great vinyl sound cost as much as great cd sound


I have emmlabs dac and line preamp which is one of the best digital sources out there.

I was wondering if I wanted an analog vinyl source which rivals my digital system would it be equally costly.

At this point my vinyl budget would be limited to $2,500. Can I get a good phono preamp to connect to my line emmlabs preamp and a turntable for that amount and not find that my top of line cd source sounds far better.

If so what pairing of preamp phono and turntable would you recommend.

VPI scout and ? perhaps
I guess Thom Yorke fans think alike:

I posed a similar question a while ago, and upsettingly I didn't get much help. Not having many albums, I really don't want to spend too much in total on the TT, arm, cart and phonostage.

I too wonder whether a VPI scout, JA Michell Tecnodec or Gyro (perhaps too much money) with a decent cart and a midrange phonostage will better the sonics of my emmlabs gear. Living in a smaller city, prevents me from getting to home audition some of these tables for an A-B comparison with my digital setup.

My TT thread

Perhaps, there may be a new Radiohead LP to play on my TT once I make a decision.

Does anyone have any direct experience comparing a Scout or Michell table to emmlabs gear ???
The Scout is a great TT and has an awesome upgrade path to the Super Scoutmaster, which is in the same league as your emmlabs stuff for vinyl. IMHO, I think you would be hard-pressed to spend only $2500.00 for TT,arm,cart, and Phono stage and get equal resolution as the emmlabs. I am willing to be proven wrong, and I hope someone else can recomend otherwise.
But I would persue the aquisition of the Scout, and start building an analog rig around it...upgrading pieces as finances allowed. You will not be disapointed with a good quality vinyl rig!
I just got into vinyl, and I'm very pleased. It's no question for me, given a record and a CD, the record will sound better. Period. I have the same recording on CD and on vinyl from Phillips, the record sounds better. Both formats have advantages and disadvantages, it's all about trade offs. But from an absolute sound perspective, records sound better.

I can't say I've heard the EMM gear, however, dont they convert PCM to SACD and then do the DA conversion? I think the new Teac Esoteric converts SACD into PCM and then does the DA converstion. Sounds like it can go both ways and be successful. I haven't bought into the SACD/DVD-A format so I really can't comment on sound quality here. Just an observation.

A record player will open a larger selection of music for you to choose from. If you get a clean record with a good recording, then the sound will be out of this world if you are use to CD sound. Give it a try so you can hear for yourself. My CD transport is rarely used these days.
I, too, own the EMM Labs CDSD & DCC2. I think you would spend $2500 on just the WIRE to hook up your vinyl rig- tonearm cable, interconnect for phono stage to DCC2, power cord for phono stage. The actual total cost to add vinyl playback is very high, if you include everything you need. From time to time I consider getting back into serious vinyl playback. To equal or better the EMM Labs combo in the analog realm would, IMHO, cost in excess of $30K at retail. Turntable- $10k, Phono Stage- $10k, Tonearm- $3K, Cartridge- $4k, Wire- $3k, Accessories- $1k. Of course, you can assemble a listenable vinyl rig for far less than $30k, but I think it would take $30k MINIMUM to beat the EMM Labs gear. I know several EMM Labs owners who have well in excess of $50k invested in their vinyl playback systems and, if the truth were to be known, probably listen to their digital more often. I ADORE great analog playback and definately PREFER SUPERLATIVE ANALOG to digital, but the high price of admission, the inherent inconsistancies of vinyl playback and- to a lesser degree- the software duplication and inconvenience (no remote control) keeps me from jumping back in.
If I spent that much on a digital rig, I woundn't want to know that vinyl was better, lol. Seriously:

Maybe I'm ignorant in the realm of high$$$ esoteric digital playback, but it took literally *seconds* to hear that vinyl was better than any digital rig up to $3500 I've heard in my home, with qualifications. I have a VPI Scoutmaster with Dynavector 20xL, a MuFi A308 Amp with inboard phono stage, Vandy 3A sigs, and Audioquest cables with the little battery packs. I also sprung for the VPI record cleaning machine, an absolute must.

To be precise, I only listen to used Classical, which tends to be better pressed,mastered and better handled. People typically condescendingly refer to vinyl as "laid back" and "warm," which is true, but it's more than that: what stunned me right off was the front to back space, the sense of a hall, (environmental cues), the quickness, the detangling and clarity of textures, such as simultaneously plucked low harp and string bass, and--for the most part--the explosive dynamic range, even on good recordings back to '58. With the record cleaning machine, about 98% of my records are CD quiet. For the first time I've listened to the vinyl counterparts of CDs I've owned since the '80's and heard things I've never heard previously. Shostakovich sounds like a different composer. Solti breaths more.

To be fair to PCM, I've been delighted to find that digital records sound better than their CD counterparts as well, esp. the early London/Deccas. Digital Lps were pressed up until '88 as far as I've found.

I earnestly urge you to take a listen to vinyl if you like Classical. I can't speak for pressings and recordings of other genres, so I won't. I've never enjoyed my music more, and I haven't even purchased an outboard phono stage yet.
Classical music was my driving factor for my turntable. I was really tired of hearing Classical on CDs, and on top of that, selection of classical music is no where near what is available on vinyl.

I use to wonder if vinyl would top my expensive digital front end, until I heard a vinyl rig with a familiar recording I had on CD. There was no comparison, and the vinyl rig was very modest using a vintage turntable and an Ear phono pre ($1200 retail).

Once I actually heard a record played (and it was really nice to hear a recording I had on CD and was very familiar) it was no question, a turntable was in my future. I thought I would start out with a modest turntable, but I ended up going half way up the mountain. I did go for a vacuum platter which is really nice, especially for warped records which play fine now.

On top of that, I've purchased so many used LPs for several dollars a piece that are just amazing recordings. If you get into vinyl, don't forget about getting a record cleaner, this will be important if you want to start buying used records.

CD definately has advantages (primarily convenience at the cost of sound quality) too. There are bad sounding records just like there are bad sounding CDs. But what a turntable does for me is open up a much much larger selection of music than limiting myself to the CD format.

As for SACD or DVD-A, this is even a smaller subset of music than Redbook CD. Granted the sound is better than CD, but how much music is there available? And has Sony dropped SACD all together? I don't know.

What's really on my mind is are we going to see the High Definition video formats go through an ugly battle (BlueRay vs HD-DVD) and both formats fail just like SACD and DVD-A? Let's hope the industry learns from their mistakes.
Karma, Others have responded, and I understamd what your question was, but I find your question leaves something out, and that is, do you own any LPs?

If you don't own not one LP, well, I'm not going to say it's impossible to start into Vinyl, but it sure does make it harder with the outlay of cash for Vinyl, and the question arises "Where does one begin"?

While I've been into Analog-Vinyl since the very beginning of my love for audio (34 years), I've amassed quite a few precious, and interesting LP's, but it's a relative thing, and I'm sure there's a substantial percentage in this forum who has collections of Vinyl which actually could pass for a Vinyl Record Business!

Not 100's of LP's, but literal 1000's!

While it's never too late, nor impossible to start, ultimately,you have to decide if Analog is right for you. One doesn't necessarily have to buy every costly LP on the Planet to enjoy, and if you have record shops in your area, second hand-antique shops, these are places were gems can be found. I have myself found countless dozens of museum quality, expensive LPs for instance many unplayed German Duetsche Grammaphone's of people like Izhstak Perlman, etc. Cost for these mint LP's? $1! I've bought mint Revox Classical Box Sets, never played, (Mozart-beetovhen-etc) cost? $2.50!

On the other hand, one can spend countless $100's-$1,000's for desireable LP's Just look on ebay for example, and look up something like "Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs" (MFSL) and check out something like what a Sealed 14 LP MFSL Beatles Box Set goes for. (Always would've loved having that set, but it's a bit beyond my reach right now)

Buying things like LP cleaning gear doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. $100, should basically cover all the bases with a good Hunt Dry Brush, a Bottle of Disc Doctor Cleaning Fluid, and Brushes, and a bottle of Last Stylus Cleaning Fluid, and a stylus brush (usually included with the Fluid) or even the super cheap $2 box of Mister Clean Magic Cleaning Eraser will do.

If you do choose to invest in vinyl, the best way I see to do so today, is buy much of this gear used right here on AudioGon. Tons of nice gear pop up here every day. Something like a used Mint VPI Aries-Aries II-Aries Black Knight would fit the bill very nicely indeed!

One that also comes with a good Arm (VPI JMW 10, or 12 for example) and a Cartrridge with Low Hours would be another plus, and buying used usually offers a considerable savings from trying to get in with all new components.

Buying used will also have the advantage of if you decide to get out, or upgrade a component (A Phono Stage for example), One may not lose one cent of their money when re-selling the item.

Lately, I see many beginning to rave about the very inexpensively priced Jolida PD9 Tube Driven Phono Stage as a Giant Killer in performance-features, and at $450 new, it's not a great risk to try out.

When I see people favorably comparing it against costly
costly phono stages, such as the Krell, this little phono stage has to be one of the budget buys of all time.

Vinyl certainly isn't as convenient as digital, but I myself over the years have found the extra hassle of owning, and maintaining vinyl a worthwhile, and truly enjoyable hobby.
Once can always buy more as time goes by.
I disagree that a VPI Cleaning machine "is a must", it certainly is not a must, especially for the biginning hobbyist, with 2-3 dozen Lp's in their collection.

A hobbyist in time, with the accumilation of countless LP's or one who buys many second hand, that have been initially somewhat mistreated will find a Machine such as this a great value to them, saving mucho time, and effort, but I see to technical supportive evidence myself, that a hand cleaned LP with the right products can't be every bit as microscopically clean as an LP cleaned with a VPI 17.5 machine.

I see reference many times to folks saying "Oh, after I clean my LPs with the 17.5, my LPs have never shined so much, like mirrors! That IMO is a bit of a fallicy, in that if it was doing some sort of polishing buffing to the LP's surface-grooves, it would actually be more a detriment, than a help to achieve pristine clean Vinyl.

I may open some eyes with my opinions, but the advantages to machine cleaning are 1. Time saved per LP cleaning, and 2. Lots less elbow grease needed when the machine is doing the majority of the work for you.

If one acquires a few LPs here, and there, manual cleaning can suffice very well, and only takes a small amount of one's time to achieve desired results.

Handling, and packaging after cleaning are important considerations, and if one hypothetically uses a big dollar cleaning machine, then resorts to placing that very same LP back into a 1 cent paper sleeve that looks like you washed the floor with, and with dirty-greasy hands that don't properly handle the LP, much, if not all of that effort is totally wasted. Mark

To Markd51:

OK, let me rephrase then: cleaning records is a must, if you want CD-quiet sound, (providing the Lp was well-taken care of to begin with. I've done it both ways, by hand and now by machine; doing it by hand was a pain in the..., but to each his own. Of course, one may buy any record cleaning machine he wants, it doesn't have to be a VPI.
Some would argue that rotating a brush around a record without vacuuming (sp) just rotates around the particulates.
Hi Jdaniel, Yep, I think we'll all agree about that! ;-)

To be honest, I have lusted for a good cleaning machine for years, and I'd be quite tickled owning either of the VPI's. Sadly, I've put it off, put it off, always making some sort of excuse 'naw, I can live wthout it a bit longer, but yet the LP collection continued to grow, usually in spurts.

I won't buy LP's for months, then the bug hits again, and here we go again, a Mo-Fi here, a re-issue there, and sometimes the obscure, but very cool oldie in an antique-record shop.

In fact, recently, I've got my eye on an old mint Louis Armstrong Box set that must be from the late '50's-early '60's. Asking price $30, but I might spring the dough for the heck of it before it disappears. If I recall, the Lps were purple vinyl Hmmm? Unusual.

To relate to the original poster again, I've heard great things about emmlabs gear, although never personally heard their digital. I'm sure it's a flooring experience hearing thr CD done well.
I have heard top of the line Levinson, and Krell though, so I can appreciate the capabilities of the high end, and the improvments heard with CD playback through state of the art.

Still, in some ways, I don't think you'd have to equal that high end digital price with vinyl to find a very satisfying sound, that will make you sit back, and smile.

Debates such as these can on on for years on end, the topic of LP vs CD, and truthfully, I feel both formats have their advantages-strengths, and their drawbacks-deficiencies.

For analog, there's certainly been many down this path in the know, and have learned (Usually the hard, and costly way) the synergistic combination of equipment that go well together (Turntable-Arm-Cartridge-Pre-Amp)
Great vinyl sound seems to cost more than great CD sound, but once you get to the high end, analog really can pull ahead. I've had the chance to compare the CDSD/DCC2 to a Brinkmann Balance/Brinkmann arm/Lyra Titan/Lamm LP2 setup. SACD vs LP was close. I preferred the LP in the comparisons, but someone could easily prefer the SACD. LP vs red book was no comparison on any of the three albums I had to compare (Radiohead - Amnesiac, Modest Mouse - The Moon Over Antartica, A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms).

I'm seriously considering adding a high end analog setup to my system plan, but it is a lot of money. There are a lot of best-of-the-best digital solutions for less than the Brinkmann setup would cost me. As far as less expensive analog goes, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. It has to be really good for me to be willing to deal with flipping over the first record, then putting on the second, then flipping it over to get the same music I get on one side of a CD.
I agree with jdaniel - after spending what you did on CD - you might not want to realize that you could have better sound for less.

I don’t agree with Fbhifi – an entry level TT’s, cart., and preamp can do amazing things at a fraction of the cost of the EEM labs Digital setup.

I have the VPI Scout and Dynavector Karat (whatever mkII), and Rogue Audio Stealth preamp - A somewhat modest vinyl rig. You won’t find digital that sounds this smooth anywhere. It’s just a different sound (more organic IMHO) - as you move up the scale it just gets better (while digital is as good as it’s gonna get with your setup).

Also, RCM’s are about the same. You put the liquid on then have a vacuum suck it off. Spending lots of money on that is for convenience only. I’ve tried my el cheapo Record Doctor II and the VPI – and there was no noticeable difference.

This is all IMHO! You won’t change my mind about any of this – I’ve compared, questioned, compared again, and have a decent ear – but you may convince yourself of anything you want to ;)
I have a highly customized battery-powered Sony SCD-1 that I believe rivals EMM, and a VPI TNT/Graham/Lyra/BAT vinyl combo that's up there. I believe that RBCD playback is absolutely unforgiving of even minor flaws in the digital front end & the labors of Hercules are necessary to get digital beyond the point of mere listenability. The CDP needs to get damned close to state-of-the-art for one to suspend critical judgment of the medium. Vinyl, on the other hand, is more forgiving to the ear of minor technical imperfections. It's possible to pay $5-$10,000 for a vinyl combo that satisfies short of state-of-the-art, but gets deep enough into the pleasure zone to forget about the horse race. From that point it's all about finding a good used record store where one can practice the art of collecting.

Markd51: what kind of sleeves do you recommend? I'm new at this cleaning stuff.

I'm also curious as to how important a cartridge is? If one could quantify a percentage of overall pleasure with vinyl playback, what kind of percentage would you give? I'm curious, not knowing what to expect with hi end cartridges?
I had about 300 or so lps sitting in boxes in my closet. I have a decent digital rig and more than 1000 cds and sacds, but not the emm labs (I do lust over those).

I got a Scoutmasted here on Agon, along with a cart with "low hours" and in another Agon sale a Musical Fidelity A308 integrated with a phono stage. On clean, well cared for vinyl, there is no comparison between CD and vinyl. I have to say though that some of my cheapo used vinyls that look good at the record shop have some bad spots, even after cleaning. I do use a 2 step process with a VPI 17.5.

Now SACD vs LP is close, but I like SACD because it is invariably quiet, and I think SACD is as easy to listen to for long periods, like vinyl and unlike CD. When I get one of those Fantasy 45 reissues, it is ethereal to listen to vinyl. Quiet with warmth, dynamic range and just plain pleasing to the ear. But so is SACD. At that level, its all about the quality of the original recording. Good master tape (or DSD recording), good vinyl or SACD. Crap in crap out.

I have noticed that vinyl sounds so much better through my speakers rather than the headphones. I think the phones accentuate the surface noise. Even on the absolute best vinyl there is some surface noise. But it doesn't really bother you. What I hate are the buzzes I occasionally hear on the used vinyl, like a damaged groove. Am I right? or is it just the record isn't yet clean enough?

I have heard the emm stack and I think it would cost at least $10k to get there with vinyl, but the fun of discovering old recordings that are near mint or mint, unavailable on CD, much less SACD, is incredible.

I listen to classical and jazz, and there is a huge catalog that didn't get to cd/sacd. Like older artists, lesser known artists or albums from well known artists. And I find I like getting up and switching records after about one side. Its like its the right amount of music till its time for a change.

Now CD vs. upsampled cd is tough for me. Some cds its readily apparant, but I have A/B capabilities and some I just can't hear the difference, if I am honest.
I want to add my comments about record cleaning. It is a must. A quality record cleaning machine makes for a notable improvement in record care, playback quality, extension of cartridge life, lp preservation. I have a Sota LPC which works unbelievably wonderful on my vinyl. One also needs the right cleaning fluid. Sound quality improves dramatically. (There is a Sota for sale on A'Gon now.) I had always hand cleaned my LPs religiously and throroughly prior to getting the SOTA LPC. The Sota does a better job than I was able to do by hand in any reasonable amount of time. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. My vinyl does gleem!

P.S.: I own 2500+ LPs so the machine really helps. If I only owned a couple dozen I would NOT purchase a record cleaning machine but would immediately begin purchasing quality record sleeves and a good "hand-cleaning" product.
Howdy again Sit, James, and all.
Yes, I'll go along with what you say Sit, if I had 2500 LPs, I'd seriously consider some form of machine for cleaning. My collection is nowhere as vast as yours, I have about 425-450 LPs. I am sort of borderline with the need for one. Since I've always stayed on top of my collection, what I have usually doesn't require much work to keep them pristine.

When I do acquire the one, or two oddball secondhand LP's, I'll go to work with both my Last, and Disc Doctor Fluids, and respective brushes. Usually, if I see a used LP that looks too plum tuckered out, i'll pass on it, no matter how badly I would've liked to have it. I figure why try to torture a good Cartridge (And my ears) trying to track a beat up record that looks like someone cleaned it with a Brillo pad? :-)

James, over the years, and in the early days, I probably bought Plastic lined sleeves from Rat Shack, and they were certainly better than the Cheapo paper Sleeves that came with most LPs of the time.
(Mo-Fi's were the exception, they always came with a good Plastic Sleeve)

Ten years ago, when I had gotten much more serious with Analog playback, and the acquisition of a VPI Turntable, I decided to upgrade every LP I owned at that time, to good Japanese Plastic Inner Sleeves, and the great Japanese Outer Resealable Sleeves.

I bought them from the same place I bought my VPI Table from, and that was MusicDirect in Chicago.

Before they were inserted into any new Sleeves, they were all Cleaned with Last, or Disc Doctor Products.
Any Factory Outer Plastic Wraps were trashed, just as the junk Inner Sleeves were trashed also. The only Inner Sleeves you really want to keep, are those with Lyrics, or Pictures of the Artists on them, otherwise chuck all plain jane Paper Sleeves, they have zero value. I'd buy the high quality Inner, and Outer Sleeves in bulk (100 )

MusicDirect usually carries a plethora of many different brands of Inner, and Outer Sleeves, and I'm sure others Like Elusive Disc, etc carry them also.

The Mo-Fi inner sleeves are nice, but also quite costly when you wish to buy literal 100's of them. The Japanese Sleeves usually offer quite comparable quality, and protection at a better price.

I've made a special rack for my LP's, and that is paramount that LP's are stored away from sunlight,heat, humidity and stored in an Upright fashion without being literally packed-crushed together like a can of Sardines.

Some use Milk Crates, and these I guess are OK, but can make LP selection-browsing problematic. Alphabetizing helps when looking for a specific selection, or catagorizing into different generes. (Jazz-Rock-Classical-etc)
James, I myself have come to believe that the Cartridge itself is probably one of the most critical components of Analog playback. I suppose there's many different ways to look at this topic though.

Example, one takes a $29 Rat Shack Cartridge, and throws it on a brand new $10K TNT HRX. hee hee

I think it's an easier choice myself selecting a decent turntable-arm. Then comes the hard part, the Cartridge-Head Amp-pre-amp, and the hopeful synergy between them.

I'm sure there's countless A-Goners here that have went through literally thousands of dollars trying to achieve analoge nirvana with particular combinations.

God bless those that have the "maracas" to delve into the high end, but most of us more likely wish to bypass this expensive experimentation to find what works, and good synergystic combinations that won't make you have to re-mortgage the house for. (And that's the truly wonderful thing about this forum as a resource for info)

Years ago, I've had some fairly decent MM cartridges on my Tables, the Audio Technica AT-14S, the AT-15S, the AT-20Sla, and the Shure V-15 type III. All pretty good MM's that had good sound, and good tracking abilities, even in comparison with what's available today.

There's no doubt that every component in the chain, Turntable, Tonearm, Cartridge, Cabling, Isolation, Pre-Amp all will have an effect. And lastly, proper set up of these components will extract what they have to offer.

It all has to have a balance.

While one could throw a $200 Sumiko Blue Point on a VPI TNT with SME Arm, and also one could throw a $3,000 Lyra cartridge on a $25 garage sale Technics Table, the absurdity of mismatch is quite obvious to say the least. Mark

IMO opinion an expensive hi-end cartridge is wasted on a lesser arm/TT/phono stage combo. Given budget constraints it's probably better to put long money into a great arm/TT that will last in your system & start with a fairly basic cartridge. Since cartridges wear out anyway, one has ample opportunity to upgrade them.

Awhile back I bought a used SME IV/Oracle Dephi III and put in a Sumiko Blue Point Special. I had really good sound for $1200 total investment. I later replaced the BPS with a better Audioquest NSX7000 Fe5 cartridge, but couldn't really coax too much more from the better cartridge until moving to a better VPI TNT/Graham setup. With the VPI/Graham, I could really hear the difference in cartridges and even more so later on when upgrading to a Lyra Helikon. But still, the difference between my first and last vinyl rigs is not night-and-day like between good & great digital front ends.

Markd51 and Dgarretson, thank you for your shared experiences and thoughts on the topics.

I'm really enjoying the DL-103 right now. What are your thoughts as to an exceptional phono cable?
Thanks everyone for their input.

I am thinking of getting into vinyl because I thought it would complement my roughly 2200 cd collection.

I thought it would be fun to start collecting vinyl as I own none at this time.

I am leaning however against it for now. Mostly because of the high up front cost. I am sadly middle class and my digital rig set me back a very pretty penny so if I am looking at spending $10,000 to give my emmlabs a run for the money on the analog front that is just too much for now.

Hi Karma, I can wholeheartedly understand your viewpoints, and decisions, and I think you're 100% correct.

Sure, one could get a inexpensive rig to mess with, (Say for example a used VPI Jr, or such) but I'm strongly doubting that anything within these low price ranges will even barely touch the state of the art digital gear you are now so enjoying. (Do you sense a touch of jealousy from me? hee hee)

If you have an "Analog" buddy, maybe you can visit him/her from time to time, and get the bug out of your system? Perhaps in your personal case, you'll look back in time, and say "Gee, I'm glad I didn't buy a turntable". Mark
Hi James/All,
Today, surfing around the web, I came across another very interesting site that sells numerous analog "goodies", and this online dealer is called "Sleeve City".

Here, I browsed what they had as far as LP Sleeves, and they seemed to have a quite good selection of quality Inner, and Outer Sleeves, plus other items like LP Jackets, Cleaning Supplies etc, etc.

Their prices seemed very reasonable to me, and this might be a good place to check out for your Analog "needs".

While MucisDirect does carry a multitude of great products, and I've done countless thousands of dollars of business with them in the past 10 years I've known them, sometimes their "goodies" are a tad bit overpriced IMO.

Check this place out I mention. While I don't have the link handy, those interested at a peek should be able to find the site doing search with your browser.

I'm upset that you are giving up on the vinyl thing. I am not so sure you have to spend 10K or more to beat our emmlabs. Yet, I do know that a friend's set up which probably equalled around 10K easily beat the emmlabs on redbook.

It would be nice to see if you could do if for around 5K or less (TT/arm/cart/and phonostage -- say used) ... maybe just a dream of mine ???
I only want to say that both CD and vinyl could sound great and bad. It depends on the recording, the remastering, and in case of vinyl the quality of pressing. When listening to vinyl (even through some midfi vinyl playback equipment) one is impressed by how full, warm and seductive the sound can be. Whether it is due to the playback gear, the medium or colorations, it is not very relevant at that moment. I play vinyl, because I like the colorations that are inherent to the vinyl itself and the playback system. I also like turntables and tonearms/carts as they can give you excellent performance but only when you give maximum attention to set up: it is more of interactive (albeit very oldfashioned) situation in comparison with CD replay, which is more like plug-and-play.

Hi James, Don't know what happened with my last post, but I have found a place that appears to have very good prices on LP Inner, and Outer Sleeves, and acessories for digital media also. Their name is Sleeve City, and their prices appear to be very good
Well I am not saying that I am giving up on vinyl as much as delaying my entry. Perhaps if they release a special pressing of ok computer on some audiophile label that will push me into it finally.

Its not just the price but also the apparent need for much more tlc for the vinyl itself as well as the equipment. Cds are so much easier to use although the emmlabs sometimes rejects a cd and requires the cd to be cleaned.

It would be fun to start a new collection and get to go used vinyl shopping. Well some day when I have 10K burning a hole in my pocket (but then who knows I may want to use that to move up the chain on my speakers) or perhaps some giant killer 5k combo of phono preamp and turntable emerges then I will dive in.

I have OK Computer on vinyl and it sounds great.


I have a 1st generation Hovland phono cable w/XLRs that is very nice. I understand the newer Hovland Musicgroove is also up there. If I were doing it again, I would DIY a nice phono cable with Audio Consulting silver wire drawn thru natural cotton sleeves (both from Reference Audio Mods) with a Tiffany DIN. The natural cotton has a lower dialectric constant than teflon and produces the most amazingly open and pure sound. About $15 per cable pair foot.

It's more than just having a dirty lp. The record cleaning machines get rid of the static, cleaning up the playback noticably. With your 450 lps I would definately purchase a decent lp cleaner. The sleeves seem to produce static electricity no matter how good they are. I knife out two ends of my sleeves so that the lp does not need to rub when I take it out. Instead I open the sleeve. Reduces static. The ZeroDust gun only seems to only partially help with the lp static. I also use a Staticmaster brush (rather ancient device that still works after 25 years) to rid the lp of static. I would like to hear your ideas about this static issue.
John (sit)
Another way to look at this is if you have some great classical or public stations get a great analog tuner and a good antenna (at least as important as the tuner) and listen while someone else spins their collection for you. Just a thought since you seem to be putting off your vinyl addiction.
Dave I've been curious about the Audio Consulting stuff...thanks for the pointer.

Markd51 thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts.