Is analog & vinyl anoying? Is it worht it.

Yeah it may be better than digital. But come on. 3K+ for a cartridge. Cleaning machines. Preamps. VTA adjustments. noisy records. expensive software. By the time you get it all set up you are ready to just turn on the tv and watch Sportscenter. Is there any alternative?
Greadd; a man after my own heart. I did vinyl for years and years.---Like 10/15 mins. to get ready to play the 2 songs I liked on that side of the record. Now I'm older/and then some and now it's more about the music.---BTW; It was never about the money --- It's more about being lazy!!---Heck if I was to marry I would seek a woman; already pregnant.
I gave up on Vinyl in 1985, that was the last time I bought a Vinyl album. Clearly I am blessed with "tin ears". I know all to well that Vinyl can sound excellent - I used to buy Japanese pressings and 12" 45 rpm singles whenever I could. However, in all honesty, I have never looked back. I have never been nostlagic or stuck in the past about things and my tastes in music kept moving forward too.

I will admit that CD Loudness Wars has become a real problem lately. This is the biggest drawback of digital - too much tweaking in the studios with Pro Tools etc. to get a compressed, in your face, distorted, loud, unpleasant sounding CD. (even in the 60's, compression to sound loud had become a problem with vinyl too, however, the analog medium remains that much harder to tweak & abuse)
The Real Question.

I'm still deciding.

The other day I was playing with impedance loading on my phono preamp after having soldered some resistors of various values into several pairs of RCA plugs. Talk about hands on.

Anyway, I was playing my reissue of Cannonball Adderly's "Somethin' Else" that has some pretty aggressive trumpet work by Miles Davis, and I was comparing the vinyl to a Classic Records DVD-A version of the same recording. Well, the DVD-A is SO much better, it's a no brainer. It makes me wonder why I'm investing all my time and money into analog playback.

Also, after losing two auctions for Derek and the Dominos "Layla and other Love Songs" LPs, I decided to see if it was available on SACD/CD hybrid. Yup, sure enough. Bought it for $6.99 from (versus $12+ for the used original vinyl releases being sold on E-Bay).

On the other hand, I have Stevie Ray Vaughn's "In Step" on both CD and vinyl, and the vinyl is better by a small margin. More "life".

Why am I devoting my time and money to analog ($200 in tubes just yesterday)? I'm certain there's a payoff, but I'm not yet convinced the return on the investment is worth it to me at this point in time.

Things could change...
I tried vinyl 3 times before deciding it isn't for me. Instead, I carefully put a CD playback system together that works with nearly all my recordings. I am thrilled with the results.

Are there muscle cars from the 60's and 70's that offer performance comparable to contemporary cars? Sure, but they are noisier, expensive to operate, and require periodic maintenance/repair. Still, there remains a charm that many people find both satisfying and exhilirating.

Whether it's a 1968 Corvette L-88 or 2007 Corvette Z-06, which is best for you is a personal decision.
Must be that time of the month again. Seems like once a month we get folks coming around with a thread like this.

If it's not for you, ok. It works for me and many, many others.
I'm still trying to put together a CD setup that is as musical and involving as my vinyl. But I'm only 77, so there's still hope :-)
some of us just like playing records

04-09-07: Dan_ed
Must be that time of the month again. Seems like once a month we get folks coming around with a thread like this.
I think threads like this are beneficial for those considering investing in an analog front end. It's valuable to know the positive and negatives with any decision before spending the money.

Don't take the negative comments personally. They're not attacks on anyone's preferences.
Dan_ed, may I compliment you on an awesome looking system. It must sound great. I'll be the first to admit that I miss the sound I was getting in the 70's from my old Dual turntable into Nikko integrated and ESS amt1 speakers. I haven't heard that kind of "alive" sound in my music from digital. I keep trying however... Aball and Tvad, you guys are two of the main contributors I follow here in the forums and I respect your opinions greatly. I haven't made the move to analog because of spatial constraints in my listening room, but I've considered spending money on a table. I once had a Thorens table many years ago. Reading your comments tends to make me want to continue to go down the digital avenue to find the involvement and soul of the music. I'm going to keep trying with digital.
Tvad, I don't take them personally. It's just an old theme that obviously has an agenda. See! I'm falling for it already!
Sometimes when I am groovin' on some music being spun my TRL modified Sony DVD player and I think "wow, that sounds so good, why do I even need vinyl"......

Then I spin a record and it's all comes back to me.....

I have to agree the "lazyness factor" is a big part of why I play CD's 3 to one over vinyl...but when you're in the mood for vinyl... it's a great experience. Having an analog and a CD set up, that I really enjoy, is the key to audiophile happiness for me.
For me, high fidelity is a hobby. That means that I am not averse to taking the time to optimize the setup, hell I enjoy it and find it rewarding, and a bit of ritual - as in cleaning and maintaining records - doesn't bother me either. For me, the reason that LP replay is essential is not the sound quality, but that so much of our rich recorded history is simply not available on any other format, and probably won't be. That seals the deal, as far as I am concerned. Some secondary issues are that many LPs can be purchased for a few dollars, and the artwork can be enjoyed in it's full glory.
I would have to add that you either like analog and vinyl or not in regards to the setup, adjustments, replacements of cartridges and needles and inhaling mold and cleaning solutions.

Yes, it seems a daunting task sometimes, and one that seems unreasonable to the novice vinyl user or beginner. The pleasure that comes afterwards is worth the time and money in my opinion. I do use my Krell SACD when I warm up my tube phono amp to listen to some jazz and classical, after about 20 minutes or so, I switch to vinyl. The time I use to listen to vinyl is my time, be it I am studying one of my classes or just vedging, it is all about self-satisfaction and how you feel about it. I also parse my time between friends and family. When it becomes a task or burden to listen, then maybe it is time to give up, I hope that never happens.
IMO: it is only worth it if you have access to the vinyl!
Getting a $20,000 setup to play THREE LPs is not a good investment.
Me, I got 10,000 plus aquired in three years dirt cheap! (at $0.20 or less for many!!)
So for me it is easy to say it is worth the bother.
To spend a lot to play the $28 a pop new vinyl doesn't make sense.
Please!! If you want to get into it then do! If you are waffling to 'jump on board the bandwagon' FORGET IT JACK!!!
Only if you do not care if you waste $10k and decide it is not for you, that's ok.. then yeah, go for it! If you don't HAVE a grand to blow to the wind.. FORGET IT.
Old geezers may argue about it, but I say count the $$$ and balance the cost/enjoyment ratio and ask: "Do I have the cash to throw away a few grand on a whim?
Greg, I imagine going to an opera, recital, and concert is just a total no-no for you. I mean, having to book tickets ahead of time, then on the day of the event having to shower, get dressed, drive, find parking, stand in line etc. is just a real passion killer? Yep, how can that possibly beat watching sport in your boxer shorts? ;-)

Ultimately, if you enjoy something, a little extra effort isn’t a factor. But that’s only if you really like it. If good sound isn’t worth even the slightest effort then CD isn’t a bad option.

LOL@Avguygeorge. It takes you ten to fifteen minutes to put on an LP?

04-09-07: Dan_ed
Tvad, I don't take them personally. It's just an old theme that obviously has an agenda.
Really? The theme (thread) has an agenda? I don't grasp that in this thread whatsoever. Hmmm...

Viridian makes a good point about some recordings not being available in other formats, and the enjoyment of album artwork. For those who own (or want to collect) music unavailable in formats other than vinyl, the analog format makes clear sense.

I just framed a couple of album covers, and a red vinyl record that were my grandmother's from Hawaii. Very cool. We're glad they're displayed in our living room/listening room.
I'm with Elizabeth. I've picked up large collections just sitting in front of dumpsters. Much junk BUT many gems. Getting them to full life (ie. cleaning with various solutions) is half the fun.

When it comes to the table,arm,cartridge,....blah,blah,blah you really should just start with a cheap table and make DIY improvements. My P25 sounds atleast 3x better then when I got it new.

Having been the vinyl route in college I can only say that digital music reproduction is the single biggest advance in audio in the last 50 years.

The constant honing of devices for digital reproduction means that I (disclaimer: me-personally only and no one else & not to construed as disrespect to any analogue device nor to say vinyl is dead) will never own a TT again.
I sometimes wonder if it's worth it. Then I put on my Japanese pressing of the Allman Bros live at the Fillmore and the thought melts away for awhile.
Tvad, sounds very cool, a family connection to your hobby that you can look at every day. Great stuff!

There is one last thing that I like about turntables. As machines, I find them to be quite beautiful. So many of the machines of today have the mechanisms hidden within them, anonymous black boxes, appliances really. Turntables are pretty much right out there; the mechanism is there to behold and enjoy. Deconstructivist, by nature. Kind of like that visible human body model that we all built as kids. Not to make too much of it, but in some philisophical way, it is both an anachronism and futuristic all at the same time.
Whether it's a 1968 Corvette L-88 or 2007 Corvette Z-06, which is best for you is a personal decision.
Audiofeil (Threads | Answers)
I sometimes miss my Guldstrand modified 2002 Corvette convertible. :(

Damn thing had a leaky seal between the top and the window, so it had to go...

Talk about beautiful design, though!
One of the things that appeals to me about vinyl is the amount of time it takes. Cleaning, set up, etc. It gets my attention out of whatever else is/was going on and by the time the music plays I am fully ready for it. A little bit of mindfullness never hurt.
The only thing that is certain about this subject is that it has been done many times before, and usually ends up in mud slinging. It is necessary to provide information to newcomers, so I suggest that two "white papers" be written each discussing in a rational way the pros and cons of the two media, one written from each point of view. Then, each time the topic is posted Audiogon should put up the two white papers, and close the thread to comments. Some provision should be made for the white papers to be occasionally updated.
unless one has a huge record collection, stay with what you have. its fun 'and' anoying, and over the last year or so, new pressings are worse than ever. generally more expensive too (the sleeve quality is great). when everything lines up perfectly, it still rules as a format, but i would never recommend it to anyone but the insane.
Eldartford-There is only one problem, digital continues to get incrementally better and vinyl is getting exponentially more expensive. Vinyl also appears to get more cumbersome in its infinitetesimal adjustments. This invites vinyl-files to have the temperment of an irate postal worker.(-:)

I think the usual argument is objective test of which is better. This is more subjective argument of is it worth it.
Pauly-I don't wear boxers. I wear brief hybrid. I want the best of both worlds. I hate standing in line. I frequently do see sports live. My point is vinyl has suprassed "a little extra effort."
Audiofeil, those old cars are great if you only need to go in a straight line!
Oh yeah,

I love looking for cheap albums and do enjoy playing them and they way they sound. There are times when I just want to listen, last week I was surfing the net and cleaning around the house and after 2 LP's I got frustrated and put CD'S on so I could be away from the sweetspot for more then 20 minutes, still love to have the option on vinyl and all the positives that go with it.
This is a more interesting thread because it focuses on whether the extra cost and labor required for a performance vinyl system is worth the result, rather than whether analog or digital sounds better.

For me and my wife, we want and use both. Frankly, with my system and Ayre C-5xe universal 2-channel player, to get vinyl that anyone could tell sounded clearly better than SACD/CD/DVD-A required an analog rig that cost 5 times the cost of the C-5xe. This is a testament to how much better digital has become in the last 20 years.

However, even the uninitiated who never heard high-end audio before, are quick to say that the vinyl sounds "richer," "fuller," "more alive" and "right here in the room with us."

For parties and when I'm lazy or when I'm reading or working at home, we play digital. When we want to just listen to music, I play vinyl.

The most annoying thing about vinyl to me now is the frequently poor quality of new vinyl, despite the fact that you pay $30 or more for it.

Also, IMO, the 'Gon and 'Goners are the best thing to happen to high end audio in years, and I again thank all those who have helped me buid my new system over the past 18 months. Your advice and encouragement have been essential.

...when everything lines up perfectly, [vinyl] still rules as a format, but i would never recommend it to anyone but the insane.
Jaybo (System | Threads | Answers)
Ha! I love it! The Truth, plainly spoken!
04-09-07: Viridian
...For me, the reason that LP replay is essential is not the sound quality, but that so much of our rich recorded history is simply not available on any other format, and probably won't be.

Very true. In addition to that, there are a couple of other reasons to have an LP playback system:

1. I have never heard a CD reissue of an analog-era LP that comes close to the musical satisfaction derived from the original LP, and I bought a lot of CD reissues before I gave up & bought a TT. CD reissues of analog-era LPs sound bleached, threadbare, and shrill compared to the originals. LPs are a good match for people who like music from the late '50s thru the late '80s.

2. In classical music, there are some great performances in the analog era that were never reissued on CD, and later digitally recorded renditions are simply not as artistically satisfying. A couple examples are my wife's favorite, "Elijah" on Angel records with Dietrich Fischer-Diskau in the title role (1968), and my favorite, Bach's Brandenburg concertos by Collegium Areum on original instruments on RCA Victrola (1965). We both have later all-digital state-of-the-art recordings of both of these works, but we don't like the interpretations and performances nearly as much as the earlier ones.

For me, enjoyment of LP playback means watching for the slippery slope. Since analog is by definition infinitely tweakable, I have to set my boundaries on the point of diminishing returns. As long as my humble rig handily outperforms any of my CD players, I'm happy. Over time, I do intend to get a wall-mount shelf, some isolation footers, and a better mat, but in the meantime, I'm very happy.
Dear Gregadd: +++++ " But come on. 3K+ for a cartridge. Cleaning machines. Preamps. VTA adjustments. noisy records. expensive software.... " +++++

" 3K+ for a cartrige: not necessary " true ", you can do it at very good level with a " simple " MM $150 like the EDR.9 or many other options with low prices, the subject here is: know-how: exist a lot of " ignorance/non-knowhow / with us customers and a lot of mis-information from the " commercial " oriented audio magazines.
Many of us don't " believe " that a cartridge in the hundred dollars range could perform at the same level or better than a thousand dollars cartridges: big mistake, because this kind of customer audio attitude is only in favor of high price carrtidges with out the same " care " about high quality performance. Today, thanks to that customer attitude, we have cartridges that sent you back 15K with a quality performance that compete with " old " cartridge technology of the fifthies-sixthies: this is what we have and it is our fault because for our " ignorance " we are buying those " great " very high price cartridges.

Cleaning machines: not necessary, in the past that does not exist those machines many of us were happy with out that " technology ". The subject here ( IMHO ) is that today we know that if we take care on cleaning deep our Lp's we can achieve a step higher on the quality sound reproduction, but it is something that we can do it or not. We don't have to be obsessive about.

Preamps, well this is not an obstacle the analog/LP reproduction needs the inverse RIAA eq. : a car needs gas to move, that's all.

VTA adjustements, this is part of the minimum adjustements that we have to make for a proper sound reproduction: in a car ( normally ) we use gasoline, you don't put alcohol instead gasoline because you want a proper car performance. The VTA is part of the LP/analog reproduction and here too we don't have to be obsessive.

Noisy records, well in some ways is part of the medium and in some ways is part of the care that we take about.

Expensive software, not always if you know the LP low price sources.

Now, if we have a good LP stock we have at least two options: try to handled all those subjects in the best positive manner atittude or put on sale our LP collection: easy!!!!

+++++ " Is there any alternative? " +++++

Yes, +++++ " just turn on the tv and watch Sportscenter. " +++++

Regards and enjoy the music.
The last 15 years I'm back into stereo and started out then thinking digital cd was the way to go. Now, at age 60+, I've committed to vinyl and feel that it's a superior medium. To my ears vinyl consistently sounds better than digital; my digital rigs have separate dacs, transports, jitter devices etc and my cd's seem to range from different types of music and age, recent-20 years ago---, digtal sounds flat, non-involving, clinical and dry. the highs are brittle and harsh but my vinyl never sounds that way. My systems are largely tubes and the combination of tubes and vinyl is smoooth, warm, relaxing and involving in a natural way. Digital sounds artificial and cheap. All my tts are used and cost about $300-$500 and I buy good used carts (high output MCs). I enjoy the time & effort of vinyl and love the search for cheap vinyl..the analogue hobby is not expensive and clearly it matches me better than digital...count me in the insane...... As someone said better than I, music is analogue and digital is numbers... Vinyl is a consistent treat, a joy, is a bore. Each of us makes a choice with our time & money...for me the choice is easy..vinyl
04-09-07: Cipherjuris
This is a more interesting thread because it focuses on whether the extra cost and labor required for a performance vinyl system is worth the result, rather than whether analog or digital sounds better.

Exactly! There's no point in squinting your eyelids and leaning forward in your chair to listen for the sonic differences between an LP and the best digital available today. I like having multiple source playback ability to play music in its best format, whatever that is.

As for A-B comparisons, what it comes down to for me is emotional response. LPs more often put a grin on my face and make my wife get up and dance, sing along, and wave her arms to the music. Doing a little LP cleaning and dusting, and keeping the stylus clean and adjusted is a small price to pay to get that level of musical enjoyment.

OTOH, I purposely selected a rugged, unfussy turntable and cartridge combo--a Technics SL 1210 M5G with Shure M97xE that I play with the brush down. It'll track anything. I'm not chronically and obsessively tweaking and adjusting because it already far exceeds my expectations and elicits more emotional response than any digital disk player in da house.
Hi Greg,

Both my 67 Firebird and I agree that vinyl is worth it, and you simply don't have to spend 3K on a cartridge to make it so. Lots of contenders in the $500-$1000 price range that will make you very happy.

Having said that, digital gear has also gotten to the point where it is very satifying. My take is that there is no need to do vinyl unless you already have the software sitting around, or it's one of those things you have to try "because it's there". In my case I had over 1000 LPs already sitting around.
Yes anolog and vynil can be annoying . Yes it can be very expensive . Is it worth it ? To me , yes without a doubt . For me personally , the sound is a good bi-product of slowing life back to a time ,when we had the time to enjoy it without the impatience that does not allow us to enjoy today for the dread of tomorrow's furverous pace . In a more simpler vein of thought what ever pleases can,t be wrong . No differrent than the neighbor with the 50,000 dollar 4 X 4 that the closest thing to off road it sees is a speed bump in the parking lot of Wal-Mart but it makes him happy . Vynil is just one of those choices that some enjoy and for others is seen as a hassle . As far as the sound goes I won,t relive that argument as it to is very subjective to the individual himself .
Raul- I'm confused. If there is a greater vinyl fanatic than you I'd like to meet them.
Esoxhntr-Don't you own a SME 20/20 and a dynavector XV-1 that you purchased from Raul? Last I heard you were in pursuit of a Loricraft.
Would I go out and get into vinyl from scratch today? Nope - not w/ two kids in college, etc. But after a stupid thread a year or so back, did I go and get the stuff out of storage and "the closet" and get a new cartridge and redo the den layout for optimized 2-channel? Guilty as charged, sir.

Truth in advertising - I do not obsess over the cleaning ritual. I'm using that older Dual, and I do enough to keep 30-35 year old records no worse than when they came back out of the closet (and I'm not admitting to anything about what some of them survived back then...). I've listened to a lot of the older inventory - and while there may not be 10K albums there were well over 10 boxes.

All that said, is it worth it? Is it magical? Sometimes, oh yes. There are some albums that were so well done and/or carry enough history & emotion that you just want to melt when they're on. But are there digital updates that beat some (if not many/most?). Yes, w/o a doubt. Layla/Derek & the Dominoes is one of the most frustrating excuses for a pizza platter that I'd ever spun. But the SACD - that was the first time I've heard a couple of those songs sound like even a fraction of what they should. There are others, but in general it's been a bit uneven when hoping for the old magic. Digital really has progressed in these two decades, but there are still a few records that will always be in the short stack.

If it's your hobby, if it's your love, then yes it's worth it to you. But if you're normal or sane, well - then you probably aren't an audiophool anyway, are you?
Let me start by recommending a look at Rauliruegas' system. Now that's vinyl.
For me though, I sold off most of my lps a couple of years ago because we moved and it was pointed out to me that the lps had been in the closet untouched for 12 years. Did they sound good? Sure. It's just that digital is so much simpler to listen to, and with my current rig sounds very good to me.
I honestly don't care which "cost no object" sounds better. They both sound superb I'm sure.
I've been doing analog my entire life and have amassed a very fine vinly collection. Bottom line for me is that great vinyl played on a world class analog rig sounds far more real that great digital played on a world class digital player (same for moderate analog rig vs. moderate digital rig). Since I listen to the entire Lp, not a big problem. If you want to skip around from cut to cut, then the inconvenience could be a bigger issue. The answer is simple. Do both (analog and digital). Then you'll have the best and worst of both worlds.
Are you Vinylworthy ?
I have not heard the latest crop of CD players to make any meaningful comparison, but when I'm told that a dcs stack, or the Zanden combo is SOTA comparable to vinyl replay, at even higher prices than a great TT, I'm not sure that CD is viable. Convenient? Yes. I don't use a TT in my car. But, for my serious system, I want to extract the most music I can, guided by my preferences.
Part of that is, of course, the nostalgic fascination with vinyl, the packaging, the vintage pressings, the variations in same, and the whole ritual of preparing for playback.
The 'tweaking' (and I am currently using an arm that some might consider pretty demanding in that department) is no greater than what i would expect you would have to do for other parts of a great system- paying attention, occasionally checking stuff (like tubes, connectors, etc.) and keeping it clean.
I have over 8,000 LPs at this point. Not all of them are great, but if I stopped buying them today, I still couldn't listen to all this music in a life time. I guess I am committed. (Storage space is probably the biggest drawback to the format, not the cost or tweaking, in my estimation).
Oh, yeah, and I kinda like how my current TT looks. Don't you?
Dear Gregadd: Whart posted, +++++ " I have over 8,000 LPs at this point " +++++ and " I guess I am committed. ".

This is all about.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Comparing seedee's to vinyl...Vinyl has such a greater frequency response than redbook that it is really an unfair comparison.

Since the emergence of SACD and DVD-A the gap has closed so recently-recorded music using these new digital formats has a chance to sound as good--and sometimes better than--vinyl.

There is also the possibility of downloading "studio master" quality hi-rez digital to a music server. Probably this is the way of the future but not much softerware is availble, yet.

Most of my attentive listening is with vinyl.
Greater frequency response? sure about that???????

I have disc's that I dont think could be cut on Vinyl because of the bass, I could be wrong but I think you are mistaken.
To get digital to sound as good as analog (yes it is possible), it takes nearly as much tweaking and patience. There's really no substitute for fine-tuning a system to get the best out of any technology. The idea that analog is somehow better than digital (done right), is basically just holding onto yesterday.
04-09-07: Brauser
To get digital to sound as good as analog (yes it is possible), it takes nearly as much tweaking and patience.
My experience with digital does not support this conclusion, although I respect that Brauser's experience is different from mine.

My feeling exactly!