This is going to be an answer you'll see a lot: I'm 54 years old. That's even before the 8-track.
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Well, when I bought my first system, in 1967, it was either vinyl or reel-to-reel, so I did both, starting with a Garrard changer and Sony r-to-r. I had a Scott integrated tube amp and some no-known-model Jensen speaker. It all sounded pretty good for a sophomore at Florida State.
Somewhere in the '80s it got harder and harder to buy vinyl, so I bought a CD player and started buying CDs. I was AC/DC for a while, but put the turntable away in the early 1990s after a move left me with little LP storage space. (Thank you Lord for letting me keep all those great LP, particularly all the D2D and "audiophile", Lyrita, Mercury, Shaded Dogs, etc.)
I just got back in last August, jumping off the relatively deep end with a Pro-ject RM10/Sumiko Blackbird with Pro-ject Tube Head and Pro-ject Speed Box SE. My old records floored me, sounding much better than they'd been on my old Lux DD TT.
I also got into the reissues, particularly the 45 rpm and the 180 and 200 grams, plus as much new stuff as I could get from Nora Jones, Diana Krall and others. I love it.
I'm not haunting too me used record stores because, fortunately, I bought well in my younger days and kept my collection in good condition. I've got about 1200 LPs, mixed between classical, pop, jazz and miscellaneous.
Viva la vinyl,
I agree with the others that due to our age, when we got into music, there was only vinyl, and FM radio. And while I enjoyed listening to the radio, the damn DJ's just would not implement my play list for the day, no matter how much I begged, pleaded and/or threatened them. And listening to random songs, while okay for awhile, eventually got to me, so I bought a "record player".
It was either vinyl or open reel tapes. AM radio if you couldn't afford an FM tuner. So, for lots of people, the notion of "into vinyl" doesn't even make sense. And when CD's came along, I never thought of myself as getting into CD's... I just bought them. Now, I did get into folk music and rock and roll and a few other things....
About 8 years ago, I attended my first Stereophile show, in San Francisco. I walked by a room and heard some great sound coming out. I walked in and was amazed that the sound was coming out of a turntable. The more I listened to it, the more I liked the sound. Although I had read on Stereophile magazines that vinyl was the way to go, it wasn't until that moment that I was convinced how much better vinyl was over CDs.
It took another year before I made that final commitment and began looking into setting up my own analog rig. Since then, vinyl shopping has been my favorite pastime activity.
My dad's LP collection,originally!I remember the late '50's with him playing "Enoch Light","Prez Prado","Tito Puente" on a portable player,outside our cottage,while a child in the Catskill Mountains!The BEST times of my life!!
Later I became a serious collector when Bob Reina was kind enough to loan me a ten record album of the finest RCA Classical LP's around.The REALLY good stuff!His dad sold TV's(if I remember his story correctly),and the 10 lp set was given out with any RCA TV purchase.
I HAD to have this set,and secured it at the Princeton Record Exchange for the "then" high price of 180 US dollars.Cheap,actually as it contains much Reiner stuff,all in 1s pressings.I won't even mention the latest price on LP lists.Think Magico Mini pricing! Spent alot more after that!
Sometimes I think I should just stop throwing money at this hobby,and go back to my old Martin Guitar.
Best to all,and I can empathize with the addicts.
My first record was an early Beatles album that I got in 1964. That's what got me started. Back then, vinyl wasn't a monolith either. "Stereo" albums were the new rage. 45's were in their heyday and you could find a few 78's still kicking around too. And the real hard core audiophiles back then had reel to reel machines.
I hope this proves to be educational to some. There was a time before CD's and computer downloads. In rural areas there really wasn't even much in the way of FM, let alone XM.
We had, on AM radio, KXOK in St. Louis. At night we could pick up WLS in Chicago and WSM in Nashville on the AM dial. Of course, most radios only had an AM dial then.
The big purveyors of record players in the area were Sears, Montgomery Ward, and Western Auto. If you didn't have one of these by around 1964 you had been left behind. The rich folks had console sets with the black and white TV picture tube in the middle, the AM radio on one side at the top and the record player on the other. Many of these had TWO speakers. We couldn't afford one.
Apparently Doug is more affluent than many of us ever expected. (ha-ha)
It's surprising any of us "primitives" ever made it this far.
Osage Audio Products, LLC
How did I get into vinyl? Because our 78s were wearing out and all the new releases were coming out on LPs. We had two 78 rpm changers (a console and a tabletop model) in the house. Around 1960 my dad finally broke down and bought an RcA portable (in faux alligator) that could play mono LPs. He'd set it on the kitchen counter so we could have dinner music. Finally about 2-3 years later he ponied up for a STEREO, a no-name console rumored by the salesman to be an unbadged Magnavox (which I doubt). This was about 1963, a year after we'd gotten a color TV.
It was on this console that I played my first LPs--Drummin' Man by Gene Krupa, Time Further Out by Brubeck, Blood Sweat and Tears, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Sergeant Peppers.
Back in the 1960's vinyl was the cheapest route for a youngster. Besides, you could inherit your parent's and older sibling's records...there were no 8 tracks or cassettes to be handed down.
Owned 8 track, cassette, reel to reel (still have it) and vinyl.
Vinyl was kind of grandfathered into my current system because I've been listening to music since vinyl was the only game in town. I'm in too deep to let go of it now....too many great recordings collected over the years.
If I was a youngster starting out today...I wouldn't get into vinyl at all. It wouldn't make much sense to me. With the lack of new music on vinyl and the improved sound of cd and its portability....someone trying to get me to buy a vinyl setup would sound anachronistic to me. Vinyl is so, er, um,.... 20th century.
Please no flames, I enjoy my vinyl setup immensely and will never sell my lp's....it just wouldn't make sense to me today to start there if I was just getting into hifi.
In the early '70's, one of my friends had a nice system, and a couple thousand Lp's, and we would sit and listen to one after another. We were still in high school, so he was doing rather well for being just a kid. His nice system included a Marantz 1060 amp, with a Lenco turntable. I used to dream about that little blue light on that amplifier. It got me hooked.
I am in my thirties and just within a year or so really got into vinyl. I was reared on it growing up, and always had great memories of listening to those albums as a kid. By the time I was a teenager, CD’s were taking over. I built a decent but not enormous CD collection.
It was about a year and half ago that my parents gave me their old turntable and albums. The system was nothing remotely close to anything someone would consider hifi, but when I spun those old records I grew up on, something about it just clicked.
My first step from there was a $20 purchase on craiglist which included a technics turntable and about 50 albums (at the time I really didn’t even know how good of deal I got!).
Since then I have upgraded my front end and acquired more than 300 albums. I am listening to more music than ever before. There are specifics about the sound quality that I could go into, but on a general note I will just say that there is an aspect to it that just sounds “right” to me.
The other intangible is just the hobby of it. Digging for records on a Saturday morning, tweaking the rig, cleaning the records, and discussing the hobby with like minded people *cough*. It might not have been a practical choice for me, but I have had a blast with it so far, so I can’t complain.
It goes like this for me, my parents had a Fisher console this was back in 66. I still have luckily my high school band lp of our spring concert. my very first table was a duel 1218. like a lot of folks i retired lps in the late 80s. i have been back and still wondering why i retired my lps since 04.
I grew up in a home that played music via records and tapes all the time. My father had a zenith hi fi with fifteen inch speakers that was fantastic. I eventually gained access to those speakers and built a set of home made speaker cabinents and put those babies in. I then went out and brought a BSR table(all i could afford back then) and brought my first three albums (dsotm,jjcale naturally, and moodyblues days of future past) that was 1974. I graduated from college in 76 and brought my first quality table (dual 701) that served me for almost 20 years. It had the shure cartridge(v111 i think). I am now up to over 1200 albums and sport a maplenoll ariadne table and universe cartridge. My dad is surely smiling as I play some of his favorites like chet atkins!
For me I was at an age when vinyl was still the rule for best consumer audio playback (early 1980's). I got for my 15th. birthday a nice little component stereo, a JVC RS-11 receiver, JVC LA-11 belt drive turntable and Shure M75 cartridge. The speakers were JVC SK-101, 3 way bass reflex. All very modest stuff but to a 15 year old who was becoming a hifi and music lover it was way cool.
On my meager teenage income I amassed a few new LP's every so often and enjoyed playing them an learning about hifi. When I became 16 and got my car soon after I put a cassette stereo in it and the desire to record my LP's onto cassette became big. I added a Kenwood KX-40 cassette deck to my system an enjoyed making tapes trying different brands of tapes etc.
Over time I swapped for different run of the mill Japan Inc. components, mostly JVC stuff but also Cerwin Vega D-3 speakers and a used Hitachi PS-38 DD turntable(which is still in my dads system today) That PS38 is a pretty good manual direct drive TT with a pretty nice S shape tone arm, no noticeable slop in the bearings and a wood veneer finish which I restored with a multilayer clear coat high gloss finish this past summer. Later I moved onto a linear tracking JVC LA-101 model for something different.
But things changed for me in the summer of 1984. I bought my first CD player a Philips CD-101 top loader. The "Perfect Sound Forever" bit me and like many I was told how great it was because of what I could not hear and I bought into it hook line a sinker. By the winter of 1986 I sold my JVC LA-101 and used money from it to pick up a few CD's. From there for over 16 years it was only CD's and mostly run of the mill Japan inc. CD players.
Just after Christmas 2002 I became curious of vinyl again and found my old LA-11 tt that my sister was given and had boxed for years, she dug it out and gave it back to me. I had about 30 LPs in a box too. The mat had vulcanised and the belt stretched but I was able to get it to play. I put on Alan Parsons Stereotomy and now having a better system with Paradigm speakers and a Denon receiver I noticed something, it sounded pretty good even with an old ill running TT.
I then because reeducating myself on current state of vinyl. I soon bought a Music Hall mmf2.1. IT was a nice new TT and I was pleased by its performance. From there as time has past I then built my first DIY TT with a Rega RB250 arm and only revised it a few times with improvements. Finally I built my first DIY tone arm and it blew me away.
Now that I have made a DIY TT and a DIY tone arm to the best of my abilities and to the limit of expenses I wanted to spend (about $200 over the last 2.5 years not including the original RB250) I have come back to finally just wanting to settle down on what I from reading a lot about lately is seeing as a good turntable. I want to get a turntable that I believe will punch above its weight and will deliver years of solid, reliable performance based on a tried and true past history. This TT is a Technics SL-1200mk2 which will starting with will have a KAB Cardas rewired arm. Later I will, add the fluid damper and maybe the outboard power supply. I have messed around for 2.5 years with DIYing and revising my DIY TT's and now just want to enjoy what I think will be a good to great turntable and enjoy listening to records rather than thinking and rethinking my DIY builds. Don't get me wrong. I am very proud of my DIY TT and will not get rid of it. I will box it up and put it away as a keepsake and a good memory because I built it and also had my father help with building parts of it as a father and son project. But I just need to stop thinking about DIY's and start enjoying the spinning vinyl again. The Technics SL-1200mk2 I will soon get will hopefully get me there.
Same as DCStep, almost down to the timing. Got into (semi-) high end in the 80's, but by 1990, burned out on tubes, cartridges, step-ups, etc., went whole-hog into CD's (figuring they'd get them right soon enough)...yet last fall something came over me and I pulled out the LP12, fixed it up, listened to it, and was amazed that all the things I was finding annoying (as I got back into tubes and etc.) almost vanished when the stylus slipped into the groove. Last week replaced my 20+ year old Koetsu Black with a new one and -Whoa!- THIS is LIVING! A Rhea is on the way...
My age in the begining was the biggest factor . I never enjoyed using any kind of tape(8 track or cassette ) other than the reel to reel I owned . When CD,s came out I like most gave into the conveniance of there use and the unavailability of vynil I was not use to. First impressions WOW thats loud , but I slowly stopped listening to music after years of upgrading players , transports and cables . Thats when I realized for "my ears" then, (mid 90,s) I never wanted to listen to music for long periods with digital like I enjoyed with vynil . I started listening to vynil and thus the music again . I know now there are players and transports out there now that can do a very good job of replicating the sound of a very good vynil set up but I just don,t have the interest in them . I remember when tubes were pushed aside by the ease of use and perceived reliability of solid state . Even McIntosh went that direction for years . Now tubes are back and alot of people are at least employing them in the pre amplification of their systems and many digital front ends are also employing tubes . Some might think I,m going astray from the thread topic but what do all these products persue ? The highest degree of performance towards neutral and natural anologue sound they can afford . Thats why I personally do not think of it as an addiction but rather being satisfied with the roots of it . I suppose if I was alot younger I may have a different veiw not growing up with vynil but then when ever one of my four children are around and I,m playing records like Pink Floyd , or Billie Holiday or BB King they actually sit down and listen to the music . Thats a statement in itself. The era got me into it , the music keeps me in it . Cheers...........
As a soon to be 6 year old in 1964, I requested Let It Be for my birthday. In '71 I bought the Concert for Bangadesh at the local Korvettes for something like $13 - my older brother and father thought I was nuts for having bought such an expensive 3LP set.
Cut to the late 80's living on my own in NYC. I got my first high end stereo - Quad ESL63's with the full Crosby mod. I had heard the ESL 63USA in a computer/stereo store and had never heard such realistic playback.
I was heavily into CD's at that time, especially those marked "DDD," of course not realizing the era's flawed digital masters and numerous analog to digital and back steps required at that pre digital mixer era.
I got the Quads set up with some great Spectral gear (all bought used through Audiomart - anyone remember that?) Just for fun I fired up my old $100 technics turntable I got in junior high and my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe that such a cheap and old table sounded better than my close to $750 highly rated Phillips 880 CD player.
At that point I found a used Well Tempered table from a dealer and bought a used Spectral MCR - it was out of alignment and was able to get my money back and got the then brand new Lyra Clavis. I put the table on Goldmund cones, which made it so much faster sounding, and tweeked everything with blue tak.
At that time I was living in NY's east village and passed great stores like St. Marks Sounds (and half a dozen other record shops) every day on my way home from work.
At that time in NY, everyone was getting rid of their vinyl. By the milk crate load, people would bring in promo pressings, japanese, german, MoFi, CBS half speed and some original pressings into these stores. The clerks knew me by face and what I was looking for, and would go into the back to drop off a stack of LP's in front of me that had not yet been put out for sale. This was almost all rock.
I did overbuy a bit - sometimes getting doubles of mofi and japanese titles, simply because they were there. Most LP were in the $4 - $13 range ($10-13 for 1/2 speeds and imports) I got a few excellent white label promos as well.
Then I started getting curious about jazz. I had bought a few suggested audiophile jazz lp's and really liked what I heard. I then discovered Mercer St. Books and a guy by the name of Brian Singer. He had an amazing mental catalog of great sounding/performance jazz LP's, and I proceeded to buy tons of stuff from the store at usually reasonable prices. (This guy had a separate apartment just for his huge collection of LP's) I even bought a small collection of classical.
All in all I bought approximately 3500 LP's over a few year period, and have added to that mostly Blue Note era, Pablo's and some great reissues as well as new LP releases from that time forward.
Last year I finally upgraded the table to a top quality rig (Raven One and Phantom arm) I am finally hearing what was really on those LP's after all these years, thanks to this amazing front end.
I really like the break needed to change LP's during listening. The sound is so overwhelming and so high in drama when played back at realistic volumes, that I need those few minutes to reflect on how amazing the recreation of these masterpiece records are. I also have a pretty good (though innexpensive) digital playback rig consisting of a PS Audio DLIII fed via USB.
I just find that digital, though it can be excellent sounding, doesn't move me nearly to the extent that vinyl playback does. Hence my listening these days tends to be over 90% LP.
I am now thinking of getting a state of the cart, which should expand on my vinyl enjoyment even more. Even if someday a better quality playback medium surfaces, I won't be able to amass such a great collection of music.
And now with vinyl achieving hipster status, we no longer have to defend our choice in playback formats. Add to that the fact that 10-15 years from now, the CD will be obsolete, but the LP will still stand as a vital, viable format.
This is going to be an answer you'll see a lot: I'm 54 years old. That's even before the 8-track.
I agree with Krellman. I am 59, when I was young, vinyl was cutting edge technology. A lot of us have never been out of vinyl. Now, particularly if you like classical, it's really no contest. Here in the UK, we have all those old Decca SXL and HMV ASD's to hunt down.
Vinyl was the way to listen to the music you wanted to hear. There was no digital, our choices were the radio or LP's. Radio you were at the mercy of the DJ's as to what music was playing. With LP's you could play whatever you wanted...
I was laughing the other night recalling the days when placing a nickel on top of the headshell for better tracking. LOL.
Adjustable VTF makes things so much easier nowadays....
My mom was into music and had 78's. I enjoyed the music she had and for Christmas 1964, Santa brought me portable 45 player. My paper route money went into 45's at the local Five & Dime. A few years later, my parents bought a Grundig stereo console (AM/FM/TT). By this time, 33's were in and 45's were begining to loose ground. For me, with the Grundig, that was like jumping from Bose 901 speakers to Intuitive Design Denali's. The music was teriffic & sounded great & it could go LOUD too. At 18, I saved up enough to buy a Fisher 400 AM/FM Receiver (which I still have), AR speakers and a Garrard SL-95B TT w/Pickering V15 cartridge. I was amazed/happy/proud of my system then. My 33 collection was expanding (still have all) and within a year, went into the military and had my first taste of PX stereo gear after I had been in-country a few months (Vietnam). At that time, when I could visit the large Saigon PX; it was audio heaven. Akai, Teac Reel-to Reels, hudge Sansui 5500 speakers (200+ pounds), you name it, the PX had it or could get it. Within a few years, I was assigned to Okinawa -- the Japanese were flourishing in their talents with Sansui, Teac, TASCAM, Akai, Pioneer, Marantz, Technics, etc. Bought a Dual 1229 TT, Bose 901's (still have), Bose 1801 amp, Teac 3340 R-R, Akai GX-400D R-R (still have). Continued to buy 33's and some albums on R-R tapes (still have about 30). Assignment to the Philippines just when CD's were coming out, I transformed into that format as it was the new wave in audio. Bought a Nakamichi OMS-7 CD player in the PX & stayed with that format for 15 years; playing vinyl now and then, but the CD was convenient and sounded better than my Dual 1229 that I had at the time. Fast forward for 2004, sent the Dual off to Joel at the TT Factory for refurbishing and bought a better Shure cartridge. Sounded darn good and better than the Nakamichi. At that point, it started my latest quest into where I am today --. I wish I had stayed with vinyl during the late 80's. I feel I missed out on owning some darn good albums (but I have them on CD). Now, if I want one of those era albums, in great shape, is costly.
I've enjoyed my audio travels and hope they, like yours, contain vinyl & continue.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
I went to a couple of local used record stores with a buddy and saw what was available CHEAP and thought it would be fun and wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to get started. I was correct on both counts. Of course as I look for better vinyl the 'cheap' part diminishes a bit, but I still buy a lot of stuff for $4-5 and that beats buying CDs by a long shot.
I have to say, I haven't enjoyed my system so much in years. Good stuff!
Vinyl got into me when I started pressing records at the world's first audiophile pressing plant way back in 1973, while in high school (btw they are STILL in business). I got so into my job I became the Quality Manager and was very fortunate to deal with the likes of Stan Ricker, Doug Sax, Dave Wilson, Tam Henderson, American Grammaphone, Sheffield Lab, Windham Hill, etc. My TT is a vintage Philips GA312, as was the one I used at work to approve test pressings of many of what are considered to be audiophile classics. I simply cannot stand to listen to CD's, let alone mp3's or anything digital. Once you have heard the truth, is apparent how sadly lacking the compromised digital format is. Really.
Maybe I should have titled this thred "How did you get back into vinyl", instead. I am 50, myself, so I started on vinyl, but got out of it around 1990, and just got back into it. Now I feel like I've been missing so much the past 18 years. It sounds like a lot of you have been with it through the digital age. Good for you- you're smarter than I was.
The CD sampling rate chosen at the inception of the digital age was merely a compromise: some big name composer was asked how much music should a CD be able to carry and his answer was Beethoven's entire 5th symphony (or something to that effect). So based upon that statement a rate of 44.1khz was chosen. In other words they opted for convenience of packaging the product, not for optimum quality of the product itself. How's THAT for putting the music first! Really though, ANY sampling rate would be a compromise compared to pure analog. How could you digitize a flowing river, for instance; or a warm summer breeze? Some things in nature are not to be messed with. Good thread, Raylinds
Good for you- you're smarter than I was.
No I wasn't. I fell for the "Perfect Sound Forever" crap too. I actually was a pretty early adapter, I guess around 1986. I knew the sound was crisper/leaner than through LP's, but I was happy with the longer play times and no maintenance, not that I took great care of my LP's in the 70's and 80's. That's probably why I didn't miss the crack/snap/popping either with cd's. I was hooked on cd's for around 15 years, and didn't really know any better.
As my audio cravings and finances grew, I went to seperates, in amps & preamps and in transport and DAC's. Kept thinking the sound was getting better. Then around 2001, I bought a top Classe preamp with a built in phono stage, and thought " hey let's find out what all this vinyl buzz is about". So I bought a cheap VPI HW-19 Jr w/ Rega RB-300 arm and Dynavector 10X4 mk II cartridge. I was stunned at the difference. Here this low budget vinyl rig was running rigs around my mega-kilobuck digital seperates. I have a local audio friend who heard it and was blown away. He went back to vinyl too.
Now I have a much more expensive analog set up, and have simplified my digital gear, no more seperates for me, thank you. A decent cd player will do for playing music while working around the house. When I'm really ready to listen to music though, I bring out that Licorice Pizza..........ahhhhhhhhhhh..........
I'm also in my 30's; we had records and tapes growing up, and I think for most non-audiophiles, it was the cassette that sent the LP into suspended animation, not the CD. We didn't get a CD player until 1989 or so.
One year I got a new shelf system to replace my ailing but great hand-me-down semi-separates (receiver, tape deck). It had a 3-disc CD changer. I took it to college, and my second year I bought a cheapo plastic TT from radio shack and ran it through this shelf system. I'll never forget the shock of that moment, that the vinyl sounded worlds better than the CDs. It sounded "unwrapped," if you will. So I always had a TT around, and a few records. I upgraded that table to a technics from the local used vinyl hut, which lasted me for years trouble-free (now spins at stepmom's house with a new stanton D70 stylus).
After getting married I started getting more interested in sound quality. I bought a Dual 1242 on CL for $20, sank another $80 into fixing it up and a new cart, found a broken NAD 3020 at the local junk shop for $10, had it fixed. The headshell on the dual broke, got an AR-XA, and well, that's a story for another day, but boy, it's been downhill from there...
In the seventies I used to listen vinyl only... and for a good reason... it was THE format to own , but nonetheless it was sometimes a frustrating experience. So i went into digital BUT never parted from my LP collection.OK cd brought us transparency albeit at a price :sound quality. Then I said to myself there would be one day when we would be able to play lp's with laser optics technology: even if this has now come of age , prices, servicing are extremely expensive and according to reviewers with only average sound quality.
Then I heard from the cheap pro ject range and tipped a toe back into analog with a new x-pression fitted with a shelter 201 cartridge, which was such a joy to use that I kept it only a few months and upgraded to a clearaudio with maestro wood sure not the best but with high quality nonetheless. I started rediscovering my vinyl bought a washing machine: now I 'm still in awe with classical german ARCHIV label recorded in the fifties for instance or the direct cut discs from m&k crystal clear , ew etc. Here in Europe used vinyl is abundant I just bought hundred of them for pennies (with labels ranging from decca to sheffield) . But men , almost nothing new to buy here (here in france nothing) therefore I got a few ones from acoustic sounds and music direct.
A reborn lover of vinyl and of the US squeezebox too!
I know a lot of people in this forum have been into vinyl since it was the only format (since before CD) and I often see comments to the effect that they are still into it mainly because of a large collection of LPs, collected over many years. I'll see comments to the effect "If you are starting now, it doesn't make since to go with vinyl". I very much disagree, as the chance to collect a large amount of quality music at low prices is a key reason to get into vinyl today.
I am old enough to have grown up with vinyl, had pretty low-fi equpiment, and learned all the ins and outs of taking care of records when I was a teenager. Flattening warps, fixing mistracking by tilting the turntable, weights (coins) on the tonearm. I built up a nice collection of LPs, mostly purchased used in the 70s, before I could afford good equipment.
By the time I could afford decent gear i.e. had a real job, my musical tastes had changed somewhat and I decided to ditch records and go with CDs in the early 80s. Over the next two decades I got rid of most vinyl (gave it to thrift stores) and built up a sizable CD collection. My turntable stopped working in the late 90s. But I never listened to music as much or as seriously as I did when I listened to vinyl.
I always missed the cover art and liner notes of LPs. I also missed shopping for used LPs. Browsing used CDs never does it for me the same way--with LPs you can examine the media, look for different pressings, look at the cover, find really unique, collectible recordings. I never seem to find anything unique in the used CD bins. Nothing to get excited about.
One of the main reasons for dumping LPs, for me, was that when LPs were the main format everyone used, it was normal (expected) that you loan out your LPs to friends and family. Everyone had a record player and everyone wanted to borrow your records. Inevitably others would not care about vinyl quality as I did, and they come back scratched, warped or with inner groove damage from a bad vinyl setup. This was frustrating and forced you to be either viewed as obsessive and a tightwad or to live with messed up vinyl. CDs changed that, as they were much more immune to damage from loaning them out (or your kids playing them).
How I got back into vinyl:
I wanted to be able to purchase the occasional LP for $3 from a local used vinyl shop, and purchased a low-quality Sony turntable, and a radio shack phono amp, about five years ago. It was the best turntable you could buy at Good Guys at that time. It played pretty much like I expected--I could hear the music but without much in the way of dynamics, and lots of surface noise. Nothing close to the sound of CDs, but I wasn't expecting much--just to be able to listen to some inexpensive LPs. Needless to say I didn't use it much!
About 4 years ago I decided to upgrade my home theater system (pretty nice at the time) for better 2-channel audio (which pretty much sucked on that system). I wanted to purchase a new DVD player that would also have excellent 2-channel red book playback. I was steered by a salesperson to a universal player.
Me: What does universal mean?
Salesperson: It can also play SACD and DVD-Audio.
Me: What are those?
Salesperson: Multi-channel music.
I understood this because I had the home theater setup and liked the idea of enjoying multi-channel CDs.
I bought it and later came to understand that the real value of those new formats was not the multi-channel aspect, but the high resolution. I then began a quest to acquire high-resolution SACD and DVD-Audio discs. This didn't last long as I discovered 1) these formats didn't sound better to me on my system (than the red book layer) and 2) I couldn't buy them in local shops even new, much less used.
I started reading about high-end audio on line in these and other forums, and came to understand all the ins and outs of hi-fi, the difficulties I was experiencing trying to integrate 2-channel audio with home theater, and amazingly, that vinyl was still the ultimate standard for high quality audio playback.
I couldn't understand how vinyl could sound so good. But I decided it made much more sense to invest in vinyl than in something like SACD, given that SACDs were expensive and in limited supply, whereas I lived near a number of good used vinyl shops.
I bought a decent turntable (MMF-7) and a creek phono stage, and my wife and I were both hooked. We both instantly heard how much better vinyl sounded even than the expensive universal player. Then I realized I had only a few LPs to play on it, and set out to remedy that. Over the last few years I have upgraded the cartridge to a Benz glider with an EAR 834P phono stage, a variety of tweaks, and vinyl sounds great. I had to start upgrading my digital setup because I couldn't stand to listen to CDs, and I have too many of them (and of course many not available on vinyl) to forget about them.
I have always been the type of person to like to listen to music seriously, like watching a movie--giving it my undivided attention. Given that, I never minded getting up to turn the record over, brush it, things like that. It gives me something to do while listening that doesn't require much concentration.
I've built up a collection of over 1000 records in 3 years, all cleaned on a VPI 16.5, and all with excellent quality vinyl (I have the patience never to purchase any with obvious or questionable vinyl). These were purchased mostly for bargain prices, compare to CD, and I have a great time browsing the "new arrivals" section of local shops. Some local vinyl shops have closed, but others have expanded their vinyl selections--overall there is more than enough to choose from. I probably have averaged $3 per record. Quite a number of audiophile/new stuff, but loads of $1 stuff in great condition. If a record doesn't sound good I immediately return it or give it away. I don't have to worry about my records getting harmed by loaning them out--nobody I know is interested in borrowing them.
I have a good method to transfer vinyl to digital (for the car or office), and the results sound better than most of my CDs. Lots of fun!
I'm really enjoying reading everyone's story here. I have to agree that the sound of vinyl, with a well mastered LP is far superior than anything I have heard digital, but it is the whole experience that makes it so enjoyable- looking for good cheap used vinyl, collecting the audiphile recordings, enjoying the cover art and liner notes, tweaking gear and cleaning the LPs.
I'm not out to convert anyone, though. If you're happy listening to digital and can't be bothered with the effort it takes to get into vinyl- that's great!
I bought my first record when I was 8 yrs old. Ever since I can remember I've been collecting vinyl. As other formats came (and most went) I continued to collect vinyl. I think we were in 3rd generation cd technology before I succumbed and bought my first CD player, a Harmon Kardon something or other. Can't even remember what it was, though I can remember that my first turntable was a Garrard 301. I decided in the 90's to sell my vinyl rig (I was becoming an "AUDIOFILE"!! LOL - and I know how to spell it...) Unfortunately I sold a Sota Star Sapphire for very cheap - and have regretted it since. However, for whatever reason, I kept my vinyl - even the first album and 12" that I bought (That's The Way Of The World was the first LP.) I wouldn't be surprised to one day learn that my music collection is worth more than my home.
Like others here, I'm old enough to remember when vinyl was dominant, although there were alternatives (8 Track, later cassette). But vinyl was about the only prerecorded format my family used when I was young--the only tape deck we had was a small portable that my mother bought because she needed it for a class she took.
Like some others, I never really left vinyl. Actually, I never left it at all. Before I had a good system, CD was so new that it was still pretty expensive. My one experience with CD (using a CD player included in my last mass market audio system) was awful. I heard rumbles that critical listeners weren't happy with CD, too. Then, I heard my first good system. That set me off on the path to getting a good system. Along that path, I made two discoveries. 1)Even audiophile grade CD players were pretty limited. 2)There was a huge price advantage buying recordings via cheap, used records.
After I got that first system (vinyl support only!) I was happy for years. I eventually did get a CD player--but that was only because I wanted to check CDs out from my local library.
I got into vinyl as cassettes always sounded inferior to me. But, as with most people there is always more to the story.
From an early age (I'm now in my early 40s) I have loved to listen to music. I started to put together my first stereo at about age 15 and slowly built up a decent system with purchases of second hand gear. In those days (early 80s) there was only vinyl so there was always a turntable in the system. I was also accumulating records at a reasonable rate.
In the early 80s I went out to buy a CD player to see what all the fuss was about and get the "new format". I came home with a better turntable (Micro MR611 which I still have and is my only TT - it's part of the family and has been part of the family longer than my daughter!). A few years later I again went out to buy a CD player and came home with a better amp! Finally in 1991 I went overseas and bought a decent Rotel CD player which I still have and use (it's next to go, I want one with tube outputs and basically a better CD player - it has served me well for 17 years so I think it's time for an upgrade).
Over the years I listened to music less and less (familiar story when going digital isn't it). I still listened to music occasionally but not really all that often.
A couple of years ago my amp died. I bought a cheap replacement on EBay but the bug had struck me again. I started to get more into HiFi again. I replaced the Supex 900 Super cart I had on the TT (despite mainly buying CDs for years I never stopped using the TT and the CD collection never caught up to the record collection). I replaced the Supex as it had been on the TT for 15 years and I though I should have replaced it years ago (I will be trying to find out if it can be rebuilt when funds permit). Well, with a new cart I was listening to more music and realised that I really do find vinyl a much better medium for music.
So, since getting back into HiFi I have done a few things - I am most of the way through a HiFi upgrade: the ancient Supex has been replaced with an Ortofon MC15II cart, the Rectilinear speakers have been replaced with Osborn Epitomes, last week I replaced my Rotel amp with a Melody valve amp running EL34 valves.
But the biggest changes have been the fact I am listening to a lot more music and I mainly buy records and only occasional CDs. Records just sound better, and although I will always own my CDs, I am committed to sourcing music on vinyl where I can. My record collection keeps growing and must be about 700 now and I am buying a fair bit of classical to go with the rock and roll I mainly own. The CD collection only expands slowly but is probably about 400 and while it got close to the record collection a few years ago it's lost out recently and is falling far behind now.
Records are what got me into music in the first place and what got me back into music more recently. Records just sound more like music.
My aunt, who lived with us, had one of those early stereo record changers where one speaker resided with the platter/tonearm assembly and the other speaker detached from the suitcase-like unit and could be set at a distance. This was the mid-50's to 1962 and I spent my early childhood riding a much loved spring suspended rocking horse while listening to Elvis, Ricky Nelson, The Traits, Freddy Cannon, Connie Francis, etc, etc etc. To this day, I find it downright difficult to sit down and listen to music unless it's in a rocking chair. My Aunt eventually married and moved away leaving me a small RCA monaural record player and a stack of 45s that she eventually retrieved but not before I'd managed to acquire a copy of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" for my own. It just sort of evolved from there. Like a lot of folks, I jumped on the CD bandwagon when that medium hit the stores back in the mid '80s and, 100 odd CDs and 20 years later, decided I resented being hard sold into a format that I never honestly thought was that much an improvement, if any, over my record collection. Never had any great surplus of funds to buy ultra high end equipment but recently purchased a Music Hall MMF-5 to replace my worn out 1979 or '80 Pioneer PL-600 quartz locked DD rig with and I couldn't be happier. I rarely play my compact discs these days.
Even in the unlikely scenario vinyl were to make any sort of a comeback, there would be the unfortunate digital pollution somewhere in the recording or mixdown chain. The possibility of being able to purchase purely analog LP's on any mass market scale is remote, other than the specialty labels currently doing this. We are dinosaurs, albeit smug and happy ones.
Aah, we're not all boomers. I'm GenX apparently and we also grew up with vinyl. CDs came in when I was in my 20s so I already had a TT and a lot of records.
What we need is to get the young folk into vinyl. And, it's not impossible. I bought my 13yo daughter vinyl for Christmas. Now she wants the Panic at the Disco album on vinyl too. She can't be bothered with CD as it is so easy to just download music, a record is sufficiently different to a download to justify purchasing a hard copy. Also records are cooler than CDs. You know, I don't think people have ever become as attached to their CDs as people become attached to their records. There's something about vinyl which gets you in, and CDs just don't have it.
At best, vinyl will (possibly) approach the status of depression-era glass, respectable as that is... maybe it already has? Our society has been transformed into a "data can represent anything" mentality. I can recall being fascinated by 78's when I was young: that too has passed. I moved from L.A. to a town of 4,000 in northwest Iowa four years ago to try and escape this kind of thing and guess what? Everyone out here downloads music just like big city folks. Let's just accept and enjoy what we love; if we make any converts along the way it is icing on the cake.