Having read and contributed to several threads on the digital vs analog controversy I developed a nagging itch that suggested it is older people that prefer analog and younger people digital. If this is the case than there is most definitely a nostalgic element to that opinion. Perhaps we can answer that question. I will go first. Please do not ruminate on the differences. Age and preference, digital, analog or both! We'll tally the results at the end.
I’m 44 and I prefer analog, and most of my audio fellas are also into analog. We’re all use streaming to discover music to buy it on vinyl.
What is definitely for old people is CD format, very few people buying CDs nowadays (I don’t even know such people in my country), some people still have CDs purchased in the 90’s (I know some who still own CDs). When I read “CD” I’m thinking about 90’s, some people stuck in the 90’s in my opinion. CD is old fashioned media format, not vinyl!
If old people are into CDs, Vinyl and Cassettes then younger people are into Vinyl and Streaming. This is what I think.
P.S. Enjoyed cassettes longer than CDs before Vinyl replaced everything for me.
No it does not, my simple answer as not all aged ones have an RTR deck or cassette. On the other hand it is more difficult and costlier for a young one to built a respectable vinyl collection. Digital is easier to operate, sounds good, and is very easy to obtain. You can teach an old dog new tricks for the ones who sold their lp collection when digital appeared and for the ones who seek a more complete approach to sound reproduction. 30 years ago i would not care for digital but today i want both. G
39 and digital. Music discovery is extremely important and digital provides this, as well as accessibility that I would have never thought possible while working at Tower Records 20 years ago as a poor college student. Vinyl, at least right now, would be too costly.
This year I bought LPs for my 37 year old nephew and the 16 year old daughter of my best friend’s son. Both are starting vinyl systems for the first time. So as far as my personal anecdotal experience goes, no. Your generalization does not apply.
I honestly don’t care about the format. Over the years I have learned to appreciate good music and how it sounds regardless of the recorded medium. I equally enjoy spinning Vinyl, CD’s and Streaming tunes. There is no clear winner in my system and to my ears simply because of the attention to detail towards each competing format.
As @chakster pointed out, Streaming is a great medium to discover and appreciate music. What’s remarkable to me is how Vinyl has managed to sustain its presence in last 50 plus years :-)
I do think age is a factor on the preference of digital or analog. A few reasons why: older generation has more money to invest in analog; older generation does not benefit much from the convenience of digital; older generation does not fully know how much a quality DAC can improve the sound from digital media; Actually vinyl sounds better if you compare the same music produced in vinyl and CD.
However there are many other factors to consider. For example, whether you are a type of person who is more likely to follow the fashion or trend. Large population of young generation follows the trend and what is cool. Fremer showed a data that shows that the purchase of vinyls in 2020 is spread evenly over age groups. That is, 20~30 age group purchased similar amount of LPs as 50~60 did. Interestingly, many of those 20-30 age group do not own audiophile system. Then, why did they purchase vinyls? Well, most of them felt vinyl is cool (putting the LP on the table and putting the needle on top of the spinning vinyl, as well as the artistic material that comes with vinyl) and followed the trend of owning physical media of music. And Some buy vinyl as an investment. You know, many LPs produced by young artists since 2000 fetch whole lot more money these days. My 18 year old son sent me a list of LPs he wanted to buy, and I looked at the price of new and many of them sell at over $100. VG+ or Mint- from discogs selling at over $40. Also, some of the new albums I bought over the past 20 years sell at over twice in VG+ or Mint- condition. So, even though the older generation audiophile tends to prefer vinyl over digital for whatever reason, there is a strong movement from younger generation valuing LPs more than CDs, not necessarily because they appreciate the sound quality of Vinyl over CD.
I appreciate both CD and LP. No digital file because I don’t have a system that plays the lossless files. For music in both CD and LP, I most definitely listen to LP than CD unless LP is in less than VG or the recording quality is poor. By the way, I have about 4000 LPs (2500 classical, 500 jazz, 500 rock/pop, and 500 misc) and 1000 CDs (500 classical, 300 Jazz, 200 rock/pop/misc).
As I recall, this thread is not about whether one prefers vinyl or digital, one over the other. Thank God.
you can look this stuff up on the Internet. I just did. For those who are interested you might go to a site called statista.com. Anyway, to summarize the information I was able to acquire, buyers of LPs in the USA were very evenly distributed over the age ranges from 17 to 55+ in the years 2018 and 2019. In other words, there is no trend related to age.
I am 71 and probably have about 1,500 records and I have a decent vinyl rig but to be candid I prefer digital. Sound quality isn’t the issue but convenience is. I listen mostly to contemporary music and except for the first time I play an album I will seldom listen to it again in its entirety. I mark my favorite songs and put them into rotation until I get tired of them. I rarely find an album that I will play from beginning to end. I enjoy finding new music so between radio stations and Tidal I get some very good leads. However if I find something I really like such as the most recent Blitzen Trapper I will purchase a vinyl copy.
Sound is sound, no matter the age. This explains why every single time I have compared, everyone always prefers the record. Every single time. And no it does not have to be five times as expensive, I have gotten the same result comparing a 30 year old beat up Technics to new five times as expensive CD. People- I’m talking normal people here not the near basket case neurotics known as audiophiles- normal people all prefer records.
But that’s not quite right. Its really, really, REALLY important to drill down to what exactly it is we are talking about here. What this REALLY shows is, given the time to sit and do nothing but enjoy music, with someone else doing all the work, THEN for those few minutes everyone prefers records.
And only then. Because even a hard core spinner like me is not going through the hassle of turning a record over every 15 minutes just to have some music in the background while exercising or puttering around the house. For that even I prefer digi....di.... d,... dang thing sticks in my throat. The other one.
I can not tally results if I do not have your age. If you do not feel like leaving your age for what ever reason please abstain from this discussion. Please answer for yourself not your kids. As a kid I got loads of stuff the fascination for which lasted 10 minutes. They can answer a similar thread 10 years from now. I know loads of young people as a physician and the vast majority of them only listen to their telephones. Out of 1500 patients I know only one other that listens to vinyl besides myself. I am seeing an interesting trend in older people indicating that the convenience of digital is the main factor that drives their choice. I though that would have been the attitude of younger folks. Go figure. I do let the computer run when I'm in the shop or just don't want to be bothered where as I am usually listening more intently with vinyl. But that does not mean I do not listen seriously to digital programming.
My vinyl and digital collection is pretty even. When I want to read and listen to music, it is either digital or FM radio. When I just feel like pampering myself and just listen, it’s vinyl all the way. With that being said, it’s 75% digital and 25% vinyl listening. I am 67 years young.
I am 33 and am about a 80/20 split on analog vs digital with my main system. While at the computer, its digital all the way. Past year or so I have found myself enthralled with vintage Japanese gear and have expanded my options significantly.
Dacs are fun, but I find myself wanting to tinker a bit more with various arms and carts. About 2k records and 600+ cassettes and counting.
At 66 I still love a great sounding L P. Started streaming this last year. Now my 3000 CD collection is collecting dust. Not to mention the $40,000 that's gone. There are times I can get off the couch and play a CD since they usually sound better. However they do a purpose. When starting a listening session via streaming I run into a road block after a while what to play. It really helps to look over the CD's and go, Oh Yes, I need to hears this. Better yet, what's fantastic is looking up a group that I got into 20 years ago that I have lost touch with. Some are gone and some have released many offerings since.
Ultrasonic cleaning does wonders for background noise. All my 2,000 vinyl have been washed. It's part of the process and I actually love doing it. Every 9 albums I get go through the process, takes me about half an hour. Piece of cake and amazing difference, even on brand new albums. Vinyl is a love affair. Anything else is like marriage. Comfortable but not very exciting.
Mijo, if you want to take an informal poll for your own amusement, fine. But don’t kid yourself that you are going to arrive at some statistical proof of anything. The vinyl sales data show that purchasers were about evenly distributed among persons in 5 age groups between 17 and 55+. So, for vinyl there is no trend related to age of the buyer. This need not mean anything as regards CD adherents, which is different from “digital “ because so many now stream their music and no longer buy CDs at all.
59, i choose live music, high speed tape, a fantastic ADc to a great DAc, the black disc DtD, then 45 then 33, then maybe my hot rod DAT, then the lowly cassette, unless it’s my Teac portastudio and the band be jamming..
notice I didn’t mention CD player, it is so very rarely bit perfect.....
36 and all analog. Grew up with digital and tried analog about 3 years ago and haven’t looked back. Also not a huge jazz and classical fan which seems to isolate you in the modern hifi scene. If people want high end audio to survive they need to realize that people enjoy more than 2 genres of music, especially in the modern era.
64 and digital all the time. So much more music, so much quicker, all from the convenience of a smart phone and Qobuz, streamed to my NAD M33 and out to my speakers. Simple, just speaker cables, power cord and short Ethernet cable, amazing quality and choice.
I’ll be 73 next month. I’ve always preferred vinyl over digital. These days I do more streaming from Tidal than listening to vinyl. I’ve also ripped my CD collection to an Innous Zenith MKII and have a small collection of DSD songs. I’ve put together a digital system that sounds very, very close to my vinyl rig regardless of digital source; and both sound excellent to my ears.
I am 72 and have had most all types of music reproduction at one time or another. What I value is good sound.
high quality sound can be achieved from a variety of formats. Convenience has become important as well. I love vinyl, but it is analogous to serving tea as opposed to just cracking a beer. I have drifted more towards digital as it requires less work. But that by no means makes either superior in my view. I have heard good and bad recordings from all sources.
At the end of the day, great sound makes me smile.
I know that you dont read my post anymore 😁 but for the sake of this interesting question i will answer:
I am 69 and i prefer digital, and love music more than sound, and because of my way of embedding my audio system, because some dac are very good, because 10,000 vinyl makes no sense in a small house, because i hate all manipulation at each 30 minutes, and i hate fetichism of little object, i stick to digital for 30 years now but enjoy it really only with my good dac and right embeddings of it for the last 2 years...
55 yo here and I listen to mostly digital. I have a nice TT but I play it less than streaming. I also play some old mix tapes on my 1991 Denon deck. I have good DAC and Spotify Premium suits me just fine. Oh, I also play CDs but still, mostly digital.
I am 63 and my digital front end is modest and very soothing more times than not. Simple - Node 2i and with tube output MDHT dac. No streaming (Qobuz) dropouts at all. So simple. Also Audiolab CDT 6000. Decent cords and interconnects. Blows me away 85% + of the time. Have heard some good analog but for me a lot of work. Enjoy.
I am 71 and last year got back into analog. I went digital back in the 80's getting rid of my TT and record collection. I acquired a new system and now I am really enjoying reacquiring the vinyl I really like.
@mijostyn Of the 1500, how many actually care about sound quality, those who take care in putting together a decent system as their means allow? Probably just a hundred or fewer? Still, it’s rather sad that only one spins vinyl. Cost and convenience are two reasons why most young people prefer digital, I agree. By the way, I know two teenagers and a young adult who use vinyl as a side dish just to be cool. By looking at their set-up (e.g. turntable not level, incorrect tracking force, dirty stylus, record player in bed) and the way they handle and store their records, I know they don’t really understand what they’re doing.
My question is, will young audiophiles use analog when they grow older?
I’m 36 and prefer analog,
but digital for classical music because I feel that my vinyl set-up is not able to fully cope up with complex and layered classical pieces, especially big symphonies. It’s a decent vinyl rig, but probably I have to spend a lot more in order to equal the performance of my digital source when it comes to classical music. As I pointed out in another thread, the vinyl medium could be the problem too, as when you get inner grooves distortion in the last movement of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9. I still buy and spin classical records though. And I have a cassette deck and a few tapes.
Some vinyl sucks, some cd's also suck....it depends on the mastering etc, and also the pressing when it comes to vinyl. Get vinyl right and it can sound the best.....although, some of my cd's do sound quite amazing. In fact some of my cassettes sound amazing as well. I hate streaming honestly. I really have no need to as I most likely have several thousand lp's by now and who knows how many cd's. Some of which I have never even played, still sealed....so I have enough to keep me busy for a very long time....
Over 70. Digital only. I am not sure it is an audio preference so much as it is a physical constraint: there is simply no place in my listening space(s) where I could place a turntable to be both accessible and free from vibrations. Mostly I listen to streamed music (Primephonic, Qobuz) which is controlled from my phone, so I don't have to access the equipment.
73. Like everyone of my time, start with vinyl. Never had the stability of lifestyle or resources for R2R, quel dommage, but that's that. Along come cassettes, onto which you create playlists from the LPs for in-house convenience plus portability. Then CD displaces vinyl for a while, and the good new stuff is available only in that format, so add CD collection and keep making cassette playlists. Well, how about a digital library? Way easier than cassette, count me in. And then Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz. Through it all, FM radio (yeah, I use analog tuner to discover, e.g., "the post-obscure and the pre-familiar"). Well, optimal sonic experience, all else aside? Spin the disc. WHEN you've got it in that format, which is maybe 10% of the time. For me, 50% is analog tuner, 30% streaming playlists, and 10% divided between CD and cassette. So run the numbers and report if you can distill any meaningful data from this mess. Ha! More uncontrollable variables under the sun than are dreamt of in your binary methodology, Horatio.