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The Rediscovering of Vinyl

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by djproject, Feb 15, 2001.

  1. CD (generic)

    10 vote(s)
  2. Vinyl (audiophile)

    5 vote(s)
  3. No preference/both (flexible)

    10 vote(s)
  4. Neither (go Napster! :))

    0 vote(s)
  1. (This could go into the Off Topic section, I'm not sure)

    This is mostly for my generation that either had vinyl experience in their early childhood (like me) or who are rediscovering vinyl for themselves after rejecting it in favor of CDs.

    I'm definitely seeing a return to vinyl, not just in "rediscovering the classics" (like if you were to buy a vinyl version of say, <I>Dark Side of the Moon</I> or the "White Album") but in more recent releases as well (NIN's <i>The Fragile</i> or Radiohead's <I>Kid A</I>). I'm very curious as to:
    * Why the change?
    * What makes vinyl so special?

    Here is my take on it:

    <b>* Why the change?</b>
    Definitely the change is because of the aging baby-boomers being nostalgic for the past(can anyone from that generation verify this or elaborate on it? :)). Another change is in the entertainment industry "romanticizing" vinyl (seen in <I>High Fidelity</I> and VH1's "lists") and even utilizing vinyl (electronica especially)

    <b>* What makes vinyl so special?</b>
    Vinyl is a warm and soothing way of transmitting music. A lot of it is because of the size, the huge artwork possiblities (144 square in. is better than 25 :)) and the fact that you see it spin while you are listening to it. I think that the crackling due to the needle gives the impression that it's like sitting next to a fire whereas listening to a CD is like getting warm with a thermostat or a heat fan in a car.

    Now, do I prefer one or the other. Not necessarily. I think CDs have their advantages like vinyl, MP3 and even (God forbid) cassettes and 8-tracks (and adding on VHS, DVD, Laserdisc and Beta! :) :D). And of course, there are disadvantages as well. This is merely an observation made because of the change of heart that general consciousness has toward vinyl.

    I do appreciate hearing/reading other insights. Thank you.

    Derek J. Power
  2. Most people can't hear the difference. And in all honesty, most sound reproduction systems mask the limitations of CDs, but can't mask the limitationbs of vinyl. This makes most people think CDs sound better.

    Though I listen to both, I prefer vinyl for sound reproduction, but CDs for convenience (smaller is easier in this case).

    Vinyl has that warmth I love. Just like tube amps and passive pickups. Yeah, they are a little noisier, but the experience (for me) is superior, even with the noise.

    New isn't always better, and improvements almost always come at the expense of some other quality. The music needs to be better, not the delivery method. :)

    FWIW, I think digital radio is going to suck. Crystal clear, sterile, non-feeling radio, all day, every day. :(

  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I probably fall into DJP's category - I had thousands of vinyl albums in the 70s and 80s but was very frustrated that they would sound great the first time I played them, but as soon as they were out of the cover, they picked up dust and scratches which made them unlistenable to me.

    When CD came out I embraced it whole-heartedly and gave or threw away all my vinyl albums. I immediately preferred CD for Classical music - it sounded to me like before, I had been listening to the orchestra from behind a heavy curtain, but with CD it was just like the sound at a concert - fantastic dynamics and clarity.

    All my large choir records distorted at the peaks on vinyl, but the same recordings on CD are crystal-clear even at tremendous peaks. I also notice the extreme lows on for example organ pedal notes are repoduced by CD perfectly, but on vinyl these same things made the arm jump or just introduced distortion again.

    I must admit that for most pop/rock records I don't notice much difference in sound quality - they are all compressed in the recording process anyway!! But I appreciate the absence of dust and scratches on the quiet parts.

    For Orchestral, Chamber music, Jazz , I much prefer CD and wouldn't change. I have built up a huge collection that sounds perfect every time and is stored in a fraction of the space that a similar Vinyl collection would take up.

    I also love Digital radio for classical and Jazz and listen to it often - it's great!! :D
  4. i love both. i also have some cassettes, but bah to them.

    although most of my stuff is on cd, i do have a few vinyls. most are pilfered from my folks. stuff like santana, the eagles, australian crawl and pink floyd. personally i own two albums, which i found amazingly.

    i have Pump and Permanent Vacation by Aerosmith now on vinyl (as well as cd). they all sound great but i need a better amp on my hi-fi system to pick it up better.

    personally they should release albums as cds, in vinyl and mini disk and let people choose their format.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    I don't like vinyl. Maybe it is because I am too rough on things. I don't want to have to pamper my music collection. I listen to favorite records so often that a vinyl record would have deep grooves in it. Also, I hated having to change the needle every so often and having to brush that little puff of dust that accumulated on it.

    The other thing was vinyl records warping and having to be so careful to store those records correctly. I'm just too careless. I can't be bothered to spend time lovingly pampering delicate discs. I'd rather spend the time lovingly pampering my bass guitars.

    One and only one advantage of vinyl was the covers and cover notes. They could be read easily without a microscope. CD notes these days are horrendously designed as to be virtually unreadable without a microscope and even then the art work is often so badly designed that the minute print is unreadable anyway.

    Oh yes, another advantage is the number and name of each song was right on the disc. Not so in CDs, except rarely. In fact, some CD liners don't even bother to number the titles, so I have to take a pen and write in the numbers so that the CD can be programmed. So irritating...putting art ahead of practicality.

    I write in the past tense about vinyl because I haven't owned vinyl since the eighties and don't even have a "Victrola" anymore.

    On, BTW, DJ Project, that is a cool poll and an intteresting thread. I'm leavingit here in recordings because I feel it does relate to the topic. Afterall, the physical structure a recording is on does matter very much to listeners.

    jason oldsted
  6. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    both for me. so much of the metal (and one jazz LP in particular) i loved in the 80s still hasn't made it to cd, so i still spin the 12" LPs from time to time.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I wouldn't want vinyl LPs back, except perhaps the LP Format covers...

    And some rereleases are crappy - I'm still waiting for the FULL 'Live After Death' (Iron Maiden) on CD. They simply omitted side 4 so they did't have to release it as a 2CD set. After 10 years still nothing - BUMMER!!
  8. dytakeda


    Jul 18, 2000
    Good timing on this topic.

    I've just started listening to vinyl again, and while not as good as CD, I can still listen to my old records and not have to drop some cash to duplicate my collection.

    Recent vinyl listening:
    Talking Heads - Little Creatures and '77
    Linda Ronstadt - Hasten Down the Wind
    Stanley Clarke - School Days
    Chicago - IX "Greatest Hits"
    Bruce Springsteen - The River
    Cheap Trick - Live at Budokon

    All things I don't have on CD, so I haven't listened to them in many years. Maybe it's nostalgia, but they still sound good to me.

    One more thing - "The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl" is still not out on CD, so those of you who are strictly digital will have to miss out.
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have 2,000+ vinyl albums.
    I have roughly the same amount in cds.
    IMO, 2000 cds take up at least as much room as the thinner records(sorry, Bruce). ;)

    That said, I'm about ease of use; back in the old daze, I preferred vinyl vs. tapes(I have never bought a pre-recorded cassette; I bought, maybe 5-6 8-Tracks, & ONE reel-to-reel tape). Tapes suck.
    So, IMO, cds are "easier" to use than records(faster to cue up & I can handle them a little rougher than vinyl).
    Liner notes/artwork on the ol' 12" records rule the day, though(& screw these graphic artists-types that like top think they're bein' "creative" with the hard-to-read print on the cds' liner notes. Black ink on a colored background ain't being "creative", it's just jive BS).

    'Sfunny, at www.mosaicrecords.com Complete "hard-to-find"/collectors' sets are sold in both cd & audiophile vinyl. Guess which ones cost more?

    ...and what about burners for transferring vinyl to digital? Any experiences...good/bad?
  10. Good topic, I still have over 1000 LPs because they aren't available on CD or because I love the cover art enough to keep the vinyl or having the original liner notes and additional goodies (remember getting a poster with your LPs?). Cds are cool and I love the sound and convenience but I sometimes think they are too convenient, 5 disc changers and remote controls.. I miss the nostalgic experience of playing LPs, selecting the record, putting it on the turntable, letting the record spin and listening, really listening, then turning the vinyl over and listening to side 2 then repeating the process. Having friends come over listening to records for hours, sometimes all night, having them discover something new, and the experience of sharing something special with your friends.. oh well.
  11. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    LOL! I had completely FORGOTTEN you could turn vinyl records over and play the back. Have I gone senile or what? Anyway...that just goes to show how long ago I abandoned the vinyl format.

    jason oldsted
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    They don't have to - I have bought a system which has thin plastic "sleeves" for CDs - you take them out of the jewel cases. So you can get several hundred in a carrying case about the size of a paperback book, as well as a portable CD player. I use this system ,when I go on holiday - Greek Islands, sitting on a beach with a large number of CDs - impossible with LPs!!

    I also do this for Jazz Summerschool or when I'm away on business. I like having a large amount of music with me and with a decent pair of headphones I can have music anywhere. It also helped to play "Fables of Faubus" at the University, having the recording with me - tricky sections in 11/8! ;)
  13. Then I guess you forgot about those 3 sided lps?

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