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Turntables - help me understand the appeal?

LTig

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On the 'what are you listening to now' thread I mentioned Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with Annie Fischer as the soloist. I got two copies, buying the second because the first was too mucked up. Second copy had hardly been played I think. Total expenditure for both copies £1.50.
La Boheme on the EMI Angel series cost £1. Got tons of records like that at that price, mostly in very good condition, because I think what is happening is that people are dying off and their relatives are boxing up their record collections and dumping them at the nearest charity shop.
That's what made me get a record player.
The price made me also a kind of vinyl collector, after CD came out and started to take over in the mid 90ies. CDs were still very expensive and lots of people dumped their vinyl for almost nothing. It allowed me to replace all the recordings I had on R2R which I could no longer play, due to a broken tape recorder (Philips N4420, my worst buy ever) and the tapes (Sony) starting to fail (I borrowed an Uher Record but it could not salvage the tapes). And with my (then new) LP12 the sound was not bad at all.
 

Tom C

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I recently put together a nice 2.1 music only system ($3K USD range) and use streaming (Spotify HQ and Qobuz <I'm a beta tester in US>) as my source. I'm extremely happy with the results - the sound quality is amazing, everything I had hoped for, and impresses me more everytime I listen.

I keep seeing, especially on Reddit/Audiophile, many, many turntable setups feeding similarly nice or better equipment. I'm familiar with the science behind it, but curious as to the appeal. The arguments for seem to be an "organic" sound that many prefer. I'm curious, but not sure I want to invest several hundred more dollars on an appropriate rig, not to mention cost of albums. I'm not looking to challenge anyone's preferences, but am looking for a better understanding of the appeal?

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?

Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions.
So, are you planning to try vinyl?
 

Blake Klondike

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I grew up buying records in the 80s because you could find them for a quarter and CDs were $16+. It allowed me to hear a lot of music I would never have been able to afford to buy on CD.

I never got rid of all that stuff, and now I find myself listening to it when I really want to pay attention to what I am hearing (even though the sound quality may be worse than streaming in some ways.) Having a physical copy that you have to contend with in the physical world (putting it on, turning it over, etc.) makes me set aside time to listen closely. It is undoubtedly a matter of personal preference, but I find that I use streaming when I want to find out if something is worth pursuing and vinyl when I want to listen to it seriously.
 

Blake Klondike

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The negative side to buying vinyl back then was that if something hadn't made it to CD yet and was rare on LP, the prices were way too high. As a result, I was never able to hear a lot of non-US imports, small-label records, etc. Plus, many vinyl sales trends were regional, so if something didn't sell in your area when it came out the first time, you weren't going to find it for a quarter at a yard sale twenty years later.
 

Wombat

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It seems to me, buying CDs on Ebay, that prices have soared. Used LPs are not inexpensive either when postage costs are considered. There is considerable demand for both.
 

RayDunzl

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It seems to me, buying CDs on Ebay, that prices have soared.
I haven't shopped much recently, but when I did browse, yes...

Maybe on Amazon, too.
 

Frank Dernie

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On the 'what are you listening to now' thread I mentioned Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with Annie Fischer as the soloist. I got two copies, buying the second because the first was too mucked up. Second copy had hardly been played I think. Total expenditure for both copies £1.50.
La Boheme on the EMI Angel series cost £1. Got tons of records like that at that price, mostly in very good condition, because I think what is happening is that people are dying off and their relatives are boxing up their record collections and dumping them at the nearest charity shop.
That's what made me get a record player. So the appeal of vinyl is the availability of recordings by superb artists.
People on here will know how it happens, I am just guessing, but I imagine that when EMI wanted to record La Boheme for release on LP they will have gone to enormous trouble, and no small expense, to send their best recording engineer(s) to Rome to record it. Isn;t that why it sounds so good despite the limitations of my set up? By contrast I listened to a live broadcast on Radio 3 FM a while back and it was absolutely terrible. It sounded like someone had just plonked a single microphone down in front of the orchestra and hoped for the best. Since the BBC is cash strapped I expect it was cost cutting. Since they broadcast a lot of stuff like that I don't expect them to go to the trouble EMI would have gone to back in their heyday.
The LP came out in 1964. If a digital version was to be made, what would the source material be, and could the digital version be any better than this set of LPs which cost me £1? My point is that what I have on LP is a unique performance on near mint vinyl for the cost of a small Mars bar.
Round here the days of inexpensive LPs in charity shops is long gone. There either aren’t any or they are £5 each.
In terms of recording, “back in the day” recordings were done with a very few carefully positioned microphones. The treble is nowhere near as forward this way and the hall ambience is much more in evidence but the background noise level is higher. I much prefer these recordings to modern ones where a plethora of close microphones are mixed together with any ambience being artificial. One never listens to musical instruments from a few inches so the frequency balance is completely unnaturally bright, the background is much quieter though.
I much prefer CD for classical music though for the extra available dynamic range. A lot of the old recordings are available on CD at bargain prices in boxed sets.
 

Wombat

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I tend to focus on purchasing CDs from the first years of issue. They tend to bring silly prices but with patience and a knowledge of EANs and matrix info they can be found at reasonable prices by sellers not caught up in the collectors market.

Most of my LPs were purchased when they were released. I have some that have high value but most came out of the world-wide sausage factory.

Due to my recording a new LP to cassette and archiving the LP away, a substantial number of my LPs(post 60s) are 'mint'.

I looked after my vinyl because it was not inexpensive Down Under, so even my pre-cassette-era albums are VGC.

Because of short playing time and inherent vinyl deficiencies my vinyl lives in a form of suspended animation.

Vinyl served me well for many years. My son is into it.

It is not compulsory to like any format. Enjoy.
 
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dkinric

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So, are you planning to try vinyl?
Ha! OP here - thanks for asking. After 5 months and 500+ replies, I am amazed at the number of posts and the robust discussion here. I posted a response a while back, but to answer your question - no.

Mainly because I have limited funds and no LPs at all - gave them all away when I left college long ago. In reading all the replies, it seems many prefer, at least occasionally, the ritual, tactile nature, and "unique" sound of vinyl - which I totally accept - but it's just not for me.

I decided to go all-in with digital streaming, purchasing a Allo DigiOne Transport fed by ethernet hardwire, controlled with my iPad. I also added a second matching sub (with DSP) to my system. It sounds absolutely fantastic and I'll leave spinning wax and plastic for others. I put my CD collection away in boxes a few years back. The pristine SQ of lossless/HiRes, vast selection, and simple convienience of streaming is what I like. It's been interesting reading people's different opinions and I got the feedback and answers I was looking for.

Now for my next non-controversial post, I was going to go with either "Don't all amplifiers sound the same?" or "Isn't Hi-Res playback always audibly superior to Redbook CD"?
 

TG1

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Round here the days of inexpensive LPs in charity shops is long gone. There either aren’t any or they are £5 each.
In terms of recording, “back in the day” recordings were done with a very few carefully positioned microphones. The treble is nowhere near as forward this way and the hall ambience is much more in evidence but the background noise level is higher. I much prefer these recordings to modern ones where a plethora of close microphones are mixed together with any ambience being artificial. One never listens to musical instruments from a few inches so the frequency balance is completely unnaturally bright, the background is much quieter though.
I much prefer CD for classical music though for the extra available dynamic range. A lot of the old recordings are available on CD at bargain prices in boxed sets.
Fortunately that hasn't happened here yet, so i am hoovering up while the going is good. CDs are pretty abundant in these shops as well, so I will cast my net a bit wider to include them.
 
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In my vinyl setup, what I found most intriguing is how at times, music opens up with more channels of dynamic discovery unheard before. With digital setup, sounds tend to remain the same, offering no differentiation. If anything, vinyl setup makes me appreciate my systems more.
That was my immediate thought as well. A much better Turntable is required.
But I don't get it - if someone is buying albums why are they being recommended DJ decks? What proper album buyer would touch a DJ deck? Also that Crosley recommendation was a joke.
I'd say to any serious vinyl-head, equipment first, records follow. Once you've got good quality equipment that's when you really get to hear the records properly. All sorts of details in the recordings that you had never heard come into the fore. An example as expressed by a friend recently was he'd never heard the "tap drip" at the end of side one of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" album. He'd just got this cheap deck which just couldn't produce at all.

If it was me all over again in your shoes, I'd buy a Project. Brilliant.
 
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Wombat

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What is this transgender avatar thing on this forum?
 

Wombat

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I keep seeing, especially on Reddit/Audiophile, many, many turntable setups feeding similarly nice or better equipment. I'm familiar with the science behind it, but curious as to the appeal. The arguments for seem to be an "organic" sound that many prefer. I'm curious, but not sure I want to invest several hundred more dollars on an appropriate rig, not to mention cost of albums. I'm not looking to challenge anyone's preferences, but am looking for a better understanding of the appeal?
Vinyl is too weak for some complex electro and metal music, in digital terms a LP is pretty much 12/32 FLAC. CD/16 Bit lossless wins on sound quality and dynamic range which is why classical artists quickly dumped vinyl in favour of CD. The only reason i see i that its the fun on getting fantastic cover art and act of setting up the TT to listen to music.
 

Frank Dernie

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He'd just got this cheap deck which just couldn't produce at all.
But that is easily heard on an inexpensive CD player.
I have 4 record players, one of which is IMO the best ever made, and I only use them when a piece of music I want to listen to I only have on LP. For revealing details and low noise a CD has been better than LPs for decades IME, and I designed record players in the old days so they are actually the only part of a hifi I have an intimate and deep knowledge of.
 
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