Is it all worth it?

Do you ever get the feeling when you start to question whether playing records is really worth it all?
You know with everything involved with great record playback.
The setup, the cleaning regime, the $1000 plus cartridges that start their finite lifespan as soon as stylus first touches vinyl and spirals into less and less value with every play.
All the tweaks involved, cables, mats, isolation etc.
Then the media itself with it's inevitable disapointments.

Don't you just like to push a couple buttons on your phone app and be listening to great sound with a worldwide catalogue at your fingertips.

Or is it that when all of it lines up and the sounds are just sublime, then yes you sit back with a wry smile and say...

Yep, it's all worth it!
F9988e03 5b38 4b2f 8f67 357de0a06706Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz
Agreed. It's far more convenient (not to mention practical and cheaper) for me to play stuff off my phone via my Bluetooth speaker/headphones. 

With over a 1000 favourite songs or pieces to immediate hand my main system is relegated to one of two duties - firstly as an escape zone where I can wallow in the best sound quality I can attain, and secondly as a means of beefing up the sound from my TV whenever I want to immerse myself in a classic film. The Searchers is the next one on my list.

Yes, those obsessive days of endless contact cleaning, swapping cables and vainly looking for the next miraculous tweak that would bring that all too elusive sonic magic a little closer have truly gone. Looking back my LP12 ownership days still give me the shudders.

Now more wasting precious time on mere 'plateau upgrades' unless they are truly hugely significant ones. 

Thank God!
Always worth the extra effort.  Some of it is just the challenge to optimize your vinyl, but it pays off with something special...  Love my digital, which is very capable, but it doesn’t have the same magic.  Uber you know we are correct...
Everyone must make that decision for themselves.  If you don’t enjoy records and all that comes with them, by all means don’t go there.  For me, the obsession continues.  Music can be enjoyed in so many different ways.
Records are a nice switch.  Especially if you already own a bunch.
The setup, the cleaning regime, the $1000 plus cartridges that start their finite lifespan as soon as stylus first touches vinyl and spirals into less and less value with every play.

...the Soundsmith Hyperion with free re-tipping
I own a lot of records and a pretty decent vinyl rig. These days I rarely listen to them. This weekend I did spin a few, but it doesn't have the same allure for me that it used to. As my digital front end gets better the desire to play records gets pushed farther and farther back. I probably won't turn my back on vinyl completely, but it's about 20% of my listening when it used to be the 80%.


I was a very early adopter of computer audio and only stream my music now. I enjoy Roon greatly. You described why I "stream" my audio. With my gear, music sounds very acceptable to me. I figure analogue people enjoy all the fuss and rituals involved with audio playback. No criticism, we're all different. However, if digital audio was limited to MP3 sound I'd probably soldier along with vinyl.
...the Soundsmith Hyperion with free re-tipping
Just checked that out.
Interesting as the original owner gets 10 years of free retips.
However at a cool 8k to buy in, still not a cheap exercise.
Do not get me wrong, when its good , my record replay is REALLY good.

But I am finding, especially later at night, that I am just as happy to push play on the Aurender Conductor app and be done with it.

Is my streaming top knotch?

No not yet, but that is also part of my thinking.
All in maybe 3k in streamer and DAC and it sounds fantastic.
3k does not take you very far in record replay land..... lol.

I don't know, maybe its just enforced home stay, got me on edge. 
Owning both along with high speed half track makes for critical listening/ comparisons/ understanding the relative merits and deficient elements of each... and let’s face it for much much music it is only available on digital:-)

have at it Uber !!!!
Uber, I go back and forth.  I can't tell you how many times I pick up a record and am really disappointed by the quality of the pressing.  Many times I've gone to the streamed version of the same recording and it sounds 1000 times better and there's none of the rigmarole, ticks, pops, etc.  I can skip songs easily, change quickly to something else if the mood hits, etc.  Times like that I want to get rid of the turntables completely. 

I just took my JVC QL-Y66F in to have it serviced.  After I got it back, I checked to make sure the cartridge was still aligned properly and saw that it was a little off.  After a bit of fussing around and putting on a record, no sound out of the left channel!  I've checked everything I can, no idea what happened.  The service shop where I take it is closed for now, so it's a paperweight for now.  Luckily I have a spare table, LOL.

But yeah, when it's a nice pressing and everything is working right, and the "magic" happens, it does make it all worth it.
I used to think because I had to be more alert and concentrated to play records it meant I was paying more attention to the music.
Not sure as that's the case.
In fact sometimes it can have opposite effect when I know a side is getting near the end and I have to move my ass to lift the needle. Yeah I know get a Little Fwend!
Of course if on the SL-10 or QL-A7 that's not a worry.

But wait, WTH am I doing with all these TT? And ten plus cartridges??
I have one streamer, one DAC.

I picked a hell of a week to quit glue sniffing!

All in, no regrets--ever. 
It is all good.......and not so good at times. But I enjoy it the same.
Funny about a year ago my partner built a reference level phono stage.  He brought it over to my house to have a listen.  The funny part is that neither of us owned a turntable to test the thing out.  I then borrow a TT from a friend of mine who buys old vintage equipment at estate sales.  He gave me a basic TT and off we went.  We had on e record to play and it was fantastic.  Out of curiosity my partner looked at the TT to see who manufactured it.  Turns out it says JC Penny on it.  I called my friend and he told me that CEC make them for various companies back in the day.  But it sounded fantastic.  We took the phono stage to VPI a few months back and they loved the sound also.  I still only own two or three records to play but the sound is fantastic.

Happy Listening

Worth it!

As the world is going through a crazy difficult time, with so much sadness, hardship and loss, listening to records and all the process that comes with that, gets me moving.

I could easily slip into a major depressive episode, and staying active - mentally and physically - is really important right now.

Are records important in the big picture right now?

No, but simple pleasures can be of some help.

Any little thing that can bring people joy, is important at times like this.

And hopefully, anyone who has some joy, shares that happiness with others so it can spread :)

$10k spent on a digital front end will yield better sound than $10k spent on an analog bundle that includes a phono preamp, turntable, arm & cartridge.

You'll also have more time to listen to more music ....than spending time to find the lp, remove it from its jacket, make sure there's no dust or static...then play the l.p. that you only like one or two cuts on.  Remove the lp, put it back in its jacket and put the l.p. back in its proper place.

With excellent digital available, analog is more trouble than it's worth.

I still own two turntables and a few thousand lp's...and nope, I'll never get rid of my analog setup.
Ditch the phone and buy a good streamer/server. You won't regret it!
I have an Antipodes and have FLAC ripped all of my CDs into the onboard HDD.
With an iPad as a remote, I use Roon to listen to them (server) and access Tidal via Roon for streaming via the Antipodes and a Denafrips Pontus DAC. Sublime imho.
I retired my Thornes turntable with SME tonarm 4 years ago. Bought a LUMIN D1 5 years ago. Once Tidal added MQA the sound quality was amazing. Just upgraded to the LUMIN T2 - sound is even better. My access to music is amazing - finding new artists all the time. 
Just my 2 cents

Happy Listening
I play mostly vinyl. But after a few (or more) adult beverages, I will switch to a digital source. Of course finding new music through streaming services is an amazing advantage 
all mine were hand washed in the sink, and vacuumed.

 the sound fine, some pops, crackles, whatever, its fine, back in the 80's we didn't have all this stuff to clean our records.

 i record all the ones  i dont have to CD, and theres some rotation pops, crackles, here and there, i actually LOVE that sound, as the relaxed tone/sound is on the cd when i playback.

it is worth it.

dont worry, just play your records, and clean the best you can, NOT rocket science, let the millionaires, use ultrasonic cleaning with that special 200$ fluid, etc etc.

play your records, and enjoy !

that is all.

happy listening.
To me definitely not worth it. Even with extensive cleaning the clicks and plops always came back. Give me the convenience of CDs and streaming anytime even at the cost of some SQ. 
just picked up a  pair of KT150's cheap on ebay,,pluged them into my Jadis Defy7, running 4 KT988's/+ the 2 KT150's in one channel vs the 6 KT88's other channel,,,Yeah its all worth it, 
HUGE sonic gain. with the pair of 150's in the right channel vs the wimpy left/Kt88's. 
The 150 is musical nirvana vs the lack luster 88's. 
got another 10 arriving this week.
Monsta size gain in dynamic fidelity. 
hope that answers your Q. 
I enjoy playing LPs with a modest good quality turntable and cartridge. Nothing fancy or expensive. But I do enjoy playing vinyl, not all the time but enough of the time.
Uber, how do you have under $3k in Aurender + good DAC?
Which Aurender and which DAC?
Pretty easy really unless you buy all new.
Aurender n100 at $1300 used.
mhdt orchid DAC at $1160 new.
Grannyring double barrel usb cable at $250

Nicely under $3000
Better than 80% of my music on LPs is not available digitally. 

And, unless you’ve heard it, how would you even know to search for it?

i enjoy the great discoveries in lesser known music only available by picking up an obscure LP and playing it.

Cables, $1000+ cartridges, etc? Not for me. All vintage cartridges here. I’m not into the cable game, either. 
YES IT"S WORTH IT!!Just bought a 2nd arm for my rig and now have MM and MC on my main system, also have a 2nd system and yes a 3rd system all have TT thousands of records and I just ordered 3 more yet to be released  albums, i have had a TT for 50+ years and will spin vinyl until I take my last breath, vinyl will always be with us, THANK GOD!
It's all worth it to me and that's all that matters.
my reel to reel player/tapes are my best source. tape has never gone silent for so long as during my TT upgrade project. Finished. Until something breaks I'm done, listening to LP's more than ever. 

New to me: Large Plinth Dual Arm JVC-Victor TT81; 9" acos lustre 801 arm in rear for Grado ME+ mono cartridge; 12.5" russian blackbird arm at side for Shure V15/Jico SAS tip; audio technica auto safety lift; ortofon phono cable; many miscellaneous tools and small parts to move my setup skills up a notch; manual record cleaning/drying rack.

Cost recap today: $4,270 complete.

Into tube tuner/preamp McIntosh mx110z and tube integrated amp, Cayin A88T, bought last year (sold SS preamp and amp). 

Now, re-discover around 2,500 lp's, washing in batches of 10, may take a while, I'm retired. I said I was done buying lp's at around 2,000 and put them in alphabetical order for the first time (categories before). Alas, kept buying, people give you lps, so around 500 wanting to get squished in alphabetical order, don't fit so weeding must occur.

I've also been cleaning lps to sell on eBay after a farewell listen, not gonna be much free money for people to buy for quite a while now. I'll start em low, see if I can make some room which is my main need.

CD's, got over 5K, alphabetically in special oversized binders (left lots of blank spaces, add new pages if needed (jewel cases tossed) they are aging silently now. R2R, I had about 500 pre-recorded tapes, sold over 100 on eBay, gotta play some, keep the two active machine's parts loose, sell some more R2R tapes, need room for more lp's!

In the UK it has been public knowledge since 1993 to place any Digital component on a Townshend Seismic Platform, you will instantly enjoy the best sound from Digital with out what we call the Digititis,

Try 1 sale or return from experience you will love the improvement.

If not send it back.

Check my posts i am not a troll i have been around the block a few times for sure.

I love the sound from vinyl but as OP stated for me it was not worth it over Digital when i introduced the Seismic Platform to my system back in the 1990's.

Why do they make such an improvement Max Townshend will know he designs them.

I have only shared my honest experience and feedback from many others

I hope you guys appreciate the heads up not any sales BS.

Take care everyone,

With my setup I really like to listen to the relatively few albums I have. But, in terms of sheer time listening, digital definitely wins the day. I’ve got some huge, very eclectic playlists and it is nice to just put one on, hit random, and go. As mentioned, with albums you get the hits plus all the fill. Some fill is better than others. These days, I’m only buying albums that I know I will like, and will want to fully listen to. Otherwise, a one hit wonder album is just not worth it.
Yup, totally worth it to me. Always has been. I prefer how vinyl sounds, and if people think it’s all in my head, that’s fine with me. 

doubtless it has been said, or soon will be, there is a mystical attachment to the orig standard of LP playback.

Its pure old school. Ritualistic. For some even comforting and nostalgifc.

For others its the ‘only pure way to audio nirvana’, despite the myriad of tributaries so rigidly afixed to excellent big disc spinning.

IMO, its merely another source. No better or worse than some others given the current SOTA in digital.

That said, the argument for big black disc rotation, as the ‘go to’ devotion, is getting less and less attractive and especially if AND OR WHEN one considers the overall costs for a plug and play premium digital source, streamer and its associated setup.

if one travels the ones and zeros highway, there are no stylus to wear out. no beckoning cartridges to rush out and audition, no $5K CD washers to be added on. no multi thousand dollar arms to add on. no mechanical geometric orientation of the cartridge, no need for a seprate pre amp makes etc. which in all a very inviting argument for lavishing funds into the digital camp to begin or steadfastly remain.

Of late I’ve heard some mighty lofty costing analog setups that hold no edge on similarly or even lesser priced digital outfits what so ever!

With careful matching and setup and of course depending on the pockets and ears of the bit rate enthusiast, some exceptional performing converters are about for well within the means of many.

The caveat in digital as with analog, is ’what price performance’? The stellar digital front ends whose performance have turned my head as hair raising are damn expensive. Ch Precision, EMM labs and Lampy’s top tier offerings to name but a few, DA are just remarkable but run north of $25K retail routinely.

Let’s not stop there, for those whose devotion and pockets run deep, dCS and MSB have other ideas which will drain bank accounts of close to the $100K market for a complete arrangement of their devices running in concert!

But to think digital is the path of least resistance is quite naive. its roots are nearly as deep as those of the 10 inch platters past time. Recordings or pressing quality in both arenas is anyone’s guess prior to its sampling or playback.

Least one voting for pure bit renderings gets away scott free thinking they have found the spiritrual path to audacious audio, there remains the eventual fallout or acquisition of ‘digitalis nervosa’ ordinarily known as ‘click-itis’, an ADD like syndrome one soon attains as playback no longer is festooned with that long walk to and from the album rack to the phono. No more cleaning the vyinyl and squaring up the needle drop, only to repeat the process a few minutes later.

In the digital, cloud HDD storage or streaming service 978 skidillion tracks are begging and shouting for your attention and its soon a clickity click affair and songs become truncated by whim and lust for more content and the thirst soon turns into a ravenous rapacious morass of ceasless taps swipes, or clicks, as one seeks more variety or merely better quality cuts from what ever catalog or storage inventory is on tap.

FMM, its all digital, al the time.

regardless the regimin, One simply gets in where one wishes, shiny disc or dark, and hopefully strives towards contentment, when ever or where ever that location lays.

Worth it! I enjoy the whole regiment of cleaning, listening, flipping sides, cleaning, listening, and on and me, when it all comes together with a certain records, I take a deep breath and sit back in utter joy (big grin) and just feel at peace that all my hard work paid off. I guess its not for everyone, but when you do reach the point where it does come together, it's hard to describe. Yes, I like my CDs as well, less work than LPs, and don't always have the time or patience for vinyl , so to me me the CD is my go to option. Steaming is ok, I generally use it to find new music that I may like to actually purchase a LP or CD of. I never buy anything virtually, downloading etc. To me, that is not really owning anything. I like the tangeable aspect that LPs and CDs provide. Oh and cassettes are my third option, I love the retro aspect of popping in a cassette, brings me back to my teen years in the eighties. I'm still running the same Aiwa f770 I bought in high school in 1983! 
Thanks everybody for your thoughts and views.
Really helping!
Reminds me of the bee versus the spider from Swift's Battle of the Books. 
I am Switzerland at the moment. 
it’s like owning an antique Ferrari. It will get you to and from work just fine, but costs you five times as much as your Honda does to do it. The Ferrari comes out when you want to drive instead of needing to drive. Later at night I stream or when I want to just hear music. But sometimes the Mofi record of Dark Side of the moon gets on the platter and spins. Pure, bliss. No drugs were involved, don’t spin when your high. You will mess up your record just like driving. JK. I’m just saying pull the record/ Ferrari from under its cover when you need to hear the sound of the Record/ Ferrari. 
Like fine carpentry, there is craft to making music and so too there is craft to the vinyl experience. By investing in the best tools you can afford and slowing down and focusing on the process as well as the result, we get closer to the music and the musician. The reward to the spirit is then more than just musical, it is a beautiful use of time. 
Uber,thanks.Used market hadn't occurred to me. Will go shopping. Overture won't respond to my emails anyhow. You'd think, with a name like that .  .  . 
Yup, totally worth it to me. Always has been
Same here.
Of course, I got into LP in the pre-digital era, and probably wouldn’t get into it were that not the case. Digital has come a long, long way.

But I have no plans to give up on LP.

I have to say that the combination of the Aurender N100 streamer and the MHDT Orchid r2r nos DAC is pretty righteous!

And maybe this is part of my problem as most members comment that a r2r nos DAC is the most analog sounding DAC to be had.

So if true, it may explain why I am particularly happy with my streaming experience......

"Like fine carpentry, there is craft to making music and so too there is craft to the vinyl experience. By investing in the best tools you can afford and slowing down and focusing on the process as well as the result, we get closer to the music and the musician. The reward to the spirit is then more than just musical, it is a beautiful use of time."

Forgive me for saying, but this reads like a passage from a self-help book.

Every zen-like word rings true but unfortunately for many of us their application often lies tantalisingly just beyond our grasp.

Perhaps now is a good time to try again.
If it works it can only do us good. And I'd like to think this technique is not just for vinyl either.

Currently I'm focusing on this live performance by Johnny Marr doing 'There is a Light that Never Goes Out.'


We are fortunate to live in times where we have multiple choices to enjoy music and our beloved hobby. Glad to hear you’re enjoying music...regardless of the format.

Digital streaming is now fully matured and it is just as enjoyable as other competing formats from past and present. Let’s keep an open mind, enjoy the music (vino is optional) and be happy!
Those silver discs are soooo handy and no snap, crackle, pop!
My classical CD collection is complete, LP's are dinosaurs. 
THere is NOT 1 LP cllasical muisc record that i can not find on a  CD format.
as been mentioned no *snaps crackles pops*,,Nothing worse than listening to Webern's short but rick pieces with a  pop going off here and there. Completely ruins the experience. 
The other 10 KT150's arrive tomorrow for my Defy7, Yeah this stereo thing is worth the money.
People here get too caught up in the hardware. I think a sizeable bunch want to be forum heroes with the equipment they have. Its always about the music though. Never forget.

I can tell you that in the last week I sold off my entire system (which was a patchwork of mid fi gear that sounded pretty good) and almost half my records. The other half I’ll box and store indefinitely. All that pays for the last 3 months of my daughter’s therapies and a loaner truck as we will now live on a friend’s couch for the foreseeable future. Three Part time and one full time job vanished in about 4 days.

Be happy you have a system to play on. Those of us not anointed will be nomads with only $14 earbuds to guide us. GCG signing out.
That is sad to hear but I know meaninglessness platitudes from this forum will not help you much right now.
But best wishes to you and your family.
To me, it's more than just sound quality. I started listening to records in the mid-60s, got my own first component stereo in 1970, and I couldn't tell you any of the brand names except for the Garrard record changer and a pair of Dave Clark headphones. Whole set-up was $100 used. A tiny (15 wpm?) integrated amp and some little bookshelf speakers. I was completely happy with this system for 5-6 years (through college), and paid little attention to high-end systems. It was all about the music itself. Carefully selecting an album for purchase. Reading all the liner notes. And listened to the whole album all the way through most times. The tunes and their sequence were part of the artists' intent. 
  My system now is far, far better, and most of my listening is either CDs or iTunes files burned from CDs. I love the convenience, but the record playing routine is in my blood, and I still relate it to the love of music I developed prior to the digital revolution. Yes, keeping records in good shape is a pain. Hauling the albums around and storing them is a pain. The tics and pops (or worse) used to cause me angst. But I still love the experience. Working now on setting up a basic, inexpensive 2nd system in my home with just phono and R2R, just because I can. Just for the experience.