I purchased (for christmas) a new album from Music Direct, its by Kandace Springs a wonderful young artist, the vinyl is aweful (crackling sound on every revolution on every song...very annoying)! I wish they new how to press a record before they put a name like BLUE NOTE on it! I’m done as well, new vinyls are either warped or have some defect or just plain sound like a blanket is thrown over my speakers! I send these back ASAP and Possibly consider future selections from MOFI or RTI only!
Yes, veiled. Blanket is right. I thought there was something wrong with my rig. I just played Joni Mitchell Shadow and Light and it sparkled and felt just right. What on Earth are they doing to the music? I also bought three new remastered Roy H. records. Guess what? Blanketed compared to the originals. Newbies would think that was as good as it got. Search out originals. New vinyl is dead.
New companies are sprining up to press vinyl records. Between the lack of expertise, and difficulty learning the complex process.
I mean they have to cut the master. Produce it. Then do th eplatin process. This stuff is NOT simple.
Remember back in the day new records were JUST AS MUCH as PITA. With warps. Incusions for shredded recycled LPs..
I have a couple of new pressings that have muffled sonics and poor dynamics. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with them. I also notice a wide range of recording levels between different records.
Send them back to Amazon, and a the return policy is great reason to buy new records for unknown manufacturers from Amazon.
I have had good experiences from known quality manufacturers.
Remember back in the day new records were JUST AS MUCH as PITA. With warps ...That is exactly right - buying a really good LP was always a bit of a hit-or-miss affair. That's a big part of why the compact disc was such an immediate hit after its introduction, imo; many saw it as a remedy for those ills. Of course, the CD had its own issues, especially early on, so it wasn't the panacea many expected.
I'm still into LPs and still buy new ones, but that's mainly because I grew up with the medium. If I hadn't, I doubt I'd pursue it today, and I never recommend that a newbie buy a turntable and embrace LP. (I'm glad that they do, however; it keeps things such as phono cartridges in current production.)
Many new releases and reissues are sourced from digital masters! So not quite 100% analog!
Many new releases and reissues are sourced from digital masters! So not quite 100% analog!I'd rather an LP made from an excellent digital master than a poor analog one. And regardless of the quality of the master, if the LP is poorly pressed, or made from low quality vinyl, nothing else matters.
Because they aren't for portable use, an LP tends to have higher dynamic range than its equivalent digital counterpart. So again, whether the master was digital or not is not the most important consideration, imo.
I have thousands of LP's from the 50's & 60's ... mostly jazz and classical. One thing I've noticed is that when tape hiss is present the highs are extended. On newly pressed records, some engineers "de-noise" the reissue to get rid of the tape hiss. Get rid of the tape hiss and the highs are eliminated as well. Therefore the " muffling" of the sound. Typical of this are the Mosaic reissues. I have several where I also have originals to compare them with. No contest ... the original wins in SQ every time.
This is why guys like Michael Fremer are so valuable---he regularly reports on the sound of new pressings, of albums both new and old. On new pressings of re-issued old albums, he often compares the new pressing to an original, when possible. Of course, he can only get to a limited number of them per month on his website. An ongoing thread here, with reports from consumers specifically on the sound of newly-released LP's, would be great.
I recently received three new LP purchases, Cecile McLorin Salvant's "Dreams and Daggers", and "For One To Love". Also Bela Fleck's "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" (among the best recordings of any type I've heard). The Cecile McLorin Salvant recordings are just as good, Dreams and Daggers is particularly excellent for a live club recording.
So it's not all bad news, folks.
Still listening, but I haven't bought NEW vinyl in a long time. After reading the above, I would be hesitant to.
I just watched Michael Frermer's "It's a Vinyl World After All" - a worthwhile program (DVD from Library). Michael sits in on a remastering, and takes you through the whole process to make a quality vinyl pressing. It's encouraging to know that quality IS out there.
Look into Record Technology Inc. RTI in Camarillo Brillohttp://www.recordtech.com
I haven't bought new vinyl since the 1980s. Now, I can't afford the prices for "audiophile" pressings. I have hundreds, probably a couple thousand record show and garage sale LPs I have yet to listen to. Average price paid was around 2 or 3 dollars each. Some are near mint, all are at least in good to VG condition. A good cleaning is usually all they require.
I tried to get into vinyl with a couple modern albums - most notably Perfume Genius "Too Bright" (album name, not descriptor of SQ) which is an incredibly dynamic album. On cd it sparkles. On vinyl it sounded like i was listening through a tin can. I put the record player in the basement - didn't seem worth any time or investment.
I guess I need to listen to old records? I guess when I inherit my dad's vinyl collection I'll whip it back out...
No romance sorry to hear about your recent experiences. I also had a bad run with new vinyl that really discouraged me. Both the music quality and pressings were a real turn off. But a friend turned me on to a couple reissues and current new releases that got me excited and since I've had a very nice current run on new records (re-issues and current releases). This is in large part records bought from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Also a somewhat recent thread about a HiFi News review of something like 50 albums to give your system a workout was a real boon turning me on tinmusic I hadn't heard of and pushing me to get a few things I'd been on the fence about. I also hit my local record store and grab the jazz reissues that are coming out and overall good some ok. One example was Joe Henderson Elements and it's very good. Anyway keep the faith is what I'm trying to say.
New vinyl probably suffers from various effects, some mentioned already. LPs from the advent of RIAA-curved hi-fis in the mid 50s were made of good vinyl and recorded/pressed by companies that had great experience. Things got better all the way into the early 70s, by which time vinyl began to suffer in quality due to the ’energy crisis’ and bad economy. Tape cassettes had begun to offer viable competition after Dolby (and early DBX) became available, which took more attention off of vinyl. CDs marked the end of the trail. Newbies will have their teething problems. Even CD reissues have been panned, but it has nothing to do with the medium, rather poor remastering techniques. The guys who mastered the RCA Red Seal LPs of the 50s/60s were gone and with them their expertise. This is probably the real reason for poor new pressings.
I now use nothing but digital source material. I have ordered expensive good-quality used vinyl to get precious (to me) recordings from the 50s unavailable elsewhere during the 90s. Recently I finally found what I sought on youtube. Despite its non-optimal digital format it sounds worlds better than the recording I had purchased. True whether played through my all-analog home system (made 30 years ago) via my laptop and a DAC or streamed directly through my new all-digital system (up to the power amps which, using ’class T’ Tripathi amp chips, have also been misrepresented as ’digital’ due to their switching structure) and I have no further use for even reel tapes with DBX I NR, let alone vinyl.
It has been mentioned on the thread that new digitally recorded masters pose no detriment to quality when pressed into vinyl, and I'm sure that's true. The question becomes then, why then introduce all the added processing of pressing into vinyl and replaying on a mechanical device (which mandates further analog processing)? The digital signal path in the home is far more flexible and accurate than stacking analog (or even digital) boxes with patch cords. It can all be done in software, which is why I use 2 fast computers as my entire hi-fi hardware ensemble (minus, again, the power amps and speakers of course). As an added attraction, they run at 3.2Ghz, are quad-cores and cost me $160 each refurbished. All filtering (including crossovers) is linear-phase. And I'm certain the results are superior to vinyl/analog since I've bought/built and heard both. And it's only getting better. This is where development is now concentrated.
I was buying new vinyl when I got back into listening to records again. I recently started buying used vinyl and can say I have better luck with used vinyl in regards to sound quality. I thought the newly pressed 180g and 200g would sound better. Some new vinyl sounds good but I can say the used vinyl I have been buying seems to just sound right to me.
I buy a lot of vinyl, mostly used but some new and new reissues of old stuff. Grading inflation is pretty bad- it’s almost luck of the draw. There are a few places that are almost unimpeachable, but you pay top dollar for their copies and if it is a rare record, it’s crazy money. When I go to shows or bin dive at a store, I do my best to visually evaluate, and cleaning helps, but if the record is damaged, there isn’t much you can do.
I’ve certainly had my share of new records that were horribly made- I’m not buying audiophile stuff for the most part. Many of the records i’ve been buying lately are EU sourced and come from digital files- they are reissues of old psych/prog/proto metal- the quality has generally been good, and the sonics are better than you’d expect. I’ve also had my share of bad sounding all analog records over the years too.
I try to work with trusted vendors- but even then, some stuff slips though. Thankfully, i haven’t had much issue with returns, though those are a PITA. I hear you- but I don’t think it is a new issue or worse (except for the grade inflation and pricing, particularly on sought after old pressings). If it is a 6 dollar record, I’ll just carry on- I’ve been down the road of multiple copies, even of expensive records, before I get a keeper.
I understand the frustration. I’m too invested to quit vinyl, but have started looking at digital options for a various of reasons, not the least being price of some old records.
I can't get past the thought that with all(?) modern source material being digitally recorded/mastered, a record factory and turntable make one heck of a clunky DAC.
"all (?) modern source material being digitally recorded/mastered". The "(?)" is well-deserved. Who says "all" modern source material is digitally recorded/mastered?
Just played this last night. The Lion’s Roar by First Aid Kit is a digital recording and sounds pretty good on CD (evidently a studio multi-track recording). But it sounds a lot better on vinyl. More detail, air and nuance. More emotion and therefore more satisfying.
I buy only vinyl and quite a bit from various sources.
I say return it. (I know if the lp suffers from a poor recording or pressing issue, it isn’t the vendors fault....it isn't the buyer's either.) Returning is the only way any vendor will have a reason to improve service. I’ve had several poor Amazon experiences with the lps not being packaged properly. I’ll have to say that recently, I’ve had very good experiences. ( Could it be because of my sending the poorly packaged lps back with detailed notes?) You only have your time to lose.
I just received my copy of Peter Gabriel "Passion" 45rpm/half speed from Amazon. It was vacuumed sealed/shrink-wrapped on a separate piece of thick cardboard that was the (proper size to prevent shifting) inside of a larger box. I’m very hopeful!
@bdp24: Do you have numbers? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's far closer to 'all' than to 'none' (or even 'some').
"why then add all the added processing into vinyl and replaying on a mechanical device..."
This is a great (technical) question. But as in all things audio that are subjective to a certain extent, there will be many answers that supersede the logic of it all.
I know you did not ask me but I felt compelled to respond.
LPs are what I grew up with. The joy of the physical medium, the ability to hold something substantial in your hands and gaze/read while listening. It’s the connection I’ve always had with the medium. It brings me great joy just to be around lps. That may be why my collection is in my living room? Just my two cents.
Getting into digital does not excite me in any way. I continue to enjoy my path more and more.
Oh yeah, and I am loving most of the lps I continue to buy. I really believe it has much to do with my Rock 7.
Do I have the numbers, realthing? In my post above, it was I asking you for the data to support your statement "all (?) modern source material being digitally recorded/mastered". Remember, I did NOT say your statement is false. I myself have never seen the data that supports or refutes your statement. Do YOU have the numbers?
I'm stunned by your comment on "Beautiful Jazz." You may or may not like the music, but it has exceptional range and extremely little processing. The engineer involved is truly one of the finest in the industry.
Pressings are another matter. Clicks throughout one side would drive me crazy. I'm surprised. My pressing is perfect.
So are the new records made in China?
So Mabey its not my table that’s horrible . I even went and bought a new phono stage . Some new vinyl that I have been buying is downright horrible . Metallica justice for all album bought at best buy can t even hear the voices or drums . Sounds like a tin can . Mabey I won’t sell my rig
Some new vinyl may be crap but there is plenty of really good remastered vinyl. I'm very happy with all the vinyl I've bought from MoFi. I have a Bobby Darin album. Tony Bennett, Bill Withers which is particularly good and if you can find the 45 rpm version of Donald Fagen's Nightfly. it's spectacular. Some of these are very pricey, especially the 180 gram 45 rpm remasters but they sound amazing.
Nothing is perfect. So sit back and enjoy the music. It seems that to many people are looking for problems. Back when we were younger we had fun listening to "our" music. But now there are so many people, companies trying to sell us the next best thing to clean our LP's. If we don't use a cabinet of cleaning items our music will not sound good. I agree with some of the ways of cleaning only because of testing myself.
Just enjoy the music.
A question or all of you. What is your favorite cartridge and what phono stage are you using??????
My new rule is to only get the special limited edition reissues like the Mobile Fidelity one-step ultradiscs and the stuff produced by Analogue Productions. I have had best of luck with their stuff like the Verve Jazz and BlueNote, Prestige series. MusicMatters BlueNotes too are well worth it, if you can still get them.
The other stuff seems like rubbish. I picked up two of my favorite Alan Parson's project albums produced by Speakers Corner and they are not up to my standards. Not for what they charge for these things!
I think I'm going to start making best use of my Tidal streaming account now that I can play MQA. It sounds damn good to my ears.
Ortofon Cadenza Black to a Zesto Andros phono stage.
There are a number of vinyl producers that have a poor reputation for quality. I choose to do business with outfits that have a good reputation for consistent quality control. Acoustic Sounds, Mobility Fidelity, and a many european and domestic producers can be trusted. However there is always the possibility of something slipping by that's defective. In that case return it and get a refund or replacement. Research and selective buying is paramount. Today you can't expect to get a good vinyl record for less than 25 or 30 dollars unless they are running a special.
Maybe we need a list of primo pressings, both in sonics and pressing quality, (I'm over poring over hundreds of pages on the Hoffman forum).
I'll start with my latest:
Yardbirds 68 (Very nice on both counts)
what is the name of the engineer you mention? Thank you,
I'd send them back if I were you. If you aren't happy with the quality, then by all means return them for a refund. I am not a fan of vinyl, especially the new vinyl of today.
all about who mastered the recording. The 60’s thru 80’s pressings I own, the
mastering varies. I would have to say that even the worst mastering of the
classic pressings are still better compared to the ill non-experienced
mastering going on today. Plus, you have
analog mastering & digital mastering, two different worlds. Digital
mastering is incompatible for vinyl as they can sound like a CD when playing
them, but, there some exceptional ones done for live recordings with the new HD
mastering process. Another thought here is great mastering equals excellent
soundstage, air and dynamics, and that’s what we all desire. Today's vinyl
releases are made with some of the best vinyl weight we have seen, along with
premium grade processes, however, bad mastering tears up everything great about
today's pressings and that is the atrocity.
Used vinyl all the way. I have yet to hear a new release that sounded as good. Missing some magic. Somehow, they seem better at recording and mastering/pressing, in the 70, 80's, early 90's vinyl I buy. Check Discogs for mint and mint minus copies.
Hi guys. I have been listening at John Surman and Garbarek ECM CDs for decades. Digital as well. I recently bought a collection of ECM LPs of the same albums ie Private City, Legend of the 7 dreams, Rites and so on. What I can say is that I have been highly disappointed. The quality is not what one can expect from an analogue sounding LP. The sound is thin, in a nutshell, I even find it sometimes less good than the CD or digital streaming. These pressing are of course digital, as opposed to an old ECM pressing from the 70’s I found in a second hand shop at Montreal which is called Conference of the Birds (Dave Holland) which in turn is an analogue pressing and sounds marvellous, with flesh and so on. I suspect ECM to deliberately create "CD sounding LPs" as a way to satisfy a majority of people who own poor equipment and cannot extract the best of a rich analogue pressing. I do not want to look paranoiac but I guess this is a profitability issue at the end ie they can sell more of these "CD sounding LPs". I am so disappointed from ECM, that I definitely stopped buying their new releases, even in CD, and enjoy the streaming versions with Spotify. If someone can advise on a label which is only making LP pressing from analogue sources, I am interested to know which one is.
For some people it's a PITA , for others it's a labor of love.
My experience with all of the mentioned mediums has always been mixed. I don’t know know a lot about the whole recording, mastering, and transfer to each medium. I’ve got great sounding vinyl, eg jazz from East Wind and Three Blind Mice, but some recent reissues that are not very good. Same for CDs, my main source. Most are great, some awful. In the end, I think its all about how well the original recording is made, and how well its mastered and transfered to the product that reaches the consumer.
FWIW, as you all know, vinyl is a major commitment. Pressings that aren’t the best in terms of transparency or suffer from an overall lack luster performance are made more enjoyable with a good US cleaning.
Some great points. At the end of the day, we are in agreement. It is the recording/mixing and not the pressing or the medium. I played my 1968 White Album which is not in the best of shape. Pops, crackles, frying eggs, the lot. Yet the music bursts forth off the vinyl. Crystal clear and full of detail, studio air, with Ringo’s rim-shots that crack you out of your chair. So, I don’t mind vinyl noise as long as the recording excels. Muted, dull with dead acoustics, mixed to death digitally, that sound like Dolby is on, seem to be the order of the day now.
Run, do not walk, and scarf up as many of the Music Matters Blue Notes that you can find. There is a great thread on the Steve Hoffman forum (really long!) that will give you everything you need to pick the right records. These reissues, especially the 45rpm versions, are incredible. I've been on a buying binge lately and every time I spin a new one I'm blown away by the tone, air and ambiance that comes through from these records. They are some of the greatest jazz records of all time redone with loving care in breathtaking fidelity. The most coveted ones are either gone completely or reaching stratospheric prices so I would'nt waste any time in grabbing what's still available. The 45rpms have all the tone and warmth of the originals and add gobs of air energizing the entire listening room with sound. Amazing!
I thought the original question was, "should I send them back"?
Listen to the somewhat recently released "The Harrow and the Harvest" by Gillian Welch, and you will quickly realize that there are some great new vinyl releases out there. Holy crap does it sound fantastic.