Vinyl Record Cafe's

The other day I was in the SF Bay Area (Vallejo CA) and walked into a Cafe there called Nathan's and they have a public turntable for people to bring in their own records while sipping coffee or tea.

It was a big hit and everyone loved it.

I got into a discussion with a younger patron who didn't know why it sounded good. What do you tell people who are interested in analog.. why it's better etc?
"What do you tell people who are interested in analog.. why it's better etc?
Astralography (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

You don't tell them anything. The best way to deal with this type of thing is to play some records. Most people won't believe that a record will sound better than a CD, or any other digital format, even if you tell them. They have to hear it for themselves.
I would hope that the younger generation who has only listened to MP3s on ipods or computer audio would be able to hear the difference.
In a cafe setting like this where you play an LP for one of these youngsters, the SQ of the music should be evident. You should tell them to sit back and enjoy it.
And definitely don't bore them with tales about the old days of record cutting. :)

It's a cool place.
After a bit of discussion, I told them I have a huge collection of vinyl and they asked if I would bring some things down. So on Thursday, I am going to play 4 albums in their entirety.

Jeff Beck "Blow by Blow"
The Beatles "Revolver"
Stevie Wonder "Fulfillingness' First Finale"
Bob Marley "Rastaman Vibration"

Good way to kick it off?
Great way to kick it off!
I prefer to play my records home in my equipment I trust.
I'd rather go live concert than going to cafe and listen to some punk rock on vinyl.
I think you are doing a GREAT service by exposing those folks to the albums you chose - good on ya! And don't listen to the naysayers who are dumping on your idea - nothing but spoiled audiophiles...

Great way to go, as long as there is some music they're familiar with. If they're 20 some things, it's a tough call.
I am not sure that a noisy cafe is the best place to hear the benefits of vinyl. IMHO, the novelty is the customer's ability to play their own music.

A better method would be to have a blue tooth capable player to allow customers to stream music directly from their smart phone. I for one wouldn't want to bring my prized vinyl to be played on a "cafe" turntable of unknown setup and cartridge condition.
"03-11-15: Czarivey
I prefer to play my records home in my equipment I trust.
I'd rather go live concert than going to cafe and listen to some punk rock on vinyl.
Czarivey (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

Well its a good thing he's not using your records.
I'll be there in spirit with ya'. Do it up!!!
Check out the TT and cart they're using and bring your back-up vinyl. (clean the pops out of them or you'll really have some splaining to do).

"what are those noises? my ipod doesn't do that"
It's a really small beatnik kind of place.. couches, but interesting patrons. I met a trombone player who has played Carnegie Hall, and an documentary film maker who is in her late 20's. It's a hip place and they love the idea.

It will just be one spin on the deck. Can't imagine it destroying my records. Technics and I think some kind of Shure cartridge.

Culturally it's very mixed, so I'll do my best to keep the music ethnically diverse.

The next week I am thinking Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" then Santana's first. Follow that with Dylan's Highway Revisited, and then end the night with something more modern like The Smiths "Meat is Murder".

I'll need to play some soul, Aretha, Marvin, and then play some more progressive stuff like Tales from Topographic Oceans.

There is just so much stuff to play it's almost mind boggling.

I don't really listen to much modern music. It sounds too processed and I don't like the digital sound that much. It sounds clean but sterile.

The other reason is that I am still trying to get caught up on all the great music that happened between 1955 and 1980.

Until I have heard all of it, I can't see investing in new music that probably isn't as innovative.

I have zero interest in anything electronica... I have to sense some human interplay between musicians or I lose interest.
It sounds like the crowd at this cafe has the same listening preferences as you... human-made music. Great idea, and kudos for sharing your passion.

That said, a single spin with a damaged or incorrectly set up cartridge CAN ruin a vinyl record. A few precautions:
- bring a sliver of Magic Eraser + stylus brush and clean the stylus before each side; it only takes a second, will probably improve the sound and will definitely be safer for your records
- make SURE the VTF is set in the upper half of the range recommended for the cartridge; don't trust the dial on the tonearm, bring a VTF scale; more records have been ruined by too-low VTF than all other causes combined.

It was an amazing success. There must have been nearly 50 people who stopped by and loved it. There were no seats left and people had to stand or some were out on the sidewalk still digging the music. I think Jeff Beck's "Blow by Blow" was the biggest hit of the night. A few younger people said they loved the funky groovy feel of the record. Everyone said the sound was better than anything digital they had heard recently.

I'll be doing it again next Thursday.
I will spin:

ELP "Tarkus"
Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed"
Miles Davis "In a Silent Way"
Ravi Shankar "Live in NYC"
Congrats. It's like you were holding court.
This is a great idea for raising awareness of vinyl and audiophilia. I hope hifi gear makers/sellers and record store owners reach out to local cafes and business to promote this. Instead of the ubiquitous "Free Wifi" sign, wouldn't it be cool to see "BYO Vinyl" or something like that catch on.
I like vinyl. It sounds so much better and everyone there agreed. I'm motivated to upgrade the system in there. It's not a great system by standards here, but still sounded great compared to Pandora or other digital offerings.

I think there was more to the era of classic vinyl that people understand. I am also a musician and at least for me, the digital era of Pro Tools and digital editing has lowered the bar and allowed too many poor or even no musicians to enter the game. It's brought the quality down considerably.

I have an all analog studio, tape machines, all tube amps and I tracked with a bass player three songs... all first takes. It would have taken a Pro Tools musician weeks to do what we did, and they would never get the live feel and interplay.

I do want to educate people's ears to either the way things should be, or remind the folks of my generation what they have been missing.

The recording of music by musicians should be simple if the players and instruments sound are good and the music is happening.

Record it on tape, mix it on 1/2 track tape, press it on vinyl.

I really do think it was better the old way.
This week 3 I will spin up

Issac Hayes "To be Continued"
Blind Faith
Grateful Dead "Blues for Allah"
The Doors "LA Woman"
Digital completed the job of what transistors started, namely the ruination of reproduced music in the home. Yes, CDs can sound great ... but MP3's? Bleech! I can put Paul Desmond right there between the speakers sounding live ... with a mono record. Try that with digital.
I completely agree with you Oregonpapa. Tubes and a good "original" mono pressing knock a newbies socks off every time.
Agree Oregonpapa and Elinor, I haven't listened to digital in my rig since I got back into analog, don't have any hooked up. I can spot digital a mile away, especially at shows.
Love it! Good for you, Astralography. Out of curiosity, what is the turntable and cartridge? In my experience, the need for an expensive tt to show off the good things vinyl does well is often exaggerated.