Saying it's a fashion is just saying i don't want to know....
Well, obviously it means something real for a lot of people. But so do astrology, numerology and moon landing conspiracy theories. Something is keeping those things alive, too.
 

Frank Dernie

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:)
If digital were really that much better there would be no discussion about cartridges, tonearms, turntables, cartridge setup and most of all discussions like this one! It would be moot. Its been about 41 years since the inception of the CD and LPs are still around?? I've no doubt that one day it will be better in every way... when that day comes people won't argue about it.

The fact this thread exists points to this simple truth.

Anytime a new technology appears, if it is truly superior the prior art vanishes and becomes a thing of collectors for nostalgia only; dust bins of history and all that. Look at side valves in internal combustion engines. Overhead valves showed up and no-one looks back- they are more reliable and offer vastly improved performance. No surprises here: no-one puts side valves in cars anymore. IOW the prior art has vanished.

That's not happened with the LP- yet. So we know (whether we like it or not) the existing art needs improvement. You can make the argument that people prefer distortion.. and other such nonsense. Sheesh! The pragmatic individual will look at the bigger picture and see its really obvious the digital still has some homework to do.
I came to a similar-ish conclusion but based on a completely different set of experiences and experiments on myself.
I was a keen amateur recordist from the mid 1960s (though not much for the last 15 years). I started with a mono valve tape recorder and steadily upgraded until a Revox B77, which I still have and still works.
There are lots of little skills one develops to get good recordings but the one which digital fixed with its first commercially available kit I used was dynamic range and accuracy.
I had been used to setting levels carefully balancing audible distortion on loud bits against audible hiss on quiet bits. It was pretty difficult and a hard won skill and one still got an unpleasant surprise from time to time with a louder “loud-bit” in performance than setup.
Anyway the first digital recorder I tried, a StellaDAT, it was easy to get a level where there was zero audible distortion on the peaks and zero audible noise and for the first time ever I was unable to tell the difference between the microphone feed and “off-tape”. I bought one. I still have it but it has lost its programme so doesn’t boot :(.

Microphone choice and positioning is still as critical as ever but even the 16/48 digital of the DAT format was audibly completely transparent enough for music, which should be no surprise given the long known facts of human auditory capability and the dynamic range of actual music.

Basically IME if there is an audible shortcoming in a digital recoding it must be poor microphone choice or positioning or incompetent level setting, almost impossible with 24-bit recorders.

I have also done some tests on myself to get an idea of what I myself would be likely to hear both distortion and dynamic range wise which shows me that whilst I know from my recording experience analogue systems are not audibly transparent they are largely sufficiently good.

Whilst people are able to detect some shortcomings IME most of an analogue recording neither the distortion levels nor limited dynamic range of analogue systems are enough to ruin my musical enjoyment, or even notice often at all. If there at all just a few fractions of a second of audible distortion or hiss.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a bigger difference in the sound quality of the gazillions of recordings there are for sale than there is in the potential of the different replay systems we may choose to play them on. I have stupendous CDs and disappointing ones. I have superb LPs and poor ones. It just is not a big thing for me.

What is a big thing, as an engineer doing noise and vibration at Garrard in the 1970s, is the prices charged for everything to do with playing records.

It fits into the “never give a sucker an even break” category IMO. Obscene.

The ”best” bit about LPs is how easy it is to “tune to taste”. I have 4 turntables which all sound different. There are huge variations in frequency response of cartridges compared to DACs and so forth. One could argue that having a rolled off cartridge because you have peaky speakers isn’t a smart solution, but at least it is possible.

With digital you get exactly what the record company released and that’s it.
 

tonycollinet

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With digital you get exactly what the record company released and that’s it.

Do you really though?

(Note - all these plugins are generally off when I'm listening. But they can be fun to play with)




Screenshot 2022-09-24 at 09.47.55.png



And this is not to mention my MiniDSP flex with which I can adapt my sound to compensate the room and speakers - and optimise the tonality to taste with a target FR curve. I can even do that for my vinyl (with a modified target curve to compensate higher frequency rolloff) since the MiniDSP has an analogue input.

Try and do all that with a pure analogue sound chain. Believe me, the above is by far easier (and cheaper) than messing about with different turntables, tonearms, cartridges and setups.
 
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MattHooper

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Well, obviously it means something real for a lot of people. But so do astrology, numerology and moon landing conspiracy theories. Something is keeping those things alive, too.

Very true. But when we are trying to understand or explain peoples beliefs or motivations we have to beware personally comfortable but facile “explanations” that don’t actually illuminate. People believe plenty of weird things, and you can throw revealed religions right in to the pot above.

But if I were to “explain” those beliefs or actions by just saying “well, lots of people are clearly dumb” then that would simply be a way of making myself feel better at the expense of not really trying to understand how even smart people believe these things.

A similar “explanation” for vinyl often offered is that its just a “fad” for “hipsters” and about joining the crowd. That too is a facile “explanation” that does more work to make the person saying this feel superior than it does shedding light and really understanding the complexity of the phenomena.
 
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Frgirard

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Very true. But when we are trying to understand or explain peoples beliefs or motivations we have to beware personally comfortable but facile “explanations” that don’t actually illuminate. People believe plenty of weird things, and you can throw revealed religions right in to the pot above.

But if I were to “explain” those beliefs or actions by just saying “well, lots of people are clearly dumb” then that would simply be a way of making myself feel better at the expense of not really trying to understand how even smart people believe these things.

A similar “explanation” for vinyl often offered is that its just a “fad” for “hipsters” and about joining the crowd. That too is a facile “explanation” that does more work to make the person saying this feel superior than it does shedding light and really understanding the complexity of the phenomena.
neither you nor I can escape marketing as soon as it flatters our preferences, our affects.
 

MattHooper

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neither you nor I can escape marketing as soon as it flatters our preferences, our affects.

So, in regards to explaining why people like vinyl, does that go in to the "It's All Just Marketing" category?

I'm not sure what you may be disagreeing with.
 

Frgirard

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So, in regards to explaining why people like vinyl, does that go in to the "It's All Just Marketing" category?

I'm not sure what you may be disagreeing with.
for the majority of consumers vinyl is only a fashion purchase dictated by the media noise generated by the business. 99% don't know what mastering is: on this forum of educated people it is even laughable.
 

Frank Dernie

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Do you really though?

(Note - all these plugins are generally off when I'm listening. But they can be fun to play with)




View attachment 233001


And this is not to mention my MiniDSP flex with which I can adapt my sound to compensate the room and speakers - and optimise the tonality to taste with a target FR curve. I can even do that for my vinyl (with a modified target curve to compensate higher frequency rolloff) since the MiniDSP has an analogue input.

Try and do all that with a pure analogue sound chain. Believe me, the above is by far easier (and cheaper) than messing about with different turntables, tonearms, cartridges and setups.
Well obviously not if you f*ck about with it yourself using plug ins etc :facepalm: and your room acoustic is irrelevant to the accuracy of the recording, or how much it has been manipulated by the record company.

What you DO get is an output from your DAC (as long as it is properly engineered) audibly indistinguishable from the output of their DAC.
Very unlikely the output from your phono stage is audibly indistinguishable from what the record company people get.
 

Snoopy

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I always read about people that claim the vinyl would have less of a dynamic compression.
Even if the same CD Master is used for the Vinyl.

For example "Keith Richards - crosseyed heart".

But isn't this just the case because you can't really measures the DR of a vinyl by doing a needle drop?

At the same time I have been reading about old vinyl releases that where basically brickwalled so they wouldn't skip on cheap turntables the kids used in the 60... But at the same time audiophiles claim that exactly these are the versions to get.. (often people that are in their 60-80s. That suddenly notice details a dog couldn't hear).
 

Frank Dernie

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I always read about people that claim the vinyl would have less of a dynamic compression.
Even if the same CD Master is used for the Vinyl.
That is rubbish.
The dynamic range potential of LPs is less than that of CD, particularly at high frequency.

However, because LPs will definitely only be listened to in a domestic environment some LP manufacturers may well choose to cut an LP using a lot of its dynamic range potential whereas the vast majority of people listen to digital streamed music on telephones, ear buds, in cars and on smart speakers. Here both the equipment and/or the environment are completely incapable of reproducing everything in a 16/44.1 window, so the dynamic range is changed before releasing the recording to make it suitable for most listeners.
Unfortunately hifi owners don't count and the splendid capability of 16/44.1 is not made available to them.
 

tonycollinet

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Well obviously not if you f*ck about with it yourself using plug ins etc :facepalm: and your room acoustic is irrelevant to the accuracy of the recording, or how much it has been manipulated by the record company.

What you DO get is an output from your DAC (as long as it is properly engineered) audibly indistinguishable from the output of their DAC.
Very unlikely the output from your phono stage is audibly indistinguishable from what the record company people get.
You seemed to be making an argument that a benefit of vinyl is you can get different sounds through differnet turntables, cartridges, tonearms and such. And you can compensate for a weakness in one part of your system, with an opposing weakness in another. And you can’t do that with digital, because you get only what was mastered. “And that’s it”

So you can “fuck about” with the music in an uncontrolled, expensive trial and error approach using those things.

Or alterntivley you can use kit which gives you ”exactly what the artist intended” and then carfully tune it for your listening environment and taste using inexpensive digital processing.

Take your pick.

Is it OK if I also go …. :facepalm:?
 
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Frank Dernie

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You seemed to be making an argument that a benefit of vinyl is you can get different sounds through differnet turntables, cartridges, tonearms and such. And you can compensate for a weakness in one part of your system, with an opposing weakness in another. And you can’t do that with digital, because you get only what was mastered.
That was not my point. Hence the inverted commas around "best"

It isn't a benefit, it is an inevitable consequence of the system but does allow enthusiasts to dick about.

What you get out of your DAC is what everybody gets out of their DAC, as long as it is competently engineered.
 

Snoopy

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That is rubbish.
The dynamic range potential of LPs is less than that of CD, particularly at high frequency.

However, because LPs will definitely only be listened to in a domestic environment some LP manufacturers may well choose to cut an LP using a lot of its dynamic range potential whereas the vast majority of people listen to digital streamed music on telephones, ear buds, in cars and on smart speakers. Here both the equipment and/or the environment are completely incapable of reproducing everything in a 16/44.1 window, so the dynamic range is changed before releasing the recording to make it suitable for most listeners.
Unfortunately hifi owners don't count and the splendid capability of 16/44.1 is not made available to them.


Exactly the reason why I'm looking for different CD, DSD and high-res releases of one and the same album to get a version that does not have a dynamic range made for Alexa loudspeakers and ear-buds.
 
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