Just curious if anyone else here is as deeply fallen into vinyl records as I have. Do you think they’re superior in sound quality? Do you find them overpriced and obsolete? Long time collectors or just starting?
For myself, I’ve been collecting them for a while, but have yet to break past having 100 of them (I’m not counting all the discs of double LPs or collections) but I am glad they’re a thing that’s been coming back with a vengeance. I even got one of those turntables with a really nice direct drive motor so it can compensate if the record has any imperfection in the play speed.
As for why, its really just that… for me at least, listening to a record is very much a kind of ritual type thing. Pulling a big disc out of the sleeve with pretty art, setting it on the turntable, and setting it up for the needle to lower down to start playing and then just letting it go… there’s no track skipping (well, not easy track skipping at least) and you kinda have to be paying attention to it as it happens, cause then you have to get up and flip the record to the other side, or switch discs as it may need to be.
I like vinyl’s a hecka lot. My collection is pretty sparse, but I have some of my favorites. I just love the amount of care that go into them, whether it be the art inside or the lyric sheets. One of my favorites at the moment is my Bon Iver 22, A Million. The art is right up my alley and I love how the lyric sheet is layed out.
Well, it’s the ritual thing for me too. I mentioned this over in the album thread but there’s something a little bit reverent about the album format that comes with playing Vinyl that I get enjoyment from.
As for audio quality, luckily we don’t really have to guess at this, because thanks to sampling theorem and various other concepts the various factors which affect sound reproduction quality and fidelity are fairly well understood, and what it tells us is that vinyl isn’t inherently better quality in raw numbers terms:
It’s an analog format, but at the sampling rates used in modern sound reproduction, even of the compressed variety, digital to analog conversion is more than capable of reproducing the analog signal in a way that is indistinguishable to the human ear.
The maximum potential dynamic range (i.e. difference between the loudest and softest sound) is much better in modern digital formats. Most music is delivered at 16bit (which is more than enough for final mastered music) and sometimes at 24bit (which is overkill for listening but is good for providing mixing wiggle room while working on tracks). Vinyl is about equivalent to 12bit, based on the signal-to-noise ratio.
However, sometimes vinyl masters are mastered with a higher dynamic range because the loudness wars mean that digital music is delivered more and more compressed (the quietest and loudest sounds are closer together) even though there’s no physical reason this has to be the case. Vinyl tends to be mastered a little quieter, and once in a while less compressed. Most of the time though they’re basically the same nowadays because records aren’t very often using a lot of that dynamic range.
Vinyl degrades in quality over time, of course, and the equipment you play it on before you even get to speakers can make a lot of difference. Some people like vinyl because of the quality of these things, and how they change the sound, the added noise being pleasing to them, but that’s a rather more subjective matter.
The sound quality thing always been a super “meh” thing to me, if only because… I guess it doesn’t matter to me that much? Which seems even more dumb because I went to school for audio engineering so I totally understand the science behind all of it.
But I guess its something like… if I put down a record for friends, it gives the idea that this is something that’s kind of a big deal. It isn’t just share a link “hey listen to this” like people pay attention. Hence why I generally focus on getting albums that I feel are super important… or sometimes just super weird.
BUT as long as people are wanting to support vinyl being a thing, especially as the CD is more or less dying, I’m more than happy for it to exist. Especially now with how many new artists and high quality reissues are being made.
vinyls are cool imo. it’s nice to have big ol folder things with cool album art on it and get lyric sheets and stuff, and vinyl is like, technologically really bananas (sound from grooves??? wtf) so just having records and being able to hold them and stuff is neat to me. it’s also cool to own something that was made a long long long time ago, although admittedly I have no idea which of my records are actually that old and which are reissues.
I mostly get newer records these days, though, cause I get them at shows. I love band shirts as much as anybody but if a band has a cool looking record and put on a good show I like to show them the support.
I like getting limited edition/“special” stuff a lot too. I bought a record (Nonagon Infinity) at a show recently that’s, of course, 9-sided (a nonagon). and I got the Undertale & Earthbound soundtracks that came out over the past year or so which are really dang cool.
I love Vinyl. I like buying those big nonsense boxsets like Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, and Mogwai’s Central Belters. It’s a ritual thing for me too, and I also think that they look really nice to have, although mine have been battered quite a lot in moving around, damaging the sleeves a little. A shame.
I mostly collect vinyl because nowadays I usually just put my song library on shuffle & listen to whatever. However there are days, or times in a day where I want to dive into a certain mood/headspace or listen to a single album in full & vinyl kind of forces me to do that. I also really like album art.
I don’t hear a real difference between audio quality but I really like hearing that initial sound of the needle touching the record for some reason.
My partner tends to not like most of the music I listen to so I’d usually only listen when they were gone (unless it was Beethoven (which they don’t apparently care for?)) but I’d probably listen mostly to Damaged by Black Flag the most. Despite our musical differences though the person who has stacked my vinyl collection the most is my partner who got me Out of Step by Minor Threat over the last winter holiday & … For the Whole World to See by Death which are both imo pretty good.
While I was living at my parents I’d use my dads old audio set up that I found & “put back together” but now that I’ve moved out I have no space for a sound system. What are people listening with?
Ah yeah, I use that as well! Partially because it makes it easier when friends ask what records I have, but also cause sometimes it’s amusing to see which records of mine have an insanely high value for some reason I don’t know but its best not to ask.
That and its also a great place to buy records. I’ve gotten some killer deals there before and other hard to find bits.
Yeah, there have been a couple that have really appreciated in value since I’ve gotten them. One record I got at release was a limited edition, and on top of that a misprint, so it’s like 4 times as valuable now. Still not selling it, because I love it.
This is 100% why I have a record player. I don’t own a ton of records, but I love identifying solid albums to buy on vinyl.
The ritual aspect feels really important given how … ephemeral? my relationship with music is otherwise through streaming platforms. This is really hard to explain to Boomers like my parents, who just can’t fathom why I’d want to buy something more inconvenient than mp3s.
ETA: have had plenty of arguments with my dad, for instance, over the difference in sound quality. it’s actually not something I care too much about!
I actually came to waypoint to start a vinyl thread. Something proper with a very detailed OP. Detailing novice to experienced vinyl listening setups, cleaning tips and ways to find good deals. Would anyone be interested in something like that?
I’ve got over fifteen years of experience collecting and over eleven hundred records in my collection: my collecton
being DJ at a party is part working with what you have, but also knowing how to sequence those things. You could have a grip of solid jams, but a few bangers. If you flub the sequence tho it could easily drop a party out of sync real quick. I’d argue it’s way more important to know intimately what you’re bringing to the table before you even get on the decks. That way any room for error is minimized and you don’t box yourself in. That and being able to read the room/crowd. I’ve definitely talked to DJ’s who would show up to club shows just to get a vibe of the venue before they do a set the following weekend or the next day. See who the patrons are and what kind of ambiance the place invites on its own.
I sure could use cleaning tips. I own a brush and I always fear I do more harm than good with it. Should I brush every record I listen to or only the ones that look dirty?
My last haul included the blue-vinyl Sleep Well Beast, the Top Gun soundtrack, and two $.50 Greek music records for my yiayia and pappou to enjoy. I successfully resisted the new Bowie Berlin Trilogy box set…at least for now.
it doesn’t do what carbon fiber brushes are implied of doing (getting into the grooves, which I personally never bought into and was really freaked out i would scratch the disks) but it’s great at grabbing all the loose debris/paper and dust from the surface. I have a whole other process for cleaning and storage.
you should give every record a brush before spinning. you don’t want junk to gather around the needle. not only do you put unneeded wear and tear on your records, running them with junk on the grooves, but you also put wear and tear onto the needle. some may be diamond tipped, but they’re still quite delicate and can be damaged over time in poor situations.
I’ll detail a more thorough cleaning option when I’m done putting together the thread. Maybe a mod can merge them so I can take over the OP and titles at least.