Death of Vinyl? Nah

Death of vinyl record greatly

By ALLAN WIGNEY -- Ottawa Sun

Earlier this month, my seven-year-old niece regaled
her parents with a tale of prestidigitation from the

Her teacher, it seems, had managed to coax music
out of a large, round disc, simply by spinning the
black circle and placing a needle on it. The students
were suitably dazzled and, like Stephanie, no doubt
rushed home to share the story with their families.

It's a reminder of the state of audio technology. But
I suspect my niece and her classmates will
encounter record albums again. As will their
children, and their children.

Reports of the death of vinyl, first issued 20 years
ago, remain greatly exaggerated. In fact, sales of
vinyl records have reportedly doubled in the past five
years. That doesn't bring them back to the sort of
sales figures they enjoyed in the days when records
laughed at lesser formats, but it's more than can be
said for their would-be assassin, the compact disc.

Audiophiles have stepped forward in recent years to
report that, in fact, analog records sound far
superior and offer a greater sonic range than CDs.
It's something DJs, who have steadfastly clung to
vinyl, have known all along.

Records, properly cared for, will also likely last
longer than CDs. (There is some debate over exactly
how long the average CD will last before it is
claimed by oxidation, but suffice to say if there's a
scratch on it, that disc is doomed.) Besides, it just
feels so cool to hold a new record in your hands.

The major labels continue to live in denial, refusing
to admit they brought the current pirating scare on
themselves by promoting a format that is ideal for
copying, then telling us our treasured purchases are
worthless. They fought hard to finish vinyl off, by
raising the price of records, adding "bonus" tracks to
new CDs, issuing CD-only compilations, delaying
shipments of new records to stores to ensure rabid
fans chose the CD and, willfully manufacturing
inferior pressings and, ultimately, simply removing
all records from their catalogues.


When they attempted to repeat the process a few
short years later with DCCs (digital compact
cassettes), a weary public finally said enough. But
by then, vinyl looked to be in its death throes.

Yet records live on, while CDs struggle. And in
some ways, vinyl is again laughing at the
competition, as it watches the industry decry the
popularity of downloading music. No one is pressing
records at home; but, with the price of CDs still
extortionately high, few people feel guilty about
growing their own.

Not that vinyl has returned to the major stores, yet.
You'll find records at HMV in Toronto and New
York, but here in Ottawa it is the independent stores
which are cashing-in on vinyl's resurrection.

Neighbouring Glebe stores Organised Sound and
Birdman Sound, for instance, carry a wealth of new
records, alongside a comparative handful of CDs.

American indie labels like Sundazed and Get Back
Records have found a healthy audience for lovingly
packaged vinyl reissues of material that deserved
better than the indignity of digital remastering. Even
the seven-inch single is staying alive, as a format of
choice for punk bands. Take that, CD-singles!

And so, 20 years after the first shovel full of dirt
was unceremoniously dumped on vinyl, we find
stereo dealers once again carrying turntables, major
artists releasing 12-inch singles and more and more
people beginning to sense scratches in the CD's
facade. If vinyl is dying, it is at least going out in

Remember those CD-scratching units heavily
advertised a year ago? Neither does my niece.
I love vinyl. If vinyl was not possible to use anymore, I would have never gotten back into audio. I was out of it for years, and decided to get back in with the new digital formats, in a combination player. Within a month, I could no longer stand it. I remembered the sound of my TT, and digital was not it. I have gone straight for the vinyl since then, and have not looked back at all. I rarely even turn on my CD player. And when I do, it is not long before I turn it back off. Vinyl is the real deal.
the only problem i have with vinyl if someone walks by the turntable while it's playing. i probably need to mount the shelf on the wall but it requires finding at least one beam since shitrack will not hold 45lB. currently in this case i should use my cd/dac combo or nakamichi tape deck for the entertainment or party purpouses. a real listening occurs when everyone is sleeping or out and i'm in the room alone with turntable headphones might be applied if vinyl is near-new or new...:)
i still have a collection of children tales since i was 4 and played them myself on my own record player which was one of my best toys of childhood. at the same time i had a 78rpm with classical and folk music that i was spinning back then. than a couple of years later i added to my toy list an accordion and i believe that turntable gave me a push to study and play music. with introduction of a cds and cd players i decided to give it a try and my first cd player i got in 1991. i immediately had a dissapointment comparing to what i've listened before on the record-players with much larger money spent. it was noise-, click- and pop-free but it was a life-free as well.
The digital reproduction improves year-by-year but still i would better through money to my analogue to have a better value.
Admittedly my vinyl playback system costs more than my CD ($4200 vs. $3500) but the sound is not close. Like Marakanetz says, I also have LPs from my youth which still get played.
CDs, especially SACDs are getting closer, but if they are so good why is the standard to which they are compared ALWAYS vinyl??? LPs are better. I'd rather listen to a few ticks and pops than the sterile sound of another CD.
Hardly a surprise. A case in point: Went to a local fleamarket, pulled out 41 classical LPs, cleaned those I wished to listen to first and had three glorious evenings. No listener's fatigue, as is sometimes the case with redbook cds and SACD. Marakanetz is right of course, digital reproduction is improving and SACD is interesting, but nothing touches a good vinyl frontend so far. (Analog r2r tapes played through an Otari or a Revox 77 Mk2 clobber most CD's with classical music as well in MO) Cheers,
If anybody wants a religous experience in sound, listen to Lloyd Walker's turntable.
so many people have observed my records openly shelved in the listening room & laughingly asked "what are you saving those for?". Some of these LP's are older than I am, & I'm no spring chicken. So I sample-track them a CD, & then uncover by beautifuly-woodframed VPI table; you should see their eyes pop! After samping the same tracks from vinyl, the invariable remark comes forth "I've NEVER heard a record sound like THAT before!".
No explanations required - they've just answered their aforementioned question. Someday, someone may invent something that betters analog, but doubtful that I'll ever live to see or hear it. Case closed.
It seems as though vinyl may well outlast the 16 bit compact disk.
Here's a true story. In order to get my non-audiophile freinds to come down and listen to music, I would get them to try and tell me which sounded better, cd, or vinyl. Then, I would do it to cassette. Cassette from vinyl, or cd. Then, finally, I had to offer to pay 10 bucks if they didn't enjoy listening to a record.
"If anyone wants a religious experience in sound, listen to Lloyd Walkers' turntable".

Or the turntable that it was patterned after, the Mapelnoll Airadne Signature ...
I was thinking about this today, my analog setup cost me $700 including table/arm, cartridge, phono stage, tweaks AND interconnects to my integrated amp. In other words, practically nothing for most folks around here. And it sounds absolutely AMAZING. Smooth, detailed, dimensional, rhythmic...all those qualities audio freaks like ourselves crave. I can only assume that a more expensive and/or carefully chosen rig (I haven't experimented much...yet) will sound MORE, well, all of the above. I have heard SACD and some nice digital gear but realistically, I'd have to spend a lot more than $700 to get something halfway as listenable and involving as my analog gear out of digital, and even then I can't image actually preferring the ones and zeros. Yes those four-for-a-buck thrift store deals kick ass. I have records I had when I was a kid too. I have surrendered. I love vinyl!
Glad to be in such good company!
As someone who owns vinyl in quantities about 30-to-1 over his CDs, I will just play devil's advocate for a moment, and point out that I have never experienced a CD becoming "uplayable" due to "oxidation", and that despite what the article says, scratches to CDs can often be repaired, something which is impossible with a record. And we are also finally at a point where a lot of the remastering for CD of older material in many cases equals or exceeds the original vinyl issues, although certainly not always. As my digital rig has gotten better, I have truly come to appreciate the facilitation of enjoyment there is to be had from the lowered noise floor, random access ability, and not having to get up and flip the record with CDs. I do agree however that records will ultimately outlast CDs as a medium, because digital formats are proving to be disposable commodities. I will always own more vinyl records I'm sure than anything that may come along to replace them - I guess I just like 'em that way! But I already feel romantic enough toward them without also exagerating their superiority or ignoring their flaws. I do think digital has surpassed vinyl in many ways, and *could* continue to advance until there's no contest, sonically speaking, but the market may not permit or encourage that. Anyway, to me, the biggest problems with sound quality today lie at the recording end of the chain, not in the playback medium.
Vinyl still does magic in my living room. It is fun to watch company go ape over the cd and then watch them start to droll when I play vinyl.....especially when I play Philadelphia Jerry Ricks,"Empty Bottle Blues". When they want to buy a copy on cd I explain you have to buy it on vinyl...ROXAN RLP016....there is a purity about vinyl I love. Here's to the black disc, may it never die.....
Zaikesman, the biggest problem with sound quality has always been at the recording end of the chain, no matter what medium and yes, I've also heard ADD masterings, which were indeed better than the original, but NEVER in classical music, where CD falls shockingly short to my ears and even SACD leaves me puzzled and in doubt there.
I remember when I bought my first cd player. For a time, I listened to both cd's and vinyl since my cd collection was small and I did prefer the sound of vinyl to the cd's. The thing that killed me on vinyl however was the fact that only about a third of the LP's I bought sounded good. Some had so much surface noise and so many clicks and pops that I couldn't focus on the music. I also began to notice the inevitable degradation of my favoite discs in spite of the great care I was giving them. Yet I still have some of the first cd's I ever bought and they all sound like new (that's probably not a good thing to a vinylphile).

Are records better today? I can't imagine being satisfied with LP's 20 years later if things haven't improved greatly.
a recording from vinyl on reel-to-reel machine can be much better than the same cd especially on 15ips speed. there some professional broadcast machines that are realy good for it such as otari, akai, revox and tascam. note that width of the tape and number of tracks on the machine matters. an ideal case should be 1/2" tape and 2-track machine(recording stereo only on one side)