View Poll Results: Your use (non-use) of vinyl?

Voters
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  • Used vinyl decades ago; never will again

    7 8.86%
  • Used vinyl decades ago and would like to restart

    9 11.39%
  • Never used vinyl; never will

    1 1.27%
  • Use vinyl occasionally

    21 26.58%
  • Use vinyl a lot

    35 44.30%
  • Use vinyl only (no CDs)

    3 3.80%
  • Would like to try vinyl

    3 3.80%
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Thread: Vinyl ... What's your story?

  1. #1
    John Parkyn Guest

    Default Vinyl ... What's your story?

    For those who lived in the mid 20th century, the only sources availlable, I believe, were radio and vinyl singles/LPs.

    With the arrival of the CD, vinyl fell by the wayside.

    Apparently, vinyl is regaining popularity. Groovy baby!

    Please use the poll to record your vinyl (turntable) status.
    Last edited by John Parkyn; 08-02-2006 at 03:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Ted Rook Guest

    Default 20th Century audio media

    ah yes, I remember 78s, 45s and 33 rpm discs but vinyl is the material not the format.

    Don't forget 1/4 inch open reel tape, very popular in the 50s and 60s and capable of first class results. For decades the broadcast output of the BBC was 1/4 inch tape at 7.5 inches per second.

    Oh and what about compact cassette? I'm just about to mothball my machine after twenty years service.

    Ted

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default I occasionally play CD's but...

    My preference is for vinyl over digital for 2 reasons. #1, I own more Lp's and #2, the majority of CD's I do own are sonic hell.
    I play SACD's from time to time and really enjoy them, for the mostpart.
    I am not a vinyl snob, just a music lover who prefers vinyl.
    Last edited by Groovetracer; 09-02-2006 at 06:48 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hi there,
    Let me say that, even if our LPs are worn a little, the turntable can live for a lifetime if properly maintained. Then, no matter the "distortion", a digital recording will NEVER get correctly closer to music (given that the processing is not supressed/wildly modified) than any analogue one. Then, it is far more romantic -even to say human- to handle and clean the LP, to adjust manually the turntable, to play with cartridges, to see the stylus lowering on the surface... I know, to drive a modern car is perfectly OK in terms of safety and economy/performance, but to get inside a '60s all time classic, perfectly restored, and have a ride around, can never be forgotten, surpassed and be more touching. Simply because it somehow bridges human trial with physics/nature in order to develope a better world. Not to put technology Vs nature. It was like that in the past... Youngers accuse us of being romantic, out of time and place. Well, if they only could get into the time tunnel and compare....
    Anyway, vinyl is not space age. I'm not too. And I prefer -in terms of art & culture- a ride with a Mississippi river boat instead of the company of Mr. Spok and Mr. Sulu on board of USS Enterprise.
    Regards,
    Thanos

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    4,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanos
    ... Let me say that, even if our LPs are worn a little, the turntable can live for a lifetime if properly maintained... it is far more romantic -even to say human- to handle and clean the LP, to adjust manually the turntable, to play with cartridges, to see the stylus lowering on the surface...
    You have hit the nail on the head here. Vinyl for you - 10" NAB tape reels for me.

    The introduction of CD in March 1983 (I remember, 3rd March actually in the UK - I just had to buy the Sony CDP101 that day) marked the end of the hobbyist culture in hi-fi. Once physical contact with the music was lost, its place was amply filled with Audio Nervosa, embodied in such non-subjects (in my opinion) as jitter. But of course, I could be wrong - but I do know how companies need a revenue stream.

    It appears to be human nature to strive for something just a little better - better than logic tells you can be achieved at any price. "It just ain't there to be had in the first place". But so much of this striving is utterly futile, financially ruinous and emotionally crippling. Worst of all, it's tarnished the industry with "geek" status. No wonder young people - our lifeblood - find today's audio industry gets in the way of the music.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    South Africa
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    Default LPs and Harbeths

    I have a pretty large LP collection, and a fair number of CDs. Before I got my HPL3s I preferred LP by far. For the "human" reasons mentioned, but also because they just sounded better: more involving, "fuller", greater detail and musicality. Now I'm not sure. Many Lps (especially 1960s CBS recordings) are now difficult to listen to, especially on strings and massed voices, where the treble is gritty and harsh. My CDs, however, now sound very good. I've lost some favourite recordings, but gained others. Is there a scientific answer to this question? Hmmm.

    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default

    Hi David,
    Perhaps you're right. But I have to tell you that I heard exceptional performances from turntables vs cd-players, that really outperformed by far the latter. Well, the problem came when I heard the prices (Pluto turntable & arm, Van den Hull cartridge and so on). Of course there exist some really capable people out there in the market who can do miracles with setting up a relatively budget turntable and matching it with a system. I've seen it with my eyes, heard it and got the difference. Cds will give hard times to Lps, yes indeed. But I had the experience (wrote it in old Harbeth forum) with Concert Hall music many many times. A cd will reproduce detail and other impressive sounds, sometimes to die for. Probably Lps won't... But the Lp sound, even with poor recording quality (not technique), is still closer to how we get it at the Concert Hall, or even studio. Imagine excellent recording (analogue to analogue with perfect equipment and mic position)... It will outperform ANY digital recording and reproduction, IMHO. As for reels, ALAN ARE YOY HERE?, I just ordered a restoration (through expert hands) of a REVOX B77. Once I heard reels in a recording studio, still can't forget it...
    I think, of course without Audiophilia Nervosa, you owe to reconsider some budget updating to your turntable, re-adjustments, and some repeatitive care of your LPs. Perhaps it will give you new charms and touches... We, Harbeth friends on the site, are here to discuss, help, exchange and share.
    Good Luck, Best Regards,
    Thanos.

  8. #8
    Damian L. Guest

    Default CD-LP comparison

    The staff of a popular hifi magazine here in Germany some time ago performed a test that involved copying a CD onto LP format (they didn't actually use vinyl but some other, less hard-wearing material that made the manufacturing process easier) and then compared the sound from the LP with that of the original CD.

    The result? They claimed that the LP sounded better, despite the fact that, objectively, the information contained on the LP must have been less accurate that that on the CD. This led them to draw the conclusion that it is, among other things, the inaccuracies in the signals output by analog systems that make analog sources sound more appealing than digital ones.

    Unfortunately, I can't remember whether the comparison involved blind testing or not.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default LP v.CD spectral balance - and the need for 'hiss'

    I think the material would have been acetate, not vinyl.

    There really should be no mystery about this. We should start with the obvious: what would have been interesting would have been a look at the spectral balance of energy across the audio band (using a spectrum analyser set to power average over, say 30 mins - a whole side) for CD and LP. They would not be the same. No exactly. What I would expect is ....

    1. The bass end of LP sound would have a bit more energy (for various reasons)

    2. The top end of LP sound would have a bit less energy (for various reasons)

    3. The surface noise of LP is quite comforting. Yes, really: the ear seems to like the gentle rustling of leaves, the wind in the hair and of course, the background surface noise of LP, tape or radio. It's a very important and overlooked contribution to 'good sound' in my experience. Copy a CD to 15ips analogue 1/4 inch tape on a Studer (I have several) and it can sound lovely: but of course, it's not 'right'. The CD master is 'right'. The 1/4 inch is much softer, more inviting and is a wonderful treat for the eyes. Smells good too when fresh.

    Last week I reinstalled my FM tuner, clambered onto the roof and fitted a brand new 4 element aerial - I've been using DAB exclusively for a couple of years. My **very first impression** after switching on (listening on Stax headphones) was, even with 100% signal strength, the gentle hiss; DAB is completely silent. This soft hiss, was very attractive. The key word here is *soft*.
    Last edited by A.S.; 09-02-2006 at 07:40 PM. Reason: clarification
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  10. #10
    Ian Boyd Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S.
    You have hit the nail on the head here. Vinyl for you - 10" NAB tape reels for me.

    The introduction of CD in March 1983 (I remember, 3rd March actually in the UK - I just had to buy the Sony CDP101 that day) marked the end of the hobbyist culture in hi-fi. Once physical contact with the music was lost, its place was amply filled with Audio Nervosa, embodied in such non-subjects (in my opinion) as jitter. But of course, I could be wrong - but I do know how companies need a revenue stream.

    It appears to be human nature to strive for something just a little better - better than logic tells you can be achieved at any price. "It just ain't there to be had in the first place". But so much of this striving is utterly futile, financially ruinous and emotionally crippling. Worst of all, it's tarnished the industry with "geek" status. No wonder young people - our lifeblood - find today's audio industry gets in the way of the music.

    I guess there's some truth in the idea that Audio Nervosa was fed by the shift from analogue to digital sources. There is certainly much more obsession with things like cables today than there was back in 1970s. If your system doesn't sound right, with vinyl you can play around with turntable and cartridge set-up, tracking weight etc. You can defintely get the sound to change this way. But with CD, if it doesn't sound right, what do you change? People end up changing cables etc.

    In fact the problems are usually caused by speakers and room acoustics. The solution for most people would be to get pair of properly designed speakers, with a decent tonal balance - Harbeths naturally! So many speakers have bright treble, or simply have a coloured midrange, quite often because of inadequate baffle-step compenasation in the crossover. This makes it very hard to get a good overall balanced sound. Hence the obsession with tweaking, cables etc. But having said all that, there was plenty of obsessional behaviour back in the heyday of vinyl too.

    Also, I am in no doubt, personally, that CD sources do sound different - and that some are better than others. There's no need to get crippled financially, though. Jitter can be dealt with very effectively by converters from pro-audio companies like Lavry and Mytek - for less than the cost of a pair of Harbeths, actually. The sound is a revelation.

    Ian

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    Having a closet full of LP's that get played on my VPI-Graham-Denon front end, I would only like to mention what is - for me - the achilles heel of record playback: pitch stability. Even with a table platter turning at precisely the correct speed, if the hole of the record is the slightest bit off center (and MANY are) pitch stability will suffer. For me, piano records are rarely satisfactory for that reason. I have discussed this problem with others on REG's forum, and considered looking for a used Nakamichi turntable - say the Dragon - that ingeniously centers records. I have not seen any and understand that they are quite expensive when found. With all the current hi-end/high buck turntables available now, it puzzles me that Nakamichi seems to be the only manufacturer (that I know of) that has addressed this problem.

    Ned

  12. #12
    bencat Guest

    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    Well as in all things it all depends on you. I have heard and been preached at by people who tell me that CD is so badly flawed that it is impossible to listen, that it actually makes you nervous and listening to it can damage your health.

    For me with my equipment and my room and my ears (Theta Basic II transport/Cambridge ISODac, DCA Pre Amp,Krell KSA 50 Amp,Harbeth Compact EsII) I can only say that I listen for many hours without any fatigue and enjoy the huge range of music that is available to me from all over the world. Currently I have 2000 + CD,s and rising and if I listen to what others say I should sell them all and go back to LP. However over 70% of my current collection is not available on LP . In many cases the LP costs more and even with extreme care the sound will deteriorate and wear from the very first play.

    Yes I have heard and been demonstrated many very fine sounding Vinyl systems often against CD . it has always puzzled me that in all but one of these demonstration's the CD was always a mid price unit with the system not optimized for CD compared with often ?6000 + Vinyl front ends. The one demo that had both CD and LP at equal costs and working for both had all those who heard it not sure which was which and commenting that we could live with either system.

    I think you can make up a very good and very enjoyable Vinyl system that provide hours and hours of pleasure. I also think you can put together a CD system that will give the same. My only real reason now for choosing CD is that the number of releases on CD are more varied and far exceed anything that comes out on LP. As I never purchase a CD that is over ?10 on principle (and I manage to get the latest releases and back cataloger at or under this price) switching to LP would both reduce my choice and cost me more as it is almost impossible to buy discounted LP,s except second hand which is just for me too risky.

    Regards

    Andrew McBride
    Liverpool UK

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    Ian is quite right about the Lavry (and I would assume any other well designed DAC) - the difference it made in my system was significant, to put it mildly. By feeding my old Marantz into the Lavry and then directly into the amp and from there to the M40s, I have a simple system with no need (Audio Nervosa is an absolutely dead issue) for any further upgrades. Unless, that is, AS comes up with an M50!! Ned

  14. #14
    DrewTurner Guest

    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    I recently added the new VPI Classic turntable to my system.It sounds incredible with my P3ESR's.Anyone who is considering purchasing a new table, should audition this fantastic player. Harbeth speakers and vinyl make beautiful music together.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    Personnally feel lp's are valuable only if they are not available on a cd. LP's are not worth the trouble cleaning and maintaining. You cant play it in a vehicle. cds can be a great format and We dont need a music format change every 30 or so years. if anything, sound is most dependent on recording and mastering quality rather than the media itself, all things reasonably equal eg. condition etc. Cd's are probably technically more advanced than anything else and if there is a perceived difference, all things equal (source equipment quality) its due only to presentation. Some reel to reel tapes i have beat records and i get goosebumps listening to them, but im sure its only because of the impression and presentation. Technically, they're pretty ancient and more of a pain than anything else.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    There is still something very special about listening to music from a vinyl source! Although digital playback has made huge advances since CDs were introduced in the late 70s, I still feel that nothing sounds better than a good TT and some well pressed records!

    Recently, I had the chance to listen to the Berkeley Alpha DAC and was surprised to find that the gap between analog and digital is fast narrowing, with analog still sounding more life-like. Even the ubiquitous iPod and mP3 players are sounding quite decent these days, allowing the audiophiles to enjoy reasonably good sound for less money. I feel that there will always be a gap between vinyl and digital, with the latter still sounding superior after all these years!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    I just entered to vinly world early this year. Using a budget TT with a budget phono pre. I like the sound from vinly but too bad, a reissue lp cost 2 to 3 pieces of CDs. So far so good on the vinly. No regret.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    my vinyl story is this, I studied music technology and became a studio engineer. Started with tape then our studio got an Otari Radar digital system and I began to use this most of the time, it was easy and allowed the creativity to flow slightly easier. Digital was a real boon to the engineer/producer and gave a real freedom to the recording sessions.
    The thing is, I could never escape the fact that REAL sound, is an analogue experience, It is simply how we as animals work and interact with our surroundings. Digital audio has much in common with digital photography except that it would mean a digital camera designed in 1983 rather than todays multi million pixel devices. Whilst working as a sound engineer, I studied Industrial design then began working by day as a mechanical design engineer. Then, I combined my love of Analogue with my engineering skills and started a small company producing these:


    I use my Harbeth Compact 7 es as they give me the most natural reference in order to develop and assess my turntables

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    Other than discovering Harbeth in 1987, coming back to vinyl in 2001 was the other major milestone in my hifi journey.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Vinyl ... What's your story?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Palmer View Post
    my vinyl story is this, I studied music technology and became a studio engineer. Started with tape then our studio got an Otari Radar digital system and I began to use this most of the time, it was easy and allowed the creativity to flow slightly easier. Digital was a real boon to the engineer/producer and gave a real freedom to the recording sessions.
    The thing is, I could never escape the fact that REAL sound, is an analogue experience, It is simply how we as animals work and interact with our surroundings. Digital audio has much in common with digital photography except that it would mean a digital camera designed in 1983 rather than todays multi million pixel devices. Whilst working as a sound engineer, I studied Industrial design then began working by day as a mechanical design engineer. Then, I combined my love of Analogue with my engineering skills and started a small company producing these:


    I use my Harbeth Compact 7 es as they give me the most natural reference in order to develop and assess my turntables
    nice TT. are you producing it? how do you price it?

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