Why would anyone buy a vinyl playing setup?

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RockerRocker Frets: 2825
Just been in Tower Records and vinyl is everywhere. But from what I could see, prices of €15 to €20 per disk :open_mouth:  Added to the cost of a turntable, arm, cartridge and phono stage, not to mention the wall mounted shelf for the TT, it is a mighty expensive way to listen to music. 

I am am speaking as someone who had a top notch vinyl replay system in the past. The price of records shook me just now. CDs are good value and sound great if you use a decent player. Or they can be ripped and saved to FLAC or other lossless format and they too sound great if you use a decent DAC. So why use vinyl as your music source?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • vizviz Frets: 5090
    edited November 26
    New records are expensive, though I just bought 100 vinyl records from ebay for £21 - there’s so much material out there at throwaway prices. 

    I think listening to records is a bit like enjoying craft beer. Some of it’s the ritual, some of it’s the cognitive bias, some of it’s the fact that the whole package is great (gatefold, lyrics, poster, etc), some of it’s the extra money you spend on equipment so naturally it sounds good, and a teeny bit of it is that the medium really is a very good way of holding the music.

    I never moved away from records; I did get loads of CDs in the 2000s, but still carried on buying records whenever something took my fancy. They’re great. 
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2357
    I've got some vinyl and a turntable.  Project Debut, wasn't that pricey really.

    Why?  I'll let Billie tell you...

    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 935
    It doesn't have to be expensive.

    Most of the records I listen to were mastered to be listened to on 70's kit, not much need to chase the audiophile rainbow. I bought a Quad amp for not a lot, a DJ turntable for peanuts, I already had some speakers.

    The vinyl itself £10-15 quid tops with a lot around the fiver mark. Just as a comparison, I was listening to an album I love (Soft Machine 3rd) the other night. I have an original record, an 'audiophile' 180g clear vinyl repro, a CD re-issue and I've got FLAC via an AK walkman. The original album sounded best. £10. 

    CD was best 'quality' but sounded harsh. There were no cd's when the album came out.

    Feelin' Reelin' & Squeelin'
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 2071
    My 13 year old daughter wants a record player and some vinyl for christmas as its so cool that you have to lift a needle and actually put in on a spinning disc!

    I'll get her my billy bragg and the jam lps that I got for 20p each from the library out of the loft in the late 80s, have a few 90s soup dragons/stone roses as well up there I think.
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  • ShrewsShrews Frets: 337
    Argh vinyl, now that takes me back.  1st album bought with my own cash 'Outlandos D'Amour' The Police, played it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.......

    Then I bought Madness 'One Step Beyond', it had photo-booth photos all over the inner sleeve, not only did I play it over and over but I looked at the inner sleeve over and over. Somehow, that inner sleeve added to the feel of the album.

    I probably had about 10 more years of buying vinyl, before they became difficult to buy, the little record shops I loved slowly disappeared, HMV and Virgin took over and they were massively in favour of CD's

    I made the jump to CD's and loved it. The music was clearer, I didn't need to keep picking up the needle every 20 minutes, I could mix up my favourite tracks.

    Have got to say, I've never got used to 'downloading', I just prefer to have a physical object in my hand to look at.

    I think there's plenty of nostalgia with vinyl but we're in a different age now. I doubt that the kids of today would look at an inner sleeve as much as I did, when their smartphone is only a glance to the right.  

    Personally it's CD every time for me, as much as I loved my teenage vinyl years.

    At the moment I have no idea where my vinyl is.  I've had three long term relationships and houses I've lived in between them whilst single. One day somebody will go into their attic and find a whole load of 1980's goodies. 


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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1462
    I've bought twelve albums so far this month.  Love Vinyl.  My nephew and my niece have systems I put together for them, they also enkoy vinyl, though I expect it's a Millennial 'cool' thing.....   Along with CD, they also have a streaming option based on Apple TV 3rd gen with a quality DAC, so streaming music sounds great too.

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14386
    Vinyl is just nicer than CD, and all because of the ritual and the "understandability" of it - you can see the music in the grooves. It's better therefore for archival purposes (good luck figuring out CD format after the apocalypse).

    Shame it takes up so much space and sounds cack. ;)
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2571
    A big part of vinyl, apart from any perceived audio enhancements, is the ceremony of choosing a disc, selecting which side and then settling down to listen as a defined pastime, rather than just having music as a constant soundtrack to the day. reminds me of "We're going upstairs to play records" of misspent youth. The 12" vinyl sleeve is also a more compelling art canvas than a tiny CD case, with plenty of room for lyrics on inner sleeve etc.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33707
    Rocker said:
    Just been in Tower Records and vinyl is everywhere. But from what I could see, prices of €15 to €20 per disk :open_mouth:
    Now record companies can no longer get away with charging £14 or so for a CD because online downloads have rendered that unsustainable, they've had to come up with a new way of making people pay far too much for something. They got away with the pricing of CDs because they were sold as being better-sounding than vinyl, lasting forever, never wearing out etc, so double the price of vinyl was made to seem acceptable. Now vinyl has become cool again, they've reinvented it as the new 'better'... old is the new new, with prices to match.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • I've mainly bought CDs recently simply because they're cheaper and more convenient, and the music that I want is not usually available on LP.

    But I have a HUGE amount of music on LP and I'm damned if I'm going to replace it on any other medium. Neither am I going to replace the kit I invested in umpteen years ago.

    If I were starting to get interested in HiFi from scratch, it might be different but hey I'm the bloke who turns to the Vintage HiFi pages first in HiFi News ...
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • vizviz Frets: 5090
    edited November 26
    Mr Phil, that deserves a vizwiz. 
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1126
    Why does it have to be an either/or?

    I've got a darned good CD player, but I wouldn't say it'd beat a darned good vinyl player...
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 665
    If something happened to my beloved record collection, the insurance money would go on something else!
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  • viz said:
    Mr Phil, that deserves a vizwiz. 
    I've just found out why you PMed me. Thanks ;)

    I think @prowla has it right ... I too have both and like both for different reasons, although my reasons for liking CDs are mainly convenience and my reasons for liking my LP collection are mainly sonic. Doesn't mean I think my CDs sound crap, I just prefer my LPs.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 1103
    A friend of mine has just invested in a Rega turntable and buys an album every week or so. He finds that with records, he tends to sit and enjoy the music more, rather than just having a CD on in the background. Records obviously need a little more input, due to the side changing and all that.
    I honestly get the feeling that he's never enjoyed music so much.
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • @lasermonkey yes I remember going to the record shop and buying one LP a week. One was all I could afford, and at the time LP was the only way to buy music.

    I'd get it home, fire up the stereo, wipe the record with an anti-static rag, put it on the turntable and listen while reading every word on the sleeve notes and/or carefully imbibing the art work on the cover.

    It was a major event. A ritual. And IMO it's been devalued by downloads, or even just clicking on loads of CDs on Amazon - and they turn up in a cardboard packet at your workplace, the event is so insignificant that you sometimes forget to take the packet home the day it arrives and it's on your desk at work for a day or two before you remember to take it home.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • AlvinAlvin Frets: 126
    The problem with records is the needle keeps jumping when you go over even the slightest bump in the road , so i just stick to cd's now .
        I think it's just people trying to be cool  ala Jo Whiley "oh i've got a vinyl collection" .  Cd's everytime , so much easier and the best thing for in the car .
     I have noticed they are going up but i guess that is because there are fewer places selling them , Amazon has worn them all out (retailers not records) .
      We will all have no choice soon but to listen to mp3's in the car so the kids of today have done a number on us , they won't pay for music and are happy to (unknowingly?) listen to poor quality music .   Record sales might be on the up but if we loose cd's that will be almost criminal . 

      I will keep buying cd's while they are still available .  
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  • If an album cost £2.99 in 1979 (and that's roughly what I remember), that would be about £16 today adjusted for inflation.

    If I buy vinyl I usually get it with a download and listen to the download. But I buy the vinyl because I like the artist and want them to have some of my money (if they're indie or obscure), and it's nice to have the physical object. 

    For me there was a thrill to the sound of the stylus as it made contact with the vinyl. And getting up in the middle to turn over. Or, if you were as stoned as I sometimes was, just listening to the kchuk kchuk of the inner groove for half an hour or so. 

    The inner groove. Deep. 
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 295
    CD & Spotify user here with an early 2000’s Marantz amplifier & cheap B&W speakers.

    Ive never bought vinyl, but just wondered if any of you guys buy either a CD or Vinyl depending on what the original format of the recording was?  
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1840
    As soon as you buy music because of the format in comes in, you've lost.

    Good streaming playback is more than adequate for most listening situations, and I'll wager pretty much no-one here would be able to tell the difference between high-end digital sources (ie. CDs or lossless streaming) and high-end analogue sources (ie. vinyl).

    It's another hipster-led fad, encouraged by the music industry as it's another revenue stream for them.

    Bah!
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4912
    You still have Tower Records...?
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19098
    I like sampling from vinyl records but I don’t get nostalgic for the olde days.
    We have a bunch of different playback technologies here.
    I’ve got a couple of portable, waterproof bluetooth speakers, one stays in the shower so I can listen to the news in the morning, and one that is used outside.

    One Sonos box in the dining room for dinner music.
    A Denon A.V. receiver with B&W speakers in this living room connected to the TV.
    I have a turntable in the studio for sampling and some killer Kii Three monitors, I do all of my critical listenning in that room too.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • robertyroberty Frets: 665
    As soon as you buy music because of the format in comes in, you've lost.

    Good streaming playback is more than adequate for most listening situations, and I'll wager pretty much no-one here would be able to tell the difference between high-end digital sources (ie. CDs or lossless streaming) and high-end analogue sources (ie. vinyl).

    It's another hipster-led fad, encouraged by the music industry as it's another revenue stream for them.

    Bah!
    256kbps MP3 is audibly transparent in controlled conditions on reference grade equipment:

    http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~hockman/documents/Pras_presentation2009.pdf

    Spotify is 320kbps OGG and Apple Music is 256kbps AAC.  Neither format introduces audible distortion

    Vinyl playback introduces harmonic distortion as well as background noise, surface noise noise and pitch instability, and the stereo separation will only be between 20 and 30dB depending on the cartridge used.  It can still sound bloody magnificent, it's one of the few areas in audio where you get what you pay for (to a point) (the other being speakers)

    Disclaimer: I have a record collection, because I like having a collection and I like supporting the artists and industry.  I'm more likely to sit through a whole album if I put a record on, sometimes I'll flip it a few times and listen more than once
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  • robertyroberty Frets: 665
    The physicality of the medium and the specific equipment required to play it is a perfect complement to streaming, that's what has led its rise in popularity I think.

    Having said that, the so-called revival is just 157,000 people spending £400 per year:

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2018/05/the-vinyl-revival-is-just-a-few-blokes-buying-everything/
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 1103
    As soon as you buy music because of the format in comes in, you've lost.

    Good streaming playback is more than adequate for most listening situations, and I'll wager pretty much no-one here would be able to tell the difference between high-end digital sources (ie. CDs or lossless streaming) and high-end analogue sources (ie. vinyl).

    It's another hipster-led fad, encouraged by the music industry as it's another revenue stream for them.

    Bah!
    And that depends entirely on the mastering. The majority of my record collection was made during the eighties or nineties and almost all of it sounds significantly better on vinyl. More bass extension, more sparkle, more detail. All of the things that we were promised would sound better on CD, you might say. The sort of thing that anyone could pick out in a double-blind test. At a guess, I'd say it was because there just wasn't the wealth of experience in mastering for digital back then. Certainly, I have some early CDs where there is awful digital clipping on them!

    I have recent releases where the opposite is true, and again, probably down to mastering for digital having been, ahem, mastered, with the experience for mastering vinyl being lost over time.

    People talk about the pops and crackles on vinyl but on a good TT, with well-cared for records, you barely notice.
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1840
    Yes, I agree, good vinyl sounds better than badly mastered CDs.

    But, you know, that was 30 years ago.

    They've sort of got the hang of mastering these days, and that's no longer a valid argument.
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  • GagarynGagaryn Frets: 1463
    Yes, I agree, good vinyl sounds better than badly mastered CDs.

    But, you know, that was 30 years ago.

    They've sort of got the hang of mastering these days, and that's no longer a valid argument.
    ...and forgotten how to master vinyl, the folk that knew how to have all retired. I buy vinyl but I am disappointed with a lot of recent presses.
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  • lasermonkeylasermonkey Frets: 1103
    edited November 27
    Yes, I agree, good vinyl sounds better than badly mastered CDs.

    But, you know, that was 30 years ago.

    They've sort of got the hang of mastering these days, and that's no longer a valid argument.
    Well, it is for older albums that haven't been remastered for CD. People still listen to that stuff, y'know.
    And then there's the recent stuff that was brickwall-limited for digital. You can't overmodulate vinyl, so there's still a few records that arguably sound better, or at least more natural.
    There's room for both analogue and digital.
    My wife asked me to stop singing Wonderwall.
    I said maybe.....
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 19230
    At its best, it sounds like no other format:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D4iEPU3uVDg&t=186s
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  • sweepysweepy Frets: 1937
    edited November 27
    I'd love my old Linn, Leak Stereo20  Radford SC22 setup back, practicalities and house moves etc etc
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