Surprised by my own answer about LPs

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AmpDesigner333

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Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« on: 18 Apr 2020, 11:28 pm »
I was asked if I prefer LPs for rock or metal.  I listen to all kinds of music, even opera occasionally.  There’s a special place in my heart for “harder” music, though.  I also play the drums, and vigorous drumming to something like Metallica is more satisfying to me than, say, soft jazz.

Anyway, I was surprised by my own answer.  My knee-jerk reaction of “digital, of course” was to be expected, but there’s more to it....

Here’s what I wrote:
“Digital always. Superior medium capable of much better audio accuracy, especially hires.  Some vinyl recordings are better, but that's usually because the recording engineer that did the CD wasn't as good.  Takes a lot more knowledge to make LPs due to the technical limitations, so typically more qualified engineers are the only ones who know how. Some of these guys are getting old, too, making it harder to find qualified engineers to make LPs.  Amateurs can put together a decent CD, and true beginners can use hires effectively with almost no training.  The recording engineer is like the driver and the medium is the car.  CD is like a new Camaro, and hires is like a new Corvette.  Maybe even a 0-60 in 1.9 second Tesla. LP is like a 1983 Mustang.  U can beef it up, but there's only so much you can do with it!”

I had to change stuff like “you” instead of “u” to make it more readable since this was originally a phone text message, and that’s about the only time I abbreviate like that.  So, hope I didn’t miss anything.  Just curious if anybody else here has done much comparing LP to CD or hires, of the same album.....

« Last Edit: 19 Apr 2020, 09:24 pm by AmpDesigner333 »

NICKTENN

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #1 on: 19 Apr 2020, 09:06 pm »
LOL, I’m ashamed at how long it took me to figure out hires = hi-res.

Wind Chaser

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #2 on: 19 Apr 2020, 09:23 pm »
Personally I cannot bother with analogue. Even if someone gifted or left a top shelf vinyl rig at my front door I'd leave it for the garbage man to pick up on Wednesday. I live and breathe on the 21st century and nostalgia isn't my thing. Antiquated technology and the relics of the past mean nothing me.  :D

AvsFan

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #3 on: 19 Apr 2020, 10:43 pm »
I have never understood the vinyl craze. Seems like a lot of work and upkeep for no reason. I have listened to vinyl and then streaming and then cd's on multiple set ups. I always prefer the CD or streaming.
I will always have two sources. My cd player and my streamer. All I will ever need.
But hey, not knocking the people who love vinyl. If you enjoy it, cool, just not my thing.

dB Cooper

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #4 on: 19 Apr 2020, 11:36 pm »
Threads like this (digital vs analog) have a way of winding up in the Intergalactic Wastebin, but hopefully I'll be in and out before the Molotov cocktails start flying.

I don't miss analog (vinyl) at all. Really good digital material, played back on a good chain (not necessarily even 'deep end'), makes the best analog I've heard sound murky and indistinct by comparison. It is much more demanding of proper recording technique, however, but, when it's done right, it's 'no contest' to me. The imperfections of digital are orders of magnitude smaller than those of vinyl. To me, it's the difference between a dirty window and a clean window. That isn't to say digital can't be done badly. It can. But recording practices, ADCs, DACs etc have advanced dramatically since the early days. Vinyl, it seems like they've wrung almost every drop they can out of this literally antique format.

At shows, whenever I hear the snap-crackle-pop that are part and parcel of the 'magic' of vinyl no matter how fastidiously you maintain the discs and equipment, it ruins the 'spell' for me. And most show setups seem to have little thought put into them. They just stick the cartridge du jour into the TT du jour. I say this because I see woofers in show rooms all the time flopping like a freshly boated fish all the time. The cart and tonearm can both be great, but if they aren't a good match, you don't get good sound. And if the exhibitor- who sells this stuff for a living- doesn't know (or care, in some cases) how to match a TT system right, what is the likelihood you the listener will?

Like I said, I don't miss it. To each his own though.

nlitworld

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #5 on: 20 Apr 2020, 12:02 am »
These both have their place and fan clubs but the one thing that was posted earlier talked about recording and mixing engineers. Even now I feel you consistently find mixes that are maxed out and have no dynamics to the sound. That is the one part of vinyl recordings I feel still keep it enjoyable is proper dynamics of older recordings. Perfect example is old Miles Davis. His songs were almost always mixed for peak dynamics rather than average loudness. They give so much more emphasis to the music even if he was strung out for most all of it. I feel older analog recordings and new remaster vinyl still maintain the dynamics where some of the digital are perfectly crisp details and evenly leveled between instruments but aren't set for peak dynamics. I guess this is more of a slight against modern recordings rather than analog or digital as a whole. Both systems can sound great when paired together correctly (and when the vinyl is clean) but bad recordings still can make either system as enjoyable as yard work. Just my $0.02.

dB Cooper

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #6 on: 20 Apr 2020, 02:45 am »
Ironic that that should be the case because digital is much better able to preserve dynamic range, which with vinyl starts out at a 25dB deficit compared to the potential of digital and goes downhill from there the closer the stylus gets to the lead-out groove. Back in the era you're alluding to is when tools like compression to squash the dynamics to sound louder on the radio either didn't exist or had such gross side effects that producers shunned them. So the dynamics stayed in in part because they had no way to take them out. The music sounded less 'processed' because it was. Today it's a different story. The powerful element of dynamic contrast has been virtually eliminated from the modern musical vocabulary as a result of the 'loudness wars' in spite of the fact that it could be used even more effectively in digital. Which is unfortunate

MttBsh

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #7 on: 20 Apr 2020, 03:13 am »
The last time I moved, about 15 years ago, I gave away hundreds of vinyl records that I had hauled around with me for decades. I hadn't listened to any of them in years and they took up too much space but it was tough to let them go, all those memories. The only thing I've missed is some of the album artwork, which just doesn't have the same impact on a CD cover. Listening to CDs or streamed music from a server today sounds better to me than an LP ever did. I'm another one who has no interest in older forms of technology - been there - done that - moved up to higher quality audio.

AvsFan

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #8 on: 20 Apr 2020, 04:17 am »
The last time I moved, about 15 years ago, I gave away hundreds of vinyl records that I had hauled around with me for decades. I hadn't listened to any of them in years and they took up too much space but it was tough to let them go, all those memories. The only thing I've missed is some of the album artwork, which just doesn't have the same impact on a CD cover. Listening to CDs or streamed music from a server today sounds better to me than an LP ever did. I'm another one who has no interest in older forms of technology - been there - done that - moved up to higher quality audio.

I actually collect some vinyl records of the bands I really like and have had the bands autograph them. Just for the artwork and to have as memorabilia. They won't ever get played. I actually frame them. But once again, vinyl audio does nothing for me.   
But even when CD is forever obsolete and so on, I am not getting rid of my collection and will still spin those little discs until the day I die. Although I find myself spinning them less and less these days.

AvsFan

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #9 on: 20 Apr 2020, 04:18 am »
Primus
Tom Morello
And Peter Murphy




JohnR

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #10 on: 20 Apr 2020, 01:17 pm »
I think the analogy of the 63 Mustang oddly misses the point. There's a fascination or interest with the history of cars that likewise exists for recorded music. If you can listen to a recording made in the 50s 60s or 70s in the medium that it was originally made available in - instead of a form that's been digitized, remasterized, futzerized goodness knows how many times - why wouldn't you?

MttBsh

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #11 on: 20 Apr 2020, 02:28 pm »
I think the analogy of the 63 Mustang oddly misses the point. There's a fascination or interest with the history of cars that likewise exists for recorded music. If you can listen to a recording made in the 50s 60s or 70s in the medium that it was originally made available in - instead of a form that's been digitized, remasterized, futzerized goodness knows how many times - why wouldn't you?

The analogy that comes to my mind is watching a classic film on an old black and white TV vs watching the remastered hi-def color version on a 70 inch OLED. Nostalgia might compel some to watch the B&W version, I prefer the more lifelike (i.e newest) version. Just a matter of taste I guess.

RonN5

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #12 on: 20 Apr 2020, 09:55 pm »
Have you ever gone to a live concert 3 nights in a row and it sounded different each night?  And probably you could pick a favorite of the three. I see the same as being true for digital vs analog mixes... and for remasters...you inevitably have a favorite.

But, in spite of the fact that I may sometimes prefer the analog version of a recording, I will always be annoyed by having to “cue the record manually... and then jump up right before the end” to save the stylus from potential damage.  So, even if sometimes the analog may sound a little better... give me digital as the convenience is also a big contributor to the overall experience.

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #13 on: 20 Apr 2020, 10:41 pm »
I think the analogy of the 63 Mustang oddly misses the point. There's a fascination or interest with the history of cars that likewise exists for recorded music. If you can listen to a recording made in the 50s 60s or 70s in the medium that it was originally made available in - instead of a form that's been digitized, remasterized, futzerized goodness knows how many times - why wouldn't you?
Not ‘63, but rather ‘83.

JohnR

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #14 on: 21 Apr 2020, 05:04 am »
OMG it's an analogy.

Wind Chaser

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #15 on: 21 Apr 2020, 05:07 am »
Personally, for the same reason I’m not interested in listening to wax cylinders or 78’s. :D

AmpDesigner333

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #16 on: 21 Apr 2020, 05:23 am »
So there’s no misunderstanding, the surprise was regarding recording engineers and relative skill levels, NOT the medium itself.  Regarding the medium, it’s easy enough to measure audio performance of a medium.  That has nothing to do with how well it’s used.

S Clark

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Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #17 on: 21 Apr 2020, 05:33 am »
Excellent vinyl still is a very high end experience... just like excellent digital.  I find them to be different, with advantages to both.  You guys obviously think you've found one vastly superior to the other... Ok, that's fine by me.  Not my experience.

Wind Chaser

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #18 on: 21 Apr 2020, 06:18 am »
I don't fancy the required work or the limitations of vinyl. I did own a SoTA vinyl rig back in the day and it would be interesting to hear it again, but there's no way I could go back to it.

Photon46

Re: Surprised by my own answer about LPs
« Reply #19 on: 21 Apr 2020, 01:13 pm »
Excellent vinyl still is a very high end experience... just like excellent digital.  I find them to be different, with advantages to both.  You guys obviously think you've found one vastly superior to the other... Ok, that's fine by me.  Not my experience.

That's my perspective as well. However, I don't think I'd undertake investing in both digital and vinyl technologies if I were starting in this hobby anew. I've been collecting vinyl for fifty years and I've always taken good care of my collection so I have a long investment in the medium. Personal inertia makes it seem easier to maintain and use the collection than sell it and move on  :icon_lol: Besides, my music crazy millennial nephew would be quite happy to inherit a big vinyl collection to add to his.