Not as much activity on analog here


Monitoring this site and analog in particular I see a downward trend in interest. Why is this so. Are we a community that has not grown much and all our questions have been interested ? Are we losing interest? Is digital finally getting the soul of the music right? I wish someone would chime in maybe audiogon and show us some statistics. Maybe it's not analog but all across the forum. Let's here from you.
blueranger
I love good analog sound as much as the next guy, but these days I am loving digital as well and it is getting most of my play time. Analog is treading water essentially for most. You have to really love it exclusively to make the investment asked by a lot of the high end manufacturers these days, as it becomes more of a niche. It is what it is. Good sound, sometimes the best, but that's it. Digital enables good sound and so much more these days and continues to advance. Analog is old hat. Can't fight progress. Lots of analog out there still for those who can't do otherwise. I still love the sound of a good quality vintage analog recording on vinyl, but the ones with teh most to offer sonically thes days are releases that few have interest in these days. Almost everything popular over the years has been released and often remastered digitally by now. Goodwill is the place I go to find special sound treats that are unique and affordable.
"Are we a community that has not grown much"

Probably. THis stuff is EXPENSIVE!

"all our questions have been interested ?"

I think the biggest and most relevant questions mostly have if one takes the time to look. One off things still come up.

"Is digital finally getting the soul of the music right?"

Good digital is quite competitive these days, more affordable, more versatile, and still growing and evolving a lot. What else is there?

Statistics, even if availble, can be massaged to show whatever one wants usually. All one has to do is read and look around to get a sense of what is really going on.

Vinyl/analog source material and gear continues as a niche technology, maybe even with some growth in recent years I suspect.

Once digital hits the DAC, the rest is and will always still be all analog, unless converted back to digital again downstream for some reason, if that's any consolation. :-)
Thanks for your response Mapman. Some digital is really really good. I've got a lot of digital from 80s that is really bad too. I feel lied to by the music industry in the 80's with" perfect sound forever" As Michael Fremer once said. "Digital preserves music like formaldehyde preserves frogs. Kill it and it lasts forever" . Digital now has come a long way. Even some old recording that have been properly redone, re-engineered, remastered sounds better than vinyl. They do cheat a little in that regard. On the other hand just the other night I listened to Simon & Garfunkel's Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme from their 5 record box set. Then I listened to digital remastered cd from the 2000's. Record came out on top in every way.
I'm having a ball with a Sony Walkman Cassette Player. Forgetaboutit.
I don't think it's that there is less interest, but there are only so many things you can talk about. We've discussed record cleaning to death, cartridge alignment, VTA, SRA and everything else you can think of. There is really nothing new. Buy a good tt, a good cart, set it up correctly, clean your records and listen. It reminds me why I stopped subscribing to Golf Digest. It's a great game, but there are only so many articles you can read on how to putt. Now it's time to stop talking and start listening. Really.
Most people with turntables spinning vinyl are happy, so not as much to talk about.

The digital bois are always a few months from their DAC being obsolete and looking for a new upgrade :-)
+1 Chayro.
LP will always sound best if you have a very good turntable.
++Chayro.

THere is some truth to what Downunder said also, although if you get it right these days, the need to chase the latest and greatest becomes more debatable. Still, I hope I am around still to see where digital is say 10-20 years from now. Lots of innovation, lots of new products, lots of new features, potential for even better sound, if needed.
"LP will always sound best if you have a very good turntable."

Not true. I already have many CDs ripped to my music server that sound as good or better than lp copies. Its very much a case by case things these days I think. Either might win in any particular case for comparison. There is much more to it than just the format.
I have spent a lot of time and a reasonable amount of money getting my setup to where I wanted it to be in recent years.

I started off getting my vinyl tuned in. That helped establish an in-house reference. Then I focused on digital.

Once I had both pretty much hitting the target, then I did a few common enhancements from there, mostly with amplification and tweaking. Now they both sound similarly really really good. Digital gets 90% of of my listening time these days though because of the convenience and flexibility and that is best for expanding ones library with new music. Vinyl is still good for expanding the library with older music, especially when good quality vinyl is found for dirt cheap at Goodwill.
The simple fact is that if you own LPs, the best way to hear them is on a turntable. Nothing else will play them. If you don't own LPs you don't need a turntable, unless you just want one because they're sort of cool to look at, and you can spin things around on them...
Lots of lps still out there to play. Plus a lot of it comes dirt cheap if you look in teh right places. A good omen for the continued presence of vinyl/analog source material. And yes, you need good stuff set up well in order to milk the most out of it. That's nothing new but still good news for high end audio. Good sounding digital continues to become more affordable. That's bad news for high end audio.
Chayro,
Well said!
There's no need for chasing after DACs every "few months" unless you just want to do so. Both Digital and Turntables can provide very long lasting enjoyable music reproduction in one's home. Either source can sound disappointing it not implemented properly. I don't find one inherently superior to the other given the choices now available. Good total system execution is the determining factor.
Charles,
I wonder about the points listed here .
Go to AA and they have a great many more posts listed than here . Is at least part of the problem attributed to the , how shall I say it , not-so-good website management
that has beset this site . I can remember when this site used to be just as stable and reliable as say Yahoo .
Maybe a question might be considered about reliability and consistency of use !
Not saying that AA is perfect but it does seem to be managed a bit more in favor of the members usage .

Please no flames !
I have to say that even though I follow certain threads, right this moment I'm thinking of the one about the ultimate best DAC that has been active for the last couple of months; and although there is a lot of good information in there, after a while, my head starts hurting.
Of course, nobody is making me read it, It's just that sometimes we really do get bogged down in the smallest bits of minutae, and it's easy to forget about enjoying music.
I don't really think that the moderators can be blamed for the subjects that are discussed unless they are censoring the content.
I agree with Chayro.

I am interested in reading about new analog products: phono stages, tables, arms, cartridges. Some other sites like WBF which allow for pictures and direct quotes from other posts provide more analog discussions about what is new.
I'm not sure any one site is going to address all of the particular interests of an enthusiast. In audio, many of the sites, including this one, are gear-centric (A-gon, for obvious reasons, being a 'trading post' for used hi-fi gear). Music sites, like S Hoffman are less gear-centric, and more about particular releases, but even then, there are limits to how many times you can discuss the 'best pressing' of Led Zeppelin or whatever. (My view- buy 'em all, you decide). :)
Fremer still carries the torch, even though I don't always come out the way he does- I guess since he is a bit of a character, he provokes different reactions from different people. (I like reading him).
I love the fact that people like Albert and Mike L (who seems to have decided to listen rather than post), among a number of others here, try to push the envelope and constantly reassess and try to improve their sonic results.
Ultimately, it's a personal question; i have found that over the years, my focus has changed, and changed again, sometimes I am on a mission w/ respect to upgrades, and other times, I've gone through periods where I didn't even bother with serious audio.
Whart,
"Ultimately, it's a personal question; i have found that over the years, my focus has changed, and changed again, sometimes I am on a mission w/ respect to upgrades, and other times, I've gone through periods where I didn't even bother with serious audio".

I couldn't agree more with you. We often find ourselves re-discovering, re-organizing, re-thinking, re-inventing, and re-doing!

Me, now I find myself simplifying my system.......again. Reducing cost and finding the right synergy.

Tandberg 3012A, Stanton ST-150, ATML170/occ, Triton 7s, Straight-Wire Maestro, everything from used market for less than $2,000.00 all together.....Sweet!!!!

More importantly, putting back $5,000.00 on my savings account after selling most of my rather expensive equipment.

I just love analog and the fact that spinning records never gets old!
Facebook is why.
Help out jump on a turntable now!!
Searching for whatever in our hobby imply investment.
As should be known there is a shortage of investment everywhere at present.
When I started my journey in the early 90's, I had nothing. Don't forget, that was the time where EVERYBODY said and wrote that anlog is dead and will be buried in the next years. I went to several Dealers, charged their Demo room and did compare Vinyl and Digital. My investments were done in Analog. My Dealer said "You want W-H-A-T???" A turnable, a cartridge and a Phonostage, please...
In the following years I had top of the line Digital and listen to those Demos until today. It is made for mass market, entertainment but until today I NEVER heard a Digital combo sounding like the real thing with 10 CD's in a row.
Analog is a chain, Arm, Table, Cable, Cartridge, Phonostage....RCM... a lot can be done wrong but....when done right, it can send you into the recording session.
No matter what you or we think, in a few years Analog is the ONLY High End (no matter what quality). It can be seen, it can be touched, the Owner "does" something and at least he can watch a unit which spins... :-)
HiRes Download? Give me a break...the next joke is prepared.
Amen Syntax, Amen.
I believe you are in for a surprise Syntax. You do know that most recording is done digitally now, don't you?
BluerRanger
If you become board with few questions and topics in this analogue category today ,search through the archives ,you will notice many of the same questions and arguemnts re-hashed like a skipping record,..
I'm in agreement with Syntax ,much can be learned from him.
I believe you are in for a surprise Syntax. You do know that most recording is done digitally now, don't you?

you may be right. One problem...the bulk of the music engineered in digital just plain sucks. Music mastered in analog from the 50's-80's.... Music that really matters sounds best in analog form....tape or vinyl. Digital a/d, compressed and normalized just doesn't cut it.
Rockitman, you're listening to the wrong music.

The majority of music recorded from the fifties to the eighties was crap and the majority being recorded today is crap. There is a lot of good music being recorded today though, there always is. I personally enjoy spending my time searching out great music, new and old. There is more great music out there than one could possibly listen to.

I have no argument with people who prefer to spend their time tweaking their turntable to the max. That's just as legitimate a pursuit as anything I do. We can enjoy both analog and digital or one or the other. Whatever floats your boat.
Let me just add that cd, through reissues, compilations, box sets , etc, has given me access to everything from women blues shouters from the twenties, to all kinds of prewar blues and country, to everything that Hank Williams ever recorded, to Louis Jordan's jump blues, to fifties jazz, rockabilly and R&B, and on and on. I never could have collected all this stuff on Lp. Most developments have an upside and a downside.
^^^^sorry Tom, I am listening to the correct music. I have no doubt. It all comes alive in my room...Rock, Jazz and Classical. Format matters. Digital is the primary problem. It fails to capture the essence and beauty of analog mastered material.
Rockitman,
If that's been your experience with digital I can't argue with what you say
you hear. My experiences mirrors Tomcy6, very good analog and digital
music reproduction and enjoying both immensity (when set up well,
otherwise either can sound poor). I have a very large collection of jazz CDs
from the 1950 -1960s (with numerous duplicate recordings on vinyl which I
owned first). I have many newer digital recordings, both eras of these
recordings sound natural and involving. I can easily get lost in the music
and do very often. I'm currently exclusively CD redbook and just love the
sound in my home. Right now I'm listening to Roy Hargrove and his trumpet
and the accompanying musicians sound in the room present and
harmonically beautiful. To each their own I say. "Some" digital sources
can sound utterly organic and paradoxically "some" analog sources can
sound analytical and sterile, it just depends.
Charles,
I apologize to the thread. I didn't mean to turn this into another analog vs digital argument. When discussing this stuff I think we need to remember that we are talking about personal preference. All our ears and brains hear differently, and you also have the huge factor of personal taste.

So I'll just say that I'm sure that Syntax's and Rockitman's systems sound great and let you get back to discussing the lack of posts on analog matters.
Perhaps the lack of posts has to do with the inevitable digital vs analog debate ? I have gotten to the point that why bother defending the format for the benefit of others when digital leaks into the conversation ? Most people who espouse digital's superiority have no experience with well sorted analog. One party has one format....digital, The other both formats...digital and analog. I argue they are better judges of what sounds best given the same material on both formats, played on the same stereo.
Rockitman,
I used vinyl very heavily for over 25 years and have heard many fine analog systems along the way for certain. But really I agree, no point in another repeated debate. I just responded to your comments above and I probably should have left it alone (knowing what this inevitably leads to). Take care everyone.
Charles,
Tape just sounds right. Digital just sounds synthetic no matter how you slice it.
The other thing I have found, FWIW, is that there are a number of over the top record collectors- people with vast knowledge of records, whether it is rock, jazz, classical, whatever, who listen on good systems but aren't posting on gear-centric fora (or even on music forums). So, the measure of interest in vinyl or analog generally can't be taken by those who post on any of these sites. I have one friend with a vast collection of original pressings and a very good system who I've known for years. He's a member on the Hoffman forum, but almost never posts there- even about records, unless it is some discovery he has made about an obscure pressing of a favorite album. Is he interested in analog? You betcha.
I use both, but find digital far more convenient. And the sound is not bad on my good mid-level DSD DAC with some cool circuit mods. But I do like the tweak aspect of my VPI setup, and do find a real allure to the analog sound. These days I find I am ripping my vinyl to a good Tascam high res/DSD recorder and playing back the files through my DAC just for the convenience aspect. The sound is very good with this method.
+1 Syntax and Rockitman!
Rockitman, Please point out where I said anything negative about vinyl or you said anything positive about digital.
From your 1st post,
One problem...the bulk of the music engineered in digital just plain sucks.

From your 2nd post,
Digital is the primary problem.

I own a few hundred Lps and Charles1dad also said that he owns a lot of Lps.

My point about you listening to the wrong music was not about analog vs digital. This was in reference to your statement,
"Music mastered in analog from the 50's-80's.... Music that really matters sounds best in analog form....tape or vinyl."

which sounded to me like you were saying that music that was not recorded between the fifties and eighties is not "music that really matters".

What I meant was that if you haven't heard any good music that was recorded after 1989, then you're listening to the wrong music, because a lot of good music has been recorded in the last 25 years. Does anyone disagree with that statement?

Here is a quote from my 1st reply to you,
I have no argument with people who prefer to spend their time tweaking their turntable to the max. That's just as legitimate a pursuit as anything I do. We can enjoy both analog and digital or one or the other. Whatever floats your boat.
So let's see the quotes where I or Charles1dad said anything negative about vinyl.
Blueranger,
maybe you'll remember the intensive discussions we had here some years ago on nearly all interesting analog subjects, MM vs. MC, vintage tables vs. modern ones, tonearm designs, geometry issues etc. I still think when rereading all these old threads you'll still find a lot of valuable information.
We also had intensive fights among some individuals, sometimes fought with deep emotions but also respect, side stories not related to audio.Very sadly I must admit I am missing this. Nevertheless it might be a different time now and format which will not support these intensive & deep exchanges - maybe today to the good.
Thuchan, you remind me of the time when Raul and Dertonarm were active here and discussing/arguing over each of their respective tonearm designs, as well as string drive, massive platters versus direct drive and belts.

Dertonarm got busy developing analog gear and moved on. I don't know whatever happened to Raul and his tonearm.

The forums were more lively with some big personalities. I kind of miss those discussions.
The forums were more lively with some big personalities. I kind of miss those discussions.
+1

10-31-14: Downunder
Most people with turntables spinning vinyl are happy, so not as much to talk about.

That pretty much describes me. After adding a MAGI Phonomenal phono stage in early August, I've been busy listening and have little to say, except "find one if you can."
The forums were more lively with some big personalities. I kind of miss those discussions.
+1
What happened to Dertonarm and to Raul?
Sorry for the double Postings....
The Moderators are trouble-shooting...😱
I think it's because us true vinyl heads are spending more time happily listening instead of posting to the 'gon.
Stevecham,
correct! Nevertheless a good exchange on opinions and some support are always helpful?

Peterayer,
Dertonarm is building up his own analogue business, about Raul we're all speculating what happened with him and those who are in contact don't provide any information ?? mysterious in some way. Hopefully he did not sell all his gear...
There are , lucky us, still those 'big personalities' among us: J.Carr,Thuchan, Lewm, Dover, some Aussie, Herr Professor, Fleib ,etc. But considering my age those 'old times' were much better.