Analog a dying breed

I spoke with a dealer today and we discussed the business of hi-end audio. He feels that in 10-15 years the analog market will not exist. He says the younger generation is
not interested in vinyl. Do you think this dealer is correct.
That's what they said would happen to analog 20+ years ago. About this time analog should have been history already. Lp sales outnumbered CD-dvd-A sales combined last year. I see these two last being done-for instead, and despite having a world class digital source, nice Vpi Scout is on my purchase list in near future.
That`s funny I wonder if he has seen the equ being manufactured by many different companies. Price`s between .5K to 70K (Rockport Tech) with that said there is a price point for everyone interested. And look at record`s 120gr, 180gr, 200gr, 45RPM, 1/2 speed remasters I personaly feel it is stonger than ever. David
Eldragon- I can clearly not say for sure but it seems hard to believe LP sales outnumbered CD sales- unless you included used and even then used cd sales is a HUGE business now too. Could someone provide a link with facts on the issue about sales of LP's vs CD.

In regards to the topic at hand, I feel the dealer is right on- sure there will be a cult following who will be vinyl heads till death. I am a younger audiophile and I don't see an analog rig in my system in the future ever, I like to think I am pretty serious about this hobby fwiw. If an enthusiast like myself can not see taking the plunge(I am sure some younger audiophiles are into analog or will be in the future) I don't see how it will have even following it does today in ten years from now. This may turn into the infamous analog vs digital debate and that horse has been beaten dead for years, the lines have been drawn and we know who sits on which side- so lets not bring this discussion to that level, though I think its already heading in that direction (e=mc²)
Yes, I can't see analog dying either. I sometimes wonder if SACD is not destined for a short life, instead.

Lots of the people I play music for have heard that "vinyl is better" and are pleased to have it proved to them in my living room. That doesn't necessarily translate into sales of music or equipment, of course, but it's interesting. I have heard some very nice CD playback in the last couple of years, much better than I once thought the medium could provide; I have not yet heard a demo of SACD that I thought was much better.

Sometimes I wonder too if the new formats are not being supported by the companies mainly because they see their patents on CD running out.

To support analog, for a dealer, is to work against the current today. He has to have heard it sound better than digital, be able to demo that, work to sell his conviction and then support the lonely analog buff afterward. It's a big commitment.
Vinyl sales are up worldwide this year compared to last year. Still tiny compared to CDs of course.
Speaking as someone who actually purchased a turntable today (a cheap Technics for my dad for Xmas), I'd say your dealer is half-right. Most of what's keeping turntable manufacturers going these days is boomers (and older, like my dad) who have record collections they want to play, and that market is going to shrink over time, for obvious if sad reasons. OTOH, there will always be an audiophile niche, and companies willing to fill that niche.
I can see that 15 to 20 years from today that vinyl will become a truly niche market, similar to reel to reel tape today. A typical 15 year old today has never seen a record. They have no more interest in vinyl than black and white silent movies.
I meant SACD's! Sorry!
gotcha that makes a lot more sense!
I'm 24 and i went to analog 2 years ago.
I sold my CD player recently.

BTW: What is SACD ?
To think that the younger generation is not interested in vinyl shows a complete lack of familiarity with the market place. This weekend I went to my local record hut, Music Millenium in Portland, OR. There were racks and racks of new vinyl that would not appeal to audiophiles but certainly appeals to the youth market. Good examples are Death Cab For Cutie, The Strokes, The White Stripes, Cat Power, etc. Literally hundreds of these items. So Who's buying them? Well certainly not the Holly Cole/Pat Barber/Diana Krall audiophile pablum crowd. These kids want music, not jazz lite. Thank goodness.
After 4-5 years in the Sacd camp, I'm back to Vinyl after a 10 year sabatical/hiatus.

Unless younger generations a candidates for the show "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" new vinyl prices are just too high. For example the new release "Beatles - Let it Be (Naked)" runs $14.99 on double cd, & the double Lp is $36.99. Ouch!!!

Well said, Viridian. I second that emotion.
My vote would be no it won't die. I'm a 31 year old budding audiophile and thought I'd never get into analog, until I heard my friend's dad's record player. Now I listen to both, and enjoy collecting the better recordings on LP, since they sound better. Plus it's just cool.

As for the younger generations, remember club and rave DJing is HUGE, and that's all records.
Wasn't it stated that we'd live on the Moon by now 10-15 years ago?
Just received the new Music Direct catalog. Page after page of new turntables, arms and cartridges, FAR more than new digital hardware. Check out Audio Asylum's Vinyl Asylum, probably the busiest forum on AA. For a soon-to-be corpse, this one is pretty lively.
analogue is and will always be a boutique in any format is no longer a nessecity for most young people. it sadly is just a lifestyle choice, like dvd and videogames.
Vinyl releases, in addition to outselling these formats in volume, outnumber SACD and DVD-A.

While dealers sometimes are right, I feel that this one is not. The growth in vinyl is largest in those under 21, especially in Europe and Japan.
This "new" vinyl fad will fade as quickly with the "young" folks as quickly as the other fads.

Some people will argue that the buggy whips still outsell Ferrari's.
I don't have a crystal ball so I don't know. But....

1. Redbook CD's will likely be reduced to a niche market prior to vinyls demise or, not be produced at all because of copyright protection. Still, Redbook will be a huge niche market and catered to, thank you.

2. Digital is in its infancy. Most likely every device and format currently in production will disappear to be replaced by machines and software with no moving parts. Again, all this current technology will be catered to in a niche market.

3. Money rules. Wherever there is a market there will be suppliers.

Your dealers comments may reflect the direction he hopes the market will go. Digital? Plug and play. Great analog? Now, this takes some work. I think he might just be lazy.

I'm certain he also realizes that digital playback will continue to evolve which will offer him opportunities to replace previous devices repeatedly throughout a customers life. IMHO, he's forcasting a major f*#@^$g of the high end consumer.

In the end I don't know and I'm beginning to not care. Just being an analog guy brings insults from certain members for no intellectual reason. I'm happy that as long as software is produced from carbon based material and rotates at either 33 1/3 or 45 rpm I will continue to be forward compatible. I'm already backwards compatable for over 1/2 a century.
Thanks for the crystal ball, Lugnut. :-)
Is anybody bothered by the fact that as far as new music is concerned the percentage of pure analog recordings is getting smaller and smaller. Even if the basic tracks are recorded on analog tape, the subsequent editing and some mixing is nearly always done digitally. The last Steely Dan recording, "Everything Must Go" is a good example. The basic tracks were recorded an 2" analog tape, but there was extensive editing with ProTools. The recent Ron Isley/Burt Bacharach "Here I Am" says it was recorded live at Capitol studios (on tape), but the production credits list a ProTools operator. I love vinyl, but the writing is on the wall.

Yeah, I can agree somewhat. The difference is that when using ProTools the sampling rate is off the chart. Now, if they could place that information on a shiny little disk they would have something. But no, they must have multiple layers/channels rather than offering a single higher resolution two channel format. Steely Dan, being as highly produced as they are, is one group that benefits from the exactness of digital editing. Neil Young abandoned using digital editing because it allowed the process to be taken too far (in his opinion) and therefore sucking the life out of the end result. Don't get mad at me. It's his opinion.
Lugnut, there are many versions and configurations of ProTools and they can run at sampling rates from 44kHz up to 192kHz. The earlier systems were 16 bit and generally were considered quite poor sounding. Newer systems are 24 bit and sound somewhat better. Still there has been a lively debate among engineers as to whether the internal PtoTools mix channels squash the sound quality of audio run through it. Many people actually edit within ProTools and then output to an analog desk for the actual mixing. Even with the added conversion stage(s) these people think the final mixes sound better than those done internally within ProTools.

Here's a link to a discussion forum hosted by George Massenburg about the negative effects of ProTools style manipulation on the quality of music prodction.

Sorry if I've gotten off topic.
For people who are into listening music in its most natural form especially for classical music. Vinyl playback offers much more long term satisfaction. I don't have a CD player and I don't intend to get one. I have listened to and auditioned numerous CD players without making the jump. The way I look at it is that a lot of people made a lot of money in creating a new product for people who wants conveniences and new technology. It is right for some people at sometime but not for all people at all time. That's what makes the world spins. The industy needed something to sell and it worked.
Eventually everyone's LP's will wear out (disregarding the very few new issues).
"Do you think this dealer is correct?" No, but he's not totally wrong either. Vinyl intrinsically will continue to have collectability and archival value to an extent not shared by other formats, regardless of whether its audiophile worth becomes completely passe. The fact is that for the formative and golden ages of this era's defining musics, vinyl was the format of record (you can't buy puns that bad yet that appropriate!), and it's still anybody's guess when those musics might eventually be supplanted by something newer *and* more popular, if at all.

(The same kind of suspension of obsolesence may occur to a lesser degree with CD, since the current post-modern age of pop music [alterna-rock, rap, techno] has the CD as its format of record, and also because digital disk-readers of the near future will be able to handle all such formats right up until the entire breed quickly goes the way of the dinosaur in favor of data-by-wire. Since that will likely entail some kind of pay-to-play however, I can see many listeners continuing holding onto their silver disks for a good while afterwards.)

For his business of the high end though, I can certainly forsee the day when the current audiophile fad for re-acquiring or first-time-acquiring vinyl rigs and software cools back off considerably as digital distribution and storage really come of age - considerably, but not totally. When that time arrives, he may no longer want to be in the game, but others assuredly will, including those catering to collectors and DJ's rather than fetishistic audiophiles. I think that, on a less epochal scale, asking if records will completely go away is a little like asking if paper books will completely go away...
Yesterday I happened to be listening to the local NPR FM radio station, and they were playing various LP's of historic performances of classical music, mostly from the 1940s. The LF rumble was simply awful, and it was on the discs, not the turntable being used because it varied from disc to disc. I cut in my subsonic filter and the LF blend rumble filter, but it still was bad.

I have a decent turntable, and a few LP's that I still like to play, but my overall opinion is: Analog...RIP.
I do not beleive that Analog is a dying breed. Reason?...I was visiting my daughter at Michigan State University a few weeks ago. I stopped into one of many record stores near the campus. Lots of used/new analog vinyl for sale. Guess what these young whipper snappers were snatching up...Vinyl! I asked several students why? Their responce was "better sound quality than CD and way cooler". These are our future leaders and shakers speaking!
Eldartford: Since the material being played might well have predated not only the vinyl long-player but also magnetic tape, that rumble (did you hear it or see it?) could have been an artifact from the original transcription disks and not the LP's (or whatever medium they had been transferred to, if indeed they were transferred at all - are you sure they couldn't have been playing some original disks?). Either way though, your audiophile-centric anecdotal observation hardly seals shut the ultimate fate of records as a breed. You mention you have a turntable, yet don't say anything about any horrible rumble you're getting at home, so I assume that you don't. So why give that personal experience less weight than the isolated broadcast instance? The question isn't limited to whether or not records will be surpassed in their goodness as a medium ; that already happened 50 years ago with reel-to-reel tape as far as sound goes, 35 years ago with 8-track and cassette as far as portability goes, and 20 years ago with CD as far as durable convenience goes. So why aren't records long gone right now? The answer doesn't have as much to do with sound quality issues as audiophiles might tend to think.
Zaikesman..."Audiophilecentric" really does not describe me...after all I did persevere to listen to these historic recordings in spite of their problems. Your suggestion that they might have been 78s may well be correct, and perhaps the program producers did not use proper equalization, thus aggravating the problem.

As to rumble on my own's no worse that other high end systems that I have heard, but, as I have commented in the past, it remains, along with surface noise and dust accumulation on the stylus, a real impediment to my enjoyment of the underlying good sound of vinyl.

Not dead perhaps, but how long will the life support be continued? In line with that analogy...I have not "pulled the plug" in my own system by getting rid of the TT. A sentimental issue mostly.
Man, I just can't listen to CDs for more than an hour or two. For me, vinyl isn't sentimental - it's a necessity.

I like the scenes in movies where turntables are used by the characters or they give vinyl a "plug", like in High Fidelity (John Cusack, Jack Black)......and how can we forget Nicholas Cage in "The Rock"? He gets a package in the mail containing LPs, and he gets all excited. I can't remember all of the dialog, but a coworker makes a comment about his collecting, his being behind the times, etc., and Nick defends his buying decisions and says, "Besides, these sound better." !!
I know people who have good turntables and clean records and their kids, like mine, always come sniffing around. They are interested, and agree that there is something very good about the sound coming off of those big black discs.
As long as they sound good (no problem there!) and there is a supply of software and hardware, there will be buyers. If the vinyl/turntable business ever dies-off, it won't be because they don't sound good. It will because of marketing (bottom-line MONEY) decisions by some bean-counting weenies who don't care about Audio.