Apart from all the other reasons you mentioned, my reason is simple. Original well-recorded analogue records sound better than any reissues. Warts and all, there is a see-through clarity with the originals.
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For me I think there's a lot of nostalgia to it. I used to have a small but nice record collection and an OK turntable and loved listening to albums. Not songs, but the entire creation of the artist.
I bought a vintage Marantz receiver at a garage sale about 20 years ago and it came with a Marantz 6100 turntable. The turntable just sat in my garage for over a decade. I was out there one day and decided to clean it up and try it out. After a new belt and some cleaning and a new stylus, I was able to listen to some records. They didn't sound great, but there was something special about playing a record.
Now I have 5 turntables in 4 different systems and primarily spin vinyl. I have around 1,000 CDs, mostly all burned to hard drive, as well as Qobuz, Spotify, and Tidal, but prefer vinyl.
I prefer the sound of vinyl, although I have some pretty decent digital playback options also. However for me, it's really more about the tactile experience and the ritual of playing the album and the experience of active listening, versus what is often background music when I'm listening to digital sources. Perhaps some nostalgia also.
Oh no....another vinyl thread 😊
In all seriousness I get your passion for Vinyl and the whole ‘ritual’ of setting up the TT. Before this thread morphed into Vinyl vs Digital, many of us invested considerable amount of time tinkering and tweaking our systems regardless of the source i.e Vinyl, CD or Streaming.
I can tell you why I dislike Vinyl (hate is a strong word).
1. The setup is cumbersome for any newbie. Personally I don’t see Vinyl as plug n play source and don’t want to the hassle of cleaning my records or cartridge each time I pull a record out of sleeve. Not to mention the need for a massive storage of your prized vinyl collection.
2. I don’t want to re-invest in a brand new library of music after ‘wasting’ thousands of dollars in cassette tapes and CD’s.
Vinyl and CD’s will continue to co-exist but streaming is the future. I still spin CD’s but I find myself streaming more N more due to its ease and convenience.
At the end of the day, it just comes down to enjoying your favorite tunes regardless of the medium.
Like @lalitk , I think love or hate are too strong for my feelings. At some point, didn't have room for everything, and since my LP library was small, I sold a nice analog setup. That was ~20 yr ago.
What I disliked about LP was
"At the end of the day, it just comes down to enjoying your favorite tunes regardless of the medium."
Vinyl/turntables are the embodiment of analog where as other sources need to be treated with DAC’s to get back to analog sound. I can’t hear a difference with a good DAC treated source(s) verses Vinyl on my way to not being able to hear too well anyway.
Vinyl was/is "roots"....so many fell in love w/ "Hifi" via Vinyl.
I would be interesting to know the average age of folks here to see if the percentage of Vinyl aficionados goes up with age? My bet would be for the higher the age the greater percentage of Vinyl and stalwart Vinyl users.
I don't love or hate Vinyl but it requires patience (tinkering/maintenance on a far greater scale than CD's or streaming) and considerable costs over 'dah others.
Vinyl is projected to surpass CD in sales this year.It is not quite that simple, because LP sales have shown year-over-year growth for years, independent of CD sales and streaming and download revenue.
Everyone loves vinyl. Its just that some people are susceptible enough to propaganda and marketing that they can for a time deny what they're own ears are hearing. Over time though its a losing battle, and one that explains why the digitally deluded are always searching for the next great thing promising to sound "like" a record, while the music lovers who love playing records are happy to buy turntables and even records that are 20, 30, and more years old. We all know the best CD player from 1980, you couldn't give it away, while any old run of the mill 1980 Technics routinely sells for more now than when it was new. Yeah sure there's always someone who will buy the hype. Over time though the Truth will out. This is also the reason analog sales have been the fastest growth segment in the entire music industry for well over a decade now: EVERYONE loves records. Because: MUSIC!
R U Triggered? Too big a Red Pill to swallow? Well, too bad. Because its true.
When I bought my first upgraded system it was vinyl or tape. So analog only. There are certainly things to like and dislike.
What I found when jumping back in 30 years later was that vinyl reproduction had upped it's game considerably, although the Win Strain Guage at the time was eyeopening. That's a like.
MC carts with good phono preamps. Big like!
Rumble through subs. Dislike
Cleaning records. Like, it's like cooking a meal.
Less sameness from one artist to another. The biggest like as it reduces listening fatigue.
There are likes and dislikes about digital as well, but that isn't for this thread.
Simple for me. I love the music. Grew up in the golden years of vinyl. Music , much of which either isn't available or isn't available in a quality digital offering vs the original sin. I procured a very large number of albums when others were selling for pennies on the promise of perfect sound forever. I never experienced the noise on the level some digitites over emphasize it at all playing vinyl.
Digital is very good now, finally, but when you already have the music on the original media, with the original recording to do so....it's not really about nostalgia. It's about the music. At least it is for me.
Thats why I have a pretty good digital playback for all the music released digitally in recent years.
Both are great....I just feel more emotion in the music on vinyl. If some think that's nostalgia so be it...but I know it's the emotion and dynamic drive in the music vinyl has for me. Me personally, .......I've always believed none of us hear the same let alone the same preferences aural or visually. Choice is great, don't knock it, be glad you can have it.....
Why I love vinyl: (1) It reminds me of being a teenager in the 1970s and working my butt off to buy my first turntable, receiver and speakers. That work ethic helped pave a blessed road for me throughout life. It's a nice memory that I reinforce when that turntable starts spinning; (2) Most of the time vinyl sounds more cohesive to me than the same recording that has been remastered for digital; and (3) It requires you to pay attention to the music--you will be getting up and flipping that record--and that means you probably will not get distracted from the listening.
Why I hate vinyl: (1) It has me relying on people far away from me to properly grade their used vinyl that is for sale online--I've been burned, but I'm hunting the best copies I can find so I endure this reality; (2) The clicks and pops are real and distract from the listening experience--vinyl folks that deny this fact are romantics IMO; and (3) the fragility of the equipment--better be careful with that cartridge; better be careful with that tonearm. This stuff breaks if you are not careful--wait, it actually breaks even when you are careful.
Denying noise , better yet never experiencing the over emphasized claims some experienced is not romanticism for some at all.
The environment both played and stored in matters, the condition of the equipment and set up matters, whether the vinyl was cleaned properly before use matters, humidity matters, cartridge choice matters, proper grounding matters, the previous users bad habits matter on handling and playing matters as is the play the whole side vs. the selective needle dropper. All these things can magnify or minimize the noise to near nothing.
I whole heartily agree the condition far away sellers use can be disheartening. I buy these days from a couple trusted who sell play graded..
Definitely not a medium for the ham fisted or clumsy , and quite more expensive to do these days. If someone asked me that didn't already have a good collection of clean vinyl....I would recommend they look elsewhere. I respect that some experience more noise than others, ive witnessed it ,..but that doesn't change the fact some of us experience far lower noise floors playing vinyl. Actually digital has a gap for black background from brand to brand as well.
Bottom line....vinyl certainly does have more pitfalls, costs and efforts than any other....but when it shines...it almost sounds as good as reel to reel....oops. ...another war...
Don't you wish you had chosen the OTHER pill.
And to the OP, thank you for the mention and kind words in your initial OP.
Even though in my world analog rules the day I just have so much of every type of media to play records only.
Probably 2500 CD, 50 BluRay and DVD audio, 40 SACD, 150 R2R, 1000 cassette and about 1200 records.
Then there is streaming too.
In my system records probably give me the most organic and dynamic playback although r2r and cassette are both snapping at its heels.
I can't say as I love or hate any media ( well as long as we do not mention 8 track of course!).
But they are so different and individual as to cherish them all in my system.
And sure some days, like tonight I just cannot be bothered to get up and flip records so it's cassette now likely followed by Qobuz streaming.
Tomorrow might be a vinyl all day job.
I still listen to records because it is a tinkerer's dream as tooblue suggests. There is some psychological thrill in getting it just right. Vinyl has a warm euphoric quality missing from digital. Digital is more accurate but in many instances vinyl just sounds better. When you get that almost perfect pressing there is that sense of wonder and awe that such a crude method can sound so good. And lastly I have god knows how many records which I can't and don't want to abandon.
I rely on two sources the turntable and a 6TB hard drive and probably listen to both on an equal basis. I do not use headphones. I have a set which are dead flat and I use them to reorient my ears to make sure my room control system has got things right.
It reminds me of great times in my life in the 1970’s when I delivered newspapers & mowed lawns to earn money to feed my music passion. I had a Pioneer PL-10 turntable & a Pioneer SX 737 receiver. I played The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Uriah Heep, Mountain, Elvis, and everything Motown that was available in our local record store. Good days indeed.
A number of you have hit the nail on the head. Boxer has it right about the current prices of records. Twenty+ dollars for a piece of pressed plastic is ridiculous. That’s the prices you see around here in Virginia. I love records since I grew up with them, have well over a thousand, and loved rummaging through the record bins at record stores. The snap ,crackle, and pops they all have are a pain though, even on meticulously cared for LP’s.
Maybe many LP’s sound better or a little different than CD’s which I also love because they play longer and have no pops and crackles. They are less expensive usually too. A lot of them sound really good. I mostly buy them now like tooblue
As for streaming, I can’t relate to using computer technology for playing music. For me that’s for young punks only, whom I’d like to slap around sometime when they talk about it. Especially when I’d like to talk about "real" stereo equipment or records instead.. And especially more so when I went all the way to Washington DC to audition speakers and was told by a dealer they only had streaming sources for playback. That would have been just the occasion.
Truthfully, streaming sources could easily be really good, but I don’t want to adjust to them. Who says you have to be mature or sensible about what you like. I do like low fidelity YouTube videos of great rockers and jazz musicians played on cheapo computer speakers, but I feel that doesn’t count as streaming for some non-sensible reason.
I love the warmth, spatial quality and ‘syrupy contours’ that come with vinyl. I also love the quiet, clean, predictable, ease-of-playback that digital provides.
Wanting the best of both worlds I decided to give reel-to-reel tape a try. Wow!
Sibilance issues of vinyl and the harshness of digital have abated. Tape is not as romantic sounding as vinyl nor is it as noise free as digital. But it just has this natural contrast and open space to it, like a clear transmission of what was recorded—on tape—without conversion to another medium (cd or vinyl). The tape medium is the perfect size, just about book sized and if you are carful it’s way less fragile and finicky than vinyl and not as cold and detached as playing a digital disc.
Vinyl is fun but too much to worry about in setting up your table, cleaning everything all the time, worrying about static and being super careful handling the records themself, hurts those of us with OCD. Too much to worry about to know you are getting the best experience possible.
Plus with tape you pretty much have to listen to at least a whole side each time you put one on. It’s just good for the tape and good for your soul!
I love physical media. But with the music I listen to I prefer vinyl. Having had cd’s and cassette in the past, they always seemed to me to be the “convenient” alternative to vinyl though both can sound great.
Plus the music I love Pretty never gets the 24/192 treatment which is fine as a lot of it is fringe music and things that scare the straights.
Skyscraper is right about streaming although I think there are now a couple of sources that stream high res files the vast majority of it is compressed files which to every audiophile's ears sound crappy. But, if you download high res files to a hard drive it is a much different story. There are times where the computer sounds better than the vinyl particularly with digital recordings. You should hear a high res copy of the Trinity Sessions.
I hate CDs. They are a crappy collectible with crappy cases that crack when you sneeze. Little paper folders you can't read that tear when you try to get them out. Records are a much different situation. The Record cover is a canvass for great art work. Just ask Neon Park (Weezles Rip My Flesh, Little Feat.) They feel great in your hand and you can read them easily. I think they look great neatly stored. Yes the price is high but in most cases the quality is much better than what we use to get (just stay away from Rhino records, terrible. Even the 180 gm ones.) I tend to buy analog recordings on vinyl, anything recorded before 1980 on standard labels. Then there is the cartridge rolling:)
Are you serious on the compressed files streaming?
Sure if you stick to iTunes or Spotify that is what you will find.
But no serious listener stops there
Tidal, Deezer or Qobuz ALL have hirez streaming 24/96 and 24/192 with Qobuz being the best of the bunch so far imho.
You have to pay to play of course $ 20 to $24 a month depending on plan but then unlimited access to millions of albums.
I have already said my piece on analog playback but streaming is NOT to be dismissed so lightly today I am afraid.
@toicat, I too had the paper route and cut grass to fuel my passions, of which I had a few. Looked at that Pioneer 737 but wound up with the Sony STR7045 which was very close in power @ 30 watts and was $30.00 cheaper but loved the life I lived. @skyscraper, thanks for the laff, now get off my grass. Enjoy the music
“I hate CDs. They are a crappy collectible with crappy cases that crack when you sneeze. Little paper folders you can’t read that tear when you try to get them out”
I am going to keep it short n sweet since this thread isn’t about CD’s. It seems you haven’t seen or heard the XRCD24’s. They are not cheap but worth every penny in terms of sound quality, which is stunning in every aspect.
I think I’ve had a dozen different turntables in my past and have an album collection of 40 years. I just sold my Hanss T-60 tt and everything associated with it except for my albums, which I’m selling now. Just because you buy an album doesn’t mean it will sound good. Some of the best music and most of the worst sounding music comes from analog from a tt. It boils down to recordings.
During the past several years in the form of hires/SACD/DSD/MQA, I prefer digital the majority of the time. Also, the latest dacs are far superior to dacs of just a few years ago.
A lot of vinyl people state they prefer vinyl to digital because they can look at the album liner notes while listening. Have any of these people looked at or used Roon? Probably not. Roon gives you much more info and at the same time gives me current updates on the artist and current tour stops.
The old digital used to be very harsh and it still is if not played on decent equipment. Digital will always be more quiet and have more dynamic range over albums.
The biggest vinyl drawbacks for me were:
Most albums are from the past, most of the newer (last 20 years) jazz and rock artists I listen to don’t produce vinyl,
albums are noisy over time, it costs substantially more to get great sound out of vinyl, and the hassle of the maintenance.
The best sound I have heard from vinyl have come from good quality mono pressings, much better sounding than their stereo pressings
Great post. It all comes down to the original source of the recorded media. Vinyl being the oldest format has some of the best recorded material. I found many recordings on Tidal/ Qobuz and XRCD’s that are well recorded and very engaging.
The key here is to have a decent system, be it analog or digital. Some of the responses I have seen here are boiling down to their ‘resistance’ for a change. They are probably ‘afraid’ what if I end up preferring the streaming over LP’s 😊
Uberwaltz, thanx for the update. I have not paid much attention to it. I only steam Pandora in the office. It is free if you don't mind an occasional ad.
Lalitk, I did not say anything about the sound, just that I don't like collecting them. All my optical discs have been transferred to the hard drive. I took them all to Bull Moose Music and traded them in for....Records! $1500.00 worth. How much fun can you have on a Sunday:)
Latitk, I have absolutely no problem with digital. My front end is entirely digital. Has been for 20 years! My phono amp even runs through a Benchmark ADC. I buy high res files from HD Tracks and Acoustic Sounds on a weekly basis. But, I collect music. To me streaming is not collecting. IMHO Records are a better collectible than hard copies of digital files.
Here's one for you. You could get a Reel to Reel and record the streamed files in real time. Now you have me thinking....
Mijostyn-you did an illegal thing and you’re bragging about it online? No different than a bank robber bragging about his heist on Facebook.
Lalitk- some of the worst sounding albums are from many decades ago too. Most of the remastered material I own is better than the original release unless the original was full range. My biggest gripe of the older material is all the compression they had (still do in analog to some extent) to perform, which is why analog sounds so smooth/non-fatiguing.
I’ve been listening to Fourplay all morning using my PS Audio DS dac and it sounds as good as any vinyl, smooth, quiet, and with dynamic range. I have always liked DSD, and since the DS dac converts redbook to DSD, I can see why this sounds as good as it does, all at the same time looking at Roon’s liner notes
rbstehno, It all depends on how you do things. Once set up I go a decade or more between cartridges changes. I use a dust cover and a conductive sweep arm. My records never get dirty, I never have to clean them. All my records sound as good as the day I got them. There is very little wear because plat time is distributed over thousands of records.
I love flipping people out when I tell them they are listening to a record not digital. Yes, I am an old guy and I can not deny there is a lot of tradition and nostalgia in this. But, I am also a very early adopter. I was using DSP technology long before most people knew what they were.
I started using subwoofers in 1978.
I guess I love everything that makes listening to music better and collecting easier. Now I am going to get a Reel to Reel and start recording streamed files:)))
rbstehno, I have not done anything illegal...yet. There is nothing the streaming services can do to prevent people from making analog recordings of streamed material and as long as people are not selling it to others I have absolutely no problem with it.
Uberwaltz, do you sign any kind of agreement when you purchase streaming rights not to make analog recordings of the files?
Tbh I have never read the small print that goes along with hitting that little box saying I accept the terms and regulations maybe I should have ... Lol
Because that is EXACTLY what I do.
I have some fantastic R2R copies streamed direct from Qobuz 24/ 96 hirez files.
Maybe it is not legal, I do not know but it is not the first time I have mentioned this in these forums and nobody has ever got bent out of shape over it.
And when I replay those reels it is magical and the tape seems to give it that little bit of warmth and air that makes it so enjoyable and just downright foot tapping good!
Then it is a VERY hard call between the record or the reel......