• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Turntables - help me understand the appeal?

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
1,571
Likes
2,066
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
We recorded a stack of simulcasts and 'whole album broadcasts' in the 1980s because they were infinitely better than many of the LPs we could buy at the local record stores.

FM stations would talk up a Friday night broadcast of a half-speed mastered Japanese pressing and we'd be sitting there, with our decks cued up, biased perfectly waiting for the needle drop. All we hope was the announcer (DJ) would not talk over the last few seconds and ruin our 'master' recordings.

Once they started doing the same with CD, it was a godsend.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
61
Likes
39
I don't see why live broadcasts and recordings thereof don't count. At the time, most of my high quality listening was done from FM radio before loudness overtook quality.
I made lots of recordings of BBC Radio 3 live broadcasts on a cassette recorder, and the bandwidth was quite adequate for FM radio's 15kHz bandwidth, and noise a lot lower than even new LPs could manage. I still record Radio 3 live concerts, although these days it's digital off their internet stream. LPs can have a greater bandwidth than most cassettes, but the better cassette machines could do 20kHz so again adequate.

Yes, LPs were more mainstream than one's own recordings, but at least in the UK, FM radio was considered the highest quality source with the lowest distortion and noise between studio microphones and home loudspeakers. The only real limitation was a 15 kHz bandwidth, and that for most people over a certain age was acceptable.

S
The reason I said they don't count is that is that recording something yourself from a live performance is not the same as music you can purchase whenever you want it. I am not a classical fan but even if I were, If I wanted a to hear a particular conductor and orchestra's performance of a particular piece getting it via a radio recording is unlikely to happen. Comparing the sound quality of a live BBC recording vs an LP means nothing if I want to listen to something that the BBC is never going to do live and that would cover the large majority of available recordings even if you filter for classical only. If not apple and oranges it is at least oranges and grapefruit. Additionally there is the matter of longevity. I used to dub all LP's to high quality cassettes for using in cars and for convenience at home. 20 years later the signal level had dropped off rather drastically reducing the SN to that of a rather ruined LP and sounding rather dull in the highs The LP's at twenty years old still play the way they always did.
 

graz_lag

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Oct 13, 2018
Messages
828
Likes
608
Location
Le Mans, France
Enough as appeal ?

1552081455070.png
 

sergeauckland

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Patreon Donor
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
679
Likes
1,160
Location
Suffolk UK
^Fully automatic with disc turning too. Dust removal with the brush going on...
Yes, but she's holding the record all wrong. It should be held between edge and label, not by the playing surface, as finger grease will hold dirt and increase noise.

Didn't her mother teach her anything?

S
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2019
Messages
98
Likes
55
...
I keep seeing, especially on Reddit/Audiophile, many, many turntable setups feeding similarly nice or better equipment.
...
For those who like listening to turntables on their main systems, why should I consider putting money into this? Can you help me understand why you like listening to records better than HQ streaming?
As a guy who listened to vinyl starting in the late 70s to until recently, I'll add similar advice: don't put money into it. You're not missing anything in terms of actual fidelity.

I listened to vinyl starting in the late 1970s when the alternatives were cassette or 8-track tape. Most vinyl records sound like crap, but the 180 gram and heavier pressings, Japanese press, half-speed masters, etc. done right, can sound fantastic. Like a really good SET OTL amp, vinyl can sound downright magical even if euphonically distorted. It sometimes sounds better than the CD of the same recording, even though vinyl is technically a lower fidelity medium because the vinyl was sometimes mastered with more care and skill. But it's a real PITA. Over the years I had a lot of effort & money invested in it, and about 1,000 LPs about half of which were those 180+ heavy pressings. It was expensive and impractical. I built a 160 lb. sandbox with a floating lid to isolate and level the turntable, a moving coil cartridge that cost about kilobuck (considered "budget" hi-fi by vinyl standards) and must be periodically replaced, built my phono amp from a DACT CT-100 powered by dual 12 V batteries, built a passive stepped attenuator for my "preamp". But about 20 years or so ago I started to find that it was practically impossible to find recordings available in vinyl, and even when they were, they sounded inferior to digital recordings and were more expensive -- like $50 for the LP when you can buy the CD for $10 or download the 96-24 studio master for $15, which sounded better.

So finally just a year or two ago I sold it all. I had a brief moment of nostalgia watching the guy drive away with all my vinyl equipment, but no regrets.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
86
Likes
72
As a guy who listened to vinyl starting in the late 70s to until recently, I'll add similar advice: don't put money into it. You're not missing anything in terms of actual fidelity.

I listened to vinyl starting in the late 1970s when the alternatives were cassette or 8-track tape. Most vinyl records sound like crap, but the 180 gram and heavier pressings, Japanese press, half-speed masters, etc. done right, can sound fantastic. Like a really good SET OTL amp, vinyl can sound downright magical even if euphonically distorted. It sometimes sounds better than the CD of the same recording, even though vinyl is technically a lower fidelity medium because the vinyl was sometimes mastered with more care and skill. But it's a real PITA. Over the years I had a lot of effort & money invested in it, and about 1,000 LPs about half of which were those 180+ heavy pressings. It was expensive and impractical. I built a 160 lb. sandbox with a floating lid to isolate and level the turntable, a moving coil cartridge that cost about kilobuck (considered "budget" hi-fi by vinyl standards) and must be periodically replaced, built my phono amp from a DACT CT-100 powered by dual 12 V batteries, built a passive stepped attenuator for my "preamp". But about 20 years or so ago I started to find that it was practically impossible to find recordings available in vinyl, and even when they were, they sounded inferior to digital recordings and were more expensive -- like $50 for the LP when you can buy the CD for $10 or download the 96-24 studio master for $15, which sounded better.

So finally just a year or two ago I sold it all. I had a brief moment of nostalgia watching the guy drive away with all my vinyl equipment, but no regrets.
Wow. Dunno whether to happy or sad for you ;-)

"Know Thyself" is rule number one for achieving what you want, and it seems you figured it out.

I'm on a completely opposite trajectory, absolutely loving my ever growing vinyl collection and turntable. I just listened to some old 1979 synth-based album and was in heaven - it sounded, as you described when vinyl is done right - just "downright magical."

When I upgraded my turntable/cartridge I did indeed do the audiophile thing - built a nice isolation shelf. My turntable is in a different room from my speakers so I'm not worried about vibrations from the speakers, but it is on a pretty flexible wood floor and my 17 year old son stomps when he walks like Godzilla. The springs have proven remarkably efficient at isolating the turntable from even hard floor-born vibrations.

But once I had peace of mind that way, I've been good to go. No thoughts of spending more or upgrading.

That said, I don't see any particular *need* to spend lots of money and effort for enjoyable vinyl playback. My old Micro Seiki turntable sounded wonderful and gave me tons of sonic joy.

I only upgraded because...hey...I could. But not everyone would want to.
 
Top Bottom