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What are your views on the vinyl s(pl)urge?


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Nipped into Cheltenham HMV for the first time in a year and was surprised at how much floor area is now taken up by LPs, maybe 2 or 2 times as much since I was last in. What surprises me is how much they're going for, £23 -30 a pop, ay caramba 😲

When CDs originally took over from vinyl I was more than happy to get shot of all those scratchy, warped platters and replace some of them with shiny, tiny, perfectly flat CDs. Unlike some I'm not bothered about sleeve notes, credits, photos...Even on fave albums, half the time I don't even know the names of fave tracks other than they're track # 2, 6 etc on the CD player display.  But for just one LP I could get 3-5 CDs. Anyway, anyone here happy to mortgage their homes just to buy lots of vinyl, not forgetting the record player (are they called that any more?)

 

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Having grown up with records, I was quite happy with the sonic upgrade to CDs too. I never sold my old records, still have them, still have a record player, but would always choose the CD to listen to first. I like the large artwork but that's about it. The price of new records is something I find quite astonishing. I remember filling my boots in the early 90's when you could pick ip records for a quid or two, they couldn't be given away. 
 

On the other side of it, it seems that it's mostly younger folks buying these and, if this is what it takes to get kids interested in music and the artist gets paid too, then it's fine with me.

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Turntable is the correct term I believe. 😄

I go to Discogs to buy used vinyl. Much cheaper.

New stuff is silly money but I suppose it costs a packet to make compared to a download or a CD.

 

There's something about getting up and going through all your collection before choosing it and putting it on, sitting down with a glass of vino and a mate and listening.

Edited by skidder652003
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Funnily enough, only 3 days ago, I repaired my old Rega Planar 3 turntable (needed a new capacitor) which hadn't worked for 10 years or so.

My son and I compared the sound of Queen Greatest Hits on vinyl and Amazon Ultra HD via Bluesound Node 2i. We both agreed the streamed version was far superior.

Do miss the 12" sleeve with lyrics, credits etc though

 

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I do enjoy listening to my old vinyl once in a while, a mate gave me some half speed mastered LP's a few weeks ago, certainly on my basic sound system I couldn't tell the difference and you have 4 sides to play instead of two!

 

I get more enjoyment out of picking up used CD's from the charity shops theses days.

 

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As a consumer:

A nicely designed 12" album sleeve and all the other associated packaging is a thing of beauty. Unfortunately the lump of plastic inside which contains the important part (the music) is more fragile and sonically inferior to a properly mastered CD. Vinyl is a lot better quality these days than than the crap we were being sold from the mid 70s onwards, but I'd still rather have a CD from a musical PoV.

 

As a musician:

I will make my music available in whatever format my audience wants. Last time I looked (about 5 years ago), for an album, vinyl wasn't significantly more to produce than CDs (for quantities of 500+) but the lead times were fairly horrific, and from what I have seen they have only got worse.

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If money wouldn't be an object... and this has nothing to do with Emerson, Lake, or Palmer, the Japanese elpj.com would be the ultimate turntable.

 

There seems to be 7", 10", and 12" records, different CDs, CCs, and DATs there in the shelf. Have to take care of the equipment, too. Every recording is not available in the streaming services.

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When I was buying vinyl around the late 80s I found that the quality had already begun to diminish where what was for sale was cheap wobbly plastic. This was compared to the old 60s and 70s vinyl I inherited from family members who no longer listened to records.

 

Most of what I have been buying has been on at least 180gsm vinyl so it's super thick.

 

Once you squeezed too many tracks onto one side of a record the quality diminished as well as the grooves couldn't be deep enough so there wasn't as much bass as there should have been. Again, some recent reissues have been spread over two discs rather than the original one.

 

A lot of the reissues are also remasters so they're not just the same as what you'd buy on a CD.

 

Having said that there are releases that sound terrible and that haven't had anything done to them to make them sound decent.

 

One of my favourite Genesis albums is Duke so I bought that on vinyl - it's completely bereft of the fantastic grinding bass on Behind the Lines that is on the CD and MP3 releases.

 

Conversely Mother's Milk by the Chilis is incredible. The first time I listened to it I could hear a lot more on the vinyl than I could on the CD and the quality is superb. Same with Fragile by Yes.

 

Personally, I listen to MP3s about 80% of the time. I might stick on a CD once or twice a month. Vinyl is more about the experience than anything else.

 

I love to make myself a big pot of coffee and just sit and chill listening to an album. I find it very therapeutic

 

 

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The serious collector will probably prefer Vinyl, but as we discovered when we produced our last album in vinyl most people who come to our gigs, which is where we sell most of our albums, still prefer CD's, it's a lot easier to carry home for a start, and a lot easier to put on your mp3 player/phone, which seems to be where the most listening is done, certainly in my case

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These days the only reason that a CD sounds inferior to the same music on vinyl is that the wrong master has been used to produce the CD.

 

Vinyl, because it is a mechanical medium, has lots of built-in problems with what it can and cannot reproduce compared with digital formats. Anything with excessive bass or stereo phase differences will be impossible to cut, and if by some miracle you can cut it most people's record decks simply won't be able to play it no matter how many 2p coins you put on the tone arm. On top of that, both the bandwidth and signal to noise ratio but decrease the closer you get to the middle of the record, so the audio fidelity of  a record decreases with every revolution.

 

When I last had any of my music pressed on vinyl the advice from the cutting engineer was that for the best audio fidelity the record should be cut at 45rpm and the running time per side should not exceed 10 minutes (for a 12" record) anything beyond that would be compromised. I wonder how many albums meet these specifications? IIRC, Genesis in particular used to boast about the long running times of their albums.

 

 

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Brilliant.

 

I’ve released a few things on vinyl. It’s been increasing in popularity for a few years now.

 

Cassettes are also incredibly popular. A solo album i released on cassette was one of the most successful things I’ve done.

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I bought Californication on vinyl, and it’s mastered too hot for my turntable; I have to adjust the counterweight on the tonearm unless I want the stylus jumping out of the grooves. 
 

Led Zeppelin remasters on vinyl sound sublime though.

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Apart from the above reasons,  there's a rather large ( i think ) group of people who have invested  ( rich gits ) thousands and thousands in top flight decks, outboard phono stages, snake oil cabling, separates amp/preamp, decoupling hifi supports and so on.

 

Could easily top a couple of hundred grand.  Ok, they're the rare group, but the lower orders could easily reach 10k.  I would be buying vinyl now it's back, if i ever owned such a costly  vinyl sound system.

 

Mind you, even CD sound systems got to giddy heights.  20, 30k for CD transports and so on.  I remember some top flight Onkyo amps costing 30k.  And Barclay CD tranpsorts costing as much

Edited by fleabag
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Interesting to see how the availability of reasonably priced CD players has seemingly diminished at a more rapid rate than the CD format itself. Assume that means these CDs are still in the main being played on ageing hi-fi / computer disc drives? (I’m wondering whether to buy a back up CD player to try and future proof my large CD collection. I’m reluctant to shell out more money to re-purchase my music collection again for a third time.)

 

All our kids ( in their 30’s) don’t possess a CD drive at all, preferring not to own hard copies of music in favour of streaming. It’s just how things move on, but I’m hoping CDs will become retro and hip again at some point like vinyl has.

I’ve still got some of my vinyl (which doesn’t get played) including a vast amount of singles (45’s) which I don’t know what to do with. 

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I love playing vinyl, I love picking up old original jazz records and listening to them how they were originally intended. They sound absolutely fabulous on my system, warm, rich and full of character. To me this is what vinyl is all about. I don't really buy any new releases as it's a bit pointless but I have bought a few older 80' albums or some of the half speed remaster's and they have sounded great.

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I grew up with vinyl so for me it's a nostalgic thing, so I'm a bit biased. To be honest I don't care which medium (cd, tape, vinyl! Blah blah) is the ultimate, so long as it's  good enough. Hell, mostly I play spotify download through a getto blaster with no stereo separation, so that's my benchmark.

But I like the physicality of vinyl, the fact that I'm not going to randomly skip tracks and listen to at least half an album before switching off. It's literally a more physical medium. And there's more room on an album cover art!

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I’ve always loved vinyl but a lot of that love is nostalgia. In the days before Napster then the likes of Spotify the only way to find more obscure artists and recordings would be to trawl backstreet independent shops and occasionally find something special. It was fun and made the music more special for the effort. Then there was the entire ritual of the care of the records and selection of what to listen to. Digital music has provided an infinite jukebox and endless choice. It’s simple, convenient but like fast food somehow insubstantial and lacking any “soul”.

 

Edit: I like to think that the resurgence of Vinyl is a new generation looking for this reconnection with music making it a little less instant and more tangible. It’s hard for something to be special when it’s just a bunch of 1s and 0s in the either.

Edited by tegs07
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My Mrs wanted to buy me a turntable and a few albums for Christmas recently. I said not to bother, I've got hundreds of CDs that I don't have time to listen to, obviously there's YouTube and Amazon Prime music, Spotify, all the streaming services... I don't have the space for this stuff. It's a nice idea, I don't begrudge anyone else having vinyl if that's what they enjoy. I won't be told it's "better" though. I recently got a few tracks on Amazon HD quality and I'm hearing instruments and effects I'd never realised were in songs I was learning to cover. I've then emulated in an approximate way some of those effects and it's given me something extra on some songs. I don't think I'd have got that with vinyl, maybe not even with CD.

 

Oh and I remember buying a 45 for 50p at Our Price records in my youth. Wish I'd kept my REM, Billy Joel and Bryan Adams vinyl now, if anything just as wall art.

Edited by uk_lefty
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