Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article

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dB Cooper

I'll start by saying that I don't spin vinyl and don't especially miss it, but have nothing against it or its advocates.
The linked piece has some intriguing theories as to why some prefer one or the other.

Article here

gefski

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #1 on: 22 Nov 2018, 08:32 pm »
A fun and interesting read. This paragraph jumped out at me: "When you look at a wide range of human activities that require peak performance or peak awareness, you'll find that ritual or habitual processes play a big part in the human preparation process, whether that is religious activity, high-performance sports, or in an audiophile's case, listening to music."


Elizabeth

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #2 on: 22 Nov 2018, 08:35 pm »
I play both vinyl and CDs. (note I don't stream, or use downloads at all.)
CD is far more convenient..  by a mile.
As for sound quality.. I used to say the system I own, LP had the advantage... Until I bought recent toys. Then CD playback became a lot better. However with the latest gadgets LP has caught back up with CD.
They are just different animals. And yes there is a lot more putzing with Lps. For some folks that may put them in a frame of mind to better appreciate the music. Maybe.
For me it is just a chore needing to be done.
I agree about paying attention though. there is way less musical enjoyment when I am doing two things.. listening and ... something else. (like now, typing an answer)

dB Cooper

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #3 on: 23 Nov 2018, 12:58 am »
I hear vinyl at shows, and am often impressed by the sound capabilities of this (literally) antique technology. But....Being of a certain age, I am fully familiar with the downsides: The SQ that deteriorates just a little with every play; the clicks and pops that creep in no matter how fastidious you are about care (they spoil the illusion for me, as they did listening to the megabuck von Schweikert/VAC system at CAF), and the numerous other shortcomings. For me, that stuff ruins the 'magic' often cited as the rationale for vinyl. And the 'rituals' just feel more and more like 'chores' to me as time goes on. But to each his/her own, and I'd rather listen to a worn-out LP on a 'mid-fi' system than crappy music on a state-of-the-art setup.

Elizabeth:My source material is nearly 100% computer based at this point, both local sound files and lossless streaming, not counting some occasional FM listening (sadly a dying music delivery method unfortunately; notice you never see a thread about tuners or FM here).

toocool4

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #4 on: 23 Nov 2018, 10:56 am »
Digital Vs Analogue they are both good and different, at the end of the day it comes down to preferences.  With regard to home reproduction anyone that says one sounds better than the other, all I can say is they have not heard a good example of the other.
Yes one is far more convenient over the other, I cannot argue about that. I have gigs and gigs of music on my NAS server, I can not remember the last time I play any of them.
With regard to noise, the better the turntable the lower the noise floor. With regard to clicks and pops, if your records are clean and on a good turntable again the less of this click and pop you will notice.

dB Cooper

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #5 on: 23 Nov 2018, 11:25 am »

With regard to noise, the better the turntable the lower the noise floor. With regard to clicks and pops, if your records are clean and on a good turntable again the less of this click and pop you will notice.

I have heard these 'fireplace noises' fairly consistently in every vinyl setup I've ever heard, including the system in the von Schweikert/VAC room at CAF.  That TT and cart came to a combined >$65K (not including the phono stage, an additional $80K).  That is a lot more then any system I ever owned, but the problem seemed to be about the same. If I was demoing equipment like that, I'd sure AF bring the most flawless records I had. In fairness though, an attendee could have brought the LP that was playing with them.

Anyway, this is why- if I was spinning- the price of this AVA unit seems to me like a rational amount of money to drop on a phono stage.

toocool4

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #6 on: 23 Nov 2018, 11:49 am »
Well something is not right there. I had a friend come round mine a while back and was surprised that I had turntable. I played some records for her and she said where are the clicks and pops as that is what she expected, I have to go and find some old not so well looked after records to play her.

Well with demoing high-end setup in shows, yes you need good pressings but also you have to play not so audiophile records as that is what most people have and they want a good representation of what happened in the real world.
The most quiet background I have ever heard on a turntable was on the Acoustical Systems Apolyt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRjhiSSavWE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nh3WAO0Okk

OzarkTom

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #7 on: 23 Nov 2018, 03:22 pm »
There is the Linn vs. Digital challenge of 1984.

http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing2.htm

mix4fix

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #8 on: 23 Nov 2018, 05:31 pm »
I get so annoyed with the claims of "pops". You may hear one or two at the beginning when you cue it up but everything sounds great to me when it is playing.

I buy cheap records (price wise) and I don't hear a whole lot of "pops" when I play it on my level of turntable (Nottingham Analogue Innerspace Jr.) nor when I play them on a pair of Technics 1200's). I have 12 inch singles that are well used and haven't been cleaned like they should and don't have any "pops".

The people who complain about "pops" need to be "popped" in the head.

timind

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #9 on: 23 Nov 2018, 05:54 pm »
Interesting premise in the article.

As one who grew up listening to lp records, I don't miss "the ritual" at all. I rarely listen to records now. When I do though, I go through most of the ritual noted in the article. Does it enhance my listening experience? I can't say I notice one way or the other. I will say I find the need to get up and flip the record after twenty minutes annoying.

As for ticks and pops, I don't really notice them as much as I expect. And my records are mostly old and well used. I did give them all a thorough cleaning a while back. Unless the pop comes at a critical time, or is fairly loud, I seem to listen past it.

Lastly, which sounds better? Too many variables.

wushuliu

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #10 on: 23 Nov 2018, 06:00 pm »
Until I see some proper research from cognitive scientists and hearing specialists, these kinds of articles can't be taken seriously. It comes off as just more of the typical and condescending pseudo-science approach to categorizing people who like anything that is not considered 'technically superior' (as defined of course, by the persons making the claim). Like some David Attenborough clip where an adorable but befuddled creature is observed engaging in ritualistic behavior that they can't help but perform. Another way to say that if you prefer analog it's not because it's better than digital because it *obviously* can't be, it's because you are just too emotionally wrapped up in the subjective experience to make a rational obvious conclusion that digital playback is better.

Yes, it would be great if Sean Olive weighed in. It would also be great if we focused on the important aspects of his work that conveniently gets ignored with these contentious topics - like the importance of training ourselves to listen

wushuliu

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #11 on: 23 Nov 2018, 06:31 pm »
I get so annoyed with the claims of "pops". You may hear one or two at the beginning when you cue it up but everything sounds great to me when it is playing.

The irony of the claims about constant pops and clicks is that in the digital realm what do audiophiles talk about? Noise. Some are downright *obsessed* with noise. Be it in terms of reducing 'digititis' or harmonic distortion or, well, clicks and pops there too. In fact for a medium that is so superior there sure is an extraordinary amount of time and energy spent on every aspect of the delivery. From power supplies to storage/source drive to output design from the dac. And I say this as someone who enjoys tinkering with all that.

With vinyl you pretty much nail a good table and cart and you're done.

geowak

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #12 on: 23 Nov 2018, 07:16 pm »
One aspect of the digital vs album debate that does not get that much discussion is the price of streaming, price of CDs, price of Albums. I looked at a Music Direct catalog at album prices and they charge a small fortune for these premium albums. One reason I switched to digital is to expose myself to new music, I can listen to it as I stream and the cost is $15 a month. If I bought those albums, well I would not be able to afford them and don’t have the space. Tidal and MQA give me a lot of flexibility, musical enjoyment and at a price I can afford.
And yes the pops and clicks, maybe from dirty record grooves, did annoy me but I don’t hear that on the digital side. Not a game changing factor for me but the overall cost of purchasing a high end turntable, tonearm, cartridge and albums I think is quite high.

twitch54

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #13 on: 23 Nov 2018, 07:26 pm »
I play both vinyl and CDs. (note I don't stream, or use downloads at all.)
CD is far more convenient..  by a mile.
As for sound quality.. I used to say the system I own, LP had the advantage... Until I bought recent toys. Then CD playback became a lot better. However with the latest gadgets LP has caught back up with CD.
They are just different animals. And yes there is a lot more putzing with Lps. For some folks that may put them in a frame of mind to better appreciate the music. Maybe.
For me it is just a chore needing to be done.
I agree about paying attention though. there is way less musical enjoyment when I am doing two things.. listening and ... something else. (like now, typing an answer)

X2 ..................

hi5harry

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #14 on: 23 Nov 2018, 07:44 pm »
For myself, it's all about all the vinyl I have collected over the years. It is true that you can remember where you bought that album, where you first heard it, the great artwork, etc.  I probably listen to 80 percent computer files, and 20 percent analog. But when listening to digital files, I rarely get to the end of a song before I move on. It's SO CONVENIENT! When I listen to vinyl, I know my behind is in that seat for 15 minutes, like the songs or not. It's a 15 minute vacation.

Elizabeth

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #15 on: 23 Nov 2018, 07:54 pm »
To start 'today'... I would say the only way to go is streaming. BUT.. Anyone with a lifetime of collecting music (like me) has the music at hand. So for those of use with a big collection of music, there is less incentive to stream. though folks who always like new music (even if they have a big collection) certainly will want to also stream music.
Complaints about new records costing? "IF" you would have been collecting LP back in the late 90's to eary 2000s.. They were basically giving them away. I bought boxes full from Half price books at $0.15 each or $0.10 each. MINT looking prized ones, not the junk! (OK yeah some I paid a buck a pop for, when they were really great LPs.) And at other local used record stores many items of great Jazz, $2. (I would say a third of all my LP 5 star rated in reviews Jazz I own I paid $2 a pop for. immaculate, no marks, no scratches of any kind. And another third no more than $5.
So very different NOW, than back when LP were thought of as has been. TODAY, that market is CD.
Now, used CDs are dirt cheap. And personally If I wanted any more, I would be buying them up. So in another ten years, when the craze jumps to CDs... (again) well you'll be set.

geowak

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #16 on: 24 Nov 2018, 03:34 am »
Elizabeth- I understand your reasons for being a vinyl lover and I would too (if I had all those record albums). So your investment, if you started from scratch would not be that much. Got me to thinking if I did have stacks of cash laying around, what would I do and for how much $$$? Well for a budget system- maybe a VPI Prime $4000, a VPI phono preamp at $500, Cartridge around $1000 and all the coolest VPI accessories $1,300. With a Okki Nokki record cleaning machine $500, I am at about $7,300. But if I take another pile of cash I might get a Palmer 2.5i turntable with Audio Origami PU7 arm for about $14,000 and cartridge for $2000.  That or the VPI HW-40 40th Anniversary DD turntable for around $15,000 and add $3000 for a good cartridge. That and the record cleaner, accessories plus the Parasound JC3 phono preamp will cost me around $22,800. The only thing left is at least my first 10 record albums. The average cost of a good album at 180g is $30. Therefore that will be $300. So my first budget rig will cost about $9000 with tax, but the rig I really want will cost from $20,500 to $24,000.
I think I spent a total of $1,700 on a Benchmark and Schitt DAC and a combined cost of $2,000 on a new Rega Apollo CD player and used Sony ES CD player. Also I have $600 in HDD and a Bluesound Node 2 for $500.  So that is around $4,800 for digital in two audio systems.

Johnny2Bad

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #17 on: 24 Nov 2018, 04:51 am »
No-one should be getting into vinyl without a record collection in need of playback gear. If you're starting out with no software, most people today will probably go with streaming, although if their rationale is it's less expensive, they're fooling themselves.

Hundreds of dollars a year for streaming, and it could be many hundreds if you also subscribe to Sat Radio, or if you need a Cellular Data Plan to stream other than in the home ... I tend to cost things out in 10-year increments, so that's a four figure investment in "software" that you don't own and can't access without continuing to pay the rent.

You can build a nice vinyl collection for that kind of scratch, and if you buy CDs you could probably have thousands to play with. And I've been in this hobby since I bought my first component system at age 14 ... so nearly five of those 10-year chunks.

But ... the deal with vinyl is it can sound stunningly good, but aside from that it consists of who-knows-how-many thousands of albums that will never be released in a digital form. If you want that music, you have to get the vinyl rig.

I would caution people against thinking you need megabuck vinyl rigs just because that's what the magazines review. A $2,000 phono preamp, turntable, tonearm, cartridge, and tweaks is a very competent system. Half that is still worthy of a high end system. Remember, most audio reviewers have other jobs, and they're not valet parking jobs either. If $10,000 is less than 10% of your income, as it is with most reviewers, sure, get the big stuff. But be realistic.

Bendingwave

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Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #18 on: 24 Nov 2018, 05:29 am »
I stream from youtube….yes you heard me right...because you cant beat free.  :lol:

I can even listen to vinyl and its sounds pretty good > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cINm1zW7yd0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cINm1zW7yd0


toocool4

Re: Vinyl vs Digital Thread Number 603- an interesting article
« Reply #19 on: 24 Nov 2018, 08:06 am »
I would caution people against thinking you need megabuck vinyl rigs just because that's what the magazines review.

These are true words, you just need to choose and match wisely. I have heard very expensive systems that sound like crap because people have not done their homework.