I have found that a typical problem is that as you spend more money on a system you tend to listen to the system more than music. How is the bass, the dynamics, the resolution etc. instead of what is mozart trying to say in that piece. I don't think it is a cd vs vinyl thing because I can enjoy both.
for an experiment, you could probably replicate your old system (for the cost of a 'cheap' interconnect...), buy a few albums, and see the difference between your recollection of it and the reality. it'd probably be better than you expect for that kind of $... but not as good as you remember it being.
for me the differences between CD and Vinyl primarily lie in sound quality and dynamic range. even with my system(s) comprised of high end gear of mixed vintage, the differences are stark.
i found that most of my commercially recorded CDs sound horrible. beyond that, most modern recordings have little or no dynamic range which becomes tedious pretty quickly.
i will say that i rarely put on a record without sitting down to listen, tho i will pop a CD on and move about the house, doing various things, or take CDs along in the car to listen. so there is a big difference in HOW i listen to either medium. i have two systems, one up in the living room (no TT) where i don't always sit and listen, and the other in the basement, where i almost always sit and listen.
Buy some used vinyl gear on A'gon that you could turn around and sell if necessary, buy some new vinyl, and see if you find the magic again.
I did. Very light now on digital.
First thing I bought that changed my thinking was a Clearaudio Performance table, and a simple Sumiko Blackbird cartridge.
It was magic.
I don't think that vinyl or the digital sources has seen an improvement as much as speakers and a lot of the other components of a system has over the years since the 70s.
I am 61 years old, and have been into 'hifi' since a teen.(first system: J.B.Lansing, Fisher, Garrard)
My take on the phenomena of 'the good old days' is one of age. back then, being young, and life was good. What more could one want?
Now, reminiscing, all that gets mushed together, so not just the glory of being young, but whatever was happening gets to be "golden'ified" by association. This seems to be a normal process, and has been going on as long as recorded personal memoirs have been made. Like a first love, compared to the tenth.. Can't help it.
So, for that 'Rose colored memory' I personally salute it, but have enough sense to know it is a romantic fantasy.
Thanks for the replies. I do have at least 200 records that I saved from the 70's & 80's so I have plenty of vinyl already. Yes Elizabeth living was great when we were young and carefree. Maybe this is why vintage equipment is starting to become popular with some audiophiles, or perhaps some of that vintage gear has some of the magic that most of the current products lack. Anyway I am still looking for more replies on who has gone back to listening mostly to vinyl and what type of cash outlay was needed to satisfy you vinyl needs.
You're 40 years older. Of course the music sounded better back then. I can think of hundreds of things that seemed better back in the 70s.
Getting old sucks but the alternative is not acceptable.
My Cd stuff is not as good as my LP sound. By a small margin. I still listen to mainly Cds, because i am really lazy. i can pop 5 disks into the changer and go all day long. When i play Lps, i have to be much more involved. So 90% of my time is CDs anyway.
The Lp sound is slightly cleaner and clearer, definitely more subtle dynamics in Lp playback. I just mostly like to listen to music, so I do not worry too much about CD vs LP.
When I want to listen to stuff i have on LP, then I play LPs.
On the other hand, When my system has left me not wanting to listen, past experience has shown it is something wrong with the system. I went from a Hafler DH110 preamp, to a Sony digital (first one) that had all sorts of (bells and whistles) stuff it could do. Problem was i stopped listening to music! So after wondering about what was wrong, i got rid of the Sony crap, and bought a Counterpoint Preamp, Loved that
The point being the Sony killed my interest. Without knowing why I just stopped listening, and only in reflection did i realize it was the sterile sound caused by the Sony.
So on that side i would say something in your current system you think is OK, really is crap, and you need to find what it is, and get something that pleases your 'inner ear' Your soul, your heart.
Getting an LP playback setup added to your system might solve the problem momentarily, but if the underlying problem is in the non CD portion of your setup, it is NOT going to solve the real issue, your setup leaves you unsatisfied. If you are lucky, and the only problem was in your CD setup, then you may be very happy to have added vinyl playback.
As for money to spend? $6 grand should be enough to buy a nice TT, with arm installed, and a decent cart, and a Phono pre. $1,000 to $1,600 used TT+arm, $700 to $1000 new cart, and a phono pre used $1,000 to $2,000
All new $6,000.
So you want a dollar amount $6,000 new, $4,500 used with a new cartridge.
For ANYONE interested in LP playback: It is a FAD!! Everyone thinks "Should I?" Well, telling you straight up: NO! Unless you have a personal need to want to play records. It is going to be awaste of time. The hassles, and rituals of playing Lps get tired really fast!! Unless you have an inner need for them, skip the waste of time it will be, if you don't have need in your gut demanding to play LPs. I went back because i am nuts in general, and had nothing better to burn money on. (AND have a fantastic array of used vinyl locally) I am glad i did, because it add a new source of music for me. But as for if it is worth it... only you can decide. And the idea of a dollar amount to spend to reach what will please you, considering you are not happy with your system now...
This is my take on what you posted.
If i am wrong, i apologize. But IMO you should find out what is leaving you cold about your current system BEFORE jumping into Lps.
Whne You love your CD playback and THEN also want to play LPs.. well great!!!
Elizabeth has points. Vinyl is not for the faint of heart. I am attempting to go back to vinyl these days, but I am still drawn to the ease of digital- especially with music servers.
I thank you for your remarks. I actually do enjoy the sound of my system but if my faint memory remembers correctly I just remember enjoying the music instead of worrying about the equipment that I currently have. Was that because back in the 70's I didn't have the money to upgrade or I simply enjoyed my stereo? Proably both! I asked about the investment amount needed for a TT setup simply because my gut feeling is a cheaper setup like a Rega 3 might be good but lacking in many ways and if I do reinvestment in a turntable I want to give it a decent shot. As I suggested in the title of my thread I must be crazy.
Many systems today can be highly detailed (bright) and lack warmth and texture(flat). If you craft a synergistic system around what you want, there is no doubt in my mind that you can have a great high performance system. My experience leads me to tube based system, higher efficiency speakers, and vinyl playback.
I played a CD today for first time in a long time and only because I was listening to a particular artist and didn't have that particular title on vinyl. It was good but not as great as listening to my vinyls.
Are you sure that the problem is not simply that your present high quality system is revealing deficiencies in the recordings that your 1970's system did not reveal? In which case vinyl vs. cd has nothing to do with it.
Just a thought. Regards,
That is certainly a possibility.
I think since I started reading equipment reviews in Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, etc., that I tend to think more about how the equipment is performing and how it's affecting the sound, versus just listening and enjoying the music before I started reading these mags. Other times I just listen to music without regard to how the equipment is performing, but it takes more effort to do so. Reading hifi reviews has sensitized me more to focusing on the equipment and performance, rather than just enjoying the music. I have been into hifi since 1969, with KLH speakers, Scott receiver, and Dual turntable and I enjoyed the music without focusing on the equipment, even though by today's standards that equipment was limited in performance. This was prior to my focusing on equipment reviews.
So, I guess if one just wants to focus on enjoying the music, and not the equipment, maybe stop reading hifi mags and equipment reviews. It may help.
My first "high end system" consisted of a Yamaha receiver (forgot the model #, but it was the first year of their "digital" tuners), a Bang & Olufsen Beogram 3404 table, and Mission 717 speakers. I bought it all from Audio Breakthroughs on Long Island back in 1981. The music was sublime, and I loved every minute of listening.
My system now is considerably "better," and I really love the way it sounds. For me, it's always been all about the music. Of course, I can buy better components that I now have, but, for me, the music still sounds incredible, and I love my evening listening sessions. I love listening to music, and I don't think I ever listen to the electronics. And now, I am really, really enjoying vinyl. I still have most of the 500 or so LP's from my 1970's college days, and I've bought about another 300 LP's over the past few years. I also have about 700 CD's, and I have a computer --USB DAC source as well. Whatever the source.....the music is what matters !!!
Ask a witness what occurred during the "crime" and they will recall most accurately within the first 24 hours. Every 24 hours later, accurate recall diminishes dramatically. 40 years later...it's the emotions tied to the music or event we recall. These feelings tied to an event, like in your case music, can make listening to music with your head stuck in a toilet to be the most memorable moments in your life... possibly the most enjoy full.
Disclaimer: do NOT stick your head in the toilet...unless you're planning on flushing.
I imagine you have a good system if your cables are as expensive as you imply. Consequently, "dabble" in vinyl won't be a huge equipment outlay as a good turntable, cartidge, and a moderate priced tube phono stage might give you a taste of vinyl magic for your curiosity. I think a turntable w/cartridge in the $900 range and a good used tube phono stage for $3-500 should get you back in the ball game. If you don't like it, you can sell it without much of a loss. I came back using a used B&O I had forgotten I had and with a $100 phono stage got hooked. Got a better phono stage, than a VPI turntable. Now, I'm 90% vinyl for music listening. Also, replacing my solid state with tube gear (first with a preamp and later amp) finally got me to the full analog heaven. Now, I can't listen to any digital source for long after getting used to the warmth and lush sound of tube analog. I hope it works for you as I'm a music lover of your same generation and taste. Best wishes and happy listening.
The 70's system was a all vinyl system and my current system I strictly listen to Cd's. Is that the problem listening to CD's?
All the nostalgia aside, it seems you answered your own question. I remember one of the Stereophile reviewers stating that a correctly set up analog system will always beat a digital system, or something close to it. I don't have a problem with people enjoying their CDs, but for me personally, a digital system can NEVER be as enjoyable as analog so I don't subscribe to the "enjoy your music irrespective of the medium" camp. To me, my system and my music are one organic whole; one cannot exist without the other to provide ME with an enjoyable experience. My tube amp smells like music to me when it's on; the smell of hot tubes evokes a visceral sensation that I associate with listening to beautiful music. The organic sound of vinyl simply cannot be matched by CD, SACDs, or whatever else they come up with out there because digital's very existence is predicated on a flawed concept - it tries to reproduce what is a purely human creation. Perhaps I'm getting too philosophical here so here's my stance on the reason you don't like your CDs: the only way to truly experience music and fully appreciate its beauty is through analog playback. Digital playback should be left for boring work commutes and cleaning as background filler.
You are not crazy. Go back to vinyl, you will really enjoy it just as much as you did before.
I find that the only thing I can play my hundreds of LPs on is a turntable/LP player. If I try to cram an LP into a CD player it bends to crap and makes me look like a fool. Or set an LP next to my Squeezebox Touch...nothing. It doesn't work. SO...I use a Linn/Akito/AT400mla...that seems to do the trick!
Do the analysis of the value of the dollar over time and see if you really are paying so much more today than yesterday. Granted, most of us have more buying power than we did back in the 70's. My experiences then and now tell me unequivocally that my current system is light years beyond what I could have obtained back then.
Analog sound creates a different experience than digital. You feel it in your stomach like a cup of warm milk. Digital assaults your eardrums and eventually causes listener fatigue, no matter how good your system. I get the complete "analog" experience from my very modest $400 turntable as well as from my much more expensive 2nd system. Vinyl also allows you to bypass the glut of today's poorly mastered, slammed to the limit digital recordings. A turntable is a "must have" if you love music, at least until something better comes along.
Yesterday I spent a good bit of my time at my kitchen table, working on my laptop, and listening to vinyl through a pair of cheap ($250) bookshelf speakers that sit way on top of my kitchen cabinets. These speakers are connected to a receiver via romex electric wire with at least a 40' run. My wife was cooking and my daughter was doing stuff on her PC and we were playing Linda Rondstadt, Stones, and Radiohead and Of Montreal and we were all enjoying it very much.
Yes, you are so right. I so hate CDs. I love all my Vinyl. You certainly need to go back to vinyl. Enjoy you music - not the format.
I have gotten some great replys. I have decided to jump back into vinyl. I will start out slow and if I enjoy the music and experience of using a TT I can upgrade later. Realizing that the vinyl system will be only as good as the weakest link with a budget around $2000 - $3000 what percentage should be allocated to the TT, phono pre & cartridge?
Bob - I went back to vinyl about 4 years ago and have not sat down on my main system and listened to a CD since. It is that big of a difference for me.
The only 3 things I don't like about it: cleaning records, flipping sides (20 or so minutes only) and not all my favorite artists are on vinyl.
Sonically there is no comparison.
I would get used table/arm for about $1500, would add $750-$1000 used phono and $500 new cartridge.
Short answer: Get a turntable!
There is such a vast disparity in the musicality between what we hear from LPs and digital (and the digital playback is not "low rent")that digital is mostly for background music and those times when one does not want to be distracted by having to flip a record.
If you really LOVE music it is THE way to go.
Bob, lets say 3000. You can get MANY great cartridges anywhere between 200 to 10000. So, I would make that your last expenditure. The TT and phono pre is where the money should go. I would look for a TT in the 1500 range and a pre in the 1000 dollar range. 500 should get you a great starter cartridge.
Inna & Artis4n,
That is the type of advise I am now looking for. Both of you are recommending spending most of my budget on a tt/arm combo & phone preamp. Buying used is certainly an option I will strongly look at. I could also increase my budget some. Thanks, keep them coming.
Getting into vinyl makes no sense if you don't already own records. The sonics vary from one LP to the next. CD's vary from one to the next, there is no consistency. If you got your records get a rig, however; if you must, 3K will take you to nirvana.
I like the responses from the Vinyl lovers. I have both CD and vinyl.
I have to run my DAC through a tubed preamp used just as a makeshift tube buffer (and actually have to leave a cheaper powercord ON that VAC Standard, or it lets too much of the crap through...) I use the buffer to ameliorate the HF crap from digital to be able to listen to it. But as it is now, i can. I do listen more to CDs than Lps because i am really, really lazy. Since i listen at least 10 hours or more every single day, I hope the Vinyl lovers will forgive me. My vinyl setup IS better than my CD, but I just use what is easier.
So I have 6,000 LPs two TTs, and only 3,000 CDs (with tons of both formats for many albums)
Maybe I am not really an audiophile?
(no, I AM an audiophile, just a really LAZY one!)
Orpheus10, $3k or any amount for that matter will not get us to nirvana. Sorry.
Elizabeth, we will not forgive you, don't even think about it. And you are certainly not lazy to write a lot about how lazy you are.
I have 200+ records and at least 100 78's. I am also aware that new records can be very expensive but what isn't expensive. There are still retail stores that I know that sell new and used vinyl and very reasonable costs.
you can only reach nirvana through the eightfold path
table, arm, cart, phono, cleaning, alignment, isolation, and recordings
Yeah, the cost of records, both new and used, is something to consider if you plan to expand or/and improve your collection. In my case it is $20-$25 per record on average, this includes the cost of shipping from places like Japan and Germany. I have $4 records and I have $100 records. I don't go over $100, this must be something incredible for me to do it.
I was referring to the "poor man's" delusional nirvana. There is no comparison between the rigs discussed here and the one's we listened to in the 70's. If you are aware of the price of the trip to paradise, enjoy the journey. You will experience new sensations, when you hear those old records on a new rig.
I recently read about an audiophile who owns a new Joule Electra Pre, a CAT amp, and listens exclusively to PC. Vinyl ripped to PC via a megabuck rig, sounds as good coming out, as it did going in. I listen to vinyl and digital via the PC playback list. I can not hear any loss of sonics.
Elizabeth, while I have read about a lot of amps, ARC is the best I have actually heard.
Inna, I never shop for cheap records because my "objects of desire" are too unique; they usually cost $30 or $35. There are people willing to pay $200. for some of my records, I have pointed them out to my heirs.
Sorry but you're not going to replicate the sound of vinyl with digital. Not any digital. I've tried numerous times with the Weiss ADC in my studio going to 24/192 and re-playing on my Weiss DAC1. There may be more expensive "digital rigs" but few that sound better, and the vinyl still kills it.
Sorry, I wear a hair shirt to atone for my wayward ways....
Anyway i have a great selection of used Lps in my area. I can go to four good used places and find Lps I want in the $1 to $8 range anytime. With the good places, i do not even have to bother with the less than stellar places!!
I don't buy any Lps unless they look pristine either. I keep my collecton at the 6,000 limit of my shelves, and gradually toss stuff when my new purchases start crowding the space up. So the collection has been improving gradually and now i can say it is pretty good. I usually suggest to folks interested in starting to do LPs, that they should check out the used LP sellers in thier area first, to see what sort of vinyl is available locally.
And i will beat myself with a stick again for listening to CDs. (but not very hard or long, being lazy ;)
My computer man (I refuse to call him a geek) has a degree and a number of certificates. I don't know or care, how he has arranged a modified phono input and DAC output that allows me to hear vinyl from my playback list which sounds the same as if I were spinning it on the rig.
Then your computer man has solved the audio problem that has eluded the entire recording industry since the inception of digital. Having digital sound the same as analog and having it sound the same to you are two different matters. If he's devised a digital system that authentically duplicates the sound of analog, he's going to be a rich man and I'll gladly be his first customer.
The playback sounds better than straight to the pre. This could be due to the modified phono input to the computer.
Duaneadam, which sounds the best, CD's from your CD player, or CD's from your playback on the PC.
Could be your pre is sending your analog signal through a digital processor which would explain why you're not hearing much difference. My CD players and computers route to the same converter (Weiss DAC1MK2) so the difference is negligible.
When I rip vinyl to the PC it goes to MM on an Audiolab 8000-C, line out to line in of a modified DAK 2800-PC. All the capacitors in this unit have been exchanged for Nichicon Muse. This required rebuilding it to accommodate the physically larger capacitors. Phono amp out to line in of computer. After it's stored on the hardrive, it comes out digital to a Music Streamer II, and from there to the input of a modified Audible Illusions Pre.
The question I asked involved the difference, if any, between a CD from your playback list on the PC, as opposed to the same CD from your CD player.
If you're using that conversion system and can't hear the difference between your records and your hard drive files then I don't what to say. You should be able to hear the difference from across the street at rush hour.
The solution is simple for me, I do have much invested in my analog setup because the most critical listening I do is in the living room. Now, I also have other systems that I do more casual listening, and here is where my Denon CDR comes into play. I record directly from my phono pre into the Denon via RCA or XLR. You cant get any better than that IMO. I then listen to those recording on my other systems...including my car stereo. The recordings beat the heck out of the same music purchase on CD. I then can convert the recorded cd's into any format that I want through the PC. This way I can archive my recordings into lossless format for any time I want to make a copy. All this through a 500 dollar Denon professional CDR.
From across the Atlantic at any hour. Orpheus10, this sounds strange to me, really.
Just reading about your set-up makes me NEVER even want to try to replicate it. Part of the allure of the analog experience is the physical and tactile sensation of cuing the tonearm in and dropping the stylus onto the vinyl. And that's even before the sound comes. And when it does come, it cannot be replicated. Burning, ripping, converting, recording, processing, storing, etc., vinyl is as close to the analog experience as is licking ice cream through a glass window to tasting real ice cream. Stop licking the window and get the real ice cream, man!