- Jan 27, 2019
You can try to discredit my stance as much as you want, the above are simple facts of modern life.
I didn't try to discredit your stance at all. Just the opposite: that's why I replied that your reaction makes total sense to me.
You have good reasons for not wanting to play vinyl.
But that doesn't mean other people don't have good reasons to play vinyl. Your lack of reasons don't make their choice "irrational."
Me: Why the comeback of a format so cumbersome and full of compromises?
Simple: humans are irrational and emotion driven creatures.
This "playing records is irrational" theme comes up often. It totally misunderstand the nature of rationality. It's not "irrational" to do something that gives you pleasure or value. In fact, it's pretty much the definition of "rational behavior" to take actions that will fulfill your desires (so long as that doesn't conflict with some wider/deeper set of desires you have).
I'm not a "car guy" but I have a friend who is in to older sports cars. He likes to take them out for drives especially to the country areas. I could say to him "that's irrational. Don't you know there are now vehicles that will get you from A to B with better gas mileage and more reliability?" etc. But of course I'd be missing the point that my friend wouldn't enjoy GETTING from A to B as much as when he's driving his old sports car. Because he prefers the ride, feel, engineering...all the things an older car enthusiast appreciates that I don't. Same if I tried to tell someone taking their weekly bike ride to the country-side "That's irrational, you can get there faster, more conveniently and with less effort with a car!" Well...that would miss the whole point they get MORE pleasure, and hence value, out of riding their bike than doing it in a car. So it's more rational for them to bike.
Same with choosing vinyl. It satisfies various desires people have that they aren't getting from streaming. That makes it a rational choice for their purposes, not an irrational one.
I'm amazed by how much internet commentary boils down to "I personally don't have reasons for liking X, therefore there aren't good reasons for liking X" ...and therefore anyone else "doing X" can't have good reasons for it, so their choice must be irrational or just emotional."
Can Vinyl sound great? Oh it absolutely can, if it's a great master and a fresh pressing. Can it sound objectively better than digital, given the same source data? Not a chance, because vinyl is created by a digital base file. It always amuses me when people say "digital sounds lifeless/artificial" and then praise their vinyl, that was created from what?
A DIGITAL FILE.
Yaaah, we humans are weird indeed. I realize, that not everyone is as emotionless and detached as I am.
While it's true that some vinyl enthusiasts can say silly things about digital, that doesn't mean they are wrong in saying they prefer the sound of vinyl...even if it turns out a record came from an original digital master. Generally speaking the "sound of vinyl" comes from that medium, not necessarily from the master.
It comes from all the technical kludges required in getting sound on to wax squiggles and dragging them back off with a rock. At the very start a record usually has to get a different mastering job vs the digital version, and then you have all the variables from getting it on the vinyl and the variables of all the turntables and cartridges, phono stages etc getting that signal back off. So whether it's from a digital master or an analogue, the sound coming off a record is pretty much always going to sound different from the digital version to one degree or another. And once you have such differences, preference comes in to play.
I have records from analog and digital masters. Doesn't matter to me what the master was; it matters how the record ultimately sounds. And I often enough prefer the sound from the vinyl to the purely digital version. Doesn't mean it's "better" of course. But the point is that the fact many new vinyl pressings started from a digital master doesn't itself negate the claims of people who "prefer the sound of vinyl over digital."