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Turntables - help me understand the appeal?

Thomas_A

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If I would buy one today I would not choose any of them shown in the links. If I would be hardcore into vinyl I would probably choose a SOTA with vacuum platter, a Moerch DP-8 tonearm with a vintage Shure V15V and JICO SAS stylus. I am however satisfied with my 30 year Linn Axis, Moerch UP-4 with 4 g tonearm wand and the Shure/SAS combo including a customised loading and real-time click removal (through a mac mini). It sounds resonable, example in the link.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ivbpg6bl8533oxj/Cowboy junkies_click.wav?dl=0
 

Frank Dernie

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It always surprises me when somebody writes that they find their LP system sounds more natural to them on any instrument.
There was never a time when I made a recording using any of the analogue methods I used where the output of the recorder was indistinguishable from the microphone feed. Digital recorders were, from day 1 IME, capable of making a recording I could not distinguish from the microphone feed.
LPs have usually had some manipulation of the signal for manufacturing reasons as well so are even less likely to be accurate.

I wonder if most people have listened to so much more music on record players rather than live that they have come to think of that sound as the real one???

OTOH very few, if any, commercial releases haven't been manipulated even on CD.
 

sergeauckland

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It always surprises me when somebody writes that they find their LP system sounds more natural to them on any instrument.
There was never a time when I made a recording using any of the analogue methods I used where the output of the recorder was indistinguishable from the microphone feed. Digital recorders were, from day 1 IME, capable of making a recording I could not distinguish from the microphone feed.
LPs have usually had some manipulation of the signal for manufacturing reasons as well so are even less likely to be accurate.

I wonder if most people have listened to so much more music on record players rather than live that they have come to think of that sound as the real one???

OTOH very few, if any, commercial releases haven't been manipulated even on CD.
I'm pretty sure this was also true for the reason why many didn't like CD when it was first available. It removed all the old familiar colorations and so sounded 'wrong' compared with LPs. It was interesting that at the time, those people who loved CD from the start were those who regularly went to live acoustic music concerts.

S.
 

JohnBooty

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It always surprises me when somebody writes that they find their LP system sounds more natural to them on any instrument.

[...]

I wonder if most people have listened to so much more music on record players rather than live that they have come to think of that sound as the real one???
For a lot of vinyl newcomers (though probably not anybody on this forum) I think their point of comparison would be terribly compressed audio such as Bluetooth speakers, YouTube videos played on tiny laptop speakers, etc. Not redbook audio.

I listened to Sirius XM for a few hours last night in the wife's car, and boy.... it's pretty bad. Compared to that I think even a scratched up record on a Crosley would sound natural.
 

Frank Dernie

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For a lot of vinyl newcomers (though probably not anybody on this forum) I think their point of comparison would be terribly compressed audio such as Bluetooth speakers, YouTube videos played on tiny laptop speakers, etc. Not redbook audio.

I listened to Sirius XM for a few hours last night in the wife's car, and boy.... it's pretty bad. Compared to that I think even a scratched up record on a Crosley would sound natural.
Well sounding “nice” or “bad” wasn’t what I was meaning, it was the idea that LPs gave a natural tone on acoustic instruments, which is technically extremely unlikely and IME not the case.
Pop music isn’t something one can judge instrumental timbre from.
 

MattHooper

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It always surprises me when somebody writes that they find their LP system sounds more natural to them on any instrument.
There was never a time when I made a recording using any of the analogue methods I used where the output of the recorder was indistinguishable from the microphone feed. Digital recorders were, from day 1 IME, capable of making a recording I could not distinguish from the microphone feed.
LPs have usually had some manipulation of the signal for manufacturing reasons as well so are even less likely to be accurate.

I wonder if most people have listened to so much more music on record players rather than live that they have come to think of that sound as the real one???

OTOH very few, if any, commercial releases haven't been manipulated even on CD.
Again, totally understand what you are saying Frank. Bit just to clear up some speculation:

For my part vinyl hasn’t been my refeeence for 30 years. I been pretty much all digital for music. I’m pretty new getting back in to it with any seriousness. Also, I’ve been recording music and sound effects ever since that analogue days in to the digital era, so quite familiar with the differences. (Give me digital for most sound effects!)

Another speculation is that audiophiles who perceive instruments on vinyl as more “natural” are not well acquainted with the sound of live instruments. I know the “audiophile who never hears live music” is something of a cliche, but having known a great many audiphiles and been on the various audio forums for years, I have not found that to be the case. Most seem to have an enthusiasm for and experience with live music beyond the average joe.

Personally I’ve been obsessed with live vs reproduced sound for ages and when listening to either I am often doing so with this comparison in mind.

As for my comments about strings seeming more belevable/natural on some vinyl, like I mentioned I certainly don’t propose my subjective impression as The Truth. I wouldn’t be surprised if we evaluated the same tracks differently. I may be keying in on some aspect of the vinyl sound that reminds me of the real thing where you may find that with the digital version.
 

LuckyLuke575

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For a lot of vinyl newcomers (though probably not anybody on this forum) I think their point of comparison would be terribly compressed audio such as Bluetooth speakers, YouTube videos played on tiny laptop speakers, etc. Not redbook audio.

I listened to Sirius XM for a few hours last night in the wife's car, and boy.... it's pretty bad. Compared to that I think even a scratched up record on a Crosley would sound natural.
I agree with this sentiment, because most people have been listening to bad quality audio sources and bad sounding earphones / speakers, so one of the natural steps could be getting into vinyl. Speaking from my own experience, when I was in high school I listened to an iPod Mini with the stock earphones and 128 kbps, so when my dad would play records on his component system, I'd think 'Wow, this is a real hifi'.

I've just bought an integrated amp and decent book shelf speakers so I can connect a turntable to it, because I want to get away from using bluetooth speakers.
 
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I have a VPI TT with all the trimmings and about 500 vinyls. To me, it has nothing to do with the sound quality, but with the entire ritual of dusting, placing, the needle drop scratch, etc... while reminiscing the times when this was the name of the game, rather than the melancholy that it is today.

Otherwise, I have 300Gb of music files on a NAS and pondering to move to a cloud storage. Some digital remastering results are excellent, many are crap, so is life...
 
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Oh vinyl is so mysterious - dragging a rock through miniature valleys of Polyvinylchloride - and getting SOUND out of the process. What a hoot - how crude we were - but damn if that sound was not captivating - pulling one into the emotional transcendence that is MUSIC. My grandfather had a WIND UP vinyl playing engine where the volume control consisted of two doors on the front of the cabinet - higher volume? Doors fully open. Lower volume? Doors slightly shut. Steel needle and a horn. Egad. Power chords made no difference on that machine.

Yes I listen to RBCD for about 95% of my music - but sometimes slap on some black wax and get captivated by remembrances of things past. Licorice pizzas - riding my bike to the record store when my GI bill came in - and treating myself to a couple of slabs of Licorice Pizza. Then home and spinning that tasty stuff.

Everybody should have a vinyl engine and the other accoutrements required - just for the nostalgia of it all. Don't go full blown schizoid and spend $50,000 - an old AR table, an Audio-Technica Cart and a solid state phono amp are ALL YOU NEED to extract the joy from those circular gateways.
 

LuckyLuke575

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Everybody should have a vinyl engine and the other accoutrements required - just for the nostalgia of it all. Don't go full blown schizoid and spend $50,000 - an old AR table, an Audio-Technica Cart and a solid state phono amp are ALL YOU NEED to extract the joy from those circular gateways.[/QUOTE]

Totally agree with this sentiment. In my mind the best thing to do is to get high quality used equipment from the 80's and 90's for a bargain (think Made in Japan Sony, Yamaha, Technics etc.), a decent set of speakers and turn table as mentioned. But spending thousands of dollars on a TT setup is nuts (esp those exotic turntables going up to $50,000 for the floor standing ones). A TT isn't about sound quality. Sure, you want to do better than those China TTs in a suitcase with built in speakers, but if someone is that nuts about sound quality, they should just play a 96k/24 file through a decent hifi system and forget about the records.
 
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Totally agree with this sentiment. In my mind the best thing to do is to get high quality used equipment from the 80's and 90's for a bargain (think Made in Japan Sony, Yamaha, Technics etc.), a decent set of speakers and turn table as mentioned.
For some people. Sure. But people are different and have different priorities - even within this forum - so one-size-fit-all recommendations will never work. Remember: tons of music lovers would see even the attention paid by people on this forum to DACs and other audio gear to be excessive. "All you actually need is..." (fill in the blank with that person's personal criteria...)

But spending thousands of dollars on a TT setup is nuts
Nut here, signing in! ;)

I used my old Technic's turntable here and there in the 90's/2000's to play my old records. It was mostly for fun - had that nostolgiac old vinyl sound too. Then I got my father-in-law's cast of Micro Seiki turntable and a good cartridge. Then vinyl playback sounded damned good on my high end system. Still had that nostalgic vinyl sound, but better and the desire to spin vinyl was starting to compete with my listening to my digital set up (full res CDs, higher res downloads and Tidal streamed to my Benchmark DAC). Started buying more newly released records and...audiophile that I am...upgraded to my current high-mass german-made Transrotor turntable and a better cartridge. Mamma mia! Now vinyl was sounding so clean and resolved and rich I actually started preferring the sound of many records over my digital source! It completely revitalized my enthusiasm for both listening to and collecting music. So was it a stupid choice? Sure didn't work out bad for me!

A TT isn't about sound quality.
Fair enough...if you are speaking for yourself? ;-)

It certainly is about sound quality for me...as well as the other aspects that go along with using a turntable and listening to vinyl.

but if someone is that nuts about sound quality, they should just play a 96k/24 file through a decent hifi system and forget about the records.
I have that option available via my digital system. Sounds fantastic. So it's not like I don't know what I'm comparing vinyl too. I go back and forth.

But vinyl also can sound fantastic. I've played LPs for guests that have left them looking like they've seen a ghost, it "seemed so realistic." And since vinyl often sounds a bit different from digital with a sonic quality I enjoy, I spin it as much for how it sounds as for the other fun aspects.
 
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Xulonn

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LOL. Not quite.

That company is surely as guilty - or more - as any other "high end" turntable company in making some over-the-top products (and prices). Like that one. I didn't go seeking out Transrotor. It just happened a really "good" deal came up from someone who had to get rid of his Fat Bob S Transrotor turntable, almost brand new, with a very expensive cartridge and the arm thrown in to the deal. Couldn't resist and knew I could easily re-sell, even at profit, if it didn't work out for me.



You didn't get this one, did you, Matt? :cool:

View attachment 31257
 

Xulonn

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someone who had to get rid of his Fat Bob S Transrotor turntable, almost brand new, with a very expensive cartridge and the arm thrown in to the deal.
Aha! This one then - lists for $7,500...nice eye candy for those with a more generous audio budget than many of us.

Enjoy! :)

Transrotor.jpg
 
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For some people. Sure. But people are different and have different priorities - even within this forum - so one-size-fit-all recommendations will never work. Remember: tons of music lovers would see even the attention paid by people on this forum to DACs and other audio gear to be excessive. "All you actually need is..." (fill in the blank with that person's personal criteria...)



Nut here, signing in! ;)

I used my old Technic's turntable here and there in the 90's/2000's to play my old records. It was mostly for fun - had that nostolgiac old vinyl sound too. Then I got my father-in-law's cast of Micro Seiki turntable and a good cartridge. Then vinyl playback sounded damned good on my high end system. Still had that nostalgic vinyl sound, but better and the desire to spin vinyl was starting to compete with my listening to my digital set up (full res CDs, higher res downloads and Tidal streamed to my Benchmark DAC). Started buying more newly released records and...audiophile that I am...upgraded to my current high-mass german-made Transrotor turntable and a better cartridge. Mamma mia! Now vinyl was sounding so clean and resolved and rich I actually started preferring the sound of many records over my digital source! It completely revitalized my enthusiasm for both listening to and collecting music. So was it a stupid choice? Sure didn't work out bad for me!



Well...maybe speak for yourself? ;-)

It certainly is about sound quality for me...as well as the other aspects that go along with using a turntable and listening to vinyl.



I have that option available via my digital system. Sounds fantastic. So it's not like I don't know what I'm comparing vinyl too. I go back and forth.

But vinyl also can sound fantastic. I've played LPs for guests that have left them looking like they've seen a ghost, it "seemed so realistic." And since vinyl often sounds a bit different from digital with a sonic quality I enjoy, I spin it as much for how it sounds as for the other fun aspects.
I agree.

I have to say I have been a bit surprised at just how good my quite modest in comparison early 80's Kenwood DD can sound since getting my feet back into Vinyl.

Adobe_20190813_204444.jpg
 

watchnerd

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Thank god, finally seeing a turntable after seeing psychology.com for a while on this thread lol

Quartz lock direct drive seems like the way to go to avoid speed issues, also anti-skating. Most of the high quality older generation turntables have those features. I'm on the lookout for a decent older generation turntable. I missed an immaculate high end Dual turntable that was in the window of a second hand hifi store close to where I live. I'll be sure to be on the lookout for one like this again. Although I see that the higher end new Audio Technica models also have all these features. The only issue is to find one without USB output and phono pre amp.
While I don't doubt quartz lock measures better than electronically-regulated belt-drives with Hall sensors or similar, I'm wondering if the difference is actually audible?

Quartz lock direct drives often have speed variations of .01% (Or .03% for a budget DD like Pioneer PL-1000X), while good electronically regulated belt drives can have a .02% speed variation (e.g. Project Xtension 9 Evo)...I'm wondering if +/- .01% is below the threshold of audibility?
 
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